Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Cabbage Thoran

Cabbage thoran is a dry dish,which is made of cabbage and grated coconut. It is an important ingredient of the kerala "sadhya"(feast). I have made this thoran many times, but first time with red cabbage.

This is a common vegetable which is generally found in the market. This time I thought of trying this and bought one. On cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red colour, you should add vinegar or acidic fruit. Without knowing that, I prepared this thoran, but after some reading I came to know about the trick of adding vinegar.

  1. Red Cabbage(shredded)-1/2
  2. Onions- 1 nos
  3. Green Chillies- 2-3 nos
  4. salt- to taste
  5. Oil- 2 tbsp
  6. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  7. Coconut (grated)- 1/2 cup
  8. Curry leaves-few
  1. Chop onions and greenchillies and mix it along with cabbage.
  2. Heat oil in a non stick kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the finely shredded cabbage mixture and curry leaves.
  3. Add salt and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Do not add water while cooking cabbage, otherwise it will become soggy.
  4. Now add grated coconut. Mix well and cook again without lid for 6-8 minutes till dry. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Karimeen Pollichathu / Baked Pearl Spot fish

Karimeen(Pearl spot) is a fish which is available in large quantities all over kerala especially in kerala backwaters. Kerala cuisine is diverse and this is a signature dish of Kerala.

In my childhood, we didnt get to eat this fish a lot, because in some places where we stayed this fish was not available. So my uncle who was having fish export business used to send us pearl spot and tiger prawns in bulk. My mom used to make varities of recipes with this. From then on we will be having a feast, until everything is finished.

It was a rainy sunday when I thought of making this dish, but to my dismay, I did not have "banana leaf" to bake the fish. And I owe this dish to my H who got me banana leaf  from a far off market amidst the drizzling. This dish goes well with any kind of Pulav/Fried rice or even as a side dish to a regular meal. So, lets get to the recipe now. We enjoyed this dish along with the colorful carrot pulav.


  1. Karimeen (pearl spot fish)- 2nos
  2. Onions- 2nos
  3. Red chilli flakes-1tbsp
  4. Ginger (chopped)- 2tbsp
  5. Garlic(chopped)- 2tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder-1tsp
  7. Kudampuli(Kokum)/ Tamarind- 1no
  8. Pepper powder-1tsp
  9. Salt- as per taste
  10. Mustard seeds- 2tsp
  11. Coconut Oil- 3tbsp
  12. Banana leaves- 3nos. Cut into pieces large enough to wrap a whole fish

  1. Wash and clean fish, then deep slits should be made on either side of the fish to ensure that the masala enters inside the fish while cooking.
  2. Soak kudampuli in warm water for some time and extract the juice.
  3. Heat 2tbsp of oil in a frying pan.
  4. Add mustard seeds, when they splutter add onions and saute till they are transparent.
  5. Now add chopped ginger and chopped garlic, mix well. 
  6. In this add red chilli flakes, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt.
  7. At last add the juice of kudampuli and mix well.
  8. Remove from flame and keep aside till it attains room temparature.
  9. Apply this evenly on the slitted fish.
  10. Run the banana leaves over the flame to make them pliable.
  11. Apply a little oil on banana leaves with muslin cloth.
  12. Wrap each fish individually in the banana leaves and tie with a thread, so that the masala doesn't come out.
  13. Roast on a shallow pan or griddle for 2 to 5 minutes flipping over at equal intervals.
  14. Alternatively you can steam the wrapped fish in a steamer for 6 to 8 minutes.
  15. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chicken Dum Biryani

Bakrid or Id-ul-Zuha is one of the most celebrated festivals among Muslims all over the world. It is a festival of great rejoice and of sacrifice, celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety in India.

This year is the most happiest Bakrid for me, as my parents went for Hajj and my in-laws are with us to celebrate this festival.

Since I always cook my usual biryani recipe on all such occassions, I wanted to try out something different this time around. While I was searching for recipes, I bumped into this chicken biryani recipe in one of my cookery books called "Pachakam". This recipe is originally from Samvrutha Sunil, listed in the cookbook as one of her favorite biryani recipes.


for Rice:

  1. Basmathi rice- 4 cups
  2. Ghee- 4 tbsp
  3. Onions(sliced)- 2 nos
  4. Water- 41/2 cups
  5. Cashewnuts- 25 gms
  6. Raisins- 25 gms
  7. Cinnamon- 2 nos
  8. Cloves- 4 nos
  9. Cardamoms- 3 nos
  10. Salt- as per taste
for Masala:

