Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thiruvathira Puzhukku

A very special delicacy on thiruvathira day. Its a great pleasure to write down something that had a great past. The variety of this dish is that its prepared only on the thiruvathira day and its main ingredients are tubers. Most of the tubers are easily availabale from the yard. Now the markets flood with these tubers and today during this preparation my mother in law was talking about the freshness of the tubers they gathered from their own land.
Raw plantain(Ethakka)-1/4 cup
Chinese Potato(Koorkka)-1/4 cup
Elephant yam(Chena)-1/4 cup
Cassava(Kappa)-1/4 cup
Kachil-1/4 cup
Chembu-1/4 cup
Nanakizhangu-1/4 cup
Madhurakizhangu-1/4 cup
Cow peas beans(Vanpayar)-1/2 cup
Chilli powder-2 tb sp
Turmeric powder-1 tb sp
Salt- as needed
Coconut oil-2 tbsp
Curry leaves- as needed
For grinding
Grated coconut-11/2 cup
Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Garlic-10 pods

It will take more than 1 hour to finish this because it takes a long time to prepare these tubers. First we have to pressure cook the red cow beans with salt. All these ingredients must be square cut. We have to cook Cassava separately. When we cook it add some salt to it. After cooking drain the water and keep it aside. Then cook all the other tubers (after thorough washing) in pressure cooker. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt to it. One or two whistles may be enough. Then we have to drain out the excess amount of water. After grinding the coconut with the other ingredients mix this with tubers, cassava and cooked cow beans. Let it boil for sometime for blending the tastes. Add the coconut oil and curry leaves. The delicious puzhukku is ready and its a pretty and mouth watering side dish to rice or kanji. But on thiruvathira day most of ladies are taking this with Gothambu kanji as part of Vratha.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vendakka kichadi

Kichadi and pachadi always confused me. Pachadi will be sweet. Pineapple pachadi and pazhutha manga pachadi are some of them. Kichadi is fried vegetable in curd. We can have it with coconut paste. Its very easy to prepare.
Ladies finger(Vendakka)- 1 cup
Green chilly(pachamulaku)-4
For grinding
Coconut-1 cup
cumin seeds-1 tsp
Curd -1 cup
For seasoning
Oil-2 tbsp
Mustard seeds-1tsp
red chilli(vattal mulaku)-3
Curry leaves-3
Cut the vendakka in round shape. Pieces must be uniform and thin. Cut the green chilli like vendakka. Add 2 tbsp full of coconut oil to a kadai and add the chopped ladies finger and green chilly. Fry them until they reach the brown colour. Grind the coconut with cumin seeds and add it to the fried mixture. After boiling add the curd to the mixture. Its not necessary to beat the curd. After 10 minutes switch off the stove. Don't allow to boil. For seasoning add mustard seeds and red chillies to the oil. Then add curry leaves and pour this to the kichdi. Its considered as one of the 'Thodukaris' in sadya items.
We can make kichadi with pavakka(bitter gourd) and Beet root.
Tips: For this curry we have to fry the vendakka thoroughly otherwise the curry will be slimy. The frying section must be done with more care and we have to chop it uniformly. According to curd it must be sour. We have to grind the coconut thoroughly like a paste.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Erissery with Omakka and Vanpayar

A popular sadya item in Kerala. It can be made with Chena, mathanga and vazhakka. But this one had made with papaya and vanpayar. A nice combination with rice. Erissery is a dish with thick spicy gravy.
Papaya square cut: 1 cup
Red beans(Vanpayar):1 cup
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Chilli powder-1 tsp
Salt -as needed

cumin seeds-1/2 tbsp
Garlic -4
Pepper -4
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Red chillies-3
Curry leaves
Oil-2 tsp
Grated coconut-2 tbsp(for seasoning)
Cook the red beans and papaya in cooker with salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Grind coconut with cumin seeds, garlic and pepper. Add it to the papaya. Allow it to boil. Check salt and other tastes. For this recipe apart from the regular garnishing we have to add some fried coconut to it. There will be a nice aroma after this seasoning. For this we have add some oil to a kadai. Add some mustard, red chillies and some curry leaves. After spluttering we have to add 2 tsp of grated coconut to the mixture and fry it. Pour this to the cooker. Delicious Erissery is ready. We can have it with rice.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Kozhukkatta, have a lot of images in me. It can be prepared in umpteen ways. But this is from my dearest friend, filled with lot of love and care. She had sent me this recipe and the image from Bangalore. Simple things can trigger a stream of memories. Dedicating this sweet post to my friend and praying for her family.
Recipe of kozhukkatta(Steamed rice dumplings filled with sweet)
Rice flour-2 cups
jaggery-1/2 cup
shredded coconut-1/2 cup
Salt-as needed
Ghee-2 tsp(optional)
Cardamom-2 powdered (optional)
For the filling
Mix shredded coconut with ghee, grated jaggery and cardamom powder.

Mix the rice flour with small amount of salt. Make it a dough using warm water. Make small balls from the dough. Make a big depression inside the ball and fill the sweet filling then close it. We can make it a perfect ball by shaping it. Steam these balls for 20 minutes.

The perfect kozhukkatta I had eaten is from my neighbour. Its their custom to make these sweet balls on the day of 'Kuruthola perunnal'(Palm sunday). This perunnal had a local name as 'Kozhukkatta perunnal'. She always made a perfect ball.
In her recipe she will always make 'Sharkara pani' for the filling, all the other things are same.
For making sharkara pani we have to melt jaggery with 1/4 cup of water , then strain it. Then we can add the coconut.

The other images are of the 'Nadan kozhukkatta' made by my mother. I had not tried to make it. Its with Kuthari. We have to soak the rice for 6 hours. Then grind the rice with salt, one spoon full of cumin seeds and half cup of shredded coconut. It must half grind, and the water content must not be too much. Make small round balls with the half grind rice mixture. Cooking method is also different, this kozhukkatta is not steamed instead of that we put these balls in boiling water and close it for almost half an hour. After that we can take it from the water and the water which is called 'Kozhukkatta vellam' is also very tasty. We can have this with little sugar.

These sweet snack can be made with different types of filling. We can make it with coconut filling only for adults. We can fill it with coconut scrapes with sugar. I like this taste more than jaggery, its also easier than the other type. Another variety is with aval(poha) filling. Aval with jaggery and coconut is a common combination. We always make it with 'Chakkavaratti' its the jam made with jack fruits. This filling is very tasty. My in law's make this kozhukkatta with green gram, jaggery and coconut mixture. If you are too health concious you can make the filling with sprouts also. In this filling we can add nuts and raisins for extra taste. It is considered as sweet snack with coffee(nalu mani palaharam), it can be served as a break fast item. Anyway its an easy and healthy snack for children.