June 30, 2011

Aviyal

അവിയല്‍ 

Avial is a traditional kerala recipe and an essential part of Sadya(A vegetarian Feast). This dish is prepared by cooking a variety of vegetables and mixed with coconut and yoghurt/curd and seasoned with coconut oil and curry leaves. In some regions of kerala, tamarind is used instead of curd. You may use any vegetables of your choice that are locally available. The most commonly used are yam, raw plantain, ash gourd, drumstick, carrot, beans etc.

Ingredients:

Assorted vegetables* – 3-4 cups, cut all the veggies lengthwise 
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Water – 1.5 cups
Salt

Coconut – 1/2 cup
Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Shallots - 1 or 2

Yoghurt/Curd – 1/4 cup or a little more if you like
Coconut oil – 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 to 2 sprigs

* - I  used a large potato, a raw plantain, 2 carrots, 2 drumsticks and 5-6 french beans

Preparation:

1. Cook the vegetables with turmeric powder, green chillies, salt and water.
2. Meanwhile grind coconut, jeera and shallots coarsely without adding water. When the veggies are 3/4th cooked, add the coconut mix and combine well.
3. Cook till the vegetables are done. They shouldn't get mashed. Switch off the stove. Beat the curd well and add to the cooked vegetables. Add coconut oil and curry leaves and combine well.


Paneer Burji Sandwich


Paneer burji is a good recipe idea if you have some left over paneer. This burji can be used in a variety of ways: can be served with rice or roti as a side dish, as a sandwich filling or as a wrap filling. You may substitute paneer with soya chunks and follow the same recipe. I used this for a sandwich and it was really good and quite filling. Paneer is rich in proteins and kids will also love this sandwich.

Ingredients:

Paneer cubes - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilly powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp
Tomato - 1, finely chopped
Salt
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (Check cooking tips for the recipe)
Coriander leaves - chopped for garnishing
Bread slices - 6 to 8

Preparation:

1. If you are using store bought paneer cubes, soak it in hot water for 5-10 mins to make it soft. Drain to kitchen towel. Crumble the cubes with your fingers and keep  it aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin seeds.
3. Add onion and saute till it starts turning light brown.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
5. Add turmeric,chilly powder, salt and mix well.
6. Add tomatoes and saute till they are soft.
7. Add paneer cubes and combine well. Add garam masala. Stir fry for about 5 mins till paneer is cooked and the mix becomes dry.
8. Add coriander leaves and mix well.
9. Take a slice of bread and spread the filling. Cover with another slice of bread. You may toast or grill the sandwich if you like it that way.

Sending this to Proteinicious hosted by Sobha of Good Food, Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty and to Sandwich Mela hosted by Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons

June 29, 2011

Appam and Vegetable Stew



Appam and stew is a traditional breakfast of Kerala. The recipe for Appam and stew varies in different regions of Kerala.  Stew can be prepared only of potatoes, or mixed vegetables, or even chicken or mutton. Given here is the recipe of appam and vegetable stew we make at home. I have used potaotes, carrot and beans for this stew. You may add green peas and cauliflower too.

Ingredients for Appam:

Raw rice or Idly rice - 2 cups
Cooked rice  - 1 cup
Shredded coconut - 1 cup (or subsitute with Coconut milk - 3/4 cup)
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt
Water
Dried Yeast / Fast action yeast - 1 tsp
Bicarbonate of Soda/ Baking soda - 1/2 tsp


Preparation of appam batter:

1. Soak the raw/idly rice in water for 5-6 hours.
2. Add cooked rice, coconut, sugar, salt to the rice and grind it to a smooth batter. If you are using coconut milk, add it after grinding. The batter should be a pouring consistency and a little thinner than dosa batter.
3. Add yeast and baking soda to the batter and mix well. Keep this batter overnight for fermentation. In winter, it takes more time to ferment, so keep it in a warm place( eg: near the room heater).

Making the appam:

Appams are traditionally made in iron skillet called "appa chatti". I use a Prestige non-stick appam pan. Appams have a soft fluffy center and a lacy border which comes very well on iron skillet. The advantage of using a non-stick pan is that you need not use a single drop of oil for making appams. For iron skillet, you need to lightly grease it with oil before making appam.

1. Pour a ladle full of batter (approx 3 tbsp) in a hot skillet or appam pan and swirl it immediately. A thin later of the batter sticks to the sides of the pan and a small pool of batter in the middle.
2. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame till the center of the appam is cooked and the lacy border starts getting detached from the pan.



If you do not have an iron skillet or the appam pan, you can still make appam on a dosa tava. But you wouldn't get the lacy borders.

1. Pour a ladle full of batter on a hot dosa tava. Do not spread it with a spoon. The batter would spread by itself to a neat circular shape. Cover and cook on low flame till done. You may want to flip to the other side and cook if you like.

Appam made on dosa tava will look like this pic.



Appams can be served with veg or non-veg stews, kadala curry, potato curry, egg masala, and other non-veg gravies.

