Growing your own vegetables for your daily needs makes food so much tastier. Organic farming is so much into these days. Making use the soil to grow your own vegetables and fruits make cooking much more divine. Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, living a city life, I haven’t actually had a great exposure to farming or growing food during my childhood days. The vacation visits to Kerala to my parent’s ancestral homes always excited me so much. I really awed the moment s when the whole family gets together spending time chatting, cooking, eating …It was a real fun to do things that you were not used to doing. Going fishing in ponds, picking fresh veggies, helping my mother and grandmother in cooking. There’s a flush of memories that flow in when I look back.
After marriage, now a mother to two boys and living in Kerala … I also want to instill in my kids the value of growing their own food. I have a small backyard to the house where I live and every season it’s a different set of veggies that are grown.A few months back I had asked one of our staffs to buy a batch of potatoes for home and the person wasn’t very good at picking up the right potatoes and I ended up having slightly sprouted ones. In two days’ time I had to travel to my in-laws home for family reasons and by the time I was back in my kitchen, it was pretty much all sprouted up. They were all cut up and shoved into the soil. Last week as my husband and kids were plucking some fresh tomatoes from our backyard, I noticed the potato plant and pulled out one to find the potatoes were all ready to be taken out of the soil. We got about 2-3 kilos of potatoes which pretty much a good amount to use up for our home cooking. And yesterday I used some of those to make some really crispy “Aloo tikkis” for my children as a snack for tea time. The rains have started off pretty quick this year round….So it’s pretty much very satisfying to have some hot snacks with chai.
- 3-4 medium sized potatoes boiled and peeled and mashed
- 3-4 green chillies chopped
- ½ tsp of cumin seeds
- ½-1tsp of chilli powder (u can vary it according to your spice preference)
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- 2 tsps of coriander leaves chopped
- ¼ tsp of dry mango powder or ½ tsp of lemon juice
- 2 tbsps of rice flour
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- In a bowl mix in potatoes, green chillies ,cumin seeds, chilli powder , turmeric powder , coriander leaves , rice flour ,lemon juice or dry mango powder and salt . Pinch golf ball sized small portions, roll and flatten to make patties .Once shaped in to patties, heat oil in a wok and deep fry them till they are golden brown in color. Serve with green chutneys
- 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves
- 2 green chillies
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 inch piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
- 1/2 cup of yoghurt
- salt to taste
- Grind mint leaves , coriander leaves , garlic , ginger and lime juice into smooth paste in a blender.Mix in the yoghurt and salt .Serve it with the aloo tikkis !
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 .
In two days the holidays come to the winding stage and its back to normal .The temperature has been really hot in Thrissur ..I think its been almost the same in most parts of Kerala.Being accustomed to the Munnar climate , changing over to the tropical climate it was a bit difficult.But its nice to have a little rain although the heat doesnt come down very much .
Todays post is an Andhra style mixture with poha or beaten rice.A mixture that looks complicated but which is super simple to try and can be kept bottled for some time.I love this snack as its a wonderful melt in the mouth snacker with a very distinct taste.
- 500 gm thin white Poha (beaten rice flakes) dried in sunlight for 2hrs
- 1 cup of coconut chips
- 1 cup of peanuts
- 1 cup of fried gram
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tsp of chilli powder
- 1 ½ tsp of chaat masala
- 1 tsp of cumin powder
- ½ cup Curry leaves
- Oil for frying
- Fry the poha till it is crispy in a dry pan and separate.
- Fry and separate coconut chips, peanuts, fried gram and curry leaves in to a
- colander so that the oil oozes out.
- Mix the fried ingredients and poha together, add in salt and mix.
- Mix in chilli powder, chaat masala, and cumin powder.
- Once cool store them in air tight containers.
