Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Aam Ras

2 ripe Alphonoso mangoes
2 Tbsp sugar
1- 2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk(optional)
few saffron strands


  • Peel and chop the mangoes.
  • Blend in a blender the mangoes along with sugar, milk and condensed milk.
  • Serve chilled garnished with saffron strands along with puris.

* Add sugar according to the sweetness of the mangoes. Moreover you can skip adding sugar while using condensed milk.Adjust the milk as per the consistency you like.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Beetroot stir fry

3 medium-small beetroots, peeled and grated
2 big onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
3 tsp freshly grated coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urid dal
2 whole red chillies,broken to pieces
few curry leaves
salt to taste
1 Tbsp +1tsp coconut oil

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds. Once it starts to splutter add the urid dal and red chillies. 
  • Fry for a minute and then add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Fry for few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute until the onion turns golden brown in colour.
  • Now add the turmeric powder  and mix well.
  • Add the grated beetroot and salt. Mix well.
  • Cover and cook on a medium to low flame, stirring now and then.
  • Once 3/4 th cooked open  and continue cooking on a low flame until it becomes dry and dark in colour.
  • Add the grated coconut and curry leaves. Mix well.
  • Finally add the pepper powder, mix well and continue to cook for a minute more.
  • Switch off the flame and drizzle 1 tsp coconut oil on top.
  • Serve as a side dish with steamed rice and curry.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Winter Melon Payasam

Winter Melon/Ashgourd or kumbalam is a vegetable that is known by  many names. The health benefits of this vegetable is also something that has been known since ages. In North India a sweet called 'petha' is usually made from this vegetable whereas in South India this is mostly known only as a vegetable to go into the regular dals and other curries. Here I have experimented a payasam something like our 'palada' with this vegetable. Believe me, no one could guess that it was ashgourd payasam. So for your next get together or celebrations try out this dessert.
1 cupWinter Melon/ Ashgourd/ Kumbalam; chopped into very small squares(like the size of ada pieces in palada)
3 cups milk
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 tsp ghee
a pinch of cardamom powder
few cashewnuts and raisins(optional)
  • Wash the chopped ash-gourd well and drain the water completely.
  • Heat ghee in a wide nonstick pan and add the chopped ash-gourd to it. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until the water is fully absorbed and it is somewhat dry.
  • Add the milk and mix well. Allow the milk to boil . Once the milk boils lower the flame and cook until the ash-gourd gets cooked and the milk reduces in quantity slightly.(this will take approximately 15 minutes)
  • Add the condensed milk and mix well. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until the payasam attains a thick consistency.
  • Switch off the flame, add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Fry the cashewnuts(until golden brown) and raisins(until it puffs up) in 1 tsp of ghee and add it to the payasam before serving for an enhanced taste. (Here I did not add the cashewnuts and raisins as my kids are not so fond of these in their payasam.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Coconut chammanthi

Coconut chammanthi, a staple food of the homes in Kerala, especially when one falls sick or on a cold rainy day most of the Keralites prefer a steaming hot bowl of kanji(rice gruel) and to accompany that a nice thenga(coconut) chammanthi.

1 cup grated coconut(use freshly scraped for best results)
2 tsp red chilli flakes(or crushed whole dried red chillies)
1/2 inch ginger piece(chopped)
4-5 shallots (sliced)
1 small lime sized ball tamarind
1 Tbsp coconut oil
few curry leaves


  • In a pan heat the coconut oil. Add the chilli flakes,ginger, shallots and curry leaves and roast well for 2 minutes until a nice aroma comes.(Take care not to burn the chilli flakes). 
  • Add the grated coconut and mix well. Roast for one minute(no need to brown the coconut) and then take off from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Grind this mixture along with the tamarind and salt. Preferably do not add water but in case you find it difficult to grind add 1 or 2 tsp of water while grinding. The consistency should be thick.
  • Serve this chammanthi with rice, idli or dosa.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hyderabadi Prawns Biriyani


