Monday, February 24, 2014

Payyoli Chicken

Payyoli chicken...We have had this tasty starter only from the Calicut Paragon restaurants. Never knew it was so easy to make..until I got the recipe during my usual blog-hopping.


Chicken - 500g
Kashmiri chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprig
Salt - to taste
Crushed ginger - 1 tbsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Coconut oil - 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Green chilly - 2, whole


1. Marinate the chicken with 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder, 1 sprig of curry leaves, salt, vinegar and crushed ginger. Let it rest for atleast 30 min.
2. Mix the grated coconut with the remaining 1 tbsp of kashmiri chilli powder and keep aside.
3. Heat 3 tbsp of coconut oil in a kadai or manchatti. Add the curry leaves and marinated chicken. Saute well on high heat for about 2 min.
4. After that reduce the heat, cover the pot and cook till the chicken is almost done.
5. Now open the lid and add the grated coconut-chilly powder mixture. Cook till all the water is evaporated and mixture turns semi-dry.
6. Move the chicken mixture to the sides of the pan and make a small well in the middle of the pan, add the remaining oil. When its hot enough, add the remaining sprig of curry leaves and green chilly. Mix entire mixture and let it dry up. 
7. Serve hot!!

Spaghetti with Meat Balls in Rich Tomato Sauce

As a family, I feel, we are moving closer to Italian Cuisine. Even my fussy eater never shows her attitude towards any of the Italian dishes, in spite being spicy (yeah...I like these dishes to be slightly hot).

Coming to the dish....I just loved these tender, juicy meatballs soaked in rich tomato juice..simmered on low heat for about an hour...On the other hand, the meat balls imparted all its richness to the tomato juice making it even more richer. 

This time around I got rid off the normal white, plastic-tasting spaghetti (which my son disliked) and caught hold of some organic stuff, which had a superior flavour of its own.


Spaghetti - 1 packet

Italian Meat balls
Minced meat (raw) - 500g
Egg - 1
Garlic - 1 clove
Grated cheese (Romano / Ricotta / Parmesan) - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Fresh chopped parsley - 2 tsp
Chopped basil - 1 leaf

Home-made Tomato Sauce
Tomato - 3 big
Onion - 1 big
Garlic - 2 cloves
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Fresh chopped parsley - 2 tbsp (if using dried, use 2 tsp)
Fresh chopped basil - 1 tbsp (if using dried, use 1/2 tsp)
Salt - as per taste
Chilli flakes - 2 tsp (optional)
Water - approx 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tbsp


1. Soak the breadcrumbs in milk and keep for around 10 minutes.
2. Mix all the ingredients, including the soaked breadcrumbs using hand.
3. Make small ball.
At this point, you can refrigerate if not using immediately.

Home-made Tomato Sauce
1. Chop the onion & garlic finely.
2. Crush the tomatoes well in a processor
3. Heat a wide mouthed, thick-bottomed pan, add the olive oil
4. Add the onion, garlic and saute till they become transparent, in low heat.
5. Add the tomato, basil, parsley, salt and sugar, stir well.
6. Simmer on very low heat for about an hour (It is best to simmer it for 2 hrs).
7. After simmering for about 15 - 20 min, drop the meat balls into the gravy and let it slowly cook for atleast 45 min.


1. Heat plenty of water in a wide mouthed pan.
2. When the water is rolling boil, add salt and few drops of olive oil (to avoid sticking of spaghetti).
3. Now add the spaghetti, and gently stir.
4. Let it cook for about 20 min, till spaghetti is cooked well.
5. Drain and serve along with the meat ball - tomato sauce

Pazham Nirachathu / Stuffed Banana

Another rich and delicious snack from the Malabar Coast..


Ripe banana (nenthrapazham) - 2 nos
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Cashew (unsalted, not-roasted) - handful
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Cardomom powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Maida or Atta - 1/2 cup
Water - as needed
Ghee / oil - for shallow frying


1. In a non-stick pan, heat about 1 tsp of ghee. 
2. Break the cashew nuts into smaller pieces and fry them in this ghee. Drain and keep aside.
3. Fry the raisins too in the same ghee. When they have swollen, drain and keep aside.
4. In the remaining ghee in pan, roast the grated coconut until they turn light brown and start releasing a nice aroma. Remove from the pan and keep aside. Mix all the three roasted items together
5. Make a thick paste of maida/atta with little water.
6. Now take the bananas, one at a time, and make long narrow incision as shown in the pic.
7. Place about 2 tbsp of roasted mixture in this incision, slowly pushing them inside with both your thumb, to allow more place for the mixture.
8. Now close the incision with the maida/atta mixture. You can coat the entire banana also with the same batter, but thinner version.
9. Repeat, till you are done with all the bananas.
10. In the same non-stick pan, add more ghee/oil and shallow fry these bananas with the incision side down first. Later overturn it and cook the other side too. If you are coating the entire banana with flour paste, then you'll need more oil for frying.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Brinjal Stir Fry / Vazhuthananga Mezhukupuratti

Another side dish, using home-grown brinjals that my MIL sent.


