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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pineapple Pachadi | Sadya Dish

Do you love pineapples?? Hmm.. my family just loves it and so there is no need of making it into a curry and they love to eat simply sliced. Pineapple is used as a fruit and vegetable in Kerala curries. When I mention 'vegetable' means its used as a sweet chutney type side dish which is served usually in sadyas- Pineapple pachadi. We also make pineapple pullissery  which is similar to this pachadi except that its a more watery version and is poured over steamed rice and had. I love this best in sadya which gets over first in my ela(banana leaf) and they usually don't serve a second serving either. This thick side dish has a sweet tangy flavor makes it stand out from all the other dishes. I already have a sweet pachadi listed below which is a mix of fruits, if you like that give that a try too. Onam is just few days ahead and so you may all be adding dishes for sadya menu. If forgotten, just a gentle reminder to add pineapple pachadi as well. If you haven't tried this yet,you must definitely give it a try !!

Preparation time~15 mins
Cooking time~ 15 mins
Serves ~5-6 people
chopped ripe pineapple very small pieces 1 cup
yogurt 1/3 cup
sugar 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt to taste

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
bird's eye chilly / kanthari milagu 3-4

to temper
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
red dry chilies 1 broken
curry leaves a sprig

  • Heat a pan and add the chopped pineapples with 2 tbsp water. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes till its soft.
  • In the meantime, grind the ingredients listed under ' to grind' to a smooth paste.

  • Lower the flame and add the paste to the cooked pineapple.Cook for another minute and switch off flame.
  • Whisk the yogurt in a blender and add to the cooked mix. Add salt as per tastes and leave aside.
  • Heat another pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds, wait to splutter. Add in dry red chilies and curry leaves .Switch off flame and add to the pachadi. Mix and serve.
* Don't add yogurt to the boiling curry, it will curdle. The yogurt should be mildly sour without which the pachadi may not taste good.

Thamaravalayam Khichadi
Beetroot Khichadi
* Kumbalanga Khichadi
Sweet Pachadi

You may also try these-
* Pineapple cobbler
* Eggless Pineapple pastry
* Pineapple Sago Pudding
* Pineapple Kesari
* Pineapple Pullissery
* Pineapple Mint Cooler
*Pineapple Tropical Muffins
* Pineapple Juice
*Pineapple Mousse

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Paneer Pulao | Mixed Veg Pulao | Quick Lunch Box Ideas

Everyday I know moms are busy stressing themselves to find out what's for lunch box tomorrow for kids? I totally understand the plight as am a mom of two kids. My kids are not very picky to eat and they only demand variety in their lunch boxes. Paneer is loved by my kids always and invariably its paneer butter masala which they love the most. Oh I remember now, I haven't posted paneer butter masala still?? Usually its my mistake that the dish which I make frequently never makes to the blog, simple reason is I keep postponing clicking pics. Anyways, hopefully will post soon. Paneer pulao is another interesting protein packed pulao that simply needs no accompaniment. In case you need a side dish with this then try on with some simple raitha which will suffice. Doesn't it sound delicious and make you happy when you have a vegetable and paneer mixed pulao? My kids definitely loved biting through the small cubed paneer pieces in the pulao and so I make this pulao often. Try this out for your little ones, adjust the spices if you wish to make it more spicy as I always end up making mild pulao esp when it comes to their lunch boxes. Enjoy !!

Preparation time~ 20 mins
Cooking time ~ 25-30 mins
Serves ~ 4-5
basmati rice / jeerakashala rice 1.5 cups
water 2.5 cups if basmati and 3 cups if jeerakashala
paneer /cottage cheese 200 gms
carrot 1 big; chopped small
dry peas 1/3 cup
onion sliced thin 1 big
ginger 1 small piece
garlic 3-4 cloves
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder  2tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
mint leaves 2tsp chopped
salt to taste
oil 3 tbsp

to garnish
cashews 2 tsp
raisins 2 tsp
ghee/oil 1 tsp

  • Wash the paneer under running water if using store brought paneer and cut in cubes. If using homemade paneer,then cut in cubes. Heat a pan,add oil and lightly fry the cubed paneer by adding a pinch of salt and turmeric powder (omit if you don't like frying,add just like that). Drain on a plate and keep aside.
  • In the same left over oil,add sliced onions. Saute until lightly wilted then add ginger- garlic paste.Then add veggies(peas and carrot),saute lightly.
  • Add in the spice powders,saute until the raw smell disappears on low flame. Add 1/4 cup water and cook for 3 mins. Then add the required water (as listed) with salt. Let it come to boil, check taste and add salt. Add the rice( I have used jeerakashala rice) and mix well.
  • Pressure cook for one whistle or in a pan cook covered till 3/4 th of rice is cooked.Slide in the fried paneer cubes. Cook covered again till the moisture is completely dried up.Finally garnish with curry leaves and mint leaves.
  • In another pan, add oil/ghee and fry the cashews, followed by raisins. Pour over the cooked pulao, mix and enjoy just like that or with a simple raitha.

