Friday, October 3, 2014

Fermented Favourites

Recipe: Mom's Soft and Delicate Vattayappam (Steamed cakes of fermented rice and coconut batter)

"It's so soft and delicate, Amma. Can you give me some more?"

That's what my elder son told me when he had his first slice of Vattayappam.

I used my mother's recipe as I have loved her vattayappams the most.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Toddy Tales

Recipe : Homemade Toddy from Coconut Water

The malayalam word for "shop" is "kada".

But in Kerala, a toddy shop is always called "kallu shaap" and not "kallu kada".

I wonder why.

A kallu shaap is usually a dirty, dingy hut and not a welcome place for a woman. Though these days there are a few family kallu shaaps where you can sit down with the whole family and drink kallu (toddy) and enjoy wonderful spicy seafood.

However, anything in excess is bad for health, especially addictive things like alcohol. Sadly, many lives are ruined due to alcohol addiction. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sweet Celebrations

Recipe: Semiya Payasam / Vermicelli Pudding

There was a time in Kerala, when payasams were inseparable from celebrations, much before the popularisation of cakes and pastries. Be it a birthday or a festival, the payasam was the main dessert with the fragrant smell of cardamom filling the house.

There are mainly 2 types of payasams - the brown one (or the "sharkara" payasam) and the white one (or "paal" payasam).

The sharkara payasam is sweetened with sharkara ie jaggery (hence the brown colour), thickened with coconut milk and is more time-consuming to prepare due to the need for scraping many coconuts, taking out its milk, melting and cleaning the jaggery etc, like this parippu payasam I had made before.

The paal payasam, on the other hand, is sweetened with sugar, thickened with cow's milk and is a quickie.

My favourite payasam has always been the semiya payasam which is a type of paal payasam made with semiya (vermicelli), milk and sugar. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Desserts in a Jiffy

Recipe: 1 Minute Microwave Flourless Chocolate Cake

Do you sometimes get an intense craving for a mouthful of deep dark chocolaty yumminess?

I do... almost every other week

Single-serving microwave cake recipes are perfect for such times. However, most of them never worked for me. Unless I ate them scalding hot and burnt my mouth in the process. Once cool, they almost always turned out dry and hard.

Finally I tried out a recipe for microwave flourless cake. That was better than the ones with flour. But it was still a little more pudding-like and a little less cake-like. Until I added some Nutella to the batter :) That was perfect. Even after an hour, when the cake was cool, it was moist and cakey...

Some days later, I also experimented using peanut butter instead of nutella and it resulted in a wonderful chocolate peanut flavoured cake.

Its very easy to make and takes just about a minute to cook.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baking with Corn

Recipe: Cheesy, Crunchy Corn Bake

Babies have sixth sense...

I'm sure...

Have you noticed how just when you have to do some really important work and are running short of time, the peacefully sleeping baby wakes up crying?

It was the exact same case when I was trying to complete baking and take the photos for this post... (and the same case every morning too...)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Refreshing Re-beginnings

Recipe: Monsoon Mazaa

I have been away for a long time.

Though I've been wanting to get back all the time, life just kept giving me tons to do. My hands were full with a new addition to my family last year, sleepless nights, my support system crumbling apart, bouts of bad health, returning back to work after maternity leave, etc.. You could just say that life took over the blog....

Finally one day I happened to see the facebook page for Indian Food Blogger Meet and I was thrilled. But my hopes were soon dampened when I realised that I was no longer a regular blogger - it had been more than a year since I posted. The kind organisers of IFBM agreed to get back to me if there was a seat vacant after the regular bloggers enrolled.

And there was...

Woohoo!!! I am going to the Indian Food Bloggers Meet :)

And then there were the competitions. When I saw the Urban Dazzle mocktail/cocktail competition, I knew I had to do it. I had baskets and baskets of fruits at home (thanks to my parent's farm) If I missed this, then even the fruit flies wouldn't forgive me...

I had to experiment with the flavours when the little one was asleep and all the photographs have been clicked with me tip-toeing around my sleeping baby :)


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