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Archive for the ‘Traditional Kerala Dishes’ Category

Koorkka Olathiyathu/Chinese Potato Stir Fry

Posted by Annita on September 8, 2008

Koorkka or Chinese Potato is yet another favorite of most Keralites.I don’t think it is popular outside Kerala.It is almost similar to potato but very much smaller in size and much better taste.The cleaning is a tedius process ,it is time consuming and can stain the hands,too. Malayalee’s  love for this tiny tubers is well taken by Sathyan Anthikkad in his movie ‘Achuvinte Amma’.I still remember the heroine(Meera Jasmine) asking her mother (Urvashi) : “Ammakku aarenkilum koorkkayil kaivisham thannittundo?Eppol nokkiyalum oru koorkka….(Why its always koorkka here?…..Did someone give you a voodoo in koorkka?)

Read more about Koorkka here.Koorkka can be prepared in various ways,out of which my favorite is this simple stir fry.

Recipe follows:

Ingredients :-

Chinese Potato(Koorkka) cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces – 2 cups
Shallots -5 big
Red Chilly Flakes – 1 tsp or Red chillies broken – 4 or 5
Garlic – 1 big clove
Curry leaves – 1/2 sprig
Green chillies slit – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coconut pieces(Thengakothu) – 1/4 cup
Salt- to taste
Oil – as needed


After washing properly,scrape the skin of each koorkka and immediately immerse it in water to prevent them from changing into a dark brown color.Wash them again and cut them into bite size pieces and put them back into the water.Drain the water and immediately add the koorkka into the cooking pan (or pressure cooker) along with salt,turmeric powder and green chillies.Add around 1/4 cup of water ,cover it and cook until it is well done.You can add more water as and when needed.If using a pressure cooker cook it till one whistle.Drain any left over water and keep the koorkka aside.

Crush the shallots,red chillies and garlic together using a mortar and pestle or chop them finely.Keep them aside.

Now heat oil in a pan,add the crushed ingredients,curry leaves and coconut pieces.Fry them for a while and add cooked koorkka into it.Stir fry it for 10 mts in a medium heat or until it turns dry and slightly brown.Serve hot with rice.

Posted in Traditional Kerala Dishes, Veg Dishes | 31 Comments »

Vaazhakka Upperi/Plantain Chips

Posted by Annita on August 19, 2008

Vaazhakka Upperi or Plantain chips is a popular snack from Kerala and is an important item in a traditional Sadya.The preparation is quite simple,raw green plantains cut into thin slices are deep fried in coconut oil until crispy,adding only salt and turmeric.

Here goes the detailed recipe..

Ingredients :-

Raw green plantains – 2
Turmeric powder (Optional)- 1/4 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Oil – as needed

Method :-

Peel the plantains,wash them and immerse in water for sometime.Now take a bowl with 1/2 cup of water and add turmeric powder and salt into it.Mix well and keep it aside.

Heat coconut oil in a medium heat.Please make sure that you fill only the half of the wok.

Take 1 plantain out of the water,pat them dry using a clean towel and then cut it into thin slices using a knife or a kitchen slicer.Gently seperate the slices and keep it aside.Alternatively you can slice it directly into hot oil with a slicer.

Throw one slice into the wok and see whether the oil is bubbling.If so ,then throw the rest of the slices into it.Do not overcrowd the pan, you can fry them in batches depending on the size of the wok you’re using. Gently stir them inside the oil using a slotted stainless steel spoon.

Alow it to cook for 2-3 minutes stirring in between.It will start to make a peculiar sound when it turns crisp.Now sprinkle the reserved turmeric water into the oil.It will make a bubbling noise and the oil might come up a little(this is why you should not fill the wok fully with oil),dont be scared,just move away from the stove.Also you can cover it with a lid if you want to.

When the bubbles are almost settled,you’ll hear that crispy sound again.Gently stir it and carefully remove them from oil onto a paper towel to drain the oil.Check for salt and yellow color ,and if needed you can add more to the turmeric water accordingly. Repeat the same procedure for other batches too.

When they are completely cooled,store them in an airtight container.

Posted in Lil' Milan's Choice, OnaSadya, Snacks & Appetizers, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 18 Comments »

Kozhi Mulakittathu

Posted by Annita on August 8, 2008

A very simple and effortless preparation using easily available ingredients.Thats what i like most in this recipe.

Here it goes..

Ingredients :-

Chicken cut into medium sized pieces – 1/2 kg
Red Onion Sliced – 250 gm
Tomato chopped- 200 gm
Garlic paste – 2 tsp
Ginger chopped- 1 inch piece
Chilly powder – 3-4 tbsp (You can also use 2 tbsp kashmiri chilly + 2 tbsp red chilly )
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Coconut oil – as needed
Salt – to taste


Clean the chicken pieces and mix it with chilly powder,turmeric powder and salt.Add little water and cook it covered in a medium heat.Keep it aside.Heat oil in another pan and throw onion slices into it.Saute it until onion turns translucent.Add ginger,garlic,curry leaves and tomato into it and fry it until tomato turns soft and oil seperates.Now add the cooked chicken into the gray and stir well.Add 1/2 cup of water and let it come to a slow boil.Simmer it until the gray thickens.Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with roti/rice.

Recipe Coutesy :- Ummi Abdulla (Vanitha Pachakam)

Posted in Chicken, Traditional Kerala Dishes, Uncategorized, Vanitha Recipes | 23 Comments »

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 | 14 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 »