Saturday, 22 December 2012

Juicy Momos (seafood)

Juicy momos with a prawn filling! Try it with chicken or beef mince too.


Plain flour/refined flour/maida: 1 cup
Salt: ¼ tsp
Refined oil: 1 tbsp

Knead the above, to a soft pliable dough & keep aside for 20 minutes. 

For the filling:
Fresh prawns: 100 g minced
Spring onion: 2 tbsps chopped
Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
Ginger: ½ tsp chopped fine
Coriander leaves: chopped fine 1 tbsp
Soy sauce: 2 tsps
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. Keep aside.


Make gooseberry sized balls from the dough. Roll out into small puris, keeping the centre thicker than the sides.
Put a teaspoonful of the filling in the centre & pleat the sides together to form a ball. (you can make any shape, as long as it doesn’t open out.)
Place in a steamer & steam for 15 minutes.
Serve with chilli sauce.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Crab/Njandu masala (Seafood)

For sea food lovers, crab is an all time favourite. Generally made dry, but there are places where crabs are always made into gravy dishes.
A point to note when preparing crabs for cooking- wash them well, scrub with a small brush, if possible, before opening the shell.
Trim claws, cut off gills (dead man's fingers).
DO NOT wash after opening the shell.  



Crab: 500 g
Onion: 2 sliced
Tomato: 2 chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Cinnamon: 1” stick
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


Cook crab with salt, turmeric powder, half a cup of water & one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, fry onions well.
Add ginger-garlic paste, cinnamon, pepper powder, chilli powder, & chopped tomatoes.
Sauté well till oil clears out.
Add crab & fry till gravy dries.
Serve with rice. 




Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Fruit Cake (Just Bakes)

 This is a very easy fruit cake that doesnt require soaking fruits in alcohol & caramel syrup for colour.

Photo courtesy: Keerthi D'cruz


Butter: 3/4 cup
Self raising flour: 2 3/4 cup
Eggs: 2
Sugar: 1 1/2cups
Dry fruits: 2 cups
Cherries: 1 cup
Ginger candy: 1/4cup
Candied peel: 1/4cup
Cashew nuts: 1/2 cup
Orange juice: 1 cup
Jam: 3 tbsps (any flavour)
Nutmeg powder: 1 tsp


 Pre-heat oven to1600 C.
 Line an 8 tin with butter paper.
Chop fruits, peels & nuts into small pieces.
 Combine dry fruits, nuts, sugar, butter, jam and orange juice in a sauce-pan.
Add nutmeg powder and bring to a boil.
Simmer on low flame for 5 mins, stir in between. 
Cool to room temperature.
Stir in beaten eggs & fold in sieved flour.
 Pour into prepared tins and bake at 1600 C for 45 mins.
Remove from oven, cool in tin for 5 mins & then on rack.


If using plain flour, add 11/2 tsp of baking powder & sieve.
All measurements are with 200 ml measuring cup.





Nankhatai (Just Bakes)

Nankatais are very simple cardamom flavoured cookies. I got this recipe from the baking class for home makers at the Food Craft Institute, Kalamasseri.
Photo courtesy Keerthi D'cruz


Plain flour: 150g
Margarine/vanaspati/ghee: 115g
Powdered sugar: 100g
Cardamom powder: half teaspoon
Baking powder: a pinch
Salt: a pinch


 Grease & dust a baking tin with flour.
Cream fat with powdered sugar till sugar is fully dissolved, (I used ghee).
Add flour, salt, baking powder, cardamom powder.
Mix well & form a soft dough (without using much pressure).
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll small balls & place on baking tray 1”apart.
Bake at 1600C for 15 to 20 minutes.
Take off oven & let it cool well before storing.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Raisins Bun



Plain flour: 250 g
Dry yeast: 1 tsp (I used instant dry yeast)
Sugar: 4 tbsps
Egg: 1
Butter: 1 tbsp
Vanilla essence: 1/2tsp
Salt: a pinch
Raisins: 50 g 


Sift flour into a large bowl.
Dissolve 1 tbsp sugar & a pinch of salt in half a cup of water.
Sprinkle this on the flour in the bowl & rub it in well.
Now, add the yeast, beaten egg & essence.
Using water or milk, make a soft pliable dough.
(The longer you knead softer the buns.)
Last, add butter to this dough, knead till well incorporated.
Leave to prove for about 30 minutes,( it should double in size.) 

