January 28, 2008

Thai Velli Kolam (of 25th Jan)

As I had mentioned in the earlier post on pongal, these are the set of kolams, drawn for the friday,25th Jan. I had drawn few more,but failed to take the snaps.

Morappam/Kuzhi paniyaram

Morappam is a favourite evening tiffin. Me and my sister ask Amma to prepare this on Sundays when we watch movies. Perfect evening snack. Those days, as kids, we never bothered about it being drenched in oil. But things have changed now. I have bought a non-stick appam pan specially for making oil-less(not oil-free !!!) morappams. With non-stick pans, the oil used will be somewhat equal to what is required in preparing a dosa. Thats manageable. So here goes the recipe.

Idly/Dosa batter - 1 cup
Medium sized onion - 1 no


Mustard seeds - 1 tspn

Chana dal - 1 tspn

Finely chopped green chilly - 2 nos

Curd chilly - 2 nos

Curry leaves - few

Hing powder - 1/4 tspn.

Heat oil in a skillet. Do the seasoning as given and add to the batter.

Stir in the finely chopped onions. Add salt. Mix well.

Adjust the consistency by adding water, so that it is thinner than dosa batter.

Fill the non-stick appam pits each with 1/2 tspn of oil. Pour spoonfuls of the batter into each pit. It will take two minutes to cook one side.

Flip the morappams upside down. Cook the other side also.

Since it is spicy on its own, serve them with a mug of steaming hot coffe/tea. If desired can serve with any chutney of your choice.

January 25, 2008

Noi arisi pongal (Puli Pongal)

Noi arisi is nothing but broken rice, the rice used to make kanji. This pongal is rice cooked in tamarind water. It is a one pot dish. This is my Dad's faviourite. M paatti (maternal grandma) cooks this best. Even when my Mom cooks, it cannot match my paati's. Its probably because, paati always cooked on stovetop, unlike my Mom/self who takes the easiest route - pressure cooking.

You get broken rice , specially marked for Kanji. If you are unable to get it, grind the rice in mixie. Make sure it is just broken and not powdered.

Let me get into the procedure now.
Things needed

Broken rice - 1 cup
Tamarind - small lemon size

Turmeric - 1/4 tspn

Water - 2 cups
Salt to taste

Sesame oil - 1 tblspn
mustard - 1 tspn
chana dal - 1 tspn
red chilly - 3 nos
curd chilly - 3 nos (add more if you like it)
curry leaves - few
Hing powder - 1/2 tspn

Soak the tamrind in water. Extract the tamarind juice and add water to it so that tamarind plus water will be 2 1/2 cups.

Take the pressure cooker. Add oil and do the seasoning with mustard seeds, chana dal, red chilly and curd chilly broken, curry leaves and hing powder.

Add the tamrind water and turmeric.
Stir in the washed rice and salt.
Mix well. Pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Open it after 20 minutes. Yummy puli pongal will be ready. You can serve with papad or any vadams.

January 22, 2008


When I came across the AFAM event, I noted the fruit is Papaya. I was pondering what to prepare with it. Its mostly used as a vegetable in my kitchen. If it is ripe, it is eaten. I wanted to dish out a not so common recipe using Pappaya. I was discussing with MIL regarding this. It was then she mentioned about Jujups and told me that she has noted the recipe in one of her diaries. She added that she has not tried making it. The search for the recipe diary turned successful. But the Jujups recipe was not in the diary pages, it was noted down in a sheet of paper. The sheet has possibly survived a minimum of 25 years. One can imagine its condition. It was so delicate. If I hold the sheet in my hand, it will turn into pieces. Actually it was almost in pieces. Being in between the diary sheets for so many years, it was maintaining the sturcture somehow.Anyway, I managed to write the ingredients and method and bid a farewell to the paper.

I was not sure how it will turn out. Nonetheless, decided to go ahead with the recipe. My MIL also said she is not sure if the recipe is a fool proof one. Till the final stage of the prepration, I was apprehensive of the end result. Finally, it was worth the effort. It turned out much better than the store bought one. This recipe is a keeper for me.

