Monday, December 28, 2015

Aloo Paratha - Stuffed Indian Flat Bread - Kids Lunch Box Ideas

Hello lovely people ! Hope everyone is enjoying festive holidays with family and friends. Like many of you, for us its all about good food, family time and catching up with our buddies this vacation. Christmas had been wonderful especially since my parents were here. Also my sister and family flew down from Florida on X'mas day. Kids were so happy & had unlimited fun with their little cousin brother. I prepared Malabar Chicken Biriyani, Fruit and nuts cake - another variation of Fruit Cake(I'm hoping to post the recipe soon), Appam & Egg Masala.

Though I feel horrible sometimes not being very active on my favorite blog - my little space I used to utilize all my spare time, I convince myself it is just fine to post my favorite recipes whenever time permits. With a full time job, taking care of the studies and extra curricular activities of two hyper active monkeys and having a family who is actively involved in all Community activities, I kind of find it hard to spare some time to edit the pictures and compose a post on a regular basis. I'm sure many of you have this same dilemma as we all try to balance life as a whole, you miss your favorite hobbies little bit here and there but still you try to get back on track and try to implement them when ever you get chance. So let me set aside all these little hick-ups and make a new post, hoping to continue posting recipes more often and catching up with my fellow bloggers and readers on a regular basis. Mean while thank you all my wonderful readers, friends and family who always had been very supportive & encouraging !

Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year in advance in case I couldn't make up my next post before New Year :-)

Now coming back to today's recipe, It's Aloo Paratha this time :-)

This is one among my kids favorite lunch/tiffin, especially for my son. He loves any stuffed flat bread with a side of yogurt and sugar dip. So I end up making Parathas at-least twice a week for their Lunch box. Parathas can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner along with Raita or Yougurt & Pickle.
You can make the dough ahead and refrigerate it until ready to use, this makes the dough soft and easy to roll out without sticking much on the rolling pin. Make sure you keep it outside at least 20-30 minutes before ready to roll them out. If I have to make the Parathas in the morning, I normally make the dough at night and use it next day morning,

Ingredients Used:

For the Dough:
  • Whole-wheat flour – 2 Cups
  • Water ~ 1 Cup(Enough to knead the dough)
  • Salt - ½ tsp
  • Ghee/oil – ½ tbsp. (optional)
For the Potato Filling:
  • Potatoes - 2 medium
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Green chili – 1 Finely chopped
  • Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp. Finely Chopped
  • Chat masala - ½ tsp.
Also needed:
  • Whole-wheat flour for rolling – ¼ cup
  • Ghee/Butter
Preparation Method:

Making the Dough:
  1. Add flour and salt in a wide bowl. Add water little by little and knead well to make soft dough.
  2. Knead dough for a minute or two to make the dough soft, smooth and pliable.
  3. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and set aside for twenty minutes OR refrigerate until ready to use.
  1. Wash potatoes, drop them in a pot of water and boil until done. Add a tsp of salt to help peel the skin easily.
  2. Drain off the water and let them cool down completely.
  3. Peel the skin off and put them in a wide bowl. Mash them well with clean hands or fork.
  4. Add turmeric powder, green chilies, cilantro, chat masala and salt. Mix well to combine.
Making paratha:
  • Divide the dough into equal parts and form into balls.
  • Divide the potato filling into same number of equal parts and shape into balls. 

  • Roll down dough ball into a small circle. Place a filling ball in the center. Pull the edges of the dough to wrap it around the potato filling. 
  • Repeat the process with rest of the dough and filling balls.
  • Heat an iron griddle or non-stick pan and set the flame to medium high.  To test, sprinkle water on the skillet. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
  • Press the filled ball lightly on dry whole wheat flour from both sides.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the balls lightly to make circles, keeping the sealed side of the balls on top. Lightly dust the parathas with dry flour to make sure dough do not stick to the rolling pin.
  • Place the paratha on the skillet, after few seconds, flip the paratha. Now use a spatula and press gently on all sides to see paratha start to change color and begins to puff up. Flip it over, you will notice some golden-brown spots.

