Malabar Style Fish CurryThis dish is one of the regular dishes back home in Kerala, the one with the ‘’kodampuli’’ that I don’t even know if there’s any special name for this. So I’m going to call it as  “Malabar fish curry” !!! 

 Here goes the recipe …



Fish – 1lb cut into pieces

Shallots – 6, sliced

Ginger – 1 inch, finely chopped

Garlic – 3 cloves, finely chopped

Mustard – 1 tsp

Kudam Puli (Meen puli) – 3 pieces 

Chili powder – 1 tsp

Kashmiri Chili powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Methi Powder – ½ tsp

Salt – to taste

Curry leaves – 8 to l0 leaves

Oil – 2 tsp




Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of hot water for 10 minutes. 

In a non-stick vessel, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds & add curry leaves.

Add sliced shallots, and saute till transparent.

Add the ginger & garlic and saute for a minute, now saute all the spices – Chili powder, Turmeric powder and Kashmiri Chili powder together for 2 mins.

Add the tamarind along with the water and  salt;  let this masala boil for a few minutes.

Add the fish pieces gently to this mixture, add  ½ cup of water, cover and let it cook in low heat till the fish is cooked.  You can adjust the quantity of water depending on how much gravy you like.  

Once done, add the Methi powder, mix well and simmer it for a few minutes. Be careful not to break the fish in this process!

Remove from heat & serve with Rice. Personally I like this combo, combined with Cabbage thoran & Lime pickle. It is a deadly combination, try it out and  let me know!

Note: Please keep an eye while the fish is cooking, I am a big fan of Tilapia which cooks fast, most of the times I start multitasking only to find my  fish all broken and aviyal types 😦

Also you can increase the quatity of chili powder, to spice it up.

Back home, mom makes this in a earthern pot, manchatty ? This is supposed to enhance the flavor of this curry a lot, though I’ve not yet found any difference 🙂 … Well then I can’t make out the difference between olive oil & coconut oil too ! Weird me …

However, one thing I can vouch for is the taste that it attains when kept overnight .. mostly due to all the flavour from the tamarind & the fish blended . The moral of the story, use manchatty or not, make sure that you keep some leftover for the next day!


Ulli SambharIngredients


Toor dal -1 cup

Shallots – 10 to 12 peeled and kept whole

Tomato – 2, diced

Red Chili powder – 1 tsp

Kashmiri Chili powder – ½ tsp

Sambar powder – 2 to 3 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 stalk

Corrainder leaves – 1 handful

Mustard – 1 tsp

Red chili whole – 3 broken

Oil – 2 tsp

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized

Shallot – 1 spliced thin

Salt to taste




Soak the tamarind in ½ cup boiled water for 10 minutes and extract the pulp using your hands 

Pressure cook Toor dal with 1 ½ cup of water till it is cooked well. I usually give 5 – 6 whistles. 

In a non-stick vessel, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, red chili, curry leaves and sliced shallot till it turns brown.

Add the diced tomato & salt and let it cook till soft. 

Stir in the Sambar powder, chili powder and Kashmiri chili powder for a minute.  Smash the mixture with a spatula. 

Add the shallots and 1 cup of water to this and let it cook well

Once cooked add the cooked dal and tamarind water, adjust the salt level and bring it to a boil; let it simmer in medium heat to the required consistency.

Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Rice, Sambhar or Idli!


Note: Normally I buy the MTR Sambar powder which comes very close to the homemade Sambar masala. Also if you want you can skip the Kashmiri chili powder, I use it as I like my Sambar to have that striking red color!

Beans ThoranIngredients:-


Beans – 1 lb, finely chopped

Shallots – 2 chopped

Curry leaves – 8 to 9

Mustard seed – 1 tsp

Udad daal – 1 tsp 

Cumin Powder – 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Coconut – ½ cup grated

Salt – to taste

Oil – 6 tbsp






Heat oil in a non stick skillet; splutter mustard seed, curry leaves and udad daal, till it is medium brown

Sauté the chopped shallots till it turns golden brown

Add the chopped beans, grated coconut, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder and stir well 

Cover and cook this for a few minutes in medium heat till the vegetable is cooked.  This should take 5 – 10 minutes approx.

 Remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes in high heat, stirring in between till the dish becomes dry.    

 Remove and serve hot with Sambhar & Rice. Personally I like to add Pappad & Lime pickle with this combo 🙂


Note: You will need to add a little bit of water now and then to help the vegetable cook.

