Thursday, March 31, 2011

Green chutney

Green chutney adds to the taste of all kinds of appetizers and snacks. It can also be used as a sandwich spread too. It’s simple and can be stored for at least a week in the fridge. I made this chutney yesterday as an accompaniment for chicken tikka. Let me share the recipe.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5minutes (only blending)
Serves: 5-6

You need:
1/2 coriander leaves (with the stem)
1/4 cup mint leaves (pudina)
1/4 tsp roasted cumin
1 small onion
2 green chillies
1 cup curd (yogurt)
a pinch of black salt (kala namak)
salt to taste
juice of ½ a lemon

Wash the mint and coriander leaves thoroughly
Coarsely chop the green chillies and onion
In a mixer, grind all the ingredients except curd (do not add water)
Now add the curd to the mixture and grind (make sure the curd is not sour)

Taste it to adjust the salt and spice

Delicious green chutney is ready. Store in a clean, air tight container, keep refrigerated….

Serve with any kind of kebabs, tikkas, or deep fried snacks…

Yours tastefully!

Chicken Tikka

Yesterday, we were getting ready to watch the World cup semi-final between India and Pakistan. My hubby was home early and my son and I were so happy to have him around. He sat down to watch the match with a couple of beers and I went into my kitchen to make a good dinner for him (which was well planned). I wanted him to sit back, relax and enjoy the match with some good food too. I made his favourites, chicken tikka as an appetizer and parota and Kerala style spicy beef ularthiyathutu (beef roast) for main course.

Chicken tikka is a very popular dish; small pieces of chicken are marinated for a minimum of 3hours in yogurt and spices. Here’s how I made it,

Preparation time: 3hours
Cooking time: 30minutes
Serves: 3-4

You need:
500gms chicken breast
1tsp ginger paste
1tsp garlic paste
1tsp dhania powder (coriander powder)
1tsp jeera powder (cumin powder)
2 tsp chilli powder (alter according to your spice tolerance)
3 tbsp curd (yogurt)
2tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tomato puree
a pinch of red colouring (optional)
1 onion sliced
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

To Garnish:
1 lemon (cut into wedges)


Using a sharp knife, cut the chicken into small pieces

Blend ginger garlic, dhania powder, jeera powder and chilli powder in a mixing bowl

Spoon in the curd, salt, lemon juice, red colouring (if using) and tomato puree to the spice mixture

Add the chicken to the spice mixture and toss to coat well. Let it marinate for 3hours (preferably overnight)

Pre-heat your oven for 10minutes at 2200 C

Spread the onions at the bottom of a heatproof dish, carefully drizzle half of the oil over them
Now arrange the marinated chicken pieces on top of the onions and cook them on the grill

After 10minutes turn each piece and apply the remaining oil (is your kitchen smelling of all the spices now!) Cook for another 10-15minutes (total of 25-30minutes)

Garnish with lemon wedges

Serve this yummy succulent chicken tikka as an appetizer with green chutney or as a side with any kind of Indian bread!!

That’s it for now friends, will soon put up the recipe of Kerala style spicy beef ularthiyathutu…

Yours tastefully!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aloo Poori / Poori Bhaji

I laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaav aloo poori (and I don’t mind having it anytime of the day!), my baby (Shlok) finishes all the aloo in the bhaji and my hubby asks me when I’m gonna make poori next( biting on to his last poori). At my home it’s usually made for breakfast (lunch, tea or dinner) and mostly Sundays (so we can sit and gorge!). It’s an absolute family favourite. This dish is a hit with children and adults and is very easy to stir up when you have guests without notice. (guests are you listening??)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

For the Aloo Bhaji

You need:
4-5 medium size potatoes (cut into four and boiled)
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 medium size onions (roughly chopped)
2-3 green chillies (slit lengthwise)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste
water as required

For garnishing:
juice of half a lemon
fresh coriander leaves (chopped fine)

Step by step:
Heat oil in a non-stick pan, throw in the mustard seeds (slowly or they’ll be all over you) When they crackle, add the curry leaves, onions, and green chillies (in the same order) Stir till the onions turn translucent
Add turmeric powder and salt and stir for a minute
Peel the potatoes and crush them with your hand (enjoy being messy!) and add to the mixture
Add a cup of water and let it simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes (if you want more gravy)
Transfer to serving dish
Garnish with a squeeze of lime and some chopped coriander leaves
Serve with hot pooris, chapathi, pav or bread

Now that the aloo bhaji is ready, let’s quickly get down to frying hot and crispy pooris… (I can’t wait...I’ve tasted the bhaji a lot of times on the pretext of checking salt!) 

