Thursday, December 14, 2006


What is Orappam?
I don't know how to describe it. Once when we had lots of extra coconuts at home, Ammachi made orappam for me and the process was long. She had to manually squueze the coconuts to get the milk, manually pound the rice to get the flour and as she didn't have an oven and she had to burn coconut shells and place them on top of the pan to bake the Orappam. I have only eaten it once as a child.
I have modified Ammachi's version of Orappam. I don't have the patience to manually squeeze coconuts or make molasses syrup. Instead I use canned coconut milk and brown sugar.
2 cups of rice flour
2 cups of brown sugar
2 eggs
I can of coconut milk(400ml)
2 tbls spn ghee
2 tbl spn coconut oil
1/2 t spn cake Jeera/caraway seeds
1/2 t spn cardomom powder
1/4 tspn nutmeg powder
10 cashews broken in to pieces

Take 6oz of of coconut milk and add 2 oz of water to it and boil it along with the broken cashews for 10 minutes.

Beat the egg and add the rest of the coconut milk, brown sugar, rice flour, spices and the ghee. Mix well. Add the boiled coconut milk along with the cashews.

In a thick bottom pan, heat the above mix on medium heat, stirring often. It will get lumpy as you cook and that is ok. Once the mix forms a thick lump( ie, there is no more liquid) put in to a 7 inch buttered cake pan. Level the top with a spoon.

Pour the coconut oil on top.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F( 170 C). bake it for about 20 minutes till the top is golden brown
Take it out of the oven and cool for 10 mints. Cut it in to slices and serve

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Boiled fruit cake

Didn't get time to soak the fruits in rum? Still want to bake a Christmas cake?
Well this is my favourite, easy fruitcake.. where you get to boil the mixed fruits!!

150gm butter or margarine
175 gm sugar
1/3 cup water
175 ml milk
250gm raisins
125 gm sultanas
125gm dates(chopped)
50 gm mixed peel( optional)
250gm plain flour
1/2 tspn cardomom powder
1/2 tspn cinnamon powder
1/4 tspn cloves powder
1/4 t spn nutmeg powder
2 eggs
1/2 tspn sodium bicarbonate

In a sauce pan, boil the sugar with the water. When the sugar has melted, add the butter/margarine, milk and the fruit, heat slowly till the butter has melted, continue heating on med heat for abt 10 mints.( the fruits now look plump and cute!!). remove from fire and cool

Sift the soda, spices and the flour together.( honestly, I never sift the soda and the spices with the flour, I just add that in to the cooled fruit mix and mix it well..I don't have a sieve!.)

Once the fruit mix is cooled, add the flour, and the eggs and mix well.

Pour in to a lined( outside and inside) 7 inch pan

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C(300F)
Bake for about 1 hr, till a tooth pick inserted in to the center of the cake comes out clean.( cooking time varies, according to the type of the oven).

Hint; If you are using the convection part of the microwave to bake a cake, keep a plate (oven proof) full of water under the turn table. This ensures that, the cake will remain moist, during baking

Christmas cake icing

I have been wanting to update my recipe blog, but I never get the chance to do so.. I wish a day had more than 24 hours!

I just finished icing my christmas cake today. I haven't made the rose flowers yet.!!( will upload the photo later)

The process of Icing a cake sounds a lot complicated. In reality it is one of the easiest thing to do.

I usually use marzipan as a base coat and Royal icing as a top coat.

Marzipan( Almond icing)
100gm almonds ground
1 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup castor sugar(fine)
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp lemon juice

In a bowl, mix the lemon juice and the egg yolk, add the rest of the ingredients and knead well till it feels smooth and nice. Sprinkle icing sugar on a kitchen board and roll the almond icing to 1/4 inch thickness( I find it easier to roll the icing, when I sprinkle some icing sugar on top of the almond mix and then roll).
I do cover the whole cake with the almond icing, so it is easier for me to do the royal icing. But you don't have to do it. You can cover just the top of the cake and not the side
Some people apply 2 to 3 spoons of apricot jam over the cake, before placing the almond icing, so the almond icing would stick to the cake. I hate apricots!

Next layer is the Royal icing. It is one of the easiest icing.. this is how you do it
1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
2 to 2 1/2 cup icing sugar

First thing to do is sift the icing sugar.. so that there are no lumps

In a fairly big bowl, mix the egg white and the lemon juice using a fork. ( you don't have to beat it so much.. just simple mixing will do)
Now add the icing sugar one spoon at a time (do not add too much of sugar at one time, you will get a lousy icing..I am telling you that from experience!!), in to the egg lemon juice mix and keep stirring, keep adding the icing sugar till you get the fairly stiff icing..
(I dip a spatula in to the icing and lift a bit of icing up and check if the icing forms a peak).
Apply the icing on top of the marzipan layer and smoothen the surface.

See, I told you, it is simple!!

The cake above was the one I baked for my daughter's birthday.The top coat is royal icing and the dancing girl was made with Plastic icing..

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Recipes: Christmas Cake

At home, My mother always baked the 123 cake. We, the kids always had to pray and hope that one of the cousins would come for a visit and bring a fruitcake along...and when someone did bring a fruitcake, ah! it felt like winning a lottery. It was a well known rule that I get to eat the icing( especially the iced flowers).. Luckily my sisters never really fancied the icing..

I started baking the christmas cake when I was 17 yrs old. I soaked the fruits in rum and followed the 123 cake recipe. Well, I didn't know then that there was such a thing as fruitcake recipe.
My 123 fruitcake was much better than drinking the batter my oldest sister served as a cake!( she tried to bake a cake in a toaster did really look like a cake. with a nice brown crust on top. But we couldn't cut it)

Finally one day I found my mother's recipe book among the junk she was throwing out and was surprised to see that she did have a Christmas cake recipe and she never once baked a cake using that recipe.
Amma gave her recipe book to my oldest sister as she is the eldest and have the right to the family heirloom..My sister lost that recipe book, however I still have the recipe for the christmas cake from her recipe book.. I copied most of the recipes, because I knew, I would never get the book. I follow that recipe to this day..


1.5 kg mixed fruits(raisins, almonds,cashews)
1 cup rum
rind of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
250gm butter( room temperature)
1 tbspn treacle/caramel
5 eggs(room temperature)
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon, cardamom, cloves each
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Soak the fruits in rum for atleast 24 hours( longer the better)

Before you bake the cake, take a 9 inch round pan. Line the inside and the outside with baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar well

Add one egg at a time along with a tbl spn of flour from the 2 cups you have meassured for the cake

Mix the rest of the flour, fruit mix, spices, caramel together in another bowl

Add the creamed butter, sugar egg mix in to the fruit mix and stir using a wooden spoon

If the mix looks too dry add 1/4 cup rum to the batter

Preheat oven at 150 degrees

Pour the batter in to the lined cake tin and bake for about 2 hours, till you insert a wooden skewer in to the cake and no batter sticks on the skewer.

Note: I don't use any raising agents with this recipe and cooking time varies according to the oven you use.

Christmas recipes

Every year on the first day of Nov, I soak the fruits for the christmas cake. You may ask Why Nov 1st?
2 reasons.
The first one: Kerala celebrates Kerala day on that day and being a malayalee I celebrate Kerala day
The other reason is, it is the perunnal(festival) of Parumala Thirumeni, patron saint of Jacobite Christians.
I usually soak 1.5 kg of mixed fruit in 2 cups of rum.

I bake the cake on the 1st of december and from then on, every week I pour a tbl spn of rum on top of the cake till Christmas..( did I tell you, my kids are normally well behaved and extremely sleepy after eating the christmas cake??)

This year, I am taking my oldest daughter through a culinary journey of the Christmas of my childhood..
I remember having vattayappam, pal appam, stew, orappam, kuzhalappam, achappam and ofcourse Christmas cake every christmas as a child.
Join me as I make all the wonderful goodies and celebrate another year of peace and happiness

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Chicken Kali Mirch

I still have a jar of pepper that I plucked and dried when I was 18 years old..
We had 2 pepper wines in the house we stayed and it was full of pepper. Amma didn't have time to pluck it or dry.. I was home after the 1st year MBBS exams and because I had nothing to do, I plucked all the peppers from both the wines, dried them and completely forgot about it.
When I got married and was leaving for Malaysia, Amma gave me a big jar of pepper.. She told me
"This is the ones you plucked and dried"
It felt very special especially because I harvested it all by myself and I carried that jar of pepper, where ever I went. It had come with me to the jungles of east Malaysia, to the beautiful Penang island, to English country side, to the land of windmills, to the busy Mumbai and finally to Canada.
It is still half full!
This recipe too was given to me by a Sufi friend

250gm boneless chicke
2 onions (med size)chopped fine
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste each
1 tomato chopped fine
50 gms cashew
1/4 cup milk
4 tbsp Mawa( optional)
1 tbsp pepper powder( yes 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream to garnish

Soak the cashew in the milk for 10 mints and then grind
Heat oil, add the ginger garlic paste, fry till lightly browned
Add the onion and keep stirring till the onion is light brown
Add chopped tomato, fry till the oil separates around the side
Add the chicken pieces and fry till the chiken is light brown
Now add the ground cashew and mawa if using. add 1 1/2 cup water, cover and cook on low heat till the chicken is done and the gravy is thick
Just before serving sprinkle the pepper and gently stir to mix it.
Garnish with cream.
My kids take this chicken curry with Roti for School lunch

Monday, November 27, 2006

Baghdadi Kheema

This is my kids favourite Kheema.. it is easy and yummy
This recipe came from a prominent Sufi family in Mumbai. I was invited to their house for a party and was served this dish. They were kind enough to share the recipe.

1/2 kg mince( the original recipe calls for mutton and I can't stand the smell of mutton. We use Pork or Chicken)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tspn garam masala
2 tspn Kashmiri Chilli powder/paprika
1 bay leaf
1/2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste each
1 onion chopped
1 large tomato chopped
5 almonds
5 cashew
1tbl spn dessicated coconut
2 tbl spn oil

1. Grind the almond, cashew and the dessicated coconut with 2 tbls spn water
2.Heat oil in a wok
3.Add the bay leaf, ginger and garlic paste, fry for a minute
4. now add onion and fry till the onion is light brown
5. now add the mince and finely chopped tomato and fry till the water is evaporated.
6.add the chilli, turmeric and garam masala, salt. and the ground almond cashew mix.Keep stirring over med fire
7.when the oil begins to seperate at the edges, break the eggs in to the meat, keep stirring to scramble it well.
8. serve garnish with coriander leaves

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chocolate pudding

This is my favourite chocolate pudding recipe. 12 years ago, I was at the Dr's office waiting with fingers and toes crossed as I had missed my periods for 2 whole weeks. I was too nervous and I found this magazine on the side corner. Nervously I flipped though the pages and I found this recipe. I wanted to copy it, but before I could do it I heard my name being called. I walked in to the Dr's room with the magazine in my hand(ofcourse I didn't even know I was holding something in my hand). I saw the 2 lines on the preg test kit and all I remember is walking down the road from the clinic almost floating all the way home. Only when I reached my home, did I see that I still had the magazine in my hand. I called the clinic to tell them that I have their magazine and the telephone operator laughed... she told me I can keep the magazine. I lost the baby.. and still have the magazine..Every time I think about her.. I make the pudding.. Today is one such day

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

75 gm self raising flour
25 gm cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt

Beat together
125 gm butter at room temp
125 gm sugar

Add 2 eggs, one at a time with a tbl spn of the sifted cocoa flour mix. Beat well.

