Thursday, August 31, 2006

Double Ka Meetha/Shahi Tukre-JFI-Milk

It was a couple of months back my sweet Nellore girl had asked me,"Ma'am,can you get me the recipe for Double ka meetha?..."I was in one of my usual absent mindedness that I said that I dont know it at all...While JFI was announced,I tried to recollect all those sweets that I had eaten which had dairy products in it!!It then struck me that a couple of yrs back when I had been to Hyderabad for a week's stay,I had pounced upon something called Double ka Meetha in the Menu card,for the obvious reason that it translated as double sweetness!! I love anything sweeeeeeeeeeeet and anything Hoooooooooooot,eccentric,ain't I?!!Then I remembered my Hyderabadi friend saying that Khubani Meetha,and Double ka meetha are inevitable Hyderabadi desserts for any kind of celebration...So I fixed it on Double ka meetha for JFI Milk hosted by
  • Vineela
  • .. Hmm...Milk,butter/ghee and double cream :)!!!....Interestingly I found that Shahi Tukre which is quite a popular sweet in North India and Pakistan is nothing but Hyderabadi Double Ka obviously the Moghul influence...

    Hyderabadi cuisine stands tall with its 400yr old culinary culture,its Nawabi aristocracy and is a wonderful blend of Mughal,traditional Andhra& Telangana cuisine.You know, in the Nawabi banquets often the dishes were decorated with varq (a very fine pure silver leaf)!!Gosh!!I wish I could be a guest of the Nawab!!Hyderabadi Biryani has become one of the most sought after Biryani variety.Interestingly,when I went thro' the recipes of Hyderabadi Biryani, I found that they are much the same as
  • Malabar Biriyani
  • .Well Hyderabadi cuisine doesnt stop with Hyderabadi Biriyani.There are plenty of wonderful lipsmacking dishes that come under this genre.Some of their culinary delights include Khubani ka Mitha, Pheni- a sweet vermicelli delicacy eaten during the festival of Diwali and Halim, a meat dish traditionally eaten by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan(Very much like the Malabar Alsa) and a host of other pure ghee sweets etc.I remember that we did plenty of shopping in Hyderabad.... bought plenty of sweets from the Karachi Bakery near Mau'zzam Jahi Market, Nampally(Osmania biscuits),Badaam ki jaali from some shop near Azeez bagh palace and one big basket full of grapes,some pearls,lots of sarees,bags etc on the way back from Hyderabad!

    Double Ka Meetha is perhaps the most famous sweet dish of Hyderabad, served on every festive occasion,&easy to prepare as well.Often it is served warm, and it would be a wonderful dessert for a chilly winter! But you can have it chilled too,if it like it that way...It is just awesome either way! is a little high in calories,but very very very tasty.....Ok...ok...I know u guys have to go thro' so many recipes in the let me cut short my banter and now straight to the recipe:

    Regular white bread-4 slices (cut each slice into 4 pieces)
    Milk-1 1/2 cups
    Water-1/4cup(for sugar syrup)
    Double cream-1/2 cup(u can use less as well)
    Butter/Ghee-1+1=2 tbsp
    chopped cashew nuts-25g
    Almonds-25g(blanched and slivered)
    Cardamom-1/2 tsp
    Saffron-1 or 2strands
    Dates-25g-chopped(optional-not added traditionally)

    Cut the edges of the bread and cut each slice into four pieces.Heat a pan.Add some butter or ghee and roast the bread pieces until both the sides turn golden brown.Now arrange the bread pieces in a large baking pan.

    Roast all the nuts and raisins in ghee/butter and spread them over the fried bread pieces along with chopped dates uniformly.Now boil milk with saffron and cardamom powder.Pour the hot milk over the arranged bread.Now make a sugar syrup in a sauce pan.Pour this sugar syrup also over the bread.Finally pour the double cream uniformly over the bread.Either serve it hot or refrigerate and eat it chilled!! It is a tru Nawabi dessert that you will love to the last morsel!It is just irressistible...a sweet tooth's ecstasy!

    Bread Pudding
    I just tried the European counterpart of Double ka Meetha,the bread pudding.I just personalised
  • Ellen Warfield's recipe
  • a few changes, like, I used cardamom powder, instead of cinnamon,added some double cream,glazed cherries...hmm... that's it.Having tasted Double Ka Meetha I should say that Bread Pudding falls short of the richness and the fine aroma of Double ka Meetha.Double ka Meetha,to be honest, is at least 10 times better than the Bread pudding...It is amazing just the method of cooking makes so much of a difference on the taste!
      Posted by Picasa

    Khubani Meetha
    Posted by Picasa

    Tuesday, August 29, 2006


    Kadum Payasam,& Pongalapayasam

    Nivedyam/Naivedyam are the offerings made to God.It is not just an offering made to God during the Pooja,chanting "Nivedyam samarppayami...",but rather is a symbol of our self surrender before God.Nivedyams could be the grains,sweets,
    milk,curd,ghee,honey,fruits etc.God is the universal provider,what are we trying to feed him,one might ask!! Well,we can never 'feed' Him,we are just symbolically surrendering our 'Aham',ego at his feet in the form of these symbols and at the end of the pooja,it becomes 'prasad', the cleansing of our soul....

    Rice has a very important role and a broader meaning in the way of life of Keralites (rather for most of the Indians,I should say!) in their social and religious ceremonies- in their very culture..For example a traditional Hindu wedding in Kerala takes place in front a
    'para' (A wooden barrel traditionally used as a measure
    for rice)filled with un-hulled,unhusked rice(Nellu)and decorated with
    a Coconut flower stack(ThenginPookula).Akshatha(rice),is sprinkled at the newly weds as blessings.Choroonu(Annaprashanam)is when kids are fed the first morsel of rice,6 months after the birth.On any celebration rice is served on plantain leaves with all the mouthwatering curries as Sadya...Rice is not just associated with the celebrations of life,it is also associated with rituals associated with death,like 'bali tharpanam' for instance, where rice balls are offered to the departed souls...

