Sunday, April 30, 2006

Anda Shimla Mirchi


Egg, in most of the nonvegetarian kitchens, is the most important ingredient to spice up a day's menu, undoubtfully due to the umpteen dishes one can churn out from eggs.One could say that eggs are too irressistible for majority of the nonveggies-be it poached, scrambled, half boiled, boiled and what not!This recipe is from my mother's kitchen with a few modifications made."Meri jaan, meri jaan...murgi ke ande!!"
3 eggs
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 medium sized tomatoes (ripe & finely chopped)
1 Shimla Mirch(Capsicum)-(Finely chopped)
5 stalks Spring Onion (Finely chopped0
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
salt, to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil

Heat oil in a pan. Saute onions till they are golden brown and then add tomatoes.Saute till they become quite pulpy.Add the chopped Shimla Mirch, and spring onion and saute for another 3 minutes. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder,sugar & salt and continue sauting for a couple of minutes.Then add 1/4 cup water.When the mixture has thickened evenly break the eggs carefully into it. Cover the pan & simmer for 2 minutes on very low flame...almost till the yolks turn colour... Anda Shimla Mirchi curry is ready to go with your chappathi or naans. Posted by Picasa

Steamed Unni Palappam

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Arey! dont mistake these to be idlis...they are just an alternative shape for appams!!Appam, Vattayappam,Vellappam, Vellayappam,Palappam are all traditional Kerala rice cakes ,in different forms and tastes depending on the additon or deletion of an ingredient,often eaten as an all day breakfast!!
Basmati rice -2 1/2 cups(not necessarily basmati, u may use any raw rice,pachari)
Coconut milk - 200ml
Cooked rice - 1 fistful
Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 5 tbsp
Salt- As required
Fast action dried yeast - 7g
(available in all grocery stores)

Soak basmati rice in water for 5 hours.Grind together basmati rice and cooked rice along with coconut milk into a very fine batter( of idli's consistency.(You can also grind grated coconut or even dessicated coconut).Add sugar and yeast in luke warm water and stir well.Keep it aside for 5 mins.Add the yeast solution into the batter.Leave it for 6hrs(preferably ovrnight) for fermentation.(For a faster fermentation you can microwave it for 2 minutes and then leave for fermentation).At the time of preparation, add extra sugar, if needed, to sweeten your appams.Appam is traditionally made in 'appa chatti' or a special iron wok( by pouring a ladle of the batter, swirling the wok and then covering it with a lid to cook).Alternatively you can steam it in an idli cooker, if you dont want the tradition saucer shaped appams.Steam the batter till it has cooked well.You will get very soft idli like appams. You may serve it hot with any spicy veg or non veg curry or can be eaten without any accompaniment as well!

An interesting palappam link:

  • palappam
  • Fish curry with grapes in masala


    This is a spicy fish recipe for those who love a sweet n spicy combination.


    250g Fish washed, sliced
    100g Fresh ripe grapes(black/red)
    50g Cashew nuts
    1 cup coriander leaves chopped
    1/4 cup Mint leaves chopped
    2 tomatoes finely chopped
    1/2 tsp tamarind paste ( or a small piece of tamarind)
    8 cloves garlic
    4 green chillies
    1 tsp methi seeds
    3 tsp coriander powder
    A pinch turmeric powder
    Potato-1 large (cut into pieces)
    Salt To Taste
    oil as required.


    Marinate the fish in salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes.
    Shallow fry the fish pieces, drain and keep aside.
    Grind the Cashew nuts,Corriander leaves, Mint leaves, Garlic and Green chillies.
    Heat oil, add methi seeds.Allow it to splutter and then in the same oil roast the potato pieces slightly and then add the masala paste and fry till the oil separates out. Add tomatoes, and powder masalas and fry till the oil begins to float on top.
    Add about 1 cup water. Bring the gravy to a boil.
    Add the fish slices along with the cleaned grapes and cook for 10 minutes.Serve hot with Chappathis/Nans/Appams. Posted by Picasa

    Saturday, April 29, 2006

    Spice Bazaar of the World-India...

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    Spice Bazaar of the world- n spicy!!

    With Aiswarya Rai's gorgeous face hitting the movie screens all over the world as the Mistress of Spices,I think the Indian spices have truly become 'hot'(phaps not so much the movie)!India's history has always had a touch of its rich spices.For good or bad, Spices have always played a pivotal role in making the history of India...the colonial control, the freedom struggle, its rituals, festivals etc., everything owes a lot to its great spices...Chilly, Pepper,turmeric, ginger,cloves, cinnamon, cardamom,vanilla.....the list is endless.'Paspu kumkum'/ 'Manjal Kunkum'/Haldi Kumkum has become the signature of Indian culture...Many temples and even dargas in India give pepper corns and turmeric as a kind of 'prasad'...I remember those days when 'velichappadu', an oracle, came to our house and sprinkled turmeric on our head and we gave peppercorns tied in a red silk an offering to God...

    I have always been fascinated by the zillion variety of spices that India produces and so thought that I'll share a few spicy info that I could gather....Pepper, known as the 'King Of Spices'or the 'black gold' is one of the earliest, most widely used, and best-known spices in the world. Indian pepper has always been famous for its exotic quality.Most of the Pepper production in India comes from the state of Kerala. Kerala has always reigned supreme in the production and export of this sought-after spice. Indian pepper reached Europe through Arab traders who held a monopoly over its trade. Europe in the middle ages saw the enormous potential of pepper as a food preservative and eagerly sought to control its trade.The potential profits by trading in pepper was to lead to the earliest colonial conquests and wars . Easily the finest in quality anywhere, Indian pepper is mostly grown in along the low lands and high ranges of Kerala. . Here with a combination of natural advantages and organic techniques produces bigger, better-shaped, more aromatic and flavored pepper, better than anywhere else in the world. . Pepper is a perennial climber requiring the support of live or dead trees.It is a beauty to watch the dark green pepper vines amorously clinging on to a jackfruit tree or a mango tree...It is a long lasting romance for most of the pepper vines... pepper has become an integral constituent of the World cuisine.In additional to its culinary uses Pepper is famous as a good carminative and as a stimulant of gastric secretions...Suffering from extreme cold and fever? Cant really find anything tasty?.... Cook rice well and mix it with hot pepper rasam ...nothing can be more relieving...

