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Friday, March 15, 2019

Panjipullu Kurukku | Ragi Porridge | Ragi Healthy Drink

Panjipullu Kurukku is a healthy drink that mom used to feed us as infants and then it was given to my kids too as weaning food. In our time, she used to grind the ragi on ammikallu( grinding stone) instead of mixer. Ragi is a super coolant and in summer its super healthy to have this. Ragi improves bone strength, helps in weight loss and controls blood sugar. It is a super pack of energy. I make this once a week for my kids and they love it. When they were infants I used to give them every alternate day along with kaya podi kurukku or multigrain powder kurukku. Palm jaggery is more healthier to add when serving infants. However for elders you can add a pinch of salt or reduce the amount of sugar and serve. Do try this out if you haven't made yet and enjoy !

Soaking time ~ 6 hours 
Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Author ~ Julie
panjipullu / ragi 1/3 cup
water 3 cups
*milk 1 cup
* sugar 2-3 tbsp


  • Wash and soak the ragi(panjipullu) for 5-6 hours or overnight( remove any impurities like small stones, I generally buy the cleaned packet so don't generally do this step).
  • Grind this ragi by adding half cup water. Strain the ragi mixture in a fine sieve or use cheese cloth to get only the milky white liquid. Add the residue to the blender jar once again and grind again adding half cup fresh water. Strain once again and squeeze out the milk completely to leave behind the brown portion of ragi or the husk(you may throw that out).

  • To the strained milk, add 2 more cups of water and 1 cup milk to make it 4 cups. Add sugar as per your taste buds. I used about 2 1/2 tbsp of sugar.
  • Bring this mixture to a rolling boil on medium flame by continuously stirring else it may stick to the bottom of the pan and get burnt. This mixture thickens as it gets cooked, it may take 3 minutes after boiling to get cooked. Switch of flame and serve warm. This is a drinking like  or a thin custard like consistency, you may use 1/2 cup ragi if you plan to have more thicker version of this. My kids don't like the thick version and so I make it this way.

* You can increase the quantity of  milk and use milk : water in the ratio of 1:1. However, I refrain from doing that due to kids allergies.
* I have added boiled milk in this porridge.
* You may add cardamom powder,fried cashews and raisins to this kurukku when serving older kids. But don't use when serving infants.
* You can use palm jaggery when giving for infants which is more healthier than sugar. I have used regular sugar.
* You can add some portion of the brown outer cover of ragi when grinding but here my kids love it this way so I generally refrain from adding.
* You may add thin coconut milk instead of whole milk too to make the porridge.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Chowari Pappadam | Sabudana Pappad | How to make Sago Pappad at home ? (Step by Step Pics)

Here exams are on for kids and they are waiting for them to get off this session soon to enjoy summer vacations. Exam time is really a stressful time for kids and I do give them a bit of relaxation even on the previous day of exams to play out or watch their favorite cartoon for a short time. Though they have independently started to study themselves but both need constant supervision to stop their constant annoying fights for all small silly reasons. I think all siblings do the same and we also as kids have done this.  But now realize the headache as moms as to what mom was referring when we were kids ;)

Today's post is a simple pappad recipe that you can make in these hot summer days when you have plenty of sunlight. And kids can help out too, am sure they will enjoy dropping spoonful of sago in plates.I remember mom making these papads at home long back when we stayed in Delhi. We used to love having these papads for snacks mostly but enjoy for lunch too with khichadi. These papads are quite addictive and can be made in bigger batches. I have made this recipe for the convenience of my friends who would love to give a small batch a try. Do try this out, none can stop munching just one!!

Soaking time ~ 2 hours
Cooking time ~ 25 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 20 papads
sabudana / sago / chowari 1 cup
water 5 cups
cumin seeds 3/4 tsp
salt as per taste


  • Wash and soak the sabudana in 2 cups of water for 3 hours.(Rememeber to measure the water in the same measuring cup and keep the water to sago ratio 5:1.
  • To this add 3 more cups of water and bring to a boil. Add cumin seeds and salt to this mixture.
  • Keep stirring this mixture on medium flame and let it get cooked and transparent. It may take approx. 20 minutes to get done.

