Friday 31 July 2009

Banana Halwa

Most of the times it so happens that there are Bananas just ripening away. You have limited time to dispose them and the best way to do so is by preparing a halwa. Its definetly a delicacy and the best ones I've had is of course, what Amma prepares and the ones you can buy in Taj Mahal hotel, Mangalore! Drool...

It only requires, Sugar, Ghee and patience!

Ripened Banana (Var. Chiquita)- 4
Sugar- 2 cups
Ghee- 1 cup

Chop Bananas into medium size peices. Add sugar and half the quantity of ghee to the Banana peices. Turn the heat on at medium. The sugar will melt and the Banana will eventually cook and gain a mashy consistency. At this stage, turn the heat to low and let it continue cooking for another half an hour, giving it a mix every 10 minutes. Once the mixture has turned nice brown, add the remaining Ghee and let it cook for another 10 mintues. Remove from heat onto an greased plate. Note: When you use, Nendran banana (variety available in Kerala; Musa paradisiaca L), you may cut them into peices and serve. With any other Banana, it may be served as Halwa in a bowl.

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

Thursday 30 July 2009

Tove (Dal)

Tove is a variety of dal prepared from Moong dal at my home. For some strange reason I wasnt so fond of this dish whenever Amma would make this. Now that I have started cooking for my child, I have realised that its one of the healthiest and is a protein rich dish.


Moong dal- 1/2 cup
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- Few
Coconut milk- 1/2 cup (Extract from a one half of a grated coconut)
Ginger- 1 inch peice; chopped
Green Chillies- 3-4; chopped
Coriander Leaves- Few twigs
Ghee- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chilly - 1 (Broken into peices)
Asafoetida/Hing- A pinch

Cook Moong dal with 1 1/4 cup of water with Turmeric and Curry leaves. After its cooked, add the Coconut milk, Ginger, Green chillies and Coriander. In a pan, heat ghee. Add Urad dal, Mustard seeds and Red chilly. When the Mustard splutters, add Hing and Curry leaves. Pour this seasoning to the dal and serve hot with Rice.

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves: 2 People

Pulikuthi Upperi

Pulikuthi upperi or pulikuthi upperi is a dish prepared in iyer homes. It is used as a side dish for molagootal. Since molagootal is a mild dish, the combination with this upperi is very tasty. Some people also mix it with rice and eat. It goes well with rasam as well.Here is the recipe.

Raw banana - 1 cup
Mustard - 2 tsp
Urad dal/black gram lentil - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 6
Tamarind - small lemon sized
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Jaggery (optional) - small piece

To grind:
Red chillies - 2
Rice - 3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/methi - 2 tsp

Fry rice (till it is brown), red chillies and methi without oil separately. Grind them together into a coarse powder and keep aside.
Extract the tamarind pulp by soaking it in 1/2 cup water.
Cut the banana into long slices.
Cook them in the tamarind water by adding a little salt and turmeric.The tamarind water should be just sufficient to soak the cut pieces. And after boiling, very little watery portion should be there.
Heat coconut oil in a pan. Add red chillies and then the urad dal. When it turns brown add mustard. When mustard splutters add the curry leaves and then add the cooked banana and the ground powder and mix well. Cook this till it becomes semi solid. Serve hot as a side dish to molagootal or rasam.

Preparation time: About 20 min.
Serves: 2 people

Wednesday 29 July 2009


Molagootal is a typical Palakkad Iyer preparation. It is a mild, thick curry which can be prepared either using any one of the vegetables like white pumpkin, sweet pumpkin, cabbage, yam or amaranth leaves along with red gram lentils. If amaranth leaves are used then it is called Keeria molagootal (recipe will follow later). Molagootal is eaten with puliya kuthi kari or thogayal (recipes coming soon...) as side dish. It is easy to make and healthy.
I have used pumpkin and sweet potato.

Diced vegetable (White pumpkin, Pumpkin, yam or cabbage)
Toor dal/red gram lentil - 5 to 6 tbsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 6

To grind:
Coconut - 1 small cup
Pepper - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 3 tsp

Cook the red gram lentil and keep it aside.
Cook the diced vegetable by adding enough water, salt and little turmeric.
Grind coconut, pepper and cumin seeds together and add it to the cooked vegetables.
Let it boil for 4 to 5 mins.
Heat coconut oil in a separate pan. Add mustard and when it splutter add the curry leaves.
Garnish the molagootal with this.
Serve hot with rice.

Coconut oil adds a distinc flavour to the dish. If it is not available then any refined oil can also be used.

