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.