Monday, January 31, 2011

Strawberry-Mango Shake

Fresh Strawberry - 6-8 pieces.
Mango - 1
Milk – 100 ml
sugar –  1 ½ table spoon

Place all the above ingredients in a blender and mix well.

Fresh Orange Juice

Fresh squeezed orange juice is little tedious but the effort is worth as it tastes much better than orange juice from concentrate.


Oranges - 5 nos
Sugar - optional

*Lightly smack each orange on the counter.
*Cut each one in half and squeeze them into a glass.
* Use a strainer to remove the pulp and seeds.
* Add sugar if required

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Kerala Porotta

The flaky, wavy, puffy, multiple layered south Indian porotta with beef is one thing I miss here.I tried the porotta we used to make at home with the basic ingredients. My porottas came out good not the best, because the art of making best Kerala porotta is all about practise. The other day when my friend Smitha asked me about
a site for making kerala porotta, I thought why not I give it a try. I tried to capture every step and hope this helps!!
I see a lot of recipes with milk, egg and sugar added. Guess it makes the porotta better (even though I did not try) .


All purpose flour   -  2.5 cups
Baking powder     -  a pinch
Salt - as required


*Sieve baking powder and All purpose flour using warm water. Knead the dough till it become soft and non sticky.
*Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and leave it for an hour.  Brush a thin coat of oil over entire surface.
*Pinch off lime-sized balls of dough, and roll them out into small balls of equal sizes and leave this covered with a muslin cloth for another 15 min.
*Grease the counter with oil and flatten the balls into a thin film. If you do not know the traditional way, use your chappathi roller and flatten it to the maximum possible extent.
Starting at one end, roll dough spirally into a thin roll and tuck in the other loose end into the center.Allow this to rest for 15 minutes.
*Flatten the spirals of dough with the palm of your hand, then thoroughly flatten them on the counter before you put it in a tava and roast them till slightly Golden on both sides.
when you made around 5 porottas, keep them one over the other and beat them side ways to loosen the layers. Keep it in a casserole, so that it becomes more moist and soft.
*Serve with any curry.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oven Baked Chicken Legs

We were running out of the gas in the grill when my son insisted on having Chicken. I did not have any option but to try something with chicken and I remembered one of Suja Sugathan's Kitchen corner Recipe. It was an oven baked tandoori chicken.I made some changes and omitted some of the ingredients as I was lazy. It came out super soft and moist, and tasted entirely different from the grilled chicken as we use the gram flour. I still prefer the grilled chicken for its taste and its more healthier, because the baked chicken was bit oily,  but this sure is an option to try and  my son absolutely loved it.

Chicken legs-  6 nos

First marinadeKashmiri chili powder
Ginger- garlic paste
few drops of lemon juice
salt to taste

Second marinadeGram flour- 6 tsp
Ginger garlic paste
Chicken masala powder

Method:*Make a marinade with "first marinade" and add the beef to the it, mix and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
*Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add gram flour to it. Roast it to get a good flavour, Make sure the flour doesn't burn.Take the pan out and add other ingredients in the "second marinade" except oil.
*Add the Chicken legs into the roasted gram-masala mix. Brush with more oil on top. Leave this chicken in Fridge for few hours.
*Preheat oven to 450 degree F and place the chicken on a greased baking tray. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn around and cook for another 10 minutes.Reduce to 250 degree F and bake for another 10 more minutes. Serve Hot

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fish Pickle/Meen Achar


Fish - 1kg
green chillies
Chilli powder
Fenugreek powder
White vinegar
vegetable oil- 2 cups 

*Cut the fish into half inch cubes.You can use any fish with no bones or Prawns. I used Salmon
*Marinate the fish in turmeric, a little chilli powder and salt. Keep aside for half an hour.Fry the fish pieces.
*Pour oil into a pan and fry the thinly sliced ginger, garlic and green chillies till no water.Add the chilli powder, and fry it.
*Add vinegar to the mixture and bring to a boil on a slow flame.
*Add the fish pieces and stir carefully so that the pieces do not break.
*Add the fenugreek powder and keep covered on the hot stove. Check the spices and salt and add if required.
*When it is cooled down, transfer to dry glass jars with an airtight lid.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dry Coconut Chutney (Chammanthi Podi)

