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Friday, July 20, 2018

Chocolate Chip Custard Ice Cream (Eggless)

Its been very long time since I have a pack of custard powder in my pantry,after making fruit custard a few times. And fruit custard is something that I make as a last dessert because this was a very frequent dessert made at home by my mom and so kinda got bored with it. However,kids love custard and so sometimes make for them. What next could be done with custard powder, that's the time I thought to make an ice cream with this powder and added kids favorite chocolate chips in them which added a nice crunch in between the smooth ice cream. This is an eggless ice cream and can be whipped in minutes. I have used vanilla custard powder but you can definitely try with different flavors of custard powder. The color of the ice cream is same as vanilla ice cream which I posted sometime back. Do try this out  before winter sets in.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 10  minutes
Serves~ 500 ml icecream
Author~ Julie

custard powder 2 tbsp
milk 1 cup + 1/2 cup divided
whipping cream  1 cup(200 ml)
sugar 1/2 -3/4 cup
vanilla essence 1 tsp

chocolate chips mini  2tbsp

  • Make a thick paste using 1/2 cup milk and custard powder. Boil the remaining 1 cup milk and bring to a boil. Add the sugar as per sweet tooth(add more than required as the sweetness may reduce once mixed with whipping cream). Pour in the custard mixed milk and keep stirring on low flame so that the custard doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. when the custard coats the back of the spoon put off flame. Leave to cool completely,put a cling wrap on top layer of the custard so that there is no film forming on top.

  • Now put a bowl and the beater blades in freezer for 2 hours. Also chill the whipping cream. Now pour the whipping cream in the chilled bowl and beat till soft peaks.Add in vanilla extract.

  • Gently fold the custard with the whipped cream. Freeze for 2 hours (I just break the ice by adding this in a blender and pulsed it but if you have ice cream maker,proceed as per the manual instructions) then remove and add the chocolate chips,mix well. Freeze again for 6 hours -10 hours until set. Scoop and serve chilled with a drizzle of chocolate syrup !!
* You can make this ice cream without adding chocolate chips or you can always add some chopped nuts or add butterscotch chips too.
* You can use different flavors of custard powder other than vanilla. I have used vanilla custard powder.

* Mango Ice cream
* Butter scotch Ice cream
* Pista Kulfi 
* Strawberry Ice cream
* Cilantro Ice cream
* Cantaloupe(Musk Melon) Ice cream 
* Vanilla Ice Cream
* Duet Ice cream(Banana & Mango)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kappa Vada | Tapioca Fritters (Step by Step Pics)

It all happened by chance and that chance was a really good way to sneak in a fiber rich veggie in the form of vadas. You may be wondering what am I talking about. Its about a simple tea time snack made with kappa- Kappa Vada. But unlike uzhunnu vadas there is no soaking and grinding. And I must say they taste delicious just like uzhunnu vada. The best part of these vadas is that none can distinguish the two tastes, it so well blended. I have already made these thrice and still the demand is high.

I watched a potato vada recipe almost similarly done in a TV show and that's the real insopiration behind to make these vadas. The first time I made these I had some left over boiled tapioca in fridge  and thought to try making vadas with them. When you have left over boiled tapioca then this is the best recipe that you can give a try. At my first attempt at home everyone enjoyed thinking it was uzhunnu vadas. At the end only I disclosed the secret ingredient in it is kappa. H was totally impressed with these vadas and now he gets more tapioca than required whenever he goes grocery shopping just to ensure that I make vadas for him, he he..The rava mixture adds the necessary stickiness to the dough like uzhunnu and so gets incorporated well. The outside of these vadas are crisp and the inside is soft just like uzhunnu vadas. As it gets cooled down the covers lose their crispiness just like any other vadas and at one glance and taste none will find out its mashed tapioca.  We had these with coconut chutney and all loved it. Do give these a try,am sure you will be more than happy to have tried.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 12

kappa /tapioca 10 pieces or 1 1/4 cup cooked & mashed,tightly packed  
suji / rava 3 tbsp
ari podi /rice flour 2 tbsp
green chillies  2 chopped
savala / onion 1 small chopped
inji/ ginger 1tsp fine chopped
curry leaves 1 sprig cut in pieces
salt to taste
oil to deep fry

How to prepare?
  • Boil the tapioca as you normally do, or refer this post here on how to clean and cook the tapioca. Drain and keep aside to cool. However,start to remove the fiber strands once its warm to touch. Then mash the kappa in a very smooth dough like.
  • In the meantime, add 3tbsp of suji /rava in a pan and add 1/2 cup water. Bring this pan to heat and make a porridge(kurukku) like consistency or a roux like. Switch off flame and leave to cool.

