Monday, January 09, 2006


Off to India

Finally we decided to take a break and are off to India on vacation. Karthik and I spent the last few days shopping and packing for India trip. I am leaving tomorrow. We are taking the flight from San Francisco and landing in Chennai. I will be visiting my hometown, the god’s own country, Kerala. I will be back by March end. I will be reading all your blogs but I may not be able to post regularly.

Happy Blogging:)

Thursday, January 05, 2006



Puttu is another common breakfast in Kerala. It is made out of rice flour and is cylindrical in shape. Puttu is made with the help of a Puttu maker. Puttu maker is a steamer which is cylindrical in shape. These are available in the Indian grocery stores. Many people use idly moulds also to make puttu recipe. Nowadays Instant puttu mix is available in Indian grocery stores. The dish has to be made with lot of coconut. I make this recipe to recall the memories of my home. Puttu has kadala curry as its accompaniment. This is my contribution to Meena's blog Hooked on Heat for "From my Rasoi - Breakfast".

Ingredients : Recipe for two
  • 2 cups of raw rice
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • Salt to taste

Soak the rice for two hours and strain it. Spread the rice in a cloth or a plate and allow them to dry. Grind the dried raw rice to a fine powder in the mixer. Mix salt in water and add the water little by little to the rice flour and mix it. You should be careful while mixing the water to the rice flour. It should not change to dough. It should be in a powdered form wet enough for steaming.

Now add a fistful full of grated coconut in the puttu maker and then add the rice flour till half, then add another handful of coconut. This is done till you reach the top of the cylindrical shape.

Close the lid and steam for 4-5minutes.

Serve hot with kadala curry.


Theeyal Curry

This week I ended up making lot of Kerala dishes. Theeyal is a Kerala dish and it is very delicious with rice. It goes well with idly, dosa, appam and chapattis. This is one of my favorite dishes. The recipe can be made with vegetables like yam, snake gourd, egg plant and bitter gourd. I made it simple by using only the baby onions.

Ingredients: Recipe for two
  • 1 cup of baby onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1tsp tamarind paste
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 4-5 red chilies
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 pepper corns
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and sauté the coconut until it turns light brown. Add the red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns and sauté for a minute. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool. Grind the mixture to a fine paste.
  • Heat 2tsp of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and onions. Sauté the onions until it turn into transparent. Add the ground masala and cook for few seconds. Add ½ cup water, tamarind paste, salt and bring to boil.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Potato Stew (Ishtu)

Another traditional Keralite dish called “Ishtu” in Malayalam and Potato Stew in English. This is simple to prepare and at the same time very tasty. This dish is idle for appam, idly and dosa.

Ingredients: Recipe for two

  • 1 big potato cut into big chunks
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup of coconut paste or milk
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chilies
  • 4 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pressure cooker add 2 tsp of oil. Add the onions, green chilies, ginger and sauté until the onions gets transparent. Don’t allow the onions to change color. It should be transparent. Now add the potatoes, ½ cup of water and salt. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.Once the potatoes are cooked, mash some of the potatoes to get a thick gravy.
  • Heat the pan and add the potato gravy and 1 cup of coconut milk or paste. Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with curry leaves and 1tsp of coconut oil.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Kuska Biriyani

I had this recipe in my friend’s house. I learned this recipe from her. Some people use tomato to enhance the taste. You can try this recipe using coconut milk also to make it delicious. Kuska rice is similar to Ghee rice. This recipe is bland and easy to make. I had kuska rice with Gobi masala was a great accompaniment.

Ingredients: Recipe for two

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 3 pods of garlic finely chopped
  • 4 green chilies
  • ½ cup of mint leaves
  • Salt for taste


Heat 3 tsp of ghee and 2tsp of regular oil in the rice cooker pan. Sauté cumin seeds, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves. Add the garlic and green chilies and sauté until the raw flavor goes off. Add the mint leaves and sauté for 2 minutes and add the basmati rice, 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Remove the pan from the heat and transfer to the rice cooker and plug on the cooker. Serve with any kurma or onion raita.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Cauliflower Curry (Gobi Masala)

I had this cauliflower sitting in my fridge for a week. Many recipes came to my mind while thinking about the cauliflower. At last I made up my mind to do Gobi masala which will go well for the rice as well as chapattis.

Ingredients: Recipe for two

  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 1 ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tomato finely chopped
  • 2tsp cilantro
  • 2tsp yogurt
  • Spice Powder: 1 tsp of Red chili powder and Coriander powder.½ tsp of turmeric and cumin powder.
  • Grind: 1 tsp poppy seeds and 2 tsp of cashews grind to a fine paste
  • Grind: 3 pods of Garlic, 2 green chilies and a small piece of ginger grind to a fine paste
  • Salt for taste


Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and sauté till golden brown.

Add ginger, garlic, green chili paste and sauté them. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add all the spice powders red chili powders, coriander powder, turmeric a, cumin powder, salt and cook till the tomatoes absorbs the flavor.

Add the yogurt and sauté till the yogurt is well blended. Now add the cauliflower florets and sauté them well turning all sides to coat the masala and cook them covered for 2 minutes.

Add the cashew poppy seed paste and ½ cup of water. Cook them covered for 5-6 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot.