Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ammini kozhukattai ( Rice flour balls )

 Ammini or mini kozhukattai are tiny steamed balls made with rice flour. You can get ready made rice flour  in any super market. It is an easy to make snack and you can improvise the taste with any flavour/seasoning. Here is the basic version of it with simple seasoning.There is also a sweet version of this with jaggery and cardamom powder. Will post the recipe of it soon.

  • Rice flour   -      1 cup
  • Water         -      as required ( 1 to 1.5 cups)
  • Salt            -      to taste
  • Coconut oil -     1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves    - few
  • Urad dal          -  1/2 tsp 
  • Dried red chilli  - 1
  • Idly molgapodi -    according to taste ( for the spicy ones)
  • Add rice flour with required salt ( 1/2 tsp) in a wide bowl. Add water little by little to make a smooth semi solid paste as shown.Make sure there are no lumps.

  • In a kadai , add 1/4 cup water and when it starts boiling, add the above paste and keep stirring till you get a smooth dough.Do not let the dough to be very firm as it thickens little bit after switching off the flame.
Refer to the video below.

  • When the dough comes to room temperature, make small balls out of it as shown. Dip your palm in water every time when it sticks.
  • Steam for 5 to 10 min. The outer layer will turn shiny once it is done. Check if it is cooked.
  • For the spicy version, add idly molagapodi ( say 3 to 5 tsp) to the dough and knead well.
  • Make small balls as before and steam for 5 to 10 min.

  • Carefully take out the steamed balls with a flat spatula once it is warm. Make sure you do not break it or they do not cling to each other.
  • In a kadai, add 1/2 tsp coconut oil and mustard seeds . When it splutters add urad dal and saute till they turn golden brown.
  • You can even add a tbsp of shredded coconut while tempering.
  • Add curry leaves, red chilli and the steamed balls. Mix well and saute for 2 to 3 sec.
  • Repeat the tempering ( optional) for the spicy kozhukattai too.
Serve hot.

Vegetarian Bean Boat (Baguette with baked beans)


1 Baguette (French Bread) - cut horizontally

2 tbsp - butter softened
Baked beans - 1 1/4 cup ( a small tin)
Oil - 3 tsp
Onions - 2 (finely chopped)
Capsicum - 1 (finely chopped)
Salt - to taste
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
chilli sauce - 1/2 tsp
coriander leaves - 2 Tbspn (finely chopped)
cheese - 3 tbsp(grated) or as per your taste


1. Gently scoop out some bread from the cut pieces,leaving a border of (approx) 1" all around to from a boat.

(The scooped out bread is not needed in this recipe.You may dry and powder it to make crumbs)

2. Apply little butter to the scooped out surface and its border.
3. Heat oil in a pan.Add onions and fry till transparent.
4. Add capsicums and stir for a minute.

5. Add salt,pepper and chilli sauce.Remove from fire.
6. Add baked beans and mix well.

7. Use this filling to fill the boat like a scoop.
8. Sprinkle grated cheese and some coriander leaves on the top.
9. Grill for 3-4 minutes or microwave at medium power for 2 mins till the cheese melts slightly .

Serve hot.

Nendranga tholi upperi ( Peel of Nendran raw banana)

Nendran is a type of banana cultivated in Kerala. Perhaps the tastiest of all bananas, Nendran has in fact been the staple fruit and vegetable of Malayalees from ancient times. Almost every portion of the Nendran plant is used by Keralites. The recipes are too many.The raw banana itself can be made into mezhukupuratty (fry) with/ without peel. In such case, the peels can be seperately used to make the tholi upperi. If you can find a Kerala chips shop in your place, then on your purchase of chips you can ask for the peels which they may not use. They will give it to you for free.:)

Here is one recipe with the Peels of nendran banana.Tholi refers to the peel and Upperi to stir fry. This particular dish is rich in fibre and can be served with rice and morekootan/pulissery.Refer to the kootan section for those recipes.

This recipe serves four.

Nendran peels  -  300 grams
cow peas         -  200 grams ( red variety)
Green chillies   - 3 to 4
Shredded coconut  - 1/4 cup
Coconut oil            - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds        - 1 tsp                      
Split urad dal          - 1 tsp                
curry leaves            - 1 sprig                

Turmeric powder    - 1/4 tsp
Salt                        -  to taste

Soak cow peas overnight.
Wash the nendran peels and chop into small pieces.
Pressure cook the cow peas with half salt. (Just 2 to 3 whistles will do. Do not overcook it)
Cook the nendran peels in a kadai with water just sufficient to cover it with a pinch of turmeric powder.
Add the remaining salt to the peels once it is half cooked.
Once it is cooked, transfer the contents onto a plate.Drain if there is excess water from the cow peas and nendran peels.
Pound shredded coconut and green chillies finely.
In the same kadai, add coconut oil.
When it is hot, add mustard seeds and urad dal.
When it splutters, add curry leaves and the coconut-chilli mixture.
Saute for few sec and add the cooked cow peas and nendran peels.
Mix well and cook for few sec.

