Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, November 29, 2019

Chakka Avalose Unda | Jackfruit Balls (Step By Step Pics)

Chakka kanichu kothipicho ? So sorry folks !!
I know its not fair to showcase recipes that require seasonal fruits esp jackfruit. Am also longing to see them in season soon. This is from my drafts that gets to see light now as I was on hibernation, hi hi. Last season I got hold of a good bunch of jackfruit in season and tried out many recipes but relocating and settling to a new place forbid me from clicking pictures many a time as I was setting up the home, the camera was packed and many such vague reasons. Anyways wish jackfruits are soon in season to click all the tried out recipes and share in my space.

This is one such keeper that you can bookmark to try out soon. I happened to watch a cookery show wherein they used pineapple in this recipe and I had jackfruits ready at hand then. Why not give the unda(balls) a try with jackfruit ? Immediately tried it out and everything got over within minutes. I had to try again to post here the second time but this time I tried this when all were away to school and office. Smart me? hmmm.. Clicked all pictures and as soon as kids came they just grabbed few and gobbled.

The sweet soft filling inside with jackfruit, grated coconut, cardamom flavor reminds of Jackfruit ela ada(chakka ada). and the outer covering tastes like avalose unda. So its a cute surprise inside avalose unda. Interesting ? Am sure kids will fall for these cute balls. Try these out for an evening snack and am sure it gets over in minutes. You can use store brought avalose podi too to roll these balls and can make the filling ahead and store in fridge. Isn't that great to shape them and surprise your guests.

Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 mins
Serves ~ 12 - 14 small balls
chakka / ripe jackfruit 1 cup sliced
avalose podi 1.5- 2 cups
sharkara / jaggery 1/2 cup
grated coconut 1/2 cup
cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
chukku podi 1/4 tsp


  • Deseed the jackfruit and slice them in small pieces. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add the jaggery to melt adding 1/4 cup water. Strain to remove any impurities, put back the syrup in pan. Let it come to a boil and get a one string consistency.

  • In that add grated coconut and mix. The fresh grated coconut leaves out water so continue cooking till the moisture is dried out (If you are adding dry dessicated coconut then the moisture dries out soon, keep a check).  Now add cardamom powder, chukku podi give a quick mix. Then finally add sliced jackfruit pieces. Cook the jackfruit slightly on high flame as you don't want to lose the crunchiness completely and dry out the moisture (may take another 2-3 mins). Switch off flame and leave to cool slightly and start making balls out of the mixture. 

  • The mixture may be sticky and may get shapeless balls (can add a little ghee to the palm and try rolling). Its okay to have shapeless balls as we will again roll in avalose podi to get shapes.
  • Add the avalose podi in a plate and place the rolled mixture on this. Roll each ball in the avalose podi and make balls firmly by pressing by placing in our palm(as seen in pics).  Place on a plate with a spread of avalose podi to coat once again, wait to cool completely. Serve with tea.

* The filling inside is soft with a crumbly coating of avalose on the outside.
* I have already shared the recipe of avalose podi in this post, check out.
* Remember to get one string consistency of jaggery before adding coconut an jackfruit pieces.
* Adding chukku podi is optional but I prefer as jackfruit causes gastric discomfort.
* You can use dry dessicated coconut from market (unsweetened). Also can use store brought avalose podi to make this recipe but I have used homemade avalose podi.
* Alter the amount of jaggery depending on the sweetness of jackfruit.
* I haven't stored these for long after making as gets over soon in a small batch. So am not sure of the shelf life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Potato Cheese Sandwich

Sandwiches are always a quick alternative and there are varied options to explore. I do try a few at home which are always my kids favorite. This is one of them as it has both potatoes and cheese in it, both of their favorites. Potato is one versatile veggie that adds taste to any dish which you add in. I have earlier posted the Strawberry -Bell pepper sandwich which is one of our favorites. I am not a bread fan and neither do I try to put bread for breakfast every other day. I buy bread once a month or at the most twice for health concerns. And so kids eagerly wait for the 'bread day' which ends up on a lazy weekend and they love this sandwich breakfast. There is nothing fancy in this sandwich and all available ingredients in the pantry is used to prepare this sandwich.

As kids are growing up, their tastes are also changing. Earlier they loved nutella or jams for bread but now prefer sandwiches and omelet to go along with sandwich. If you bake your own bread, then its all the more good and healthy to make your sandwich breakfast all the more guilt free. I have added corn kernels along with potato which is an optional step. Corn Cheese sandwich is one where I used hung curd and no potatoes which is another interesting recipe for those who don't love potatoes. You can always add any other favorite veggies along with potato. Cheese and potato make a inseparable combo and am sure all will love it !!

Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 4 sandwiches
bread 8 slices
butter 2-3 tbsp
ketchup or tomato-chilly sauce 3 tbsp
potato 2 medium sized cooked and mashed
corn kernels boiled or frozen type 1/4 cup
pudina(mint) or dhaniya(cilantro) leaves 2 tbsp chopped
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
chaat masala 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
cheese grated(I have used mozarella) 4 tbsp
cumin seeds /jeerakam 1/2 tsp
oil 1/2 tsp
ginger chopped fine 1/2 tsp
salt to taste


  • Boil the potatoes in a pressure cooker with a little salt and turmeric powder. Peel skin, mash and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds to crackle. Then add the ginger chopped fine,saute until lightly browned. Add the corn kernels and cook for a minute. Switch off flame and add to the mashed potatoes along with chopped pudina, spice powders and salt. Mix well and then divide in four equal portions, keep aside.
  • Butter two slices of bread in the inside and then apply ketchup or chilly tomato sauce on both the inner sides of the bread. Add one portion of the potato masala. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and then cover with another slice of bread smeared with butter and ketchup.
  • Apply butter on the top too and place in the toaster or use stove method as shown here. Brown all sides and wait till the cheese gets melted. Sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and serve warm..

* Use your favorite veggie instead of corn kernels if you wish,
* You can add spicy green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney instead of tomato sauce.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi | Dried Prawns Chutney (Step by Step Pics)

Parenting isn't that easy as you see and every day is a new learning for me. I think this is what I sometimes feel my parents referred to as their vast experience in dealing with us. Today's kids are not easy to convince unlike our generation. The other day my younger son told me that he was selected for march past for school sports day. He wasn't very willing to do the same and told me to write a note to the class teacher so that there is a valid excuse to not participate. His reasons of not participating includes to be in the sun for half an hour practice daily and also his classmates were getting a note from their parents the similar way. I told him its good to participate in such events and you should feel proud to be part of it. The march past practice is just a week and then its the sports day. Though I was feeling bad as a mom for sometime that my decision might have hurt his feelings but am sure many moms here would agree with me that it may help in the long run.These new gen kids have developed an aversion to be in the hot sun for sometime too as kids hardly go out to play in the sun. We as kids grew up playing in the same sun, standing in assemblies, doing PT once a week but we hardly complained about such things and were happy to be out most of the time. The comfort level of kids are so high these days which makes me scary at times. Anyways, got him convinced to participate and in the later days,he wasn't complaining much about the heat, probably got used to it.

Anyways, that's not part of our recipe but I felt should pen down my thoughts and so just shared. Today's recipe is a traditional one from Kerala made with dried prawns. Let me be honest here, I have no fans at home of this recipe except me. I love this flavorful prawns chammanthi with some hot steamed rice. Mom used to make this at home and I loved relishing the podi. This is a coarse powder like chutney that you can sprinkle over steamed rice (nadan kuthari choru) and enjoy. There are different variations of making this chutney but I make my mom's version and have followed the same recipe. If you lie tangy flavors in this chutney,then feel free to add a piece of tamarind when you grind. If you love dried prawns flavor, then am sure you will love the chammanthi too.

Preparation time ~ 5 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 mins
Serves ~ a small bowl
unakka chemmeen (dried prawns) a fistful
grated coconut 1/2 cup
shallots 3-4
dry red chilies 4-5
ginger 1 small piece
curry leaves a sprig
salt to taste


  • Heat a pan and dry roast the dried prawns for 3-4 minutes on low flame. switch off and leave to cool slightly. Remove the prawn heads and tail slightly i.e the cleaning part. Keep the cleaned prawns in a plate aside.
  • Heat the pan once again and dry roast the red dry chillies. If you wish you can add a tsp of oil to do so. Leave to cool slightly.

  • In a blender jar, add the fried prawns and dry red chillies, pulse twice in the mixer. Then add the grated coconut, shallots, ginger and salt. Coarsely grind the mix without adding any water, the moisture in the coconut and shallots is good enough to grind the mix.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve with hot steamed rice.

* Dried prawns have salt in them so add salt accordingly.
* If you like tangy flavor in chammanthi/ chutney then add a piece of tamarind too and grind. Mom makes it without tamarind and so I prepare this way.

