Happy Vijayadashami to all of you!
Dusshera is also known as Vijayadashami and is a major festival that is celebrated at the end of Navratri every year. It is a celebration of the victory of good over evil.
The Vijayadashami day is the tenth and final day of the Navratri celebrations and is considered auspicious for beginning learning in any field.
In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and coastal Karnataka, Vidyarambham is a tradition observed on Vijayadashami day, where children are formally introduced to the learning of music, dance, languages, and other folk arts. It involves a ceremony of initiation into the characters of the syllabary. People across the country worship nine forms of the Goddess during Navratri. Mostly in Gujarat people play Dandiya and Garba during the nine days of Navratri while praying to the Goddess. However, in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India people celebrate Durga puja with much pomp and fervor.
Navratri Appam is a recipe that was shared with me my mother .She learnt the recipe from a friend of hers. It looks quite similar to the unniyappam the traditional snack in Kerala. This Vijayadashami this was what we kept as an offering to the Goddess.
1 and 1/2 cup of Raw Rice( soaked in water for about 1-2 hrs)
Jaggery syrup(for sweetness according to taste-I added about 1cup )
2 ripe plantains peeled and sliced
2 tbsp of butter
1 and 1/2 tsp of sesame seeds(black)
3 tbsp of coconut chips
2 tsp of ghee
Wash the soaked rice and add it to the blender. Add in the sliced plantains, butter and grind into a coarse paste. Transfer the mix into a bowl, pour in the jaggery syrup with regard to the amount of sweetness required. In a skillet fry coconut chips and black sesame seeds and pour into the batter. Mix and leave it to rest for about 4-5 hrs. If you really want to cut down the time mix in 1 tsp of baking powder.
Normally, I would prefer to let it ferment a bit on its own. Once the batter is ready, heat a pan with oil.I have used the Unniyappam pan here to have them all of the same shape and size. Once the oil is hot, pour in the batter and cook it on both sides . Once they turn golden in color, drain them of the oil into a colander or on paper towels.
Serve them warm!
This was my offering for Vijayadashami today for the Puja!
Sweets have always been an integral part of festivities in India. Today being Karthigai Deepam / Thrikarthigai -the festival of lamps which is celebrated in the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu, I thought of sharing a sweet recipe with you all. The lighted lamp is considered an auspicious symbol during this festival. It is believed to ward off evil forces and usher in prosperity and joy. On the day, all the houses, streets and temples are well lit with traditional oil lamps. After the floods, it has taken up quite some time to get things back in order. So
Carrot Halwa or Gajar ka halwa is one sweet pudding that you can easily whip up with the ingredients. This batch was made with homegrown carrots…so it was super yum 🙂
5-6 medium sized carrots (peeled and grated )
6tbsp of sugar
1 cup of milk
4-5 strands of saffron
2-3 cardamoms crushed and skin off.
1/4 cup of halved almonds, cashews and raisins
1/8 cup of ghee
Heat ghee in a pan, fry and separate the almonds, cashews & raisins on to a plate. In the leftover ghee, fry the carrots till it shrinks in size and darkens in color. Pour in the milk, add in the cardamom seeds and sugar. Cover and cook the mix till it thickens. Make sure to keep stirring it so as to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Garnish with saffron, almonds, cashews & raisins. Carrot Halwa is ready to be
May this festival of lights bring us brightened and enlightened life like that of lamps …Wishing all a Happy Thrikarthika / Karthigai Deepam!!!
Growing your own vegetables for your daily needs makes food so much tastier. Organic farming is so much into these days. Making use the soil to grow your own vegetables and fruits make cooking much more divine. Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, living a city life, I haven’t actually had a great exposure to farming or growing food during my childhood days. The vacation visits to Kerala to my parent’s ancestral homes always excited me so much. I really awed the moment s when the whole family gets together spending time chatting, cooking, eating …It was a real fun to do things that you were not used to doing. Going fishing in ponds, picking fresh veggies, helping my mother and grandmother in cooking. There’s a flush of memories that flow in when I look back.
After marriage, now a mother to two boys and living in Kerala … I also want to instill in my kids the value of growing their own food. I have a small backyard to the house where I live and every season it’s a different set of veggies that are grown.A few months back I had asked one of our staffs to buy a batch of potatoes for home and the person wasn’t very good at picking up the right potatoes and I ended up having slightly sprouted ones. In two days’ time I had to travel to my in-laws home for family reasons and by the time I was back in my kitchen, it was pretty much all sprouted up. They were all cut up and shoved into the soil. Last week as my husband and kids were plucking some fresh tomatoes from our backyard, I noticed the potato plant and pulled out one to find the potatoes were all ready to be taken out of the soil. We got about 2-3 kilos of potatoes which pretty much a good amount to use up for our home cooking. And yesterday I used some of those to make some really crispy “Aloo tikkis” for my children as a snack for tea time. The rains have started off pretty quick this year round….So it’s pretty much very satisfying to have some hot snacks with chai.
- 3-4 medium sized potatoes boiled and peeled and mashed
- 3-4 green chillies chopped
- ½ tsp of cumin seeds
- ½-1tsp of chilli powder (u can vary it according to your spice preference)
- ½ tsp of turmeric powder
- 2 tsps of coriander leaves chopped
- ¼ tsp of dry mango powder or ½ tsp of lemon juice
- 2 tbsps of rice flour
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- In a bowl mix in potatoes, green chillies ,cumin seeds, chilli powder , turmeric powder , coriander leaves , rice flour ,lemon juice or dry mango powder and salt . Pinch golf ball sized small portions, roll and flatten to make patties .Once shaped in to patties, heat oil in a wok and deep fry them till they are golden brown in color. Serve with green chutneys
- 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves
- 2 green chillies
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 inch piece of ginger
- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
- 1/2 cup of yoghurt
- salt to taste
- Grind mint leaves , coriander leaves , garlic , ginger and lime juice into smooth paste in a blender.Mix in the yoghurt and salt .Serve it with the aloo tikkis !
India being a country with remarkable diversity has always been the abode to a rich culinary heritage .As a child I always fancied our motherland not sure if it was of me being born and brought up outside India . The vacations were always days that I would wait for our trips to India . Indian cuisine in itself is so vast that you can never get tired exploring .The huge regional diversities from states , to borders to homes is just unbelievable .
With this new post I would also like to share the officially launch my you tube channel “Nimi’s Recipes “.This is an attempt to give a breath of life to some of the recipes that I have loved trying ..Hoping to have your support !!
The recipe that I wanted to introduce today is a Sindhi bread -“Koki”. This Sindhi breakfast is a really good combination with green chutney .
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 large onions chopped
- 4 green chilies chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
- 2 tsps cumin seeds
- 2 tsps pomegranate seeds
- Salt to taste
- Oil for shallow frying
- In a bowl mix all ingredients except for oil and add water to knead it into a firm dough .Cover the bwl and set aside for about 10-15 minutes .
- Divide the prepared dough into small balls and shape into thick flat patty .Place patties on a warm griddle and roast both sides on a very low heat .Roll these patties into slightly thick round discs and shallow fry in oil , turning to cook both sides.Serve the koki roti with green chutney .
It’s strange how you meet up with new people every day in your life .There are moments when you feel that you are at the verge of existence but its inspiring how a total stranger can create a new character in your life …Its a similar kind of experience that I had travelling for the research of my new books.Its pretty much amazing to see that there are people in the villages who love what they do in their life despite facing day to day crisis.
