Friday, August 24, 2012

Chicken Hearts Fry

Chicken Hearts ..... As a kid it was something I used to search in chicken curries. When my parents finds one they used to give that to me. Now I follow the same tradition. My son loves it and asks me while I cook. "Amma, did you get it?".

While I was visiting my brother- in-law, my Co-sister made a curry with "Chicken hearts"with Puttu for breakfast. It was so delicious. We all loved it. We had lots and lots of chicken heart without searching it in chicken curry. I told my husband that we should buy it from there and take it home. Till then I was not aware that it was available in our local store too. So the next time we saw "Chicken Hearts" sitting in our store we brought it. And my son kept on reminding me about making it. He even took care of his younger brother while I made this dish. I heard him telling his little brother, "Chettan (Big brother in malayalam) is really hungry and Amma is making curry. So don't disturb her."

Well, here goes the recipe.

.



Ingredients:
1)Chicken Heart - 2 Lb

2) Big Onions - 3 (Sliced)
3)Garlic - 10-12 cloves (Chopped)
4) Ginger - 1 piece (Chopped)
5) Green Chilly - 2
6) Curry leaves

7)Chilly powder - 2 tsp
8) Coriander powder - 3 tsp
9) Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
10) Perinjeerakam Powder(Fennel Seeds Powder ) - 1 tsp
11) Garam Masala - 3 tsp

Method:

  • Add oil to a pan. When it is hot add the Onions. Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies. Saute. 
  • When  onions turns brown add curry leaves. Saute. Add the masalas - Chilly powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Perinjeerakam Powder, Garam Masala Powder. Saute well.
  • When the smell of masalas roasted comes, add the chicken hearts and salt. Saute and cover the pan with lid.
  • Remove the lid when the heart is cooked. And stir occasionally till the water dries up.

Source: My own recipe






Monday, August 13, 2012

Uppu Manga (Green Mango in Brine)

UPPUMANGA ( Tender Mango in brine)

Uppumanga and Kanji (Rice with Rice cooked water) is one of my favorite combinations. It gives me immense satisfaction to come back home after a trip and have some kanji and uppumanga after eating all the fast food during the journey. A typical Keralite can understand what I meant here. I love to try varieties of food and restaurants. But some of our old favorites will always remain somewhere .

Some dishes bring back to us memories of some people and places. I called my mom to ask about the procedure of "making uppumanga " when I got some mangoes from our local Indian stores. It remind her of her father who passed away recently. Last year it was him who gave her Mangoes for her 'uppumanga'. He brought it for her also while he made it for him. (Her mother is no more. Even when my grandmother was there, he used to help around the kitchen.) She told me that after his death when they had food there the 'uppumanga' he made was still there. While I had my uppumanga I also remembered him and the last trip we had with him while I went for my vacation to India last year. We visited my mother's sister and my late grand mother's brothers and went to a historical church and he was talking a lot on the journey.  He was a person who never wanted to disturb others for his needs and traveled in bus and used to walk while he can easily afford a car. My dad was always ready to help but he tried his best not to disturb him. How can be people be so simple. His father was somebody who owned 2 boats at a time when owning  even one boat was a luxury in that area. For us the young generation walking even 1 mile is not easy. We drive a car or catch a bus or auto to nearest  office or college and jog in the evenings to burn calories. Salute the old generation !



Ingredients:
1)Green Mango - 28 mangoes ( 4 Lb)
2)Salt -   9 tbsp + 3 tbsp+ 3tbsp+ extra if you need
3)Boiled and cooled water (brought to room temp) - Enough to cover mangoes

Note: salt measurement are mine. I couldn't understand my mothers 'kg' measurement of salt and I didn't have a kitchen scale to measure salt. I had only spoons and cups to measure. But it came out well.)

 

Method:

  • Boil water and keep it aside to cool and come to room temperature.
  • Rinse well the mangoes and wipe off the water with a  clean towel. 
  • Add Mangoes in a clean jar or bharani.
  • Add salt. ( I added 3 tbsp salt after every 10 mangoes)
  • Add water enough to cover the mangoes.
  • Cover the jar with a clean cotton cloth and tie it securely with kitchen twine.
  • Close with the lid.
  • Keep it in a dry and dark area. (I kept it in my lower cupboard in the kitchen. Traditionally it is kept in Arra or nilavara. My mom keeps it in Arra.) 
Optional step:
         After one week I opened the jar and added 3 tbsp of salt. Again I tied it securely with cotton cloth. Then 2 weeks after that I again added 3 more tbsp. Then after two week I checked the salt in the water and added some more. You can add the salt all at once or follow this step.

Note:
I stored it for 3 months and opened and used after the 3rd month. The amount of time depends on quantity, quality and tenderness of mangoes. It can vary from one months to 3-4 months.

Arra- It is a room common in old ancestral houses in kerala and is used to store surplus food , wine , pickles and other things. The room has no windows and is made of wood. It is dark inside without light.










Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking Forward to Lunch: Frugal Brown Bag Recipes


Guest post from Kate Sorenson of Coupon Cravings

Looking Forward to Lunch: Frugal Brown Bag Recipes

Brown bagging it for lunch, instead of getting take-out or eating at a restaurant, is one of the easiest ways to save thousands of dollars per year. Packing your own lunch means getting to control the price of your meals. You can watch out for sales at the grocery stores and pay attention to coupons for different ingredients. If there’s a special on ham, you can save money by planning to bring ham sandwiches for lunch that week.

Zen Habits calculates that bringing your own lunch from home costs only $1.00-$3.00 per meal, while eating at a restaurant can cost $10-$15 per meal. This adds up to over $3,000 a year of unnecessary spending!

Here are many of the other benefits of brown bagging:

  • Homemade lunches are healthier than high-calorie, over-processed restaurant meals.
  • Homemade lunches can often be tastier than those from restaurants.
  • By staying in and working through lunch, you may get to leave early at the end of the day.

For some great inspiration for making brown bag lunches more exciting, easy, and low-cost consider some of the following ideas:

Freeze Your Food
An interesting and timesaving idea is to freeze sandwiches in large batches that will keep for 1-3 months in the freezer. The benefits of freezing sandwiches include: saving money, saving time by making large batches at once, using leftovers, and ensuring healthy food by controlling the ingredients. Just be sure when freezing sandwiches to keep in mind the types of ingredients that freeze well:
·   Peanut butter
·   Tuna fish or salmon
·   Most meats such as roast beef, chicken and turkey
·   Hard and semi-hard cheeses, such as Swiss or Cheddar

Lunch Ideas
Try some of these meal ideas time you’re packing your lunch:
·   Burritos – use simple ingredients such canned beans, cooked chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, onions and/or peppers. Then roll them into whole wheat tortillas.
·   Subs - use sub rolls or pita and fill them with tuna, hummus, peanut butter, or sandwich meats. Try adding interesting crunchy ingredients like celery, shredded carrots, cucumber, or lettuce.
·   Pizza – use pre-made crust, sauce and cheese. To make it a little healthier, don’t forget to add veggies.
·   Remember to bring your own beverages from home for extra savings.

Harness Your Leftovers
For super easy and frugal lunches, Food and Fitness suggests using leftovers from dinner for your lunch. Some suggestions for using leftovers wisely include:
·   Using leftover chili to top a baked potato or put in a “sloppy Joe” sandwich.
·   Adding leftover vegetables to make a salad, soup or even omelet.
·   Cook a whole chicken and freeze leftovers in single portion sizes.
·   Use cereal crumbs as a yogurt or oatmeal topping or in place of flour in muffins and cookies.

Using these frugal and tasty tips for brown bag lunches will make overspending during your lunch hour a thing of the past.

This is a guest post from Kate Sorenson of Coupon Cravings, a site with 30k+ Facebook Fans and over 12,000 Twitter followers. Thanks, Kate Sorenson and Elizabeth Baker for contributing this article to my blog. visit www.couponcravings.com

Monday, June 18, 2012

Avocado Shake

Hi Guys ! I am back after a long break.... Since it is summer here I thought that I will share a nutritious stomach filling and yummy 'Shake' with you.... I was not a big fan of Avocado but this 'shake' shaked my attitude towards it. Now I try different varieties of avocado dishes. 

Avocado's nutritional value is numerous. It helps to raise the "good" cholesterol level in the blood. It also helps in the treatment of Hypertension and diabetics.Avocado is rich in Vitamins B, K and E and are a good source of monounsaturated fat. 

Total Time - 5 min    To serve- 2 glass



Ingredients:

Avocado - 1
Vanilla Ice- cream - 2 scoop
Cold Milk- 1 cup
Sugar- 2-3 Tbsp
Vanilla essence- 1-2 drops

Method:
  • Peel off the skin and remove the seed of Avocado.
  • Take a Blender/ Mixie and blend all the ingredients.
  • Add vanilla essence and Serve IMMEDIATELY .
Source: Lekhachechi





Monday, April 23, 2012

Puttu (Steamed Cake)

Puttu (Steamed Cake)- A South Indian Main Breakfast dish with steamed ground rice layered with grated coconut. It is served with any one of the following- Chickpea Curry (Kadala Curry), Banana, Beef Ullathiyathu, Meen peera pattichathu (Fish in grated coconut and kukum).... etc

Total Time taken: 15 mins           Serve- 1-2 persons




Ingredients:
Puttu powder/ Puttu Podi (Rice powder) - 1 cup
Water - approximately or below 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - approxi 1/2 cup
Salt- to taste

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, take puttu powder/ podi. Add one handful of grated coconut. Add salt. Mix well with hands. Add water little by little till the puttu podi is wet. Mix well with hands. Make a disc/ ball ( see the step by step pic below) with hands. If the disc/ ball didn't break and holds by itself then that means puttu podi is wet enough.
  • Keep it aside for 5-10 min. ( I usually skip this step)
  • Take some water in Puttu Maker's bottom part (Puttu Kudam). And let it boil. Fix Puttu Kutti (the Cylinderical Pipe) over that.
  • When the boiling sound comes, take the Puttu Kutti (the cylinderical Pipe). Check whether the lower lid is secured properly. 
  • Add 2 tbsp of grated coconut. Add puttu podi on the top of it. When it reaches about the middle of Puttu Kutti , add 2 tbsp of grated coconut again. Add puttu podi till it reaches the top of Puttu Kutti. Add 2 tbsp of grated coconut. Close with top lid.
  • Steam it in Puttu Maker for 5-7 minutes. Take the 'Puttu Kutti' out from' puttu kudam'.
  • Take a long stick or handle of long spoon and take out the puttu by pressing it slowly on the lower lid.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Almond Milk Pudding - Easy & Yummy !

