Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fish Pickle

My husband is a big time pickle lover...we have atleast two types of pickles at home at any given time. But I have tried my hand at making pickle only couple of times and this is the first time I am making fish pickle.


To marinate
Fish (any fleshy fish) - 1 kg (cleaned, bones removed, cut into small cubes)
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as required

To grind
Ginger - 3 inch piece
Garlic - 7 big cloves
Chilly powder - 2 tbsp ( as per your taste)

To powder
Mustard seed - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp

Gingely oil - 4 tbsp
Vinegar - 1 cup
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Marinate the fish with items under "To marinate" and keep it for atleast half hour.
Heat a kadai, and add gingely oil. When its hot, fry the fish pieces (they should not be fried too much that it becomes difficult to chew). Keep the fried fish aside.

Fry curry leaves and keep them aside with the fish.

Grind items of second batch in small jar of the mixie. In the hot oil (left in kadai after frying fish), saute the ground masala in the oil till oil separates. Add more oil if required. When raw smell of ginger-garlic is gone and oil starts separating, add vinegar and let it boil. Check salt, add as required at this stage. Once vinegar starts to boil, reduce the flame and add fried fish and curry leaves. Mix the whole thing gently and let fish get cooked in the masala. Check salt. Switch off the stove. Now add the powdered items (mustard, fenugreek and asafoetida) and mix well.

Once the pickle is cooled well, transfer it to a clean glass jar with tight lid.

Fish Cutlets

Cutlets are always a favorite of kids...So here is the recipe of fish cutlets


Fish (any fleshy fish) - 1 kg
Big onion - 1 big or 2 medium sized, finely chopped
Garlic - 4-5 big cloves, crushed or chopped fine
Ginger - 1 inch piece, crushed or chopped fine
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chilly - 3, chopped fine
Chilly powder - 1 tsp ( as per tolerance level)
Salt - as per taste

Boiled potato - 1 big
Egg - 1, lightly beaten
Breadcrumbs - 1 cup


Boil the fish pieces with little water, salt and turmeric. Cook till its done. Remove excess water. Once the fish is cooled, remove the bones and chop the fish roughly in a chopper. Keep it aside

In a heavy bottomed pan, add enough oil. When its hot, add chopped onions, green chilly, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Saute till they are slightly brown. Sprinkle salt to expedite the browning process. Add chilly powder and saute well. Now add the shredded fish and saute well. Mix the fish thoroughly with the masala and saute till the mixture is somewhat dry. Add some chopped coriander leaves in this stage, if you would like.

Peel the boiled potato and smash it with a fork. Add this to the fish mixture and combine well with hand. Now take small balls and make it into desired shape, dip it in egg and then in bread crumbs. You can either freeze it

or fry till they are golden brown.

Chena /Yam Mezhukupuratti

One of the common mezhupuratis in our house....and we all love it.


Chena / Yam - 2 cups (cleaned and cut into thin slices - the size of french fries)
Small onions - 6-7
Garlic - 4, big cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp (as per tolerance)
Salt - as per taste
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


Boil the yam slices in enough water with little salt and turmeric powder. Once properly cooked, take it off the stove and drain off enough water. Keep it aside.
Crush small onions and garlic using mortar and pestle.
Heat a kadai and add oil. Once hot, add crushed ingredients along with curry leaves and saute till they are almost crisp. Add chilly powder and saute till raw smell is gone. Now add the cooked yam and gently mix everything together. Let it be on heat for atleast couple of minutes. Once the mixture is dry, take it off the stove.

Kumbalanga / Ash Gourd Thoran

Many of you wouldn't have heard about this thoran...This is one side dish (among many other) my grandmom makes when there is an ash gourd harvest at home...of course you can't have olan everyday, so I think she came up with these interesting dishes.


Ash gourd - 3 cups (peeled, de-seeded and cut into cubes)
Toor dal - a handful
Small onion - 4-5
Garlic - 3, big cloves
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Green chilly - 1, slit
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Boil ash gourd cubes with little salt, turmeric powder and green chilly. Boil till they are transparent and cooked well (take care not to over cook. It will mash up if over-cooked). Drain excess water and keep aside.

Separately cook the toor dal. It should not be cooked too well that the whole thing mash up. Drain excess water.

