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 🙂
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!!!
Its been like ages since I have posted …..really wanted to do a post for Childrens day…but couldn’t make it .As my kids had their always loved Kulfis. The past two months have been totally head raking for me classes, school , book , kids, home….things wouldn’t have been more or less worser with me being diagnosed with pneumonia…sheesh….. its like being chained …!!! The curtain raiser for the whole melodramatic experiences started off with Siva’s hand fractured…then with the viral and then with me all sick…hoping to get things sorted out and fine…
The kulfi recipe goes on to one of my students and dear friend ….Lindiwe Richer..sorry Lindi for being snail late..in posting this recipe…
- 2 cups of full cream milk
- 1 tbsp of corn flour made into a thick paste adding cold water
- ½ cup of chopped dates
- ¼ cup of almonds roughly chopped
- 4-5 strands of saffron
- Seeds of one cardamom
- 1 tin of condensed milk(400g)
- Mix in the milk and condensed milk and bring to boil.
- On boiling, reduce the flame to low stir in the corn flour paste, cardamom seeds,
- almonds, dates and saffron.
- Stir the mix on low flame till it thickens.
- Let it cool and pour into kulfi moulds and freeze till they are firm.
- Please take care while de moulding slightly pour hot water on it (take care that water
- doesn’t seep into the mold).
Onam holidays have started a break of ten days Onam being the state festival of our Gods own country titled Kerala! All over the state of Kerala, festive rituals, traditional cuisine, dance and music mark this harvest festival. The ten day Onam festival is celebrated floral carpets, traditional dance forms , onam sadhya-the feast on banana leaf, boat race….At school we had the teachers day and onam celebrations on adjacent days.The Thiruvonam day..the tenth day and the most sacred day of the celebrations…..its great fun all members in the family get together ,friends and relatives all ..the onamsadhya is prepared and served on the banana leaf with different curries , rice and desserts. This Onam I wanted to post the recipe of a special payasam .Payasam is basically the dessert that’s served after the feast. Today’s post is Mathanga Payasam /Pumpkin Payasam..
- 2 cups of pumpkin cubes (de skinned &deseeded)
- 3/4 cup of jaggery syrup
- 2 cups of thin coconut milk
- 1 cup of thick coconut milk
- 2 cardamoms crushed
- 4 tbsp of sago cooked in water
- 2 tsp of ghee
- For Garnish
- 2 tsp of coconut pieces
- 2 tsp of cashews and raisins
- Ghee for frying
- Cook the pumpkins in water, sieve and blend into a smooth paste.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel and fry the pumpkin paste for about 5-10
- minutes on medium flame.
- Mix in the jaggery syrup and keep on stirring.
- Let the jaggery syrup blend well in to the mix and then pour the thin coconut milk and
- continue stirring.
- Add in the cooked sago balls and cardamom.
- When the milk starts thickening, pour in the thick milk and when it is on the verge of
- simmering, turn off the flame.
- Fry out the coconut pieces in ghee along with the raisins and cashews and garnish
- the pudding.
Serve it warm or cold and enjoy this onam !
It was while writing this post , I was reminded of a website I stumbled on to while browsing on apps that help you order food online in India.It has got everything that a foodie would want to devour from mughlai cuisine to south indian to pizzas..With a userfriendly interface and a catchy name “Foodpanda”
They cover most cities in India and when you have the app on your phone its pretty much more easier. Theres also city based pages like for Bangalore , Mumbai and Delhi .Well I have my foodpanda app on my phone..planning to use it once am in the listed cities. 🙂 Hope you all would find it equally handy 🙂
Being up all in festive mood,Heres the writeup on me that came up in Grihasobha Malayalam magazine (Delhi press publication)this September
So signing off for now …Wishing all a happy and prosperous onam!
Back after the rice porridge recipe with a new post. Its been quite some time since I posted a non veg recipe. Soya chunks have always had their fav place with my kids and I keep trying out more variations with it .The soya chunks have the best source of fiber and is quite high in protein content.
Its like the magic pill bundled up with all the good things. Last Sunday I was planning on what to cook for dinner and then popped up with this recipe of Soya Ginger Chicken.I have been using both sizes of soya chunks for my cooking..but have always found a soft spot for the mini soya chunks on count of their delicacy.
- ½ kg of Chicken cut into small pieces
- 1 cup of mini soya chunks
- 2 tsp of Soya sauce
- 2 tbsp of ginger sliced finely
- 2 tbsp of garlic sliced
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1 tbsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp of Garam masala powder
- 2 tsp of coriander powder
- 3 tsp of Chicken masala powder
- 1 tsp of black pepper powder
- 1 tomato pureed
- 3 tsp of oil
- Salt to taste
- For Tempering
- ¼ cup of sliced big onion
- 4-5 green chillies slit
- Curry leaves
- Soak the soya chunks in hot water for about 15minutes.
