Thursday, March 29, 2007

Kuruku Kalan

From the top Vazhaka mezhuvaratti(Raw plantain fry), Muringa ela kootan(Drumstickleaves curry), Kuruku kalan, and Rice

I had a lot of sour curds in the fridge, and what else can a Mallu make with sour curds but kuruku kalan. I could also make moru curry or puliserry,but I was feeling nostalgic, and kuruku kalan would be the perfect remedy for my homesickness. In this recipe the curds are cooked and evaporated till it reduces to almost half and can be stored in the refrigerator for a long time. I usually make it with 2 cups of curd, so I have enough evaporated curd to make kalan twice. I learned to make this dish from my mother-in-law, who is from Puthcode. This curry is very different from Moru kootan where raw curds are added to the dish and then cooke. Whereas in kuruku kalan the curd is cooked and exaporated first and then added to the dish and cooked again. This is the traditional way it is made for sadyas, weddings or festivals.

To make the kuruku or evaporated curds
2 cups sour curds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp salt

Kuruku or evaporated curds

Cook this down to 1 cup on medium heat, keep stirring ocassionally. It will look like yellow cottage cheese. Store this in the fridge till you are ready to make the kalan. you could make more kuruku just increase the quantity of sour curds. I sometimes microwave the whole thing it take about 15 minutes. Keep cooking it at 5 minute increments till it reduces to half.

To make the kalan:
1/2 cup of the kuruku from the above recipe
1/4 cup white pumpkin
1/4 cup chena/yam
1/4 cup raw plantain
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mehti powder
salt to taste

Grind to a paste
1 cup coconut
6 green chillies if using jalapenos use 1 or 2
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup water

1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp mehti seeds
1 red chilli
4 curry leaves

Cut the vegetables into one inch cubes.
Cook with a cup of water and salt and turmeric.
Grind the ingredients for the paste.
Add to the cooked vegetables.
Add the kuruku or evaporated curd to this mixture.
Once it boils and thickens, add mehti powder.
Remove from heat and keep aside.
To season heat oil add mustard seeds, once they splutter add red chilli mehti seeds, and stir.
Add curry leaves, pour over kalan.
Serve as a side dish with rice and muringa ela kootan or any dal based curry.

Idli and Thenga Chamanthi

Idli and chamanthi reminds me of the lazy summer mornings in Kerala eating b'fast on small banana leaves. In those days I could devour ten of these and not worry about where it was going to show. Anyway today's b'fast was idli and thenga chamanthi(coconut chutney). I'm enjoying my spring break and cooking up a frenzy of long forgotten dishes. My idli recipe is simple, and I use just regular Sona masuri rice to make the idlis. I use the same batter to make dosas or uthappams the next day. It's usually idlis the first day, then dosas the next day, and if any batter is left uthappams. I soak the rice and dal on Friday morning and grind it in the evening in my Oster blender. Leave it in the oven to ferment overnight with the pilot light on, and the batter is ready on Saturday morning for idlis.


3 cups sona masuri rice

1 cup udad dal

1/2 cup cooked rice

2 tsp salt

Wash and soak separately for atleast six hours. Grind udad dal with water till very smooth.

Grind rice with water and cooked rice till smooth.

Mix both batters well add salt and leave to ferment in the oven with the light on.

When the batter rises usually takes about 8 hours or more depending on where you live, pour into idli mould and steam idlis for 10 minutes after the steam starts coming.

Serve with chamanthi.


1 cup fresh grated coconut

3 red chillies

1/4 tsp tamarind paste

salt to taste


1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 red chilli

3 curry leaves

1 shallot(cheri ulli/ sambar onion) finely minced

Roast the red chillies till crisp.

Grind the coconut, red chillies, tamarind paste, and salt till smooth adding a little water.

Heat oil for seasoning, add mustard seeds, add red chillies, once they splutter add curry leaves and shallots.

Fry till the shallots are brown add the coconut mixture, let it warm through on medium heat.

Serve with idlis.