Friday, January 31, 2014

Indian Pav / Bun

Picture of Pav - wala's (Person who sell's bun)  in Mumbai never fades from my mind,  the sound of cycle- bell early in the morning. Homemakers in Mumbai are pampered with these fresh - soft Pav available in their door step in the morning and then all you need is a little butter for a yummy Breakfast , I think that's how majority of Mumbai-kar's starts their day.

Mixed a little wheat flour to the dough here , though no wheat flour is added in the original recipe. 
Also Egg is not a compulsory ingredient in bread, addition of it increases texture , flavor and richness to the bread. Can also check Mykitchentreasure  for an Egg less bread dough.
Referred  Bavna's Kitchen for the recipe here. 


All purpose flour - 2 cups
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Yeast - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter or Olive oil - 4 Tbsp
Warm water - 1/4 cup
Milk - 3/4 cup (Approx)

Sesame seeds - (few , optional)
Milk for Milk wash or Egg for egg wash


* Add yeast and 1 table spoon sugar to the warm water and keep aside to get the yeast activated.Keep for 10 minutes till the water slowly rises.
This happens to me most of the time :( need to keep a base plate 

* Mix All purpose flour , wheat flour , sugar ,salt , activated yeast mixture , milk , egg and 2 table spoon butter. Combine well to make a soft dough, if its difficult to work with it add little more flour help kneading. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes with a stand mixer or use hands to knead.

* Coat the dough with melted butter and cover with wet towel , keep it in a warmer place for'em to rise. Check after an hour if the yeast started doing its work , that's when the dough rises Punch'em down and keep again for rising in the same warm place for another 1/2 an hour.

*Roll these dough to any shape, divide the dough to 10 to 12 equal portion and make ball's with each portion.Keep these balls in a greased baking tray .Leave space in between each ball's for them to rise and spread. Cover the tray with wet towel and keep for rising as this decides the size of the dough. It has to be given sufficient time and equally important is the warm environment the yeast needs to rise.Keep minimum 1 hour for rising.

*Preheat the oven to 380 degree F. Brush the dough balls with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds on top(if using) (There is no sesame seeds in Pav though).

Bake these Bun's for 20 to 25 minutes till the out side looks nice and brown.

*Take these baked bun from the oven once its done. Spread little butter on top for the glaze.

* Serve with Bhaji or Vindaloo. Goan's special.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Vazha - Koombu , Cherupayar Thoran / Banana Flower and Lentils stir fry

This dish is packed with super nutrients as its Banana flower with Lentil sprouts

The reason for sprouting lentils

  • Lentils contain a compound called Phytic acid which are little difficult to digest and hence can cause gas troubles or flatulence because of delayed digestion , anyways lentils in any form are packed with proteins , if its sprouted then it neutralizes the phytic acid and hence makes it easier to digest and also it then transforms in to a completely different product , as its composition is very much changed , it increase the amount of vitamins and minerals in it.

How to sprout Lentils 

  • Soak whole lentils in water for 10 to 12 hours , drain water and keep these closed with a damp towel for another 12 hours , rinse every 12 hours until sprouts appear , once sprouted store these in the fridge, usually it occurs with in 1 to 2 days. 
About Banana Flower 

These are packed with Vitamin A and C  and also has Anti-oxidant properties which helps in reducing Heart diseases.
The comparatively hard husks have to be peeled away and the leaves in the middle are used for cooking.
Does that look like a crime scene ........


Banana Flower - 1 medium size , washed and finely chopped.
Lentils - 1/2 cup soaked (if possible sprouted)
Onion - 1 medium size chopped 
Garlic - 4 no's crushed and chopped. 
Coconut - 1/4 cup(Optional) 
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili - 2 to 3 no's crushed 
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 table spoon.
Curry Leaves - 1 spring (optional - I didn't use it) 
Coconut oil - 2 table spoon and little extra for rubbing chopped flower. 


* Wash and chop Banana flower finely , rub little oil , turmeric powder and salt to it.
* Cook these in low flame , keeping it covered for 10 to 15 minutes , till the water from these drains out. 
*Add the soaked lentils and salt to it , cook'em covered for another 10 minutes in low heat. (if its sprouted , lentils doesn't need much time to get cooked)

 * Add finely chopped onion and stir to cook for another 5 minutes , make space in between and add 2 table spoon oil , when its heated add chopped garlic , dry red chili's and red chili powder and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix to combine well and add the coconut and curry leaves(if using).A final mix and the dish is ready to serve.

* Serve with Rice or Chapathi.

If using lentils which is not soaked , cook lentils first till they are almost done and then add the flower to it ,coo'em covered , stirring occasionally till all the water dries off.


