Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kerala Specials 4 u..........

Ada dosa
1)Soak green gram, raw rice, bengal gram, black gram for about 4-5 hours - 1 cup each

2)Onions - 2 (coarsely chopped)

3)green chillies - 2

4)Ginger - a short piece

5)Asafoetida - a pinch

6)A bunch of coriander leaves and a few sprigs of curry leaves

Salt to taste

Put everything in a mixer bowl , add suffiicient water, and grind till it reaches a thick, pourable consistency (looks like coarsely ground dosa batter). Add salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of gingelly oil. Let ferment a few hours and refridgerate. This keeps good for 3-4 days.

Next morning, heat a flat pan, pour out a dosa. cook both sides. serve with a small dollop of butter.

Rava idli
1) Rava (semolina/sooji) - 1 1/2 cups ( if you do not have pre roasted rava remember to dry roast the rava in a skillet. Constantly stir it to keep from burning and till it emanates a fragrance)

2) Sour buttermilk or loose yoghurt - 2 cups

For garnish

Finely chopped green chillies - 3 nos
Finely chopped ginger- 1 large piece
Roasted peanust with skins removed - 2 teaspoons ( coarsely break them up)
Toor dhal - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves

Marinade the rava in buttermilk for about 2 hrs. The rava bulks up to form a thick batter. Add a little water if too thick. However, this should be a little more thicker than the ordinary idli batter.

Heat a little oil and crackle the mustard seeds. Add the rest of the ingredients for garnishing and str till golden brown. Add to rava mixture with salt.

Pour into Idli moulds and steam cook till done.

Egg Dosa- For the non-veggies
Spread the dosa batter on the tava as for normal dosas. The dosa should be thing. Break an egg on the dosa, like for bull's eye. close the dosa with a lid on low flame so that both egg and dosa get cooked. Open lid after about 5-8 mins. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on it. Enjoy your Egg dosa

Egg Omlette Dosa
Take egg in a bowl. Beat well. Add salt, a chilli, quarter tomato and half an onion (finely chopped), and beat again, as for omlette. Mix this with the dosa batter, and make dosas as usual, turning to both sides. Your dosas will look very colourful..

Easy Channa masala
Chickpeas (vella kadala/ kabuli channa) - 1 1/2 cups
Onions - 2 Big ones
Tomatoes - 3 Big ones
Garlic - 3-4
Ginger - 1 big piece
Green chillies - 4
Kashmiri chille powder - 2 dessert spoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon and cloves - 2 each

Soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure cook for 5 whistles. Grind the rest of the ingredients in a mixer bowl till it is smooth.

Heat a little vegetable oil in a skillet and pour the masala in. Stir fry till the raw smell of onions and tomatoes go. Add in the chickpeas with enough salt. Keep stirring to blend them in.

Before serving garnish with lemon juice.

PS: When stirred till all the water evaporates and the red aromatic masala coats the channa, it becomes an ideal side dish to 'poori'.
When left with a looser gravy , it becomes a great combo to 'appam' and 'chappathis'.

simplified version of the kerala kadala curry
Brown chickpeas - 1 1/2 cups
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup (the readymade coconut milk powder works just fine)
Onions - 1 (sliced lengthwise)
Ginger & garlic - 1 teaspoon (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 3 (slit)
Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom - 2 each
Garam masala powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Chillie powder - 1 teaspoon
turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves

Soak the chickpeas overnight. Add all the ingredients, except the coconut milk, together with the chickpeas and pressure cook for 5 whistles.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in skillet and carckle mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour the chickpea gravy in and temper with the coconut milk. Let boil for a minute and take off the flame.
Keep chana soaked in water overnight, and cook the chick peas for upto 5 whistles.

In a blender, mix the chick peas, 1 tspn garlic paste or powder, 2 tbsp lime juice, and about tahina.

Tahina is sesame paste. Add about 1/2 cup tahina. Blend everything well, till a fine paste is obtained. Add water depending on the consistency of the Hamous you want.

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil, and mix again.

