Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fish Cutlet

Cutlets always brings lots of precious memories from my mom's kitchen.Here is the never failing , always delicious cutlet recipe.Canned fish can be used here.But keep in mind short cuts may not always be the best cut , particularly in this one .


2 cups fresh fish boiled and crumbled
1 cup potato boiled and smashed
1 medium onion diced
3 green chillies chopped
1/2 inch piece of ginger minced
1 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
juice of half lime
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 eggs
Bread crumbs as required
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil
few curry leaves
oil for frying


  • Add some salt and pepper while boiling the fish.

  • Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a pan and saute the onion , green chillies ,ginger and curry leaves.When it is well fried add the pepper powder and garam masala.Then add the fish and stir gently .Add lime juice and chopped cilantro. Once the mixture is heated well , remove the fish from fire and let it cool down.

  • Then add the potato and one egg.Mix well and add more seasonings if required. Shape into patties.

  • Heat the oil for frying . Beat the egg in a bowl. Dip each cutlet in the beaten egg and then roll in the bread crumbs.Fry till golden brown on medium heat.
  • Saturday, January 17, 2009

    Prawns(Shrimp)in Coconut Gravy

    A delicious Kerala style preperation of prawn.Medium or Small sized prawns work well for this recipe.This recipe is also called Prawn Pappas when the gound coconut is replaced by coconut milk.Prawn or Shrimp(as Americans refer to it) is a good nutrient-rich , low calorie seafood which is also low in mercury levels. So include more in your diet and enjoy this recipe with rice.

    2 tbsp coconut oil
    1/2 tsp mustard
    1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
    4 green chillies slit
    1 small onion thinly sliced
    1 large clove of garlic minced
    1 inch piece ginger minced
    1 sprig curry leaves
    1 1/2 tbsp coriander power
    1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric power
    1/2 lb shrimp cleaned
    2-3 pieces kokum or fish tamarind
    1/2 cup shredded coconut
    salt to taste

    1. Soak coriander and chilli powder in a little water.

    2. Soak the fish tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water.

    3. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard and fenugreek seeds.Then add the green chillies and stir for a few seconds.

    4. Then add onions , garlic ,ginger and curry leaves. Saute till onions are browned. Then add the turmeric and the soaked masala.

    5. Saute the masala well till oil sperates ,3-4 minutes on low fire.

    6. When the masala is well sauted , add the fish tamarind with the water and let it boil. Then add the shrimp and salt.Cover and cook tillshrimp is well cooked.

    7. Grind the coconut into a very smooth paste and add to the curry .Bring to a boil and shut off the flame immediately.

    NOTES :

    *Use kokum and chillies according to taste.

    Sunday, January 4, 2009

    Kerala Plum Cake

    Happy new year to everyone .One of my new year resolutions is to update the blog more often than 2008 :)Here is the Plum cake from Christmas menu .Thanks again to Renmom , for this wonderful recipe which definetly goes head to head with the ones from Kerala bakeries.Cake is decorated using Royal Icing flowers.

    3 1/2 cups Dried fruits and nuts
    (1 cup raisins , 1 cup dates
    1/2 cup cherrys ,1/2 cup cashew nuts
    1/2 cup tuttifrutti)
    1/2 cup brandy or rum
    3 cups orange juice
    3 cups all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 cups sugar
    6 eggs ( separate)
    1.5 cups butter
    1 cup caramel syrup
    1 tsp sha jeera
    1/2 tsp clove powder
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg power
    2 tsp vanilla essence


    1. You can use raisins , dates , nuts , Tutti frutti , preserved orange peel , lemon peel etc.

    2. Soak fruits and nuts in rum and orange juice for 2-3 days.

    3. For making one cup caramel syrup, heat a saucepan with 1 cup of sugar.Keep stirring until sugar is browned and then add one cup water.Stir and keep it aside.

    4. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

    5. Grease an 11 by 15 pan which is at least 2 inch deep.

    6. Cream butter and sugar.Then add egg yolks one at a time and mix well.Then add vanilla essence,spice powders and caramel.

    7. Slowly add flour and mix until the flour is incorporated.

    8. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a separate bowl and gently fold that into the batter.

