April 27, 2013

Aam Ras / Mango Pulp


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Aam (Mango) ; Ras (Juice /Pulp) is the extract of the ripe mango fruit consumed in the western states of India like Maharashtra,Gujarat ,Rajasthan. Traditionally the pulp would be extracted by softening the ripe mango and squeezing the fruit with hands.But now a days the juice is extracted using blenders to make the process hassle free and mess free.

Alphonso / Aapus variety of the mango is generally used,but any sweet ripe mango can be used.
Commonly eaten with Rotis (Indian Flat bread) / Puris (Deep fried Puffed indian bread) but it can be had even as a normal dessert after food.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Makes about 2-3 servings.












Ingredients

3-4 Fresh ripe mangoes  (preferably Alphonso / any ripe variety)
Sugar as needed
2-3 strands of saffron (optional)
1/4 cup milk (optional)

Method

  • Wash and peel the skin of the mangoes and cut them into cubes.
  • Add the mango pieces,saffron,milk and blend into a smooth puree in a blender.
  • If you feel the juice needs a little more sweet,add in the sugar and blend again.
  • Serve chilled.
Serving suggestions
Almond slivers can be added just before serving.

Freshly powdered cardamom can also be added for extra flavor .


April 26, 2013

Mumbai Style Veg Toast Sandwich


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Living in Mumbai,one can experience a lot of street food items.Believe me its a treat to our taste buds.How much ever people crib about hygiene and cleanliness,people simply forget all of that when at a Pani Puri Stall or any Chat Stall and just get immersed in enjoying the chat. Not to forget ,that there are stalls that sell chat items made using Mineral Water  !!! Yes ,Yes ,you read it right..Mineral Water :-)
The traditional Dosas have been  adjusted to fit into the taste of the North Indians with varieties like Pav Bhaji Dosa,Veg Chopsuey Dosa,Schezuan Dosa etc etc.Such is the spirit of Mumbai and its Ever growing Food Lovers.
Now coming to the blog post..Sandwich...ahh!! the name itself makes me  drool.Again,its not just one variety.Go to a Sandwich Stall and you see a menu with atleast 10 different varieties..Club Sandwich,Grill Sandwich,Samosa Sandwich,Aloo Tikki Sandwich ,Plain veg sandwich,Toast Sandwich et al.
Even with so many varieties,the toast sandwich has been an evergreen hit among people of all age
groups.The specialty is that the sandwich is toasted using a hand toaster slowly over the charcoal which helps in slow cooking of the veggies inside and infuses a smoky flavor which is simply amazing.Here ,I have used the electric sandwich toaster,which gives a very close taste to what the hand toaster would give. There are various brands that manufacture the hand sandwich toaster,available in India.
Nostalgia !! Nostalgia !! Nostalgia !! I can go on and on about Mumbai and its street food ...
How much I miss .....
Now off to the recipe..

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Makes about 3 sandwiches

Mumbai Style Veg Sandwich


April 25, 2013

Veggie Fried Rice


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After my hands on making Hakka Noodles, I went ahead to make Fried Rice which was a long due.
Doesn't sound good to blow my own trumpet,but I have to say it,..it did turn out well and compliments were given by my hubby saying "The Flavor is really good" . :-)
Indeed a big feather on my cap. To go with the fried rice,I made Chilli Baby Corn - semi dry gravy.

Preparation Time :10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-45 mins
Serves : 2-3


April 23, 2013

Moong Dal Pakodas / Yellow Split Lentil Fritters


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Who would not like to treat the taste buds with a palate of crispy,hot snacks and a piping cup of tea?Well,this is an apt snack for tea time,weekend parties or any get together.
Try this very famous street food of Mumbai aka Bombay which is served very very hot from the frying pan to the plate . This is a go to snack for many office goers on their return home as it is filling and tasty .

Requires some 3-4 hrs of preparation time and about 15 mins for grinding and frying you have the best snack with you to please your tummy :-)

Cripsy from the out and soft from inside,serve with tomato sauce or Mint Corriander chutney.

Preparation Time : 3-4 hrs (minimum 1hr soaking is needed)
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Makes about 24-30 pakodas / bhajias/ fritters


April 20, 2013

Neer Mor / Spiced Butter Milk


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Traditionally buttermilk is the residue that is left after churning out the butter/cream from yogurt.
Buttermilk is a traditional summer cooler in most parts of Indian sub continent.Even today we can find stalls along the streets serving cool buttermilk in huge pots to the weary travelers during the scorching summer months.
Neer Mor (Neer - water ; Mor - Buttermilk) is the South Indian version of flavored butter milk.
There are different ways to prepare buttermilk,this recipe is used predominantly in Southern parts of India.The preparation of butter milk in North India called as Masala chaas has a slight variation .I shall post that recipe soon.