  • Switch off flame and then keep steel plates smeared with oil ready to make pappad.
  • Start pouring spoonful of this mixture when its still hot in roundels on this plate till you finish the cooked mixture(don't wait for the mixture to cool as the mixture thickens as it cools and you may not be able to spread evenly).

  • Sun dry these pappad for 2-3 days till its completely dried up. On the second day, flip the papad on to a polythene sheet to fasten the drying process. Dry up all papads before storing in air tight containers. Use as and when required and fry these papads in oil.

* Use the smaller variety of sago if you get. I could get only the big ones and have tried using that. But the smaller variety makes better pappads.
* You may use polythene sheets on day 1 to pour the mixture. But this mixture is poured when its still hot and so I don't prefer pouring it on a polythene sheet due to health concerns.
* Add salt slightly more than you usually add for curries as this is pappad. However you may alter as per health needs.
* If you like a spicier version add 1/2 tsp crushed pepper corns or 1/2 tsp chilli powder too. Here kids love plain so I make this way.
* Store in air tight containers. These papads fluff up so well  that it doubles in size than the dried size.

Try out thayiru milagu kondattam if interested.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Mangalorean Jackfruit Fritters | Chakka Appam (Step by Step Pics)

Jackfruits(chakka) are coming up in season and some places its already mature and ripe. Back home, there's a wait for another month says my mom for our favorite jackfruit which is very very sweet. Though there are many jackfruit trees in the backyard but we eagerly wait for this particular tree's fruit to mature as its sweet as honey. I had some ripe jackfruit preserved from this tree from the last season, soaked in jaggery syrup(made by mom) and kept in the freezer. This preserve stayed fresh almost a year and may be more too,but I used up few days back to make these fritters before the next season is here. Once its starts to rain, the ripe jackfruits don't taste sweet and becomes watery. Summers yield the best fruit and so preserve them as much as you can. I had posted jackfruit preserve(chakka varetti) and jackfruit(chakka) jam which are few more good ways to save the fresh jackfruits all throughout the year, check it out.

Mangalorean jackfruit fritters is a sweet fritters made with fresh ripe jackfruits.I had come across this recipe from a magazine and the ingredient list didn't make me think twice before trying. I was fuly convinced that everyone at home would love it as it has jackfruit,rice, coconut and jaggery. I wsn't wrong too, all loved the small bite size fritters with a cup of tea. These fritters are similar to pazham bonda(banana fritters) and needs slow cooking as the inside may not get cooked properly. The colors of these fritters are deep brown as it has jaggery and it takes longer time to turn crisp. The inside is soft like unniyappam and is yellow in color. Unlike unniyappam these can be made instantly without fermentation and the jackfruit paste acts as a leavening to the fritters. Do try this out when you get fresh ripe jackfruits and let me know the feedback too :)

Preparation time  ~ 20 mins
Cooking time ~ 20 mins
Serves ~ 25 fritters
Author ~ Julie
raw rice / plain rice / pachari  1 cup
ripe jackfruit / chakka 1 cup de seeded,chopped small
jaggery / sharkara  1/2 cup melted or powder
coconut grated 1/4 cup (2-3 tbsp)
cardamom pods / elaichi powder / elakka podi  3 numbers or 1/2 tsp
rice flour / ari podi 2-3 tbsp(optional)
salt a big pinch
sesame seeds  1 tbsp
oil to deep fry


  • Wash and soak the rice in water for 2-3 hours(don't soak more than that as the batter may tend to be loose once ground and so oil absorption may increase when you fry these balls).
  • I mixed the jackfruit(chakka) with jaggery(sharkara) syrup and saved in freezer(will share the post on that later on how to preserve jackfruit this way). I have used that jaggery(sharkara) mixed jackfruit which made it easier. You can use fresh de seeded jackfruit(chakka) chopped.

