Cheera Upperi ~ Amaranth Stir Fry

  Moving to the final recipe for the Blogging Marathon #74 under the theme “Quick and Easy Stir fries”, I chose to post this super simple yet goodness loaded amaranth leaves stir fry aka “Cheera Upperi”.   I have always said that I feel blessed to stay in a country like UAE where you get abundant supply of produce any time of the year. Umma would wait to come here to have her share of amaranth leaves. Amaranth is said to be power house of iron and is have a lot of vitamins and minerals in it. Back home, she says that the leaves are so heavily sprayed with pesticides that you can’t eat them at all. Attempts to grow them in our backyard have been futile too. D is trying his best to turn the barren land around our house into a little patio. So far, he has had… 

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Vendakka Upperi ~ Ladyfinger Stir Fry

    In yesterday’s post, I explained the difference between an “upperi” and a “thoran”. While yesterday’s was a thoran, today’s is an upperi – a quick, simple stir fry of ladyfinger without any coconut. This is the second of the three back to back recipes, as a part of the Blogging Marathon #74, under the theme “Quick and Easy Stir Fries”.   The slimy ladyfinger is always a pain to cook. If there is a little water in it, it spoils up the entire appearance of the dish. What I normally do is wash the ladyfinger in warm water and then spread it out on a kitchen towel or handtowel. Once most of the water is drained, I wipe off each one of them individually. Yes, it is a lot of work, but you will thank yourself for doing it. 😀 Then I get to cutting it. This vegetable… 

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Achinga Payar Thoran ~ String Beans Stir Fry

  We are a family who loves stir fries. And I would say, Alhamdulillah for that. All the folks needs with rice is some simple curry to go with it and loads of “upperi”, as we call it.  When umma was here, she used to make lunch and she would ask D to cut the vegetables for making the stir fry, since a minimum of a kg would be required to be made and still it wouldn’t be enough. 😀 The girls don’t even need fish but they would eat their rice well if they have a vegetable stir fry by the side. Usually it is beetroot, carrot or cabbage and for me, it’s always got to be french beans!   In Malayalam terminology, “upperi” or “mezhukupuratti”, simply means stir fried vegetables in some oil, with minimal seasoning. It may or may not include coconut. But when you say “thoran”,… 

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Varutharacha Sambar ~ Malabar Style Mixed Vegetable Lentil Stew

  I would really call sambar as the ultimate comfort food of a South Indian. Why not? We would have sambar with everything. Recently, I discovered that sambar went amazingly well with porottas too! If you are wondering what a “sambar” is, it is a South Indian stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables and lots of spices.   I had mentioned in this post that I am not fond of store bought sambar powders. Each brand tastes different and somehow I don’t seem to like any. I prefer to make my own little batch each time I make my sambar. When I discovered that we had our own version of making sambaar using roasted coconut paste, my joy had no bounds. Umma was never aware of a version like this, so I never grew up with one. I have adapted this recipe from many sources so can’t pinpoint just one…. 

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Uralakizhangu Musakhan ~ Malabar Potato Fry

  It’s the last Saturday of the month, and I am here with a book review! InShaAllah, I am trying to make this segment as regular as possible, so that my ever increasing collection of cookbooks are touched and cooked from. 🙂   Being from the Malabar side, I have always been intrigued to learn more about the cooking there. As I have always mentioned, the cooking done in my part of Malabar is very limited. When I got married and moved to Payyoli, I was surprised by the different types of food they would cook up in a matter of minutes! I still haven’t posted many of what I have learned from there, but as time goes by I will cook it up and feature them on the blog, InShaAllah. It is a passion of mine to collect as much as sources I can of Malabar cooking as available…. 

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Muringayila Parippu Upperi ~ Drumstick Leaves with Lentils

  Allah has His own ways. Each time, my blogging enthusiasm starts taking a downturn, He immediately surprises me with something that helps me take the U-turn, Alhamdulillah. 😀 I have had two things happening over the weekend, the smaller one is winning a gift voucher from Siri’s space and the big one was a mighty surprise: a feature on Manorama Online as one of the six Malayalee foodie accounts to follow on Instagram! It was a real surprise, since I feel I pushed behind a lot of well deserving foodie accounts, but it made me a stronger believer on His Will that may have caused me to be in that list in between all top shots! So rest assured, I am not stopping my blogging in the near future, InShaAllah… 😉   I did a little story on “Muringayila” or drumstick leaves when I had done this post. Drumsticks… 

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Chakkakuru Pachamaanga Curry ~ Jackfruit Seeds Raw Mango Curry

  I miss my stock of chakkakuru (jackfruit seeds) this season. 🙁 I had an uncle who flew in last week and I received a parcel from umma, but unfortunately it didn’t have any seeds in it. When I asked her, she said he already had too much weight and she couldn’t send any. Now I guess I need to get some from the supermarket, but the way those seeds look, I wouldn’t even want to buy them!   I prepared this curry with the last bit I had of what umma send me last year. The combination of the slightly sweet seeds and the tangy raw mango gives a nice punch while having rice. I am not a fan of raw mango or its tanginess, so normally what I do is to squeeze the mango into the rice and discard the skin. I mix it in and have it… 

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Kanjiyum Chammanthiyum ~ Rice Porridge with Coconut Chutney

  Aren’t there meals that we crave for, even though as children we may have hated it? Then that is what kanjiyum chammanthiyum is for me! Whenever the feeling of illness creeps in, a Keralite soul would yearn only for a big bowl of salted kanji and the spicy chammanthi to go along with it.     When we were kids, we used to hate kanji. Whenever D would go for work late evenings after office hours, we would get irritated that he was not taking us out. His standard comment would be, “Kanji kudikkande?” (Don’t we need to have kanji?) It literally means that he has to earn so that we can have our food. Hehe… And we so nastily would just reply back, “Kanji venda, biriyani mathi.” (We don’t want kanji, we want biriyani!) 😀 Such is the fixation with kanji in our side.   Kanji is basically… 

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Chakkakuru Muringakaya Parippu Curry ~ Jackfruit Seed Drumstick Lentil Curry

  Each time I get my stock of jackfruit seeds or chakkakuru like we call it, I would always convert into this stir-fry, definitely my favorite way of having it any time. I would always wait for the time of the year to arrive so that umma would send down some of the dried seeds that she manages to keep. Nobody seems to like it anytime, it is always me who is finishing it off. 😉 I was surprised to see recently that the local supermarket close to my house was selling these seeds in the vegetable section! Even though it is pricey, buying it once in a while wouldn’t hurt, right? At least I don’t have to wait for umma to send some. 🙂   This is another favorite way of having this curry. Umma used to make this often, but as usual I had not noted it down… 

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Thenga Chutney ~ White Coconut Chutney

  Today seems to be a dark day. The sky has been thick of rain clouds since morning and there has been heavy rains with thunder and lightening in some parts. Our neighboring country Oman seems to be having a tough time due to the rains. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said, “Two types of dua are not rejected: dua during prayer and dua during rains.” (Abu Dawud) May Allah give us the opportunity to make most of this rain and also let us say the below dua so that we are protected from the perils of heavy rains as well, InShaAllah…     After posting the Idlis last week, I was wondering how I wouldn’t post the chutney that we make with it. 🙂 Normally, everybody loves to have idlis with sambaar (one version on the blog is here) and chutney, which is a ground thick dip made of… 

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Muthira Varuthathu ~ Horsegram Stir Fry

  When the climate changes, along with it comes havoc. That is one thing that I hate. During the months of October-November and March-April, in this part of the world, you will see everybody falling sick. I already had my bout of illenss towards the end of last month, and last week, the rest of them fell ill, starting from Rasha, then Azza and then HD. The house felt like a hospital with lots of medicines all around, but Alhamdulillah, they weren’t severe like cases I had seen at the clinic and things settled down in the space of a week. But then you know how it is, the tastebuds are lacking, so whatever I was making was not finishing, that included even kanji (rice porridge/ gruel). It will still take time till everything comes back to 100%.   Horsegram, just like it’s name suggests is supposed to be staple… 

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Muttakkoos Upperi ~ Cabbage Stir Fry

Trying to be positive comes with a lot of practice… Sometimes it is pain, sometimes it is shock, or a mixture of everything that can give a hard experience. Having said that, dealing with the negatives is totally on how one takes it. Just like the below slide says, thinking good and beautiful definitely makes a lot of difference on how your life turns out to be, so much so that you will start seeing goodness even in the dark moments… Moving on to today’s recipe, whenever I make rice and curry with fish fry (of course!), I always like to pair it up with a stir fry or upperi as we call it. Usually, it is carrot or my favorite, French beans but this one also happens to be a favorite for me. Apart from the time taken for shredding the cabbage, which I still do it the old… 

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Koosa Pulinkari ~ Marrow Buttermilk Curry

When did Ramadan start andwhen did it end! 🙁 At times, it is so difficult for all of it to sink… The month flew off in full speed and Eid also came to an end in an equal speed… We had a relaxed Eid this time with not much travelling, thanks to the horrible weather we had in this part of the world. It was really humid – something which kept itself away during the whole of Ramadan thankfully – and so, it was not the best time to go for long trips. We had more of a relative time on the first day and on the second day, we went for a short drive, not taking much time outside, but still enjoyed ourselves. Now we are in the month of Shawwal, and for my Muslim readers who don’t know, observing six days of fasting during this month, after the… 

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Ulli Masala ~ Simple Onion Dry Curry

Sometimes, whatever you do is never enough. Never enough for a human being to understand what you are actually thinking and going through. Over the past months, each day has been a learning experience and everything that happens continuously keeps pointing fingers at this particular understanding. What does Allah say? “Allah desires that He should make light your burdens, and man is created weak.“ (Surah An-Nisa:28) At the time that He has created us as a superior being above all the living creatures on this wide vast earth, at the same time, He has created us weak, whether it is physically or mentally. As much as we are prone to physical weaknesses and illness anytime, that much we are prone to mental downfall and anxieties everytime. A couple of weeks back, we had gone out during the weekend and were back home early. As usual, HD was out in his… 

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Beetroot Upperi/ Stir Fry

  Sometimes my mind loiters around the restricted corners of the past… wishing for it to come back, wishing that life wouldn’t have been so unpredictable. Immediately the following verse comes to my mind: “Verily! Man is ungrateful to his Lord.” (Surah Al-Aadiyaat:6) Yes, aren’t we ungrateful? I am numbed at how many times Allah tell us how ungrateful we are. This only shows how well He knows us. At times when frustration creeps in and I start to think that I really don’t care, suddenly Alhamdulillah I get a hit reminding me that this is not Jannah. We will be hurt, ripped off, helpless, frustrated… this is a part of this mini life here. Our victory lies in how much we can control our menial desires and remind ourselves how blessed we are. At times when I feel low, I immediately turn my attention to my parents, my spouse,… 

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