Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gothambu Pradhaman/ Cracked Wheat Pudding - My First Guest Post

Today’s post is very special to me. This is a guest post for Swathi who blogs @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen. She has a wonderful blog with a wide variety of recipes from cuisines across the world. She has been blessed with a baby boy and I am very happy for her. Wishing you Life’s very best, now and forever. This is my first guest post and I am really honored Swathi. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Coming to the recipe, I wanted to post a traditional Kerala dish, and decided on Gothambu Pradhaman/ Cracked Wheat Pudding. Cracked wheat cooked and simmered in coconut milk sweetened with jaggery. Jaggery and coconut milk spell magic to me. The combo always turns out so very delicious.

Hop over to Swathi's space to check out the post and detailed recipe.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spinach and Corn Sandwich

Cooking up something is not a very difficult task, but the answer to the question “What to cook, today?” definitely is. Don’t you think so? Every day, morning, afternoon and night I am plagued by this one question. And just cooking up something also won’t do, especially when it’s for your lil one’s lunch box. It needs to be wholesome, nutritious as well as something which they will like. Now that’s difficult isn’t it? Cos, children as such like very few things, like my lil one would love anything made out of Paneer, sweet corn, next comes cheese, noodles, nutella, peanut butter.etc. See the list of “healthy” favorites!

I literally have to struggle to make my elder one have some veggies. She doesn’t mind it as Pulao but if it’s a stir fry, or some sabzi for rotis, I always face rejection. Anyways, I am also not the one to give up, so I keep coming up with something different every now and then, and she is just too curious to not have it.

Here is a great way of sneaking in some greens into your kid’s meal. I myself am a great fan of these sandwiches. I had these for the first time at Café Coffee Day. I guess, many would’ve tasted these awesome sandwiches there. Also, had them a couple of times in Spice Jet flights. That’s when I realized that my daughter likes these sandwiches and made a special request to prepare these for her at home. These sandwiches have always been in my mind, but I somehow never got around making them, the reason being, that, Spinach was there, corn wasn’t or if corn was available, spinach wasn’t fresh enough and if both were available, then bread was not there. So finally, determined to make these sandwiches, went out to the market and got the ingredients especially for this. So here is my way of making these yummy sandwiches.

Makes 6 sandwiches
What you’ll need
  1. Bread – 12 Slices (I used Whole wheat)
  2. Spinach – finely chopped – 2 Cups
  3. Sweet Corn Niblets – 1 cup
  4. Garlic – 1 clove
  5. Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Cheese – 1 cube (I used Amul) entirely optional
  8. Butter or Ghee – 1 tsp + more for toasting

  1. Microwave the corn for about 4 mins else boil it. Drain the water completely and set aside.
  2. Heat a non stick pan with a tsp of butter/ghee.
  3. Add finely chopped garlic and sauté.
  4. Next add the finely chopped spinach and sauté till it has wilted completely.
  5. Now add the cooked corn, salt and pepper and give it a good stir.
  6. If adding cheese, grate it and add now. Mix well. Remove from heat.
  7. Allow to cool completely.
  8. Cut the edges of the bread.
  9. On one slice place the required amount of filling and close with another slice.
  10. Toast in a Sandwich maker or grill or on a tawa, using a little butter or ghee.

Healthy and delicious sandwiches are ready to serve with some ketchup.

Linking this to HITS – Healthy Delights, and to CWS – Corn hosted by Shylaja.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oats, Dates and Almond Shake

The name itself sounds healthy doesn’t it? This milkshake is not only healthy but very delicious too. We are not a breakfast family, in the sense that we do not sit down for a traditional breakfast of idly chutney, or Puri masala etc, rather we are Oats people, i.e. we have oats kanji (porridge) every single day for breakfast with maybe a banana or a few dates. Now doesn’t that sound really boring! At least it is, for me and my kids. So sometimes just for a change, I prepare some sandwiches or milkshakes, only for me and my kids, the others in the house still prefer to have the same old Oats kanji.

When Saffola, came out with their brand of Oats, at a very competitive price I was tempted to go for it, what with the advertisement for a free recipe booklet with it. So just to collect the recipe booklet I purchased Saffola Oats. Though I have read and seen many recipes using oats, like Idly, Dosa, Upma, Pongal etc, in many blogs, but somehow I was never keen on trying out the Upma and Pongal. I just can’t imagine having a very gooey Pongal or Upma. I did try out the Idly and dosa. I was very happy with the dosa, it was very much like our rava dosa – a little more healthier. But the Idly which I have tried 2 to 3 times is always a disaster. It is just too sticky.

Now coming back to our Saffola Oats recipe booklet, it has a very few recipes but good ones. I have tried out few recipes from it and they were all a hit. So today’s recipe is from the booklet. This delicious Oats shake, enriched with the goodness of almonds and dates is very filling and is definitely healthy but not a boring breakfast. You could also serve it as an afterschool snack for your kids. My children really enjoyed it.

Serves – 2

What you’ll need

  1. Oats – 4 tbsp
  2. Dates – 8 to 10
  3. Almonds – 10
  4. Cold Milk – 2 cups (200 ml)
  5. Honey (optional)


  1. Soak the almonds in hot water for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the skin and set aside.
  2. Deseed the dates and chop them roughly.
  3. Heat a kadai, and dry roast the oats for 3 to 5 minutes. Cool.
  4. In a blender, add the oats, almonds and dates and grind it until everything is powdered well.
  5. Now add the milk gradually and blend until a smooth consistency is obtained.
  6. Pour into glasses and serve chilled garnished with chopped almonds and dates.

The sweetness from the dates was enough for our taste buds, if you prefer it sweeter add a few drops of honey.

Linking this to Just 4 Fun, Let’s Cook – Something Sweet, Only – Oats, and to HITS – Healthy Delights.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet Corn Tikkis/ Cutlets

It’s been more than 10 days since I last wrote a post. We had been on a short trip to Tirupati, for my daughter’s mottai and from there on to Chennai for my niece’s Annaprasanam. We all enjoyed the much needed break.

Tea time snacks like samosas, pokodas, bhajjis and bondas are definitely my favorites, but I hardly prepare these at home due to the fact that these are deep fried. Instead I am always in search of recipes that are cooked in less fat, healthy and at the same time tasty too. So here is one such recipe, that I am sure will be loved by one and all.

What you’ll need

1. Sweet corn Niblets – ¾ cup
2. Potato – 1 Medium sized
3. Onion – 1 medium
4. Ginger – a small piece, peeled and grated
5. Bread – 2 or 3
6. Chilli powder – 1 tsp
7. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
8. Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
9. Garam Masala Powder – ½ tsp
10. Fresh coriander leaves – few sprigs
11. Salt to taste
12. Oil


  1. Cook the sweet corn niblets slightly, or Microwave on high for 4 minutes.
  2. Cool, keep a handful of corn as is and grind the remaining into a coarse paste without adding any water.
  3. Pressure cook the potato. Cool and mash without any lumps.
  4. Finely chop the onion.
  5. Heat a kadai with a tsp of oil, once the oil is heated, add the fennel seeds.
  6. Next add the chopped onions and grated ginger and sauté till the onions turn light pink.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. In a wide bowl, add the mashed potato, sweet corn paste, the sweet corn that we kept aside, sautéed onions and ginger, and mix well.
  9. Nicely crumble the bread pieces and add it to the above mixture. Also add finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  10. Now add the chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Mix everything well until smooth dough is formed.
  11. Grease your palms and pinch out lemon sized ball out of the mixture and shape them into tikkis.
  12. Heat a non stick frying pan, place a 2 of the prepared tikkis, and drizzle a tsp or 2 or oil around it.
  13. Let this cook on one side, then slowly and carefully flip them over, drizzle a little more and oil and cook until the tikkis are browned well.

Serve with any chutney or simply with tomato ketchup.

Linking this to CWS – Corn hosted by Shylaja and to HITS – Healthy Delights

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegetable Pulao in Coconut Milk

Time for yet another edition of Blog Hop Wednesday, and this time I found myself in Archana’s space. She has a wonderful space with some very traditional recipes. Since we mothers have to prepare some healthy lunch box menu for kids every morning, I zeroed in on this Pulao recipe. Pulao being a one pot meal is always my favorite and what’s even better is my kiddo loves it too. What’s special about this pulao is it makes use of coconut milk. The flavor that the coconut milk imparts is awesome. I just loved it and so did the others in the family. So here comes a simple and healthy pulao, especially suited when you are running out of time. I pretty much followed Archana’srecipe excepting a few minor changes and also I went for the pressure cooking method.

Serves 4

What you’ll need
  1. Basmathi Rice- 1 Cup
  2. Mixed Vegetables – 2 Cups ( I used Carrots, Potatoes, Green Peas, Corn)
  3. Onion – 2 Sliced Lengthwise
  4. Tomatoes – 3 Chopped
  5. Green Chilly – 2 Slit
  6. Turmeric Powder – a pinch
  7. Coconut Milk – 1.5 cups
  8. Water – ½ cup
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp
  10. Ghee – ½ tbsp

  1. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  2. Star Anise – a petal of it
  3. Green Cardamom – 2 or 3
  4. Bay Leaf – 1
  5. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick

To grind
  1. Onion – 1 small
  2. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  3. Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  4. Fresh Coriander Leaves – a little

  1. Wash basmathi rice and drain it. Keep aside.
  2. Wash peel and chop the vegetables.
  3. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under To Grind, to a smooth paste without adding any water.
  4. Heat a pressure cooker, with the oil and ghee.
  5. Add the items mentioned under spices, one after the other, sauté for a minute.
  6. Next add the sliced onions and slit green chilly. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
  7. Now add the ground paste and turmeric powder and fry till the raw smell disappears. This would take anywhere between 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry till they turn mushy.
  9. Now add the chopped vegetables and fry for a minute.
  10. Next add in the drained rice and fry for a minute.
  11. Add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Stir well.
  12. Cover and cook for 1 whistle.
  13. Once cool, open the cooker and fluff up the rice.

Serve with a raita of your choice.

Note: If you want the rice to be spicier add a green chilly while grinding the masala.

Check out what the other blog hoppers are upto.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gingered Carrot Almond Soup

Yesterday, while I was in the kitchen, preparing the subject of today’s post – Gingered Carrot Almond Soup, both my daughters would just not leave my side. From the time I started chopping the carrots, and blanching the almonds, till blending the cooked carrots. They gave me a tough time yesterday. The moment I started cutting the carrots which were just right in quantity for the soup, my elder one, grabbed almost ¼ th of the chopped carrots and simply popped them in her mouth, saying innocently, mom these carrots are so sweet in taste, why don’t you pack some for my snack box, tomorrow”. I really had to get stern with her, to stop munching on them, so that I had some left for the soup.

Next comes my younger one, eyeing the blanched almonds. “Amma! Give me the cashoos, (pointing to the de skinned almonds)”, she did not leave the place, until I had parted with 5 to 6 almonds. Elder one was not behind; in she came demanding her share of badams. Poor me! Had to give in! Finally I did prepare some soup which would have been just enough for 2 adults but was shared by 4 adults and 2 kids! I had to run into my room with my precious preparation and lock it so as to click some pictures. Phew! All done, served both of them their share and they were very happy. Both my kids just loved the soup and were asking for more!

Though I was fretting about it yesterday, but now while writing this post I am all smiles and I think I did really enjoy the session with my kids. Sometimes, I really wish they wouldn’t grow up so fast!

Soups as I have said in my earlier posts are definitely not my cup of tea! But who would say no to such an exotic combination – Carrots, Almonds and Ginger. I definitely love to try out unusual combos such as these. The velvety smooth and creamy texture of the soup was wonderful. The original recipe called for almond milk, but since I did not have that in hand, I blanched the almonds and ground them along with the cooked carrots. So here is another heartwarming soup perfect for a wintery evening.

Recipe loosely adapted from here.

Serves 4

What you'll need

  1. Carrots – 4 Medium sized
  2. Grated Ginger – 1 tbsp
  3. Almonds – 6 to 8 + 4 for garnishing
  4. Onion – 1 small
  5. Red Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Rasam Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Black Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
  8. Butter – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Fresh coriander leaves – few sprigs


  1. Wash, peel and chop the carrots roughly.
  2. Blanch the almonds and remove the skin from them.
  3. Slice 4 of the blanched almonds and keep aside for garnishing.
  4. Heat a pan with butter, add the chopped onions and grated ginger. Saute until the onions turn translucent.
  5. Next add the chopped carrots and sauté for a minute.
  6. Now add about 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook covered till the carrots are done. Cool.
  7. Blend this along with the blanched almonds into a smooth paste.
  8. Transfer to the pan, add the chilly powder, rasam powder, pepper powder and adjust salt.
  9. Adjust consistency by adding more water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat.

Transfer into serving bowls and serve garnished with sliced almonds and a sprig of fresh coriander leaves.

Linking this soup to Magic Mingle - Almonds and Ginger, Healthy Diet Event - Warm Soups and to Show me your HITS and to Soup it Up event by Kalyani hosted by Nupur

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Beetroot Thoran

A typical lunch menu in our house would consist of a Sambar and a thoran or mezhukuperatti, or Molaguttal and some tangy pachadi with rice, followed by rice and buttermilk or curds.

 Thorans are dry curries perfect with Sambar, Rasam or Mor Kootan. They can be prepared with different vegetables like, Beans, Yard Long Beans, Cabbage, Tender Jackfruit, Raw Papaya etc. They can also be prepared using a combination of veggies like, Cabbage, Carrot and green peas, or Beans and Carrot, Beet and carrot, amaranth leaves etc. These are spiced with a coarse paste of fresh coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds, garnished with fresh aromatic curry leaves. They are generally tempered in just about a tsp or two of coconut oil but any other oil would be just fine.

A variation to the regular thorans is to add cooked dals like Moong dal or tuar dal. Today’s recipe is one such. The dal has to be cooked just right, it should not get mushy.

Serves 2

What you'll need

  1. Beetroot – 2 Medium Sized/ 250 gms
  2. Tuar Dal – 1 tbsp
  3. Scraped Fresh Coconut – 2 tbsp
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Green Chilly – 1
  6. Curry Leaves – few
  7. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  8. Spilt Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  9. Turmeric Powder – a pinch
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Coconut Oil – 2 tsp


  1. Wash, peel and finely chop beetroot.
  2. Wash the tuar dal and add it to a vessel, add just enough water to barely cover the dal.
  3. Now, add the chopped beetroot on top of the dal.
  4. Cook this in the pressure cooker for 2 or 3 whistles.
  5. Heat a Kadai with oil, add the mustard seeds, once they crackle add the urad dal.
  6. Let the dal brown, then add the cooked beet and dal.
  7. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  8. Let this fry for about 4 to 5 minutes or till all the moisture is absorbed.
  9. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds coarsely, without adding water.
  10. Add this ground paste to the beetroot after all the moisture has been absorbed. Mix well and remove from heat.

That’s it healthy and tasty beetroot thoran is ready.

Linking this to Show me your HITS - Healthy Delights and to the Kerala Kitchen hosted by Roshan

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kerala Kitchen - Roundup

Here is the round up of the Kerala Kitchen Event. I thank Rose for giving me this opportunity to host this wonderful event. The sheer number of entries received shows how popular this event is. I thank each and every blogger friend who sent in there wonderful creations and showed their love and support. I received a whopping 90 entries. The entries are listed in random order. So enjoy this virtual treat, friends!

Sobha Shyam of Good Food sends us 7 yummy entries

Sweet Poha/ Aval Nanchathu

Soya Chunks Kurma

Vegetable Stew

Rava Laddu

Paneer Stuffed Paniyaram

Aval Payasam/ Poha Kheer

Corn Bonda

Rose of Magpies Recipes sends us

Kerala Style Pork Chops

Payar Mezhukuperutti

Sudha of Avial and Rasam sends us

Parikkai Ulli Theeyal

Vidhya of Sugar N Spice sends us

Chakka Varatti

Kerala Boli

Ramya of Ramya’s Recipes sends us these 4 delicious entries

Potato Thoran

Potato Egg Rice

Marble Cake

Vegetable Pulav

Prathibha KV of Cook Ezee sends us these entries

Vazhakoombu Thoran/ Banana Stem Stir Fry

Burdock Root Thoran

Achinga Payar – Vanpayar Thoran

Meen Curry (Kannur Style)

Cabbage Thoran with Carrot and Green Peas

Paal Payasam

Priya of Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes sends us the following

Kaya Mezhukkupuratti

Cherupayar Thoran

Kappa Thoran

Faseela of Good Food Ends with Good Talk sends us 15 wonderful entries

Tri Colored Stir Fry

Spicy Brinjal Fry

Biscuit Pudding

Kerala Porotta

Spinach Thoran

Wheat Ada Payasam

Carrot Raita

Green Fish Curry

Yellow Pumpkin Curry

Inji/Ginger Chutney

Green Apple Chammanthi

Cherupayar Thoran

Paalada Payasam

Brinjal Fry

Broad Beans Stir Fry

Indrani of Recipe Junction sends us

Beet & Carrot Thoran

Asiya Omar of My Healthy Happy Kitchen sends us

Beans Mezhukkupuratti

Vidhya Viju Govind of A Portion to Share sends us

Prawn Masala

Banana Stem Stir Fry

Spicy Tangy Fish Curry

Julie of Erivum Puliyum sends us 12 yummy treats

Vermicelli Upma

Eggless Marble Cake

Pure Grape Wine

Christmas Fruit Cake/Plum Cake

Chicken Dum Biriyani

Cilantro Dates Chutney

Ari Pathiri


Vermicelli Kheer

Kappa Vevichathu & Fish Curry in Tamarind Sauce

Mushroom Paneer Pulao

Soya Cutlets

Misha Pratheesh of Kitchen Magic sends us these

Kaipakka Pachadi

Kai Pathiri and Nadan Chicken Curry

Kaya Baji and Mulakku Bajji

Jehanne of The Cooking Doctor sends us

King Prawn Biryani

Reena Vimesh of Achu's Amma'a Kitchen sends us

Pavakka Achar

Chandrani of Cuisine Delights sends us

Chickpeas Curry Kerala Style

Banana Halwa

Bitter Gourd Thoran

Cauliflower Potato Masala – Kerala Style

Sona of Spill the Spices sends us

Mixed Vegetable Thoran

Reshmi Mahesh of Easy Cook sends us

Tapioca Salad

Elaneer Shake

Vazhapoo/Vazhathatta Thoran

Sadhana of Sensible Veg sends us

Cauliflower & Pattani Kootu

Roshni Chandrasekar of Roshni’s Kitchen sends us

Ulli Theeyal

Vendakka Kichadi

Hema of Aromatic Cooking sends us

Kerala Style More Kuzhambu

Suja of Kitchen Corner – Try it sends us

Cheerathandu Mooru Curry

Sojo of My Culinary Experiments sends us

Avalose Podi

Avalose Unda


Sona Santhosh of Quick Picks sends us

Cornmeal Idiyappam with egg roast

Kokila Karthikeyan of Foodies Nest sends us

Tapioca Vadai

Harini of Sugar n Spice sends us


Vegetable Stew

Shylaja of South Indian Recipes sends us

Nenthrampazham Halwa

Vineetha of Ruchi sends us

Malabar Kozhi Nirachathu

Rinku of Kitchen Treats sends us

Malabar Aripathiri with Chicken Roast

Ayeesha of Taste of Pearl City sends us

Prawn Biriyani

Jaleela Banu of Cook Book Jaleela sends us this thoran

Broccoli Carrot Thoran

Sangee Vijay of Spicy Treats sends us this Kerala favorite

Red Rice flour Puttu

Dhyuthi of Melange sends us these soft Pathiris


Here are the winners of the Kerala Kitchen – January 2012

Julie’s Christmas Fruit Cake/Plum Cake wins the Best Dish

Prathibha KV’s Vazhakoombu Thoran wins the Best Pic

Faseela is the Top Contributor with a whopping 15 entries.

Please feel free to drop me a line in case I have missed out on any of your entries in this roundup! 

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