Monday, August 29, 2011

LIFE IS WORTH LIVING!

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We were busy for the past 2 days. What did we do, you may ask?They ate and enjoyed shopping around my little town, Kannur. I enjoyed seeing them eat and driving them around this little town.I got to meet these 'komali's'/clowns almost after 2 years. They couldn't come for our wedding but we made up for all that now! :)
BFF's

We are the hostel friends. None of us studied in the same class or even the same college.Some of them are my juniors but as friends, we are one good gang. We've met each others friends and some of them are our good friends now. We know each others family and now we feel like we all are part of one big family.
Fun at the Beach!
No matter how far away we are from each other or how rare we speak or write a note to each other, we know we are in each others thoughts.It's amazing to realise that nothing's changed between us even though some of us are married! We are still the laughing bunch of crazy girls, who still don't care about who's looking at us except for when I remind them that people may recognise me who lived all her life in Kannur! :-) I am so blessed to have such a great bunch of real real, real good girlfriends!
Life is worth living
Wherever you are,
Deep down in dungeon
Or high on a star.

Life is worth living
It all has a plan
When God knows
you're giving
The best that you can.

The saint and the sinner,
The great and the small,
We all are God's children
And He loves us all.

So pray when you're happy
And pray when you're blue,
For life is worth living
When God lives with you.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CONVERSATIONS

Appan

This is the kind of casual conversations we have at home :Different cuts of meat and how to eat use them!


The book Appan is refering to, is from my Grandmother's cookbook collection. It is such an amazing book,The Cookery Year by Reader's Digest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

GUESS WHO?

Janu Chechy

Any guesses as to who this lady could be? I've mentioned her in my Kannur Meen Curry post...she is Janu Chechy, our help at home for the last 30 plus years. She's been in our household even before my parents got married so obviously long before I was born.A lady with a big big heart. A lady who is the only support for her family.She cooks one of the best 'Kannur Meen Curry','Pachhadi' & 'Puliyum Molakum' ever!

The dish she is holding is her popular 'Puliyum Molakum'. There's no cooking involved in it actually. It's just a combination of some of my favourite things...Tamarind & Coconut Oil.She has been making this for me from the time I can remember. I eat it straight from the bowl but she tells me that I should eat it with some rice or else, it will affect my stomach.

When I was young,like really young I used to ask her every single day as to what she had for breakfast,lunch & dinner. She used to tell me various things she had and one of those days she mentioned about the 'curry' she used to take along with her for work while she worked in the paddy fields long back...very many years ago, when she was young. She called it 'Puliyum Molakum'.

PULIYUM MOLAKUM

You will need:
Tamarind
Water
One small red onion, diced
Green Chilies,chopped
Red Chili powder
Ginger
Salt
Sugar
Coconut Oil

Method:
Soak the tamarind in some water and squeeze out it's pulp.To that, add rest of the ingredients to taste.
I love a big fat drizzle of coconut oil over it.This is an awesome dip for Bhajji's or you can eat it straight out of the bowl.

So when she made Puliyum Molakum for me as soon as I reached home last month, I asked her to pose for me, for a photograph which she did very happily! Today, I saw her searching for onions so that she could make another bowl full for me...just for me :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

COFFEE CREAM WHEEL...time to roll!

Coffee Cream Wheel
We are on a roll these days.Rolling from one part of the country to another.It's just the beginning of our journey. When we booked the tickets, Amma & I insisted that we go in a train so that we get to rest atleast for that many hours!To be at home, is the best thing to ever happen to many of us and that's even more awesome if you can lose some weight, even though you are gorging on endless yummy Amma-made food!

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This recipe is sensational. It is such an easy one and something you just cannot go wrong with! Did it seem that easy to you? If you just look at it, you wouldn't think so but when you actually make it, you would wonder how something so simple to make can turn out to be so tasty! Amma got this recipe from Amma's twin sister, Daisy.
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Yes,my Amma,Susy, has a twin.They are identical twins, in almost everything.Sharing recipes is one of their favourite hobbies which is also passed down to me.I recently started writing another diary with just homemade recipes...mostly passed down from my aunt's and cousins. I hope to fill it by the time this vacation of mine, is over.
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I have been itching to put this recipe here for a long time while I was in Minneapolis but it never happened. Today, finally it is here for you all. This is an excellent make-ahead snack/dessert and it freezes very very well! The only thing that you need to remember here is that, you have to refrigerate it. Don't leave it outside for too long or else the filling will become soft yet the taste won't be compromised :-)
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You can make these really small, like a candy or big like a summer sausage. It's totally upto you as to how big or small you want these to be. Whatever size it maybe, make sure you wrap it well so that once you store it in the fridge, it doesn't get any 'fridge' taste. I always feel if desserts are not covered when left in the fridge,it get's a fridge taste and I don't like it. So whatever you keep in the fridge, cover it well. You don't want all the flavours to be mixed up or do you? ;-)
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So are you all ready to make this easy peasy snack/dessert with some biscuits, butter and sugar? Say YES! please! :-)

