September 29, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Muffins with Butternut Squash

Finally this post has come out of my drafts. I made these muffins last week and totally forgot to post it. These muffins taste very unique with the flavours of butternut squash and chocolate together. This is my first attempt of making muffins without following any recipe and I was very doubtful of the texture of the muffin without using egg or egg substitutes. But after mixing all ingredients, I had a confidence that this would be soft, moist and delicious. The butternut squash pureed with brown sugar itself was so tasty that my daughter started licking from the blender jar :-). Try these muffins for a unique flavour combo.

For those who are not familiar with butternut squash, here is a pic. It tastes similar to pumpkin. You may use pumpkin and follow the same recipe.


All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp
Butternut squash - 1
Dark Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup


1. Peel the butternut squash using a peeler, scoop out the seeds inside and cut the flesh to small cubes. The peel is very hard to remove with a knife. Steam these cubes till soft, about 10 mins.
2. Once the cubes cool down a little, keep about 10-12 cubes aside. These are to be used to top the muffins. Puree the rest of the cubes along with brown sugar. Keep aside.
3. Preheat oven to 200C and line the muffin tray with paper muffin cases or grease with a little oil.
4. In a mixing bowl, sift together APF, baking soda and cocoa. Add the puree and the oil and combine with a spatula till all the ingredients are incorporated well. Do not mix too much.
5. Scoop into the muffin tray and top it with a cube of the butternut. Bake for 15-25 mins till they are baked well.  Insert a toothpick or cocktail stick to check.

Linking this recipe with 100 day Global Food Festival

September 28, 2011

Double Ka Meetha

Another Blog Hop Wednesday is here and this time I have a sweet treat from Vaishali's blog  - Ribbons to Pastas. Apart from recipes, Vaishali's blog has a lot of crafts which shows how creative she is. Vaishali has a unique range of Sindhi recipes in her blog which are very new to me. I wanted to try a traditional dish, but unfortunately I couldn't spend much time in the kitchen. My daughter is down with viral fever for more than a week now and she clings to me all day and night. This leaves me with very little time to cook and do other household chores. Regular visitors of my blog would have noticed my absence for a week. So I looked for an easy recipe in her blog and finalized on Double Ka Meetha, a Nawabi dessert which is similar to a bread pudding. I am so very glad that I tried this, it was a sweet treat to the taste buds. It is a tasty and easy dessert option when you have guests and can be made the previous day and refrigerate if you would like to serve chilled. We had half of it while still warm and I refrigerated the other half portion and relished it the next day. I liked the cold one more :-)

I had to make a few changes to Vaishali's recipe due to the unavailability of ingredients mainly Khoya. I used Nestle Coronation Evaporated Milk instead of boiling and thickening milk, which made it much easier. View the original recipe here.


Bread Slices - 5
Evaporated Milk - a 400 gm tin
Sugar - 1/4 cup or to taste
Cardamom powdered - a pinch or two
Saffron - a pinch
MTR Badam Feast powder - 2 tbsp (Optional. I just added it for the badam flavour)
Nuts and raisins roasted in ghee - to garnish
Ghee or Oil - to deep fry


1. Cut out the edges of the bread and then cut each slice to four. Deep fry the bread pieces and keep aside.
2. Heat the evaporated milk in a pan or in microwave. Add sugar, cardamom, saffron and the badam feast powder and stir well.
3. Arrange the bread slices in an oven safe dish. I used a glass roasting tray for this. Pour the prepared milk and top it with the nuts and raisins roasted in ghee.
4. In an oven pre-heated at 180 C, bake it for 5-7 mins.

Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.

