One life to love

Kerala red fish curry

Kerala red fish curry is a speciality in the christian familes in kerala. I learnt this dish from my mother in law, and since the past year or so, I make this regularly in my home, cause it is easy, and stays fresh even when kept outside the fridge and also it is delicious and brings out the taste of fish.

We usually make this in a munn chatti or clay pot and then leave the curry in that till it is over and then daily boil the curry in clay pot to help it remain fresh.

Ingredients

1/2 Kg – any tasty fish cleaned and cut as curry pieces

2 tsp – turmeric powder

4 tsp – red chilli powder

1 tsp – salt ( salt to taste)

1/2 tsp – mustards

1/2 tsp – uluva, fenugreek seeds

karivepilla

4 – green chilli

4- kudampulli – slices soaked in water

2 inch -ginger – thinly sliced

15-small garlic cloves – thinly sliced

10- small onion – thinly sliced

1 tbsp – oil

Method :- Heat oil in kadai, do thadka with mustards, fenugreek seeds, karivepilla and follow it up with frying the onion, garlic , ginger and green chillies till they are golden brown. Remove them from the oil and then cook the paste of  chillie powder and turmeric powder in oil till the raw smell goes off. In an earthen vessel, place karivepilla in it and mix together the tadka, chillie, turmeric and add the kudampulli soaked in water. Place the pieces of fish in the vessel, add the salt and water as required and cook for 15minutes, till the fish is properly cooked.

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September 18, 2009 Posted by | Cookery | , | Leave a comment

Avalose Unda.

Comfort food … every one has something which makes them happy at any time of the day.. some ppl like rasam at all times of the year.. some others like kanji… i am not talking about the delicious food that we crave for .. but some basic food which we feel at home with…

Thinking about this. Mine would be kanji with payar and pappadam or kanji with Thenga Chamandi. Kanji is the kerala red rice cooked in excess water. Some others like having pongal with sambar, some others like masala dosa.. i know some other person who just loves sambar of any form or taste or state. People have their own tastes and comfort zones..

My husband has one such special comfort food. It is called Avalose poodi.. which is basically Powdered Rice + grated coconut + Jeera, fried for long and again powdered coarsely. This powder would be light brown  and dry .. and this will last for long if not wetted with water. We can have this poodi along with sugar and banana….My hubby can have this at any time of the day provided we have enough ripe banana’s in stock. Earlier he used to have this poodi along with equal or more volume of banana and few spoons of sugar all mashed and squeesed well with hand.. these days he has it along with just banana.. so it is basically 4 spoons of avalose poodi with 4 small banana’s that he has. This he is always happy to have.. be it break fast, lunch or dinner.. My mom-in-law makes lots of avalose poodi for us… so we always have stock.

My hubby has sweet tooth and so any kind of sweet is most welcome… and one of the specialities that his mom makes for him using this avulose podi is called avalose unda.. there are various ways of making it. I adopt the most healthy recipe from the lot.

Ingredients

Jaggery 1/2kg

Lemon – 1

Cardamom – 3-4 pods – powder the seeds

Avalose Poddi – around 1/2 kg.

Method : Heat Jaggery and make it dilute ( filter to remove impurities). Continue heating till the consistency is barely 1 thread ( on tapping between thumb and forefinger quickly, we will get a single thread. Do not over cook it, else it will lead to the final product being too hard. Add powdered cardamom, mix. Add the juice of one lemon and mix well ( this will help in making the final product soft). While hot itself, into this keep pouring the avalose podi while stirring continuously. Add enough podi to get a dough of consistency such that it can be rolled to sticky balls easily. As soon as the heat is within bearable levels, start making balls of the mixture and drop the balls into a plate with avulose podi so that the ball is coated and the stickiness is gone. Cool and store to serve as desired. This will stay fresh in shelf for long and will be soft balls. The balls can be hard to bite or brittle if we make any mistake in the consistency of the jaggery or the final mixture.

