Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mathan Erisserry / Pumpkin in Coconut Sauce

Errissery is a Saddhi (Sadhya/Feast) special in Kerala. It is prepared using Pumpkin, Yam, Jackfruit or with a combination of Raw Banana and Yam. Vegetables are cooked and simmered in a coconut paste and then again topped with roasted coconut. A very flavorful curry that can be enjoyed with rice and some pickle or with any thogayal or pachadi.

Serves - 2
What you'll need
  1. Pumpkin – 2 cups, cut into bite sized cubes
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Salt to taste
To Grind
  1. Scraped Coconut – ¾ cup
  2. Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Dried Red Chilly – 1

To Roast
  1. Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup

To Temper
  1. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  2. Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  3. Dried Red Chilly – 1 (optional)
  4. Curry Leaves - few

  1. Cook the pumpkin pieces in 1.5 cups of water with salt and turmeric powder, until soft.
  2. Grind coconut, cumin seeds and red chilly to a smooth paste using little water.
  3. Once the pumpkin pieces are cooked, add the ground paste to the cooked pumpkin pieces, mix well and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts boiling.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Now heat a small frying pan, add a tsp of oil and roast the coconut  until dark brown.
  6. Add this browned coconut to the pumpkin coconut mixture and mix.
  7. Finally temper with mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilly and curry leaves.

Serve this delicious Mathan Erisserry with white steamed rice and thogayal or any pickle.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mushroom Chettinad

We are not a mushroom hating family, but we are not its lovers either. So, though I cook mushrooms, they were not a regular fare, back in India. But here, mushrooms are available in plenty and are now finding their way into my kitchen very regularly. Cooking with mushrooms has become a weekly affair and I am on the lookout for some interesting recipes using them.
And that’s when, I found this amazingly flavourful dish, on Sanjeev Kapoor’s website. The aroma and flavour of the freshly ground spices takes this dish to another level. The bland mushrooms blend really well with the spices absorbing all the flavours. It is slightly on the spicier side, so adjust the chillies according to your taste levels.  

Serves -2 - 3
What you’ll need
  1. Mushrooms – 250 gms
  2. Onion – 2, medium sized, finely chopped
  3. Tomato – 2 medium sized, finely chopped
  4. Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
  5. Ginger – 1 inch piece, grated
  6. Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  8. Sugar – ½ tsp
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Oil – 2 tbsp
  11. Fresh Coriander Leaves for garnishing

For the spice paste
  1. Coriander Seeds – ½ tbsp
  2. Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Cloves – 2
  5. Cardamom – 2
  6. Cinnamon – a small piece
  7. Dried Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  8. Black Pepper – 5 to 6
  9. Fresh Scraped Coconut – 3 tbsp
  10. Poppy Seeds – ½ tbsp
  11. Cashewnuts – 6 to 7

  1. Soak the poppy seeds and cashewnuts in warm water for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a kadai with a tsp of oil, roast cumin, fennel, coriander, cloves, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and dried red chillies and coconut until a nice aroma starts coming and the coconut is lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.
  3. Grind the above spices along with the poppy seeds and cashewnuts to a smooth paste adding about ¼ to ½ cup water.
  4. Heat another kadai with the remaining oil, add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and fry until the onions are browned.
  5. Add turmeric powder and fry for few seconds.
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes and fry until mushy and almost dry.
  7. Now add the ground spice paste and chilli powder and fry on medium heat, stirring continuously for 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. Add the halved mushrooms, mix well.
  9. Also add about 1 cup of waster, salt and sugar. Mix well and cook covered on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes.
  10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Uralaikizhangu Podimas

Potato is a very versatile vegetable, with lovers world wide. It is one vegetable that is loved by kids and adults alike. My family for one loves potatoes in any form, be it a spicy curry, gravy or some crispy fritters. My younger daughter, just can't wait till the curry gets ready. As soon the potatoes are cooked and out of the cooker, she will be ready for her share. She loves eating plain boiled potatoes. 

Potato podimas or mashed potatoes - Indian style, is a very simple dish, that can be prepared in a jiffy if you have boiled potatoes ready in hand. A very flavorful and delicious curry, that pairs beautifully with plain rice and rasam. The perfect comfort food for a rainy day, no no for any day.

Serves 3 to 4
What you'll need
  1. Potato – 4 to 5 Medium sized
  2. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  3. Ginger – 1 inch piece
  4. Lemon Juice – 2 tsp
  5. Oil – 3 tsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  7. Spilt Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  8. Channa dal – 1 tsp
  9. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  10. Salt to taste

  1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Cool, remove skin and mash them coarsely.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil, splutter mustard seeds, channa dal and urad dal. Once the dals turn golden add, chopped green chilles, grated ginger and curry leaves. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add turmeric powder and then add the mashed potatoes and salt.
  4. Mix well and cook uncoverd for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Mix and serve hot with rice and rasam.

