Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fresh strawberry bread (Makes 1 loaf)

tick Ingredients

1. Margarine ½ cup, softened
    Sugar 1 cup
    Cream cheese ½ cup, softened
    Egg 2 nos
2. All purpose flour 2 cups
    Baking powder 2 tsp
    Baking soda ½ tsp
    Salt ½ tsp
3. Sour cream 1 cup
4. Vanilla essence 1 tsp
5. Fresh strawberry 10 nos, chopped finely


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Grease a 9*5 loaf pan using butter and then dust with flour. Set this aside.
  • In a mixing bowl add all ingredients numbered 1 except eggs and mix well using an egg beater till fluffy.
  • Now add the eggs one by one and mix well to combine.
  • In another bowl, sieve together ingredients numbered 2 and add this to the cream mixture in batches and combine well.
  • Next add the sour cream and chopped strawberries to this and gently fold in.
  • Transfer this to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.
  • Allow to rest for atleast 20 minutes on counter top before taking the bread from the loaf pan.
  • Slice and enjoy!!!!
  • Serves best as a breakfast bread or as an evening snack.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Aval/poha payasam with mango (Serves 4)

Happy Vishu 2014 everyone!!!


Happy Vishu everyone. I had been super busy and to add to my craziness going on my laptop died two weeks back and hence the silence here. I wanted to keep this space going and hence today i decided to steal M’s laptop and put up a new recipe. As Vishu is almost at our doorsteps thought to make a easy and yummy dessert. Vishu is definetly season of mangoes and aval is Lord Krishna favorite, so i combined these two and came up with a super easy payasam that can be made in no time. Hope you all enjoy!!!


1. Mango puree 1 cup
2. Aval/poha 1/3 cup, I used thin aval/poha
3. Milk 2 cups
4. Sugar 2 TBSP (use more if you like sweet taste)
5. Cardamom 2 pods
6. Saffron strands 2-3 nos
7. Cashew nuts 5 nos
8. Raisins 10 nos, I used golden raisins
9. Ghee 1 TBSP, divided


  • Heat ½ TBSP ghee in a pan and roast the cashew nuts and raisins for a minute, remove and set is aside.
  • Now add the aval/poha to the ghee and roast for 2 minutes at medium flame. Remove and set aside.
  • Add rest of the ghee to the pan and add the mango puree along with crushed cardamom pods. Cook this at medium high flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add sugar, saffron and milk. Mix well and then add the roasted aval or poha.
  • Reduce flame to medium and cook till boiling.
  • Switch off flame and add the roasted cashew nuts and raisins and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm or chilled. 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Home made Puttu podi and Kerala Puttu (Makes 4)


It is always a challenge to get good ready made puttu podi in certain parts of the US. We  used to rely on our annual trips to India to replenish its authentic supply. So during my last trip to Kerala, one of the things in my to do list was to learn how to make all those homemade breakfast podis (powders) from amma. As we don’t get the Kerala red rice (kuthari) in most of the Indian shops, I experimented with various rice combinations and came up with this recipe. I am lucky that I got hold of kerala red rice (kuthari) but if you cant find it, use any kind of parboiled rice that’s available in American stores. So here is the recipe:

To make the puttu podi/roasted rice flour


1. Pachari/white raw rice 1 cup (I used sona masoori)
2. Kuthari/ kerala red rice 1 cup (I used pavizham brand)
3. Water

  • Wash and soak both rices together in a bowl for 4 hours. Then drain water using a colander and keep the rice on paper towels to dry for 3 hours (we want most of the water content from rice to be removed).
  • Using a blender, take half of the rice and powder for 3 minutes.
  • Keep a bowl ready with a sieve (I generally use the pan which I will use to roast the rice powder later). Transfer this to the sieve and collect the fine powder. Put the left over rice in the sieve to the blender along with remaining rice and powder again for 3-4 minutes. Transfer this to the sieve and collect the fine powder. Repeat this process for one more time and throw the leftover rice particles in the sieve. There shouldn’t be more than a few tablespoons.
  • Switch on burner at medium high heat and roast the rice powder for 8-10 minutes. You will know you have roasted it perfect for making puttu when you start to get a puttu like aroma while roasting the flour. Switch off flame and set aside.

Puttu podi

Soak the ricce for 4 hours

Drain water and dry the rice on papaer towels







Powder fine and sieveRoast the powder for 8-10 minutes at medium heatPuttu podi


To make the puttu


1. Puttu podi/roasted rice flour 1 cup
2. Grated coconut ¼ cup
3. Salt as required
4. Water

  • To the prepared puttu podi/roasted rice flour add enough salt. Now sprinkle water little at a time and wet the flour well by mixing with your fingers. For 1 cup of the prepared flour you will approximately need 3-4 TBSPs water (Fresh flour needs less water for wetness). It should hold its shape when pressed between your fist but easily crumble when you press it harder, that’s when you know it has the correct wetness needed.
  • I have used a pressure cooker top coconut shell shaped puttu maker here.
  • Add water to the pressure cooker and close with a lid. Do not put the weight. Put this at medium high heat and wait until steam start to come.
  • Meanwhile, in the puttu maker, add a layer of grated coconut. Top it with the wet puttu flour and then top it again with grated coconut. Put the lid and set aside.
  • Once you see steam coming from the pressure cooker, keep the puttu maker on it and steam for 4-5 minutes. You should see steam coming out of the puttu maker holes too.
  • Transfer to a plate and serve with cherupayar curry, kadala curry, pappad, banana or any kind of non veg curries of your choice.























Notes: If you cannot get hold of Kerala red rice , you can use anykind of parboiled rice and prepare the same way.

I have tried, sona masoori alone and the puttu turned out sticky, so after a few different trials with different rice combinations, I am happy with the above ratio.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Nadan mutton curry (Serves 5)

Nadan mutton curry


1. Mutton/goat meat 1 kg, cut to medium pieces
2. Cinnamon stick(പട്ട) 1 inch stick
    Cloves (ഗ്രാമ്പു) 4 nos
    Cardamom (ഏലക്ക) 5 nos
    Fennel seeds (പെരുംജീരകം) 1 tsp
3. Onion 2 medium, thinly sliced
    Shallots (ചെറിയുള്ളി) 15 nos, thinly sliced
4. Ginger 2 inch piece, julienned
    Garlic 5 large cloves, chopped
    Green chilly 3 nos, slit
    Curry leaves 2 sprigs
5. Red chilly powder 1 tsp
    Coriander powder 3 tsp
    Turmeric powder ½ tsp
    Black pepper powder ½ tsp
6. Tomato 1 big, chopped
7. Coconut oil/Oil 2 TBSP + ½ TBSP
8. Salt as needed
9. Water ~ ¾ cup
10. Mustard seeds 1 tsp
11. Coconut slices (തേങ്ങക്കൊത്ത്) ¼ cup


  • Using a blender, powder ingredients numbered 2 to a fine powder and set aside.
  • In a pressure cooker, add 2 TBSP oil preferably coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds. Follow up with ingredients numbered 4 and cook till aromatic about 3-4 minutes.
  • Next add sliced onions and shallots and saute at medium heat until translucent, about 12-15 minutes.
  • Now add ingredients numbered 5 one by one and saute until the raw smell from powders goes away, around 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the cleaned, cut mutton/goat meat and mix well. Adjust salt and cook this for 5 minutes.
  • Add the powdered spices along with tomato and water. Mix well and close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles. Switch off and allow pressure to release by itself.
  • Open lid, and cook the curry for another 10-15 minutes at medium heat until a thick gravy is developed.
  • Switch off and keep covered for 15 more minutes, by then the curry will attain a dark brown color.
  • Just before serving, heat ½ TBSP oil and fry the coconut slices to a golden brown color. Pour this over the curry mix well and serve with rice, idiyappam, appam, chappathi etc.



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