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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Chewy Oats- Coconut Cookies

Do your kids love oats?? I don't have much oat fans here at home and so whenever I get a pack of oats,  everyone eats it as porridge sweet or salty for the initial few days but later on, it's just kept in the shelf till the expiry date gets over. This repeated a few times earlier, and so I stopped waiting for the expiry date and tried finishing much before by making some cookies. This idea was appreciated and accepted by all age groups here, and so now oats cookies are the great choice that kids love too instead of porridge.

Oats Coconut cookie is so simple to put together, and the nutty taste of coconut and vanilla extract alleviates to a much higher level. These cookies have no leavening agents in them and tastes delicious. They are chewy and stays good for a week in airtight containers. Honey is the sweetener used in these cookies. I have added powdered brown sugar, but this can be skipped if you like it mildly sweet. The remaining ingredients are available in the pantry and so can be made anytime. Use dry dessicated coconut, but you can use fresh grated coconut too. Roast slightly and coarsely grind the long strands of coconut. I have used instant oats, but coarsely powdered. If you like your cookie crispier, then powder the oats and use. These can be baked in no time and these don't spread much, so you can place them closely. Please do try if you like the recipe and leave me a feedback comment too!!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Baking time ~ 14-16 minutes
Serves ~ 8-10 cookies
Author ~ Julie
instant oats 1 cup
dessicated coconut 1/2 cup
vanilla extract 3/4 tsp
water warm 1/4 cup
brown sugar, 2 tbsp (optional)
honey 2 tbsp
salt a pinch
oil 2 tbsp

  • Grind the oats coarsely in a blender jar (if you like the cookies crisp, then powder it fine). Grind the dessicated coconut to shred the long strands of coconut. Add the dessicated coconut to the oats bowl and add a pinch of salt.
  • Heat water in a pan, add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. To this, add honey. Then, add oil and mix. 

  • Add the liquid mix to the coarsely ground oats and dessicated coconut. Leave for 10 minutes and make lemon size balls (8-10). Line a tray with silicon mat or parchment paper. Flatten the cookie balls on the bake sheet to a cookie shape. Repeat doing all the balls and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C or 350 degrees F.
  • Place the tray in preheated oven and bake for 12-14 mins or till the underside and sides looks lightly browned. Remove from oven and wait for 5 minutes as its soft and then transfer the cookies from the tray, else the moisture from the parchment paper may make the cookie soggy and soft.
  • Place the cookies on a wire rack and cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

* Powder the oats smooth if you like the cookies more crisp.
* These cookies don't spread much as there is no leavening agents.
* There is no need to add sugar too if you like it mildly sweet. Honey alone is good enough.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Fish Pulao(Rice) | Meen Choru (Step by Step Pics)

Yet another weekend is here !! People in the US are having a long weekend with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Weekends whether it's long or just the Saturday- Sundays is special. But weekend cooking is something I don't like much and would like to relax and enjoy like all others sitting idle at home and so spend the least time in kitchen. I cook up recipes that need less time to put together but should be a hearty meal as well that all would love too. One pot meals are a great choice then, and I end up making Vegetable pulaoAchari Chana or Chicken Pulao (Quick Version) or erachi choru

This recipe of Fish Pulao or Fish Rice or Meen Choru is similar to  erachi choru and if you have some good firm fish in hand, you can give this a try. The rice gets good flavours of the fish and the only thing to keep in mind is to give this a try using fresh firm fish, else may not taste good. I got a fresh  neymeen(seer fish) and so used in this recipe, tasted delicious and all loved it. This recipe is not very spicy, as kids don't eat very spicy pulao. You can always modify the spicy levels as per tolerance. I have used jeerakashala(kaima) rice for the recipe, but you can always use basmati rice or bullet rice. Unlike fish biriyani this hardly takes any time to put together and ghee is not used, and am sure you will love it if you give this a try!!

