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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Vazhuthananga Mezhukuparetti | Kerala Style Brinjal Fry

Brinjal or Vazhuthananga is a power pack of nutrients especially minerals and antioxidants. This was always the most disliked in my childhood when it was added by my mom in Sambar. Mezhukuparetti or stir fry were still okay to me. This is a quick yummy stir fry that goes well with steamed rice and please use the purple brinjal for best tastes than the green variety. If at all you feel a brinjal tastes bitter, then add a tsp of salt in  the water once its cut. Soak in the salt water for 6-7 minutes. Dain the water completely and which should work fine. Enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 10 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3-4
vazhuthananga / brinjal 3 or 4
curry leaves a sprig
green chillies 3 slit
kashmiri chilly powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2-3 tbsp

  • Wash and cut the brinjal or vazhuthananga length wise such that each piece is 2" long. Place this in a bowl of water so that it can prevent discoloration.
  • In a non stick pan, add oil. Add the cut brinjal pieces along with green chillies. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt lightly (don't add more salt as the brinjal gets wilted and reduces so if you add more salt at this point its hard to reduce).
  • Mix everything well and cook covered for two minutes until the brinjal looks half cooked. Add more salt as needed and keep stirring. Add garam masala and curry leaves at this point.

  • Dry up all moisture left and add a tsp of oil in case needed to roast the pieces well.
  • Switch off flame and serve hot with choodu choru (steamed rice). 

* You can add the hot chilly powder to add more heat but I prefer mezhukuparetti mildly spiced.
* You can even add sliced shallots (4-5) but in that case the brinjal doesn't stay in shape and becomes mixed up and turns mushy.
* Also just keep a close watch not to over do the cooking by covering the lid so that it is not over cooked.


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Chakka Puttu | Steamed Jackfruit Puttu

Malayalis die hard for their favorite jackfruit and this lockdown people In Kerala made maximum use of this chakka recipes. Unfortunately we were locked up too and I never thought could go home and enjoy the seasonal fruit of this year. But when things started relaxing a bit,we did drop home and am happy that we could relish a few ripe jackfruits before the season end. We have thenvarikka chakka in our backyard and luckily we got hold of one of them when we went. The thenvarikka chakka is one of the sweetest chakka that one could ever have among the best jackfruit. I have a few more recipes piled up in my drafts made with jackfruit which will be following through shortly. In the meantime, do check out the jackfruit recipes that I posted so far. Please do go ahead making chakka varetti and preserve for rest of the year. 

Puttu is another inevitable traditional item of Kerala and majority of malayalis love it too. I have been trying out a lot of varieties in puttu, please check the list below. Chakka puttu is one of them but I never got a chance to take pictures as mostly the breakfast tends to be the morning busy times so kept postponing. Chakka puttu is alternating the flour and grated coconut layers with few chopped tablespoons of ripe jackfruit. As ripe jackfruit is high in sugar so I just balanced the flour with ragi and rice flour which worked totally fine. You can always try adding rice flour alone to make this puttu. The ripe jackfruit should be nicely ripe such that you don't need any other accompaniment with this puttu and can be mixed and devoured. The chopped ripe jackfruit must be same as of grated coconut else the steam will be hard to escape through the layers as the chakka (jackfruit) tends to be sticky as it gets cooked.

Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 15 mins
Author ~ Julie
puttu podi / rice flour 1/2 cup
ragi flour 1/2 cup
grated coconut 1/2 cup
chopped ripe jackfruit 1/2 cup
salt to taste

  • Take the rice flour and ragi flour in a bowl,add salt to it and mix well. Sprinkle water slowly into the rice flour little by little,such that the rice flour is just moist and not drenched(check in between by trying to make a ball with your hands,if it holds together stop pouring water into the flour.)
  • Place a pressure cooker or idli cooker with half filled water on stove.I used pressure cooker,close the lid.
  • In the meantime, chop the ripe jackfruit small after removing the seeds. Remember to take equal portions of both jackfruit and grated coconut else it will be hard for the steam to come up if you increase the jackfruit more as ripe jackfruit tends to stick together as it gets wiltedand cooked thereby reducing space for steam to pass through the layers. Mix both coconut and chopped jackfruit.

  • Take the puttu maker,add grated coconut -jackfruit at the base,fill in some prepared flour,then again  coconut -jackfruit alternate with flour till you reach the top.You can make as many layers as you wish in the puttu maker, I alternated it thrice.
  • Close the puttu maker and place on the pressure cooker tip after removing the weight/regulator. Wait till the steam seeps through the flour and reaches the top. It takes slightly more time than regular rice puttu to cook and may take around 8-10 mins to cook through. Remove from heat and poke the base of the maker with a pointer or knife into a plate so that it comes out in proper shape. Puttu is ready to serve.

