Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cucumber Pickle

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

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
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

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

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


Pork -1 lb

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

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


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

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

Grated coconut-1 cup
Turmeric powder-a small pinch

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

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

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

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

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.