    It is quite strange to notice that, while offering rice in various forms to God is a way of worship,denying oneself rice on certain days of religious observances(ekadashi,tiruvatira vrat etc) is also a way of worshipping!Even today in certain parts we have the tradition of Nagarapradakshinam,in which the idol of the deity of the temple is carried on top of a decorated (nettipattam)elephant to the homes and devotees present the deity with paras filled with Nellu(unhusked rice),Pepper,Turmeric etc.

    In temples and even at home rice is offered to deities in various forms as Padachoru,Paalpayasam(Guruvayoor,Ambalappuzha etc),Kadum payasam,Neipayasam,Pongalapayasam,Appam,Ada etc. Often for making these Naivedyam hand pounded short grain rice,called as Unakkalari,(considered to be the most aristocratic of rice varieties!)is used for preparing temple offerings. Unakkalari has a very sophisticated flavour and a consistency that cooks to the right creamy texture.In certain families a small packet(pothi) of Unakkalari is given as a symbol of prosperity to people going abroad,to newly wed bride etc,....I too had my packet with me,which I use often for making naivedyam...In the market it is available as 'aged rice'(I have been told that they almost match the unakkalari,short grain rice).If you dont have these varieties you may try with any short grain variety.

    Padachoru is nothing but plain rice,unakkalari, cooked.

    Kadum Payasam
    Kadum Payasam is a very common naivedyam in most of the temples in Kerala...and we do it at home as well.It is called Kadum payasam because of the extreme sweetness, we add more jaggery to make it.It is so sweet that u can almost feel the 'kick' if u eat it more!!Here is the recipe for it:

    Unakkalari/Shortgrain rice- 1cup
    Water-2 1/4 cups
    Ghee-1/2 cup
    Sugar candy/Kalkandam-100g
    Dehydrated Coconut/Kottathenga-1/2(You may use copra or dessicated coconut)chopped

    All these naivedyams are traditionally done in a heavy bottomed bronze vessel called
  • Uruli
  • .Instead you can use any heavy bottomed vessel.Wash the rice well and cook it with the rqd water.When it is almost done,add brown sugar and ghee.(If you are using cubes of jaggery,melt them in a vessel on slow fire with a little water added(1 tbsp) and sieve it for impurities).Now mix everything well and let it cook well.Keep stirring.Now heat ghee in another small wok.Add the chopped Kottathenga(dry coconut/copra).When it becomes golden brown,add raisins.Add this to the payasam.Finally add powdered sugar candy,and cardamom.Mix everything well.Kadumpayasam is ready.
    If you add less (half the qty)jaggery and no sugar candy,it becomes Neipayasam .At home, for neipayasam we add cashews as well.


    Not only Kannan(Lord Krishna)but also most of his devotees love palpayasam...How can we celebrate this 'Makhan Chor's glory without his favourite Palpayasam!Palpayasams made in
  • Guruvayoor
  • and
  • Ambalappuzha
  • are not only famous for their sweetness but also for the great lores attached to them.

    Unakkalari/shortgrain rice-500g
    Sugar-1 kg
    Milk-2 ltr
    Water-as rqd(~2litre)
    Cardamom powder-1 tsp
    (At home I add 1/2 tin condensed milk and reduce the milk and butter ratio accordingly)


    Mix milk and water and allow it to boil.Once it starts boiling,reduce the flame,add washed rice.Keep stirring.When rice is almost done,add sugar.Mix well and continue to cook on medium flame, and when the qty has considerably reduced,add butter (condensed milk too ,if u r adding).Mix well and cook it further for 3 or 4 minutes.Finally add raisins and cashews roasted in ghee and cardamom powder.Mix well.Palpayasam also ready!!


    Pongala payasam is nothing but chakkara pongal cooked with banana and coconut and is of slightly more fluidy consistency as compared to chakkarapongal.It is usually associated with offerings made to Devi/ Durga/Gowri like the famous
  • attukal pongala
  • .

    Raw rice – 1 cup
    Split moong dal – 1/2cup
    Jaggery – 2 cups (powdered)
    Milk – 2 cup
    Ghee – 3tbsp
    Cardamom –a pinch-powdered
    Cashew nut – 25g
    Raisins – 25g
    Water – as reqd
    grated coconut-1/4 cup

    Make Jaggery syrup,adding one cup water,to a syrupy consistency.Keep it aside.
    Heat a tbsp ghee, fry rice and moong dal separately.Cook rice and moong dal with 2 3/4 or nearly 3 cups of water till the rice-dal gets soft and mushy(say 4 or 5 whistles).Add boiled milk,chopped banana,grated coconut and jaggery syrup to the cooked rice and allow it to boil further.(Remove the lid).Now heat 1tbsp ghee in a small wok.Prepare the seasoning by roasting cashews,raisins till they become golden.Add the seasoning to the payasam.Mix well.Finally add a tbsp of the remaining ghee on top.Pongala payasam ready.
    Panchamrutam & Trimadhuram

    Panchamrutam is one of my favourite naivedyam.As a child I remember I used to wait eagerly for the pooja to get over to scoop out the panchamrutam...more than the God,panchamrutam was made for myself!!Can anything beat the sweetness of
  • Palani
  • Panchamrutam?...Panchamrutam is basically combining 5 'amrutams' and is made by mixing equal quantities of milk,sugar,ghee,honey and curd.But sometimes panchamrutam is made by mixing banana,jaggery,milk,ghee and honey. In some other Panchamrutams,people add even pitted dates.But the basic concept is a mixing of 5 amrutams(Amrut=Ambrosia).

    So Trimadhuram is obviously a mixing of 3 different sweetness.Usually a mixture of honey,powdered sugarcandy,and ghee.

    Naivedyams are not just a feast for the God,it is often a feast in the name of God for all his devotees...a gesture of sharing the divine grace and the cleansing...

    Pl check out the naivedyam/festival food from the following blogger friends:
  • Madhuli'sSweet Pongal

  • Karthi'sChakkaraPongal

  • Sailu'sNaivedyam

  • Indira's Naivedyam

  • Shilpa'sFestivalfood

  • Ashwini's Nevryo

  • Manisha'sChavde

  • Inji'sPesahaAppam
  • Sunday, August 27, 2006

    Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi!

    Jai Ganesh!

