Sunday, 28 June 2009

Chemmeen Muringavaal Curry (King Prawns and Drumsticks in Thick Coconut Gravy)

Chemmeen Muringavaal Curry (King Prawns and Drumstick in thick coconut gravy) is my mother's signature Dish. I don't think I had it from anywhere else before. It's my dad's, husband's and his friends' favorite curry. My mom makes excellent food in a very simple way, and yet they turn out too good . But She doesnt do as much as experiments as I do and doesnt dare to cook from magazines or books too much. This is one of the curries that my husband's friends ask my mom to prepare when they visit us. My husband always used to ask me to learn from her when I was living with my parents, I just felt so lazy to cook and so dint learn many of her recipes. I learnt my basic cooking by making distant phone calls to my mom and writing down the recipes and through enormous experiments done in my kitchen, until I got the desired result. My Husband is my greatest inspiration and critic. When anything goes wrong, he tells on spot and I try to correct it and make it perfect. If he wasnt there to critisize, I would have still been struggling to find where my mistakes are! Anyways, this curry can be made for lunch along with rice or for dinner along with neypathal (Fried rice pancake) which I will post the recipe soon, Thengapathal,Ottil pollichathu,marichedutha Appam,poori,chappathi etc.

225 gm (shelled) Large King prawns (23 pieces)
2 large Drumsticks peeled and cut into 2" length (15 pieces)
1 cup chopped tomatoes (3 small ones)
2 cups chopped onion (2 medium)
Green chilli – 2 nos (slit lengthwise)(Optional)
1 tbs Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
3/4 cup Freshly Grated Coconut or dessicated coconut
1tsp Fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)
Salt – as reqd
1 cup + 1 1/2 cup Water
1 tsp Mustard seeds
3 twigs Curry leaves
3 tbs Coconut oil


1. Keep a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat and add 1 tbs of oil.
2. Add onions, tomatoes, green chilli and salt and close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes or until onions turns translucent and cooked and tomatoes go soft.
3. At this point, add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and prawns and stir well. Keep simmering on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes until the prawns and well coated in spices.
4. Add the Drumsticks and add enough water to cover it (I added 1 1/2 cups of water). Cover and cook until the prawns and drumsticks are cooked well for about 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile grind the fennel seeds along with coconut and 1 cup of water. Keep them aside.
6. When prawns and drumsticks are cooked well, and the gravy is thick, add the ground coconut and boil for a minute.Turn off the heat and temper.

For tempering :
Heat another pan and add 2 tablespoon of oil. When the pan is smoking hot, add mustard seeds and cover with a lid. As soon as they finished spluttering, add curry leaves and let them splutter for a few seconds. Add this tempered oil to the curry made earlier. Serve hot with plain rice, thengapathal, ottil pollichathu,chappathi, poori, battura,fried Rice pancakes (Neypathal) etc...

1. You can do the tempering in the beginning also.For that, Add oil,splutter mustards,curryleaves, then add onions and tomatoes and follow the rest as usual.
2. I normally skip the green chillies because the green chillies I get here are so spicy and it makes the curry very fiery.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Thenga Pathal (Rice pancakes with coconut)

Thengapathal or thengapathiri is very similar to Ottil pollichathu, but the difference is we add generous amount of freshly grated coconut in them. We dont mix the coconut in the batter; what we do is, pour a ladleful of batter in the hot pan, scatter the coconut and then pour some of the batter to cover up the coconut. This is one of the dishes that is very regular at home. It's so delicious and goes with almost every curries, like the malabar fish curry,Prawn and okra curry, malabar chicken curry etc....Well, I have it with sugar!.....But I think its very best combination is my mom's signature dish, Chemmeen Muringavaal curry (Prawn and drumstick in thick coconut curry). This can be had for breakfast or for dinner as well. I dont know if this dish is made in other places of Kannur, may be they make in different style. My mom in law, makes it in a different way. She mixes coconut along with the regular pathiri dough and make pathiris out of it, rather than making a batter. My husband had this kind of thengapathal for the first time when I prepared them and I made it to go with his favorite curry, Chemmeen Muringavaal and he absolutely loved it. Whenever I tell him it's thengapathal for dinner he just goes hmmmm with his eyes rolling..:).......