* I haven' added any whole garam masala to this pulao as kids don's like whole spice pieces in their rice. Add a small piece of cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, one bay leaf and 2 cardamom for extra flavor if desired.
* Don't forget to wash the store brought paneer as it has a sour flavor of vinegar predominant.
*You can even add chopped beans, cauliflower too to this pulao.
*Omit the pudina leaves if you don't like the flavor.
* You can even use fresh green peas for a better taste.

You may also like these-
* Homemade Paneer
* Homemade Mawa
* Palak-Paneer masala
* Spinach Paneer Stir fry
* Paneer lababdar
* Mushroom Paneer Pulao

Asafoetida Powder(Kayam Podi), Dry Ginger Powder (Chukku Podi), Pepper Powder (Kurumulakku Podi), Fenugreek Powder (Uluva Podi), Cumin Powder (Jeerakam Podi)| Spice Powders from scratch (Kitchen Basics)

I have found kitchen as a place where you can explore and explore many aspects regarding cooking, cleaning or any life saving hacks. It not only food that matters, there are many different factors added to it. Don't you feel so? When I initially started cooking after marriage, I used to know nothing must say as compared to today. I had never tried to learn even basic recipes but true, had an idea of all recipes as mom is a splendid cook. I had always relied on her homemade masala powders but gradually as I moved to US, I had no access to mom's masala powders frequently and so started to make it at home with her guidance.There are many podis( spice powders) used in our kitchen in different recipes based on the region or the state you belong to. Though all these spices and spice powders are available in the markets these days but I prefer not to buy any of the spices in the powdered form as you never know what goes into it. Though they may be fresh when packed but as it takes time to reach us, the flavors are very less.

 Have you noticed  that a curry made with freshly roasted spices is so aromatic rather than adding the store brought spice powders?? Yes,it definitely takes the same dish to  new level. I have been making garam masalasambar powder, rasam powder, kayam(hing) podi, uluva(fenugreek)podi, jeeraka(cumin) podi and chukku(dry ginger) podi, kurumulakku(pepper) podi  since long at home. I know many of you may be practising the same at home too but this post is definitely for all the newly weds, beginners in kitchen so that they have a fair idea of the same. My mom used to make all this at home and I am carrying the same habit. I just prepare small batches so that the flavour is not lost. I have been using all these podis in many of my Kerala dishes and so thought to make a post for all these spice powders. Do save this page and keep it as a reference whenever you need to give it a try.

Wash and peel the skin of ginger. Cut in small pieces and sun dry for a week till it is reduced, shrinked and dried as in the pic. Flavorful chukku is ready for use. Use it in chukku kappi or any other dishes. The amount of ginger to be dried depends on your need and requirement completely and note that the ginger once dried is reduced to less than half the amount when it becomes chukku(dry ginger).

GINGER (on left) AND DRY GINGER(CHUKKU) on right

Powder the dry ginger(chukku) in a clean dry blender jar. Blend until smooth, there may be dry strands of ginger, it is perfectly okay to have that. Store in air tight containers.

compound asafoetida 60gms or 120gms
wheat flour or maida 1tbsp (60gms) or 2tbsp (120gms)

  • In a pan, place the compound asafoetida or roll the asafoetida on a chapathi maker with a rolling pin ( it is pliable and so easy to be flattened).If the compound asafoetida is hard, then heat a little on low flame to make it pliable.

  • Then heat both sides of the flattened piece till its lightly browned and turns white as you do. The inner layer feels wet and stretches like melted cheese. If you can break in pieces then go ahead and do it as it becomes easier to dry roast the compound. Once it is crisp,turn off heat. Leave to cool and then in a dry blender jar, add the pieces and wheat flour/ maida. Powder it up until smooth. Leave to cool completely before storing in air tight containers.
PS : The kayam pieces sticks to the blades and mixer if you don't add the wheat flour or maida. Generally the kayam podi that we buy from super markets use maida but I tried using wheat flour and it worked fine. Use whichever as desired.

Heat a pan and dry roast half a cup of pepper corns. Leave to cool and then powder until smooth. Store in air tight containers.




  • Heat half a cup of fenugreek seeds in a pan on low heat. Wait till it starts to pop, keep stirring frequently. When its lightly browned. Switch off flame and leave to cool. 



  • Dry roast half cup of cumin seeds in a pan until it starts to pop. Keep flame on low else it may get burned. Switch off flame and leave to cool. Blend in a dry mixer jar until smooth and store in air tight containers.
  • The recipes that use roasted cumin powder are sharkara varetti, chakka kumbilappam, chakka varetti, chakka ada.

