Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Amla Rice / Nellikkai Sadam

I love Amla (fruit) and eat at least one daily. We have Amla trees in our farm and whenever my parents visit us, they bring a small sack full of Amlas. I often prepare Amla Juice. Whenever it is not possible to prepare Amla juice, I simply cut and eat it.

As it is available in plentiful, my mom used to prepare few recipes using it . This Amla Rice is one among them. This rice recipe is very easy to prepare. It tastes similar to lemon rice and you'll get a slightly sweet taste after eating it. Those who like Amla/Gooseberry will definitely like this rice too.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2


Cooked rice - 3 cups, separate into grains and cooled
Amla / Nellikkai / Gooseberry - 3 nos or 1/2 cup, grated
Green chilli / Dry red chilli - 3-4 nos, slit into two
Curry leaves - 1 string
Oil - 3 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Channa Dal - 1/2 teaspoon
Roasted peanuts - 3 tablespoons
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander leaves - for garnishing


1) Heat oil in a frying pan / kadai. When it is hot, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
2) Add curry leaves, channa dal, roasted peanuts, asafoetida, slit green chillies. Fry till the channa dal becomes golden brown colour.

3) Add the grated amla followed by salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook the Amla. Note that it is not required to completely cook the Amla.
4) Give a very good toss. When the raw smell of turmeric goes away, add the cooked rice and gently mix it. Lower the flame to avoid burning.

5) Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

1) Leftover rice can also be used for this recipe. If you are using hot rice, fluff the rice using fork and mix gingerly oil with the rice. Allow it to cool to room temperature before you mix it with Amla.
2) If Amla is not very sour, then increase the grated Amla to 3/4 cup for 3 cups of rice.

3) Add 1/8th teaspoon of fenugreek seeds /powder if you like it.

4) Increase or decrease the red chilli/green chilli count as per your taste.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Cucumber Tomato Salad


Cucumber Tomato Salad

Serves 6

Yogurt compliments the intensely spiced dishes that are served throughout Kerala. And so, plain or spruced up, it always finds a coveted place on the Malayalee table. This preparation calls for cucumbers, making it extra refreshing. For an elegant meal, pair it with chicken biriyani, lentil wafers, and lemon pickle.



1 cup finely diced cucumbers

1 cup finely diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons finely diced onions

Half a small jalapeno, cut lengthwise and seeded

10 ounces low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream (optional)

¾ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Toss cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno together in a large bowl.

Mix in yogurt and sour cream.

Stir in salt and cilantro. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.


Eggless Dates and Walnut Cake


A easy and tasty cake recipe to celebrate this Christmas this time in my blog.  I thought of trying an egg less fruit cake but due to some personal commitments, I was not able to do. So, I planned to post a simple dates cake this time. Something is better than nothing. :-) Am I right?

I have bookmarked many recipes to try from Prathibha's blog and this cake is one of them. She has many cakes and bakes in her blog and also many traditional recipes. If you have time, please visit her blog and enjoy the recipes.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes
Makes: 8 Inch Round Cake


All purpose flour / Maida / Plain flour - 1 cup
Seedless dates - 18 nos
Milk - 3/4 cup
Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup (see notes)
Oil - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Walnuts - 1/4 cup, roughly sliced
Vanilla essence - 1/2 teaspoon


1) Sift  together the flour, baking soda one or two times for even mixing.
2) Warm the milk and soak the dates in it for 10-15 minutes. I kept aside till the milk reaches the room temperature.

3) Preheat the oven to 180C/360F for 10-15 minutes. Grease the round/ square baking tray with butter and dust it with flour. Keep it aside.
4) In a mixing bowl, mix oil, milk(1/2 cup and remaining 1/4 cup I used to grind the dates) and sugar.

5) Make a paste of the dates using a blender or food processor. I used only 1/4 of milk for easy grinding. Add this ground dates to the wet ingredients. Mix well till you get smooth thin batter.
6) Add the flour mixture to it and gently fold it till all the ingredients are properly mixed.

7) Add roughly chopped roasted walnuts to the batter. Gently fold it.
8) Pour this batter to the prepared pan and bake it for 30-35 minutes. After 30 minutes, check it with bamboo skewer by inserting it into the center of the cake. It should come out clean. My cake was done in 25 minutes itself. So keep on eye after 20 minutes. The baking time might vary from oven to oven.

9) Cool the cake for 5-10 minutes and transfer it to wire rock to cool completely.
10) Cut them into slices and enjoy with ice cream.

1) Depends upon the colour and quality of the dates, the colour of the cake will vary. I used ordinary brown seedless dates for this cake. You can also use black dates for this cake.
2) Use any nuts whichever available at your pantry.
3) You can also use brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar for this cake.
4) I added only 1/2 cup of sugar considering the sweetness in the dates. I find it enough. If you need more sweetness, then add 3/4 cup as said in the recipe.