Chemmeen Roast

This is a very very easy fastfood recipe. I got this recipe from the June 2007 edition of Kanyaka magazine. On busy days and whenever Iam too lazy to cook, chemmen roast and rice is the way to go!!!!

Prawns: 1 kilo
Onions: 2 large diced
Chilly Powder: 3 tbsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil: 100 ml
Salt: As required

Heat oil in a kadai and throw in the prawns with turmeric powder, a little water and salt. let it cook for 15 minutes on a law flame.
Now add the onions and  masala and saute till done.
See, I told u its easy.. o yes, it is tasty too!!!!

Green Peas Curry

Vegetarian food is not my forte but this is a really easy to cook dish which is very very tasty. This is my friend Anj's recipe. If you read Shn's blog, Mishmash , You can see this Anj in the Aval Payasam recipe page.. wink!!!! Anj once came home with kerala parotta, mutton curry (which was very sweet of her as she is a vegetarian) and home made green peas and it was sooooo yummy that I took down the recipe from her and from then on, make it often. Here is her recipe

Green peas: 1 cup (fresh or frozen)
Onions: 2 medium diced
Coconut Milk: 1/2 cup
Oil and salt: as required

To grind:
Grated Coconut: 2 tbsp
Tomato: 1 medium
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Chilly Powder: 2 tsp (pls adjust to ur tolerance level)
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Cinnamon and cloves: 1 each
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Garlic: 2 pods

Heat oil in a kadai and saute the onions till slightly brown.
Add the ground paste and saute till the raw smell is gone
Now add the green peas, water and salt and cook till it is done.
Pour the coconut milk and take off fire.
Garnish with curry leaves.


Honey and Oats cookies

Its the holiday season and Iam feeling guilty eating all the cakes, fried snacks, rich meals.... Days later and Iam still guilty but hungry too which makes me to reach out to the unhealthy chips and pastries... and even if I buy digestive biscuits from the store, it sure contains sugar and maida..so I thought I will make my own healthy snack.. This is my own recipe...  and it came out well and Iam not at all guilty snacking this coz I know exactly what it contains.

Instant Oats: 11/4 cups
Whole Wheat Flour: 3/4 cup
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Honey: 5 tbsp
Butter: 1/4 cup

Heat a non stick pan and boil 2 tbsp of water and place the butter on it and switch off the stove after a few seconds. Easy way to melt the butter!!!
Mix all the dry ingredients proplerly and add the melted butter and honey and mix well.
In tablespoon proportions, place on a greased baking tray
Bake in a preheated oven at 230C till golden brown.


Pineapple pacchadi

I sooo have a sweet tooth and at the same time, I love spicy food too... and as Ive mentioned before, I love sadya too!!!! so this is one of my favourite dish which is super sweet, spicy and sour too... This is also one of the dishes from the sadya menu and is made from fresh pineapples. But, Iam too lazy for that, I use canned pineapple (I even use the syrup for an extra dash of sweetness and it is really tasty, believe me!!!) and here is my recipe.

Pineapple rings: 6
Pineapple syrup: 1/4 cup
Green chillies: 2 slit
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Coconut grated: 4 heaped tbsp
Cumin seeds: 3/4 tbsp
Curd: 1 cup
Mustard: 1 tsp
Dried Red chillies: 2
Curry Leaf: 1 sprig

Cut the pineapple rings into small cubes and cook it with 1/4 cup syrup, half cup water, turmeric, green chillies and salt till soft.
Meanwhile grind the coconut and cumin seeds into a very smooth paste.
Add the paste to the cooked pineapple and simmer for 5 minutes.
Make sure the water is almost dried.
Now turn off the stove and mix in the curd.
Season with spluttered mustard, dried redchillies and curry leaves.

Ginger Curry (Injicurry)

I love the Kerala sadya. When I was young, I looked forward to Onam to have a sadya.. ah! coz that is the only day we have sadya at home. One of my favourite dish is inji curry and that too puthri chechy's injicurry. It is so tasty and I thought it must be really difficult to make it. Once when puthrichechy came home, I asked her to make injicurry and lo!!! it was so simple... wow!!! this is her recipe...

Ginger:250 gm chopped fine
Green chillies: 5 chopped fine
Tamarind: lime sized (yes, lime sized!!!!) soaked in a bowl of water
Kashmiri Redy Chilly powder: 3 tbsp
Fenugreek powder: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 3/4 tbsp
Salt: as required
Oil: 1/4 cup

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil and fry the green chillies and ginger till ginger turns brown.
Now add the tamarind water, salt and chilly powder and let it boil.
When the gravy becomes thick, add the fenugreek powder and simmer for a few more minutes.
Add the sugar and turn off the stove.
Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, shallots, dried red chilly and curry leaves and pour over the inji curry.
This goes well with rice.

Tuna Cutlets

 Really fed up of eating tuna salads... had an overdose of salads and tuna stir fries and tuna sandwiches. Since I had 4 cans (170 gm shredded tuna) in my larder, I thought I will make Tuna cutlets with my fish cutlet recipe. I made 22 cutlets and it was really yummy!!!!!

