Kale !!

Here is some poetry for you.

Kale I may,
eat some day.
But hey,
that day was yesterday!

The end

 Raw kale thoran
A thoran is a Kerala style mildly spiced stir fry of vegetables seasoned with plenty of  grated coconut. This recipe veers slightly off the course since kale here is not cooked, would have never told you about this otherwise :) Cooked kale is not my pal, don't tell anyone.

Kale very finely chopped - 4 cups

Carrot finely chopped - ¼ cup

Beetroot finely chopped - 2 tbsp.

Grated fresh coconut - 1 cup

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.

Cumin - ½ tsp.

Turmeric - ¼ tsp.

Green chilies chopped ( optional ) - ½ tsp.
Garlic minced - 1/2 tsp.

Lemon juice - 1 tsp.

Olive oil or coconut oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp.

Salt to taste

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice and salt to the chopped kale. Mix well with your hands, pressing the Kale down frequently for 2-3 minutes. Toss in the finely chopped beetroot and carrot, mix well and keep aside. Heat 1 tsp. oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot , add mustard seeds, wait till it stops spluttering. Add cumin, green chilies and  garlic, stir fry for a couple of seconds. Add coconut, some salt and ¼ tsp. turmeric,mix well. Turn the heat off. Sprinkle the seasoning over the marinated kale mixture in the bowl. Toss with a wooden spatula, pressing down firmly. Keep covered for 5 minutes before serving

The Arthinkal Dal

Okay there is no such thing, I just made it up, easy !

If you ask a random lot of people from India what their comfort food is and jot down all the answers, you will notice a rather high incidence of a three letter word. That word will be “Dal” which translates simply in to “lentils”. Dal is a preparation of lentils, a collective name for a simple sustenance accompaniment to rice or roti and to many the fondest remembrance of the way things were done in their homes. 
We have Dal recipes attributed to entire states, ethnic groups, villages and even households. That is why we have such culinary gems like “My Dal”, which must be just as good as “Your Dal” which in essence is your own take of your “Grandma’s Dal” which passed through a state of being your “Moms Dal” while you were growing up.

What we are talking about today is one such Dal out of the many million forms in which it exists and I am calling it “The Arthinkal Dal” :) which hopefully will convey the point that this recipe has its roots in Arthinkal, my hometown.

I am not quite sure if everyone in Arthinkal makes Dal this way, but my mother surely does and as a result I do too. We both love our quaint little village and so I have decided to commemorate :)

Happy weekend everyone !

The Arthinkal Dal

Split yellow lentil - 1 cup

Thinly sliced pearl onions - 2 tbsp.

Whole pearl onion - 2 nos

Curry leaves - 10 nos

Coconut oil - 4 tbsp.

Chilly powder - 1 tsp ( or to taste)

Salt - to taste

Cooking lentils for this recipe is the most important part of getting this curry right, along with the use of some good quality coconut oil. To achieve this add 2 ½ cups of water to the lentils along with the sliced pearl onions, 5 curry leaves and 2 pinches of salt. Heat the pan till the water comes to a rolling boil At this point, lower the heat to a minimum ,cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes. You might want to check it after 10 minutes. When the lentils are ready for the next step it will be soft but still holding its shape. Remove the lid,using a wooden ladle mash about ¼ of the dal, adding some water if the mixture is dry. Crush whole pearl onions with the remaining curry leaves using a stone mortar . Add it to the cooked lentil along with the chilly powder. Turn the heat to high and cook for 2 minutes. Turn of the heat and add the coconut oil on top, cover with the lid,do not mix. Open the lid 5 minutes later, stir well and serve with rice

All you need is......

ten minutes or less !!!! What were you thinking ? 

Here is a versatile, made in a jiffy chocolate shot cake, called aptly so as it is baked in a shot glass in a microwave oven. It doesn't get any easier than that!

Happy Valentine’s Day, revel in the delights love brings you!

Chocolate shot cake

Making of this cake happens in three simple steps. Bake the cake, moisten with flavored light syrup to take it out of the mundane mug cake realm, and then top it off with a dollop of whipped cream.


¼ cup flour

1 egg

1 tsp. sugar½ tsp. baking powder½ cup dark chocolate chips

1 tsp. cocoa powder

12 shot glasses


¼ cup sugar

¼ cup warm water

¼ tsp orange extract

Whipped cream for topping/ cocoa and chocolate shavings for decoration.

Melt chocolate chips by microwaving for one minute. Add softened butter, sugar and mix well till the mixture is glossy. Add the egg and blend well. Add cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and mix well till the batter is smooth. Dispense the batter equally into 12 shot glasses. Do not fill more than a quarter of the shot glass used. If you are making the dessert for two, divide the batter into 2 coffee mugs. Microwave for 20- 30 seconds at high for the shot cakes and 30-40 seconds for the mug cakes. You might need to adjust the timing according to the power settings of the microwave oven. You are about done.

Now prepare the sugar syrup. Dissolve ¼ cup sugar in ¼ cup warm water. Add ¼ tsp orange extract, mix and pour about 1 tsp each on the shot cakes.
Serve chilled topped with whipped cream, decorate with cocoa powder and shaved chocolate.

There are ways to make this dessert extremely indulgent.

Rum orange shot cake

Make rum syrup by mixing the prepared syrup with 2 tbsp. rum. You could add some more rum to the syrup and call it Rum orange extravaganza chocolate shot cake or something equally charming

Chocolate ganache shot cake (as seen in the picture)

Make a runny light ganache. Melt 1/4 cup chocolate, mix in 1 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsp. warm water, ¼ tsp. orange extract and spoon over the cake after poking 2-4 holes on the cake with a skewer stick


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