Sunday, 29 November 2009

Aloo palak

Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

Chopped spinach-3cups
Onion(finely chopped)-2big
Potatoes(boiled and peeled)-2big
Green chillies-2
Ginger-1" piece
Lemon juice-1tsp
Red chilli powder-1tsp
Cinnamon-clove powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Salt to taste

Put the washed spinach in a pan, add very little water (just sprinkle) and a pinch of salt. Cover and boil over a high flame for 2 minutes. Cool quickly, or hold under running water in a colander.
In a mixie, make a coarse paste of the spinach & green chillies. Keep aside. Cut the potatoes into big pieces. Heat oil and fry potatoes till light brown. Drain the potatoes, keep aside. In the same hot oil add the cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add the chopped ginger, onions and fry till very tender. Add the tomato and further fry for 2 minutes. Add all the dry masalas and fry till oil separates. Add spinach and potatoes. Boil for 10 mins . Add lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with naan or parathas or even rice.

Note: You can add the potatoes without frying too, in doing so add them to the onion mixture, saute for about for 5 mins and then add the spinach puree.

Friday, 27 November 2009


Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

During tea time there's always an array of questions about snacks. This prompted me to prepare something that is easy to make. Easy in the sense, no moulds or special gadgets :-). It stays fresh for over a week when stored in an air tight container. Karnataka is the origin of this recipe. It may be called with different names in other states of India. My kids are not fond of nuts, so I haven't used it though the recipe demands it.

Rice flour-1 1/2cup
Roasted and coarsely powdered groundnuts-100gms
Fried gram(pottukadala) powdered coarsely-50gms
Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
White sesame seeds(till seeds)-1tbsp
Red chilli powder-2tsp
Hing(asafoetida powder)-a pinch
Hot oil-2tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

To the dry flours add hot oil, salt, hing, chilli powder and mix well. Add rest of the ingredients, mix well, add water and knead to form a stiff but pliable dough. Take a heaped teaspoon full of the dough and roll it into a tight ball between the palms of your hands. Grease a sheet of plastic/butter paper and flatten out the ball to form a round disc of about 3 inches diameter. Prick the disc with a fork, to prevent it from puffing up while frying. Deep fry in hot oil. Flip once or twice in between and fry until golden brown.

Note: You can also do with
Maida-2 cup
Rice powder-1 cup
Rice powder-1 cup
Urad dal powder-2 tsp

and rest of the ingredients are the same

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Parippu (moong dal curry)

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

This needs no introduction to Keralites, as this is the first dish served as a main course for any
sadya (Kerala feast). There are various versions of the curry. I was introduced to this one only after my marriage.

Moong dal-1 cup
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Cumin seeds -1tsp
Garlic clove-1
Fresh coconut(grated) or Desiccated coconut-1/2cup
Curry leaves-a few
Salt to taste

Dry roast the moong dal on medium heat for ten minutes. Cook it with sufficient water and turmeric. Grind the coconut with a little water and cumin seeds. Add to the boiling dal along with the curry leaves and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes and it is ready to relish with rice, ghee & pappadam.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Chicken satay with crunchy peanut sauce

Preparation Time : 1 hour | Cooking Time : 20 minutes

This is a Thai dish which is not very spicy. I've had this a couple of times in restaurants and always wanted to make one myself. It is a very good starter. At home the kids usually enjoy it without the sauce though these both go hand in hand.


Chicken breasts(boneless)-4
Fresh red chillies(chopped)-1
Soy sauce-2tbsp
Thai fish sauce- 2 tsps
Lemon juice-1 tsp
Garlic (crushed)-4 cloves
Ginger (crushed)-1 inch piece
Brown sugar-2 tsps
Salt to taste

For sauce
Peanut butter-3tbsp
Onion (chopped)-1small
Ginger (crushed)-1/2inch piece
Garlic (crushed)-4cloves
Soy sauce-1tbsp
Coconut milk-4tbsp
Lemon juice-1tbsp
Oil- 1tbsp
Salt to taste

First slice each chicken breast horizontally so that you have two thinner slices and then cut each of these into three or four strips lengthways.

Take the chicken strips in a bowl. Add salt, soy sauce, Thai fish sauce, lemon juice and mix. Add garlic, ginger, brown sugar and honey and mix. Let it marinate for an hour preferably in the refrigerator.(The more the better)

Heat oil in a griddle plate. Thread the marinated chicken strips onto satay sticks and place on the griddle plate. Pour some of the excess marinade over the chicken and cook. Turn the satay stick on the griddle to cook the other side.

For the peanut sauce heat oil in a pan, add the onion and saute. Add ginger and garlic to the onion in the pan and continue to saute. Add soy sauce, peanut butter and two tbsp of water. Mix and add coconut milk, lemon juice, salt and honey. Add fresh red chilli and mix. Take the peanut sauce off the heat.
Serve the satay with the sauce immediately.

