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Cheena Chatti

Speaks volume from my kitchen...

Last Build Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2018 07:40:10 +0000


Paruppu Vadai w/ Coconut Chutney

Thu, 19 Mar 2015 03:09:00 +0000

We had our friends visiting us over the weekend after a long time.Since they are not from southern part of India , I decided to make the dinner completely South Indian .We started off with Vadai - Chutney for appetizer and followed with Idly , Pongal,Hotel Sambhar, Chutney  and some spice kothu parotta.Here is the recipe for Paruppu Vadai.I used only channa dal to make these paruppu vadais for a long long time until one trip to the grocery store with my late father in law.He picked up a packet of "Pattani Paruppu aka Yellow Split Dal" and said 'This is what we should use for authentic Paruppu Vadai' . Since then I have used only this dal .Paruppu VadaiWhat do you needYellow split dal aka Pattani paruppu - 1 cupRed chillies - 4Asafoedita - a pinchCurry leaves - as neededOnion - 1/2 (chopped)Green chillies - 2 (chopped)Jeera - 1tspSalt - as neededOil - for deep fryingHow you make itSoak yellow split dal along with red chillies and jeera for about 2 hrs.After 2 hours , take out 2 tbsp of dal and keep them aside. Grind the rest of the soaked dal into a coarse paste in a mixie(  using very very less water).Add salt ,asafoetida and 2 tbsp of soaked dal (that we kept aside) into this mix . Now add chopped onions, green chillies , curry leaves and make them into small patties. Heat oil for deepfrying in medium flame. Once the oil is hot enough start deep frying these vadai-s until they are golden brown. Serve them hot with coconut chutney.Note  :Make sure you don't use too much water while grinding dal. Even slightly watery batter won't make good vadais. If at all you think the mix is slightly watery , you can use couple of tbsp of rice flour to adjust the thickness.Coconut ChutneyWhat do you needTo grindCoconut  -  1 cup (shredded)Green Chillies - 2Tamarind - a small gooseberry size piece Garlic - 1 small podSalt - as needFor temperingOil - 2tspMustard seeds  - 1/4 tspUrad dal - 1/4tspCurry leaves - a fewHow you make itGrind the ingredients listed under " To grind" into a paste using little water . Check salt at this point and add if needed.The consistency of the chutney should not be watery,Heat a pan and do the tadka aka tempering with ther ingredients listed under "For Tempering". Serve this side for Idly , Vada, Dosa etc.Thank you ![...]

Kappa Puzhukku

Mon, 02 Mar 2015 23:11:00 +0000

Tapioca aka kappa another staple of Kerala.I cooked up the easy dish that we make to go with fish curry :D . What you needTapioca, cubed- 3 cupsTurmeric Powder - 1/4 tspWater-  as needed to cook tapiocaSalt- to tasteTo grindCoconut, grated- 1 cupRed chili- 3Cumin seeds- 1 tspGarlic- 1 cloveFor temperingCoconut oil - 2 tbspMustard seeds- 1 tspUrad dal - 1 tspCurry leaves- 1 sprigHow you make itPeel the skin off of tapioca and cut them into small cubes .Wash them and boil them in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough water , salt and turmeric powder.On medium flame it should not take that long to cook. Once they are half way cooked , add in the grounded coconut mixture.Check the salt and let it boil until raw smell of coconut mixture is gone and tapioca is fully cooked.Try and smash some of the tapioca pieces and cook until the gravy is thick enough.In another pan , heat coconut oil and temper the ingredients listed under "For tempering" . Pour these over the cooked tapioca . Serve it hot.We had these with some nethili meen curry and king fish fry for sunday lunch . I personally love to have these as a tea time snack as well.Tapioca/Kappa/Kizhangu Dosa is next on my list....Thank you ![...]

