Friday, July 28, 2017

Neychoru/Ghee Rice


A delectable rice which though is a speciality of the Malabar cuisine is now spread across everywhere with the variation mostly being in the type of rice used. Malabar neychoru uses the tiny cumin shaped rice grains known as the jeerkasala rice. The aromatic rice is roasted in ghee along with other spices ,cooked to perfection and finally garnished with fried onions and ghee roasted dry fruits. This neychoru also serves as base for most of the biriyani recipes from Kerala
Ingredients

2 cups jeerakasala rice
4 Tbsp ghee
2-3 cardamons
3-4 cloves
2"cinnamon stick
few peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tsp ginger paste
1 medium onion sliced
few curry leaves
3 1/2 cups water
salt to taste
1tsp lemon juice


Method




  • Wash and soak the rice for half an hour. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the ghee. Once the ghee is hot add the whole spices i.e. the cardomons, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add the curry leaves, ginger paste and sliced onion. Saute until the onion turns translucent.
  • Add the soaked and drained rice. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes until the rice grains turn dry and is covered with the ghee.
  • Meanwhile boil the mentioned amount of water separately.
  • Pour this hot water(3.5 cups) into the rice and stir well oh high heat.
  • Add enough salt(the water should taste salty to ensure that the ghee rice has the adequate amount of salt).
  • Drizzle the lemon juice.
  • Once the water and rice starts to boil, reduce the heat to minimum. Close with a tight lid and leave the rice to cook for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, open and fluff the rice with a fork.(if you feel that the rice is not cooked leave on low heat covered for 5 minute more. If there is no moisture at all in the rice and the rice looks as if it needs more cooking you can add 1/2 cup of hot water and cover and cook for 5 minutes but take care not to overcook)
  • Garnish with with fried onion, ghee fried cashews and raisins.
  • Serve hot with a spicy chicken curry, mutton curry, egg curry,  etc

Monday, May 29, 2017

Vadukapuli Achar/ Wild Lime Pickle


Ingredients
1 big and ripe Vadukapulli naranga/ Wild Lime
1-2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp gingelly oil
2 Tbsp chilli powder
less than 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 whole red chillies
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
some curry leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup boiled water 
a pinch of sugar

Method
  • Chop the lime into very small cubes.
  • In a pan , heat the coconut oil and gingelly oil. 
  • Add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to crackle add the red chillies and fenugreek seeds. Fry for a second and then add the curry leaves. Mix well.
  • Remove from heat and add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder, salt and fenugreek powder. Combine everything well.
  • Add the vinegar and boiled water. Mix everything well.
  • Now add the lemon pieces to this and combine everything well.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of sugar finally and mix well.
  • When fully cooled, check for seasoning and add more salt and vinegar if required.
  • Store in an airtight container.


*

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Chicken Pirattal






 A simple chicken dish that requires only a few basic ingredients.

Ingredients

4-5 chicken drumsticks
1 onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
salt to taste
few curry leaves
few coriander leaves

Method
  • Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric powder, chilli powder, half of ginger garlic paste, salt, curry leaves, sliced onion and 1 tsp coconut oil, for half an hour to 45 minutes.
  • Heat the remaining coconut oil in a frying pan and place the marinated chicken in it. Sear the chicken until it is golden brown on all sides(chicken need not get cooked fully, as we will be cooking it further later on).
  • Transfer the seared chicken to another deep pan. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until the chicken gets cooked completely.
  • Once the chicken is cooked and the gravy thickens, transfer the chicken pieces(leaving behind the thick masala gravy) into a serving bowl.
  • Mix pepper powder with the gravy of the chicken and pour this gravy over the chicken pieces. Serve garnished with curry leaves.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Muringakka curry

A Kerala style drumstick/ muringakka curry that goes well with rice. This curry gets its tanginess from tomato and gambooge/kudam puli pieces added and hence this curry imparts the flavour of a fish curry. So all the fish curry lovers can make this one, on those days when you go for a vegetarian diet.





Ingredients

2 drumticks/muringakka cut into two inch long pieces
 2 tomatoes cut into medium sized pieces
2 pieces gambooge/kudampuli(washed and soaked in  warm water)
1 onion sliced thin
1 " ginger piece, crushed
2 green chillies, slit
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 1/2 cup thin coconut milk
1/2 cup thick coconut milk
2 Tbsp coconut oil
salt to taste
For tempering
1 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, crushed
2 whole red chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
few curry leaves

Method

  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced onions, crushed ginger, green chillies and curry leaves to it. Saute  on a medium flame for one minute.
  • Once the onions turn pink and soft, reduce the flame and add turmeric powder. Saute for one minute so that the turmeric powder gets roasted slightly with the onions.
  • Add coriander powder and saute well so that the coriander powder also gets roasted well. Then add the chilli powder and fry well , until the raw smell is gone.
  • Now add the tomatoes and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook on a medium flame for about 6-7 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and mashed well, stirrring in between.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked well, add the drumsticks and the kudampuli, followed by the thin coconut milk. Mix everything well and cook covered on a medium flame until the drumsticks are cooked well.
  • Finally add the thick coconut milk and mix well. As it begins to boil, switch off the flame and keep aside.
  • For the tempering, in a small kadai , heat the coconut oil. Add  red chillies (broken into pieces) and fry until it attains a dark colour. Now add the crushed shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown in colour. Reduce flame to low and add the turmeric powder and chilli powder. Fry for 2-3 seconds and pour this immediately on the prepared drumstick curry and mix well.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sweet Wheat Dosa