When I made this pudding for the first time, it was hard as a rock. I was at my husband's place and we were having some guest. Any way the other two dishes that I made that day (Duck roast, Pressure cooked sardine) came out well. So the embarrassment caused by this pudding was somewhat balanced.  I got this recipe from a magazine. In that magazine they were asking to add 100 gm of china grass. I thought it was too much and added 20 gm. Even 20 gm was too much. So this time I made with approximately  5gm- 10gm (see the 2nd pic). I just took little bit 'china grass' in my hand and soaked it in water. The Almond Milk pudding came out perfectly well this time. I made it for my son's play-date. His friends' mothers as well as my kids loved it.So here goes a super easy pudding recipe. And it is Yummy, Yummy, Yummy ! Excellent blend of richness of condensed milk and almonds... 

Total Time Taken- 30 min + Chilling Time
Serve - 16 squares


Ingredients:
1)Grind Almond - 1/4-1/2 Cup
2) China grass / Agar Agar - Approx 5-10 gm
3) Milk - 1 litre
4) Condensed Milk (Milkmaid) - 1 tin (14 0z)
4) Sugar - 5 tbsp
5) Saffron- 1 pinch

Method:
  • Soak china grass in water for 10 min.
  • Meanwhile boil the milk. When the milk comes to boil, add the drained china grass. Stir it occasionally. When the china grass melts completely add milkmaid, almond and sugar. Stir it occasionally until it is thick.
  • Add saffron at the end. Stir for 1 minute and switch off the flame.
  • Pour it into a glass dish and when it cools down, refrigerate.
  • When it is set, decorate with almonds. Cut it into squares and serve.
Adapted from a recipe published in Vanitha Magazine.





Thursday, April 12, 2012

Papaya Milk Shake

Summer Time ! This shake is something my mother used to make it for us when we had plenty of Papaya.When we come home after the school, this Papaya Shake is really filling . Last week I found papaya in Costco and brought it having this recipe in mind. Here goes the recipe.

Serve: 4-5
Time  Taken- Less than 10 minutes



Ingredients:


1)Papaya - 1
2)Cold Milk - 1- 1 1/2 cup
3)Sugar - 4 tbsp or according to taste
4)Cashew nuts & Raisins - 8-10
5)Vanilla essence- 2 drops

Method:
  • Take off the skin and seeds of the papaya and cut into pieces.
  • In a mixie/ blender, add Papaya, Cold Milk, Sugar and blend.
  • Add cashew nuts, raisins and vanilla essence. Mix. Serve or Refrigerate.
Note: This shake tastes better if you finish it off the same day itself.

Recipe Source: My mother


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

VazhaChundu / Banana Flower Cutlet

Vazhachundu / Vazhapoo / Banana flower cutlet is a very simple and healthy recipe. In this recipe I didn't use too much ingredients. I just used the basic ingredients needed for making the cutlet.When you want a change in your daily menu try this. I tried to make it healthy as possible. Even the frying part. I used "grape seed oil" for frying. It is the most healthiest oil ideal for frying and has light taste. Cutlet can be served with rice or can be eaten at snack time.


Number of cutlets- 8-10



Ingredients:
Chundu/ Banana flower/ Banana Blossom -1
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Gram Masala - 1/2-3/4 tsp
Onion- 1
Green Chilly -3
Ginger - 1 piece
Curry leaves
Potato - 1
Egg -1
Bread crumbs- 1/2 cup
Oil

Method:
  • Peel off the outer layers of the chundu / Banana flower and chop the inner layer nicely. 
  • Put it in starch water of rice ( kanji velam ) or diluted buttermilk and rinse well. (When I don't have buttermilk or kanji velam I just rinse it in water.)
  • Cook the potato in a sauce pan with enough water. Peel off the skin.
  • Chop onion, green chilly, ginger and curry leaves in a chopper or by hand.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, green chilly, ginger and curry leaves. 
  • When the onion becomes transparent, add the chopped and drained chundu / banana flower, gram masala, turmeric powder and salt. Mix it. Cover and cook. Switch off the flame when it is cooked well.
  • Add the mashed potato into it. Mix well. 
  • Shape it into cutlet. 
  • Beat one egg. Dip the cutlet into egg and then roll it in bread crumbs. Shape it.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry the cutlet on both sides.
Source: My mother




Monday, April 9, 2012

Kadala Curry- Kerala Style ( Chick peas/ Chana in coconut milk and with sliced coconut

Puttu and Kadala Curry is one of the favorite and common traditional breakfast combination of a malayalee (Keralite). Kadala Curry is also a good combination with chappathi, appam, idiyappam. When I make it I make little extra so that it will go with one night dinner ( With Chappathi ) and next day's breakfast ( With Puttu). There is a proverb in Malayalam "ഒരു വെടിക് രണ്ടു പക്ഷി" - " Killing two birds with one bullet". Similarly with one dish I serve both breakfast and dinner.
Well, In this recipe you can see that I used two cups of Kadala and it serves 8-10 persons. What happened is that I made little more extra so that I can give it to my neighbor and one of my husband's colleague. Me and my neighbor "S.." have a habit of exchanging food. It all started when I became pregnant with my second kid. She used to feel sympathetic to me, seeing me struggling with my 2 year old naughty and restless son and doing cooking and other household chores. And I used to feel guilty to take it from her. She is a working lady works 5 days and cook on week-ends. And I being a house wife sitting at home. So I used to return her food containers with some dishes  when ever I can. And this episode still continues.

Well, "S.." and her husband gave me a "good" feed back about this dish. And told me that I should definitely put this in my blog. And she asked me for the recipe with exact measurement. Now a days since I started a blog I usually use measuring spoons and measuring cups so that I can post exact measurements. Earlier it was just pouring it from my 'spice containers' tuck.... tuck... tuck.... Sometimes spices/ masala will be little bit more or little bit less. Here, goes exact measurement. I am little bit confused about 'Perumjeerakam powder' I added. Whether it was 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp. Rest measurements are fine.





Serves - 8-10
Ingredients:
1) Chana / Kadala / Chick peas - 2 cup
2) Sliced Big Onion - 1-1 1/2
3) Chopped Garlic- 1 pod
4) Chopped Ginger - 1 piece
5) Green Chilly -3
6) Sliced Coconut - 1/2 cup
7) Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
8) Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
9) Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp
10) Gram Masala - 1- 1 1/4 tsp
11) Perumjeerakam powder (Ground fennel seeds) - 1/2- 3/4 tsp
12) Coconut Milk - 1 tin
13) Mustard seeds
14) Oil
15) Curry leaves
16) Salt


Method:
  • Soak the chana in water overnight or 6-8 hrs.
  • Heat oil in pressure cooker. When the oil is hot, splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add Sliced onion, ginger, garlic, green chilly and curry leaves. Saute occasionally.
  • When the onion turns brown, add chilly powder, coriander powder, perumjeerakam,  Gram masala, turmeric powder. Saute continuously. When the roasted masala aroma comes add chick peas/ Chana/ Kadala, Salt and sliced coconut. Pour water enough to cover the chana. Stir.
  • Close the pressure cooker and when the steam comes out put on the weight. Remove from the flame after 3-4 whistle. Wait for the pressure to get over. Or put the pressure cooker under running cold water. When the pressure is over, open the pressure cooker.
  • Add coconut milk to it. Stir. Bring the dish to boil and turn off the flame.




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Broccoli Thoran (Stir fry with coconut)

Broccoli Thoran  is something you can make it  in minutes. This is a side dish I make with rice when I don't have much time to cook. Broccoli is also a very nutritious vegetable with high Vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber. It also contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties.



Serves 3-4


Ingredients:
1) Broccoli - 1 bunch
2) Grated Coconut - 1/2 -3/4 cup
3) Green chilly - 1
4) Pearl Onions -2
5) Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
6) Curry leaves
7) Mustard seeds
8) Salt
9) Oil


Method:

  • Chop florets of broccoli nicely.
  • Grind roughly grated coconut, Pearl Onions, green chilly and curry leaves
  • Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add the curry leaves and broccoli. Stir. Mix the grind ingredients and salt. Close the lid. Stir occasionally removing the lid. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve.
Note:
  • Before cooking I usually soak broccoli in cold water mixed with 1 tsp of vinegar . This step kills the worms if any.
  • You can omit the 3rd step if you need a really healthy recipe without oil.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fish and Raw Mango Curry / Meen-Manga Char

This is a very easy fish recipe. Last week my friend, "M.." brought me a "fish-mango curry" she made using her grandmother's recipe. This remind me of one of my family recipe. I leafed through my hand written recipe book and found it at last. Last sunday my husband brought some fish and I made this curry. 



Ingredients:
1) Fish - 3  LB ( I used 2 striped bass) (Cut it into 3-4 pieces)
2) Raw Mango (Cut lengthwise) - 1
3) Salt
4) Water

To Grind
 Grated Coconut- 1 cup
 Garlic - 4-5 cloves
 Ginger - 1" piece
 Onion- 1/2
 Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
 Chilly Powder - 2 tbsp

For Tempering:
Coconut Oil
Mustard Seeds- 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1-2 pinch
Pearl Onion (sliced) -2
Curry leaves

Method:

  • Add the grind ingredients to a clay pot/ pan. Add Water, Mango, Fish and Salt. 
  • When it starts boiling lower the flame. Cover and cook.
  • In a skillet, heat oil. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds and then Fenugreek seeds. When the mustard seeds stop popping, add  Onions. When it starts turning brown add the curry leaves. When the onion is browned add it to the fish.




Source: My mother

Kovakka / Tindora / Ivy Gourd Mezhukkuppuratti (Stir fry)

Kovakka / Tindora / Ivy Gourd is a tropical vine and the vegetable is a good source of several micro-nutrients , including Vitamin A and beta-carotene. It also has lot of medicinal value and it is used in Ayurveda in the treatment of many diseases. Recent studies shows that it helps in regulating blood sugar level and so it is now sometimes prescribed to diabetic patients. So, diabetic patients crunch some   Ivy Gourd daily or use it in the curry like this instead of drinking Bitter-Gourd juices.



Ingredients:
1) Tindora / Kovakkai / Ivy Gourd - 1/2 kg (Cut lengthwise)
2) Green Chilly- 4 ( Slit lengthwise)
3) Sliced Onion- 1/2
4) Pepper powder - 1 tsp
5) Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
6) Mustard seeds
7) Curry leaves
8) Oil
9) Salt

Method:

  • Mix with hands the Kovakkai / Tindora with turmeric powder and salt.
  • Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add mustard seeds. After it popped up add onions,green chilly, curry leaves.
  • When the onions starts turning brown, add the pepper powder. Saute. Add Tindora/ Ivy Gourd / Kovakka. Saute well. Cover with lid. Remove the lid and stir occasionally. Tindora will start loosing its texture. Cook it till it gets wrinkled up and starts turning black. (check the pic).








Sunday, April 1, 2012

Uppuma / Rava Upma

Uppuma is a healthy, tasty and easy South Indian Vegetarian Breakfast. Some people have it for dinner too. I usually make it for breakfast and serve it with banana. I add plenty of vegetables, nuts etc to get the maximum nutrients and vitamins as possible from one meal. Here goes my version of Uppuma. It is a combination of vegetables likes carrot, beans and nuts like almonds and peanuts. You can avoid nuts if one of your family member is allergic to nuts.




Serves- 4

Ingredients:

1) Uppuma Rava / Roasted Rava/  sooji / semolina - 1 1/2 cup
2) Sliced Onion - 1/2
3) Chopped Ginger- 1 small piece
4) Green chilly -2
5) Toor dal - 1 hand full
6) Chopped carrot- 2
7) Chopped Beans- 4-5
8) Sliced Almonds - 1 small hand
9) Roasted Peanuts- 1 small hand
10) Water - 2- 21/2 cup
11) Oil/ butter
12) Salt
13) Curry leaves
14) Mustard seeds

Method:

  • Heat oil/butter in a large pan. Add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds popped up, add onions, ginger, green chilly, toor dal and curry leaves. Saute well.
  • When the onion become transparent and starts turning brown add the vegetables and nuts. Saute well. Cover the pan for 1 minute.
  • Remove the lid and add water and salt. When the water comes to boil, add rava. Mix well. Cover the pan. Open it and stir occasionally. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and stir. Remove from the flame.

Serves- 4


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Carrot-Paneer Stuffed Chappathi

Carrot- Paneer Stuffed Chappathi is very easy to make and it is ideal for breakfast and dinner. You can serve it with Curry or Raitha. I made this last week when I felt that  I need a change from the ordinary chappathi. Besides my both kids don't  prefer curries with chappathi. They eat it plain. So  sometimes I hide vegetables in chappathi by stuffing it.



Ingredients:
1) Wheat flour- 2 cups
2)Oil/ Ghee- 1 tbsp
3) Water- more or less one cup
4) Salt
5) Carrot - 1
6) Paneer - 1/2 cup
7) Pepper powder - 1/2-1 tsp

Method:
  • In a chopper, Add carrot and Paneer. Chop or grate it to fine. Add pepper powder and salt. Mix it.
  • To the flour , add oil/ ghee and mix it with finger tips. Add salt and water. Add water part by part. Knead well. ( Refer the post " How to make good chappathi ). Roll the dough into a big ball.
  • Make small balls with the dough. Roll out into thick chappathi. 
  • Place 1 1/2 -2 tbsp of Carrot- Paneer mix on the center of the chappathi.
  • Close it as shown as in picture. Press over the edges. Roll with rolling pin on the top of it.
  • Heat a griddle/ pan, place the chappathi when it is hot.
  • Fry on both sides. Brush ghee.
Makes approximately 10 stuffed chappathi





Source: Adapted from vanitha

How to make good Chappathi


Chappathi 

Well, this recipe is for beginners in cooking. Last week I was chatting with my cousin, 'R...' who just  got a job and moved to Chennai. She suggested to add some easy recipes. My Aunt was telling me that she moved with her friends to a new house and started cooking by themselves. I don't know whether she know to make a chappathi. If she knows then I hope that she wont kill me. "Rosychechi, How dare you even think that I don't even know to make chappathi".Anyway I am dedicating this post and next post " Carrot- Paneer Stuffed Chappathi" for her. Actually, My dear cousin, 'R..' I was actually planning to post "Carrot-Paneer Stuffed Chappathi" for you then thought that it will be good idea if I added chappathi recipe too. hee...he... Enjoy!