Ingredients for Vegetable Stew:


Oil - 1 tbsp
Green cardamom - 2
Cinnamon stick - a  small piece
Onion - 1, sliced
Chopped Ginger - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 3 or 4, slit
Potatoes - 2, diced
Carrot - 1 or 2, diced
French Beans - 4-5, cut
Curry leaves - a sprig
Thick Coconut milk - 3/4 to 1 cup
White Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt
Water

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add cardamom and cinnamon and saute. Add onions, ginger and green chillies and saute for a couple of minutes.
2. Add potatoes and carrots, salt and water and cover and cook cook till they are 3/4th cooked.
3. Add the beans and cook till the veggies are done. Mash a few pieces of potato to make the gravy a little thicker
4. Pour coconut milk and add curry leaves and simmer for few minutes. Add pepper powder. I add it to balance the taste of coconut milk and to make the curry a little spicier.



Note: This is the recipe I follow at home. I have had different versions of stew from different regions of kerala, and I am not sure which is the most authentic. All I can say is that this tastes great with appam or even roti.

Sending this to the Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Magpie this month.

June 27, 2011

Cherupayar (Green Moong) Thoran

ചെറുപയര്‍ തോരന്‍ 

Cherupayar thoran is a dry dish made with green moong which is very rich in proteins. You may try this recipe with sprouted moong  which is more nutritious...

Before we go to the recipe, I found something interesting in Wikipedia. Check this link. This has helped me quite a lot of times when I find the regional names of certain pulses/vegetables in a food blog, and have no clue what it is.

Ingredients:

Green moong/cherupayar - 1 cup
Green chilly - 2 or 3, slit
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Shallots - 4 or 5, sliced thin
Dry red chilly - 1 or 2
Curry leaves - a sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Shredded Coconut - 3 tbsp

Preparation:

1. Cook the green moong with green chilly and water till done. It should not get mashed.
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds followed by cumin seeds.
3. Add shallots, dry chillies, curry leaves and saute for a minute.
4. Add turmeric powder,  coconut and salt and mix well.
5. Finally add the cooked moong and combine well.

Serve with rice. Best combined with Kachiya moru

Sending this recipe to an event hosted by Sobha of Good Food - "Proteinicious


Linking this to Life is Green Event 


Paneer Butter Masala



Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is a very rich and creamy dish which is the most popular among paneer dishes. In  restaurant made PBM,  you can see the oozing butter and a nice reddish colour as they add food colour. When I made it at home, I used very little butter and substituted the rest with oil to make it a little healthy. If you do not mind the use of butter, you may need about 3-4 tbsp butter for the authentic paneer makhani. Instead of heavy cream, I have used low fat single cream which is again a healthier option.

The recipe looks lengthy, but that's just because I have explained it in detail. You can prepare this in 30 mins.

Ingredients:

Paneer cubes - 250 gms
Tomato - 2, to make puree (or use readymade tomato puree)
Cashew nuts - 6 to 8

Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green cardamom - 2
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - a small piece
Onions - 2, chopped
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Chopped garlic - 1 tsp

Chilly powder - 1.5 to 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp or more (Check cooking tips for the recipe)
Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
Low fat single cream - 100 ml (optional)
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Oil - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Salt

Preparation:

1. Soak the paneer cubes in hot water for 10 minutes. This is required for store bought paneer which will be a little hard after sitting in the fridge for days. Drain on to a kitchen towel and pat dry.
2. Boil the tomatoes in water for 5 minutes. Peel off the skin and remove the seeds and grind to a smooth paste. Puree is ready, keep aside.
3. Soak the cashew nuts in 1/4 cup of hot water for 10-15 mins.

We are now ready to turn on the stove :-)

4. Heat oil in a pan and saute the paneer cubes till they start getting light brown. Do not deep fry. Drain on to kitchen tissue and keep aside.
5. Heat another pan and pour the same oil used for frying paneer. Just add half of it and reserve the other half for step 8. Add cumin, cardamom,cloves and cinnamon and saute for a minute
6. Add onions, ginger and garlic and saute till onions start turning light brown. Add soaked cashews along with the water and boil for about 2-3 minutes.
7. Switch off the stove and let this cool. Grind to a smooth paste.
8. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a pan and saute the onion paste for a few minutes. Add tomato puree and saute till oil starts appearing.
9. Add salt, chilly powder, coriander powder and kasuri methi and combine well. Add tomato ketchp and some hot water to get the desired consistency and bring to a boil.
10. Add paneer cubes and garam masala and cook for 4-5 mins. Add cream and sugar and combine well. After adding the cream, the colour of the gravy becomes much lighter. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with roti, naan, paratha or even rice. You may add a small blob of butter at the time of serving.

Recipe source: My friend Kiran, who is a Punjabi.





Lemon and Coconut rice



Lemon rice has saved me many times when I had to pack something for lunch, but had very little time. This is one of the best options when I feel lazy to make a curry. Serve with pickle and thats a tasty meal...I just added some coconut to the basic lemon rice recipe just for a change.

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 1 cup
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion – 1 small size, finely chopped
Green chillies – 2, slit
Curry leaves - a sprig
Chana dal - 1 tbsp or a little more
Shredded Coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp (If you skip this, you get lemon rice)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice – of 1 lemon
Salt

Preparation:

1. Cook rice and let it cool. Keep aside.
2. In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add chana dal and saute.
3. Saute onions, green chillies and curry leaves  for a minute.Add turmeric powder and mix.
4. Add Shredded coconut, salt and lemon juice and combine well.
5. Add cooked rice and saute for a few minutes till the rice gets mixed well.

Serve hot.

Sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty


Also linking to Rice Recipes


June 26, 2011

Blueberry cake


Cakes are for celebrations and I have two reasons to celebrate. My blog is a 1 month old baby now and I'm hitting a half century with this post. I am surprised that I could post 50 recipes in just a month. This was made possible by the encouragement of my friends and my husband. Thank you all...Your feedback keeps me going...
I love blueberry muffins and we buy them regularly. When my husband was living alone in UK, he used to have a muffin and tea/coffee for breakfast. I do not have a muffin tray, so I made a cake with it.
So, here is the recipe...

Ingredients:

Self raising flour - 1.5 cups
Fresh blueberries - 1 cup (I used a little more than a cup)
Caster sugar - 3/4 cup
Whole Milk - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/3 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2


Preparation:

1. In a mixing bowl, beat egg and sugar. Add milk, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk well.
2. Add sifted flour to this and mix well.
3. Toss the blueberries with a little flour. This helps to avoid sinking of the blueberries to the bottom of the tin while baking. ( I learned it the hard way. The berries sank and I had to google it to find the reason. )Fold in the blueberries to the cake mix.
4. Pour the mix to the greased cake tin.
5. Preheat oven to 180C and bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean. (I used a loaf tin and my oven took 45 mins)
6. Let it cool.

The cake tasted very fruity and yummy though the berries were concentrated at the bottom.



June 25, 2011

Kachiya Moru / Curd Curry


This recipe is here on public demand. From the time I started this blog, my friends (non-keralites) were asking me to post the recipe "of the yellow curd curry that you bring for lunch". This was  very popular among my colleagues and I used to make it atleast once a week as it is very easy and takes hardly 5 minutes to prepare. Well, my keralite friends, I know that you all know how to make this. So this post is for all my friends who
love this curry, but never made it  :-)

Ingredients:

Yoghurt/Curd - 500 gms/ml
Shallots - 4 or 5, sliced (If you do not have shallots, use half of a small onion, finely chopped. But shallots taste better)
Chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Green chilly - 2, chopped
Dry red chilly - 1 or 2
Curry leaves - a sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Oil - 1 tbsp (preferably coconut oil)

Preparation:

1. Add water to curd and beat it well to the required consistency. It should be thicker than buttermilk. Add salt to it and keep aside.
2. Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds followed by fenugreek seeds.
3. Add shallots, dry chilly, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves and saute well till you get a nice aroma.
4. Lower the flame to medium-low. Add turmeric powder and the curd and mix well. Switch off the stove when the curry is warm. Do not bring to boil as the curd gets separated.

Serve with rice.

Suggested side dishes:
Veg:  Spicy Potatoes or Okra Stir Fry
Non-veg: Pepper Chicken or Mutton Roast





June 24, 2011

Lemon Chicken



Lemon chicken is a tangy dish that can be served as a starter like chilly chicken. The only flavours in this are of lemon and green chillies. If you have never tried this before, I recommend that you do it soon. The first time I had this was at a restaurant(hmm..I forgot the name) in Bangalore. It was an indo-chinese style dish and that was the first time I tasted a tangy version of chicken.  I couldn't get the exact recipe from any cooking blog: most of them were the chinese version, but I was looking for an indo-chinese one. I have adapted this recipe from the many recipes I have gone through and modified it to suit the indian taste buds :-)

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken - 500 gms

For marination
Plain Flour - 2 tbsp
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Green chilly sauce - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Salt

Onion - 1,diced
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Green chilly sauce - 1 to 2 tsp (adjust as per spice level)
Lemon juice - 2 to 3 tbsp (adjust to suit your taste)
Spring onions  chopped - for garnishing (I didn't have it then, so used coriander leaves)
Salt
Oil

Preparation:


1. Clean and cut the chicken into strips or bite size pieces. Mix the marination ingredients with the chicken and keep for half an  hour.
2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated chicken till it is cooked and gets a golden colour. Drain and keep aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok or iron skillet and saute onions till soft. Add the soy, green chilly sauce, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
4. Add the fried chicken and combine well. Keep stir frying on high flame, till chicken gets dry.
5. Garnish with spring onions.

Note: Serve hot. It may become a little soggy when it gets cold.


Pazham Pori / Banana fritters

പഴം പൊരി 


Pazham pori, also known as ethakka appam is one of the favorite tea time snack of keralites. It is made with ripe plantain which is called nendra pazham / ethapazham in malayalam. My non-keralite friends refer it to as Kerala Banana...

Ingredients:

Ripe plantain - 2 big
Maida/Plain Flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp (need not add if plantain is very ripe and sweet)
Salt - a pinch
Oil - for deep frying

Preparation:

1. Make a thick batter of maida, salt and sugar. Cut the plantains into thin slices and dip in batter and coat well.
2. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry the coated plantains till golden brown on both sides.

June 21, 2011

Birthday cake for my dear husband...



Today is my dear husband Rajesh's birthday and what you see above is the cake I baked for him. A cake baked with love, which he happily took with him to office. The icing isn't looking great, thanks to my little girl who was disturbing me while I was doing it.
Without Rajesh's inspiration I wouldn't have started this blog, he is one who always made sure that I keep posting. For all the recipes posted here, he is the official tester/taster. He loves trying variety of foods, international flavours etc. So, here is wishing him a very happy birthday and many more happy years to come.

June 18, 2011

Garlic Toast



We love garlic bread from Pizza Hut. I wanted to try it at home, but had forgotten to buy baguettes. Decided to make with slices of bread and named it as Garlic Toast. It tasted almost as good as garlic baguette.

