Friday, 30 October 2009

Carrot payasam (kheer)

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins

Oct-Nov is a birthday season in my home. My elder son's birthday falls just a few days after my husbands. I had made a few special dishes and my son kept reminding me of his and the long list of items he wanted on his birthday. He is a payasam lover and I prepared his favourite.


Milk-5 cups
Ghee-1 tbsp
Cashew nuts-10 to 15

Boil 4 cups of milk in a heavy bottom vessel(preferably nonstick). Cook on slow flame stirring constantly till it reduces to 3/4 of the quantity. Grate 2 carrots, saute this in ghee until all the water from it evaporates. Now add this to the milk and cook until the carrot is soft.

In another vessel boil the remaining carrots & cashew nuts with 1 cup milk until done, cool it and grind it to a paste. Add this paste along with the milk to the above cooked carrot milk mixture and mix well. Now add sugar, cardamom powder and cook on slow flame until it blends well and is of semi-thick consistency.( Payasam well get thicker when it gets cool, so adjust the consistency accordingly). Tastes good when served cold.

Garnish with roasted cashew nuts and raisins.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Cabbage Erissery

Preparation time: 20 min | Cooking time: 20 min

Erissery is an authentic Kerala recipe. This is made with different vegetables like yellow pumpkin, yam & drumstick leaves. I prepared using cabbage though it is not the traditional way of cooking this dish.


Tuvar dal -5tbsp
Chopped cabbage-2 cups
Grated coconut-1 cup
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Chilli powder-1 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Red chillies-2
Curry leaves- a few
Salt to taste
Coconut oil-1 tbsp( preferably)

Cook the dal until soft. Add the chopped cabbage, salt, turmeric and chilli powder to this and cook on slow flame. Keep about 2 tbsp grated coconut aside for tempering and now make a fine paste of the remaining coconut and the cumin seeds. Add this paste to the cabbage dal mixture, mix well and cook for about 15 mins.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds , curry leaves & red chillies, when they start to splutter, add the grated coconut and fry until it turns light brown in colour. Add this tempering to the curry and mix well.

This coconut tempering adds the flavour to the curry. This goes well with rice and chapathi.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Chicken badami

This is an exotic dish which I learnt from my mother-in-law. It would serve as an ideal dish for any party. It reminds me of my brother-in-law because it is his favourite and relishes it to the last drop (in the literal sense :-))


Onions(medium)- 3
Yogurt-4 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder-3 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Almonds( badam)-20
Cinnamon- 2 small sticks
Chopped coriander leaves- 1 tbsp
Oil-3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Clean the chicken well and cut them into medium pieces. Marinate this with turmeric and yoghurt for about 3 to 4 hours.

Heat oil in a vessel, add all the whole garam masalas. When they splutter add the finely sliced onions and saute until light brown in colour. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 mins. Add the chilli powder and fry until it loses its raw smell. Now add the chicken along with the marinade, mix well and saute for about 5 mins. At this stage add the blanched & chopped tomatoes, mix well and cook along with a little water until the chicken is 3/4th done. Now add the fine paste of blanched almonds to this , cook on slow flame taking care that it does not stick to the bottom of the vessel. When the chicken is done, garnish it with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it with any Indian bread or ghee rice. Enjoy!!!

Note: Blanching is the process of immersing a fruit or a vegetable in boiling water for a short interval. In this recipe I have blanched the tomatoes and almonds which helps to remove the skins easily.

Now the accolades.....
I am very happy to receive this appreciation from Sushma which is a great encouragement for me. Thank you Sushma and all the rest of my visitors for your valuable comments. They matter a lot to me.

I would like to pass on this award to Sangeetha & Preeti.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Mutton Biryani

Preparation time: 40 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins

My 50th post :-)......

This blog is special to me for 2 reasons. First of all I'm completing half a century with this recipe, thanks to all my blogger friends for their encouragement and all the silent visitors who have dropped by. The second reason is-I cooked this for my husband's birthday, as it is the best among his favourites. :-)


For Gravy
Green chillies-3
Coriander powder-3tsp
Chilli powder-1tsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Coriander leaves(chopped)-3tbsp
Mint leaves(chopped)-2tbsp
Salt to taste

For rice
Basmati rice-400gms (2cups)
Bay leaves-2
Cinnamon-2, 1inch stick
Water-3 1/2cups
Salt to taste

For layering
Onion (cut into rings)-1
Cashew nuts-a few
Coriander leaves(chopped)-1tbsp
Mint leaves(chopped)-1tbsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Lime juice-2tbsp

Clean the mutton and cut them into medium size pieces. Make a paste of ginger, garlic & green chillies and marinate the mutton in this mixture for about an hour.

