Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Let the roads that you take be less traveled and may each path take you to the best of things in Life!! Hoping and wishing the best of happenings in this New Year for all you beautiful people out there..


Friday, December 26, 2008

Achari Murg or Chicken made in pickle spice

It was Christmas yesterday and we got onto task to try out something special and we browsed through the internet for what to be made!! We came across lots of recipes and got all the more confused and hence thought of referring to our good old (treasure) recipe book and found this recipe which was a cut out from a magazine.

Without much of preface I am directly writing the recipe. There are couple of reasons for no story this time. One is that I am leaving for my hometown tonight for a 10 day long vacation and the excitement to meet my family is bubbling and bursting . And secondly I have nothing to write about this time(probably my brain is not working well today)

  • 700 gms - Chicken, curry cut pieces
  • 2 - Onions, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp - Nigella seeds or Kalonji
  • 1 tsp - Cumin or Jeera
  • 1 tsp - Fennel or Saunf
  • 1/2 tsp - Fenugreek Seeds or methidana
  • 3 tbsp - Thick curd
  • 1/2 tsp - Red Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 2 - Tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 2 - Green Chillies, slit
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
  • 3 tbsp - Oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat a kadhai or wok. Add the chopped onions and saute till it turns brown(a little more than golden brown).
  • Now add the nigella, fennel, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Mix well. Add the cleaned chicken into this and roast well on high flame for around 4 minutes. The chicken might stick to the kadhai thus stir gently.
  • Once oil starts separating, add the yoghurt and saute on medium heat till the curd is mixed well. Then add the red chilly powder and turmeric powder and saute till oil separates further. Add the tomatoes, green chillies and required salt and saute well. The more you saute the more darker the gravy gets.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and cover amd cook for 10 minutes or till the chicken is soft.
  • Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rotis, parantha or naan

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas with a Easy Fruit Cake

Its Christmas time and unfortunately I really do not feel it here in the air, except for the surprisingly cold weather and for the malls being lit up and decorated - the colors of Christmas is not showing up elsewhere. No unusual shopping spree, no multi colored stars hung on the roads for sale, no Santa Claus in front of shops, no specially lit disco lights on the streets, no carols being heard in the neighbourhood.. And above all no one to invite us home for a Christmas Lunch with mouth watering dishes, wine and cake!!

So we decided that why not celebrate it on our own in our small home, eating good food, shopping and by watching the special Malayalam movies telecasted on TV :)!! The thought that no one is going to gift us a bottle of wine and fruit cake made me make the favorite Christmas time must have, the fruit cake.. I have my mom's version which doesnt need any liquor like rum or brandy. (We never used liquor in our fruit cakes because we never had anyone who drinks!!) And moreover when the final product tastes as good as a cake with liquor, what is the need to add something which is anyways not so good for your health!!

  • 250 gms - All purpose flour
  • 225 gms - Sugar powder
  • 200 gms - Butter, at room temperature
  • 250 gms - Mixed dry fruits (Golden raisins, Black currants, Dates, Glaced cherries, Cashewnuts, Almonds)
  • 20 gms - Candied orange rind
  • 1.5 tsp - Mixed spice powder(cinnamon, cloves, caraway seeds(shahjeera))
  • 1 tsp - Baking powder
  • 3 Nos - Eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp - Vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup - Sugar
  • 1/4 cup- Water
  • Heat a deep pan, put 1/2 cup of sugar into it and let it melt. Do not stir at this point. When its starts browning stir occasionally and when it comes to a boil switch of the gas and shift the pan into the sink and slowly, pour the 1/4 cup of water into the pan and stir. Empty this into a bowl and allow it to cool.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder and spice powder.
  • Chop all the dry fruits and add to the sifted flour mixture and mix well and keep aside. If this process is skipped, the fruits will settle down on the bottom after baking
  • Grease a butter paper and insert into a lightly greased cake tin. I opted for a round tin.
  • Preheat the oven at 180° C
  • Beat butter and sugar powder until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with vanilla essence and beat well.
  • Add the caramel syrup and mix well.
  • Now fold the flour into the butter-egg mixture and mix well.
  • Empty the batter into the tin and keep it into the preheated oven and bake it for minimum 45 minutes. Insert a toothpick and check if done. If the toothpick comes out clean, then take it off the oven and let it cool.

  • Serve with home made sweet wine if available.
So you all out there having a visual feast of colors, have a great Christmas!! Have lots of food and wine but don't drink and drive ;)

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Easy Doughnuts

I never knew doughnuts were so easy to make until the day I saw this site and made up my mind to make it the very moment forgetting the calorie and fat content in it.

It was around 5:30 in the evening today when I started the prep, thinking that I can finish off by the time my hubby is back from work. But to my surprise I finished of my work, cleaned up the place, washed the dishes, took pictures, formatted them and now posting it at 6:30 p.m. It was that easy and just too good. Off late I haven't had such good doughnuts. It just melted away in the mouth.

I was so apprehensive about making them because I am not too good with confectionery and baking, thus ended up taking just half the quantity of ingredients. I also considered the fact that 18 doughnuts(according to the author of the recipe on would be too much for 2 of us to eat, even if it turns out to be good. I got 8 doughnuts out of this quantity. So my recipes goes like this. I also followed couple of comments mentioned by some reviewers which made the process easier.

  • 1.5 tbsp - Yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup -Powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp - Butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 of an Egg
  • 3 drops - Vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup - All purpose flour
  • A pinch - Baking soda
  • A pinch - Salt
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Some flour for dusting the marble
  • Some sugar powder for dusting


  • Cream butter and sugar in a bowl till smooth
  • Add the egg and vanilla essence and mix well
  • Sift the baking soda, salt and flour and keep aside
  • Stir in the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture alternating it with yogurt.
  • Mix and kneed well until you form a soft dough out of it.
  • Clean the kitchen marble and dust it with some flour and roll the dough on to the surface in 1/3 inch thickness.
  • Cut the dough using a doughnut cutter and let it stand for 10 minutes. As I did not have a doughnut cutter I used a small bowl with a sharp edge and bottle cap to get the shape. The dough which is cut from the center was collected and rolled again and cut.
  • After 10 minutes, heat enough oil in a wok type utensil and fry them till golden brown on medium low flame. It wouldnot take more than a minute to fry them. Strain onto kitchen paper towels and when still warm roll them on a pile of sugar powder and dust them well. Serve immediately.
My doughnuts have become cold and hubby has still not come home. :( Guess its his bad luck!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kurumulaku ittu Mathi Varuthathu or Sardines Fried with ground pepper

ohile browsing through some of my old pictures on my system, I became all nostalgic about home, Cochin and above all, Kerala!! Suddenly my thoughts ran up to those narrow lanes of Fortkochi, Jew Street and Broadway which was infused with the distinct smell of spices. Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, cloves, nutmeg, mace - you could smell it all there. The Broadway(on the contrary, not at all a broad street) was one of the streets I had to pass by every evening after work to get to the nearest bus stop. The smell of the spices enthused me even at that hour of the day. And ever since I remember the place, it always smelled and looked the same sans a few new shops.

Staying in this city rich for its spice trade, every family who has some land around their houses or in their backyard would make sure that they plant few essential spices. We too have some pepper vines climbing onto couple of adakkamaram(Arecanut trees), a nice and shady nutmeg tree, an all spices tree and a cinnamon tree in and around our house. Thanks to my father who planted all those trees that I could grow up seeing all of those spices. And no matter how far away from home I am, I would definetly carry a nice jar full of home grown black peppercorns for sure.

