Monday, December 7, 2009

Kerala Fried Rice

Serves : 4 to 5

Basmati Rice : 2 cup
Water : 5 cup
Cloves: 3
Cardamom Pods : 4
Cinnamon Stick : 1
Chopped Onions : 1
Salt : To taste
Mixed Vegetables : 2 cups
Green Peas : 1/2 cup
Cashews : a few
Peanuts : a few
Raisins : A few
Craisins : A few
Fried Onions : Enough to garnish
Saffron Water  Soaked : Few drops
Cilantro and Mint Leaves : A few
Olive Oil : 3 tbsp


  1. Soak the basmati rice for 1/2 an hour, and then drain it well.
  2. Cook the vegetables according to package direction and set aside. Powder all the spices together and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of  olive oil in a suitable pan large enough to cook the rice, and sauté the chopped onions for 5 minutes.
  4. Now add the drained rice and stir until lightly browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add spices, salt  and water.
  5. Cover and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes. First few minutes on medium high till it starts to boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for the remaining time.
  6. Slightly fry the cashews, peanuts, craisins, and raisins on low heat and set aside.  Fry thinly sliced onions and set aside.  Add all the cooked vegetables to the remaining oil and sauté for few minutes until all the moisture disappears.
  7. Ten minutes before turning off the heat,  add a  few drops of saffron color, followed by the vegetables, fried nuts and onions. Few cilantro leaves and mint leaves can also be added for flavor.  Cover and let it sit for another ten minutes on low heat.  Gently stir before serving.
  8. Serve with chicken curry, lemon pickle, salad, and pappadam.


Always fry the nuts separately in batches.  Do not burn the cashews,  as soon as the color begins to changes take it out of oil and drain on a paper towel. After adding water, taste the water for salt and add more if needed add more. Careful not to break the rice grains while browning, use a wooden spoon and gently stir. Frozen mixed vegetables like beans, carrots, and corn are an easy addition to this dish.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Papaya Erisseri

Raw Green Papaya peeled and cubed : 3 cups
Cherupayar parippu or Moong dal split : 1/3 cup
Water :  4 cups
Grated Coconut divided : 3/4 cup
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder : a pinch
Salt : To taste
Olive Oil : 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves : A few
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Red Dried Chilies : 3 or 4
Shallots : 2 or 3



  1. Pressure cook the papayas and the dal along with water, salt, a few curry leaves, red chili powder,  turmeric powder, and a pinch of black pepper powder  for three whistles on a medium high heat.
  2. Grind half of the grated coconut  with cumin seeds and make it into a fine paste.
  3. Add the mixture to the pressure cooker and cook for a few minutes on medium low heat till it steams but not boil, and remove from the heat.
  4. In a kadai, add olive oil and splutter some mustard seeds. Into this add curry leaves, thinly sliced shallots, and dried red chilies. Now add the remaining coconut grated into this and brown the coconut on medium heat. Pour the prepared erisseri mixture into this and stir well.  Remove from the heat.
  5. Serve hot with rice and yum! Fish curry, pappadam, and a thoran curry goes very well with this.


Water level should always be enough to cover the ingredients in the pressure cooker plus a  bit more above the level of ingredients for safety. Know your pressure cooker. 

Check for salt content once it is pressure cooked. Always better to add less salt than to regret later. If needed, salt can be added at the end.

This is a thick gravy, if it needs to be runny, add a little more water in step 3.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

‘Kovaykka’ and ‘Achinga Payar’ Mezhukkupuratti or Tindora and Runner Beans Sautéed.