  • Once the suji/rava mixture is cool, mix this with the mashed kappa,add onion,fine chopped ginger,green chillies and torn curry leaves. Add the 2tbsp rice flour,salt and combine to get a dough like for chapathis (The dough may be a little sticky and you may not need any water to make this dough. Add more rice flour if you feel the dough is loose or else the vadas soak up more oil. I added only 2tbsp of rice flour).
  • Wash your hands to get rid of the sticky dough remains. Then make 12 smooth lemon sized balls. Flatten it lightly and make a hole like we do for uzhunnu vadas( prepare the balls and flatten as you slide them in oil;don't shape it before hand and keep else the cover may dry up).

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai and wait till oil is hot. Add a pinch of dough in the oil and check to see if it pops up then drop in the prepared vadas. Wait for 30 seconds before you flip the other side and continue to cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes(Don't overcrowd the wok with vadas and leave enough space). Then put on high flame to bown evenly and drain on paper towels. Repeat the same step of frying till you finish frying all.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney. The outer cover is crisp when hot but turns soft once its cold just like uzhunnu vadas.

* You should mash the tapioca mixture very well to remove any fibrous strands and small pieces. It should resemble a smooth dough.
* The rava and the tapioca mixture should be kneaded well to combine evenly.
* I have used roasted rice flour in this recipe.
* The dough shouldn't be very loose else it will soak up more oil while frying neither it should be very tight else the vadas turn hard. The correct texture is a soft ball that can be easily pressed down with finger to poke holes.

* Uzhunnu Vada
* Parippu Vada  
* Lobia Vadas
* Ulli Vada(Onion Fritters) 
* Punugulu
* Sabudana Vadas
* Cabbage Pakoras
* Falafel (Fried Chickpeas Balls)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Maduramulla Naranga Achar | Nimbu Ka Khatta Meetha Achar | Sweet Lemon Pickle

It was raining cats and dogs over the weekend and so schools are closed today. The weather is much better today but still with some drizzle and no trace of sun yet. The forecast says it may rain for another day. Anyways,kids are happy to get an unplanned leave as July was a month with no highlighted red days in calendar. My younger one says finally the clouds are here to shed some sweat to favour us for holidays,ha ha.
Coming back to today's post- Lemon pickles are always so appetizing and no other pickle replaces the flavors of this wonderful fruit. However, I can't enjoy lemon pickle much and so I always find ways to reduce the sour flavors in the pickle too. This particular recipe of lemon pickle is perfect in that way and the skin of lemon softens up so well that you can enjoy a lot. This pickle is more on the sweeter side. This pairs perfectly with Thalassery chicken biriyani like the dates pickle(Eenthapazham achar). December and January months are perfect to make this pickle as the skin of lemons available at this time of the year are thinner compared to those during the year. This is a north indian style pickle and there are many variations of making this pickle but I have adapted this recipe from here and here; slightly adapted to our tastes too. The lemon needs to soften and so leaving the cut pieces mixed with salt helps to fasten the process. Do try this out if you love a sweet tangy lime pickle, am sure this is a different pickle all together.


Preparation time~ 20-30 days
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves~ 200 gms of pickle roughly
lemon /naranga 250 gms
sugar 250 gms
garam masala 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/3 tsp(optional)
cloves 2-3
asafoetida /kayam podi 1/2 tsp
salt 2 tbsp



  • Wash and wipe the lemons with a towel or paper towel. Cut in four or eight quarter pieces. Add this to a jar and add salt to this. Leave it in sunlight or a warm place for about 20- 30 days(some recipes call for adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to this mix but I haven't added as the lemons tend to ooze out te juice once it starts to soften).Gently mix it up with a clean dry spoon every fourth day. This will help in uniform softening of the lemons. After 20-25 days, the lemon ooze out water and the lemons tend to soften(see pic right).

  • After the lemons tend to soften,heat a pan add the lemons,sugar,spice powders, clove. Mix it up and simmer the flame till the sugar melts down and mixes up with the lemons. The sauce thickens and the lemon softens more. Switch off flame and leave to cool completely.