Garnish with olive oil and 2-3 chick peas on top.
Complementing the Homous recipe
Tahina might not be available in India. For those of you who would like to make this at home...

White seasame seeds - 1/2 cup
Exra Virgin Olive Oil - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste

Dry roast the sesame seeds till it turns an even light brown and wafts an aroma. Powder in a small mixer bowl. Once fine, add in the olive oil and whisk the mixer again. In case the mix is dry add a little more olive oil. The final consistency should be like that of a smooth peanut butter.
Oats recipes
Oats are healthy! We've all heard that a lot of times! But how many of us have been able to really coax our families into accepting it as a breakfast alternative?

Through trial and error I've been able to come up with a few oats recipes that are a lil more palatable to the Indian palate. Hope you like them. And, don't forget to add in your own too :-)

Dates and oat meal porridge
Deseed, chop and coarsely grind dates and store in the refridgerator. Toast a couple of handfuls of almonds in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Store. (this is your weekend preparation)

Prepare your oatmeal the regular way. that is boil a tumblerful of water, add 1/2 cup of oatmeal. stir cook till it cooks to a thick , pourable consistency ( about 2-3 mts). Add 1/2 cup of skimmed milk, and a generous helping of the dates mixture. take off flame , top with a few toasted almonds. Fruits are optional.
Wholesome Oats upma
1) Oats - 1 cup

2) Finely chopped assorted vegetables - 2 cups (onions, carrots, beans, green peas, sweet corn, mushrooms etc)

White broad beans/paneer/chicken fillets - 1/2 cup (you can choose any one these based on your preference, this adds the protien part to the dish)

- If you opt for the white broad beans soak for about 3 hrs and pressure cook for 4 whistles. drain all water.
- If you opt for paneer, dip in chilled water for 2 minutes and cut into cubes
- If you opt for chicken fillets, cut them into strips and saute them in a teaspoon of oil till the meat turns a white opaque colour.

3)chopped Green chillies - 3
4)chopped ginger - 1 teaspoon
5) Kashmiri chillie powder - 1 teaspoon
6) Garam masala or kitchen king masala - 1/4 teaspoon

Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet , add the ginger, green chillies and saute. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook till 3/4th done. Add the broad beans/chicken/paneer and saute for 2 mts.

Add the oats. sprinkle water and cook covered for a minute on low flame. Add the chilie powder and garam masala. Add salt to taste. Stir fry till oats is cooked (about 2 minutes) sprinkling more water if necessary)

PS: Its important to just sprinkle water. If you pour as you would for regular sooji (semolina), this upma becomes soggy and porridge like.

Oats dosa
Instant Oats - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Semolina (Rava/sooji) - 1/2 cup
Sour buttermilk - 1/2 cup
Ginger, green chillies, onions - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Salt to taste

Mix all the flours together and add the buttermilk. Add sufficient water to make a thick batter. Let stand for an hour. Add the finely chopped ginger, green chillies and onions and salt.

Season the hot dosa pan with gingelly oil and pour dosas of medium thickness. Cook till both sides are done. Serve with mint chutney.

easy choclate
Skimmed milk powder - 1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup ( the pure dark, unsweetened variety; not drinking choclate mix)
Condensed milk - 1/2 cup
Almonds - 5-6 nos

Lightly toast the almonds in a skillet, cool and coarse grind them in a mixer bowl. Sift the milk powder and cocoa so that they blend through well. Add the powdered almonds and the condensed milk. Knead well to form a dough. Make little balls out of it and place on a butter paperd tray. Refridgerate for 2 hours. It's ready to eat!

PS: Store the choclates in the refridgerator if it's not yet in your stomach ;-)

Fish fingers
Fish fillets (any white fleshed fish works for me) - 1/2 kg
Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon
Lemon - 3 juicy ones

For the batter

Corn flour - 1 cup
Egg white - 2 eggs
Rice flour - 1 teaspoon
Semolina - 1 teaspoon
Salt & Pepper powder - just a little bit

Bread crumbs - as required to roll the fingers in
Oil - to deep fry

Cut the fish fillets into strips. Marinade in the lemon juice, pepper powder, and some salt for about 1 hour.

Seperate the egg whites from the yolks. We need only the egg white here (cuts down the calories ;-). Whisk the egg whites well and add in the cornflour, rice flour and semolina. Semolina is optional but adds to the crispiness. Add a little water if the batter is too stick. Stir well to clear any lumps. Season with salt and pepper powder.

Dip the fish fingers in the batter and swirl till they are well coated. Spread the bread crumbs in a plate and roll the batter coasted fish fingers till they are covered by bread crumbs. Deep fry in any odourless vegetable oil.

Place them on kitchen tissue to absorb the extra oil and serve with tomato ketchup and onion rings marinaded in lemon juice.

Kerala fish curry
Fresh Mackerel or sardines - 1/2 kg
Small onions (shallots) - 10-12 nos (sliced into two)
Green chillies - 3-4 (slit)
Ginger - 1 medium sized piece (julienned)
Garlic - 4 big cloves (minced)
Kudampuli (Gambooge/malabar tamarind)- 3 pieces
Curry leaves - 6-8 sprigs
Red chilli powder - 3 teaspoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Clean and cut the fish into medium sized pieces (if you are using small sardines, just snip off the head, clean the insides and use them whole).

In an earthern vessal (cooking clay pot) or an ordinary skillet if you dont have its earthern counterpart, layer the curry leaf sprigs so that they form the base for the rest of the ingredients.

Soak the kudampuli in water for about 5 minutes and add it into the pot along with all the other ingredients except coconut oil and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and let simmer on slow fire with the lid on. When the fish appears almost cooked add the salt. When cooked , remove from fire, take off lid add a dash of coconut oil and a few more curry leaves and replace lid. let stand for an hour before serving.

Serve with cooked rice or tapioca (cassava).

PS: This gravy tastes even more better on the next day. It doesn't spoil if not refridgerated.

Meen varuthathu-Fish fry
Tilapia - 2 big ones - cut to 10 pieces (fresh) .
Pomfret - 4 #s - 15-20 small pieces .

Masala :
Chillie powder - 3 tsp
Coriander powder- 4 tsp
Turmeric -1/4 tsp
Black pepper - 2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp each
Tomato paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 1 or 2 twigs
Oil - u know it :0)

To Garnish :
White Onion - 1/2 , cut into long pieces
Green chillies - 4 or 5 .

Preparation :
* Clean the fish pieces properly by sprinkling salt , 2 times atleast , to get rid of the smell & it gives a nice n clean appearance .
* Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl and add little water to make it to a paste form .
* Take each fish piece and coat them with the masala and keep them on a plate , do it that way for all the pieces , since they are big pieces ,make sure you do it this way .
* Keep it marinated for 30 mins. atleast .
* Take a big non-stick pan , add a bit of oil ( some prefer a lot / others juz a coating of oil ) , so it depends on you . And fry them turning sides . While placing the fish in the frying pan , you can also keep a twig of curry leaves on top of it, so that it takes away the smell ( a guy friend's tip ) :0) .
* Once done , place it on a serving plate lined with paper towels (atleast 4 ) to take out the extra grease .
* Finally adding my nathoon's tip : To the same frying pan with the left over oil , add long cut half-onion & green chillie (slit) and stir for 4-5 sec and take it and sprinkle it on top of these pieces .
* Serve it with rice .

If you are using fresh G-G , then you can also try adding 1 or 2 small pearl onions & 1 twig of curry leaves and then grind all the masala ingredients together with these freshies to form a paste , else this would do :) .

This is for fresh fish , that we get to buy from these Chinese stores- they will clean & cut it into big pieces & give , if buying a fillet , then the pieces wud be small , so play with the ingredients accordingly :).

Tangy Mango Thokku
Mangoes that are 3/4th ripe - 4-5 nos
Jaggery (gud/sharkkara/vellam)- 50 gms
Chillie powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

Peel and slice mangoes.

