Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jackfruit Cookies

I fail..I fail..I understand why these beautiful, tasty, nutritious cookies haven't adorned our bakeries till now. I tried this purely out of curiosity, just to know how it will turn out. Made a batch of just 15, but they were all gone in sometime..especially my little one - she loved it to the core. It had a mild jackfruit flavor (not overpowering at all). I will definitely be making it again. They tasted awsome with evening tea.

This time around I made using the freeze dried ripe jackfruit (Jackfruit 365). Next time, may be, I will use the jackfruit jam (chakka varatti) so that I can cut down on the sugar too.


Whole wheat flour - 1 1/2 cups
Jackfruit pulp - 1/2 cup
Muscavado sugar - 3 tbsp
Sunflower oil - 1/4 cup
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Almond Slivers - 2 tbsp (optional)


1. Sieve together wheat flour and baking soda. Keep it aside.
2. Mix together the jack fruit pulp and muscavado sugar. You can use normal white sugar too
3. To this mixture, add the sunflower oil and mix well with a spoon. Add almond pieces too.
4. Add the flour mixture in small batches, till all of it come together as a smooth dough.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg.
6. Take small lemon sized balls, place it on a baking sheet. Press slightly with a fork.
7. Bake for 10-12 min
8. Cool well before storing


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Raggi / Finger Millet Cookies

Its been sometime since I have been trying to add this millet into our diet. I know people make puttu, idiyappam etc with its nutritious flour. But I wasn't very sure how my kids will take it. So thought of replacing whole wheat flour with raggi flour in a cookie recipe. And me being a DIY mom, am bit reluctant to buy the ready-made flour. So had to wait till the weekend to clean, wash, dry, grind, sieve the raggi so that I can make the cookies.

I personally prefer the whole wheat version of this to the finger millet version, But its been a huge hit with my kids, who finished the dabba in 2 days. And I am happy to pack this snack for the kids' snack box.

Here goes the recipe. This is a very basic and flexible recipe. You can play around with the ingredients like me, I added in chia seeds, almond slivers etc to make it super healthy.


Raggi / Finger Millet flour (very fine) - 2 cups (or you can use half whole wheat flour and half raggi flour)
Eggs - 2
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Dark Muscavado /brown / white sugar - 3/4 cups (check sweetness, add more if needed)
Oats - 1/4 cup
Sunflower oil - 1/2 cup (add in batches, you just need enough to bring the dough together)
Water - 2 tbsp (if needed)
Hershey's chocolate chips - 1/2 cups (optional)
Almond slivers - 2 tbsp (optional)
Chia seeds - 1 tbsp (optional)





1. In a deep bowl, add the egg and lightly beat it.
2. Add the oil, muscavado sugar and mix well till it all mix together
3. Sieve or mix together flour, baking soda, oats.
4. Mix the chocolate chips, chia seeds, slivered almonds.
5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
6. Slowly add the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, mix well using a wooden spoon, till it forms a homogeneous mixture. Check the sweetness, add more sugar if needed.
7. Prepare a cookie sheet (or aluminium foil), place a dollop of cookie mixture on this. Give enough space in between as once heated, it will start to space out. Its good to use a spoon to transfer the mixture to baking tray. Or wet your hand for scooping the mixture.
8.  Once the oven is hot, place the cookie tray into the oven and bake for about 10 min. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kappa Puzhungiyathum Mulaku Chammantheem (Boiled Tapioca with onion-chilly chutney)

This dish doesn't need an intro for a malayali. We all have tasted it atleast once in our lifetime and is one of our treasured dishes. Its simple, yet the taste outstanding.


Tapioca - 1 big (cut into big chunks)
Water - enough to cover the tapioca pieces
Salt  - as needed


Cut tapioca into big chunks. Wash it well and add enough water and let it boil. When it starts boiling, add salt. Once the tapioca is cooked (check with a knife), drain water and keep aside.

Mulakuchammanthi (Onion-chilly chutney)


Small onion - 5-6
Kanthari mulaku - 2-3
Tamarind -  a very small piece (optiona)
Salt - as needed
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


Clean the small onions. Crush them together with chilly, salt and tamarinfd (if using). Once thoroughly crushed, remove this to a small bowl. Check salt and add the coconut oil. Mix well.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Stoneground Whole wheat flour Buns with Home-made Mixed-fruit Jam

I caught hold of some stoneground whole wheat from Waitrose. I was bit apprehensive, as to how my buns will turn. Nevertheless, I went ahead with my normal bun recipe. Threw in some sunflower seeds, wheat germ and wheat husk as I went along. The dough was a sticky blob, so I made sure that it sits for min 1 hour for it to double the size.

I followed the same recipe as Dinner rolls, just that I replaced white flour with stoneground whole wheat, along with other ingredients. Though they looked a bit rough, these buns were real yum, and they paired so well with the home-made mixed fruit jam.

Home-made Mixed-Fruit Jam


Fruits - 4 cups (I used grapes, apple, raspberry, guava. You can mix and match any fruits like strawberry, blueberry, kiwi etc etc. Just make sure you don't add all sour fruits)
Dates - 1/2 cup (pitted and chopped)
Raw sugar - 2 tbsp (adjust as per your taste)
Water - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - juice from 1 lemon


Chop all the fruits to medium size and pressure cook them along with water and dates. Wait for a whistle and then switch off. Wait till the pressure goes off.
Open the cooker, add the sugar & lemon juice. Switch on the flame and keep stirring at medium-low flame till the jam thickens.
Once it reaches jam consistency (it should coat the spoon) switch off the flame. It will thicken a bit once it cools. Pulse it in the mixer to get a smooth consistency.

Once cooled well, store in an airtight container. Since it has no preservatives, this will last only a couple of weeks, and this need to be kept in fridge always.

Naadan Pumpkin Soup

Its the time of soups again. Here in Dubai, the weather is becoming chill..not as much as previous years though. Perfect weather for soup and some garlic bread. I love almost any form. So thought of trying the famous pumpkin soup, but with a twist - a naadan (read Kerala) touch.

As much as possible, I try to follow ayurvedic rules in preparing food. You can read some of them here. Most of the pumpkin soup recipe calls for milk, fresh cream, butter etc added. Since cow's milk should not be added taken along with salt, I replaced it with our own coconut milk. Also used organic (read home-grown coconuts, pressed for oil in the nearby mill) coconut oil instead of butter.

And this turned out to be super delicious, the kids enjoyed this thoroughly. So here goes the recipe.


Pumpkin - 250g (cut into chunks)
Garlic - 2 pods, chopped
Big onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Salt - as needed
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1tsp (as per taste)
Coconut milk - 1 cup (medium consistency)
Dash of nutmeg


Cut the pumpkin into big chunks. Place them in a thick bottom pan, with about half cup of water. Let the pumpkin get cooked (to a mashy stage)
Heat a pan, add coconut oil. Throw in the garlic and saute till golden brown.
Now add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown. Now add this to the mashed up pumpkin and let them cook together for another 5 min until the soup thickens.
Meanwhile extract the coconut milk (if making fresh coconut milk). Add this to the soup and let the whole thing cook again for another 5 min.
Sprinkle the pepper powder and nutmeg powder. Switch off the stove once it has reached the right consistency. Once its cooled a bit, pulse it in the mixer to get a smooth consistency.

Serve hot!!

NB : My soup looks a bit thick. I diluted it with half cup of hot water and boiled before serving.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Achappam / Kerala Rosette cookies

Achappam...haa...brings a lot of childhood memories. The brightest being the image of my grandmom making tins and tins of these fried goodies before every Christmas and Easter. But we see these tins only on the day of making them; after that they vanish. Then a much smaller tin appears - which can hold hardly 8 -10 achappams or thats the ration for a week. Can't blame her.. in a house of 3 (always) hungry kids, 3 adults and (atleast 2) helpers, one need to ensure these tins lasts atleast a month. So for the next one month the evening tea-time snack will be these beautifully shaped achappams.

This is the first time I am trying my hands at these. Got hold the achu (mould) from my nneighbor..Thanks Madhoo!! Then straight away called up my grand-mom, got the recipe along with the tricks to handle achu and the batter consistency. Some of the tips below.

- For making the achappams, always use freshly ground rice powder. Never use roasted rice flour.
- The ground flour should be sieved well, and only very fine flour should be used.
- The rice - egg ratio is 4 big cup (naazhi) : 4 eggs (I used 1 naazhi equivalent to about 3 normal measuring cup and 1 egg). For this amount, about half of a coconut should be used
- 3 cups of rice gave me about 4 cups of very flour
- Before using the achu, dip in hot salted water for sometime (about an hour). Then wipe it clean.
- When the oil starts boiling, dip the achu in this oil for atleast 5 minutes. The achu should be hot enough, else the batter stick to the mould. When the mould is dipped into the batter, you should hear a sizzling sound.
- The batter thickness is very important. It should be of the thickness of vattayappam - semi thick that should be.
- If the batter is too thick, add little more coconut milk or water. If its thin, then add little more rice flour or even little maida will work.
- The mould should be dipped only 3/4th in the batter. If you dip completely, then the achappams will not get released from the mould
- There should be enough oil for deep frying. And it should be really hot.

 Now on to the recipe..

White rice - 4 cups (I used sona masuri rice) - when ground you should have about 7-8 cups of fine flour
Coconut milk - about 2 cups (extracted from 3/4th of a coconut grated)
Egg (beaten) - 1
Salt - as needed
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black sesame seeds - 1 tsp

Making the rice flour : Soak the rice in enough water for atleast an hour. Drain well, spread it on newspaper and allow to dry (for about half hr). Once dry (it should not be too dry, should be slightly moist), put it in mixer (in batches) and grind to fine powder. Sieve them and measure.

Take the rice flour in a bowl (steel recommended, as you will be dipping hot iron mould into this, and you do not want the plastic to melt).
Add enough salt and sugar (if using)
Add the coconut milk, 1 cup at a time. Ensure you get a semi-thick consistency.
Add the beaten egg
Sprinkle the cumin and sesame seeds and give a good stir.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed vessel. Dip the mould in this oil for atleast 5 min, till the oil is really hot. Now dip the mould in the batter and immediately transfer it to the oil. It will sizzle for a while. Now using a fork, slightly push the (now firming up) achappam into the oil. Cook both sides. Once done, drain the oil and let it cool on a kitchen towel
Repeat for the whole batch. Once all the achappams are cooled well, transfer them to an airtight container.

PS : It is time-consuming!! and might test your patience. The batter will sometimes show an attitude and will not remove itself from the mould...But still be patient..your efforts will be paid off..

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Granola Bar - The Healthy Crunch!

Ever since I started to work again, I have been in search of such finger food recipes. These days I have an early breakfast, before rushing to office. But by around 11, my tummy starts growling again. I found these home-made granola bars prefect for mid-morning snacks, all the more happy to find that my kids love them too!!


Oats - 1 cup
Crushed Corn flakes - 1/2 cup
Raw sugar - 2 tbsp
Chopped almonds - 6-8
Pitted and chopped dates - 8 - 10
Walnuts - 2-3, chopped finely
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Honey - 2 tbsp
Water - 2 tbsp


1. In a bowl, mix together oats, corn flakes, almonds, dates, walnuts & raisins.
2. Heat a non-stick pan, and dry roast this mixture till a nice aroma comes. Keep them aside.
3. In the same pan, add butter. When it melts add sugar and add water slowly (if its too hot, it might splutter). When sugar melts, add the dry-roasted mixture and mixture whole thing together to form a wet mixture. Towards the end add honey and do a taste test. Add more honey/sugar if needed.
4. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer the oats mixture to this tray and press slightly.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for about 8 min
6. Take them out and make incisions.

Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!!

Healthy (oats & cornflakes) cookies

This is my answer for my ever hungry lad !! They are healthy, crunchy, can be made in a breeze.


Oats - 1 1/2 cup
Crushed cornflakes - 1/2 cup
Raw sugar - 1/4 cup (adjust as per your taste)
Sunflower oil - 3 tbsp
Milk - 5-6 tbsp


1. Grind togeher oats, cornflakes & raw sugar in your mixer grinder.
2. Transfer the ground mixture to a bowl and add oil and milk. Mix together with hand till you get a wet, slightly sticky mixture. If its too sticky, keep it in refrigerator for 10 min.
3. Line a baking tray. Slightly wet your hand and take small quantities of oats mixture. Roll it in your wet palm and slightly press to flatten them. Arrange them in the tray. If you would like, press the top with a fork.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the tray in oven and bake for about 15-18 min.
Don't wait for the cookies to become hard, to take them out of the oven. They will harden as they cool down.
Enjoy with milk or tea!

Meen peera

If you can get the small natholi (anchovy, podimeen) cleaned, this is one of the easiest and tastiest fish preparations. An excellent combo with rice or even with puttu (steamed rice cake).