Crush small onions and garlic with mortar and pestle. In a kadai, add oil. When hot, add the crushed ingredients and saute till they are almost crisp. Add curry leaves. Add chilly powder and stir till raw smell is gone. Add grated coconut and saute for half a minute. Now add cooked toor dal and ash gourd. Gently mix everything together for half a minute and then switch off the stove.


Ghee fried Caramelised Bananas (Ethapazham)

Over ripe bananas (not chiquita) are an eye-sore in the kitchen. Here is one way I make use of them, and my kids love it too.


Over ripe banana (ethapazham) - 2, Cut into half and then slit lengthwise into 3 slices
Ghee - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp


Heat a non-stick pan and add 1 tsp ghee to it. When hot, place the banana slices on it, donot over-crowd the pan. Keep it in medium heat. Once the side starts to brown, sprinkle some sugar over it. Turn the slices so that the other side also starts to brown. Sprinkle some more sugar. Wait for a minute for the sugar to caramelize. Slowly move the slices in that pan so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Once done, remove the banana slices to the serving plate.

Koorka Mezhukupuratti / Chinese Potato stir fry

Straight into the recipe of this delicious side dish. The chinese potatoes or koorka tastes the best with beef (Beef um Koorkayum olarthiyathu). I didn't have beef in stock, so had to find comfort in this mezhukupuratti.


Koorka / chinese potato - 2 cups (washed, cleaned and cut)
Small onions - 5-6
Garlic - 3 cloves big
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Boil the cleaned and cut koorka with enough water, salt and turmeric powder. Cook till its done and then take it off the stove and drain water. Keep it aside.

Crush small onion and garlic using mortar and pestle. Add oil to a kadai. When hot, add the crushed onions and garlic and curry leaves too. Saute well, till they are almost crisp. Now add chilly powder, saute till the raw smell is gone. Now add the cooked koorka into this and mix it well with the masala. Let it be on stove for couple of minutes. Then switch off the stove and serve with steaming kuthari tastes yum!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bhaigan Lajawab

Recipe courtesy - Vanitha

I was browsing through the latest edition of Vanitha for some gravy recipes that can go with chapathis. Had some brinjals sitting in the fridge for a week, so zeroed in on this recipe. Hubby and son hates brinjal (daughter never bothers to eat veggies). In spite of all these, I still decided to go ahead with the recipe. and know what... it was an instant hit at home! Hubby says its because the veggie was first fried and then curried. He hates veggies losing its shape. Whatever....I saved by brinjals from been thrown into the bin...and a good recipe to keep in hand!!



Brinjals - 8 - 10 small ones
Tomato - 2, medium
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 3 tbsp

To grind
Small onions - 8 - 10
Garlic - 2 cloves, big
Ginger - small piece
Green chilly - 2
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp (as per your tolerance level)

Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - small ball (soaked and juice extracted)
Salt - as per taste
Jaggery/sugar - as required


Cut the brinjal and tomato into big pieces. Fry the brinjal pieces in about 3 tbsp of oil until soft, keep aside. Fry the curry leaves and keep aside. Slightly fry the tomato and keep them aside too.

Grind all the items under "to grind" in the small jar of a mixie.

Now in the remaining oil, add fenugreek seeds. When they crackle, add the ground masala and saute till oil starts to separate. Now add the fried brinjal and tamarind extract. Let the brinjal get cooked well. Add salt as per your taste. Once cooked, add the fried tomatoes and curry leaves. Do a taste test, add salt if needed. Towards the end, sprinkle sugar or jaggery and switch off the stove.

Serve it hot with chapathis or rottis.

Irachi Pathiri aka Chicken Masala Stuffed Pooris

A specialty from the North of Kerala, Thalassery - a treasure trove of taste! I am fortunate to have a friend from Kannur who introduced me to these delicious dishes early on. Recently, she lent me a recipe book full of thalassery specialities. So, yeah, you are going to see more thalassery dishes in this space in the coming days!


For Chicken Masala (this is common for many Thalassery snacks - you can use this masala in chicken rolls, aavi pathiri, irachi puttu etc)

Boneless chicken - 2 breast pieces
Big onion - 1 big, finely chopped
Green chilly, finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece, finely chopped or grated
Garlic - 3 big cloves, chopped fine
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - handful, chopped fine
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tbsp


Cut the chicken breast pieces into small chunks and boil it with little turmeric, chilly powder and enough salt. Add little water. Cook till the chicken is done. Once cooled, shred the chicken in food processor (just one pulse) or with hand. Keep it aside.

