When festivities are up the magic that unleashes is unique in every way. It feels like it’s been almost a decade since I last posted.The number of posts in the drafts section has piled up as always …the Christmas break is winding up in a few days time. This break I had come down to my parents home due to a family issue…hoping to have things sorted out soon. When I was packing up from Munnar I was in high hopes to finish reading up the books that have been on my shelves. I always get hooked up on one matter or other and then there’s no time to read…
By the end of October, I had the chance to represent my books at the Frankfurt world book fair for the third time at the Gourmet Gallery. The opportunity to present a live show kitchen on “Food from Kerala” was, in fact, the most awesome experience.It was in every way the proudest moment to have been able to showcase the regional diversity of Indian cuisine which was highly appreciated and welcomed.I truly had butterflies in my stomach before going on the podium …the similar kind of cramp that gets me before I start my show. Well, little did I know that there were more of things to happen. The worst part was when I popped in all the chopped pineapple into my shiny little red mini pressure cooker and explaining out to the viewers.I tried to turn on the induction …..and it wasn’t working.Well, there were a few lovely ladies who were there to help me and they jumped in to help me out with the knobs but unfortunately, my elegant induction based pressure cooker would just not work on the induction top I had at the show kitchen.I ended up cooking them up in a normal pot.50 minS was the time allotted for my show.I am happy that even though there were a few mishaps I could convey the message to the viewers.Heres a glimpse of the event below…
The most memorable and the greatest privilege was to have an invite to visit the “Le cordon bleu “culinary institute in Paris in October. Le cordon bleu is a world renowned network of educational institutions dedicated to providing the highest level of culinary and hospitality instructions through world-class programmes.Founded in Paris in 1895, it is considered today as the largest network of culinary schools in the world.
After all the stories now let’s move on to the recipe to pep up this festive spirit.Musambi or sweet lemon was pretty in season and I wanted to use them up for a recipe. That’s when I thought of using them up in making up a sweet lemon cake.
- 175 g cake flour
- 3 eggs
- 175 g sugar
- 175 g butter
- Juice of 2 sweet lemon /musambi
- Rind of 1 sweet lemon finely grated
- 1 tsp of vanilla essence
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 cup of almonds
- 1/2 cup of milk
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees .Sieve the flour , baking powder and salt into a bowl.In an other bowl beat butter and sugar about 2 mins and slowly beat in the eggs on by one .Once the beaten mix is pretty smooth , stir in milk , musambi rind , its juice and vanilla essence .Slowly fold in the dry ingredients with almonds into the mix. Grease and line a cake tin with butter paper and pour in the cake batter .Level the top and bake the cake for about 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean .
India being a country with remarkable diversity has always been the abode to a rich culinary heritage .As a child I always fancied our motherland not sure if it was of me being born and brought up outside India . The vacations were always days that I would wait for our trips to India . Indian cuisine in itself is so vast that you can never get tired exploring .The huge regional diversities from states , to borders to homes is just unbelievable .
With this new post I would also like to share the officially launch my you tube channel “Nimi’s Recipes “.This is an attempt to give a breath of life to some of the recipes that I have loved trying ..Hoping to have your support !!
The recipe that I wanted to introduce today is a Sindhi bread -“Koki”. This Sindhi breakfast is a really good combination with green chutney .
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 large onions chopped
- 4 green chilies chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 2 tsps cumin seeds
- 2 tsps pomegranate seeds
- Salt to taste
- Oil for shallow frying
- In a bowl mix all ingredients except for oil and add water to knead it into a firm dough .Cover the bwl and set aside for about 10-15 minutes .
- Divide the prepared dough into small balls and shape into thick flat patty .Place patties on a warm griddle and roast both sides on a very low heat .Roll these patties into slightly thick round discs and shallow fry in oil , turning to cook both sides.Serve the koki roti with green chutney .
It’s strange how you meet up with new people every day in your life .There are moments when you feel that you are at the verge of existence but its inspiring how a total stranger can create a new character in your life …Its a similar kind of experience that I had travelling for the research of my new books.Its pretty much amazing to see that there are people in the villages who love what they do in their life despite facing day to day crisis.
