Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mathanga Payasam

Mathanga Payasam - Easy & Nutritious.
Yields: 2 servings


Mathanga/Yellow Pumpkin/Butternut Squash - 250gms
Thick Coconut Milk - 1cup
Sugar - 1/4cup(or as per taste)
Rice powder - 2tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1-2tsp


Cut the pumpkin into cubes. Pressure cook the pumpkin pieces in a cup of water. With the back of a spoon mash the cooked pumpkin pieces. Now add the coconut milk & sugar. Mix well & bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes. Mix the rice powder in a little water(Do not substitute cornflour instead of rice flour, as it is the rice flour which gives the payasam a distinct flavour.) Add this to the pumpkin mixture slowly. Keep stirring while adding to avoid lumps. Stir cook for few more minutes & switch off the flame. Add the cardamom powder. Can be served warm or cold.

Quick Pumpkin Facts:

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body.Beta-carotene offers protection against Cancer, Heart disease as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.

Pumpkin Nutrition Facts
(1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt)

Calories 49
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrate 12 grams
Dietary Fiber 3 grams
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1.4 mg
Magnesium 22 mg
Potassium 564 mg
Zinc 1 mg
Selenium .50 mg
Vitamin C 12 mg
Niacin 1 mg
Folate 21 mcg
Vitamin A 2650 IU
Vitamin E 3 mg

Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian - Recipe from Blogs
I made it exactly as per Annita's recipe. Made the "dry type" & it came out really good. Thanks Annita for this great recipe!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Jihva For Toor Dal - Toor Dal Salad

Toor Dal/Lentil Salad - A simple cold Salad with French dressing & my fIrSt JFI eNtRy!
Found this recipe here.


Toor Dal - 1cup
Onion, medium size - 1/2
Garlic cloves - 1
Carrot, cut into 4 - 1/2
Celery stalk, cut into 4 - 1/2
Bay leaves - 1
Cloves - 1
Spring Onions, thinly sliced - 2nos.

For Lemon French Dressing
Olive Oil - 2tbsp
Lemon juice - 1tbsp
Garlic, mashed - 1/2clove
Thyme, dried - a pinch
Freshly ground pepper

For Garnish
Carrot, thinly sliced - 1/2
Parsley, minced - 2tbsp


In a saucepan, bring to a boil lentils, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf & clove(stick it into the onion). Simmer & cook on a very low heat until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain the lentils & remove the vegetables.

Combine the ingredients for French dressing and mix well.

Turn the drained lentils into a bowl while still hot. Add spring onions(didn't have spring onions so added 1/2 an onion chopped) & the French dressing to it and mix well. Check for pepper & salt. Cover & refrigerate for 2 hours.

At serving time, drain off any excess dressing. Turn into a flat serving dish, garnish with the sliced carrots and sprinkle with the parsley.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Prawn Biryani

Prawn Biryani - Malabar Style

Basmati Rice - 3cups
Prawns(Whole) - 1kg
Onion, sliced thinly - 3nos.
Tomatoes, chopped - 2nos.
Lemon juice - 2tbsp
Coriander leaves, chopped - 1 bunch
Mint leaves, chopped - small bunch
Whole spices for rice - cardamom - 5, cinnamon - 2" , cloves - 4, star anise -1 & bay leaves - 2
Chilli Powder - 1tsp
Biryani Masala powder- 11/2tsp

(Biryani Masala powder -
Dry roast & grind to a fine powder the following:-

Cinnamon(1" stick) -2, Cloves-4,
Fennel seed-1/2tsp, Shahjeera-1/2tsp, Cumin seed-1/2 tsp)
Ghee/Butter - 1tbsp+1tbsp
Oil as needed
Salt as needed

For Marinade
Chilli powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2tsp
Salt as needed

For Grinding
Green chillies - 5nos.
Garlic,chopped - 11/2tbsp
Ginger,chopped - 11/2tbsp
Coconut grated- 3tbsp
Curd - 4tbsp

For Garnish
Onion - 1nos.
Cashew nuts - few
Raisins - few


Soak rice in water for half an hour. Rinse and drain. Heat 1tbsp of ghee. Add the whole spices and fry for a minute. Add the drained rice & roast it for few minutes. Add 6 cups of boiling water & salt and cook rice till done. Spread rice in a flat plate & sprinkle lemon juice.