  • Drizzle ½ tsp of ghee/oil over the paratha, flip the paratha again and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides. Repeat for the remaining parathas.
  • Serve them hot with Yogurt or  Raita and pickles
  • For Kids lunchbox, I mix a tsp of sugar in plain yogurt and serve as side. They really love it :-)

Chef's Note:
  • Paratha are best served hot and crispy. They will be soft if not served hot. If you are not going to serve them right away, cool them on a wire rack to keep them from getting soggy.

See y'all until next time :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Besan Ladoo ~ Wishing Everyone A Very Happy Diwali


1. Besan / Chickpea flour/ Kadala maavu – 1½ cup
2. Powdered sugar – 1 cup + 1 tbsp
3. Melted Ghee/Clarified Butter – ½ cup + 1 tbsp.
4. Cardamom/Elakka - 3
5. Slivered Almond/Any nuts(optional) To Garnish

Preparation Method: -

  • Sift the besan flour and remove all the lumps. Set aside
  • Grind cardamom with 1 tbsp sugar. Set aside.
  • Heat up a Kadai/pan, make sure the heat is in low-medium. 
  • Add ¼ cup ghee to the pan, add besan flour slowly. Keep stirring as you add the flour fully.
  • Roast besan well in medium flame until it turns golden brown in color and start to get an aroma of the flour. Make sure not to burn the flour. 
  • Move the ghee-besan mixture to a wide bowl or plate.
  • Add the powdered sugar, add 2 tbsp of warm ghee. Mix well with a spatula to combine everything. Add more ghee as needed. 
  • Add cardamom powder. When it is warm enough to handle, mix well with hands to combine everything well. 
  • Take small portion of the mix and press well with hands to form a ball size ladoo. 
  • Repeat the process for rest of the mixture. 
  • Wash the hands at the end and wipe well to dry.
  • Spread a quarter spoon of ghee in the hand. Take each ladoo and smoothen them by rotating it in the circular motion. 
  • Garnish with slivered almonds or cashews or raisins.  Serve them for this Diwali ! :) :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kerala Chicken Roast


1.       One Chicken cut into medium size pieces
2.       Onion chopped fine – 3
3.       Garlic pods -  6(crushed or chopped fine)
4.       Ginger  - a small piece(crushed or chopped fine)
5.       Green chilly - 5 sliced
6.       Tomato chopped fine -  1 medium
7.       Turmeric powder - ¾ + ¼ tsp
8.       Chili powder-  ½ tsp
9.       Chicken masala - 1 tbsp.
10.   Coriander powder – 1½  tbsp.
11.   Pepper powder – ½ tsp
12.   Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
13.   Curry leaves a sprig or more
14.   Coriander leaves chopped fine - 3 tbsp.
15.   Salt to taste 
16.   Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp.

Preparation Method:-

  • Wash and clean the chicken pieces, drain the water completely.
  •  Marinate the chicken with ¾ tsp turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Heat 1½ tbsp. of coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add curry leaves, chopped onion, garlic and green chilly.
  • Saute till onion turns golden in color. Reduce the heat and add ¼ turmeric powder and saute.
  • Add coriander powder, pepper powder, Chicken masala. Saute well. Check for the salt and add if required.
  • When oil starts to separate, add the finely chopped tomato into this and roast it.
  • Finally add the chicken pieces and combine it with the masala. Cover and cook well in medium heat for five to seven minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.(make sure to open the lid and stir in between making sure chicken do not burn)
  • Open the lid and add the chopped coriander leaves. Stir until it turns dry.
  • Add more curry leaves and ½ tsp of coconut oil. Keep it covered until ready to serve
  • Move to serving dish and serve warm with Chappathi or Rice.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Kerala Style Tuna Ularthu - Canned Tuna Stir Fry