Before you all get impatient with my long introduction, let me go to the recipe now.
You will require

Grated pappaya - 2 cups

Salt - 2 tspn

Sugar - 1 1/2 cups

Water - 3/4 cup

Essence (your choice) - 1 tspn (I used orange)

Lime - 2 Nos


Select a ripe and firm papaya. Else when you grate, it will turn mushy.

Soak the grated papaya in water with 2 tspn salt added to it. Leave this for half an hour

Wash and drain the papaya
Take a kadai or a heavy bottom vessel.

Add 3/4 cup water and papaya. Cover and cook the papaya till the whole water is evaporated. It took 15 minutes for me.

Add sugar to it. Keep stirring. When the sugar melts and the papaya turns into a sticky mass, add essence and lime juice. This step took 10 minutes

Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from fire.

Grease a plate with ghee and transfer the cooked mixture to it.

When it is warm and you can hold in your hand, take a spoon
full and shape it. Dip your fingers in water and start rolling. It will be easier to shape them.

Later roll on sugar and keep it aside.

Enjoy your jujups. Once you taste this, you will stop buying from stores.

Next time, I should try in MW. I can make it with less physical strain.

This goes to the monthly event AFAM, hosted by Nags for the month of Jan with the fruit - Papaya.

January 19, 2008


It is a very traditional tiffin. It is mostly prepapred in the evenings since it is labelled as a ligh tiffin. It is known as Koozhu in Kerala whereas in TamilNadu it is called morkali.
It is an easy to make tiffin with simple ingredients.

Rice flour - 1 cup

Buttermilk - 1 cup

Water - 1 cup

Salt as required

For Seasoning

Oil - 1 tblspn

Mustard - 1 tspn

Chana dal- 1 tspn

Curry leaves- few nos

Green chilly (chopped) - 1 nos

Curd chillies (thayir molagai) - 3 Nos

Take a bowl. Add oil. Keep in MW for 30 seconds.

Add mustard and again keep for 30 seconds. When mustard splutters, add the rest of the seasoning and leave for 1 minute.

In another bowl, make a thin batter out of the rice flour, buttermilk, water and salt. Mix well. Pour the batter over the seasonings in the first bowl.

Cook in MW high for 4 minutes. Stir once in between.It will be cooked well.

If you touch with a wet finger, it should not stick to your finger.

It can be eaten as it is else can be cut in to pieces.

To cut into pieces,grease a plate with oil and spread the kali on it and level it with a spoon. Cut into squares and serve cool with pickle or chutney of your choice.

This can be cooked on stove top also. Now you can guess why I cooked in MW. Yes, this goes to Srivalli for her MEC-Tiffin, the theme for the month of January.

January 18, 2008

Kolli Vadam (Tapioca Papad-Sundried)

Once summer sets in, one can see plastic sheets with various type of karuvadams and vathals dried in front of the houses. This is a common sight in my village.

I started before the actual summer set in. Then I will have rush to finish the drying before it gets really hot. Now, I can be little late in starting with the drying work, since sun is bearable till around 10:30 in the morning.

This weekend I made kolli vadam. I have to prepare one more batch. May be in the coming weekend.

Tapioca powder (store bought) - 1/2 kg

Raw rice - 1/2 cup

Pepper powder - 3 tspn

Salt and Hing - as per taste

Oil - 2 tbspn

Wash and soak the raw rice for 2 hrs and grind it to a fine paste.

Allow it to ferment for 6 hrs. It should get a sour taste. I left it overnight.

Make a batter of the tapioca powder and the rice paste with water. Add hing and salt. The batter should be thinner than dosa batter.You measure the said batter. Water required is twice the measure of the batter.

Take a thick bottomed vessel big enough to accomodate the water and batter and some extra space. Once cooked, it will increase in quantity. I used the uruli. It is convenient to prepare karuvadam maavu (dough for sun dried fritters) in the uruli.

Add water. When water is warm, slowly add the batter without forming lumps. Keep stirring. When it starts to thicken, add 2 tbspn of oil and the pepper powder. Mix well. Make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

It took 10 minutes for me to get the glazy texture. May be it cooked fast since I used uruli. When it gets a glazy texture, you can switch off the heat. Keep it in the same vessel for 5 minutes before you transfer to another vessel.