  1. Chicken pieces- 1 kg
  2. Ghee- 2 tbsp
  3. Oil- 2 tbsp
  4. Onions(sliced)- 3 nos
  5. Tomatoes(sliced)- 3 nos
  6. Green Chillies- 4/5 nos
  7. Ginger(crushed)- 2 tbsp
  8. Garlic(chopped)- 2 tbsp
  9. Cinnamon- 2 nos
  10. Cloves- 4 nos
  11. Coriander Leaves(chopped)- 1/4 cup
  12. Mint Leaves(chopped)- 1/4 cup
  13. Coriander Powder- 1 tsp
  14. Pepper Powder- 1tsp
  15. Fennel Seeds-1/2 tsp
  16. Salt- as per taste

Method for Rice:

  1. Wash rice several times and drain it.
  2. Now add little more ghee and fry onions until golden and keep them in a bowl.This is used at last.
  3. Keep a pressure cooker and pour remaining ghee. when it is hot add cloves, cinnamon and cardamoms along with drained rice. 
  4. Fry for 3 min.
  5. Add water and pressure cook for upto 4 whistles.

Method for Seasoning:

  1. In a non-stick pan, add little ghee and fry the cashews until golden colour.
  2. Remove them and drain on kitchen towel.
  3. In the same ghee, fry the raisins until they puff up and mix them along with cashews.

Method for Chicken Masala:

  1. Wash chicken and place it in a colander to drain of all water.
  2. Grind the masala ingredients (6-15 in the table above) to a paste.
  3. Heat a large pan and add oil + ghee.
  4. Saute onions. When the onion turns golden brown, add tomatoes and fry well.
  5. At this point, add the ground paste (step 2 above) and mix well.
  6. Now add the drained chicken pieces along with salt and mix futher. Place the lid and let it cook well.
  7. Do not add water to chicken since there will be lots of water draining from the meat.
  8. After the chicken is cooked, there will be a little bit of water left. Do not drain it.

Now for layering,

  1. Divide the rice in three parts and masala into two parts.
  2. Take a large heavy base vessel and rub it with oil or ghee. Layer the bottom of the vessel with first part of rice.
  3. Spread the first part of chicken masala on top of the rice layer.
  4. Repeat this layering for all portions of masala and rice.
  5. Finally, pour the water ( which is left while cooking chicken) on top of the layered biryani.
  6. At the end of layering, sprinkle the fried onions and dum it with a wet cloth or with dough and place the lid.
  7. Place some sort of heavy object (i use my marble mortar) on top of the lid so that the steam and thus the aroma stays inside the vessel.
  8. Heat a tawa and place this large vessel on the tawa and cook on low heat for 15-20 mins.
  9. Now the biryani is ready to be served.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bhindi/Vendakka/Okra/Ladies finger fry

On a lazy day, I was in no mood to cook. But had to prepare lunch, so I thought of making an easy dish and selected this one.

Ladies finger (Okra) is very rich in nutrional content and is said to help in weight loss.

And the most interesting part is that my husband doesn't like Okra. In fact, he doesn't like most of the vegetables, so I have to innovate new vegetable dishes. It is a very simple recipe and pairs well with rice.

  1. Okra(ladies finger)- 1/4kg
  2. Small Onions- 9nos
  3. Curry Leaves- few
  4. Salt- as per taste
  5. Mustard Seeds- 1/2tsp
  6. Red Chilly Powder- 2tsp
  7. Oil- 2tsp
  1. Clean ladies finger, cut both ends and slice them into tiny rings.
  2. Take a non-stick pan and pour the oil. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
  3. Add finely cut ladies finger, onions and curry leaves with salt.
  4. Mix well. Cover the pan cook and stir in between.
  5. When ladies finger turns tender,  remove the lid and saute until the ladies finger turns crispy.
  6. Now it attains a dark brown colour.
  7. Switch off the flame now, add the red chilly powder and mix well.
  8. Serve with rice.

      Do not add water to okra.Do not stir often as this breaks the okra and it tends to get sticky

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

3 Min Mug Cake

After the hangover of festivals,am going to introduce my first recipe, which is simple and sweet. To mark the "shubh aaramb" of my blog, I made a sweet dish :-) , which is easy to make.This will be liked by all, mostly kids. My daughter just loves it.

I think many of you might know about this cake, but i just want to share my experience. I came to know about this from my younger brother and I was always been very fond of cakes. I did some googling and finally I got this mix. I have tried this recipe several times and it came out well.

So here is the recipe,

  1. All purpose Flour/Maida- 4tbsp
  2. Sugar- 4tbs
  3. Milk- 3tbsp
  4. Oil- 3tbsp
  5. Cocoa pdr-2tbsp
  6. Vanilla Essence- 1/2tsp
  7. Egg- 1
  8. Microwave Mug- 1
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a cup.
  2. Add egg and mix well without forming any lumps.
  3. Now add oil, milk and vanilla essence.
  4. Add chocolate chips if you like.
  5. Place your mug in microwave and cook for 3min at 1000 watts.
  6. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but dont be alarmed.
  7. Let it cool a little and the cake is ready to be served.

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