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Canned Tuna in Water - 3 tins
  2. Onions - 2 chopped fine
  3. Green chili - 3 slit into halves
  4. Ginger crushed or chopped fine ~ a small piece
  5. Curry leaves as needed 
  6. Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
  7. Red chili powder - 1 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  9. Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. Black pepper powder  -  1/2 tsp
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Coconut oil - 2 tbsp

Preparation Method:-

  • Open the Canned Tuna and drain off the water. Set aside.
  • Heat up a deep Kadai/Pan and pour Coconut oil. 
  • Once the oil is hot enough, add few curry leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add finely chopped onions, crushed ginger, sliced green chilies and salt. Saute well till onions become translucent and light golden color.
  • Reduce the heat and add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, fennel powder and saute till the spices are well blended with the onion. 
  • Now add the drained tuna, stir well until the tuna flakes are separated.  Check for the salt and add more if needed(Canned Tuna has Salt in the Ingredients list even though it do not say Salted Tuna in Water)
  • Drizzle a tsp of coconut oil and let it cook covered in low flame for another three-five minutes.
  • Sprinkle the black pepper powder and generous amount of curry leaves and stir well in medium-high heat for another five minutes. Drizzle few drops of oil and stir well if it tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Take off the stove.
  • Serve Warm with Boiled Rice 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kadala Parippyu Pradaman - Split Bengal gram Kheer

Ingredients: - 

  1. Kadala Parippu/Split Bengal Gram – 1 ½ cups
  2. Onnam Paal/Thick coconut milk -1 cup
  3. Randam Paal/Thin coconut milk -3 cups
  4. Cardamom pods -4(Grind them with a tsp of sugar or crush with pestle in a mortar)
  5. Salt – a pinch
  6. Brown Jaggery - 6 to 8 cubes or as needed
  7. Water - 2 cups + more if needed
  8. Ghee - 2tsp
  9. Coconut pieces - 2tsp
  10. Raisins and cashews – a handful

Preparation Method:-

  • Wash the Kadala parippu/Bengal gram and drain of the water completely.
  • Dry roast the gram till it turns golden brown and let it cool a bit. 
  • Press cook the roasted gram with enough water for 6-7 whistles(keep the flame to medium after the first whistle comes). Put off the stove.
  • Once the cooker cools downs completely, open the cooker. Mash ¾ quantity of the gram very well and leave ¼ portion not mashed.
  • Pour 2 cups of water in apot and add jaggery. Let the jaggery boil and melt completely. Take off the stove and strain into a diiffernt bowl to remove all the impurities.
  • Add the jaggery to the mashed/cooked Kadala parippu/Bengal gram and stir well to combine.
  • Put on the stove and let it cook for another three-five minutes stirring continuosly.
  • Add the Randam Paal/thin coconut milk and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and let it boil for another three-five minutes till the Parippu is well combined with Jaggery and coconut milk. 
  • Add the Onnam Pal/thin coconut milk and keep stiring for few more minutes. Take off the stove once they get to boil(If the payasam/pradaman is too thick, pour some hot water and get the payasam to boiling point and take off the stove)  
  • Add in cardamom powder, a pinch of salt and mix well. 
  • Heat up a small pan, pour ghee into it add raisins, cashews and coconut pieces fry for a minute until everything turns light brown. 
  • Add this to the pradaman along with the ghee. Keep it covered until ready to serve.
  • Move to a serving dish. Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Happy Vishu ~ Kerala Varutharacha Sambar / Sambar Made with Roasted and ground coconut

Hello Everyone. Wondering it had been a long break for Cook-Ezee Haa ?
Its been a while being active in blogging, I wouldn't want to be a blabbermouth on listing the reasons for myself missing in action. We had been too busy with too many activities going on.
I hope all of my fellow Keralites had a great Vishu this year. Though a bit late Wishing everyone a Very Happy Vishu and A beautiful Year ahead.

