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..