This fish fry is something which is very special to me because I crafted out of my own imagination using our own peppercorns and my hubby just loves it. We could have it everyday and still want for more. The taste obviuosly comes out of the pepper which is the main ingredient.

  • 5-6 Nos - Sardines
  • Coconut Oil or refined oil, to shallow fry
  • 1 tsp and more - whole balck peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 - Shallots
  • 1 tsp - Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2 sprigs - Curry leaves


  • Clean and cut the fish and score them and keep aside
  • Roughly grind all the ingredients and apply on to the fish. Apply it thoroughly on to the fish and smear the masala on the cuts. Let it remain for minimum half an hour
  • Heat a pan and pour some oil according to your wish. I use coconut oil most often, which increases the flavor. When the oil is hot, place the marinated fish and let it fry for sometime on both the sides over a medium low flame. As the masala paste is coarse there are chances of it getting browned faster and might sometimes burn also. So make sure the masala is just browned and not burnt(like what happened to couple of my fishes). This preparation is at its best when the fish is not too crisp.
  • Serve hot and sizzling with rice.

Note: If you can manage to get fresh green peppercorns, you can replace the black ones with them, which would taste even better.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cocoa Coffee Souffle

It was on a lazy afternoon(when I had absolutely nothing to do), that I was flipping through my recipe book. This book was created around 5-6 years back, from a bundle of cut outs from magazines and news papers my parents & I collected over a period of 2 decades. My mom used to cut the recipes and dad used to carefully keep all those cut outs in an old blue briefcase. And often on Sunday afternoons we used to browse through it to see what new can we try for that afternoon.

Years passed by, the collection increased and my parents transfered the responsibilty to me. Thats when I meticulously sorted it out and discarded the once which I would not give a try and pasted and indexed that book for an easy reference. And today because of this reason I consider this book of ours as a Treasure Book.

A small excerpt from my book. Now this book has some handwritten recipes too, which I have either noted when aired on the television or told by my mother over the numerous STD calls we make discussing recipes.

And last week while I was flipping through those pale yellow pages, I came across this recipe of a souffle which I have been eyeing for a long time. I have never tried my hand on souffles ever before. And now because of this blog I had the motivation to try it out.

The one which I thought of trying was the Chocolate Souffle but when I started accumulating the materials required, I found that I just had only 1 tbsp of cocoa whereas it required 3-4 tbsps. Thats when I thought I would alter it according to my availability of products and ended up with a new souffle all together, and I christened it as the "Cocoa coffee souffle".

  • 1/3 tbsp - Cornflour
  • 2 tsp - Gelatin
  • 1/2 tsp - Instant coffee powder
  • 50 gms - Sugar
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp - Cocoa powder
  • 25 gms- Sugar
  • 1.5 cup - Milk
  • 1 - Egg, separated


  • Separate the egg yolk and egg white into two clean dry bowls.
  • Mix together cornflour, gelatin, coffee powder, 50 gms of sugar and salt in a heavy bottomed pan and swtich on the gas, keeping the flame low. Pour the milk slowly into it the pan while stirring the mixture continuously. Pour the milk in installments and not at once.
  • Once the entire milk has been stirred in, add the 25 gms of sugar and cocoa into the milk mixture and keep stirring. You will see that the mixture is thickening. Remove the pan from the gas when medium thick.
  • Beat the egg yolk with a fork and slowly pour it into the milk mixture. Stir well and keep the pan again on medium heat. Let it start boiling. When you see the first bubble come, switch off and keep the pan onto a tray of ice water. Let it cool.
  • Simultaneously, beat the egg white with a beater or whisk and make it stiff.
  • When the mixture has completely cooled down, slowly fold the stiff egg white into the mixture with a spatula. You will notice that the volume of the mixture suddenly increases when you add the egg white. That is how it ideally should be. And this is the difference between making a mousse and souffle.
  • Now transfer it into small glasses and let it set in a refridgerator till you serve. Serve chilled.
  • When serving you may decorate it with grated chocolate, cherry, icing sugar etc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Njandu Varutharachathu or Kerala Style Crab curry - Obviuosly with oodles of coconut oil and coconut

Whenever I eat crab, I just get reminded of one thing which my mom always says. "Njandu curry ondankil, randu curry venda!!"(means if there is crab curry, you neednot have another curry). And I often I related that statement of my mother as her laziness to cook more dishes the day crab was cooked.

As a kid, I never adored it as it was so difficult to eat them. The art of eating crab is something that one learns through years of practice. The day I learnt to eat them, I started enjoying it. To be frank, it is so difficult to eat crab minding your table manners. The day this thought struck my mind, things bacame easier!! And from then on I made it a point not to eat crab at a restuarants(unless and until its some preparation using the crab meat and doesn't involve the shell)!! Not having tasted many preparations with crab, I always tend to love the good old Kerala preparation, which my mother, aunts, mother in law and hubby makes!! This version comes from my hubby who is an expert in making sea food!!


To cook:
  • 1/2 Kg - Crab, cleaned and cut
  • 1" piece - Ginger
  • 1 sprig of curry leaf
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 - Raw banana or 1 potato, cubed (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to cook

To roast and grind:

  • A ittle more than 1/2 cup of lightly packed finely grated fresh Coconut
  • 4 - cloves
  • 1" piece - Cinnamon
  • 1 small pod of cardamom
  • 1 tsp - Black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves - Garlic
  • 2 tsp - Coriander powder
  • 2 tsp - Chilly powder
  • A generous pinch - Fennel seeds or perinjeerakam
  • 1 tsp - Coconut Oil

For Tempering:(Optional)

  • 1 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2-3 - Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf
  • 1 tbsp - Coconut Oil


  • Clean the crab and cut the major part into two. The legs need to be crushed a bit. You can ideally just give a light crush with a pestle until you see cracks on the shell. This is done so that the spices and salt gets into the juicy flesh.
  • Now, in a pan, put all the ingredients in the 'To cook' section and pour required water and bring it to a boil and simmer and cook till the crab turns orange in color. If excessive water, turn the flame to medium high and evaporate it till the level you desire. We like a little thick gravy thus not much of water was retained.
  • Meanwhile, in a pan, pour the coconut oil and roast all the ingredients leaving the chilly and coriander powder. When the coconut turns nice and brown, add the coriander and chilly powder and stir continuously till the raw smell is gone. Make sure the mixture doesnt get burnt, for which you need to keep the flame medium low and keep stirring continously. Let it cool and grind it with very little water to a fine paste. The finer the paste, the better the curry's texture gets
  • Once done empty the masala paste into the cooked crab and mix well. If water is required add water according to your wish. Let the crab simmer in this masala for 10 minutes till all the aroma gets into the crab.
  • In a pan, pour 1 tbsp of oil and put in the mustard, shallots and curry leaf and pour on top of the curry. Close the lid and let it stand for 10 minutes and serve with Rice. Tempering is not a must do. I generally skip it as I cannot simply wait to have it. And yet another reason being less oil too

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kerala Muslim Style Chicken Biriyani

It was a lazy sunday morning when both of us got the starnge craving for good Biriyani!! But instead of going to Paradise(a famous outlet in Secunderabad for Biriyani's) we decided to make it at home. Everyone says that being in Hyderabad why do you have to cook biriyani?? Whenever you feel like eating one, hop on to the nearest joint and you can get a decent one!! But very ironically the so much hyped Hyderabadi Biriyani didnot please neither my hubby's nor my taste buds!! After trying out from the best places here, my search for Biriyanis in this city's restuarants ended!! Thus I started my endeavor with lots of hope to recreate the taste of the Chicken Biriyani from my own homeland, Kerala!! The taste of the sumptuous Chicken Biriyani of Sagar Hotel in Calicut (which I had a decade ago) or the modest Kaikka's Biriyani from Mattanchery made me search the internet for the most authentic recipe.. In such a search I stuck against Mishmash's recipe!!

