Chicken Tikka Masala

To be honest, i tried the butter chicken recipe but later it ended up like this . I grilled the chicken ,did all stuff  from the enormous recipes i got for butter chicken and finally i felt this is same as Chicken Tikka Masala. So i opted out the last butter part and this was a perfect match with chapathi. Actually what is the difference between butter chicken and chicken tikka masala ? I think i have to do some research on this .Anyways this dish was good and im happy with the response from BJ & Malu.

Prawn Roast

My husband likes this sea food items very much and thats why i see my posts are mostly related to fish, crab, squid etc. And for all curries i have a roast/masala recipe too :) Anyways Prawns are very good to roast and luckily Malu also likes this. She doesnt eat fish /crab, but prawn is her favourite.Thank God, i dont have to think about other menu for her whenever i make prawns at home. Its very difficult to decide the menu with seperate item for each. Father is happy with fish while daughter is very unhappy, prawns make everyone happy. Long live Prawns :)

It's nice to have some cocunut slices in this gravy, but i didnt have that.

Crab in coconut gravy

My recent explorations are again with Crab. This time i was fed up with the usual roast/masala recipes so tried the regular coconut gravy and this was a hit. BJ liked it better than the roast one , but i like the other version. This goes very well with chapathis, kuppose or even with some plain rice.

Crab Masala

Crab came into our house menu very recently, not more than 6 months. In my childhood or till i got married i never came across a single crab dish in any of my/relatives house. Pappa had a strong dislike for these stuff like crab, squid etc and i also considered them as some dirty creatures.

After coming to Kuwait we stayed for sharing accommodation with one Telugu family. They used to cook crab every now and then and i had to run out of the whole house due to this stingy smell and i stayed away  from the crab section in the fish market. To my horror BJ was interested in these items, but he never forced me to buy and try. Last year when we went to Dubai, i told my sister about this Crab Mania and then she ordered Crab masala from some hotel, i tasted a little and it was amazingly delicious. It was more to the sweet end and i liked it. But the cleaning part made me hesitant to make a try. Recently i learned my maid is an expert in Crab. Wow, so here starts the explorations!!

I bought crab 2,3 times now and she cleaned it very nicely , the cooking part is not that much tough, but i felt the eating part is much more difficult. Still i havent tasted the good crab flesh taste because i take long time to break all these shell and after a few minutes i gets irritated and chew all the stuff together. Anyways BJ is having a good time , thats enough for me .

I followed Mishmash's Crab Roast  with some instincts from myself and it turned out really good .

An Anniversary Attempt

Yes, it was for our 7th Wedding Anniversary. :)

I'm happy!! After a long list of terrible failures I finally succeeded in baking a good cake. And this was my first attempt of icing..I know the decoration doesn't look that much nice, but for a first trial this is ok. I could have waited till the green icing on top to set, but my daughter was so impatient to cut it. She was looking so eagerly and was trying to bunk her dance class just to cut this cake , i finally decided to make things fast. I just poured the red jelly and it too didnt come as a nice heart, at least in this picture it has a slight resemblance of a heart right :)  Yeah , it is my heart full of love to my man,forget about the shape and those holes in between, this is only a model ;)

All cakes i baked till now were always hard, and almost i withdrew from my efforts of making cakes. Why should i waste all these time, flour and other ingredients. And to increase my disappointment my sister showed me the beautiful cakes she bakes.. hmm i gave up, baking is not my area.

May is my month, My birthday, husband's birthday, our wedding Anniversary , so which other month i have to celebrate and  above all  my cuitie's desire for home made cakes, so this time i refereed all blogs and decided to have one last attempt. May be due to my prayers or what this turned out well. I didnt beat the cake flour with my hand mixer, instead i just used a spoon to mix it..Does it make a difference..I dont know.. Anyways the cake was soft and it was almost brown at the top too .. I forgot to take a photo of the cut portion. Hmm.. i have to give proper attention to my photography skills, or at least to generate a skill :)

Karimeen Mappas

Just tried to make some Karimeen Mappas and it was not that bad. I have very nostalgic memories of karimeen and other backwater fishes. In our childhood, one guy brought fresh backwater fishes  in a small pot  exclusively to our house. Though i hated that guy, his fishes were really good. We (or mostly amma) always had a tough time to clean and prepare those fishes. They were still alive, so amma had to kill them with the back side of the knife, it was hard. And cleaning was old fashioned, we have to run the halfly cleaned fish on a rubble and tried to remove the scales. Though this cleaning process was tiring, the taste just removes all frustrations. We always had kappa(tapoioca) along with this fish curries and fries.

