Thursday, 26 September 2013

Butter Beans and Vegetable Soup

This soup I made for dinner tonight is a meal in itself. Quite filling.


1 cup sliced leeks,
1 tbsp olive oil,
2 cups of boiled butter beans,
1 cup steamed green beans,
1 cup diced croquette,
1 cup deseeded tomato chunks,
1 litre vegetable stock,
Salt to taste,
Crushed black pepper to taste,
2 tsps basil pesto,
A handful of spaghetti strands


Heat the olive oil and add the sliced leeks. Once they soften add the steamed green beans and diced croquette. Sauté for 5 minutes.

Next pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Fold in the tomatoes, butter beans and spaghetti strands (snapped into two pieces). Let it come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix in the basil pesto and ladle into soup bowls.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Apple Crumble

I have had this recipe in a notepad for a couple of years now always meaning to make it someday. That ‘someday’ finally came the other day :-).

Since I have never had apple crumble ever I was a wee bit unsure of how this would turn out so I halved all the ingredients. But boy, was I happy with the result and so were all at home. I will gladly double these proportions the next time. Here’s for the recipe...


250 grams apples (1 large),
½ cup whole wheat flour,
50 grams salted butter,
3 tbsp sugar ,
A pinch of salt,
A few drops of lemon juice,


Wash peel and chop the apples. Add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning. Mix in 1 tbsp sugar and cook on a low fire until soft and mushy. Set aside to cool.

Mix salt and 1 tbsp sugar with the flour. Lightly mix in the butter with your fingers, do not knead. Mix till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.

Layer the cooked apples evenly in a baking dish. Layer the flour mixture evenly on top and press down gently. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.

Preheat the oven for 10 minutes at 180oC. Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 mins.

Slice and serve. It tastes best when warm.

Monday, 23 September 2013


Ela in Malayalam means leaf, so this is a sweet appam made in a leaf. This is made using a turmeric leaf, which gives the appam a unique taste. This, mind you is an acquired taste. I remember the first time I had it was when a family friend gave it to us and we absolutely couldn’t have it...only my parents ate it then. But then later we (sis and I) also developed a taste for it over the years and now we just love it.

This appam can also be made using banana leaves but of course sans the lovely turmeric flavour. Here is the recipe...


2 cups rice flour,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp oil,
3 cups of water

For the Filling

1 cup grated fresh coconut,
1 cup powdered jaggery,
1 tsp powdered green cardamom seeds

For the Assembling & Steaming

Turmeric Leaves


Boil the water and add the salt and oil.

Switch off the heat and add the flour to this water. Stir well with a spoon and once it is bearably hot knead it into a dough. You can add a little more water if required.

Melt the jaggery with a little water and mix in the coconut and powdered cardamom seeds. Let cool.

Make ping-pong sized balls of the dough. Divide the filling into the same number of portions as the dough balls.  

Wash the turmeric leaves and wipe them clean.

Take a dough ball and roll into a disc. Place this disc over the turmeric leaf.

Place one portion of the filling in the centre of the disc and fold it over along with the turmeric leaf to form a semi circle. Press the edges together.

Prepare the other appams similarly and steam them for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Dal with Dry Fish

Today I am posting a recipe for a dish I had after many years. My mother would make this when I was little. I remember back then, everyone who visited us from my native place bought a gift of dry fish. But as the concerns over high salt content grew, the use of dry fish at home diminished and it became a rarity. Since dry fish was made so rarely it would always be made either plain fried with a little oil or in a spicy masala, this version in dal was not made, so much so that my younger sister doesn’t have any memory of this dish.

This dish uses dried shark which is a common dry fish in the coastal belt.


1 cup arhar dal,
1 cup dry fish pieces (boneless),
1 ½ cup grated coconut,
2 tsp red chilli powder,
2 tsp powdered coriander seeds,
½ tsp powdered turmeric,
Salt to taste


Cook the dal with salt and turmeric.

Grind the coconut with red chilli powder and coriander powder into a fine paste. Add this to the cooked dal.

Wash the dry fish pieces well and add it to the dal-paste mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for another 5 minutes till a nice smell (this is really subjective I know many people who find the smell of dry fish abhorring) emanates.

Goes well with plain rice. I teamed it up with Kerala red rice.  

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Dahi Phulki

This dish looks a lot like dahi wada or dahi bara but it is different. Dahi phulki is not such a common dish unlike dahi wada which is made in almost all parts of India with some variations.

I had not heard about this dish until after marriage. I made it only once before this time following the recipe my husband shared. This Sunday I wanted to make it again for aftar and decided to check the internet for it, that is when I realized it is primarily a Pakistani dish and quite popular there. There is some Pakistani influence in my husband’s family that is why perhaps it is known there.

Now for the differences with dahi wada/bara, dahi phulki uses gram flour or moong dal flour whereas dahi wada/bara uses ground urad dal. Unlike dahi wada/bara dahi phulki is always tempered with mustard, curry leaves or even cumin seeds. However in some parts of India even dahi wada/bara is tempered. Dahi wada/bara is generally drizzled with meethi chutney, dahi phulki is not.

Let’s now go in for the recipe.


For the Phulki

2 cups besan,
1 ½ tsp soda-bi-carb,
Salt to taste,
¾ cup water,
Oil for deep frying

For the Dahi

¾ kg of curd,
2 tbsps sugar,
Salt to taste,
Red chilli powder to taste,
1 tbsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
8-10 curry leaves,
2 broken red chillies

For Serving

1 tsp roasted red chilli powder,
1 tsp roasted cumin powder


Mix the curd with the sugar, salt, red chilli powder and about 2 cups of water. Keep aside.

Mix all the dahi phulki ingredients except the oil really well. Do not be tempted to add more water as the batter should be thick. Let it stand for at least 15 minutes.

Heat oil and when it is hot add a little of the batter into the hot oil using your fingers. The phulkis should be drop shaped. Repeat and drop in more phulkis. Fry till golden brown on a medium heat. Drain the phulkis and add it directly to the dahi mixture.

Let it soak for about an hour.

Heat a tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, once they pop add the chopped red chillies and curry leaves. Drizzle this over the dahi phulki.

Serve chilled or at room temperature sprinkled with the roasted chilli powder and cumin powder.