Dal pakwan has always been one of the highlight recipes from my recipe diary .Its traditionally a very famous Sindhi breakfast .Recipes have always been a fascination and their collections a hobby .May be I might have got that from my mother .During school days I fancied clipping out all the recipes that had fancy photos.Its crazy how I used to stick them up in a diary and try to try them out on weekends.My kids are the ones who have taken up those crazes now all they would love to do on a holiday is to cook something of their own .I guess I have two budding foodies all set to conquer my kitchen …
- 1/2 cup of chana dal /chick pea lentils soaked for 30 mins
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 1tbsp of oil
- 1/2 tsp of dry mango powder
- 3-4 green chillies chopped
- 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp of onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp of tamarind extract
- coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- For Pakwan
- 1 cup of All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
- 1tsp of oil
- Salt to taste
- oil for deep frying
- Wash and pressure cook the lentils with turmeric powder, water and salt to taste for about 5-6 whistles.Once cooked slightly mash the lentils with a wooden spoon . Heat oil in a wok , fry cumin seeds and green chillies .Add in chilli powder and dry mango powder .Make sure that you stir and keep it on low flame so that you are not burning the powders. Stir in the cooked lentils and turn off the flame .Garnish with chopped onions and coriander leaves.
- For the pakwans, mix salt , flour , cumin seedsin a bowl .Pour in water slowly and knead it into a dough .You can also add a teaspoon of oil to the dough to smoothen out the dough .Let the dough sit for about 10-15 minutes.Divide the dough into balls and roll each ball into discs.Prick with a fork on the rolled out dough . Heat oil in a wok and deep fry the pakwans till they are golden and crisp.
- Serve warm with dal .
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Indeed the thrill and joy of achievement is just unexplainable. Last year in the month of July when I was at my parents place for the monsoon break from school , I least expected the outcome of my long awaited cookbook “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala” .I have had the craziest as well as the most unexpected circumstances when I look back .I lost the data of my book thrice and then send it for print .Things were totally haywire with my harddisk broken , my laptops display dead and so on ….it was just never ending and I had time constraints as I was to exhibit my books at the Frankfurt World Book fair …When the book print was all sorted just two days before my flight I am informed that my visa got rejected ..It was totally devastating 🙁 ..to top all these my son was down with pneumonia .I tried my level best ..but unfortunately I couldnt make it to Frankfurt .The books were exhibited there as my brother was there for the event ..but it took me months to recover from the mishaps .
Whatever happened, happened for good.
Whatever is happening, is happening for good.
Whatever will happen, that will be for good as well. –
Its taken me a very long time to share with all of you the news of my book , but as its told better late than never ..so I am very happy , excited, thrilled, ..you can take up all the synonyms that can go with it ….to share with you all tht my cookbook , “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala ” which is on the snacks of Kerala cuisine has won “Best Indian cookbook in the world ” for the Gourmand world cookbook awards 2015-16 from 209 countries representing India .I seriously had no words to say on stage… when I was called up I was in all tears ….
Its great to win the Gourmand awards the second time and experience the whole event .Earlier it was for my cookbook “Lip smacking Dishes of Kerala” which won the 3rd Best Local Cuisine book in the world for 2013-14 at the Gourmand World cookbook awards from 187 countries representing India , held at Beijing , China .
Now to spice up all this news I have a recipe for a pickle that I made from the garden fresh cherry tomatoes…
- 1/4kg cherry tomatoes
- 2tbsp of kashmiri chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
- 2-3 green chillies chopped
- 1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 tsp of asafoetida powder
- 2-3 tbsp of oil
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tbsp of vinegar
- salt to taste
- 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves
- Heat a pan , add oil and fry the tomatoes till they shrink in size and seperate.In the remaining oil , pop mustard seeds, add fenugreek , ginger, green chillies and stir fry them for a minute or two on med flame .Lower the flame and stir in the turmeric and kashmiri chilli powder .Once the oil starts seperating add in the vinegar .I added a little extra vinegar so that i can cook the the sauce a bit more .You can also add water but that at times accelarates mould growth in the pickle .
- Now mix in the fried tomatoes , add sugar , asafoetida , salt and curry leaves .Turn off the flame and let it cool before you bottle them .
- Enjoy these pickles with rice or rotis ...
