Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aviyal



Aviyal (updated picture)

Here is a Kerala specialty dish.Aviyal is traditional dish of Kerala which is a medley of lots of vegetables cooked in coconut and yogurt sauce flavored with cumin,garlic,coconut oil and curry leaves.It is less spicy and highly nutritious. Usually for the Sadhya it is prepared as a semi solid side dish for rice.You can add as many vegetables as you like. Traditionally we use raw plantains,yam, snake gourd,ash gourd,cluster beans,drumsticks,pumpkin,carrots, Chembu( taro) etc. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients
To grind
Shredded Coconut- 1 cup
Yogurt- 3-4 tsp
Cumin- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods-2
Shallots- 3-4


Vegetables
Plantain-1,
Potato- 1 small
Carrot- 1,
Yam sliced- 1/2 cup
Ash gourd- 1/2 cup
Snake gourd, Chembu( taro)- 1 cup
Yard Beans- 1/2 cup
Drumsticks- 5-6 pieces
Cluster  beans- 1/3 cup
Green chilly slitted- 4-5
Green mango- a few pieces.


Mustard seed- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Red chilly-2
Coconut oil- 2 tsp


Chop vegetables into long slices ( thickness and length-size 3/4 of your index finger).
(Note: You can cut all vegetables and keep then together except mango. If you are adding mango add it only when the vegetables is almost cooked and soft, especially check the plantain. Otherwise the vegetables will not get properly cooked. If you do not like mangoes you can add one tomato at this stage or 1/2 cup of yogurt along with the ground coconut later)

Add salt,one tsp of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of water cover and cook till vegetables are tender but not mashed up.
(Note: You can also heat 2 tbs of coconut oil and first add curry leaves and then add the vegetables and fry first and then cover and cook without adding water. Cover and cook and stir in between. Make sure it does not stick to the bottom. If necessary sprinkle little bit of water)

Grind all the ingredients listed under to grind into a fine paste with very little water and add to the cooked vegetables. Gently stir in the coconut mixture and simmer for another two minutes.
(Note:If adding yogurt add at this stage)

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add red chilly and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Pour this over the curry and mix well. Aviyal is ready.Serve with rice.

( Traditionally for sadhya there will be no seasoning. After adding the coconut mixture simmer for two minutes. Add fresh curry leaves and drizzle a little coconut oil on top)

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy...

Monday, March 28, 2011

German Chocolate Cake


Delicious gooey chocolate cake filled with creamy  caramel flavored coconut pecan frosting will surely be something every chocolate cake lover would die for..and for a chocolate lover like me this was divine.When I first saw the German chocolate cake I was impressed by the beautiful stack of cakes with this gooey frosting and finally ended making one at home. I feel it is one of the most delicious chocolate cake.I have brought a little alterations but for the exact recipe check here.For the chocolate cake you can use either melted baking chocolate or a combination of baking chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder.


Ingredients for the filling

Condensed milk- 8 ounce or 1/2 tin
Butter - 3 tsp
milk- 2 tsp
vanilla essence- 1tsp
Egg yolks 2
Chopped pecans- 3/4 cup
Sweet Coconut - 3/4 cup
Salt- a pinch

Ingredients for cake
1)Flour- 2 cup

Butter - 3/4 stick
Cocoa- 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 1 1/2tsp
Baking soda- a pinch
salt- a pinch

2)Semi sweet chocolate- 4 ounce
Egg- 3

Butter milk- 3/4 cup
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp




To make the frosting
Heat condensed milk, two tsp of milk and butter. When this comes to a boil beat egg yolks in a separate bowl and add two to three tsp of this hot liquid and whisk vigorously. Quickly add this egg mixture to the boiling condensed milk and stir continuously till thick like custard. Add in chopped pecan coconut and vanilla essence and allow this mixture to cool completely.
For the cake 
Heat oven to 350 degree F and prepare baking pan by greasing it and then dusting with flour.
In a double boiler melt chocolate and allow to cool. Combine the dry ingredients listed under one and keep aside.
Beat butter and sugar until it becomes creamy and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating.Add vanilla essence and melted chocolate and combine. Now add little by little flour mixture and butter milk and gently fold in. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted at the center comes out clean. Let it cool down completely before frosting.


