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Archive for July, 2008

Traditional Vegetable Stew /Ishtu

Posted by Annita on July 29, 2008

Vegetable stew aka Ishtu,a traditional Keralite preparation can be served along with appams or Idiappams.It has a mild tantalizing taste and heavenly aroma , what to say more…you’re gonna love it…

Vegetable Stew

Vegetable Stew

The recipe follows…

Ingredients :-

Potatoes – 3 big sized
Carrot – 1

Big Onions sliced thinly – 3
Ginger sliced thinly – 2 tsp
Garlic sliced thinly – 2 cloves
Green chillies slit – 5-6 (or use according to your spice level)
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs

Cinnamon sticks(Karuvapatta)- 2
Cardamoms (Elakaka)-4
Star Anise (Nakshatrapoo or Thakkolam)-2
Bayleaves (Karuva Ila)-2
Cloves(Grambu) – 4

Thin coconut milk (Randaam pal)- 2 cups
Thick coconut milk (Onnam pal) – 1/2 cup

Coconut Oil – as needed
Salt – to taste

Method :-

Cut the potatoes and carrots into half and pressure cook it for 2 whistles.When its warm enough,peel off the skin and carefully crumble it with your hands to medium size pieces.Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat ,when it is hot add all the spices into it.Fry it for a while and add the onions,green chillies, ginger, garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves and saute until onion turn transparent.Then add the crumbled potato and carrot pieces into it.Mix well and add thin coconut milk and salt into it.Cover the lid and cook in a low heat for 10- 20 minutes stirring occasionally.Now pour thick coconut milk into it,mix again and let it come to a slow boil.Simmer it for 2-3 minutes,add the rest of the curry leaves and turn off the heat.Close the lid and let it stand for 5- 10 minutes.Serve hot with Appam,Idiappam,Puttu,Iddli or plain bread.

(Note :- You can add other vegeatables like cauliflower,french beans or green beans as needed.Just cook them and add along with crumbled potato and carrot pieces.

What if you don’t want to use coconut milk in your stew ?

Substitute coconut milk with :

  • 1 and 1/2 cups plain whole milk + 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cornflour mix in 2 -3 cups of warm water

Checkout these too :

Posted in Traditional Kerala Dishes, Veg Dishes | 15 Comments »


Posted by Annita on July 15, 2008

I’ve been getting so many requests to post a recipe for Vattayappam.So here it comes…

Back in my home,this is a regular tea time snack,but i’ve seen families serving this for breakfast along with Fish molly ,spicy curries ,stews etc.

Ingredients :-

Raw rice – 2 cups
Cooked rice (preferabbly rosematta rice cooked ) – 1 cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Yeast – 1/2 tsp
Sugar – 1/4 cup or use it accordingly
Salt – a pinch
Roasted Cashews and Raisins – as needed (Optional)
Cardamom powder – a pinch (Optional :-Personally,I like it better without this)

Method :-

Soak the rice in water for 5-6 hours and drain it. Grind this with grated coconut,sugar and cooked rice adding just enough water to a smooth batter.Be careful while adding water,the batter should not be very watery,it has to be in the consistency of idly batter.Add the yeast and salt and mix well together.Cover it with a lid and keep it in a warm place for 8 – 10 hrs to ferment.

Just before preparing,check for the sugar and also add cardamom powder if you’re using it.Gently stir it and keep it aside.Grease a flat pan or idly mould with little oil and spoon in the fermented batter.Top it with cashews and raisins.

Steam it for 15 mts in a medium heat or until it is done.

Allow it to cool in the pan for 20 mts and gently take it out .

Tip :- For soft vattayappams,carefully spoon only the foamy part from the top of the fermented batter into the pan.Stir the rest of the batter well and again allow it to ferment.With 20- 25 mts,it will ferment again and you’ll get a foamy batter on top.

Check out Maria’s Vattayappam here

Update :- Instead of sugar,you can also use jaggery.Just heat the jaggery adding little amount of water and allow it to melt completly.Pour it through a sieve and collect the melted jaggery in a bowl.Allow it to cool and then add it to the batter .Again be careful about the consistency of the batter,it should be similar to idly batter.

Posted in Breakfast Dishes, Lil' Milan's Choice, Snacks & Appetizers, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 56 Comments »

Spicy Liver Fry

Posted by Annita on July 10, 2008

This is a very simple,yet spicy preparation that goes well with plain rice.

Here goes my recipe….

Ingredients :-

Chicken/Mutton/Calf Liver – 1 pound
Shallots sliced (Ulli)- 10
Ginger chopped – 1 inch piece
Garlic chopped – 2 big cloves
Curry leaves – a sprig
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
Crushed pepper – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp or to taste
Salt – to taste
Coconut Oil /Ghee- as needed

Method :-

Prepare a marinade by mixing together turmeric powder,chilly powder,coriander powder,garam masala powder,cumin powder,salt and vinegar.Marinate the liver pieces using this for 1/2 an hr preferrably in a refrigerator.Then add little water(may be less than 1/4 cup) into it and cook in a medium heat keeping the lid closed.You’ve to be very careful while adding water,as too much water can make the liver hard.

Now heat oil in a pan,add shallots and fry for a while.Then add ginger,garlic and curry leaves and stir for few minutes.Add cooked liver into it and fry until dry.Finally add crushed pepper,simmer for 2-3 minutes and switch off the stove.Serve hot with plain rice.

Posted in Beef/Mutton, Traditional Kerala Dishes, Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

Elmo Cake

Posted by Annita on July 8, 2008


My little boy turned 4 last week.And this time he wanted an “ELMO” cake.He’s not a great elmo fan,still he asked for it.Donno why…Kids..ah..they keep on changing their likings .

But i was not prepared for an elmo cake and i got only little time to plan something.So the easiest thing was to get a character cake pan. Personally,i don’t prefer character cake pans .If we could borrow them from someone,then its fine .Otherwise they are waste of money,how many elmo cakes are we going to bake ?

Anyway this cake is baked in a Wilton Elmo Face Cake Pan and is piped with hairs using Icing tip #233

I baked 2 elmo cakes and filled them with buttercream icing .

Check Sesame street cakes and leran how to make an elmo cake.

Simple White Cake

Ingredients :

All purpose flour(Maida) – 1 and 1/2 cups
Baking powder – 1 and 3/4 tsps
White sugar  – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 2 large
Vanilla Extract – 2 tsps
Milk – 1/2 cup

(Note : All the ingredients have to be in the room temperature.)

Sift together flour and baking powder and keep it aside.Preheat oven to 350 F and grease and flour a 9X9 inch cake pan.

Take a bowl and beat together sugar and butter until creamy.Beat in the eggs one by one,then stir in vanilla. Add the flour to the creamed mixture and mix them together.Finally stir in the milk until you get a smooth batter.

Pour it to the greased cake pan and bake for 30 -0 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then gently tap into the cooling rack.

Recipe adapted from All

Posted in Cake Decoration, Desserts & Cakes, Learning Series, Lil' Milan's Choice, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »