It’s been like ages that I have been wanting to post on my space.. There’s loads of things that had gobbled up my time to write n my blog. Well when school closed up for the monsoon vacations this time round I was the most eager one compared to my munchkins to go “home”.Oh yes…even though you are married although you have a home here ,you still quote ur parents place as “home”. It’s not only my personal experience,but I think most women have this “home”sickness.I really chucked on this only when my colleague brought it to my notice.It was almost a month that I got with my parents in Thrissur..but this time round there came up a few surprises with media interviews, write-ups and the best part was being felicitated by the Thrissur Mayor , Mr.Rajan Pallan at the Council Meeting.
Karkidaka masam/Ramayana Masam /Karkidaka month is considered the last month ie. the twelfth month according to the Malayalam calendar followed in Kerala.This year the Karkidaka masam started on July 17th and ends by August 16th.The sacred scripture , Ramayana is recited during this month and so this month is also known as the Ramayana masam. It is to welcome the new year ie.The Chingam month that the Ramayana is recited from the starting to the end of the month. In Kerala , Karkidaka kanji is very famous which is a medicinal rice porridge that is very much healthy .The monsoon months are considered to the most appropriate time to have medicinal rice porridge. On my stay in Thrissur , I had the opportunity to meet up with Dr.K.S.Rajithan (Medical Superintendent ) of Oushadi Panchakarma Hospital and Research Institute,Thrissur.Dr. says ,”Its during the monsoons that the immune system of our body deteriorates and we are more prone to sickness, digestive issues and many ailments. .Our ancestors used to have many practices with Ayurveda to boost their immune system . So this is in fact is the most suitable time to have different kanjis (rice porridges) in your diet.” During my period of stay in Thrissur there was a “Kanji Mela”(Rice Porridge fest ) organised by the Oushadhi Panchakarma Hospital Canteen.It was indeed a feast out there with 11 varieties of rice porridges each with special benefits.It was the Kudumbasree unit(a women empowerment cluster ) working in the fabrication of flavoursome dishes and variant rice porridges.
So coming over to the recipe, for this post..it is Jeeraka kanji /Cumin rice porridge.The courtesy for the recipe goes to Dr.Rajithan. This is a pretty easy recipe and its only the ingredients that you have to get hold on to to make the medicinal mix.Its best to have it for 14 days in the monsoons..
- For the Medicinal Cumin mix
- 2 tsps of cumin (jeerakam)
- 2 tsps of black cumin seeds (karinjeerakam)
- 2 tsps of long pepper (thippalli)
- 2 tsps of Carom or Thymol seeds (Aimodagam)
- 2 tsps of Black peppercorns
- 2 tsps of dry ginger powder
- For the porridge
- 80g of broken rice /podiari
- 1 litre of water
- 450ml of coconut milk
- 5gms of the medicinal mix
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsps of ghee
- 3-4 shallots sliced
- Dry roast the ingredients for the medicinal cumin mix and powder it finely in a
- Store this mix in an airtight container.
- Wash the rice and cook it in a vessel with the required amount of water.
- When half cooked add in the powdered mix.
- Take care to keep stirring the porridge and keep on medium flame.
- Pour in the coconut milk and add salt.
- Cook till the rice is soft.
- Heat ghee in a small pan fry the shallots till caramel in color and pour over the rice
- If you feel that the porridge is a bit bitter, add in 2 tsp of jaggery syrup to cut down the
- You can serve this hot /warm with pickle, vegetable stir fries, pappad or even with
- fried salted curd chillies.
Here’s a glimpse of the media coverage..
Hah! Laggin on posts ……………………….
I’m not able to update up my news after Beijing….Its been running around most days ………travelling up and down ,classes, school,kids, welcomings, interviews…….Achoo…………… sniff.. …..Achooooo…..yikes its Monsoon back in Munnar and I have been haywire in my schedules…latest update am down with a cold…..Sniff! Sniff! Theres just one more week left for the school to close for monsoon vacations here in Munnar..