It was this recipe on Shn's blog which enticed me to try it out no matter how much ever hard work I had to put in!! With almost half the quantity of rice and chicken it took me long 3 hours in the kitchen!! Was wondering how much time Shn took :D. Anyways, Shn, thanks a ton for sharing this recipe..

With certain minor changes in the procedure and ingredients I recreated the taste which I have been lingering to have!!

I started with the cooking of rice using the traditional stove top method and for the first time I got the most perfectly cooked basmati rice. The chicken kurma had the perfect color it should have had, I guess!! And the very instance I tasted the kurma, I became so sure that the Biriyani is going to be a hit!!

I did the closing ceremony by using the dum method as Shn had mentioned that it is a better way of making biriyani. For which, I greased a large vessel with lots of ghee (do not use steel vessel – the biriyani might get burnt). Randomly placed some chicken pieces along with gravy in the bottom of the dish; then spread some cooked rice, and sprinkled some ground aromatic masala mix; some fried cashew, raisins, fried onions and finely chopped coriander leaves, some ghee and some beaten curd.(Adding ghee and curd made it moist.) Repeated this layering process until the chicken kurma and rice got over. The layering should end with rice which should be topped with fried nuts, raisins, fried onions and finely chopped coriander leaves.
Then sealad the lid with the atta dough and cooked over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Once the gas was turned off I let it remain unopened for around 1 hour.

But the tragedy was that, by the time I was done with the Biriyani my hubby got all impatient and hungry that we pounced on to it and I forgot to take the end products picture. The picture which I have uploaded was the left over which I reheated and had the next day!! Hope to upload a pic next time I make it.. For then, Eat loads and enjoy!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Spicy Mixed Noodles & Dry Chilly Cauliflower

I think I have mentioned innumerable times about my liking towards Chinese food and how much my husband and I keep visiting restaurants (but obviously Chinese) time and time again. There have been times when we decide purposefully to go to a non-Chinese restaurants and end up eating a fried rice or Chinese starter or at least a Chinese soup. So without wasting too much of time lets jump to today's menu : Spicy Mixed Noodles and Dry chilly cauliflower(very Indian way - Microwave cooking)

Spicy Mixed Noodles:

  • 1 pack - Hakka Noodles(generally available in supermarkets)
  • 1 tsp - Oil
  • 1 - Carrot, thinly sliced
  • 10-12 - Beans, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1/4 cup - Cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 - Capsicum, sliced
  • 2 - Eggs (optional, omit if Vegetarian)
  • 1/4 cup - Chicken, cooked and shredded (optional, omit if Vegetarian)
  • 1 tsp - Tabasco sauce (generally used for Barbequed dishes, but this adds a peculiar taste to food and adds a lot of heat)
  • 1 tsp - Chilly sauce
  • 1 tsp - Soya sauce
  • Pepper (according to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp - Oil


  • Cook and strain the noodles with a teaspoon of oil and let it cool for an hour.
  • Add a 1 tsp of oil and heat a wok or deep kadhai. Scramble the eggs with some salt and pepper and keep aside.
  • Add 1 more tsp of oil and saute the shredded chicken with salt and pepper and keep it aside.
  • Add the rest of the oil and add the beans and carrot and saute for 2 minutes and add the cabbage and capsicum and saute for another 2 minutes. The veges should not be overcooked but crunchy.
  • Once done empty the noodles into the wok and mix well and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add all the sauces and mix well. If required add pepper powder and salt. For extra heat(spice) you may add Dry red chilly flakes.
  • Serve hot.
Dry Chilly Cauliflower:


  • 1/2 - Cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp - Oil
  • 1 - Onion, diced
  • 1/2" piece - Ginger, chopped fine
  • 2-3 flakes of Garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp - Soya sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp - Vinegar
  • 4-5 -Green chillies, slit
  • 1 medium sized - capsicum, diced
  • 1 tbsp - Cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp - Sugar
  • Salt to taste


  • In a microwave proff dish, add the oil, onion, ginger, garlic, soya sauce and cauliflower. Mix and microwave covered for 5 minutes on high.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients. Mix and microwave uncovered for 3 minutes. Mix and serve hot.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Aloo Poha

  • 2 cups - Poha / Rice flakes / Avil (thicker ones are the best)
  • 1 tbsp - Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2-3 - green chillies, chopped
  • 1 - Onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1 - Potato, diced
  • 1 pinch - Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Some Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2-3 - Lemon wedges

  • Put the poha into a large strainer and dip into a bowl of cold clean water. Let it remain for a minutes and take it out. Gently squeeze the water off and spread it onto a plate. This process has to be done very carefully and you should not soak it for too long as the flakes will become mushy.
  • Heat a pan with oil and splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Saute in the onion and chillies. Add turmeric and potatoes and cook covered for few minutes.
  • Add the soaked and drained poha, sugar and salt into the pan and mix well. If you notice that the flakes are getting dry, turn off the gas and sprinkle some water and cover it for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves, onion and lemon juice.

Note: You can add any vegetable like french beans, carrot, cauliflower, green peas etc (depending upon your taste and availability) which would make it more interesting and nutritious.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Padavalanga Parippu thoran / Snake gourd - Lentil stir fry

  • 1/2 cup - Chana Dal / Kadalaparippu, soaked for 1 hours
  • 1 - Padavalanga / Snake gourd, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp - Cumin powder
  • 2 cloves - Garlic
  • 2-3 - Green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 cup - Grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp - Oil
  • 1 tsp - Mustard seed
  • 2-3 - Shallots
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf
  • Salt to taste

  • Pressure cook the dal with just enough water. Do not cook it too much. The dal should be firm to look at but should get mashed when we press it between the forefinger and thumb.
  • Coarsly grind together cumin, garlic, green chillies, coconut and turmeric. Mix it with the cut gourd and add salt and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a pan with oil. Splutter the mustard seeds and saute the shallots and curry leaves. Put the gourd and cook covered for 5 minutes with very little water. When done, empty the lentil and stir fry for couple of minutes. Serve hot with rice

Friday, October 24, 2008

Palak paneer

Palak Paneer is one dish liked by every Indian. Its nutritious and also tasty. My first attempt to try it was when I saw those lush green bunches of spinach in one supermarket. I carried them home and made some paneer at home and was all set to go. But was not sure how to make it. Thats when I typed "Palak Paneer+Recipe" in our very own Google and landed up with a loads of recipes. After reading many of them thought of trying something on my own and ended up with one yummy version!!

