Naaranga curry

This is another recipe from my favourite vegetarian food ustaad, my Padma teacher whom I fondly call Puthri chechy.

Lime/Cherunaranga: 3 cubed (make sure u take off the seeds, otherwise the curry will turn bitter)
Green Chillies: 5 sliced in rounds
Chilly Powder: 1.5 tbsp
Fenugreek Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as needed
Tamarind: gooseberry sized soaked in water
Sugar or jaggery: 1-2 tsp

To Temper:
Coconut Oil: 1 tsp
Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs
Mustard: 1 tsp
Dried Red Chilly:1
Small Onion: 1 sliced

Soak tamarind in water, atleast 2 cups water.
Mix in the green chillies, cubed small lime, chilly powder, salt.
Let it come to a boil.
let it simmer for sometime.
Add the fenugreek powder
When the gravy thickens, add the sugar or jaggerry and let it boil for a few more minutes.
Take off fire.
Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard, dried red chilly, onion and curry leaves and pour over the curry.
Serve with Rice and curries.


Chicken Kohlapuri

This is spicy, tasty and surprisingly, very easy to make. So dont waste your time, impress your family with this delicious preparation and let them beg u for more....

Chicken: 1 kg

Marinate this chicken pieces with:

Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
Chilly Powder: 1.5 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice: of half a lemon
Salt: as required
Keep this aside for 30 minutes or more.

Oil: 3 tbsp
Pepper corns: 1/2 tsp
Star Anise:1
Bay leaf:1
Heat the oil and add these whole garam masala and let it be on a low flame for a few seconds.

Now add:
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Coriander Seeds: 2 tsp
Sesame seeds: 1 tsp
Garlic: 4 cloves minced
Grated Coconut: 2 tbsp
Saute till it slightly changes colour.

Now add:
Onions sliced: 3
When it is slightly browned, take off stove and let it cool.

Now in a blender, make puree of two tomatoes. To it, add the sauteed onion masala and make a fine paste.

Now we will go on to prepare the gravy.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the tomato onion paste and saute for a minute or two.
To it, add:
Red chilly powder: 1.5 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Saute on low flame till oil separates.
Add the marinated chicken pieces, salt and enough water and let it boil.
Once it boils, lower the flame and keep the lid and let it get cooked.
Keep stirring in between.
When the chicken is cooked, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti/chapati or even rice.

Recipe got from here


Muslim Mutton Biriyani / Bai Biriyani!!!

This is another tasty biriyani preparation. I learnt it from my hubbys friend. When we visited them, I stood in the kitchen, and wrote down everything they did....and here it is!!!!!

Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Soak in Water for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside

Mutton; 1/2 kg
Chilly Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as required.
Pressure cook this with half cup water for 6 whistles or till cooked.

Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 tsp
Garlic cloves: 3
Green Chillies: 3
Blend this in the mixie till everything becomes a paste.

Oil: as needed
Star Anise:1
Onion: 2 chopped
Coriander leaves and mint leaves: a handful
Tomato: 2 chopped
Curd: 4 heaped tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: as required

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole garam masala and saute for a few seconds.
Now add the onions and saute till light brown.
Add the ginger garlic green chilly paste and saute till the raw smell goes.
Throw in the coriander and mint leaves and saute for a minute.
Now add the tomatoes and saute for a minute.
Add the cooked mutton and curd and turmeric powder and salt.
Let it boil for a few minuts.
Now add 3 cups water (including the stock uve kept aside from cooking mutton)
Immediately Add the basmati rice too.
Add required salt and close the lid but do not keep the weight.
When the steam starts coming steadily, keep the weight and count till 20 and turn off stove.
Leave it like that for atleast 20 minutes.
Open after 20-30 minuts and lightly mix everything.
You will have perfectly cooked Biriyani.
Serve warm with  Mirch Ka Saalan, Mutton Liver Roast  and Raita.