IMG_3126COFFEE CREAM WHEEL
Recipe source: Amma via Daisy Mummy

Ingredients:
250 g Marie biscuits/ Graham crackers, powdered superfine
150 Sugar, powdered fine
1/2 c Warm water plus 1 or 2 (if needed)
1 tbsp Instant coffee granules
100g Salted butter,softened
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Method:
In a large bowl, dump in the powdered biscuits.Dissolve the coffee powder in warm water and add it to the biscuits and knead to form a smooth dough. It should not be too dry nor too wet. You should be able to kind of knead it. It will be smooth and soft, almost like a Chapathi dough.Divide it into 4.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add vanilla and beat to mix. Reserve.
Take a rectangular sheet of foil and roll out one ball of dough. It should be about 1/4" thick,as seen in the photographs above.
Spread some buttercream over it making sure it's spread all over. It need not be very thick,just a good coating would do.
Now, start rolling from the shorter side. You should roll it away from you, with out the foil. Take the help of the foil to lift the dough and to aid in rolling.
The dough will crack at the first roll but it's OK, it won't be seen in the end. Keep rolling and  it will come off the foil easily.
With the seam side down, wrap the assembly in the same foil and secure the ends tight. Refrigerate till firm.
Cut into thin circles with a serrated knife, carefully with the seam side down.
Enjoy!!

Verdict: Dee-li-cious! If you like, you can serve it with an ice cream of your choice. This is something I've grown up eating and it's still one of my favourites!

Monday, August 15, 2011

CHOCOLATE - the star!

Chocolate

For me, Chocolate is the star ingredient in Desserts. How about you? Even though I'm not a Chocoholic, I'd love to have a full slab of Cadbury's Dairy Milk all by myself. Whenever we got any 'foreign' chocolates, it was my job to divide it equally amongst the four of us. My brother, Ritchie would eat his share as fast as possible because he doesn't know to chew but to gobble. Later, he would come and try to get a good portion out of my little share of chocolates. In the beginning, I would fight with him, later I give in :-) Off late, we have been having some bars of Chocolate that our Uncle got for us. Amma saved some for me so that I could have it while I come to India for my holiday, which is what I'm enjoying now much more than that saved bar of Chocolate :-)

To see all my Chocolate Recipes, go here !

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

MANGALORIAN CHICKEN GHEE ROAST & NEER DOSA...simple yet classy!

Ghee Roast & Neer Dosa
There are certain killer combos in food, just like made for each other couples!This is one such made for each other combination, in food. The very plain Neer Dosa is made to taste exquiste when paired with a delicious Chicken Ghee Roast.This was one of my most favourite items to order from Coast to Coast,a chain of restaurants in Bangalore which served Mangalorian food.
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Being a true Malayali,I love Mangalorian cuisine as we have a lot in common, coconut being the main ingredient.So keeping all the common things aside, let's get into talking about how simple this dish is yet how fantastic it is to taste!
Neer Dosa
Neer Dosa is made out of soaked and ground rice which is then diluted with water to a very thin consistency, just like water. Neer in Kannada means water and I think it's the consistency of the batter that gave this Dosa it's name :-) Once you cook this dosa, it resembles a very soft lacy pancake! It's pure white and absolutely beautiful!
Chicken Ghee roast

Chicken Ghee Roast as the name suggests is laden with pure Ghee. Do not even try to substitute maybe you can reduce the amount of Ghee given in the recipe otherwise the taste will be compromised. Therefore, this is not a dish you can eat on a day to day basis but only when the craving strikes or only when you feel like indulging ! That is my way of thinking and yours could be a lot different, so do according to what your heart says! :-) Nevertheless, the end product is finger licking good! Really! You'd be surprised to know how easy it is to make these two yummy items!This is originally from Kundapur, a small town close to Mangalore.

Mangalorian Chicken Ghee Roast
When Isha Narang from Deccan Chronicle interviewed me over the phone , she asked me about my approach to cooking. For me, cooking is pure fun but I do not consider it to be fun if it takes me one whole day to make a curry! It could be a bit of exxageration when I said 'a whole day to make a curry' but trust me, I have seen such recipes! By the end of the day,you would have just made one curry and a sink full of dishes!!According to me, simple is classy!

Ghee RoastMANGALORIAN CHICKEN GHEE ROAST
Recipe source: Daijiworld

Ingredients:
1 kg/ 2lbs full chicken, cut into 18-20 pieces

To be ground:
15 dry red chillies soaked in water for an hour (see the picture of the curry to get an idea about the chilies used), drained
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1" stick cinnamon
4 cloves
Lime juice to taste
Salt to taste
Ghee for frying

Method:
Grind together all the ingredients for the marinade using a little water to get a thick, red paste. The colour solely depends of the kind of red chilies used. We call it 'Piriyan Molaku' in Malayalam. It is scrunched up slightly curly dry red chilies.Marinate the chicken pieces in the ground paste for 2-3 hours in the fridge, covered.
Heat about 1/4 c of ghee to start with.Add the chicken pieces and fry on high heat for 3-4 mins. Reduce the heat and then cook covered till done.
There should be some thick gravy left on the pieces and not completely dry. If it has become a bit too dry, adjust by adding some water. Check for the lime juice and salt.

