Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pineapple Pachadi / Kerala Onam Sadya

Pineapple Pachadi or Kaithachakka Pachadi is an important part of Kerala Onam Sadya a sweet and tangy yogurt/curd based curry with a tropical punch, yet so traditional and healthy and so easy to make.

I know, you must be frowning why pineapple pachachi now?? Thiruvonam just breezed by and most of us are back to our daily routine (or so!). Well, I did plan to post this much before Onam; but then if everything goes the way we planned, life would have been so easy! This recipe was destined to share after Onam and so I let destiny take its course as it did with me.

I am sure most of you had a wonderful Onam with friends and family and I hope you did try out my Pazham Pradham (banana payasam); and yes, you do not have to wait for onam to make payasam....for me it does not!

Pineapple pachadi, is one of the easiest and quickest side dish, you can make in about 15 minutes, bachelors are you listening??

I used half a pineapple and chopped them and put them to cook, while it was getting done, I grinded the coconut and mixed into it along with curd and then gave a tadka or seasoning with coconut oil. This is so easy that I did not take any step by step picture, but still if you would like that, please go through the Vellarikka Pachadi, I shared some time back.

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Pineapple Pachadi / Kerala Onam Sadya

PREP TIME: 5 mins    |  COOK TIME: 15 mins    |  SERVES: 4-5

   CUISINE : Kerala,     CATEGORY : Side Dish
pineapple pachadi


  • Pineapple: Half of one medium (about 400 gms), cubed.
  • Coconut: 3/4 cup, grated
  • Green Chilli: 3-4.
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/4 tsp.
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
  • Curd/Yogurt: 1/2 cup.
  • Coconut Oil: 1 tbsp.
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/4 tsp.
  • Whole Kashmiri Chilli: 3 or 4, broken.
  • Curry Leaves: 1 Sprig.
  • Salt and Water as needed.


  1. Chop the pineapple, and put it in a pan or manchatti with salt, turmeric, and cover and cook.
  2. While it is cooking on low flame, into your chutney bowl, add in coconut, mustard seeds, green chilli, a pinch of turmeric, and a tad bit of water; grind to a fine paste.
  3. Add the coconut mix into the pineapple, mix well.
  4. Add in beaten curd. Mix well.
  5. In a tadka pan, heat coconut oil, add in mustard seeds, broken red chilli, and curry leaves, Pour it over the pachadi and cover with a lid, so that the flavor does not escape.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy your onam sadya.


  • Since there is water in pineapple and will be released while cooking, there is no need to add water; though if needed you can add a bit of water.
  • Some like to add jeera while grinding coconut and jaggery to the pineapple; since the pineapple I used was very sweet, I omitted it. This is ofcourse a personal choice.

©Copyright Reserved 2010-2014,


Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Pazham Pradhaman / Banana Payasam Recipe (Kerala Style)

pazham pradaman for onam

The best thing about Onam is the variety of payasam that are made and I thought I will share my easy Pazham Pradhaman Payasam otherwise known as Banana Payasam, so that you can try this and make and serve along with your Onam Sadya. Banana is locally known as Ethapazham or Nethrapazham and the star in this payasam.

I made this payasam, for my MIL's birthday and it just took under 50 minutes to make the payasam and it tasted so yummy that I had to share it for you. Your, Thiruvona Sadya would be incomplete without this traditional payasam.

The only difficult part is scraping out two whole coconuts for coconut milk, so I did that a day before and refrigerated it. I first thought of making the payasam entirely with ripe banana, but after discussing with amma, I decided to add 1/2 cup of cherupayar parippu and I have to tell you that amma was so right, it tasted so yum that my kids are demanding me to make again for Thiruvonam...yes, you have to try it and its a no excuse payasam as I am showing easy step by step pictures for your understanding.

Note that I used grated coconut for the milk: How to make coconut milk: Put the grated coconut into a blender with 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm water....give it a light blend....mix and squeeze with your hand, then squeeze out into bowl with a sieve and collect the thick milk (1st milk). Again add the required amount of water to the coconut scrapings and then again squeeze and mix and then strain into a bowl, this is the 2nd milk or thin milk.

Incase you are looking for cherupayar parippu payasam, for your sadya please check that out.

Get traditional and make this authentic and traditional and ofcourse healthy dessert of Kerala.

I used roughly 4 bananas (1/2 kg) and 2 ball jaggery (1/2 kg sharkara), 1/2 cup cherupayar parippu (moon dal lentil), 2 coconut grated, and cahewnuts, kismis (not in pic), cardamon, dry ginger, jeera (not in pic), and a small piece of coconut for thinly slicing and frying.
In the next picture, it is jaggery or sharkara lightly crushed being melted with little water (about 1/4 cup), so that once melted we can strain it....this is to clear of all impurities...but if you get clean jaggery, even powdered jaggery; you can use it as it is and skip this.

I sliced the bananas and blended can mash with a fork too.

Wash and clean the cherupayar parippu and put it in a pressure cooker to cook with little water, about 4 whistles would be fine....also, I do not like the parippu to be cooked and mashed, slightly undercooked parippu will give a nice texture to the payasam...but ofcourse this a personal choice, if you like it to be really cooked and mashed, then go ahead.
Grind crushed dry ginger, jeera, and cardamon in a dry blender finely.
Heat ghee 3 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottom pan (if you have uruli, use it) and add in the mashed bananas. Mix well. Allow it to get cooked for 5 minutes in the ghee on medium to low flame.

Add in the strained jaggery syrup and mix well. In the second picture, you can see banana lumps; it is because I did not grind it to a fine paste as it might make it stick to the pan. But the bananas will get smooth and fine during the making of the payasam.....let it simmer for 15 min and stir in between and see that it does not get sticked to the bottom. (the idea is to allow the water to evaporate, but if you are using powdered and clean jaggery you do not have to mix for long).

Add in the cooked cherupayar parippu into the jaggery-banana mix. Mix well for another 5 minutes.

Add in the 2nd coconut milk or thin milk (randam pal), mix and let it simmer in medium flame for 15 to 20 minutes or until it is reduced and slightly thick.

In the first picture, you can see that the second milk has reduced and become thick. Add in the thick coconut milk or 1 st milk or onnampal. Mix well.

Add in the ground spices, and allow the coconut milk to be boiled (on high flame) and simmer (low flame) for 2-3 minutes.

Sliced and fried coconuts add a bit of crunch to the payasam along with chopped chashewnuts. Heat a tadka pan with 1 tbsp of ghee, add in the coconut first and allow it to brown lightly, then add in cashewnuts, and then rasins (rasins get fried pretty fast).
Pour this over the paysam, mix and close with a lid.

Serve hot! See, making traditional payasam is not that difficult. So I hope you try it.
I hope you enjoy your onam with this yummy and easy payasam.

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Pazham Pradhaman / Banana Payasam (Kerala Style)

PREP TIME: 15 Mins    |  COOK TIME: 50 Mins    |  SERVES: 5-6

   CUISINE : Kerala     CATEGORY: Indian Dessert, Payasam, Onam
pazham pradhaman


  • Banana (Ripe): 1/2 kg.
  • Cherupayar Parippu: 1/2 cup.
  • Thick Coconut Milk: 2 1/2 cups (about 1/2 liter).
  • Thin Coconut Milk: 4-5 cups
  • Jaggery (Sharkara): 1/2 kg.
  • Cardamon: 4-5
  • Jeera: 1/2 tsp.
  • Dry Ginger: 1/4 inch piece.
  • Finely Sliced Coconut Pieces: 3 tbsp.
  • Cashewnuts: 2 tbsp, broken.
  • Kismis (Raisins): 2 tbsp.
  • Ghee: 3 tbsp plus 1 tbsp for tempering.


  1. Blend the bananas in a blender or mixie. You can mash with fork too. Melt jaggery with little water (about 1/4 cup), when cooled strain and keep aside.
  2. Heat a large heavy bottom pan with ghee, add in the mashed bananas. Mix well, and let it cook for 5 min. Add in the melted jaggery and mix into the bananas and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. While it is simmering, put the cleaned dal (cherupayar parippu) into a pressure cook and cook for 3-4 whistles, keep aside. Grind cardamon, dry ginger, and jeera; keep aside.
  4. Add the cooked dal (cherupayar parippu into the banana-jaggery and mix well. Simmer and mix for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the thin coconut milk and mix everything together and allow it to boil. Once it starts to boil put the flame in medium or low flame and allow it to simmer until it becomes thick (about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Add in the thick coconut milk, and the ground spices. When about to boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Heat a tadka pan with 1 tbsp ghee and add in thinly sliced coconut; once it starts to brown add in cashewnuts, and then lastly kismis.
  8. Pour this over the payasam, mix well and serve.


  • I used 200 ml cup for measuring.
  • Thick coconut milk is otherwise known as "onnam pal" and thin coconut milk is otherwise known as "randam pal".

©Copyright Reserved 2010-2014,


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Nadan Njandu Curry / Kerala Crab Curry

Nadan Njandu Curry is country style crab curry of Kerala. Crab meat is cooked in coconut milk with a blend of spices and topped off with a tadka in fresh coconut oil.

Seafood is Kerala's own natural gift, and fresh seafood is available all the year around. So, we Mallus prefer fresh seafood and rarely need to consume frozen seafood. Two days ago Homey got some crabs from the market, and the fish monger was kind enough to clean and cut them, and that made my cooking part a lot easier.

About 750 gms of fresh crabs were reduced to 400 gms after cleaning and cutting. After making this curry I got a big warm bear hug from my son (he loves crab curry). I actually wanted to surprise him but the flavors and aroma of the curry played havoc to my surprise plan!  "This curry is so good, Amma!" is what he told me when I gave him a little hot curry in a check whether everything is right or how we mallus say "uppu nokkal"!

Bachelors, novice cook, new brides (hi) if you love crab curry then, make this and enjoy! No need to order from a restaurant.

I used fresh coconut milk; but if you dont have the time, you can ofcourse use readymade coconut milk powder. Please refer "tips" at the bottom, and yes it makes making this awesome curry all the more easy.

That being said; let's get cooking and bring Kerala cuisine to our table.


I used these stars....forgive my onions they are not at their best looking :(

Heat coconut oil in a kadai or a large pan. Add in mustard seeds and let it crack. Add in sliced onions and put the flame on high for a minute and mix well. With the flame on medium, add in ginger, garlic, and salt. Stir well for 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame or until the onion starts to brown lightly.

Add in Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix well on low flame, so that the raw flavor diminishes.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, mix well for 1-2 mins. The tomatoes should be lightly mashed and cooked and no need to wait till oil comes out. I hope you can make this out from the picture.

Add in 1 cup of thin coconut milk or (2nd milk, randam pal) and put the flame on high so that it boils.

Allow it to boil nicely. Since we did not saute or fry the tomatoes in the masala (oil) you can see them in the curry...this is what we want.

Add in the crabs and cover and cook for 5 to 7 mins on medium heat.

In between, you can  open lid and add in curry leaves, so that the flavor seeps in. Sprinkle in pepper and fenugreek powder. Add in vinegar if using; though if the tomatoes are of the sour type you cam omit it.

Once the crab is cooked and coconut milk has reduced. Add in 1 cup thick coconut milk or onnam pal. Simmer the fire and mix well on low heat. Sometimes, after adding thick coconut milk if you simmer for long, the curry might it is best to switch off the fire once the gravy/curry starts to boil.

This is the tadka I used.

Heat a tadka pan with coconut oil. Add in the peppercorns first, then the sliced shallots (let it brown lightly), chilies (break them) and curry leaves. Pour this over the curry and cover with a lid. I think this is the moment my son came to the kitchen and asked "what are you cooking, Amma?"

So easy and yum!

Serve hot with rice.

Tips: If you are using ready made coconut milk powder, for 1 cup water you should add 1 tbsp of coconut milk powder to make the thin milk (2nd milk).
For thick milk, you should add 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp of coconut milk powder to 1 cup of water.
I used 200 ml cup for measuring.

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Nadan Njandu Curry / Kerala Crab Curry

PREP TIME: 5 Mins    |  COOK TIME: 30 Mins    |  SERVES: 3-4

   CUISINE : Kerala     CATEGORY: Side Dish
nadan njandu curry


  • Cleaned Crabs: 350-400 gms
  • Onion: 2, sliced.
  • Ginger: 1-inch, sliced finely.
  • Garlic: 1/2 pod, sliced.
  • Green Chilies: 2-3, slit.
  • Tomatoes: 2, medium.
  • Kashmiri Chili Powder: 1 tsp.
  • Coriander Powder: 2 tsp.
  • Organic Turmeric Powder: 3/4 tsp.
  • Garam Masala: 3/4 tsp.
  • Pepper Powder: 1/2 tsp.
  • Fenugreek Powder (Uluva): 1/2 tsp.
  • Thin Coconut Milk: 1 cup.
  • Thick Coconut Milk (Onnam Pal): 1 cup.
  • Vinegar: 1 tsp (optional).
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp.
  • Coconut Oil: 4-5 tbsp.
  • Curry Leaves: 1 Spring.
  • Salt: 1 tsp (or as needed).
  • To Temper
  • Coconut Oil: 1 tsp.6
  • Shallots/Cheriya Ulli: 5 to 6, thinly sliced.
  • Curry Leaves: 1 Sprig.
  • Peppercorns: 1/2 tsp.
  • Whole Red Chill