A super easy experiment with bread...

Ingredients:
Bread slices - 4 to 6
Softened butter - 2 tbsp or more
Garlic paste - 1 tsp (adjust as per your taste)
Mixed herbs/Italian seasoning - as you like
Red chilly flakes - if you want it a little spicy
Salt - Only if you are using unsalted butter

Preparation:

1. Mix butter, garlic paste, chilly flakes and herbs in a small bowl and keep aside.
2. Grease a tava or pan with a little butter and slightly toast both sides of the bread.
3. Apply the garlic mix on one side of the bread and toast till light brown.
4. Repeat with all the bread slices.

Serve hot with ketchup. Also goes well with soup.




June 17, 2011

Aloo Bread Packets



Looking for a healthy evening snack  for kids? Try this one...Mashed potatoes filled in bread slices and toasted with a dash of butter. The filling is very similar to Aloo Bonda, but this one is much more healthier as there is no deep frying involved. This is also an interesting way to use left over bread.

Ingredients:

Bread slices -  6-8 (depends on the quantity of filling)
For the filling
Potato -  1 large
Onion -  1 small, chopped finely
Green chillies -  2 chopped finely (I used 1 tsp of green chilly paste as I didn't want my little one to bite on green chillies and get a center shock :-) )
Turmeric powder -  1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - a few drops (optional)
Cumin seeds -  1/4 tsp
Oil
Salt
Spreadable Butter - to toast the bread

Preparation

1. Cook the potato with skin. Peel off the skin and lightly mash it. Keep aside.
2. Heat some oil and add cumin seeds.
3. Add the chopped chillies and onions. If you are using chilly paste, add it only after the onion becomes soft.
4. Saute till the onions are transparent.
5. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
6. Add the mashed potato and combine well. Add few drops of lemon juice. You may add a little  pepper powder if you want it spicier. The filling is ready, let it cool.
7. Take a bread slice and cut out the sides. Place the bread on a work surface and flatten it by using a rolling pan(like you roll a chappathi/roti).
8. Place a spoonful of the filling at the center, and seal the edges by slightly moistening the ends. Spread butter on both sides.
9. Follow the same for all the bread slices till the filling is over.
10. Heat a tava or pan, and toast the bread on both sides, till it turns light brown.

Serve hot...

Sending this to Potato Mania hosted by Siri


Strawberry Cake



June has 30 days and this is my 30th post for this month. So, let's celebrate it with a cake...A very easy fruity cake made of strawberries. I never intended to make a cake with strawberry, but there were so many in my fridge and I wanted to make use of them before they become unusable. My strawberry crazy little girl usually eats them as such. She has got a bad cold now and doesn't feel like eating them.So to spend the ones in fridge, I started looking for recipes. The most simple one I got was a cake recipe from the Singing Chef blog. And here it is..

Ingredients:

Self raising flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Strawberries chopped - 1 cup
Caster sugar - 1/2 cup
Whole Milk - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Egg - 1

Preparation:

1. In a mixing bowl, beat egg and sugar. Add milk, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk well.
2. Add sifted flour to this and mix well.
3. Fold in the strawberries to the mixture.
4. Pour the mix to the greased cake tin.
5. Preheat oven to 180C and bake the cake for 30-35 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean. (I used a loaf tin and my oven took 45 mins)
6. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Source: http://chefatwork.blogspot.com I subsituted plain flour and baking powder with self raising flour.

Sending this to Healing Foods - Berries hosted by Smitha, an event series started by Siri.





Malabar Prawns Biriyani




I am not writing a lengthy introduction for this post. The recipe itself looks very lengthy, but it is quite easy. When I saw fresh, juicy king prawns in the store, I stopped for a few minutes thinking of a perfect recipe . I wanted to try Prawns biriyani for a long time now, but never got such perfect prawns. I quickly grabbed them and decided to make a malabar style biriyani. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Vanitha (A Popular Women's Magazine in Malayalam).

Ingredients:

For marination
Cleaned and Peeled King Prawns - 350 gms
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt


For masala
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4-5 cloves (adjust as per size)
Green chillies - 2 or 3 (adjust as per spice level and size)

Onion chopped - 2 big
Tomato chopped - 2
Biriyani Masala or garam masala - 2 tsp (adjust to suit your taste buds)
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves - a few, chopped
Coriander leaves - a few, chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

For the Biriyani Rice
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Green cardamom -4
Cloves -4
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Star anise - 1 small broken to pieces
Onion sliced finely - 1 small
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Salt

For garnishing
Coriander and mint leaves - a handful
Cashew nuts and raisins - as you like :-)
Deep fried onions - a handful

Preparation

1. Marinate the prawns in turmeric,chilly, coriander powders and salt for half an hour.
2. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilly into a smooth paste with a little water and keep aside.
3. Heat Oil in a pan. Shallow fry the marinated prawns for a few minutes. Drain and keep aside.
4. In the same pan and same oil, saute the onions till they are soft.Add the grounded GGG paste and saute well for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
6. Now add the fried prawns and biriyani masala/ garam masala. Add 1/4 cup of warm water. Cover and cook till prawns are done. Prawns turn hard if overcooked, so keep a close eye on this.
7. Add the lemon juice, pepper powder(add after doing a spice check), mint and coriander leaves and mix well.The gravy should be thick. Now the masala is ready, keep it aside.

Cooking the Rice
1. Heat Ghee in a vessel and add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Saute for a minute and add the onions. Saute for few minutes.
2. Add the basmati rice and mix well. When the rice starts crackling, add 4 cups of hot water, lemon juice and salt. Note that the salt is only for the rice. We have used salt separately for the masala.
3. Cook till rice is done and the water is dried up.

Layering the Biriyani:
1. Grease the bottom of a non stick/thick bottom vessel with some ghee.
2. Make a layer of biriyani rice. After that make a layer of prawns masala. Repeat this process till the rice and masala is layered completely. The top layer must be of rice.
4.  Deep fry sliced onion in oil/ghee and keep aside. Fry cashew nuts and raisins in ghee. Spread the fried onions, cashews and raisins on the layered biriyani.
5. Also add the chopped coriander and mint leaves.
6. Place the vessel on top of stove and lower the flame. Keep it for 5-10 mins.
7. You may also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel so that the heat is from both the sides.

Microwave option: Do the layering in a microwave safe dish and cover with  lid. Microwave it for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with raitha, papad and chutney.



Sending this dish to The Kerala Kitchen's June 2011 event.


Also linking to Rice Recipes


June 16, 2011

Cauliflower and Carrot thoran


The only advantage of having a fussy eating toddler is that I keep experimenting with food.. The first mouthful and the visual appearance  is very important for her as that's when she decides whether to continue eating. She also likes colourful food stuff like this one.  This thoran combines the goodness of cauliflower and carrot and I'm sure many kids like her would find it interesting.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower - 1/2 of a medium size one
Carrot - 2 or 3, grated
Onion - 1 small, chopped finely
Green chilly - 3 or 4, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - a few
Shredded Coconut - 2 or 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Dip the cauliflower florets in salted hot water for 10 mins. Drain, wash and cut the florets into small pieces. Keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add cumin seeds.
3. Add onion, green chillies, turmeric powder, curry leaves and salt and saute for a minute.
4. Add the cauliflower and grated carrots and combine well. Heap it at the center of the pan and cover and cook till the veggies are almost done. You may sprinkle a little water if it looks dry.
5. Add coconut and mix well. Stir fry for  a few more minutes on high flame.

Serve as a side dish with rice or roti.




June 15, 2011

Homemade Chicken Feast Pizza


We had delicious Chicken Feast Pizza for dinner tonight. It was too good that I couldn't wait to share the pictures and the recipe. Moreover, I had not noted down the ingredient measurements, so if I don't post it now, I may not remember it exactly later. I used readymade pizza base, as I didn't have the confidence to bake a pizza from the scratch. So, the crust was thin and not so soft like the ones we get in Domino's. But the topping was too good that we didn't bother much about the crust.

So here is the recipe for a finger licking good pizza...

Ingredients:

1. Readymade Pizza Base -1
2. Cheese - 100 gms. I used Cheddar cheese
3. Tomato ketchup - lots :-) to spread on the pizza base
4. For the topping
    Boneless chicken - 200 gms (that's why I called it chicken feast) cut into bite sized pieces
    Onion - 1, diced
    Capsicum/Bell Pepper - 1 small, diced
    Minced Red Chilly paste - 1 tbsp (adjust to suit your spice level)
    Minced Garlic - 1 tsp
    Soy Sauce - 1 tsp
    Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsp
    Corn Flour - 1 tsp
    Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
    Italian Seasoning* - 1 tsp
    Oil - 1 tbsp
    Salt

Italian seasoning is a blend of herbs - Oregano, Basil, Red Pepper, Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Sage, Parsley.

Preparation:

1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients listed as item 4 and marinate for an hour.
2. In a pan, Stir fry the marinated ingredients till the chicken is almost cooked. Our topping is ready. Keep aside.
3. Place the pizza base on the tray and spread tomato ketchup as a layer.
4. Spread grated cheese as the next layer.
5. Spread the chicken topping evenly over the cheese layer.
6. Sprinkle some grated cheese over the chicken layer.
7. Sprinkle some more italian seasoning on top of the layers, if you like. Your pizza is now set to go the oven and it will look like this


8. Preheat the oven to 250 C and bake the pizza for 8-10 mins. Keep a close eye on it. The pizza is ready when the cheese has melted and the base is still soft. The base gets dried if you keep it for a longer time.

Your baked pizza will now look like this.




Slice and serve hot.

Palak Pulav




A very nutritious pulav which can be made in a jiffy. If you pack lunch for yourself, kids or spouse, give this a try. A friend had asked me for some nutritious and colourful varities of rice that she can pack for kid's lunch. She was running out of ideas, and this was one I suggested.Instead of palak, you can choose methi (fenugreek leaves) or a combination of both.

Ingredients:

Palak/Spinach - a big bunch
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green chilly - 3 slit lengthwise
Basmati Rice - 1.5 cups
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Cook the rice with 3 cups of water. Spread it on a tray and let it cool.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
3. Add onion and green chillies and saute for a minute.
4. Add chopped palak and salt and mix well.Palak releases lot of water while cooking. So, keep it on high flame, till the palak is cooked and and water is evaporated.
5. Add the cooked rice and mix well.Saute on high flame for few minutes.

Sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty

Linking this to Life is Green Event 


Prawns and Mango Curry

ചെമ്മീന്‍ മാങ്ങാക്കറി 


A traditional kerala dish made in most of the households when raw mangoes are in season.You can use the same recipe for prawns or fish curry. The sourness of the mango adds a distinct flavour to this curry. Try it out before the end of this mango season...

Ingredients:

1. Small prawns- 300 gms

2. For the gravy
Shredded coconut - 1 cup
Shallot -1 or 2
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp 
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Water


3. Raw mango - 1 small. If it is very sour, just add half.

4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp
Shallots - 5, sliced
Garlic - 5-6 cloves, sliced
Ginger- a small piece, sliced
Green chilly - 3, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - a sprig
Salt
Oil - 2 tbsp (I use coconut oil for this dish)

Preparation:

1. Clean and and peel the prawns and keep aside.
2. Peel the mango and cut into pieces and keep aside.
3. Grind the ingredients given as item 2, into a smooth paste.Keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan (clay pot is the best) and splutter mustard seeds. Add fenugreek seeds.
5. Add shallots,garlic,ginger,green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few minutes.
6. Add the coconut paste and saute for a minute.
7. Add mango pieces,salt and water. Cover and cook till the pieces are half cooked.
8. Add prawns and cook till it is done.

Note: I used store brought cooked and peeled prawns. So I added it when the mango was almost cooked.

This curry tastes best after a few hours when the sourness of mango blends with the spiciness of the curry.

June 14, 2011

Black eyed Peas and Spinach



This recipe is a very healthy one, which is yummy too...The peas and spinach is a must try combination. Goes well with rice or roti.

Ingredients:

Black eyed peas - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Spinach - a small bunch, chopped
Onion - 1 small, chopped fine
Green chilly - 2 , slit lengthwise
Jeera/Cumin seeds
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Soak the black eyed peas for 5-6 hours. Cook it with turmeric, chilly powder and water. I cooked it in a pressure cooker till the first whistle and wait till the pressure is gone.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Add onions, chopped spinach and green chillies. Add salt and mix well. Saute for a minute.
3. Drain the cooked black eyed peas and discard the water. Add peas to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes it is mixed well and gets dry.

Linking this to Life is Green Event 


Pavakka (Bitter Gourd) thoran

പാവയ്ക്കാ തോരന്‍ 


I just can't believe that I am posting a bitter gourd recipe here. This vegetable always stood first, when I think of food stuff that I hate. My mother likes it and from my childhood days she used to convince me to have it. But I never had more than a small piece. It was after marriage that I came to know that my husband likes it very much. Amma was happy that atleast someone would eat this if she cooks. Nowadays, I too cook it, but just for him..

For my non-keralite friends: Thoran is a dry dish made of vegetables or spinach which is served usually with rice. Shredded coconut is a key ingredient of any thoran.

Ingredients:

Bitter Gourd/Karela/Pavakka - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1 small, chopped fine
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (You may use green chillies as a substitute)
Curry leaves - a few
Shredded coconut - 1 to 2 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 to 2tsp (it helps to balance the bitterness to some extent)
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Cut the bitter gourd and discard the seeds. Chop into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard and cumin seeds.
3. Add onions, bitter gourd and salt and fry well for a few minutes.
4. Add turmeric and chilly powder,curry leaves and mix well. Cover and cook till bitter gourd is done. You may sprinkle a little water.
5. Add coconut and lemon juice and mix well. Fry on high heat for a minute or two.

Serve hot with rice

Linking this to Life is Green Event 


Easy Egg Roast



A super duper easy recipe, that anyone can try.

Ingredients:

Boiled eggs - 2 or 3
Onion - 3 medium sized, chopped
Finely chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Finely chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 to 3 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp (You may add jeera/cumin seeds too)
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute till onions are soft and turning light brown.
3. Add turmeric, chilly and coriander powders and saute.
4. Add tomatoes and saute till the are soft and oil starts appearing.
5. Add a cup of warm water and enough salt and combine well. The gravy thickens on boiling.
6. Add the boiled eggs, pepper powder and coriander leaves. Mix well.

Serve hot with roti, paratha or appam.


Sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty


Fish in Coconut Gravy

തേങ്ങയരച്ച മീന്‍കറി 


Born and brought up in a coastal area (Calicut), fish was an inseparable part of our lives. This curry was a regular item on our dining table, that I used to find it very boring. It was when I moved out to Coimbatore for my studies, that I started missing all the fish delicacies back home...

This is my amma's recipe and this post is dedicated to her :-)

Ingredients:

1. Fish - 500 gms

2. For the gravy
Shredded coconut - 1 cup
Shallot -1
Red chilly powder - 1.5 tsp or more
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Water
Salt

3. Kudampuli(Gambooge) - 2 pieces (I didn't have it, so I used tamarind pulp)

4. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
    Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp
    Shallots - 5, sliced
    Garlic - 5-6 cloves, sliced
    Ginger- a small piece, sliced
    Green chilly  - 3, slit lengthwise
    Curry leaves - a sprig
    Oil - 2 tbsp (I use coconut oil for this dish)

1. Clean and cut fish into pieces and keep aside.
2. Soak kodampuli in warm water for 10 mins. If using tamarind, soak in warm water and make a pulp.Keep aside
3. Grind the ingredients given as item 2, into a smooth paste.Keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan (clay pot is the best) and splutter mustard seeds. Add fenugreek seeds.
5. Add shallots,garlic,ginger,green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a few minutes.
6. Add   the coconut paste and saute for a minute.
7. Add the tamarind pulp/soaked kodampuli with water. Add more water to adjust the gravy consistency.
8. Bring to boil. Add fish pieces and cover and cook till fish is done.

