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

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pazham Pori/Ethakka Appam/Ripe Plantain Fritters ~ Keralite's Favorite's Teatime Snack

Pazham Pori is one of the most popular teatime snack among Keralites. You can find this snack in any paart of Kerala, every roadside restaurants, dabas, college canteens, railway stations have them. I doubt there will be any Malayali who do not like this delicious and crispy snack and so do our family. Ripe Plantains/Nethra Pazham/Ethakka is used for making this awesome snack. It is quite ezee to make Pazham Pori if you have some all purpose flour and ripe plantains in your pantry. Since my in-laws are home I mostly have these bananas at home.

Last time when I got this banana home, my son started telling my MIL 'Amma used to make snack with these bananas with sweet filling at our old home'. My MIL didn't have any clue as to what he is talking about since he said it was not Pazham Pori. When I came back from work she told me about him bugging for some 'unknown' snack with plantains. I immediately knew he was talking about 'Unnakkaya' - another famous snack from Kerala/Malabar which I always used to make before moving to our new home.  He wanted me to make it again and I absolutely didn't have the energy and patience to go through all the elaborate process of steaming  the plantain, making the filling, rolling them with utmost patience and then deep fry them. So I thought of making this Pazham Pori which is really Ezee to make and equally enjoyable by kids and everyone in the family. Make them for the evening snack and enjoy with your loved ones!!!!

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Ripe Plaintains/Nenthrakkaya/Kerala Banana - 3
  2. Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1Cup
  3. Rice Flour - 2 tbsp
  4. Baking Powder - ¼tsp
  5. Salt a pinch
  6. Sugar - 2 tbsp
  7. Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
  8. Water - ½ Cup(use as needed)
  9. Oil for deep frying

Preparation Method:-
  • Cut the banana into half from the centre. Peel of the skin of both halves. Run the knife between each half to thinly slice them into at least 6 slice. Repeat for the bananas and set aside to make the batter
  • Add all purpose flour, Rice flour, baking powder,salt, sugar and turmeric powder into a bowl. Add water little by little till you get a lump less, thick batter. Batter should not be too runny, kind of cake batter consistency.
  • Heat up a kadai and pour oi to deep fry, keep in medium-high heat.
  • Dip banana slices one by one in the batter and drop into the oil. You can add up to five-six slices at a time according to the size of the pan used for frying
  • Turn the banana slice to cook on both sides. Make sure not to burn but fry till the covering get a golden brown color.
  • Drain off to the paper towels to remove any excess oil
  • Repeat the process with rest of the banana slices. Enjoy with hot steaming Chai/Tea !!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese topped with scrambled egg ~ Kids lunch box Ideas

I hear moms whining about kids lunch box. I totally agree with them, it is not easy to please the kids especially when it comes to lunchbox. They bring it back or dump them saying it was not good. My simple and short answer for Mommy's are to make the lunchbox look more appealing. Don't give them the same kind off stuff everyday, cook something simple but different, tasty and healthy as well. I bought a pair of partitioned lunchbox for my kids so that I can send them some fruits/veggie and a small dessert along with a main meal. So instead of stuffing a big main meal, I always include my kids favorite fruits or crunchy veggies and a small dessert. Don't you think its a good idea to sent them a combo, instead of a fully loaded lunch??

How difficult is to make Macaroni and Cheese??? Especially when you know your teddy is so very fond of Mac n Cheese. Make them healthy by buying Whole Wheat or Whole Grain pasta shells. Would love to make it a full meal? Top them with scarambled eggs, includ some juicy strawberries and a petite Madeleine Cake. I bet kids will never say 'no' to this delicious yet healthy lunch. So Enjoy making healthy and delicious lunchbox for your little ones. Nothing satisfies you better than the little ones empty lunchbox, do you agree??

  1. Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Macaroni/Pasta Shells - 2 Cups
  2. Organic Low Fat Milk - 1 Cup
  3. Cheddar Cheese Slice - 2
  4. Shredded Mozarella Cheese - ¼ cup(optional)
  5. Salt - 1 tbsp + more as required
  6. Dry Basil Leaves - 1 tsp
  7. Water - 5 Cups
  8. Organic Eggs - 2
  9. Pepper -¼ tsp
  10. Salt - ¼ tsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Make the Egg scramble ready. For this, break open eggs into a bowl, add salt and pepper and beat well to combine
  • Heat up a small pan, spary some cooking oil, pour the beaten eggs and stir until eggs are scrambled. Set aside.
  • Now pour water to a pot/wide vessel and bring to boil. Add the pasta shells and salt, stir till the bottom of the pan and let cook till al-dente.
  • Drain off the water using a colander and set aside.
  • In a wide pan, add milk and bring to boiling point. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cheddar cheese and stir till it melt.
  • Add the macroni and stir well to mix. Cover and let it cook in medium heat till it become creamy. Add Salt only if required.
  • Rub the dry basil leaves under your palm and add to the pasta. Cover and cook again for another two minutes.The milk should be mostly absorbed by now but should not be too dry but creamy.
  • Take off the stove. Move to a serving dish/lunch box and serve topped with scrambled eggs and some shredded cheese(if required)

So Signing Off until I'm back with more healthy and yummy recipes. Have a great time everyone !!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Carrot Semiya Payasam/Carrot Semiya Kheer

Carrot Semiya Payasam/Kheer is a very ezee and delicious Payasam which can be whipped up in very less time and tastes utterly delicious. As many of you might know my son loveeee Payasam/Kheer and always prefer white payasam(Milk based) over Brown ones(Jaggery-Coconut milk based). This payasam is one of his favorite and he just relishess this given at any point of time. We did not have much Onam celebrations at home this time, but I made this payasam for kids. So here comes an ezee, breezy payasam/kheer which can prepared at home whenever unexpected guests shows up or for any ceremomys or just as a dessert. Hmm, do you really need any reason to make this delicious payasam??? So make this home and relish with your loved ones !!!!

  1. Grated Carrot - 3 Nos(~1 Cup)
  2. Roasted Semiya/Vermicelli - 1 Cup
  3. Ghee - 2 tsp
  4. Thick Milk - 5 Cups(Full fat or 2%)
  5. Water - 2 Cups
  6. Sugar  ~ 1 Cup(Add more according to your tolerant level)
  7. Cashews/Raisins a handful
  8. Freshly Ground Cardamom - From 4
Preparation Method:-
  • If using unroasted Semiya/Vermicelli, dry roast it well till golden brown and set aside.
  • Heat up a wide pan, add ghee. Roast the Cashews till light brown and move to a bowl. Add Raisins and saute till they puff up, remove from the pan to a bowl.
  • Now add the grated carrot to the same ghee and saute for about five-seven minutes till they change the color to deep orange and become soft. Move the carrot to another bowl and reserve.
  • Add 2 Cups Milk + 2 Cups Water to the same pan and let it boil. Add the roasted Semiya/Vermicelli and let it cook in medium heat till it become soft.
  • Add Sugar + 2 More Cups of Milk and let it cook again for another five minutes till the sugar is blended well and milk is reduced.
  • Spread the sauteed carrot and gently stir to blend with Semiya. Add 1 More Cup of milk and let it boil for another five minutes till the payasam/kheer is creamy.
  • Sprinkle the cardamom powder and mix gently. Let it reduce in low heat covered for another two minutes to infuse cardamom flavor.
  • Switch off the stove and add ghee roasted cashews and raisins.
  • Move to serving bowls and serve warm or cold.

Linking this to Favorite Recipe Event : Kheer/Payasam started by Swathi hosted at Rafeeda's The Big Sweet Tooth

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Madhura Kozhukkatta / Sweet Modak / Steamed Rice Dumplimgs With Sweetened Filling

Vinayaka Chathurthi Wishes to Everyone!!!

