Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Punjabi spicy-hot aloo-gobi/Cauliflower and aloo step-by-step method.



Aloo-gobi/Potato-cauliflower curry is an every day Punjabi curry dish....perfect with roti, bhatura, or naan.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Ethakka appam (Batter fried bananas)



Ethakka appam or pazham pori as it is known towards North Kerala is an all time malayali favorite. It is an easy to prepare filling snack. Banana is dipped in maida and sugar batter and deep fried .....yum!
For the batter:
Maida: 1/2 cup.
Raw rice podi: 2 or 3 tbs.
Sugar: 2 tbsp.
Method: 
Take 2 ripe bananas.
Deskin and slice ripe banana into half; again slice each half into thin slices and keep aside.
Mix all the batter ingredients to a smooth and fine paste.

Dip each banana slice into the batter. (see that the banana is fully coated with the batter).

Put it into hot coconut oil and deep fry.

Strain into paper towels and serve hot with chai.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Aval nanachathu (Brown rice flakes snack)



Aval nanachathu is an all time favorite of malayalees. It is a traditional snack which is healthy and filling. Jaggery and freshly grated coconut is mixed into the aval with 2 or 3 cardamons. You can have this either mixed with ripe plantain or on its own. There is no need for salt as there is slight salt in the jaggery. This is an excellent snack for kids as well as adults which can be prepared in 5 min.
 Ingredients:
Matta(brown) rice flakes: 250 gms.
Freshly grated coconut: 1/2 cup or as needed.
Jaggery  grated: 1/2 cup or as needed.
Cardamons: 2 or 3.
Method:
In a wide vessel put in the riceflakes, coconut scraping, jaggery, and cardamons. Mix well with hand as it will release the moisture from the jaggery and coconut. Serve by mixing ripe plaintain into the aval or by itself.
Note: Can also be made with white rice flakes/flattened rice/poha. It is best to be made with dark brown jaggery than the whitish ones.


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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Kayum payarum thoran (Raw banana with redgram )



What's for dinner?, what's for lunch?, what's for breakfast? these questions are something which never cease form my mind. Homey and myself loves traditional kerala dishes, but with kids it is different. My 9-year-old son says it is not fashionable to have traditional food, he says "amma why can't you make chicken stripes, burgers, shawarma (that is the present craze of Calicut, everywhere you can see shawarma stalls), noodles, broasted chicken etc etc." Well.....making him have healthy food is becoming a task for me.....and he finds lots of excuses for not having....like his friends will tease him or even his teacher told him that chicken contains more protiens than any vegetable!!!....kids these days are more clever!!!. He likes red gram very much so I tricked him into having this with the red gram.
Ingredients:
Raw banana or plantain: 1/2 kg.
Red gram: 1/2 cup.
Green chilly: 2.
Shallots: 2 or 3.
Coconut scraped: 1/2 cup.
Turmeric: A fat pinch.
Garlic cloves: 3.
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Red chilly flakes: 1 tsp.
Salt.
Curry leaves.
Coconut oil: 2 tsp.
Little water.
Method:
Soak red gram for 15-20 min and cook it in a pressure cooker and keep aside.
Peel the banana skin. Chop it into small pieces and drop it into a veseel with water and wash it 2 or 3 times.
Grind coarsely coconut, green chilies, turmeric, 2 shallots, and 3 garlic cloves and keep aside.
In a cheenachatti or kadai, heat oil, put in the mustard seeds, 1 shallot chopped, red chilly flakes, and curry leaves; fry for a min. Drain the chopped banana and put it into the kadai, add salt and mix well. Add little water and cover it  to cook for a few min.
Add the cooked red gram mix well.
Add the coarsely grinded coconut and cover for a min and mix well.
Lavish with curry leaves.

