Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Pavakka Theeyal (Bitter Gourd and shallots cooked in spicy roasted coconut gravy)

Theeyal is one of the tastiest dishes in the Kerala cuisine. Though Theeyal is mainly prepared with Shallots (cheriya ulli - small onions), its also prepared with other  vegetables such as Bitter gourd (Pavakka), Yam (chena), drumstick (muringyakkaya) etc.

Here we prepare this yummy dish with Bitter Gourd (Pavakka).


Bitter Gourd - 250 gms
Shallots (small onions) - 25 nos
Tamarind - 2 lemon size
Turmeric-  1/2 teaspoon
Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut- 1/2 
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
Green chily- 3 nos
Dried red Chillies - 4-5 nos
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


Chop the bitter gourd into small pieces as shown and clean and cut the shallots into small pieces. 
Take a pan and put 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil and put the chopped bitter Gourd and shallots into the pan and saute it till it becomes light brown. Add little salt so that the sauteing becomes faster. It takes approx. 10 min. Keep it aside.
Sauteed Pavakka Ulli mix
Take the tamarind and prepare tamarind pulp. Keep aside.

Take a pan and pour one tablespoon of oil and put the grated coconut into it.  Roast the grated coconut in a  medium flame. Stir continuously till it becomes brownish  in colour. 

 When the coconut becomes completely  brownish, add the coriander powder into it and mix thoroughly and allow it also to get roasted for a minute.

Roasted coconut-coriander powder
Take a mixie jar and put this roasted coconut-coriander mix, 2 green chillies and 20 ml water into it and grind it well to make it a paste. 
Add this paste into the sauteed bitter gourd-shallots mixture that we had prepared earlier. Mix it well and put turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt into it. Heat the mix in a low flame.  Then pour the tamarind pulp into this mixture. Continue to heat it and allow it to boil in a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.


Take a small frying pan and pour 2 teaspoons oil into it. Once the oil is hot put one teaspoon of mustard. Once the mustard splutters, add dry red chillies into it and mix it with the mustard for it to get fried. Add the curry leaves.  

Ensure the tempering is done only in low flame to avoid mustard, red chilly etc getting burnt.


#pavakka, #theeyal, #bittergourd, #pavakkatheeyal, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


Rice is the most commonly used grain by Indians and across many tropical countries... There are 'n' no. of dishes made out of rice in India and south India has a big share in the variety of dishes made out of rice.

Now a days many so-called 'diet-calorie-weight-conscious' people are avoiding rice and shifting to foods such as Oats, Cornflakes, breads etc.. which are used in countries with colder climates. However rice has its own nutritional value and charm and hence we love having foods cooked with rice. 

In Kerala, rice dishes include Idli, Dosa, Appam, Idiappam, ElaAda, Kozhikatta, Unniappam, Achappam, Vellayappam, Pathiri etc.

Lets see the preparation method of Appam.


1) Raw rice - 1.5 cups  (around 150 gms)
2) Tender Coconut/Coconut - One full tender coconut OR half of a coconut to be grated. Tender coconut is the best option for preparing appam batter. In case tender coconut is not available, coconut can be used.  While selecting coconut, pl. select the raw ones (pale yellow shell, fibre etc) instead of the older or ripe ones (brown shell, fibre etc).

3) Tender Coconut/Coconut water - around 100 ml.. Coconut water enhances the taste of the appam and also helps in fermentation of the batter.
4) Cooked rice - 2 tablespoons (this makes the appam softer)
5) Sugar - 1 teaspoon
6) Water - Required only if coconut-water is not available. If coconut water available is less than 100 ml, then add water to make it 100 ml.


Preparing the  appam batter:

Wash the rice thoroughly and soak it in water for around 4 hours.
After soaking for around 4 hours, drain the water. In a mixie jar, add the rice, grated coconut, coconut water   and sugar. Grind thoroughly in the mixie.

Leave overnight OR for 10-12 hours for the batter to ferment.

Once fermented, add salt to taste and stir thoroughly. This batter must be similar to  Dosa batter in consistency which means that it must not be very thick. It must be more liquid than solid and it must easily  be 'pourable'. Add 10 to 15 ml of water if required to bring-in the right 'flow'.
Final batter

The batter is ready and 80% of the job is done :) Its all about getting the batter right.

Now heat the appachatti (pan to make appam) and rub the bottom of the pan with 
gingelly/sesame/til oil. This is to ensure that the appam is easily removable from the pan once its ready. 