- Heat oil in wok, sauté ginger and garlic, chopped onion till translucent.
- Pour in the soya sauce and keep stirring, add in the chilli powder, coriander powder,
- pepper powder, garam masala powder and chicken masala powder.
- Stir till the raw smell from the powders subside.
- Add in the pureed tomato paste, ½ cup of water and let it simmer.
- Wash the soya chunks in cold water and squeeze them out into the sauce along with
- the chicken pieces.
- Add required amount of salt and cover and cook the chicken till tender.
- Thicken the sauce so that the chicken & soya are coated and turn off the flame.
- In a small pan fry out the sliced onions till in caramel color along with the slit green
- chillies and curry leaves.
- Temper the dish with the fried items and add 2-3 tsp of chopped coriander leaves
- before serving.
- Best served with rotis and fried rice.
Heres the feature that came up in the magazine Mahila Chandrika a Chandrika daily publication..
How should I start off? I am head over heels in happiness that my hard work is paying out as fruits..Ok so I am back in Munnar after a week’s spree tour and happenings in Beijing. The best news that I have to share is that my book has bagged the third place as for the “Best Local Cuisine book in the world.”Gourmand World Cookbook Awards also known as the Oscars of Gastronomy was founded by Edouard Cointreau .To be a part of it was really an awesome experience. Getting to meet the top personalities in person, learning and sharing insights on each other’s books….. It was an experience that I could have not even dreamt of.
I had travelled with my family to Shanghai on the 16th of May and then on the 19th of May to Beijing and our stay was at the Daxing Hotel where the Beijing International Cookbook fair was held. I was very much impressed by the hospitality of the Gourmand staff and the hard work that they had put into the arrangements. As it calls for celebration I thought of sharing a sweet recipe to with my sweet news..so heres the recipe for Badam Halwa…
- 1cup of Almonds (soaked in water and blanched)
- ½ cup of milk
- 1cup of sugar
- ½ cup of ghee
- 1/2 cup of water
- 8-10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 tsp of milk
- Grind the almonds with milk to a smooth paste.
- In a saucepan boil water and mix in the sugar till it dissolves and keep aside.
- Heat ghee till it melts and add in the sugar syrup on low flame and mix in the almond
- paste without any lumps.
- Add in the saffron and keep stirring on low flame till the almond paste becomes thick
- and flaky.
- Turn off the flame and mix in a teaspoon of ghee.
- Devour on your badam halwa!
Monsoons in Munnar have been quite hectic this time.Its been about two years since we had such heavy rainfalls.The river was half way to being flooded.Its time to laze out a bit from my hectic schedule as school has closed for the monsoon vacation for a month for us.Yesterday its my bro’s bday …as he’s in Moscow ..here’s mouth melting sweeties wishing u a wonderful birthday!
Malai Peda or Milk peda is a fav with my little one and me.I really love making them at home .These mouthwatering beauties are a fav among my culinary science students at school. Shazia and Shwetha…here’s the long awaited recipe…a treat for holidays!
2 cups of milk powder
1 tin of condensed milk
3 tbsps of ghee
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame,pour in the condensed milk.Stir in the milk powder and cardamom powder with a wooden spatula mixing without lumps.Keep the flame very low as milk burns very fast and stir till it thickens.Let it cool down and shape them into desired shapes.It is also optional to decorate these milk delicacies with pistachios/cashews/almonds.
Diwali -the festival of lights was a last week.Celebration of Diwali is all about firecrackers and sweets..this diwali I wanted to type in one of my most cherished sweets…Cashew Ladoos/Kaju ladoos.This is a very rich sweet made out of cashews.
1/4 cup of water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 kg cashew nuts
4 tsps of ghee
5-6 strands of saffron
Slightly roast the cashews in a pan and finely powder them in a mixer.Boil water and sugar in a saucepan stirring continuously till the sugar dissolves on low flame.When the syrup starts becoming thick, remove from flame and add in the ghee along with the milk and saffron.Stir it and add in the powdered cashew slowly mixing well.Once the powder is well combined with the syrup ,cook the mix on medium flame stirring till the ghee comes out.Let the mix cool down a little and make small balls out of the mix.
My little ones were gobbling up these ladoos as I made them.Guess after all cashew is an all time fav for all 😉
“Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.”
