31 August 2011

Thakkali Rasam/Tomato Rasam - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 11

Today is Atham - the first day to mark the beginning of the ten day long Onam Carnival. This is the day when we begin making the pookkalam (flower carpet). The pookkalam is made to welcome the holy spirit of the legendary King Mahabali. We believe that Mahabali visits each house during Onam. It is said that Lord Vishnu granted this king a wish that he could visit his beloved kingdom and people once a year. Each day we have to wake up early, finish our daily chores and make the flower carpet. This goes on till the 10th day ie The Thiruvonam Day.

Rasam is the South Indian vegetable soup. And this is one of the most simple rasams which can be made in a jiffy.

Tomato - 2
Rasam Powder - 1 tbsp (I used Eastern Rasam Powder)
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red dry chilly - 1
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Salt - as required
Water - 2 1/2 cups

Blanch tomatoes. Peel skin and mash well.
In a pan add 2 cups water. 
Add the tomatoes along with rasam powder and salt for 10 minutes on slow flame.
Once cooked add 1/2 more cup water and continue to cook on slow flame.
Check salt.
When it turns frothy add pepper powder and remove from flame.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add cumin seeds and dry red chilly.
Pour this over the rasam.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

If you would like to see other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the links below :
For other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the link below:
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi
6. Beetroot Achar

7. Koottu-Curry

8. Avial

9. Kaaya Upperi

27 August 2011

Mathanga Vanpayar Erissery / Yellow Pumpkin Red Cowpeas Erissery - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 10

Erissery is one of the traditional Kerala dishes with roasted coconut and spices. It can be made with Pumpkin, Yam or Raw Plantain. I have made the most popular of the Erissery's - the Pumpkin Red Cowpeas Erissery. It is a sweet curry as pumpkin and red cowpeas are both sweet. I have always loved Pumpkin because it just melts in your mouth. And cooking it with cow peas makes it even better.

Yellow Pumpkin - 1/4 kg
Red Cowpeas - 1/2 cup (soaked overnight)
Grated Coconut - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 2
Curry Leaves - 4 sprigs
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2
Coconut oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste

Dice and cook pumpkin along with turmeric,salt and water.
Cook cowpeas with salt and green chilly till very soft.
Grind coconut with red chilly powder and cumin seeds with very less water (2 tbsp).
Mix the pumpkin and cowpeas.
Add the ground coconut mixture and bring to a boil.
Check salt.
Add 2 sprigs of curry leaves into the mixture and let cook on low flame till thick.
In a pan heat the coconut oil. Add mustard. When it splutters add dry red chilly.
Add curry leaves.
Reduce the flame to low.Add 2 tbsp coconut and fry till golden brown.
Pour it over the erissery.

Use very little water to cook pumpkin and cowpeas.
Increase spice level as per taste.

For other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the link below:
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi
6. Beetroot Achar

7. Koottu-Curry

8. Avial

9. Kaaya Upperi

25 August 2011

Kaaya Upperi /Raw Banana Chips - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 9

Kaaya Upperi is a 'must serve' for any sadhya. They are the crunchy chips which is served on the left side corner of the vazhayila (plantain leaf). Raw Bananas (Nendra Variety/ Kerala Bananas) are immersed in turmeric water and then deep fried. This crunchy snack is easy to prepare and gets over in minutes.

Kaaya Upperi is one of all Keralites favorite snack. I remember carrying lots of these snacks to give to our near and dear while returning to Doha after holidays from Kerala. Earlier days people who came to visit always bring sweets n snacks and these chips was always a part of it. These days potato chips are more popular but Keralites prefer this as the healthier version of chips.


Raw Banana/Plantain/ Nendra Banana - 4 (large ones)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 2 1/2 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Coconut Oil - for deep frying

In a large vessel add 2 cups water along with turmeric powder.
Peel the outer skin of the raw bananas and quarter it lengthwise.
Chop into medium thick pieces and drop it into the turmeric water as you chop.
Leave it for 5 minutes.
Pour it into a strainer to remove water.
Heat coconut oil.
Keep the salt water ready ( 1 tsp salt in half cup water).
When the oil is piping hot ( not smoking) fry a portion of the bananas.
Reduce the flame to medium.
Flip them occasionally to evenly cook.
When the oil stops bubbling reduce flame to low, pour little salt water on top of the oil and close immediately with a lid to avoid splashing of the hot oil.
When the splashing stops remove with a slotted ladle and transfer it to kitchen tissue lined colander to remove excess oil.
When cool transfer into air tight containers. 
Serve crisp for sadhyas. 