Sending this to the following events ...
Priya's Now Serving- Crazy for Cakes Guest Event,Rumanas Treat To The Eye - Series 2 ,Akheela's Food Palette Series Brown,Akila's Dish Name Starts with G

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..


Friday, March 25, 2011

Chemmeen Pollichathu


Chemmeen Pollichathu is a delicious recipe in which prawns is slowly cooked in a tangy and spicy coconut sauce wrapped in banana leaf.The uniqueness of this recipe is due to the distinct aroma infused by banana leaf that is used to cover the fish or the prawns masala. I have used kodum puli as a souring agent. We can also use tomatoes or tamarind. In some regions tender tamarind leaves is used instead. If you are lucky to get tender tamarind leaves try it with this recipe. it tastes even better.Give this recipe a try, you will surely enjoy :)


Ingredients
Prawns- 1 lb
Crushed shallots- 1 cup
Ginger- 2 inch thick
Garlic- 6-7
Green chilly- 2
Kudampuli/ Gambooge- 2peice
( or use Kokum or Tamarind)
Thick coconut milk-1/3 cup
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/3 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Coconut oil- 2 tsp


Heat oil in a pan and add minced garlic,ginger and green chilly and fry for a minute followed by shallot /onion and fry till golden brown. Add turmeric powder followed by kukum, salt,coriander powder, chilly powder and garam masala. Add prawns and fry for a minute till it changes color. Now add the coconut milk and simmer till the masala is reduced. Keep this aside.
Take banana leaf and gently place on the gas stove flame turning each side quickly till it changes color. Place this leaf on a plate and layer the prawns masala. Fold in from all side wrap the leaf and tie it. (Have a look here ) . Heat a manchatti ( earthen ware) with lid or a tawa. Grease it with a little oil and place the wrap in and cover and cook for 2-3 minutes turning sides in between. Serve with rice or pathiri.

Try this...
Hope you will all enjoy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meen Palu Curry/Nadan Meen Curry


Delicious and spicy fish curry is a must for lunch in every Malayali home .This is nadan fish curry is made with coconut milk and is flavorful and delicious.Different regions have their own variations of fish curry ranging  from the fiery red curry or  mulaku curry to very mild curries like fish molee. Fish curry is made milder by adding shredded coconut either as a fine paste or as coconut milk. Try this curry. You will surely love this as it tastes wonderful with rice or appam.

Ingredients
Fish- 1 1/2 lb
Thinly sliced onion- 1/2 onion
Crushed shallot- 1/3 cup
Tomato- 1 medium
kokum or tamarind- 2 pieces/one lemon size
Ginger sliced- 2 inch thick
Garlic - 2 (optional)
Green chilly- 2
Thick coconut milk- 1 cup
Chilly powder- 11/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp
whole pepper- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Coconut oil- 2 -3 tsp


Marinate fish with little chilly powder , turmeric powder and salt for ten minutes and lightly fry and keep aside  ( this is optional..you can also add fish to the gravy and cook)

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and whole pepper and curry leaves and wait till they splutter and curry leaves to fry. Next add sliced onions and crushed shallots along with ginger, tomato and green chilly and saute till golden brown and tomatoes cooked. Add turmeric, chilly powder and salt and saute for a minute. Now add one cup of water and kokum and allow to boil. Drop in the fish pieces cover add cook till the fish is cooked and tender. Finally add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for two more minutes. Serve with rice.

Try this...
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yam/ Chena Podimas


Here is the famous south Indian favorite- podimas but not the classic potato podimas. Here I substituted yam for potato.Yam is a versatile vegetable and this podimas tastes delicious.This goes well with rice and rasam and is now one of our family favorites

Yam- 1/2 lb
shallots/onion chopped- 1/3 cup
green chilly-2
Chilly powder- 1/3 tsp
Turmeric- 1/3 tsp
Cumin- 1/3tsp
Ginger minced- 1 inch thick
Coconut- 1/3 cup
Urud dal- 1 tsp
Chana dal- 2 tsp
Mustard- 1/3 tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Curry leaves- one spring
Red chilly- 2
Salt
oil