I have another embarassing memory with this backwater fishes too.. Just when i reached kuwait, in our honeymoon time, i found some varal in lulu and forced my husband to buy that. He was confused whether i know to cook that and i proudly declared i am a master in all these fish items. We bought a long varal and came home. Next day after he left to office i slowly took out the varal and stared at it, it was such a long and large fish and slowly it resembled like 'Anaconda' to me. I was alone in the house and i had watched anaconda very recently, though i told my mind to be calm , i couldn't control. The fear and loneliness just killed me and i became so scared and jumped out of kitchen.Soon i called my hubby and told him that im so scared because of that anaconda in the kitchen.. hmm ...later whenever we see this fish, my husband starts laughing and teasing me :)

We get Kerala Karimeen from our local store on thursdays and also the frozen one's. Sometimes it will be good and sometimes very bad. Initially i had too much difficlulty in cleaning the scales and however i cleaned, it always had some smell..Later i learned how to remove the skin. Its tricky and it takes away the majestic look of karimeen, but the taste comes good. So now a days i always remove the skin.I always think about karimeen pollichathu in a vazhayila, but never tried it..

Happy Vishu !

This year vishu also finished. This year we had my parents here, so we both took leave and celebrated it grantly. Every year i will be so tired after the huge rush in lulu before the vishu day, but i cannot escape. We get leaves and konna flowers only if we go there on that time.This year lulu people didnt give the konna flowers good.For a small cover we had to fight with fellow malayalees, even after fight we didnt succeed and atlast one guy sympathetically offered 1 cover to my poor mother. reached home too late and by the time i started the kani preparation i was very tired. But dont know from where, all memories rush to my mind when i prepare the kani and so the enthusiasms too..

Back home, my siister used to prepare the kani till her marriage, after that me .Only one person prepared the whole decorations and in the morning pappa will first see the kani and call us one by one. I still remember the blue color of the stone in his ring, which he used to put as an addition to our decoration. I always cherish all those fond memories of life. This was the first vishu where i got a chance to call my parents to see vishu :) I took amma the same way she used to take me in my childhood ..I felt great. I always want my child to get atleast some of these type memories as i got in my childhood. She was quite excited before she went bed when i told her that amma will call you, dont open the eyes , you have to see Krisha Ambotti first..I got up at 4 Am , and called my husband, then parents and then went to her.She smiled on my first call , poor little kid, i dont know how much she saw the kani that time , anyways watching her small eyes in wonder was very cute.

Actually we should not sleep after seeing the kani, but this time i couldnt suppress the laziness of a holiday ahead , so we all slept back ..Hmm i know it was not good but what to do.Again the action came back for breakfast, vishu kaineetam etc. I made the nostalgic Ila Ada which i think we can dream only on any occasion like this. It was so cute to see malu going near everyone and asking for money. I told her to get blessings from pappa and ammachi when they give money , to pappa she put her hand on his legs and then she remembered oo i dint do this to ammachi and ran to ammachi and snatched her feet :) My husband was out for something, so she called him and aked when r u giving me money ? The ila ada was really good, i even forgot the taste of real ila ada.

I had planned to make agrand sadya and had listed the curries before. After coming to Kuwait, i found myself googling for all typical kerala dishes and this time also the story repeated. Back at home, i rarely remember a time when my mother made mambazha pulissseri, though we had bunches of mangoes in our house.But now i search for good mangoes in lulu and make mambazha pulissery for every onam, vishu ..I never gets fed up in the cooking jobs for an occasion like this..amma was staring at me when i said her we can make a theeyal more after making some 10 curries :)  This time i wanted to try one more dish - pineapple payasam. Always in marriage sadya, that too only in our area, we used to get very sweet pineapple pradhaman, i really like it so this time i wanted to recreate that. But unfortunately we bought the wrong pine apple for that and it was a little meshy, we couldnt saute them well so the appearance was not that appealing.Still the taste was good. As usual my photosession went bad, everyo one was excited in the feast and only i was interested to make some snaps.I forced my kid not to eat anything till i take one snap and clicked this..I never get a satisfaction on phot session after any function at my home, Hmm....

My Menu
upperi, sharakarapuratty, Rice , Parippu,pappadam, ney , sambhar, mambazha pulisseri, beetroot pachadi, vellarikka kichdi, payar mezhukkupuratti, aviyal, cabbage thoran, inchi curry, naranga achar, Adapradhaman, Pineapple pradhaman .

