January 30, 2010

Kashmiri Pulav ~ Guest Post

I never knew about Anu, a silent reader of my blog, until when I received a query mail from her. After exhange of few mails, the relation ship blosommed from reader to a friend. When I requested her for a guest post, she was happy to play along. Please welcome Anu to Kailas Kitchen and she comes with a plate of delicious looking  Kashmiri Pulao.


Basmathi Rice – 1 cup

Ginger garlic Paste – 1 spoon

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece

Cloves – 3 nos

Cardomom – 3 nos

Cumin seeds – ¾ teaspoon

Aniseed – ¾ teaspoon

Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

Ghee – 2 spoons

Yellow food color – as preferred

Fruits cut into equal sizes( Apples, Pomegranate, Grapes, Pineapples) – 1 cup

Dry fruits (Pista, Cashew, Raisins, Badam) – ¼ cup

Salt – As required


Rinse and soak the Basmathi rice for 5-20 mins

In a kadai, pour a spoon of Ghee and add cumin and aniseed first. Subsequently add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, grounded pepper(can add green chilli if preferred).  Also add ginger garlic paste. Just fry for 30 seconds and add the drained rice. Fry for 2 more minutes

Stop the flame, pour the rice and masala mix in the Rice cooker and add 1 and ½ cups of water along with required amount of salt and cook. Pour the rest of 1 spoon of Ghee.

Fry the Dry fruits with just little ghee and keep it aside

Once rice is cooked garnish with the fruits and dry fruits. I had made Onion Raitha and cauliflower pakodas to serve with the rice.

January 29, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cookies for Global Kadai Event and Thai Velli Kolam

The idea behind the Global Kadai event announced by Cilantro interested me - indianizing the recipe. One is free to make any changes to suit the availability of ingredients in India. the first recipe is the popular Mexican wedding cookies. Since no egg in the orginal recipe, I  didnot have to look for an egg replacer. No leavening agents like baking powder or cooking soda. I opted for coconut in place of pecans and used cardamom for flavor instead of cinnamon. Though i love cinnamon, to give an Indian flavor, chose cardamom. Coconut and cardamom paired well with the cocoa and its a keeper recipe. I had only 1/2 cup of butter so halved the recipe. I got 2 dozens of cookies.

Baking Temp : 180 C
Time              : 15-18 minutes
Yields            : 2 dozen

You need

Butter, softened - 1 cup

Powdered Sugar - 1/3 cup

Vanilla essence - 2 tspn

All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup

Fresh grated coconut - 1 cup

Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup

cardamom - 3/4 tspn

Salt - a pinch

1/2 cup powdered sugar for coating the cookies


Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla essence. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients and slowly add to the creamed butter and sugar mix. Gather the ingredients and make a soft dough. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours to firm up. I chilled for 2 hours. Pinch off the dough and make small balls. Line it on a greased baking tray and bake at 180 C for 18 minutes. When warm, roll it on the powdered sugar and leave it to cool.

Though the cookies were less sweet on its own, the sugar coating makes it up. It was very tasty and could not stop with one. I baked it one evening and on the second day only 10 was left.

Here is the kolam for this Friday.

January 27, 2010

Kappayum Kadalayum ~ Mashed Tapioca with curried brown chick peas

apioca in any form is welcome at home. The most common one is plain tapioca cooked with salt and a pinch of turmeric with a dip of fiery shallots chutney. Me and my sister are big fans of this combo. Even now when I prepare this combo, I ring up my sister and tell her just to salviate her. During our Alappuzha trip, last year, one late evening,when we stopped for tea , we were offered kappa puzhingiyathu and kadala curry, since that was the oly vegetarian option available that time of the day. Since we were hungry, decided to try the combo.It was a winner. During this year's harvest of tapioca at home, husband reminded me to make this for breakfast. The tapioca harvested at my home cooks pretty quick that it doesn't take more than 10 minutes on stove top.

Tapioca, peeled and chopped into big pieces - 1/2 kg

Turmeric a pinch


Cook the tapioca in enough water with turmeric added to it. Add salt when its almost cooked. If you add salt in the beginning, cooking will take more time and may not cook soft. You can see cracks on the surface when it is cooked well. Drain and leave it for 5 minutes. Just mash little with a potato masher or back of the ladle. Serve with kadala curry for a filling breakfast or a spicy chutney as dip. The recipe of my kadala curry is same that I make for Puttu. Here I added less of coconut in the ground masala.

January 22, 2010

Thai Velli/Friday Kolam and By the Book

During the month of Thai/Makaram, every one cleans their courtyard on Thursday evening to decorate with the kolam. So when you see everyone in your neighborhood indulges in the cleaning and decorating, even someone who has not mastered the art of kolam, will be inspired to try your hand at it. Its infectious. Here is my attempt for this Friday.

(9 dots 9 lines)

My dear friend Jayashree has tagged me to show the most loved cookbook. Few years back, if someone has asked me about cookbooks, I would have had a  look like 'Me cooking from a book' kind. I never thought I will follow a cookbook, may be because I have not seen anyone in my family following one. Its kind of passing the recipes from Mother to daughter kind. I was under the impression that cookbooks are for the newbies who are to learn even  how to light a stove too.  After marriage too, I didnot feel the need for one. Whenever I had any doubt regarding any of our traditional recipes, I could call my Mom . (Then she was staying at local call distance). My MIL used to tell she learnt most of the traditional dishes from Meenakshi Ammal's book way back in 1950's.  Later when I heard my co-sis swearing by Mallika Bhadrinath often, I was inspired to buy one for myself. Mallika's 100 Vegetarian recipes (II series) was the first book I got.  It took sometime for me to start trying from the book. After blogging, things have changed in a big way. I got to know about various cuisines, cookbooks. I keep a diary of the recipes I try and now I have close to 15 books. I still have somebooks where I haven't tried even a single recipe. 


Those of you who wish to showcase your most cherished cookbook, feel free to take up the tag and link back to Jayashree's post

January 19, 2010

Moong dal halwa ~ Indian Cooking Challenge

I was happy to note the moong dal halwa for December challenge was the North Indian version since I recently made the South Indian version called Ashoka halwa. The recipe is from a fellow blogger Simran's Mom. Thanks to Latakka who tried both the versions of recipe and gave useful notes, before we all started with the challenge. I chose to follow the recipe with the khova version. I had planned to prepare khoya at home but could not make it. So in place of khoya, I used milkmaid and rest of the recipe is same. I was not quite impressed by the end result though it tasted good. I felt it needed some more perfection. After seeing many successful attempts from my fellow bloggers and notes from their experience, I am tempted to try it soon. 

Here is the recipe

Soaking Time : Overnight

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 - 45 mins

Ingredients Needed:

Split (Yellow) Moong dal - 1 cup

Sugar -  1 cup
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1/2 cup

Khoya - 1/2 cup

Cashew nuts and raisins for garnish

You can make any quantity with this as long as you keep this ratio constant : equal amounts of  dal and sugar, half the ghee and khoya.

Method to prepare:

Lightly roast the 1 cup of moong dal, wash, soak overnight and be ground to a fine paste adding  very little water.

Take a thick bottom pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee and fry the moong dal paste till it turns brownish  and releases the ghee.  This step tests your arm strength.

Add sugar and khoya.

Stir fry until both the sugar and khoya are well absorbed. Turn off the heat, then mix in cashew  nuts and raisins.

January 14, 2010

Happy Pongal/Shankaranthi

Wishing all my readers a happy Pongal/ Shankarathi.

January 7, 2010

Thiruvathirai Kali and Poduthuval

Hope and wish you all had a lovely start to the New Year. After the celebrations, every one must be back to routine. So am I. We had all most all of the family here for the New Year except my eldest co-sister and niece. We missed them very much. Since Thiruvathirai was celebrated on the 1st, the day started pretty early for me (3:30 A.M) to go to the temple to have the Aruthra Darsanam (The pre-dawn hours of the full moon night, in the month of Margazhi/Danu with the longest nights in the year, marks the auspicious time for Arudhra Darshan). The specialty food for thriuvathirai is kali and poduthuval. Kali is roasted and powdered rice cooked in jaggery syrup. The sweet dish is served with a spicy side- Poduthuval. The main ingredient for the poduthuval is Kavathu and Avarakkai. Some add pumpkin, raw banana etc to it. Each family has their own recipe. In Kerala, many take upvaas/nolumbu on the day and they abstain from eating rice. Kali is made using arrowroot powder and will have consistency of payasam. During the time of thiruvathirai, shops sell this arrowroot powder. I usually stock it up during this season.

Thiruvathira Kali

Raw rice - 1 cup

Powdered jaggery - 1 cup

Whole moong dal - 2 tblspn

Water - 2 cups

Grated coconut - 3 tblspsn

Elaichi powder - 1/4 tspn

Ghee - 1 tblspn

Wash and drain rice. Roast it over low flame till it is pink. Roast moong dal for few minutes tillyou smell the flavor.  Cool and powder rice and moong dal, not very fine. It should be like rava, slightly coarse and grainy. Then only you will get fluffy kali else it will end up in a sticky mass.

Heat water in a kadai/uruli. When water gets heated, add the powdered jaggery. Bring it a boil. When it starts boiling, stir in the powdered rice rava. Lower the flame and let it cook for few minutes. The water will be fully absorbed as the rice rava gets cooked. Add a tablespoon of ghee and elaichi powder. When the kali appears dry and fluffy, stir in the grated coconut and remove from fire. Cover and leave it to cool. Kali taste best when it is cold.

It’s very easy to prepare kali provided you get the measurements right. The amount of water might differ according to the variety of rice. Usually the ratio of rice to water is 1:2.  This time, I made kali from 3 cups of rice.

Kavathu Poduthuval

Kavathu chopped into cubes - 2 cups

Avarakkai/Indian broad beans - 8 nos

Salt to taste

Turmeric a pinch

To grind

Grated coconut - 1/2 cup

Green chilly - 3 nos

To season

Coconut oil - 1 tblspn

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn

Red chilly - 2 nos

Curry leaves


Wash and peel the skin from the kavathu. Chop them into 1 inch cubes. String the beans and cut one into 2 or 3 pieces according to the size. Add turmeric and enough water to the pressure cooker along with the cut vegetables. Pressure cook for two whistles. The consistency of the poduthuval will be of thick gravy. Some prefer it to be dry. This is each one's personal choice. We like it slightly gravy but not runny kind.

Grind the coconut and green chilly coarsely without adding water. Add the ground coconut and salt to the cooked vegetable and bring to a boil. Adjust the consistency by adding water if needed. Do the seasoning and serve hot with the cold kali. This is the only festival I remember where a sweet dish is served with a salty side.

On a different note:

One of my readers Shrilatha sent me pics of recipes tried from Kailas Kitchen along with the New Year wishes. She really made my day. I am happy to share the pics with you all. Thanks Shri for sending the pics across.