Cleaned anchovy (natholi, podimeen) - 1/2 kg
Small onions - 5-6
Green chilly - 3
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Kudampuli (Gambooge) - 2-3 big pieces


1. Crush together the small onions, green chilly, garlic, ginger, salt, curry leaves & grated coconut.
2. Transfer this mixture to the manchatti (mud pan - in which you are going to cook) and add the gambooge too. Mix thoroughly with hand till the coconut start releasing its oil. Don't mix too hard, just keep doing with the finger tips and soon coconut will become soft and start releasing oil.
3. At this point, add the cleaned fish, mix again.
4. Switch on the flame and keep the manchatti on it (on low flame). Keep it covered and cook till its cooked well. After about 5 min, open the lid and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle little water if needed.
5. Once the fish is cooked, open the pan and cook for another 2-3 min for the mixture to dry up.
6. Sprinkle coconut oil towards the end, give a thorough mix once again and cover and keep for 10-15 min before serving.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Semiya Pulav / Upma

This is something which I wanted to try for a long time. I had tasted Semiya Biriyani once, when my aunt made it and it was awesome. So I thought I'll just follow my chicken biriyani recipe partially for this. Since I didnt do the garnishing part and made less rich, thought of calling it Pulav or upma. We had it for breakfast, but I think this would make a wonderful dinner since its so filling and mild. My kids loved every bit of it.


Semiya - 3 cups
Water - 6-8 cups
Salt -  as needed

For the masala (mine was mild, you can increase chilly, ginger, masala quantity if you want it spicy)

Big onion - 1 big, thinly sliced
Green chilly - 1
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Mint leaves - 5-6 leaves
Coriander leaves - 5-6 strands
Carrot (cut to 2 inch long strands) - 1 cup
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp


1. Heat a wide mouthed pan, add enough water. Let it come to boil. When it starts to boil, add enough salt and add the semiya. Add a drop of oil, to avoid semiya sticking to each other. Let it cook well. You can add the green peas as well to the boiling semiya so that both will get cooked together. Once semiya is cooked, strain them, sprinkle some cold water on it (to stop the cooking process and to avoid the strands sticking to each other). Keep it aside.
2. In the same pan, add oil. When its hot enough, add the sliced onions and saute them well.
3. Meanwhile, grind together (in a mixer) ginger, garlic, green chilly, mint leaves and coriander leaves.
4. Once the onions are sauteed well, add the ground paste to this mixture and saute till the raw smell goes.
5. Add in the coriander and turmeric powder, and saute for 5 seconds.
6. Add the carrots and saute till its cooked. Sprinkle some water if the masala is bit dry.
7. Now add the cooked semiya & green peas and mix well. Adjust the salt.
8. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves, server warm!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Loaf Bread

This is my first successful loaf...perfect & tasty!


For the water roux/tangzong

All purpose / Bread flour - 1/3 cups
Water - 1 cup

Method : Place the flour & water in a pan. Mix the flour well with water. Turn on the heat (low flame) and keep stirring till the mixture reaches 65C or it starts forming lines. The moisture should not be dried up completely. Keep it aside to cool.

For the Bread

Bread / All Purpose Flour - 2 1/2 - 3 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup
Instant yeast - 2 tsp
Egg - 1
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Water roux - approx 3 tbsp
Butter (at room temp) - 3 tbsp
White sesame seeds - 1 tsp


1. Warm milk till its very warm (approx 80C). Dissolve the sugar in it. Sprinkle the instant yeast on top of it. Keep it aside for approx 10 min for the yeast to get activated and the mixture to become frothy.
2. In the food processor bowl, measure and add the bread flour and salt. Now add in the frothy yeast mixture (wait till the mixture is really frothy), water roux and egg (keep aside a tbsp for brushing later). Keep kneading at medium speed till everything comes together. Add flour if its too sticky. Keep kneading atleast for 5 minutes.
3. Now add in the softened butter and knead for another 10 min till you get an elastic, soft, non-sticky dough.
4. Dab the dough with some oil and keep it aside for atleast an hour for it to double in size. Make sure you cover it with a damp cloth.
5. Once doubled, punch down the dough to remove the air. Shape it to a loaf and place in the loaf tin. Cover with damp cloth, and keep aside for another half hour for the dough to rise again.
6. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 180 deg celsius. Brush the top of the dough with egg (mixed with some water) and sprinkle sesame seeds. Place the loaf tin (with dough in) to the oven and bake for approx 25 min (baking time will depend on your oven type).
7. Once baked, take out the loaf and run a stick of butter over the top of the loaf to give a shiny texture. Keep it covered if not using immediately. Cut the bread with a serrated knife, only once its cooled completely.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Party Sandwiches

This is definitely a party pleaser..easy to make and stores well too. You can make the chutneys ahead and can be stored in the fridge.