Heat oil in a pan, add thinly sliced onions and saute until they are light brown in colour. Now add the mutton along with the marinade and fry until it slightly changes colour. Add all the dry masalas and fry for about 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until everything is blend well. Add the yoghurt, coriander & mint leaves to this. Adjust the salt and add a little water if needed, cook till the mutton is well done. The gravy should be of thick consistency.

Wash the rice well and soak for about 20 minutes, drain and keep aside. Boil water in a heavy bottom vessel. Add the whole garam masalas, ghee and salt. Now add the rice and cook on medium flame until the rice is done.

Layering and dum
Deep fry the onion rings in oil until golden brown and fry the cashews in ghee until light brown.

Smear the vessel(heavy bottom) with ghee. First add a layer of rice, top it with the mutton along with the gravy. Sprinkle some garam masala, lime juice, coriander leaves, mint leaves and the fried onions on top. Add another layer of rice and the secret lies here. Make sure that you press the rice well so that the flavour of the mutton mixes well with the rice. Repeat the same for another layer of mutton followed by rice. Finally add the fried cashews, onions and the coriander, mint leaves. Close the vessel with a tight lid or with an aluminium foil and keep it over a large pan and cook on slow flame for about 30 minutes. You may add water in the pan so that it does not get over heated. This procedure is to dum the biryani.

It should be served with raitha, papadom and lime pickle.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Fruit surprise

Preparation time: 20 mins

This is a very simple one, a mixture of custard and fruits. I presented it in another way so that the kids would relish it.

Fresh cream-1/2cup

Heat a sauce pan, add sugar, when it starts to melt add the chopped apple, toss it well, then add the sliced bananas, mix well and keep it aside.

Now mix the cream and the custard together. Beat well until it is thick and creamy.

To Serve
Add the fruits to the serving bowl, then top it with the custard mixture. It tastes best when it is chilled.

Cheese cake

Preparation time: 30 mins

October is a month of celebration for us. Three men of my family have their birthdays. I wanted to make a cheese cake since a long time and I thought my hubby's birthday would be the right occasion. He is anyway not very fond of payasam and other sweets.

Biscuits(choose the one that easily crumbles)-200 gms

Cream cheese-450-500gms
Cream-210 ml
Gelatin-7 tsp

Line a 17-18cm(7") sandwich tin with foil, ensuring that the foil overlaps the edges of the tin.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the crumbled biscuits, mix well.
Spread the crumb mixture over the base of the tin and press down with the back of a spoon. Chill in the fridge for 15 mins, until firm.

Add about 80ml of cold boiled water to gelatin. Let it sit for 1 hour. Then bring the gelatin to a boil, but do not keep boiling. Cool it. Beat the cheese with sugar. Add gelatin and mix well. Beat the cream separately.Combine the cheese with cream. Place this mixture over the biscuit base and smooth with the back of a spoon and place in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Remove from the tin and peel away the foil. Keep refrigerated for not more than 2 days.

Decorations can vary as per taste. Here I've decorated with chocolate gratings and cherries.

Capsicum kichadi

Preparation time: 15mins | Cooking time: 15mins

Kitchadi is one of the dishes made for Kerala sadya(feast). This is not a traditional one but can be substituted for it. The preperation is slightly different and I often go for it whenever I'm short of ingredients ;-).

Green chillies-2
Mustard seeds-1/4tsp
Red chillies-2
Curry leaves-few
Salt to taste

Chop the capsicum into small pieces and deep fry until they slightly change colour. Deep fry the chopped green chillies too and keep it aside.

Beat the yoghurt along with the salt. Add the fried capsicum and green chillies into it.

Heat 2tsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, add this to the capsicum mixture and serve immediately.

Jamaican jerked chicken

Cooking time: 60 min

Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meats are dry-rubbed or marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. I combined a couple of recipes to suit our taste. It has spices different from our Indian counterpart but it is no less in taste.

Onions(roughly chopped)-2
Red chillies (seeded and roughly chopped)-3
Garlic cloves-2
Ginger-1small 4cm piece
Allspice powder-½ tsp
Cinnamon-1small stick
Cider vinegar-100ml
Light soya sauce-100ml
Honey-1tbsp (optional)
Black pepper
Salt to taste

Place the onions, chillies, garlic, ginger,cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme in a food processor and grind until well blended. Add the allspice, vinegar, soy sauce and honey(optional) and mix again until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Deeply slash the chicken quarters and place them in a large shallow dish. Pour over the sauce and chill for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the chicken to a rack and sit it inside a roasting tin. Pour over any marinade from the dish and roast for 40-45 minutes, basting occasionally with the marinade juices in the roasting tin, until the chicken is cooked through and blackened.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Carrot delight

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

My kids are on vacation and that demands for more desserts. That's when I explored into my collection to get a quick and simple one.

Medium carrot(grated)-4
Custard powder-3tbsp
Dried fruits(almonds, pistas, raisins)-a few

Mix the custard powder to one half of the milk and keep it aside.

Heat ghee in a sauce pan (preferably non-stick) and add the carrots. Saute until all the water evaporates. Add about 2tbsp sugar and stir until slightly caramelised. Now add the other half of the milk to this along with the dried fruits and cook on low flame. When the milk evaporates add the custard powder mixture into this and continue cooking on low flame stirring constantly. When it thickens add the remaining sugar and mix well.

It tastes best when served cold.

Sangeetha of Kothiyavanu has given me these sets of awards.....Thank you so much dear and it is a great encouragement for me.

Crispy chicken wings

Cooking time: 60 mins

A very easy recipe and one our favourites. It can either be oil fried or baked. I took the healthier route ;-).

Chicken wings-4
Chilli powder-1/2tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste-1tsp
Lemon juice-1tsp
Bread crumbs
Salt to taste

Marinate the chicken with egg, salt, ginger-garlic paste & chilli powder for about 4-5 hours.

Roll on breadcrumbs and place them in an ovenproof dish greased with oil. Spray some oil over the chicken.

Pre-heat the oven to 220c. Bake the chicken for about 45 min turning it over once until they are golden brown.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

Preparation time: 45 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

We like to try new cuisines and once had an opportunity to have Mexican food. As their food is not very bland I was very fond of it. I wanted to try it out at home and it was a indeed a great family dinner.

Flour tortillas-4
Tomato puree-1cup
Pepper powder-1/2tsp
Olive oil-1tbsp
Cheddar cheese(grated)-1cup
Sour cream-1/2cup
Salt to taste

For filling
Boneless chicken(diced)-250gms
Mixed peppers(diced)-1cup
Chilli flakes-1tsp
Olive oil-2tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan, add onion, garlic & saute for 5 minutes. Now add the tomato puree, oregano, pepper powder and salt, bring this to boil. Cool the mixture and grind it to a fine paste.

Chicken filling
Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken pieces and cook until 3/4th done. Add onion, mixed pepper, salt & the chilli flakes and saute for 10 minutes. Add about a tbsp of the sauce kept ready and mix all of them together.

Heat oven to 200c/400F/Gas mark 6. Oil a large ovenproof dish.

Warm the tortillas slightly and divide the filling between them. Spread it down the centre of the tortillas and roll them up and put it in the dish, seam side down. Pour over the sauce then sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is hot and the cheese has melted.

Serve with the sour cream poured over the tortillas.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Kappa puzhukku & meen curry (Tapioca with fish curry)

Preperation time: 45 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

A mouth watering combo of the century. :-) Well not for a non-keralite. This is also available in the most smallest of food stalls in Kerala, it is that famous. Tapiocas are relished in various forms. This is only one of its form that best goes with a fish curry.

For Puzhukku
(cut into small pieces)
Grated coconut–½cup
Cunin seeds–1/2tsp
Green chillies–2nos
Turmeric powder–½ tsp
Curry leaves–a few
Coconut oil-2tsp
Salt to taste

For Meen curry
Grated coconut-1cup
Red chilly powder-2tsp
Coriander powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Green chilli-1
Kodam puli (Kukum star)-2nos
Shallots-3 to 4 nos
Ginger-1/2" piece
Curry leaves-a few
Coconut oil-1tbsp
Salt to taste

Cook the tapioca with sufficient water until done and drain off the excess water. Add salt and turmeric, cook until they are bit mushy. Now grind coconut, cumin seeds, green chillies & garlic to a coarse paste without adding water and add this to the tapioca. Mix them well, add the curry leaves and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with coconut oil. This as a dish alone is also very tasty but fish curry is the best combination.

