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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Yakhni Mutton Pulao | Kashmiri Yakhni Pulao | Potli Pulao

 Yakhni's history dates back to Akbar's ruling, Persian based cuisines had the yogurt based meat curries and this was introduced in India by the Mughal. Yakhni is part of Greek and Turkish cuisines too, but what makes the Kashmiri Yakhni different from that of theirs is the absence of tomatoes and there is no usage of turmeric powder too. Kashmiris make the best yakhni curry or the slow cooked meat. This is an absolute treat for non vegetarians. The Kashmiri pundit version is without onions and garlic, and so can be made without that too. Yakhni means the cooked stock or broth that has two more ingredients in it other than the meat, yogurt and saffron. The yogurt adds to the richness of the gravy, and the saffron adds a lemon hue to the cooked rice. The pulao made in this stock is the yakhni mutton pulao. 

How is Yakhni made?? The meat is slow cooked with the equal amount of water with some whole spices and a flavourful broth is acquired. Then the meat pieces are removed, and the broth is again cooked with yogurt, fried onions and whole spices when the meat is added again to get a delectable gravy. Yakhni curry is a curry in itself and this pulao is made using this curry. Soaked rice is added to the cooked meat and fried. Then the rice is cooked in the broth and saffron infused milk is added to get the light colour. Finally, garnish with some fried onions and serve. Mutton meat is usually used to make yakhni pulao, but you can always make with chicken as well, but the fat content infused from mutton meat along with ghee gives the pulao the richer taste. 

Also, This pulao is also known as potli pulao, as the whole spices are tied in a muslin cloth and added to the mutton to cook. Once the mutton is cooked, the potli is removed and discarded after squeezing out the juices as much as possible. These are the pics from my first trial when I added the spices directly into the pulao, but in that method, the spices gets in the broth, and it's hard to remove them once mutton is cooked. Those spices get mixed in the rice and may not taste very good, especially the whole spices like coriander seeds, whole peppercorns. Watch the YouTube video on making the potli and making the pulao. I have used pressure cooker to fasten the process of slow cooked meat, which you can slow cook in a pan too. This is a mildly spiced pulao with a great richness of ghee, saffron and mutton. Give this a try !

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 45 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 
Author ~ Julie
for yakhni
mutton 750 gms
bay leaves 2
whole peppercorns 10-15
nutmeg (jathikka)1/4 tsp grated
mace (pathri) 1 flower
cardamom 5-6
black cardamom 2
shahjeera 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
coriander seeds 1 tbsp
cloves 5-6
cinnamon 2" piece
fennel seeds 2 tbsp
crushed ginger 1' piece
crushed garlic with skin 5-6
green chilli vertical slit 2
onion 1 medium-sized
salt to taste
water 2.5 cups

for pulao
basmati rice 2.5 cups(500 gms)
crushed ginger 1 tbsp
crushed garlic 1 tbsp
green chillies crushed 1 tbsp or 2
mint leaves half a handful
garam masala 1 tsp
yogurt 4-5 tbsp
salt to taste
onion medium-sized 4 or 2 large sliced
ghee 4 tbsp
broth(yakhni) 4 cups

Watch on YouTube- 


  • Wash the meat, rinse under running water and drain. Keep aside. Wash and soak the basmati rice separately in water for 15-20 minutes.

  •  Lightly crush the onion, garlic and ginger in the yakhni list. In a muslin cloth, add all the ingredients listed above except mutton. Make a potli or closed pouch. In a cooker, add the mutton pieces and the potli.Mix well, add 2.5 cups water and cover the cooker  to make broth (yakhni). Pressure-cook on high for one whistle and then slow cook for another 2 whistles depending on your meat, or for 7-8 minutes on low flame. (Wait for the pressure to release and then check if the meat is nicely cooked and the broth is flavourful). Separate the broth and meat (remove the potli with spices by gently squeezing the juices). Measure the broth and add more water if needed to make 4 cups.

  • In another pan, add ghee. Fry the onion in batches until lightly browned and crisp (I fried in two batches and remember to remove the fried onions slightly earlier than it looks fried as the onions turn to a deeper colour once it's drained too). Add a pinch of salt to speed up the frying process. Drain and keep on a plate. 
  • In the remaining ghee, add the crushed ginger- garlic and green chillies. Sauté until the raw smell disappears. Then add in the mint leaves and to this add the fried onions(Reserve 2 TBS for garnish and add the rest), add 2 TBS of water just to help the onions soften. To this, add the meat along with yogurt and garam masala powder. Give a quick stir and add salt. Cook covered for 7-8 minutes on medium flame until oil separates. 