This year’s birthday was a very very special one to me with my best buddies.Thank u guys for all your sweet wishes through FB.Luv u my TMS pals for giving me a special birthday wish and as part of the b’day I had no idea of making a cake and that too for my bday..the main thing was that I was damn lazy.If it was not for my friend Dhans I wouldn’t have ever made one:P
It was a total dillemma on who’s going to cut the cake with the cake almost done.Both my kiddos were on to cutting the cake and at last the three muskeeters were cutting the cake singing in chorous “Happy Birthday to you Amma!”….and I was clickin all this:D
What better way could I have my birthday celebrated!:D
Baturas the puffed yoghurt bread is one of my favs and when you have Badami chicken to accompany it the taste really gets richy rich.
Batura/Puffed Indian yoghurt bread
2 cups of all purpose flour
4 tbsp yoghurt
3tsp of ghee
1 egg whisked
Oil for frying
In a bowl measure in the flour and making a well in the center,add in all the ingridients and mix well to make a soft dough.You can add up to 1/4 cup of water if you feel the ingridients dont come together.Let the dough rest for about 2 hrs covered,so that it gets doubled.Punch and knead the dough into balls and roll them out in to discs of about 5inch with a rolling pin.Heat oil in a kadai and fry these flat breads till puffy and golden on both sides.
Badam Chicken/Almond Chicken
1/2 kg chicken pieces
1 cup large onion sliced
2 tsp of ginger garlic paste
1/2cup of yoghurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tsp chilli powder
1 piece of cinnamon
10-15 almonds soaked and ground into fine paste
3/4 cup of tomato paste
2 tsps of chopped cilantro
salt to taste
Marinate the chicken pieces with yoghurt ,turmeric powder and salt keeping it for about an hour.Heat about 4tsps of oil in a kadai and add sugar and when it browns saute in the sliced onions till slightly brown.Transfer 1/4th of the sauted onion from the kadai and keep it aside.Add in the whole spices,ginger garlic paste,chilli powder and saute well on medium flame.Add in the tomato paste and mix well till the oil seperates.Add in the chicken pieces to the masala and stir well on high flame.Pour 2 cups of hot water and cook covered on medium flame.When the chicken is well cooked,stir in the badam paste and when the gravy thickens,garnish with chopped cilantro!
The rains have started pouring out here..June and July being the monsoon months in Munnar. I really hate goin out when there are showers in Munnar. Some hot chocolate for the kids and tea for us are the best opted drinks with snacks..
The recipe that I have shared here are the ones that comes out from my Mom’s diary of recipes.This spicy Potato snack is one of my Monsoon favs!
Mini Aloo Bondas
For the filling
4-5 potatoes pressure cooked and mashed
5-6 green chillies finely chopped
a small piece of ginger finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 large onions chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida powder
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
For the batter
1 1/2 cup of gram flour
2 tbsp of rice flour
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
salt to taste
Oil for frying
Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan.Pop the mustard seeds and add the asafoetida powder and stir.Add in the chopped large onions,green chillies,ginger and garlic and saute till the onions turn translucent.Add in the turmeric powder,chilli powder and garam masala .Stir and add in the mashed potatoes.Mix well with the required amount of salt and chopped cilantro till well incorporated and keep it aside.Add in the lemon juice and mix.
While the filling cools, mix all the ingridients required for the batter in a bowl.Slowly pour in water to make a batter of thick consistency .Make lemon sized balls of the filling.Dip the balls in the batter and deep fry them in oil.
Your Potato balls are ready to be served with ketchup.! 🙂
It was after Srivalli’s post that I was quite poppin out this wonderful snack.Thanks to Nithya for choosing such a wonderful recipe.This simple yet yummy snack has been a big hit with the kiddos..
Heres the recipe for this wonder snack..
For the filling:
1 cup Roasted gram
1 cup sugar
20cashew nuts cut into small pieces
1tbsp grated coconut
1tsp cardamom powder
Powder the roasted gram and sugar together either coarsely or to a fine powder.Heat ghee in a pan and roast the cashew nuts till golden in colour and add in the coconut and turn off the heat.Mix it with the powdered gram-sugar mix in a bowl.
For making the poli/Appalam:
1 cup all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
oil for frying
In a bowl combine flour with salt and add in water to make a stiff dough.Let it rest for 30 minutes.Pinch out small balls and roll them out into thin discs.Prick the rolled out discs with a fork so that they dont puff up while frying.Heat oil in a kadai and fry the discs before they turn colour.Be careful not to turn them crispy.On removing the poli from the oil spread the filling on to the poli and roll them tightly.These rolls are soft when they are hot ,but they become crispy when they are allowed to cool.