Spinach Biriyani| Palak Biriyani

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Spinach biriyani or Palak Biriyani is a very easy to make one pot dish..You dont need to make any side dishes other than a simple Raita and pickle to go with.Its also one way you can include spinach in your little picky eater’s diet.

  • 2 cups basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • 4 or 4.5 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp ghee(I used sunflower oil)
  • some fried cashews for garnishing (optional)
  • salt to taste
Whole Spices needed:
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small star anise
  • 3 cardamoms  slightly crushed
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of mace

Dry powders to be added:

  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida
For the spinach puree:
  • 1 medium bunch spinach (palak)
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 or 2 green chilies
  • 5-6 almonds or cashews
To prepare Spinach Puree:
  1. Rinse the palak/spinach leaves well. chop and keep aside. Rinse & chop the green chilies, mint and coriander leaves.
  2. In a blender, add the chopped spinach, mint, coriander, green chilli and almonds.
  3. Now add ½ cup water and blend to a smooth paste.
Preparing the biryani:
First rinse and then soak the rice. When the rice is soaking, prepare the spinach puree as mentioned above.
  1. Heat oil in a thick bottom and deep pan or pot. Add all the whole spices.
  2. Fry for a few seconds and then  add the sliced onions & fry till they are browned. remove some of the fried onions for garnishing.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds. Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes becomes soft for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Keep on stirring so that the ingredients do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the spinach puree and saute. for 3 to 4 minutes. Now all the dry spice powders one by one and saute.
  6. Drain the soaked rice and add to this. Combine well and saute for 1-2 minutes. Pour 4 or 4.5 cups water. Add salt as needed.
  7. Cover tightly with a lid and cook till the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  8. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and now garnish with fried onions and cashews.Serve hot with a pickle and Raita and Enjoy!



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BREAD PUDDING Hello everybody..its been a long long time since I last posted anything..guess I was caught up in the waves of time..

Recently I received a very surprising kind of mail from one of my readers..I am not disclosing her name here..well coming to the mail..it said “Hi Shannu..how are you?Its been a long time since I have seen any of your posts..Hope alls well at your side..Yours is one of the few blogs I go through..I used to go through another travel blog with great interest,since I am quite a travel freak..but recently I noticed that for the past few months,the author hasnt been posting anything lately..on googling further,I came to the shocking fact that the author had met with a car crash and he was no more..Hope you are doing good..I wonder why you are MIA..waiting fr your new posts..Love,X”…

This is how it was…!I was happy to see the mail,but also it was a bit of shock..To all those who wonder where I am gone…I am here..ha ha..very much ALIVE in my corner of this world..the sad thing is I dont get much time these days to post anything..with my youngest one out of the three kids I have,starting school.Yes I have been cooking..cooking a lot lately,I hope to post all these some day ha ha..

Coming to todays post,its a simple but extremely delicious and easy to put together Bread Pudding…with minimal ingredients.I served it warm with Vanilla Icecream and a drizzle of honey on the top..I like combos of hot and chilled desserts..You can choose your own combo or serve it alone..its equally good!


  1. Bread -6 to 8 slices
  2. Milk – 300 ml+50 ml
  3. Sugar- ¾ cup or to taste
  4. Vanilla essesnce-1 tsp
  5. Custard Powder-3 tblspn
  6. Unsalted Butter-2 tblspn


  • Preheat the oven to 380°F / 190°C.
  •  Cut your bread into chunks and set aside.
  • Take 300 ml milk in a sauce pan and add  butter to  it. Heat the milk so that the butter melts(Stir well).Turn off the flame and cool a bit till warm.
  • Now in another bowl, take 50 ml milk and add custard powder and mix well so that no lumps are formed.
  • Now add vanilla, sugar in it and whip it well. Pour the warm milk into this and mix well.
  • Take a baking pan and butter it slightly. Lay the bread pieces in the pan,arranging nicely without gaps and pour the custard over the bread.
  • Press the bread with the back of a spoon so that the bread absorbs all milk-custard mixture(Do not mash).Leave it out for 5 mins.
  • Now put it in the preheated oven for 45-50 mins or until golden and crispy on top.
  • Remove this and let it stand for 5 mins. Serve warm with icecream and Enjoy!


Kadumanga Achar| Kerala Mango Pickle

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Have you noticed this strange fact?We crave for a particular food/dish/fruit more when its not in season or is not easily available at our part of the world.. 🙂 This is strange but true.Its October and I crave for Mangoes.So I satisfied myself with some tinned Mango 😦 …though its taste comes no where near a  fresh juicy and ripe mango 😦 ..

Yesterday was Market day or Thamu(as it is locally called here).I was lucky enough to see a lady selling some raw mangoes.So I immediately bought them.First I thought of making Mango pachadi.Then I thought Pachadi wont stay for more than 4 days..So I decided to make this Kadumanga achar…or kadumanga uppilittathu..that way i could Mango everyday 🙂

This is my mother’s recipe…its simple and easy and a perfect recipe.I strongly recommend to use gingelly oil in this recipe.It imparts that typical nadan ruchi(taste) to the achar(pickle).


  1. Raw Mango – 2 cups(Lightly pared and chopped small)
  2. Ginger – 1 tbsp(finely crushed)
  3. Garlic  – 1 tbsp (sliced)
  4. Dry Red chilli – 2 to 3 (broken into two)
  5. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  6. Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 1 cup
  8. Red chilli powder – 5 tbsp(according to your spice level)
  9. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp.
  10. Asafoetida – 1 fat pinch
  11. Gingelly oil – 3 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste


  1. In a big bowl,take the chopped mango pieces.Add salt to it and mix thoroughly.Leave aside(covered with lid) for about 8 hours,preferably overnight.
  2. After 8 hours/overnight,heat oil in kadai/or deep pan.Add mustard seeds and when it splutters,add the curry leaves and Dry red chillies.Then add the crushed ginger and sliced garlic and saute till the raw aroma disappears.
  3. Now add the powders from ingredients 8 to 10.Saute for 1 or 2 minutes and then add salt and then water and bring to boil over  a low flame until thick.Remove from heat.
  4. To this add the Mango pieces(from step 1) and combine well.Add salt is needed.Allow to cool.Transfer to clean and dry bottles.Leave aside for two whole days in a cool dry place.
  5. After that serve when needed with a clean dry spoon, along with Curd Rice/Thayir sadam or plain Rice.Enjoy!!

Sambaram| Pacha Moru| Morum vellam

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Sambaram….being a down to the earth mallu..I love this drink…At home we simply call it pacha moru…its an everyday drink back at my home in kerala..but living in my part of the world here..I dont make it that often,only because fresh milk is not easily available here 😦

This drinks to my mind those memories of my dearest grandfather..who used to love farming a lot.He was a college principal and  a Botany professor,a chancellor at a famous university,an Ncc Major..the list is endless…back from college,he spent his time and energy in  in our backyard….a really simple man.He had that special love towards farming in our parambu(huge farm behind the house)..where there used be a zillion different varieties of trees and plants..It used to be  a pleasure taking a walk in the parambu with the wind blowing through the sugar canes and bamboo trees..the swaying Thengu(coconut trees..if i start taking about his plants and plantations..this post would not suffice!He was truly a man with a green thumb…!It was my duty(being the only grandchild) at those times, to carry for him this Pacha moru,prepared by my grandma, in a steel jug.I used to take special pride in doing that…He was a person I respected and admired a lot right from my childhood.Now he is no more..He was a highly respected man in the society and a truly handsome gem of a man, a pride of his children,grandchildren and great grandchildren!Even now when I go back for holidays to my native in kerala during holidays,I am still known to people and places where I go as his grand daughter!Memories of him truly brings tears to my eyes ..This post is dedicated to my dearest Vellya papa(Grandpa)!!


  1. Thick yoghurt – 2 cups(chilled)
  2. Water – 1 cup
  3. Salt – to taste
  4. Green Chilli – 1
  5. Curry Leaves – a small sprig
  6. Ginger – 1/2 tsp finely chopped


  • Add the water to the chilled yoghurt and whisk well.To this add chopped (green chilly,curry leaves and ginger).Add salt and whisk well again.
  • Transfer into serving glasses and serve chilled and Enjoy!!


