Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken in fried and ground coconut gravy (Kozhi varutharachathu)

The taste of Kerala.... that best describes this particular preparation....

It had been a while since I had prepared chicken this way. This is also a great way to prepare any red meat, crabs, prawns, peas or even mushroom....

During my grandma's days, the coconut paste was ground on the stone and all the spices were added whole. But now, this recipe is the shortcut version, maybe not as spectacular, but can come really close...

Most households in Kerala would have their own version of this recipe, and this is mine...

Grated coconut - 1 cup
Shallots/ cheriya ulli - 5 to 6 nos.
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Cumin/ small jeera - 1/4 tsp
Saunf/ perum jeerakom - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp

Dry roast the grated coconut till it is lightly brown, keep stirring continuously, making sure it does not burn. Add the shallots and the pepper corns, both the jeeras and garlic, fry till golden. Add the coriander powder and the chilli powder at last as the stove is being switched off. Otherwise there will be a fierce bout of sneezing and watering eyes...

Let this cool and then grind well, adding about 1/2 glass of water. Keep aside.

Now, the curry

Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned and cut into small pieces)
Whole spices - 3 each of cloves, cardamom,1 inch cinnamon
Onion - 2 nos (sliced fine)
Green chillies - 3 (slit)
Ginger - 1 inch piece (sliced thin)
Curry leaves - 2 stalks (separate leaves)
Tomato - 2 (sliced thin)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp

Heat oil in a kadai, preferably coconut oil to make the taste as authentic 'Kerala' as possible. when hot, add the whole spices, then the onions, green chillies and ginger and saute till onions are golden brown.

Now add half of the curry leaves and the turmeric powder. Add the tomatoes and saute till the oil comes on top and the tomatoes disintegrate.

Add the prepared coconut paste. Add water according to how loose or thick you want the gravy. Add the salt now.

When the gravy is near boil, add the chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Now adjust the flame to medium or low for about 30 minutes or till the chicken is fully cooked.

Add the garam masala powder, 1 tsp of oil, and the remaining curry leaves.

A great combination with rice, chappatis, appam etc.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Broccoli, carrots and sausage pasta

This is what I made for our dinner yesterday. Simple, delicious and satisfactory.

Onion - 1 (sliced thin)
Carrot - sliced into slivers
Broccoli florets - sliced lengthwise - about 1 cup
Sausages - cut into bite sized pieces
pasta - 2 cups (cooked according to package instructions)

(These are the basic things that went into the dish. You may change or add veggies and meat according to your will. Also needed are some crushed black pepper, olive oil, butter,oregano,salt and a bit of soy/oyster sauce.... again, quantity of all these can be according to your liking...)

I made a thin white sauce with

Flour - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1/2 tsp
olive oil - a little
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cups
Cheese - 1/4 cup grated
Lightly saute the flour in the butter and olive oil (never let it turn brown, add the milk little by little so as to smooth out any lumps, take off fire, stir all the time and add the cheese .

Blanch broccoli and carrots in salted water, drain and keep aside. In a hot pan , add some olive oil and butter and saute the onions. Now add the sausages and fry.Add the broccoli and carrots and saute well. Add crushed pepper, salt and sauces. Toss in the pasta.

You can either mix the white sauce with the pasta or pour it on individual servings according to choice. Dive in before it goes cold.

Am entering this one for Foodie Friday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knitted head band, crocheted flower

This is the headband I crocheted this weekend, simple and very basic garter stitch. I crocheted the ends close. My little one was more interested in the pink yarn I had, so I crocheted a flower and decorated the band with it...

Both of us were pleased with it :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Dad turned 60..!!!

My parents in Doha - 2009

Doha - 1987. With our sister Sunitha

Dukhan 1981 - near the tennis courts. My brother Sunil and I

It was a busy week for my family, in different parts of the world.

While my own contributions were not that big, here in Gurgaon, I completed knitting the scarf I had been working on, knitted a head band for my daughter and crocheted a 'pink' flower for decorating it.

My sister and husband travelled from Pune to attend the very special Sankranthi function for newly-weds at her in-law's place in Aurangabad.

Meanwhile in Doha, my brother,his wife , and our mom were busy arranging a party for our dad on Jan 16th, for his 60th birthday. They had called about 40 to 50 people and cooked themselves. It is old hat for my mom who used to cook by herself for all of our birthdays, and wedding anniversaries...!!

They made mutton curry, fish curry, fried rice , chicken fry, channa masala, Vegetable korma, raita, pickles, pappads .They ordered some romali rotis from an Indian restaurant.All four of them pitched in to do the cooking, including my dad. Amma is a great cook and my dad and brother are both accomplished cooks too, but only cook when the mood strikes them, which is not often. My brother's wife is a superb cook too. Mom told me that there were no leftovers... a sure sign that ' too many cooks' did not spoil the party...!!!

A bit sad we missed the fun, but I guess I am used to missing special events in the lives of my loved ones by now... wishing a very happy and long life to a very special dad and one of the most genuine people I know....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It is cold here and schools have been closed for awhile for my daughter ... she hates wearing layers of clothes and insists that I keep her on my lap at all times..

So all I am doing is knit a scarf . A painting has been abandoned half -way, and all my kitchen yields are fast, oft made, comfort food.. not much scope for new posts right now.... I am searching for new recipes to try out ...

Meanwhile, I thought I'd share a couple of pix of my daughter as one of the three wise men for the Christmas play at school. She liked the outfit I put together, but she was'nt too happy when I informed her that I had to draw her a mustache ... she informed me that she is a princess, and not a boy.

She was also a bit worried the mustache wouldn't come off. I convinced her by first drawing one on her dad and wiping it off.....!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

YOU've been Tagged...

Duni has seen it fit to Tag me...Please visit her blog . Her bags and purses are really cute.

I wonder if this is an overload of personal information ...!! Anyway, it was a fun thing to do.

1. Your hair - straight, nearly black, hip length.

2. Your favourite food - I have many favourites from different cuisines.

3.Your favourite drink - coffee, black.

4. Your dream/goal - my own art and craft store.

5. Your hobby (ies) - reading, painting, cooking, playing pc games etc etc...

6. Your fear - dogs, most of all...

7. Where were you last night? - At home.

8. Something you say all the time? -
'Who did this ?' my little one :)

9. Something that you're not - a snob

10. Wishlist item - My dream home in Kerala, and being able to stay there.

11. Last thing you did?Got milk for my daughter

12. What are you wearing? A blue and mustard Salwar kameez and a sweater over it.

13. Your pets? - none

14. Friends? ....Everywhere. Far away geographically, yet close.

15. Missing someone? - Family , friends- they're too far away

16. Something you're not wearing? - Makeup

17. Your favourite store? - Landmark (I love to browse the books and spend hours there..)

18. Your favourite colour? burnt orange, grey, black, white, yellow that order

19. The last time you cried? Few months back....

20. The last time you laughed? Yesterday... was watching my daughter play with her little friends...

21. One place that I go to over and over - shops... :)

22. Where do you eat? At home during week days and we eat out at least once, each weekend. r it.

I am not tagging anyone specifically, but all of you who has read this post ,Please do feel free to do this tag . Just leave me a link so that I can read your posts.

Hope some of you will try this :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chewy, no bake, chocolate chip, peanut butter and oatmeal cookies.

I had bought some semi-sweet chocolate chips a while back and wanted to make cookies with them. As I was searching for recipes, I came across these no-bake cookies ... No-bake, with all the ingredients I had at hand.. !!!what more could I ask for? Also the other baked recipes would yield dozens and I wanted a small amount to start with....

Another great advantage is that it takes only one thick bottom vessel for the entire preparation... I haven't changed much in the recipe, but it was also not possible to give credit to just one source, since numerous sites have already posted the same recipe...

So this may not be new to atleast some of you...

Sugar - 2 cups (I used granulated since I saw it written in some versions)
Milk - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup / 1 stick (I used a 100 gm stick of Amul butter, this is salted)
Peanut butter - 3 tbsp( approx) - I used the crunchy version (optional)
Semi sweet Chocolate chips - 1 cup
Oats - 3 cups (I used quick cooking Quaker Oats)
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp (I used Vanilla essence so added only 1/2 tsp)

Combine the milk, sugar and butter, in a vessel, heat and then bring to a rolling boil. Let it boil for a couple of minutes so that the mixture turns smooth and all the sugar and butter is melted well.

Switch off the heat.

Now add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix well. Then add the chocolate chips.

Finally, add the oats.

On a tray, spread butter paper and drop spoonfuls of the cookie mix on it. Flatten them slightly into cookie shapes if you wish. Let cool.

Chewy cookies are ready to eat. It took me about 20 minutes start to finish, even with my daughter's 'help'..... !!!

Note :
Some recipes called for unsalted butter and a half tsp of salt.. so that is a change I made. Also the peanut butter is optional in a few versions of the recipe.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My first award in 2010- Kreative Blogger Award feels grand to receive an award on the first day of the New Year ...!!!! Many thanks to Sandy for thinking of me. She has a lot of interests like travelling, knitting, wines etc.. do visit her blogs.

Rules for accepting this award are as follows ....

1) thank the person giving the award
2)Copy award to your blog
3)Place a link to their blog
4)Name 7 things people don't know about you...
5)Nominate 7 bloggers
6)Place a link to those bloggers
7) Leave a comment on the blog letting them know about the awards.

after blogging so much I wonder if there is anything much left that people do not know about me....!! anyway, here goes...

1. When I get flustered or anxious, I can only speak in English....I forget my mother tongue!!!!

2. I love mysteries and like to play online games in that genre.

3. I love I read sanskrit verses and try to figure out the meaning myself. When I finally read the translation, I find that I have managed to get atleast 70% of it correct ...

4. I sometime spend hours learning new crafts online. Got back into crochet and knitting that way.

5. Am a bad housekeeper ... I will stare at a spider web and admire it's shape for days before I realise I ought to actually clean it ...!!!

6. I give a wide berth to people who are competitive (number of cars, children's schools, husband's salary..blah..blah...)... they never have peace of mind, and talking to them spoils mine.

7. I used to dream a lot as a kid favourite is inheriting an old bookshop with thousands of books....;)

that maybe a little more info than anyone asked for :)

so now it is my turn to nominate 7 more bloggers.......hope you are ready.....

1. Kala

Please check out these fabulous blogs...and enjoy...

Friday, January 1, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR ............!!!

A great big thanks to all my blogging friend for your kind comments...

2009 had been an eventful year..with both my brother and sister finding their partners.

It was also an year of reconnecting with a lot of friends and relatives and making a lot of fabulous new friends...

A few plans going awry, many of them coming to fruition......lots of scope for improvement and........... overall, can't complain ...!!!


Resolutions anyone?

The Image was taken from the internet