Sunday, December 25, 2016


Kerala Plum cake / Christmas Rum fruit cake / Spiced rum fruit cake
How to make Christmas / Xmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake at Home?
Recipe Source : Mias Kitchen, Soaking the dry fruits : 7 to 14 days, Baking Time : 45 min to 60 min, Makes : two 8" cakes, four 6" cakes

Step 1 : Soaking dry fruits

Assorted dry fruits : 2 Cup to 3 Cups

I used Raisins-1/2 cup, Tutti Fruity : 1/2 Cup, Dried apricots chopped- 12,  Prunes : 1/2 Cup, Almonds and Cashews : 1/2 Cup - Total 2  Cups
Rum : 1/2 cup (i used Spiced Rum)

Add all the ingredients and mix well ,keep in an airtight container for 2 weeks. The more you soak the dry fruits, the better the flavor of the cake. I have soaked for 1 year this time :) . 

Kerala Plum cake / Christmas Rum fruit cake / Spiced rum fruit cake
Step 2 : Making caramel

Sugar : 1 cup( You can use 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 Cup granulated sugar to make the caramel easily)
Water : 1/2 cup hot water
Butter : 1 tbsp

Heat a heavy bottom vessel and add sugar mixed with 1 tbsp water on medium heat. Shake/stir the sugar once in a while and wait patiently until it slowly melts without any lumps. Keep stirring now and allow it to continue heating until the caramel syrup looks almost dark brown or black in color. Take it off the stove and add the 1/2 Cup hot water and stir well. The sugar syrup will splash out while adding the hot water, so its best to stand away. Wear mittens and carefully pour the water. Now add the butter and stir well.

Kerala Plum cake / Christmas Rum fruit cake / Spiced rum fruit cake

Step 3 : Ingredients for the cake

All purpose flour : 2 1/2 cup
Baking powder : 2 Tsp(In original recipe, Mia used 2tbsp baking powder)
Sugar : 1 cup
Butter : 1 cup
Eggs : 5
, at room temperature
: 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder :1/4 tsp
Cloves :1/4 tsp
Dried Ginger Powder : 1/4 tsp
Vanilla Essence : 1 tsp

Directions : Kerala Plum Cake / Rich fruit cake/  Christmas Spiced rum Fruit Cake Recipe a delicious and moist cake recipe for fruit cake or Kerala plum cake, that’s perfect for Christmas or really, all year round.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Grease and line the bottom of the pan with parchment/ wax paper.  
  2. Sift the flour with baking powder and other spice powders. 
  3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and orange rind and continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add vanilla essence and  slightly cooled caramel , continue beating.
  4. Add flour, half a cup or less at a time, and gently mix in. 
  5. Add 3 tbsp flour in a wide vessel and add the soaked nuts. Shake well to coat the dry fruits with flour to prevent the nuts to sink from the bottom. Stir in soaked dry fruit mixture to the cake batter.
  6. Pour the spiced rum fruit cake batter into the prepared pan and bake at 375 degree F for approximately 45 minutes for four 6' cake tin or 55 min for two 8' cake pan. Check using a toothpick and when it is done remove from the oven but leave in the tin.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for 10 min and then unmould. 
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Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

KOOTTU CURRY - Kerala Sadhya Recipes

Koottu curry or Kootucurry is a prominent dish in Kerala Sadhya. As the name itself says its a "koottu" - combination of different ingredients from veggies, pulses , coconut, chillies and Jaggery.

Kerala Sadhya Koottu curry / Kootu curry

Recipe for Kerala Sadhya style koottu curry/ kootucurry / kootu curry- Thrissure style
Cooking time : 30min, Serves : 4

Ingredients :

Pumpkin (mathanga ): 1 Cup, Cubed 
Carrot : 1, diced
Yam (Chena) : 1 Cup, Cubed or Raw Banana : 1, Cubed(Refer Notes*)
Black chickpeas / Kadala :1/2 Cup
Turmeric Powder : 1/4tsp
Chilli powder : 1/2tsp
Jaggery : 1 1/2 Cubes (to taste)

For Grinding : 

Shredded Coconut : 1/2Cup
Cumin seeds : 1/2tsp
Green Chillies : 3
Turmeric Powder : a pinch

For Seasoning : 

Coconut Oil : 2tsp
Shredded coconut : 1/2Cup
Mustard Seeds : 3/4tsp
Dried red chillies : 3
Curry leaves : springs

Kerala Sadhya Koottu curry / Kootu curry

Directions for Kerala Sadhya Style Koottu Curry / Kootucurry

1. Soak and cook Black Chick peas. Soak Black chickpeas(kadala) overnight. Wash it  and pressure cook with enough water and salt.

