October 30, 2012

Kaju Katli - Kaju Katli Recipe - Diwali Sweets Recipes

Kaju Katli is a dream, especially when home made. TH doesn't like Indian sweets except for this one sweet we buy pretty much each time we egt back from India - Kaju Katli! Since we always end up buying it, I never bothered trying to make Kaju Katli at home but since it's Diwali and the festival best suited for trying out sweets, I decided to give his favourite sweet a shot.

Kaju Katli-Kaju Burfi-Cashew Burfi-Diwali Sweets Recipe

It's always a bit scary to make a sweet that requires you to check the done-ness of sugar with the one string consistency test. I watched the recipe video for Kaju Katli (cashew burfi) in Manjula's Kitchen but used my own proportions for making it.

October 28, 2012

Unniyappam Recipe - Nei Appam Recipe step by step, Easy Diwali Sweets

Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe

Unniyappam or Neyyappam is traditionally made with powdered raw rice as the base. My athamma (dad's sister) makes the most amazing unniyappam with plain flour as the base and it's delicious, not to mention fail-proof. I first tasted it a couple years back and since then the taste had been haunting me. This time, she made it for me in our ancestral home in Alappuzha as I watched and clicked.

Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe

Unniyappam is a regular at our home for Deepavali as one of the Deepavali sweets. Since they taste great when cold as well as warm, they make a perfect make-ahead sweet. The batter needs to rest for a while so make the batter ahead of time and make the unniyappams fresh if you want to enjoy them hot. They cook up in no time so that's a win!

You can also check out neyyappam recipe, ghee roasted bananas, medhu vada, or a list of Diwali sweet recipes here.

Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe

Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Easy Diwali Sweets Recipe

Preparation time: 3-6 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes 40 unniyappam (neyyappam)
Recipe Source: Athamma

1.5 cups of all-purpose flour /maida
1/2 cup of rava / semolina
2 tbsp of rice powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup of ripe banana, pureed
1.5 cups of melted jaggery (adjust to taste)
4-5 green cardamom seeds, powdered
A pinch of baking soda / soda-bi-carb (optional)
1/3 cup of grated coconut
2 tbsp of ghee (how to make ghee at home)
2 cups of oil, for frying
Salt to taste

How to Make Unniyappam (Neyyappam)

1. Melt grated jaggery in some water until you get a thick-ish liquid of pouring consistency. It's hard to give exact measurements here. You can adjust sweetness levels according to your preference later on so no worries. After melting, measure out the required amount of jaggery.
Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
2. To the cooled jaggery, add the flour, rice powder, rava, soda powder (if using) and salt.
Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Add the pureed bananas to this. Mix well and set aside for at least 3 hours and up to 6 hours.
Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
3. When you are ready to cook the unniyappam, heat the ghee in a pan and add the grated coconut. Fry lightly until the edges turn golden brown.
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
4. Add the roasted coconut and the powdered cardamom to the batter.
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Mix well and adjust the consistency by adding some water (only if needed). The batter should be as thick as idli batter.
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
5. Heat oil in your unniyappam chatti (paniyaram pan) and pour ladle-fuls of the batter into each hole.
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe
After 2-3 mins on one side, gently turn the unniyappams to the other side. Cook both sides until golden and set aside to drain on a kitchen towel.
Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe

Tastes best warm. These unniyappams stay soft even when cold and on the next day too.

Unniyappa-Neyyappam-Diwali Sweets Recipe

- Make sure to use ripe bananas when making the unniyappam. You can use pretty much any kind of banana. Athamma said she used to only use palayamkodan (a variety of banana most easily available in Kerala) but the unniyappams drink too much oil so she switched to using poovan banana. The kind we get in Singapore is the long green/yellow kind and that will work just fine too.

- If the bananas are not too ripe, don't omit the soda powder. The bananas help to ferment the batter a bit which make the appams soft.

- You can use small coconut pieces instead of grated coconut.

