Butter Croissants and Coffee

One of the most best aromas on a beautiful morning

Samosa Chaat

Snack a little

Seekh Kabab

Try something different!

Decadent Chocolate

Do not forget to indulge once in a while

Steamed goodness

Various cooking methods bring variety in your palette

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aviyal - Mixed Vegetables in a Coconut and Yoghurt gravy


Credit: Kairali Sisters' e-book pg.20

These precautions you must follow in preparing Aviyal:
1. All vegetables are cut only lengthwise (2inch by 1/2inch)
2. Do not overcook or you'll end up in a soup.
3. The following vegetables are never used:
· Beetroot - as it discolours the entire Aviyal as red
· Tomato, Cabbage and Ladies Finger(Okra) makes Aviyal watery
· Sweet Potato, Radish, Turnip, Cauliflower & Mushroom are best avoided
· Instead of Tamarind use Raw Mango & a splash of Natural Yoghurt to get the
sour taste
4. Depending upon availability the following Vegetables go well together:
  1. Plantain(Raw Green)
  2. Yam - Chena
  3. Brinjal
  4. Carrot
  5. Beans - Long Runner Beans
  6. Drumsticks(with proper Indian/Sadhya Vegetables)
  7. Green Raw Mango
  8. Potato
  9. Snake Gourd -Trichosanthes Cucumerina
  10. Ivy Gourd - Kovakai - Tindora
  11. Courgette - Zucchini instead of Cucumber

1. Raw Green Plantain – 50 grams
2. Brinjal - 50 grams (optional - I did not use)
3. Tindora - 50 grams (optional)
4. Yams- 50 grams
5. Carrot – 50 grams
6. Green Beans/Long String beans - 50 grams (I used french beans)
7. Courgette/Ash Gourd - 50 grams (I did not use)
8. Potato - 50 grams (optional)
9. Drumsticks - 50 grams
10. Green Chillies – 2
11. Raw Mango -1/2
12. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
13. Salt – to taste
14. Water - 200ml
15. Grated Coconut – 1 cup
16. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
17. Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
18. Curd – 2 tbsp
19. Coconut Oil- 2 tbsp

Mise en Place [10 mins]
1. Cut all vegetables into 2 inch by 1/2inch pieces like French Fries. Keep them
2. Grind Coconut, Cumin seeds, Green Chillies to a fine paste. Keep aside.
Golden Touch Steps [40 mins]
1. In a deep bottomed pan, add all Vegetables, add water, Salt, Turmeric powder &
slow cook for 20 mins.
2. Now add the Coconut paste, mix well, sprinkle the Coconut oil & Curry leaves,
leave on low flame for another 10 mins, by now it will be dry & done
3. Allow to cool.
4. Mix in the Yoghurt and leave it covered.
** Place the slow cooking Vegetables at the bottom of the vessel. Eg: Drumsticks,
Carrots. Place Yam & Brinjal in the middle layer. Place the fast cooking items in the
topmost layer.

Koottu curry - Chick peas and mixed vegetables


The Kairali sisters' e-book contains two types of koottu curry - one spicy version and the other sweet version. I actually liked ingredients from both and kind of combined it into my own version. I loved it the way it turned out. I intended to add chena(yam) into this as per the recipe, but I realized that I ran out of it by using it in the other dishes. So I replaced it with Chembu(taro) and it still tasted divine!


· 1 cup Black Chickpeas, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
· ½ cup Plantain(Pachakkaya) cut into chickpea sized pieces
· ½ cup Elephant Yam(Chena)/Chembu(Taro) cut into cut into chickpea sized pieces
· 1 medium Carrot, cubed
· ½ cup grated Coconut
· 4-5 pearl Onions, skinned
· ½ tsp Turmeric powder
· 2 tsp red Chilly powder
· ¼ cup Sarkara/Jaggery
· Few Curry leaves
· Few dry Coconut chunks(Thenga kothu)
· 1 tbsp Coconut oil
· ½ tspMustard seeds
· ½ tsp Cumin seeds
· Salt as required
· 2 dried red chillies
· ½ tsp black pepper or pepper powder
· 1 tbsp Oil


1. Cook the Chickpeas with Water and Salt until soft (Use a pressure cooker to
cook fast, or soak in boiling water for at-least 8 hours).
2. In a thick bottomed vessel, cook the Plantain and Yam/Taro, Carrots with enough Water to
just cover the Vegetables.
3. Add Turmeric powder and Salt.
4. Keep the vessel covered to prevent drying out.
5. When the vegetables are soft add the cooked Chickpeas, along with some of the
Water used to cook Chickpeas.
6. Adjust Salt, ¾ tsp Turmeric powder, 2 tsp Chilly powder and ¼ cup of Jaggery.
6. In another pan slightly fry the grated Coconut, cumin, black Pepper with the pearl Onions.
Coarse grind this mixture and add to the cooked Chickpeas.
7. Mix well and let the Water evaporate. Splutter the Mustard seeds in Coconut Oil
and then add the dried Chillies and dry Coconut chunks (Thenga Kothu).
8. Pour this over the prepared Koottu curry.

