Friday, April 25, 2014

Palak Raita / Spinach in Yogurt

An easy and nutritious side dish within no time , as am busy with packing things to shift, simple dishes like these helps me run the kitchen and satisfy my people here.

Couldn't take much stylish pictures as I am not good in multitasking much , might end up putting my camera in any curry that I make as I am so absent minded these days.
Yesterday NA complained about the same, while I was packing her stuffs I forgot to keep few of her precious things
I didn't bother to listen to what she was saying for sometime until she started to cry asking me why I forgot to pack Bow Tie ????????

Which Bow-tie ?? Who's ?? I asked her angrily ???
Abraham Lincoln's She screamed.....


And for a while........

My mind roamed around and reached till Lincoln Memorial in Washington , DC - where I had seen the statue of the Great President....then came back to my world when I saw this

As this was what she was saying ,she saw it lying some where....and then I had to search for this specific picture she drew in her school and had to stick it in place and carefully packed it too.

But then I couldn't stop laughing and so thought to share it here.

Back to Palak Raita !

Though there are many ways to prepare Spinach/Palak , its better to opt ways to minimize any nutrient loss while cooking, hence I avoided blanching these and cooked'em directly.
As usual gave it an Apple cider wash before chopping'em as we buy inorganic Spinach/Palak here.


Spinach - 1/2 Bunch
Yogurt - 1 and 1/4 cup
Green chili's - 1 or 2 finely chopped (Adjust as per your preference)
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Oil (Olive oil or any Vegetable oil) - 1 Tb sp


* Wash , drain and chop spinach leaves and keep aside.
*Heat Oil in a pan , add cumin seeds , and then the chopped spinach leaves , green chili's and salt,
  cover and cook them in medium to low heat , till it sweats and all the water comes out (5 to 7 minutes)
*Let the water from the spinach boil for a minute and then switch off the heat.
* Use a spoon to beat curd nicely in an other bowl and add in the cooked spinach along with its water.

* Mix and combine everything well , garnish with a few cilantro - only if you like its flavor.
I added cilantro/Coriander leaves because I am in love with it ,avoid adding - if you dislike the taste of the same.

May serve it as side dish for Chapathi / Indian Bread or else enjoy with plain rice and Dal/Lentil curry.

Like Popeye the sailor - now I have some extra energy !!!



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mung Beans Sprouts with Carrot Salad

Attention Fitness freaks this one is for you , cannot number the benefits of Bean sprouts.
Though they say this sprouted mung beans can be consumed without cooking , I cook'em  covered with little hot water sprinkled to it , for just 5 minutes , drain away any excess water if any (cook'em with very less water in low heat so that it doesn't need straining) 

Any sprout salad once or twice in a week will do good , but including these daily may increase Uric Acid level  and since beans have lot of protein,  Kidney will have to do more work , hence limit its intake if having any kidney related disorders. 
Sprouting lentils gives its best nutrients , even if using the same for making any other lentil curry / dal curry too.

Read Lets go Healthy Link   & Ping Ming Health to get an idea about Bean sprouts and its nutrition...

Watch Youtube - how to sprout Mung Beans. 


Sprouted Mung Beans - 1/2 to 3/4 cup 
Carrots - 2 medium grated 
Green chili's or Jalapeno Peppers - 1 (or more adjust with your preference) 
Coconut - 2 Tb Sp grated (Optional) 
Onion - 1 medium chopped 
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup chopped 
Mint Leaves - a few chopped (Optional) 
Lime juice or else Apple cider Vinegar - 2 tsp 
Salt to taste 


* Rub little salt to the chopped onion , keep for a few minutes, wash under running water and drain. 
(This helps to reduce that pungent flavor of raw onion) 

* Add grated carrot , coconut (if using) , bean sprouts , chili's and the leaves to the onion. 

* Mix well to combine , sprinkle salt and Lime juice or  vinegar to the salad and serve. 

We have it with Chapathi/Indian bread and also with Rice as one among the side dishes (Like Thoran /Stir fry) 
An excellent salad within no time if you have sprouts , may avoid sprouts and use only carrots if in a hurry as this can be made within no time. 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dry Prawns Curry / Unakka Chemmen Curry

Thinking about packing stuffs (to shift) is making me tired and hungry.... I suspect if am having some Eating Disorders as I think about all non veg foods these days :o 

Love this quote :) 

Today I enjoyed this Dry fish / prawns curry with rice , a sense of satisfaction after enjoying a luxurious meal with just one curry.


Stage 1.

