Friday, May 25, 2012


Most of the dishes in this blog prepared by me are learnt from my mother and some from my mother in law.  Some dishes will turn out good by experience only.  Vellayappam falls in this category.  My mother still does not know how to make this properly.  I had done lot of assumptions to make this appam.  But now I can make soft and tasty vellayappams without too much tensions.
Firstly we must have good quality rice to make soft appam.  We are calling this rice as 'Pachari'.  Soak the rice for minimum four hours.  Grind this thoroughly with some cooked rice and grated coconut.  Add a pinch of yeast two spoonful of sugar in the mixture and allow it to ferment.  It will take around 6 hours for this.  After that add sufficient amount of salt.  We can make appams in 'Appa chatti'.  Now appa chatti is available in non stick versions also.  Its a nice breakfast item. 
All my memories related to this dish related to my neighbouring christian family.  They will come in early mornings with heaps of appam on Christmas and Easter.  I had tasted this in hotels also.  But most of the hotels will not add coconut to this item so we will not get this much taste.  In this dish when we add toddy or 'Kallu'  for fermentation its known as 'Kallappam'.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chakka Appam

Chakka appam is my all time favourite.  My options for getting ripe jack fruit is so limited but every year my father will arrange one or two jack fruits on my occasionsal visits to my home.  We had a vazhana plant in our yard.  Last time we had collected some leaves of vazhana to make chakka appam.  It was very tasty.  Aroma when we cook this in vazhana ela is unbeatable.  I am very proud to post this authentic cuisine of Kerala.
We have enough time to make this item.  Firstly we have to separate chakka chulas and then clean it removing chakka kuru.  I had cooked it in pressure cooker with some water.  Then we have to add jaggery and roasted rice powder to this cooked jack fruit.  Mix it well and then add small pieces of coconut roasted in ghee.  Last ingredient is powdered cardamom.  Then clean the vazhana leaves and put the mixture according to the size of leaves.  Cook it in steam.  Its a nice palaharam. 

Mambazha Pulissery-Ripe mango with curd

A traditional dish of Kerala.  Its a must dish during 'Vishu sadya'.  Main ingredients are nadan mampazham and curd.    I had got this mampazham from my neighbour.  Its an easy dish to prepare and a nice accompaniment for rice.  
Firstly we have to cook the mampazham.  We can slice it sideways and cook it without discarding the seeds.  Add sufficient amount of water to immerse these mangoes.  Add sufficient amount of salt,  chilli powder and turmeric powder.  Allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes.  In that time we have to make coconut paste.  Grind scraped coconut with jeerakam.  It must be a fine paste.  Then we have to take the curd.  Beat it in the mixie for uniformity.  After thorough cooking of the mangoes we have to add the coconut paste.  When the mixture boils add the beaten curd and do not allow the mixture to boil.  We can put off the stove after some time when the bubbles come from sides of the vessel.  
For garnishing pour some oil in kadai.  Add mustard seeds followed by 'Uluva',  vattal mulaku and Kariveppila.  After thourough spluttering add this to the curry.    

Matha poo thoran -Pumpkin flower stir fry

Mathapoo and thalir (tender leaves) thoran is an ethnic dish of Kerala.  This pumpkin flowers are from my yard itself.  For this we have to collect the flowers and tender leaves of pumpkin.  Wash well and cut to very small pieces. 
Add one teaspoonful of coconut oil to the kadai.  Add some mustard seeds.  After that we can add the chopped leaves and flowers to it.  Add turmeric powder,  chilli powder and salt according to your taste.  Stir well and allow it to cook in low flame.
Mix some Jeeraka and one or two pieces of garlic with scraped coconut.  Add it to the leafy mix.  Allow 10 more minutes in low flame.  Its a nutritious side dish with rice. 
This is a nadan curry with extra nutrients.  I was very curious to make it because its from my yard and its without any pesticides.  Its a great pleasure to pick something from the yard to cook.  Our ancestors have the chances to do that.  We have also options but we have to prepare our mind to spend sometime among the greens. 
Last day we had participated in a marriage at Thalayolaparambu.  The bride is my husband's cousin.  We had a great gathering with maternal family of my husband.  One of his cousin's husband is a herbal consultant and he has a great passion for nature.  I had seen her over loaded bag and asked about the reason.  She had told me that at the bride's home they had noticed a 'Marotti'  tree.  They had collected all the fruits fallen below the tree.  They had no marotti plant in their compound.  They need some because its a rare tree in these days.  I was really wondered to see this.  They have a great passion for the nature.