2 cup Long grain rice (pachari)
1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice
1/2 medium onion
3 cups water
250-300 g freshly grated coconut
salt as required
oil- as required

1.Soak rice in tap water for a minimum of 2 hours.
2.Grind it along with cooked rice,onion and water until very smooth and no grains of rice can be felt when you touch it.
3. Add enough salt and mix well. When u taste the batter, you must feel it a bit salty but again not too salty.
4. Heat a frying pan at medium high heat, add few dashes oil and pour 1 ladleful of batter (½ cups of batter) in the centre and just swirl the pan around to spread the batter all over thinly. This also can be done by pouring the batter in the centre and using the back of the ladle, spread the batter by moving the ladle over the batter in coil motion starting from the inside and gradually moving towards outside to spread the batter all around as we do in Dosa. It needs a bit of practice. I normally do the swirling way to spread the batter.
5. Sprinkle a generous amount of grated coconut on top (a handful) and pour just enough batter on top of the coconut to cover them up so that they dont fall of the batter when you flip them (around half a ladle of better).
6. COVER with a lid and cook until the batter changes colour or set. At this stage, using a spatula, flip over the thengapathal. If you find it breaking, and is difficult to flip, close the lid and wait for some more time until it sets even more and you can turn them easily. Cook the other side also in the same way until cooked. Keep turning a couple of time to ensure that it is fully cooked and you can see golden brown spots here and there. It takes around 4-6 minutes to cook one. I use 2 frying pans to cook these to finish them up soon.
7. Continue the same process with the rest of batter until all batter is used up. And store them in a hot-pot/casserole to retain the heat. Serve hot with its best combination Chemmeen muringavaal curry (Probably my next post)or even simple chicken curry or Malabar fish curry, prawn and okra curry, King prawn varattiyathu etc..

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Chicken Chettinad

Chettinad Cuisine is the cuisine of Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu of south India and is one of the spiciest and most aromatic in India. This cuisine is mainly famous for using variety of spices for cooking its dishes, especially non-vegetarian. Chettinad chicken curry is one of the most famous dishes in this cuisine. Most of the chettinad dishes are eaten with rice and rice accompaniments such as idiyappam,appam, dosa etc. Due to the blend of spices used in this curry, aroma that arise while preparing this curry is just fabulous. I have made variations to this curry to suit my family's taste and tolerance to spices. So I reduced the spices to give a subtle taste and aroma of spices rather than an overpowering spicy taste and smell. Dont get intimidated with the long list of ingredients;they are spices that are sure to be available in your pantry and that you use for everyday cooking. We had it with battura and it was too good.

Here goes the recipe for chettinadu chicken curry:
For grinding:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
2 tsp Couscous (white poppy seeds)
2 small pieces cinnamon
3 cardamom
3 cloves
5 large garlic cloves
2 inch piece ginger (30 gms)
6 tbs dessicated coconut
1 tbs oil
Other ingredients needed:
3 tbs oil
1 tbs Urad Dal
1 bay leaf
15 curry leaves
1 large onion (170 gms) chopped (1 cup firmly packed)
1 tbs Kashmiri Chilli Powder
3/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 small tomatoes chopped (almost 1 cup)
1 1/2 cup water
salt as required

1. Heat a Frying pan to medium-high, add 1 tbsp oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, coconut and poppy seeds. Stir and fry briefly until lightly roasted. Put it in the grinder and grind well to powder. Add ginger and garlic to this along with 10 tbs of water and grind it to smooth paste. Set them aside.
2. Heat the remaining 3tbsp oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the bay leaves and urad dal. Stir and fry briefly until the urad dal turns golden, then add the curry leaves. Stir a couple of times and add the onions. Fry the onions until they turn light brown. Add the Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder and just stir for few seconds.Now add the spice paste. Continue to stir and fry for about 4-6 minutes, adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add the chopped tomatoes and Stir for further 3-4 minutes or until the oil starts to leave the side of the pan.
3. Add the chicken pieces and stir until they are well coated with the masala for about 4-5 minutes. Add salt and 1 1/2 cups of water and stir well. Bring to the boil. Turn the heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the chicken is almost cooked, about 20-25 minutes.
5. If there is lot of gravy, just turn up the heat to high and keeping the lid open, boil the sauce until you get a thick sauce. Incase if the chicken is completely cooked and there is lot of sauce left in, remove the chicken using a slotted spoon and boil the sauce until it is thick. Then add the chicken pieces back in; mix well and cook for couple of minutes.
Serve hot with plain rice, chappathis, pooris, ghee rice, Battura etc. Yesterday I made this curry to go with battura and it was absolutely delicious.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Mango Pudding

