Recipe – PINEAPPLE PULISSERY (pineapple in yogurt gravy)

Pulissery is a traditional authentic dish from Kerala and is one of the many dishes served at Onam sadhya (grand feast). Prepared in many malayalee homes, it has a lovely combination with subtle flavours. The sweetness from the pineapple, spice from green/red chillies and sourness from curd topped with tempering/tadka makes this curry refreshingly light and incredibly delicious.

My mum would make pulissery with semi-ripe fruits like mango, kerala banana (nendranpazham) and pineapple along with spicy stir fries. Fond memories of my childhood brings the light of other days around me, each time I prepare this dish. Knowing that it is one of my favourites, mum would ladle generous amount of this curry over the rice and yours truly gobbling down with additional servings of rice, some crispy poppadums heartily.

Here in this recipe, I have used freshly grated coconut, sour curd/yogurt and fresh semi-ripe pineapple. If the curd or yogurt is not sour, leave it on the counter-top at room temperature. The yellow colour of the curry is due to the presence of turmeric being added. The use of green and whole dried red chillies gives a spicy touch. Warm water is added so that the coconut mixture is grounded into a fine smooth paste. Serve it with boiled rice, poppadums and your favourite choice of spicy stir fry – Heavenly!!

prep time : 20 mins, cooking time : 15 mins, serves : 6-8, cuisine : kerala, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 medium sized semi-ripe pineapple

1 tsp ground turmeric

2-3 green chillies (slit)

1 ½ cup curd/yogurt (lightly beaten)

salt to taste

to grind into a smooth paste

200 gms grated coconut

3 green chillies

2 curry leaves

¾ tsp cumin seeds

for tempering

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

8 nos fenugreek seeds

4 whole dried red chillies (broken)

few curry leaves

Method

Using a sharp knife, cut top and bottom portion of the pineapple. Cut off the skin and centre core; remove brown spots with the help of a paring knife. Chop it into chunks.

Tip into a saucepan, adding little water, turmeric, slit green chillies, 4 curry leaves and salt. Allow it to cook with lid till soft and tender.

Meanwhile, grind ingredients mentioned under ‘to grind’ into a fine smooth paste adding little warm water.

Once the pineapple is cooked, add the ground coconut paste mixture. Keeping the heat on low, cook for 2-3 minutes. Season to taste and switch off heat.

Now, add the beaten curd/yogurt and combine everything together.

Finally, let’s do the tempering/tadka. Add coconut oil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and tip in mustard seeds; once it splutters, add curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and broken red chillies. Stir for few seconds; pour it right away to the prepared curry.

Enjoy it with rice, poppadum, pickle and your favourite choice of stir fry.

KORI GASSI (manglorean style chicken curry)

Kori Gassi or manglorean style chicken curry is a traditional and popular dish made with an array of aromatic spices, chillies, curry leaves, tamarind and coconut milk – having loads of depth, flavour and aroma.

The use of fresh coconut and spices is important in preparing this curry. The coconut and spices are first dry roasted separately and blended together into a fine smooth paste. Towards end of the curry, fresh coconut milk is added to enhance its taste. A delicate combination and sweetness from the coconut milk balances the heat from the chillies. Adjust heat as per preference. This curry can be prepared with vegetables, mutton and prawns too. Back home, I had prepared this curry with country chicken – simple bliss! Enjoy this deliciously lip-smacking curry with rice, dosa, rotti (rice wafers), sannas, appams or pundi (rice balls).

prep time : 30 mins, cooking time : 45 mins, serves : 6-8, cuisine : mangalore, author : gloria

Ingredients

1 kg chicken (cut/washed/drained)

½ tsp ground turmeric

sea-salt to taste

1/2-1 cup thick extract of coconut milk

½ cup thin extract of coconut milk or water

marble sized tamarind

2 sprigs of curry leaves

coconut oil/ghee

for the masala paste :

10 byadagi chillies

5 dry bird’s eye chillies

1 ½ tbsp whole coriander seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds

½ cup grated coconut

1 medium sized onion (sliced)

4 big garlic cloves (chopped)

for tempering/tadka :

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 small onion (chopped/sliced)

few curry leaves

Mise en place

Marinate the cleaned chicken with sea-salt and turmeric. Reserve.