Makes approximately 15 chappathi

Ingredients:
1) Wheat flour - 3 cup
2) Oil/ Ghee - 1 1/2 tbsp
3) Salt
4) Water/ Milk - more or less 1 1/2 cup

Method:

  • To the wheat flour add oil/ghee. Mix it with your fingertips. Add salt and water. Add water in parts. Knead with hand.Knead the flour outward from the center.The more you knead the softer it becomes.  Roll it into a big ball. 
  • Cover it with a wet kitchen paper towel or cotton cloth. 
  • You can keep it aside or start rolling right away. 
  • Make it into small balls. 
  • Sprinkle flour on the ball and rolling surface. The rolling pin should be light. While rolling the dough roll it outwards instead of rolling forward and backwards. Don't sprinkle too much flour  while rolling.
  • Heat the griddle/ pan. When it is hot, place chappathi. (medium- high flame ). Press it with a wet cloth or spoon. Fry both sides.Apply ghee on both sides(optional step).




Note:
If there is leftover 'dough' keep it  in refrigerator covering with a wet paper towel. Defrost it  (dont overheat)  in microwave when you need it. When you defrost it , it will become soft. Then roll it into chappathi.





Monday, March 26, 2012

Cherupayar / Green Gram Thoran (Stir fry with grated coconut)

Green Gram/ Cherupayar is very nutritious food rich in protein and is very good to include it in the diet of pregnant, breast- feeding moms, kids and sick people. I was down with flu last week and I craved for some kanji and cherupayar thoran. This recipe is also a very easy and quick recipe to make when we are sick and we don't have much energy to cook.


Ingredients:

1) Green Gram/ Cherupayar- 1 cup
2) Grated coconut - 3/4-1 cup
3) Shallot - 3-4
4) Garlic - 3 cloves
5) Green chilly -2
6) Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
7) Pepper Powder - 1/2-1 tsp
8) Red chilly (optional)
9) Salt
10) Mustard seeds
11) Oil

Method:
  • Soak Green gram / cherupayar in water overnight or 3-4 hours.
  • Pressure cook Green gram / Cherupayar with enough water (water covering green gram) for 3-4 whistles. 
  • Grind gently Grated coconut, Garlic, Shallot, Green chilly, Turmeric powder.
  • Add it to cooked green gram. Add salt. Cover it and cook for 1 min. 
  • Remover the cover and mix well.
  • Heat oil in large pan and add mustard seeds.
  • When it starts spluttering, add curry leaves and red chilly.Saute.
  • Add Green gram, Pepper powder and adjust the salt. Mix well.
  • Cook for 2-3 min , stir ring occasionally. Remove from flame. 


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pasta

Pasta ..... It is something I make at least once a week for dinner. It is easy to make and I don't have to make any other side dish along with it.And my kids and usually all the kids I know here love Pasta. It is also a great way to make kids eat vegetables.I add lots of vegetables and sausage so kids get somewhat a complete meal. Initially it was my husband who was the official Pasta Maker and Spaghetti Maker in the family. Now I learned to make pasta from him. Spaghetti is easy but I am lazy to learn.


  Ingredients


Ingredients:

1) Pasta ( I usually use Rotini or Penne) - 1 packet
2) Pesto sauce - 2-3 tbsp
3) Pasta Sauce (I usually use Prego) - 1 1/2 - 2 cup
4) Alfredo sauce - 2-3 tbsp
5) Butter- 3-4 tbsp
6) Garlic (crushed) - 3-4 cloves
7) Mushroom( sliced) - 8 oz (227 gm)
8) Broccoli - 1 bunch
9) Zucchini / Green squash - 1
10) Sausage (sliced)-(optional)
11) Pepper powder - 1 tsp
12) Parmesan Cheese- to sprinkle
13) Olive oil
14) Salt

Method:
  • In a large sauce pan, take plenty of water. Add salt and pour 1-2 tbsp olive oil. When water comes to rolling boil, add Pasta. Stir occasionally. Cook it uncovered till it become tender. Usually 9 min. (Check the package for cooking time. It depends on Pasta you use). When it is cooked, drain the water and keep it aside.
  • In a large pan, heat olive oil. Add crushed garlic. Saute. When the aroma comes , saute for a few seconds and add the vegetables. Sprinkle salt and mix well. Cover the pan and cook for few minutes. Stir in between. When the vegetables are somewhat cook , add COOKED sausage.
  • Add Pepper powder, butter, Pesto sauce,  Pasta sauce and  Alfredo sauce. Mix well.
  • When it boils, toss in the cooked Pasta. 
  • Sprinkle with  Cheese.
Note: You can use Alfredo sauce instead of PREGO sauce. Most people seems to prefer Alfredo over Prego/ Ragu. Alfredo is white in color and Prego is red. Prego's main ingredient is tomato and Alfredo is cheese. Pesto sauce main ingredient is  basil .If you want, you can add fresh or dry basil  in your pasta.







Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Beetroot and Beetrootleaves Thoran


It is been a while since I have posted something. I had a busy and stressful week-end. I was not feeling well and in between my youngest son had a fall and started vomiting in the middle of the night. If a child hit his head in a fall and starts vomiting in 24 hrs it is not a good sign. You should consult your doctor immediately. There may be a chance of bleeding in brain and in such case a emergency operation should be done to save the child.(I am writing this for new moms. I didn't knew these things before I had a baby ).Since our doctor was out of town,we took him to the emergency care. They examined him and  fortunately he was fine. It was just a concussion of the fall. I hope this post help some new moms or mothers-to-be. Other bad signs to watch for in 24 hrs after the fall are- crying uncontrollably after you did everything to sooth him, walking like a drunkard, pupil been dial acted, if he blacks out, lose of appetite. 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical person, these information is from a mother of two children.You should always consult a doctor.