Here are a few paper reports that came up in a few regional papers…
Season is up for coughs and colds……so how about a special rasam???This Rasam is the best thing to have with rice if you are down terribly with a cold or fever. It’s more like a curry in its looks but is super Yumm soup!
- ¼ cup of scraped coconut
- 2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 2 tsp of peppercorns
- 1 pod of garlic
- A gooseberry sized ball of tamarind
- 1 tomato (medium sized)
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp of asafoetida powder
- 1 ½ tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 cup of water
- 8-10 shallots sliced
- 1tsp of mustard seeds
- Coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- Grind scraped coconut, cumin seeds, pepper, garlic and tamarind into and separate
- the smooth paste.
- Slice the tomato and grind it into a paste and mix it with the coconut mix.
- Heat oil in a wok, splutter mustard seeds, sauté the shallots, add in the turmeric
- powder and chilli powder, fry and pour in the ground mix.
- Keep stirring and when it starts boiling; add in a cup of water and salt to taste.
- When simmering, mix in asafoetida powder and a few chopped coriander leaves.
- Serve with rice and enjoy the monsoon.
A few more days to go for the school spree to start off…and back to the busy bee schedules. It was wonderful to be at my hus’s house to celebrate Vishu. As usual a wonderful get together with my co-sisters nephews and nieces. Being married into a joint family the best part is when you all come under one roof for celebrations. Kids have a blastJ. Being in Munnar and getting used to the cool climate the hardest part of moving over to tropical parts of Kerala during the summer really gets on your nerves.
The start of Summer and you find Watermelons all piled up in most fruit shops and road sides. These bright red fleshy beauties makes you crave for more..Todays post is on Watermelon Popsicles..I have had the moulds for quite some time in my cupboard…..so the start of summer was a good excuse to set off my batch of popsicles..
- 2 cups of watermelon cubes desseded and de-skinned
- ½ cup of sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Blend the watermelon cubes, sugar and lemon juice in a blender to make watermelon
- Pour the juice in to the moulds and freeze them till they are set.
- Once freeze slightly pour hot water over the mould and de mould them by pulling the
- Enjoy licking and slurping over your watermelon popsicles…
The schools have all closed down for summer holidays……while most the schools have about two months of vacations ……we have just two weeks break before the start of the new year at school. We have our vacations during the monsoons (ie. During the months of June & July) …as going to school would be the most dreaded feeling when it rains cats and dogs. :P. The 4th of this month was our last working day at school .But I was all set for a rather new experience that was to take place on the 5th .Rushing back home after school and soon me and kids were all packing up and leaving Munnar to Perumbavur. A few days back I received a call from one and only prominent B-school in Kerala, SCMS school of Business studies-Cochin inviting me over to one of their program, Endeavour –Insights of Womenpreneurs (A one day workshop on Entrepreneurship) .I was a bit nervous on what my role would be there and on putting forth my query they answered, “We just want to know about your journey to success….”
Being at SCMS was an overwhelming experience and one among the most cherished moments of my life. Really appreciate the hospitality and positive ambience of the SCMS family .It was like stepping into a whole new world. It was a wonderful opportunity to share glimpses of my journey with the budding business magnets of tomorrow. I was so very much impressed with the atmosphere of this institute that I really wished for a moment to be a student… 😀
It’s been scorching hot in most parts of Kerala with the sun blazing out in full wave length and you just want to gulp down juices –an escapade from the heat. Today’s post is very much dedicated to a healthy &refreshing Mint-lime juice.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- Juice of 3 lemons (medium sized)
- 1 cup of mint leaves
- In a saucepan boil water with the sugar and stir till it dissolves to make thin syrup.
- Refrigerate this syrup till cool.
- Grind the mint leaves into a paste by adding water and squeeze out the juice through
- a sieve and separate.
- Stir in the lime juice and mint extract in to the sugar syrup and serve chilled with ice
- If you need more sweetness you can add in more sugar.
