Monday, February 28, 2011

Healthy Carrot Soup

This is my signature dish. I thought of trying something good and healthy out of carrot, as I bought some fresh carrot and it was so tempting, dragging me into the kitchen to do something.Its been a long that we had soup, usually I used to prepare mushroom or vegetable clear soup once in a week. But those days are long gone.So the carrots were wanting me to get cooked into soup. I tried it in my own style. It came out well and yummy.

1. Onion, very thinly choppes- 3 tbsp
2. Vegetable oil- 2 tsp
3. Ginger, thinly sliced- 1 tsp
4. Garlic pods,chopped finely- 1 1/2 tsp
5. Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
6. Carrots, chopped- 2 cups
7. Vegetable stock/ Boiled-Rice cooked water/Kanjivellam- 1 1/2 cup
8. Cornflour- 1 tsp
9. Coriander leaves, to garnish
10.Crouton-4-5 (optional)
11.Butter, a small cube
12.Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp

Preparation Method:
1. In a wok, add oil and the ginger-garlic.
2. Add onion and saute for a minute.
3. Add coriander powder, salt and saute for a minute.
4. Add carrots and 1 cup of rice-water and simmer and cook.
5. When the carrots start becoming soft and not fully cooked, Switch off the flame.Let it cool.
6. When its cooled, transfer the mixture into a blender and grind it into fine liquid with no carrot pieces left behind.
7. In the same wok, heat a cube of butter, add cornflour and fry for a minute.
8. Pour the liquid mixture into it and simmer to boil, ad just salt and the thickness by adding some rice water.
9. If it becomes watery simmer for some more minute so that the cornflour makes the liquid thicker. Sprinkle pepper powder.
10. Garnish with coriander bunch serve with some onion croutons.

Capsicum Mezhukkuperatti/BellPepper Stir Fry

Bell-pepper is considered as a foreign vegetable and we do not usually use it as an ingredient in any of the kerala dishes. But a really tasty mezhukkuperatti can be made out of this in 6-7 minutes.
1. BellPepper-half, cut into cubes
2. Red chilly powder-1/2 tsp
3. Coconut Oil-2 tsp
4. Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
5. Salt,to taste

Preparation Method:
1. In a wok, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Add the cubed capsicum along with chilly powder and salt to taste.
3. Close and cook without adding water for 6-7 minutes till soft.
4. Serve with Kerala rice as a side-dish.

Mutton Omelette

Indian coffe House dishes are my all time favorite. Whenever I am in my home town, Alappuzha I try to get a parcel from there atleast once. The masala dosa,Veg/Mutton Cutlets and Mutton Omelettes are always tempting. Mutton omelette is my elder sister's favorite, she always love have one every sunday when we buy a parcel from there. Here in the USA, there is no way we get a taste of them. Me and my husband did a reverse engineering about the contents of this recipe. I gave a try and I tell you it was damn successful, we both loved it. The secret ingredient is aniseeds/perinjeerakam and the home-made Garam masala. This blew our mind away. Whenever I make this, I think of my elder sister,dedicating this recipe to her.

1.Mutton-chopped into very very small pieces(kothiya mutton)-2 cup
2.Oil 4 tbsp
3.Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
4.Aniseeds(Perinjeerakam) 1 1/2 tsp
5.onion 2 chopped
6.Ginger-Garlic paste 1 1/2 tsp
7.Green Chillies 2 chopped
8.Chilly Powder 1 1/2 tbsp
9.Coriander Powder 1 tbsp
10.Garam Masala 2 tbsp
11.Pepper Powder 1 tbsp
12.Salt,to taste
13.Vinegar 2 tsp
14.Curry Leaves, a few

For omelette:
1. Eggs-2
2. SAlt,to taste
3. Milk- 2 tbsp

1. Clean and cut mutton into very very fine pieces.(Donot grind in a mixie or minse mutton to get the fine pieces).
2. Heat Oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add aniseeds (perinjeerakam).
4. Once it is brown,add the sliced onion,chopped green chillies and ginger-garlic paste and the mutton at the same time. Saute well.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Add chilly powder,coriander powder,vinegar,half of the pepper powder and the home-made garam masala. Add some of the curry leaves and fry nicley.
7. Add 1 glass full water and mix well. When it starts boiling,keep the lid on and cook the mutton well by making the flame to low. (Keep in mind that mutton will get cooked earlier than the usual cooking since its finely chopped).
8.Once cooked, reduce the excess water if left over by keeping in medium flame and the pan open. Add the rest of the curry leaves and sprinkle some pepper powder on top and mix once and switch off the flame.
8. In a bowl, beat eggs and add salt and milk into it, to make it fluffy.
9. In a wide open pan, add 2 tsps of oil and pour the egg mixture into it. After a minute, spread 3-4 tbsps of the mutton mixture into it and spread all over. Close the lid and cook till the omelette is fully cooked.