2. Make the ground coconut pasteGrind together all the ingredients listed under ' for grinding ' to form a coarse paste.Keep aside..

3. Cook the vegetables in medium flame : In a pan combine the cubed pumpkin, raw banana, carrot pieces, turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and water. Cook until the vegetables are tender and water is 90% absorbed

4. Add Jaggery, coconut mixture and Chick peas to the vegetables and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Prepare the seasoning : In another pan,  heat oil and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add dried red chillies and curry leaves. On a low flame add the grated coconut and dry roast till it becomes golden brown.

6. Pour the seasoning over the koottu curry and mix well.

7. Delicious Kerala Koottu curry / Kootu curry is ready to serve :)

Notes :

1.It is very hard to find fresh yam in California. So i always replace it with raw banana. 2. Make sure you are not using too much water to cook the vegetables. make sure water is almost absorbed before adding the ground coconut mixture.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016


If you are looking for a healthy school lunch box dish under 30 minutes, you are at right place. These broccoli cheese fritters are too easy to make and your kid is going to love it. You can deep fry / shallow fry / bake them.

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli
Recipe for Broccoli cheese fritters for kids lunch box / Vegetarian Appetizer using broccoli
Preparation time : 10 min, Cooking time : 15 min, serves :3

Ingredients :

Broccoli : 1 small,  12 oz (Approx. 2 cups , if finely chopped)
Parsley / Cilantro (malliyila) : 2 tbsp, finely chopped 
Onion : 1/4 Cup, finely chopped
Egg : 1, large
Black Pepper : 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Cheddar cheese : 1/3 Cup, grated
Bread Crumbs : 2/3 Cup or 2 slices made into crumbs using mixer grinder
Vegetable Oil to fry

Directions :

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli
1.  Blanch the broccoli if it is frozen : This process will help the broccoli to retain its color. I skipped this step as i used fresh broccoli. Click here for the instructions to Blanch broccoli. 

2. Mix all ingredients : Chop broccoli finely and mix with other ingredients like onion, egg, shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, salt , pepper and parsley / Coriander leaves.

Broccoli Cheese Fritters - Kids lunch box ideas / Vegetarian appetizer with broccoli

3. Form Broccoli cheese balls : Line a parchment paper / baking sheet on a pan and keep aside. Make equal shaped balls with the broccoli cheese mixture and arrange on the baking sheet. This will prevent the broccoli cheese balls from sticking to the plate. If you have difficulty to form the balls, use a ice cream scooper, then form into balls.

BROCCOLI CHEESE FRITTERS - Kids lunch box series
4. Fry the Broccoli Cheese Fritters : Heat Oil in an iron skillet / frying pan. Flatten the broccoli cheese balls using your palm into patties and shallow fry / deep fry them. If the mixture is sticking to your hand , use a small amount of oil to grease your hand and continue to shape the patties. 

BROCCOLI CHEESE cutlets - Kids lunch box series

5. Deep fry Do's and Don'ts : As always with deep-frying, be sure you don't crowd the pan. If too many patties are added, the oil temperature will drop and the fritters / cutlet will absorb grease and become soggy instead of searing. Fry until crisp and golden brown on all sides, turning over just once. Also, be sure you don't leave the broccoli fritters / cutlets in the oil for long. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. 

Notes : 

Baking method : You can bake these broccoli cheese fritters easily in a 400 degrees F oven for 30 minutes, turning the patties after 15 minutes. Baked fritters are not as crispy as friend ones. So for kids lunch box, i prefer to fry , cool and pack them. But you can definitely bake and serve these hot as an amazing vegetarian starter with broccoli and cheese.

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Saturday, October 8, 2016


Most delicious Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or PB& J, is a tasty american staple, that includes a layer of peanut butter and either jelly or jam on a white bread. Peanut Butter &  Jelly Bars taste like a cross between a moist peanut butter cookie and a delicious PB& J sandwich. The top is crispy while the bottom layer tastes like a shortbread. All the comfort of your favorite cookie and sandwich in one.

Most delicious Peanut Butter Jelly Bars

Learn how to make Peanut butter jelly bars
Preparation time : 15 mins, Cooking time : 45 min, Makes : 28 bars

Ingredients : 

Unsalted butter at room temperature : 2 sticks or 16 oz or 226g, plus more for greasing the pan

Sugar : 1 1/2 Cups

Vanilla extract : 1 tsp
Eggs : 2, at room temperature
2 cups Creamy peanut butter : 18 oz, i used Skippy
All-purpose flour / Maida : 3 Cups, plus more for dusting the pan
Baking powder : 1 tsp
Kosher salt : 1 1/2 tsp
Jam / Fruit Preserve : 16 oz,or 1 1/2 Cup
Salted Peanuts : 1/2 Cup, coarsely chopped (Optional) or Flax seeds : 2 tbsp (Optional)

Directions :

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. 

3. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until well combined.

4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

5. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

6. Spread two thirds of the dough in the prepared pan, using a spatula / hand to spread it evenly.

7. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.  Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don’t worry if all the jam isn’t covered; the dough will spread when it bakes. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.

Recipe Courtesy : Ina Garten. 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

CHICKEN JALFREZI / How to make Restaurant style Chicken Jalfrezi under 30 minutes !!

Chicken Jalfrezi is a very popular Indian -Pakistani restaurant dish . It goes very well with naan / chappathi / white rice.

Restaurant style Chicken Jalfrezi
Learn how to make restaurant style Chicken Jalfrezi at home
Cooking time : 30 mins Serves : 6

Ingredients :

Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs : 8 / 700 gm / 1.5 lbs , cut into cubes (Refer Notes*)

To Marinate :
Chillli powder : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Garam masala : 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice / Vinegar : 1 tsp

For the gravy :
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi powder : 1/4 tsp
Garam masala : 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder : 1/2 tsp ++ (i put 1 tsp)
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder :1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder : 1/4 tsp
Onion : 1, Cut into cubes
Ripe Tomatoes  : 3 , Peeled and chopped finely ( I used 8 oz can of tomato sauce) Refer notes*
Bell Peppers : 2, cut into cubes
Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves : 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Oil : 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp

Directions :

1. Marinate the Chicken pieces : In a bowl combine all the ingredients listed under "To marinate" along with the chicken pieces. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

2. Shallow fry the chicken  : Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and add the marinated chicken pieces. Stir fry well and keep aside. 

3. Fry the Spices : Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in the same pan. Add cumin seeds and ginger garlic paste. Fry until lightly browned. Now add the cubed onions and stir fry till they are translucent. Reduce the flame and add the remaining spices - Chili powder, Coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cardamom powder and Kasoori methi.

4. Jalfrezi Tomato gravy : When you get the roasted smell of the spices, add chopped tomatoes, bell peppers and stir well.  Cover and cook till the tomatoes break down and creates a thick Jalfrezi sauce. Add 1/2 cup water, salt, sugar and allow to cook. 

5. Add chicken to the gravy : Add the shallow fried chicken thighs and coriander leaves  into the Jalfrezi tomato gravy. Cover and cook in low flame for 15 minutes. 

6. Serve Chicken Jalfrezi hot with chappathi / naan / hot white rice.

Notes : 

1. Tomato sauce : I used 8 oz can of tomato sauce to get more color and creamier texture to my chicken Jalfrezi. Canned tomato sauce is nothing but a slow cooked tomato paste which is strained to remove the skin and seeds. You can substitute Canned tomato sauce with 4 tbsp tomato paste and 4 tbsp water. It gives the perfect color and deep flavor to the curry.
2. This recipe is the best Jalfrezi recipe to try with left over chicken tikka / grilled chicken. You can start from 'Step 3' and finish making Chicken Jalfrezi in 15 minutes.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Happy Onam Readers!!!

Today i am adding a payasam / Kheer recipe to my Onam recipe collection - Kerala Pineapple Pradhaman. Every year i make traditional payasams like Palada Pradhaman / Gothambu pradhaman etc for Onam. This year i thought of making a fruit payasam for a change. I have shared my pazham pradhaman recipe earlier, so 2016 onam special fruit payasam is  Pineapple pradhamn. Hope you will enjoy!!! 

Thank you for this beautiful copper vessel Saranya :)

Pineapple Pradhaman / Kerala sadya style Pineapple payasam / Pineapple Sago Kheer
Recipe for Kerala sadya style Pineapple Pradhaman / Pineapple sabudana Payasam/ Pineapple sago Kheer/ Pineapple Kerala Recipes
Cooking Time : 25 min, Preparation time : 10min , Serves : 6
Ingredients :

Pineapple : 1/2 of a medium pineapple ,finely chopped
Jaggery : 3/4 Cup to 1 Cup (i used 3/4 cup yellow jaggery)
Sabudana / Sago / Chowwari : 1/2 Cup
Coconut milk  : 1/2 of a can (2nd and 3rd Extract : 2 cups and 1 Cup Thick 1st extract of coconut milk )
Cashews : 10, halved
Raisins : 20
Cardamom Powder / Elakka podi : 1/2 tsp
Dry ginger Powder / Chukku podi : 1/2 tsp
Ghee : 2 tbsp

Pineapple Pradhaman / Kerala sadhya style Pineapple payasam / Pineapple Sago Kheer
Directions to make Pineapple payasam / Pineapple Pradhaman Kerala style :

1. Make jaggery syrup : Add 1/2 cup water and jaggery in to a sauce pan and heat in low- medium flame till you get a golden syrup, Strain and keep aside.

2. Cook Sabudana / Chowwari / Sago : Heat 2 Cups water in a sauce pan. When it boils, add Sabudana / Chowwari and cook till they are soft. 

3. Cashews and Raisins :  In a medium sized heavy bottom vessel / Uruli, heat 1 tbsp ghee and fry cashews and raisins until light golden in color.

4. Roasting Pineapple in Ghee : In the same vessel, add the remaining 1 tbsp ghee and saute the finely chopped pineapples till they are soft. Now add the melted jaggery syrup and combine everything. Keep Stirring.

5. Adding Sabudana and Coconut milk : Add the 2nd and 3rd extract of coconut milk along with the sabudana, stir well. When it starts to thick, Add the  first extract of coconut milk, cardamom powder and dry ginger powder.

6. Allow to boil for a minute and turn off the flame. Add the ghee roasted cashews and Raisins. Kerala Pineapple payasam / Kerala Pineapple Pradhaman / Pineapple Sabudana Kheer is ready to serve. 

Pineapple Pradhaman / Kerala sadya style Pineapple payasam / Pineapple Sago Kheer

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Eating outdoors is special for kids, so today i made these ulli vada / Onion Pakoda for an after-school picnic in park.

Kerala Ulli vada / Onion Pakoda / Tea shop special ulli vada / Onion Fritters
Preparation time : 15min, Makes 25 Ulli vada, Serves : 

Ingredients :

Onion : 3 large / 1.5lbs / 725g
Besan / Chick Pea Flour / Kadala Mavu : 2 1/2 Cups
Rice Flour / Arippodi : 1/2 Cup
Baking Soda : 3/4 Tsp
Salt : 2 Tsp (Add according to your taste)
Chilly powder / Mulaku podi : 2 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1 tsp
Ginger paste / Grated Ginger : 1 tsp
Green Chilli : 2, Thinly sliced
Curry leaves : 2 Springs, finely chopped
Oil for deep frying


1. Combine all the dry ingredients - Besan / Chick pea flour, Rice flour, Baking Soda, salt, chilli powder and Turmeric powder in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add enough water to make a thick batter.

3. Slice the onion as thinly as possible. Add the onion to the batter.

 4. Add the chopped curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger to the batter.

5. Combine everything well. Adjust the salt.

6. Heat enough oil in a cast iron skillet / frying pan. Add spoonful of batter to the hot oil and fry ulli vada till its golden brown. 

7. Serve hot with coconut chutney / Tomato sauce.

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