Tindora or Kovakka : 1/4 kg or .5lb.
String Beans or long runner beans or Achinga : 1/4 kg.
Garlic Clove Thinly Sliced : 1
Red Onions Thinly Sliced lengthwise : 1
Green Chilies Sliced Vertically : 4 or 5
Thinly Sliced Coconut : Optional
Curry Leaves : A few
Water : 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
Salt : 1 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning:

Olive oil : 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : A few
Curry Leaves : a few
Thinly Sliced Pearl Onions: 2 or 3


  1. Snap the long runner beans between fingers instead of cutting them. Thinly slice tindoras lengthwise.
  2. Into this, add cut chilies, sliced onions and garlic, curry leaves, and coconut slices as shown above.
  3. Heat up the pan along with suggested measure of water and salt.
  4. Cover and cook the vegetables till it is tender. Normally about 15 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Check in between to see if it needs more water. Sprinkle as needed. Check salt also.
  5. Heat up a kadai or a suitable pan and add olive oil, splutter mustard seeds,  brown the onions, add curry leaves and now add the already cooked vegetables. Reduce heat. Let it all blend well and rest for few minutes in low heat uncovered.



Serve with rice, kachiya moru curry,  pappadam, and chicken curry. Beans should be one or two inch long while snapping them. Cut veges to same length and size. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oatmeal Jaggery

Serving : 1

Oatmeal : 50gm
Jaggery or Molasses : 1 small piece  or to taste
Cardamom Powder : 1/4 tsp
Crushed Cumin : 1/4 tsp
Milk : 1 1/2 Cup
Sliced Banana : 1


Heat up the milk in a sauce pan, add oatmeal along with jaggery, powdered cardamom , crushed cumin and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes according to the package direction.  Keep stirring occasionally to prevent sticking of it at the bottom of the pan.

Turn the stove off,  remove it from the heat, and add the banana slices in it just before serving and yumm!

Cherupayar Thoran or Moong Dal Delight

Moong Dal:1/2 cup
Salt: 1/2 tsp or To taste
For Grinding:
Shallots : A few for grinding and seasoning
Curry Leaves: A few
Coconut Grated : 1/4 cup or more 
Green Chilies : 4
Garlic Pods : 1 or 2
For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds :  1/2 tsp
Red Dried Chilies : 3
Water : 11/4 cup
Turmeric Powder:1/4 tsp


  1. Wash and remove any foreign materials from moong dal. Pressure cook the dal for up to 3 to 4 whistles.(Know your pressure cooker well). Water level should be sufficient to cover the entire dal plus a bit more to be safe.  If it is already soaked in water for 2 to 3 hours, one whistle should be sufficient.
  2. Grate together all the ingredients listed above,  into a coarse mixture.  Keep aside.
  3. Heat the pan with 1tbsp of oil in it. When it is heated through crack the mustard seeds in it and reduce heat. Brown thinly sliced onions, curry leaves, and some red chilies. Add turmeric powder.
  4. Now add the coarsely grounded mixture in to the oil and sauté for a couple of minutes till the raw smell disappear,  followed by adding already cooked dal, and gently stir the mixture together and lower the heat to the full and cover and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
  5. Serve it with white rice or rice gruel.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Carrot and String Beans Mezhukkupuratti

Serves : 2

Carrots Thinly Sliced : 2 
String  Beans : 1/2 lb
Olive Oil : 1 tbsp
Thinly Sliced Pieces of Coconut :  a handful
Green Chilies Sliced Lengthwise : 4
Red Onions Sliced Thin and Long : 1
Garlic Pod Thinly Sliced Lengthwise : 1 
Shallots Cut Crosswise into Thin Slices : 3
Curry Leaves : A few
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Salt : To taste
Water : 2 tbsp or more



  1. Remove the tips of both beans and carrot and cut them uniformly into thin slices. Each slices about an inch long.(see the pic.below to see the size). Keep them separate in separate bowls.
  2. In a pan, heat oil  and crack mustard seeds.  Add shallots and brown, also a few curry leaves.
  3. Now add the onions, remaining curry leaves, green chilies, garlic slices, coconut slices and sauté for a minute or two.
  4. Into it add the green beans and sprinkle a table spoon of water on it and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Now add the carrots along with the remaining table spoon of water and cook covered on medium heat for 15 minutes, add salt  and lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes or till it is cooked to your taste. Great side dish for rice.



Check to see if it burns at the bottom of the pan,  if so sprinkle more water around and cook  covered on low heat.  Also check in every few minutes and gently toss the vegetables  so that it gets cooked uniformly.