Gobi Masala

Is this Gobi Mancurian ? :- No, I know Manchurian is dry, but i cant make another gravy for my chapathi, so i increased the gravy content.
Is this Chillly Gobi :- mm..Where are the chillies here, i used only green bell pepper, if i use chillies M wont eat telling oh its spicy..She predicts the spiciness by counting the green color in curries.
Is this Gobi Masala ? ..hihihi , i din't use any masala here .
So what is this ?  This is a good combination with Chapathi/Roti/Fried Rice and can be called Gobi Masla Chilly Manchurian :)
I always buy cauliflower, thinking i will make the cauli rice, but it will always be in the fridge till it lose it freshness and later i end up making this curry . This is only good if served really hot. Even me cannot adjust the thickenss of this cornflour added when its cold, so you can imagine about others. Anyways if served hot, this is really a good combination to chapathi.

  • Cauliflower
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Green bell pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • Coriander Powder
  • Turmeric Powder
Cut Gobi into florets. Make a paste of cornflour, all purpose flour(maida) , turmeric and salt and coat the florets well. Deep fry in oil and keep it aside.  Saute the onion, ginger, garlic and add bellpeppers and saute well. make a paste of chilly, coriander powders and mix it well.We can add tomatoes or tomato sauce and saute well. Dilute the cornflour paste made before with a little more water and add it to the sauted mixture  and mix well. The gravy can be increased or decreased by adjusting the water. Soon after the gravy is ready, dip in the fried florets and caute well. Serve hot. 

Koonthal/Squid Roast

My parents are here and they had never eaten the squid. My husband is very fond of this dish , but i am not a big fan of this. I decided to try on this dish and fortunately it came out well. Hubby always search for nadan kudampuli (Fish Tamarind) in all dishes, so i purposely put 1 piece of tamarind in addition to the tomatoes. It should be avoided , I didnt feel much sourness , but as usual hubby's face was not lit to 100%  :( .. Amma liked it , but pappa didnt even touch..He is very peculiar in his dishes now a days, not even giving a try at least to taste a new dish.I felt he hate the looks of squid, even me hates that ..I dont feel calling this a fish, a fish with no good looking head and tail ..some other species or aliens, with  whatever techniques - inki , pinki, & pongi :) While i was cleaning this, i just wondered how God created this much wide variety of species in the world. What all new techniques HE is experimenting on different species, right.Anyways thank God, he did implemented other good looking fishes too ;)

Though i never tried & tasted squid dishes much, i just followed my regular recipe for other roast, didnt even get time to search blogs this time. Anyways somethings should be done by our own instincts too and in my personal opinion, most cases won when we put our own instincts rather than just copying someone else's recipes blindly.

  • Squid
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Chilli powder
  • Coriander Powder
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Garam Masala
Clean squid removing the head, scale, inks etc until you reach a full white sheet like structure and then cut it into small pieces.. Heat oil in a pan and saute onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves till it reaches brown. Add tomatoes and saute it well. Mix all powders in some water to make it a paste,add it  and saute until the oil seperates. Throw in the squid pieces and add some water if needed. Water will come out of squid so no need to add much water here. Cook well for sometime.

Aval Poha

   This is the end product  inspired from Sig's Aval Poha. I am really a fan of Sig and her blog , really gets surprised at the charm and beauty of different dishes and pictures, most of them am not familiar at all.. While going through her dishes / restaurant reviews i dream of a day when i can also do like that or at least taste those dishes, but i don't think i will ever reach there. No, not because of any financial/cultural/geographical difference, just because of something which i couldn't trace out till now.

Recently, i went to a Mall here and as expected my daughter became hungry as soon as we reach the food court. She is always very tired and cannot walk a bit more - only when we reaches the food court, not before or after.. I just looked through various boards-KFC, Burger King, McDonalds etc etc and soon my eye got a catch of a restaurant.I got an advertisement paper of this restaurant which resembled some things in Sig's blog and i was so excited.Ah, now i am going to write the restaurant review of  this with some enchanting pictures of dishes , like Sig and i will defintely send her my blog link too.. With all these calculations in mind, i led or dragged the other two not at all interested figures. Cool, everything set, got the menu card and i stared at the pictures..hmm Buffalo strips, Jalappeno Peppers, cheese bla bla ., am familiar with all these names from various blogs, but am not getting a courage to place any order, i am not sure whether i will eat some, i don't like cheese , buffalo - does it taste like kerala beef? I just looked up to see a chilly red face of B, and to the side to see a horrifying face of kid , She's worried on the glance of a green color, may be Spinach Dip or something like that.. phew, my whole interests dipped, Both of them won't even taste a dish they dislike and i am also not sure , how extend i can taste some dishes which make me feel not properly cooked.I just looked around to find some dish which has a slight similarity with any Indian/kerala recipes, but that too failed. Slowly and very much embarassed , we walked out of the restaurant. Hmm, this is the perfect scenario to remind the proverb ,"Kakka kulichal Kokkavilla".

