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Some Indian cities are known for their age old civilization while others

for their modernity and development. There are others that lift people's heart with their absolute simplicity and harmony.
   
The barren and semi-arid regions of Thar Desert stand divided between
India and Pakistan. An enormous stretch of hot sand mountains, Thar Desert yields sal and gypsum. The very little rainfall and severe climate makes it an ideal desert experience. To tap it all the people are warm and gracious and ever ready to amuse the guests with their folk dance and music performances in their distinctive colorful dresses, camel and elephant rides.
ADA PRADHAMAN
Short grain rice(Unakkalari) 250 gm
Jaggery 750 gm
Ghee 200 gm 
Coconut oil 50 gm
Cardamom(Elakka) 10 gm
Coconut 3 nos
Plantain leaves(Vazha ela) 8 pieces
Cashewnuts 50 gm
Raisins(Onakkamunthiri) 25 gm
  METHOD
  1. Soak unakkalari in water for 30 mins. Later, strain it.
  2. When it becomes dry, grind it to a very fine powder.
    :- Make sure you donít have any lumps in the powder.
  3. Place the plantain leaves directly on the gas flame till the colour changes.
    :- This is done to make the leaves more flexible and more aromatic.
  4. Add coconut oil, 100 gm of jaggery(diluted in water) to the finely powdered rice and mix well.
  5. Add sufficient water and knead the whole thing very well.
    :- You can check the consistency by dropping a portion of the dough from your hand. It should not be too thick or too thin. The consistency should be that of dosa batter.
  6. Pour the batter through your hands very thinly on the plantain leaves. Roll them and tie them up on both sides with the plantain threads/strings.
  7. Boil water in a big vessel.
  8. Place the tied plantain leaves filled with ada batter, in the boiling water for 30 mins.
  9. Remove from the hot water and strain it.
  10. Pour cold water over it and make it cool.
  11. Take out the adas from the leaves and place them in a strainer.
  12. Dissolve jaggery in a pan (preferably Urali).
  13. Cut the ada into fine pieces.
  14. When the jaggery solution thickens, add the ada pieces.
  15. Stir well and add ghee in between.
  16. Grate the coconuts and extract 2 cups of thick coconut milk, 4 cups of thin coconut milk and 8 cups of very thin coconut milk.
  17. When the payasam gets reduced, add 8 cups of very thin coconut milk and mix well. Allow it to thicken.
  18. When the ada gets cooked and the payasam gets reduced, add the 4 cups of thin coconut milk and mix well.
  19. When it too gets reduced and thickens, add the 2 cups of thick coconut milk.
  20. Add powdered cardamom and mix well.
  21. Heat it through.
    :- Do not boil.
BANANA CHIPS
Unripe Plantains(Paccha kkai) A few large ones
Oil for frying
  METHOD
  1. Take plantains and cut them into half.
  2. Remove the skin.
  3. Heat oil and when it comes to a boil, slip in the sliced plantains directly into the oil using a chips slicer.
  4. Turn over until fully cooked and crisp.
OLAN
Black eyed beans(Van payaru) 1/2 cup
White gourd (Elavan) (chopped into thin    slices of about 3 cm by 3 cm) 2 cups
Yellow pumpkin (Mathan) (chopped into    thin slices of about 3 cm by 3 cm) 2 cups
Green chillies(slit) 4 nos
Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Curry leaves A few
Coconut oil 1 tsp
Cornflour 1 tsp
Salt As reqd
   
  METHOD
  1. Lightly roast the beans and soak it in water for 8 hrs. Wash & strain well.
  2. Leave it to drain and grind it to make fine powder.
  3. Extract 1/2 cup of thick milk and 1/2 cup of thin milk from the grated coconut.
  4. In a pressure pan, add beans, both vegetables, chillies and second coconut milk.
  5. Pressure cook upto 1 whistle.
  6. After opening the lid, add salt and thick milk mixed with cornflour.
  7. Simmer, stirring till the flour is cooked and all the ingredients are well blended.
  8. Add coconut oil and curry leaves.
    :- If you prefer the beans to be very soft, pressurise it first separately for 2-3 whistles and add.
    :- It is safer to add salt at the end because the volume shrinks after cooking and you can judge better.
KALAN
Yam sliced into small pieces 100gm
Small raw banana 1no
Green chillies (slit the edge) 3nos
Mashed yogurt (without water) 1/2litre
Grated coconut 1/2quantity
Cumin seeds 1/2tsp
Pepper powder 1tsp
Water 1cup
Turmeric powder 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Fried and powdered fenugreek 1/2tsp
Ghee 3tsp
Dried chilli (split into 2) 2nos
Mustard 1tsp
Ghee 1tsp
Curry leaves 1sprig
  METHOD
  1. Remove the skin of the plantain and slice it into small pieces.
  2. Grind the coconut and cumin to a smooth paste without adding water. Keep it aside.
  3. Dissolve the pepper powder in 1/2cup of water and strain it through a clean cloth. Cook the vegetables in this water. Add the turmeric powder and salt. Stir well. When the water dries, add 1tsp ghee. Pour the yogurt and mix well. Lower the flame. When the curd boils and becomes dry and thick, add the grinded coconut mixture and fenugreek powder into it. Stir well. Brings to a boil and remove from fire. Season with mustard, dried chillies and curry leaves.
KOOTTU CURRY
Bengal gram(Kadalaparippu) 1/2 cup
Raw banana(Pachha kkai) 1 no
Elephant yam(Chena) 100 gm
Cucumber(Kumbalanga) 100 gm
Snake gourd(Padavalanga) 100 gm
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt As reqd
Coconut(grated) 1 cup
Pepper A few
Red chilly powder 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods 1 nos
Curry leaves A few
Coconut oil 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds A pinch
Dry red chilly(Kollamulaku) 1 no
Curry leaf 1 stalk
Coconut(grated) 4 tbsp
  METHOD
  1. Cook the dal with water and turmeric powder, until tender. Mash lightly.
  2. Cook the vegetables with salt and turmeric powder.
  3. Heat a tsp of coconut oil in a pan.
  4. Fry the grated coconut.
  5. When it turns light brown, add the rest of the ingredients and fry for a while.
  6. Grind them together into a coarse paste.
  7. Add the cooked dal and the ground paste into the vegetables and allow to boil.
  8. Mix well and remove from fire.
  9. Heat coconut oil in a kadai or a pan.
  10. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chilly.
  11. When it begins to splutter, add the grated coconut and fry it until golden brown.
  12. Add the seasoning into the curry and mix well.
CUCUMBER (VELLARIKKA) KICHADI
Cucumber(Vellarikka) 250 gm (peeled, cleaned and cut into very small
   pieces)
Green chillies 5 nos (cut into small round pieces)
Grated coconut 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds ¼ tsp
Curd(not sour) 1 cup
For seasoning:-
Coconut oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Dry red chillies(Kollamulaku) 1 - 2 nos
Curry leaves A few
  METHOD
  1. Cook the cucumber along with some water, chillies and salt.
  2. Grind together the grated coconut and cumin seeds.
  3. Add crushed mustard seeds to it and mix well.
  4. When the cucumber is completely cooked (there should not be any amount of water left in the vessel), add the ground coconut mixture into it and mix well.
  5. Season it with mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves.
  6. Allow it to cool.
  7. Add curd to this mixture and mix well.
CABBAGE THORAN
Cabbage(finely chopped) 1 cup
Onion(finely chopped) 1 cup
Green chillies 6 nos(cut into small pieces)
Grated coconut ½ cup
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil As reqd
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Red chillies(Kollamulaku) 1 - 2 nos
Curry leaves A few
  METHOD
  1. Mix together the finely chopped cabbage, onions, chillies, grated coconut, turmeric powder and salt.
  2. Heat oil in a pan or a kadai. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
  3. Then add dry red chillies and curry leaves to it.
  4. Now add the mixture into the kadai and allow to cook it on low flame.
PARIPPU CURRY
Red gram(Thuvaraparippu) 1 cup
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods 5 nos
Green chillies 5 nos
Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Coconut oil 2 tsp
Salt As reqd
  METHOD
  1. Pressure cook red gram in sufficient water, along with salt and turmeric powder, until soft.
  2. Grind coconut into a fine paste with green chillies, garlic & cumin seeds.
  3. Add this paste into the cooked dal
    .:- Cook again for 2 - 3 minutes, if you don`t like the taste of raw coconut - optional.
  4. Add 2 tsp of coconut oil and curry leaves to it and stir well.
    :- Serve with hot rice & ghee.
PAL PAYASAM RECIPE
milk 10 cups
brown broken rice 2 dsp
condenced milk 1/2 tin
sugar 1/2 cup
cashew nut sliced lengthwise 1/2 cup
cardomom powder 1/2 tsp
  METHOD
Mix 2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk and boil. Add rice and cook well, add the remaining milk, condenced milk and sugar. When it thickens, add cashewnuts and stir continusly till it becomes quick thick. Add cardomom powder mixed in milk.Use either hot or cold.
SAMBAR
Toovar dal 1 kg
Coriander seeds 2 tablespoons
Bengal gram dal 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind paste 4 tsps
Green chillies 4-5 nos
Curry leaves 7-8 nos
Brinjals 100 grams
Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Poppy seeds 1 tbsp
Red chillies 4 nos
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Salt
Oil 3 tablespoons
  METHOD
Wash the toovar dal and boil with turmeric powder. When the dal is tender churn it completely. Dissolve the tamarind paste in 2 cups water. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a small pan, add 2 red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal, 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds and sauté for 2 minutes. Cool and grind to a paste. Sauté coconut in the remaining oil and grind to a fine paste.

Mix the masala paste with tamarind water, chopped brinjals, green chillies and curry leaves. Add this into the mashed dal along with more water if required. Cook this on a low flame till it starts boiling. Add coconut paste and continue cooking on a low flame till the gravy thickens slightly.

Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds, remaining red chillies, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds start crackling add into the dal. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice
AVIAL
Yam sliced thinly into 11/2" length pieces 1cup
Cucumber sliced lengthy into 11/2" thick pieces 1cup
Snake gourd sliced into 11/2" length pieces 1cup
Carrot sliced into into 11/2" length pieces 1/4cup
Long runner-beans sliced into 11/2" length pieces 1/2 Cup
Drumstick cut into 2" length pieces 2nos
Raw bananas sliced into 11/2" length pieces 1no
Mango pieces for sour
Turmeric powder 1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Grated coconut 1/2quantity
Green chillies 5nos
Cumin seeds 1/2tsp
Curry leaves 2sprigs
Coconut oil 3tbs
  METHOD
  1. Coarsely grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Keep it aside.
  2. Clean the vegetables.
  3. Heat 2tbs coconut oil in a thick bottom vessel. Add the vegetables and cook in a low flame. Do not add water. When it is done, add turmeric powder, salt and mix it well. Remove the vegetables from the middle and put sliced bananas and mango pieces and cover it with the other vegetables. When steam comes out, add the coconut paste and stir well. Remove from fire. Mix the remaining coconut oil and curry leaves in the avial.
VERMICELLI PAYASAM (VERMICELLI KHEER)
Vermicelli/Semiya 1 cup
Milk 1 litre
Sugar 3/4 cup
Cashew nuts(split) 10 nos
Raisins(Kismis) A few,/span>
Cardamom(Elakka) pods

5 nos(crushed)

Ghee for frying
  METHOD
  1. In a pan, add little ghee and roast broken vermicelli and keep it aside.
  2. In another pan, boil the milk.
  3. Add the vermicelli and cook on a low heat for about 7-10 mts.
  4. Add sugar and crushed cardamom bring to boil.
  5. Finally, sprinkle with fried cashewnuts and raisins.
    :-Serve hot or chilled.
CUCUMBER PACHADI RECIPE
Small sized cucumber (kheera) 2
ginger (adrak) 1/2 inch
green chillies 2-3 nos
coconut (narial) (scraped, optional) 2 tblsp
yogurt 1 1/2 cups
oil 1 tsp
mustard seeds (raai) 1/2 tsp
curry leaves (kari patta) 5-6
red chillies whole 2
salt to taste  
  METHOD
  1. Wash and scrub cucumbers thoroughly and then grate with the skin.
  2. Pour yogurt (made of skimmed milk) into a clean muslin cloth and hang it for half an hour, preferably in a cool place.
  3. Peel, wash and finely chop ginger. Wash green chillies, remove stem and finely chop.
  4. Grind together scraped coconut, green chillies and ginger to a fine paste.
  5. Mix together the grated cucumber, ground coconut masala and yogurt. Add salt to taste.
  6. Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add curry leaves, whole red chillies broken into two, stir for a moment.
  7. Pour it on to the yogurt mixture. Stir it thoroughly.
  8. Serve chilled.
INCHI-CURRY RECIPE
Ginger 5 large pieces
Tamarind water - extract of tamarind in water (To taste)
Turmeric powder 1/2 Tsp.
Red chili powder 1 Tsp.
Fenugreek powder 1/4 Tsp.
Brown sugar (to taste)
Salt
Mustard seed, red chili, curry leaves (1 stem) and oil for seasoning
  METHOD
  1. Skin the ginger and cut into thin slices.
  2. Fry it to crispy in low heat in a skillet.
  3. Grind the fried ginger without water.
  4. Mix the tamarind water, turmeric powder and chili powder in any container.
  5. In steel vessel season oil, mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves.
  6. Add the tamarind water mixture to it and bring it to boil.
  7. Add the fried ginger to it. Cook to the desired consistency.
  8. Add the brown sugar and fenugreek powder.
  9. Remove from heat.
LIME PICKLE
Fresh large Lime 6 nos
Sesame Oil (Ellu Enna) 1/4 cup
Red chilly powder 4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds(Uluva) 2 tsp
Mustard seeds 2 tsp
Asafoetida(Kayam) 1/4 tsp
Salt - As reqd
  METHOD
  1. Cut the lime into medium pieces. Do not discard the juice, while cutting.
  2. Add salt, red chilly powder and asafoetida and mix well.
  3. Next day, add 1/4 cup of sesame oil and leave it aside.
  4. Next day, season it by adding mustard seeds to 4 spoons of oil followed by fenugreek seeds and asafoetida.
  5. Add this to the pickle and mix well.
    :- Store in refrigerator.
 
 
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