    9. Finally add drained fruits and nuts

    10. Bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
    Lessons Learned:
    [1]Measure the fruits and nuts before soaking .Too much fruit can make a sticky or crumbly cake
    [2]For best results chop the fruits using a knife .Using food processors can add more liquid to the recipe.
    [3]For an authentic look ,add some brown food coloring.
    [4]This cake stores well.So can be made days before .Can be stored at room temperature too.
    [5]Recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar which results in a sweet cake .If you prefer , cut sugar to 1.5 cups .
    [6]You can add 1/2tsp ginger power to the cake for some extra spice.

    Sunday, December 28, 2008

    Dry Prawn Roast

    Prawn Roast - Kerala Style - Here is another recipe which is extremely easy to make and very tasty too.

    Fresh Prawns( cleaned and deveined)- 1 Lb
    For the marinade
    Garlic ginger paste- 1 tsp
    Cumin powder- 1 tsp
    Tamarind pulp - 1 tsp
    Turmeric pwdr- 1/2 Tsp
    Garam masala pwdr- 1 tsp( optional)
    Chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp( adjust to taste)
    Rice flour - 2 tbsp
    Lime juice- 2 tsp
    Salt - to taste
    For frying
    Thinly sliced Onion- 1
    Curry leaves- 1 sprig
    Tomato sauce or ketchup- 1 tsp

    1. Make a paste of all the marinade ingredients and apply it evenly over the prawns.
    2. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
    3. Shallow fry it in a pan with couple tablespoons of oil.
    4. In the same oil, add the onions and curry leaves. Fry its till its golden brown.
    5. Add the ketchup.
    6. Mix it with the prawns and serve hot.

    Monday, June 30, 2008

    Mango Lassi

    Easy and Refreshing .. there is nothing to welcome summer than a cool and sweet lassi...Enjoy !!

    1 cup mango pulp
    (or 1 cup ripe mango skinned and sliced)
    1 cup yogurt
    1/4 cup milk(or water)
    sugar (to taste)

    [1]Blend together the mago pulp and yogurt until creamy and thick . Then add the milk/water and blend again .
    [2]Adjust thickness by using more or less milk .Adjust sweetness by adding more sugar if required.Chill and serve .
    [3]You can use a bit of ground cardamom to kick it up a bit . Also you can add ground nuts if you wish.Pistachios or Cashews would be ideal.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Lamb Kofta

    Dont panic looking at the ingredient list because if you look closer you can see all of them are everyday ingredients , which is defineltly in the front row of your pantry. Spices are used liberally to whip up the sauce in which the meatballs are simmered.Eventhough koftas are traditionally deep fried , I am baking it here - a healthier and easier alternative without sacrificing the taste.

    2 large onions chopped
    2 green chilly chopped
    4 large garlic cloves minced
    1 inch piece ginger grated
    2 tomatoes chopped
    10 cashewnuts soaked
    1/2 cup tomato puree
    1/4 tsp turmeric
    1/2 tsp chilli powder(or more)
    1 tsp coriander powder
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp kasoori methi
    cooking oil
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    1/2 cup milk
    chopped cilantro to garnish

    For Kofta
    1 lb ground lamb
    1 small onion very finely chopped
    1 tsp ginger garlic paste
    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    1/2 tsp pepper powder
    juice of half lime
    1/2 ts cumin powder
    3/4 cup chopped cilantro
    1/2 cup bread crumbs
    1 egg beaten
    1. Mix together all the ingredients for the kofta. Keep this at room temperature for half an hour. After that make small koftas out of it and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile heat some cooking oil in a pan and add cumin seeds . When the seeds begin to crackle , add the onions , green chillies and garlic . Saute till onions are slightly browned.Then add the grated ginger and tomatoes . Continue sauting till tomatoes are soft. Shut off the flame.

    3. When the onion-tomato mixture is cool enough to handle, grind it along with the cashewnuts to a fine paste.

    4. Trasfer the ground mixture to the same pan (add a little oil if required) and continue sauting. Add the chilli powder , coriander powder , cumin powder , turmeric powder and garam masala.Continue sauting till oil seperates. Then add the tomato puree ,milk,methi and salt;Mix well and simmer for a few minutes.

    5. Add more or less milk to adjust the consistency and finally drop the baked koftas to the gravy . Mix gently and simmer for 5-10 minutes on very low flame.Garnish with cilantro and serve.