* Make sure to use clean dry spoons each time to use these spice powders or just leave small ice cream spoons to take out these spices each time.
* Keep the jars or containers air tight so that the flavour is locked well.

Homemade Garam masala
Homemade Sambar Powder
Homemade Rasam Powder


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ethakka (Banana / Nendran Pazham) Bonda | Sweet Plantain Balls ~ A Guest Post for Soumya

Soumya and me have been introduced through blogosphere with our similar tastes (food blogging) three years back. Eventually we became good friends over chat, mail and blog posts in this virtual world. She is a very simple and humble person. She has a beautiful family with a cute little daughter. When she wrote to me if I could do a guest post for her, I was more than happy to be part of our space. She gave me the freedom to select a recipe and to let her know about the same. Thanks Soumya for inviting me on your splendid blog- Tuma's Tongue Treats. Her blog has many south Indian delicacies,ice creams,desserts,shakes and sweets. Apple rice, Raspberry Ripple Ice cream, Mangalore Bonda is one unique recipe that I fell in love with. So as far as you all remember my guest posts are always something sweet to share the happiness with some of my dear friends.

Ethakka bonda is similar to potato bonda or sukhiyan  but made with ripe plantains (ethakka). This has a good flavor of ghee with a soft filling inside and a perfect crispy cover. I saw a similar one in a cookery show and was instantly hooked by the idea. However, I made some changes to suit up to my family tastes. Over to Soumya's Tuma's Tongue Treats  for the recipe details and step by step pics, see you all there. Enjoy :)









Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Vadukapuli Achar | Wild Lemon Pickle (Step by Step Pics) | Curry Naranga Achar | Naranga Curry

Wild lemon (Vadukapuli) are in season here and Onam is close by to get it ready for sadya too. They are seen in supermarkets and with vegetable vendors too. I have tried making this pickle a couple of times before this but never went right. I wasn't a big fan of this achar(pickle) in sadya menu as I never get the right flavor of this pickle until I tried my hands on this recipe. I got this vadukapuli(wild lemon) from my SIL's place and it was just freshly plucked from her garden. This recipe is a keeper and worth trying it if you are tired of trying this achar just like me. This pickle demands balancing the flavors which actually brings out the real taste to it.

Like lemon pickle, this is similar in flavors and the making is almost similar except for a few more points to remember. H loves this pickle with ada pradhaman as he says this pickle is good to get away the sweet satiety and you will definitely have one more glass of ada pradhaman . Have you ever tried doing that? If not,try doing this trick this Onam. I have started doing it and we definitely can gulp more payasam( unnakalari payasam/ ada pradhaman / parippu pradhaman / palada payasam). Have you started your preparations for Onam?? This pickle doesn't stay fresh for long as there is no added preservative used,so try making it just one week ahead of Onam. Do add this pickle too in the menu and enjoy !!

vadukapuli /wild lemon 1 big
chilly powder 2 tbsp
uluva podi /fenugreek powder 1/2 tsp
kayam podi /asafoetida 1/2 tsp
ginger chopped 1tbsp
green chillies 2 chopped
dry red chilly 2 number
kadukku / mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
gingelly oil /nallenna 2tbsp
tamarind one amla size
*jaggery 1 small piece
curry leaves a sprig
salt  1 1/2 tsp or more
water 1/2 cup(including tamarind squeezed water)


  • Wash and clean the vadukapulli/ wild lemon.Place it in a steamer and steam for 10-12 mins until it becomes soft and the skin changes color slightly.Switch off flame and leave to cool completely before cutting in pieces.
  • Once cooled,wipe the lemon with a paper towel(helps remove the bitterness).Snip the top and bottom portions.Cut open in half and slice in quarters.Remove pit,the white portion in between and cut in small bite size pieces. Add the salt and mix well,leave aside for half an hour.
  • In the mean time,chop the ginger fine and cut the green chillies in rounds.Soak the tamarind in quarter cup water.Squeeze out tamarind extract and keep aside.

  • Heat a pan and add gingelly oil.Splutter mustard seeds,add in red dry chillies,curry leaves and then add the chopped ginger and green chillies. Saute until crisp and add in the spice powders except fenugreek or uluva podi on low flame.
  • Now,slide in the cut vadukapuli/wild lemon pieces on low flame and mix well.Add in the tamarind extract, the remaining water(to make 1/2 cup) and mix well.
  • Let it boil for a minute (don't keep boiling it) and add in the jaggery piece(just like that or grated). Mix well and switch off flame.
  • Finally, add in the uluva podi or fenugreek powder.Mix again,leave to cool.
  • Transfer to clean dry glass jars once cooled.This can be stored at room temperature for two weeks (I bet it will finish before that).

* Adding jaggery is optional but I like the flavors that way as the pickle is balanced in flavors.I have added half a piece more of jaggery than shown in pic and still the sweet flavors were not at all predominant.Add as per your tastes or omit.
* If the vadukapuli(wild lemon) has very thick skin,you can always peel away the skin and make pickle too.
* Please refrain from using aluminium or steel utensils while preparing this pickle as the sour flavors may react with vessel.

Check out other pickle recipes-
Ginger Pickle( Inji Achar)
  Kadumanga Achar(Mango)

Dates Pickle(Eenthapazham)

Nellikka & Loovikka Uppilittathu
Chemmeen Achar
Naranga Achar
Pavakka Achar

Nellikka Achar
Velluthulli Achar (Garlic)

Monday, August 07, 2017

Chakka Ada | Chakka Varetti Ada | Steamed Jackfruit Parcels

Am back with yet another delicious snack made with jackfruit- Chakka Ela Ada. It is made on the similar lines of ela ada except that it has chakka varetti added to it. If you have a batch of your chakka varetti still left,then go ahead and try this yummy chakka ada. My kids don't like the jackfruit just like that and they eat just one or two. I find this is a good way to sneak in jackfruit to them and above all its a healthy guilt free snack. These are steamed in banana leaves that imparts a flavor in itself just like the chakka kumbilappam that I posted few days back.Have I started boring you guys with chakka recipes?? If no, then will continue with few more of my favorites with jackfruit. If you are interested in trying out more steamed, guilt free snacks then do check the end of this page and you can see many sweet delicacies steamed,oil free ones that can be tried for after school snacks.

Preparation time~ 25-30 mins
Cooking time ~ 15 mins
Serves ~ 6 ela ada
*rice flour/ idiayappam podi 1 cup
salt to taste
water 3/4 cup

for filling
ripe jackfruit(chakka)  deseeded cooked 1/2 cup (chakka varetti 3/4 cup)
jaggery/ sharkara 1/3 cup
grated coconut 1/3 cup
cardamom powder / elakka podi 1/2 tsp
cumin powder / jeeraka podi 1/2 tsp
dry ginger powder/ chukku podi  1/4 tsp
ghee / neyyu 2 tsp
cashews chopped 1 tbsp(optional)

  • Heat a pan and add the jaggery with 2 tbsp water. Melt the jaggery and strain,keep aside.(If you are sure your jaggery contains no impurities then go ahead and add it grated)
  • In another pan, heat the ghee. When it is hot,add the cashews and fry lightly. To this add, chakka varetti, strained jaggery water, grated coconut, ground dry ginger, cardamom powder and cumin powder. Mix it well and wait till the moisture is dried up. Switch off flame and leave to cool. Divide the filling in six equal portions and leave covered.
  • In a sauce pan, boil water for making the dough like we do for idiyappam (string hoppers). in the mean time,add the flour in another bowl with salt. Add the boiled water to the flour and make a dough just like for idiyappam. Dip your hands in ice cold water and knead the dough when it is still hot so that the dough is soft.Make six equal portions of the dough, keep covered till further use.
  • Cut out banana leaves by removing the middle rib and cut in small rectangular pieces. If using frozen leaves, then thaw and cut pieces.Wash under running water and keep aside.
  • Keep a bowl of water ready to dip your hands in water and spread the dough. Now, take a banana leaf and place a portion of the dough. Start spreading the dough using your hands, when the dough becomes sticky ,dip your fingers in water and spreed evenly and thin as possible in a round or rectangle or oval shape.

  • Spread a layer of the divided portion of the filling on one half of the side. Cover the other side of the banana leaf on top of the filling so as to snuggly cover the filling and fits correctly on the base dough.
  • Repeat the same step to make the other portions of the dough in the similar way. Place an idli steamer with enough water. Transfer the prepared ela ada to the steamer. 
  • Steam cook for 12-14 mins till the leaf changes color and the dough also changes to off white. Also, you may find the leaf easily ripping off from the ada.(Don't over fill the steamer with adas else it may not get cooked properly. Also, in some cases you may have to turn the other side of the ada to get it cooked properly. All this depends on the number of adas placed in one batch.You can repeat the steaming with another batch of adas if required, just ensure there is enough water in the steamer each time.)
  • Once done, remove the adas using a spatula. Place on a plate, leave to cool for 5 mins and then serve. Enjoy delicious adas !

* If you are using homemade rice flour,then check out here.

If you are interested in more recipes that are steamed and are oil free, here is a list below-

Check out other jackfruit recipes listed below-

Chakka Unniyapam
Chakka Kumbilappam

Chakka Varetti