Monday, May 15, 2017

Salsa Rice

  
Ingredients:
White rice/ basmati rice- 1.5 cup
Salsa (thick, chunky & mild) - 1 cup
Chopped cilantro-4 tsp
Olive oil- 2 tsp
water

Method:
Wash and drain rice. Mix rice, salsa, oil, and half of chopped cilantro and cook with required amount of water, in a rice cooker. Sprinkle the rest of the cilantro and serve hot.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Onion Pakoda/ Crispy Onion Fritters


Ingredients:
Onion, medium sized- 1
Gram flour/ Besan/ കടല മാവ് -1 cup
Red chilly powder -1 tsp
Salt
Water-1/2 cup
Oil for frying

Method:
1. Thinly slice onions


2. Combine gram flour, red chilly powder, and salt in a large bowl.



3. Add water to make a smooth batter and mix well.


4. Add the sliced onions into the batter. Nicely coat onions with batter using a spoon/fork.

 
5. Get a frying pan and heat oil. Take a spoon full of coated onions and spread it over the pan. Repeat the process and make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Flip pakoras when one side is done. Fry both sides until they become light brown.


Serve warm with ketchup or cilantro chutney.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Pazham Kumbil Appam/പഴം കുമ്പിൾ അപ്പം/ Steamed Banana Dumblings


Ingredients:

Ripe bananas- 6
Jaggery-3-4 medium size pieces (you can substitute with 1 cup of regular sugar or brown sugar)
Clarified butter/ghee- 1 tsp
Cardamom-2, crushed
Cumin seeds/ Jeera, crushed- 1/4 teaspoon
Dried ginger/ chukku, powdered- 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Coconut, shredded-1/2-1 cup
Roasted Rice flour- 1-1.5 cup
Bay leaves/ Vazhana ila/ Parchment paper (for wrapping)
Salt- a pinch


Method:
1. Mash up the bananas. You can use a potato masher or just hands to mash them up into a fine paste (or it is also perfectly fine to leave a few chunks).

2. Scrape jaggery 

3. Select a wide and deep non-stick sauce pan and a long stemmed wooden spoon. Melt 1 tsp of ghee in the pan and combine the mashed banana, scraped jaggery, crushed cardamom, cumin, salt, and shredded coconut. Continuously stir the mixture in medium heat. You will see the consistency of the mixture changes while you stir. Sir until the mixture has become medium to thick consistency (around 10-15 min).Then, allow it to cool.  

4. Add rice flour to the banana mixture little by little and mix well until it reaches the right consistency of a smooth dough.


5.  Make a cone out of leaves and fill it it with the above dough using a spoon. If you don't have leaves, cut a sheet of parchment paper into several rectangles. Take a piece of parchment paper and make a cone. Leave one end of the paper to stick out so that it can be used to cover the top of the cone. Fill the cone with1-2 spoons of the dough. Push the dough to lower end of the cone using the back side of the spoon. Then, cover the top of the cone with paper that is sticking out from the cone.


6. Boil water in a steamer and steam for 20-30 min (To check whether it has cooked, insert a toothpick.If it is cooked, the toothpick will come out clean).

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Alternate method: Pazham Kubmil Appam from Banana Preserves
You can also prepare pazham kumbil appam starting from banana preserve. Please see my previous post on Banana Preserves. Take one cup of the banana preserve and mix it with shredded coconut and rice flour to make a smooth dough. Then follow the steps 4 and 5 to make delicious banana kumbil appam. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cucumber Pickle


Ingredients:
Cucumbers in brine ~ 200g
Garlic, minced-1-2 tsp
Ginger, minced-1-2 tsp
Green chilly, sliced-3
Kashmiri red chilly powder-2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds, crushed- 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida- a small pinch
Gingelly oil/ any veg. oil-1 tbsp
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Vinegar-1 tbsp

Method:
For making cucumber pickle in Kerala style, I used pickled cucumbers (in salt water/brine). Method of preparation is exactly same as my previous post on Olive Pickle.

Picture from www.Walmart.com
Drain cucumbers. You can save the salt water that cucumbers were soaked in.
Heat oil in a cooking pan and splutter mustards. Add curry leaves, green chillies, ginger, and garlic. Saute until they are slightly brown. Reduce heat, add chilly powder, turmeric powder and crushed fenugreek.Stir for a couple of minutes and add vinegar. Bring it to boil and add cucumbers. Adjust the consistency of the pickle by adding more water or the salt water that cucumbers were soaked in. Add salt if needed. Mix well, turn off the flame, cool and keep it in an air-tight jar.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Berry-Banana Smoothie


Ingredients:
Blue berry - 1 cup
Strawberry - 8-10 nos
Banana -1/2-1
Milk- 11/2 cup (I used 2% milk)
Sugar - 3 tsp
Vanilla essence -1 tsp
Ice cubes -5-6 nos

Method:
Clean fruits and combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
The color of smoothie will change if you leave it for a long time. So consume immediately.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fried Shredded Pork /Pork varuthu idichathu /പന്നി വറുത്ത് ഇടിച്ചത്

 



Ingredients:
Pork -1 lb

#1
Chilly powder-1 tsp
Coriander powder-1tsp
Garam masala-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Salt

#2
Shallots-10-12
(crushed or onion-1,sliced)
Dry red chilly-4
Garlic-2
Curry leaves-a handful
Black pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Lemon juice-1/2 tsp


Method:

Clean and cut pork into thin flat pieces. Marinate it with ingredients #1 for one hour. Heat a wide frying pan and fry pork until both sides are brown (no need to add oil since the meat usually has lots of fat, but, if it is required, use oil spray).