Blueberry Carrot Flax Seed Muffins

Makes 8 Medium Muffins

Dry Ingredients:
Flour : 11/4 cup
Milled Flax Seed* : 1/4 cup
Dark Brown Sugar : 3/4 cup
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder : 2 tsp 
Wet Ingredients:
Milk : 1/3 cup + 1tbsp
Almond Oil : 1/3 cup
Egg : 1
Grated Carrots : 1/2 cup
Fresh Blueberries : 1/2 cup
Crumbled Topping(optional):
Cardamom Powder : 1tsp
Butter Cubed : 5 tbsp
Brown Sugar : 1/3 cup
Flour : 1/3 cup



  1. Grease muffin cups and preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Using a wire whisk mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients together.
  4. Add carrots and blueberries to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Now pour in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently till the flour is thoroughly wet. Do not beat the flour mixture hard. 
  6. Mix all the ingredients for the crumbled toppings together and spoon it over each muffin. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or  till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Look for milled flax seeds flour at the baking section of any local grocery store.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Spicy baked chicken with onions

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs : 4
Olive Oil : 2 tbsp
Red Chili Powder :2tsp
Cumin Powder :2 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp
Salt :To taste
Red Onion Sliced : A few



  1. Warm olive oil in a sauce pan and add all the spices and salt, mix together to get a nice marinade.
  2. Make deep slits in to the chicken and coat it thoroughly with the marinade. Marinate for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cook this for 20 minutes until it is no longer pink.
  4. Take out each pieces and spread it on a baking sheet. Place the sliced onions on each of the chicken pieces and broil for 5 minutes. Enjoy it with a side salad, baked potato, rice, or avocadoes.


Boned meat or chicken breast may be used for this recipe. This recipe is an improvised version of spicy baked chicken from This still tastes good without marinating it for 2 hours.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hot and Spicy Baked Trout

Trout (Whole Fish): 2
Finely Chopped Red Onions : 1/4 Cup
Finely Grated Ginger : 1/4 Cup
Finely Chopped Curry Leaves : A few
Olive Oil : 1 tbsp
Lemon Zest and Juice of half of a Lemon
Natural Rice Vinegar : 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1 tsp
Methi or Uluva Powder : 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp



  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Thoroughly clean and pat dry the fish.Make a long slit through one side of the fish for stuffing.
  3. Thoroughly mix all the above ingredients and stuff it all inside. Make small slits horizontally on both sides and fill it with some spice as well.
  4. Wrap it around a foil paper , put it on a baking sheet and cook it in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven for few minutes before serving . Take it out and transfer it to a plate and serve with vegetable delight or a side dish of your choice. Yum!


It is natural that some water content may still be left on the foil paper. Simply take it out of the foil and set it on a plate. Take each bite along with a real touch of spice! 

It is easy to peel off the skin once it’s been cooked well.

Vegetable Delight

Baby Carrots
Red or Yellow Capsicum Sliced Lengthwise
Cucumber Slices
Variety Olives
Avocado Slices
Red Onion Slices
Olive Oil to Drizzle
Lemon Juice a few drops



Gently toss everything together and Yum! Cut them all uniformly for a beautiful presentation.

Whitegourd or Kumbalanga Moru Curry

Serves : 4 to 5

Small Whitegourd : 1
Water : 3 cups
Green Chilies : 3
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1/4 tsp
Crushed Cumin : A pinch 
Beaten Yogurt : 1/2 Cup
Salt : To taste
For Seasoning
Shallots : 3
Curry Leaves : A few
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Coconut Oil : 1 tbsp



  1. Peel the skin off of the kumbalanga and cut it into cubes. Cook it along with enough water, green chilies and a few curry leaves.  Lower heat once it is done cooking.
  2. Beat together yogurt,water,turmeric powder and red chili powder , crushed cumin ,  and salt.
  3. Pour the mixture to the cooked whitegourd. (For a loose consistency add more water). It should not be too thick or runny. Keep stirring it with a wooden spoon, without taking the hands off the mixture. Cook on medium low till steam raises of the charu curry. Do not boil! Remove it from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a heated pan add oil, mustard seeds, thinly sliced shallots, red chilies and brown. Pour this into the mixture and enjoy! Serve it on top of rice along with some chicken and  a choice of thoran.