Chena Vanpayar Erissery - Cow peas and Elephant Yam in a spiced coconut gravy

Credit: Edible Garden
Note: You can also make another version with Pumpkin instead of Elephant yam which is also quite popular.

  • 3 cups cubed elephant yam / chena
  • 1 cup cow peas / vanpayar - preferable soaked for at least 2-4 hours
  • Salt to taste
Grate together:
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut (frozen will work but not dessicated)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder
  • A large pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
For tempering:
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies, torn into small pieces
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (I used normal vegetable oil)

1. Wash the vanpayar and sift out any stones that may be there. Transfer to a pan with 3 cups water and cook on a low fire until semi-soft. This will take about 20 mins or so. Add the yam to the vanpayar and cook until both turn soft and almost mushy.
2. Once the vanpayar and yam are cooked, add the grated coconut mixture and mix well, cooking on low flame until well combined and the coconut loses its raw smell - about 3-4 mins. Add salt. Mix again. Remove from fire.
3. Heat oil for tempering and add all the ingredients mentioned in the list. When the mustard seeds pop and the red chillies glisten, remove from fire and dunk into the cooked mixture. Mix well and serve hot with rice and moru curry.

Kaalan - Plantain and Elephant Yam in a spiced Coconut-Yoghurt sauce

Credit: Pazham Pappadam Payasam e-book pg.33
 Prep. Time: 55 mins.


  • Yam ¼ cup, cut to chunks
  • Plantain 1 small, Skin peeled off and cut to diagonal chunks
  • Yoghurt 4 cups
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Black Pepper powder 1 ½ tsp
  • Green Chilly 2 nos
  • Cumin seeds ¼ tsp
  • Grated Coconut 1 cup
  • Fenugreek powder a pinch, roasted
  • Salt as needed
  • Curry leaves
  • Mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • Dry red chilly 2 nos
  • Oil 1 tbsp
  • Ghee 1 tsp

1. Heat a wide mouth pan at medium heat and add the Yam and Plantain pieces
with a cup of water.
2. Add Turmeric powder and Pepper powder. Allow the Vegetables to cook well and
then add Salt.
3. When the liquid from Vegetables are almost dried up, add 1 tsp. Ghee and mix
4. Mash the veggies gently, reduce flame to low and add the beaten Yoghurt to
5. Throw in Curry leaves and stir well until Yoghurt starts to boil.
6. Meanwhile grind together Coconut, Cumin seeds and green Chilly to a fine paste
with 20ml Water.
7. When the liquid from Yoghurt is completely evaporated (4 cups Yoghurt will get
reduced to almost 2 cups), add the Coconut paste and mix well. Cook for a few
more minutes.
8. Add a pinch of Fenugreek powder and switch off the stove.
9. Heat 1 tsp Oil in another pan and splutter Mustard seeds and dry red Chilly with
some Curry leaves. Pour the tempering.

Puli Inji / Injicurry - Ginger Jaggery sauce


I simply love this curry coz its sweet and spicy and gives a lovely kick to any boring bland dinner. If I have rice with just moru, pappadam and puli inji, I'll be happy. I also recently learned that its a good side with Chicken biryani. As the main ingredient of this dish is ginger, it helps with digestion of a heavy meal such as Onasadya or Biryani. I'll post a better picture the next time I prepare it.

Credit: Mishmash


1 cup minced fresh ginger, tightly packed
3-4 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves, finely chopped
l/2 tsp mustard seeds
l/4 tsp fenugreek seeds/ Uluva
l/4 tsp Uzhunnu parippu/urad dal/black gram
2 whole dry red chillies
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 1/2 cups water
3-4 jaggery/sarkkara cylinders, with 1 1/4 inch length and 3/4 inch width OR to taste
2-3 tsp tamarind concentrate OR to taste
l/4 tsp chilly powder
l/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

• In a small deep saucepan or stone vessel, heat water, tamarind paste, melt jaggery with red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt and bring to a boil and then keep the lid open and place a stirring utensil in it and let it simmer until it reaches half the quantity of the water. Adjust the tamarind-jaggery balance by doing a taste-test here and adding the extra bit if necessary. There should be a proper balance between tamarind and jaggery. So adjust according to your personal taste.
• Meanwhile, heat oil in a shallow pan and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal and dry red chillies. Add minced ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until ginger turns golden brown, in low flame. Enjoy the wonderful aroma coming off the pan at this point. Using a slotted spoon, transfer all the ingredients from the pan, including the oil (there will not be much oil left), to the saucepan where the tamarind and jaggery mixture is simmering. Once more bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low flame and let it thicken until the oil layers floats on top. At this stage, turn off the stove. It thickens more when it sits in the room temperature.
• This can be made in advance and stored in refrigerator for a long time. The oil floating acts as a preservative here. It can be served not only at Sadya but also a great condiment for Biryani.

Parippu Curry / Kerala style dal


Credit: Sankeerthanam 


  • 1/2 cup daal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 green chilies

To Grind:
  •  1/2 to 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

 To Temper: 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 to 3 shallots, chopped
  • few curry leaves

Pressure cook daal up to 2 whistles adding turmeric powder, green chillies and salt. To this, add ground coconut paste. Cook for 5 more minutes adding little bit water. Heat 1 tbs ghee in a separate pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds and  fennel seeds. Add  red chillies, curry leaves and shallots, fry slightly. Pour the seasoning  into the curry. Serve with rice

My First Onasadya

I had intended to post this immediately after Onam. But I guess its better late than never. I was super-excited to prepare my first Onasadya. So I called up my sis over and we had a fun day purchasing veggies at the supermarket, cutting, chopping, grinding, cooking and finally serving it to Bee who waited patiently for the sadya to be prepared. Apart from the items displayed in the photo above, I also had moru kachiyathu and two types of payasams. One was the semiya payasam which I will be posting separately. The other was pazham pradhaman. The pradhaman turned out to be slightly on the sour side, maybe coz the nendrapazham was not too ripe? I need to try it out a few more times and perfect it before posting that one. Who knows if I'll have the time to do another one before I leave to another country where there maybe no nendrapazhams??
The sadya turned out to be great. Bee loved it especially since they were all new curries that I prepared for the first time, and he was enjoying the new flavours of kerala. There were so much leftovers, that I sent a lot of it with my sister. She in turn shared it with lots of her friends and I received a good feedback. Glad to know that I made some people deprived of onasadya happy this year :) What more could I ask for!!
I must thank the Kairali sisters from Pazham Pappadam Payasam to be generous enough to have a free e-book full of onasadya dishes, which came in useful for most of my sadya dishes.
Recipes of individual components of my sadya to follow soon :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fresh start

So I've been away from my blog for way too long. And it filled me with guilt coz I've enjoyed it so much. Also I've been cooking quite a lot, taking pictures and have not bothered to post any of them. Its just that there was so much going on in my life, that I was sort of banned from blogging until I finished all that work.
First came Onam, and I prepared my first ever Onasadya!! And it just made me feel so proud that I was able to make so many dishes in one day like a cook-off or a race. And I was surprised that most of the recipes were quite easy, and the fact that most of them did not require onions and garlic. Strange but I never knew. And then came Eid, and I tried out two different types of samosas. Unfortunately, they disappeared before I could take photos of them. And then I made my first ever Biryani, a Malabar Chicken Biryani which was again a big hit. And then more stuff just kept getting made on the way.
And then what else is new. Oh yes, I got MARRIED!! yayy.. to Bee of course. Nothing fancy, we just got it registered. Another big thing coming my way is that I'll be moving to USA soon. So I'm looking forward to have a bigger fancier kitchen with an oven finally! And cant imagine all the fresh berries and other fresh produce I'll get to experiment with, for my future blogging. Oh and I'll also get to experience snow for the first time. I'll be moving to a place called Mount Olive in New Jersey. I'm going on a long term onsite assignment and I did not wanna go there alone, of course. I just had to take Bee with me and he is all the more excited than I am. Coz he'll get to quit his job that he hates, and stay at home for a few years, learn cooking (ya right! but lets see) and just chill! Also he plans to learn few languages at his own pace, look at other career paths, so I think he deserves the break that he's been yearning for quite a while.
Bee banned me from blogging until I get all my papers in order and submit them at my company's travel desk. There was tons of paperwork so I just couldnt get back to blogging until now. And now, I'm thinking where to start! Get ready, lots of recipes to follow soon!