How did Lord Ganesha's birthday celebration go everyone?? We did a small pooja and offered Lord Ganesha with flowers and his favorite Sweet Modak. Being a week day everyone here found their way to school and office after the Pooja. Here is the recipe for the Modak made at home for Ganesh Chathurthi celebration. You can make them home anythime for breakfast or snack. Everyone here love Modak, especially the little ones. So make this home for your loved ones and Enjoy !!!


For Outer shell Rice Dough:-
  1. Rice Flour - 2 cups
  2. Salt - ¾ tsp
  3. Water - 1cup + more if required
  4. Oil/ghee - 1tsp
For Filling:-
  1. Grated Coocnut - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery -4 to 5 cubes
  3. Water - ½ Cup
  4. Fresh ground cardamom powder - 1tsp
  5. Ghee/Oil - ½ tsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Put the rice flour into a wide bowl.
  • In a pan/pot bring water to boiling, add salt and stir to dissolve. Take off the stove
  • Pour the boiled water to the flour little by little mixing well with a spoon or spatula till the flour is well combined.
  • Once the heat is reduced, knead the flour to a smooth dough without any lumps. Apply some oil or ghee and smoothen the dough.
  • Make dough balls now and Keep it covered with a cling wrap or damp cloth till you prepare the sweetened filling
  • For filling, heat a pan, add oil/ghee and saute the grated coconut till it start giving nice aroma and light brown color in medium heat.
  • Meanwhile boil water in a pot, add the jaggery cubes and melt it completely. Filter the jaggery syrup to emove any impurities.
  • Add this jaggery syrup to the sauteed coconut and keep stirring in medium heat till the mix become sticky. Add the cardamom powder and stir well to mix.
  • Make sure the mix is not not too dry and hard. Take off the stove and let it cool a bit.
  • Once the mix is of tolerant hot, take a tsp each and make small balls.
  • Now apply some water in your left palm, take the rice dough small and place in the hand and flatten it making the edges a bit curvy.
  • Keep the sweetened ball in the middle of the dough and cover the edges. Smoothen the edges to a cone shape with you hands taking out any excess dough.(Not necessary you have to make it cone shape, you can just make it round and smooten it, take out if there is excess dough and use it for making spare modak)
  • Repeat the process with rest of the rice balls and filling.
  • Steam them in a steamer or idli cooker for around seven-ten minutes. Take off the lid of the steamer and let it cool a bit. 
  • Move to a serving dish and Serve Warm.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Quick and Ezee Chicken Curry In Sauteed N Ground Onion Tomato Masala

We have many names for chicken curry, like chettinad chicken, butter chickn, chicken tikka, chicken masala, kadai chicken etc... I'm not sure what to name this chicken curry, all I know is this is a very simple and easy to make chicken curry that can be made in a jiffy without much pre-planning required. You get a very rich and delicious gravy without any lumps of onion, tomato bites and goes very well with rice, roti, dosas and Appams. Make this home today and relish with your loved ones!!!


For Marination
  1. Chicken with bones ~ 2.2 lbs(1 Kg)
  2. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  3. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
  4. Salt - 1 tsp
To Sautee for gravy:-
  1. Onion chopped roughly  - 3(~3 Cups)
  2. Tomatoes chopped - 2 (~1½ cups)
  3. Ginger chopped or crushed - 1 tbsp
  4. Garlic chopped or crushed - 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon stick - a small piece
  6. Curry Leaves few
  7. Oil - 2 tbsp
  8. Salt - 1 tsp
Additional ingredients to add while you cook chicken :-

  1. Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
  2. Chilly powder - ½ tsp
  3. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  4. Chopped cilantro/coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
  5. Curry leaves a sprig
  6. Garam masala -1 tsp
  7. Water - 1 Cup + more if required