500 gms prawns, cleaned and deveined
500 gms basmati rice
3 big onions sliced thin
6 green chillies, chopped fine
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
juice of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
300 gms yoghurt, whisked
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
6 Tbsp oil + extra for frying onions
1 Tbsp ghee

For the biriyani masala
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cardomoms
5 cloves
4 half inch cinnamon sticks
  • The ingredients under the biriyani masala  have to be dry roasted for 2 minutes and then ground into a fine powder.  In this recipe 2 tsp of the this masala is only required(use less if you are prefer a milder biriyani).The remaining powder can then be stored in an airtight jar.
  • Fry the sliced onions until they turn crisp and golden brown. Drain from the oil and keep aside.
  • Soak the rice for 30 minutes and then drain and keep aside.
  • Marinate the prawns with turmeric powder, chilli powder, 1 tsp of the prepared biriyani masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, half of the fried onions, chopped green chillies, half of the mint leaves, lemon juice, salt and yoghurt.
  • In a large cooking pot, add water(three times the amount of rice). Add 1 tsp of the biriyani masala, bay leaves, 1 Tbsp oil(you can add the oil in which the onions were fried),  few mint leaves and salt.
  • When you taste the water it should be salty. Bring this water to a rolling boil.
  • Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pan, add the oil and ghee. Spread the marinated prawns along with the marinade over the oil and keep aside.
  • Add the soaked rice to the boiling water. Allow to boil for 4 minutes. Rice should only be half cooked. Remove from heat and drain the rice immediately.
  • Once drained spread the rice over the prawns marinade evenly. Sprinkle the remaining mint leaves, coriander leaves and fried onion on top. (You can aslo drizzle 1Tbsp of saffron infused milk(a pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 Tbsp of warm milk) on top of the rice at this step)
  • Cover  with a tight lid and cook on high flame for 7 minutes. Then bring down  to a medium-low flame and cook for 5 minutes. Finally turn the flame very low and cook for 7-10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Do not open immediately. 
  • Allow the biriyani to stand for atleast 30 minutes before opening the lid.
  • Serve hot with raita, pickle and pappad.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Eggless Milk Powder Cake

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius.
  • Mix the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda,milk powder and sugar together in a bowl.
  • Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla essence.  Mix everything well.
  • Pour the mixture into a greased baking tray.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Once cooled cut the cake into slices.
  • Serve with whipped cream 

Monday, March 07, 2016

Yam & Peas croquettes

250 gms, elephant yam/jimikand/suran/chena
1/4 cup green peas
1 large onion, chopped
3 green chillies, chopped fine
2 Tbsp ginger- garlic paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp onion powder(optional)
1 tsp mango/amchur powder
1 tsp black pepper(freshly ground)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
few curry leaves chopped fine
salt to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
oil to fry

  • Peel the yam and cut it into big chunks. Cook the yam along with the green peas, turmeric powder and little salt in water until the yam is fully cooked and soft.(Alternately you can pressure cook the yam and peas too. One whistle in the pressure cooker on a medium flame will be enough for the yam to get cooked.)
  •  Drain the yam and peas from the water and mash them well and keep aside.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in  wok. Add the ginger- garlic paste, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until the raw smell is gone.
  • Now add the chopped onions and fry until the onion starts to turn golden brown.
  • Reduce the flame, and add the pepper powder, garam masala powder, amchoor powder and onion powder. Saute for one minute.
  • Now add the mashed yam and peas mixture. Mix everything well until everything is combined well. Check salt and add more as required. Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • Add water to the all purpose flour, mixing well until you get a smooth and semi thick batter.(dosa batter consistency). Keep this aside.
  • In a separate plate keep the bread crumbs ready.
  • Take small portions of the yam mixture and shape them into your desired shapes. Dip each in the prepared all purpose flour batter and then roll them in the bread crumbs and keep aside. Do the same with the remaining yam mixture.
  • Heat oil in a wok and deep fry these croquettes until golden brown and crisp. 
  • Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

*You can also freeze these and fry later as and when required.