Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shortbread cookies

shortbread cookies

Ingredients (makes around 24 cookies):

unsalted butter (room temperature) - 1 1/2 cup (1 cup size = 240 ml)
all-purpose flour - 3 1/2 cups
granulated sugar - 1 cup sugar plus extra for sprinkling
vanilla extract - 1 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp


  • Mix together granulated sugar and butter until they are combined and becomes creamy
  • add vanilla extract and mix well
  • in another bowl, sift together all-purpose flour and salt
  • add the flour to the butter + sugar mixture
  • mix together to form a soft dough
  • You can roll this dough on a parchment paper and make it as a log and refrigerate it for an hour. After an hour, slice the log into thin pieces and bake it. Or you can flatten the soft dough and cover it in plastic wrap. refrigerate for an hour. After an hour, roll the dough 1/2 inch thick and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutter
  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees F .
  • Place the cookies in an ungreased baking sheet or parchment paper, sprinkle some sugar on top and bake it for 10 - 12 mins until the edges begin to brown.

  • Cool it down completely to get crispier cookies.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pavakkai pitlai / Bitter gourd gravy - Kerala recipe

Pavakkai pitlai

Ingredients (serves for 3)

Bitter gourd / Pavakkai - 1
toor dal - 1/2 cup (1 cup size = 150 ml)
curry leaves - few
tamarind - 1 gooseberry sized
salt - as needed
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
red chili - 4 -5 nos
coriander seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
urad dal - 2 tsp
channa dal / gram dal - 1 tsp
pepper - 1/4 tsp
oil - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch


  • cut pavakkai to thin pieces
  • pressure cook toor dal for 3 whistles
  • heat a vessel with 1 tsp of oil and roast coriander seeds, pepper, red chili, 1 tsp of urad dal and channa dal. 
  • fry till golden brown and transfer it to a mixer
  • in the same kadai, add grated coconut and curry leaves and fry till golden brown
  • grind both roasted items to a fine paste by adding little water
  • heat 1 tsp of oil in kadai and add mustard seeds, few curry leaves and 1 tsp of urad dal
  • once it splutters, add the sliced pavakkai
  • saute till it gets cooked and becomes golden brown in color
  • extract tamarind juice by adding 1 cup of water and add it to the fried pavakkai
  • add salt and asafoetida and bring it to boil
  • add the grounded paste and mashed toor dal
  • mix well and let it cook for 5 - 8 mins till the raw smell goes off
  • serve with hot white rice 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Apple pie

Apple pie

Ingredients (makes a pie of 8 inch size)

For pie crust:

All purpose flour - 2 cups (1 cup size = 235 ml)
salt - 3/4 tsp
butter - 1 cup
orange zest - 1/2  tsp
vinegar - 1/2 tablespoon
cold water - 2 tablespoon

For the filling:

green apple (granny smith apples) - 3
brown sugar or white granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
orange zest - 1 tsp (zest is the outer peel of the fruit, no white pith attached. You can remove the zest from the fruit using shredder)
orange juice - 1 tablespoon


  • beat egg and mix it with vinegar and cold water
  • mix flour, salt and orange zest
  • dice the cold butter and add it to the flour. ( the butter has to be really cold to get flaky pie crust. Don't add melted or room temperature butter)
  • pour the egg mixture in the flour and make it to a moist dough
  • divide the dough into two equal parts
  • dust some flour over the dough and wrap it in a plastic wrap
  • refrigerate it for 1 hour
  • after an hour, dust some flour on the rolling board and flatten both the dough to a thin circle about 1 inch larger than the 8 inch pie plate
  • carefully place one dough circle into pie plate and gently press to cover the plate
  • chill this plate with dough and another dough circle in the refrigerator till we make the filling to avoid the butter to get melted
  • peel off the skin from the apple and make thin slices
  • in a bowl, add sliced apple pieces, brown sugar, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, orange zest and orange juice
  • mix everything together
  • take out the pie plate and the dough circle (top crust) from the refrigerator
  • place the apple mixture in pie plate
  • cover it with top crust(second dough circle we made). Tuck the edges of the top crust under the bottom of the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or fork
  • cut slits in the top crust to allow the steam to release while baking
  • preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • place the pie plate inside the oven and bake it for 30 - 40 mins until the pie is fully baked and the apples become tender. juices will start to bubble out at this stage.
  • while baking, you can place aluminium foil on the top of the pie once the top crust color starts changing to little brown. This helps to avoid over burning on the top.
  • let it cool completely and serve it as a dessert.

Sending this recipe to the Potluck party, cyber style 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

kariveppilai satham / curry leaves rice

curry leaves rice


cooked rice - 2 cups (1 cup size = 235 ml)
curry leaves - 1 fist full
red chili - 3
grated coconut - 2 tablespoon
salt - as needed
urad dal - 2 tsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
garlic - 1 clove
oil - 2 tsp
channa dal / gram dal - 1 tsp
peanuts - 1 tsp
asafoetida - a pinch
tamarind - 1/2 inch piece


  • heat 1 tsp of oil in a vessel and add 1 tsp of urad dal, tamarind, red chili, garlic and 1 fist full of curry leaves
  • fry till urad dal becomes golden brown in color
  • add grated coconut and fry till golden brown color
  • transfer it to a mixer, cool down and grind it coarsely
  • in the same vessel, heat 1 tsp of oil
  • add mustard seeds, 1 tsp of urad dal, channa dal, peanuts and few curry leaves
  • fry till the channa dal, peanuts become golden brown in color 
  • add asafoetida and cooked rice
  • add salt and mix well
  • add the grounded mixture and mix well for few mins. 
  • switch off the flame after 2 mins
  • serve hot with pappad and any stir fried vegetable.