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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Nadan Kozhi Mappas | Kerala Style Chicken Mappas (Pressure Cooker Method) ~ Step by Step Pics

If you ask me, what pairs best with the lace appams or paalappam ?? I would blindly say appam tastes best with mappas or kerala style stew made with chicken or beef or mutton. Kerala style chicken stew is a a little different than chicken mappas. The basic differences that I understood between the two is that mappas has chilly powder(very small amount) and a tomato / vinegar is added for a tangy effect which is absent in stew; correct me if am wrong. Stew is generally spiced with green chillies and pepper corns. No red chilly powder is used in stew and you may add vegetables like beans and carrot to stew.

Mappas has been a frequent entity at home with either chicken, beef or mutton. and so I never felt the need of taking a picture.This is one of the fastest way that you can prepare mappas in a pressure cooker and is generally ready by the time you finish making appams on the other stove. You can use fresh or canned coconut milk to make the gravy. I have used freshly grated coconut. The marination in mappas making is optional but I like marinating the broiler chicken overnight so that the chicken absorbs the flavors. Kids go mad over this breakfast, do give this a try if you loved this too!!


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Preparation time~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 people
Author ~ Julie
for marination (optional)
*chicken 500 gms
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
chilly powder 1/4 tsp
salt lightly

for gravy
onion/ savala medium sized 1 big sliced
ginger- garlic paste 2tbsp
green chillies 3-4 vertical slit
tomato 1 medium sized
potato 2 cubed 
pepper powder / kurumulaku podi 1tbsp
chilly powder 1/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
coriander powder 4 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
whole spices - cinnamon 1 ", cardamom 2, cloves -3, pepper corn 1/2 tbsp
salt to taste
oil 2 tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprig

Wash the chicken under running water till water runs clear and drain all water in a sieve, keep aside. The marination is optional and if you don't do this step remember to add these spices to the spices listed below in the gravy. I marinate the chicken with the spices listed overnight.
In a pressure cooker, add the oil. To this add the whole spices, then add in ginger- garlic paste. Saute until a nice aroma wafts of ginger and garlic. Then add in the sliced onion, green chillies, curry leaves a sprig and saute until lightly browned, add a pinch of salt to fasten the process.
Then add the spices on low flame one by one starting from turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilly powder, pepper powder and garam masala, saute. Finally toss in the chopped tomatoes. 

Add in marinated chicken pieces along with cubed potato and saute till its combined well. To this add the thin coconut milk. Add salt as needed, bring the mix to a boil and close the pressure cooker with lid. Cook for two whistles on high flame and switch off. Wait till pressure is released, open the cooker and if you feel the gravy is watery, just mash 2-3 pieces of cooked potato and the rest will be taken care once thick coconut milk is added. 

Switch on stove and place the cooker on low flame, add in the thick coconut milk and check salt if needed. Just wait till one or two bubbles pop at the surface of the gravy, switch off else coconut milk may curdle. Add more curry leaves and close with lid for another 10 minutes before serving with lace appam (paalappam)

* You can use chicken with bones, boneless but use skinless with a little fat.I prefer chicken with bones with a little fat.
* Use canned coconut milk if using, dilute and make thin coconut milk. I have used fresh coconut milk here.
* Add a big tomato if you like the tangy flavor dominant but I generally add a small one just to feel the light tangy effect.
* Refer this recipe here to learn to make homemade coconut milk from scratch.

* Chicken Stew

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Caramel Popcorn ~ Step by Step Pics

Caramel popcorn needs no intro and am sure most of you have relished the best of this in movie theaters. And invariably, my kids love popcorn than movies in theaters except a few movies of their choices ☺. But it was good for a change to make popcorn at home during lock down to enjoy with our favorite old movies. This was the time when no theaters were open and so home made popcorn tasted better than theaters. I used to make this plain and simple with butter and salt frequently much before lock down but caramel popcorn was something I started making during lock down on kids demand. There is hardly any much expertise needed to make caramel popcorn and you must try this if you haven't made yet. Enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~10 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 
Author ~ Julie
popcorn kernels 3/4 cup
oil  2 tbsp

for caramel
sugar 1/2 cup
butter 1.5 tbsp
salt a good pinch 
baking soda 1/4 tsp

  • Heat a non stick pan and add oil or butter. Add the kernels when oil is hot. Continuously saute for 3 minutes and then close the lid. Once the kernels start to pop, wait till most of it is done(remove the lid immediately to prevent steam from dripping from the lid of the pan to the made popcorn). Switch off flame and transfer half of the popcorn ready in a plate.

  • Heat another thick bottomed pan and add butter. Add in the sugar and wait to caramelize. When it reaches golden brown consistency, add in the pinch of salt and soda listed. 

  • Mix well and add in the popcorn, give a quick toss. Switch off flame and transfer to a tray or spread on a butter paper. Leave to cool completely.

  • Separate each of the popcorn once its cold and serve. Store any leftovers in air tight containers, stays good for two days.