Being born and brought up in the Middle East has really influenced my taste buds. Being born there the most common question my friends would ask are, “Do u speak Arabic?” and I start grinning trying to answer them ..as I know how to read and write but have totally forgotten all the meanings..so literally don’t know to speak..as I have lost touch with it 😛
My younger son had his Graduation day at school…he’s been graduated to his first grade and so has been bye bye to the kindergarten years. Dressed up in their pink academic dress and mortar board it was a pleasant sight to see all the kiddies singing with lighted candles and scrolls in hand..wish to be their age ….
The recipe that I will be posting today is of hummus. This dip is great with carrot sticks as well as pita breads.
- 1 cup of dried chickpeas (soaked overnight & pressure cooked)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of tahini paste
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1/8 cup of lime juice (add 1tbsp more if u feel flavour is less)
- Salt to taste
- Peel the skin of the cooked chickpeas.
- Grind the chickpeas, garlic, limejuice and salt to a smooth paste.
- Add water if it becomes too thick.
- Mix in the tahini paste.
- Serve it on to a plate and garnish with paprika powder and olive oil.
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 :)!
Being shortlisted for the Gourmand World Cookbook awards came in as a big bundle of surprise for me to shortlisted among the 7 finalists from 187 countries for the title “The Best Local Cuisine in India “..:) I never knew that more surprises were yet to come ..thats when I get a tweet from reknown celebrity Indian chef Sanjeev Kapoor..congratulating me on being shortlisted…..phew..the night I saw that tweet ..hehe..left me sleepless..:P
Puliyodharai reminds me of tamarind ..and tamarind reminds me ..licking licking..;) makes my mouth water.I remember how I used to collect tamarind during my vacations in Kerala..depod nd lick o lick ..:D Wish to be a kid once more..hmm..it is funny though..in that age all I had in mind was just to be a grown up ….:P
The courtesy of the Puliyodharai recipe that I am posting here today goes to the book “Festival Samayal -an offering to the Gods ” by Viji Varadarajan. Her cookbooks are explicit eyeopeners to the Tamil Brahmin cuisine. Her book Vegetarian delicacies of South India has also been shortlisted for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards..kudos Viji Mami ! Although we have been chatting over phone ..really excited to meet this wonder lady in person 🙂
2 cups of Rice
1/2 cup of thick Tamarind pulp
1/4tsp of Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of Asafoetida powder
1/2 cup of skinned roasted peanuts(optional)
1/2 cup of sesame oil
2 tsps of salt
1/4 tsp of Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of husked split black gram
1/2 tsp of Bengal gram
5 dried chillies , halved
Cook the rice in 5 cups of water. Each grainn of the cooked rice should be seperate. Set aside to cool . Heat a tablespoon of oil, add the mustard to pop.Add the dals , stir for ten seconds till golden .Add the chillies and fry till it turns a bright red.Add the peanuts and saute for 20 seconds. Add tamarind pulp , a cup of water , turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.Cover and simmer over a medium flame for 5-7 minutes.Open the lid and cook until it becomes a thick sauce .Add the remaining oil and take it off the stove.This is called pulikaachal.Mix the sauce and rice well without mashing it.Wet , crush the curry leaves add and stir for 5 seconds.Keep the tamarind rice for a couple of hours before serving.Add1/2 teaspoon of jaggery to balance the hot and tangy flavour of the tamarind rice.A dash of fresh lemon juice will make the dish more exotic.
So Happy tangy tamarind cooking ……:) !
Its in the midst of Feb and I am reminded of the climate during the months of Dec & Jan in Munnar…its been pretty cold for the past weeks .There were nights when the temperature dropped down to minus 2 and 3 and that’s pretty unusual during this month.The laziest part of all is getting up in mornings to go to school ..phew…:P when you just wish to stay curled and cuddled in the warmth of your quilt in bed..and ur alarm goes beep beep..ahh..:(
I was recently featured in the Deepika news portal..
Green peas is quite in season ..so thought of posting my fav Peas uppuma recipe..which is a great time saver and is ready in a jiffy..;)
Green peas Uppuma
2 cups of Semolina
5 cups of water
1 cup of green peas
2 tbsp of ghee
1/2 cup of grated coconut
7 green chillies chopped
2 large onions chopped
1tsp of mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
Coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp of lemon juice
Salt to taste
Roast semolina in a teaspoon of ghee till light golden brown and separate.Heat a wok, pour oil or ghee, splutter mustard seeds, saute green chillies and onions till the onions caramelize.Add in the green peas , fry them a little , pour in the water, let it simmer, add in salt to taste , asafoetida and let it cook.Once cooked , add in the semolina , stirring continuously .Add lemon juice , stir well and cover and leave on low flame for five minutes.When done turn off flame mix in chopped coriander and grated coconut and serve .
Hope everyone celebrated their New year blast..so whts up with the resolutions…???My first and foremost resolution was to try to blog a bit more frequently 😛 ..the funniest part is how much I will be stickig on to it. One more day to go for the school to reopen and then back to the busy bee schedules…ahhh ..the first days are really goin to be damn lazy.Moreover the temperature over here has dropped down to around -2 ..which makes you longing to cuddle up even more into ur blankets..;)
Heres an interview on me which was printed in the magazine Sthreedhanam (Deepika Newspaper) in this months issue..
Heres the article that came up in Deshabhimani news paper on Jan 4th 2014
Now for this times post..thought of giving u all a tangy rajasthani recipe. This curry is a combination of 5 dals.I have earlier put up a recipe on 5 dal curry ..but this one is a tangy & spicy one…
1/3 cup split bengal gram lentil
1/3 cup of yellow split peas
1/3 cup of green gram split lentils
1 tbsp of deskinned split black lentils
1 tbsp of green gram
3 tbsp of ghee
2 bay leaves
1 tsp of umin seeds
2 green chillies slit
a pinch of asafoetida
2 tsp of dry mango powder
2 tsp of tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
For masala paste
3 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
Clean and wash the lentils.Pressure cook them with 4 cups of water till the lentils are cooked.Keep aside.In a bowl combine the ingredients for the masala paste with 3 tbsp of water to mix well to make a paste.Keep aside.Heat ghee in a pan and add cloves , bay leaves , cumin, green chilllies and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds crackle , add the prepared masala paste and saute on medium flame fo rabot 1-2 mins.Add the cooked dal , dry mango powder, tamarind pulp and salt and simmer fo r5- 7 minutes.Add water if required.Serve hot with rotis!
Its half way through the month of December the festive moods are up and in Munnar its getting pretty cold with misty mornings.This post as usual was to be posted pretty early during the Diwali time but the time and tide for this post is only up now.”Phirni” this North Indian dessert served in earthen pots is best served cold if you are craving for a creamy dessert.The happenings in between my posts were that an article on me was in print in one of the leading Womens magazine of Kerala “Grihalakshmi”(November 1st edition) with some of my recipes..
Its been fun with my classes on Kerala cuisine in full swing …meeting new people and learning a lot more from them from food to lifestyle..and treasuring a bond of friendship. Hanny Abdullah a blogger from Malaysia had booked for my classes and it was fun to have them over.A big thanks to Hanny for writing about me and my classes on her blog..
4 cups of full cream milk
1 cup of sugar powdered
3 tbsp of rice soaked in water for 1 hr , drained & ground into paste
1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
1 tbsp of rosewater
a big pinch of saffron soaked in 2tbsp of warm water.
20 almonds blanched , skinned &silvered
10 pistachios blanched, skinned & silvered
Boil milk in a heavy bottomed pot, add rice paste .Stir constantly with whisk, so that there are no lumps .When it is thick and creamy add the sugar and cardamom powder.Add raisins , rosewater and saffron mixture;mix well.Pour into earthen bowls (shakoras) or silver bowls .serve sprinkled with almonds and pistachios.These are best served cold 🙂