Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishes for 2011!

I am sorry for my long absence ! My daughter had been sick for the past week. She had Pneumonia and was hospitalized, treated with oxygen antibiotics etc. I wanted to end this year with a sweet dish, but the last week has been very hard for my little girl and us. I treat lots of sick kids, but when it's your own it is totally different.

I am so thankful that she is better and we came home today. It is gonna take couple of days for her to recover and am sure she will bounce back well.

In the mean time, I managed to squeeze 5 mins to wish all my wonderful blog friends a wonderful and prosperous new year!

May 2011 bring you all joy, happiness, good health and prosperity!

See you next year!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pineapple Pulissery/ Morkozhambu

Pulissery a.k.a morkozhambu is a authentic Kerala recipe. The difference between the Tamil Nadu and the Kerala recipes are the addition of coriander seeds, cumin, and a little toor dal. The pulissery has only coconut, cumin, and chilis.
Pineapple is grown in abundance in the Alappey region of Kerala. I have tasted only mango pulissery. Tried pineapple pulissery and it was no way inferior to the mango counterpart. I used fresh pineapple chunks but canned one will work as well. Anyways, enough talk: let's get down to business!!!

Get ready:

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup yogurt beaten
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 1 red chili
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. hing/asafetida
  • Water as needed

For Tadka:

  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. methi seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves


  • Cook the pineapple chunks with turmeric powder, a pinch of salt, and enough water to cover them.
  • Grind the coconut, red chili, and cumin with little water to form a fine paste.
  • Add the yogurt, hing, ground coconut paste, and salt to taste to the cooked pineapple. Make sure you have only just a little water in the pineapple before u add the yogurt and coconut.
  • Cook the pulissery till it foams at the sides. Take care not to bring it to boil as the puliserry may curdle.
  • Do the tadka and pour it on top pf the pulissery.
  • Serve hot with rice and a ny side dish.

Wishing you all a merry christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Aarudra Darshan/ Thiruvathirai: celebrating with Kali & Curry

Arudhra Darshan  is observed in the Tamil month of Margazhi (December – January). It is essentially a Saiva festival and celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva, which is represented by the Nataraja form. It takes place on the full moon night in the month of Margazhi. The festival is mainly observed by Tamil brahmins.
Most temples perform special poojas for shiva in the form of Nataraja, (king of dance) who is worshipped on this special day.

People make kali, pronounced more like cully and a curry made with at least 7 vegetables. I have no idea why a sweet dish is served with a savory curry. Surprisingly it goes pretty well. Some special vegetables added for this include koorka (chinese potato) and kavathu (dunno what it is in tamil or english).

There is also a lot of regional variation in how the curry or kootu is made. People also call it "thalagam". I would like to share with you all how this is made in my home.

Thiruvathirai Kali: ( serves 2)

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powdered
  • 2 cups water ( can be 1 3/4 cups depending on your rice)
  • 2- 3 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp ghee.
  • Dry roast the rice and moong dal separately till slightly pink. Do it on a medium flame and take care not to burn it.
  • Once cooled, grind them together into a coarse sooji/ rawa like powder.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan add the water, jaggery and coconut. Once it comes to a boil and frothy, add the powdered rice dal mixture, cardamom powder and stir well till they all are well incorporated.
  • Turn the heat off.
  • Transfer it into another vessel and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
  • In a pan add the ghee and fry the cashews till golden and add it over the cooked kali after you take it oit of the cooker.

To make the curry/ kootu :

  • Mixed vegetables 2- 3 cups medium size cubed ( I used beans, bottle guard, carrots, peas, pumpkin, potato and eggplant.)
  • Coconut 1/2 cup ( more coconut, better it tastes)
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 small marble sized tamarind soaked and pulped in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste.

For Tadka:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves ripped
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add the vegetables and just enough water to cover them. Add salt and turmeric powder and cook till veggies are soft.
  • Add the tamarind extract to the partially cooking veggies.
  • Grind the coconut and green chilis into a fine paste adding water as needed.
  • Add the ground coconut paste to the cooked veggies and let it come to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Do the tadka and add it to the curry.
  • Serve with kali or rice.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tomato Cashew Chutney

I had bookmarked this a while ago and finally made it! Yay.... It was such a flavorful , creamy chutney to be enjoyed with steaming idlis or crispy dosas.

Get ready:

  • 1 medium tomato chopped
  • 1 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coconut grated
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • a few curry leaves


  • In a pan add 1/2 tbsp oil and fry the cashews till golden.
  • Add onion and saute till translucent.
  • Add the ginger, tomatoes, red chilli powder and fry till the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Add salt, coconut and fry for few min. turn the heat off.
  • Once cooled a little, blend them into a chutney like consistency.
  • Do the tadka with the remaining oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.

Sending this to bookmarked recipes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Butternut Squash Erissery and being tagged!