This used to be my hostel food, and every time I pack my bags it contained a bottle of pickle and a bottle of Chammanthi podi. My whole family love this and it is a back up when u run out of time to make curries for rice/dosa.  I should admit it takes a lot of time and energy.  I used three coconuts and i ended u with a small jar of coconut powder.I had to roast them for more than an hour or so.
The advantage is it stays good for a long time and lasts long and even better, everyone loves it.

Grated coconut,  - 1 Coconuts
Sliced ginger - 1/2 cup  
Tamarind  - a small ball
Red dry chillies  -10 no (cut into half's) 
Curry leaves - the more the better
Salt - to taste 

*Grate the fresh Coconut.
*Roast coconut with red chillies, ginger, curry leaves, Salt in a pan until golden brown with continuous stirring.
*Towards the end add a little bit of tamarind.
*Grind all the above ingredients to a powder.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beans Thoran

Beans Thoran is a healthy side dish that serves as a delicious accompaniment to almost any Indian meal that can be made in minutes if you have the grated coconut.I used Inchapayar here, and can be used with any beans.

250gm Beans, finely chopped
1 medium sized Onions, finely chopped
3 Green chillies chopped
half Cup Coconut, grated
1/4th tsp Turmeric powder
3 tsp Oil
Curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt as required

*Mix Beans, Onions, Green Chilli, Grated coconut, salt and turmeric powder.
*Heat oil using kadai or a pan.
*Splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves.
*Add the beans-coconut mixture and mix well.
*Sprinkle a little water and cover the pan with lid, keep on simmer for 5 min.
*Remove the lid and mix well.
Keep it on flame till done.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Carrot Juice- For the love of carrot

Carrot juice is a very healthy juice which is high in beta-carotene. Initially I did not like the flavour much, but now being a constant user this has become one of my favourites.


Carrots – 3 nos.
Ginger – 1 small piece
Honey – 2 Tbsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp

*Grind the cut, washed, scraped carrots along with Ginger and enough water in a blender.
*Strain the juice to remove the lumps.
*Add honey and lime juice, Mix well.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice with vegetables


Basmati rice- 2 cups
finely chopped ginger
finely chopped garlic
chopped Carrot-1/2 cup
chopped beans-1/2 cup
chopped green peas-1/2 cup
chopped cabbage-1/4 cup
Onion- 1/4 cup
spring onions-chopped fine
chicken-1/2 cup
soya sauce -2 tsp
chilli sauce- 1 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1/4 tsp

1. Cook rice to three fourth with Salt and keep aside.( You can either cook rice with plenty of water and drain them into a colander or cook with just enough water to cook the rice.
Each cooked rice should be well separated and fluffy.For basmati Rice use 1.5 cups of water for each cup of rice and If you are using Sona masoori rice, use 2 cups of water for each cup of rice.
Let this cool completely once it is cooked.I used basmati rice)

2.Scramble Eggs:Heat up wok or large saute pan . Add eggs and scramble fry them and keep it aside.
Chicken: Clean the chicken and chop it into small pieces.Marinate the chicken with salt and pepper.Heat oil in a skillet and add the chicken pieces. Add some soy sauce and cook the chicken on medium heat till it becomes tender.
Fry vegetables: Heat the oil in a pan and saute the ginger, garlic and fry till the raw smell goes off.
5. Add all the diced vegetables and cook them .Add in the sliced chicken pieces and scrambled eggs.Fry till they are crispy and cooked. Add the chopped spring onion.
Add Soy sauce, Chili sauce, Salt and Pepper, Saute it for 1 or 2 minutes.
Sprinkle a pinch of ajinomoto for more taste. (optional- I did not)
6.Finally add cooked Rice and mix everything gently till the rice is evenly coated with the sauces and vegetables. Fry the rice on medium-high for another few minutes. sprinkle some more pepper powder and salt according to your taste. Garnish with  green spring onions. The Fried Rice is ready to be served hot.

* you can fry the rice in oil/ghee before you pour the water. I skipped this step to reduce the amount of oil/calorie.
* Ajinomoto can give a nice flavour and taste, but as I am unsure of its health profile i skipped that as well.
* Always try adjusting the salt at the end when you make a Chinese item, as the sauces contain some amount of salt in itself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Uzhunnu Vada

I wanted to try making uzhunnu vada.I browsed the method in Internet and tried following the same way.Everything was easy except for making the hole to make the vada look like a doughnut
 and somehow I managed to make it somewhat okay after few vadas. My vada was tasty and looked average for a beginner and I should say my hubby has been my Guru in the making of this vada.
Its not because he knows how to make it, but he did give me a lot of suggestions on making the vada, especially on how to make the hole.  All ideas were not good, but it helped me.and he wants me to give him the credit he deserves :-)

Ingredients :

Urad Dal - 2 cups
Big Onion chopped - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - 4
Curry leaves - A few
Black Pepper Corns - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Salt Oil

*Soak urad dal in water for few hours.
*Grind the soaked dal without water and make a smooth thick paste.
*Add chopped ginger, green chillies, onion, curry leaves, whole black pepper corns, and salt and mix well.
*Wet your hand and place a small ball of the batter .Press it down with the fingers of your other hand and make a hole in the middle of it.
*Heat the oil in a wok and drop the ball with a small hole into it and fry it until it becomes golden brown.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vattayappam / Steamed Kerala Rice Bread

Vattayappam is basically a soft  Rice Bread made with Rice and Coconut.I can say this is a traditional recipe followed all year around in almost all Christian homes of Kerala including mine.

Raw white rice – 2 cups
Grated fresh coconut – 1 cup
Sugar – ¾ cup
Cooked Rice ( Preferably Rose matta- Optional) - ½ cup
Yeast – 1 teaspoon
Water – ½ cup
Cardamom powder – ½ teaspoon (optional)
Salt – a pinch or two
Raisins – for garnishing

*Soak the white rice in water for about 5-6 hours and drain them
*Grind the rice to a fine paste.
*Take a table spoon of this paste and heat it in medium flame along with bit of water to get a starchy paste called the "kappi".
*Add in the coconut and cooked rice to the grinder and grind them as well
* Prepare Yeast: Add Yeast to luke warm water with a teaspoon sugar and lmix well. let it stand for a minute.  *Transfer to a pot and add sugar and "Kappi", yeast, salt & cardamom powder (if you are using it).The batter should not be very watery; preferably it should have the idly batter consistency.
*Keep this batter over night.
*Check for the sugar and cardamom powder (I prefer w/o cardomom)
*Grease a flat shallow round pan and pour the batter into it half way.(It raises on steaming)
*Garnish it with  raisins or cashew nuts or both. (optional)
*Steam for about 15-20 minutes, take it out from the steamer.Allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 min and loosen the sides with a knife, then gently take it out and cut it into pieces.  (I dint have the patience and cut it immediately so the sides are not even.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I had a chance to attend a Filipino Gathering and I came across this Filipino noodles, staple dish of the Philippines.A friendly lady I met there told me the name of that noodles is Pancit and the dish looked fancy as the name sounded. Pancit/pansit, is a quick-cooked rice noodle dish stir-fried with meat/fish and vegetables and is one of the essential meals of Filipino cuisine.Pancit tastes better when lemon is squeezed over it before eating.
I tried an easy Pancit recipe from Internet and It came out good. So I thought I will share this with you.
Usually they use the shredded chicken (or other meat), but I used the Shrimp as a substitute.