    Sunday, April 13, 2008

    Fresh Tomato Soup

    What I like about a soup dinner is that its easy and healthy compared to a typical indian meal with rice,roti and curries. Soup cannot get simpler than this one .Enjoy this with a crusty italian style bread.I usually plant couple of tomato plants every summer and this recipe comes handy when you have lots of tomatoes and not sure what to do with all those.


    2 lb tomatoes
    2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
    1 large onion chopped
    1 carrot chopped
    1 celery stick chopped
    2 cloves of garlic minced
    2 cups water
    5 tbsp heavy cream
    2 tbsp chopped basil
    salt and pepper to taste


    1. Blanch the tomatoes by dipping them in boiling water for a few minutes.Take them and peel.Chop them into large chunks.

    2. Heat oil in a soup pot.Add onion , carrots , celery ,garlic with some salt and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes.Stir in water.Bring it to a boil and them simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

    3. Let the soup cool down.Transfer the soup solids to a food processor and puree until smooth.Combine the puree with the remaining soup in the pot.

    4. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.Add the cream and basil.Adjust salt and pepper.Do not boil.

    5. Ladle the soup into warm bowls.Garnish with extra cream and serve.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    Kerala Chicken Biryani

    The main problem with most of the Biryani recipes are that its hard to follow and its quite normal that readers get intimidated by most of the Biryani recipes . I have tried my best to list the steps in a way that you can have the recipe in front of you and can start step by step . Good Luck and enjoy the mouthwatering Biryani.Let me know your thoughts.

    3 lbs cut chicken
    4 cups basmati rice
    4 large onions thinly sliced
    1/4 cup ginger cut
    1/4 cup garlic chopped
    1/2 cup green chillies chopped
    (to taste)
    3 tomatoes chopped fine
    2 tsp poppy seeds or khuskhus
    1 tsp chilli powder
    1 tsp turmeric powder
    1 bunch coriander leaved
    1 bunch mint leaves
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/2 cup homemade curd
    2 tsp biryani masala
    2 limes
    1/2 cup cashewnuts
    1/2 cup raisins
    1 tbsp rose water
    1/4 tsp saffron threads
    salt , pepper , oil , ghee as required

    1. PREP:Soak the poppy seeds in little bit of water.

    2. Wash the rice and drain it to a colander.

    3. Cut , wash and marinate the chicken with chilli powder , turmeric powder ,juice of half lime salt and pepper.Keep it aside.

    4. Mix the saffron in 1/4 cup of hot water and let it stand.

    5. Grind together soaked poppy seeds , green chillies , ginger and garlic to a paste.

    6. Heat little bit of oil or ghee in a flat pan . Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 7-8 minutes or until the pieces are firm.Drain the chicken pieces.(Optional Step)

    7. CHICKEN MASALA:Add a little bit more oil if required.Then add 2/3rd of the sliced onions and saute till transparent. Then add the chopped tomatoes and poppy-chilies-ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 5-6 minutes till oil seperates. Add the curd and stir well . Add the fried chicken pieces along with lime juice.Stir , cover and continue cooking.When the chiken is almost done , add the chopped coriander , chopped mint and curry leaves along with biryani masala.Mix and continue cooking till the chicken is dry.

    8. RICE: Meanwhile , take another pot and heat some ghee.Adding ghee at this step is very important.Add rice and saute it for about 5 minutes on low flame till rice is tanslucent.Then add little less than double the quantity (7.5 cups) of hot water with salt and cook till rice is almost done and water is all absorbed.(Lime juice , bay leaves,1/2 tsp biryani masala , tumeric powder for color etc can be added to the water while cooking rice)

    9. While the rice is cooking , heat some oil in a pan and deep fry the rest of the onion slices to dark brown and crispy.

    10. LAYERING :Now take an oven proof vessel.Spread 1/3rd of the rice at the bottom of the pan.Sprinkle fried onions , saffron water , rose water , raisins and nuts.Then spread 1/2 of the chicken .Repeat this layering , till you get 3 layers of rice and 2 layers of chicken. The top layer should be rice and decorate the top with lots of garnish( fried onions , saffron water , rose water , raisins and nuts).

    11. BAKING : Preheat oven to 350 degree F and bake the biryani for 15-20 minutes.Take it out , mix gently and serve with boiled egg, raita , pappad, lime pickle .