    Friday, April 28, 2006

    'Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi'


    Hot steaming 'kanji'(plain rice gruel with salt) and for many a Malayali the best dish of the world!...and that too if it is 'chutta mulaku chammanthi' ground on a traditional 'ammikkallu'(grinding stone)....Wah! la jawab!The combination can be made richer with an addition of some ghee to u'r 'kanji'and adding one more side dish, malayali's favourite 'kappa'(tapioca).Perhaps it was the most accessible dish for a poor malayali who lives in the middle of paddy fields,tapioca gardens and coconut groves. It was a way of life for them.....Though cultural invasions/influences(tis the way u take it!) have opened up Malayali's breakfast table to a toast and sandwich, 'Kanji and chammanthi' still brings twinkle in the eyes of many...'Chammanthi' has umpteen permutations, with the addition or deletion of an ingredient...Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi is perhaps a very primordial recipe!

    All that you need for the chammanthi(Some call it Sammanthi too!!)is Kerala's signature ingredient- some grated coconut,(say 100g),Dry red chillies(2 or 3),a little tamarind(less than lemon size),salt, 1 small Onion(For tastier chammanthi use baby shallots-kunjulli)& salt.
    Now roast the Chillies on a flame till it is charred(slightly blackens or it starts giving that strong aroma that u almost start coughing).Grind it with very less water(1/2tbsp) along with all the other ingredients to a very very coarse paste.Roll it into a ball... and now have it with steaming Kanji.Well, here I should mention that grinding it in an electronic grinder is definitely a compromise on its true taste....But I think 'Ammi kallu' has become inaccessible to most of we are left with no choice...You can have it as a side dish with rice as well.

    Instead of red chillies you may add green chillies and make yet another chammanthi. Add jeera and pepper you get another combination...list is endless...(Sorry... my snaps are not truly indicative of its original colour...Some glare has made it look a little bit pale...tis supposed to be more reddish)

    Thursday, April 27, 2006

    Lasagne-A love at first sight....

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    It was a few months back that we went to one Italian Restaurant here as part of our occasional gastronomic adventures.There she came to our table...lascivious lasagne...I couldn't resist falling in love with her...truly sensuous.... she was...wanted to meet her again and again...but unfortunately destiny was different...I had to wait for long until yesterday,Pushpa, my husband's colleague,send her to me....(very sweet of Pushpa)and she.... just melted into my mouth...really hot and irressistible! I wanted to really call up Pushpa and ask for the recipe immediately...thought I'll wait...but quite unexpectedly I fumbled upon this recipe today...thought I'll share...but not very sure whether all ingredients are available in India....if yes, do try this...tis worth the risk!


    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    2 onions\cooked, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 carrots\cooked, chopped
    2 large sticks celery, chopped
    1 red bell pepper\cooked, seeded and chopped
    7 oz. mushrooms\cooked, chopped
    6 tomatoes\cooked, peeled and chopped
    2 Tbsps. tomato paste
    1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    3/4 cup soft tofu (soya balls)
    3/4 lb. lasagna noodles
    1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
    1-1/2 Tbsps. grated Parmesan cheese


    Preheat oven to temperature 350°F. Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté next 5 ingredients about 5 minutes until onions are soft. Stir in mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Stir in next 4 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Beat tofu until smooth. Stir 1/4 cup tofu into vegetable mixture. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain. Spread a third of the vegetable mixture into a greased 9x13 inch ovenproof dish. Top with 2 sheets of pasta. Continue layering vegetable mixture and pasta, finishing with a layer of pasta. Spread remaining beaten tofu evenly over pasta. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese and sprinkle over lasagne. Bake 50 minutes, or until golden.

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    Kovakka Ularthiyathu/Dondakkai veppudu



    Kovakka(Indian Tindora)-250g
    onion-1 (medium size)
    chilli powder -1tsp
    Dhaniya powder-1/2tsp
    Udad dal-½ tsp
    Chana dal- ½ tsp
    Green chilli-3
    Mustard- ¼ tsp
    Cumin seed- ¼ tsp
    curry leaves
    2 tbsp oil,
    salt to taste, .

    Cut kovakka into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan.When oil is hot add Mustard,Cumin seeds,Chana dal, Udad dal and curry leaves. When they have spluttered add Onion and chilli minced(preferably in a chopper)and fry them till onion turns into light brown colour. Now add Kovakka pieces and all the other ingredients with some water. Simmer the flame and allow Kovakka to get cooked, with the pan closed for 10-12minutes(till it is dry). Remove and serve hot as a side dish with steamed rice. Posted by Picasa

    Tomato bath with grean peas

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    I was too lazy to try anything elaborate today. So thought I'll try a quickie, a spicy tomato bath/thakkali sadam/tomato rice.Tomato rice brings memories of Priya's tiffin box which she used to generously spare for me. The advantage of being a hosteller in those days was that I was always pampered by all my friends and everybody made it a point to call me home and treat me with many Andhra specialities.Dharani's Perugu annam,Geetha's Cheppa koora,Anita's Kakkarakayi veppudu,Shobha's potlakaikoora,Rajani's cauliflower masala,vasavi ma'am's Obbattu...the list is endless...but everything wedded me to Andhra food for ever....and there were some students too who would just drop a box of Andhra sweets on my table and vanish without a word!