    I forgot Gowry Vrat totally and by the time my MIL called me to tell me about Gowri Pooja,I had finished my 'Pet pooja' eating the prawn biriyani!! Felt so bad and husband consoled that it is all in the mind...prawns are also vegetables, if u imagine them to be so!!

    I may not be very religious,in the narrow sense of the term as it is used now a days...but I'm devout...I think that devoutness was instilled by my childhood reading habit...All those amarchitra katha and snehasena I read brought me close to God...I love festivals,the lores,the colour and the rituals...

    I think I started taking more interest in these poojas ever since I moved to Andhra....for back home in Kerala...Bhakthi or Devotion meant only the evening chanting,'sandhyanaamam chollal' as kids,'Rama,rama,rama....'which we did almost mechanically,but with all the innocence....there ws nothing asked from God...we just praised his Glory...

    As I grew up my prayer got reduced to just a whisper as I lit the lamp...something by rote..."show me the right path...take care of my parents,my brother...."it ws so mechanically done that often I never even realised as to what I asked God!But when necessities,griefs,trials and tribulations started taking the toll...I knew every word of my became...'karuna cheyyan thamasamenthey kanna...."(Krishna,why dont u show me u'r compassion,why so late?!!)Prayer became more a big list of petitions or supermarket wish lists!!My Lord might have had a tough he granted one by one...after so much of tears were shed! Saddist he is chwee...t!!I was always more attached to Kannan before I moved to Andhra where I embraced a multitude of Gods...I learnt the meaning of Mantras,rituals,vrats etc...No matter what,devotion for me has always been a very cleansing process...It made me humbler,more compassionate,more patient and taught me not to take this life for took me to the earthy realities of life....

    Ganesh chathurthi is not just another is the celebration of our thankfulness to that great Lord who takes us forward thro' all the trials and tribulations of life...For most of us it is a celebration with a great spread of wonderful food!Arey! dont mistake that I cooked all these for Ganesha yesterday! Poor Ganesha had only Kadumpayasam,pongalapayasam,Elayada,Honey&Sugar candy.The rest was all done earlier...but is usually associated with festivals in most parts of South India,except of course, Kerala.So thought I'll celebrate Ganesha with a spread of food!
    Kadum Payasam,Chakkayada & Pongalapayasam 

    Chakkayada is all about making ada filled with a jackfruit,coconut.Pl check out this link for the recipe:
  • Chakkavaratty
  • mixture.Venpongal

    Initially I had thought of not posting the recipes for most of these items are quite common for most of us....Bt now this is for that anonymous friend who had asked me for the recipes and for all those who still need it.

    Venpongal recipe:


    Raw Rice-1 cup
    Split Moong dal-1/2 cup(people have different ratio,this is what I prefer)
    Water-2 1/2 cup or slightly more.
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Ginger-25g(I like it a bit strong!)
    Green chilli-4(pounded)
    Pepper corns-1tsp(I prefer to pound them slightly)
    Butter/Ghee-2 tbsp
    Mustard-1 tsp
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Dry Red chilli-2(broken)
    Salt-as rqd


    Pressure cook washed rice and moongdal along with turmeric powder, ginger and green chilli.Once it is cooked well, mushy(You can have it grainy if u like it that way!)add butter,mix well and then remove from the fire.Heat butter in a small wok.Add mustard,curry leaves,dry red chilli,cashews and crushed pepper corns.Saute it for a minute or two.Now add this seasoning to the cooked pongal.Mix everything well.Serve with a chutney or mango pickle!

    with fried paneer!

    Raw Rice-1 cup
    Raw Mango-1 medium-(depends on the tanginess that u require-grate/scrape the flesh)
    Water-2 cups or slightly more.
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Ginger-25g(I like it a bit strong!)
    Green chilli-4(pounded)
    Shallots-100g-chopped(alternatively u can use one small onion)
    Butter/Ghee/oil-2 tbsp(or as rqd)
    Mustard-1 tsp
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Dry Red chilli-2(broken)
    Ground nuts-10g
    Salt-as rqd
    Roasted paneer-50g(not added traditionally,I added for a taty bite!)
    Coriander leaves-a small bunch
    Cook rice and leave it to cool(Neither too mushy nor too grainy).Now heat oil/ghee in a wok.Add mustard seeds,dry red chilli,curry leaves,shallots,ginger,green chilli,turmeric powder,nuts and saute it for a couple of minutes till onions become transluscent and and raw mango lose its rawness..People advise you not to saute mango too much that it will lose its flavour...well,it is individual choice,I like it fried a little more...Finally add the roasted paneer cubes(u get it in the Indian grocery shops).Mix everything well.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with some hot n spicy chilli bajji/khara boondhi/pickle/chutney/papad/vaddiyalu etc.
    Kara Boondhi/Mixture
      Posted by Picasa

    I had made some
  • chilli bajjis
  • to go with the mango rice and had some left over batter,and it became my kaara boondhi.So here goes the recipe for it.


    Gram flour/besan/kadalamavu-100g
    Rice flour-50g
    Asafoetida/Hing/Kaayam-a pinch
    Chilli powder-3 tsp(or as rqd)
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Cumin powder-3/4 tsp
    Baking soda-a pinch
    Salt-as rqd
    Water-as rqd
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Roasted Ground nuts-50g
    Roasted cashews-25g(optional)

    Mix both the flour,cumin powder,1 1/2 tsp chillipowder,turmeric powder,asafoetida,baking soda and salt with water to a medium thick batter.Now heat oil in a big wok.When the oil is very hot pour the batter thro' a perforated ladle(shown in the fig) and shake slightly to make small layer of the batter over the oil.Now stir the batter in the oil with a fork or spoon sligtly,just like u scramble egg.Keep stirring and fry the batter till you get golden granules.You can also use a chakli maker or a shev maker(idiappam maker) to get the thinner, noodle like ones(usually found in mixture,not in boondhi)similarly.Now using perforated spatula sieve them out of the oil and transfer it to kitchen towels,to remove the excess oil.Once the whole batter is done,heat 1 tbsp oil in a small wok and prepare the seasoning.Add curry leaves,nuts,copra,and chilli powder.Add this seasoning to the mixture or boondhi.Your kaaraboondhi/mixture is ready.Add some sugar,it becomes bombay mixture very popular in our place!