  • 100 gms – Paneer cubes
  • 2 tbsp - Oil
  • 1 - Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp – Cumin seeds
  • 1 - Onion, ground to a fine paste
  • 2 cloves – Garlic, ground to a fine paste
  • 1 tsp - Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp - Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp – Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp – Garam masala
  • 1 tsp – Cream (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp - Grated paneer/cheese
  • Salt to taste

To pressure cook:

  • 1 bunch – Spinach
  • ½” piece – Ginger
  • 1 – Onion, diced
  • 1 – Tomato, diced
  • 2 – Green chillies, slit


  • Add very little water and pressure cook the spinach with the rest of the ingredients (just 2-3 whistle is enough) and when done, cool it and puree it
  • Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil and fry the paneer cubes till golden brown and keep aside. In order to keep the paneer soft, immerse it in some lukewarm water with a generous pinch of turmeric powder.
  • In the same pan, heat the rest of the oil and crackle the cumin seeds and sauté the bay leaf. Add the onion and garlic paste and sauté till slight brown.
  • Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, pepper and garam masala, salt and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Now add the spinach puree into the pan along with the fried paneer and mix well. Simmer for 2 minutes and turn off the gas
  • Garnish with grated cheese/paneer and some fresh cream and serve hot with rotis or paranthas

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Unniappam(when translated into English should be called baby pancakes, i guess) makes me a lot nostalgic and takes me back to my childhood days. And Iam sure the same happens to a lot more malayalis around!! Its one snack which every kid loves to eat(at least of my generation).

One day I was wondering whether the new age moms make unniappams for their kids these days or not?? The thought of unniappam being forgotten and becoming a part of history provoked me to carry a unniappam chatti (a special utensil which is used to make unniappams) to my Hyderabad home. The attempt to learn this wonderful snack and probably make it for my kids in future allured me a lot and I ended up making it with numerous calls to my mom!! And more than me it was her who wanted me to learn how to make unniappams(for sake of her future grandchildren) that she even bought and kept a non stick unniappam chatti for me this Onam!! :)


  • 1 cup – Raw Rice, soaked for 3-4 hours
  • 1 cup – Jaggery, grated
  • 2 Tbsp – Semolina or sooji
  • 1 big – Ripe banana
  • ¼ cup – Grated coconut or small pieces of coconut(Thenga kottu)
  • 1 Tbsp – Ghee
  • 1 Tsp – Sesame seeds, washed and drained
  • Refined Oil / Ghee to fry


  • Grind the soaked rice into a fine paste by adding just enough water. Blend the rice batter along with the grated jaggery. Empty the batter into a bowl, add the sooji and mashed banana and mix well. The more you mix it, the lighter it becomes and when fried it becomes more softer. Check whether its sweet enough. If not add more jaggery. Let it stand for 2-3 hours or till you see bubbles forming on top of the batter.
  • Once you see the bubbles forming in the batter roast the grated/chopped coconut till golden brown. Empty the fried coconut and washed sesame seeds into the batter and mix well.
  • Heat the unniappam chatti, the utensil used to make unniappam. Fill the holes with oil. Just fill only 3/4th of the hole. When oil is hot take a ladle full of batter and pour into the holes. Fry on medium heat till its golden brown. Slowly turn the unniappams and let the other side also cook. Once done remove it on to a kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.
  • Repeat the process for the rest of the batter.

Note : This quantity of batter gave me around 20+ unniappams. Infact I lost count coz I couldnot resist and started eating them immediately. Do not store it for too many days as it tend to become harder when days pass by and chances of it going stale are high as banana is added.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nellika Juice / Gooseberry Juice

Indian Gooseberries are one of those fruits which has all kind of tastes - sweetness, sourness and bitterness. Known for its robust source of Vitamin C & cooling effect, Gooseberry has lots of importance in Ayurveda. They are either consumed raw, dried or pickled. In north India there is this unique method of preserving gooseberry(called Morabba) which is sugar coated amla. Having a few pieces of Morabbaa every day is considered to boost your resistance power and immunity. In kerala gooseberries are used primarily for ayurvedic medicines, hair oil, pickling and even for preparing fish curry!!

Was Simply browsing when I came across this website which mentions innumerous benefits of this beautiful fruit.
Thats when I thought of jotting down this appetizer drink which I had from my Brother's Mother- in-law house. The proportion of the ingredients were derived through just mere trial and error basis, keeping in mind the taste of the juice aunty served.

Ingredients:(make 2 glasses of the drink)
  • 1 large sized - Gooseberry/Nellika, cut into small pieces
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaves
  • 1 small piece - Ginger
  • Approx 2 cup - Water
  • Salt to tase


  • Grind all the ingredients with just enough water into a fine paste.
  • Add rest of the water and blend well
  • Strain it and serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fish Curry

I have tried cooking almost all things which I love to eat but never tried my hands on cooking fish curry in the Kerala style. You call it luxury or luck, but my hubby is a great cook and its only him who cooks fish curry at our home. If we ever bought fish, it means its time for him to hit the kitchen. And this routine has been happening ever since our marriage, probably because of couple of reasons. One of which is, he loves cooking. Second because he never adored my family's preparation of fish except for the Karimeen Pollichathu and fish fries. And of late I have been craving to eat my mom's fish curry, which is a Tengaaracha meen curry(Fish curry made in ground coconut). Thats when, as usual, I picked up the phone and rang up my mummy to check out how to make Tengaaracha meen curry. She was surprised when I asked her this recipe because she knew that her son-in-law only likes his amma's meen curry, which is way too different from any fish curry we have ever had in our lifes. But then I had made up my mind too strong to break this ice and make him like our fish curry too.

Last night when he returned from work I was gleaming with smile and unable to control my eagerness to know how he reacts when he sees the curry . As usual he entered the kitchen and started lifting the lids of the dishes to find out whats cooking? And boy you should have seen the smile on his face!! And finally the magic worked... It was a recipe from my mothers kitchen but prepared according to his likes i.e with lots of red chilly and prepared in pure coconut oil. Ingredients:
  • 4-5 medium sized pieces - Fish
  • 2 Tbsp - Coconut Oil
  • 1 pinch - Fenugreek seeds/Uluva
  • 2-3 Shallots, sliced
  • 1 small piece - Ginger
  • 2 cloves - Garlic
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf
  • 1 piece - Kokum/Kudumpulli, washed
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

For paste

  • 1 handful of - Grated Coconut
  • 1 tbsp - Coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp - Red chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder

For seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp - Coconut Oil
  • 2 pinch - Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf
  • 1-2 Shallots, sliced


  • Prepare a very fine paste of coconut, coriander powder, chilly powder and turmeric.
  • Heat a meen chatti(traditional utensil made of clay used for preparing fish) and pour the oil. When hot put the fenugreek seeds and let it splutter. Add the shallots, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and saute for 2 minutes or till transparent.
  • Now add the coconut paste and saute well till oil separates. This will take 4-5 minutes
  • Add required water, salt, kokum and fish pieces and cover it for cooking. Thicken the gravy according to your wish and turn off the gas
  • Heat a small kadhai with oil and splutter tne mustard and saute in the shallots and curry leaves and pour on top of the fish curry(do not stir) and cover it with lid till you serve.
  • Serve with rice or kappa(tapioca)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Special Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian dish and literally means "Fried Rice" in Indonesian or Malay. This dish has lots of variations to it at and is made in different ways in different parts of the world. Its often prepared using the previous days left over rice. The rice used to make nasi goreng is cooked ahead of time and left to cool down (so it is not soggy), which is one reason to use rice cooked from the day before. A plain nasi goreng has cooked rice, shallots, garlic, soy and spirng onions.

