Sweet Vattayappam


5 eggs
1 1/4 cups thick coconut milk
8 oz jaggery or use sugar if you want the final product in white colour
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup chopped cashews


Beat the eggs well. Grate the jaggery(sugar- just add the sugar to the egg) and mix with the egg batter. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Pour the mix into a greased bowl. Cover with oil paper & steam for an hour. Let it cool in the container before serving.

Sprinkle some chopped cashews for added taste and decoration.


Pina Colada


7 oz Pineapple Juice
2 oz Coconut Cream
1 cup Crushed Ice


Add the pineapple juice, coconut cream and crushed ice to a blender; blend at high speed. Pour into a glass. Garnish with a cherry, a pineapple wedge, and serve.

Note:- This is for 1 serving. If you want to serve this more people multiply each ingredients with number of people you are serving.

Banana/Strawberry Milkshake


1 c Frozen whole strawberries
1 Ripe banana
1 c Milk (skim and low fat work Fine)
4 pk Sugar substitute (or more to Taste)
1/2 ts Vanilla


Place all ingredients in a blender and run the blender on the highest
setting. The shake will take longer in the blender than most people
will expect because of the frozen strawberries. However, the frozen
berries along with the banana provide the smooth thickness of this
drink.The quantities of each ingredient are very flexible, experiment until you
find your favorite.

Masala Chaya/Aromatic Tea/Tea with 5 spices


2 cups Water
3 - 4 tsp Tea leaves
1 chunk dried Ginger
3 - 4 crushed Cardamom pods
3 whole Cloves
1 piece Cinnamon
1 - 2 whole Black Peppers
Sugar- to taste
1 cup Milk


Bring two cups of water to the boil. Add all the ingredients (except milk and sugar) and boil again for about 15 seconds. Let stand for one minute.

Warm milk in a pot(or microwave;). Filter the above tea into cups. Add milk and sugar and serve.

Ethakkaya Appam/Pazham Pori

2 Bananas
1/2 cup Refined flour
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder
Water (to mix the flour)

Make a thick batter by mixing together the flour and cardamom powder with a little water.
Cut the banana into long thin slices.Dip the banana slices in the batter and deep fry in hot oil til they are golden brown in colour. Place on a tissue paper before serving to get rid of excess oil.

ChakkaKuru/Jackfruit Seed Thoran

1 lb Jackfruit seeds
1 cup Grated coconut
4 Green chillies
4 teaspoons Coconut oil
1/2 cup Sliced Shallots
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
1 teaspoon Curry leaves
Salt (As per taste)


Cut each seed into four pieces(if its whole seed). Grind the coconut and the green chillies to a fine paste. Mix the seeds, the ground paste, salt and enough water and cook till the seeds are tender and dry.

Heat oil and saute the sliced shallots and mustard seeds for a few minutes. Add the cooked seeds, mix the contents thoroughly and cook for another few minutes. Remove it from fire and transfer the contents to a serving dish. Garnish it with roasted curry leaves.


Wheat Halwa


1 lb maida
17 OZ sugar
2 coconuts, ground coarsely, extract thick and thin milk about one and a half litres
1 stick unsalted butter
chopped nuts can be added as desired
Pinch of salt


Soak flour overnight. In the morning gently strain the water out. Blend the drained flour along with the sugar and coconut milk and stir it well. Keep on low fire and keep stirring till it thickens. Add the butter and when the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, pour it into a greased stainless steel flat dish. Decorate with chopped nuts

Thali peeth

This is a North Indian Dish.


1 cup jwari/Milo-in English/Cholam-in malayalam Flour
1/2 cup Gram-Flour(besan)
1 Onion chopped finely
1/2 cup Coriander leaves
3 Green Chillies
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil


Mix all the above ingredients properly and knead dough. Make small balls of the dough(as in chapati).

Take a damp cloth and put on the wooden/plastic/any platform. Take one ball at a time and spread it with palm hitting slowly in round shape of about 2-3 inch in radius.

Now make about 5 holes in the flattened dough, widely spread. Heat the tava(griddle)at medium flame.

Put the flattened dough on the tava upside down(upper portion down). Pour little oil through the holes. Turn it upside down when cooked.

When both sides are cooked, serve it hot with ghee or white butter or curd/yoghurt or pickle.


1 cup Raw rice
1 tbsp Thoor dhal
1 tbsp urad dhal
1 tbsp Bengal gram
tbsp dhal 1
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp methi seeds
salt to taste
1/4 cup coconut, grated, optional
buttermilk (optional)
oil 1 cup


Mix rice and all dhals, in a large vessel. Soak in a lot of water for about 2 hours. Grind the soaked mixture coarsely with salt, without adding much water.

Ferment the mixture for about 3 - 4 hours.
Add spluttered mustard and grated coconut and mix to a smooth dough and add buttermilk and mix well.

In a non-stick tawa spread the above batter evenly with little oil and turn to
the other side.

Goes well with pickles or chutneys.


Poha/Aval Payasam


1 litre Milk
1 tsp Ghee
1/4cup Aval or Poha (Pressed rice flakes)
1 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
Handful of roasted cashew nuts
Handful of raisins


Roast aval in ghee for couple of min. Be careful not to brown it.

Boil milk in a pan. Add the aval into the boiling milk. Stir constantly until the quantity reduces to half. Add sugar and the powdered cardamom into the consistency and stir well. Add the cashew nuts and the raisins. Serve hot.

Koottu Curry


1 cup Pieces of beans
3/4 cup Pieces of potatoes
3/4 cup Pieces of carrots
1/2 cup Peas
1 cup Pieces of cauliflower
3 dsp Ghee or oil
2 dsp Minced ginger
3/4 cup Onion pieces
6 Green chillies
1 cup Grated coconut
2 dsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Turmeric powder
2 dsp Coriander leaves
1 Lime


Take 4 cups of different kinds of vegetables according to convenience, pour 11/2 cups of water and cook. When the potato pieces are cooked, remove from fire with some liquid.
Heat the oil and saute the onions, ginger and split green chillies till soft. Add the ground coconut, turmeric and the coriander leaves, stir for 3 minutes and then put the cooked vegetables. Add salt and lime to taste and let the curry simmer till the gravy is thick.

Coconut Chutney


2 cups Grated Coconut
5 nos Small onion
one small piece Ginger
5 nos Curry leaf
one small piece Tamarind
4 Green Chillies
Salt to taste


Grind the above ingredients with some water . Season it with mustard seeds, one or two dry chillies and curry leaves. If chutney is ground with little water into the thick paste it can be used without seasoning also.

Uzhunnu Vada


3 cups White gram dal
6 Chopped green chillies
1 tsp Chopped ginger
chopped 2 tbs Coriander leaves
1/4tsp Black pepper (optional)
Oil to fry
Salt to taste


Wash the dal and grind the dal with some water. Add salt, chopped green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and pepper. Shape into flat round balls with a small hole in the middle and deep fry in hot oil. The flour should be thick paste and while making into shape one can dip the hand in water in order to get the proper shape. You can have it along with sambar, curd (should be seasoned) or chutney.

Kadala Curry


2 cups Kadala
1/4 tsp Mustard
1 Onion
a small piece (1 inch length) Ginger
6 cloves Garlic
1tsp Chillie Powder
3 tbs Coriander powder
a pinch Turmeric powder
1 Tomato chopped
2 sprigs Curry leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cups small pieces of coconut
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp garam masala powder


Cook the kadala with salt and keep it aside. In a pan season the mustard and satue onions, ginger, garlic, chillie powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. (optional small pieces of coconut can be added). Add the cooked kadala,pieces of coconut, coconut milk and garam masala to it and heat it for couple of min.

Puttu/Steam Cake


1 cups Rice flour
1/2 cup Grated coconut
1/4 cup water (add more or less accordingly)
Salt to taste


Mix the salt in water add the water little by little to the flour and mix it. The mixing should be proper so that the flour should not turn into dough form, it should be in the powdered form but wet enough for steaming. Add the grated coconut to it and cook it in the steam for about 5 to 8 minutes in the special puttu maker.



2 cups Wheat flour
1 tsp yogurt
Salt to taste


Mix the flour with warm water and salt and yogurt and make a dough. Then make small balls with the dough and roll it into thin flat rounds. Deep fry in oil till it puffs up.

Carrot Halwa


4 cups Grated Carrot
2tbs Ghee
3 cups Milk
1 cups Sugar
6-8 nos each Almonds and cashew nuts
Saffron or cardamom powder for flavouring


Saute the grated carrots in ghee. Add milk and cook till very soft. Add sugar, simmer for a while, till sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens. Add saffron or cardamom powder. Garnish with flaked almonds and cashew nuts. Serve hot or cold as desired

Mini Buns


• 1 Tbsp. yeast
• 1.5 cups warm water (use more or less accordingly)
• 1 eggs
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 Tbsp. salt
• 3-4 cups flour or more, if needed

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add eggs, oil, sugar, and salt. Stir in 2 cups of the flour until moistened. Beat for 3 minutes. Add remainder of flour and mix by hand until dough comes away from sides of bowl. (Dough will be soft and sticky.) Cover. Let rise in warm place about 15 min. Punch down and let rise again for 15 more min. Oil hands before forming dough into buns.Form buns about the size of a grape tomato. Let rise for 1 hr. Bake in 375 degree oven for 25 - 30 min.

Curd Rice


2 cups cooked rice
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split black beans( optional)
2 green chilies cut into small pieces.
2 tbs chopped coriander leaves
5 curry leaves( optional)
a pinch of asafetida
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbs oil
salt to taste

Cool the cooked rice till it comes down to the room temperature.
Whisk the yogurt and fold it in the rice. Add salt and sugar.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and let it splutter.
Add split black beans, curry leaves( if using), cumin seeds, green chilies and asafetida. Fry for about half a minute and remove from fire.
Cool and pour on the rice and yogurt mixture.
Refrigerate till the time of serving. Serve garnished with coriander leaves. Eat it with any pickle and fried Pappadams.

Coconut Rice


2oz ghee/butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick
4 cardamon seeds, bruised
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup basmati rice
13.5 FL OZ/400ml can coconut cream
1/2 cup water
salt as per taste.

Melt ghee/butter in large frying pan, add onions, fry over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until onions are soft.
Stir in seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and turmeric, stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in rice, stir over heat a further minute.
Stir in coconut cream and water, bring to boil. Cook on a medium flame till its done(10-15 min)

Tempura Fried Vegetables


1 cup sifted flour
1 egg yolk
1 cup ice water
Oil for deep frying
1 cup flour
Soy sauce for dipping

Use assortment of fresh vegetables,choose several or try them all:


Green beans - ends trimmed leave whole

Carrots - sliced diagonally about 1/4" thick

Sweet potato - peeled, sliced diagonally about 1/4" thick

Zucchini - sliced about 1/4" thick

White button mushrooms caps - halve if caps are large

Onion - sliced in half lengthwise then slice 1/4" thick (run a toothpick through the layers to hold half rings together)

Bell Pepper - sliced about 1/4" thick


Prepare vegetables and thoroughly dry with paper towel.

Heat oil in a thick pot.In a mixing bowl, lightly beat egg yolk and pour in ice water, slightly mix. Add the flour all at once, stroke a few times with a fork, just till ingredients are loosely combined. The batter should be lumpy not smooth. If you over-mix until smooth the coating will become heavy and turn out oily.

Place 1 cup of flour on a plate, dip vegetables in the flour, shake off excess. Then dip in batter and lay in the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown and place on a plate with paper towels to allow excess oil to drain off. Skim the surface of the oil occasionally to keep it clean. After frying vegetables serve with soy sauce for dipping.




2 cups Rava/sooji
1 tsp Ginger,minced or grated
10 to 15 nos Curry leaves
2 Green chilies,minced
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 medium Onion,chopped
1 tsp Ghee
2 tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste
2 cups Water(add more or less accordingly)


Heat pan. Add ghee. Fry rava in ghee on medium heat until it turns light brown. Remove rava from pan and set aside.

Return pan to stove. Add oil. When oil is warm, add mustard seeds. After the seeds pop, add onions, green chilies, and curry leaves. Saute on medium heat for about one minute. Add ginger . Saute for another minute. Add water, and salt.

When the liquid begins to boil, gently pour rava into it while stirring frequently to avoid lumps. Mix rava well until all the liquid has been absorbed. Cook on low heat for another minute. Remove from heat and serve.

Parippu Payasam


1 cup Green gram
1 cup Jaggery/sharkara
5 nos Cardamom
15- 20 nos Cashew
15 - 20 Raisins
1 cup Coconut Milk/Cow's milk
2 cups Water
2 tsp Ghee


Cook the green gram in water. When it becomes soft, add jaggery to it. Stir untill the jaggery is dissolved. Fry cashew, raisins in ghee and add to the mixture. Stir it for 2 minutes. Remove from the flame and add milk. Mix well. Add crushed cardamom and mix well.

Note :- to make it special soak the green dal in water for 30 min, then fry the gram in some ghee for couple of minutes. Then follow rest of the steps. It really makes the difference.

Chemeen/shrimp Pickle.


1 pound cleaned shrimps.
10 nos Medium sized Green Chillies,cut into small rounds
2 cups Vinegar
2 tsp Chilli powder
1 inch cube of Ginger,julienned (slice into thin strips)
Oil for frying
6-8 cloves of Garlic,chopped
Salt-to taste
10-15 nos Curry leaves


Cook shrimps in minimum water mixed with three tsps of vinegar and salt, remove all the remaining water and keep aside. Heat oil, saute ginger,garlic,green chillies and curry leaves. Add salt and chilly powder. Add remaining vinegar in a low flame. Stir in the cooked shrimps and cook in a low flame for 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a bottle when its cooled.Make sure there is enough vinegar to cover the shrimps.

Chicken Manchurian


1 pound boneless chicken,1/2 inch cubes
8 whole garlic,finely chopped
1 small onion,finely chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon tomato ketchup
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
8 each green chile,finely chopped
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 bell pepper,cut into same size as the chicken.
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt as per taste

Rub salt and marinate chicken for an 30 -45 min.
Make a batter of all-purpose and cornstarch and soak the chicken pieces into it. Then deep fry the chicken pieces and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add garlic, onion and green chillies and fry till crispy and brown. Now add chilli pwd, salt to taste. To this add the bell peper and satue for coupe of min and then add deep fried chicken pieces, tomato ketchup and soya sauce. Fry at high flame (may be for 7-8 mins) till the chicken becomes soft and absorbs ketchup and sauce. Add water while stirring if necessary.

Homemade Pizza Dough.

For One Crust:
1 package active dry yeast( Check the exp. date on your yeast package, it wont be activated its near its exp. date)
1/2 cup warm water (110 F)
1 1/4 cups flour -- (1 1/4 to 1 1/2,dont pour all the water atonce.)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar


Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in half of flour, oil, salt and sugar. Stir in enough of remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Add in other seasonings as desired. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 20 minutes. Punch down dough.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 48 hours. (Punch down dough as needed). Top with your favorite toppings.

Easy Aadu/Mutton Biriyani


1 lb cleaned chopped mutton
1 cup rice
2 cup water
2 sliced onions
3 sliced tomatoes
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
a pinch of turmeric
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ghee
salt as per taste
2 tsp Oil


Marinate mutton with turmeric,chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala , salt in oil for about 1 hours.Longer the marination better the taste. Heat oil and ghee in a cooker.

Add onion and ginger garlic to it. Fry till the onion turn golden brown.Add tomato .Let it cook for about five minutes in low flame.

Then add the marinated mutton to it.Cook for about 20 minutes. Then add rice and water.Let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Now its ready to be served.

ChemmaChakka/Breadfruit curry

1 lb. chemmachakka cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/4tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. garam masala
3 oz. coconut milk (optional)
1/3 onion, cut into small pieces
2 green chile (optional), cut long
2 tsp oil,
salt as per taste ,
1 tsp mustard seeds
8-12 Curry leaves.


Heat oil, fry mustard seeds, add onion, green chile & curry leaves, stir until it turns light brown.

Then add salt, all the powders and masala, stir until it turns brown, then add coconut milk and veg., stir well, cover it and cook until well cooked. (If you are not adding coconut milk, add a cup of water instead).

It is ready to serve! (It can be made in another way by roasting greated coconut and all the spices, and blending them very nicely). Then this becomes ChemmaChakka/Breadfruit Varutharacha curry, enjoy.

Ladyfingers in thick yogurt sauce.


1 lb ladyfingers
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. urad dal
3/4 cup curds beaten
1/4 tsp. crushed red chilli
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1 onion finely chopped
1 stalk curry leaves
3 tbsp. shredded coconut
1/2 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger grated
1 tbsp. cashews broken
5 whole red chillies
salt to taste
1 tbsp. wheat or any flour
2 tbsp. oil


Wash, drain and cut tips and bases of ladyfingers. Make a vertical slit in each. Chop to 1" pieces.

Grind coconut and cashews to a coarse paste.

Heat oil in a heavy pan, fry ladyfingers till crisp. Drain and keep aside.

6.Add mustard and cummin seeds, dal, to hot oil, allow to splutter.Then add whole chillies, curry leaves, ginger, stir. Now add onions, fry till lightly browned and add crushed chilli, turmeric, salt, paste, saute till oil separates.

Mix curds and flour to a smooth paste, add 1 cup water and add to the sauteed mixture and stir continuously till it boils.

Simmer for 5 minutes, check taste for masala and salt.Add fried ladyfingers, boil for 2 minutes.

Garnish with coriander, serve hot with rice or chapatti's.

Spicy Tamarind Brinjals.


8-10 small brinjals
2 cups onions finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut fresh grated
1 tsp. garlic grated
1 tsp. ginger grated
1 stalk curry leaves
1 tbsp. coriander leaves finely chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tbsp. tamarind pulp
10 whole red chillies dry
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. mustard seeds
salt to taste
3 tbsp. oil

Remove stems of brinjals. Make 2 cross incisions at base of each and soak in salted water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast coconut on dry griddle, for 1 minute. To this add chillies, coriander, cumin, toast 1 minute more. Dry grind to a med. coarse powder.

Heat oil in earthen cooking pot or heavy pan. Add mustard seeds, allow to splutter.

Add ginger, garlic, curryleaves and Stir. Add onions, turmeric, saute till onions are tender. Add spice powder and saute till mixed well.

Add 2 cups water, salt, brinjals, and mix. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tamarind pulp. Cook till brinjals are tender. When most of the water will be absorbed and oil will separate. Garnish with coriander.

Serve hot with rice.


Shrimp Biriyani


Masala for marination of Shrimps:-
1 lb Prawns;
1 tspns - Chillie Powder.
½ tspns Turmeric Powder.
1 Tbspn Lime Juice.
Salt to Taste.

Shell, devein Prawns wash well & drain –
to the Prawns add the marinating Masala & leave to marinate for ½ an hr.
fry prawns lightly to a golden brown & keep aside.
Use the Same Oil for frying Onions & other masalas & for making the Biriyani.

Preparation of Rice
Basmati Rice- 2 cups;
Butter –3-4 Tbspns;
(Wash Rice, drain well, fry in Butter over low heat for 8-10 mins.
Till crisp – keep aside).

Other Ingredients:

1 lb Onions finely sliced –(take quarter of the sliced Onions &
keep aside for frying & garnishing).

4 large Tomatoes – (Each tomato chopped into 8-10 pcs.);
8 Green Chillies – slit lengthwise;
1/4 -1/2 Cup of Oil ;
1/4 Cup lime juice;
4 Cups Water - (Mix the lime juice with the water & keep aside);
Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch – finely chopped – keep aside 3-4 Tbspns

For Garnishing;

Whole Spices (Cinnamon – 2” pces – 3 nos;
Cloves-10 nos;
Cardamom’s 4 nos)
1 level Tbspn. Chilly pwd;
1/2 tspn Turmeric Pwd,
Ginger paste 1 Tbspn,
Garlic Paste 1 tbspn;
Green Chilies – 4 grind along with the Ginger & Garlic & keep;
Salt to Taste – (Be careful when putting the Salt remember you have
already used Salt for the prawns.


Heat Oil, fry the Onions till brown add the green chillies,coriander leaves & fry for a minute on low flame, now add Ginger/garlic paste & continue to fry on low flame for 3-4 mins.

Add Chillie Pwd & Turmeric powder & continue to fry for further 2 mins,
add chopped tomatoes & continue to fry on low flame till tomatoes are soft
add salt to taste (be careful when adding salt as you have already added salt
for frying the Prawns). Put off Flame.

Take preasure cooker– put in Butter fried Rice, the fried Masala, add limejuice /Water mixture and mix well –put the preasure cooker on top of your cooking range/stove and cover with lid, then put the flame on medium and leave to cook . After its cooked leave it to stand (cool) down for about 10 mins.

Now open the cooker & sprinkle half the quantity of the fried or toasted Cashewnuts, prepared shrimps and then fluff everything with a fork, & empty on to a serving dish garnish with fried Onions, chopped Coriander leaves - & remaining fried & toasted Cashewnuts - & serve.

Mushroom Biryani


8 oz Mushroom
1 cup Basmati rice
1 Onion chopped
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste
4 Green chillies, Cut into smal pieces
1 cup Vegetables (peas,beans,carrot,corn/baby corn)
2 Cloves
1 Cinnamon
2 cardamom
1tsp Cummin
1/2 tsp Tumeric powder
1/4 cup Mint leaves (Optional)
Salt to taste
cilantro for garnishing
1/4 cup Cashewnuts
1/4 cup Raisins
2tbsp Ghee/oil


Wash and soak the rice in water(30 min)

In a deep pan or cooker , add oil/ghee & add Cloves, Cinnamon, cardamom and Cummin. Then add the chopped onions, ground chillies , ginger garlic paste & fry well.

Add the cashewnuts,raisins,vegetables & fry well. Then add mushroom and cook for 2 minutes. Add the rice & fry for 5mins & then add the mint leaves, mix well.

Add 2 cups boiling/hot water,salt,tumeric powder & once it f starts boiling close the lid & cook over low flame for 12-15 mins.

Then garnish with cilantro

Vegetable Biriyani


2 tbs vegetable oil
1 medium-size onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, soft stems included
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbs ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 tsp salt, or to taste
5 cups fresh mixed vegetables, cut into 1-inch pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beans, mushrooms, colorful bell pepper, and peas)

2 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 black cardamom pods, pounded lightly to break the skin
1 tsp black peppercorns (optional)
One 3-inch stick of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt, or to taste


Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat and cook the onion, stirring, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cilantro, then add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Stir in the vegetables. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat, the reduce the heat to medium and continue to to cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Wash the rice in 3 to 4 changes of water, stirring lightly with your fingertips, until the water runs almost clear. Then soak it in the water for 30 minutes or longer.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over high heat and cook the cardamon, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cumin, stirring, until they sizzle, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the salt, stir in the rice and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a minimum, cover the pan (partially at first, until the foam subsides, then snugly), and cook the rice until all the water is absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large ovenproof casserole with a 1-inch layer of the rice and top with a layer of cooked vegetables. Cover with rice and repeat until all the vegetables and rice are used up. Cover the casserole and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tips and Tricks for Cooking

Get rid of cooking smell: While cooking soak a cloth or tea towel and let it dry in the cooking area. It will absorb the smell of cooking and let the room fresh.

Raitha: Mix 2 tbsp of mayonnaise with chopped cucumbers and onions. Then add curd and salt accordingly. You will get nice creamy raitha.

fluffy Omlets: Add Milk to the beaten egg that will make it fluffy and tasty.

Crispy Pakoras: While frying pakoras add one tea spoon rice flour and one tea spoon cornflour in one bowl of besan.

To get more juice out of lime: To get more juice out of limes, microwave the lime for 10 secs, then cut and extract the juice.

Yogurt: Yogurt can be added to vegetables and meat curries, in place of tomatoes to make rich and delicious gravy.

Storing carrots for a longer period: If you have bought large quantities of carrots, then you can store it for a longer period by cutting the top of all the carrots and storing in a zip-lock bag.

Store Cilantro longer: Wash and leave the cilantro to dry on newspaper. Then snip it with kitchen shears and store in the freezer in a zip lock bag lined with paper towels. Ready to use for gravies but not good for garnishing. Will keep for weeks.

Idli/Dosa with a Kick: Put ginger,green chilly and couple of curry leafs (all cut into very fine pieces) in the mixture of idly/dosa, it will become more delicious and you will get a different variety.

Keep Yeast Fresh : Fresh yeast should be stored in the refrigerator or should be frozen or else it will lose its effectiveness with age.

Crispy fried potato : If you want crispy potato fry, peel & cut potatoes to equal cubes. Warm water and add little salt. Add potato cubes & let it stay only for 2 min (do not boil). Immediately drain the water. After 3 min, fry them to golden crispy brown. Add salt, chili powder, cumin, some fresh curry leaves. Serve with warm cooked rice.

Masala rice : If plain rice is "leftover” use it as masala-rice for afternoon meal. Fry one sliced onion,2 chopped green chilli,1tsp-garam masala,2tbsp-coriander leaves, salt to taste, curry leaves for a minute and add rice and salt fry for a second-serve hot!

Cook rice in the microwave : Put 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water and cook for 15 mins.

Idli leftovers: With remaining cold idlies we can make a nice "yummy-recipe". Cut idlies to equal size bits. cut 2 tomatoes, chopped (1)onion,1-green(chopped)chilli,curryleaves4, handful chopped coriander leaves, very little curry masala, fresh lemon juice-1tsp,salt,oil(1½tbsp) crushed (1)tbsp ground-nuts.
seasoning with in oil with mustard seeds, one broken red chilli, one tsp urad dal, add curry leaves, green chilli, tomato, onion fry for a while then add idly bits and masala, salt stir well. finally mix lemon and crushed ground nuts and coriander.. serve hot.

Add smoothness to gravies: Soak 2 tbsp of cashew nuts in warm water for 10 minutes. Grind to a fine paste. Add to the gravy and savor the difference.

For crispy puris : Add a little rice flour to the wheat flour while kneading.

Prevent Noodles/Pasta from getting Sticky: When boiling noodles/pasta, add some oil to it. It helps to protect stickiness.

Storing green chilies fresh: Wash and trim stem from each chili and store in freezer bags. Will keep fresh for a number of days.

To prevent okras from sticking to pan: Add a spoon full of yoghurt or lime juice while cooking.

To cut smoothly boiled eggs: Dip knife in cold water for a minute and then cut hard boiled eggs, yolk will not stick to knife blade.

How to chop finely mint/green coriander: Use kitchen scissor instead of knife to chop finely, green coriander, green chili or mint.

To prevent discoloring of potatoes after cutting: Keep chopped potatoes in water.

Healthy food Colour: Rather than using food colors, use a mixture of limewater and turmeric to get (almost) tandoori color.

Salty Curry : Wash a potato. Cut into two. Place a the two halves of the raw potato in the curry and it will absorb the extra salt.

Alternative to Fresh Coconut: Ever try to break open a fresh coconut for making Indian chutney? Well, here is a great alternative. Out here in the US look for UNSWEETENED dry grated coconut. Make sure it is not the sweet kind. Add just enough water so that the coconut is covered with water. Use as directed in the recipe instead of freshly grated coconut. Making chutneys will be a breeze.

Trying New Recipes: Remember....Try ONE NEW recipe at a time. Get all your ingredients together. Check the spices for freshness. Lay the spices and ingredients out in the order that they are to be used. Make a plan and get started with ONE easy recipe. Most of all make sure you have the time to make the recipe. Do not try something new at a "rushed time".

Peeling a whole Garlic : To peel garlic, place your knife flat on the garlic clove and whack with your other hand. The covering will burst open and the clove can be easily removed.

Peeling or scraping Ginger : Peeling or scraping ginger with the back of spoon is an easy way to peel ginger. Scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon, getting the edge of the spoon into the crevices of the ginger. The skin will come off with a gentle scrape.

Instead of Onion : If anyone does not like or want the strong taste of onion, you can use cabbage in the recipe for the same taste and good recipe.

Cleaning A Messy Blender : To clean a blender, add a cup of warm water, run for a few seconds. Now add a drop of dishwashing detergent and another cup of water and blend. Let is sit for a few seconds. Rinse clean.

Strong odors on your hands: (such as onions or fish) can be removed by lightly wetting your hands and then sprinkling on baking soda. Rub the soda all over the hands, then rinse the soda away -- along with the odors.

Storing Ice -Cream : Store the ice cream container in a big Ziploc plastic freezer bag. This will stop ice crystals from forming when it is in the freezer.

Storing Potatoes : Store potatoes in a cool dark place. To prevent potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes! This will prevent the potatoes from budding. Change the apple every week.

Avoid Staining Tupperware : Before storing tomato-based sauces or Indian curries with lots of turmeric powder or other foods that can stain, spray your plastic storage container with nonstick cooking spray.

Idli batter: Never beat idli batter too much because the air which has already incorporated during fermentation is lost.

Deodorize cutting board: by rubbing it with a paste of baking soda and water.

In The Freezer:In order that there is a free circulation of air in the freezer ensure that it is not packed tightly.

Peeling tomatoes can be made easy if you follow this method. Make a shallow cross at the bottom of the tomatoes with a knife. Place the tomatoes in hot water for a couple of minutes. Remove them from the water and leave to cool. . The skin can now be peeled easily.

Poaching Eggs: Add salt and vinegar to the water when poaching eggs it keeps the egg together whilst cooking or stir the water before adding the egg ( but only one egg at a time). Remove the egg from the water and chill in ice water to be used later. To reheat just blanch in boiling water.

Storing apples and carrots : Dont store apples and carrots in the same fridge compartment. The apples emit a gas that makes the carrots bitter.

Too strong Coffee: If the coffee is too strong, it can be rescued by adding a little cocoa powder.

To refresh a freezer: Place a cotton ball soaked in vanilla inside, close door for 24 hours. then check for improvement. Repeat if necessary. OR Place an opened box of baking soda on a shelf in the refridgerator to keep it fresh & to elimante odors.

Safe Thawing in microwave: Follow manufactures instructions, cook immediately because some areas of the food may become warm & begin to cook creating an enviornment for harmful bacteria to grow.

Safe Thawing in Cold Water: Place item in leakproof packaging or plastic bag. Sumerge in cold tap water changing water every 30 minutes. Small packages can defrost in an hour or less. 3-4 pound package may take to 2-3 hours.

Jelly Mold: To easily remove a jelly from the mold, lightly brush mold with oil before pouring in the mixture.

Ripening Fruits and Vegetables: A lots of fruit and veg found in supermarkets today look ripe, but are hard as a rock. Put them in a brown paper bag and hide the bag away in a dark cupboard for a day or two. Use This is great tip for items such as avocados, bananas, kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines, and many more.

For Creamy Curry:Put a couple of teaspoons of instant mashed potato into Indian curries to thicken the curry.

Breading Meats: To bread chicken cutlets and other ingredients: Use one hand for wet ingredients and another for dry when breading - that way you won't bread your hands along with dinner. To coat chicken pieces or stew-meat pieces chicken in flour or crumbs: Place the coating mixture in a plastic bag (self-sealing is the most convenient), add the chicken or beef, seal, and shake until the coated. Shake off any excess coating before you cook the chicken or beef.

Grill With Lean Meats: Unless specified for a particular recipe, always us the leanest meat possible when grilling. It's healthier, will reduce flare-ups, and help keep your cooking equipment cleaner.

Room-Temperature Meats: Allow meat to stand at room temperature 1 hour before cooking: It will cook more quickly, brown more evenly, and stick less when pan-fried. (Do not do this with highly perishable meats like ground beef and organ meats.)

Pan-Fried Meats: For even, deep browning of pan-fried meat and poultry: Blot the surface of the item with paper towels to remove excess moisture before cooking.

Roasting Poultry: Do not roast poultry in a oven temperature lower than 325 degrees. Poultry should be roasted at 325 degrees or higher to avoid potential food safety problems.

Roasts: Roasts should be allowed to "rest" 10-15 minutes after being removed from the oven. This allows the juices to settle before carving.

Grilling On Skewers: When using wooden skewers for kebabs, soak in cold water for 10-30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Thread shrimp onto skewers lengthwise so they won't curl as they grill. They're also less likely to fall into the fire.

Whole Fish: Scale a fish easily by rubbing vinegar over its skin. To neatly bake a whole fish, wrap in aluminum foil. When done cooking, open the foil and gently slide a spatula under the fish.

Boiling Over: Butter the rim of a pan in which you cook rice or pasta so it won't boil over.

Cooking Lasagna Noodles: Use lots of water so the pasta has plenty of room to expand. To prevent tearing, cook at a moderate yet constant boil. Use a wood or plastic spoon, or heat-resistant rubber spatula to stir occasionally while cooking. Stir gently. Always boil pasta less time (the short end of the cook time) if it will continue to cook in a baked dish or in a recipe on the stove top. This also reduces the chance of tearing. Drain pasta carefully! Slowly pour water from pan so that pasta slides gently into a colander. Rinse pasta thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Place in a covered container right away to prevent pasta from sticking together.

Cooking Perfect Pasta: To prevent pasta from sticking together use plenty of water, cook at a constant boil, and stir occasionally. There is no need to add oil to pasta while it's cooking. Once pasta has been added to boiling water, start timing when the water returns to a boil. There is no need to rinse cooked pasta. If you do, the sauce won't cling. Rinse pasta only if it will be used for a salad or will be set aside or stored for later use.

Cutting Pizza: No pastry wheel? You'll find that kitchen shears cut through pizza - stringy cheese and all - more quickly and cleanly than a knife. Besides, they won't scratch or mar your pizza pan.

Freezing Pizza Dough: Make pizza dough in double batches and freeze half. You can even roll out the extra dough, fit it into a pizza pan, and freeze it flat for a head start on a fast meal.

Making Better Pizza Sauce: Intensity of tomato sauce may be adjusted by amount of garlic and crushed peppercorn used. "Bite" of sauce may be increased by adding Balsamic vinegar. Create oil sauces using extra virgin olive oil, herbs/spices, and fresh garlic.

Making Better Pizza Crusts: Use high-gluten flour such as Pillsbury Bread Flour and Gold Medal Better for Bread. Use 1 oz. dough portion or less per 1" pizza diameter (for example, 7 oz. dough = 8" pizza). Store individual raw dough portions dusted with flour in Ziploc bags in refrigerator up to a week or in freezer up to a month. Bake on pizza stone or pizza screen for crisper crust.

Add Flavor With Food Waste: Save the loose skin on onions and garlic to toss into the fire just before grilling meats or vegetables. And throw dry fennel tops on the fire when grilling fish.

Apples: Refrigerated apples last up to 10 times longer than those left at room temperature. To prevent apples from speeding up the ripening process of other items in your produce drawer, store them in a plastic or brown paper bag.
Asparagus: For tender asparagus, gently bend a spear until it breaks. The natural breaking point should separate the tender spear from the tough end. Dispose of the end pieces and steam to perfection!

Cabbage: Instead of blanching cabbage leaves to wilt them for stuffing, simply leave the whole head in the freezer overnight.

Celery: Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator, and it will keep for weeks.

Chopped Onions & Green Peppers: You can buy frozen chopped onion or green peppers for a quick recipe shortcut, or since they freeze so well, chop a whole bunch at once and freeze them in single servings.

Chopping Onions & Grating Horseradish: Hate how your eyes water? Tear off a section of a slice of bread (I prefer to use the heel, as I don't eat it) and place it between your lips, allowing it to protrude from your mouth while cutting.

Citrus Fruit Juice: To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, limes and oranges, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing. Another method is to microwave fruit on high for 30 seconds, let stand a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing them. Rolling it between your counter and hand also does the trick.

Citrus Zest: Before you squeeze juice from a lemon, grate off the rind into a freezer bag and freeze. Then when a recipe calls for lemon zest or rind, just pull it from the freezer. Sprinkle a little sugar over citrus zest or fresh ginger before chopping. The sugar not only dissolves and absorbs the juices but also helps spread the flavor.

Corn: When boiling corn, cooking for 3 minutes is all that's necessary; any more time will only boil out the flavor. Instead of adding salt to the boiling water, add a pinch of sugar to bring out the natural sweetness of the corn.

Crisper Drawer: Line the bottom with a paper towel to absorb liquids that make veggies wilt.

Frozen Vegetables: These are an important staple, a quick way to separate them is to pour boiling water over them in a colander and then add them to your casserole or stove-top dish to finish cooking.

Garlic: To mince a garlic clove quickly, rub it over the tines of the back side of a fork. Save yourself lots of time by always using jarred minced garlic that can be found in the produce or condiment section of the supermarket. Peel garlic by using the heel of your hand, press the flat side of a chef's knife onto an entire clove of garlic. You can then slip the slightly crushed garlic from its skin. Hands smell after peeling garlic? Rub hands with the rounded side of a stainless steel spoon under running water.

Hot Peppers: When working with fresh chilies and peppers, wear disposable gloves. Don't handle the peppers under water (it extracts painful vapors).

Leafy Greens: The sooner you consume lettuce, spinach and other greens after they are picked, the crisper they will be. Rinse not-so-fresh greens under cool water to "revive" them. Dry by running the greens through a salad spinner or wrapping them in dry towels. Place in a loosely closed bag and refrigerate 1 hour. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins and minerals. When buying fresh greens, remember that they cook down considerably. One pound of spinach or mustard greens will yield a cup or two of cooked greens. Serve iceberg lettuce wedges instead of torn salad greens to save time making a salad. Also, before refrigerating iceberg lettuce, wash and remove the core so each time you need some for salad it's clean and ready.

To clean leeks: Cut off dark green top and discard or save for stock. Trim root end, leaving base intact so that leek remains in one piece. Starting 1/2" from base, slit leek through the other end; give it a quarter turn and repeat, so the leek is quartered and the root end is intact. Soak the leek in cold water or rinse it under running water, gently spreading the leaves to remove any grit and dirt.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms soak up water like a sponge, then release it later while cooking (which can change the consistency of recipes). Try "dry cleaning" your favorite fungi. You can find a "mushroom brush" with soft bristles at most kitchen stores. Lightly moisten the brush (or a rag) with water, and gently wipe the mushrooms clean.

Onion Leftovers: If you need only 1/2 an onion, save the root half. It will last longer.

Onion & Garlic Odors: To deodorize a plastic storage container in which onions or garlic were stored, wash thoroughly, then stuff a crumpled piece of newspaper in the container, and snap on the lid. In a few days the smell will disappear.

Parsley: Fresh parsley can be dried or frozen for later use. For either method, wash and dry parsley then chop. To freeze, simply pace in a plastic zipper bag and freeze. To dry, spread chopped parsley evenly on a baking sheet and place in a 200 degree oven with the door slightly ajar. Check occasionally and remove from oven with completely dry. Store dried parsley in an airtight container. When selecting parsley, remember that the curly-leaf variety has a milder taste and the flat-leaf has a bold taste.

Peeling Fruits and Vegetables: Vegetable peelers are good for more than just carrots and potatoes. Use them to peel avocados, kiwi fruit, and many more produce items. Try it out next time you need to peel something difficult. To peel tomatoes, peaches, and pears, scald them in boiling water before peeling will allow you to peel their skins right off.

Peppers: When buying fresh peppers, choose those that are a little wrinkled but still unblemished. Wrinkling indicates mellowness.

Potatoes: To keep them from budding, place an apple in the bag with potatoes.

Ripening Fruits and Vegetables: Many fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets today look ripe, but are hard as a rock. Soften them up by placing them in a brown paper bag and hiding the bag away in a dark cabinet for a day or two. This is great for items such as avocados, kiwi fruit, peaches, nectarines, and more. Once ripe, refrigerate the produce to preserve vitamins.

Saving Herbs For Winter: To preserve summer herbs for winter soups and stews, make herb cubes in the freezer. Chop up your herbs and place them in ice cube trays, then cover with water and freeze. To preserve the color and flavor, use boiling water to fill the tray (this blanches the herbs). Some herbs, like cilantro, keep better when frozen in oil. Mince the herb in a food processor, then introduce olive oil until you produce a fine puree. Pour into ice cube trays or bags and freeze. When introducing the frozen herbs to recipes, remember that they contain water or oil. If this will throw off the recipe's consistency, thaw and drain the cubes first.

Tomatoes: Never refrigerate a tomato that is not fully ripe. Most tomatoes sold in stores are still ripening, and would benefit from a few days on the counter. Cold temperatures alter the fruit's flavor and stop the ripening process. Once ripe, a tomato can be refrigerated for several days. To ripen a tomato fast, put it with an apple in a perforated bag. To peel and seed tomatoes, cut out the core and score an "X" on the bottom. Immerse in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove the tomato and plunge into cold water. Remove the skin, cut in half and squeeze out seeds.

Alcohol Substitutes: Substitute chicken stock for wine in entrees. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. almond extract for each 1/4 cup of Amaretto or almond liqueur requested. Substitute frozen orange juice concentrate and a little orange zest for orange liqueurs. Substitute quadruple-strength coffee for coffee liqueurs.
Brown Sugar: To keep brown sugar moist, store in an airtight container with a whole orange, lemon, or lime. To soften brown sugar, place in a microwave-proof dish, add a slice of soft white bread or an apple wedge, cover tight and microwave at 100 percent power for 30 seconds. Discard the bread or apple and stir. If you're out of brown sugar, try substituting an equal amount of granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses (light or dark) for every cup of white sugar.

Butter: To soften butter, let it stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. No time for that? Place it between sheets of wax paper and pound with a rolling pin.

Cheese: To easily shred cheese, let sit in freezer for 30 minutes. The firmer cheese is less likely to make a melted mess on your grater.

Cottage Cheese: Keep cottage cheese fresh longer by storing carton in the refrigerator upside down.

Curry Powder: When you use commercial curry powder, combine two or more brands - each has a different mix of spices.

Dry Beans: Soak beans before cooking to soften them, which reduces cooking time, and to allow some of the gas-generating substances to dissolve into the water, making them easier to digest.

Eggs: The simplest way to tell is an egg is fresh it to observe it's shell. If it's rough and chalky, it's fresh. If it's smooth and shiny, it's old. You can also place an egg in cold salted water. If it sinks, it's fresh. If it floats, it's old. To tell if an egg is hard boiled or raw, spin it. A hard-boiled egg will spin. A raw egg will wobble. It is easier to separate eggs when they are cold.

Measuring Corn Syrup, Molasses, and Honey: Dip measuring cup or spoon either in hot water or brush with oil before pouring in the syrup. This way, you get all that's in the cup to come out.

Milk: Rinse the pan with cold water before scalding milk to prevent sticking.

Nuts: To chop or grind nuts fine in a food processor without turning them into nut butter, add 2 or more tablespoons sugar from the recipe. Toasting nuts intensifies their flavor. Fire up a skillet (high temperature) and spread pecans, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, etc. over its surface. Stir constantly. When the nuts start to turn brown, remove from the heat and reserve for use in salads, pasta, baked goods and more. Keep a constant eye on them during the process - nuts can turn from brown to black in seconds. Nuts can also be toasted in the oven (or a toaster oven). Spread on a cookie sheet, then bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure to stir the nuts occasionally while roasting. Broken pieces will toast faster than whole nuts.

Oil For Frying: To effectively strain debris from used cooking oil, use a coffee filter placed in a funnel.

Rice: Does your rice dry out when you reheat it? Next time, add 2 tablespoons of liquid for each cup of cooked rice. Cover and heat for a few minutes on the stove or in the oven. In the microwave, cook on high about 1 minute per cup. Fluff it with a fork and enjoy! Perk up white rice by adding chicken broth with a pinch of crumbled dried thyme, marjoram, rosemary, or basil in the cooking water.
Salt: Sea salt is the only salt used in my kitchen. The taste is more potent and the rigid shapes of the grains don't roll off your food as easily. Now that it has become more popular and more widely available, sea salt can be purchased iodized, which I recommend getting. When salting a dish, less is always best. As we know, you can always add more, but never take away. Less salt allows for your guests to season to their own taste, not yours.

Soy Sauce: Use light (slightly sweeter) soy sauce for marinades; use dark (slightly heavier) soy sauce for cooking and sauces.

Sugar: A sack of lumpy sugar won't be if you place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Tortillas: Tough and chewy tortillas? Try spraying tortillas with water (or running them quickly under the faucet), then sautéing them briefly in a lightly greased skillet over medium high heat.

Vanilla: Make your own vanilla by placing 2 split and chopped vanilla beans in 1 liter of vodka or bourbon. Shaking the bottle once a day, let sit for 2-3 months, or until desired color. This also makes great holiday gifts when poured into glass bottles.

Wine: Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Chilling Foods: To chill foods quickly put them in your freezer for 20 to 30 minutes rather than longer in the refrigerator.

Food Stains in Plastic Storage Containers: Use a baking soda paste (baking soda and water) and rub into the stain. You can then rinse with vinegar (optional) and wash normally. Another method is to place container outside on a nice sunny day and the sun actually bleaches the stain out. To avoid stains in the first place, spray container with cooking spray before putting things in it that stain i.e. spaghetti sauce.

Fried Food Odors: Next time you fry foods, try placing a small cup of bleach nearby. The bleach absorbs much of the "fried" odor (that would otherwise linger for days!) Be sure to clearly mark the cup and keep it out of the reach of children.

Keep Your Cutting Board From Slipping: Place a thin layer of damp paper towels underneath to anchor the board to the work surface.

Lining Pans Means No Scrubbing: Line baking pans with aluminum foil before you cook to avoid scrubbing pans afterwards. To line pans easily, turn pan upside down and press a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil around it. Remove foil. Flip the pan over and drop foil inside. Crimp edges of foil to rim of pan.

Oil Temperature: To find out if oil is the proper temperature for frying foods: For deep-fat frying, drop a cube of white bread into the hot oil. If it browns evenly in 60 seconds the oil is 350-365 degrees, in 40 seconds, 365-382 degree, 20 seconds, 382-390 degrees. For shallow frying, the oil is hot enough if it is shimmering and rippling along the bottom of the pan. The most reliable way to gauge the temperature is to use a deep-fat thermometer.

Prevent Spattering While Sautéing: To prevent spattering and burns while sautéing, tilt the pan away from you to pool the oil every time you add more food, then lay the pan flat again. You can also add a few sprinkles of salt to the pan to prevent spattering.

Wok Cooking: Don't stir ingredients as you add them to a wok. You'll cool the wok and make the food greasy.

Cakes: When using a glass baking dish for cakes, lower oven temperature by 25 degrees. To keep a cake longer, place half an apple in the cake container when storing. To cut a cake without messing up the decorative icing, cut it with dental floss. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead, and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake. Don't have a cake or tart cover? Try inverting the bottom of a salad spinner or springform pan. To dress up cakes and pies, place a doily on top, then sprinkle powdered sugar and remove. Quick and impressive!

Cookies: When making cookies, always use unsalted butter, never margarine. The unsalted butter gives the cookies a lighter texture. To keep cookies soft, place a slice of bread in the storage container. To prevent cookies from spreading when baking, refrigerate the dough and the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before baking. Using a cookie scoop (or a small ice cream scoop) to spoon out cookie dough gives them a uniform look and size. It also keeps your fingers clean.

Frosting Tips: Add a pinch of baking soda to your frosting and the frosting will stay moist and prevent cracking.

Pastry Dough: Always chill pastry dough before rolling and cutting, and always chill it again afterwards, before baking, to further relax the gluten.

Quick Garnish: Toast coconut or chopped nuts in a shallow baking pan in the oven in 5 or 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Once cool they can even be frozen in plastic bags for future use.

Whipped Cream: Cream will whip faster and better if you'll first chill the bowl, cream, and beaters first. To stabilize whipped cream, add 2 tablespoons of nonfat dry milk to every cup of whipping cream before you whip it. Soupy whipped cream can be saved by adding an egg white, then chilling thoroughly. Re-beat for a fluffy surprise. A few drops of lemon juice added to whipping cream helps it to whip faster and better. Whipping cream will not separate if you add 1/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin per cup of whipped cream.

Yeast: Did you know that your yeast will last longer than specified on those little packages from the grocery store if kept in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer, up to a year? If you do a lot of baking, it is wise to purchase larger amounts and freeze. Place in a plastic container and mark the date of purchase.




Cucumber - half
Snake gourd - few pieces.
White brinjal - 2 nos
Carrot - 1
Yam - few pieces
Drum stick - 2 nos cut to 2 inch pieces
Raw banana - 1 no
String bean - few
Raw mango - 3-4 slices
Coconut - 1/2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Small onions - 10
Green chillies - 4
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coconut oil - 3 tbsp


Dice the vegetables into 1 inch long pieces with medium thickness.

Keep the diced yam in a vessel of water seperately from the other vegetables.

Take a heavy bottom pan and put the yam and half cup water and cook covered till half done. Then add all the other vegetables except the mango.

Put the turmeric, chilli powder, salt and 1 tbsp coconut oil and cook covered. There is no need to add water as the water will come out of cucumber. When half done put half of the thinly sliced mango pieces and cook covered.

Grind the cumin seeds, small onions, green chillies, raw mango and coconut with a little turmeric to a coarse paste. Add no water.

When the vegetables are cooked, mix with a spoon and check for water. If there is excess of water cook uncovered on high flame till the mix comes to a custard consistency. Lower the flame and add the ground paste and mix well. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Now add the curry leaves and the coconut oil and mix well. Switch off flame and keep covered on the hot stove. The curry has to sit for at least half an hour before serving.



1 cups White gram dal
3 cupsRice
Fenugreek 10 nos
Salt as per taste


Grind the dal and rice separately with some water until it become a fine paste.
Add salt to it and mix well. keep it overnight for fermentation. (The flour should be little dilute so that dosa is made thinner.The thinner and crispier the dosa, the better it tastes. )
In a flat frying pan the flour is poured and spread into a thin round.
Pour little ghee on both sides of the dosas
When it turns golden brown it is ready to serve.
Masala Dosa can be made by keeping potato masala inside the Dosa.

Note:- if you use a well seasoned cast iron pan the dosa will be crispier and it taste much better than non stick dosa.



2 cup plain rice
1 cup Grated coconut
Pinch of Yeast
Sugar 2 tbs
Salt to taste


Soak the rice in plenty of water( 4-5 hours).
Grind the coconut and rice with some water to a fine paste.
Dissolve the yeast in some warm water and mix well with the batter and keep it overnight.
In the morning grease the thick curved pan specially meant for making appam( you can use non stick pans, bot wont get that traditional shape).
Pour 4 dsp of the batter and spread it by rotating the pan once and cook the appam by closing the pan with the lid.

Vazhakoombu/Plantain Flower Thoran


1 Plantain Flower
1/2 cup green gram
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp minced onion
1 or 2 red chillies
1 tbsp oil

to be ground coarsely :- 1 cup grated coconut, 3 green chillies , 1 clove garlic,
1/2 small onion


cut the flower and the inner white cone as fine as possible.

cook the green gram dal till soft and keep aside.

Add the cut flower to the oil and add the ground paste and cook covered till the vegetable is tender (4 minutes) mix well. Now add the green gram and mix well.

Now take the rest of the oil and season with mustard, red chillies and minced onion.
Once the onion is fried add the plantain flower mixture to this and cook for
3 minutes and remove from heat.

Onion Theeyal


1 cup shallots or pearl onions
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
1 cup grated coconut (you can use dried coconut flakes)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon methi seeds
1 tablespoon tamarind extract
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons oil
salt -- to taste
10-15 curry leaves


Peel and chop the large onions fine.

Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a frying pan and add 1/2 cup of the chopped onions. Saute well and when browned, add the curry leaves, coriander seeds and methi seeds. Stir for a few more minutes and remove and keep aside.

Wipe the pan and add the coconut. On a low heat, dry roast the coconut until brown (not burned). When it is cool, blend the coconut with the onion mixture adding a half cup of water.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the curry leaves and remaining onions and shallots and stir until browned. Add the tamarind extract and 1/2 cup water and salt. When it starts to simmer, add the blended paste and cook on a low fire for 20 - 30 minutes.

Shrimp Cutlets


1 lb Cooked shrimp(peeled & chopped)
1 inch piece Grated ginger
1 tablespoon Chopped fresh mint.
4 Chopped Green onions
1 1/2 cups Bread crumbs
1 Egg yolk (well beaten)
3/4 cup Gram flour
1 tsp Coriander powder
Red chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
1/4 cup Oil
Water- 1/2 cup
Lemon juice- 2 tablespoons
1/2 cup Water


In a bowl, put the chopped shrimp, red chili powder, salt, green onions, ginger, mint, cilantro, 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, egg yolk and lemon juice and mix well. Make lemons sized balls out of the mixture and flatten them into thick patties. Coat them evenly with the remaining breadcrumbs.

Mix flour, little salt & red chili powder, coriander powder and water in a bowl to make smooth batter. Dip the patties in this batter and deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Serve hot.

Shrimp Fry


1 lb shelled & deveined shrimps(go for medium/large shrimps)
1 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Oil- 2 tablespoons


Put red chili powder,lime juice, turmeric and salt to the shrimp and mix well.Let it marinate for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a shallow pan then add the marinated shrimp and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Mutton Curry


1 to 1.5 lb Mutton
2 tablespoons Red chilli powder
1 tablespoon Coriander powder
1/2 tablespoon Turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoon Black peppercorns
1 teaspoon Chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Chopped ginger
2 small sticks Cinnamon
3-4 Cloves
2 Cardamoms
1 cup Sliced onions
8-10 Curry leaves
1 tablespoon Vinegar
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
2 medium Onions
1/2 cup Oil
Salt to taste


Grind together the chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. Chop the 2 medium sized onions.

Boil 3-4 cups of water, add chopped mutton, ground masala, sliced onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, vinegar and salt. Cook till the meat is tender.

Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add chopped onions and curry leaves. When done add into the mutton gravy. Boil for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with steamed rice.

Naadan Kozhi Curry

"Hum dum de dum, hum dum de dum, I'm so rumbly in my tumbly"
This is what I feel about when I think about the chicken curry my mom makes. All of us kids eats 4 to 5 times that day when we smell the chicken curry…and ahh...that taste I cannot express that in words. We eat her chicken curry with almost anything like rice, dosa, appam, puri, chapatti, iddiappam and the list goes on.


4 Tablespoons of coconut oil( you use corn/canola/vegetable oil)
3 onion(preferably red), thinly sliced
8 to 10 fresh green chili peppers
15-20 Fresh curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
1 tablespoon chilli powder(adjust the amount of chilli powder according to your
1 1/2 table spoon of coriander powder.
2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken pieces cut into cubes -(you can use whole chicken cut into pieces, this will give a rich flavourfull curry)
Salt to taste


Heat the oil in a heavy deep pan. Add onions, green chili peppers and curry leaves and fry till onions are soft. Stir in turmeric, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, and coriander powder. Simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring periodically.Put in chicken pieces and stir. Season with salt. Sprinkle in water if necessary. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, until chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent the spice mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Jackfruit/Chakka Erisseri


3 cups of raw jackfruit pods cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2-teaspoons crushed black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup of freshly grated coconut
1/2-teaspoon cumin seeds
3-tablespoons vegetable/corn/canola/coconut oil
1 cup toasted coconut
1-teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 red chili pepper
10-15 nos curry leaves
Salt to taste


Wash the cubed jackfruit pods and place in a pan with just enough water to cover. Add salt, crushed black pepper and turmeric power and cook over low to medium heat till the jackfruit is tender.

In a blender, grind 1cup of fresh grated coconut with the cumin seeds and just enough water to form a smooth paste. Add this to the cooked vegetable. Stir gently to combine all the ingredients. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes and remove from the stove.

Heat one tablespoon of oil, add mustard seeds, red pepper and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, remove from the stove and pour over the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top and stir gently.
Serve hot with rice.

Note:- You can substitute pumpkin/squash/green plantain instead of jack fruit.

Muringakka/drumstick Thoran


4 or 5 Drumsticks.
1/2 cup Grated Coconut
1/4 teaspoon Jeerakam/cummin
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
3 Green Chillies
6 Small Onions chopped
1/4 teaspoon Mustard seeds
Salt to taste


Split drumstick lengthwise and take out the soft part alone with a small knife or spoon.

Heat some oil in a pan, add mustard and onion and saute till brown.

Grind coconut,jeerakam/cummin ,turmeric powder and green chillies together and add to the pan followed by the drumsticks and cook till its done and water is completly vapourized(10-12 min).

Serve with rice.



2 lb Tapioca.
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
5 green chili
4 Garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 cup Grated coconut
2 tsp coconut oil
2 dried red chili
2 small onion pieces
10-15 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste.


Peal kappa, cut it into medium size cubes and boil till soft (around 15 minute)in sufficient water and salt to taste.After it become soft, stain the water.

Make grind together cumin seeds, garlic, grated coconut,green chilly and add the paste in cooked Kappa along with the turmeric powder.

Put a pan on stove and pour the coconut oil,when the oil is hot add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds spatters add onion pieces, dried red chilly, curry leaves and fry all the ingredients for 1/2 minute. Pour this mixture into tapioca and mix well.

Serve with fish/chicken/mutton/beaf/pork curry.

Chicken Thoran

1 cup bonless chicken cut into small cubes
A pinch of pepper powder
Salt to taste
1 Onions chopped
1/2 cup Coconut grated (Use dried greated coconut if you like)
1/2 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Coriander powder.
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder.
1 tsp Masala powder.
5-10 Curry leaves.
2 tbsp Oil.
Salt to taste
2 Red chilies
1 tsp Mustard seeds.


Cook the chicken with salt and pepper on low flame adding an ounce of water if necessary till the chicken is almost cooked and the gravy is absorbed. Set aside.

Grind Coconut,Chili powder, Coriander powder, Turmeric powder, Masala powder and 3-4 Curry leaves coarsely. Set aside.

Place a shallow pan on a low flame. Add the oil when hot. Add the whole red chilies cut into 2 and the mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add the curry leaves and saute for a moment.

Add the chopped onion and saute till it turns soft and transparent. Add the cooked chicken and saute for another minute.

Add the ground coconut masala mixture and salt. Stir well. Cover and cook on very low flame for 2 minutes. Open and stir. Remove from flame.

Fish Curry.


2 lb fish(King fish/pomfert/catfish/salmon) cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
15-20 curry leaves
1 onion, chopped(red onion give a nice flavour. White onion will also works fine)
2 1/2 cm ginger, shredded
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp chilly powder or (according to your taste)
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 pinches fenugreek powder
3 or 4 pieces tamarind soaked in water (In TVM side they use tamarind called
valanpuli, but kudumpuli gives a better taste for this fish curry)
1 cup water
1/2 tsp coconut oil
Salt to taste


Clean the fish. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry mustard. Then add curry leaves, chopped onion, ginger and garlic fry it for 2-3 minutes.

Put in the chilly powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder. Fry all this well.

Now add the fenugreek powder and the softened tamarind. Pour in the water. Then add salt. When it boil add the fish. Let it simmer until the gravy thickens and the fish is tender.

Last but not least sprinkle the coconut oil, and leave it on the gas for a minute.

Crab curry


1 pound jumbo lump crab meat(if its the season of soft shell crabs use 4-5 of those)
1 medium onion
2 large garlic cloves
1-inch piece fresh gingerroot
2 dried hot red chiles
2 tablespoons coconut/vegetable oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro sprigs
1 cups coconut milk(make it fresh from coconut/use coconut milk powder/use
canned unsweetened coconut milk)
salt to taste


Pick over crab meat to remove any bits of shell and cartilage(if you are useing soft shell crabs just cut it into 2 pieces). Chop onion and mince garlic. Peel gingerroot and mince. Break chiles into 1-inch pieces and reserve, along with any seeds(for extra heat).

In a 4- to 5-quart kettle heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop. Stir in onion, garlic, gingerroot, reserved chiles with seeds, and peppercorns and cook, stirring, until chiles are just browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in other spices until combined well. Add crab and cook mixture, gently stirring occasionally (avoid breaking up crab), about 4 minutes.

While crab mixture is cooking, chop cilantro. Stir cilantro into crab mixture with coconut milk and salt and simmer until slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.


Promfert Varutharacha Curry.


2 lb Promfert
6-8 oz small onions
1 inch ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 cup scraped coconut (dried coconut powder will also work fine)
small ball of tamarind
2 tbsp chilli powder
3 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
salt for taste
curry leaves 15 to 20 nos.

Marinate the fish with turmeric and salt and keep aside.
Take a pan and add 1 tsp coconut oil. Add the scraped coconut and fry.
When it is dry add the small onions and continue to fry till the coconut has a dark brown color(be careful not to burn it).

Add the chilli and coriander powder and fry some more. Turn off the stove and add the garlic and ginger. Allow the mixture to cool. Grind to a fine paste in a mixie with some water.

Take a pan, add the paste, tamarind and water. Bring to boil on a high flame. Add salt. Reduce the flame and add the fish pieces. Cook covered.

After 5minutes add the pepper powder and cook uncovered on high flame for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the flame and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and the curry leaves. Give the vessel a turn and off the flame. Add the fenugreek powder, and keep covered on the ot stove for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

Karimeen Pollichathu


2 pearl spot fish
3 red chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
6 chopped curry leaves
4 chopped shallots
salt to taste
2 tbsp lime juice
1 large banana leaf
1 tbsp coconut oil
butchers twine- to tie the bananna leaf.

Mix red chillies, turmeric powder, chopped green chillies, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, chopped curry leaves, chopped shallots, salt and lime juice to a coarse paste.

After cleaning the fish, apply a thick layer of the paste on the inside and on the outside.

Wrap the each fish in the banana leaf and tie it with the butchers twine. Heat oil in pan and place the wrapped fish in it. Cook each side for 5-6 minutes.