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Kaalan is a buttermilk-based curry for rice. It is usually made with cucumber and yam. It can also be made slightly sweet by using ripe plantain, pineapple or mango.


First group
800 gms plantain (or other vegetable/fruit)
1 ltr buttermilk

Second group
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fenugreek powder
Salt, to taste
1 green chilli (deseeded)
Curry leaves
200 ml water

 Third group

1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsps black gram
2 tsps fenugreek seeds
3 tsps ghee
Curry leaves

Cube the desired vegetable or fruit and cook in a pot with all the ingredients from the second group. After it is well cooked add buttermilk and stir constantly until the mixture boils. If not properly stirred the buttermilk might curdle. Once it has come to a rolling boil, take the pot off the stove.

Heat a skillet, add ghee and fry well. Once the ghee is bubbling, add ingredients from the third group except for the curry leaves, and let them splutter. Add curry leaves and take off the stove.

Add the cooked vegetable mixture to this skillet and mix well. Kaalan is ready!

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Sweet Onion Chutney


4 big onions
1 pinch turmeric powder
Extract of 1 tamarind
1 small dried red chilli
4 blocks jaggery
1 tsp mustard seeeds
Curry leaves
Salt, to taste

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add red chilli and brown. Add finely chopped onion. Sauté till translucent. Add salt, turmeric powder and stir till the raw smell of turmeric is gone. Take off heat and allow to cool. Make a puree of the cool mixture. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add curry leaves and sauté. Add the puree and cook for a few minutes. Add tamarind extract and jaggery. Stir, let the jaggery melt. The chutney should become a nice brown colour. 

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Lemonade with Tomato


½ a lemon
¼ of a tomato
1 ½ spoons of sugar
1 cardamom pod
Small piece of dried ginger

Put pounded ginger, cardamom, sugar, tomato and a little amount of water along with lemon juice into a mixer jar. Keep it turning until everything becomes like a paste.  Add water and serve cold.

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Payasam is a sweet dish made of green gram, rice, bamboo seeds, wheat or various other grains. It’s a specialty of Kerala and very much part of a typical Kerala feast.


½ cup green gram dal
1 cup melted jaggery
1 cup coconut milk
2 cardamom pods
½ spoon cumin seeds
Small piece dried ginger

Grind spices into powder. Roast green gram dal till it starts to change the colour and aroma. Wash it and remove stones. Cook it well, then add the melted jaggery. Cook until mixture is thick and starts to bubble. Pour in coconut milk, add the powdered spices, turn off the fire and keep the lid closed for 10 minutes. Stir it well so the coconut milk spreads evenly.

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Simple Masala Curry


5 medium potatoes, cubed
1 carrot, sliced
4 spoons coconut oil
5 small onions
Coriander powder
1 spoon garam masala
Curry leaves

Cook cubed potatoes and carrots with salt and a pinch of  turmeric powder. Heat the oil. Sauté the finely chopped onion with curry leaves. When it turns slightly brown, add coriander powder and garam masala. Stir till the spices lose the raw smell. Add the cooked vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Add milk or coconut milk. Stir in and remove from heat.

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Chappathi / Paratha


Use wheat flour to prepare the dough. Usually the flour is made into dough by just adding salt and water. However, if you add a few bananas, the parathas become softer, tastier and can be kept for a few days.

Mash the bananas into the dough while kneading. Add a little oil once the dough is ready and not sticking to your fingers anymore.

Make the whole dough into a big ball and leave it for a while. Make a small ball, press flat with your palms and dip it in some dry flour. Now roll it flat using a rolling pin. The center should be thicker than the edges. Cook it on a frying pan. Flip it when bubbles start to appear. After a few flips ideally it should start popping.  Keeping it directly on the flames will make it pop quickly and evenly.

Paratha is chappathi folded and added ghee or oil inside. Paratha is softer than chappathi.

After rolling out the dough into a circle like for chappathi, fold it into four and roll out again to get a paratha. Cook like the chappathi.

