Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kaalan/Katti Kaalan


  1. Plantain Banana/Pachakkai - 2
  2. Elephant Yam (Chena) - ½ cup
  3. Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
  4. Water ~ ½ cup +1 cup
  5. Green Chilly - 4
  6. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Curry leaves few
  9. Ghee - 1 tsp
  10. Sour Yogurt ~ 1 ½ Cups
To Grind:-
  1. Cumin/Jeera - 1tsp
  2. Grated coconut - 1 ½ cup
  3. Water ~ ½ cup (just to grind the Coconut
For Seasoning/Tempering
  1. Dry Red Chilly - 2
  2. Mustard seed - 1tsp
  3. Fenugreek Seeds/Uluva-1tsp
  4. Coconut Oil - 1½ tsp
Preparation Method: -

  1. Cut the banana lengthwise or cubes, chop the Yam/Chena into medium sized cubes. Soak them in water in two individual/separate bowls for few minutes. Rinse them and set aside.
  2. Pour  ½ cup water in a bowl, add pepper powder, stir with a spoon to mix and set aside for few minutes. 
  3. The pepper powder will settle down in the bottom, strain the water in to a cooking pan and discard or keep the pepper powder for later use(like for making rasam).
  4. Put the veggies to the pan, pour another cup of water, turmeric powder, green chilies, few curry leaves salt and cook till the veggies become tender and water is almost fully absorbed.
  5. Add a tsp of ghee and stir well to mix. 
  6. With a spoon gently beat the Yogurt/Curd just to remove the lumps if any and add it to the curry. Stir well to mix and simmer the heat and let it cook for a while.
  7. Mean while grind Cumin/Jeera and coconut to a smooth paste. Add this to the yogurt-Veggie mix and bring it boil in a medium flame. When the gravy thickens switch off the stove.
  8. For tempering heat up a pan, pour coconut oil, add the mustard seeds, when they start to crackle add fenugreek seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves, stir well and pour over the Cooked Kaalan;
  9. This curry thickens a bit when you leave it for a while. Serve warm with Rice. Enjoyyyy!!!!
Note:- Adding Roasted fenugreek powder adds more taste, I didn't have them so didn't add it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Delicious Chicken Biriyani

Here comes my favorite recipe for chicken biriyani. Yet again Malabar is very famous for different types of Biriyanis. In Kerala, Biriyani is made with a very nice aromatic small rice known as Jeera Rice(jeerakashala rice) also known as biriyani rice. I could not find it in any Indian store here in US, so I have been using Basmathi rice which also gives great aroma and taste. This recipe I am adding here was made for a friends get-together, so the quantity may be high. Please reduce the amount of ingredients according to your requirement.


Chicken – 2lbs
Basmati Rice – 4 cups (wash and soak rice for about 15 mins)
Onion thinly sliced- 4(fry few onions and set aside)
Tomato- 2
Green Chillies- 6 slit into halves
Ginger, Garlic crushed - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves few
Coriander leaves few(chopped)
Mint leaves-few(chopped)
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Chilly powder – 2tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Black Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 2 tsp
Yogurt- 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Water - 7 1/2 cup
Whole spices (Cinnamon sticks, Cardamom, cloves, Bay leaves, pepper corns)
Vegetable oil
Ghee -3tsp
Cashews and raisins(fry in some ghee and set aside).

Preparation Method:-

Cooking the Rice:
1) Heat up a vessel , add some ghee, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, pepper corns and fry for a minute.
2) Add water and salt to taste, when water comes to boil add rice, stir it with a spoon till the bottom of the vessel and close it with a tight lid.
3) Simmer the heat to med until rice is cooked(soft). Switch off the flame and let it stand for 30 mins(this will  help rice not to break when you try to take it out when it is very hot)
4) Spread the rice to two or three platters to cool down. Set aside.

Chicken Masala:-

  • Wash and clean the chicken and Marinate it with Turmeric powder, chilly powder, pepper powder and salt. Set this aside for at-least 30 mins.
  • Heat a wide frying pan or non-stick vessel, pour some oil, add sliced onion, green chilly, ginger-garlic, curry leaves, salt and fry until onions are light brown in color.
  • Add tomato and saute until soft. Add coriander leaves, mint leaves and stir till everything get mixed well.
  • Add coriander powder and garam masala powder and sauté well.
  • Add yogurt and stir until it mix well with masala. Add the chicken pieces and stir well so that chicken gets coated with all the masala. Close this with a lid and let it cook in medium heat for 15-20 mins.
  • Open and check for the thickness of the chicken masala, if you feel to lessen the gravy cook it lid open for some more time so that water is evaporated faster and the gravy thicken. 
  • Check for the taste and adjust the spices and salt as required. Add few more coriander leaves on top and remove from the flame.
Layering the biriyani:-

1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease a baking tray with butter/ghee and set aside.
2) Start layering the biriyani with rice and chicken, start with half the rice, followed by chicken masala, fried onions, cashews and raisins.
2) Repeat layering by the rest of the rice and chicken masala topped by rice again until done. 
3) Garnish on top by adding few fried onions, cashews, raisins and chopped coriander leaves.
4) Bake it covered for 20-30 mins. Delicious chicken biriyani is ready to be served with raita, papad and lemon or mango pickle…
Note:- you can use the stove top method instead of a baking to get the dum effect. Add some ghee in a thick bottom vessel and do the same process as mentioned in layering. Cover the vessel with a proper air tight lid and top a heavy vessel(filled with water or something). Keep the flame on low-med and dum it for 15 - 20 mins..
Hiii guyss,

Am back after a short vaccation trip to India and ready for new postssssss.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cabbage Thoran(Bhaaji/Sabzi)/Cabbage Stir Fry

Thoran means a vegetable side dish (veg bhaji/sabzi) served with rice. In Kerala we make thoran's with variety of vegetables and it is a mandatory dish served daily with rice or chappathi. Cabbage thoran is Keralites favorite and this dish is lucky enough to get a special place in even Kerala Sadya dishes. I have started using the Violet cabbage instead of white one after coming to US sinve it is rich in Iron and vitamins and also is easily available in market. Cooked violet cabbage looks awesome and tastes great :). So here comes the authentic Kerala recipe of cabbage thoran, you can use white or green cabbage which ever you have handy at home. Serve with rice and Moru/yogurt curry!!!

Ingredients: -

Cabbage chopped lengthwise - 1 small
Onion finely chopped-1 medium
Chopped Green chilly – 4
Grated coconut -3 tbsp
Turmeric pwdr- 1tsp
Curry leaves few
Salt to taste
Coconut oil -2 tsp
Mustard seed – 1 tsp
Urad daal – 1 tsp
Whole red chilly – 2

Preparation Method:-

1) Mix chopped cabbage with onion, green chilly, turmeric powder, salt, few curry leaves and grated coconut and set aside (mix these entire things well with hand).
2) Heat up a frying pan, pour coconut oil, add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add urad dhal, remaining curry leaves, red chilly and sauté for a minute.
3) Add the cabbage mix to this and stir well. Close the pan with the lid and let it cook for another 2-3 mins.
4) Open the lid, stir well and check for the taste. Switch off the flame if the cabbage is cooked enough. You really don’t have to cook this for long, the crispy cabbage tastes better.
5) Cabbage Thoran is ready to serve with Rice/Roti.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish Curry(Meen Mulakittathu-Malabar style)

I think fish is a kind of staple food for Keralites (I am not sure about all parts of Kerala, but Malabar is known for fish foodies). Back in my home town I remember women and men waiting for the guy who brings fish on his bicycle. Most of them are in a hurry to get the fish and comes in a hurry thinking they are late and the fisherman might have left. You can clearly make out these confusions from their face and the glowy smile comes up on their face when someone says the fisherman had not come yet and they are also waiting for the fish.

I believe my grandma makes the best fish curry ever and again this recipe of mine has evolved out of her cooking. There are lots of recipes for fish but this is a simple one, anyone can make this curry with the basic ingredients found in every kitchen.

Ingredients: -

King fish – 6 to 8 pieces
Shallots thinly sliced – 3 big or 6 small
Green chilly sliced - 4
Tomato chopped  – 1
Ginger finely chopped – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric pwdr – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 2tsp + 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Tamarind – a lemon size ball(can use 1 tbsp tamarind paste instead, depends on the sourness u need adjust the amount)
Curry leaves few
Coconut oil - 2 to 3 tsp
Water - 1 cup(to soak the tamarind)

Cooking Instructions: -
  1. Cut the fish into med size pieces if the fish pieces are big. In an earthen ware(man chatti) put the fish pieces, some salt(rock salt preferably) and 1 tsp lemon juice and mix with the fishes. Wash and clean the fish gently without breaking the fish and set aside.
  2. In a bowl add 2 tsp of lemon juice, 2 tsp chilly powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt and make a paste for marinade. Marinate the fish with this paste and keep for an hour(if possible)
  3. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the maximum tamarind paste out of it and set the tamarind water aside. Pour 1/2 cup water to the same tamarind and squeeze out the rest of the tamarind water from it and trash the tamarind. 
  4. Heat some oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds, add fenugreek seeds and saute for a minute. Add shallots, ginger, green chillies and some curry leaves and saute till light brown.
  5. Add the tomato and saute till it is soft.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt and saute until it mix well. Add the squeezed tamarind water and let it cook well for 5 mins till onion and tomatoes are slightly cooked.
  7. Add the fish pieces(u can lightly fry this fish with very little oil if desired, frying helps the fish not to break while you cook) and let it again cook for another 5 mins or till the fish is cooked properly.

    8. Remove from stove,add some more curry leaves and a tsp coconut oil on top and serve with Rice or Kappa(Cassava) or anything of your choice. 

Tip: - Fish curry tastes better after four to six hours of preparation or on the next day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prawn Masala


Prawns/Shrimp – 1 lb
Onion finely chopped – 2
Tomato chopped – 1
Green chilly – 3
Chilly powder – 1½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1tsp
Coriander powder – 1tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves -1 small bunch chopped
Salt to taste

Preparation Method:-

1) Clean the prawns and marinate with 1 tsp chilly pwdr, ½ tsp turmeric pwdr and 1 tsp salt for about 30 mins.
2) Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion, salt few curry leaves and sauté for a while. When onion turns translucent, add green chilies and ginger-garlic paste and sauté well until the raw smell leaves. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté well until tomatoes are mashed up.
3) Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and saute for a minute till everything gets mixed well. Add the marinated shrimp and sauté for another two-three minutes. Add coriander powder and pepper powder and sauté well. Now add the garam masala pwdr and mix well and sauté for a while and simmer the flame to low-med.
4) Close the pan and let it cook for about 7-9 mins in low flame. Open the pan, prawns will be cooked well with nice aroma, red and juicy. If you want to reduce the gravy, cook it lid open on medium flame again for about 3-5 min and keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick on to the bottom of the pan.
5) Now add some chopped coriander leaves and stir well and keep some for garnishing.
6) Remove from flame and move into a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and is ready to serve with rice, roti or naan.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kappa (Cassava or Yuca) Puzhukku

Here again one of my grandma’s recipe. Tapioca (yuca) which is known as Kappa(Kizhanghu) in Kerala is served as an evening snack with Fish curry or Mutton Curry and tea. Wow what an awesome combination. I remember my grandma serving this dish in a banana leaf along with ‘chai’ when we come back from school. Those days can never be back where we don’t have to think anything other than playing, eating and studying; with loads of love and affection of elderly people especially the grand parents. So guys, enjoy this lip smaking delight with Fish Curry and a cup of tea. Enjoy!!!!


Tapioca (Yuca) peeled and diced – 2 lbs
Turmeric pwdr – 1 tsp
Shallots chopped – 4 small or 2 big
Green chilly – 4
Curry leaves – few
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad daal(uzhunnu parippu) – 1 tsp
Dry red chilly – 3
Salt to taste

Preparation Method:-
  1. Cut the yuca roughly, peel off the skin and wash it thoroughly in running water.
  2. Pressure cook it by adding enough water(Yuca should be fully immersed in water), salt and turmeric powder for 2 whistles.
  3. When the pressure is off, open the cooker and strain the water in a colander. Set aside.
  4. Heat up a frying pan, pour some oil, crackle the mustard seed, add dry red chillies and urad dal and stir
  5. Add chopped shallots, curry leaves, green chillies and a tsp of salt. Saute for a while till shallots are golden brown.
  6. Add the grated coconut and sauté for a while(say 2-3 mins).
  7. Add the yuca and stir well to mix everything.
  8. Sprinkle few more curry leaves on top and serve hot with fish or lamb curry.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Apple Cinnamon cake with Nuts

I still remember my mom making cake on weekends when we were kids. She being a working mom was not much passionate about cooking. I really understand with three school going kids it is tough for her to manage everything. But still she wants to make something different for us and dad on weekends. So she makes our favorite simple egg cake for us because she knows that is our favorite of all the sweets. I have edited her recipe with Apple and nuts and every time I make any kind of cake it reminds me of my childhood with my brother and sister waiting for that mom’s cake to be ready to eat.

Apple – 3 (cut into small pieces)
All purpose flour - 3cup
Sugar – 1 1/4 cup (you can add more accoding to your taste)
Oil – 1 ½ cup
Egg - 3
Chopped cashews,almonds(I added dates as well) – 1 cup
Cinnamon powder – 2 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp

Cooking Instructions: -

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a baking pan, set aside.
2) Take a bowl and sift together flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, salt and set aside.
3) In a mixing bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, sugar, and eggs, mix on speed until lemon yellow.
4) Gradually add in the flour mix and mix until just incorporated.
5) Add apples, mixed nuts to the batter, mix to combine.
6) Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake until a tooth pick or a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean (40-50 mins)
7) Remove from oven, and let it cool. Move it to a serving dish, slice it.
8) Apple cake is ready to serve.

Optional:- You can serve it with a dollop of whip cream just before you are ready to eat if desired

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thenga Varutharacha Mutton Curry - Goat Curry with roasted coconut gravy

Again one of my Grandma’s recipe with a bit changes here and there. I always feel my grandma is a person with Magical fingers, even the simplest dishes she make used to be so awesome!!! Being far from her I really miss my favorite ethnic dishes that she cooks and Dear Grandma thanks for all those wonderful recipes.


To Marinate:-

  1. Tender Mutton/Goat cut into medium size pieces - 2lbs(~1kg)
  2. Turmeric Powder - ¾ tsp
  3. Chilly powder – 1 tsp 
  4. Salt to taste(¾ tsp)
  5. Garam Masala - 1 tsp
To Roast and Grind:-
  1. Grated coconut – 2 cup(to make coconut paste)
  2. Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  3. Dry red chilies - 3
  4. Curry leaves a sprig
  5. Shallots roughly chopped - 3(or a small piece of onion)
For Mutton Gravy:- 
  1. Onion sliced – 3 Medium(~ 2 cups)
  2. Tomato chopped – 2(~ 1½ cup)
  3. Potato cut into medium cubes – 2 small(~ 1cup) 
  4. Chopped Green chilly - 5
  5. Ginger thinly sliced – a small piece(~ 1tsp)
  6. Water ~ 3cups
  7. Curry leaves
For Seasoning/Tadka:-
  1. Coconut oil - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1tsp
  3. Onion chopped - 2tbsp(or shallots chopped)
  4. Dry Red Chilies – 2
  5. Curry leaves few 

Cooking Instructions:-
  • Wash mutton two-three times well and pat dry. Marinate with the 'To Marinate' ingredients and set aside for 1 hour. 
  • Put the marinated mutton and 'For gravy' ingredients together in the pressure cooker and pressure cook for two-three whistles.Take off the stove and set aside till the pressure goes off fully.
  • Meanwhile take a frying pan/kadai, add the grated coconut, curry leaves, dry red chilies, onions and saute in medium flame till coconut turns golden color and start giving nice aroma.
  • Add the coriander powder and saute till the color turns brown(not deep dark brown) but make sure not to burn the coconut mixture.
  • Remove and set aside, let it cool down completely. Grind this mixture into a very fine paste.
  • Open the pressure cooker and add the ground coconut paste to the cooked mutton, add water if needed according to the gravy you require. 
  • Switch on the stove in between medium-high heat and cook the mutton again. When the gravy start to boil simmer and let it cook for another seven-ten mins. Remove from flame.
  • Heat up another small pan, pour oil, add mustard seeds, when they start to sizzle, add chopped onion,  curry leaves and red chilly, saute for while till onion turns golden brown. 
  • Pour over the mutton curry and serve warm preferably with Ghee Rice or Naan/Roti.
  • It taste great with Pttu/Appams/Dosas/Idly as well. Enjoy!!!

Note:-  Add/reduce water according to the gravy requirement.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Vegetable Biriyani

Normally I cook chicken or lamp biriyani at home and parties since my husband and many of our friends are non-veg lovers. We got a friend recently who is a veggie and we were invited to their home for their daughter’s 1st birthday party. Since she being a mom of two kids is tough to cook all the dishes alone we planned for potluck . I was told to make any kind of rice and she told me it is fine even I get some normal Basmati rice cooked. First I thought of making pulav, but then I decided to make veg biriyani. I was trying this recipe for first time and you guys might not believe me if I tell this recipe came out soooo good. All our friends in party were telling me that biriyani is veryyyyy yummy. My husband was like ‘ohhhh I never knew that veg biriyani can be this tasty’. Then I realized this an easy recipe and I can prepare it for my baby who just turned one yr old and it is really not much spicy for him too…


Basmati Rice – 2 cups(u can wash and soak rice for about 15 mins)
Mixed Vegetable (cauliflower, potato, carrot, beans) - 3 cupsGreen Peas- 100gms
Onion thinly sliced- 4
Onion Finely Chopped- 2
Tomato- 3Green Chillies- 6
Ginger, Garlic crushed- as required
Coriander leaves-1 bunch
Mint leaves-few
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Black Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 2 tsp
Yogurt- 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water- 3-3/4 cup
Whole spices as required (Cinnamon stick-3, Cardamom-4, cloves- 4, Bay leaves-4)
Vegetable Oil for deep frying veggies (you can shallow fry it also if u r health conscious)
Cashews and raisins as required.

Preparation Method:-

1) To cook rice heat oil in a pan in medium flame, add whole spices and fry for 1-2 mins. Add water
and salt to taste. Add soaked rice when water comes to boil, stir it with a spoon till bottom and close the pan with a lid, simmer until rice is soft and tender. Turn the rice out 2 or 3 platters to cool down, cover it and set aside.
2) Fried Veggies: - Peel one large potato, and cut into small cubes. Heat some oil in a non-stick skillet, deep fry the potatoes until golden, drain and set aside and fry sliced onions until golden-brown. Also fry cauliflower florets, peas, diced carrots and beans. Fry some cashews and raisins as well.

3) Heat a frying pan to make masala. Add chopped onion, green chilly, ginger-garlic and fry until golden brown in color. Add tomato and sauté until soft. Add coriander leaves, mint leaves and stir. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and aromatic garam masala powder and sauté well. Now add yogurt and stir in until it mix well with masala.

4) Now start layering the biriyani and the best part. Take a baking tray and grease it with some butter. Start with half the rice, followed by some fried veggies and onions, nuts, raisins and the masala followed by the rest of the rice. Repeat the layering till finished.  Decorate on top by adding few fried onions, nuts, raisins and chopped coriander leaves. Bake it covered by a silver foil for 30 mins at 350 degree Fahrenheit

6) You can serve it as it is or with raita and achar/pickle 
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