Monday, December 3, 2012

Chemeen Theeyal/ Prawns in a roasted coconut gravy

Theeyal is a very common dish  to every household in Kerala. Its when Wikipedia defined it as a burnt dish, we also realized that it does mean that in literal terms ("Thee -Fire"). Theeyal can  be made with several combination of vegetables, but this one is our favorite.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Grated  Coconut: 1/3 cup
Shallots/Pearl onions: 6-7
Drumstick : 1
Tomato: 1
Potato: 1 (small chopped)
Tamarind pulp: 1 tablespoon  
Water: 1 cup
Prawns: 15-20
Green chillies: 3-4(slit)
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Chilli powder: 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder : 2 teaspoons
Fenugreek seeds: 5-6
Salt to taste
Oil to saute

* Vegetarians can make this theeyal with a combination of Ladyfinger(okra), shallots and potatoes or bitter-guard and shallots or eggplant and shallots.

Roast the coconut and fenugreek seeds on medium heat until coconut turns brown. Keep stirring and make sure you don't burn the coconut. Then add chili powder and coriander powder and stir for 5 mins. The key  to a good theeyal is browning the coconut with the masala without burning it. After this has slightly cooled, grind it to a smooth paste without adding any water. The oil will come out to make it a thick paste. Keep aside.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Saute the shallots, green chillies, drumsticks, potatoes and curry leaves for about 5-10 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and tamarind pulp mixed with water and let it come to a boil. Add the ground coconut paste. Adjust the salt. Now let it boil and check if the drumstick and potato has cooked. Then add the prawns in the very end because they take very little time to cook. Boil on low- medium heat until the oil starts to show on the top. Theeyal is ready and serve with rice.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mexican Veg Samosa

Make any night a fiesta with this great appetizer and entertain in true Mexican style. The beans and cheeses blend together in a spicy seasoning to make these delicious triangles. The taste is very close to enchiladas but we just like to call them samosas for its look. Definitely  give this one a try !

Prep Time:30 mins

Flour tortillas: 3 (cut in half)
Onions (chopped): 1/2 cup
Jalapenos (chopped): 1-2 tablespoons
Red & Green peppers (chopped): 1/4 cup
Corn: 4 tablespoons
Black beans: 1/3 cup
Taco seasoning: 1 1/2 tablespoons
Picante sauce/Regular marinara sauce: 1/3 cup
Mozzarella cheese+Mexican cheese blend: 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil to brush

Sticky paste: Mix 1 table spoon of flour with little water to make a smooth paste.
* We have made a vegetarian version, you could even add beef/shredded chicken to this.

Heat oil in a deep pan. Saute the onions until golden pink. Add jalapenos, colored peppers and the corn niblets. Saute again. Add the black beans. Throw in the taco seasoning. Also add the marinara sauce and mix well. Turn off the heat and add all of the cheese.

Make sure the cheese doesn't fully melt.

Cut the tortilla into two halves. Make a cone and seal the edges with the sticky paste. Fill it with the stuffing  and close the end, slightly overlapping it.

Brush oil all over and let it bake in the oven at 375
° F until it looks toasty.

Serve warm.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

എല്ലാവര്‍ക്കും ഓണമാശംസകള്‍!! Happy Onam!!

Onam is the biggest festival in Kerala celebrating the harvest season and its plentiful yields. It is that time of the year where malayalees across the state, nation and world come together to rejoice the fun of the festival in all its colorful splendor. The festival is like a ten day carnival filled with games, music, dance and lots of food that ends on the grand day of Thiruvonam.

The legend marks this day as the homecoming of King Mahabali who visits his kingdom of Kerala every year. Pookalam, which is a beautifully designed flower carpet is made at the entrance of homes to welcome the King. Like any other festival, it is a common tradition to buy new clothes for everyone in the family which is called the Onakodi. Thiruvathirakali, a traditional dance is performed by all the ladies around this time to lighten up the festive spirits.

And finally the most inevitable part of this festival is the Onam Sadhya or the grand feast that is served on a banana leaf. Ranging from different kinds of chips to curries to payasams, each of the item on this well crafted vegetarian menu is a masterpiece by itself.

Shopping for the sadhya can be equally exciting and just seeing such a wide array of colorful vegetables and lentils can be a true treat to the chef's eye.

The taste and style of cooking these Sadhya vibhavangal  (items) vary from home to home and region to region. Here, we have made an attempt to recreate the flavors and essence of the Onam memories we have grown up on. The list comprises of Avial, Cabbage thoran, Erisseri, Kootu curry, Kitchadi, Kalan, Manga curry, Mampazha pulisseri, Nendrakai muringha curry, Olan, Parippu, Pachadi, Puli inji,  Rasam, Sambhar, Sambharam, Nei payasam, Palada payasam, Parippu Pradhaman and Papadam .

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Theplas are a wholesome part of a Gujarati meal. These rotis are more like snacks which can be eaten any time of the day. Usually served with chunda (a sweet mango chutney) and curd these rotis are intensely flavorful. And don't you worry, all this fenugreek doesn't make it a wee bit bitter. And with all medicinal properties fenugreek has, this is a great way to add it to your weekly diet.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Whole wheat flour/Atta: 1 cup
Fresh fenugreek/methi leaves (chopped): 1 bunch 
Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi): 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 1-2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
Curd: 3/4 Cup or little less
Salt to taste
Oil: 2 tablespoons

Mix all the dry ingredients in the flour well. Remember always to crush and powder the kasuri methi leaves in your hands before you put them. Add methi leaves, yogurt and oil and knead everything into a smooth dough. Leave it for 10 mins. Flatten them out into circles and fry them on a tava with little oil like rotis. Take them out when done on both sides.

Enjoy them warm.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Pazhampori is a favorite snack all year round for most “mallu” (Slang for all those lovely people who belong to Kerala) folks. This popular delicacy from Kerala stirs nostalgic memories of our darling mothers making it at teatime or even just hearing to the vendors chime at the railway platforms. For all those who have never tried it, here’s the recipe as simple as it could get because you don’t want to miss this for anything.


Ripe Plantains: 2-3 (Not the squishy ones)
All purpose flour (Maida): 1 Cup
Rice Flour: 1 table spoon
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder: A pinch for color
(Cardamom: 2 Pods+ Cumin seeds (Jeerakam): 1/2 teaspoon) + a pinch of sugar to be powdered in the coffee bean grinder)
Water: 1 cup (Adjust the water to make a semi-liquidy batter)
Oil for deep frying
Start by mixing the all purpose flour (maida), rice flour, turmeric powder and sugar with water to make a fine batter. Rice flour is added for crispness. Corn flour can also be used instead of rice flour. Add the powdered mix (cardamom+ cumin). Slice the plantain length wise into rectangular pieces. Coat the pieces with the batter and deep fry it until almost golden.

Make these fritters and don't forget to share it with your loved ones..

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Falooda is  a super delicious  refreshing  dessert drink, which has always been a popular choice among street food lovers. As we understand it was a very Bombay thing to have Falooda, but now its caught on big time nation wide. The best part is that with just a few ingredients and few minutes, Falooda can be whipped up anywhere anytime. So let your next get together end on a sweet note with this.

Prep Time:  1/2 hour
Milk*: 1/2 Cup + 1/4 Cup
Roohafza/Rose syrup: 3-4 Tablespoons
Sugar: 2-3 teaspoons
Falooda Sev/Roasted vermicelli : 1 tablespoon
Basil seeds/Tukmaria: 1 tablespoon
Flavored Jelly: 1/4 cup*
Ice Cream*: 2 scoops
Nuts(Slivered almonds and pistachios): 2 teaspoons

Please note the above measurement is to make one tall glass of Falooda

*If you use whole milk, its more richer, but we made ours with regular 2% fat free milk. 1/2 cup is for rose milk and 1/4 cup is to cook the vermicelli.
*We made the strawberry flavored jello as per instructions on the pack.
*We like to use Pista/kulfi flavoured icecreams. We used an Indian brand called Taaza. For those who can't find it the best option would be beat up vanilla icream with little cardamom and refreeze it.

Cook the roasted vermicelli in milk adding a little bit of sugar on low heat until soft. Keep aside. Soak the basil seeds in water for atleast an hour. These will enlarge and become very gelatinous.

Disslove the rose syrup in cold milk or beat it in the mixer. Add sugar if you like it to be little  more sweeter. Keep it in the fridge. However do not add too much sugar because all the other ingredients also add up some sugar.

