Wednesday, August 26, 2015

GARLIC PICKLE - Step by Step

Happy Onam Readers,

This year 'Lemon n Spice' is giving you an easy to follow Garlic pickle, with the ingredients which you can find in your pantry at any time. This garlic pickle has a thick gravy from ground roasted garlic cloves and tamarind extract. I will definitely say this is the best garlic pickle recipe ever!!! and it goes very well with rice/ dosa / curd rice.

Easy to make Garlic Pickle / Veluthulli Achar
Kerala garlic pickle / Kerala Style Veluthulli achar / Sadya Veluthulli achar
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Preparation time : 30 min (It depends- i am very slow to peel garlic. If you have peeled garlic, you can cut the preparation time in to half)

Ingredients :

Garlic cloves / Veluthulli : 2 Cups / 325 gm
Chilly powder : 3 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds / Kaduku : 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds Uluva  : 1 tsp
Dried Red Chilies : 2
Curry leaves : 1 Spring
Salt : 1/2 tbsp
Asfoetida Powder : 1/2 tsp +1/4tsp
Jaggery / Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Tamarind / Kolpuli : Lime sized / 100g
Sesame oil / Gingeli oil / Nallenna : 3tbsp

How to make Authentic Kerala garlic pickle / Kerala Style Veluthulli achar / Sadya Veluthulli achar :

1. Soak tamarind in one cup of water for 15 minutes. Squeeze and make a thick extract and strain it using a sieve. Keep aside.

2. Heat 1 tbsp sesame oil in a heavy bottom Kadai and add peeled, washed and pat dried garlic cloves.  I used large and medium garlic cloves, so i cut the large ones into half. When it turns to slightly golden brown, transfer it to a plate and allow to cool.

Easy to make Garlic Pickle / Veluthulli Achar
3. When it cools, transfer half of the roasted garlic to a mixer bowl and make a coarse paste of it ( one mix in the blender is enough). Meanwhile, Add remaining 2 tbsp oil to the same kadai and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add fenugreek seeds followed by dried red chillies , curry leaves.

Easy to make Garlic Pickle / Veluthulli Achar
4. Simmer the flame and add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Asfoetida powder and saute until you get a nice aroma. At this point add tamarind extract, Jaggery and allow to boil. When it thickens, stir well until the oil separates.

5. Add coarse garlic paste, roasted garlic and allow to cook in low - medium flame for another 10 minutes. Now turn off the flame and add the remaining 1/4 tsp Asfoetida powder, adjust the salt and allow to cool.

Easy to make Garlic Pickle / Veluthulli Achar
6. Transfer it to an air tight glass container when it is really cool and add enough oil to cover the top surface of pickle. (1/2 tbsp )

7. Pickle stays fresh in room temperature for 4 days and stays up to 3 months in refrigerator. Make sure you use clean, dry spoon each time to take the pickle.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015


Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer is the easiest and very common dessert  which can be prepared with minimum ingredients and effort. It is prepared in different ways in all over India - with condensed milk, without condensed milk, with milk and water or just with milk. I'm sticking to the traditional Kerala method which i learned from my Mom's sister - Jessy Mema. She is a wonderful cook, and my interest in cooking developed just because of my High school summer vacations i spent with her in Trivandrum.

Kerala Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer / Semiya Kheer
Semiya payasam is very simple to prepare, comforting and delicious with a cardamom flavor. My daughter calls it 'noodles payasam' and she just loves it. 

How to make Kerala Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer / Semiya Kheer
Serves : 4-6

Ingredients :

Semiya / Vermicelli : 3/4 Cup
Milk : 2 1/2 Cups
Sugar : 1/2 Cup , You can add more according to your taste
Ghee : 2 tbsp
Raisins and cashews :2 tbsp each
Cardamom : 3

Method : 

1. Heat  1 tbsp ghee in a heavy bottom vessel add add cashews. Roast it till it turns to light brown color and then add the raisins. When raisins fluffs up, remove them along with cashews and keep aside.

2. Add the remaining Ghee and roast the vermicelli / semiya. When the color changes slightly in to golden color add the milk. Turn into low flame and cook till the semiya / vermicelli is soft. Stir occasionally, but do not cover the vessel.

3. Now stir in  the sugar and cook till the payasam / Kheer is thick. Add crushed cardamom / cardamom powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the flame and add the roasted cashews and raisins. Payasam is ready to serve. You can serve it warm / at room temperature.

Kerala Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Kheer / Semiya Kheer
This is a staple dessert when sudden guests stop by  as you can whip up this dessert in no time.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015


I made this homemade Butterscotch cream cake for my husband's colleague Katrina as a surprise gift on her birthday. I have uploaded several cream cake recipes earlier like Pineapple cream pastry, Kiwi cream cake, Black forest cake, Mango Cream cake and Strawberry cream cake. But i should admit that this is the best cream cake i have ever made. This whipped cream cake is perfect for a summer birthday party. This time i topped it with hard candies but i had tried with caramelized pecans earlier. Both were hit. 

how to make butterscotch cream cake with homemade butterscotch sauce - to die for 
Ingredients  for the Butterscotch cream pastry :

Sponge cake  : 1, cut into 2 or 3  discs, click here for the recipe(You can use your favorite sponge cake recipe with egg or eggless)
Whipping cream : 2cups
Butterscotch sauce : 1/2cup
Chopped hard candies / Caramelized nuts : 1/2cup
Simple Sugar syrup : 1/2cup

Directions for  Butterscotch Gateau:

Step 1 : Make Simple Syrup / Simple sugar syrup

"Simple Sugar Syrup", also known as sugar syrup or simple syrup, is a solution of sugar and water, which can be in the ratio of 1:2 (Thick and ideal for juices)or 1:3 (ideal for soaking cakes).

Method :  On Medium flame combine 1/3 cup of Sugar and 3/4 cup of water in a sauce pan. When sugar has dissolved completely and the solution reaches the consistency of milk, turn of the flame and allow the syrup to cool completely. Then add 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract for flavoring.

Cake 2 : Topped with caramelized pecans (how to make butterscotch cream cake with homemade butterscotch sauce - to die for )

Step 2 : Make whipped cream frosting with fresh cream :

cold heavy whipping cream : 2cups
Granulated White sugar : 4tbsp
Vanilla extract : 1tsp

Directions to make the perfect, fool-proof Whipped Cream Frosting: Place your mixing bowl and wire whisk in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes. Then place all the ingredients in the cold bowl and beat just until stiff peaks form. Makes about 2 cups (480 ml) whipped cream. Divide the whipping cream into 3parts and keep in refrigerator.(If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate. )

Step 3 : Make the butterscotch sauce

Unsalted butter : 1/4cup / 4 tbsp / 2oz / 1/2stick
Dark brown sugar : 1/2cup / 110g
Heavy cream : 1/2cup _ 1tbsp
Sea salt / Kosher salt : 1/2tsp (or 1/4 teaspoon regular salt)
Vanilla extract : 1tsp

Method : Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, and combine using a wire whisk. When it is combined well and almost resembles to wet stand , add cream and continue whisking. Allow it to boil and cook for 5 minutes. Now add kosher salt and vanilla extract and turn off flame. It will thicken as it sits but you can microwave or boil again to get the exact consistency .

cake 2 : topped with caramelized pecans, (how to make butterscotch cream cake with homemade butterscotch sauce - to die for )
Step 4 : Assembling the cake

a)I made 2 layers this time. Take the bottom part of the cake and prick it all over with the fine skewer. Now add the half of the simple syrup and allow the cake to soak it. b)Now spread 1 part of the whipping cream evenly, and drizzle butterscotch sauce on it. Sprinkle with crushed hard candies or caramelized nuts. c) Now add the top layer and soak it in remaining sugar syrup.(if the top is crusty, remove a thin layer from top to soak the liquid properly.) d) Spread the cream evenly on the sides and top. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes to set the icing and add the remaining whipped cream and cover it on top of the crumb coat icing.  e) drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the cake and top with crushed candies / caramelized pecans. f)Refrigerate the cake for 3-4 hours and serve chilled.

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