Small brinjals - 4-5 nos
Shallots - 4-5
Garlic - 2 big cloves
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (as per your tolerance)
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt - as per taste
Coconut/any oil - 2 tbsp


1. Wash brinjals thoroughly under running water. Cut them into thin slices, and put them in a bowl of water as soon as you cut them. Add a little salt to this water.
2. Crush the shallots and garlic together
3. Heat oil in a kadai, and add the crushed mixture. Saute till they turn light brown and slightly crispy. Throw in the curry leaves.
4. Add the chilly powder and turmeric powder, and saute till raw smell is gone.
5. Now drain sliced brinjals from the water and add to the kadai. Mix thoroughly. Add salt
6. Close the lid and cook till the brinjal are soft and cooked. You will need to sprinkle some water in between.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Eggless Rum-less Dry-Fruit Cake

I don't know where to start with this cake..I am not so much a sugary person, an occasional slice of cake is more than enough for more. Even when I bake, I normally don't eat more than one small piece..just that I can't take in so much sweetness. But this particular cake broke all norms!! I was addicted to this one. It had such an earthy overtone, majorly from the use of muscavado (very similar to our jaggery) sugar in it. 

So I am not sure how many of you will like it. It was much sweeter compared to other cakes, and much more dense, li'l chewy and full of deep flavours. More than half of it was consumed by me, and the other half by hubby. Got the recipe from here. I am sure to make it again, just that I will need reduce few inches before I make it again.


All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Vegetable oil - 150 ml
Water - 200ml
Dates (pitted and chopped) - 100 g
Raisins - 100g (Original recipe called for 150g, but I found it slightly overpowering)
Cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts (broken) - 100g
Jaggery or Dark muscavado sugar - 150g
Sugar - 150g
Fruit jam - 3 tbsp (if possible use sugarless jam, as this makes the batter very sweet
Spice powder - 2 tsp
Grated rind of 1 lime (I omitted this)


1. Grease and line the bottom of an 8” square or 9” round cake tin with greaseproof paper/baking parchment/butter paper. 
2. In a mixing bowl, assemble the flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix with a spoon and sieve once to make the mixture uniform. 
3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the fruits and nuts. Stir in the jaggery, sugar, jam and 100 ml water. Heat on a low flame until the sugar and jaggery melt, stirring all the while. Don’t overcook the mixture. 
4. Allow to cool and add the reamaining 100 ml water, rind and spice powder. 
5. Mix in the sifted flour mixture and beat with a spoon or a wire whisk until there are no lumps. 
6. Transfer the contents to the greased and lined tin and bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree centigrade for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Raw Papaya thoran

I did mention in some previous blogs about the goods that my MIL sent, when my hubby visited home couple of weeks back. That included a big raw papaya. So decided to make some thoran out of it, which my whole family enjoyed.


Raw papaya (peeled and grated) - about 4 cups (I just pulsed it couple of times in my mini chopper)
Small onion - about 8 (you can use big onion too)
Green chilly - 2, slit lengthwise
Garlic - 1 clove, chopped or crushed
Grated coconut - about 1.5 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp


1. Grate the papaya and mix it with all other ingredients except mustard seeds and oil. Mix it gently, but thorughly with hand. Let it sit for about 10 min.
2. Heat a kadai and add oil. When the oil is hot enough, splutter the mustard seeds.
3. Add the papaya - coconut mixture into this and give a thorough mix.
4. Sprinkle some water, cover with lid and let it cook for about 8 min. Stir in between.
5. Check for salt.
6. Once the papaya is cooked, remove the lid and cook it for couple of minutes more, just to ensure that thoran is somewhat dry.

Aloo Paratha / Potato stuffed paratha

My favourite comfort food....for breakfast as well as for yum they are, with a little curd and pickle!!


For chapathi dough

Whole wheat atta - 3 cups
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1.5 cups

For Aloo masala

Boiled potatoes - 2 medium, peeled and mashed
Big onion - 1 big, chopped fine
Green chilly - 2, chopped fine
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, chopped fine
Garlic - 1 clove, chopped fine
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup, chopped fine
Chillu powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt - as per taste
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp

Ghee - for smearing the aloo paratha


Chapathi dough
Mix all the ingredients and form a soft, smooth and pliable dough. Cover it with a wet cloth and let it rest for atleast 20 min.

Aloo Masala
1. Heat a kadai, and add the oil. When the oil is hot enough, add the chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt.
2. When the onions turn slight pinkish, add the ginger, garlic and chillies. Saute for couple of minutes. If adding chilli powder, add at this stage.
3. Now add the mashed potatoes and mix up well.
4. Sprinkle cumin powder, mix well and switch off the stove.
5. Add the chopped coriander leaves, and give a good mix.

