Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Palak Pathrodo ~ A twist to the original !!

I dislike Palak.
Ajay dislikes Pathrodo.
We l♥ve Palak Pathrodo.

That in short sums up the taste of the dish.Pathrodo,according to me is every Konkanis favorite food-barring Ajay and a few unlucky souls:).Majority of the people dislike the itchy feeling rather than the dish itself.If the leaves are not cooked well,by the time you eat the first piece,you’ll be searching for a brush,to itch the insides of your mouth..LOL.

I for one,enjoy eating pathrodo-all forms of it-freshly cooked,roasted,in curries or fried,never mind the itch.As a pathrodo loving soul,I did search for Taro leaves in Chennai but in vain.Let’s just say I am apprehensive of picking/plucking them from a road-side.Quite different story in Ernakulam actually.People sell bunch of taro leaves for a price and there are many[not surprisingly] takers for it.

A recently opened supermarket[in Ekm] even has this on their food rack along with pastries,tarts and muffins-no kidding.

Though the size of the Palak leaves are no comparison to the gigantic size of taro leaves,I can assure the taste is almost the same but without the itch.Thanks to this,we started eating palak,otherwise greens are something I cook once in a …. [very loooong time!]

I used the same recipe for the batter as Pathrodo.Which reminds me that I still do not have the recipe for Pathrodo here.Soon,I promise.I have to make a trip to Ernakulam for that,remember!!

Palak Pathrodo


Palak/Spinach leaves – one bunch

For the ground paste

Rice – 1 cup,soaked for 2-3 hours
Grated coconut – 2/3 cup
Red chillies – 5-6
Tamarind – one small pea sized lump
Hing/asafoetida – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Wash the leaves well and arrange them according to their size[this helps later when you smear them with the paste].

Grind the masala-first grind the coconut,red chillies and tamarind to a smooth paste.
Then add the soaked rice and blend again till you get a smooth paste-the batter would be quite thickish.
Add hing and salt to taste.

Place a palak leaf on a plate and smear with the ground paste.

Place another leaf on top and continue the process with 6-8 leaves,alternating between medium and small leaves.
Roll it well and tie a thread around to secure the leaves in place.

Steam for about 20-25 minutes.

Remove the thread.
Serve it hot drizzled with a drop of coconut oil.

I refrigerated 2 leftover rolls and the next day,sliced them into thin rounds and roasted them on a low flame using coconut oil,till brown on both sides.Tastes super good!!
If there is leftover batter[like I had] you can add chopped cabbage to it and make Cabbage-aa Undi/muddo.

Update- There is absolutely no bitter aftertaste to this and it turns out to be as soft as the taro leaves version!!

Check out this- a step by step method to make Pathrodo.

Fellow bloggers have been too kind and have showered a few awards on me.Thank you folks,I am deeply touched.

Suma of Cakes and More has passed on to me The Kreative Blogger award.Thank you!!

Aliena of What's Cooking today [and my college-mate too] has passed on to me The Lovely Blog,Sweet Blogger and Beautiful Blogger awards.Thank you Ally..:)

[I have added the awards on the side-bar.]

Friday, February 19, 2010

Chocolate Cake ~ I ♥ it!!

A rich dark Chocolate cake is really really hard to resist.If given a choice,I would choose a slice of decadent chocolate cake over any dessert.I have come across very few people who dislike chocolate cakes.I would be glad to be in their company coz I can have their fair share too:)

I get quite a few mails asking me for eggless cakes and muffins recipes.They also want to know what I prefer,those with eggs or eggless ones.So here,let me spill the beans-I look for Eggless Cake recipes and bake them only when I am baking for Amma or ma-in-law.Though I don’t eat eggs,I do not mind having them in my brownies/cakes.I do not like the eggy smell in my cakes and many a times,beating the eggs well and adding good quality Vanilla extract solves the problem.Chocolate cakes usually don’t smell eggy because of the amount of chocolate/cocoa powder added but Plain cakes very often have that teeny bit of eggy smell which I somehow detect.

I like it when Eggless recipes give me great results and many of the cakes I baked here are eggless.

If you have no problems consuming eggs and are looking for a good cake recipe,I suggest you go for the ones which uses eggs. For plain cakes,yes-I wouldn’t mind an eggless recipe and would like to bake one-haven’t tried one yet.