You may drizzle some more coconut oil, if you like.






Cold Coffee with Ice Cream


Cold coffee is my favourite drink for the past many years. I order only this every time I go to a coffee shop. I also make it at home if I have vanilla ice cream in stock. The recipe is very very simple...

Ingredients:

Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
Warm water - 1 tbsp
Cold milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp (I don't add this, as I like the bitterness of the coffee, the sweetness of ice cream is just right)
Vanilla Ice cream

Preparation:

1. Dissolve the coffee powder in warm water. Blend this with milk, sugar and a scoop of ice cream in a mixer.
2. Pour to a glass and add 1-2 scoops of ice cream on top. Sprinkle some coffee powder or chocolate chips as you like.

June 13, 2011

Okra Stir Fry




Wondering why I have posted such a simple and ordinary recipe? Well, following the launch of my blog, many of my friends have been asking me for simple recipes for day-to-day cooking. Most of these friends are new to the kitchen and are experimenting with recipes from the internet. So, I decided to help them with some simple recipes. Almost all my recipes are simple, as I don't like to spend more than half an hour in the kitchen :-)

So, here is the recipe

Ingredients:

Okra/Lady's Finger/Bhindi - 250 gms
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion -1, finely chopped
Turmeric powder - a pinch or two
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Salt
Oil

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add onion and saute for a minute.
3. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder,chopped okra, salt, curry leaves and combine well.
4. The okra will appear very sticky in the beginning, keep stir frying on medium-high flame till they become non-sticky, dry and cooked.

Note: Do not cover the pan with a lid while cooking this. It has to be stirred continously till cooked.

Linking this to Life is Green Event 


Nuttie Blondies



Blondies are a brown sugar based dessert bar resembling the traditional chocolate brownie. They are baked  similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving. They are sometimes referred to as blonde brownies, although are based from brown sugar, unlike brownies made with cocoa. I like blondies more than brownies, as I am not a chocolate lover. This recipe is quite simple to make and tastes great. 


Ingredients:


Plain Flour - 1 cup 
Brown Soft Sugar - 1 cup (I used 3/4th cup and the sweetness was just right)
Butter (unsalted) - 100gm
Egg - 1
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Chopped Nuts of your choice - 1/2 cup (I used almonds, pecan, hazel nuts and cashews)


Preparation:


1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease a baking tin and set aside.
2. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. 
3. Add in the egg & vanilla essence and whisk some more.
4. Add the sifted Flour along with baking powder and salt and blend in the chopped nuts.
5. Scrape the batter to the greased tin.
6. Sprinkle more nuts if you want over the top and bake in for 20-25 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes clean.


Allow it to cool, Slice & Serve


Recipe Source: Bon Appetit, visit the blog for step by step pictorial which is very useful

Butter Tea Cake




I am baking this cake for the third time now. My husband and little girl are so fond of this one that they can finish it in just a day and keeps asking for more. It is a very easy recipe with minimal ingredients. I didn't get it right the first time, due to some issues with my oven. So, I decided to keep trying,  till it came out perfect :-)

Ingredients


Butter – 125 gm, softened
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Caster sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 3, at room temperature (I used only 2 eggs)
Plain flour – 1 cup, (150 gm)
Self-raising flour – 1/2 cup, (75 gm)
Bicarbonate of soda – 1/4 tsp
Milk – 1/2 cup (125 ml) at room temp

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 180 C, 10 mins before baking.
2. Grease a deep 20 cm/8 inch round cake tin or loaf tin; line base with baking paper.
3. Beat ingredients in medium bowl on low speed with electric mixer until just combined.
4. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and changed to a paler colour. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
5. Bake cake in the preheated oven for 40-50 mins or until the skewer inserted comes out clean.
6. Stand cake 5 minutes then turn onto wire rack to cool

Recipe source: Maria's Menu



June 12, 2011

Spicy Chicken Masala


This is a version of chicken masala for which I haven't used any readymade chicken/meat masala, garam masala etc. The coriander powder and the whole spices gives a special touch to this recipe.

Ingredients:

Chicken - 1 kg, cut into pieces
Onion - 3 to 4 finely sliced
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - a 2 inch piece broken to pieces
Cloves - 4
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1.5 tsp or more
Coriander powder - 2 to 3 tbsp as you like
Tomato - 2, chopped
Curry leaves - a sprig
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and saute the onions. The taste of this curry depends on how well the onions are sauted. The onions should turn dark brown, but not burnt. Let it cool. Grind to a smooth paste without adding water. Keep it aside.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add fennel, cloves and cinnamon. Saute for a minute.
3. Add the ground onion paste and ginger garlic paste and saute for a few minutes.
4. Add turmeric, chilly and coriander powder and saute for a minute.
5. Add tomatoes and saute well till oil starts appearing.
6. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cover and cook for about 5 mins.
7. Add 2 to 3 cups of water, curry leaves and salt and cover and cook till chicken is done.
8. You may add pepper powder at the last stage and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves

This masala is much tastier after a few hours when the gravy thickens. Best served with roti, naan, paratha and rice.

June 11, 2011

Parippu Vada

പരിപ്പ് വട 

A few days ago, when I called my parents around tea time in India, they were munching on Parippu Vada. It is one of my favourite snacks from childhood. I took the recipe from my mother and decided to wait till weekend to try it out...For my non-keralite friends, Parippu vada is a snack made with Toor dal. Check out the recipe for more details...

Ingredients:

Toor Dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green chilly - 2 chopped finely (Don't add if you are serving this to small kids. Instead, adjust the spice level with chilly powder)
Finely chopped ginger -1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (adjust)
Curry leaves - a few, chopped
Oats - 1 tbsp (optional, but it makes the vada crispier)
Salt
Oil to deep fry

Preparation:

1. Soak the toor dal in water for an hour. Drain the water completely and grind it coarsely without adding water in a mixer.
2. Add onion,green chilly, ginger, turmeric and chilly powders, curry leaves,oats and salt to the ground dal and mix well.
3. Shape the mix to make small patties.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Gently drop the vada one by one and deep fry till they are golden.

Serve hot.


June 10, 2011

Dal Palak



This one is an Andhra style version of Dal Palak. The recipe was given by a friend of mine who is a native of Hyderabad. I love Andhra food for its spices. My spice tolerance is much better than an average person. I remember when I had hyderabad biriyani once, it was so spicy that my eyes started watering. But it was so yummy that I couldn't leave it, so I managed with the help of some raitha...

Back to our recipe...

Ingredients:

1. Toor dal or Moong dal - 3/4 cup
    Chopped Palak/Spinach  - 1 cup
    Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
    Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
    Garlic cloves - 3

2. Oil
    Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1 tsp
    Onion - 1, finely chopped
    Green chilly - 2
    Curry leaves - a sprig
    Ghee -1 tsp or more (optional)

Preparation:

1. Put all the ingredients listed under item 1 in a pressure cooker. Add a cup of water and cook for 2-3 whistles.
2. In a pan, add 1-2 tbsp of oil and splutter mustard and cumin seeds.
3. Add onions,green chillies and curry leaves and saute till onions are light brown. You may also add chopped tomatoes if you like.
4. Add the cooked dal palak from the cooker and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add a tsp of ghee to make it more delicious.

Serve hot.

Linking this to Life is Green Event 


 

Prawns Masala





Prawns masala is a very easy and spicy dish with a thick gravy. This can be served with  rice, roti, appam etc.

Ingredients:

Cleaned and peeled prawns - 250g
Onions - 2, finely chopped
Tomato - 1, finely chopped
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp or more as you like
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Oil

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add onion and saute till light brown.
2. Add turmeric, chilly and coriander powders and saute for a few seconds.
3. Add tomatoes,curry leaves and salt and saute till tomatoes become soft.
4. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to this and bring to boil. When the gravy starts thickening, add the prawns. Cover and cook till prawns are done.



June 9, 2011

Spicy Potatoes


If you like spicy food and potatoes, you are going to love this. A very simple side dish which can be served with roti or rice and curd. I made this with baby potatoes, you can use the normal potatoes as well. Just take care not to mash the potatoes.So, lets get started...

Ingredients:

1. Baby potatoes - 12
2. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
    Chilly powder - 1 tsp
    Coriander powder - 1 tsp
    Finely chopped ginger - 1/2 tsp
    Finely chopped garlic - 1/2 tsp
    Salt
3. Onion - 1, finely chopped
    Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
    Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
    Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (check cooking tips for the recipe)
    Shredded coconut - 2 tsp (optional)
    Curry leaves - a few
    Oil

Preparation:

1. Boil the baby potatoes(unpeeled) in a pan till they are about 3/4th cooked. Peel them and marinate with the ingredients listed under item 2.
2. In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard and cumin seeds. Add onions and saute till they are light brown.
3. Add the marinated potatoes, mix well and cover and cook for 5 mins. Sprinkle a little water to prevent burning the potatoes.
4. Add coconut, garam masala and curry leaves combine well. Keep frying till the potaotes are dark in colour and well coated with masala

I love this with rice and kachiya moru.

Sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty

Also to Potato Mania hosted by Siri


June 8, 2011

Masala Idli



What do you do with left over idlis ? Well, here is what I make...Masala Idlis. The first time I had this was around 6 years ago, in a restaurant in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Those days, I had no interest in cooking (it was before marriage :-) ). I decided to make it after a few more years. I made it my own way, adding different masalas, but none of them tasted like the restaurant one. Then, one day I tried it with MTR Chutney powder and it came out very well. My mother liked it so much, she asked me for the recipe. Well, this is the only recipe she asked me so far :-)

Hope you like it too..

Ingredients:

Idlis - 6
Onion -1 large, chopped finely
Tomato - 1
Finely chopped Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Finely chopped Garlic - 1/2 tsp
MTR chutney powder - 3-4 tbsp (you can use any good brand)
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil
Salt

Preparation:

1. Cut idlis into small cubes and keep it aside.
2. Heat about 1-2 tbsp of oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add onions, ginger and garlic and saute till onions are light brown.
4. Add curry leaves, chutney powder and salt and mix well. Note that chutney powder includes salt, so just add a little.Add tomatoes and fry till they are soft.
5. Add the idli cubes and mix well. Keep frying till idlis are covered well with the masala.

Serve hot. Suitable for breakfast or evening tea.

Sending this to Quick and Easy Recipe Mela hosted by SpicyTasty


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