Wheat payasam with banana

Happy Onam friends and thanks for the support and comments on my blog. Leaving you with a sweet dish before I go on a break. I thought of adding some banana to my payasam just on a whim and it actually turned out to be a wonderful idea. Here goes the recipe.



1 cup broken wheat/ daalia

21/2 cups water

1 ripe banana

11/2 cups third coconut milk

11/2 cups second milk

1 cup thick coconut milk


1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, cardamom powder

2 Tb coconut slices, cashews and raisins each

Pressure cook wheat with the water for 10 minutes

Fry the  banana in some ghee.

Fry the coconut pieces, cashews and raisins in ghee and keep.

Boil the jaggery or brown sugar syrup to the cooked wheat and a tablespoon ghee and bring to boil. Now add 11/2 cups thin coconut milk. Boil for 10 minutes then add 11/2 cups slightly richer coconut milk. Boil for 5-7 minutes. Add the banana and cardamom powder, ginger powder and 1 cup of thick coconut milk. Bring to boil and remove.

I used coconut milk powder to make the milk. More milk powder to make thicker milk and so on. For thick milk I used 4 heaped Tb powder.

Serves 6-8


Pineapple pachadi

Another must in a sadya is pineapple cooked with mustard, coconut and cummin then mixed with yogurt. Simply delicious.



1 cup pineapple pieces ( you can use canned ones too but use ones in natural juice not in syrup)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp crushed mustard


1 tsp cummin seeds

1/2 cup coconut

3 spicy green chillies

2 cups yogurt

mustard, curry leaves and red chilli to season



Cook the chopped pineapple with the crushed mustard and salt in 1/4 cup water.

Make a paste of the cummin seeds and coconut with the green chillies. Add to the pineapple. Boil for just two minutes.

Remove from heat and add the yogurt stirring well to avoid curdling. Taste to make the salt and sweet balance perfect. If necessary add little sugar.

Heat oil fry the mustard, curry leaves and red chillies and pour over the pachadi.




Koottu curry

Koottu curry is one of the Onam Sadya items. Made with black channa, yam, raw banana and bottle gourd the fried coconut and urad dal topping is what makes it special.



1 cup black channa

1 raw banana

1x 300 g packet frozen Suran/ elephant yam

2 cups chopped bottle gourd

11/2 cups coconut

1 tsp cummin seeds


11/2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp jaggery or brown sugar


1 tsp mustard

2 tsp urad dal

2 dry red chilli

handful curry leaves


Soak the black channa overnight and the next day cook and keep. This variety of channa takes longer to cook. I cooked it in 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker for 15 minutes under pressure.

Chop all the vegetables. Make sure they are of the same size. I used frozen yam as fresh ones are not available here. If using fresh take 2 cups of peeled and chopped yam.

Cook the vegetables. I cooked all of them separately since they all cook differently. When all of them are cooked mix together.

Grind one cup of coconut and the cumin seeds to a fine paste. Add to the vegetable mix. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Then add the jaggery.  Cook for 5-7 minutes and switch off heat.

Heta 3 Tb oil and fry red chilli, mustard, urad dal and the curry leaves. When the seed splutter add 1/2 cup of coconut and fry till light brown. Garnish the curry with this and cover and keep. Before serving mix well and serve.




Cauliflower Kheema

Cauliflower recipes can be pretty boring. The same Alu Gobi, kurma with cauliflower, Mutter Gobi. I mean the recipes are few at least in my book. So when I made this almost nondescript recipe  and it proved to be quite tasty I was pleasantly surprised.



1 small cauliflower cleaned and chopped into florets

1/4 cup peas ( frozen is fine) ( optional)

2 onions chopped

4 tsp ginger- garlic paste

1 tsp Garam masala

1-2 tsp red chilli powder

turmeric powder


1x 400ml can diced or crushed tomato

oil to cook


Heat some oil in a large pan and fry the chopped cauliflower florets till they are nearly done. Remove. Cook the peas and keep.

Heat 3 Tb oil and fry the chopped onions. When golden add the paste. After a few minutes add the can of tomato. Fry till the oil starts to appear on the surface. Now add all the spices and salt. Then add the fried cauliflower and peas. Cook till almost dry. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6


Vegan stir fried tofu and eggplant

A quick fried tofu and eggplant topped with a simple sauce and you have a tempting healthy side dish. Impressive for such a simple recipe and it is ready before you know it.



For sauce

1/3 cup water

2Tb vegetarian oyster sauce

2Tb Chinese cooking wine

1Tb tamari or soya sauce

1Tb corn flour

1Tb Rice wine vinegar

1 tsp chilli powder

Whisk everything and keep.

Stir Fry

400 g firm tofu diced ( I used the semi fried type)

oil to fry

500 g eggplant diced

2 garlic

1/2 cup Thai basil leaves

Fry the tofu in a large pan in one layer till brown and set aside. Fry the eggplant till soft. Add the grated garlic. After a 30 seconds or before the garlic burns add the tofu to the pan mix in the prepared sauce and remove after a minute.

Garnish with the basil leaves.

Serve hot with steamed rice.


Recipe source: the kitchn.com





Bittergourd mango curry

Bittergourd cooked with mango is an odd combination and when I saw this recipe naturally I had to try it out. Bittergourd is cooked every week at home so it is only natural I look at different ways to cook it😉



1 long bittergourd

1 green mango

1 tsp ginger

2 cloves garlic

3 green chillies

turmeric powder

2Tb coriander powder

2 tsp chilli powder


1 1/2 cups thin coconut milk


1 tsp mustard

some curry leaves

1 onion

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

1 tsp brown sugar/ jaggery


If you prefer your bittergourd slightly bitter follow my method. If you don’t then fry the bittergourd first in oil till brownish or roast in oven with little oil for 15-20 minutes or till brown.

