September 30, 2013

Idiappam - String Hopers

Idiyappam or sevai is a regular breakfast in our home in Kerala. In fact, steamed rice-based dishes are the most common and until I moved out and started cooking on my own, I never realised what a luxury it was to eat the hot, healthy, and delicious breakfasts that seemed to waltz effortlessly out of my mom's kitchen. The most common breakfast items at home are idli, dosa, idiyappam, puttu, appam, adai, kozhukkattai, chapati, and on rare occasions, toast with homemade butter. See what I mean? Among many other things in life, I believe that a hearty and healthy breakfast is a dying thing. It's definitely mourned in the home that I've set up now which sees idli or dosa on the best days for breakfast, but rarely anything more elaborate. I try to compensate with a hearty brunch or lunch but it's just not the same thing.


  • 2 cups of rice flour
  • 2 to 2.5 cups of water (more or less)
  • To taste: salt
  • 3-4 tbsp of grated coconut

  • Mix the rice flour and salt together. Heat the water until bubbles start appearing at the bottom of the pan. When the water is just about boiling, add to the rice flour a cup at a time.
  • Start mixing vigorously with the back of a spatula until the rice flour is coming together to form a moist dough. Add more rice flour if your dough is too watery and sticky and add more water if it's too dry.
  • The dough should be just moist and you should be able to form a small ball easily without it sticking to your fingers.
  • Working quickly while the dough is still warm, Take a fistful of it and form into a log.
  • Place firmly into your idiyappam press or mould.
  • Start pressing the idiyappam onto the tray in a concentric circle

  •  Make sure it's not too thick otherwise it won't steam properly. PS: you can totally use your idli mould for this. The idiyappam pieces will just be much smaller
  • Place on streamer.
  • Steam for about 10 mins.

  1. All measurements for this recipe are approximate. Please take care while mixing the dough, that's the trickiest part and takes a little bit of practice
  2. Don't use boiling water since that will cook the rice flour and make it hard to press. The water just needs to be very hot
  3. If the idiyappam dough is too dry, it won't be easy to press
  4. Use regular rice flour or those marked as idiyappam flour. If the rice flour is too glutinous, the idiyappam won't taste good
  5. Sprinkle more coconut on top before serving if that makes you happy

Putt- Steamed Rice Cake

Puttu – steamed rice cake layered with coconut is the traditional breakfast item in Kerala, Southern most state of India. Puttu can be otherwise explained as steamed cylinders of rice powder layered with coconut.
There are a variety of side dish combination for Puttu. Puttu & Banana, Puttu & Kadala (chick pea curry),  Puttu, Cherupayar Thoran (Green Gram Stir Fry) & Pappad etc
The beauty of the dish is not only in its taste but also the easiness to prepare!To steam Puttu in a cylindrical shape you need a Puttu maker or Puttu Kutti. Now a days you get Chiratta Put Maker also.

The Puttu Maker has 2 parts: Puttu Kudam (Pot in which water is boiled) and Puttu Kutti (cylindrical steamer kept over the pot)

Chiratta Putt Kutti is something which is similar to the above, but we assemble the chiratta Putt Kutti in a Cooker.


Raw Rice(Pachari) - 1/2 kg
Coconut - 1/2 of one
Water - to sprinkle
Salt - As reqd


  • Soak rice in water for 4 hrs.
  • Leave it to drain and grind it to make fine powder.
  • Heat the powder for 5 minutes. While heating it, keep on stirring.
  • Keep the fried powder to cool.
  • Mix salt with water and sprinkle this to the powdered rice just to make the powder wet(do not put a lot of water).
  • For making puttu, use PUTTUKUTTI. Put a handful of grated coconut in the puttu kutty and then put rice powder till half followed by another handful of grated coconut. This is done till the top. Close the lid and steam it for 2 minutes.
Note :  

  • Instead of making puttu powder, you can use rice flour (1 cup) instead and follow the same procedure to make it.
  • Serve puttu hot.
  • Best combination for puttu is with Kadala Curry


Kadala Curry


Kadala (Whiten Channa) – 1 cup(soaked in water overnight atleast for 8 hours)
Shallots(Chinna Vengayam) – a handful
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste

To roast and grind:

Grated Coconut – 2 Tbsp
Shallots(Chinna Vengayam) – 6 cut into half
Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
Dried Red Chilies – 2
Cinnamon – a small piece
Cloves - 2
Bay Leaf - half a Leaf
Tomato - 1
Porikadala - 1/2 a cup

To temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves –few
Thinly Sliced Onion - 1

  • Pressure cook channa with water(till immersing level) until soft,don't drain water... keep aside

  • Heat a pan , dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'to roast and grind' till slightly golden brown.