  • To this add the drained rice. Fry lightly until nicely coated in the masala. Then add the broth(yakhni) 4 cups to the pan and bring to a rolling boil (If your measured broth is less, add water and make 4 cups). Add salt as needed. Cover and cook on medium flame for 10-14 minutes until the rice looks cooked and broth is evaporated. Garnish with remaining fried onions and serve warm.


* You can use ghee and oil or use oil alone too, but the authentic version uses ghee alone. So use ghee if possible. I have used ghee.

* Add fried nuts and raisins for a richer variation. I haven't added.

* Add the whole peppercorns in the mutton just like that and not in the potli if you like to bite up a few in the rice.
* The pulao is not very spicy, you can always increase the use of green chillies to spice it up or use pepper powder.
* You can add few drops of kewra essence too. I haven't added.
* If you want to try the kashmiri pundit version, then omit adding the onions and garlic.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Moth Sprouts Tikki | Shallow Fried Sprout Cutlets | How to make Moth bean sprouts??

Moth beans are great protein source compared to all the other legumes. They are good for heart health, lowers blood pressure. It has high antioxidants, rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium.As it is rich in fibre, reduces gut issues and regulates bowel movements. Moth beans contain phosphorous other than calcium, which strengthens the bones. The presence of zinc in moth beans help prevent frequent infections and enhances immunity.

Sprouted moth beans are very nutritious, and so I tried making a healthy tikki chaat with the sprouts. I haven't used chopped onions in this recipe as I have not added any other binding agents like boiled potato and only used rice flour to bind. I have shallow fried the tikkis. I had earlier tried the Maharashtra misal pav with moth beans  which is also very healthy, you can try that out too. Enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 7 tikki
Author ~ Julie
to make sprouts
moth beans 1/2 cup

to make tikkis
moth sprouts 2 cups (check video)
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
salt 1/2 tsp
hot chilly powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder 3/4 tsp
lemon 1/2 of 1
rice flour / ari podi 2 tbsp-3 tbsp
coriander leaves/ cilantro 2 tbsp
oil for shallow frying

Watch on YouTube-

  • Wash and add enough water to the moth beans. Soak the beans for 5-6 hours until the outer bean skin starts to split. Discard the water and add the soaked moth beans to a muslin cloth. Tie the ends of the cloth like a potli and wet the cloth lightly. Place in a bowl and keep in a casserole for 24-48 hours. After about 36 hours, the moth beans are sprouted well. Remove from cloth and refrigerate covered till use. 
  • NB: You may have to drizzle a few drops of water when the beans are sprouting if the cloth looks dry. Don't drench in water, else the sprouts go bad.
  • Heat water in a sauce pan and add salt. Add the sprouts to the boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove the sprouts from water and discard the water. OR You can even steam cook the sprouts.
  • Cool the sprouts lightly and then add to a blender jar. Pulse once or twice to crush the mix. 
  • Transfer to a bowl, add the ginger-garlic paste, chopped coriander leaves, chilly powder, salt and lemon juice. Mix this well with a spoon.
  • Add rice flour for binding, and with your clean hands, knead the mix to make a dough.
  • Apply a little oil in your hands and pinch out small lemon size portions of the dough. Make the tikki shapes and place on a plate. Repeat until you finish all the mix.
  • Heat oil in a pan and place the tikis one by one.  Shallow fry and flip the tikkis only when the sides look lightly browned. Flip and cook both sides till crisp and browned.
  • Repeat frying all tikkis. Don't place on paper towels as they tend to become soft and not have the crunch. Serve as listed below for optimal tastes.

  • Sweeten the curd by adding a little sugar, beat well and keep aside.
  • Add two tikkis in a bowl, press the tikkis. Add sweetened curd and sweet tamarind chutney, followed by spicy green chutney. Garnish with sev and serve.

* I haven't added onions. But you can add 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped.
* These tikkis are very delicate as they don't have any binding agents like boiled potatoes or bread crumbs other than rice flour. So flip gently when frying.

Few more recipes using sprouts-

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Pineapple Fritters | Pineapple Pori

Have you ever thought of making fritters with any other fruits other than ripe bananas ?? Then, how about trying to make fritters with fresh pineapples?? The tangy flavours of pineapple makes this fritters stand out from other usual fritters. But trust me, this has its own uniqueness and tastes yum when served hot. These fritters have a crisp cover and the soft tangy pineapples taste delicious when served like a dessert with some vanilla ice cream topping. Give these a try and enjoy !!

Please check out my insta handle for a quick reel on pineapple fritters.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 8-10 fritters
Author ~ Julie
pineapple slices 8-10
all-purpose flour 1 cup
granulated sugar 2 tbsp
sesame seeds 1 tsp
turmeric powder, a pinch
granulated sugar 
pineapple essence 2 drops (optional)
salt to taste

  • Wash, peel and cut thick pineapple roundels. Remove the core with a bottle lid or cookie cutter. Keep aside.
  • In another bowl, make a batter. Add the flour, granulated sugar, sesame seeds, salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Pour water little by little to make a thick batter. Add 2 drops of pineapple essence. Mix well.
  • Heat a kadai or wok and add oil. When the oil is hot, drop the pineapple slices one by one in the batter. Lift using a spoon and drop in hot oil. 
  • Using a slotted spoon, flip and cook both sides. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream topping for best results.

*  The fritters lose the crunch as it sits, so serve warm. 
* Adding sugar to the batter is optional, but sugar gives a sweet, tangy feel to the fritters.
* Adding pineapple essence is strictly optional, it just enhances pineapple flavours.

If you are interested to try out some pakora(fritters) variations,then here it is-

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Tava Masala Idlis ~ Mumbai Style Street Food

Left over idlis?? Don't worry. Try out this healthy and chatpata snack with idlis. This is a Mumbai style street food style tava idlis that can be prepared quickly and can be served hot for an after-school snack or just like that anytime. I have already shared two very delicious snack recipes with left over idlis that I keep trying in between-baked idli snack & idli upma. Please check out if interested. 

Bored of idlis served with chutney ?? Then try out this recipe for a change. Am sure all would love this simple yet tasty recipe. This is a new hit at home and the recipe is quite simple. This gives a spicy and tangy idli mix. Enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 4
Author ~ Julie
idli 8-10 
onion 2 medium-sized, fine chopped
tomato 3 chopped
capsicum 1 medium-sized
ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1.5 tbsp
pav bhaji masala 2 tsp 
salt to taste
unsalted butter or oil 2-3 tbsp 
lemon juice 1.5 tsp or half of a lemon
coriander leaves 1 tbsp chopped

  • Prepare idlis as you normally do, use idli batter. Scoop out and keep aside. Cut the idlis in small pieces (I cut each idli in 6-8 pieces), keep aside.
  • Make a paste by adding a little water to kashmiri chilli powder. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add butter.To this, add fine chopped onions when butter is melted. Add a little salt to fasten process.
  • When onions turn translucent, add the ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till raw smell disappears.
  • Then add in chopped tomatoes. Sauté till tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • Toss in the fine chopped capsicum (green bell peppers). Sauté till lightly cooked, retain the crunchiness.
  • Add in the kashmiri chilli paste and pav bhaji masala powder. Mix well.
  • Slide in the cut idlis and combine well. Squeeze 2tsp of lemon juice over the prepared idlis. Finally, add in chopped coriander leaves. Switch off and serve warm.

* Use oil instead of butter if calorie conscious. But butter tastes best for this recipe.
* You can soak red dry chillies (5-6) in warm water for half an hour and grind to a smooth paste instead of Kashmiri chilli powder.
* Add a tbsp of butter to make tava idlis more flavorful when serving, I omitted that.
* You can add more vegetables in this, but I feel this works good.
* You can add a pinch of pav bhaji masala to when serving for garnish.

If interested to try out recreating some good recipes with leftovers, check out this link for more LEFT OVER RECIPES.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Chicken Thoran | Kerala Style Chicken Stir Fry

Kerala style stir fries are of two types-one with grated coconut and one without. Both are a great side dish to serve with steamed rice. Mostly I prepare stir-fry with veggies like long beans, cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot and lentils like moong dal, horse gram. But at times trying out a non veg stir-fry is also easy and tasty. Chicken stir-fry can be made in a very short time if you have boneless chicken ready at hand.