Serve hot with rice or kanji.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Choc pops (homemade)



I got this idea after seeing cake pops at Bakerella and moreover Cheriyan's birthday is coming up and I wanted to make something creative and kid friendly for his birthday party. So I wondered why can't I make choc pops with my very own homemade chocolates....and it is easy too I mean no baking and chocolates can be made in 15 min and so the problem was the lollipop sticks.....and then I saw Swapna's cake pops .....the lollipop sticks problem was solved by bamboo skewers. I made the chocolate and spread a little on a greased plate to cut out and wrap in colorful foils.
The rest I rolled into balls greasing my hand with butter.
I inserted the bamboo skewers while still warm and left it to cool.
.
And brushed them with butter and rolled them in sprinkles.
Even wrapped some of them in colorful foils.....to give a colorful look for my son's birthday party.
This one is really easy to make .....just make the homemade chocolate and roll them...put in the sticks...brush with butter...roll them in sprinkles.....wow! that is pretty fast ....no baking...no crumbling cakes etc etc. Lovely choc pops are ready to treat ur kids and spice up their party.


No baking.....just make chocolates and roll them up

Ingredients:
One measure of homemade chocolates.
Little butter to grease hands and brush the choc pops.
Lots of sprinkles.
Bamboo skewers.
Colorful aluminum foils.
Method:
Make homemade chocolates and roll them and stick them with skewers.
Kids are going to love this....so try it mummies.



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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vegetable cutlets


These days it is very difficult to make children have vegetables and this is a daily struggle for most mothers. My way of making sure that my kids have some vegetables is in the form of vegetable cutlets. Nidhi loves fried cutlet with tomato sauce or rolled in roti or sandwiched in bread or to have with rice...

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Netholi/Kozhuva fry (Anchovy fry)


Amma used to make this easy and simple Netholi fry.....I love the crispiness of the fry.....to have with hot rice....Anchovies are a good source of calcium, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. This is a huge hit with kids because of its crispiness when fried. 


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Friday, November 19, 2010

Oats porridge.


Oats porridge is one of the most healthiest breakfast for both the young and the old. It is so easy to prepare that it can be done in less than 5 min. Good for weight management, managing cholesterol etc etc. This is my very own Indianised porridge version . It has very less calorie. No milk or cream or even sugar. So a healthy meal for all those weight watchers. It is best to have it while still hot and serve with an achar/pickle or can have it by itself. Well... what better way to keep your family and you healthy. I am sending this to Eat Well Live Well event going on in Taste of Pearl City..


How to make oats porridge:
Oats (any brand): 3 heaped tbsp.
Scarped coconut: 3 heaped tbsp.
A fat pinch: Jeera.
A fat pinch: Salt.
Water: 200 ml (1 cup)

Method:
Put all this together in a saucepan and bring it to boil. Simmer for about 3 to 4 min and switch off fire and cover with a lid for a min. Serve hot with pickle or by itself.
Have a healthy day....healthy heart.....healthy life.



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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spanish omelette



I have been cooking Indian for a long time and my kids wanted something non-Indian for a change, so I surprised them with this Spanish omelette as it can be made in 5 min provided you have an Amul cheese slice, bacon, and a boiled potato ready.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pineapple jam squares.



The moment I saw pineapple jam squares recipe on Vanitha I had that urge to make it as soon as possible. I made a slight variation to the recipe because I personally do not favor coconut on a sweet dish. So instead of that I topped it with preserved pineapple (you can also put stewed pineapple).

Ingredients:
Dalda or vegetable fat: 1/2 cup.
Powdered sugar: 1/2 cup.
Egg: 2.
All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder: 3/4 tsp.
Pineapple jam: 5 to 6 tbsp.
Pineapple preserve or stewed pineapple: 5 to 6 tbsp.
Method:
Mix dalda and sugar nicely.
Add beaten egg to this and mix well.
Sieve flour and baking powder and mix well and make it into a soft dough.
Spread it into a greased tray.
Spread pineapple jam on top of it.
Bake for 20-30 min or till done. While still hot spread pineapple preserve on top and cut into squares while still warm.

Note: The original recipe calls for 1 cup grated coconut, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, milk 2 to 3 tbsp, and a 3/4 of vanilla essence; mix all this together and put it on top after the jam is spread and bake in oven. But I put the preserved pineapple instead of the coconut scrapings and believe me it turned out to be great.

Recipe Source: Vanitha



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Monday, November 15, 2010

Crumb fried fish.



Last weekend was rather hectic for me as I went to Kottayam to attend a betrothal and I met one of my amma's aunt (whom I am seeing after a decade as she is in US) and she told me that she follows my blog and that she even prints out my recipes ...wow that was some encouragement and I was in high spirits the whole day. Later that day I happened to visit my cousin Ponnu who married recently and was excited to treat me with her new cooking skills. So I surrendered to her skills and she lavished me with this crumb fried fish...so soft and juicy. Anything crumb fried needs bread crumbs; which won't be available in my kitchen and I am lazy to powder the rusk or toast the bread and powder them etc etc etc. So Ponnu traded a little secret with me that evening...when you are out of bread crumbs stock...just shred some plain bread pieces with yours hands into the small mixer grinder and (chutney bowel) and give it a grind ......Voila!!! bread crumbs are ready.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beans and Carrot thoran



Fresh beans is a rarity in Calicut unlike in Coorg where only fresh veggies were available. So when I saw those pretty tender beans in the market I bought it without a second thought and even the carrots were fresh I mean like the ones you get in Coorg. I made up my mind then and there that it is going to be beans and carrot thoran with hot rice for dinner today.

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Chicken Spring Rolls.



Last weekend I went to Focus Mall here in calicut with my kids and took them to the food court there.

Both of them happened to see chicken spring rolls and immediately ordered them which created a huge crater in my pocket :) and they did not have their fill too and wanted more. I had to promise them that I will definitely make for them the very next day. Chicken spring rolls was one of my favorite snack, I remember in my early teens I had them first at the Trivandrum Club in Thiruvanathapuram (the place I stayed for 23 years and did my schooling and college, my parents and brothers are settled there though we are basically from Kottayam). I still remember the first crunchy bite into that spring roll dipped in tomato sauce.....and amma had to learn it. Making pancakes and making filling, rolling, frying etc etc makes one stay away from making spring rolls. But it is actually not that difficult. You can always make the filling a day before and keep. The batter can be made instantly with maida and cornflour and can be poured on the dosa tawa and pancake is ready in minutes. Put the filling into the pancake immediately after it is taken from the tawa and just fill it and roll it and keep aside (while still hot and no need to stick it with maida batter). Fry in hot oil in a non stick pan.
P.S: If you have spring rolls wrappers please omit the pancake part and make only the filling but make sure to seal the wrapper either with beaten egg white or with maida paste.
For the filling:
The filling can be made without the chicken for those vegetarians.
1/4 kg chicken: Put them in a pan with 1 tsp soya sauce, salt, pepper powder, and little water. After it is cooked, cool it and shred the chicken pieces and keep aside.
Onion chopped: 1
Capsicum slit lengthwise: 1
Beans chopped : 10-15.
Grated carrot: 1.
Grated cabbage: 3 tbsp.
Pepper powder: 1 tsp.
Green chilly sauce: 1 tsp.
Oyster sauce: 1 tsp.
Soya sauce: 1 tsp.
Salt.
Heat little oil in a pan and stir fry all the vegetables, add the soya sauce, chilly sauce, oyster sauce, pepper and salt. Add the shredded chicken and mix well. Keep this aside.
Tip: It is not necessary that you should have all the vegetables. While I made this I only had carrots and beans available so make according to the availability if you are making in a short notice.
Ingredients:
Maida: 1 cup.
Cornflour: 1/2 cup.
Salt.
Water.
Method:
Mix all together without any lumps. The batter should be loose consistency like dosa batter. Pour into a greased hot dosa tawa and make a pancake.

