Sunday, 26 June 2016

Vazhaipoo Vadai | Fritters

My final recipe for the Holiday recipes category is Vazhaipoo Vadai. I rarely make this vadai. I think until now I have made it only twice. And thats because we rarely get vazhaipoo and whenever we get it, we all prefer to have it as poriyal. Cleaning and cutting vazhaipoo is a time-consuming process, so any recipes with vazhaipoo is scheduled for a holiday.

Vazhaipoo is the flower of banana. This is a very nutritious flower and contains various vitamins like Vitamin A, C, and E. It also contains potassium and fibers. I have also heard that eating this flower wards off infections, reduces blood sugar levels, Boosts Mood And Reduces Anxiety and also helps nursing mothers.

Cleaning this flower is a bit tedious and time consuming process. So lot of people avoid buying it. We will not find it in any restaurants also since getting this in bulk is also very difficult. This is truly a traditional cooking item which I believe needs to be retained. 

Vazhaipoo / Banana cleaning process:

Before you touch the flower for cleaning, either use gloves or apply oil on both of your hands thoroughly. I apply coconut oil in my hands. This prevents your fingers and nails turning black and sticky!
Separate the edible flower part by removing the petals one bye one.
Hold a bunch and remove the two parts of the flower that is shown in the second picture below. I really don't know the reason behind this. My grandma used to say its not good for health.

Remove these 2 parts for a few layers. For rest of the layers, these 2 parts will be very tender - so no need to remove it.
At the end when the petals start turning complete white from the dark maroon/red color, we use the complete flower as shown below. The white petals will also be very thin and difficult to separate.

After you are done cleaning the florets, chop them finely and immerse and keep in water mixed with sour buttermilk/or curd,to lessen the blackening effect. 


Vazhaipoo / Banana flower - 1 (small)
Channa dal - 3/4 cup
Urad dal - 2 tblsp
Raw rice - 2 tsp
Green or red chilli - 4-5
Fennel seeds or jeera - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Onion, chopped - 1/4 cup
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Coriander leaves,curry leaves,Salt - As needed
Oil - For deep frying


  • Soak dals, rice together for 3 hours. In a mixer, grind chilli, jeera/fennel first and then add the dals, completely drained from water and grind coarsely.
  • Add the chopped vazhaipoo and just pulse twice or thrice.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the chopped onion, salt, asafoetida, coriander leaves, curry leaves. Mix well.
  • Heat oil in kadai and make medium sized vadai in your palm. 
  • Drop the vadai in oil and cook in medium flame. You can fry 4-5 at a time. Fry both sides until golden and crisp or until the inside gets cooked well 
  • Drain to paper towel and enjoy hot.


  • Alternatively you can also immerse the chopped vazhaipoo in water mixed with turmeric powder.
  • Make sure u don’t add any water while grinding, the water in dal and vazhaipoo itself will be enough 
  • The rice is added to make the vadas little crisp. This can be avoided.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Home made ricotta pancakes | American Breakfast

Another speciality of holidays is that we have late breakfasts. I call it brunch (breakfast+lunch). This mostly happens when we have had nightouts the previous night. On such days I make a heavy breakfast so that we can skip lunch and have supper directly.

In my childhood days I was always served a heavy breakfast. These days most of the times I run away to office with just a glass of milk. Back at home, breakfast was considered an important meal of the day. Here's a simple pancake recipe which we all love at home. and I make it often. Whenever I make this pancake I serve the breakfast in american style. I serve the pancakes with honey. Along with it I serve some fruits, little meat (fried), toasted bread and some juice. Believe me this is a very filling breakfast. Vegetarians can serve boiled or mashed potatoes instead of meat. Try it out!!!


Ricotta cheese - 125 grams / 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2
Maida - 125 grams / 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Oil / ghee - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 2 tsp


  • Separate the egg whites and egg yolks.
  • Put the ricotta cheese, milk and egg yolks into a bowl and mix well to combine. 
  • Stir in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and gently whisk to make a smooth batter. 
  • Keep the batter aside for 30 minutes.
  • Just before making the pancakes - Beat the egg whites until they become foamy and then fold them into the batter
  • Heat a tava or frying pan. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil or ghee.
  • Pour in heaped laddle of batter. Need not spread the pancakes.
  • Cook the pancakes for about 1 minute until golden and then flip them over and cook for another minute.
  • Remove and store hot.
  • Repeat the same for the rest of the batter.

