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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Cauliflower Thoran | Kerala Style Cauliflower Stir Fry (VIDEO)

Cauliflower is a versatile cruciferous veggie that is very rich in fibre, excellent source of vitamins and minerals.This veggie is also a great source of anti oxidants, which protect your cells from free radicals and inflammation. Cauliflower is a great choice veggie for all starter recipes for vegetarians. 

Gobi stuffed Paratha, hot chilli gobi, cauliflower pepper fry, cauliflower(gobi) masala are few recipes that I posted here so far. However, today's post is a healthy and delicious Kerala style stir-fry recipe with cauliflower. This recipe is very simple and tasty that can be served with steamed rice. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 4-5
Author ~ Julie
cauliflower  1/2 of a big flower or 2 cups grated
salt to taste
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
green chilli 2-3 sliced
curry leaves
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
coconut oil 1 tbsp

to crush 
grated coconut 1/3 cup
shallots / kunjulli 5-6
garlic 4-5 cloves
cumin seeds/ jeerakam 1/2 tsp
fennel seeds/ perinjeerakam 1/2 tsp


  • Crush the coconut with other ingredients. Then, blanch the cauliflower florets in warm water and salt for 5 minutes. Rinse under running water and drain water, grate using a grater. Transfer to a plate.
  • Heat oil in a kadai , splutter mustard seeds. Add green chilli and curry leaves. 
  • Then, slide grated cauliflower. Add turmeric, pepper and salt.Cook for 4-5minutes on low flame. Sprinkle some water. 
  • Finally, add crushed coconut mix.Add a tbsp of water in blender and mix. Toss and cook covered for 2-3 minutes, or till everything looks combined and free of moisture. Adjust salt if needed. 
  • Serve with steamed rice.

* You can chop the floret small instead of grating, but I feel grating is quicker. 
* Cauliflower leaves out moisture when it starts to cook, so you may or may not need to add water when cooking.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Varutharacha Koonthal Curry | Nadan Kanava Curry | Kerala Style Squid in Roasted Coconut Gravy (VIDEO)

Koonthal(kanava)/ Squid  is a good source of protein, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and selenium. I started seeing this fish when we stayed in Trivandrum long back. Till then, I hardly knew this fish and so hardly tasted. There was a fishmonger woman who came door to door and sold fresh fish. She compelled me to try the kanava(koonthal) first time and I asked my neighbour aunty for the recipe, and she taught me this Squid Curry  Pull the head off, remove the innards and ink sac of the squid, and separate the tentacles. Scrub thoroughly with salt and clean water. The body sac and tentacles of the squid are edible. This fish when cooked tastes like meat, and  then I tried the Kanava (Squid Roast) which is a more delicious version of this fish. Do give it a try if you haven't tasted.

Varutharacha koonthal(kanava) curry is yet another traditional Kerala style curry. The roasted coconut adds volume and sweetness to the gravy. This is a very healthy and delicious curry to be served with steamed rice. We had this curry with steamed rice, cheera thoran and chakkakuru mezhukuparetti. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

YouTube Link- 


 Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6
Author ~ Julie
koonthal (kanava) /squid 500gms
kunjulli / shallots 3/4 cup sliced
green chillies 2-3 vertical slit
ginger 1.5 tbsp chopped 
tomato 1 medium-sized 
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
curry leaves  2 sprigs
water 1 cup

to roast
coconut 1 cup grated
coriander powder 1 tbsp
hot chilli powder 1/2 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 2 tsp
water 1/2 cup

to garnish
coconut oil 1 tbsp
curry leaves, a sprig

  • Clean the squid and rinse properly. Cut in roundels if small ones. I had big sized squid, so cut in small rectangular pieces. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and dry roast the coconut until browned and then add coriander powder and chilli powders on low flame, switch off flame. When cooled, add to a blender jar and add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a mann chatti (clay pot) and add chopped ginger. To this add the sliced shallots, green chillies and curry leaves.
  • Sauté until translucent. To this add the chopped tomato and cook till the tomatoes mash well. Then, add the turmeric powder, pepper powder and garam masala.
  • Slide in the washed squid pieces and give a quick stir. To this, add the coconut paste and add half cup water to the blender jar, wash and add the remaining masala. 
  • Also, add one cup water along with the salt. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on medium flame. Check the consistency after 6 minutes and simmer again for 2-3 minutes on low flame. 
  • Finally, add the curry leaves and pour a tbsp of coconut oil. Switch off flame, leave covered for 5 minutes. Serve warm with steamed rice. 