A few months back when Facebook team contacted me to do a video on my journey from a homemaker to an entrepreneur I had no clue of what to expect .My latest cookbook “4 o’ clock temptations of Kerala ” won the “Best Indian cuisine book in the world” for the Gourmand world cookbook awards 2015-16.A few weeks back I received an email from Facebook India with the statistics of the reach…”The video had reached 600,000 people across India! The video itself has been viewed 300,000 times ”
I whole heartedly thank all the wonderful people who had viewed,supported,encouraged ,shared and liked the video .Kudos to YourStory for the wonderful video 🙂
Watch how Nimi Sunilkumar's Cooking School used Facebook to spread awareness of her cooking classes and grow her business.
Posted by Facebook on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Greg Grano and Sarah Sellman two wonderful filmmakers from SanFrancisco did a portfolio on me for the website Hooplaha-Only good news ..it was just magic as the video is very close to my heart ..
Its crazy when I look back and see how my passion for food has created magic …the magic of following my heart!!!
Its been like ages since I have posted …..really wanted to do a post for Childrens day…but couldn’t make it .As my kids had their always loved Kulfis. The past two months have been totally head raking for me classes, school , book , kids, home….things wouldn’t have been more or less worser with me being diagnosed with pneumonia…sheesh….. its like being chained …!!! The curtain raiser for the whole melodramatic experiences started off with Siva’s hand fractured…then with the viral and then with me all sick…hoping to get things sorted out and fine…
The kulfi recipe goes on to one of my students and dear friend ….Lindiwe Richer..sorry Lindi for being snail late..in posting this recipe…
- 2 cups of full cream milk
- 1 tbsp of corn flour made into a thick paste adding cold water
- ½ cup of chopped dates
- ¼ cup of almonds roughly chopped
- 4-5 strands of saffron
- Seeds of one cardamom
- 1 tin of condensed milk(400g)
- Mix in the milk and condensed milk and bring to boil.
- On boiling, reduce the flame to low stir in the corn flour paste, cardamom seeds,
- almonds, dates and saffron.
- Stir the mix on low flame till it thickens.
- Let it cool and pour into kulfi moulds and freeze till they are firm.
- Please take care while de moulding slightly pour hot water on it (take care that water
- doesn’t seep into the mold).
Onam holidays have started a break of ten days Onam being the state festival of our Gods own country titled Kerala! All over the state of Kerala, festive rituals, traditional cuisine, dance and music mark this harvest festival. The ten day Onam festival is celebrated floral carpets, traditional dance forms , onam sadhya-the feast on banana leaf, boat race….At school we had the teachers day and onam celebrations on adjacent days.The Thiruvonam day..the tenth day and the most sacred day of the celebrations…..its great fun all members in the family get together ,friends and relatives all ..the onamsadhya is prepared and served on the banana leaf with different curries , rice and desserts. This Onam I wanted to post the recipe of a special payasam .Payasam is basically the dessert that’s served after the feast. Today’s post is Mathanga Payasam /Pumpkin Payasam..
- 2 cups of pumpkin cubes (de skinned &deseeded)
- 3/4 cup of jaggery syrup
- 2 cups of thin coconut milk
- 1 cup of thick coconut milk
- 2 cardamoms crushed
- 4 tbsp of sago cooked in water
- 2 tsp of ghee
- For Garnish
- 2 tsp of coconut pieces
- 2 tsp of cashews and raisins
- Ghee for frying
- Cook the pumpkins in water, sieve and blend into a smooth paste.
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel and fry the pumpkin paste for about 5-10
- minutes on medium flame.
- Mix in the jaggery syrup and keep on stirring.
- Let the jaggery syrup blend well in to the mix and then pour the thin coconut milk and
- continue stirring.
- Add in the cooked sago balls and cardamom.
- When the milk starts thickening, pour in the thick milk and when it is on the verge of
- simmering, turn off the flame.
- Fry out the coconut pieces in ghee along with the raisins and cashews and garnish
- the pudding.
Serve it warm or cold and enjoy this onam !
