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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Badam Paneer Burfi (Step by Step Pics) ~ Diwali Wishes !!

Diwali always reminds us of the lights and sweets. This is the peak time of the year when the halwais make best money and of course its the busiest time of their year. During this season, I have always wondered the source of supply of milk during this increased demand time. We never get to know if there is adulterated milk or milk powder milk or if they really pump in pure milk from outsides sources. Anyways just a word of caution, to be alert and buy sweets from trusted brands or shops. And if you can make sweets for your loved ones, then that's the best sweet treat for your dear ones. These are simple sweets that you can make in a jiffy and can be enjoyed.

The original recipe was using cashews but I preferred to try with almonds(on a healthier note). If you like the cream color of paneer then you can omit the saffron strands but I loved to add the natural color of saffron to this burfi. These are more like the kalakand texture and so its a bit hard to cut in neat slices like milk burfi. Refrigerate the made burfi for 3-4 hours before you cut in slices. You can add your own toppings of chopped nuts. I thought Diwali is the perfect time to enjoy sweets and also my page crossed 3 million views(though not a big number for the years of blogging) recently, so that definitely needs a yummy treat to share. Am happy to have started blogging, Thanks to all my supporters,well wishers,blogger buddies and readers who trust my recipes and have visited,left comments and feedback always. Your likes and valuable feedback always inspires me to correct my mistakes, gain more confidence and share yummy delicacies with you all. Thanks again, all.. Hoping to see you all around in the coming posts too !!

Preparation time~ 2.5 hours
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ 12
paneer /cottage cheese 250gms
milk 1 cup + 2tbsp
blanched almonds 1 cup(150 gms)
sugar 150 gms or 3/4 cup
saffron strands a big pinch
cardamom powder /elakka podi  1/2tsp
ghee 2tbsp

for garnish
sliced almonds 2 tbsp
saffron strands a pinch

  • Soak the blanched almonds in warm milk for 2 hours until the almonds are soft. Soak the saffron strands in 2tbsp milk, keep aside.Grind the almond milk mix after 2 hours,smoothly in a mixer jar along with the milk.
  • Add the sugar and crumbled paneer in the mixer jar, grind again to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat a non stick pan and add ghee in the pan. Add the paneer almond mix, keep stirring the mix and wait till it is thickened.
  • Using a wooden spatula, keep stirring the mix using a spatula scraping the bottom layer(else the bottom layer gets burnt). It may take roughly around 20-25 minutes on low medium flame.
  • When the mix starts to leave the sides of the pan and ghee starts to leave out, then it is ready to transfer. Add the cardamom powder at this point along with saffron mixed milk. Give a quick stir.
  • Grease a plate/tray with ghee and keep ready. Transfer the prepared burfi mix in it and using a spatula, spread it evenly. 
  • Add the sliced almonds or chopped pistachios on top with few strands of saffron. Press it down lightly with thge spatula and leave to cool at room temperature or refrigerate for 3-4 hours to set.
  • After 4 hours, cut the burfi in pieces you desire and enjoy !!

* You can even add yellow food color to make it more colorful but personally I avoid food color wherever possible.
* The original recipe was of Kaju Paneer Burfi (adapted from which I replaced with almonds and saffron.
* You can use cashews instead of alomnds and make kaju paneer barfi.

For all Diwali delicacies,a quick link is here for the last minute preparations.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Muthira Thoran(Kerala Style) | Horse Gram Stir Fry

Muthira(horse gram) has the highest calcium among pulses and is one of the richest source of vegetarian protein. It also has considerable amount of iron. Its slow digestible starch makes it ideal for diabetics and obese patients. Muthira thoran(horse gram stir fry) is a Kerala style recipe that is often made in H's place. My mom used to make this thoran(stir fry)  once in a blue moon and we used to like it though. There is quite some difference in style in both mom's preparations. In my home,the cooked muthira(horse gram) remains untouched with one another and coconut is added in this preparation. I used to love that thoran(stir fry)  to be serves as a after school snack generally. On the contrary, my MIL cooks it very well,adds chilli powder alone (without coconut to make) and leaves the water as a thick gravy in the stir fry. Gradually I developed my own version of this thoran(stir fry)  and have come up with my own way of doing it. I cook it very well and add coconut too. Muthira(horse gram) is considered a hot pulse and so adding coconut brings down the heat considerably. Muthira thoran(stir fry) serves perfect with rice gruel and tastes yum with kadumanga side.