Note: The sticks have to be immersed in water for about 15mins before cooking. You can also cook this without the satay sticks.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Chettinad mushroom gravy

Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

I had a craving for some spicy dish. As most of you all know 'chettinad' recipes are known for its hot & spicy flavour, I opted this dish.

Mushroom- 250gms
Ginger-a small piece
Garlic-3 cloves
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Curry leaves-a few
Coriander leaves-a few
Bay leaf-1
Salt to taste

Spice mixture
Dry red chillies-2
Coriander seeds-3tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2tsp
Fennel seeds-1/2tsp
Pepper corns-1tsp
Poppy seeds-1tsp
Split roasted gram(pottukadala)-1tsp
Cinnamon-1 small stick
Dessicated/fresh coconut-3tsp

Dry roast all the ingredients under spice mixture taking care they don't get over burnt. Saute the onions, ginger & garlic with 2 tsp oil until soft. Now make a paste of the spice mixture and sauteed onion mixture. Keep it aside.

Heat some oil in a pan, add the curry leaves and bay leaf. After 2 mins add the cleaned & sliced mushroom, turmeric powder and saute for 5 mins. Now add the ground paste and saute until they are brown in colour. Add chopped tomatoes, salt and cook until the oil separates. Add a little water and cook for 10 mins on slow flame. Mix in the chopped coriander leaves.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Vegetable casserole

Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Kids usually do not favour vegetables, but if you try to do something fancy with it, they somehow relish it. :-) This is one such recipe my kids love. I've used the vegetables of their liking. You could substitute it with any of your choice.

Mixed vegetables-500gms
(Cauliflower, mushroom, carrot, green peas & corn kernels)
Garlic-5 cloves
Mixed herbs-1tsp
Olive oil-1tbsp
Pepper corns -1tsp
Cream cheese-4tbsp
Shredded cheddar cheese-1cup
Salt to taste

Buttered Bread Crumbs:
Fine ground bread crumbs-1cup

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.
Heat oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic and saute for 5 mins. Add cauliflower, a little salt and cook . Slowly add one after the other vegetables, see to that they are not overcooked(they have to be crunchy) . Add the herbs, crushed pepper and salt if needed, mix well. Place in a baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, over low heat, combine 2 tablespoons flour and 2 tablespoons butter until it makes a smooth paste. Stirring constantly, slowly add 1 cup milk and bring to boil to make a medium thick white sauce. Flavour with salt and pepper powder. Remove the white sauce from the stove and stir in the cream cheese. Stir until the cream cheese is melted and smooth without lumps.

Pour this mixture over the vegetables and stir together. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the vegetables.

In the microwave or in a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter and stir in the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the buttered bread crumbs over the top of the vegetable casserole.
Bake at 220 degrees until hot and bubbly, about 30-40 minutes.

Note: For best results serve it hot.

Layered Vegetable Casserole on Foodista

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Creamy mushroom

Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 30 mins

Mushroom is our staple diet :-) or should I say the most frequent item in my menu. They are also easily available over here and all of us like it a lot. At times I end up preparing something with whatever ingredients I have at home. This is one such recipe. To say the least, it was indeed a good one and so thought of sharing it with you all.

Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Green chillies-2
Tomato puree-2 tbsp
Yogurt-1 tbsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Garam masala- a pinch
Fresh cream-2 tbsp
Coriander leaves(chopped)-2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil-1 tbsp

Cut mushrooms into pieces. Make a paste of green chillies, ginger-garlic paste & yogurt, now marinate mushroom in this paste for about 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions and saute till they turn light brown in colour. Add the coriander and fry for 2 minutes. Now add the mushroom along with the marinade and saute for 5 minutes. Add the tomato puree and cook until it starts to boil. Now add a little water and cook till the mushrooms are done. At this stage add the cream, sprinkle the garam masala and cook for about 2 minutes.

Garnish it with coriander leaves. This goes well with Indian breads.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Chocolate swirl cream cake

Preparation time: 25 mins | Cooking time: 60 mins

It was my younger son's birthday. He is very choosy when it comes to food. He likes cake but there are conditions behind it. :-) icing, no fruits or nuts etc. I thought of taking the opportunity to make a cream topping cake. I didn't have any prior experience but then thought..."what the hell....there is always a first time :-)". The decorations are as per his liking. I only wrote his short name on the cake as I wasn't so sure I could write all of it, instead I used the 'happy birthday' candles. In the end result wasn't that bad as I thought. My son was very happy which is by far the greatest compliment. :-)

Self raising flour-300gms
Vanilla essence-2tsp
Baking powder-2tsp
Cocoa powder-2tsp
Canned pineapple-small tin
Heavy cream-300ml.

