August 30, 2007

Ethakka Thoran / Vazhakkai Poriyal / Raw Banana Kerala Style

Ethakka thoran is another Kerala recipe with raw bananas or paandi vazhakka. As I have mentioned before, vazhakkai is a popular and loved vegetable in Kerala and find its way into most dishes are that made with a mix of vegetables. Normally we use pandikka / vazhakkai for thoran and mezhukkupuratti. This time I went home, there were some left over ethakka after making chips so amma suggested we make thoran with that. Raw plantain is most popularly used to make Kerala banana chips called upperi but it also lends well to making vegetarian side dishes and snacks like banana kofta, raw banana masala, or even banana chips in the microwave.

Raw Banana Thoran - Kerala-Style

Raw bananas - 3
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Shallots - 6 nos
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - one pinch
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - one strand
Salt - to taste


Boil the banana till soft in a little water and salt. Grind coconut, jeera powder, 2 shallots and turmeric. Heat oil and add mustard seeds and urad dal. Then add the remaining shallots in small pieces, curry leaves, the ground coconut paste and fry a little. Finally add the boiled banana, mix well and stir till the paste has blended. Serve warm with rice.

August 28, 2007

Semiya Payasam Recipe - Vermicelli Payasam Recipe

Onam has come and gone. Due to the recent bomb blasts in Hyderabad, things were a little gloomy at home. But nevertheless, I had two Onam sadyas - one at my colleague friend's house and the other at my friend Amitha's place. It was her first Onam after her wedding and her parents were in the city. So we all enjoyed a full-fledged sadya.

Payasam is an intergral part of any sadya and is the after-taste invariably. I for one, am a payasam lover but find it too time-consuming to actually prepare it myself. Anyway, this is the payasam that we made at home. The simplest and easiest of them all - Semiya Payasam.

Browse all payasam recipes. My favourites are - ada pradhaman, paneer payasam, and payar payasam.


Ingredients for Semiya Payasam:
Milk - 3 cups
Water-1 cup
Vermicelli/semiya - 100gm
Sugar - 1 cup (adjust according to taste)
Cardamom - 4
Cashew nuts - 12
Raisins - 8
Ghee - 2 tsp

How to make Semiya Payasam:

1. Fry the raisins and cashew nuts in the ghee. Remove and then fry the vermicilli till it turns golden brown. Keep aside.

2. Mix water with the milk and boil in a pan, stirring constantly. Add sugar and cardamom. Bring to boil keeping the fire on sim.

3. Now add the vermicilli, stir well and bring to boil again. Make sure the vermicilli is cooked (leaving the pan aside, closed for some time will help)

4. Garnish with the fried raisins and cashews.

We enjoy semiya payasam cold but serve warm or cold accoring to your taste :)

August 25, 2007

Chicken Sausages in Onion Gravy-Sausage Curry Recipe

A friend of mine was asking for suggestions on what she can send for her kid's school potluck. She didn't want to bake and looking at the menu other parents had opted for, it looked like most were sweet things so she wanted something savoury. Now, needless to say, I am no expert at making food for kids but I do know a thing or two about what they like and don't like. Since she was also fine with a non-vegetarian idea, I thought we could do something with sausages. Since it's easy to cut them up and cook with them, you can also make bulk amounts of food easily if you are cooking with sausages. So this sausage in curry gravy is an Indianized version of a dish with chicken sausages.

You can also browse all chicken recipes. My favourites are Kerala-style chicken curry, chilli chicken, Chicken 65, and this easy chicken curry in coconut milk.

Chicken Sausages in Onion Gravy - Recipe for Kids

Chicken sausages - 6
Onions - 2
Tomatoes - 1
Green chillies - 2 (omit if only cooking for kids)

Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp

How to make Sausage Curry

Defrost the sausages

Saute onions in oil till transparent and add the tomatoes and chillies. Fry for two minutes.

Add all the masala and fry till the raw smell leaves the paste.

Add very little water and mix well with the cubed sausages.

Garnish with curry leaves.

Serve with sliced bread.

August 17, 2007

Jeera Rice and Aloo Cabbage Rasa Recipes

Oriyan / Odiyan Cuisine! I never imagined that I would actually try out anything so radical and actually emerge successful. I am very much in the learning stage as far as cooking is concerned and I simply had to contribute to this month's RCI. A search for a simple recipe started and I ended up with two! Jeera Pakhala and Aloo Cabbage Rasa. I actually came across some amazing examples and illustrations of cusine in Orissa. I hope I have done justice to their way of cooking.

Here's an updated recipe for jeera rice which I make in rice cooker these days. It's much quicker and simpler. You may also wish to try my vegetable pulao recipe for a quick meal.

Lychee Lemonade Recipe

I love litchis (lichi or lychees) and have been wanting to make something with it for a long time. I went crazy looking for a recipe with litchi in it. I found quite a few on the Internet. But then came the search for lychees. Since the season time is over, I had to be happy with lychee juice. I used it to make a tangy cooler paired with one of my favourite flavours - lemon!

