Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Puli Inji

Here is a little hot and sweet preserve for you.  The zesty ginger with hot paprika and sweet jaggery combine together to make this potent preserve.  It heightens the experience of a rice and lentil meal.  Served in all sadya (feast)  I hope you will enjoy this recipe.
Ginger - thinly chopped - 1 cup
Coconut oil - 1/4 cup (could use less if you can deep fry the ginger in small quantities)
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Green chillies - 6 nos
Brown sugar - 3 tspn packed
Salt - 1 tspn (add gradually as per taste)
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn
Asafoetida - 1/4 tspn ( optional)
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tspn
Chili powder - 1 tspn
Tamarind - a lemon size ball (I made a ball of some tamarind and kept it in a tbspn and I think its safe to say 1 1/2 - 2 tbspn of tamarind)
Water - 1 cup and 2 tbspn

1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of water
2. Deep fry the sliced ginger and chili and keep aside
3. In a little water as little as 1 tbspn or as much as 2 tbspn and mix the powders.  Turmeric, chili, asafoetida, fenugreek)
4. I drained the oil out and added the soaked powder mixture in and sautéed it for a few seconds
5. With your hands mix the tamarind well making taking only the juice
6. Add this to the sautéed powder and boil for 10-15 minutes on medium fire or until it thickens
7.  Add the fried ginger, chilies and curry leaves and let the mixture simmer
8. You could crush the fried ginger with your hands or in your blender to get a coarse powder or add it as is.
9. Take off the heat, cool and save in a bottle

Contributor: Sunitha

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Strawberry Muffins

     Strawberries.  I have to tell you I love photographing them.  The color is so beautiful it’s they are often a delightful subject.  Thankfully, my children share this fascination with me if not in photography the idea of including them in preparations.  Making use of them hence is a breeze..

  The last time we bought strawberries and made the preparado I had a few remaining.  Having talked about liking the looks sometimes you will agree the fruit can be too sour to eat with out a dip or ice cream.  I decided we needed more variety so made some muffins.   


Strawberry-Bite sized pieces- 1 1/4cup
Butter- 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar- 1/2 cup/to your liking
Brown sugar- 1/4 cup
Eggs- 2
Milk- 1/2 cup
Pure Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Flour- 2 1/4 cup
Baking Powder- 1 1/4 tsp
Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon- 1 tsp
Salt- a pinch


1.Hull and cut the strawberries into bite sized pieces and keep them foe 10-15 minutes to dry up a bit, so that it won't get too mushy when mixed with the flour.
2.Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
3.Line or grease the muffin pans. This measurement will give you ~18 standard size muffins.
4.Whisk together the flour,Cinnamon, Baking powder,Baking soda and salt.
5.Beat the butter and sugar until smooth.beat in the eggs. Do not over beat them.
6.Add the vanilla extract and milk, beat to mix in.
7.Throw in the strawberry pices into the flour and toss them to get coated with the flour.
8.Add this flour mixture to the wet mixture and beat at low speed to mix in/gently fold in using a spatula.
9.Mix all the flour mixture like this, scrapping the sides if necessary.
10.Spoon into the prepared muffin pans till 3/4th and bake.
11.Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Contributor; Namitha

Monday, March 29, 2010

Olan/ Vegetable in Thick coconut milk

An essential in every sadya (feast) I decided its time to share olan with you.   I have not heard people talk about this dish with the same gusto as they would aviyal, sambar or kootu curry.  One dish grossly overlooked but served in all sadya. I like this dish. It’s simple to cook with subtle flavors.

There are different variations with olan.  Mostly the difference is the vegetable you use.  Some cook raw plantain, cucumber and long beans with green chilies or some with only snake guard.  I suppose its an dependent on which part of Kerala you hail.  However, as long as you are cooking your vegetable with green chilies and adding thick coconut milk with a generous spoon of coconut oil to top, you are cooking your olan right.

If it’s a change from spicy food you desire this is your best bet.