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Pepper Fried Rice

    Just have all the ingredients ready and you can get this fried rice in no time. Thanks to Meena for this wonderful recipe .Add a spicy curry and this will please anyone .Works great for leftover rice also.

    1/3 cup Plain vegetable oil
    1/2 lb Chicken(diced)
    2 cups Meat(cooked, cubed or shredded)
    1 Onion chopped
    3 Garlic pods minced
    2 inch piece Fresh ginger grated
    a bunch scallions chopped
    1 1/3 cup vegetables
    (Frozen corn, celery,peas, carrots , bean sprouts)
    4 large Eggs slightly beaten
    4 cups Cold cooked long-grain rice
    ( white or jasmine rice, grains separated )
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 tsp garam masala to sprinkle

    1. Heat a tbsp of oil in a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet on a high heat.

    2. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.

    3. Add onions, salt and pepper.Cook for 1 - 2 mins, until onion is fragrant.

    4. Add the garlic, ginger and stir-fry, until fragrant, for about 30 secs.

    5. Add all the vegetables except the bean sprouts. Cook, until just defrosted, but still crisp. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl.

    6. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the same pan.Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the eggs constantly and cook, until almost set, but still moist.Transfer the egg to the bowl.

    7. Heat up the remaining oil in the same pan.Add rice and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Add salt and pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil.

    8. Stop stirring and then let the rice cook undisturbed, until its gets slightly crispy, for about 2 mins.

    9. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the scallion greens ,bean sprouts and garam masala.Stir well for a minute and Transfer to the bowl. Stir all the ingredients together with the rice.

    10. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot.

    Friday, February 29, 2008

    Kerala Prawn Roast

    Which is prawn and which is shrimp ?? Some says , the smaller variety is called shrimp and the larger ones prawn . Some says both are different , but very closely related.Anyway as far as I understand , the two terms are interchangeably used in recipes everywhere . Prawns are one of our family favorite and here is a recipe from my good friend "Renmom"( I have a large circle of moms around me and thank you all for the wonderful recipes )

    1/2 lb Prawns , Shelled and deveined
    2 onions ,Thinly sliced
    1 piece kokum (fish tamarind)
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1 tsp + 1/2 tsp gingergarlic paste
    1 tsp + 1/2 tsp chilli powder
    3/4 tsp coriander powder
    1 tomato diced
    1/2 tsp lime juice
    1/4 tsp garam masala
    few curry leaves
    cilantro to garnish


    1. Boil the prawns in some water with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, salt and a piece of Kokkum( kudam puli or fish tamarind) or 1/4 tsp tamarind paste.
    2. Take it off fire as soon as the color of the prawns change and it curls up.
    3. Marinate the cooked prawns in 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1/2 tsp garlic ginger paste and a pinch of salt. Shallow fry the marinated prawns and set it aside.
    4. In a kadai saute the onions until its golden brown, add ginger garlic paste and tomato and saute it till the oil separates.
    5. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, and garam masala and saute it for another minute or 2. Add the fried prawns , lime juice and curry leaves .
    6. Adjust the salt and take it off fire.Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.(If you would like the dish to have gravy add 3-4 tbsp of the water in which the prawns was cooked after adding the fried prawns. )

    Monday, February 25, 2008

    Mustard Beef

    Trying something different with the everyday ingredients definetly makes cooking very interesting. Thats exactly what this recipe is about.Instead of making beef curry with the everyday coriander-chilli- garam masla try this for a change . I bet you wont miss a thing . Adjust the pepper and chilli according to your taste .And make sure you spend some time sauting those onions till they are nice and brown.


    2 lbs of beef thinly sliced
    1 tbsp pepper corns (or more)
    1 tbsp mustard
    1 inch piece of ginger chopped
    6 cloves of garlic
    4 onions thinly sliced
    2-5 dry chillies crushed
    (depending on taste)
    4 tbsp tomato ketchup
    salt to taste
    cooking oil as required
    a few curry leaves
    juice of half lime

    1. Grind together pepper corns , mustard , ginger and garlic using little water . Pressure cook beef with the ground masala and sufficient salt.

    2. While beef is cooking , heat little oil in a pan and saute the onions with salt , curry leaves and dry chillies till onions are nicely browned. Drain them out.

    3. When beef is cooked and well dried , add a little more oil to the pan . Add the beef and saute till beef is well fried . Now add the ketchup and mix well.