I'm going to do the post on Kerala Style Varutharacha Sambar which had been pending in my draft from a very long time. I have grown up relishing this Varutharacha Sambar and always had Sambar this way till I left Kerala after marriage. Many of you might know I'm from Kannur and we always make sambar by roasting coconut along with roasted coriander powder and other ingredients. My grandma makes great Sambar and I never saw her using any Sambar powder for making this typical Kerala Sambar. Neither me used any kind of Sambar powder till I left my hometown Kannur. I remember one my college friend telling me 'Your Sambar exactly tastes like the Kalyana(Marriage) Sadya Sambar Whenever I make it and bring it to college. This Sambar which I make is very popular within my family and friend's. Onam/Vishu or any festival, whatever we celebrate with our friend's group here, I'm assigned for making Sambar and Pradaman and rest of the dishes is taken care by rest of the sweet ladies in the group. So by now you can understand this is a very trust worthy recipe for Varutharacha Sambar. So let's walk along the recipe. Try them and let me know the results :)


  1. Toor Dal - 1 Cup
  2. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  3. Salt - 1 tsp + more as required
  4. Winter Melon/Kumbalanga - 1 Cup cubed medium size
  5. Mathanga/Yellow Pumpkin - 1 Cup cubed medium size
  6. Yam - 1/2 cup cubed medium size
  7. Carrot sliced - 2
  8. Onion Sliced very thin - 1 Med Size
  9. Drumstick - 2 cut lengthwise 
  10. Potato cut into cubes - 1 Medium(optional, I use it only if I run out of other veggies)
  11. Okra/Vendakka/Bhindi - 7 nos(cut lengthwise)
  12. Tomato Sliced - 2 medium
  13. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
 To Dry Roast: -
  1. Freshly Grated Coconut - 1 Cup
  2. Roasted coriander powder - 2 tbsp
  3. Curry leaves - 2 Sprigs
  4. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  5. Dry Red Chilies - 3
For Tempering:-
  1. Coocnut Oil - 1 tbsp
  2. Dry Red Chilies - 3
  3. Curry Leaves a sprig
  4. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp(optional)
  5. Asefoetida powder -1/4 tsp

Preparation Method:-

Dry roast and grind:-
  • Heat up a Kadai/wok, keep in medium heat. Drizzle a tsp of coconut oil/oil, add curry leaves, dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds and saute for few seconds making sure they do not burn.
  • Add grated coconut and saute till coconut turn brown color making sure they don't turn into deep brown/black color and burn.
  • Add coriander powder and saute for a minute or two till it is well coated with roasted coconut. Take off the flame and let it cool down.
  • When the Roasted coconut mix reaches room temperature, grind them to a very smooth paste by adding water little by little. Set aside till the Dal-Vegetable mix is cooked enough.
Preparing the Sambar
  • Pressure cook the Toor Dal by adding salt and turmeric powder for two-three whistles. Take off the stove and let it cool down fully.
  • When the heat subsides, open the lid of the pressure cooker.
  • Add yam, drumstick, onion, carrot and potatoes to the cooked Dal. Stir well to mix in the Veggies and Dal.
  • Cover and cook in medium heat for around seven-ten minutes till Veggies are half cooked. Make sure to open the lid and stir one or two time to make sure Dal-veggies do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now add the second set of veggies(these veggies cook faster) - Okra/Venda/Lady's finger, Tomato, Pumpkin and winter melon. Stir gently to mix all the veggies together. Cover and cook for another five-seven minutes. Check for the salt and add if required.
  • Once the veggies are cooked enough, add the ground coconut and stir well. Add water if required depending on the thickness of gravy required.
  • Bring the gravy to boil. Simmer the heat to medium and let it boil for another two-three minutes so that the spices and veggies blend well. Check for the salt and adjust. Take off the stove
  • Heat up a small pan, pour cocnout oil. When the oil gets hot, add the mustard seeds. As they start to splutter, add currry leaves, dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds & some Asefoetida powder.  Switch off the stove and pour over the Sambar. Add some more curry leaves. Keep the curry covered till ready to serve.
  • Your Super delicious Sambar is ready to Serve with Boiled Rice or Idli or Dosa.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pazham Nirachathu/Stuffed Plantains - Yet Another traditional snack all the way fromThalassery/Malabar

