Saturday, January 27, 2007

Vellayappam - Rice Pancake

This is a popular breakfast dish in kerala. Made with a batter of rice, coconut and yeast, which is fermented till the batter rises in volume. It's called vellay (white) appam (pancake). In the original traditional recipe, toddy was used to ferment the batter. It's got lacy edges and soft center.It's enjoyed with vegetable stew, Potato Kurma, mutton or chicken stew / Ishtoo, fish mollee or just simple sweetened coconut milk. This can turn out to be quite a heavy breakfast or a brunch.

Ingredients

2 cups - Raw rice or Basmati rice
1 cups - Fresh grated coconut
1/4 cup - Cooked rice

1/2 tsp - Yeast
1 tsp - Sugar
1/4 tsp - Salt


Method

1) Soak raw rice in water for 4 to 5 hours.

2 ) In a grinder, grind soaked raw rice, grated coconut and cooked rice, little at a time to a smooth paste with water. The batter should not be too watery nor too thick.

3 ) Pour the batter into a utensil. Since the batter will ferment and rise in volume, use a big enough utensil.

4 ) In a small bowl, take 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Add sugar, stir and dissolve it. Add yeast to this solution. Let the sugar work it's magic and the yeast will rise. Pour this yeast solution to the batter and stir well.

5 ) Rest the batter in a warm place to ferment and rise in volume. (You can make the batter in the evening and rest it overnight to ferment.) Add salt to the batter and stir.

6 ) Heat a non- stick pan or a vellayappa chatty to make vellayappam.Grease the pan with little oil. Pour one big spoon of batter to the pan, lift the pan from stove and slightly twist around to spread the batter in the pan to make a circular shape. Close with a lid and cook on low heat.

7 ) Take the cooked appam from the pan and serve hot. Use rest of the batter to make more vellayappam's.


Serve with egg masala curry and enjoy your breakfast !

Technorati tags : Indian breakfast, Pancake, fermented food,coconut recipe

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Prawns Pulao


Ingredients

500 gm - Prawns
1 to 2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Clean prawns well and mix in with red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cook prawns in this masala. Add some oil and fry well. Set aside.

1 cup - Basmati rice
1.5 cup - water
1/2 cup - Peas
1 - Cinnamon stick
3 - 4 - Cloves
2 - Black Cardamom
2 - Bay leaves
1 - Big Onion, Sliced thin
2 - Tomato, quartered
1 tbsp - Lemon juice
1 bunch - Coriander leaves, cleaned & chopped
Corn oil

Grind to a paste

4 flakes - Garlic
1 inch - Ginger
2 - Green chili
1 tsp - Fennel seeds/ Perumjeerakam
1 tsp - Poppy seeds / Khus-khus

Method

1 ) Wash Basmati rice, strain well. Set aside.

2 ) Heat oil in a heavy bottom deep pan. Add cinnamon, clove, cardamom and bay leaves.

3 ) Add sliced onion and fry till golden brown in color. Add ground paste, stir and fry. Then add coriander leaves.

4 ) Add rice to the pan. Stir and fry the rice for 2 to 3 minutes. Add peas, cooked prawns and tomato. Stir and mix on a low heat.

5 ) Meanwhile boil 1.5 cup water and add this water to the rice. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.

6 ) Close with a lid and cook on a low heat till the rice is cooked. Take off the stove.

Serve hot with raita, pappadom and coriander chutney.

Tip

Make stock with the prawns shell. This will enhance the flavor. For this recipe, instead of water, use 1.5 cups of stock, made by boiling prawns shell in water.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Vellarikka Kootan


Vellarikka is a cucumber. This vegetable is kept for 'Vishu Kani'. Here is a mild tasting curry made from this vegetable.

Ingredients

1 - Vellarikka
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder

Grind to paste

1 cup - Fresh coconut
1/4 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
1 - big shallot
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder


Seasoning

1 tsp - Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
Oil
Salt to taste


Method

1 ) Cut the vellarikka into small cubes with the skin on. To each cube give 2 - 3 slash, as shown in the picture. Discard the seeds.

2 ) Cook the cut cubes in one cup of water with turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.

3 ) Grind coconut, jeera, shallot, turmeric and red chili powder to a smooth paste. Then add mustard seeds and then just pulse the blender, so that mustard seeds gets crushed and not ground too much.( Do not grind too much after adding mustrad, as it will spoil the taste - this is important to note.) Once the mustard seeds are crushed then the paste is ready for the next step.

4 ) Add the ground paste to the cooked vellarikka. Do not add too much water, as it will turn too watery. Cook to a boil, simmer to a low heat.

5 ) Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. After it pops, add curry leaves. Garnish the vellarikka curry with this seasoning.

Serve with rice.

Tags : Cucumber recipes

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Olan With Zucchini

Usually Olan is made with white pumpkin. Olan with Zucchini, turned out well. Coconut milk gives an enriched flavor to this dish. Olan is the name of this dish, popular in kerala.
Ingredients


3 - Zucchini, chopped
3 to 4 - Green chili, slit in center
2 - Shallots, diced
1/2 cup - Thick Coconut milk
Curry leaves
Coconut oil
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp - Black pepper powder (optional)

Method

1 ) Wash and cut zucchini into thin even slices.

2 ) Cook zucchini in a heavy bottom pan with green chili, shallots and enough water. Add salt as required. Cook till zucchini is cooked.

