Friday, August 27, 2010

Cherupayar (Whole Green Gram) Payasam

It was a rainy Sunday morning while my aunt visited us with a container of this hot payasam.I was in Kottayam nursing mom, then.
The Payasam that was served immediately in large bowls, tasted heaven!!..the cooked cherupayar melting in mouth with flavourful coconut milk and sweetness of jaggery with that distinct aroma of Kerala cuisine, the bits of coconut pieces to compliment...

I finished my bowl of payasam, hurried out for another bowl I could grab from the kitchen, flowers from the garden, saree from mom's wardrobe, bronze pan, camera and I was all set. :)..Click..Click...

So what next? write down the recipe! ;)

I found my aunt already in her level 2 conversation( progression to a serious mode from the lighter level 1 form;)) with my parents but couldn't help pestering her for the recipe.. ;)..after all a dad's sis can always be taken for granted, right? ;)

Hope you had a wonderful Onam. Belated Greetings to you all!
I know I am a little late to post this delicacy, which I meant to post for the day.
They say; better late than never!

so here's it..

Get ready with:

Whole Green Gram(Cheru payar)- 1 cup
Jaggery- 250 gm
Coconut milk- 4 cups
Cashew nuts, broken into halves and fried in ghee- a few
Coconut sliced into small pieces, fried in ghee -1 tsp
Cardamom powder- to flavour

How to Make it:

Fry the whole green gram in a hot pan. Cook the gram in 4 cups (more or less) of boiling water. In the meanwhile, boil and melt jaggery in 1/4 cup of water in a sauce pan. Cool and strain so as to remove the impurities. Keep aside.

When the gram has cooked soft, add the above jaggery syrup. Simmer the mixture until it turns thicker stirring all the while taking care not to burn the bottom. Remove from fire and mix in the coconut milk. Add the coconut pieces and cashew nuts. Bring it to a slow boil and turn off immediately not to let it simmer.Stir in the cardamom powder.

Serve warm Cherupayar Payasam with Onasadya.

The Payasam tastes great when chilled too (well, I love it this way :))

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Simple Chocolate Brownies

Many a times I think of my friends who prepare lunch and dinner for larger number of guests in a jiffy, host parties frequently and obviously are better cooks than me.
They are not bloggers, but don't you think they deserve to be looked upon?

Devi is one such friend of mine who was given a short notice, to host 15 adults (14 men including my husband and then me) for lunch, just a couple of hours before, by her husband Surya!!!

Believe me or not I got tensed and rushed over to see her quite coolly cutting veggies simultaneously making preparations for the dessert!!I helped her along watching with awe, the way she carried herself around, cooked and presented the food as the final step, chatting cheerfully(which can never happen with me minus a maid) with me the whole time!!!

Soon WE (:D) were finally up with a drink, a starter, bowls of vegetable rice, chicken biriyani, a vegetable and a fish gravy plus two dry dishes and accompaniments, within the time Surya had allotted her!!

Now for the dessert part, all she had was a tub of vanilla ice cream waiting to be served with fresh warm chocolate brownies and the batter was pushed into the OTG when the men settled down for the grand lunch!

The freshly baked brownies got paired up with scoops of vanilla ice creams in bowls which got finished by the men, heartily!! :)

Devi and me sat down for lunch. Each dish was literally 'out of the world' and I jotted down the recipe of her classic dessert !

Amma is getting better now.
She loves brownies and I baked them today for her while I am preparing to go back home tomorrow...


Melted butter-1 cup
Sugar-1 cup +powdered, for dusting
Eggs- 4
Maida-1 cup
Cocoa powder- 3/4 cup
Broken walnuts- 1/4 cup
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence-1 tsp
Salt-a pinch


  • Sieve maida, baking powder, cocoa and salt 3 to four times.
  • Add sugar with melted butter.
  • Beat in eggs and essence.
  • Fold in the flour.
  • Spread nuts in a greased pan and pour the prepared batter.
  • Bake at 180 C for 40-45 min in a suitable square tin or till done.(I baked it for a slightly longer time and hence doesn't have that 'moist' look)
  • Cool, dust with powdered sugar and cut into even squares.

Devi, I Admire You and this post is dedicated to you.
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About Me and the Blog


A Warm Welcome to Spicy Chilly!

I am Bharathy, a simple housewife residing in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India, living with my husband and two children.I hail from Kerala, the neighbouring state, where my parents and majority of my relatives live and hate to miss any chance to visit them, any day of the year!
I love photography, travelling, painting and listening to melodies.

Spicy Chilly is a humble space of mine, a tiny star in the infinite ‘blogosphere’.
The blog is made to be predominantly vegetarian in respect to the core members of my family who are strict vegetarians. Therefore I restrain from cooking non vegetarian food.Yet you may find a few ones scattered here and there, which I basically taste, back home with my parents and heartily wish to make a note!

Most of the recipes are towards the spicier, 'hotter' side, an attempt to do some justice to my genes, which originates from Andhra, another South Indian state.
The recipes posted here are tried and tested by me; sourced out and thereby mastered from my mother and aunts (with the traditional touch of Kerala), mother-in-law and my husband’s grandmother (more of Tamil cuisine).

To sum up, my day to day cooking has a flavour of both the cuisines!

Well, I don’t claim to be an expert cook or particular with the measurements in the recipes!
After all, taste differs from person to person, family, culture, geographical diversities and so on.. Therefore always feel free to alter them to suit your personal likes and tastes!

 The Cameras  

started blogging with CanonPowershot A70 in 2007 which was replaced by CanonPowershot A550 from the post here followed by CanonPowershot SX120IS from here.

I eventually surrendered to my obsession about owning a DSLR in early 2011. Since over these years I got moulded as a staunch Canonite, I was soon a proud owner of Canon 550D (T2i) the latest mid range dslr of the series.
I love to use Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens for most of the photo shoots and Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens, occasionally. The first post from T2i is here and continues till date ...

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to drop a comment anywhere in the blog, the easiest way to catch me rather than via e-mail! :-)

Spam / unruly comments will go straight to the trash! :-)

~ Bharathy

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chicken Biriyani

Mothers are always the best cooks for children.
So is my amma!

Well, I am staying back in Kottayam after the grand college re-union we had last Sunday and preparing myself to assist amma for a minor surgery which is to take place tomorrow early morning.

The Chicken Biriyani you see here was specially made by her, yesterday, for all of amma's and appa's siblings, when they were here for lunch!

I guess, this is my first post on a chicken recipe and I swear I am not much used to cooking non-veg dishes as my husband, children and in-laws are basically pure veggies.

Excuse me for the bad/medium quality pictures which were shot at random by Rajesh, brother's best pal and me :)

As I am still packing to go to Cochin to accompany her for the surgery at dawn, which is a few hours away, I better would post the recipe as soon as I get back..

So......see you soon, girls! :)...with your encouraging comments as always!! :)

Updated on 6th Aug- 10.00 pm

Thanks to all of you who had dropped in here with much concern :)
We just got back from the hospital and amma is fine.

and here's her version of Chicken Biriyani ..

You Need:

Basmathi rice- 1 kg (we used India Gate-Classic variety)
Cleaned chicken pieces- 1.5 kgs
Small bunches of coriander and mint leaves

To pulse coarsely:

Ginger- a 4" piece
Garlic- 15-20 medium sized cloves
Green chillies- 10 nos

To sauté:

Ghee- 2 cups
Refined oil- 1 cup
Cinnamon- three 2" pieces
Cloves- 10 nos
Cardamom- 10 nos
Star anise- 3-5 nos
Big Onions- sliced length wise-2 kgs
Tomatoes- 3 large-diced
Carrots-2- or 1 cup after dicing
Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
Dhania/coriander powder-1 tsp
Garam masala- 2 tsps (we used Eastern brand)
Chicken masala powder- 3 tsps (Eastern)
Cashew nuts(split into halves) and raisins- 50 gms each

Juice extracted from one lemon


  • Wash and soak rice for half an hour in water.
  • Cook rice in a large pot of water with salt and 2 tsps of oil added to it.Cooking time should be around 15 mins. and drain while just cooked and not mushy. Spread rice on a flat tray or a broad and flat utensil to cool.We used the traditional Uruli.
  • Heat half the amount of ghee (1 cup), fry cashew nuts until golden brown followed by the raisins.
  • Remove and keep them aside. Sauté the spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom & star anise.Remove and keep aside. Throw in half of the sliced onions and sauté until deep brown.
  • Transfer the fried onions along with the ghee to the cooked rice on the tray followed by the nuts, raisins and the spices. Add half the amount of coriander and mint leaves too. Mix gently and leave it alone.
  • Heat the remaining 1 cup of ghee and oil together. Sauté rest of the sliced onions, carrots, ginger-garlic-chilly paste in that order till raw smell disappears. Add the tomatoes and the powders (turmeric, dhania, chicken and garam masala) followed by the chicken pieces. Stir well to coat the masalas to the pieces. Add a cup of water along with enough salt to taste and bring to a boil. Simmer the curry until it thickens, coats and the spices seep in the soft cooked pieces and until the oil separates. Turn off and garnish with the remaining coriander and mint leaves. Add lemon juice lastly.
  • Mix in the curry with the rice gently.
  • Serve hot Chicken Biriyani with pappadam, raitha and lime pickle.I love mango pickle and enjoyed my share likewise :).

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