If you donot have a appam pan, then you can use a dosa tava too though the appam would not come exactly the way it must be.

Now pour one big spoon (around 50 ml) of batter into the hot appachatti (pan). Spread-out the batter in the pan to a diameter of approx. 8 to 10 inches and immediately cover the pan with a lid so that the steam doesnot escape the pan. 

Appam is a steamed dish and hence the appam is cooked by the steam generated from the water present in appam batter when the batter is poured into the appam pan. 


After 2 min, remove the lid and carefully remove the cooked appam from the pan.

Steps and final product!! Follow the arrows

Appam is ready!! 

You can make approx. 10-12 appams with the quantity of rice mentioned above. Kadala Curry and Istu are the 2 top side dishes with which appam can be eaten.

#appam, #kadalacurry, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Monday, 29 December 2014

Vellirikka Pachadi (Cucumber with coconut in curd)



Cucumber - 1 small

Coconut- 1/2, Grated

Curd – 100 ml
Curry leaves - 6-8 nos
Green chillies - 2-3 nos
Mustard - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

It is one of the very low calorie vegetables; no saturated fats or cholesterol. It is an excellent hydrating vegetable. Also, cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps reduce constipation and eliminates toxic compounds from the gut.
It is a very good source of potassium, an important intracellular electrolyte and helps in checking weight gain and high blood pressure.

Process to cook Pachadi:

Chop the cucumber into small pieces (Approximately 1 to 1.5 cm of each side) and put in a pan. Add ¼ glass of water into it. Be very careful while adding water since cucumber contains lots of water due to which a little bit of more water will make the curry very watery, thereby losing its taste. Chop green chilles vertically and add in the pan. 
Add salt and cook in a low flame.

Separately grind the grated coconut and mustard into a paste and keep this aside. 

Once the cucumber is cooked put the coconut  paste into it and stir it well in low flame. Switch off the flame one this mix is heated. Pl. donot boil. 
Add the curd into it by stirring it continuosly.
Its important to keep stirring the mix while adding the curd to avoid the butter milk getting separated/curled up due to over heating.

At last put curry leaves  and garnish with one teaspoon of coconut.

This is side dish to be eaten with rice. Serves 6-7 people.

#cucumber, #pachadi, #curd, #yogurt, #coconutoil, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Olan (Ash Gourd and cow peas cooked with Coconut milk)

Ash gourd (Kumbalangha/poosinikkai/Petha Kaddhu) is one of the most commonly used vegetables in South  India. Accordingly to yoga/naturopathy, Ash Gourd is considered the best - No.1 vegetable in the list of Satvic foods... This is because Ash gourd cures a lots of diseases and is an excellent absorber of toxins in the body.  
Explaining the benefits of this vegetable will consume reams of paper... :)

Soaked Red Cow Peas
The other ingredient used in this dish is red Cow peas. Red Cowpeas is a great source of antioxidants and  vitamin A. Cowpeas play a vital role in the prevention of a wide range of diseases. The high protein content in cowpeas helps maintain healthy skin by accelerating the process of skin repair. The antioxidant properties of these legumes are due to the presence of vitamin A and vitamin C, which protects the skin cells from damage caused due to free radicals.
Cowpeas are also low in the glycemic index (GI) as compared to other commonly consumed legumes and lentils. Foods that are low in GI are good for people suffering from diabetes as these foods help in maintaining blood sugar levels within normal range. 
Lets now get straight into the steps to cook Olan.

Ash guard  -1/4 kg
Red cowpeas (vanpayar)  - 250 gm
Coconut  -1/2 grated
Green chilly -3 NOS
Coconut oil - 1 table spoon
Curry leaves-5-6 leaves
Salt  to taste


Soak the cowpeas in water over night. The size of the cowpeas would increase to around 1.5 times. Overnight soaked cowpeas would look like the below.

Wash the cowpeas thoroughly. Cook the cow peas in the pressure cooker. For every one glass of cow peas put minimum of 2 glasses of water. Add salt as required. Once cooked keep aside.

Coconut Milk
Preparation of coconut milk:

Take the grated coconut and grind it in the mixie. Take the ground coconut and squeeze it with your hands to extract the milk out of it. You will get approx. 200 ml of coconut milk. This is the coconut milk that we would use in this dish. Keep it aside.

