Saturday, 1 February 2014

Caramel cake

Kerala-Christmas-plum-cake-recipe
Plum cake without any 'plums', aka caramel cake
An original Kerala Christmas cake got a few trimmings here and there, to became one of my favorite cakes - the caramel cake. I know, the whole renaming thing sounds just like the story of this chocolate vanilla marble cake that I posted earlier :) While I was not so confident about recreating the perfect 'Zebra effect' (thereby taking an escape route using 'marble effect'), here I knowingly omitted the addition of raisins and plums(the obvious addition in a plum cake) from the original recipe. The exclusion was only because my sister (this one was for her) doesn't like raisins. Without dried fruits, nuts and wine / rum, the caramel flavor truly shines through in this recipe. 

Thursday, 30 January 2014

White lily flowers


There is something so magical about the pristine serenity of lilies. I still remember the time when I was in Kerala, lilies popped out of nowhere during the summer season. We never planted them in the garden, and they grew among the rubber plantations freely and bloomed without any care. After coming to Bangalore, the memories of blooming Easter lilies (they normally appear during that time) began to fade. Then one fine day, I noticed these little beauties in my parents apartment garden. They rekindled the memories of solitary white bloom in summer, hiding under the shades of rubber tree, looking at the rising sun. Form that day, whenever I visit my parents place, my gaze never fail to search for lily flowers in the garden. Here are some of the pictures of white lilies. 

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Vazhakoombu (banana flower) vada

Kerala-banana-flower-recipe
Vazhakoombu (banana flower) vada
In South India, coconut is revered as the 'Kalpavruksha' (a mythological tree which makes every wish come true). From the roots to the flower buds, every single part of coconut is useful to mankind, and that is why this tree is considered as divine. Like coconut, there is another tree, or rather a plant, known for it's versatility and usefulness. And it is none other than the humble banana ('vazha' in Malayalam). Almost all part of this, including roots, shoot, leaves and flowers (vazhakoombu) are highly nutritious and edible. Vazhakoombu or banana flower is normally used to make thoran, with lentils and coconut as base. Today, I am not going to post thoran, but an interesting vada recipe with vazhakoombu.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Netholi (anchovy) fish fry

Fried-anchovies-Kerala-fish-recipe
Netholi fish fry
Chocolate and anchovies?? After watching an Italian recipe (Penne al cioccolato con anchovies) of this unusual combination in David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway, me and N were left wondering with an expression ranging from amusement to awe. So far our gastronomic experience with anchovies (netholi in Malayalam) were limited to the typical Kerala recipes, such as fries and curries with coconut, tomatoes or mangoes, and hence cooking this nutrient dense fish with chocolate was so far unheard of. We don't know about the taste of that particular dish and I am not daring enough to make it in my kitchen:) So as usual, I am sticking to the traditional Kerala versions, and here is an easy netholi fry recipe from my amma.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Kerala style chicken stew with coconut

Kerala-chicken-stew-recipe
Those who had read my Kerala potato stew recipe would know that this image of chicken stew is strikingly similar to the potato stew one. Hmmm, the truth is both these pictures were taken on Christmas morning and I didn't have much time to change the props in between. No prizes for guessing the reason, as we (me and N) were in a hurry to polish off the plates:) The resemblance here doesn't contain only to the photos, but also to the recipe ingredients and cooking method as well.