  • Store in air tight glass jars once after cooling. This pickle stays good more than a year. But as the pickle sits the lemon skin is nicely softened and the colour of the sauce turns brownish like caramelized sugar.
* You can use black salt, rock salt to make this pickle but I have used only regular salt.
* You may also add big cardamom(elaichi) a small tsp powdered, black pepper corns(kurumulakku), carom seeds(ajwain), cumin seeds(jeerkam/ jeera), dry ginger powder(chukku podi). But I refrained from adding as I was a bit apprehensive about the acceptance of these tastes in pickle by my family.
* It better to remove the seeds from lemon as you cut or else the seeds fall off in the sauce once the pickle is made. I didn't do this step and I felt should have been done.
* You can even use jaggery instead of sugar in that case use 300 gms of melted and strained jaggery syrup.
* Its always better to store in glass bottles. Refrain from using plastic bottles especially when storing sour items or pickles.
* Adding turmeric powder is optional as the turmeric doesn't taste very good in sweet pickles.

* Naranga Achar(Kerala Style)
* Vella Naranga Achar 
* Vadukapuli Achar(Wild Lemon Pickle)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Pavakka (Kaipakka) Paal Curry | Bitter Gourd Coconut Milk Curry(Step by Step Pics)

How many of you like pavakka /kaipakka/bitter gourd/karela?? If yes, please jote down the bitter gourd preparation which you love the most in the comment section. I know many grown ups who don't like even in our family circle. But me and my better half love this veggie like any other vegetables and so invariably have this in my grocery bag. However kids only like pavakka mezhukuparetti but we love all variations made with bitter gourd(pavakka/kaipakka).

Pavakka(Kaipakka)/ Bitter Gourd paal curry is a rich creamy delicacy from Thrissur and my MIL makes it quite often. I had not tasted this curry in our part of Kerala and so had no clues when I first tasted this curry too. However, I liked the taste of this curry with all balanced flavors of mild bitterness, mild spiciness, mildly sour and mild sweet flavors of coconut milk. And so I started making it at home too. .The rich color and the creamy texture of the curry is due to the addition of coconut milk. Vendakka paal curry that I posted earlier is also made in a similar way and tastes good with rice. My MIL doesn't use coconut bits in this curry but I started this as a fond remembrance of pavakka theeyal. Thenga kothu(coconut slices) is an added crunch in this curry along with the soft bitter gourd pieces and shallots.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl

pavakka/kaipakka /bitter gourd 2 small or one long
inji / ginger shredded 1 tspkunjulli / shallots 10 sliced
pachamulaku / green chillies 2-3 vertical slit
mulakku podi /chilly powder 1 tsp
manjal podi /turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
malli podi/ coriander powder 1tsp
fenugreek powder /uluva podi a good pinch(optional)
thakkali / tomato 2 small chopped or 1 large chopped 
tamarind extract  1 tbsp coconut milk thick 1/2 cup(optional)
coconut milk thin 1.5 cups
curry leaves
*coconut oil 2tbsp
salt to taste

to temper 
coconut pieces sliced 2tbsp (optional)

kaduku/ mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
uluva/ fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
vattal mulakku/ red dry chillies 2 broken
curry leaves
*coconut oil 2 tsp

  • Wash and deseed the bitter gourd, cut the bitter gourd in round slices.If you have a very long and thick bitter gourd then cut in halves and then slice it out in small not very thin slices(1/8" thickness). Keep aside,if you wish to reduce the bitterness,then read the 'notes section' and proceed further.
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the coconut oil. Slide in the sliced bitter gourd, add a good pinch of salt. Lower the flame and leave to fry slightly. Wait till its lightly browned(avoid over crowding and preferably arrange in a single layer so that its evenly done).Flip the other side and lightly brown it up,drain in a plate.

  • In the same oil(add more oil if needed), toss the chopped ginger,curry leaves and sliced shallots. Saute until translucent. Now add in the spice powders, chilly powder,turmeric powder and coriander powder. Lower flame and saute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes,add about 2tbsp of water.Mix well and cover the pan. Cook covered for two minutes till the tomatoes mash well.
  • To this add the fried bitter gourd pieces and add some water(about 1/2 cup). Add the thin coconut milk,add salt and bring to a boil.Cook covered for 5-7 minutes.