Kethel's Chicken - Proxy version

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:14:00 +0000

Hotel Rahmaniya's Kethel's Chicken is one of the famous chicken fry in my home town , Thiruvanathapuram.I happened to watch a youtube video of this Hotel and they were talking about this special dish .They happened to mention some of the ingredients that goes into this dish's masala. So ended up making my version of the famous Kethel's Chicken. The original recipe calls for deep frying in Coconut oil .But I chose to shallow fry instead.What do you needBaby chicken -1 ( cut is medium sized pieces)Turmeric powder -1/4tspSalt - as neededCoconut oil -3 tbspcurry leaves - fewTo coarsely grind the following :Red chillies - 5Perunjeeragam -2tspWhole black pepper - 1tspPlease adjust spices according to your taste.How you make itMarinate small pieces of baby chicken with all ingredients except for Coconut oil & curry leaves and eep this aside for at least 1hr.Heat coconut oil and add curry leaves in a heavy bottomed pan . Then add the marinated chicken pieces and cook it on medium high flame until chicken is well cooked and are golden brown .Note :The main masala needs to be coarsely grind so that you can see the red chilli flakes.You can the red chilli flakes instead of grinding the whole red chilli.Thank you ![...]

Spicy Egg Masala

Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:02:00 +0000

This is your normal egg masala.There is nothing different about the ingredients that you normally use.But the process is somewhat easy  and it involves Pressure Cooker :)Few days while browsing through I stumbled upon Onion - Tomato gravy made using pressure cooker. Looked so simple that I had to experiment it right away.What you need-----------------------Boiled eggs -  5 ( shelled and make small slits across the egg)Onion  :  1.5 big onion ( chopped fine)Tomato : 2 Roma Tomatoes ( chopped fine)Ginger Garlic Paste  : 3 tspTurmeric powder : 1/4 tspRed chilli powder : 2-3 tspCoriander powder : 1 tbspCumin powder  - 1 tspSalt - as neededOil - 2 tbspTamarind Juice : From a  small lemon sized tamarind.Jaggery - 2 tsp (optional)Note : Please adjust the spice level accordign to your taste.TadkaOil - 2 tspMustard seeds  - 1 tspCurry leaves - a fewWhole Red chillies - 2How you make -----------------------Boil 5 eggs and remove the shells. Make around 4-5 minor slits across each egg for the gravy to soak in.Keep them aside.In a pressure cooker , heat oil in medium flame. Once the oil is hot enough add in chopped onion and saute fore few minutes until is slightly pink . Now add in ginger garlic paste , tomato  and all powders including salt.Mix them all together and close the lid.No need to add any water.Pressure cook this mixture on medium low flame for a whistle. It took around 15 minutes for me. Once the pressure is off , open up the cooker.Yopu can see the gravy is well cooked and oil is separated at the top. This is the consistency we want. The reason I like about this way of cooking the gravy is that , first and formost its the consistency and texture of the gravy.And you can make it in a batch and use it for different gravies.In a separate pan , heat 2 tsp of oil and splutter mustard seeds .Add in curry leaves and whole red chillies .On medium flame , add in the Gravy mixture , tamarind juice and salt . Let it boil until raw smell of tamarind juice goes away. At this point add in the jaggery if you like. Once the gravy gets into thick consistency add in the boiled eggs. Keep the flame alive for few more minutes and let the eggs get coated with this gravy.Switch off the flame and serve the dish hot with rice/roti.Recipe adapted from Vahrehvah.Thank you ![...]

Mutton Fry/Poriyal

Tue, 30 Dec 2014 06:01:00 +0000

What do you need

Mutton : 2 lbs ( boneless ,cut in cubes)
Small Onions : 20 no.s
Curry leaves  : a few
Red chilli powder  : 2 tsp
Jeera powder  : 1 tsp
Perunjeeragam : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder  :1/4 tsp
Pepper powder : 2 tsp
Oil : 3 tbsp
Cashews : a few ( fired) (optional)

To cook mutton  : 

Ginger garlic paste  : 2 tsp
Red chilli powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Salt  : as needed

How you will make it

Mix  mutton along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste and salt.Add a little water and pressure cook it until it's cooked tender. Note : I usually pressure cook all mutton pieces (both boneless and with bones )together and separate them for two different dishes.In this case I separated bone less  pieces for mutton fry and rest for a mutton gravy.

In a pan , heat oil and  saute perunjeeragam and  sliced small onion, curry leaves. Saute until onions are soft .Now add turmeric powder, red chilli powder , jeera powder and salt.Saute until raw smell is gone and add mutton pieces .Fry these on medium heat  until everything comes together and mutton pieces turn into brownish color. Finally add pepper powder and saute altogether.Switch off the heat and serve hot with rice/roti.

You can add fried cashews to make it extra special.



Potato-Mushroom Masala

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 21:17:00 +0000

What do you need

Potato: 2 cups (cubed)
Mushroom - 1 cup (sliced)
Onion - 1 large (Finely chopped)
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 2tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp.
Salt - as needed
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - (chopped) for garnish

How you will make it

In a pan on medium high heat, heat oil and sauté onions until they are golden brown. Add in ginger garlic paste and sauté until raw smell is gone. Now add in all the masala powders and sauté in medium low flame. Once the masala is sautéed well, add in the cubed potatoes and salt. Mix and cook it covered for about 10 minutes on medium low heat. Check in between and make sure potatoes are not getting stick to the pan. Once the potatoes are almost cooked but not breaking, add in the sliced mushrooms. Cover and cook again. Mushrooms don't take much time to cook. Once they are cooked, switch off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve it hot with rice or roti.We had this with rice and spinach sambar.


Chicken Mushroom Stir Fry

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:27:00 +0000

My way of sneaking in their 'not-so-fav' veggies with their all-time fav ingredient, Chicken :)What do you needChicken - 2 lbs. (boneless)Mushroom - 1/2 cup (sliced thin)Green Capsicum - 1/2 cup (chopped)Jalapeno Pepper - 1 (sliced)Onion - 1 (chopped fine)Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tspTurmeric Powder - 1/4 tspDaniya/Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp.Red chili powder - 1 tsp (optional if you want that extra spice level)Tomato Sauce - 1 tbsp.Oil - 2 tbsp.Salt - As neededHow you make itIn a wok, heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry chopped onion until they are golden brown .Now add in the ginger garlic paste and sauté until raw smell goes away. Add in daniya & turmeric powder (and red chili powder) and sauté for about a minute before adding in the chicken pieces .Along with chicken pieces add salt needed. On high flame, sauté well until chicken is almost cooked. Now add in chopped capsicum and sliced mush rooms and 1 tbsp. of tomato sauce. Adjust salt if needed at this point. Keep sautéing until veggies and chicken are cooked and the dish is almost dry .Finally add in sliced jalapenos and sauté little more until they are soft. I garnished with chopped onion and served with naan.Note: You can replace jalapenos with Thai green chilies. I had used only one jalapeno pepper and tried to take out seeds from half of it.I had chopped capsicum/bell pepper into tiny pieces to make kids eat without any fuzz. If needed you can make them cut in normal stir fry size.Thank you ![...]

Poached egg in roasted coconut gravy

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 01:08:00 +0000

Poached egg in roasted coconut gravy/Udachu vitta muttai theeyal: though I have heard about this dish quite a few times but never tasted or tried before. So took this up as a challenge this weekend to make this delicious dish. One tick off of my "must try' dishes.                             What you needEggs: 4Shredded Coconut: 1 cupRed chilli powder   : 2 tspCoriander powder: 3 tspTurmeric powder: 1/4 tspSalt: as neededTamarind Paste: 1 tbsp.Water: a littleOil: 1 tbsp. + 2 tspMustard seeds:  1/2 tspGreen Chillies: 4 (slit)Curry Leaves: a fewHow you will makeIn a pan, heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry coconut, red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder. Fry on medium low heat until the mixture turns into dark brown in color (as seen in the picture). Let it cool down and grind into smooth paste with little water and tamarind paste. In another pan , heat 2 tsp oil and splutter mustard seeds and add in slit green chillies and curry leaves .Now add the ground coconut mixture , little water and salt. Let this boil on medium flame until oil separates. Once that happens, reduce the flame to low. Start pouring raw egg one by one in to the gravy. Let the eggs get poached and cooked completely on low flame. Switch off the heat once the eggs are completely cooked .Serve hot with rice.Note: Just make sure you give enough time to get the egg cook completely on medium low flame. It takes more time than expected.Thank you ![...]

Spicy Tangy Chicken Roast

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:23:00 +0000

Tomatillos aka green tomatoes, these tangy lemony flavored cousins of  tomatoes is a big favorite of mine. I usually cook pacchadi / chutney with these goodies in a husk JThis time around I started using them more and more in my dishes as a much tangier replacement for tomatoes. Give them a try if you haven’t already.Spicy Tangy Chicken RoastWhat you needChicken - 1 whole (cut in small pieces)Onion - 1 big onion (chopped fine)Green tomatoes/tomatillos - 2 medium sized (chopped fine)Ginger / garlic - 2 tsp (minced)Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tspCoriander powder - 2 tspSalt - as neededCurry leaves - for garnishOil - 2 tbsp.For Powdered Masala:Whole Red chillies - 4-6 (adjust according to your spice level)Perunjeeragam /Fennel seeds - 1 tspCinnamon stick - 1/2 inchHow you will make itMake powdered masala using red chillies, fennel seeds and cinnamon and keep it aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp. of oil and sauté chopped onions. Only onions are fried well and turn golden brown, add in minced ginger garlic. Sauté this on medium flame until raw smell goes away. Now add chopped green tomatoes and little salt. Cook this mixture until tomatoes are cooked well and mushy. Add in turmeric powder and coriander powder and sauté until the masala comes together and cooked well. Finally add in chicken and extra salt (if needed) and mix it well with the masala. Cook this covered on medium flame until chicken is almost cooked. Now open the lid and add in the powdered red chillies masala and curry leaves. Let the dish cook uncovered until it becomes almost dry with yummy tangy masala sticking onto the chicken pieces. Serve the dish with rice/roti. Thank you ![...]

Chicken Chukka - My kinda comfort food

Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:48:00 +0000

As the title says, I can have this dish with a bowl of moru (yogurt drink) saadham anytime if offered :)
If you really like spicy food , then try and make this dish with that extra notch of spice level.You won't be disappointed.

What you need

Chicken  - 1 whole ( cut into small pieces)
Onion - 2 medium sized onion (sliced thin lengthwise)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Ginger - 2 tsp ( minced fine)
Garlic - 2 tsp (minced fine)
Coconut -  2 tbsp ( shredded)
Jeera powder - 1tsp
Perunjeera/Sombu powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 4
Pepper powder - 2 tsp
Daniya powder - 1 tbsp
Salt - as needed
Curry Leaves - a few

How you make it

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry curry leaves, red chillies.Add sliced onions and fry until it is golden brown.Once the onions are golden brown, add in minced ginger  & garlic.Saute until the raw smell is gone and add in shredded coconut.Fry until coconut is nicely roasted along with onions.The shredded coconut gives that extra flavor. Now add chicken and salt. Cook the chicken in medium high flame( no need to add water).Once chicken is almost cooked, add in the masala powders.Add jeera powder, sombu powder, pepper powder, daniya powder and add in extra salt if needed. Keep the medium high flame and cook until the masala is well cooked and comes together with the chicken pieces.Serve hot with Rice/Roti.


Cauliflower Pepper Sauté

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 23:17:00 +0000

Simple cauliflower pepper sauté served hot with rice and spinach dal for today's lunch.What you needCauliflower  : 1Onion : 1 ( chopped fine)Ginger - 1 tsp (minced)Garlic - 1 tsp (minced)Red chilies - 4Turmeric - 1/4 tspSalt - as neededOil - 2 tbspCurry leaves - a fewGaram masala powder - 1/4 tspDry roast and grindJeera/Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tspPepper - 1 tspHow you will make itCut cauliflower into small florets and cook it with  little salt and turmeric powder.Keep it aside.Careful not to over cook it.In a pan on medium flame, heat 2 tbsp of oil  and fry red chilies .Once they are roasted enough add in the chopped ginger and garlic.Reduce the flame a little and saute ginger/garlic.Now add chopped onion  and saute.You can add in little salt now to soften & cook onion better.Once onion is translucent , add turmeric powder , garam masala and powdered jeera & pepper. Once the aroma comes from the sautéed  ingredients add in the cooked cauliflower florets and needed salt ( remember we had added salt while cooking cauliflower and while sautéing onion).Add in the curry leaves and sauté until cauliflower florets gets coated  a little with the masala.Serve hot with rice/roti.Thank you ![...]

Brussel Sprouts Poriyal

Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:24:00 +0000

Source: Google Images

What you need

Brussel sprouts - 2 cups (chopped)
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1/4tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 2 (chopped)
Coconut - 3 tbsp (shredded)
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Salt - as needed
Water - just for springling

How you make it

Heat oil in the pan and splutter mustard seeds.Fry urad dal and once its golden , add curry leaves, green chillies.Now add the shredded coconut and saute on low flame.Make sure you don't let the color of the coconut change.After a minute or two now add the chopped brussel sprouts.Add turmeric powder and salt.Springle few drops of water if necessary and saute until the veggie is cooked but still maintains lilttle cruchyness.Serve with dal and rice.