Preparation time ~ 30 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 5-6
to marinate
neymeen/ ayikoora/ seer fish  500 g
kashmiri chilly powder 1tbsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
lemon juice 1 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp 
oil 3 tbsp

for cooking rice & masala
jeerakashala rice(kaima rice) 3 cups (600g)
water 6 cups
ghee 2tbsp
oil 3tbsp
onion, 2 medium-sized chopped
tomato 2 large chopped
coriander powder, 1 tsp
hot chilly powder 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder(manjal podi) 1/2 tsp
perinjeerakam(fennel seeds) 1 tsp
fenugreek powders, a good pinch
coriander leaves 1 tbsp
mint leaves 1tbsp
whole garam masala (1' cinnamon, 4-5 cloves,3-4 cardamom, bay leaves 2)
salt to taste

to grind
ginger 1' piece 
garlic 10 cloves
green chilli 2 
coriander leaves, 1 small bunch
mint leaves 1 small bunch 

  • Wash and clean the fish pieces under running water, rinse 3-4 times. Drain all water and keep aside. Marinate the fish using the ingredients mentioned above, except oil. Leave the marinated fish for 30 minutes-1 hour. Heat oil in  a pan and shallow fry the fish lightly so that the pieces don't break easily. Fry both sides, remove to a plate and use the remaining oil to make masala.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies and coriander leaves, mint leaves. Wash and soak the jeerakashala rice for 20 minutes in another bowl.

  • Add oil to another cooking pan, or use the same pan to sauté onions. To this add the whole garam masala pieces. Then add the chopped onions and sauté until it's lightly browned. Then add the ginger- garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell vanishes. To this add the spice powders on low flame and add the ground masala and sauté till the raw smell vanishes. Finally, add tomatoes, mix well and cook covered till the tomatoes mash nicely. 
  • Add 1/ 4 cup water and slide in the fish pieces. Cook covered till oil separates on the surface of the masala.

  • Then remove the fish pieces on a plate and add water (6 cups). Add salt and bring to a boil. Transfer the soaked rice and cook covered till 3/4th done(about 10 minutes). Then place the fish pieces over the rice in the last few minutes of cooking and simmer on low flame for another 5 minutes or till the water is absorbed.

  • Garnish with chopped coriander and mint leaves. Leave covered for another 15 minutes and serve warm with cucumber raitha.

* Add lemon juice while cooking rice if you feel the rice will stick.
* This is a medium spiced masala, if you like it more spicy add more green chillies to grind or replace the kashmiri chilli powder in marination to hot chilli powder.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Chocolate Cheese Crackers Pudding

Chocolate Cheese Crackers  pudding was an instant hit that I whipped up quickly, but the taste was awesome. I had some whipped cream and cheese crackers ready at hand after frosting a cake. So I just mashed up the duo to get a dessert for kids, but we all loved the flavour of cheese mixed crackers with whipped cream along with chocolate chips, and it's not the kids who had, but we enjoyed too. The best part of this pudding is that there is hardly any cooking involved. How sweet, right? 😉 The only time to cook is to heat the whipping cream. The first layer is more of a biscuit layer in pudding but has a cheese and chocolaty flavour. The second layer is whipping cream mixed with cheese crackers and chocolate chips. Finally, the third layer is a simple dark chocolate ganache. 

There can be many variations to this recipe, as you can make a chocolate mousse instead of a whipped cream layer. You can add grated chocolate on top of the whipped cream layer to garnish instead of dark chocolate ganache. Do give this a try if you have some whipped cream to finish or if you love the cheese chocolate combo.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 2 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3-4 
first base layer
cheese crackers 1 pkt or 10 no.s
milk compound 70 g
heavy whipping cream 1 tbsp

second layer
whipped cream 1 cup
crackers 1/4 cup crushed
dark chocolate chips 2 tbsp

third layer
dark compound 100g
heavy whipping cream 2 tbsp

  • Take the crackers, reserve one(for garnish) and crush the rest of the crackers in a mixer and measure the amount of crushed crackers. Add 1/2 cup crushed for the first layer, and reserve 1/4 cup for the second layer.
  • Heat the whipping cream(3-4 tbsp) and add one tbsp to a bowl with milk compound and  remaining 2-3 tbsp to a bowl with dark compound for last layer. Leave undisturbed for a minute or two and mix well to a smooth ganache. (I have heated both whipped cream together and divided, you can dividely heat took).