Add oil to a kadai. Once hot, add the finely chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Saute till they are translucent. Now add turmeric powder, chilly powder. Saute till the raw smell is gone. Add the shredded chicken. Mix well to coat the masala on the chicken. The mixture should be slightly wet. Switch off the stove and add finely chopped coriander leaves. Keep the mixture aside.

For the Poori

Maida - 2 cups
Salt -  as per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - as required

Make a smooth dough with the ingredients above. Now take lime sized balls from this dough and flatten to very thin discs using a rolling pin. It needn't be in perfect shape, just ensure that its thin. Keep this aside. Take another ball and flatten the same way. Now keep a tbsp full of chicken masala on the second poori, and cover this with the first poori. Flatten the top lightly with your palm. Now using a cookie cutter or lid of a container, cut the poori so that you get both of them in same size and shape with chicken mix in between. Lock the ends of the pooris as shown above. Keep aside.

Now repeat this with rest of the dough.

Once all of them are made, add enough oil to a kadai and when hot fry each of them.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kaayum Payarum - Good Friday Speciality / Raw Banana & Red Cow Peas

I first tasted this dish along with Kanji / rice porridge for my first Good Friday after marriage. In my place, Good Friday meant going to church in the morning and we'll be back by around 10 am and then have a sumptuous sadya in plantain leaf! But things changed after marriage .. in my hubby's place Good Friday is a full day activity at church which included an almost full day of fasting. I was tired...but there was no choice...So I waited and by around 4 pm they served hot hot kanji in mankalam along with this tasty raw banana-cow bean dish along with some mango pickle and pappad. Don't know if it was my tiredness or hunger...but whole meal tasted absolutely delicious!


Raw banana - 1, washed, cleaned and diced
Red cow peas - 3/4 cup, soaked
Salt - as per taste

To grind
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Green Chilly - 3
Cumin - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Small onion - 3

For sauting
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


Boil the diced raw banana with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Once cooked, drain water and keep aside.
Cook the red cow peas in a separate vessel with some salt. If you haven't soaked it, then pressure cook it.
Grind the items under "To Grind" in the small jar of the mixie to get a coarse paste.
Heat a kadai and add coconut oil. Once hot, add the curry leaves and the ground coconut mixture. Saute well till the raw smell goes. Now add the cooked cow peas and raw banana. Mix well. Saute till the mixture is somewhat dry. Add more salt if needed. Serve it with hot kanji or steamed rice.

Cauliflower Mezhukupuratti

This is a simple yet delicious cauliflower preparation..and the preparation is just like any other mezhukupuratti. just boil with some salt and turmeric powder and then saute with crushed small onion, garlic and red chilly..Done! Enjoy with steaming rice and some kachiya moru.


Cauliflower florets - 3 cups
Small onion - 3-4
Garlic - 2 cloves
Curry leaves - 5-6
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (as per tolerance)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


Boil the cauliflower florets with some water, salt and turmeric. Once almost cooked, drain the water and keep aside. In a kadai, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Once hot, add the crushed small onions and garlic. Add curry leaves and saute well, till they are almost crisp. Now add the chilly powder, mix well and then add the cooked cauliflower. Mix well. If required sprinkle some more water. Switch off the stove.

Variations :

You can sprinkle some garam masala towards the end, if you'd like the side dish to be spicy.

Moru kachiyathu / Curried curd

A must-have curry for lunch & dinner in the district of Kottayam! In my place, this is made only when one of us have stomach problem :) .. So after getting married, I got used to having moru kachiyathu on a daily basis. I don't mind having it as it tastes good and is very good for our tummy. The only thing that puzzles me is the malayalee proverb - "Meenum Morum cherilla" - which means fish and any any form of curd should not be taken together, its against ayurveda. However in Kottayam, people people have to have this moru along with the fiery fish curry..