Aviccha Muttai Puzhi Kuzhambu ( Boiled eggs in Tamarind based gravy)

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 19:38:00 +0000

This is yet another staple curry we have at home way too often.For a lazy day, this one is way to go and will satisfy all @ home.Nothing fancy , a simple puzhi kulambu using Sambhar powder or Kulambu podi.

In this recipe below, I used Sambhar powder , but Acchi Masala's Kulambu podi will also do justice to the same curry.

What you need

Boiled eggs - 6 ( make small slits across the eggs )
Sambhar Powder - 2 tbsp
Shallots : 4 ( sliced thin)
Red chillies - 3
Curry leaves - a few
Tamarind  - a lemon sized ball ( soak it in a cup of water and extract juice)
Rice flour - 1 tbsp ( make adilute paste using 3 tbsp water)
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Channa dal - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as needed
Water - 1 cup

How you will make it

In a  pan heat oil on medium flame , splutter mustard seeds.Now add Fenugreek seeds,curry leaves,red chillies and  saute for 1 minute or so.Now reduce the heat to low and add sambhar powder .Saute this for 2-3 minutes on low flame until nice aroma comes out.Add tamarind extract and salt. Add little extra water if needed and let this gravy boil on medium high.Now to make this gravy into thick curry consistency, we need to add the rice flour + water mix(Make sure there is no lumps).Let the gravy boil till it gets the correct consistency.Now reduce the flame to medium low and add in the boiled eggs .Let it sit in the gravy for the next 5 minutes and switch off the heat.Serve hot with rice.


Mother in Law's King Fish Fry

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 18:53:00 +0000

Super simple fish fry , marinated  ( w/ turmeric , red chilli powder & salt) and deep fried.


Mutton Soup

Tue, 08 Oct 2013 17:02:00 +0000

Most preferred soup at home on a gloomy day especially in october :)What you needMutton - 1/2 lbs ( with bones)Onion - 1 small ( sliced thin)Green chillies - 2-3 ( slit)Ginger-garlic - 2 tspTurmeric powder - 1/4 tspCoriander powder - 1 tspRed chilli powder - 2 tspPepper powder - 1/4 tspFennel powder - 1/4 tspCurry leaves - a fewOil - 2 tbspSalt - as neededWater - 3 cupsHow you will make itClean mutton pieces and marinate it with ginger-garlic paste ,salt, turmeric,coriander and red chilli powder.After 20 minutes or so, pressure cook the marinated meat with 3 cups water.Let it go 3-4 whistle under medium low flame.Switch off the heat and  let it slightly cool down.In another pan, heat oil and saute sliced onions and once they are slighly golden brown , add the meat with its water.Add in the fennel powder and pepper powder.Adjust the salt again if needed at this point.Let it boil for about 5 minutes on medium high flame.Serve it hot .I personally don't like extra garnishing on the soup other than the curry leaves.But you can add chopped coriander leaves or mint leaves if you prefer.Note : >> Try dry roasting fennel seeds and peppercorns before grinding to a powder for that special nutty flavour.>>I prefer small onions instead of big onion.But I was out of it this time around.>>You can add in chopped in tomato if you are in for that slighly tangy flavour.Thank you ![...]

Sothi - a side kick for Idiyyappam

Mon, 06 May 2013 15:49:00 +0000

Sothi - a side kick for Idiyyappam, my mom makes it usually when we have Idiyappams at home.Super easy to make and delicious when you soak Idiyappams on this mild liquid-y sauce.This time it was made by my mother in law in ma kitchen.She claimed to have made this only very few times so far, but she nailed it.What you needMoong dal/Pasi paruppu  - 1/2 cupOnion  - 1 big ( Sliced lengthwise)Green Chillies - 4-5Salt - To tasteTurmeric Powder - 1/4 tspDrumsticks - 6 (1 inch pieces) (OPTIONAL)Potato - 1 cup ( cubed)Lime juice -  few dropsCoconut milk - 8 oz canFor temperingOil - 2 tspMustard seeds - 1/4 tspCurry leaves - a fewHow you will make itPressure cook  moong dal, cubed potatoes,onion, green chillies with just enough salt, turmeric and water.After pressure cooking moong dal should be completely mashable but potato pieces should be intact.About 3 whistles on medium heat.Note : If you are little unsure about cooking all together in the pressure cooker, then cook moong dal separately with little turmeric, salt.Then add in the rest of the ingredients and pressure cook for 1 whistle.Open the lid and Keep the cooker in medium low flame.Now add in the diluted 8 oz can of coconut milk.You cannot heat too much after adding the coconut milk.Keep an eye on it.The consistency of this dish is more liquid-y than usual curry.Once you get the desired consistency, switch off the heat.Add few drops of lemon juice at this point. Add in the tempered ingredients and serve. The dish is ready to be served with steamed Idiyappams.We tried with rice as well and it was a good combo.Thank you ![...]