Cut yam into pieces and cook with salt and one tsp of oil and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and fry followed by red chilly,chana dal and urud dal. When it is golden brown add hing,onions,ginger and curry leaves.Saute till golden brown. Add turmeric powder and chilly powder and finally the cooked yam and shredded coconut. Mix well,check for salt and allow to fry in medium heat for a few minutes. Serve with rice

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kallumakaya/ Kadukka/Mussels Fry


This  spicy fried delicacy and is much favored in Kerala. It is one of the all time favorites next to lobster and crab.Mussels or kadukka is a good source of zinc and folic acid.It is more popular in Malabar regions and there are several traditional and exotic recipes and it can be either fried or stuffed( arikadukka- mussels stuffed with rice paste). As I searched the web I found another interesting recipe of the Malabar region Kadukka pickle!. Anyways I am yet to try arikadukka and pickle.
The whole process of cleaning mussels is tedious. It needs to be boiled to open the shells and removal of the wastes etc., will be time consuming. Here I tried with the cleaned and packed mussels. This is spicy and delicious and can be served as an appetizer or a side dish.


Ingredients
Mussels- 1 1/2 lb
Onion sliced-1 
Shallot - 8-10
Tomato- 1 medium
Ginger-2 inch thick
Garlic- 8-10 pods
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Pepper powder- 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/3 tsp
Garam Masala-1 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Oil


Clean and marinate mussels with turmeric powder, salt  and chilly powder and cook with 1/2 cup of water and cook till done( 3-4 minutes). Heat  2 tsp of oil in a pan and add sliced onions, shallots and fry till it changes color. Add ginger and garlic and curry leaves and fry till golden brown. Add finely chopped tomato and cook till soft. Add coriander powder, pepper powder and garam masala and the cooked mussels and fry till the masala is well coated and the mussels gets a little crispy. Serve with rice or parotta.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy..

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pavakka Varuthathu/ Fried Bitter Gourd



Pavakka fry is quick and easy side dish and goes well with rice and sambar.I know it is one of the less loved vegetable because of its bitter taste..for some reason I have always loved them.Usually I make mezhukkuvaratti or pachadi but this fry is something I love to have occasionally. Try this crispy and spicy pavakka fry, you will surely love it and believe me,you will not feel the bitterness :)



Ingredients
Bitter Gourd/Pavakka- 2 medium
Onion sliced- 1 medium
Green chilly- 3
Coconut sliced- a few
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
salt to taste
Rice flour-1 tsp (optional)
Corn starch- 1 tsp( optional)
oil for frying


Cut bitter gourd into thin slices and mix in green chilly, coconut slices, chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. Set this aside for 10 minutes. Heat oil in a pan. Mix in corn starch and rice flour into the marinated bitter gourd just before frying. 
When the bitter gourd starts changing color to golden brown add in sliced onions and fry them all together till crispy. Use paper towels to drain off the excess oil.Serve with rice.

Try this...
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sooji Halwa ( With Jaggery)



Sooji halwa is a sweet and delicious dessert and is one of the easiest halwa It is very easy to put together and will not take more than 10minutes. There is very little stirring unlike usual halwa preparation. It has the  inviting aroma of roasted sooji, cardamon and ghee and is perfect for any occasion. This recipe is inspired by the sooji halwa of Manjula's kitchen..I used the exact measurement but here I used jaggery instead of sugar.

Ingredients
Sooji/Rawa- 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Powdered jaggery- 1/3 cup
Water- 1 1/2 cup
Cardamon- a pinch
cashew nut chopped- 2 tsp
Cashews for garnish



Boil water and jaggery till it is completely dissolved, strain and keep aside.
Roast sooji in ghee for five minutes till it is golden brown and there is a nice aroma.
Add jaggery syrup little by little and stir till the halwa gets thickened for 5 minutes. Add cardamon powder and roasted cashews.Pour into a greased plate and allow to cool and set.Garnish and serve.


Sending this to Akheel's wonderful event  Food Palette Series Brown

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chicken Pulao


Chicken pulao is a  quick and delicious one pot aromatic meal.It is different from the elaborate chicken biryani,but equally tasty and great for weekend lunch .Its simplicity in preparation yet delicious taste and flavor makes it a sure winner.

Ingredients

Basmathi rice- 2 cups
Chicken - 1 lb
Yogurt- 3/4 cup
onion- 1/2 medium
tomato puree- 1/2
green Chilly-3-4
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2tsp
garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Ginger- garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves/mint powder - a few/ 1/2 tsp
Ghee- 1tsp
oil-2 tsp
salt

Cashew nuts- a few
water-3 cups


Cinnamon - 1 stick
cloves- 4-5
Star aniseed- 2
cardamon- 2

Wash rice, drain and keep aside.

Clean and marinate the chicken with chilly powder,turmeric powder, salt garam masala,yogurt and mint leaves and keep aside for half an hour.
Heat oil in a pan and add whole garam masala and fry for a minute followed by cashew nuts,onions and ginger garlic paste till onions are golden brown. Add tomato puree and saute till it is cooked and oil separates. Add in the marinated chicken and half a cup of water cover and cook till the chicken is almost done.Chicken will have gravy at this stage. Add  rice on top along with 31/2 cups of hot water. Cook in medium flame till the rice is cooked all the water is absorbed. Gently mix rice and chicken with a fork.Serve warm.


Try this...
Hope  you will all enjoy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chemmeen /Prawns Theeyal


Prawns Theeyal (updated pic)

Theeyal is a spicy and tangy coconut based dish and its wonderful aroma comes from roasted coconut....definitely sounds tedious,but believe me its worth the effort. This chemmeen/prawns is a great side dish for rice or pathiri.Theeyal is part of the feast in some parts of Kerala and there are different variations of theeyal. This is similar to the Vazhuthanenga/eggplant theeyal that I had posted earlier. This is non veg and seafood lovers will love this aromatic and slightly tangy dish.


Ingredients
Prawns- 1 lb
Pearl onions- 20-25
Coconut-1 cup 
Thinly sliced coconut pieces-  a few
Ginger- 3 inch thick
Green chilly- 2
Chilly powder-  1 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder- 3 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
 Fenugreek powder- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind- one lemon size
mustard seeds- 1/2
curry leaves
Salt to taste
oil


Heat one tsp of oil in a pan and add coconut to this and roast in medium heat till it is browned up. Add chilly powder , coriander powder and fenugreek powder and slightly roast it along with the coconut. Using a mixer blend this into a fine paste.
In another pan add mustard seeds and when they crackle add thinly sliced coconut pieces and fry till golden brown. Now add sliced pearl onion, ginger, curry leaves and green chilly and fry till the onion becomes golden brown. Add turmeric and stir for one more minute. Now add the prawns and salt and saute till the prawns changes color. Add half a cup of tamarind extract and allow this to boil. Finally add the paste and simmer for three minutes. Serve with rice.

Try this...
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lemon Cup Cake


This is a simple lemon cup cake.It has a wonderful citrus flavor and a delicious tea time cake. Children will love its sweet buttery flavor and a sweet and bit tangy lemon flavored frosting.

Ingredients
For the cup cake

All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/3 tsp
Sugar- 3/4 cup
Egg- 3
Lemon juice- 1 lemon
Lemon Zest- 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp
Butter- 1/2 cup
Milk- 3-4tsp
One drop of lemon color(optional)

For the Cream frosting.
Heavy Whipping-1 cup
Confectionery Sugar- 1/2 cup
Lemon zest- 1/3 tsp




To make the frosting mix cream and confectionery sugar and keep in refrigerator and keep chill till use. Beat them together using a hand mixer until it holds stiff peaks. Sprinkle the lemon zest and fold in. Chill till it is time to do the frosting.

To make the cup cake
Preheat oven to 350 degree f.Line baking tray(muffin tin) with paper cups and keep ready.
Shift flour, baking powder and salt at least two times and keep aside.
Beat sugar and butter till it is light and fluffy.
Add in eggs one at a time into the butter mixture and beat well for one minute. Add vanilla essence, lemon juice and lemon zest.Add the flour little by little and little milk and fold in.Scoop the batter into the cups till 2/3and bake for 20 minutes. Check by inserting a tooth pick at the center. Place on wire rack and allow to cool completely before doing the frosting.

