Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Grilled Prawns (Party Menu)

Prawns: 500 g
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Lime juice: 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Bamboo skewers: as required

Soak the bamboo skewers in water for 2 hours.
Shell the prawns leaving the head & tail intact.
Devein & wash well.
Mix all the ingredients except oil & marinate prawns with this for one hour.
Poke on bamboo skewers & cook on a grill or non-stick pan.
Turn occasionally till cooked,
Serve with salad & sauce.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Mackerels with pepper/Pacha kurumulaku (Traditional Fare)

A very different fish preparation using green pepper, if not in season, use the dried black ones.
Courtesy: Elsie Morris

Mackerels: 5 cut into 2
Pepper, black or green: 2 tbsps
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Shallots: 10
Ginger: 1”piece
Curry leaves: a few
Vinegar: 3 tbsps or kokum/kodampuli: 2 pieces
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Grind pepper, coriander, turmeric, shallots, ginger & a few curry leaves to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a clay pot, add the ground masala, fry it well till the raw smell goes.
Pour one cup of water, the vinegar, salt & curry leaves.
When the gravy boil, add fish & cook on low flame till oil clears on top.
This can be served with cooked tapioca/cassava or rice.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Oats Puttu (Quick Fix)

Everyone's talking about the benefits of including this cereal in our daily diet, hence this simple recipe!

Oats: 1 cup
Coconut: ½ cup
Salt to taste


Dry roast oats till it starts to change colour.
Cool & powder coarsely.
Sprinkle salted water & mix the oats flour till it resembles crumbs.
Stem in a puttu maker.
Serve for breakfast with banana or any curry.

Egg Roast (Quick Fix)

In Kerala, egg roast or egg masala is served with Appams, Idiappams or plain rice. This is a simple, easy to prepare recipe which can accompany any main course item.

Eggs: 6 hard boiled
Onions: 6 sliced fine
Capsicum: 1 sliced fine
Tomato: 3 chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2tsp
Coconut milk: 2 tbsps thick (optional)
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves a few
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a non stick pan, add sliced onions & sauté till light golden brown.
Now, add ginger-garlic paste, sauté further. Add salt.
 Put in the sliced tomatoes, capsicum & the spice powders.
Fry till oil clears up.  
Pour the coconut milk (if using) or 2 tbsps water.
Score the eggs all around & put into the masala.
Also add coriander & curry leaves.
 Now its ready to serve!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Peanut Ladoos ( Quick Fix)

Peanuts are a good source of protein, hence try this for your kids. And when its home made, they will appreciate it even more! 
Palm sugar/jaggery: 1 cup
Peanuts: 2 cups roasted & crushed
Cardamom: 1/2tsp
Ghee: 2 tsps


Melt the palm sugar/jaggery with 2 tbsps water, cool & strain to remove any grit.
Reheat the syrup, till it reaches a string consistency.
Add the nuts, cardamom powder & one teaspoon ghee.
Mix well, take off fire, cool a little & roll into small balls. Grease your palm with a little ghee for easy handling.

Use almonds, cashew nuts, coconut or a mixture of different nuts to make yummy ladoos.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Special Veg Pulao (Maami's Corner)

A quick method to make a tasty treat!

Basmati rice or any other aromatic rice: 2 cups.
Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (carrot, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, corn etc)
Paneer/cottage cheese: 100 g fried
Whole spices: a few (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf)
Onions: 4
Curd: 1/2cup
Fresh cream: 1/2cup or milk
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Tomato puree: 1/2cup
Saffron: a few strands soaked in milk
Ghee: 1/2cup
Salt to taste

To make the masala paste:
Green chilli: 4
Garlic: 6
Ginger: a small piece
Coriander leaves: 1/2cup
Mint/pudina: 1/2cup


Grind the ingredients listed above in the masala paste.
In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tbsps ghee, add whole spices & rice (washed & drained).
 Fry till ghee coats each grain of rice. Add salt. Pour 1 cup water & cook for one whistle.
Open cooker immediately. (we need partially cooked rice)
In another pan, heat remaining ghee, add onions, fry brown. Remove some for garnish.
And add the ground paste.
Now add tomato puree, garam masala powder & vegatables.
Fry for 5 minutes & pour in the curd & cream. Mix well, add paneer & salt.
Layer the rice over this Korma. Cover with lid or foil.
Cook on low fire or bake it for 25 minutes.
Top with fried onions & serve with raita/salad.  

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Feijoada/Beans Curry (Traditional Fare)

Whereever the Portugese had settled they introduced their beans curry. This is the Goan version.

Red/black/white kidney beans: 250 g
Pork: 200 g cubed
Goan pork sausage: 100 g cut small
Tomatoes: 3
Onions: 3 big ones
Garlic: 8 
Ginger: 1” piece
Recheido masala: 2 tsps
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Soak beans overnight. Pressure cook with one teaspoon oil, one tablespoon vinegar, one teaspoon Recheido masala& salt for 25 minutes. (beans must cook till really soft.)
Make a paste of ginger & garlic.
Heat oil, sauté onions, add tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste & fry well.
Add the meats, & 1 cup water. Cook till meat is done.
Last add the cooked beans, remaining Recheido masala.
Simmer for 10 minutes more. (Adjust salt last, cos the Goan sausages are salty.) 
Serve with Pav/bread.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Tandoori Chicken (Party Menu)

Tandoori chicken is a very common preparation, which also goes into dishes like “Butter chicken”, “Tawa chicken” etc. It can be made easily in a non stick pan or oven, if you don’t have a tandoor, gas/clay.

Chicken: 1 cut into 4
Curd/yoghurt: 1 cup (200 ml)
Red chilli powder: 2 tbsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Lime juice: 1 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil: 1 tbsp
 Tandoori red colour: few drops, optional (I have not used it)
Cut chicken into 4 o 6 pieces & marinate with all the above ingredients & keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).
Place on a baking tray & bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes first, turn over, baste with more oil & bake for another 30 minutes.
Serve with Naan, onion rings & lime wedges.

NOTE: Chop up any remaining prepared tandoori chicken you have and make a Butter chicken masala, or Tawa chicken.

"Thenga-Manga" Curry (Traditional Fare)

A versatile gravy preparation once mastered can be used to make umpteen variations .My father used to love this with fish but my daughter’s favourite combination was drumstick-prawns-jackfruit seed.  

 Drumstick: 2 cut into 2” pieces
Raw mango: 1 or tamarind paste: 1 tbsp
Prawns: 100 g cleaned
Jackfruit seeds: 10 (optional)
Coconut: 1 cup
Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Ginger: a small piece
Shallots: 6
Curry leaves
Green chilli: 2 slit
Salt to taste
For tempering: coconut oil: 2 tsp
                            Shallots: 2 sliced
                             Curry leaves

Grind coconut with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, ginger, shallots & curry leaves to a fine paste.
In a clay vessel (Curry chatty) mix the ground paste with 1 1/2cups of water, add drumstick, prawns, jackfruit seeds, & raw mango.
Add salt & bring to boil. Lower flame & cook till done.
Temper with shallots & curry leaves.
Adding a few fenugreek/methi while tempering gives the curry a nice flavour.

  Try this with any fish or prawns.            

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Curry Puffs (Just Bakes)

Curry puffs (fried) used to be a favourite tea time snack before bakeries sprung up in our neighbourhood. Now, since fried foods are on the list of NO-NO’s, I baked it. The only fat that goes into this is 2 tsps butter. 

Plain flour: 250 g
Butter: 2 tsps
Salt: a pinch
For the filling:
Minced beef /mutton/chicken: 150 g
Onion: 1 chopped fine
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Curry powder/garam masala powder: ½ tsp
Curry leaves: a few
Pepper powder: 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

In a bowl, mix flour with butter & salt till it resembles crumbs.
Add cold water and make a stiff dough. Rest the dough for a while.
To make the filling, heat oil in a frying pan, add the onion, green chilli, ginger-garlic paste & curry leaves.
Now, add minced meat & sauté till it dries up well.
Pour a little water, cover & cook till done. (you can add cubed potatoes & green peas, if you like.)
Add the powders, salt & leave to cool.
Divide the dough into 12 parts. Roll out into small puris, fill with a tablespoon of the prepared meat, fold over & seal the ends well & place on a baking tray.
Bake at 1600 C for 20 minutes. Brush the puffs with beaten egg yolk for a rich golden brown colour.
Alternately, deep fry the puffs.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Potato Bhaji (Maami's Corner)

This is something we make very often, but here's a variation.

Small potatoes: 12
Red chilli paste: 2 tsps
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Besan/gram flour: 1 cup
Asafoetida: 1/4tsp
Rice flour: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Oil to fry


Parboil the potatoes & skin them.
Make a paste of the chilli paste, garlic & salt.
Make a thick batter with the gram flour, rice fkour, asafoetida, salt & water.
Cut potatoes into two, sandwich with the paste & poke a toothpick to secure the 2 pieces together.
Heat oil to near smoking point, dip the potatoes in the batter & deep fry till brown.
Serve with tamarind sauce.    

Fish Biryani (Traditional Fare)

Very popular item in the Malabar region of Kerala, tasty too.

Fish: 500g (any fish fillet)
Basmati rice: 2 cups        
Onions: 4 sliced
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Curd: 1/2cup
Coconut milk: 1/2cup
Cashew nut paste: 1 tbsp
Green chilli: 6
Coriander leaves: a handful chopped
Mint leaves: a handful chopped
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Chilli powder: ½ tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1” stick
Cloves: 3
Cardamom: 2
Fried onions: 2 tbsps
Ghee: 1 tbsp
Oil to fry fish: 4 tbsp
Salt to taste


Marinate fish with turmeric powder, chilli powder & salt for 10 minutes.
Fry in 4 tbsps oil till light brown, keep aside.
Crush 4 green chillies with the coriander leaves.
To make the fish masala:
In the same pan that the fish was fried, add slices onions, fry brown, add ginger-garlic paste, crushed green chilli-coriander paste. Fry well.
Mix curd, cashew nuts paste & coconut milk together & pour into the pan.
Crumble one piece of fried fish into the masala for more taste.
Adjust salt, put the fried fish into the masala, let it just come to boil, put off fire.
To prepare rice:   
Heat ghee in a pressure cooker, add the whole spices & washed rice, sauté well.
Pour 1 cup water, add 2 slit green chillies, salt & close cooker.
Cook for 1 whistle, open cooker immediately (we require half cooked rice).
 To assemble biryani 
Take a heavy bottomed vessel, put in half the fish masala, layer half the rice over it, sprinkle a little garam masala, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves & 1 tbsp fried onion.
Put the remaining gravy over it, layer rice & sprinkle masala, coriander & mint.
Dot with ghee, if you like. Seal the vessel with dough or cover with aluminium foil & place in an oven for 45 minutes.
Be careful not to break the fish pieces while serving.
Serve with raita & pickle.