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Rems Spices 'n Flavours

A Peek-a-boo to my pantry of mixed cuisines

Updated: 2017-03-14T08:37:49.968+05:30


Vermicelli veggies upma


Roasted Vermicelli(Semiya) - 2 cups
Ghee or butter - 5 tbsp
Onion(medium) - 1 no
Peas,beans and carrot chopped - 1.5 cups
Green chillies - 2 nos
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Red chillies - 2 nos
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A few
Salt - As reqd
Water - 2 cups
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup

Chop onion, ginger and green chillies into small pieces.Heat 3 tbsp ghee or butter in the kadai.
Add mustard seeds and when they crackle, add chopped onions, green chillies, dry red chillies, ginger and curry leaves.Fry, till the onions turn brown.Add the peas ,beans, carrots mixture. fry for 1-2 mins, sauting frequently.Once its 3/4 cooked,Add water along with sugar and salt.Veggies shld not be fully cooked,3/4th cooked enhances the taste.U can use frozen veggies to save time.Allow it to boil.When it starts to boil, add fried vermicelli, stirring continuously.Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a low flame, till vermicelli is soft and almost all water has dried up. Add coconut and stir for 2 mins.
Serve hot with sugar or pickle. Healthy breakfast ready in 15 mins.This Upma is for Raaga for WBB Express Breakfast Event....

Chicken Biriyani


Among keralites 'Biriyani' will be top favourite food,either chicken,mutton or fish.Same with us,Partners may have different interest,But in case of having biriyani...we are one.I remember after our marriage,when ever we go to resturants,'S' orders only biriyani.I call him Biriyani FREAK!!! Before i thought making at home is a complicated and time consuming process.After coming to US,now biriyani is not meant for special occasions.Its became a part of our usual menu.Traditional way is 'Dum' process,I havent tried that.Instead I cook rice and chicken masala separately,layer them and baked in conventional method.Special thanks to Annita and Shynee for giving this wonderful Malabar recipe....Ingredients....Basmati Rice - 1 kgChicken cut into big pieces - 1 kgThinly Sliced Onion- 3 bigSliced Tomato - 2 bigGhee - as neededBroken cashew nuts - 1/4 cupRaisins - 1/4 cupCurd - 1 cupLime - 1 bigChopped Coriander leaves - 1 bunchChopped Mint leaves - 1 small bunchCurry leaves-2 sprigsBiriyani Masala Powder 3tspRose water - 2 tbsp(optional)Saffron - 1 gm(optional)Boiled eggs - 2Salt - as req For Marinating Chicken Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tspChilly Powder - 1 tspSalt - as needed For Grinding Green Chillies - 7-8Garlic - 2 tbspGinger - 2 tbspPoppy seeds soaked in water for 5- 10 mts - 2 tspMethod...1) Marinate chicken with ingredients listed.Apply well and let it stand for 1 hr or so in refrigerator.2)Wash and soak rice for 15 mins.In a heavy bottomed pan,cook rice along with salt,cloves,cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and cardamom with enough water.when its 3/4 cooked,strain the excess water.Spread the rice in a flat serving dish,and sprinkle 3-4 drops of lime juice, allow it to cool. 3)Heat a little ghee in a pan and roast cashews and raisins till brown and keep it aside.Now add half of sliced onion and fry them until they are well browned.Add more ghee /oil if needed.Drain them into a tissue paper and reserve .Now into the same oil,add marinated chicken pieces and shallow fry them for a while. This can enhance the taste and also make the chicken pieces more firm. 4)Now add rest of the onions and saute them till translucent(add 1 tbsp of ghee/oil,if needed0.Mix in tomatoes,salt and the ground paste and saute them for 2-3 mts.Stir in curd and lemon juice and saute until oil separates.Now add fried chicken pieces,mix well,cover and cook. 5)When it is half done,add Coriander leaves,Mint leaves,curry leaves and 2 tsp Biriyani masala powder.Mix and allow the chicken to cook well in medium heat,until all water is absorbed and chicken pieces are coated with gravy.Switch off the stove. 6)Take a biriyani pot,spread chicken pieces along with the gravy in the bottom.Now add one layer of cooked rice over chicken.Sprinkle a little biriyani masala powder,fried onions,cashews, raisins and saffron(mixed in rosewater)U can even use leonjuice+turmeric powder mixture instead of safforn,here i used this.Repeat the same for 2 more layers with chicken ,rice and fried cashew-raisins-onions etc.Seal the vessel with aluminium foil and bake it for 15 mts at 300 F.Mix thoroughly and serve hot with whole boiled eggs ,Raita ,Pickle and Pappad or Ulli surka.[...]

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins


Yesterday I was watching 'Konkana Sen ' movie.."Life in a metro"...Its an Awesome movie...While watching i craved for some goodies to eat...Nothing was there...One and only thing that came to mind is MUFFINS!!!!...I'm a Muffin freak now a days.Now its like almost every week or so i make muffins.Thought about trying some new healthy and of course simple....I googled for healthy versions.Just found one and changed it to my interest n made it with ingredients with me.A batch of healthy muffins with crunchy on the top and soft inside are right here .....

1 cup All purpose flour
1/2 cup Wheat flour
1/2 cup Quicker Oats
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Sugar/Brown Sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 Cup Fat free Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2tsp Orange zest
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 Egg


Cornflakes /Sliced almonds

Preheat the oven in 350 F .Beat the wet ingredients like egg,oil,milk,vanilla,orange zest and sugar with hand beater for few Min's.Mix all purpose flour,wheat flour ,oats ,baking powder and salt. Add raisins to it and mix.Add this dry ingredients in two batches to the wet ingredients.Mix with a wooden spatula.Do not over mix.In a muffins pan,arrange muffin cups or spray it.Pour muffin mix to 2/3 of each cup.Add cornflakes as toppings .Bake for 15 Min's or until toothpick comes out clean.This yields 12 muffins.

Chicken Korma



Chicken korma is a popular Mugalai dish Of North India.Its a mild creamy chicken dish served on all households or restaurants.Its a blend of spices,chicken/meat braised in a creamy sauce on cashew/almonds ,yogurt and coconut milk.There's wide variation in preparing korma ,some times fresh coconut , onions and spices are blended into a paste and cooked along with chicken.'S' was having a potluck party at office yesterday,i made this Korma with less spices , so that everyone can enjoy having it especially Americans and Chinese.