  • Grind the rice to a smooth batter  along with chopped fresh jackfruit(chakka), jaggery(sharkara) syrup/ powder, cardamom pods to a smooth batter without adding any water. The water from the jaggery(sharkara) syrup and jackfruit(chakka) is good enough to grind. I haven't added any extra water. The consistency of the batter is slightly thicker than idli batter. Mix the batter well, add salt, sesame seeds and *grated coconut. Check the sweetness and add more jaggery(sharkara) powder if required(1/2 cup is good enough to yield a moderately sweet fritter as jackfruit(chakka) also is sweet).

  • Heat oil in a kadai and wait till oil is hot enough. Drop spoonful of batter in oil or drop by hands in oil shaping in an oval or round fritters. Drop one after the other after waiting for a 5 seconds interval else they may stick to one another. Using a slotted spoon flip both sides and cook on medium heat else the inside of the fritters may not get cooked properly. Wait till all the sides turn deep golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and serve warm with tea.


* No need to add water while grinding. In case require add little water and grind. Add 2-3 tbsp of rice flour to make the batter thick once you mix so that oil absorption is less,the looser the batter oil will be soaked more once fried.
* Grated coconut is generally added to the rice - jackfruit mix to grind but I personally felt adding grated coconut is good enough to add without grinding.

Check out more chakkapazham(ripe jackfruit) recipes here-
* Chakka Kumbilappam
Chakka Ada
Chakka Varetti
Chakka Unniyappam 
Chakka Jam
* Chakka Cake

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Chembu Erissery | Taro Root Curry (Step by Step Pics)

When there is complete abstinence from all non vegetarian food during lent and I know many of you are cracking your heads for all available vegetarian options.I am also with you for that matter and do let me also know any good vegetarian curries that I haven't posted here yet. As we are also observing lent so you may get to see all vegetarian posts hereafter till Easter. Today's post is a tasty recipe with chembu that mom suggested over a casual talk and I thought to give this a try the very next day. I have already made this thrice now after that and each time this curry has gained interest in all at home. My H is not a fan of chembu(taro root) and during my initial days after marriage he used to stop me from buying this veggie. However, things changed when I once made chembu asthram which he still likes the most. Thereafter he is the one who takes initiative to buy chembu now. Then I gave this a try - chembu pullisery, which is also good for a change. Do you also have someone who doesn't like this veggie? Then this recipe is a great one to feed chembu in disguise as the mashed chembu gives no clues of this veggie and looks like the parippu curry(dal fry). Do give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 4
Author ~ Julie
chembu 2 big ones or 1/2 cups cubed
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
chilly powder/ mulaku podi 1/ 2tsp
salt to taste

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup
cumin seeds/ jeerakam 1/2 tsp
garlic pods 3
chilly powder 1/2 tsp / bird's eye chilli(kanthari mulaku) 3-4

to temper
mustard seeds / kadukku 1/2 tsp
red dry chilli / vattal mulaku 2 broken
shallots 2 sliced
coconut grated 3 tbsp
curry leaves
oil (preferably coconut) 2 tbsp


  • Scrape the skin of chembu and cut in small cubes, put in a bowl with water. Add this to a cooker,add enough water. Add in turmeric powder,chilly powder and salt. Cook for 2 whistles in a pressure cooker.

  • Wait to release pressure and then mash the chembu pieces nicely using a potato masher or a hard spoon. In the mean time, grind the ingredients listed under 'to grind' to a smooth paste. Add this to the mashed chembu mix. Give a quick stir and simmer to boil after adding nearly a cup of water else the curry may thicken very much. This curry thickens as it cools down, so add water accordingly. Switch off flame and keep aside.

  • In another pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds,add in dry red chillies and curry leaves along with sliced shallots. When the shallots turn slightly brown, add in the grated coconut and fry until golden brown. 

* You can make erissery using raw banana(vazhakka) instead of chembu.

