Monday, March 29, 2010


We are back after a fortnights break with this simple North Indian curry. Not that we were vacationing, we just got caught up with some personal errands that was long over due.

Red kidney beans gets the name because of its deep red skin and the visual resemblance to the kidney. In our homes, these beans are commonly cooked in a rich tomato based gravy with a hint of all the aromatic spices to finally call it the delicious Rajma.

Prep time (excluding the soaking) : 1hour

Red Kidney beans: 1 cup
Onions (finely chopped): 1/3 cup
Tomatoes (pureed): 2
Tomato ketchup: 2 tablespoons
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 teaspoons
Green chillies (slit): 2-3

Whole garam masala
Cardamom pods: 1-2
Bay leaves: 1
Cinnamon stick: 1
Cloves: 3-4
Star anise: 1

Jeera: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder: 2 teaspoons
Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
Chicken masala (optional): 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves: to garnish

* You could also use the canned pre-cooked red kidney beans for convenience sake.

Soak the red kidney beans over night. Pressure cook them with little turmeric (1 teaspoon), chilli powder and salt until soft. Heat some oil in another pan. Saute the jeera, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Add slit green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and the chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt. Let the onions start turning translucent and then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chicken masala mix well. Pour in the tomato puree and mix nicely until all the masala combines. Add the tomato ketchup. Also add some more water if you need to make it more gravyish. Add the boiled rajma beans and let everything come to a final boil. Give a gentle mash. Put lots of chopped coriander leaves and enjoy hot either with rice or rotis.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Every time we buy bananas, we think of posting something like banana bread or banana muffins but never end up doing it. However better late than never, thanks to one banana that has been crying out loud for quite a few days now has given way to this recipe. We are sure that your kids and all the sweet teeth in your house will relish this treat anytime of the day.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Ripe Banana: 1
Butter: 1 stick / 1/2 cup
Sugar: 3/4 cup
Egg: 1
All purpose Flour: 1 3/4 cup
Baking Powder: 2 teaspoons
Milk: 1/2 cup
Chocolate Chips: handful
Walnuts: handful

Beat butter, sugar and banana until smooth. Add the egg, milk and beat it well. Sieve the all purpose flour with the baking powder and keep aside. Add the sieved flour and mix the whole thing until absolutely smooth. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Scoop the batter into the greased muffin tray or into the muffin paper liners. Make sure the muffin tray pockets are only 3/4th filled to prevent overflow. Sprinkle a few oats to get a nice toasty feel to the muffin.

Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Bake until the muffins rise up fully and the center comes out clean when poked with a knife. Enjoy it as an evening snack or as a breakfast t0 go.

Thanks Sarah of Vazhayila for giving us the Sunshine award.
We would like to pass it on to Rak's Kitchen, 4th Sense of cooking, Yummy O Yummy, Thattukada, VeggieFare, TiffinCarrier, SimplySara, SailajaKitchen, PJ, BSaraswathy, Ratatouille and Nature Kitchen

Award winners, please pass this on to your favorite bloggers! Here are the Rules:

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers!
3. Link the nominees within your post
4. Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award


Monday, March 15, 2010

Idichakka/ Young Jackfruit Thoran

Jack fruits, young and ripe hanging down from the trees, ladies sitting together in the backyard cutting this gigantic fruit in spite of the stains n the buzzing flies and finally making all the yummy things of it, is one great snapshot of our memories of summer in Kerala.

This dish may not be a big deal for those living in the tropical climates who are blessed to eat this amazing fruit annually. But for people like us in Seattle, Asian food stores become the biggest boon providing all these deprived luxuries in a can. So here's a simple thoran made out of the young baby jack fruit which is highly fibrous and a great aid in cleaning the bowel system.

Prep Time:15-20 mins
Young green jack fruit: 1 Can
Garlic pods: 1-2
Ginger (chopped/optional):1 teaspoon
Pearl onions/Shallots (crushed): 3-4
Grated coconut: handful
Curry leaves: a whole sprig
Mustard seeds: 1 teaspoon
Rice: 1 teaspoon
Dried red chillies: 4-5
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

* If you are using fresh baby jack fruit, cut the inside into small pieces and boil it with some turmeric and salt until its cooked and keep aside. Since we have to restrict ourselves to the canned ones, its already soft sitting in the vinegar/salt water.

Drain out the baby jack fruit pieces from the can. Rinse thoroughly. Roughly smash it with a mortar and pestle until its flaky. Keep aside. Also roughly crush the pearl onions, garlic and the dried red chillies. Heat oil in a deep pan, splutter the mustard seeds, add the rice, curry leaves and chopped ginger. Saute for a min and then add the crushed onion-garlic -red chilli mixture. Sprinkle some salt and saute. When the rawness of the garlic and onions starts to fade away add the crumbled baby jack fruit pieces. Add turmeric powder and keep sauteing. Let it all mix in well. Finally add the grated coconut and keep tossing. The thoran is ready to serve with some hot steaming rice.

Our very first win !

We are so excited to share the news of our first win at an event- "Food for 7 stages of Life- Healthy Fast food " hosted by our Blogger friend Radhika. We have been so thrilled that anybody we meet now is forced to hear the story of our win.

When we heard of the event first, we were already at the last day of submissions and decided we didn't have time for anything elaborate. And with the very word "fastf ood", both of us jumped to say Fries and that's how our version of the Garlicy oven baked fries were born. Please stop by to look at the events round up for an amazing collection of quick n easy healthy fast food recipes.

This might sound like standing on a dais and giving an award acceptance speech and as much as the big list of "Thank yous" might get boring, we really owe that. So once again a big Thank you to Radhika for hosting this event and all our dear readers for the constant encouragement.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Trifle Pudding

Trifle pudding is a lovely English desert. The trifles of today have seen so much evolution from where it started being just a thick cream flavored with sugar, ginger and rosewater. Now there are a gazillion versions that grace the tables at homes and restaurants around the world. To us, the Trifle is one of those delicious yet very light- feeling deserts, full of flavors and textures that can be made without much trouble to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Prep time: 40 mins - 1 hr

Milk: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Custard powder: 3-4 tablespoons
Plain yellow cake (crumbled): 1 cup
Jello (Any flavor): 1 pack
Cool whip/ Fresh whipped cream: 1 cup

Apple (finely cubed): 1/4 cup
Banana (finely cubed): 1
Strawberries (finely cubed): 2-3
Seedless grapes (finely cubed): 1/4 cup
Mixed nuts (Almonds,Walnuts, Cashews): handful
Maaza (An Indian mango nectar drink ): 1/4 cup

* Brushing the cake with Maaza or any mango based drink adds a sweet mango flavor to the pudding. If you don't have Maaza, you could just use lil bit of milk and sugar.
* You can use any fruits of your choice. However don't use citrusy fruits as they will change the consistency of the custard.
* We used the Brown & Polson vanilla custard mix and followed directions given behind.
* Due to time constraints, we used the ready made cake batter mix. You could also use our marble cake recipe without adding the chocolate to get the plain yellow cake.

Make the yellow cake according to the recipe. Let it cool, slice the cake and keep aside. Start by preparing the jello, based on the instructions behind the packet and let it set until firm. To make the custard heat milk in a pot, add sugar and continuously stir. Take aside little milk to dissolve the custard powder until free of lumps and pour it into the boiling milk. Continuously stir on a low flame until the custard thickens. Make sure the custard doesn't get burnt. Take it off from heat and let it cool completely. To fasten this process, place the custard pot in a plate filled with ice cubes. Peel and cube the fruits and keep aside. If you are using heavy whipping cream, beat it with a little sugar until it has firm peaks otherwise use cool whip.

You can set the trifle pudding in a large glass dish or individual ramekins. For layering
  • Crumble the yellow cake and press it down to the bottom.
  • Slightly brush the Maaza or Mango drink over the top of the cake. Add some more crumbled cake.
  • Pour the custard once its fully cooled.
  • Add the cubed fruits and nuts.
  • Slice/cube the jello and lay it over the fruits and nuts.
  • Finally top the jello with loads of cool whip and spread it evenly.
  • Finish it up with cut up Bananas or Strawberries and a dust of chocolate shavings.
Cover it tight and refrigerate it for about 3-4hrs. Serve cold. Dig in...

Fresh Grated Coconut

Wondering what this post is all about..Well we came across something very interesting on Food network "Good Eats" some time ago and we decided we have got to share this with our dear readers. Using the frozen grated coconut has been our only option (for convenience sake) and sometimes not finding it in the Indian grocers can be annoying since we mallus need this for anything and everything.
Now, here's a not-so strenuous technique to get fresh grated coconut at your home.

Prep time: 20- 25 mins
  • Buy a whole coconut from your local grocer. (A tip to know if its nice is to shake and check for lots of water in it)
  • Pierce the so called eyes or the 3 spots on the face of the coconut with a screwdriver or just use your drill to make holes on them. Empty all the coconut water by turning it down to a glass.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 375 F. Make sure all the coconut water has come out before you put in the oven.
  • Keep this whole coconut in the oven to bake for 15-20 mins.
  • Take it off and just hit the coconut with a hammer. The shell will just crack open. Now pull out the fruit inside using a knife.
  • Peel the brown skin using a peeler and roughly cut in into smaller pieces.
  • Put these pieces in the blender or the food processor and use the grate or shred option to get fresh delicious coconut right at your home.

Wasn't that bad right.. So just give it a try!!!

Thank you Kairali sisters ( for the "Honest Scrap" award.

We would like to share this award with Homemakers Diary (Sayantani -an inspiring Bong mom), Padhuskitchen (Padhu ,the animal lover through edible art), Look who is cooking (open book for her wonderful pics), Will-O'-the -Wisp (Varsha,our neighbour blogger), Collaborative Curry (another passionate cooking duo like us)

Now, it's not enough just to grab this award, there are conditions and obligations in receiving it:

a) I must brag about it.
b) Display the badge on my blog and link to the one who tagged me to prove that I didn't tag myself (how pathetic that would be!)
c) Share 10 things about myself.
d) Pass the award to other fellow bloggers by visiting their site.

Here you go..10 things about us...

1. We are big TV buffs whose calenders are booked on Tuesday's and Thursday's for LOST and SURVIVOR.... husbands also included.
2. We literally spend so much time together we often answer each other phone calls.
3. Love to play board games and most weekends stretch till early dawn (recent favorite "Bang the Bullet")
4. We enjoy new cuisines and always in the lookout of new restaurants.
5. Have lots of great girlfriends who we drag along for shopping and hours and hours of gossiping.
6. We are getting ready for the summer in Seattle with lots of yoga and swimming.
7. Love to go and spend hours and hours in home decor stores.
8. We never say no to lunch or dinner invitations from our acquaintance ;)
9. Music is always in the background when we cook.
10. We are hardcore Fishetarians trying at least one new fish every week..


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