Pound the fried pork pieces with a hammer (or something heavy) and pull apart the meat to shred.


Spay oil in a pan and saute dry red chillies for 3 min to make them warm and crispy. Crush roasted red chillies together with garlic and curry leaves. If you are using shallots, you can crush them too.


Heat oil in a pan and add this crushed mix and crushed shallots (or sliced onion). Saute until the onions are slightly brown. Add shredded pork and mix well. Stir fry until they are brown and crispy. Season with black pepper powder and lemon juice. Serve with rice.






















Bitter gourd-Beans Stir Fry/ pavakka-beans thoran/പാവയ്ക്കാ ബീൻസ് തോരൻ


Ingredients:
Bitter gourd- 1 small
Onion-1 medium
Green chilly-2 or 3

Grated coconut-1 cup
Turmeric powder-a small pinch
Salt


Oil-1 tbsp
Curry leaves-1 sprigs
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp

Method:
Finely chop bitter guard, beans, green chilly, and onion (to chop bitter gourd, green chilly, and onion, I used S-blade in the food processor. For chopping beans, the top slice disc and the bottom S-blades are used)
Add oil into a pan, splutter mustards and add curry leaves. Stir in the chopped bitter gourd beans, green chillies and onion. Add grated coconut, salt, and turmeric. Cook covered for 10 minutes then open the lid and saute until it is completely dry. Serve with rice.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sweet Plantain Bites


Ingredients:
Ripe and sweet plantains-2
Butter-2 tsp

Sugar-2 tsp
Milk-1/4 cup
Condensed milk-3 tsp
Grated coconut-3 tsp
Cardamon-1, ground
Vanilla essence-1 tsp

Method:
1. Slice ripe plantains into small rounds. Melt butter in a wide pan and shallow fry plantains until both sides are slightly brown.


2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Randomly poke the plantain pieces using a fork or wooden skewer (the purpose of poking is to make the next soaking step easy) and pour the mixture over the plantains.


3.Cook covered for 5 minutes in low flame until all the pieces are soaked in the coconut-milk mixture.
Serve hot.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Banana Preserves/Banana Jam/ Pazham Varattiyathu/പഴം വരട്ടിയത്


Ingredients:
Ripe bananas- 6
Jaggery-3-4 medium sized pieces (you can substitute with 1 cup of regular sugar or brown sugar)
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Cardamom-2, crushed
Clarified butter/ghee- 2 tsp

This is one of the methods to use overly ripe bananas. You can use this preserves  as a spread on toasts, pancakes or to make banana bread or eat as the way it is.

1. Mash up the bananas. You can use a blender to mash them up into a fine paste (or it is also perfectly fine to leave a few chunks, for the texture of the preserves). Do not add any water during mashing.

2. Melt jaggery with 1/2 cup of water.

3. Select a wide and deep non stick sauce pan and a long stemmed wooden spoon. Combine the mashed banana with melted jaggery (If you are using regular sugar, simply mix the sugar with mashed bananas).

4. Continuously stir the banana mixture in medium heat. You will see the consistency of the mixture changes while you stir. When the volume of the mixture has been reduced to half, add the rest of the ingredients (lemon juice, vanilla essence, crushed cardamom and ghee).  

5. Keep stirring until the volume is almost 1/3 of that you have started with. Let it cool and then transfer into a clean jar with air tight/screw- cap lid. Leave the jar in refrigerator.

The taste of the preserves is very similar to chakka varattiyathu.

Caution: While preparing the banana mixture, it is very important to stir it continuously. Otherwise, it is going to bubble and splutter vigorously. Adjust the flame to minimize spluttering. Also, make sure you choose the right sized sauce pan and spoon.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How to Preserve Curry Leaves


The best method to preserve curry leaves is by freezing them along with water. This helps to preserve the color and flavor of the leaves for many months.

You just need:
1.curry leaves
2.ice cube tray
3. water
4. zip-lock bags (to store in freezer)

Collect the leaves into individual cubes in an ice tray. Add enough water to cover the leaves. Leave the tray in freezer for a few hours. Once it is frozen, remove the cubes from the tray and store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.

 If you like to add the leaves into a curry, simply toss a couple of cubes into the curry/gravy. If you like to use the curry leaves for seasoning, there are two methods, 1) simply put a couple of cubes in water for 5 min.  Once the ice has melted, wipe the leaves with a towel and add into the oil, or 2) use butter instead of water for freezing. (I find freezing in butter is messy so I would recommend the first method)



Tips:
You can do the same methods to preserve cilantro or any fresh herbs in kitchen
You can also use butter instead of water