Thick curd, beaten well - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup (if curd is thin, then no need to add water, just take 3 cups of curd)
Ginger - 1 inch piece, crushed or sliced
Small onion - 3, crushed or sliced
Green chilly - 2, slit
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried chilly - 2-3
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - as per taste
Powdered cumin - 1/2 tsp


In a kadai, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. When its hot, add fenugreek seeds and let it crackle. Then add mustard seeds and let them crackle too. Now add curry leaves, dried chilly and saute for a while. Add crushed small onions, ginger, slit chilly and saute them till they are slightly crisp. Now switch off the stove and add well beaten curd + water mixture while stirring continuously. Switch on to low flame and keep stirring till the curd is somewhat hot (it should not boil). Switch off the flame, keep stirring for some more time. Then it take off the stove and allow to cool. Once properly cooled, add cumin powder and salt. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Idli - Sambar - Chutney & Chutney powder... a sure winner on the breakfast table

Something that no South Indian can do without..

This is gonna be a long post, just because there are so many accompaniments to this super healthy breakfast. You can enjoy it by soaking idlis in sambar or with coconut chutney or even with chutney powder mixed with some coconut oil.

The art of Idli making


Idli rice - 2 cups
Urid dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Boiled rice - 3/4 cup
Salt - as per taste

Soaking, Grinding & Fermenting

Wash rice and fenugreek seeds and soak for atleast 6 hrs.
Wash urid dal and soak for atleast 6 hrs.

After the specified time, drain water from both rice and urid dal. In the big jar of mixie, add urid dal and water (water should be just enough to cover dal) and 2 ice cubes. Grind till it forms a thick paste. You'll have to stop the mixie in between to avoid mixie getting heated up (Important note - we are adding ice cubes to avoid heating up. If the batter is heated up, it gives a very unpleasant taste). Once you get a thick, smooth dal paste, remove the contents to a large bowl.

Now to the same mixie, add drained rice, fenugreek seeds and boiled rice. You'll have to grind it in 2 batches as most mixies do not take so much load in one go. Add about 1 cup of water (it should not be above half of the rice content) and also add 2-3 ice cubes. Grind (stopping in between) till you get a smooth paste. Empty the contents into same bowl where you put dal paste.

Mix well with your hands (yes..your hands have got the essential natural yeast that helps in fermenting). Add little more water if required. The batter should not be free flowing when lift and pour with a ladle. Also it should not be very thick that it doesn't fall from the ladle...the consistency should be somewhere in between. As per my aunt, it should be "murinju veezhunna paakam".

Close the bowl with lid and keep the batter in a warm place for atleast 8 -10 hours. After that, gently mix the batter with a ladle and add enough salt. Mix well.

Tips - During winter its difficult to get the batter fermented in 8 or 10 hours. Here is what I do in such emergencies.
- In a big bowl (bigger than the vessel in which batter is kept), pour some boiling water and slowly immerse the bowl with batter into this. Keep it overnight.
- Or keep the bowl with batter inside the rice cooker (I use chaksons).

Making Idlis

Pour enough water to the base vessel and let it boil well (there should be enough steam before idli thattu is kept).

Grease the idli thattu or impressions with some coconut oil (I have seen in most households they use gingely oil for greasing. However I recently happened to read in a naturopathy magazine that gingely oil and fermented dal are not matching food or they are virudha aharam. Ever since I have been using coconut oil). Pour a ladle of batter into each impressions and place in the base vessel. Cover with lid.

Let it be on high flame for 5 min. After that reduce the flame and let idlis get cooked well for another 8 to 10 minutes. After that switch off the stove and remove the idli thattu so that they cool down. If you want to remove idlis immediately, turn the idli thattu upside down and hold it under running water for sometime. After that wait for a minute and then slowly remove the idlis.

Idli - Sambar

You can get the sambar recipe from here. Enjoy the sambar dipped idlis.

Coconut chutney

For grinding
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Small onion - 2-3
Green chilly - 1 or 1/2 tsp chilly powder [gives different colour]
Salt - as per taste
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Tamarind - a very small piece [just enough to get a tangy taste]

Grind all of the above in the small jar of the mixie along with half cup of water

Small onion - 1, thinly sliced
Dried chilly - 1
Curry leaves - 3-4
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tsp

In a small kadai, add oil. Crackle mustard seeds. Add small onion, dried chilly and curry leaves. Saute till the onions turn light brown and crispy. Now add the ground coconut mixture. Add little more water if needed. Adjust the taste and serve with hot idlis.