A traditional kerala feast includes a variety of dishes made with lots of coconut. Nothing can beat the taste of freshly grated coconuts. Being a palgat brahmin, coconut is a must in most of our cookings. Times have changed and frozen coconut is a staple in my freezer. This is my family recipe and I hope you will enjoy it too!

Some dishes to name are  Olan , Pulissery, Thoran, Kalan and Erissery. Traditionally it is made with Chenai ( yam) and plantains. I replaced it with butternut squash and it tasted excellent.
  Using coconut oil brings out the best flavor of this dish. The black pepper gives a nice kick to the erissery.

Get Ready:

  • 2 cups butter nut squash cubed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper corn/ kurumilagu
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For the tadka:

  • 2 tsp coconut oil/ olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • Add enough water just to cover the butternut squash in a pan.
  • Cook till soft, not mushy with turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Grind the pepper, red chilli, cumin, coconut with a little water to form a nice paste. ( no need to roast them)
  • Add the ground paste to the cooked squash and mix well, without mushing up the squash too much.
  • Let it come to a boil and turn the heat off.
  • In a pan do the tadka. by spluttering the mustard seeds. curry leaves and fry the coconut till golden on a low fire.
  • Pour the tadka an the erissery.
  • Serve hot with rice as a  side dish.
Nithu  tagged me and gave an excellent idea to pick and choose questions from 3 fellow bloggers. And that's what I did!
1. Who inspired you to cook or bake?
My parents and the foodie in myself! He.. He...
2. What is your take on organic food? is it a big deal for you?
I have accidentally bought organic bananas in the past and thought,"Gee! these bananas are expensive!" I then tried buying milk, but was getting way too expensive. They became like sour grapes for me and went back to regular food. so, bottom line, not a big deal!
3. You try a new recipe and it does not turn out good,what will you do ?

I will feel miserable all day and look back to see, what went wrong. Once I identify where I screwed up, I will give it a try again and may be even again. Three strikes and it's out from my recipe collection!
4. Do you have a New Year's resolution-and will you be sticking to it?
I really want to avoid snacking junk. At work, there is always easy access to cookies, cakes and brownies as it's someone's birthday all the times. I want to have the guts to say no to my cravings and keep it under control.

5. Do you time your breakfast,lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry ?
I strongly believe in eating meals on time. Untimely meals may increase one's chance of developing acid peptic diseases and binging later.

6. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it ?
Parsley, too much cheese, olives

7 . Name three things you have to use in most recipes ?

Oil, cilantro and mustard seeds.

It's my turn to tag these gals ... and pass the link to your friends!

Priya mharorajasthanrecipes

Happy weekend for you all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gujarathi Kadhi & my 100th post!

It has been more than a year since I started blogging, but I have been on the slower pace. Although, I have a long list of bookmarked recipes, finding time to do them seems to be hard on me. I am so thrilled that i have come to my 100th post. I was initially planning to come with a bang cake, but then dropped it.
I wanted  this post to be simple and satisfying! I found this gujarathi Kadhi recipe from tarla dalal's cook book and wanted to share with you all.

Gujarathi kadhi

Get Ready:

  • 2 tbsp Besan/ gram flour
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 &1/2 - 2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp green chilli ginger paste
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • Asafetida a pinch
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Mix besan,yogurt, 1 & 1/2 cups of water and whisk well.
  • Add chilli ginger paste, salt, sugar, curry leaves and let it  come to a boil on a low heat.
  • simmer and stir and turn off the heat.
  • Ina pan, do the tadka and pour it on the kadi.
  • garnish with cilantro and serve hot with plain rice.
Sending this to Priya & Aipi's Bookmaked event.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Banana and Nutella Crepes

Banana and Nutella is one of the matches made in heaven!
I could pretty much eat Nutella with any fruit, sandwich or cookie. It's creamy. Its chocolatey. Its hazelnutty. What more could you ask for?
Recently I saw on cooking channel about a  "Crepe Amor", a fast food crepe joint in Washington DC. It was started by 2 Indian guys, who have taken crepes to a different level.
Crepes are a thin, lacy, pancake like food a popular street food in Paris. Here is my take on that which I whipped up with nutella, bananas, and strawberries.

Get ready

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. butter melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Cooking spray
  • Bananas and strawberries, thinly sliced.
  • Cool Whip whipped cream

  • Add the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, melted butter, and milk to a blender and pulse for a few times till everything is blended well without any lumps.
  • Heat a tawa or a griddle and grease with cooking spray.
  • Use a 1/4 cup measure to pour the batter on the tawa.
  • Swirl it around and make a circular crepe.
  • Flip over the other side when the edges are loose.
  • Cook the other side till golden.
  • Cook all the crepes with the remaining batter.
  • Microwave the 1/2 cup Nutella for 45 seconds so that it is runny and easy to work.

