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..