Pancakes are ready!!! Serve warm


  • Left-over batter can be refrigerated and used. Keep the batter out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Left-over pancakes can also be refrigerated in an air-tight container. Microwave the pancakes for 30 seconds and serve warm.
  • Instead of honey, we can also serve the pancakes with any other syrup like blue-berry syrup

Friday, 24 June 2016

Hyderabadi Chicken Biriyani

For this months Blogging Marathon the second category I chose is Holiday recipes. Generally on holidays I plan some elaborate recipes. A full meal with 3-4 dishes or something heavy with non-vegetarian. So my first recipe for holidays is hyderabadi chicken biriyani. 

Cooking on holidays is actually fun for me. The whole family would get involved and we will cook amidst other chores around the house. The whole process of cooking a meal will take 3-4 hours. There are many types of biriyani and the hyderabadi biriyani among these is a little time consuming. But the hyderabadi style of biriyani is absolutely delicious. 

I got to know that the word biriyani is derived from the persian word "beryan" which means yummy. Biriyani is made from a mixture of  special spizes and basmati rice, meat or vegetables and yogurt


pepper corns  - 6
cloves and green cardamoms each  - 3
black cardamom - 2
cinnamon  - 2
javeri mace - 1
bayleaf - 2
black cumin - 2 tsp
lime juice  - from 1 lemon
cumin and coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
green chilli - 2
onion fried  - 2
oil or (ghee)  - 2 tbsp
medium sized onions sliced  - 4
Tomatoes sliced - 1
salt  - to taste
chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
chopped mint leaves - 2 tbsp
each of chopped ginger and garlic - 2 tbsp
flavored rice (basmati) -  500 grams
chicken medium pieces - 500 grams
yoghurt  - 2 tbsp
turmeric  - 1 tsp
saffron color - 1/2 tsp


Chicken marinade:

  • Clean the chicken pieces.
  • In a bowl add green chillies, 1 tsp mint leaves, 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp coriander leaves, pepper-corns, black cumin, chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, cumin powder, coriander powder. Mix well.
  • Add 1 tbsp of fried onions and 1 tbp of oil to the above mixture. Also add yogurt. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces to this and mix well and let the chicken pieces get coated evenly.  Marinate this for 3-4 hours.

Cooking rice:

  • Clean the basmati rice and soak it in enough water for about 30 minutes. 
  • Boil water in another vessel. I took about 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
  • To the boiling water add some ghee or oil and add the whole spices to the boiling water.
  • Add the right amount of salt to the boiling water. 
  • Drain the rice and add it to the boiling water. 
  • Let the rice cook 60-70%. Drain and keep it aside. 

Preparing the biriyani.

  • Take a biriyani handi or a big heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Add some oil and add the sliced onions. Fry them until translucent.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and add the marinated chicken.
  • Cook till the chicken is half cooked, for about 10 minutes.
  • Now sprinkle the drained rice on top and spread evenly such that the chicken is completely coated.
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions on top. 
  • Add saffron juice (saffron soaked in milk).
  • Put a tight lid on top or as i did make a dum using flour. (Take little amount of flour, mix it with water and make a dough out of it. Spread it on top of the vessel and keep the lid on top of it).
  • Cook the above in high flame for 5 minutes and then in low flame for about 15 minutes.
  • Switch off the stove and open the lid after about 10 minutes.

Tenderly cooked hyderabadi chicken biriyani is ready!!!


  • We can use ordinary jeera instead of black cumin.
  • Hyderabadi biriyani is usually served with raitha and mirchi ka saalan.
  • I served it with boiled eggs and papads.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Pomegranate Litchi Lemon Juice | Summer Coolers

For the third summer cooler I am posting another refreshing juice which can be easily made at home.
Pomegranate is a very healthy fruit. Ofcourse it might be tiresome to some people to remove the delicious pearls and eat it. I love this fruit and will clean the pomegranate, and eat it along the way without sharing with anyone else. 