For the poori

You need:

3 cups atta (whole wheat flour)
½ cup atta (whole wheat flour) – for rolling
2 tsp of rava (semolina, sooji)
a pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
oil for deep frying
water (for kneading)

Step by step:
Mix atta, rava, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water little by little to make firm dough (firmer than the chapathi dough). But do not knead too much. (For poories, it’s best if you knead the dough just ten minutes before you fry them). Keep aside for 15 minutes
Divide dough into 25-30 parts (size depends on how big you want the pooris to be)
Take one ball of dough at a time and roll it into a thin circle(not very thin) using a little more atta (atta stops the dough from sticking but use very sparingly or your oil will turn black in no time)
 Heat oil in a deep bottom pan and when it is hot (check by adding a tiny piece of atta into the oil, if it comes to the top of the oil immediately that means it’s ready) gently slip in one poori from the side (very carefully or you’ll burn your fingers) .Press it lightly with a spatula(preferably the one that has holes so it can drain the oil easily) allow it rise completely and then turn over and cook the other side until the poori is crisp and golden on both sides.
Drain on to some paper towels
Repeat process until you’ve used up all the dough

Serve these hot pooris with the aloo bhaji/ channa masala, paneer chettinad or shrikand
(Tip of the day: Never count the number of pooris you have!) Enjoi!!

Yours tastefully!!
Sending this recipe to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

home made butter

have you tried making butter at home? do people make butter when it’s readily available off the shelf? thought it was made only for Lord Krishna??? Well, making butter at home is really fun(but can get messy), simple and it tastes absolutely delicious. It’s an on going process as you need to remember to collect and store milk cream for about 2months. Let’s get started

You need:
lots of water(preferably cold)
(Don’t look for more, that’s all you need!)

Keep ready:
a bowl
a spoon
a mixer
a butter dish(a container to store butter)


Boil milk. Bring to room temperature and refrigerate (without covering). By evening you’ll see a layer on top of the milk

That’s the milk cream(you’ll get more cream if you are using full fat milk) 

Remove the cream and store in a jar in the freezer mixed with a tablespoon of curd. 

Repeat process till your jar is full

When you are ready to make butter, remove the jar from the freezer and bring it to room temperature. Let it happen naturally (do not heat it, you may even keep it out the previous night)

Spoon 4-5 tablespoons of cream into your mixer jar pour a cup of cold water
You can use a mixer, food processor, blender, or even a large bottle with a lid to make butter from cream (my mother used to give me a large bottle with cream and water to make butter- it was fun!!...but now I use a mixer , an electric device is faster but no fun!!)

Keep looking into the jar. Turn off the mixer once you see that the cream is replaced by lumps (your butter’s almost ready...yippee!)
Use a spoon and shift the lumps into bowl (with fresh water). The water that remains can be used as buttermilk (now you know to make home made buttermilk too!!)

Repeat the process until you’ve emptied all the cream 

Wash the butter and pour out the water
Repeat till the water is clear (or the butter will taste bitter…like Betty’s butter!!)

Remove all the butter from the water with a spoon or with your fingers (messy but what fun!!)
Transfer into your butter dish
That’s it! Your butter’s ready!

Just spread it on a slice of toasted bread, bake your favourite cakes or cookies, stir it in your butter garlic rice, spoon it on your garlic bread, use it in your shepherd's pie or top it on your parathas!!....

Yours Tastefully!!
I'm submitting this recipe "Dish Name starts with H" hosted by Akila's kitchen

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Velleppam / Appam

'Velleppam' is a special fermented rice pancake of Kerala. Most commonly known as ‘appam’. It’s an integral part of Kerala cuisine, usually made for breakfast (I make it for dinner too!). This is my mom’s recipe and to me, 'my mom’s velleppam’s are the best'. It’s different, delicious and worth a try. Took me quite a while to perfect the process of making spongy and lacy vellappams. Try it (even if you don't get it right the first time), I’m sure you’ll love it.

Preparation time: 10minutes (plus time taken to soak and ferment)
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 2-3

You need:
1 cup dosa rice/ raw rice
1/2 cup of grated coconut
½ cup cooked rice
2 tsp urad dal
a pinch of baking soda
2tsp sugar
salt for taste
water as required


Soak the rice and urad dal overnight
Drain the soaked rice and grind along with cooked rice, grated coconut and salt to a thick paste. Keep the batter for 6-8hrs of fermentation (leave the batter to rise and double in quantity)

Take a bowl of warm water and mix baking soda and sugar. Add to the batter and give it a good mix. Keep aside for 10 minutes

Heat a non-stick appachatty (if you don’t have one, use a shallow non-stick pan with a lid)

Pour a ladle full of batter, lift the appachatty and rotate it to spread the batter inside so a thin layer of batter covers the sides and thick layer collects at the centre.
Cover with the lid and cook for 1 minute on medium flame till the edges become golden crisp and the centre is soft. Cook only on one side
Repeat the procedure until all the batter is used up (with this proportion you can make up to 12 appams)
Serve hot with potato/ chicken stew, kadala curry, egg curry or coconut milk and sugar

Write it and tell me if you liked the whole experience of making velleppams!!

Yours tastefully!!

Sending this to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kerala style Chicken Stew

Not so long ago, Esther and I worked together. We lost touch but facebook connected us up. It was a pleasant surprise when she posted something very encouraging on my facebook wall. “Thank you for blogging recipes. They all look so delicious! I will surely try making some of it. I have a request for a Kerala stew to go with Aapam. I have been craving for it for so long.”…so, Esther, this ‘Kerala style chicken stew is for you”

Prepartion time: 10minutes

Cooking time: 30-35minutes
Serves: 6-7

You need:
1 kg chicken (cut into small pieces)
2 medium size onions (julienned)
3-4 green chillies (slit)
2 inch ginger (julienned)
3-4 sprigs of curry leaves (torn)
salt to taste
water as required
3 medium size potatoes (boiled, peeled and cubed)
100gms coconut milk powder / coconut milk(thick and thin) extracted from 1 coconut
1 tbsp maida (refined flour)
1tsp vinegar
1tbsp butter
10-15 shallots (pearl onions)
5-6 cloves (dry roasted and coarsely powdered)
1 inch cinnamon (dry roasted and coarsely powdered)
10-12 peppercorns (dry roasted and coarsely powdered)

For garnishing:
2 sprigs of curry leaves


Wash and clean the chicken pieces

In a pressure cooker, add the chicken pieces, onions, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, salt and a little water -just for the chicken to cook (do not add too much water as we need to add coconut milk at a later stage). Let it cook till one whistle (you can even pan cook but a pressure cooker saves time)

Once the pressure cooker has cooled, open and add the potatoes (in case you prefer to use fresh coconut milk, it's time to pour the thin extract). Stir for 2-3 minutes
Mix the coconut milk powder in 2 cups of warm water (make sure you don’t leave any lumps)
Add coconut milk to the cooker {the original recipe is made with coconut milk extract from 1 fresh and tender coconut, so if you have the time, go ahead and make 2 extractions, thick(first) and thin(second, with additional water)}

Once it’s boiled, lower the flame, mix 1tbsp of maida in water and add. Pour in the vinegar too

Cook till the gravy is thick (if you are using fresh coconut milk, add the thick extract)
Remove from the fire

Heat butter in a small pan, julienne the shallots and fry till it’s brown. Add the clove-cinnamon-pepper powder and turn off the flame(you are taking it off from flame as soon as you've added it because it's already roasted)

Add this to the chicken stew and give it a gentle mix (taking care not to mine the chicken)

Garnish with curry leaves

Serve hot with appam, idli, dosa, bread or chapattis

Variation: you can use this stew recipe and make mutton/ beef stew too...

