Thursday, September 29, 2011


Happy Navarathri to All.

Before I could finish with my Onam posts, Navarathri is here. We had been so busy over the last week or so preparing the house for the visit of our children in a couple of days, we hardly found the time to get ready for Navarathri. Somehow I managed to set up the kolu this evening; it is only half done, I hope to add some more sparkle to it.

I have already suggested Navarathri neyvedyams for all the 9 days. I shall add some more as I prepare some different neyvedyams this year. To start with, I prepared "Rava Ladoo"today, for the surprise guests who always turn up.

Happy Navarathri once again!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ona Sadhya / Recipe : Inji Thayir

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The days following Onam were very busy. There were many social commitments to be met with, finish the routine jobs that were kept at abeyance because of Onam and generally putting things in order for Navarathri is fast approaching.

We had a fabulous Ona Sadhya indeed. We had invited our elderly cousin who lives alone and my friend was a surprise guest. Above all, what made Onam very happy for us was that our charming and handsome sons celebrated Onam in their respective places. Special mention has to be made about the microwave 'palpayasam' our elder son prepared.

We had, Sambar,aviyal,puli inji, thoran, inji thayir, palpayasam,pappadam  and sweet and salty chips.

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Inji Thayir as the name suggests is a ginger based chutney. In Kerala, Inji Thayir is served with all grand feasts, as the ginger helps in digestion. Inji Thayir is supposed to be equal to 1000 curries because of this property of ginger. There is an interesting story of the great "Vararuchi", considered to be one of the nine jewels in King Vikrmaditya's cabinet,  in connection with Inji Thayir.

Over to the recipe.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Uthrada Sadhya / Recipe: Erissery(Nendrankaya and Elephant Yam)

Hope everyone had as lip smacking a Uthrada Sadhya today as we did.

We had Rasakalan, Erissery (plantain and elephant yam), Olan, Naranga Puliinji (a new recipe), Semiya Payasam, Pappadam and Upperi. My brother and nephew joined us for lunch.

I had given the recipe for Mathan Erissery some time back. The erissery with Nendrankaya and Chena (yam) is the one which is prepared for traditional sadhyas (feasts), especially for Onam. The recipe is a little different from Mathan Erissery.


Nendrankaya (raw Nendran banana): 1 no
Elephant yam (Chena): 250gms
Turmeric powder: 1tsp
Pepper powder: 2 tsp
Jaggery: 2 tsp
Grated coconut: 3/4 cup

Coconut oil: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Urad dal: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Salt to taste


Cut the banana vertically (do not peel) and then chop into 1/2" thick slices. Chop the yam into similar sized pieces.

Pressure cook the vegetables, adding turmeric powder and pepper powder.

Grind half the quantity of the coconut and 1tsp of jeera to a smooth paste.

Transfer the cooked vegetables into a thick bottomed pan and boil. Add salt and jaggery. Allow to cook for 5 mnts. Add the ground coconut paste and boil again. Remove from heat. Add few curry leaves.

Heat oil in a wide pan. When the oil starts smoking, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start crackling, add the urad dal. When the urad dal turns pink in color, add a few curry leaves and the remaining grated coconut. Fry on a moderate heat until the coconut turns brown in color. Pour on to the prepared curry.

njoy Erissery.

Happy Onam to all.

P.S. Nendrankaya can be substitued with other varieties of raw banana also. The taste would differ accordingly.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Onasadhya /Recipe:Pazha Pulisserry

Thiruvonam is just around the corner. People observing Onam are busy shopping for the Onasadhya (the grand feast) and Onakodi (new dress for Onam). We had been to the Onachanda (Special Onam Shoppe) to buy the special Kerala vegetables. These days Onachandas are organised in almost all cities by the migrant Keralites for the benefit of the non-resident Keralites. Bangalore has more than one Onachanda; in fact there are many, one in each pocket of the metro where Keralites are concentrated. For the past two years, an Onachanda is being organised very close to where we live. Vegetables, fruits and other groceries like ada, banana chips, pappadam, coconut oil, red rice, puttu powder, unniyappam, jaggery etc are brought from Kerala and sold at a reasonable price. We bought Nendrakka (Macho plantains, unique to Kerala), Nendranpazham, Chena (Yam), Chembu (Arvi), and Vadukapuli Naranga (Citron) among other groceries.

Now to the Onasadhya. I have already given almost all the recipes prepared during Onam like RasakalanSambar, KalanOlanAviyal, Pachadi, ThoranErisseryPulinji, Naranga AcharVaruthupperi, Sarkkara Puratti, Vazhakkathol Upperi, PalpayasamChakka PradhamanIdichu Pizhinja PayasamSemiya PayasamParippu Pradhaman etc.

I strained my memory to recollect any more recipes that I have not included and I remembered Pazha Pulissery, Thayir Pachadi, Kichadi, Kootukari, Erissery (plantain and yam). There could be many more. Anyway, we will look at the recipe for Pazha Pulissery today.

Pulissery, as I have said earlier, is a fruit  based gravy curry, flavoured with coconut and green chillies in curds, of which Mambazha Pulissery and pazhapulissery are the most famous. As mangoes are out of season during Onam, it is pazhapulissery that finds a place in the Onasadhya. A meal with just pazhapulissery is a sadhya so one can guess what a sadhya it would be with pazhapulissery along with many more mouth watering goodies! Pazhapulissery is an all time favourite at home and I am sure it would be so with any one who has tasted this yummy curry.


Ripe Nendran bananas: 2nos
Turmeric powder: 1tsp
Pepper powder: 2 tsp
Jaggery: 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Thick sour curds: 3cups

Coconut (grated): 1 cup
Green chillies: 4 or 5 (according to taste)

Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 2 tsp
Red chillies: 2nos
Methi seeds: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs


Slice the nendran banana to thin discs. (The banana should be very ripe. Over ripe bananas are the best)

Boil the sliced bananas in a thick bottomed pan with 1 cup of water. Add turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt. Allow to cook in moderate heat.

Beat the curds well. Grind the coconut and green chillies to a smooth paste using one or two spoons of beaten curds . Mix the ground coconut paste with the remaining beaten curds and add to the cooked bananas. Add jaggery. Allow to boil. When the curry starts boiling, remove from heat. Add curry leaves.

Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start crackling, add the red chillies (broken into 2) and methi seeds. When the methi seeds start turning pink in color, add few curry leaves and pour the whole garnish over the prepared pulissery. Mouth watering, yummy pulissery is ready.

Pulissery tastes best with steamed rice. It also tastes great with Idli, dosa or chapathi.

Enjoy this Onam with pazhapulissery.

Happy Onam to everyone.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Recipe : Ellu Kozhukkattai (Ganesh Chaturthi)

Hope everyone celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with religious fervour. We also celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with the usual Pooja and neyvedyams and visited the local Ganesh Temple. We prepared Sweet Kozhukkattai, Ammini kozhukkattai, Kadalai Chundal, Kovil Payasam and Ellu Kozhukkattai.

I usually do not prepare Ellu Kozhukkattai. The usual fare in place of Ellu Kozhukkattai is Ulundu Kozhukkattai. So. for a change, this time I prepared Ellu Kozhukkattais. Ellu (sesame seeds) is considered a favourite neyvedyam for Lord Ganesha. Our Echiyamma used to offer Ellurundai (Sesame Laddu) on Chaturthi day. Some time back our younger son asked me for the recipe of Ellu Kozhukkattai, so I thought of trying it out before telling him the recipe.

Here, then, is the recipe:


Ingredients for the outer shell same as sweet Kozhukkattai

For the Stuffing:

Black sesame seeds: ½ cup
Jaggery:  ¼ cup
Ghee: 1 tsp


Prepare the dough for the outer shell as explained here.


Dry roast the sesame seeds until they crackle. Cool and grind coarsely. Melt the jaggery in 2 tbsps of water and strain to remove dirt. Boil the jaggery syrup for 2 mnts. Add the ground sesame seeds and stir until all the moisture evaporates. At this stage, the stuffing will leave the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and remove to another plate (Any more heating will make the stuffing very dry and the kozhukkattais will break).

Make small cups of the prepared rice flour dough and stuff 2 tsps of the stuffing inside. Close the cups and steam for 15-20 mnts. Yummy Ellu kozhukkattais are ready.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Atha Pookkalam

Yesterday was Atham, the first day of the Onam season. As usual, I started making small pookkalams in my front yard. Happy Onam to all!

My Garden is getting ready for Onam!