Neer Mor is offered as a Prasadam /Neivedhiyam along with Panakam ,Kosumari (Vada Paruppu) on Rama Navami- Birth of Lord Sri Rama.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time: Nil
Serves : 4

Neer Mor / Spiced Buttermilk

April 19, 2013

Rajma Masala / Red Kidney Bean Curry


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Rajma (Hindi ) / Red Kidney Bean (English) ,though not a native of Indian bean variety,has gained popularity in North Indian Cuisine and is an inevitable part of any North Indian feast.
This bean was brought to the Indian sub continent from Central Mexico and Guatemala.
Some of the best grown rajma is from Jammu,India. They are small in shape and deep red in color with a slightly sweet taste.

Rajma  is a hard bean and takes time to cook,hence needs to be soaked for more than 10-12 hrs.
The gravy/curry is made using whole Indian spices and is a perfect accompaniment with steaming hot rice or rotis.

Nutrition Facts
100 grams of boiled Rajma beans contain 140 calories. 5.7 grams of protein, 5.9 grams of fat and nearly 17.8 grams of carbohydrate

Preparation Time : 12-24 hrs
Cooking Time : 40 mins
Serves : 3-4

Rajma Masala / Red Kidney Bean Curry

April 17, 2013

Southekaai (Vellarikaai) Kosambri / Indian Style Cucumber Salad


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Southekaai (Kannada) / Vellarikaai (Tamil) / Khira (Hindi) / Dosekaya (Telugu) / Cucumber is a sought after vegetable used in most Salads or curries which have a lot of vitamins and health benefits.
Fresh green cucumbers may be had as it is without any additions.The yellow cucumber variety also popularly known as Indian Cucumber is widely used in South India in stews,curries and gravies.

As a child ,cucumber has always been a summer special vegetable where in we would have the cool cucumber slices with a little salt and paprika sprinkled over  to beat the afternoon scorching sun.Now that it is summer now,you can include this simple salad in your daily meal.Quick to make and provides the necessary nutrients required .
This salad is a part of any South Indian festive meal especially during Rama Navami,a handful of soaked moong dhall is added to this salad and is offered to Lord Sri Rama as Neivedhiyam / Prasadam. This salad is also called as Vadai Paruppu in most Tamil house holds.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Serves : 3-4

Ingredients

2-3 medium sized green cucumber
2 tbsp grated coconut 
1 tsp pepper powder  
Finely  chopped corriander
salt 
For Tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dhall
1/2 tsp channa dhall
pinch of asafoetida 

Method

  • Peel and wash the cucumber. Ensure that,you trim of the ends using knife and rub the ends to bring out the sticky, off-white, fluid like oozing substance. It helps to lessen bitter taste from the cucumber.
  • Cut them into fine small cubes and put it in a mixing bowl.
  • Prepare the tempering using the ingredients listed under Tempering .
  • Add the grated coconut,tempering,pepper powder to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  • Add salt just before serving and not well in advance else the salad will become soggy and the crispness of the cucumber will be lost.
  • Garnish with fresh corriander. 
  • Salad can be served chilled or in room temperature.
Notes :
  • For those who love tangy flavor,a teaspoon of lime juice or small bits of raw mango can be added for that extra taste.


April 16, 2013

Dal Palak / Spinach Lentil Gravy


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Palak Dal or Dal Palak is a very comforting side dish for plain rice,rotis (Indian Flat Bread) or any flavored rice.
After having tried this at many Indian restaurants,I thought of making this at home with a bunch of fresh spinach sitting in my fridge and giving me all  the inviting looks and tempting me to go ahead and make this yummy spicy tasty dal :-)

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Dal Palak/Spinach Lentil Gravy

Puli Aval / Gojju Avalakki/ Tamarind Poha / Huli Avlakki


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Puli Aval (Tamil : Puli - Tangy ; Aval - Beaten/Pressed Rice)
OR
GojjuAvalakki (Kannada : Gojju- Tamarind sauce with spices ; Avalakki - Beaten/Pressed Rice)-- popular dish from Karnataka.

 A quick snack which can be made either for breakfast or evening tea time snack .Comes very handy even if you have unannounced guests who drop in suddenly.
 
This is my mom's recipe and I just love this. Since it is my favorite,it used to be a part of lunch box menu during school days. I had quite forgotten about this snack until one day when my mom reminded me of this yummy dish when I was asking her to suggest me a quick sumptuous breakfast.

