November 30, 2012

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich | Egg Sandwich Recipe | Sandwich Recipes

When I saw a lovely Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich recipe in Pinterest, I immediately pinned it to my Bookmarked Recipes board. Sandwiches are not mom-approved dinners for an Indian, I know. Or maybe it is for some of you but in my home, bread was bought when someone was sick, that someone mostly being my mom who doesn't want to cook or wants to serve some toast in the morning instead of the usual fare. Even during my school days, my tiffin box barely had sandwiches in them. It was usually idlis or mini dosas or maggi noodles with vegetables or even ghee-roasted bananas.

Avocado and Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe

I, on the other hand, buy bread when I am lazy. And make sandwiches for dinner when I am super lazy. TH loves them though and I find them passable for dinner so it's sort of a win-somewhat win situation.

I generally make pretty standard mint chutney sandwiches or guacamole sandwiches but decided to kick it up a notch and try these Avocado Egg Salad Sandwiches. They were delicious, not to mention so flexible and customisable with pretty much whatever you have in hand.

November 28, 2012

Yam Fry | Kerala Style Chena Fry | Yam Fry Recipe

Lean how to make chena fry or chena mezhukkupuratti, Kerala style recipe for yam fry. 

Yam Fry-Yam Fry Recipe-Chena Mezhukkupuratti

Elephant Yam (Chena or Senai Kizhangu) is one of my absolute favourite vegetables. Amma makes this senai kizhangu varuval (chena mezhukkupuratti in Malayalam) quite regularly especially when I am at home and now my mom-in-law too makes it a point to make it each time we visit them too. Her version is a bit different which I will share soon.

When I was taking the pictures at home in Kottayam (which explains the great light and the real banana leaf in the picture!), amma insisted that I highlight the health benefits of Yam, especially for women, so here goes:

- Elephant yam is naturally high in fibre content and our diet needs to be high in fibre for easier bowel movement
- It is high in Omega 3 Fatty acids which helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body and improves good cholesterol levels
- Consuming elephant yam, especially in women, increases estrogen levels which aids in maintaining the hormonal balance and also with PMS
- Yam is a cooling food so ideal if consumed in summer. Roasting or frying it helps reduce the adverse effects of eating a food that's too cooling

Yam Fry-Yam Fry Recipe-Chena Mezhukkupuratti

There's a couple more benefits like minerals and all but let's get on with learning how to make yam fry, shall we?

You may also like:
Pavakkai fry recipe
Koorka mezhukkupuratti
Kerala beans curry
Kovakka fry

Yam Fry Recipe | Chena Mezhukkupuratti

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves 4
Recipe source: Amma

Ingredients for Yam Fry:
3 cups of Elephant yam, cut into small cubes
5-6 dry red chillies
2 strands of curry leaves
1 tsp of salt (adjust to taste)
1-2 cups of oil

How to make Yam Fry:

1. Boil the cubed yam pieces in salted water until the pieces are cooked yet firm. Don't let them get to a mush. This will take about 5 mins. Make sure you add enough salt at this stage since it's hard to adjust salt once the yam is frying. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan (there should be enough to cover the yam pieces so the amount of oil depends on the size of your kadai or pan).

3. Add the semi-cooked yam and fry until golden brown. When the yam is almost done, add the chillies torn into halves and the curry leaves.

4. Draining the yam from the oil will be a bit time consuming since they are small pieces so you can do what my mom does. She fries all the yam in one batch and once done, leaves the pan on a slanted surface and pushes the yam away from the oil and lets it collect over a period of time. Once done, gently transfer the yam from one side into another bowl.

This is a really easy recipe for yam fry that uses no masala or flavour except for the curry leaves. The yam has a beautiful flavour of its own and that will come out when roasted.

Yam Fry-Yam Fry Recipe-Chena Mezhukkupuratti

I love chena fry with moru kachiyathu or thakkali kuzhambu - pretty much any coconut-based gravies will taste great with it.

November 26, 2012

Masala Vadai Recipe | Paruppu Vadai | Parippu Vada Recipe

When it comes to vadai, I am a sucker for Masala Vada (or Parippu Vada) as we call it in Kerala. Chaayayum Parippu Vada-yum is a common reply if you ask someone "what's for tea?" It's also widely sold in trains along with Pazham Pori and if that's not a sure sign of a snack's popularity, I don't know what is.