  • Add 1/2 cup crushed cheese crackers in a bowl, add the milk chocolate ganache, give a mix and spread as a layer. Refrigerate for half an hour to set.
  • Then, mix the 1/4 cup crushed crackers with whipped cream, add the chocolate chips. Transfer this to a piping bag and add as a second layer. Refrigerate for half an hour.
  • Finally, take the already prepared dark ganache(if it solidifies, double boil and melt) and spread thin over the second layer, cut the reserved cracker diagonally and garnish on top. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set and can be served.

* I have used Gery brand cheese crackers. You can use any brand cheese crackers.
* You can add chopped nuts to the second layer too.
* I had some whipped cream reserved after making a cake and so used that. You can always whip fresh cream to make this pudding too. Use 1/3-1/2 cup cream to get 1 cup whipped cream.
* You can even use half of the cheese cracker filling for the first layer and then layer as a third layer and whipped cream as a fourth layer, alternating to finish.
* You can make a chocolate mousse instead of a whipped cream layer. 
* You can add grated chocolate on top of the whipped cream layer to garnish instead of dark chocolate ganache. 


Friday, November 19, 2021

Kerala Ulli Sambar | Cheriya Ulli(Vengaya) Sambar | Sambar for Idlis/ Dosas

Idli/ dosa when served with sambar and chutney is a delicious combo. I love the combo of idli- sambar than when  served with chutneys. Though idli can be served with the regular sambar, but I have a soft corner for this particular ulli sambar when it comes to serving with idlis/ dosas. If you haven't tried this ulli sambar, you must give this a try and am sure you will totally love this sambar with idlis/ dosas. I don't serve the ulli sambar with steamed rice as its milder in spices and has no much vegetables. Only shallots (kunjulli)and tomato is the only needed vegetable for this sambar. This is a very quick sambar recipe, very flavorful and thick sambar as it has ground coconut. Give this a try and enjoy !!


Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 25 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4-5
shallots(kunjulli) 15-20
tomato 1 chopped
tuvar(toor) dal 1/2 cup
tamarind extract 2 tsp or a gooseberry size soaked
sugar a pinch(optional)
salt to taste

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup

to temper
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
dry chillies 2/3 broken
curry leaves a sprig
coriander leaves 1 tbsp chopped
oil  1-2 tbsp

  • Wash and peel the skin of shallots, wash and keep aside. Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker, add turmeric powder and salt. Add enough water or add double the water than dal and pressure-cook for 3 whistles. Wait for the pressure to release.

  • In the meantime, add the coconut to grind in a blender jar and add a little water. Grind to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Add the peeled shallots and cut tomatoes to the cooked dal. Cook for 6-7 minutes until the shallots look cooked or turn translucent.
  • To this, add the sambar powder, mix well. Then add salt and tamarind extract. Finally, add the ground coconut paste and simmer for 2 minutes and then put off the flame. Add the pinch of sugar at this point if using. 
  • In another pan, add oil. Splutter mustard seeds when the oil is hot and add the curry leaves, dry red chillies and chopped coriander leaves. Sauté till the coriander leaves look wilted. Switch off the flame and pour the tempering over the sambar. Keep covered for 5 minutes and then serve. We served with idlis and tomato chutney.

* If the shallots(kunjulli) are very big, then can cut in halves. The smaller variety adds a sweetness to the sambar.
* Adding a pinch of sugar is optional, it just adds a mild sweet tinge along with ground coconut paste, which tastes delicious when served with idlis.
* I have added homemade sambar powder, the recipe is here. You can use any store brought sambar powder.



Thursday, November 18, 2021

New Updates in my Page !!

Feed burner went into a maintenance mode since July 2021 and the email subscriptions, detailed analytics were no longer supported as per their notice. I was just wondering how to go about migrating my email subscribers to a new platform when I received an email from to switch to their site. I took sometime to revert to their mail as I was busy with so many things parallelly. 

Finally, I went through the site and found more interesting, equally relatable and loved their prompt service. I switched to and those of you who had feed burner subscriptions might have already seen the change. And so,  I would like to let you all know officially that I have switched to

Likewise, I have migrated all existing subscriber list to so that you can easily get the updates without much delay. Furthermore, the existing subscribers can check all the additional features that can be utilized(which didn’t exist on Feedburner), e.g. on, you can now define filters and more delivery channels, e.g. to receive your news via Telegram, news page etc. They are looking forward to adding more features as well.

I found as a Feedburner alternative and its really working good. Am very happy with

I would also like to let you all know that Erivum_Puliyum is on Instagram page as well. I recently switched to insta  and so do share, like and support my page in insta as well. See you all there and thanks in advance :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Bombay Mixture (Kerala Style Mutta Mixture) | Dal Moth Namkeen(Mixture)

Do you love sweet or savoury snacks ?? 
I love savoury snacks the most however H has a sweet tooth and this goes to my kids as well, both have different tastes. In a way it's good to have mixed taste buds so that I try and showcase both sweet and savoury snacks. But both our taste buds enjoy sweets / payasam or love munching mixture/ samosas too in moderation. 

I have already posted a few of the popular mixtures/ namkeen which are my favourites. But I love mutta mixture or dal moth namkeen too/ Bombay mixture. These are recipes that I love munching anytime, and I loved admiring the glass bottles in bakeries with different kind of mixtures as a child too. The dal moth mixture is prepared using whole masoor dal and green gram and sev is added to this mixture along with fried peanuts, cashews and almonds. The whole masoor dal and green gram has to be soaked nicely and dried under a fan to remove any moisture before frying in hot oil. Adding chilly powder is optional, you can even add black pepper powder as well. Do give these a try as its simple to make and enjoy at home. 

Please check out more snack recipes that you can prepare and store in airtight containers-
Kerala Spicy Mixture

Soaking time ~ 4–5 hours
Dal drying time ~ 30 minutes- 2 hours
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a big bottle
Author ~ Julie
to make mixture
whole masoor dal 1 cup
green gram dal/ cherupayar 1/2 cup
*sev(recipe below) 2–3 cups
peanuts 1/3 cup
almonds 1/3 cup
cashews 1/3 cup
salt 1 tsp
hot chilly powder 1 tsp
hing/ asafoetida/ kayam podi 1/4 tsp
amchur powder 1/2 tsp

to make sev
besan / kadalmavu 1.5 cups (150gms)
oil 1 tbsp 
salt 3/4 tsp 
water 1/2 cup
turmeric powders, a good pinch
hing/ asafoetida/ kayam podi 1/4 tsp

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash and soak the whole masoor dal, green gram dal in enough water for 3-4 hours.
  • Drain the water completely in a strainer and spread on a clean cloth.
  • The dal should dry completely before frying, else may burst in oil. So, dry under a fan or air dry for 30 minutes- 2 hours. There shouldn't be any traces of water on dal or dry using layers of papr towel.

  • In the meantime, prepare the sev. Take the besan, hing, turmeric powder and salt. Combine well. To this add oil, rub the oil into the flour very well(important step). Add water little by little(needs 1/2 cup for this measure) and make a dough using a spoon. Beat the dough using a spoon for 45 seconds (It's better to use a spoon rather than hands, as it sticks to the hands very badly).
  • Take the idiyappam press or mould, apply a thin layer of oil in the inside of the mould (use the mould with the smallest holes to make the sev). Then dip your hands in water, scoop out the dough into the mould. Then close the mould.
  • Heat oil in a kadai up to 2' deep and then when the oil is hot, lower the flame and hold the mould over the oil to press the dough in concentric circles(don't overcrowd but just enough to cover the diameter of the kadai).

  • Increase the heat to medium once you finish pressing the mould over oil. Wait for the bubbles to settle and then flip the other side. When the bubbles reduce, then it's fried and can be removed using a slotted spoon(as in pic).
  • Next, fry the dried masoor dal and green gram. The dal takes almost 3–4 minutes to fry on high flame, the bubbles subsides is a indicator to drain the dal from oil. Use a strainer with smaller holes to remove the dal from oil easily. Drain on a paper towel and then fry the peanuts, cashews, almonds one by one. Drain on paper towel and keep aside.

  • Now add the sev in a bowl and crush gently to break the long strands. Then add the fried dals, peanuts, almonds, cashews, chilly powder, hing, amchur powder and salt.

* Adding chilly powder at the end is optional, You can add black pepper powder to instead of red chilly powder or just leave without adding any of the two to yield a yellow colour Bombay mixture. The south Indian variety is yellow and doesn't have the red chilly powder added at the end.
* Adding amchur powder adds a nice tangy flavour to the mixture.
* You can add more fried nuts to the mixture, but these measures yield a good mix of nuts.
* It's better to prepare the dough with spoon, as the besan tens to stick to the hands very badly.
* Don't overcrowd the wok when pressing the sev for frying, else the sev may not fry properly and may remain soggy in places.


Friday, November 12, 2021

Kerala Beef Chilli | Chilli Beef (Semi Gravy Type)

Chilli beef is an Indo-Chinese appetizer or starter where slender cut and cooked meat is coated with corn flour and maida, deep-fry the pieces and then tossed with soya sauces, chilli sauce and spices. However, this is a modified version of the Indo-Chinese with a Kerala touch and typically this is served in Kerala restaurants and thattukadas(fast food joints) as Kerala Beef Chilli. I have not deep-fried the beef pieces with any coating and just shallow fried. This way the beef remains juicy and perfect for a semi gravy style. You can coat the cooked beef pieces and follow the rest of the recipe as same. If you have cooked beef in fridge then this is one of the quick fix for unexpected guests or for a quick side.
I have already mentioned in most of my beef recipes, how much my family loves this meat and so it's a pleasure to cook beef at home, though not frequently. Kerala style beef chilli can be prepared dry or as a semi gravy style. My family loves the semi gravy style as it goes perfect with any fried rice or quick veg pulao type meals. The beef chilli dry can only be served as a starter and so if you would like to prepare the that, just dry up the moisture in the gravy and your favourite beef chilli dry is ready. I usually end up making a small batch of beef chilli for a quick fix, and they really enjoy. It's very easy to put together and takes yummy !! 

Please check out more Kerala style beef recipes here.

You can try out the below combos with chilli beef-

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4-5
to cook
beef  500 gms
kashmiri chillinpowfer 1 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
vinegar 1/2 tsp
salt to taste

capsicum / green bell pepper1 large or 2 small cubed
onion, 2 medium-sized, cubed pieces
ginger 1 tbsp chopped
garlic 1 tbsp chopped
green chilli 3-4 vertical slit
dark soy sauce 1 tsp
sugar, a good pinch
red chilly sauce 1 tsp
coriander leaves or spring onion 2 tbsp
corn flour 2 tbsp
refined oil  2-3 tbsp

  • Wash and rinse the beef 3-4 times and drain all water, add to a pressure cooker. Mix in the chilly powder, pepper powder, turmeric powder salt and vinegar to the beef. Cook on low flame till it leaves water, then add 1/4 cup water and pressure-cook for 3-4 whistles or till cooked.
  • Heat oil in a pan  and add the capsicum and onion. Sauté on high flame until lightly done and retain the crunch. Remove to a plate and add the cooked beef to the same oil (reserve the stock). Sauté for 2-3 minutes till fried lightly, remove to a plate. In the same pan add the ginger- garlic chopped until it's lightly crisp. Sauté and add the green chillies. Add soy sauce, red chilly sauce and add the beef, capsicum and onion.

  • In the meantime, mix the corn flour in the reserved stock and add 1/4 cup water too. Add this to the pan and check salt if needed at this point as there was salt in the soy sauce and the stock.
  • Cook till the gravy looks thickened, and the pieces are nicely coated. Add the sugar and give a quick mix. Switch off flame, add chopped spring onions if using, or just garnish coriander leaves (I have used coriander leaves).

* You can add tomato ketchup 2 TSP too. In that case, omit adding the sugar.
* Sugar balances the flavours and so it's good to add. Omit if you don't like.
* Add more water if you wish to have more gravy.

Please check out more beef recipes here.

* Chilli Chicken

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Chakka Varetti Cups | Jackfruit Tarts (Step By Step Pics)

Fusion recipes are a trend these days, and you get to see a lot of good fusion delicacies that are a super hit. Fusion recipes have its own advantages and drawbacks as well. There are many who don't like playing around with the traditional recipes and that the new fusion recipe spoils the exact flavours of the original, but there are many such good recipes too where you actually are exposed to a totally different experience tasting the fusion item. Fusion foods are usually an end result of cookery shows or often created by chefs or sometimes accidentally created. I, too, tried giving a novel look and taste to our traditional chakka varetti(jackfruit preserve) by using this in a British style Jam tarts.