Chutney powder 

Urid dal - 1 cup
Channa dal - 1/3 cup
Curry leaves - you can add this as per taste. I normally use a lot as this is the only way I can make my small ones eat curry leaves which is really good for health. I take 1 full bunch of curry leaves)
Raw red rice (kuthari) - 1 tbsp
Peppercorns - 2 tsp
Dried chilly - 6-8 or as per taste
Salt - as per taste
Asafoetida - 1 tsp

Dry roast each item separately. For ease, may be you roast urid dal, dried chilly, peppercorns & curry leaves together. Rest (except salt and asafoetida) should be done separately as each of them takes different time to get roasted. Stir continuously and care should be taken not to burn them.

Spread the roasted items on a newspaper or steel plate and let them cool. Mix them up and grind it in the small jar of mixie along with salt and asafoetida to get a coarse powder. Empty the powder to newspaper and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Along with idlis
Take 1 tsp of chutney powder and mix it with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and mix well. You can have it with idlis now.

Note - Most people have it with gingely oil. But after getting to know that gingely oil and fermented urid dal is virudha-aharam, I started using coconut oil and it tastes delicious!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Beans-carrot thoran

One of sadya items and regular side dish at home mostly along with sambar


Beans - 12 - 15, cleaned and chopped
Carrot - 1 - cleaned, peeled and diced
Grated coconut - half cup
Salt - as per taste
Green chilly - 1, slit or as per your taste and tolerance level
Garlic - 1 small clove , crushed
Small onions - 3-4, crushed or thinly sliced
Curry leaved - 3-4
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Method 1

Heat a kadai, and add 1 tsp of oil. Once hot, crackle the mustard seeds. Now add curry leaves, sliced onions, chilly, crushed garlic. Let it get sauted for half a minute. Then add the chopped vegetables along with salt and grated coconut. Mix well, sprinkle some water and close the lid. Stir every now and then, to ensure that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the kadai. Sprinkle more water if required. Care should be taken not to add more water, you shouldn't be using more than 1/4 cups of water. Once the veggies are almost cooked, open the lid and cook for some more time to remove extra water content. Serve with hot rice.

Method 2 - Oil-less 

Put all the ingredients except mustard seeds in a kadai and mix gently with hand. Keep it aside for not less than 15 minutes. After that, keep it on a low flame, sprinkle some water and let it get cooked.


This is one of the regular and popular curry in our house. We enjoy it with rice, idli, dosa and even with chapathis. My husband says sambar should be renamed as vegetable soup. Sambar mixed curd and rice makes a super combo. Similarly we also love Kuthari choru + sambar + mathi fry...


Toor daal - 1 cup
Vegetables (cleaned, washed & cut in desired shape) - 2 cups
Sambar powder - 3 tbsp (I use Brahmin's)
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - size of a lemon (soaked in some water for 10 min and extract the juice)
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric powder -  a pinch
Small onions - 3-4
Tomato - 2 (cleaned and diced)

For tempering
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried chilly - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Sambar powder - 1 tsp


Wash and clean toor daal under running water. Pressure the cleaned dal with 3 cups of water, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Cook till its done (I normally cook for 1 whistle on high flame, and 4 whistles on low flame). Let the pressure gets released. After that, open the lid and smash the dal.

Meanwhile clean and cut all the veggies. Heat a kadai, add 1 tbsp of oil. Once hot, add the small onion and the veggies. Let is saute for a while. Sprinkle some salt. Now add 2 tbsp sambar powder and saute till a nice aroma comes. Add the tamarind extract and the diced tomatoes. Saute till tomatoes starts to lose its shape. Now add the sauteed veggies to the cooked dal, add some more water if required. Let it boil. After that, reduce the flame and let the veggies get cooked well.


Once sambar is cooked well, take another pan and heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Once hot, crackle mustard seeds. Add dried chilly, curry leaves and saute for a while. Now sprinkle the sambar powder & asafoetida powder and immediately switch off the stove. Stir in this to the sambar mixture. Keep it closed for sometime for the flavours to set in. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rich White Chocolate Ice-cream

This post is a dedication to all chocolate lovers....Thank God I tried out this recipe from the "Essential Chocolates" ...It just tasted out of the world. You SHOULD definitely try this will not regret.