Dry Prawns - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup (Head removed) 
Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped 
Ginger - 1 tsp finely chopped 
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp 
Green chili's - 2 no's slit 
Water - 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup. 
Salt - to taste 

Optional - May add vegetables like lauki/Churakka/or else Colocasia or else even Raw Banana etc (1/2 cup chopped) 
I used Lauki / Churakka

Stage 2 ( To Grind) 

Coconut - 1/2 cup 
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili Powder - 1 tsp (adjust as per your preference) 
Cumin seeds /Jeerakam - 1 tsp 
Water - (1/2 cup from the boiled prawns - above) 

Stage 3 - Tempering 

Oil - 2 Tb sp (Preferably coconut oil) 
1 Shallots or small onions 4 to 5 no's sliced 
Curry Leaves - 1 spring 
Fenugreek seeds / Uluva / Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp  


* Dry roast the prawns in low heat for 3 to 5 minutes in low heat. 
* Boil stage 1 ingredients (roasted prawns , tomatoes, green chili's ,ginger , salt , turmeric powder and any vegetable if using) 

* Cook for about 15 minutes in medium to low heat , till water is reduced much and the vegetables are very well cooked.  (if excess water left- use the same to grind the coconut - stage 2 ingredients) 

*Grind coconut to a coarse paste with little water (use water from the cooked prawns if possible) , add this paste to the cooked prawns , stir to combine everything well , keep heat in low , cook for another 5 minutes in low heat and switch off the heat. 

*In an other pan , heat oil, saute fenugreek seeds , followed by sliced onion and curry leaves , fry till brown , pour this over the prawns curry.

Serve With Rice 


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vegetable Stew - Kerala Style

A perfect side dish to enjoy with "Appom" or Plain  Bread....
For me this is a Vegetarian dish at its best.....a "coconut y" treat for the coconut lovers.

Use any Vegetables of your choice , usually its made with at least one root vegetable which makes this dish thick.


Whole Spices - Cardamom - 3 no's , Cloves - 2 no's , Cinnamon - small stick
Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Onion - 1 large thinly sliced
Curry Leaves - 1 to 3 springs
Coconut Milk - 1/2 tin (thick) or else use 1 cup thin milk while and 1 cup thick milk
Vinegar - 2 Tb sp (Optional)
Cashewnuts - 1/4 cup (powdered and mixed with a little water / or else soak in water and grind to a thick paste.)

Oil - 3 Tb Sp (Preferably Coconut oil)

Potatoes - 2 no's cubed.
Carrot - 1 medium slit and cut into 1 inch lengthwise.
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Green chili's - 4 no's slit (Adjust as per your preference)
Ginger and Garlic Chopped - 2 tsp finely chopped

& Some cauliflower heads
From a cool looking Cauliflower ;) 


* Heat 1 Tb sp oil in a heavy bottom pan , add whole spices (cardamom , cloves and Cinnamon) , saute for a few seconds and then add chopped ginger , garlic , green chili's, saute for a few minutes and then add the vegetables (Carrot , Potatoes , beans(if using) , peas etc ) 

*Pour little water to cook the vegetable's , may add 1 cup thin coconut milk (if using fresh coconut milk) . cook the vegetable's till nicely done (may use a pressure cooker , cook till 1 whistles heard . open lid immediately after releasing the pressure under running water) 

* Add Vinegar and allow to boil , then add curry leaves and Masala powder (if using) , keep heat in medium to low.

* Add the ground cashew nut paste (if using , this makes the dish rich and also little thicker in consistency)  when stew starts to thicken , pour thick coconut milk (or else 1/2 tin coconut milk) , let it simmer for just a few seconds , do not let it boil if using fresh coconut milk. 

*In an other pan , heat the rest of oil and fry thinly sliced onions till just brown , add this fried onion on to the stew and serve. 

Stew is ready to be served. 

May add some fried onion and a pinch of Masala powder on top before serving. 

Serve with Appam or any Bread 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Simple Fish Fry (Kerala Style)

That was a long drive from Salt Lake City to Phoenix - Arizona , a visit to our friends house to celebrate Easter. 
An informative trip for me as , while on our way through the state of Arizona - saw some of 
 "Navajo Indians" - they are the federally recognized tribes of the United States , "Navajo language"  is spoken throughout the region , most of them would know to speak English as well. I had no idea till then about the lives of tribal people in US. 
The State with the Largest Navajo Populations are Arizona & New Mexico , they do mainly farming to earn their living.
As we were closer to the city of Phoenix - Arizona , those wild grown -  huge Cactus on the road sides were alarming.

Few of ' em bigger than a coconut tree 
I know I compare everything with  Kerala (My place)  and the things we see there most ...

After the trip , my things to do list for the day / week is never ending  as we have to shift our house this weekend  &  so I stopped thinking about it and started with my favorite pass-time - updating my blog for the time being let me enjoy my recently attained addiction :) 
While during the lent , I craved for some fish I made it today, a simple and easy but very delicious Kerala Style fish fry 


Fish - made it with Sear fish today , use any fish you like. - 4 to 6 pieces 
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili Powder - 1/2 to 1 Tb Sp as per your preference (May use Paprika powder) 
Vinegar  - 2 Tbsp or else use Juice of 1 Lime 
Salt to taste 

Black Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp (Optional- makes its extra spicy) 
A few Curry leaves crushed  & 1/2 tsp Ginger - Garlic paste - Optional  

Oil to fry 
Onion and Lime to Garnish (Optional) 


* Clean and cut the fish into any desirable shape 

* Sprinkle over the fish pieces - salt , turmeric powder , Red Chilli powder and Black Pepper Powder (If using) , rub these spices well on the fish slices,  add vinegar or Lime juice and mix everything well. 
(May add Crushed curry leaves and Ginger -Garlic paste (if using) I didn't use it this time, 
 addition of the same makes it taste even better) 

* Keep this fish marinated for some time ( 10 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator) , may store this refrigerated till 3 days

*Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the same until both sides looks brown. (some people makes it crispy , make it crispy if using any small fishes with bones (like Sardines or Anchovies)  , usually for  fish with more flesh , frying it till just done is better) 

Garnish it with some sliced onion and lime. 