- We cooked the neyyappams in coconut oil but you can use any regular cooking oil or even ghee (the word neyyappam means ghee appams!). Since we are adding some ghee to the batter, that should give it a nice flavour without you needing to cook it in ghee.

- The appam chatti should be kept on medium-low heat always otherwise the insides won't cook. Try to cook one appam first and check for sweetness levels before proceeding.

October 26, 2012

Aloo Bonda Recipe | Potato Bondas - A Quick Snack Recipe

I am not a huge fan of potato bonda or pretty much any snack made with potatoes (potato bajji being an exception!). But when amma makes a large, fresh batch of these urulaikizhangu bondas, and there are over 10 people to fight over and enjoy them with, they taste different. The step by step pictures for aloo bonda were taken in Kottayam and since there really wasn't an opportunity to take pictures of the final bonda, I made them again after getting back to Singapore.

Aloo Bonda-Potato Bonda-A Quick Snack South Indian Style

If you have boiled potatoes in hand, these aloo bondas will come together very quickly and make for a super quick snack for tea. Even if they go cold, the taste is not compromised much.

October 22, 2012

Watermelon-Melon Milkshake | Easy Milkshake Recipes

Easy milkshake recipe with watermelon and melon - I am home now and amma is churning out (sometimes, quite literally!) different things to eat and drink every meal time. Yesterday around noon, we were feeling a bit peckish so she made this quick milkshake which was delicious and so much nicer than eating the fruits plain, although arguably it's healthier and better to eat fruits as is. What I love about watermelon milkshake is the gorgeous colour, especially because of adding melon which is a faint orange. 

My sister was a most obliging model for this pic, few seconds before we all downed the milkshake. You can make this milkshake in under 10 mins - all you need is some melon, chilled milk and a mixer or blender. The fruits we used were chilled overnight too so everything came together really nicely.

When making milkshake, choose ripe fruits. These tasted fabulous just as they are too - sweet and juicy. Another important component is milk. It has to be chilled and preferably whole fat, not the skim or low fat kind, although you can use what you want and have in hand. Amma gets milk from a home that raises their own cows and extracts the cream out of it so all the milk we use at home is naturally lower in fat, yet creamy.

You can make this milkshake ahead of time and store in a closed jug in the refrigerator. Just make sure not to let it sit for more than a couple hours - milkshakes are always best served fresh. Enjoy with your family or serve to guests as a welcome drink before a party.

For more milkshake recipes, check out banana milkshake with dates, mango and banana milkshake, avocado milkshake, and the popular apple almond milkshake.

print recipe

Watermelon Melon Milkshake Recipe
An easy and healthy milkshake with 2 types of melon - watermelon and musk melon
  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 2 cups musk melon, cubed
  • 2 cups chilled milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
1. Blend the cubed fruits together until smooth. No need to add water since the water content in both the melons is quite high. 2. Add in the chilled milk and sugar. Mix together well. 3. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 glasses

October 21, 2012

Pattani Mangai Sundal-Peas Sundal-Navaratri Recipes

Sundal to me is either channa (kadalai) sundal or payaru sundal. Although I saw the beach type sundal on Jey's and a couple other blogs, that was really the first I'd heard of them and I hadn't ever tasted it.

So it was a pleasant surprise when I landed in Coimbatore last week and my TH's mom had made pattani thenga mangai sundal (peas sundal with coconut and raw mango). It was delicious with small bites of sour mango pieces, softly cooked peas with coconut and was a great pairing with some spicy rasam and rice. It tastes great as it is for evening snack too.
Ideally, you should use the white dried peas for this and not the green kind but she said due to Navaratri, the white peas was sold out in the nearby store! Green peas is a decent substitute and that's what we used.

October 16, 2012

Methi Pulao Recipe - Methi Rice - Fenugreek Leaves Pulav

I love methi and its unique flavour. Although I stock up on kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves / vendhaya keerai) which is lovely for flavouring the likes of Paneer Butter Masala, Paneer Tikka Masala, etc. The fresh leaves are best for for making Methi Paratha (which I absolutely adore) and this Methi Pulao which is so very simple to prepare makes me a very happy person too.

Methi Pulao-Methi Rice-Fenugreek Leaves Pilaf

I often make pulao as a one-pot meal complimenting it with a simple raita and papad. This methi pulao doesn't have any vegetables in it so you may want to make a mixed vegetable raita or a side dish to compliment it. I love the flavours and wanted to keep it simple (I am also a very lazy person on a Saturday morning!), so served just this.

October 15, 2012

Ghee Recipe-How to Make Ghee-Clarified Butter

Before I start off on how to make your own ghee in 15 mins, let me wish all of you celebrating a wonderful Navaratri Festival Season. Check out Navarathri Recipes on Edible Garden (complete with different types of sundal and payasam and snacks for navaratri).


A lot of my Indian recipes, especially pulao and biryani and some sweets, call for ghee or clarified butter. Ghee almost unites all of India food-wise because there are very few foods consumed all over India with the same amount of gusto as ghee! Although many brands sell different versions, nothing beats the simple and aromatic ghee made at home from butter.
Ghee Recipe-How to Make Ghee-Clarified Butter
Ghee is another one of my maternal grandmom's specialty. She was so in love with the whole process of boiling the milk, saving the cream on top, churning it to make butter, and then finally making ghee out of it, that she earned the nickname nei-chatti (ghee pan, when translated loosely) from some of her naughty grandchildren. No, definitely not me! :D Very little else gave her as much pleasure as making ghee from scratch at home, one would think. Amma still follows the same method because we are still lucky enough to be getting milk directly from the... err.. cow. She gets so much better from it that she ends up giving away bottles and bottles to lucky neighbours, friends, and relatives.

October 12, 2012

12 Easy Recipes for Navratri (Navaratri) 2012

I have vague memories of amma celebrating Navarathri (or Navratri) when I was a child. We would make a few types of sundal, some vadai, and payasam for the festival and for me, it was all about the food anyway. 

TH's family, being Brahmins, celebrate in a different way with golu and one type of sundal for each of the 9 days of navarathri. Golu is a very special thing that the entire family comes together for and on the final day, more food is made - like vadai and payasam and snacks for distribution. Married women are also given small tokens or gifts as blessings. I have especially been interested in the golu that's done for navarathri, having never really seen one or arranged one in person. One day... :) 

Anyway, here's a list of easy Navarathri recipes for 2012 from Edible Garden. Navarathri dates for 2012 is from Oct 16 to Oct 24th. Festive greetings to all of you celebrating.  

navaratri sundal recipe

{Imagine a beautiful picture of mochakkottai sundal here that amma made. 
Picasa albums gobbled it up because it was that pretty}

navaratri sundal recipe

navaratri recipes

navaratri recipes

     6. Aval Vadai
navaratri recipes

navaratri recipes

navaratri recipes

navaratri recipes

Wishing all reader of Edible Garden a wonderful Navratri (Navarathri) Festival 2012.

October 11, 2012

Eggless Pesto Pull-Apart Rolls Recipe

The garlic pull-apart rolls I posted around 2 years back is probably the recipe most people tried from this site. I got so many notes and feedback saying it worked out great, good, and delicious. A couple of people had issues but nobody sent me stinkers so I guess it's a winner. Must thank Suhaina again for the original recipe.

Eggless Pesto Pull-Apart Rolls Recipe

I love basil pesto and had been wanting to try the same rolls with a basil pesto filling. Finally managed to do it for a potluck a couple months back. Everything came together less than 2 hours (including rising time) and I wrapped the warm rolls, baking dish and all in aluminium foil and headed to my friend's place. Nothing like freshly baked warm rolls to wow your friends, I tell you.