To serve, spread the Nutella on one side of the crepe.
Arrange bananas or strawberries on top of the Nutella.
Fold the crepe over and serve with a spoon of whipped cream and drizzle some Nutella.

What are you waiting for, go DIG IN!!!

I am sending this to Veggie Fruit: Banana  started by mharorajasthanrecipes!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coconut Kiss Macaroons

 I am so happy to share with you all that i won the second place in the "Eggless holiday cookie contest" held by Manjula's Kitchen.
I  honestly could not have made it without all your support and I sincerely  thank you all for that.

(Yields 25 cookies)

 Get Ready

  •  2 ½ cup sweet grated coconut (One 7 oz. bag)
  •  1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder 
  •  A pinch of salt  
  •  4 oz. sweetened fat free condensed milk
  •  1 tsp. vanilla extract
  •  25 mini milk chocolate morsels

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment and grease with cooking spray. This step is very important as it prevents the cookies from sticking to the sheet.
  • In a bowl, mix the coconut all purpose flour, cardamom powder, and salt.
  • Add the condensed milk and vanilla to the coconut mixture and mix well till everything is well blended.
  • Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 20 mins.
  • After 20 mins., with a teaspoon or using your hands make small balls and spread the cookies on the cookie sheet. These cookies won’t spread and you can arrange them closely.
  • Press a mini milk chocolate morsel in the middle of the macaroon and bake for 15 20 mins. or till golden.
  • Take the cookie sheet out of the oven and let the macaroons cool for a few minutes on the parchment paper.
  • Remove the macaroons and let them cool on a wire rack.

Store and enjoy any time!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cilantro Pistachio Pesto

It is hard to keep 1 bunch of cilantro fresh for long here. especially if your family is small and not using cilantro every day. i love cilantro so much that i buy it ,but it breaks my heart to see it getting all mushy very soon. I had to rescuse that poor cilantro and some untouched pistachios sitting in mypantry.
I was inspired by Satya's pesto pasta to make this dish. I did not use parsley, as I don't like it and used all cilantro.

I used 3 medium green chillies for this pesto, which was on the spicy side for me. I just loved the taste of it and the pesto can be used for pasta, rice dish,sandwich spread, as a dip with crackers etc..

Get Ready:

  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and stem
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • In a blender, pulse the pistachios, cilantro, gralic, chillies and salt till combied and minced.
  • Add the olive oil slowly and grind to a smooth or coarse paste according to your taste.
  • Store refrigerated for later use.

Cilantro pistachio pesto pasta

Cook some elbow pasta.
reserve some pasta water. Take 2 tbsp of pesto and whisk it with the pasta water in the pan. Add the drained pasta and toss. I threw in some cherry tomato just for some color.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mirchi Ka Salan / Italian pepper curry in creamy sesame coconut peanut sauce

Mirchi ka salan is a very famous curry from the hyderabadi cuisine. It uses all the locally grown produce like peanuts and sesame seeds  abundant in the state of Andhra pradesh.
I have never tasted this curry before, but heard lot about it after I started blogging. It has been in my bookmarked list for a while and finally got to do it.
It tasted excellent and reminds me of bhagara baingan.
Mine was medium spicy , thanks to the kick from those peppers. But, if you want it mild, remember to deseed the peppers.

Ok, let us get to the recipe. The list may seem exhaustive, but easy to make it. One can use even japeno peppers, but..

Just, hold on... get your tums, malox, zantac or any other gizmos if you have a lighter stomach:))

Get Ready: ( serves 2)

  • 6 Italian/ banan peppers
  • 5 pearl onions
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 long red chilli
  • 1/4 tsp hing/ asafetida
  • 1 small marble sized tamarind, soaked in 1/2 cup water and extracted
  • 2 tbsp jaggery or to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 2cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • few curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • Cut the stem/ kambu of the pepper, and slit them but not in halves. De seed them if you don't want it spicy.
  • In a pan, dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut separately. peanuts will become golden, sesame seeds will pop and coconut will turn golden. Set aside.
  • Add a 1 tsp of of oil and fru the pearl onions for a few mins and keep aside.
  • In the same pan roast the coriander seeds, red chilli and hing with the oil that coated the pan. set aside.

Enough of roasting, I promise...

  • Now grind the peanuts, sesame seeds, coconut, red chilli, pearl onions, jaggery, hing with the tamarind extract into a smooth paste. This is your gravy base.
  • In a pan add the remaining oil, do the tadka with mustard seeds, cumin & curry leaves.
  • Add the peppers and sear them on either side. They will turn white, make sure you don't burn them.
  • Then add the ground masala to the seared peppers.
  • Add salt to taste, turmeric, redchilli powder and 1/2 cup of water. if the gravy is too thick add more water to the desired consistency.
  • Let it come to a boil, cover and simmer for 5 mins.

Turn the heat off and serve with plain rice, pulav, biriyani or rotis.