Serve hot

Monday, February 27, 2012

Apple smoothie


  • Apple                            -     2
  • Dates                             -     2
  • Cashews                        -     2
  • Honey                           -     according to taste
  • Milk                              -     2 cups


  • Soak dates and cashews in little warm milk for half an hour.
  • Peel off the apple's skin and chop into small slices.
  • Blend the apple pieces along with dates,cashews and milk.
  • Add honey as per your taste.
  • Serve chilled.

Paruppu Kanji- Neivedhyam for Shivarathiri

Paruppu Kanji is a nutritious porridge with moong dal and milk.This is a good neivedhyam too.This is normally made during Shivarathiri.

This recipe serves 4 people.


Moong dal   -   1 cup
Jaggery        -   3/4 to 1 cup ( according to your taste)
Milk             -   3 cups
Elachi/ cardamom pwd  - 1/2 tsp
Water       -   2 cups


1. Dry roast the moong dal till it turns golden brown witha nice aroma.
2. Wash the roasted moong dal.
3. Pressure cook the dal with 2 cups of water.(After it is cooked,mash the dal)
4. In a kadai, add the crushed jaggery and 1 cup of water.
5. Heat the mixture till all the jaggery gets melted.
6. Immediately switch off the flame and strain the dirt with a strainer.
7. In the same kadai, add the jaggery solution and cooked dal.
8. Allow it to boil.
9. Once it boils, add the milk and cook for 5 min.
10. Garnish with cardamom powder.

Serve hot.

Brinjal slab



1. Gram Flour(Kadalai mavu) - 3 tbsp
2. Rice Flour - 1 tbsp
3. Red chilli pwd- 2 tsp
4. Hing/Perungayam - 1/4 tsp
5. Dhania pwd - 2 tspn
6. Jeera pwd - 1 tsp
7. Garam masala pwd- 1 tsp(Optional)
8. Salt - to taste


1. Mix all the powders and keep aside.
2. Slice the brinjals (not very thin).
3. Soak them in salt water for a while.( 5 to 10 min)

4. Take the brinjals and rub both sides of each slice in the powder mixture.

5. Microwave the marinated slices for 2 mins.

5. Shallow fry in a dosa tawa with little oil till it gets roasted.

 Serve medium hot.Kids will love this dish.

Paneer stuffed Bindi/Ladies finger

Tender ladyies finger             -           250 grams
Onion , grated                      -            1
Tomatoes                            -            3
Red chilli powder                 -            1/2 tsp
Garam masala                      -            1/4 tsp
Oil                                       -            1 tbsp
Salt                                      -            to taste
Ginger-garlic paste               -           1/2 tsp
Coriander chopped              -            1 tbsp

To be mixed into a cottage cheese stuffing

Grated paneer         - 1 cup
chopped coriander  - 2 tbsp
chopped green chillies - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


  • Wash,dry and slit the ladies finger lengthwise.Keep aside.
  • Stuff the ladies fingers with the cottage cheese stuffing.

  • Put the tomatoes in a vesselful of boiling water for 10 min. Peel and chop finely. Keep aside.
  • Heat 2 tsp of oil in a non stick pan, add the ladies fingers and cook until slightly soft.
  • Add the remaining 1 tsp oil in the same pan and fry the onions till golden brown.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste and the red chilli powder mixed with 1 tbsp of water and fry for a few min.
  • Add the tomatoes, garam masala and salt and cook again for a few min.
  • Sprinkle a little water and add the sauteed ladies finger and cook again for a few min.
Serve hot garnished with coriander.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Puli Inji- Traditional Brahmin side dish for curd rice


  • Green chillies       -   7
  • Ginger                -    2 inch piece  ( approx : 25 grams)
  • Gingelly/Til oil     -   1/2 cup ( Nalla ennai)
  • White til/ellu        -    1/2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves        -    3 sprigs
  • Jaggery               -    80 to 100 grams
  • Puli / Tamarind   -     80 grams ( a ball in the size of a sweet lime)
  • Salt                    -   according to taste
  • Mustard seeds    -   2 tsp
  • Chana dal/ kadalaparupu  -  1 tsp
  • Asafoetida/Perungayam   - a pinch
  • Turmeric powder            - 1/4 tsp

  • Extract pulp from tamarind.
  • Pour oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds,til,curry leaves and chana dal. 
  • When the seeds splutter and the dal turns brown add finely chopped ginger and green chillies.
  • Fry for a minute. Add tamarind extract.
  • When it boils add turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
  • Let boil for 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Add powdered/crushed jaggery to the tamarind extract and mix well.
  • Let it boil for a few more minutes on a low flame until the oil leaves the paste.
  • Cool and store in airtight containers for 10 - 15 days.

This tastes best with curd rice/dosa.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Elai Adai ( adai steamed in banana leaf)

This Elai (stands for leaf) Adai is a very yummy and healthy snack / tiffin. It is an exclusive dish of Palakkad Brahmin's cuisine. For this you need a filling that is made from jackfruit / banana jam. This is popularly known as chakkavarati / pazhavarati in Kerala. Making this jam at home has almost faded because of the effort involved. But you still get it from the traditional brahmin streets in Palakkad and other places in Kerala and it remains for months if refrigerated. So get and stock a couple of packs when you go to Kerala next time :). If the jam is there, then this dish is very easy to prepare.