Soaking time~ 3-6 hours
Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time~ 25 minutes
Author~ Julie
Serves ~4 
horse gram /muthira 1/2 cup
shallots 5-6 sliced
chilly powder 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp
salt to taste
coconut oil (or any neutral oil) 2tbsp
curry leaves a sprig

to coarsely grind
grated coconut 1/2 cup
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
garlic cloves 2-3

  • Wash the muthira(horse gram) under running water and using sedimentation method,clear out any stones or impurities that settle down in the bowl. Usually muthira(horse gram) has lot of sand and stone impurities, don't ignore to sieve or clean before you make the thoran(stir fry) . OR these days we get cleaned packets of muthira(horse gram) in super markets which is free from all impurities.
  • Soak the muthira(horse gram) ideally for 3 hours to over night (if possible). Drain the water and transfer the muthira in a pressure cooker with new added water, salt and turmeric powder. Pressure cook for 5-6 whitsles until its cooked(The number of whistles depends on the quality of horse gram used and the soaking time). Just make sure that there is enough water in the cooker each time before you pressure cook again if needed.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add the sliced shallots and curry leaves. Saute until lightly wilted. Add the chilli powder on low flame an saute until the raw smell disappears. Add the cooked muthira(horse gram) and mix well(add reserve water too if any).
  • In the mean time,coarsely grind the coconut,garlic cloves and cumin seeds.Add this mix to the muthira(horse gram) and mix well. Cook covered on low flame for two minutes until its well combined. If there is any moisture left out,then cook on high and dry up the moisture.
  • Switch off flame and enjoy with steamed rice !

* You can omit adding the coconut too.My MIL makes that way,tastes good but I love adding coconut. In case if you are not adding coconut then, add the garlic cloves with sliced shallots and saute.
* You can prepare cherupayar(green gram) or vanpayaru thoran(cow peas) the same way.
* Muthira tastes good when its a little spicy and so I have used 3/4 tsp of chilli powder. Alter if you don't like spicy.

You may also be interested to check out other Kerala stir fry recipes, click here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Ulli Chammanthi | Shallots Chutney

Idlis and dosas are served with many different types of chutneys. This is a very traditional style of chutney. This chutney is more on the spicier side and so I don't make it often but at times when kids are bored of the regular thakkali chutney(tomato chutney) and thenga chammanthi(coconut chutney) then I prepare this to break the monotony. This chutney is a lip smacking one if you properly balance the spice,sour and salt flavours. However,the prices of shallots are too high now and looks extravagant to use a cup of shallots to make this chutney, Isn't it? I had this in drafts since long and just digged it out at the wrong time I suppose. Hopefully, we can make this when the prices go lower and make sure to use shallots(not onion) only to get the authentic mildly sweet flavor. Do give this a try !!

Preparation time ~5 minutes
Cooking time ~ 2 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl
shallots / kunjulli 1 cup
dry red chillies 3-4
tamarind a small piece
curry leaves a sprig
salt to taste
coconut oil 2tsp

(The color of this chutney is on the lighter side in this pic as the color totally depends on the color of the tamarind used and the type of chilli used)

Heat oil in a pan and add dry red chillies. Saute and then add shallots, fry till it turns translucent(pale pink). Add in the curry leaves. Switch off flame and then leave to cool.
Grind this in a blender jar with tamarind and taste testing the salt. Blend until smooth.Transfer to a plate and serve with dosas or idlis or instant ragi dosas.

* You can use chilli powder instead of dry red chillies but the chutney tastes more delicious with fried red dry chillies.
* This chutney tastes better if its more on the spicier side. But if you don't like the heat then reduce spices accordingly.
* Don't add any water to grind the chutney.
* The color of the chutney depends on the color of the tamarind used in making chutney. If the tamarind is fresh and new then the color of chutney is on the lighter side. As the tamarind ages, the tamarind turns deeps brown and so the color of the chutney.
* The type of chilli used also affects the color of the chutney.