10. Fold one half of the omelette to the other, Serve hot.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aloo Parata

1. Cooked potato-1
2. Onion chopped into very thin- 1 tbsp
3. Vegetable oil-1 tsp
4. Jeera- 1/2 tsp
5. Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Dry fenugreek leaves crushed- 1/4 tsp
8. Green chillies,finely chopped-1

For dough
8. Atta/Whole Wheat Flour- 2 cup
9. Oil,to knead the dough- 1tsp
10. Salt to taste

Preparation Method:
1. Cook the peeled potatoes in water with some salt,mash them finely and keep aside.
2. In a pan, heat oil,add jeera,green chillies and onion. Saute for a minute.
3. Add all the other ingredients and potato and mix well. Adjust salt if required.
4. Add 2 tsps of water, stir and mix for a minute. Dry it well and keep aside to cool down.
5. Make small sized balls of this mixture and keep aside.

For Dough:
5. Knead together all the ingredients into a chapathi dough.
6. Make medium sized balls from it, a bit larger than the usual chapathi balls.
7. Roll it into the size of a buri, using a rolling pin with help of wheat four just like chapathi.
8. Keep the smaller ball of masala into it, close the ball with the wheat dough sealing the masala inside and pull-off the excess wheat dough from the bigger ball.
9. Roll them into thin chapathis, do not worry if rolled carefully, it will never break and the masala come out. Even if masala comes out, seal the part with some wheat dough and roll over.
10. 8-10 paratas can be made like this.
11. Toast them on a griddle one by one by flipping just once and applying some butter on them.
12. Top them with a scoop of butter. Serve hot with Raita and Pickle. Enjoy.

Thenga Varutharach Kizhangu Curry/Soyibajjile Gassi/Potato in Coconut Fried gravy

This is a typical konkani dish which is served in all konkani families atleast once in a week.

1. Potato- 1, cubed without peeling off the skin
2. Salt, to taste
3. Curry leaves- a few
4. Massolu- 3 tbsps

Preparation Method:
1. In a vessel, add enough water to cook potatoes and some for gravy.
2. Add potatoes with some salt and the curry leaves.
3. In a small cup, mix the massolu with 3 -4 tbsps of water to a paste.
4. Add this into the cooked potatoes and boil closing the lid for 4-5 mnts.
5. Ganish with curry leaves and serve hot with kerala boiled rice.
6. This can be served with idlis/dosas too.

Variations can be done by adding muringakka/drumsticks and chakkakuru/bikkand/jackfruit seeds alongwith the potatoes.

Soya-Chunk Biriyani

One fine day, too lazy to cook I stepped into the kitchen. I had cooked the soya-chunks the day before and kept back in the refrigerator. So anyway thought of cooking the soya-chunk masala but was too lazy to cook rice and the different curries for that. A spark came into my mind relieving me from too much of cooking on that very-lazy day. I thought of cooking some white rice which can be easily made in 10-15 mnts. Then mix them each other to form a biriyani. ALl I need to do is a salad as a side for that. Pickle and pappad are already in the box. I was so glad. Thought of sharing the same with you since it was really a successful dish.
Soyachuks are really good for health and it is a vegetarian version of the red meat, beef. This is really a meat analogue in taste as well as look.

1.Soya chunks-2 cups
2.Oil 4 tbsp
3.Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
4.Aniseeds(Perinjeerakam) 1 1/2 tsp
5.onion 2 chopped
6.Ginger-Garlic paste 1 1/2 tsp
7.Green Chillies 2 chopped
8.Chilly Powder 1 1/2 tbsp
9.Coriander Powder 1 tbsp
10.Garam Masala 2 tbsp
11.Pepper Powder 1 tbsp
12.Salt,to taste
13.Vinegar 2 tsp
14.Curry Leaves, a few

1. in a vessel, boil 4 cups of water with some turmeric powder,salt and soya-chunks. Once cooked keep aside to cool. Once, cool press each soya chunk firmly to drain all the water content in it. Keep aside.
2. Heat Oil in a pan,splutter mustard seeds.
3. Add aniseeds (perinjeerakam).
4. Once it is brown,add the sliced onion.chopped green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. Saute well.
5. Once the onion turns translucent, add soya-chunks and salt.
6. Add chilly powder,coriander powder,vinegar,half of the pepper powder and the home-made garam masala. Add some of the curry leaves and fry nicely.
7. Add 1 glass full water and mix well. When it starts boiling,keep the lid on and cook.
8.Once cooked, reduce the excess water if left over by keeping in medium flame and the pan open. Add the rest of the curry leaves and sprinkle some pepper powder on top and mix once and switch of the flame.

For rice:
1. In a vessel, take cups of water, add all the garam masala items like cardamom, cloves etc. Add some oil too.
2. Add salt to taste and when the water is boiling put the washed,cleaned rice into this.
3. Strain and keep aside when its 3/4 th done.

4. Now in a deep vessel like cooker, Layer the bottom with half the soya masala, then the next layer with half the cooked rice , repeat the same till the masala and rice is finished. Top it with some fried onion if you have them, I used store- bought fried dry onions. On each layer of the rice ghee of 1-2 tbsps can be poured.
5. Cover and cook in medium-low flame till some fumes starts coming from the cooker. Keep for 5 more minutes in very low flame. Donot burn the bottom by keeping in too much flame.
6. Open the lid before serving, transfer it into a flat pan, mix well without mashing the rice. Serve hot with raita,pappad and lime-pickle.

Kadai Mushroom

1. White Button Mushrooms- 8-10
2. Bell Pepper- 1/4 cup, cubed
3. Onion-1, thinly chopped
4. Tomato-chopped,1/4 cup
5. Ginger-Garlic Paste- 1 1/2 tsp
6. Green chillies-2, finely chopped
7. Chilly Powder- 2 tsp
8. Jeera-1/2 tsp
9. Coriander powder- 1/4 tsp
10. Turmeric POwder-1/4 tsp
11. Garam masala-1/2 tsp
12. Dry Fenugreek leaves, crushed- 1/2 tsp
13. Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped- 1/4 cup

Preparation Method:
1. In a wok, pour 2 tsps of vegetable oil, add jeera and ginger -galric paste.Saute for a minute.
2. Add onion with green chillies. Saute till translucent.
3. Add tomato and bell pepper and saute for a minute.
4. Now, add all the powders,coriander leaves and crushed dry-fenugreek leaves, mix till raw taste goes.
5. Into this add the fresh button mushrooms cut into half and mix thoroughly to infuse all the flavors.

6. Close and cook till mushrooms becomes soft and cooked well.

7. Donot add any water, the water oozing out from mushroom is enough to cook them. Water will be left behind even after fully cooking the mushrooms.Keep them like that if you need gravy.Or reduce to dry the water to get a thick gravy kadai mushrooms. Garnish with some coriander leaves. Serve hot with naan or roti.

Vegetable Samosa

1. Half a Potato,cut into very small cubes
2. Green Peas-1/4 cup
3. Half an Onion,chopped-1/4 cup
4. Easter Chicken Masala- 1 tsp
5. Green Chillies,finely chopped-2
6. Salt,to taste
7. Oil- 1 tsp
8. Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp

For pastry
1. All purpose flour- 2 cup, makes 15-20 samosa
2. Salt,to taste
3.Oil- 2tsp
4. COrn flour- 3-4 tbsp, to make samosa real crispy

4. Oil, to deep fry

Preparation Method:
1. In a pan, add oil and saute onion with chillies.
2. Add potatoes,green-peas,masala and salt. Saute till raw taste goes.
3. Add 1/4 cup water and cook potatoes till soft,do not mash it.
4. Add some curry leaves, if required, switch off the flame and keep aside.

5. In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dough.
6. Flatten it like a chapathi and cut it into exact half semi-circles.

7. Brush some water into half of its edge, then roll it into a ice-cream corn shape/funnel shape.

8. Keep the filling inside the corn and press the open edges together which has some water-brushed on it.

9. Continue the same for all the dough.

10. In a wok with hot oil, deep fry them 4-5 at a time and serve warm with mint and tamarind chutney.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Natholi Varuthath/Easy Anchovi Fry

1. Natholi- 2 cups, cut and cleaned
2. Chily powder- 1 tsp
3. Paprika-1/4 tsp
4. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
5. Salt, to taste
6. Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
7. Ginger-Garlic Paste- 1/2 tsp

Preparation Method
1. Mix all the ingredients together. Add cleaned,washed fish into it.Coat them well with the masala mix.

2. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

3. In a wok, heat oil for deep frying, when oil is hot put half the fish into it, fry them into brown-crisp.

4. Serve with steamed/boiled rice.
5. You can add a little rice powder to the mixture if you want extra crispy, but as the fish is vey small,it will be crispy even without rice powder, so the treatment like other fishes are not required.