Dice bittergourd into small pieces, rub salt and leave for a while. Squeeze dry. Chop garlic, chilli and ginger fine. Peel and chop mango into small pieces.

Heat oil in a thick pan or kadai and fry the mustard, then onion and curry leaves. Now add the bittergourd and garlic ginger mix. Fry till bittergourd is browning. Add mango. After 5 minutes add the spice powders and salt then add the thin coconut milk. Boil for ten minutes. If the mango is cooked add the thick milk simmer for a few minutes and remove. Taste for salt. Add a teaspoon of brown sugar/ jaggery and serve.

Adapted from : My treasure my pleasure



Stuffed Eggplant:2

I have earlier posted a recipe for stuffed eggplant. This is another way to make it and I must admit this is  much more tastier. Eggplants stuffed with spices twice cooked and the result is a mouth-watering dish.



10 small purple eggplants or 6 bigger ones *

Paste of

3-4 green chillies

1″ ginger

3 cloves garlic

Rest of spices

1/2 cup peanuts roasted and powdered

3/4 cup Besan

2 Tb coriander powder

1 Tb red chilli powder

turmeric powder

salt to taste



1 tsp cummin seeds


Wash and make 4 slits in each eggplant without separating the pieces. Keep them intact.

Grind to paste the green chilli, garlic and garlic.

Mix all the rest of the spices and add to the paste.

Stuff the eggplants with this mix. Use as much stuffing as you can.


Now place them in a large plate and microwave for 6-7 minutes covered. This helps us use less oil to further fry the eggplants.

Next take a large frying pan to fit all the eggplants in one layer. Add 2-3 Tb oil then the cummin seeds. Now add the stuffed eggplants. Cover and cook on a low heat till they are soft. Pierce with a knife to check. They should be shrivelled and fried. If you have any stuffing left, you can add it towards the end of your cooking, over the eggplants. It took me around 10-15 minutes to fry them.

* Note: use the purple smallish variety eggplants, not the white ones.

Recipe Source: bongcookbook.com

Chingri bharta or Prawn mash

Another Bengali recipe, this time with prawns. I have never prepared prawns this way before. For such an easy recipe the result is pretty delicious. The mustard oil and the spices mingle well to create a great prawn mash.



2 cups cleaned prawns

1 onion

4-5 garlic

3 green chilli

4 dry red chilli

1tsp red chilli powder

turmeric powder

3 Tb mustard oil


Heat a tablespoon of oil and fry the cleaned prawns for two minutes. Set aside.

Fry in oil the onion, garlic and the chillies. Fry till onion is golden. Now add the chilli powder and turmeric powder, then the salt. Now add prawns fry for a minute and remove. Cool for some time and then in a food processor pulse the whole lot till you get a coarse mix. Do not grind to a paste! You are after a coarse mix. Remove add some mustard oil on top and Serve.

Serevs 4 as a side dish

Recipe source: Cook like a Bong


Baked Barramundi

This recipe is an attempt at recreating meen pollichathu, that famous Kerala fish preparation. I made it with barramundi and the result was surprisingly delicious. Happy to present to you this version. And no banana leaves were used either😉.



1 big barramundi about 1.2 kilos chopped up

Salt and pepper to taste

1 lemon juice

2 big onions chopped fine

2 big juicy tomatoes chopped fine

4-5 green chillies

1 Tb ginger chopped fine

1 Tb coriander powder

1Tb chilli powder ( more if green chillies are not hot)

little turmeric powder

3 Tb coconut milk powder mixed to a paste with 1/2 cup of water


Clean fish, chop into fairly big pieces and marinate with salt, pepper and lemon juice for an hour. Then shallow  fry lightly for a couple of minutes in very little oil.

Fry the chopped onions. When soft add the ginger, chillies and tomatoes. Fry nicely till oil floats. Add all the spices. Now add the coconut milk paste and cook till most of the water dries up. It should still have a little sauce left. Taste for salt.

Preheat oven to 180C. Take a tray big enough to fit all the fish in one layer. Lay a piece of foil then a piece of baking paper, both big enough to wrap around the fish well. Smear some of the sauce in the bottom. Now place fish on the tray and pour over the sauce over. Cover tightly with both baking paper and foil seeing that it is air tight.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve hot.

Note: if you want you can use banana leaf to wrap fish, flavour will be better. But even made without the leaf it tasted awesome.

Any fleshy fish can be used, like snapper, trevally, kingfish etc.

Eggplant with yogurt

Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable, lending itself to all sorts of flavours and cuisine. Since I am a bit on the compulsive side when it comes to cooking I am constantly searching for new ways to cook vegetables. And eggplant being a hero in my house it was no different today when I sought a new recipe to prepare dinner with eggplant. And I found this one. Eggplant cooked with a few spices and yogurt yielded a great dish which I will be making often.



500g eggplant

2 cups creamy yogurt

3 Tb mustard oil

salt to taste

1Tb fennel seeds roast and powder

11/2 Tb red chilli powder

1 tsp asafoetida

2 tsp ginger grated

1/4 cup water


Chop the eggplant into slightly big pieces and salt them. After half an hour drain and rinse dry.

Grind the roasted fennel seeds, powder and mix with the rest of spices. Add water to form a paste.

Heat the mustard oil in a pan and add the paste. Fry till oil floats. Now add the eggplants stir for a few minutes then cover and cook till soft but not falling apart. Reduce heat to very low.

Add the whisked yogurt and cook for five minutes.

Serve warm.

The mustard oil is a must because it really gives a good flavour to the dish.

Recipe source: divine taste.com