A No-Title Post

Just wanted to say I’ve arrived at Kochi, alive and unscathed(almost).Thanks all of you who wrote in to wish me luck on the move.

One of the first things I did was to go to my fav library Eloor , at Convent Junction. Just standing there gave me a burst of happiness that I so badly needed. The next thing I did was to at the Talwalkar Gym neary(I do hope I lose more than just money *fingers crossed*).

I’ve also attended 2 weddings and have been invited to 3 others in the span of 7 days that I have been here- what do I say- Thats Kerala for you!!!!

Before I forget… Happy New Year all of you..May all your wishes come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spicy Dry Prawn Masala

A few years back we were dinning at a family friends place and while serving us the prawn curry, this person started to to describe a prawn curry he had eaten sometime earlier. He said they(the prawns) sat in the gravy like big curled millipedes!

What a horrid way to describe food!!

I was so repulsed by the image that I stayed off prawns for many years since.
Its only NOW with my recent weight gain and resultant appetite, where i’ll eat ANYTHING, that Ive started to eat them again!

I’m going to share with you a typical Kerala Dry Prawn preparation that my mom makes( hoping my little anecdote has none of you cringing at the sight of prawns!)


Small Onions 12
Red chillies 5
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Garlic 6 cloves
Curry leaves 10
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Grind the above with a little water.

Prawns 500 gms

Wash and clean the prawns and add some water,the ground spices and salt and cook in a deep bottomed vessel for 10 min or until cooked. Once slightly dry add some coconut oil( 2 tbsp) and curry leaves and let fry for a few more minutes.
There you have it …an easy peasy prawn dish..mallu ishtyle.

All Powder, No Gun

Gunpowder-(n) mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur in a 75:15:10 ratio which is used in gunnery, time fuses, and fireworks

Oh! don’t worry I’m not into making bombs now….
what i have today is of the South Indian kind and is almost as potent as its namesake. But fret not,it is easily enjoyed even by the spice -intolerant and you can play around with the quantity of the spice as well as other ingredients.

This accompaniment is a favorite at home. Although it’s a bit spicy, my son loves to have it with crisp dosas and it makes for such a quick breakfast too!

Also called idli podi, paruppu podi, dhal powder or ‘gun powder’, this crunchy spice mixture should be stored in an airtight jar. When required, a spoonful or two may be mixed with melted ghee/oil and used like a chutney.


1 cup Channa Dal
1 cup Urad Dal
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/4 cup rice
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp hing/asafoetida
Red chillies, whole, as per taste
and salt, of course…

Roast all these ingredients one by one..and powder. Mix well and store in an air tight container.


Kerala Breakfast in a Jiffy…

I'm Super Soft!

I'm Super Soft!

Rava Idli and Coconut chutney

This is a super easy breakfast to make. You need –

3 cups rava
1 ½ cups urad dal
Salt to taste

Wash and drain the rava. Keep aside.

Soak urad dal for an hour and grind well using just enough water to make it a fine paste. Mix with the rava, add required amount of salt and leave overnight. Voila! Perfectly soft and fluffy idlis guaranteed.

For the chutney you need,

1 coconut grated
1 medium sized onion, or 3 small onions
¼ cup thick curds
1 inch pc ginger
Few curry leaves (3 or 4 should be enough)
Salt to taste

For the tempering you will need

1 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
1 or 2 red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds

Grind the ingredients under chutney to a paste. Put in serving bowl. In a small saucepan, add the oil. When it is hot (Your palm should feel warm when held over the oil), throw in the mustard seeds. In a few seconds it will crackle. Add the red chillies and curry leaves and take off fire.
Add the tempering (tadka) to the chutney in the serving dish.

Kerala Appam With a Twist!

Nice and Crispy ain't it??

Nice and Crispy ain't it??

The word Appam conjures up so many pleasant memories for me.
Having spent most of my childhood in Kerala ,Appam was almost a regular breakfast fare.
Often known by its other name’s- paalappam, vellayappam or just plain and simple Appam, its preparation and execution is almost considered an art form in Kerala and even appam-virtuosos don’t always dish out perfect Appams.

If we had guests at home these delicious Appams would be accompanied by a Mutton Stew. On regular days we relished appams with Chutney or a Vegetable stew sometimes with coconut milk and sugar. Yumm…

These fermented rice pancakes have many varieties and i have here a very unique recipe. These Atta Appams are much easier than the original rice version and taste just as good. The recipe was given to me by a very good friend who is herself a very talented and accomplished cook. So here goes…


Atta( Whole Wheat Flour) 3 cups
Active dry Yeast 1/4 tsp
Warm Water 1/4 Cup
Coconut milk 1 Cup
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Salt to taste


Add the yeast to the lukewarm water (not hot) along with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Shake it a bit and keep in
a dark dry place until the yeast ferments, about 15 min. The water should appear frothy. If not discard and try again.
Add this to the Atta and combine with a little more water until it is a thick paste.
Do Not Dilute.
Keep this aside for around six hours.
Before preparation add the remaining sugar, coconut milk and salt.
It should be smooth and of slightly thin in consistency.
Heat the Appam-chatti/ pan and pour a ladle of the batter into the pan. Here is what an Appam pan looks like-

Appam Pan

Appam Pan

Holding both sides of the pan immediately swirl the pan so that the batter spreads to the sides of the pan and forms a circular shape. You can add some ghee, if desired. Close the lid and let cook for about 3-4 min. By then the edges should look crispy and the centre should be a bit thick but look cooked nonetheless. Enjoy these beauties anytime of the day.

Makes around 20 appams.

  • December 2021
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