So all you Chocolate lovers out there..this one’s for you.Rich,Chocolatey,Moist and Decadent Chocolate Cake.I got the recipe from

Chocolate Cake
Recipe courtesy Cacaoweb


All-purpose flour – 1 ½ cup [ 170 gms]

Unsweetened cocoa powder (dutched/dark)- 3 tbsps [ I used Cadbury]
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 pinches
Sugar – 1 cup [ 220 gms]
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
Milk or water – ½ cup
Vegetable oil – ½ cup
Eggs – 2


Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease/line a 9’[23cm] cake tin.
Mix flour,cocoa powder,baking powder,salt,sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl.
Add milk/water,vegetable oil and eggs.
Mix everything together until smooth,either by hand or by using an electric mixer.
Transfer to baking tin and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the frosting

Icing sugar – 2 cups,sifted
Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
Butter – 90 gms,softened
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp

Mix together everything in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon till smooth.If the mix is too thick,you could add a few tbsp milk to ‘loosen’ it,but add only if required.

Assembling the Cake

Level the top part of the cake with a serrated knife and the cut the cake into 2 horizontally.Fill and cover with the icing.

One of the easiest cake I ever baked.As the original recipe is named,truly an easy cake to put across.I loved it that the recipe requires everything to be mixed together.Perfect for that sudden craving.But despite adding 2 tsp of baking powder,the cake did not rise much.I guess its got to do with the pan,the recipe asks to bake in a 9' pan whereas I think an 8' tin would have been sufficient.Though it did not affect the taste in anyway,the height of the cake was not so much to write home about.All in all a dark,moist chocolate cake-definitely on my bake-again list.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

♥White Chocolate Valentine's Gateau♥

Its that time of the year again when ♥ is in the air.All around there are Valentines day combo sales,restaurants have their own special 'love’ buffets and malls across have special contests going on for couples.Its hard to ignore the buzz.But then,why ignore it-when all the world’s celebrating,why not tag along?

Last year,we celebrated with a cake and Ajay was pleasantly surprised.This year,however I don’t think the surprise element is there.I bake whenever I feel like and a cake inside the fridge or one in the oven late night doesn’t excite him any more than it did last year.I have not been baking much off late and the reason to bake for Valentines day was enough to shake me off my slumber existence.

The recipe for this cake is from a Cake book I bought during my grocery shopping trip to Nilgiris.[Folks in Chennai,do check out the book section in Nilgiris,there are some amazing cookery books on their shelf].The main attraction point of this book was that it uses one basic cake mix for 50 different Cakes.This is the first recipe I am trying out and no prizes for guessing why I chose this particular cake:)

The cake was very light,surprisingly with all that butter and fluffy.The ganache gave me a bit trouble since it became runny.I whipped it up once and refrigerated it overnight which made the frosting job a bit easier.But if you ask me,I prefer the dark chocolate ganache,with its deep chocolate flavor.

White Chocolate ♥Valentine’s♥ Gateau
Recipe courtesy “ 1 Mix,50 Cakes” by Christine France


Plain white flour – 175 gms/6oz
Baking powder – 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter,softened – 175 gms/6oz
Caster Sugar – 175 gms/6oz
Eggs – 3,beaten
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
White chocolate grated – 55gms/2oz [ I used equivalent amount of white chocolate chips]
Oil or butter for greasing the cake tin


White chocolate – 200gms/7 oz,broken into pieces
Milk – 2 tbsp
Cream – 200 ml/7 fl oz


Preheat oven to 170*C.
Grease /line two 8’ cake tins.[you could also use a heart-shaped tin to bake which would be more appropriate;)]
Sift the flour and baking powder together.
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs one at a time and add the vanilla extract.
Add the flour in 3-4 turns and beat well.
Fold in the grated chocolate[or white chocolate chips]
Divide the batter into the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until risen,firm and golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes,then turn out onto a wire rack.

For the frosting,melt the chocolate with the milk in a double boiler OR in the microwave.
Remove from the heat and stir until smooth then leave to cool.
Whip the cream well and fold into the cooled chocolate mixture.
Fill and frost the cakes and decorate with sugar flowers and/or silver dragees.