**Picture updated on Oct 9 2021


Gojju avlakki is also prepared on festive days in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as an offering for the lord .  Puli aval is prepared during Navratri , Narsimha Jayanthy and  Krishna Janmashtami.




Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2-3

Jain Version : Use roasted cashewnuts in place of peanuts.

Ingredients

1.5 cups thick poha /flattened rice
4-5 tbsp tamarind extract (soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice)
1 tbsp sambar powder or rasam powder 
1 tsp grated jaggery
salt to taste
pinch of turmeric
For Tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp udad dhall
handful of peanuts/groundnuts
2-3 dry red chillies
curry leaves - few number
pinch of asafoetida

Method

  • Wash the poha twice well under running water in clean the dust and unwanted particles.
  • To this soaked poha add tamarind water,sambar powder,turmeric,jaggery,salt and mix well with a fork.Rest for about 7-8 mins.Do not mix too much as it will break the poha.
  • If you need  a little more spice ,add in some more sambar powder according to your taste.

  • In a kadai/skillet,heat a little oil . First fry the groundnuts until the skin separates.
  • Next add the mustard seeds,as it crackles add channa dhall,udad dhall,red chillies ,curry leaves & asafoetida.
  • Add in the marinated poha and mix well and cook covered for about 4-5 mins.
  • Sprinkle some water lightly if the poha feels too dry.
  • Serve hot with some cool curd and roasted papads / potato chips.

Notes:
If you like you may add a little grated coconut just before serving.





April 13, 2013

Dal Tadka / Tarka Dal - Vegan , Jain , Saatvik friendly


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Tadka / Tarka / Chhaunk/ Thaalippu are various terms used to denote seasoning  or tempering which is added to a dish either just before serving or at the beginning before the actual cooking commences.


Ingredients typically used for tadka /tarka are mustard seeds, cumin seeds,dry red chillies,asafoetida,cloves,fenugreek etc. Every region has some additions or subractions to the ingredients which form the seasoning.South Indian cuisine has black mustard seeds,urad dhall and channa dal as ingredients for tadka while the North Indian cuisine uses more of cumin,fennel,cloves,bay leaves,cardamoms for seasoning.

Phodni(Marathi),Thallipu(Tamil),Oggarne(Kannada),Vaghaar(Gujrati) are some other terms which are used to denote seasoning/tempering.

Dal Tadka is a simple but healthy side dish cooked using a single variety of lentil or a combination of lentils with medium spices and then finally seasoning it with cumin seeds,asafoetida,red chillies in ghee.
A perfect accompaniment for fulka rotis,jeera rice ,pulav or even simple steamed rice.


A Saatvik version of Dal Tadka can be easily made by skipping the use of Onion and Garlic and follow the other method as is .

To make the Dal Jain friendly ,omit the ginger ,garlic and onions. 

Vegan friends can also enjoy Dal tadka by using cooking oil in place of Ghee /clarified butter.


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Complexity - easy 
Serves : 3-4

Ingredients

3/4 cup toor dhall /split pigeon peas
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
2-4 green chillies chopped (adjust spice level as per your taste)
small piece of ginger chopped finely
1 tsp garlic paste / one pod garlic chopped finely
pinch of turmeric
fresh corriander chopped
For Tadka
2-3 tsp ghee / cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida

Method

  • Clean and wash the toor dhall.
  • In a pressure cooker,add the thoor dhall,onions,tomatoes,ginger,garlic,green chillies and turmeric.
  • Add sufficient water and pressure cook for about 2-3 whistles or until the dhall is cooked well and mushy.
  • Release the pressure and check for the dal's consistency.If too thick add a little water and adjust.You can decide what consistency you prefer. Add required amount of salt.
  • Prepare the seasoning using the ingredients listed under the Tadka section and pour all over the cooked dhall.
  • Serve hot with rice,chapati or any flavored rice.
Notes
  • Instead of using just toor dhall,combination of channa dall,moong dhall and toor dhall can be used.
  • After you release the pressure,mash the dhall with the back of a ladle or with a masher before adding the tadka.
  • Add just the necessary amount of water to cook the dhall,else it will be too watery.
**Photos and write up edited on 2nd Oct 2021

April 11, 2013

Avial | Aviyal - Kerala Special


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Avial - a very popular Kerala dish at the same time has a very prominent role in Tamil Cuisine as well.Served as a part of any festive menu or a feast .
A thick mixture of vegetables,curd,coconut gravy and coconut oil seasoning,is a must for Keralaities as a part of their Onam or Vishu Sadhya (Vegetarian Feast Menu).
Vegetables such as Plaintains,elephant yam,carrots,beans,peas,snake gourd,drumstick
pumpkin,potato are used in the preparation of Avial.
Needless to say,I am a fan of Kerala cuisine and this is another favorite of mine. With Ugadi,Vishu and Tamil new Year round the corner,I am sure avial would be a part of your festive menu :-)

Wishing all my readers best wishes for Ugadi,Vishu and Tamil Varusha Parappu . May god bless you and your family with good health,cheer and prosperity.


Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity - medium 



Ingredients

1-2 medium sized potato
1 raw banana / vazhakkai
2 carrots
1 drumstick 
100 gms french beans
100 gms elephant yam
150 gms pumpkin / ash gourd
100 gms peas (fresh /frozen)
3/4 cup grated coconut coconut (fresh/frozen)
4-5 green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 -2 tbsp coconut oil
curry leaves few
3 tbsp thick curd /yogurt


Method

  • Cut all the vegetables into thick and long pieces.
  • Grind the coconut,green chillies and cumin into a fine paste
  • In a thick bottomed vessel,add the vegetables with required amount of salt  and very little water and cook until the vegetables are cooked . The vegetables must be firm and not turn mushy.
  • (Add vegetables like beans,carrot,yam,drumstick,potato in the bottom as they take more time to get cooked and then add the pumpkin,peas,raw banana over them as cooking time is less.)
  • Drain excess water if any after all the vegetables are cooked,add the coconut oil,ground coconut paste,curry leaves ,mix well simmer and bring to a boil.Turn off the stove.Cool well.
  • Once cooled,add the yogurt and mix well.
  • Do not add the curd when hot,it will not taste good and turn watery.
  • Serve with hot sambar and steamed rice as a side dish. If you like you may mix avial and rice as well.
  • Adai and Avial is another classic combination

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A thick mixture of vegetables,curd,coconut gravy and coconut oil seasoning,is a must for Keralaities as a part of their Onam or Vishu Sadhya (Vegetarian Feast Menu). Vegetables such as Plaintains,elephant yam,carrots,beans,peas,snake gourd,drumstick pumpkin,potato are used in the preparation of Avial.



April 10, 2013

Appalam Vatha Kuzhambu/Papad in Spicy Tamarind gravy


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Tamilians need no introduction to Vatha Kuzhambu/Kulambu and for others who are wondering as to what is this..let me tell you,its a spicy ,tangy tamarind gravy with home ground spices which is boiled and reduced to a slightly thicker consistency in comparison to sambar.
Veggies like bhindi/okra /lady's finger ,pumpkin,drumstick ,onions can also be used in the preparation.
This new version of using Papads/Appalam in the vatha kuzhambu ,I tasted after my marriage when my MIL had prepared  and she taught me. I am a huge fan of vatha kuzhambu,so goes without saying I liked this form of vatha kuzhambu too. :-)


Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
Serves : 3-4


 

Vegetable Dum Biryani


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Sorry Folks ,for a long silence. I just dont know kept me off from posting one of my favorite recipes which I have been meaning to do from a long time.Certain unexpected things cropped up which needed my attention.

Biryani has been a very sought after dish in the Indian cuisine slowly gaining popularity world wide.
There are ever so many varieties which are famous such as the Hyderabadi Biryani,Awadhi(Lucknowi Biryani),Ambur Biryani, Malabar Biryani ,Bombay Biryani and the list is endless.
The non veg variety consists of chicken,mutton,egg in addition to the veggies and spices.
The flavour from fresh spices and home ground spice powders fills it with all the flavor and makes the recipe all the more inviting and appetizing.

Without further delay,I shall post the recipe for vegetable biryani.For the non veg lovers,you can use chicken,mutton or egg in combination to the veggies.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 60 - 90 mins
Serves : 3-4

Veg Dum Biryani

April 05, 2013

Watermelon Nei Appam / Watermelon Dumplings


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I prefer eating plain watermelon or watermelon juice. I had never even thought of using watermelon in any other form or a cuisine.
On seeing Sizzling Tastebuds' event Magic Mingle #16 (MM16) with main ingredients as Rice and Watermelon, is when I started to think how to use it with rice so that the flavor and taste of watermelon is not lost on combining with rice.
I finally decided to make "Nei Appam" using watermelon. The traditional Nei appam is made by soaking the rice and grinding it with jaggery and then pouring them in the paniyaram pan and cooking on slow fire.I tweaked this recipe a little bit to accomodate the flavor of watermelon.I was a little doubtful while making wondering about the taste and texture. To my surprise it turned out really well and the flavor and taste of watermelon could be felt in each bite.The softness of the appams was also retained.

