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Showing posts with label Onam. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Onam. Show all posts

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Onasadya Series (Part 3)

The final part of the Onasadya series ...

Onam is synonymous with the 'Pookalam' or elaborate flower arrangements in every household . Big floral carpets are made with a variety of flowers in different colors. Most 'pookalams' are artistic ones and there are even competitions to pick out the best among them.

Today I am making a spicy curry with shallots ( this theeyal is among my favorites ), a coconut milk based mild curry and a simple mix veg stir fry !!

Ulli Theeyal

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 pinch fenugreek seeds
  • 2 pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 pinch black pepper seeds
  • 2 pinch coriander seeds
  • 3-4 tsp grated coconut
  • 2 dry red chili
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 3 tsp oil 
  • 14-15 shallots (peeled)
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 pinch fenugreek seed
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 garlic flakes (crushed) (I prefer to omit it)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Heat 3 tsp oil in a pan. Add the fenugreek, cumin, pepper, mace, clove, cinnamon and coriander. Roast till they give off a fragrance. Then add coconut and fry it to a brown color. Finally add red chili and turmeric and remove from flame after a few seconds.

Grind into a mixture once the spices have cooled down a bit.

Cooking - Heat the remaining oil in a wok. Add red chili and mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves and shallots and fry for a minute.

Add the ground pasta and tamarind pasta along with 3-4 tbsp water.

After 2 mins, add jaggery, garlic, asafoetida and salt.

Cook for a few mins and then remove from the flame.

Serve once cool. 


Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups ash gourd
  • a handful of beans (use any variety)
  • 2-3 green chilis
  • 2-3 chopped shallots (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped ginger (optional)
  • a pinch of mustard seeds (optional)
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil

Preparation - Wash and soak the beans overnight.

Cooking - Cook the beans with a little salt in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add curry leaves, ginger, mustard seeds and green chilis. Follow this with the shallots. Fry till translucent.

Add the ash gourd pieces along with salt and a little water. Cook covered till soft.

Add the cooked beans along with thick coconut milk. Cook for 5 mins more.

Remove from the flame and serve warm.

Note - I added some red chili to the tempering and that caused the milky white olan to get this yellowish tinge. Most people just cook the olan without any tempering (a few green chili and curry leaves are boiled with the ash gourd) and drizzle the coconut oil right at the end.


Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 3 cups finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped beans
  • 5-6 finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1-2 chopped green chili
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 dry red chili
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for oil, salt, red chili, asafoetida and mustard seeds.

Let it sit for 20 mins.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok . Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and red chili. Once seeds start spluttering, add the vegetables . Sprinkle salt.

Mix well and cook covered for 10 mins or till done. Remember to give a quick stir every 3-4 mins.

Remove from wok and serve.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Onasadya Series (Part 2)

Continuing the Onasadya series...

Sadya or banquet always refers to a traditional vegetarian meal served on a plantain leaf. It incorporates all tastes like sweet, sour, bitter, salty, astringent and pungent/spicy. While some districts prefer to use the pink/red Matta rice in the Sadya, others use the white rice.

One of the biggest attractions of Onam, which is actually a 4 day state holiday in Keralal, is the snake boat race or Vallamkali ( it is still in my bucket list and looks like it will remain so for another year atleast ) !! Along with the annual rice harvest, the celebration also commemorates the annual visit of the Asura king Mahabali who was relegated to the underworld by the Vamana avatar of Lord Vishnu. Slightly diverging from the topic, I would like to add that Mahabali still commands a lot of respect in Kerala and is not the devil incarnate as people from North assume him to be. Those who like books can actually try reading Asura by Anand Neelakantan . It is a beautiful book about the 'asura' way of life and is sure to change your perceptions.

Coming back to the food, it is the very popular Avial (mix veg) along with the sweet and sour dishes of puli inji and pacchadi. Read on -


Preparation Time - 30 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 raw banana
  • 1 carrot
  • 7-8 beans
  • 1-2 drumstick 
  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 cup yellow cucumber
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • a few pieces of raw mango
  • 1 tbsp curd
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • 2 green chilis
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 1/5 mustard seeds
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tsp oil

Preparation - Cut all the vegetables into long pieces.

Grind the grated coconut with cumin seeds and green chilis.

Cooking - Boil 2 cups water in a wok. First add the carrot, green banana, potato, yellow cucumber and beans. Let it boil till half cooked.

Then add the drumsticks, pumpkin and raw mangoes. Sprinkle the turmeric. Boil till all the veggies are soft.

Add the ground coconut and cook for a few minutes.

