27 May 2012

Appam with Mutta Roast / Lacy Pancakes with Egg Roast

Appam or Vellayappam or Palappam as it is called is a famous breakfast item of Kerala. This is usually had with Chicken Ishtu (stu) or Nadan Chicken Varutharacha Curry or with egg roast. It is a must try combination. The lacy appam and the masala egg roast is something everyone who comes to visit Kerala are on the look out for. 


Serves 6

Short grain rice - 4 cups * see note 1
Coconut - 1 medium size
Cooked Boiled Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Dry active Yeast- 2 tsp
Sugar - 4 tsp* see note 2
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water - 3 cups + more to make thin batter* see note 3
Gingelly oil - to smear on the appa chatti (cast iron kadai)* see note 4

Cast iron appam chatti/wok


  • Soak rice for 1 hour and strain.
  • Grate the coconut. In a grinder, grind the coconut and cooked rice together for 15 minutes.
  • Add the rice to the ground mixture. Grind till very fine.
  • When the batter is almost done add the yeast and sugar. Grind for another minute.
  • Let it ferment for 4 hours or till the batter has risen and turns frothy.* see note 5
  • Heat the cast iron appam chatti or wok on high flame. Smear it with little oil.
  • Lower the flame. Pour a laddle (almost 1/2 cup) of batter into the wok. Tilt the wok all around so that the batter coats in a round shape and the rest of the batter settles in the center.
  • Cook on high flame for 5 seconds and then lower the flame. Cover and cook till the rim turns golden and starts leaving the sided. Gently lift the appam and place it on a plate.


Eggs - 5 hard boiled and shelled

Onion - 3 1/2 cup thinly sliced, tightly packed
Garlic- 6 cloves thinly sliced
Ginger - 1 " piece finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium size
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut Oil - 3 tbsp

Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Chilly Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Salt - as required

  • Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and saute till slightly browned. * see note 7,8
  • Tip in the garlic and ginger. Continue to saute in medium flame.
  • Thinly slice the tomatoes and add them along with curry leaves to the onion mixture. Saute till the tomatoes are half cooked.
  • In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients along with some water to make a paste. 
  • Add the masala paste to the onion mixture. Saute for 1 minute. Reduce flame to low.
  • Meanwhile cut the eggs into half. Separate the egg whites from the yolk. * see note 9
  • Add the egg whites to the masala and coat the eggs with the masala.
  • Continue to cook for another 1 minute on low.
  • Serve it with appams or rotis.

Cooking tips:

  1. You can use raw rice. I used short grain rice(ghee rice/neychottari).
  2. Before making appam you can add more sugar if you like the appams to be a bit sweet.
  3. The batter has to be in a runny consistency.
  4. Any oil can be used but gingelly oil is the best for cast iron woks. If you are using a non stick appam maker then there is no need to smear oil.
  5. The time taken for the batter to rise and turn frothy will depend on the climate. In warm weather it will ferment faster. Keep the batter in a warm place.
  6. Cast iron appam chatti or wok is the best to get the right texture of the appam. It has a round deep bottom which helps in getting the nice lace. 
  7. Saute the onions on high flame. Keep stirring.
  8. You can reduce the oil used to 2 tbsp if you are using a non stick pan.
  9. Usually the eggs are halved and served but in my house we avoid the egg yolk for health reasons.
  10. Keep stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom.

Sending this post to the Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by The Cooking Doctor

19 May 2012

Malabar Style Chicken Korma

The word 'Korma' seems to have originated from Mughlai Cuisine. It is a thick gravy dish. The flavour of the curry comes from the combination of spices, coriander, fennel seeds and yoghurt. It gives so much different flavour to the curry. And it is quite unlike the red curry we usually make - Chicken Roast or the brown coconut based curry - Varutharacha Chicken Curry. The thick creamy texture and taste goes so well with chapathi's or any rotis.


Chicken - 1/2 kg

Cloves/ Grambu - 6
Cardamom/ Elakka - 4
Cinnamon / Patta - 2" piece

Onion - 3 (big)
Ginger - 1 1/2 " piece
Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

Scraped Coconut - 1 1/2 cup (loosely packed)
Fennel Seeds/Perumjeerakam - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds /Khus - Khus - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 6 (or upto 9 if you like it spicy) *see note 1

Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder - 1 1/2 tsp

Tomato - 3 medium
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup*see note 2

Salt - to taste
Refined Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup (loosely packed)

Clean and chop the chicken into small pieces.
Chop the onions into thin slices. Ginger finely chopped.
Chop the tomatoes into medium size pieces and keep aside.
Wash and filter the khus khus.
Make a coarse paste of the coconut, fennel seeds, khus- khus and green chilly.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the spices - cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
Tip in the onions and saute till translucent. Add in the ginger and garlic paste.
Add the dry masala powders. If required add 1 tsp oil at this stage as it may get too dry. *see note 3
When the raw smell of the masalas are gone add the chicken.
Mix in the coconut paste, yoghurt, salt and tomatoes. Stir well on medium flame for 2 minutes.
Add the water. Check salt and close the cooker lid.
Cook on low flame for 3 whistles or until the chicken is cooked.
Open the lid, stir well and then season with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis.