Check if the oil is hot by putting a plantain piece in it. It will bubble and come up immediately.
See to it that there is no overcrowding while frying.
Before adding salt water keep the lid in hand to close the pan in order to avoid burning from hot oil splashing.
From second batch on reduce the salt water sprinkled as there is salt already in the oil.
After removing each batch wait for the oil to heat again.

For other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the link below:
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi
6. Beetroot Achar

7. Koottu-Curry

8. Avial

23 August 2011

Avial/ Mixed Vegetable with Crushed Coconut and Yoghurt - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 8

Avial is one of the simplest vegetarian dish with loads of nutrients. Power packed with veggies I should say. At home Mom had made it a habit for us to eat all types of vegetables including the bitter gourd. At first we used to just hate it but now I just love all kinds of vegetables. Thanks to my mom. :)

Avial is a part of the Onam Sadhya or for that matter any vegetarian sadhya in Kerala. It is a thick dish with a mixture of vegetables along with coconut and curd. There are many vegetables that can go into avial but the most common are carrot, drumstick, yam and plantains. The other options are to add bitter gourd, long beans, beans, vellerikka (Cucumber), bottle gourd. In this dish the vegetables are steamed and very little oil is used.

Mixed Vegetables  - 3 - 4 cups
( Carrot, Yam, Beans, Long Beans, Drumstick, Cucumber)
Turmeric - 1 1/2 tsp
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Grated Coconut -  half a coconut
Green Chillies - 4
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as required

Chop the vegetables into 2 inch long pieces.
Cook the vegetables with water just to cover them along with turmeric powder and salt.
Once the vegetables are cooked open and cook so that any excess water is fully evaporated.
Grind the coconut into a paste( no too smooth or coarse).
Remove vegetables from fire and add the ground coconut. Mix well without mashing the vegetables.
Let it cool for 2-3 minutes.
Stir the curd to remove any lumps. 
Add the curd to the vegetables. Mix well slowly seeing to that all the vegetables are well coated.
Add salt if required.
Pour coconut oil over the dish.
Add fresh curry leaves.
Keep it covered for a while to bring out the taste and aroma of the dish.

Use thick and slightly sour curd/yogurt.
Do not heat it after adding curd.

For other Onam Sadhya recipes please click on the link below:
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi
6. Beetroot Achar

7. Koottu-Curry

Sending this to Kalyani's event Healthy Lunch box ideas

20 August 2011

Koottu-Curry/ Roasted Coconut with Yam, Plantain and Chickpeas - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 7

Koottu-Curry is a semi dry vegetarian dish. It is prepared with vegetables like yam and raw banana along with chickpeas. The main part is the aroma that this dish gets from roasted coconut. This is the Malabar (North Kerala) style of Koottu-Curry. Again there may be slight differences depending on the region you belong to. It may be sweet or spicy. This one is the spicy version of Koottu-Curry.

It is again an inseperable part of Onam Sadhya. It is one of the side dishes served along with others like Avial (mixed vegetable), Cabbage Thoran, Pineapple Pachadi, Kumbalanga Pachadi, Kalan and Olan.

Chick peas/Garbanzo Beans/Kadala - 1 cup (soaked overnight)
Raw Plantain/Pachakkaya - 1
Elephant Yam/ Chena - 1/4 kg
Grated Coconut - 2 cups
Chilly Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp( vary as per spice level)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Cumin/Jeerakam - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/Kaduku - 1 tsp
Red Dry Chilly/Kaay Mulaku - 2
Curry Leaves/Kariveppila - 2 sprigs
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as required

Cook chickpeas in a pressure cooker till soft along with salt, turmeric and chilly powder. Add water almost 
1 inch above the chickpeas.
In another pan, fry 1 cup coconut till dark brown and crisp(No oil required). Keep aside.
Chop plantain and yam into small pieces.
Add this to the cooked chickpeas and pressure cook for 1 whistle ( Add 1/4 cup water if required).
Make a  paste of 1 cup grated coconut along with cumin seeds (not very fine paste).
Add the ground paste into the cooker. Do not close the cooker. Let boil and thicken.
When no water remains add the fried coconut.
In a small pan heat coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add dry red chilly and curry leaves.
Pour the seasoning over the koottu-curry.

As no green chillies are added check the spice level and add more chilly powder as required. This can be added  when cooking the plantains or yam / add it to coconut when almost fried.
While frying coconut do not add any oil as the oil will come out from the coconut as you fry.
There must be almost 1 inch higher level water after cooking yam and plantain. Else boil water and add.

If you would like to check out my other Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal please click on the links below
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi
6. Beetroot Achar


19 August 2011

Beetroot Carrot Dates Achar/ Beetroot Pickle - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 6

How about having a  tongue tickling spicy and sweet pickle as a starter for your meal? Hmmm..I can see everyone slurp..:) 
I have had umpteen number of sadhyas and this pickle is an inseparable part of it. Just look around and everyone is just enjoying the pickle. Like we say kuch katta kuch meetta. This is served on the left side corner of the plantain leaf/Vazhayila.
Its a breeze to prepare and is best when prepared the day before use. In one hour time itself the pickle starts emanating that nice aroma and tastes delicious. I have always loved the taste of this pickle but never had a chance to try it. Just loved making it.

Beetroot - 2 cups grated
Carrot - 2 cups grated
Red Chilly powder - 2 tbsp ( alter it as per your spice level)
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tbsp
Vinegar - 500 ml
Garlic - 1 cup chopped lengthwise (thin long slivers)
Green Chilli - 4 chopped
Dates - 300 gms
Fenugreek Powder (Uluva podi) - a pinch
Asafoetida (kaayam podi) - a pinch
Split mustard seeds (Kaduku parippu)- 2 tbsp

In a bowl place the garlic.
Pour the vinegar on top. Close the bowl with a lid for 5 minutes.
Add the grated beetroot.
Add the grated carrot. Close it with a lid every time you finish adding an ingredient.
Add all the ingredients one by one - chilly, chilly powder, salt, sugar, dates, fenugreek, asafoetida and split mustard seeds.
Mix well.
Close the lid and keep aside for an hour. Check the taste and add salt, chilly if required.
Use it the next day.

You can add more chilly powder or chilly if it is less spicy after 1 hour.
Use very dark crimson beetroots for best results
Do not forget to close the jar with a well covered lid as the aroma should not escape.

If you would like to check out my other Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal please click on the links below
1. Puli Ingi
2. Olan
3. Kalan
4. Pineapple Pachadi
5. Kumbalanga Pachadi

18 August 2011

Kumbalanga Pachadi / Winter Melon Pachadi- Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 5

Pachadi is a side dish made from different vegetables like Cucumber, Ash Gourd, Bitter Gourd, Pineapple, Ginger (Ingi Pachadi) or even Lady's finger. This is again a yoghurt based gravy but the method of preparation is quite different. The vegetable is cooked and then added to the coconut, mustard, Chilly and ginger paste. Adding the ground mustard is the main difference between pachadi and kichadi. In kichadi mustard is used only for seasoning. 

For Sadhyas (Grand feast) Pachadi is prepared the day before. It has this sour taste which comes from the yoghurt. The combination of coconut and mustard along with chilly and ginger gives a nice aroma and taste to the pachadi. It is very interesting to know that the cooking part ends when the vegetable is cooked along with salt and chilly. There is no cooking or even heating after that.

Kumbalanga/Winter Melon/Ash Gourd - 1/2 Kg( I used half of 1 Melon)
Grated coconut - 1/2 of a medium coconut
Yoghurt - 500 ml
Chilly - 2 + 3
Water - 1/4 cup
Ginger - 3 inch piece chopped into small pieces
Mustard - 2 tsp + 1 tsp for seasoning
Salt - As required
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Red Chilly (Vattal Mulaku) - 2

Peel and chop melon into 1 1/2 inch thin pieces.
Slit 2 chillies.
Cook melon along with chilly, salt and 1/4 cup water.
Drain the water and keep the Ash Gourd/Melon to cool.
Grind the coconut to fine paste.
Add mustard seeds and grind for 2 seconds.
Open lid , add chopped chilly and ginger.
Grind for another 3 seconds. It need not become very fine paste.
Remove the chilly from the Ash Gourd (which was kept to cool).
Transfer the Ash Gourd/ Melon to a bowl. Add the ground paste.
In a mixer pulse the yoghurt for a second. It should not become watery.
Add this to the bowl. Mix well. Check salt.
For seasoning heat coconut oil. 
Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chilly and curry leaves.