Preparation time: About 15-20 mins
Serves: 2 people

Tuesday 28 July 2009

Pineapple Rasam

Today I was tired to cook. Since I am very fussy about food, going out is not a good option :) I would prefer home cooked south indian meal. During my weekely call to my mom, she mentioned about 'Arachuvitta rasam' which is slightly different from our normal rasam. She also added that we can use pineapple instead of tomato for this rasam. I gave it a try as it is fairly simple and it turned out to be good.

Normaly at home amma (mom) prepares rasam in a Eeya Chombu as it imparts a characteristic flavor to the rasam. Eeyam means lead and eeya chombu means lead vessel. But there is no lead involved in the making of this vessel. It is primarily an alloy of tin and other metals. Care should be taken that the liquid in the vessel should not evaporate. If the vessel is kept on the naked flame without liquid then it will melt. Ofcourse I dont have a 'eeya chombu'. I should be satisfied with my steel vessel.

Here is the recipe hope you all will like it.

Tamarind - Small lime sized
Coriander leaves - a small bunch
Curry leaves - 6 to 7
Pineapple cube or chopped tomato - 1/2 cup
Mashed toor dal/red gram - 6 to 7 tbsp
Jaggery - small piece
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Clarified butter/ ghee - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

Masala (To grind):
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 1 to 2
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic (optional) - 1 clove

Extract tamarind juice after soaking the tamarind in 1/2 cup water.
Grind the masala ingredients to a fine paste by adding little water.
Take the tamarind extract in a vessel and to this add the chopped pineapple (or tomato), jaggery, salt and pinch of turmeric.
Let it cook for sometime. Then add the mashed toor dal (red gram) and continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 mins.
Then add the paste. Add more water do bring to the desired consistency. Let this boil for 2-3 min.
In a seperate pan, heat ghee. Add the mustard, when it splutters add the cumin seed and then the curry leaves. Add this to the rasam. Garnish the rasam with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice and pappadam.

Preparation time: About 15 min
Serves: 2 people

Monday 27 July 2009


Churmuri...hmmm... my mouth waters at the mere mention of this name. I love churmuri be it from the best place ... ballal circile or agrahara cirle (Mysore) or the ones available on Mysore - Bangalore trains . When I was in college I would have it daily while coming back from college. This along with Tomato and Sauthekayi (Cucumber with some seasoning)... it is a favourite with any person hailing from Mysore. Every Mysorean identifies his/her student life walking to the nearest churmuri stall with freinds. Even if you are busy with your schedule, when passing through the churmuri stall you cannot avoid stopping there to have this wonderful snack. Its really nice to watch the churmuri wala adding all the spice to the steel bowl and with few tactful turns with his steel spatula he stuffs it into the rolled newspaper. During the mango season the mavinakayi (mango) churmuri is famous. The thothapuri variety is cut into small pieces and added to the churmuri. Nothing can replace this snack.

Churmuri is puffed rice mixed with seasonings especially congress kadlekayi (roasted peanuts) and served in a newspaper rolled cone.

Of course the taste on the road side gaadi is so yummy... diffcult to reproduce at home...but its really worth a try.

Puffed rice - 2 cups
Congress kadlekayi/Fried peanuts (recipe given below) - 3 tbsp
Onion chopped finely - 1 big
Carrot grated- 1 big
Tomato chopped into small pieces- 1 small
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 2 tsp
Chilli & coriander leaves paste - 2 tsp
Finely chopped coriander - 3 to 4 tbsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp
Mango (Thothapuri variety) - 5 to 6 tbsp (Optional)

In a big bowl mix all the ingredients well except puffed rice. When serving add the puffed rice mix once and serve immediately. If the churmuri is not eaten immediately after mixing, the puffed rice becomes soft and does not taste good.

Recpipe for Congress kadlekayi

Fried and split peanuts/kadlekayi - 1 cup
Asafoetida/hing - a pinch
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 3 to 4

Heat oil in a pan. Add asafoetida and turmeric. Then add the curry leaves and peanuts and fry for sometime in low flame. Then finally add pepper, salt and chilli powder. Mix well and remove from the stove. This can be stored for a month and used when required.

Preparation time: About 15 min
Serves: 2 people

Tomato Bajji

If you have many tomatoes been lying around for days and dont know what to do...then here is a simple recipe to do away with them, beautifully! Its a sweet and sour dish and to balance the taste you could throw in a few green chillies. The Tomatoes have to be cooked till they have all mashed up and has gained a uniform consistency. You could use a masher for help too. It tastes good with Dosa, Idly, Chappathi and Rice...especially good a combination with Yoghurt rice!