  • Modakam

  • As per tradition Modakam/Modak has to be steam cooked,(has lot of reasons too!!)but sometimes we strike a 'deal' with vinayaka and settle on fried modakams...something that we too like!! ;)

    Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Chemmeen/Prawn Biryani & Seafood bhurjhi


    I have already posted
  • MeenBiriyani
  • and
  • MalabarChicken biriyani
  • .You could make this Chemmeen/Prawn biriyani on the same lines or in a slightly easier,minimalistic microwave version as given below.I have seen in some North Indian versions of prawn biryani,even vegetables like potato,carrot,pumpkin,beans and peas being added...I have never tried adding them.So those who wish, can try adding the veggies too.But I think it will become more a Prawn fried rice.

    Prawn - 500g(cleaned,deveined)
    Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cup(1 cup=200ml)
    Water-1 1/2 cup(for microwave cooking at high
    Onion - 3 medium+1 small-chopped thin
    Tomato-2 medium
    Garlic - 25 gm
    Ginger - 25 gm
    Green chillies - 8(or as u wish)
    Grated coconut-2tbsp
    Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
    Mint leaves - 1 small bunch
    Thick Curd - 3tbsp
    Lemon juice-2 tbsp
    Ghee - 1+1+1 =3 tbsp
    Sliced cashew nuts - 20 gm
    Raisins - 20 gm
    whole spices for rice-4 cardamom,1 inch cinnamon,2 cloves,2 star anise,2 bay leaves)
    Biriyani masala powdered - 1 tsp
    Salt - as reqd

    For frying prawns
    Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
    Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
    Salt-as reqd


    Marinate Prawns with turmeric powder,chilli powder,pepper powder and salt and keep it aside. Slice the onion very thin.Wash the rice,drain the water completely and add the said qty water,salt,a little lemon juice,all the whole spices,1 tbsp butter/ghee and microwave it at high for 15 minutes.(This may slightly vary with u'r gadget specifications).So see to it that it is cooked till grains remain separate.

    Grind together green chillies, garlic, ginger and grated coconut into a coarse paste adding curd.Heat a little ghee in a wok.Fry the prawns to a golden brown tinge.(keep a few fried prawns for garnishing).To the fried prawns, in the same oil,add 3 onions chopped and saute them to a transluscent texture.Add tomato,ground paste,chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and the lemon juice.Cook till the masala reduces in qty.Add the ground garam masala.Keep stirring so that it doesnt stick to the bottom of the vessel.Now either u can add the cooked rice straight to this reduced prawn gravy,close it with a heavy lid and cook on slow fire for 3-4 minutes or transfer it to a microwaveable vessel and layer rice on top and microwave it at high for 4minutes.Finally mix everything well and garnish with fried prawns,roasted cashews,raisins and caramalised onion(1 onion remaining) and serve it hot with Onion Raita(onion in salted yoghurt and green chillies),Onion in Vinegar Salad(UlliSurka),Biriyani Chammanthi,Dates pickle and a Suleimani Tea.

    Biriyani masala powder
    Cinnamon - 2 gm
    Cardamom - 1 gm
    Cloves - 1 gm
    Nutmeg - quarter
    Fennelseed - half tsp
    Cumin seed - half tsp
    Shahjeera - half tsp(black cumin)
    Mace - 2 gm

    Dry these ingredients and make a fine powder and this can be stored in airtight containers.
    Check out for a different culinary experience with prawns:
  • Ashwini's Shrimp pulao

  • Archana'sPad thai

  • Prawn-mussels-squid Burjhi
    One more prawn recipe...I did warn that the days ahead are going to be more prawny!! do u want to make a quick combo dish for chappathi/Parathas with sea food? Try this...easiest,tastiest burjhi with prawns,mussels and squids.The recipe can be used with any of these in isolation or with chicken as well.Could be an ideal bachelor recipe too.

    prawns,squid rings,mussels-200g-cleaned-(u get this sea food medley in most of the supermarkets)
    Chilli powder-1 tsp(personalise )
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Salt-as rqd
    Curry leaves-3 sprigs(a generous use is advised)
    Pepper powder-1tsp
    Oil-as rqd


    Marinate the sea food medley with chillipowder,turmeric,pepper and salt and leave it for 5 mts.Heat oil in a wok.Once the oil is hot add the curry leaves and then add the marinated sea food medley along with all the masala.Saute till they become golden brown.Now break an egg into it and saute it till egg dries up and gels with the sea food totally( a little brownish).Serve hot with chappathi.You would love this simple dish.This is perfect with chicken liver as well. Posted by Picasa
      Posted by Picasa

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Patrani Machi & Kurukku Kaalan


    Bombay or Mumbai has been home to several cultures from around the world...One should say that Bombay has always had a big heart to welcome and own people from all over India and abroad...The city has an ineffable charisma and the beauty is that people just fall in love with her....In spite of having gone thro' several traumatic experiences in the recent past Mumbai has shown remarkable resilience and put on a wonderful smile always...Bombay's Parsi community is believed to have come from Persia in the 9th century and they have made their presence felt in various walks of life.They have a distinct culinary culture which imbibes the spirit of persia and topped with the local Indian flavour.Their dhansak and patra varieties are indeed wonderful gourmet experience...

    Mumbai Parsis excel in fish cookery, and Patrani Machi may be called their signature dish. Traditionally, fish variety called Hilsa is used,which has a rich flavour and innumerable bones...but one can always substitute it with pomfrets or even salmons....It is a wonderful variety for all those who love fish.Fish is topped with a coconut-cilantro chutney and wrapped in leaves,banana leaves(best) or colocasia leaves, and steamed(can be baked too).If you dont have access to these leaves you can very well use any of the edible wrappers like lettuce,spinach,swiss chard,cabbage,taro leaves etc. If nothing is available,just apply the herb sauce and steam the fish!....Back home in Kerala my mother always fried any fish in banana leaves...hmmm....wah!that is a wonderful flavour addition to the fish fry...just lay a banana leaf in the frying pan and fry the marinated fish pieces on it.Last time I had picked up a few colocasia leaves from the India market with the idea of making some patra dishes and of course some of the traditional kerala recipes...Ok now straight to the Patrani Machi recipe.