    4. Finally add the onions and lime juice. Mix and serve with rice or chapathi .

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Kadai Paneer

    Kadai Paneer is a very popular north indian vegetarian dish . Bellpepper(Capsicum) is still fried and added to paneer and spices to make this wonderful dish.Kasoori methi which is the dried fenugreek leaves add a wonderful aroma and flavour .Typically served in a small kadai(wok) , this dish is called so not for nothing.Be prepared and be ready to stand in front of that kadai and stir for quite sometime.


    2 cups paneer cubed
    1 large bell pepper chopped
    3 medium onions chopped
    1 large tomato chopped
    2 tsp ginger garlic paste
    2 tsp mild chilli powder
    1 tbsp coriander powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp kasoori mathi
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    2 tbsp fresh cream to garnish
    cooking oil /ghee as required

    1. Cook the chopped onions in a microwave for 7-10 minutes checking in between so that it wont burn.Let it cool down and then puree it using a blender.

    2. In a small bowl take all the masala powders; Chilli powder , Coriander powder , Turmeric powder and cumin powder. Add some water and make it paste and set aside.

    3. Apply a little ghee on a hot non stick skillet and arrange the paneer . Slightly roast both sides of the paneer.

    4. In a pan , heat some oil and add the chopped tomatoe and bellpepper. Stir fry for about 5 minutes till bell pepper is soft .Drain them out .

    5. Add some more oil to pan if required . Then add the onion paste and saute for 2 minutes . Then add the ginger garlic paste . Continue sauting the onion-ginger-garlic paste till it turns brown.Then add the masala paste and continue sauting till oil separates.

    6. Add tomato paste , kasoori methi and garam masala. Mix well , add water is required and saute for a minute. Then add the fried bellpepper.Cook for 4-5 minutes stirring in between . Finally add the paneer and stir gently. Garnish with cream and serve hot with rice or rotis.

    Monday, February 11, 2008

    Pad Thai

    Pad Thai is a dish of stir fried rice noodles with vegetables and is a street food in Thailand . Shrimp , chicken or tofu is added and then topped with peanuts.With the right amount of oil and spices , pad thai can be a very hearty and healthy meal. This is also a perfect meal for vegetarians . You can avoid shrimp and put more vegetables or tofu.

    1 (14 oz) pck rice noodles
    4 cloves garlic minced
    1 1/2 lbs shrimp
    4 cups bean sprouts
    8 oz firm Tofu cubed
    1/2 cup toasted peanuts
    a bunch of scallions or spring onions chopped
    3 eggs
    1/4 cup fish sauce
    4 tbsp soya sauce
    1/2 tbsp tamarind pulp
    3 tsp sugar
    1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
    1 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp paprika
    2-3 dry chillies crushed
    Vegetable oil as required
    Lime wedges to serve

    1. Soak noodles warm water for about 5-7 minutes.Drain and set aside.

    2. Toast the peanuts , peel and set aside.

    3. Beat the eggs and add a little bit of salt . Cook in a skillet and set aside as scrambled.

    4. In a small bowl , mix together fish sauce , soya sauce , tamarind pulp , rice wine vinegar and salt . Mix till sugar dissolves and set aside.

    5. Use a large wok . If you dont have one use a nice size pot . Heat some oil in the wok and add the shrimp and garlic . Stir fry till shrimp is halfway done and then add the paprika , cayenne pepper and dry chillies . Use the spices according to your taste.

    6. Then add the noodles and sauce mixture and toss well. Then add the sprouts , tofu , peanuts , spring onions and toss well.

    7. When the shrimp is cooked and all the ingredients are heated through , remove from heat . Garnish with scrambled eggs and lime wedges . Serve hot.

    Saturday, January 26, 2008

    Chocolate Cheese Mini Cupcakes

    A rich and chocolatley mini cupcake with a lovely soft cheesecake filling is a perfect little bite that can satisfy any sweet craving .The chocolate batter will rise and will make the perfect shell for the cheesecake filling.This can be made in regular sized muffin tins ;but I love to make mini cupcakes.Here is my valentine day tribute to everyone .Enjoy !!

    Chocolate Batter::
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 cup light brown sugar
    1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 cup water
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 tbsp white vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Cheesecake Filling::
    8 oz cream cheese softened
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F and grease the muffin tins.