Boil 1 glass of water in a thick bottomed vessel and dissolve the jaggery in it. Keep stirring till the water turns to a slightly syrupy consistency (string consistency/kambi padham).

Add the mango slices in and allow to cook on slow flame stirring ocassionally to avoid burning.

Add the chillie powder and salt. Keep stirring till the mangoes are cooked and mashed to a loose jam like consistency.

Cool and store in fridge. Keeps good for a week!

PS: Mango thokku is best eaten with curd rice. It also goes well with dosas and idlis.

Raw mango cooler
Raw mangoes - 1 kg
Sugar - to taste ( I use about 1 1/4 cup)
Cardamom (elaichi) - 4-5 nos
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 teaspoon

Peel, cube and pressure cook the raw mangoes for 2 whistles. Cool and blend them into a smooth paste.

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and add the sugar. Boil to syrupy consistency.

Pound the cardamom and cumin seeds.

Blend all the ingredients in a mixer bowl.


To make your cooler, add enough cold water to half a glass of the mango syrup and drink!
Strawberry fizz
Really ripe strawberries - 250 gms
Soda - 1 (350 ml)
Demerara sugar (brown unrefined sugar) - 2 teaspoons (more if you have sweet tooth)

De stalk and clean the strawberries. Blend them in a mixer bowl to a smooth consistency. Add in the sugar and the soda and whisk once more.

Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Nellikka (Gooseberry/amla)koottan
Nellikka - 5 big ones
Grated coconut - 2 teaspoons
Cumin (jeera) seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 3 nos (the spicy, small ones)
Sour curds (yoghurt) - 2 cups

For garnish

Dry red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Deseed and chop the nellika into chunks. Grind to fine paste. Keep aside.
Grind together the coconut, cumin, and green chillies.

Heat a little oil in a skillet and crackle the mustard seeds. Add teh rest of the garnish ingredients and saute lightly. Pour in the coconut mixture and cook for a minute. Add the nellikai paste and salt to taste. Simmer for 1/2 a minute and add the sour curds. Simmer lightly stirring all the while. Take off flame when the mixture starts a light boil.

Kanthari mulaku (bird's eye chilli) recipes
Kanthari mulaku (bird's eye chilli/thai pepper/african peri-peri) is a very 'homely' part of Kerala cusine. In India, this pungent and delicious chilli is rarely used in any other region apart from Kerala (open to argument).

Even in Kerala, kanthari is not something you'd find on the menu of upmarket restaurants or the vegetable racks of supermarket chains. This is something that I grew up watching my parents and now my in-laws handpick fresh from the garden and then churn out superbly simple yet extremely delicious fare.

If the taste wasn't enough, kanthari is also reputed to be high on the health quotient! It's supposed to be the foody way to a more temperate blood pressure ;-)
Kanthari chammanthi (chutney/dip)
Kanthari (bird's eye chilli/thai pepper) - 6-10 nos
Small onions (shallots) - 5 nos
Coconut oil - 2 teaspoons
salt to taste.

Peel the shallots. Coarse grind the onions and kanthari together in a mixer bowl. Just a turn or two on the mixie should produce the desired effect).

Add the salt and the coconut oil. mix well.

Serve as a side dish to boiled tapioca (cassava root /kappa/kuchi kizhangu)
Kanthari thayir
Kanthari (bird's eye chilli/thai pepper) - 5
Small onions (shallots) - 2
Ginger - 1 small piece
Curry leaves - a sprig or two
Curds (yoghurt/thayir) - 1 cup

Grind the kanthari, small onions, ginger and curry leaves in a mixer bowl. Add to the curds (yoghurt) with a dash of salt. Refridegerate before serving.

Lovely accompaniment to spicy pulavs and biriyanis.

Nadan chicken masala
Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned, skinned, fat trimmed, and cut into medium sized pieces)
Onions - 2 big
Small onions (shallots) - 10 nos
Ginger - 1 teaspoon (ground to fine paste)
Garlic - 4-5 big cloves (crushed)
Green chillies - 4-5 (slit lengthwise)
Tomatoes - 4 (medium sized)
Bay leaves - 1-2
Curry leaves - 4-5 sprigs
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chillie powder - 2 teaspoons (more if you want it spicier)
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons.