Some thing any Keralite would love to have ! 

And Picture of Pan seared Frog Legs 

We tried in a Sea food restaurant in Phoenix 
Tastes similar like Chicken but more juicy.... 
You know what while we were enjoying it , I purposely forgot how Frogs look like and what creepy things they eat.
They had another specialty dish in their restaurant with " Alligator Meat " 
But I just couldn't keep myself from thinking about Alligators so didn't dare to try it. 


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cross Bun ( for Maundy Thursday )

Maundy Thursday - also called Holy Thursday

Maundy which means "Washing of the Feet " as Jesus washed his disciples feet the day on Last_Supper , in remembrance of which Christians follow a custom,when the eldest person in the family would pray and break this bread and give it to the others in the family.
Made a hot cross bun for our supper tonight, we used to buy'em from any Bakery while in Kerala,
but today I tried making it here, followed The Pioneer Women - Hot Cross Bun Recipe to make these.
Christians in Kerala make "Pesaha Paal" & Indri Appam on this day, the recipes for which I shall post later :)
Pesaha Paal is made with Jaggery/Raw Sugar & Coconut Milk),
an interesting thing is that we boil with this "Paal"/ Flavored Coconut Milk, the palm leaf which we get from the church on Palm Sunday.
though I do it every year , I am not sure why I do it

Here are some Bunny like Bun's :)

What I intended to make was  some "Bunny Like Bread "
But it needs some patience too 

Check this Site Here - that's where I got the idea from,
please don't compare it with mine :(

The bread was nice and soft anyway.
Recipe adapted from The pioneer woman ,
I added some wheat flour as always and also egg which is optional.


If adding Wheat flour - for bread , use super fine wheat flour , I use Indian wheat flour (Ashirvad or Sujatha Brand)

For the Bread 

All Purpose Flour - 2 cups
Wheat Flour - 2 cup
Yeast -  3 tsp
Egg - 1 (Optional)
Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup (I used Vegetable oil )

spice Mix - For the bread 

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp heaped
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp (scant )
Spices - a few grated -  I used only nutmeg , use spices you like.

Egg Wash 

1 egg white & 2 Tb Sp Milk


* Mix 1/2 cup sugar with milk and oil in a sauce pan , heat it till very warm and switch off the heat, let it cool to become warm but not hot.

* Sprinkle Yeast over this mixture.

* Mix together Wheat flour and plain /All purpose flour , add this flour mixture to the milk mixture , add egg (If using ) and mix well to combine.

* Keep aside this sticky mixture for an hour (cover with a wet towel) 

* After 1 hour

Make the spice mix -(Ingredients given under spice mix) 

* Mix 1/2 cup flour with baking powder , baking soda , Nutmeg or spices (you like) ,salt & Sugar ,
   knead this mixture to the fermented dough.(Above)

* Lightly flour the surface and transfer the dough to the surface, knead , fold and flatten the dough for some time , till its soft and are pliable.

* Divide it in to equal portions , may bake some bigger disc shaped breads or else pinch small size (a big lemon size) balls , smooth-en it lightly with your hands to make small buns.
 I made few buns to look like bunny bread ;)  and some bigger round shaped bread.

* Place on lightly greased cookie sheet or bake dish , cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 1 hour.

* Preheat the oven to 400 Degree

* For Egg wash (Mix  Egg white with little milk , lightly brush the surface with this egg wash) and bake this in 400 degree F for 20 to 25 minutes until the outside looks nice and brown.

* For the cross -(Optional) made a thick dough with little All purpose flour and the yolk (of the egg taken for egg wash) , shaped it to make a thin cross and placed it over the bread before baking.

& My Bunny like Breads - ready to go in to the oven

When its done

NA told me to name these Rhyno Bread as she says a few of'em looks like Rhyno  :(

* Divide in to portions and then make a disc- shape with the dough like the one below , use any sharp edged thing (Spoon or knife) to mark a cross (Optional) and keep till they rise a bit (1 hour ) then bake in 400 Degree Pre heated oven for 15 Minutes, Take these almost baked bread out & cover'em with a foil or else it tends to get browned on the top.

* Bake again for another 5 to 10 Minutes until the sides turns brown.

Hot Cross Bun with Pesaha Paal / Flavored Coconut Milk.

Check  Bun  Recipe Here for an other Easy Bun Recipe.

Check The pioneer woman for the original Hot cross Bun recipe.