Thenga Chammanthi
Pacha manga Chammanthi
Chammanthi Podi 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Namak Pare | Savory Diamond Cuts (Step by Step Pics)

After school, kids come home craving for some solid energy rich foods and they definitely don't feel full after munching these little snacks. However, they can't resist to snack on these too. I don't prefer feeding them fried and junk foods but at times you can't help yourself and end up making some fried snack which makes them happy too. Namak pare is one savory snack that is made during Holi and Diwali times in Northern India. This snack hardly takes any time to prepare and needs no expert hands. However, thee are a few things to remember- the dough should be firm when you knead, remember to follow the same amount of water as mentioned. The dough may look crumbly and very hard. But as it sits, it becomes okay to roll. Also, try adding the desi ghee which adds the best flavor rather than using oil. Ghee should be first incorporated in the dough so that the flour looks like making a puff pastry dough. The rest of making the dough is easy like matri and can be made quickly. If you would like to check out a sweet version of diamond cuts, then here it is in this link. Check this out and make it at home !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl 
Author ~ Julie
all purpose flour (maida)2 cups
ghee / neyyu 3 tbsp
ajwain seeds / ayamodkam / carom seeds 1/2 tsp
salt 3/4 tsp
water 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp


  • Add flour in a bowl, add salt, ajwain seeds and ghee. Mix it well to resemble a crumbled dough such that the dough is mixed with every bit of ghee.
  • Add water little by little to knead to a stiff dough. The water required is just correct as mentioned in the recipe, just use that amount of water. If the dough becomes smooth then the fries may not be flaky and crispy. Then knead the dough for 3-4 mins and then cover the dough. Rest the dough for 12-15 minutes.

  • Pinch out bigger balls than chapathi. Roll out the dough by smearing a little oil if you can't roll otherwise and make a circle thicker than for chapathi. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut long thin strips or cut diamond shapes.

  • Heat oil in another pan and add enough oil to deep fry. When the oil is sizzling hot, drop the thin strips and then reduce the flame (the thin strips sinks to the bottom as you add in oil and then sizzles up as it puffs up. Using a slotted spoon flip all sides and flip all sides to get evenly browned and crisp. Drain on a paper towel and wait to cool completely.

  • Similarly repeat making all other balls till you finish. The strips puffs up well,flaky and are crisp. Cool completely before storing in air tight containers.

* You can use wheat flour to make too but that may not turn so crisp. The original recipe of namak pare is made with maida only.
* Adding ghee and mixing it with the flour is an important step of kneading. The ghee should get incorporated in every bit of the flour.

For more Kerala snacks recipes, click here.
For all evening snacks from this space, click here.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Loovika(Lololikka) Achar | Indian Coffee Plum Pickle

Loovika or Lololikka are in season now and last day when I visited home, got a few from our good neighbors.There are many seasonal plants which you get to see them fruit once in a year and then will have to wiat the whole year for the next season to arrive. Loovika happened to be one such fruit and in the past 2-3 years didn't get hold of any as am away from home in the season time. This time luckily was there. This fruit has a sour taste and has soft pink flesh in with two small seeds. I have always loved putting these in salt brine which I have already posted a recipe here in this link, loovikka uppilitathu. I didn't know the English name of this is Indian Coffee plum when some of the readers commented on that post, anyways happy to know.

Each time I run out of pickles, I do get hold of some seasonal veggies and make one. Having said that let me may say am not a big fan of pickles neither does anyone at home is so. But at times when there is curd rice or khichadi we do love having a piece. I hardly buy any store brought pickles as its high in vinegar and salt. This time when I got these lovikka I had no clues to make this pickle as I hadn't made the pickle version before. But definitely thought to give a try and ended up making this. Happy to have made the pickle as everyone loved these small cutees with steamed rice. The tangy spicy pikle tastes best on the second or third day after making and the sad part is will finish soon too. Give this a try if you get hold of some fresh loovikka(indian coffee plum).

Please check out this page for more pickle recipes.

Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ a small bottle
loovika / lololikka 15-20
garlic chopped 1tbsp
kashmiri chilly powder 2tbsp
turmeric powder 1/3 tsp
fenugreek powder / uluva podi 1/2 tsp
asafoetida / kayam podi/ hing 1/2 tsp
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
salt as needed
curry leaves 2 sprig
oil(preferably gingelly) 2 tbsp


  • Wash the lovikka nicely under running water, remove any stalks. Wipe with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Splutter mustard seeds and then add in the chopped garlic along with curry leaves.
  • Add in the chilly powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek powder and asafoetida on low flame. Add 3 tbsp of water. Bring this mixture to a boil and add salt.
  • Add in the washed loovikka and mix well for another 3-4 mins. Switch off flame. 
  • Cool completely before storing in clean dry glass bottles. Start using the pickle after 3 days for best results.

Can you see the pink flesh inside ?

* Gingelly oil tastes best for these type of pickles and for storing pickles this oil is best. But you can use any oil as per preference.
* Kashmiri chilly powder adds volume and colour to the pickle. However you can use any other chilly powder as per tolerance.
* I haven't added any vinegar but if you would like to store for more days then you can always 2 tbsp of vinegar. I usually store in refrigerator and stays good without adding vinegar. Always make sure that there is a layer of oil on top of the pickle if you prefer storing without vinegar.
* Pick up the ripe loovikka for best results. The inside looks pink in color.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Yogurt Cake | Curd Cake

Its almost six months since I shut down my page and to be frank there were precise reasons too. However, for the past one month I had been making up my mind to start over this space again. Laziness concealed over and I kept postponing to post the drafts. Cooking went on all these days in the kitchen but if you ask me if I tried something new then, I must say not much in these months. First of all, let me thank each one of my good friends who kept a check on me in my absence. Thanks dears, you all have been my inspiration to share more and more recipes in my page.

We moved to our own home and so was busy getting the works done to move in. Then there was shuffling, packing, re packing and then moving to the new apartment. Finally once in our home, there were still many things to be done starting from kids admissions, getting ourselves adapted to the new community and so on. Luckily this was during school vacations and so we had enough time to settle down. Once school started, I was worried about kids getting adjusted to the new school, teachers and all. All thanks to God for his grace to a new beginning and everything is back in track now. Before the school shuts again for Christmas vacations, I thought to start over. Hope you all are doing good.

Today's recipe is a simple yogurt cake that I tried from joy of baking. This is the first recipe that I tried after moving in our apartment. The cake is very moist, soft and delicious. The cake has a very small quantity of almond flour which definitely adds to the texture and taste of the cake. All other ingredients in this simple cake is readily available in the pantry. There is no butter but eggs are in which adds to the soft airy touch along with greek yogurt or hung curd(I used hung curd). This is a perfect cake for any occasions or do try this out if you wish to bake a simple tea cake. The best part of this cake is you hardly require any fancy tools. You can even use the mixer jar to beat eggs and mix the wet ingredients. Using a spatula you can fold over the dry ingredients. The texture of the cake is dense yet moist with a almond -vanilla flavor.

Preparation time~ 15 minutes
Baking time ~ 30-40 mins
Serves ~ 8*8 cake
Author ~ Julie
dry ingredients
all purpose flour / maida 1 1/4 cup
baking powder 1 tsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp
salt 1/8 tsp
lemon zest of 2 lemons
ground almonds or almond flour 1/4 cup or 30 gm whole

wet ingredients
any neutral oil 1/2 cup
eggs 2
thick yogurt or Greek yogurt 3/4 cup
vanilla essence 1 tsp
granulated sugar 3/4 cup( originally 1 cup)


  • I used whole almonds for the recipe and so blanched almonds first. Then powdered the almonds, if you would like to know more about how to do it. Check this link where I have described nicely.
  • Sift all the dry ingredients twice and keep aside. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C.
  • Prepare a cake tray 8*8 by lining with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan, dust with flour too.
  • Beat the eggs with granulated sugar well at room temperature. Add the oil and yogurt to this,  mix well. It gives a mayonnaise like consistency. Add in the vanilla essence, give a quick stir.
  • Pour in the middle of the dry ingredients and combine well. You may not need more liquid content but just in case you need add few tsp of milk to reach the consistency.

  • Pour in the prepared pan and place in the center of the oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Check with a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake after 30 minutes to prevent over browning, mine got down at 32 minutes to be precise.
  • Wait for the cake to cool down on a wire rack and then cut, enjoy with a cup of black tea/ coffee !!

* This recipe is adapted from joy of baking. The original recipe calls for 1 cup sugar but I felt 3/4 cup was moderately sweet. You can add as per sweet tooth.
* You can dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar too but I just love the golden crust on top so avoided to dust with sugar.
* I have used sunflower oil but you may always use canola/ corn oil too.