Friday, July 18, 2014

Madura Seva - Baked / Sweetened Gram flour Noodles - Kerala Snack Recipe

A very popular Fried Snack seen in almost all bakeries in Kerala.
Idea of baking came all of a sudden like a thrust when I checked my weight after a long time :(
till then I believed that I knew my physique and never did I notice changes in me :(
Thanks to my friend who has placed a weighing machine in her dining room itself, now I know there is some good phycology working inside us when we have the weighing machine somewhere visible to our eyes while having food.

I didn't feel much difference with the baked version of the same, Wonder why then they fried it ?? I myself came to a conclusion that during those days and even now using of tandoor or baking is not that familiar in my the next option would have been frying.

Here is the Recipe

Since I was trying to bake it for the first time, the quantity I used here is less .


Gram Flour/Chickpea Flour/Besan - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 2 Tb Sp
Salt to taste
Water as needed to make a soft dough (1/4 cup Approx)
Oil to grease the Press/Idiyappom maker and the baking tray

For Sugar Syrup

White Sugar - 3/4 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Cardamom - 2 no's crushed (Optional)

You'll also need an Idiyappom press /Maker for piping the noodles
 (Or else use a plastic storage bag, cut its ends off and pipe the same.


* To make the Sugar syrup , heat sugar and water in medium to low heat , until all the sugar dissolves and the water becomes thick to 1 thread consistency (20 to 25 Minutes Approx), add Crushed Cardamom for flavoring and Keep Aside

* Preheat the Oven to 350 Degree F

* Make a soft dough with the flour ingredients and water (Mixing Gram Flour, Rice flour and salt)
  (Add water little at a time and mix with your hands, this helps to know its consistency better.

* Grease the Idiyappom Press and the Baking tray with little oil.(Not required to grease the plastic storage bag ,if using the same for piping)  Press the dough to the baking tray.

* Make long thread on to the tray (its fine even if it breaks as we'll have to break it later). Drizzle few drops of oil over and bake in 350 Degree F for 12 to 15 minutes.
 (Keep the tray in the lower most rack in the oven , flip to the other side after 7 minutes so that all sides are cooked and becomes crispy , bake till its sides turns lightly brown)

* Lightly break these baked seva/Noodles and Mix it with the sugar syrup to evenly coat the seva with sugar.

* The sugar syrup crystallizes and gives a white coat to the seva/Noodles.
May use some powdered sugar to dust the seva once again after cooling, I didn't do as it makes the seva super sweet then.

* Snack is ready now.Store these in air tight containers.

         This snack is traditionally made by frying, if you wish do deep fry the seva/Noodles instead of baking. I felt baking is equally good. Do keep an eye while baking, flip the sides in between as you do while frying also need to bake it until the sides starts to brown or else that crispiness will be missing.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kulukki Sarbath / Spiced - Lime Sharbat

Have a specialty drink today to beat the heat this Summer.
"Kulukki" in Malayalam - our language means "Shake". This Sarbath is a blend of spicy Green chili's (Thai Pepper) , some fruit bits (usually Pineapple) , Lime Juice and some Chia Seeds (Basil/Falooda Seeds)

Found an interesting Shake Dance video here with the song " Kulukki thaka "

This recipe was passed on to me by my younger Brother who now lives in Kochi - The most happening place in Kerala,this being a popular drink there.
 For that "Shake effect" :)  in Kuluki Sarbath need to have this from any street shops in Kerala.
I never got a chance to try this particular "Kulukki Sarbath " there though the normal Sarbath with Lime is a must have drink for everyone - everyday during the peak summer Months.

I tried it here first time and it was truly a refreshing treat.

Ingredients - makes just 2 big glass.