For dry masala

Cinnamon - 3 sticks
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 2
Mace - 1-2 threads
Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon (crush a seed and measure out half a teaspoon)
Star anise - 3
Fennel - 1/4 teaspoon

Dry grind the spices in a mixer bowl and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a thick bottomed skillet. Throw in a teaspoon of mustard seeds and let crackle. Add the crushed garlic followed by the ginger paste. Once a light aroma emanates add the shallots and sliced onions. When pink in colour add the sliced tomatoes and green chillies. Saute for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and the coriander powder. Fry for a minute. Add in the chicken pieces along with the bay leaves and curry leaves. Add 1/2 the quantity of the dry masala powder you have made and allow the chicken to cook on slow fire with the lid closed. DO NOT ADD WATER, the chicken has to cook in it's juices. Stir once in a while to avoid burning.

When the chicken is almost done add the rest of the dry masala powder and salt to taste. Add a few more curry leaves and saute for another 2 minutes. Let stand for about an hour in the vessel it has been cooked in. This allows the flavour to really come out.


PS: We do not add water to this curry. So, remember to use a thick bottomed vessel to avoid burning the dish.

Easy-2-prepare Chicken-Yoghurt Chicken

Chicken drumsticks / thighs - 8 pieces

Yoghurt -1 1/ 2 cups

Ginger -garlic paste - 1 tsp each

Black pepper powder - 1 tsp

Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Chillie powder - 2 tsp

Coriander powder - 4 tsp

Salt - to taste


* Clean the chicken DS & peel off its skin . Wash it properly by sprinkling some salt over. Make long & deep slits n keep it aside .
* Put all the other ingredients to a big bowl & mix them properly and add the chicken pieces to it n marinate well & keep aside for 10 mins .
* Take a big microwaveable bowl , coat it with 2 tbsp of veg/olive oil , then arrange these pieces over it & pour the rest of the marinade over it .
* Keep it in the microwave & cook for 30 mins . After the first 15 mins. check it and turn the pieces and keep it half closed , check again after 15 mins . It should be done by then , if not keep it for 5 mins more .
* Final appearance should be chicken immersed in thick gravy .
* Eat with rice or chappathi .

And if to be used as an appetizer , then make sure that the whole gravy gets reduced .

( If you are hesitant to use Microwave , you can cook it in conventional oven , jus that the cooking time will be a bit longer . Take a big Oven safe pan , coat it with Veg. spray (PAM) then arrange the chicken pieces n lightly spray on top of it too . then keep it at 450 for 1 hour or until it gets cooked & all the gravy gets reduced . )

It is an easy & quick preparation :) . You can always change the ingredients' level according to your taste .

Soya Chicken
Easiest of all chicken recipes..


Chicken- 250g
Soya sauce- 1 1/2 tbsp
Hot sauce- 1/2 tbsp
Tomato sauce- 1/2 tbsp
Chilli powder- 2 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
Onions- Cu into squares- 2 No.s
Garlic- chopped- 2 tsp
Sugar- 1/2 tsp or to taste
Oil- 1 tbsp


Mix well all ingredients and cook covered in a non- stick pan on low flame for 20 min. Do not add water.

Bread upma
Left over bread can be used..

6 slices of bread (a li'l older bread will give good texture)
1tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 9rai)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 small green chilly- finely chopped
a few curry leaves
1 small onion- finely chopped
vegetables- cabbage, broccoli, carrots, beetroot, french beans - finely chopped (optional)
salt to taste
1 tbsp water
coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)


1. Crumble the bread slices in a mixer grinder/ food processor.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When they splutter add jeera, chilly and curry leaves. Fry for 30 sec.
4. Add Onions and fry till they translucent. Mix in the veggies and salt.
5. Add the bread crumbles. Sprinkle water. Mix well.
6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve ho

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