Meen Pathichathu / Kerala style Red Fish Curry

After a long day of stress with initial over excitement which ended up in disappointment , I decided to make something which I am comfortable with , which am sure would come out well....a spicy red hot fish curry again , as myself like any malayali will be happy to have rice with fish curry for every meal...
My disappointment was because of my - failed Swiss roll's -  I made yesterday with over excitement. Excitement because its been sometime that am thinking of making Tiramisu and also making Jam Roll's / Swiss Roll's which my NA loves , so thought to mix both of it and generate a different recipe "Tiramisu Roll's"  though not a new dessert , I was a bit over confident with just 2 eggs which I never realized until I set all other things and started making the cake and then it ended up like this one here.
My cracked Tiramisu Roll's 
I was so excited that I didn't bother that the original recipe need 4 eggs and I made it with 2.

Determined to make these sometime soon .....

We had slight snowfall here and also a bit of rain ..... Rain always reminds me of Kerala :) 
but my plants here are not very happy with the climate.
Waiting for some sunlight all through this way........

Soccer man doesn't like this Fish curry /Meen Pathichathu much as it doesn't have coconut milk in it (People in Angamaly - Thrissur (towards the North part of Kerala) cannot imagine of a fish curry without coconut milk)
Its a star dish from my place ,  from the Middle - to Southern part of Kerala another reason for his dislike .......
though he likes it much he never admits :)

Because we crave for some variety fish here , we explore all Asian store's in search of some fish we know in our place and this time we got King Fish ....happy happy 


King fish or use any other Thilapia/ Mackerel - 1/2 kg - cleaned and sliced 
Small Onion 10 to 15 no's crushed  / or use Medium size Onion - 1 finely chopped 
Ginger - 1 small piece crushed 
Garlic - 3 to 4 no's crushed and finely chopped 
Green Chili - 1 no's or (more as per your tolerance level) 
Curry leaves - 1 spring. I didn't have curry leaves :(  
Coconut Oil - 2 and 1/2 table spoon 
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Gamboge/ Cocum - 3 to 5 (or more as you like) 
Salt to taste and water 

Powder Ingredients

Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chili - 2 table spoon 
Fenugreek Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

Kudampuli /Cocum or Kokum - Tamarind grown in tropical Climate.


* Mix the cleaned and sliced fish with salt and keep aside.Soak the Cocum/ Kudampuli in 1 cup warm water for 10 minutes.

*Dry Roast the powdered ingredients - Chili powder , Kashmiri chili powder , turmeric powder and fenugreek powder , roast these stirring continuously for 5 to 7 minutes in medium heat , pour a little water to it and mix. Switch off the heat and keep aside.
Make sure the powder is not over roasted , just heat it till you get the smell of nice roasted chili powder ,  do not wait till the sneeze :) 

* Heat Oil in a Chatti/Madka or any other pan , when heated add the fenugreek seeds , wait for 2 to 3 minutes then add the crushed ginger , garlic and chopped onion (or crushed small Onion if using) , saute these for 5 to 10 minutes till they are more than golden brown. 

* Add in the dry roasted Powder paste to the well fried onion mix and again saute these in low heat for another 3 minutes.

* clear the pan with some water and pour it to the onion mixture , add the soaked cocum water too and close with a lid , wait for'em to start boiling. I added all together 2 cups water , as this curry is made in Madka/chatti , it absorbs more water and hence makes the curry thick.

* Add fish and cocum to the curry , once it starts to boil and cook for another 5 minutes in medium heat.

*Switch off the heat once the fish is cooked , takes almost 5 to7 minutes in medium heat if cooked in this Chatti/Clay pot , they stays hot even after the heat is switched off.Cover and keep for sometime.This fish curry stays out till one day or more if placed in a cooler place. 

This fish curry taste best the next day.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Churakka Chemmen Curry / Prawns and Lauki Curry

Am now a days addicted to taking pictures of what ever I cook , though I used to do it before starting this blog , but that was just for some special dishes, thanks to Soccer Man for gifting a phone - which is very helpful to take pics in kitchen ;)
In my house , Mummy rarely used to cook mixed dishes like this one here - which gives mixed flavor and gives authentic Kerala taste , as she was brought up outside Kerala , but then she used to make North Indian dishes which we enjoyed much.....
Got an idea of typical Kerala cooking only when I spent days with Amamma - hubby's Granny in Angamaly , I enjoy watch her cook and share her experiences and also was when I saw her cooking that I learned that Cooking is an Art and feeding with love and good sense makes home heavenly. 

This dish is a Kerala style fish curry , we used to make Prawns with tomatoes usually in my place , but then I saw Ammama (Granny) make Churakka with dried Prawns , I think dried Prawns with its strong flavor gives the best result.
I tried it with fresh prawns -  these are good too.
My sister in Law has Unnaka Chemeen - churakka curry / Dried Prawns with bottle gourd curry in her blog here


Prawns - 1/2 a pound cleaned and deveined
Bottle Gourd/Lauki/ Churakka - 1/2 of 1 medium sized - cubed or sliced 1inch length wise
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece finely chopped
Vinegar - 2 table spoon (use your choice of stuff to give sour taste , can use tamarind , cocum or else tomatoes goes good too)
Turmeric Powder  - 1/2 tsp
Green Chili's - 2 no's (or more)
Salt to taste.