Juice of 2 to 3 Juicy lime
Pineapple's or Apple chopped - 1/4 cup (Finely Chopped Preferred)
Chia Seeds (Basil Seeds) - 1 Tb Sp
Green Chili's (Thai Green Peppers) - 2 No sliced
Sugar syrup - 3 Tb Sp sugar + 1/4 cup Water
Honey - 2 Tb Sp
Soda - to fill the glass (Optional , if not add ice and plain water, though soda gives the best result)
Lime Wedges and some Sugar to garnish (Optional)


* Soak Chia seeds in water for at least 10 minutes.

* Make sugar syrup with Sugar and water, to make the same heat sugar in a heat proof bowl when it starts to melt and brown little bit add water , let all the sugar melt and the water boil for a minute. Switch off the heat and add chopped fruits to it (Pineapple or Apple). Keep aside to cool.

* In a shaker or any Mixing Bowl , add the soaked and drained Chia Seeds, Sugar syrup with chopped fruits,Lime juice,Sliced Chili's and Honey.
Mix or shake nicely, pour this to the serving glass till half filled, Pour the soda to fill the glass to the brim and serve.

One month just flew and the World Cup is over....Hope you guys enjoyed the Finals as we did, only thing we missed was our favorite Soccer player - Messi lifting the World cup trophy :(

Congratz Germany - the best team won - I think that's what the World says.

Notes :
      * To make a sugar coated Brim (On the Glass as shown in the picture) first rub the lime                       wedges on the brim, and invert to dip lightly the glass in sugar.

        *  Chia seeds are called Basil Seeds or Falooda seeds in India.
           We get it in any Mediterranean or else in Mexican Grocery store's in US.
           It has got a wide range of health benefits especially for the functioning of Heart,as its rich in            Fiber and loaded with Antioxidants.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Schezwan Fried Rice (Vegetarian) - No sauce Recipe

Today I was talking to one of my cousin, a newly married girl, exploring her talents as a home maker, she started gardening first time in her life, though we had lot of yard space in our own house before marriage we never imagined of planting anything, may be because we had different priorities at that time...
Coming back to her garden she was saying, there are doves which disturbs her budding plants every day, so she hung a black cloth near the plants so that the birds wouldn't come closer and it helped.

I was reminded of an instance in my life too, may call it my encounter with a Dove, something which I cannot forget in my thought to share it here.

Story - My encounter with a Dove 

This happened almost 6 - 7 years back, when I was just married to my Soccer Man and we were getting settled in our rented flat which was in the 11th floor, a beautiful house with a good view from the balcony. We never used to close that balcony as there was this refreshing breeze which always passed in to our bedroom.
We both were fast asleep one rainy night, I woke up hearing some sounds from the balcony, looked towards the same and saw something moving, rubbed my eyes and carefully observed it to realize that it was just a Dove in our bedroom, I pinched my hubby to wake him to show our visitor.

But situation changed from peacefulness to moments of horror , when he woke up.
 I think he was half asleep that he jumped up and switch on the light and the fan too, the bird got frightened with all the sudden changes in the room and worst of all - it started flying inside the room which was scary. I had some sense of security feeling inside that no matter what he's there with me in the room and that he'll take care of the situation,
with that sense of protection, I looked for him in the room and Guess what ???


He ran outside the room....however I don't blame him for running away that would have been a spontaneous act by anyone in that situation ,  but he did another unforgettable thing too
He closed the door from outside and now its only me and the frightened Dove which was flying fast inside our bed room, and I started screaming....what else can I do...

 then the conversation

Hubby from outside  : "Don't scream its mid night"

Me   : "Then what am I supposed to do ??? open the door let me get out....

Hubby : " But if I open the door, the dove will fly to the other rooms here"

Me :  "Then I'll keep screaming as I am scared too "

Hubby : "Okay then wait I'll bring a broom or a stick , wave it and then it will find its way out 

Me :  "Then bring it fast"

After a minute -

Me : "where is the broom??"

Hubby :  " its here,look down "

and to my surprise he's trying to push the broom from the narrow space underneath the door instead of opening the door.....I couldn't wait any longer to restart screaming and crying,
he had no other options other than opening the door for me and I think the dove got even more scared with my screaming sound and flew away....

The next day morning when we both woke up , I reminded him teasingly what had happened and he replied that he thought it was a Dream....

Years have passed and I feel we both have changed for the good with Gods Grace, have a better understandings among each other though  I still cannot stop laughing every time I think about that Night...
also I learned a lesson that if ever I come across situations like these,
need to escape first and then look for my better half ;)

Was lucky to get an appropriate showpiece for today's post - a bird in house -
so thought to place it somewhere near the dish :) 

I got this recipe from my friend who makes this quiet often, and we all liked it,
She doesn't use any sauce for this recipe which makes it different.


Plain White Rice - 2 Cups
Garlic - 1 whole head (10 to 12 no's )
Tomatoes - 3 No's medium (If not using Tomato sauce , may use up to 5 Tomatoes)
Dry Red Chili's - 5 to 10 no's (Adjust according to your preference)
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Green Onion - 3 No's chopped
Vinegar (I used Apple Cider) - 2 Tb Sp
Vegetable's - I used colored Peppers and Celery - 1 cup chopped altogether
Tomato sauce - 2 Tb Sp (Optional)
Vegetable Oil - 3 Tb Sp
Salt to taste

Key Ingredients in this Recipe 


* Wash and cook rice till almost done , drain and keep aside.

* Grind together Tomatoes , Garlic , Dry red chili's with vinegar till nicely ground, keep aside.

* Heat Oil in a pan , add chopped onion and saute till golden brown, then add the ground tomato and garlic puree , cover and cook stirring occasionally till the ground paste reduces to half its volume(it took  for me almost 20 minutes in medium to low heat)

* Cook tomatoes puree until the raw smell and taste of garlic is gone and the oil starts to separate, when nicely done add tomato sauce (if using) and the vegetable's (Peppers and celery chopped, If using other vegetable's like carrots and beans - cook'em separately before adding it here)

* Stir and add the almost cooked rice to the thick tomato gravy , stir nicely to combine , add salt and switch off the heat.

* Garnish with chopped green onion and serve hot.

         : May add Schezwan Sauce if you have it to enhance the flavors - 2 tsp should do adjust according to your preference.

         : Make sure the gravy prepared here (Tomato Puree) get cooked nicely and reduces too as,
 if it doesn't dries, the rice may get soggy and also the raw taste of the garlic would ruin the entire dish.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pineapple Up-side Down Cake

Cherish the moments I shared with my friends in college,those days when we used to chat and hang around discussing nonsense very seriously....
Am sure there would be one brave friend in every friends - gang to whom we would run for solutions. Myself too is gifted with a friend like that, we used to discuss each of our most serious issues with her and she always had some solutions for what so ever issues.

I remember once during a hot summer month we were walking back home from college, all tired and sweating, we were talking about the benefits of having an Air condition as during those days in India very rarely had we seen Air Condition fitted at homes, all of a sudden my friend came up with an idea, she said she wants to buy something from a textile store which was on the way...and we accompanied her, we sat comfortably in that Air conditioned store while she dealt with the sale's person there asking him to search for some thing which she was sure they wouldn't have in that store, once we were relaxed and all set ,got out of that store promising the sale's person that we'll be coming back again ;)

But there have been instances when my brave friend's tricks wouldn't work much, once during our leisure walk, we noticed some guys following us and as usual my friend came up with a solution - that was to enter a restaurant on the way to avoid those who were following us, we all rushed in and sat  re-leaved, but it was when the waiter came to us that we realized that our solution provider is not having money to treat us....neither she nor any of us had money in our purse, now what ??? we asked for a lime juice - which was the cheapest drink we saw in their menu and started counting every coin left in each of our purse ....and we could barely pay the bill that day.

Even now I continue discussing everything with her, she was the person who was present to help me withstand the toughest situations.
"She" got married last month, since then I haven't talked to her and probably she's annoyed with me, so dedicating this post to her ;)
Hope you are reading  " Tess "
I recommend, you make this for your hubby next time you buy Pineapple's as am sure he'll like it  :) :) :)

This cake is worth trying as it never disappointed me, have got appreciations from everyone whom ever I have served it till yesterday :)


For the Topping 

Pineapple's - 1/4rt of  a medium sized Pineapple -sliced or use Canned slices
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Butter - 2 to 3 Tb Sp
Cherries - few no's fresh or Maraschino Cherries or else may use mixed fruit Jam.

For the Cake 

Plain Flour - 1 and 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp (Heaped)
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 2 Tb Sp (White)
Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Orange Juice - 1/4 cup (May use fresh Pineapple Juice too)
Milk - 1/2 cup
Sour Cream - 1/4 cup or else use Plain Yogurt
Egg - 2 small eggs
Butter - 1/2 cup


* Preheat the Oven to 350 Degree F

* To Prepare the topping, Grease a 9 inch round pan with butter or use non stick spray , arrange pineapple slices ,place cherries in the middle of each pineapple pieces , sprinkle brown sugar over and place the cubed butter pieces here and there (may melt the butter pieces and drizzle the same over the pineapple piecestoo) Ingredients amount given under Toppings.

If using Jam instead of Cherries, fill 1tsp of Jam in the middle of each 
Pineapple Pieces after baking.

* Beat Eggs with Plain sugar , brown sugar and butter till fluffy , add the juice (Pineapple Or Orange) then Sour cream (or Yogurt) , Vanilla essence , Beat well to combine.

* Add the flour (Sifted ingredients) and milk alternately , combine all the ingredients with a wooden spoon and pour this batter over the topping (Pineapple Pieces)

* Bake for 40 to 45 Minutes till a tester comes out clean, allow to cool before trying to flip the cake.

* When cooled to room temperature , flip the cake , cut and serve.

Super Moist and Soft - Pineapple Up-side Down Cake !!

Waiting for the thriller Finals this Sunday .....Though I support Argentina -  know its not easy with the toughest German Team :)


Monday, July 7, 2014

Olan / For Kerala Sadya - Curry with Ash Gourd and Red Peas

I am not a fan of this curry though have seen many people who loves this one ,may be those who prefer Red peas.
Its one of the inevitable side dish when ever a Sadya/Tradition Kerala Vegetarian Meal is prepared.


Red Peas or Use Cow Peas - 1/2 cup soaked in water for a few hours
Ash Gourd - 1 cup cubed or thinly sliced (I like it to be cubed)
Green chili's - 3 to 5 no's (Adjust as per your preference)
Coconut milk - 1 cup thin milk & 1/2 to 1 cup thick milk - depending on how thick you want the curry.
Coconut Oil - 2 Tb Sp
Curry Leaves - 1 or 2 springs
Salt to taste


* Cook the soaked Red peas till done.( I pressure cooked these to save time)
* Drain excess water from the Peas(if any) and add the cubed Ash gourd ,salt and the thin coconut milk, cook it open in medium to low heat till the pieces looks cooked (About 7 minutes)
* When done, pour thick coconut milk and cook for not more than 2 minutes.
* Drizzle coconut oil and sprinkle curry leaves on top. (Keep covered) and switch off the heat
* Serve how with Rice.

Hope all in US enjoyed long weekend, Myself and NA were forced to watch all the quarter final matches of FIFA Cup :( anyways started enjoying it now.....made some Flag themed Meringue cookies while watching the games....and it didn't come out the way I wanted it to be :(
Still took some pic's of the same...
Determined to make it again until I am satisfied ...will upload the recipe then :) 
Enjoy Semifinal Y'll !!!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Black Forest Cake - Egg Less

Thanks to the "Cherry Tree" in front of our apartment for the inspiration, also for reminding us our childhood when we used to pick fruits during its season, mostly its Mango's in my place.

My Achachen/Dad was very much interested in planting fruit - trees & vegetable's and I remember each time he enjoys a fruit he would throw its seeds to the soil saying let it be fruitful, I never understood what it means then but now with age and maturity , I realize what my dad valued was not just enjoying a home -grown fruit but to show an example be fruitful to the best of our abilities in the midst of constraints.
We still have the mango trees @ our home and I can proudly tell my kids and my Grand kids if am lucky to see them, that it was planted by my Dad , not sure if they will value it as I do but still that will make me happy for sure  :)

Though we could  pick a hand full of cherries, it vanished within minutes so I had to use canned cherries to make this cake.
Heard my friend saying that she loves Black forest cake while we were picking the cherries and so I decided to make the same for her, because she's a vegetarian, tried Egg Less Black Forest Cake.
Haven't tried much Egg less cake recipes , so wanted to experiment different recipes,this is the second time that I am trying to make an egg less Black Forest cake , first time it came out well but I forgot to take its pictures,
this time I made it with a different recipe but the cake came out too soft to handle.
I was determined to put up this in my blog today hence I managed to take some click's  of today's cake which I have posted here.

However the recipe given here  is what I tried initially which came out good.
Slightly Adapted from Here - that's a you-tube link , do check the same if you are planning to make this cake.


All Purpose flour - 1 and 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 3/4 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup
Coffee Powder - 1/2 tsp (I used instant coffee powder)
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Condensed Milk - 1/2 cup
Butter Milk - 1 and 1/4 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

For the Frosting and the filling -

* Cherries - a hand full
* Sugar syrup or orange juice - 1/4 cup Approx ( use the sugar syrup in which the cherries are preserved) or else use juice from 1 small orange with 1 Tb Sp sugar added to it)
* Whipping cream - 1 cup
* Confectioner's Sugar - 1/4 cup
* May use shaved chocolate pieces -(I didn't use)

Method - for the cake 

* Preheat the Oven to 350 Degree F / 180 C

* Sift together All purpose flour + Baking Powder + Baking Soda + Cocoa Powder + Coffee Powder + Salt - Keep aside

* In a bowl beat butter + Condensed Milk + Sugar till well blended , add in the vanilla essence and continue beating.

* Add the sifted flour mixture and Buttermilk alternatively to the above mixture (Butter and sugar mixture) use a spoon to mix all ingredients well.

* Pour this batter to 2 nicely greased  6 inch round cake pans , I used foil pan's.
(makes 2 small round cakes)

* Bake in 350 F for 1/2 an hour (Plus or Minus 5 minutes depending on the Oven) / Insert a tooth pick or a fork to check if done before taking'em out.

Cool the cake completely before spreading the cream as other wise it may melt over the cake and you'll spoil your day :)

For the Frosting 

Beat the Whipping cream with confectioner's sugar till it holds stiff peaks , keep aside.

May Cut each cakes in to 2 (for more layers), mash and crumble lightly 1 thin layer of the cake or use the cake crust (for Decoration - use this crushed layer to decorate the outside of the cake, may omit this step and use shaved chocolate pieces to instead )

If its difficult to cut/layer each cake , leave it as it is as anyways you'll get a two layered cake , brush sugar syrup or orange juice on one side of a cake , then spread the whipped cream over and top it with the cherries , place the other cake over this and spread the sugar syrup or orange juice over the next layer. when all 3 layers are done , cover the whole cake with the whipped cream and place the crushed cake pieces or the shaved chocolate on the sides. Decorate with cherries and enjoy !

Watching Team USA play against Belgium now
Hope they wins :)

Notes :
          Watch All Recipes YouTube Link Here to make Black Forest cake with Egg's.
           It was from their idea of frosting that I adapted here  (as they have used the cake crust itself to decorate the cake instead of shaved chocolates)