Clean & de-vein the prawns. Marinate in chilli, turmeric, pepper powders & salt for 30 min.

Grind together green chillies, garlic, ginger and grated coconut into a coarse paste adding curd.

Fry raisins and cashew nuts in ghee, till brown and keep aside. Carmelise one onion(thinly sliced for garnish) & keep aside. In the same pan fry the marinated prawns to a golden tinge. Keep aside a few prawns for garnishing.

To the fried prawns, in the same oil, add 3 onions chopped. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Add tomato, ground paste, chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and the lemon juice. Cook covered for a few minutes. Then open cook till the masala reduces in quantity. Add chilli powder. Check for salt. Finally add the Biryani Masala & switch off the heat.

In a microwave safe dish, spread half of the rice, layer the prawn masala on top and layer the remaining rice on it. Cover & microwave for 4 min on high. Alternately you can bake it for 15-30 min at 150 deg. celsius. Mix thoroughly and serve garnished with fried prawns,roasted cashews,raisins and caramelized onion and serve hot with onion raita & pickle.

Other Related Recipes:
Malabar Chicken Biryani
Unnakka Chemeen Chammanthi/Dried Shrimp Chutney

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Soft, Juicy & Spongy sweet made from milk. The very popular Bengali sweet is originally from Orissa(India).

Recipe from blogs
Yields: 16 Rasgullas

Whole Milk - 1 liter

Lemon - 2nos.

All purpose flour - 2tsp
Sugar - 1 1/2cups
Water - 3cups


Extract juice from the lemons. Boil whole milk in a big pot on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the milk starts to boil, add lemon juice.After the milk starts to curdle.Turn off the stove and pour them into a cheese cloth. Wash four or five times in cold water to rinse out all the lemon juice from curdled milk. Tie a knot and hang them over a kitchen sink to drain out the whey. This should take about 1 to 2 hours. The cheese should be dry.

Process the cheese with 2 tsp of flour in a processor(for no more than a minute). Remove the mixture on to a plate. Slightly knead the mixture and divide the mixture into 16 equal parts and roll each part into a ball, taking care that there are no cracks on the surface. Place the cheese balls on a plate dusted with flour.

Pour 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Add sugar and bring to a boil on medium heat. When the sugar comes to a boil, gently drop the cheese balls to the sugar syrup. Close the cooker(I use a 4 liter, steel cooker from Prestige). Cook on medium heat throughout.After the first whistle, wait for 5-6 minutes and turn off the stove. Open the cooker after the pressure has come down. Cool before transferring them to a container and refrigerate. Serve cold.

1. Make sure you do not overcook the rasgullas, they might break apart.
2. For syrup you can use rose essence or cardamom powder or Saffron.
If you are using one gallon of milk which will yield about 40 to 45 sphere, make sure u cook only by batches of 12 to 15 depending on the size of your pressure cooker, because the spheres double in volume when cooked. And do not use the same syrup for the second batch.

Another good recipe (non pressure cooker recipe)

Mathi Vatichathu

Mathi Vatichathu - Sardines cooked dry

Sardines/Mathi/Chaala -
Ginger, julienned -
Garlic cloves, crushed/sliced/chopped - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Cocum, washed, soaked and shredded in water - 3nos.
Coconut oil/refined vegetable oil -
Water - 1/2cup
Salt to taste

For masala:
Red chillies - 10nos.
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
Peppercorns - 8nos.
Turmeric powder -
Button onions, sliced -


Clean the sardines & make gashes on both sides of the fish.

Coarsely grind ingredients for masala. Mix the ground ingredients with the coconut oil, shredded cocum, ginger, garlic & curry leaves and salt.
Grease an earthenware vessel(Mud pot) with coconut oil and layer the fish and the mixed masala alternately; finish with a layer of masala on top.Add water to cook the fish and bring to boil.Simmer over low heat till dry. Serve hot.

Other Related Recipes:
Fish Curry with Mangoes

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chettinad Mutton Curry

Mutton Chettinad

Original Recipe


Mutton cut into small pieces - 1 kg
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Onion chopped finely - 2(large)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Tomato sliced - 2
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed

For Grinding:-
Shallots(Kunjulli) - 1/2cup
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic cloves - 8
Cinnamon(Karuvapatta) - 2 pieces
Cloves (Grambu) - 4 nos
Fennel seeds(Perumjeerakam) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) - 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns(Kurumulagu) - 3-4
Chilly Powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Grind all the above ingredients into a coarse paste and keep it aside.