Please do take a peak in the chutneys and dips page here  for more related posts.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Passion Fruit Juice

Passion Fruit is a tropical fruit with a rich source of anti oxidants. It has a tough outer rind with juicy seed center. They are available in purple and yellow varieties. Passion fruit contains good fiber,vitamin C, beta carotene, polyphenols and Vitamin A. Passion fruit is also helpful in easing pain in joints(osteo arthiritis). Passion fruit is widely used in drinks, toppings over desserts esp cheesecakes and can be used over salads in the west. I have seen drinks made with passion fruit and mango and many other combinations.

Back here in my place, my mom has a passion fruit climber and I happened to get a good batch of these fruits when I went home. The passion fruits are versatile and everyone loves it at home. I have seen people throwing out passion fruits in Kerala homes as none eats passion fruit or uses it up. But if you ever heard the health benefits of passion fruit,you may not throw them in trash.I also prepared passion fruit squash with these cutees but couldn't click pictures and the drink got over soon. Kids happened to walk in and out of the fridge each time to pull out the bottle, add few tbsp of the squash, add water and enjoy. How simple,right? And how healthy too. The passion fruit has sour flavours dominant and definitely needs equal amount of sugar in a juice to balance it up. If you get hold of ripe passion fruits,then go ahead and enjoy making this juice  !!

Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time~ nil
Serves~ 2 glasses
Passion fruit 6
Sugar 6 tbsp
Water 2 cups

Wash the passion fruits under running water and cut them in halves. Scoop out the pulp using a fork in a bowl. Add to a bowl, repeat till you finish scooping out all except a half passion fruit.
Transfer this pulp to a blender(reserving the half passion fruit pulp in the bowl). Blend the transferred mix and run the mixer or blender twice for 5 secs each.
Strain the juice in a strainer by holding above a bowl. Add the reserved pulp to this strained mixture.
Chill in refrigerator and enjoy !!

*Use sweet as per sweet tooth and this above mentioned quantity of sugar can be varied depending on your sweetness. This recipe yields a moderately sweet juice.
*You can even hand whip the passion fruit and add the water,sugar to it. In that case there is no need to strain the juice.
*The seeds are crushed when blending so its better to strain and use. Though the seeds are edible but the broken pieces may not be appealing like the whole seeds.

For more juices,smoothies and shakes, click here.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Muringayila Curry | Drumstick(Moringa) Leaves Curry

Muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) recipes are always a big yes to our family. The only drawback is getting fresh leaves in hand unless you have these at home. When we were in US, the indian stores used to get them and were one of the costliest leaves in th Indian stores due to the increased demand. The bunches would be very limited and would vanish in no time. Here I hardly see any super markets or grocery shops having muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) for sale. But back home we have fresh leaves in our backyard and all Kerala homes may be having at their home. The tedious task of these leaves is the separating of leaves from the small veins and tiny branches. Although I heard that the leaves if left overnight in refrigerator eases the task of separation and can be shaked off easily in a bowl. But mom didn't consent the idea of storing these leaves and say should be used fresh as you pluck. Hence I haven't tried that method yet. Muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) is used as soups, stir fries or curry. This curry was introduced to me in a restaurant long back as a child. Gradually mom started making this at home and I adapted from her. I find this as a quick fix curry that you can prepare and if you have nothing left in your pantry. This curry tastes delicious with steamed rice and a spicy stir fry(mezhukuparetti).

Muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) is a booster pack of all major vitamins and minerals. They are rich in calcium and vitamin A. They also stimulate the nervous system. They have seven times more vitamin C than orange fruit an so boosts the immune system. They prevent anemia and contains the iron mineral in considerable amounts. Thy have many essential amino acids that increase the appetite. They also have good amount of fiber that helps prevent constipation. They also help control blodd sugar in diabetes. Muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) also acts as a detoxifying agent and there by removes all toxins in the blood. Drumstick leaves soup can be used to treat asthma as it acts as an anti inflammatory agent. They are also known to increase breast milk secretion and is used by expectant mothers and lactating. So if you get hold of the leaves at least once a month we should definitely consume them.

PS: It is said that we shouldn't use muringayilla(Drumstick leaves) during karakkidam masam of Malayalam calendar that ie somewhere in July and August. The leaves are considered toxic these months. they absorb the toxic minerals from soil and so are said to be inedible during these months.

Preparation time~ 30 mins
Cooking time~ 20 mins
Serves ~ 4
Author~ Julie
muringayila cleaned 2 cups
chilly powder 1/2- 3/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil 1 tbsp

to grind
coconut 1/2 cup grated
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds /jeerakam 1/2 tsp
shallots /kunjulli 2
garlic cloves 2

to temper
dry red chilly 2
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
oil 1tbsp


  • Shake off the leaves by holding the bigger stems(helps to get rid of small insects,spiders if any). Clean the muringayilla carefully by removing the bigger stems and then the small little stems to be separated out, leaves should be alone saved in the bowl.Discard any yellow leaves if present.
  • Wash under running water once to remove any impurities and drain in a colander else its hard to hold the leaves together and they generally float on top of the water.
  • Heat a kadai and pour oil. When it is hot,add the cleaned leaves. Saute until slightly wilted.Add the chilly powder and saute on low flame.

  • In the mean time, grind the ingredients listed ' to grind' to a smooth paste by adding very little water. Add this paste to the wilted leaves. Cook on low flame for 2 mins. Add a cup or more water to make the gravy watery.Add salt as needed an simmer for 2-3 mins until the curry is thickened and combined well. Switch off flame.
  • Heat oil in another pan and add the mustard seeds when hot. Add in dry red chillies and curry leaves.Pour this over the curry and serve!

* You can even add 1/4 cup cooked mashed dal to this curry to add substance to the curry.
* Don't cook the leaves too long and it loses the flavor.
* Add salt once the leaves are wilted or you might end up adding more salt than required.
* Adding water to the gravy totally depends on your personal preference of how watery you want the gravy.

For all Kerala veg curries(nadan ozhichu curries), Click here in this link.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Chocolate Truffles ~ Easy Sweet

Chocolates are always in demand whether it be a festive season, a birthday party, a work party or any joyful occasion. How about chocolate truffles? Chocolate truffles are rich elegant bite size chocolates made from a creamy mixture of chocolate,cream and butter that can be dressed up with different coverings. Cocoa or chopped dry nuts or shaved chocolates or icing sugar can be used. I used three diffrerent type of coverings and loved the nuts covering the best. truffles can also be used to decorate any chocolate cake as a topping. Truffles store very well and they best serve at room temperature. They can be stored in refrigerator for months. If you have left out chocolate ganache after you use up for some recipes,you can directly make use of ganache to roll them in truffles. The chocolate ganache recipe and this truffle recipe are almost the same.Diwali is close by and if yo are looking to gift something quick and homemade,then here is a wonderful choice to gift your loved ones.There is hardly any cooking time and very less effort to put together. Kids will definitely love it,enjoy !!

Cooking time ~ 3- 4 minutes
Serves ~ 15 small truffles
semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 4 oz/150g
heavy cream 4 oz/ 1/2 cup
unsalted butter 1 tbsp

cocoa powder 1-2 tbsp
powdered almonds,walnuts and cashews 3-4 each
icing sugar 2 tbsp

  • Take the chocolate in a bowl and break in pieces. Keep aside.
  • Heat the cream and butter over medium heat till it almost reaches boiling point. Pour immediately to the chocolate bowl.Let it stand for 2-3 minutes and then mix the chocolate with a spoon/ spatula,till it melts completely with the cream(if the cream doesn't melt completely then use double boil method or microwave for 20 secs).Whisk the chocolate using a wire whisk and add the liqueur if using(I haven't used). Cover and place this mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight until its firm.
  • Keep your coating ready in a plate (I rolled few in cocoa, few in powdered cashews,almonds and walnuts mix and few in icing sugar).
  • Remove the truffle mixture from refrigerator and scoop out small portions of the truffle mixture using a spoon or melon baller. Immediately roll it in the cocoa powder or crushed nuts. Place on a parchment paper and refrigerate until its firm again. These can be stored in refrigerator for months or can be made before hand and kept (I had no left overs as I made a small batch of 15,got over in two days).

* The recipe is adapted from joy of baking. The recipe is the same as the chocolate ganache recipe except for the rolling with nuts and cocoa powder. You can use any left over ganache for making these cute truffles.
* You can add half a tbsp of liqueur like cognac or brandy to the mix for added flavor. I haven't used that.