Yet another delicious snack from my own homeland, Thalassery/Malabar - commonly known as Pazham Nirachathu/Stuffed Plantains. Pazham Nirachathu is normally served as a tea time snack and is very popular during Eid/Ifthar parties. This is little bit similar to Pazham Pori/Plantain Fritters, but has sweet filling stuffed inside.

  1. Ripe Plantains – 3
  2. Grated Coconut – ¾ Cup
  3. Sugar – 4tbsp
  4. Broken Cashews few
  5. Raisins few(I didn’t have them handy, so used only cashews)
  6. Ghee – 1 tsp
  7. Cardamom powder – ¾ tsp
  8. All purpose flour – ¼ Cup 
  9. Rice flour – 2 tbsp
  10. A pinch of salt
  11. Water – ¼ cup(Just enough to make thick batter to coat the plantains)
  12. Oil to deep fry

Preparation Method:
  • Heat a frying pan, add ghee and fry the chopped cashew until golden color, drain them out on a paper towel.
  • Add the raisins, saute for few seconds until puffy. Remove them and set aside with the cashews.
  • Add grated coconut to the same pan and saute well till the cocnut turn golden brown and start releasing nice aroma of the coconut. Add the crushed cardamom and stir well.
  • Add sugar to this and saute tell till they blend. Set aside till ready to use.

Setting plantains:-
  • Peel the plantains. Make a long vertical slit on each bananas that reaches the center of the plantains(near black seeds).
  • With the sharp edge of the knife remove the black seeds of the bananas. Use your finger to make a proper opening to fill in the stuffing.
  • Now take the filling, stuff the filling using spoon or fingers and press them tight. Repeat the process for rest of the bananas Keep them aside.

Batter Preparation to coat the plantains:
  • In a bowl mix together, Maida/All purpose plain flour, rice flour, sugar and salt. Add water little by little and mix well using a wire whisk to make a lump free thick batter
Pictorial Process Of Making Pazham Nirachathu
Final Assembling:-
  • Heat a deep frying pan and fill it with oil.
  • Dip the plantains in the batter completely and slowly place them in the oil using tongs or very carefully with your hands.
  • When one side turns golden, turn over the plantains slowly. Fry other side also until golden brown. Drain them on kitchen towel and serve warm in slices along with tea.
  1. At many households, the sweet filling is also made using scrambled egg and sugar instead of coconut, so you swap coconut for egg and make the filling as well.
  2. While coating the bananas you can either dip the stuffed bananas in the batter and deep fry or you can coat only the area where the slit was made to stuff the bananas. I prefer to dip the bananas in the batter and deep fry.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Republic Day Wishes Dear Mother India and all Fellow Indians

Wishing All My Fellow Indians Around The World A Very Happy Republic Day

Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan Hamara
Hum Bulbulain hai Iski, Ye Gulsitan Hamara Hamara..

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mixed Berry Breakfast Smoothie

What is your breakfast option on weekdays? I'm a breakfast person and mostly make typical Indian breakfasts in the morning, especially for kids. But I hardly get time to sit and have my breakfast during busy morning. These smoothies are real rescuers as they are quick to blend together and sip up as I pack our tiffins/lunch. So this is for all of you, especially for the busy mom's to have great kick start of the day and pack up the energy for the entire day. Try them and Enjoy !!

