August 30, 2012

Green Peas Poricha Kuzhambu Recipe, Make Poricha Kuzhambu

I wasn't really familar with poricha kozhambu varieties until my mom in law made it during their last visit. I had some fresh peas in the fridge and along with some drumstick, it made for a super simple and flavourful kozhambu for our lunch that day.

Peas Poricha Kozhambu

Poricha kozhambu literally means roasted kozhambu because the base has some roasted spices that are ground along with fresh coconut. The vegetables are flexible and the more common ones are chow chow, pumpkin, and snake gourd (podalangai). Check out pudalangai poricha kuzhambu recipe here.

Green Peas Poricha Kozhambu Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 4-6
Recipe Source: mom-in-law

1 cup of green peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup of toor dal / tuvar dal / pigeon peas
1/2 cup of grated coconut
3 tsp of urad dal
A few of black peppercorns
1/2 tsp of jeera / cumin seeds
4 of dry red chillies
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1 generous pinch of hing / asafoetida / perungaayam
1 tbsp + 1 tsp of oil
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
A few of curry leaves
1 of drum stick, cut into 4" long pieces

Peas Poricha Kozhambu

0. Pressure cook the toor dal until soft and mushy.

1. Add the peas and drumsticks to a pan and add enough water to cover it. Bring to boil and cook until sof (about 5-6 mins).

2. Add the cooked dal along with the turmeric and hing to the peas and drumsticks mixture and simmer for a few more mins.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan and roast the urad dal, red chillies, peppercorn, and jeera until the dal turns golden brown. Cool slightly and grind along with the coconut into a smooth mixture.

4. Add the ground masala to the peas-dal-drumsticks mixture and bring to boil. Add salt and curry leaves. Continue to simmer until the desired consistency is reached. If too thick, add some water while boiling. If too watery, increase heat and cook until the kozhambu thickens.

5. Heat the 1 tbsp oil and add the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, remove from fire and dunk into the kozhambu.

Serve hot with rice and side dish of choice.

Peas Poricha Kozhambu

Check here for more kozhambu recipes

August 27, 2012

Recipes for Onam Sadya | Onam Recipes

I did a similar list of Recipes for Onam Sadya 2010 but since I have a lot more Kerala sadya recipes in the site since then, thought of doing an updated list. Since Onam 2012 falls on a Wednesday, me cooking the entire sadya is slightly out of the question. Ok wait, I haven't yet cooked a complete sadya myself so far, weekend or weekday, so.. err.. let's not go there.

I know some of you are planning to cook up a feast, literally, and judging by the few emails I got asking for easy Onam recipes, I think this list will be useful to many of you.

Moru Kachiyathu / Spiced Buttermilk (omit coriander leaves)

Ella Edible Garden Readers-num ente hridayam niranja Onaashamsakal!

August 26, 2012

8 Easy Payasam Recipes for Onam | Onam Recipes

With Onam 2012 just around the corner, thought it may be useful if I shared a few easy payasam recipes you can make for Onam sadya. This collection is from me and my sis who blogs at Spicy Chilly.

7. Semiya Payasam (my version)

8. Semiya Payasam (my sis's version)

August 22, 2012

Paal Payasam Recipe | Milk & Rice Payasam | Onam Recipes

Paal Payasam is a special treat meant for special people. Not the express kind that we make these days, adding the 3-4 ingredients in a pressure cooker but the traditional, slow-cooked paal payasam made with the raw red rice that's quintessentially Keralan called unakkalari in Malayalam - but you can also use Rose Matta rice or any other non-sticky rice for the paal payasam.

Paal Payasam / Rice Kheer | Onam Recipes

Paal payasam made traditionally will have a pink hue from the rice used. Ok, don't look for the colour in my payasam picture because we used regular rice this time.

Onam is always a nostalgic time for me because Kerala is at its best then. There's the smell of fresh coconut oil being heated for all the banana chips, banana leaves gleaming in the sun, the rains just checked and the heat manageable, flowers everywhere and athappoo designs being planned, women walking around in the traditional Kerala set sari days before and after the day, school vacation after first term... I could go on.

So let me shut up for now and give you the Paal Payasam Recipe already!

August 21, 2012

Kadala Parippu Payasam-Kadalai Paruppu-Channa Dal Payasam | Onam Recipes

Payasam is made typical Kerala-Style for Onam is a beautiful thing. Amma makes payasam as easily as she makes a regular dish and most often, all you need to do is ask for it. The Onam Sadya is obviously incomplete with payasam and we often make two payasams for any Kerala sadya. I love payasam made with jaggery more than milk-based ones. I love the rich, dense sweetness jaggery gives to pretty much anything and the dark, unsalted mounds of jaggery you get in Kerala are quite a treat.

Kadala Paruppu / Channa Dal Payasam | Onam Recipes

As we roll into yet another Onam that I am not home for, let me at least share a payasam recipe that reminds me of home - and Onam. Amma and I made this together when she was visiting me in May. She brought some jaggery back from Kerala and we used coconut milk powder to make the base of the payasam. She did wildly protest against using the powder and was all set to extract fresh coconut milk but I wanted her to spend more in the living room couch with me than with the coconut in the kitchen!

August 18, 2012

Jeera Rice | Cumin Rice | Jeera Pulao | Rice Cooker Recipes

Jeera rice is probably the easiest thing to make in a rice cooker. I make it occasionally when I don't have the energy to cook up anything beyond a simple dal tadka and don't feel like rolling out rotis. The simple addition of fried jeera to cooking eliminates the need for a rasam or kozhambu. Win!

Jeera Rice with Malai Kofta
Jeera Rice with Malai Kofta

I got my rice cooker end of last year and have since cooked many things in it apart from plain 'ol rice. I have a Zojirushi Induction Rice Cooker and the consistency of rice cooked in this is unbelievably good.

August 16, 2012

Aloo Bajji Recipe | Potato Bajji Recipe | Quick & Easy Snacks

Aloo Bajji / Potato Bajji | Quick n Easy Snacks

TH loves bajjis of any kind. But then that guy likes pretty much anything that's deep fried, but bajjis do hold a particular soft spot in his heart. While I do make this simple aloo tikki very often, bajjis make an appearance only now and then.

I have no qualms deep frying now and then, especially if it's a rainy day and your mood and taste buds are screaming cardamom tea with bajjis.
Aloo Bajji / Potato Bajji | Quick n Easy Snacks

I always eye ball my bajji batter mix so the proportions below are approximate. I always stock besan in my freezer because although it's a now-and-then type ingredient, it's the most handy to have around for any kind of bajjis or bondas or even for thickening gravies. You may also like this Mysore bonda recipe or aloo bondas for a nice evening snack too.

August 15, 2012

Paneer Korma | Paneer Kuruma | Indian Paneer Recipes

To me, a kuruma or korma recipe would have coconut in it. I wanted to make a coconut-based paneer recipe to have with rotis and started searching for one. Then I chanced upon this super easy paneer korma recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor but surprisingly, it has no coconut, rather, the base is a delicious yogurt blend mildly spiced. TH would love that, and anyway I don't think I want to argue with Sanjeev Kapoor on what a paneer korma should have and shouldn't have!

Paneer Korma | Paneer Kurma | Paneer Recipes

The entire thing came together in less than 15 mins, probably the easiest and quickest paneer dish I have ever made. I used pre-fried paneer cubes which made it even quicker but don't let that deter you.

Also check out mushroom kurma recipe, soya chunks korma and mixed vegetable korma recipe.

PS: This is the first picture in the gorgeous pink-orange bowl I got from Kappabashi Street in Tokyo.

Paneer Korma - A Sanjeev Kapoor Recipe

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2
Adapted from: Sanjeev Kapoor

1.5 cups of cubed paneer (make paneer at home if you wish)
1 cup of plain yogurt
3-4 cloves of garlic
A pinch of turmeric powder
1" piece of ginger
2 green chillies
1.5 tsp of all-purpose flour
1 tbsp of oil
A few whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4-5 cloves
3-4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp of garam masala
A small bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste

How to Make Paneer Korma:

1. Coarsely grind the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add this to the yogurt along with turmeric, flour, and salt. Mix well with 1 cup water and set aside.
Paneer Korma | Paneer Kurma | Paneer Recipes

2. Lightly shallow fry the paneer cubes in some oil until the edges turn golden brown. Drain and set aside. If using frozen paneer, defrost fully before frying.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns. When the spices give out a nice fragrance (1-2 mins), add the yogurt mixture. Cook on low heat for 2-3 mins or until it just starts to boil.
Paneer Korma | Paneer Kurma | Paneer Recipes

4. Add the fried paneer cubes and chopped coriander. Mix well. Top off with the garam masala, cook until the mixture is heated through (don't boil), and remove from fire. Adjust salt.
Paneer Korma | Paneer Kurma | Paneer Recipes

The gravy was light and delicious, perfect with rotis. Although it looks bland, it was spicy and just perfect for a hot afternoon in Singapore. I didn't miss the coconut in the gravy at all - for once!
Paneer Korma | Paneer Kurma | Paneer Recipes

Check out more Paneer Recipes on Edible Garden here especially the ever-popular Paneer Butter Masala, Kadai Paneer, and Chilli Paneer

August 13, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe (No Butter)

Learn how to make moist and soft eggless chocolate cake using this easy chocolate cake recipe using no butter. 
Sometimes readers leave me notes and tips on recipes they've tried from this site. Sometimes they leave recipes. An anonymous reader left a recipe on the Eggless Chocolate Yogurt Cake post (which they liked better than my recipe) and I recognized I had seen it somewhere. I couldn't find an exact match but the moist chocolate cake from Raks Kitchen seemed close to this recipe.

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake (No Butter) Recipe

I decided to give it a shot when I had TH's cousins and aunts visiting for lunch. They don't eat egg and prefer to not eat it in the "hidden" form as cakes and cookies either.

There are a few ways you can bake a cake eggless and still make it taste great. Using banana is one way (check out the Chocolate Banana Pound Cake recipe) or yogurt (like in the Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake or the Chocolate Yogurt Cake). Flax seed meal is another option but one option I hadn't tried yet was vinegar. Also check out these doughnut shaped cakes for a different spin to your classic chocolate sponge cakes.

I was doubtful for a long time what type of vinegar we can use for baking cakes. Asked a few fellow bloggers and finally figured out that white vinegar or apple cider vinegar works best. I usually have a bottle of white vinegar in the kitchen for making certain Indo-Chinese Recipes and pickles, so used the same for this cake too.

I baked it into a loaf cake but you can bake it in a cake/brownie pan or even into cupcakes. While we are on the topic, let me tell you how AMAZING this Chicago Metallic Loaf Pan is. Must buy if you bake bread and like loaf-shaped cakes.

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Loaf Cake

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Makes 8-10 slices
Adapted from anon's recipe comment

1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar
3 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/4 cup of neutral oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 cup of cold milk (use water or any nut milk for a vegan chocolate cake)
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp of white vineger / apple cider vinegar / lemon juice
A pinch of salt

How to Make Moist Eggless Chocolate Cake:

0. Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F.

1. Mix the sugar with the milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Take care to use cold milk otherwise the vinegar will curdle it. If you are unsure how it will go, just use water. I am assured that gives good results too.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake (No Butter) Recipe

2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Sift this dry mixture into the wet ingredients in three batches, folding it in after each addition. Don't overmix at this stage, just gently fold in until you don't see any trace of the batter. A few small lumps in the batter are fine.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake (No Butter) Recipe

3. Lightly grease with oil or butter whatever pan you are using. Pour the batter in and bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 mins. Depending on the pan used, the baking time will vary. Mine took just over 40 mins.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake (No Butter) Recipe

Let the cake cool and transfer to a cooling rack or cutting board. Store the cooled cake in an airtight container for up to 2 days outside or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake (No Butter) Recipe

Goes really well with cookies and cream ice-cream. Trust me, I've tried it ;)


- you can add some chocolate chips to the top of the cake if you like, or as soon as it's out of the oven, add some chocolate chips over the cake and spread it across the top as it melts
- as mentioned in recipe, omit milk and use water for a vegan version
- the cake will have slightly rubbery / hard texture especially around the sides when it's warm. Let it cool and sit for a while and it turns out perfect. For that reason, this cake is best made the day before you plan to serve it
UPDATE: I was asked by a lot of you about the deep colour of my chocolate doughnut cakes and the reason is the Valrhona cocoa powder I used. It's amazing, gives a lovely purple hue and great depth in recipes it's used in. You can use any cocoa powder you have in mind, but if you are wondering which cocoa powder to buy, highly recommend  Valrhona cocoa powder. (Not paid advertising but post contains affiliate links)

August 8, 2012

10 Easy Recipes for Krishna Jayanthi / Gokulashtami

My memories of us celebrating Krishna Jayanthi is back when I was 7 or 8. Amma would make the snacks for the day - unniyappam, seedai, murukku, thattai, payasam, those are the few I remember - and in the evening, we would draw tiny legs using rice flour mixture all the way from the front gate to the Pooja room. I especially liked Krishna Jayanthi because it seemed more kid-friendly. And oh, the freshly churned butter, let's not forget that.

