Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Fruit Cake

Dashing through the snow, in one horse open sleigh,
Over the fields we go, laughing all the way
Bells on Bob tails ring, making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight.

Jingle bells , jingle bells , jingle all the way !
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells , jingle bells , jingle all the way !
Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.

With all the carols on the radio, lights on the streets and amazing display of treats and candies in stores, all of us get lost in the festive spirits of the joyous Christmas season even without realizing it. Whether you are still shopping for the gifts or just still decorating the tree and hanging up stockings for Santas gifts, take some time out to try this Xmas special fruit cake. This is our experiment to keep with the mallu tradition to have fruit cake with a glass of homemade fruit wine to kick start the great day.

We wish you and all your loved ones a Merry Christmas!!!!!

Eggs: 3 Large
All purpose flour: 1 cup
Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon
Butter: 2 sticks/8 oz
Brown Sugar: 2/3 cup
All Spice powder: 2 1/2 teaspoons
(Powder the following : Nutmeg-1/4 teaspoon, Cloves- 2-3, Cinnamon powder - 1/2 teaspoon, Cardamom- 2 pods, ginger powder - 1/2 teaspoon)
Lemon Zest: 1/2 teaspoon
Orange Zest: 1/2 teaspoon
Rum: 2 Tablespoons
White Sugar (Caramelized): 1/3 cup
Nuts: 1/4 cup
Candied Fruits (pre-soaked in rum/brandy): 1/4 cup
(Candied fruits can be glazed cherries, pineapples, raisins, dates, dried cranberries or whatever other dried fruits of your choice)
*Its better to pre-soak the dried fruits in rum or brandy at least one day in advance.
*Keep the butter and eggs at room temperature for some time before you start to make the cake.

Begin by beating the butter and sugar until smooth. Slowly add in the eggs one by one and beat until ivory. Add the vanilla essence. Sieve the all purpose flour and add the baking powder, spice powder and keep aside. Slowly mix in this flour to the beaten mixture in little portions. Meanwhile caramelize sugar into a dark brown syrup.Make sure the sugar doesn't get burnt in this process. Add the caramelized sugar syrup and mix thoroughly. Add the lemon and orange zest, nuts and soaked fruits and the remaining rum if any. Do not use the hand mixer or blender after this because the nuts and the candied fruits might get ground up. Use a spatula instead and keep mixing the batter in one direction until it is smooth in a pourable consistency.
Pre heat the oven at 350° F. Grease a baking pan with some butter and pour this batter and bake until the center comes out clean when you poke with a knife. It should approximately take 30-45 mins.

Let it completely cool down before you slice it. It stays fresh for more than one week if stored in an air tight container. Enjoy this festive delight with your family n friends and have a happy holiday season.

Sending the above recipe to Cakes n Cookies Event hosted by Sara of Sara's Corner. Also to Dil Se for the event Show Me Your Cake

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mutton Stew

If you are digging for recipes this holiday season when the whole family is at home, Idiappams or Appams with this stew will make a great meal at anytime of the day. The mutton stew with a very slight variation from our original recipe has the vegetables, meat and seasoning slow cooked in the rich mutton broth which captures and enhances its flavor in every spoon.

Mutton (cubed) : 1/2 lb
Potatoes (cubed): 1/4 cup
Carrots (cubed): A handful
Onions (sliced): 1/2 cup
Green Chilies (slit): 3-4
Ginger (chopped): 1 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Coconut Milk: 1/2 cup
Pepper corn/powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Cardamom pods: 1
Star Anise: 1
Cinnamon sticks: 1-2
Bay leaves: 1-2
Cloves: 4-5

* The same process can be followed with chicken for those who prefer it over mutton.

Heat some oil in a pressure cooker. Add the raw spices (cardamom pods, star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves), green chili, ginger, garlic, onions and sauté. Add the mutton pieces, potatoes, sprinkle a little salt and sauté. Add some water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistle. Once the mutton pieces are soft, add the carrots and let it cook on low flame. After about 5-10 minutes the everything will be mixed with the flavors of the gravy. Add coconut milk and let it simmer one last time. Adjust the salt and add more pepper if you need. Garnish the stew with the seasoning of fried small onions (chopped) and curry leaves.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Eggplant / Vazhuthananga Mezhkkupuratti

Here's another simple dish from the beautiful eggplant that hardly takes 15 mins from start to finish. Enjoy this dry fry with a simple dal and a bowl of rice to make a perfect thaali (complete platter in Indian) meal.


