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. http://www.ayurvedictalk.com/amalakai-amla-indian-gooseberry/50/
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: http://yum-world.blogspot.com/2008/08/vegetable-korma.html
For recipe of Chicken curry: http://yum-world.blogspot.com/2008/07/chicken-curry.html