 Ingredients

2 cups wheat flour
1 ripe banana, mashed well
1/2 cup rice flour
1 1/2 cup jaggery(powdered /grated)
2 Tbsp coconut grated
2 pinch cardamom powder
1 pinch baking soda
a small pinch of salt
ghee for drizzling

Method

  • Dissolve the jaggery by adding it to 2 cups hot water. Mix well and sieve to remove any impurities in the jaggery. Allow this to come to room temperature.
  • Mix the jaggery water with the remaining ingredients i.e. banana, coconut, wheat flour, rice flour, salt, baking soda and cardamom powder. Mix well to form a batter(dosa batter consistency) by adding water as required. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • Heat a griddle or dosa tawa and make small thick pancakes or small dosas. Drizzle ghee on the sides and top of the dosa as it gets cooked. Cook on a medium flame. Flip and cook both sides until it becomes golden brown in color on both the sides. Serve as it is.
  • Sweet wheat dosas are ready which can be had as such without any accompaniments. A good snack for tea time as well as something which can be sent to school as tiffin for kids.


Recipe adapted from here

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cherry tomato and spinach dal



Ingredients
300 gm split red lentils
3/4 cup coconut milk
1-2cups water
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp crushed ginger
2 cups baby spinach leaves whole or chopped spinach leaves

200 gm cherry tomatoes
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
2 green chillies, slit
salt to taste
 For the tempering or tarka
2 Tbsp oil
2 shallots thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds

Method

  • Wash the lentils well; preferably in a sieve until the water runs clear. Drain and transfer into a wide saucepan along with the coconut milk, water, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and ginger.
  • Bring this to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat once it starts to boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if  required.

  • Stir in the spinach, cherry tomatoes, green chillies and salt. Cook for another 7-8 minutes or until the lentils are soft and tomatoes are done. Keep adding water if the mixture  turns very thick. Once done, sprinkle the crushed pepper and garam masala on top. Switch off the heat and keep aside.
  • For the tarka, heat oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and once they start to crackle add the cumin seeds followed by the shallots, garlic, ginger. 
  • Once the shallots start to brown add the chilli powder and roast for 2-3 seconds. Pour this tarka over the prepared dal.
  • Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves on top. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes before serving for the flavours to infuse well into the dal.
  • Mix and serve with fluffy basmati rice, nan, roti, etc

-

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Fish Curry - Thrissur style

Kerala is famous for its fish curries. Each part of the state serves different types of fish curries, which are all remarkable in their own way. Some have coconut milk in them whereas some don't. Some are cooked in a tomato based gravy, some with the tanginess of kokum, tamarind or raw mango, whereas in some places it is cooked in  the gravy of roasted and grinded coconut. Each place you go in Kerala , they will be having their own style of cooking the fish curry. Here I am sharing a fish curry recipe which is commonly found in the Thrissur district of Kerala. In Thrissur itself there are various ways of cooking fish curry, this is just one of them. 

Ingredients
1/2 kg fish(pomfret)-cleaned and cut into thick slices
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
4-5 shallots
2 pieces of kokum/kudampuli(soaked in 3tbsp of warm water)
3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 Tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste
For seasoning
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 shallots, sliced thin
few curry leaves

Method

  • Crush the ginger and shallots together.
  • In a thick bottomed vessel or preferably an earthern pot(manchatti), add the coconut milk, 1 1/2 cup water, turmeric powder, chilli powders, salt, soaked kokum pieces, crushed ginger and shallots, half of the curry leaves and salt. Mix everything well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil. Once it starts to boil, add the fish pieces.
  • Cook on a medium flame until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is added do not stir the curry frequently, instead pick up the vessel and rotate it to mix everything well.
  • Add the slit green chillies and remaining curry leaves.
  • Cook until the gravy thickens to your preferred consistency.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
  • For the seasoning, in a small pan heat the coconut oil. Add the sliced shallots and curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden brown in colour. Pour this seasoning on the prepared fish curry and cover the curry with a lid immediately, so that the aroma is trapped in the fish curry.
  • Leave it undisturbed for 10 minutes. Mix well and serve.

*Any fish can be used. I have also tried this curry with anchovies and it has come out well.
* While cooking with small fish, a few pieces of drumstick can also be added. This imparts a unique taste to the fish curry.
* Kashmiri chilli powder has been used here so that the dish gets a rich colour without being too spicy either. It can however be omitted and the normal chilli powder can be used, but the quantity has to be reduced.
*For those who don't like the taste of kokum can substitute it with, raw mango pieces to impart the sourness to the dish.