    Basmati rice-200 gms
    Green Peas-250 gms
    Tomatoes - 4
    Green chilli-3
    Fennel seeds-1 tsp
    red chilli powder-2 tsp
    Corriander powder-2 tsp
    Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
    Salt- to taste
    gingely Oil-2tbsp
    ghee-1 tbsp
    curry leaves-1 sprig


    Heat oil in a wok. Fry fennel seeds,cloves,cradamon and curry leaves.
    Add onion and fry for two minutes. Then add green peas and cook for two minutes.
    Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for ten minutes. Then add chilli powder, Coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt.Fry till oil comes out. Soak basmati rice in water for two minutes.Add the rice to masala and add some gingelly oil and ghee. Steam it for ten minutes.
    Spicy Tomato rice is ready. Goes well with onion raitha!!

    Parsi Cuisine

    Curried Patra leaves

    The average Parsi simply loves his food. No Sunday is complete without mutton Dhansak, kababs and kachumber (a kind of salad),” Dhansak is brown rice and dal cooked with mutton and served with Kachumber. It’s distinctive taste is mostly due to the combination of spices used.

    Parsi dishes, though without a predominant flavour, use specific oils, a lot of vinegar, and chillies in moderation. But if you prefer spicier stuff, then the ‘Patra-ni-machhi’ is for you. Fish is considered auspicious by Parsis and this particular preparation is perhaps the most popular. The fish, usually a black or white pomfret, is steamed in a banana leaf and smeared with spicy chutney. A completely ‘melt-in-the-mouth’dish.And talking about Parsi food, can eggs be left out? Parsis, known for their love for eggs, are rumoured to consume three-four eggs at a time! The Akoori, scrambled eggs cooked with Parsi spices, is a must try as also the Sali Boti - a ‘khattu meethu’ gravy sprinkled with potato crisps. Sali Boti is a good accompaniment with chapatis.

    Parsi dhansak masala
    5 chilies (up to 10)
    2 cinnamon sticks
    3 bay leaves
    1 1/2 tb cumin seeds
    2 tb coriander seeds
    1 tb green or black cardamom seeds
    2 ts black peppercorns
    1/2 tb cloves
    1 tb fenugreek seeds
    1 tb black mustard seeds
    1/2 tb mace
    1/2 tb ground turmeric
    Dry roast the ingredients over a medium heat until they darken, stirring often
    to prevent scorching. Cool and then grind into a powder. .

    Parsi Patra definitely is worth trying as a primer to your rendezvous with Parsi cuisine. Patra is a parsi speciality generally served as a snack.Layers of Colocasia leaves coated with a mixture of gram flour, wheat flour ,dhansak masala & tamarind made into a paste are rolled, steamed and cut into roundels and served hot with a seasoning of sesame seeds,cumin seeds,asafoetida,and garnished with some coconut shavings and chopped parsley.
    Here is a wonderful link for
  • Parsipatra
  • recipe.

    Ragi Mudde- Kannadiga's favourite

    I have seen many a Kannadiga (and a Telugu too) smacking his/her lips and becoming very emotional at the mention of Raagi Muddhe. Mudhe saaru is Kannadiga's traditionally favourite dish and is indeed one of the simplest recipes.

    All that you need is a cup of raagi flour, water and salt.Well these ragi dumplings can also be made by adding some cooked rice too.(I have seen that Telugus prepare Ragi balls more by mixing cooked rice.)

    Take a large mouthed vessel, Boil one glass of water, add salt to taste.Once the water has boiled,take a glass of ragi flour and add slowly to the boiling water, stirring it with a strong wooden ladle(rear side)so that it doesnt form lumps.
    Keep whisking till the flour becomes smooth and soft without lumps. Reduce the flame, cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes. The consistency must be semi solid like the wheat dough. While serving, wet your hand, make a ball with the dough and put it in the middle of a plate. Pour some hot sambar around it. Add a spoon of ghee/butter and gulp it down.One should not bite the muddhe, for it will stick to the teeth. People prefer to eat this with mutton curry too.(First timers may try to dissolve the ragi flour in a glass of water before pouring it into the boiling water so that you may not form lumps, or else flour inside the lumps will remain uncooked).

    A Telugu palattoor side dish for ragi n rice dumplings:
    (Courtesy: 'My pallattoorwali friend'!!)

    Take two red chillies and burn them dry directly on the flame.Take 2-4 garlic pods and pound them all together( do not make a paste of it).Take very little dhaniya and Jeera (5 grains each)... and fry them dry. Now take half a cup of luke warm milk, add salt and mix well.. then add the red chilli.. (you will have to mash it in the milk with your hands)... then add the garlic dhaniya and jeera pounded.....This will taste hot and great .... you wil have to make small balls of your dumplings dip it in this and have... and if you make the dumplings with rice this will taste good.. if it is only ragi you might not like it .....

    Ragi is Protein rich and hence a very healthy dish for adults and children alike, and is recommmended specially for diabetics and those who are conscious of their BMI and vital statistics.

    Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Paneer varavu-Vegetarian's Anda bhurji

    For veggies Paneer/Cottage cheese is a wonderful substitute for eggs. You can make umpteen varieties out of it. I just tried one 'paneer varavu' which tastes very much like anda burji.


    Paneer-100g (shredded finely)
    Onion-1 finely sliced
    Green chillies-3
    Ginger-1 inch size- pounded
    Curry leaves-1 sprig
    Parsley -2 sprigs
    salt-as required


    Shred the paneer, preferably in a chopper into small titbits.Slice onion,green chillies.Pound ginger. Heat oil in a wok.Add mustard,curryleaves, ginger & chillies.When they have spluttered add the chopped onion. Roast it till a golden brown tinge. Now add the shredded paneer and roast it for 3 minutes.Finally add parsley leaves and eat it as a side dish along with rice.