Tips for cooking:
  1. It is a medium spicy dish. If you want it spicy you can add up to 9 chillies. You have to add at least 6 else it will turn out sweet due to the coconut and tomatoes.
  2. This is a semi thick gravy but if you like more gravy add up to 1 cup water. Remember that water comes out of the chicken, yoghurt and tomatoes as you cook.
  3. After you add the masalas, make sure you keep stirring else the masalas will stick to the bottom of the cooker.
Sending this post to the Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by The Cooking Doctor

16 May 2012

Mambazha Payasam / Mango Kheer

I have been thinking what to make with the yummy juicy mangoes from the first mango harvest at home. I knew it had to be an authentic Kerala dessert. Many days passed by just thinking and finally, I decided to make this. We had a celebration at home, it being my BIL's birthday and this was just apt for the occasion.

This was the first time I was making it and did not know how it would turn out. But it was absolutely spoon licking good.Yeah.. so thrilled to make it with home grown mangoes instead of store bought ones. 

Mambazha Payasam is also prepared for the Onam Feast. The taste of it when served on plantain leaf is totally different. I always like to have it that way.


Ripe Mangoes - 3 cups *see note 1
Water - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tsp

Jaggery - 125 g
Water - 1 cup

Coconut Milk from 2 coconuts (medium size) : 
Onnam Pal (thick first coconut milk) - 1/2 cup
Randam Pal (second coconut milk) - 1 cup
Moonnam Pal (third coconut milk) - 1 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 + 1+ 1 cup*see note 2

Cumin/ Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp

Cardomom Powder - 1/2 tsp (from 3 pods)*see note 3
Sugar - 1/2 tsp

Cashew nuts -  10 
Coconut Pieces/ Thenga Kottu - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp*see note 4


  • Peel and chop the mangoes into small pieces. 
  • Cook the mangoes by adding 1 cup water for 5 minutes on low flame stirring continually.
  • Puree the mangoes.  Filter it to remove any fibre. Keep aside.
  • Scrape the coconut. Add 1/2 cup warm water to it, pulse in a mixer and extract the coconut milk. This is the first milk(onnam pal). Keep it separately in a cup.
  • Add 1 cup warm water again to the coconut and follow the same procedure. This is the second milk (randam pal). Keep this separately. 
  • Add another cup of warm water to the coconut and extract the third time. This is the third milk (moonnam pal). Keep it in a separate bowl or cup.
  • Powder the cardamom in a dry mixer by adding 1/2 tsp sugar. Remove the husk.
  • Chop the coconut in to small pieces and fry it in ghee till browned. Remove and place it on a plate.
  • In the same ghee fry the cashews and keep aside.
  • In a pan melt the jaggery by adding 1 cup water on low flame stirring continually.
  • Heat ghee in a kadai and pour the filtered mango puree. Cook till it starts wobbling.
  • When the mangoes are cooked and thick in consistency add the melted jaggery and keep cooking on medium to low flame. Keep stirring at frequent intervals.
  • When the mixture thickens up add the third milk and continue to cook for approx 5 minutes.
  • Add the second milk and cook.
  • Finally add the first milk. Lower flame. Add cardamom and jeera powder.
  • Stir in the condensed milk, cashews and coconut pieces. 

Tips for cooking:

  1. Use ripe and sweet mangoes. 
  2. To extract coconut milk first add 1/2 cup water. After extracting the first time add 1 cup water and then the third cup of water.
  3. In order to powder cardamom easily add 1/2 tsp sugar and then powder in a mixer.
  4. Add more sugar as per taste when payasam is still warm. The mangoes I used were very sweet so there was no need to add extra sugar.
  5. I used a non stick pan for cooking so that it does not stick to the bottom.

12 May 2012

Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Being a true chocolate lover, I always find ways to have them in some way or the other. :) Whenever I crave for chocolates especially on sunday evenings it has be one of these - Molten Lava Cake / Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting. But now I was on the look out for new chocolate recipes and found this one. Chocolate and Coffee is one of my favorite combination.

Instant Coffee Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp * note 1
Hot Water - 1/4 cup

Choco Chips - 1 cup *note 2

Dry Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour - 1 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cocoa Powder - 3 tbsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Wet Ingredients:
Butter Milk - 1/2 cup * note 3
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2 large * note 4
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp

Preheat oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
Dissolve coffee powder in hot water.
In a bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
Add the coffee mixture.
In a separate large bowl mix the dry ingredients.
Mix in the buttermilk  mixture just until combined.
Add the choco chips and mix it.
Line the muffin tray with liners.
Scoop the mixture and pour into muffins pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer to rack and cool.

  1. I used Bru Instant Coffee powder.
  2. In the original recipe the quantity added is 1 1/2 cup.
  3. I added 1 tsp vinegar to 1/2 cup milk at room temp to make buttermilk.
  4. Use eggs at room temperature. If it is too small add 3 eggs.
  5. The original recipe calls for adding 1 cup pecans which I skipped.