Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thengai Payasam/Coconut Kheer

Wishing everyone a year filled with happiness, peace and harmony.

Let’s start this year on a sweet note, with this simple payasam/kheer. This is again a dish which I came to know of and tasted only after marriage. It is one of my MIL’s recipe. This is a really easy payasam and can be made in no time with just a few commonly available ingredients and hence my MIL calls it “thideer payasam”. Even though, the ingredients that go into making this may be very common ones, but the taste is really good. I simply love the combination of coconut and jaggery. So if you are looking for quick and delicious dessert, give this a try.

What you’ll need
  1. Raw Rice – 1 tbsp
  2. Fresh scraped coconut – ½ cup, tightly packed
  3. Powdered Jaggery – 1 cup
  4. Boiled, cooled milk – ¾ cup
  5. Cardamom – 2 or 3
  6. Cashew nuts – 6 to 7, broken
  7. Ghee – 1 tsp

  1. Wash and soak the rice in water for about an hour.
  2. Drain, and grind along with coconut into a fine paste, adding about ¼ cup of water.
  3. Dissolve the jaggery, by heating it with ¼ cup of water, strain to remove impurities. Keep aside.
  4. Transfer the ground paste, to a heavy bottom vessel. To this add about 2 cups of water and heat on medium flame.
  5. Keep stirring else it will form lumps. Keep stirring and cook until the paste is cooked. The paste will turn semi solid like porridge.
  6. At this stage add the jaggery mixture and stir well. Boil on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, add the milk and cardamom powder and mix well.
  8. In a small frying pan, heat a tsp of ghee and fry the cashew nuts. Add it to the payasam.

Delicious payasam is ready. Serve warm.

Due to the addition of rice, the payasam tends to thicken, so add little milk and adjust consistency before serving.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Peerkangai Thogayal/Ridge Gourd Chutney

Thogayal is a condiment prepared usually with coconut, lentils and spices. You could also add some vegetables to make it healthier. The common vegetables added to thogayals are carrots, ridge gourd, pumpkin etc. They are similar to the regular chutney but are more thicker and are usually mixed with rice and had. They pair very well with Molagootal, Molagooshyam and also with curd rice. Now off to the recipe

What you’ll need
  1. Ridge Gourd/Peerkangai – 1 big (approx. 3 cups when peeled and chopped)
  2. Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 2
  4. Asafoetida – a small piece
  5. Tamarind – marble sized ball
  6. Scraped Coconut – 1/3 cup
  7. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 10 Sprigs
  8. Oil – 2 tsp

For tempering
  1. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  2. Curry Leaves – few
  3. Oil – 1 tsp


  1. Peel, wash and chop the ridge gourd roughly.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil add the asafoetida, wait till it puffs up well.
  3. Add urad dal and red chillies, fry on medium flame till the dal turns golden.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the ridge gourd pieces and tamarind sauté till the ridge gourd pieces are cooked.
  6. Finally add salt.
  7. Allow to cool.
  8. Transfer the asafoetida, urad dal, and red chillies to the mixie jar and give a pulse.
  9. Then add the coconut, coriander leaves, tamarind and the ridge gourd pieces and grind to a smooth paste, using little water if required.
  10. Check for seasoning, add salt if required. Transfer to a bowl.
  11. Heat a small frying pan with a tsp of oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  12. Pour this over the thogayal and serve with rice or idly/dosa.

Do not add the salt while fry the ridge gourd, add at the end, as the ridge gourd will ooze out lot of water, and reduce.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Atte ka Sheera / Halwa

Hope you all had a great weekend. The weather in Amsterdam is not very conducive for taking pictures. The days are very short, dull and cloudy. So it is becoming very difficult for me to take cook and click in the natural light. Hope to see some sun during this week.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, this month the International Food Challenge chose recipes from the Indian cuisine, the Marwari Cuisine to be more specific. Manjula of Desi Fiesta suggested the recipes for this month. From the yummy list of recipes, I chose to make one kachori and one halwa. So here is the Halwa that I made. It was really delicious and was a big hit with the kids. the texture of the halwa was very smooth and silky and the sweetness was just right. The only thing was the amount of ghee. But don't cringe on that as it is one of the main ingredients that makes this halwa so delicious. So make it and have it in very small portions. :)

Serves – 3 to 4
What you'll need
  1. Whole Wheat Flour – ½ cup
  2. Water – 1 cup
  3. Jaggery Powdered – ½ cup
  4. Ghee – 1/3 cup
  5. Cardamom – 3

