26 January 2014

Tri color custard - Celebrating India's republic day ....

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,
......................into that heaven of freedom,my father,let my country,India awake" ~ Rabindranath Tagore

And today all Indians will be waking up with pride in their heart and patriotism in their overall spirit, for today my motherland ,India is celebrating 65th republic day.Today was the day ,64 years back India attained Poorna swaraj ,Complete independence as after winning the freedom fight (on 15th August, 1947) , it was on 26th January,1950 ,India's constitution came into ultimate effect . Thus this day is celebrated with pride and patriotic fervor all over India .


This day ,the capital of India,New Delhi holds grand multi-cultural and military  parades ,flag hosting,commemorating freedom fighters and soldiers who laid down their life for the country selflessly,multi-awards especially national & bravery awards are honored to the soldiers or their family and other deserving citizens of the country.Each state participates highlighting their cultural heritage,childrens perform dance and song praising the country,Armed forces perfom motorbike parades,gunshoot honoring the bravesouls/soldiers/freedom fighters,Airforce perform fly past the audience/citizens pouring rose petals and the grand finale with a fly past by the airforce saluting the president of India and eventually leaving a trail of smoke in tri-colors representing the colors of flag of India. 

This day though no matter how imperfect our nation is (as are others) each and every Indian's chest swells with immense pride to be a part of a country which accomplished Independence  with non-violence , started by a single ordinary man ,"The father of our Nation,"Gandhi ji" " and later on joined and supported by other remarkable selfless freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to save the pride and honor of their mother,Mother India.

It makes me proud and it makes me nostalgic too as this day during my childhood days,I recall-at school there used to be cultural programs and something I looked forward to the most - the distribution of chocolates and sweets :D ...kid in me loved that moment so much :D.....and at home I remember when I was born we had black and white TV at first so on this day we used to go over to our relatives next building who had color TV to watch all the cultural programs together and eat food thereafter.It used to be fun .


Later when we bought color TV,it was a pure family day as it is a national holiday, mom would cook all special food for the day ahead and we all would gather around the TV ,me infront of the idiot box and mom that day would forget scolding me no to sit infront of the TV warning me, it would harm my eyesight otherwise and my papa would become the commentator of the house once the program starts , commenting about each parade performed by each state (I loved hearing that-his enthu was contagious :) ) and then like me lecturing in precise :P the history of India (which I just nod but hardly heard :P) ...those were the days!!...DD1 was the only channel we had back then and we enjoyed every bit of program it showed except Krishi darshan :D ...when I think about them now,and the variety multi-lingual channels we 've nowadays,it's those simple programs aired in DD1 that holds a special memory in my heart ...I guess it's all about quality over quantity here...life was so simple and humble then...family spent quality time more then and consequently, everyone from my generation have common memories to cherish and long for now....

Being abroad,one appreciates their motherland more ..So, as a tribute to those memorable days and republic day of my country,I prepared a "Tri-color custard" representing the flag of India...

Tri color Custard


Any Custard powder (I used Weikfield -no eggs)- 9 teaspoons 
Milk - 6 cups
Sugar - 6 tablespoons
Edible food color (Orange and green)
Dark blue color to draw chakra/wheels with spokes .


  • In a bowl,mix custard powder in little milk until well combined and diluted (this keeps the custard lump free) .
  • Boil milk in a pan .Add sugar to it .
  • At boiling point ,add the above diluted custard powder slowly,stirring continuously .
  • Boil for a minute approx until the desired consistency is reached (it gets thickened).
  • Turn off the heat .Remove and allow it to cool .
  • Now pour the custard into three bowls respectively.
  • Add a drop of orange and green edible colors in two bowls respectively and mix well till the desired color is reached.
  • Put individual custards in the blender/mixer one by one  and run it just for a round.(Optional step -as it makes sure everything is well blended and lump free).
  • Now keep the three bowls of orange colored custard,green color custard and the one as it is (off-white) color into the refrigerator and allow it to chill for half an hour approx .
  • Take a glass,pour a tablespoon or more of green custard followed by the off-white one and finally layered by the orange color carefully(Layer by layer).
  • Tri-color custard is all set to celebrate the republic day of India....
Daane daane pe likha hai,desi khane walon ka naam ;D
 Happy Republic day to my country and my countrymens!!....

Saare jahan se achcha Hindustan Hamara,Hum bulbulein hai iski ye Gulsita Hamara.........:)

Vandey Matram

Submitting it to Shruti's Independent India event

23 January 2014

No churn saffron icecream | Mango ice cream | Rose Ice cream

Well,they say ," You can't buy happiness,but you can buy ice cream and that's kind of same thing." So true !!! But what if we can make the same smooth silky creamy ice creams at home with the flavors we like and with a foolproof versatile recipe and for that you don't even have to own an ice cream maker ...handful of ingredients ,just 10 minutes and a few hours of patience are just needed to "Make or create happiness that is so cold to numb your stress,so creamy to give you an heavenly treatment , so soft that right from your tongue to heart to mind everything just turns super soft and you become a happy kid once again and what I really appreciate about ice creams are the saying ,"Life is just like an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts."  An edible philosophical reminder to appreciate life God gifted us!!