Shredded Tuna : Four 170gm cans
Potato: 2 large boiled and mashed
Onions: 2 big diced
Garlic: 1 tbsp chopped fine
Ginger: 2 tbsp chopped fine
Green chillies: 4 chopped fine
Garam Masala: 1 heaped tsp
Pepper: 1.5 tsp
Coriander leaves: a bunch chopped fine
Eggs: 2 beaten
Bread Crumbs: 1 cup
Salt and Oil as required

Drain out the liquid from the tuna can using a strainer. You might have to squeeze the meat to completely drain.
If you are using any other kind of fish, boil it with a little water, turmeric and salt. Drain the liquid and shred the fish
In a heavy bottomed pan, saute onions, green chillies, garlic and ginger till onions turn slightly brown.
Add the pepper powder, garam masala, salt and the shredded tuna and saute for a few minutes.
Throw in the coriander leaves and mix properly and switch off the stove.
Let it cool.
Now add the mashed potatoes and mix properly.
Make small balls and shape it the way you like and dip in beaten egg and then bread crumbs.
Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the cutlets till golden brown.
Or you can freeze it and fry it later.
Serve it with tomato sauce.


Amma's Tasty Egg Curry

I usually make stew with Appam, but today I was feeling nostalgic and was missing amma's egg curry. This is a very tasty egg curry preparation- authentic Kerala egg curry in coconut milk. Mom uses curry leaves also but since I don't get curry leaves here in this corner of the world, this is without that wonderful ingredient!!!

Eggs Boiled: 3
Onion: 2 medium sliced
Ginger: 1 inch chopped fine
Green chillies: 2 slit
Tomato: 1 chopped
Thick coconut milk: 1/2 cup
Thin Coconut milk: 1 cup
Mustard seeds-1 sp
Dried red chillies: 2
Salt and Oil: as required.

For the masala:
Coriander powder: 1 heaped tsp
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 level tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Make a paste of these powders with 1tbsp of water and keep aside.

Slice the eggs and keep aside.
In a non stick pan, heat oil and splutter the mustard and dried red chillies.
Saute the Onions, ginger and green chillies till the onions are slightly brown.
Add the masala paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
Add the tomatoes and salt and saute till tomatoes turn limp.
Pour the thin coconut milk and place the sliced eggs in the pan.
Let it boil for a minute.
Now pour the thick coconut milk and take off fire.
Goes well with Appam, Chappati and Parotta.


Egg Puffs

I've been very sentimental this whole week-  It was a lonely Christmas!!! As I was staring at the Christmas tree, memories came flooding back to my mind... My childhood christmas, Christmas with friends in hostel, Christmas with Kochu's family.. and this year, it was just the four of us and we really missed India. So, just to feel at home, I thought I will bake puffs (something which we won't get here!!!). But this also brought a tear to my eye... I remembered Tiruvalla Best Bakery puffs, Mallapally Town Bakery puffs, then Bangalore Iyengar Bakery puffs, Christ College Kiosk puffs,Chennai Hot puffs and also Vergheson Puffs which daddy buys.... ah!!!!! well, I will keep my sob story to myself... here's the recipe!!!

Pastry Sheet- 8 (You will get square pastry sheets at the freezer section of any super market)
Boiled Eggs: 4
Egg white: of 1 egg

For the masala:
Onion: 1 diced
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Tomato paste: 1 tbsp
Chilly powder: 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp
Salt and Oil : as required

Heat oil in a non stick pan and saute the onions and ginger garlic paste till onions turn brown.
Now add the tomato paste and the masalas with a tbsp water and saute for 2 minutes.
Add required salt and again mix properly.
Your masala is ready.

Now take one pastry sheet and keep a spoon of masala and half of one egg.
Seal the pastry sheet using a fork.
Brush egg whites on the pastry sheets (for the nice golden colour)
Bake in a preheated oven (200C) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Easy Prawns Biriyani

When I was newly married, I was not fond of cooking biriyani coz I always felt it was tedious and was scared I will mess it up. But my husband loves Biriyani and used to tell me "atleast make a kalipeeru biriyani" and I used to wonder what a kalipeeru Biriyani was. Then I heard the same term used by my sisters-in-law. So I asked my husband and he said  "Mom makes it, learn from her". Now I have to tell you all, Mom is an excellent cook and she makes all kinds of biriyani .. from dum biriyani to malabar type (mixing) biriyani to even kalipperu biriyani. She usually makes the kalipeeru biriyani with minced beef. Ive used her method to make prawns biriyani ... changed the recipe a bit coz it is prawns- has to be marinated and also I used lemon and cut down on the tomatoes.

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Prawns: 1/2 kg
Onion: 1 big sliced
Ginger Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Tomato: 1 medium sliced
Green chillies: 2 slit
Lemon juice: 0f 1 lemon
Cinnamon: 1
Star Anise:1
Coriander leaves: a bunch
Ghee- 2 tbsp
Oil-2 tbsp

To Marinate the prawns:
Chilly powder: 1.5 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt:as required
Lemon juice of one lemon

Wash and devein the prawns. Marinate with the To marinate ingredients and keep aside for half an hour.
Wash the rice properly and soak it in water for 20 minutes.
Take a pressure cooker and heat the ghee and oil, Add the whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and cloves)
After a minute, add the onions, ginger garlic and green chillies and saute till the onions are browned.
Now add the marinated prawns and cook on a low flame.
When the prawns are half cooked, add the tomato and saute till oil separates.
Add required salt and the chopped coriander leaves.
Now add the rice along with 3 cups of water and place the lid.
When the steam starts coming out steadily, place the weight and wait for 30 seconds.
Turn off the stove and let it remain like that for 20 minutes.
Open the lid and serve hot with raitha.


Chicken Cutlets

Chicken boneless: 1/2 kg
Onions diced: 2
Ginger: 2 inch chopped fine
Greenchillies: 3 chopped fine
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Garam masala: 2 tsp
Potatoes: 3 medium.
Eggs: 3
Bread crumbs: 1 cup
Salt and Oil: as required.

Pressure cook the potatoes, mash and keep aside
Cook the chicken, shred it and keep aside
In a kadai, heat oil and saute the onions, ginger,curry leaves and greenchillies till brown (not black!!!)
Add the garam masala and the shredded chicken and mix properly for 2 minutes on low flame.
Take off fire and allow it to cool.
Now add the mashed potatoes and required salt and mix properly.
Shape it into cutlets and coat it with egg and then with bread crumbs.
You can either freeze it and fry it later or you can fry it straightaway and have hot hot cutlets with tomato sauce.


Egg Biriyani

Whenever I make Biriyani, I remember Gracy. She was my helper for the last 3 months I was bedridden back in 2005. She used to make delicious biriyani on Sundays. She will tell me "Madam, Ennakku Konjama samayal seyya theriyaathe.. naan narraye seyya porae" and go on to make Biriyani with 1 kg Basmati rice (NO, Iam not kidding). And that is the day she goes home and returns early the next day. So when she is about to leave, I will ask her to have her food and go and she will say :No, its too early, I will take my share and go.... After she leaves, Kochu will bring the biriyani to my bed and we will have it together. It would be just enough for the 2 of us and if one of us want to have a 2nd helping, no way...and nothing left for dinner also!!!! So the first time I thought she would have accidentally taken our share and went (remember she makes biriyani with 1 kg rice... with 1 kg rice u can feed 12 people). But the same thing happened next week also. So on the 3rd weekend, I told her, see Gracy, since Iam bedridden and cant cook the dinner and also since doctor advised me not to have outside food, please leave a little more food for us. She said 'okay ma' but again same old story!!!! So finally I gave up. The episode continued every Sunday till she left.

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Boiled Eggs: 4
Onions: 2 medium
Tomatoes: 2 small
Green chillies: 3
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Chilly Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala-1tsp
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2 tsp
Curd: 2 tbsp
Cinnamon-2 sticks
Fennel seeds: 1/2 tsp
Ghee and salt: as required.
Cashewnuts and raisins- 2 spoons each.
Coriander leaves- a handful.

Cook the rice in 6 cups water. Drain and keep aside.
Fry the cashewnut and raisins in ghee and keep aside.
In a kadai, heat ghee and splutter the whole garam masala.(cardamom, fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon)
Saute the sliced onions and when translucent, add the ginger garlic paste.
When the onions turn brown, add the chopped tomatoes and saute till limp
Sprinkle water and add the chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Saute well.
Now add the slit greenchillies and the coriander leaves along with the curd. Mix it properly on low flame.
Now add the boiled eggs, cashew nuts and raisins and mix in the masala.
Take off from fire and mix the masala in the rice properly.
This is a very tasty egg biriyani preparation.


Hyderabadi Brinjal and Chilly curry/ Mirch Baingan Ka saalan

I had heard a lot about this dish from Suchechy. She always used to say Binnu (she is from Hyderabad) makes it often. For all those who are wondering, Su and Binnu are my eldest and 2nd sisters-in -law. Finally I got to taste it at Suchechy's place on a cold (read not-hot, coz it is Chennai) Christmas eve. From then on, I make it whenever I have to impress my guests.

Fresh Big greenchillies: 5
Small Brinjal: 6
Onion: 1 big chopped fine
Fenugreek seeds:1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves: 20
Chopped coriander: a handful
Tamarind pulp: of a gooseberry sized ball of tamarind.
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Chilly Powder: 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
Garam Masala:1 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds: 3/4 cup
Roasted peanuts: 1/2 cup
Coconut grated: 1 cup
Oil: 1 cup
Salt and Water: as required.

Wash and slit green chillies and Brinjal lengthwise leaving the stem intact. Keep it aside.
Roast the sesame seeds, groundnut and coconut for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and grind it to a fine paste.
Soak Tamarind in a cup of water and keep aside.
In a Non stick kadai, heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
Now add the slit GreenChillies and Brinjal and fry it. Take it out and keep aside
Throw in the chopped onions and brown it.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute till the flavour is released.
Now add the chilly powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and the fried GreenChillies and Brinjal. Saute for a minute.
Add the ground sesame paste and saute till the vegetables are well coated.
Add 2 cups water and keep stirring.
When the Brinjals are tender, add the tamarind water and boil again for a minute.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
This goes well with Biriyani, Roti and Kerala parotta.


Mutton Roast

We've (Kochu and I) been experimenting with mutton lately and this is an excellent recipe we came up with. This is an inspiration from the traditional Kerala Beef ularthu recipe and chicken roast recipe. If you are going to try this out, it is very important to use homemade garam masala... that is the essence of this recipe.So here it goes....

