Monday, May 21, 2012

Mambazha Pulissery

Pulissery – a Kerala speciality is sweet and sour, yoghurt and coconut based gravy spiced with green chillies.  Pulissery is a close cousin of Moru Kootan. Acutally there is not much difference except that pulissery generally makes use of seasonal fruits like Ripe Mangoes, Nendram Pazham or Pineapples whereas vegetables like Ash gourd, Pumpkin, Yam etc are added to Moru Kootan. Pulissery is an integral part of the Sadhya/feast Menus in most parts of Kerala. Just like the Adai Avial combo, Idiyappam and Pulissery is a popular combination in Trivandrum.

Mangoes are everywhere in the market and we have been gorging on mangoes in every form. Right from pickles, gravies, milkshakes to smoothies. Couple of days, back I prepared the mambazha pulissery. The pulissery was really delicious and I will be making it a couple of times more before the end of the mango season.

What you’ll need
  1. Ripe Mangoes – 4 or 5 (small sweet mangoes)
  2. Green Chillies – 5 or 6 (adjust according to taste)
  3. Grated Fresh Coconut – 2 Cups
  4. Thick Sour Curd/Yoghurt – 2 Cups
  5. Curry Leaves – few sprigs
  6. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Salt to taste

For Tempering

  1. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  2. Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 1 or 2

  1. Wash and trim the stem of the mango. Cut into slices and add it into a vessel.
  2. Add about 2 cups of water, turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Let this boil and then simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes or till the mangoes are cooked.
  4. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut and green chillies into a smooth paste using a little of the curd.
  5. Once the mangoes are cooked, add the ground paste and stir well.
  6. Whisk the curd well add about a cup of water to it and add it to the above mixture. Mix well.
  7. Simmer till the gravy starts frothing on the sides.
  8. Remove from heat. Add some torn curry leaves.
  9. Heat oil in a small frying pan, temper with mustard seeds and fenugreek seed. Then add the red chilles.
  10. Pour this tempering over the prepared mango gravy.

Delicious Pulissery is ready. Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Generally a special variety of mangoes, which are very small and sweet are used. But if they are not available you could use any other ripe mango.

Linking this to

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Summer Fruit Salad

As a child I used to look forward to the 2 month long summer vacations. The thought of meeting up with cousins, spending time with grandparents, gorging on some delicious food always brought a smile to my lips. Most of my vacations were spent at my grandparents place. Neither did we go to any special summer classes or hobby classes; nor can I say that I had a big gang of friends at my grandparents place. But somehow, I don’t remember getting bored.

I remember we had a kind of routine even during our holidays. We used to wake up, (not very early morning), spend at least an hour solving math problems and writing a page of cursive handwriting (Loads of importance was given to handwriting then) and then the rest of the day was ours. I remember spending most of the time playing some silly games with my brother and a girl who lived in the opposite house. Though we had our set of quarrels, but we’d become friends with the same speed as we fought. Apart from playing, I read books, helped mom in small ways, loved to listen to stories from my grandma and there my vacations would’ve come to an end and it would be time to pack our bags. Wish I could get into a time machine and go back to those good old days.

As the saying goes, “Change is the only constant”, times have really changed. Today, if you ask a child about his plans for the holidays, you’ll be amazed to know that he has a busier schedule than a working adult. From dawn to dusk, he attends a minimum of 4 to 5 classes – anything from, swimming, cricket coaching, tennis, yoga, karate, art and craft, western dance, abacus and what not. The options before him are just too many. Caught in this busy hustle, today’s child has lost the simple joys of life – like reading a comic, chatting up with a cousin/friend or just playing around in the front yard. 

I do understand that these classes are a great way to learn something new and interesting. Keeping them engaged in these classes for 1 or 2 hours sounds good but not the entire day. At the end of the day, they are still children aren’t they?

Now off to today’s recipe, which is a really simple salad perfect for the scorching heat and for times when you don’t feel like being in the kitchen for more than 10 minutes.

What you’ll need
  1. Watermelon – 1 cup, deseeded and cubed
  2. Papaya – 1 cup, deseeded and cubed
  3. Apple – ½ cup, cored and cubed
  4. Cucumber – ½ cup, deseeded and cubed
  5. Dressing
  6. Lemon Juice – 2 tbsp
  7. Ginger Juice – 1 tbsp
  8. Honey – 1 tbsp
  9. Mint Leaves – 5 to 6, torn
  10. Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  11. Salt
  1. Chill the chopped fruits until serving.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and refrigerate till use. Make the dressing at least half an hour before serving.
  3. While serving, Place the fruits in a bowl and drizzle the dressing liberally. Add salt to taste. Toss well and serve.

Linking this to
Show me your HITS – hosted by Julie

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Minty Paneer Sandwiches

I and my daughter are paneer lovers. I don’t know, how many times I have mentioned this, in my  blog itself. Anything that has paneer in it is heartily welcomed by my daughter.  Most of the days her school lunch box would contain a few bits of leftovers, but the days, I prepare something with paneer, the box would be polished off clean. She doesn’t mind eating it plain as well.

I remember a small incident which happened sometime ago. I usually like to stock a block of paneer in the freezer, which mostly comes in handy while preparing lunch for my daughter. Now, even though she would love to eat paneer everyday, I give it to her only once or twice in a week. One fine morning I was out of stock of any veggies other than a few onions and tomatoes. My mind immediately went to the paneer sitting in the freezer. Here, there was a surprise for me. When I opened the freezer, I could see only the empty wrapper of the paneer packet. I knew this had to be lil one’s job. When I asked her, she told me that she had been sneaking and having small bites of paneer every now and then J

When Kalyani announced this month’s magic ingredients, I was really glad. My daughter also was very happy ‘cos she got have some scrumptious sandwiches. I am sure all paneer lovers will love these healthy and delicious sandwiches.

Makes 5 Sandwiches
What you’ll need
  1. Bread Slices – 10, (White or Wheat)
  2. Butter – as required

For the Sandwich Filling
  1. Paneer/Cottage Cheese – 150 gms
  2. Fresh Mint Leaves – ½ Cup
  3. Fresh Coriander Leaves – ½ Cup
  4. Fresh Grated Coconut – ¼ Cup
  5. Mango Pieces – 2 tbsp
  6. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  7. Green Chilly – 2
  8. Onion - 1 finely chopped
  9. Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  10. Salt to taste

  1. Separate the mint and coriander leaves from its stems. Wash and rinse well.
  2. Grind the mint leaves, coriander leaves, coconut, and mango, green chilly and ginger into a smooth paste without adding water. Add a tbsp of water only if required.
  3. Grate the paneer. Add the ground paste and chopped onion to the grated paneer. Add salt, pepper powder and combine everything well.
  4. Take the required amount of filling and place it on one side of the bread. Cover it with another slice.
  5. Apply some butter on the outer side of both the bread slices.
  6. Place in a sandwich toaster and cook till done.

You could also roast the sandwich on a skillet or Tawa.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

English Pancakes

English breakfast was the theme that we Gourmets decided upon for this month. This was quite challenging for me as I am not familiar with English Cuisine. I chose on trying out Pancakes. While searching for a good recipe, I got to know a lot of interesting facts about these humble pancakes.

Pancakes are a westernized version of the Indian Dosa. They are very popular in the Europe and the Americas. Now, the English Pancakes are very thin when compared to their American counterparts. These are traditionally served with a sprinkle of caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon and rolled. Did you know that there is a day called the “Pancake Day”. (I did not know until I started searching for the Pancake recipe). Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is celebrated a day before “Ash Wednesday” or a day before Lent. It is called Pancake Day because it is the day traditionally for eating pancakes as pancake recipes were a way to use up any stocks of milk, butter and eggs which were forbidden during the abstinence of Lent.