This Mango pudding has a silky smooth and creamy texture and I should say, I just made it out of the ingredients that I had in my pantry and to finish up the mango that dint taste good enough! The mango was sour and tasteless I should say, So I decided to turn it into a pudding. And it came out brilliant. It somewhat tasted like the mango ice cream that we get from restaurants in Kerala. If you are someone who loves creamy desserts, then this is for you. If you want it airy as in mousse, you can also whip up one egg white until stiff and fold it at the end after folding the cream.I would try that method next time.:). And if you want some texture to your pudding, you can add 1/2 cup of chopped mangoes, may be add some roasted nuts, or some pralines....and so on...

1 large mango diced (1 1/2 cups or 350 gms)
3 tsp gelatine
3 tbs water
3/4 tin of 397g condensed milk
280 mls Heavy whipping cream
2 tbs castor sugar
1 orange's peel

1.Place mango, condensed milk and orange peel in a food processor and procees it until you get a smooth texture. You can do it in a liquidizer as well.
2. Add sugar to the cream and whip it until you get stiff peaks.
3.Add water to gelatine and heat it in microwave for few seconds, stirring in between until all the gelatine crystals are dissolved. You can also melt the gelatine placing it in a bowl and then placing the bowl over simmering water and heat until all the gelatine crystals are completely melted. This is the method normally followed. But I did the Microwave one and it worked just fine.
4. Add the melted gelatine in the mango-condensed milk mixture and mix well.
5. Divide the whipped cream into two parts. Add the first part to the mango mixture and mix well until well combined. Add few drops of yellow colour if required. Fold slowly the second part of the cream and mix slowly.
6. Refrigerate for few hours until set and serve cold with raspberries.

This Post goes for the Mango Mela that is being hosted by cooking4allseasons .

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Green Peas Curry in Coconut Milk

This is a very simple curry to go with Ottil pollichathu , chappathis or pooris. This curry with Ottil pollichathu is one of the favorite breakfasts at home. Like peas, you can also make this curry using potatoes. You can't find the vibrant colours of the peas here as I have used the dried ones. You can also use the frozen peas for this. But reduce water and you dont have to use the pressure cooker. As simple as that!

1 1/2 cup dried green peas
3/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tomato chopped
2 small onions, chopped
2 Large garlic cloves
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
a small piece of ginger
4 cups water
3 twigs curry leaves
1 tbs veg.oil
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
salt- as reqd.

1. Soak peas overnight.
2. Heat a pressure cooker, add oil. When hot, add Curry leaves, green chillies and chopped onions and saute until onions go soft. Add ginger and garlic grated and saute until the raw smell goes off and the onions start to turn golden.
3. Add chopped tomatoes and saute until tomatoes go soft.
4. Add chilli powder,turmeric and saute for few seconds. Add the drained peas to this and mix well. Add water and pressure cook for around 35 minutes or until the peas are cooked completely and the gravy is thick. Add more water if needed. Or if there is too much of water left,let it boil on high heat with lid open until there is just enough water.
5. Add coconut milk and just boil for a minute. Sprinkle garam masala and close lid.
Serve with chappathis, pooris and Ottil pollichathu.


Kaayada is one of the most famous and favorite snacks of Muslim Cuisine in Kerala. These are very very tasty and use all healthy ingredients. But since it is fried in ghee at the end, I cant call it a healthy snack. It is known all over kerala as unnakkaya or unnakkayi. In our place we call it Kaayada. Kaayi is a colloquial term for plantains and ada means something that is stuffed. So kaayada just means stuffed plantains. Normally people from the our region makes the stuffing by using a mixture of eggs and sugar with nuts and dried fruits. But in some areas people also uses a mixture of sugar and coconut and nuts for the filling.

