Friday, July 30, 2010

First Award - the versatile blogger

I was quite surprised to get an award from Suja of Kitchen Corner-Try It because I don't consider myself to be much of a blogger. I'm here for the love of food and my enthusiam to know about and try different kinds of food. Anyways, thanks to sweet Suja; she has a lovely blog with a good collection of recipes and has adorable presentation skills. To accept this award I have to thank the person who awarded it, share seven things about myself and pass it to fifteen blogger friends.

About me:
  1. Like to cook, love to eat, but hate to do the dishes
  2. Love to taste all kinds of food as long as it is cooked (still mustering courage to eat sushi!)
  3. Love to travel and eat out in restaurants
  4. Ok, enough of food and to be with family and friends
  5. Getting addicted to reality TV shows
  6. Not much of a talker, but love to be around (talkative!) people all the time; another reason why I'm blogging
  7. Last but not the least, I've this weird habit of trying to bring things together. When I joined orkut I created two communites to bring people together! And you are right, I need to stop!
I would like to pass this award to 15 fellow bloggers: Yummy team, Kairali sisters, Sarah, Prani's Kitchen, Nitha, Satya, Sanyukta, PadhuPriya, Asha, Nithu, RV, Mharo Priya, Deepa &Tanu and Gulmohar

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thakkali Sadam (Tomato Rice)

Tomato rice is a South Indian delicacy, usually served with pickles or raita. As the name suggests, it is rice flavored with tomatoes and freshly roasted and ground lentils. This is the first time I'm making thakkali sadam and loved it.
Recipe Courtesy: Jai and Bee's Jugalbandi
I have to admit I couldn't help using cloves, cardamom, Malabar leaves (Indian bay leaves), peppercorns and cinnamon stick for flavor as suggested in Varsha's Will-O'-the Wisp. I love the aroma of those spices that spreads into the room while cooking with them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gongura Pappu (Sorrel Leaves Dal)

I bought a bag of leafy vegetable from the Indian grocery store the other day thinking that it is beet greens. When I opened the bag at home I had no clue what those leaves were! After searching online for a while, finally, I figured out that those are gongura or sorrel leaves which is a delicacy in Andhra. Preparation of the dal was very easy and the dish had a slight sour taste as if though I have added lime juice or tamarind juice. It must be this sourness that makes gongura ideal for pickles. I loved it and gongura pachadi (pickle) is next in my list.
Recipe courtesy: Indira's blog Mahanandi

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kerala Sambar - Medley of Vegetables in Toor Dal

Sambar is a traditional side dish of South India with regional variations in recipe between the states and within each state. Typical Kerala sambar is a medley of vegetables in dal (yes, we don't use coconut!!!), but the vegetable selection differs from region to region. This is one of those Kerala dishes where coconut is not used in any form. Recipe courtesy: Annita's blog My Treasure...My Pleasure

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dal Tadka

Initially I used to think that dal and dal tadka are two completely different dishes. Later I figured out that 'tadka' in hindi means 'tempering'. Now, don't roll your eyes! How do I know - I grew up in Kerala and I was not paying attention in the class when our hindi teacher covered that part :) And, nobody in Bollywood movies talk about tadka either hmm...DH grew up in Gujarat and he loves to have dal with rice or chapathi.
Recipe courtesy: Phanitha's Kitchenette

Friday, July 23, 2010

Banana Pancake

This is a very easy semi homemade breakfast. If you are in a hurry in the morning, go for it. I used store bought pancake mix (lazy me!) and mashed the banana into the flour (1 big banana for 1.5 cup flour) before adding milk/water. You can mash the banana into a paste or make it chunky, whichever way you like to have it. The pancakes tasted delicious.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aviyal - Medley of Vegetables with Coconut

Aviyal is a traditional Kerala side dish, which is a very healthy and delicious medley of vegetables. It is very difficult to define a traditional recipe as each region in Kerala has its own take on it. The vegetables used for aviyal vary from region to region and the souring agent used could be raw mango or tamarind extract or curd. But there is one thing I'm sure about - whichever way you make aviyal, I just love it.
Recipe Courtesy: Bharathi's Spicy Chilly 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kappa Puzhukku (Mashed Tapioca / Cassava / Yuca with Coconut)

Kappa puzhukku with fish curry is a very popular delicacy of Kerala. Though known by different names from north to south of Kerala, kappa puzhukku is equally loved by people all over the state. I found this recipe in the blog Mishmash which is very similar to mom's recipe. If you haven't tried it before, try it and I bet you will love it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cauliflower Egg Thoran / Stir-Fry with Coconut