Mix the remaining 3 tbsps sugar with the raisins & keep aside. 
Pre heat your oven to 1800C. Grease a flat tray.
After the dough has doubled, remove onto a flat surface & beat out the air. 
Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1 cm thick.
Sprinkle the raisins & sugar all over & roll (like you do the Swiss roll).
Cut into 1inch pieces.
Place it on the greased tray 2” apart.
Cover with a damp & let it sit for 10 minutes before putting it into the oven.
Bake at 1800C for 15 minutes.
Take it off the oven & coat with a sugar glaze while hot.
Cool & serve.
For sugar glaze 
Sugar: 3 tbsps
Water: 3 tbsps
Heat water & sugar till you get a thick syrup. Use this to glaze the buns.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Japanese Quail masala /Kada masala

 Japanese quails & their eggs have been a part of our diet in recent times because of their easy availability, thanks to government  sponsorship & encouragement.Hatcheries are aplenty because of low maintenance & risk.
The flesh of the bird is known for its medicinal properties,besides containing very little fat making it an altogether healthy proposition.

Quail/kada: 2
Onion: 1 sliced fine
Curry leaves: a few
Oil: 2 tbsps

Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Whole black pepper: 2 tsps
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste


 Wash the kada, keep them whole.
Grind the ingredients under “Grind”, to a smooth paste.
Smear this paste all over the birds & keep aside to marinate.
Heat oil in a frying pan, fry sliced onions & curry leaves with a pinch of salt. Remove onto a plate.
In the same pan, add the marinated kada, turn around a few times.
Pour half a cup of water, cover & cook till done.
Put the fried onions back into pan. Stir till the quails are well coated.
Serve hot with rice or bread.
Another way of preparing this is to deep fry the marinated quails & serve it with fried potatoes. 





"Thenga Chammanthi/Chutney" (Traditional Fare)

A bowl of hot “Kanji” with cherupayar/green gram thoran & thenga chammanthi brings back memories of the rainy season in kerala.
It was also a part of packed lunch in those days.
Generally, made with tamarind, but, raw mango, star fruit, ‘bilimbi’ etc can be used according to season.
Also, using the grinding stone to grind the “chammanthi” makes an ocean of difference than the blender !


Coconut: 1 grated
Dry red chilli: 10
Ginger: 1” piece
Shallots: 5
Tamarind: a small ball, marble size
Curry leaves: a few
Salt to taste


 Grind all the ingredients together, without water.
If using the grinding stone, first grind coconut, red chilli, tamarind, ginger & salt. Crush shallots & curry leaves in the end. Mix all the ground ingredients together & serve.
Green chilli & raw mango can be used to make a green variation.
Also, coriander leaves can be used instead of curry leaves.




Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dry Prawns/Unakka Chemeen Ularthiyathu (Traditional Fare)

In summer, small prawns are dried & stored for use during the rainy season. In coastal Kerala, more specific in the Cochin belt, vegetable servings are laced with a sprinkling of roasted dried prawns, whole or powdered to spice it up.


Dried prawns: 100 g
Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Garlic: 1 tsp crushed
Coconut oil: 2 tbsps
Curry leaves: a few
Salt to taste


Dry roast prawns in a hot pan.
Transfer onto a plate to cool & remove head & tail. Wash & drain.
In a heavy bottomed Kadai, heat oil, add crushed garlic.
When fragrant & light brown, put in the washed prawns & curry leaves.
Fry till it becomes crisp.
Now, add the spice powders on a low flame (so that you don’t burn them.)
Mix well. Take off the fire. Cool & bottle.
You can do large quantities of this dry prawns fry & store to use in chutneys etc.




Thursday, 2 August 2012

Meen Peerapattichathu (Traditional Fare, Sea food)

This is a very traditional, simple preparation using raw mango, bilimbi or kodampuli, according to the season. And generally, small fish or big fish cubed very small goes into this dish.

Anchovies, sardines or prawns: 500 g
Coconut: 1 cup
Green chillies: 10
Shallots: 8
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Raw mango: 1, sliced or kodampuli: 3 pieces soaked in water
Ginger juliennes: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Coconut oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


Coarsely crush coconut, green chillies, shallots, turmeric powder & a few curry leaves.
In an earthen “curry chatty”, put in the ground paste, ginger, raw mango, fish, curry leaves & salt.
Mix well & add half a cup of water.
Cover & cook on slow fire till done & all the water has evaporated.
Pour coconut oil before taking off the fire.

I used raw star fruit for this preparation.

Pachadi (Traditional Fare)

With Onam round the corner, its occasion for two Pachadi recipes. No Sadya is complete without this. This is also known as Kichadi in some parts of Kerala.

Beet root Pachadi:
Courtesy: Thankam Madhavan
Beet root: 1
Curd: 1 cup (200 ml)
Onion: 1 chopped fine
Green chilli: 3 chopped
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp chopped
Salt to taste


Pressure cook the beet root whole. Cool, skin it & grate fine.
In a large bowl, mix the grated beet root with chopped onion, green chilli, coriander leaves & salt.
Before serving pour the curd.
It tastes better if served chilled.