  • Adjust salt and water if needed. Adding water is to prevent thickening of the gravy once the thick coconut milk is added. Add the tamarind extract and cook again for 3-4 minutes. Lower the flame and add the thick coconut milk. Mix well and turn off flame once you see one or two bubbles on the surface of the curry. Add the fenugreek powder(uluva podi),mix well and leave the pan covered. 
  • In another pan,heat the oil and add the sliced coconut pieces. Fry until lightly browned and drain on the curry. In the same oil, splutter mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves.Switch off flame and pour this over the curry.Keep covered till you serve (as the curry sits it thickens and tastes better as the flavors seep in well and the bitterness is reduced).

* If you wish to bring down the bitter flavors considerably, then drop the sliced bitter gourd pieces in sour yogurt or tamarind water for 15-20 minutes or just simply coat the bitter gourd pieces with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Drain the water,wash the bitter gourd pieces and proceed further like listed above.
* Generally coconut slices are not added to this curry but I prefer to add this as we do add in the theeyal version(roasted coconut version) of this curry. So love that crunch here too.
* Using fenugreek powder and fenugreek seeds is purely optional. It only imparts a nice flavor for coconut milk based curries.
* Try using shallots as they are sweeter compared to regular onions.

* Use 1/2 of a coconut or 1/2 coconut to extract coconut milk.
* Use only coconut oil for this traditional curry for getting the authentic tastes.
* If you are using the vine tomatoes or nadan thakkali(tomato) then you can skip adding the tamarind extract. In that case just add two large tomatoes. But I have used the roma tomatoes which are sweeter and so we need to add a tinge of sour flavors to bring down the bitterness.

* Pavakka Mezhukuparetti(Stir Fry)
* Bharvan Karela(Stuffed Bitter Gourd)
* Pavakka Theeyal (Bittergourd Curry)
* Pavakka Thoran(Bittergourd Stir fry)
* Pavakka Achar(Pickle)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nadan Beef Fry (Kerala Style) | Restaurant Style Beef Dry Fry (Step by Step Pics)

Beef recipes are all time favorites and so I hardly get to click pictures whenever I prepare. And its invariably prepared on weekends too when everyone is at home. This is a restaurant style beef dry fry or you may call the nadan beef dry fry. This is a very delicious side for beef lovers after beef ularthiyathu or roast. At home and with our friends,everyone loves the nadan beef ularthiyathu(roast) that I prepare the most,don't forget to try that out.. am sure you will love it too. Mom taught me all the nadan beef preparation recipes and I loved all her non veg preparations.There was a time soon after marriage when I hardly knew to cook meat and chicken preparations. It was my mom who dictated ingredients and recipes but hers was always a rough measure(kai kanakku). But over the years, I have gained the confidence and my H says that I prepare non-veg dishes better than veg preparations these days. Beef fry is always a snacking type side dish. Its a dry beef preparation with all the masala coated well with the beef. Kids love these a lot and so I make a small batch for them. This is a very simple preparation compared to the roast and curry recipes. I have had this preparation in some of the restaurants too where you find more of coconut pieces than beef. Anyways do try this out if you haven't, am sure you will like it.

Preparation time~ 1 hour
Cooking time~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ a small plate
Author~ Julie

for marination 
beef 400 gms
shallots 4-5
ginger 1" piece
garlic 5-6 small cloves
pepper powder/kurumulaku podi 1/2 tsp
chilly powder /milagu podi1.5 tsp
coriander powder /malli podi  1 tsp
garam masala 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp

salt to taste

for frying
coconut oil 3tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprig
thenga kothu /coconut slices 3tbsp
red dry chilli 2 broken
garam masala 1/4 tsp
pepper powder 1/4 tsp

  • Cut the beef in small cube or rectangular pieces and wash the beef under running water 4-5 times,drain the water completely. Pulse the shallots,ginger and garlic in a mixer, crush coarsely and add this to the beef with the remaining marination ingredients. Keep aside for an hour.
  • Add the beef along with marinade in a cooker,add 1/4 cup water and pressure cook on medium flame for 4-5 whistles (the cooking time may vary depending on the type of beef,so adjust accordingly). The beef should be nicely cooked though restaurants serve a harder type which is hard to bite too.

  • Once the pressure is released,open the cooker and see if there is any water left out.In that case,dry out the water by placing on heat.
  • Heat oil(2 tbsp) in a thick bottomed non stick pan and wait till oil is hot. Add the thenga kothu or coconut slices, fry till lightly browned. Add in the broken red chillies and curry leaves. Slide in the cooked beef.