If you visit a Muslim house in North kerala, (Sorry, I am not sure how it is in south) where a wedding has just gone by, you sure will find kaayada as one of the main tea time snacks, sometimes it is eaten as breakfast also. These are one the snacks that are served for guests during evening tea. Normally newly wed men are given these treats almost everyday for breakfast and evening snacks, along with other varieties including cutlets, Irachi ada, Kallummakkaya nirachathu and many other fried snacks. Unlike other regions in Kerala, the groom stays at the bride's place in Kannur and Thalassery region and I guess, in many parts of Calicut as well. So these grooms would be having these snacks almost everyday. Even if they dont want to have it, they will be force fed. So gradullay, they will grow fatter in few days being over pampered by the in-laws!:)

4 Large Plantains( AROUND 1.4 KGS)
5 large eggs
10 tbs sugar
3 tbs raisins
3 tbs Cashew nutes
3 tbs Clarified butter (Ghee)
5 cardamom crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut (Optional)
Extra ghee for frying


1. Steam cook the plantains with the skin on until soft. if they dont fit in your steamer you can cut them into half and steam them.
2. Once they are completely cooked and soft, grind them into smooth in a food processor in two or three batches without using any water. Make sure you dont grind them to puree. Normally back home the grinding in done on a large 'Ammi and Kutti', a kind of Pestle and mortar to mash the cooked plantains. Before I had used potato masher to mash it. If you are using potato masher, make sure there are no lumbs, but it is very time consuming. Food processor is best for this. Set them aside.
3. For preparing the filling, Break the eggs and add sugar to it. Mix well with spoon. Sugar doesnt have to dissolve. Keep them aside too.
4. Heat a large frying pan, add ghee and add the chopped cashews.When they gets a golden colour, fish them out and drain them on a kitchen towel. To the same pan, add the raisins and leave there for few seconds until they puff like like little balls. DONT LEAVE them for long because they will get charred and taste bitter. Tke them out and keep them along with the cashews.
4. In the same pan, add the egg - sugar mixture, coconut (if adding), raisins and nuts and scramble them by stirring continuously until the egg is completely cooked. Add the crushed cardamom and stir well.
5. While the plantains are still warm, grease both hands and make small balls out of it. You should be able to get around 20-25 balls with this amount.
6. Flatten the balls into disk shapes of about 3/4 cm thickness, by placing the plantain ball in one hand and flattening it using the fingers of other hand.
7. Place 1 tbs of filling inside and seal the edges. Dont put too much of filling in; else it will be difficult to seal them. Smooth the stuffed plantain balls in to rugby ball shapes by rolling it in hand. Make sure there are no cracks anywhere. Grease your hand well, incase needed to avoid the mashed plantains sticking to your hand.
8. Do the same with the rest of the planatains and filling.
9. Place a kadai/deep frying pan on medium heat and add Ghee. When the ghee is hot enough, Add few kaayadas at a time and fry until light browned on all sides. Drain and serve warm as a tea time snack.

Notes and tips:
1. While choosing plantains make sure that they are not too ripe, I mean, you should still be able to see a touch of light green colour by the tip and skin should be yellow with no black spots or just few of them. Ones the plantains starts ripening, they develop lot of black spots hence making the flesh more soft. If you steam them and puree them at this stage you will get very mushy mash and will be difficult to manage. If at all it has started getting a bit ripe and the plantains are mushy when mashed and difficult to manage, you can add a little bit of rice powder. 2. I normally make big unnakkayas cos smaller ones takes too much of time to shape them up. And who cares when the taste is same. Well, smaller ones look cuter.
3. If you wan the authentic taste of kaayadas/unnakkayas, you MUST fry them in ghee or clarified butter. You can also use half clarified butter and half vegetable or coconut oil. Believe me, it doesnt taste good when it is fried in vegetable oil alone.
4. Normally it is deep fried in Kadai/Wok. But you can also fry them in Frying pan by filling them with ghee half way through and them flipping the kaayadas over to evenly brown on all sides.
5. One more important thing to be noted, I used the proportion of 2 tbs of sugar for 1 large egg. Here I have used extra refined sugar which is slightly less sweeter than the sugar we get in India. But if you are using the sugar in India use 1 tbsful of sugar for 1 egg, the eggs in India are smaller as well. So you might need to use around 7-8 eggs and 7-8 tbsful of sugar for the above amount of plantains.

