Showing posts with label indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label indian. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kerala Fish Cutlets & Brussel Sprouts

There's ALWAYS fish in my parent's house. 

At any moment, you'll find fish in all of its different forms in our house - big fish, small fish, curried fish, fried fish, dried fish, pickled fish, canned fish, and it keeps going... Thats what happens when your parents are from Kerala (a south indian coastal state), where "fish" is a way of life.

My sis and I quickly got tired of fish, eating it everyday. But somehow our parents never did! 

It was only after moving out of the house I missed eating fish curry and fried fish. Im too scared to try and make my mom's amazing fish curry. Instead,I made something that had flavors reminiscent of my mom's fish curry but way simpler - Fish Cutlets!

spicy fish cutlets

The following is my mom's recipe but as Ive mentioned before, my mom, mom-in-law nor I cook with exact measurements. I realize many of you would like exact measurements - so I found a comparable recipe online from

Tuna Fish (canned) - I used the tuna fish variety that is not canned but fresh sealed without oil.
Onion(chopped) - I used green onions
Green chillies(chopped) - 4
Garlic paste  - 2 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Potatoes - 3
(boiled & mashed)
Black Pepper  - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - As reqd
Garam masala - 2 tsp (can be found in any Indian grocery store and some specialty grocery stores)
Oil - 4 tbsp
Bread crumbs - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 3
Oil for deep frying - 2 cups 

1 stalk of curry leaves - thinly sliced 

1. mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl (except the oil for frying)
2. form into patties and arrange onto a sheet  
3. once oil is hot,  shallow or deep fry one or two at a time *I hardly deep fry anything but these were an exception - Im sure they would actually be very good baked as well!*
4. remove and allow to drain on paper towels.
5. serve with ketchup, hot sauce, etc  - i loved it with Sriracha (garlic chili sauce)! So good!

To serve with the yummy fish cutlets, I whipped up Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts! I never grew up eating this adorable vegetable (reminds me of a baby cabbage) and learned to love it just recently. 

buttery brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts (you can use fresh but to be quick I used the steam-in-bag frozen variety - theyre amazing!)
Butter or Margarine

1. Steam brussel sprouts and cut in half
2. warm butter in a pan and once golden brown, toss in brussel sprouts (non-stick pan is likely best to keep veggies from sticking)
3. toss with salt and pepper
4. serve hot

Another wonderful food blogger - Shabunam from was kind enough to pass along a very nice award to this blog - The Stylish Blogger Award. Thank you Shabunam!

Following the rules of the award I have to share seven things about me .

1. I NEVER watch scary movies. ( I  usually look up the ending on so I dont feel left out in conversations )
2. I just recently discovered that I LOVE food photography.
3.Im a 4th generation Seventh-Day Adventist (Christian) where vegetarianism and veganism is not only accepted but encouraged! (I might try it one day : j )
4. My husband is an excellent cook as well.
5. Ive never met another person with the same name as me (Jasmol)
6. The last book I read was One Hundered Years of Solitude by Marquez  (awesome)
7. Thanks to my mom, dad, husband, sisters, brother and best friends - I have laughed every single day of my life : j

Im happy to pass on this award to these wonderful bloggers and wished I could choose more!: 


Here are the rules of the award:

1.  Thank the blogger who presented this award to me, make a post, and put a link back to the person/s who gave me this award.
2.  Share 7 things about myself.

3.  Pass the award along to 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4.  Contact these bloggers and personally tell them about the award.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to Eat Like a South Indian

Daddy, me (3yo) and Mommy
the year we came to the US
I have to admit that while I love cooking – both Indian food and otherwise, I am quite intimidated particularly by SOUTH Indian cuisine.

Most likely because I grew up in a South Indian (Malayalee) home, eating some of the tastiest meals of my life! – Fish Curry, Appam (rice pancakes), Coconut Fish Curry, Chicken Curry, Payasam (vermicelli pudding), Fish Fry, Dosai (rice crepes), etc. etc.  

With memories of those lovely meals are also flashes of the blurred image of my mom darting throughout the kitchen, grabbing a host of different ingredients from here and there – then crushing, roasting, frying, blending, sautéing, simmering, steaming – seemingly almost all at once! 

To top it off there were several “gadgets” she used, the likes of which would never be found in a North Indian home, let alone an American or European home. Ever heard of a “puttu maker” or “idli steamer” or “seated coconut grater”? I thought so. : j

One of my most favorite combinations is Idli (fluffy rice cakes), Sambar (tangy vegetable stew) and Coconut Chutney. This meal is not complete unless you have all three components. While I stood watching my mom or other aunties in their kitchens, I remember making a mental note that making any of the three would be too complicated to attempt.

But finally, my craving for the delicious tangy, coconut-y, spicy meal got the best of me! I had to try my hand at making this.


There was no way I was going to grind the idli batter from fresh rice (like my mom has). So I did the next best thing –  I bought a “Gits” brand Idli mix from my local Indian store! : j But one thing still stood in my way – I didn’t have the big clunky idli maker! Out of desperation, I googled “how to make idlis without an idli maker” and found almost nothing. Then, I happened upon a post by TesatHome on making idlis.  She had the genius idea of using your rice cooker and cupcake liners. I expounded on that with the addition of cookie cutters to give the idlis a nice shape. And it turned out amazing – Take a look!


Gits Idli mix – prepare according to directions

1. Set up rice cooker with a  colander or steam basket over top. Or on a stove top fill a pan with water and place a flat bottom colander over it (careful to not let the water touch the colander) and place a lid over that.
2. flatten out a couple cupcake liners and set them in the steam basket
3. place the cookie cutter on top of the cupcake liner
4. spoon idli mixture in to the cookie cutter(s) *optional place a cilantro leaf, tomato, ground coconut, etc as garnish in the middle of the batter*
5. cover and steam for ~10 minutes or until no longer runny/raw
6. be careful when removing cookie cutters from steam basket and pop out idlis – TA DA!


I have a secret – I like restaurant sambar better than my mom’s homemade version.  Is that terrible? I just really loved the Sambar Ive had, especially at Udipi Palace , a great Indian restaurant chain in the US.  This was another intimidating dish that I never thougt I could make and only recently attempted.

I found a great recipe online at  for the not-so-top-secret, delicious Udipi Restaurant Sambar recipe. No prepackaged Sambar powder here – I was doing this for real.  Yikes!! Honestly, it was several more steps than what my mom or mom-in-law do but it definitely was the Udipi Sambar that I love! (drumsticks (the long green vegetable seen below)  and all!)

Coconut Chutney

If I was going through the trouble of making Idli and Sambar, I HAD to make coconut chutney too! Here is a (surprisingly) simple and deeeelish recipe! Part of the recipe is actually cooked (tempered/tadka) and then added to the fresh coconut. This is definitely the secret to authentic coconut chutney!

Please excuse me while I go stuff my face.   again.