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

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


  • 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

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

  • 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


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

  • 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

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

  • 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
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

  • 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

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


  • 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.
  • 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 it using her grandmother's recipe. This reminded 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. 

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


  • 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.

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


  • 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


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


  • 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