Finally fold in the flour, add 1 tsp vanilla essence and 2 tbsp milk.

Pour the above mix on a greased casserole.

Now is the fun part.. Which tells you how courageous you are

Mix 50 gm brown sugar, 25 gm cocoa and 25 gm white sugar. Sprinkle on top of the pudding mix in the casserole

Mix 2 tsp nescafe in 225 ml water(cold to room temp). Pour it over the pudding mix... Yes pour it

Chuck in the oven and bake for 40 mints.. During cooking time, the liquid will sink to the bottom of the pan and forms a yummy chocolate sauce.. Enjoy

Friday, October 13, 2006

Baileys' Pie

The original recipe came from Company's coming recipe book. It required Kahlua and graham crackers. Both I didn't have. I had Baileys and I made this using ParleG biscuit

1 packet of parle G biscuits
6 tbl spn maragarine(cold)
1 tbl spn cocoa
4 tbl spn sugar

Place the biscuits in a large ziplock bag and seal. Using a rolling pin, crush the biscuits. Remove and add the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Line a pie tin with the crumb mix and bake it for 10 mints at 350 degrees. Remove and cool.


30 large marshmallows
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup coffee( 1 tbl spn of nescafe in 1/4 cup water).
1/4 cup Baileys

1 cup whipping cream

In a heavybased sauce pan, place the marshmallows, milk and coffee, heat on med heat, stirring often till the marshmallows melted. Remove from heat and add the baileys. Cool for 10 mints

Whip the cream, fold in to the cooled mix. Pour over the biscuit base, chill for 1 hr before serving.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pistachio kulfi

Most of the readers of my blogs tell me that, I have a good memory. Although I do remember most of the things that happend in my life, I also block things out. I used to go to somewhere in MG road, Bangalore to eat kulfi with someone I loved very much. After his death, I have never gone there. This morning I thought of him and remembered the kulfi. I just can't remember the location or the name of the shop..
To remember a friend is to remember the good times you have had and that includes a good serving of kulfi.


100gm of shelled pistachios.( I didn't have unsalted ones, so I soaked the salted ones and removed the skin)
2 white bread slices, crust removed
1 carton whipping cream(1 lit)
4 tbl spn condensed milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 t spn cardamom powder.

Powder the bread to crumbs in a food processor and add the rest of the ingredients and blend, till it is thickend. Freeze in kulfi molds for 3 hours.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Channa/Chole & Bhatura

After the butter chicken, I still had left over of half a can of tomatoes. I wanted to finish it off. So last night I decided to make chana Bhatura. We have dinner at 6.30pm( I still follow the Malaysian style of eating dinner early). There was not much time to soak the chickpeas, so I used canned chick peas to make the channa/chole.

I follow Madur Jaffrey's recipe for Bhatura

Plain flour: 400gms
Semolina: 100gms
baking powder:1/2 t spn
Baking Soda: 1/4 t spn
Salt: 1 t spn
Yogurt: 2 tbl spn
Sugar: 2 t spn
Ghee: 2 tbl spn

oil for frying

In a bowl, mix the plain flour, semolina,baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, mix 3/4 cup of water, yogurt and sugar together
make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yogurt mix and knead well
Cover and keep aside for 15 mints
After 15 mints, knead the dough again and add the ghee. Knead it well till all the ghee is incorporated well in the dough.
Cover and keep the dough in a warm place( i keep in the oven with the indicator light on) for 45 mints.
Roll the dough and deep fry..Makes about 15 bhaturas

Chole/ Channa

Chickpeas:I can(wash and drain)
Grind the following( not the tea bag)

Tomatoes in can:1/2 a can
Onion:1, peel and cut in to chunks
Ginger: I inch piece
Garlic:2 cloves
kashmiri chillli powder:1 tbl spn
Coriander powder: 1 tbl spn
Cumin powder: 1/2 t spn
Garam Masala:1 t spn

Tea bag:1( make a cup of strong tea with the tea bag)
Oil:1 tbl spn
Cumin seed:1/4 t spn
Coriander leaves to garnish

In a pressure cooker, heat the oil, add the cumin seed, when it finish spluttering, add the blended stuff, cook till the oil floats. Add the chickpeas, and the tea. Cover and cook for 10 mints.
Before serving, Garnish with coriander leaves

The tea gives a nice brown colour..

Onion Rings
Slice 1 onion in to fine rings, add 2 tbl spn vinegar, 1/2 t spn sugar, 1/4 t spn salt. Add a drop of pink colour if you have. Mix well and keep it aside for 10 mints. Drain and serve along with Channa and Bhatura

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Butter Chicken

I was planning to post the rest of the payasam recipes that I have collected over the years. However, I managed to make the best Butter chicken after a long time. We had a bbq on sunday and there were few left over tandoori chicken. No I don't make my own tandoori marinade.. I use Patak's.. If any of you have the perfect tandoori recipe, do post it..
Some of my fellow bloggers have asked me why I never post the pictures.. Simple..By the time I get the camera ready, my kids would have finished the food!

This is my Butter chicken recipe

Tandoori chicken pieces: 500 gms.( cubed and deboned)
Butter:4 tbl spn
oil: 2 tbl spn

Cream: 100 ml
Coriander leaves to garnish

Blend all of the following together along with 1/2 cup water
Tomatoes in can: 1/2 can..(I used heinz chunky tomatoes)
Onion: 2. peel and cut in to chunks
Ginger: 1 1/2 inch piece..peel and cut in to small chunks
Green chilli:4
Kashmiri Chilli powder:2 tbl spn
Cumin powder:1/2 t spn
Garam Masala: 1 tspn

Heat the butter and oil together( so the butter won't burn).. when it is hot, add the blended stuff and keep stirring till the oil floats on top. You may need to top up the water as you cook. When the oil floats, add the cubed boneless meat..boil for another 5 mints. Take it from fire, add the cream and garnish with coriander.. It is simply superb..

Monday, August 28, 2006


What is onam if you don't have payasam? Of all the payasam in the world the best would be what is served in Ambalapuzha temple. Whenever our neighbour went there, he would send his son to our place asking Ammachi, if we want the payasam. Ammachi would give him a steel container and 10Rs( which is a lot of money then). Around 3pm, I would sit on the parapet wall, to listen to the sound of the bus arriving and wait for the neighbour. Just as he reached the road that bifurcates, he would give one steel container to his son and I would run all the way down the road to meet the son half way. I was so worried that, the son would steal a bit of my payasam and drink, that I ran faster than PT Usha. I used to grab the container from his hand and run back home shouting a small thank you. When I reached the huge jack fruit tree, I would stop and look for Ammachi, if she isn't standing near the vernada, I always opened the container and drank a few mouthful of payasam..if she was there, I would sigh and hand her the container..

Pal payasam

Basmati rice" 1/4 cup.
Sugar: 1 1/2 cup
Milk" 2 lit
evaporated milk: 1/2 can
Cashew nuts: 12, fry them in a spoon of hot ghee.
cardomom powder: 1/2 t spn.( sift the powder, so there won't be any big black pieces of seed or the husk)

Wash the rice well and drain. when the rice is almost dry, put in a blender and pulse it for 3 seconds, till the grains are crushed a bit.
Boil the milk, keep stirring for 20 mints to reduce the milk and thicken it slightly, add the rice and the sugar, reduce the flame and cook till the rice is done.
When the rice is cooked, add the evaporated milk and the cardomom powder and boil for another 2 mints. Take it off from fire and garnish with the fried cashew nut. Enjoy

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Waffle; the best recipe ever

I love to eat waffles with Kaya(traditional malaysian custard/jam made out of coconut milk) and butter. I have always made waffles with baking powder and somehow it never tasted like the Malaysian waffle(especially the shop in Semua house, Jln TAR). This morning I tried making waffles with yeast and so far this is the best recipe I have ever tried.


2 cup milk
2 t spn yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 cup oil
1/4 t spn salt
2 eggs.

Heat milk to blood heat and add the yeast and a tbl spn of sugar. When the yeast is frothy, add the eggs, oil, rest of the sugar,salt and the flour and mix well. Keep aside for 30 mints in a warm place.( I keep it in the oven with the indicator light on)
You can make waffles in a preheated ordinary waffle iron or belgian waffle iron. I prefer to make waffles in the cast iron waffle maker.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Biriyani: Vegetarian

There are so many types of Biriyanis..most of them with meat and being suriyani Christiani, We always had mutton/chicken biriyani at home. Till I went to India, I didn't even know there is such a thing as Vegetable Biriyani.
This recipe was given to me by a Hyderabadi classmate who claimed that it is the original Nawabi Biriyani recipe from the Hyderabad palace. She told me it is the best and I thought, hmmm veg biriyani? Tasting good? From the royal palace? That is a joke.. Anyway to make the long story short, I made this biriyani and have made it again and again and again.. It is simple superb..And i did tell my classmate my initial thoughts and the final outcome.. She said only one sentence
"I told you!!"

So here I am sharing my favourite vegetable Biriyani..Do try it and let me know


Basmati Rice: 2 cups

potatoes: 200 gms
Carrots: 150 gms
Cashews: 50 gms
slivered almonds: 50 gm

Ghee: 2 tbl spn
Cardomom: 3
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Bay leaves: 2

Onion: 100 gms
ginger: 25 gms
garlic: 25 gms
green chillies:6 split lengthwise
Turmeric powder:1 t spn
Chilli powder:1/2 t spn

Yogurt: 1 cup
Mint leaves: One handful(only the leaves sans stems)
coriander leaves: one handful(discard the stems)

1. Wash the rice and cook in 5 cups of water and sufficient salt till it is 3/4 done and drain. Set aside
2. peel and cube the potatoes and carrot. Slice the onion finely. scrape the ginger and peel the garlic and make ginger garlic paste.
3. Heat the gheee in a large casserole (with lid), add the cloves, cinnamon,cardomom and bay leaves. Fry for a minute, add the sliced onion, fry till the onion is lightly browned. Add the ginger garlic paste and the green chillies, almonds and cashews, fry for 2 mints and now add the cubed potatoes and carrots and half cup of yogurt. Add salt and mix well, cover and cook till the vege are cooked.
4:preheat oven to 350 degrees
5: Mix the other half of yogurt with finely cut mint and coriander leaves
6. When the vege is cooked and the gravy is thick, take the casserole off from the fire
7. Layer some rice on top of the vege in the casserole, sprinkle the yogurt, coriander, mint mix on top, layer the rice, again the yougurt mix. The top layer should be rice.
7. Place a wet kitchen towel on top of the rice and cover the casserole with aluminium foil and place the lid on top.
8. Bake for 20 mints.
9. Before serving, gently mix the vege with the rice.