Almost all the recipes used eggs in them. (They have to isn’t it, since the idea behind pancake day was to use up the eggs.) But I did find a good recipe which did not use eggs and the pancakes turned out really good. Though I wanted to try the traditional sugar and lemon, but I could not as I was not of stock of lemons. Instead we had it with a drizzle of honey and they tasted yummy. Making thin round pancakes is an art which needs some practice. I’ll have to make them a number of times to get that perfect shape.

So here comes the recipe

What you’ll need
  1. All purpose flour – ½ cup (100 gms)
  2. Milk – 1 cup
  3. Sugar – 1 tsp
  4. Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  5. Oil – 2 tbsp
  6. Water – 2 tbsp
  7. Oil for cooking

  1. Sift the flour, and baking powder.
  2. Combine the milk, sugar, oil and water. Mix well.
  3. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour and mix with a whisk, until it resembles a runny batter.
  4. Heat a flat pan. Grease lightly and pour a ladle full of batter and move the pan quickly such that the batter forms a thin a uniform layer on the pan.
  5. Drizzle a tsp of oil and let it cook. When edges turn light brown, flip over and cook for another 30 to 40 seconds.
  6. Remove from pan and serve with a topping of your choice.

The choice of toppings is innumerable. You can serve them with Jam, honey, golden syrup, chocolate syrup or any savory filling too.

This recipe goes to the Gourmet Seven. Curious about what the other Gourmets whipped up this month. Hop over to their spaces: Anusha, Anamika, Radhika, Sangeetha, Vardhini, Veena

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fruit Salad in Mango Sauce

Agni Nakshatram or Kathri is a period of about 25 days, during the month of May, when the temperatures are supposed to rise and be at the peak. This year it started on May 4 and ends on May 28th 2012. There are slight variations in the dates every year.

But keeping aside the high temperatures and the sweltering heat, summer also brings with it the season of Mangoes – the King of Fruits. These fruits can be enjoyed in any form – be it raw or ripe. This versatile fruit can be eaten as is or can be used to put together a variety of preparations. Anything from gravies, pickles, juices, milkshakes, smoothies, ice creams, and even cakes can be dished out of these delicious fruits.

Ours is a mango loving family. Once these fruits start making their appearance in the markets, our pantry would definitely have stock of them until the season ends. So selecting a recipe for Blog Hop from Sumedha’s space was not difficult. Chopped fruits in a Mango sauce – this immediately caught my attention. This light yet filling dessert turned out to be very yummy and was liked by all in the family.

Serves – 4 to 5
What you’ll need
  1. Mango Pulp – 4 cups
  2. Fresh Cream – ¾ cup
  3. Green Cardamom – 5
  4. Sugar – 4 to 5 tsp (Optional)
  5. Mixed Fruits – 3 cups (I used apples, pomegranate, banana, grapes)
  6. Dry Fruits – ½ cup (Dates, Raisins, Roasted Cashew nuts, Almonds)

  1. Combine mango pulp, fresh cream, green cardamom and sugar in a blender until well blended.
  2. Chill this mango sauce until use.
  3. Chop all the fruits into small pieces and chill separately.
  4. In a flat dish, add the mixed fruits and dry fruits top with the mango sauce.
  5. Garnish with some fruits and nuts as per your wish. Serve Chilled.

  1. To make Mango Pulp, cut up ripe fresh mangoes and blend in a mixer.
  2. If the mango pulp is naturally sweet then skip the sugar.
  3. Feel free to use your choice of fruits and nuts.

 Linking this to Blog Hop Wednesdays
Also linking to Let's Cook - Fruits

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bhindi Do Pyaaza

Away from the scorching heat of Chennai, Bangalore feels like heaven to me. While in Chennai, I just prepared some usual fare of rice and vegetables and would try to come out of the kitchen as soon as possible. I am not at all a rice person, given an option I would definitely go for roti subzi. But due to the heat in Chennai, I did not venture into making rotis. Now that I am in Bangalore, and the weather here is so much better than that of Chennai, decided to make some hot rotis and subzi.

Having decided that roti, it was for lunch, finalizing a subzi is not an easy job. While rummaging through my mom’s refrigerator, I found a bag of fresh Okra/Lady’s Finger/Bhindi. Now this particular veggie is a favorite with my kids. So decided to make this tasty restaurant style dish – Bhindi Do Pyaaza.

Bhindi Do Pyaaza is a dry preparation, of crisp stir fried okra with spicy and tangy semi dry gravy of onions and tomatoes. The addition of the spice powder gives it a wonderful flavor and aroma. Tastes best when served with some hot phulkas and pickle.

Serves – 4 to 5

What you’ll need
  1. Lady’s Finger/Okra – 500 gms
  2. Onion – 2 Big, thinly sliced
  3. Onion – 1 Medium, cut into big chunks
  4. Tomato – 4 Medium, finely chopped
  5. Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Chilly Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Oil – 2 tbsp

For the Spice Powder
  1. Fennel Seeds/ Saunf – 2 tsp
  2. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  3. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

  1. Powder the ingredients for the spice powder and keep aside.
  2. Wash and wipe the lady’s finger. Cut into 1 inch pieces.
  3. Heat a Kadai with oil. Add the Lady’s finger cover and cook on medium flame for about 10 minutes or till the vegetable is cooked.
  4. Remove lid, add salt and fry for another 4 to 5 minutes or till the lady’s finger turns crisp. Transfer these into another vessel and keep aside.
  5. Heat another kadai with oil. Add cumin seeds, once the color changes add sliced onions and the onion chunks and turmeric powder. Fry till the onions are light brown.
  6. Next add the finely chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes turn completely mushy and the raw smell disappears.
  7. Now add the chilly powder and salt. Mix well.
  8. Add the fried lady’s finger pieces and mix well.
  9. Finally add the spice powder and give a good mix taking care not to break the lady’s finger pieces. Fry for a minute. Remove from heat.

That’s it, yummy and delicious Bhindi Do Pyaaza is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with rotis.

Linking this to SYF & HWS - Fennel Seeds hosted by me. Also linking it to Healthy Diet - Vegetarian Side Dishes hosted by Vardhini

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Event Announcement - SYF & HWS Series - Fennel Seeds

Hello Friends,

I am glad to host Anu’s "SYF&HWS - Cook With SPICES"Series with “FENNEL SEEDS (Saunf)”. This event runs from May 5th to Jun 5th

Fennel / Sunf is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and, along with similar-tasting anise, is one of the primary ingredients of absinthe. Fennel contains anethole, which can explain some of its medicinal effects: it, or its polymers, act as phytoestrogens.  Dried fennel seed is brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. Fennel seeds are sometimes confused with those of anise, which are similar in taste and appearance, though smaller. Fennel is also used as a flavouring in some natural toothpastes. Many cultures in IndiaPakistanAfghanistanIran and the Middle East use fennel seed in their cookery. Fennel is one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking. It is an essential ingredient of the Assamese/Bengali/Oriya spice mixture panch phoron and in Chinese five-spice powders. In many parts of India and Pakistan, roasted fennel seeds are consumed as mukhwas, an after-meal digestive and breath freshener.
Here are some simple rules for the event:

1. Bloggers and Non-Bloggers are welcome to send in any number of recipes, archived ones need to be re-posted and linked to this PAGE and Anu’s event announcement PAGE.
2. Use of LOGO is mandatory, which will help to spread the word.
3. Bloggers and Non-bloggers can send in the recipes to with the following details before June 5th 2012.
            Name of your Blog
            Recipe Name and URL
            A photograph of the dish

This event is an ongoing event for the future months and anyone interested to guest host can drop an email to anu (dot) healthykitchen (at) gmail (dot) com. She will remind you a week before the event and also send you the "Event Logo" for the particular month and "Event Announcement Page/Document" too. You just need to copy and post the document as a Guest Event Post.

So Friends, don your aprons and support this event by sending in as many of your lovely entries.
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