Any left over can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days in a tight jar.

Cabbage and Carrot Stir Fry

Cabbage Thinly Sliced : 1/4 kg.
Carrots : 2
Onions Chopped : 1/2 cup
Green Chilies : 3 or 4
Salt : To taste

For Seasoning
Mustard Seeds : a few
Curry Leaves : a few
Olive Oil : 2 tbsp
Shallots Thinly Sliced : 3
Red Chilies : 3



  1. Thinly slice cabbage and shred the carrots. In a heated pan, add oil, splutter mustard seeds, shallots, curry leaves and red dry chilies and brown them.
  2. Now add the onions and green chilies and sauté for couple of minutes. Stir in cabbage and carrot. Add salt. Cook uncovered on low heat for a few minutes. Serve with rice.


Add grated coconut to this to make it a delicious thoran curry.

Tropical Fruit Medley

Sliced Papayas
Sliced Mangoes
Sliced Pineapples
Strawberries (For Decoration)
Honey or Maple Syrup
Cardamom Powder to taste
Home made Whip Cream (Recipe on Strawberry Compote)



Gently mix all the ingredients and serve it with a side of whip cream. Yum!


Pavaykka or Bitter Gourd Thoran

Serves : 4

Bitter Gourd  : 3
Red Onion Thinly Chopped : 1
Green Chilies : 4
Grated Coconut : 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Salt : To taste
Olive Oil : 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1/4 tsp
Shallots thinly sliced : 3
Curry Leaves : A few



  1. Clean and finely chop the bitter gourds. Mix it with salt and   turmeric and set aside for few minutes.
  2. Finely chop the onions, green chilies, and shallots.
  3. In a pan add the oil, splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves,shallots till it browns. Stir in chopped onions,green chilies and sauté for a couple minutes. Add the grated pavaykka  mixture. Heat on medium for first few minutes and reduce it to medium low. Check the salt.
  4. Add coconut half way through, mix and slowly cook  uncovered till it looks dry. (No need to add water at any time. If it burns the bottom of the pan, sprinkle with some water, low heat should do the magic).
  5. Serve with rice and raw banana mango charu curry, and stir fry chicken.

Raw Banana and Mango Charu Curry

This particular dish was born in my kitchen the other day, which reminded my taste buds of the forgotten taste of ‘chakka kuru manga curry’ from home . A new recipe is formed, when someone somewhere wonders what to cook or how to use what is already in the pantry? A very  familiar taste similar to ‘chakka kuru manga’, but not quite. Either way, it was a delight to my tongue.



Small Raw Banana or Vazhakka cut into cubes : 1
Drumsticks or Muringakkaya  Stems: 2
Raw Mango Sliced into Cubes : 5 pieces
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 21/2 cups
For the Coconut paste
Coconut Grated : 1/4 cup
Green Chilies : 3 or 4
Garlic Pod : 1
Cumin : 1/4 tsp
Salt : To taste
For Seasoning
Pearl Onions : 5
Coconut Oil : 1 tbsp
Red dried chilies:3 
Curry Leaves : a few



  1. Cook the first three ingredients in 2 cups of water along with salt and turmeric powder. Lower the heat to a minimum as soon as it is well cooked.
  2. Meanwhile, Grind all the ingredients  in a blender with a little bit of water to form a smooth paste. Add this paste to the pan and keep stirring it. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Keep looking for the steam to arise. Once it is done, remove from the heat. (Check to see if it needs more water for a loose consistency, add water along with the paste )
  3. In a frying pan, heat oil and add the mustard seeds and thinly sliced pearl onions, red chilies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds till the color turn out brown . Pour this over the curry,mix well and Yum! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Okra/Vendakka Piralan

Recipe  Taken From Mrs.K.M Matthew’s cook book      
Servings : 3

Okra : 30
Olive Oil : 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Thinly Sliced Onions Cut Lengthwise : 1/4 cup
Coriander Powder : 2 tbsp
Chili Powder : 1 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 1/2 cup
Salt : 1/2 tsp



  1. Soak and make a paste of all the masala powders by adding some water.
  2. Remove the ends of okras, clean and cut them into small pieces as shown above.
  3. Heat the pan, add some oil and a few curry leaves, and sauté the okra pieces in it for a few minutes till the color changes into a darker green . Transfer it to a bowl and set aside. (Picture above)
  4. When the oil heats up , splutter mustard seeds, add the sliced onions and sauté for few minutes, now add the masala powders and sauté till the row smell disappears.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water into it and cook the onions in it . As the gravy starts to thicken, add salt and okra and cook for another few minutes.  Serve hot with rice.


Quick and Easy Black Beans Masala

Recipe: An improvised version from my mom’s  kitchen
Serving: 2

Black beans : 1/4 Cup
Water : 1 cup
Red Tomato : 1 Chopped(optional)
Chopped Onions : 1/2 cup
Garlic Pods : 2
Green Chilies : 3
Curry Leaves : a few
Salt : To taste
Olive Oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : a few
Thinly sliced pearl onions : 3
Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder :  1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
(make all the masalas into a paste by adding some water)



  1. Pressure cook black beans along with water, onions, chopped garlic pods, chilies, a few curry leaves, tomatoes,and salt. Normally 3 whistles should be sufficient on medium  heat.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, crack mustard seeds and add curry leaves and some chopped pearl onions. As it browns, add the masala paste and sauté till the row smell goes away.
  3. Add the black beans on to it and lower the heat,  let it cook a little more in the curry paste till it reaches your desired level of cooking.  Add more water if needed.



Black beans are rich in fiber.

Please know your pressure cooker well to avoid any accidents.

Some may choose to just cook black beans with salt and water and later on after seasoning add onions, and all the other ingredients and sauté in olive oil. May depends on individual preference.

This recipe used black beans that are not pre soaked or canned.

Presoaked beans might require just one whistle or less  in the pressure cooker.

If using canned beans, just sauté the ingredients in olive oil, add masalas, and then beans. Cook on low till it reaches desired consistency.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chicken Sausage Pasta

Servings : 4

Pasta : 2 cups
Cooked chicken sausages : 5
Onions chopped : 1/2 cup
Shredded parmesan cheese : 1/2 cup
Baby spinach : 3 cups
Red potatoes cubed : 1
Yellow tomato : 1
Red tomato : 1
Orange tomato : 1
Olive oil : 1 tbsp
Italian seasoning : 1/4 tsp (optional)


  1. Remove the casings of the sausages and cut them crosswise into desired thickness. Sauté them in olive oil according to package direction. Transfer it to a bowl.
  2. Cook pasta according to package direction.Set aside.
  3. Sauté onions and cook potatoes in the same pan, as the potatoes are cooked add tomatoes, seasoning,spinach and parmesan cheese. Add the sausages back into the pan and mix.
  4. Add the pasta to this blend and serve with some chips and a little wine.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shallot Chicken Dry

Servings : 4

Boneless chicken thigh cut into small pieces : 1/2 Kg or 1lb. (or meat of your choice)
Pearl onions or shallots thinly sliced*: 280 gm or 10 oz.(see notes below)
Potato cut into cubes: 1
Coconut sliced in to small pieces : a few (optional)
Small green chilies: 4
Garlic pods: 2
Crushed ginger : 1tbsp
Curry leaves: A few
Lemon juice squeezed: 1 tbsp or more to taste 
Chopped cashew nuts : A handful (optional)
Olive oil or Coconut oil : 2tbsp plus a little more
Cardamom : 2
Cloves : 2
Cinnamon stick : one small piece
Pepper cones : a few
Black pepper powder: 1/4tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder : 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp or to taste



  1. Cut chicken into small pieces, pat dry it and marinate it. 
  2. Boil the potatoes along with enough water and salt and set aside.
  3. Prepare all the other ingredients as shown above.
  4. Heat the pan and add 2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil add 2 to 3 curry leaves for a nice aroma . Now add the chicken. Let one side cook for 5 minutes  and the other side for another 5. Transfer it to a bowl. (There will be a little bit of water content)
  5. Using the same pan on the stove, add the coconut slices and cashews till it changes color but not brown, now add crushed ginger, garlic slices, sliced green chilies, curry leaves, and sauté for 2 minutes. Put in sliced onions  and sauté it for 6 to 7 minutes on medium heat.
  6. While the onions are being cooked, crush and powder cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, and pepper cones and add it to the mix along with the garam masala powder, pepper powder and the remaining oil.   Mix it along with the chicken and potatoes .  Lower heat and add lemon juice. Let it sit for few minutes and enjoy!




Pearl onions or shallots can be prepared ahead of time for convenience or preferably while watching ‘Ice Age 3’ to laugh and cry at the same time and to save some time. Onions can be kept in the fridge in a plastic bag or a container for later use.

Those that are less tolerant to spices please bear in mind that this dish is spicy, please be discreet in the use of green chilies, red pepper powder, and pepper powder. Feel free to reduce the amount or even eliminate some if necessary.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spinach and Tomato Salad With Homemade Yogurt Dressing

Servings :2

Baby Spinach Leaves : 1 1/2 cup
Thinly Sliced Yellow Tomatoes : 1
Thinly Sliced Red Tomatoes : 1
Thinly Sliced Orange Tomatoes :1
Red or White Onions Sliced : 1/4 cup
Cucumber Slices : 1/2 of a cucumber



Gently toss all these together.  Add anything you want!

Homemade Salad Dressing

Yogurt :2 tbsp
Olive Oil :1 tbsp
Crushed Garlic :1 or 2
Lemon Juice and Zest : 1 tbsp
Salt and Pepper to taste


Beat it all together and Enjoy!

Tomato-Yogurt Curry or Thakkali Moru Charu


Chopped Tomatoes  :1
Garlic Pods : 2
Green Chilies : 3 or 4
Red Pearl Onions : 2 or 3
Red Chilies Dried : 3
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Curry Leaves : A few
Plain Yogurt : 1/2 cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Water : 1 1/2 cup plus little bit more  to beat the yogurt



  1. Beat the plain yogurt briefly to lighten it to a medium consistency. Pour 2 tbsp of water into it to loosen it. Set it aside.
  2. Heat up 1 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pan, and add chopped tomatoes in it along with sliced garlic, green chilies, a few curry leaves, turmeric powder, and salt.
  3. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or more till the tomatoes are thoroughly cooked, and all the flavors are blended in with the water. Keep the heat on medium. Do a salt check. If needed, add some to the beaten yogurt or to the tomato water.
  4. Now add the beaten yogurt and keep stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon.  Do not take the hands off of it.
  5. Keep stirring for few minutes until you see steam coming out. Turn off the stove and remove it from the heat.
  6. In a separate pan add oil, splutter mustard seeds , chopped pearl onions , red chilies, and curry leaves. Fry it till it gets a nice brown color.
  7. Pour this seasoning over the yogurt tomato mixture and Yum!



Some may prefer a lighter consistency . If so, add more water to the yogurt mixture and loosen it.

This is a very quick and easy way of making a gravy for the rice without having to add a coconut spice mixture.

This goes best as a side with rice and, lamb or beef curry.

Left over can be kept in a tight jar in the fridge for a few days.

Grated Carrots and Potatoes Thoran Curry


Potato :1
Finely Chopped Onions :1
Green Chilies :3 or 4
Red pearl onions :3
Curry Leaves : A few
Coconut Oil : 1tbsp
Mustard Seeds :1 tsp
Salt: To taste



  1. Finely chop onions, green chilies,  red pearl onions and set aside. Set aside some curry leaves also.
  2. Finely grate the carrot and potato separately as shown in the picture above.
  3. Heat the pan on medium heat.
  4. When it gets hot, pour the oil.  Reduce the heat right away.
  5. Add mustard seeds, a few curry leaves, and the chopped pearl onions for seasoning.
  6. As the onion gets browned(see picture above), add the finely chopped onions and green chilies and  a few more curry leaves to it and sauté for a minute.
  7. Add potatoes along with some salt and cook for 10 minutes or more until it is almost cooked. Sprinkle some water around through the edges of the pan. At this point reduce the heat to medium low to prevent the potatoes from sticking at the bottom of the pan.
  8. Now add the grated carrots and the coconuts together. Make sure to check the seasoning.
  9. Carrots and coconut together cooks in another 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Mix them all together make it into a pile and cook it on low heat till it is well cooked.



