Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pazha Manga Kaalan (Ripe mangoes in curd and coconut)

I am back from Kerala after a series of family visits and functions…was a much awaited vacation but didn’t feel like one with the chaos and hectic travel. Adding to the misery, we witnessed heavy showers all through the trip…that’s putting it mildly…though I love rains, the thundershowers and miseries along with it was quite a dampener this time round. But yes, the yummy Kerala food was the super stress-buster. This trip will be long remembered for the many dishes and snacks I feasted on…some of them that I’d not even heard of (gosh! now I want to go back!)

To sum up with a tribute and get over the fever, this post is another specialty of Kerala ….dedicated to all those unsung heroes who have been whipping mouth watering delicacies in quaint kitchens of Kozhikode…this one is called “Pazha Manga Kaalan”. It’s a sweet mango curry with curd and coconut (thankfully, mangoes are still in season). This dish is very simple and is loaded with mixed flavors (sweet and spicy). In Kerala, there’s a mango called “Chandrakaran” (the smallest variety) which is used for this dish.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

You need:  

 5-6 small ripe mangoes
½ tsp turmeric powder
2tsp red chilli powder
salt to taste
water as required
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup curd (yoghurt)  

½ tsp jeera (cumin)
2 stalks of curry leaves
1tsp coconut oil
a small piece of jaggery (optional, in case the mangoes are not sweet)

For tempering:  
2tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
2-3 stalks of curry leaves
2 whole red chillies (each broken into two)


 Wash and peel the mangoes 


Cut the mangoes into cubes (do not throw away the seeds)  

Take a wide bowl and add the cubed mango with the seeds, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder 


Add water (just to cover the mangoes) and let it cook well (will take about 10-15 minutes). If the mangoes are not very sweet, you can add jaggery at this stage 
Meanwhile grind the coconut, jeera and curd (add very little curd at a time or you’ll not get a smooth paste)
If there’s any curd remaining, just give it one churn in the mixer (or it will start separating once added to the curry)

 Add the ground paste to the boiling mangoes (hmmm…jeera truly adds to the flavour) 

Cook on slow fire and remove when the mixture foams up 

Pour a tsp of coconut oil ad immerse two stalks of curry leaves (enjoy the sweet aroma)

Heat oil in a small skillet and splutter mustard, red chillies and curry leaves. Pour it over the kalan.

Serve mouth watering Pazha Manga Kaalan with piping hot rice and pappadam

I’d also take the opportunity to express my heart-felt gratitude to Kalyani (http://kalyanikitchen.blogspot.com/
) for sharing these lovely awards.

As per the rules,

  • Accept the award, post it in your blog with the link of the person who has shared it with you 
  • Pass it on more bloggers 
  • Let the nominated bloggers know about their award (just post a comment in their blog) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pazham Pori (Sweet Banana Fritters)

A very famous “naalu mani palaharam"(tea time snack) of Kerala (usually found in the road side tea-shops). Literally means “Banana Fry”, with the most preferred banana variety called “nendra pazham”. If you belong to Kerala, this snack needs no introduction. And for my other friends – it’s a deep fried snack made with ripe bananas, perfect on a rainy day (you know that's only an excuse ;) )with a hot cup of tea…let’s not wait for the rains…get started with me… 

Preparation time: 10-12 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

You need:
1 cup maida (all purpose flour)
3tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp urad dal powder (optional) 
3 ripe bananas (nendra pazham)
a pinch of turmeric powder
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar (alter depending on the sweetness of the bananas)
water (to make the batter)
sunflower oil to deep fry (coconut oil is used in Kerala)


In a wide bowl, mix maida, rice flour, urad dal powder, turmeric powder (just for the colour),salt, sugar (if required) and water to make a thick batter ( if you’ve added extra water, add a little maida to get a thicker consistency and if it’s very thick, add a little water) 

Peel the skin off the banana and cut each into 3 equal parts and slit each part length wise into 2-3 pieces (depending on the size of the bananas) 

Heat oil in a deep frying pan 

Check the batter again to make sure there are no lumps (if there are any, mix again till smooth) 

Dip each banana slice in the batter till it coats well and deep fry (on both sides) till it turns golden brown in colour 

Fry all the slices in batches till you finish all of them
(I bet you'll want more if you've already tasted them by now)

Drain the excess oil and spread them on to a kitchen tissue 

Serve yummy Pazham Pori with a hot cup of tea or coffee!!

Sending this post to the event, “food for little cha
mps" hosted by Indu Mathew
and "Healing foods' hosted by Krithi and Siri

Will be out of Bangalore on a personal travel...should be back with more mouth-watering recipes...keep watching this space..until then, make best use of all the listed recipes on my blog :)

Yours tastefully!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chocolatty Fruitty and Nutty

It’s been a busy week with Shlok (my lil’ fellow) stepping into a play school and helping him settle in. (I am glad he loves the place now). Just when it was getting indecisive on my next post, an event title by a blogger “Drive me nuts” caught my attention. Can't just get the title off my head...what more, it has driven me to take part in the event. The unfortunate part - the event gets over tomorrow and a few hours left to whip something interesting. I had to come up with a dish that’s tempting, yummy,simple and fast. I have always used nuts in many dishes but this is possibly the first time when they take center stage and are being used as the main ingredient. 
For all those who want to be driven nuts, follow me… 
Preparation time: 5minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4-5

You need:
100 gms dark chocolate (I used Amul)

¼ cup almonds
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup cashew nuts
¼ cup pistachios
¼ cup raisins


Melt the chocolate in the microwave oven for two minutes (you can use a double boiler too)

Mix till smooth

Add the nuts and mix
you don't need to taste it, it will be yummy [or you'll finish it even before it sets :) ]

Spread a piece of foil on a tray and spoon the chocolate mixture (now lick up the chocolate that's sticking in the bowl! ;) divine!)

Refrigerate till it sets (about 10 minutes)

Remove carefully from the foil and… what are you waiting for... ATTACK!! 

Do try it and post your comments...I'm sure they'll be a treat for your kids!

Sending this recipe to “Drive me nuts" hosted by Taste Junction (Anamika) and “food for little champs" hosted by Indu get cooking (Indu Mathew)

Yours tastefully!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Aamras Poori

While the mango season is still on, I guess the timing is just apt for posting this famous Maharashtrian dish, ‘Aamras Poori”. The most obvious combinations all along (at least the ones that I know of) have been ‘poori with aloo bhaji’, ‘poori with channa masala’ or ‘poori sagu’ but poori with Aam (mango) ras(juice/ syrup)…this sounded and is truly a tantalizing combination. 
My hubby (with his ever-growing Mumbai loyalty) talked so much about this dish that I thought I should give it a try…the drive was, even if I can’t have this dish with pooris, I could always have it for dessert:) . It is in fact very simple (all you need is a few ripe mangoes and the rest you’ll find at home). To my surprise and a pleasant one at that, I instantly fell in love with the combination…and the hangover continues :) …so here’s sharing the hangover with you…!

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

You need: 
3 big ripe mangoes
1/3 cup cold milk
¼ cup sugar (depending on how sweet or sour the mangoes are)
3-4 green cardamoms

To garnish:
A few strands of saffron (optional)

Wash, clean and cut the Mango into pieces and set it aside (size doesn’t matter as you are going to blend them) 

Squeeze out all the remaining pulp / juice from around the seed (don’t waste any bit of the juice) 

Grind the mango pieces, sugar, cardamoms and milk in the mixer/blender to a thick consistency and transfer the contents (now called aamras!) to a serving bowl 

Garnish with a few strands of saffron

Serve with pooris or relish the ‘aamras’ as a dessert! 

Sending this recipe to “food for little champs" hosted by Indu get cooking (Indu Mathew) 
Yours tastefully!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

mixed vegetable semiya upma / vermicelli upma

A popular south Indian breakfast which is delicious, healthy and filling. Upma is not a favourite to many but this one tastes different. Perfect for breakfast or dinner...even as an evening snack. After a lot of trials, I learnt to cook perfect semiya upma (that doesn’t turn soggy). I added the vegetables for that extra nutrition and colour (it’s purely optional). It’s absolutely kid friendly and easy to prepare (it's easier if you measure the ingredients before you cook)
Preparation time: 10minutes 
Cooking time: 25minutes
Serves: 4-5

You need: 

3 cups of roasted semia (vermicelli)
1 big carrot (cut into small cubes)
½ cup fresh green peas
41/2 cups of water
2tbsps cooking oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
10-12 cashew nuts (halved)
2 medium size onions (julienned / sliced fine)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
2-3 green chillies
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)
salt to taste

For garnishing:
juice of half a lemon
coriander leaves
a tbsp ghee


Take a bowl and boil 41/2 cups of water (that’s a perfect measurement!) 

Microwave all the veggies –Carrots and peas for 5-6 minutes (till they are almost half cooked) 

Heat oil in a non-stick kadhai, add mustard. Once it crackles, throw in the cashews and toss till it turns light brown in colour
Now add onions, curry leaves and green chillies. Stir till the onions turn pink (do not over cook) 

Add the cooked peas and carrot and give it a good mix 

Add turmeric and chilli powder. Stir for 2-3 minutes 

Pour in the boiled water. Add salt (always good to taste at this stage to adjust the salt and spice) 

Reduce the flame, add the roasted semia, cover and cook till all the water’s evaporated and the semia is soft (keep checking, will take about 12 minutes) 

Now for the most important step. Remove from the fire and keep covered for 5-10minutes. (you’ll notice that the semia is not mushy anymore, that’s the right consistency!) 

Garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves

Serve hot with few drops of ghee and lots of love

Yours Tastefully!!