Showing posts with label Ultimate comfort foods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ultimate comfort foods. Show all posts

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rice-whole green moong dal porridge/Cherupayar congee

It is a distant dream for me to grow vegetables  and eat organic. I know it will take a while, but I am being patient for the day to arrive. For now, you all chill out with my breakfast congee. I know most of you had a late night tiptoe weekends. Try this congee to ward off your hangovers. This cherupayar congee works equally well for busy worrywarts and satviks (minus the shallots) as it takes only minutes to prepare and is a pure bliss.   

Raw rice - 1 cup
Whole green moong dal/cherupayar - 3/4 cup
Pure ghee
Shallots - 2
Coconut milk

Cook raw rice and whole green moong dal in a pressure cooker until 3 whistles or till done.

Serve with thin coconut milk.

Optional: Heat ghee in a pan, add chopped shallots and fry. Pour it over the cooked rice and green moong dal congee.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Guacamole - The Mexican dip

Love me or hate me, but don't kill my spirits so that I can't rise and shine another day.
If you are sensitive like me, or have gone through some traumatic experiences, I'm sure the phrases above have popped in your head at one point or another.

Though I'm a very sensitive person, God has filled in me an amazing bounce-me-back power. In short, nothing can dullen my spirits for long. The secret perhaps lies in the happy childhood that my parents gave me.

When you are all hurt and feel like you can't move past the hurt, yet have to feed your figures. What you do? 

Try my Mexicana Way!!!

1. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath, then say "cancel" to the happenings (really give it a quit). Here practice is the keyword. Overtime with practice you will say bye to stale things in life more easily. 

2. The making of this dip transforms me to a happy chef again. I don't know clearly if the squishing or squashing of avocados or the magical colours of green, yellow, and red involved give me the zen experience. Slowly but surely it brings a healing effect in me. 

Have your friends over for small talks with a bowl of tortilla chips and guacamole. I'm sure you will be heading to kitchen in no time, wanting to make more, forgetting the bitter experiences you have gone through.  

Give it a try. Did I nourish your body and soul with the power of avocados, let me know....

Ripe avocado - 2
Onion small sized, chopped - 1/2 of a onion
Tomato, chopped - 1/2 of a tomato, seeds removed
Lemon juice - 1/2 of a lemon
Garlic - 1 clove
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped - 2 tbsp
Green chilli chopped - 1, seeds removed

Reserve half of an avocado by cutting it into chunks. Scoop out rest of the avocados and mash them. Add onion, garlic, lemon juice, pepper powder, coriander leaves, and green chilli and mash them. Add tomato and reserved chunks of avocado (don't mash them all up, some chunks of avocados should stay there). Garnish with unflavored tortilla chips and some chopped tomatoes.

I am linking this to event conducted by My Food treasures @ and Erivum puliyam @

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mom's kappa irachi (tapioca and beef)

As a child, I was a fussy eater. My dislike for food used to give my parents stressful times. Strong memories are associated with our large food-centered dining table where Dad sits with a cane and me like a prisoner chewing on food reluctantly. I used to provoke my Dad by showing all sorts of pranks when food is served.

So daily drama goes on and was something like this ....... First - Dad's voice of encouragement saying me to eat, eat ..... Second - a harsh voice of frustration when I am not having food, then provocation sets in leading to the clean utilization of cane, and me exploding into tears.

I don't know how much punishment I have got as a child in terms of being a picky eater.  

My Mom was very unhappy about the daily drama around the dining.

Sundays were different  for me; that was the day when kappa irachi is cooked in our house.

The smell of the masalas are so tempting when it is cooked, that I become one impatient child taking turns in the kitchen to see if it is ready. I used to have it happily for lunch, teatime, and dinner. So Sunday is the day when the picky eater in me graduates to a hungry monster. Nobody other than Appappa (grandpa) shares my love for tapioca in our house.

Abbey has inherited my love for tapioca at this tender age and gorges herself on it. Lately, this has become an excuse to make this often.

Frozen tapioca/kappa - 1 kg
Beef - 1/2 kg
Green chilli - 3 nos
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 6 nos
Onion - 1 no
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Meat masala - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves


Cook beef with turmeric powder and salt till it is well done. Keep them aside.

In a pressure cooker, saute ginger, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves, onions, and salt. Add chilli powder, pepper powder, and meat masala. Fry them for a minute and add frozen tapioca, half of the cooked beef along with the stock, which we have set aside (reserve other half for later use). Cook till 2 whistles or until it is done. Open the pressure cooker, and throw in the reserved beef pieces. Reduce the gravy nicely and serve hot. Alternatively, keep the gravy if you want to use it as a curry.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Unakkachemmeen Varuthathu (fried dried shrimps)

Hooray, a week of marathon cooking finally came to an end! We had friends for lunch and dinner on Onam day, followed by more friends for post Onam lunch on Friday. I was very glad to see the cheerful  faces of well fed people. The spirit of Onam truly breaks all the barriers of religion and reminds us we all are one big happy family.

I have become one lazybone after the marathon. We were mostly dependent on takeouts post Onam. We  tried biriyanis, schezuans, shawarmas, fried chickens, but all of these didn't quite tickle our taste buds. Nothing appealed to us. So decided on a return to Mom's good old Pineapple Pulissery and unakkachemmeen varuthathu (dried shrimps fry).


  • Dried shrimps - 1.5 cups
  • Shallots - 1 cup
  • Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt as needed

Dry roast the shrimps and keep them aside. Pour oil and saute the shallots well. Once it is sauteed well, add chilli powder and fry for a minute. Now add the dry roast shrimps, which is kept aside and fry them well. Use coconut oil again if necessary. Care should be taken not to burn the shallots.

Alternative:- First, fry shallots with chilli powder, keep them aside. Fry the shrimps. Now mix the fried shrimps and shallots. 


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