Jam tarts are my kid's favourite, and so this time I thought to fill these cute buttery cups with a healthier option of chakka varetti(jackfruit preserve). Did you like this innovation ?? My kids definitely loved this idea and am sure if you try these for your kids they would be pleased too. I have already shared many recipes that I made using chakka varetti listed below at the end of this post, and this gets added as well to the collection. You can even use fresh puréed jackfruit or jackfruit jam (Chakka Jam) instead of chakka varetti. These tart cups have a buttery flavour mixed with the jackfruit flavour in every bite, with bits of chopped nuts here and there. The cups are a bit delicate to scoop out from the muffin tray and so be an extra careful, slightly cool down before demoulding. Add an egg to the dough if you feel you aren't comfortable handling the tart cups delicately. You can make this as a single tart in a tart pan, but I love the cute small cups so made in a muffin tray. Use a silicon mould or silicon muffin cup for a designed edge. Do give these a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Baking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 10 
for making tart/ cups
cold butter, 70 gms(5tbsp)
sugar granulated 1/4 cup
all-purpose flour / maida  1 cup
baking powder 1/4 tsp
vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
cold water 1tbsp
salt a pinch

for the filling
chakka varetti 3/4- 1 cup

  • Sift the flour with baking powder and salt twice. Add powdered sugar to this. Cut the butter in cubes and mix in the flour using your hands such that the butter is rubbed evenly in the flour. Add a TBS of cold water and vanilla extract, try to bring the dough together. If needed, add more cold water.
  • Take two parchment sheet paper. Place the dough in the centre of the paper and cover with another parchment paper. Roll out the dough evenly to make a 1/8' thick sheet. Cut rounds using a 2.5' cutter or bottle lid. If you have leftovers, re roll the dough and make roundels.

  • Smear oil in the muffin cups and place the rounds in the cup, gently press inside the cups. If at all the dough tears, place a small patch of dough to cover the tear. 
  • Now refrigerate the made cups with the tray for half an hour. In the meantime, preheat oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees C. 

  • I heated the filling to melt down the ghee in it and added a TBS of water to make it a little flow like consistency so that it can be easily scooped in tart cups. Heating the chakka varetti is strictly optional.
  • Remove the tray from oven and fill the chakka varetti about 2/3rd cup full.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 mins until the top edges look slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack completely. Run an offset spatula across the borders to remove from each muffin cup. Enjoy !

* You can even use fresh puréed jackfruit or jackfruit jam for this recipe. But it's hard to find fresh jackfruit in this season.
* You can use half an egg to give more stability to the tart cups, else they are very soft to touch and are delicate, easily breakable. I haven't used the egg, though.
* You can refrigerate the rolled dough by wrapping in the same parchment paper and then cut rounds. Place in muffin cups. Then there is no need to refrigerate after placing the roundels in muffin cups. I have tried both ways and I personally feel, it was hard to place the cut roundels after refrigeration as described in this method and there were more chances of breaking.
* You can make the same tarts by filling any jam with your choice too.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Chum Chum(Cham Cham) | Bengali Chom Chom Mithai~ Happy Diwali Wishes !!

Wishing all my dears a very Happy and safe Deepavalli (Diwali) !!
Hope everyone is having a great time enjoying with your family and dear ones. Let the festival of lights, the beautiful fireworks, brightens each one's lives with happiness and joy throughout the year. I love Diwali and so do the sweets. This year I planned to try a bookmarked recipe since long and a wish come true when I tried my hands on making the popular sweet from Bengal, Cham Cham. Chum Chum are usually off-white, rose or light yellow or brown coloured(depending on the essence used) and are oval shaped unlike round rasagullas. 