1 Pound Boneless and skinless chicken cut into small pieces
4 Whole cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
4 Cardamom seeds
2-3 Onions pureed
2 Tomatoes finely chopped
1 Tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 Tbsp Garam masala
1 Tbsp Cumin powder
1 Tbsp Coriander powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 Cup Coconut milk
1/3 Cup of Almond/Cashew paste
1 Cup Yogurt
2 Tsp Red chilly Powder(Use accordingly)
Canola oil
Salt to taste
Cilantro for Garnishing

Marinate chicken pieces with salt,turmeric powder and 1tsp chilli powder for half an hour.soak cashew in warm water for 1/2 an hour and make a smooth paste.In a wide pan,pour oil and add spices whole cloves,cinnamon sticks,cardamom seeds cumin,coriander,garam masala,tsp chilli powder and saute for few mins.Add onion pureed and ginger garlic paste ,stir well till oils separates and raw smell goes off.Add chopped tomatoes ,yogurt and saute till tomatoes are cooked .Add marinated chicken pieces and salt to it.Cover it and cook on meduim flame for about 20 mins.Don't add water.Water will squeeze out from chicken pieces.Stir in between,be careful that it doesn't stick to bottom.If needed add water in between.Once chicken is cooked,add cashew paste to it,saute for few mins.Add coconut milk,cilantro and cook for 5 mins or until gravy thickens.Goes well with Ghee Rice, Naan or even plain rice.

Devils Food Cake


A sinful chocolate cake with simple whipping cream and orange frosting..Its a been a while i was thinking of baking this cake.Everyday is a new day for celebration.I made this Yesterday for celebrating our first year in USA :)...This is only a reason to make it he he he....Coz being weight conscious..i was controlling not to try any sweets n snacks this month..But seeing beautiful dishes all over blog sphere,i lost my control and baked it....When "S" asked me ..'what about ur resolution? Me answered..."Its gonna be a year since we came to USA...we need to celebrate it....i made it for u..." He replied."So sweet of u to break ur resolution for me" and passed a funny smile....
Devils food cake is a rich,chocolate layered cake with chocolate,butter cream or any frosting of Ur choice...I tried Recipe from Shyamala's blog ,check here and frosted with whipping cream orange frosting.

For whipping cream frosting...
Whipping cream 1 can
Powdered sugar 2tbsp(according to ur taste)
Orange juice 1tbsp

Beat whipping cream and orange juice with hand mixer .Add sugar little by little.Beat till high peaks are formed.

Palappam and Egg in coconut milk curry


There's an old saying like "Eat breakfast like a king".Its true,always begin your day energetically with healthy breakfast.A balanced breakfast should be fat free,which supplies a protein,fiber and other nutrients.Breakfast is like 'Waking up to healthy start.Avoid the temptation to be a breakfast skipper like 1.If u have no time : Build a breakfast that are ready to eat or take little preparation time like fresh and canned fruits, milk, yogurt, cheese, instant breakfast mixes.2.Take it to go:Try celery stuffed with peanut butter , fruits or vegetable juices,sandwiches. Drink juice. Something is better than nothing. Have some bread or crackers later in the morning. There's no evidence that skipping meals will help you lose weight. In fact, studies show that most people who skip breakfast tend to eat more later in the day. Some even select more caloric ally-dense foods than those who eat breakfast.When Mansi announced Balanced breakfast this month.I thought giving two birds in a shot like same with srivalli's Dosa mela.Here's my post to both events Kerala's special breakfast Palappam and Mutta thegapal curry(Egg in coconut milk gravy).Its quite delicious and easy to make.PalappamFor kappi/kurukkuCombine 1/4cup of sooji(rava) /Rice flour with some hot water on stove top to create a gooey mixture.Keep aside.For batterRice flour 2cups(Use palappam podi or slightly fried normal rice flour)Coconut milk 1.5cupYeast 1tsp(dissolved in some lukewarm water with 1tsp sugar,keep for 15 mins to rise)SaltAfter making the above kappi/kurukku.Mix rest if the items ie rice flour,yeast dissolved,coconut milk.Leave overnight to ferment.Keep in warm place or Preheat the bake oven at 200F for 5 mins.Switch off the oven,keep the palappam batter inside oven.Morning just before making appams,add warm milk if batter is thick,it should be slightly watery than dosa batter.Place appachatti on stovetop in med flame.Take a scoop of the batter and drop it into the appachatti. Hold the two handles of the appachatti and give it a quick twirl to spread the batter around. Do it once ,dont make two twirls, the edges get too thick and wont get proper laces. Cover and leave on for about 4 min.Repeat the same.Serve hot with Egg curry ,coconut milk or any curry of ur choice.Here's simple Egg in coconut milk gravy for Palappam.Eggs 3Onion chopped 1cupTomato chopped 1Green chillies chopped 3Ginger-garlic paste 1tspTurmeric powder 1/2tspCoriander powder 1tspCoconut milk 1/2cupRice flour 1tspOil 1tbspMustard seeds 1tspRed chillies 2Curry leaves 1 sprigSaltBoil eggs,Cut into halves and keep aside.Heat oil in pan,add mustard seeds,when it pops up,add red chillies,curry leaves.Add ginger-garlic paste,onions,fry it till raw smell goes and onions are translucent.Add green chillies chopped and saute.Add tomatoes and rest of the spices ,saute.Add some water.Let it boil for few mins,till raw smell of spies goes off.Add salt,now add eggs,coconut milk.Don't break the eggs .Stir carefully.If the gravy is too watery,add 1tsp rice flour mixed in 1/4cup of water.Cook in simmer,till the gravy thickens.Rice flour act as thickening agent.Remove from flame and keep for 10 mins covered,so that eggs absorbs spices.Serve hot with Appams or Idiyappam.[...]

Crab Cutlet


(image) Cutlets are every one's fav appetizer,of course a good choice for evening snacks or a party. Crispy on the outside, moist and exploding with flavor on the inside makes this dish a favorite of young and old alike. Also known as 'croquette',made with minced meat or vegetables ,smashed potatoes ,encased in bread crumbs and deep or shallow fried.Last weekend,we celebrated one of our friends birthday .we planned our simple menu with 'Crab cutlet' as appetizer,My other friends made Idiyaapam,Badam Chicken curry,Potato Stew and rice and Heavenly Tiramisu as dessert.I brought 'Alaskan King Crab' with shells from Costco.Alaskan King Crab Legs are low in fat and calories, and they are a light and healthy source of high-quality protein.Ready for ur party !!!!
Crab meat 2cups(use canned meat or fresh )
Chopped onions 1cup
Potato-boiled and smashed 1cup
Chopped ginger 2tsp
Fennel seeds 1/4tsp
Green chilli chopped 2tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4tsp
Red chilli powder 1tsp(optional)
Egg yolks 2
Egg whites 2
Bread crumbs 1cup
Oil for shallow frying
Salt to taste
Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan,saute fennel seeds,onions,ginger and green chilli till raw smell goes off.Now add Crab meat and salt and cook for some mins.Once its cooked well.Turn off the flame.Add turmeric powder,boiled potatoes,cilantro ,egg yolks and mix well.Make equals balls from mixture and shape it into cutlet.Beat egg white.Dip each cutlet in egg white ,then in bread crumbs and shallow fry it till golden brown.Serve hot with Tomato ketchup.

Chemmen /Prawns Biriyani


Chemmen Biriyani and fish biriyani are unique dishes of kerala.Many of u maybe uncomfortable in cooking biriyani with prawns or fish coz of the smell.If u wash thoroughly and get rid of the smell,i bet u'll try it again and again.I remember once amma cooked Chemmen biriyani years back ,when i was doing my Masters. .We called it as 'Biriyani in a hurry' as She cooks everyday early in the morning and pack lunch packs for us and her and rush to office.I really admire her hurry cooking and the end result in simply 'Awesome'.On last Friday i wasn't in a mood to cook the usual rice and curry.Want to try something new,there was some frozen prawns waiting for me in fridge.There were some reasons behind trying it i guess,firstly was longing to try out amma's biriyani,secondly My hubby fav ,he'll finish the platter with a sweet smile.Chemmen Biriyani1. For Frying Prawns...Big Prawns 1lbRed chilly powder 1tspTurmeric powder 1/2tspGinger-garlic paste 1/2tspPepper powder 1/4tspLime juicesalt to tasteI used frozen cleaned and deveined ones.Wash in cold water.Add lime juice and turmeric powder and some water.keep for 5 mins.Drain the water and Marinate with above items and keep it 30 mins.2.Cooking rice....Basmati rice 2cupswatersaltWash the rice,soak for 15 mins.Cook rice with water .when its 3/4cooked,drain out the excess water and spread it in a plate.Allow it to cool completely.Once cool down,break the lumps with fork.3.For Masala...Big Onions 2Tomato 1Green chilly3-4Coriendar powder 3tspBiriyani masala 2tspRed chilly powder 1/2tsp(optional)Ginger 1 small pieceGarlic 4 big clovesGhee/oil 3tbspsaltCilantro4.For garnishing..Cashew 1/4cupRaisins 1/4cupOnions(thinly sliced) 1/4cupLemon juiceTurmeric powderMethod...Heat ghee in a biriyani pot/heavy bottomed pot .Fry cashew and raisins till golden brown,keep aside.Fry sliced onions until golden brown ,remove and keep in a paper towel.Add little more ghee/oil for shallow frying prawns.{Amma doesn't fry prawns,she adds directly to the masala.I like fried ,u can do either way}Just fry 3-4 mins.Do not overcook,prawns become hard.Remove and keep aside.Masala Preparation...In the same ghee/oil ,add cinnamon,gloves,star anise,bay leaves .Add chopped onions,saute till slighly brown.Now add ginger-garlic,green chillies,cook till raw smell goes.Add biriyani masala,coriendar powder,saute for few mins.Add tomatoes,cook them with little water,salt.Once tomatoes are cooked,add fried prawns.Let it boil for few mins.Add cliantro leaves and enough water for ur gravy.Cook for 2 mins.Keep aside.Preheat the oven to 300 F.In a bake tray or use the same biriyani pot.Place a layer of rice.Mix the lemon juice and turmeric powder.Sprinkle some drops on the rice.This gives a nice aroma and also some yellow color here and there in biriyani.Transfer masala on top of rice.Again add remaining rice ,sprinkle lemon juice with turmeric powder.Close the pot tightlywith lid or aluminium foil.Bake for 25-30 mins.Turn off the oven.Let the dish sit in the oven till you are ready to eat. Only break the seal when you are ready to eat. The way to serve Biryani is to gently dig in with a spoon so you get through the layers.Garnish with fried onions,cashew and raisins and cliantro.Serve hot with raita,pappadums and pickle.Enjoy !!![...]

Morning Glory Muffins



Morning Glory Muffins is a healthy and easy breakfast on busy mornings.Begin your day with this tasty and chewy muffins,which is packed with carrots,apples and other vitamin and mineral rich ingredients.This low fat muffin recipe is from "Morning Glory Cafe" in Nantucket Island.I love to have these with morning coffee aahhhh!!!!..... They didn't rise as much as muffins with regular flour. But they were OUT OF THIS WORLD good! Crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle. All the "goodies" were delicious.Yesterday i made these for my friends for our weekened dinner party.This was a real hit among them.

All purpose flour 1cup
Whole wheat flour 1cup
Sugar 1 cup
Egg 1
Eggs whites 2
Baking powder 2tsp
Vanilla extract 2tsp
Cinnamon powder 2tsp
Salt 1/2tsp
Grated carrots 2cups
Apple 1 (peeled,cored and grated)
Raisins 1/2cup
Nuts 1/2cup
Coconut 1/2cup (optional)
Canola Oil 1cup

Preheat oven to 300F.In a medium bowl, beat eggs, egg whites, oil, and vanilla for 2 mins.In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Combine carrots, apples, nuts and raisins ,mix well. Add these fruits and nuts to wet ingredients.Now add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two halves.The pitfall with all muffin batters is in over mixing the batter and ending up with a tough muffin. So make sure you only mix the batter until the ingredients are combined and moistened. Pour two tbsp of batter in each lined muffin cups.For standard sized muffins, only fill the muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. However, if you like your muffins with a crown, fill the cups to the top. Just make sure to grease the top of the muffin pan so that as the batter overflows it does not stick to the top of the pan. And don't forget to fill any unfilled muffin cups with a little water to ensure even baking as well as preventing the pan from warping. Bake 15-20 mins or until the inserted toothpick comes out can double the batches and store them in ziploc ,freeze it .Microwave them for a min on busy mornings .....Healthy breakfast ready!!!! Sending this muffins to suganya for her WBB: Healthy eats

