If you love eating, you can surely be a good cook, but to be an excellent one, you should have good critics at home. For that I owe to my husband and my children.

I dedicate this blog to the young ladies - "the starters".

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cinnamon Chicken

Traditionally, all good recipes are passed on to the
new generations by mothers ; I learnt this wonderful
recipe from my mother in law; and my daughters
Leah and Merin keep up the tradition of making this
Cinnamon chicken in our family get-togethers .
Here, I am sharing this very personal recipe
to you, young ladies…


Chicken – 1 kg
Onions- 6 nos(big)
Potato – 5 nos (big)
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tbsp
Cinnamon powder - 1 ½ tbsp
Pepper powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
bread crumbs - 1 cup
Water - ½ glass
Oil to fry


Marinate chicken previous day or for  an hour in chilli, cinnamon,
Pepper, turmeric salt and lime juice.

Take the chicken pieces from the marinate, roll in
bread crumbs and pan fry it on  both sides
for each side a minute.

Add half glass of water and pressure
cook the chicken in gravy for 20 minutes.
Separate chicken from
gravy and keep aside.
peel and slice onions and potatoes
in round shape.

Keep a wok on medium flame. Pour oil for deep
frying potatoes. Deep fry potato slices until
golden brown and keep aside. In the same wok,
remove excess oil and saute onions until
golden brown. In a non stick pan, pour 2 tbsp of oil
and fry chicken pieces to golden brown.

Now mix fried potatoes, onions,
chicken pieces and gravy into the pan.
Add sufficient salt to taste and keep on medium
flame till gravy thickens.

Serve hot with rice or chappatis.


1. Avoid over cooking chicken,
or else the chicken pieces will
lose its shape while frying.
2. Onions and potatoes should not be
sliced very thinly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Glazed Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake is the most loved and relished cake in our family!!
It is soft and yummy and I make it very often as it is in great demand during all seasons and occasions.


Butter- 1 cup
Brown sugar- 1 ½ cups
White sugar- 2 ½ cups
Eggs- 4 nos
Flour (Maida) - 3 ½ cups
Dark Cocoa powder- 4 tbsp
Baking powder- 3 tsp
Salt- a pinch
Vanilla essence - 2 ½ tsp
Curd - 1cup

Ingredients for glazing the cake:

Chocolate chips- 1 cup (250 ml)
Instant coffee powder -1 tbsp
Water- ½ cup
Powdered sugar - 1 tbsp
Rum – 2 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp


Powder white sugar and brown sugar in a grinder.
Take a bowl and mix this powdered sugar with butter
and beat till it becomes very smooth.
Separate egg whites from egg yolk; add egg yolks into the bowl
and mix well to make it fluffy and soft.
Beat the egg whites till it is stiff and frothy.
Add this to the bowl and blend gently.
Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder thrice.
Add the flour to the sugar, butter and egg mixture
spoon by spoon; make sure that you
mix the flour gently so that there are no lumps.
Pour the curd in between, in little amounts and
fold the mixture slowly. Repeat this many times
so that the air gets into the mixture.
Add vanilla essence and salt and mix well.

Pre heat the oven in 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
Take a large pan and grease it with butter and dust with flour.
Now , pour in the cake batter. Level the batter in the pan
by swirling it and then pat the pan gently to remove the trapped air .
Now bake it for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.
Take the pan out from the oven; insert a skewer in the center of the cake
and remove to check whether it has come out clean without
anything sticking on to it. Run a knife around the cake
and transfer the cake on to wire mesh to cool it.
You can glaze the cake when it is cool.
Glazing the cake
In a double boiler add water, coffee and sugar powder.
As it simmers, add chocolate chips and stir it till it melts and thickens.
Remove it from fire; and then add rum.
As it cools, blend in butter; now you can pour the glaze over the cake.


1. All the ingredients used in the preparation of the cake should be fresh and should be in room temperature.
2. Use only unsalted butter available in market. Do not use homemade butter as it contains more moisture.
3. Baking powder should be freshly purchased and used well within the expiry date.
4. While beating the egg white, add a drop of lime juice which helps them to hold their stiff peaks.
5. Medium tea cups are used for measurement in this recipe.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Travancore Fish Red Curry ( Meen Vevichathu )

Meen vevichathu is very much a southern Kerala
Christian dish , red and hot .
Our children call it meen red curry.

Among the Syrian christians of southern Kerala,
four days prior to the wedding day i.e if the wedding
is on a Sunday, four days before on Thursday, is the day for
kalunattal (the first pole is planted to make a pandal), moru kachal
(buttermilk curry), and meen vevikal. It is a small funtion when
elderly ladies of the family and neighbourhood assemble
in the kitchen and start cooking with their expert hands, which is
enhanced with a pinch of laughter, and a dash of gossip. The
outcome is a perfect meen vevichathu and moru kachiyathu
which are the indispensable dishes in a Christian sadhya.
Other items are kozhi curry,beef fry, fish fry, thoran ,
pachadi, avial ,poovan pazham and hot jeera water
on a hot summer after noon .
The wedding sadhya is complete.

Fish pieces - ½ kg
Chilli powder -3tbsp
Kashmere chilli powder-2tbsp
Turmeric powder -1tsp
Shallots -4tbsp
Garlic -2tbsp
Ginger grated -2tbsp
Fenugreek (methi) -1tbsp
Curry leaves -bunch
Kudampuli -6
Coconut oil -7tbsp
Nothing in this recipe is optional.

Skin the fish and cut into medium pieces. Put some salt
and keep aside for 15 minutes; then wash and drain it.
(it is important to skin the fish, or else a white substance
from the skin, changes the colour and taste of the curry)
Seer fish (neymeen) is the most suitable fish for this curry.
Neymeen looks like tuna, but has white meat.

In a chutney grinder, put chilli powder turmeric powder,
1tbsp shallots (sambar onions), 1tspgarlic and a pinch
of salt. Grind it into a fine paste. Kashmere chilli is
not hot ,it just gives colour.

Cut finely shallots ,garlic, ginger and keep aside.
Wash curry leaves ; do not remove the stem.
Fry fenugreek (methi/ uluva) and powder it in
a pessel and mortar.

In a wok on low flame, pour 3 tbsp of coconut oil
and add the sliced shallots, garlic and ginger.
Stir till it turns golden brown.
Add 1 tbsp oil and then add chilli paste and
stir continuously, till oil comes out see that it
is not burnt. Mix the fish in chilli paste
with a lighter hand, and keep aside.

Keep a chatti on low flame, pour 3 tbsp of oil and
swirl the chatti So that oil is coated all around.
Now lay the curry leaves criss- cross,
in the chatti and keep on it washed and cut kudampuli pieces.
Again layer the fish pieces coated in chilli paste.
On the fish pieces keep again Kudampuli pieces,
and on top curry leaves. Pour water to immerse the
contents and keep on low flame till the oil floats.
Sprinkle the methi powder.

Now your favourite red fish curry is ready.
Serve it with rice.

During marriages, this chatti is kept on low flame every day,
And by the wedding day the whole gravy will be drunk by the
Fish pieces. Very little gravy will be left behind.

Meen vevichathu with kappa(tapioca) is the best combination