When it comes to room temperature, drop spoonfuls on a plastic sheet and slightly spread them to the size of a puri with the back of the spoon. Don't make it too thin.

After 4 hours of drying in the sun, try flipping it over. It should get dried in 2 days if it is very sunny.

January 16, 2008

Happy Pongal

Happy Pongal/Shankaranthi to all of you......
With the start of Makaram/Thai month, every thursday evening, our courtyards will be cleaned and adorned by kolam/rangoli. We put using rice/kola powder and rice paste. Some people change the kolams on monday evenings also. That is Tuesdays and Fridays will have fresh kolams made. I rarely change on tuesdays. But for Fridays it is always new kolam.
This is the start of the series for the month of kolam

Neivedyam for pongal

January 14, 2008

Vendakkai Vathal

Vendakkai vathal /kondattam (sun dried lady's finger )

Vegetables in season are preserved by sun drying them. Popular veggies sun dried are bhindi,chick peas, mango etc.

Vendakkai vathal on deep frying will be crisp and tasty. You can use the fried ones in preparing raitas too. My vegetable vendor generously gave me 2 Kg of bhindi almost free. So I decided to convert them to vattals.

You will require


Tamarind - lemon size

Chilly powder - 2 tspn

Turmeric - 1/2 tspn


Wash and dry the bhindis.

Cut them into 1/2 inch long pieces.

Soak the tamarind in warm water.

Extract the juice and add water to it so that it comes to 1 1/2 cup.

Add salt, turmeric and chilly powder. (Adjust these according to your taste)

Transfer the cut bhindi pieces to a pressure cooker. (You can cook directly in the cooker.)

Pour the tamarind mixture.

Steam cook for 15 minutes. (No need to put whistle.)

Drain and dry it under the sun. I got it dried with in 2 days.

sun dried

oil fried

January 12, 2008

Masala Koorka

Koorka Upperi cooked in grounded masala

It is diffucult to find any Keralite who doesn't have an affinity for this tuber - Koorka. I don't know what it is called in English. With some googling, I found it is called Chinese Potatoes.

This is season, where the vegetable markets are flooded with various kinds of tubers like Kaavathu (Thiruvadira special), Chembu, Kappa/Poola/Kolli and Koorka. I think most of the homes buy kaavathu for preparing kootu/poduthuval on the Thiruvathirai day. After the festival, it is not found with the vendors also. Few homes, who has grown them in their backyards, might prepare, more than once.

Koorka is one of the favourites of the season. Its purely a season root. These small tubers are difficult to be cleaned. But once cooked and eaten, you will forget the laborius task of cleaning them.

There are various, so called easy ways, to remove the skin. Some people put them in cloth/gunny bag and hit it on the ground several times. There are who wash and pressure cook them with the skin and then later on peel off the skin, like we do with potatoes. What I follow is soak them in water for an hour or so. Then scrub them on the washing stone. That seems to be easy for me. Almost all the skin comes out in the process. Whatever little is sticking can be removed, whilie chopping them into pieces.

Now to the preparation

Cleaned and chopped koorka - 2 cups

For Masala

Pearl onion - 10 nos

Red chilly - 4 nos

Coriander seeds - 1 tspn

Make a fine paste of this. Add little water while grinding.

Pressure cook koorka with little turmeric for 3 whistles. It doesn't turn soft even on pressure cooking. So if you keep for an extra whistle also, no need to worry.

Take a kadai and add coconut oil. Season with mustard and curry leaves. Add the grounded masala. Let the masala cook for a minute or two till the raw smell goes.

Add the koorka and salt. Mix well.

Cook till the masala gets coated over the koorka and it is roasted.

Serve with hot rice and sambhar.

Koorka tastes good if it is made as simple 'Mezhukkuparatti' also.

Just add oil,cooked koorkha and salt . Cook till it gets roasted. This is also very yummy.

