April 22, 2013

B'day Cake !!

Another attempt on cake decorating with fondant for my better half's birthday. He's crazy of his cam and lens. So this Nikon DSLR camera cake for the birthday boy.

April 9, 2013

Vendakka puli/Okra in tamarind pulp

Learnt to make Vendakka puli from my mummy. This is sort of sweet, tangy and hot thick consistency curry. Supposedly I've covered most flavours :) Yes, it is indeed a wonderful combination.

I get this feeling whenever I taste it; at first a sudden hit of the sweetness from jaggery, then the tangy taste of tamarind and the hotness from the chillies. Oh la la !!!

We mostly have Kerala recipes at home; rice, curry, upperi etc. But haven't posted much veggie recipes on my blog. That's mainly because veggie recipes doesn't appeal much to my husband and I don't try new veggie invention. He's a non-veg crazy chap. If it's only veg items served, then the food intake would be much less. So I prefer making non-veg for my family. Not to mention my little one, Dyuti's got strange preferences. Whatever be the dish, she sniffs it at first. Only once it passes the sniff test, she does allow to try it out. Well, Dyuti is not that into meat like her dad; still a bit fussy. Here goes the recipe.

Recipe Source: Mummy


Okra/Ladies finger - 6-7, cut in rounds medium thick
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Onions - 1, chopped (Best to use eshallots or kunjulli)
Green chilli - 1, chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
Tamarind - a disc shaped
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Red hot chilli powder - ½ tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp, for the colour
Jaggery - a small piece
Asafoetida - a pinch
Water - 1 cup
Oil - I used a comb of olive oil and a dash of gingelly oil

  • Soak tamarind in hot water.
  • Pour oil on a hot pan.
  • Add mustard seeds when oil is hot and let it splutter. Then add fenugreek seeds and fry for few seconds.
  • Add chopped onion, green chilly, ginger and curry leaves. Fry till onion turns translucent.
  • Now add the cut okra's and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, red chilli and kashmiri chilli powder and let the spices turn fragrant.
  • Crush the tamarind that is immersed in hot water using your fingers and strain the tamarind pulp.
  • Pour tamarind pulp to the fried okra's. Add the jaggery, salt and allow to cook.
  • Allow the gravy to thicken. Check for the salt and the hotness of chillies. Add chilli powder if required.
  • Add asafoetida when the gravy has thickened and switch off the flame.

April 7, 2013

Lamb Kofta

Been drooling over Kofta ever since I started watching the Aussie cooking challenge show "My Kitchen Rules". Browsed for the recipe on their home page and found many variations of Kofte. Finally I chose to go with this recipe that suits my families palette.

Recipe Source: Adapted from "My Kitchen Rules"


Lamb mince - 500 gms
Onion - 1 no, finely chopped
Green chillies - 3 nos, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1½ tbsp
Fennel powder - 1½ tbsp
Coriander leaves - handful, finely chopped
Mint leaves - handful, finely chopped
Wooden skewers

  • Soak the wooden skewers in water; else it will get burnt when placed in grill.
  • Mix all of the remaining ingredients using your hands and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.
  • Take a small portion of the mixture, roll into ball shape, flatten lengthwise and roll it on a skewer; repeat with the remaining skewers.
  • Refrigerate the rolled skewers for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grill.
  • Place koftas on the preheated grill and spray cooking oil over.
  • Cook the kofta until it reaches your required doneness; turn when the top part has changed brown in colour. Roll the koftas and make sure it has browned on all sides.
  • Serve with mint flavoured yoghurt dip.

Lamb Koftas can be made on stove top if grill option is unavailable. Roll the koftas and fry on a non-stick pan.

April 4, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Asparagus

At times I get bored making the same rice, curry and then feel like why not make something simple but also a filling dinner. Then thought about grilling. It's been sometime I haven't made use of my grill.

By the way I've enrolled my little one Dyuti for Ballet and she just loves her ballet class. Got inspired from the cartoon "Angelina Ballerina". The first term is gonna get over and there's a concert coming up. She's all excited to play on the stage with Ms.Imogen & her dance mates.

After the 45 minutes class, Dyuti gets bit tired and her Amma as well. Might be wondering why would I get tired? Oh, it is actually 30 minute walk uphill and that too on such a hot sunny day.  We were so tired last week and I decided to put something on to my grill. On our way back, we went to butcher shop and bought chicken breast. I had stocked up two bunches of asparagus and is a wonderful combo with grilled chicken.

Another advantage of making grilled chicken would any leftovers can be thrown into a quick chicken fried rice for next day's lunch box :)


Chicken breast - 2
Mixed dry herbs

  • Clean the chicken breast. Pat and dry well with kitchen tissue paper so as to absorb the water.
  • Apply salt, pepper and dry herbs and rub on both sides of the chicken breast.
  • Marinate for 2 hours.
  • Pre-heat the grill to medium. Brush oil on both sides of the marinated chicken.
  • Place both chicken pieces on the grill and grill it for 20 minutes until you have a golden crispy top.
  • Turn the chicken and let it grill on the other side for another 15 minutes. Place the asparagus at this stage.
  • Check for doneness by cutting a piece. If the juice runs clear and the flesh isn't pink in colour, then it is done.

Adjust the quantity of salt, pepper and dry mixed herbs as per your palette.
If you don't have dry herbs, you may go for freshly chopped rosemary/thyme.