Wednesday 30 September 2009

Gojju Avalakki or Huli Avalakki

Gojju Avalakki is an authentic recipe from Karanatka. Avalakki means poha or the beaten rice. During the Navarathri season this will definitely be a prasadam on any one of the 9 days at the temple. The ones made in the temple will have a divine taste :) . This tangy, sweet dish made of Poha is one of my all time favorites. It is a simple dish and can be made for breakfast or as a snack. This is made from either the thick or medium variety of poha. The paper thin variety cannot be used as it will turn mushy.

Here is the recipe.

Coarsely powdered poha (Thick variety) - 1 cup

Tamarind - 1 lemon sized
Rasam powder - 2 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida/ Hing - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Groundnuts - 2 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Channa dal/ Chick peas lentil - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 6-7
Oil - 1 tbsp
Red chilli (broken into small pieces) - 1
Black sesame - 1 tsp
(I have used white sesame because I did not have black sesame.)
Dry coconut (grated) / Kobbari - 2 tbsp

Soak tamarind in water and extract the pulp.
Take this in a mixing bowl and add the remaining water.
Add rasam powder, hing, salt, turmeric and jaggery (powdered) and mix well.

To this add the coarsely powdered poha and leave it for 15-20 mins.
Do not add too much water as the poha will become mushy. The poha should be separate and remain in crumbles.

In a seasoning wok, add oil. When it gets hot add groundnuts and fry for some time. Then add channa dal and red chilli. When it turns almost brown add mustard. When the mustard splutters add curry leaves.
Pour this seasoning to the poha mixture.
Fry sesame seeds and powder them.
Add this along with dry coconut and mix well.
Serve along with yougurt.

Preparation: About 45 mins (including the soaking time)
Serves: 2 people

Cucumber Pachchadi/ Cucumber Raitha

Cucumber pachchadi is a tasty side dish in Onasadhya. This dish can be an accompaniment with any spicy dish as it is very soothing to the stomach. Pachachadi is one dish which can be used as a side dish for both the North Indian and South Indian cuisine.

Here is the recipe.

Grated Cucumber - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup

To Grind:
Grated coconut - 4-5 tbsp
Green chilli - 1
Ginger - a small piece
Curry leaves - 4-5

Mustard - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5
Red chilli (broken) - 1

Grind coconut, green chilli and ginger adding little water.
In serving bowl mix cucumber, ground coconut mixture and yogurt along with salt.
Heat oil in a seasoning wok. Add urad dal and red chilli. When urad dal turns brown add mustard. When it splutters add curry leaves.
Pour this garnish to the pachchadi.
Serve along with any rice based dish.

Preparation Time: 15 min
Serves: 2 people

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Kadala Parippu Vada/Chickpeas Lentil Vada

There are only few people whose taste buds don't tickle on a bite of this yummy Vada. Its a snack which is prepared with Kadala Parippu/Chickpeas lentil; everybody love to have. During Navaratri, this is prepared in most of the South-Indian homes and is distributed as Prasadam. Preparing this Vadai on Vijayadashami day is a ritual which I must say is very good :P we all may relish and cherish its taste!!!

In this recipe, Onion has been avoided since, its for offering the Godess as Nivedyam. Else, just as an evening snack, addition of Onions take this Vadai to a totally different level!

(To grind to a coarse paste)
Kadala parippu/Channa dal: 1 cup
Red Chilles: 2-3
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida powder- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- Few [I've run out of stock :( :( ]

Rest of the Ingredients:

Green Chillies- 2 (Finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves- Few sprigs

Soak the dal in water for about 2 hours. Grind the dal, Jeera, Red Chillies and Curry leaves to a coarse paste without adding water. Take care that the paste is coarse and not fine. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.

Wet you palm with little water and make round shaped Vadai's and drop them gently into hot oil. Fry them well on both sides till golden brown on medium flame. Crispy Kadala Parippu Vada is ready to be served!

Preparation Time: 2 hrs for soaking the dal and 20 minutes for the Vada
Serves: 4 people


Onasadhya is incomplete without a Koottukari. Its a delicious side dish prepared with vegetables, coconut, chillies and Jeera/Cumin seeds. One may find a variety of Koottukaris'. You may find that spices and coconut may be used raw or roasted in oil and then ground to a paste.Also, there a wide variety of the lentils and legumes which may be used in combination with taste complimentary vegetables. There's a huge undiscovered world of recipes out there..lots to learn!