    Fish fillets-300g(salmon/pomfret)
    Colocasia leaves/Banana leaves-for wrapping
    (ideally blanch the leaves and trim them)
    Melted Butter/Desi ghee/oil-2tbsp(or as rqd)
    lemon wedges-1 or 2

    Ingredients for the chutney/sauce
    Fresh grated coconut-100g
    Garlic- 5 cloves-chopped
    ginger-1 tbsp-chopped
    Fresh cilantro-1/2 cup-chopped
    mint leaves-a few sprigs(as u prefer the flavour)
    Lemon juice-3 tbsp
    Cumin powder-1 1/2 tsp
    salt-as rqd
    Chilli powder-1/2tsp-optional
    1 tsp. brown sugar (optional)


    Clean the fish fillets and marinate it with lemon juice and salt.I used whole pomfrets.So I made small gashes on to the fish so that the chutney can seep in properly...Grind the ingredients for the chutney into a coarse paste.

    Coat the fish generously with the chutney and fill the inside as well(if u r using a whole fish).Place 2 leaves on a work surface slightly overlapping.Apply oil/butter on the leaves. Place the chutney coated fish/whole fish on top of the leaves, fold in the sides, and wrap it up into a neat package.You may even tie it up with a thread. Now put it on a steamer rack(or boil water a large mouthed vessel,place a metallic sieve on top and place the fish packets on it) and steam it until the fish is cooked...say 30 minutes(depends on the type of fish).Alternatively you can bake these packets in a greased baking dish at 350F until the pack looks wilted and browned.Once the fish is cooked transfer it to a plate,open the packets and serve with some lemon wedges,cucumber and tomato with steamed rice.It goes well with most pilaf varieties. I had it with steamed rice,Kurukku kalan and some
  • payar mezhukkupuratti

  •   Posted by Picasa

    Kurukku Kaalan recipe to be posted soon! :)

    Monday, August 21, 2006

    Fruit cocktail trifle

      Posted by Picasa

    custard,fruit jelly,whipped cream,peach,pear,pineapple,grapes,cherries,sponge

    Pudina Chicken &Prawn Roast


    I was half way preparing my Pudina rice when I was told that some guests were going to join us for the dinner....what do I do with so little time left....whip up a Pudina Chicken too....out of the ingredients already set ready for Pudina rice!!Some
  • Madakku Roti
  • ,a prawn roast,an aalu-baingan grill,an egg salad,and a fruit cocktail trifle...

    In a way these guests are a blessing in disguise...for the much postponed house cleaning gets an emergency appointment!...all the myriad potions of house cleaning released from the utility shelves,breathe some fresh air after a long time....Clean here,mop there,the house gets a new shine and it is indeed a pleasant feeling to see her smile and basking in the fresh glory!!I should thankfully say that my husband did the greater part of cleaning while I was playing with chicken in the kitchen....and now without further banter let me share the recipes:

    Pudina Chicken/Mint chicken
    Chicken-500g-cut into pieces
    Pudina/Mint -1 bunch-leaves picked
    Coriander leaves-a handful
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Red chilli powder-3/4tsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Pudina-1 bunch(cleaned and leaves picked)
    Coriander leaves-1/2 bunch
    Green chilli-8(chopped-u may add according to u'r choice)
    Pepper Powder-3/4tsp
    Lemon juice-3 tbsp
    Onion-2 largechopped
    Coconut Milk-3/4 cup
    Garam Masala-1 tsp(cardamom,cinnamon,cloves,fennel,star anise,mace,nutmeg)-Powdered
    Oil-as rqd
    Salt-as rqd

    Make small gashes on the chicken and marinate the chicken pieces with red chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt and leave it for 10 minutes.Shallow fry it in oil till golden brown and keep it aside.

    Heat oil in a wok and fry half the onion,ginger,garlic,green chilli,pudina leaves,coriander leaves,curry leaves and cashew nuts till onions become transluscent and the leaves become limp.Cool the ingredients.Add lemonjuice and grind them to a coarse paste.Now Heat oil in a larger vessel.Add the remaining onions.Saute it till it becomes golden brown.Add the ground masala,fried chicken pieces,garam masala,pepper powder and salt as required.Keep stirring them till you get a fine aroma on medium flame for about 4 minutes.Now pour the coconut milk and mix well and cook further for about 3 minutes.Finally garnish with some roasted cashews and some mint leaves.Serve it hot with roti/paratha/porotta/mint rice.
    Prawn Roast

    Red chilli powder-3/4tsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Roasted Cashews-25g(optional)
    Green chilli-4(pounded)
    Pepper Powder-1tsp
    Shallots-15 -chopped(or Onion-1-medium)
    Copra/Dessicated coconut-1/2-cut into pieces(optional)
    Curry leaves-3 sprigs
    Oil-as rqd
    Salt-as rqd


    Marinate the cleaned,deveined prawns with chillipowder,turmericpowder,pepper powder and salt and leave it for 5 minutes.Now heat oil in a wok.Deep fry the prawns and keep it aside.In the same oil add curry leaves,shallots,ginger,garlic,green chilli and saute them, till everything become transluscent and golden brown.Now add the fried prawns and copra pieces.Add salt if required.Add roasted cashews.Mix well and serve it with steamed rice or chappathi as a side dish. Posted by Picasa

    Sunday, August 20, 2006

    Pudina Annam/PudinaRice


    How many of us can dislike that refreshing,aromatic,sweet n then cool mint taste in the mouth,when u pop in a pepper mint/Spearmint/Pineapple mint as the day gets so boring and tiresome?Not many, I believe,or perhaps none...Mint,a flowering plant belonging to the plant family Lamiaceae,is available in most parts of Europe,Asia and Australia.

    For many of us the day starts with the refreshing mint in the form of tooth paste or antiseptic mouth rinses...Most of the toothpaste brands in the world have at least one variety with mint in it.Mint is a major flavouring agent, be it in candy,jelly,syrup or tea... mint.Do you know that Greeks used mint leaves in the funeral rites just like Indians used Holy Basil/Tulsi.Greeks believe the flower to have been named after
  • Minthe
  • .In the traditional herbal medicine mint is widely used for treating indigestion,stomach pain,as a diuretic etc...and it is commercially capitalised by several brands like Dabur(PudinHara).It is also widely used in aromatherapy and in the preparation of several beauty oils..