Mayonnaise (Homemade)

Why run to the store, when you can make it at home at quarter the cost? and yes, you can store it in airtight bottles for upto two weeks. (to be on the safer side, refrigerate)
This can be used as a sauce with grilled kebabs, fish, salad dressing, with vegetables for a sandwich.....anything!!!!!

Egg yolks: 3 (I use the whole egg, yolks and white...works fine)
Mustard: 1.5 tsps or Garlic: 4 cloves (depends on what flavour you want)
Pepper Powder: a pinch
Vinegar: 3 tbsp
Salad Oil: 12 ounce or 340 grams (I use sunflower oil)
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt: as required

Cream together egg, salt pepper, mustard and sugar in your mixie.
 In case you are using garlic,run the mixie for a minute with just garlic alone and then add the egg, salt, pepper and sugar.
Add vinegar and continue beating the mixture while oil is added in tea spoonfuls at a time.
As the mayonnaise begins to thicken (yes, you need patience...it will take some time) the oil maybe added in table spoonful until all the oil is used up.

What can go wrong? Well if it curdles,  (which very very very rarely happens......of the 1000 times ive made, once it happened to me when i used garlic......only once )..... but dont panic....take it out of the mixie....clean the bowl, and again beat one egg and then add the curdled mix in spoonfuls, and you will get a perfect sauce.


Ayala Vevichathu/Fish Curry Kottayam style- step by step pictures

This was my favourite fish curry all my growing up years. I could have this with anything and everything. But once I started cooking myself, I realized this might look easy to prepare but u really need to master the art. Sometimes it takes a failure or two to get the knack. Yes, Ive had my share of disasters with this curry....

So this is dedicated to all those who, like me have had fish curry disasters.......believe me when I say, disasters have their place in our learning experience!!!!!one of the essential parts to being a good cook, is also knowing the ways a recipe can go wrong......

So here goes........

Coconut Oil: 3 spoons (see the size of the spoon in the pic, a ladle)

Mustard seed: 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
Small Onions/Pearl Onions: a handful sliced 
Garlic  cloves: 8 minced
Ginger: 1 inch minced
Curry Leaf: a sprig

Heat oil, Splutter mustard, fenugreek, curry leaf.
Saute the garlic and ginger for a minute or two till a distinct aroma comes.
Add the onions and saute till it browns along the edges. see the pic below.

Now take 3 heaped teaspoons (like in the pic, real real heaped Tsp measure) Kasmiri Chilly Powder
if you are a first timer, use the measuring spoon itself......teaspoon....heaped ...thrice!!!!!

Coriander Powder: 1 level tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Make a paste with water like in the pic below

Now add it to the sauteed onion mix and in low flame, keep sauteing and sprinkling water till you can see oil droplets here and there. 

Add 2 cups water and required salt and let it come to a boil.

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Gambooge/Kodum Puli: 4 washed and soaked in water.

Add this to the boiling curry

Now add the cleaned fish pieces (Ayala/Mackarel- 1 Kg) to it and when it starts boiling, reduce flame, keep lid and let it get cooked and let the gravy get reduced

When the gravy is thick and the fish is cooked, take off fire. Serve warm with Kerala rice


Medovik / Russian 8 Layer Honey Cake

This is another recipe I got through a whatsapp chat. My dear friend, Deena Baby Mathews sent me the recipe and it took me 3 days to convince myself that baking a cake and for that matter, having a biiiiig slice is not going to tighten my pants. But the problem is not that. I baked and O my God, I knew it wasnt going to be one slice. Well, already 3 slices in my tummy and believe me when I say, I might not even consider sharing this with anyone....that good it is.

So, What is Medovik. I googled and found this:

From Wikipedia: The medovik  is a sweet spread to Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union , whose main ingredients are honey and condensed milk. It is a dessert that requires a long preparation and is made ​​of layers of biscuit with cream filling and covered with nuts. 