Hope you all are enjoying my Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal series - Puli IngiOlanKalan and Pineapple Pachadi.

Happy Cooking!

17 August 2011

Pineapple Madhura Pachadi/ Pineapple Sweet Pachadi - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 4

As the name suggests it is the pineapple pachadi (Kaidachakka Madhura Curry) - a sweet, tangy and spicy curry seasoned with coconut oil, mustard and curry leaves. Pachadi refers to the South Indian side dish very popular in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Sadhya is part of every malayalees lives. We have sadhya (the grand feast) for every important function be it marriage, festivals, naming ceremony or even house warming. Pineapple pachadi is the only sweet curry made from a fruit. In a  sadhya, the banana leaves are served with the thick gravies, bananas, pickles first and then comes the steaming rice followed by sambhar and rasam. So I always start tasting this sweet curry and its almost finished by the time the rice is served. :) I love the Sharkkara Upperi ( a snack made from plantains and coated with jaggery) and pineapple pachadi as starters in a sadhya.

This is one of the easiest recipes I have come across and was an instant hit at home. Everyone including my son loved this.


Pineapple pieces - 1 cup
Tamarind - Lemon size
Jaggery - 1 inch piece
Coconut (grated) - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies(Chopped fine) - 1 tsp
Coconut oil - for seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Red Dry Chilly (Vattal Mulaku) - 2
Salt - to taste
Water- 3/4 cup

Chop pineapple into small pieces.
Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup water.
Make a paste of the coconut and chilly.
Pour the tamarind water in a wok/pan. Boil it.
Add chilly powder and salt.
Add the pineapple pieces. 
Pour the remaining water. Stir well and cover and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the ground coconut paste.
Add jaggery and mix well. 
When thick remove from heat.
To prepare seasoning heat oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chillies and curry leaves.
Pour the seasoning over the thick pineapple pachadi.

Use ripe sweet pineapple.
Cook on medium flame.
Add jaggery as per taste.
As soon as you pour the seasoning cover the dish with a lid to allow the flavours to mix.

Sending this post to Jabeen's Iftar Nights

Ayeesha's Anyone Can Cook

16 August 2011

Kalan / Plantains and Yam Cooked in Yoghurt - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 3

Kalan is yet another traditional Kerala dish cooked in thick yogurt. This is also called as Kurukku Kalan as it is made by thickening beaten curds. Kalan is one of the important dishes served for Onam Sadhya.


Elephant yam - 1 cup diced
Raw green plantain - 1 cup diced
Pepper – ½ tsp
Chilly powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Water – 2 cups
Thick curd- 2 cups
Grated coconut – 1 ½ cup
Cumin seeds – ¾ tsp
Chilly – 2
Salt – as required

For seasoning:

Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon
Ghee – 1 tablespoon
Red Dry Chilly/ Vattal Mulaku – 3
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Uluva podi/ fenugreek powder - ½ tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp


Chop the plantains into 1/4 inch pieces.
Dice the yam into square pieces.
Cook yam and plantains with pepper, chilly powder, turmeric powder, water and salt.
In the mean time make a paste of the coconut along with cumin and green chilly. Add water only sparingly.
When the vegetables are cooked mash them a bit. Turn the heat to low.
Add the thick yoghurt. Keep stirring else it will curdle.
The yoghurt should reduce to half.
Add the coconut paste. Keep stirring on low flame. It should become very thick. Remove from heat.
Take a small pan. Heat the coconut oil.
Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chilly, fenugreek and curry leaves. Pour over the cooked mixture.
Pour the ghee on top of the dish.

Clicked this snap on Independence Day.

Kalan tastes best with sour curd.
You can stop cooking the curry when the desired consistency is reached. As it cools it will thicken.
Add very little water to grind the coconut.

15 August 2011

Olan / Stewed White Gourd and Long beans in Coconut Milk - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal- 2

 Proud to be an Indian!