This sweet is prepared by curdling milk and similar to rasagullas. But still there are a few differences in the texture and making as well. Rasagullas are boiled in a thin sugar syrup whereas cham cham is boiled in a slightly thicker sugar syrup and so cham cham is more on a denser side when you hold the cham cham in your hand after soaking the sugar syrup, yet it's soft. Rasagullas are more airy and spongy. Cham cham is prepared in a thicker sugar syrup, as it has to be stuffed with a sweet filling made with mawa. But here I have tried an easy version of making mawa using milk powder which worked fine too but not so good as the mawa made by reducing whole milk. I have already posted the homemade mawa recipe from scratch if you are interested check that out. However, this milk powder mawa recipe worked good here, as I just needed to make the stuffing with this. These are really delicious with sugar syrup coated covering and mawa filling. Do give this a try and enjoy !!!

 Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6-7
to make paneer
whole milk 1 litre
lemon juice 2tbsp 

to make sugar syrup
granulated sugar 1/2 kg
water 1 cup
maida 1tbsp

to make filling
milk powder 1/2 cup
whole milk 1/4 cup + 2-3 tbsp extra to soak saffron 
unsalted butter, 2 tbsp
elakka podi /cardamom powder 1 tbsp
saffron strands few or cherry pieces

for garnish
dessicated coconut 1/4 cup

  • Boil the milk in a pan and let it come to a rolling boil. Dilute the lemon juice with equal amount of water and start adding little by little to the boiling milk. Switch off the flame immediately, else the paneer turns hard. Wait for 2 minutes before you add a little more(dilute the lemon juice and switching off the flame ensures that the paneer doesn't harden up and gives a smooth texture). Now, wait till the whey is separated nicely. Pour the contents into a bowl lined with cheese cloth. Collect the paneer in the cheese cloth and then pour fresh water to this (to reduce the temperature of the paneer and to get rid of sourness) and squeeze out all excess water. You can place some weight on it and drain the complete water by leaving aside for 15 minutes.
  • Crumble this paneer in a large plate and start to knead using the palms. Don't knead the paneer so hard that it starts to leave the oil. Knead the paneer just enough to form smooth balls. Shape the smooth balls to oval shapes and keep aside(Check pics below)
  • Filling- Soak the saffron in warm milk, keep aside. Add butter in a pan, add milk and wait till bubbles appear. To this, add milk powder and mix well without any lumps. Then, add the saffron mixed milk and cardamom powder. Mix well and the mixture starts to thicken. Finally, add chopped pistachios. The mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, then switch off flame and move the pan from residual heat. Leave to cool.

  • In another bowl, add few strands of milk and half a tsp or a tsp of milk to get a thick saffron colour mix. Keep aside.
  • Sugar Syrup- Now, bring the sugar with water to a boil. When the mixture starts to boil and thickens slightly, reduce flame (the consistency of the sugar syrup should be slightly thicker than that we use for making rasagullas). Add the prepared oval shaped paneer balls. Bring this to a boil and add one tbsp of maida (adding maida helps even cooking of the cham cham and sugar syrup seeps well inside, and you may see bubbling of sugar syrup all around the pan, check pics for better understanding). 

  • Boil the cham cham till it doubles in volume and the cham cham is filled with sugar syrup. Now remove some amount of sugar syrup, add a little boiled cooled water to slightly dilute the syrup along with the cooked chum chum. Cool lightly.
  • Squeeze the syrup slightly from the chum chum and then slit open the chum chum using a knife and place the prepared filling. Finally, place a dot in the centre of the filling with a strand of saffron. 
  • Roll the prepared chum chum in dry dessicated coconut and place in a liner to serve. Enjoy with your loved ones!!


* 1 litre milk yields 150 g-170 g paneer, depending on the fat content of milk.
* Ideally mawa is used to prepare the filling, but you can always prepare mawa from milk powder as I did here. The homemade mawa recipe is here.
* Don't curdle the milk completely with the heat on, as the paneer becomes hard. Switch off flame and add lemon juice little by little.
* You can add a pinch of pink colour to the paneer and add a drop of rose essence to make rose chum chum, similarly add a drop of orange colour and saffron to make saffron flavoured chum chum.
* Also, add a small piece of cherry instead of the saffron dot to make it vibrant.


