Nimi's Culinary Ventures

Navratri Appam for VijayaDashami !

Happy Vijayadashami to all of you!
Dusshera is also known as Vijayadashami and is a major festival that is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil.

The Vijayadashami day is the tenth and final day of the Navratri celebrations and is considered auspicious for beginning learning in any field.

In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and coastal Karnataka, Vidyarambham is a tradition observed on Vijayadashami day, where children are formally introduced to the learning of music, dance, languages, and other folk arts. It involves a ceremony of initiation into the characters of the syllabary. People across the country worship nine forms of the Goddess during Navratri. Mostly in Gujarat people play Dandiya and Garba during the nine days of Navratri while praying to the Goddess. However, in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India people celebrate Durga puja with much pomp and fervor.

Navratri Appam is a recipe that was shared with me my mother .She learnt the recipe from a friend of hers. It looks quite similar to the unniyappam the traditional snack in Kerala. This Vijayadashami this was what we kept as an offering to the Goddess.

Navratri Appam

1 and 1/2 cup of Raw Rice( soaked in water for about 1-2 hrs)

Jaggery syrup(for sweetness according to taste-I added about 1cup )

2 ripe plantains peeled and sliced

2 tbsp of butter 

1 and 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds(black)

3 tbsp of coconut chips

2 tsp of ghee


Wash the soaked rice and add it to the blender. Add in the sliced plantains, butter and grind into a coarse paste. Transfer the mix into a bowl, pour in the jaggery syrup with regard to the amount of sweetness required. In a skillet fry coconut chips and black sesame seeds and pour into the batter. Mix and leave it to rest for about 4-5 hrs. If you really want to cut down the time mix in 1 tsp of baking powder.

Normally, I would prefer to let it ferment a bit on its own. Once the batter is ready, heat a pan with oil.I have used the Unniyappam pan here to have them all of the same shape and size. Once the oil is hot, pour in the batter and cook it on both sides . Once they turn golden in color, drain them of the oil into a colander or on paper towels.

Serve them warm!

This was my offering for Vijayadashami today for the Puja!



Melt in the mouth ..Mixture !


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.








Poha/Aval Mixture
4184 calories
567 g
0 g
180 g
94 g
23 g
937 g
2593 g
9 g
0 g
151 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 4184
Calories from Fat 1539
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 180g
Saturated Fat 23g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 67g
Monounsaturated Fat 84g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 2593mg
Total Carbohydrates 567g
Dietary Fiber 33g
Sugars 9g
Protein 94g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 500 gm thin white Poha (beaten rice flakes) dried in sunlight for 2hrs
  2. 1 cup of coconut chips
  3. 1 cup of peanuts
  4. 1 cup of fried gram
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 2-3 tsp of chilli powder
  7. 1 ½ tsp of chaat masala
  8. 1 tsp of cumin powder
  9. ½ cup Curry leaves
  10. Oil for frying
  1.  Fry the poha till it is crispy in a dry pan and separate.
  2.  Fry and separate coconut chips, peanuts, fried gram and curry leaves in to a
  3. colander so that the oil oozes out.
  4.  Mix the fried ingredients and poha together, add in salt and mix.
  5.  Mix in chilli powder, chaat masala, and cumin powder.
  6.  Once cool store them in air tight containers.
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Nimi's Culinary Ventures








Milky milky milkelicious ..Milchreis!!!

Desserts, Rice, Sweets, veg | March 1, 2015 | By



Are you a rice fanatic? I like rice but not to an extend where I would choose it over  breads and chapathies….may be that would be the routine of my mom avoiding rice for dinners as my dad was a person who would least prefer rice when it comes to dinner time.But my rice stories have no connections to me having in puddings..Cooking at home my sons are always head over heels over the white payasams/kerealan milk puddings.Me and hus crave for  the jaggery one so its more of a weird face that he would put up when i choose the “white ” one.

Now todays post is of a German pudding which was passed on to me by Julian Kloos & Kathrin…which was an equal hit with my hus and kids.The pudding is told to be the best thing to bribe your kids on …:P you have to have your tricks and trades,well thats what I have learnt with my sons..:D

Rice puddings are famous all around the world. Milchreis , the traditional rice pudding from Germany is a very famous pudding. Made with cinnamon , milk and rice it’s a simple recipe that tastes heavenly.The word “Milchreis” basically means Milkrice. This is a pudding basically served to children .It can be topped with any fruit compote. Here I have a recipe with apple compote.



