Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ambalappuzha Paal Paayasam and Happy Vishu Wishes/അമ്പലപുഴ പാൽപായസവും വിഷു ആശംസയും


I agree, I had always been on and off throughout. But this phase of my life seemed the busiest ever. Family, Work and more work had kept me away from blogging for few months. I go through my fellow bloggers blog posts randomly but never get more than five minutes to sit infront of my laptop. I always feel guilty seeing my blog hybernating but did not have the time, energy and mindset to do blog post which needs a bit of compiling on write up and picture edits. I didn't want to do a random post which will not do justice to the recipe and myself.

Starting this year I have been actively involved in a Malayalee Association here in Washigton DC and is the Entertainment chair for Year 2014. We have a lot of events lined for year 2014 of which Vishu celebrtion was one of the most important one. NSGW celebrated Vishu 2014 on Saturday, April 12th for which we had in store a list of cultural programs. I had been co-ordianting for all the programs, finalizing the program chart, co-ordinating with choreographers, staging the kids group, conference calls on delegating tasks etc etc whick took most of my evenings and weekends. And at the proffessional end it is crazy  busy with Release deadline coming up by end Of this month.

Even though the past 3 months had been hectic, the end result was really sweet and memorable one which I will cherish in my entire lifetime. The Whole Vishu celebration was purely Vishu theme based.  We didnt have any cinematic dance kind of programs, instead we had a pure cultural event where the kids and adults performed on Vishu related themes/skits and songs. At the end of cultural programs we had a proffessional Drama 'Viradam' based on M.T Vasudevan Nair's Novel 'Randamoozham' performed by a 'Akkarakazhchakal' serial fame Haridev and Sanjeev's proffessional drama team from NJ. We were all excited meeting the team and working with the group, I also participated in a folk dance as part of the drama and also our ladies dance team including me from Maryland, USA performed a semi-classical dance.

Okk, I think thats enough about the stories, now let me share with you the recipe of this Ambalapuzha paalpayasam which is very apt for making on Vishu day to be served to Lord Sree Krishna. Ambalapuzha Palpaayam is considered as the most favorite payasam of Sree Krishna in Ambalapuzha temple, Alapuzha. There is a very beautiful story tale behind the evolution of this very famous and delicious payasam. You can refer to this link to read more.

Ambalapuzha paal paayasam Recipe as follows
  1. Unakkalari/Broken Matta Rice - ¼ Cup(If they are not available you can use Basmathi Rice)
  2. Milk - 1 ½ Litre
  3. Sugar - ½ Cup
  4. Raisins few
  5. Cashews few
  6. Ghee - 1 tsp
  7. Cardamom pods -6
  8. Sugar - ½tsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Pour milk into a pressure cooker, add sugar and stir well. Bring the milk to boiling point.
  • Rinse the rice one or two times and add to the milk. Stir well again till the bottom making sure rice is not sticking to the bottom.
  • Cover with the lid, put on the whistle. Reduce the heat to the lowest and let it cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • Put off the flame. Let it cool down completely to open the lid.
  • Heat up a small Wok/pan, add ghee, saute cashews and saute till golden brown. Remove and add to the payasam. Add raisins to the same ghee and saute till it pop. Add tot he payasam.
  • Crush/grind the cardamom with ½ tsp of sugar and add to the payasam. Stir well and serve warm. Enjoy!!
Note: The smallest jar of the Indian Mixer is very handy to grind the cardamom pods and sugar to get the cardamom powdery, it smells awesome and blend well with the payasam without any tiny lumps.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Kerala Fish Molee / Kerala Meen Molee (Meen Moilee)

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Fish - 1lbs(I used Tilapia Fillet)
  2. Salt - 1 tsp + 1 tsp + more as required
  3. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
  4. Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  5. Onion - 3 Med size very thinly sliced
  6. Tomatoes - 3 thinly sliced in round shapes
  7. Green Chilly - 8 to 10 count slit into halves
  8. Finely chopped fresh Ginger - 2 tbsp
  9. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
  10. Coconut Oil/Oil - 2 tbsp
  11. Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
  12. Thin Coconut milk - 2 Cup
  13. Medium thick Coconut Milk - 1 Cup
  14. Thick Coconut Milk - 1 Cup

Preparation Method:-
  • Cut the fish into medium bite size pieces. Wash them clean and pat dry.
  • Marinate the fish with salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder for at-least 30 minutes
  • Heat up an earthen ware/Clay pot/Manchatti and add coconut oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add few curry leaves, chopped ginger, onion and saute well till translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder and a tsp of salt, stir well to mix. Add the thin coconut extract(moonnam paal) and let it boil.
  • Add the marinated fish pieces and stir gently with a spatula. Keep in medium heat and bring to boiling point. 
  • Add the Medium thick coconut milk and give a quick and gentle stir. Top the gravy with tomato rings and green chilies.

  • Cover with a lid and let it cook. Let the gravy boil for three-five mins till the tomatoes become soft
  • Now pour the thick milk and stir gently so that gravy mix up evenly. 
  • When the curry starts to boil from the edges of the pan, put off the stove. Add more curry leaves and keep it covered until ready to Serve.
  • Serve with boiled rice/Appam/Dosa/Fried Rice or anything of your choice

Cooks Note:-
  1. This Curry tastes better kept for couple of hours before serving.
  2. You can shallow fry the fish pieces in coconut oil before adding to the curry which will not let the fish to break. This will add more taste as well.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

Dear All,
Wishing my friends, family and all the wonderful blog readers A Very Happy New Year 2014 !!
May this Year bring peace and joy in your life and take you towards Excellence J

Kind Regards
Cook-Ezee Team

Monday, November 25, 2013

Peechinga Chemmeen Curry/ Ridge Gourd Shrimp Curry

I make various combination of Peechinga or Ridge Gourd either Vegan and Non-Veg. Shrimp-Ridge Gourd curry is one of our most favorite combination with this Veggie. If you get to buy some tender ridge gourd try making it with Shrimp, I bet it is a wonderful combo. I make the dry version of this combo as well, but curried shrimp and ridge gourd tastes equally great!! So here you go for the Recipe 

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Peechinga/Ridge Gourd - 2 Medium(Tender one's)
  2. Shrimp - 1lb
  3. Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
  4. Chilly Powder - 1 tbsp
  5. Salt - 1 tsp(add more if required)
  6. Slit Green Chilies - 5
  7. Ginger chopped fine - 1 tbsp
  8. Curry Leaves a sprig
  9. Water - ½ Cup
To Grind:-
  1. Grated Coconut - ½ Cup
  2. Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp
  3. Dry Red chilies - 2
  4. Turmeric Powder - ½ tsp
To Season/For Tempering:-
  1. Coconut Oil/Oil - 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  3. Curry leaves a sprig
  4. Shallots chopped fine - 2(or ½ onion chopped fine)  
  5. Dry Red Chilies - 3

How I made It:-
  • Peel off the hard edges of the Ridge gourd with a peeler. Cut it into half and scrape off the inner seed section(If the veggie is very tender there will not be hard seeds, you do not need to remove the middle part in that case) 
  • Cut it into small pieces and set aside.
  • Peel and deveine the shrimp, wash and clean twice. Marinate with turmeric powder, Chilly powder and Salt and keep aside for 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile grind together 'To Grind' ingredients and reserve.
  • In an earthen ware/manchatty, add the marinated shrimp, chopped ridge gourd, green chilies, ginger and water. Cover and cook for ten minutes or till the ridge gourd and shrimp is cooked and soft.
  • Add the ground coconut paste and add it to the cooked shrimp and veggie and bring to boil.
  • Simmer the heat to medium and let it boil for another three-five minutes. Take off the stove and add few curry leaves.
  • Heat up a small pan, add coconut oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add dry red chilies, curry leaves, chopped shallots/onion. Saute till shallots/onion turn light brown.
  • Pour over the curry and keep it covered till ready to serve.

  • Curry tastes better after couple of hours of making. Serve it with boiled Rice/Roti.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carrot Beetroot Mezhukkupuratti - Carrot Beetroot Stir Fry

Carrot Beetroot Stir Fry(Mezhukkupuratti) is one of my favorite stir fry from school days. I could finish off a bowl of rice just like that with this stir fry and some curd/yogurt. I love the color of carrot beetroot stir fry when combines with yogurt, transformation from deep red to pretty pink and they taste marvelous!!!! I would always suggest to use fresh beetroots as they are soft and tender. They are very easy to slice and dice and cooks up quick unlike aged ones which are hard to cut, takes longer to cook. So make this easy breezy stir fry for your lunch/dinner to serve with Rice/Roti!!!!

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Beetroot - 3 (~ 2 Cups When chopped into strips)
  2. Carrot  - 2(~1½ Cups when chopped into strips)
  3. Onion finely sliced - 1
  4. Green Chilies - 4 slit into halves
  5. Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
  6. Salt - ½ tsp
  7. Curry Leaves few
  8. Coconut Oil/Oil - 1 tbsp + ½tsp
How I Made It:-
  • Heat a Kadai, pour coconut Oil/Coconut Oil. Add onions and green chilies and saute till onion turns translucent.
  • Add few curry leaves and saute for few seconds. Add salt, turmeric powder and stir to mix and combine.
  • Add the chopped carrot and beetroot and stir well to combine. Cover with the lid and let it cook in low-medium flame for five-seven minutes stirring one or two times in between.
  • Open the lid and check if beetroot is cooked enough, if not cover and cook for another three-five minutes.
  • If there is more moisture set the heat on high and stir for a minute or two.
  • Turn off the heat and drizzle ½ tsp of coconut oil(only if using coocnut oil, dont add oil if you are using normal oil) and few curry leaves and keep it covered until ready to serve.
  • Give a gently stir before serving to blend in the flavor of coconut oil and curry leaves. Move to a serving dish and serve warm with Rice/Roti
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