Cook only one side and immediately put it into the kitchen top. If anyone knows where to buy spring rolls wrappers in Kerala pls leave a comment.

Put 2 tablespoon of filling or more if you like.
Roll it immediately while still hot and keep aside.
Fry them in hot oil and strain into a paper napkin and serve with tomato sauce......you will be hearing a lot of "I love you amma" for this treat.

Tip: Make each pancake and fill it and roll it while still hot and then keep aside. The best part is there is no need for maida paste for sticking when doing this way.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

Nadan peas curry.


Nadan peas curry is one of the easy-to-make-curries. It is ideal to have with pottu, appam, roti etc. I usually make with dried peas (which has to be soaked overnight) than frozen peas which are available in the supermarkets; the reason is that I always have dried peas in my kitchen.

How to make nadan peas curry:

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Bonda (Potato).



This is an all time favorite tea time snack. Amma used to make this as an after school snack when I was a kid. If you have boiled potatoes in the fridge bonda can be prepared quickly…..when unexpected guests arrive or as an after school surprise for kids. Amma used to make this with potatoes but you can also add boiled carrots......spice up your imagination here.

How to make bonda:

2 boiled and smashed potatoes.
1 green chilly chopped.
A little bit of grated ginger.
½ onion chopped.
Curry leaves.
A pinch of turmeric powder.
Salt to taste.

For the batter:

Bengal gram flour (kadalamavu): 1 cup.
Red chilly: ½ tsp.
Asafoetida: 1 fat pinch.
Salt.
Soda powder: 1 fat pinch.
Water to mix.

Method:

Make a thick but loose batter enough to coat the lemon sized potatoes and keep aside.
Mix all the ingredients with the smashed potatoes and roll into lemon sized balls and keep aside.
Take each potato balls and dip into the batter and see that it is coated well and put it into boiling oil. Fry till it is golden in colour. Strain on a paper towel and serve hot with chai.

Tip: The soda powder gives the crispness, but if you don’t like it can omit it and instead add 2 table spoons of rice powder.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Pineapple preserve




I love just about anything that is homemade and I don’t like to spend money on tinned preserves. I mean when you can make preserves at home why make a hole in your pocket. Most fruits can be preserved at home and pineapple is the one I preserve most because I need them for puddings, cakes, and top it on tarts etc etc. I have not added any artificial colour, preservative etc when I made this. The best part is it stays upto a year if kept in a fridge (my fridge is actually a storehouse for all those jams and preserves I make). I had preserved pears and figs in the same way as I preserved this pineapple.

How to preserve pineapple:

Pineapple: 2 medium sized pineapple, chopped.
Sugar: 2 to 2 1/2 cups. (it varies depending on the sweetness of the fruit.)

Method:

Chop the pineapple into cubes. Put in the sugar and keep aside for about an hour. Put it into a steel pan and bring it to boil. Simmer it till it becomes little thick or 1 string consistency. Store in bottles and keep in fridge.

Pls leave a comment if anyone has preserved this in the same way or has used this to make an upside down cake….thanks!

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Chembu Ularthiayathu (Taro)



Chembu ularthiyathu is a one of Homey's fav. Here is how I make it.

You will need:
Chembu: 1/2 kg.
Red chilly flakes: 1 tbsp.
Onion: 1.
Turmeric: A fat pinch.
Curry leaves and salt.
Water.
Oil.

Method:
Clean and wash chembu, cut it into small strips and keep aside. In a heavy bottomed pan and heat oil. Add the sliced onion and fry until light brown, add the chilly flakes, turmeric, curry leaves and saute for a min. Add the chembu and salt, mix well. Add little water and cover and cook (if you overcook it will be all mashed up, so better cook 3/4). Open lid and stir for sometime add little more oil if needed. It is better to stir on low flame till it is very much fried. Serve hot with rice. 

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