* Switch off flame before the desired consistency of the gravy, as mann chatti will absorb moisture and gravy will thicken when cools.
* Dry roast the coconut till golden brown.
* Shallots are equally important in this curry, but if you don't get shallots, use one onion medium-sized sliced.

* Squid Curry

Monday, June 20, 2022

Mango Mastani

Mango season is almost coming to an end, but mango recipes are always a big YES here at home. Do you love mangoes? Can someone say no to this King of fruits, mango. India has one of the largest collections of different varieties of mangoes, Alphonso, Kesar, badami, Sindhoora, Malgova, Totapuri, Banganpali to list a few. As we are rich in mango varieties from different states, so are the number of recipes with ripe mango. Mangoes are a summer fruit and so milk shakes, desserts like mango ice cream, mango mousse are very popular.

Mango Mastani is yet another popular ice cream drink from Pune. Pune's iconic Sujatha Mastani is one of the early outlets that served the best mango mastani. They still have so many flavours and additions to the age-old traditional mango mastani. Though we don't have the original recipe that they serve, but this recipe comes closer to what they serve. The recipe is quite simple to put together, and you can enjoy this chilled drink anytime during the hot summers. Give this a try for your kids as after school drink and am sure they will totally go mad over this drink. Enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3 tall glasses
ripe mango 2 (sindhoora/ alphonsa)
*ice cream 4-5 scoops 
sliced almonds 2 tbsp
sliced pistachios 2 tbsp
milk 1 cup (chilled)
granulated sugar 2 tbsp
maraschino cherries 2-3

  • Wash, peel and cut the mangoes in small pieces. Reserve 3-4 tbsp of chopped mangoes. Add the remaining to the blender jar.
  • Add 2 scoops of ice cream, add chilled milk, granulated sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Add 2 tbsp of mango pieces to the glass and pour the mango milk shake over it. Drop few slices of chopped pistachios and almonds. Top it again with mango shake. Add a scoop of ice cream and garnish with sliced pistachios, almonds, chopped mangoes and cherry.
  • Serve chilled.

* You can use mango ice cream for added colour and taste. I have added vanilla ice cream.
* You can add tutty fruity too to enhance the looks.
* Use chilled milk and cold mangoes, for best results.



Friday, June 17, 2022

Vermicelli Barfi | Semiya Barfi (VIDEO)

Semiya or vermicelli is popularly used in making kheer or payasam. What else do you try out frequently with semiya or vermicelli? The other popular item made at home is Vermicelli(semiya) Upma that I have already posted. I had bought thin vermicelli or nylon vermicelli for making the kunafa. Then, I prepared sheer khurma too, but then there was still some leftover. So thought to make this barfi which was a good thought as everyone loved it at home. The best part of making this barfi is that this sweet doesn't have many calories and sugar compared to the amount usually added in Indian sweets in general. And so, this sweet may not taste very rich but believe me, this barfi is good in its own way.

The thick kind of vermicelli may not taste very good for making this barfi as the strands may be crunchy. However, if you like biting the crunch, then try with the thick type vermicelli. The thin variety when cooked is  soft, yet the strands are identifiable in looks alone, which gives a unique look. If you are hunting down on trying some simple sweet recipes that you would like to prepare in a jiffy, then this is the right choice. Do give these a try and enjoy !!



Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time  15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6-8 pieces
nylon vermicelli(thin) 3/4 cup
pottukadala (roasted bengal gram) 1/4 cup
ghee 1.5 tbsp
milkmaid / condensed milk 1/3 cup
milk 1/2 cup
cardamom powder 1 tsp
sliced pistachios 1 tbsp (garnish)

  • Dry roast the pottukadala(roasted bengal gram) and grind to a smooth powder. Keep aside. 
  • Heat a pan and add ghee. To this add vermicelli and dry roast for 2 minutes till lightly brown. Then add pottukadala powder and roast with it till the raw smell disappears. Add milk to the mix and the mixture absorbs the milk. Then, add condensed milk, cardamom powder and mix well. The mixture starts to leave the pan and becomes a ball. Switch off the flame. 
  • In the meantime, line a bread tray with parchment paper, add little sliced pistachios and transfer the mixture. 
  • Level the mixture with a spoon and add sliced pistachios on top to garnish. Leave to cool for 20 minutes and cut in squares. Enjoy.

* You can add 1/4 cup milk powder too instead of roasted bengal gram(pottukadala).
* I haven't added colour to the barfi, but you can add a pinch of  yellow food colour or saffron strands for colour.
* If you like biting through the thin strands of vermicelli, then omit adding the amount of milk, only add condensed milk.

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