January 8, 2008

Ulliyum Molakkum - Pearl onion and red chilly chutney

This red hot chutney (both in color and taste) is a must dip for Idlis and dosas in the wayside eateries (thattukada) and teashops (chaaya kada). In Kerala, in the mornings,tiffin is also served in the teashops. During the latter part of the day, only kadi (bajji/bonda/vada) is served with tea. If any of you have had idli/dosa for breakfast in any restaurant in Kerala, this chutney must have adored your plate.
It is such a simple recipe. It tastes better when grinded on the ammikkal (grinding stone). It blends well unlike in the mixer grinder.
Even now if i prepare in small quantities, I use an ammikkal to get the right texture. This time I blended in the mixie.

Pearl Onions (Sambhar Onions) - 15 Nos
Red chilly - 7 Nos
Salt to taste

Just blend all the three to a fine paste. The color of the chutney is very appealing.
Steaming idlis and a cup of hot tea with mulakku chutney as dip, is a deadly combination for breakfast.

No doubt,this goes to RCI-Kerala hosted by Jyothsna of CurryBazaar

Since Onion is the main ingredient, this has to be part of the JFI-Onion, hosted by Radhika of Radhiskitchen
Coconut chammandi podi (Chutney powder)

Since the name Kerala means land of coconuts, I thought how can I send entries without a recipe, with coconut as a main ingredient. I wanted to try something which is not so very synonymous with Kerala cuisine for a non-keralite. The usual recipes that comes to one's mind when they talk of Kerala is Puttu-Kadala, Aappam-Ishtu, Avial, Kaalan, Paaladhapradhaman... and the list goes on.

Chutney powder or Chammanthi podi is a common chutney powder in all Keralite homes. The recipe has its own variations. Here is my recipe which uses only few ingredients and gives you a very tasty podi. This goes well with idli, dosa and of course with steaming rice mixed with oil.

Grated coconut - 2 cups
Red chilly - 20 nos
Urad dhal - 1/4 cup
Hing - a small piece or 3 tblspn powder
Tamarind - goosebery size
Salt to taste

Roast the coconut in oil till brown. I kept the grated coconut in MW high for 10 minutes. Later roasted in the kadai for 2 minutes.
Dry roast urad dal.
Add a teaspoon of oil to the skillet. If you are using hing piece, add that to the oil. When it gets fried, remove from oil and add red chillies. Hing piece is fried in oil for easier grinding, else it will be sticky.

When it cools to room temp, powder chillies, urad dal, hing and tamarind. Then add the coconut and salt. Powder fine. Transfer to a air tight bottle.

This my second entry to RCI- Cuisine of Kerala hosted this month by Jyothsna of Currybazar

January 7, 2008

Gooseberry pickle

Gooseberry Pickle (Nellikai Achar)

An easy to make pickle. In Kerala, during gooseberry season, this pickle will surely find a place in any sadhya(feast). This pickle doesn't have a very long shelf life as it is with pickles as such. It stays fresh for more than a week on refrigeration.

You need

Gooseberry - 1/2 Kg

Salt - 3 tbspn

Water - 2 tblspn

Oil - 2 tblspn

Roast the below ingredients in a tablespoon of oil and powder when it cools to room temperature

Red chilly - 15 Nos. (Adjust accordingly)

Methi seeds- 2 tspn

Hing powder - 2 tspn.

First start roasting the chillies. When it is almost done, add methi seeds and hing powder.

Preparing the berries

Keep the g.berries in a vessel and pressure cook the g.berries for 3 whistles. No need to add water.

When cooled, slightly crush the berries and remove the seed. Take care that it doesnot turn mushy.

Take salt and water in a vessel and boil it for 2 minutes or more so that the salt is completely dissolved. Leave it to cool.

Add the boiled salt water, powdered chilly to the deseeded berries and mix well.

Heat 2 tblspn of oil and when cooled,pour over the pickled berries and transfer to airtight bottles.

This is the first time I am participating for any event in blogosphere. Being a Keralite, I am more than happy to sent in this entry to RCI-Cuisine of Kerala hosted by Jyothsna of CurryBazaar.