Adapted from : Food network


Sending this to Rumana's wonderful event 

And  to Priya's event



Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Kurukku Kaalan


 Kurukku kaalan is a popular dish of Central Kerala. It is a delicious yogurt and coconut based dish and is made by slowly simmering cooked vegetables and yogurt and coconut paste to a thick and creamy consistency.Kurukku literally means liquid that is reduced or thickened.It is essential part of the Kerala Sadhya, and is one of my favorites among the wide range of exquisite vegetarian dishes served during Onam or other festive celebrations. The vegetable I have used here is chembu /Taro.


Ingredients
Chembu- 5- 6 medium ones
Yogurt- 2 1/2 cup
Coconut- 1 cup
Pepper powder- 1 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Cumin- 1/3 tsp
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilly-1
shallot thinly sliced-1
oil- 3 tsp
salt to taste


Cut vegetable into small pieces. Mix pepper powder in one cup of water and strain. Discard the husk. Use this water along with salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder and cook the taro till it is soft. 
Mix in thick yogurt (strain out the water using a cheese cloth) and cook a medium flame for about five to six minutes till it thickens.Stir continuously for the first two minutes and allow to simmer.
Grind coconut and cumin into a thick fine paste using very little water. Add this simmer for a minute and switch off the flame.
Heat oil and ghee in  a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds followed by shallot slices red chilly and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add this to the curry and mix well. Serve with rice.




 Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kerala Fish Biryani



This is a Kerala style fish biryani more popular in Northern Kerala. Any biryani lover will love this simple  delicious and easy to make fish biryani. This is a flavorful and spicy fried fish cooked in a tangy sauce. Aromatic spices, tangy fried fish and rice flavored with ghee and fried onions will definitely please your palate. Fish biryani tastes best with King fish. But I have tried with salmon too, which also tasted delicious.



Ingredients
For the rice
Basmathi rice- 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
salt as needed
Whole garam masala
(cinnamon- a small piece, clove 3,cardamon 2)
ghee- 1/2 tsp


To marinate the fish
King fish - 3/4 kg
chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
lemon juice- a few drops


For the masala
Shallots/onions- 8-10 or one medium
Ginger garlic chopped- 1/3 cup
Green chilly- 6-8
Yogurt- 1/2 cup
tomato- 1
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Garam masala- 1 1/2 tsp
(For home made biryani masala check here)
Fennel powder- 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves- a handful
Mint leaves- a few


Garnish
Onion thinly sliced- 1/2 onion
Raisins- 10-  12
cashew nuts- 8-10
ghee- 3 tsp


Cook the rice till it is 80% done by adding in the ingredients listed under rice. You can tie the masalas with a muslin cloth and remove it after the rice is cooked. Once cooked spread on a tray and allow to cool.

Marinate the fish with the ingredients listed and shallow fry them one minute on either side. Need not cook them all the way as it will be cooked in the sauce.
Fry onions listed under garnish in ghee till it is crispy and brown. Strain and keep aside. In the same pan fry cashew nuts till golden brown and raisins and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add in crushed or finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chilly and mint leaves and fry for a minute. Add crushed shallots and fry till golden brown. Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute till it is soft. Now add in the turmeric powder, chilly powder and fry ( you can also add coriander powder - 1/2 tsp if you like).Take one spoon full of this masala and mix into the yogurt and blend well. Now add this to the masala ( this will prevent it from curdling) . Pour half a cup of hot water and stir well. Now add the fish pieces and cook in medium flame for three minutes. 
Sprinkle little of coriander leaves and layer the rice on top of the fish masala. Garnish with coriander leaves,mint leaves, fried onion and cashews and drizzle a few drops of ghee. If you feel that the masala has dried up completely pour 1/3 cup of thin coconut milk finally on top of the rice. This will add more flavor to the biryani, but this is optional. Close with a tight lid and place a little weight on top. Cook in low flame ( or place a tawa first and then the biryani vessel) for four to five minutes. Serve warm with raitha, pickle and papad.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy...
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