Marinate the mutton pieces in the ground paste and salt for 1/2 an hour. Heat little oil in a pressure cooker,add the marinated mutton pieces and cook until the mutton becomes tender.

Heat oil in a another pan and allow mustard seeds to splutter. Add in curry leaves and onions and saute until onions are golden brown. Add tomatoes and saute until they become soft. Finally add the cooked mutton pieces and fry it till the oil seperates.

Other Related Recipes:
Mutton Curry

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mutta Choru

Mutta Choru
Recipe from Blogs


Basmati Rice -1 cup
Eggs - 3
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 1
Ginger paste - 1/2tsp(no ginger in the original recipe!)
Ghee -1 tbsp

Oil - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves -1 sprig
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Salt-as required
Boiled Water - 1 1/2cup


Boil 2 of the 3 eggs. Cut into halves.
Soak the washed rice for 5 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a vessel and roast the rice till the grains become slightly soft on biting. Add boiled water and break into it 1egg and mix well. Add coconut milk,pepper powder and salt and cook till it is done.
Now heat oil in a wok. Add curry leaves, green chillies & ginger paste. Add red chilli powder,turmeric and garam masala. Cook at at a low flame or else chilli powder will get burnt. Next add the boiled eggs. Roast it till it becomes golden.
Add these eggs along with the masala to the cooked rice. Mix well. Finally garnish with chopped coriander.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mutton Curry

Mutton Curry (with potatoes)

Mutton - 900gms
Potatoes, boiled & diced - 2nos.
Onions(Big) - 2
Pearl Onions - 1/2cup
Tomatoes - 2nos.
Green Chillies - 4nos.
Ginger - 1"piece
Garlic(Big) - 2
Chilli Powder - 11/2tsp( or as per taste)
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Coriander powder - 3tsp
Bay leaves - 2nos.
Garam masala - 1/2tsp
Curry leaves - 2sprigs
Salt to taste

To grind
Fennel - 1tsp
Clove - 4nos
Cinnamon - 2" piece

Wash the meat and drain well.
Heat oil and add the bay leaves.
Next add the chopped big onions & green chillies.When half cooked add the chopped pearl onions & cook till slightly brown in colour.
Now add the ginger-garlic paste and cook till the raw smell goes.
Next add the chilli, turmeric & coriander powders. Stir for a while and then add the chopped tomatoes & curry leaves. When oil starts to separate add garam masala & the ground masala. After few min add the mutton & salt mix well and cook for another 5 minutes on medium flame.
Transfer the contents to a pressure cooker, add hot water and cook till done. Open cooker and add boiled potatoes, check for salt and cook covered on low flame for 5min. Serve hot with rice or chappathi.

Other Related Recipes:
Chettinad Mutton Curry

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


This recipe yields one 8" appam(1"thick).

You will need:
Rice flour - 1cup

Semolina/Rava/Sooji - 1tbsp
Yeast - 1/4tsp
Sugar - 1/2tsp

Grated Coconut - 1/2-1/3cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4tsp
Sugar - 1/3cup
Salt to taste
Raisins for garnishing

Cook rava in a cup of water till it becomes soft. Let it cool.
When lukewarm, add yeast & 1/2tsp sugar to it. Allow it to froth.
Next, add rice flour to it and mix well. Set the dough aside to rise for 6 hours.
Grind coconut with sugar to a fine paste and add it to the dough.
Add cardamom powder. Mix well & let it ferment for another 4-6hours.
Add salt & pour the mixture into a greased 8" pan. Place raisins on top & steam for 5-10 minutes in a steamer or in a pressure cooker without keeping the weight. When done a toothpick inserted will come out clean.
Cool, cut into wedges and serve.

Tips: Alternately, for a quick vatteappam, you can mix rava gruel, yeast, rice, coconut & cardamom and keep aside to ferment for 3-4 hours. Add sugar & salt. Mix well and steam till done.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Flowers from my Mom-in-law's garden

White Orchid

Closeup .....

Another closeup....