  • Transfer to a mixer and grind it to a fine paste, Set aside. 

  • Heat oil in a kadai - add the items listed under 'to temper'.  
  • Add shallots and fry till golden brown then add tomato and saute till mushy and raw smell leaves. 
  • Add the coconut paste along with red chilli powder and coriander powder.Add required salt.  
  • Mix well , saute for 3mins then add cooked Channa along with water.Allow it to boil.  
  • Once the curry is thick and oil starts separating and required curry stage is reached, switch off.   


  • Make sure you dry roast the ingredients listed to nice dark brown.
  • You can even skip small onion while tempering.
  • Pressure cooking chana along with the masala gives a great blend and flavour too.But if you dont prefer pressure cooking then allow it  to boil for 5mins then go to the next step

September 26, 2013

Beans Usuli Thoran

Paruppu Usili is a very popular South Indian side dish known by various names. Prepared using vegetables like French Beans, Cluster Beans, Flat Beans, Banana Blossom etc and steamed lentils, this dry side dish is one of my favorites.

I prefer this over the regular thorans. I especially love the spiced steamed lentils. Whenever I prepare usili, I soak a little extra dal, so that I get a little more of the steamed lentil cakes. I enjoy eating these as such.

Since this is a dry curry and is very filling due to the addition of lentils, it is perfect with white rice and rasam. This is of course my preference, but it is a great accompaniment to Sambar and Mor Kuzhambu as well.
What you’ll need
  1. Beans – 5 cups (finely chopped)
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  4. Curry Leaves – few sprigs
  5. Salt to taste
For soaking
  1. Bengal Gram Dal/Kadala Paruppu – ¼ cup
  2. Tuvar Dal – ¼ cup
  3. Dried Red Chilly – 2
For Tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Broken Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  1. Wash the dals in 2 or 3 exchanges of water and soak along with red chillies for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain completely and grind the dals along with red chillies, asafoetida, salt to taste and curry leaves into a coarse paste. Do not add water while grinding.
  3. Grease an idly mould, take a lemon sized ball of the ground mixture and pat into the idly grooves.
  4. Steam for 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Let this cool then pulse it in the mixie again, so that it becomes a fine powder. Keep aside.
  6. In the meanwhile, heat a kadai with oil splutter with mustard seeds and urad dal.
  7. Once the dal turns golden, add the chopped beans, turmeric powder, and salt to taste. Mix well and cook covered, without adding water.
  8. Keep stirring once in a while. 
  9. Once the beans is done, add the ground dal powder and roast for 6 to 7 minutes on low heat.


Veg Kurma

Kurma is a medley of vegetables, flavored with spices and simmered in rich gravy of coconut and cashews. It is an excellent side dish for Chapathis, Puris, Parotas, Vellai Appam and Idiyappams. So here is the recipe for Kurma, my way:


1. Mixed Vegetables – 2 Cups (Potato, Carrot, Beans, Chow Chow)
2. Onion – 3 Medium Sized
3. Tomatoes – 4 Medium Sized
4. Ginger – a small piece
5. Garlic – 1 or 2 cloves
6. Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
7. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
8. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
9. Coriander Leaves – a few sprigs

To Grind
1. Cashew nuts – 6 to 7
2. Fennel Seeds – ¾ tsp
3. Scraped Fresh Coconut – 2 tblsp

For Tempering

1. Clove – 1
2. Elaichi – 1
3. Cinnamon – a small piece
4. Fennel Seeds – ½ tsp
5. Oil – 2 tblsp


  • Chop the vegetables into small cubes. 
  • Also, finely chop the onions, garlic and tomatoes. Grate Ginger.

  • Pressure cook the vegetables for about 2 whistles.
  • Grind Cashews, fennel seeds and coconut into a fine paste adding little water.
  • Heat a Kadai with oil. Temper with cloves, elaichi, cinnamon, and fennel seeds.
  • Now add the chopped onions and sauté for a minute.
  • Next add the ginger and garlic and fry till the onions turn brown. 
  • Now add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and dhaniya powder and fry for a minute. 
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes fry till they turn mushy and oil separates. 
  • Now add the cashew and coconut paste and fry for another minute. 
  • Now add the cooked vegetables and salt to taste. 
  • Stir well and cook covered for about 3 to 4 minutes in low flame till all the flavors get blended.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 

  • Serve hot with Chapati, Parota or Puris.

Potato Podimaas

Potato is a very versatile vegetable, with lovers world wide. It is one vegetable that is loved by kids and adults alike. My family for one loves potatoes in any form, be it a spicy curry, gravy or some crispy fritters. My younger daughter, just can't wait till the curry gets ready. As soon the potatoes are cooked and out of the cooker, she will be ready for her share. She loves eating plain boiled potatoes. 

Potato podimas or mashed potatoes - Indian style, is a very simple dish, that can be prepared in a jiffy if you have boiled potatoes ready in hand. A very flavorful and delicious curry, that pairs beautifully with plain rice and rasam. The Combo of Curd Rice+Potato podimaas+Mavudoo is a heavenly combination...

This is my Hubby's and Appa's favourite.. So obviously dedicating this to them!!!!!

  1. Potato – 4 to 5 Medium sized
  2. Onion - 2-3
  3. Oil – 3 tsp
  4. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  5. Spilt Urad Dal – ½ tsp
  6. Channa dal – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  8. Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 Tbsp
  9. Salt to taste

  1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Cool, remove skin and mash them coarsely.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil, splutter mustard seeds, channa dal and urad dal. Once the dals turn golden add, chopped onion and curry leaves. Fry for a minute.
  3. Add turmeric powder,chi;l;y powder and then add the mashed potatoes and salt.
  4. Mix well and cook uncoverd for 5 to 6 minutes.
  5. Mix and serve hot with rice and rasam.

Cabbage Molakoottal

Molakootal is a popular Palakkad Iyer dish. It is basically vegetables and lentils simmered with ground coconut. Molakootals can be prepared using different vegetables. The most common ones being Ashgourd and Yam, or Keerai (Spinach). Molakootal is more like a kootu but a little more runnier. It is is well liked by kids as it is not spicy. Molakootal is one of my favorite kootans and I can have it with just some pickle. Usually it is served with either Pachadi or thogayal.


1.      Cabbage – 4 Cups, finely chopped
2.      Pasi Paruppu/Split Yellow Moong Dal – ¼ cup
3.      Scraped Coconut – ½ cup
4.      Broken Urad Dal – 1 tsp
5.      Dry Red Chilly – 1
6.      Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
7.      Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
8.      Salt to taste

For Tempering

1.      Coconut oil/Any Refined Oil – 1 tsp
2.      Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
3.      Curry Leaves – few


1.      Pressure cook the dal,along with chopped cabbage, with salt and turmeric powder and about 2 cup of water.Mash lightly and keep aside..
2.      Heat a small frying pan with little oil, roast the urad dal and red chillies until the dal turns red. Take care not to burn the dal.
3.      Grind the coconut, fried urad dal, red chilly and cumin seeds into a smooth paste by adding little water.
4.      Add the ground coconut paste, to the cooked Dal-Cabbage and mix well. Add about a cup of water to adjust the consistency.
5.      Check for seasoning and let it start boiling.
6.      Remove from heat.
7.      Heat a frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour this tempering over the Molakootal.

Strawberry Milk Shake

  • ·         Strawberry Powder – 3 Tbsp.
  • ·         Hung Milk – ½ Lt

  • Take a mixer Jar or a juicer.
  • Throw in the Milk.
  • Add the Strawberry powder to it.
  • Mix it to a Round in Mixie.

  • Serve it with ice cubes in a glass

September 13, 2013

Varatharach Kuzhambu

This Kuzhambu happens to be my Appa's and Hubby's favourite. Even i too like. It goes well with even Dosa/Idly. Now off to the recepie. My Amma and Athai makes this superbly. And now according to my Hubby, even i too fall into this category.!!!

  • Onion – 3 or 4
  • Potato – 2
  • Tamarind – A lemon Size
  • Salt – As needed
To Grind:-

  • Thoor Dal – 2 Tbsp
  • Urad Dal – 1 Tbsp
  • Shallots – 5 or 6
  • Curry Leaves – 2 Sticks
  • Ellu – 2 Tbsp
  • Scraped coconut – ½ Cup
  • Red Chilly – 10/12
To Temper

  • Mustard/Kaduk - 1 Tsp
  • Oil - 1 Tsp
  • Immerse the tamarind in Water and make Tamarind Water (Puli Vellom).
  • Transfer this to cooker and throw in the Onion and Potatoes.
  • Keep this for 2 Whistles.
  • In a Kadai, dry roast the ingredients till the coconut changes to Brown Color in the To Grind 
    section except Ellu.

  • Wash the ellu nicely and keep it aside in a small siever so that rest of water oozes out.
  • Transfer this ellu into a kadai and roast till the Bursting of Ellu stops.

  • Grind to a nice paste the ellu and the rest of items.
  • Open the Cooker and add this paste.
  • Allow it to Boil vigorously
  • Pour oil into a Fry Pan and add them to Temper Items.
  • Pour the same into the Kootan.

Delicious Varatharach Kuzhambu is ready.

September 12, 2013

French Fry


  • Potatoes – 2 Big sized
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 Tbsp

  • Mix Salt and Red Chilli Powder in a small bowl. Keep it aside.
  • Wash and peel the Potatoes. Cut them lengthwise into shapes close to the french fries
  • Take a bowl full of water and throw in the Slit potatoes.
  • Allow it to boil vigourously for 10 mts.
  •  Pirce a Fork into a Piece and see whether its cooked properly.
  • Transfer the cooked potatoes into a siever.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of oil ina kadai and throw in the cooked potatoes
  • Turn the stove to Min Fakme and allow it to fry for a minimum of 20 Mts.


The time to fry depends on ones interest. As my Hubby needs crispy Fries, i kept the potatoes in low flame for close to 30 mts.

Masala French Fry Sandwich

I purchased a toaster from last week and it got delivered day before yesterday. So was too eager to make sandwich with the toaster. I had got time yesterday and it tasted awesome. All in my family liked it a lot!!!

My Toaster

Now off to the recepie....


  • 8 Whole wheat Bread slices or regular sandwich bread
  • 1 Capsicum,de seeded and thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 Onion,thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 Tomato,thinly sliced rounds
  • 1 tsp Chaat masala / Garam masala/Sandwich masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Schezwan Sauce
  • French Fries
  • Amul Butter

To prepare the Masala:-

  • Heat oil in a pan,crackle mustard seeds and cumin seed.

  • Add chopped green chillies,curry leaves and onions and fry until they turn pinkish in color.

  • Add green chilli-ginger paste,boiled fresh/frozen peas and fry well.

  • Add turmeric,salt t it and give a nice stir and cook it for a couple of minutes.Add a couple of tbsp of water to it and cook to get semi soft consistency curry.

  • Add Garam masala and coriander to it and mix properly and keep it aside to cool down.

  • To Make Sandwich:-
    • Apply butter on one side of bread slices.
    • Apply Schezwan Sause on the same side of all the bread slices to which we applied butter.
    • Apply a thick layer of Masala stuffing uniformly using a butter knife,level the stuffing over the bread.
    • Arrange the thinly sliced finger chips on the stuffing and sprinkle salt and chaat masala (or sandwich masala) over it.
    • Apply butter on the outer slice facing upwards and place it on the hot grill(upside down so that the buttered bread slice would be towards the grill).Now apply butter on the top slice and close the grill and let it grill until the bread becomes crisp and golden brown in color.

    Schezwan Sauce


    • 10-15 medium sized Garlic pods, peeled
    • 10-12 Red chillies
    • 3 tbsp. finely chopped Garlic
    • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Ginger
    • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Celery(or thick Coriander stems)
    • 2 large Tomatoes, roughly chopped
    • 1 tbsp. Tomato Sauce(optional)
    • 1 tsp Soya Sauce
    • 1 tbsp. Vinegar
    • 1/2 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp Pepper powder
    • Salt to taste
    • 2-3 tbsp. Oil
    • Remove the stems of red chillies and soak them in warm water for half an hour. You can even remove the seeds if you cannot bear the heat.
    • Grind the soaked red chillies with garlic pods to a fine paste.
    • Grind chopped tomatoes to a smooth puree.
    • Heat oil in a pan/kadai and add finely chopped garlic and sauté it nicely for a minute. Add finely chopped ginger and celery and sauté nicely until the raw smell of all the ingredients go away.
    • Add pureed tomatoes and let it simmer for a while and then add ground red chili- garlic paste and fry nicely until the raw smell of tomatoes and red chili- garlic paste goes away and it leaves the oil in the edges

    • Add tomato sauce(if using), vinegar, soya sauce, sugar, white(or black) pepper powder and salt and mix nicely and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes. The sauces do have certain amount of salt, so add salt accordingly.
    • If the sauce is very thick you can add some water and simmer again to get a thick sauce consistency of your requirement. I usually keep it thick so that it can be stored well for sometime.

    • Cool the sauce and store it in an air tight container in refrigerator. You can easily keep it for a week in refrigerated when no water is added to it.