Neer Dosa
NEER DOSA ( Gluten free)
Recipe source : Amma
Makes about 24 nos.

Ingredients:
1 c short grain rice (Sona Masuri)
Water as needed
Salt to taste

Method:
Soak the rice in water for 3 hours. Grind it to a very smooth and fine paste with water.It should not be grainy.
Transfer it to another vessel and add more water to make a batter of very thin consistency (think water!). Add salt to taste.Leave the batter aside for 2 hours.
Take a non stick pan with sides and heat till you can hold your palm over it comfortably.
Pour a ladle of batter on it and swirl the pan to get a nice round dosa. Since the batter is very watery, you do not have to spread it with a spoon instead you need to swirl the pan around. The dosa will have holes here and there and that's OK!
Cover and cook to fasten the process. Once you see that it's cooked,fold into half to get a semi circle. Fold again to get a triangle. Transfer it to a hot pot/casserole and keep it covered.
If you want, you can oil the pan and repeat the process.
You can make this ahead of time.


Verdict: I won't miss the Coast to Coast Neer Dosa & Ghee Roast anymore! This recipe is perfect! We all loved it and I can't wait to cook this for Jobin :-) Do try this at home, it's very very simple!
Preetha's gift
Our postman had a big box to carry and deliver today. It had multiple copies of the Sunday Chronicle on which I was featured last Sunday plus a homemade delicious cake by a very sweet reader of mine, Preetha Suju! Gosh, you guys are awesome! I always tell everyone that I have the most awesome sauce readers!! Thank you so much, Preetha! That cake was fantastic!! I mean it :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

FEATURED ONCE AGAIN BACK TO BACK on 4 editions! :-)

NCP

This morning as I woke up to Facebook ;-) I saw a post by my blogger friend Ambika Venkat on my profile page saying that my recipe for the NUTELLA- COCONUT MILK BREAD PUDDING   is featured on Deccan Chronicle 's (Hyderabad Edition) Sunday Chronicle.Can you imagine how excited I was? Very very much! It feels so great to be acknowledged for what I am doing even though I had no idea what I was getting into when this little blog started!
Nutella

Later, a sweet reader, Preetha Suju mentioned that it is present in the Chennai Edition too! Maybe now you can imagine how excited I would have been then! :) I would like to mention that the photograph they have on the blog is not mine but theirs. I sincerely wish they had taken mine :-) It would have been so perfect! Oh, this OCD-ic woman likes everything to be perfect, if you must know ;-)
NCBP

This is a delicious bread pudding made with Coconut milk & Nutella. The coconut milk flavors the pudding very lightly and it does not overpower the taste of Nutella. Try it if you are looking for a change or simply try it just to see why it was featured on Deccan Chronicle :) I am sure you are going to like it no matter what! :-)
You can read the article here . Make sure you read it as they have given some additions that may take this pudding to another level! :-)

This article is present on Hyderabad, Bangalore,Chennai & Kochi edition! What a way to start a week! :)

Have an awesome week ahead, wonderful people!

Friday, August 5, 2011

ON MEDIA ONCE AGAIN :-) and 700,000 hits!!

Ria 2

Yes, it's me on Deccan Chronicle today, Kochi edition! :-) You guys made it possible! Thank you all so much! :-) It's come in the perfect time as this little space just touched 700,000 hits!

If you would like to read the article, just click on the picture and it will take you to my Flickr account. There you can enlarge it and read. Enjoy!

My niece's comment on seeing this article : Riammayis photo came in the paper because she is a famous cooker. Ask her to make a chocolate cake with sprinkles and send it to me - Mira.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

FROM THE LAND OF LOOMS & LORES - Koda

Monogrammed Umbrella

My  hand embroidered purple umbrella. No doubt,it's my handiwork :-) I have to have a monogram on my stuffs and this was one of them  :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

FROM THE LAND OF LOOMS & LORES - Meenkaaran

Meenkaran

This is our Fisherman who comes on a moped. I love the fact that he still uses that old balance which is such a rare sight these days. He's been coming to our house from a very long time but I've never felt the need to ask him his name 'cos we simply call him 'Meenkaran /Fisherman' :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

GIVEAWAY : FROM ME TO YOU -3

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Where did July go?! Do you all feel time flies fast these days or is it just me and Amma? Remember our school days when we longed for the Summer holidays to arrive? It would take forever!Now, it's just the opposite! Well, the last month was quite a busy one for me with the packing and re-packing and then flying half  way across the globe to come to my nest :-)
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I am enjoying every bit here. So while I get busy conducting the Let's Bake  (baking class) , let me give you all a chance to win some awesome CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES . These cookies will be baked by me and will be sent to any Indian address! Just in case you live in another country but know of someone who would love to get some cookies in their mailbox, leave a comment for a chance to win! I'll be picking up a winner on 31 August :-)

The winner for the last month's giveaway CINNAMON ROLLS  is Divya Kudua. Congratulations!!! Please send me your postal addy to airmathew AT gmail DOT com and the rolls will be on it's way!! :)
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