Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pineapple jam

I love homemade jam be it pineapple, banana, apple or any fruit. I had made this pineapple jam long time back, but it still looks fresh and yummy even now. Making jam at home without the preservatives or colour is a real treat for kids. If the jam is stored in an airtight container in fridge it will keep up to a year. I add a little bit of it while making cakes to get the flavor or top it up on tarts etc etc. I have not added any sort of preservative or colour to this jam, but I kept it in the fridge. It is easy to make if you have a juicer at home. Just deskin the pineapple and cut into stripes and put into juicer. Mix the juice with sugar and keep on fire till it reaches jam consistency then add 4 to 5 crushed cloves and homemade jam is ready.


Pineapples: 2 medium 
Sugar: 2 cups (you can increase or decrease it according to the sweetness of the pineapple).
Cloves: 4 to 5.
Lime juice: 1 to 2 tbsp.


Put the deskinned pineapple in the juicer and take the juice. In a heavy bottomed pan pour the juice and mix it with the sugar and keep on fire stirring occasionally. When it boils put the fire on low and stir occasionally till it comes to jam consistency. Add lime juice and crushed cloves and switch off fire and leave it to cool. Store in air tight containers in the fridge.

Tip: If you don’t have juicer. Cut the pineapple into cubes and put it into a mixer grinder and grind it nicely. Strain it in a sieve and take the juice.

Jam consistency: Put a tsp of jam into a saucer and let it cool and see if it is too thin or thick or use a candy thermometer to check the temperature has reached 220 degrees F.
Always remember that it thickens when it  isthoroughly cooled.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Dosa.......The easy way.

Dosa is one of the most popular breakfast and loved by almost everyone. All it need is to soak the rice and urad dal and ferment it for about 7 to 8 hours. So grinding at night is the most preferable option. Most people soak the rice and dal separately and grind it separately and then mix it; personally I find that a little bit troublesome so one day I just soaked everything together and grinded it and that came into a real nice crispy dosa. Well, to me the mantra is cooking should be easy and less time consuming at least for every day cooking. So here is how to make dosa the easy way.

How I make dosa:
Raw rice: 1 cup.
Cooked rice: 1 handful.
Urad dal: 1/2 cup.
Fenugreek seeds or Uluva: 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste.

Soak all together except the salt for 2 hours at least. Grind it all together with the salt and transfer it into a bowel and keep to ferment overnight (at least 7 hours)

To make dosa:
Heat an iron tawa or a non stick one. Grease it with an oiled rolled cloth (preferably gingelly oil). Pour the batter in the center of the tawa and spread it from inside out and simmer the fire. Dribble little ghee or oil, after a minute flip the dosa so that the other side is also cooked on low flame and you will get crunchy crispy dosa. Serve hot with sambar or chutney...your crispy dosa is ready.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kuttanadan duck roast

This is my 50th post wow!!! I am proud of myself and what better way to celebrate it. I take this moment to thank each and every one who has visited my virtual space. 

Its been a while since I posted something as I was down with severe sinus infection and sore throat and in between achachen (my dad) gave a surprise visit. This recipe is from ammas elder sister, Lata whom I fondly call Renjumummy). I made exactly as she told me to and it was a huge hit with achachen and Homey. Luckily I was able to get a pic of it. Personally I don’t prefer duck but that did not alter me from trying out this one.


Duck: ½ kg cleaned.
Onion: 2.(or shallots about ¼ cup).
Ginger garlic paste: 1 ½ tbsp.
Green chilies: 2 or 3.
Coriander powder: 3 tsp.
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp.
Chilly powder: 2 tsp.
Pepper powder: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
Vinegar: 1 tbsp.
Curry leaves.
Preferably coconut oil.

                                                                                       ( masala after frying it on low flame)

Heat oil in a kadai and fry the sliced onion lightly and then add the chilies and ginger garlic paste and fry till light brown. Add the masalas and fry on low flame till it becomes very dark (almost a coffee colour). Add the vinegar and salt and the duck. Pour little water and cover it and cook it. Heat some oil in a non stick pan and sauté the cooked duck pieces (pick up the pieces from the gravy) add curry leaves and sprinkle some more pepper powder and garam masala (about ½ tsp each) and pour all this back into the gravy and mix well and fry for another 2 to 3 min. Serve hot…….YUM!

Note: This is a dry dish, but if you want can add little hot water to make it little gravy like.

Recipe source: Lata Simon.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Butter Chicken.....Restaurant style.

Butter Chicken…(Restaurant style)
A quick and easy way to make restaurant style butter chicken at home..

Just the other day I was chatting with Ponnu (my cousin) and she asked to take a break from baking and post some chicken recipes. So that made me throw off all the cookies, cakes etc from my mind at least for sometime and this butter chicken recipe took over. This has been handed down by my good friend Elsy from Mercara. Once during x’mas time she gave a party and that was the first time I tasted this. Now why I call it restaurant style is because Elsy got it from some chef in Mumbai and after I tried it I felt this has the same restaurant taste. Most of us are a little hesitant while ordering butter chicken at a restaurant because of the butter and cashew nuts and the best thing is that there is no cashew nuts in this. The chicken is so sooooooooo soft I mean super soft, so why is that it is soft….well the chicken has to be marinated in curd for overnight and that makes the chicken soft, juicy, and tender. This is quite easy to prepare and does not take much time. You will have guests asking for more because of the soft, tender, and juicy chicken.

Author: Nisa Homey
Serves: 3-4.
To marinate:
Chicken: ½ kg.
Curd (not sour): ½  to 1 cup (it should cover the chicken).
Pepper powder: ½ tsp.
Garam masala: ½ tsp.

Mix all together and marinate overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours if you are in a hurry.

Onion: 2
Ginger garlic paste 1 ½ tsp.
Tomato sauce: 3 to 4 tbsp.
Red chilly powder: 2 tsp, heaped (use Kashmiri chilly as it has less heat)
Water: 1/4 cup.
Fresh cream: ¼ cup.(I use amul low fat cream).
Kasuri Methi: 1 tsp.
Coriander leaves: 2 or 3 springs, chopped.

Mince onion in a food processor and keep aside. Heat a pan and put butter/ghee/refined oil. Though butter is best, you can use half and half if you are calorie conscious. Saute onion till light brown and add ginger garlic paste and fry till oil comes on top. Flame on low heat through out the cooking please.

Add chilly powder and mix well.

Add tomato sauce.

Add the marinated chicken/curd mixture. Saute well for some time and cook on low flame.

Mix well.

Add 1 tsp kasuri methi.

Add the fresh cream.

Add 1/4 cup of water, let it come to a boil....Garnish with coriander leaves. Simmer for a minute or two.

Serve hot with roti/Indian flatbread, bhatura .....enjoy quick butter chicken...the restaurant style!!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken soup. (kids version)

Hot chicken soup….hmmm….what better way to beat an awful cold. With both my kids down with cold I made their favorite chicken soup. This recipe for chicken soup was handed down by amma which can be made with ingredients which are available in the kitchen ie if you have chicken in the freezer.

How to make soup:

Put 4 to 5 pieces of chicken with bones into a cooker and pour 2 1/2 cups of water. Add 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp pepper powder, and salt and put on fire. After 1 steam simmer for 15 min and switch off the fire and wait for another 10 minutes. Open the cooker and strain it into another vessel. Shred the chicken pieces and put it into the strained stock. Put 1 tsp of cornflour into the cooled stock. Mix well and bring it to boil and simmer it. Lightly beat an egg yolk and pour thinly into the soup mixing well with the other hand. Serve hot with more pepper powder.
Tip: Can add or decrease cornflour, soya sauce, salt, and pepper powder to suit your taste.


Friday, October 08, 2010

Palappam….The easy way…….(laced coconut pancakes)

Kerala palappm or appam or lace pancakes is a traditional Syrian Christian Breakfast of Kerala, traditionally toddy (kallu) is used to ferment the batter. It is best served with Chicken Stew

Here is a quick and easy way to make palappams. Palappams or lace appams is usually served with Chicken Stew. The lace like fringe of appam gave it the nickname lace appams. This is made up of fermented batter of raw rice, coconut, and yeast. The traditional way of powdering the rice flour, making the kappi, etc etc might be a bit confusing to a person who has just started cooking; those new blushing brides, or those who stay away from home. Traditionally appam is made with rice flour, kappi, and coconut milk and after my marriage I tried the traditional way and it was time consuming and sometimes it flops too. So amma taught me to make appam the easy way. Yeast is the main factor, making the yeast rise up solves all the problem. So all you have to do is put the soaked rice and all the other ingredients in to the mixer grinder jar and grind it nicely, add yeast to it and leave it to ferment for about 7 to 8 hours undisturbed. In cold climate put it over the stabilizer of the fridge or tv (I used to do this when I was living in Mercara, Coorg).