This is a dry version that does not require water. If  potatoes need some water just sprinkle some around, but not adding too much.Keep checking the bottom of the pan to make sure that it is not burning. If it tends to burn, sprinkle a little bit of water as mentioned above through the edges of the pan and around the mixture.

This doesn’t need to be covered at any time.

Ensure that the potatoes are cooked well  before adding carrots.

Make sure the heat is on low while cooking potatoes and carrots.

The slower it cooks the better it tastes and it prevents burning.

Making this with a big handful of red pearl onions instead of the savala or big onions will give it a better flavor.

Adding some cooked green peas or edamame will give it a beautiful look. You may add it  along with the carrots or just 1 minute before you turn the stove off.  Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

My meal for this day was rose matta rice with thoran curry, Tomato yogurt curry and pappadam. Nice Vegetarian meal on a hot summer day. Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Strawberry Compote Dessert

Servings:4  Recipe Courtesy : Received from Jeff and Brigitte Clark  our dear friends

Fresh Strawberries : 1 pound
Granulated Sugar : 1 1/4 cups
Cinnamon Stick : 1 small
Pure Vanilla Extract and a few drops for the cream : 1/4 tsp
Whipping cream : 1/2 cup
Confectioners Sugar : 1 tbsp



  1. Quickly wash the strawberries under cold water, hull them, and put in a heavy 4-quart saucepan.
  2. With a wooden spoon, toss the strawberries with the granulated sugar, then add the cinnamon.
  3. Bring to a boil over low heat, shaking the pan constantly to prevent sticking.
  4. Make sure the sugar has dissolved before the strawberries come to a boil. The strawberries will release liquid as they cook.
  5. The strawberries should look firm.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool, then transfer to a jar with a tight screw top .Refrigerate until needed, up to 2 weeks.
  7. In a cold medium-size mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form.
  8. Add the confectioners sugar and a few drops of vanilla.
  9. To serve, divide the strawberries among 4 stemmed glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream. 

Notes:  Do not over cook the strawberries. Frozen strawberries   may be used, only in the absence of fresh fruits.Do not add water at any stage.  If strawberries are not available where you live, you may substitute the recipe with other locally available berries or fruits.Vanilla ice cream can be used as a substitute for whip cream. Try to get medium-size  strawberries and look for berries that are uniform in size. Confectioners sugar is simply powdered sugar.


Spicy Siracha Chicken Wings

Recipe Courtesy: Received from my friends Jeff and Brigette Clark.
10 servings

Chicken Wings : 10 Pounds
Crushed Coriander Seeds :1/4 Cup
Crushed Cumin Seeds : 1tsp
Cinnamon :1tsp
Kosher salt : 2tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil : 1/4 Cup
Siracha Chile Sauce : 3/4 Cup (see notes below)
Unsalted Butter Melted : 1 1/2 Sticks
Chopped Cilantro : 1/2 Cup
Lime Juice and Lime Zest: 3 lemons



  1. In a very large bowl, toss the wings with the coriander and cumin seeds, cinnamon, kosher salt, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375degrees.
  3. Spread the wings on 3 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 75 to 90 minutes, until crispy and golden. Stir or turn occasionally to help the wings crisp.
  4. Wash out the bowl.
  5. Add the Siracha sauce, butter, cilantro, lime zest and juice.
  6. Add the wings to the sauce and toss well.
  7. Do so in small batches if necessary. Serve hot.


Notes: This can be a great party meal.

It can be made in small quantity also, just calculate the portion of all the ingredients needed.

