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Friday, September 07, 2018

Butter Murukku | Pottukadala Murukku ~ Instant Tea Snack

Pottukadala murukku or split dalia murukku is an instant snack that you can prepare in a jiffy for tea. There is hardly any hard task and can be prepared by anyone. The split dalia needs to be powdered smooth and mixed with rice flour and besan. Butter is added to enhance the flavors and so kids call this as 'butter murukku' too. I happened to view this recipe in a cookery show and loved the simplicity of making unlike the other mullu murukku. These are crunchy,crispy and quite addictive too, perfect to go with a hot cup of tea!!

Preparation time ~ 15 mins
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a large bowl
Author ~ Julie

rice flour / ari podi 1 cup
besan / kadalmavu 1/2 cup
*pottukadala powder/split dalia powdered 1/2 cup
asafoetida / kayam podi 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds/ jeerakam 1 tsp
butter 1 tbsp
salt to taste
oil to deep fry

  • Powder the split dalia(pottukadala) in a  mixer. Sieve the powder smooth.
  • Then take the rice flour, besan and split dalia powder in a bowl. Add the jeerakam(cumin seeds),asafoetida powder(kayam podi) and salt. Mix well. 
  • Add softened butter to this and mix with hands to get a crumbly texture.
  • Then add water little by little to knead in a smooth soft dough. It should be loose than chapathi dough. Leave for 10 minutes covered.

  • In the mean time,heat oil in a kadai and in a idiyappam press or mould attach the star plate and fill the dough in it.
  • When the oil is heated enough, press the murukku directly holding over the oil.
  • Flip and turn both sides and cook on medium heat. Don't get this over browned(doesn't taste good) and drain from oil as the pieces gets crisp and light browned.
  • Cool completely before storing or enjoy with tea.

* 1/3 cup of split dalia will yield 1/2 cup of split dalia powder.
* Roasted or unroasted both rice powder (appam/ idiyappam flour) works good for this recipe.
* You can add a little spice too if you like it that way, either pepper powder or chilli powder 1/4 tsp can be used.
* Wait for the oil to be hot before making each batch as murukku soaks more oil if oil is not heated good. Drop a lilttle piece and check if the little piece pops up on the surface of oil then oil is heated good.

* Mullu Murukku 
* Kuzhalappam
* Madura Seva
* Achappam 

Monday, September 03, 2018

Varutharacha Mutton Curry | Nadan Mutton Curry (Kerala Style)

Mutton is not a frequent visitor at my home and so I hardly have mutton recipes in my blog. I must say that we rarely buy mutton compared to all other meats as we don't have much fans of mutton at home though once in a while we all love it too. So,whenever I make mutton recipes its invariably the Kerala style recipes only like mutton stew, mutton curry or this roasted coconut type gravy. This roasted coconut type gravy is thick and can be served with steamed rice, ney choru (ghee rice) or any Indian staples. You can avoid adding the coconut too and can serve just before adding the roasted ground coconut paste,it does taste very good. However the roasted form adds the nadan(traditional) aroma to the curry. Do try this out and enjoy !

Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Cooking time ~ 35 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie

mutton 1/2 kg (500 gms)
onion 2 medium sliced
shallots / kunjulli 1 cup sliced
ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
tomato 1 small chopped
turmeric powder / manjal podi 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder/ mulaku podi 1 tsp
coriander powder/ malli podi 2 tsp
garam masala 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprig

to roast and grind 
grated coconut 3 tbsp
whole garam masala 3 cloves, 2 cardamom, 1 anise, 1" piece cinnamon
fennel seeds/ perinjeerakam 1 tsp

to temper
shallots 3 sliced
curry leaves a sprig

  • Wash the mutton really nice and rinse 3-4 times. Drain the water and keep aside.
  •  Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the ginger- garlic paste. Saute until its lightly browned and then slide in the onion,shallots, curry leaves. Saute until its lightly browned(add a pinch of salt to fasten this process).
  • Add in the spice powders, chilli powder,turmeric powder,coriander powder and salt on low flame. Saute until the raw smell disappears and then add in chopped tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes till mushy.

  • Then transfer the mutton and cooked masala to a pressure cooker, mix well to combine. Add 1/2 cup water and cook for 3 whistles. Wait for the pressure to release and then open the lid,give a quick stir. Then add water( if required) and adjust salt. Close the lid and pressure cook again for another 3 whistles or till done( the cooking time may vary as per the mutton).

  • Wait for the pressure to relaese and then open lid. In the mean time,dry roast the coconut in another pan along with  whole garam masala, fennel seeds listed. Roast until the coconut is nicely browned. Switch off flame,leave to cool. Grind the coconut whole garam masala by adding water to a smooth paste.
  • Add this paste to the cooked mutton and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off flame.

  • In another pan, add oil and add shallots,curry leaves. Fry till the shallots turn slightly browned. Switch off flame and pour this over the curry. Keep covered and serve warm.