I'm using Seeme Badnekai (Bangalore Katrikkai) and Carrots for this Koottu. Also, the lentil being used here is Moong dal (Split Mung bean).


Cubed Vegetables- 1 cup
Moong dal- 1/2 cup
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves- Few
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil- 2 tsp
Urad dal/Split Balck gram- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chilly- 1 (Broken into pieces)

To Grind:
Grated Coconut- 3 Tbsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 3/4 tsp
Red chillies/Green Chillies- 2-3

In a vessel, cook the Moong dal in about 2-3 cups of water and Turmeric. Meanwhile, in a separate vessel, cook the vegetables too with Turmeric, Curry leaves and sufficient water. Now, grind the Coconut, Jeera and Chillies to a fine paste. Once the dal and vegetables are cooked, mix them together along with the ground paste. Let it boil well. Add salt to taste and mix well. In a small pan, heat oil. Add Urad dal, Mustard seeds and Red chilly peices. When the Mustard starts to splutter, add Curry leaves and pour this tempering to the Koottu. Serve hot with Rice or Chappathi!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
Serves- 2 people

Monday 28 September 2009

Rice Sheera

This is my Dad's favourite! Anytime, anywhere and how-much-ever, he just loves this. At home, my mother usually makes this during the Navaratri season and it is indeed a very delicious sweet. You can use Basmati Rice or even the Raw rice for this dish. I have used, Broken Matta rice. I have pressure cooked it and all that is required is to just add the sugar and Ghee. Its ready!


Rice- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 cup
Ghee- 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder- A pinch
Cashew/Almonds/Raisins- Few
(Note: You may add a pinch of saffron for the flavor too)

Cook the Rice by adding a cup of water. Once cooked, add sugar and half the quantity of Ghee. The sugar will melt and let the mixture boil well for 20-25 minutes minutes. Meanwhile, keep stirring frequently. The mixture will thicken and start leaving the sides of the vessel. Add the rest of the Ghee and mix well. Serve hot with roasted nuts and raisins.

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Serves: 2 people

Sunday 27 September 2009

Vella Payaru/ Karamani Chundal

Chundal is synonymous with Navarathri. It is specially made for distribution as prasadam on all the nine days of the celebration – some sweet and some savory. Chundal refers to lentils/ legumes boiled and garnished with grated coconut. They are very nutritious and rich in protein.

During Navarathri golu, it is customary at home to make sweet chundal on Friday for the goddess. Since we love the Karamani payaru or Black eyed beans, amma (mom) always makes the vella payaru. It is rather easy to prepare and does not require many ingredients.

Here is the recipe.

Karamani/ Black eyed beans - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Note: You can decrease/increase the quantity of jaggery depending on how much sweet you require.
Grated coconut

Soak the karamani overnight and cook it adding enough water. This should not turn mushy.
Drain off excess water.
Take the jaggery in a pan. Add a little bit of water to it and heat until the jaggery melts completely. Strain this to remove any impurities.
Stir in the cooked beans along with grated coconut and heat for a minute or two until all the moisture evaporates. Switch off the heat. Serve hot or cold.

Note: Optionally you can add cardamom powder.

Preparation Time: Around 20 mins
Serves: 2 people

Friday 25 September 2009

Chundal/ Seasoned legumes

Its Navratri and how may we miss 'Chundal'. Its a dish prepared with, originally, boiled Chickpeas which is seasoned with Mustard, Cumin seeds, Asafoetida and Coconut. During this season, Chundal is distributed as Prasadam in temples to all. They actually taste the best!!

For vegetarians, especially, this is one of the best source of proteins and when consumed give a lot of energy. As children, in the evening, we used to rush home from school as we would know beforehand that our mother would have prepared Chundal; seeing the soaked Chickpeas! Its such a simple dish and tastes absolutely yummy. Here I have used an assortment of legumes (Chickpeas, Mung beans, Black-eyed beans, Moth beans, Black beans and Kidney beans; all taken in equal quantities for 2 cups of cooked legumes in total) and prepared the Chundal.

