Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black Forest cake (version 2) for a sweet beginning


Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year. Hope you all had nice holidays.We too had a good one.
This cake recipe is from a cookery show hosted by Lakshmi nair. I have seen the video long time ago and thought of making it and never did,but when I saw the same recipe in kothiyavunu I got real inspiration to try it out and it turned out just great.I watched the video in youtube long time ago but cannot find the link now :(

Ingredients
Flour - 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder- 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1cup
Butter - 3/4 cup
Eggs -6
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Salt

for filling
double cream - 2 cups(300-400 ml)
Powdered sugar - 5 tbs or according to your sweetness
glazed cherries - 200 gm
for syrup
sugar- 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Brandy - 2 tbs
for decoration
Chcocolate strands / chocolate shavings/Grated chocolate
Cherries- few

Preparation

  • Sift together flour,cocoa powder and salt.
  • Melt the butter and keep it aside.
  • Break 6 eggs in a bowl and add sugar and vanilla extract and beat it for atleast 10 minutes until the mixture becomes very light in colour and increases the volume upto 4-5 times.
  • Add in the flour mixture and fold in until it is is well incorporated.
  • Add the melted butter butter gradually and gently fold in.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degree centigrade for35- 40 minutes.
  • Allow the cake to cool for sometime in cake tin and then in wire rack for 30- 45 minutes.

Preparing the syrup
In a saucepan add sugar and water and stir it until it boils and all the sugar melts.Turn off the flame and 2 tbs of brandy.

Whipping the cream
Whip the cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks are formed.

Assembling the cake
Cut the cake into 2 slices .
Place the first slice on the cake board with cutside up and carefully prick the cake with fork or tooth pick.
Pour the syrup to the cake with a spoon evenly on the cake.
Spread the cream on the cake and spread cherries on top of cream layer.
Place the other slice on top of it and so the pricking again.
Pour the syrup evenly.
Spread the cream on the top and sides of the cake and allow the cake to set in the fridge for sometime.
Decorated the cake with cherries and chocolate strands/shavings or grated chocolate according to your liking.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fruit cake/ Kerala plum cake

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Hope all my friends had a fabulous Christmas.We had a good one too, the days passed so quickly and I feel a bit bored today after a busy and fun filled week.
We had a great Christmas with friends and lil A was so happy to get a Christmas gift from Santa (which we wrapped and kept for him under the tree ).Boxing day sales were fabulous,this time we too managed to do some shopping amongst the crowd, the bargains were soo hard to resist.
Coming to the topic,plum cake/ fruit cakes which we used to buy from bakery were not my favourite cake ,I always preferred plain cake over it. I had no plans even to bake them until a fortnight ago, but two of our friends had a craving to eat our plum cake , so I got an inspiration to bake it to give them.When I searched for the recipes, it looked bit laborious and intimidating (caramel prapartion) but when I got enough support from hubby I decided to go ahead. All the recipes were asking to soak the dry fruits a bit longer but since I didn't have enough time I could soak them only for 4 days .After baking it I kept it for maturing for 3 days to infuse all the flavours and our much awaited cake was ready for Christmas. Trust me ,the cake was sooo delicious and it was much much better than the bakery ones .This cake was the best fruit cake I had in my life.

This recipe is adapted from here ,here and here.

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Ingredients
Flour - 1 cup
Butter softened - 3/4 cup
Eggs -2 no
Sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder- 1tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder 1/8 tsp
Cloves powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - pinch
Vanilla extract - 1tsp


For caramel syrup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
water - 1/2 cup +1 tbs

For soaking
Tooti fruity - 1 cup
Chopped dates - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Cashew nuts chopped- 1/4 cup
Walnut/ almonds - 1/4 cup
Rum /Brandy - 1 cup or enough to soak fruits and nuts

Preparation

Soak the fruits and nuts in rum/brandy for3- 4 days, if you have time soak for few more days or weeks or months.Longer the better.
Preparing the caramel - In a pan add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbs of water and keep it in a medium flame until the sugar starts to melt and change its colour.Swirl it around until all th sugar has completely dissolved and changed into brown colour.Switch off the flame and immediately pour 1/2 cup of water to the caramel(be careful as this might splash ).The caramel syrup is ready.Let it cool down.
In a bowl sift flour,baking powder ,spice powders and salt and keep it aside.
Separate eggs yolks and whites.Beat egg whites until creamy and thick.Check whether its done by inverting the bowl and if its done the cream will stick tightly in the bowl.
Beat egg yolks ,sugar ,butter and vanilla in a bowl. Add the dry ingredients and fold in. Add the caramel syrup and beat until mixed.
Drain the fruits from the rum/brandy and add 1 tbs of flour to it and mix.
Add 3/4 of the soaked fruits to the batter and mix well.Finally add the beaten egg whites and fold in until its mixed properly.
Line the cake tin with a parchment paper or in well greased cake tin.Pour the batter to it and finally add the remaining dry fruits on the top and spread it gently.
Bake it in a preheated oven at 175 degree centigrade for 35- 40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes our clean.
Cool the cake completely.
Its better to wait for 2-3 days before you cut the cake to infuse all the flavours into it.So wrap the cake and keep it aside for 2-3 days.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Moist Sponge Cake

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This season is really inspiring me a lot to bake,whenever I switch on the TV,all the chefs will be cooking their Christmas feasts from starter to maincourse, desserts to cakes and much more. They also say to indulge during this season without keeping an eye on calories or fat ! Thats exactly what I am doing too :) Its hard to resist baking during festive times.