You may also like these-
* Chocolate fudge Squares
* Chocolate Raspberry Bars
* Chocolate Covered Almond stuffed Dates
* Chocolate Truffle Cupcakes

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Kada Mutta Roast | Quail Egg Roast

Quail eggs are three times more nutritious than regular chicken eggs. The health benefits of quail eggs include their ability to improve vision, boosts energy levels, stimulate growth and repair, improves metabolism. These eggs are helpful to treat cough,sinus allergies and asthma treatment. This is the main reason that I started introducing in our family to improve kids immunity with the use of quail eggs. Kids have started liking these cute little eggs. This is a simple egg roast that can be made quickly and tastes delicious. Soft idiyappams with this egg masala serves as a yummy combo. If you like a watery gravy then add coconut milk to dilute the gravy and serve with it !!

Preparation time~15 minutes
Cooking time~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 4 

quail eggs 8
savala / onion 2 big or 4 medium sized ones, sliced thin
thakkali / tomato 2 medium sized,chopped
inji / ginger 1 tsp chopped
milagu podi / chilli powder 1/2  tsp
kurumulakku podi /pepper powder 1/4 tsp
manjal podi / turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
malli podi /coriander powder 1 tsp
uluva podi(fenugreek powder) a pinch (optional)
curry leaves a sprig
salt to taste
coconut oil 2tbsp
sugar a pinch (optional)
coconut milk 1-2 tbsp (optional)


  • Wash and hard boil the eggs in water with a tbsp of salt(helps remove shells faster) for 10-12 mins or hard boil them in a pressure cooker. Remove from fire and transfer the boiled eggs in an ice water bowl. Remove the shell and make tiny gashes on each egg.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add oil. Slide in the sliced onion,chopped ginger and curry leaves. Saute until the onions turn translucent and is nicely caramelized.
  • Add the spice powders except garam masala on low flame, then add in the chopped tomatoes.Mix well.
  • Simmer and cover, cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir again till the tomatoes are mashed well.
  • Add the garam masala and boiled eggs,mix well. Add in the coconut milk (if using), a pinch sugar and give a quick stir.
  • Switch off flame and serve warm with idiyappam or chapathis or rotis.

* Adding fenugreek powder(uluva podi) adds a unique flavor. Add if you like feugreek(uluva).
* Adding coconut milk adds a sweet flavor,also gives a nice masala coating to the eggs. If you like a watery gravy, then dilute it with more coconut milk.
* I used the hot chilli powder but if you use kashmiri chilli powder will enhance the color of the masala.

You may also like these-
* Egg Pepper roast
* Mutta (egg) Aviyal
* Mutta Curry (Kerala style Egg Curry)
* Quick Egg Masala
* Egg drop Soup 
* Kada Mutta Chutney Balls

Monday, October 02, 2017

Vella Naranga Achar | White Lemon Pickle ~ Sadya Recipes

Onam is over a month back, and am still sleeping over the, actually I made this for our sadya this year and was saved to drafts. Better late than never,right??  So posting this lovely pickle now. Not only for sadyas, this pickle is good with kanji(rice gruel) especially when served if you are sick or having fever. I usually make this pickle in very small batches and use no preservatives, that way makes me feel better that am not using any added preservatives. I have made this pickle when i was in US but the lemons that you get there have a very tough skin and so it is not easy to soften them up quickly. In that case its better to make the pickle before hand and preserve with vinegar(so that the skin softens).

Lemon pickle in itself is an invariable accompaniment item with all Kerala main course food whether that be biriyani or sadya or regular meals. But this white lemon pickle or vella naranga achar is an unique pickle served during sadyas. This pickle has no preservatives added and needs to be used within two weeks. This is an instant pickle that can be made and served the next day itself. It has spice sour flavors with a mild bitter touch. This is often had in between payasam servings to enjoy more payasam. This is my mom's version of pickle, she doesn't add any preservatives to this pickle. She usually makes a small batch of this for sadyas and she makes the regular lemon pickle(always has a bottle of this pickle) that I have posted earlier.

Preparation time~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves~ a small bottle
lemon 5 medium sized
ginger thinly  1 tbsp, finely chopped
garlic sliced  1 tbsp sliced
*green chilly 3 chopped big
fenugreek seeds /uluva 1/2 tsp
kayam/ hing/ asafoetida powder1/2 tsp
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
sugar 1/2 tsp(optional)
salt to taste
curry leaves- a sprig
oil(preferably gingelly) 2-3 tbsp

  • Wash and steam the lemon till the skin is soft(about 7-8 mins).Allow it to cool,wipe dry with a paper towel and cut into pieces when completely cool on touch. Cut the lemon in 8 pieces then finally mix with salt and keep aside for half an hour(leaves out juices).
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add fenugreek seeds,saute on low flame. Slide in chopped ginger,curry leaves,garlic and green chillies and saute till the raw smell disappears.Add asafoetida powder and mix well.Add in the lemon pieces, mix well.