Making the Aloo Paratha
1. Take a ball of dough, and flatten it in you palm using other hand.
2. Place a heaped tbsp full of aloo masala on this. Close it with the chapathi dough as shown in pic.
3. Now roll it out, as you would roll a chapathi, careful enough not to break it.
4. Heat a tawa, and when its hot, place the rolled out stuffed chapathi on it.
5. Add some ghee on the sides. When one side is done, turn it over and smear some ghee again so that there is enough ghee on both the sides.
6. Remove from tawa, when both the sides are done.

Enjoy with some curd and pickle.

Prawns Stir fry / Chemmeen Olarthu

I am a prawns person...I can eat this species in any form, except with life....One of my quick fix olarthu recipe.


To marinate
Prawns (de-shelled, de-veined. washed) - 1 cup
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as per taste

To saute
Small onions - 1 cup, thinly sliced
Green chilly - 2 , slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, crushed
Garlic - 2 cloves, curshed
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (if its above your tolerance, then add kashmiri chilli powder)


1. Marinate the cleaned prawns with items mentioned in "To marinate". Allow it to rest for atleast 30 min.
2. Heat a kadai or manchatti, add the coconut oil. Once its hot enough, add the crushed ginger - garlic and saute till raw smell goes (about a min).
3. Add the sliced onions, chillies and curry leaves and saute till they turn light brown. You can sprinkle some salt at this stage to expedite the browning process.
4. Now sprinkle the chilli powder and saute till raw smell is gone (approx 30 seconds) and add the marinated prawns.
5. Stir well, so that the masala coats on the entire dish.
6. Close and cook for about 2 minutes. Open the lid and give a good stir.
7. Adjust the salt. Let it cook, with lid open, for another 4-5 minutes. Your prawns should be done by now. Prawns should not be cooked for too long, as it would become rubbery then. It need to retain its juices and tenderness.

Serve it along with hot rice.

Cheera thoran / Kerala Spinach thoran

A healthy, yummy side dish for rice.


Cheera - 1 bunch, chopped fine
Small onion - 4-5, sliced or crushed
Green chilly - 2, slit lengthwise
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, crushed
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed
Curry leaves - 3-4 leaves
Salt - as per taste
Grated coconut - 1 cup, loosely packed
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp


1. In a wok or pan, heat the oil. Splutter the mustard seeds.
2. Add the small onions, green chilly, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Saute them for a minute.
3. Add the chopped cheera/keera and the grated coconut. Sprinkle some salt and give a good mix.
4. Sprinkle some turmeric powder, mix it up
5. Let the cheera get cooked uncovered (if you cover it, it will become soggy)
6. Once all the water is evaporated and the subzi is somewhat dry, switch off the stove.

Serve it with hot rice, curd and some pickle....heaven in your mouth!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Yam chips

Have you heard of it?? I have neither had it earlier nor even heard about it. But my MIL packed a huge yam, when hubby visited home last week, which was home grown...without knowing all this, I bought half a kg of yam during my usual grocery store visit. Right now I have about 2 kgs of yam sitting in my kitchen. So thought of making some chips out of it...After some google search, figured out that the process is same as any other chips and hence went ahead and made it... They were as good as any other chips, just that they took little longer to cook.


Yam - about quarter kg, thinly sliced into the size of chips
Salt - about 1 tsp, dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Chilly powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Oil - for frying


1. Wash the yam pieces in water thoroughly and soak for about 15 min.
2. Drain the water and spread the pieces on a kitchen towel or newspaper.
3. Heat enough oil and when the oil is hot enough, add yam pieces in small batches. Do not overcrowd.
4. Sprinkle about a tsp of salt water into the oil.
5. Fry till both sides of the yam turn brown
6. Drain oil and turn them to a paper towel.
7. Sprinkle chilly powder, if using.

Paneer Butter Masala

Its my love for paneer that prompted me to try this dish. My family is not a big fan of paneer...but I somehow persuaded them to eat the gravy which they relished.


Paneer cubes - 10-12
Big onion - 1 big, chopped finely
Garlic - 2 big cloves, crushed
Ginger - 1 inch piece, crushed
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder - 1 tsp (added just for the colour)
Toamto - 2 , chopped
Salt - as per taste
Kasuri methi - a generous pinch
Butter - around 50g ( half a stick)
Cooking cream - around 50 g


1. Heat a kadai, add butter.
2. When it melts, add the paneer pieces and saute till all the sides are browned slightly. Remove to a paper towel
2. In the same pan, add the onion, ginger, garlic. Saute till they are transparent.
3. Add the powders, and saute till the raw smell is gone, and oil start leaving
4. Now add the tomatoes, and till oil starts leaving the mixture
5. Add salt and kasuri methi. Give it a good stir and switch off the stove.
6. When the mixture has cooled down, grind it into a smooth paste using small jar of the mixer.
7. Add the paste into the pan again. Wash the jar with about half cup of water and add this water also to the pan, and heat it.
8. When it starts to boil, switch off the stove and add cooking cream, followed by fried paneer cubes.
9. Garnish with some coriander leaves, if you like.