I have been baking this cake for a long time now, I wonder why I never posted this .....I shared this recipe to my few friends who were new in baking and even they could bake perfect cake with this recipe.

Here goes the recipe

Ingredients

Plain flour(maida) - 1 1/2 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup(softened)
Eggs -2
Sugar -1 cup
Baking powder - 2tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt - pinch

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 175 degree centigrade.
In a bowl beat eggs and butter .
Add sugar and beat again.
Add flour,baking powder,baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and fold in.
Add milk little by little and beat .
Pour the batter into to greased pan dusted with some flour.Bake it for 35- 40 minutes or untill tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Sending this to Christmas Delicacy at Erivum Puliyum

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mango pie for all mango lovers..

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Who doesnt love mangoes right ?? My love for mangoes started years agoo.When I was growing up , I used to wait for our summer holidays to visit our ammamma (grandmother) ,she has a large orchard with mango trees, jackfruit trees , cashew trees and lotts..The kids in the village had lot of fun making her angry by throwing stones for mangoes,she used to look around and watch the trees to save the mangoes for grandkids. Once we reach there, all the cousins get together and my cousin brother S who was tall used to climb the tree and pick mangoes for all of us, he picks both raw and riped ones,we eat raw ones with little salt and riped ones as such or to give a twist we eat it with redchilly powder and salt.We eat as much mangoes as we can during those days and to relish the mangoes later my mom pickles it .My grandma had a bharani (an earthern pot) in which she pickles the whole mango and keep it for later use. she used those pickled mangoes for making some curries which tastes heavenly !!

Ingredients
Digestive biscuits - 10-12
Unsalted butter - 25 gm
Mango pulp - 1 cup (200 ml)
Milk - 1 cup(200 ml)
Gelatin - 1 packet
Sugar - 1/2 cup (according to your sweetness)
Double cream -150 ml

Preparation
In a bag crush the digective biscuits with rolling pin.
Melt the butter.
Mix the crushed biscuits with melted butter.Spread the biscuit layer into a pudding bowl.Set in the fridge for 2 hours.
Soak gelatin in little water.
In a saucepan mix mango pulp, milk and sugar. When it is about to boil add the soaked gelatin and stir it until gelatin is completely dissolved. Allow it cool to room temparature.
Pour the cooled mango pulp into biscuit layer and chill it in the refrigerator again for 3-4 hours or until completely set.
Beat double cream with little sugar until soft peaks are formed.
Spread the cream to the top of mango layer.


Sending this to Christmas delicacy at Erivum Puliyum


Friday, December 9, 2011

French Yogurt Cupcakes

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When I went for my younger sister's wedding in April, one of my friend from Poland who was soo keen to see pictures of Indian wedding asked me to bring the wedding pictures,but since it was a quick trip the photographers pictures were not ready by the time I returned and later on my sister send the pictures my email. Few months passed by and I didnt see her till then, next time when we met, she asked me for the pictures again. I was quite surprised,I didnt expect that she was this keen to see the pictures, so I had to tell her that I dont have the soft copies,but then she was even ready to come home to see the pictures in laptop. About a month ago she visited us and I prepared lunch for her ,without knowing that she was an Indian food lover too ! she surprised me by saying that she has attended Indian cookery class and she knows how to prepare Madras chicken curry and few other curries too. She was totally thrilled to see the wedding pictures and our culture.What surprised me a lot was she is so keen to learn Kathakali ,kerala's own special art, and has even plans to go to kerala for that.One of her friend went to kerala and learned kathakali for 1 1/2 years and is performing a little bit of what she learned here !! Isnt it amazing ?? I couldnt even tell her I have never seen a Kathakali performance in real ,other than on TV.
Coming to the topic ,when she visted us she bought some home baked cookies for us, so yesterday she invited us to her place for lunch and I prepared this french yogurt cupcakes for her.I saw this recipe in Yummy o yummy first which she adapted from Look who is cooking too. Normally I dont like to experiment when I am giving it to others but the clicks in both the blogs attracted me a lot and gave me confidence to try it out.I baked the first batch 2 days ago which yielded 6 cupcakes.I thought of tasting one and giving other 5 for her,but we couldnt stop with just one,so I had to bake again yesterday morning .The second batch was even better,after her amazing Polish soup and bread she took out this cupcakes as dessert.
This cupcakes are so light and soft and even my hubby who isn't cake fan loved it.

Ingredients

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Baking powder -1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Eggs -2
salt - a pinch

Preparation
In a bowl beat sugar,eggs,vanilla extract and yogurt. Add flour , baking powder and mix well . Finally add oil and fold in .Line a cupcake tray and pour the batter . Bake it in a preheated oven at 175 degree centigrade for 20 -22 mins.
Sending this to Julies Christmas Delicacy at Erivum Puliyum



also sending this to Bake fest Co hosted by Sangee of Spicy Treat and Vardini of Zesty Palate

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mixed Vegetable Masala

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Our christmas tree is out again ,I know its a bit early ,but lil A was asking for tree for sometime now,even I was also keen to dp some decoration. Now the tree is out, I can feel the real spirits of christmas !! I am excited about indulging in some good food,cakes, sweets and much more during holidays.
Did I tell u that my lil one will be stating school after this holidays,we are very much looking forward to that, and tomorrow is the beginning of the excitement,we are invited to his School to make him familarise with staffs and surroundings . He is going to have some nursery activities too . Also before he start School ,his teachers will come home to see his surroundings too !! How cool is that :) I really liked the whole idea, I m sure the this will make his first day at school much easier.

