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Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Archive for March, 2006

Leaving To India

Posted by Annita on March 31, 2006

My Family Home
Ente Tharavaadu

Today I’ll be leaving for a vaccation to India for 2 months.So I won’t be able to post on a regular basis,but i’ll try my level best to update whenever I get a chance.I’ll surely be reading all your messages and posts anyway.See you all in a few days.

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Kapplanga(Papaya) Thoran

Posted by Annita on March 30, 2006

Papaya has been grown in tropical regions of the world and is a commonly available fruit in Kerala,all year round.We call it ‘Kappalanga‘ or ‘Kappanga’ in Malayalam(Pls let me know if its known by any other name ).Papayas offer not only the luscious taste and sunlit color,but are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes and vitamin C ,minerals like potassium and magnesium ,Vitamin A and fiber .It also contains a digestive enzyme called ‘Papain’ that is used to tenderize meat.Papaya can be taken in all forms,ripe or unripe.It is said ,not to take green papaya as such ,during early pregnancy as it can sometimes cause abortion. I am not sure about the fact,but i’ve been very careful about this, during my pregnancy.Anyway Unripen Green Papaya can be used to make tasty Thoran. It has a light sweet flavour when cooked .I remember ,we had 2 papaya trees inside our compound wall,and this Papaya Thoran used to be a regular dish in my home.

Green Papaya
Green Papaya

And now back to the recipe..

Ingredients:-
Green Unripen Papaya -1
Chopped Shallots -6
Chopped Green Chillies -3
Chopped Garlic – 1 tsp
Jeera seeds – 1/2 tsp
Grated Coconut -1/2 cup
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – a few
Salt – to taste
Oil -as needed

Papaya cut into two
Papaya cut into two halves
Method:-
Peel off the papaya skin and grate it .

Grated Papaya
Grated Papaya

Mix together grated papaya,turmeric powder,salt,garlic,green chillies,coconut and shallots well with hand and reserve.Heat oil in a pan,add mustard seeds and jeera seeds and allow it to splutter.Then add curry leaves and the prepared mixture into it and stir well.Close the lid and allow it to to cook in medium heat stirring in between.Switch it off when done.

Papaya Thoran
Posted by Annita

Posted in Traditional Kerala Dishes, Veg Dishes | 11 Comments »

Rich Fruit Plum Cake

Posted by Annita on March 30, 2006

Rich fruit Cake or Plum Cake is commomly known as Christmas Cake. In India,Christmas can never be complete without Plum Cake. I swear,its one of the best found in the Indian bakeries. It is a moist,dark brown cake with plenty of nuts and dried fruits in it.Fruits and nuts are soaked in rum or brandy several days ahead for the plum cake.Freshly baked Plum cakes served with wine on a Christmas eve..hmmm..Deliciously rich and tempting!!!I know its quite early for the recipe..but couldn’t wait till Christmas.

Cake with wine
Plum Cake & Wine

Just go through my Amma’s treasured recipe for ‘The Good Old Christmas Cake’…

Ingredients:-

Dates – 3 cups
Raisins- 2 cups
Cherries(Preserved in Indian way)- 2 cups
Broken Nuts-2 cups
Orange & Lemon Peel- 1/2 cup
Tutty Fruty or other candied fruits (Optional)- 1 cup
Brandy or Rum – 1/2 cup
Chop the fruits fine.Soak them in the alchohol along with nuts and peels and keep in an air tight container for a couple of week.I didn’t use cherries or any candied fruits,but adjusted the quantity with the ones i’ve got.

Dried Fruits & Nuts
Dried Fruits & Nuts

All Purpose Flour/Maida – 2 cups
Powdered Sugar – 3 cups(1 cup for caramalizing the sugar)
Butter – 250 gms
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Eggs – 6
Vanilla Essence – 2 tsp
Salt – a pinch( to adjust the sweetness)Powdered Spices – 3 tsp
(Cardamom,Cloves,Cinnamon,Nutmeg,Dry ginger)
Orange juice – 2 tbsp

Method:-

1. Caramelize 1 cup of Sugar.
It can be done by heating a medium sauce pan with 1 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp of water.Stir in continuosly and use only medium heat.The sugar will melt first,then gradually becomes a molten syrup.As it gets hotter,it’ll turn into a dark colored caramel syrup.Now slowly add 1/2 cup of water and stir well immediately before it crystalizes back.(Be careful while doing it,for it can splash and may cause severe burns.).Stir it well to dissolve completely and allow it to cool.

Caramelized Sugar
Caramelized Sugar

2.Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
3.Sift the baking powder and flour well,2 or 3 times.
4.Now mix the powdered spices and the soaked fruits to the flour.Mix well with a spatula and keep aside.
5.Beat butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy.
6.Now add the eggs one at a time to the beaten sugar butter mixture with a teaspoon of flour after each egg.Beat well.
7.Add the flour mixture alternatively with the cooled caramel and fold in.Remember do not whisk,this can break the fruits.
8.Lastly add vanilla essence ,orange juice and 1 tsp of brandy.Mix everything well using a wooden spatula preferably to one side.

Flour with fruits
Prepared batter

9.Pour it into a lined baking pan.(Lined with parchment paper or brown paper).
(As i didn’t have the parchment paper with me,I just butter sprayed the pan and sprinkle some flour on it.)