White chocolate - 150 g
Milk - 300 ml
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Double cream - 150g
Egg - 1 egg + 1 yolk


Beat the egg and sugar till they are combined well (use a cake beater).
Place the white chocolate pieces in a bowl and double boil it till the chocolate melts. Stir occasionally.
Boil milk and remove it from heat just before boiling.
Add the almost boiled milk to the egg-sugar mixture and place it in another bowl of simmering water. Stir continuously with a spoon until the mixture thickens and attains a custard like composition.
Now add the melted white chocolate into this mixture and mix well to combine.
Allow this to cool.
Meanwhile, beat the double cream with a beater till soft peaks are formed.
Once the milk-chocolate mixture is cooled, slowly fold in the cream and carefully transfer the mixture to a freezer proof dish.
Freeze for 1-2 hrs, until the ice cream sets.
Take out, scrape the sides and thoroughly beat. Freeze overnight.

Your luscious ice-cream is ready to be served. It tastes fabulous with a slice of hot chocolate fudge (recipe for which I'll post sometime later).


The best accompaniment for Biriyani...


Big Onion, diced - 1 small
Chilly - 1, chopped
Cucumber - 1, cleaned, peeled & chopped
Tomato - 1, inner flesh removed and diced
Salt - as per taste

Curd (beaten well) - 2 cups


Mix all the diced & chopped items. Sprinkle salt and keep aside. When its time to serve, add well beaten curd and mix thoroughly. Do a taste test and adjust salt if needed.

Biriyani chutney

Something that adds colour and taste to the biryani plate.


Mint leaves - 1 cup, loosely packed
Coriander leaves - 1 cup, tightly packed
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Green chilly - 1
Ginger - 1 small piece
Small onion - 3
Lime juice - juice from half of a lime
Salt - to taste


Grind everything together in the small jar of the mixie until you get a coarse paste. Transfer to the serving dish.

Malabar Chicken Biriyani

I owe this post totally to Mishmash. She painstakingly explained each and every detail of making the wonderful Malabar Chicken Biryani in her blog quite a while back, for learners like me. Since then I have been using her recipe for making this dish..I have made this not less than 10 times and not even once it has gone un-complemented.... simply rock!

I am not re-writing the entire recipe its bit too long and am lazy! You can get the detailed recipe here. I would suggest you to definitely try this out as its worth the effort and your family and guests are gonna enjoy it like anything. Do serve it with some Raitha, Biryani Chutney, pappad and pickle. It tastes fact it tastes the best the next day! I also love mixing some cooked biryani rice with gravy left in the vessel used for cooking the chicken.

Some tips to get your perfect biryani (which I learnt through my experience) :

  • Jeerakasala rice is the perfect rice for Malabar chicken biryani. Soak the rice atleast for half an hour and then drain water completely.
  • Special care should be taken while cooking the rice. It should not be over cooked or under-cooked. The rice should be removed from heat once its cooked and drained immediately. 
  • The rice and chicken should be layered and left to dum for atleast 3 hrs. This gives enough time for the flavors to set in. I normally layer the biryani in the serving dish which cannot be placed on flame. So what I do is, I cover it tightly with aluminium foil and when its time to serve, keep it in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. If your vessel can be placed on stove, before serving you can place it on a heated iron tava for 15-20 minutes.
  • Garnish the biryani with onions, cashew and raisins only just before serving. Other wise, the onions will impart a black colour and a not-so-pleasant smell to the biryani. Also the cashew will turn soft and lose its crispiness.

Puttu upma

This is a left over wonder...makes a great tea-time snack and a super accompaniment to a hot cup of tea. It just brightens up your evenings...One good thing of having puttu for breakfast is that I needn't worry about the tea-time snack...I just make sure that there is enough left-over puttu in the casserole.


Puttu (just smash it with your hands) - 2 cups, loosely packed
Big onion - 1 medium, chopped
Green chilly - 1, chopped
Ginger, chopped - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dried chilly - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urid dal - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsbp


Heat a kadai and add oil. Once hot, crackle the mustard seeds and add urid dal. Saute for a while till the dal turns slightly brown. Add the chopped onion, green chilly, ginger, dried chilly and curry leaves. Saute till the onions turn pink, sprinkle some salt. Now add the puttu and mix it well with the sauted onion mixture. It might appear dry at this stage. If so, sprinkle some water so that the puttu is slightly wet and soft. Once its all mixed up well and puttu is heated up, switch off the stove and transfer the contents to a bowl and garnish with cilantro. 

Enjoy it with a hot cup of tea!!