 For Grinding

Coconut - 3/4 cup Grated
Small Onion - 2 to 3 no's (Optional)
Cumin /Jeera - 1 tsp

For tempering

Coconut Oil - 1 to 2 table spoon
Methi seeds/Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Small Onions - 3 to 4 no's sliced.
Curry Leaves - 1 spring
Dry Red chili's - 2 no's crushed (Optional , or else use red chili powder -1/4 tsp -gives good color)


Clean and devein the prawns , mix a pinch of salt and keep aside.
Love these big guys !! 

* In a chatti- Madka /Kadai,  mix sliced Bottle gourd with salt , turmeric powder, finely chopped ginger , green chili and vinegar (or any tamarind you like to use). Cook with a little water sprinkled to it (if you want the gravy to be loose add more water) cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes in medium to low heat.

*Add in the prawns and cook for another 5 minutes in low heat , in the meantime grind the ingredients given under grinding with a little water , pour this mixture to the fish mixture.
Switch off the heat if using a madka /chatti as the chatti will be hot enough to cook the coconut , if not using a chatti/madka do cook the curry for few seconds in low heat and switch off the heat. 

* Heat oil (Preferably coconut oil) in a pan , when hot add the fenugreek/methi seeds , followed by small onions and curry leaves and at last the red chili's or chili powder (I forgot to use this,though the green chili was hot enough for the whole curry , though missed that color) . Pour this on to the fish curry and serve hot with Rice. 

The small onion should have been little more brown :) 
Enjoy with Kerala rice 


Monday, January 27, 2014

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

The first cake I baked during my school days , was so excited that it came out well.Searched for a similar recipe in the net and got it Here
Thanks to the technology these day , we get recipes of anything and everything in the net , a foodie - day dreamer like me will be so happy to spent a whole day exploring food and cooking in the net and its so very helpful...
This is the perfect cake  to start with, for those who are thinking of baking a cake from scratch for the first time.

Ingredients (Used half Measurements given in the link here)

Eggs - 2 no's
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 and 1/2 tsp
All Purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Milk - a little more than 3/4 cup
Butter - 5 table spoon


* Preheat the Oven to 350 degree F
*Grease the cake pan with butter or non stick spray.Sift together flour and baking powder. Keep aside.

*Heat milk in a sauce pan , add in the butter, switch off the heat when the butter is all melted.

*Beat the eggs till they become light yellow in color , gradually add in the sugar , mix till light and fluffy, add in the essence.

Add the flour and heated milk little at a time - alternately , till all the flour and milk are well combined. 

*Pour this batter to the greased pan and bake in 350 degree F , for 30 to 35 minutes.

* Bake till a fork or toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Idiyappom / Kerala Style Rice Noodles

That's our family favorite Break fast , its a dish which can be made super fast too but need to know the correct consistency , while making the dough , not Rocket Science again ,follow the correct measurements while making these for the first time and then within your third time you make these , you'll be an expert. 
I was a sleep addict before but after I had my NA , I am not able to enjoy sleep as I used to before, Thank God :) still I am lazy to wake up in the morning and make Breakfasts , first thing I do in the kitchen with my eyes only half open will be boiling water for tea.
The Tea kick-starts me...
The day we have Idiyappom for Breakfast , I'll first keep the water in the steamer , then start with the other things and these are ready within 15 -20 minutes.


Rice Flour - 1 cup 
Water - 1 and 1/4 cup 
Salt to taste 
Ghee - 1 table spoon (or use coconut oil ) Optional
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup (or less) 


* Boil water in a vessel , when it starts to bubble add salt and 1/2 tbsp ghee (if using) , and keep the heat in medium to low , slowly add the rice flour , stirring vigorously till all that flour are added in. 

Managed to click.......

* Stir to make a dough , if it seems to be watery , just keep stirring these in the pan till it gets absorbed and forms a dough , the dough then sticks to the spoon used to stir. Switch off the heat.

Transfer dough to an other vessel once the heat is switched off , the dough otherwise tend to dry. 

* Prepare the steamer. Grease the Idiyappom press / Chakli Maker and also the Idli plates or any base plate which you keep for steaming. Banana leaves are the best to steam these if you have or manage to get banana leaves ,do give it a try. 

* Place 1 table spoon of coconut (or how much ever you like) to the greased plate. Fill the Idiyappom maker with the dough , and squeeze the dough.

Managed to take this one too.......

* Steam these for 5 to 10 minutes in medium heat.
* Serve with Egg Roast , we had it with Milk and sugar. These are served with coconut milk and sugar too , I enjoy it with banana but soccer man doesn't like the idea of squeezing banana with these so I have it when he's not around :) 

That's a Healthy Breakfast with a bit of Sunshine !! 


         : While making the dough , if it seems to be dry , sprinkle water while stirring these in low heat.
         : Prevent the dough from drying by covering it with a wet cloth.