In baking pan
Ready to be baked

10.Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.
11.Check by inserting a tooth pick and if it comes out clean ,the cake is done.
If its not done reduce the heat to 250 F and bake for another 10- 15 mts or until done.
12.When the cake is baked,remove and immediately sprinkle 1 tbsp of brandy over it.This can enhance the flavour and increases its life span.

Plum Cake
Freshly baked plum caked

13.Let it cool .Cut it and serve.

Cake Served

14.If storing,remember to keep it in refrigerator in an air tight container.This is my entry for Anthony’s 12th Weekend Curry Mela.

Here’s a useful tip from my blog reader Anna(in her own words):”From the picture, I notice the fruits have sunk. What you could do to prevent it is, after soaking the fruits and before you add it to batter, toss all fruits in a little flour. WIll not sink but will disperse evenly through cake. “

Thanks again Anna for sharing this tip with us.

Posted in Desserts & Cakes, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 165 Comments »

Malabar Rice Pathiri

Posted by Annita on March 28, 2006

The colorful selection of mouthwatering delights are indeed a speciality of Muslim Cuisine.The cuisine of Kerala Muslims alias ‘Mappila Cuisine’ is also well known for its delicate blend of spiciness and subtle mix of ingredients. Traditional Mappila cuisine is spicy and wholesome and has a lot in common with other foods of Kerala with the base as rice.
Malabar Pathiri is a special Mappila bread prepared with rice flour.They make different varieties of pathiri like steam cooked Meen Pathiri(made of Fish),shallow fried Kannan Pathiri (shaped as eye),Adukku Pathiri(made with layered rice& egg) ,Egg Dipped Pathiri,Meat Pathiri,Coconut Pathiri….and many more.Pathiri in all its dry varieties can be tried out as perfect accompaniments to the dense coloured meat preparations.The difference between various pathiris comes from the rice that they are ground from.Biriyani Rice & Ponni rice are mostly use for preparing Pathiri’s in Kerala.
As per the request of our friend Pol,i’ve tried this Plain Rice Pathiri last week.This was the best Pathiri i’ve ever made.Thanks Pol,for reminding me about this,and we had a really different and enjoyable dinner-Pathiri & Mutton Masala.Again this is a special Pathiri recipe from Vanitha.

Ingredients:-

Rice Flour -2 cups(I used normal ‘Swad’ rice flour available to us from Indian Groceries)
Water – 2 cups
Salt – to taste

For Grinding:-
Grated coconut -1 cup
Shallots – 5
Jeera – 1 tsp
(These grinding ingredients are optional.In Traditional plain pathiri recipe(‘Neriya Pathiri’ in Malabar),they don’t normally add these ground coconut mixture.I got this special recipe from Vanitha and I loved that coconut flavour in Pathiri,rather than the plain one.)

Method:-

Heat water and salt in a vessel.Stir in the grounded mixture when it starts to boil.When it boils well,put the rice flour into it.Close the lid tightly and simmer it for few minutes.Open the lid and mix the flour well with a spoon.Remove the vessel from fire and allow the content to cool. Knead it to a fine dough using hand without adding water.(Note:-This kneading part has to be done before the flour is completely cooled.)

Kneaded Dough
Kneaded Dough

Make it into small lemon sized balls.

Dough made into small balls
Dough made into lemon sized balls

Take small balls and roll each of it into very thin, round shapes by spreading rice flour over the balls.Cut it into perfect round shape using a round & firm steel plate.

Dough rolled thin & cut into round shape

Heat a thick bottom flat pan. Cook the pathiri by turning both side till done. Don’t use any oil while cooking. Another alternative is rolling it thick and deep frying, just like Puri.

Pathiri
Malabar Pathiri

Difficulties i’ve faced:-
At first,I couldn’t lift the rolled pathiri from my kitchen slab.So I used a banana leaf and rolled the dough on it.Then i could lift the leaf itself and turn it upside down to the heated pan.I think you can get the same effect if its done with a steel plate also.My friend Shuba told ,it can be done on a plastic wrap too with little oil on it.Does anyone knows any other options for it??All inputs are welcome..

Posted in Bread & Rotis, Traditional Kerala Dishes, Vanitha Recipes | 53 Comments »

Egg Mushroom Delight

Posted by Annita on March 27, 2006

Egg Mushroom delight
Egg Mushroom Delight

The recipe goes like this..

Ingredients:-
Eggs -5
Chopped Mushrooms – 1/2 cup
Chopped Onion- 1/2 cup
Chopped garlic – 1 tbsp
Chopped tomato – 1
Chopped parsley – 1/4 cup(You can also use coriander leaves)
Chopped cashews – 1 tbsp
Any cheese grated – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder -1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder -1/2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Oil -as needed
Salt – to taste

Ingredients
Ingredients
Method:-
Heat oil in a pan and add onion,garlic and cashews till brown.Add mushrooms into it and saute it until it is cooked.Add salt and all the other powders(except pepper)and saute for few seconds.Now stir in chopped tomatoes and again saute for a while.Spread this mixture evenly on the pan and break the eggs on it in a circular shape such that 4 eggs on the side and 1 in the middle.(I beat the eggs before adding.But in the recipe,it’s mentioned not to beat it.)Sprinkle little salt,pepper powder,grated cheese and chopped parsley on it and cook on a low heat till done.

Cooking in Progress
Egg Mushroom Delight on Stove

Cut the dish like pizza slices and serve hot .

Dish served
Dish cut into triangular pieces

Posted by Annita

Posted in Lil' Milan's Choice, Snacks & Appetizers | 10 Comments »