Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A little 'news' with a simple recipe..

Hope everyone out there is doing well. I am doing great here.  I have been getting several messages for the past many months asking about my erratic posts and sometimes total disappearance. I have also been getting several messages over Facebook asking if I was expecting a newcomer. Yes,  I am about 36 weeks now and due on December 25, X’mas Day!! 

Unlike my first pregnancy, this one was like a roller coaster ride. During the first trimester of this pregnancy, I was almost always on bed, so tired, couldn’t even get up for food. Most of the food made me nauseate, had terrible back ache and to make it worse, had heights of mood swings and was always irritant and on the verge of explosion. Often the poor husband and child became the scapegoat of my outburst. Cooked very rarely, and by the time I am done I would be so exhausted I ended up on bed for rest of the day. So, that has been my first trimester, after which I went to India. I dint face any of these in my first pregnancy, so it was a total new experience! 

I know I wouldn’t be able to do much to keep my blog alive and running. I have got several recipes and pictures in my drafts which I am not sure when I would be posting. Otherwise, I don’t do any shooting and styling. Well, I dont even cook on regular basis. So I packed away all my props. I realized that the junk I collected over the years have dominated a major chunk of space in our house, which is now free for placing something useful. I chucked them all in the garage, knowing that I won’t be able to make use them for a very long while now. I am not happy with that, but I know I won’t be able to do styling and photo shooting as it makes hell lot of mess and lot of tidying up which can be very tedious now. And my mind is always occupied with the baby stuff and organizing things before the little one arrives. 

Now, here is a recipe that I typed long ago, I guess it was for Onam, but it slipped off my mind. My boys here, loves beets in any form and beetroot pachadi is something that I cook when I get some, apart from the thoran. It is very simple to make and goes as a side dish with plain boiled rice.

Beetroot Pachadi (Beetroot in tempered yogurt sauce)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves ~ 4

1 large beetroot, 220g; grated – 1 ¾ cups
2 cloves of garlic
a small piece of ginger, 7 g
1/3 cups, 50g freshly grated coconut or frozen
2/3 cup lightly whisked yogurt
water -  as required
salt -  as required

For tempering:
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 twig curry leaves
2 dried red chillies, broken up into two halves

1.Place beetroot in a small pan and cook it along with 2 tbsp of water on medium flame until cooked through.

2. Grind coconut, ginger and garlic adding about 1/3 cups of water to smooth paste.

3. Lightly whisk the yogurt and add to the ground coconut mixture. Once the beets have cooled down, add this coconut-yogurt mix to the beetroot and mix well.

4. put the pan back on heat and gently until steam comes though, but not boil as boiling can curdle the mixture.

To temper:

Heat oil in a small pan, and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, throw in the curry leaves and the dried chillies. Let it splutter too for few seconds and then add this tempered oil to the cooked beetroot. Cover. Just stir before serving.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Kai Pathiri : Rice Pancakes with Coconut, Fennel and Onion

Hi all, This post was supposed to be posted long back, even before I left for India. I was so pressed for time, I just couldn't squeeze in any time to post it on my blog before I left. So here is the post unedited, just as I did it before I left home. This post was specially done for Lubna's blog for her lovely yearly event - Joy from fasting to feasting.

Ramadan Mubarak to all. The holy month is finally here and this time I am going to be in India with my parents and siblings during Ramadan and a few weeks after that. I wish the clock ticks slowly as good times pass even before the blink of an eye. This is the month that brings in me so much of peace and tranquillity. More time is focussed on religious affairs and duties. Here, in the UK, Ramadan is just like any other month probably it is not celebrated as in the Middle East, no special prayers, and not even Azhan is called which is really sad. To feel the spirituality or the feeling of Ramadan I think one needs to be somewhere in the Middle East. India is not bad either.

Lubna’s blog is one of the blogs that celebrates Ramadan well and I have been contributing my recipes to her events for the past few years. When she asked me if I could share a recipe, I told yes immediately. But now I have way crossed the dead-line inspite of her asking me several months ago.

I love how she compiles each post and the Ramadan recipes are always a keeper to try it during Ramadan. At my home, it’s usually traditional menu during the Ramadan days. We usually prepare traditional dishes and try out different varieties keeping its traditional root intact. No fancy shmancy cooking, baking or desserts. There are sweet things, but usually snacks, fruits, hot drinks and as such. Cooking is almost always elaborate especially when it is at home. I just cant wait to be home, to be pampered, to be loved, to have my mom’s food, the most delicious food ever.

Here is an authentic recipe for a variety of rice pancake or rotis, could be called as kin of neypathal, but more on the healthier side. The recipe is same as neypathal, but instead of deep frying, this is cooked on the non stick tawa or a cast iron pan until you see few brown spots and it puffs up slightly. The dough is rolled into balls using greased hands and patted to make thick rotis using your fingers on a greased banana leaf or any greased plastic sheet/ shopper bag. Once all rotis are cooked, you can dip them in warm coconut milk and place them in hot pot or casserole to keep them warm until they are ready to be served. It goes well with any traditional  non vegetarian curry, like Malabar fish curry, Malabar chicken curry or mutton curry, chemmeen varattiyathu, Beef varattiyathu etc.

KaiPathiri: Rice Pancakes with Coconut, Fennel and Onion
serves 4-6
Ref: Neypathal

2 cups parboiled rice
11/2- 2 cups grated coconut
1 small onion, about 160 g
1 ½ tsp aniseed
salt as required.


1.Soak rice in hot water for 3-4 hours. drain water off.

2. Grind it coarsely using Indian wet grinder adding few spoons of water to make a coarse dough. Add fennel onion and coconut and just blend for few seconds to crush all the ingredients, without over-grinding them. The whole dough will be coarse to touch.

3. Scoop out the dough in a bowl, add salt and mix well.

4. Smear the hands well with oil, take a medium apple sized dough and flatten it on a banana leaf making thick rounds, as thick and as big as a neypathal.

5. Cook both sides on a non stick tawa till both sides puff up.

1. I usually end up adding water while grinding rice as my machine doesn’t work with less water. If you get a thick batter instead of dough, do not worry. You can add unroasted rice powder to the batter and mix until you get a soft dough that can be flattened into discs.
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