It was while writing this post , I was reminded of a website I stumbled on to while browsing on apps that help you order food online in India.It has got everything that a foodie would want to devour from mughlai cuisine to south indian to pizzas..With a userfriendly interface and a catchy name “Foodpanda”
They cover most cities in India and when you have the app on your phone its pretty much more easier. Theres also city based pages like for Bangalore , Mumbai and Delhi .Well I have my foodpanda app on my phone..planning to use it once am in the listed cities. 🙂 Hope you all would find it equally handy 🙂
Being up all in festive mood,Heres the writeup on me that came up in Grihasobha Malayalam magazine (Delhi press publication)this September
So signing off for now …Wishing all a happy and prosperous onam!
Back after the rice porridge recipe with a new post. Its been quite some time since I posted a non veg recipe. Soya chunks have always had their fav place with my kids and I keep trying out more variations with it .The soya chunks have the best source of fiber and is quite high in protein content.
Its like the magic pill bundled up with all the good things. Last Sunday I was planning on what to cook for dinner and then popped up with this recipe of Soya Ginger Chicken.I have been using both sizes of soya chunks for my cooking..but have always found a soft spot for the mini soya chunks on count of their delicacy.
- ½ kg of Chicken cut into small pieces
- 1 cup of mini soya chunks
- 2 tsp of Soya sauce
- 2 tbsp of ginger sliced finely
- 2 tbsp of garlic sliced
- 2 large onions chopped
- 1 tbsp of Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp of Garam masala powder
- 2 tsp of coriander powder
- 3 tsp of Chicken masala powder
- 1 tsp of black pepper powder
- 1 tomato pureed
- 3 tsp of oil
- Salt to taste
- For Tempering
- ¼ cup of sliced big onion
- 4-5 green chillies slit
- Curry leaves
- Soak the soya chunks in hot water for about 15minutes.
- Heat oil in wok, sauté ginger and garlic, chopped onion till translucent.
- Pour in the soya sauce and keep stirring, add in the chilli powder, coriander powder,
- pepper powder, garam masala powder and chicken masala powder.
- Stir till the raw smell from the powders subside.
- Add in the pureed tomato paste, ½ cup of water and let it simmer.
- Wash the soya chunks in cold water and squeeze them out into the sauce along with
- the chicken pieces.
- Add required amount of salt and cover and cook the chicken till tender.
- Thicken the sauce so that the chicken & soya are coated and turn off the flame.
- In a small pan fry out the sliced onions till in caramel color along with the slit green
- chillies and curry leaves.
- Temper the dish with the fried items and add 2-3 tsp of chopped coriander leaves
- before serving.
- Best served with rotis and fried rice.
Heres the feature that came up in the magazine Mahila Chandrika a Chandrika daily publication..
How should I start off? I am head over heels in happiness that my hard work is paying out as fruits..Ok so I am back in Munnar after a week’s spree tour and happenings in Beijing. The best news that I have to share is that my book has bagged the third place as for the “Best Local Cuisine book in the world.”Gourmand World Cookbook Awards also known as the Oscars of Gastronomy was founded by Edouard Cointreau .To be a part of it was really an awesome experience. Getting to meet the top personalities in person, learning and sharing insights on each other’s books….. It was an experience that I could have not even dreamt of.
I had travelled with my family to Shanghai on the 16th of May and then on the 19th of May to Beijing and our stay was at the Daxing Hotel where the Beijing International Cookbook fair was held. I was very much impressed by the hospitality of the Gourmand staff and the hard work that they had put into the arrangements. As it calls for celebration I thought of sharing a sweet recipe to with my sweet news..so heres the recipe for Badam Halwa…
- 1cup of Almonds (soaked in water and blanched)
- ½ cup of milk
- 1cup of sugar
- ½ cup of ghee
- 1/2 cup of water
- 8-10 strands of saffron soaked in 1 tsp of milk
- Grind the almonds with milk to a smooth paste.
- In a saucepan boil water and mix in the sugar till it dissolves and keep aside.
- Heat ghee till it melts and add in the sugar syrup on low flame and mix in the almond
- paste without any lumps.
- Add in the saffron and keep stirring on low flame till the almond paste becomes thick
- and flaky.
- Turn off the flame and mix in a teaspoon of ghee.
- Devour on your badam halwa!