Welcome to the world of simple and easy recipes...

We, the ‘aakrantham crew’ extend our special greetings to the beginners in cooking, the novice Bachelors, suffering husbands for being the guinea pig of wife’s culinary experimentations and the most sophisticated cooking experts who, out of their intricate and above-average try-outs have forgotten their beginning point in cooking. Yes! Our aim is to show the simplified paths of cooking, to depict the formulae for day-to-day needs to kill the hunger, to help out someone who is completely new to kitchen and those whose breaths stop hearing the name of dishes with words like ‘forelle’, ‘pecam’, ‘oreo’, ‘agua’ e.t.c in it.

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Monday, 25 February 2013

Cabbage ‘n’ Carrot Thoran

Today, when I opened my lunch box, I found it’s my favorite fish curry and carrot ‘n’ cabbage Thoran / Upperi, along with unakka chemmeen chammanthi (ഉണക്ക ചെമ്മീന്‍ ചമ്മന്തി) for lunch. Having the nostalgic meals I thought about my bachelor friends, for whom we actually started our Aakrantham page. And the idea of putting a simple thoran recipe struck my mind. Soon after completing the food, I called Aysha and asked her to make the recipe along with the snaps ready for today’s post. And here we dedicate this simple and tasty recipe for our page fans…
Chopped Carrot – 1 cup
Chopped Cabbage – 1 cup
Ginger – thumb sized piece
Onion – ½ - chopped
Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Dried red chilli – 2 no.s
Curry leaves – 1 stem
Grated coconut – 2 Tb spoon
Oil – 1 Tb spoon
Salt as needed

How to:
1.       Heat a non-stick pan and add oil to it. Put Fenugreek seeds and on sputtering, add mustard seeds. On sputtering, add cut red chilli and then curry leaves. To this add finely chopped ginger and onion. Sauté gently for a minute. Now add the washed and chopped Carrot and cabbage. Add salt too. Sauté for 3 minutes.  Now add the freshly grated coconut and sauté for another 3 minutes. The Cabbage and carrot thoran is ready to be served as a side dish with Kerala rice or any similar meals.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Mutton Roast (ആട്ടിറച്ചി വരട്ടിയത്) – Malabar Edition

I love the way she cooks Mutton(Goat Meat)  in her traditional Malabar style and badly wanted to post the recipe here in the blog for our fans. But after my last health checkup, mutton moved into the ‘banned food products’ list! What to do?! But somehow I could convince that this mutton is only for our Aakrantham|ആക്രാന്തം page lovers, and I won’t eat more than 2 pieces from it. Believing my words, she compromised to cook and take the photo. This might be my last mutton curry until my cholesterol level reduces to a normal value. And you know what? once I got the recipe and the photos, I changed my word. Of course it was delicious and I had more than enough of this mutton curry. To add spice to her anger, I made palak (Spinach) mutton myself by taking a portion out of this curry. And the best part is; she can’t have palak dishes as her stomach is sensitive to such leaves and I had to finish this palak mutton also. Wait for the Palak mutton recipe!!


For cooking mutton
Mutton – 1 kgPepper – 2 Tb spoon
Coriander powder – 2 Tb spoon
Garam masala – ¼ teaspoon
Green chilli – 2 no.s
Curry leaves – 1 stem
Ginger – 1 thumb sized piece
Garlic – 6 cloves
Corriander & pudina leaves – 2 stems each
Salt - to taste

For gravy
Oil – 1 Tb spoon
Shallots – peeled and chopped - 200 g
Tomato – cut into small pieces - 1 big size
Coriander powder – 1 Tbspoon
Pepper powder – 1 Tb spoon
Green chilli – sliced – 2 no.s
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon

How to:

1.       Wash and drain the water well from the mutton pieces.  In a dry grinder jar, put pepper corns, coriander powder, garam masala, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger, garlic cloves, coriander and pudina leaves. Grind all these together. In a pressure cooker, mix the dried mutton pieces well with the above mixture using hand. Add salt too. Pour ¼ cup of water and pressure cook.  Number of whistles can be decided based on the nature of mutton. (You may keep the mutton pieces mixed with 2-3 table spoons of vinegar for 10-15 minutes before washing so that the typical mutton smell will be washed away. I used to cook till 8 pressure cooker whistles. It varies depends on nature and type of mutton)

2.       In a non-stick pan, pour oil and on heating add the peeled and chopped shallots. Sauté till the shallots turn translucent. Add the sliced green chillies and sauté well. Add the tomatoes and sauté for few minutes. Put coriander powder, pepper powder and turmeric powder and sauté well. Once the mixture turns soft and like a paste, open the pressure cooker and add the mutton along with the liquid part into this pan. (if you are too lazy to peel off the shallots, you may use Onions, make sure you sauté it well so that it can blend well in the gravy).