Siracha sauce is available at almost all the grocery stores, especially at an oriental store for a much cheaper price. If unable to find it,  make your own by following the recipe here.

Wash and pat dry the wings before proceeding with the recipe, to help reduce the water content while cooking.

It tastes better eating warm.

This can be served with a simple coleslaw, and toasted whole grain bread and some white wine.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beet Greens Thoran with Grated Carrots

Beet Greens :  1 bunch finely chopped
Finely Chopped Onions : 1
Green Chilies:  3 or 4
Grated Carrots : 1 or 2 
Grated Coconuts :1/2 cup
Turmeric powder: 1tsp
Olive Oil :2tbsp
Shallots :2 or 3
Mustard Seeds : 1 or 2 tsp
Curry leaves : a few
Salt :For your taste

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  1. Wash and clean each leaves separately in cold water and pat dry it with a paper towel.
  2. Separate the leaves and stems and keep the stem part aside for later.
  3. Finely chop the leaves as shown above.
  4. Finely grate the carrots  and the stem as shown in the picture. Do not mix it with the leaves.
  5. Turn on the pan on medium heat and pour the olive oil into it.
  6. Splutter the mustard seeds and add the chopped shallots and curry leaves. Check the heat to prevent burning.
  7. Add the turmeric powder and stir.Don't burn it.
  8. Add onions green chilies and sauté  for 2 minutes.
  9. Now add the grated carrots and the beet stems.
  10. Sauté till it is almost cooked but not fully.
  11. Now add the leaves and along with salt.
  12. Reduce the heat to medium law.
  13. Do not cover, and let it steam till the leaves are wilted may be 4 minutes.
  14. Add grated coconut and toss the leaves around so the other side is also cooked. May be another 2 to 3 minutes.
  15. Take it out of the heat and serve it with rice. It should look like this.


Notes: Beet Greens are high in Vitamin K and A along with a large amounts of anti oxidants like  beta carotene.

Available in stores all year around.

Try to pick greens that are not wilted or yellowing.

May not taste as good as spinach or ‘cheera curry’ from home. It is a wonderful substitute for those who have a craze for cheera curry.

Same  recipe may be used for cooking cabbage leaves or spinach leaves.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lazy Spicy Broiled Fish

Serves 2

Tilapia fillets:      2
Chili powder :      1tbsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Olive oil :    1tbsp
lemon juice :1tbsp
salt: 1/2 tsp 


  1. Thoroughly mix all the listed ingredients to a paste.
  2. Turn on the oven  to the broiler mode to preheat
  3. If patience allows, let the fish marinate in the spice for a few minutes.
  4. Lay the fish pieces flat on an oil coated oven proof dish.
  5. Cook one side for 6 minutes  or more depends on your preference.
  6. Flip the fish over to the other side and cook for another 5 to 6mins.
  7. Take it out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes  before serving.


Notes:-- you can taste the spice paste a bit and see if it lacks anything. 
Cooking time can be varied as per individual preference and oven setting. 
Broiler gives you a more drier version while baking it for 30 or 20 minutes may give you a very moist version of the fish. 
The same recipe may be used for the frying version of it, if so marinate for few hours.  You may try this same recipe on other types of fish as well.
Nothing fancy about this, except it is quick and easy.     

My combination meal for this day was fish served with rice, butter milk curry, moongdal thoran, and a piece of lemon pickle. 


I am Subeena.

An ordinary woman with a passion for cooking and feeding. I believe in the art of cooking. It is a colorfully crafted art where you mix the elements with balance and attention. Love is another factor that makes it all the more tastier.  Putting my whole heart filled with love into it, I cook, We eat, and I enjoy the smile it puts on the face of others. Although not at all professional in cooking, through error and terror I am still learning. This is a live recipe book for my own reference where I keep my every day meals and combos. My apologies  in advance for any listed dishes that are not palatable to your tongue. Most recipes are of personal origin while others are borrowed from family, friends, and the web. My sincere thanks to my dear husband who has been an inspiration and aspiration all through the years. Eating with an open mind allows me to welcome other cuisines whenever possible and to enjoy the awakening of my taste buds.