I like to eat this biriyani with cucumber raita.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Green blog project

LG's green blog project... When she first blogged about it, I said sorry, I won't be able to join. Sim(b)ly because, I am a serial plant killer. The only plant that ever escaped was my money plant, that too because I put in a vase with water not soil!..

Although everyone in my family knows about my condition..and never let me go anywhere near their garden, my kids never give up.
My youngest got 3 bean seeds for me on mother's day, she planted them, watered(flooded the pot) every day. They were so keen that they lifted the plants out of the pot each day to see how long the roots have grown.. Two beans gave up their fight for survival. This one in the photo.. is a fighter..she is not giving up. She wants to be part of the green blogger project. So far there are three beans.. and I should make a dish with that!!!!!!!!!.. now that is going to be fun.

Further detail about the project or want to chew LG's brain.. contact her at
greenblogproject AT gmail DOT com

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mango Curry

During the summer months, we always had this curry at my home. My grandmother had a special mango tree, behind the cattle shed. Only the mangoes from that tree would be used to make this curry. She refused to share the seeds of that mango tree with anyone. That tree was her pride and joy. I would pester Kutten( out farm help) to climb the tree and pluck mangoes for me, when ever Ammachi goes to the market. Unripe ones, I ate them with salt and chilli powder. The ripe ones.. ah there was a joy in eating a pazhutha nadan manga.. without peeling and cutting it.. Just like Mowgli used to the jungle book...

Mangoes:2 big ones. preferably semi ripe. Peeled, and cut in to cubes
Green Chillies:6 split in to 2
water: 1 cup
Boil the mango pieces with the green chillies in 1 cup of water.

Mean while Grind the following in to a fine paste

Coconut: 1 cup freshly grated
Cumin powder: 1/2 t spn
Garlic: 1 clove
Turmeric: 1/2 t spn
Shallots: 2( can substitute with 1 tbl spn of onion)
Seeds from 2 dried red chilli.

When the mango is cooked, add the ground masala along with another 1/2 cup water. Cook for 10 mints on low fire. Remove from fire and pour the tadka over it.

Coconut oil: 1 tbl spn
mustard: 1/4 t spn
Shallots(onion) sliced fine: 1 tbl spn
Dried red chilli: 2 broken in to one inch pieces
Curry leaves: 1 sprig.
Heat oil in a wok, add the mustard, when it finished spluttering add the shallots, when the shallots brown lightly add the dried chilli and curry leaves and fry for another minute. Pour over the curry. Serve with Rice..

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Butter Prawns

Most of you who have read my blog would know I am extremely allergic to prawns.. but the mysteries of life is such that, I would give birth to a son, who would stop in the sea food section of the market and won't budge an inch till I buy, prawns and crabs of all kinds. He says 'if only girls were like prawns'.. What he meant by that, I never tried to find out.. Ignorance is a bliss, especially if you are a Malayalee mother, who is forever in a confused state as to how to raise a Malaysian, malayalee son in Canada.

Here is an easy simple, fattening recipe, that makes my son's eyes go all dreamy. It takes 5 mints to prepare and 5 mints to cook.


Prawns( bigger the better!!!) : 150 gm( cleaned and deveined)

Ginger and garlic paste: 1 t spn each

Butter: 1 tbl spn

pepper powder: 1/2 tspn
oyster sauce:1 t spn
soy sauce:1 tspn
Chicken stock granules:1 t spn
Corn flour: 1 t spn
water: 3/4 cup.

Dissolve the chicken stock, oyster sauce,soy sauce and corn flour in the water.

Heat a wok and add the butter, when it melts add the ginger garlic paste and stir fry for a minute till it is lightly browned, add the prawns, stir continuously, when the prawns are turning to pink colour add the water with all the sauce mixed. Keep stirring..When the sauce is thick, sprinkle the pepper powder. Take it off from fire and serve hot with rice.

Note: I do add a bit of extra butter(2 tbl spn) when I cook for my son..( love the look on his face, when he eats the buttery buttery yummy prawns!!)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mama meme

Can I have one urula amma”... this dialogue is from Lg's blog..Now I have never seen/known Lg outside the blogosphere. But I have asked my mother a thousand times for a share of her food.. Normally well after I have eaten and she just sat down to have her meal, I would go to her and ask
"Amma, can I have one urula ?"
soon my sisters would come and ask for more urulas.. eventually Amma would make us all sit on the floor and she feeds each of us like the Ammakkili feeding babykkilis..
Ultimately, the Dinner routine in our house was, Amma taking a big salad bowl and mixing the rice with moru and payaru and meen curry, us( myself and my younger sisters) would sit on the floor and she feeds us.. This ritual went on till I got married..
My mother was never a good cook. She hated cooking. But there are certain things, she makes, that I can taste even my mind..
She made the best kadumanga Achar.. To this day I haven't been able to replicate her pickle.
She would patiently peel, slice and cube raw mangoes to tiny pieces, salt them for 2 days..on the 3rd day, the scene at home would be like this
"Ente Karthave..Ara, ee manga muzhuvan vetti vizhungiyathu? njan ethra neram irrunnu nurukkiyatha, bhayangirikale..ninakkokke makkal undovumbozhe ariyathullu!!!"

She also made yummy Achappam( kuih rose).. When I got married, I stole her Achu( well I asked nicely, she didn't give, so I took!).. When she came to KL, she inspected my kitchen and the scene was like this
"Ee achu kandittu nalla parichayam!!"
"Eey.. no such thing, all achu looks alike amma!"
"Appol nee anu ente achu moshtichathu"
"Eey, njano!! no way"

Once when I came home from the medical college, Amma made pakkavada.. We finished it in one day and the scene was like this
"Oru sadanam ondakkiyal bakki vekkathilla, appol thanne vetti vizhungum, arenkilum vannal entha eduthu kodukkuka?? Ethungaleyum kondu thottu!!"

Whenever I came home for visit, she would make payaru thoran.. She doesn't cook it well.. but the thought that mattered.. She knows..I need payaru thoran every meal..still do!

In between all these.. she made cornflour cake( hardest cake i ever ate), she poured Kerosene, instead of coconut oil, in to a big chatty of mathi curry, cooked hardest idli( she was trying to save uzhunnu), that we used to throw like flying idli frisbee...
Although she wasn't a good cook, she complained every time when I cooked anything edible..
This one is too salty
too much chilly
too much onion/ginger/garlic etc
and I forever tried to make her happy. I was obsessed.. All i ever wanted for her to say that, I did well.. But that never happend.
I must say having her as a critic, made me a better cook..

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Inji puli

This particular dish comes in many different names. Malyaless are after all very intelligent. The dish looks and taste the same.. but it is called, inji curry, puli inji, inji achar etc..
Why do I like it? I am after all a Malaysian..( where else will you get fish curry with sugar in it??) and I like sweet and sour food.. and this one is all encompassing..and when you take a first bite.. you can see the elephants, you can feel the land immediately after the harvest and you feel yourself being magically transported to Kerala...they call it God's own country..for a reason.. Ask any malayalee..they all tell you the same... the malayalee food magically takes you home, however far you are from Kerala..that my friends unite us..irrespective of, if we are Malaysian malayalee, or American Malayalee..

Ginger: 100 gm
tamarind paste: 1 tbl spn
Chilli powder: 2 t spn
coriander powder:2 t spn
fenugreek/uluva podi: 1/4 t spn
LG kayam( asafoetida):1/4 t spn
turmeric powder::1/2 t spn
brown sugar: 2 t spn

oil: 3 tbl spn
mustard: 1/2 t spn
dried red chilli:2 broke in to 1 inch pieces

Clean and scrape the ginger. Cut in to fine slivers(1/2 inch long).

Heat oil. Add the ginger and fry till it is browned and take it out from the oil using a slotted spoon.

Dilute the tamarind in 2 cups of water, add all the powder and keep aside.

In the remaining oil( after removing the ginger) fry the mustard and dried chilli, pour the tamarind water and boil. When it boils well add the ginger, brown sugar and salt... when the gravy becomes thick, take it off from fire and cool and eat with rice and dal..and you will see the elephants all dressed in the royal splendour waiting for the Mahabeli..

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pineapple Pachadi

Malayalees are famous for their culinary invention. How else would you have this delicacy called pachadi..that is so soothing amongst all the spicy food?
My all time favourite is pineapple pachadi. Unlike my grnadmother, who would go to the fields, check each and every pineapple before she finds the RIGHT one, then bring it home, painstakingly cut it and cube it, I go to the nearest shop and buy a big can of pineapple and use what I need and freeze the rest in small zip lock bags. So I have a ready supply of pineapple for the pachadi..and I make it often during summer months.

Pineapple cubes: 2 cups
green chilli:3 split lengthwise
Ginger: 1 small piece, cut in to tiny pieces.
Pineapple syrup: 2 tbl spn( the liquid that comes along with the canned pineapple)
Coconut:1/2 cup
Curd:1 cup(thick)
Mustard powder: 1/4 t spn. (I use Caines's mustard powder.)

Coconut oil: 1 tbl spn
curry leaves:1 sprig
dried chilli:2 broke in to small pieces

Cook the pineapple with the green chillies, ginger, 2 tbls syrup and 1/4 cup of water for 5 mints.
Grind the coconut fine
Add the coconut to the pineapple and mix it well. Reduce the flame and cook for another 10 mints. Take it off from fire and add the yogurt salt and mustard powder.

Heat oil and tadka the mustard,curry leaves and dried red chilli and pour over the pachadi.
Serve cold.

Note: if you don't have mustard powder, pound 1/4 t spn mustard fine, sift to remove the husk and use. If the pachadi is too sour add a t spn of sugar to balance the flavour.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Rasam with coconut water

Yes thenga vellam.. When I buy fresh thenga(coconut) I always save the thenga vellam( coconut water) inside. I drink a bit for the nostalgia, the rest get converted to Coconut water rasam.

Water from 1 coconut: ( usually abt 1 cup)
Toovar dhal:1/4 cup
tamarind extract: 1 tspn
tomatoes:2 quartered
garlic cloves:2 crushed
peppercorns:10 crushed
asafoetida powder:1/4 t spn
turmeric powder: 1/2 t spn

oil:1 tbls spn
mustard: 1/2 t spn
dried red chilli:2, broken in to 1/2 inch pieces
coriander leaves: few fro garnish

Clean and wash dal and cook it in 2 cups of water, tillv ery soft. Add the cocony water, crushed garlic, pepper, asafoetida, turmeric and heat. Don't boil.Take it off from fire, before it boils
Do the tadka,heat oil add mustard, then the dried chillies, pour over the rasam and garnish with coriander leaves

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mango rasam

This is my favourite. After all I am a malayalee and I love mangoes..

This recipe requires something called chanacha manga that is neither too ripe, nor too raw..Slightly ripe, with a tinge of sweetness..ah..and you can make the best rasam with it..

Toovar dal:1/4 cup
water:4 cups
semi ripe mango cut in to cubes: 1/2 cups
Ginger: 1/2 inch ..pounded

pepper powder: 1 t spn
turmeric powder:1/2 t spn
cumin powder:1/2 t spn

Oil:2 tbl spn
dried red chilli:1 broke in to 3 pieces
curry leaves: 1 sprig

Clean and wash the dal and cook it in 2 cups of water. When the dal is cooked add the other 2 cups of water, mango pieces, ginger, pepper, cumin and turmeric powder.Add salt and cook till the mango is done(abt 10 mints on medium fire). Take it off from fire

Heat 2 tbl spn oil and tadak the dried chilli and curry leaf and pour over the rasam and eat with rice.

Note: My grandmother adds a a tbl spn of coriander seeds along with the ginger and pound it. I am not fond of coriander in the rasam. You can use any dal. Last time I made it with masoor dal( that was the only dal I had!!)

Friday, June 02, 2006


Although, some people say the traditional ona sadya doesn't include rasam, I find it nice to eat rasam with parippu curry. Don't ask why.. It is one combination I am very fond of.
There are three types of Rasam I make. Sada rasam, Lemon rasam and mango rasam.
But today I will share you a recipe from Alexis mother. The other day I was telling him about Malaysian food and he mentioned about eating parippuvada soaked in Rasam. It reminded me of the type of rasam my Ammachi used to make. She called it Mulakuthanni and it was spicy. I don't know how to make that. So this is what Alexis send me..from his mother's collection

1. Tuar dal - 1/4 cup
2. Masoor dal - 1/4 cup
3. Tomatoes - 1 16 oz.can or 4 large tomatoes
4. Tamarind extract - 1/2 teaspoon
5. Black pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
6. Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
7. Dry red chili - 2 or 3
8. Chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
10. Asafoetida powder - 1/2 teaspoon
11. Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
12. Garlic cloves - 3
13. Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
14. Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
15. Coriander and curry leaves - a bunch
16. Salt - to taste

1) Cook the dal well with sufficient water.
2) Add the tomatoes, salt, chili powder, turmeric powder and tamarind extract. 3) Crush the cumin and garlic and add to the Rasam with the black pepper. 4) Simmer for a few minutes and add the Asafoetida powder.
5) Heat a little oil in a fry pan and pop the mustard seeds. Add the fenugreek and fennel seeds and curry leaves after removing the heat source.
6) Add this to the rasam.
7) Garnish with coriander leaves.

I followed this recipe and made rasam today and it is perfect..
and now I am going to make Vada.. to eat parippuvada soaked in rasam.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Moru kachiyathu

At home we had Moru everyday. 90% of the time, it would be the "cheat" moru and 10 % of the time the real one..with coconut. I can't imagine a malayalee meal without moru.. My kids would drink moru, instead of water,when I make spicy fish curry!!
The most important thing to make moru is good yogurt. It is very easy to make it, even in the cold winter days.
Boil 500 ml of milk and then cool it till it reaches blood warm..( ie, if you dip your finger in, it won't be too hot that you jump up and down). Add a tbl spn of yogurt and mix well. if you are living in a cold place and have an oven, switch on the light inside, chuck the container inside and shut the oven door. Forget about the yogurt for 5 hrs and then open the oven and Take freshly set thick, yummy yogurt out. If you have kids, tell them to remind you that the yogurt is inside the oven!!

coconut:1/2 cup
turmeric:1 tspn
cumin powder:1 tspn
Chilli powder:1/2 t spn

oil:1 tbl spn
shallot sliced fine:1
mustard:1/2 tspn
fenugreek(uluva):1/2 t spn
Curry leaves:1 sprig
Dried red chilli:2 cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
grind the coconut very fine and mix it with the yogurt,1 cup water,chilli powder,turmeric powder,cumin powder, salt and keep it aside for 10 mints.
Heat the yogurt mix, stirring often with a metal spoon on medium fire. Every now and then lift the spoon and examine, if you can see the steam coming out of the spoon. The moment you see that, take the moru off the fire. If you are like me and didn't check, then you will be successful in creating double layer moru!!.. don't believe me? Try and see..
Tadka the mustard, uluva, curry leaves,and the dried chilli in the oil and pour over the moru..

Cheats moru
This is the low fat, pishukki version
No of the ingredients are the same. The process is slightly altered.
heat a casserole and do the tadka first and add the 1 cup water in to the tadka.. watch your hand and face!! then add the yogurt and salt mix(whisk) well and cook over medium heat and check often for the steam coming out of the spoon..

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


This 'seri' group of curries are a bit confusing. Especially the erisseri and the pulisseri. Then you have the subdivision among the Erisseri, kaya erisseri,mathangga erisseri,chakka erisseri etc.. I am still confused.

I make the mathanga erisseri.. simp(b)ly because i get it here.

pumpkin:1/4 kg( after you removed the hard shell and weighed!!).cut in to 1/2 inch cubes

turmeric powder: 1 t spn
chillipowder:1 tspn
Cumin powder:1/2 t spn
brown lentils(van payar): 100gm(1/2 cup)
Coconut grated:1 cup
garlic:2 cloes
Curry leaves:2 sprigs
Dried Red Chillies:2 broken in to 1 inch pieces
Coconut oil:2 tbl spn
mustard:1 tspn

This recipe is easier if you have a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the vanpayar/brown lentils in 2 cups water, till it is almost cooked. Then add the pumpkin, chilli powder, turmeric powder cumin powder, half of the curry leaves and salt. Keep boiling.
Meanwhile grind the coconut and garlic together to a fine paste. When the pumpkin is cooked add the ground coconut and mix well. Boil it for another 5 mints and take it off from fire. This curry should be a bit thick.
Tadka the mustard, chilli and curry leaves in the coconut oil and pour over the Erisseri.. ah..malayalee food.. brings heaven on earth..

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

kurukku kalan

When I went to Kerala for the first time, Malayalam confused me more than anything. kalan can be many different things.. You eat 'kalan', the other 'kalan' comes to fetch your soul, when you are done with the world, another 'kalan' kuda you use when it rains!. The meaning changes the way you pronounce.. I never got it right. Kalan and olan are essential part of ona sadya..

Chena( elephant yam): 100 gm
Raw green banana(ethakka):1
green chillies:4
pepper powder:1 t spn
water:1 cup
turmeric powder:1/2 t spn
Ghee:2 tbl spn
Yogurt( thick greek style):1 cup
Coconut (grated) :1 cup
Cumin powder:1/2 t spn
fenugreek(methi) powder:1/2 t spn.( roast the seed and powder)
Mustard seeds:1 t spn
Curry leaves:1 sprig
Dreid red chilli:2, cut in to 1 inch piece

Grind the coconut with cumin powder very well. Try not to add water.

Slice the yam and raw banana in to small pieces(1/2 inch cubes), boil it with 1 cup water,green chillies,salt,pepper and turmeric till the Yam is cooked and there is no more water in the pan. Add a tea spn ghee and mix well.

Add the yogurt to the banana yam mix and cook on low fire, till the mix is thick. Now add the ground coconut, cook till it is boiled and take it off from fire. Sprinkle the fenugreek(uluva) podi on top and gently mix.
Tadka the mustard,curry leaves and the dried Chilli in the remaining ghee and pour over the Kalan

I saw Lg's post.. she too has a wonderful kalan recipe

Monday, May 22, 2006

shallots sambar

There are so many variations of sambar. In the north of Kerala, they grind fried copra and add that to sambar, In Malaysia, they add fish curry powder.Yes they do!!!
my favourite is shallots sambar

Shallots:200 gm, clean and slice them
green chilli:5. split in to half

sambar dal(toovar dal) :50 gm
tamarind:1 t spn( if not using the paste, soak a small goosberry size tamarind, in 2 tbl spn hot water and strain the pulp)
chilli powder:1 tsp
coriander powder:2 tsp
turmeric powder:1 tsp

asafoetida:a small pinch
fenugreek seeds:1/2 tspn
mustard seeds:1 tspn
dried red chilli:3
curry leaves:1 sprig
coconut oil:2 tbl spn( yes coconut oil..remember onam. and the sadya isn't saday till you cook the malu way and we use coconut oil!)

Among the masses of all the dals at the shop, i could never figure out which one is sambar/toovar dal. I finally figured, the thinner uglier one is toovar dal and the chubbier cute one is chana dal that is used for parippuvada!

Clean and wash the dal and cook it in 3 cups of water, till it is soft.

Meanwhile, in a wok heat a tbl spn oil and fry the shallots and green chillies till the shallots are slightly browned.

Mix the fried shallots to the boiled dal, add all the coriander, chilli, turmeric powder, tamarind and salt. Add water to dilute. When it is boiled well, take it off from fire.

heat the wok, add a tbl spn coconut oil, add a pich of asafoetida, when it bubbles add the mustard and fenugreek seeds, when they finished spluttering add the dried chilli and curry leaves, fry for a minute till it is browned. Pour over the sambar. Serve hot.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Parippu curry

There are so many versions of this curry.. We make the simple version.
When you eat a sadya, after the rice is served, then a pour a spn of home made ghee on the rice. after that they serve parippu curry and pappadam.
LG.. I am hoping that you would guide me through the steps...of serving the sadya the right way..

Parippu curry

Green gram dal: 1 cup
water:3 cups
turmeric powder:1/2 t spn

grated coconut:1 cup
garlic:2 cloves
cumin powder:1/2 t spn

Ghee: 1 tbl spn
mustard:1/2 t spn
shallots:sliced fine 2
dried red chilli:2 broke in to 1/2 inch pieces
curry leaves: 1 sprig

Heat a woke, fry the dal without washing till it is lightly browned. take it off from fire and wash. Then boil it with 3 cups of water and turmeric powder.
Grind the coconut with garlic and cumin powder to a fine paste. When the dal is cooked add the coconut paste and boil . When the dal is boiling. take it off from the fire.
Heat a wok, add the ghee, then the mustard, when the mustard finished spluttering add the shallots, when it is browned,reduce the fire add the chillie and curry leaves, stir for a minute and take it off from fire and pour over the cooked dal.
Tomorrow we make Shallots sambar.
Lg..if the order is going kaput, guide me..