Mutton: 1 kg
Onions: 2 big sliced
Tomatoes; 2 chopped
Ginger Garlic paste: 1tbsp
Green chillies: 2
Chilly Powder: 1 heaped tsp
Turmeric:1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 heaped tsp

To marinate:
Curd: 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder: 1 heaped tsp
Coriander powder: 1 heaped tsp
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tsp
Home made garam masala: 2 tbsp.( get the recipe here )

Marinate the mutton with the to marinate ingredients. Let it stand for half an hour at room temperature.
Now pressure cook the mutton adding 1/2 cup water (No, you don't have to add more water). Cook till 12 whistles on high flame.
In a kadai, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, and saute the onions, ginger garlic paste and green chillies till onions turn brown.
Add the tomatoes and saute till oil floats on top.
Now add the cooked mutton along with the stock and saute properly.
Cook till the dish turns dry.
It tastes yummy with rice!!!!

Egg burji

A recipe doesn't have to be complicated or take a lot of time to prepare for it to be good. This is such a recipe and each time I make it, I miss my eldest sister-in-law (co-sister)coz she is the one who taught me how to make it. It is ready in minutes and is a great sandwich filling. (chapati and bread)

Onions: 2 chopped fine
Tomatoes: 2 chopped
Ginger: 1 inch chopped fine
Green chillies: 2 slit.
Eggs: 3
Turmeric powder: 1/4 sp
Pepper powder: 1/4 sp
Garammasala: 1/4 sp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 sp
Oil and Salt: as required.

Heat oil in a pan. Saute the onions, greeenchillies and ginger till brown.
Add the tomatoes and the masalas and saute till oil floats on top.
Now add the eggs one by one and scramble it properly.
Add salt and mix again properly.
Turn off the stove and it tastes good both hot and at room temperature (in case you are packing it for lunch).

Garam Masala

I always go for the convenient option. Buy garam masala and use it for all my cooking. But if I want to cook some exotic dishes like beef ullarthu, chicken roast or mutton roast, then I use ONLY home made garam masala for the bright spicy flavour... and YES, it makes all the difference.
Here's my garam masala recipe

Fennel seeds (saunf/sonp/perinjeerakam):  1/2 cup
Cinnamon stick- 1/4 cup
Cardamom- seeds of 8 cardamom
Cloves- 20
Star Anise- 4

Heat a nonstick pan and dry roast the ingredients (important-medium flame)till you get the aroma
Let it cool and grind it till it is powdered properly.
Store it in an airtight container.


White Ada

Sharkkara Ada, Karupura Ada, Gothambada, Ela ada, ari ada, panjasaara ada........ so many varieties. when I was pregnant, I remember how I craved for Ela ada and since I was bed ridden, couldnt make on my own....and I still remember explaining to my helper how to make it (she was a tamilian and had never even heard of this dish before)... to the curious ones out there... yes, she finally came up with excellent ela ada... and started making it regularly!!!!  Gothambada was a favourite at my place and my grandmom used to make ari ada with sugar.
At my Madras mom's place it is White Ada... Ada made with rice flour, coconut, onions, ginger and green chillies.... and it goes well with chicken or beef stew.

Rice flour: 2 cups
Onion: 1 small chopped fine
Ginger: 1/2 inch chopped fine
Green chilly: 1 small chopped fine
Grated coconut: 3/4 cup
Boiling water: 1.25 cups (maybe a little more)
Saltl: as required

Mix the chopped onions, ginger, greenchillies, salt and coconut well with the rice flour.
Add the boiling water and mix properly with a spoon.
When you can handle the mix, make a pliable dough
Now take a small amount of dough (a passion fruit sized ball) on a plastic sheet and spread it into a circle with your finger tips.
Transfer it into a heated non stick pan. (Optional: you can grease the corners)
Turn and cook the other side also.
Tastes good hot with chicken stew. (Chicken stew recipe is here )


Palappam (Appam)

Oyen, remember how you used to say...Mamma, I want Appam and stool... You never got the stew right.... I used to let you have it by yourself just to watch you enjoying your breakfast... each and every bite and each and every dip.So this recipe is for you....

Raw rice: 2 cups  (or 2 cups Indian Basmati rice)
Grated Coconut: 1 cup (or 1 cup thick coconut milk)
Yeast: 1 tsp
Warm water: 1 cup
Cooked rice: 2 cups
Sugar: 1 tsp+ 2 tbsp
Salt: as required

Soak the raw rice in water for 2 hours.
Blend the raw rice and coconut grated (adding a little water) till you get a smooth batter.
If you are using the tinned coconut milk, do not add water for blending.
In a cup of luke warm water, dissolve a tsp of sugar and yeast and wait till it becomes bubbly.
Now blend the cooked rice and the bubbly yeast water.
Mix it into the raw rice batter and keep it aside for 6 hours for it to ferment.
Once it is fermented, add required salt and 2 tbsp sugar and mix well.
Now take an appam chatti and heat it on medium flame.
Pour a ladle of the batter and quickly swirl the batter in a circle by tilting the pan.
Close the lid
Take off fire when the edges are slightly browned and the centre cooked.
Eat it hot with your favourite stew

or with egg curry

Kerala Chicken Stew

A must have for Christmas, Easter, New year and all the celebrations in between.... Goes well with Appam , White Ada ,bread and chappati.

