January 14, 2018

Ulli Vada/ Onion Vada

Wishing you all a very Blessed New Year!

It is the 14th of the month and I hope you are still sticking to your resolutions that have a tendency to lose momentum as the month goes along! I have not made myself any strict resolutions but I hope to be better and do good more than I could in 2017. I have had a happy 2018 so far and I hope and pray that all of you did too:)

Having said that, certain things do not seem to be changing in 2018! It took me 14 days to get a post out for new year and a long pending post which was shot last March along with the Crispy Sweet Corn and was idling away in the drafts. It took a weekend get together were I made the ulli vada again that I got reminded of my pending post. So here we go with the post.  Its called Ulli Vada down south of India - it could be roughly translated as onion pakoda, onion fritter or onion bajji - depends on which part of the globe you are from! Some recipes call for the use of all purpose flour - I have used gram flour and added a bit of rice flour and baking soda to crisp it up. Baking soda is completely avoidable if you intend to stay clear of it.  

It is easy, quick and perfect for the weather Dubai has now!



  1. Onions - 3 medium size ( thinly sliced)
  2. Gram Flour - 1/4 cup
  3. Rice Flour - 1 tsp
  4. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  5. Coriander leaf - 2 tbsp finely chopped
  6. Curry leaf - 1 tbsp finely chopped
  7. Baking soda - 2 pinches
  8. Water - as required.
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Oil for deep frying
  • Take the sliced onions, corriander leaves, curry leaves and salt in a bowl. Mix them well squishing the onions as you go to separate the strands and also release water.
  • Add gram flour, rice flour, baking soda and chilly powder to this. Mix them well using your hand, the water released from the onions helps in binding the dry ingredients together. Add 3 to 5 tbsp of water as needed in the batter. The batter needs to be thick and not runny.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Scoop out a small ball of the batter and flatten it on your palms before dropping it into the oil. Fry on both the sides till evenly browned.
  • Transfer onto a tissue to drain off excess oil. Serve with hot tea.

You may also note
  • When deep frying, it helps to keep flame on medium to medium high - absorbs lesser oil. 
  • Always drop in the batter only when the oil has heated up. Test by dropping in a tiny drop of the batter.

December 23, 2017

Apple French Toast

This Christmas season has been a busy one. Lots of baking , mall hopping to see the Christmas decor, karaoke singing of Christmas carols to watching Christmas movies - we have done it all. With my sister in town to celebrate Christmas with us we have had quite a spike in our December activities.So while I sit down to relax before beginning the Christmas eve preparations, thought of sharing a quick recipe for your Christmas breakfast table.

Apple french toast is simply the addition of Green apples to your normal french toast and getting it baked. Scroll below to the recipe!!

Meanwhile, Have a holly jolly Christmas this year!!

A Joyous Christmas to all!



  1. Green Apple – 1 big finely sliced
  2. Butter – 2 to 3 tbsp
  3. White bread – 10 pieces
  4. Milk – 400 ml
  5. Egg – 2 large
  6. Sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
  7. Salt – ¼ tsp
  8. Cinnamon  powder – ¼ tsp

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree centigrade for 15 minutes
  • Heat butter in a pan. Layer apples in the pan and cook until tender.
  • Cut the bread into smaller pieces.
  • Break open the eggs into a bowl. Whisk well and add milk, sugar, cinnamon powder and salt. Combine well.
  • Layer the bottom of a baking pan with the cooked apple.
  • Dip the bread pieces in the egg mix and layer this on top of the apples. Alternatively, layer the top with bread slices and pour the egg mix  on the top till the bread is soaked in the milk.
  • Bake at 180 degree centigrade for 30 minutes to 40 minutes or until done.

December 16, 2017

Cranberry Cobbler Dump Cake

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, 
and behold, 
everything is softer and more beautiful. 
                                     -Norman Vincent Peale

Dump it all together - there you have a dessert on your table!
Cranberry sauce, topped with cake mix and butter drizzled on top - that is the name of the dish deconstructed for you!
This is my first guest post and I am happy I got to do it with thebigsweettooth . Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth is one of first bloggers I got introduced to through blogging. Her blog is a repository of recipes - a go to website for all your recipe needs. I am so glad I could add to her repository. Head over to her blog to check out my recipe for Cranberry Cobbler Dump Cake.

December 6, 2017

Kerala Mutton Stew

Christmas is a time that brings back so many memories. Some are funny as can be!
Good food comes with any celebration and Good food comes after so many failed attempts too! Christmas is no less.