Masala Vadai Recipe | Paruppu Vadai | Vadai Recipe

Masala Vadai Recipe | Paruppu Vadai | Vadai Recipe

I have made Masala Vadai using channa dal and it's crisp and delicious, no doubt, but nothing compares to making Paruppu Vadai with peas dal (or vada paruppu as it's called in Tamil Nadu). They smell and taste quite different from channa dal and toor dal and are definitely worth an extra trip to the supermarket, trust me.

November 24, 2012

7 Easy Recipes for Karthigai Deepam (Karthikai) Festival

I am on an attempt to remember and document festival celebrations from my childhood and going by that, Karthigai Deepam has got to be the best and most colourful among them. Until I was 10, we lived in this sprawling L-shaped house that had a terrace as large as the house itself. Amma had a huge garden and the terrace had edges all along it's periphery. For Karthigai, we would start the preparations around 4pm and from what I remember, it was one of the most elaborate festivals we celebrated (although only Diwali warranted new clothes).

We had two maids at the time who would get fresh cow dung from the milk man down the road. They would then line the terrace walls and the compound wall with small pats of cow dung about a feet apart. One of us would then follow with the mud diyas which would, by the way, be brought out from storage that morning and aired in the sun. These are then placed on the cow dung so that as the cown dung dries, the diya is held firmly in place. Oil comes next and this is brought by appa (he had a provisions store back then) by the can - the cheap gingelly oil that's exclusively used for lighting lamps - and poured by the maids. My duty came next which was to line each of the diyas with the wick, the threaded kind bought by the dozens from the market. Once done lining the entire house (there would be close to 250 diyas by the time we are done), I would impatiently wait for dusk to fall because amma was very strict about when to start lighting them. 4-5 of us would start lighting the diyas from various points holding candles to each of the wicks, and in about 15 mins, our house would look gorgeous, the best it does all year. We would then all go out the gate, stand in a corner, and admire this blessing, this home that we all live in every day and take for granted.

Over 22 years later, these memories still linger very fresh in my mind and often when I have dreams of the old house, Karthigai and this routine we had plays a part.

Anyway, on to the food. Admittedly, I didn't remember what food was made for Karthigai back then because the lighting of the lamps was more of a focus than the food (again, unlike Diwali) so I asked amma last weekend when I spoke to her. She said we generally only make sugiyan and two types of vadai (medhu vadai and masala vadai) for Karthigai. A Tamilian friend of mine said that her mom invariably makes appam for Karthigai so I am including that in the list too.

Sorry for the rambling! I will move on to the recipes now.

7 Easy Recipes for Karthigai Deepam (Karthikai) Festival

Click on the images to go to the recipes

Karthigai Deepam 2012 is on November 28th this year and I wish everyone a wonderful year ahead filled with joy, light, and love.

November 23, 2012

Aloo Methi - Methi Aloo Recipe (Dry)-Potatoes with Fenugreek Leaves

Aloo Methi-Methi Aloo Recipe

I had some methi leaves left over after making Methi Pulao and decided to try Aloo Methi with it. I also had one fresh corn cob and decided to throw that in too. Nothing like bringing together some fresh vegetable wilting away in the fridge, eh?

I love making dry curries with aloo, especially using Russet potatoes. They cook very fast and turn almost creamy when they are done which tastes fantastic with both rotis and rice. Throw in some methi leaves for the bitterness and corn for the sweetness and you have a winner. I really resent Kerala not taking up to methi leaves more, imagine all the methi I could have eaten if I'd started young!

November 21, 2012

Chicken Thoran-Kozhi Thoran-How to Make Chicken Thoran

Chicken thoran is one of those dishes from my childhood that aatha (amma's amma used to make). It was not everyday fare because you need boneless pieces of chicken to make it and you need a lot to feed a family of 8.

Chicken Thoran-Dry Chicken Recipe with Coconut

Although generally thoran is a Kerala preparation (pretty much any vegetable can be made into thoran using grated coconut, shallots, cumin, and green/red chillies), I am led to believe this is a Reddiar recipe that first originated in Thirunelveli when the Reddiar community was concentrated there. Maybe they decided to call it thoran after moving to Kerala and being introduced to the concept.

Either ways, this is a delicious chicken recipe and very easy to make even for beginner cooks. If you want to check out more chicken recipes, my favourites are - chilli chicken dry, chicken iguru, pepper chicken masala, and chicken biryani.

November 19, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes-Eggless Cake Recipes

Eggless Recipes (especially cakes) have become more of a hobby to me now. Back in the day, I didn't care much whether a cake I baked was eggless or not, but as I was telling a friend recently, a LOT of you bake eggless and each time I post a cake recipe, I immediately get the question "how can I make this cake eggless?" so I started making both versions, and soon, exclusively looking for eggless cake recipes.

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes-Eggless Cake Recipes

There are various methods of making a cake (or cupcake) eggless and I have tried quite a few of them already.

Vegan mango cake
Eggless chocolate cake using bananas
Chocolate sponge cake using vinegar
Eggless vanilla sponge cake using yogurt
Vegan chocolate muffins

There are a few more but the ones above are probably the most successful ones.

November 17, 2012

Poricha Kuzhambu | Poricha Kozhambu Recipe

Poricha Kuzhambu is a phrase that entered my vocabulary post-marriage (just like Paruppu Usili, actually). It's this wonderful mash-up of a vegetable, cooked toor dal, roasted spices, and fresh coconut. Everything in that list is perfect, so the final dish can be nothing but, right?

Poricha Kuzhambu-Poricha Kuzhambu Recipe

Right! My MIL made Poricha Kuzhambu with peas the last time she was here and I loved it. She mentioned then that the most popular vegetable that goes into poricha kuzhambu is podalanga / snake gourd so I tried it with that and loved it! Since I like my kuzhambu a bit on the spicier side, I added a tad more of pepper and red chillies but you can adjust it to your liking.

November 16, 2012

Kothu Roti - Egg Kothu Chapathi Recipe - Quick Indian Snacks

Kothu chapathi is my answer to a kothu parotta craving on a boring Saturday evening when you don't feel like going anywhere near a stove, let alone cook up something. While you do need to go near a stove and even use it for about 10 minutes to make this kothu roti, it's well worth your time.
Easy Kothu Roti-Kothu Chapati Recipe
Most kothu roti recipes I have seen have a mix of vegetables or use a list of spices which I am sure add to the flavour and taste of the dish but I wanted a quick snack using what I had in hand and this simple kothu chapathi recipe hit the spot.

There are many variations to this but I doubt if you will see a simpler kothu roti recipe anywhere!

So, are you ready to make some piping hot kothu roti that gets done in 10 mins?

November 14, 2012

Bhindi Masala Recipe-Okra Masala-How to make Bhindi Masala

Bhindi is one of those vegetables I reach out to if there's very little other option to cook with and Bhindi Masala is probably the last resort recipe I cook using bhindi.

That said, it's easy, it's versatile, and it's not so bad if you can get rid of some of the sliminess of okra (see tips below on how to get rid of the sliminess of okra).

Bhindi Masala-Bhindi Masala Recipe-Okra Masala

A basic tip I have for cooking with bhindi is to keep the spices simple. Bhindi has a pretty great natural flavour and if you add too much of anything else to it, that ruins it. I don't even add onions to my bhindi masala although I don't necessarily think onions will spoil the flavour of the okra.

November 12, 2012

Chocolate Peda - Chocolate Burfi Recipe - Easy Diwali Sweets Recipes

Chocolate peda (the shortcut method using milk powder and condensed milk) is sweet number 2 from my kitchen this Diwali. After making the rava ladoo, I was wondering what other easy Diwali sweet I can make (with chocolate in it, I admit!), and zeroed in on chocolate peda. This recipe uses milk powder and condensed milk to make the job much easier, so it's a shortcut sweet. I mean, what else did you expect from me, eh? :)

Milk Chocolate Peda-Chocolate Burfi-Diwali Sweets

My aunt used to make chocolate peda from scratch - that is, by boiling down milk until it becomes almost-solid and adding cocoa powder and sugar along the way. I have eaten countless chocolate burfi squares during my childhood (yes I was a fat child, why do you ask?) and this chocolate peda brought back those memories for sure.

November 11, 2012

Rava Ladoo-Rava Laddu Recipe-Diwali Sweets Recipe

Rava Ladoo (or Rava Laddu) is a great Diwali sweet recipe for last-minute-preparation people like me. I am invited to two homes this Diwali and wanted to take some homemade Diwali sweets with me. When searching online, I chanced upon this very easy-looking Rava Ladoo recipe by Vahchef and zeroed in on it. I had all the ingredients for the rava ladoo in hand so that made the job even easier.

You may also like this coconut sesame ladoo recipe, 15-min coconut ladoo recipe, date and nut laddu, and maladu recipe.