    Mamidi pappu/Mango dal-A Compu geek's contribution


    I think writing recipes is obviously a very engaging diversion for an IT techie from the dull routine of debugging....It was very sweet of Mrudula( my student) to have send a recipe for 'mamidi pappu' in between her tight project deadlines.. I hope her PL doesnt read this!Though I had tried Mamidi pappu in my own way once, I think this should be more authentic, having come from proper 'Andhra gharana'.I think I'll leave the recipe as it is, as given by her....

    "Take 1/2 cup of dal ... wash it well ... and double the quantity, water.. put pinch of turmeric, and a tea spoon of oil and cook it in a cooker... till 3 whistles... Meanwhile cut a raw mango into small pieces....after the cooker gets cool, add these mango pieces to it and cook it for one more whistle.... once it gets cooked, open it .. mash the dal with a ladle .. Add salt to taste and chilli powder(around one tea spoon-heap) and mix well and shift it to another bowl....

    Now for seasoning take one big onion and cut it to small pieces .... take 10-15 curry leaves... one tea spoon dhania powder... two red chillies broken into pieces....... take a small pan ... put four table spoons oil in it ..

    put mustard seeds
    then onions
    then red chilli
    then cury leaves
    little turmeric powder
    dhania powder
    saute it till the onions become golden brown or till you get the aroma of fried dhania... add this to the dal and mix.... and also make potato fry/egg omelette goes well with it.... Smacking, Isnt it? I'm off to make my dal...

    Disclaimer notice!

    The blogger aims to share the recipes that have been tested in lab conditions in her kitchen on her guinea pig called husband but shall not be responsible for any casualties arising from the trial of the ingredients.The blogger would also like to make a notice here that recipes are just guidelines and not absolute. One may add one's common sense and instinct whereever necessary. (Just kidding!!)This is just a democratic platform to share my knowledge and the acquired ones too.

    Monday, April 24, 2006


    Unniappam brings nostalgic memories of our childhood days when in the evening we came home from school sniffing the sweet aroma of the appam and Amma would make my brother and I wait till Achan came from office.It would be then an impatient gobbling of the soft appams along with a cup of maltova!

    Mix 1 cup rice flour, 1/4 cup mashed or grated banana( one small banana is enough ), 1/2 cup powdered jaggery (without lumps ), 1/2 tsp cardamom powder & about 1/2 cup warm water using a hand blender. For very soft appams increase the banana a little & decrease the water. You can make the same with wheat flour instead of rice flour & that is also good. You can also try with half of each flour. The secret is in blending well incorporating air which makes it light. Hence I a hand blender would be ideal. In the place of bananas you can add minced ripe cjackfruit as well,but Don’t add both. But if you add fruits the shelf life of appam will be short.The addition of fruit makes it soft, but it will absorb a little more oil.So, pat well with absorbent tissue 2,3 times.
    When you fry appams in appakkaara also, keep turning them to get uniform golden brown appams.
    For a change & slightly longer shelf life, soak 3/4 cup wheat rawa & 1/4 cup thin rice for 5-6 hrs. Drain well & grind fine (without adding water ) ,adding 1 cup powdered jaggery & cardamom powder. Make unniappams the usual way. Adding little grated fruit is your option. This is also very soft & tasty. The variety is endless!

    Tirunelveli Romance

    The Tirunelveli halwa is a never ending romance between the halwa and saliva.
    Everytime when Nagaraj,the boy in our college store went to his native town,my friend Radha and I waited in anticipation,smacking our tongues for he was sure to come back with his innocent smile on his face and a packet of 'Iruttukada' Tirunelveli Halwa. We both could not really wait for him to leave...The hot halwa dripping with ghee is so mouth watering that you really cant stop eating it.

    Tirunelveli, a 2000 year old town on the banks of the river Thamirapani has lots of stories and legends just like most of the Indian towns and villages.Tirunelveli was the capital of the Pandya Kingdom for some time, next only to Madurai in importance. It is a twin town - Thirunelveli and Palayamkottai.

    The huge Thiru Nelliappar temple reigns over this town. Legend has it that a very devout farmer once laid out his paddy to dry here, asking his Gods to keep a watch over it and went to bathe in the Tambiraparani. While he was bathing, it started raining heavily. He hurried back thinking that all his paddy would have got drenched.But to his utter dismay he found that while it continued to pour, his paddy remained unaffected because on that spot it was not raining. The lord had protected it 'like a hedge'. In Tamil paddy is 'Nel', hedge is 'Veli' and 'Tiru' is holy, therefore the name Tirunelveli.

    A very interesting thing about the famous Tirunelveli halwa is that it is in fact a Rajasthani gift to Tamilnadu..... the chivalrous Rajputs' culinary brilliance.This delicacy of Tirunelveli was in fact introduced by the Rajput community around 85yrs back-the owners of 'Iruttukadai', literally translated as 'dark shop'!- The owners in an attempt to retain the tradition have not modernised the shop at all, it is still a dark shop, but a very popular shop among all the Tirunelveli halwa lovers all over the world.The shop doesnt even have a name board but it is from this Iruttukadai that lakhs worth Halwa has been going to different parts of the world for the last several decades!!

    After a thorough search for my favourite sweet this is the best recipe I could get for the traditional Tirunelveli Halwa. Well if the taste slightly differs from the original,as the owner of 'Iruttukadai' says, tis the water of Tambiraparani which makes the difference!

    Ingredients & Method



    Good quality wheat — 200 gm.
    Sugar — 300gm.
    Ghee — 200gm.
    Cardamom powder — 1 tsp
    Cashewnut pieces — 1 tbsp (optional)


    Wash and soak the wheat for about four to five hours. Grind the wheat well in a grinder or mixer by adding water frequently. The soaked water need not be wasted and may be used for this purpose.

    Now squeeze the milk from the ground wheat .Initially the wheat milk will be thick and becomes thinner for the second or third time. Use a sieve to filter out the clean milk and store in a vessel for 10 minutes. A thick solution settles down and you have a watery portion on the top.

    Remove the thin milk and pour the thick one in a heavy-bottomed kadai and boil. Once it thickens add sugar and keep mixing for 15 minutes. Sugar melts and again the whole mixture thickens.

    Now add ghee little by little into the mixture and keep mixing again for 10 minutes.Cook the halwa on slow fire. Once the halwa starts leaving the sides of the kadai, you can assume that it is properly cooked. Add cardamom powder and cashew nuts fried in ghee and serve hot.

    Mix for some more time(if you wish to cut it out as pieces)and pour on a greased tray.Allow it to cool and cut it out for serving.

    Gujju special Atte ka seera

    Alternatively there is a Gujarati delicacy which nearly mimicks the taste of Tirunelveli Halwa

    2 tbsp. wheat flour
    2 1/2 tbsp. ghee
    3/4 to 1 cup sugar
    Milk-2 1/2 cup
    elaichi powder
    chopped cashew/ almonds

    Add flour and ghee in a heavy sauce pan.
    Roast on slow fire, stirring continuously.
    Simultaneously boil 2 1/2 cups milk.
    When the atta becomes golden brown, add the boiling milk.
    Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
    Stir gently and continuously till excess water evaporates and the ghee separates.
    Decorate with chopped almonds.

    Turkey Masala

    Spicy Fried Turkey Masala
    Caution:This turkey masala is only for those who wish to enjoy the saddistic pleasure of having a really spicy curry leaving your tongue burning! Those bland food lovers may make a blander version of the same...but it would be like 'uppillatha kanji', literally translated as a saltless gruel,it is less cruel!


    Turkey breasts-250g
    Potato-1 (large ,sliced very thin)
    Onion-2 (medium,sliced very thin)
    Ginger-2x1 inch
    Garlic-5 pods
    Green chillies-3
    Dry Red chillies-2
    Corriander powder-1/2tsp
    Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
    Parsley-1bunch finely chopped
    Tomato-2, finely diced
    Cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,fennel seeds (garam masala)-finely powdered-1tsp
    Coconut milk-1/2 cup
    water-1/2 cup
    Salt-As required


    Marinate the turkey pieces with turmeric,chillipowder and salt and allow it to take a short nap for 15minutes till you get your masala ready!(too saddistic,ain't I?)Grind in a mixer ginger, garlic,green chillies, red chillies,garam masala powder with a little water in a coarse paste. Now roast the onion and potato in a pan and keep it aside. In the same oil fry the marinated turkey pieces to a golden brown colour. Now in a wok/kadai mix the ground paste,tomato,corrianderpowder and salt and allow it to cook for7 minutes. Then add the fried turkey pieces into it and continue cooking for another 5minutes.Now add the coconut milk and simmer the flame for another couple of minutes.Garnish with chopped parsley leaves and serve hot with your favourite roti or naans.

    Turkey fry

    A few Turkey pieces fried can be kept separate. Now add a few roasted onions and potato pieces along with a roasted sprig of curry leaves. and you get another tasty side dish, a turkey fry which kids will love most.Turkey is a soft meat and cooks very easily so see to it that you adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    In memory of those Naans...

    My husband's bachelor days have often thrived on the Naans from the 'Indian Take aways' that we have plenty in UK. More often than not, these have been poor surrogates to their desi counterparts. But choicelessness made it all the more relishing and my husband loved it with one of those 'spicy' Indo-Anglian fusion curries. Desi punjabi dabas are not just the favourite of Indian truck drivers but a most sought after choice for most Indian food gluttons. Yesterday I made Naans, Turkey masala and Turkey fry and was happy to see his face beaming!


    Maida(All purpose flour)- 300g
    Curd-1/2 cup
    Salt-As required
    Water-3/4 cup

    Add 4 table spoons of water to the yeast along with teaspoon of sugar and stir well. Set aside for 12 minutes. Bubbles appear on the surface if the yeast is of good quality.In the remaining water, add sugar, curd, egg, butter, and salt and blend well.(You may use an electronic whisk).
    Now add the flour to this liquid and mix it well enough to make a smooth, soft, and elastic dough. Now leave the dough to ferment in a warm bowl, buttered all the sides, covered with a wet cloth.Keep it in a warm place until the dough doubles in height for nearly 1 hour.If impression remains when u push a finger into the dough you can assume that it is ready for cooking

    Make the dough into balls of equal size, flatten them into circles with your fingers so that the edges are thicker than the center. You may pull one edge into a tear drop shape if you want the asli daba look.

    Then you can roast it on a hot tandoor until it becomes golden brown in colour. Alternatively you may use a very hot tava just like you make any other roti. But cool the tava by sprinkling water after making every Naan so that it is easier to spread the dough with hand.