Long back I had Nasi goreng from a restuarant in Bangalore and I was very fascinated by its presentation. It was served in a large bowl with a whole fried egg on top, which definetely looked very unique. The taste of it was very different and was unlike the taste of the Chinese fried rice. Years later I saw the recipe on television and jotted it down. And finally last day I thought of reviving the taste of the Nasi goreng which I had long back. With lots of ingredients missing from the original recipe I still could make something which I would make many more times in the future.


  • 1 cup – Basmati Rice, cooked, drained and cooled
  • ½ cup – Boneless chicken
  • 2-3 – Shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves – Garlic, sliced
  • 2 – Eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup – Carrot, cut into long thin strips
  • ¼ cup – Cabbage, cut into long thin strips
  • ¼ cup – Leek leaves(if available, I managed without it)
  • 2 tbsp – Sambal paste
  • ½ tsp – Soya sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • Oil
  • 1 - Fried egg, for garnish
  • 1 - Spring Onion, chopped, for garnish
    For Sambal paste:
  • 5 – Dried red chillies
  • 2 cloves – Garlic
  • 1 tbsp – Shrimp / prawn paste
  • 1 – Onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp – Turmeric powder
  • Oil to sauté
  • 3-4 - Kafir lime leaves (if available, I again managed without it)


  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté all the ingredients for the sambal paste and when cooled down, make it into a fine paste
  • Heat oil in a wok or large kadhai and sauté shallots and garlic till transparent
  • Add chicken and sauté till tender
  • Mix in the beaten eggs and scramble
  • Add the carrot, cabbage, leek leaves and cook
  • Add the sambal paste and sauté again
  • Now add the cooked rice and fry it well till all the moisture is gone. Make sure you do not over cook the rice, like I did the first time. Also use a fork to fluff the rice than a spatula
  • Add soy sauce, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Top it up with pieces of fried eggs

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chemeen Chamanthi or Prawns Chutney

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well"

Thats such a beautiful statement written by Virgina Woolf and its just so perfect for me. The best meal I had in this season was the dinner on the last day of our trip to Kerala in September. It was the simplest meals yet the best ever one can have. I at times think how lucky am I to get married to a family who loves food and loves to cook and eat, the same way I do!! I should also confess at this point of time that the love for food and urge to learn new things was a result of my marriage and introduction of me to this new family of mine!!


  • 1 handful of Prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • ¼th of a Coconut, cut as chunks not grated
  • 1-2 - Kanthari mulakku or Green Chilly
  • 1 tsp – Chathacha mulakku (Red Chilly flakes)
  • 1 sprig Curry leaf
  • 1-2 – Shallots
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp – Coconut Oil


  • Cook the prawns for exactly 2 minutes in water and salt.
  • Coarsely grind the all the ingredients together without adding water.
  • Mix the coconut oil and serve immediately with Kanji or Kerala rice!! Worlds best and simplest meal!!

**Note: The meaurements of the prawns and coconut is not very precise as it depends upon an apporximation and also the size of the coconut and prawns. Please adjust the measurement of both according to the your taste. In our family, we prefer to have the flavor of prawns to stand out and mostly all who love prawns would like it that way.


After my trip to my hometown, I was waiting to indulge into the blog world but soon I realised that my internet connection is acting funny and is getting disconnected the moment I tried posting a new recipe. My net is working now and is back to normal, but I have got such a huge pile of "to be posted recipes" by now!! Lets see how fast we can catch up!!
Appam is one of my favorite Kerala Breakfast. Very light and ummmmm so delicious. This Onam when we went to Kerala, I made sure that I bought an Appam Chatti which is an utensil used to make appams - its either nonstick or traditional iron ones, which i call as stick stick pans.
Before bringing home this possession I used to make my favorite appams on a flat non stick pan by smearing it like dosas. Though the appearance wasn't any great it did taste heavenly. After our trip from Kerala I tried out my same old recipe in my new appam chatti and here is what I got. Yummy appams but I realised that I need to master the art of swirling the Appams to perfection. The sides of the Appam should be thin with lots of tiny holes, which reminds me of some one who said that the sides of a perfect appam should resemble a brides veil - white, thin and netty!!


  • 1 cup - Raw Rice, soaked for 6 hours
  • 1 ½ cup - Grated Coconut
  • 3 tbsp - Cooked rice (Kerala, boiled rice)
  • 2 tsp - Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp - Yeast
  • 1 tbsp - Warm milk
  • 1 tsp - Sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil (if required)


  • Mix yeast, warm milk and 1 tsp sugar and keep for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Grind the soaked rice and the cooked rice into a fine paste with sufficient water.
  • Grind the coconut to a fine paste. Mix this to the rice paste and blend once again. Add 2 tsp of sugar and mix well.
  • When the yeast gets froathy, mix with the batter and keep overnight or till it rises(atleast for 4-6 hours). I also understood that by keeping the batter overnight esp during summers) makes it sour by the next morning. So it would be good if you could grind the batter by around 4 in the evening and let it rise and refrigerate it overnight and use in the morning.
  • In the morning mix the batter with required salt. Heat the appam chatti. Smear with oil if not using a nonstick chatti, pour a laddle full of batter and swirl it around. Cover and cook for 30 seconds on low flame or till cooked. Remove when done and repeat the process for the rest of the batter.
  • Serve hot with vegetable/chicken stew or Chicken curry or egg curry.

For recipe of Vegetable Korma:
For recipe of Chicken curry:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kerala Calling!!

Off for a vacation!! 2 weeks of action packed trip... which means loads of eating, shopping, relatives, friends, rains, malayalam movies etc etc!! But unfortunately would not have enough time to blog or read anyones blog :(
Definetely gonna miss all from the blog world but hope you all have two great weeks. Happy Blogging!! And to all those who are celebrating Onam, Wish you a Happy & Prosperous Onam.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beetroot Pachadi & Cucumber Pachadi

This is yet another simple dish. It is an important elements of the sadya / the kerela feast because it has all the tastes like tanginess from the curd, crunch of the veges, bitterness of the mustard seeds, heat from the chilly!! Pachadi is a true south indian dish with variations found in every state. It can be made of any vegetable like okra, bitter guard, cucumber, yellow cucumber, onion, beetroot, tomato, mango etc but suprisingly every pachadi differs in taste because of the unique taste of the veges. The procedure however is same!!