Omelette Kara Kuzhambu

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 18:05:00 +0000

Just had this for lunch today (of course left over!) .The longer this Kara Kuzhambu sits , the better the taste!What you needEggs - 3Onion - 1 small chopped( for omelette)Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized (soak and extract)Coconut - 1/4 cup ( grind-ed smoothly)Garlic - 3-4 pods [Optional]Sambar Powder - 2 tbspOil - 2 tspMustard seeds - 1/2 tspWhole red chillies - 4Curry leaves - a fewSalt - as neededWater - as neededHow you will make itIn a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and slowly add curry leaves, red chillies and finally garlic pods.When these are slightly roasted, lower the flame a little and add Sambar powder.Saute for just a minute or so and add in the tamarind extract with just enough water.Add in salt and let this boil on medium high flame.After 5-6 minutes of boiling lower the flame to medium low and add in coconut paste. Let this again boil on medium low flame until you get the 'kuzhambu/curry' consistency.In the mean time while curry is boiling, beat eggs with little salt and add chopped onion.Make small small cute little omelettes which are going  for a skinny dip in the curry :DOnce you have the Kuzhambu/Curry in correct consistency, lower the heat to low and add in the little omelettes to it. Once all the omelettes are added , switch off the heat.Let this kuzhambu sit at least for 20 minutes, to let omelette swoop in all that juicy flavors from the kuzhambu.Serve hot with Rice.Note : Garlic can be optional. I adore garlic pieces in kara kuzhambu, so I add them in even if it is not necessary :D                         Thank you ![...]

Vendaikka/Okra Thayir Pacchadi

Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:08:00 +0000

Vendaikka thayir pacchadi or make it fancy by calling Fried okra in yogurt sauce :)What you needVendaikka/okra - 2 cups ( cut )Green chillies - 3-4 ( chopped fine)Curry leaves - a fewYogurt - 3 tbsp ( beaten well with just enough water)Oil - 2 tbspMustard seeds - 1/tspSalt - as neededHow you will make itIn a heavy bottomed pan heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves.Now add cut okra pieces ,salt, green chillies and saute on medium high flame until they are cooked (and all that sticky-ness is gone).This pacchadi tastes little better when okra is little crunchy not completely fried(Saute until the green color is retained).Switch off the heat and let the mixture cool. In a bowl beat yogurt with just enough water /salt and pour this into the okra mixture.Mix slightly and serve it.We enjoyed this with hot/spicy Sambar and Rice.                                    Thank you ![...]

Inukku Podi

Sat, 30 Mar 2013 04:39:00 +0000

Inukku Podi, an instant podi made for Dosa/Idly.I am so fond  of this podi that I frequently make it even though I have other sides for Dosa/Idly. What you needCoconut - 1 cup (Shredded)Garlic - 1 podWhole Red Chillies - 6-8Curry leaves - a fewSalt - as neededGingelly oil  - For servingHow you will make itIn a mixie jar , put coconut, red chillies , garlic, curry leaves and salt and pulse it a few times.Viola , that's it , It's ready! The aroma itself will lure you to it.Serve it with few drops gingelly  oil for Dosa/Idly.Note : Please adjust the amount of red chillies as per your taste.Thank you ![...]