Chakkavaratti / Pazhavaratti - 5 tbsp
Shredded coconut               - 3/4 to 1 cup
Ghee                                   - 2 tsp
Cardamom                          -  2 , crushed


  • In a kadai ( preferably non stick) , add the jam with 2 tsp of water.
  • Switch on the flame and mix it till it melts ( as it would be thick after refrigeration). This may take 2 to 3 min.
  • Add the shredded coconut and mix well till it comes together ( may take 3 to 5 min)
  • Switch off and add ghee, cardamom.
  • Mix well. The filling is ready.

  • Soak 150 grams of raw rice ( Pacha arisi) in water for half an hour.
  • Drain the soaked water and blend the rice into a smooth batter with a pinch of salt.
  • Use a mixer to do this. Add water little by little. 
  • The consistency of the batter should be thick and flowing(thicker than dosa batter)
Banana leaf
  • Remove the stiff stem in the banana leaf with a knife.
  • Cut the leaves into 10 inch x 10 inch pieces. (approximately)
  • Do not cut into very small pieces as it will be difficult to fold and the batter may ooze out.
  • Wash the leaves and dry them with a towel.
  • On a medium flame, run the leaf through the flame quickly. 
  • The leaf will turn soft.If you do it very slowly, then the leaves may get burnt.
  • Repeat the process for all the leaves and set aside.
Making the adai
  • Pour a laddle of batter in the centre of a leaf and spread like a dosa.
  • Keep a tbsp of filling in one corner of the dosa as shown.
  • Carefully fold the leaf into half and then fold a little bit along its edges to seal it.

  • Refer to the video on how to make the foldings.

Place three to four sealed leaves on a idly plate and steam for 20 min.
Serve hot.
Open the leaf and take out the adai and enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bhoondhi Laddoo

Laddoo is always a favorite among kids and any adult who loves sweets.These yummy laddoos are made by my sister Priya. Here is the recipe for all of you to try it at home!

Besan                             -                      2 cups
Water                             -                      700 ml( to make the batter)
Rice flour                       -                      2 tsp
Baking soda                   -                      a pinch
  • Mix besan,rice flour & baking soda in a wide bowl .
  • Sieve the mixture.
  • Add water and mix well into a smooth batter without any lumps.
  • The consistency of the batter should be like that of dosa batter.
Bhoondhi and Sugar Syrup:
The process of preparing the sugar syrup and bhoondhi should happen in parallel. So clear your counter space and start making these two side by side.

Sugar Syrup
Sugar                                   -                     3 cups
Water                                   -                     3/4 cup ( to make the sugar syrup)
Saffaron                               -                     4 threads
Elachi/cardamom powder      -                     1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp
  • Add the sugar and water in a kadai on a medium low flame.
  • Allow it to boil, stirring occasionally.(In parallel, prepare the bhoondis as shown below)

  • As soon as you get a single thread consistency, switch off the flame.
  • Add saffaron and cardamom powder to the sugar syrup. Mix well.
  • Add a pinch of edible food colour.(orange / yellow)
Besan Batter

Bhoondhi maker -  shown in the pic on the right
Oil                     - for frying

  • Heat the oil in a kadai on a medium low flame.
  • When its hot enough ,( drop a pinch of batter and see if it rises up) pour little batter into the boondhi maker .
  • Hold the boondhi maker at 2-3 inches above the oil.
  • Gently tap with only your fingers so that round bhoondhis drop into the oil.(If you apply more force when tapping, then tails may form in bhoondhis)
  • The end point to take out the bhoondhis:  
    • The bhoondhis should not be crisp.
    • If you press a bhoondhi, it has to bounce back to its shape and be soggy.
  • At this point, drain the oil, take out the boondhis and put in a tissue paper.
  • Repeat the steps for  rest of the batter in batches (Do not forget to look at the sugar syrup every now and then:))

Binding the laddoos:
  • Do not cool down the bhoondhi to room temperature.
  • Once you are done with frying the bhoondis, empty them into the sugar syrup.
  • Mix well and rest it for 10 to 15 min.
  • The sugar syrup that was just above the bhoondis will be absorbed by the bhoondi and will puff up slightly.

Cashews - 10
Sliced Almonds - 8 ( optional)
Edible camphor  - a pinch
Kalkandu / Diamond sugar - 10
Grambu/ Clove       - 4
Ghee                      -  2tbsp
  • Meanwhile fry the nuts( almonds and cashews) and raisins in ghee.
  • Crush the camphor coarsely.
  • Add the above to the soaked bhoondis along with the cloves and kalkandu.
  • When it is warm , apply little ghee on your palms and start binding the bhoondhis into small balls.
  • Dip your hands in a bowl of water when you feel it is very hot.

Yummy & Fresh laddoos are ready to serve!!

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