1224 calories
188 g
172 g
48 g
20 g
29 g
2014 g
328 g
164 g
0 g
16 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1224
Calories from Fat 420
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 48g
Saturated Fat 29g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 172mg
Sodium 328mg
Total Carbohydrates 188g
Dietary Fiber 15g
Sugars 164g
Protein 20g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 200gms of white short grain rice
  2. 2 cups of milk
  3. 1 cup of water
  4. ½ cup of fresh cream
  5. 70gms of brown sugar
  6. 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  7. For the Apple Compote
  8. 2 apples peeled cored and cut in small cubes
  9. 2 cups of water
  10. 1 tsp of lemon juice
  11. ½ tsp of vanilla essence
  12. 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  1.  In a heavy bottomed pot cook pour in the milk and water.
  2.  Wash and add in the rice, brown sugar and vanilla essence.
  3.  Cook the rice in the milk on low flame stirring it constantly till it is well cooked and stir
  4. in the fresh cream.
  5. For the Apple Compote
  6.  In a sauce pan combine sugar, vanilla essence, water and bring it to boil.
  7.  Add the apples, lower the heat and cover and cook.
  8.  Stir occasionally.
  9.  When the apples are soft add in the lemon juice and let the mixture thicken.
  10.  Remove from heat and cool.
  11.  Serve the milchreis pudding in bowls topped with the apple compote.
  12.  Sprinkle cinnamon powder over it before serving.
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Nimi's Culinary Ventures


Jeeraka kanji ..the porridge to boost your immune!

Indian recipes, Rice, veg | August 13, 2014 | By


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 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..

Jeeraga kanji
1382 calories
81 g
66 g
118 g
15 g
97 g
1548 g
254 g
0 g
0 g
13 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1382
Calories from Fat 998
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 118g
Saturated Fat 97g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Cholesterol 66mg
Sodium 254mg
Total Carbohydrates 81g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 0g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. For the Medicinal Cumin mix
  2. 2 tsps of cumin (jeerakam)
  3. 2 tsps of black cumin seeds (karinjeerakam)
  4. 2 tsps of long pepper (thippalli)
  5. 2 tsps of Carom or Thymol seeds (Aimodagam)
  6. 2 tsps of Black peppercorns
  7. 2 tsps of dry ginger powder
  8. For the porridge
  9. 80g of broken rice /podiari
  10. 1 litre of water
  11. 450ml of coconut milk
  12. 5gms of the medicinal mix
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 2 tsps of ghee
  15. 3-4 shallots sliced
  1. Dry roast the ingredients for the medicinal cumin mix and powder it finely in a
  2. blender.
  3.  Store this mix in an airtight container.
  4.  Wash the rice and cook it in a vessel with the required amount of water.
  5.  When half cooked add in the powdered mix.
  6.  Take care to keep stirring the porridge and keep on medium flame.
  7.  Pour in the coconut milk and add salt.
  8.  Cook till the rice is soft.
  9.  Heat ghee in a small pan fry the shallots till caramel in color and pour over the rice
  10. porridge.
  11.  If you feel that the porridge is a bit bitter, add in 2 tsp of jaggery syrup to cut down the
  12. bitterness.
  13.  You can serve this hot /warm with pickle, vegetable stir fries, pappad or even with
  14. fried salted curd chillies.
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Adapted from Nimi's Culinary Ventures
Nimi's Culinary Ventures
jee3 So enjoy this monsoon the healthy way!

Here’s a glimpse of the media coverage..








The tangy Puliyodharai..

Indian recipes, Rice, veg | February 24, 2014 | By


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 is funny 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 🙂

Puliyodharai Rice

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

For seasoning:

1/4 tsp of Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of husked split black gram

1/2 tsp of Bengal gram

5 dried chillies , halved

Curry leaves

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 ……:) !




Magic with leftover Idlis-Idli Uppuma!


Snacks are a must o must here at home and I’m always on the lookout for something that can be prepared in minutes.When it’s idlis for breakfast,I do a makeover with it so that I get a snack to feed my kids at four. Here.s the recipe for Idli uppuma…




Idli Uppuma

4-5 idlis cut in to small pieces
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of urad dal split
3 green chillies chopped
1 small piece of ginger chopped
2 dry red chillies broken into pieces
2tsp of oil
1/2 cup of curd
Salt to taste
Curry leaves


Heat oil in a pan ,pop mustard seeds,fry urad dal,dry red chillies,ginger and green chillies .Add chopped onions and sauté till translucent.Pour in curd,add in idlis ,curry leaves,salt to taste and curry leaves.Turn off the heat and serve hot. You can mash the idlis  if you want for a  crumbled texture.

New folder (2)2


TamilNadu biriyani..a recipe that never fails!

I have been quite busy now a days that I actually couldn’t keep my posts updated.With the cookery classes started in Munnar by me..I rarely get time to sit down on my computer..I have been thinking to post this recipe for a long time.This one was shared by Sheeba ,our family friend.A special thanks goes on to my sis in law for helping me out with the i keep forgetting to write down the recipe.:DIf you have all the ingridients in hand you can cook this in half an hour.

TamilNadu Biriyani

For the 1st part
1/2 kg Chicken
4 tbsp curd
2 green chillies
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
Cook  the chicken with all the above ingredients  till its half cooked and separate the stock water.

For the paste
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
pudina /mint leaves a handful
cilantro a handful
7 shallots

Grind all the above ingredients to make a fine paste.

For the 2nd part
2 cups of rice(washed)
2tbsp ghee
2 tbsp oil
4 green chillies slit
the ground paste
2 large onions sliced
2 tomatoes sliced
3 tsp of garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4 cups of stock water

Heat ghee and oil in a heavy bottomed vessel and saute the large onions and green chillies together.Now add in the ground paste and tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are cooked.Pop in the turmeric powder,garam masala and stir well.Add in the rice and chicken stirring well.Pour in the stock water and when it comes to boiling point add salt to taste.Keeping on medium flame  cover the vessel and cook till the water evaporates.Garnish with fresh cilantro.


Kozhukkatai Payasam/Steamed rice dumpling Kheer to sweeten any day!

Hi have u all been?Its been long since I have been planning to put up this post.For every auspicious day after a wholesome meal  payasam is a total must.Payasam /Kheer is a traditional dish in the Indian subcontinent and the list of variations simply go on.Kozhukattai means steamed rice dumplings.Here’s an easy peasy Payasam for all..

Kozhukattai Payasam

For making Kozhukattais
2 cups rice flour
3 cups of water
1 tsp of coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt

Boil water in heavy bottomed vessel and add in the coconut oil and salt.Keeping it on medium flame stir in the rice flour to make a dough consistency  with a wooden spoon.Turn off the flame and let it cool.When the mix is medium hot..softly knead it in to a dough and then roll out lemon sized balls out of it.Steam these balls in  a steamer for abot 10-15 minutes.
NB: Please seperate 4 lemon sized balls without steaming.You will need these for the payasam

For making the payasam
Steamed kozhukattais
3 cups of water
3 cups of boiled milk(make sure to seperate the thin film of cream that comes when the milk cools)
1and 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp ghee
1/8 cup of small coconut pieces roasted in ghee
1/8 cup of nuts and raisins roasted in ghee

In a  deep bottomed vessel boil  3 cups of water and then pour in the 3 cups of milk.Keep stirring while you add in the sugar.When this starts simmering keep it on medium flame.Mix the earlier sepearted 4 unsteamed rice balls with  1/2 cup of water in a small bowl with your fingers(make sure you have no rice lumps).Pour this rice syrup in to the milk and pop in the steamed kozhukattais.When it starts thickening a lit bit pour in the ghee and add the roasted coconut pieces,nuts and raisins and turn off the flame.Kozhukattai payasam is ready to be devoured 😉


This recipe was shared to me by one of my friends.If you are fond of Biriyani, I bet you’ll really love to taste this one. 
1/2kg Mutton pieces 
2 cups Basmati rice

4 large onions sliced
3 green chillies
1 tomato sliced
1 piece Ginger
7-8 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp aniseed
3 cardamoms
3 cloves
a piece of cinnamon
Curry leaves
1/4 cup pudina leaves chopped
3/4 cup coriander leaves chopped
1 coconut scraped
Salt to taste

  • Wash and strain the basmati rice.
  • Pressure cook the mutton pieces with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder ,1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder ,salt and water.
  • Strain out the mutton pieces and keep aside the stock water.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel  on flame ,pour 2 tbsp ghee .Fry and seperate  the strained rice.
  • In a mixer grind the ginger and garlic to paste form.
  • Extract coconut milk from the scraped coconut and mix it with the mutton stock water.
  • In the same vessel pour 1 tbsp ghee with 2 tbsp oil  fry the spices.Saute the onions,ginger garlic paste,green chillies(the green chillies are to be put without slitting.).Add tomatoes,curry leaves,pudina,coriander leaves and stir till an aroma comes.
  • Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder,2 tsp chilli powder and 2 tsp Meat masala powder.Stir in the mutton pieces and rice.
  • Add 4 cups of the coconut milk stock  to the rice.
  • Add salt on boiling,cover the vessel with a lid and let it cook on medium flame.On cooking the water would have evaporated .


This is one of my favourite rice varities.This is rice cooked in coconut milk

2 cups of basmati rice/long grain rice
4 cups of coconut milk
1 cup of carrots diced(medium sized)
1/2 lemons juice
1/2 tsp aniseed
3 cloves
2 cardamoms
a small piece of cinnamon
4-5 green chillies slit
1 cup of sliced large onion
3 tbsp ghee
1/2 cup of coriander leaves(finely cut)
2 tbsp nuts,2 tbsp raisins and 1/2 cup of sliced onions roasted and kept aside

  • Wash and strain the rice in a colander
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel,add aniseeds,cinnamon,cloves,cardamom ,green chillies,cloves and stir well till an aroma comes.
  • Add the sliced onions and saute’ them well.
  • When the onions are translucent add the carrots and lightly stir it.
  • Add the strained rice and stir well for  a few minutes taking care that it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the vessel.
  • Add the coconut milk to the rice and on boiling add the required amount of salt with the lemon juice.
  • Keep it on low  flame with the vessel covered.
  • When the rice is cooked the coconut milk would have completely evaporated.You can see small holes in the rice. 
  • Turn off the flame and garnish the rice with coriander leaves,nuts,raisins and onions fried in ghee
  • You can serve this with curries .
  • My combination with rice was fish curry..

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