Our first Christmas together was within a month of moving to Dubai. The cooking range oven and the griller were totally new to me. All that Shibin wanted for Christmas was 'Karangunna Chicken' - loosely translated rotating chicken. Don't whack your brains! He only meant to have those rotisserie grilled chicken :) I had my chicken marinated and for reason best known to no one I decided to place the marinated chicken in the freezer! We went out shopping got back a little late - just in time for dinner which was till in the freezer. I had no time to defrost. I placed it in the oven to melt the stubborn ice. After a while onto the rotisserie. The chicken was big and the marinade was all dripping down which is when I realised that I needed a dripping pan too. After all the trials , we still had an uncooked chicken two hours later and a messy oven. Then we did what we could do best. Cut the chicken and pan fried them. That is how we ended up eating our Christmas dinner at 12 am! Boy, I am glad we did not have any guests.


Moving onto the recipe. Whenever I hear mutton stew I cannot help but suppress a smile. Tell the same to my mother - she will have her volley of justifications. You will know why soon:) We were never very fond of mutton, so mutton was almost never bought at home. Once I happened to taste mutton stew with appam at a friends place for a wedding. I came home with a demand that it be mutton stew for Christmas morning instead of the usual chicken stew. Pappa bought mutton and Mamma set out to make it. The stew turned out fine but it tasted a wee bit different and had a sour taste. We went on to eat a stomach full. On her hunt for the curd she kept in glass mug to marinate the chicken for biriyani  (our Christmas lunch) did my mom realise that she had poured the curd into the stew instead of coconut milk that was in a similar cup! Nevertheless she says the stew turned out good and this how new things are discovered:) She is not going to spare me for this!


Here we go - 


  1. Mutton  – 500 gms
  2. Potato – 2 medium sliced
  3. Onion – 1 big thickly cut lengthwise 
  4. Green Chilly – 3-4 slit
  5. Ginger – 1 tbsp finely chopped
  6. Cardamom – 3 to 4
  7. Cinnamon sticks – 2 sticks of 1 inch
  8. Cloves – 3 to 4
  9. Thin coconut milk – 2 cups
  10. Thick coconut milk – ½ cup
  11. Salt as needed
  12. Water as needed
  13. Coconut oil

For Tempering

  1. Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Curry leaf – 2 sprigs
  3. Onion – 1 small sliced in cubes
  4. Peppercorns – 3 to 4


  • Heat oil in a thick bottom pan. Add the whole spices and fry until aromatic.
  • Next, add onions, ginger and green chilly. Saute until the ginger is cooked.
  • Add mutton pieces and cook until the mutton is almost done. Pressure cook if need be.
  • Add the potatoes and adjust salt.
  • Add thin coconut milk and cook it covered until the mutton is done.
  • Add thick milk and switch off the flame as soon as the stew begins to boil.
  • For tempering, crush onion and pepper in a mortar and pestle.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the crushed onion and pepper along with curry leaves. Saute till done.
  • Temper the stew with this mix. Keep it covered for a while.
  • Serve hot with appam!


November 28, 2017

Lovlolikka Wine ||Cooking with Family and Friends - #5||

Does the word Lovlolikka ring a bell? I am sure atleast a few malayalees have heard of those red cherries that grow abundantly in their backyard and that grand moms fondly fed you in pickles. Lovlolikka is mildly sour, tangy with a tinge of sweetness and may not be as popular for eating as is when compared to the pickles and jams that are dished out from these cherries.

I did a hunt for the English name of this cherry and google threw up names like Indian sour cherry and Indian coffee plum. To keep things simple let's call it cherry:) My mom in law has a lot of these cherries peeping into her backyard from the neighbor's garden. The neighbors have graciously offered her all the cherries that grow on the branches hovering in her yard and trust me they are a basketful. So that is how Lovlolikka wine came into being for us. She did not use yeast for fermentation but the wine came just as good with a lovely color.

Hardly a month for Christmas and if you start now, I bet your wine would be ready just in time for Santa!

So here is the 5th recipe in the series of Cooking with Family. This time again with mom-in-law.




  1. Lovlolikka/Indian sour cherry - 1 kg
  2. Sugar - 300 gms
  3. Cloves - 5 to 6
  4. Cinnamon stick - 2 pieces of 1 inch
  5. Water - as needed
  • Wash the berries in water to remove any dirt and pat dry them.
  • Dry a big glass jar and add the berries into the jar.
  • Add the sugar along with the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  • Pour warm water till the level of the berries in the jar.
  • Using a wooden spatula give it a good stir. Cover and keep in a dark and dry place for a week.
  • Stir again on the 5th day and 10th day by when the berries would have grown softer. Crush the berries using the spatula in the process.
  • Leave it covered and untouched for next 10 days.
  • On the 21st day, using a sieve filter out the liquid from the pulp. Store the wine in glass bottles until ready to consume.
  • Hurry up, if you start now your wine will be ready by Christmas.
You may also note 
  1. Sweetness can be increased or decreased as you like.
  2. Most of the recipes call for addition of yeast but it works fine without it as well.
  3. You may try using other berries/ fruits in the same recipe.

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