  • Add 1/2 tsp of sugar to balance flavors(omit if you don't like that way). My mom doesn't add sugar but I found this added touch brings out more flavors and balances it up.
  • Switch off flame and cool down.Store in jars/ glass bottles once completely cooled. You can serve immediately but I feel after two days the lemons are well coated with spices and leaves out juices to give the pickle more taste.

*You can boil the lemons too.If boiling,remove the lemons before the skin cracks open.
*The actual chillies used is bird's eye chilly(kanthari mulakku).But I couldn't find these here and so replaced with green chillies.
*This pickle has no preservatives like vinegar and is made on the previous day before sadya so that flavors seep in and is used instantly. If you plan to preserve longer then add 2 tbsp vinegar.You can store and refrigerate for about a week.
*Boil 2 cups of water in another pan and let it cool.Add one cup of boiled water to the pickle and add salt to taste.Simmer and wait till the sauce thickens.Finally add the sugar and fenugreek powder.

You may also like these-
* Nellikka Uppillitathu
* Loovikka Uppilittathu
* Thai Chilli Pickle\
* Chemmeen Achar
* Lemon Pickle
* Dates Pickle
* Kadumanga Achar
* Nellikka Achar
* Uppilitta Manga
* Veluthulli Achar

Friday, September 29, 2017

Mulapicha Payaru Cheera Cutlet | Sprouted Green Gram Cutlet (Step by Step Pics)

Green gram sprouts are packed with protein as we all know and I definitely find in ways to sneak them wherever possible. The usual affair is to add in salads and stir fries. But when it turns monotonous, there is a wave of rejection in my family. And that's how I ended up trying these cutlets for a change and to my surprise none could imagine the magical sprouts in them. And they thought it to be some vegetable cutlets and enjoyed with ketchup. These are very healthy cutlets and I have shallow fried them in very less oil by turning and shifting all sides to get an even brown tone. If you like to add potatoes to give an added taste then omit the bread crumbs and add boiled mashed potatoes. I have already posted a salad recipe with green moong sprouts, the recipe is here (take a peek if interested). This is a perfect appetizer or after school snack for kids, am sure they will enjoy !!

Preparation time~ 25 minutes
Cooking time~15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~10 cutlets
whole green gram(cherupayaru) 1/2 cup or sprouted green gram 2 cups
*cheera / red spinach or chinese spinach 1/2 cup chopped
chilli powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
kayam podi / asafoetida 1/4 tsp(optional)
*bread 4 slices
salt to taste

to coat
egg 1
bread crumbs

oil to fry


  • Wash the green gram or cherupayaru under running water. Soak in the water for 7-8 hours. Then tie the green gram in a cheese cloth. Leave it in casserole overnight to make sprouts. Once 1/2 cup green gram is sprouted,it becomes 2 cups. OR Just use sprouts if you already have made or bought and proceed further.
  • Boil the sprouts for two minutes in boiling water by adding little salt. Drain off water and keep aside.
  • Grind the sprouts in a blender without adding any water. Coarsely will do fine, pulse just once or twice.

  • Wash and chop the cheera( greens) fine and add to the ground sprouts. Mix well. There will be moisture from the sprouts, in order to reduce that trim three or four bread slices and make fresh bread crumbs in a mixer. Add this crumbs little by little to the sprouts mix till you get a cutlet consistency.
  • Add chilli powder, asafoetida(kayam podi), turmeric powder,salt. Mix well.
  • Shape the cutlets and dip it in egg wash. Then, coat the bread crumbs and keep aside.

  • Heat a wok/kadai if deep frying; I used a frying pan to shallow fry. Add oil(I used coconut oil) and shallow fry the cutlets till evenly browned on all sides.
  • Drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Serve warm with ketchup.

* You can use any greens like beet leaves or spinach instead of red spinach(chuvappu cheera)

* Add a cooked mashed potato if you wish to omit the fresh bread crumbs.
* Use 2 tbsp maida(all purpose flour) mixed with 2 tbsp water to coat the cutlets in place of egg.