Well, here goes a recipe. This is very healthy recipe. I didn't add even one tsp of oil in this. I used both beetroot and its leaves. We can cook beetroot leaves like we cook spinach. Recipe follows:




Ingredients:
1) Beetroot together with leaves( see the pic below)
2) Grated coconut- 1 and 1/2 cup
3) Small onions -2-3
4) Green chilly -2
5) Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
6) Salt

Method:
  • Wash beetroot and its leaves with plenty of water. There may be sand particles here and there.
  • Chop the leaves, stem and beetroot. 
  • In a food processor, mixie or chopper , add grated coconut, onions, green chilly and turmeric powder. Grind gently.
  • Take a sauce pan and add the vegetables. Sprinkle some salt and add the grind ingredients. Add   little water if neccessary. Cover and cook for 1 min. Then cook uncovered till the water dries up.





Thursday, March 15, 2012

Home-made Banana Chips, UPPERI

My son was pestering me for the last 2 weeks to make some banana chips for him. He even took one ripe banana started to cut. So I decided to make it atlast.



Ingredients:
Raw Banana
Coconut Oil
Salt
Turmeric Powder (optional)

Method:

  • Peel off the skin of bananas. Chop very thinly. 
  • In a frying pan, heat coconut oil very well. When it is really hot, add the bananas. Stir occasionally.
  • When it is half cooked or when a sound comes add salt and turmeric. Stir occasionally.
  • When it is done, take it out and place on paper towel to remove excess oil.
Source: My mother




Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Home-made Curd

Why waste money on buying curd when you can make it very easily at home? It is recession time guys, save money !!!

Ingredients:
Curd - 2-3 tbsp
Lukewarm milk

Method:

  • Boil Milk. Keep it to cool
  • Take a steel or glass bottle, Add curd.
  • Pour lukewarm milk to this bottle over curd.
  • Close the lid and keep it on the kitchen counter for overnight.
  • When the curd has formed, Refrigerate.
Source: My mother



Meen Peera Pattichathu ( Fish in grated coconut and kukum star)

Spring has started.It is fine weather outside.Now everybody has thrown of their jackets. Little girls are now in colorful frocks. I started searching for salwars in my closet. Well, it is really an irony. When I was a  kid I used to love wearing Shorts and T-shirt. When I grew up I loved pants and Capri. I fought with my Dad when he decided to send me to a college were salwar was compulsory. As a teenager my view was " Salwars are for mummy's and married women". There I used to wait for an occasion like tour so that I can go back to my comfortable outfit. Now I am in USA. A place where people is not bothered about what others are wearing. Now been 5 years, I have changed, my taste has changed....when it is good weather here, you can see me in salwars now.

One day my sister met one of my college professor and she asked her about me. When she told her that I am in  US, my teacher told her ..." ha, ha.... now she can wear whatever she likes." My sister just gave her a smile. 



That much for weather and me. Here goes a recipe. This is a very healthy and easy recipe. There is no oil in this recipe.

Ingredients:

1)Fish ( Cut into pieces) - 3 Lb
2)Green chilly( cut lengthwise) - 10-12
3) Chopped Small onions- 10
4) Finely chopped ginger - 1 piece
5) Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
6)Grated Coconut - 3-4 cup
7)Kukum star (Kudompuli) - 4-5 pieces
8) Curry leaves
9) Salt

Method:
  • Soak kukum star ( Kudompuli) in half cup of warm water.
  • In a clay pot or pan, Mix  grated coconut, green chilly, onions, ginger, turmeric, curry leaves and salt with your hands. Add kudompuli with the water. Add fish and water enough to cook the fish.
  • Place the pan on fire. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat. Cook till the water has dried up. It is ok if there is a little bit water left.
Source: My mother





Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brownie (My sister's own recipe)

This recipe and picture was sent to me by my youngest sister, Maria. She makes cakes, desserts, pizza,  puddings, pasta, wafers, Nan.....etc. I always tell her to start a blog. But she don't want to do it. But she is a active critic and support of my blogs. She had send me recipes of her and was telling me that it is perfectly o.k with her if I used it as mine and take the credit. Well, even it is my sister's I don't want to take undeserved credits. Here goes one of her recipes, that is perfectly her own recipe.




Ingredients:

    1)    Butter- ½  cup
    2)   Cocoa powder - 10-12 Tbsp
    3)    Powdered sugar- 2 cup
    4)     Flour - 2/3 cup
    5)     Salt- ½ Tsp
    6)      Eggs – 2
    7)    Vanilla extract - 1 Tsp
    8)     Milk – ¼ cup
    9)    Chopped cashewnuts/ walnuts or pecans – 2 cups

Method:
·         Preheat the oven at 320F (160°C).
·         Melt the butter and add cocoa powder. Mix well.
·         Add sugar, flour, salt, eggs, vanilla extract and milk to the above mixture and mix well.
·         Add  cashew nuts, walnuts or pecans pieces. ( She used cashew nuts since other nuts were not easily available in kerala.)
·         Bake for 35-40 minute until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
·        Cut into squares and serve.