Meen curry
Clean the fish and cut into medium pieces. Grind the coconut, shallots, ginger, red chilli powder & coriander powder to a smooth paste.

Traditionally meen curry is prepared in a meen chatti (clay pot) but it can be cooked in any vessel. Boil the kodam puli (kukum star) in a little water. Add the slit green chilli, a few curry leaves, turmeric powder and the ground coconut paste to this and bring it to boil. Add the fish pieces and salt, cook on a low flame until the fish is done. Garnish it with a few curry leaves and coconut oil.

Note: This curry also goes well with rice.

Channa batura

Preperation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

The very famous north indian combo relished all over. Batura's are usually a very large puri, but in my recipe I've gone for medium sized ones.

For Batura
Plain flour(maida)-2cups
Baking powder-1/2tsp
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

For Channa
Kabuli channa-1cup
Ginger/garlic paste-2tsp
Chopped coriander-1 1/2tsp
2 tbsp. oil, 1 tbsp. ghee
Bay leaves-2
Cumin seeds-1tsp
Chilli powder-1tsp
Coriander powder-1tsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Kasoori Methi(crushed)-1tsp
Salt to taste

Sieve together flour, salt and baking powder. Add and mix in curds and oil. Add milk & water if needed to knead into a soft pliable dough. Cover with a wet cloth. Keep aside for 5-6 hours. Make sure the cloth does not dry up, or wet again. Knead dough again.

Take a small portion of dough and roll into 1/4" thick 5" diameter round and fry in hot oil turning only once till very light golden in colour. Serve hot with hot channa

Soak the channa overnight. Pressure cook the channa along with salt & turmeric powder till done. (approx. 2-4 whistles). Heat oil in a pan, add whole garam masalas and cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the well chopped onions and saute till they turn golden brown in colour. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute for about 2 minutes. Add all the dry masalas and fry till the raw smell goes away. To this add the chopped tomato and cook until the oil separates.

Add the boiled channa to the masala and cook for about 10 minutes. By this time the channa would have blend with the gravy. Now add the kasoori methi and coriander leaves and cook for 2 minutes.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fish fry

Preperation time: 25 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins

It is very rare to find a Keralite who does not like fish in any form of food. I think we can just hand pick them. My hustand is no exception. He could have fish 3 times a day if served to him :-). My sons are his followers but I still do not fancy it too much even though I have a few morsels.

Initially we used to buy a lot of frozen fishes and tried out our authentic Kerala recipes but none tasted even close to the original. After a lot of hunting around, my husband found out a stall over here that sold fresh fishes. He bought it once just to test it out and was just like home if not better :-)

Shallots-5 or 1 medium onion
Ginger-1 small piece
Chilli powder-1tsp
Coriander powder-1tsp
Pepper corns-10
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Curry leaves-a few
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

Clean the fish well and cut them into medium slices and keep it aside. Grind all the ingredients except curry leaves to a fine paste. Marinate the fish with this mixture adding a few curry leaves and leave it for an hour.

For shallow fry
Heat oil in a pan add few curry leaves and the fish pieces along with all the marinade. Fry them on medium flame until it is brown on both sides.

Note: There is always a fight over the meen chor (fish rice). Add rice and a little salt to the left over masala on the pan and mix them well. The result 'a nice spicy rice' to go with your fish fry. :-)
The marinated fish can be stored in the freezer for later use.

Appam with potato stew

A traditional Kerala breakfast dish. This is typically made in an appa chatti (appam pan) which allows the sides of the appam to be crispy and the center soft and thick. But as always rules are bend to suit our needs ;-). We can use a dosa pan instead. There are few accompaniments with appam like kadala (brown chick peas) curry, masala curry, mutta (egg) curry and so on. In my recipe I've written about potato stew though my sons relish it with milk and sugar :-).

Rice(raw rice or sona masoori)-2cups
Fresh coconut(grated) or coconut powder-1cup
Cooked rice-5tbsp
Salt to taste

Soak the rice for about 4 hours. Grind the rice and the cooked rice to a smooth paste. Mix sugar and the yeast in quarter glass of lukewarm water and keep it aside. Once the yeast ferments(about 10 min) grind it along with coconut and salt to a smooth mixture. Now mix this along with the rice paste and keep it overnight for fermentation.