Put the baking tin onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and draw around it. Cut out the shape and grease the tin with a little butter, then put the cut paper inside the tin. Grease the paper and set the oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, sugar and eggs to the bowl and mix until they are thick and creamy. Add the vanilla essence and mix well. Remove 6 tbsp of batter and place in a smaller bowl. Pour the remaining batter into the tin. Add the cocoa powder into the reserved batter and stir well with a fork. Drop the chocolate mixture in spoonfuls randomly onto the batter in the tin and using a knife swirl the chocolate mixture through the cake mix. Put the tin in the oven and bake the cake for 40-50 minutes. When the cake is cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it in the tin for 5 minutes. Turn the cake out and peel off the greaseproof paper, turn the cake over and leave it to cool.

Cut the cake in half horizontally. Drain pineapples and reserve the syrup. Beat cream in a bowl until stiff. Put the bottom cake layer on a board. Spoon the syrup over the layer (just to make it a little wet), spread the cream, now place the pineapple pieces to form a layer. Then place the other half on top. Spread a layer of whipped cream over top layer and the sides of the cake. Chill until ready to serve.

Note: Dip the knife in hot water at regular intervals while spreading the cream.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Yamy yamy potato egg delight

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 40 mins

Don't be startled by the long name of the dish. Its a fairly simple and quick recipe. It is one of my mother-in-law's collection of recipes which she found from one of the publications. This would get into the favourites of many, even the kids as it is a non-spicy and a creamy dish.

Onion-1 big
Ginger-a small piece
Cinnamon stick-1inch
Coriander powder-1tsp
Chilly powder-1 1/2tsp
Pepper powder-1/4tsp
Tomato puree (thick concentrate)-3tbsp
French fries for serving
Fresh cream-100ml
Coriander leaves to garnish
Salt to taste

Beat the eggs well with a little salt and pepper powder and keep aside.

Make a paste of onion, ginger, garlic & whole garam masalas.

Heat oil in a pan, saute this paste until oil separates. Now add coriander powder and chilli powder and saute for about 2 minutes. Add tomato puree, salt and cook for about 5 minutes. Now add a little water (1/2 cup) and allow it to boil. At this stage pour the beaten eggs slowly, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed and cook until the eggs are done. Finally add the cream and cook for about 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

To Serve
Spread a few fries on the serving bowl, pour the gravy on top and add a few more fries on top. This actually enhances the taste of the dish. The curry goes well with any indian bread. Enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Egg molee (poached egg curry)

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

Eggs are usually prepared in different ways. This dish seemed new to me and I thought I'd give it a go. I made a few variations to suit our taste and in the end the curry tasted really nice. I thought I'd share it with all of you.

Onion (finely sliced)- 2
Ginger (chopped)-a small piece
Garlic (chopped)-3 cloves
Green chillies (slit)- 4
Coriander powder-1/2 tsp
Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
Thin coconut milk-50 ml
Thick coconut milk-50 ml
Curry leaves-a few
Oil - 3 tbsp(preferably coconut oil)
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and fry, till they become soft. Add coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Add the thin coconut milk and allow it to boil. When it starts boiling, break the eggs into it one by one, without disturbing the other and cover it with a lid to set. Once the eggs are cooked, add thick coconut milk. Simmer for 2-3 mins.

This goes well with chapathi, parotta and appam.

I thank Sangeetha for passing on the awards.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Cabbage Thoran

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins

Thoran does not need any introduction to malayalees because it is one of the most common dishes. Having said that the dish has its variations as you travel across Kerala. Thoran is one of the main dish in any sadya (feast) and 9 out of 10 times the vegetable used is cabbage.

Grated coconut or desiccated coconut-1cup
Green chillies-3
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-few
Oil-1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds, then add the curry leaves & the chopped onions, saute for 2 mins. Now add the finely chopped cabbage, salt & turmeric powder and mix well. Close with a lid & cook( do not add water). Make a coarse paste of coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies without water and add this to the cabbage, mix well. Cook on a low flame until done.

(Cabbage should never be overcooked, it tastes good when it is slightly crunchy). This goes well with rice & sambar.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sausage rice

Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

My greatest dilemma is to decide what to pack for lunch for my family. I think a few of you might share my problem :-). This recipe is ideal for it because it is quick and easy at the same time taste is not compromised.


Sausages or frankfurters (cut in small pieces)-12
Basmati rice- 2 cups
Chicken cube(stock)-1
Garam masala-2 tsps
Red chilli powder -2 tsps
Coriander powder-3tsps
Garlic ginger paste-2 tsps
Soya sauce-2 tsps
Coriander leaves(chopped)-1 tbsp
Mint leaves(chopped)-1 tbsp
Oil-3 tbsp
Salt for taste

In a cooker, fry the onions in oil. Once the onions are translucent, add the garam masala, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garlic-ginger paste, soya sauce, chicken cube, coriander leaves, mint leaves and let it fry for a minute on slow flame. Add the frankfurters to this, mix the ingredients and fry again for a minute. Wash the rice, add to the frankfurters mixture and mix again. Add 3 cups of boiling water and salt. Close the lid and cook. Turn off the gas after 1 whistle. Let the cooker cool on its own for 10 minutes. Open, mix everything again and serve hot with raita.