    2. For making the cream cheese filling , cream the cheese well using an electric mixer.Then add sugar , vanilla and egg . Beat until creamy and set aside

    3. For chocolate batter , sift together all the dry ingredients to a large bowl(flour , sugar , cocoa powder , baking soda and salt).

    4. In another small bowl mix all the wet ingredients well (water , oil ,vinegar and vanilla). Make a well , in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well . Mix well using a wooden spatula .

    5. Pour the chocolate batter into the muffin tins , half filled . Then spoon couple of tsp of cheese filling onto to the center of each cupcake.

    6. Bake in the oven , till the cream cheese part is slightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the chocolate part comes out clean.Medium muffins cups take about 25 minutes and smaller one takes about 17 minutes.Remove and cool down completely.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Creamy Cauliflower Soup

    I think , soups especially the pureed soups are the best way to push as much as vegetables as possible into our kids . Simmer and cook vegetables in broth with spices , then puree it to a creamy consistency , add some extra heavy cream or sour cream to make it even creamier .. aaahh .. its perfect and ready for kids . Here is one of my favorite.

    1 medium cauliflower chopped
    1 onion chopped fine
    2 carrots diced small
    1 potato diced
    2 sticks of celery chopped
    2 tsp ginger garlic paste
    2 garlic cloves minced
    2 bay leaves
    1 green chilli chopped
    3 cups chicken(or vegetable) stock
    1 cup low fat milk
    2 bay leaves
    juice of half lime
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
    salt ,pepper ,sour cream,hot sauce (as required)

    1. In a heavy bottomed pot , heat the oil .Add the minced garlic and bay leaves;Stir for a couple of seconds . Then add the chopped onions , ginger garlic paste and green chilly. Stir fry till onions are soft . Then add all the vegetables with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper . Stir fry for 3-4 minutes .

    2. Now add the liquid , which is 3 cups stock(or plain water) and 1 cup milk.Stir well ; Cover and bring to a boil.Then lower the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or till vegetables are tender.

    3. Now take the bay leaves out . Let the soup cool down a bit.Then using a food processor or blender , puree the soup in batches to a very creamy consistency.Transfer the pureed soup back to the pot and heat it well.

    4. Add the nutmeg and lime juice ; Taste and add more salt/pepper if required.

    5. Serve with a hot sauce and a big dollop of sour cream.You can also add some chopped green herbs(cilantro , parsley or chives)

    Sunday, January 6, 2008

    Kerala Idiyappam

    This is my saturday breakfast . It takes some time and is a little painful ; but worth every bit of time spend. This is usually made from fine rice flour . I use the regular packet rice flour we get in indian grocery shops . But if you get idiyappam flour , which is the fine and well roasted version , get those . Idiyappam can be served with a variety of sides , my favorites being egg roast , beef fry and vegetable kurma . And if you add some sugar to the coconut , you get the sweet version ; which is a perfect evening snack.The ingredients are fine rice powder , salt , a bit of vegetable oil and water . You need the idiyappam press , idli moulds and a steamer for making these .And here is the recipe for Vegetable Stew.


    STEP 1: Take 2 glasses for rice powder with about 1 tsp of salt and 2 tsp vegetable oil . Mix well using awooden spoon

    STEP 2: Bring 3 cups of water to a rolling boil . Add half of the water to the rice , mix . Then add the rest of the water and mix well .

    STEP 3: Sir well till the rice forms a soft dough.

    STEP 4: Grease idli moulds .Place about 2 tsp of fresh grated coconut into each mould. Then pass the idiyappam dough through the press and form one appam in each mould

    STEP 5: Steam the appams for about 7 minutes .Serve with your favorite curry

    Monday, December 31, 2007

    Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

    The name for this festive looking cookies comes from the fact that you can use your thumb to make a small indentation in the middle where you can fill the jam later .I have rolled the cookies in coconut flakes , but you can roll them in chopped toasted nuts if you wish.Here is the recipe for a very popular holiday treat.


    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
    1 large egg separated
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
    (or 1 cup toasted and chopped nuts)
    a pinch of salt
    1/2 cup jam

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

    2. Using an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar well . Then add the egg yolk , vanilla and salt .Mix well .

    3. Add the flour and mix just until combined .

    4. Roll into 20 small balls . Dip each one first in the egg white and then roll in coconut flakes . Arrange on a greased baking sheet.