  1. There is a variation to this method. My mother sometimes, coarsely grinds a little coconut, green chilly and ginger without any water. And adds it to the mashed potatoes. No lemon juice is added to this version.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

A couple of years back, if you had asked me about falafels, I would have been clueless. But, thanks to the blogging world, I came to know about them. Though I have read many blogs posts and recipes on falafels I never tried it at home nor did I get a chance to taste them in India. Now, here in Amsterdam, Falafels are a popular street food. And finally I got to have my share of falafels from a local shop here. They are very delicious and a filling meal too.

The Dutch cuisine is influenced by cuisines of many countries and one of them is the Middle Eastern. It is very visible from the popularity of dishes like Falafels and baklava.

Falafels are deep fried chickpea or fava bean balls, served traditionally with Pita Bread and Tahini sauce and pickled vegetables. These can also be enjoyed a snack by skipping the bread.

Makes about 14 falafels

What you'll need

For the falfel
  1. Dry Chickpeas (soaked overnight) – 2 cups
  2. Onion – ½ of a big one
  3. Garlic – 2 cloves
  4. Green Chilly – 1
  5. Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Chopped fresh Coriander – 2 tbsp
  8. All purpose flour – 3 tbsp
  9. Salt to taste

  1. Drain all the water from the soaked Chickpeas. Keep it as dry as possible.
  2. Add the chickpeas to the mixer/food processor.
  3. Add chopped onion, garlic, green chilly, coriander powder, cumin powder, and grind to a coarse consistency. Don’t make into smooth paste. Grind without adding any water.
  4. Transfer to a bowl. Add the salt, coriander leaves and flour.
  5. Mix well and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  6. Heat oil for deep frying.
  7. Make small balls out of the chickpea mixture. Add one ball to the oil and test, if it stays whole then make balls with the remaining mixture and deep fry 4 to 5 balls at a time until nice and brown. Drain excess oil on a tissue paper. If the ball disintegrates, then add more flour to the mixture and fry.
  8. Deep fry in a medium flame, if the oil is too hot, outside with become dark very soon but inside will remain uncooked.
  9. Serve these with Pita bread and Tahini Sauce
For the Tahini Sauce

  1. White Sesame Seeds – ½ cup
  2. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  3. Lemon juice – 1 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
  4. Roasted Garlic – 1 clove, crushed
  5. Chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Method
  8. Heat a pan, roast the sesame seeds lightly.
  9. Cool and grind into a paste, without adding water.
  10. Now add the oil little at a time and grind. You can add more oil and make it into pouring consistency.
  11. Transfer to a bowl, add salt, lemon juice crushed garlic and about ½ cup water.
  12. Mix well adjust consistency and seasoning by adding water, lemon juice and salt.
  13. Finally garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with falafel.

Note: If serving stuffed in Pita bread, flatten the balls slightly like a patty, so that they can be easily kept inside the bread.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tomato Rasam using Homemade Rasa Podi

A simple rasam, rice and potato fry is a heavenly combination, best for one of those cold nights. Rasam is a staple in most south Indian homes and so is the case in our home as well. My younger daughter loves rasam and she has it with almost everything, Idly, Dosa, even Chapathi. She loves to drink it as such, like a soup. 

So here is how I make the tomato rasam with the Rasam Powder. Don't ask me why I took so long to post this. Anyways, better late than never isn't it?

Serves 3 to 4

What you'll need
  1. Tuar Dal – 1 tbsp
  2. Tamarind – small gooseberry sized ball
  3. Tomato – 1
  4. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Rasa Podi – 1 tbsp
  6. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  7. Powdered Jaggery – 1 tsp
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Curry Leaves – few sprigs
  10. Coriander Leaves – Finely chopped – 2 tbsp

For tempering
  1. Ghee – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Jeera – ½ tsp

  1. Pressure cook dal, mash well adding about 1.5 cups of water. Keep aside.
  2. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract about 2 cups of thin tamarind extract.
  3. Add finely chopped tomatoes, asafoetida, turmeric powder, rasam powder, jaggery and salt to taste.
  4. Also add the curry leaves.
  5. Let this come to a boil, simmer for 8 to 10 minutes on low heat.
  6. Now add the cooked dal water, check for seasoning. Adjust taste and add more water if required.
  7. Simmer on low heat until the rasam froths up. Do not allow to boil.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Heat a small frying pan with ghee, add mustard seeds, once they start crackling add jeera and pour over the rasam.

Cover and keep until serving.
Enjoy with plain steamed rice, a vegetable curry and some papad.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Homemade Rasam Powder/Rasa Podi

Rasam podi or Rasapodi is an indispensable part of my kitchen pantry. As the name suggests this powder is used to make Rasam. I use it not only in rasams but also in different curries. It adds a wonderful flavor to a simple potato fry, lady's finger fry etc.

Now coming to the recipe, this is my grandmother's recipe, which my mother adopted and now I too am following the same. It gives a wonderful flavor to the rasam. Making this powder is quite simple, just gather the ingredients, roast, cool and grind. But care should be taken while roasting. 

What you'll need
  1. Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya – 3 Cup
  2. Tuar Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Channa Dal – 1 Cup
  4. Jeera – ¾ Cup
  5. Black Pepper – ¾ Cup
  6. Mustard – ¼ Cup
  7. Fenugreek Seeds/Vendhayam – ¼ Cup
  8. Dried Red Chillies - 1 Cup
  1. Dry roast all the ingredients one by one.
  2. Cool completely.
  3. Grind into a powder and store in airtight containers.


  1. Though this powder has a long shelf life, I suggest you prepare in smaller quantities to retain the freshness.
  2. Take care while roasting, never roast on high flame, always roast on a medium flame.
  3. Also, keep stirring, while roasting so that the whole thing is roasted evenly.
  4. Store in clean and dry airtight containers and use a dry spoon.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thengai Thogayal

After coming to Amsterdam, cooking our traditional recipes has become once a week occasions. Throughout the week its some kind of variety rice or roti subji. Its only on the weekends that I am able to cook the traditional fare. Eating variety rice and rotis all through the week leaves me craving for some simple yet delicious Palakkad Chamayal. 

Thogayal is an accompaniment for rice and is usually served along with Molagootal in our house. It can be had mixed with plain steamed rice too. Many who are not very familiar with South Indian cooking may confuse between Thogayal and Chutney. Thogayal is like a chutney but is quite thick when compared to Chutney. The urad dal form an important part of any thogayal. Also many variations of thogayals see the addition of vegetables like carrots, ridge gourd, pumpkin etc. My personal preference being once with some vegetables. The addition of vegetables adds a slight sweetness to the thogayal. Together with the tamarind, red chillies and coconut it makes a yummy accompaniment.

Today's post is the basic Thengai Thogayal. Now off to the way my mom makes it:

What you’ll need
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – 1 cup
  2. Urad Dal – 3 tbsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  4. Asafoetida – a small piece
  5. Tamarind – small piece
  6. Oil – 1 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Few Curry Leaves

  1. Heat a Kadai with oil.
  2. Add the asafoetida piece, once it puffs up well, add the urad dal and fry on medium heat till golden.
  3. Also add the red chillies and fry till they turn bright.
  4. Add the tamarind and coconut and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat.
  5. Cool and grind along with salt.
  6. Add a tsp or two of water and grind to a coarse paste semi solid paste.
  7. Transfer to a bowl.
  8. Serve with plain rice, Molagootal or curd rice.


The consistency of thogayal is usually thick and coarse.
You can add coriander leaves, sauteed carrots or ridge gourds. I will post a version of these soon.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Raspberry Peach Iced Tea

This month the Groovy Gourmets, decided to prepare a drink from Foodgawker, which is dairy free.  With the kind of weather here, I would have really liked to have something hot but then on one sunny day, I prepared this delicious fruit flavoured Iced Tea.

I guess there are no strict rules to prepare this iced tea. You could flavour it with a any fruit of your choice like strawberries, oranges, or even just lemon. I am sure it would be a welcome change from the regular drinks.

What you'll need
  1. Tea Bags – 3 (I used Lipton Black Tea)
  2. Fresh Raspberries – 1 cup
  3. Peaches – 2
  4. Sugar or Honey as per taste
  5. Mint leaves for garnish

  1. Bring 3 cups water to boil. Place the tea bags in it and let it steep for full 5 minutes.
  2. Discard the tea bags and let it cool.
  3. Peel the peaches and chop into small pieces.
  4. Blend the peaches and raspberries until smooth.
  5. Strain through a fine sieve.
  6. In a large vessel, whisk together raspberry peach mixture, brewed tea and sugar/honey.
  7. Refrigerate until chilled.
  8. Serve over ice, with more raspberries, peach slices and mint leaves.

Monday, July 1, 2013


Hello Friends!
Feels great to be back to my blog after a break of almost a month. Thought of starting my posts with a sweet and simple dish – Maaladdoo. It is  fairly simple to make with very few and commonly available ingredients.

Makes about 15 small laddoos
What you’ll need
  1. Pottukadalai/Porikadalai/Chutney Dal – 1 Cup
  2. Sugar – 1 Cup
  3. Ghee – ½ Cup
  4. Cardamom – 3 to 4 pods
  5. Cashewnut – 10 to 15, broken into small pieces

  1. Powder the Pottukadalai.
  2. Powder the sugar and cardamom.
  3. Mix the two powders thoroughly. You can sieve them together for even mixing.
  4. Roast the cashewnuts in little ghee and add it to the pottukadalai sugar mixture
  5. Divide this mixture into two halves.
  6. Heat the ghee, until melted and hot.
  7. Add ghee little by little to the pottukadalai sugar mixture and mix with your hands until you are able to shape the mixture into balls without crumbling. This would require about ¼ cup of ghee.
  8. Now shape the mixture into small balls and smoothen it between your palms.
  9. The laddus will be soft in the beginning but will set in a while.

Store in airtight containers. 

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