    Mint/Pudina leaves are used in several Indian or rather Asian,Arabic,and European food preparations,be it chicken,lamb,sea food,rice or vegetables...Pudina Annam/Pudina rice/PudinaChawal/Pudina Pulao is a common rice item for both North and South India.Well, like several Indian dishes there may definitely be slight variations in the method of preparation...but the end product is just awesome...So here is the recipe for Pudina Annam/Mint rice,the way we prepare at home,in South India.

    Basmati Rice-1 1/2cup
    Coconut Milk-1 cup
    Water-1/2 cup(for rice)
    Pudina-1 bunch(cleaned and leaves picked)
    Coriander leaves-1/2 bunch
    Green chilli-75 g
    Lemon juice-1 tbsp
    Tamarind paste-1 1/2 tsp
    Butter-1+1 =2 tbsp
    Onion-1 medium,chopped
    Garam Masala-1 tsp(cardamom,cinnamon,cloves,fennel,staranise,mace,nutmeg)-Powdered
    Grated coconut-2 tbsp
    Oil-as rqd
    Salt-as rqd
      Posted by Picasa

    Heat oil in a wok.Roast chopped ginger,garlic,green chillies,tamarind paste along with the mint leaves and coriander leaves till the leaves become soft and you get a fine aroma.Now cool it and grind it to a coarse paste along with grated coconut.Meanwhile Wash basmati rice and cook it with 1 tbsp butter,coconut milk,lemon juice and water&salt till the grains separate.(I microwave the above usually at high for 18 minutes).

    Heat oil in a wok.Roast onions and shallots till they become transluscent.Add the ground paste,garam masala and saute for a couple of minutes.Add the cooked rice.Add salt, if reqd.Mix well.Finally garnish with roasted cashews and a few sprigs of mint.Serve it hot with any raita or salad or roasted vegetables.

    This shall be my first entry for
  • weekend herb blogging
  • hosted this time by our wonderful 'bachelor' blogger
  • Antony
  • .

      Posted by Picasa

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    All about Jack!!

      Posted by Picasa

    Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)/Chakka/jaca/nangka is believed to have originated in the western ghats in India.One could call it a member of the breadfruit family.This melon shaped starchy vegetable/honeysweet fruit is considered to be the largest tree-borne fruit in the world!Recently it did hit headlines as containing

    The jack fruit is a melon shaped starchy vegetable that can reach a length of 3 feet, and weigh up to 100 pounds, making it the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. The fruits grow both from the tree trunk and from branches in the tree. They have a rough spiny skin and the uncut ripe fruit has a strong unpleasant smell, resembling rotting onions - but the cut fruit has a strong aroma similar to papaya or pineapple.

    The interior consists of large bulbs of pulp enclosing a seed up to 1 inch long, with from 100 to 500 seeds per fruit. The flavor is similar to pineapple & banana but less juicy. The green unripe flesh is cooked as a vegetable and used in curries and salads. When ripe and sweet, it is eaten as a fruit. The large seeds are roasted and have a flavor and texture similar to chestnuts.

    In South India, jackfruits are classified as of two general types: 1) Koozha chakka, the fruits of which have small, fibrous, soft, mushy, but very sweet carpels; 2) Koozha pazham, more important commercially, with crisp carpers of high quality known as Varika. These types are apparently known in different areas by other names such as Barka, or Berka (soft, sweet and broken open with the hands), and Kapa or Kapiya (crisp and cut open with a knife). The equivalent types are known as Kha-nun nang (firm; best) and Kha-nun lamoud (soft) in Thailand; and as Vela (soft) and Varaka, or Waraka (firm) in Ceylon. The Peniwaraka, or honey jak, has sweet pulp, and some have claimed it the best of all.

    While cutting the jackfruit copious gummy latex ooze out and accumulate on the knife and the hand...well it can be something that puts off many.But if you apply some edible oil on to your hands and the knife the problem is solved.It is first cut into halves and then into small pieces and the fruit bulb is picked out from the rind,the seeds removed, unless they are really tender where even the seeds can be cooked as a vegetable.

    Jackfruit dishes
    1.Jackfruit can be used in jam,jelly,icecreams,made into chutney,sambar or can be dried up as papads,make chips, payasam(chakkaprathaman),idichakkathoran etc, etc.
    2.You can boil the bulbs with milk and when drained off and cooled, will congeal and form a pleasant, orange colored jackfruit custard.
    3.Chakkavaruthathu,or Jack fruit chips are quite a common snack like potato chips in India.All you need to do is brine the raw jack fruit pieces cut into thin strips,add some turmeric and leave it for an hour.Drain off the water and remove the water with a kitchen towel and deep fry in hot oil.
    4.You want to store the fruit for a long time? Slice the ripe bulbs and add it to sugar syrup,add a pinch of citric acid and keep it frozen. It will last even more than a year!
    5. The ripe bulbs are fermented and distilled to produce liquor.

    6.The seeds may be boiled,roasted,made into Thoran in the Kerala style, or can be boiled and preserved in syrup,like chestnuts.

    Keralites have plenty of recipes which use jackfruit and during the season one could say that they use it to the maximum, ripe or raw.Making Chakkavaratty was a traditional method of preserving ripe jackfruit to be used in a multitude of dishes like chakkayada,chakkaprathaman, chakkayappam.

    Ripe Jackfruit bulbs - 4 cups(chopped thin0
    Powdered Jaggery - 2 cups(if u r using the jaggery blocks,u may need around 300g)
    Ghee - 1 cup
    Water - as reqd
    Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp
    Dried ginger powder(chukkupodi)-a pinch


    Cook jackruit either in a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed vessel till it becomes soft by adding about 1/4 cup of water, keep stirring on medium flame and slowly smash it well using the ladle.Cook it till it becomes real pulpy.Prepare the jaggery syrup by melting the jaggery adding 2tbsp of water.Sieve it for impurities.Now slowly add the syrup to the cooked jackfruit.Cook it on a medium flame till the water content is reduced.Be careful at this stage,it will start splurting and u need to keep on stirring.(Not an easy job!!).Now add Ghee slowly,little by little, and continue to stir till you have go the required consistency.You may store it in the consistency of chappathi dough or can be slightly pulpy too.Cool it and store it in air tight jars.For me usually it remains nearly a year in the refrigerator.Only thing is that u need to be careful to always use dried spoon to take it and allow no moisture.