Chicken stir-fry is a simple and quick recipe and there are only basic ingredients. Adding shallots in the recipes adds a nice crunch and sweetness. The spice powders add a nice flavour. Do give this a try and enjoy.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4
chicken boneless 400g
shallots/ kunjulli one handful
ginger 1' piece chopped
garlic 5-6 cloves
hot chilli powder, 1 tsp
coriander powder, 1 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder 1/4 tsp
grated coconut 1/2 cup
garam masala 1/2 tsp garnish
fennel powder (perumjeerakam podi)1/2 tsp
curry leaves 
mustard 1 tsp
dry red chillies 
curry leaves 
coconut oil 2 tbsp + 2 tsp

Watch on YouTube-


  • Wash the chicken and drain water. Cut the chicken in very small pieces or cubes. Keep aside.
  • In a jar, add the grated coconut, chilli powder and coriander powder. Pulse twice without adding any water to crush the mix.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and splutter. Add in dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  • Add the  ginger-garlic paste and sauté till raw smell disappears. To this, add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Then add in turmeric powder and kashmiri chilli powder one by one on low flame.
  • Slide in the cut chicken pieces, salt and mix well. Add the crushed coconut mix, add 1/4 cup water to jar and pour in, mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover lid, add in garam masala and fennel powder. Combine well, adjust salt. Add a splash of water and cook covered for another 3 minutes.
  • Finally, dry up any moisture left in the stir-fry, add 2 tsp of coconut oil and garnish few curry leaves. 
  • Switch off flame, cover and leave a few more minutes. Serve warm with steamed rice.

* I have used homemade garam masala in this recipe, check the link here.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Sweet Banana Wraps | After School Snacks < 30 minutes

After school snacks for kids is an everyday question, and invariably I try and make this quick, simple yet a filling one so that they don't hunt for store brought snack packets. I had posted a similar dosa wraps sometime back that you can try out with left over dosa batter. Those dosa wraps were a savoury version, and this is a similar sweet version that you can feed your kids without much guilt. 

You can use any leftover rotis also for making the cover, and there is no need to make a separate cover like I did in this. If you are using leftover rotis, then this is a really quick one to make. The covers that I prepared are really soft pliable and very thin and so when these wraps are toasted in ghee, they are real crisp and delicious. I usually prepare the covers much in advance before the kids arrive and keep covered. Assemble the wraps just after they arrive so that they are served warm. If you don't like the jaggery and grated coconut filling, then try a sweetened mawa or sweet vermicelli for a change. Being from Kerala, we love the nutty flavour of coconut in all meals, so enjoyed it. Do give this simple recipe a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 7-8
for making the cover
maida (all-purpose flour) 1/2 cup
wheat flour 1/2 cup
oil 1.5 tsp
salt to taste

for assembling
nendran pazham(banana) 2
coconut grated 1/2 cup
jaggery 2 tbsp
broken cashews 1 tbsp
raisins 1 tbsp
almond spread 2-3 tbsp

Watch on YouTube-


  • Thaw the almond spread if using homemade like I did. I have made the chocolate almond spread like in this recipe here.
  • Mix the flours, salt and add water little by little to make a smooth batter. The batter shouldn't be very thick nor very runny. Keep aside for 10 minutes, or make the fillings ready by then.
  • Heat a pan and add the melted strained jaggery syrup. To this add grated coconut, broken cashews and raisins. Dry up all moisture and get the filling ready (may take 6-7 minutes).
  • In a bowl, slice the plantains or bananas in thick slices.Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add a ladleful of batter. Spread like thin dosas. Flip and coo both sides, using a wooden spatula, pressing down all sides so that the wrap covers puff up nice and good.
  • Repeat making all wrap covers till you finish the batter and switch off flame.
  • On a cutting board or plate, place one cover. Cut the radius of the circle on one side using a pizza cutter. Now, add the coconut-jaggery filling on one quarter, spread the chocolate almond spread on second and fourth quarter. Place the banana slices on the third quarter.
  • Now, fold each quarter to get a finished wrap. See video for more clarity. Similarly, prepare all the wraps and keep ready.
  • Heat a pan and apply ghee on the pan. Place each or two wraps. Press using a spatula and cook till the cover looks nicely toasted. Apply ghee on the top side and flip to toast the other side too.
  • Serve warm. You can drizzle some chocolate syrup or honey for added garnish.