Lemon Dry fruits nuts Biscotti


I love Foodnetwork,one among my fav is "Giada De Laurentiis's Everyday Italian".Once i saw her Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.Inspired by her biscotti,i decided to make a try with the ingredients with me.In Italian, the word "biscotto" means "biscuit" or "cookie." More specifically, biscotti are named according to their original method of baking. The root words "bis" and "cotto" literally mean "twice" and "baked." Biscotti are first baked in a loaf, then sliced and toasted. This second trip to the oven draws off moisture, and results in a crisp, dry texture, and a long shelf life. There are many different varieties of biscotti, with some being cake-like in texture, while some are very crisp and dry. Traditionally, Biscotti were almond-flavored because almonds were plentiful. Biscotti are available in a myriad of different flavors like chocolate, hazelnut , dried red cherries, raisins, cinnamon, fennel or poppy seeds, allspice, mace, citrus zest, ground toasted nuts, mini dark or white chocolate chips. Popular today is to dip one side in melted chocolate.Their unique texture makes them perfect to dunk in your coffee or tea, or wine after dinner.Because of the baking process, Biscotti have a very long life may be 6 months.No need to refrigerate biscotti , store them in an airtight container.if they lose their crispness, simply toast them in a low oven (250 degrees) for a few minutes until they’re crunchy again. If they’re too hard or dry, place them on low power setting in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften them up.Here's My style of Biscotti..Lemon Dryfruits Nuts BiscottiIngredients...All purpose flour 1.5cupWhole wheat flour 1.5cupSoftened butter 3tbsp(for healthier version,add olive oil)Baking powder 1tspFinely grated zest of 2 medium lemonsSugar 3/4cupVanilla extract 1/2tspLemon juice 2tspEggs 2(for healthier version,add eggs whites only)salt 1/4tspCashew,pistachio,pecans 1/2cupDates ,deseeded and chopped 8 nosTuuti frutti 1/4tspDried apricots 1/4cupMethod..Preheat oven to 350F.In a bowl seive flours , baking powder and salt,Add nuts and dried fruits and stir well to mix.In a large bowl,beat sugar,butter ,vanilla,lemon zest and lemon juice still creamy and fluffy.Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix well.Scoop the dough into a lightly floured surface.Divide into two parts,shape it into a log about 9" long - transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment and flatten until it is about 1/2" to 3/4" thick.Place the logs of dough on the baking sheet, making sure they are not too close to each other or to the sides of the pan. With the palm of your hand, press down gently to flatten the logs. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the logs are well risen and have spread to about double their size. The logs are done when, pressed with a fingertip, they feel firm. Place the pan on a rack to cool the logs completely. cut the log into 1/2" to 3/4" thick diagonal slices.Arrange the biscotti on the prepared pans, cut side down. It isn't necessary to leave space between them. Bake the biscotti for about 15 or 20 minutes or until they are dry and lightly golden.Remember, they will continue to crisp up as they cool. Cool on the pan on a rack.Store the cooled biscotti between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a air tight container. Sending this Biscotti Jhiva for ingredients : Lime/Lemon [...]

Salmon Chilli


Salmon chilli /Salmon masala is what i like to call this dish..This is one of my friends recipe,who 's great cook.She cooks everything so quickly and ofcourse very tastely.I met here in seattle during last winter.Happen to stay at her place for about a week .It was a wonderful time with a new friend ,in a new place with sumptous foods.Coming back to dish,this is not a chinese dish.'S' call it as Indian Style Fish chilli. Consuming salmon is considered to be reasonably healthy due to the fish's high protein, low fat, high Omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D.Seafood lovers like me would definietly enjoy having this variety dish...
Salmon cut in to small pieces - 1 pounds
Chopped Onions - 3
Tomatoes chopped - 2
Ginger Garlic paste - 4 tsp
Green Chillies chopped - 6
Coriander powder - 3 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp
(I use a blend of 1 nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp green cardamom pods, 4 " cinnamon sticks, 1 Tbsp whole cloves, 1 tsp peppercorns & 1 tsp cumin seeds all ground together )
Cilantro chopped- 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2tsp
Extra oil for shallow frying Fish
For the marinade...
Red chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tspSalt - to taste
Make a smooth paste with all the ingredients for the marinade adding little water and keep it aside.

Add 1tsp lime juice and 1/4tsp of turmeic powder in 1 cup of water and immerse the fish pieces in it for about 5 minutes,to reduce that fishy smell.Then take it out of the water and pat dry with tissue.Gently marinate the fish pieces in the prepared marinade for 30 minutes.Then Shallow fry fish pieces and keep aside.
Heat oil in a big pan .Add chopped onion and fry until translucent,then add ginger,garlic and green chillies and saute it for 5-6 minutes.Add in coriander powder,turmeric powder, chilly powder and fry for a while.Mix in yogurt and saute it until oil seperates.Add garam masala powder and salt,stir and add chopped tomatoes.Cook until tomatoes turn soft,and add fried fish pieces.Mix well and cook for about 20 minutes in low heat,stirring in between.Finally add chopped coriander ,cook for 5 more minutes and remove from heat.

Tandoori Chicken


'Tandoori Chicken' is an Indian style BBQ chicken.Traditionally prepared in 'Tandoor',an underground jar shaped clay oven,in which food is cooked over a hot charcoal fire,believed to have originated from Persia.Oven can be heated to high temperatures ,delicious dishes like 'Tandoori chicken' ,Naan or tandoori Roti can be made.Tandoori chicken is a dish that originated in India. The chicken is marinated in a yogurt seasoned with either prepared tandoori masala, traditionally cooked at high temperatures in an tandoor oven but can also be prepared on a conventional oven or BBQ.Check out the Interesting story about Tandoori chicken here .Here goes an easy recipe....
6 pieces Chicken Drumsticks
1Tsp Ginger- garlic and green chilli paste
1/2 Cup Yogurt
Salt, to taste
1 Tsp Red chilli powder
1 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Garam masala Or MDH Tandoori masala powder
(I use a blend of 1 nutmeg, 1 1/2 tsp green cardamom pods, 4 " cinnamon sticks, 1 Tbsp whole cloves, 1 tsp peppercorns & 1 tsp cumin seeds all ground together )
1/2 Tsp Coriander powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin powder
1 Dash Lemon juice
Remove the skin from chicken and wash them thoroughly.Prepare a marinate by mixing all the ingredients except chicken pieces in a bowl.Marinate chicken pieces in this mixture ,cover it with plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator for minimum 2 hours.If possible keep it over night.Take out from refrigerator ,one hour before cooking it, bring it to room temperature.Preheat the oven for 375 F ,place the chicken pieces in low rack for about 20 min,then turn over and cook for another 10 min,so that they cook well on both sides.If chicken pieces are getting dry,baste it with little ghee.Serve hot with Naan .

Banana Pudding


(image) Thick and creamy vanilla flavoured pudding layered with vanilla wafers and banana slices.....what else can we think about a comfort dessert than this "Traditional Southern Style Banana Pudding".This unique pudding comes from Southern part of US,an ultimate comfort food, easy to make just with few ingredients and taste fabulous. One interesting thing I found was that in North Carolina band called 'Southern Culture on Skids' actually performs a song during some of their concerts called Banana Pudding accompanied by throwing banana pudding on their audience, sounds crazy isn't....
Banana Pudding
Yields 10 - 12 servings
Whole milk 4cups
Sugar 2cups
Softened Butter 4tbs
Egg yolks 4
All purpose flour 1/2cup
Banana 5-6
Vanilla wafers 1box
Salt 1/8tsp
Vanilla extract 2tsp

For making Custard...Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and stir well to mix. Mash out any flour lumps with the back of your spoon and Set aside.In a bowl ,beat the egg yolks with fork or whisk .Just beat them well ,don't use hand beater.In a heavy bottomed pan,add butter ,then combined sugar,flour and salt mixture,egg yolks and milk , Cook, stirring constantly to avoid lumps and until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding on medium heat for about 5 - 10 Min's.Peel the bananas,slice into 3inch rounds .In a casserole or pudding tray,arrange vanilla wafers from edge to edge in row.Place the round sliced bananas now.Don't stint and put one slice of banana per wafer. Line those banana slices up edge-to-edge. Pour, spreading as necessary, half of the custard over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining custard. Ready to serve...Just serve right away or place in refrigerator for several hours ,press plastic wrap onto the surface of the warm puddings to prevent a skin from forming .Just before serving garnish with whipped cream,tutti fruiti ,cherries or grated chocolate as u wish...

For addition...
Beat the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. At high speed, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until meringue browns, 12 to 15 minutes.

Chemeen Peera


(image) Chemmen is the most popular seafood in the World especially in Kerala.Prawns /shrimps are very healthy choice of food as they are extremely good source of protein, and very low in fat as well as calories. They also contain high level of vitamin that are essential for healthy skin, bones and teeth.In kerala,many variety of dishes are made with prawns,like Chemmen Theeyal,Chemmen Roast,Prawns Biriyani,Chemmen Vada...options are endless.Recently one of my friend made Chemmen Peera .Though I'm keralite,i wasn't aware that 'peera' can be made with Prawns also. Usually I make Meen peera with Smelt (Neetholi)or Sardines(Mathi).'Peera' is fish cooked with spices and coconut mix.Its an authentic kerala style dish with all spices ,coconut and curry leaves and which no masala is used. I'm sending to Radhika for JFI: Onion event.
Prawns 1 lb
Grated Coconut 1/2cup
Red chilly powder 2-3tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2tsp
Green chillies 5 nos
Shallots(small onions)15
Ginger 1inch piece
Curry leaves 1sprig
Coconut oil 3tsp
Salt to taste
Clean the prawns thoroughly,it should be peeled and deveined.Cut shallots into thin slices.Chop green chillies and ginger.In a pan ,put prawns,shallots,grated coconut,Green chilly,ginger,red chilly powder,turmeric powder,curry leaves,2tsp of coconut oil,salt.Cover it and cook for 15-20 Min's.Sprinkle some water if needed.Don't add too much water, coz prawns has moisture content .Once all water is evaporated,remove from flame.Add 1tsp of coconut oil and curry leaves at the end.Peera made in 'Man chatti' /Earthen pot taste more good than normal kadai's.If u don't like coconut oil,use any Vegetable oil.

Kerala Porota and Chicken Roast


The Spice Garden of India,Kerala got its name from the word "Kera" means coconut.A land full of coconut trees,an imp ingredient in the cuisine.The preferred medium of cooking is coconut oil.In cooking,kerala is a paradise of seafood ,with lots of spices,condiments,rich in colorand texture ,flavour and aroma .Cooking a meal is known as 'pachakam' in malayalam.Kochulli(shallots),kodumpuli(cocum),coconut,cardamom and other spices makes the cuisine spicy,tangy and lip smacking.'Karimeen' or 'Pearl spotted fish 'delicious and expensive fish in kerala.Rice,coconut and curry leaves includes the vital part in cooking.Kerala Porota is one of the popular dish in "Thattukadas"(Open resturants on road sides in kerala) which is the mallu version for 'Dhaba'.Porota is a (flaky pastry like ) multilayered flat bread , made with maida.Making them in thattukada style includes long labour and time consuming.Normally while making at home,its limited to strerching the maida balls into thin layer like chappati and rolling it into twisted circles as shown in the pic.I tried from Annita's My treasure My pleasure. ,it was very tasty n came out really well ,for my future reference,i have written the recipe here.Kerala PorotaIngredients for making Dough...Maida - 2 cupsLuke warm Water - as needed to prepare the doughVeg Oil/Dalda - 1 tbspSalt - to tasteMethod...Step 1.Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough together thoroughly just like you prepare chappathi/roti dough.Keep it for 1 hr..covered with a wet muslin cloth or keep it in an air tight container.Otherise the top of the dough may become dry.Step 2.Divide the dough into 10 equal portions of size a little less than tennis ball.Step 3.Take a portion and apply some oil on it.In a flat surface apply oil again and roll out the portion to the maximum .(Make it as thin as possible both length wise and width need to be worried about the shape..eventhough it breaks in between..its fine..Our objective is to make it as thin as possible..)You can use a rolling pin for this one also.We are doing this instead of the excessive beating required to prepare porotta.Apply a little more oil over the rolled dough.Using both hands make pleates on the rolled dough(just like saree pleates) starting from one end.Step 5.Then holding at one end of the pleated dough ,rotate it just like a spiral.Keep aside.See the picture below.Step 6.Repeat the above procedure for each portions and keep it aside.(Its not as difficult as you read the recipe)Again use wet muslin cloth to cover it or keep it in an air tight container. Step 7.Heat a sauce pan until medium hot.Roll out each portion just like roti,but not soo thin.Porotta should be a medium thick.Remember do not apply any flour on it.You can apply some oil/ghee if you like.Cook each roti with a little butter/ghee for 1 or 2 minutes,turning frequently ,until speckled brown and firm.Keep the cooked porotta in an aluminium foil or in air tight container.Step 8.When 3 or 4 porottas are done,place them in a flat surface and holding them between hands ,beat the hands together.(Just like clapping,but 3-4 porottas are between).do not beat them soo hard such as you break the porottas..:)We are doing this,just to seperate the different layers.Though a time consuming process,its very easy to prepare.For side dish, i made Mishmash's Chicken RoastThe actual recipe asks for shallots and freshly grounded pepper..Here i made slight variations like 2lbs of chicken, Red onions and Store brought pepper powder...Even then the chicken roast tasted awesome.....This is my entry to Jyothsna's RCI: Kerala.[...]