Beetroot Pachadi:


  • 1 - Medium sized beetroot, skin peeled and grated
  • 1 piece - ginger
  • 1 - Green chilly
  • salt to taste
  • Water
  • 1 cup - Thick Curd

Cucumber Pachadi:

  • 1 - Medium sized Cucumber(kheera), skin peeled and diced into small pieces or you may use Yellow cucumber(Kani vellarikka)
  • 1 piece - ginger
  • 1 - Green chilly
  • Salt to taste
  • Water
  • 1 cup - Thick Curd

Procedure for Paste and Tadka for any pachadi is same

For paste:
  • 1/2 cup - Grated coconut
  • 1 pinch - Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp - Cumin / Zeera
  • 1 clove - Garlic
  • 2-3 - Shallots

For Tadka:

  • Oil
  • 1/4 tsp - Mustard Seeds
  • 1 sprig - Curry leaf
  • 2-3 - Shallots, sliced
  • 1 - Dry Red Chilly


  • Cook beetroot /yellow cucumber / any veges you prefer with ginger, green chilly, salt and a (very) little water ,until it is soft and dry. If you are using cucumber(kheera) you need not cook as we consume it raw as well. So just need to mix all the ingredients into the diced cucumber and keep aside. If you are making pachadi of Okra or bitter gourd fry them in oil to make it crispy and crunch.
  • Make a paste of all the ingredients to be ground and keep aside.
  • Mix in the ground mixture to the veges and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the curd and salt if required and stir well.
  • Heat oil in another pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Add in red chillies,curry leaves and shallots and fry them until golden. Add this to the pachadi and serve with rice

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pacha mulaku aracha Mooru curry

I am extremely sorry for being unable to convert this dishes name into English!! For all Malayalis out there I guess can understand it!! For people from North Indian, its like Kadhi which you make from Curd. But tastes very different. This is a very special and different dish and my husband who likes spice just loves it. Infact I inherited this recipe from him and he inturn had learnt it from one of his friends father!! Must admit - "Men do cook well!!"
The first time my husband made it I was shocked to see the number of green chillies he put in the curry.. But then I realised that the flavour the chillies gave was just superb!!

  • 1 cup - Curd
  • 1/2 cup - Grated coconut
  • 5-6 - Green chillies(depending upon your taste)
  • 2 pinches - Zeera / Zeera powder
  • 2 cloves - Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for tadka
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2 - dry chillies
  • 1 - sprig curry leaf


  • Grind the grated coconut, green chillies, zeera and garlic into a very fine paste. Add required water.
  • Whisk the curd and mix in the coconut paste into the curd.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, Chillies and curry leaves.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the curd into the pan and stir well.
  • Place the pan on low flame and keep stirring to avoid curdling of the curd for around 2 minutes.
  • Serve with rice.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kadhai Chicken

Ahhhhh... Today I was in great mood to cook something special for Dinner!! And when I come in mood I can never stop putting all those fattening and heavy things... And you know, its pardonable once in a while!! The perfect Kadhai chicken was accompanied by amazing parath parantha of Sumeru which is very easily available in almost all supermarkets!! But a word of caution : Its was a very heavy dinner. Its just 10 p.m and I have yawned almost 4 times since I started writing this post!!

  • 1 Kg - Chicken pieces
  • 1/2 cup - Curd
  • 1/2 cup - Cream
  • 1 tbsp - Kasuri Methi
  • 1/2 tsp - Kala Zeera
  • 2 tbsp - Oil
  • 1 tbsp - Butter
  • Salt to taste

Masala (to grind):

  1. 2 - Onions
  2. 2 - Tomatoes
  3. 10 - Cashewnuts, soaked in hot water for 20 mts and ground
  4. 1 tbsp - Chilly powder , 1tbsp - Special Garam masala, 1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder, 1 tsp - Coriander powder, 1 tbsp - Ginger-garlic paste

To make special Garam masala(make around 60 gms of powder):

  • 25 gms - Coriander seeds
  • 12 gms - Cinnamon
  • 5 gms - Cardomom
  • 5 gms - Cloves
  • 5 gms - Jeera / Cumin
  • 5 gms - Saunf /Fennel
  • 5 gms - Pepper


  • Heat a pan with butter and slightly fry the chicken and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a kadhai and when hot put the kala jeera and let it splutter. Saute onion paste till golden brown on low flame.
  • Add the 4th ground masala paste and fry
  • Saute in the tomato puree till the water is absorbed
  • Add the chicken pieces and season with salt and pour enough water and cook over low heat till tender
  • Add the curd and cashew paste and simmer
  • Add cream, stir and remove from fire
  • Dry roast the kasuri methi in a pan and add it into the curry and cover it from some time so that the flavour doesnt escape.
  • Serve hot with parantha

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kootu Curry or Veges and Lentil in Roasted coconut gravy

Kootu curry is one of my favorite curries in the whole sadya platter. Its the perfect combination of chana and veges with the lovely smell of coconut oil and the crunch of the fried grated coconut. The best part is that it uses all those ingredients which we get from our own backyard!! The freshness of the paccha nendrankaaya/raw banana and the earthiness of the mud clad chena / yam that one digs out freshly makes it just perfect for anyone to fall in love with it!!
The procedure is simple but patience pays off!!

  • 1/2 cup - Black Chana / Kadala, soaked over night and pressure cooked till soft
  • 1/4 cup - Yam/Chena, diced
  • 1/4 cup - Raw Banana/pachakaya, peeled and diced
  • 2 - 3 - Green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp - Red Chilly powder
  • 1" piece - Ginger
  • 1 clove - Garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsbp - Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2 - Dry red chillies
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • Handful of shallots, sliced
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of grated coconut


  • Cook the boiled chana, yam, raw banana along with green chillies, red chilly powder, ginger, garlic and salt till soft. Note: This was the first time I made kootu curry with out anyones help. So I accidentally put turmeric powder coz of which it was more of yellow colored. Make sure you avoid turmeric or else put very little amount.
  • Heat a kadhai with coconut oil and slutter the mustard seeds. Put the red chillies, curry leaves, shallots and grated coconut and roast on medium flame till it gives out the flavour and the coconut is brown in color. The more you roast the coconut without burning, the better it looks and tastes.
  • Add the cooked veges and chana into this masala and mix well till its coated well with the masala. Dash some coconut oil for added flavour if required.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cherry Cake

It has been ages since I baked cakes (Ages means couple of months for me!!) The last time I used my oven I heard some hissing sound followed by a spark and then silence. Ever since that day my oven never worked. Have been lazy to give it for service too!! So now its laying around in one corner of our home. Last weekend my husband got a craving to eat home made tea cake.(Ya men do get cravings, but they never use that word. Instead they say I feel like eating the tea cake you used to make, honey!!) Aaaahhhhhh then I too feel the same. But what to do now?? How to bake?? So he said lets try the gold old pressure cooker method.. And quite obviously as I had never tried that method I was very apprehensive about it. Though he had seen his mother make plain simple cakes in a cooker without any hassles, he never knew the technicalities. So we rang her up and checked out the methodology..

That morning while shopping for grocery, we also bought a pack of processed cherries to be put in the cake. That again was my hubbys mastermind - to make a Cherry Cake!! And trust me it was good. Except for the cherries, the recipe remains as simple as a normal tea cake.


  • 2 cups - Flour / Maida
  • 1/2 level tsp - Baking powder
  • 1 cup - unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup - powdered sugar
  • 3 - Eggs
  • 1 tsp - Vanilla extract
  • 100 gms - Processed & candied cherries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp - Warm milk


  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease the tray. As I used the pressure cooker preheating was not required.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder twice and keep aside
  • Dust the chopped cherries in some flour and keep aside. This helps the cherries to be afloat. Otherwise it wud all sink onto the base of the cake
  • Beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat till sugar dissolves
  • Add egg one at a time and mix gently.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix.
  • Take flour in small quantities and slowly fold into the butter sugar mixture
  • Add the cherries and mix gently
  • Add some warm milk if the batter is too thick, mix well till small bubbles form
  • Pour the batter in to the greased baking tray/cooker and bake for 30 minutes or till done. To check if done insert a knife and see. If the knife comes out clean the cake is done. (Note: If at all anyone is wanting to cook in a pressure cooker like I did, please follow few things. Firstly, use a 5 ltr cooker. Secondly, cook it on very low flame. You may open and check whether its done or not in between too. Thirdly a cake of this size will require 35-40 minutes)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Prawn Pulao

  • 1 cup - Basmati Rice
  • 2 cup - Water
  • 1/4 cup - Prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 3 - Cloves
  • 1" long - Cinnamon stick
  • 2 - Cardamom
  • 1 Large - Onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp each - Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp - Chilly powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder (Optional)
  • 1 - Tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp - Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp - Oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste


  • Cook the basmati rice in 2 cups of water. Strain and cool the rice and keep it aside
  • Heat some oil in a kadhai and when its hot, put the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let it splutter
  • Add the onions and saute till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for 2 minutes
  • Add the chilly and turmeric powder and saute.
  • Now add the tomatoes and saute till mashed. Now add the garam masala and saute.
  • Now add the prawns and pour some water and cook covered for just 2 minutes. Fry this masala well and add the rice and saute till the rice is coated well with the masala.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with raita.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lemony Melony

This might not be the right season for a glass of chilled watermelon juice....but who cares?? I need no reasons to have it and neither do i care for the right season... So lets get indulged in some chilled, crunchy, tangy, melony, gingery flavored drink. This juice is extremely good for cleansing your body. It helps in flushing out the toxins in your body. And for those who want to lose weight this is one of the best things to eat!!

Ingredients:(for 2 glasses of juice)

  • Around 300 gms - Watermelon
  • 1-2 Tbsp - Sugar / Honey
  • 1/2 tsp - Lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp - Ginger root juice
  • 1 cup - Crushed ice
  • 3-4 leaves of mint (optional)
  • 2 slices - Lemon


  • Cut and deseed the watermelon and put it into a deep bowl.
  • Put all the other ingredients except ice and crush the melon and mix it well. Make sure that you do not mash it too much that it loses the crunchiness.
  • Now add the ice and mix well.
  • Pour it into a glass and place a lemon slice on the rim of the glass.
  • Serve chilled!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Parippu Pradhaman or Kheer made out of Lentil and Jaggery

The first thing I get reminded when I see parippu pradhaman is Onam!! The onam during my childhood days where the best!! I still remember how we used to get up in the morning and pluck flowers to make a pookalam(floral carpet) in the front of the house. Once thats done, help mumma in making the whole sadya.. My duty was generally to cut the veges and grate 1 coconut. My brother being elder to me and ofcourse stronger took the responsibility to grate 2-3 coconuts in one go and then extracted the coconut milk.. Probably that was the toughest job I must say. But it was fun that way. Lots of things have changed now but the memories remain fresh!! Thats the photo of parippu pradhaman on the backdrop of a Kerala Saree!! What a delightful sight!! Waiting for Onam to come. Countdown starts!! 41 days to go!!


  • ½ cup - Moong dal / Cherupayar Parippu
  • 1 cup - Water
  • 1 cup - Sharkara Pav / Jaggery melted in water and thickened
  • ½ cup - Thick coconut milk (Onnampaal)
  • 2 cups - Thin coconut milk (Randampaal+moonampaal)
  • 1/2 tsp - Cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp - Dry ginger powder / chukku podi
  • 2 tbsp - Ghee
  • 10-12 - Cashewnuts and Raisins
  • Handful of Thengakottu/chopped Coconut slices


  • Traditionally this dish is to be made in a uruli(huge, flat vessel made of bronze) but coz of the unavailability have to go for a pressure cooker. :( So heat the pressure cooker and dry roast the Moong dal, till the flavor of the dal comes out. Empty it on to a plate and let it cool completely. Add the water and pressure cook it till soft.
  • Once the cooker is opened, add the melted jaggery into the dal and keep stirring on low flame, till it becomes nice and thick.
  • Add the thin milk into the misture. Keep stirring and bring it to boil. When the bubbles come, simmer the heat and add the thick milk and again bring it to boil on low flame. Keep stirring continuously.
  • Add the cardamom powder and dry ginger powder and mix well. Garnish with cashewnuts, raisins and coconut pieces roasted in ghee.
  • Serve with papadam and pazham!!
This recipe is going to participate in the "Lentils Mela"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fish Molee or a Fish in mild coconut milk gravy

Another delicacy from Gods own country!! Last week when i made this recipe I was wondering how this name originated.. Probably, ages ago, it was some Molly chechi in Malabar Kerala who first made this recipe and named it fish molee (Some people even refer it as moilee as well). Thats when I realised that Molly chechi would not be the reason for this dish. :)

Trying to research on the origin of Fish Molee I came across people(elderly people) who said that it probably might have originated centuries ago when the French, Spanish and Portuguese people sailed to the coastal belt of Kerala. In the barter system, they took all our spices to their country and in return left one of their delicacies. I had also read somewhere that mole in spanish actually means stew. So guess there ended the hunt for the origin.. And as the famous Malayalam saying goes, "Kuzhi ennanda, appam thinna porey?"

What makes this dish special?? Firstly the freshness of the fish. Molee/stew has a very mild flavor thus if you use a bad fish, the mild gravy would not be able to cover it up. You can use any fish like prompret, seer fish or pearlspot to make molee. Secondly, the fresh coconut milk. Coconut is one thing which is in abundance in Kerala. But getting the milk would be the most tough part in this recipe. If that part is resolved rest everything is done. I use only freshly grated coconuts milk. Do not prefer canned or milk powder. And finally the way it is prepared. The fish is marinated and slightly fried before stewing it. Frying the fish has two advantages. Handling it becomes easier and it makes the dish different.
Now, lets plunge into the recipe!!

  • 2 medium sized - Karimeen or pearlspot, cleaned and scored
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp - Coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp - msutard seeds
  • 1 large - Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1" piece - Ginger, julienned
  • 2 large - Garlic cloves, julienned
  • 2-3 - Green chillies, slit
  • 2 sprigs - Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp - Pepper powder
  • 1 - Tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 cup - Thick coconut milk (Onnampaal)
  • 1/2 cup - Slightly thin milk (Randampaal)
  • 1 cup - Very Thin milk (Moonampaal)
  • Lime juice / Vinegar(chorka) to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Smear the fish with turmeric and salt and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  • Slightly fry the fish in a flat pan.
  • Heat a meen chatty(earthen pot used for cooking fish) and pour the coconut oil. Crackle the mustard seeds.
  • Add the ginger and garlic and saute for half a minute.
  • Add the Onion, curry leaves, green chillies and saute till it becomes transparent. Add the tomatoes and saute for a minute more. Donot mash the tomatoes. Add the pepper powder.
  • Simmer the heat and add the thinnest coconut milk/Moonampaal and place the fish carefully. Season with salt and cover the pot and cook the fish. As the fish is half done while frying you just need to cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Now pour the 2nd milk / Randampaal and stir slowly. Let it cook slowly for sometime till the fish completly absorbs it.
  • Now remove the pot from the fire and pour the thick milk/Onnampaal. Place it on low fire again for a minute and lift the pot and gently shake so that it gets mixed . Do not stir as the fish might break.
  • Take it off the stove and add some lime juice or Chorka(it is a vinegar made out of toddy - again a by product of coconut). Top it up with some coconut oil in the end.
  • Serve with appam, pathiri, idiappam or even boiled rice.