3) To the cooked Zucchini, add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Meanwhile taste to check if olan is spicy enough. If not add black pepper powder.

4 ) Garnish with some coconut oil and take off the stove.

Serve with rice.

Tags: Zucchini recipes, Indian recipes

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Meen Vattichathu - Fish Curry


With the fiery looks and the hot & spicy taste, this fish curry is a popular dish in kerala. It's mostly cooked with oily fish. The oil of the fish enhances the taste of this curry. I have cooked with salmon. Back home in kerala, it's cooked mostly with sardine and mackeral. Sardine tastes just great with this prepartion, when the fish is very oily. To reduce the spicy level, Kashmiri chili powder can be used. But those of you who like the hot and spicy taste, just go ahead and cook with the red chili powder. Tamarind used here is kodampuli. If you don't have kodampuli, use regular tamarind. In kerala this curry is cooked in "chatty" which is a earthen pot.

Ingredients

500 gms - Fish
1 tbsp - Chili powder or Kashmiri chili powder
4 - Shallots, chopped
2 - Green chili, slit in center
1 inch - Ginger, chopped
3 - Kodampuli
1/4 tsp - Fenugreek seeds
2 to 3 sprig - Curry leaves
1 cup - water

Coconut oil
Salt to taste


Method

1 ) Soak kodampuli in little water, wash and clean, set aside.

2 ) Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai. Add fenugreek seeds. When it turns light brown add shallots, green chili, ginger and curry leaves. Stir and fry for few minutes.

3 ) Add chili powder, stir and fry for a minute. Add water and kodumpuli. Cook to a boil. When using tamarind, extract 1 cup of tamarind juice and add after frying chili powder.

4 ) Add fish pieces and salt to taste.Cook to a boil and then simmer the heat. Cook on low heat for 10 -15 minutes till the gravy thickens up and the fish is cooked.

5 ) Add some coconut oil, like a final garnish and take off the fire.



This is served mostly with kappa vevichathu or with rice.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Banana Halwa

Nenthra Pazham halwa is prepared used extra ripe plantain. Nenthra Pazham is the malayalam name for ripe plantain. My hometown calicut, is very famous for it's halwas and banana chips. Banana halwa is one of the best halwas to try, when in Calicut...also known as Kozhikode. This is my version of making banana halwa.

Ingredients

3 - Extra ripe plantain
1 cup - Whole milk
1 cup -
Sugar or Jaggery syrup
1 - cardamom, powdered
1/2 cup - Ghee ( Clarified butter )
Few cashew nuts to decorate.

Method

1 ) Place the ripe plantains to steam in a steamer.



2 ) Steam till banana is well cooked. You will see, like in the picture below, the skin split from steaming and banana is cooked. Or you can microwave the banana. Cut to 3-4 pieces and place in microwave safe plate and cook till cooked.


3 ) Remove the skin and cut the banana in the center. You will be able to see, black seeds in the center. Remove the seeds and mash the banana well.


4 ) In a heavy bottom pan add milk. When using sugar, add sugar to milk and boil, to melt the sugar. Then add mashed banana, cook till all the milk is used up.Add cardamom powder and mix in. Then add ghee and cook till halwa is leaving the sides of the pan and has browned in color.


5 ) When using jaggery, mix mashed banana and milk and cook till the banana is well mashed up and all the milk is used up. Add Jaggery syrup and cardamom powder. Stir and cook till all the liquid is used up. Add ghee and keep stirring till the banana paste is leaving the sides of the pan and the colour of the paste has turned to a deep brown.

6 ) Grease a plate with ghee and spread the banana halwa on the plate. Apply some ghee on the back of a spoon ( this will help to shape the halwa ) and smooth down the top of the halwa and shape it.


Cut into squares and decorate with roasted cashewnut. Serve when cool.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Pazham Pradhaman

Welcoming 2007 with this sweet treat from kerala.........Pazham Pradhaman !Pazham Pradhaman is cooked with ripe plantains knows as 'nendra pazham', jaggery and coconut milk. Traditionally it is cooked in a vessel called uruli. Cooking in uruli gives a better taste to the pradhaman.

Ingredients

250 gm - Extra ripe plantains
250 gm - Jaggery
1 big whole - Coconut grated (for extracting milk)

For Garnishing

1/4 cup - Coconut chopped into bits
1/4 cup - Cashew nuts
1/2 cup - Ghee ( clarified butter )

Method

1 ) Extract coconut milk three times with the grated coconut, using a blender. 1st extract - 1 cup, 2nd extract - 1 cup, 3rd extract - 1 1/2 cup. Set aside.

2 ) Chop the ripe plantains into 4 parts and steam cook till well cooked. Cool and then peel the skin off. Cut in the center and remove the seeds. Grind with little water to a smooth paste and set aside.

3 ) In little water melt jaggery and make a thick syrup. Strain to remove any impurities and set aside.

4 ) In a heavy bottom pan, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of ghee. Add the ground plantain paste and the jaggery syrup. Cook till it thickens to a Varattiyathu stage.

5 ) Add 3rd extracted milk. Stir and cook till it thickens up. Then add 2nd extracted milk and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the 1st extracted milk and take off the stove


6 ) In a pan fry coconut bits and cashew nuts in ghee till it's a golden brown in colour. Garnish the pradhaman with this.

Serve hot. Personally i like to refrigerate the payasam and have it cold.