Saturday, August 21, 2010

Green/Raw Banana Chips....a healthy Kerala snack.



Green/Raw banana chips (upperi) is a must for Onam. Banana chips is also known as Kerala Chips or Upperi Or Ethakka Chips.  Calicut is famous for banana chips, everywhere you can see Chips Center and as onam holidays started I made some for my kids. I wish you all a Happy Onam.

Banana chips is the most common snack you will find in Kerala....and finds its place in all the important occasions...it is easy to make and more healthy than potato chips.....just slit the green skin lengthwise and remove the raw banana from the skin preferably with your hand. Use a slicer to slice the banana.
Check out, Updated post and picture.



Have you tried making Jackfruit Chips/Chakkavaruthathu??
Ingredients:

Raw banana: 2 kg.
Coconut oil: ½ litre.
Salt: 2 tsp.
Water: little.
Turmeric: ½ tsp.
Chips cutter or slicer.
Method:

Wash the bananas and leave it to dry. Cut a slit lengthwise into the banana and remove the skin with your hands and keep it aside. . Mix water, salt, and turmeric and keep aside. Heat oil and using the chips cutter slice the bananas into the hot oil. When it is getting crisp put in 1 or 2 tsp of the salt solution and when the sizzling sound stops. Take out the bananas and place it on a tissue paper.
 Note: I made in 4 batches.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Pressure Cooker Biriyani (chicken).


Picture updated on 13/12/2012

Imagine the flavour, aroma, and taste of rice cooked along with meat and that is what makes cooker biriyani so special. I read somewhere that there are more than 56 types of biriyanis wow!! that is quite a number. Making biriyani the traditional way can be time consuming, cooking and straining the rice, making the kuruma, layering them, baking them etc etc. So biriyani was always reserved for The Special Occasion until one of my friends told me how it can be made in a pressure cooker and all it takes is just ½ hour. So today, I thought of sharing this recipe so that all those newly weds, busy moms, not-so-busy moms, dads, or even a teenager with the help of someone can make this chicken biriyani. Cooker biriyani is one of the easiest ways to make a biriyani and less time consuming which should be a delightful boon for working moms.

I have created a collage with easy step by step pics; so it should be very easy to make. There is no need to soak the rice. Just wash the rice and put it into a strainer. You can garnish it with fried onions, cashew nuts, and raisins. While I was making this I completely forgot the garnishing part as my kids were terribly hungry and waiting to pounce on it, so imagine I garnished them J. The most important part after closing the cooker is DO NOT PUT THE WEIGHT and after steam comes put the fire on low and keep it for 7 minutes and then turn off heat and open only after 15-20 minutes. The next main thing is the rice; here in Calicut there are so many varieties of rice that one gets totally confused. Using kaima rice, koolan rice etc is good, I make with loose biriyani rice which I get from Reliance, so you pick ur choice on that. If you don’t get mint leaves or if u don’t like mint leaves it is fine to omit them. Desi ghee or refined oil plus ghee is best suited, but can also make with refined oil only. Most biriyani recipe does not have coriander powder and chilly powder; I personally like a little of both (can omit them to suit your taste). So lets get started.

INGREDIENTS:

Basmati rice: 2 cups wash and keep aside to strain.
½ kg chicken cleaned.
Oil or ghee: Accordingly.

To grind coarsely.
Green chilly: 3.
Garlic: 2 pods.
Ginger: 2 inch.
Coriander leaves: A small bunch.
Pudina or mint leaves: little.
2 or 3 shallots.

For sautéing:
Cardamon: 5-10.
Cinnamon: 2 pieces.
Cloves: 5-10.
Onion: 2
Tomato: 2
Kashmiri chilly powder: 3/4 tsp.
Coriander powder: 3/4 tsp.
Garam masala: 3/4 tsp.
Turmeric: ¼ tsp.
Lemon: ½.
Salt to taste.

For garnishing:
Cashew nuts: 10 to 15.
Raisins: 10 to 15.
Fried onions (fry sliced onion; half onion)

METHOD:

In small mixie bowel put in green chilies, coriander leaves, pudina leaves, ginger, garlic, shallots, and grind them coarsely and keep aside.

1.      Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, put in cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves.
2.      Put sliced onion and fry till light brown.
3.      Put in the grinded masala and fry till the raw smell goes.
4.      Put in turmeric, red chilly, coriander powder, and garam masala fry for a minute and add the chopped tomatoes, salt, and fry till it is well incorporated and oil comes on top.
5.      Add the chicken to it and mix it well for about 3 or 4 minutes.
6.      Pour 3 ¾ cups of water into it and let it boil. Squeeze ½ lime and put in the strained rice. Check salt and close cooker (do not put weight). When steam comes put the fire on low and wait for 7 minutes. Open after 20 minutes and mix well with a spoon.
7.      Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and garnish them with cashew nuts, raisins, and fried onions. Serve hot with raita, curd, and pappadom.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

CUCUMBER DOSA




I am not a morning person and don’t enjoy cooking an elaborate breakfast because of the tight morning schedule of my kids and hubby dear. So Monday to Friday mornings are………..u can imagine; lunch box, snacks, and breakfast should be ready by 8.00 a.m. and I just can’t make an elaborate breakfast. So I always opt for an easy and quick but healthy breakfast. Cucumber dosa is one such simple, easy, and healthy breakfast. We lived in Mercara, Coorg about 4 years ago and one of my neighbor used to make this and that is how I also started making. The best part is this dosa does not need any fermenting so you can call this an almost instant dosa.


THIS IS HOW I MAKE CUCUMBER DOSA:

For grinding:
Soaked raw rice: 2 cups.
Cooked rice: 1 cup.
Cucumber: 1.
Jeera: ½ tsp.
Onion: ½.
Coconut: 1 handful.
White jaggery or sugar: 1 tsp.
Salt.

For garnishing:
Finely chopped onion: ½.
Finely chopped green chilly: 1 or 2.
Curry leaves.

Method:

1.      Peel cucumber and cut it into small pieces (no need to remove the seeds).
2.      In a mixer put in the soaked raw rice, coconut, cooked rice, onion, jeera, jaggery, salt, and cucumber. Grind all this together. Do not add water. The batter should like idily batter and do not grind it very finely there should be a little "thari".
3.      Pour into a bowel and put in the chopped onion, green chilly, and curry leaves. Add water only if the batter is too thick. It should be like idily batter.
4.      Grease a dosa tava and pour a ladleful of batter into the center of the pan. Lightly spread the batter using the back of the ladle in a spiral motion starting from the center and ending outside. It is important to set the heat to low while pouring and spreading the batter. Sprinkle little ghee on top of it and cover it with a lid and wait for 1 minute then turn the dosa and cook that side too. Transfer it into a plate. Serve hot.

Note:
I don’t usually add ghee while making this dosa, I just grease the tawa each time. This dosa can be eaten without any chutney as it is little spicy (so if kids are having reduce the green chillies; my son likes it without them.).

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vanpayaru Mezhukupurati:




 This post is dedicated to my mom’s younger brother who practically cannot live without “Vanpayaro or red gram mezhukupurati”. The deep red colour and the smell of freshly grounded pepper and garlic make this a mouth watering dish which can be had with rice, kanji, or even roti. In kidangoor (kottayam district) another variety of this which is almost black in colour can be found. It can also be made in the same way. As my uncle is a diehard fan of vanpayaru the best of it came from ammaye’s kitchen handed down from my late ammachi.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MATTRI (Wheat).





.

These are not biscuits; this is Mattri a North Indian tea time snack made purely with wheat so I guess u can call it healthy snack!!. All u need is wheat powder (godhampu podi), salt, and dalda or ghee. You can cut it into any shape; diamonds, squares, triangles etc. Here I have cut into squares. Mattri is a good snack for kids or to take for a long journey.

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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Prawns/Chemeen masala curry



Prawns or chemeen masala curry is a yummy dish which is so easy to prepare. You can serve it with rice chapathi, paratha, bread, appam, rice, puttu, or idiyappam. If kudampuli is not available just add 1more  tomato.
Ingredients
Prawns: 1/2 kg
Onion: 2 sliced
Ginger: 1 tbsp chopped
Green chillies: 2 slit
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Kudampuli: 1 piece.
Chopped tomatoes: 2.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Uluva/ Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder: 2-3 tsp
Chilly powder: 3 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Thin coconut milk: 1 cup
Thick coconut milk: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Coconut oil: 3 tbsp

Method

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  2. When it splutters, add the onions, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Saute till the onions turns light golden brown.
  3. Add all the spice powders and fry till the aroma comes out.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry till it is well incorporated.
  5. Add the thin coconut milk, kudampuli, and salt.
  6. Mix well and add the prawns. Cook covered till done.
  7. Open the lid and add the thick coconut milk.
  8. Mix well and turn of the fire. Serve hot.


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