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Onam sadya

When I started blogging, the main reason was, I wanted to hand over to my kids, things that I hold dear. When you are a malayalee, and when you have never been to Kerala, then you lose that cultural identity. My kids don't know much about India.
Every onam I try to make an ona sadya.. So that i can take them to a journey to Kerala, my childhood, my culture.
In my childhood, the ona sadya preparation is a long process. something even more unique is although my family are chrisitians and we celebrated onam the same way as the rest of hindu malayalees.
There were many taboos and rules regarding the sadya.There is a way to serve the sadya. The curries too have to be in certain order and there have to be a certain number of this and that. I don't remember any of that. I need help with all dear fellow bloggers.. help me.. write whatever you remember about the onam sadya at your home. let us compile it and give it as a gift to our kids..
We will start with the rice

It is a must to have parboiled rice( kuthari) for the sadya. 1 cup uncooked rice is enough for 2 people. ( On onam days everyone I knew would morph in to shappattu ramans and we certainly cooked more rice)

I use 4 times 2 cups of rice needs 8 cups of water.

Boil the meassured water in a pan
Clean the rice and wash in many changes of water. When the water is boiling add the rice and keep the fire medium. Close the lid half( if you close it full, then you will clean all the mess too) and cook till the rice is done. Now turn off the heat and close the lid. I use cloth pegs to secure the lid to the pan and tilt the pan slowly drain the water. Or you can drain the water in a colander( not plastic).

I do try to save a glass of the rice water and drink that with a pinch of salt, while I make the rest of the food.
Tomorrow we will make the parippu curry.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

thenga chammanthi podi/coconut chutney

This isn't the ordinary chutney you eat with dosa and idli. This is the original one that you eat with rice. When it rains, you take the chammnathi podi dubba and take a bit to be eaten with pazhankanji and is indeed beautiful.
In my house, Akkachi would grind this using the ulakka and kallu. In canada there is no ulakka, or kallu. So I rely on coffee grinder. Do coffee grinder is never used for grinding coffee.. who would want to drink coffee flavoured with onion and chillies

Freshly grated coconut: 2 cups( i buy the frozen one from philippines)
Chilli powder:2 t spn
coriander powder:1 t spn
Fenugreek seeds:1/4 t spn
Cumin seeds:1/4 t spn
ginger: 1 inch piece( add more ginger if you like the taste)
Tamarind pulp:1 tspn

Heat a woke, add the defrosted coconut and stir, till it is lightly browned, reduce the fire add the chilli and coriander powder, fenugreek seeds,cumin seeds and keep stirring till the coconut is browned. take it off from fire and cool. Grind along with shallots, ginger,and tamraind. Don't add water. The shallots will absorb the oil that is coming out of the coconut. Store in a bottle and keep refrigerated.Will stay in the fridge till you finish eating it!!!.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Apple cake

This is the easiest, softest, cake I baked in a long while. It toook me 10 mints to prepare and 45 mints to bake.. the only time consuming part was peeling the apple.

Apple: 5 peel, core and chop

oil:1 1/2 cup
sugar:2 cups
flour:3 cups
baking soda: 1 1/2 t spn
vanilla:1 t spn
cinnamon:1 tspn
Coconut: 1 Cup( freshly grated coconut)
Nuts:1 cup ( use any like cashew, walnut, hazel nut, almond)

Mix all of the above, Pour in to a buttered and flour coated pan. bake at 350 for 45 mints till done

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ela appam

I have a sweet tooth( i am sweet too!!!). Break fast should be kozhukatta, or ela can be sure you started the day right. My grandmother had a special steamer, that was called appa chembu. I use chinese wok and steamer. One more difference in my preparation would be No ela..where to get fresh banana leaf in Vancouver?? I use baking paper..but the end result is still the same

Rice flour:2 cups
boiling hot water:1 to 2 cups

Freshly grated coconut:1 cup
crushed cardomom:3
brown sugar:6 tbls spn

First mix the coconut, brown sugar and cardomom very well. keep aside

In a heat proof bowl, place the flour and salt. make a well in the center, add the boiling hot water, use a wooden stick and gently mix the flour and water. I can't give exact amount of water, as it totally depends on the type of flour. when all the flour has been moistened, keep it aside. Knead when you can tolerate the heat and make a pliable dough. If the dough feels too dry, add a bit more hot water.
Make an apple size ball, flatten it on the baking sheet, as thin as you can. Place the filling on one half of the flattend dough. Fold the baking sheet in half and press the dough edge to seal it.
Steam for abt 20 mints and enjoy

Sunday, May 07, 2006

varatharacha kozhi curry

I am partial to coconut. To those who say about cholestrol...I live only once..and i intend to enjoy my food and I am not on diet.
We use coconut in so many ways.. this one is a bit cumbersome to make..but it is worth going through the hassle...

Chicken:1/2 kg

coriander powder:3 tsp
chilli powder:3 tsp
turmeric powder:1 tsp
pepper powder:1/2 tsp
Garam masala:1/2 tsp

Soak the above powder in 2 tbl spn water and keep aside

Onion:1 cut to small size
ginger and garlic:1 t spn each
potatoes:2 peeled and qaurtered
oil:2 t spn
mustard:1/2 t spn

Dessicated coconut:1/2 cup

Vinegar:1 tbl spn

Heat a non stick pan and fry the dessicated coconut to brown colour. remove from fire and cool and grind to a fine paste.( the way to ensure perfectly browned coconut is, add the coconut to the pan first and then switch on the fire, when the coconut start to bown lightly, turn off the heat and keep stirring till it browned)
Heat a casserole. add the oil, when it is hot, add the mustard, when it finished spluttering add the ginger and garlic. stirr often, when it browns lightly add the onion and when the onion is lightly browned, add the soaked masala. Keep stirring till the oil is separated.( top up with water, if the masala is too dry)
When the masala is done, add a cup of water, chicken. potatoes, salt and vinegar. cover and cook. when the chicken is cooked add the ground coconut mix. heat again..serve hot with rice

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Muringakka sambar

I love muringakka..aka drumsticks. My aunt used to make chappathi with murnigakka leaves. and my grandma used to make excellent muringakka thoran. Although I have eaten it, I never cooked it myself till I went back to Malaysia. I bought it from the market one morning, came home, peeled the green part using a peeler and made sambar..unfortunately I didn't know I shouldn't peel the green part of the muringakka.. what was left in the sambar was just sticks..that at some point in life was muringakka..
It is easier to make sambar with ready made sambar powder. But I don't like the predominant coriander flavour in ready made mix.

tovar dhal:1 cup.. wash and soak for 30 mints
drum stick:4 cut in to 2 inch long pieces
turmeric:1 t spn
chilli powder:1 tsp
onion:1 sliced in to long pieces
tomatoes:2 quartered
green chillies:4 split in to half
tamarind pulp:2 tsp
jaggery:1 tbsp

dessicated coconut:5 tsp

for tempering
oil:2 tsp
asafoetida:2 pinch
mustard seeds:1 tsp
onion:chopped fine:1 tsp
dried red chillies:2 cut in to half
curry leaves:1 sprig

1.Boil the dhal, onion, tomatoes,turmeric powder,chilli powder,green chillies and tamrind, jaggery and oil together with 2 cups of water till the dhal is cooked. Add the drum sticks and cook for another 10 mints.
2.meanwhile, heat a wok on med heat and fry the coconut, stirring often till it is browned. Take it off from fire.Cool and then grind to a fine paste.
3.When the drum sticks are cooked, add the ground coconut and salt to taste. top up with more water if the dhal is too thick.
4. Heat the wok again, add the oil, when it is hot, add the asafoetida, then the mustard, then onion. When the onion is browned add the dried red chilli and curry leaves. fry for 30 sec, take the wok off the fire and pour the whole thing in to the sambhar and eat hot.
If you like, you can garnish with coriander leaves.
Note:you can use any vege for sambhar like okra, aubergines,pumpkin potatoes etc

Friday, May 05, 2006


in the olden days, before the buses and public transport were invented, people used legs for transportation. The houses by the side of the road, would serve refreshments for those weary travellers. Our house was by the side of the road and my grandmother would make a big clay pot of "sambaram" and place it on a stool along with a steel glass. Those who wanted a drink, scoop it using the glass and drink. FOC
on a very hot day I still make sambaram to drink.

Yogurt:2 cup

clean cheese cloth

green chilli:1
garlic:1 clove
cumin seed:1/2 t spn
turmeric powder:1/2 t spn
grind the above to a fine paste. place it in the cheese cloth and tie a bundle. . Mix the yogurt and water, add salt.Drop the cheesecloth bundle in to the yogurt water mix. keep aside for 30 mints. drink..
Increase the quantity if you are making it in bulk..BTW..this stay outside without getting spoiled for 1 whole week.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Kozhikkodan Biriyani

I have never been to North Kerala. But was blessed with friends who originally came from there to Malaysia. I loved the sing song manner they spoke their malayalam and their food was different from what I have eaten in my home. This recipe is again from Jameela Aunty, who knew how much I loved to eat biriyani and used to pack it and send to the hospital, whenever I was on night duty.

Chicken Biriyani

Basmathi rice:1kg

chicken:1 kg..cut in to 8 pieces(smaller if you like)

oil:1/2 cup
ghee:1/2 cup

Coriander powder:1 tsp
turmeric powder:1 tsp
fennel(perumjeerakam) powder:1/2 t spn

cinnamon:1 inch piece
mace:2 small pieces

Ginger and garlic paste:1 tsp each
green chillies:10
cuscus:2 tspn

Rose essence:1 tspn


tomato:2 medium size, cut in to small pieces
coriander leaves:1 tbl spn
mint leaves:1 tbl spn
currry leaves:2 sprigs
yogurt:3/4 cup
juice from 1 lemon

1. grind the cuscus, chillies, ginger and garlic together
2.powder cinnamon cardomom, cloves and mace
3.slice the onion
4.fry half the onion in the oil &ghee mix till browned and drain
5.fry the cashew drain, raisin.drain
6.In a big pan boil 2 lit of water, add the cleaned basmathi rice and sufficient salt and cook till the rice is 1/2 done. drain
7. In a big casserole, mix the cleaned meat,remaining onion,cut tomatoes,coriander leaves, mint leaves,curry leaves, ground cuscus, ginger garlic mix,chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric,lemon juice,powdered spice mix, yogurt, salt and I cup of water mixed with rose essence.
8. the left over oil ghee mix pour over the meat mix
9.layer the rice on top of the meat mix, followed by the fried onion, cashew raisin mix, then rice, then the onion mix.. the top layer should be rice.
10.close the casserole lid
11. mix 100 gm of flour with some water, till you get a nice thick paste
12. seal the edge of the casserole with this paste..make sure it is sealed well
13. place the casserole back on fire..low heat. when you see the steam is filling inside the casserole,(abt 20 mints) take it off from fire
14.meanwhile pre heat the oven to 350 the casserole in the oven and bake for 30 mints.
16:break the seal, mix the rice and serve hot

note:the recipe looks complicated..but it isn't. when I have a party, I always make this biriyani, as there is not much of stirring involved. and the end result is spectacular.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Jameela Aunty was my mother's good friend. During the fasting month, I was always at her place and use to eat with her family the 'buka puasa' meal. She belongs to the mamak clan and make the best malabar neychoru. This is her recipe

Basmathi rice:2 cup
Ghee:1/2 cup (not for the diet concerned people!!)
onion:sliced lengthwise:2
Hot water:5 cups

cinnamon:1 inch piece
cumin seeds:1 tspn
heat a wok and dry fry all the spices and grind.

