24 December 2007

Announcing RCI - Cuisine of Kerala

Welcome to God's Own Country! Join in to embark on a culinary journey through the beautiful state of Kerala, tucked away in the south-western corner of India. As the journey takes you through the Western Ghats, dense forests, exotic wildlife and calm backwaters, sprawling tea estates, spice and rubber plantations, lush paddy fields and clean beaches, sit back and take in the sights and sounds of this charming land.

Regional Cuisines of India(RCI), the brainchild of LakshmiK, will be hosted by yours truly in January 2008. The cusine of Kerala has its own distinctive flavour. Coconut forms a dominant part of the cuisine as Kerala, literally translated means Land of "Kera" or Coconuts. Rice is the staple food and a wide array of breakfast preparations are rice-based. A typical meal consists of rice, a kootan or gravy and an upperi or dry side dish along with crunchy pappadams and pickles. Tamarind, coconut, coconut milk or curd form the base for a kootan/gravy while upperi/dry sidedish is either a thoran, ie. a medley of vegetables and grated coconut or mezhukuparatti, ie. stir fried vegetables coated in oil. A typical sadhya/festive feast consists of a number of sumptuous dishes served on a banana leaf. For non- vegetarians, seafood or some form of meat is a part of every meal. Different regions and communities influence the method of preparation and flavour of the cuisine.

What are you waiting for? Put on those aprons and cook up a storm! If you are not very familiar with Kerala cuisine, you can google it or go to this one-stop portal "Essence of Kerala Cuisine". You can also find authentic recipes here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and many more in the food blog community. To participate :

1. Write a post on your blog featuring Cuisine of Kerala from now until the 25th of Jan 2008, including a link to this post.

2. Mail me the permalink/URL to your post, along with a picture of the dish at vjyothsna1@yahoo.com . I shall respond to your email when I receive it. If you do not receive a response from me in three days, please remind me.

3. Non- bloggers may mail me with the recipe and a picture of the dish.

4. Please feel free to use the above logo.

5. Round-up will be done by the 31st of Jan here at Currybazaar!

Wishing all of you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!!

6 December 2007


Azure skies and clear blue waters, migrating birds on lush turf and convertibles on the streets, bright days and long, dark nights, blooms on sidewalks and cycles on pathways, early sunsets and barbecues on the beach…….. yes, winter's here! Winters bring pleasant weather and freshness in this part of the world. It is a time to enjoy outdoor activites that the harsh summers don't permit. I was away in India on a very, very busy holiday that didn't leave me time to blog. Now that I'm back, I hope to whip up something interesting and be a bit more regular on the blogging scene.

This rasmalai recipe is one of the first recipes I tried from another food blogger (RP's if I rightly remember) and I have made this many a times successfully. The recipe is simple and the rasmalai just melts in your mouth. Measurements are not accurate and you may substitute the flavour as per your preference. Here's what I do:

Add 2 spoons of sugar to about 250 grams ricotta cheese and mix well. Scoop into a muffin mould and cover it with foil. Bake at 200 degrees C for 25 minutes.

While it is baking, take 2 cups of milk, add sugar to taste and microwave it for 4-5 minutes till the sugar dissolves. You can use sweetened condensed milk also. Add a pinch of powdered cardamom, a tsp of rosewater and some pistachios. Allow the milk to cool completely. You may add saffron strands, but I prefer to add rosewater.

Unmould the baked ricotta and add it to the milk. Refridgerate and serve chilled.