Red Moong Dal – (Red Lentil) – ½ cup
Cucumber – 1 small
Coconut – 1 cup (grind after adding 1/3 cup lukewarm water and press and sieve to get coconut milk)
Chilli – 3-4 nos
Salt-to taste
Coconut oil – 2 tspn
Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs


1.Soak the lentil overnight or pressure cook with water just enough to cover the lentil
2.Cut the cucumber into small pieces and cook it with green chillies
3.Mix the lentils and cucumber together and cook the to dry the water
4.Add thick coconut milk and heat through.
5.Add 2 tspn of coconut oil and add a sprig of curry leaves and transfer into your serving dish.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mango Shake

There is no other fruit in the world that makes me feel so nostalgic, and takes me home in a fraction of a second, like mango. I do not know how to tell you how much I love mango.  There was a time I would trade almost anything for a mango! I haven't changed much.

Mangoes are a growing up experience for all Keralites.  Eating them raw with salt and chili powder or biting into the luscious fruit I am sure everyone will have a childhood story to share.  Children biting into whole mangoes almost bigger than their faces and the juice flowing down their clothes are a familiar site this time of they year.  I miss the mango trees and those familiar faces from home but I am glad we have Kesar Mangoes in tins to buy as much as I want.


Mango Pulp- 2 1/2 cup
Milk- 1/2 cup
Ice cubes- 4-5
Sugar- to taste
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp


Blend everything together in a blender and serve.

This is enough for 2-3 servings.


If you are using fresh ripe mangoes, peel off the skin and take flesh of 2 mangoes(small to medium size) to get the same amount.

Sending this and the Strawberry Preparado for Madhuri's Serve me some Juices Shakes and Smoothies event Thanks for this wonderful event Madhuri

Contributor: Namitha

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kaada Roast/ Quail Roast

There is a famous saying in Kerala about the quail which goes like this, 1000 chicken = 1/2 of a quail.This could be because it's a high calorie,high cholesterol meat.Most of the Toddy shops in Kerala serves this as a side dish. We have already told you about the toddy shops here.


Quail- 5-6
Onion- 3
Oil- 3-4 Tbsp
Green chillies- 2-3
Tomato- 1
Garlic cloves(grated)- 9-10
Ginger grated- 3 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- To taste
Chilli powder- 2 1/2tsp
Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
Garam masala- 2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Coconut milk- 1 cup


1. Marinate the quail with turmeric and salt.
2.Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and saute the onion till it starts turning slight golden brown in color.
3.Add chopped green chillies ,ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw smell leaves.
4.Throw in finely chopped tomato and saute again.
5.Now add the other spice powders and curry leaves and mix well.
6.Mix the marinated quail and close the lid to cook for 3-4 minutes.
7.Pour in the coconut milk and mix well.
8.Close the lid and cook on low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring a couple of times in between.
9.Open the lid and stir continuously to dry off any water content.
10.Take out into a serving bowl.

Contributor: Namitha

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mixed Thoran

Lent, the 40 days before Easter Sunday is a time marked with prayer and sacrifices.  I am not about to tell you how disciplined and devout I am but just that I have been trying to keep things simple.  From the Dal Makhani and Koftas you know simple has only been translating to vegetarian not light.   Yesterday, however, was marked with simplicity.  I made sautéed vegetable and spiced butter milk to go with rice.  A simple spread indeed, you will agree.  

Carrot - 1
Cabbage - half or 1/4
Green Beans - a bunch
(The measurements are all approximate.  When cut into small pieces the vegetable was about 4 cups)
Green chilies - 3 - 4 (however, hot you want it reduce or increase)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tspn
Turmeric - 1/2 tspn
Garlic - 1 clove
Ginger -  a tiny piece (optional)
Jeera/ Cumin- 1/4 tspn (optional)
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Shallots - 4 or 5 (use some to grind and some for tempering)
Oil - 1 Tbspn
Salt -  to taste
1. Grind together coconut, garlic, green chilies shallots, cumin and ginger coarsely with little or no water as possible
2. Heat 1 tbspn of oil and splutter mustard followed with curry leaves and shallots and add the ground coconut mixture
3. Stir for a few seconds and add the vegetables
4. If you have cut all the vegetable fine then if you keep stirring occasionally on medium heat you can cook the vegetable in its own water uncovered.  

1. The trick to make this dish tasty is the right cooking of the vegetables.  
2. They have to be crispy and not overcooked.  
3. Too less and too much cooking will spoil the taste. 
4. Keep tasting in between if you are doing this for the first time to make sure you switch the flame off in time

Contributor: Sunitha

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Creamcheese Fruit dip

Hope you are doing well and in high spirits welcoming spring, those who are in this part of the world. I am  good enjoying the sun shine and the occasional rain showers even though they sometimes turn to snow showers.  That's Colorado for you!