Eggplant/Vazhuthananga (cubed/Sliced): 1 Cup
Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Green Chili (slit): 3-4
Curry Leaves: Handful
Fenugreek/Uluva seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli Powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

* We have used the long variety (cucumber shaped) eggplant.
* Here is a tip to enhance the taste of fenugreek in any of your preparation, instead of storing whole fenugreek seeds, give it a slight grind to get a good mix of its powder and chunks.

Heat some oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves and the fenugreek seeds. Add the cubed eggplant and saute well. Note that eggplant drinks up quite a bit of oil to cook, so add accordingly. Add all the spices and saute well. Once the eggplant coats well on the spices, take it off from heat and serve hot as a side. Just make sure that the eggplant doesn't get very mushy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Methi Dal

Here is our first recipe for a super simple lentil curry called "dal" which is a common staple in most Indian homes. Not only does this dal make a whole meal by itself , it makes a great side that is poured over rice or rotis dipped into. We added a little twist to make this simple dal a lil more exciting by adding some fresh methi leaves we got at our local Indian grocers.Give this recipe a try and dig in with all your hands either with rotis or rice.

Split Moong Dal: 1 cup
Fresh Methi/fenugreek Leaves (chopped): 1 bunch
Red Onions (Finely Chopped): 1/2 cup
Tomatoes (cubed): 1/2 cup
Green Chillies (slit): 2-3
Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (whole): 1pod
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 2 teaspoons
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 2 teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Amchur/chat masala: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

* You can use the combination of toor dal and moong dal in equal portions or either one.
* If you have all the patience in the world you can pick out all the leaves and use or you could roughly chop the top bit of the bunch including the stem like us.

Pressure cook the toor/moong dal with garlic, ginger, green chillies, cubed tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Meanwhile heat some oil in a pan, splutter the cumin seeds, add chopped onions and saute. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, chat masala and some garam masala. Mix well. Now add the methi leaves and saute until the rawness of everything goes away. After the dal in the cooker is done, just mash up a little using the back of the spoon and add the sauteed masala into the dal. Give a final boil while adjusting the salt and spice. Finish up with some chopped up coriander leaves.

Enjoy hot!!

Stuffed Baingan Bake

The eggplant with its striking deep purple color is rich in potassium and is a common harvest in our tropical country. It is amazing to see its varied use in the different state cuisines within the same country. Here is a very fast and healthy recipe that can be served as an appetizer or a side.


Small sized Eggplants/Baingan: 5-6
Onions (finely chopped): 1/2 cup
Tomatoes (finely chopped): 1/2 cup
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
Green Chillies (finely chopped): 2 teaspoons
Coriander leaves/Cilantro (chopped): handful
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chili powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Curry/Chicken masala (Optional): 1 teaspoon
Chat Masala: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Cut the eggplants into halves and scoop out the center (the seedy part) with a spoon. Keep this center aside for the filling. Rub the bowl like eggplants with salt, pepper and some oil. Heat some oil in a pan, splutter the jeera seeds. Add ginger-garlic paste, chopped green chillies, onions and saute well. Add all the dry masala powder and mix while also adding in the scooped out seedy part of the eggplant. Stir well, add chopped tomatoes and adjust the salt and spice levels. Throw in the chopped cilantro and give a final mix. You can use this filing alternatively as a sabzi.

Stuff the eggplants with this filing. Drizzle some oil over it and bake at 350 for about 15-20 mins till the eggplant is nicely cooked on the outside.

Enjoy it hot with rotis or rice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Whole Chicken Bake

Thanksgiving is a big festival that is celebrated in this part of the globe with grandeur in terms of food. It has traditionally been a time to express thanks and gratitude to a long list of people for the well being including Mother Nature for the lovely harvest each year. The impressive feast offers a full-size spread starting from the big bird Turkey to mashed potatoes to cranberry sauce to the green bean casserole finishing with a warm pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving has gained popularity over time even with us folks who were not familiar with it and we now look at it as another occasion to share joy and good food with friends and family. Though we didn’t get deep in making the big feast, we have used this mood to experiment in making a Desi- American style Whole Chicken Bake with Focassia bread stuffing.


Whole chicken (cleaned & marinated): 1


Turmeric powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli Powder: 3-4 teaspoons
Chicken Masala: 2-3 teaspoons
Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
Garlic powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves (finely chopped): 2 tablespoons
Mint leaves (finely chopped): 2 tablespoons
Ginger garlic paste: 2 teaspoons
Lemon juice: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Fresh Thyme leaves (shredded): 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oil: 1/4 cup

Stuffing (Optional)

Celery sticks (finely cubed): 1 1/2 tablespoons
Focassia bread (cubed): 1/4 cup
chicken broth: 2-3 tablespoon (just enough to keep the stuffing moist)
Green chillies (Slit): 2-3
Garlic (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Egg (beaten): 1
Cheese (Grated): 1 teaspoon
Thyme leaves: a pinch
Pepper to taste

For garnish saute the following

Butter or Olive oil to saute
Baby potatoes: 1/4 cup
Carrots (sliced): 1/4 cup
Pearl Onions/Shallots (whole): 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Thyme leaves: a pinch

* We have used Pathak brand's spicy ginger garlic paste.
* Also we used chilli garlic sauce in the marinade to step up the spice level to our liking.
* We have used store bought focassia bread slices for stuffing.

Clean and remove the skin and fat of the chicken without doing much damage to its shape. Rinse the inside cavity thoroughly after removing the inner parts. Pat it dry. Make slight cuts on the thighs and breasts to ensure the masala seeps in well. Mix all the dry powders of the marinade with some oil and lemon juice. Add the chopped coriander, mint and thyme leaves. Adjust the salt and spice. Smear the chicken inside and out generously with this marinade. It is best to keep it refrigerated overnight or else 3.4 hours is also good enough.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Slightly toast the chopped focassia bread in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take it out from the oven and keep aside. Heat some olive oil or butter in a pan. Saute the chopped garlic and slit green chilies. Add onions and celery and saute well. sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme and stir well. Add this mixture into the toasted bread pieces and mix well. While the pan is hot pour the beaten egg to make a scramble. Add grated cheese, the egg scramble into the bread mixture. Add chicken stock to keep the stuffing moist.

Trussing is a procedure done to retain the shape of the whole chicken as it bakes. Here is the video that will help you understand the process. If you are stuffing the chicken, first fill the stuffing before you truss. Make sure not to keep the stuffing too packed giving enough room for the inside to cook.

Raise oven temperature to 450° F. Take a deep baking dish pour 1 can of chicken stock into this. Keep the baking tray over it and place the chicken and bake until meat is all cooked. Make sure to flip sides after 35-40 minutes. When you are flipping you can brush some more oil if you think the chicken is looking dry. If you are using the cooking thermometer, you know the chicken is done when the temperature reaches around 175-180° F in the thighs and breasts.

We served this baked chicken on a bed of sauteed baby potatoes, carrots and shallots. You can also serve this on a bed of lettuce. Cut the chicken and enjoy it hot with any side of your liking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Kick start your Indo-Chinese dinner night with this comforting sweet corn chicken soup. The sweet corn kernels and spicy green chillies cooked in a chicken broth do a balancing act with flavors to make this soup a favorite among all age groups.


Creamed style corn (can) :1
Chicken stock: 2 Cups
Chicken (shredded) : 1/3 cup
Egg: 1
Green chillies (cut up): 4-5
Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Corn starch: 2 teaspoons
Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
White vinegar: 2 teaspoons
Chilli garlic sauce: to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

* For vegetarians, you could the skip the shredded chicken and make the soup in vegetable broth.

Begin with diluting the corn starch in some chicken stock and keep aside. Empty the corn into a large pot. Pour in the chicken stock and add the chopped ginger, green chillies and shredded chicken and mix well. Start to boil. Add the diluted cornstarch. Stir continuously so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chilli garlic sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and mix well. Now beat up an egg and pour into this boiling pot. The egg will disintegrate into stretchy white pieces. Keep stirring. Adjust the salt and spice levels. You could add more chilli garlic sauce if you need.

Enjoy it hot!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chow chow Fried Rice

Here's quick n easy Indo-Chinese recipe for a fried rice using your left over rice and freshly cut up veggies. Put together anything and everything you like in a wok and stir up this yummy meal. If you were wondering whats with the name, Chow chow was just a random word that came up in our minds to add some Chinese spirit into this meal.


