This Black Chickpeas curry is a popular dish from Kerala. It gets it flavour from the spice bundle used when boiling the chana. It is a healthy dish as it is packed with vegetable protien. Using coconut oil for tempering brings out the flavours of the curry. It is a traditional breakfast dish alongwith puttu in Kerala, but can be had for lunch alogwith steamed rice or appam.
Black Chana Kurma
- 200 grams Black Chana
- 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 nos Onions Thinly sliced
- 4 nos Tomatoes Finely chopped
- 3 tsps Coriander Powder
- 1/2 tsp Chilly Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 10-15 nos Curry Leaves
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups Coconut water
Potli (Spice Bundle)
- 3 nos Green Cardamom
- 6 nos Cloves
- 2 sticks (1") Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 cup Cononut Freshly grated
- 1 inch Ginger Roughly chopped
- 4-5 nos Green Chillies chopped
- 1/2 cup Coconut water
Soak the chana in a pan overnight. Next day drain the water and replenish with fresh water.
Add salt and the spice bundle and cook it in a pressure cooker until cooked.
Drain the water and discard the spice bundle
Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and curry leaves and saute over a medium heat until light golden in colour.
Next add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until it becomes mushy.
Add in the red chilly, coriander and turmeric powders and fry until the moisture evaporates.
Add the paste and stir fry for about 2 – 3 minutes
Add the boiled chana and stir, then add the coconut water and bring to boil. Add the salt.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the gravy thickens to a medium consistency. Adjust seasoning.
Serve the kurma with steamed rice or appams.
In the search for nutritious, healthy ingredients, I came across Aliv seeds (also called Halim or garden cress). These seeds are rich in iron and calcium. Laddoos made from Aliv is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made during the winter season. In combination with Coconut, Jaggery, Ghee, and nuts this is a gold mine of nutrition. It is also called a superfood.
Aliv Laddoo ( Gardencress Seeds Laddoo)
- 100 grams Aliv Seeds (Gardencress seeds) Also known as Halim Seeds
- 2 cups Coconut Freshly grated
- 1 cup Coconut water
- 1 cup Jaggery Powdered
- 2 tsps Ghee
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
- 4-5 nos Almonds chopped
- 4-5 nos Cashews chopped
Soak the aliv seeds in coconut water for about an hour. It will absorb all the liquid. If required you can add some more water.
Add the grated coconut and the jaggery into the soaked aliv. Leave it again for about half an hour. The gel of the seeds will absorb the flavour of the jaggery and the coconut.
Heat 2 tsp ghee in a pan and add in the soaked mixture along with the chopped almonds and cashews.
Mix well and on a medium flame cook the mixture till it gets a little dry and begins to leave the sides of the pan. This will take about 10- 12 minutes
Turn off the heat and add in the nutmeg powder
Allow it to cool slightly and then roll it into laddoos.
This is a simple recipe that can be made in less than an hour. You can make many variations by replacing the walnuts with nuts of your choice or with choco chips. It’s so addictive that it will disappear in minutes. It is our family favourite.
Servings: 5 persons
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter Melted and hot
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 1/2 Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 tsps Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder Unsweetened
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts Broken into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Lightly grease an 8- inch square baking pan with butter and lightly dusted with flour cocoa mixture. Set aside.
Combine hot melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute.
Add in the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition and then stir in the vanilla, whisk until light in colour.
Sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt.
Add in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. (Do not overbeat).
Fold in the walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the centre no longer jiggles. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Enjoy it plain or with a scoop of ice-cream.
Due to lockdown, we have been avoiding buying fresh food. There was this urge to eat Parsi style chutney bread made by Theobroma. I had a very good recipe to make a bread loaf from a home baking course I had taken many moons back. I decided to adapt it to make the chutney bread. I made the chutney similar to the one used to make Parsi style baked fish in banana leaf. The end result was awesome!
