Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kale Kootu/ Kale and lentils stir fry

Each season has its own beauty, maybe not winters expect for the snow. Back home I never bothered about seasons as there was hardly any season change expect the monsoon. Here I love 'spring' the most especially as it promises a new beginning… It's indeed a beautiful feeling to see the flowers blooming, bees buzzing, birds nesting, children playing outside and most of all getting some sunshine ! Yesterday we went to our local park to enjoy the spring, to my distress  some trees were still barren but what I call the beauty of Spring “Daffodils” were on full bloom. I clicked away Daffodils to my heart’s content and I was a happy gal J

Coming to today’s post, I have to thank blogging for making me try new things which wouldn’t have dared to try otherwise. I saw this kale kootu in Anupa’s blog palaharam  and it was one of those recipes I knew I definitely want to try and so I did. It was so delicious and we wiped off our plate clean that day. We have been buying kale often after that and now if I don’t buy the leaves,  my boy often reminds  me in supermarket   “can you buy that curly kale amma”? Thank god he has inherited the foodie tongue of ours and he likes his greens!

Recipe adapted from - Palaharam

Kale leaves - 200 gm
Chana dal/ Kadala parippu - 1/3 cup
Shallots/ Kunjulli - 5-6 no
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Redchilly powder - 3/4 tsp
 Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Whole redchillies
Curry leaves


  • Soak chana dal for few hours and pressure cook it for 3-4 whistles.
  • Chope the kale leaves and keep it aside( I didn't use stem)
  • Cook kale with redchilly powder, turmeric powder, salt for 5-7 minutes.
  • Make a coarse paste of shallots, cumin and grated coconut in  a mixie.
  • Add the cooked chana dal, coconut paste and give it mix.
  • Add salt and cook for 3- 5 minutes.
  • Finally take oil in small pan add mustard seeds and when it crackle add whole rechilly and curry leaves and pour the tempering to cooked Kale and give it a mix.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Corn meal Puttu / Cholam puttu

It all started one fine Christmas morning when I decided to pamper Su with South Indian breakfast for a week as a Christmas gift. Before that he was happily eating cereals on weekdays without any complaint but after that one week he got spoilt and when we got back to routine and cereals appeared on breakfast table he declared that he is lactose intolerant!! I really wonder whether it’s true though J.Now it’s almost 3 months since I have been cooking breakfast in the morning. Puttu has been my life saver  on  crazy mornings and  if I don’t get time to make a curry for it  I get away by pairing it  with some banana and he is sold J 

When it comes to writing down shopping list I am really bad and won’t notice things finishing until the last moment , so one morning when I was trying to grab my puttu flour I found that it was not enough for the day. There was nothing else I could fix that day and that’s when I noticed a corn meal on my cupboard. I decided to add corn meal to rice flour to deal the crisis and it was a perfect mix! After that day I tried making puttu with just corn meal (without rice flour) but the mixture of rice flour-corn meal tasted well than corn puttu. So if you want a change from usual puttu this might be good alternative.One good thing I like about adding corn meal to rice flour is that when I moistened the flour it is easy to break the lumps  and it saves my time !

Rice flour – 1 cup
Corn meal – 1 cup
Water – ¾ cup
Grated coconut – 8- 10 tbs

  • Measure the rice flour and corn meal into a mixing bowl.

  • Add salt to water and add salt water slowly to the flour moistening it. Break any lumps formed.

  • Layer puttu maker with a table spoon of grated coconut on bottom and then add moistened flour to 1/3 rd add grated coconut again and repeat the process.

  • Place the puttu maker on a steamer or on top of a pressure cooker and steam for 3-4 minutes. 

  • Push the puttu out and enjoy with some kadala curry, cherupayar curry or banana, ghee and sugar !!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Home made Ghee/ Clarified butter with step by step pictures

Reading is a habit that I gave long time back not because I wanted to but once lil one came along priorities changed and somehow I lost that good habit of mine…sigh!  Time flies quickly now he is 5 ½ and he himself has got into a very good reading habit which kind of enthused me go back to the snuggly world of books again! I was never an English book reader; I used to find comfort in reading Malayalam books which lifted me into a different world without paying attention to what’s happening around me. Mohammed Basheer was one of my favourite author and  had read almost all his books during those good old days…Getting a Malayalam book to read was not an option here ,so I went to the library and  picked up a book a friend suggested “ The Alchemist “ . I couldn’t believe that I still can read books without getting distracted too much and I finished the book in 2 days!! Book had a great moral for us, i.e. we should follow our dreams and never give up!! Sometimes we never know we can do something unless we try it. I think that should be my resolution for the rest of the year J

Getting back to the topic, today I am going to share a simple post of making homemade ghee from butter. For those  who live back home getting pure ghee is not a big affair, but here what we get in tins as ghee doesn’t taste or smell like ghee. I was bringing ghee from India every year but after few months when it finishes I had to use the rubbish ghee (read expensive too) we get here, so I decided to make my own ghee from butter. I was so happy that I made it as it smelled and tasted  just like the divine ghee we get back home,100 % pure too! Making ghee from butter is a breeze, all you need is 20 minutes and a thick bottomed pan and some patience J


Unsalted butter – 500gm

  • In a thick bottomed pan place the butter and heat it on a low flame.                                  
  • Butter will melt and boil and it looks foamy. Simmer it on a low flame and continue boiling on a low flame stirring occasionally.                                                        

  • After 18- 20 minutes it becomes clear and u will see a residue settled on the bottom.                                                                                                                           

  • Once its cools down a little, sieve it and store it a clean airtight bottle. 
Before  I sign off let me wish  all the friends who celebrate Holi a very Happy Holi !!              

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cow cake , Peppa Pig cake and some Ireland Pictures

I really wish I get more time to do blog post at least once in a week. Now that its officially spring I am hoping that with little extra day light that we have now, I might be able to do some justice to the blog. I know that nobody is going to question me or maybe no one might  even care if I don’t blog , but  deep inside me I get a quirky feeling that I am letting down my supporters/ readers J Spring has definitely uplifted my spirits and that’s why I am here too. I have a kitchen by the window which faces a back garden or maybe I should call it wild garden with lots of trees and bushes. Every day when I do the washing up I get to watch a pair of doves playing on the branches and following each other, they were so in love and it was a pleasure to watch them. This was the sight for almost many weeks but today when I was doing the washing up I saw the one of the dove busy gathering twigs for building their nest!! It made me soo happy inside to see their love story moving to next level, I really wish they build their nest on the same branch they used to live together! 

Coming back to today's post, not a recipe post,its just some fondant cakes which I made rescently. The cow cake was for my nephew who turned 1 and Peppa pig cake was for a friend's daughter. We were holidaying in Ireland last week with my sister and I took the cake all the way to Ireland in my cabin bag, my first creation to go on a plane !! Ireland is a such beautiful place and we had a great time there. I will let the pictures talk more rather than me rambling again.That's all for now, will come back again soon.