Fresh Lychees

In Hyderabad, I haven't seen fresh lychees but after moving to Singapore, the wet markets are full of seasonal fruits that are especially brilliant during summer. Mangoes make a parade during April/June, and then lychees from China start to show up. While using fresh lychee juice would taste amazing in this lemonade, packaged lychee juice woks in a pinch too.

Litchi Lemon Cooler - A Welcome Drink Idea

Lychee juice - 250 ml
Fresh lime syrup - 2-3 tsp (mix 2 tbsp lime juice + 5 tbsp sugar and use as required)
Ginger - 1/2 tsp, skinned and shredded
Salt - one pinch

How to Make:

Mix all the ingredients and serve cool and fresh. This will not taste good when refrigerated cuz the lime emits a bitter taste with the passage of time. (I learnt that the hard way!)

Lemonade is a great drink during hot summer drinks to keep our bodies hydrated. You can give many flavours to lemonade like this blueberry lemonade I made recently.

August 14, 2007

Karimeen Pollichathu / Kerala-Style Fish Wrapped in Banana Leaves

I was recently back home in Kottayam for three weeks and my bro was also there on a vacation from Dubai. So was my sis from Trichy. So all of us were craving for some karimeen pollichathu, a toddy shop specialty which is basically pomfret or pearl fish cooked wrapped in banana leaves. The monsoons have been acting up this year and the toddy shops were making use of the opportunity and selling one fish at 150rs. Considering we are around 6-7 members in the house, we decided to cut the costs by preparing this at home. Mom immediately turned to me since she was not very comfy with making it on her own. I have experimented with Sardines/Mathi when I was in college, but with karimeen, one couldn't afford to experiment and mess up since it's an expensive fish. Anyway, I decided to give it a shot and at the end of it all, we were all pretty happy :)

Karimeen Pollichathu / Pearl Spot Fish Wrapped in Banana LeavesThe marinated fish ready to be wrapped and fried

August 13, 2007

Simple Vegetable Pulao Recipe with Chicken Roast Recipe

Recipe for simple vegetable pulao and amma's special chicken roast

Edited (May 2014): I have posted an updated easy veg pulao recipe and a pressure cooker pulao recipe if you'd like to check that rather than try this recipe from back when I was a cooking novice :)

Sigh.. I turned another year old last Saturday and this year I decided to 'treat' my friends differently. I cooked for them. Also gives me some stuff to post in here, since I have resolved not to let my cooking blog die a slow death with neglect.

So, here are the things I made. Sadly, I didn't get much time to take good pics, since the guests were hungry and I was busy with the cleaning, setting up the table, getting ready myself before the 'cake-cutting', etc :). Anyway, here goes.

Simple Vegetable Pulao Recipe
Simple Vegetable Pulao Recipe

August 9, 2007

Kovakka Mezhukkupuratti - Stir-Fried Tindora Recipe

Kovakka or Tindora mezhukkupuratti is one of the staple, everyday dishes back home. I made this on the last day of my vacation back home, when I was getting absolutely bored. Tindora needs a bit of preparation before you can cook with it and it does get slimy as you cut it before cooking. Amma generally soaks it in some water before cooking Tindora. To cut it up, snip off both ends, cut length-wise once and then cut into smaller pieces is required. For Kovakka Mezhukkuratti, you can leave it as long pieces.

Note that Tindora takes time to cook so this dish takes longer than regular Kerala-style mezhukkupuratti using other vegetables. Some more recipes for you to check out:
Beetroot Carrot Mezhukkupuratti
Stir-Fried Beans Kerala-Style
Yam Fry (Chena Fry)

Kovakka Mezhukkupuratti - Stir-Fried Tindora Recipe

Kovakka / Tindora - 100 gms
Onions - 1 medium
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Salt - to taste

How I Made It:

Cut kovakka in long slender pieces and boil in very little water with salt.

Heat oil, add mustard and saute the onions, also cut in long pieces. When it has turned golden brown, fry the ginger garlic paste in it. Then add the chilly powder and curry leaves and cook for another minute. Finally add the kovakka and stir till the pieces have turned golden. This may take up to 10 minutes. Serve hot as an accompaniment to rice.

Recipe courtesy: Mary, our maid of many years :)

August 7, 2007

Chena Thoran | Yam Thoran | Moru Kachiyathu

Kerala fish fry with spiced buttermilk and a thoran is a is a simple yet complete Kerala meal. Although fried fish can be served with pretty much any chaaru curry or kuzhambu, spiced buttermilk or Kerala style Moru Kachiyathu is a popular choice. Buttermilk is usually prepared at home and then spiced with turmeric and cumin and sometimes with a coconut paste before tempering. This makes for a delicious Kerala style curry that can be poured over rice.

We are going to make rice, moru kachiyathu, chena (yam) thoran and fried fish. I have mentioned the preparation required for each dish and how to cook it.