  1. Heat oil in a large pan or Kadai. Add in mustard seeds and allow it to crack. Then add in the sliced onions, put the flame on high for a minute and mix well; then put the flame on medium, add in ginger, garlic and salt. Stir well for 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame until the onions starts to brown lightly.
  2. Reduce the flame to lowest and add in Kashmiri chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala powder. Mix well, so that the raw flavor diminishes about 1-2 mins.
  3. Add in the chopped tomatoes, mix well for 1-2 mins. The tomatoes should be lightly mashed and cooked, and no need to wait till oil comes out.
  4. Add in the thin coconut milk, and put the flame on high so that it boils. Add in the cleaned crabs and cover and cook for 5 to 7 mins on medium heat. In between open lid and add in curry leaves, so that the flavor seeps in. Sprinkle in pepper and fenugrek powder. Add in Vinegar.
  5. Now open the lid and the thin milk must have reduced by half, add in the thick coconut milk, simmer and mix.
  6. Heat oil in a tadka pan, and add in all under To Temper and pour it over the curry. Immediately cover and switch off the flame.


  • I used fresh crabs; before cleaning it weighed around 750 gms.
  • Since whole crab has less meat; adding salt should be done cautiously.
  • Once thick coconut milk is added, do not simmer for long as sometimes it might curdle.
  • The curry will thicken a bit once it is cooled.
  • Try to use coconut oil. Serves best with rice or Kerala puttu.

©Copyright Reserved 2010-2014,



Monday, August 25, 2014

Kerala Onam Sadya Recipes

Onam Sadya (sadhya) recipes: Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala, celebrated by the people of Kerala irrespective of caste or creed. It is one of the most popular festival of Kerala. It also marks the homecoming of King Mahabali and the festival falls during the Malayalam month of Chingam (Aug-Sept).

King Mahabali's rule was considered to be the golden era of Kerala, I remember this song about the reign of Mahabali which was taught at school as a child...I do still remember the first few lines,  "Maveli nadu vaneedum kalam, Manusharellarum onnupole, amodhathode vasikkum kalam......" Which is translated as.... "When Maveli ruled the land, all the people were equal, and people were joyful and merry; They were free from harm...."

Onam sadya is another indispensable part of the festival, on "Thiruvonam" Keralities make a festive meal known as "sadya" and all the family members try to be at home for "Thiruvona Sadya"; which is an elaborate meal laid on fresh banana leaves.

Rice and curries is the main part and ends with a different kinds of payasams, banana chips etc. I have made a collection of recipes for your onam sadya, please click on the link beneath the pictures for the recipe.

Condensed Milk Semiya Payasam
Condensed Milk Semiya Payasam
Cherupayar Parippu Payasam
Cherupayar Parippu Payasam
Pressure Cooker Semiya Paasyasam
Aval Vilayichathu
Aval Vilayichathu
Kerala Puttu
Kerala Puttu
Ila Ada
Ila Ada
Jackfruit Chips
Jackfruit Chips
Banana Chips
Banana Chips
Ripe Mango Curry
Ripe Mango Curry
Beetroot Thoran
Beetroot Thoran
Beans And Carrot Thoran
Beans And Carrot Thoran
Lemon Pickle (White)
Lemon Pickle (White)
Inji Puli (Ginger Pickle)
Inji Puli (Ginger Pickle)
Wild Lemon Pickle
Wild Lemon Pickle
Lemon Pickle (Red)
Lemon Pickle (Red)
During my childhood, we used to have 10 days holidays for Onam and we spent our time collecting flowers to make "pookalam" "floral carpet". I still remember the fun we had during those days with cousins and friends.

Some years back, while travelling I saw this beautiful floral carpet at Kottayam Railway Station. All with flowers....beautiful isn't it??

Have a wonderful Onam holidays with family and friends, enjoy food!