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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Egg Chutney Balls | Mutta Chammanthi Balls | Egg Cutlets | Kada Mutta Balls (Quail Eggs Snack)

Happy Bakrid to all !!
How are your preparations for Bakrid going on?? Hope all my muslim friends are busy celebrating Bakrid with your loved ones. Today's post is a simple yet yummy snack prepared with eggs that you can add for this festive season. Eggs are an excellent source of calcium, high quality protein, fats and essential vitamins. When we talk about quail eggs, the nutrition is much higher than chicken eggs. If you are using chicken eggs, then make it half or quarter and cover it up with chammanthi /chutney and then proceed the same way as mentioned below. However, I felt that quail eggs were perfect for making this snack. The chutney adds a unique flavor of spice,sour and salt and finally coating with bread crumbs. Do give these balls a try as a pleasant surprise (inside) for kids and enjoy !!

Preparation time~ 15 mins
Cooking time~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 8 egg chutney balls
hard boiled quail eggs 8 or regular eggs 4
bread crumbs 3/4 cup
egg 1
oil to deep fry or shallow fry

for chutney/chammanthi
*coconut grated 3/4 - 1 cup
cilantro / mallilla /coriander leaves 1/3 cup
mint leaves/ pudina leaves 1/3 cup
*green chillies 2
ginger 1/2 " piece
lemon juice 1/2 of a lemon or 1tbsp
salt to taste


  • Hard boil the eggs in enough water with salt for 10-12 mins. Transfer to a ice cold water bowl and remove the shells after 7-8 mins. Keep aside.
  • In a blender/ mixer jar, add the grated coconut,coriander leaves, pudina, green chillies, ginger and salt. Squeeze the lemon and blend coarsely. Don't add any water to grind,it comes out perfectly.
  • Transfer to a bowl and in your palm place a table spoon or slightly lesser amount of chutney,spread it and place an egg in it.Cover the egg completely with the chutney as shown in pic.

  • In another bowl,beat an egg lightly. Keep aside. Also keep the bread crumbs ready in  a plate.
  • Dip the chutney covered egg in beaten egg and coat with bread crumbs like we do for cutlets. Keep aside and repeat the same for all the other balls.
  • Heat oil in a wok if deep frying or a non stick pan if shallow frying. Slide the balls once the oil is hot, and if you are shallow frying like I did then, keep rotating the balls at low flame so that its evenly browned on all sides( takes 2-3 mins for each ball). If you are shallow frying, don't add more than 3 balls at a time as it takes time to rotate each ball and if you add more than that you may end up with burnt balls.
  • Serve hot with ketchup !!

* I have taken 3/4 coconut grated which was just correct to cover the quail eggs. But if you are taking regular eggs then you may have to increase the amount of  grated coconut.
* Alter green chillies as per tolerance. I added two chillies and it was mild spiced.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kesar Badam Milk | Badam Milk Shake | Almond Milk Shake (Step by Step Pics)

Are your kids eating well ?? Do they eat good for breakfast? Kids definitely need a protein packed breakfast especially when they are going to school. Their brain needs to grasp the subjects and retain in their memories very nicely. Why don't we try adding such a healthy and filling milk shake so that they don't feel hungry soon and make them more attentive in class. Today's post is such a yummy filling and delicious milk shake made with saffron,badam and milk. This milk shake is totally loved by my kids and I love their moustaches after drinking this shake,hi hi... Do give this yummy drink a try rather than depending on the ready made badam milk shakes from the super markets which has very less badam flavor and only color.

I haven't added any color except the saffron(kesar) and so got a very light yellow color. However, If you wish to make it more appealing like the store ones then add a pinch of lemon yellow color too.The only hard work in preparing this shake is soaking the almonds the previous night. Soaking the almonds helps peel off the brown skin which contains tannin as it hinders the nutrient absorption.My kids are starting on vacations soon and they are eagerly waiting to meet their grand parents and cousins. I will be away for a few days from here and will get back as soon as possible. Stay tuned for a few scheduled posts in my absence and do drop by whenever you get time. I shall drop by to all your spaces once am back from holidays.Enjoy this festive season !!

