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November 15, 2019

Pazham Vaattiyathu – Caramelized Plaintains : A Guestpost by Rafeeda | Guestpost Series #21

In the world of Virtual friendships, its often assumed tht the real is virtual and the virtual is real. Blogging since 2011 has taken me virtually to so many cuisines, so many kitchens and so many hearts. 

One such amazing person is Rafeeda who shares her lip smacking heirloom recipe - Pazham Vaattiyathu - with us on this month's edition of Guestposts here at SizzlingTastebuds. If you are a newcomer to this blog or curious to read earlier heirloom Guestposts by many of my wonderful blogger friends , head here.

Rafeeda is a wonderful blogger bringing both world cuisine and her family style Malabar style cooking at her blog -
The Big Sweet Tooth

She so kindly consented to do this amazing recipe and guestpost and shares with us some wonderful memories in her inimitable, friendly banter. Thank you Rafeeda for doing this.. Over to her in her own words...


A very big hello to the readers of “The Sizzling Tastebuds”… 

I am excited to be on Kalyani’s space as a guest this month. Kalyani’s is one of the earliest blogs I had followed when I was hit by the cooking bug, way back in 2012, if I am not mistaken. I had bookmarked a lot of interesting vegetarian recipes during that time from her blog and even cooked some. In fact, I must say that hers was among the handful of blogs which actually motivated me to start my little space. When her email came with an invite to be a guest on her space, I blinked tw-ice, just wanting to believe that I have actually received an email! So here I am… :-

A little about myself – my name is Rafeeda, a Keralite who has been bought up in UAE, which is literally my second home. I am a working mother of two fast growing girls. My blog, “The Big Sweet Tooth” was started just to keep my interest in cooking, since I am a very lazy cook and can get bored very fast. I have been blogging for five plus years now and it has been a roller coaster ride so far. My blog, though has variety of recipes, tries to focus of keeping a note of Malabar recipes as well as Emirati cuisine as well.

Kalyani had mentioned that she would like me to bring along a forgotten/ rare recipe that my family cooks. I had a hard time trying to figure out what I would give her. After brainstorming lots of ideas, my mind suddenly went to this super simple dish umma used to make when we had impromptu guests. Now, every Keralite home would have stock of nenthrapazhams/ ripe plantains at any given time. It serves as a quick breakfast if you wake up late, a perfect snack for afternoon tea-time or even a filling dinner if you are not in a mood to feast! We either boil our plantains till soft, or make them in this form, or fry them up – an international favorite! The recipe is actually too simple, that I was a little ashamed to give this as a post. But thinking about it, I realized that sometimes it is the thought and feeling that matter behind a recipe, more than the recipe itself at times!

Umma would cut the nenthrapazhams into strips. She would then heat up generous amount of RKG ghee or coconut oil, depending upon what is available. She would fry up both the sides, sprinkling sugar as she goes till it gets a very caramelized appearance. I have noticed that nowadays people post this recipe calling them banana coins, where the pazham is sliced into roundels or if sliced long, then rolled up in a fancy shape and held on with a toothpick. Whatever it is, the method of making still remains the same. Super simple, yet so addictive…

I sincerely have no clue what this dish is called, so I call it Pazham Vaattiyath for naming sake. We would call it “naavu”, which means “tongue”, since they do look like them. And like all kids, we would wait for the guests to return back the plate with something in it so that we could attack it. Alas, it would come back empty because the combination of it hot with a cup of sulaimani is unparalleled! We would then nag her and then she would lazily make some just for us. Despite being really simple, umma would refrain making it for us citing how unhealthy it is due to the amount of ghee and sugar that goes into making this. :D

Lurking for some time in my thoughts, I decided to make this for the girls and HD. Thank God for instant home delivery, I landed up with a couple of nicely ripe plantains and quickly made them. As soon as the shot was done, the plate was wiped clean by them. HD then remarked, “I remember umma making this very long back. Why haven’t you made it in such a long time?” I gave him the same response that umma would give us. ;)

Pazham Vaattiyathu – Caramelized Plaintains
Serves 2


2 ripe plantains
1 tbsp ghee
Sugar as required


Peel the plantains and cut them into long strips.
Heat the ghee in a frying pan and layer one side of the plantains. Sprinkle some sugar on the top side and flip after a minute.
Sprinkle some more sugar on the flipped side and cook both sides till sufficiently caramelized.
Drain onto a plate and serve hot.


