Vishu is the start of the new year in Kerala..the festival of lights and fireworks. Vishu always strikes pictures of the vibrant yellow Konna flowers (Cassia fistula) , the “Vishu kani ” , Vishu kodi , the feast , the Vishu kaineettam …all floods in memories of childhood days..
Wishing all a happy and prosperous year with love, peace, hope and joy for the year ahead.
Happy Vishu !!!!
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..
I simply love Bilimbis..the thought of these green wonders can really sink a titanic in my mouth.Last month I was at my home for a marriage and I got to taste some of these green beauties pickled.During my college days eating these with salt was in all means a total freak out for me.:P
My husband and dad are both cravers of this pickle.So when last week when I got a few kilos of freshly picked bilimbis..I pickled them 😉
Irumban puli Achar/Bilimbi pickle
1kg of bilimbis
2 tsps of mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp tsp of urad dal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsps of kashmiri chilli powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida powder
3/4 cup of gingelly oil
salt to taste
Slice the bilimbis into four lengthwise pieces and marinate them with salt.Keep it overnight and the next day ,keep them in sunlight for about 4-5 hours.Slightly roast the fenugreek seeds and urad dal and ground them into fine powder.In a kadai heat the gingelly oil and splutter the mustard seeds.Now turn off the flame and after a minute add in the powdered mix,asafoetida powder,turmeric powder,kashmiri chilli powder while stirring .Now add in the salted bilimbis and mix well till they are well blended with the masala.Add in the curry leaves.When it has cooled transfer them into clean and dry bottles.You can start using them within two days.In case after a week you feel the pickle is less spicy ,heat about 2 tbsp of gingelly oil and add a tsp or two of chilli powder and pour it over the pickle and mix well.
Hope u all will all love pickling these beauties as much as I did 😀
“maveli nadu vaneedum kalam,manusharellarum onnupole
amodhathode vasikkum kalam
kallavum illa chathiyumilla
All the people formed one casteless races”
(This song is one song that is sung over Onam)
I’m back after all the Onam celebrations in our family .It was indeed an eventful Onam this year with our family gettogether.The kids were all having their piece of blast.Onam is a festival celebrated in Kerala with great pomp and food has great role to play with the traditional Sadhya and payasams..I have for all my friends my clicky Onam!;)
The recipe that I have in store for you are for homely crispy Tapioca chips..
Tapioca Chips/Kappa Varuthathu
1/4 cup of water
4-5 tsps of salt
1 tsp of Kashmiri chilli powder(optional for making spicy chips)
Oil for frying
Peel off the outer brown layers of the tapioca and thinly slice the tapioca chips on a slicer.In a glass stir in the salt and chilly powder to the 1/4 cup of water to make a salty solution.
Heat oil in a wok.Pop in the sliced tapioca and when slightly brown on the edges, pour 2tbsps of salt solution(make sure to keep a distance from the oil as it will splutter badly).When the sound subsides a little laddle out the tapioca chips from the wok.Drain it on to paper towels to remove the excess oil.Crrunchy crunch them on with ur evening tea 🙂
The pookalam that we put up this year was a kathakali face and here’s my clicky Onam for all my food buddies out there!
The best part after two months of heavy rain is when you see the sun smiling down on you.Clear blue skies and everything so green green..Hmm..by the way green reminds me of Okra.Yes today I have got a recipe for an Okra curry.If you are in the look out for a curry with cooked rice,this is a must try.
There’s a small surprise ..scroll down after the recipe..I have a free giveaway of my cookbook
“Lip Smacking dishes of Kerala”!
1/4 kg okra cut into medium sized pieces
1cup shallots sliced
2 tomatoes cut into small cubes
1tsp Sambar powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
3tsp Kashmiri Red chilly powder
1/4 tsp Yellow turmeric powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4tsp fenugreek seeds
oil for frying
salt to taste
1 cup grated coconut
Heat a oil in a kadai ,deep fry and separate the okra.Grind the grated coconut into a fine paste.
Heat 3tbsp of oil.Add in the mustard seeds and let it splutter.Then in goes the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.Add in the sliced shallots and saute till translucent and spoon in the yellow turmeric powder, chilli powder, sambar powder and fry.Now fry in the tomatoes till cooked and add the coconut paste with 2 cups of water and stir.When the curry starts to simmer add in the fried okra pieces and the curry is ready to served with steaming rice.:)
“Lip Smacking dishes of Kerala” my venture in ink on the mesmerizing and aromatic Kerala cuisine.Indulge into the flavours of my land through the recipes…and make your kitchen smell..Yumm!I’ll be giving away signe d copies of my book .The giveaway is global. 🙂
To be eligible for the Giveaway you have to do three things:
1.Subscribe to “Nimi’s Culinary Ventures” in an RSS feed or through Email.
2.Become a fan of my Facebook page and FB cookbook page.
3.Leave me a comment telling me that you have done 1 &2 with your “Email id.”
For additional entries:
4.Tweet about this giveaway on your blog or on Twitter
5.Do leave me a comment saying that you have done so that I can alott u an other entry 🙂
Deadline for entries of this giveaway is Wednesday,31st of August 2011.The winner will be chosen through Random.
Wishin u all luck!:)