A break from the busy bee schedule is something that I have been longing for the past months.With all the cooking at home I have been longing for my mom to cook for me.I guess theres no age bar to crave for your moms food…isnt it true ??Its funny how the days fly when you dont want to end your holidays so soon.The school reopens by the 16th and its back on wheels…
We Keralites are so very much into coconuts and when I came across this recipe with all the goodness of coconuts how could I stop myself from sharing. Baked with the coconuty goodness of everything coconut from scraped coconut to coconut milk…
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 4tbsp of butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup scraped coconut
- Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius. Heat the coconut milk with butter so that it
- melts and turn off the flame.
- Sift baking powder, flour and salt together. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar for
- about 3 minutes till they go pale in colour or they double in size.
- Mix in the warm coconut milk and vanilla essence.
- Slowly beat the flour mix into this without any lumps.
- Mix in the scraped coconut.
- Grease a bundt pan and pour in the cake mix and bake the cake for about 60
- minutes or till done.
Born and brought up in Abudhabi ..I have always had my flair for the Mediterranean cuisine .I still remember how I craved for my Dads parcel of special packed food during the month of Ramadan during his night shifts.This time round when I went to a shopping mall in Cochin I pointed out to my husband the “Basbousa” telling him all stories of what it was.Back home and how could resist myself from baking it..these are some hardcore facts of being a foodie..
Basbousa is a very popular and tasty Mediterranean sweet cake. Cooked with semolina and soaked in simple sugar syrup this cake has different regional names ..in Arabic its Basbousa/Harisa , Turkey its Revani/Ravani, Lebanon its Nammoura , Armenian its Shemali … the roots or the origin of this cake is told to be Turkey .
- For the Syrup
- 1 ½ cup of sugar
- 1 ½ cup of water
- 1 tsp of rosewater
- Juice of ½ lemon
- For the cake batter
- 1 cup of semolina
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 1 cup of yoghurt
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup of scraped coconut
- ½ cup of oil
- Almonds for garnish
- In a saucepan boil the water to make the syrup, add in the sugar and stir till it
- dissolves completely.
- Mix in the lemon juice and rosewater and let it cool.
- Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.
- In a bowl, beat egg and sugar.
- Add in the yoghurt, oil and sieve in the flour.
- Mix in baking powder, vanilla essence and coconut.
- Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake till the cake is done or for about 30
- Garnish with almonds.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the cake when the cake is still hot.
- Serve when cold.
There’s the end of another year….. 2014 is slowly winding up..and it’s time for new resolutions !!!! .The holidays for Christmas have started ….break till the 5th of Jan 2015 when the new term is going to start off at school .My elder one Surji is off enjoying his break with his cousins at his father’s house and Siva with me my nonstop blabbering companion. It’s better to hear that my health is catching up from last week’s review at the doc..but the craziest thing is when everyone who meet up with me after a few days have been asking me , ”Oh Nimi u seem to be enjoying your break from school ..You have put on weight!!!” Ha! And the actual truth I feel quite bloated up and tired …an effect from the medications. A worried me asks my doc once in a while ..if I would become my actual self ..She smiles and says ….”all will be well once the course is completed!!”Hmm ….Hope for the best ! So before I get too lazy and sleepy in writing this post ..let me hop on to the recipe of Scones…and thank u Sylvia….here’s picking out and trying recipes from your book 😉
Scone is a single serving cake or quick bread. They are often lightly sweetened and are occasionally glazed. These are different from the normal sweet buns which are normally made from yeast. There are different types of scones and the variants differ from the places .In some countries they also have the savory scones. Scones are normally served with tea or coffee.
- 200ml fresh cream
- 3 cups of flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 4 ½ tsp of baking powder
- 1 cup lemonade
- Flour for dusting
- For Lemonade
- 1 ½ cup of water
- 4-5 tbsp of sugar
- Juice of 3 lemons
- To make the lemonade first boil water, stir in sugar till it dissolves well and then
- remove from heat.
- Let the syrup cool and mix in the lemon juice and keep aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt twice into a bowl.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the lemonade and cream.
- Use wooden spoon and slightly fold in to make slightly sticky dough.
- Dust flour on your counter; roll the dough slightly mixing the dough to keep it from
- Pat out the dough about 4cm thick with your hands, sprinkling flour when kneaded.
- Use a scone cutter or a circle shaped cutter to cut out circles.
- Place these shapes on to a baking tray and leave them to rise for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 230 degree Celsius and bake these scones for about 15-20 minutes
- or until they are golden in colour.
- Eat them warm /cold topped with jam, butter or cheese.
So Wishing all a very Merry Christmas!!!
Diwali/ Deepawali the festival of lights is all set for celebration . The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair. The best part of Diwali is the wide variety of sweets that one can devour! After my post has pretty much lagged out and the reason was that my cam was under service. It was as if I had actually gone handicapped. There was no other choice but to rely on my iphone for my snaps…to tell you the truth that’s when you really feel if you had your cam with u.Its not the pics but my mind that could never as such be content with the pics.
This is my post after the Onam celebration . There was something more that came up during the onam holidays. I was invited over to Mumbai for the 160th Sree Narayana Guru Jayanthi celebrations organized by the Sree Narayana Mandira Samithi at The Sree Narayana Group of Institutions, Chembur during which I was to be felicitated..It was my first time to Mumbai ..an experience in itself. A trip with my inlaws, hus and kids….during the function I was pretty much overwhelmed to meet some of the most wonderful people who really cared for the society!
As its Diwali and its all about sweet things..I have two recipes one is Papaya Halwa and Khascha a sweet snack from UttarPradesh.For the Khascha recipe a big thanks to Pooja ,my home science student at school for sharing their traditional sweets!
- 225 gms of ripe papaya fruit deskinned, deseeded & cubed
- 300ml of milk
- ½ cup of sugar
- 2-3 tsps of ghee
- 1 tsp of almonds & 1tsp of raisins roasted in ghee
- 4-5 strands of saffron
- Blend the papaya with milk to make a smooth paste.
- Heat and keep stirring the papaya milk mix, add in the sugar, saffron strands and
- keep stirring on medium flame till the mix starts thickening up.
- Add ghee on the sides of pan and continue mixing.
- Once the halwa starts thickening add in the raisins and almonds and remove from
- If u wants to make your halwa sweeter, add in two tablespoons of sugar while
- cooking. Relish on your Papaya Halwa!
- 1 cup of Semolina
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of sugar
- 100g ghee
- 150 ml milk
- 2-3 cardamom seeds
- Oil for frying
- Mix in the semolina, flour, cardamom and sugar.
- Slowly pour in the milk and knead into dough.
- Make small balls out of the dough or roll the dough into discs and cut desired shapes.
- Sprinkle flour while rolling as it might quite sticky.
- Fry the shapes out in oil till it is golden in color.
- Munch on these wonderful Khaschas this Diwali!
May the divine light of diwali spread into your Life with peace, prosperity, happiness and good health.Wishing all my friends a wonderful Diwali!
Let me start off with wishing all the wonderful women out there a Happy Women’s Day!
My sole pillar of strength and the woman who I adore the most in my life is my mom.She hasbeen there for me to look on to ,advice, love , scold..solving out ..having the patience to hear my stories(which never end..:P)..The life of a woman is indeed no cakewalk..phew! I wanted to pick up a real eezy peezy recipe to post on Womens day… ..it was then that I stumbled on to these Eggy breads while I was watching one of Gordon Ramsays cooking spree on TV.He had mentioned that it was one of his moms special recipes…so why not post a recipe of a wonderful mom celebrating Womanhood 🙂
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp of milk
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 4 thick slices of slightly stale bread
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- Butter/oil for frying
- For Caramelized Bananas
- 3 firm but ripe bananas
- 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of orange juice
- Beat the eggs together thoroughly with the milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and
- then pour into a shallow dish.
- Add the bread slices and submerge them in the egg, turning to coat them well.
- Fry the both sides of the bread till golden brown, drizzling ghee or oil on the sides.
- Separate on to a dish.
- Peel the bananas and slice.
- In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
- Add the banana slices and cook, gently turning them occasionally, until they begin to
- brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the sugar and cook until it melts, about 1 minute.
- Gently stir in the 1/2 cup orange juice and the rum and cook until the liquid has
- reduced slightly, about 1 minute.
- If the sauce seems too thick, add a little more orange juice until it is the desired
- Top the eggy bread with the caramelized bananas….
Planning to have a glass of juice with your eggy bread?
I had my eggy toasts with a glass of Paperboat’s Aamras.Paper boat drinks boast on reliving the old memmories through their drinks.To say the truth , when I received my set of paperboat drinks …the packs where quite inviting in their colors and flavors.Being a mango lover my first choice was to try out Aamras .I was not quite dissappointed with my sip of Aamras ..boing …felt as if I had a slice of juicy piece of a super ripe mango ..yumm! Paperboat has some unique flavors of which they stand apart from other drinks.The flavors that I got to try out were Aamras, Aampanna , Jaljeera & Jamun .Aampanna did have that tangy sourness with the shot of cumin .Wasn’t quite fascinated by the tastes of Jal jeera and Jamun .The color of Jamun was quite appealing but my tastebuds couldn’t quite cope with the taste of it. My vote would aamras and aampanna when compared to the other two.Its a good innovation though that Paperboat has bought out some very unique tastes 🙂
This weeks post is a special dedication to all those who love Nutella 😀 When I saw that the Nutella twists was the recipe chosen for last months Daring Bakers was thoroughly fascinated by this twisted beauty.Although it took off a few hours of my Saturday ..it was total bliss ..YuMM! 😀 The best part was having my sons ready to help me out in baking .My younger one was more keen in knowing if it was ready .Every five minutes he would be testing my patience ..asking if it was ready .He wanted to help me out in spreading out the Nutella on the layers…and guess what ….he had nutella all over his face.When I stared at him ..he gave me his angelic smile ..showing of his teeth all coated in chocolate..:PKids are kids ..hmm 😀
1 can (400 gm) (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
3 teaspoons (15 ml) (12 gm) yeast
7 cups (1 kg) (2.2 lbs) all-purpose (plain) flour, approximately
Pinch of salt
Instead of the eggwash use
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) milk powder
3 tablespoons (45 ml) lukewarm water
1teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 gm) instant coffee
For the filling
½ jar (200 gm) (7 oz) of nutella (or similar)
Mix the condensed milk, yeast, oil, water, and eggs in the bowl of your mixer .Add the flour one cup at a time and knead using the kneading attachment or by hand till you get a
soft dough . The dough will be slightly sticky due to the sweetened condensed milk, don’t worry once the dough rests it will have a wonderful consistency .Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rest till it doubles in size . Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 parts. Wrap one part in a plastic bag and work with the other. Divide the dough ball into 4 parts.Roll each part into a circle at least 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter.You can use a plate or any other round item as a template if you want your layers to be identical and uniform.Spread the Nutella (or similar filling) on the first layer.9. Place the second layer on top of the first and repeat . Top with the fourth layer, this time only brush it with butter. Using a knife make cuts that divide the dough circles into 8 triangles starting at the center but don’t go all the way to the outer edge. I find that using a ruler to mark the dough makes the cuts easier and more uniform. Then divide each triangle into two (2) . That gives you a total of 16 triangles.13. Gently lift the triangles one at a time and twist them.The end result will look like this, repeat for the other dough ball. Brush the dough with egg wash replacement . Allow to rest for 15 minutes during which you would heat your oven to very hot 500°F/240°C/gas mark 9 (rack in the middle) . Bake for 5 minutes on very hot 500°F/240°C/gas mark 9, then lower the temperature to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6 and bake for 15-20 more minutes (ovens do differ greatly, so the time may differ… what you want is to bake it until the under side is golden brown).If you have a broiler (grill) in your oven. Turn on the broiler (grill) for a couple of minutes until the bread is golden on the top.I baked a few nutella filled buns too with my excess dough.
So wishing all a happy baking :)!