* You can use any leftover rotis also for making the cover, and there is no need to make a separate cover like I did in this.
* If you don't like the jaggery and grated coconut filling, then try a sweetened mawa or sweet vermicelli for a change. 

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

Aval-Carrot Paal Payasam | Poha-Gajar Kheer ~ Using Cooker Method

Onam is right around the corner and after a break of two years, this year Keralites are preparing themselves to celebrate a great Onam. How are the preparations going on at your end? 

Kids are on vacations, and we are visiting both homes for Onam. Onam is a great time for celebrations and everywhere there are multiple programmes going on. All age groups and all religions enjoy this festival with zeal and enthusiasm. I have already published many of the sadya recipes, payasam and pradhaman in the past. Do scroll to the end of the page for all recipe links. 

This year I made this simple easy and quick payasam made with aval (beaten rice) and carrots. The slow cooked payasam in cooker gets the light pink shade and the best part of preparing this payasam is that you can pop everything in and relax, or you can go on to prepare other dishes for the next 20 minutes. By this time, your delicious aval-carrot paal payasam is ready. How simple !!  It's that simple to make this payasam, and you don't need any condensed milk or malai to prepare this delicious payasam. We totally loved this payasam.

Do give this a try this Onam and let me know the outcome too 😍😍

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 25 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 5-6
thick aval (poha) 1/2 cup or 1 handful
carrot grated 2 or 2/3 cup grated
milk 1 liter 
granulated sugar 3/4 cup or two handsful
cardamom powder 1 tsp
cashews 2 tbsp
raisins 2 tbsp
ghee 1tbsp

Watch on YouTube-



  • Wash, peel and grate the carrots. Keep aside.
  • Add the thick aval (poha) in the blender jar, pulse twice only to crush the poha (There may be some crushed some just like that, not to worry).
  • In a pressure cooker, add the crushed aval(poha). Add water and rinse the aval twice (Drain the water gently after the crushed aval settles at the bottom. Else you may drain out the crushed aval too)
  • Add grated carrots, granulated sugar and milk (No need to add boiled milk). The milk will get boiled as it gets cooked.
  • Cover the lid and place on flame. Don't place weight now and wait for the steam to pass through and then place weight. Place the flame on the smallest burner and on lowest flame. Cook for 15-20 minutes or till the whistle don't blow out, otherwise the milk may splash out when it blows.
  • Wait for the pressure to release and then open the lid. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Boil 2-3 minutes more and then switch off flame.
  • Heat another pan and add ghee. Add in the cashews and raisins. Fry till golden brown and pour over the payasam (kheer).
* Adding cashews and raisins is optional, payasam tastes delicious even without garnish.
* Depending on the cook time in cooker on the lowest flame decides the colour of the payasam.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Pineapple French Toast ~ Quick Snacks

French Toast is one of the quickest recipes that you can make with bread. The classic French toast consists of milk, eggs, sugar and some flavourings. But how about making an eggless French toast and that too with a fresh fruit. Sounds interesting??😁

Yeah, I tried a little different French toast than the usual. And kids totally loved the fruity flavoured toast because it has tangy and sweet flavours in a toast. Next time, I would love to add pineapple jam on one slice and close another side. Dip these two bread slices together and make toast for a jam sandwich filling. Loving the idea?? Then go ahead and give this a try for your hunger pranks and am sure they will love this too. Enjoy 😍

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5-7 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6 slices
bread slices 5-6
pineapple half of 1(1/2 cup juice)
custard powder 2 tbsp
water 1/4 cup

Watch on YouTube-



  • Wash, peel and chop the pineapples small. Add this to a blender jar and blend till smooth. Add the granulated sugar and blend again till sugar dissolves. Strain the juice using a strainer and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, add custard powder. Mix with 1/4 cup water to get a lump free mix. To this add the pineapple juice and mix. 
  • Dip each bread slices in both sides in this mix and remove immediately as the bread gets soaked and drenched in the liquid, which may make it difficult to work with.
  • Heat a pan and add ghee or butter. Place the bread slices and cook both sides until nicely toasted and browned.
  • Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