* Chembu Asthram
* Chembu Pullissery
* Chembu Chips
* Chembu Mezhukuparetti

Friday, March 01, 2019

Meen Achar | Fish Pickle (Step by Step Pics)

Fish pickle is a yummy delicacy that can be had with choodu choru(steamed rice). All the keralites who are away from home town would definitely love to carry this pickle in their packed luggages. This pickle can be preserved for a year. Though everyone at home loves fish pickle but I hardly make and preserve for a year as we do get fresh fish all throughout the year. I make small batches of this pickle which gets over in a week and my measures for the gravy of this pickle is not very watery too. If you wish to add more gravy to this pickle then add in water and vinegar. If you remember the chemmeen pickle posted long back which was made similarly and I made them using salad prawns. Any fresh and firm fish with a middle bone can be made as pickle. Usually I have seen my mom making pickle with tuna(choora). I have used velapara meen(don't know the english name of this fish) to make this pickle. The pickle can be served immediately after making but it tastes best on the third day of making when all the flavours are balanced, the gravy is absorbed and the fish is nice soft well coated with the gravy. Do try this out if you love pickles and if you eat fish. Check it out !!

Marination time ~ 1 hour
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl
Author ~ Julie
for marination
*meen / any firm fish 500 gms
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
* chilly powder/ mulaku podi 2 tsp
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
lemon juice (1/2 of a big lemon) or 2 tsp
salt to taste

coconut oil to fry fish

for pickling
garlic  one handful sliced / 20 pods
ginger julienned(thin cut) 3 tbsp
green chillies sliced 4
curry leaves 2-3 sprig
kashmiri chilly powder 2-3 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
fenugreek powder / uluva podi 1/2 tsp
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/2 tsp
gingelly oil / nallenna 3tbsp
vinegar 1/3 cup
water 1/2 cup
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp


  • Wash and cut the fishes in bite size pieces. Marinate the fish using the ingredients listed above for atleast an hour. The more the marination, the better the flavors seep in.
  • Add coconut oil in a kadai(wok) and add the marinated fish in batches( I have used very less oil as this oil can't be used for any other purpose and will have to be added to the pickle if its more. I just fried in less oil and so it took more batches to fry). Fry them till crisp, drain using a colander and place on a dry plate.

  • In another pan, add gingelly oil and splutter mustard seeds, followed by fenugreek seeds. Slide in the sliced ginger and garlic. Saute until it turns slightly browned and is crisp. Add in the green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for another minute and  then add in the turmeric powder(manjal podi), fenugreek powder(uluva podi) and asafoetida(kayam podi). 

  • Saute and then dissolve kashmiri chilly powder in 2 tbsp of water(prevents burning of chilly powder). Mix well without lumps and add to the pan. Add the fried fish oil too at this time (retains flavors, if you are not using this fried fish oil then you may have to add more gingelly oil than mentioned here in the recipe so that oil floats on top).Cook for 30 seconds until the oil starts floating on top. 

  • Now, add the vinegar mixed with another 2 tbsp of water. Add salt as needed. Bring to a boil and add the fried fish pieces. Cook for 5 minutes until the fried fish is coated well with the masala. Turn off heat and let it cool completely.

P.S:  As the pickle sits, the fish pieces absorbs the gravy and gets well coated with the fish. I have taken the pictures on the next day after making so you can see there is no gravy left out. If you want a gravy in this pickle, then go ahead and add 1/2 more cup of warm water to the pickle when you add the vinegar.

* You can use any large fish which are firm like tuna(choora), king fish(ayakoora), velapara. I have used velapara.
* You can even add vinegar to marinate. But I generally use lemon juice.
* Adding kashmiri chilly powder will give better colour to the pickle. You can use the hot chilly powder to marinate the fish and make pickle in kashmiri chilly powder.
* Add more water as needed to make the pickle gravy if you require that way. This way of making pickle hardly has any gravy on the third day after pickling.
* The pickle measures are given for making 500 gms of fish. You can easily double or triple the measures to make larger batches.
* The oil settles in the bottom of the bottle so its better to mix it thoroughly with a dry spoon frequently to prevent the pickle from getting spoiled.