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Thursday, August 31, 2017


How to make kurukku kalan, How to make katti kalan
Being born and brought up in Coimbatore and owing to its proximity to Kerala, I have tasted many Kerala dishes. During Onam and other festivals, I have cooked many traditional Kerala recipes. Sadhya/ Sadya in Kerala, is a traditional feast served on banana leaf, similar to Tamil Nadu's 'Vazhai ilai sappadu'. Click here for Onam sadhya recipes. Coming to Kalan, no Onasadhya is complete without a Kalan. The difference between Kalan and Kurukku kalan is, Kalan will be like a gravy, and a pouring consistency, whereas Kurukku kalan is stirred for a long time until the gravy thickens. Kalan/Kurukku kalan/Katti Kalan is made with vegetables like Chena (yam), Kaya (raw banana), Kumbalanga (Ash gourd) and thick yoghurt. Kurukku kalan stays fresh for a fortnight.


Chopped ashgourd - 1 
½ cup
Chopped raw banana - 1 
½ cup

(Yam and raw banana makes a good combo. I used ashgourd and raw banana).
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - a pinch
Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Thick sour curds - 3 cups

To grind to a paste:
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 2
Jeera - 1/4 tsp

To temper:

Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - a sprig
Dry red chillies - 1


Peel the skin and cut the vegetables into medium sized pieces. Grind coconut, green chillies and jeera to a thick, smooth paste. Whisk curd without water until smooth.

Cook vegetables with chilli powder and turmeric using very little water. When half cooked, add salt and beaten curd and stir until the curd reduces and the kalan thickens to a semi solid state. ###

Now add the ground coconut paste. Mix well and cook in low flame until thick. Now add pepper powder, mix well and cook for a few seconds.

Temper with given ingredients, mix well and serve with steamed rice.

(### NOTE: Generally, it is prepared upto this stage and stored for future use. This stays good for more than a fortnight). 


How to make chakka curry
Chakka curry is a traditional Kerala dish made with semi-ripe jackfruit. 


Semi-ripe jackfruit sulai (bulb) - 15
Cowpeas - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1/8 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Urad dhal - 2 tsp.
Dry red chilli - 2 or 3
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup

To temper:
Coconut oil - 2 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - a sprig


NOTE: Jackfruit for chakka curry should be firm and semi-ripe. The semi-ripe chulais have sour and sweet taste which gives the flavour to the curry.

How to make chakka curry
Soak cowpeas for an hour. Pressure cook with little salt until soft. Drain water completely and keep aside.

Heat coconut oil in a kadai and roast urad dhal and chilli until golden brown. Grind along with cumin seeds and grated coconut to a smooth paste.

Take out the seeds from jackfruit, clean well and chop to pieces. Cook in little water along with salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. When 3/4th done, add cooked cow peas, and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Now add the ground paste, add little water to get the desired consistency, 
mix well and cook for 2 or 3 minutes in low flame. 

Temper the given ingredients and pour over the curry. Mix well. 

Serve as a side dish for Onam Sadhya. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


How to make pulinkari, How to make pulincurry
Pulinkari means a curry with tamarind. Mathanga Pulinkari is a Kerala style curry in which diced pumpkin is cooked in tamarind sauce alongwith some ground spices. The temperings in coconut oil gives additional flavour to the curry. This is one of the must have dishes in Onasadya (Onam feast) of Kerala.This is a simple to make pulincurry. There are many variations to this recipe. I have also mentioned the variations at the end of this post. 


Yellow pumpkin - 2 cups
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.
Green chilli -1
Tamarind paste - 1 tablespoon OR tamarind extract from key lime sized tamarind.
Hing - a generous pinch
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chilli - 1
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp. (preferably coconut oil)

To temper:
Coconut oil - 2 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs


Cut pumpkin into medium sized cubes. Need not peel the skin.

In a kadai, roast the coconut in low heat until golden brown and grind alongwith cumin seeds and red chilli to a smooth paste.

Cook pumpkin pieces in water alongwith salt, green chilli and turmeric powder. When half done, add tamarind extract ,hing and chilli powder and cook until raw smell diffuses. Now add the ground paste and cook for a few minutes in medium flame. Temper with the given ingredients. Serve with rice.

NOTE: Roasted coconut gives the flavour. If health conscious, just add grated coconut.

1. Sauteed shallots are added.
2. Coriander seeds, methi seeds, tur dhal, urad dhal are roasted in oil and ground with coconut to a powder. This is called podi podicha pulinkari. These ingredients can also be ground to a paste.
3. Cooked tur dhal is added.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Recently I received a request from Preethi Kitchen appliances to review their product Preethi Zodiac Food Processor. I received the product from them and after using it for quite sometime, I am sharing my experiences and personally feel that Preethi Zodiac Food Processor is a good companion in kitchen. 

Preethi Kitchen appliances,the iconic brand, have recently launched their food processor appliance named PREETHI ZODIAC MIXER GRINDER.

Mixie/grinder has become inevitable in any Indian household. So, what’s the difference between mixie/blender and a food processor? Mixies/blenders are used for making purees, smoothies, grinding etc., whereas food processors excel at grating, shredding, chopping, kneading, mincing, pureeing, grinding, herbs chopping and so on.

The Master Chef Jar is very attractive. The atta kneader attachment kneads even stiff dough within a minute as the product has a heavy duty motor. As it is kneading in high speed, the rotis also turn out to be soft. The dough is just like traditionally kneaded dough. With the right attachment, it chops, shreds, grates and slices paneer, cheese, vegetables and fruits quickly and easily. I was surprised to see everything done in just few seconds, you can say it as a record time. The wide mouth design of the master chef jar enables to hold more quantity and makes cleaning process also very easy. An added feature is the citrus juicer. It fits in the master chef jar.

Note: Blend in batches if you have to do in large quantities.

High speed juice extractor: This extracts juice from fruits and vegetables with ease. You can make preservative free juice at home. Now, with this facility, you can say a big NO to storebought juices, which have preservatives. Coconut milk extract is done in minutes. Centrifugal Juicer ensures instant juicing with more juice extraction

Wet/dry/chutney jars: It grinds really fast and smooth. I ground half kg. soaked millets and rice in less than 2 minutes, similarly the powders.

Build: Very sturdy. So no jerk / vibration. 

I can say it as a multitasker and a stylish addition to home. It is easy to use, assemble and clean. I would recommend Preethi Zodiac as an essential home appliance and a must in any kitchen which makes kitchen work simpler.

750W Motor - Superior performance, 5 year motor warranty; 2 year product guarantee.
3 in 1 Insta-Fresh Juicer - centrifugal juicing, blending and extraction
2.1 Ltr. Master Chef Jar - atta kneading, citrus juicer, grating, slicing, chopping
1 wet grinding jar, 1 dry grinding jar, 1 chutney jar
Lifelong Free Service.

Occupies more storage space but worth it. There could have been one coconut scraper attachment and vegetable dicer attachment too. For more details visit http://www.preethi.in/

Disclaimer: This review is done on request from Preethi Kitchen appliances. This review is my personal experience. Use your own discretion before buying the product. 

HOW I MADE BROCCOLI PARATHA IN LESS THAN 10 minutes with Preethi Zodiac Food Processor?  

I grated paneer in 10 seconds, broccoli in 15 secondssliced carrots in 5 seconds, shredded red cabbage in 5 seconds. I smeared oil on the inner surface of the mixer and blades. Added the flour and salt. Switched to 1st speed, added water little by little until the flour came together. Did not add water after that.  Pulsed 4 to 5 times to finish the kneading and switched off. This was done in a minute. You get a non-sticky dough and soft rotis like the traditionally made ones. All this work was done by Preethi Zodiac Food Processor in less than 3 minutes.


Whole wheat atta - 2 cups
Salt - to taste 
Ghee - for spreading 
Butter - for topping

Paneer - 100 gms
Broccoli - 1/2 kg.
Potato - 2 (medium sized)
Chilli powder- 1/4 tsp.
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Coriander leaves - few
Omam(Ajwain) - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - to taste 

(I have pressed the dough to show how soft and non-sticky it is)

Knead atta with salt and little water to a medium soft dough. Keep aside. 

Wash paneer well, grate it, and squeeze out the water completely using your hand. Wash broccoli and grate it. Boil potatoes, peel the skin and mash it well without any lumps. Grind coriander leaves and green chillies coarsely without adding water. Mix all ingredients alongwith ajwain(omam), chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Your stuffing is ready now.

Take medium -sized balls from the dough, shape it to a cup and fill it with stuffing and close it from the sides. OR you can also roll the dough to small puris, fill the stuffing in the centre and close it from the sides.

Dust the balls with wheat flour, and roll it out gently.

Heat a tawa, place the rolled paratha, allow to cook on one side, and when the colour changes, flip it to the other side. Spread some ghee on each side, flip and cook till done.

Serve hot with curd topped with chaat masala, roasted jeera powder and chilli powder OR tomato sauce OR tomato ketchup OR pickle OR any side dish of your choice.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


How to make mudakathan dosai, How to make baloon vine dosa, How to make mudakathan keerai dosai
Mudakkathan keerai (Balloon vine) is known for treating joint pains and cramps. This is also beneficial for arthritis, coughs and colds, menstrual cramps etc. These leaves can easily be grown in homes. ,Mudakku aruththan, in Tamil is pain reliever; pain in joints(mudakku, a type of arthritis) reliever(aruththaan) and hence the name. Recently when I went to Chettipunyam, I saw fresh leaves and bought this keerai in bunches. I made thogayal, chutney, powder and also made dosas. I also dried some leaves and powdered it. This powder can also be used while making dosas. This recipe is an easy method of making Mudakkathan dosai.
How to make mudakathan dosai, How to make baloon vine dosa, How to make mudakathan keerai dosai

Idli-Dosa Batter - 3 cups
Mudakathan keerai (Balloon Vine) - 2 fistfuls
Green chilies - 1 (optional)
Salt - a generous pinch (only for leaves)
Oil - to drizzle
How to make mudakathan dosai, How to make baloon vine dosa, How to make mudakathan keerai dosai

Wash mudakathan keerai well and take out the leaves. Discard the stems.

Grind the leaves alongwith little salt in a mixie to a smooth paste. (Green chillies can also be added. But I did not use). Add very little water if necessary. As the dosa batter has salt in it, add very little salt , only for leaves.

Add the ground paste to idli/dosa batter and mix well to get a dosa batter consistency.

Heat a dosa tawa, pour a ladle of batter in the centre and spread to a circle. Drizzle oil on sides. Once cooked, flip it to the other side and cook until crisp. Serve hot with sambar or molagapodi or any chutney of your choice.

NOTE: Do not preserve the batter in fridge after mixing the mudakkathan paste.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Kara kuzhambu is an aromatic, spicy and tasty kuzhambu. There are many variations, but this is an easy to make kara kuzhambu. Though it is made with shallots and garlic, mine is a No onion No garlic version. Those who use onion and garlic in their food can use it. Another version of vegetable kara kuzhambu can be seen here. 


Fresh double beans - 1 cup
Tamarind - amla sized
Coriander powder- 2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp.

To fry and grind :
Oil - 1 tsp.

Fennel seeds (Saunf) - 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 2
Black pepper - 1/8 tsp.
Poppy seeds - 1/4 tsp. (dry roast first)
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp.

Tomato - 1
Sambar powder - 1 tsp.

Scraped coconut - 1/4 cup

To temper:
Gingelly oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Hing - a generous pinch


Cook fresh double beans with little salt and water until soft.

Soak tamarind in a cup of water and extract pulp.

In a kadai, heat a spoon of oil and fry the items given in 'to grind', in the given order, and grind to a paste. Keep aside.

In the same kadai, add a spoon of gingelly oil and temper with the given ingredients. Add turmeric, chilli and coriander powders give a quick saute without burning and add the tamarind extract and salt. Allow it to boil until the raw smell diffuses. Now add the cooked double beans and ground paste. Mix well, add water to get the desired consistency and allow it to boil until thick. Switch off the stove, add a spoon of gingelly oil to the kuzhambu and mix well. Double beans kara kuzhambu is ready. Tastes best when mixed with hot rice and a dollop of ghee. It can also be served with idli and dosa.

NOTE: If you do not like saunf taste, garam masala can be used.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Black chana , kondakkadalai in Tamil, is extremely beneficial for health with high fiber and lower glycemic index. It is an extremely versatile legume, and can be used in Indian dishes like kuzhambu, curries, salads, soups, sundal or even as a quick snack. 

Mini sized black chickpea is available in stores (Not the regular sized kondakadalai/black channa). These are easy to bite especially in salads. Any vegetable like cucumber, raw mango, onion, tomato etc.can be used. 


Mini sized black chickpea - 1 cup
Finely chopped carrot - 1/2 cup
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tablespoons
Grated ginger - 1/4 tsp.
Black pepper powder - a generous pinch
Lime juice - 2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Extra virgin olive oil - 1  tsp
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tsp.


Pressure cook mini chickpeas along with salt until soft. When done, drain water completely and transfer to a bowl. Add all other ingredients, mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve. 

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