You may also be interested to try these cutlets
* Baked Broccoli Cutlets
* Soya Cutlets
* Baked Vegetable Cutlets
* Baked Chicken Cutlets
* Fish Cutlets
* Ethakka Cutlets
* Baked Chicken Nuggets

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Thenga Paal | Coconut Milk (from scratch) | DIY - Coconut Milk

I knew nothing about extracting coconut milk(thenga paal) until I married a guy who hails from Thrissur (where coconut milk is used abundantly in every dish). They have many curries that use coconut milk and last but not the least payasam/ pradhaman that's made all over Kerala uses coconut milk. Little did I know about first, second and third versions of coconut milk(thenga paal) then. Though my mom used to extract coconut milk(thenga paal) but that was only for making any pradhaman or payasam so never got a chance to know much about coconut milk.It was with my MIL I started learning the coconut milk(thenga paal) based curries and extracted coconut milk.There is nothing fancy in this post but still I have received many requests to post about extracting the different coconut milk(thenga paal) especially when making coconut based payasams/ pradhaman. Though I have vaguely mentioned the procedure here and there in many of payasam posts but I thought this is a keeper for all times. If you are used to maggi coconut milk or are using canned coconut milk then life is quite simple but I know many would still admit that nothing brings the exact flavors of the coconut milk extracted from fresh grated coconut.

fresh coconut grated 2 -3 cups
warm water 2-3 cups 

  • Scrape or grate the coconut( *leave out the very dark portions or grate it separately), and keep aside. Transfer the grated coconut in a mixer jar and add 1/2-3/4 cup warm water( helps to extract more coconut milk). Pulse or run the blender for 15 secs to mix it up.
(the first milk is in the smallest bowl,second in the next bigger bowl and the third or the very diluted milk is in the biggest bowl in pic)

  • FIRST COCONUT MILK- Place a strainer over a clean bowl and pour the coconut mix into the strainer. Once the milk flows down, squeeze the left over liquid in the grated coconut. Keep aside,this is the thickest and sweetest coconut milk(thenga paal). This is used as a final topping in curries or payasam like we add fresh cream to curries. After adding this milk, the curry or payasams are not boiled over as it may curdle.

1st coconut milk

  • SECOND COCONUT MILK- Add the remaining crushed coconut and add 1 - 1.5 cups water. Pulse or run again the blender for 20 secs. Place the strainer on the next bowl and transfer the coconut mix into it. Squeeze out all liquid from the coconut mix.This is the lesser diluted version of coconut milk(thenga paal). Keep aside.

2nd coconut milk

  • THIRD COCONUT MILK- This is the last or very diluted version of coconut milk. Transfer the same coconut in the blender jar and add 2 cups water. Blend in the blender for 30 secs and transfer again in the strainer over another bowl and squeeze out the third milk completely. This is a very diluted version of coconut milk(thenga paal), has a light white color and hardly has any coconut flavors.

3rd or last coconut milk

* I have seen caterers in Kerala never pulse the grated coconut in blender and strain in strainers. I have seen them adding the grated coconut in a big urali(vessel). They add little warm water and knead it very well to extract the coconut milk. Then transfer it in a thin cloth or new thorthu( Kerala bath towel). Squeeze the milk by twisting both ends an tightening the cloth. The caterers need coconut milk in very large quantities and blenders may not suffice the need. Some caterers even use some portion of the coconut(the left out waste after extracting) in thorans(stir fry) for sadyas. That coconut doesn't have any flavors left but definitely ads to he texture and quantity of the stir fry.
* The dark portions don't give an aesthetic look and also when you extract the coconut milk with the dark portions,the milk is off white or one shade lighter than white. Its better to use that part for some curries rather than for extracting coconut milk(my personal preference though).
* These days we have mixers attached with coconut extractors in that case the sieving work load is lesser.
* Try getting the mature coconuts to get good quality coconut milk or else the coconut milk doesn't taste good and the oil content is less in immature coconuts.
* The quantity of water added depends on the amount of coconut used. So alter accordingly.
* Also, the first coconut milk is extracted with very less water and the third milk is extracted with more water.
* If you are using canned coconut milk, then use undiluted thick coconut milk for first milk. Dilute the 1 cup canned milk with 1/2 glass water to make second milk and you can leave out the third milk part.