    Chakkavaratty could be called a kind of Jack fruit jam in the traditional way but you can make Jackfruit jam slightly differently using the modern preservatives.

    Jack fruit jam

    Ripe Jack fruit bulbs - 1kg(cut into pieces)
    Clove - 12
    Cinnamon - 3 inch pieces(broken into smaller pieces)
    Sugar - 1 1/2kg
    Citric Acid - 1tsp
    Water - 6cups
    Potassium meta bisulphate (optional) - 2 pinch
    Method :

    Cook the chopped jackfruit pieces with enough water(enough to soak it).When the jackfruit has become soft enough and well cooked,remove from the fire. Now grind the cooked jackfruit into a very fine pulp in a mixer and sieve it for the fibrous parts.

    Heat water, sugar,cinnamon,cloves and citric acid in a vessel.Add the fruit pulp to the boiling water. Stir continuously.You may remove the cinnamon and cloves now once the aroma has really got into the pulp.Now stir further till the solution thickens.Once it has thickened enough to the consistency of jam remove from fire.Add potassium metabi sulphate to a small quantity of jam.Mix thoroughly to make it uniform and now mix this small qty of jam with the remaining bulk, stir well.Cool the jam and pour into sterilised bottles.If you are adding potassium metabi sulphate do not use the jam for a week.
    Note: To test whether the jam is done, cool the jam on a ladle. When cool the jam should fall from the tilted ladle as flakes rather than as drops.It should not flow.


    Chakka varatty-6tbsp
    Rice flour-1/2 cup
    Copra pieces-2 tbsp(cut into small pieces)
    Cardamom powder-a pinch
    Oil-as rqd
    Water-as rqd

    Mix the chakka varatty,rice flour,copra pieces,cardamom powder into a nice medium thick batter..Heat oil in a wok with lot of indentations
  • Unniappa kara
  • .Pour the batter into each indentation and fry them till all the sides are golden brown.Chakkayappam ready!


    Chakkayada can be made using rice flour or even maida.Traditionally rice is used as the covering.But I somehow like maida rather than the rice ada.

    Rice flour/Maida/wheat flour - 1 cup
    Warm water - As rqd

    For filling:-
    Grated Coconut-1 cup
    Cardamom-a pinch

    TraditionallyAda is cooked in banana leaves cut into squares,but can also be done in parchment paper cut into squares as demonstrated well by
  • Surya

  • Mix chakkavaratty with grated coconut&cardamom into a uniform mixture.

    Now mix the flour with salt adding warm water.Knead it to a smooth dough,smoother than the chappathi dough.Now place a big lime size ball on to the leaf/paper,wet u'r palm with a little water and spread it out uniformly into a very thin layer.

    Now place the chakka filling on one side.Close the ada from the other end and press the edges slightly.Place the folded adas in a steamer or idli stand and steam it for nearly 20 minutes or till it is cooked well.Remove the adas from the banana leaf and have it!


    Jackfruit pieces-2 cups(chopped very small)
    Jaggery powdered - 1 1/2 cups
    coconut milk ( thick ) - 1 cup
    coconut milk ( thin ) - 1/12 cups
    coconut pieces/copra-2tbsp(fried in ghee)
    cardamom powdr-a pinch
    Ghee-1+1 tbsp


    Fry the jackfruit pieces in a heavy bottomed vessel adding 1 tbsp ghee into a very pulpy consistency,stirring constantly.(Alternatively you can grind the jackfruit pieces into a coarse paste and then cook it adding ghee.) Make jaggery syrup adding some water.Sieve for impurities.Add the syrup to the cooked fruit. Mix well.Cook for 3 minutes.Now add the second extract of the coconut milk and boil well.Once it starts thickening reduce the flame to a simmer,and add the first extract.Cook for a couple of minute.Add coconut pieces,raisins,cashew roasted in ghee and pour it on the pradhaman .Add cardamom,mix well and serve it hot or cold as u like.

    If you have chakkavaratty stock you can straight away add coconut milk,dilute it,add jaggery if required and follow the remaining procedure.Some add cooked moongdal(fried in ghee before cooking) like you do in
  • Parippu prathaman
  • to the fruit pulp for a thicker prathaman.

    Check out this step by step chakka varatty post from
  • Annita
  • Friday, August 18, 2006

    Mutton Kaaya koottu


    "Ithu Erachi alla!!",(this is not meat!)A 5yr old tiny tot lisped...everybody's attention turned at the sulking face of a cute little boy feebly fingering the curry served,searching for his favourite meat pieces!He had come happily sniffing the fine aroma of cooked meat...but ws disappointed to be served all raw banana pieces!!It was a 'Sraadham Oottu',the ceremonial dinner served on the 16th day of demise of a person...Our 'Kuttiyechi's father had passed away...after a long batttle with death...and death came here as a welcome guest, for both the dead and the alive...Kuttiyechi,a very caring,sweet woman who took care of us as kids when we were at
  • Beypore
  • ,a small coastal village in Malabar with a lot of history, which has even changed the destiny of India.Kuttiyechi came as Malayalam tuition teacher for my brother whose tongue she twisted enough to correct his 'malayala malorama' and 'puruthoshaman mash'!!Very soon she won everybody's heart and became our 'kuttiyechi'!! Kuttiyechi came running to the sulking 'malorama' boy, and got the food server serve the tiny tot some good chunks of mutton!! That was my first encounter too with Mutton Kaaya Koottu.It came as a surprise to my parents that nonveg was served on such an occasion.... and even more surprising was the muttoncurry with raw banana!! But then we were told that it was the tradition in the community.Decades have passed... and here I am, blogging about it!