French Style Orange -Yogurt Cake


Hi friends,Wishing u all a Happy n prosperous New year!!!! Hope all had wonderful New year celebrations.A bit late to wish coz we were on a long vacation.Had a real blast at Christmas and New year at San Francisco,Los Angeles and Las Vegas.A memorable and jolly trip with friends,ofcourse food was the main enjoyment,Got a chance to try different types of cuisines.Now after coming back,i put weight and feeling lazy to cook oops!!! back to routine....I was planning to make Kerala christmas cake . Due to lack of time,i couldt do it.I made a simple cake not to dissapoint 'S'.This is an old classic French Style grandmother's cake.Firstly its simple and healthy cake coz no butter is used only canola oil or veg oil can be used.Cake was sooo moist,tender and very flavourful coz of syrup added for glaze.This cake platter and spoon is a new year gift from my friend in SFO.

Ingredients for the cake

All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Plain yogurt - 1/2cup
Large eggs - 3
Granulated sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder 2tsp
Orange zest - 2tsp
Canola oil 1/2cup
For Glaze

Freshly squeezed orange juice 1/4cup
Powdered sugar 1/2cup

Preheat the Oven for 350F.In a bowl mix sugar,yogurt and eggs,stir still well blended or mix with hand beater for 2 min.In another bowl,combine the flour ,orange zestand baking powder.Now add flour to the wat ingredients in two portions,mix to just combine.Add oil and mix for 2 mins.Firstly it looks mess,keep mixing till it comes to a smooth batter.Pour the batter into a buttered round shape or square shape pan.Bake for 25- 30 mins or until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.Allow it to cool on the rack for 15 mins.Gently remove cake from the pan and set on a rack to cool completely.Now combine the orange juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake.The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.

Many variation can be made in this cake.For lemon version,try lemon juice with poppy seeds .For almonds version,try 1/2cup flour and 1/2 cup powdered almonds.

Kanava Thoran/Kerala Squid Chilly Fry


Kanava thoran is one of the popular seafood dish in the coastal areas of kerala.Squid is like cuttlefish, have eight arms and two tentacles arranged in pairs,they release ink into the water while in danger and it changes its skin color to suit its surroundings as a protective mechansm.Its known as 'Kanava' in Kerala ,'kanava/kadamba' in TN ,here its known in Italian name 'Calamari'.In USA,Deep Fried calamari is very famous ,served in many Italian and other seafood restaurants as appetizers along with spicy or tangy dips like marinara sauce,olive oil,tomato ketchup with a lemon slice. Squids are not available as cleaned fishes like king fish,mackeral,salmon...I bought it as whole from a chinese grocery store.For cleaning tips,check here and here .In kerala ,my grandma makes 'Kanava thoran' often,this is her style...


Squid(Kanava) - 1 lb(cut into very small pieces)

Shallots/Red Onion - 1 no(sliced)

Green chillies - 2 nos(sliced)

Chilly powder - 1 tsp

Coriander powder - 1 tsp

Fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Red dried chillies - 2 nos

Mustard seeds - 1tsp

Curry leaves - 1/2 sprig

Grated coconut - 1 cup

Oil - 3 tbsp


Heat up a pan,add water, kanava, onion and green chillies. Add salt to taste and let it cook for 10 mins.In a blender,grind together coconut, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric and fenugreek powder and grind once.Do not make a paste of it.Add this mixture to the cooked kanava.Heat oil in another pan.Splutter mustard seeds followed by red dried chillies and curry leaves. Add cooked kanava mixture into it and saute it for few mins.Garnish with curry leaves.

Nankatai - Vanilla Butter cookies


Nankatai is a usual biscuit available in all bakeries in India,also known as Benne Biscuits in different places.These rich and cute shortbreads cookies are in two variations like sugar or savory ones with salt and cumin seeds,comes in different flavours like almonds,kesar,cardamom,vanilla and also spicy ones.After coming here in US,found many types of cookies like chocolate,ginger,intalian biscotti and more.But i love the simple n elegent tea cookies in India. Small crispy cookies dipped in tea taste awesome!!!isn't....I searched a lot in Indian stores,couldnt find.Finally made myself.This is the first cookie in tried,i gotta a problem whenever i try it,my cookies always burn at the bottom,while the top part remains uncooked and white.Adding butter is also important,My first set of cookies was a flop coz of more butter,while baking, the cookies started to spread and became flat.I made the second set of dough carefully with little butter,it was nice.They look so good,here goes the second set of cookies toSusan for the Eat Christmas Cookies event in Food Blogga.


Maida/All purpose flour - 1 cup
Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
Softened Butter - 5-6 tbsps (approx)
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence 1tsp
Almonds spitted (for garnishing)
1.Mix all purpose flour,baking powder,sugar and vanilla essence.
2. Add butter a little at a time and knead the dough into a nice soft ball.
3.Keepthe dough for a couple of hours.
4.Preheat the oven to 180 degree F
5. Divide the dough into small round balls and flatten them on the top with your fingers,place half splitted almonds on top of cookies.
6. Bake for 15 mins or until the bottom starts to turn slightly brownish.
7. Let cool and store in a air tight container.

Inji-Poondu Kulambu



Inji-poondu kulambu /Ginger garlic curry is a curry made with Inji[Ginger] , Poondu[Garlic] and other spices,an authentic tamilnadu kulambu which is perfect for winter.Ginger and garlic added to kulambu gives wonderful flavour and of course good for digestion.Tastes good next time like vatra kulambu,even it stays good for a week outside fridge.Its basically a chettinadu recipe.When i was doing masters,all my friends loved this curry ,they ask amma for recipe.She makes this often for them.Great combo with curd rice and potato poriyal.Here goes Chettinadu special...
Onion- 1
Tomato- 1
Tamarind- lemon size
Turmeric powder 1/4tsp
Oil 2tbsp
For seasoning..
Mustard seeds 1/2tsp
Urad dal 1/2tsp
Curry leaves
Garlic- 7-8 cloves
For grinding...
Ginger- a small piece,2 inch
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Dry chillies- 5
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 min,extract the pulp and keep aside.Chop onion into big chunks,pearl onions taste great.I used red onions here.Chop tomato finely and peel garlic.
  • Heat oil in a pan,now fry ginger,cumin,coriander,dry chillies,pepper,fenugreek one by one carefully without burning it.Once its cool down,make a fine paste .
  • Heat oil in a kadai,add mustard seeds,urad dal,curry leaves,garlic,onions,fry till golden color,add tomatoes,salt and turmeric powder,fry till they are soft.
  • Now add ground paste,saute a while and add little water.Once the raw smell goes off,add tamarind pulp.cook on low flame for 10mins.when oil starts floating on top,switch off flame.Serve with rice,dosa/idli.

Sorakkai Paruppu Kootu



Sorakkai Paruppu Kootu/Bottlegourd Masala Dal is one of our fav dish ,healthy n easy to make.I was thinking about cooking something different for Linda's amazing event of JFI: Toor Dal,finally I'm rushing at the last minute with my entry.Toor dal has a mild, nutty flavor & cooked as a routine Indian dish which is rich in Vitamin B1,protein,dietary fiber and minerals.Bottle gourd is a common vegetable in India,an yellowish green vegetable, having the shape of a bottle. It has white pulp, with white seeds embedded in spongy flesh.Known as 'sorakkai' in Tamil,Chorakka in Malayalam,Sorakkaya in telugu and lauki in Hindi.I dont know how 's known in kannada.Bottle gourd is eaten as cooked ,it gives a feeling of relaxation after eating it.Its rich in essential minerals, iron, protein ,trace elements and fibre.Its a nice sidedish for rice and roti.Yesterday i had it along with Rice ,Inji- poondu Kulambu ,Vazakkai poriyal and carrot Kosumbari. I'll post the other recipes later.

Sorakkai Paruppu Kootu


Sorakkai/Bottlegourd 1/2cup

Toor dal 1cup

Tomato 1

Onion 1

Green chilli 2

Cumin powder 1tsp

Coriender powder 2tsp

Red chilli powder 2tsp

turmeric powder 1/4tsp

Cliantro 1/3cup

Ginger a slice

Garlic 2 cloves

Oil 1tsp



Boil the toor dal in the pressure cooker for 2-3whistles with salt and turmeric powder.Mash it into smooth paste.In the blender, grind together1/2 onions chopped, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, tomatoes, cumin seeds, coriander powder and the red chili powder. Slice the other onion finely and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and fry the sliced onion. When the onions are turning a little brown, add the ground masala and fry around 15-20 minutes. All the water should have evaporated and the paste should be dry. Now add the boiled dal to it and add a little water if u need gravy. Add salt to taste. Boil for a while till you get the required consistency.Plz note fry the masala well.

Dates Apple Smoothie



"Smoothie" means something smooth.Smoothies were invented in the 1960’s as a healthy alternative to milkshakes,made from all natural fruits, making them of course naturally healthy.A blended and chilled beverage made from fresh fruit and nuts. It is sometimes blended with crushed ice, frozen fruit, frozen yogurt or fat free milk.I was scratching my brain these days thinking about what to send to Chandrika's event in this nov AFAM Dates ,finally ended up in these delicious healthy smoothie.Calorie content in 1cup of smoothie is 1 Fruit Smoothie contains 125 cal,1 Fruit Smoothie (wid.fat-free milk) contains 205 cal,1 Fruit Smoothie (wid.fat-free yogurt) contains 220 cal.Of course u all know about these cute and wrinkly yumm dates are high in iron, potassium, fiber and a bunch o’ vitamins, no fat or cholesterol.I love the combo of dates with almonds, crunchy nuts with milk ,apple n dates...
Low fat milk 4cups
Apple 1big
Dates 10 deseeded
Vanilla extract 1/2tsp
Ice cubes(optional)
Sugar 2tsp(optional)
  • Soak deseeded dates in 1cup of warm water for half an hour.
  • Peel the apple skin ,finely chop into small pieces.
  • Blend dates,apple,milk and vanilla extract till u get a smooth n frothy drink.Freeze your fruit beforehand, smoothie will stay colder and be thicker . U can add ice cubes ,if u need chilled one.Instead of milk,vanilla ice creams or fat free yogurt can be used .Add sugar ,if u need more sweet.i didt add,as dates and apple makes enough sweet.
  • Garnish with chopped almonds.

Baigan Ka BHURR-taah


Although from south,i prefer having northindian dishes in restaurants mostly panner or chole dishes .Frankly speaking ,haven't heard about this bringal dish till my marriage.This is the second dish i got from my 's' cooking class,first one was palak dal.He used to cook all these while he was a interested in criticising my cooking...Now coming Baigan Ka Bharta...or BHURR-taah (pronounced like) ingredients are roughly mashed while doing dish, roasted bringal with smokey spicy flavour,basically a Bhihari dish.Even bringal haters like me would like this.First time after making this,i couldn't identify whether it has bringal in it...I actually made this for sending to Rci bihar event,i couldn't make it within time.Now this is my entry to Suganya of Tasty Palettes for her wonderful Vegan Ventures this month.


Bringal/Egg plant 1 big
Onion 1 finely chopped
Cooked Green peas 1/3cup
Green chilli 2 slit
Garlic 2 clove chopped
Ginger 1 inch size minced
Tomato 1 finely chopped
Garam masala powder 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2tsp
Red chilli powder 1tsp
Cumin powder 1/2tsp
Coriender powder 1/2tsp
Lemon juice 1/2tsp
Oil 2tsp

  • Firstly prick the egg plant nicely with fork all over.Roast it in open flame ,its gives the nice smokey flavour or broil/bake it in bake oven for about 20 mins,till the skin starts charring.Turn it to another side after 10 mins so that its evenly cooked.i usually bake coz roasting in direct flame is bit complicated.Once its roasted,let it cool down for a while.Peel off the skin and mashed it roughly with fork.If u need a nice paste,blend it.
  • Heat up oil ,add chopped ginger-garlic ,saute for a min.Throw down chopped onions and green chillies,fry for another few more mins till they are golden brown.
  • Add red chili powder,cumin powder,coriander powder,masala powder,turmeric powder saute for a min.Add chopped tomatoes,cook it they are soft.
  • Now add mashed egg plants and cooked green peas with 2 tbsp water ,cook in low flame for about 10 mins covered,so that all blend together.

  • Stir occasionally.Remove from flame ,add lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.Goes well with chappati or naan.

Inji curry-A sweet n sour ginger chutney



All keralties are very fond of this,a must dish in onam sadya . Known in different names such as Pulinji,Inji curry.what ever be the name ,its bascially a Sweet n sour ginger sauce.Main ingredients are Tamarind{puli} and Ginger {inji},hence the name.Ginger has a vital part in Indian cooking,aromatic, pungent and spicy, adds a special flavor and zest to stir fries and many fruit and vegetable dishes.Its a dietary supplement, shown to clean and thin the blood thus positively affecting the heart and almost every other organ in the body.Try to add grated ginger than paste in cooking coz grated gives much more flavour and maximum benefits.Now coming back to dish,Inji curry can be served as a side dish for meal.Goes well with rice and any curries,also with dosa /idli.Even though its a kerala dish,every malayalee has a unique style in preparing this,which varies from places within kerala.In northern kerala,coconut and coriender powder is added.Here goes my amma's style...