Cut and clean the ash gourd. Chop the ash guard into small cubes (approximately 2 cm of each side). Add 2 glasses of water. Cut the green chilly in length wise and mix it with  the ash gourd pieces. Cook  this in low flame.  Once the Ash guard is cooked, add the cooked cow peas and curry  leaves into it.  

Cook the mixture for another two minutes. 

Then add  thick coconut milk and turn of the heat just prior the dish start boiling.

Garnish with one table spoon of coconut oil …..

Olan is ready!! Serves 7-8 people. This is a side dish to be eaten with rice. 

#olan, #ashgourd, #ashgourdhealthbenefits, #coconutmilk, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Paal Payasam (Kheer)


Is there anyone out there who doesnot like payasam irrespective of whether made from milk of coconut milk-jagree combo? Even if the answer to this question is yes, there would definitely be an overwhelming no from other in your house!! 

I am not detailing the benefits of the constituents of the Paal Payasam since its a sweet/dessert and its not very calorie conscious people out there :)
However, this is one of the easiest, but universally liked desserts that you can make!!


Rice-  Kerala rice - broken (podi ari) – 1.25 cup (100 gms) 
Milk – ½ litre
Milkmaid- 1 tin (400 gms)
Sugar-6 table spoon
Cashewnuts – 10  nos

Broken Kerala rice
cardamom - 4-5 nos
Raisins (Kismis) - 10-12 nos
Ghee -1 tablespoon


Put  the broken kerala rice in the cooker and pour 1/2  litre  of milk and ½ litre  of water. 
Add 6 teaspoons of sugar also. Cook in low  flame for 10  minutes after the first whistle in the cooker. 
Cardamon powder added into cooked rice-milk mix
Allow the pressure to get released slowly. Into the cooked rice-milk mix, add cardamom  powder and milkmaid and mix it thoroughly. Keep aside

Cashew and raisins stir fried
Take a frying pan and pour 1 table spoon ghee and  put  cashewnut  ,stirr tilll it  become  light brown in colour. Add kissmis into it and stirr it, till it expands and it becomes round  like grapes. put the roasted cashew and  kismiss into the payasam

Pal Paayasam is ready

It serves 5 to 6 members in a family.

#payasam, #desserts, #ricerecipes, #kheer, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Monday, 22 December 2014

Idichakka thoran (Tender Jackfruit Stir fried with grated coconut)

I am not sure whether Tender Jackfruit is commonly available in the markets outside Kerala... in Chennai we get during winter and I bought one immediately since good ones are a rarity even in this part of the country :)

Many of us eat jackfruit but don't realise that it has got huge health benefits. 
It has one of the widest range of nutrients that give wholesome health to us. It improves immunity, has anti-ageing qualities, is highly anti-oxidant, is anti-ulcer, is very high in fibre because of which it helps digestive system and helps bowel movement, improves vision, is a fast energy booster etc etc. The list goes on and on... 

We will now see how to prepare a stir fry (Thoran) version of this humble vegetable with so many good qualities.


tender jackfruit
Tender Jackfruit (Idichakka) - 1/2 of a medium sized tender jackfruit 
Grated coconut-1/2 of one
Shallots (Cheriya ulli) - 6-8 nos
Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Green chilly - 6-8 nos
Dry red chilly- 3-4 nos
Curry leaves - 6-8  nos
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
salt to taste


Cut the Tender jackfruit into two pieces. Peel the skin and the part containing the latex and clean it thoroughly. Chop the Tender jackfruit  into small cubes (approximately 2 cm of each side). 

Take a  vessel  and  put the chopped tender jackfruit pieces into it. Add 1 ½ glasses of water, add turmeric powder and close the lid. Allow it to get cooked under low flame. Once cooked, remove from fire, drain  it  and  allow it to cool. Pound  the  cooked pieces of the tender jack fruit. 

Chop the green chilly  and small onion separately. Mix the chopped items into the pounded pieces of the cooked Tender jackfruit.

Stir Frying:

Take a small frying  pan and pour 1 table spoon of  coconut  oil into it. Once the oil is hot put 1 teaspoon mustard into it. Once  the  mustard  seeds splutter, put red chillies into it.

Then put the pounded Tender Jackfruit into it and mix once. Close it with a lid. After sometime, open the lid and stir the mixture well and pour the grated coconut into it. Then again mix it well. Cook it uncovered for 5 minutes for it to get fried a bit.

Idichakka Thoran is ready. 
This is a great side dish for rice and serves 6-8 people.

#idichakka, #thoran, #idichakka, #tenderjackfruit, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Beetroot Pachadi - Beetroot sauteed in curd and coconut-mustard paste

The Beetroot is one of the most important foods for increase in the red blood cells due to it high iron contents. Hence, it is especially beneficial in the treatment of anemia. Beetroot consumption increases the disease resistance strength of the body.  Beetroots are utilized for constipation, hemorrhoids and due to their rich content of folic acid they have huge benefits for the female reproductive system. It promotes the movement of gallstones out of the liver.
It is almost calorie free and beetroot juice is beneficial in the treatment of many diseases.

One of the very tasty dishes made from beetroot with minimum effort is the beetroot Pachadi. Lets see how to make this easy dish.


Beetroots - medium sized - 2 nos
Coconut -  1/2, grated
Green  chillies - 2 nos
Mustard seeds -1 tablespoon 
Curd - 100 ml
Curry leaves - 4-6 
Coconut oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste


Grate  the   beetroots in a slicer.  

Take a frying pan and  pour  one  tablespoon coconut oil. After the oil is hot, put  the sliced beetroot into it.  Add a
pinch of  salt  and  saute  it for some time in low flame. Keep aside 
Add one tablespoon of mustard and 2 green chillies into the grated  coconut and grind these in a mixie. 

Add this ground mix into the sauteed beetroot. Add 1/2 glass  (around 100 ml) of curd and mix well.

Sauteed beetroot mixed with coconut-mustard-green chilly

Add fresh curry leaves. Garnish with one table spoon of coconut oil.   

Beetroot pachadi is ready. Its a great side dish with rice. 

Serves 4-5 people.

#beetroot, #pachadi, #beetrootpachadi, #keralarecipes, #indianrecipes, #vegetarian

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Pulissery (Morozhichukootaan / Morukootaan) - Malabar Cucumber cooked with coconut paste with butter milk added...

Pulisshery or Morozhichukootaan or Morukootaan is a speciality dish of Kerala and consists of one or 2 cooked vegetables with buttermilk and coconut paste as the base gravy. Usually sour buttermilk is used to prepare this dish which gives it a yummy tangy flavour which greatly awakens our taste buds and the stomach's digestive fluids, thereby we making us yearn for more :)

It is actually sweet as well as sour - sour taste, however, dominates...

Malabar cucumber
Pulisshery can be made with different vegetables such as cucumber, Malabar cucumber, ripe mangoes, raw papaya, ash gourd etc. Here we have used Malabar cucumber.

It is a low calorie vegetable with about 85% water content. Its highly recommend as it aids digestion, eliminates toxins from the body and  carries numerous other health benefits such as reduction of cholesterol, promotes hair growth, aids in weight loss, helps in eye care etc.
Its is an excellent source of potassium, calcium, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber and anti-oxidants.


Ash gourd or  raw papaya or cucumber or malabar cucumber - 250 gms (the one we have described below is prepared using Malabar cucumber).
Butter milk - 2 glasses (300 ml)
Grated coconut- 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chilles - 2  nos
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
Chilly powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 2-3 nos
Salt  to taste


Chop  the malabar cucumber into small cubes (approximately 2 cm of each side). In case you are using any other vegetable listed above, except ripe mango, the chop size and shape should be the similar to this. Add 2 glasses of water while cooking.  Put  1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 1/2 teaspoon of  chilly powder, salt  and cook in a low flame. 

Separateky, grind the grated coconut, cumin seeds  and  green chillies into a paste. Keep this aside.

Once the cucumber is cooked,  put  the coconut paste into the it and stir it well in low flame. Once this mix of cooked cucumber and coconut-cumin seeds-green chilies paste boils, switch off the flame and add the butter milk into it, stirring it continuously. 
Its important to keep stirring the mix while adding the buttermilk to avoid the buttermilk getting separated/curled up due to overheating. 

Keep Aside.


Take a small frying pan and pour 2 tablespoons of oil into it. Once the oil is hot, put 2  teaspoons of mustard into it. Once the mustard completely splutters, add 2-3 broken dry red chillies, 2 teaspoons of Fenugreek seeds and the curry leaves. Stir till the fenugreek turns dark brown. Add this complete mix into the curry that was kept ready aside.

The pictures below show the steps: 

Pulisshery is ready. Serves 4...

#pulissery, #keralarecipes, #yogurt, #sadya, #vishusadya, #onamsadya