Ok, when you go through the recipe, you will find that there is no condensed milk mentioned.... Well Dulce de lechi is made by heating condensed milk. Since I didnt get a can of that, I made it by caramelizing sugar and adding cream.....same effect!!!!

For layers

All purpose flour - 500g
Sugar - 200g
Eggs - 3
Unsalted butter - 8 tbsp/1 Stick
Honey = 2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp

For cream

Milk - 2 cups
Egg - 3
Corn Starch - 2 tbsp
Milk caramel or dulce de lechi - 8 oz (I made caramel cream since I didnt get Dulce De Leche here)
Honey - 2 tbsp
Butter - 1 stick @ room temperature


Pre heat oven to 180C
Whisk eggs, set aside
Place the sugar butter honey in a heat proof bowl and set over simmering water
Melt stirring occasionally
Add eggs & mix until pale color.
Add baking soda & cook for 1 more min. The mixture should be fluffy & double the size

Transfer the egg-butter mixture from heat and add flour. Mix in low speed until combined, about 2 min. The dough should be warm soft and little sticky. But do not add more flour.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press together gently.
Knead dough few times and form into a ball.

Divide dough into 8 equal parts
Shape each into a ball. Cover 7 so as to not lose moisture and roll out the remaining ball into a thin circle, similar to our chapati.
Make sure all the balls are rolled out in the same size & thickness as it needs to be stacked on top of each other
The base of a cake tin can be used for cutting out equal size circles.
I used a round plate and a pizza cutter.
Prick the dough in several places and bake each for 3 min to make 8 perfect cake layers

To make Custard cream

Heat 1 1/2 cup milk but do not boil
In a small bowl whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk with eggs & corn starch till smooth. 
Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the warm milk, bring it to simmer over moderate heat, whisking constantly until very thick  - 2 minutes
Make sure you dont stop whisking, or else you will get scrambled eggs.
Let it cool.

To make Caramel Cream

Sugar: 2 cups
Water" 2 tbsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Salt: a pinch
Fresh Cream: 2 cups
Heat Sugar, salt and water on low heat till it is golden brown in colour. Resist your temptation to stir the syrup...Please do not meddle with it but you can swirl the pan
When it is golden brown, add butter, wait for it to melt.
 turn off the stove and add the fresh cream and mix well.
Let it cool completely.

To assemble cake
Mix the caramel cream, Custard cream, honey and butter. Whisk properly.
Top each cake layer with about 1/2 cup cream and spread it around evenly.
Repeat with all cake layers
As each layer is placed over each other some frosting will come out of the side, spread it evenly over the sides
Leave in fridge for 8 hours or over night


Potato Fry for Curd Rice

Potato: 3 
Garlic: 3 cloves minced
Chilly Powder: 1 tsp
Asafoetida: 1 tsp
Salt: as needed
Oil: 2 tbsp

Peel the potatoes, wash properly and slice thin or small cubes.
Heat oil, Fry the garlic and in low flame, saute the chilly powder for a few seconds.
Add the asafoetida and throw in the potato cubes.
Saute everthing on medium flame.
Add salt as required.
Fry till done. 
Serve warm with Curd Rice  


Sweet Buns (with icing to make it Hot Cross Buns)

Ive posted another bun recipe before!!!
But after making this, I reverted the other recipe to draft.
This is toooooo good, believe me, very similar to the kerala bakery buns.
And I love Ree Drummond, she is my favourite, favourite , Favourite baking godess.
Thanks Pioneer Woman, I love you!!!!!!