Inji curry

Fresh ginger minced 1 cup
( plz note ,not ginger paste,crushed ones)
Green chilles finely chopped 15
Tamarind 3-4 inch piece of ginger(size of small lemon)
Red chilli powder 3/4tsp
Mustard seeds 1tsp
Curry leaves a few
Fenugreek seeds 1tsp
Jaggery 2tsp
Gingely oil 2tsp
(use any refined oil )

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for about 15 mins and extract the thick juice and keep aside.Dry roast fenugreek seeds,powder it and keep aside.Heat oil in thick bottomed pan,add mustard seeds,then curry leaves.Now add crushed ginger and finely chopped green chillies and fry till golden brown.Add tamarind paste,chilli powder,salt .Bring it to boil,keep the flame on medium.It will around 10 to 15 min to get rid of the raw smell of tamarind and to get a thick sauce.Now add jaggery,allow it to boil.Add according to ur need of sweetness in Injicurry.Once its reaches a thick consistency and oil starts floating on the surface,remove from heat.Inji curry gets thicker once its cool down.Store in glass or ceramic containers for long life,keep in fridge.This same can be used to make Instant Puliyogare .This is my entry toThink Spice..Think Ginger Event hosted by Sunita .

Diwali Special !!!


A VERY HAPPY DIWALI TO U ALL!!!Hope u guys had a wonderful and colorful diwali filled with happiness this year..."Diwali", “row of lights” for which the festival is named , to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Light signifies goodness. So, during the Festival of Lights, 'deeps', or oil lamps, are burned throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil .It is a time to lit up 'diyas' in and around the house, and kindle the dark, amavasi night with dazzling display of fireworks. It is a time for rejoice , a time to put on new things, time for exchanging gifts and greetings and wishing each other.The preparations begin the day before Diwali,the house is washed and decorated with kolam (rangoli) . In the pooja room, betel leaves, betel nuts, plaintain fruits, flowers, sandal paste, kumkum, gingelly oil, turmeric powder are kept. Crackers and new dresses are placed in a plate after smearing a little kumkum or sandal paste. Diwali celebrations begins early in the morning. Family members applies sesame oil on their heads and take bath.They were new clothes,goes to temple and burst crackers.This year i missed all these things,this was our first diwali( thalai diwali).I made some traditional snacks,as i'm a beginner in cooking,tried with some simple Paruppu Vada,ulundu Vada,Paasi paruppu (moong dal) Vada and Suzhiyan.I tried suzhiyan from RAK's Kitchen,it was very tasty.Ulundu Vadai (Urad dal vada)IngredientsUrad dal 1cupFenugreek seeds 1/2tspGreen chillies 3 nosGinger 1tspOnions 1/3cupCarrot 1/3cup (optional)Rice flour 2tsp (to make vadas crisp)SaltOil for deep fryingMethod Soak urad dal nad fenugreek seeds for an hour,grind both dals in ablender to athick batter without adding water.Add very little if needed to grind.If batter is bit watery ,add rice flour .so that batter will be thick,u get crispy vadas.Mix salt,ginger,onions,carrot into the batter.In a heavy bottomed pan,heat oil for deep frying.Wet our hands or apply little oil ,so that batter doesnot syick to the hands.Make vadas and deep fry it.Making holes in vadas are not that easy for beginners like me,my vada are not in very good shape.Moong dal Vada(Paasi paruppu vada)IngredientsMoong dal 1cupGinger 1tspGreen chilli 3SaltOil for deep fryingMethod Soak dal for an hour,grind smoothly without adding water.Mix ginger,green chilli,salt to it.Heat oil ,pour batter into oil with a small spoon,u'll get different shapes of vada.Fry till golden brown.[...]

First Wedding Anniversary!!!


Our 1st wedding anniversarywas on Nov 5th,a slight difference from the normal days.After a long time,i wore saree and went to temple.I want to begin the day with some sweet,how about a Pineapple Upside down cake.I saw many of these in blogsphere,especially inspiried by Mansi's mini ones.I havent baked cake before,so beginned with this fruit cake in my own style.Pineapple Upside down CakeIngredients..1/3 cup butter2/3 cup brown sugar/granulated regular sugar1 can (8 ounces) pineapple round slices, drained, reserve juice1 quick cake mix ,i used Super moist Butter yellow mix3eggs1 1/3 cups water1/2 cup veg oilMethod..Melt 1/3 cup butter,sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter ,pour evenly into the cake pan. Arrange pineapple slices over sugar.u can place cherries or pecans to make the cake more decorative in the middle of pineapple slices.In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix,eggs,veg oil for low speed for 30 sec. Stir in 1/3 cup pineapple juice , water if needed slowly for 3 min. Mix well and pour into cake pan over pineapple slices. Bake in pre-heated 350° oven about 30-35 minutes.Allow it to rest in the pan,after cooling completely,invert it upside down to a serving plate.Paruppu Payasam (Moongdal Payasam) I also made pradhaman,without payasam what celebration....I remember ,grandma used to make this for every year on onam,coz grandpa like to have this payasam with banana along with kerala traditional sadya...i love the taste of dal and jaggery combo.Thought that this will be a flop,coz i'm not that good in making desserts with jaggery.In kerala ,we call this as 'Parippu Pradhaman'.Parippu Pradhamans are of two types, Pradhamans using only parippu(dal) or a combination of parippu and rice. Both Bengal gram dal and moong dal are used in preparing pradhaman.Here i tried only moong dal.This was my first attempt in making pradhaman,very happy that it came well,so simple and delicious dessert...Ingredients..Moong dal/Cheru payar parippu 1 cupJaggery 1 1/4 cup(more or less can be used depending on how much sweet u need)Thick milk 1 3/4 cup (coconut milk can be used )Grated coconut 1/4cup (chopped dry coconut /copra can be used)Cardamom pwd 1/2podCashewnuts 8Raisins 8Ghee 1 tbspWater to pressure cook dal 2 cupsWater to prepare jaggery syrup 1 1/2cupMethod..Heat ghee in a thick pan,roast cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown,keep aside.In the same pan,roast moong dal for 5 min or so,till a nice aroma comes.Moong dal has a nice flavour.Remove from the pan,cook dal in apressure cooker for 3 whistles,dal should be soft .Once cooked,mash the dal .Don't mash into fine paste.In the same pan,melt jaggery with water.Strain to remove impurities if any.Again boil jaggery syrup,add cooked dal.Boil till for few min.Now add grated coconut and milk to the above,go on stirring in low flame till its blended.Add cardamom powder,roasted cashew and raisins.Serve hot or chilled.[...]