Ottil pollichathu (Rice Pancake 2)

Unlike marichedutha Appam, these are paper thin pancakes made out of rice and is so easy that we make it at home almost everyday either for dinner with any non-veg curry or during breakfast with any vegetable curry. 'Ottil pollichathu' ( or Aridosa) literally means some thing that's cooked on a heavy base cast iron griddle (Odu). Long before the non-stick pans and gridlles conquered the cuilinary world, these rice pan cakes were prepared in cast iron griddle that was cooked on stone stove (kalladuppu) (large blocks of stones kept at a distance in a certain way to hold the dish on top and to put the firewoods underneath) by using dry woods and palm leaves or even dried coconut husk for fire. The firewoods needs to be frequently blown to keep them lit up else the the fire will be put off and you will have to light them up again. What lot of hardwork isn't it? I think it would have tasted better then. But these days who would bother using such heavy griddle and even think of stone stoves?But, we still have a modified version of the Kalladuppu back home, which is used mainly for cooking rice or for any long cooking.

2 cup Long grain rice (pachari)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 medium onion
3 cups water
salt as required
oil- as required

1.Soak rice in tap water for a minimum of 2 hours.

2.Grind it along with cooked rice,onion and water until very smooth and no grains of rice can be felt when you touch it.

3. Add enough salt and mix well. When u taste the batter, you must feel it a bit salty but again not too salty.

4. Heat a frying pan at medium high heat, add few dashes oil and pour 1 ladleful of batter (½ cups of batter) in the centre and just swirl the pan around to spread the batter all over thinly. This also can be done by pouring the batter in the centre and using the back of the ladle, spread the batter by moving the ladle over the batter in coil motion starting from the inside and gradually moving towards outside to spread the batter all around as we do in Dosa. It needs a bit of practice. I normally do the swirling way to spread the batter.

5. COVER with a lid and cook until the batter changes colour or set. At this stage, using a spatula, flip over the pan cake. If you find it breaking, and is difficult to flip, close the lid and wait for some more time until the pancake sets even more and you can turn them easily. Cook the other side also in the same way until cooked. Keep turning a couple of time to ensure that it is fully cooked. It just have to set and don't wait for the golden spots to appear. Because if it is over cooked, they will turn harder later on. It takes around 4 minutes to cook one ottil pollichathu.

6. Continue the same process with the rest of batter until all batter is used up. Store them in a hot-pot/casserole to retain the heat. Serve hot with its best combination King prawn varattiyathu, or even simple chicken curry or Malabar fish curry, prawn and okra curry, potato curry in coconut milk, green peas curry in coconut milk,Chemmeen muringavaal curry that I will be posting soon..etc..

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Spinach Dal/Palak Dal

I remember having this curry once long long back when my mom prepared it. I dont remember her preparing it after that. I am definite she must have forgotten that wonderful recipe. This is such an easy and healthy dish that I planned to include it in my 'lazy day' recipes. Since it is quite mild even the kids will love it, my little toddler do! Hmm, well I was doing some research on this particular dish and found out that many of them added little chilli powder to it. Im happy with this recipe, but, next time I make it, I would try by adding little chilli powder along with turmeric and update you guys. Here is the recipe that I got from Lakshmi Nair's Show.
Update: I made palak dal Yesterday again, and added 1 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder along with turmeric. It gave a different colour to the curry. A slight orange colour rather than the mild yellow, I would say and I also reduced number of green chillies to 1 instead of having three of them. I dint find any difference in the taste, but if you like the light orange colour to the curry, you can add Chilli powder. Else just leave it.