    I dont know the exact roots of this Malabar style of cooking raw banana with meat,poultry and sea food like shrimps....Could it be the Moghul influence or the Parsi influence? Mutton Kaayakoottu too tasted something like
  • Mutton Ghoshth
  • or Mutton dhansak.Well,if you ask me is it superior or inferior to the conventional Mutton curry, I would say that it is is different,like
  • the MuttonIshtu
  • ...So here goes the recipe for this different style of cooking mutton with raw banana...

    Mutton-250g(cut into medium size pieces)
    Raw banana -2(chopped into medium size pieces)
    Tomato-1 medium(cut into pieces)
    Green chilies- 5(pounded)
    Red chili powder-1 tsp
    Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
    Fennel Seed-3/4tsp
    Grated Coconut -3tbsp
    Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
    Indian Shallots- 7(cut into pieces)
    Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
    Oil-as rqd
    Salt-as rqd
    Water-as rqd

    Clean the Mutton pieces.Marinate it with 1/2tsp chillipowder,turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes.Now pressure cook mutton with cut raw banana pieces,remaining chilli powder and green chillies,adding sufficient water for about 7-8 minutes, till mutton is cooked and the raw bananas become soggy.Meanwhile grind together fresh grated coconut,fennel powder,and turmeric powder into a fine paste.Now add the ground paste, and chopped tomato to the cooked mutton and add salt, if required.You may add a little water if u want a thinner consistency.Let it cook further for 4-5 minutes.Now prepare the seasoning.Heat oil in a small wok.Add mustard seeds,chopped shallots and curry leaves.Fry them till u get the fine aroma of shallots.(say 2 minutes)(Preferably Indian shallots, for, the other shallots available do not really match the taste,but u can always compromise with half an onion, if shallots are not available). Now pour this seasoning over the cooked mutton and mix well.Serve it hot with steamed rice or chappathi and a spicy mutton/chicken fry!But I feel it goes best with chappathi...that is what my husband says too!(I add a little coriander leaves too finally for the fine flavour,but it is not added traditionally).

    I just thought I will add a snap of Indian shallots, for I found several people asking as to what Indian shallots this snap is for the uninitiated!!

    Indian Shallots

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    PuliyumMulakumChalichathu &IdichakkaThoran

      Posted by Picasa

    Happiness is ....these kind of simple dishes.I think it was
  • Ammani
  • who had this meme...had thought of posting it long back...forgot it for a while...This was my father's favourite and something that he made whenever he wanted to have something tangy hot and something simple...when my mom ws bed ridden for a while, kitchen ws controlled by my dad...Achan had real difficult times, cooking for us,taking care of us,taking care of amma, and going to office. ...sometimes his dal would be messy and his cabbage fry would go morose and dark.... but he did it all with we dint complain...Ruminating on those memories a painful sob choke my heart still...
    I dont know from where he learnt this puliyum mulakum chalikkal in this style, for he was a widely travelled Kerala I have seen people doing it, but it was just tamarind,salt,green chilli and coconut oil all mixed in water.My father did it a little different but ws tastier definitely...and I just remember that we ate a lot of rice with this tangy curry and a fish fry, or an omelette or a papad. I just recreated the memory with some idichakka thoran,prawn deep fry, and sago fritters(sontagi/vaddiyalu).My husband says that it tasted like'Thembli',a Kannada preparation which he has promised to make for me with some mutton fry!!It has been long that he hasnt cooked anything..btw he is a good cook and that was my greatest fear when I got married!!

    So here goes my happy meal....

    Tamarind paste-1 1/2 tsp(Natco)(Those who are using tamarind may use a berry size tamarind soaked in water and juice extracted)
    Onion-1 large-chopped
    Green chilli-4(pounded)
    Dry Red chilli-3
    Mustard seed-1/2 tsp
    Cumin seed-1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Grated coconut-1tbsp
    Fresh Coconut oil-as rqd(or any oil of u'r choice)
    Salt-as rqd
    Water-as rqd

    Mix tamarind paste,onion,green chilli,grated coconut,and salt with water.Roast the dry red chillies in a tsp of coconut oil.Pound it into small flakes.(You can use a mincer as well).Add this to the tamarind mix.Now heat oil in a small wok.Prepare the seasoning with mustard seed,cumin seeds and curry leaves.Add this seasoning also to the prepared tamarind curry.Mix well and serve it with hot rice.

    Idichakka thoran

    This is a common item in our daily menu back home in Kerala once the jackfruit season begins...the very tender ones are made into upperi, a less tender,but raw ones are made into idichakka and the ripe ones into payasam,appam,chakka varatti etc etc...I had some raw chakka pieces left over in the fridge from my birmingham purchase last time...It is time to refil my fridge with fresh kerala I need to finish these off...and moreover idichakka is my all time favourite.I wish I had some fresh idichakka.


    Raw jack fruit pieces-200g
    Grated coconut-2 tbsp(optional)
    Garlic-5 pods(chopped)
    Onion-1 large(chopped)
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Green chilli-5(Slitted)
    Dry red chilli-3(cut into pieces)
    Mustard seed-1/2tsp
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Blackgramdal-1/2 tsp
    Cumin seed-1/4 tsp
    Salt-as rqd
    Oil-as rqd


    Pound the jack fruit pieces well to shred it completely.Now mix it with salt and turmeric powder well.Now Heat oil in a wok.Add garlic, onions,green chillies.Saute them till it becomes transluscent and leaves a fine aroma.Now add the jackfruit pieces.Sprinkle a little water.Close the lid and cook until it is done.Now add the grated coconut and mix well.Heat oil in a small wok.Prepare the seasonig with mustard,cumin, black gram dal,&curry leaves.Once the seeds have spluttered add the seasoning to the jackfruit.Mix everything well.Your Idichakka thoran is ready!

    Prawn deep fry

    Prawns -200g(cleaned,deveined,only the head removed-the remaining shell intact)
    Red chilli powder-1 tsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Black Pepper Powder-3/4 tsp
    Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Salt-as rqd
    Oil-as rqd


    Marinate the prawns with chilli powder,turmeric powder,pepper powder,salt and a little oil and leave it for 5 minutes. Heat oil in a wok,add curry leaves and then in tht flavoured oil deep fry the prawns till they become golden brown and crisp.It is a wonderful side dish with anything...I love to eat rice in that left over oil ;)[Meen Choru/Chemmeen Choru]!!