Bread - 3 slices
Green chutney - 1 tbsp
Red chutney - 1 tbsp
Any cheese or mayonnaise - 1 tsp (I used Kiri spread)

Red Chutney (I have used carrot chutney here)

Carrot  - 2, grated
Small onions - 4, sliced
Green chilly - 2, chopped
Ginger  -1 inch piece, chopped
Garlic - 1 small clove, chopped
Tomato - 1 small, chopped
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method : Heat a pan, add some oil. Add sliced onions. Saute them for a minute. Add green chilly, ginger and garlic. Saute for another minute. Add the grated carrot. Saute well till they are half cooked. Add chopped tomatoes. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, till everything is soft. Add required salt. Switch off the stove and allow the mixture to cool. Then grind it in mixer till its smooth. You can use it at this stage or freeze it till you need it,

Green chutney
Coriander leaves - 2 hands full
Mint leaves - handful
Small onion - 3
Green chilly - 1
Ginger - half inch piece
Curry leaves - 1 sprig, optional
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Salt - as needed
Lime juice - from half a lemon

Method - Grind everything till it forms a smooth paste.


1. Take one slice of bread. Spread some red chutney over.
2. Cover with second slice. Spread some cheese over the second slice. Top it with a tbsp of green chutney. Cover it third slice.
3. Remove the crusts and slice it diagonally to et 4 equal triangles. Arrange them on a tray

Barbie Doll cake

You might be wondering..where I went hiding for the past 2-3 weeks. I just started working again. So my daily cooking and all the experiments with food has come to a standstill. But last weekend, I had no choice but to get into the was my lil princess' bday and she had ordered a Barbie Doll cake way back in January when I was making birthday cake for my son. So there was no going back..I cannot disappoint her. I just had one day to make the cake, decorate it, make some party foodies like party sandwiches (recipe to follow), chicken roll, veg rolls, bruschettas, cupcakes etc etc...I was tired by end of the day..Nevertheless, a happy mom at the end of the day when I see my girl beam with pride, standing near her Barbie cake..

The cake is the simple "Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake, layered up with Hershey's chocolate sauce and topped with buttercream icing. The Barbie's top dress was made with fondant!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ridge Gourd / Peechinga Subzi

A beautiful accompaniment for chapathis. They are mild, juicy and tasty. I like such juicy subzis for chapathi so that I needn't worry about another gravy.


Ridge Gourd - 1 medium, cleaned and chopped to small cubes
Big onion - 1 medium, chopped
Green chilly - 1, chopped
Ginger - half inch piece, crushed
Garlic - 2 medium cloves, crushed
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urid dal - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as needed


1. Heat a kadai, add oil. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add urid dal and saute till they turn brown and crisp.
2. Add the chopped onions, green chilly, ginger and garlic. Saute till raw smell is gone (do not saute for more than a minute, you need all those juices in there).
3. Add in the tomatoes and saute for 30s. Sprinkle chilly and turmeric powder, saute for another 10 seconds and then add in the cubed ridge gourd. Add salt. Give a good stir and cover and cook till the gourd is cooked well.
4. Once cooked, open the lid, stir well and serve hot with chapathis

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easy - Peasy Beef Samosa

I never thought making samosas were this easy! Do you have some left-over beef fry /curry and chapathi dough? Then please roll out the dough, fill in some shredded beef fry, tuck them in and deep fry! Your kids will love..we actually fought for that last one!!

The only problem with atta being used as the wrapper is that the samosas should be consumed immediately. As it sits, they lose their crispness. But I am sure there wouldn't be any left. If at all you want the crispness to last longer, please use a maida dough instead of atta.

You can follow the same recipe for chicken samosas too, if you have some leftover chicken curry. Easy - peasy..aint it?


Left-over beef curry or fry - around 2 cups (if there is too much gravy, just cook them for some more time so that the moisture dries up. You do not want it to be too dry, something like wet will be perfect)
Chapathi dough - as needed
Oil - for frying


1. Shred the beef in a food processor.
2. Roll out a small ball of chapathi dough. Cut them in half as shown. Twist them to make a cone and fill in a tbsp of beef. 
3. Tuck them in, press tightly to close
4. Deep fry in oil

Enjoy with some tomato ketchup.