The same can be made with sugar syrup instead of jaggery. When sugar is used we mix sugar in water to make a saturated solution , add lemon juice so that it would not thicken and the heat it to make asingle thread consistency.

Avalose unda is also called “ammayiamma unda”. The story goes like this….

In the olden days when girl had to be married off, lots of alliances used to come from prospect grooms. Each time a guy comes to the house to see the girl, the official pennukannal chadanga, the would be mother-in-law ( the girls’s mother) has to serve many platters of palaharams or snacks, mostly home made ones. The guy comes to see the girl along with a big gang of uncles and aunties so lots of snacks need to be available to be served multiple times. Since the mother-in-law ( or ammayeamma) finds the process of cooking and serving snacks tiresome, she will make lots of avalose unda’s which are bit tight or hard, due to overcooking of jaggery. This way the vsitors would not try munching and finishing it off after the first person takes a bite and conveys to the rest of the gang that it is hard. Also the harder the unda is made, the longer it lasts to cover the many prospect son-in-law visits and hence the name -” ammayeamma unda”!!

 

July 16, 2009 Posted by | Cookery | Leave a comment

Thai vegetable soup, Chinese dumplings and vegetable fried rice.

Once in a while I get hooked to the thought of cooking only Chinese… and I have been dreaming about dumplings for quite some time… so I ventured into searching the net for the ideal recipe that can be followed ( and I did find some really good ones). Then I thought why not make the rest of chinese or near chinese items.. that was when I thought of making thai soup since I had some lemon grass waiting to be used and typical vegetable stir fry.

Talking about lemon grass….Once I happen to see some lemon grass stalks in the shop, I bought them and explored options with lemon grass. I looked around and saw some tips to make vegetable soup . Did you know that lemon grass is considered to be a very healthy item rich in vitamin C and good in improving our immunity against cold and fever during winter.

So we are going to have a full course vegetable thai soup, vegetable dumplings and Stir fry rice recipe.

Thai vegetable soup

Ingredients

Lemon grass stalk – 2, chopped to small pieces lightly mashed or pressed

Capsicum – one, preferably red, chopped to small pieces.

Tomato – One, chopped to small pieces

Carrot – one chopped to small pieces

Spring onion – few stalks chopped to small pieces

Beans – 3 or 4 chopped thinly

Coconut milk – half glass

Corn flour – 1 tsp

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Glarlic pod  – 3 small

Ginger thinly sliced – ½ tsp

Pepper powder – as per taste

Salt – as per taste

Sugar – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves  – few sprigs

Any other vegetables like broccoli, baby corn, peas, cabbage, fresh basil leaves,  celery etc finely chopped can also be used.

 Preparation

 Boil the lemon grass in 2 glass of water for 5 minutes so that the flavour is extracted out, then sieve and remove the lemon grass pieces and use the stock

Boil and cook all other vegetables you wish to add to the soup in vegetable stock or water till the vegetables are well cooked and tender. Drop the vegetables like carrot, beans in water initially and follow it with tomatoes, capsicum etc, also add the lemon grass stock, coriander leaves, pepper, sugar and salt and cook.

Once vegetables are well cooked, add the corn flour diluted in 2 tsp of water, the soup will thicken on addition of corn flour. If we are adding American corn or baby corn, then we can avoid corn flour. Add coconut milk and switch off the fire and add lemon juice. Do not let it boil after adding coconut milk. Enjoy your soup which is ready to be served with chilly sauce and tomatoes sauce to be added to taste.

Chinese dumplings

I came across this interesting link with detailed description of steps for chinese dumplings. I took tips from here and made my version of dumplings with things available at my home.

Filling

Finely chopped vegetables – carrot, beans, ginger, garlic,spring onion.

Cooked and mashed potato, one egg.

Mix everything together along with salt to taste and some pepper powder.

Dumpling cover – Make dough with flour and make small balls and roll them into circular wrappers.

Make dumpling with 1 spoon filling and place them in idly vessel and steam cook to perfection.

Vegetable dumplings

Other possible variations for fillings

Minced vegetables like cabbage, spring onions, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, egg, minced meat ( or minced prawns) and little binder of corn flour, with salt and pepper to taste.

Fried Rice

Finely chop all vegetables, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

Wash jeera rice and cook it, do not over cook it, so that grains are separate.  Cook  in water flavoured with spices and salt. Drain water and keep ready.

In a wok, heat oil and add the minced ingredients and stir and cook them. Keep adding some tomato sauce or vegetable stock it gets too dry. Add salt and pepper powder to taste. Add a tsp of soya sauce. Add the cooked jeera rice to the stir fried vegetables and toss for another minute, add coriander leaves. You can also add scrambled eggs or cooked minced chicken and tasty stir fry rice is ready to be served.

May 17, 2009 Posted by | Cookery | , , | Leave a comment

Avial

Avial is one of my favorite vegetable dishes from Kerala. It is considered to be a very nutritious dish since it is made up of so many vegetables. I always enjoyed eating avial that my mom or aunt made, but never ventured into making the dish on my own.

Then one fine day I decided that it was time for me to make avial on my own. There is a lot of improvement that can happen with practice.

This is the simplest way to make it because it’s my mom who gave me the recipe.

Ingredients

-1 big carrot
-small bottle guard, you can also add small pieces of snake guard, ash guard etc. Since bottle guard is the most easily available vegetable in the category, I use a whole small bottle guard instead of the others.
-small piece of Yam
-One raw banana
-Few long beans which we call ‘achinga’ in Malayalam
-2 drum-sticks
-Curry leaves
-Some pulli extract ( or some curds or few pieces of raw mango)
-2 or 3 green chillies
-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
-1/2 tsp chillie powder
-1.5 tsp Salt (to taste)
-1.5 tsp coconut oil
-few small onion

Wash all the vegetables and remove the skin and keep ready for chopping into 2 inch long by half inch width size.

Vegetables cut and ready for cooking.

Place all the vegetables in a thick bottomed vessel.
Add 1 cup of water, turmeric powder and chillie powder. Close the vessel with a lid and allow to cook. Check from time to time to make sure that the water is not dried out. If required add little water. Once the vegetables are almost cooked add the pulli extract or the raw mango pieces. Add the salt as per taste and curry leaves and let it cook closed for some more time. Grind coconut coarsely with some small onions and green chillies and add to the cooked vegetable. Mix thoroughly and allow to boil for one more minute and switch off the fire. If you are using curds instead of the other options, then this is the time to add curds. Add the coconut oil and mix. Serve with hot rice and enjoy a hearty meal.

November 22, 2007 Posted by | Cookery | 2 Comments

Bread pudding with a difference

I made this bread pudding inspired by this recipe of bread pudding from the food blog – Pioneer women cooks. The pioneer woman does amazing cooking and has a very elaborate style of sharing her recipe. Hers is one of the many interesting food blogs that I frequent. This would be my first cookery posting 🙂 and with this I am hoping to join the food blogger’s gang.

I made a simple white sauce to garnish this pudding. The ingredients were sugar, milk, flour and butter. On a slow fire mixed all the ingredients wile stirring it continuously. I am very poor when it comes to giving the exact measure of things used in the recipe. I usually go as per the recipe I refer (that too only while baking) or else do as per my gut feeling.

I love baking, but if it is cakes, then I prefer having a friend around to help me. Not that I do much of baking but during the time of Christmas. We forget our health diet and end up enjoying cakes without realizing the calories going in , which is another reason why I feel like avoiding baking.

My sweetheart loved this pudding. He was going all ooomph and aaahhaa while having it. :). Then my Best friend who is also an amazing cook, tried out this pudding. She also loved it. Its like getting a sign off / success signal when my best critics approve my cooking. 🙂

August 18, 2007 Posted by | Cookery | Leave a comment