Remove from the flame and add the curd. Stir well and return to flame. Cook for 3-4 mins.

Heat the oil in a tempering pan. Add curry leaves , mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Pour the tempering over the vegetables and mix in.

Puli Inji

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 5-6 finely chopped green chillis
  • a lime sized ball of tamarind
  • 4-5 tbsp powdered jaggery
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 tsp oil
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 pinch turmeric
  • Salt to taste

Preparation - Soak the tamarind in hot water for 30  minutes. Squeeze and extract the juice.Throw the pulp.
Wash and peel the ginger. Chop finely along with the green chillis.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds followed by the curry leaves.
Add the chopped ginger and green chillis. Fry on medium flame for 2-3 mins till light brown.

Add the tamarind juice, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and salt to taste. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes on medium flame.

Finally add the jaggery and allow to boil till the consistency becomes thick and saucy.
Remove from stove and allow it to cool down. Goes best with curd rice.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge and it will last for a month.


Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cup chopped yellow cucumber
  • 3-4 finely chopped shallots
  • 2-3 chopped green chillis
  • 1/2 inch chopped ginger
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut 
  • 2 garlic flakes
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp powdered mustard seeds 
  • 1 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Grind grated coconut with garlic and cumin seeds into a smooth paste. Beat the yogurt lightly and then add coconut paste to it.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a wok. Add chopped cucumber, shallots, ginger, green chili, torn curry leaves and salt. Add about 1/2 cup water and allow to cook till soft.

Remove from flame. Add the mustard powder and the yogurt-coconut paste. Mix thoroughly.

Return the wok to the flame. Keep stirring for about 5 mins and then remove from the flame once the raw smell goes away.

TO be continued...............

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Onasadya Series (Part 1)

I am no expert when it comes to Kerala cuisine. The food from God's own country is quite delectable but goes up a few notches to turn into something heavenly during the Onam celebrations. I was first introduced to it during my school days when my best friend's family celebrated Onam. And so, when I set out to recreate the magic of the 'Onam Sadya', I took a lot of help from the cookbooks, blogs and of course my lovely next door Aunty. There might have been a few omissions as she hardly speaks Hindi and her English is not very good either.

I would have loved to do the whole thing (24-28 dishes) as it is a visual treat to watch all those colors come alive on a verdant canvas (banana leaf). But since I have a kid who is a handful and there is no helping hand, I decided to make it into a series. Apart from the regular sambar, rasam, avial and thoran, there are lots of special recipes that are cooked especially during Onam. Today's recipes are Erissery (a delectable Pumpkin curry) and Kalan Kerala Curry ( raw banana cooked in yogurt ) .

Read on for the recipes -


Preparation Time - 20-25 min

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups Pumpkin cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut 
  • 2 pinch jeera seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2-3 shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1/3 mustard seeds
  • 1 red chili
  • 1/4 turmeric 
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Cooking - Cook the pumpkin with salt and turmeric till the cubes soften. Mash the pieces with a spatula.

Grind the coconut with garlic, green chili, turmeric, pepper powder and jeera. Add to the wok and let it simmer for a few minutes.

Heat 2 tsp in a pan. Add the broken red chili and mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the chopped shallots and curry leaves. Add about 1 tsp grated coconut. Fry till the onion and coconut turns brown.

Add to the pumpkin curry and mix together.

Serve with rice.

Kalan Kerala Curry

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 2 cups Raw banana
  • 2 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 pinch cumin seeds
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 1-2 dry red chili
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of fenugreek
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Mix the raw banana slices with salt and turmeric.

Grind the coconut, shallots, green chili and cumin seeds into a smooth paste with 2 tsp water.
Whisk the yogurt and mix in the coconut paste.

Cooking - Cook the banana slices with 2 cups water and the pepper powder. Let it turn soft.

Remove from the flame and stir in the yogurt-coconut paste. Mix thoroughly.

Return it to the stove and cook with constant cooking till it steam starts to rise.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add red chili, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering, add curry leaves. Pour it over the curry and mix in.

To be continued......

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Oriyarasoi Wishes All its readers a Happy Thiruonam!!!

Thiruonam is the most important day of the Onam celebrations starting from 6th Sept this year. It is believed that during the four days of Onam festival, the legendary King Mahabali visits his subjects. Malayalis prepare floral carpets called 'Ona-Pookkalam' and lay out a sumptuous meal called the 'Onam sadya' to welcome Mahabali. Among the 20-plus lip-smacking vegetarian dishes traditionally served on a plantian leaf, the 'Ada payasam or Ada pradhamam' occupies a premium position.

[Recipe to follow shortly]

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