* If you have time, you can marinate the mutton with chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt for one hour. I sometimes do,sometimes omit this step.
* You can add coriander leaves(2 tbsp) too.
* The double cooking in a pressure cooker gives the mutton to quick properly,a careful watch to prevent overcooking and the onion masala is cooked so well that you hardly any pieces of onion.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Pazham Pradhaman | Pazham- Macaroni Pradhaman | Macaroni- Plantain Kheer

Its been quite some days since I posted something new. I wasn't feeling like opening up the blog or pinning down any recipes for the past few days after the floods. As you all know Kerala witnessed one of the worst floods in a decade. Still many people are stranded in rescue homes and many have lost homes and their loved ones too. Twelve out of the the fourteen districts of the state were badly affected. Waters gushed near my parents home too luckily stopped by the roads and didn't enter our home. I had never seen waters coming up so high in my home area. Dad was saying he had seen the similar waters once in his life time in his childhood. It was so painful to see people lose homes and many valuable things that they had to leave out and run for life.The fishermen were the biggest heroes who helped people day and night to rescue them to the nearest safe locations without expecting anything in return. I appreciate the new channels for their commendable work to help people by getting the latest updates in each corner of the state and the best part is they removed all ad breaks,continuously focused only on helping the rescue operations. Army, Navy, Air force, Para military, Fire Force and Kerala Police also worked hard at the same time. There were no racial,religious or caste discrimination and each one served humanity at the best possible way.  Its now time to rebuild the state in its glorious form again and let's strive to help each other gain the basic necessities of living once again. I'm sure Kerala will surely come back with its full glory in no time.

Today's recipe was saved in drafts to publish during Onam time but the flood overturned all the planned. This year Onam wasn't celebrated in most of the places and we too didn't celebrate at home. Anyways this is a very delicious and tasty pradhaman(kheer) made with plantains (ethakka) and macaroni. Pazham Pradhaman is one of the sweetest pradhaman(kheer) that I have tasted so far. Plantains or ethakka is used for making this pradhaman. Pazham pradhaman in itself is delicious but I like chewing something in between thick pradhaman. So I added our kids favorite item, macaroni to the delicious payasam. Believe me, there isn't any obvious taste difference. Kids were like amma, this tastes like ada pradhaman. Yes, the plump macaroni soaked in jaggery and coconut milk tastes similar to ada pradhaman. Adding macaroni to this pradhaman is totally upto you as macaroni minus the pradhaman is pazham pradhaman itself, no worries. However, if you like chewing something in between the thick pradhaman then go ahead and add without fail. We totally loved the idea of adding macaroni. And if you live in a place where ada isn't easily available then substitute macaroni for ada pradhaman too,it will be great. The plantains should have black spots to make a tasty payasam, just ripe ones may not be right.

plantains(ethakka) 2 very ripe
macaroni 1/2 cup
jaggery 200 gms
3rd coconut milk (thin)  1 cup
2nd coconut milk 2.5 cups
1st coconut milk 1/2 cup
cardamom powder 1 tsp
chukku podi /dry ginger powder 1/2 tsp
ghee 2tbsp + 1 tsp

for garnish 
cashews 1 tbsp
raisins 1 tbsp
thenga kothu / coconut bits 1 tbsp

  • Boil the macaroni in enough water (without adding any salt ) as you normally do for making. Drain the water when its 3/4 th cooked and add a tsp of ghee to it. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Peel and cut the plantains lengthwise. Cut out the seed portion of the plantain and then cut the plantain in bite size pieces. Do this step for both plantains ,chop and keep aside.
  • Dilute the jaggery in 1/3 cup water over low heat. Strain the impurities and keep aside
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add ghee(2 tbsp), add in the coconut bits. Fry till lightly wilted, slide in the cashews followed by raisins. Fry till golden brown,drain on a plate and reserve the ghee in the pan.

  • In the ghee,add the cut plantains and saute on low heat until its nicely coated. Add the diluted jaggery syrup(about 3/4 th of it), reserve the rest. Saute the plantains in the jaggery mixture till its nicely absorbed.
  • To this,add the 3rd coconut milk and bring this to a boil. Let the mixture boil and thicken,it may take about 5-7 minutes on medium flame. By this time the plantains should have nicely cooked,mash with the back of the spoon and add in the 2nd coconut milk. Also add the 3/4 cooked macaroni. Simmer the heat and let it cook slow in the coconut milk mixture. Check the sweetness and add the remaining 1/4 th jaggery syrup which was reserved or leave out if there is enough sweetness. It may take about 20 minutes for the kheer(pradhaman) to thicken and the plantains fully mashed,macaroni well coated with jaggery- coconut milk mix. 

  • Finally,add in the cardamom powder and dry ginger powder. Give a quick stir,also slide in the fried cashews,raisins and coconut bits. And the final ingredient in the pradhaman is poured - 1st coconut milk(thanpaal). Mix it well and when you see one or two bubbles popping up, switch off flame. Keepo covered for 10 minutes and serve. Pradhaman tastes best once cooled.

* I have used 3/4 th of a coconut to extract coconut milk. You can check this post here to learn the steps of coconut milk.
* If using canned coconut milk, then add 1/2 cup undiluted as thick coconut milk. Then dilute half cup canned coconut milk with 2 cups water to get 2 nd coconut milk.
* If you aren't interested in making with macaroni, then omit the macaroni steps and proceed with the same steps.
* I used 250 gms of jaggery(weighed on weighing scale) which yielded a very sweet pradhaman and so have mentioned 200 gms of jaggery. But if you have a very sweet tooth then add 250 gms of jaggery. Also, keep in mind that the plantains once cooked also will leave out sweetness which will add to the pradhaman.

For more payasam/ pradhaman /kheer recipes, click here.