Monday, November 01, 2021

Mushroom Dum Biriyani (Step by Step Pics)

When all are lazying and enjoying their weekend at home, I too don't like to spend more time in the  kitchen. How about you, ladies?? True, right ? Moreover, many are busy with Diwali preparations, how about preparing a menu plan beforehand and include this mushroom biriyani too?? Just a thought..  Invariably, most of our weekends are one pot meal and the beauty of this meal pattern is you just need a raitha/ pickle/ pappad as side. When I say all about one pot meal in the intro, that means today's post is a one pot meal- Mushroom Dum Biriyani, he he 😀. This recipe is a flavourful and delicious one; definitely a keeper for your weekends/ festive occasions/ pot luck parties or a quick whip for lunch box too.

Everyone loves mushroom here, and so I knew they would love this biriyani too. Don't get scared by the word 'biriyani' thinking this recipe may be an elaborate one and the ingredient list may look long but believe me it gets whipped quickly. I have posted a Mushroom-Paneer Pulao long time back which you can check out here. Getting good quality & fresh mushrooms is the key to making this biriyani flavoursome. Also, remember to keep the mushroom pieces slightly bigger as it shrinks after cooking. If the button mushroom is small, you can add just like that. I have just placed weight on the lid to give 'dum effect' which was perfect (see pics). Do give this biriyani a try, am sure you will love it !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 45 minutes
Serves ~ 4-5
Author ~ Julie
for cooking rice
basmati rice, 2 cups
lemon juice 2tsp
cloves 5-6
cardamom 5
bay leaves 2
cinnamon 3 pieces
salt to taste
water 3 cups
ghee 2tbsp
coriander leaves 4tbsp
pudina (mint leaves) 4tbsp

for mushroom masala
button mushrooms 200 g(2 cups)
onion 3 sliced
tomato 3 chopped
ginger- garlic paste 2tbsp
yogurt 2tbsp
kashmiri chilly powder 2tsp
hot chilly powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder 2tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
biriyani masala 1tsp
salt to taste
ghee 2tbsp
oil 4 tbsp
saffron strands few
milk 1tbsp

for garnish
cashews 2tbsp
raisins 2tbsp

  • Wash the mushrooms by dropping in *maida mixed water (removes the dirt and soil quickly, check notes). Rinse under running water and drain water, keep aside. If the mushrooms are big, cut in cubes. If it's small, then add just like that.
  • Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 minutes. Drain this water and use along with water to coo the rice. Heat a pan and add the ghee(2 tbsp) and drain the water completely from rice and add. Fry the rice until fragrant.
  • Boil 3 cups of water in a pan and add the whole spices listed above. Add the lemon juice and required salt. When water starts to boil, add the rice and cook until done. Takes about 10 minutes on medium flame.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan or biriyani pot, add ghee and oil. Fry the cashews and raisins till light brown and drain, keep aside. To the same oil, add handful of sliced onions and fry till light brown and crisp, drain from oil and keep aside for garnish. In the same pan, add the remaining onions and fry till lightly browned (may take 7-8 minutes on medium flame).
  • To this, add the ginger- garlic paste and sauté till raw smell disappears. Then add spice powders on low flame. Slide in the chopped tomatoes, add a splash of water. Cook the tomatoes covered until the tomatoes soften up. Then add the yogurt and combine well, add salt as needed.
  • Add half of the chopped coriander and pudina(mint) leaves. To this add the cleaned mushrooms (Don't add any water as mushroom leaves out water). Let this cook for 5-7  minutes until the mushrooms are well cooked, and the masala is thick gravy. Switch off flame.

  • Heat another frying pan on high and then place the mushroom gravy pot on top of this, reduce the flame to low. Add the cooked rice on top of this masala and level it up. Then add the saffron mixed milk, fried onions, chopped coriander, mint leaves and fried cashew and raisins. Cover the pan and place weight on top or seal the sides around the lid using atta. (I usually place weight). Cook on low flame for 20 minutes till it's done. Switch off the flame and wait for another 15 minutes before you open the pan. Mix well, and I served with raitha, pappadam and ada manga achar.

* Add a pinch of salt when sautéing onions to speed up.
* Add biriyani masala if you have, or else add garam masala. I make my own batch and so use that.
* Add a tbsp of maida in a bowl of water and add the mushrooms in it. Wash the mushrooms immediately and remove from water, or else will absorb water.