Heat a dosa pan and smear it with a little oil. Pour the batter on the pan and spread it slightly to give it a round shape. Cover it with a lid and cook until done.

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

Potato Stew
Green chillies-3
Curry leaves-a few
Coconut oil-2tbsp
Coconut milk-1cup
Salt to taste

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a vessel, add few curry leaves, cubed potatoes and onions, slit green chillies & chopped ginger. Saute for about 5 minutes. Now cook along with salt and water until the potatoes are done. At this stage add coconut milk and cook until it just starts boiling. Remove it from the stove.

Add the curry leaves and 1tbsp of coconut oil and keep it closed so that the flavours stay intact.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Aloo bonda

Preparation time: 40 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

After a short summer, the rain is here and all of us are with our jackets and caps. The mood is very low as the weather keeps us indoors most of the time. These hot snacks is a very good substitute to revitalise a family gathering. I still remember the road side shop I used to buy from during my school days. We used to buy almost everyday on our way back home. The dish was prepared at home regularly but yet the shopkeepers 'Aloo Bonda' was one step ahead for whatever reason :-). It reminds me of my sister, coz it's her favourite and still fancies getting it from outside.

Potatoes (boiled and mashed)- 500gms
Onion(finely chopped)-2
Green chillies -3
Gram flour(besan)-250gms
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves(chopped)-1tbsp
Chilli powder-a pinch
Turmeric powder-a pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Salt to taste
Asafoetida (hing) powder-a pinch
Oil for frying

Add salt, a pinch of chilli powder, a pinch of asafoetida to the gram flour. Mix together to make a thick and a smooth paste, using water.

Heat 3 tsp of oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add the green chillies, onions and curry leaves. Fry until the onions become translucent. Add the turmeric powder and saute for sometime. Now add the mashed potatoes and salt and mix well. Add fresh coriander leaves and simmer for 2-3 mins. Let it cool for sometime.

Make small balls off the mixture, dip in the besan batter and deep fry.

Note: Serve with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Mushroom & Spinach Pulao

Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. :-) I say this because mushrooms & spinach are abundantly available here. I started experimenting on many dishes with these ingredients. I came across this recipe from a continental cookery book. I indianised it to suit our taste. It was a hit among kids too.


Onions (finely sliced)-2
Garlic (crushed)- 2 cloves
Mushrooms-150gms sliced
Cinamon-1 stick
Coriander powder-1tsp
Chilli powder-1/2tsp
Basmati rice-250gms
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Veg stock- fresh cube or concentrate – 450 ml
Spinach-200gms and roughly chopped.

Cook the onion and garlic in the butter in a large shallow pan until soft and golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until it softens. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the veg stock, rice and salt, cover and cook on a slow heat until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir through the spinach and lemon juice. Cover for 2 min until wilted & serve.

Note: To wilt spinach quickly put it in a colander and pour a kettle of boiling water.

Mutton palak

Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins

The color green wasn't appealing to me when it came to dishes though I liked leafy vegetables. My husband on the contrary was very fond of them. It was he who introduced me to palak recipes. He used to order palak dishes whenever we were in restaurants. With time I also started to like it.

Ginger/Garlic paste-1tbsp
Green chillies-2
Coriander powder-2tsp
Chilli powder-1tsp
Garam masala powder-1/2tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Cinnamon stick-1(1 inch)
Bay leaves-2
Salt to taste

Clean the mutton and cut into medium size pieces.
Cook the cleaned and washed spinach with green chillies and a little salt without adding water. Cool it and grind it to a smooth paste and keep it aside.

Heat some oil in a vessel, add the whole garam masalas and when they start to splutter add the finely chopped onions and saute until it changes to light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for some time. Now add the mutton and mix well and cook until it is slightly brown in color. To this add the turmeric, coriander and chilli powder and saute until it loses its raw smell. Add the tomatoes & salt and sufficient water for the mutton to cook. Once the mutton is almost done, mix in the spinach (palak) puree, garam masala and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

Note: You may add 2-3 tbsp of fresh cream at the final stage. Over here I haven't done it in order to retain the colour. In stead I've garnished it with butter.