Nenthram Pazham Payasam - Kerala style Nenthra Pazha Pradhaman

Nenthram Pazham Payasam - delicious dessert with nenthram (banana) pazham, jaggery and coconut milk. An easy make ahead payasam dish for special occasions and festivals.

This payasam is a popular dessert in Kerala. In Kerala and Nagercoil nenthram pazham is often used in desserts. I have already shared a quick halwa with nenthram pazham which can be easily cooked within 15 minutes. For best taste make sure to use extremely ripe bananas. Here also I used pagu vellam(brown jaggery) and fresh coconut milk for this payasam. If you are using canned coconut milk dilute the coconut milk with water as 1:1 ratio. When I first tasted this payasam in a restaurant I  thought it had chunks of bananas but it was just full of banana pulp with their tiny seeds in it. The bananas are cooked until soft and then grounded smoothly. Then the banana pulp is cooked in the jaggery syrup for 15 minutes on medium heat. After 15 minutes, we have to add the thin coconut milk. For additional flavours dry ginger …

Baby Corn Fry - Fried Baby Corn Recipe

Baby Corn Fry - baby corns are mixed with a seasoned flour and deep fried till golden. Baby corns have a hard texture that takes more time to cook when compared to paneer and mushrooms.

So I have precooked the baby corn pieces in a separate vessel for 5 minutes. Do not cook more than 5 minutes because it will absorb more oil. Then the cooked baby corn pieces are mixed with the flours. Here also I have used the besan flour, rice flour, corn flour and maida. The flours are seasoned enough with all the flavours to bring a restaurant taste for your kids. It starts with garlic paste, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, chat masala powder, pepper powder and lemon juice. Just mix all the ingredients to the baby corn along with the flours and required salt. Sprinkle a handful of water and mix them gently.

Here I will tell you some important tips for Crispy baby corn fry.

1. Adding corn flour and rice flour gives you a crispy texture without being oily. Do not add more quantity because it…

Neeragara Sadham - Neethanichoru - Rice cooked in fermented rice water

Neeragara Sadham is prepared with rice, neeragaram (neethani - fermented rice water) curry leaves and salt. Then the sadham is mixed with gingely oil, coconut curry leaves thuvaiyalalong with citron pickle. This is also a great dish for short picnics.

For this sadham you can use ponni rice, kurunai rice and also millets. Generally, this neeragara sadham is prepared in a pot. To save time, I use a small pressure cooker to cook the rice . You can a feel nice aroma in the kitchen when the curry leaves are cooked in the fermented rice water. I will tell you briefly how to prepare the fermented rice water. Take 1 cup of rice in a vessel and rinse it well for 2 to 3 times and drain the water. For 1 cup of rice boil 6 cups of water in a wide vessel. When the water boils well add the rice, reduce the heat and cook the rice for 20 to 25 minutes, while keeping the vessel uncovered. When the rice has cooked well drain the water in another vessel using a slotted plate or a colander. We call this…

Tomato Jam - Nagercoil Thakkali Jam

Tomato Jam - prepared with tomato, sugar, ghee and cashew nuts. Just four ingredients are required to prepare this jam. This tomato  jam is a popular sweet in Nagercoil marriages. This sweet and tangy jam can be prepared easily within 20 minutes.

Before preparing this jam I am not sure that how tomato would be suitable for dessert, because its texture is not smooth like other vegetables. But after preparing the jam I came to know that tomatoes absorb the sugar beautifully and tastes so good. To prepare this jam you have to cook the tomatoes until soft. Once the tomatoes have cooked, simply remove the skins and grind it to a smooth paste. To get a smoother jam I have drained the tomato puree after grinding it, but you can leave this step. Then the tomato puree is mixed along with the required sugar and cooked on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. As I told you before in the beetroot jam, using a heavy bottomed kadai  will keep the jam from burning in the bottom.

Avarakkai Poriyal - Broad Beans Stir Fry

Avarakkai poriyal is a quick side dish for your lunch. This poriyal recipe is also prepared with the coconut cumin masala and cooked toor dal as we do for beans carrot poriyal and keerai poriyal dishes.

The chopped avarakkais are cooked in a separate vessel and then mixed with the toor dal and coconut mixture. Finally, they are tossed in a pan for a few minutes. This goes well with sambar, rasam, lemon rice and puli illa kuzhambu. Cooking the vegetables in a separate vessel is the secret to get a colourful look in the dish. If you do not prefer you can add it after tempering and sprinkle a handful of water and cook for a few minutes. For these poriyal dishes, a handful of cooked toor dal enhances the taste, so do not skip it. The coconut cumin masala also gives the poriyal a delicious flavour.

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Plantain (Raw Banana) Chips - Vazhaikkai Chips

Vazhaikkai chips - crispy and easy side dish for lunch. It goes well with lemon rice, tomato rice,coconut rice, sodhi and curd rice too. This vazhaikkai chips is a nice alternative to store bought chips as there is  no artificial flavours or colours.

For the plantain chips you will need fresh plantains without, dull skin or black spots. First, you have to peel the skin and slice it thinly using a bajji slicer. Slice them thinly in uniform size so that you can get even crispness in the chips. As you all know the plantain will quickly turn black after cutting so do not slice all the plantains before frying. When you started frying one batch, slice the next set of slices. This will give you a perfect colour to the chips. When deep frying these chips, it is best to cook on low heat and watch them carefully because it will quickly turn brown. For any types of chips do not overcrowd your pan. Finally season the chips with black pepper powder and salt. You can also replace black pepper powd…

Garlic Karasev - Poondu Karasev

Garlic Karasev - crispy and spicy snack prepared with besan flour and rice flour.  Sattur Garlic karasev is a favourite snack for my grandpa, husband and also for my son as a side dish for curd rice. Whenever we visit Tirunelveli by driving my husband quickly make a short visit to Sattur to buy Garlic karasev and karupatti mittai from the Shanmuga Nadar sweet shop.

The Sattur garlic karasev is prepared with besan flour, rice flour, coarsely powdered red chilly, garlic paste, and a few spices to flavour it. There the karasevs are prepared using the big slotted ladle. The cumin, and garlic add a nice flavour to the karasev. I have tasted so many karasevs but these Sattur karasevs are so tasty. In many of the karasevs they add fried gram flour along with the besan flour which gives you a soft texture but it won't taste good after two days. But this Sattur karasevs have a hard, crisp texture which will be good for a month. I have used the regular murukku press to prepare the karasevs…

Foxtail Millet Pongal - Thinai Arisi Ven Pongal

Thinai arisi pongal - easy millet breakfast dish made with foxtail millet, moong dal flavoured with cumin, pepper and ginger in ghee. It's healthy and filling breakfast. It's also a wonderful breakfast for your weekend.

While the recipe for making thinai arisi pongal is the basic ven pongal recipe with a few techniques I have found after experimenting with it so many times. Because each millets have a unique texture and taste and we have to cook correctly to get perfect results. If you are new to the millets, then this ven pongal is a good recipe to start. In general, thinai arisi takes more time to cook when compared to other millets. The ideal water ratio for this ven pongal  is 4 cups of water for 1 cup of foxtail millet. If the dals and millets are soaked together for 15 minutes, you can get a creamy soft pongal. The perfectly cooked millets must be easy to fluff. I didn't like cooking the millets in a mushy texture because it won't taste and look good. The additi…

Palak Paneer - Side dish for roti, nann, poori and jeera rice

Palak Paneer - delicious gravy made with paneer, palak leaves, onions, tomatoes and fresh cream. This gravy does not take a lot of effort to prepare, it simply requires two steps like sauteing and grinding the greens. During my college days I saw this recipe in a cookbook by Chef. Mallika Badrinath madam, which was so easy to make with simple steps.

Usually I follow this method for this gravy. Palak leaves tend to cook easily, so we have to keep an eye on it when sauteing the leaves. For this gravy no need to blanch the leaves  because it takes more time and I also noticed a raw smell of the leaves in the gravy. In this recipe, the leaves are sauted in a drop of oil along with green chillies for 3 minutes. After that grind it along with the sauted onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. To flavour the gravy I have added garamasala powder in minimal amount, but if you want you can add as you like. In the final stage 1/4 cup of grated panner is added to enhance the taste. Fresh cream is a…

Vazhaipoo Vadai - Banana Blossom Vadai

Vazhaipoo vadai is a  popular evening snack in Tamil Nadu. They are made with ground chana dal, chopped vazhaipoo, onions, curry leaves and asafoetida. These vadas are packed with fiber from vazhaipoo and protein from chana dal. You won't feel hungry for a few hours after eating these vadas.

This vazhaipoo vadai is very easy to make but you have to follow the steps carefully to get the authentic taste.
The first step is to soak the chana dal in a plenty of water for 3 to 4 hours. After 3 hours, drain the water completely using a colander.  Take a big mixer jar and grind the fennel seeds, green chillies and red chillies and then add the drained chana dal to it. Grind the chana dal mixture coarsely without any water and transfer it to the mixing bowl. If it is difficult to grind it without water, just sprinkle a few drops of water and grind it.Do not add more water because it will not hold up and will separate in the oil while frying. For best results grind the chana dal mixture wit…