Preparation Method:-
  • Add some salt and lemon/lime juice with chicken and apply all over. Wash and rinse the chicken two-three times.
  • Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder and set aside for atleast 30 mins.
  • Heat up a wide kadai, pour oil. Add cinnamon stick followed by chopped ginger and garlic, saute a minute till raw smell is gone
  • Add chopped onion and salt and saute well till golden brown color.
  • Add tomatoes and saute well till it break down the pulp and releases the juice. Put off the fire and keep aside till it cool completely.
  • Grind the sauteed tomato onion mix.
  • Heat up the same pan in which you sauteed the tomato onion mix. Pour the ground mix, add turmeric powder, chilly powder and coriander powder and saute to combine.
  • Add the marinated chicken and gently mix with a spatula or spoon and spread the mix evenly with chicken. Pour some water as required.
  • Cover with the pan and let it cook in medium heat for ten-fifteen minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Check for the salt and seasoning and adjust accordingly. Add garam masala and mix well to combine.
  • Add few curry leaves and a tsp of coriander leaves/cilantro, stir to mix. Cover and cook for another two-three minutes
  • Open the lid and check if the chicken is well cooked. Add some more coriander leaves and put off the stove. 
  • Serve warm with Rice/Roti/Appams/Dosas or anything of your choice. Garnish with more cilantro/coriander leaves before serving.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lime Pickle -- നാരങ്ങ അച്ചാർ

Summer here and don't you think this is the best time to make pickles, powders, Jams and no matter what. In-laws are here with us during this summer, kids enjoying summer vacation with their grands. Or maybe I should better say grandparents enjoying with kids, it is really wonderful to watch the bonding of kids with their grands. No matter how much they love their parents and vice-verse, when me or hubby scold them for even a simple or silly issue they run to their grands. They are not satisfied until the granny scolds me or hubby and they believe granny can make us do anything.

Memories explodes seeing kids doing all the pranks. Recollecting the childhood days with my granny, the most beautiful women on earth, with magical hands, managing anything and everything around, with no so called big degrees but with simple common sense she could manage the world around her and make it beautiful. During summer vacation at granny used to make all these 'Achars'/Pickles. A bottle of pickle wouldn't last for more than a week and my granny use to recycle the achar bottle and fill them with next batch of fresh pickles. Mostly mango pickles used to be eaten right away after pickled, we used to scoop them into a bowl and eat those spicy, tangy ones

My MIL, queen of pickles as I call her, makes wonderful pickles. This recipe is from my MIL who is more than happy to make pickles asked at any point of time. I'm not into making much pickles these days other than simple cut mango pickle if I ran out of her homemade pickle in my pantry. To be precise after getting married I hardly make any pickles as I mostly have my MIL's pickles handy. Her pickles always tastes way better than store bought one's and of course the homemade one's are always fresh and without preservatives. So do try out this simple and ezee Lime Pickle and Enjoy !!!

  1. Lime - 3lbs
  2. Garlic Pods - 10 numbers
  3. Green chilies chopped fine - 5
  4. Curry leaves chopped fine - 2 sprigs
  5. Sea Salt/Salt - 4 tbsp(as required) 
  6. Sesame Oil - 2 tbsp
  7. Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  8. Chilly powder - 3 tbsp(depends on the spice level of the powder and the spice tolerance level)
  9. Fenugreek seeds roasted and powdered - 1 tbsp
  10. Asafoetida Powder/Hing Powder - ½ tsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Wash the lime well, pat dry fully with paper napkins or kitchen towels
  • Cut the lemon in squares and move to a wide bowl or bottles. Put garlic pods and chopped green chilies into the bowl and toss.
  • Sprinkle salt on top and set aside for three-five days till the skin becomes bit tender and change the   color.
  • Heat up a Kadai/Pan, pour oil, splutter mustard seeds. Switch off the stove and add curry leaves. Let the oil reach to medium heat.
  • Add chilly powder and asafoetida powder to the oil and gently mix(if the oil is too hot chilly powder will burn and taste bitter)
  • Add the salted lemon, fenugreek powder to the pan with oil and chilly powder mix an mix well with a spatula to combine well. Let it cool completely

  • Move to air tight containers and keep it at room temperature for couple of days or a a week before you use till the flavors blend in well with lemon. The skin of lime become soft and bitter-less by then.
  • Lime Pickle/Naranga Achar is ready to serve with Rice or anything you wish. Splash a tsp of them on top of Yogurt Rice/Curd Rice and feel the awesomeness 

The shelf life of pickle last based on the preparation method. If pickled without any external moisture it will stay fresh for more than a month when kept at room temperature. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi/Dry Shrimp Chutney powder

It takes days for me to compose a post these days. I have almost stopped writing anything in my posts as well, and rather go straight onto recipe. Its just because of lack of time: office, summer activities with kids and in-laws and the normal home chores takes most of my time. I still do a lot of cooking but clicking pictures have come down a lot. I try to hop on to all my blogger buddies post but that also have come down a bit. I still try to saty connected with my blogger friends and visit everyone as much as I can. I feel happy hoping onto fellow bloggers post and I enjoy seeing all the delicious posts. Thanks to all my blogger friends and readers for all the love and support you guys shower on me. Please stay tuned for more wonderful recipes from Cook-Ezee.

Moving onto today's recipe, it is something every Keralite's just love - Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi/Dry Shrimp Chutney powder. My kids absolutely love them too. Give them rice with yogurt and a teaspoon(more tsps maybe) of this chutney powder, I don't hear any complaints like spicy, yucky, I don't want rice kinda stuff. Me and my hubby relish it equally with Rice/Idli/Dosa. Now let's check out the recipe for the very delicious 'Dry Shrimp Chutney Powder/Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi'.

  1. Dry Shrimp ~ 2 Cups(good quality white dry shrimp)
  2. Freshly Grated Coconut  ~ 4 Cups
  3. Sour Raw Mango ~ 4(use according to the sourness needed, we used sour mango)
  4. Curry leaves ~ 5 sprigs (generous amount)
  5. Dry Red Chilly ~ 10 nos(adjust according to the spice level, we made it medium spicy)
  6. Urad Dal-  2 Cups
  7. Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp

How We Made It:-
  • Add oil in a pan, roast the shrimp in medium heat till light brown and crispy. Move to a plate.
  • Remove any dirt. Remove head and tail part as well. Rinse them two times. Sundry them till crisp for a day or two and set aside.'
  • Wash, peel and slice the mangoes. Sundry the mango slices as well till moisture is fully gone and becomes crisp. Set aside. 
  • Add coconut in a deep kadai/pan, add curry leaves and stir for a minute or two. Add grated coconut to the same pan roast very well till they turn golden brown and crisp(don't over roast and burn the coconut). Move to a serving plate and set aside.
  • Add red chilies to the same pan and roast well till they change to deep red color making sure not to burn. Move to plate and set aside.
  • Add Urad Dal to the same pan and dry roast it till golden brown. Set set aside.
  • Now next procedure is to grind all the ingredients separately and combine all of them.
  • Start with Urad dal, grind the ural dal to coarse powder(not too smooth). Put into a deep vessel. 
  • Grind roast coconut-curry leaves mix with needed salt. Add to the ground ural dal. 
  • Grind the roasted red chilies and add to the url dal, coconut mix. 
  • Now grind the sun-dried raw mango to powder it well. Add to the ground coconut mix. 
  • Lastly grind the dried shrimp to powder, add to the coconut mix.
  • Use a spatula or spoon and mix everything well till they combine. Let it sit for an hour or two to cool down as any ingredient can be but warm while grinding. 
  • Move to an air-tight container and store

1.  Shelve life of the chutney powder depends on how well the powder was prepared. If you roast all the ingredients well enough without any moisture this can be stored outside for more than 3 weeks
2. But if you feel there is even a tiny bit of moisture refrigerate it. It stays fresh for months if refrigerated. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Blueberry Coffee Cake

  1. Blueberries - 1 Cup
  2. All Purpose Flour/Maida - 2 Cups + 1 tsp
  3. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  4. Baking soda - ½tsp
  5. Softened Butter - ½ Cup 
  6. Pure Vanilla Extract - 1tsp
  7. Sugar - 1½ Cup
  8. Milk - ½ Cup 
  9. Luke Warm Water ¼ to ½ Cup(if batter is too thick)

How I made It:-
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degree F 
  • Grease and flour a nine inch round cake pan. Set aside
  • Wash blueberries two-three times in water. Pat dry with a paper towel. 
  • Toss blueberries and a spoon of flour. Set aside till cake batter is ready. 
  • Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda or mix all the three very well in a wide bowl using a wire whisk.
  • Add butter in another bowl, using a hand/electric mixer beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat well until it turns lemon yellow color and creamy. 
  • Scrape of the edges, add in the vanilla essence and run the mixer in low speed. 
  • With mixer in low speed add flour and milk alternatively till everything is combined(or use a spatula to fold in both)  
  • If the batter is too thick, pour warm water little by little and fold in again gently.  
  • Fold in the blueberries gently. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan. Pat them on the flour to get rid of any air bubbles
  • Spread couple of blueberries on top if desired but press them in a bit so that the top berries do not give burn taste.
  • Bake them for 40-45 mins or until a tooth pick/sharp knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Take out of the oven and let it cool completely.
  • Slice them and serve warm or cold with Coffee/Tea

Monday, June 24, 2013

Kallumakkaya Biriyani/Mussels Biriyani ~ Another Malabar Delicacy

To Marinate:-
  1. Kallumakkaya/Mussels Big - 2lbs(before shells removed)
  2. Turmeric powder - ½tsp
  3. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  4. Salt - ¾ tsp(adjuslt to taste)
  5. Fennel seeds crushed/coarse ground in a mortar - ¼ tsp
For Stir Fry:-
  1. Onion very thinly sliced - 3 Cup(4 Med Size)
  2. Ginger and Garlic chopped fine/Crushed together in a mortar - 1 tbsp each
  3. Green Chilly Chopped fine - 8
  4. Tomato sliced fine - 1½ to 2Cup (2 Med)
  5. Salt - ½ tsp(to taste)
  6. Turmeric powder -  ½ tsp
  7. Garam Masala - 1½
  8. Curry leaves two sprigs or more
  9. Coriander Leaves chopped - 2 tbsp + to garnish
To Garnish(optional- I didn't do it this time):-
  1. Cashews a handful
  2. Raisins a handful
  3. Deep fried Onion - 1(~ ½ cup)
  4. Chopped coriander leaves ~ 2tbsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Wash the mussels two-three times to remove all the dirt stick on the shell. Place them in a wide vessel/Pot with water to cover the mussels and bring to boil with lid on.
  • You will see the shell open and mussel leave the shell from one side and form shape instead of sticking on both sides of the shell.
  • Take off the stove and drain off water. Let it cool 
    Mussels cleaning Process in Pics
  • Separate the flesh from the shell and discard the shell. Remove the black color dirt inside the mussel meat. Remove byssus(a strong group of filament like hair) inside the mussels as well.
  • Pour water in a bowl and put mussel meat in it. Rinse gently to remove any sand/dirt in the meat once or twice.
  • Marinate with Salt, turmeric, chilly powder and crushed fennel seeds. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a tsp oil in a pan, place the mussels and shallow fry on both sides till they are light brown. Move them to a bowl and set aside.
  • Pour oil in the same pan, add curry leaves, minced ginger and garlic and saute till raw smell goes away for a minute or two.
  • Add Green chilies, sliced onions, salt  and saute very well in medium heat till they turn translucent. 
  • Add tomatoes and saute till they start releasing water content. Break the tomatoes as you saute and let everything blend together well.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander leaves and saute well to mix. Add the shallow fried Mussles/Kallumakkaya and saute well to combine. 
  • Cover and let it cook for three-five minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add garam masala and more curry leaves, saute well, cover and let cook for another two-three minutes. Check for salt and adjust. Switch off the stove and set aside till you prepare rice. 
For Ghee Rice:-
  1. Jeera Rice/Basmathi Rice - 3 Cups
  2. Water - 5 ½ Cups 
  3. Cinnamon Stick - 2 inch size broken into halves
  4. Green Cardamom Pods - 4
  5. Cloves  - 6
  6. Bay leaves 2(optional)
  7. Whole Pepper corns ~ 7 nos(optional, I like to add them though normal recipes do not call for it)
  8. Curry leaves a sprig
  9. Ghee ~ 1 tbsp
  10. Freshly squeezed Lime Juice ~ 1tbsp(optional)
  11. Salt to taste ~ 2 tsp(check and adjust accordingly)
  12. Garam Masala - ½ tsp
Making Ghee Rice:-
  • Wash rice three to four times in water till you get a clear water, drain the rice fully and set aside. 
  • Heat up a wide vessel, add ghee, saute the cashews till light brown and set aside. Add the raisins and saute till they pop up, take out and set aside. 
  • Now add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves, pepper corns and saute well till you start getting a nice aroma of spices. 
  • Pour water to it, add salt, squeezed lime juice, few curry leaves and bring to boil. Add rice, stir gently with a spatula till the bottom of the pan just to remove any sticky rice from the bottom. Simmer the heat to medium, cover with an air-tight lid and let it cook until almost done.  
  • Open the lid once the water is absorbed(rice should not be fully cooked, but will continue to cook during the dum process) and take off the stove.
  • Let it cool for couple of minutes, say around 10-15 minutes, if you try to flip or toss the rice when it is very hot it will tend to break and stick. 
  • Stir gently with a spatula when the high steam subsides, move to two-three platters so that they don't form lumps and don't stick together. This way you will get a very nice non-lumpy, non-sticky rice. Proceed for the final stage of layering and dumming :-)