  The last time my kids wanted to have a special dessert after lunch, I was wondering what I could make in less than 5 minutes.  Ransacking my pantry and fridge I spotted the lonely cream-cheese pushed to a corner.  The main ingredient in the easiest recipe for a fruit dip. This is the best treat you can give your kids or serve at a kids party.  It's highly unlikely that a kid doesn't like cream cheese and you need hardly sweat!


Cream cheese- 8oz
Brown sugar- 1/4 cup
Granulated white sugar- 1/4 cup
Pure Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Pistachios or walnuts (coarsely chopped)- to garnish


1.Bring the creamchese to room temperature.
2.Beat well with the sugar until soft.
3.add the vanilla extract and beat until mixed well.
4.Spoon into the dipping bowl and garnish with chopped nuts.
5.serve with chilled fruits.

Contributor: Namitha

Monday, March 22, 2010

Baingan Bharta

I feel like I just finished a marathon.  With the weather so gloomy and muggy, I had no heart to cook nor photograph.  Obviously, one does not have the luxury to wait until the sun decides to shine if you have to eat at home.  I forced myself out of my chair this morning and put baingan bharta together.  The delicious color and taste makes the effort worthwhile. Phew!
  Hope you enjoy baingan bharta, a scrumptious mix of egg plant in spices.
Large Eggplant - 1
Onions - 1 
Tomato - 2 medium
Ginger - 1 Tsp
Garlic - 1/2 Tspn
Coriander Powder - 1 Tspn
Chilli powder - 1/2 Tspn
Green Chillis - 1 or 2
Coriander leaves - a small bunch
Hing - 
Garam Masala - 1/2 tspn
1. Rub oil on brinjal and wrap with foil paper and bake for about 45 minutes in an 400 F oven
2. Sauté ginger and garlic and onions till translucent. Add green chilis
3. Sauté all the powders like hing, turmeric, coriander, chili powder and garam masala
4. Add tomatoes and sauté
5. Mash the brinjal and add to mixture and mix well 
6. Add salt for taste
7. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Great dish with rotis and parathas

Contributor: Sunitha

Friday, March 19, 2010

Strawberry Preparado

   Strawberries you will agree are liked by all.  If not the flavor, then the color and curios dents on the fruit strikes another as fanciful.  My children are not behind.  They love it.
   Writing a food blog, you will agree, how we tend to say we love a lot of things with the danger of almost sounding monotonous.  However, it’s true.  We are all food lovers and enthusiast and go about tasting varied fruits and vegetables.  I didn’t grow up with strawberry but the flavor is familiar through ice creams and preserves.  Now, I enjoy the real deal.

   For my children growing up with an abundance of strawberries, it may not seem like a cultivar but something that sprang right up in their back yard.  Human have cultivated most things and reengineering almost all food its scary and down right incredulous to most but I can’t help but say some of these cultivars seem like a blessing to me.  Most certainly is strawberry.
  Here is a drink chock-full with strawberry.


Strawberries (hulled and cut)- 1 1/2 cup
Milk- 1 1/4 cup
Ice cubes- 3-4
Sugar- to taste


Throw in everything in a blender and blend until smooth.Serve, chilled.

This recipe serves 3

Contributor: Namitha

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kovakka Mezhukkupurati (Sautéed Ivy gourd)

We had an overwhelming response for the cup cakes yesterday and it feels very good.  Thank you. Today's recipe is the simplest in the book.  The Ivy gourd grows in abundance where we come from.  It grows and spreads beautifully producing this vegetable year long. I maybe wrong, but thats how I remember it to be.  We had this plant at home and it would come in all forms on the table.  If served all the time, like everything else, its boring.  Nevertheless, once in a way this crispy vegetable when sautéed with chilis is great with rice and sambar or dal.  I remember eating them raw straight off the vine but not everyone is going to like it like that for sure.