Today I would like to share a simple vegetarian dish .Olan is one of the most simple gravy dish. A delicious curry with pumpkin and long beans stewed in coconut milk and flavored with curry leaves and coconut oil.So simple and so tasty. It is prepared with Ash Gourd (Winter Melon) or with pumpkin. The ingredients slightly differ depending on your geographical location in Kerala. :) South Kerala it is prepared along with red lentils. North Kerala the preparation is with long beans. But what remains the same is that the veggies are cooked in coconut milk. And it is one of the very few dishes in which turmeric and other spices are not added. Onasadya (Onam Feast) is not complete without olan.

Ash gourd/Winter Melon - 1/2 piece of a medium melon
Long beans - 1/4 kg
Chilly - 2-3
Thick Coconut Milk- 1 cup
Salt - as required
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp

Chop melon into 1 inch thin slices.
Chop beans into 1 inch long pieces.
Cook melon and beans in very little water along with salt and chilly.
When cooked add coconut milk. Heat slightly (Do not bring to boil).Remove from heat.
Pour the coconut oil on top and garnish with curry leaves.

Watch out for more Onam Dishes...

13 August 2011

Puli Ingi / Tangy Ginger - Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal 1

Onam the harvest festival of Kerala is one of the biggest festival celebrated in the state. It is celebrated by every malayalee across India and the world. Onam is when the monsoons end and marks the beginning of Autumn in Kerala.

I have beautiful memories of Onam . Waiting for the exams to be over so we can celebrate Onam in full swing, picking flowers to make the flower carpet, wearing new dress, watching movies, playing around with a house full of cousins..Yay it was total fun. We would wait for the Thiruvonam day to make the biggest flower carpet and then have the grand Sadya in the afternoon.

'Onasadya'  is the grand feast on Onam day. A wide array of almost 25 items are served on banana leaves. A complete vegetarian meal.

Onam is around the corner and I wish to share some of the dishes with my dear readers. So here is the first Kerala Onam delicacy - the Puli Ingy. Ginger and chilly is fried in a tangy jaggery-tamarind sauce. It is sweet sour and spicy! A true treat for your taste buds.

Ginger - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Green Chilly - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Tamarind- Lime size
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Jaggery - 1 piece
Shallots - 3 chopped fine
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fenugreek Powder - 1 pinch
Coconut Oil - 1 tablespoon
Water - 1 cup
Salt - as required

Chop ginger and chilly very fine.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add the chilly and ginger. Fry till golden brown and crisp.
Add tamarind water along with pulp.
Keep stirring and bring to a boil. 
Add salt.
Pound the jaggery and add to the boiling mixture.
Add asafoetida and fenugreek powder.
Add curry leaves.
Add shallots.
Stir till thick consistency is reached.

If you wish to see other Onam Sadhya Vibhavangal click on the links below:



Pineapple Pachadi

07 August 2011

Strawberry Banana Muffins - Sweet Punch

A ‘muffin’ is a type of bread that is baked in small portions. The name seems to have originated from the French word 'moufflet' meaning short bread. There are so many varieties of muffins made with one main ingredient which can be blueberry, strawberry, chocolate, pumpkin, date, almond, carrot or even orange.

The one thing I was thinking was, its not strawberry season here and where do I get them from. I know it’s raining berries in the U.S and just love to see the beautiful colorful berries. I even asked my SIL who is at Minneapolis to send me some..Kidding. And then suddenly I got this idea of using strawberry jam instead. Was quite apprehensive first but when I opened the jar I was so happy. The jam actually had small strawberries in it. So here I am with my attempt. 


1/2 cup - unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
2 large eggs 
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup fresh strawberries( I used 3/4 cup jam with Strawberry chunks)
2 1/4 cup All purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar ( I used jaggery)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (omitted this as I used salted butter).

Preheat oven to 177 degree C (350F)
Melt the butter and let it cool to room temoperature.
Beat the eggs lightly.
Mash the bananas.
Take 2 bowls, one to mix the dry ingredients and the other to mix dry ingredients.
Whisk together eggs, vanilla and mashed banana.
Add the melted butter and stir.
In another bowl mix the flour, jaggery, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon powder.
Fold in the strawberries/ the jam.
Mix well so that the berries are well coated.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry one and stir only to combine the ingredients. Do not over mix.
Line a 12 cup muffin pan.
Scoop the mix with an ice cream scoop or using 2 spoons and fill the muffin liners.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Once baked let it cool on a wire rack.