  1. Frozen Organic Mixed Berries - 2 Cups
  2. Low fat Milk - 2 Cups
  3. Vanilla Ice cream - 3 scoops
Preparation Method:-
  • Blend everything together in a juice blender and serve immediately.
Note: You can replace sugar or honey for ice cream as sweetener.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thayir Vada - Dahi Vada

Wishing Everyone a Very Happy New Year 2015

Hope Everyone had a great New Year Celebration. Guys, New Year resolution anyone?
I took a break from blogging and many activities to get four day long weekend and be with my kids and best-est buddies. The holidays were really fun filled with New Year Celebration with our small group of close knit friends here, potluck food, dance and Masti. Kids enjoyed the most, dancing on 'Thudakkam Maangalyam' song and many more. This was followed by our very close friends visit from New Jersey, catching up with them after so long was so happy and exciting :) 

Holidays are over, kids have to get back to schools and we are looking ahead for an exciting year ahead. So here I'm wishing you all a Very Happy, Prosperous and Fulfilled New Year 2015. Let the Almighty bless everyone with peace and Happiness on Earth.

Now let us get back to today's Recipe Dahi Vada or Thayir Vada. 

I made them recently as a starter on my son's birthday party. This is pretty quick and ezee option for snack/starter for parties, the only longest time taken is the four hours soaking time for Urad Dal. 
So here is how I made it. Do give it a try and let me know the results !

Thayir Vada Aka Dahi Vada is an Indian chaat made with Urad Vada doused in thick yogurt. The deep fried Vadas are immersed in water and then transferred to thick Yogurt. Vadas remain soaked in yogurt for a couple of hours before serving to make them soft and spongy. So Make them for sure and enjoy with your loved ones :-)

For Urad Vada/Medhu Vada:- 
  1. Urad daal - 1 Cup 
  2. Whole Pepper slightly crushed  - 1 tbsp
  3. salt to taste ~ 1 tsp
  4. Oil to deep Fry 
Yogurt/Dahi Mix:-
  1. Yogurt - 2 Cups
  2. Coriander Chutney - ½ cup(** Recipe Below)
  3. Water - ¼ cup to make the yogurt Mix a little thin if it is too thick(add only if needed)
  4. Salt to taste
For Garnishing:-
  1. Chilly powder
  2. Chaat Masala - 1 tsp
  3. Coriander Chutney (** Recipe Below) -  3 tbsp
  4. Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Coriander chutney for garnishing: 
  1. Curry leaves few(~ 5 Leaf )
  2. Green chilies chopped  1-2 Numbers 
  3. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  4. Cumin  1 Tablespoons 
  5. Finely chopped coriander leaves  1 Bunch
For Urad Vada/Medu Vada: - 
  • Wash the Urad dal and soak them for four hours.
  • Grind it into a thick paste, add water little by little as you grind only if and as needed. Add salt and crushed black pepper, mix well with a spoon. 
  • Heat oil in a pan and drop a spoonfuls of batter. Deep fry till golden brown. Continue the procees until all the batter is done. Switch off the stove
  • Put the hot vadas in cold water, few at a time, and keep for two-three minutes. Take them off the water, squeeze out any excess water and set aside. 
Coriander Chutney For Garnishing:-
  • Add cumin, green chilies, coriander leaves, curry leaves and salt in a mixer and grind well. Set aside.
  • Divide the chutney for Garnishing and 
For Yogurt/Dahi Mix: -
Add ½ cup of Coriander Chutney and salt to the yougurt and Mix well. Set Aside till ready to serve.

Assembling and Serving: -
In a flat dish or tray, arrange the Urad Vada and pour dahi mix over them. Garnish with coriander Chutney, chilly powder, chat powder and coriander leaves. Set aside for an hour before serving. 
Move into serving dish and serve. 

You can serve them chilled by refrigerating it no more than 30 minutes which is how I love them, but I don't prefer doing this in the cold winter here. If you live in a zone where it is not cold go ahead and serve them cold :-)

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