Curry leaves Chicken

Wed, 27 Mar 2013 21:31:00 +0000

Curry leaves , an unavoidable ingredient in South Indian Kitchens especially Kerala.When landed here in US , the only thing I couldn't digest was that I had to pay for this special ingredient.Back home, we grew them in our yard or our vegetable guy gave it for free.My kitchen will tell stories of me being a freak when it comes to curry leaves :D For the past two weeks , My dear husband  unknowingly  piled up packets of curry leaves from our local store .I had to use it before they go awry.So here is Curry leaves Chicken...What you needChicken - 2 lbs ( small pieces)Onion - 1 large (sliced thin)Ginger Garlic - 2 tbsp (minced fine)Curry leaves  - for garnishRed chilli powder  - 3 tspTurmeric Powder - 1/2 tspOil -  2 tbspSalt -as neededDry Roast  and Grind Black Pepper corns - 2 tspPerunjeeragam - 2 tspUrad dal - 1 tspCurry leaves  - 2 big springs How you will makeClean chicken and keep aside.I had used boneless chicken  for this recipe.But you could use with bone as well.In a pan, dry roast the listed under 'Dry Roast  and Grind' and keep aside.In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and fry sliced onion until they are golden brown.Now add the minced ginger garlic  ( note : not GG paste but minced) and fry until raw smell goes away.Now on high flame add chicken pieces , turmeric ,red chilli and salt. Fry until chicken is well cooked and masala w/ chicken is nice dark brown color. Now reduce the flame and add the powdered curry leaves powder and mix. At this point you will smell an awesome aroma of Curry leaves!Add in some fresh curry leaves for garnish and switch off the heat. Serve hot with Rice/Roti.Note : Adjust your red chilli powder as per your spice level and note that you are adding black peppercorns as well.Thank you ![...]

Chinna Ulli Chutney/Small Onion Chutney

Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:18:00 +0000

It's fun to see my kids eat Idly . They carry one whole Idly in their hand as if it was a piece of cake , and dip in a bowl of chutney.I have tried to make them eat Idly the right way, my way. My way  especially with this Onion chutney is 'placing 4 idly in a plate, pour a big spoon of chutney and then the fun part , mash them well with your fingers and eat'. :D .The best part is licking that last bits of chutney out of your fingers!

Well , that might not be a sophisticated way to eat in front of others :D

What You need

Small Onions - 1 cup (chopped)
Curry leaves - a needed
Oil -  2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 3 tsp (Warning : adjust as per your taste)
Salt - As needed
Tamarind - 1 small gooseberry sized
Asafoetida - a pinch
Water - as needed

How you will make it

Take tamarind extract and keep aside.In a pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds.Now add chopped onion and curry leaves.Saute for next 4 minutes on medium flame.(You don't have to fry it so much as we are going to cook it with tamarind extract).Add salt, red chilli powder and fry a bit till raw smell of red chilli is gone.Finally add tamarind extract and water (as needed).Let this mixture boil until onions are cooked well and chutney has the right consistency.Add a pinch of asafoetida and boil for next two minutes and switch off.Serve it hot with Idly.


Meen Chilli / Fish Chilli

Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:25:00 +0000

What you needKing fish - 2 lbs (cut in medium size pieces)Onion - 1 big ( sliced thin)Tomato - 1 medium ( chopped fine)Green chillies -  6-7 ( slit lengthwise)Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tspOil - 2 tbspLime juice - 1 tspCurry leaves - a fewTo marinate Salt - as neededChilly powder - 2 tspTurmeric powder - 1/2 tspHow you make Marinate the fish pieces with all the ingredients listed under 'To Marinate' and keep aside for 20-30 minutes.In a pan heat oil in medium high heat and fry curry leaves, sliced onions.Fry until onions are golden brown and add gg paste.Saute this until raw smell of gg paste is gone.Now add chopped tomatoes to this mix ( you can add little salt needed for the masala at this point) and fry until tomatoes are completely mashed up and no where to be seen.Now the  complementing masala is ready for the fish pieces. Add marinated fish pieces to the masala and mix slowly.On medium low heat cover and cook for next five minutes. Remove the cover at this point and on medium low heat slowly cook the fish pieces.Careful not to break the pieces by turning it so many times. When they are half way  through , add slit green chillies and lime juice .Slowly turn the masala around with out breaking the pieces and switch off the heat once it is cooked .We had it with Simple Dal & Rice.NOTE : Since the fish pieces were not 'fried' before adding to the masala , it took a while for the raw smell of powders (especially red chilli) to go away.NOTE : I had dominated the flavor with Green Chillies than Red chilli powder.Recipe adapted from here.Thank you ![...]