  1. Heat a Kadai with the ghee, on medium flame, once the ghee has melted, add the flour and roast on low heat until the flour changes its color to brown and a nice aroma starts coming. Take care not to burn the flour.
  2. In another vessel, mix in the jaggery and the water and heat until the jaggery dissolves completely. Do not allow it to boil.
  3. Once the wheat flour has turned a nice brown pour in the jaggery water into the toasted wheat, carefully avoiding any splatter.
  4. Whisk well until the mixture turns smooth and cook for a minute more.
  5. Add the cardamom powder, mix well and serve warm or at room temperature.
  6. Garnish with almonds or cashewnuts if you desire.

The sweetness of the halwa was just right. In fact it was slightly on the lower side. If you like your halwas to be sweeter you can add another half cup of jaggery.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Coffe Cappucino Cupcakes - Guest Post by Usha

Hello Everyone
Today's post is a special one. You must have guessed from the title, it is a guest post. It is special because this is the first guest post on this small space of mine. I am very glad to have Usha share her recipe with us here. 

Usha is a wonderful blogger who blogs at Mahas Lovely Home. She has some very interesting recipes. Please do visit her space. She has also started another blog with many blogger friendly tips and tricks. 

Let me not waste more time. Over to Usha

Hi..Every one....Hope you all doing well by the grace of god...It`s friday..So,Guest post day....This time I am sharing recipe in a cool and soft nature person blog..She is KAVERI who writes at PALAKKAD CHAMAYAL...A very silent(I feel) and mother of two cute girls..Few times we chatted in FB and the topics are only about kids mostly..Being a mom I know how difficult to active in blogging, but she balance the time perfectly and managing home at the same time blogging equally I feel.Great dear..She shares healthy foods in her blog and mostly they are traditional and authentic recipes which are very new to me..The most Important Kaveri`s blog is vegetarian world. Her pictures shows the love on cooking and blogging. Also, I like her simple write ups and specially her dessert and sweet recipes. In that fruit salad in mango sauce is my favourite recipe one.When I asked about my guest post party she agreed it happily and after few days again sent message about recipe posting..I was pleased by seeing her affection and interest on a friend. I wish her all the best and also to Palakkad. Chamyal..Keep rocking dear..



white flour/maida-1 3/4 cup
brown sugar-3/4 cup
milk - 1 cup
cappuccino  powder- 1 tbsp
coffee powder-2 tsp(or 1 tbsp)
olive oil-1/4 cup
salt-2 pinches
baking powder-2 tsps
baking soda-1/2 tsp


Sift flour,baking powder,soda and salt.
To this add oil,milk,sugar and mix well until combine ever thing.
Now add coffee+cappuccino powders and stir well..Preheat oven at 200 degree C.
Line papers in cup cakes and fill 3/4th.
Bake for 25 minutes or until done and check with knife or tooth pick
Once done, remove and let them cool and serve .

By Usha Rani G.

Thanks a lot Usha for this wonderful guest post. Wishing you many more years of happy and successful blogging.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Onion Kachori/Pyaz ki Kachori

The International Food Challenge chose to cook up some Indian fare for this month. Indian cuisine has a wide variety of regional spread. The recipes are chosen from the Marwad Cuisine and is hosted by Manjula.

We had many recipes to try from. Though I would have loved to try all the recipes, I chose to make one kachori and one halwa. I do plan to try out some other recipe, maybe a little later.

Kachori is one of my favourite snack items and I never miss to have one when we go out to chaat shops. There was this particular shop in Hyderabad, which sold really delicious kachoris. And though the shop was not very near to our house, most weekends, we would go all the way to that shop specifically to have the kachoris. The kachoris were very spicy though and my kids never had them.

So now when I got a chance to try them at home, I did not want to miss it. Also, I made them medium spicy so that my kids also could taste them. So adjust the red chilly powder according to your spice level tolerance. I was pretty happy with my first attempt on Kachoris.

Makes around - 6 t0 8 kachoris
What you'll need
  1. All Purpose Flour/Maida – 1.5 cup
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil – 2.5 tbps
  4. Water to knead

For the filling
  1. Onion – 2 Medium sized, finely chopped
  2. Fennel – ½ tsp
  3. Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  4. Cumin Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Red Chilly Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Coriander Leaves – 2 tbsp, finely chopped
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Oil – 2 tsp

Oil to Deep fry

To make the dough
  1. In a wide bowl, add the flour, salt and oil and rub well with your fingers until everything is well incorporated.
  2. Now add water little by little and knead into a semi soft, non sticky dough.
  3. Knead for 7 to 8 mins to make the dough smooth and pliable.
  4. Cover with a muslin cloth, so that it doesn’t dry up and keep aside.