Soaking time~ 7-8 hours
Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~15 minutes
Serves ~ 3 glasses
milk(preferably full fat) 2.5 cups
almonds soaked 1/2 cup
sugar 2tbsp

to garnish
almonds blanched n sliced a tbsp
saffron strands a pinch

to powder
almonds 2tbsp
cashews 2tbsp
mace a small piece
cardamom 2
saffron strands a pinch

  • Soak the almonds in water for 7-8 hours. Drain the water off and peel the skin of almonds. Make a fine paste of the blanched almonds adding a little water.
  • In the meantime,boil the milk in a sauce pan and simmer to reduce to 2 cups.
  • Add the ground paste to the boiling milk. Reduce the flame and stir without any lumps. Add in sugar to the boiling mix.

  • In a dry blender jar, powder the ingredients listed 'to powder'.If you add sugar and powder, it powders well. But here I coarsely powdered it. Add half of this mixture to the milk and retain remaining.
  • Now, finally switch off flame once it thickens well and the saffron leaves color in the milk. It took about another 5 minutes.
  • Switch off flame and serve warm !!

* You can even add powdered pistachios but I haven't used that.
* Soaking the almonds helps peel off the brown skin which contains tannin as it hinders the nutrient absorption.
* Yo can strain the milk shake before pouring but I didn't do that as I wanted to retain the saffron in milk.
* The recipe is inspired from Sanjeev Kapoor's website.
* Check out this link here for all healthy drinks and juices.

You may also like these milk shakes-
* Avocado Milk shake
* Cherry Lassi
* Strawberry Milk shake
* Apple Milk shake
* Papaya Milk shake
Drop by my space in my absence for new upcoming posts, I shall reply to all queries as soon as possible but may not be able to visit my fellow bloggers page. Will get back asap.
Wishing all a happy Bakrid and happy Onam, in advance !!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Aval Pradhaman | Poha Kheer | Beaten Rice Payasam (Step by Step Pics)

Aval pradhaman(Poha kheer) is a very simple and delicious pradhaman that you can make in a jiffy. The word 'pradhaman' may sound a lengthy process payasam to all malayalis but believe me, this hardly takes any time. As Onam is close by and I thought this would be really helpful to all those who have very less time to cook or are busy with work. If you have a can of coconut milk in your pantry then it becomes all the more easy to prepare. The aval(beaten rice)  takes hardly any time to cook and so its ready in very few minutes.The quantity of coconut bits may sound awkward but I feel those bits really add a nice crunch in the payasam along with cashews and raisins. You can easily double the ingredients and make larger quantities of this kheer. Enjoy making this simple pradhaman !!

There is also another important occasion that marks this day for us. Its our wedding anniversary today and I feel payasam(kheer) is the best visual treat that I can share with my readers and friends.Happy Anniversary to us !!  I was a little busy last few days as it was the onam celebration in our apartment last weekend, also kids were having exams. Hopefully all malayalis may be busy with Onam celebrations in many parts of the world. Do try out this simple pradhaman and enjoy with your loved ones !!

Preparation time~15 minutes
Cooking time ~20 minutes
Serves ~ 3 cups
aval /beaten rice /poha 3/4 cup; thin type
sharkara /jaggery 1/2 cup grated and melted
coconut milk 2nd 1.5 cups
coconut milk 1st 1/2 cup
cardamom powder /elakka podi 1/4 tsp
cumin powder / jeerakam podi 1/4 tsp
chukku podi/ dry ginger powder 1/4tsp

to garnish 
cashews 1tbsp
raisins 1 tbsp
thenga kothu /sliced coconut 2 tbsp
ghee 2 tbsp

  • In a heavy bottomed pan,add the ghee. When it is hot, fry the sliced coconut (thengakothu). As soon as it starts to be lightly browned, add the cashews followed by raisins. Fry them all and drain on a plate.