    5. Using your thumb or a the end of a wooden spoon, make a small hole at the center of each ball. Slightly flatten each ball during the process . Fill each hole with about 1/2 tsp jam.

    6. Bake for about 15 minutes , until the coconut is golden and the cookie is set .Cool the cookies completely before serving.

    Friday, December 28, 2007


    Chili - with its great Texas heritage , is a wonderful winter meal and is perfect for large gatherings . You just dump all the ingredients to a bog pot and simmer it for 2-3 hours to get a hearty bowl of chili.The first time I put the big spoonful of chili into my mouth , I thought that was one of the best dishes I have ever tasted. I started the recipe hunt immediately. Asked many people, tried many recipes ,added a few ingredients , took out some ; finally I got the the taste I wanted . So my pain is your gain .Here is my chili..

    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 medium onion chopped
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1 pound ground beef
    1 pound beef sirloin cubed
    1 can peeled and diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
    1 bottle dark beer(12 oz)
    1 cup strong brewed coffee
    2 cans tomato paste(6 oz)
    1 can beef broth(14 oz)
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    3 tbsp chili powder
    1 tbsp cumin seeds
    1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried cayenne pepper
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp salt
    3 cans of kidney beans(15 oz)
    4 fresh hot chile pepper seeded and chopped

    1. Heat oil in a large pot.Cook onions , garlic , ground beef and cubed sirloin for about 5 minutes on medium flame, till onions are soft and beef is no more pink.

    2. Add all other ingredients .Mix well and simmer for about 2 hours .For serving , add some mexican cheese blend and a dollop of sour cream on top .Decorate with corn/taco chips and for green you can use chopped cilantro
    Lessons Learned
    [1]Always use the small variety of red kidney beans available in market.
    [2]You want to hide some veggies inside this ; instead of cubed sirloin add a cup and a half of finely chopped vegetables (zucchini , squash , mushrooms , carrots etc)

    Baked Potato Wedges

    Baked potatoes can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer along with a nice dip . This is one dish I make often , whenever I crave for frenchfries . The recipe is very versatile . Add your favourite spices and dry herbs (dill , thyme , basil etc) and make this your own .Here is my basic version.


    2 baking potatoes
    2 tsp paprika or mild chilli powder
    1 tsp garlic powder
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tbsp olive oil

    1. Clean the potatoes well and cut them to wedges.Prick the wedges with a fork or toothpick.

    2. Spread all other ingredients equally over the potatoes and mix well to coat evenly .

    3. Bake at 425 degree F for 25-30 minutes.

    4. Serve as a side dish or appetizer

    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Pork Ularthiyathu (Kerala Pork Fry)

    A favourite of all Keralites , this recipe is a must have for Christmas Menu . Served along with rice , or by itself as an appetizer , Pork fry will be the star.When you buy the meat , try to buy a cut with some fat . As the fat increases the taste of the fry tremendously . Pork is first cooked ( or pressure cooked ) with spices and then fried in a wok . The pork will get fried in its own fat and the result is just mouth-watering.


    2 lbs of pork
    2 onions thinly sliced
    sprig of curry leaves
    2 tbps gingergarlic paste
    2 tbsp coriander powder
    2 tsp chilli powder
    1/2 tsp black pepper powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 tsp lime juice
    salt to taste
    3 tbsp cooking oil
    1 inch piece of cinnamon
    3 cardamoms
    5 cloves
    1/4 tsp fennel seeds

    1. Cut pork into bit size pieces. Use the fat of the pork also which gives the authentic taste to the fry.

    2. Grind together cinnamon , cardamoms , cloves and fennel seeds into a fine powder.

    3. Take the pork in a pressure cooker . Add the gingergarlic paste , chilli powder , coriander powder , turmeric powder , black pepper powder , lime juice , spice powder,curry leaves and salt to the pork.Mix well and pressure cook till the pork is almost done.[If you have excess water along with the cooked pork in the pressure cooker , continue to simmer till pork is almost dry]

    4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and saute the onions till they are well browned . You have to keep stirring the onions on medium heat till they are evenly browned. Drain the onions and set aside.

    5. Add some more oil to the pan and when it heats up , add the mustard.When the mustard starts spluttering , add the cooked pork . Stir fry on medium flame for half hour to an hour till the pork is well browned.Finally add the fried onions to the pork.Mix well and serve hot.