Chemmeen Theeyal



Shrimp – 1 lb, cleaned & de-veined

Shallot – 5 to 6 finely sliced

Red Chili – 3 each broken into two

Curry leaves – 8 to 9

Fenugreek powder – ½ tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized  

Salt to taste



To dry roast

Coconut – ½ cup grated 

Coriander powder – 3 tsp

Red chili powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Cumin powder – ½ tsp






Soak the tamarind in ½ cup boiled water for 10 minutes and extract the pulp using your hands 

Dry roast the grated coconut in a non-stick pan till it turns brown.  Add all the other ingredients list in the ‘To dry roast’ section and stir continuously. Switch off the stove when the coconut is dark brown. You need to keep a close eye on this to avoid the coconut from getting burnt

Remove and when cool, grind to a smooth, I repeat smooth paste with a little water in a blender. There is no easy way out of it, this need to be ground to a smooth paste. So to be on the safer side, I just keep running my blender for 5 minutes, stopping in between. 

Heat oil in a non stick skillet; splutter mustard seed, red chili & curry leaves.

Add shallots to this and sauté till it turns transparent.

Add the ground masala and the cleaned shrimp, salt and little water; cover & cook for 2 to 5 minutes.

Add the tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.

Add fenugreek powder, stir well & remove from heat

Serve hot with rice.


Note:  This dish doesn’t call for a lot of gravy, it is very easy to adjust this, just add little water when soaking the tamarind.

 Also be careful not to overcook the shrimp as it tends to get rubbery & chewy when cooked for a long time.  One other thing – try to get small sized shrimp, this tastes yummy and give a nice look too

Kovakka ThoranIngredients:-

Tindora – 1 lb, chopped

Mustard seed – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 8 to 9

Salt – to taste

Oil – 1 tsp

Garlic – 4 cloves, chopped


To grind:

Green chili – 4  

Coconut – ½ cup grated

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Cumin – 1 tsp






Grind all the ingredients listed in the ‘To grind’ section to a coarse paste

Heat oil in a non stick skillet; splutter mustard seed & curry leaves.

Add the Tindora and the ground paste, chopped garlic & salt and mix well.  

Cover and cook this for a few minutes in medium heat till the vegetable is cooked well.

This should take 5 – 6 minutes  

Remove the lid and cook on high heat, stirring in between, till the dish become dry.

Remove and serve hot with Rice.

Note: You might need to sprinkle some water in between to help the vegetable cook well.

Broccoli Cherupayar ThoranThis dish is very similar to Vazhappo (Banana flower) thoran;  just substitute the Vazhappo with Broccoli and you have a easy and healthy side dish ready in a few minutes.  Kids love this dish as it is not at all spicy. Also the Moong dal balances the somewhat strong taste of broccoli and makes it a tasty dish.


Check out the recipe below:-




Broccoli – 1 lb, chopped fine  

Moong Dal with skin, split – ½ cup

Mustard seed – 1 tsp

Udad dal – 1 tsp

Dry Red chili – 2 broken

Curry leaves – 1 handful

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Cumin Powder – 1 tsp

Green Chili – 2

Grated coconut – ¼ cup

Salt – to taste

Oil – 2 tsp





Cook the Moong dal with little salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle with little water. The idea is not to overcook the dal and make it mushy.

In the meantime chop the broccoli head into small pieces.

Grind coconut and green chili into a coarse paste and reserve.

In a nonstick pan, splutter mustard seeds, red chili, curry leaves and udad dal till it turns slight brown.

Add broccoli, cumin powder, salt and the ground coconut paste and mix it well for 2 to 3 minutes.  Keep stirring in between so that it will not stick to the bottom.  Please note that this vegetable cooks fast as it is finely cut.

 Stir it for 3 to 4 minutes on high heat till all the water from the dal is gone and the dish turns dry.

 Remove and serve hot.  This goes well with plain rice and Moru curry with a pickle as side dish.

UpmaThis is one breakfast item that is popular throughout India, so am not going to talk at all about this dish.  Here goes the recipe …





Rawa – 1 Cup

Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped

Green chili – 3 chopped

Ginger – ½ inch chopped

Curry leaves – 8 to 10

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Udad Dal – 1 tsp

Cashew nut – 2 tbsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Water – 1 ½ cup boiled  







Heat a nonstick pan and dry roast Rawa till it turns light brown and fragrant.  Remove and keep aside 


In the same pan, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds; sauté curry leaves and Udad dal till light brown.


Add chopped chili/ginger, onion and fry till transparent.


Add Rawa, cashew nut and salt and sauté for 5 minutes in medium heat stirring in between.


Add the boiled water, give a good stir; cover with lid and turn down the heat to low.


Remove from heat after 2 minutes, remove the lid and gently fluff the Rawa with a fork.



Serve hot with a cup of coffee!