  • Mix well and dry roast the beef for another 12- 15 minutes till the beef changes color to deep brown. Adjust salt if necessary and add in coconut oil(1tbsp or more ) as needed. Finally add in the garam masala 1/4 tsp and pepper powder 1/4 tsp,toss well. Switch off flame and serve warm.

* Final addition of garam masala and pepper powder adds a unique flavor to the fry.
* If you are making large quantity its better to add in batches so that the wok/non stick pan is not crowded. This helps to fry easily.

* Nadan Beef Curry
* Nadan Beef Roast (Beef Ularthiyathu)
* Beef Mappas

Monday, July 09, 2018

Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Step by Step Pics)

Pineapples in any form is a family favorite and so I don't have to think twice to sneak them in any recipe. Pineapple upside down cake has been baked a couple of times on different occasions and I hardly get time to click pictures in the hurry. I admire and love such simple cakes rather than the ones loaded with icing sugar,whipped cream or butter. Infact I even have posted a apple upside down cake long back which was also a great success. These cakes simply taste yum and can be made in a jiffy too,perfect crowd pleaser for a small gathering/potlucks. I have tried baking the eggless and with eggs version. Will definitely post the eggless version soon. This cake needs no introduction as such and tastes soft and delicious. I have used wheat flour and all purpose flour(maida) in this recipe but you can always use maida alone.f you haven't given this a try, then you should definitely give this a try!

Preparation time~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~50-60 minutes
Author~ Julie
Serves 6-8 large pieces
wheat flour 1 cup
all purpose flour(maida) 1/2 cup
baking powder 2 tsp
salt 1/3tsp
butter softened 8tbsp(1/2 cup)
granulated sugar (powdered) 1 cup
eggs 2 separated
milk 1/2 cup
pineapple essence 3/4tsp

pineapple slices 6
maraschino cherries 5
granulated sugar 5-6 tbsp

  • Sift the flours with baking powder and salt twice.Keep aside. Preapare the baking tray by smearing butter and dusting with maida.
  • In the mean time,heat a pan and add the granulated sugar,wait till it starts to caramelize. Add 2tbsp of water slowly (without splashing else it may cause burns). Switch off flame.
  • Separate the egg yolks and egg white. Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy.

  • At room temperature,beat the butter until soft and pale.Add in each of the egg yolk and beat well. Add the pineapple essence and powdered sugar. Beat well to combine.
  • Fold in the flour mix in three batches along with egg whites mix until combined well. Add milk as needed to correct the consistency( I used the  1/2 cup). Preheat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F.
  • In the baking tray,pour the caramel. Then, arrange the pineapple slices half cut and cherries half cut.Place the half side of cherries up so that the dome side of cherry comes up once the cake is inverted.
  • Now pour the batter and spread using a spatula. Tap the tray on the kitchen counter to release trapped air. Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Insert toothpick in the center of the cake to check if done and cool on wire racks. Invert on a plate,cut and serve.

* Powder 3/4 cup granulated sugar to get 1 cup powdered sugar.
* You can use vanilla extract instead of pineapple essence but pineapple essence gives the unique flavor.
* I used a 8*8 baking tray but I would recommend to use a 9" baking tray.
* You can use more granulated sugar for caramelizing for a deeper hue.

You may also like a few more pineapple recipes from this space-
* Pineapple Pastry(eggless)
* Pineapple Cobbler
* Coconut-Pineapple Tropical Muffins 
* Pineapple Mousse
* Pineapple Digest Punch 
* Pineapple pullisery 
* Pineapple Peel Wine
* Pineapple Pachadi
* Pineapple Kesari
* Pineapple Sago Pudding

Friday, July 06, 2018

Baby corn 65( Step by Step Pics) | Quick Appetizers

Did you know baby corns are rich in folates ?? Pregnant women or those planning pregnancy may wish to add this to the daily healthy nutrition. Also these are less starchy compared to the regular corn and so low in carbs. Baby corns are so cute to look at and so soft to munch and so goes the baby corn 65? Aren't they cute little bites? These days baby corns are easily available in super markets. They are perfect for starters,stir fries, manchurian or any masala gravy. This is a quick starter that you can prepare in very less time and there is no much work too. All you have to have is fresh baby corns cut in cube size pieces and voila !! We had these as a snack on a cold rainy evening with garam chai(tea), what more can you ask for on a drizzling day??