Source of Recipe & Picture: Maria (My sister)




Kappa Vevichathu (Tapioca )

"Kappa and Fish curry" is one of the favorite combination of Kottayam side. It can be served any time of the day- breakfast, lunch, snack , dinner. I sometimes make it for dinner when we need a change.





Ingredients:
1.Tapioca - 2 Lb (908 gm) ( 1 'daily delight' packet)

For Grinding
2. Grated Coconut - 1 cup
3. Green chilly - 2
4. Small onions - 2
5. Garlic- 1 slice
6. Cumin- 1/4-1/2 tsp
7. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Boil tapioca with salt and  lots of water. Drain all the water when it is cooked. 
  • Add little water and grind-ed ingredients. Mix well
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When it is popped, add curry leaves and red chilly.
  • Add it into tapioca and mix well.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Kuttucurry- My own recipe


Lent season.... time to try out new vegetarian dishes. This dish was the outcome of my experiment. 



Ingredients:
1.Chana/ Chickpeas / Kadala -  1/2- 1cup (I added 1 cup because I like lot of chickpeas in kuttucurry)
2.Carrot (diced) -2
3.Potato (diced) - 1
4.Zucchini (diced)- 1
5.Raw Banana (diced) - 1
6.Ginger - 1 piece
7.Pepper powder - 1 tsp
8.Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
9.Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
10. Salt
11. Curry leaves
12. Coconut oil - 1-2 tbsp

For grinding:
Grated Coconut - 1- 1 1/4 cup
Green chilly - 1
Cumin- 1 tsp

Method:

  • Pressure cook chana with enough water  for 3-4 whistles or until cook.
  • Cook the vegetables with ginger, pepper powder, Chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Add cooked chana and mix well.
  • Add the grind-ed ingredients and cook with the lid closed for 2-3 minutes.
  • Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. After it is popped add 1 tbsp of grated coconut, Red chilly and curry leaves. Saute well.
  • When the grated coconut turn brown add it into the kuttucurry. Mix well.



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Buttercream Icing/ Frosting on Thomas Train Birthday Cake

This is the first cake I made with Icing. Mainly I used Butter cream Icing in this cake. Sheet cake and tunnel I frosted with buttercream. Pond, Rails and trees I made with fondant Icing. Train is a toy.I made Butter cream Icing at home and gave colors using Wilton Icing colors. Fondant Icing I brought from store and colored it using  Wilton Icing colors and I shaped it to ponds, Rails and trees.Tree's bottom is cinnamon stick. For Pebbles, I used chocolate covered raisins. Birthday wish was written in edible ink. But that was a mistake. Edible ink work better on fondant icing not on butter cream frosting. You can see it on the cake.



This I made for my eldest son's 4th Birthday. He is fond of trains especially Thomas train. So I decided to make a  Cake with Thomas train theme for his birthday. He was really excited and started asking me for his cake I week before his birthday.

Finally his birthday was approaching. I baked one sheet cake and some cupcakes one night and kept it for cooling at room temp. Cakes should be cooled well before frosting. Next day I made Icing and started frosting. I haven't attended any Icing classes so far. So it took me hours and hours for the frosting and decoration. I slept around 2'O clock that night. My son's excitement and happiness worth all the hard work and 2 night sleep. He sat with me during Icing section till 1.30 am. Saying thanks in between. He had lot of questions and want to help me in between.(You can see his hands and legs in some pics). Sometimes his child like curiosity, naughtiness  and help  was giving me more trouble than help . He tried to move his train on his cake's rails and since Icing was not dried yet, I had to stop him. I promised that he can do it on his bday. He helped me with the pebbles and he enjoyed doing it.  I asked him to go to his bed since his eyes looked heavy. But he sat till decoration was somewhat over. Here, goes the Buttercream Icing Recipe.

Ingredients:
1)Solid vegetable shortening - 1/2 cup
2)Butter - 1 stick or Margarine softened - 1/2 cup
3)Clear vanilla extract or Clear Almond extract - 1 tsp
4) Sifted confectioner's sugar - 4 cups
5) Milk/ Water - 2 tbsp

Method:
  • In a large bowl, beat shortening and butter. Add extract. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. In between scrap sides and bottom of bowl. Icing will appear dry when all the sugar has been mixed. Add milk. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Source for buttercream Icing Recipe: Wilton

Note:
  • Keep the icing bowl in fridge when not in use. Refrigerated in an air-tight container this icing can be stored for 2 weeks. Re-whip before using.
  • For thin (Spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tbsp light-corn syrup, water or milk.
  • For Pure White Icing ( Stiff Consistency), omit butter, substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 tsp no-color butter flavor. Add up to 4 tbsp light corn syrup, water or milk to this for icing cakes










My inspiration into cake decoration is my friend, Manju. She got a real talent in cakes decoration and baking. Check out this link : mmkakes.wordpress.com, www.mmkakes.wordpress.com