Wash the rice and soak for 10 mints and then drain

Heat the ghee in a casserole, add the onion, when it is slightly browned add the rice, stir for 5 mints, add the water and salt, cover and cook on medium heat, till the rice is done and no more water.
Sprinkle the spice powder on the rice, mix gently. Place a wet kitchen towel on top of the rice, cover and place it in a preheated oven(350 degree) and bake for 20 mints. Serve with mutton currry

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fish Pickle

On sunday, I managed to get fresh red snapper fillet and I bought 2 kg. Some were used for the biriyani, some for the red fish curry and the rest I made in to fish pickle.
This is my grandmother's recipe. Everytime i visited her during the holidays, she would make a big horlicks bottle of fish pickle for me and I had to smuggle and hide it in my hostel room!!!

Fish:Ikg. , cleaned and cut in to cubes
turmeric powder:2 t spn
pepper powder:1 tsp

Marinate the fish in the above mix and place it on a plate lined with plenty of kitchen towel. every now and then turn the fish and change the kitchen towel.till most of the moisture from the fish is removed.(note:you need to use plenty of kitchen towel!!!!) or If you live in a place with good sunlight, dry the marinated fish in the sunlight for half a day.

fry the fish in 1 cup oil till it is lightly fried and drain.

Mustard seeds:2 tspn
fenugreek(uluva):1 tspn
Ginger:2 tspn chopped fine
garlic:2 tspn chopped fine
Chilli powder:1/2 cup
boiled cooled water:1 cup
vinegar:3/4 cup
sugar:1 1/2 t spn

heat the remaining oil after frying the fish. Add the mustard and uluva, when it stops spluttering add the ginger and garlic, when they brown, take the pan off from the fire and add the chilli powder.. stir quickly, when the raw smell from chilli powder is gone add the water and place it back on fire. when the water boils, add the fish, vinegar, salt and sugar. stir gently to mix.
Note: grandmother sieve and drain the oil after frying the fish( I am too lazy!!)
2. she uses nallenna, which I don't get here. i use any oil..not castor oil though
3.she uses 1 1/2 cup vinegar..I use heinz and it is strong
4. she uses 1 1/2 cup of chillipowder and I need a fan when I go to the loo..

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kerala Fish Biriyani

Sunday lunch is always biriyani..easy to make and my kids love it. Today I made fish biriyani. I only know to make biriyani using a pressure cooker and this is how I do it

Fish:250gm cleaned and cut in to cubes( i buy fillet and just cut in to cubes)
Chilli poweder:2 t spn
Coriander powder:1 tspm
Pepper powder:1/2 t spn
Turmeric powder:1 t spn
lemon juice:1 tbl spn
Marinate the fish in the above masala and keep aside

Onion:1 cut fine
green chillies:3 split
ginger and garlic paste:1 t spn each
garam masala:1 t spn
oil:1 tbl spn
butter:1 tbl spn( didn't have ghee, so used the oil and butter combination)

Rice:2 cups, wash and soak for 10 mints
1 tbl spn lemon juice
Coriander leaves:1 handful, chopped fine

Heat oil and butter in a pressure cooker, add the ginger garlic paste, when it is lightly browned, add the onion and green chillies and saute, when the onion is lightly browned add the fish and fry till the fish is lightly browned. Now add the drained rice and fry for 5 mints. Add 3 cups of water, lemon juice, coriander leaves and salt. When the steam is coming out, put the weight and off the fire. Keep the pressure cooker still on the burner..the retained heat will continue to cook the rice. Open after 15 mints. Garnish with fried onion and cashew nut. Total time needed to make the biriyani is less than 30 mints.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Nadan Erachi curry:SPICY

Erachi curry and pathiri.. There is nothing more to be made for a wholesome malayalee meal. There used to be a Indian Government Coffee house, near kottayam KSRTC bus stand. I went there to eat, without my mother's knowledge, many times. I am no sure if the thrill was the food or breaking mother's rules.

Meat:500 gm..( use any)
Coriander powder:3 t spn
Chillipowder:3 tspn
pepper powder:1 t spn
turmeric powder:1 t spn
Vinegar:1 tbl spn

Soak the above mix in 1 tbl spn water.

Onion: 1 big. cut fine
Mustard:1/2 t spn
oil:2 tbl spn

Coconut milk:1/2 cup

Heat oil, add mustard, when finished spluttering, add the onion, saute...when the onion is lightly browned, add the soaked masala..fry on low heat till the oil is floating on top.(if the masala is getting too dry, add a bit water), when the masala is nicely done, add the meat and keep stirring for another 5 mints. Add 1 cup water and required salt. Cover and cook. When the meat is cooked, add the coconut milk. Heat and serve.
Note:You can serve this curry without adding the coconut milk.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fish with Raw Mango

Every summer I would be waiting to go to my grandmother's house. We had plenty of mango trees and My grandmother would make most of the curries with mango. This is one such dish

Fish, cleaned and cut in to chunks: 500 gms
shallots, sliced in to fine slivers:3
garlic, sliced in to slivers:2 cloves
1 inch ginger julienned
chilli powder:1 tspn
coriander powder:1 tbl spn
turmeric powder:1 t spn
Cumin powder:1/2 t spn
green chillies, split in to half:5
green mango, sliced:1
curry leaves:1 sprig

In a chatti,put all the ingredients and 3/4 cup of water. cook on medium flame.

While the curry is boiling, grind 4 tbls spn of fresh coconut very fine. when the fish is almost cooked add the ground coconut and cook till the gravy is thick.

You can add a tbl spn of coconut oil at the end, to make it even more tastier.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Strawberry ice cream

Yesterday, I went to buy my groceries and the three little kids followed. By the time I reached home, I found a lot of things I didn't plan to buy including a punnet of strawberry!!!
Nobody wants to eat it and Straw berries don't last long. I had no intention of wasting it. I made ice cream.. it took a little while, but the end more ice cream left..

500 ml of whipped cream
a pinch of salt

1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
Beat it well

1 punnet strawberry trimmed and cut in to pieces
1 1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbl spn water

Heat the whipping cream with the salt on low fire, till it is very hot. Pour it slowly to the beaten egg and keep stirrring. once it is mixed well, put it back on the fire and make sure the heat is LOW.. Keep stirring till the custard is thick. take it off from fire and cool, stirring once in a while

Place the strawberries and the suga with the water in a thick bottom pan. Heat till the sugar is melted and the strawberry is cooked. use a hand blender and blend. Pour the strawberry mix in to the and freeze.

Note:you can make it without cooking the strawberry..but I liked the cooked version better
if you don't like the seeds, blend it completely and strain in to the custard.
if you have time, when the ice cream is half set, take it off and whizz it once more in the blender and re freeze.

Salted fish chammanthi

How do i explain wht is this dish..How do i explain, the essence of a malayalee life is in the chammanthi.. In the morning we have dosa and thengga chammanthi. In afternoon we have rice and onakka meen chammathi/chemmen chammanthi. Evening it will be kappa and ulli chammanthi. Dinner it will be kanji and thengga chammanthi.

Salted fish and I don't normally get along. Unless it is ikan billis( dried anchovies).
I am addicted to them and whenever I leave Malaysia, I usually carry enough Ikan billis to last a year.

To make salted fish chammanthi,
2 tbl spn dried anchovies
1 tbl spn oil

2 shallots
5 green chillies
3 tbl spn grated coconut

I use dried anchovies. I deep fry washed and drained anchovies in the oil and drain.
In a pounding stone, I pound, shallots, green chillies and of freshly grated coconut, once it is nicely pounded, i add the fried salted fish, pound again and serve it with porridge..

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mushroom thoran

This is one of the easiest thoran I cook.

Mushroom, either oyster or button mushroom:250 gm
Coconut scrapped:50gm
green chilli:5
garlic:2 cloves

Oil: 1tbl spn
Mustard seeds: 1/2 t spn
Curry leaves: 1 sprig

Cut mushroom to tiny pieces

Pound/grind the coconut, green chillies,garlic and shallots.( not too fine)

Heat a tbl spn oil, add the mustard, when it splutters, add the mushroom, and the pounded ingredients. Stir and cover, keep cooking on med heat. Do not add water. when the mushroom is almost cooked, take off the lid and add salt and curry leaves. Keep stirring till there is no more water. Serve hot.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

pork Steak and onion sauce

Malaysians(non muslims la) are partial to pork. In fact, we make pork perattal instead of beef perattal. we have pork ball mee for break fast, pork curry in different versions for lunch and again, noodles with pork for dinner.
This particular recipe is my favourite. It is very unique

Pork fillet:4

Onion: 1 chopped
garlic:2 cloves
tomato sauce:3 tbl spn
soy sauce:3 tbl spn
brown sugar:1 1/2 tbl spn
Chilli powder:1 t spn

Blend all of the above( not the pork). Heat a tbl spn oil and cook the blended ingredients for 10 mints, till it is nice and thick. Cool, marinate the pork fillet in this mix for 5 hours.( keep refrigerated)..stirring every now and then.
Grill, bbq, or broil.

The remaining sauce is again cooked in a pan for another 10 mints and pour over the cooked steak.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Red fish curry powder

My grandmother would send our farm help to the market to buy fish, the moment she hears my voice calling her name across the fields.. she knows how much i like to eat her Red fish curry with rice. Kodampuli(kokum) is the secret ingredient. When I got married, she gave me enough puli that would last another generation

I make the fish curry powder and it is easy
Proportion is easy to remember
3 t spn of chilli powder
1 t spn of coriander powder
1 t spn turmeric powder
1/2 t spn pepper powder.
I am not good in I take a plastic bottle and keep following the proportion..when the bottle is 3/4 full, i close it and give it to my kids.. They enjoy shaking it and mixing it throughly.

to make the curry

fish..cleaned and cut in to chunks: 500 gms
fish curry powder : 2 tbl spn..mix it with 2 tbl spn water and keep aside
kokkum: one small piece..cut in to small piece and soak in half cup of warm water
Ginger and garlic chopped fine:1 t spn each
onion:chopped fine 1 tbl spn
mustard seeds: 1/2 t spn
fenugreek seed: 1/4 t spn
Curry leaves:1 sprig
oil: 1 tbl spn

Heat chatti, add the oil, when the oil is hot, add the mustard, when the mustard finished spluttering, add the fenugreek and curry leaves, when the seeds turn lightly brown, add the ginger and garlic..when they brown add the onion and saute. When the onion is lightly browned, add the soaked fish curry powder. keep stirring till the oil floats to the surface..if the masala is getting too dry, add a tbl spn more water. when the masala is fried well add a cup of water and the kokkum(plus the kokkum soaked water).. when it boils, add the fish and salt. Cover, when it boils, open the lid and cook on slow fire till the fish is done. I like to eat with hot rice and moru

Monday, April 17, 2006

Fish mappas

I have no idea how the fish curry got the mappas name. Most orthodox Syrian Christian homes have their own mappas recipe. this is how my grandmother made her fish mappas.

Any firm white fish cut in to chunks: 1/2 kg

coriander powder:1 tbl spn
Chilli powder:1 t spn
turmeric powder:1 tspn
Pepper powder:1/4 t spn
Soak the above powders in 3 tbl spn water.

Oil :2 tbl spn
mustard :1 t spn
Fenugreek/uluva:1/2 t spn
onion sliced in to fine slivers:1/2 cup
ginger sliced in to fine slivers:1 tspn
garlic sliced in to slivers:1 t spn
green chillies sliced in to half:5 nos
tomato:2 sliced in to quarters
coconut milk:3/4 cup
Heat oil, add the mustard seeds, when it finished spluttering, add the fenugreek seeds, when it turns brown, add the onion,ginger,garlic, greenchillies..saute till the onion turns light brown, add the soaked powder, keep stirring for another 5 mints.( don't burn!!!, if the masala get too dry add a tbl spn water). Add 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/2 cup water and salt. When it boils, layer the fish at the bottom and place the tomatoes on top. 10 mints later, turn the fish, when the fish is cooked, add the remaining coconut milk and gently stir. take off from the fire and eat with hot rice.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Raisin pickle

Lent is finally over and we celebrate easter with Biriyani, Raita and raisin pickle. Sweet and the sour taste of raisin pickle goes well with Biriyani. When we stayed in Kottayam, my mother attending a wedding entirely depended on who is doing the catering. This particular caterer made excellent raisin pickle!!! and this is his recipe...How I managed to get it is a long story...

Raisins.. I use california sun dried raisins:200gm
ginger:50gm chopped very fine
garlic:50gm chopped fine
green chillies:50gm..chopped fine in to rounds
Chilli powder:2 tspn
turmeric powder:1 tspn
Sugar:2 tbl spn
Vinegar:3/4 cup
Mustard seeds:1 t spn
oil:2 tbl spn

heat oil, add mustard, when it finished spluttering, add the ginger, garlic and the green chillies, when it is slightly browned, reduce the fire to low, add the raisins and the chilli and turmeric powder.. Continue to stir for another 5 mints. take it off from fire, add the salt, vinegar and sugar. Can be eaten on the same day..keep it refrigerated

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pazha prathaman

First of all wishing all of you a very happy new year. Vishu ashamsakal!!
We had payasam for onam, vishu and for our birthdays.
The best payasam in Kerala is Ambalapuzha temple's pal payasam. although I was born in to a religiously staunch orthodox christian family, i was also taught tolerance. Ambalapuzha palpayasam is the offering to the diety, yet I was never forbidden from consuming it. in fact my grandmother used to pay our hindu neighbours to buy it for us.


6 ripe plantains( the small variety) cut in to 1/2 inch slices.
1 packet coconut milk powder(60 gm) mixed with 1 cup of water
Jaggery 150 gm/brown sugar 1 1/2 cup
Ghee 3 tbl spn

If using jaggery, boil it in 1 cup of water and strain

heat 1/2 cup of water in a pan, add the sliced bananas and the brown sugar. Stir and cook till the bananas are done and add the ghee, keep stirring. Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. stir. when it boils, take it off from fire and add the remaining coconut milk. Mix well and serve

You can also fry coconut pieces and cashew nut in ghee and garnish

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


The story of how Avial was invented is historical. But how it can also become a disaster is history.
We had a malayalee cook in the medical school hostel and after begging him for ever, he promised to make avial.. I can still recall vividly, the walk to the hostel mess anticipating a nice malayalee lunch. I took a huge serving of avial with my rice.
I sat down to eat and the avial looked nice and yummy..I mixed rice and avial and placed in my mouth and the whole thing came out faster than Saddam's scud. It was BITTER.. The cook decided to follow the word avial literally and added all the vege available including Bitter gourd!!!

The original recipe calls for yams and colocasia.. Where I stay neither is available so I make do without it.

3 potatoes, each cut in to 8 pieces
2 carrots, cut in to 1/2 inch rounds
handful of green beans cut in to one inch piece

1/2 cup coconut grated
2 cloves of garlic
5 green chillies
1 t spn turmeric
1/2 t spn cumin powder

1 sprig of curry leaf
2 tbl spn thick yogurt
2 tbl spn coconut oil

In a pot add the cut vege and 1 cup water, cook till the veg is almost done. Grind the coconut, greenchilli and garlic fine and add it to the cooked vege, along with salt, cumin powder and turmeric. Reduce the fire and cook slowly, swirling the pan once in a while to mix.. After abt 10 mints, take it off from the fire, add the curry leaf, coconut oil and yougurt, while the vege is hot.. mix well and enjoy with rice

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Orange muffin

My son loves muffins
this one is easy to make

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cooking oil
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda bi carb
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbl spn orange rind

Mix all together, pour in to muffin pan..bake at 190 for 15 mints

Mix 1/2 cup icing sugar with the remaining juice from the orange.. Spread the glace on top the warm muffin..

Monday, April 10, 2006


When I left for my medical college My grandmother made 2 dalda tins of Pakkavada.. When I want to think of her, I make the pakkavada, the way she used to make.. It is easy

Besan :250gms
Rice flour: 100gms
Uzhunnu(black gram) flour:50 gms
chilli powder:2 t spn
Asafoetida: 1/4 t spn
baking soda:1/4 t spn

Place all the stuff in a bowl, Add enough water to make a soft dough. keep it aside for 15 mints
Heat oil, put some dough in the press and press in to the oil like a long coil of ribbon.. fry until crisp and drain

Note: The uzhunnu pody should be fine, otherwise it will really EXPLODE( speaking from experience!!!) in the oil.. so sifting the flour is a good idea

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vada pao

If I have choice between MacD burger and Vada pao( aka poor man's burger), I would pick Vada pao any day.When I was posted to Mumbai, My driver would take me to Mattugodi market and I would sit on the pavement and eat freshly made Vada pao in a soft bun with lots of chilli mint sauce. I certainly would have diarrhoea in the evening after eating Vada pao..but enjoy now suffer late was the motto then.

I don't know how to make the soft bun or the chilli mint chutney. But I learned how to make the Vada

250 gm potato..boiled, skinned and mashed
1 onion chopped fine
1 inch ginger chopped fine
a small bunch of coriander leaves chopped
6 green chillies chopped fine
1/2 t spn mustard seeds
1 tbl spn oil

for the batter
1 cup of besan(chickpea flour)
1/4 cup rice flour
1 t spn baking soda
1 t spn chilli powder
a pinch of asafoetida powder
3/4 cup water

oil for deep frying

Mix all the ingredients for the batter and make a smooth batter. Keep aside.

In a fry pan, heat oil, add mustard when it finished spluttering add the ginger, onion and greenchilli. Saute till the onion is light brown. Take it off from fire. Add the onion mix, coriander leaves, salt, turmeric and mix well with the mashed potato. Make in to small patties 2 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Heat oil for deep frying. Dip the potato patty in the batter, coat well and deep fry till it is golden brown. Serve hot with chilli sauce.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Coffee cocoa cake

I was given this recipe in the 80's by a very close friend. Why I like this recipe..3 reasons..Easily available ingredients , easy to follow, and the best chocolate cake recipe without using real chocolate, but using cocoa.

1 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of sugar

125 gm melted butter
1 cup of yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup of freshly made strong coffee(or 2 tsp of instant coffee in 185 ml of water)

Mix the flour, cocoa , sugar and baking powder in a bowl and use a spn to mix it well.
Melt the butter in a pan. Take it off from fire, and add the egg and yogurt and mix well
make the coffee
Mix the coffee with the egg butter yogurt mix. Check the shouldn't be too hot. when it is not cold or hot add it in to the flour mix and stir well with a rubber spatula. Don't overbeat.
Pour the mix in to a lined 8 inch pan and bake at 350 for abt 35 mint.

2 tbl spn freshly made hot coffee
1 tbl spn butter
2 tbl spn cocoa
1 1/2 cup icing sugar

Mix the butter and coffee till the butter is melted and add the rest of the ingredients.. More icing sugar if the mix is too thin and more coffee if the mix is too thick.
Pour over the cooled cake.
Warning: This cake don't last more than 2 days( I never had to keep it more than a day because my kids would finish it in no time)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kon lau mein

Wan tan mein Aka kon lau mein is a comfort food for me. It is easy and not at all complicated. I used to drive all the way to Ampang to eat breakfast at the hawkers near Ampnag point on most sundays.

2 balls of wan tan noodles can be bought at any chinese shop

1 tbl spn cooking oil( peanut oil is the best)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbl spn dark soy sauce
2 tbl spn chicken stock powder
4 tbl spn water

Char siew sliced fine and choy som

cook the noodles and drain.
Dissolve the stock in the water and mix all the ingredients
Place noodles on a plate, pour the sauce on top, garnish with char siew and choy

Bubble and Squeak

If you are a Malayalee, lived in Malaysia, Singapore, India,England,Dubai,Holland and Canada, your cooking tend to be Rojak..Although I like to eat very spicy food, I also make western food. This recipe was given to me by my Scottish class mate who when I met for the first time told me "Hi, I am Sean, I am British, but not English". He probably saw the stunned look on my face and began to explain about Scottish people. I celebrated Burn's night with his family and this is his mother's recipe.
250 gm potatoes boiled and mashed
200 gm cabbage, chopped fine and boiled in a cup of water for 5 mints and drained.
1 onion chopped fine
2 tbl spn oil
Add the boiled cabbage to the mashed potatoes, add salt and a dash of pepper and mix them very well.
In a cast iron fry pan heat 1 tbl spn oil, fry the onion, reduce the heat to medium, add the cabbage potatoe mix and stir. using the spatula press down the mix in to the pan. When brown on one side, pour a spn of oil on top turn over and brown on the other side. Serve hot.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Most christian family in Kerala celebrate easter and christmas with appam & stew. The church service starts around 4 in the morning and I used to wait hungrily for the service to be over, so we can rush back home and eat the freshly made appam and stew. It was one time my grandmother would let me help her in the kitchen. I get to peel the potatoes and onions.