Pressure cooked legumes- 2 cups
Oil- 4 tsp
Urad dal/Split black gram- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly- 1 (Broken into pieces)
(Note: You may add 2 Green chillies too)
Hing/ Asafoetida- 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves- Few
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Grated Coconut- 1 Tbsp
Coriander leaves- For garnishing

Soak the legumes overnight. Pressure cook and take care not to overcook them. In a pan, heat oil. Add Urad dal and Mustard seeds. When the Mustard seeds start to splutter, add Jeera, Red Chilly, Hing and Curry leaves. Now, add the cooked legumes and fry them well for a minute. Add Turmeric and Salt to taste. Mix well. Add the grated Coconut and mix well. Garnish with Coriander and enjoy the Chundal just as a snack by itself or with hot Rice!

Preparation Time: 30 Minutes (Including the cooking time of legumes)
Serves: 2 people

Navarathri Golu/ Dasara

Dasara, also called "Navarathri", is among the most important festivals celebrated in India. The celebrations go on for 10 days. Dasha-hara in sanskrit means the "remover of bad fate".

Being from Mysore, Dasara is very special to me. It brings back nostalgic memories of the beautifully illuminated Mysore palace, Chamundeshwari temple, the darasa exhibition and the procession on Vijayadashami day to name a few. The streets of Mysore is full of tourists and locals enjoying Dasara to the fullest. Important streets and buildings in the city are illuminated. Music performances are held in the palace grounds.

An essential part of Dasara is the exhibition of various dolls and figurines in odd (usually 7, 9, or 11) numbered tiers ("padis"). It is called "Golu"(or Kolu) in Tamilnadu and "Bombe Habba" is Karnataka.

We grew up performing this custom of exhibiting dolls on Navarathri. The preparations at my place starts a couple of weeks before the actual festival. Mom gets from the wholesale market, the items to be given to the neighborhood ladies like small mirrors, comb, blouse piece, small bowls/plates to hold the thamboolam and kumkum boxes.

About a week prior to the start of Navarathri, appa (dad) brings down the dolls kept in boxes from the attic. He sets up the 7 golu padis. Amma draws maa kolam (this is a traditional design done using rice paste which is drawn on all auspicios occasions). Then we cover the padi with either a white cloth or amma's pattu (silk) sari. The dolls are then arranged according to mythological themes. The 'Marapachi' bommai (traditional wooden doll)is very important. My mom has a wonderful pair given to her by my patti (grandmother). The best part for us kids was designing our own themes around the golu ... like a small village or park.

On the first day of Navarathri, amma places the Kalasam (a bronze/silver pot with rice, on which a coconut is placed and decorated with mango leaves) on one of the padis (usually at the center) indicating the start of golu. Every day during Navarathri songs are sung praising the goddess Durga and prasadam is offered to the goddess...chundal being one of the prominent items. Neighborhood ladies are invited to take tamboolam and prasadam .

On the 8th day, our books are placed in front of the golu for Saraswathi (goddess of knowledge) pooja. We are not supposed to touch/read these books. On the 9th day is Saraswathi pooja. The books placed infront of the golu are taken out and read. On this day, payasam and vadai are made as neivedhyam. On the 10th day, the last day of Navarathri is Vijayadashami which marks a new and prosperous beginning. On this day we take out the books that were placed and read/write. In the evening of "Vijayadasami", any one doll from the "Golu" is symbolically put to sleep marking the end of that year's Navarathri Golu.

Now for the main attraction of the festival ... the reason for our blog's existence

Vella payaru
Gojju avulakki
Rice Sheera

Wishing all of you a very Happy and Joyous Dasara!!

Note: To know more about golu read this and for Dasara read this.
For those interested in Mysore Dasara, read this

Wednesday 23 September 2009


Kalan is the curd based curry of Kerala which is a must for all big functions like marriages or festivals like Onam. The word 'rasa' in Tamil and Malayalam means 'taste' so Rasakalan means tasty kalan. Rasakalan is the original dish of Namboodiris the native brahmins of Kerala. They were using pepper for the dish but the iyers have modified it by including red chillies instead of pepper.

Vegetables like pumpkin, ash gourd, yellow cucumber, raw mango, yam, drum stick and raw banana goes into this dish. The different vegetables add a unique flavour to the dish and all these vegetables blend together to give this tasty kalan.

This dish can be prepared with only few of the vegetables as well. In my recipe since raw mango which gives sourness to the kalan was not available, I have used tamarind. But if mango is available then its better to use it. Here is the recipe.

Diced vegetables like Pumpkin, drum stick, raw banana - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - Small piece
Tamarind (Optional)
Yogurt or butter milk - 1 cup

To Grind:
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Dried red chilies - 2
Fenugreek - 3/4 tsp

Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves

Use large pieces of diced vegetables. Put all the above vegetables into a pressure cooker with turmeric powder, salt & chili powder & cook for 10 min(till 1-2 whistles). Keep aside.
Heat one teaspoon oil & roast fenugreek & red chilies until they turn brown.
In a blender combine coconut & the above spices & make a fine paste.
Add the coconut paste to the vegetables & continue simmering for a few more minutes.
Add the yogurt or butter milk & mix well. Adjust the liquid by adding more water or buttermilk.It should have good amount of gravy or liquid. Simmer for a few minutes & remove from the stove. Do not boil for long as the yogurt will seperate.
Heat the oil & saute mustard. When the mustard splutters add few grains fenugreek & curry leaves. Garnish the rasakalan with this.
Serve hot with rice.

Preparation Time: 30 min
Serves: 2 people

Monday 21 September 2009

Jeera-Milagu rasam

Rasam contributes to the basic South Indian Meals. It is prepared with different variations making it taste completely different every time.

Tomato Rasam is one of the most famous form of Rasam. It will be served in all the South Indian Functions and Marriages. Jeera-Milagu rasam made from cumin seeds and Pepper is considered to be medicinal and is usually consumed by people suffering from cold and fever. And of course Pineapple rasam for all those of you who love the fruit.These are some variations of the rasam (there are many more ...).

Rasam is healthy and a great digestive aid. Rasam's main ingredients are tomato and tamarind or lemon juice. It is typically served over white rice, but you could drink it as a soup.

Here is the recipe for Jeera-milagu rasam.

Toor dal/red gram - 1/2 cup
Chopped tomatoes - 1 medium sized
Lemon - 1/2 piece
Coriander leaves - a small bunch
Curry leaves - 3 to 4
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

To grind:
Pepper - 3/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - 4
Clarified butter/ ghee - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 tsp

Heat a small pan and fry the pepper and cumin seeds till you get a aroma from them. Grind them to a fine powder and keep it aside.
Cook the toor dal and mash it.
Cook the chopped tomatoes adding curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder and enough water. When the tomatoes are cooked, add the mashed dal and the pepper/cumin powder and let it boil for 4-5 mins.
Add lemon juice and adjust salt. Remove from heat
In a seasoning wok/pan add ghee.
When it is hot add mustard seeds. When mustard splutters, add cumin seeds.
Then add hing and curry leaves.
Pour this seasoning to the rasam.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with rice or drink it as a soup.

Preparation Time: About 20 mins
Serves: 2 people

Friday 18 September 2009

Mathan Erissery

Palakkad is a small but prominent district bordering Kerala and Tamilnadu. This region of Kerala is unique as it has became home to many Tamil Brahmins who migrated centuries ago. As a result the regional cuisine characterized by a harmonious blend of Tamilnadu and Kerala. Erissery is one such speciality.

Erissery is a simple dish made of pumpkin/mathan or raw plantains and Yams sliced and boiled in water with salt. The ground paste here is similar to that of molagootal but the tempering imparts a unique flavour to the dish. It is generally prepared during important occassions like Onam, 'Vishu' (Kerala New Year) or household ceremonies etc. Erissery is best served over plain steamed rice, erisseri has thick gravy consistency.

Here is the recipe.

Diced Pumpkin - 1 cup
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

To Grind:
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chilli - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Grated Coconut - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 6-7
Broken Red chilli - 1
Mustard - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - 2 tsp

Grind the coconut, cumin seeds and red chilli adding little water and keep it aside. This paste should not be too watery.
Cook the red pumpkin in enough water to cover it along with salt and turmeric powder till cooked but firm in shape.
Add the ground paste to the cooked pumpkin and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
In a pan heat 1 tsp coconut oil. When it is hot add the mustard, when the mustard splutters add the red chilli and then the curry leaves. Pour this seasoning into the gravy. Now heat the remaining coconut oil and fry the grated coconut till it turns brown. Add this to the erissery.
Serve with hot rice.

Preparation Time: About 25 mins
Serves: 2 people

Wednesday 16 September 2009


There isnt a week which may pass by without preparing a Sambar in any South-Indian home. Its one of those dishes which is complete in nutrition in itself. This is one of the primary dishes in an Onasadhya too. The sambar in Kerala has an unique aroma and distinction to it. The credit goes to the librerally added Asafoetida/Hing and the well roasted Fenugreek/Methi seeds along with Coriander/Dhania seeds. Its truly mouth-watering and very delicious! This recipe which I'm about to share with you has no Coconut...which apparantly is used in every dish of Kerala!!!

Medium sized chopped vegetables- 4 cups (Just about all those vegetables which you may find in the market!)
Cooked Toor dal/Split peas- 1 1/2 cup
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- Few
Tamarind- Lemon sized
Salt to taste
Jaggery- 1 tsp (Optional)

For tempering:
Oil- 3 tsp
Urad Dal/Split Black gram- 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly- 1 (Broken into pieces)
Curry leaves- Few
Chopped Onion- 1 large (Optional)

To fry and grind:
Oil- 3 tsp
Methi/Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Dhania/Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida powder- 2 tsp
Red Chillies- 3-4
Curry leaves- Few [If you have a tree in your garden, please use liberally :), the aroma which it imparts is irreplaceable ]

In a vessel, heat oil. Add Urad dal, Jeera, Mustard seeds and Red chilly. Once the Mustard sarts to splutter, add the Curry leaves and chopped Onions. Saute them till golden brown. Add all the cubed vegetables. Pour sufficient water for the vegetables to cook. Add Turmeric and Curry leaves and cover with the lid. Let the vegetables cook. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat oil. Add Methi and when they are brown in colour, add Dhania and Red chillies. Fry them for a minute. Now add Hing and the Curry leaves. Fry them well. Grind this into a fine paste. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the Tamarind pulp (extracted in half cup of water), Salt, Jaggery and ground mixture. Let it boil well. Now add the cooked Toor dal and mix well. Let it boil for few minutes. Garnish with Coriander leaves and enjoy this unbeatable taste with hot Rice and Pappadam, Idly or Dosa!

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

Monday 14 September 2009

Mathan thoran/ Kumblakai palya

One of the must items in an Onasadhya is Thoran. This a dry side dish prepared by completely evaporating the water which is poured in measured quantity to just cook the vegetable. Different vegetables have varied amount of water content in them. Vegetables like Cabbage, Pumpkin, Green leafy vegetables, Zucchini to name a few require water in very minimal quantity. They will ooze out the water within them when salt is added and that is sufficient for the vegetable to get cooked. Vegetables like, Beans, Carrot (exception is when grated), Beetroot (same as Carrot), Yam, Potato, Raw Banana, Long beans, Flat beans etc require 3/4th a measure of their quantity of water to be added for the vegetable to be cooked.

As children, we used to be selective with Palya. Now, we realise, its importance in our daily diet! Here is the recipe for Yellow pumpkin Thoran/ Palya.

Pumpkin (Medium sized cubes)- 4 cups
Oil- 3 tsp
Urad dal/Split Black gram- 1 tsp
Channa dal/Chickpea lentil- 1 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
Mustard- 1 tsp
Red Chilly- 1 (Broken into pieces)
Curry leaves- Few
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds powder- 1/2 tsp
Grated Coconut- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

In a pan, heat oil. Add Urad dal and Channa dal. Roast them a bit. Add Jeera, Mustard seeds and Red chilly peices. When the Mustard splutters, add the Curry leaves. Now add the Pumpkin cubes and pour just about 1/2 cup of water. Add Turmeric and cover it with a lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add Salt, Chilly powder, Jeera powder and Coconut. Mix well. Serve hot with Rice!

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4 people

Saturday 12 September 2009

Nendran Chips/ Banana Chips

Nendran chips is one of the popular snacks in the southern Indian state of Kerala. These are fried in coconut oil and sprinkled with salt water. They are called "Upperi" or "Kaya Varuthathu". They are an important item in Onam Sadya, or during festive occasions.

Raw Nendran banana - 2
Salt - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying

Dissolve 1 tsp salt in 1/4 cup of water.
Peel the Nendran bananas. Do not throw away the peels. It can be used to make thoran (Recipe coming soon...).
Slice the bananas into thin rounds.

Heat oil in a pan.Deep fry the banana pieces in batches.
When they turn yellow, sprinkle 2 tsp salt water into the oil.
Fry till the water evaporates fully.
Drain on a paper towel and store in a air tight container.

Preparation Time: About 30 mins

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Pazha Pradhaman

Ona Sadhya is not complete without the delicious desserts, payasam and pradhaman. The diffenrence between the 2 are that pradhamans are prepared using coconut milk and jaggery (except in Palada Pradhaman) where as payasams are prepared using milk and sugar . There are different varieties of pradhamans unique to Kerala like chakka pradhaman, pazha pradhaman, parippu pradhaman, ada pradhaman, wheat pradhaman, etc.

For our Ona Sadhya, I prepared pazha pradhamn. Pazha pradhaman is prepared using ripe plantains, Nendran variety (Yellow long ones). Except for the processes of extracting coconut milk, this pradhaman is quite simple to prepare. Of course canned coconut milk saves us this task. In this recipe I have used the canned coconut milk

Here is the recipe.

Ripe plantains(Nenthrapazham) - 1
Jaggery - 1/4 cup (melt in little waster and remove impurites)
Coconut milk – 1/4 cup (thick)
Ghee - 1 tbsp

Coconut pieces - 1 tbsp
Cashews broken into pieces - 2 tsp
Raisins - 2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp


Steam cook the banana untill it becomes soft.
Peel and cut the banana. Remove the seeds from the cooked banana.
Remove the seeds and mash it well using hand so that there aren't any lumps.
Heat ghee in a pan and fry the mashed banana for 5-6 mins.
Then dilute 2 tbsp of thick coconut milk with 1/4 cup water and add this to the banana being fried.
Add the jaggery and let it cook for about 8-10 mins in medium heat till the mixture thickens.
Then add the rest of the coconut milk and immeidately remove from heat.
Add cardamom powder.
Fry the coconut pieces, cashew and raisins and add this to the pradhaman.

Note: If you require more sweetness, you can increase the quantity of jaggery.

Preparation Time: About 25 mins
Serves: 2 people

Monday 7 September 2009

Per Paramanna/ Pal Payasam

'Per' in Tulu language means Milk as in 'Pal' in Malayalam and Tamil. This is a payasam made out of milk with Rice (Anna). The third ingredient is sugar and thats all is required for making this payasam. Pal payasam is one of the delicacies, served in all the auspicious occasions in Kerala. Its prepared in every home during the Onam season as well. As children we used wait eagerly to drink the payasam...So much that, we would reduce eating rice and other vegetable dishes, to equip ourselves to drink as much as payasam we can! Village life, loads of activities...Who was worried about calories then?! Its the new lifestyle, which has replaced Food and Fun with Food and Calories!

The rice, which I'm using here is the Red Matta rice (Also called as Red rice/Rosematta Rice). We get the broken matta rice, which takes lesser time in cooking. Hence, I'm using the broken matta rice. We may use the whole grain rice too. It is a rice with high fibre content and is highly recommended by dieticians for pregnant ladies and growing children. One can skip the multi-vitamin capsules, if having Red matta rice. Such is its glory!

Red Matta Rice- 1/2 cup
Milk- 4 cups
Sugar- 1 1/2 cup

Pressure cook the Rice with a cup of water and a cup of milk. After it has cooked, transfer it to a thick bottomed vessel and add the remaining milk. Also, add the sugar and let the payasam boil in medium heat continuosly for about 45 minutes. Keep stirring constantly. The payasam will attain a thick consistancy and the you will get the lovely rice aroma. Serve hot!

TIP: If you do not have enough time to prepare payasam in such an elaborate manner, then you can use Condensed Milk. After you have transferred the cooked rice-water-milk mixture into a vessel, add just 1/2 cup sugar, remaining milk and 1/2 the tin of Condensed milk. Let it boil for about 15 minutes and an equally tasty payasam is ready!

Preparation Time: 50 Minutes
Serves: 4 People

Friday 4 September 2009


Aviyal is a delightful mix of many vegetables. It is a must for festivals like Onam or wedding sadhya. It can be prepared with thick gravy as a side dish or by adding more curds you can make the gravy thin to mix with rice. This is a very simple and healthy dish.

All vegetables go in it, except perhaps, some mushy vegetables like ladies fingers, tomato, brinjal, beetroot (because of the colour) , cabbage, cauliflower, radish, onion etc. Since a variety of vegetables are used for this, you require only small quantities of each of them.

The wonderful aroma to this dish comes from the coconut oil. So the oil cannot be substituted.

Here is the recipe.

Vegetables cut lengthwise around 2" pieces - 2 cups
(Vegetables like Yam, Raw banana, Cluster beans, Carrot, Snake gourd, Beans, Drumstick, etc can be used)

Curds (lightly sour)- 3/4 cup
Grated fresh coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 3-4
Coconut oil - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 5-6
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

Grind the coconut and green chillies using little water and keep aside.
In a vessel put the vegetables and add enough water to just cover the vegetable. Add turmeric and salt and boil the vegetables till just done. The vegetables should not be overcooked.
Add the coconut mixture to the boiling vegetables. Then add the curds. Finally add the curry leaves and coconut oil and toss till the vegetables are coated with the coconut and curds mixture.
As mentioned earlier, if you want the gravy to be thin, you can add more curds. Adjust salt accordingly.
Serve as a side dish for dosa, chappathi or poori or as main dish for rice.

Preparation Time: About 20 mins
Serves: 3-4 people


Onam, the harvest festival, is the most popular festival of Kerala . It is celebrated in the Malayalam month of Chingam(between August 15 and September 15) to honor of King Mahabali. The celebrations last for 10 days, starting from Atham or Hastham. The tenth day after atham is Thiruvonam. It is believed that on the last day, King Maveli (Mahabali) visits Kerala. Hence the day is marked by feast and festivities. Intricately decorated Pookalam, delicious Onasadya, Snake Boat Race and the Kaikottikali dance are some of the most remarkable features of Onam.

The delicious part of Onam is Onasadhya. 'Onasadhya' is the grand feast served during the celebration of Onam in Kerala. It is served in Banana leafs. There is a way of placing the leaf and an order of serving the dishes. Rice is the essential ingredient of this strictly vegetarian meal. All together there are 11 essential dishes which have to prepared for Onasadya. Number of dishes may at times also go upto 13.

Back home on thiruvonam, me and my sister would decorate our front yard with flowers from our own garden and have a sumptuous Onam sadya prepared by mom. Here since onam was on was on a weekday, I could not prepare a elaborate onasadhya. But we will try to post the recipes of dishes. This months posts are dedicated to Onasadhya. Below are the some of the dishes prepared. (Click on the links for the recipes available. The rest will follow soon.)

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Amaranthus (Dantu soppu) Pachadi

Pachadi is a very simple dish prepared using Yogurt and Coconut. It can be prepared in few minutes yet is really tasty and is soothing for the stomach too. We have a huge choice of the vegetables which may be used for preparing Pachadi. Okra, Brinjal, Potato, Cucumber (Requies no cooking at all...just grate it and use!!!), Capsicum etc...

I'm using Amaranthus . It was my Mothers idea to try out pachadi with these leaves, unlike the Sasmi (recipe coming soon) which we always prepare. It definitely is worth a try and is a very healthy dish for sure.

Chopped Amaranthus leaves- 4 cups
Oil- 1 tsp
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Red chilly- 1 (Broken into peices)
Curry leaves- Few
Yogurt- 2 cups
Salt to taste

To grind:
Grated Coconut- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Green chillies- 2-3
Curry leaves- Few

In a pan, heat oil. Add Urad dal, Mustard seeds and Red chilly. When the Mustard seeds start to splutter, add the Curry leaves. Now add the Amaranthus leaves. Sprinkle some water and cover with lid. Let it cook. The leaves will shrink to less than half their volume upon cooking...[so dont worry if you have huge quantity of leaves :) ]. Once its cooked, remove from heat and let it cool completely. Meanwhile grind the above mentioned ingredients to a fine paste and mix it with yogurt. Once the cooked leaves mixture has cooled down, add it to the yogurt-ground paste mixture.

Mix well. Season with salt and enjoy with Rice.

Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4 people
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