Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Mathanga Erisseri

An unavoidable dish in  the Kerala menu, let it be for the festival sadyas of Onam, Vishu etc or the birthday sadyas of family members. It is said that erisseri is a must for a piranaal( star birthday- as per the Malayalam calendar) sadya.

250 gms ripe pumpkin, cut into cubes
1/4 cup vanpayar/red cow peas
1/2 cup grated coconut + 2 Tbsp
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
few curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 Tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste


  • Soak the red cow peas/vanpayar for 2-3 hours.
  • Pressure cook the peas adding enough water  and a pinch of salt ,such that the peas lie submerged on a medium low flame for 3 whistles. Allow the pressure to settle by itself. The peas should be soft and tender but not mashed.(If you have not soaked the peas, more number of whistles will be required)
  • In the meantime, in another pot add the pumpkin, turmeric powder, chilli powder and add 2-3 cups of water.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer and cook until the pumpkin turns soft and cooked.
  • Add the cooked vanpayar to the pumpkin and mix well. Add salt and cook until everything is mixed well and turns thick.
  • Grind half cup coconut with the cumin seeds into a fine paste.
  • Add this paste to the pumpkin and vanpayar mixture and mix well. Cook for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Oncce hot add the mustard seeds. As the the mustard starts to pop add the curry leaves and 2 Tbsp shredded coconut . Roast well until the coconut turns light brown in colour. Add this to the prepared pumpkin dish. Cover immediately with a lid so that the aroma of the fried coconut gets infused in the dish. Keep undisturbed for a few minutes.
  • Mix well and serve.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spring Onion Curry

Some people are born with magical hands. Whatever they cook up, even with minimal ingredients and limited time turn out into mouth watering dishes which leaves you craving for more. One such person is Kherun, our best bestie. Whatever she cooks let it be anything from her repertoire , from a simple dal to an elaborate biriyani, everything tastes out of the world. And when you try to recreate the same as per her recipe it never turns out to be as good as hers; that is why we call her as a person with magical hands. She has shared many of her recipes with us, which can be soon expected in this space.

Today's recipe is one such dish which needs only a few ingredients but tastes really good with hot ghee smeared chappatis or rotis(as Kherun says,'do serve this curry hot with garama garam desi ghee vali roti'). One thing that has to kept in mind while making this curry is that, this curry tends to thicken very quickly once removed from heat. So please assure that your ghee smeared chappatis are ready simultaneously as the curry gets cooked. It tastes best when eaten piping hot with hot chappatis or parathas. And as this curry doesn't take much time in the making process, you can very well carry on the making of the curry and the rotis side by side. If in case the curry has thickened and cooled , add some water and reheat the curry well before serving.
2 bunches of spring onions
1 medium size onion, sliced into rings
1/2 tsp asafoetida
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp resham patti powder/ chilli powder(reduce if you don't want it very spicy)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cup besan / gram flour
1 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oil

  • Chop the spring onions bulbs and greens separately.
  • Dilute the gram flour in approximately 2-3 cups of water(the mixture should be of a watery consistency) and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the asafoetida and fry for a second. Then add the cumin seeds and fry for 2-3 seconds.
  • Now toss in the chopped spring onion bulbs and sliced onion. Fry this for sometime on a medium low flame until the onions turn light brown in colour.(Enjoy the lovely aroma that spreads in your kitchen during this step)
  • Once the onions start to brown add the chopped spring onion greens. Saute well until the spring onion greens turn soft and wilted.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Fry for a minute and then add the diluted besan mixture.
  • Cook stirring continuously. The mixture will start getting thicker. Continue cooking stirring continuously until no lumps are seen and the mixture starts to attain a glazed look. 
  • Check the taste at this stage and if the raw taste of besan is not there then you can switch off the heat.(approximately 5-8 minutes will be required for the glazed look)
  • Drizzle the lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with ghee smeared hot chappathis/parathas.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gaajar ka Halwa

A sky full of fireworks
A house full of diyas
A heart full of enjoyment 
A mouth full of sweets

Yes, this is what this beautiful festival is all about!
Made a very simple version of the most famous Indian sweet - Gaajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa for this Diwali.

Recipe courtesy: Our dear Tasneem😍
2 carrots grated fine
1 Tbsp ghee
3-4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
a few nuts of your choice(preferably roasted in ghee)

  • Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the grated carrots and sugar and saute well for around ten minutes on a medium low flame.
  • Add the milk and saute for another half an hour until  the milk gets dried up and the ghee layer starts to show up from the sides.
  • Add the condensed milk and saute for another ten minutes.
  • Remove from heat,add the nuts and serve.

I personally love to have this gajar ka halwa with a scoop of vanilla icecream. Try it.. its really yumm..!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cucumber Rolls

Trust me, these cucumber rolls are too good to be had on a summer day. The freshness of the cool cucumber with the goodness of the yoghurt makes a perfect appetizer cum salad, that can me made in just a snap.

1 or 2 cucumbers
1tsp very finely chopped onion
1tsp very finely chopped parsley
3Tbsp Greek yoghurt/labneh
1/4 tsp paprika powder + for garnish


  • Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin strips of the cucumber (slice lengthwise each cucumber into thin strips) . Choose equal sized strips to make the rolls and keep them aside.
  • In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients into a thick paste.
  •  Spread lengthwise the prepared paste onto each cucumber slice.(You can do this with the help of a spoon and the tip of a knife)
  • Now roll each slice carefully so that the filling is intact in each roll.
  • Arrange the rolls on a serving plate and garnish by sprinkling paprika powder on top.
  • Serve chilled.

Saturday, September 02, 2017


The dark brown coloured sweet and sour dish that finds its place in a corner of a plaintain leaf in a Kerala sadya is an unavoidable dish in any festival of Kerala let it be Onam or Vishu. It is a make ahead dish , so make this today itself as Onam is just around the corner.

tamarind pulp- one lemon sized ball
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt as required
3tsp coconut oil
6 green chillies, chopped fine
2" ginger- chopped fine
1 small cube jaggery
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 whole red chillies
one sprig curry leaves


  • Soak the tamarind in 1 cup water and extract the juice. Pour this into a wide bottomed pan. add one more cup of water to this and keep it to boil.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt to this. 
  • In a separate pan heat 2 tsp coconut oil. Saute the chopped green chillies and ginger well. Add this to the boiling tamarind mixture.
  • Add the jaggery also to the tamarind mix. Cook everything well until the mixture thickens.
  • Remove from heat. Heat the remaining 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the mustard. Break the whole red chillies and add . Once the mustard starts spluttering add the curry leaves and pour this over the prepared pulinji. Mix well and serve. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Neychoru/Ghee Rice

A delectable rice which though is a speciality of the Malabar cuisine is now spread across everywhere with the variation mostly being in the type of rice used. Malabar neychoru uses the tiny cumin shaped rice grains known as the jeerkasala rice. The aromatic rice is roasted in ghee along with other spices ,cooked to perfection and finally garnished with fried onions and ghee roasted dry fruits. This neychoru also serves as base for most of the biriyani recipes from Kerala

2 cups jeerakasala rice
4 Tbsp ghee
2-3 cardamons
3-4 cloves
2"cinnamon stick
few peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ginger paste
1 medium onion sliced
few curry leaves
3 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1tsp lemon juice


  • Wash and soak the rice for half an hour. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the ghee. Once the ghee is hot add the whole spices i.e. the cardomons, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the curry leaves, ginger paste and sliced onion. Saute until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add the soaked and drained rice. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes until the rice grains turn dry and is covered with the ghee.
  • Meanwhile boil the mentioned amount of water separately.
  • Pour this hot water(3.5 cups) into the rice and stir well oh high heat.
  • Add enough salt(the water should taste salty to ensure that the ghee rice has the adequate amount of salt).
  • Drizzle the lemon juice.
  • Once the water and rice starts to boil, reduce the heat to minimum. Close with a tight lid and leave the rice to cook for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, open and fluff the rice with a fork.(if you feel that the rice is not cooked leave on low heat covered for 5 minute more. If there is no moisture at all in the rice and the rice looks as if it needs more cooking you can add 1/2 cup of hot water and cover and cook for 5 minutes but take care not to overcook)
  • Garnish with with fried onion, ghee fried cashews and raisins.
  • Serve hot with a spicy chicken curry, mutton curry, egg curry,  etc

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vadukapuli Achar/ Wild Lime Pickle

1 big and ripe Vadukapulli naranga/ Wild Lime
1-2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp gingelly oil
2 Tbsp chilli powder
less than 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 whole red chillies
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
some curry leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup boiled water 
a pinch of sugar

  • Chop the lime into very small cubes.
  • In a pan , heat the coconut oil and gingelly oil. 
  • Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to crackle add the red chillies and fenugreek seeds. Fry for a second and then add the curry leaves. Mix well.
  • Remove from heat and add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, salt and fenugreek powder. Combine everything well.
  • Add the vinegar and boiled water. Mix everything well.
  • Now add the lemon pieces to this and combine everything well.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of sugar finally and mix well.
  • When fully cooled, check for seasoning and add more salt and vinegar if required.
  • Store in an airtight container.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chicken Pirattal

 A simple chicken dish that requires only a few basic ingredients.


4-5 chicken drumsticks
1 onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
salt to taste
few curry leaves
few coriander leaves

  • Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric powder, chilli powder, half of ginger garlic paste, salt, curry leaves, sliced onion and 1 tsp coconut oil, for half an hour to 45 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan and place the marinated chicken in it. Sear the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides(chicken need not get cooked fully, as we will be cooking it further later on).
  • Transfer the seared chicken to another deep pan. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until the chicken gets cooked completely.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and the gravy thickens, transfer the chicken pieces(leaving behind the thick masala gravy) into a serving bowl.
  • Mix pepper powder with the gravy of the chicken and pour this gravy over the chicken pieces. Serve garnished with curry leaves.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Muringakka curry

A Kerala style drumstick/ muringakka curry that goes well with rice. This curry gets its tanginess from tomato and gambooge/kudam puli pieces added and hence this curry imparts the flavour of a fish curry. So all the fish curry lovers can make this one, on those days when you go for a vegetarian diet.


2 drumticks/muringakka cut into two inch long pieces
 2 tomatoes cut into medium sized pieces
2 pieces gambooge/kudampuli(washed and soaked in  warm water)
1 onion sliced thin
1 " ginger piece, crushed
2 green chillies, slit
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 1/2 cup thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste
For tempering
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, crushed
2 whole red chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
few curry leaves


  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced onions, crushed ginger, green chillies and curry leaves to it. Saute  on a medium flame for one minute.
  • Once the onions turn pink and soft, reduce the flame and add turmeric powder. Saute for one minute so that the turmeric powder gets roasted slightly with the onions.
  • Add coriander powder and saute well so that the coriander powder also gets roasted well. Then add the chilli powder and fry well , until the raw smell is gone.
  • Now add the tomatoes and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook on a medium flame for about 6-7 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and mashed well, stirrring in between.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked well, add the drumsticks and the kudampuli, followed by the thin coconut milk. Mix everything well and cook covered on a medium flame until the drumsticks are cooked well.
  • Finally add the thick coconut milk and mix well. As it begins to boil, switch off the flame and keep aside.
  • For the tempering, in a small kadai , heat the coconut oil. Add  red chillies (broken into pieces) and fry until it attains a dark colour. Now add the crushed shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown in colour. Reduce flame to low and add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry for 2-3 seconds and pour this immediately on the prepared drumstick curry and mix well.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sweet Wheat Dosa


2 cups wheat flour
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1/2 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cup jaggery(powdered /grated)
2 Tbsp coconut grated
2 pinch cardamom powder
1 pinch baking soda
a small pinch of salt
ghee for drizzling


  • Dissolve the jaggery by adding it to 2 cups hot water. Mix well and sieve to remove any impurities in the jaggery. Allow this to come to room temperature.
  • Mix the jaggery water with the remaining ingredients i.e. banana, coconut, wheat flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda and cardamom powder. Mix well to form a batter(dosa batter consistency) by adding water as required. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat a griddle or dosa tawa and make small thick pancakes or small dosas. Drizzle ghee on the sides and top of the dosa as it gets cooked. Cook on a medium flame. Flip and cook both sides until it becomes golden brown in color on both the sides. Serve as it is.
  • Sweet wheat dosas are ready which can be had as such without any accompaniments. A good snack for tea time as well as something which can be sent to school as tiffin for kids.

Recipe adapted from here

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cherry tomato and spinach dal

300 gm split red lentils
3/4 cup coconut milk
1-2cups water
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp crushed ginger
2 cups baby spinach leaves whole or chopped spinach leaves

200 gm cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 green chillies, slit
salt to taste
 For the tempering or tarka
2 Tbsp oil
2 shallots thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds


  • Wash the lentils well; preferably in a sieve until the water runs clear. Drain and transfer into a wide saucepan along with the coconut milk, water, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and ginger.
  • Bring this to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat once it starts to boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if  required.

  • Stir in the spinach, cherry tomatoes, green chillies and salt. Cook for another 7-8 minutes or until the lentils are soft and tomatoes are done. Keep adding water if the mixture  turns very thick. Once done, sprinkle the crushed pepper and garam masala on top. Switch off the heat and keep aside.
  • For the tarka, heat oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they start to crackle add the cumin seeds followed by the shallots, garlic, ginger. 
  • Once the shallots start to brown add the chilli powder and roast for 2-3 seconds. Pour this tarka over the prepared dal.
  • Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves on top. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes before serving for the flavours to infuse well into the dal.
  • Mix and serve with fluffy basmati rice, nan, roti, etc


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Curry - Thrissur style

Kerala is famous for its fish curries. Each part of the state serves different types of fish curries, which are all remarkable in their own way. Some have coconut milk in them whereas some don't. Some are cooked in a tomato based gravy, some with the tanginess of kokum, tamarind or raw mango, whereas in some places it is cooked in  the gravy of roasted and grinded coconut. Each place you go in Kerala , they will be having their own style of cooking the fish curry. Here I am sharing a fish curry recipe which is commonly found in the Thrissur district of Kerala. In Thrissur itself there are various ways of cooking fish curry, this is just one of them. 