2 potatoes each cut in to 8 pieces
1 carrot cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
1 small onion chopped in to long slivers
6 green chillies split in to two
1 inch ginger chopped very fine
3 cardamom crushed
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbl spn oil

Heat oil in a pyrex bowl with a lid, add the cardamom and cinnamon and stir for 30 sec, add ginger, fry, now add the onion. Once the onion turns slightly brown add the potatoes, carrots and green chillies. Saute them for 5 mints on medium heat. Add 2 tbl spn coconut milk a cup of water and salt. Cook till the potatoes are done. Add the remaining coconut milk and heat for 2 more mints. If the stew is too watery, smash one or two slices of boiled potatoes and mix in to the gravy.
Now we are observing lent and hence the stew is veg... to make meat stew, add 250 gm of meat along with the potatoes..

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

pal appam

My memories of Kerala, always start with the softest fluffiest kallu(toddy) appam and stew that my grandmother always made for christmas and easter. I also remember gulping down the toddy and topping it with water without anyone seeing. My grandma's appam making process starts 2 days prior to christmas. She buys the special rice, soaks it, then place it on a sheet to dry, then pound it, sift, fry the sifted flour, mix with toddy and sugar...I haven't eaten the traditional appam for 25 years now.. But I make my own version of easy appam.. comes almost close to the original version.

rice flour(I use thai brand and make sure itsn't glutinous rice flour) I packet,400gm
coconut milk powder. 1 packet(60 gm)
instant yeast 1 t spn
sugar 4 tbl spn

warm half cup water to blood heat and add a table spn of sugar and yeast.. Keep it till the yeast is frothy.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix one cup of water and 2 t spn rice flour well.. cook it the microwave on high for abt 2 mint stirring every 10 sec till it to blood heat.
(Note: tradiationally, the rice flour & water mix is cooked over the fire, till it is thickened. But I prefer the microwave method, only draw back is opening the microwave every 10 sec to stir..but it is fast. If the bottom part of the mix is too clumpy, don't worry, add a few table spn of warm water and stir well)
In a bowl, mix the remaining flour,coconut milk powder, sugar, salt, yeast, the cooked rice mix and 1 1/2 cup of water. Mix well.. If the batter is too thick, add a little bit more water. Close the bowl, keep it for 6 hours till it is fermented. I use a small wok with a lid to make the appam.. If you go to India, buy a nonstick appam chatti. makes 25 appams

Monday, April 03, 2006

Cheese Dhal

I was really surprised to eat dhal cooked with cheese. My Bangladeshi friend cooks dhal with cheese. Apparently they do cook this way in Bangladesh. I was sceptical at first, like you are while reading it.. But once you try this, you will know how tasty it is


Red(massor dhal) lentils. 1 cup
1 onion chopped fine
1/2 t spn turmeric

I tbl spn oil
5 green chillies sliced in to julienne
2 tbl spn grated cheddar cheese
1 tbl spn lime juice
2 leaves of kaffir lime leaves( optional)

Boil dhal with onion and turmeric. blend it well and add salt. Take it off from fire.
Heat oil, add sliced green chillies, fry for 30 sec, pour it in to the dhal mix, along with the cheese, lime juice and kaffir lime leaves.
Serve hot.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Veg Cutlet

250 gm potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 tbl spn Ginger paste
1 tbl spn garlic paste
1 onion chopped fine
I carrot grated
1/2 t spn chilli powder
1/2 t spn amchur powder
1 tbl spn garam masala
1/2 cup raw cashew nut, chopped
2 slices of bread crust removed
1 tbl spn oil

1 egg beaten with a tbl spn milk
3 tbl spn wheat flour
1 cup bread crumbs

oil to deep fry.
Heat oil, fry the ginger garlic paste and then the onion.. when the onion is light brown add the cashew, fry for 2 mints, add the carrot.. fry for another 5 mints. Remove from fire.

Hold the bread slice between your palms, wet it and squeeze out as much water as you can, mix the potato,carrot mix and the bread mix, along with the chilli powder, amchur powder, garam masala and salt ..make cutlets

Roll each cutlet in the wheat flour, then in the beaten egg mix, coat with crumbs and deep fry..
Coating the cutlets with wheat flour gives it a lovely golden colour..

Cheese puri

I never liked to eat puri, when I grew up. Mostly because my mother would try to save the oil by using as little oil as possible for as long as possible. The result: the worst breakfast ever.

However things change, when you have kids. All three of them like to eat puri. It started with a visit to Komala's restaurent( they closed down) and they saw the puffed up bhatura. They have been asking for puri ever since.They will stand next to the stove holding their plates while I make, so they can eat hot puris.

Cheese puri is their favourite.


1 Potato boiled and mashed

75 gms of plain flour

75gms of wheat flour

50 gms of mozarella cheese grated



Mix all the ingredients and knead till you get a pliable dough. Initially the dough will look dry, don't add water.. keep for 20 mints, knead again. Roll in to 7.5 cm round puri and deep fry. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Thin crust pizza

My kids love to eat pizza..and now days they have the uncanny ability to ask for pizza at 6 pm and want to/expect to eat it at 6.30pm for dinner!!(ofcourse lah..calling Pizza hut is easier, but not so easy on the wallet mah..only 30 CAD for 2 large pizza !!!!)
This thin crust pizza base recipe was given to me by a Pakistani pizza shop owner near my university in England. It can be used right no need to keep for the usual 'raising' time.

1 tbl spn yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 t spn salt

The ideal temperature for the water would be, when you dip your finger, it shouldn't feel cold or too hot.. Blood warm !!!, To 1/2 cup water,add the yeast and sugar and mix well.. keep it for 8 mints, till the yeast looks nice and bubbly
Mix the salt and flour and add the yeast mix and make a dough.. If the dough looks too dry, add more warm water.. Roll in to 1/4 inch thinkness, spread the pizza sauce and the vege you like.. Mozarella on top. Bake at 250 degrees for 12 mints.
note.. Diffrent flour takes different amount of water, it is always better to start with low amount of water..

My favourite Pizza sauce
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 t spn sugar
1 tbl spn oregano
1 tbl spn olive oil

Heat oil, saute garlic and onion, add the crushed tomatoes,tomato paste, sugar, oregano and cook till the sauce is nicely thick.. abt 20 mints on medium heat. Season with salt and pepper

Monday, March 27, 2006

Birthday Cake!!

My son turns 6 tomorrow. This time he wanted a dinosaur cake. I can't draw a straight line, let alone a dinosaur. As usual I googled and finally found this site. Their instructions are pretty simple and I could do this cake using an ordinary rectangle cake pan!!

I made a butter cake( aka pound cake)

450 gm of butter
450 gm sugar
8 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
450 gm plain flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp Vanilla essence
Sift flour with B.powder.Beat butter and sugar till light and creamy, add the eggs one at a time along with a tbl spn of the sifted flour. fold in the remaining flour along with the milk and the essence. bake at 180 degrees for abt 25 mints..

Butter icing

Butter(unsalted) 250 gm
Icing sugar 500 gm
essence/flavour 2 tsp
beat butter, add the icing sugar little by little, until all the icing is used.. add the flavouring and the colour.
I used light green for the body and mixed red in to the light green to get the purple

Payaru thoran(green gram thoran)

I can eat payaru thoran anytime. My grandma used to make the best payaru thoran in the whole wide world..
I remember attending good friday service at our family church, standing for a good 4 hours in the hot sun and later eating kanji and payaruthoran with a bit of mango pickle!!..

Green gram 250gm
freshly grated coconut 1 cup(if using dessicated coconut, soak in hot water for 15 mints)
2 cloves of garlic
1 t spn cumin(jeera) powder
1 t spn turmeric powder
2 shallots sliced fine
3 dried red chilli cut in to small pieces
1 tbl spn coconut oil
wash the green gram, add 2 cups of water and cover slightly andcook on moderate heat till the gram is almost cooked and dry, add salt.
if you have a pounding stone, crush the garlic and the coconut,jeera powder and turmeric powder.
Make a well in the center of the gram and place the coconut mix in it. Cover it back with the gram from the sides. Close the lid and cook for another 5 mints on low heat. Open and stir gently.
heat oil in a kuali, add the shallots, when it is almost brown, add the red chillies.. fry for 30 seconds and add thee cooked gram.. stir it till it is mixed well. Serve with porridge!!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

mamak style mee goreng

Sunday morning I like to eat mee goreng.. It is a heavy meal..but then again.. the joy of eating freshly fried noodles, nothing can beat that. In KL, I used to go to the Pandi restaurent near pudu market for my sunday breakfast. They make really good mamak mee goreng.
300 g fresh yellow noodles
1 potatoes
2 fresh red chillies
2 fresh green chillies
1 onion
1 tomato
2 eggs
50 g bean sprouts
70 g Chinese cabbage
3 Tbsp tomato sauce
3 Tbsp light soay sauce
4 Tbsp cooking oil
Ingredients for Gravy:
6 Tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
2 onions
12 dried chillies
Garnishing Ingredients:
1 semi-hard bean curd (tau kua)
1 green lime
fried crispy shallots
Preparation of Ingredients :
Grind onions, dried chillies, garlic together.
Boil potato, skin and cut into wedges.
Finely slice the onion and chillies.
Clean and nip roots of bean sprouts.
Cut tomato into wedges.
Cut lime into wedges.
Cut cabbage into 5 cm lengths.
Cut semi-hard bean curd into 2 and slice thickly.
Heat oil in wok and fry grounded ingredients until fragrant. Add in the sugar and salt.
Remove from heat as soon as the mixture forms a ‘gravy like paste’.
In a clean wok, add 3 Tbsp of oil. Fry onion slices until soft and fragrant.
Toss in tomatoes and Napa cabbage.
Add in bean sprouts and noodles and stir fry for 1 minute over a high fire.
Then toss in the chillies, potatoes and sauces together. Lower heat.
Push noodles to one side of wok. Add 1 tbsp of oil and scramble eggs.
Sprinkle 1 tsp light soya sauce. Mix egg and noodles thoroughly.
Add in the gravy-paste to taste. Stir fry over a very high fire for 1 minute.
Dish noodles onto a serving plate. Garnish with fried crispy shallots and lime.