I have been making this mixed vegetable masala for a long time now, but most of the time for dinner,so this time I made it for lunch escpecially for clicking it during day light !

Ingredients
Onion - 2
Tomato -1
Mushroom - 250 gm
Potato - 1-2
Carrot-2
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds -1 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1 tbs
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves

Preparation
In a saucepan add some oil and sputter cumin seeds. Add chopped onions ,when it is soft add ginger garlic paste and saute for 1 minute. Add tomoto and all the spice powders and saute for 1-2 minutes until tomatoes is slightly mashed. Now add all the vegetables except the green peas .Donot add any water as the mushroom will leave enough water to cook the other vegetables.When the vegetbales are almost done add green peas and cook for 2-3 minues or until green peas are cooked.Finally garnish with coriander leaves.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup

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Looks like soup weather has started now .Today when we woke up the sun was shining soo brightly, so we decided to have a picnic in the park with a friend.I wasnt even sure whether to put on my thick coat ,but to be safer I wore the thick one and put a thick one for lil A too.My gloves was lying in bag and I trusted the sun so badly that I even took the gloves off from my bag ,only when we stepped out I could feel the chill . When we reached the playground it was so quiet,normally when the sun is out the park will be busy with kids ,anyway we somehow finished the picnic and rushed back home.Luckily I had this soup which I prepared yesterday , warmed it again and had a steaming hot bowl of soup !!


This recipe is adapted from Poornimas Tasty treats,u can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients
Sweet corn - 1/2 cup
Carrot -1
Beans - 1/4 cup
Chicken stock cube - 2
Chicken breast -1
Water - 5 cup
Corn flour - 3-4 tbs
Salt
Pepper
Spring onion

Preparation
Cook the chicken breast with little salt and water.Shred the cooked chicken and keep it aside.
Cook the vegetbales in the same water adding chicken stock cubes.When the vegetables are almost done add the shredded chicken and white portion of spring onions.Boil for 1-2 minutes.Season it with salt and pepper. Finally add cornflour dissolved in little water and turn off the flame when the soup thickens. Garnish with spring onion greens .


Note - Original recipe calls for egg too,but I didnt use it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Potato masala

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This week S came with a news that he might get a 2 weeks off for Christmas !! Flying to India was the first thing that came to us ,but gosh the last minute tickets at this time of the year is ridiculously expensive, so we had to give up that idea.This would been the best time to go home to escape from 2 weeks of winter:(
Still need to finalise what to do if he gets days off ,if he stay home for 2 weeks we both will be bored.I still remember last year during christmas holidays when he was home for 4 days, on the last day my lil one ( he was only 2 1/4 yrs old then ) asked him to go to work.LOL !

Since last couple of weeks ,daily cooking is something that I dread, I have been soo lazy even to think what to cook , so I found a way to overcome my laziness by trying out new things and it worked !! Now I am getting all the enthu to cook everyday, but it came with a price too, I have already put on atleast a kilo :(
Potato masala is something that I usually dont prepare,but the potatoes I got this time was a bit small and few of them were too small like baby potatoes so I didnt feel like chopping them and the this was the best way to cook them !

Ingredients
Baby potatoes - 8
Onion - 2
Tomato - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves

Preparation

Boil the poatoes and peel the skin.
In a sucepan add some oil,sputter cumin seeds and saute onions till soft. Add ginger garlic paste saute for 1 minute and then add all the masala powders and tomotoes.Cook till it becomes mushy.Now add the cooked poatoes and cook it covered for 2-3 minutes.Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Almond pannacotta

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When Namitha posted her mango pannacotta recipe I gave it a go and we all liked it . I made this again couple more times when we had friends for dinner and could impess them too , it's so easy to make and tastes good too.
When I saw almond pudding in Ente pachakashala ,that too attracted me a lot, so I tried that too ,even though it came out good,we didn't like the strong flavour of almond extract. I m sure it's just our taste buds,most of you won't have any problem with the flavour ,anyway since I had bit more of almond powder left I decided to make the pudding again with vanilla essence,but then for a change I decided to fuse both the recipes and it didn't let me down !!

Ingredients
Milk - 1 cup (250 ml )
Double cream - 1 cup (250 ml)
Almond powder - 30 gm
Milk - 4-5 tbs
Gelatin - 1 packet
water - 3 tbs
Vanilla extract -1 tsp
Sugar - 1/ 2 cup ( according to your sweetness)

Preparation


Make a paste of almond powder with 4-5 tbs of milk and keep it aside. In another bowl soak gelatin in few tbs of water.
In a saucepan add milk, cream and sugar and when it is about to boil add almond mixture and gelatin. Stir continously until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add vanila extract and switch off the flame.Pour the mixture to pudding bowls and when it comes to room temperature decorate with almond flakes and chill it in the refrigerartor for 3-4 hrs or until its completely set.

Sending this to Julie's Christmas Delicacy at Erivum puliyum.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Stuffed Pepper/Capsicum

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Watching cookery shows or anything related with cooking , baking or dining is something that me and my Hubby love to watch together, all other times we will be fighting for remotes."Come dine with me" is a programme which airs in U.K in which four strangers go to dine at each others place and secretly score them. I have seen many contestants making stuffed pepper for their starter course .There are many recipes like that which attracted me . I even buy the ingredients but never makes it,finally when the ingredients go beyond the use by or best before date,I chuck it in the bin when S is not around. About a month ago I decided to give this a try and bought peppers but when the peppers were nearing the use by dates I used it in my daily cooking and finished it off.I bought peppers again last week and kept it in the fridge for few days but this time I got a mood to try it out as we had friends for dinner yesterday,I was not very sure about the results as I never tried this before ,but trust me we all liked it.

Ingredients
Pepper - 4
Cuscous - 3/4 cup
Vegetable stock /chicken stock - 1 cube
Water - 1 cup
Onion -1 small
Carrot- 1 grated
Paneer -1/2 cup grated
Salt
Pepper
oil for brushing

Preparation
In a saucepan add some oil and saute the chopped onions,when onions are soft add grated carrot and cook.Finally add grated paneer,season it with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute.
In another saucepan pour 1 cup of water and add the stock cube.When water boils add cuscous and cook it covered until all water is absorbed. Add the cooked cuscous to the paneer mixture and mix well.
Slice the top of the pepper ,remove the seeds and core.Stuff the pepper with the filling. Brush the outer skin of pepper with oil and bake it in a preheated oven at 200 degree centigrade for 20 minutes.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Rajma and chana dal curry

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Rajma was a thing which I never ate when I grew up,my mom never cooked it, but when I got my own kitchen , cooking became my passion . My h always appreciate whatever I cook which gives me even more enthu to try out new things. I first tried rajma curry 5 years ago when my mother in law came to visit us for a short time,I was trying to impress her with new things ,but I was not lucky enough with rajma,I didn't know that rajma need to be soaked overnight and pressure cooked bit more than normal dals, I tried out couple more times till that packet got finished ,but my rajma never used to get cooked properly and we had to somehow eat it.I totally ignored rajma after that until I had it from a friends place an year ago,I couldn't believe that rajma was giving such good gravy !! I asked her how to cook it and she gave me some tips. After that I have been cooking rajma regularly and never had problem cooking it.

Ingredients

Rajma - 1/2 cup
Chana dal - 1/4 cup
Onions - 2
Tomato - 1 1/2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tbs
Redchilly powder - 1 tbs
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Coriander leaves

Preparation
Soak rajma overnight in warm water.Soak Chana for 2-3 hrs.
Pressure cook rajma first atleast for 3-4 whistles.Then add in soaked chana and pressure cook again for 2-3 whistles.
In a saucepan add some oil and sputter cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and saute till it is light brown. Add in ginger garlic paste and fry for 1 minute.Thrown in chopped tomotoes and all the masala powders and saute till it becomes a paste .Now add this paste to cooked dal , pour some water if required and pressure cook again for 1 whistle. Check the salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meen pollichathu/ Baked Fish Pollichathu

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Every time I do blog hoping I feel that I should try recipes from others spaces at least once in a while, I even bookmark recipes thinking that I will try it soon, most of the time I never get enough time to try the book marked one.When I saw fish polliachathu in Nisha's Look who is cooking too I thought I will give it a go later, never thought this soon, It was not planned at all,Yesterday evening I prepared sambar and mushroom stir fry,as my hubby doesnt like sambar I thought as usual I will fry a fish for him and checked my freezer to see what I have got,it was all empty except a packet of 2 whole seabreams.Thawing one is not easy so I defrosted both.Fish was looking beautiful,so I didnt feel like cutting it,suddenly this fish pollichathu striked me,I went to her space and had a look,it didnt look very elaborate to me,so I made up my mind and kept her blog opened in kitchen and followed it almost to the dot and we were so happy with the outcome ,it tasted great and is much healthier than the shallow fried ones,even though we were tempted to eat the second one too,I reserved it for today mainly for having it for lunch all by myself and for clicking it during day time....

You can find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

For marination
Fish - 2 whole fish ( I used seabream)
Pepper powder - 1 1/2 tbs
Salt
Turmeric - 1/4 tbs
For masala
Shallots - 20 nos
Ginger garlic paste- 1tbs
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tbs
Salt
Redchilly powder - 1tbs
Tumeric - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder -1/8 tsp
Tomato paste -paste of 1/2 a tomato
Greenchillies -2
Curry leaves - few
Garlic chopped - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp

Preparation
Clean the fish and make gashes . Marinate the fish with salt ,pepper and turmeric and keep it aside for 1 hr or preferably longer.
Make a paste of all the masala powders with ginger garlic paste.
In a saucepan add oil and sputter mustard seeds,add chopped shallots and saute well.When is soft add chopped ginger and fry for 1 minute.Add the masala paste,curryleaves and saute till raw smell goes,finally add tomoto paste and saute till it makes a paste.
In a pan fry add some oil and shallow fry the fish for 30 seconds on both sides . Now coat the fish with the masala paste and bake in a preheated oven at 170 degree centigrade for 30 mins.

Note - The origianl recipe calls for coconut milk but I forgot to add it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pav Bhaji

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One thing that I loved the most during our stay in Pune was the food ! We used to eat out every friday night and sometimes on saturdays too ! Gone are those beautiful days when we used to fly in bike enjoying the night life:( There is one more thing that I loved most,street food ! pani puri ,bel puri,pav baji etc Mhmm it was soo delicious.
We lived in a flat which was full so lively and energetic. During diwali,holi etc the celebrations was so colourful with lots of fun,games,dancing,food etc we even had a stall for all street foods during festival time,I just had to go down for my favourite chaats !!

Ingredients
Potato - 1 large
Cauliflower florets - 3/4 cup
Carrot - 1
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Beans - 5-6 nos
Tomato - 2 small
Onion -1 medium
Green pepper - 1/2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbs
Redchilly powder - 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Pav baji masala - 3 tsp
Coriander leaves

Pav buns/burger buns
Butter

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Preparation
Boil the potato and mash it.
In saucepan pour some oil and add chopped onions,saute till its soft,add ginger garlic paste fry for 1 minute, add tomoatoes,spice powders and cook for 1-2 minutes, finally add all the vegetables,pour some water and cook.When the vegetables are nearly done add mashed poatatoes and chopped pepper and cook .Mash the vegetables and turn off the stove.Garnsih with coriander leaves.
In a pan add some butter and fry the pav/burger buns till its toasted.
Serve the pav buns with pav baji masala !!

Note - I didnt fry the buns with butter, to be healthy I just toasted the buns in toaster :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chicken Liver Varattiyathu/ Chicken liver stir fry

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Does winter makes everyone feel hungry all the time or is it just my family ?? We are constantly hungry now and we feel like eating something non veg everyday,earlier we used to eat veg meal atleast 2- 3 days a week . I guess if I go on like this I will have to change my wardrobe for new clothes , but I am glad that from January lil A will be starting nursery for 3 hrs so dropping him and picking him will give me a good walk !
Chicken liver is something that we dont buy at home but when my brother in law came last week I prepared this for him as this is his favourite,I only picked up a 300 gm pack thinking that we will not eat it,but it tasted too good and finally nobody got enough portions to eat :)

Ingredients
Chicken liver - 300gm
Onion -1 small
Ginger -garlic paste - 1tsp
Whole Garam masala -(cinnamon,cloves,cardamom,staranise,bayleaf)
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/8 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tbs
Tumeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Curryleaves

Preparation
In a saucepan add some oil and sputter cumin and fennel, add whole garam masala and saute for 1 minute. Add onions saute till its brown,add curry leaves and all the masala powders and saute till raw smell goes. Finally add the chicken liver and cook until its done.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cauliflower masala

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Last week I was telling all about the awesome weather here,but things have changed,its grey,chilly and miserable now,but atleast the christmas decorations and gifts all around the shops is bringing some postive energy .This time my lil one also knows more about christmas and father christmas,he has already asked for his favourite train for christmas !!
This recipe is from my friend who lives next door,she prepared this for a get together and we all loved it, I also used to make cauliflower masala but my cauliflower always gets bit overcooked,but the one she prepared was crucnhy and perfect,so this time I didnt over do cauliflower and we all loved it.

Ingredients

Cauliflower - 1 small
Carrot - 1
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Onion - 1
Tomato -1
Green chillies -2
Redchilly powder - 1/2 tbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Preparation
In a saucepan add some oil,sputter cumin seeds,add chopped onions and saute till soft. Add ginger garlic paste fry for 1 minute and then throw in chopped tomatoes and all masala powders , green chillies and saute till raw smell of masalas goes. Finally add cauliflower and carrot and when they are half done add green peas and cook .

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunny Weekend In London !

The clock in U.K has changed to GMT and I am not liking it at all, I dont mind if the sun rise is a bit late but when it gets dark by 4- 4.30 its so aweful, but anyway I m glad that I will get more time for blogging :)
We had a surprise VIP this weekend,my brother in law (my younger sister's hubby) !! He came here on an official trip and was with us over this weekend and we had a great weekend with him taking him in and around London .We were lucky enough with the weather too ,it was so sunny and slighlty warm too.Cant believe its nearly November and the temperature is still in 2 digits !

Here are the few pictures we clicked..

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kerala Spinach /Cheera Thoran

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Hope u all had a good Diwali..Mine was good too ,had a small party on Diwali day with my friends and is going to have one more with family soon..I love parties,who doesnt right?? I love to eat what others cook ,even once in a week when I am bored of my dishes I ask my H to cook and he does it happily..

Are u all set for Halloween too ?? I havent made up my mind whether to carve a pumkin yet, I guess its a little early for my lil one to appreciate it,infact I m scared that he might even cry if I manage to carve a scary one !!

Kerala spinach/cheera (red and green) is my favourite leafy vegetable , I can eat 2 meals of rice in a go with this.My love for this cheera is even popular among my inlaws ,and I remember one time soon after marriage when were invited for lunch at his uncles place I was so surprised to see that even the aunty knew about this and she prepared this especially for me..

Here goes my favourite cheera thoran recipe for u all.

Ingredients


Cheera/Kerala spinach - 1 bundle
Onion - 1
Green chillies - 1-2
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 3-4 tbs
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Salt

Preparation
Wash and chop the spinach.
In a saucepan add oil,sputter mustard and add green chillies and chopped onions ,saute onions until soft. Add spinach ,turmeric ,salt and cook it covered.When it is almost cooked add grated cononut and curry leaves and cook for 1-2minutes.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Edichakka Thoran/Tender Jackfruit Thoran



Back home we have few jackfruit trees in our backyard so we get to eat a lot every summer  and  I never really missed eating this  until I moved to U.K. We eat all forms of this fruit, like the tender stage called Edi chakka, then the raw jackfruit and ripen one, even the seeds of the jackfruit !! We even cook some dumplings in jackfruit leaves which gives a unique flavour .

Once  in a month  I go to a Srilankan shop here where I get all Indian veggies,when I see all those fresh green veggies I go wild and end up buying a lottt, but after coming back I have a tough job, chopping and freezing it, but it makes my job easier for the rest of the week.Coming to my topic,on our last week's visit to that shop I was soo thrilled to see tender jackfruit/Edi chakka ,without even thinking I picked up one,had no idea how to cook it as I never bothered to watch my mom cooking it. Gave a ring to mum and she gave me instructions how to clean and cook it and so hereit  is  :)

Ingredients
Edi chakka - 1
Shallots -5-7
Garlic- 1 or 2pods
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
Redchilly powder - 3/4 tbs
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Salt
For tempering
Mustard seeds -1/2 tsp
Whole redchilly-1
Curry leaves- few
Oil

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Preparation
Clean edichakka and peel the thick green outer skin till you find the white porous flesh.Chop it into big slices and pressure cook it with redchilly powder,turmeric and salt for 1-2 whistles.Once it is cooked gently mash it ,leaving the centre portion ( pillar kind of thing which holds it ). Make a coarse paste of grated coconut, garlic, shallots and cumin seeds.In another saucepan sputter mustard seeds, whole redchilly, curryleaves and add edichakka and coarse coconut paste cook it for 1-2 minute.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Potato Bonda/Aloo bonda in 2 styles

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Bonda brings back a lot of childhood memories to me..When my father finally managed to get a transfer to our home town (kannur) we all were so happy that we can finally live in our own house and be with our cousins and relatives.Since our house was in a country side there were no good schools there so we had to go all the way to town for school.Going in fully packed school van was a nightmare for me and my 2 sisters.After struggling for few weeks we decided to go in local bus but again that was just the same,since our place was bit far there were not so many buses running in our route so morning and evening bus was fully packed with school kids,so finally my father decided to drop us and pick us everyday.But since its a long way back home after picking us from school he took us to his office,we waited outside in the car in protected carkpark .From 4- 6 pm we stayed in the car doing home works and chatting about our day at school.Apart from 3 of us our cousin brother who was in college also used to join us.Like all other kids after school we used to be soo hungry and so our cousin brother used to go to a small coffee shop and get us some hot snacks like Bonda,Ela ada,Uzhunu vada etc everyday.. Years passed by but still the taste of those delicious snacks are still in the tip of my tongue.

Since I like both kerala and North Indian style bondas I am sharing the recipe of both here...

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Ingredients( for Kerala style )
Potatoes -2(medium size)
Onion - 1/2 (finely chopped)
Greenchillies -1-2
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp
Ginger chopped -1tsp
Curryleaves - few
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Gram flour -3/4 cup
Redchiily powder - pinch
Salt
oil for deep frying

Preparation
Boil potatoes , peel the skin and mash it.
In a saucepan add some oil sputter mustard seeds and cumin. Add chopped onions,ginger,greenchillies and curryleaves.When onion becomes soft add turmeric , salt and finally add potatoes and mix well.Make balls from the mixture. Meanwhile make a batter of gram flour with water adding little salt and redchilly powder.Batter should not be to thick or too loose.In a kadai pour some oil and keep it on a medium flame,when the oil is ready dip balls in the batter and fry till golden brown.


Ingredients North Indian Style

Potatoes -2(medium size)
Onion - 1/2 (finely chopped)
Greenchillies -1-2
Cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
Ginger chopped -1tsp
Coriander leaves - few
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder -1tbs
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Gram flour - 1 cup
redchilly powder- pinch
Salt
Ajwain -pinch
Oil for deep frying

Preparation
Boil potatoes , peel the skin and mash it.
In a saucepan add some oil sputter cumin. Add chopped onions,ginger,greenchillies .When onion becomes soft add turmeric , salt and finally add potatoes and coriander leaves and mix well.Make balls from the mixture. Meanwhile make a batter of gram flour with water adding little salt ,redchilly powder and ajwain .Batter should not be to thick or too loose.In a kadai pour some oil and keep it on a medium flame,when the oil is ready dip balls in the batter and fry till golden brown

Friday, October 14, 2011

Milk Peda for Diwali !

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Yay..Diwali is almost around the corner !!When we dont have anything really exciting to look forward too until the winter passes its good to celebrate all the festivals that comes along.Diwali,Halloween,Christmas,New Year,Valentines Day... we have something to celebrate till February.
In Kerala(especially in Malabar) we dont celebrate Diwali like other states of India.During my college days I used to take tuition to a small boy from Rajasthan who lived nearby.One Diwali day his family came to our house for wishing Diwali and giving some sweets ,they were soo surprised to see that it was just a normal day for us.From that day onwards I felt that we should celebrate Diwali too..After that somany Diwalis passed by and I think I only celebrated 1-2 till now :( Anyway this year we are celebrating it.I will light some candles ,make some sweets and prepare some special food.
So here is a sweet treat for all my friends as a Diwali Special !!

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I adapted this recipe from Show me the curry.com.
Here goes the recipe



Ingredients

Milk powder - 2 cup
Sweetened Condensed milk - 1 tin
Butter -5 tbs

Preparation

Melt the butter in microwave and add milk powder and condensed milk,mix it well and cook in the microwave for 1 min.Take it out and mix well again and cook it again for 1 minute,Do the same one more time and mix well.Allow it cool down and then roll it to desired shape and size and decorate according to your wish.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicken Kurma for a Special friend..

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Living far away from my home country was so aweful for me in the beginning.I was feeling so lonely and miserable especially when the weather outside is so gloomy and chilly.Family, friends,homely foods,festivals ..list goes on...I missed all of these :( But like any other person I too adjusted soon, made lot of friends and they are like a family to me now.

Today when my typing this I m little bit sad because one of my friend 'N' is going back home (Japan) after living more than half of her life here. I m happy for her as she can be with her family and friends but its soo sad when our friends say goodbye to us.One day she had lunch with us and she loved the chicken curry I prepared for her, since her birthday is coming soon I thought I should share my chicken Kurma for her as a birthday gift. I guess it will be a little surprise for her as she doesnt know about my blog.


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Ingredients

Chicken boneless- 750 gm( I used diced thigh)
Onions - 3-4
Ginger garlic paste - 1tbs
Green chillies 2-3
Coriander powder -1 1/2 tbs
Turmeric powder 1/3 tsp
Pepper powder - 1tsp
Red chilly powder -1 tbs
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp(optional)
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Cahsewnut paste (1/4 cup cahewnuts grinded to a smooth paste)
Coconut milk - 1cup
Salt

Prepartion

Marinate the chicken with redchilly powder,turmeric,salt,coriander powder,ginger garlic paste , garam masala, pepper,fennel powder and yogurt.Keep it aside for 1/2 an hour.
In a saucepan add some oil and saute the chopped onions until its soft and brown. Add greenchillies and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and cook until chicken is done.Finally add coconut milk and grinded cashewnut paste and water if required.When it starts to boil swith off the flame.
This Kurma goes well with Chapathy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coconut Rice (My 100 th post)


It took me nearly 4 yrs to reach this milestone. It has been a slow and smooth journey till now.I was on and off blogging . Sometimes I feel that I am like animals that hibernate,I go to sleep for longtime then when I come back I will be active for sometime , but then again I go back to sleep mode :( But one thing that I am proud of myself is that I never gave up blogging :) I made lot of new friends and they kept me going till now...Thanks to all my friends for supporting me to keep this blog alive.

To celebrate my happiness I am sharing a coconut rice which u can prepare in less than 1/2 an hour, the great part is it is so easy and doesnt need any accompaniment.

Ingredients
Rice/ Pachari / Long grain rice - 1 1/2 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Urad dal / Uzhunnu parippu  - 1 tbs
Chana dal / kadala parippu - 1tbs
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Curryleaves - few
Whole redchilly -2 (optional)
Green chillies -2 (slit lengthwise)
Salt

Prepartion
  1. Cook the rice and keep it aside.
  2. In a tawa/wok add some oil sputter mustard seeds. 
  3. Add urad dal, chana dal and fry till its lightly roasted.
  4. Addd grated coconut, green chillies, curry leaves  and roast it for a minute or so ( Donot allow the coconut to become brown). 
  5. Finally add cooked rice, mix well and check the salt.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Fish curry (Salmon curry )

Weather in U.K is so unpredictable,we all said goodbye to Summer few weeks ago and were getting ready for the chilly days but to our surprise the hot scroching sun came out again last week !!
Like everyone else we too decided to make the most of the weather,but our day out in hot day was sooo tiring.Eventhough the temperatures were not high like in India I felt that the sun here is much hotter ...Maybe it doesnt make any sense ! I was wondering how the people enjoy lying down in the hot sun taking sun bath !!
Anyway today it looks like Autumn is returning again , but I am wishing for few more sunny days,I dont mind even if it is bit chilly , just sunny days is more than enough ..


Since its Navaratri I have been eating vegeterian food for few days and on the final day (vijayadashami ) I will end my vratham eating Nonveg food. So on the eve of Vijayadashami/Dusserah I am sharing a Fish curry which I made last week..

Wishing all my friends Happy Dusserah/Vijayadashami !!


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Ingredients
Fish (salmon )- 250 gm
Onions -2
Tomatoes - 2
Greenchillies- 2-3
Ginger-garlic chopped- 1tbs
Curryleaves
Redchilly powder- 1 tbs
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Corainder powder - 1 tbs
Salt
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Feni greek - 3/4 tsp
Coconut milk - 1 cup


Preparation
In a pan add some oil and sputter mustards , add fenugreek and when it becomes light brown,add chopped onions and saute till it becomes soft and brown. Add ginger-garlic ,curryleaves,green chillies and saute for few more minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and all the masala powders and cook till tomatoes becomes cooked and mashed. Add fish , pour some water and cook till the fish is done. Finally add coconut milk and when it is starts to boil switch off the flame.


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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Erachi Ada/Erachi pathiri


My Little one's and Hubby's birthday are only 4 days apart,so after all the fun we had on junior's birthday,It didnt feel like a special day when his bday came,We even had left over birthday cake from lil one's party.As usual in the morning just wished him and thought of getting a birthday card and give him in the evening,but my friend was coming over for a tea with a brithday card for him,so finally I got mood to do something.If somebody joins us for tea/lunch or dinner I get all the extra energy to cook,So I decided to make something special,and the first thing that struck on my mind was Erachi ada/Erachi pathriri which is a malabar special item. Multi tasking is always easier,as I have to clean the chicken I decided to take a big portion of chicken to make some chicken curry aswell. While cleaning the chicken I kept some rice in a thick bottomed vessel for making paal payasam too,since it is thick bottomed I dont have to bother about stirring it until I finish cleaning the chicken. Voila !! Altast the day turned out to be surprise for him and even me too, it was a three course dinner !!