Chicken: 1/4 kg
Potato: 1 big peeled and sliced big (if it is too small, it will get mashed up while the chicken is cooking)
Onions: 2 sliced
Ginger: 1 inch chopped fine
Green chillies: 2 slit
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs.
cardamom: 2
Cinnamon stick: 1
Cloves: 3
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Pepper Powder : 1 tsp
Vinegar: 1 tsp
Mustard: 1/2 spoon
Thick Coconut milk: 1 cup
Thin Coconut Milk: 2 cups
Salt and oil: as required

Heat  oil in a Pressure cooker and add the cardamom, cinnamon stick and cloves. Wait for half a minute and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves
When it splutters, add the onions, ginger and green chillies and saute till onions turn translucent.
Now add one tsp garam masala, required salt, potatoes and chicken.
Cook this with 2 cups thin coconut milk (four whistles on high flame)
Take off the lid and add 1 tsp vinegar and thick coconut milk and boil again for half a minute.
Turn off the stove and add the pepper powder and mix well.


Chemmen Nirracha Rava Puttu

This is a very tasty and hassle free breakfast with leftover prawns roast. You can get the prawns roast recipe here  Instead of the prawns, you can fill egg roast masala, or shredded chicken roast or whatever. This way you don't have to worry about making a side dish for the puttu. And also Rava puttu is made almost like Rice puttu but you have to be careful about mixing water coz if it is not properly done, it will be a disaster... not enough water means you will get the rava just like that without being cooked, and if the water is too much, then you will get a crystallized looking Rava cake.

Rava (Semolina): 1 cup
Salt: as required
Water: Half cup (You might need more)
Grated Coconut: 4 tbsp

Dry roast the rava for about 10 mts in a non stick pan. Keep the flame low otherwise you will burn the rava.
Take off fire and allow it to cool.
Add required salt and sprinkle water and mix it properly with your hand.Keep it aside
After 10 mts, you will see the rava has become dry again.
Sprinkle some more water and mix again using your hand.
Wait for 5 more minutes and make a ball by taking a handful of rava mix and if it sticks together, it means your mix is ready.
Drop 2 tbsp of grated coconut to the bottom of the puttu mould followed by 1/4 cup rava mix. Then drop 2 tbsp prawns roast, and again 1/4 cup Rava mix followed by the prawns roast and Rava mix till your mould is  full. Pack the top of the mould again with 2 tbsp grated coconut.
Boil water in the Puttu kudam and when it starts to boil, keep the puttu mould on top of that.
Once steam starts coming out, wait for 8-10 minutes.
Serve hot.


Coconut Milk Rice

This one is from my Madras Mom's kitchen. I've never had it before my marriage and after having it at mom's place, I can never go without it for more than a month. This is Daddy's favourite and it is a taste of Ceylon (He was brought up in Ceylon).

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Thick Coconut Milk: 1 cup
Water: 2 cups
Cinnamon- 1 stick
Cloves- 2
Onion: 2 big sliced
Ginger Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
Green Chillies-3
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
Satl and oil- as required.

Wash and soak the rice in water for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter the whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon and cloves).
Now add the onions, ginger garlic paste and green chillies and saute till the onions turn translucent
Add the turmeric powder and saute for a few seconds and then add the rice along with the coconut milk and water. Add salt according to your taste.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and when steam starts coming out steadily, place the weight and wait for 20 seconds and turn off the stove.
Let it remain like that for half an hour. After that open the pressure cooker and serve hot with your favourite non veg dish.

Prawns Roast

This is an excellent recipe for prawns roast. No, I didn't come up with this... I took this from the 2005 issue of Pachakam from Vanitha Publication. I love the recipes given in Vanitha... You can never go wrong with their recipes!!! This recipe is a toddy shop recipe for prawns roast. My 2nd sister-in -law(co-sister), Binnu has been asking me for this recipe for the past 3 years coz she can't read malayalam. Ive been wanting to translate it for so long but i guess was too lazy.... but today I've decided to do it...

Prawns: half kilo
Onions: 3 medium
Green chillies: 3
Dried red chillies:2
Ginger:1 inch piece
Garlic: 8 pods
Tomato: 1 medium
Chilly powder: 1 tsp
Pepper powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: a pinch

Marinate the prawns with 1 spoon pepper powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and cook with a little water.
Saute the Onions, ginger, garlic, greenchillies and dried red chillies till onions turn brown.
Add the rest of the pepper powder, chilly powder and the cooked prawns and saute for 2 minutes.
Now add the tomato and saute for another 2 minutes.
Delicious prawns roast is ready!!!!!



My son has been asking for laddoos for the past few weeks but unfortunately no laddoos around here and the only restaurant which has remotely Indian food serves only Gajjar ka halwa and Gulab Jamun and as Ive said before, no besan available in shops... so even if you give the recipe to a confectioner he won't be able to come up with laddoos without the besan.
So finally I thought I will make the laddoos with the Besan I got from this man who supplies to Indians. Ive seen my cousin making laddoos without adding the artificial colouring and somehow I prefer that.. No, I don't think the artificial colour can kill me but I prefer not to use artificial coloring in home made food.
It is very easy to make laddoos and here is what I did.

For Boondi
Bengal Gram Flour: 1 cup
Water: 3/4 cup

For sugar syrup
Sugar: 1 1/2 cups
Water: 1 cup

Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Oil for frying the boondi
A ladle with round holes on it to make boondi.

First, make the batter for boondi by mixing the water and besan.