Pancit noodles
Shrimp fried
2 cups of chicken broth
Vegetables: cabbage, sliced into strips
onion, pealed and sliced
carrot, sliced into strips
Broccoli florets cut into small pieces
3 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, sliced

*Soak the pancit noodles to soften for few minutes in very Hot water. Separate the noodle strands and then drain and set aside.
*Saute garlic and onion. Stir-fry until translucent. Remove and set aside.
*In a heated wok, separately stir-fry: carrot,Broccoli and cabbage until crisp-tender. Remove and set aside.
*Stir-fry  shrimp with some salt and pepper.Remove and set aside.
*Add noodles to the wok. Season with soy sauce, salt and black pepper.
*Add chicken stock if desired i.e if noodles seem dry. Stir constantly, scooping from bottom to top and until liquid has been absorbed.
*Add vegetable mixture, fried shrimp and Sprinkle garlic/onion mixture. Turn heat off and cover with lid for a few minutes, about 5 minutes until noodles are cooked through.
*Adjust Salt and pepper to taste.
*Serve hot with sliced lemon on the side.

Easy Vegetable fried rice.

When you are running out of time, this is a Colourful and appealing rice platter you can make in minutes assuming you have a side dish like chicken curry.

Basmati rice – 2 cups
Ghee/Butter to fry
Carrot, Beans, Green peas – ¼ cup each
(carrot & beans cut to ½ inch cubes)
Onion(large, chopped lengthwise) – 2 nos
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp (optional)
Spice (Grampoo & Cinnamon)
Salt - As reqd
Oil – 2 - 3 tbsp
Water to boil the rice

*Wash the rice and spread it and keep to let the water drain.
*Pour ghee into a hot kadai.Add ginger-garlic paste (optional),Spice and rice and fry it. Pour 3.5 cups water (it might vary rice to rice) and cook the rice to three fourth.
*Add oil to a pan and fry ¾ of the chopped onions and vegetables and stir fry.
* Mix both together into a container and let the rice and vegetables cook together for a minute.
*Serve it hot with decorated crisp fried onions, fried cashews and raisins on top

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Erachi ularthiyathu/ Kerala Beef fry

Erachi ularthu/ Beef fry is finger licking, lipsmackingly good authentic kerala dish that every Keralite has a nostalgic love. My house used to be wrapped in the aroma of it especially on Sundays , when we kids come back after the church. Usually at my home I never saw them using the tablespoon/ teaspoon measurements when they make Beef fry. it tastes the better the next day,so keep some for next day too.
It could be served with both rice, chapatti or porotta. My son and husband loves eating it as much I love cooking it for them.  

beef cut into small cubes- 1Kg
garlic (thinly sliced)- 2 tbsp
ginger pieces  (thinly sliced) - 1 tbsp
Coconut slivers/Thenga kothu- 1/2 cup 
Shallots - 10 nos (if not substitute with 2 cups thinly sliced onion) 
curry leaves (optional depending on the availability)- Lots of it
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
Mustard- to sputter


Coriander powder -  1.5 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
black peppercorns ,fennel seeds (1 tsp), cloves(2#),cardamom pods (2#), Cinnamon sticks (4 pieces)
Star anise (2 nos),Bay leaves (1 no)

*In a large heavy bottomed frying pan, heat the oil, crackle the mustard seeds and add the onions/shallot, sliced ginger and garlic and curry leaves.
Add salt to taste and saute till the onions start to brown.
*Add the Masala (ingredients listed in masala)and dry roast them along with diced coconut, for 3-4 minutes on a medium steady flame , until aromatic and brown.
*To this onion-masala mix , add washed beef and stir well. keep it closed and cook with a tight lid for around 45 minutes . Occasionally stirr the beef to make sure  bottom doesn’t burn.
*Open the lid and cook till the water is evaporated almost completely and you get the nice dark brown coloured Beef fry.
Notes: Some prefer adding a chopped tomato,  while sauteing, but i don't prefer it tangy.
I don't add water, the drained beef has its own water and make sure you use heavy bottomed pan
I don't use pressure cooking either but you can use it to save time.