* You can add two beaten eggs to the pineapple juice instead of custard powder. Also, use a tsp of vanilla essence to the egg mixture.
* You can add pineapple jam on one slice and close another side. Dip these two bread slices together and make toast for a jam sandwich filling.
* You can use coconut milk instead of water in the batter. Please don't use whole milk as it may curdle.
* You can even use plain corn flour instead of custard powder, but the vanilla custard colour powder adds a nice colour to the toast.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Jeera Aloo | Cumin flavoured Potatoes | Urualakizhangu Jeerakam Fry

Preparing morning breakfast along with kid's lunch box is a hectic task for all moms. You literally have to look out for quick fixes for breakfast or lunch so that both are ready before they leave to school. I also try preparing recipes from scratch and hardly rely on package foods. Therefore, this jeera aloo recipe is one such quick fix recipe that I make with lemon rice for them frequently and kids love this combo very much.

This is a very simple recipe that is ready in a few minutes, and so give it a try if you haven't. The jeera (cumin seeds) gets nicely struck to the potatoes and the potatoes are nice crisp and delicious. Watch my Instagram handle for jeera aloo reel, posted :)

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 3
Author ~ Julie
potato 4 medium-sized, cubed small
crushed garlic 2 tsp
jeera (cumin seeds) 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2tbsp

  • Peel, wash and cut the potatoes in cubes. Leave soaked in water till use.
  • In a pan, add oil. To this add cumin seeds. When it crackles, add crushed garlic and sauté till raw flavours disappear.
  • Then slide in the cubed potatoes. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt. Mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes on low flame. The potatoes get cooked in the steam when cooking on low.
  • Check for salt and add a few splashes of water if needed. Finally dry up any moisture and switch off flame.
  • Enjoy with lemon rice or steam cooked rice.

* You can omit adding crushed garlic if you wish, but I like the crisp fried crushed garlic pieces in this stir-fry and for reducing gas ailments due to potatoes, garlic is good.


Monday, August 22, 2022

Easy Mutton Curry in a Pressure Cooker

Looking for some simple quick mutton curry to enjoy with steamed rice or phulkas?? Here is a simplified version of the elaborate Kerala style curry, with no tempering and only basic spices.

Mutton is not frequently bought at home, and we enjoy once in two months only. But whenever mutton is procured at home, all love it.This is a simple recipe that you can prepare in a pressure cooker in no time. The gravy can be thickened or thinned as desired with the amount of water added. Mutton has adequate fat in it to give the volume to the curry. Shallots and onions are added, which balances taste and flavours. Without further wasting time on the intro, here goes the recipe :)

Watch on YouTube -

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie
mutton 750 g
savala / onion 2 medium-sized sliced
shallots / kunjulli 1 cup sliced
ginger-garlic paste 2 tbsp
tomato 1 small chopped
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
hot chilly powder 1 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1 tbsp
coriander powder/ malli podi 2 tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprigs
whole spices-cinnamon 1' piece, star anise-1, cloves 3-4, cardamom 4
salt to taste
coconut oil 2tbsp


  • Wash the mutton pieces under running water 3-4 times, drain water completely and place in a strainer to remove excess water.
  • Heat a cooker and add the mutton pieces, add the turmeric powder, pepper powder, whole spices and salt. Mix the spices well. Then add a cup of water and cook the mutton on medium flame for 2 whistles on high flame, wait for the pressure to release.
  • In another pan, add oil and add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until the mix gets lightly crisp and is fried. To this add the sliced shallots and sauté till slightly wilted. Then, add the sliced onions and curry leaves. Sauté till lightly browned, add a pinch of salt to speed it up.
  • Then, add the coriander powder on low flame and sauté till the raw smell disappears. Add the remaining spices listed in the masala on low flame and mix well till the raw smell disappears.
  • Slide in the chopped tomato and add 1/4 cup water and cook till tomatoes soften. Switch off flame. 
  • In the meantime, open the cooker after pressure is released and transfer the cooked masala to this. Mix well to combine, add salt as needed. Add 1/4 cup water to the sautéed pan to wash the pan for remaining spices, add to the mutton.There should be enough stock by now to cook the masala, if not, add more water. Cover the cooker with the lid and cook on low medium flame for another 10 minutes or one whistle till the gravy thickens and masala gets combined well in the mutton. 
  • Once pressure is released, open cooker and check if done. The mutton should be nicely cooked and if the gravy needs a little thickening, boil a few more minutes to thicken the gravy. Garnish a few more curry leaves, switch off flame and keep covered till serving. Enjoy with steamed rice / phulkas/ chapathis.
* You can temper the curry by adding oil (1 tbsp) to a pan and add sliced shallots and curry leaves. Sauté until lightly browned and pour over the curry. I haven't done that as the mutton gravy is rich and doesn't need an additional oil tempering, so avoided that.