Ingredients

For dough

Plain flour or Wheat flour - 2 cups ( I used both plain flour and wheat flour 1 cup each)
Salt
Oil
Water

For chicken filling

Chicken -250 gm
Onion - 1 small
Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tsp (optional)
Ginger chopped - 1tsp
Garlic chopped - 1 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 3/4 tbs
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying

Preparation


Marinate the chicken with redchilly powder,turmeric powder ,Ginger garlic paste and salt and keep it aside for half an hour.Cook the chicken and mince it.

In a nonstick pan pour some oil and saute the onions till brown in colour,add chopped ginger and garlic and then add garam masala , coriander powder and saute for 1 minute. Add the minced chicken and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Now divide the dough to small balls.Take one ball and roll it out to a small circle and spread the minced chicken mixture on it. Cover it with another one and press on the edges.Deep fry it in oil.
Serve hot with tea !!

This will yield 7-8 Erachi ada .

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vanilla-Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting



It has been more than 3 months now since I have posted anything here,its just because of mere laziness.Summer activities with my preschooler was making me tired, so I prefered to relax during the free time doing nothing.My boy has turned 3 last week and I baked a cake which everyone loved,so I thought I should share the recipe to my friends too.I made this cake for his party so it was quite big, since I have made this cake (in a small tin )several times this recipe is for a a smaller cake.

Ingredients

Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Unsalted Butter(softenend) - 1/2 cup
Egg -2
Baking powder - 1tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tbs
Milk - 1/2 cup


For frosting


Double cream - 100ml
Dark chocolate - 100gm
Butter - 25gm
Honey - 3/4 tbs

Preparation


Preheat the oven to 180 degree centigrade.
In a mixing bowl beat butter and sugar together.Crack the eggs in and beat again.Add flour,baking powder,baking soda,vanilla extract and beat again.Add milk slowly and beat until milk is poured completely.Now pour 3/4 th the white batter to the cake tin.Add 2 tbs of cocoa powder to the remaining batter and mix well.Pour the cocoa batter to white batter and incoporate it into white one,but dont mix it completely.Bake the cake for 35 - 40 mins until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.Let the cake cool down.

For frosting
In a saucepan pour the double cream and jsut before it starts to boil turn off the flame and add chocolate,butter and honey and mix .Spread the frosting to the cake.If you like to decorate the cake you can sprinkle chocolate strands, or shavings or grated chocolate on the top of the frosting.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Egg Rice ( Lunch box Special )



Since my hubby takes packed lunch to office,I am always on look out for easy recipes like this one,which I can prepare under 30 minutes(like Jamie oliver says).This recipe is again from my friend Smitha ,she knows so many recipes like this which can be prepared in a jiffy.

Ingredients

Rice - 3/4 cup
Boiled Eggs - 3
Mixed vegetables - 1/2 cup( I used frozen mix veg packet ,it has carrot,beans,corns,greenpeas etc)
Onion -2
Tomato -1
Ginger- garlic paste - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Redchilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - pinch
Coriander powder -1 tbs
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Salt
Fresh corainder leaves




Preparation

Cook the rice and keep it aside.
In a wok add oil and sputter cumin and fennel.Add onions and saute till it becomes soft,add ginger garlic paste fry for 1 minute.Add chopped tomotoes and cook for 1-2 minutes and finally add mixed vegetables and all the masala powders and cook till vegetables are done. Add the cooked rice and mix well.Cut the eggs into two and gently fold into the rice.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eton mess ( English Dessert)



Ingredients

Strawberries - 400 gm
Double cream - 300ml ( 1 1/2 cup)
Sugar - 4 tbs
Meringue nest - 5-6

Preparartion

Hull strawberries and chop them into half (lenghtwise) ,add sugar and mix well. Whisk double cream until soft peaks are formed fold the strawberry mixture into it and refrigerate. Just before serving crush the meringue nest to the mixture and fold in.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chicken Sukka( Manglorean Style)



I had this chicken sukka from a friend's place 2 weeks ago and absolutely loved it. I always loved mangalorean specialities which we used to have from a mangalorean restaurant when we lived in Pune, but never had an opportunity to learn manglorean cuisine.
After meeting Smitha ,we go to each others place often ,while our boys play together we prepare lunch.There is so much similarities between our recipes as we both use coconut a lot,but still her dishes are unique.
This recipe is from her and I tried this out today and it turned out great.So If anyone fancy a Manglorean special do try this one.

Ingredients

Chicken - 500 gm ( I used boneless)
Onion - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbs
Salt
Mustard seeds
Redchilly
Curry leaves

For paste

Shallots - 7
cinnamon - 1 stick
Cloves 2-3
Cardamom -2
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
Star anise - 2
Red chilly powder - 1 tbs
Turmeic powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tbs
Fenugreek seed - 4-5 n0
Tamarind - a small piece( according to your taste)

For coarse paste

Grated coconut - 1/4 cup

Preparation

Clean and cut the chicken to small pieces.

In a saucepan add some oil and add cumin seeds,fennel.Let it sputter.Throw in cloves,cardamom,cinnamon,star anise.Saute for 1 min.Add chopped shallots and saute till it is soft.Add redchilly powder,coriander powder and turmeric powder and saute till raw smell goes.Let it cool down and then grind it with tamarind to a smooth paste.

In a separate pan add some oil and roast coconut till it becomes brown in colour.Grind it to a coarse paste.

In a wok/saucepan add oil and add chciken and fry till its light brown.Add ginger -garlic paste saute again for 1-2 minutes.Add the masala paste and let the chicken cook in the masala.When its half done,add chopped onion and cook again.When chicken is almost done add the roasted coconut and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Finally sputter mustard seeds and add redchilly and curry leaves.

Serve hot !