Rava Ladoo-Rava Laddu Recipe-Diwali Sweets Recipe
Making traditional sweets for Diwali is a joy in itself and admittedly I have been very slack with it in the past few years. This year has been a bit different and hopefully it changes a bit more for the better the coming year.

Easy Diwali Snacks-Diwali Recipes-Deepavali Snacks

Snacks are as important as sweets for Diwali but unfortunately I don't have a large collection of them in Edible Garden to share with you. I do, however, have three snacks recipes that you can try for Diwali 2012. Please click on the snack recipe name or image for the recipe.

3 Easy Diwali Snacks Recipes

What Diwali snacks are you preparing for Diwali 2012?

November 8, 2012

Coconut Milk Rasam-Thengai Paal Rasam-Rasam Recipes

Coconut milk rasam is a new recipe to me too and as I am exhausted swooping into my drafts and my picture folders trying to find Diwali sweet recipes to post in time for the festival next week. Since I have extracted and posted the last available recipe, I am going to take a break and share this super simple yet delicious rasam.

Coconut Milk Rasam-Thengai Pal Rasam-Rasam Recipes
I think I have mentioned this many times before but my mom only makes one type of rasam. It's not a mainstream pulusu for us; in fact rasam is made on days amma is feeling lazy or someone is sick in the house or we are just back from a trip and need to go easy on our stomachs.

Then I married a Tamil Brahmin and my culinary life changed. Rasam became mainstream, I learnt about the eeya chombu and the joys of pepper (milagu) rasam, by far one of our favourites closely followed by tomato juice rasam.

Now, moving on to food magazines, I don't know how many of you are subscribed to GoodFood India but that magazine is awesome! We've really been lacking a good food-related magazine in India and Good Food seems to have stepped up brilliantly to do the job (they are not paying me to say any of this, in case you were wondering). I am raving about the magazine because this coconut milk rasam is adapted from their Aug 2012 edition.

November 7, 2012

Unniyappam-Nei Appam-Neyyappam Recipe (Using Rice Flour)-Diwali Sweets

Unniyappam or Neyyappam (Nei Appam) is a favourite at home and when I posted my athamma's unniyappam recipe that uses flour (or atta) and rava, a lot of people asked about the traditional Kerala-style unniyappam recipe that uses rice flour. I had gotten that recipe from my bedhamma (amma's elder sister) over a year back and made it around then but never got around to posting it because I thought athamma's neyyappam was easier and way softer. Also, the method I used was a bit different from the recipe.
Unni Appam-Unniyappam-Neyyappam-Appam Recipe (with Rice Flour)
Nevertheless, neyyappam (or unniyappam) is a regular Diwali sweet at my place and I can't think of a better time to share this recipe with you.

November 5, 2012

10 Easy Kheer (Pasayam) Recipes for Diwali (Deepavali) 2012

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

Semiya Payasam (my version)
Semiya Payasam (my sis's version)

List of Quick and Easy Diwali Sweets-Deepavali Sweets Recipes

Diwali (or Deepavali) is all about sweets. I have posted quite a few desserts and sweet recipes that are apt for Diwali and don't require you to slog in the kitchen. Who doesn't like a quick and easy Diwali sweet, eh?

But more than that, who doesn't like a list of them! Here's mine. Hope you find it useful while preparing for your Diwali cooking this year, not to mention all those potlucks and parties we keep getting invited to :) Click on the name or the image to get to the recipe.

Quick and Easy Rasmalai - 2 (using milk powder)
What sweets are you planning to make this Diwali? Any classic and traditional Deepavali sweets that show up in your home every year? For us that would be the snacks like murukku, thenkuzhal, etc and also unniyappam, payasam, sugiyan, etc. 

Gajar ki Kheer-Carrot Kheer (Payasam)-Diwali Sweets Recipes

Gajar ki Kheer is not as popular as Gajar ka Halwa so as I was looking for sweets (dessert) recipe ideas for a Diwali potluck party and had finally zeroed in on Gajar ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa). I bought carrots and extra milk in preparation for the day and that's when I happened to chat with Jey. I told her my plans and she made a pretty wise observation - to make carrot halwa for 8 people, I would need a lot of carrots since they cook down a lot!

Gajar Kheer-Carrot Payasam-Diwali Sweets Recipes

She gave a solution too - carrot kheer! It sounded like a great idea and I can use the ingredients in hand too. Win!

The kheer turned out really good and there was just enough for 8 people. Carrot Kheer is a great idea for Diwali dessert especially if you are having guests/family over or invited to a Diwali potluck party.