Anyways Sig has a wide variety of kerala dishes itself ,so let me try to be a master in that section. I had a packet of Aval , which i bought long back and i had a packet of raw peanuts(kappalandi) too. So one evening, when i was craving for some mixture, i tried this recipe.. It was good, and both B and M ate it whole heartedly. Recently i made it again for my parents and they also liked it. So now this entered into my list of good snacks, i guess this is much healthy too. Thanks Sig.

  • Aval
  • Peanut
  • Mustard
  • Chilly powder
Fry aval , sprinking very little hot water.If water is more , we can make aval payasam :). Fry peanut also. Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves and then put some chilly powder, add the fried peanuts and aval. Serve hot. 
For good recipe, please visit Sig's Aval Poha

Rich Fruit Cake - An Attempt

I finally got courage to post this,  I was so fascinated by the various cakes , cookies and other baked products in different blogs and was pushed to the baking world. But baking never seems to be an easy/ comfortable area for me. May be one day i will also grow :) I loved cakes , cakes of all varieties ..i can still feel the fragrance of Elite cakes we used to buy from local bakeries in our childhood. As a true keralite we also celebrated Onam,Christmas and Muslim perunnals. For all christmas i eagerly waited for the icing cakes and the iced sugary flowers on top of it. It was a routine, on christmas morning pappa used to cut that small cake and share among us. The top flower was also cut into 5 and each got our own share..Though pappa is diabetic, i think still they cut the same style cake on all christmas .. aa again nostalgia..even i get bored of telling these nostalgia but to be true all food has its own associated feelings in our mind , right ? Anyways i was so fond of cakes at that time and i used to dream of marrying a bakeryman so that i can eat cakes everyday ..hihihi ...

Ovens were not so common in middle class families , so i never dreamt of buying an oven and make cakes our own..I start seeing ovens only after coming to Kuwait and here too ovens were only to heat food in winter times..When i wandered through the blogs i  got stunned seeing the various art works in cakes.. OMG how can one cut a cake like this  or this .. If i ever ever get a chance to make a cake like these, i will never cut it , will keep it in showcase :D , I am still wondering how they could make such such brilliant cakes..I think never in my life i achieve that stage.. Anyways we can make simple cakes right, yes and i tried ..the initial attempt was not a disaster , Thanks to my sweet little 3 yr , she ate it all wholeheartedly, she  is mother's daughter , no.:) Hubby dear also was encouraging, considering the fact that it's a first attempt.. That gave me some confidence and again my oven started rotating with cakes but didnt came out well. :(  Dont know what happened and where it happens , still the attempt continues... Hubby is now fed up with the attempts and he pushes me away from the Baking section in lulu :(

I told my Big sis  about the cake adventures and forced her to buy a gas oven..Again the pressure continued on her giving all theoretical knowledges from various blogs, She was asking me all silly doubts and the good 'Guru' searched frantically and found all tips for making double layer cakes, icing , apricot glazing and what not.. At last, she came up with a wonderful cake for her wedding anniversary..And it looked fabulous!! She is more creative than me and also a good artist, she made the cake so good that we all thought she was lying.. It looked brilliant. As Madhavan says in 3 Idiots, when a friend fails, we feel sad.. and when a friend score top than us, we feel more sad !! Here Guru is in the same stage now :(  At least Guru can find peace in watching how good her advices turned out right ..:)  yeah ..grapes are very sour...;)  Now after a research i reached a conclusion..the Gas Ovens are far better than this table top ovens..may be thats the reason why i am not succeeding in my cake/cookie adventures.

I made this cake  for Christmas..Followed so many blogger recipes basically Annitta's, caramelizing and all worked well and my cake got good color. I used a bunch of dry fruits (but didn't soak in rum and all) and after baking i found all dry fruits went down , so i turned upside down and clicked.. I kept it nearly 50 minutes and did the toothpick test , but toothpick came out a bit soaky so i put another 15 minutes..May be that made my cake a bit harder.. (Sigh) As the taste was not so appealing , i dont feel an excitement in publishing here..still this is an attempt, right .... One day i will also grow (Sigh Sigh) .........