October 10, 2012

Idli Batter for Soft Idli - Idli Recipe, Tips for Soft Idli | Step by Step

Wondering how to make soft idli with homemade idli batter? Look no further for the perfect formula and tips for making soft idlis!
Idli and dosa is a staple meal for Reddiars in Kerala. We always have the batter ready in our fridge and amma is always prepared to feed multiple people for breakfast or dinner at minutes' notice, thanks to this.

Amma has a large, old-fashioned grinder which we've had ever since I can remember. In my childhood, we moved houses 6 times and this grinder came with us from house to house, year by year, doing it's job as expected. Ok, I will stop now, don't want to jinx it!

Idli Batter for Soft Idli-Idli Recipe

So yeah, back to idli and dosa. My maternal grand mom, as long as she was able, oversaw the grinding of the idli-dosa batter and she did it with a hawk-eye. The help will handle the measuring and soaking and actual grinding and the heavy-lifting (quite literally) of using the stone insert in the middle of the grinder, and finally the onerous task of cleaning the thing once the batter is ground. Needless to say, except for passing by a couple of times and wondering how it would feel to dip my finger into the creamy batter, I have had nothing to do with this grinding business.

October 9, 2012

Choc Khoya Kalakand-Kalakand Recipe-Diwali Sweets

I made this double-layered kalakand almost a year back with the khoya leftover after making gulab jamuns. I had about 1 cup of crumbled khoya and wasn't sure what to use it for and then saw this idea on some site, which I've totally forgotten now (apologies!).

Chocolate Khoya Kalakand-Diwali Sweets
I love milk sweets but kalakand is probably one of my favourites. Dadu's in Hyderabad sells a mean kalakand that's grainy and a single bar of it will have shades of brown depending on how much the milk has cooked. It's absolutely delicious! During Diwali every year, Google Hyderabad would give out boxes of sweets from Dadu's and I would eat the kalakand first - no sharing!

October 8, 2012

Meen Peera-Meen Pattichathu-Kerala Style Fish with Coconut

Recipe for meen peera or meen pattichathu. I love Kerala-style fish cooked with coconut and if asked what I'd like for dinner, I'd either opt for the Kerala Fish Fry or this meen peera or meen pattichathu. You can use a variety of fish with bones for this recipe but it works especially well with netholi (also called uzhuva or large anchovies).
Meen Peera-Meen Pattichathu-Kerala Style Fish with Coconut
Each time I head home to Kottayam, amma makes it a point to cook this up with whatever fish is available. I do feel that to get the authentic taste we get in Kerala, especially for fish dishes, it's essential to get the freshest fish possible and the amazing sweet coconut that grow back home. The frozen kind we get outside just don't cut it, especially for recipes that concentrate on simple flavours such as this one.

For more fish recipes, check out Kerala fish curry (without coconut), spicy prawn masala,
Amma uses coconut quite liberally in her dishes and this one is no exception. If you want to have more fish and less coconut (she uses them in almost equal quantities), then please adjust that as you prefer.

Meen Peera Recipe

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4-6
Recipe source: Amma

500gm of fish with bones, cleaned and sliced (we used anchovies which can be used whole with heads removed)
3 kudam puli - the blackened tamarind that's used in most Kerala fish curries
4-6 green chillies, depending on taste
1 cup of grated coconut
3 cloves of garlic
6-8 shallots / cheriya ulli
1" piece of ginger
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
A few curry leaves
2 tbsp of coconut oil
Salt to taste


1. Grind the coconut, garlic, shallots, ginger, turmeric, and chillies together into a coarse paste with some added water.

2. Add the cleaned fish, ground coconut paste, kudam puli, and salt to a wide pan and mix gently until combined. Bring this mixture together with a spatula and press down firmly, keep flame on low and cook covered until the fish is cooked and soft - depending on the type of fish used, this will take anywhere between 12-20 mins.

3. When done, add the coconut oil and curry leaves, mix gently, and keep covered until ready to serve.

Note - if raw mangoes are in season, Amma adds a few pieces of that for sourness instead of the kudam puli. It's delicious and pairs well with the fish and coconut.