I know many of you are celebrating this year and enjoying the day with your family and friends. Here's a list of 10 easy recipes you can follow for making your Krishna Jayanthi (Gokulashtami) stress-free and delicious.


Wishing all reader of Edible Garden a wonderful Krishna Jayanthi / Gokulashtami!

August 6, 2012

Paneer Cutlet Recipe - How to Make Paneer Cutlets Recipe for Evening Snack

Paneer is a hot favourite in the Edible Garden household and pretty much any recipe with Paneer is welcomed happily. While palak paneer is TH's go-to paneer dish, I also prepare paneer butter masala and paneer jalfrezi at home quite regularly.

August is a nice month for a number of reasons. It's my b'day month for one and although I am turning 30 this year and bidding farewell to my 20s, I am doing it cheerfully. The past decade has been mixed but at the end of it, I feel it was largely positive.

TH is planning a special day and while we will be staying put in Singapore, it's going to be spent outside, according to him. I have asked that I want to see a movie but apart from that, all other planning is his.

Anyway, birthday celebrations apart, let's check out how to make Paneer Cutlets at home.

Paneer Cutlets Recipe
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Makes ~ 12 cutlets

1.5 cups (250gm) paneer
1 onion, minced
1 large potato, boiled, peeled, and mashed
1 small capsicum / bell pepper, chopped
1" piece ginger, grated
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
A pinch turmeric powder (optional)
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 cup flour / maida
1-2 cups bread crumbs
2 tbsp oil plus more for frying
Salt to taste

How to Make Paneer Cutlets

1. Heat the 2tbsp oil in a pan and add the minced onion and ginger. Fry until the onion turns a light brown.
2. Add the capsicum and fry for 3-4 mins.
3. Then add the potato along with some salt. Saute for 3 mins
4. Next, add the turmeric and chilli powder (if using) along with the grated paneer. Mix and mash well and cook for 5 mins until the ingredients come together into a sticky mixture.
5. Make a paste with the flour and some water. Shape the paneer mixture into patties and dip into the flour mixture, and then the breadcrumbs.
6. Fry in a wide pan until both sides are golden brown.
7. Drain on kitchen towels and serve hot with ketchup or mint chutney

- You can add green chilliies or chilli powder for more heat
- Add some grated carrots or coriander for different flavours
- You can make the patties, dip in flour mixture and bread crumbs and refrigerate before frying if you are making this for a party and want to prepare in advance

Recipe and image used with permission from here.

August 1, 2012

Mango Lassi | Mango Lassi Drink Recipe | Mango Yogurt Smoothie

Mango Lassi is one of my favourite drinks even if they come super sweetened in styrofoam cups from Saravana Bhavan. That's probably my least favourite place to buy it from but I love even that mango lassi. Traditionally in Punjab, where lassi is said to be from originally (and hence the  name Punjabi lassi), a lassi is more than just a drink that blends together a fruit like mango and thick curds. I have seen versions with added cream, spices like cardamom, and more complicated process than just whizzing them all up in a blender.

However, if you preferred an uncomplicated kitchen life like I do, they are super easy to whip up and a great way to use up overly ripe mangoes that are all squishy and don't hold their shape. You can also check out my strawberry lassi recipe here. If you have a lot of ripe mangoes in hand and want to use them up, may I suggest a mango cheesecake in jars, Thai mango sticky rice, or this super delicious mango bundt cake.

Mango Lassi Recipe | Mango Yogurt Smoothie Recipe

Mango Lassi | Mango Yogurt Smoothie

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves 4-6

1.5 cups of ripe mango, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup of plain yogurt
1/4 cup of milk
2 tbsp of sugar (adjust to taste)
A pinch of of salt
A pinch of cardamom powder (optional)


Easy peasy! Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and serve chilled.

Note - my mango lassi tends to be more mango-heavy so adjust proportions to your taste.