How to make yeast rise.
Put ¾ tsp yeast and 1 tsp sugar into a glass. Take ½ cup warm water (not lukewarm), it should be very lightly warm (tepid water), pour it into the glass. Mix well with a spoon and leave it to rise. You should not disturb it for around 15-20 minutes.

 Instead of the yeast you can add sweet toddy also to the batter.

How to make the batter:
Soaked raw rice: 1 ½ to 2 cups. (soak for atleast 1 hour)
Cooked rice: 1 handful (around half cup).
Coconut scrapings: 1 handful (can add a little more for better taste)
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Salt: 1 tsp.
Egg: 1.(optional)
Water to grind.

Take a grinder jar, put into it the drained and soaked rice, cooked rice, coconut, sugar, salt, egg and little water (can add water accordingly). Grind it nicely. Pour it into a vessel and add the risen yeast and mix it nicely with a spoon. Leave it undisturbed to ferment. The appam batter is ready. The batter should be very loose can add more water to adjust the consistency.

This is how the batter looks just after grinding.

This is how the batter looks after it is fermented (about 6 to 8 hours later)

How to make appams:

Place the palappachatti on the stove. Once it is medium hot simmer the fire. It is best to keep the fire on low and if it is too hot the lace does not form properly. Grease the chatti with oil and pour a scoop of batter into the middle immediately hold the two handles of the chatti and give it a quick twirl to spread the batter around. Do not twirl more than once. Cover and leave for about 2 min. The appam should be ready with slightly browned at the sides.

An Update: If you are using instant yeast, add 3/4 tsp of instant yeast along with the batter grinding. And keep the batter to ferment.
If you don’t like the sides to be brown take out before it starts to brown.
Picture updated on Nov 04, 2013


Monday, October 04, 2010

Butter Cookies


When you're a child she walks before you,
To set an example.

When you're a teenager she walks behind you
To be there should you need her.

When you're an adult she walks beside you
So that as two friends you can enjoy life together.

Sometimes words fail us when we describe about our mothers. “Amma” as I call my mom is an angel, like every mother is. Today as she celebrates her birthday I wanted to reach out to her in my virtual space. There are so many things in my wish list today like I wished I was with her today making something special for her or just spending the day talking or shopping …….its endless. I made some simple butter cookies and it was Nidhi’s idea to decorate it with royal icing and to post it here so that it will be a virtual present for her “ammachi”. So Cheriyan also joined the fun and I only had one colour and some silver balls, coloured balls etc. I let the kids imagination go wild. Happy birthday amma and to all other mothers who celebrate their birthday today.

Butter cookies:

Butter: 1 cup.
Powdered sugar: 1 cup.
Maida: 3 cups.
Egg: 1.
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp.
Salt: ¼ tsp.
A few drops of milk if needed.


Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla essence.
Beat in the egg and add sifted flour and salt.
Knead into a ball and divide into 3 or 4 pieces. (if the dough is not coming together can add a few drops of milk).
Roll out each portion to about ¼” inch thick on a flat surface like the kitchen granite top or chappathi board and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
Place them on greased tray (you can place them really close to each other as they do not spread much during baking) and bake for 15 to 20 min or till the sides starts to brown.
Let them cool on the tray for 3 min and then transfer them on to a wire rack till they are completely cooled.
Store in air tight containers.

Royal icing:

Egg white: 1.
Lemon Juice: 1 tsp.
Sifted icing sugar: 2 cups (varies according to the size of the egg white).


Beat egg whites stiff, gradually add icing sugar using a wooden spoon. Add lemon juice. Continue mixing, adding more icing sugar till it forms peaks on the back of the upturned wooden spoon. Keep it in an air tight container or place a damp cloth over the bowl to prevent crust formation on the surface. Can add colour and fill in piping bags to decorate.

Tip: To make homemade icing sugar add 100 gm corn flour to 1 kg of sugar and powder it nicely.


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