Tomato- 4 medium sized (To be finely chopped)
Turmeric- 1 tsp
Tamarind- 1 Tiny lemon sized
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 3 tsp
Oil- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Mustard- 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly- 1 (Broken into peices)
Asafoetida/Hing- A pinch
Curry leaves- Few
Coriander- Few twigs

Put the finely chopped Tomatoes into a vessel and add Turmeric. Add 1/4 cup of water and few peices of Curry leavaes. Let the Tomatoes cook till they are mashed up. You could use a masher to just mash them up. Now add 1 Tsp of Tamarind juice, Jaggery and salt. Let it boil for few minutes. In a pan, add oil. When its hot, add Urad Dal, Mustard seeds and Red chilly. When the mustard seeds splutter, add Asafoetida/Hing and the Curry leaves. Pour this seasoning into the dish. Add chopped Coriander leaves and its ready!

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 2 people

Sunday 26 July 2009

Kumbadakai See

This is one of the easiest and is a very tasty dish. It can be made with Yellow Pumpkin (Kumbadakai), Ridge gourd (Peere/Heerekai) and Snake gourd (Patlukai/Padvalkai). The name 'See' (meaning sweet) derives from the end flavor of the dish. It tastes good with hot Rice and can be prepared in less than half an hour.

Yellow Pumpkin- 1 cup
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves- Few
Salt to taste
Oil- 3 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chilly- 1 (Broken into peices)

To Grind:
Grated Coconut- 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 Tsp
Note: Jeera is used only when preparing See with Yellow Pumpkin;complimentary taste (My Amma's suggestion!)
Red chillies- 2
Curry leaves- Few
Note: I prefer adding Curry leaves even while grinding as it adds onto the aroma of the dish and is also good for health. While eating, we usually pick them and keep it aside to throw away. Hence, grinding it along with the masala ensures that the healthiest ingredient of the dish is also is being eaten!)

Cook the diced Yellow pumpkin with 1/2 cup water. Add Turmeric and few peices of Curry leaves too. Since pumpkin cooks real fast, ensure that the heat is on low as they will get over-cooked and mashed up easily. Grind the above mentioned ingredients into a fine paste and add to the cooked Pumpkin. Now add salt to taste and let it boil for few minutes. In a pan, add 3 tsp of oil. Add Urad dal, Mustard seeds and 1 Red chilly (broken into peices). When the Mustard seeds splutter, add few Curry leaves. Pour this seasoning onto the dish and serve hot with Rice.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 2 People

Sagu (With a small variation)

Today when I looked into my refrigerator to decide about the menu for the day, I found that there were small portions of many vegetables. I had to use them soon. I decided to make vegetable sagu so that I can empty my overflowing refrigerator.

Sagu is a delicious combination of vegetables and spices ground with coconut which gives this dish a wonderful aroma. This dish is from Karnataka and is usualy eaten as a side dish for Poori or chappathi.

My aunty makes this dish with a slight variation by adding bengal gram which adds its own flavour and also gives thickness to the sagu. Using bengal gram, we can reduce the quantity of coconut. Here is the recipe. In this recipe I have used beans, carrot, cauliflower, beetroot, cucumber and 1 small baby corn. I know you might be thinking that these are not the typical vegetables used in sagu, but believe me any vegetable can be used for sagu and it tastes equally good.

Vegetables - 1 cup (Any - Carrot, beans, peas, etc)
Bengal gram - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1 small
Urad dal/Black gram - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 6 to 7
Coriander - a small bunch to garnish
Mustard - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp

Masala (to grind):
Coconut - 3-4 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 2
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon - about 1"
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Ginger - 4" piece
Coriander leaves - 2 -3 springs

Grind the masala ingredients to a fine paste and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Put the black gram. When it turns almost brown add the mustard. Once the mustard starts spluttering add the curry leave and onion. Saute this till onion turns brown.
Add the chopped vegetables and little turmeric. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add little water such that the vegetables are half covered in water. Add some salt and mix.
Close the lid of the pan and let the vegetables cook for some time.
Once the vegetables are cooked add the cooked bengal gram and mix well and let it simmer for 1 min.
Then add the ground paste and mix well. Pour water as per your desired consistency. Add more salt if required.
Let the sagu boil for 3 to 4 minutes. Then garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with poori or

Preparation time: About 30 min
Serves: 4 people

Saturday 25 July 2009


Weekend breakfasts back home would always be something special. One of them being Poori. Poori is one of the items which is everybody's favorite. My mom would make nice puffed and soft poris. I never managed to do it. After marriage it was my husband who actually taught me how to make puffed poori. According to him the making of good poori starts from the 1st step of preparing the dough itself. If the dough is too soft then the pooris will come out flat (it will not puff) and also they absord a lot of oil. After 3 years I can say I have finally learnt how to make nice pooris. Here is the recipe.

Wheat flour - 2 cups
Oil - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Water - enough to make the dough
Oil - for deep frying

Mix flour,oil and milk and add enough water to make dough which is not too soft as chappathi dough. Knead thouroughly and keep aside for 10 to 15 mins. If the dough is left longer, it will absord lot of oil.

Take a portion of dough and make small ball (size of a tiny lemon)
Roll them into round shape using rolling pins. The pooris should be rolled a little thicker so that they puff. While rolling use oil instead of flour because the flour sticking on the poori will absord more oil.

Meanwhile heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Fry the pooris on both side till brown.
The hot pooris can be enjoyed either with Potato masala or vegetable sagu.

Preparation time: 30 to 40 mins
Can make about 20 to 25 poori depending upon the size of the poori

Friday 24 July 2009


Menaskai is a mouth watering side dish oftenly made at our home using ripe Mango, Pineapple, Bitter gourd, Capsicum (tastes real good and has a unique mother's invention!).

The main ingredient is the Sesame seeds which gives the distinct aroma to the dish. They have to be dry roasted till they are nice dark brown and this step is of prime importance. These are few tips passed on to me by my mother to check if they are roasted well: Pick few seeds (in case you are using black sesame seeds) and crush them with your fingers on your palm to remove their outer skin. The seed within should have turned dark brown spreading the distinct aroma. Also note that the seeds need to be roasted even after they've spluttered for them to be well done. If under roasted, they will give out the raw smell in the curry which is a disaster.

The second main ingredient is the Urad dal/Bengal gram which is used in little excess. Its aroma enhances the flavor of the dish and is a good thickening agent of the dish.

Here is the recipe for Capsicum Menaskai.

Diced Capsicum- 1 cup
Tamarind pulp- 3 tsp
Jaggery- 4 tsp

To grind:
Grated coconut- 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 3 tsp
Red chillies- 3-4
Coriander seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves

Dry roast Sesame seeds and keep aside. Add a tbsp of oil to a pan and add Urad dal. Fry till golden brown. Add Red chilles and the Coriander seeds. Fry them well. Now add the grated Coconut and some Curry leaves. Grind this to a fine paste with Sesame seeds. Transfer this mixture into a vessel and add turmeric, tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt to taste. Let it boil for few minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate small pan, heat ghee. To this add few grains of Urad dal, Mustard seeds and a Red chilly (cut into peices). When the Mustard starts to splutter, add few Curry leaves and add the diced capsicum. Fry Capsicum till golden brown.

Add to the boiling mixture and mix well. Serve hot with Rice.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 people

Thursday 23 July 2009

Brinjal/Aubergine Rasavangi

Traditionaly Rasavangi is made with Brinjal/Aubergine. But white pumpkin can also be used instead of brinjal. This dish goes well with rice or chappathi.

Brinjal/Aubergine - 2 big size cut into long slices
Toor Dal/Red gram dal - 1/2 cup
Tamrind - 1 small lemon sized
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 6
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal/Black gram - 1 tsp

To grind:
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Channa dal/Split chickpeas - 11/2 tsp
Red chillies - 3 to 4
Scrapped coconut - 1/2 cup
Hing/Asafoetida - a pinch

Fry the spices separately and grind all of them together to a fine powder. Keep this aside.
In a pan add 2 tbsp oil and roast the brinjal.
Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and extract the pulp.
Add this pulp to the roasted brinjal along with some salt and turmeric. Add more water so that the brinjal pieces are covered with enough water to cook.
Once the are cooked, add the cooked dal and let it simmer for some time.
Then add the ground mixture and allow to boil the rasavangi for 5 min on a low flame.
In a separate pan add 2 tsp oil and to this add the urad dal. Once they are light brown add the mustard. Once the mustard crackle add the curry leaves and remove from stove. Add this to the Rasavangi.
Serve hot with rice of chappathi.

Note: The brinjal should not be overcooked. This dish is a bit thick in consistency.

Preparation time: About 20 to 30 mins
Servers: About 4 people

Verumarisi Adai

Verum arisi adai is one of the simplest dish as it does not require much preparation time except for grinding. It is a Palakkad speciality. "Verum arisi" literally translates to just plain rice. This adai is prepared using hand instead of ladle.

As a kid this was one of my favourite breakfast item. My mom prepares crispy adais. It tastes so good that it never requires any side dish like pickle or chutney powder.

Here is the recipe.

Par boiled rice - 2 cups
Red chillies - 4 to 5
Fenugreek/Methi seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 tspSalt - as per taste
Water - as requiredGinely/Sesame oil (Refined oil can also be used but tastes better with gingely oil)
Drumstick leaves (optional) - handful

Soak rice and fenugreek/methi seeds together overnight and grind them to a paste adding red chillies, asafoetida and salt as required. The paste should not be too smooth like dosa batter. Dont add too much water as the consistency of the batter should be thicker than dosa batter.
This batter has to be kept outside (overnight) for fermentation. Then it can be kept in the refrigerator. It stays good for a week.

Before preparing the adai, take out enough portion from the refrigerator and to this mix chopped drumstick leaves if you are using.
Heat the dosa tava. Pour a ladle full of the batter and flatten the adai with hand in a circular motion dipping the hand often in cold water to avoid burning of the hand.

Cook on both sides. Serve hot.
Alternately instead of red chillies and asafoetida, you can make them plain but when preparing the adai, you have to add 1/2 cup of grated coconut . This gives the adai a softness.
Method is same as above.

Preparation time: About 10 - 20 mins (grinding) , 5 mins (To roast the adai)
Serves: 2 people ( If left in the refrigerator for a week)

Wednesday 22 July 2009

Manjal Dose

Manjal Dose acquires its name from the yellow (Manjal in Tulu) color it gains from turmeric powder (Manjaltho podi) which is added to the dosa batter. This is added for enhancing the aroma of the dosa; whilst the variation in the color creates enthusiasm in children to eat more :)

The other typical characteristic of this dosa is the holes which are formed on it, as it cooks. This is attributed to the addition of Fenugreek seeds in little excess while grinding the batter.

Par boiled rice- 3 cups
Urad dal- 1 cup
Note: This Rice:Urad dal ratio of 1:3 is for grinding the batter in mixie. The ratio can be modified upto 1:6 when the batter is ground in a wet grinder.
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi seeds- 4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Soak Urad dal and Rice along with Fenugreek seeds for upto 6 hours/overnight. Grind them separately. Mix the rice batter with Urad dal batter adding enough salt.Leave for fermentation for upto 8 hours. Before preparing the dosa, add the Turmeric powder.

Mix well and pour a laddle full of batter on the hot tava. Speard the batter evenly and pour few drops of ghee on top of the dosa. Cover it with a lid. Allow it to cook for about 3 minutes. Remove the dosa and serve with chutney.

Preparation Time: Grinding- 30 Minutes; Preparing Dosa- 5 Minutes
4 people

Nei Payasam

Nei payasam or Aravana payasam is a famous offering in the temples of Kerala. It is the main prasadam offered to millions of pilgrims at Sabarimala during the Mandala and Makara Vilakku festivals. It is also a traditional offering during Bhagavathi Sevai, a pooja performed in the month of Karkitakam/Aadi on any Friday between 15th July to 15th Aug to seek goddess Bhagavati's blessings for health, wealth and prosperity for the entire family.

Nei means ghee. Nei payasam literally means ghee payasam. Nei payasam is made on the kumutti (a charcoal grill) in an uruli - a heavy brass utensil used in Kerala. It is made with rice, jaggery and ghee.

Here is the recipe.

Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 11/2 cupGhee- 1/2 cup or less
Water -1/2 cup to melt jaggery

Cashew - 10 - 15
Raisin - 10 - 15
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp

Pressure cook the rice with enough water such that the rice grains are separate but cooked well. It should not be sticky.
Melt Jaggery in a pan with the water. Strain and remove any impurities from the jaggery. Now boil the jaggery syrup for 2 - 3 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the jaggery syrup. Mix well so that no lumps are formed. You can mix the rice by removing the pan from the stove and placing it back once it has mixed properly.
Add 2 - 3 tbsp of ghee to this mixture and keep stirring in a low heat. The ghee should be added at equal intervals to avoid the mixture sticking to the pan.
This has to be cooked till the mixture leaves the sides of the vessel.
Once the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, remove from the stove.
In a small pan add ghee and fry seperately the cashews and coconut till they are brown. Now fry the raisins till they puff.
Garnish the payasam with the fried cashew, coconut and raisins.

This payasam stays for 3-4 days without refrigeration. It tastes really good when it is hot.

Preparation time: About 40 - 45 mins
Serves: 2 people
Related Posts with Thumbnails