Ivy gourd - 1 pound
Green chillis - 2-4 nos
Oil of your choice - 2 tbspn

Salt- to taste
1. Heat the oil in a pan and add the gourd and chillies and on a medium flame stirring occasionally sauté 

It takes time to get this done, so close and cook until the vegetable changes to a mellow green and then stir fry with the lid open until it changes to a light brown color

You are looking at daffodils from my friends yard.  I couldn't resist plucking them so I got myself 5 and they are beautiful.  Spring is here! Hurray!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes

You know how the media is on it when it comes to a festival, holiday etc.  Well, the other day when I was watching the soap ‘Desperate Housewives’ on television and the character Susan kept saying Leprechauns it din’t strike as significant.  However, reading about St Patrick’s Day I understand now.  Leprechauns are dwarfs according to Irish folklore and if you catch him he is supposed to give you a crock pot of gold.

  Forgetting folklore and soaps St Patrick Day is a Irish holiday in honor of St Patrick.  Green is the color of the day.  We are not far behind we have cupcakes with green icing for you.  .  I know this is not something Irish, but green enough to make my kids happy on St.Pat's day My daughter has been behind me to get some of the icing and at my weakest moment I gave in and bought some.  I say, it was worth it.  Holidays and festivals are always welcome so all you Irish and everyone else out there Happy St Patrick’s day!


Butter-unsalted/Shortening- 1/2 cup
Sugar- A little less than 1 cup
Eggs- 3
Pure Vanilla Extract- 2 Tsp
Flour- 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt- a pinch
Milk- 1/4 cup


1.Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
2.Line the muffin trays with paper liners or grease them.
3.Whisk the flour together with baking powder and salt.
4.Beat the butter and sugar well, until smooth and fluffy.
5.Add the eggs one by one and beat well to mix properly
6.Add the flour mix and mil alternately and beat at low speed to mix.
7.While doing this ,start with flour and end with flour.I added the flour in 3 parts and milk in 2 parts.
8.Spoon into the tray and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the sides start turning into a nice brown color.
9.Decorate with your favorite frosting and enjoy !

Recipe adapted from : Joy of baking


1. The butter and egg should be at room temperature, for best results.
2.You could reduce the sugar if you wish, but come on, it's a cupcake :D
3.The recipe says,this is for 12 cupcakes. But I ended up with 16 standard size cakes.
4.The cakes were perfect, light and fluffy, just the way I wanted.

Sending this off to Bake off event at Stories from an Indian Kitchen

The white flowers you see are Shamrock flowers and also some Shamrock leaves which are significant of St.Pat's day, for you !!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Badam burfi/Almond candy

What do you do, when your toddler outsmarts you by spitting out the almond in the choco-almond, after licking up all the chocolate ? I made burfi.  Almond is ground to a paste, this way he cannot spit it out and get the protein he needs.  Mamma outwitted her baby.

So, here is a simple and healthy (when taken in moderation !) dessert for you to enjoy. Many of you might know how to make it.  This is just a reminder for you and for those who haven't tried yet, believe me you'll love this.


Almonds (blanched)- 1 1/2 cup
Sugar- 1/2 cup or to your liking
Milk-enough to grind the almonds (lesser the better)I used 1/3 cup
Cardamom-a pinch
Ghee (clarified butter)- 2 Tbsp


1.Blanch and skin the almonds.Grease a tray with ghee.
2.Grind it in your blender or mixer-grinder, adding milk, until it becomes a paste.It's up to you whether it should be a nice butter-like paste or a bit coarse paste. But do not make it too coarse.
3.Heat ghee in a wide pan.
4.Mix the paste with the sugar and cardamom and add to the ghee.
5.Continuously stir the mixture until it starts leaving the sides and becomes thick.
6.Transfer it to the greased tray and level the top with the bottom of a spoon or a glass.Garnish with Almond slivers and allow to cool for 4-5 minutes.
7.Cut into the desired shape while it's still warm.
8.Allow to cool the burfi completely and store in an airtight container.
9.This stays good for a week in the room temperature and longer in the fridge.

Blanching Almonds:

I have already written this in my Almond- Chocolate chip biscotti post here.

1.If you prefer to soak the almonds in advance and peel off the skin, then do it at least 5-6 hrs in advance in hot water.
2.Adding cardamom is optional, my family likes it without cardamom or saffron.

Contributor: Namitha

Monday, March 15, 2010

Egg Rolls

I doubt egg rolls need any introduction.  They are popular as a starter in all Chinese restaurants.  If you can buy a pack of egg roll wrappers from the store then its a quick snack you can have ready in minutes.  They are great to treat an unexpected guest or even cheer up you kids on short notice, at home.  Have fun biting into the crispy rolls bursting with a savory cabbage filling.  

Egg Roll wraps - 6
Cabbage – 3 cups chopped in long strands
Carrots –  ½ grated
Garlic -  1 clove finely chopped
Soya bean sauce – ½ tspn
Oyster sauce – ¼ tspn
Pepper – as per taste
Salt – as per taste

1.   In 1 tspn of oil sauté the garlic followed with the cabbage and carrots
2.   Add both the sauce and mix well and sauté till cabbage is cooked yet crispy to bite
3.  Add pepper and salt as per taste.  Most of the sauce is salty so check taste before you add any salt
4.  Follow egg roll wrapping instructions on cover and deep fry in enough oil
Serve with ketchup or sauce of your liking

Contributor: Sunitha

Friday, March 12, 2010

Vazhakka Thoran / Raw Banana Sauteed with coconut

Being from the tropical zone it should not  surprise you that banana is an integral part of our cuisine.  Every part of a banana plant is used.  The flower, fruit and the inner stem is all consumed and the leaves on festive occasions are used to serve food in.  The leaf is sometimes also used to wrap the food in to add flavor.  I think it’s a practical way of life having banana plants in abundance.  The sautéed banana that’s being shared today is a common side dish for rice.  Like most of the thoran this is also made with the same ingredients.  The only differences probably being the  cooking time for the vegetable.  Once you understand how long to cook a particular vegetable without it getting overdone you can do thoran with a variety of vegetables.   I hope you enjoy todays recipe.   Have a nice weekend!

Raw Banana – 3
Garlic – 1 clove
Coconut – ½ cup
Jeera – 1 tspn
Thai chilis – 3 – 4 nos  
Mustard - 1/4 tspn
Turmeric - 1/4 - 1/2 tspn

1. Cut the banana into small cubes
2. With about ½ cup water (very little water is required to cook the banana so make sure you do not add too much water) cook the banana with a little salt
3. Grind coarsely all the ingredients like coconut, garlic, jeera and green chillis
4. Heat 1-2 tbspn of coconut oil or oil of preference and splutter ¼ tspn of mustard, add curry leaves and then add the ground coconut sauté to dry up water if any and then add the cooked banana and stir in

Notes: Serve with rice and sambar
Plaintains are more starchier and pieces tend to stick together when making this preparation.  Regular raw bananas are better.

Contributor: Sunitha

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mushroom fry

I still remember, as a kid mushrooms were an occasional treat.  We had to wait for them to sprout in the damp soil after a rain.  Usually, this is a phenomenon most prominent after summer, beginning of monsoon.   My grandma or mom bending down and picking the fresh mushrooms are a common site in our backyard if you happen to pass by my home.  Don’t forget to holler you will be invited in for a delicious feast with a sautee filed with the rustic, woody taste of mushroom.

  By the way, if you were thinking you can join them in picking the mushrooms you will not be allowed.  At least we were not since there are poisonous varieties.  Only a seasoned person knowing the idiosyncrasies of the mushrooms can pick the good ones.  Be sure though to accompany them into the yard, watching them pick these beauties, the mushrooms popping up like teeny weenie umbrellas on rain soaked drift wood is spectacular.  As much as I like to have fun seeing or even occasionally picking some mushrooms its great that they are cultivated abundantly.  No more back breaking picking for my grandma who will never agree it’s a chore. I think she enjoys it.  I know I would


White button Mushrooms (thinly sliced)- 3 cups
Onion(chopped)- 1 small
Garlic crushed- 2-3
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
Green chillies chopped- 1-2
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Oil- 1 Tbsp


1.Heat oil in a wide pan,saute the onion till they start turning slight golden brown in color.
2.Add the chopped green chillies and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
3.Mix all the spice powders and saute for another couple of minutes or till the raw smell leaves.
4.Throw in the mushroom slices and mix well.
5.Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the mushroom is cooked.
6.Keep the lid open and let all the water content dries up.
7.Serve warm with rotis or rice.


1.Do not wash the store bought mushrooms. Just wipe with a damp kitchen towel.
2.Do not overcook them in step 5.

Contributor: Namitha

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dal Makhani

I might be overdoing my fetish with weather a little much but if you have gone through 4 months of winter cooped up inside the house you will understand me. It’s a sunny morning with chirping birds, asphalt glistening after being washed in yesterday’s rain. Everything looks watered, cleaned, afresh and I am going out today. Ooooh! Love it!

My going out and having a little walk may also be a little more of a necessity than just smelling the flowers and watching the blue, blue sky. The rich mughlai food I have been indulging in. After gorging on Malai Kofta here is dal makhani for you, a splendid dish with rotis. It tastes good with rice or pulav but I love it best with plain rotis. No butter. No oil. I am talking about the roti. However, the dal makhani (translated as is, lentil in butter) as the name suggests is loaded with fat. Creamy with taste of beans, peas and lentils the dish is a must try.


Black gram (Urad whole) – 1 cup
Split chick pea – ¼ cup
Rajma – ¼ cup
Cumin – 1 tspn
Ginger – 1 tspn
Garlic – 1 tbspn
Chilip powder – 1 tbspn
Coriander powder – 1 tspn
Garam Masala – 1 tspn
Tomato paste – 2 tbspn
Kasturi Methi – 1 tspn
Cilantro – for garnishing
Butter – ¼ cup
Fresh cream – ½ cup

1. Soak all three beans, lentils and peas overnight or at least 6 hours before you cook
2. Pressure cook or slow cook with enough water till done. I pressure cook it on high waiting for the first whistle turn the heat to medium and wait for 2 more whistles
3. In 2 Tbspn of oil splutter the cumin seeds, add ginger, garlic and onions sauteeing after each addition

4. Add all the powders like chilli, coriander and last garam masala and sauite till the raw smell is gone

5. Add tomato puree of 2 big tomatoes or 2 tbspn paste and sauté

6. Add the water from the cooked dal and get it to boil and add the butter
7. When all of the liquid boils and mixes in add the dal , stir in and let it heat through

8. The dal has a thick consistency but make sure you do all addition of water before you add the dal

9. Once you have the desired consistency of gravy and dal has heated through add the fresh cream and stir in

10. Powder kasturi methi between your palms and add atop

11. Garnish with coriander leaves and a scoop of butter and serve it hot with rotis or rice.

Contributor: Sunitha

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bread Halwa

  If you have been following our blog you know how we are influenced by Hyderabadi cuisine. Hyderabad has an interesting cuisine, I should say, located in a South Indian state with North Indian food culture.

Well, it was not my intention to load you with trivia but it is to share a sweet dish. A dear colleague of mine introduced me to today's dish on one of our trips to Charminar, the most famous architectural interest of this city.  Bread halwa is served in weddings and parties and agreeably nawabi (kingly).  When I heard the sweet is made from bread it took me by surprise.  It never occurred to me while gorging it down that it could be a product of bread!  


Bread slices- 9-10
Ghee (clarified butter)- 4-5 Tbsp
Sugar- 1/3 cup/ to your liking
Milk- 1 Cup
Cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
Slivered almonds- to garnish


1.Chop the bread slices coarsely. You could leave the brown sides or take out.I left it on the bread and that's what you see as the dark spots. Also I used whole wheat bread.
2.Heat 3 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottom pan and throw in the bread pieces and fry for 4-5 minutes or until they start turning golden brown color.
3.Add the milk and sugar and stir continuously till all the water is absorbed.
4.Add the remaining ghee and the cardamom powder and stir for another couple of minutes.
5.Spoon into a serving dish and garnish with slivered almonds and serve warm.
6.Usually this is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in Hyderabad

Contributor: Namitha

Monday, March 8, 2010

100th post, Basundi and Chocolate Chip Cookies

We present our hundredth post with tulips, dewdrops, basundi and cookies. We decided to do the 100th post together being an occasion for celebration. A sweet from India and another from all over seemed apt for a blog like ours. We have mostly covered food from Kerala where both of us come from, however, making it a repertoire from around the world has been and still is our goal. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that International women’s day falls on the same day that Collaborative Curry hits her century. It’s karmic. The universe (we mean you) have conspired to make this a joyous occasion for us. Well, if that sounded cheesy that’s how it’s meant to be. We are so happy that its getting to a rather mushy, girlishly stupid affair of happiness.

We are so happy you kept us company by encouraging, complimenting, flattering and just showing up. Without your support it would not have been such a great experience. Heartfelt thanks with dew dripping tulips from our personal photographic collection of spring 2009 for you.


Ingredients :

Whole milk- 1 litre
Sugar- 1/4 cup/ to your liking
Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
Saffron- 4-5 strands
Pistachios/Almonds(coarsely chopped)-3 Tbsp


1.Boil the milk in a thick bottom vessel. Reduce the heat and continue boiling.
2.Stir in between, every 10 minutes or so.
3.Just before stirring take out the cream on the top and store it.
4.Continue this until the milk is reduced to 1/3rd of its initial volume.
5.Add the sugar and stir for 3-4 minutes.
6.Grind the saffron strands and mix in a tablespoon of hot milk.
7.Mix this saffron milk, the cream that you've collected and the cardamom powder into milk.
8.Add the chopped pistachios/nuts.Pour into a serving dish.
9.Chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
10.Now you are ready to serve.


1. Shortening                 - 1 Cup
2. Sugar                        - 1 Cup
3. Brown Sugar             - 1/2 Cup
4. Eggs                          - 2
5. Vanilla Essence          - 2 Tspn
6. Flour                         - 2 1/4 Cup
7. Salt                           - 1 1/2 Tspn or less
8. B.Soda                      - 1 Tspn

Combine together first five ingredients
Sift last three ingredients and add chocolate chips and mix with the wet ingredients to make the cookie dough
  You may add nuts of you choice (optional) 
Bake at 375 D for 10-12 minutes

Contributors: Namitha and Sunitha

Friday, March 5, 2010

Malai Kofta

    Kofta’s is the derivative of the Persian word kufta meaning meat balls. However, the vegetarian variation of this I can safely say is more popular in India. Malai Kofta, vegetables and paneer (cottage cheese) smothered in a thick cream gravy  is now a household name.The spices smoothly blend with the heavy cream to make an aromatic dish and yet flavors subtle enough to gently teases you palate. Paired with rice or bread they are a great party treat.

For Kofta:
Potato – 3 – 4 medium size (I use the red skinned ones)
Carrots – ¼ cup grated
Peas – ¼ cup
Beans – ¼ cup
Paneer – 1 cup grated
All purpose flour – 1 Tbspn
Green chili’s – 2-3 nos chopped (if you like it mild avoid adding any chillis)
Salt – to taste

For Gravy

Cummin – 1 tspn
Shah Jeera ( Royal Cummin) – 1 tspn
Tomato – 2 Tbspn puree ( I used canned puree)
Onion - 2 nos small to medium size
Ginger – 1 tspn
Garlic – 2 tspn
Cashew nuts – 1/3 cup
Garam Masala – 1 tspn
Chilli powder – 1 tspn ( work with the quantity to make it milder or hotter as per your liking)
Coriander Powder – 1/2 tspn
Turmeric Powder   - 1/4 tspn
Heavy Cream – ½ cup ( add a little more or less to work up a conistency you like)

Malai Kofta
1. Cook potato in a pressure cooker peel and grate
2. Chop beans, grate carrots and paneer
3. Cook the peas and set aside
4. In a pan add ½ tspn oil and stir the beans, and carrots to take away all the moisture
5. Mix the vegetables with the grated or mashed potatoes and paneer
6. Add more potatoes if you are unable to make smooth balls
7. Roll the veggie ball in corn starch or all purpose flour and dust off excess
8. In enough oil deep fry the koftas at medium temperature till golden brown
9. Sine all the ingredients are cooked as long as the outside is golden brown you can bring out the koftas and drain the oil on paper

For Gravy
1. Fry cashews to a golden brown and set aside
2. Sautee the finely chopped onions
3. Follow with ginger and garlic
4. Add turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and sauté on medium low making sure they don’t burn and add the garam masala
5. Add the tomato puree and sauté as well
6. Cool the mixture and make a paste of it in the blender using as little water as you can manage with your blender
7. Once blended transfer it back to the pan and cook till oil leaves the pan
8. Add heavy cream to make a thick gravy
9. Add hot water and thin the gravy to your desired consistency. Generally this dish has a thick gravy
10. Add the fried kotas heat it through and serve garnished with coriander leaves

Malai Kofta

1. If the mixture is thick and add water and bring to boil and then add the cream to get your desired consistency
2. The malai koftas are generally served in a very thick sauce so use your discretion while watering the gravy down
3. Use the red skinned pototoes or the white color ones cos these have a gluey nature when cooked than the Idaho potato which is used for baking.

Entered for Jay 's "Let's Relish Paneer' event