Make sure no lumps are formed, the consistency should be such that it should easily fall through the sieve into the  oil but not too thin either coz then the boondi will stick together.

Now, make the sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar.

Keep stirring and switch off the stove when it reaches one thread consistency( Take a little amount of the syrup in a spoon and touch it with your forefinger... Now bring your thumb to the forefinger and slowly pull apart.. if it forms a single thread without breaking.. that is one thread consistency)

Make sure the syrup remains warm by keeping it on the stove itself while you prepare the boondi

Now heat the oil and drop the Besan batter into the oil. Fry till light golden color and take it out of oil and drain it on a tissue paper and immediately transfer it into the sugar syrup.

Once all the batter is used up and boondi done, mix it properly in the sugar syrup and add 1 tsp cardamom powder. Leave it aside for 10 minutes for the boondi to soak up the sugar syrup

When you think you can handle the sweet boondi with your hand, form it into lime sized balls.

Believe me, it tastes so yummy good!!!!!

The laddoo in the picture below has artificial colouring- I made it just once with colour coz sonnie wanted it like Adyar sweets Laddoo- yellow colour!!! If you want the yellow colour, add half teaspoon of lemon yellow colour to the sugar syrup and then follow the same recipe.

Tomato Rice

This is a very satisfying quick fix dinner. I always make this when I have some Non veg dish in the fridge which i can heat up. So all I have to worry about is chopping some onions for raitha and then ofcourse chopping onions and tomatoes for the tomato rice. That is it!!!! So here is the recipe...

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Onions: 2 sliced
Tomatoes: 2 chopped
Ginger and Garlic- 1 tbsp each
Green Chillies:2
Coriander Powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Chilly Powder:1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: a pinch
Cinnamon- 1 stick
Coriander leaves and Curry leaves- a handful
Salt and Oil- as required.

Wash and soak the rice in water (atleast for 20 minutes). Meanwhile chop the onions, tomatoes, greenchillies, garlic and ginger.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter the whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves).
Add the onions and saute till light brown. Now add the ginger, garlic and greenchillies and saute till onions are properly browned.
Now add all the masalas, curry leaves, corinader leaves and tomatoes and keep stirring in between till tomoatoes are cooked well.
Now add rice with enough salt and 3 cups water and close the lid of the pressure cooker.
When steam starts coming out steadily, place the weight and wait for 20 seconds and turn off the stove.
Let it remain like that for half an hour. Take off the lid after half hour and your tasty tomato rice is ready!!


Idiyappam (String Hoppers)

This is one compulsory breakfast at home atleast once a week and only on working days!!!! Now you must have guessed why... yes, it is very easy to make!!!! If you have fried rice flour in your larder, all you have to do is boil water for the dough and warm the milk to go with the idiyappam.

Rice Flour; 1 cup
Boiling Water: 1 cup                              
Salt: to taste

Mix the Rice flour, salt and water with a spoon (otherwise you'll burn your fingers)
Keep it for a few minutes and when you feel you can handle the mix with your hand, make a pliable dough.
Now take your idly cooker and grease the idly plates with a little oil.
Now take a small portion of the dough and place it inside the idiyappam maker and press the dough out in circles into the idly plate.
Steam it for 15 minutes on medium flame.
You can make any coconut milk based curry to go with it but Iam very happy with warm milk and sugar and my husband likes it with coconut milk and sugar.


Spicy Beef Curry

I guess  most of us like variety but too lazy to come up with varieties... Most of the time we get too comfortable with what we cook ...and cook it over and over again. In my kitchen also, it is pretty much the same week after week. Though I like variety, I have a lot of favourites in constant rotation.. either because it is tasty or it is very easy to cook!!! and in the end get bored of the same old menu ..thats when I try to get inspiration from other cuisines and recipes. This is one such recipe....Here I put a new twist to an old favourite. Inspired from Mutton Rogan Josh recipe.....

Beef cut into small cubes: 1/2 kilo
Potato cut into big pieces: 1(optional- if you decide against this, reduce your chilly powder measurement)
Onions: 2 big chopped fine
Ginger and garlic chopped: 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Kashmiri chilly powder: 2 level tbsp
Coriander Powder: 2 Heaped tbsp
Turmeric Powder: a pinch
Garam Masala: 2 level tbsp
Cardamom- 2
Cinnamon stick- 1
Cloves: 3
Star Anise:1

Heat Oil in a pressure cooker. Splutter cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and star anise.
Saute the onions and when they are translucent add the chopped ginger add garlic.
When it turns brown, add the beef cubes and in a low flame, saute for 10 minutes.
Now add the ginger garlic paste and the masalas and saute again till the raw smell is gone and the beef well coated.
Add potato, water and salt and pressure cook for 20 minutes on a low flame.
Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves.


Cauliflower Capsicum Saute

Haven't you had days when you just don't know what to cook. Then you will decide to make something with a particular vegetable but can't decide on a recipe. You think and think and then you will decide to call up all your friends and family. So you sit with the phone and dial everyone on your contact list. And finally you will have enough recipes to write a book... I remember one such day. I had cauliflower and capsicum with me and I called up all my cousins- read expert cooks. Finally Susha chechy gave me a simple recipe but the fact is I never made it till today... she gave me the recipe almost a year back!!!! she messaged me the recipe and till date that recipe is in my saved messages list. Today I read it again and as usual I simplified it again coz Iam too lazy!!!! Her recipe needs onion and No... Iam too lazy to chop onions... and her recipe doesnt require much oil coz cauliflower is steamed but I used a lot of oil coz I fried the cauliflower.... so that is the difference!!!!!

Cauliflower: 1/4 kg
Capsicum: 3 small
Green chillies: 3
Garlic: 4 fat cloves chopped fine
Ginger: an inch piece chopped fine
Soya sauce: 1tsp
Tomato sauce: 1 tbsp
Oil: 4 tablespoons
Salt: as required

Heat oil in a non stick pan. Saute Garlic, Green chillies and ginger.
Now add the cauliflower and fry it in the oil.
When it is cooked, add salt and capsicum and saute for 2 more minutes in low flame.
Now add the sauces.
Serve it hot with Chinese noodles or Fried rice.

Mysore Pak

I don't remember exactly when I had Mysore Pak for the first time... I must have been very small coz my grandmother always used to make it. It was a long process... getting everything ready.. heating the ghee.. making the sugar syrup..checking for the consistency.. I've never quite understood the one thread consistency concept.. I still remember the bubbling sugar syrup, the Urali in which she used to make the sweet, and the Mysore Pak those days were porous and crisp. Later Sri Krishna sweets came up with a whole new concept of Mysore Pav and wow!!! If you've tasted it you know what I mean when I say it is heaven in your mouth. This is the easiest yet hardest mithai you can ever make. If you lose your concentration even for half a minute you will get a very hard mysore pak...and again if you lose concentration for a minute, you will get a powdery sweet... and if you stop cooking before it is the right consistency, you will get halwa.

 Iam saying this because Ive made this sweet before- once it was over cooked coz I guess i was in a hurry and the flame was high- end result was a powdery sweet... then another time I started to make Mysore Pak but the end result was besan halwa. Then I asked my mom and she told me the trick is the right consistency sugar syrup.

So get ready for half an hour of stirring, stirring and more stirring!!!!!

Bengal Gram Flour: 1 cup
Sugar: 2.5 cups
Ghee:  2.5 cups
water: half to one cup
(Note:for even better melt in the mouth mysore pak, make the ratio 1:3:3 for flour, sugar and ghee... but I cut down 0.5 each on sugar and ghee.... )

In a thick bottomed pan, heat the sugar and water. Make sure the flame is low. And keep stirring.

In another Kadai, heat the ghee. It should  be hot.

Now when the sugar syrup starts bubbling, check for the consistency. it should be one thread consistency.(Take a little amount of the syrup in a spoon and touch it with your forefinger... Now bring your thumb to the forefinger and slowly pull apart.. if it forms a single thread without breaking.. that is one thread consistency!!!)

As soon as this consistency is reached, add the Besan and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed.

When all the Besan is used up and you get a smooth paste, start adding the hot ghee one ladle at a time. yes, keep stirring, don't even stop for a second.

Once all the ghee is used up and the raw smell of the Besan gone, take a little amount of the besan mixture in your palm, if it forms a ball, then it means your Mysore Pak is ready.

Immediately transfer it into a greased tin.Let it stand for a few minutes and when it is still warm, cut into desired shape by inserting a knife. (This is also important coz once it cools, you wont be able to cut it.... and once completely cooled, break it apart where you've inserted the knife)

Linking this recipe to

You can see the announcement at Taste of Pearl City

Wheat Crepes

All you mothers of school going kids might understand what it means to plan the breakfast. For me, it is the biggest tension. Should I make puttu or idiyappam or dosa... oh no I didnt prepare the batter... Wish I had appam batter, then it would have been easier... or How I wish my kids would take bread or cornflakes day after day!!!! Well the wish list and what to make list will go on and on and it will be time for your child to take the school bus. On such days, I somehow end up making wheat crepes or Gothambu dosa. It is the easiest breakfast to make coz no fermentation is required and it can be made in a matter of minutes and if you have grated coconut in the freezer...ah bliss!!! chutney will also be ready in seconds!!! So today was such a day for me....

Wheat Flour: 2 Cups
Salt: as required
Oil: as required
Water: as required.

Mix the salt with wheat flour.
 Now add water and keep stirring with a spoon till you get a thin batter.
Make sure no lumps are formed

Once this consistency is reached, your batter is ready for wheat crepes. Yes, the consistency is thinner than the normal dosa batter.
Now heat a non stick tawa, and pour a ladle of batter and spread like for dosa/crepe
Grease all corners.Cook both sides.
When it is creamish brown on both sides, it is ready to serve.
It tastes better hot and with red chilly chutney.



Prawns pickle

Tastes and smells can bring back old memories. Each food bring back great memories of my childhood, youth, hostel days etc... Pickles especially bring back memories of my hostel days!!! Our hostel mess in Bangalore will have a variety of pickles on the table.. Dhanya's fish pickle, Manju's prawn pickle, Aysha's prawns chammanti podi, Anita's hyderabadi tomato pickle...the list goes on. I remember once Manju brought one big bottle of prawns pickle. She reached the hostel at 7 am from Trichur- the pickle was over by 12 noon and only two people had it... Manju and me!!!! I love any kind of pickle and if it is prawns pickle....ah! It is a love affair!!!! Today I made prawns pickle after a very long time and here is my recipe before I forget the quantity of ingredients....
 Oh yes... it is absolutely delicious... really hope it lasts till Kochu comes back from office!!!!

Prawns: 800 gm (I used two 400 gm packs)
Ginger garlic paste: 2 heaped tablespoons
Kashmiri Chilly powder: 3 heaped tablespoons
Mustard seeds: 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder:1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek powder: 2 teaspoons
Vinegar: 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
Salt: as required
Oil- 3/4 cup.

Devein the prawns and cook it with a little vinegar,turmeric powder,salt and water(don't use too much water).
Drain and keep aside.
Now heat the 3/4 cup oil and fry the cooked prawns. Take it out from oil and keep aside.
In the same oil, splutter mustard, add ginger garlic, chilly powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder and mix well. (simmer while you do this or else the masala will burn or if necessary turn off the stove and turn on again for the next step)
Add half a cup of boiled water and then add the fried prawns and mix well. Add salt according to your taste and mix in the rest of the vinegar. Switch off the stove and let it cool completely before transfering to a pickle jar.




I grew up seeing my grandmother preparing all kinds of snacks at home.. from plantain chips to mixture to mysore pak to chakka halwa to whatever you can think of. After that it is my mother. You just tell her and she will make it and  she has the best of people with her to help her out. From avilosunda to kuzhalappam to mixture to ...again whatever you can think of... But personally I never found the need to make anything at home coz everything is readily available in the market. My mother in law also makes a lot of stuff at home. once when she was making murukku during christmas time I thought why she was going through this trouble when she can easily buy the best murukku in Chennai...  I guess she read my thoughts coz as i was thinking she said... "there was a time when nothing was available at shops.. if kids wanted a snack, it has to be prepared at home and it became a way of life... making everything at home". And i thought I was lucky to be a part of this generation coz I dont have to prepare anything.. just have to go to the nearest bakery!!! well that was just till I reached Cairo. Here if you feel like munching on an Indian crisp, you have to make it yourself just like old times in India!!!! Today menu at home is Sev.

Bengal Gram Flour: 4cups
Asafoetida: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder: 2 tsp
Pepper Powder: 1tsp
Salt:as required
Oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients with water and make a stiff dough.
Heat oil. Take 1 portion of the dough and place it inside the sev press (or idiyappam maker with the sev plate.. it is the one with big holes on it)
Now press the idiyappam maker or sev press to drop the dough in to the oil.
Turn over once. when the vigorous bubbling stops, take it out of oil and drain it on a tissue paper.
Once it cools, store it in airtight containers.



If anyone asks me what my favourite breakfast is, it is dosa, dosa, dosa dosa... It is not just breakfast.. I can have it any time of the day!!! It is just that I would prefer it with sambar and chutney for breakfast, with chicken curry for dinner.... and for lunch, Dosa with dal or mutton or beef or even Fish will do!!! My husband, son and daughter loves dosas and it is our comfort food. Back in Chennai, I always used to have the batter in the fridge but here urad dal is so precious. We don't get it here and what Ive brought with me is the only stock I have and I have to carefully use it otherwise it won't last me a year.

 Tamilians make the batter with Idly rice or Par boiled rice, Malayalees make it with raw rice.. Ive tried everything and from my experience, for crispy dosas, you will have to make it with raw rice. (But idly is better with idly rice). And they say the batter is better if we use a grinder but believe me, Ive never used a grinder in my life. I always use my mixie with the grinding jar. The batter is just as good and Dosa just as crisp!!!
so here goes the recipe:

Raw rice: 4 cups
Urad dal:1cup
Fenugreek: 1/2 tsp
Salt: as required
Oil: as required

Soak the rice (3 out of the four)in some water for 2-3 hours.Cook the rest of the rice (that is- 1 cup)and keep aside. Soak the urad dal and fenugreek in water for 1-2 hours.
(if you are using Idly rice instead of raw rice, then soak all the four cups in water, no need to cook 1 cup separately)
Grind the urad dal first to a fine batter adding a little water.
Now grind the soaked rice and the cooked rice properly (if raw rice, and if idly rice, grind the soaked 4 cups rice) with water and mix it with the urad dal batter.
Add salt as required. Mix the batter thoroughly and keep it covered for 10-12 hours for it to ferment.

Once fermented, Mix the batter again and on a heated non stick tawa, spread a ladle of batter.
Pour a little oil on all the corners and cook the other side also.
Serve it hot with sambar and chutney.


Strawberry Milkshake

There are days when I feel like I should go on a healthy diet but still crave for something unhealthy. And then there are those days when ive really piled up all the calories from carbs, fat and whatever i could get hold of and by evening I would still want to have dinner but cut down on carbs... that is when I go for strawberry milkshake. It is limited carbs but plenty of protein and calcium and from strawberries you will get vitamin C,vitamin K and manganese,folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Wow!!! it cant get healthier than this... and to satisfy the unhealthy craving, you can always go for a spoon of icecream, whipped cream or condensed milk... wow!!!!
so here goes my recipe

Fresh Strawberries: 12
Iced Milk: 2 tall glasses (milk that is frozen)
condensedmilk: 4 tablespoon (or more if you want it sweeter)

In a blender, put all the ingredients and close the lid tightly(dont forget that). Blend it till the mixture is smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy. Healthy, tasty and a good nights sleep!!!