Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Banana Chips & Fried banana pieces in jaggaery(Ethakaya Upperi & Sharkkara Piratti)

Today I am going to share with you guys the very delicious and famous Kerala snacks -Ethaykka Upperi(Banana chips) and Sarakkara Pirratti (fried banana in jaggery). These are some of the must see dishes in Kerala feast also.I think whoever visits Kerala, sure get a chance to taste the banana chips and they will buy a big bag full of chips for their family too..
Last weekend during our  shopping at Costco, for finding the chicken sausage ,i asked for help to one of the shop assistant and she told me the exact  location. She then asked us abt our native place in India.I just told we r from kerala..Then she was so excited and screaming: “wow! You r from GOD's own country?” (I really surprised about how she knew about that slogan because international people hardly know about Kerala). she was talked abt the places Cochin kovalam etc and these delicious banana chips and the taste of the big fish she ate during the house boat cruise( House boat cruise is one of the main attraction in Kerala).. . When she talked about these banana chips really made us crave to eat the same. How  beautifully she explained the beauty of our place and the deliciousness of our food.. She also mentioned  that she is saving money to plan for another vacation to Kerala in future.
When she mentioned about these Banana chips, I thought of making it at home. When i prepared the chips i just tried the Sarkkara piratti also. 
The banana chips are very easy to make one.. but you have to fry it nicely otherwise it won't get that crispy texture.About the sarkkarapiratti, it’s easy but be careful while making the jaggery syrup it should be in right consistency otherwise the the banana pieces wont get the  jaggery coating.. also deep fry the banana pieces and let it cool then only add to the jaggery syrup.Hope u guys will try to make it at home.Use the raw plantain only
Let me tell u how i made these items:
1.Banana chips(Ethakkaya Upperi)(ഏത്തയ്ക്ക ഉപ്പേരി)
Raw Plantain (പച്ച ഏത്തയ്ക്ക): 1 no
Oil(എണ്ണ): for deep frying
Salt(ഉപ്പു്‌) : to taste
Turmeric Powder(മഞ്ഞള്‍ പൊടി ): a pinch(optional)
  • Heat oil in a pan.Add the banana pieces and the turmeric powder in to it( slice the banana using the slicer and  directly add them into the heated oil) 
  • Deep fry until crispy.
  • Transfer the chips to kitchen tissue. Just add some salt and mix well.let it cool for 3-5 minutes.
The chips are ready to have.Keep it in an airtight container(if u have any left over)
Cook's tip
  • Do not keep the sliced  banana for long.It will get dark color and won't get the fresh taste.
  • When u transfer the fried pieces add the salt and mix well.. 
  • apply the turmeric powder in to the sliced pieces  and then fry it otherwise add the turmeric powder directly in to the oil.
2.SarakkaraPiratti(Fried Banana pieces in jaggary mix)
Jaggery(sarkara - ശര്‍ക്കര): 1/2 pound
Water:!/2 cup
Raw Plantain(pacha ethakka- പച്ച ഏത്തയ്ക്ക) : 2 medium
Ground Dried Ginger(chukkupodi - ചുക്കുപൊടി): 1/2 tsp
Grond Cardamaom(elakka podi - ഏലയ്ക്ക പൊടി):1/2 tsp
Oil(enna - എണ്ണ): for frying the banana pieces
Rice flour (അരി പൊടി) : 2 tsp
  • Slit the plantain and cut them cross into medium size pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan ,add the plantain pieces fry until crispy.
  • Transfer the fried pieces in to a kitchen tissue and let it cool..
  • By the time make the jaggery syrup.Add the jaggery with 1/2 cup of water and make a syrup which has right consistency (the syrup will be like oil(means neither it be watery nor so thick)
  • Reduce the heat to very low and add the dried Ginger and cardamom powder to them and mix well .
  • Add the fried and cooled plantain pieces into the jaggery syrup.Mix well.Switch off the heat and mix the pieces until it completely coated with jaggery finally just sprinkle the rice flour. 
  • Transfer the sharkarapiratti into a plate and let it cool.. 