Meen peera is a wonderfully light yet flavourful fish recipe from God's Own Country. Can't wait for my next vacation! :)

October 5, 2012

Double Ka Meetha-Double Ka Meeta-Diwali Sweets Recipes

One of the only things I miss about Hyderabad, apart from the people, is the food. Nothing beats Hyderabadi Biryani with mirchi ka salan and the gongura dal and, of course, the famous Hyderabadi double ka meetha.

Double Ka Meetha-Double Ka Meeta-Diwali Sweets Recipes
My colleague-friend Anil's lovely wife Lalitha made this for us almost a year back when we went to their place for dinner (along with this Bengali Fish Fry I posted a while back). We went early so she was still making dessert and I totally got in her way taking pictures and asking way too many questions. I had to live up to the infamous 'food blogger' tag after all.

October 4, 2012

Lemon Diva Cake with Lemon Glaze (Eggless Option Included)

This lemon cake (with eggless option) is an amazingly spongy and moist lemony cake with an easy lemon drizzle. I have never been a fan of lemony desserts. I like tangy but not when paired with sweet and although there are some exceptions to this (how can I not like lemonade?), I have generally stuck to chocolate-based desserts and left lemon desserts alone.

Lemon Diva Cake with Lemon Frosting (Eggless Option Included)
One day, Disha, a friend of mine, made this cake for her boss and I got to taste some of it too. It was delicious. She claimed this was her first time baking a cake and she had done a fabulous job so I was even more interested. I have a lot of first-time bakers asking me for cake recipes and although everything I bake is the easiest possible bakes, this testimonial is from a first-time baker.

October 3, 2012

Paneer Tikka Masala | Restaurant Style Indian Paneer Recipe

When I posted the paneer tikka, a few people commented that I am quite the paneer lover. More than loving to eat paneer, I love cooking with it. It's so versatile! Cheese that lends to grilling, frying, crumbling, and rolling has got to rank up high in any cook's list, right?

Paneer Tikka Masala-Restaurant Style Paneer Recipe

Anyway, I had been meaning to try Paneer Tikka Masala for ages now but just didn't get the mojo until last weekend. I made paneer tikka in the evening and then used that for the paneer tikka masala gravy for dinner.

The gravy for this dish is loosely adapted from a Sanjeev Kapoor Khana Khazana booklet called "Paneer". I bought it many years ago but never cooked from it until this rainy Sunday evening last weekend. I have cut out some of the ingredients and steps to make it quick and easy, the way I like my recipes.

October 2, 2012

Paneer Tikka | Tandoori Paneer Tikka on Stove Top

I am quite a collector of paneer recipes and they are the most popular category on this blog. Something about this milky, hard, omnipresent Indian cheese makes me weak in the knees and although I don't necessarily order it every single time we go out for Indian food, TH and I love it.
Paneer Tikka | Tandoori Paneer Tikka on Stove Top
There are certain dishes I like to leave to restaurants simply because they are better equipped to do the job. Most tandoori dishes fall into this category because nothing really beats a tandoori naan or a chicken kabab or paneer tikkas that are made in a tandoor.

So these paneer tikkas are not really restaurant-style but they do make a great paneer starter, are relatively quick to make, and for a great base for Paneer Tikka Masala, which is one of my absolute favourite paneer dishes.

October 1, 2012

Raw Mango Rice | Mangai Sadam | Mamidikaya Annam

I love all kinds of "variety rice" dishes of the South Indian kind, especially puliyogare and Indian coconut rice. When I came across this raw mango rice recipe in Cooking at Home with Pedatha, I was immediately drawn in by the fact that it has both raw mangoes (tangy) and coconut (yum!). Couldn't wait to get my hands on some raw mangoes the next weekend and try this.

Raw Mango Rice | Mangai Sadam | Mamidikaya Annam
Everything I have tried from Cooking at Home with Pedatha has been a success so if you haven't already, I would highly recommend getting a copy of the book. Simple South Indian vegetarian food for the win!