Amma's Muttai Kuzhambu / Egg Curry

Mon, 04 Mar 2013 03:07:00 +0000

What you will need

Hard boiled eggs -  6 (halved)
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2-3 (slit)
Tamarind - 1 big gooseberry size
Salt - to taste
Potato - 2 small size,cubed (optional)
Water - as needed
To grind :
Coconut (shredded) - 3/4 cup
Jeera  -  1tsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Curry leaves - 3
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
For tempering :
Oil - 3 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal -1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Whole red chillies - 4

How you will make
Soak tamarind in a cup of water and extract tamarind juice.Grind all ingredients listed under 'To grind' into a fine paste.In pan on medium heat,  pour tamarind juice and add red chilli powder and brind it to a boil.Now add grinded coocnut paste, slit green chillies,salt and let boil until raw smell is gone and gravy thickens.In between add water if necessary.Once you get the correct consistency for the gravy , reduce the heat to low.Add in the hard boiled eggs.Slowly mix in so that all the eggs are coated with the gravy.In another pan, temper the ingredients listed under 'For tempering'  and pour it over the curry.Serve hot with rice.


Kovaikkai/Tindora Chutney

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 02:17:00 +0000

Kovaikkai , I was not so fond of this vegetable or have cooked with it for a long time.My mom on her last visit here, introduced this vegetable to me.She made kovaikkai fry with just red chilli & turmeric powder.Then I tried making the same fry along with potato.And it became staple at home when ever I amke more kuzhambu.Finally (after nearly 5+ years) I was brave enough to try a new one, Spicy chutney made with Kovaikkai .Came out really well and I am set for the next five years :DWhat you needKovakkai/Tindora - 1 cup (cut)Urad dal - 1/2 tspChanna dal - 1/2 tspCoconut - 1/4 cup (shredded)Tamarind - a very small gooseberry sizeRed chillies - 6Garlic - 2 podsOil - 2tbspCurry leaves - a fewSalt - as neededWater - if needed when you grindHow you will makeHeat oil in a pan in medium heat and then add urad dal, channa dal , fry until almost golden. Now add garlic, red chillies, curry leaves one after another .Fry for 2 minutes and add cut tindora now.Fry on medium flow until they are almost cooked.Finally add tamarind, coconut and salt. Saute until coconut changes into light brown colour. Switch off the heat and let this mixture cool.Once it is cooled, grind this into a chutney. NOTE : Saute Tindora on medium flame only. As tindora takes time to cook and you don't want rest of the ingredients to burn out. If you want you could saute just Tindora in a separate pan and grind it along with other fried ingredients.I had served it with Instant Ragi Dosa. Will post that recipe soon.Thank you ![...]

Egg Banarasi

Mon, 25 Feb 2013 22:35:00 +0000

Egg Banarasi,this is derived from Aloo Dum Banarasi recipe.

What you need
Egg - 5 (hard boiled)
Onion - 1 (big,sliced thin)
Tomato -1 ( chopped fine)
Green chillies - 2-3 (chopped fine, optional)
Garlic - 5 pods (minced)
Garam masala - Whole or powder (1tsp)
Red chilli powder - 3 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 8-10
Mint/Coriander leaves - for garnish (optional)
Salt - as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - as needed

How you will make 
First and for most ,
1.Make a paste of cashew nuts with few tsp of water.
2.Hard boil 5 eggs and peel the hard skin.In a bowl add eggs, a few pinches of turmic powder and salt.
Slightly roast these  eggs in a tsp of oil.Make sure you don't burn the outer skin of the egg.Just roast it lightly.Keep them aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan , heat oil and add whole garam masala.Once that's fried add minced garlic and chopped onion (in that order).Once onion is golden brown add chopped tomatoes.Cook until tomatoes are well cooked and mashed up.Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder ,coriander powder and salt to the pan and saute until raw smell is gone.Add just enough water to the pan and bring it to a boil.Now reduce flame to medium and cashew nut paste.Cook until gravy thickens just enough.Now add the roasted eggs to this gravy.Let it sit for another 2-3 minutes.Finally add chopped green chillies and 1 tbsp butter.Keep this gravy in medium flame for another 3-4 minutes.That's it rich flavourful gravy is ready , garnish with chopped mint/coriander leaves.

Serve with rice/roti.

Note : I am thinking of making this dish next time with tomato paste and onion paste instead of chopped to get a smooth gravy.