MAKING EXTRA VIRGIN OIL or URUKKU VELICHENNA- The first and second milk are boiled over in a thick bottomed pan(preferably urali) on heat and is stirred frequently till the water is evaporated (takes lot of time and effort) and the pure coconut oil is left behind(the quantity of coconut oil is just 1/5 th of the total coconut milk boiled).I had made this for both my kids when they were babies and applied before bath(it smells so good and intense).
Used in veg curries like vendakka paal curryolan, carrot rice, pacha manga curry , vegetable stew, nadan green peas curry, soya mappas
Used in snacks like achappam(rosette cookies)paal appam.
Used in non veg curries like meen pollichathuchicken stewnadan kozhi curry, mangaittu meen curry(fish curry) , nadan beef mappas ,mutton stew, kerala style mutta curry.
Used in payasams/ pradhaman. I have used coconut milk in ada pradhamansuji gothambu payasammulayari payasampapaya pradhaman, unnakalari payasam ,aval pradhaman.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mulayari Puttu | Bamboo Rice Puttu | How to make Mulayari Flour from scratch ??

Have you seen a plant grow from a seed since the time you plant in the soil?? Vague question ??
Actually I was just wondering the wait to see a sapling from the seeds once we plant the seed in soil, and then wait eagerly till it grows into a plant, gradually wait till it starts to bloom or bear fruits. But how about waiting 50-60 years for the plant to bloom flowers and seeds?? Seriously its hard to wait so long and am sure we will lose patience. That's about a few bamboo trees am talking about !! Some even take 100 years for a bamboo pant to flower. And so its cultivated from the wild mostly and tribals collect the bamboo rice which is a major income of their living.Heard lots about this grain until recently when I got to try my hands on.
Bamboo rice (mulayari) has lot of healthy benefits which I already listed in my payasam post so not re writing them. The grains look similar to brown rice. These grains require a soaking time of more than 12 hours to pound to a flour form and so that's the only drawback that I felt making this puttu. The puttu tastes similar to any whole grain puttu like gothambu puttu or chemba ari (kuthari) puttu. If you haven't seen mulayari(bamboo rice) then check out my post on mulayari payasam where I posted a pic of mulayari(bamboo rice). Do try this healthy puttu if you can find mulayari (bamboo rice).

Preparation time (including soaking time) ~ 12 hours
Cooking time ~ 15 mins
Serves~ 1.5 cups bamboo rice flour
            or  one cheratta puttu
mulayari / bamboo rice 100 gms

to make puttu
bamboo rice flour / mulayari podi 100 gms (approx)
salt to taste
water as needed
grated coconut 1/2 cup


  • Pick the stones and other impurities from the mulayari if any.Wash and soak the mulayari in water for 10-12 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the water completely and spread on a plate or on layers of paper towel for 20 mins. Transfer the rice to a blender and powder to smooth.
  • Sieve the rice flour using puttu sieve, please check this post for better understanding. Repeat the same step if you have more rice and add the left overs after sieving.
  • Lightly roast the flour in a pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove from stove and leave to cool. If you are storing the flour for long then, roast the flour very well or else it may go bad.

  • Add the flour in a bowl and add salt to taste. Mix well and add water little by little. Mix well to get bread crumb like texture or press down a little flour in your palm to make a ball. If you can make a ball then, it is perfect to make puttu. Leave aside for 5-7 mins covered. The water may be absorbed and if the flour looks dry, then add more water as needed and proceed to make puttu.
  • Heat a pressure cooker and add enough water, close the cooker without placing the weight/ regulator. Now in a cheratta puttu maker or cheratta or regular puttu maker, add grated coconut and then add the mulayari puttu podi. Alternate this with grated coconut in between till you reach the top. Finish with a layer of grated coconut.
  • Place this on the cooker and let it steam cook for 5 minutes once the steam seeps out of the top layer. If you are using cheratta then cover with a small plate or lid. Remove from cooker when its done and then transfer to a plate. Enjoy with bananas or kadala curry or pappadam.

* Mulayari should be soaked well in water before pounding.
* Taste check the flour for salt before making puttu.
* Always check the amount of water in the pressure cooker or else the puttu and cooker may get burnt.

You may also like these- 
* Traditional puttu
* Ethakka Puttu
* Spinach- Carrot Puttu( Tri color puttu)
* Barley Puttu