Sending this cake to Nina of Confessions of a Bake-a-holic for her Valentine's day Special event!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kotla Nonche ~ Mixed vegetable Pickle

A while back,both amma and ma-in-law were here in Chennai.That was a first,it so happened that both of them booked their tickets without knowing that we are going to have a gala time together!!Not to mention my entry to the kitchen..:),such a joy..:).Both made their special dishes for each other and we kept on piling good food along with lots of calories,which of course does nothing for the expanding waistline..sigh!!

Ma-in-law’s favorite Kellya ambat,Pazhapulisheri and Valval were made by amma and Amma’s favorite Pickle and Kolmbo were made by ma-in-law.All of it happens to be my fave

Kotla Nonche is a very tasty and easy to prepare pickle.Basically it is made with cut pieces of raw mango and cauliflower,but we added chopped carrots and tendle[tindora] into it.For one who doesn’t fancy pickles so much,this one gets over in our place with a swift pace.We love it for the crispy and crunchy vegetables in it..:).

Kotla Nonche ~ Mixed Vegetable Pickle
Recipe source Ma-in-law,prepared by amma..:)


Raw mango – 2,big-chopped
Cauliflower – 1,small-cut into small florets
Tindora – 4-5,chopped
Carrots – 2,chopped
Lime – 5-6
Ginger – 2’ piece
Green chilly – 1,chopped

For the masala

Red chilly – 200 gms
We used a mix of Kashmiri chillies and regular red chillies.If you are using only one variety,adjust the amount to control the heat.

Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste
Adding salt to the pickle is a tricky job.A generous amount has to be added since salt helps to control the heat as well as acts as a preservative.So though it may seem much,let me give you an approximate amount.Start by adding ¼ cup of salt and then add more if necessary.

Water – to grind the masala


Wash the vegetables and wipe them dry with a kitchen towel and chop them into small pieces.
Juice the limes and then chop into small pieces.
Chop green chilly and ginger into small pieces.

In a mixer,add the red chillies and pulse for a while till they become powdery.
Add the mustard,salt and hing and add enough water to grind.
Pulse till it becomes a smooth paste[it should not be grainy]

In a big mixing bowl,add the chopped vegetables along with the green chilly,lime and ginger pieces.
Add the ground paste to the vegetables and mix well.
Mix in the lime juice and more water[only if required].
Do a taste test and check if it requires more salt,hing or lime juice.
Keep it covered overnight or at least for 5-6 hours for the flavors to seep in.
Pour into sterilized jars and keep refrigerated for longer shelf life.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jambool ~ A Konkani Delicacy!!

I know the name sounds crazy,but here,let me explain.Jambool,pronounced/jum-boo-L/ is a slightly complicated but very tasty and typical Konkani sweet dish.Though I’ve seen and tasted many similar looking dishes,I don’t think I have seen the recipe being tried out by anyone else other than Konkanis,or to be precise,Kochi Konkanis.

A while back,I didn’t even know making this was a laborious task and it was made only on special occasions.If left on my own,I don’t think I’ll ever go”I feel like eating Jambool,let me make some”.I’d rather call up amma or my grandmother who make this extraordinarily tasty!!

Jambool in Konkani is literally Blackberry fruit,I wonder how and why this came to be called by the fruit's name whereas I don't really see any connection between the two.I rather think it is so called because of its proximity to Kala Jamoon!!

Amma made this a while back when she was here.Though it takes a bit long to make,it finishes off in no time,that I can guarantee you:):)



Rava – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup,divided
Milk – 1 cup
Water – 1 cup
Cardamom seeds – 2 or 3,crushed

Oil to deep fry
Ghee – 1-2 tsp


Boil together water and milk.
When it comes to a rolling boil,add the rava and stir continuously[just as you would for Kesari or Upma].
When it starts drying up,add ¾ cup sugar-keep stirring.
Add a tsp of ghee and mix well.
The rava mix would leave the sides of the pan and come together as a single mass.
Switch off the flame and let it cool.Add crushed cardamom seeds to the mix.
Using a masher,or the back of a spoon,mash this mix adding a tsp of ghee.
Make into small balls and flatten a bit[you could shape into round balls or oval shapes too]
Deep fry this in oil until dark brown on both sides.

Make a sugar syrup of one string consistency using the remaining ¼ cup sugar.
Add crushed cardamom seeds to this and immediately add the fried jambools into this and mix well so that the syrup coats the jambools evenly.
Let it cool to room temperature.
Store in an airtight container.
As it cools down,the sugar syrup would make a nice coating to the Jambool in contrast with its dark brown colour.

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