I usually make this thoran for my son who is a very picky eater. The recipe is very simple, first make cauliflower thoran and then add egg. There is an easy cauliflower thoran recipe in Yummy Team's blog. After making the thoran, move the cauliflower to the sides of the pan. Crack eggs (1 egg for 1 cup cauliflower) into the empty space in the middle of the pan. Add salt and black pepper just enough for the eggs. Stir the eggs gently with a spatula as they begin to cook. Cut any large chunks of egg into the size of cauliflower florets. After the eggs solidifies, mix them with the cauliflower and stir-fry further for 2-3 minutes. This stir-fry tastes really good even without the coconut in it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chicken Peralan (Chicken Masala)

I absolutely loved this peralan recipe which I got from Suja Sugathan's blog Kitchen Corner-Try It. This is the first time I'm making a chicken dish without coriander powder (of course, store bought garam masala may contain some). Anyways, it tasted delicious. The best part is, my four-year-old picky eater loved it too! Thanks to Suja for the recipe.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vegetable Upma

This is how I make upma these days, with lots of vegetables in it. My recipe is very similar to this recipe in the blog Marias Menu. I didn't precook the vegetables, instead, stir-fried it with onion and ginger and let it cook in the boiling water for a few minutes. Also, I added grated coconut like my mom does. A very healthy way to start the day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vendakka Thoran (Okra / Lady's Finger Stir-Fry with Coconut)

My mom never used to make vendakka thoran at home and neither do I. I found this recipe on Bharathy's blog Spicy Chilly. I fried it a little bit more to avoid the sliminess as we bite into the okra pieces. Loved it!

MIL's Vendakka Thoran

This is my MIL's version of okra thoran. She puts coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala while okra is cooking. Towards the end, grated coconut is added like in usual thorans.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vellarikka Moru Curry (Cucumber Buttermilk Curry)

Pulisseri (buttermilk curry) is something that I have at home all the time. This time I decided to make this curry instead. Traditionally, cucumber with yellow skin is used for this curry. My mom makes another version of this curry without the yogurt in it. I found this recipe in the blog Kaipunyam. The use of garlic in the curry is new to me and we loved it. Thanks to Tina for the recipe.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Panini Sandwich

I still had some leftover potato podimas in the refrigerator and another evening snack/appetizer idea flashed through my mind. My George Foreman grill has been sitting idle for a while and a panini sandwich could be a good way to use it. I used the thick Texas toast bread, layering it with grated monterey jack-cheddar cheese mix and my leftover podimas. Brush the outside of bread with butter to get the brown color. Grill for 5-7 minutes and the delicious Indo-Italian panini sanwich (if I could call it so!) is ready. Serve with hot sauce (I ate it as such!).

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Quesadilla

My refrigerator is getting stuffed with leftovers - few chappathis, potato podimas that I made the other day, cheese that is approaching expiry date etc. etc...What will I make with all these? How about an Indo-Mexican Quesadilla as evening snack/appetizer? Sounds interesting huh! Well, the preparation was very easy; place the bottom chappathi on the grill, layer it with grated cheese (I used a mix of monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheese), potato podimas, then again grated cheese. Place the top chappathi, grill for 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts, then turn over and grill for another 2-3 minutes. Make sure the grill is set at low heat so that the chappathi won't get burnt. Ta-da... the vegetarian quesadilla is ready! Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter and serve with salsa or sour cream (or eat as such!). Though rustic looking, it tasted delicious!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Potato Podimas (Aloo Podimas)

I was planning to make chappathi for dinner and needed a side dish to go with. It's been a while since I made potato podimas. Potato podimas is a South Indian dish. My mom used to make it with chappathi and puri. I found this recipe in the blog Shanthi Krishnakumar's cookbook which is very similar to my mom's recipe. The difference here is that I used onions along with ginger and stir-fried chopped vegetables (carrot, green beans and peas) before adding the mashed potato. The dish came out great. The leaves and the two acorns in the picture has nothing to do with the dish. My four-year-old brought it from outside as a 'surprise' for me while I was taking the photo. I think the word 'surprise' has a different meaning in his dictionary.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fish Fry (Kuttanadan Style)

I had left over fish in the refrigerator and wanted to make fish fry. This Kuttanadan fish fry recipe from Sarah Naveen's blog Vazhayila looked very appealing to me and decided to give it a try. Kuttanad, 'the rice bowl of Kerala', is a beautiful region located in central Kerala famous for its backwaters and green paddy fields. This recipe is very similar to my mom's recipe eventhough she is not from Kuttanad. I loved it. Thanks to Sarah for the recipe.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kerala Red Fish Curry (Kottayam Style)

 I was searching for a fish curry recipe and stumbled upon this recipe by the Yummy Team. Kottayam, "the city of letters", is located in central Kerala. This is a typical Kerala fish curry recipe which does not use coconut or coconut milk. The only difference I made here are that I used shallots along with ginger-garlic and also added green chilli to spice it up. Thanks to Yummy Team for the recipe.

 This is another red fish curry with salmon. This time I added coriander powder.