I send tiffin boxes for my son’s day care. And I like to involve variety of nutritious and tasty bites for him. But the challenge is also to prepare everything in limited amount of time. Paniyaram pan is a revolution. You can make so many different dishes with it. It has become one of my prized possessions.

My son used to have apple sauce. But after a stage he just stopped having it. So I found this wonderful recipe which is healthy, quick and tasty. If you have a paniyaram pan then this dish is a must try.


Here it goes,


Whole Wheat Flour – 1 cup

Grated Apple – 1 cup

Sugar – 4 tblspn

Baking Powder – ¼ tsp

Buttermilk – ½ cup

Cardamom powder – a pinch



  1. Take a bowl and whisk together all the items except oil. The batter should not be thin but pasty. Make sure there are no lumps.
  2. Heat paniyaram pan. Add a drop of oil in each hole of the paniyaram pan.
  3. Spoon the apple-wheat paste in the holes of paniyaram pan. Keep the pan on low flame.
  4. After few minutes with the help of spoon or fork flip the paniyaram to cook on the other side.
  5. After few minutes take the paniyarams out. Both sides would be golden brown.


  1. To check if the paniyarams are cooked throughout insert a clean toothpick or knife. If they come out clean then the paniyarams are cooked.




My favourite morning breakfast has always been idli- sambhar. I feel sambhar does not go well with either rice or roti. Its only soulmate is idli. However, chamanthy is equally good with idli. And if I get both with idli it is a match made in heaven.

The drawback of preparing sambhar is cutting lots of vegetables. Although there are miniature versions of sambhar with few or even one ingredient but my family never liked it that way. For that matter I like ladies finger in sambhar but my dad does not like. I like my soft veggies like ladies finger, drumstick to be cooked but retain it shape in sambhar and not just become a threaded mess. I guess to each his own.

Anyways this post is about Idli- chamanthy. You can find lots of recipes online for idli but I want to post this recipe that has been passed by my mother. Its special because we do not use Fenugreek. It is just rice and urad dal. And the Chamanthy is extra yummy if you get fresh coconut that has just crossed the stage of being tender coconut ( my house they call it pachcha tenga). This coconut provides a unique sweetness to the chamanthy.


So here we go,

For Idli Batter,


Idli Rice – 3 cups

Urad Dal – 1 cup

Cooked Boiled rice/ soaked puffed rice (aval) – Handful

Cold Water – 1 cup


  1. Soak Idli Rice and Urad Dal separately in water such that the rice and dal is immersed in water. Soak it overnight or at least 6-7 hours.
  2. Grind the urad dal finely adding little water. Remove it to a container.
  3. Take a handful of boiled rice or soaked aval in the grinder. To this add the soaked rice. Grind the rice finely adding little water at intervals. Ensure that it does not become watery. Add it to the container along with urad dal batter.
  4. Give a good mix. Leave it to ferment overnight or 6-7 hours.


For Chamanthy,


Scraped fresh coconut- 1 cup

Ginger – 1 inch piece scraped and cut

Shallots – 3-4 pieces

Curry Leaves – 1 stem

Asafoetida – ½ teaspoon

Mustard – 1 teaspoon

Dry Red Chilly – 2

Oil – 2 tablespoon

Salt- As required


  1. In a mixie jar, add chopped ginger, 2 shallots, red chillies and coconut scrapings.
  2. Pulse it 2 times.
  3. Add little water. Pulse the mixie.
  4. Open the jar and with a spoon bring together the contents to the middle.
  5. Pulse it again so it forms a smooth velvety paste.
  6. Finely chop remaining shallots.
  7. Heat a kadai.
  8. Add oil.
  9. Once oil is hot, splutter some mustard seeds.
  10. Add the chopped shallots and fry till it is golden brown. Keep the flame on low heat.
  11. Add asafoetida powder.
  12. Add Curry leaves.
  13. Add the contents of the mixie jar and give a good mix.
  14. Add water to adjust the consistency. I like the chamanthy a little thick so I add little water.
  15. Add salt according to taste and stir continuously. Let it come to a boil. Remove from flame into another container.



  • If you have high heat flame burner then after the onions are browned and curry leaves are added switch off the flame. Add the chamanthy content from mixie jar, add water and then start the stove again.
  • If you forgot to soak rice/lentils in the night or did not find time, nothing to worry. Soak the rice and lentils half an hour before grinding in warm water and keep the lid closed. This will speed up the process. Then while grinding, ensure that you use Ice cold water to grind.
  • If you do not get desired orangish colour with the dry red chillies then you can add chilli powder to enhance the colour.
  • Grinding is the key to soft idlis and chamanthy. If not grinded to a smooth consistency then both will go off balance.


Mum’s Fish Curry

This fish curry is a staple food in almost all homes in Kerala. The preparation style might vary but it is regularly consumed. My husband cannot do without this fish curry. I think this fish curry has travelled along generations.  As a child I didn’t like this fish curry because I judged by its colour that it would be spicy. But actually the spiciness can be adjusted and the colour is based on the red chilli powder used. Every time I make this curry and I always think if my mom will like it or not.Whether it was as per her standards or not.Not only the recipe but the ingredients and utensils used for this recipe has emotional bonds with my mother and mother in law. This curry is usually made in earthenware which was gifted to me by my mom. It is one of my prized possessions in my kitchen. The tamarind used is always sent to me by my mom. I never have to buy these and I don’t know how to buy these. I just call her up when my stock finishes. The chilli powder used is sent to me by mother in law who goes through the pain of selecting, drying, grinding and roasting the chilli powder. Hence, I dedicate this recipe to both my mother and mother in law.

The recipe I am mentioning here is a quickie recipe. A recipe that can be cooked on a working day. On a day after you return from office and you just have half an hour in hand.  Best thing about this recipe is it can be used for any type of fish ranging from Sardine, Mackerel, Pomfret, Tuna, King Fish, Seer Fish, etc. This curry goes best with Mashed Tapoica (Kappa) and Rice. But I and my son have this curry with roti.

Sardines contain energy, protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and zinc. Vitamins in sardines include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, A, D, E and vitamin K.When I was pregnant my nutritionist specifically advised to take sardines on a daily basis. It is very good for kids too.


So here goes,

Serves : 4

Time: 30 minutes


  1. Fish (I have used Sardine) – ½ kg
  2. Garlic – 10-12 garlic cloves
  3. Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tblspn
  4. Kashmiri Red chilli powder – 2 tblspn
  5. Coriander Powder – 1 tblspoon
  6. Fenugreek powder – ½ tsp
  7. Fish Tamarind/ Gambooge/Malabar Tamarind/Kudampuli – 5-6 pieces
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Coconut Oil – 2 tblspn
  10. Mustard – 1 tsp
  11. Curry Leaves – 1-2 stem
  12. Shallots – 2


  1. Soak tamarind in water.
  2. Chop shallots finely.
  3. Peel and slit garlic cloves lengthwise
  4. Take a small bowl and mix chilli powder, coriander powder and fenugreek powder with little water to make slurry. Keep it aside.
  5. Heat coconut oil in clay pot earthenware. If you don’t have one you can prepare it non-stick pan.
  6. Once hot, crackle mustard seeds.
  7. Add the curry leaves.
  8. Now add chopped shallots and garlic. Saute them till translucent.
  9. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Saute them till the raw smell leaves.
  10. Now add the chilli-coriander-fenugreek slurry.
  11. Saute them for 2 minutes in oil.
  12. Now add 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
  13. Add the tamarind and fish pieces.
  14. Add salt to taste.
  15. Let it cook for 15 minutes. Don’t mix the curry with spoon. Just give it a slight shake at regular intervals or use the spoon to slowly move the fish pieces around. This is crucial step since the fish being delicate may break if stirred heavily.

Fish curry is ready to be served.  Enjoy.

This recipe is also published in Archana’s kitchen at



I like to include different variety of food for my son’s tiffin. And in the wee hours of the morning schedule it is difficult to decide what to prepare and how to prepare it so it is yummy and nutritious. Sweet potato is the new super food. During my childhood my parents used to roast this tuber on open fire or boil it and give us for evening snack instead of Maggie or other fried bakery items.

Hence I too try to incorporate this superfood in my son’s diet. This recipe is super simple and mildly spiced considering my son’s palate. It excludes onion and other ingredients that is involved in normal parathas.


Here goes the recipe,

For Stuffing:


Sweet Potato – 1 big

Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Cumin Powder – ¼ tsp

Dry Mango Powder – ¼ tsp

Coriander Powder – ½ tsp

Fennel Powder – ¼ tsp

Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

Salt – As per taste



  1. Peel and chop sweet potato in small cubes.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoon oil in kadai.
  3. Once hot add the sweet potato and saute on high heat for a minute.
  4. Add ½ tablespoon water and salt and close the lid. Keep flame on minimum.
  5. Cook till the sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft.
  6. Add all the masalas and coat the sweet potatoes. Saute for few minutes before turning the flame off.

For Dough:


Whole wheat flour – 1 cup

Water – As required

Salt- As per taste


  1. Take salt in wheat flour and sprinkle little water.
  2. Rub around the flour and start kneading.
  3. Knead to tight dough and keep it aside closed for 15-20 minutes.

For Paratha:

  1. Take a small amount of dough and roll it to a small ball.’
  2. Flatten it in your hand and add finely mashed sweet potato.
  3. Bring together the sides of the dough to close the stuffing and pinch it.
  4. Lightly roll it into a ball between your hands.
  5. Start rolling out the dough in a board with the help of rolling pin.
  6. Heat a griddle and add the rolled paratha when hot.
  7. After a minute turn the paratha to cook the other side.
  8. Spread a teaspoon of ghee on the paratha and turn over.
  9. Spread a teaspoon of ghee on this side of the paratha and press the paratha for it to turn crispy.

All done. Do try it out with different accompaniments like pickle, yogurt, ketchup, tomato or dates chutney.




This is jackfruit season here in Kerala. Jackfruit is a humble dish which is used at every stage. Raw jackfruit is used in Kerala special dish known as Chakka Vevichathu. Ripe jackfruit can be eaten just like that and is super yummy. Otherwise ripe jackfruit is used in desserts, stuffing, etc. This recipe is using jackfruit seeds. The seeds when cooked have a texture similar to Chinese potato (kurka). This is a stir fry or poriyal or mezhukuperatty recipe which is again a super quick recipe.


Here it goes,


Jackfruit seeds- 1 cup

Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder – ½ teaspoon

Fennel powder – ½ teaspoon

Mustard – 1 teaspoon

Curry Leaves – 1 stem

Salt – As per taste



  1. Chop jackfruit seeds lengthwise.
  2. In a container toss together jackfruit seeds, masala powders and salt.
  3. Add 3 tablespoon water and cook it covered.
  4. Once the water has evaporated switch off the flame.
  5. Heat a kadai and add 1 tablespoon oil.
  6. Once hot, splutter mustard.
  7. Add the cooked jackfruit seeds along with curry leaves.
  8. Saute for some time till crisp.


  1. There is white layer in the jackfruit seed which you need to remove.
  2. The brown skin of the seed need not be removed or scraped.
  3. Be careful while chopping seeds since its little hard to cut but slippery in hands.


I served this with rice, teeyal curry and fish curry.

Special from Kerala

This post is not for recipes. This post is my gallery of photos displaying the nature treats of Kerala. Hope you will enjoy it.

  1. Kanthari Mulugu – This provides real hotness to the dishes along with a good flavor. Apt for making chutney for kappa (tapoica). These are very small in size and bright red in color when ripe. 8
  2. Chakka (Jackfruit) – Found commonly in almost every house this is a humble vegetable/ fruit. Many types of dishes can be prepared even when raw or ripe. 657
  3. Vazhakumbu (Banana Flower) – There are variety of bananas found in Kerala. Atleast I know 5 varieties and the flower of all these varieties have their distinct flavor. The flower is commonly used to prepare thoran. 34
  4. Mangoes – Well what to say about mangoes. We get variety of mangoes. The raw ones are used in fish curries, vegetable curries and chamanthy. The ripe ones are mostly enjoyed directly but also used in pickles, paayasam, etc.910
  5. Pumpkin – Pumpkin is widely used across Kerala for curries, avial, etc. 1