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Rajasthani Style Danedar Moong Dal Badam Halwa | Cherupayar Parippu Badam Halwa

Dal Badam halwa is a famous delicacy from Rajasthan, made during marriages and other festivities. The authentic version is a tedious process of soaking, grinding the dal(split moong dal) and badam(almonds), slow cooking the mixture for long hours in ghee, but the end product is the granule form of the halwa which is worth all the efforts. Nowadays, people have created many shortcuts to this traditional recipe by coarsely grinding the dal and almonds. Storing this mixture and preparing for a quick fix halwa. That process may yield the same flavours, but I wanted to go by the original version so that I can know the efforts put in behind the making of this delicious halwa.

I haven't tried the shortcut method yet, though have seen many videos on YouTube. So I can't comment on the tastes of that method. But let me tell you that this traditional version of the danedar(granules) tasted almost like store brought delicacy. This might involve a good workout to your arms, but the end result was worth trying. The dal is first soaked along with almonds. Then ground to a smooth paste, which is then mixed with ghee and added to the pan. Use a non-stick pan for best results as it uses lesser ghee. The mixture is then roasted on low flame and then cooked with sugar syrup. The whole process of this quantity took almost an hour to finish. Less adulterated and homemade makes this so special. If you love trying out something different for this Rakshabandan, then give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 1 hour
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6-8 bowls
split parippu / moong dal 1/2 cup
almonds blanched and soaked 1/4 cup
ghee 1/2 cup
granulated sugar 3/4 -1 cup
cardamom powder 1 tsp
saffron, a good pinch 
milk 2 cups
sliced almonds 2 tbsp
sliced pistachios 2 tbsp

Watch on YouTube-


  • Wash and soak the moong dal for 3-4 hours. Blanch the almonds in hot water, remove skin and soak the almonds too. Drain all the water after soaking and add the dal to a blender jar without water and grind to a coarse paste. To this add soaked almonds and  grind to a smooth paste, adding very little water. 
  • Mix half of the ghee(1/4 cup) with the ground paste. Add this to a non-stick pan and heat the pan on low flame. Continue to cook on low flame till the dal mixture looks roasted and the raw smell of dal disappears.
  • The mixture turns to a lump and is nicely roasted. To this, add the milk and break the lumps. Cook on low flame to cook the dal again. Scrape anything to the bottom each time so that it doesn't get burnt at the bottom.
  • Then add the saffron soaked milk and cardamom powder. Once saffron is added, the colour of the halwa mixture turns to golden yellow colour (which I loved the most).When the mixture looks dry, add the granulated sugar and give a quick mix. The dal mix then turns thin and sugar dissolves. Cook again till the mixture again starts to leave the pan and forms a lump. Add the sliced pistachios and almonds (half), mix well.
  • Now keep adding a tsp of ghee, continue stirring with a wooden spoon on low flame. Biceps gets a good work when making this halwa, but the end result is worthwhile. Keep adding a tsp of ghee till the bigger chunks break into smaller lumps and the smaller lumps to granule form. By then, the ghee starts to show up or the mixture starts to give out the added ghee. At this stage, stop adding ghee and mix to get the fine granular halwa. Takes one hour to get granules, so have patience to stir continously.
  • Finally, garnish with left over sliced pistachios and almonds. Enjoy warm or cool. Refrigerate leftovers, thaw before serving.

* Use a heavy bottom non-stick pan to get desired results and to reduce usage of ghee. Works perfect.
* I started making this halwa in the evening, but by the time I finished making it turned dark and so had to put on lights in the video.
* If you don't like granules, then add a few more tsp of ghee to get the usual halwa consistency. But I personally loved the granule form of this halwa.