Dal pakwan has always been one of the highlight recipes from my recipe diary .Its traditionally a very famous Sindhi breakfast .Recipes have always been a fascination and their collections a hobby .May be I might have got that from my mother .During school days I fancied clipping out all the recipes that had fancy photos.Its crazy how I used to stick them up in a diary and try to try them out on weekends.My kids are the ones who have taken up those crazes now all they would love to do on a holiday is to cook something of their own .I guess I have two budding foodies all set to conquer my kitchen …
- 1/2 cup of chana dal /chick pea lentils soaked for 30 mins
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1tbsp of oil
- 1/2 tsp of dry mango powder
- 3-4 green chillies chopped
- 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp of onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp of tamarind extract
- coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- For Pakwan
- 1 cup of All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1tsp of oil
- Salt to taste
- oil for deep frying
- Wash and pressure cook the lentils with turmeric powder, water and salt to taste for about 5-6 whistles.Once cooked slightly mash the lentils with a wooden spoon . Heat oil in a wok , fry cumin seeds and green chillies .Add in chilli powder and dry mango powder .Make sure that you stir and keep it on low flame so that you are not burning the powders. Stir in the cooked lentils and turn off the flame .Garnish with chopped onions and coriander leaves.
- For the pakwans, mix salt , flour , cumin seedsin a bowl .Pour in water slowly and knead it into a dough .You can also add a teaspoon of oil to the dough to smoothen out the dough .Let the dough sit for about 10-15 minutes.Divide the dough into balls and roll each ball into discs.Prick with a fork on the rolled out dough . Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the pakwans till they are golden and crisp.
- Serve warm with dal .
The best part of staying in Munnar is to get hold of the local fresh veggies . Broccoli is one such veggie that I love to cook with .Soups and salads were my first preferences when I started to cook with them .But it wasnt a big hit with my kids as they rarely fancied them on their plates . Being a mother my first priority has always been to find out ways to include them in the daily diet .The fun part of cooking is to keep innovating recipes .That’s one way that I came up with the Broccoli Rotis which is now a fave with my young one .”Amma , you know these green rotis are much better if you add extra ghee to them …well thats how I want them !” my younger one chuckles and adds on, “But u dont have to add more ghee to my brothers rotis….” with a naughty smile. Hmm ….that was short ignite to the reason for a new fight that started off in a matter of minutes..
I have started posting video recipes on my youtube channel..If you would like to have a look at the video tutorial .You can subscribe
- For the Filling
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 3-4 green chillies chopped
- 7-8 Broccoli florets
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp of dry mango powder
- 1 tsp f garam masala
- For the dough
- 2 cups of wheat flour
- 1 tsp of ghee
- Salt to taste
- water as required to knead
- Ghee to panfry the rotis
- Mince the broccoli in a blender or food processor .
- Heat oil in a pan , saute onions and add in green chillies .
- Once the onions are translucent add the minced broccoli .Stir add water and salt .Cover & cook till the the water has totally evaporated .Keep aside .
- In a bowl mix wheat flour , salt and ghee .Pour in the required amount of water and knead the mix into a dough .Leave it to rest for about 10 minutes . Now pinch and roll balls out of the dough , flatten them , dust them with wheat flour .Dusting with flour stops it from sticking a lot to the rolling pin .
- Roll them thin .spoon some of the broccoli mix and fold from all the four sides into a square.Dust again with wheat flour and roll them out thin .
- Pan fry the rotis on both sides on a flat pan with ghee.
- Serve rotis with pickles, raita or curries.
Its been a few months of happenings all through .In October at last I happened to be at Frankfurt World bookfair representing my cookbooks at the Worlds Largest Book Fair representing India.With all the set of mishaps with last year Frankfurt fair it was quite nerve wracking till I got my visa.To be at the Frankfurt fair was a big moment and meeting up with some of the most wonderful people was even the most memmorable moment.Catching up with most of the cookbook authors after the awards in May was even more exciting .My kiddos were’nt quite happy of me travelling without them …well I truly missed them ..I just couldn’t help myself from from laughing when they used to call me up and complaint about each other ..on Skype! Gosh ! My pranksters !!!
Back from Frankfurt and it was a whirlwind of happenings .. with my fathers accident ..and a few weeks later my uncle passed away ..it was a quite a bit of shock ..my father is still in the process of recovering ..and I really hope to have him all healthy …In the midst of all this I was featured on the cover of a leading magazine in Kerala , “Karshakasree”
Now on to the recipe of the Italian Bread Pudding .I just love this super quick pudding …
- 1tbsp of butter
- 2 apples , peeled , cored and sliced in to rings
- 85g granulated sugar
- 2tbsp of apple juice
- 4 thick slices of bread with the crusts removed
- 300ml of fresh cream
- 2eggs beaten
- Rind of 1 orange , cut into short thin sticks
- Lightly grease a 1.2 litre deep casserole with butter .
- Arrange the apple rings in the bottom of the dish .Sprinkle half of the sugar over the apples.Pour the juice over the apples.Add the bread slices , pushing them down with your hands to flatten them slightly .
- In a bowl mix the left over sugar with the orange rind and cream .Pour the mixture over the bread .Set aside to soak for about 30minutes .Preheat oven at 180degree celsius and bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden and set .Remove from oven , set aside to cool slightly and serve warm .
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Indeed the thrill and joy of achievement is just unexplainable. Last year in the month of July when I was at my parents place for the monsoon break from school , I least expected the outcome of my long awaited cookbook “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala” .I have had the craziest as well as the most unexpected circumstances when I look back .I lost the data of my book thrice and then send it for print .Things were totally haywire with my harddisk broken , my laptops display dead and so on ….it was just never ending and I had time constraints as I was to exhibit my books at the Frankfurt World Book fair …When the book print was all sorted just two days before my flight I am informed that my visa got rejected ..It was totally devastating 🙁 ..to top all these my son was down with pneumonia .I tried my level best ..but unfortunately I couldnt make it to Frankfurt .The books were exhibited there as my brother was there for the event ..but it took me months to recover from the mishaps .
Whatever happened, happened for good.
Whatever is happening, is happening for good.
Whatever will happen, that will be for good as well. –
Its taken me a very long time to share with all of you the news of my book , but as its told better late than never ..so I am very happy , excited, thrilled, ..you can take up all the synonyms that can go with it ….to share with you all tht my cookbook , “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala ” which is on the snacks of Kerala cuisine has won “Best Indian cookbook in the world ” for the Gourmand world cookbook awards 2015-16 from 209 countries representing India .I seriously had no words to say on stage… when I was called up I was in all tears ….
Its great to win the Gourmand awards the second time and experience the whole event .Earlier it was for my cookbook “Lip smacking Dishes of Kerala” which won the 3rd Best Local Cuisine book in the world for 2013-14 at the Gourmand World cookbook awards from 187 countries representing India , held at Beijing , China .
Now to spice up all this news I have a recipe for a pickle that I made from the garden fresh cherry tomatoes…
- 1/4kg cherry tomatoes
- 2tbsp of kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 2-3 green chillies chopped
- 1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder
- 2-3 tbsp of oil
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp of vinegar
- salt to taste
- 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
- Heat a pan , add oil and fry the tomatoes till they shrink in size and seperate.In the remaining oil , pop mustard seeds, add fenugreek , ginger, green chillies and stir fry them for a minute or two on med flame .Lower the flame and stir in the turmeric and kashmiri chilli powder .Once the oil starts seperating add in the vinegar .I added a little extra vinegar so that i can cook the the sauce a bit more .You can also add water but that at times accelarates mould growth in the pickle .
- Now mix in the fried tomatoes , add sugar , asafoetida , salt and curry leaves .Turn off the flame and let it cool before you bottle them .
- Enjoy these pickles with rice or rotis ...
A few months back when Facebook team contacted me to do a video on my journey from a homemaker to an entrepreneur I had no clue of what to expect .My latest cookbook “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala ” won the “Best Indian cuisine book in the world” for the Gourmand world cookbook awards 2015-16.A few weeks back I received an email from Facebook India with the statistics of the reach…”The video had reached 600,000 people across India! The video itself has been viewed 300,000 times ”
I whole heartedly thank all the wonderful people who had viewed,supported,encouraged ,shared and liked the video .Kudos to YourStory for the wonderful video 🙂
Watch how Nimi Sunilkumar's Cooking School used Facebook to spread awareness of her cooking classes and grow her business.
Posted by Facebook on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Greg Grano and Sarah Sellman two wonderful filmmakers from SanFrancisco did a portfolio on me for the website Hooplaha-Only good news ..it was just magic as the video is very close to my heart ..
Its crazy when I look back and see how my passion for food has created magic …the magic of following my heart!!!
A spin of the time wheel and back to being a child …..gosh wish that happened !!!When you are a child all you wish is to be a grown up and you get to do things that you want to do and when you are grown up you are more bounded with all the worldly expectations that you least expected …well that’s life !!!
The school has closed down for a ten day break and I am at my home (hehe..of course my parents’ home ).For the past few months it’s been a suffocating schedule that I have been hooked up to with my younger one being a bit sick .There’s loads of news that has yet to be shared..a few are waiting to be yet unfolded.
Today’s post is one that I have always longed to post …Baked Caramel custard!
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 can condensed milk
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 2 tsps of cornflour
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- In a bowl using blender mix all the ingredients except sugar till creamy. Heat a non-stick pan and melt the sugar without stirring till the sugar is wholly caramelized. Pour the caramelized sugar on to the base of the baking dish to coat the base evenly. Pour the creamy mix over it .Preheat oven at 180 degree and bake the custard for about 60 minutes or longer till the custard is set in a water bath in the oven. Once baked remove it from the water bath and let it cool down .Run a knife on the edges of the pan and invert it on to a plate. Cut in desired shapes and serve .
Its surprising how 2015 is over and 2016 has started ..an year with quite a bit of happenings..moments of bitterness, humour , love and friendship an other year winds up and the upcoming days are awaiting to be unfolded ..
My long awaited cookbook on the snacks of Kerala at last came to life in October 2015 and was first exhibited at the Frankfurt world bookfair 2015…the worst part was that I couldn’t make it for the most unexpected reasons and my younger one was very sick for a few months.I guess ups and downs are after all a part and parcel of life .I was blessed to have some of my first and best experiences in life all topped with the love for food. That would have been the first and foremost experiences to treasure.
“Its strange how we find the best of friends in the most unexpected people.” This is one quote that I would totally agree with .. that I would say have brought me quite a number of friends in my life in the most unexpected situations of life ..for me life has always been a bag of surprises .The best part is to hitch in the surprises be it the bitter or best moments. This year here’s my profile teaser that was released ..
Starting off this years post on sweet note there’s one recipe from Lal Majid’s chocolate & dessert book ,”Deliciously Yours !”…that I have been longing to post ..”Coffee apple Bavarois”
- 1 egg yolk
- 25g sugar
- 125ml milk
- 1 tsp of gelatin
- 75ml chilled cream
- 1 apple peeled and pureed
- 2 tsps of coffee
- Boil milk on low heatwith the pureed apple .Beat chilled cream with an electric beater and set aside.Add egg yolk sugar gelatin into milk and mix well.Add coffee into the mixture and incorporate well.Let the mix cool.Fold in the whipped cream until smooth.Pour into glasses or bowls of desired shape and chill for 10 hrs before serving.
It’s after a gap of about 6 months that I am posting today….I had been head over heels on a few commitments that were lagging on .There were bubbles of happiness and a few perks of disappointments in this time span ..and after all thats all about life .The photos were always all set for my posts..but scheduling out my time to post was the hardest part …with my classes and working on my biggest project which was my new cookbook…”4 ‘o’clock temptations of Kerala”. This year I was invited over to the world’s largest book fair “The Frankfurt Book fair 2015” to represent my cookbooks. I was one among the 5 Indians to be a part of the Gourmet Gallery at the fair. Although I couldn’t make it at the last minute to the fair my new cookbook on the snacks of Kerala were exhibited at the fair….Thanks to my brother and the Frankfurt fair team .My new cookbook is an insight to the authentic snack recipes of Kerala.
The new cookbook would be soon out for sale on my blog and other sites for sale within a month…
So with all this hotchpotch at the background my recipe for today’s palette is a Srilankan Crab curry .This recipe was adapted from the cookbook “Saraogini’s Srilanka food” by Sarogini Kamalanathan. A very composed and loving lady whom I had met during my visit to Beijing for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards last year in May 2014…she was Sarojini ..We had exchanged our cookbooks and I have been cooking many wonderful recipes from her collections….
- 3 medium sized crabs, cleaned & prepared
- 2tbsp of oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 1tbsp fenugreek seeds
- 1tsp mustard seeds
- 1 sprig of curry leaves
- 2 green chillies slit
- 2 tbsp of paprika powder
- 1 cup of water
- 1 ½ cup of coconut milk
- Sprig of drumstick leaves(muringa leaves)/ coriander leaves
- Heat oil in an earthen pot or a heavy bottomed vessel , add fenugreek , splutter mustard seeds and sauté the onions till they caramelise, add green chillies, chilli powder , salt and stir. Add in the prepared crabs, pour in the water, give a good stir cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes. When the crabs have turned a nice orange colour ,add the coconut milk and slightly simmer for another 10 minutes, turn off the heat and garnish with fresh muringa leaves or coriander leaves and serve ..
- Its best to cook the crab curry at the least an hour before you serve ..