For the Bun:
Milk: 2 cups
Vegetable Oil: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Yeast: 2 1/4 tsp
Maida/All purpose Flour: 4 cups + 1/2 cup additional flour
Baking Powder: 1 heaped tsp
Salt: 2 tsp
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Cinnamon: 1 tsp
Raisins: 1/2 cup

In a saucepan, combine the 2 cups milk, oil and half cup of sugar. heat until very warm but not too hot.
Take off stove and let it cool. Not too cold, but warm!!!!
Mix in the yeast and 4 cups of flour and combine. Yes, you got a very sticky mixture.... I know it!!!!
Cover with a towel and keep aside for an hour.
Now in another bowl, mix the half cup flour, baking powder and salt.
mix the 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon.
Flour surface with the flour baking powder mix u just made.
Take the dough and flatten it. On that sprinkle a little of the sugar cinnamon mixture. Also a little of the raisins.
Then fold the dough and flatten again so that all the cinnamon mixture and raisins went inside and u cant see it.
Again flatten the dough and sprinkle the cinnamon mix and raisins. Fold the dough again.
Flatten the dough again, repeat the sprinkling of cinnamon mix and raisins. Continue doing till youve used up all the raisins. You might have left over cinnamom mix...thats fine, You can store it away.
Take golf sized balls from the dough and quickly roll into a ball and tuck the edges under each ball so that the top looks smooth.
Place on greased tins.
Cover and keep aside for 30 - 60 minutes. it will rise.
Preheat oven 180C

For the Glazed top of bun
Egg white: 1
Milk: 1 tbsp
Mix egg white with a little milk.
Brush onto each roll. Bake for 20 minutes (maybe less or more depending on your oven) till the top of the buns are golden brown.
Remove from pan and let it cool.


Egg white: 1
Powdered  sugar
Milk: a little

Mix the egg white with enough powdered sugar that will make the icing very thick. sprinkle milk to reach a piping consistency.
Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they're completely cooled first.

Recipe got from The Pioneer Woman :)


Hurry Up Cake

This is the easiest cake you can ever bake. Hurry up cake by Mrs B.F Varghese and this was baked by my 6 year old. Ofcourse, I had to help her with the measurements. 
So if you want to involve your kids, Try this first, coz it will be fun for them and easy and ofcourse, since this doesnt involve any separating egg whites, or beating till stiff or even folding in..... it will be like they are making it, you can just sit with your legs up and play head chef giving instructions.

and personally, I preferred the cake with a ganache topping. So I went ahead with that too....

For the Cake:

Flour: 1 3/4 cups
Baking Powder: 13/4 tsp
Slat: 1/4 tsp
Powdered Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Butter: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and powdered sugar. This is done, so that it all mixes together. My lil girl just mixed everything, she didnt sift!!!!
Now add the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla essence and beat everthing with a rotary beater for 3 minutes.
Yes, u r done with the mixing.... :) :) :)\
Now preheat your oven 180C
Bake till done.You can frost it with chocolate ganache or any topping of your choice.


Thalapakatti Mutton Biriyani

This is our favourite biriyani any time, any day!!!!!!

Mutton: 1/2 kg
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mix all this, add 1/4 cup water and cook on high in pressure cooker for 6-7 whistles.
Measure the stock and keep aside.
Keep the mutton aside.

Basmati rice: 2 cups
Soak in water for 15 minutes.

Ginger: 1 inch
Garlic: 4 cloves
Green Chillies: 4
Mint leaves: a handful
Grind this in a mixie without adding water. keep it in the jar itself

Onion: 2 chopped
add this to the ground mint paste and pulse for a minute.

Oil: 2 tbsp
Cinnamon: 1
Star Anise:1
Coriander leaves; a handful.
Tomato: 2 chopped
Chilly Powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder; 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala; a pinch
Curd: 1/4 cup
Water: 3 cups (including the stock) 