This pic goes to Black and White Wednesday

Off this goes to Blog Hop Wednesday - Week 5,  Diwali Special - Sweets& Savouries at Tickling Palates and Diwali - Festival of lights at Anu's healthy kitchen

Also goes to Khushi's My Diwali My Way

September 20, 2011

Spinach/Palak Paratha

Palak Paratha with Boondi raitha and Pickle


1. Spinach/Palak leaves chopped - 2 cups
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilly paste - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 3/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt for the dough
Oil - 1 to 2 tsp

2. Atta/Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Water for the dough
Butter/Ghee - as needed

1. Another method is to puree/grind the spinach mix after sauteing and then mixing it with the dough.
2. Substitute methi (fenugreek leaves) to make Methi Paratha


1. Heat a pan and add the oil. Add all the ingredients listed as item 1 and combine well and saute for a minute or two till the spinach turns darker and shrinks. Remove from the stove and transfer it to a mixing bowl.
2. Add atta and enough water to the same mixing bowl and knead to make a soft dough like roti/chappathi. Keep aside for 10-15 mins.
3. Make lemon sized balls from the dough and roll it the same way like chappathis.
4. Heat a tawa and cook the paratha and flip till both sides are cooked well. After the last flip, smear some ghee or butter.

Serve hot with raitha and pickle, any chutney or curry you like..

Linking to Anyone can cook:Series 34 and to Life is Green

September 18, 2011

Veg Noodles and Chilly Chicken

A perfect weekend meal combo for us - Sweetcorn Chicken soup, Veggie Noodles and Chilly Chicken. Can it get any better for someone who loves Indo-Chinese food !


Recipe for Veg Noodles

Chinese Noodles - 3 nests
Carrot - 1, peeled and cut to thin strips
Capsicum - 1, cut to thin strips after discarding the seeds
Onion - 1, sliced fine
Minced garlic - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 to 2 tbsp
Chinese 5 spice shake - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Pepper powder - 3/4 tsp or more to suit your taste
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

1. Cook the noodles as per the pack instructions and drain to a colander. Keep it under running water for a few seconds and let it cool.
2. Heat oil in a wok or wide pan and add garlic followed by onion, carrots and capsicum. Saute for a couple of minutes, till they are crunchy.Add salt and pepper and mix well. Add soy sauce and spice shake and combine. 
3. Keep the stove on high, add the cooked noodles to the wok and toss well for a few minutes . 

Notes:  Use more veggies like green beans, cabbage and green peas.

Recipe for Chilly Chicken

For marination
Boneless Chicken - 500 gms, cut to strips or bite size pieces
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1.5 tbsp
Egg white (beaten) - of 1 egg
Chopped ginger and garlic - 1.5 tbsp each
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Salt to taste

For the sauce
Onions - 2, chopped
Green Capsicum - 1, diced
Finely chopped ginger and garlic - 1 tsp each
Kashmiri chilly powder or Paprika - 2 tsp mixed in a cup of water
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup - 1 to 2 tbsp
Salt for the sauce
Oil for deep frying
Spring onions sliced - for garnishing

1. Grind together ginger garlic and green chillies with a little water to a smooth paste. Add all other ingredients for the marination to this paste and keep aside for minimum 1 hour.
2. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Fry the chicken pieces till golden brown, do not fry more as chicken gets dry and hard. Drain and keep aside.
3. Take 1 to 2 tbsp of oil used for frying and heat it in another pan. Add onions, capsicum and salt and saute for a couple of minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute again for 2-3 mins. Pour the chilly powder mixed it water. If you have a little marinade left over, add it too.When it starts boiling add, soy sauce and tomato ketchup. Combine well and add the fried chicken. Simmer for few minutes, till gravy thickens and chicken is coated well with sauce. Garnish with spring onions. Serve hot.

Recipe source: Chilly chicken from Maria's Menu

Sending this to What's For Friday dinner

September 16, 2011

Meen Peera

One of my favourite seafood dish - Meen Peera, a speciality of Kerala. It is usually made with small fish like anchovies, netholi, chooda or small sardines.


Anchovies or any other small fish - 500 gms
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Kudampuli or fish tamarind - 1 or 2 pieces
Salt to taste

To grind
Shredded coconut - 1 cup
Green chillies - 4 or 5
Ginger - a half inch piece
Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp


1. Soak kudampuli in 1/2 cup warm water for 10-15 mins.
2. Remove the head and tail of the fish and clean it. No need to cut the fish as we use small fish for peera.Keep aside.
3. Grind the ingredients listed above to a coarse mix without adding water. Keep aside.
4. Heat oil in an earthern pot or pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add the ground paste and curry leaves and give it a mix. Now add fish, the tamarind along with the water used for soaking. Add enough salt and cover and cook till fish is done. You may either make it dry or a little runny.

Serve hot with kanji or rice.

Linking to Anyone can cook:Series 34 and  to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya Kudua

September 15, 2011

Ulli Sambar

Ulli Sambar is my favourite type of sambar and I make it whenever I feel bored of the regular veggie Sambar. Ulli is the malayalam term for Onion and the onions used in this recipe are the small ones which are called sambar onions/shallots. I make two versions of this sambar. The easiest version is this recipe. The other one is my Amma's recipe in which the gravy is made with roast and ground coconut. Will post that sometime later...


Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Small onion/Shallots peeled - 1 cup
Garlic - 2 or 3 cloves
Green chillies - 3, slit
Tomato - 1
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp (dry roast the seeds and then powder)
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - a small lemon sized
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a few

Note: You may substitute coriander and chilly powders with your regular sambar powder.


1. Pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water for 1-2 whistles. The dal should be cooked but not mushy. Keep aside.
2. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
3. Peel the sambar onions. If onions are large, cut into 2. Otherwise use the whole onion. Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till they are transparent. Add the green chillies and garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add coriander, chilly, turmeric and fenugreek powder and combine.
4. Add the cooked dal, tamarind juice, tomato, salt and enough water. Cook till onions are cooked and sambar thickens. Take care not to overcook as onions turn mushy. Add hing now.
5.Heat oil in a tadka pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry chillies and curry leaves and pour this seasoning to the sambar.

Serve hot with rice

Sending to Anyone can cook: Series 33 and  to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya Kudua

September 14, 2011

Carrot Rice

Another Blog Hop Wednesday is here and this time I'm paired with Rajani of My Kitchen Trials. Her blog has a variety of simple and easy recipes. Carrot being my daughter's favourite, I decided to try the Carrot Rice. The picture of the colourful rice tempted me a lot and when I made it, my daughter loved it too..Carrot rice is perfect for a lunchbox.
So, here is the recipe. I didn't have paneer in stock, so I had to do without it. May be next time :-)


Carrot finely grated - 1 cup
Cooked rice - 1.5 to 2 cups (Basmati or Sona Masoori or Ponni)
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Chilly powder - 3/4 tsp or more
Coriander leaves to garnish.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp


1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add onions and salt saute  till they start turning light brown. Add ginger garlic paste and combine.
2. Add carrots and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add chilly powder and curry leaves and mix well. Add the cooked rice and fold in gently. Switch off the flame. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve warm...Raitha goes well with this rice.

Sending this to Blog Hop Wednesday an event initiated by Radhika and  to Anyone can cook: Series 33 and to Friday Potluck

September 12, 2011

Paal Pidi (Rice dumplings in coconut milk)

Pidi is a small rice dumpling similar to Kozhukatta.


Roasted Rice Flour - 1 cup (I use store brought idiyappam/pathiri podi)
Water - 1 cup
Salt - a pinch

Medium thick coconut milk - 400 ml
Sugar - Add to your taste
Powdered/crushed cardamom - 1 tsp

Note: You may use whole milk instead of coconut milk. Boil till it thickens and then add pidi. Adding condensed milk also improves the taste.


1. Boil water with a pinch of salt. Pour this boiling water to the rice flour in a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. When it cools down a little to handle, take a little dough and roll it between your palms to form a cherry sized ball. Steam these balls in a steamer for 10-15 mins till cooked. Pidi is now ready
2. Meanwhile add coconut milk and sugar in a pan. When it is hot, add the steamed pidi and cook for about mins or more, till the coconut milk becomes thick. Add cardamom powder. You may also add chopped nuts if you like.

Serve warm. Kids are sure to love this...

Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya KuduaDiwali Special - Sweets& Savouriesat Tickling Palates and Diwali - Festival of lights at Anu's healthy kitchen

Also linking with Serve it - Stemed at Krithi's Kitchen and Oh Taste n See and also to Anyone can cook: Series 33

Also goes to Khushi's My Diwali My Way

September 11, 2011

Coriander Tomato Chutney


Coriander leaves(without stem) - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Urad daal - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 4 or 5 (adjust to suite your taste buds)
Shredded coconut - 2 to 3 tbsp
Oil -1 tbsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
A few curry leaves


1. Heat oil in a pan and add urad daal and dry red chillies. Saute for few seconds and add tomatoes. When tomatoes are soft, add coconut and saute for a minute. Add the coriander leaves and combine well.Add enough salt and grind to a smooth paste without adding water.
2. Heat oil for seasoning in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves. Saute the ground chutney for a few minutes.
Enjoy with hot idlis or dosas

Recipe Source: My mother in law

Sending this to Condiment Mela @ Cooking 4 all seasons also to Anyone can cook: Series 33

September 9, 2011

Gothambu Paayasam - Onam special

Today is Thiruvonam, the festival celebrated by Keralites all over the world irrespective of their religion. We celebrated Onam with this yummy paayasam made with Gothambu/Broken Wheat. I couldn't get broken wheat, so I used crushed wheat also known as Dalia. I called up my amma this morning to get the recipe and she explained it to me. But like all other mothers,she doesn't measure the ingredients in cups and spoons, so I was kind of not sure about the exact proportions. Moreover she always use freshly squeezed coconut milk, whereas I always use a canned one. It was then I remembered this recipe posted at Maria's Menu a long time back. I made this paayasam following her recipe and it came out very yummy...Thanks, Maria...

Have a look at this small pookkalam (flower carpet) me and my daughter made today.


Broken/Crushed wheat - 1 cup
Water - 4 cups

Dark brown jaggery - 500 gms (I used a little less)
Water – 1/2 cup

Medium thick coconut milk – 3.5 cups (I added 1.5 cups water to 2 cups thick coconut milk)
Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tsp
Crushed Cardamom – 3

For garnishing
Ghee – 1 to 2 tsp
Cashew nuts- 1/4 cup
Raisins – 1/4 cup
Coconut pieces (bite sized) – 1/2 cup

Note: Use dark jaggery as it gives a lovely dark colour to payasam. The jaggery I had was not so dark and it made the paayasam lighter in colour.


1. Pressure cook crushed wheat with water for 2-3 whistles. It should be cooked well. Broken wheat may take a longer time.Wait till pressure is released completely.
2. Meanwhile melt jaggery in 1/2 cup of water. Strain it to remove impurities if any. Pour this is to the cooked wheat and combine well. Add ghee and cook till jaggery is almost dried up. Add medium thick coconut milk and ghee and let it boil. Simmer till the payasam becomes thick. Add crushed cardamom also.
3. Now add the thick coconut milk. Simmer for 5 more minutes in low flame. Do not boil after adding thick milk
4. In a small pan, heat ghee and add coconut pieces, when it changes to light brown, add raisins and cashewnuts. Pour this to the payasam.

Enjoy !!!

Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya Kudua, Diwali Special - Sweets& Savouries at Tickling Palates and Diwali - Festival of lights at Anu's healthy kitchen and Friday Potluck 6 at Show and Tell

Also goes to Khushi's My Diwali My Way

September 8, 2011

Pineapple Pachadi and HAPPY ONAM

Tomorrow is Thiruvonam and the people of Kerala are all set to celebrate this festival wherever they live. It is the time of the year, where I miss my home in Kerala the most. When we were living in Bangalore, we used to go to our hometown to celebrate, but this year we are far away in a different country :-(

Before I proceed to the recipe, please visit my Kerala Sadya tab on this blog. I just have a few of my favourite recipes in it. 

Pineapple pachadi is one of my favourite dish in Kerala Sadya. There are many types of Pachadi made with cucumber, beetroot etc. This pachadi is sweet and my daughter loves it a lot. She can finish a bowl of this in minutes :-)

HAPPY ONAM to all of you...Watch out for my Onam special post tomorrow.


1. Ripe and sweet pineapple chopped - 2 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Water to cook the pineapple

2. To grind to a paste
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chilly - 1

3.Yoghurt/Curd beaten - 1/4 cup or more to your taste (use not so sour curd)

4. For seasoning
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
Curry leaves - a few
Note: You may add a little sugar or jaggery if the pineapple is not sweet enough. Add it after cooking the pineapple. Jaggery gives a darker shade to the pachadi.


1. Peel and core the pineapple and chop to small pieces. I used canned pineapple chunks for convenience. Cook pineapple with turmeric and chilly powder and enough water till it is soft. Takes upto 20 mins. After cooking, mash 3/4 portion of the pineapple. I keep the 1/4 th portion as pieces because it is nice to chew them. If there is more water, cook for few more minutes till it is almost dry.
2. Meanwhile grind the items in list 2 to a thick smooth paste adding just enough water to grind.Add this paste  to cooked pineapple and simmer for few minutes. Now add the yoghurt, and combine well. Do not let it boil after adding yoghurt. Remove from the stove.
3. In a tadka pan, add oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add dry chilly and curry leaves. Pour this seasoning to the pachadi..

Recipe Source: Amma

Sending this to Fruit curries @ Ambrosia an event series initiated by Charitha

September 7, 2011

Egg Kurma

Egg kurma is a delicious egg curry cooked in  coconut gravy. This can be served with chappathi, appam, porotta/paratha and also with rice.

Today it was raining Awards for me...Have a look at them here


Eggs - 3, hard boiled
Onions - 2, finely sliced
Green chillies - 4 slit
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Tomato - 1 large, chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp or more
Garam masala - 1 tsp (preferably home made)
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup (firmly packed)
Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - a pinch (optional)
Chopped Coriander leaves - to garnish
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

You may also  add potatoes/carrots/green peas to this curry

1.Grind together coconut and fennel to a smooth paste adding enough water. Keep aside
2. Heat oil in a pan and saute onions. When they are soft, add green chillies and saute till onions start turning brown.
3. Add ginger garlic paste and saute. Add tomatoes and saute till mushy. Now add turmeric, chilly powders and garam masala. Saute till the raw smell of masalas is gone.
4. Add the ground paste and combine well. Add enough water and salt for gravy. Cover and cook for few minutes. Shell the eggs and cut them to halves, or just make slits on the whole egg. Add this to gravy and simmer for few minutes. Add a pinch of pepper powder and garnish with coriander leaves.

Linking this with Anyone can cook: Series 32 , Food Palette Series Rainbow Colours and to The Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya Kudua  this month

Awards time....

This morning Vidhya of Sugar N Spice surprised me with the Top Contributor - The Kerala Kitchen Aug 2011 Award. Thanks Vidhya, you made my day.

Checkout the Roundup posted at her place with many yummy dishes. I had sent 5 entries for the event.

And then Award of Participation for Iftar Nights at Jabeen's Corner

Later in the evening, I got a message from Chandrani of Cuisine Delights. She has shared with me the Cute Triple Awards. Thank you dear for thinking of me and passing the award.

Now, it is time to pass the Cute Triple Awards to my friends..

1. Sobha Shyam of Good Food
2. Hari Chandana of Indian Cuisine
3. Priya of Easy N Tasty recipes
4. Suja of Kitchen Corner - Try it
5. Shireen of Ruchik Randhap
6. Vidhya of Sugar N Spice
7. Khushi of A Girl's Diary
8. Kaveri of Palakkad Chamayal
9. Radhika of Tickling palates
10. Uma of My Kitchen Experiments
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