Thursday, December 03, 2009

Elissery- Pumpkin and Black Chana Curry

This is for you Rana, Sumitha and Seema, for enjoying all the Kerala dishes that I make. This is a dish that you would find at any Sadya or feast.

Yellow Pumpkin peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes, I used a big wedge about 2 to 3 cups when cut up.

Black Chana 1 cup soaked for a few hours and cooked till tender or use canned Chickpeas

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilli pwd/ Cayenne Pepper 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

To Grind-:1/2 cup, 3 green chilles, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Tempering-: 2 tsp coconut oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp udad dal, 2 red chillies,

3 tbsp grated coconut and curry leaves

  • Cook the pumpkin with chilli pwd, turmeric, and salt.
  • When half cooked add the cooked black chana.
  • Once the pumpkin is cooked, add the ground paste.
  • Cook for a few more minutes, it should be a thick gravy not too watery and not too dry.
  • Heat oil for seasoning, add mustard seeds, once they splutter add red chillies and urad dal, once they are golden add curry leaves and coconut.
  • Brown the coconut till it's golden brown but be careful not to burn it.
  • This is the most important part, once the coconut is the right color add to the pumpkin.
  • Serve with rice or chapatis.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Savory Kozhakatta (Steamed Rice Dumplings)

These dumplings are eaten in Kerala for a snack, in other parts it's also served as a prasadam, during Navratri, Ganesh Puja, VijayDashmi etc. There are different kinds of kozhakattas, they could be sweet filled with coconut and jaggery or made with different ingredients like coconut or carrot.
I made these for Navrathri, as I was feeling a little homesick missing all the fun that was going on in India, in the US all the holidays just go by, I have to keep asking my mom 'when's Diwali', no clue when any holiday is going on. Anyways for once I knew Navrathri was ending tomorrow, and hence the dish.

2 cups Rice Flour
2 cups water
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup coconut grated

4 Green chillies
1/4 tsp hing
1/4 cup water

1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 red chilles
a few curry leaves

1.Roast the rice flour on low heat for about 5 minutes, this gives a nice flavor to the rice.
2.Heat water, add salt and oil.
3.Grind the green chillies and hing with water.
4.Add the boiling water to the rice flour, add the ground up green chillies, and coconut.
5. Stir well, don't worry about the clumps.
6.Once the dough can be handled, knead it well and make a smooth dough.
7.Heat a steamer with water, spray the plate or steamer stand with oil.
8. Make about one inch balls, they don't have to be perfect rounds, just press themm together to make dumplings.
9.Place on the steamer tray, and steam for about 6 minutes.
10. For seasoning, heat oil, add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
11. Add the steamed kozhukatta, and stir well for a few minutes till dry.
12. Serve with chutney podi or chutney.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cauliflower and Peas Stew

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 red onion chopped fine
1 medium potato cut into small cubes
1 tbsp ginger grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 green chilli minced
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp sambar pwd( use curry pwd as a substitute)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp tomato paste
2 tomatoes blended
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups cauliflower cut into medium florets
1/2 cup frozen carrots and beans (optional add fresh if you have)
1 cup water
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped
1 cup frozen peas
Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients, I think coconut milk might be the only ingredient not in your pantry, use coconut milk powder instead. Most Indian home will have all these ingredients, because these are things you need when making any kind of Indian food. Sambar powder might be another ingredient that you might not have, just add curry pwd or a mixture of cayenne pwd and coriander powder. I had some frozen carrots and beans mixture so I threw those in too.

This dish was for a Potluck Dinner for a friend's baby shower. I was also taking some steamed rice and a raita with it.

So once you have assembled all your ingredients, this is what you do,

Heat oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Once they splutter, add onions stir for a few minutes add potatoes, and cook till brown on medium heat.
Then add ginger, garlic, green chilli, tomato paste, turmeric pwd, sambar pwd, garam masala and cayenne pepper.
Stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the blended tomatoes, stir well.
Add cauliflower, frozen carrots and beans if using, salt and sugar.
Add 1 cup of water, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or so or until cauliflower is tender.
Add sour cream and coconut milk, cilantro and frozen peas.
Stir well, and remove from heat.
You should have a thick gravy, taste and season if required.
Serve the stew with rice and raita, or any Indian bread.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Veggie Club Sandwich

A club sandwich is usually toasted bread with mayo and bacon, lettuce, and tomato. A traditional club used to be two slices, now it's usually three slices with two layers of fillings. I'm breaking all the rules, by using two slices, losing the mayo and the meat. This is actually a traditional sandwich filling that's used in India, a chutney or a pesto made out of cilantro leaves. The sandwich is usually slathered with butter to keep the bread from gettin soggy especially if you're packing it up for a picnic or eating it later. Mine I would like to think is a healthier version and you could make it low carb too, by using low cal bread. I'm tired of eating low cal, so I went all out and made it with potato bread.

I make the green chutney beforehand it's a handful of cilantro leaves, add mint too if you like, green chillies, ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Blend this and keep in the fridge it lasts for a few days.

2 slices bread
a smidgen of butter if not eating right away
green chutney
1 tbsp shredded carrot
cucumber slices
red onion slices
feta cheese(optional)
tomato slices

Toast the bread, apply butter if you're packing it up to eat later or if you just like butter.
Spread a tsp of chutney on the bread slices.
Layer with carrots, cucumbers, red onions, feta, tomato and toast.
Cut diagonally and serve.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Grilled Corn Indian Style (Roasted Bhutta)

Grilling or roasting corn this way transports me back to Mumbai, this is the time you'll see vendors everywhere roasting corn. The vendor usually roasts the corn on a charcoal grill. I used my stove top instead but you can use your grill for this too. I like the convenience of doing it inside, so I can multitask a the same time. To be honest I used to want a gas stove top, but I'm finding out, that it's easier to use the electric stove top as the heat is a little slower and you can leave whatever you're roasting on the griddle and work on other things simultaneously.

Corn on the cob
Cayenne Pepper
Lime or Lemon cut into half
Remove the husks off the corn.
Place the corn on a wire cooling rack or the contraption I have is like a little griddle or roaster with holes, which I place on my stove top.
Cook or roast the corn evenly and keep rotating the corn till it is brown all over.
Mix the salt and cayenne pepper, dip the lemon half into this mixture and apply on the corn.
Enjoy the hot and sour flavor of corn.

Crispy Mushroom and Onion Pizza

I had seen this on Everyday Food, and adapted it to whatever I had in my pantry. This was my dinner tonight, can be used as a appetizer too, very quick and no fuss meal. I used rotis which I lightly cooked on the skillet. The original recipe used Ricotta cheese and Asiago cheese. You could also add green peppers and olives or any other veggie.

2 whole wheat Tortillas 6 inch/Rotis
2 tsps olive oil
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese grated
2 tbsps of goat cheese crumbled
1/2 cup mushrooms thinly sliced
1/4 red onion thinly sliced
red chilli flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place the tortillas on a lined cookie sheet. (If using Rotis cook lightly on both sides on a skillet)
Brush the tortillas with the olive oil.
Sprinkle the cheese evenly.
Add mushrooms and onions.
Sprinkle salt and pepper on the veggies.
Bake for about 10 minutes, mine were done in 8 minutes, or till crisp and brown.
Remove and cut into quarters and serve sprinkled with red chilli flakes.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ravioli Stuffed w/ Spinach and Cheese

1 2 lb package of the Stuffed Ravioli
2 mini peppers minced
2 scallions minced
4 olives sliced
Basil leaves

3 tbsp EVOO
6 tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove crushed
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

I bought these from Costco, you get two packages of 2 lbs each, I used just one package for this recipe. You can freeze the other packet if not using right away.

Cook Ravioli as per package instructions. Meanwhile make the dressing with the Olive oil, lime juice, garlic clove, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Add the dressing to the cooked Ravioli, add the rest of ingredients. Stir gently and serve.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Carrot and Onion Rice Adai

This adai tastes like a rava dosa and a onion uthappa, and is so easy to make as there is no fermentation.

2 cups raw rice

3 tbsp besan (chickpea flour)

1 tbsp cooked rice

2 tbsps onions finely chopped

1 carrot finely grated

1/2 green chilli finely minced

1 tbsp ginger grated

1 tbsp cilantro minced

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of hing

oil for making the adais

Soak rice for a few hours or overnight, grind smoothly with 1/2 cup water add cooked rice and besan and blend well.

Add all the other ingredients to the batter.

Make adais and serve with chutney powder and yogurt.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 cup jaggery
1/2 cup water
1 banana mashed to a smooth paste
4 green cardamons powdered
1/2 tsp ginger powder
Canola Oil

Heat jaggery with water and cook till melted completely.
Leave it aside to cool.
Add both flours to the cooled jaggery mixture.
Add the mashed banana and cardamon and ginger powder..
Mix well and keep aside for 2 hours.
Heat the Appakara(a pan with indentations in them), add oil about halfway upto the indentations.
Meanwhile stir the batter add a little water if it's too thick.
Add a tbsp of batter in each cook for about or so then turn and cook both sides.
Remove add more oil if required and cook all the unniappams.
Makes about 20 unniappams.

Instant noodles

1/2 cup cabbage sliced thin
1 carrot sliced into thin shreds
a few green beans sliced thin
1/2 onion sliced
1 garlic clove crushed
1 green chilli minced
1 tsp ginger minced
1tbsp oil
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp soy sauce
1tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp red chilli sauce
2 packets ramen noodles or any instant noodles
2 cups water
1tsp sesame oil
1tbsp cilantro minced
salt and pepper to taste
Microwave beans with 1 tsp of water to for 2 minutes.
Heat oil, add red chilli pepper flakes, onions garlic, green chilli, and ginger.
Saute till light brown.
Add vegetables and a little salt and pepper,and cook for a few minutes.
Add soy sauce, tomato ketchup, and red chilli sauce.
Add water, break noodles into half and cook till dry add sesame oil and cilantro, stir well.
Serve hot or cold.


rice flour 2 cups
urad flour 1/2 cup
jeera seeds 1/2 tsp
sesame seeds 1/2 tsp
ajwain 1/4 tsp
pepper pwd 1/2 tsp
soft butter 1/2 stick
salt 2 tsps
hing 1/4 tsp
water 1 cup approx

Mix flours butter, ajwain seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and pepper pwd.
Add hing and salt to water.
Add this water little by little to make to a soft dough. You might not need all the water or you might need more.
Use a Murukku Press to make murukku.
Fry on medium heat till golden.