heat oil in a pressure cooker. Splutter the whole garam masala.
Add the coriander leaves and saute for a minute.
Add the onion mint paste and saute till the raw smell is gone.
Now add the tomatoes and cook till limp.
To this add the chilly powder, turmeric and garam masala and saute for a minute on low flame.
Add the curd and mix everything.
Now add the mutton and the stock and water (stock and water measured together should be 3 cups)
Immediately add the drained basmati rice, required salt and close the lid without keeping the weight.
The flame should be high.
When the steam comes out steadily, keep the weight and count till 20.
Now switch off the stove and leave the kitchen.
Watch 1 episode of F.R,I.E.N.D.S and return to the kitchen. 
and if you dont have F.R.I.E.N.D.S on ur pendrive, dont worry, any sitcom will do... the point is you shouldnt mess around with that pressure cooker for 20-25 minutes.
Now come back, take off the lid and mix the rice.
O yes, the rice will be perfectly cooked!!!! u gonna love me for this tip.
Serve warm with raitas, pickles and papad.

Recipe got from a tasty appetite.

Mushroom Paneer dry curry

Mushroom: 250 grams
Paneer: 200 grams
Tomato: 2 pureed
Onion: 2 diced
Ginger garlic paste: 1.5 tbsp
Kasuri Methi: 2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp +2 tbsp
Whole Garam masala (Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves): 1 each
Salt: as needed

To roast and grind:
Coriander seeds: 1.5 tbsp
Dried red chillies: 6
Cumin: 3/4 tsp

To Garnish:
Coriander leaves: a handful
Ginger juliennes: 1 tbsp

Heat oil and fry the paneer and keep aside
Same oil, fry the mushroom, yes you will get like a cup of water....wait till it all evaporates and the mushroom gets cooked. Keep aside.
Heat oil and splutter the whole garam masala
Saute onion till browned evenly.
add the tomato puree and saute again.
Now add the roasted and ground paste and saute for some more time sprinkling water.
When oil separates, add the mushroom, paneer, salt and a little water too (not too much as what u need is a dry dish)
Do a taste test and add more salt if necessary.
Add the kasoori methi and give the veggies a final mix.
Take off fire and garnish with coriander leaves and ginger juliennes.
Serve warm with rotis.


Lazy Daisy Cake/ Lazy Daisy Topping on a Lightning Cake

This is a recipe I got through a whatsapp chat. A dear childhood friend, Priya Andrews sent me this and she told me that this is amazing and I should try it. Yes, I did and o yeah, so so so so delicious...just melt in the mouth goodness!!!!!!!
I doubled her recipe and got 3 cakes. So I will give the doubled measurements.

For the Cake:
Eggs: 4
vanilla: 2 tsp
Beat this two well.

To this Beat in, a little at a time
Sugar: 2 cups

Now sift together:
All purpose flour: 2 cups
Baking Powder: 2 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Stir this flour mix into the egg mix.

Heat until the butter melts
Hot milk: 1 cup
Butter: 2 tbsp
Stir this butter and milk mixinto the first mixture and beat until smooth.
Pour into pan and bake till done.
This cake by itself is called the lightning cake.

Lazy Daisy Topping:

Butter: 1/2 cup or 1 stick
Cashew nuts: 1 cup chopped
Brown sugar: 3/4 cup packed
Fresh Cream: 2 tbsp

Mix all this. Beat on low. Spread over the cake and then put under broiler and cook till lightly browned. Watch carefully and turn so that the topping browns evenly. 
I put on broiler mode and kept it on the 2nd rack from top and turned in betweem. But dont cook for more than 4 minutes.


Pepper Chicken baked in Oven


Chicken Legs and breasts: 12

Ginger Garlic Paste: 2 tbsp
Pepper Powder: 2 tbsp
Salt: as needed
Oyster Sauce: 1 tbsp
Soya Sauce: 1 tbsp
Lime Juice: of 1 lime

Make a marinade with the above ingredients.
wash the chicken properly, make slits/gashes and apply the marinade over it and keep it covered in the fridge for a few hours.

Preheat oven 200C
grease a baking tin/casserole with butter.
Place the chicken pieces on it.
Bake for about 45 minutes.
Serve warm with a side salad and bread.