ഓണാശംസകള്‍ !

Wish you all a very happy Onam !

Getting ready for Onam – Thulli Payasam

thulli payasam

This is that time of the year when I could launch myself into a nostalgic ramble with ease and enthusiasm. Onam is just a day away. My head is filled with images of clear blue skies, eye tickling sunshine of a gentle kind and old Dalda cans full of home made banana chips. Folks back home tell me that there the current Onam visual consist of traffic blocks, appalling prices for food supplies and a maddening rush to get into every shop regardless of what they are selling. Yet, we are back to the Onam of our childhoods the moment we sit down for the sadya, no matter catered or homemade. T is traveling this week, so we made Onam sadya in advance with two good payasams.

We made thulli payasam for the first time, and LOVED IT. . The word “thulli” means “drop” in malaylam . This payasam is made with cooked drops of rice flour batter. It tasted so much like the one made with homemade ada, only with less hassle attached to it. May be you could tell me which part of Kerala this excellent idea is from. While I wait to hear from you, here is the recipe.

Rice flour - ¾ cup
Bananas, ripe – 3nos
Ghee – 2 tsp

Brown sugar/jaggery – 2 cups
Coconut milk – thick and thin a cup each
Ghee toasted Cashew nuts and raisins or chopped coconut – to garnish
Dried ginger powder ( Chukku) – 3 pinches

In a blender puree 2 bananas with ¼ cup of water, add ghee and rice flour, blend till a thick batter is formed, adding more water if necessary. Keep it for 10 minutes. Boil water in a large sauce pan and drop the prepared batter in to it through a slotted spoon to make drops ( thulli, hence the name ) When the batter drops are cooked it will raise to the top. Whisk the cooked drops with a slotted spoon and spread on a plate. Repeat till all the batter is over.
Finely chop a banana. Heat ¼ cup water in a thick bottomed vessel and add banana. Cook till the pieces are tender, adding more water if necessary. When the pieces are completely cooked, add brown sugar, 1 tsp ghee, cooked thulli, and cook for another 5 minutes with constant stirring. Add thin coconut milk (mix canned coconut milk with equal quantity of water to make thin C milk), ½ cup of water and cook for 5 minutes. Add thick coconut milk and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat. Keep the vessel covered for the next five minutes. Add ginger powder, ghee toasted cashew nuts and raisins or toasted silvers of coconut. Payasam is now ready to serve
An award and a tip on growing Zucchini

My mother is thrilled reading your comments about her cross stitch work. She is poised enough to calmly handle a couple of compliments thrown in her way. But I turn into a walloping mass of soft butter when a dear friend like Rushina hands over an award. Thank you, this is my first of its kind, and I shall be proudly wearing it.

Grilled Zucchini

Grilled Zucchini-colors

Did I tell you about the Zucchini bumper crop that we once had? After taking a break for one year we came back to growing it once again, taking into account of the fact that we use Zucchini a lot in cooking. Just to site few examples, we know from our experience that this vegetable can skillfully disappear in to a sambar, blend very well in a dal, or act as substitute snake gourd in an avial. This year we are careful about harvesting it in the right time though. What we lacked as fresh owners of a cultivable strip of land two years ago, was the simple wisdom to harvest this vegetable at the right time, that is when they are about 6-8 inches long. So if you are not acting judiciously you can bake a bread with, fry some, make one or two curries, and then trash the rest of the single ginormous Zucchini we are talking about. We have learned the lesson and are now wiser!

And here is the award, read how it is passed around in blogosphere.

superios scribbler

“Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are, forthwith:

1) Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
2) Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
3) Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
4) Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
5) Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog “

I am honored to bestow this award upon the following ladies whose blogs are genuinely inspiring and exceptional.

1) Indian Food Rocks – She knows how, when and what to write in a blog. Her posts are peppered with subtle good humor and I love it.

2) Cooks Cottage - Simply delicious style of writing, I am a huge fan.

3) A mad tea party - A story is always hers to tell, and I am all ears

4) Mahanandi – The first Indian blog I came across, has been a favorite ever since. Love the grounded air of the blog.

5) എന്റെ നാലുകെട്ടും തോണിയും – Ingipennu from the food blog Ginger and mango writes this blog in Malayalam. When you step into her blog, you will know instantly that there is more to Ingi than what you know.

Recipe for grilled Zucchini

* This recipe works best with a cast iron grill pan

Zucchini - 3 nos
Coconut milk - 2 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - crushed - 1 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp or more
Turmeric- optional
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil - to brush on the grill

Cut Zucchinis length wise into strips of about 5 cm thickness. Mix, coconut milk, ginger paste, crushed curry leaves, Kashmiri chilly powder (more if you so desire), turmeric and salt. Arrange the pieces on a flat surface and gently brush on the marinade, turn sides and brush again. Keep for 20-30 minutes. Heat a grill pan, when it is very hot brush with coconut oil. Grill the marinated pieces for about 3-4 minutes each side
Cross stitch picture from my mother

We have something really precious up on our wall, thought i will share it with you. My mother spent many hours in the past two months making this elaborate cross stitch picture for us. I adore her persistence when it comes to doing crafts. She could come back to the same project every evening for many weeks and enjoy doing it till the last knot, a quality I seriously lacks. Ammachi, thank you, you are the best !



Pattern : Bucilla Mother and Child stitch kit
Thoughts on getting back to blogging, and a cake

It was not fun being away from blogging on and off for about 2 years. There were lingering thoughts in the back of my mind about recipes to share, stories to tell, and photos to capture. In the year before I went missing from the blogosphere, I made the most friends I ever did in a span of 365 days, and loved it. We exchanged emails, made phone calls, shared laughter, recipes, everyday ups and downs, all the while learning a thing or two from each other. Thank you folks, you have touched my life in more ways than you think.

April28 002 copy

When I look into my routine now, I realize that there is just enough time to accommodate blogging into it. After all, you are only as busy as you think you are. Life’s little rushes will keep on catching me at times, but I will try to post as often I can. Please stay tuned. Just for a start, here is a cake I made for our wedding anniversary this year. My mind was set on a coral color chiffon wedding sari from the Sixties that I saw a while ago, very similar to the ones those charming leading ladies draped around and danced on in the Hindi movies from that period.

Heart cake

Happy anniversary V&S !

To Pramila, Thank you.
CLICK – the photo event, sunny days and tapioca pearl pappadoms

Another interesting edition of CLICK-the photo event is here again. Theme is bi-color, a challenging one if you ask me. But this time I am kicking my shoes off, and carefully watching the event from the sidelines. Bee and Jai asked me to join the panel of judges for this month’s event, thank you folks. So while the gavel rests here, please do pick up your cameras and challenge yourself into shooting something in bi-color. The colors I picked for my judge’s entry are white and yellow. I could have gone for more contrast, but all I was thinking about while taking this photo was sunshine.


We enjoyed a couple of warm sunny days during the past long weekend. A jaded yard long bean plant that we had almost given up on, set vine and started twining up in what seemed like hours. Such was the power of sunshine that pushed us in to a tapioca pearl pappadom making spree. This is one easy recipe,what you need most is an abundance of sunshine. Jalapeño peppers and cumin are the spices used in this recipe, what you add in there is open to your imagination.

To make about 2 dozens of medium size pappadoms, please follow the recipe. You could make them smaller if you wish

1 cup tapioca pearls
1 jalapeño pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups + water

Grind pepper to a coarse paste, crush cumin seeds. Boil 2 cups of water and add tapioca pearls. Lower the flame and cook covered for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point if it gets too thick add just enough water to keep the mixture loose enough to stir. (This step replaces the overnight soaking of the pearls) Turn the heat off, keep covered for 3-5 minutes. Add two more cups of water, salt, and cook with stirring for about 6-8 minutes in medium heat till the mixture thickens and the pearls are completely translucent. Stir in cumin and pepper paste, cook for 1 more minute. Lightly brush a wax paper with oil, and wipe away the extra oil Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on to the prepared wax paper, spread with the back of a spoon to make circles or irregular shapes. Let it dry in sun for several hours (It took almost 5-7hrs for me). Peel the pappadoms off the paper and store in airtight containers. If you still have the sun on day 2, arrange the pappadoms on a paper lined cookie sheet and dry for 1-2 hours. This improves the shelf life.
While the sun shines ........

While the sun shines
Cardamom - cashew cookies for CLICK May 2009

Good news alert !

I am thrilled to shreds. How could i not be, when all those fine judges at CLICK-May edition picked this photo as the second place winner in the best capture category? This might just give me the much needed inspiration to pick up the camera and shoot before i eat anything. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you judges

Card-choc cookies

Cardamom cashew cookies for CLICK , a monthly food photography event at Bee and Jai's awe-inspiring blog Jugalbandi I WILL BE BACK SOON


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