    Bannu kabab

    Chicken breasts 12 pcs (boneless)
    Ginger paste 40 gm.
    Garlic paste 40 gm.
    Lemon juice 45 ml.
    White pepper powder 5 gm.
    Butter 60 gm.
    Gram flour 100 gm.
    Bread crumbs 80 gm.
    Ginger 20 gm.
    Coriander 20 gm.
    Green cardamom powder 2 gm.
    Egg yolks 3
    Oil 10 ml.
    Salt to taste
    Clean each breast piece and cut in two. Mix ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper and rub the chicken pieces with this mixture. Keep aside.
    Clean and chop the ginger and coriander. Heat butter and oil in a pan. Add gram flour and cook till golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and saute. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Skewer each chicken piece horizontally and cook for about 7-8 minutes in a moderately hot tandoor. Coat the chicken pieces with the egg yolks and cook further till the coating turns golden brown. Remove and sprinkle cardamom powder and coriander. Serve immediately

    Saturday, April 22, 2006

    Microwave Caramel Egg pudding

    The way to a man's heart....

    My husband keeps blackmailing me saying that the 'way to a man's heart is thro' his stomach!'. So today I thought of taking that by pass road to his heart by cooking his favourite....


    Eggs-2 (medium sized)
    milk-1 cup
    condensed milk-1/2cup
    cream-4 tbsp
    cornflour-2 tbsp

    For caramel
    brown cane sugar-50g (ordinary sugar will do)


    Whisk the eggs thoroughly, preferrably using an electric whisk, for a couple of minutes. Then add cream and sugar, whisk again for a minute & add milk and cornflour. Whisk again for a couple of minutes. Prepare the caramel by heating the sugar in a sauce pan and when the sugar melts and starts caramalising(darkens), add 2tbsp of water and allow it to boil till you achieve a sauce like consistency. Take a heavy bottomed vessel, grease it with a little butter. Pour the caramel into the vessel and swirl it so that it forms a uniform layer. Then pour the beaten egg mixture into it without much disturbing the caramel layer. Allow it to cook in the microwave at high for 4 minutes. Insert a skewer and if the skewer comes clean, tis done. There could be individual variations in the time taken depending upon the specifications of u'r gadget. Now once cool, refrigerate it for an hour and then invert the vessel on to a plate with the caramel coming on top. You can serve it with a topping of whipped cream or ice cream and garnish it with chopped nuts.
    Alternatively this can be cooked in a pressure cooker using double boiling for 30mts ( till u feel it is cooked enough)or in an electric oven at 200 Celsius for nearly 30 minutes.
    Ginnam Halu
    With the same ingredients you can also mimick the taste of a kannadiga local favourite called 'ginnam halu' (1st snap), prepared using the cholestrum of the cow. Just allow the caramalised brown cane sugar to blend with the partially cooked egg mixture, but the mixture should not be cooked so much as the caramel pudding.You may cook it only for 2minutes.This is best done in a conventional oven by cooking it at 200 degree Celsius for 15 minutes and then another 15 minutes standing time. Moreover you should not add cornflour. It mimicks the taste so well that you can't really find out the difference.

    You call it Caramel Egg pudding,Mexican Flan or Ginnam Halu....this dessert just melts into your mouth...Yummy, yummy!!

    Honey Chicken

    To that sweet honey chicken ...

    I should say that I have been lucky to be loved by a lot of students. I have had a kind of love hate relationship with teaching profession. Never really wanting to be one I ended up in those university classrooms at one time time teaching Shakespeare, Lacan & Derrida and at some other time teaching business communication and technical communication! I remember that Iwent till the door of my class room always with a certain amount of repulsion and dislike and once inside I never knew my was a was a different chemistry inside! It was a while ago one sweet student of mine, now breaking her head on one of those IT bugs, asked me 'Ma'am why dont you sent me a good Honey chicken recipe?' Perhaps she wanted me to be a little more adventurous in my new found profession as a house wife and herself to feel alive amidst those not so soft softwares!Well this is the best I could find out...This is for that cutie pie...
    1 medium sized chicken- cut into pieces( chicken wings bhi chalega)
    1 medium onion-chopped finely
    Minced garlic-1tbsp
    Black pepper-2tsp
    Red Chilli Powder-1tsp
    vinegar-1/2 cup (keep another 1/2 cup separate)
    Honey-2/3 cups
    Orange juice-2 cups (You can use concentrate as well)
    Butter -2tbsp

    Marinate the chicken for at least an hour in vinegar. In a small wok saute onion and garlic for 2-3minutes in melted butter. Add this into a pan along with honey,orange juice and vinegar; and allow it to boil in a medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer it occasionally. Cool it and refrigerate it for a while so that the sauce thickens slightly.

    Remove the chicken from the marinate. Sprinkle redchilli powder, pepper powder and salt on all the sides of the chicken. Grill the chicken for 20 minutes turning it occasionally and brushing on it a little of that honey sauce. You can either use this as a dry dish or put the pieces into the sauce prepared along with the left over marinate and boil it for a couple of minutes and serve hot.
    (courtesy:Diana Rattray)

    Here is an alternative Honey chicken recipe:
    3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces
    1/2 cup honey
    2 tablespoons vinegar
    2/3 cup flour
    2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
    2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup curd
    1 cup vegetable oil
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    PREPARATION:Stir the honey and vinegar together and pour over the chicken; marinate for 2 hour to 4 hours in refrigerator, stirring occasionally. In a bowl, combine flour, bread crumbs, and cayenne pepper; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and curd.

    In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat to 300°, (higher temperatures could burn honey). Remove the chicken from the marinade and drain on paper towels. Dip the chicken in beaten egg mixture, season with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour mixture, coating thoroughly. Strain the marinade; reserve 1 tablespoon for the sauce.

    Gently drop the pieces into the pan for 5 to 6 minutes on the first side until browned and continue cooking, adjusting the heat so the chicken browns evenly on both sides and is tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes for dark meat and 10 to 12 minutes for the breast halves. Serves 4 to 6.

    Friday, April 21, 2006

    Curd Rice/Thair sadam/bagara bath/Cool stuff

    Curd Rice Posted by Picasa

    Curd rice has always been my favourite eversince my hostel days in Andhra.Phaps the coolest thing in our hostel menu was curd rice.
    Often it is a wonderful soother for our tumultous intestines after having some of those hot stuffs which make you weep! The fact that it is easier to make, makes it all the more welcome for most housewives when they want to chill out for a day
    Rice-2 cups
    Water-3 cups
    Yoghurt( sour curd)-2 cups
    Milk -1/2 cup
    Double cream-2tbsp(optional)

    dry curd chilies-3 or 4,
    mustard, black gram dal(udad daal)-1/2 tsp each
    ginger-1 inch (crushed)-optional
    green chillies-3(crushed)
    a sprig of Curry leaves
    a sprig of corriander leaves
    Salt- As required
    Cook rice well.(A little mushy would be ideal).Let it cool for some time. Then add curd, milk, cream and salt, and mix well.Take a pan and heat the oil. Do the seasoning with mustard, udad dal,curry leaves,ginger, dry curd chilies, & green chillies(preferably in the same order) .Fry them for a couple of minutes. Add this Seasoning to the Curd rice and blend it well. Garnish it with some chopped pineapple & grapes. Have it with mango pickle or some fry, there is nothing tastier than this!

    Aviyal-North Kerala style

    No festival is complete without 'sadya' for Keralites.Sadya is a traditional way of eating rice with so many curries and side dishes,spicy,sweet and sour, laid out in a banana leaf and to be eaten with bare hand.'Arupathinalum koottiyoroonu' a popular saying about the grandeur of the Kerala Sadya, which means a Sadya with 64 curries!!Mind blowing,isn't it?!! I don't know how they would have prepared this grand curry mela!No 'sadya' is complete without Aviyal, a very healthy mixed vegetable curry which has won fans all over the world.According to one popular legend Aviyal was first prepared by 'Pakkanar' of the famous 'Parayipetta Panthirukulam' using all left over vegetables and it seems the dish became a hit! Here is that hit recipe.


    Raw banana- 2 nos
    Elephant yam - 1 cup
    Carrots(big) - 2 nos
    Drumstick - 2 nos
    Potato - 1/2 cup
    Snake Gourd - 1/2 cup
    Kumbalanga - 1/2 cup
    Beans - 3 nos
    Green chillies - 4 nos or as reqd
    Raw mango - 1 slice(optional)
    Water - marginally higher to the level of vegetables in the pan,
    Turmeric powder - 2 tsp
    Oil - 2 tsp
    Salt - As reqd

    For grinding:-
    Grated coconut - 2 cups
    Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves - 1 sprig
    Baby shallots - 8 nos(optional)
    Curd - 1/2 cup

    Chop all the vegetables into 1/2 inch thick pieces.Cook vegetables with water, salt and turmeric powder.Meanwhile grind together coconut, cumin seeds, curry leaves, small onions and a little curd(as mango can be sour enough).Once the vegetables are cooked, add the ground paste. Cook, till the rawness of the coconut is gone. Do not cook for too long, as the whole curry will dry up.Then add oil (coconut oil if you want the authentic kerala flavour) and mix well.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Something fishy!

    Baby Shark Fry

    Baby sharks,fried or in curry was always my dad's favourite. The aroma of the fry still brings reminiscences of my dad's big smile on the face....

    Baby shark- 250 g (cut into small pieces)
    Dry Red chilli -2
    green chillies- 2 or 3 (depends on how spicy u want)
    corriander seeds-1 tsp
    garlic -4pods
    ginger-2x1 inch piece
    pepper corns-1tsp
    turmeric -1pinch
    lemon -half (juice)
    salt- As required

    Cut the cleaned baby shark into small pieces. Roast all the ingredients (except lemon) slightly in oil and grind them together into a paste. Marinate the fish with the paste and the lemon juice. Leave it for an hour and then shallow fry it in oil. You can add a sprig of curry leaves to it while the fish gets fried for an added flavour. Serve hot with rice.

    Jammy Jammy

    Strawberry Jam Recipe
    Strawberries -1kg (Ripe)
    caster sugar-300g
    100gcaster sugar mixed with 30g dried pectin
    1 lemon( juice only)


    Grind the strawberries without adding water and make it into a pulp. In a heavy based pan place the sugar and warm over a medium heat, stirring with a wooden ladle.Add the strawberry pulp to this and mix well. Cover with the lid and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes until the temperature reaches 100C/½ Gas. Skim off any impurities ,then sprinkle in the mixed sugar and pectin, together with the lemon juice. Stir in and cook for a few more minutes. When the mixture has reached the consistency of jam, Pour the jam into the clean jars through a funnel and seal, preferably with a screw top. Leave to cool and store in well sealed containers in a cool dark place.

    A Quick Coconut bite
    You can have a yummy sandwich made with this strawberry jam .
    Spread the jam over a slice of bread. Spread a little butter on another slice and sandwiched in tween some coconut shavings , along with nuts(optional). Kids will go nuts over this quickie.

    On the banks of Vaigai...

    Madurai Meenakshi Temple has always generated an awe - 12 huge soaring towers or ' gopurams' , stucco figures of deities, Ashtashakthi Mandapam, Meenakshi Nayakkar mandapam, Potramaraikulam, Oonjal Mandapam, Swami Sundareshwara shrine, the thousand pillar mandapam, Musical pillars, Vasantha Mandapam - everything leaves you speachless.
    Madurai the cultural headquarters of Tamil nadu is definitely as sweet as its 'malligai' (jasmine) flowers....


    Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh is quite well known in the name of its great saint Bhagwan Sri Satya Sai Baba. It is also home to a rich handicraft tradition and its beautiful temples. Once again another marvel of the great Vijayanagara Empire, Lepakshi the small town is a rich repository of several mural paintings of the era. Lepakshi has 3 important shrines-siva, vishnu and veerabadhra shrines. Veerabadhra shrine is a huge canvass of the cultural richness.About 500m, North-East of the temple stands India's largest monolithic Nandhi, measuring about 8.25m long and 4,60m high. My visit to Lepakshi along with my students and pals at chittoor remain a sweet memory cherished always....


    "If dreams were made out of stone, it would be Hampi...."
    Krishnadevaraya's Hampi is not only the favourite of Jackie Chan but is the seat of a great culture, the crowning glory of the great Vijayanagara Empire. Now only the ruins remaining, this 14th Century Royal splendour is just ineffable and truly deserves to be one of the World Heritage Centres. I am proud to be the daughter in law of this great cauldron of rich culture.

    Thodikalam paintings

    This rare mural painting dating back to 16th Century decorates the inside walls of the famous Thodikalam temple located on the Kannur Mananthavady road near Kannavam forest in Kerala. An impeccable beauty to watch.


    Kerala-The untapped beauty of this lush green state in the Indian subcontinent has immense potential for attracting tourists from all over the world...Its back waters,rivers & sea provide ample scope for aqua tourism in addition to health tourism with its great ayurvedic tradition. The colorful festivals like Onam, Vishu,Pooram etc are really a feast to the eyes.

    'Theyyam' is a gorgeous relegious dance form and is really a way of life for the North Keralites Theyyam is in fact one of the most outstanding ancient dance form of North Kerala. . The word 'Theyyam' originated from 'Daivam' whic means God. The Theyyam or Kolam (a form or shape), represents a mythological, divine or heroic character. There are around 400 Theyyams in northern Kerala. The bizarre head dresses, costumes and body painting and trance like performances are very extraordinary. Each one has a distinguishing headgear and costume made out of natural materials like coconut leaves and bark. Musical accompaniments are chenda, elathalam and kuzhal (horn). The Theyyams are exclusively performed by the male members of the traditional caste groups like Malayan, Vannan, Navilan, Pulayan, Koppalan and Velan. They actually belong to the scheduled castes and tribes. Female roles are also enacted by men wearing suitable makeup and colourful costumes. During the festival season between January and April, Theyyam performances can be seen in most of the Bagavathy Kavu (Temple) at North Malabar during December - April of every year. Unfortunately this divine art form is almost heading towards its extinction due to lack of proper patronage. 'God's own country had become more of a cliche is sad that the Gods are 'dying'! I just hope that Theyyams do not become just another nostalgic memory for the malayalees.....

    Kerala Porota

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    Kerala Porota is synonymous with Kerala's hotels or its 'thattukadas'. I just finished my brunch...ate some porotas with my andhra egg curry. Vow! Made for each other they are, yaar ! Ever since my mom told me that easy recipe to make 'porota', I have stopped filling my freezer with those frozen porotas we get at the kerala shops in Birmingham. Though a bit fatty, kerala porota is too good to resist with some real spicy veg or nonveg curry.
    maida-500g (4 10 porotas)
    milk-1/4 cup
    Oil-3 Tbsp
    ghee/dalda-2 tbsp(melted) (You can again use oil as well)
    Water & salt-as required

    Blend egg well with milk, water and salt and add this to the flour. Knead the mixture well enough to a consistency slightly loose than that of chappathi. Cover the dough with a wet cloth and leave it for 2 or 3hrs. Then divide it into balls of equal size(a big lemon size). Apply some oil and roll it out into thin rounds like chappathi. Again pour some generous amount oil/ghee/dalda and then roll the 'chappathi' from both the ends towards the middle. Hold the 'chappathi' from one end and curl it into a flat round roll. Keep doing the same with the remaining balls. Once finished, take the first roll and roll it out flat using a roller pin once again, not too thin and roast it on a hot tava, pressing it occasionally, so that it starts bulging...Once you have made a few 'porotas' like this, hold 2 porotas and smash it against each other, so that it will turn out to be soft and layered. Serve hot with any of your spicy curries.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Amma-The endless ocean of divine love

    Om Amriteswaryai Namaha.Sadguru Mata AmritanandamayiDevi, 'Amma' for all her devotees... has been embracing the world and its sufferings unconditionally for several decades now... I was quite lucky to work in one of her great institutions...Miles away now I Still carry the warmth of that gentle hug in my heart....Humble pranams at the lotus feet of the great apostle of love and world peace....

  • Amma's darshan
  • My Indo-spanish crossbreed

    Posted by Picasa

    I'm in a mood to experiment more with eggs...this is my new palatal adventure!
    Potato-Egg Omelette
    Eggs-6 {wish to make it a little more carniv? u can add some cooked, minced meat too)
    Potato-2 (medium sized)
    Shimla Mirch-1 (finely chopped)
    Onion-1 (finely chopped)
    Grated cheese-optional
    Ginger,garlic,salt, pepper-to u'r taste
    Some corriander leaves- chopped
    Any veg oil
    Take a small frying pan. Fry onion,& garlic in oil (any veg oil) till it has become soft and transluscent,add ginger,shimla mirch,corriander leaves,salt &pepper to it,(one after the other), fry for a couple of minutes more,drain and then keep it aside.Cut the potatoes, into very small wafer thin slices and cook over a medium heat until it is quite soft. Mix this potato with the onion mixture, and blend it with the eggs .Add 2tbsp of oil into a the frying pan, when the oil has heated up add the egg-potato-onion mixture to it. You may add some grated cheese on top.Simmer the flame and allow it to cook until the top starts solidifying. Now u need to do a small pan-gymnastics so that you get both the sides cooked.Well there is an easier way.You can toss it on to a plate just like you make a caramel pudding and then cook the other side by once again sliding it back to the pan.There it is! Your Omelette is ready.