1 cup Moog dal (Spil yellow gram/lentils)(ചെറുപയര്‍ പരിപ്പ്)
250g Frozen spinach or fresh - chopped
3 large cloves Garlic
3 green chillies, slit legthwise
2 small onions chopped (1 cup)
2 medium tomato chopped ( around 1 cup)
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp Cumin seeds

1. Wash dal and Pressure cook them along with 3 cups of water until soft. Mash them and keep them aside.
2. Heat a saucepan, add oil. When hot, splutter cumin seeds. Quickly add chopped garlic, onion and green chillies and saute until the onion become soft and starts turning golden.
3. Add turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook until tomatoes go soft.
4. Add the cooked dal and spinach and 1/2 cup of water if needed and cook for 15 minutes until the spinach is cooked.
5. Add coconut milk and salt and just bring to boil. Serve hot with rice, chappathi etc..

This recipe goes for the 'My Legume Love Affair'event Hosted by Annasara which is started by Susan.

This recipe also goes for the CFK event Hosted by Pavani of cook’s hideout started by Sharmi of neivedyam .

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Beetroot Thoran(Stir fried Beetroot )

This is a colourful and simple stir-fry to go with plain rice and any curry. My husband's favorite thoran...
2 beetroots (360 grams)
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
salt as required
4 tbs water
2 tbs oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves

1. Cut the beetroot into cubes of 1cm thickness. You will get around 21/2 cups of beet cubes. Cover and cook them along with water, salt,green chillies and onion until 3/4 cooked.
2. Add coconut and stir well and cook beetroot is fully cooked.
3. Heat a small frying pan or Kadai and add 2 tbs of oil. When oil becomes hot, splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and when they begin to crackle, add it to the cooked beets. Serve hot as a side dish with plain rice.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Coconut Chammanthi(Thenga Chammanthi) and an Award!

Thenga Chammanthi is something that's made at home everytime a biriyani is made whether it is a fish biriyani or lamb or anything else. This Chammanthi along with Cucumber-Carrot Raitha is indispensable for biriyani days at home. I think all at my home, including me got into the habit of having chammanthi that we cant even eat biriyani without having a coconut chammanthi. After I joined my husband here, I just make them once in a while when I really really feel like having them. main reason is, by the time I finish up with the Biriyani itself I would be exhausted. Apart from that I get frozen coconuts here which should be defrosted hours before the chammanthi is made and in spite of all that I got a nasty food grinder which just doesn’t grind my coconut well. I have to feed it little by little and give it a shake every second to prevent from getting stuck and have to add water to get it ground to some level. It came along with my Kenwood Food Processor and I mainly bought it because of this grinder. It is said to be the spice grinder. Can you believe, the other day, I ground some pepper corns in it when I ran out of pepper powder and what happened after grinding them was, my spice grinder got cracks all over it and I had to tape it all around to prevent further cracking!!!Now my grinder is something like a person injured and plastered all over, as you see in Hindi movies. Just waiting to go to India to get the 'Sumeet' Grinder. It has got an amazing Chutney grinder in it. Sigh!

Another Happy thing is that My blogger Friend Pooja has passed on this lovely Award. Thank you a lot Pooja. That is really an inspiration.

Anyways here is the simple recipe for Coconut Chammanthi made at home to go with the Mutton Biriyanior any other Malabar Biriyani.

2 cups freshly grated coconut
a small piece of ginger (About 1 1/2 cm)
3 large cloves of garlic
2 green chillies
1 1/2 - 2 tbs lime/lemon juice
6 mint leaves
few coriander leaves
salt - As required

1. Grind coconut, ginger, garlic and green chilli until well ground in a grinder.
2. Add the leaves and grind until well crushed.
3. Add lime juice and season well with salt.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Vegetable Kadai/Vegetable Karahi

When I first made this curry, I found it to be a bit confusing and quite long procedure to follow. It was just for the first time. I Normally dont try stuffs with long procedures, that too confusing. But gave this a try since I just make few vegetable curries and want to learn more. This is a mildly spiced and creamy curry to go with Indian rotis or chappathis. I love this curry, even though it take a bit longer time to prepare, and Im sure you will love it too:~)