To make the filling
  1. Heat a Kadai with 2 tsp oil.
  2. Add fennel seeds, next add the onions and sauté till brown.
  3. Next add the spice powders, salt and mix well. Saute for another minute.
  4. Remove from heat. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix.
  5. Allow to cool completely.

To make the kachori
  1. Pinch out a big lemon sized ball of the dough, roll out the dough into a small disc.
  2. Place a tbsp of the filling in the centre and gather the edges, to seal the filling and remove any excess dough.
  3. Roll out this into a small discs, very gently, taking care that the mixture doesn’t come out.
  4. Repeat this with the remaining dough.
  5. Heat oil for deep frying, make sure oil is not smoking hot, it should be only medium hot.
  6. Deep fry the kachoris in batches of 2 or 3, cook on low flame for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Drain and serve with chutneys of your choice or as it is.

  1. Deep frying on low flame for a long time is the key to getting crisp and perfectly cooked kachoris. So don’t hurry and cook on high flame. The kachoris will turn dark from outside and will not be cooked from inside.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Kathrikkai Podi Curry

Here is yet another recipe that serves as a great side dish for Molagootal. From this, my love for Molagootal is so evident.

After coming to Amsterdam, cooking Palakkad food, has been restricted to weekends and Molagootal finds its way on the menu on a one of the days, for sure. Back in India, Molagootal would be on the menu 3 times in a week. I know, now you must be wondering if this is a post on Molagootal, I am coming to that. Since Molagootal is a mild lentil and vegetable based stew, it is usually paired with something spicy and tangy, like Pachadi, Thogayl, etc.

This Kathrikkai podi curry is also one such side, that goes beautifully with Molagootal. And I make is very often as brinjal is my younger one’s favourite vegetable. You can pair this up even with rotis, but make sure you have dal alongside as this is a dry dish.

What you’ll need
  1. Small Purple Brinjal – 6 to 7
  2. Tamarind – marble sized ball
  3. Jaggery – ½ tsp (optional)
  4. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Curry Leaves – few Sprigs

To Roast and Grind
  1. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tbsp
  2. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  3. Dry Red Chilly – 1 or 2 (Adjust according to taste)

To Temper
  1. Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

  1. Soak the tamarind in very little hot water for 10 mins. Take a thick extract and keep aside.
  2. Heat a Kadai, and dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under “To Roast and Grind”. Always, add Channa dal first, when its half done, then add the coriander seeds and red chillies. This will prevent burning of coriander seeds.
  3. Cool and grind to a powder.
  4. Wash and slice the brinjals lengthwise. The pieces should be medium sized not too thick not too thin.
  5. Heat a Kadai with oil and temper with mustard seeds, once it splutters add the asafoetida and curry leaves.
  6. Then add the sliced brinjals, turmeric powder, and salt to taste.
  7. Stir well, cover and cook on medium flame for 7 to 8 minutes. Stir once in a while for even cooking. Do not add any water while cooking, else brinjals will turn mushy.
  8. Once the brinjal is cooked, roast for another 5 minutes in open kadai, so that the brinjal pieces are roasted well. Take care not to burn the pieces.
  9. Now add the thick tamarind extract, and jaggery. Mix carefully without mashing the pieces.
  10. Cook uncovered for 3 to 4 minutes or until the tamarind extract has become dry.
  11. Now add the prepared spice powder and mix carefully.
  12. Cook for another minute and remove from flame.

Serve along with rice, Molagootal or with roti and dal.

  1. Do not add water while cooking the brinjals.
  2. While stirring the curry, do it carefully so as not to mash the pieces as brinjal pieces will be delicate once cooked.
  3. Adding tamarind gives a nice tang, and personally recommend it. But if you want to serve it as a side for Sambar, then you may omit the tamarind.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chenai Masiyal/Senai Masiyal/Yam Mash

Chenai Masiyal is nothing but mashed yam, seasoned with some spices and garnished with lemon juice. It’s a perfect accompaniment with Keerai Molagootal or for that matter any Molagootal. It tasted good with even simple dal. It’s a good accompaniment with rotis too. It needs just a few ingredients. And it is the simplest thing to make. I guess I have given you enough reasons to get into your kitchen and make it right away.

This Masiyal can be made two ways, one is this way using lemon juice and the other is using tamarind. Will try to post the tamarind version too.

Serves 2 to 3
What you'll need
  1. Chenai/Yam – about 250 gms, 1.5 cups approx when chopped
  2. Ginger – a small piece
  3. Green Chilly – 1 or 2 (adjust according to taste)
  4. Lemon Juice – ½ tbsp
  5. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Salt to taste

For tempering
  1. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  2. Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ tsp
  3. Dried Red Chilly – 1
  4. Curry Leaves – few
  5. Coconut oil – 1 tsp

  1. Peel and roughly chop the yam into chunks. Wash well.
  2. Slit green chillies, peel and grate ginger.
  3. In a small pressure cooker, add the chopped yam pieces, green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder and salt.
  4. Add just enough water to cover the yam pieces.
  5. Cook for 3 whistles. The yam pieces should be cooked really well.
  6. Once pressure is released, Strain the water and set aside. Don’t throw it.
  7. Mash the yam pieces with a masher or back of a ladle until there are no more pieces left.
  8. Check for salt. Add the reserved water little at a time and make to a saucy consistency.
  9. Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard, fenugreek and red chillies.
  10. Remove from heat and add the curry leaves.
  11. Now pour this tempering over the mashed yam mixture.
  12. Let it cool for a while then add the lemon juice and mix well.

Serve with rice and Molagootal or even as a side to Chappathis.

Add just enough water to the yam, while pressure cooking it.
You can also cook them on stove top, but I find pressure cooking easier.
The consistency of the masiyal should be sauce like..not too thick or not too thin.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Chinna Vengaya Vatha Kuzhambu

Vatha kuzhambu or Vathal kuzhambu gets its name from the vathals or dried/preserved vegetables – Manathakkali, Chundakkai etc that are added to it. But the kuzhambu can also be made without the vathals too. The next best thing after the vathals would be to add china vengayam, which is my favourite. Other vegetables that can be added are drumstick and sometimes even pumpkin pieces.

My mother usually makes by grinding a fresh paste of some spices. I love her kuzhambu. Today I am sharing a simple method where there is no roasting or grinding just by adding Sambar powder. I will definitely share my mom’s recipe soon.

Vatha kuzhambu will be concentrated so adding a little bit to the rice will go a long way. We usually pair it up with paruppu thogayal.

Serves – 2 to 3
What you’ll need
  1. Pearl Onions/Shallots – about 20
  2. Tamarind – a gooseberry sized ball
  3. Sambar Powder – 1.5 - 2 tbsp (adjust according to your spice level)
  4. Jaggery – ½ tsp (optional)
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

For tempering
  1. Sesame Oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Bengal Gram Dal/Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu – 1 tsp
  4. Fenugreek Seeds/ Vendayam – ¼ tsp
  5. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Peel and wash the shallots.
  2. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 10 minutes and extract the pulp by adding 2.5 to 3 cups of water.
  3. Heat a kadai with oil, splutter mustard seeds.
  4. Throw in the Channa dal and fenugreek seeds and fry till the dal turn golden.
  5. Add the curry leaves and the shallots and sauté till the shallots turn light brown.
  6. Next add the Sambar Powder and sauté for few seconds.
  7. Now add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder and salt to taste and jaggery.
  8. Allow this to come to a boil, lower heat to medium and boil for 15 to 20 minutes or till the oil floats up and the kuzhambu becomes slightly thick.

Remove from heat and serve with plain rice and paruppu thogayal with some applams.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Caramelized Onion Apple Mini Tarts

This month the Groovy Gourmets decided to make some delicious canapés. Canapes are small, single-bite food, that is traditionally made with a base of a small piece of bread with some sort of topping like cheese, vegetables or meat.

The base of the canapé could be anything from bread, crackers to pastry. They make a great appetizer for parties.

I was introduced to canapés not very long back by my aunt. I loved them to the core. I have posted a canapé some time back. You can check it here.

Today’s recipe has onions, apples and cheese. The original recipe called for fontina cheese. As I couldn’t find it I replaced with Cheddar. I loved the sweet, tangy and sharp taste of the three ingredients along with the crisp pastry. Do give them a try, I’m sure you will like them.

Recipe Source:lolfoodie
Makes – 16 pieces
What you’ll need
  1. Yellow Onion – 2 medium sized
  2. Green Apple – 1 big (I used Golden Delicious)
  3. Butter – 1 tbsp
  4. Cheddar cheese – 2 Slices cut into small pieces
  5. Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp (adjust according to taste)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Puff Pastry Sheets – 4, Square sheets

  1. Chop the onions and apples into small dices. Try to keep both of the same size.
  2. Heat a Kadai with the butter, add the onions and fry till they turn soft.
  3. Add the chopped apples and salt to taste.
  4. Fry on low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Add the pepper powder mix well and cool slightly.
  6. Pre heat the oven to 200C
  7. Thaw the frozen pastry sheets and cut them into small squares. Feel free to cut them into whatever shapes you like. Some options are small triangles or even circles.
  8. Arrange them on a lined baking tray.
  9. Place a spoonful of the apple onion mixture and top with few pieces of cheese.
  10. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve warm.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Idli Upma - Left over idli recipes

Do you usually have leftover idlis? Here is a simple and delicious way of using them up. And once you try this I'm sure you'll make some extra idlis just to have this delicious upma, just the way I do. Make sure you don't use fresh idlis for this as the crumbled idlis may turn very sticky. If you are using fresh ones, make sure you cool them well before preparing the upma.

What you'll need
  1. Idli Upma
  2. Idli – 4
  3. Onion – 1 small, finely chopped
  4. Green Chilli – 1, finely chopped
  5. Curry Leaves – few
  6. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  7. Channa Dal – 1 tsp
  8. Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  9. Dried Red Chilli – 1
  10. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Oil – 2 tsp

  1. Take the cold idlis one by one and dip them in water for 30 seconds, squeeze out the excess water and crumble the idlis with hand.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal and red chillies. Fry till the dals turn golden.
  3. Add the curry leaves, green chilly and chopped onions, turmeric powder and sauté until the onions are light brown.
  4. Next add the crumbled idly and salt mix well until the crumbled idlis are heated through.
  5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


You can skip the onions and prepare without it too, but onions give a nice taste to the upma.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Broken Wheat/Godhumai Rava Upma Kozhakattai - World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day. It is a global awareness campaign of Diabetes mellitus and is held on November 14th every year. Over 30 million people in India have been diagnosed with Diabetes.
Diabetes can be kept under control with a healthy diet and good exercise. Including lot of fresh vegetables and whole grains helps to keep a check on the disease. Reduce the intake of white rice and substitute with whole grains like Wheat, Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, Oats, Barley.

My father and grandfather were diabetics and I have always seen them eat broken wheat rice instead of white rice. Broken wheat is a whole grain and is a super food for diabetes. It can be incorporated in our daily meals with ease. You can substitute your daily intake of white rice with this broken wheat.
It is easy to make delicious yet healthy food by choosing to cook with some healthy alternates. So, Exercise daily, Eat Healthy and Stay Fit.

Makes 18 Kozhakattais

What you’ll need
  1. Broken Wheat/Bulgur – 2 cup (see notes)
  2. Channa Dal/Kadalai Paruppu – ¼ cup
  3. Dried Red Chilly – 1 or 2
  4. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup (optional)
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Water – 4 cup

For tempering
  1. Coconut oil or Any refined oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Channa Dal – 1 tsp
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Soak the channa dal and red chillies in water for half an hour.
  2. Grind into a paste by adding little water.
  3. Dry roast the broken wheat till a nice aroma comes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. In the same kadai, add oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, fry till the dals turn golden.
  5. Add the asafoetida and the curry leaves.
  6. Next add 4 cups of water, add the ground paste, coconut and salt to taste.
  7. Bring to boil.
  8. Once the water starts boiling add the broken wheat and mix well.
  9. Stir till all the moisture evaporates and the whole this comes together as a mass.
  10. Remove from heat.
  11. Form balls with it when you can handle the dough. Let it not cool too much.
  12. Steam the balls in a steamer or idly stand for 8 to 10 minutes.
  13. Cool slightly.

Serve warm with sambar or chutney.

  1. I have used Bulgur wheat/Cracked wheat, which is slightly smaller than the regular broken wheat and cooks faster too. If you are using regular broken wheat, increase quantity of water to 3 cups for 1 cup of wheat.
  2. Do not let the mixture cool too much then you may find it difficult to make balls.

Few more healthy recipes

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