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.
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!
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 !
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…
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
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.
I have been working on posting on my .com for the past days.This post for basically to be put up on my blog but it lagged from all the way from September to November.As its said that ‘better late than never’..heres my post on Emapanada Gallegas.
Empanada is a basically stuffed bread that’ s been baked or fried out .The roots of Empanadas lie in Spain & Portugal…though there are many variations in many countries.This post is dedicated to the DB challenge for September.Thanks to Patri for the awesome recipe.:)
For the crust:
5-1/3 cups bread flour
2 cups of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30ºC), approximately
1 tablespoon fresh yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons oil
1 large egg, for egg wash
Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.Now, using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes.Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, drought-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.
For the filling:
3 medium sized Onions chopped
1 tbsp of ginger & Garlic chopped
5 green chillies finely chopped
2 cup of cooked shredded chicken
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsps of black pepper powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
curry leaves chopped
coriander leaves chopped
In a pan pour about 2 tbsps of oil,saute the ginger & garlic with the chopped onions till translucent.Add in the green chillies,and stir for a few minutes.Now add in the powders& chicken .drizzle oil on the sides of the pan stir fry the chicken mix with salt.Add 1/2 tsp of garam masala, coriander & curry leaves before turning of the flame.
If you haven’t used wax paper, either lightly flour or line with wax paper your pan or tray.Cover the base and sides with the dough. Using the rolling pin or a knife, cut the extra dough.Place the filling, making sure it is cold and that all the base is covered. Using a hot filling will make the bottom layer of the empanada become soggy. Be careful to avoid adding too much oil from the filling, try to make it as “dry” as possible.Start preheating your oven to moderate 350°F/180ºC/gas mark 4.Take the other half of the dough and spread it out to the same or less thinness of the base. You can use a piece of wax paper for this too. Take into account that this “top” dough needs to be smaller around than the bottom, as it only needs to cover the filling.If not using wax paper, move carefully the top to cover the filling. If using wax paper, transfer the dough, turn upside down, cover the filling and gently peel off the wax paper.Using your fingers, join bottom and top dough, when you have gone all the way around, start pinching top and bottom together with your thumb and index finger and turning them half way in, that way you end up with a rope-like border.When you are finished, make a 1 inch hole in the middle of the top layer. This will help hot air exit the empanada while it’s baking without breaking the cover.Using a fork, prick the top layer or, using scissors, make snips that go all the way through the top layer.In a small bowl, beat an egg and add a tbsp of cold water. With the pastry brush, paint the top of the empanada with the egg wash. Place the empanada in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check that the bottom part is done.
I made different shapes of empanadas..and loved simply baking them..Hope u too enjoy this Empanada Ride!
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There’s been quite a lot of happenings in my life for the past months..that I am not able to update my blog regularly.I have joined at my son’s school as a Culinary teacher for the High Schoolers .Its been quite fun being with my kids even at school 😉 In addition to my school work, my Lip Smacking Classes on Kerala Cooking are in full progress on weekdays.
A perfectly new environment..its been quite challenging to bring my horses on the right road.. trying to bring a balance at home and work.There was a Salad making competition at school which was between the 11th and 12th grades.The ideas that the kids came up was indeed a feast to the eyes.I am planning to post some of their recipes in my next post.So wait and watch out.:)
Today’s post is dedicated to my wonderful Culinary students of HRS.This was one of their nutty and spicy treats!
Peanut & Potato Pancakes with Coriander Chutney
For the Pancakes
4tbsp of rice flour
2 small potatoes peeled and grated
1 big onion chopped
2 tbsps of roasted peanuts
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients with about 3-4 tbsp of water in a bowl and mix well to make a dough.Divide into equal portioned balls.Heat a tawa.Smear oil on ur palms ,flatten the balls into thin circles and cook on both sides on the tawa by drizzling little oil .
For the Coriander Chutney
2 cups of coriander leaves chopped
1 cup grated coconut
4 green chillies
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients except for the lemon juice and grind into a smooth paste in a blender using very little water.Mix in the lemon juice,refrigerate and use with the pancakes.
“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!
I have been quite busy for the past two weeks with my younger one having one of those nasty viral fever.He’s recovering slowly .Its today that I sat back to type out one of my best recipes.This is one of my best and I should say that I have quite a lot fans here for this one.Here in Munnar now the Afternoon rains or should I say the evening rains have started..and theres the beautiful Misty misty hills…:)Everything so green so bliss…:)
And guys don’t forget about the giveaway I have for you guys..only 3 more days to go!
For the filling
1/2kg King fish
4 green chillies chopped
1 medium piece ginger chopped
8garlic cloves chopped
3 large onions chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2tsp black pepper powder
1tsp garam masala powder
2 potatoes pressure cooked and mashed
salt to taste
For the crust
2 cups of Wheat flour
salt to taste
Oil for frying
Make a soft dough with wheat flour,ghee and salt by adequate amount of water.
Pressure cook the king fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt.Debone the fish and slightly pulse it in a blender.Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a wok/kadai add in the chopped garlic ,ginger and green chillies and fry.When the color starts changing add in the chopped onions and saute till translucent.Now add the turmeric powder and pepper powder and saute till an aroma comes.Add in the pulsed fish and blend in with the masala.Now mix the mashed potatoes into the fish masala.Sprinkle garam masala powder and garnish with chopped curry leaves.Mix well till well incorporated.If you feel the spice is not enough add a little more of pepper powder and remove from heat.
While the masala is cooling down ,make lemon sized balls of the wheat dough.Heat a frying pan on low flame.Roll out balls into discs and cut them into half.Slightly cook both sides of the cut dough pieces.Take care not to over cook.Take one piece in hand and fold both ends inwards as shown in the picture.This makes a pouch.You can stick the ends one on the other with plain water.Stuff the pouch with the fish filling and seal the samosa pouch by folding the lower side inwards and sticking the upper end with water.Pinch the corners of the samosa and now they are ready to be fried out.
Heat oil for frying in a wok and drop in the samosas.Fry them till they are golden brown and drain out the oil on a tissue paper.Crispy Fish Samosas are ready to be munched 😛
I’m sending this recipe to