 Dumming the Biriyani in low heat:
    • Heat up a thick bottom pan, add 2 tsp oil(or ghee), simmer the heat to medium. 
    • Spread some rice on the bottom of the vessel, top it with mussels masala gravy, topped with fried cashews, raisins, fried onions, coriander leaves and sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder
    • Repeat the process with remaining rice, masala, fried cashews, raisins, onions and garama masala.
    • Cover it with an air tight lid or place a kitchen towel flatten on top of the vessel and cover to seal tight with the lid. Cook in low heat until you see steam releasing from the sides of the vessel. 
    • Move to a serving plate, garnish with  more raisins, cashews and fried onion. Serve warm with pappads, pickles and chutney.
    1. You can dum biriyani in the conventional oven the same way by layering rice and masala. Use a microwaveable tray and cover it airtight using the proper airtight lid or the heavy duty silver foil sheet.
    2. If you look at the recipe, I've used very less chilly powder instead have added lot of green chilies where the spice comes in. If you want them more spicy you can add chilly powder or increase the amount of green chilies as this recipes is a medium spicy one.

    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Mango Muffins

    1. Fresh Mango Pureed or Kesar Mango Pulp - 3 cup
    2. All purpose flour/Maida - 3 Cups
    3. Baking Soda -¾tsp
    4. Baking powder - 1 tsp
    5. Eggs -2
    6. Butter - ½ cup
    7. Sugar - 1½ cup

    Preparation Method:-
    • Pre-heat the oven in 350 Degree F. Line the muffin tray with liners and set aside.
    • Sift together all purpose flour, baking soda and baking powder or add them to a wide bowl and whisk well to combine.
    • Cream butter and sugar beating with a hand mixer/electric mixer for two-three minutes in medium speed.
    • Add in eggs and beat in medium speed till creamy.
    • Add in the flour mixture and mango puree little by little alternatly till everything is combined
    • Pour the batter to the muffin liners till 3/4th cup.
    • Bake for around 40-45 mins or till a sharp knife/cake tester inserted comes out clean.
    • Take out of the oven and let it cool
    • Serve with coffee/tea/breakfast/snack or whenever you crave for one :) 
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