Capsicum/Bell-Pepper Masala

1. Bell Pepper-1/2, cut into cubes
2. Onion-1, small sliced thinly
3. Green Peas-1/4 cup
4. Eastern Meat Masala/Chicken Masala-1 1/2 tsp
5. Chilly powder- 1 tsp
6. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
7. Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
8. Coriander leaves,chopped-1/4 cup
9. Salt to taste.
10. Oil- 2 tsp
11. Ginger- garlic paste-1/2 tsp
12. Coconut Milk- 3 tbsp

Preparation method:
1. In a wok, heat oil, add onion and saute with a pinch of salt.
2. Add bell peppers and green peas once onion is half done.
3. Add all the masalas and mix till raw taste goes.
4. Add coriander leaves and 1/2 cup water and cover a nd cook till bell peppers and green peas gets cooked,takes only5-6 mnts.
5. Add coconut milk,add salt and simmer for two minutes.
6. Switch off the flame and serve hot with chapathis or phulka.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vegetable Dosa

This can be called as a kid-version of normal dosa with some colorful veggies on top to make them eat some vegetables. In this version, we make cute-little dosas and decorate them colorful with their favorite veggies and serve in a way that is appealing for them and make them play with and eat them. Enjoy trying this and do let me know your comments.

1. Dosa batter
2. Very finely shredded carrot
3. Very finely chopped cilantro leaves/malliyela/coriander leaves
4. Ghee/Oil/butter

Preparation Method:
1. Take half a ladle batter, pour it on the dosa griddle. Two-three can be made at a time.
2. Top one dosa with carrot, the other with cilantro.
3. Pour a little ghee/butter on top.
4. Flip and toast/cook the dosas.
5. Serve with chutney,sambar or pitto/chammanthi podi.


1. Idli Rice/Sona Masoori/Ponni Rice- 1 cup
2. Urud Dal- 1/2 cup
3. Salt- 2 tsps

Preparation Method:
1. Soak the two ingredients separately in water overnight, after washing them both thoroughly.
2. Grind urud dal first till it froths very well(for 6-7 mnts in a mixer) and pour into a deep vessel.
3. Grind the rice now to its three-forth, not to fine paste and pour it into the same vessel of urud-dal batter.
4. Add salt and Mix them both to combine weach other with your hand.
5. Kepp to fermet a day. Follow the same steps in here.
6. In an idli making curve, brush some coconut oil and pour a ladle full of fermented batter.
7. Pour the idli making vessel with water enough to steam for 20-25 minutes and let it steam.
8. Keep the idli curves into this and close and steam-cook for 20 minutes.
9. Open and let not the vapors from the lid fall on the cooked idlis once the flame is switched off.
10. Scrape the idlis out with a knife or a spoon. Keep warm inside a casserole till serving.
11. Serve warm with chutney or sambar.

Appam/Rice Crepes

A well-known breakfast item which is made in almost all keralite's kitchen.
This is my mother's recipe which she taught me. Usually I used to use the instant Avees(brand name) appam mix which includes a small rava packet which had to reduce in warm water and finally add the rice powder plus coconut milk, salt and sugar. Those appams were really good in my opinion only before trying my mom's own-recipe-appam. The new recipe makes really good crepes with crispy outer surface and a very soft core which melts in the mouth.

1. Rice flour- 2 cups
2. Rice flakes/Aval OR Steamed Rice/Boiled Rice- 1/4 cup
3. Salt,2 tsp
4. Sugar- 2 tbsp
5. Yeast- 1 tsp
6. Luke warm water- 3 cup
7. Coconut Milk- 1/2 cup

Preparation Method:
1. In luke warm water, add sugar and yeast, mix with a spoon and keep aside for a minute.
2. In a blender, add all the ingredients together and blend to a fine batter, a little looser than the dosa batter.
3. In an appam making griddle, pour a ladle ful batter twist and turn the appam griddle till the batter reaches the whole griddle.
4. Close and cook in low-medium flame.
5. Take off the appam from the pan, Serve hot with mutta roast,egg masala or the veggie or non-veggie stews.

Tips and Tricks:
1. Instead of using aval/rice flakes you can use cooked rice in same amount.
2. Instead of coconut milk you can use just milk or a mix of both.

3. Make sure you use luke warm water, it helps the multiplication of fermentation easy.
4. Do not use hot water, it kills the yeast which helps in fermentation.
5. If you are in a country like USA, in which the fermentation is slow due to the cold weather conditions, Preheat the oven to 200 Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and switch off the oven, Keep the batter in a oven-safe dish,close it with a lid and keep it for 2 hours.It will get fermented within two hours.

6. Make sure that there is some extra space. Because once the batter gets fermented it rises about half the size of the total batter. i.e More than the dosa batter, because of the yeast content in this.