Set the jelly and keep aside.

Note: You can assemble the falooda only before you serve else it wil be all melted and slushy.

Take a tall glass. Put the soaked basil seeds. Add a teaspoon of Roohafza. Now add the vermicelli. Then add the jelly.  Pour half the glass with the cold rose milk.  Add in two or more scoops of ice cream. Give it a light stir. Garnish the top with the chopped nuts.
Serve chilled with a straw and a spoon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thalassery style Chicken Biryani

Thalasserry, a city on the Malabar coast of Kerala has always been popular for its amazing food including the biryani. In our eyes, this is the Biryani to die for, the very best in its kind. And ever since this blog came into existence, this is one item we endlessly talked about making. Though it comes with such a delay and such a tedious procedure, its truly worth a try.  

Prep Time: 2 hrs
Chicken (medium size pieces): 1 cup
Jeerakasala rice* : 2 cups
Onions (finely sliced) : 4-5 medium sized
Tomatoes (medium size chopped): 3
Green chillies: 5-6
Ginger (crushed): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (crushed): 1 teaspoon or 2 pods
Coriander leaves (chopped): 1 bunch
Mint leaves: 1 bunch
Cashew nuts: handful
Raisins: handful
oil: 1/4 cup
Ghee: 1/4 cup
Lemon Juice: 2 tablespoon
Saffron Milk : 5 -6 saffron strands mixed in 3 tablespoons of warm milk

Spice powder : 3/4 - 1 tablespoon (Adjust to your liking)
Dry roast the following on low flame and  grind into a fine powder.

Cardamom: 2
Cinnamon stick: 1
Cloves: 4-5
Nutmeg (grate  a pinch)
Javithri/Mace: 1/4 teaspoon 
Saunf: 1 teaspoon
Shahi Jeera/Caraway seeds:  1/2 teaspoon
Pepper: 2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon

* Jeerakasala also called Kaima / Jeerakasamba  rice is a special type of Indian rice mainly used in Biryani preparation. It has shorter grains compared to Basmati rice, but is equally aromatic and flavorful.
* You can fry the onions fully in ghee or like we did, in a mix of oil and ghee.
* Deep fried onions are called bista in local thalasserry slang
*  Rice/water ratio = 1 cup rice : little more than 3/4 cup or 85% of  1 cup
* Frying the cashew and raisins are optional since it will anyway get steam cooked in the Dum procedure.

Heat oil and ghee (1/4 cup each) in a deep dish/kadai to deep fry the onions until golden brown. Make  sure you fry onions in batches else the water content will make it mushy. Keep aside 3/4 rth of the fried onions  for the chicken and the rest is for Dum/garnish. In the remaining oil fry the cashew nut and raisins.

Heat a deep heavy bottom dish (like a stockpot). Add the chopped tomatoes and stir. Its not like we missed the oil, this recipe doesn't call for any oil to make the chicken base. Add 2-3 table spoon water to cook the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start softening add the crushed ginger, garlic and green chilies and stir. When the raw smell fades away, add the cleaned chicken pieces and mix well. Add salt and chopped mint leaves. Cover and cook. Make sure it doesn't burn at the bottom. If its drying up too much add 1/4 cup water and mix. 

When the chicken is almost cooked, add 3/4 of the fried onions and stir well. Let it simmer. Add the spice powder, lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves. Keep it on low flame and mix thoroughly until  the gravy thickens. It should be a semi dry to dry consistency. Adjust the salt. If you want it to be more spicy, add some more pepper powder.  Turn off the heat.
Parallelly cook the rice in a deep dish. We usually cook the rice in a pressure cooker. Boil the water, add salt, 2 teaspoons ghee, 5 cloves, 1 cardamom pod and 2 cinnamon sticks. Add the washed rice to the boiling water. 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 mins. Remove it from the heat and keep aside. Fluff it up with a fork.
To do the final Dum procedure, add the fried onions and chopped coriander leaves on top of the cooked chicken. Now spread the rice evenly over it. Sprinkle the saffron milk. Add the cashew and raisin. Top it off with any leftover fried onions. Cover it tight and leave it either on the gas stove on low flame or in the oven at 350F for 15 - 20 mins. 

Mix well before you serve.  Typically this Biryani is served it with coconut chammanthi, pappadam and dates pickle.

After a thousand searches we hit the right note with this recipe courtesy Taste of Kerala, Amrita TV.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

White Chocolate Mousse Cake

Continuing with the valentine's day spirit, we decided to make something that will make you fall in love with desserts again. This rich, creamy and absolutely divine chocolate mousse cake will take your senses away with every bite. So next time when you want to impress that someone special, give this a try.

Prep Time: 1 hr + setting time (5-6hrs)
*White Vanilla cake: 1 box
Vanilla Jello pudding mix: 1/2 box
Heavy whipping Cream: 1 pint
White Chocolate chips: 1 Packet /2 bars
Hershey Cookies n Creme chocolate bar: 2 
Milk: 1 cup (for pudding mix + strawberry spread)
Sugar (optional): 1 tablespoon 

*Strawberry spread: 4 tablespoons

Some fruits to decorate 
Strawberries :7-8
Blueberries: 10

*We used the instant cake mix to save on time.
*Blend a few strawberries with some sugar and little milk (1 tablespoon) to make the strawberry spread.

If you dont find fresh strawberry you can use raspberry instead. Use the same instructions listed above to make the raspberry spread. If it's sour you can add sugar to sweeten it.  

Bake the cake according to the instructions on the box. Let it cool and keep aside. Cut off the top and the crust which might be golden brown. Slice the white inside and set it as the base in the dish you want to make the dessert. Brush the strawberry spread all over .

Mix 1/2 the contents of the pudding box and set according to the instructions. Leave it in the refrigerator for about 10-15 mins.
Meanwhile melt the white chocolate chips in a double boiler. The chocolate chips and pudding mix add the sweetness to the mousse. But if you need more sweet you can add 1 tablespoon of sugar in the whipping cream. Beat the heavy whipping cream with until it forms firm peaks. Now slowly fold the melted chocolate and pudding mix into the whipped cream. The mousse is set. Now spread it all over the cake base (like half the dish is cake and the remaining half is the mousse). Grate the cookies n creme bar generously over the top. Decorate with the berries and banana slices. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 5-6 hours. Serve chilled.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Egg Masala Curry

Whether you are an egg lover or not, here's one of those curries which surely tastes awesome inspite the minimal effort. This is a simple coconut based gravy with a slight touch of mint.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Eggs (Hard boiled): 3 
Onions (sliced): 1 big
Tomatoes (sliced): 2-3
Green chillies (slit): 3-4
Ginger (finely chopped): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (finely chopped): 2 pods
Curry leaves: 5-7
Mint leaves: 1 sprig
Coconut milk: 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 1  1/2 teaspoons
Coriander powder: 2 teaspoons
Garam Masala/Chicken  masala:  1  1/2 teaspoons
Water: 1 cup
salt and pepper to taste
Oil: 3 tablespoons

Hard boil the eggs and cut them in halves or slice them and keep aside. Heat some oil in a deep dish. Saute the ginger garlic and green chillies. Add the curry leaves and the sliced onions. Add a pinch of salt and saute until slightly done. Add all the spice powders. Add the tomato slices and mix well. Add the chopped mint leaves and 1 cup of water and let it all simmer into a fine gravy. Adjust the salt and spice to your liking. Pour the coconut milk and leave on low heat. Add the sliced eggs. Cover and let it cook on low heat for another five minutes. The delicious egg curry is ready. Serve it with hot rotis.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hot n Spicy Chicken Wings

With the football (NFL) mood peaking up for the Super bowl, we decided to make the traditional American favorite appetizer Buffalo style Chicken Wings. Originating from the region of Buffalo, the classic wings are deep fried and then coated with the hot sauce. We have been little less generous on the oil, hence the baked version. But have no doubt, they are still  finger smacking good !

Prep Time: 30 mins
Chicken Wings: 10 Pieces


Chili Powder: 3 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder: 1 /2 teaspoon
Vinegar: 2 teaspoons or Lemon Juice: 1-2 tablespoons
All purpose flour: 1/4 cup
Olive Oil: 3-4 tablespoons
Pepper: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Final Dressing/Coating Sauce

Chili Garlic Sauce: 2 teaspoons
Frank's Original  Red Hot Sauce: 5 tablespoons
Butter(optional): 1 tablespoon

* We have removed the complete skin on the wings to suite our preference, however some people will like to keep the skin on and no harm doing so.
* Its better if you can marinate the wings a day or two earlier.
* Any brand of hot sauce is okay, we have used Frank's red hot sauce in this recipe

Mix all the marinade ingredients and rub generously over the wings. Coat the bottom of a deep dish (oven safe) with little oil. Put the marinated chicken wings  to bake. Pre-heat the oven to 475° F and bake for about 15 mins. Toss it over to other side and bake for another 15 minutes until its fully cooked and becomes crispy. Take it out of oven, drizzle the coating sauce and toss. Enjoy it hot.

Some chilled beer, celery sticks and ranch dip.You are all set for the big game.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nadan style Egg roast

As we believe, born in some traditional mallu christian home this dish has traveled around Kerala to be a favorite for most mallus. This egg roast brings out a great balance of flavors in spices when paired with appam or porotta. 

Prep Time:  30 mins
Eggs: 3
Onions (sliced): 2 medium size
Ginger (finely crushed): 1 teaspoon
Garlic (finely crushed): 1 teaspoon
Green chillies: 2-3
Curry leaves: 1 bunch
Tomatoes (pureed): 1 cup
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder: 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder: 2 teaspoons
Garam Masala: 1 1/2 teaspoons
Salt & pepper to taste

Hard boil the eggs and keep aside. Pull out the shell and make slits all around the egg.In a deep pan, heat some oil.  Add the crushed ginger, garlic, chillies and saute. Add the sliced onions and saute well until the rawness of all the onions have gone.  Add the curry leaves and saute. Add all the spice powders. Add salt and pepper to taste. Now fry for about 5 mins, then add the pureed tomatoes and continue to stir until the tomatoes puree dries up in the mix.

Toss the eggs in another pan with little oil on medium heat until golden brown. Turn off the heat and add these eggs to the above mix.  Serve hot, its an excellent side to appam or roti.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Kaya Vattan (Plantain Semi dry)

Plantain has been a staple vegetable due to its abundant growth in Kerala soils. Out of its many creations here is one dish which is very local to Kannur. And if you are wondering whats with the name, it gets the name from the cut of the vegetable Kaya = plantain  and vattan =  round.

Prep Time: 20 mins
Raw Plantain (Cut in rounds):  1
Garlic (crushed): 1 pod
Green Chilli (Slit): 2 
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Grated Coconut: 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut oil: 1 tablespoon
Water: 1/4 cup
Curry Leaves: Handful
Salt to taste

Plantain can leave lots of stain so before you cut put some oil on your hand and knife  and soak the cut plantain in some turmeric and salt water. 

In a deep pan saute the crushed garlic in 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the cut plantain, slit green chili, turmeric powder and water.  Cover and cook until its soft. Add salt. Meanwhile coarsely grind the coconut and cumin seeds. Add this to the cooked plantain and let it all simmer for other 5-10 mins. Mix well and add the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Inspired by a recent Facebook post of a dear cousin with a picture of some delicious cranberry orange loaf, we decided to give it a try. The results were truly a bakers delight. A slice of this loaf which is fused with the tartness of cranberries paired with citrusy oranges is great for your next tea party.

Prep Time: 40 mins
All purpose flour: 2 cups
Baking powder: 2 1/2 teaspoons
Eggs: 2
Butter: 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons
Sugar: 1 cup
*Orange juice: 1 cup
*Cranberries/Craisins: 3/4 cup
Chopped walnut/pecans: 1/4 cup
Orange zest: 3/4 tablespoon

* Fresh squeezed orange juice tastes better over store bought orange juice.
* You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. But we used the dried cranberries (craisins).

Beat the sugar and butter until smooth. Add eggs and beat until ivory. Meanwhile sieve the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt and keep it aside. Add the orange zest and orange juice to batter.  Slowly fold in the flour and mix well until its all smooth. Coat the nuts and craisins with 2 tablespoons of flour before you add them, else they will completely sink in. Mix thoroughly and note the batter should be a little thick and not very runny.

Grease a loaf pan with butter and pour in the batter.
Preheat the oven to 375 F . Bake for about 30 mins or until the center comes clean when poked. Once done take it out and let it cool.

Optional: Mix 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of orange juice to make a glaze and brush liberally all over the loaf.

Slice and serve warm with tea. Bon Appetite


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