Yogurt Pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

A quick and easy breakfast…..

Yogurt Pancake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
1 cup low fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg

Mix flour, sugar and baking powder.
Beat egg in a bowl. Add yogurt, vanilla essence and mix.
Add baking soda to yogurt and mix well.
When it starts to bubble, add flour and keep for 5 minutes.
Heat a pan and lightly coat with butter.
Pour ladleful and slightly press to form round shape. (The batter will be thick).
When bubbles appear on top, flip and cook for a few seconds more.
Serve with fresh fruits and maple syrup or honey.

Yogurt Pancakes 1


Chicken Varatiyathu

Chicken Varatiyathu

Chicken Varatiyathu

1 kilo chicken pieces
2 medium onions sliced
5 green chilies slit
2 tbsp crushed ginger
2 tbsp crushed garlic
1 large tomato sliced
Few curry leaves
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp pepper powder
5 tbsp oil (coconut oil preferred)

Saute onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves.
When onions start to brown, add tomato and all the dry powders (except pepper) and stir well.
Add chicken pieces and little water (about ¼th cup water).
Cook on medium flame till done. The gravy should be thick and coat all pieces.
Sprinkle pepper powder and mix well and take off fire.
Serve with rice or chapathi.

Chicken Varatiyathu 1

Chocolate Chip Cake

Chocolate Chip Cake

My 100th  post!!

Keeping with the tradition, I am celebrating with something sweet…a simple chocolate chip cake.
Cooking and taking pictures is easy. Writing and loading takes time…and that’s what I don’t have. Can’t complain though……..time is the only thing that is given equally to each and every one!!

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 tbsp milk
4 tbsp cream
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ – ¾ cup mini chocolate chips

Butter, milk, cream and eggs should be in room temperature.
Mix milk and cream in a small bowl.
Sieve flour and baking powder. Add salt.
Beat butter and sugar till fluffy or at least 5 minutes.
Add one egg at a time and mix.
Add vanilla essence.
Add flour alternating with milk mixture in 3 additions.
Mix well and transfer to a greased baking pan.
Bake in a preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for 30-35 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. The top would be light golden brown by now.
Cool for sometime and invert from the pan.
Dust with icing sugar if you wish…..I like my cakes plain.

Chocolate Chip Cake 1

Karimeen Pollichathu

Karimeen pollichathu 1

This is a Kerala specialty and one of my daughter’s favourite. This vacation she made my mother make it often. My mother makes amazing meen pollichathu and this is her recipe. You can use pomfret or mackerel to make this recipe.

Karimeen Pollichathu in vazhayilla

1 kilo fish
2 large onions sliced thin
2 tbsp ginger chopped fine
4-5 green chilies chopped
3 sprigs curry leaves chopped fine
5 tbsp oil (coconut oil preferred)
Banana leaf -2 layers

Make a paste:
2 tbsp coriander powder
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp vinegar

Clean the fish and make diagonal cuts with ½ “ space.
Make a paste of all dry ingredients in vinegar.
In a bowl add onions, ginger, green chilies and curry leaves.
Marinate the fish with ¾ th of the paste for 15 minutes.

Karimeen Pollichathu 4

Mix the rest of the paste in onion mixture.

Karimeen Pollichathu 3

Heat oil and saute onions till it becomes translucent.
Place 2 layers of banana leaf on a flat pan and place the onions on it.
Place the fish on top. Spoon some onion mixture on top of fish and cook covered for 8-10 minutes.

Karimeen Pollichathu 2

Flip the fish carefully and cook again for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with rice.

Here, I am not making a parcel with the banana leaf. The fish is cooked on the banana leaf.
You can even omit the sautéing step and place onions directly on banana leaf. Try both versions to see which you prefer.
If you don’t have banana leaf, proceed with the whole process in the pan. You won’t be disappointed.

Karimeen Pollichathu

Chembu Thandu Kalan (Colocasia Stem in Yogurt Gravy)

Chembu Thandu Kalan

Chembu Thandu/Colocasia stem is very tasty vegetable which has not got the recognition it deserves. Almost every household in Kerala has this in their backyard but it’s usually used as a last resort or never at all. I make it a point to prepare few dishes with this whenever I go on vacation.
This is a simple and easy kalan recipe with yogurt and doesn’t need coconut.

Chembu Thandu Kalan

2 cups chembu thandu cleaned and cut into 1” rings
½ cup thick yogurt
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
5 shallots sliced
Few curry leaves
¼ tsp cumin powder
2 pinch fenugreek powder
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp whole fenugreek seeds
2 whole dry red chili
2 tsp oil.

Cook chembu thandu in ½ cup water along with shallots, chili powder, turmeric powder and salt for 5 minutes.
Mix yogurt, fenugreek powder, cumin powder and add to the pan. Take of the fire when it starts to simmer. Don’t boil or the yogurt will curdle.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add fenugreek seeds, dry chilies and curry leaves. Stir for few seconds and pour into the curry and mix.
Serve with rice.

You can substitute raw plantain, vellarikka or yam for chembu thandu.

Chembu Thandu Kalan 1

Ethakka Halwa (Plantain Halwa)

Plantain Halwa

Ethakka Halwa (Plantain Halwa)

2 large plantains
½ cup roasted semolina (optional)
1 cup milk
2 tbsp ghee
½ – ¾ cup sugar
½ tsp cardamom powder
Few pieces of cashewnuts to garnish

Cook the plantains covered in a microwave for 4 mins.
Let it cool and remove the string and seeds.
Blend the plantain, milk, sugar to a smooth paste.
Pour into a non stick pan and mix semolina.
Cook till the mixture starts to become thick (which will happen pretty soon).
Add the ghee and cardamom powder and mix well.
Keep stirring till the mixture becomes a ball and not too much sticky.
Transfer to a greased plate and press down nicely. Decorate with cashewnuts.
Slice and serve once it is cool.

This can be made without adding semolina as well.
Plantains can be cooked in microwave to get the steamed effect. Cooke covered -2 mins for each plantain.

Plantain Halwa 1

Grape Juice

Grape Juice

The introduction of this juice in restaurants and wedding parties made a lot of buzz in Kerala many years ago. People wondered how to remove the seeds and keep the pulp in the juice.
It’s not difficult at all, though it’s a ‘little’ time consuming. But the end result is all worth the effort and the colour of the juice…amazing!

Indian Grape Juice

1 kilo black grapes
1 cup sugar
3 cups water

Wash the grapes and separate each grape from the bunch.
Place all the grapes in a large pan and heat on medium fire for 3-4 minutes. Stir once in a while.
Take off the fire when the skins start to break open. Don’t overcook.
Let it cool a bit to handle with your hands.
Now comes the time consuming part….
Pick each grape and separate the skin, seeds and pulp.
Put the skins in the same pan it was cooked and put the pulp in another bowl.
Add the sugar and water to the skin and boil for 5 minutes.
Let it cool and strain to pulp bowl.
Serve chilled.

Grape Juice 2

Cheera Cutlets (Spinach Cutlets)

Cheera Cutlet

Pacha Cheera Cutlets (Kerala Green Spinach Cutlets)
Makes 8-10 nos.

1 bunch pacha cheera leaves (discard stems)
1 medium potato boiled
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp oil

Clean and chop the cheera finely.
Heat 1tbsp oil and add onions. Saute till they start to brown.
Add ginger/garlic paste and stir for few minutes.
Add chili powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and stir.
Add cheera leaves, stir and cook covered for few minutes.
Make sure all water evaporates and let it cool.
Add mashed potato and adjust salt.
Make patties of desired shape. If it’s too soft, add a tbsp of bread crumbs to bind.
Coat with bread crumbs.
Heat the rest of the oil on a tava and fry till both sides are brown.

To deep fry, first dip the cutlets in a paste of maida and water (or beaten egg) and coat breadcrumbs.
Preferably, avoid egg and keep it pure vegetarian.

Cheera Cutlet 1

Prawns Fry

Prawns Fry

Prawns Fry

10-12 large Prawns
1 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Pinch of garam masala
Oil for shallow frying (coconut oil preferred)
Few skewers

Devein and clean the prawns. Keep the tail end shell intact.
If the prawns are fresh, you can keep the head part as well. Just make a cut on top of the head and clean well.
Make a paste of all dry powders using water and marinate the prawns for 30 minutes.
Skewer them if you prefer.
Heat coconut oil and shallow fry the prawns on medium flame for approx. 2 mins on each side.
Serve hot.

Prawns Fry 1

Chakkapazham Porichathu (Jackfruit Fritters)

Chakka Pori

Ethakka Appam/Pazham Pori is made often in every Kerala household. This is also made the same way. Use good firm ‘varikka’ chakka and not ‘kuzha’. Not sure if this can be made using tinned jackfruits.

Chakkapazham Porichathu (Jackfruit Fritters)
Makes 20

10 jackfruit pods
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp corn flour or rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
Oil for deep frying

Chakka Pori 2

Separate each jackfruit pod into two pieces.
Make a batter of flour, corn flour, sugar and salt using water.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Dip each jackfruit piece into the batter and deep fry till golden brown.
Drain on paper towel.
Its yummy hot or cold.

Chakka Pori 1