Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kozhukatta

Have you heard of Kozhukatta perunnal ? I am sure most of you have not. Because it is a catholic tradition followed only in certain parts of Kerala. My mom had never heard about it untill she got married. At my father's home this is a great tradition, where every one joins in to make it the day before Palm sunday and its called Kozhukatta sheniyazhcha. So we too used to follow the same tradition.



Its celebrated in memory of Jesus Christ being stoned. Its in memory of that, that we make these round stone shaped sweet dish. It has always seemed a strange thing to me to eat something sweet in memory of someone who was hurt that day. That is just one version of the history behind it. There are so many other versions. Hmm...anyways, I love having it and it gets all nostalgic when I start making it. It reminds me of those days as kids when we would sit down to give a hand in making these and my father would pour out so many memories from his childhood. 



Anyways, now that I have talked too much about it, let me move over to the recipe.




Ingredients

  1. 1 1/2 cup of finely ground rice flour - lightly roasted/heated 
  2. 1/2 tbsp of ghee or butter
  3. 1/4 tsp of cardamom powder
  4. 1 cup of shaved jaggery
  5. 3/4 cup of shredded coconut
  6. 1 cup of hot boiling water
  7. Salt to taste

Method
  • In a pan, melt the jaggery with little water. Once it is melted, strain it to remove impurities, if any. When its still hot, add the shredded coconut to it. Mix it well.
  • In another pan, pour the ghee. Once hot, add the jaggery and coconut mixture to it and mix it thoroughly. Let any extra water content melt off. Add the cardamom powder and give it a mix. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a bowl take the rice flour and add salt to it. Mix it for the salt to spread evenly. Now add the boiling water little by little to the flour while you mix it with a spoon to form a dough. Cover and keep it aside to cool down just a little (about 5 minutes) and is ready to knead with your hands. Knead it to form a smooth and non sticky dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions of 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls. Wet your hands. Take each ball and give it a light press between your palm and then start working with fingers of both your hands to form a cup shape out of it. Now fill it with a tbsp of the coconut jaggery mixture and roll it into a ball.
  • Prepare the steamer/pressure cooker to steam these rice balls. Steam the rice balls for about 10-12 minutes and then let it cool a little. Serve it warm.

Tips
  1. Do not pour the boiling water to the flour at one go. It would get difficult to work with and may result in a sticky dough.
  2. Wetting your hands, just a little, would help working with the rice balls. It wouldn't stick on to your hands and would help make smooth rice balls. 
  3. Make sure you do not have cracks on the rice balls, else they break open when steamed.
  4. Use a dark coloured jaggery for it and they would look and taste better. I used a light coloured jaggery because that is what I got from our Indian store :). 
  5. Using fresh coconut would be even more better than the store bought frozen ones. It would make the stuffing more juicier and would taste good. Feel free to add in more coconut as per your desire. More the coconut, more heavenly its gonna taste.







Saturday, April 5, 2014

Mango Shake

Summer is almost here. Do you have any plans for this summer? Well, with the past year's experience I think we would keep ourselves locked inside rather than going out. Last year, we kept running away from sun. It was pretty hot. Atleast, we felt so. Five minutes in the sun was like sedative for me. I would fall off to sleep as soon as we would be back home, all tanned and burnt. I wonder how harsh it would be this time. If at all there was a weather moderate enough and remained the same all through out the year. Ahh, but then again, we would complain...human nature.



Now that mangoes are in season, I thought I should do this post. I must admit, I really miss the taste and smell of mangoes back home. The mangoes that we get here are no way close to comparison what we get there.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tip to make perfect boiled egg



  1. In a saucepan, take the eggs that need to be boiled. Pour in water such that the eggs gets immersed in water completely. 
  2. Add 1/2 tbsp of salt to it. 
  3. Place it on high heat. When the water starts to boil, simmer the heat to medium and let it cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  4. Pour out the hot water from the pan. Now run the normal tap water ( cold water ) on the eggs untill the shells cool completely.
  5. Take a boiled egg and drop it on the kitchen top and roll it under your palms applying pressure gently such that the shells crack in a circle, by the center of the egg. The shells would now peel off quickly.




Nadan Egg Roast / Egg Roast (Kerala style)

Sunday lunch used to be a treat for us, as kids. Early morning mass followed by sunday class and then when we get back, there would be another round of breakfast as we would have rushed through it in the morning. Then there would be a relay of programs to watch in television. 



As we watched Mahabharat/ The Bible / The Bournvita quiz contest, the lunch would be ready. It would be always special and different.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bruschetta

Who loves to munch the juicy and cute little grape tomatoes ? I do. And if it is to be combined with some roasted garlic and olive oil, to top it on toasted Baguette slices... hmm gets even more lovely.



I love making it. Ofcourse, because of the ease of making it. At the same time, I love the smell of the garlic roasted in olive oil. Ohh, that aroma itself is so mouth watering.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Baguette - Another way of making it !

Procrastination hits me every now and then or lets just keep it simple - it stays with me forever :). I would always think of making this baguette every other day, so that I could eat some right out of the oven and may be use it for bruschetta. Finally I made it :). 



It was during last winter that we made Bruschetta and Baguette for the first time and we were so much in love with it that we made it again and again. It had been a while since then. Suddenly an urge to have bruschetta grew in me the other day and no I was not going to calm it down by using a store bought baguette. I am so adamant about certain things :P.  Bad habit, I know, but if helps to overcome my laziness then ya I happily boost up my adamancy to achieve it.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Semiya Pulav / Semiya Pulao / Vermicelli Pilaf

Cleaning up the pantry could give you ideas - sometimes weird that you regret and sometimes useful ones that you are glad you went by it. While I was cleaning up and organizing the pantry, I found a pack of semiya/vermicelli left unattended for so long. I wanted to use it up as quickly as I can, with its expiry date approaching soon. 


Now that Semiya Kheer was not a good option to finish off that amount of Semiya, I started breaking my head thinking how could I not waste the semiya but put to good use by cooking something that would be appreciated by both of us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Green Peas Curry

Back home, during lent season, we usually don't go to restaurants as we wouldn't be left with many options to order from. But if we do happen to go, I would usually end up ordering Parotta and Green peas curry and just use a tablespoon or two(max.) of the curry to have the Parotta. I was not a fan of it.



But when I got married, it became so difficult for me to find a curry 'with lots of gravy', to go with chapathi for Jacob. He just can't imagine of dry stir fry's for chapathi. So he would suggest making green peas to go with it. As most of you would agree that married life rewrites the entire list of your likings, the same happened here too. I started loving this curry with chapathi. You can call it to be the hatred/laziness towards making two different curries for two people at home, that made me develop a liking towards this curry. If you too love it or have a gravy demanding person at home, this curry could help suffice the demand. So why not try it?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cherupayar Parippu Payasam / Split Mung Beans Payasam

When engagement anniversary, wedding anniversary and birthday falls in the same month with an interval of less than a week, making specials for each event gets exciting but at the same time leaves us with too much of left overs. Yes, February is special for us. We used to bake cakes for each of these occasions, but realized that its too much for just two of us.



So now, we have come up with a solution of spreading it in the form of a special dinner or a cake/bake or a dessert - anyone of these for each of these occasion. Also these get to be made only in amounts that suffices our appetite and craving.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ombre cake ~ 3 layers for 3 years !

I have been seeing the pictures of beautiful ombre cakes floating through in Pinterest. I could never control myself drooling over the pictures.



All said, I must admit that I am not a fan of frosting but I love the way the cakes are decorated. When it comes to eating a cake with frosting, I feel a huge sugar rush after having it and don't even ask me about the guilt that grows in me for having had all that cream, butter and sugar that I imagine myself to be inflating like a balloon. So when it comes to frosting a cake at home, I hesitate, because both of us don't prefer frosting and more over I run short of ideas how to decorate it (Honestly...I am bad at frosting).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Moru Kachiyathu / Kachiya Moru / Seasoned Buttermilk

Moru Kachiyathu is a must at our house and I am sure it would be the same for most of us malayali's. It is so amazing, how such a simple recipe can enhance the taste of lunch to a greater level. 



Choru (rice) and Moru Kachiyathu, itself is such a great combination that with just a simple egg omelet (indian style) as a side, you are sure to have had a fulfilling lunch. All said, while I clicked the below pictures for this post, I had my all time favorite Kale Kootu to go along with rice and Kachiya moru.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pig in a blanket ~ Super Bowl Special

The first year I was here in US, I hardly knew the game and my husband made a big deal about the Super Bowl. We may not be regular at watching the whole season but the finals would be never missed. We stayed home and I made snacks to munch(the only excitement part for me) while we watched the game. I learnt a bit about it and then having watched it, it turned out to be exciting.



The next year, I too joined the excitement club along with Jacob. I was excited to cook as well as watch the game. So thats how we made Meat Balls , last year. This is the third year in a row that the excitement continues and I somehow think if it has become a tradition for us. Nah.... Because, this time it was me who got excited and reminded Jacob of the so called 'tradition' that we were starting to develop. So I am wondering if next year either of us would remember. Or may be Jacob would have cleverly decided to not remind me, else he would be dragged into the kitchen to help me :P.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Carrot Halwa / Carrot Pudding

As a kid, I always liked to munch fresh carrots. I still do love to eat it raw. The other day when I was picking up carrots at the grocery store, an old lady came up to me and said, "You wouldn't stock up these many carrots unless you have a rabbit at home".... I just smiled. What else was I supposed to respond? That I am the rabbit at our house :P.... Oh that reminds me, I kind of skipped having them for a week or two and I was surprised to see those organic carrots still fresh in the refrigerator. Hmm..that makes me wonder, how organic are those "organic labelled" carrots ?



Anyways, it was usually during winter that we used to get these fresh red carrots, that my mom would make the carrot halwa out of it. And we would stay near the kitchen premises to check out every now and then if it is done :).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blueberry Muffins

I had never tried my hands on with muffins. But I have always loved having them, esp. if they are not that sweet to be had for breakfast. When my eyes fell on this recipe I knew I had to try it for next day breakfast. The batter was ready in no time and were in the oven to bake.When the first batch was done, I waited for the muffin to just cool a little to taste it. They just melted in my mouth. When Jacob had one, he didn't want to rush through the breakfast (which he usually does on most of the working days) and so he asked me pack it up for office.



While, I was packing it up, my brain cells were quickly ripping up ideas to photograph these yummy muffins. The idea did include a hand model though. Ahh... you guested it right? Jacob got to be the victim. I rushed to get the camera and asked Jacob to do some modeling, which he clearly, is difficult to manage with. He was rushing for office... I was trying to hold back my model(Jacob) and asking him to pose the way I want and blackmailing him that if he didn't I wouldn't pack any of them to take to office :P (at times such blackmailing works....this time it did)...

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