Pal Appam — Lace Hoppers

 

 

Hello my wonderful readers,

Do you follow my Instagram feed? Many a times Appam is our preferred breakfast and it is super easy to make once you have the batter. Much like the dosa batter but I use yeast in this recipe. There are recipes that do not include yeast but I love that lovely fermented smell that comes from the yeast and frankly its more like  a – ‘Soak, Dump , Grind and Rest’ method. The reason it is called a Lace Hopper is because of those wonderful intricate lace like weave that it has on the outsides. The inner centre of the circle is thicker and the outer ring is crispier. These are perfect with a coconut milk based egg curry. The recipe for which I will share later. You could also pair with left over curry from the previous day.

My son started school this week and man now I know how it feels to be a mum of child going to school!! no am not talking about the work that goes into getting him ready for school but the fact that this little human being is already ready to start his formal education! The school is like no other school we have ever seen. It believes in being as natural and close to the environment as possible. Infact as you enter into the school you wonder where the building and concrete structures of the school is. Lots of lush green, children learning under trees, no foot wear, greeting each other with a namaste. In all, this is the perfect place for my little one. While the little one is inside his little environment, I sit outside and just breathe! all the fresh air and the sounds of chirping birds, the occasional squirrel running around. It feels like a Gurukula straight out of the Mahabharata! In all this new change is one my little bunny is trying hard to cope up with but is also something he looks forward too. Wish me luck people! I hope he likes it for all the years to come..

So back to the recipe! This recipe makes easily 20 appams and you have 3 breakfasts from the week sorted.

Now before I get into the recipe, I wanted to tell you this. Traditionally appam is make with ” Kallu” / palm wine / Toddy . It helps in the fermentation and it gives the appam its unique smell. But Kallu is hard to find and yeast gives you just about the same smell so why not? My grandmother lives on a property that houses almost 5 dozen coconut trees and so back in Kerala toddy is easier to come across and the appam is so so good! Also the heat and the humidity of the place also helps in making the perfect batter. This is my straingforward recipe and it works all the time. All you need to make sure is it to keep the batter in a warm place of your kitchen over night. Not in the fridge! Not near a window with cold air blowing in etc. A nice warm corner for the yeast fairy to work her magic!


Ingredients :-

  1. Ponni Rice – 2 cups
  2. Boiled cooked rice – 1 cup
  3. Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup
  4. Yeast – 1 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1 tsp + 3 tbsp
  6. Warm Water – 3 cups ( more if required)
  7. Coconut oil for greasing the pan

Instructions :-

  1. In a large vessel, wash the Ponni rice. Then soak the rice in water for 5 -6 hours ( 12 hours is best) I usually soak in the morning and do the rest after dinner
  2. After the rice has soaked in the water for sufficient time, in the bowl of your grinder or blender, add the soaked rice, cooked rice and desiccated coconut
  3. In a small bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the yeast and let it stand still till the yeast becomes frothy ( activated yeast)
  4. Then add 2 cups of water to the blender jar with the rice and coconut and blend to form a nice smooth paste. There shouldn’t be any coarse rice pieces or coconut pieces
  5. finally just before you remove the blender jar from the machine, add the yeast water and the rest of the water and run the blender for 1 min.
  6. Now use a large vessel / container for the fermentation.
  7. Pour the batter into the container and add 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and combine.
  8. Now cover the container loosely and set it on a plate. Place the container in a warm place over night. By the next morning you will see the batter rise up and be bubbly
  9. This is because of the yeast in the batter . Your batter is ready
  10. Now heat up your appam chatti.  ( Appa chatti is a vessel that is used to make these hoppers, the market is flooded with teflon non stick pans, but I DO NOT USE any teflon / non stick pans in my kitchen, so if you are interested in buying a pan I suggest you look for a iron pan, the one I own is from —   the Village Fair 
  11. Heat your Appa chatti on a medium flame. Once it is hot grease the pan lightly with coconut oil. I dip a cotton cloth in oil and then spread it around the chatti
  12. Now using a ladle pour the fermented Batter into the chatti. Slowly swirl the chatti round to spread the batter to all the sides of the chatti and then place it back in the flame. You will notice that the batter settle back to the centre. That is fine, that is what gives it that fully centre and crisp side. Now if you do not like it to thick, just reduce the amount of batter and rotate the chatti for a little longer that way all sides are crisp yet not too thick. Also make sure to use mittens or use a cotton cloth to hold the sides of the chatti
  13. Close with the lid and cook on medium flame for 3 -4 mins
  14. Once it is done, take off the lid and let it cook for 1 min.
  15. Finally using a soft wooden spatula loosen the sides of the appam
  16. Then slowly loosen the centre and transfer to a plate!
  17. Your appams are ready! Serve with egg curry, or Kadala curry 

 

 

Beetroot and Carrot Thoran – Stir Fry with Coconut and Curry leaves

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? How has the week been so far. I can’t not wait for this week to end. It has been such a landslide of incidents! From my husband falling sick, to my camera dying on me during a shoot, to my phone falling from my hand and losing its display. It has all been one eventful week. My son has on the contrary been so understanding and cooperative. I think children just know when some thing is wrong and its not them just misbehaving 🙂

Now coming back to the recipe. “Thoran” is basically any vegetable (or sometimes meat)  that is cooked on high flame almost like a stir fry and is accompanied with freshly grated coconuts and a variety of tempering. In this recipe, the tempering is made up of Urad Dal- Black (gram without the skin), red chillies, loads of curry curry leaves, mustards seeds fried in a little bit of oil. This is what gives the entire dish its wonderful fresh yet spicy taste and aroma.  “Thoran” can be made with all kinds of vegetables but the spices used for different vegetables vary. For some you could use garlic and cumin seeds and others may require other spices.

In the coming weeks,  I wanna make a conscious effort to share more Malayali cooking on my blog. Also I firmly believe that pure coconut oil is a very healthy alternative to refined oils like sunflower, peanut and mustard. But thats just me 🙂 What you should know is that this dish is the perfect, light, accompaniment to a bowl of hot rice and maybe a dal or sambar.

Ingredients :-

  1. Beetroot – 3 cups ( chopped)
  2. Carrot – 3 cups (chopped)
  3. Shallots – 6 (chopped fine)
  4. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  5. Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  8. Fresh Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup (packed)
  9. Salt – according to taste
  10. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Curry Leaves – 10 – 14

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom wok, heat oil.
  2. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the Urad dal. When the Urad Dal turns from white to light yellow add the mustard seeds
  3. This way you will fry both the Urad dal and the mustard seeds cooking and popping at the same time
  4. Now add the red chillies and the curry leaves
  5. Once the leaves have fried well, turn off the flame and with a slotted spoon, spoon out the the mixture. Make sure to drain out all the oil in the same wok. Set the curry leaves tempering aside ( we will use it at the end)
  6. Now turn on the flame again and when the oil is nice and hot add the shallots. Once the shallots are translucent add the beetroot. Give it a quick mix
  7. Cover and cook the beetroot till they are cooked half way through
  8. Then add the carrots and cover and cook till they are both cooked well. ( I find that beetroot takes a little longer than carrots to cook thats why I use this method)
  9. Finally open the cover and add salt and turmeric powder
  10. Give it a good mix cook for 2 mins on high flame
  11. Then add the fresh coconut and turn off the flame
  12. Just before you serve add the curry leaves + urad dal tempering on top of the beetroot and carrots and give it a quick mix
  13. Serve with hot rice and dal or sambar

Kulukki Sherbat / Kulukki Sherbet – Pineapple & Lime Sherbet

 

 

 

 

I love street food but like I said, I am very very scared of falling sick. Time and again I have tried street style food and some how I manage to fall sick 5 out of 10 times. So it takes me a while to taste food off the road. Once such drink is the Kulukki Sherbat. My friend in Kerala was kind enough to make me a glass of this wonderful drink 2 years ago and from then on I have been in love with this drink. It is the perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy!

Ingredients :-

  1. Pineapple – 1/2 cup (chopped to fine pieces)
  2. Lime Juice – from 3 limes
  3. Sabja Seeds / Basil Seeds – 2tbsp (washed and soaked for 10 mins)
  4. Ginger – 1 tsp (chopped fine)
  5. Green Chilli – 1 ( chopped fine)
  6. Honey – 3 – 4 tbsp ( or according to taste)
  7. Water – 1.2 lt (cold)
  8. Ice cubes – as required

Instructions:-

  1. In a bottle add lemon juice, honey, ginger and chilli. Put the cap on the bottle and give it a nice shake for 5 seconds
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients including the ice cubes. Put the cap back on the bottle and give it a nice shake again for one minute
  3. Serve right away over ice cubes!!

 

Use fresh ingredients for a refreshing drink!!

 

Netholli Fry / Nethilli Fry/ Anchovies Fry – Kerala Style

 

 

 

 

Hello Everybody! It’s the weekend and I love Fridays!

Fridays for me means, more family time! With my husband and my baby. I get to cook what he likes, I get to see them both playing and having fun.

This time I decided I wanted to make a nice Kerala Style fish fry for our Friday night dinner. So here is the recipe.

Ingredients :-

  1. Netholli / Nethilli / Anchovies – 1 kg
  2. Chilly Powder – 3 tsp
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Pepper Powder – 1 tsp ( more if you like it spicy)
  5. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste –  2 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 8 – 10 leaves
  8. Salt – 1 tsp
  9. Vinegar – 3 tbsp
  10. Oil – To fry the fish ( I used half a cup)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly clean the fist well. I do not like the head so I cut off the head, take of the scales and clean it well
  2. I also use green gram flour to clean my fish ( 5 – 10 times)
  3. Finally once your fish is nice and clean, drain out all the water and set it aside
  4. Now in another bowl, combine all the other ingredients except the oil
  5. Mix to for a nice paste like consistency
  6. Now add the cleaned fish to the “masala” paste and rub the masala well into the fish
  7. Let the fish marinate for at least 1 hour ( I leave mine over night in the fridge)
  8. Once you are ready to cook it ( make sure it is back to room temperature)
  9. Heat oil in your kadai ( or deep heavy bottom pot)
  10. Once the oil is nice and hot, slowly fry the fish in small batches of 5 -7
  11. Once fried set aside on a clean paper napkin
  12. Serve hot with freshly cut onions