*Cooked Basmati /Sona Masoori Rice: 1 1/2 cup
Carrots (finely sliced) :1/4 cup
Green Beans (finely cut): 1/4 cup
Colored bell peppers (finely sliced): 1/4 cup
Broccoli (Cut): 1/4 cup
Cabbage (finely shredded): 1/4 cup
Green Chilies (slit): 4-5
Ginger (finely sliced): 1 tablespoon
Spring/green Onions: 1 bunch
Shredded Chicken (optional):1/4 cup
Egg: 1
Soy Sauce: 2 teaspoons
White Vinegar: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Red Chili garlic Sauce: 2-3 tablespoons
Oil to stir-fry
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

* Only thing to note while using cooked rice, is that you shouldn't use overcooked rice as the fried rice might get lumpy.
*Choice of vegetables is entirely up to your choice. Celery sticks, Mushrooms and Corn kernels are other things you can further add on.
*If you are adding chicken to this recipe, you will have to fry the shredded chicken pieces and keep aside before proceeding with below procedure.

Heat some oil in wok. Fry the sliced ginger and green chillies. Add all the cut vegetables and stir fry on medium to high heat. Sprinkle salt, add the soy sauce, vinegar and the chilli garlic sauce and mix well. When the vegetables start to cook, add the rice and toss well. Don't wait too long to add the rice as the vegetables might lose their crunch. Add the fried chicken and mix well. Meanwhile slightly beat the egg. Make a little space in the centre of the wok, moving the vegetables and rice to the corners. Pour the beaten egg into the wok and constantly stir until the egg fully cooks. Give everything a final toss. Check the salt and spice levels. Take it off from heat and garnish with freshly cut up green/spring onions .

Enjoy them hot.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Unniappam, one of the best creation from the kerala kitchen is a real sweet indulgence in every bite. A popular snack from the traditional days is now popularly become a festive specialty and a common prasadam at many Ganapati temples. These appams get the round ball like shape from the pan it is made in called the "Unniappam pan/Appakaaram". In short this appam is a perfect bite with a crunch on the outside and a soft center.


Rice flour: 1 cup
Ripe Bananas (mashed): 3/4 cup
Jaggery (melted): 1/2- 3/4 cup
*Jaggery melted can be adjusted according to your sweetness liking.
Aval/Poha/Rice flakes (soaked in water): 1/4 cup
Sesame seeds: 1 table spoon
Coconut cuts: 2 tablespoons
Cardamom pods (powdered): 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee: 1 tablespoon
Oil to fry

* Sesame seeds can be either white or black, depending on its availability. We have used the white ones here.
*Small bananas are a better choice for making unniappams, however if you don't find them you can make them with the regular Chiquita bananas.

Grind together the mashed bananas, rice flour, melted jaggery, soaked aval with enough water to make semi liquidy batter. Please note that it shouldn't get too liquidy or too thick, but at the same time it should be easy to pour out similar to Idli batter.
Meanwhile heat some ghee and fry the coconut cuts until golden. Pour the remaining ghee and the fried coconut cuts into the batter and mix well. Add the cardamom powder and mix thoroughly.

Heat some oil in the Unniappam pan/Appakaaram. Scoop out the batter and pout into the individual pits of the pan. The center of the appams start to rise as they cook. At this time, you can turn it around easily with a fork or a pointed stick. Fry until all sides are uniformly brown. Be careful not to burn them up. Take them out and drain off the excess oil.

*Make sure to have oil in each of the pits at all times while making them. However don't fill oil beyond half of the pit as the oil will tend to seep out.

Enjoy them warm. These unniappams can stay fresh for up to a week if stored in an airtight jar.

Mediterranean lentil soup

With the winter setting in early here at Seattle, we are always looking for comfort foods for dinner time and there is nothing better than a bowl of hot soup. This soup was one such experiment, where we tried to recreate the taste of a lentil soup we once had at a Mediterranean Restaurant. Not only is this soup very quick to make, it is filling and equally refreshing with hints of lemon here and there.


Split moong dal: 1 cup
Tomatoes (cubed): 1
Garlic pods (whole): 2-3
Green chilli (slit): 2-3
Dried dill weed: 1 tablespoon
Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

* Water can be thrice the quantity of dal. However you can adjust the consistency of the soup from being thick to thin adding more water.

Pressure cook the moong dal, cubed tomatoes garlic pods, green chillies with enough water until the dal is well cooked. Keep stirring so that the dal is completely mushed up. Add salt, a dash of pepper, the dried dill weed and let it boil. Drizzle the heart healthy olive oil into it. Take it off from heat once everything come to a boil. Just before serving squeeze some fresh lemon into it.

Enjoy it hot with a slice of toasted pita bread.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thenga varutharacha Njandu/Crab with roasted coconut

Crab has one of the most tender and tasty meats among the shell fish family. For those who might shun it away because of its dreadful look, we recommend each one of you to give it a try. And for some who have gone beyond the looks and don't know how to eat, give it a shot at home with this recipe without worrying about the mess on your hands and teeth.