Parsi Style Chutney Bread
- 250 grams All Purpose Flour
- 7.5 grams Salt
- 10 grams Sugar
- 5 grams Yeast (Used Active Dry Yeast)
- 10 grams Butter
- 190 ml Water
- 1/2 cup Green Chutney See link below for the recipe
In a bowl take 100 ml of lukewarm water add sugar and mix well. Add in the active dry yeast. Leave it in a warm place for about 10- 15 minutes to activate the yeast.
On a counter sieve the flour along with the salt and make a well in the centre. Add in the yeast solution and gradually add in the balance 90 ml water to form a soft smooth dough. Add in the butter and knead again. This will take approximately 12-15 minutes.
Transfer the dough into a large greased bowl and rest the dough for 45 minutes covered with a damp kitchen napkin. Keep it in a warm place to proof. It will double in size.
After the dough has risen, knock back the dough and knead again for a few minutes. Rest it again for another 30 minutes.
Place the dough on a counter and gently roll out into a rectangular sheet with the help of a greased rolling pin. Spread the green chutney over the sheet. Start rolling the sheet from one end till you reach the other end and have the dough in a cylindrical form. Seal in the edges.
Place the roll in the greased bread mould and keep it for proving for another 40- 45 minutes or till it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 220 C. Brush the risen dough with some milk for a nice brown colour crust. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes or till the top is golden brown in colour.
Once out of the oven brush the top with butter while it is still warm. Cool the bread for a minimum of 2 hours before you slice. Enjoy with a good spread of butter.
Here is the recipe for the chutney used in making this bread
During the lockdown, I had to buy some cottage cheese from the dairy. While standing in the queue for my turn I happened to see their displayed product list. The fresh mawa in the list caught my attention and brought back fond memories of the mawa cake I used to buy from the Parsi bakery. Ended up buying the mava.
I made muffins using the mava. It is pretty simple and basic cake recipie. The addition of cardamom gives it a delicious flavour. It is super rich and very addictive at the same time.
- 1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (Maida)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Mawa (Milk Solids)
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 3 Tbsp Slivered Almonds or Pistachios (Or any other nuts)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Keep the muffin tray ready with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners.
In a mixing bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. It should take around a minute or two.
Add in the grated mawa and continue beating on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Next add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Now reduce the speed of the mixer and start adding in the flour and the milk little by little. and mixing it just until combined. ORYou could use a spatula to gently fold in together the flour and milk.Be sure not to over mix.
Divide the batter into the prepared muffin tray and sprinkle the slivered nuts on top.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean. Do not overbake or the muffins will be dry.
Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy it warm.
Sheera as it is called in parts of Tulunadu, is a sweet dish made from semolina. Various variants are made by adding pinapples, banana, etc. It is the season for mangoes so I decided to make Mango Sheera. This variant is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.
- 1 cup Semolina (Rawa)
- 1 cup Mango pieces (Ripe)
- 1 cup Jaggery grated
- 7-8 nos Cardamom (powdered)
- 1 cup Ghee
- 2 cups Milk (warm)
- 1 cup Water (Warm)
- 1 pinch Salt
- 20 nos Raisins
- 10-12 nos zcashew nuts
- 5-6 strands Safforn (Optional)
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom kadai. Add semolina and fry on a meduim heat until light brown in colour.
Add in the saffron and mix well
Next add in the pinch of salt, cashew nuts and raisins. Roast it till it gets slightly brown in colour.
Now add in the chopped mangoes, mix well and continue cooking till the mangoes pieces are soft and some slightly mushy.
Now gradually start adding the warm milk and water and keep stirring at the same time on a low flame till all the liquid is absorbed.
Now add in the powdered jaggery and mix well. As the jaggery melts it will become liquidy again.
Add in the cardamom powder and keep stirring and cooking till it gets dry and starts leaving the sides of the pan.
Turn off the flame and the mango sheera is ready to serve.
A healthier version of the Banana Bread. I replaced over half of the refined flour with whole wheat flour. Since whole wheat flour absorbs moisture, I added some milk to get the right consistency.
Banana Walnut Bread
Servings: 5 persons
- 100 grams Whole Wheat Flour
- 90 grams Refined Flour
- 100 ml Oil
- 130 Grams Powdered Sugar
- 2 Nos Eggs
- 2 Medium Bananas
- 50 Grams Walnuts
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Cup Milk
Preheat the oven to 180 degree C. Grease the baking dish with oil and sprinkle flour all over it. Coat the flour on all sides and tap off the excess flour.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt into a bowl and keep aside.
Peel and mash the bananas and keep aside.
In another bowl mix the oil and powdered sugar. Beat the eggs well and mix in the vanilla essence.
Add the flour to the oil and sugar mixture.
Now fold in the eggs and mashed bananas. Gently fold in along with the milk. (Keep aside a tsp of milk)
Add in the chopped walnuts. Mix gently. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 tsp of milk and combine into the batter
Pour the batter into the greased dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check whether the cake is done.
Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes. Invert it into a steel rack to let it cool down completely.
Slice and serve with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
This is the season for Jackfruits. Was wondering how appams would taste with the flavour of jackfruits. We usually make appams with bananas. Thought I would give our traditional appams a twist. The result was awesome!
Servings: 4 persons
- 1 cup Rice
- 7-8 Nos Jackfruit Pods Deseeded
- 1/4 cup Powdered Jaggery
- 1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/2 cup Coconut Grated
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Ghee As Required
Wash and soak the rice in water for 2-3 hours. Drain and keep aside
Cut the jackfruit ino small pieces
In a blender add the soaked rice, jackfruit pieces, cardamom powder, grated coconut and salt.
Grind to a fine paste. The batter should not be too thick or runny. Transfer it into a bowl.
Heat an appam pan and grease each mould with ghee. Using a spoon take a little batter and fill each mould with 3/4th of the batter.
Cover and cook on a low flame or 3-4 minutes.
Once the bottom is cooked gently flip it on the other side using a fork or a toothpick. Leave it for another 2-3 minutes on a low flame. Add a little ghee if necessary.
Follow the same steps with the remaining batter, using ghee to grease the moulds each time.
Serve as an evening snack, with a hot cup of tea.
This is a Brinjal preparation I first tasted at my neighbour’s place. She was kind enough to give me the recipe. The coconut based gravy blends very well with the brinjals. A typical South Indian preparation.
Baingan Masala with Green Peas (Brinjal Masala with Green Peas)
Servings: 4 persons
- 250 grams Brinjals
- 1 Cup Green Peas
- 2 Nos Onions Chopped Finely
- 1 Tsp Jaggery
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tsp Tamarind Paste
- 1 Inch Ginger
- 4-5 Cloves Garlic
- 6-7 Nos Curry Leaves
- 1/2 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Coriander Leaves
- Salt to Taste
Ingredients for Masala Paste
- 5 Nos Red Chillies Dried
- 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Inch Cinnamon Stick
- 3-4 nos Cloves
- 4-5 nos Peppercorns
- 2 Tsp Sesame Seeds
- 3-4 Tbsp Grated Coconut
In a pan dry roast the Ingredients given under Masala Paste
Grind them to a fine paste along with tamarind paste, jaggery, 2 cloves of garlic and salt. Keep aside.
Meanwhile slit the brinjals into four parts, just more than halfway through, so it remains as a whole with the stem intact.
Stuff the ground masala into the slit brinjals and keep aside the remaining masala.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the mustard seeds, once it begins to splutter add the curry laves, ginger and garlic. Saute for a few seconds.
Add in the onions and cook till it has turned slightly pinkish in colour.
Add in the stuffed brinjal and saute for a minute. Add the remaining masala paste and cook for a minute. Add in the green peas, turmeric powder and a cup of water. Mix well and cover the pressure cooker. Let it cook on a medium flame for two whistles.
Allow the pressure to release naturally. Open the cooker and once again bring to boil, check the seasoning and the coriander leaves. Mix gently
The brinjal masala with green peas can be had with Rotis or Jeera rice