Monday, November 22, 2010


Kanji is an inevitable part of our life. Its the heaven of a keralite. Its the easy to cook healthy food. We prepare it with different types of rice. The above shown kanji is 'Kuthari kanji'. Its the double boiled version of rice. We can make 'Podiyari kanji' its the broken rice porridge. Another type of kanji is 'Unakkalari kanji'. 'Pal kanji' is another variety its prepared with rice and milk.

Kanji vellam is a great refreshner. Its a must food during sick days. We can see characters eating kanji with great gratitude in malayalam literature.
In the picture I had placed a natural spoon made with 'Plavila'. It was a usual scene in Kerala . Now we are using steel spoons instead of this.
It can be cooked in a steel vessel or in Pressure cooker. If you want to get the original you have to cook it in kalam. Its a round shaped vessel. We can also use a kalam made of clay. In Ayurveda we can see 'Marunnu kanji' . In karkkidaka we can see advertisement of 'Karkkidaka kanji'. Other kanjis familiar to me are 'Barley kanji', 'Nombu kanji', 'Jeeraka kanji', 'Vishu kanji' , 'Uluva kanji' and 'gothambu kanji'.
If we are using the traditional method we have to add three cup of water to every cup of rice. If we are using pressure cook method add 5 cup of water to every cup of rice.
We have to sprinkle some salt over it before serving. It can be eaten with pickle, pappadam or any side dish. Kanji and payar is popular combination. Kanji and kappa is also a famous combination. Kanji and salt with shredded coconut is a very good one. Kanji and chammanthi is also very nice.

In kerala, people without culture are called as 'Kanji'!!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kappalandi Mittayi

Sorry for the low quality image , my camera has some complaints and hoping to buy a new one....
More about Ground nut nutrition
Kappalandi/ Kadala is the most common nut in Kerala. Eventhough its the place of Kashuvandi(cashew nut) Kappalandi is the common man's snack. Cashew nut is costlier than this one.
The crispiness and the sweetness of Kappalandi mittayi will never fade from the mind. Everyone has some sweet memories associated with these candies. 'Mittayi' may be the first sweet name taught by the children in Kerala. Its the malayalam of 'toffee' or 'Candy'. Every child needs 'Mittayi' . My children also wants 'Mittayi' and I found the 'Kadala mittayi' as a safe replacement. Its made of Jaggery and the nutritious Kappalandi. Its an all time favourite in my home. I had not prepared this at my home but its also a regular visitor of our snack box.

Chidren always need sweets and even adults need them. A sweet candy means more to a child. Whenever I think of these common snacks the small story of Kabuliwallah will came into my mind. Its a haunting story of the great Rabindranatha Tagore, opening up a vast world in front of us. Its also a story of 5 year old with lot of questions and querries.

To read the full story of Kabuliwallah

When we travel through Kerala we can see Inji mittayi(ginger toffee), bombay mittayi and Jeeraka mittayi. Its very nice to think about it bombay mittayi will melt into your mouth and its like 'Appooppan thadi'. We can see mobile vendors with heavy jar of Bombay muttayi. Jeeraka mittayi is a nice option other than chocolate toffees. Another one is 'Naranga Mittayi'. My ammoomma still loves it and we always buy it for her.

Some tastes take us to our past, if it is a sweet taste the memories will be sweet. Please share your nice memories about sweets.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cheera Thoran/Spinach fry

Recipe of Cheera Thoran
Cheera-Few stalks
Coconut scraped-1/2 cup
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Oil-2 tsp
Chilli powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
salt-As per the taste
Finely chop the spinach after thorough washing. Add oil into a kadai, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. After spluttering add the cheera, add turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder to it. Grind coconut with jeerakom and garlic. Add this to the cheera. Cook for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.
I had done some posts about Spinach in my nature blog. Please have a look.

Malayalam: Cheera



Spinach is a healthy food. It has lot of medicinal qualities also. Do not hesitate to include it into our daily diet. It will take more time to prepare spinach for cooking. Convince children about its medicinal effects.

PS: A very small story related to Cheera/ Spinach

Story is from Mahabharatha. Draupadi had a vessel named Akshaya pathra, which gave all the food to their crew. Whenever she finished her eating it will stop its food. Once Durvasa came to pandavas, at that time draupadi finished her meals. She was frightened and prayed krishna for a peaceful solution. Krishna adviced her to offer him anything that remained in the vessel. She found a leave of Cheera in one of sides and offered it to Lord Krishna with prayerful heart. At that time Durvasa and his followers hunger disappeared and they left. Is it a nice story??

Last month we had participated in famous Vallasadya of Aranmula temple, Kerala. During the sadya all the dishes are asked through 'Vanchipattu' the lines for Cheera thoran was like this , 'Panchaliyude pathrathile cheerathoran kondu vayo'. Its always interesting to know more about the dishes in that time.