Friday, July 7, 2017

How to make Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amarappayaru Upperi ?

Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amara payaru Thoran
Recipe for Kerala style Amara Thoran / Amarappayaru thoran / Amaarakka thoran / Hyacinth bean thoran
Cooking time : 20 min, Serves : 4

Ingredients : 

Amarappayaru / Amarakka: 250g, (Approximately 2 cups chopped)
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Coconut Oil: 1tbsp
Purple Onion: 1/2, finely chopped

To Corse grind:

Shallots: 3
Green Chilly: 2
Grated coconut: 1/2 Cup
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Garlic clove:1
Curry leaves: 1spring
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

Amarappayaru Thoran / Amarakka Thoran / Amara payaru Thoran

Directions for Kerala Style dry Amarappayaru Thoran:

1. Clean and cut the ends of the Amara payaru Hyacinth Bean. Now finely chop them and keep aside.

2. In a small jar of mixer grinder, Combine all ingredients under "To Course grind" and crush together without water .(cumin seeds, shallots, curry leaves, green chilies, garlic clove, turmeric powder and grated coconut)

3. Heat oil in an Iron skillet / Kadai and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the onion and saute till it turns to translucent.
Now add the Amarakka / amara payaru and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Now combine the crushed cumin-coconut mixture to the Amarakka / Amarappayaru. Give a quick stir and add the salt. cover and cook till the veggies are done.

5. Serve hot with matta rice, paappad and moru curry.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Homemade croutons are very easy to make - these baked,  4 ingredient croutons will transform your soups and salads into something completely irresistible.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Store-bought croutons are hard and dry, and they don’t have the fresh taste that a homemade crouton has. Homemade croutons are the best way to use the day old bread too.It doesn’t get much easier than these croutons. All you need to do is cut the bread into cubes, toss it with olive oil, grated garlic / Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper - spread them on a baking sheet and bake. They only take 10 minutes to bake. The hardest part is not eating them all off the baking sheet while they’re still warm. They are so addictive!!

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

You can either cut the bread into cubes. I used a sourdough Baguette in this recipe, You can use Artisan bread / multigrain / options are endless. 

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Place the bread cubes in a bowl and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Then sprinkle Any seasoning you like - I love the addition of 2 grated garlic cloves and 3tbsp of Parmesan cheese.

To finish it off, drizzle some olive oil.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Toss everything together until the bread cubes are all coated. 

Spread the croutons out on a sheet pan, giving the croutons lots of room so they can brown.

Bake for about 10 minutes, then they will be golden, crispy, and delicious.

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Ingredients :

day old sourdough bread / Baguette / any thick bread: 1, cut into cubes 3 Cups
Olive oil: 1/4 cup
Freshly grated Garlic: 2
Salt 1/4tsp
Black Pepper: 1/4tsp

(Optional seasonings: Grated Parmesan cheese: 3tbsp, dried Herbs: 1/4 tsp )

How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step
How to make Homemade baked Croutons for salads and Soups - Step by Step

Directions : 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into cubes. Add in the seasonings and toss well. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow it to cool. Store the croutons in an airtight container for 1 week.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu Payasam with Step by Step Images - Kerala Sadya Vibhavangal

Kerala Traditional Parippu Pradhaman with step by step images

Today I am sharing my best Pradhaman recipe - Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu payasam. This payasam is usually made during auspicious days / festivals / marriage feast. I wanted to post this recipe before Vishu, but somehow it got delayed. Hope you enjoy!!!

Kerala Traditional Parippu Pradhaman with step by step images

How to make Traditional Kerala Parippu Pradhaman / Parippu Paayasam / Moong daal Kheer at home?

Cooking time: 40 mins, Serves: 8Adults

Traditional Parippu pradhaman ingredients (canned coconutt milk for easy method :) )


Cherupayaru Parippu / Moong Daal: 1Cup
Karutha Sarkkara / Dark Jaggery : 500g / 10 Large / 15 medium / 1 1 /2 cup
Coconut milk: 1 Can(400ml) / 3rd, 2nd and 1st extract from 1 Coconut
Thengakothu / Coconut Slices: 1/4 Cup, thinly chopped into bits(you can add cashew and raisins if you need, but i like to stick with the traditional pradhamn with fried coconut bits)
Chukkupodi / Dry ginger powder: 1/2tsp
Elakkapodi / Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp
Jeerakapodi / Cumin powder: 1/2tsp
Ghee: 2 or 3 tbsp

Parippu Pradhaman : Ingredients for Kerala Parippu Pradhaman

Instructions to make Parippu Pradhaman / step by step pictures or tutorial of Parippu Pradhaman

Step 1: Add Jaggery and 1 1/2Cup water in a saucepan and boil for 10 to 15 minutes to make a thick, honey - consistency syrup(sarkkarapaani). Keep aside.

Step 2: Heat ghee in a heavy bottom vessel / Uruli/ dutch oven and add the Coconut slices. Fry till they are golden brown in color. Transfer it to a bowl.