Wheat flour                       1 cup

Banana                              2 Numbers

Water                                To knead dough

Edible oil                            1 spoon

Salt                                    For taste.





1 cup wheat flour
2 bananas
1 spoon of oil
Salt, to taste

Paratha is chappathi folded and with added ghee or oil inside. Paratha is softer than chappathi.

After rolling out the dough into a circle as with the chappathi, fold it into four and roll out again to get a paratha. Cook like the chappathi.

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Pathiri and Olan



1 cup rice flour
1 ½ cups water
5 – 10 ml oil

Bring water to the boil and add salt and oil. Add the rice flour to the boiling water and stir well. Then take out the dough and knead it by hand until it’s soft and smooth.

Make small balls out of the dough and then flatten them into round and thin wafers like pancakes. If you don’t get the shape right, you can cut them out with a cookie cutter or a round lunch box. Make sure that the center of the pathiri is thicker than the edges.

Heat up the frying pan and cook the pathiris. A perfect pathiri will puff up when cooked on a frying pan.

Can be eaten with olan, stew, or other curries.



1 cucumber (or around 100 gms)
½ piece green chilli
50 ml coconut milk
Coconut oil
Curry leaves

Cut the cucumber into small pieces. Add sufficient hot water to cook the cucumber. Add salt and chilli. Ideally the cucumber gets cooked within 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and you are ready to go! You can also temper with curry leaves sauted in coconut oil.

You can make olan with different kinds of cucumber. The slices should be thin and use minimum chilli. It’s a very simple side dish, but very healthy too.

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Herbal Teas

To prepare teas:

Bring water to a rolling boil. Then add the preferrred spices and keep the lid on for a few seconds. Add melted jaggery. You can add other ingredients like lac for colour and flavour.

Jeeraka vellam (Cumin Tea)


200ml water
Generous pinch cumin seeds
1 spoon melted jaggery

Inchi vellam (Ginger Tea)


200ml water 
Piece of ginger the size of one third of your index finger
1 cardamom pod (pound cardamom and ginger together)
1 tablespoon melted jaggery 

You can add milk to this tea. However, wait for a few moments before you add the milk, since hot jaggery might make the milk curdle.

Malli vellam (Coriander Tea)


200 ml water
½ spoon coriander
1 spoon melted jaggery

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Raw rice and black gram (black lentils) – equal quantities if you’re using a blender, or 3:1 if you’re grinding by hand

  1. Soak rice and black gram in separate containers for at least 4 hours.
  2. If using unpeeled gram, squeeze and knead the lentils in the water repeatedly until the black skins come off (leaving the skin on will make it bitter).
  3. Grind or blend the black gram until foamy. To test the consistency, dip a finger in the ground lentils and blow on it gently – frothy bubbles should come away.
  4. Add the rice and grind/blend together. (Optional: you can add a spoonful of fenugreek here if you like.) When mixture is the consistency of pancake batter, leave overnight.
  5. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, use a bit of coconut fibre oil to grease the pan (or any edible oil). Then spoon batter onto pan and cook like a pancake, flipping once to cook each side.
  6. Enjoy!
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Love Letters


1 cup wheat flour


½ coconut, grated (or 1 cup dessicated coconut)
4 tablespoons melted jaggery
2 ground cardamom pods, or 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  1. Mix the flour with enough water to make a batter of the same consistency as pancakes. Add a pinch of salt. (Optional: You can add some sugar to the batter if you like, or some grated coconut.)
  2. To make the filling, mix together the grated coconut and the melted jaggery. Add the ground cardamom. (Another option: You can also make it with cardamom, cumin seeds and dried ginger. Grind all ingredients together.)
  3. Pour the batter onto a heated, oiled frying pan. After the first side is cooked, flip, and then flip again once the second side is done. Take a spatula and mark a line that bisects the pancake. Fill the upper half with filling and then fold the bottom half over.
  4. Ready to eat!