I've three of my favorite flavors :Saffron,Mango and Rose ice creams.....(They were in draft mode too)

Saffron ice cream 

saffron ice cream

Method is same as in Avocado ice cream except....replace avocado with a tablespoon of saffron immersed in warm water until it gives a bright yellow hue..here I added a drop of orange color as my next ice cream is Mango...to avoid confusion (yellow yellow)....

Mango Ice cream 


Same method just replace with 1/2 cup of ripe Mango pulp .

Rose ice cream

This is an old pic....

Method same as above replace the fruit with 1 tablespoon of rose syrup.

Can't wait for summer..to try more.........to eat more....to enjoy more...to live more...

22 January 2014

No churn Avocado ice cream


Mother nature is undergoing a spa session it seems.Like a charm,she is getting fairer and fairer day by day.Name of her amazing facial is called "Snow" !!! .....What a visual treat it is !!! and when it melts,it transforms into some kind of serene yet bits of magical potion ...and I wish I could taste the first falling droplets (weird,eh?)...well when I was little I did that too ....and immediately that makes me crave for Snow's edible cousin,"Ice cream"....Unfortunately ,it's too cold to go for it especially if you are vulnerable to sore throat like me....ugghhh...."Mission impossible for me !!"...sighhh....sob....and that's what happened in the weekend ,suddenly those snows all over outside kinda lured me ..I was literally drooling at the very thought but ALAS !!! ... I've to wait for summer desperately ...However that reminded me that I do have previous summer's icecream post still in the draft ....and thought before I forget about it forever ...let me post it now....


I just love this ice cream a lot especially because it's home made...there is no need of any ice cream maker and with only few ingredients it can be churned into an unbelievably creamy ,soft ,yummy ice cream within no time and to top it all it has one of the famous super healthy fruit ,"Avocado" in it...though I am not a big fan of this fruit ,my hubby is!...he kinda forces me to eat them(because of health benefits) ..I was so fed up of eating them daily that ,I turned this into the ice cream which kinda automatically made me fall in love with this fruit all over again because it's flesh are so soft by itself & you can hardly feel it's AVOCADO there !! ....you get one of a kind smooth silky ice cream and forget about a single scoop ..U can't stop it !! ...and now you have the best excuse to enjoy this ice cream guilty less but then thank God it melts after a while otherwise I can finish it more faster than it was made ...all accolades or blames to Avocado !!

All you need to make an Avocado ice cream are condensed milk,heavy cream,vanilla and Avocado pulp and a hand mixer/electric mixer and just 5-10 minutes and then everything is just magiic....

Avocado ice cream


Condensed milk - 1 can (14 ounces)
Cold Heavy cream - 2 cup
Pure vanilla - 2 teaspoons
Ripe Avocado,pitted,scooped & mashed - 1-2 nos.


  •  In a large bowl,using an electric mixer,beat the heavy cream on high for 3 minutes approx until stiff yet soft peaks forms.
  • In another bowl ,stir condensed milk and vanilla together and add the above stiff peaked cream into it.
  • Finally add the scooped and nicely mashed avocado pulp into the above mixture (lump free) and give everything a good mix.
  • Pour it into a glass container or a loaf pan and freeze it for 6 hours approx or more or until firm.
  • That's it Avocado ice cream is ready!!!


Desperately waiting for summer and more Ice creamsss,

20 January 2014

Got 2 Liebster awards !!

Well,looks like blogosphere wants to spread the flash news that my baby blog doesn't have mANY followers yetLaughing at Someone....and two of my very talented fellow bloggers - (+Shey divine  and Ritu )are volunteering for it :(( ....

Well well well...before they say go to hell :D...jokes apart :P.... the talented and mainly good human beings - Sharanya/shey Divine who blogs from an awesome blog - Justnotthecakes And Ritu from another lovely blog -Treatnfeast were kind enough to pass on this recognition to me as they really know that otherwise there is no way that anyone can notice my blog ...ok kidding gain :D but kinda true because these ladies are giving my baby blog an humble push to be discovered across the wide blogosphere full of amazing talents ...really I am not an expert yet ..still learning and have a long way to go ...and not sure if it has got any potential to make a mark/shine of its own...I am kinda minding my own business and exploring my passion .So,yeah a few kind bloggers are helping me out with their kind words and actions like this...am totally bowled over ...needless to say my hearty thanks to Sharanya for considering me always and encouraging me with her awards ...till then I was kinda invisible :P....she is indeed divine for me :D...

From Sharanya- Justnotthecakes

And special thanks to Ritu,actually I was super surprised when I saw her comment about the award today as we never interacted before and she was kind enough to nominate me...i still wonder why..how ..lol...nice to know kind and encouraging people do exist...I was kinda losing faith on people almost :p...

From Ritu - Treatnfeast

Having said all that, I must also admit that at first I was lil reluctant to accept this award from Sharanya because one of the rule was to nominate abt 5-10 bloggers and all those I follow are quite popular and not many and I don't interact much (my bad...working on it tho) and was thinking what if they felt insulted or bad that I ,whom hardly anyone knew is nominating THEM...Moreover,I know I'll be eligible for this award always because not sure if I'll ever have 200 followers lol...However,when Ritu nominated me ,someone I didn't even know ,felt like giving me this award..I thought it would be rude to say no to her.So,I went back to Sharanya and took her award and ran for my life :D and accepted Ritu's award as well.

I saw this award on almost every blog .So kinda knew what is it about but to those who don't know - Liebster award is nothing but a virtual award / recognition given to the upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It is to recognize the effort and time they have spent on blogging. This award also helps to motivate to keep on blogging wonderful recipes and also to introduce to the rest of blogging world.(Copy pasted from Sharanya's )

Ok now before you say shut up and get back to the questions they asked...damn I feel like a celebrity now :P...ok ok ..Let me start it ASAP....

First lemme start with Sharanya's Questions :

1. Before and after blogging , what changed your life ?
Well before blogging , my marriage changed my life for good.I became a real lady from a childish girl then (though I am still a kid at heart :P) with myriad responsibilities to not only to take care of myself but mainly my better half ,then juggling between job and household chores and understood life is not a bed of roses ...you have to learn all tips and tricks to manage the thorns at times and smell the roses as well and so I am learning all survival skills which I had no clue before ....one among'em was cooking....which was challenging indeed..

After blogging , which I started after a couple of years of wedding ,with the intention of jotting down all my successful cooking trials at one place which will be not only well documented but also easily accessible for future reference and also to share it with my friends and family when requested and to show my mom especially that see mom I can also cook well which she was quite doubtful :P. So,blogging taught me to be organized,to have patience,to be creative,to be careful (regarding ingredient's measurements) ,to explore my passions (cooking-writing,photographing)and yet to be MYSELF...
2. When and what motivated you to blog ?
Sharanya..you were not listening gal eh?? ..:P...well, answer same as above...
3. Who chose the name of your blog ? and why ?
Well,"Yours truly" did !!!...well my kitchen got a black remark of calling itself a blunder kitchen because of my experiments ...and then one fine day ,my hubby gave me a certificate by calling my recipes the WONDERful ones and so did my friends ...so , we had an official naming ceremony of my kitchen and we named her proudly ,"My wonder kitchen"- all about celebrating from blunders to wonders ...
4. What is the best and favorite recipe you have posted so far ?
O Boy !.....so,you wann me to blow my own trumpet huh...hmm..well,All are best :P...well,I try my best to post the best .....all are best in their own ways...so if anyone tries anything ..they will be able to give you the apt answer for your qn. My fav is the Christmas plum cake so far as it's my man's fav cake and I also made cake pops out of it and that cake itself makes me quite nostalgic....
5. How often you post recipes in your blog ?
  Twice or thrice a week.
6. Who is your role model ?
 I've a lot for different categories of life respectively ...but then like everyone ..They, who gave me a life worth living - my parents of course...in cooking my dearest mom undoubtedly....
7. What are your favorite spices ?
I love all spices and they all are unique in their own ways ..
8. What is the most popular recipe / post in you blog ?
Now I realize the true value of the "Popular widget"I installed...so,it says it is "Mathanga errisery/Kerala special pumpkin curry"....
9. If you were asked to bake which of this will you choose  Chocolate Cake / Focaccia / Pizza / Strawberry Swiss Roll ?
Well,among'em I tried only Pizza yet ..rest are pending ...so I would bake'em all one day ....and post it too  (hopefully)
10. Who Clicks and edits the photographs for your blog ? and what is your favorite font ?
Wuhooo..last question ...my camera (which is not a hi-fi one) clicks :D and an online website edits it :D....ok...I do I do...my blog is my sole responsibility and effort as of now...all good and bad credit goes to me and me only :D....and my fave font is "Jenna sue" because she threatened to sue me otherwise  (shh secret...).

OMG..where is my make up man..I am sweating already ....phewwww...look how busy and popular I am:|..

Over to Ritu's interview....

1. What is the most important thing you enjoy in blogging?
The creativity involved ...happy to know that atleast some part of my mind is working well...and writing like no one is reading .....and I feel like I am doing a virtual cookery show and inspiring others to cook :P
2. How do you describe your blog name?
So you were not listening to my golden answers to Sharanya above..I see!!...so please refer above and all I will say is - a kitchen full of wonder (full creations and people)..........
 3. If you are been given a choice to select a person who will cook for you for a day, whom will you choose and why?
Well known excellent vahchef ,"Sanjay Thumma" from "vahrehvah.com". Totally in awe of him!!The way he spits out all the secrets of his exceptional culinary expertise ,the way he says it's all about inspiring others to cook and most importantly the enthu and happiness he spreads through his valuable food videos are just speechless.His videos makes me smile and inspired :).I really wish if he could cook something for me some day...will you chef??
4. You are allowed to live only on one food for a month, which one will you opt for?
Kill me instead :|...okkk....ummm... Water :O ...damn i am confused if it can be called a food ..ok may be Rice gruel which comprises of water and rice which is believed to be a great energy booster ...(U scaared me ritu :( )
5. What is that dish which you always want to try cooking but is scared to attempt?
Baking cakes,pasteries in depth because my hubby is not a big fan of cakes...meaning I've to finish by myself...and all I need is air to blow up like a ballooon..I am really scaaaared.....
6. What are the means of collecting recipes? What attracts you to choose a dish for experimenting?
Online,family and friends,any cooking videos ,magazines and sometimes my creative mind (i think )....The simplicity,the creativity,healthy aspect,time savers,or something that holds some kind of sentimental value to it attracts me....
7. Which recipe would you recommend your readers as a "must try" recipe from your blog? 
All :D....especially under Sadya menu ..u gotta try that :)
8. What is your dream about your blog?
That it will be genuinely loved,accepted,pampered and recognized by all one day !!(Amen !!) and hopefully God willing ,will be a "wonder" full restaurant one day;)...but that's too much to say may be..(Building castles in the air :p )...(Fingers crossed though) !!
9. Who motivated you to blog?
Half myself and other half by my better half ;D.We are partners afterall...
10.You have to chose a second name for your blog. How will you rename it and why? 
PraManj (Combination of my hubby's and my name ) which also happens to be my FB page name....I will take a personal domain name sooner or later...want to show the world who the true owners of the wonder kitchen and wonder FULL recipes are ;P....


Phewwwwwww...so much pressure on my little brain ....hehe...so ,hope I answered to your respective questions ....Thanks again...I loved answering those questions ...it was fun !! Friends do read their awesome blogs for sure....

Now Rule no.2 is to pass these awards to 5-10 bloggers.Since I know only a few.I am nominating 6 in total - 3 each  for Sharanya and Ritu...

Aaand the nominees are :

  1. Madhu from Paricashkitchen
  2. Geeta from geethaskitchen
  3. Ruxana Gafoor from frommyownkitchen
  4. Nitu Narayan from mazedar-khana
  5. Divya from happyscook
  6. Noppur Srivastava from noopurnikhil
Congrats nominees !!

Now hop on to the hotseat and allow me to shoot the questions for you :
  1. Give us a brief introduction about your blog.Are you enjoying blogging so far ?
  2. What was the best comment you ever got on your blog and for which recipe ?
  3. Are your friends and family supporting your blogging efforts?
  4. Who was the first blogger who left the first comment on your blog ?
  5. How do you feel when you don't see any comment on your post ? You care or you don't ?
  6. What if your blog doesn't get any followers at all ?? Will you continue blogging ?
  7. How will you deal with a negative comment or a spam on your blog?
  8. Which is your favourite food blog you follow in the blogosphere? and why ?
  9. Do you watch any cookery show in the TV?? Who is your favourite chef ?
  10. What would you say to inspire a newbie blogger ?
All right my adorable ladies that's all torture from my side.Hope You'll have fun answering it. The rules to remember are :

The person who receives the award , will have to share it with another 3 -10 bloggers and have to follow few tasks.

  1. Blog about the award in your space.
  2. Copy and paste the badge and mention about the the person who nominated you .
  3. Answer to the questions asked by the person who nominated you .
  4. Nominate another 5-10 bloggers who have less than 200 followers .
  5. Now frame your own questions to the nominees .
All the best ladies !!

Thanks once again Sharanya and Ritu for the encouragement.Appreciate it.Hope to get more encouragements from all my fellow bloggers and readers.


16 January 2014

Kadumanga Achar|Kerala Mango pickle


Azeem-O-Shaan Shahenshah
Furwa rawa hamesha hamesha salamat rahe
Tere ho kya bayain
Tu shaan-e-Keralistan
Keralistan teri jaan
Tu Jaan-e-Keralistan
Marhaba Hooo oo Marhaba........................................

Are you like this Shocked?? Just chill,chill just chill...Well,you remember the above Bollywood song from Jodha-Akbar right ?? That song from the movie was all about welcoming and praising the King Akbar,one of the greatest Mughal emperor of India once upon a time. However,here I am dedicating this beautiful song to the king of kings of pickles from God's own country,Kerala ,royally not necessarily but loyally to the natives of Kerala famously called , "Kadumanga Achar".
The biggest feast of Kerala,"Sadya" which comprises of 11-25 vegetarian dishes,is considered incomplete without this very pickle . Almost every house in Kerala gets ready to celebrate the main festivals like Onam,Vishu etc which comprises of Sadya by making this pickle ahead of time . But the good thing about this pickle is that it can be prepared instantly and savored but just like wine,more days or months it is stored in advance,more it becomes flavorful and then it imparts the exact kick and spiciness required to make the Sadya more delectable and eventually aids in complete digestion there by. Call it one of the fave kid of the Sadya and all you need is a simple touch and lick with the finger tip ...that will even take care of the over sweetness of the dessert served at the end of the Sadya ,thereby gracing with the perfect finishing touch  to the big feast....but it is not just Sadya,it can be prepared anytime and one of the most favorite pickle of any Keralite...and the best thing about it is it's simplicity....simple and quick to make and quick to finish as well.....It is best enjoyed with steamed rice and curry or side dishes or with Kanji/rice gruel...but then that is completely as YOU wish....you won't regret it whatsoever....


Whenever I go to India,mom would pack me a big packet of this pickle and though I am not a big pickle lover , this one I like a lot but my hubby he simply loves a lot ..so ,it is gone within no time and
I am like Hone PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPAngry Fist.But who is gonna listen to this crazy blah blah gal ?:-\

So,when it was over I had no choice but to learn it from my dear mother ...though initially it didn't work out ,third time it was indeed a charm..Yayyyy...

  Kadumanga Achaar

  Unripe Mango,unpeeled and small cubed pieces - 4 cups
Red Chilly powder - 4-5 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - As needed
Fenugreek powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Gingely Oil/Sesame oil - 4-5 tablespoons
Vinegar- 5-10 tablespoons (optional)
Curry leaves - a bunch (Optional)
Mustard seeds - 1-2 teaspoons


  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt to the small cubed mango pieces,mix well and keep it over night in a bowl or bottle.
  • Next day,heat oil in a pan.Splutter mustard seeds.
  • Add curry leaves.Saute a second.
  • Now add chilli powder,turmeric powder.Saute a minute without burning it on low flame.
  • Add the mango pieces to it.Saute and mix everything well.
  • To this add the vinegar,on high flame let it boil.
  • Once it reaches the boiling point,switch off the flame.
  • Now add the fenugreek powder and asafoetida powder to it and mix well.
  • Taste test the salt.
  • Let it cool and then transfer it into a clean and dry bottle and store it ari tight.
Keep in mind:
  • Use mangoes that are sour in taste and then omit or add vinegar accordingly.
  • Gingely oil is the recommended oil for best flavor otherwise use any.
  • Can be served instantly but it will taste better after two days or more and then once opened,keep it refrigerated and always use dry spoons otherwise it'll get fungus and get spoiled soon.
  • If you want to add more oil after you pickled it already,then boil the oil,cool and then pour. It will even keep it fungus free thereafter.
  • Adjust the chilli as per your spice preference taste wise.

Taste it and let me know if the salt is ok ?:P..hehe...

Eat,Love,Live well,

14 January 2014

Gulab Jamun (made with milk powder)

Today Jan 14th was such a pious day in my motherland,India- A day when Hindus are celebrating myriad of fun filled festivals in different states like "Bhogali Bihu" in Assam,"Lohri" in Punjab,"Uttarayan & Kite Festival" in Gujarat,"Bhogi" in Andhra Pradesh,"Pongal/Makar Sankaranthi" in the rest of the country like Tamil Nadu,Kerala,Karnataka,Maharashtra,Uttar Pradesh,Bihar and Bengal and on the other side, our Muslim brothers and sisters are celebrating"Milad un-Nabi/Id-E-Milad"...and I feel darn nostalgic as always....because I can hardly feel anything here ....Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and his creation,Facebook that keeps me updated and I kinda celebrate it with my friends there virtually atleast....though my mom sent me a Hindu calendar to remind me regarding all the important dates or festivals and other occasions...I am not doing justice to it, it seems...


Makar sankranti is a harvest festival ,an auspicious festival which stands for a holy state of transition -the end of winter ,the beginning of Spring and summer -longer days,shorter darkness/night celebrated with fun,foods,family and prayers.

During my childhood days, all Malayalis and South Indians used to look forward to this holy day back in the city,I was raised,Bokaro .For this day is a day dedicated to our Lord Ayyappa and it is therefore celebrated with fervor and gaiety in the Ayyappa temple (which also happens to be one of the most famous and big Ayyappa temple in India).


This day ,entire Mallus especially, won't be at their respective homes...they will be at the Ayyappa temple ... after a morning bath in fresh clothes gathered around temple busy in beading flowers into a colorful garland as an offering for Gods ,slicing,cutting,chopping,dicing vegetables to prepare the Sadya,the great feast comprising of atleast 10-12 vegetable dishes , Kerala rice and dessert/payasams , harmonious, peaceful mantras and prayers chanted by devotees in the temple, praying and adorning their forehead with "Chandanam" /sandalwood paste (which was offered to God),kids playing around care freely ,everyone beaming with joy and spirituality,then enjoying a yummy feast together in presence of almighty and evening starts with thalapoli,a procession carried out by girls or young ladies holding thalam (a metal plate) in their hands  filled with rice,fresh paddy, flowers, coconut and a lighted lamp to welcome God back into the temple.I loved holding one so much :D.The day ended with prayers and then God's offering,a special payasam is eventually distributed to devotees as blessings.This payasam I loved like anything.It's a day to remember forever !! Every Mallu for sure got rejuvenated and refreshed overall thereafter.....I used to pray hard that my PMS and "M" didn't fall on that day of the month otherwise temples will issue "NO entry" visa :P.


However, if it was,I would be left alone at home but then my neighbours would bring some festival foods like thekua,til ka laddu,fruits etc which I would finish by the time mom,dad are back home.That was a flashback to reminisce ..........


There was no celebration as such for me this time here but since it is festival I always end up making sweets...I made Gulab Jamuns with milk powder . Usually, I used to be quite brand loyal to Gulab Jamun MTR mix but not anymore .To make this all you need - milk powder,allpurpose flour ,curd,ghee,milk and immersed in sugar syrup. Easy !!

Gulab Jamun


Milk powder - 1 cup
All purpose flour/Maida - 1/4 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Warm milk - 1/4 cup or as needed to make a dough
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Curds - 2 tbsp 
Salt a pinch
Oil/ghee for frying

Sugar Syrup

Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Cardamom pods - 2 or 3 nos.
                                                                       Milk - 1-2 tbsp



  • Take a bowl,add everything above except milk and mix well.
  • Add warm milk little by little and knead the mixture into a dough that is little bit sticky yet that can be turned/shaped into small balls later.
  • Smear little ghee on palm and make small crackless golf shaped balls .
  • Deep fry them in oil/ghee till it gets golden brown .
  • Keep them aside.
To prepare sugar syrup :
  • Boil water and sugar together and stirring in between. 
  • Once it is boiling ,add milk and boil till dirt collects and floats.
  • Remove the dirt/sugar scum with a spoon.
  • Add cardamom pods to it.
  • On medium flame ,let it simmer until it becomes just little bit sticky.
  • Turn the flame off and now strain using a strainer.
  • Sugar syrup is ready.
Finally,add the deep fried balls/gulab Jamuns into the hot syrup . Serve it after an hour or more for soft juicy gulab jamuns.

  • After soaking them into sugar syrup ,these gulab jamuns tends to expand in size. 
  • Sugar syrup should be "Just sticky (test it between two fingers,it should lightly stick) ,just before reaching one thread consistency.
  • I made 15 Gulab Jamuns.

Open your mouth- for you...

 Eat,love,live well,

12 January 2014

Pacha Manga Chamanthi|Raw Mango Dry chutney|A kerala speciality


 “In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I totally second the above saying and if you ask me "In food?" ,I will say for me it is Chamanthi ,the dry solid version of Kerala special chutney because it is so easy and quick to make with just the handful of ingredients easily available at home that it's whiff itself is whimsical ,look the simplest,the taste purely Homely that it won't leave you a reason not to admire or taste it even a bit (Provided you admire simplicity though)!!!

There are infact different kinds of so called chamanthis ,two kinds to be specific - a liquid version which is enjoyed with dosa,idli especially and then there is the dry solid version savored with mostly rice gruel/Kanji or with steamed rice especially.This post is dedicated to the dry version -the sourness of the raw mango,the exotic grated coconut,spiced up with red chilly, the juices of shallots,the pungentness of curry leaves pounded all together in a special kind of grinding stone ,Ammikallu traditionally or in the small jar of a mixer-grinder into a thick waterless coarse mixture.

 This simple dish is quite nostalgic to me in many ways .I remember how my mom would prepare this at times and she used to serve it with hot rice,thick home made curd/yogurt on the side,spicy home made pickle ,crunchy thorans/side dish,and straight from the pan -fried fish and to top it ,when I was small, mom used to make balls of rice and everything above and feed myself and my bro . Well..the simplest humblest food served with those hardworking hands and heart full of immense pure love,by the most important person of our life,"Mother"..Well..I don't have the exact word/words to describe how simply irresistible it was or it is (believe me or not my mom wouldn't mind feeding like that even now and my dil always maangey more & more)...this dish and the memories tangled are not something heavenly ,it is purely homely......

 My other memories are of my classmates ,when I joined a college in Kerala for a while and a few of my classmates used to bring a completely organic lunch,"Pothichoru" -the food/menu more or less similar to the above, wrapped specially in Banana leaves and though it would'nt appear that appealing by outside ,when they opened it,SIGHHHH !!!...that mere whiff can knock me dead on the spot...I don't know there was/is something -should I call it something magical or earthy about those humble Banana leaves..I don't know!!...mere wrapping those foods into them it's like as if those leaves are saying - You are in good hands (Like the All state insurance ad. here in US..haha) !! and undoubtedly they are.....

Similarly, whenever we used to travel in train ,our mom-made lunch used to be something similar...travelling away from home stop by stop but that taste will transport right back immediately....Well,that's why I say...IT IS PURELY HOMELY......

Pacha Manga Chamanthi


Raw Mango ,small ,peeled and diced/chopped - 1/2-3/4 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Shallots - 1-2 nos.
Dry Red chilli - 4-5
Red chilli powder - 1 -2 teaspoon
Curry leaves -2-3 nos.
Salt to taste


  • In a small jar of the mixer or on the grinding stone ,grind all the ingredients together until combined and into a slighlty coarse thick paste which can be shaped into a ball.
  • That's it Manga chamanthi is ready.
  • Serve it with hot kanji/rice gruel or boiled rice.
  • Add or reduce the mango as per the sourness preferred.Similarly ,add or reduce the red chillies or red chilli powder as per the spiciness  preferred.Red chilli powder also gives it the good tint of Orange-ish color.
  • Instead of red chillies ,you can also use green chillies.
  • If the mixer is not able to grind everything properly add a few drops of water for smooth grinding. 
 Eat,Love,Live well,

10 January 2014

Colorful Capsicum stir fry-Andhra style


 My mother dear hardly used to make capsicum recipes . I hated it anyways . For me when I was small ,I used to think this capsicum ,especially with those seeds as the biggest chubbiest chilli of the world which has got the weird magical power to change my tongue to toe "RED"and would leave me to realize the true value of water . I guess I carried this misconception about this chubby bell shaped pepper for a long time .Needless to say,I was it's worst critic somehow .There was no chance of me becoming it's fan no matter how yummy a dish made with it called itself to be.

Until one day after coming to US, I saw capsicums in different colors,the red one I pretended I didn't see .Rest the yellow and orange ones were singing like the old Hindi song ,"Piya tuuuuuu whoops Manju tuuuuu,abb to aaaja......" and I hate to admit but I was kinda falling for them . I liked them but didn't love them yet.

However,one day,one of my hubby's friend invited us for dinner and his wife made this capsicum stir-fry but I didn't realize it was capsicum and thank God I didn't otherwise I wouldn't have even tasted it.I just loved that stir-fry and I asked her which vegetable it was..suddenly her expression changed as if I've asked about an alien vegetable :P...whoops my bad..at times ,I give people tough times :P...to which she said it was a "Capsicum" stir-fry and her mom-in-law taught her the recipe .

I noted it down from her in my ghajini memory and I made it one day but hardly remembered the exact recipe, so,modified the recipe to suit our palate and my hubby loved it so did I.However, to boost my so called self-encouragement I made a colorful capsicum stir fry with green,red,yellow and orange capsicums ...Those colors ,that crunchy spciy taste surely won my heart ,swept my feet off the ground or swept my tongue out of my mouth :D and I "finally" ,totally fell in love with capsicums since then.

By the way did you know that ,"Green capsicums are actually unripened red or yellow capsicum". (I didn't ....(Courtesy:Sunnycoastkids.com)

Capsicum Stir fry

Green Capsicum,chopped - 1 cup
Red Capsicum,chopped - 1 cup
Yellow Capsicum,chopped - 1 cup
Orange Capsicum,chopped - 1 cup
Onion,chopped - 1 cup (optional)
Green chilli,chopped - 4-5 (optional)
Roasted Chana Dal powder -1 tablespoon
Roasted Peanut powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Red chili powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Dessicated coconut powder - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a stalk
Oil - 1-2 tablespoon


  • Heat oil in a pan .Splutter the mustard seeds followed by cumin seeds and curry leaves in medium-low flame.
  • Add the chopped onions and green chillies until onions become transparent.
  • Add the chopped capsicums ,fry until done.
  • Add the roasted chana dal and peanut powders,chili powder,turmeric powder and coconut powder and stir for a few minutes.
  • Colorful spicy capsicum fry is ready.

 Eat,Love,Live well,

07 January 2014

Ela Ada Recipe | Ila Ada Recipe | Vazhayila Ada Recipe|Ilayappam|Elayappam Recipe


Wrapped in green,
Pure white skin,
With a brown-y in,
She is called "Ilayappam"/"Ela Ada",a popular Kerala tiffin....

Ada/Ela Ada/Ila appam/Elayappam/Ilayappam/Ila Ada/Vazhayila ada/Valsan - as they are fondly called in different parts of Kerala ,is one of the popular and staple traditional breakfast recipe or an evening snack from God's own Country,Kerala.

Ela Ada is a South Indian sweet delicacy from God's own country,Kerala.

As the name ela Ada,this food item is prepared - wrapped in ela\ila\leaves ,the Banana leaves exclusively here,which infuses a distinct Earthy and natural one-of-a-kind flavor and aroma into the adai ,the dish- that,especially a true Mallu (shortie of Malayali,natives of Kerala) enjoys the most and anyone living far away from their native place especially abroad ,will get a nostalgic kick on their palate and memories ,once this food is steamed covered in banana leaves with a crunchy sweet fillings of grated coconuts and Jaggery/sugar/fruit fillings...


The aroma itself will make you "suffer" (a sweet one), waiting patiently for the Ela Ada/ilayappam to get steamed and cooked well...and when it is...it's like a surprise gift wrapped inside those Banana leaves,you just can't wait to open ...and when you do,it's like opening a novel and as they say,"Do not judge a book by its cover" - by now,the Banana leaves might have wilted ,looking pale and lifeless,but best is yet to come.. Time to turn the edible page....

Once you peel off this green-y cover,the Banana leaf , it will be the beginning of a sweet love story and you can't help but get carried away to a la la land of sweet nostalgia - (for me) those early mornings ,amma busy in kitchen,clinking of utensils,an aroma that will wake you up no matter how "I-am-not-a-morning-person" type you are, that Earthy-humble-homely aroma injecting in your nostrils gradually from those Banana leaves that once swayed at your home's backyard,and you are in an edible trance,you know,it can only emerge from something quite simple,humble ,as sweet as an Vazhayila Ada/Ela Ada ..


One bite ,and you will be thankful that you are a true Malayali 😊....and then you know, why do you see the God's own country,Kerala ,fringed with those Banana trees and Coconut trees....and you'll eventually thank them too ...I don't know about you but I certainly do when I don't get Banana leaves here that easily..It's an hide and seek game ....though I found out an alternative by steaming it covered in aluminium foil but then it lacks the true essence of those precious Banana leaves ...O dear Banana tree,I thank thee !!!🙇🙌


To those who don't know how to make it,I betcha, you are dying (well..not literally ,God forbid) to know how to make'em ...

And ,I am going to show you how to make an authentic Ela Ada Kerala style/Ila appam/Elayappam/Ilayappam/Ila Ada/Vazhayila ada/Valsan recipe in TWO ways -Ela Ada with Banana leaves and Ela Ada without ela/Banana leaves.


So,this is how I make Ela Ada Kerala style at home :- 

Ela Ada/Ilayappam


Roasted Rice flour - 2 Cup
Water - 3 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil/ghee - 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut - 1-2 cups
Jaggery , grated or powder -  3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2- 1 teaspoon(optional)
Cumin seeds -1 Teaspoon(optional)
Plantain/Banana leaves as needed
Aluminium foil 


Pls watch the Ela Ada recipe video that will guide you step by step how to make ada properly especially the dough .


  • Boil water. Keep 1/2 cup water aside.
  • Add salt ,oil/ghee and lower the flame ,then add roasted rice flour little by little and stirring in between so that rice flour absorbs all water ,forms kind of lumps and not paste.
  • Turn off the flame.Allow it to cool a bit but should be warm enough,comfortable for the hand to knead it into a dough later like the chapathi dough.
  • Prepare the coconut -Jaggery mixture by heating 1/4 cup of water and melting the jaggery into it or use grated jaggery directly .Add the coconut into it and on low flame let the mixture get thickened.
  • Add the cardamom powder and cumin powder,give a stir.Put the stove off.
  • Take rectangular pieces of Banana leaves and make small balls out of the dough and place it on each Banana leaf.
  • Flatten it on the leaves and stretch the edges using fingertips dipped in water (for easy stretching and shaping ) as thin as possible.
  • Put 3 tablespoons of coconut-jaggery above mixture into the center ,spread a little and fold it (including the leaf) into half and fold the edges of the appam/ada well to seal to prevent leaking.
  • Continue the same process with rest of the dough,mixture and Banana leaves.
  • Steam it for 5 minutes from high to low flame or till it is cooked well.
  • Put the stove off and allow it to cool a bit .
  • Serve it warm for the best taste and carefully remove the banana leaves and EAT.
  • Ilayappam/Vazhayila Ada is ready !!
  • Half cup of water while boiling is set aside to make sure the water is enough to make the rice soaked in and the flour is not dry but completely wet and absorbed so that it can be kneaded later on into dough properly.
  • You can also use plain sugar instead of jaggery for a simple yet quick version of elayappam recipe..or Any fruits like jackfruit,mango etc etc for an exotic/tropical ela ada ;)


Little rice ,little coconut,little jaggery,banana leaves sums it up -"Proud to be a Malayalee !" - An Ela Ada die hard fan...