1 large (1 cup) Carrot cubed
1 medium (1 1/3 cup) Potato cubed
3 medium size onion
50g paneer cubed
2 cups Cauliflower florets
1 medium Tomato
1 tsp Ginger grated 2 cloves garlic grated
Salt - As reqd
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp+1/4 tsp Turmeric
tsp Chilly powder
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
25 gm (1/4 cup)Cashews
2-3 tbs oil

1.Grind two onion & tomato in a blender until smooth.
2.Soak the cashew in water for 30 minutes.
3.Slice the remaining one onion. Heat a pan and add a tbs of oil. When hot add the sliced onions and sauté it until it becomes translucent. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 chilli powder & ¼ tsp pepper powder and sauté it for few seconds until the raw smell goes off.
4. Grind this sautéed onion with the soaked cashews. Keep them aside.
5. Heat another saucepan and fry the paneer cubes in remaining oil until slightly golden. Take them out and keep aside too.
6. In the same saucepan, sauté ginger-garlic paste followed by onion-tomato paste.
7. Add the remaining turmeric powder, chilli powder, pepper powder and garam masala powder. Saute it for 5 min.
8. Add the vegetables and paneer and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups of water and cook them covered till they are done.
9. Add the cashew-onion paste and sauté it till oil appears from sides.
10. Add sugar and add salt to taste.
11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
:- You can also garnish with fresh cream to add extra taste. This curry goes well with Chappathis:)

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well, when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I am sure everyone will have their own favourite recipe. Some like it crispy and some like it chewy and some others chunky. Either way I think it is tasty as far as it got loads of chocolate in them:). But depending on the amount of butter, sugar and flour used, the texture of the cookie really changes. I got this recipe from the butter wrap and gave it a try. It came out good. But my favorite ones are fat and chunky chocolate chip cookie but the outcome of mine was a medium thick chewy cookie. Anyways it was over in few days...

2 cups/300g plain flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda/baking soda (not baking powder)
150g butter at room temperature
1 cup (200g) Brown sugar (Demerara)
1/2 cup (100g) Castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
200 gms chocolate chips/chocolate chunks (I used a mixture of dark and white chocolate)
1/4 cup Raisins(optional) OR 1 Cup chopped nuts (Hazelnuts, walnuts,pecans, brazilnuts or any of your choice).


1. Sift the flour along with baking soda. Reserve.
2. Cream butter and sugar, either by using a electric beater for around 3-4 minutes until fluffy. I do it using a wooden
spoon for sometime longer,to avoid washing up.
3. Add egg one by one to this butter-sugar mixture and beat well after adding each egg.whisk in vanilla.
4. Add the flour mixture and mix well using spoon. Dont overmix .
5. Add the chocolate chips and raisins OR nuts (if using) and mix until just combined.
6. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius And line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper.
7. Drop a tspful of the dough making sure to leave a distance of 2 inches after each drops so that the cookie can spread well in the oven. Dont have to flatten them as they will spread during baking.
8. Bake them for 12-14 minutes until they turn light golden colour. Leave them in the sheet for about 4 minutes before transferring them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
N.B: Dont attempt to take the cookie out of the sheet as soon as it comes out of oven, since it will be soft and will crumble. It will take few minutes to harden.
9. When they are cooled completely put them in an airtight container, but make sure they have really cooled, else the moisture escaped from the cookies will make them soaky.
Makes about 70 medium sized cookies.If you are using a tablespoonful of the dough, you will get around 3 dozen large cookies.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Crispy Fried Cauliflower

Crispy fried cauliflower is an amazingly crispy and tasty snack that can be served as a side dish or even as a snack. I make this usually as a side dish when I prepare dal or some other vegetable curries. Enjoy.

200g cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1 medium egg
3 tbs cornflour
1 tsp plain flour
Bread crumbs as required
salt as reqd
1 1/2 litre water
oil to deep fry

Preparation:1. Wash the cauliflower and keep them aside.

2. Add salt to water in a large pot and bring it to boil. Add cauliflower into it. Boil for 3-4 minutes. It doesnt have to get cooked.

3. Drain them and wipe off any excess water.

4. Make a paste by whisking together an egg, both the flour, pepper powder and a pinch of salt.

5. Dip the half cooked cauliflower into this and then roll it in breadcrumbs. Keep them aside.

6. Heat a deep pan/kadai to medium and add oil. when the oil becomes hot enough add the breadcrumbs coated florets to this little by little and deep fry until golden brown.

7. Another yummy side dish to go with any mail meal or can be eaten just as a snack.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Fried yams (Chena Porichathu)

Chena porichathu/ Fried Yam is one of our favourite side dish and makes a good vegetarian replacement for the fried fish or and any other fried non-vegetarian dish. The only hard part is the cleaning. The skin has to be completely cleaned and should be done with a gloves if possible. Because raw yam is a skin irritant and can really be itchy. So don’t handle the raw yam without gloves unless you love scratching!!

400g Yam (chena) (cleaned weight)
1 tbs Kashmiri Chilli Powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
¼ cup(4 tbs) water
¼ cup oil (4 tbs)
Salt- as required

1. Peel the yams and wash it. Slice it into 1/2 cm thickness. (you can fry it without further slicing also). And then slice it again keeping the same thickness into long juliennes. You can also cut them into cubes, if you prefer.
2. Heat a large frying pan, add oil and all the other ingredients and mix well.
3. COVER and cook on medium high heat stirring occasionally to avoid charring for about 25-30 minutes or when they start browning. Serve as a side dish for plain rice. As easy as that and Simple too, and taste.........You should know!!.

Date Muhalabiyeh/ muhalabiya

Muhalabiya is one of the most common Arabic desserts even though the name might sound a bit unfamiliar. This was one of the desserts that used to be served in our university food court during lunch. But I never bought them and never tasted them from the university simply because it was served in a small tray without any garnishing on them and for me, it looked so plain and bland and never appealed to my eye. One more thing, whenever I feel hungry first thing that will come to my mind will be something that is sweet based. So, during my university days I went to one of the supermarkets nearby and headed off to the bakery section. Saw a piece of chocolate cake well garnished and looked very appealing. Bought it and took a bite just to realise how bad that cake tasted. I couldn’t have it at all. That would be the only chocolate cake I ever discarded in my life after having a single bit. So you can imagine how bad it would have tasted. The cake was too dry and almost tasted like a stale bread. Just imagine what impact the garnishing gives a dish. It doesn’t mean that the dish would taste bad if the garnishing isn’t that great. Learnt a lesson from that experience. The other day I had serious craving for some dessert and there was nothing at home that would please my palette. Then I started flipping over my bundle of recipe books looking for an easy dessert that can be made in minutes Then I came across this Muhalabiyeh/muhalabiya in my little nestle cookery book and went for it. And It tasted really yum and it was so easy that you can prepare for your guests if you are making so many dishes. Atleast dessert part would be less painful.
Funny part was that the recipe also calls for rose water which is an ingredients I have never used in any of my dishes. My rose water bottle has been sitting in the cupboard for few years actually and sometimes use it on my face just for a fresh feeling. God knows…read somewhere about rose water being used on face for some reason I don’t even remember. I have had a few Arabic sweets before with overpowering aroma of the rose water that sometimes just put me off. But if u add a little just in right proportion, it really boost up the flavour of the dish with a subtle taste of the rose essence. Please don’t Omit the rose water while making this dish because the sweet will be flavourless and bland. 

I can 397g sweetened condensed milk+1 litre water
½ cup rice flour
2 tbs corn flour
¾ tbs rose water
1 cup chopped dates seeded
Pistachios for garnishing

Preparation:1. Empty the condensed milk can in water and stir well.
2. Stir in the rice flour and corn flour to this condensed milk and water.
3. Mix thoroughly using a wire whisk to avoid any lumps.
4. Place on low heat while continuously stirring until mixture thickens. This will take around 25 minutes on low flame. It will have a thick custard like consistency.
5. Add rose water, stir and remove from heat.
6. And chopped dates and mix.
7. Pour in serving bowls and leave to cool.
8. Garnish with dates and serve cold.
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