Monday, September 17, 2007

Bhindi Fry aka Okra Fry

I always find it tricky to cook Okra. You have to make sure that you cook it well so that you don't end up in a "glue-y" mess!

I make this okra dish and it is a healthier way to cook okra without making it too deep fried and the cooking time is only 15 minutes!


  • Okra – 20 nos.
  • Tomatoes- 1
  • Onions-1
  • Amchur powder / Dry Mango powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tablespoon
  • Green chillies- 2-3
  • Salt according to taste
  • Coriander leaves- to garnish
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons


  • Wash the okra and dry them completely.
  • Slit the okra into four pieces vertically. The okra should be dry when you cut it else it becomes very slippery.
  • Add 2 teaspoons oil in a pan and add the okra. Add turmeric powder and amchur powder and sauté. Do not stir the okra frequently as the okra will stick to each other and it will be a mess.
  • When the okra is soft, remove from pan and keep aside.
  • Heat some oil in the pan and add onions, green chillis and tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes become soft.
  • Now add salt and some water and allow the mixture to boil.
  • Add the okra and mix well with tomatoes and onions.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rotis or rice.


Kerala style Kuzha Puttu and Kadala curry

This is one of my favorite dishes. I got the recipe for this dish from a friend long back. As I use rice flour for making puttu this recipe takes very less time. I usually make it for dinner but it is a standard breakfast item in Kerala. So here is the recipe.

By my standards, this recipe uses a lot of coconut. So, keep out weight watchers :-)

To make puttu (steamed rice flour with coconut)


· Rice flour: 1 cup.

· Shredded coconut: 1 cup

· Salt : to taste.

· Sugar : 1 teaspoon.


Dry roast the rice flour till it becomes golden in color. Let it cool. Mix the rice flour with coconut, salt and sugar and sprinkle some water on it so that the mixture is not too dry. The mix should be moist with not too much water.

Use a steamer or puttu maker and steam this mix in a pressure cooker.

Serve the puttu when it is hot.

For the Kadala (Black chick pea) Curry:


· Black Chick peas / Chana: 1 cup

· Grated coconut : ½ cup

· Onions : 1 nos.

· Whole red chillis : 2

· Cilantro leaves / Coriander leaves : half a bunch

· Curry leaves- 4-5 leaves

· Garlic : 2 cloves


Soak the chana overnight, boil the soaked chana and reserve.

In a pan, add some oil and sauté the onions, red chillis, curry leaves, coriander leaves, coconut and garlic. Saute till the coconut becomes brown.

Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.

Saute the mustard seeds, add the sliced onions and add the ground paste.

Add water and salt and allow it to boil.

Add the boiled chana/ black chick peas to the paste.

Serve hot with puttu.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Ammini Kuzhakattai - Steamed Rice balls

This is my first cooking post. Most of my recipes are hand-me-downs from my mother. My mother is a wonderful cook and she makes lovely Ammini Kuzhakattai or Steamed rice balls. The traditional Ammini kuzhakattai is white. But my mother's version has cilantro and green chillies and it tastes awesome. Here is my recipe for Ammini Kuzhakattai.


1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
Some cilantro / coriander leaves
3 green chillies
1 tbsp mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon oil


1. Grind together the coriander leaves and green chillies.
2. In a kadai, add 1 cup water, salt and ground coriander paste and bring it to boil
3. Add the rice flour slowly, constantly stirring to avoid any lumps
4. Add 2 tablespoons of oil
5. Remove the kadai once the rice flour had blended well and is thick enough to make small balls.
6. Let the rice flour mixture cool for a few minutes.
7. Make small balls from the mixture
8. Place the small balls in a steamer and steam the balls till soft.
Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Add to the steamed rice balls.

Serve with coconut chutney. Makes a small bowl of kuzhakattai's.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Story behind Nalapagam

I come from a family of hoteliers and I have been a natural cook. I enjoy cooking new varieties in food. However, I keep losing my recipes and sometimes, I end up missing a key ingredient in a lovely dish. So, I decided to put together a food blog- a collection of my recipes, my mother's recipes and the recipes from my entire family :-)
Why the name 'Nalapagam' ? King Nala is known for his culinary skills in Indian mythology. He was a wonderful cook. The food he cooked was right in all proportions- the spice and the taste.
This food blog will also be the collection of my finest recipes- with all the right proportions.