Ria's Collection: September 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013


Cherupayar Parippu Pradhaman

his is Ian's second Onam. Last year,Appan & Amma were here with us and our celebrations started and ended at the Malayali Association's sadya. But this year,it was an ongoing event starting from the Malayali Association's sadya. I even participated in a dance for the opening ceremony at the association.It was such a break from my routine and truck loads of fun. We ate 3 sadya's this year but I cooked only for one and that too, a potluck.

Cherupayar Parippu Pradhaman6

I've never cooked a complete Onam sadya yet. We usually have it in a potluck form, which I think is the best. Nobody has to cook up a storm,especially when it comes to a sadya! Also, everyone gets to tastes different versions of every item. Once the date is set, a group email is sent out as to what everyone is supposed to bring or would like to bring and then the excitement builds in me!

Cherupayar Parippu Pradhaman

After every sadya,I feel so stuffed mostly because I overate even though I knew what my situation would be at the end. This time, it was no different. I was so full that I couldn't even put Ian Vaava to sleep after that. I couldn't hold him close enough because I felt my stomach would burst! So Jobin came to the rescue...ahh!

Cherupayar Parippu Pradhaman

The colour of this pradhaman totally depends on how light or dark your jaggery is.Mine was very pale and so it reflected in the final product. So,I've made up my mind to hunt for darker ones the next time I am making it.So here's my trusted recipe.

Cherupayar Parippu Pradhaman My own recipe

100g split,skinless moong dal
200g jaggery,melted
300 ml water
600 ml thin coconut milk
250 ml thick coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
1/4 cup fresh coconut slices
1/4 cup whole cashews
3 tablespoon ghee

Method: In a heavy bottomed pan, roast the moong dal until it turns pale brown/reddish in colour.It will get fragrant at this point.Add  water and cook until soft.Mash it with the back of a spoon and add the melted & strained jaggery and 1 tablespoon ghee.Cook stirring until it starts to bubble up, thicken & leaves behind a line if you draw one with a spoon. Add the thin coconut milk and the spices and continue cooking,stirring occasionally until it thickens up.Switch off the heat and add the thick coconut milk. Stir to combine.Fry the coconut slices & cashews in the remaining ghee until golden brown and pour over the hot pradhaman. Serve hot,warm or even chilled.

You most likely will have to adjust the consistency once the pradhaman is chilled,if so, thin it out using cow's milk.
This is my first trial at making a pradhaman. Mini aunty makes good parippu pradhaman and I've watched her making it once,a long time ago. It seemed simple enough but when I had to make it for the potluck, I was blank.I remembered her roasting the dal but other than that, nothing! So I set out to make my own,which is what you saw above.We really liked it. The colour, like I mentioned before was pale due to the light coloured jaggery that I got from the Indian store here.
Vaava is a big time pradhaman/ payasam lover! So he definately did get a good share of this.Hope you all had a great Onam...we sure did!

Friday, September 6, 2013


Creamy Tomato & Coconut fish Curry
Ijust realised that I don't experiment a lot with fish. It usually is served in the form of a Fish Fry, a Meen Vevichathu or a Kannur Style Meen Curry. I never went beyond that because I never felt the need to.I was very happy with the same old curry or maybe an occassional Malabar Fish Masala & a Fish Moilee. A few days ago, I was browsing through Monica's cookbook and realised that she had many recipes for seafood and her signature Fish Curry caught my attention.

Mise en Place
Creamy Tomato & Coconut fish Curry
It's simplicity is beyond words.The texture is super creamy and the curry tastes very mild even though there's a kick from the serrano and the bite from the cayenne.I was tempeted to add more cayenne than what she had suggested but later realised that it would have been a bit too much. Or,it could be the brand of chilli powder that I am using.The heat varies from brand to brand.So add accordingly.And the beautiful red mini cocotte that the curry is served was gifted to us by Honey Sarah Naveen,when we met her back in June.

Creamy Tomato & Coconut fish Curry
After Ian was born, I know my day (s)can be unpredictable.I cannot predict what I will have to run after, as soon as I put my hand in to the tray of raw fish/meat/poultry.It could be him climbing on our sofa, on our ottoman or even our LazyBoy!Luckily, he is very sensible for his age.He is careful about what he does. Even though I am running behind him clearing up whatever he pulls out or drops, I am constantly thinking of what to cook/bake next!

Creamy Tomato & Coconut fish Curry
Many of you ask me how I manage my day/daily chores with a baby on my hips! The thing is, to be honest, I really don't care! I just do what I have to without thinking much. I've noticed that I've been cooking a lot more than what I used to,before he came into our lives. I think it's because I need something else to concetrate other than just the baby.Cooking is such a pleasure for me. Whenever I cook, I give it my full concentration. I've even noticed that I enjoy peeling garlic and ginger so much more than before,just so that I can get busy in my head,in my own world. I have always been 'from the scratch' kinda cook but now, I am obsessed.I even bake our daily bread! Baby magic? Well, I like to think so :-) That keeps me going!

Creamy Tomato & Coconut fish Curry
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
3 big cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch ginger,grated
2 serrano chilies, chopped
10 curry leaves
1 large tomato,chopped
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, to start with
1 pound fish, cut into bite sized pieces
Scant 1 cup thick coconut milk

Method: Heat oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds and when it pops, add crushed garlic,grated ginger, chopped serrano chilies & curry leaves and saute for 1 minute. Add the chopped tomato and cook it for 10-12 minutes or until you get to see the oil released. If it is sticking, add a little bit of water to aid the process.Add the powders and saute for minute. Now, add in the fish,stir and let it cook for 5 minutes. Then, add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat and let the curry simmer until the fish is cooked.Serve hot with steamed rice.
Getting back to the curry. It was absolutely marvelous and we loved it. I mopped it up with some homemade Milk Bread (the one you just saw in a photograph above).There's something magical about simplicity in recipes and if you want to be a believer,I insist you to give this recipe a try.
Ian loves his toy fish. So when I was feeding him, I told him that he was having rice with fish(chorum-mee mee-um).As he gobbled it up, I could see his little eyes wandering around to locate his favourite toy! I couldn't help but smile and the same time felt sad thinking what must have gone through that little innocent mind of his :-)
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