The delicious sharkkara piratti is ready to have..Keep them in an airtight container.. 
Cook's Tip
  • Do not add more water for making the jaggery syrup.
  • The syrup should be in right consistency. if u feel it's get the oil texture that means its ready to use .. do not be so thick or so thin then the banana piece won't get the coating properly
  • Do not forgot to sprinkle the rice flour.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yogurt Curry/Moru Curry (no Coconut)

Moru curry(yogurt curry - “കാച്ചിയ മോര്” ) is one of the popular dish  of kerala.. Usually we used to prepare the morru curry with grated coconut. But we can prepare the same with no coconut. Today i thought of sharing the “Yogurt curry with no coconut “recipe.Any keralites favorite combo is rice with this morrucurry.if u add the thoran (vegetable Stir fry) and pickle it will be a perfect meal.My brother is a great fan of this moru curry.Here my hus’s tastebud always ask for this delicious curry too, He likes the above combination and I am too happy becuase no other non veg side is needed for him.
Amma always prepare the coconut version.I got this  recipe idea from my friend Seena..Once we got a chance to taste this curry from her home. And my better-half really liked it. If he likes any dishes  he asks me to  try the same by myrself.So i will always try to get the recipe from my friends.(He likes very few:)) .i collected the recipe from seena's mom. Really our special thanks to her mom -our dear thankam aunty .(One more thing i like to write is when seena visited her mom’s place , she sent one full can of this tasty curry for us too)When she shared the recipe she didn't give me the exact measurement( expert cook hardly give exact measurement for any recipe ingredient ,am i right? I think so..).
When i first tried the curry it was not a success because i added more fenugreek .Usually fenugreek give nice flavor but if u add more than required, it tastes so bad.. and it spoils the entire  taste of the curry. i do remember  my hus called that as uluva moru curry.but he didn't disappoint me he had it with rice..When i try the same at next time i added more garlic and  couldn’t make out the exact taste what aunty prepared for us..After a few tries, now i got almost the same taste.(my hus says) One best part about this delicious curry is  we can keep it refrigerated for weeks .Its a very simple recipe.I always say all the recipes are simple and tasty.. really i am honest in these words..So try it.I think a best choice for working moms too.
OK let me tell you how i prepared this.
Curd(thayir): 1 cup
Water:1 cup
Salt(uppu): as required
RedOnion/Pearl onion(Valiyaulli/Kunjulli):a small piece/2 nos
Garlic(vellulli): 2 pods of a medium sized garli
Ginger(inji): 1small piece
Fenugreek seeds(uluva): 1/4 tsp
Cumin seed(jeerakam): 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder(manjal podi):1/2 tsp
For seasoning
Oil(enna): 1 tsp
Mustard seed)kaduku): 1 tsp
Red chili(chumanna mulaku): 3 nos
Curry leaves(kariveppila): 1 sprig
  • Mix the curd with water and blend it in a mixture. Otherwise mix well using a spoon
  • Crush the ginger garlic fenugreek seed and cumin seed
  • nicely chop the red onion piece /pearl onions
  • Heat oil in a pan.Add the mustard seed once it started spluttering add the red chili and the curry leaves.saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chopped onion,saute well until it become light brown color
  • Add the crushed GGFC followed by turmeric powder and saute for another minute.. 
  • Reduce the heat to very low 
  • Add the Diluted curd into the mixture.Mix all togther and heat the mixture for 1-3 minute.Never let the mix to boil.
The Delicious Moru curry is ready to have.Have it with rice..
Cook’s Tip
  • Do not add more fenugreek or garlic, follow the above measurement.
  • If u like u can dilute the curd by adding more than a glass of water.
  • Just crush the GGFC .The crushed one gives nice flavor than the paste.
  • Do not overheat the curd spoils the curry by forming the lumps.
  • GGFC -Ginger GarlicFenugreekCuminseed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lime Pickle (Cheru Naranga Achar)

Every one's favorite, right?.. I know this is a must-see item in almost all home’s dining table. Got it?. ya it is every one's favorite side dish -the yummy n tangy Lime Pickle. Today i thought i can share with you guys my grandma’s special Lime Pickle (Naranga achar)Home made pickle always taste good than the store-bought one and the making of the pickle is not that difficult.  
