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!!