Crab (Cleaned & cut): 4-5 small/medium ones marinated in salt, pepper, turmeric and chilli powder
Shallots /red onions (finely sliced): 1/2 cup
Green chillies (slit): 2-3
Ginger (finely sliced):1 teaspoon
Garlic (finely sliced): 1 1/2 teaspoons
Tomatoes (finely sliced): 1/3 cup
Curry leaves: handful
Tamarind pulp: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

*Coconut dry roast masala: 1/2 cup

This can be made by roasting the following in some oil until golden brown and rawness of the masala goes away.
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Shallots: 2-3
Dried red chillies: 4-5
Curry leaves: 2-3
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Chicken masala: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder : 1 teaspoon

* We have used pre cleaned and cut crabs available in Asian food stores. However, here's a video that can help you understand how to clean and cut crabs.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Fry the green chillies, sliced ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Add the sliced onions and saute well until golden. Now add the sliced tomatoes and marinated crab and mix well. Keep stirring until the tomatoes get soft. Meanwhile take the dry roasted coconut masala, tamarind pulp and grind it with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the crab and let it simmer in this gravy on medium heat. Keep mixing while adjusting your salt and spice levels until all the rawness of spices is gone. Crab meat cooks very fast and can be recognized when it turns into a whitish color. Keep stirring well until all the gravy has fully reduced to coat the crabs. However this dish can also be served with a little gravy.

Enjoy this on a warm bed of rice or with plain hot parathas.

Ayala/Mackerel curry

Mackerel has a very meaty texture and is equally delicious in both curry and fried form. Being a tropical specie it is a commonly found fish in India and even more popular in the fish loving state of Kerala. Here is a very simple yet elegant recipe of a fish curry that can make any of your meals a little more enjoyable.


Mackerel/Ayala (cut into medium size): 5-7 pieces marinated in turmeric, chili powder and salt
Green Chilli (slit): 2-3
Ginger (finely sliced): 1 teaspoon
Shallots/Red Onions (sliced): 1/4 cup
Curry Leaves: handful
Grated Coconut: 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Chili Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Uluva/Fenugreek: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil

*Adjust the sourness in the curry by using any one or a combination of the following
Tomatoes (Chopped): 1/4 cup
Tamarind pulp: 1 teaspoon
Raw Mango (cubed): 3-4
Curd: 1/4 cup

In a dash of coconut oil slightly saute uluva, onions, green chillies and ginger. Add chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. Add the marinated fish pieces and pour some tamarind water. Cover and let the fish cook in the steam. Make sure not stir the fish too much as it tends to break. Meanwhile grind the grated coconut, turmeric powder and jeera with little water to make a smooth paste. For those using curd you can mix it to the coconut paste. Now pour this coconut paste to the simmering fish. Cover and cook for some more time until all the rawness is gone. Adjust salt and spice level to your liking. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil and curry leaves and keep it covered. You can do a optional seasoning with finely sliced shallots fried until golden brown.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prawns Biryani

Biryani can easily be crowned as the most popular dish to add grandeur to any occasion. It is a preparation of rice with vegetables or meat and some of the most flavorful spices slowly cooked to perfection. The etymology of the word Biryani speaks for its great importance within so many cuisines and the various adaptions made of the recipe with every new region it has entered. From Hyderabadi to Lucknowi to Bangladeshi to Malabari, there are different styles in making Biryani and we are here giving you a simple recipe of our home style Biryani.


Prawns/Shrimp (Deveined& cleaned): 3/4 cup
Chili Powder: 2 tablespoons
Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: one whole sprig
Basmati Rice: 1 cup
Onions (finely sliced):1 cup
(kept in 3 portions - one for the rice, one for the prawns mixture and the rest for garnishing)
Green Chilies (slit): 3-4
Ginger-Garlic paste or whole ginger/garlic finely sliced: 1 tablespoon
Tomatoes (finely sliced): 3/4 cup
Coriander leaves: 1/2 a bunch
Mint leaves: 1/2 a bunch
Biryani Masala: 1 tablespoon
Cloves: 1/2 teaspoon
Pepper corns: 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon Stick: 1-2
Bay leaves: 3-4
Cardamom pods: 3-4
Fennel seeds/Saunf/Perinjeerakam: 1 teaspoon
Khas khas (optional): 1 teaspoon
Ghee: 2 tablespoons
Oil as required

* We have used the pressure cooker to make the rice, however you can also make the rice in the rice cooker to suit your convenience.
* For one cup of rice use one and half cup of water
* Note that the below procedures needs to be done simultaneously.

Wash the rice and drain well. Heat some ghee in a pressure cooker, add some of the whole garam masala mix, sliced onions and saute well. Add the rice and fry about 5 mins. Sprinkle salt and add one and half times boiling hot water and mix well into the rice. Check the salt level as the prawns mixture will also have salt in it. Cover it with the pressure cooker's lid without the whistle until steam starts to come. Now keep the whistle on and cook at medium heat for about 10-15 mins. Turn off the heat and keep aside. Once cooled a little, take the rice out.

Marinate the prawns with chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and keep it aside overnight or a minimum of 2 hours. Heat some oil and fry the prawns. Once soft, take it off from the heat and keep aside. Don't let it overcook as the meat gets rubbery. Also note that all the water coming out from the prawns does not need to completely dry up. Now with the rest of the oil, add in the whole garam masala (bay leaves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves) and saute. Stir in the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and half of the sliced onions and saute until the onions start to turn golden. Grind the fennel seeds and the khas khas with a little water and add to the onions. Add the Biryani masala and saute well. Adjust the salt and spiciness by adding more chilli powder if needed. Add the sliced tomatoes and mix well. Also add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Cover and let it cook until all the spices have mixed well. Add the fried prawns and keep stirring until all the masala is well coated on the prawns. Turn off the heat and keep aside. Now layer this prawns masala with the cooked rice.

Fry the raisins and cashews in ghee. Also fry some of the sliced onions until caramelized. Chop some coriander and mint leaves. Garnish the topmost layer with these. Cover tight and keep on low heat or bake for 10 mins in the oven at 350 F.

Serve hot. The best accompaniment would be a bowl of Raita and Pappad.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Unnakkai is a specialty commonly made in parts of North Malabar during the holy month of Ramadan during the fast opening ceremony. This recipe blends in two of the most commonly seen items from a Kerala kitchen,i.e, Coconut and Plantains. This sweet rich explosion of taste is sure to win over your stomachs.


Ripe plantains (steamed): 2
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Cardamom pods: 1
Cashew nuts: 1 tablespoon
Raisins: 1 tablespoon
Ghee: 2 teaspoons
Oil to fry

Cut the ripe plantain and steam it until cooked and soft. Pull out the center black seeds and mash up the soft banana with a teaspoon of ghee into a nice soft dough. Next, heat some oil and one teaspoon of ghee for an additional flavor. Add the raisins, cashew nuts and fry until golden. Add the grated coconut and saute well. Add sugar, sprinkle cardamom pods powdered and mix well. Saute well until everything gets mixed well. Turn off the heat. Now take the banana dough, divide into small balls and make little scoops by flattening it on your palm. Fill some of the coconut mixture into these scoops. Seal the edges and roll it into the shape as per the picture. Now shallow fry these until slightly golden . Serve them warm and enjoy.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rum n Raisin Chocolate Cake

Here's a delicious chocolaty cake with a little kick for our dear readers to try this weekend. This cake with a subtle hint of rum is a perfect kill for all the chocolate craving in you. So just go ahead and give it a shot.


Golden raisins: handful
Walnuts (Optional): handful
Spiced rum: 1/4 cup
Eggs : 2 small
Butter: 3/4 cup
All purpose flour: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1 1/4 cups
Unsweetened cocoa powder: 1/3 cup
Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
Water: 1 cup

* Butter and eggs at room temperature will contribute towards a better cake.
* Those who do not want to use rum, can simply add dry raisins. However note that the taste of the rum is very subtle.

Soak a handful of golden raisins in the spiced rum for a minimum of 2 hours, though its best if kept overnight. Begin by beating the sugar and butter until nice and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well until ivory. Sieve the all purpose flour, cocoa and baking powder well and keep these dry ingredients aside. Meanwhile boil the water and let it cool. Slowly fold in the dry flour mix to the beaten egg and mix well simultaneously loosening the batter with warm water. Beat well. Add the soaked raisins and walnuts and give a final mix.

Preheat the oven at 350° F. Butter a baking dish and pour out the cake batter and bake for about 25-35 mins. Keep a close eye and let it bake until you poke a knife in the center and it comes out clean. Turn off the oven and keep the cake outside. Once completely cooled, cut into little bites and indulge into these at anytime.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin