29 March 2017

How to cook Basmati Rice in 3 ways|Basic cooking


basmati-rice-cooked-on-stove-top

Rice is one of the most significant crop of India .India is the world's largest producer of  white rice.Being a tropical plant ,it flourishes well in hot and humid climate mainly prevailing in India.Rice cultivation in India contributes to the national economy and rice is a staple food in India especially in Eastern and Southern part of the country .The major rice growing states of India are West Bengal,Orissa,Bihar,Chattisgarh,Uttar Pradesh,Punjab,Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu .

the-perfectly-cooked-basmati-rice


There are varieties of rices grown in India like Paddy rice,White rice,Polish rice,Puffed Rice and more.The one rice that is known for its peculiar aroma,texture ,taste  and a pretty name is Basmati Rice,cultivated in Northern Punjab state of India and Pakistan .Basmati in Sanskrit literally means "fragrant". This rice was cultivated in India since centuries .

how-to-cook-perfect-basmati-rice


Basmati rice is used extensively in Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani/Middle Eastern/Arab/Persian cuisines . I LOVE basmati rice but if you ask me,I will call it an exotic rice , I personally don't feel basmati rice goes well with our traditional Kerala curries other than non-vegetarian curries (that too only egg,chicken or mutton recipes).However,when it comes to North Indian curries ,Basmati rice rocks.

basmati-rice-cooked-perfectly-in-microwave


At my home,amma used to make Vegetable Pulao/Pulav with basmati rice mostly and mostly during special occasions only as we use our Kerala rice or any parboil rice for regular use.So,the aroma of Basmati rice gives me a special nostalgia as well.

perfect-basmati-rice-recipe


Did you know ?

Basmati rice is quite healthy when compared to other rice .

Look at the nutrition facts  of the Basmati rice :

health-benefits-of-basmati-rice

basmati-rice-cooked-in-pressure-cooker


How is Basmati rice cooked ?

Basmati rice can be cooked in many ways and when cooked,they should be long,firm and not sticky with each other i.e. separated and I am going to share my THREE ways to cook Basmati rice aptly at home without any rice cooker -
  • Basmati rice cooked on stove top
  • Basmati rice cooked in microwave
  • Basmati Rice cooked in pressure cooker '
Preparation method of Basmati rice :  The Basmati rice and water ratio are different for these three ways to cook Basmati.SO,please watch my video that will show you how to cook basmati rice perfectly at home.


Wow,I always thought rice is not that good for health like has fattening effect ,but now I know,there is one pretty good rice,the basmati rice full of health benefits and controls weight as well .Being a Mallu/Keralite,Rice is our weakness and being partially North Indian,Basmati rice is exclusively my weakness as well especially with non-vegetarian curries.Now,I can cook and eat rice carefree !

Jai ho Baahishmati....oops Basmati !









REFERENCES : Livingstrong.com ,drhealthbenefits.com,   ,tilda.com

28 March 2017

Ethakka upperi | Kaya varathathu | Kerala Banana chips | Plantain chips Kerala style


ethakka-upperi-recipe

Meet the crispy,crunchy,munchy,the traditional,natural snack from Kerala - "Ethakka Upperi" or "Kaya Varathathu" meaning Banana chips Kerala style a.k.a Kerala special plantain chips.When the other parts of India are a huge fan of potato chips etc,every Keralite/Mallu crave for the simple Kerala Banana chips .

upperi

Each and every banana chips made Kerala style screams "God's own chips !" - every bite will remind you the plentiful banana trees swaying proud just like the coconut trees ,from home to home in Kerala and the aroma and taste of the banana chips traditionally fried in coconut oil will say its simBly nadan - traditional !

KERALA-BANANA-CHIPS


Each and every Kerala special celebrations - Onam and Vishu or any wedding or other special occasion,celebrates this simple ethnic Kerala snack as an integral food item which makes the grand feast of Kerala - Sadya ,crunchy and tasty .I wonder if banana chips is officially the first ever snack made in Kerala by our ancestors because of its wide availability in the state since days immemorial .๐Ÿ˜

KAYA-VARATHATHU

Kerala special banana chips are made with a special kind of banana or plantain called ethakka /nendran in Malayalam.The nendram pazham we locally call it.This plantains are so edible-y versatile meaning - when it is raw,one can make this Banana chips /ethakka chips with it ,when it ripes,they can be cooked and eaten simply or deep fried to make another snacks like ethakka appam/Pazham Pozhi and sharkara puratti or as dessert as payasam or halwa ...

plantain-chips-kerala-style


In Kerala, during olden days,almost every house prepared their own fresh batch of Banana chips during festivals mostly.Making Banana chips used to be a family affair then - some peeled the plantains,some sliced the plantains,some fried the plantains and hardly anyone could stop themselves from tasting the plantain chips ...Gone are those golden days,nowadays,these plantain chips are available in almost every convenience store or any supermarket .Tourist often confuse the chips in packets sold in roadside shops to be potato chips mostly, to be surprised later.

Banana-chips-kerala-style


Even though the fresh banana chips are not that frequently made at home,it is very easy to make them with only a few ingredients .

And this is how I make Banana chips Kerala style at home :

Ethakka Upperi |Kaya Varathathu

Ingredients

Plantain - 1 No.
Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
Salt
Coconut oil 


Method :Please watch my Banana chips video that will show you step by step how to make ethakka upperi or Kerala Banana chips at home just like,if not better than the store bought Banana chips :


Did you ever think ,when Potato chips have famous brands like Pringles or Bingo or Lays and Nachos or Tortilla chips have brands like Cornitos and Doritos ,why our simple humble Banana chips from Kerala doesn't even have one ?

If you ask me,I think that's because it is simBly nadan ,the brand "KERALA" all in all .




21 March 2017

Bhatura Recipe|Soft Spongy Fluffy Bhature recipe

bhatura--recipe

Bhatura/Bhatoora/Batura/Batoora and chole/chana is my ever favorite food in the world and is loved by almost every Indian and in fact edible-y celebrated especially by North-West Indians the most.Chana Bhatura or chhole bhature is one of the famous food from North India especially Punjab and Delhi are proud bhaturians (oops there is no word like that,but there should be  ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜€ ,Punjabis and Delhiites are crazy about their obsession for bhaturas ). Bhatura originated from Punjab and is a rage in the capital city of India and all over the world by Indians.

soft-spongy-fluffy-bhatura


Bhatura is a puffy deep fried leavened Indian bread made with all purpose flour/maida or wheat flour or a combination of all purpose flour and wheat flour .A freshly fried puffy ,soft,little elastic,slightly crunchy bhatura served with its favorite companion,chana/chhole or spicy chick peas curry with little sliced onions,green chillies,lemon juice,pickle on the side is HEAVENLY (for me ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ˜‹).

puffy-bhatura-recipe


Chhola Bhatura can fall under a fast food or a street food and even a simple homely breakfast food item especially in North India .Whatever,it has become a quintessential must have food from North India.

  DID YOU KNOW ?
  1. October 2nd not only marks the birthday of our Father of our nation,Gandhi Ji and the second Prime Minister of India,Mr.Lal Bahadur Shashtri ,it is also celebrated lately as the "International Chhole Bhature Day " too .This day came into existence by an aggressive initiative by a local Delhi foodie,Shashank Aggarwal for the love for Bhatura -..isse kehte hai bhaiyon aur behano khanewala deewangi ..abb ye pyaar nahi hai toh kya hai..HAIN? "Never underestimate the power of a common man !"๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜
  2. Delhi's obsession and pride for bhatura nicknamed it C Bats exclusively by the Delhi University students . Jai Hoo !๐Ÿ™
 If you ask me to define bhatura in a few words ,I would call it the big bro ,you know,the bhai jaan of poori /puri - the big puri ,not as hard as Amrish Puri (Famous villain of Hindi cinema)(RIP sir!) but as a legend as Om Puri (the famous veteran actor of Hindi cinema)(RIP Sir!) ..

chana-bhatura-recipe


My mom is an expert in making chola bhatura .I think she learnt it from one of her friend/my aunty,Shanta aunty who was the guru/teacher I believe (Shukran aunty!)...I remember aunty used to invite all of us for an exclusive chhola bhatura dinner night - crispy fluffy bhatura with spicy chana masala sprinkled with chopped onion,cilantro leaves,a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and she used to also put a dollop of fresh yogurt /curd on top of the curry...YUMMmmmmy...a ship can easily sail in my mouth or SINK ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ’“

Who can resist chana bhatura,so mom used to make it a weekend special ,we all looked forward to, equally, with a heavy competition ,no one wanted to share it ..I would run away with my plate like a wild animal would after a fresh catch of  meat or whatever ...My mother was thankful to bhatura for one reason,I would for sure wake up that day soon ,to show my mom,how studious I am than my bro .๐Ÿ‘ง

bhature-recipe


I love chola bhatura more than any Idli dosa .

Today,I am going to share my puffy,soft Bhatura recipe :-

Puffy Bhatura Recipe

Makes -6-8
Ingredients
All Purpose Flour/Maida - 2 Cups
Semolina/Suji/Rava -2 Tbsp
Butter/Oil/Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Baking Powder - 1 Tsp
Yogurt - 1/4 th Cup
Warm water - 3/4 - 1 cup (approx)
Oil for deep frying

Preparation of Bhatura method : Pls watch my video that will show you step by step how to make bhatura at home :



If there is ever a bhatura eating competition ,let me assure you who will be the winner - "ME"๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿ‘ˆ.MARK my Words !✌๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’•

World's biggest Bhaturian,





17 March 2017

How I make soft,fluffy,spongy Idli WITHOUT any Idli rice in 3 ways

 IDLI-RECIPE
 
If you ask me ,which is the most bubbly,soft,cute,spongy food in the whole world ;My answer will always be "IDLI".Idli ; As pure as its white color and as soft by appearance and texture like a cute edible cotton ball.

Idli is one of the most famous traditional food of South India but loved by every Indians and is definitely one of the unavoidable food from their daily menu (mostly) .In South India,Idli is a staple breakfast food item ,served with different kinds of chutneys and most popularly,with a lentil and vegetable mix curry called Sambar .Needless to say ,almost every Indian find Idli totally irresistible .

soft-fluffy-idli

Origin of Idli

Origin of Idli is tad controversial it seems.India's well-known food historian- K.T.Achaya says Idli must have been originated in Indonesia,a country with the longest ancient tradition of fermented foods in the world.The royal chefs of the Hindu Kings ruling the kingdom during that era,invented the fermented-steamed food - idli and later brought the recipe to India during 800-1200 C.E.He also mentioned in his book,"A historical dictionary of Indian Food",the famous Chinese Traveler ,Xuan Zang specifically emphasized that India did not have a steaming vessel up until the 7th Century .

A fluffy fermented steamed food,Kedli from Indonesia was ,as a matter of fact, the precursor of Indian Idli.

Reference - Wiki and TheHindu

how-to-make-idli-recipe


Other food Historians claim that the Arab traders in the Southern belt brought in the Idli recipe when they married and settled in those parts and an improvised and the now famous Idli recipe came into existence since 8th century..

Food historians also claim Idli was inspired and derived from a few similar fermented-steamed foods originated in India - such as a food from Karnataka called "Iddalige" or "Iddarika" ,"Itali" from Tamil Nadu and similarly from a Gujarati food called " Idari" or "Idada"..All of them are fermented steamed food though the recipe may differ from the original Idli's recipe used today.

soft-idli-recipe

Different Types of Idli :

  1. Tatte idli - A small plate size idli from the state of Karnataka.
  2. Mini Sambar Idli - Mini Idli dunked in sambar .
  3. Muday Idli - A type of Idli from Mangalore.
  4. Sanna(s) - A type of Idli from Goa.
  5. Hittli - Konkani Idli
  6. Rava Idli - Idli made with semolina/Rava from Karnataka
  7. Nowadays there are other types of  healthy version of Idli as well - Raagi Idli,Quinoa Idli etc etc

Idli-chutney-sambar

Health benefits of Idli

  • Combination of rice and black lentils makes it a great combo of carbohydrates ,fiber and proteins.
  • Idli is gluten free.
  • The natural fermentation of the idli batter increases the bio-availability of the proteins meaning makes it quick and easy absorbing and digestion in the body and enhances the Vitamin B content of the Idli as well.
  • As they are steamed,Idlis have very low fat .
  • Iddly have little amount of Iron,calcium,folate,Vitamin A and Vitamin B in it as well.
  • Idlis have low sodium.
  • Idli is not spicy by itself ,so good for people who hate spicy food .
  • Easy to digest and flush out from the body.
  • Idli is good for weight loss ; So,a new trend/fad diet called Idli diet is on, which claims to help in losing weight healthily.
idli-sambar-recipe

How Idli is prepared ?

Idli is prepared using a special Idli maker/Idli Cooker which has two trays or plates inside of it called Idli plates or Idli trays and each Idli tray has four or more mini bowl shape moulds in it for preparing idli evenly. A good idli is made with a good fermented idli batter.Idli is steamed and prepared in idli makers ,sometimes the idli trays can even fit into a pressure cooker or nowadays,even microwave version are also available for making idlis .

spongy-idli-recipe
   

What are the ingredients for making idli ?


 Soft and Fluffy Idli recipe in 3 ways

Makes 16-20

Ingredients

Basmati Rice - 3 cups
Split Black Lentils/Urad Dal - 1 cup
Boiled Rice - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 Tsp
Salt to taste
Water for grinding,as needed
Water for boiling - 2 cups

Idli Maker/Idli Cooker 

How to make soft , fluffy and spongy Idli without using any Idli rice - Pls watch my video that will show you step by step how to make soft and fluffy Idli without using any idli rice or any hard and fast rules and not one but in THREE ways .


I am not a huge Idli fan but my hubby is .Even though I am not crazy about it and hesitate to eat idli,the way my hubby would eat his Idli dunked in sambar and savoring bite by bite..definitely makes me drool and burp just by itself ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ™€..not to mention, aaand the idli competition starts....







12 March 2017

PURI OR POORI RECIPE - HOW TO MAKE PUFFY /FLUFFY soft poori


puffy-poori-recipe


Puri or poori is a very popular, easy to make, unleavened deep fried Indian bread which is served as a breakfast or a light snack or as an offering to God during Hindu festivals.Puri or poori or pudi is made in almost every state in India and is famous in every state except South India.

Puri is derived from the sanskrit word "Purika" meaning filled .In some parts of the India,puri are made with filling and deeply fried .In West Bengal and Odisha,they are also known as luchi ,in Assam they are known by Lusi.In Uttar Pradesh,they have another twin sibling called "Bedvi".Southern part of India prefers to call them puri or poori and Northern part of India may call them "pudi".

how-to-make-puffy-poori-recipe

 Puri needs only a few ingredients to prepare that is always available in every Indian home BUT making puri is an art by itself especially if you wan to make a soft,puffy,fluffy puri .For beginners / cooking newbees,even to roll out a poori properly would be a herculean task and top it,to make a puffy and fluffy puri will not be a child's play either .Well,been there,done that - so many times and then gradually,one fine day,practice makes not only a man lol but also a woman perfect .๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ‘
 

soft-crispy-poori-recipe


Well, there are some tips and tricks to make perfect soft puffy poori at home and even today if I don't follow those secrets to make puffy poori ,my pooris may not become puffy ,but my face would for sure ->๐Ÿ˜ฏ.However,pooris are pretty forgiving,meaning just because it didn't become fluffy doesn't mean it is not edible anymore or no one can eat.It doesn't have to be puffy for sure ,it should be deeply fried,that will be good enough.

Well,if making poori is an art and making a puffy puri is a skill to be learned and earned !!๐Ÿ‘ธ

perfect-poori-recipe


The child in me loves the very sight of puffy poori.๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿ’ƒ.Sometimes I also giggle like a child.Somehow it makes my better 1/2 also damn happy lol...Made for each other (Touchwood!)๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ’‘

fluffy-puri-recipe


When I was little puri was not something that was frequently made at home ,it used to be a weekend affair mostly and we (bhaiya and me)  used to look forward to that sizzling sound of deep frying and the aroma of today-is-puri-day-yay - that aroma was a sweet distraction not only from face book I mean facing those school books but also from my irritating bhaiya/bro..(He is very loving though)๐Ÿ‘ซ

I also remember my neighbor next door aunty used to make puri and her special Bihari aloo dish and share with us ... or our Bengali aunty in the upper floor would give us luchi with dum aloo ..those aromas of puri and different sabzis made by amma or my beloved aunties still haunts my nose and memory every now and then....

secrets-to-puffy-poori-recipe


In fact,poori reminds me my golden childhood days in North India :))..

So,lets see how to make poori at home

Poori/Puri Recipe - Puffy,crispy,soft Poori recipe

Ingredients
Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Rava/Semolina - 2 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - 1/2 cup (approx)

How to make Poori method - Pls watch my super quick video that will guide you step by step how to make puffy/fluffy poori recipe without fail .

Serve poori  with any curry of your choice.It goes really well with potato dish but it is very adjusting and just becomes tad more tasty regardless.Watch my poori video you will become a poori pro for sure and don't worry if you don't become one at first try,but you will one day,but my poori youtube video will be always there to guide you the secrets to make a puffy fluffy poori properly .


A huge poori fan,




08 March 2017

Erachi Ularthiyathu|Spicy Mutton ularthiyathu/olathiyathu|Spicy Mutton Kerala style


Erachi-Ularthiyathu-recipe


Erachi Ularthiyathu is a classic dry meat preparation especially a speciality among Chirstian Malayalaees .Erachi in Malayalam means meat and ularthiyathu or ularth or olath or olathiyathu means roasted or dry meat prepared with an array of Indian spices and more.

Usually ,Beef olathiyathu/ularthiyathu (Kerala Beef Fry) or Nadan Panniyearchi Ularthiyathu (Kerala Style Pork Fry ) are the most famous and sought after spicy meat recipes from Christian community of Kerala especially Kottayam,where Kottayam special erachi ularthiyathu is considered as one of the most never-miss delicious meat recipe one must enjoy in Kerala for sure,if you are a non-vegetarian /meat lover .

Being a Hindu,since we consider cow sacred,we don't prepare any beef recipes at home .Even I don't prepare beef ularthiyathu at home for that matter .However,I have tasted Kerala beef fry during my college days and I used to stay in a hostel run by Christians and their menu used to be exclusively Kerala Christian recipes and since it was hostel ,hardly any food used to taste good except this beef fry ,which I realized later and I must say I loved it.

Kerala beef fry is damn spicy and finger licking for sure.During those days, it was a matter of survival and ironically, beef ularthiyathu is one of my best food memory from my hostel days .

Kerala-mutton-fry-recipe


I have so many Christian friends who are amazing cooks ,who have always shared their exclusive beef fry ,even Kerala Pork fry with us and I wouldn't disappoint their hospitality and the effort they took to prepare those time consuming meat preparation in a typical Kerala traditional/nadan style and had several opportunities to savor those Kerala nadan erachi ularthiyathu time and again .

Well,though we don't prepare beef or pork recipes at home ,we do make chicken and mutton recipes at home for sure ,occasionally.

So,inspired by one of my Christian friend's Kerala beef fry recipe,I tried to recreate ,Mutton fry Kerala style that is Mutton ularthiyathu/Mutton Olathiyathu recipe.

Spicy Mutton Ularthiyathu|Erachi Ularthiyathu Kerala style

Ingredients

Mutton,boneless,cleaned and chopped into bite size pieces - 1 Kilo
Onion ,big,Sliced - 1 No.
Green Chillies,slit - 4-6 Nos
Ginger ,chopped - 1 Tbsp
Garlic chopped - 1 Tbsp
Tomatoes,chopped - 1 Cup
Curry leaves,a few
Cloves - 5 Nos.
Cardamom - 5 Nos.
Cinnamon - 1"
Bay Leaves - 4-5 Nos.
Fennel seeds - 2 Tsp
Peppercorns - 1 Tbsp
Dry red chilli - 1 No. (optional)
Coriander seeds - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Coconut oil - 1/4-1/2 cup
Pepper powder - 1-2 Tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut bits -1/2 cup 
Lime juice - 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 -2 Tsp


Preparation method of erachi ularthiyathu : Pls watch my video that will show you step by step how to make mutton ularthiyathu Kerala style :


If you are a non-vegetarian ,you must try this spicy mutton recipe from my place,Kerala .This Mutton recipe goes well with any roti,chapathi,rice,appam,idiyappam or just anything and you will be tempted to eat it just by itself ..mmmmmm.....YUM!



05 March 2017

Appam recipe Kerala style- Secrets to soft,fluffy,spongy Appam made with yeast


Kerala-appam-recipe


Pure as white,filled with softness in the center,crispy yet lace-y at the edges that is Appam (เด…เดช്เดชം).

Appam is another famous traditional breakfast item from South India especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu.Appam ,also known as Vellayappam meaning white appam or Palappam meaning appam made with pal/thenga pal,that is coconut milk, is a kind of pancake made with fermented rice and coconut batter .

Appam is a staple food item in God's own country,Kerala and is tad more special in Syrian Christian community usually served with spicy non-vegetarian curries .

According to Wiki,Appam ,look alike recipes are also prepared in Srilanka as hoppers,in Sinhala as appa,in Tamil Nadu as aappam,arpone in Burmese,in Oriya as Chitau Pitha,in Kodava as paddy or gulle eriyappa,in Indonesia as Serabi,Ah-Boh in Rangoon ..Wow!! (Appam's kumbh ke mele mein bichde aur bikhre hue bhai behen - Appam's twin bro-sis spread across the world ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜‹)

soft-Appam-recipe-kerala-style


Appam also falls in that category of classic food (nadan food ) in Kerala that boasts of the abundance and the significance of rice and coconut in the state ; The main ingredients of appam.

Appam happens to be one of our favorite breakfast food item .I prefer vellayappam that is white appam that is soft and fluffy all over.The appams in the past were fermented with toddy with rest of the same ingredients that would give the batter a very earthy aroma and tasted Kerala ๐Ÿ˜œ....These appams are exclusively known for spongy center surrounded by a brown lace of batter when cooked.Nowadays,appams are made with yeast,baking soda etc for fermentation ...

So,today I am going to share how I make soft and spongy white appam that goes awesome with any spicy curries - be it a vegetarian curry or a non-vegetarian curry.Popularly, appams are served with either egg curries or any meat curries by non-vegetarians and vegetarians serve appam with any vegetarian curries .Appam is very adjusting ...

Kerala Appam are easy to prepare .However,there are some tricks and tips to make fluffy and spongy appam at home .Making Appam is an art by itself ! For making appam,special exclusive pan is used to make them ,called "appachatti" a.k.a appam maker.They are fun to make and fun to eat .


This is how I make appam at home using yeast :

Kerala Appam recipe

Makes - 14 Nos. (Approx)

Ingredients

Basmati Rice - 2 Cups
Boiled Rice - 1/2 Cup
Coconut,grated - 1 Cup
Yeast - 1 Tsp
Sugar - 1-2 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Water as needed
Mixer Grinder
Appamchatti/Appam Maker


Preparation method of Appam batter and appam:Please watch my video that will show you step by step my secrets to make soft and fluffy Appam at home and the right way to make the Appam batter for making appam my way.


These appams are so featherlight and spongy that they will make you a die hard Appam lover and you will be so gentle and tender to handle them that you won't feel like holding them, fearing if you will break them apart or eating them(Read:hurting) for that matter and once you become emotionally detached somehow ,you can't just eat one ! Oh, they are a pure bliss darling !