Soak a marble sized tamarind in half cup warm water for 15 mins or until it becomes soft. Mash it using your fingers; strain it in a fine sieve and discard seeds, if any. Keep aside.

Method

Tip a teaspoon of oil/ghee in a skillet; reduce heat and roast the spices separately until fragrant and changes colour. Remove and transfer it to a bowl.

Now, add the grated coconut into the same skillet and roast on a slow heat till it reaches light brown colour. Once, it changes colour, tip in the onion and garlic. Sauté for few minutes. Switch off heat and allow it to cool completely.

In a blender, grind all the roasted masala ingredients into a fine smooth paste, adding very little water.

Into a pre-heated oil/ghee, tip few curry leaves and add the prepared masala paste; sauté till oil emanates at the edges.

Add the marinated chicken; mix till all the masalas are well coated to the chicken.

Now, add the 2nd extract of coconut milk or water; stir and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat; cover with a lid and cook till the chicken is tender.

Uncover and add the tamarind pulp. Simmer for few more minutes and pour in thick extract of coconut milk. Adjust seasoning and switch off heat.

Let’s do the tempering/tadka. Add ghee or coconut oil in a small pan. Reduce heat to low and tip in cinnamon and cloves; stir for few seconds. Add curry leaves. Once splutters, add the chopped/sliced onion. Sauté till it reaches golden brown in colour. Add this mixture to the prepared curry.

Garnish and serve hot over rice, sannas or pundi.

Recipe – 100% WHOLEWHEAT BREAD (atta bread)

Baking your own bread is therapeutic and rewarding experience; the smell of a warm freshly baked bread wafting through the room is divine.

I love making bread and trying out different variations. It is easy to get a fluffy and soft texture with flours but when it comes to making a 100% wholewheat bread (atta bread), it is a challenge.

Since I want to bake a sugar-free bread using 100% wholewheat flour (chakki atta) for hubby dear, this recipe is simply perfect. I love to do it in the old-fashioned way. It does not have all purpose flour, eggs or sugar. I have made this bread recipe with sugar too; add 1 tbsp (if using it); the bread was more fluffy and light. The gluten powder was given to me by one of my friends; thought to use it for this bread recipe.

My toddler loves to baste the bread as he has done in all my previous bread recipes. You can baste with water or plain milk, however, it is optional. I basted my bread to keep my little chef happy.

The bread had a soft, light and pleasantly chewy texture.  You can tell the bread is cooked by tapping underneath. If it sounds hollow then it is cooked and if it doesn’t you have to put it back in the oven for little longer. Uncover the bread and allow it to cool completely; it is hard to resist cutting a slice of fresh warm home-made bread – so go ahead and enjoy!

Have a peep to my other bread recipes 4 braid bread, Simple Irish Soda bread and Turkish bread.

recipe source : my own

total prep time : 3 hrs/20 mins, cooking time : 25 mins, serves : 1 loaf, author : gloria

Ingredients

400 gms + 50 gms for dusting wholewheat flour*

2 tbsp gluten powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

3 tsp milk powder

1 ½ tsp fine salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

350 ml lukewarm water or milk of your choice

basting with plain water or milk (optional)

Method

Combine wholewheat flour, gluten powder, ground ginger, milk powder and salt in a large bowl.

Make a well in the centre and add vegetable oil and lukewarm water or milk.

With the help of a wooden spoon, mix everything nicely. At this stage, the dough would be sticky. Dust little wheat flour onto the surface area and transfer the dough.

Using the extra wheat flour*, rub your hands and begin to knead the dough for a longer duration until it becomes silky and elastic.

Place it in a greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest in a warm spot for 2 hours to leaven.

After the 1st rise, remove from the bowl and gently punch the dough down.

Shape into a loaf tucking the edges and place seam side down in a generously greased loaf pan (9×3 inches).

Cover loosely with a plastic wrap and allow it to rise further for a second time undisturbed for 60 minutes. Baste it with plain water or milk.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 220º C and bake for 25 mins or until golden brown.

Once slightly cooled, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack uncovered to cool completely.

Enjoy your home-made freshly baked atta bread slathered with butter or in your meals.  Makes a great sandwich too.

Recipe – LEMONGRASS TEA

Lemongrass tea is a soothing, easy to make and comforting beverage. The benefits of lemongrass tea is endless combined with anti-oxidant properties. It aids digestion, removes harmful toxins from the body, helps in curing fever and cold. This recipe which I share today is an exhilirating blend of lemon peel, lemongrass and ginger. Have added only ½ tsp of organic honey and sometimes, I skip lemon peel and add lemon juice instead. You can also sweeten it with your favourite sweeteners of choice. For a healthier version, it is best to have fresh and drink warm. However, you can also chill it in the refrigerator and add some ice cubes too.

total time : 20 mins, serves : 2, author : gloria

Ingredients

2 stalks of lemongrass

1” ginger (peeled/crushed)

4 cups water

½ tsp lemon peel

pinch of ground mace or cinnamon

honey or jaggery, as desired (optional)

Method

Remove tough outer layers of the lemongrass stems and trim off the hard part at the root end; wash it in water. With the back of the knife, lightly bruise the stalk.

Place ginger, lemon peel and the lemongrass in a saucepan along with fresh cold water and boil. Cover with a lid and let it come to a rolling boil on medium heat.

Now, reduce heat and let it simmer for 12-15 minutes. Switch off flame and let the flavours steep for 10 minutes.

Strain and add pinch of ground mace or cinnamon. Once it cools slightly, sweeten the tea with honey or jaggery, if desired.

Pour into your favourite cup, sipping it slowly; enjoy!

Recipe – BRAZILIAN STYLE CARROT CAKE (bolo de cenoura)

Brazilian style carrot cake also known as Bolo de Cenoura is a very simple, easy to prepare cake, with available ingredients at home. It is moist, tender, soft, rich in flavour and texture. A popular Brazilian dessert; this plain cake is topped with chocolate sauce and is incredibly delicious.

Carrot cake is a great kid’s snack too; it can be served plain or dusted with icing sugar/powdered sugar and can also be topped with chocolate sauce (here, I’ve skipped it). Vegetable oil is added to keep the cake moist and prevent dryness. Carrots, being the star ingredient; it is best to use fresh and organic.  Also, it gives natural sweetness to the cake and an appealing look with rich golden colour once baked.

total prep time : 55 mins, yields : a large bundt cake, cuisine : brazil, author : gloria

Ingredients

3 nos medium sized carrots

3 nos large eggs

1½ cup vegetable oil

1½ cup granulated sugar

2 cups unbleached flour

3 levelled tsp baking powder

1 tsp orange extract

1/8 tsp salt

Method

Pre-heat oven 180º C/350º F and grease a large bundt pan.

Peel and roughly chop the carrots. Keep aside.

In a bowl, stir unbleached flour and salt. Reserve.

Into a blender or food processor, add chopped carrots and oil; break in the eggs and add the orange extract; blend until smooth for 4 minutes.

Tip in the granulated sugar and continue to blend for 2-3 minutes.

Now, combine the reserved flour and salt mixture, little by little and blend everything together nicely.

Transfer the blended mixture into a large bowl; add baking powder and with the help of a wooden spoon, stir slowly for a minute.

Pour the batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 45 minutes or until the tooth-pick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool cake completely on the wire rack. Dust with icing sugar on top or enjoy it plain with coffee / tea.