Monday, May 31, 2010

Pachakkaya Payar Thoran / Raw plaintain long yard beans stir fry

The other day while watching a Malayalam Movie "Neelathamara" which is set in olden Kerala, reminded  us of our ancestral homes with  big backyards of vegetable gardens.The interesting bit was when we heard of a  recipe in the movie. Funny isnt it.. Thanks to blogging, our ears automatically tune to hear anything about food..
Its just a casual scene where the mother tells the maid to make a little stir fry using Raw Plantains and Long yard beans she plucked from the garden with little this n that..We had never tried this combination, but tweaked the original recipe a little bit to get this thoran and verdict; we love it now..

Raw plantain (cubed): 1
Long yard beans/Pacha Payar (chopped): 1/2 cup
Garlic: 1-2 pods
Shallots/Pearl Onions: 4-5
Ginger (chopped): 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: handful
Grated Coconut: 1/4 cup
Dried Red chillies: 2-3
Green chillies (slit): 1-2
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon + lil more for washing the plantains
Chilli powder: 1 teaspoon

Cube the raw plaintain and keep in turmeric water for about 10 mins. It helps in washing off the strechy stains. Meanwhile chop the long yard beans and keep aside. Roughly crush the garlic, pearl onions and the red chillies. Heat some oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add curry leaves and the crushed garlic and onions. Add the chopped ginger and green chillies. Add a little turmeric powder and saute. Now add the rinsed plantain pieces and cover and let it cook for a bit. When it starts to get a little soft, add the long yard beans and keep stirring. Cover for some more time. When the water from the steam starts to come in, take off the lid and keep stirring. Add the grated coconut. Adjust the salt.Once both the veggies are cooked, take it off from the heat.

Enjoy this great side.

We are sending this recipe to Green Gourmet event hosted by Preeti of Write food.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tomato Fish Curry

We are regular customers at this small cozy mallu restaurant in U-district named "Chillies" and each time we make sure we don't miss out ordering their yummy red color Trout curry. Apart from the delicious food, its the warm hospitality of the owner, whom we fondly call Chechi (which means sister in Malayalam) that draws us there almost every other weekend. One such weekend while we were drowned enjoying the fish curry with the hot dosas, we asked her for the recipe and she readily shared it.The tweak in this recipe is that it doesn't use any puli/tamarind but uses lots of red tangy tomatoes. So just go out and try this deadly fish curry which is one of our favorites.


Medium sized Tomatoes (chopped): 2-3
Shallots/Pearl onions (chopped): 4-5
Garlic (finely chopped): 1 teaspoon
Ginger (finely chopped): 1 teaspoon
Green chillies (slit): 2-3
Curry leaves: handful
Mustard seeds:1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli Powder: 2-3 teaspoons
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Coconut mlik: 1/4 cup
Water: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Rainbow trout (cubed and marinated): 6-7 pieces

* We usually marinate the fish as soon we bring it home in salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder.
* With the experience of buying fish for the last few years here in Seattle, we recommend Rainbow trout is best for making our Indian style fish curies because it doesn't break up easily and holds in the masalas well.
* You can either use coconut oil or regular cooking oil. But the former yields a better taste.

Heat some oil in an earthen pot (chatti) or deep pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the fenugreek seeds, chopped ginger, garlic, pearl onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Sprinkle some salt. When the onion start to get cooked add turmeric powder, chili powder and coriander powder and saute well. Let the rawness of the spices go. Add the chopped tomatoes with some water; cover and cook.  When the tomatoes starts to get cooked, add the marinated fish and let everything come to a good boil. Add the coconut milk. Let it simmer while you adjust the salt and spice levels. Once the fish is cooked, turn off the heat. Add a few more curry leaves and keep it covered. Serve it with hot steaming rice.

And just to get you guys drooling here is the picture of our lunch today...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eggplant/Baingan fry

Another super easy recipe with Eggplant which hardly takes less than 5 mins to prepare. For all those on the run and have hardly any time in the kitchen, this will surely impress you...

Prep Time: 10 mins
Eggplant (cut in circles) : 1


Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli flakes/Chilli powder: 2-3 teaspoons
Jeera/Cumin powder: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Chaat Masala/Aamchur: 1 Teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1/2 teaspoon
Besan/Gram Flour: 1 tablespoon
Water: 1 table spoon or more
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Mix all the ingredients in the marinade with a spoon  to a smooth paste. Adjust the salt and spice. Rub it on both sides of cut slices of Eggplant. Drizzle  some oil in a pan. You don't even need to shallow fry. Just keep turning these marinated eggplants until they get crispy. Great side for rice or roti.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Veggie Quesadilla

This is nothing like a  Mexican Quesadilla, except we  borrowed  the name. Its the easiest version we make here at home and you could alternate the filling to your choice and availability  of things. Try out this perfectly scrumptious snack that will please anybody in the family.
Prep Time: 10 mins

Tortillas: 1-2
Garlic (chopped): 2 teaspoons
Red Onions (finely cubed): 1/4 cup
Colored bell peppers (finely cubed): 1/4 cup
Eggplant (finely cubed): 1/4 cup
Red Chilli Flakes: 1 tablespoon or more
Any tomato sauce: 2 tablespoons
Mozzarella cheese: 2 slices
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

*You could also chicken cubes or even cubed paneer to make it more interesting. We used eggplant instead since we didn't have the former.

Heat some oil in a pan, saute the chopped garlic, red onions. Add the cubed egg plant and saute. Add the chilli flakes and now add the cubed bell peppers. Sprinkle some salt and toss nicely. Add pepper if you want.

Take it off from the heat and keep aside. In a flat pan , pour a drop of oil and place the tortilla. Spread the tomato sauce evenly around. Place the sauteed veggies on one half. Tear up the mozzarella cheese slices and turn over the other half of the tortilla to get a semicircle. Let the cheese melt and the tortilla get a little toasty on both sides. Serve hot. We personally like it with a little hot sauce. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mango Lassi

Sweet ripe yellow mangoes have officially welcomed summer and with our lucky find of some yummy mangoes at Costco, we made this easy drink which is a specialty from Punjab. Back home in India yogurt is said to be the best remedy to beat the scorching heat, so lassi gets very popular around this time be it plain, mango or any other flavor.

Prep Time:  5 mins

Mango: 1
Sugar: 1 tablespoon or more to your preference
Curd/Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Milk: 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder (optional): a pinch

* We suggest Alphonso for the best result as it is pulpy and sweet, but you can substitute it with any other kind.
Peel the mango skin and cut up the fruit. beat it in the mixer with sugar and cardamom until smooth. Pour in cold yogurt and milk and beat once more. Adjust it to a pourable consistency by adding more milk if needed. Serve chill.

We are sending this to 'Show me your Smoothie' event at Dil Se by Divya (

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chana Masala

Chana which is a staple legume in North India also plays an eminent part of its cuisine. Another reason why this dish is something you are sure to see in the menu card in any Indian restaurant across the globe. Rich in proteins these beans are widely cooked and consumed in a completely different form in  the Mediterranean cuisine too.

Prep Time
: 20 mins

Chana/Garbanzo beans: 1 cup/1 can
Onions (finely chopped): 1/3 cup
Tomatoes (pureed): 2
Green Chilies: 2-3
Ginger: 1 teaspoon
Garlic: 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds: 2 teaspoons
Bay leaves: 1-2
Cardamom pods: 1
Nutmeg: a pinch
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chili Powder: 2 teaspoons
Coriander Powder: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Jeera Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Amchur (dry mango powder)/Chaat Masala: 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander/Cilantro leaves: handful

* For convenience sake we used the canned garbanzo beans which are already precooked. However you could soak the uncooked garbanzo beans overnight and pressure cook them until soft.

