HOMEMADE RASAM POWDER

So this post was due last week itself. The reason(s) it got delayed are many. But the main reason was that this post is emotionally related to me. So few months back, my mother, before getting admitted to hospital had requested me to make this powder. Since she was mostly on bed rest, this powder would help dad to make rasam quickly (in my absence). In my house we don’t buy any ready made powders. You will find only khada masalas (raw spices). When required the masalas are mixed and matched based on the dish to be prepared. Even the red chilly powder and coriander powder is home made. Once in a year dad buys dry red chillies and coriander seeds, sun dry them and powder it. So, every time a rasam or sambhar or meat curry is made the masalas are freshly roasted and grounded.

But by the time I got to make this masala, she was already in hospital. At that time she was dreading the hospital food and I used to pack rasam from home. Hence, I was finding it difficult to pen down this post without getting emotional.

Anyways, coming to this post I know many bloggers who make their own masalas at home and store it. It is a good habit as we know what all goes into the masalas and can be trusted more than store bought one. However, for working moms this might be a challenge. So the idea is to find some time on one weekend in a month to prepare small batches of all the masalas you need. I am sure the home made masalas will stay longer and fresh than store bought ones.

20180210_083547 - CopyI also recall my days from Hyderabad when my roomie who is a Kannadiga made rasam a little different than I knew of. She used to cook and add a little amount of tur dal to the rasam. I had till then never seen these practice anywhere. Do you add cooked pulses to your rasam?

Moving on to today’s recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Tur Dal/ Sambhar Dal/Split pigeon peas – 1/4 cup

Coriander Seeds – 1 cup

Cumin/ Jeera – 2 tblspn

Black Pepper corn – 2 tblspn

Dry Red chillies – 4 -6

Fenugreek seeds/ Methi – 1/2 tblspn

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pan dry roast the dal till light golden colour.
  2. Remove in a plate.
  3. In the same pan dry roast red chilly and coriander seeds until  they have popped and nice aroma is released.
  4. Remove to the plate.
  5. Dry roast cumin, black peppercorn and fenugreek seeds till they have popped and nice aroma is released.
  6. Transfer them to the plate and let it cool down.
  7. Once cooled powder all the ingredients and store in an air tight jar.

Note:

1.While making rasam you need to additionally add kayam/ hing.

2. You can add black pepper powder once the rasam comes to a boil for that extra zing.20180210_083522 - Copy

KUTTANADAN CHICKEN ROAST

Hello There, you food lovers. I love being connected to various food lovers, chefs, home cooks and food bloggers across the world. This journey has given me a chance to know lots of wonderful people, new techniques, tips and methods. One such awesome blogger is Ria and I love her blog. This recipe is from her blog. I have made my twists and it is a keeper recipe. But yes if you are against deep frying then this recipe is not for you. Still I would insist you try it at least once.

INGREDIENTS:

Chicken- 1/2 kg

Onions – 4-5 medium

Tomatoes – 2 big

Ginger- Garlic Paste – 2 tblspn

Red Chilly Powder – 2 tblspn

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tblspn

Garam Masala – 1 tblspn

Curry Leaves – 2 stems

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying + 2 tblspn

Water as required

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pressure cooker take cleaned chicken pieces, ginger-garlic paste,onions, tomato, chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.20171007_192714
  2. Pressure cook for 1 whistle.20171007_201659
  3. Heat oil for deep frying. Splutter mustard seeds and lots of curry leaves. Take the chicken pieces along with the onions and tomato and deep fry till golden brown. 20171007_20022620171007_202004
  4. Put these pieces back to the pressure cooker and mix well.
  5. 20171007_203412Add water and adjust salt if you want a thick gravy.
  6. Let the masala coat the chicken and cook for another 5 minutes by mixing well. Make sure not to break the pieces.20171007_205723

Serve hot with phulkas or rice.