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Todays is a very simple but extreeeeeeemly delicious post…its “THE AAMRAS”…I am a mango lover…And I totally love aamras.I can eat it 3 times a day.. 🙂 forever 🙂 I came to know about Aamras from my mother in law…from her stories as a young bride,newly married in Mumbai…and their Maharashtrian friends,dinner evenings,and travels..her stories are  endless..It is she who gave me the recipe of this “mango heaven”.

Aamras as the name suggets is nothing but mango juice..Aam being mango and Ras meaning Juice..Basically its nothing but Mango pulp..or may be Mango nectar.Alphonso mangoes are perfect for making aamras..though you can also use just any variety..the only things is that the Mango variety should not be the fibrous kind.I make this extensively during the Mango season with Pooris and even Rotis.You can even have it as a dessert after a meal.I like my aamras cardamom flavoured..because I just love the flowery scent of cardamom with Mangoes.You can also use dry ginger powder instead of cardamom according to your preference.


  1. Mangoes – 2 large(preferably alphonso)
  2. Cardamom powder – 1 /2 tsp/Or you can use dry ginger powder -1/4 tsp
  3. Sugar if needed(I didnt use since the mangoes were very sweet)
  4. Milk – 1/4 – 1/2 cup(as needed)


  • Clean/wash the mangoes.Peel and chop them and  add them into a blender.
  • Then add powdered cardamom,sugar(if needed),milk and blend into smooth puree.
  • Transfer to small bowls and refrigerate.
  • Serve with hot pooris/chapathis and Enjoy!!!


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Hellloooo!Do you experience those lazy afternoons when you cant resist the urge to have something sweet and chilled after lunch?Well..I am one of those persons!During my college years,I used to argue with my Mom when I used to see her nibbling on some thing sweet after lunch…ofcourse thinking of health reasons..But now me being in my early thirties..I find myself doing the same thing 🙂 Hope my Mom doesnt see this post ha ha!

So today this urge led me to make this eggless Apple Custard.Its extremely easy and your family will love it to the core!!


  1. Apple – 1 (Skin peeled,deseeded and chopped finely)
  2. Milk – 2 cups
  3. Custard Powder – 3 tbsp
  4. Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
  5. Sugar – 5 tbsp(as per your taste)


  • Take about 1/4 cup of milk from the 2 cups of milk mentioned above in a bowl.To this add the custard powder and dissolve well by stirring.
  • Boil the remaining milk in a sauce pan.
  • To this add the custard powder dissolved in milk, slowly and stir well continuously.It will get thick immediately,so be careful.After few minutes,remove from heat and allow to cool and refrigerate.
  • At the time of serving,chop the apples,add it to the custard and serve chilled and Enjoy!!




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Halwas are one of the most popular and loved Indian sweets..There are many kinds of halwa made from different ingredients like Flour,Fruit etc…!The halwa recipe I am sharing here today is a total variation..!Its Bread Halwa !Sounds new?It is something I developed with left over Bread(Not Stale Bread).Its a perfect -to- go halwa recipe for Moms like me who are always in a hurry burry 🙂 My kids and hubby just loved it.Do try it out.You will love it!


  • Bread – 7-8 slices
  • Ghee – 1/2 cup+( 2 tbsp for later use)
  • Milk – 2 cups
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup +3 tbsp
  • Cashew nuts – 15
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Almond – a few slivered(For garnish)


  1. Soak the cashews in a little warm water for about 15 minutes and keep aside.
  2. Cut the bread in to tiny pieces.
  3. Heat ghee(1/2 cup) in a pan.Add the bread pieces to this and roast till a golden brown on low to medium flame,tossing it frequently.
  4. Meanwhile boil the milk with sugar.
  5. Add this milk to the roasted bread pieces.Bring this mixture to a boil and then turn the flame to low,allowing it to cook for a few minutes,mashing the bread pieces with a big spoon as it gets cooked.
  6. Grind the soaked cashewnuts with a little water to a smooth paste.
  7. Add this to the cooked bread-milk mixture,along with the 2 tbsp of ghee and combine well on low flame until oil appears on the sides.Turn off the flame.Transfer to serving bowls.Garnish with slivered almonds.Serve and Enjoy!