1/2 kg fish(pomfret)-cleaned and cut into thick slices
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
4-5 shallots
2 pieces of kokum/kudampuli(soaked in 3tbsp of warm water)
3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
For seasoning
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
few curry leaves


  • Crush the ginger and shallots together.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel or preferably an earthern pot(manchatti), add the coconut milk, 1 1/2 cup water, turmeric powder, chilli powders, salt, soaked kokum pieces, crushed ginger and shallots, half of the curry leaves and salt. Mix everything well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil. Once it starts to boil, add the fish pieces.
  • Cook on a medium flame until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is added do not stir the curry frequently, instead pick up the vessel and rotate it to mix everything well.
  • Add the slit green chillies and remaining curry leaves.
  • Cook until the gravy thickens to your preferred consistency.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • For the seasoning, in a small pan heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown in colour. Pour this seasoning on the prepared fish curry and cover the curry with a lid immediately, so that the aroma is trapped in the fish curry.
  • Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes. Mix well and serve.

*Any fish can be used. I have also tried this curry with anchovies and it has come out well.
* While cooking with small fish, a few pieces of drumstick can also be added. This imparts a unique taste to the fish curry.
* Kashmiri chilli powder has been used here so that the dish gets a rich colour without being too spicy either. It can however be omitted and the normal chilli powder can be used, but the quantity has to be reduced.
*For those who don't like the taste of kokum can substitute it with, raw mango pieces to impart the sourness to the dish.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


The typical breakfast or dinner dish of Kerala. It also finds place in the menus of  Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. This pancake with a soft spongy center and laced outer crust is simply a beauty to sight and taste. Paired usually with egg curry, vegetable stew or meat stew, this can be relished during anytime of the day.

Basically these are pancakes made by grinding rice and coconut, followed by fermenting the batter with yeast, and then made in a special pan called appa chatti. There are many variations in the process of grinding the batter for the appam. I have tried various methods, but felt this one gives the best appams in terms of taste, texture and appearance. So over to the recipe of appam.

2 cups idli rice
1 coconut grated
2-3 Tbsp sugar
1/4- 1/2 tsp yeast(I used instant yeast)
salt to taste
water for grinding

  • Soak the idli rice for atleast 3 hours.
  • Grind the soaked rice with the coconut into a very smooth batter by adding enough water.
  • Take a laddle full of the batter into a sauce pan and add 1 cup of water to it. Mix well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil and on a medium flame cook this stirring continuously until it turns into a thick paste.
  • Remove from heat and allow this paste to cool.
  • In the blender take this cooled paste, add 1 cup of water, yeast, sugar and salt.
  • Blend this for one minute until everything is combined well. Add this mixture into the remaining rice and coconut batter prepared before and mix everything well.
  • Keep the batter aside and allow it to ferment for about 4 hours.
  • You can see a risen foamy batter once the fermentation is done.
  • Heat an appam kadai(appa chatti). Smear with some oil if you are not using a non-stick one.
  • Mix the batter well and take a laddle full of the fermented batter and pour into the appa chatti. 
  • Now pick up the appa chatti and swirl in a circular way once. This leaves a thick center part and thinner, lace like outer sides. 
  • Cover and cook the appam on a medium low flame until the center of the appam is cooked and the sides turn to light golden brown.
  • Serve this immediately - from the pan directly to the plate.
  • Appams are delicious when served with egg curries, vegetable stew or meat stew or any other curries.
  • Many like to have these appams hot with just a dash of some sugar sprinkled on top.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Rich egg custard in crisp and flaky pastry.
 1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet frozen puff pastry sheets(thawed)

  • Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Lightly grease and line 12 muffin cups with the pastry sheets, pressing the pastry sheets to the bottom and sides of the muffin cups.
  • Combine milk, cornflour, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook this mixture on a medium low heat until it starts to  thicken.
  • In a separate bowl mix the egg yolks with half cup of the above prepared milk mixture. Whisk well.
  • Add this yolk mixture gradually back into the milk mixture, stirring continuously Cook whisking continuously until the whole mixture thickens.
  •  Remove from heat and pour this mixture equally into each pastry sheet lined in the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust of the pastry turns golden brown and the custard filling is lightly browned.
  • Serve warm.