* Use double the quantity of sugar for the corn kernels used. I halved the made popcorn and used only half to make popcorn so went by using 1/2 cup sugar. In case you make popcorn for the entire 3/4 cup corn kernels then use 1 cup sugar.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Barnyard (Kavadapullu) Idli | Kuthiravalli Idli ~ Step by Step Pics

Breakfast for every malayali or a south Indian is invariably made of rice, rice flour as base and mainly it is idlis, dosas ,appams or pathiris. But the increasing number of diabetics per year in our state and our sedentary life styles have forced us to think of better alternatives than the rice alone. Millets were long back used by our grandparents and little did I know in our age. However people have now started incorporating millets to daily use and is also readily available these days in super markets.

Barnyard millet has become a part of our staple since four years now and most of the times millets find its place to sneak in idlis. Taste wise there is no much change in tastes to regular idlis. Colorwise its a bit off white than regular rice idlis. Nevertheless none had any vivid reactions and so I continued to make idlis with this millet. The fermentation time is lesser than that of rice idlis and in summers I generally grind them late so that it doesn't over ferment by morning.Thgough millets have a few side effects but soaking them overnight or 5-6 hours solves most of the issues. We have been frequently using this millet and finger millet. Do give this a try if you get hold of millets, am sure you will like this idli.

Soaking time ~ 5-6 hours
Cooking time ~ 10-12 minutes
Serves ~ 16-20 idlis
Author ~ Julie
barnyard millet / kavadapullu 1/2 cup
raw rice 1/2 cup
whole uzhunnu / urad dal 1/3 cup
salt to taste

Clean the barnyard millet, rice for any stones,dirt. Wash the millet and soak in water for 5-6 hours or overnight (Soaking millets overnight or for >6 hours reduces bloating and other gastric issues).
Wash and soak the rice for 4 hours (the water should be just above the rice/ millet so that we can grind the rice using the same water else we will be throwing off the nutrient rich water). I generally wash my rice and then soak but there are people who soak and then wash the rice before grinding too, you can use whichever is comfortable to you. I have added the washed rice to soaked millet to soak and have ground them together.

Similarly soak the uzhunnu (urad dal) for 3 hours in water(uzhunnu needs more water to soak than rice/ millet as it swells up).
Add the rice and millet together in a blender jar and grind to a smooth paste using little water (I add ice cubes to cool down the batter else the batter may not ferment nicely). You may see very small black speckles of millet when the mixture is ground.
Grind the urad dal in the similar way until smooth and mix both batters together using hands preferably as we can aerate the batter using hands so well unlike spoon.
Leave to ferment for 6-7 hours and I generally leave overnight. Add salt to the fermented batter and then pour in oil smeared idli plates. 

Add enough water to idli cooker/ steamer and place on heat. Place the batter filled idli plates in the idli cooker/ steamer and steam cook for 10-12 minutes on medium flame. Remove from idli cooker and leave to cool slightly (helps easy transferring). Scoop out the idlis and lace in casserole.
Seve warm with chutney and sambar (I served with ulli sambar /shallots sambar).

* I generally use whole unpolished urad dal.

* Barley Puttu

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Microgreens Omelette | Mixed Veg Omelette

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper"- the popular saying goes like this and I feel its true to some extent. As we all know, it means you need to have a fully balanced breakfast and lunch and eat lightly for dinner. Adding eggs to breakfast is a good option and balances the protein portion of the meal and there by reduces the carbs provided you are working out consistently. Omelette can be made in different types and this time I used green moong microgreens to make this omelette along with other veggies to make it more colorful.

Microgreens are a pack of nutrients and mainly a good source of the minerals like magnesium, zinc, iron and potassium. Each of the type of microgreens vary in nutrients but majority have these minerals in common. You can use the microgreens in number of ways in your cooking. I generally add to omelette or make stir fry with them. Its better to eat it half cooked or raw for best results. Microgreens can be grown in soil or soiless in cocopeat or using paper towels. I usually grown them in trays with paper towels and it works perfectly fine. The sprouts are layered in paper towel and sprinkled with water. The microgreens are harvested by 7 days. Corona lockdown time has been a blessing to grow these microgreens frequently. The best part of microgreens is that they can be harvested in very short time unlike other microgreens. Do give this omelette a try to include microgreens in your diet.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Serves ~ 1 omelette
Author ~ Julie
eggs 2
microgreens a small bunch
capsicum / green bell pepper 1/2 of 1 fine chopped
tomato 1/2 of 1 fine chopped
onion 1/2 of 1 fine chopped
ginger 1/2" piece fine chopped(optional)
milk 2 tbsp(optional)
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste 
oil 1 tbsp

  • Wash all the veggies and chop it fine. This includes the microgreens as well.

  • Beat the eggs and add 2 tbsp milk with salt. Add in the chopped veggies and mix.
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the beaten egg mixture.

  • Sprinkle pepper powder on top and let cook on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the other side using a flat spatula. Cook for another minute and serve warm on a plate.

* I have used cherupayar(green moong) microgreens, but you can always use any other microgreens.
* Adding milk to the eggs when beating yields fluffy omelette.