These corn starters need to be served hot to get the actual taste of the crunchy starters. And they tend to get cold soon as the corn inside leaves moisture and so once cold,they don't taste good. Its always better to prepare immediately and serve. They are crispy on the outside and soft inside.If you would like to give that a try for a non veg starter, then please check out the chicken 65  recipe posted long time back. Anyways,this is one of the simplest snack that you can put together. Do try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 40-45 bite size pieces

baby corn 13-15
 green chillies 2 vertical slit
curry leaves 2-3 sprig(thandu)
oil for frying 

for batter
all purpose flour /maida  3 tbsp
rice flour 2 tbsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1.5 tsp
garam masala 1/4 tsp
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
*curd/ yogurt 2 tbsp
salt to taste

  • Wash the baby corns under running water,drain water and keep aside. Remove from water immediately else they soak up water. Cut in cube size pieces. Its better to use slightly plump ones rather than thin small ones. You can cut each baby corn in 3 good pieces. Keep aside.

  • Prepare a batter using the ingredients listed under batter. Use kashmiri chilly powder for color and make a thick paste. The batter should coat the spoon,keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, heat oil in a wok or kadai or cheenachatti. The oil should be atleast 2" deep. Add the cut baby corn pieces in the prepared batter. Using a spoon flip all sides to coat.

  • When the oil is hot enough,test a drop of batter in the oil. If the drop of batter pops up to the surface of oil then it is ready. Slide in the batter coated baby corn pieces. Gently flip using a colander and cook on medium flame. Don't fry it deep brown and drain these on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Similarly fry the remaining batter coated baby corn pieces till you finish. Lastly add in the curry leaves and green chillies,fry till crisp and drain.
  • Remove the baby corn pieces from paper liners and serve on a plate by adding the curry leaves,green chillies on top and sprinkle a dash of chat masala or just like that. Baby Corn 65 is ready,serve it hot.

* Yogurt should be mildly sour to taste good in the batter else add lemon juice to bring out the sour flavors.
* The baby corn inside has no particular taste and so the batter is the one which gives that flavor.

You may also like a few more veg starters-

* Sprouted Green Gram Cutlet
* Mushroom Manchurian
* Hot Chilli Gobi Fry
* Baked Vegetable Cutlets
* Cheese Corn Balls
* Pizza Pin Wheels
* Scallion Pancakes
* Soya Manchurian
* Samosa 
* Goat Cheese Tartlette with Onion Jam 
* Vegetable Puffs 
* Italian Goat Cheese Bruschetta
* Stuffed Mushroom

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Jathikka Achar | Jathikka Thodu Achar | Nutmeg Fruit Pickle

Jathikka (Nutmeg) is a popular spice of Kerala which has a incredibly strong and distinctive aroma.We have plenty of nutmeg trees in our backyard at home and these are in season now. And so its a natural phenomenon for us to think ways to use all parts of this organic natural fruit available in plenty. Once the nutmeg seed ripens and is ready, it breaks open in two halves and the seed just pops out with the mace tightly wrapped over the seed.The nutmeg seed and its outer red flower like covering i.e. mace(see pic below) is used as spice and so has market value too. But the outer fleshy fruit part of the nutmeg isn't used much for sale though it has the same strong flavors like the seed. We end up using a few in pickle and making chutneys and the rest is just left out. I have heard we can make wine with jathikka and am very eager to try it out. Hopefully if I get hold of some fresh fruit before the season ends will definitely try it out. This pickle unlike other pickles is good for digestion and stomach ailments. It has a spicy tinge but believe me once the pickle sits for two days to blend flavors then the spice or the strong flavor is considerably reduced. Do try it out if you get hold of some fresh jathikka thodu or nutmeg fruit.

Preparation time~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 15 minutes
Serves a jam bottle
jathikka thodu (thondu) / nutmeg fruit 10-12
garlic sliced 2 tbsp
ginger chopped or julienne 2tbsp
chilly powder 2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
asafoetida/kayam podi 1/2 tsp
fenugreek powder /uluva podi 1/4 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
gingelly oil/ nallenna 3tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
*vinegar 2tbsp
salt 2 tsp

  • Wash the nutmeg fruit under running water. Now leave to drain water or wipe with a kitchen towel. Peel the skin of nutmeg fruit lightly. Remove the seed (nutmeg and the mace covering. They are not used to make the pickle. Only the thodu or outer yellow cover is used to make this pickle.Chop the fruit in small cube size pieces. Keep aside.

  • Now,heat gingelly oil in a pan.Splutter mustard seeds. Add in chopped ginger,garlic and curry leaves. Saute until its slightly golden brown.
  • Add in the spice powders on low flame and saute till the raw smell diappears. Add in half cup water and bring the mix to a boil. Add in salt and wait till the mixture thickens lightly.
  • Slide in the chopped jathikka and combine well. Cover and simmer for 4-5 mins on low flame till the masala is well coated and jathikka pieces are wilted slightly. 
  • Switch off flame and add lime juice if using or vinegar as mentioned. Cool completely before storing. Store in air tight glass containers.
  • The flavors seeps in well only after 2-3 days so its better to use after 3-4 days or more. The jathikka pieces tends to soften as it sits.

* I use a mix of the hot chilly powder and kashmiri chilly powder in the ratio 1:2. That way it balances the color and heat.
* Peeling the skin of nutmeg fruit is optional. The skin is a bit harder so may take longer to cook. So I just peeled.
* I used one lime's juice instead of vinegar.  Using lime definitely replaces distilled vinegar but this pickle only stays good in refrigerator and not outside.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Eggless Chocolate Chip Pancakes (Wheat flour)

How many of you like quick and healthy breakfast ideas? I prefer and am always in search of such quick breakfast that can fill the tummy and also can be guilt free. Pancakes are one such versatile item that can be made in a jiffy and tastes soft and delicious too. I don't like making pancakes with eggs as it becomes very heavy to digest, instead make omelette along with pancakes to complete breakfast menu. Maida or all purpose flour on a long run is not healthy and so end up trying with wheat flour. These wheat flour ones are heavier than maida ones but these are soft. This is one of the simplest pancakes that I have made yet and kids just loved the chocolate bites in it. Whenever I make pancakes,my kids are mad over them and so is with these chocolate chip pancakes. There are no big gadgets required,easy to whip the batter and pour. These are ready in very short time,in fact can be made for a quick healthy snack too. Make smiley faces or your own creative designs with chocolate chips and am sure kids will love these with honey or maple syrup or chocolate syrup,enjoy!!

Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves~ 4-5 pancakes
Author~ Julie
wheat flour 1 cup
baking powder 1 tbsp
salt 1/4 tsp
sugar (optional) 2-3 tsp
milk 1 cup
vanilla extract 1 tbsp
unsalted butter; melted 1 tbsp
chocolate chips as needed 5tbsp or less

butter to smear 1tbsp

  • Sift the flour,baking powder,sugar(if using) and salt in a bowl. Melt the butter and add to warm milk,mix well. Add in vanilla extract. Add this to the flour little by little till its combined well. There will be small lumps but don't worry that's perfectly ok. As you keep mixing and poring each time the lumps reduce and the batter gets smoother. Add one or two tbsp of milk if needed.The batter consistency is as of thick dosa batter.
  • Heat a pan and smear butter on top. Pour in one full ladle of batter when it is hot and gently tap the center of the pancake to spread a little further on its own. Take about a tbsp or less of chocolate chips and put them on top of the pancake. Let the pancake cook slightly on medium flame. When the pancakes starts to get bubbles all over and the sides look cooked,flip over to turn. Cook another minute and transfer to a plate.

  • Similarly continue to make the other pancakes till you finish the batter. Serve warm with maple syrup or honey or chocolate syrup with a cup of hot milk.

* You can use almond milk if not using regular milk.
* You can make the same pancakes with all purpose flour or maida. In that case just 2tsp of baking powder should be good enough.
* I made the kids pancake with sugar in it and ours without sugar. The ones without sugar does taste good as chocolate chip has sugar in it.
* You can be more creative and healthy by adding a mix of chocolate chips with some chopped apples or any other fruit of your choice. Make smiley using chocolate chips for kids.
* If using salted butter,skip adding the salt in the flour.
* I have used Ashirwaad Atta(wheat flour) in these pancakes. You can use any brand of wheat flour.

Check out more quick and healthy breakfast items below-
* Eggless Oatmeal waffles
* Spanish Potato Omelette
* Lemon Blueberry pancakes
* I Hop Spinach Omelette
* Quinoa Blueberry Pancakes
* Whole Wheat Chocolate Waffles
* Scallion Pancakes 
* Blackberry Pancakes
* Dosa Waffles