Preparation Time : 2 hours
Cooking Time : 15 20 mins
Makes about 15-20 appams

Watermelon Nei Appam

April 03, 2013

Veg Hakka Noodles


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I am not a very great fan of Chinese food,at the same time don't mind having it once in a way.On the contrary,my hubby likes to have Chinese food.I have thought to make either fried rice or hakka noodles many a times,but somehow the thought never materialized and it remained as a thought.
Alas,one day when I was at the Indian grocery store ,I saw this pack of hakka noodles and put it in my cart.Even then I wasn't sure,if I would end up making it. Here at this point in time,I must thank my hubby who convinced me saying we can make it and we made it for dinner sometime back.
I was running short of spring onions ,so I took that as an excuse to shy away the preparation,but he forced me to go ahead and try devoid of the spring onions. It turned out well and finally I overcame the inhibition of  "I cannot cook Chinese food" :-)

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2

Veg Hakka Noodles

Erissery | Mathan Erissery | Mathanga Erisery - Kerala Sadhya (vegan & GF)


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Avial,Kalan,Olan,Erissery,More Kootan,Pappadam,Paal Payasam ...oooh my mouth is watering :-)

By now you all must have guessed that I am talking of typical Palakkad/  Kerala /Mallu cuisine

**photos and write up editted on 19/10/2020

Erissery is a traditional recipe from the Palakkad / Kerala kitchens..prepared using yam , pumpkin , raw banana or drumsticks it is a coconutty flavored gravy .mathanga erisery , mathan erissery , chena erishery, erishery , yeriseri , yeriiseri , kaaya erisery


D,my best friend is a malayali and I was introduced to all of these food right from my childhood .Her grandma,whom we lovingly call as AMMAMA is a wonderful cook.D would love to eat food cooked by my Mom and I would love Ammama's food.Days are countless when we have had food in each other's home.Holidays or vacations were the times we would just wait for..Playing around all the time in either of our homes and then lunch would be a sudden plan depending on our mood and the home where we are playing.We would immediately inform our parents about our lunch plan.Our parents were so nice that they would immediately oblige to our request and we would enjoy the simple meal as a huge feast :-)

Oh !! I just got nostalgic and went down the memory lane. Well,a long story short,this recipe of erissery has been given to me by my dear D's MIL.

I followed exactly the same steps as told by her and it just turned out well. She gave me the recipe using pumpkin (orange variety). Mathanga / Mathan Erissery as it called is malayalam. 

I am also including in the recipe how to make using yam or Vazhakkai/ Kaaya ( raw banana) in case you don't have red pumpkin on hand .

Jain version :  Use red pumpkin (laal bhopla) or Raw banana (kaccha kela/vazhakkai)

Erissery is a traditional recipe from the Palakkad / Kerala kitchens..prepared using yam , pumpkin , raw banana or drumsticks it is a coconutty flavored gravy .mathanga erisery , mathan erissery , chena erishery, erishery , yeriseri , yeriiseri , kaaya erisery



Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 35 - 40 mins
Serves : 2-3

Ingredients

Jain version :  Use red pumpkin (laal bhopla) or Raw banana (kaccha kela/vazhakkai)

250 gms pumpkin/yam
1/2 cup karamani /black eye peas
1 cup grated coconut
3-4 dry red chillies (spicy variety)
1 tsp cumin seeds /jeera
pinch of turmeric
salt
For seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
few nos fresh curry leaves
2-3 tsp coconut oil

Method
  •  Cut the yam/ pumpkin into cubes and boil it using a little turmeric and salt
  •  Soak the karamani over night and pressure cook it until soft with a little turmeric and salt.
  •  Grind 3/4 cup of coconut,red chillies and jeera into a fine paste.
  • Add the paste to the boiled veggies ,karamani and mix well and bring to a boil.Adjust salt as per taste.
  • Do not add too much water,the gravy has to be a little thick in consistency. 
  • Prepare the seasoning by spluttering the mustard seeds in coconut oil.
  • Add the fresh curry leaves and remaining coconut scrapings and saute until the coconut turns a little brown.
  • Pour this over the erissery and mix well.Serve hot
 
Notes:
  • The main essence and flavor of erissery is in the usage of coconut oil,so please do not skip that.
  • If using Raw Plantain replace yam or pumpkin by these two ingredients.
  • I have seen recipes that say a combination of Raw Plantain and yam can be used in 50-50 proprtion.

Pin 📌  it up for future 

Erissery is a traditional recipe from the Palakkad / Kerala kitchens..prepared using yam , pumpkin , raw banana or drumsticks it is a coconutty flavored gravy .mathanga erisery , mathan erissery , chena erishery, erishery , yeriseri , yeriiseri , kaaya erisery