Grind the ginger, garlic and green chilies to a paste. Heat Oil in a deep pan. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, nutmeg and cardamom pods. Add the ginger-garlic-chili paste and saute until the rawness fades. Add the chopped onions, sprinkle a pinch of salt and keep sauteing till the onions turn translucent. Add all the masala powders (turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin, chaat, garam) and mix well. Add the tomato puree and keep sauteing until all the masala mix well in the gravy and the tomatoes are fully cooked. Now add the drained garbanzo beans and little water and mix well. Let it boil for about 10-15 minutes. Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and onions. Squeeze a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice just before serving. Pooris or batura are the best things on the earth you can have this chana masala with.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Choco Banana Berry Twist

Here's one easy smoothie you can just create in a jiffy and with these three distinct yummy flavors this drink is sure to impress your lil ones and may be even the whole family.

Prep time: 5 mins

Banana: 1
Strawberries: 5-6
Cocoa powder: 1 teaspoon
Milk: 1 1/2 cups
Sugar: 2 teaspoons + more if you need

First beat the banana in half cup milk until smooth. Pour into the glass Beat another cup of milk with the strawberries. Add a lil sugar if these berries are lil sour. Pour it into the glass. Beat the remaining milk with cocoa and sugar. Pour this into the glass. Give a gentle stir and serve cold.

sending this to 'Show me your Smoothie' event at Dil Se by Divya (

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Continuing on  a sweet note, here's one more  yummylicious desert which is more like a pudding made with  rice  and milk. This pudding when served cold in the earthen pots, has its own defining taste. Quite a popular road side  desert in North India, it  is very simple to make. Just go ahead and give it a try coz we promise every spoonful is worth it.

Prep time: 45 mins

Basmati Rice (soaked): 1/4 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup or more
Half and Half / Whole Milk: 1 cup
Cardamom Powder: 1 teaspoon
Pistachios (chopped): 2 tablespoon
Slivered almonds: 1 tablespoon
Saffron: a pinch
Rose water: 1 teaspoon

Soak the rice for about 2 hours. Grind it into a fine paste. Its doesn't have to extremely smooth. A little bit of the rice morsels will add a nice touch. Meanwhile heat the milk with the sugar continuously stirring to ensure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom. Add the rose water and cardamom powder. When the milk starts to get hot, add the ground rice paste and keeping stirring until the rice is fully cooked in the milk-sugar mixture. It will start to thicken.Turn off the heat after the rice is cooked and the milk is like a thickish  custard consistency. Stir in the chopped nuts. Mix the saffron in little milk and add to the pudding. Set it in individual bowls and let it chill. Serve cold.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Our 100th post -Strawberry Short cake

Oh my god.. we cant believe we have finally hit this milestone.. Its been such a fun journey for both of us who started this blog space somewhere a year ago only because of our deep love connection with "Food". A big thank you to our dear families, friends and readers for their continuous encouragement that has brought this blog to where it is now. The best thing after the blog kicked off is that our amazing friendship has gotten endlessly deep along with all the exploring and expanding of our knowledge bank on so many new foods, cuisines and cooking techniques..

To celebrate all these joys, here's a big slice of the sweet n simple Strawberry Short Cake with lots of love from our kitchen to yours. This recipe brings out a really nice texture in the shortcake, not very biscuity nor very spongy, but a perfect balance between the two and when served with loads of strawberries and whipped cream, it makes it's way to the top of the desert charts.

With a hope to continue our efforts in creating n sharing more fun recipes, we send our heartfelt thanks to all our dear readers once again.

Prep Time: 30 mins

All purpose Flour: 1 1/3 cup
Sugar: 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
Baking powder: 2 teaspoons
Shortening : 1/2 cup
Egg: 1bs
Vanilla Essence: 1 teaspoon
Milk: 1 cup
Strawberries: 10-15
Whipping cream /Cool whip: lots
Chocolate Sauce enough to drizzle

Slice the strawberries, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons sugar and keep aside. Sieve flour, add the baking powder and sugar to it and keep aside. Using a hand mixer, cut the shortening into the flour mix until it resembles coarse crumbles.
Now add the egg and the milk and beat until smooth. The batter will be little thickish. Grease a baking dish and scrape all of the batter into the greased dish. Bake at 375° F for about 30 mins or more until the center come out clean when poked with a knife.

When slightly cooled. Slice the shortcake. Layer it with the cool whip and strawberries and drizzle the remaining strawberry juice over the top. Make it more fancy with some chocolate too.

Bon Apetit!!


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