Parippu Pradhaman : Frying the coconut bits for garnishing - Stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman : Frying the coconut bits for garnishing - Stage 2

Step 3: Add the cherupayaru parippu / moong daal to the same vessel and fry for 5 to 7 minutes or till they are golden brown in color. 

Parippu Pradhaman : Roasting the moong daal - Stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman : Moong Daal is roasted till golden brown (5-7 minutes)

Step 4: Add 4Cups of water and cook the moong daal in medium flame. Cook till they are soft and mushy (15 minutes).  

Parippu Pradhaman : Cooking Moong daal stage 1
Parippu Pradhaman :Cooking moong daal Stage 2
Parippu Pradhaman : Make sure the moong daal is thick and mushy
Step 5: Strain and add the thick honey consistency jaggery syrup / sarkkarapaani to the vessel and combine well.

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding Jaggery syrup stage 1
Step 6: Add the second and third extract of coconut milk and cook till the payasam thickens.( I used canned coconut milk for this recipe. So 1/2 of the coconut milk I mixed with 1 cup water and used as my 2nd and 3rd extract of coconut milk)

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding jaggery syrup stage 2
Step 7: Make sure payasam is thick consistency right now and add the thick coconut milk(1st extract). Reduce the flame and combine well with the payasam, cook for maximum 2 minutes.(You should not overheat the thick coconut milk as it will separate coconut oil from the milk.)

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding 2nd and 3rd extract of coconut milk
Parippu Pradhaman : first extract of coconut milk
Step 8 : Turn off the flame and add the dry ginger powder, cumin powder and cardamom powder. Combine well.

Parippu Pradhaman : Adding 2all the spice powders
Step 9: Finally mix in the fried coconut bits. 

Parippu Pradhaman : Garnish with fried coconut bits
Step 10: Our Parippu Pradhaman is ready to serve. Enjoy!!!

Parippu Pradhaman is ready to serve

Thank you for Reading,


Friday, March 10, 2017

1-2-3-4 cake or Sponge cake or Basic Vanilla Cake

Happy 8th Birthday "Lemon n Spice"

In this happy occasion i am sharing my favorite sponge cake ever. Vanilla cake is also known as 1-2-3-4 cake which means, 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour and 4 eggs. You can Half this recipe easily to make it an Evening tea cake. This is a standard cake in my house as it works perfectly for any fondant cake. Butter flavor from a vanilla cake with a light and fluffy texture makes it the base of any birthday or celebration cakes.  

Basic cake or 1234 cake or sponge cake
How to make a simple Vanilla Cake / Basic Sponge Cake Recipe for Beginners:

Ingredients : 

Unsalted Butter : 1 Cup, at room temperature
Granulated White Sugar : 2 Cups (I usually take 1 3/4 Cup)
All purpose flour/ Maida3 Cups
Large Eggs : 4, at room temperature
Milk : 1 Cup, oom temperature
Baking Powder : 1 tablespoon
Vanilla Extract : 2 teaspoon
Salt :1/2 teaspoon

Recipe for the fool proof Vanilla Cake: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) with rack in center of oven. 

2. Butter or spray the bottom of  two 9-inch x 2 inch (23 x 5 cm) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper, then spray the paper.

3. In a bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt three times.

4. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer, beat the butter until soft and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). 

5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour. 

6. Evenly divide the batter between the two prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Bake 27 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. 

7. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Remove the parchment or wax paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting.

Happy Cooking,

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How to make Padavalanga Thoran

Padavalanga thoran recipe Kerala style

Recipe for Kerala Padavalanga / Snakeguard thoran
Cooking time:15min, preparation time:5min, Level: Easy, Cuisine: Kerala
Ingredients :

Snakeguard / Padavalanga: 1, medium sized / 2 cups chopped
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad daal: 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilies: 2

To Coarse Grind: 

Shredded coconut: 1/2 cup
Curry leaves: 1 spring
Shallots / kunjulli: 3, peeled
Garlic: 1 clove
Green chilly: 2
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam: 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp

Directions for Kerala Dry Padavalanga thoran without daal / Parippu:

1.Wash and scrape the snake guard / Padavalanga. Cut it lengthwise and discard the seeds and soft parts with a spoon. Now cut each into small cubes and keep aside.

2. In the small jar of the mixer, combine all ingredients listed under "to coarse grind" and crush together without water. 

3.  Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters add the dry chilies and Urad daal. Stir well until Urad daal changes its color to golden brown. Add the chopped snake guard / Padavalanga and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

4.  Now combine the ground cumin-coconut mixture with the snake gourd / Padavalanga. Give a quick stir and add the salt. Cover and cook till the veggies are done.

5. Serve hot with matta rice, curd, pickle, and pappad.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party

Homemade lego friends birthday party
We had finalized an  "Ariel " themed birthday party months before. Based on this  I had gone ahead and designed a blue underwater-themed cake and ordered the moulds and related stuffs from Amazon really early. My daughter Changed the Birthday theme from " Ariel" to "Lego friends" three weeks before the birthday. I had no idea how to pull it on time. Luckily I was able to assemble the party one brick at a time. 

Homemade lego friends birthday party

I started the preparations one week before the party. Garland, tassels, and Tissue paper pom-Poms were the first on the list. My husband did the Backdrop - 3D Lego friends logo and the photos.

Lego friends birthday Party invitation by her dad

Chocolate topped Rice Krispie Treats 
Lego friends themed Birthday Cupcake with Lego men Chocolate candy

Lego Moulded Chocolate candies

Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party cake 

 Lego birthday party activity: DIY Lego necklace making Kit

How to make DIY Lego necklace activity kit for a birthday party: We bought thin pink blocks from Lego shop along with special elements. Thread and clasp were from my daughter's jewelry making kit. Made a hole on Lego with a hobby drill. Put 10 pieces in each goodie bag for the activity. Kids loved it.

Our Birthday girl 
Another photo of the homemade Lego friend's birthday party cake for my daughter

Lego birthday party goodie bags
Rithika's Lego Friends 7th Birthday Party 



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala

Mushrooms are known as "The Taste of Earth". Healthy, versatile mushrooms are an excellent addition to your plate. They’re fat-free, low in calories-about 20 calories per one cup sliced—and high in vitamins and minerals. Today I am uploading my most favorite mushroom recipe. I believe, it tastes better than any non-veg dry fry I have ever made.

Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala
Recipe for Restaurant style mushroom dry masala / Mushroom stir fry with indian spices
cooking time :20 minutes, serves : 4, Vegetarian side dish for Roti / Chappathi


Button Mushroom : 400g, chopped
Ginger garlic paste : 1tbsp ( ginger 3/4 inch piece and Garlic 3 medium cloves)
Onion : 1 medium or 1Cup, finely chopped
Tomato : 1, finely chopped
Bay leaf : 1
Cinnamon stick : 2 inch piece
Clove : 2
Cardamom : 2
Chilly powder : 1 tsp
Cumin powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp
Cilantro / Malliyila : 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil : 1 tbsp

For Thadka / Seasoning

Butter : 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder : 1/4 tsp
Garlic : 3, finely chopped 

Directions for Restaurant style Mushroom dry Masala / Mushroom dry fry:

Restaurant Style Mushroom Dry Masala

1. Heat oil in a kadai and add whole spices- bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom. Now add in the onion and saute till they become translucent. Fry the ginger garlic paste. 

2. Add Tomato and saute till the water evaporates and the raw taste goes off.. Add the salt and spice powders - Chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and garam masala. Saute for a minute or two.

3. Add the washed, cleaned and chopped mushrooms and combine with the masala. Cover and cook in medium flame till the gravy is thick.

4. Meanwhile, Heat butter in another thadka pan and add the cumin seeds. When it splutters, add finely chopped garlic and give a quick stir. Add the pepper powder and stir fry for a minute.

5. Pour this over the Mushroom masala and dry roast till the gravy/masala coats on mushroom pieces and oil comes on top. garnish with cilantro and turn off the flame.

6. This Mushroom Dry masala goes very well with Chappathi / roti / pulao and ghee rice.

Similar Recipes using Mushrooms,

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kaya - Achinga Payar Mezhukkupuratti / Raw Banana and Long Beans Stir Fry

Kaaya Achinga payaru Mezhukkupuratti
Recipe for Kaya -Achinga Payar Mezhukkupuratti /Raw Banana and Long Beans Stir-fry
Preparation time: 15 min, Cooking Time: 15 min, Serves: 4

Ingredients :
Pacha kaya / Raw banana: 1 Large, Cut into small pieces 
Achinga Payaru/ Long beans: 20, 1-inch pieces (Long beans comes in a bundle mostly. So use Half of it)
Cheriya Ulli/Shallots: 5, thinly sliced
Garlic cloves: 2, Thinly sliced
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Idicha mulaku / Crushed chilli flakes: 1tsp (You can add more according to your spice level)
Curry leaves: 2springs
Coconut oil: 2tbsp

Directions to make Kaya Achinga payar Mezhukkupuratti

1. In a shallow sauce pan/ cooking vessel, add the Kaya/Raw banana and Achinga payaru/ Long beans along with 1/2 Cup water, turmeric powder, and salt. Cover and cook till the veggies are done, Approximately 15min in medium flame. (Tip: It is very important that you take the same quantity of Achinga payaru and Kaya to make the mezhukkupuratti / Stir fry. )

2. Heat coconut oil in an iron skillet / cheenachatti and add the chopped shallots, garlic and curry leaves. Stir-fry it very well and add the crushed chili flakes. Saute for a minute and add the cooked raw banana and long beans.

3. Combine well and stir fry till the water is evaporated. Serve hot with Kerala Matta rice, Yogurt, Mango pickle and pappadam.

Similar Recipes using Raw Banana / Long beans,