Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fruits for Health - Best of Fruits

In a healthy diet fruits form a major component. I remember from when I was young in my home after every meal fruits are served either in plain form or along with custard or icecream. So here I am posting some mouthwatering pictures of fruits to make my readers get tempted to eat fruits.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pulliyela Chuttathu (Fish roast in Tamarind leaf paste)

I am not sure how many of you have heard about this particular recipe, this is a special recipe seen in Idukki district in Kerala, India. This is a tasty curry to be had with rice. It has a special green color, spicy and sour and a special taste. I am not saying it is an easy recipe but not a tough recipe, but my opinion is that each of you should try this special recipe.
Ingredients
Fresh Tender Tamarind Leaf - 4 cups
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Kanthari Mulaku - (A type of small sized chilly seen in this photograph) It is a common plant in most of the households in Kerala, India. If this is not available green chilly may also be used.
Ginger - 2 tbsp
Fresh or salted- 2 small cups (to be cut into small pieces.)
Salt to taste
Banana Leaft

Preparation
Grind well tamarind leaf, coconut, chilly or kanthari mulak, and ginger in a grinder without adding water to a smooth paste and mix this paste with the fish pieces and salt(if dry fish is used salt is not required) using hand or using a spoon and keep aside. Now heat a flat pan and place the banana leaf onto it now put the mixture on top of this banana leaf and flatten using hand and cover this with another piece of banana leaf. Simmer the gas burner and keep this for about 3 minutes and then turn it to the other side so that the other side is also cooked and baked well and keep for another 3 minutes again covered with banana leaf. Now remove from flame and is ready to be used.

Truly saying this recipe is worth trying and tasty.

NB: Dry fish is much tastier than fresh fish to be used with this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kovakkai (Ivy Gourd) Thoran

Today I was thinking what to be made for lunch searched the refrigerator but could only find Kovakkai or Ivy Gourd in there so I decided to make a curry with this.
Kovakkai goes by a lot of names - "Kundru in the North, "Kovakkai" in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, "Dondekaya" in Telugu and "Ivy Gourd" in English. It probably has a few more languages. Some people mistake it to be "Gherkin" by some people, but I don't think this isn't true because baby cucumbers are not Kovakkai it is different.

Kovakkai can be prepared in a number of methods but I usually do simple preparations either by deep frying in or by adding grated coconut which is called as thoran in Kerala.

So today lets start of with Kovvakkai Thoran
Ingredients
Kovakkai or Ivy gourd 250 gm cut into small round pieces
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seed - 1tbsp
Onion diced into small pieces - 2 tbsp
Green chilly - 2 nos
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - 5to 10
Salt - as per requirement

Preparation
Heat oil in a pan when hot add mustard seeds followed by onion and saute until golden brown now add the green chilly followed by the sliced kovvakai, grated coconut, turmeric powder and salt as required.

Now cover the pan with a tight lid lower the flame and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes until done. Now remove from flame and is ready to be served.

NB: Turmeric powder is optional as per ones choice. This is a very tasty vegetables.

It is low in cals and fat but rich in minerals and B complex vitamins. In view of the low calorie content and low Glycemic index it is advocated for diabetics further.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Puttu Kadala

Puttu Kadala is the favourite breakfast of the Keralites and occupies a very important position in the authentic Kerala cuisine. This tasty steam cake is the favourite not only for the Keralites but for people all over the globe, considering it to be a healthy food among other junk foods.

Ingredients
Puttu

Rice flour - (red coloured chemba powder or normal white rice flour) Available in any Indian grocery shop or you can prepare the same at home by soaking rice in water for some time and grinding it to a fine flour and roast the flour.
Water
Salt as per requirement
Grated Coconut

Preparation
Add some salt to water and now add this salted water little by little to the flour and mix well with hand. The mixing should be appropriate that the rice powder should be damp enough for steaming. The mixing for puttu should be appropriate that it is in the powdery form itself but the powder should be damp. The secret of puttu lies in its mixing. If you wish so you may add some grated coconut to this damp flour and mix well once again with hand.

Now take some water in a puttu kana(pot) or if using a pressure cooker take some water in a pressure cooker cover the lid and leave it to boil when the steam starts to come, place the puttu kutti or kana(the long straight hollow tube like vessel in which puttu is made) add some grated coconut then on top of it some mixed rice powder vice versa layer by layer and then cover the puttu kana or kutti with its lid and leave it for some time until you see the steam starts to come out through small holes in the lid. When the steam starts coming in full fledged reduce the flame and leave it for 1 or 2 minutes and remove it from the pot or pressure cooker. Now using a skewer push the puttu out from the puttu kanna or kutti. Now steaming hot puttu is ready to eat.

NB: Instead of adding coconut in between the flour you may also add minced meat or boiled banana mixed with grated coconut for those who like sweet puttu, especially kids. Also puttu can be made in coconut shell known as chiratta puttu in the same way by

The best combination for puttu is Kadala or chickpeas curry. It is available in brown and offwhite colour but the best combination is brown kadala. But puttu can also be had with plain sugar, ripe banana, mango, meat curry, fish curry, chicken curry, cherrupayar or green gram, plain pappad fry or certain people have puttu with plain black tea.

KADALA CURRY Ingredients
Brown Kadala or Chickpeas - 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Greenchilly - 3 Nos split to two
Ginger garlic past - 1tbsp
Coriander leaves 10 to 15
Water as required
Salt to taste
Onion one big sliced
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Chilly powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tbsp
Coconut milk thick 1 cup
Oil 3 - 4 tbsp

Preparation
Take a pressure cooker put the soaked and washed kadala along with green chilly, coriander leaves and some water, depending on how much gravy you require for the curry. Now cover the pressure cooker and leave it for 2 to 3 whistles (sufficient enough since kadala has been soaked overnight). Now remove the cooker from flame and keep aside. Now place a pan on top of the flame when dried and hot add some oil when oil is heated add mustard seeds followed by sliced onion and saute well until it turns golden brown. Now add ginger garlic paste and saute followed by coriander, chilly and turmeric powder, also you may add some garam masala to it which will give a special flavour now saute all this well then add the cooked kadala and some salt to taste. Once it has boiled well just before removing from flame add the coconut milk. It is ready to be served hot with Puttu ...........Hmmm mouthwatering.

You can also prepare kadala without gravy and adding small pieces of coconut to it which is also tasty.

NB: Kadala is also a good combination for appam, idiyappam, puri, and uppma.

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About Me and My Kitchen

When I was a kid I remember when my mom had gone out I used to skip into the kitchen secretly and experiment what ever I could. One day I remember having prepared meat Puff and can you imagine a dog that does not eat something made with meat yes our Jimmy did so. I would have stopped experimenting at that time if it was not for my younger sister who ate the puffs and said "good, you could make it a bit more better. She was always like that though I knew I was a bad cook, she always used to taste what ever I prepared and encouraged me in preparing more and more.

Thus after many years, I cannot say I am an expert cook but my hubby especially encourages me to prepare more and more. But he always says rather than Naadan( local or common) food I am good in preparing some chinese or some continental food. So my experiments were more in that rather than the naadan food, may be because I am fond of that. Now my inspiration and support for cooking is my son who is my greatest fan and encourages me to try out variety..

So lets start of with some naadan food which I prepare and then later go into my experiments I think that would be much better.........