Sunday, July 31, 2011

Varutha Upperi / Banana Chips

The Kerala special banana chips; anyone would be ready to munch it anytime. I have never seen anyone at my home making this chips. We always get it from the store – Kumaran chips – shop located below the over bridge.

Last time when we prepared the sadhya, I felt that varutha upperi and sharkara upperi (fried banana chips dipped in jaggery syrup and garnished with spice powders – recipe coming soon) was missing and wanted  to give a try. Yeah – that was a success.



Raw Banana             --   2 big
Turmeric powder   --   ¼ tsp
Oil                                  --   To deep fry
Salt                                --   To taste
Water                           --   1 cup


Preparation of chips:

Peel the banana and cut it into four – length wise. Now cut them into small not so thin and not so thick pieces.  Transfer them into a bowl of  water mixed with the turmeric powder, to soak them as and when you cut it.  Apply oil on your hands / wear a gloves while cutting the banana to avoid stains.

Once you are ready to fry, drain the water completely. Make salt water by adding required amount of salt in a cup of water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. The oil should be really hot before you fry. Test by dropping in a piece of banana. It should sizzle and come up. Reduce the flame to medium and add the first batch. Make sure that it is not overcrowded.


When the chips are almost done, ie the oil stops bubbling; reduce the flame to low and  sprinkle the salt water carefully. Make sure that you do not burn yourself with the splashing oil. You can keep the pan covered until the oil is calm.

Stir once and drain it into a colander kept on plate to collect the excess oil. Transfer this onto a paper towel and let it cool.

Store in an air tight container. This stays good for almost a month.


  1. The oil should be really hot before you add the bananas and then simmer to medium once you add them. So you need to switch between high and medium through all the batches.
  2. Reduce the amount of salt water sprinkled for the next batches as the oil should already be having salt in it.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chocolate Macarons

I was always perplexed seeing these beautiful macarons everywhere. And now I am able to make some not-so-bad (look wise) macarons. Long way to improve – Need to learn the basics in piping and drawing circles of same size.

Chocolate Macaroons 1


Macaron Batter :

Powdered Sugar             --   1 cup
Powdered almonds       --   ½ cup
Unsweetened powder  --   3 tbsp
Large egg whites            --  2
Granulated sugar           --   5 tbsp

Chocolate Filling:

Heavy cream                  --  ½ cup
Light corn syrup           -- 2 tsp
Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate -- 4 ounces
Butter                                 --   1 tbsp

Preparation of macarons:

Line two baking sheets with parchment/foil paper and have a pastry bag with a plain tip ready.

Grind the powdered sugar with the almond powder and cocoa so there are no lumps. If you have whole almonds, grind it along with granulated sugar, so that you get fine powder. If you try to grind almonds separately, it releases oil and becomes a paste. So take care.

Beat the egg whites until they begin to rise and hold peaks. Add the granulated sugar and beat until very stiff and firm, about 2 minutes.

Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg whites. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white,scrape the batter into the pastry bag/zip loc.

Chocolate Macaroons 4   Chocolate Macaroons 5

Pipe the batter on the lined baking sheets in 1-inch (3 cm) circles (about 1 tablespoon each of batter), evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart. I was not able to make all in the same size and hence had to adjust it while sandwiching. Tap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top and let it rest for 15 - 20 minutes. This helps to flatten the macarons and develop the foot.

Chocolate Macaroons 7

Meanwhile preheat oven to 350ยบ F .Bake the macaroons for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.

Chocolate Macaroons 3

To make the chocolate filling:

Heat the cream in a small saucepan. When the cream just begins to boil at the edges, remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit one minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the pieces of butter. Let cool completely before using. I did not have enough chocolate in hand and hence the consistency of the filling was a lightly thin. You can see in the clicks that the sandwiched macaroons are sliding down. :)


Spread a bit of batter on the inside of the macarons then sandwich them together.

Let them stand at least one day before serving, to meld the flavors.

Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Macaroons 2

Recipe Courtesy:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beetroot Thoran / Stir Fry

My space here is filled in non-vegetarian recipes. Being from Kerala, where  a meal is not complete without a thoran / stir fry, I thought I need to have some of those here too.

The main reason why I do not have any such varieties is that I always cook for just two of us and never prepare as much as to fill in a bowl and click a picture – You know AJ was not a big fan of veggies; yeah I meant - “WAS” .

But nowadays I cook for 1 – 2 days at once and hence my veggie dishes also gets a chance to pose J

Beetroot Thoran 1

Ingredients(Serves 2 - 3):

Beetroot                      --   1 large
Green chillies            --   3 - 4
Shallots                       --   1 - 2
Turmeric powder   --   ¼ tsp
Shredded Coconut  --   ¼ cup
Mustard seeds          --   1 tsp
Red chillies                --   1 - 2
Curry leaves              --   8 - 10 leaves
Oil                                   --   1 tbsp
Salt                                --   To taste

Beetroot Thoran 2

Preparation of thoran:

Cut the beetroot into small pieces. You can also use a grater but I feel grating makes it sweeter and so I do cut them usually. Cut the shallots into thin slices and slit the green chillies.

Mix the beetroot,shallots,green chillies,shredded coconut,turmeric powder,salt and curry leaves. Rub them thoroughly with your hands.

Beetroot Thoran 4

Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the red chillies and fry for few seconds. Now add the beet mixture and close the pan with the lid.

Let it cook on a very low flame. Stir in between to make sure that it does not burn.

Serve hot with rice.

Beetroot Thoran 3

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Chocolate cake in a mug

This is another recipe that I ve always bookmarked. And the day I saw @ Collaborative Curry; I decided not to bookmark it again but try it out at that moment. Yeah I made this long back and it now that my cake got a chance to take a place here. Thanks for the wonder recipe Nami..



All purpose flour         --   5 tbsp
Granulated sugar       --   5 tbsp
Cocoa                               --   2 tbsp
Salt                                    --   a pinch
Baking powder            --   1/2 tsp
Egg                                    --   1 large
Milk                                   --   4 tbsp
Vegetable oil                 --   4 tbsp
Pure vanilla extract   --   1 tsp

Preparation of the cake:

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs in a another bowl. Add other wet ingredients and mix it well until they are blended together. Now add the dry ingredients and mix well.


Pour the batter into 2 tall microwave safe coffee mugs,half - filled. If you have short mugs you can use 3. I had one tall mug in which it came out perfect and the other was a bit short and the cake overflowed :), as you can see.


Microwave the mugs,one at a time for a minute. If it does not get done in a minute, keep for another 20-30 seconds. Make sure you do not overcook. Mine came out in 1 min and 10 sec. Let it cool and then enjoy.