About the recipe: It is my grandma’s  recipe. She always prepare so delicious pickles and whatever she makes it tastes 100 times better  than anyone else’s.. Now she is not with us but we always remember her through her special  recipes.My amma  is not that expert as my grandma for making these achars (Pickle) and Chammanthi podis.(Chutney Powders). Like my grandma my valiyamma (Amma’s Sister) is also an expert in making pickles..Her pickles are always demanded one in our family.. When my mom came here last summer, she sent both mango and lemon pickle for us. Especially when you are “expecting”,  you always crave for these pickles.. yeah. I know it is not that good (having too much of pickle) for health but you cannot control it .Anyway i really enjoyed having it even with my breakfast and finished the whole box with in a short span of time.When amma was here she  taught me how to make this pickle.but  whenever I prepare the pickle, i used to call and ask her the recipe. 
Until came here in  USA, I didn’t know that there are differences between lemon and lime. I thought all are same. But when I came here I realized that both are different and they look different, taste different. I think, Lemon is not good for making pickles compared to lime which have more sour taste and less sweet taste.
When we found a bag of lime here in the Kroger I thought of making the pickle because this lime is a seasonal one. So when i saw  i asked my hus and he said yes.. He likes amma’s pickle so much.and also .its hard to find such kerala pickles here in any store.. so i always prefer to make it at home.( we tried the store bought also and found the 2 best pickles -Priya’s Lime Pickle and Bedeker’s Mango pickle ).
I can guarantee this one is  a very easy to make recipe and u can make it in a large quantity  and keep it refrigerated for months.. And one thing u should be careful is that do not use any wet spoons which adds moisture and the pickle very easily get fungus and that spoils the whole pickle..So take small quantity in a container and use that.. And one more thing if u have use the Sesame oil( u can find the same in Indian grocery) ,It gives real and perfect taste and flavor of the pickle and also it helps pickle to last longer 
Ok let me tell you how i made this
Lime:(cheru naranga) 1 pound
Water : for cooking the lime
Garlic(vellulli): 12 pods
Red chili:(Chumanna Mulaku) 5 nos
Red chili powder:(Mulakupodi) 4 tbsp
Asafoetida Powder(Kayam):1/2 tsp
Salt:(uppu) as required
Sesame Oil(nallenna): 1/4 cup
Vinegar(vinagiri): 1 tsp or as required
Mustard Seed (kaduku): 1 tsp
Curry leaves (kariveppila): 2 sprig
  • In a big pan boil enough water and cook the lime in the boiling water until the lime  become tender.add enough salt also.
  • Cut the lime into 8 pieces(slices) and keep the slices in a airtight container for 2 days.Add salt according to your taste. 
  • Slice the garlic pods (lengthwise)
  • Heat the sesame oil in pan.Add the mustard seed,once it started spluttering add the curry leaves and red chili saute for 30 second
  • Add the garlic slices into it and saute until it get nice brown color.
  • Add the chili-asafoetida salt powder mix into the heated oil...Lower the heat to low.
  • Fry all the ingredients until completely fried (dark color).
  • Let the mix to cool down and then add the  lime slices into the mix
  • After 4-5 hrs add one/2 tsp of vinegar and mix very well. vinegar has to get into all the part..
The delicious pickle is ready to have. Keep it in an air tight container .Keep refrigerated after one week.
Cook’s tip
  • Do not overcook the lime.then u can’t make it into slices..
  • Soak the lime in salt for 2-3 days in room temperature.. Check the salt  in between.
  • If u like u can use more Garlic and chili powder.
  • Always keep the pickle in airtight container and keep it in room temperature for a  week.
  • do not use any wet spoons which adds moisture and the pickle very easily get "fungus" and that spoils the whole pickle.
  • If u want u can use any other oil instead of sesame oil.Here i used Idhayam sesame oil.