You can use ghee or coconut oil for frying.
We sometimes sprinkle some freshly grated coconut and a sprinkling of cardamom powder for added flavor.

Thank you so much Kalyani for waking up something that was so conveniently forgotten… J I am still feeling guilty of keeping it really simple, but I sincerely hope you will like this post. Wishing you only the best in your blogging journey forward, and once again thank you for having me around here…

November 2, 2019

Roundup of MLLA 132 with 9 delicious Protein-based dishes..

It's always a delight to host MLLA (My Legume Love Affair) that's steered superbly by Lisa over the years...

  In the past, I had hosted editions 1309791 and 58. Simple, everyday protein dishes (using lentils / legumes). This is a roundup of my hosting edition 132   

Thank you Lisa, for another opportunity to do this. We have entries from 9 wonderful bloggers who have pitched in with their wonderful recipes. and the recap is under.. 

Thank you once again for all your dishes, and look forward to your delicious entries in the forthcoming editions too ! 


In alphabetical order of Blogger (first) names, we have:

Archana's  Kala Channa Sundal : a perfect snack (Vegan too !!) for the 4 pm hunger pangs or a Navratri offering / Naivedyam

Kalyani's dish (from my blog) Andhra Tomato Pappu - a simple, delicuous Vegan, GF tangy dal that will perk up your everyday meal.

Lisa's Urad Dal with Coconut and fried Shallots is a gastronomical delight with so many textures all playing their part well in this proteinaceous dish ..

Narmadha - Curry leaves powder : a healthy, vegan condiment with steamed Rice / Idli / Dosa that is sure to fancy up your breakfast or lunch

Priya Iyer's Karuppu Mochai  Sundal is surely a colourful vegan snack that you won't mind make making frequently as its filling, nutritious and low carb too !

Priya Vijay's Chataka Chole is assuredly a dish that will leave your tastebuds tingling ! 

Who said Lentils can be used only in Savory ? Check out Renu's Besan Ladoo - a festival favourite sweet that's made even more delicious with so many helpful tips that Renu has shared. 

I personally love stews and broths at this time of the year when its slightly nippy towards the evening, so Shaheen's Veg and Chickpea Tagine recipe is at the right time 

Sublime comfort is the tagline for Swaty's Sookhi Urad Dal - a dish that's surely gonna make you go for second helpings with its simple, fuss-free flavour.  

October 31, 2019

Andhra Tomato Pappu | Vegan, GF Side dish

Andhra tomato Pappu or Tomato Pappu as it’s sometimes called is a delicacy I have been wanting to post here. We make a lot of dals at home as part of the everyday meal with rice / roti . While Chole features fortnightly, Dal makhani is reserved for special occasions. We are not great Rajma fans, so that gets done rarely. 

Tomato Pappu is a quick and delicious side dish that goes great with hot steamed rice as well as hot phulkas. Of late, I have been making this very often as my little one likes the oil-redulant tadka (tempering) I make on top. She calls it Dal tadka - version 2. 

Usually made with Tur dal , I usually add a handful of moong (split green dal) to add a little more creaminess to this. Prep to finish shouldnt take you more than 15 mins , you can also make this dish ahead for lunch / dinner. 

Andhra spice can vary from hot to fiercely spicy. This dal uses 3 kinds of spice as was taught by my neighbour back in Bangalore - green chillies, ginger and Red chillies. Use ripe tomato for best results.

Let’s get this started as this dish makes it way to sshh cooking secret challenge and uses two ingredients - cumin and chillies - that me and Renu (my partner this month) that we both shared. Do check out the Spicy fiery Garlic spice powder that she made for this challenge. 

Prep time - 10 min, cook time -10 mins ; serves -3 adults 

What you need:
  • Toor dal / pigeon pea - 1/3 cup
  • Moong dal - a small handful / 2 tsp 
  • Oil / ghee - 2 tsp (split use)
  • Ginger - 1 inch chopped 
  • Green chillies - chopped
  • Turmeric - 1 pinch 
  • Garlic - 2 medium pods, minced (I didn’t use)
  • Tomato - ripe 1 large or 2 medium - cubed
  • Salt to taste
  • Tempering - mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp chilli powder,  cumin seeds, red chillies broken 2-3
  • Chopped coriander - 2 tsp for garnish 

How to:
Wash and soak the dals in warm water while the tomatoes are prepped. In a small pressure pan, add half the ghee / oil , add the soaked dals with the water, garlic, green chillies, tomato, salt, turmeric and pressure cook for 2 whistles adding 250 ml water. Let the pressure come down on its own.

Mash up the dal a bit , let it simmer on low for 5-6 mins. Adjust salt and spice. Now in a smal pan / tadka pan, heat the remaining ghee / oil. Splutter mustard and cumin. Then switch off , add the broken chillies, chilli powder and swirl it a bit and add the tadka to the dal. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice / Phulkas. 

Sending this to the following events:

 MLLA 132 that I am hosting this month : an event ably led by Lisa.

October 21, 2019

Badusha | How to make Badusha | Balushahi | Diwali Sweets

Happy Diwali to all my readers !! May you have a blessed , safe and joyous Diwali with your family and friends... 

And a long Post alert :)

Diwali - the festival of lights. Fond memories of Amma making her signature Mixture (savoury namkeen / Faral), Kobbari Mithai (Copra Pak / Coconut Fudge) every year. The day used to start with Ganga Snanam  (early morning bath with Til Oil liberally massaged over the hair and body and washed off with Shikakai - Soapnut powder - this was way before Shampoos came into the market). Then we would rush to the road with our secret stash of crackers at 5am and burst the first Lakshmi pattas ,atom bomb, bijili etc.. 


There were two ultra rich families on our street, and the competition between them was fierce on who would burn the most crackers (read money) ,.. of course it delighted us as we took sides and even bet as to who would win !! Of course , till I moved to Mumbai, I didn’t know that the Lakshmi Puja on the Amavas was significant to one family while the Naraka Chaturdasi (Chaudas) was significant to another. 

As kids, we didn’t worry too much about air or sound pollution. Lighting the evening diyas, arranging them on the compound wall, and indulging in sweets, savouries and another huge round of crackers was the norm. 


Invariably, it was a rain-drenched Diwali in the South every year, so half the crackers didn’t light up, while the other half would fizzle out before burning fully.  Yet, as kids we looked forward to crackers, sweets and endless supply of homemade snacks…

Ahh … this is truly making me nostalgic…. 

Today’s sweet - Badusha (a.k.a Balushahi) is one of my favourites, mostly made by my pati (Nani) during Janmashtami for the Bhog. No matter what else she made - Omapudi / Maida Biscuit /  Maa Ladoo  this was one sweet I realised I was crazy about. I have tried a small batch for Diwali this year, and am very happy with the results. 

Do check out the Tips at the end for best results

Let’s get to see how to make Badusha as this goes to #DiwaliDhamaka at our group @FoodieMondayBloghop.

Prep time - 15 + 15 mins, Cook time - 20 mins, Makes - 8-10 small badusha

You need:
Maida / All Purpose flour - 1 cup (200 ml)
Ghee / Shortening - 3 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
Curd / yogurt - 2 tbsp
Cold water - to knead
Oil - to deep fry

Sugar syrup :
Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
Water - 4 TBSP +2 tsp
Kewra / Vanilla essence / Saffron strands- few drops (opt.)
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp  
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp (to prevent crystallisation) 

How to:
Rub the ghee or shortening into the salted maida till it resembles crumbs (this will take 4-8 mins). Add curd and cold water 1 tsp at a time and knead to a semi soft dough. Cover and keep for 10 mins while you make the syrup.
Make the syrup to 1-1.5 string consistency. Add the cardamom powder / essence and keep aside. Let the syrup remain warm. Add the lemon juice and stir well. 
Pinch out a lemon sized ball of the dough. Make pleats as shown on the collage above. Keep all the badusha ready (keep them covered to prevent them from going dry)
Heat adequate oil (about 1-125 cups) to fry. Gently slide the badusha one by one  into the oil, (don’t over crowd your pan) and cook on medium flame till it turns golden brown and the hissing stops.
Drain to a colander and then soak in the warm sugar syrup for 3-4 mins. Then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a greased / parchment lined tray. Repeat till all is fried and soaked.
Store in airtight container . Keeps upto a week without refrigeration. 

Notes / Tips:

  1. Use fresh maida / flour and ghee for best results. 
  2. If using butter as shortening, prefer the unsalted one. Else the badusha will turn very salty
  3. Sugar syrup has to be warm for soaking. If it turns too thick, add 1-2 drops of water and keep on flame for 1 min, it will turn normal
  4. You can add desiccated coconut / powdered sugar or nuts as topping. We prefer it plain.
  5. Don’t over crowd the pan else the temperature of the oil will come down. Fry on medium flame only. 
Other Diwali Sweets you may like on this blog:

Kashi Halwa (a.k.a Damrot)

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