3.       In low flame, keep the pan closed for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, the excess water in the gravy should be drained off. Make sure that thick gravy is formed. If needed, add few coriander/pudina leaves and switch off the flame. Serve with ghee rice/pathiri/any kind of rotis after 30 minutes.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Split Bengal-gram cake / Parippu-cake (കടലപരിപ്പ് കേക്ക്)

We were invited for a lunch on Friday at Shameerka’s (my friend and my wife’s cousin) home and my wife badly wanted to cook something for his kids - Aysha, Millu and Hayan! She was brainstorming on her own and it was then I remembered about something which her sister Shermitha used to make. I did not remember exactly what it is, as it was one of the typical Kozhikodan snack. I hinted her about it and she was so excited. But soon I realized that I dug my own grave!!
She asked me to buy milk and I was too lazy to go out in that chilly climate, that too just for a bottle of milk. I ordered in my typical commanding voice "prepare it only if you can do it without buying any extra ingredients", heeheeheee,,,. Poor girl, out of the fear (I love to believe so :P), compromised to go ahead with milk powder. She confirmed the recipe with her sister through whatsapp I guess. After ‘the making of the so called parippu-cake’, she asked in a low and humble voice “would you mind taking a photograph of the dish?” I rushed to take the snaps from all the angles of the cake. The looks were yummy. But I was not allowed to taste it as it was supposed to be taken in full shape to their home. Luckily Shameerka’s wife gave few pieces for the evening tea, and it tasted delicious as well!!

Aysha, Millu and Hayan loved it very much and in no time the plate was empty!

Here is the recipe for you to try out!

Split Bengal-gram – 1 cup
Milk – 1 cup
Egg – 8 no.s
Butter – 2 teaspoon
Sugar – ¾ cup
Cardamom powder – 1 generous pinch
Nuts and raisins – to garnish

How to:
 1.       In a pressure cooker, cook the washed split Bengal gram adding a cup of water up to 3 whistles.
2.       Put the cooked Bengal gram into a mixer jar. Pour milk and grind well to make a paste.
3.       In an open vessel, beat the eggs with sugar and cardamom well, using a heavy spoon. Pour the Bengal gram paste from the jar to this vessel. Mix these well using hand so that no grains remain. adjust the amount of sugar based on your taste.)
4.       In a round shaped non-stick pan add the butter and heat in full flame. Tilt the pan to all the sides so that butter is spread along the sides of the pan. Onto the pan pour the above mixture.
5.       Lower the flame to the least possible and close the pan with a tight lid. After 5 minutes, take off the lid and keep the nuts and raisins on the top carefully without letting it to sink inside the cake mix.
6.       Leave the pan for 20 more minutes in lowest flame and switch off.
7.       After 10-15 minutes, turn the cake upside down to a plate and shift to the serving tray.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Easy Fish Curry (Paal Meen Curry/പാല്‍ മീന്‍ കറി) Adapted from Srilankan style

During my forced bachelor-life in Doha, I used to buy my dinner from one of the Srilankan restaurants, mostly ‘idiyappam and palmeen curry’ (ഇടിയപ്പവും പാല്‍ മീന്‍ കറിയും). Hearing the dish name daily from me, my wife thought that ‘palmeen’ is a kind of fish available here (to be frank, I too thought in the same lines, till I found a different variety of fish in the curry) and she asked me once “can’t you try some other fish?” which made me laugh out loudly! On that day I decided to take her to the restaurant and make her eat this favorite dish of mine, once she reaches Doha. Recently we’d been to the place and she tasted this wonderful Srilankan curry. And out of the idea sprout from her taste buds on having the palmeen curry, she tried to make it at home in her own style. As I’m a person who loves to eat less spicy and light colored curries with breakfast items, this became a grand success, adding one more feather to our cooking experiments. I trust this will help you too and you will love its flavor!!

Fish* – 6 pieces
Coconut milk – 1 ½ cups OR coconut powder – 5 Tb spoon
Green chilli – 1
Tomato – ½
Curry leaves – 12 no. s
Ginger – a small piece
Shallot – 6 cloves
Turmeric powder – ¼ tspoon
Fenugreek – 6 seeds
Oil – 1 Tbspoon
Salt – as needed

 How to:

1. In a mixer jar, take coconut milk (or the coconut powder with 1 ½ cup of water). Put Green chilly, chopped tomato, few curry leaves, ginger, turmeric powder, salt, and 3 cloves shallot. Grind well. (if you like more sour taste in your curry, add tamarind juice or more tomatoes)

2. Pour the above mixture to an earthen pot or a nonstick pan and leave to boil. Once boiled well, put the washed fish pieces and keep the stove in low flame. Cook for 2-3 minutes and switch off.3. In another pan, heat oil and add the fenugreek seeds to spatter. Add the remaining shallots after chopping and sauté till it changes colour. Add the remaining curry leaves and sauté for few seconds. Pour this on top of the above curry.

*Note: We used Cobia fish (മോത). I guess any kind of fishes can be used for this.
 Have a try with the fish in your freezer and let us know! 

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