Ash gourd Pachadi (Kumbalangha Pachadi)
Courtesy: Indrika Prakash


Ash gourd: 250 g chopped fine
Curd: 1 cup
Coconut: 1 cup grated
Green chilli: 4
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
Salt to taste
For tempering:
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
Fenugreek: 1/8 tsp
Dry red chilli: 2
Curry leaves: a few
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp


Cook the ash gourd with half a cup of water & salt till done.
Meanwhile, grind coconut with green chilli & curd to a fine paste.
Add half a teaspoon mustard & crush it coarsely with the coconut paste.
Pour the paste into the cooked ash gourd, stir well till it heats through.
Add salt.
In a kadai, heat oil, splutter mustard seeds & fenugreek.
Add dry red chilli & curry leaves.
Pour into prepared pachadi.

Madras cucumber/vellari, fried ladies finger or bitter gourd are also used to make yummy pachadi.  

Friday, 27 July 2012

Duck Vindaloo

Duck is usually prepared with pepper & coconut milk in Kerala. A clear departure from the traditional is this recipe.

Duck: 1 (about 1.2 kg)
Onion: 3 sliced
Tomato: 3 chopped fine
Garlic: 1 tbsp
Ginger: 1 big piece
Red chilli powder: 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek: ½ tsp
Cinnamon: 1” piece
Cloves: 4
Vinegar: 100ml
Curry leaves: a few
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


Clean duck, cut into bite-sized pieces, rub in a little turmeric powder, salt, 2 tbsps vinegar & leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the masala paste.
Grind ginger, garlic, red chilli powder, cumin, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves with the remaining vinegar to a smooth paste.
In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add sliced onions & sauté till golden brown. (the colour of the dish depends on how you brown the onions.)
After this, add the masala paste, curry leaves & fry till raw smell goes.
Now, add the marinated duck & stir till they change colour.
Pour a cup of hot water (200 ml) & pressure cook for 10 minutes after the first whistle.
Open cooker after the steam goes, check if meat is done & evaporate excess gravy.
Adjust salt now.
Serve hot with any rice or roti preparation.
Leave more gravy if you plan to serve with appam or idiappam.  

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Chicken Cutlet (Traditional Fare)

Chicken mince: 500 g
Potato: 150 g
Onion: 2 chopped fine
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Ginger: 1 tsp chopped fine
Garlic: 1 tsp chopped fine
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps chopped fine
Mint leaves: 1 tbsp chopped fine
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Bread crumbs: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp (optional)
Oil: 1 tbsp + for frying
Salt to taste


Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the chopped ingredients one by one.
Sauté till onions are transparent.
Now, add the chicken mince, &stir till well combined.
Cover & cook for a while.
Remove lid & dry out the mince well, sprinkle pepper powder & take off fire.
Cool & add mashed potatoes.
Shape into medium sized cutlets, dip in beaten egg, roll in bread crumbs & deep fry.
Serve with tomato sauce.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Broccoli Bake (Party Menu)

A complete meal, which can also be the star at a party! 

Broccoli florets: 2 cups
Sausages: 250 g
Macaroni: 100 g
Cheese: 100 g
Butter: 3 tbsps
Plain flour: 3 tbsps
Milk: 500 ml
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Spring onion: 3 stalks
Garlic: 1 tsp finely chopped
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Cook macaroni as per instruction on pack & keep aside.
Blanch the broccoli florets, drain & keep aside.Preheat oven to 1800C.
Heat 1 tbsp oil, fry garlic till brown & add spring onion, sauté for 3 minutes.
Now, add the chopped sausages, stir  till well coated with oil.
Put in the broccoli & macaroni. Sprinkle pepper & salt. Mix well.
Grease a pie dish & layer this on it.
To make the white sauce, heat butter, add the flour stir well till it roasts.
Take pan off fire & pour in the milk stirring continuously till all the lumps are broken.
Return to heat & stir till sauce thickens.
Add salt & pepper to taste (go slow on the salt, cheese has salt too).
Stir in half of the grated cheese into the sauce.
Pour this over the sausage- macaroni evenly.
Top with remaining grated cheese & bake at 1800C for 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with a cucumber salad.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

ERISSERY (Maami's Corner)

Another dish that is a must at a KERALA SADYA!
Combinations can vary, though, the most common one is the pumpkin & red beans (vanpayar). Raw jackfruit can be used when in season.Yam, raw papaya & banana too can be used in this preparation.

Pumpkin: 250 g
Red beans: ½ cup
Coconut grating: 1cup
Green chilli: 3
Cumin seeds: ½ tsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
Shallots: 6 sliced
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp
Dry red chilli: 2
Coconut oil: 2 tsps
Salt to taste


Soak beans for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.
Pressure cook with 1 cup water for 10 minutes.
In another vessel, cook cubed pumpkin with turmeric, chilli powder & ½ a cup of water.
When half done, add the cooked beans & salt.
Grind half the coconut with cumin, green chilli & a few curry leaves to a coarse paste.
Add the paste to beans-pumpkin & boil for 3 minutes.
Check for salt & take off.
Heat oil in a kadai, crackle mustard seeds, add shallots, red chilli cut in two, curry leaves & remaining coconut. Fry till they brown.
Pour into the prepared ERISSERY & serve. 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Olathirachi/Erachi Olarthiyathu (Traditional Fare)

Beef is prepared in many different ways in Kerala, as fries, curries, cutlets, pickles & biryani.
But the traditional “Olathirachi” is the winner.
This can be kept for a few days even without refrigeration, only remember to warm it up every day.
I have used whole red chillies & coriander seeds in this recipe, but you can use the powders instead.


Beef: 1 kg
Shallots: 200 g sliced
Garlic: 2 tbsps sliced
Ginger: 1 tbsp julliened
Green chilli: 3 slit
Curry leaves: a few
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Coconut slivers: half a cup
Coconut oil: 2 tbsps
Vinegar: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

For the masala

Dry red chilli: 12
Coriander seeds: 2 tsps
Black pepper: 1 tsp
Cardamom: 2
Cloves: 6
Cinnamon: 1 piece
Aniseed/fennel: 2 tsps
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek/methi: 1/2tsp
Curry leaves: a few


Cut beef into small pieces.
Dry roast all ingredients under MASALA & powder.
In a pressure cooker, put in the meat, masala powder, turmeric powder, ginger slices, green chillies, half the garlic slices, coconut slivers, salt & vinegar. Mix well.
Cover cooker & cook for 10 minutes (time will depend on the beef, for veal meat cook for 10 minutes, regular beef- about15 to 20 minutes.)
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan, fry the shallots brown, remove half & add the garlic, curry leaves.
Put in cooked beef with the gravy & simmer till all the gravy dries up.
Brown the meat well & put the remaining fried shallots.
Beef “ olathiyathu” is ready for the table.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Chicken Pulao (Party Menu)

This is a North Indian style pulao, very mildy flavoured, white in colour unlike the Malabar counterpart.


Chicken: 1 cut into 8 pieces (about 800 g)
Rice: 3 cups (basmati or jeera rice)
Onion: 3 sliced fine
Green chilli: 6 crushed
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1” piece
Cardamom: 2
Cloves: 2
Whole black pepper: ½ tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Mint leaves: 1 small cup
Coriander leaves: half a cup
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Hot water: 6 cups
Ghee: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


Wash rice, soak for 10 minutes & drain.
 Chop mint & coriander leaves fine & set aside.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan/handi with lid & fry the cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom & black pepper.
Now, add onions & sauté till golden brown. (Remove some for garnishing, if you need.)
Put in crushed green chilli, ginger-garlic paste, mint & coriander leaves.
When a very tempting aroma of the fried masala fills the air, add the chicken.
Stir it around in the masala till it changes colour, (about 10 minutes).
Add rice now, also, a little salt.
Sprinkle garam masala powder & give a quick stir.
Pour 6 cups of hot water, cover & cook till rice is done.
Check for salt, in between, because it will be difficult to stir in after the rice is fully cooked.
Rest the pulao for half an hour before serving.
Serve with a pickle & raita.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Fish Curry Trichur Style (Traditional Fare)

Fish curry down south in Kerala uses coconut paste for the gravy while up north in Kerala, its coconut milk that is largely used.
Here’s such a preparation.

Fish: 500g as per your choice
Coconut milk: 1 cup thick
Red chilli powder: 2 tbsps (Kashmiri)
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: ¼ tsp
Fenugreek powder: ¼ tsp
Mustard: ½ tsp
Whole fenugreek: ¼ tsp
Shallots: ½ cup sliced
Ginger: 1 tsp sliced
Garlic: 1 tsp optional
Slit green chilli: 2
Curry leaves: a few
Coconut oil: 2 tbsps
Tamarind paste: 1 tsp or 1 small mango sliced
Salt to taste


Heat oil, add mustard & fenugreek, after they crackle, add shallots, ginger, green chilli & garlic.
Sauté till brown & add the powders soaked in a little water. Fry till raw smell leaves.
Pour a cup of water & tamarind, (or mango).
When it boils, add fish & salt to taste.
Cover & cook till fish is done.
Sprinkle curry leaves & pour the coconut milk.
Let it simmer on a low flame for a few minutes.
Done! Fish curry is ready to be served with rice/puttu/tapioca.