 In Malayalam poets compare lips of females with pomegranate, may be because of its color. Pomegranate has a lot of health benefits.  It is the most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits, has potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects; it can help to reduce heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease. It can also help in lowering cholesterol and reduce other cardiac risk factors, lower blood pressure and it is also shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies. It also helps or relives depression and osteoporosis.

Similarly litchi also has a lot of health benefits. I shall research and post it another post.Instead of using the litchi fruit, I used the litchi juice here. Lemon is a very good thirst-reliever. I actually found this recipe a perfect accompaniment for grilled entree.


Pomegranate - 1/2 cup
Litchi juice - 1 glass
Lemon - 2
Water - 2 glass
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Ice cubes - as needed


  • Extract juice out of the 2 lemons.
  • In a blender add pomegranate pearls, sugar, little water and blend together to form a smooth consistency and strain through the strainer and set aside.
  • Mix the strained liquid with litchi juice, lemon juice and remaining water. 
  • Mix well and serve with ice cubes.

Enjoy this healthy drink!!!


  • We can use pomegranate juice also instead of the fruit.
  • Adding ginger to this will make it an excellent detox drink.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#65

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Kesar Badam Kulfi | Summer Coolers

This is the first time I am trying a kulfi recipe. I had made sure I have to post either one of ice creams or one of kulfi recipes in this month's BM. So tried a very simple kulfi recipe. I loved the outcome. 
The making of this kulfis brought back some sweet memories from Bombay. In my childhood, the first kulfi that I tasted was from Bombay by the sides of Juhu beach. Those days it used to 50p per small stick and 1 rupee for a bigger one. 

I didn't have kulfi making moulds with me. I tried a different trick. I had some small glasses like containers with lid which I stocked from coffee day as part of buying chocolate mousse. I used these as kulfi moulds. And I used some tooth picks as kulfi sticks :). Nice idea right?
Almond is called as Badam in India. Kesar is saffron. This dessert is very easy to make and tastes delicious and is too tempting to resist. 


Milk - 500 ml
Sugar - 200 grams
Badam - 200 grams
Custard Powder - 2 tsp
Saffron - 2 grams


  • Soak the badam in water for about 2 hours. Peel the skin of the badam and make a paste of it.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, boil the milk. 
  • From the boiled milk, take 2 tsp of milk. Mix the saffron and keep aside.
  • From the boiled milk, take another 4 tbsp of milk. Mix the custard powder, stir well and keep aside.
  • To the remaining milk, add the sugar and mix well. Boil for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the badam paste. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Finally add the saffron milk and custard-powder milk. Stir well until the mixture thickens.
  • Switch off the stove. Leave aside the mixture to cool for some time.
  • Pour into kulfi molds Or desired molds. Freeze them upto 3 hours Or until firm.
Enjoy chilled kulfis!!!


  • To remove the kulfi from the moulds smoothly, take the kulfi moulds from freezer and show it in running water for about a minute. Then open the kulfi moulds and remove the kulfi.
  • Dry badam powder can also be used instead of badam.
  • Milk powder or condensed milk can also be added.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#65

Friday, 10 June 2016

Mint Lemonade

I took a month's break from blogging after the month-long mega marathon. I hadn't planned to but the situation at home turned tensed with close-ones falling sick. So this break was quite refreshing for me and helped me get back with my normal routine.

This month's blogging marathon I am starting off with some summer coolers. Staying in the southern part of India, I have experienced very hot summers. And there are a lot of grandma recipes for summer coolers or cool drinks that I haven't yet blogged about. So when Valli announced "summer coolers" as one of the topics for this month's BM, I immediately chose this category.

The first post I am posting is a recipe that has been traditionally followed and made quite often in our households. It is the mint lemonade. This used to be made very frequently - I should say almost everyday since both mint and lemon was easily available. This is a very easy summer drink and quite healthy too.


Lemon - 1
Mint leaves - handful
Sugar - 4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - 2 cups
Ice cubes - few


  • Squeeze the juice out of the lemon.
  • In a juicer, add the lemon juice, mint leaves, salt, sugar and 1 glass of water.
  • Pulse for 5-10 seconds.
  • Strain the juice and remove the mint leaves. 
  • Add another glass of water and mix well.
  • Serve with ice cubes.


  • We can also add soda instead of water.
  • Adding ginger to this drink will make it an excellent detox drink.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#65