This recipe is participating in the curry mela held by Cook4allseasons by Srivalli

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Karimeen Varuthathu or Fried Pearlspot

This weekend was a very very happy weekend because this is was the first time we got naadan fish, karimeen(pearl spot) here. Otherwise we always get the local fish, which i do not adore much. I always use to browse through the other blogs which wrote about karimeen, aila and mathi and used to feel jealous that why in the whole world am I not able to eat those fishes!!
Karimeen is one of my fav fishes.. Nothing can beat it for its earthy flavor, for the very Kerala flavor. And the taste of our very own fresh ginger, green peppercorns and coconut oil makes it just perfect!! There was a time when I used to hate the smell of coconut oil. I could not stand the taste of it. But as I grew up I started enjoying its flavor. Now most of my naadan cooking is next to impossible without coconut oil.
  • 3 Medium sized - Pearl spot / Karimeen
  • Coconut Oil to fry

For the marinade:

  • 1 - medium sized Onion
  • 2 sprigs - Curry leaves
  • 1" piece - Ginger
  • 2 tsp - Green / Black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp - Red Chilly powder
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • salt to taste

  • Roughly grind all the ingredient to make a paste. Need not be a smooth paste.
  • Clean and score the fish and smear the masala on to the fish and refrigerate for atleast an hour
  • Heat a pan with coconut oil in it and fry the fish till both the sides are golden brown in color. Because the masala is a little coarse there are all chances that the masala can get burnt. But you can avoid that if you fry the fish on low flame and carefully wait and watch!!
  • Serve hot. I feel it can be a full meal on its own for me.. I do not need anything to ruin the divinely flavour :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hot and spicy Prawn Roast

Prawns!! and the only word that I can recollect is "YUMMY"!! Its one non veg which needs only 2 minutes of cooking.. And you can find prawns in various sizes and colors. I somehow always enjoy eating the tiny ones. Ya, tiger prawns are good if they are barbecued!!
This recipe comes right from Kerala but its my mothers way!! I have had variations of Prawn Roast or chemmeen ularthiyathu but I always loved my mummas prawns roast!!
  • 250 gms - Prawns, cleaned and de-vained
  • 1 tbsp each - Ginger and Garlic, roughly pounded
  • 1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 1 - Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 - sprigs of Curry leaf
  • 1 - Green chilly, slit
  • 1 - Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 tsbp - Red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp - Pepper Powder
  • 2 tsp - Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp - Coconut Oil or Refined oil
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pan, put the cleaned prawns, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder and salt. Add some water and cover and cook for 2 minutes. If the water is not completely evaporated but the prawns is cooked, let the water vaporise.
  • Add some coconut oil(and if you do not like the taste of coconut oil use refined oil) and add the onions, slit green chilly and 1 sprig of curry leaf and saute till the onions turns golden brown
  • Add the tomato and saute well for another 2 minutes.
  • Add all the dry masalas and saute till the masala gets coated onto the prawns.
  • Garnish with the sprig of curry leaf and ginger juliennes and serve with Kerala Boiled rice and mooru curry

Vegetable balls in Manchurian Sauce

  • 1 cup - Cabbage, Cauliflower, Carrot, all very finely grated
  • Maida or Flour
  • 2 tsp - Cornflour
  • Salt & Pepper according to taste
  • Oil to fry
  • 1 - Large Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp - Garlic, chopped
  • 1 - Capsicum, diced
  • 2 tsp - Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp - Chilly sauce
  • 1 cup - Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Mix the grated vegetables with salt and pepper and fold in maida and cornflour. Cornflour brings the crunch to it. I have not mentioned the quantity of maida because I keep putting it slowly until the veges bind. The consistency is very important. Too much of maida will ruin it too.
  • Make small balls out of this mixture and deep fry it.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan and saute the Onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Saute the Capsicum for a minute.
  • Add both the sauces and stock and bring it to boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the fried balls and let it simmer till the gravy starts becoming thick. Now add a mixture of cornflour and water into it to quicken the thickening process.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice or fried rice


It was the best morning of the week - Sunday Morning!!
I had prepared dosa batter the previous night like almost all saturday nights!! Yesterday when I saw that the batter had not risen, I was shaken!! It had never dosa batters were always perfect.. It was probably the damp and cold monsoon morning which hindered the rising of the batter!! It rained all through the night.. Like how I was lazy to rise up, probably my batter was also lazy to rise!! I was all worried..what now?? And then enters my hubby as an Angel to solve the problem...This is the story of that Sunday dosa!!
  • Dosa Batter - Quantity depends on how many yummy dosas you can eat!!
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil or ghee
  • Chutney podi

For Egg Topping :

  • 2 - Eggs, Beaten with chopped onions, green chillies and salt

For Veges topping:

  • Tomatoes, Onions, green Chillies, Curry leaves - Chopped very finely
For the veges Uthappam:
  • Heat a flat non stick pan. Smear it with very little oil and when hot pour a laddle full of batter and spread it on to the pan in a circular motion to make a little thick dosa.
  • Put the topping lavishly on to the dosa and pour some oil on to the sides and top. Sprinkle some salt and sprinkle the chutney podi lavishly on top of it. When the other side is cooked / golden brown turn the dosa carefully and cook the side with the topping for just a minute. Serve hot

For the egg uthappam

  • Pour a laddle full of batter on to the hot tawa and spread it on to the pan in a circular motion to make a thin dosa. Turn the dosa and let it cook on both sides.
  • Pour the beaten egg with seasoning on to the dosa and pour some oil on to the sides and let it cook. Turn again and let it cook for half a minute and serve hot

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Egg & Green Veges Fried Rice

Chinese or Oriental food is what I have an unqunechable greed for!! Iam never tired of eating it. And I can say that finally my husband and I have something in common. So even if I suddenly pop up with an idea to eat out at a Chinese outlet I have no oppositions to face!! And with in no time we can be spotted in the nearest Noodle bar or Mainland China or Wangs..

I have heard from various people including my husband who has travelled to Far eastern countries that Oriental food is very weird in taste in their country. Probably we have been accustomed to an Indianised chinese food!! That reminds me of a program which was aired on Discovery Travel & Living about the person who first invented the (once upon a time) most prefered chinese dish in India which you would apparently never find in China, the Gobi Manchurian and the (red in color, maida coated) chilly chicken. But thank God, far eastern cuisines has evolved drastically over a period of time in India that we get to eat a better looking and healthier versions of Oriental food these days!! It is no longer ajinomoto that lets out the flavor to food!!

  • 1 cup - Small grained rice
  • 1 shoot - Spring Onions, Chopped
  • 1/2 - Capsicum, chopped
  • 6-8 - French Beans, chopped
  • 2 - Eggs, beaten
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tsp - White Pepper Powder
  • 2 tbsp - Sesame Oil
  • Cook and strain the rice and cool it for atleast an hour. Cold rice when sauted on high flame remain separate and do not tend to stick. Whereas if you use steaming hot rice to make fried rice it sticks to the wok when on flame.
  • Heat a flat pan with some vegetable oil. Put some salt and pepper into the eggs and make an omelete. Once done cut it into square pieces 1"x1" dimension.
  • Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large kadhai. Chinese use sesame oil predominantly which gives a very distinct flavor. Some people dont like the strong earthy smell of sesame, in that case you may mix vegetable oil with sesame oil in equal quantity and use.
  • Put the beans and saute for a minute on high flame. Saute the spring onions and capsicum and the eggs. Spirnkle salt and pepper according to taste. Once done empty the rice into the wok and saute till the rice is coated with the oil and the flavoring.
  • Serve with any chinese side dish