friends, do give it a try... i'm waiting for your feedback

Yours tastefully!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mathan/ Mathanga Erissery

Am back from Kerala…and I wouldn't like to go back in summer. Born and brought up in Bangalore, i'm totally spoiled and I just couldn't handle the heat…but miss the traditional food (loaded with coconut in all forms)
Today's recipe is a traditional Kerala specialty, ‘Erissery” which is an essential part of any Kerala sadhya (feast). It can be made with yam, yellow pumpkin or raw banana. I am sharing my mother’s "mathan erissery recipe", which is my favorite too. (mathan’s nothing but yellow pumpkin)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 3-4

You need:
¼ kg yellow pumpkin (mathan)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
water as required
½ cup grated coconut
1tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
For garnishing:
3tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp grated coconut
1tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 red chillies (alter accordingly, it’s not a spicy dish)
2 sprigs of curry leaves


Peel and cut pumpkin into 1 inch cubes. Remove the seeds, wash them well and cook in a pan with very little water, salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder, until soft. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes
Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut and cumin seeds with a little water (add a tsp of water at a time as erissery is a thick side dish)

Add the ground paste to the cooked pumpkin and stir on low flame. Let it cook for about 5 minutes (If the curry is watery, don’t panic; just let it simmer for sometime till most of the water’s evaporated and if it’s very thick, add water little by little)

Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the urad dal and red chillies. Fry till the dal turns golden brown (always fry dals on low flame to avoid burning).Tear and add the curry leaves. Mix well and pour directly over the cooked pumpkin curry
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and 4tbsp of grated coconut and fry on low heat till crispy and dark brown. Maintain the low flame here too. (This is a step that you should never miss as adding the coconut at the end enhances the flavour of the gravy, it makes a whole lot of difference). Add the fried coconut on top of the curry. Take some gravy, pour it into the pan, use every bit of the fried coconut and pour it back into the gravy
Serve with steamed rice. 

Try this traditional Kerala dish and post your comments too!

Yours tastefully!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Onnakka Mullan Varuthathe - dry fish fry

I am on my way to "God’s own country" to attend a family function. As much as I’m excited to get there I dread the heat. Every time I go to Kerala, I must come back with a variety of dry fish. I had to finish the last lot before I buy the next.
‘Mullan’ which is called “silver belly fish or pony fish” is a small fish with lots of bones. Unless it’s deep fried till crisp, you need to be careful eating it (I would not recommend this dish or fish for kids). Here's how I made this delicious and spicy dry fish fry.

Preparation time: 45-60minutes (includes cleaning and marinating time)
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Serves: 3-4

150gms onnakka mullan
6-8 shallots (sambhar onions/ pearl onions)
2-3 garlic pods
2 tbsp- red chili powder
1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
Salt (only and only if required)
Oil for deep frying

Dry fish, like the name says is fish dried in the sun with lots of salt (salt is added as a preservative). So it takes more time to wash and clean than to cook.

You have to wash the fish well to take off the excess salt. To clean the fish, first soak them in water with small newspaper pieces and a few pieces of lemon. (water will soften the fish, newspaper will help in pulling out the excess salt and lime will help in removing the odour)
After half an hour, remove the lemon pieces and newspaper bits and drain the fish
    Cut off the head and tail of the fish
    Clean and wash the fish at least another 3    times in fresh water. Drain and keep aside
Make a thick paste of shallots, garlic pods, chilli powder and turmeric powder. Rub the paste on the fish. Let it marinate for at least half an hour. (check for salt, if you think you have drained it all, add some according to your requirement)
Heat oil in a pan and drop in the fishes slowly (‘cos it’ll splatter). Deep fry the fish pieces on both sides, till very crisp. (A word of caution for all those who dread smell around, your house will stink and will persist for a good portion the next day too). Transfer on to a kitchen tissue to remove excess oil

Serve this crispy and spicy onnaka mullan varuthathe with rice
Yours tastefully!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paneer Chettinad

This week did not start off well as I woke up to see that my fridge refuses to cool and while the technicians come in I decided to make the best of the ingredients that’ll rot in no time. Looked into my fridge and found a pack of paneer, some coriander leaves, few sprigs of curry leaves, butter, few tomatoes, milk, cheese, some grated coconut and ginger garlic paste. I managed to use most of them and the rest I put away in my friendly neighbour’s fridge. ‘Paneer Chettinad’, sounds weird.(I know) But I tried this crazy combination and I must say, it tasted quite good. It is paneer (which I always thought is not so southy) in a completely South Indian gravy.

Preparation time: 10-15minutes
Cooking time: 30-35minutes
Serves: 4-6

You need:

200gms paneer
1tbsp butter
2 tsps cooking oil
1 large onion (chopped fine)
8-9 sprigs of curry leaves
3 medium tomatoes (chopped fine)
1 tsp chilli powder (alter according to your taste)

½ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
juice of half a lemon
2tsp ginger garlic paste
water as required
1 tbsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
2tbsp cashew nuts

For garnishing:
coriander leaves (chopped fine)

For the chettinad masala:
2tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
3-4 whole red chillies
3 green cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon
3-4 cloves
½ cup grated coconut

Soak the poppy seeds and cashew nuts in a little hot water for 10-15 minutes 

Cut paneer into 1 inch cubes. Heat butter in a pan. Fry until you get a light brown colour on all the sides Drain the paneer pieces on to a kitchen towel and immediately drop them into bowl of warm water (this will keep the paneer soft) 

Let us now make the chettinad masala. In the same pan, add the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds, red chillies, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon and grated coconut. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes till the aroma is released. (Do not over brown them, always toast over low flame)

Grind the masala to a smooth paste with the ginger garlic paste, soaked poppy seeds and cashew nuts (add water if required to get a chutney consistency) 

Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add the chopped onions. Fry till golden brown 

Add the curry leaves and the ground paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes 

Now add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium flame till the tomatoes are soft and mushy 

At this stage, add the required amount of water (add more if you want a thinner gravy)
Squeeze the lemon juice, add the paneer and allow it to boil.Cook for 4-5 minutes 

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Serve hot with phulka/chapathi / paratha

Try it out and don't forgot to drop comments here...

Yours tastefully!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Egg and Potato curry

Eggs in any form are a treat and with a combination of potatoes…it gets irresistible. I have used potatoes with mutton and chicken but with egg, it’s the first time. I’m sure this one too will be yummy. I am always 'egg'cited to try something new.

Preparation time: 10-12 minutes
Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
Serves: 2-3

You need: 

3 eggs
4 medium potatoes
4tsp cooking oil
1 big onion (chopped fine)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 green chilli (slit)
5-6 red chillies (change according to your spice tolerance)
2 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric powder
3tbsp grated coconut
Water as required
Salt to taste
1tsp vinegar

For tempering:
2tsp cooking oil
8-10 finely chopped shallots (pearl onions)
1/2 inch cinnamon (dry roasted and powdered)
4-5 cloves (dry roasted and powdered)
2 sprigs of curry leaves


Hard-boil eggs. Crack, cool, peel off the shells and keep aside 

Peel the potatoes, cut into quarters and immerse in cold water (water helps to retain the colour) 

Roast the red chillies, coriander seeds and turmeric. Add the coconut once you have turned off the flame. Grind to a smooth paste 

Heat oil, add the chopped onions, a slit green chilli and the curry leaves (hmm…now the curry leaves will make your kitchen smell lovely) 

When the onions turn transparent, spoon in the ground mixture and fry well. (Once you have transferred all the masala, clean up your mixer jar with a little water and keep aside) 

As the masala gets fried, it will start sticking to the pan. Now add the masala water and give it a good stir[technique huh:) ]

Add the potatoes, salt and water and cook till the potatoes are tender 

Put in the eggs, cut into halves and add vinegar

Remove from the fire 

In a small pan add oil and fry the finely chopped shallots till they turn golden brown 

Sprinkle and stir in the powdered cloves and cinnamon(make sure you stir on low heat to avoid burning the spices). Add curry leaves and pour over the curry 

I made this curry for lunch so it was served with steamed rice but it goes well with chapathi, kerala parota or appam too.

Isn't that a cute dish??? now try it, write in and tell me if it was good or 'egg'cellent 

Keep smiling:)

Yours Tastefully!!