  • Melt and strain the jaggery to remove impurities. Keep ready.
  • In the reserved ghee, add the aval(beaten rice) and fry for a minute. Now,add a half cup water and cook the aval(beaten rice) for 2 minutes. It is cooked and water is absorbed. To this add melted and strained jaggery. Mix well and let it cook for another 5 minutes till its reduced.

  • In this, add the 2nd coconut milk. Keep stirring till its reduced considerably, takes about 7-8 minutes on medium flame. Add the cardamom powder,dry ginger powder and cumin powder, mix well.
  • When it looks reduced, add the 1st coconut milk. Gently stir and wait till one or tow bubbles appear on the surface. Switch off flame and garnish with the fried thengakothu (sliced coconut), cashews and raisins.

* You can use the thick aval(beaten rice) for making this payasam too. In that case, powder about 2tbsp aval in a mixer and grind coarsely. Add this to the payasam(helps to make the consistency thicker) when you add aval(beaten rice) .
* Adding thengakothu takes the payasam to a new level, so add as mentioned. These small bits adds a nice crunch and flavor.
* If you are using canned coconut milk then reserve 1/2 cup in the can. In the remaining 1.5 cups, remove half cup of thick coconut milk and keep aside to make first coconut milk(thanpaal). In the remaining 1 cup coconut milk,add half cup water to make coconut milk 2nd milk.

You may also like these-
* Paal Payasam
* Ada Pradhaman
* Making ada for pradhaman from scratch
* Unnakalari Payasam
* Suji Gothambu Payasam
* Quinoa Sago Payasam
* Semiya Payasam
* Parippu Pradhaman
* Pasta Parippu Payasam
* Boli (Step by Step pics)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Kerala Chicken Samosa | Malabar Special Samosa (Step by Step Pics)

Samosaass?? hmmm.. yummy !! says my elder one, this is his initial response on looking at those triangular filled pastry. As he bites through, here comes his next favorite- chicken !! huh? I nodded  'yes'.. And he was totally excited to finish them all. Samosa has always been a family favorite and I had been making the aloo samosa(veg samosa) version many times now. This time I thought let me give the chicken samosa a try. I remember having this once or twice in a bakery though and it tasted really delicious. The only thing I felt was to add a tomato or half at least to add a mild tangy flavor to the filling, which would have given an extra punch to the samosas. These are perfect with a cup of tea on a rainy day. These are deep fried pastry like covers with the spicy chicken filling.

My samosas never had that 'back bone' as Chef harpal Singh explains in his post. Until recently, I learnt the trick from his post and voila !! I made them stand upright, read below for the details. The most important thing in making samosa is the dough which should be stiff and not very smooth. Remember how I made the puff pastry sheet from scratch,its almost similar to that. Else the samosas go soggy and may not be crisp and flaky. Chicken lovers, come and grab your share and definitely give this a try !

Preparation time~ 30 mins
Cooking time ~ 40 mins
Serves~ 12
for cover
all purpose flour 1 cup
ghee melted 2tbsp
salt 1/2 tsp or more as per taste
cold water 5-6 tbsp
ajwain / carom seeds / ayamodkam 1/2 tsp(optional)

for filling
chicken boneless (thighs or breast) 350 gms
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

onion 1 1/2 medium sized;finely chopped
garlic chopped fine 2 tsp
ginger chopped fine 2 tsp
green chilli chopped 2-3
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
garam masala 3/4 tsp
chilli powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
curry leaves 2 sprigs
salt to taste
oil 3 tbsp

to seal
all purpose flour / maida 2 tbsp
water 2tbsp

  • Cook the chicken with turmeric powder,pepper powder and salt till done. using your hands shred the chicken once its warm to touch. OR You can use mixer to shred the cooked chicken but I prefer shredding with hands.
  • In a pan,add oil and transfer the ginger,garlic chopped. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Slide in the onions finely chopped,saute until lightly browned and reduced. Add the curry leaves and green chillies,saute till raw smell vanishes.
  • Add all the spice powders listed on low flame. Stir well and transfer the shredded chicken. Give a quick toss, keep covered for 2-3 minutes till all the spices are well coated with chicken. Add coriander leaves if using( I haven't used that). Switch off flame and leave to cool.

  • In the mean time, add the flour and salt. Mix well. Pour in melted ghee,mix together to get a bread crumb like texture. Add in water little by little and start mixing. Knead to get a stiff dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and rest for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes,divide the dough in 6 equal portions. Take each portion and roll down in a 6 " circle. If needed,dip in dry flour and roll. Else,roll just like that.

  • Cut the dough in two equal semi circle. Make a paste using 2 tbsp of flour and 2tbsp water to make a paste to seal the samosas. To the cut out semi circle,apply the  paste all over the sides.
  • Using your hands make a cone and seal the sides. Hold the sealed part as the center on your index finger.Then fill the cone gently with the filling. Add less filling to the bottom so that the shape is retained. Leave out 1/2'' space at the top to close the cover. 

  • Now comes the main part, on the opposite side of the sealed part make a frill or extra pleat like in pic. Flatten both edges together towards the sealed portion to get the samosa shape.
  • Place on  a oil smeared plate. Repeat the same step until you finish making all the balls.
  • Heat oil in  a wok and when it is hot,slide in the samosas( don't overcrowd the pan). Reduce the flame to medium and cook slowly else the outside may turn crispy faster and the inside will be soggy. (I generally use my small kadai and make in more batches to use less oil and to avoid re using that oil)
  • Keep rotating all sides till its evenly browned. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and continue till you finish frying all samosas.
  • Serve warm with green chutney,sweet chutney or ketchup !!

* I had a very little filling left over after finished making samosas.
* Don't rest the dough too long else the dough will be elastic.
* Omit adding green chillies if kids don't love that way.
* You can reduce the pepper powder as it was moderately spicy.
* Add half a tomato or a small tomato to get a mild tangy flavor.
* You can use mixer to shred the cooked chicken but I prefer shredding with hands.
* You can even use chicken with bones. Just remember to remove the bones carefully after it is cooked.
* If you wish to keep the samosas crispier longer time, then double fry the samosas. Initially fry it half way through, drain and keep aside. Just before serving ,slide these samosas in hot oil again and fry completely. These samosas remain more crispier.
* You can even make the shaped samosas in freezer and then fry as and when needed. But I personally haven't tried this technique so will update as soon as I try that.
* Though you can use wheat flour too to make the cover with maida but the crispiness is more with maida alone.
* Usually there is no addition of ajwain or ayamodkam in Kerala chicken samosa dough but I prefer to love the flavor and to avoid gas upset,its better to use. You can leave out if you done like the flavor.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bharwan Karela | Pavakka Nirachathu | Stuffed Bitter Gourd (Step by Step Pics)

Bitter gourd(pavakka) has many interesting facts apart from fighting diabetes. Did you know bitter gourd is effective in treating skin conditions and skin infections, eczema and psoriasis? Yes.. the blood purifying properties in bitter gourd helps prevent acne and does wonders. A glass of bitter juice everyday helps reinforcing your immune system and helps fight many diseases even cancer. However, make sure you are buying the organic ones or growing your own plant in the backyard.

Long back, as a school kid I used to see my North Indian friends bring this stuffed karela(pavakka) to school with rotis. Then, one day as a curious kid I requested mom to make it at home and she recreated the magic by asking her north indian friends in the neighbourhood. I did enjoy it but it wasn't a regular affair as we don't try much of other style recipes other than kerala style. Now, when I got hold of these cute fresh small ones the first thing that popped in my mind was to make stuffed karela(pavakka). When I asked mom she could list down the ingredients but hardly remember the quantities. Finally ended up searching and made this one day. Thanks to my family who love bitter gourds so was easy to finish. This recipe is not very spicy so if you wish to increase spice then add more chilli powder as per tastes. Authentically, mustard oil is to be used but H doesn't like the flavor and so I dropped that idea and made in canola oil. This was made when we were in US, was staying in drafts and here am yet to find these small ones. Try it out if you get these small cute bitter gourd and do let me know the feedback :)

Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Cooking time~ 15 minutes
Serves~ 6-7 stuffed karela

bitter gourd /pavakka / karela small or medium sized 6-7
lemon juice 1tsp
salt a tsp

for filling
cumin seeds /jeerakam 1/2 tsp
fennel powder /perinjeerakam podi 2tsp
coriander powder /malli podi 2tsp
chilli powder / milagu podi 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1/4tsp
amchur powder/dry mango powder 1tsp
asafoetida powder/ kayam podi a pinch
oil 4 tbsp (1 tbsp for filling + 3tbsp for frying)
salt to taste

toin or thread to tie the bitter gourds(karela)

  • Wash the bitter gourds(pavakka) under running water.Scrape the bitter gourd outer skin  and make a gash,remove the seeds without breaking open into two (if the seeds are matured,can be discarded as it bites through.The spongy seeds can be taken and can be chopped along with outer scraps) and keep aside.

  • Marinate the bitter gourds(pavakka),the scraps using lemon juice and salt.Leave for half an hour,squeeze out the juice drained out (helps to reduce the bitterness).
  • Heat a tbsp of oil and add the spices on low flame.Add the scraps, the flesh (if using) and cook for 5-6 minutes. Switch off flame and leave to cool.

  • Once cooled, fill the bitter gourd with the filling tightly and tie each with toin or thread (I used thread). Ensure to tie the toin or thread tightly as it loosens up when you cook as the bitter gourd shrinks.
  • Heat a non stick pan and add oil. Keep the flame on medium,add the stuffed bitter gourd(pavakka). Then, reduce to low and cook else the oil turns black and the filling seeps out. Keep rotating all sides and cook for 6-7 minutes by covering with a lid.Check the bitter gourd and rotate the bitter gourd again for another 5 minutes,till the outer cover is crisp and browned.
  •  Drain on a paper towel and serve warm with chapathis or rice. Remove the threads and enjoy. We had with chapathis and thakkali curry(tomato curry).
* Make sure to select fresh small stout type bitter gourds(pavakka) that helps in filling easily.
* I have adapted the recipe by watching Manjula's kitchen and
* If you wish to keep the biiterness then omit the marination and squeezing out. Use just like that.
OR If you wish to reduce more of the bitterness then along with marination, wash the scraps also under running water.
* Use mustard oil if you like the flavors for more authentic taste.

You may also like these
* Pavakka achar (Bittergourd Pickle)
* Pavakka Theeyal
* Baked Bitter gourd Fries (Pavakka mezhukuparetti,baked version))

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 (3 tbsp)
sugar 1-2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

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

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

  • Heat a pan and add the chopped pineapples with 1/4 cup water. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.Cover and cook for 7-8 minutes till it's soft and water is almost absorbed. Add sugar and the mix may run watery again, wait until it's reduced a bit and pineapple soaks up the sugar.Add chilli powder (1/4 tsp) if using. I haven't added chilli powder. 
  • 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.
  • Whisk the yogurt in a blender and add to the cooked mix. When you see one or two bubbles on the surface, switch off flame.Add salt as per tastes and leave aside.
  • Heat another pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds, wait to splutter. Add in dry red chillies 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.
* Adding chilli powder is optional and don't add more because it may change colour. The spice from green chillies is good enough, and so I haven't added any chilli powder.

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

Every day, 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 it's paneer butter masala which they love the most. Oh! I remember now, I haven't posted paneer butter masala still?? Usually it's my mistake that the dish which I make frequently never makes to the blog, simple reason is I keep postponing clicking pics. Anyway, 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

Watch on YouTube -

  • 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. Sauté until lightly wilted, then add ginger-garlic paste.Then add veggies (peas and carrot), sauté lightly.
  • Add in the spice powders, sauté 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 3/4th 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't' added any whole garam masala to this pulao, as kids don't 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