* Just ripe jackfruit may not get taste good and you may need more sides. So take good ripe jackfruit for best results so that you can just mix it good and enjoy.

Ethakka Puttu

Friday, June 12, 2020

Chakkakuru Milk Shake | Jackfruit Seeds Shake ~ Step by Step Pics

The star of the lock down period was 'jackfruit' in Kerala as people were locked at home and it was jackfruit in season. So people used all parts of the jackfruit in this lock down period. There were lot of trolls associated with jackfruit. They even made slippers with the outer skin of jackfruit as troll. There were many recipes that were made using ripe and raw jackfruits. I even saw recipes using tender jackfruit leaves to make stir fry though I didn't try it. Many made good use of the seeds as well and chakkakuru shake or jackfruit seeds shake was a big hit among all. This was the biggest trend this jackfruit season which spread like wild fire. I have always tried a few of my cherished recipes with jackfruit seeds like chakkakuru mezhukuparetti (loved by all here 😉), chakkakuru manga curry, chakkakuru cheera thoran. Though I tried the shake very late this season due to lock down but am happy that I tried and its really delicious. Tastes like drinking a milk powder drink and there is no obvious taste of chakkakuru or jackfruit seeds. The thickness and consistency of the shake can be altered as per the number of jackfruit seeds used. The jackfruit seeds are cleaned and cooked in  a pressure cooker till done. Chilled milk is added to the cooked jackfruit seeds and ground till smooth paste along with sugar. You can always add a pinch of cardamom powder to flavor this up and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Yields ~ 3 glasses
Author ~ Julie
jackfruit seeds / chakkakuru 12-15
milk 1/2 liter
sugar 2 tbsp
cardamom powder a pinch

  • Peel the white skin of jackfruit seeds and scrape the brown portion sparingly( you can even use without scraping the brown portion as its considered very healthy). Add this to a cooker with enough water to boil. Cook the seeds for 3 whistles, wait till pressure is released.

  • Remove the cooked seeds and add 1/2 cup milk to this. Grind the seeds until smooth. Add in sugar and grind till it’s dissolved.
  • Add more chilled milk, mix and taste test for sweetness. Serve chilled.

* If you need a more thicker shake then use more seeds.
* Add a pinch of cardamom flavor if you love.
* You can even use room temperature milk to make the shake if you prefer that way.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Aloo Roti | Kizhangu (Potato) Chapathi ~ Step by Step Pics

Most of my paratha recipes that I posted here so far has been repeated n number of times and everyday to recreate something different has been challenging too. My elder one hardly like regular chapathis unless it is served with a potato curry or chicken curry. So one way to make him eat chapathis is to stuff chapathis and make them as parathas. And that's the time I stumbled upon this aloo rotis and I liked the part that these use less potatoes compared to stuffed aloo parathas. Aloo roti is a simple chapathi that's definitely a lighter version of aloo paratha. Its much more simpler to prepare than the stuffed aloo paratha. Unlike regular rotis these rotis are soft and can be rolled to enjoy. My kids totally loved this version of rotis and I was more than happy that these could be served with a simple raitha or just like that. Ghee is smeared on top which adds further to the softness of these rotis. The layers can be easily separated and you hardly need a side to go with these if served warm. The spices are added to the flour along with cooked mashed potatoes to knead to a smooth dough. The only care you must take is to first knead the dough with mashed potatoes and then add water little by little to make a smooth dough or else you may end up with a sticky dough. Try these out at home.

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

wheat flour / atta 2 cups
aloo / potato 3
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
chilly powder 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
carom seeds / ajwain 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
*mint leaves (pudina) 2 tbsp chopped
salt to taste
water to knead 1/3 cup (approx.)


  • In a cooker, add the potatoes and boil them  for 3 whistles with salt and water. Remove from heat and peel the skin off. Mash the potatoes very well and keep aside.

  • In a bowl, add the wheat flour, cumin seeds, carom seeds, chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, chopped pudina (mint leaves). To this add the mashes potatoes and start to knead. As you do, combine the flour with mashes potatoes and spices (don't add any water till you feel there is need for water in the flour. Add water little by little to knead the dough to a smooth dough like chapathis. Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
  • Pinch out small portions of dough like we do for parathas. Roll out very thin by dusting flour, and then apply oil, fold the chapathi and apply oil again. Re-roll the folded roti like we do for parathas. 

  • Heat a pan and wait till its hot. Slide the made rotis and cook both sides by flipping. Apply oil or ghee.
  • Repeat the same steps till you finish making all rotis. Serve warm with raitha.

* I love mint flavor and so use them frequently in all dishes. But if you like coriander leaves then go ahead and use that.