Monday, June 13, 2016

Kannimanga achar

Finally I had made kannimanga  achar in its traditional way.  Used a bharany for storing this.
Kannimanga  itself evoke childish images.  It's a tasty pickle for our meals. Ammoomma always had a stock of Kannimangs pickles.  Sometime it's a salty one.  Salty,  spongy small mangoes goes well with kanji.  It's my favourite accompaniment too.  She had made it spicy with some crushed small onions and  green chillies.  She had made chammanthi with this pickle.  In an innovative effort she had made it as a pulinkary.  The salt and mango taste mixed well with buttermilk also.

I had got lot of kannimanga from my native place.  I had washed it thoroughly and then dried with a clean towel.  Cleaned the bharani and I had used crystal salt instead of powdered one.  After laying one layer of kannimanga sprinkled some salt.  After all I had sealed the vessel for 5 days.  After 5 days I had taken back the kannimanga rich with salt and mixed it with pickle powder and gingelly oil.  I had powdered some mustard seeds and mixed with it.  Filled bharani with this and to prevent fungus I had placed a cloth dipped in gingelly oil over it and sealed.  After 13 days I had opened it.  To my surprise it was super and resembled to my grand mothers pickle.  She is living in me in those moments to remake her taste smell and memories.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

mango stories

Mangoes have lot of stories to tell.  Yesterday my husband bought mangoes from Salem during one of his official trip.  Two of the varieties were
Alphonsa  and malgova.   I had made smoothies with the Alphonsa.  It was very sweet and fleshy. I felt so grateful to have this superior variety.  I said a big thanks to the unknown who planted and nurtured the tree.  I had proudly served it for my guests.  It's superb and heavenly taste.
The most easiest drink to make with mango is mango smoothie.
After thorough washing peel and cut into small pieces.  Blend it with some water.  If you need a thick puree do not add water.  If you need add some sugar and some cubes to it.  Through this method we won, the lose the fibres.
These mangoes have some connection with the colonial era.  The Portuguese had introduced these varieties to India by grafting method.  Naturally it's named after a man who helped to establish the Portuguese colonies. That great man behind this melting sweet fruit is Afonso De albuqurque.  It's fascinating to know the stories behind great taste.

Monday, February 23, 2015


The most tempting kerala dish mostly in sweet form. It's welcoming smell of rice flour,  jaggery,   coconut everything makes it purely ethnic dish of kerala.  It's very nutritious too.
Its cooked in steam. It's an apt snack with tea.  It can also be consider as a breakfast item.
I had made this with rice flour.
We have to make batter with roasted rice flour. It must be prepared with hot water. Add some salt also.  Filling prepared with grated coconut,  jagged,   ghee and two pods of cardamom.
It has always a smell of plantain leaves.  It's time consuming also.

Whenever I make such dishes I will recreate the aromas and taste to my little ones.  We had called this dish as nalumani palaharam.  Plaharam means snack and nalumani means tea time. 
In my childhood days it was not tedious to get plantain leaves from our own yard.  
My amoomma allowed me to clean the leaves.  
The most time consuming portion of this dish is the spreading of the batter.  My grand mother had so much patience,  she had spread the batter so evenly and the ada was so delicate.  It was her passion to make such everlasting taste to her children.  Perfection can be attained only by passion,  patience and hard work.  This post is a dedication to my grand mother who had taught me to make dishes filled with love will last forever.
It's our custom to make ada on karutha vavu. These adas are called vavada. 
On thiruvonam we make poovada to welcome thrikkakkara appan.   In that ada we fill with grated coconut and sugar.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Omakka (Papparakka ) thoran

Omakka (Papparakka) thoran is a common side dish for rice in kerala.  More than that it's very economic too.  Whenever i think of this dish my grand mother's image will com into my mind.  She had not used any scraper but with knife she finely chopped it.  The taste of the thoran lies in its uniform chopping.  She will take lot of time to prepare this dish.  It was a common curry in our childhood. I still remember the entire journey to this dish starting from the plucking of Papparakka.   It's very interesting to hear stories from her childhood.  It's the taste  the smell and the care never dies.  I really miss you a momma. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kanji vellam

‘Rice water is the suspension of starch obtained by draining boiled rice or by boiling rice until it completely dissolves into the water.’
Rice water, yes its our own ‘Kanji vellam’.  Its our life drops,  linked with the love of our dear ones.  Kanji vellam has some etched images in every Keralites mind. 
‘Uppitta Kanjivellam’  is a must for our mild diseases.  My father who is an adamant fan of Kanji always tell me about the nutrition of kanji and its suppliments.  In my mind it has the firmness of my father’s hand and coolness of his smile.  I like to drink this with some salt in it.  Whenever I refuses to drink this water without any sweet or spicy taste he makes it more acceptable with few drops of ‘Pulissery’  or ‘Rasam’.  Life had changed a lot and now I insist my children to drink this precious water during sick days and  I have to search Web to convince its nutritious benefits.
‘Mole ithiri Kanjivellam’  the most familiar tone of  my childhood memories.  Its thanka ammoomma who was the helping hand of my mother.  After lot of works she will come to the kitchen door and asked for a large bowl of Kanji vellam.  I will watch their with great eagerness to see the way she drink the water with great respect and relief.  This water remembers me the labourious days of ‘Thanka ammomma’ .
Its our practice to starch cotton clothes with this water.  It has the shades of lines and lines of cotton sarees spread across the neighbouring yard.  During rainy days clothes drained in Kanjivellam will have a bad smell.  Still munching my mother’s rules for clothes in these water.  We have to remove the ‘Kanji pada’  first and then remove any rice remained in the vessel.  Still I am continuing the practice with my cotton churidars. 
I had read lot of stories related with this kanjivellam in Malayalam literature.  Some books also make some images in our mind.   An autobiography written by Sri Mannathu Padmanabhan he had described the Kanjivellam and countable number or rice in it.  He had got this during his journey towards to make educational institutions for his society.  In my mind I consider this water with great devotion given energy to a great man with great aspirations. 
My grand mother was also a great devotee of kanji vellam.  She had topped up this ‘Kadumanga curry’  or ‘Uppumanga vellam’  or some butter milk.  She had told me about its importance in summer days for those in working under the scorching sun. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kappa Puzhukku

An ethnic dish from Kerala.  A fusion of Kerala's Kappa,  pachamulku and grated coconut.  Its a mouth watering dish and I think it may be a nostalgic dish of every malayalee.  The everlasting smell of the dish when we pour the last ingredient,  pure coconut oil is incredible.  Kariveppila is also an inevitable part of thi puzhukku.  Its a correct combination to our Kanji. 

We have to cut kappa as small pieces and boil it for 10-15 minutes.  Add some salt into the vessel.     If its cooked enough drain the water.  Grind grated coconut with jeerakam and pachamulaku.  Add this with a pinch of turmeric powder with the Kappa.  Mix it well in low flame.  Pour some coconut oil and some curry leaves.  The taste of the dish lies in the last mixing with kappa and the coconut mixture. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Onam special

Onam always bring some long lasting memories of special dishes.  One of them is 'Kaliyadakka' or 'Cheeda'.  Its an ona palaharam.  The smell of its dough and making the small balls with my cousins still remains in me as an onam special memory.