 

ORANGE CARROT JUICE- HYDRATION THERAPY FOR SUMMER

Hey There,

So how is your summer ? Its pretty hot and humid at my part of the world. Although the house is quiet breezy but it is humid. Resulting in tiredness, headaches, irritation and mood swings. To keep up with the summer it is quiet important to hydrate ourselves.

Anyways, today’s recipe is super simple. In fact why do I even need to blog about it? Because its better to document the number of ways you can keep yourself hydrated by using just what you find in your fridge. Let’s stop being dependent on shops and other means as much possible and carry our own bottle.

So I do pack my tiffin to office and these days the bag is heavier due to buttermilks and juices that I carry. Of course we get juice in canteen but I prefer to make my own, thus having control of what I use and the flavourings.

Today’s post is a simple post on a drink that my little one and myself enjoyed recently. If you have been following me on Instagram you would know that that we made this juice on a particularly hot sunny weekend. Off to the quick and easy recipe.

20180407_114123INGREDIENTS:

Oranges – 2

Carrot – 2

Sugar – 3 tblspn (Optional)

Honey – 4 tblspn

Ginger – Less than half an inch

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take real sweet oranges. Take the pulp out into the juicer.
  2. Peel and cut carrot. Add these into the juicer.
  3. Add ginger piece.
  4. Add sugar/honey.
  5. Blend it all up and strain.
  6. Serve it with ice cubes if you like.

Some facts about oranges and carrots:

  1. Of course we know oranges are excellent source of Vitamin C. They are good if you are on a weight loss diet.
  2. Carrots are rich source of powerful antioxidants. I know eating carrot just as it is is difficult. Hence juicing it up is a great option.
  3. Carrots not only help in maintaining a healthy skin but also is excellant for eyes.

20180407_114115

12 WAYS TO THICKEN YOUR SOUP, STEW OR CURRY

Hey There. How is the weather treating you? Well here things are little runny (nose), hoarse (voice) and tired (weakness). The weather is playing games with bright sunny hot humid weather during the whole day and cold and breezy in night. We reach office all sweaty and then a blast of cold AC air meets you.

While the weather can wear you out its important to keep your energy levels high. For that you need to multitask and keep yourself updated with little tricks and tips to make your life easier. If you have been following me on Instagram or FB you may know that I share tips around a topic or ingredient. So I thought why not share them here too. So here it goes. Today we’ll talk about how to make a curry thick or basically what can be added to make a thick curry.

Read on.

sweet-cream11

  1. Cream – The most common and rich option to thicken up your gravy is Cream. If you are watching your weight then better to avoid this option. Many popular recipes are made using cream like malai paneer, butter chicken, dal makhni,etc.
  2. Cashew Paste – Next in line common option used in dishes is paste of Cashew. Soaked cashews in hot water makes a smooth paste that makes the curry thick beautifully. Click here for one such egg curry.
  3. Corn Flour – Corn flour is usually used to thicken the soups.
  4. Maida/ Flour – Pasta sauces are thick due to flour and milk. Maida acts a great thickener. Of course it is unhealthy to use it often hence you can replace Maida with wheat flour. Click here for Pasta in white sauce recipe. 
  5. Curd – World famous ‘Moru Curry‘ and ‘Kadhi’ is made with curd. Thick whisked curd is perfect to add dimension to any curry. Click here to know how to make thick curd at home. 20180125_164907
  6. Coconut milk – Who hasn’t heard about Stew ? There are veg and non-veg versions of stew. Coconut milk is the thickener used in stew. Third, second and first extract of a good grated coconut is added to curries not only to thicken it but also to provide a sweet flavour. Click for a vegetable stew recipe. coconut milk
  7. Besan/ Gram flour – ‘Kadhi’ is made using curd and besan. Besan known for its binding properties is great as a thickener.
  8. Makhana/ Lotus/ Seeds paste – One of the healthiest seeds is Lotus Seeds also known as Makhane. Soak these in warm water and then blend it to a smooth paste. Use it as you like. While grinding your masalas include sunflower, melon, flax seeds, etc.  These not only will bring up the nutrition quotient but also thicken up your gravy. Makhana
  9. Potato – Potato is a natural thickener. Add some boiled slightly mashed potatoes to your curry and the starch in the potato will do the work for you. Click here for recipe.potato
  10. Dal – Do you know why dal is added to sambhar?  Yes. To thicken it.
  11. Oats – Powder quick cooking oats and use it. Or, add directly to your dishes. After boiling it will thicken.
  12. Onion-Tomato mix – The most easiest way. If you are making chole or kadala then after cooking your onion-tomato mix, take it in a blender along with some cooked chole. Blend it to smooth paste. Cook it along with other masala and chole.

Hope you liked this post. Do try these methods and let me know how it turned out for you. Also if you know of any other method drop me a comment.

Till next time, see ya

Note: All the images except curd is taken from Google search images.

KA PAYAR THORAN/ RAW BANANA GREEN GRAM THORAN

Hi There. So did you try my homemade curd recipe? How did it go? If not perfected then please keep trying. It is  a recipe that you can definetely win. Do share me pics of your success.

What I love and almost don’t like about Kerala recipes is the usage of coconut. Almost in all recipes coconut is used. But some recipes do need coconut to add the flavour in. But I tend to add a little lesser coconut than what mostly people in this part of the world uses.

This recipe is calls for raw banana (the thick small variety) and green gram. You need not soak green gram. It can be instantly used.

20180211_105939INGREDIENTS:

Raw banana – 2

Green Gram – 1 cup

Grated fresh coconut – 1/2 cup

Shallots/ Small onion – 3-4

Garlic – 2 cloves

Green chilly – 3

Curry leaves – 2 stem

Cumin – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric – 1/4 tsp

Mustard – 1/4 tsp

Oil – 2 tblspn

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and dice the banana into medium cubes.
  2. In a pan take green gram and water (just above the level of green gram) and bring it to a boil. Let it boil till it cooks. Add water if needed. The cook on green gram should be just cooked. Do not over cook.
  3. In a blender take coconut, green chilly, garlic, shallots, cumin, turmeric and salt and blend it coarsely. It need not be fine paste. Instead all the ingredients should be coarsely blended.
  4. In a thick bottomed pan, add some oil.
  5. Splutter mustard seeds.
  6. Add curry leaves.
  7. Add the chopped banana.
  8. On high flame saute the chopped banana for 30 secs.
  9. Add 2-3 tblspn of water. Lower the flame and close and cook. Make sure to stir it in every minute so it does not burn or catch at the bottom of the pan.
  10. Once the banana is partially cooked add the green gram along with water.
  11. Add the blended coconut mix in.
  12. Adjust the salt and mix properly.
  13. Close and cook for another minute.
  14. Mash it lightly if you like.
  15. Remove and serve hot with rice and rasam.

You can also blend curry leaves with the coconut mix. It will give a different flavour.

Keep checking my Instagram posts to see what I am upto. Till next time see ya.

 

 

 

 

HOME MADE CURD/YOGURT

Hello There. First of all a big thank you to all for staying with me through all these months while I went awol. In my previous posts I mentioned that my absence from food blogging is not intentional and I am trying to keep up. But circumstances lead me to take a break from blogging for some time. Though I was not so away from Facebook  or even Instagram.

First up, the reason, of why I was away for a while. I do not know how do I even type it because it is so hard for me. Since the last post, my work had increased and so was my personal responsibilities and committments. But this year in February I got the worst shock when my mother passed away. Many of you have known my journey through social media and provided me strength. Much thanks. I shall be forever grateful for your kind words and encouragement.

Coming back to blogging was not the hardest decision. Cooking is integral to me. It is essence of my living. My foundation in cooking was laid by my parents and my mother had a very big role in it. As I gained knowledge in food I could also help her out in her medically prescribed food options (less salt, soups, etc.) and that gave me more insight. So blogging it was. I had to share my knowledge. I have to share what my mother taught me.

The choice of post was simple. Though I went through the pictures for almost 45 minutes deciding which one to choose for a comeback. But as soon as I saw the curd I said “Yeah that’s it”. We always make curd at home. It was one of the initial recipes my mom taught me or let me do. She would heat up the milk and keep it. Then the mixing part was done by me.

When I posted pics and videos of the thick curd I make at home people asked me how do I manage. Honestly, it is not so difficult. The questions were regarding the milk I used, regarding the temperature of the milk, etc.

20180125_164907Let’s go straight to the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Starter curd – 1 tblspn

Lukewarm milk – 2 cups

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take a tblspn of the curd that you already have (from the shop or homemade) in the container where you want to set the curd in.This is your starter curd.
  2. Whisk it to smooth. (you can use a whisk or a fork)
  3. Heat the milk to lukewarm. Now if I want to give an example it would be the ideal temperature of water that you would bathe a baby.
  4. Pour this milk to the whisked starter curd.
  5. Mix it with the whisk or fork.
  6. Close it and keep it undisturbed for 8 hours. (Depends on the location you are in. After 6 hours if the top has thickened then your curd is ready)

Notes:

  1. I have made curd with packet milk (cream milk and skim milk) and cow’s milk. Came out well.
  2. Make sure you remove the cream layers from the milk that you pour so you get consistent thick curd.
  3. You can add curry leaves while setting the curd if you have a problem with curd smell.
  4. Once the curd is set you can keep it in fridge if you do not want it to become sour. If you need sour moru curry or pachadi then keep it out for few more hours.

 

Hope this information is good enough for you to start making curd at home. My aim is for everyone to try enjoying and making good food at home and rely less on outside packaged food. Do share me your pictures of curd in my Instagram handle (yeleenathomasfoodie). Spread the love and share this post to everyone you love. Till next time, stay fit.

KERALA STYLE COCONUT DRY CHAMMANTHI

4Hello. Some recipes are for forever. I am not a great fan of pizzas and burgers but if you serve me choru (rice), omelette and chammanthi with thayir (curd) then I am happy. No matter how far we reach, no matter where we go, no matter what we do, its home that we long for. Isn’t it ?

This recipe is a very common recipe in every Malayalee household. It does not need any cooking and is very quick to make. Earlier days there was no blender. People used  traditional stone grinder to grind ingredients into a paste. And that added up to the taste. Even now people who build houses ensure that a separate section is dedicated to traditional stone grinders.

3Do try this recipe and let me know if you liked it. You can also find this recipe at Archana’s kitchen here.

INGREDIENTS:

Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup

Shallots – 3 (very important. Shallots give a unique taste. If you don’t have only then replace with half an onion)

Tamarind- gooseberry sized tamarind soaked in very little water (around 2-3 tblspn)

Ginger – 1/2 inch piece

Dry Red chilli – 1

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tblspn (adjust to the spiciness you need)

Cury Leaves – 10

Salt to taste

2INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend everything in the blender coarsely. Don’t discard the tamarind water and use it to blend it.
  2. Spoon everything out and roll it into a ball.

Serve it with love. 1

CHOW- CHOW NO ONION NO GARLIC SABJI

20170522_205300 - CopyHey There. So today’s let’s start with a self analysis. What kind of eater you are ? Following are some of the categories I could list out-

The fussy eater – I don’t want this, I don’t like that, I am in no mood to eat this

The orthodox eater – This is not exactly how my mother makes it, This is not the combination

The cautious eater – How many calories would that have, It looks gross would it be tasty

The simple eater – Eats what he is served without much questions

The experimental eater – Loves to try different dishes, cuisines and variations to dishes

So what kind of eater are you? Well I am a mix of simple and experimental eater. Except the allergy food and “not allowed to eat due to health reasons” food I like to eat or at least try every dish.

Today’s recipe is using an ingredient that a few years age I was unaware of. Chow – chow or chayote is a little sweet in nature when cooked. It has lots of water content. I usually make thoran of chow-chow. Go check out its nutritional value in Wiki.

This recipe is a no onion no garlic recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Chow Chow – 2 medium (Peeled and chopped into thin pieces)

Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp

Dry Red chilli – 2

Oil – 2 tblspn

Salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pan dry roast coriander seeds, fennel and dry red chillies.
  2. Once cooled blend it to a coarse powder.
  3. In a pan heat oil.
  4. Saute chow-chow for a minute on high flame.
  5. Lower the flame and add the ground powder.
  6. Add salt and mix well.
  7. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
  8. Once the chow-chow is soft and cooked remove from flame and serve with roti or rice. 20170522_205322 - Copy

 

PASSION FRUIT JUICE WITH CHIA

1Hello. Thank you so much for staying with me while I was away. Things have been crazy busy here.

Office work, personal commitments, festival preparations, sickness. Well everything demanded my time and I was literally on 4-5 hours of sleep for more than 2 weeks. That also meant weekends I would either do what I love most – cooking and trying new dishes, or rest or do the cleaning. But I am glad that I am a regular in Instagram posts. So if you are not already following me do so now for ideas on dishes, tiffin recipes and much more memories.

These days passion fruit is in season. And I am getting lots of passion fruit from my native. Passion fruit juice is perfect option to quench your thirst. It is sour and sweet and delicious. Add some chia seeds or sabja seeds and it gives your drink a cool look and taste. So a quick post. Do try it.

Passion fruit is really sour. So you need a lot of sugar to balance it out. Have this juice chilled for that extra effect.

2INGREDIENTS:

Passion Fruits – Inside pulp of 4 passion fruits

Sugar – 1/4 cup

Chia Seeds – 1 tblspn

Water – 3 cups or more if needed

Ice Cubes – as needed

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take out the pulp of passion fruit.
  2. Now you can either blend it together with sugar and water. Once blended you can strain it. The seeds does not have any particular taste. So blending it won’t have any bitterness.
  3. Or you can take the pulp in a strainer and with the help of a spoon squeeze out the juice. Add sugar and water and stir well.
  4. Add chia seeds and stir well.
  5. Add ice cubes before serving.

So in this weather when sometimes it rains and other times it is hot and sunny this drink is perfect to quench your thirst. 3

 

 

VAZHA /RAW BANANA PODIMAS

Hi. So people who know me know that I am a talker. I like to talk to people to know about their culture, style, hobbies and most importantly their food. And so it happened one Saturday morning when I came to buy veggies from the veggie van that visits my building I met a neighbor friend who was buying raw bananas. While talking I came to know about this awesome recipe known as ‘podimas’. I was curious and wanted to try it.

20170813_120329 - CopyINGREDIENTS:

Raw Banana – 2

Onion – 1 medium

Green Chilli – 2

Grated ginger – 1 tsp

Grated coconut – 1/4 cup

Curry leaves – 1 stem

Coconut Oil – 1 tblspn (Preferred)

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

20170813_120323 - CopyINSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a pressure cooker take the Raw banana with little water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. (Yes with skin on.)
  2. Once the pressure has settled, peel the raw banana. Using a grated with big holes grate the banana and keep aside.
  3. In a pan heat oil.
  4. Add urad dal.
  5. Splutter mustard seeds.
  6. Add finely chopped onion and green chilli and saute well.
  7. When the onion turns translucent add curry leaves.
  8. Add finely chopped ginger. Mix well.
  9. Now add the grated banana.
  10. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  11. Add grated coconut and mix well.
  12. Cook for another minute and then switch off the flame.

Serve with rice.

20170813_120317 - Copy

BRINJAL- POTATO CURRY

Hey There. How you doing? Recently when I saw nice long, maroonish, organic lady finger in my grocery store I immediately jumped to pick up a pack. Since it was packed with a cling wrap but I managed to check if they are soft and good. And they seemed fine. I could not resist the temptation to pick 2 packets.

After 2 days I fished out the packets from the fridge and after washing when I started chopping – snap. The beauties had turned hard as a stick. I know after cooking they will turn all chewy and fibrous. Never mind. I tried another one. And another. And so on. So except 2 lady fingers – rest all, both packets were now wasted.

Imagine my frustration, disappointment and mood after this happened. I had to change my plan and my mood to prepare myself to cook something else for dinner. But the gloomy and dark mood remained. That is how powerful affect food has on me. L I can rejoice on seeing fresh produce. I get upset on seeing “good outside bad inside” produce.

Anyways, today’s recipe was a result of the failed lady finger. When I dug back into my fridge and saw brinjals decided to make this dish.

20170801_205027 - CopyINGREDIENTS:

Small Brinjals – 5-6

Potatoes – 2 small

Onions – 2 chopped

Tomatoes – 2 chopped

Coriander Seeds – 1 tblspn

Khus Khus – 1 tblspn

Garlic cloves -2 small

Ginger – ½ inch piece

Grated coconut – 3 tblspn

Red Chilli Powder- ½ tblspn

Cumin – 1 tblspn

Mustard – 1 tbslpn

Milk – ½ cup

Turmeric Powder – ¼ tblspn

Curry Leaves – 1 stem

Oil – 2 tblspn

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the brinjals lengthwise. Cube the potatoes
  2. In a pan dry roast coriander seeds, khus khus, grated coconut, red chilli powder and cumin for 2 minutes. Do not brown them.
  3. Take it in a blender along with onion, tomato, garlic and ginger and blend them to make a smooth paste.
  4. In the pan, add oil.
  5. Once the oil is hot, splutter mustard.
  6. Add curry leaves.
  7. Add the blended masala in and mix well. Keep mixing till the oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
  8. Add brinjal and potatoes and saute well.
  9. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
  10. Add salt and mix well.
  11. Add water and bring it to a boil. Close and let the potatoes and brinjals cook.
  12. Once the brinjals and potatoes are cooked add milk and keep mixing. Adjust the salt. Keep stirring for 2 minutes on medium flame.

Serve with phulkas or rice.20170801_205020 - Copy

 

 

BEETROOT CARROT APPLE SANDWICH

Hello There. So most often I make sandwiches. And I like to experiment with the stuffing. I do not stick to same stuffing. And I try to include the most neglected but healthy ingredients.

20170628_071143 - CopyCheck out my other sandwich recipes – Caramelized apple cheesy sandwich, Beetroot carrot potato sandwich & potato peas sandwich

Today’s also I am posting a sandwich recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

Beetroot – 1 small

Carrot – 1 large

Apple – 1 large

Butter – 2 tblspn

Sugar/ Palm Sugar – 1 tblspn (Optional)

Cardamom powder – a pinch

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and cut carrot and beetroot into big pieces.
  2. Cook them in water.
  3. Grate them.
  4. Grate apple and keep aside.
  5. In a pan heat butter.
  6. Add the grated carrot and beet and mix well.
  7. Add the sugar if required and cardamom powder.
  8. Mix well till the mix has come together. It should be thick paste like consistency.
  9. Take it off the stove and mix grated apple in. (I didn’t add sugar since my apple was sweet enough).
  10. Take a bread piece. Apply butter on one slice of bread.
  11. Spoon the mix on one side of the bread and spread evenly.
  12. Close with another buttered slice of bread.
  13. Toast it in a sandwich maker.

Enjoy it hot or pack it for tiffin.20170628_072856 - Copy