Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Crispy Crunchy Fried Chicken (Quick Fix)

Chicken breast: 250 g
Pepper: 1 tsp crushed
Garlic paste: 1 tsp
Corn flakes: 1 cup crushed
Egg: 1
Maida/plain flour: 5 tbsps
Salt to taste
Oil to fry


Cut chicken breast into 4 flat pieces.
Marinate with pepper, salt & garlic.
Season the plain flour with salt & pepper.
Whisk egg, keep aside.
Spread the cornflakes onto a plate.
Take a piece of chicken, roll in plain flour, shake off excess, dip in egg & coat with cornflakes. Press it well with your hand.
Now deep fry till brown on a medium flame.
Serve with any dip/sauce.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Varutharacha meen curry (Traditional Fare)

Coconut is so much a part of Kerala cuisine, be it Travancore or Malabar. It is used fresh or roasted or just as coconut milk to thicken gravies.
This recipe is about roasted & ground coconut, like the name suggests. The masala can be made & stored for use when required because it takes time to dry roast the coconut. But, don’t give up, try this.
Courtesy: Usha Vijayan
Fish: 500 g (I used Mackerel)
Coconut grating: 1 cup
Ginger: 1 tsp
Shallots: 6
Garlic: 6
Dry red chilli: 10 or 1 tbsp powder
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp or 1 tbsp powder
Fenugreek: 1/4tsp
Black pepper: 1/2tbsp
 Curry leaves: few
Tamarind or Kokum: to taste
Salt to taste


Dry roast coconut, dry chilli, coriander, shallots, ginger, garlic, fenugreek & pepper. When half done add the curry leaves & brown it well.
Cool & powder (do not add water while grinding,this brings out the oil from the coconut itself.)
Put the ground masala in an earthen ware (Curry chatty).
Pour 400 ml water, add salt & put in the kokum or tamarind. ( add more water if you need gravy.)
Bring the gravy to a boil, add the fish & cook on a low flame till oil clears on top of the curry.

Down south in Kerala, Shark, Tuna or Mackerel is cooked this way, while in Cochin, Sardine-coloccasia, crab-yam or prawn-drumstick is the combination with this type of roasted masala.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mutton Ball Curry (Quick Fix)

I have already  given a traditional meat ball curry recipe, now, here’s a quick fix. This is a tomato based gravy, which can be made, bottled & used for various preparations.

Mutton mince: 250 g
Egg: 1
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps
Red gravy paste: 4 to 5 tbsps
Garam masala powder: 1/2tsp
Oil: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2tsp
Salt to taste

Mix ginger-garlic paste, green chilli, coriander leaves, salt & half the egg with the minced mutton.
Make small balls, keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp oil, add cumin seeds & the red gravy paste.
Pour 1 cup water, bring it to a boil before dropping in the meat balls.
 Adjust salt, cook till meat is done.
Sprinkle garam masala powder & some more coriander leaves.
Serve with rice/bread.

For the red gravy:
Onions: 500 g
Tomatoes: 500g red ripe ones
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Cardamom: 4
Cloves: 6
Cinnamon: 1” piece
Star anise: 1
Cashew nuts: 10
Poppy seeds: 1 tbps soaked in water
Oil: 100 ml
Pressure cook onions & tomatoes with 1/2cup water for 5 minutes. Cool & grind.
Also, grind cashew nuts & poppy seeds to a smooth paste.
Heat oil, add whole spices & ground tomato-onion paste. Fry till oil clears on sides of the pan (about 10 minutes).
Add chilli & turmeric powder. Last, add cashew paste & salt.
Cool well, bottle & refrigerate. 
Can be used for veg/paneer or non veg curries.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Coconut Rice (Traditional Fare)

Very traditional, yet, very special even now. The best combination is the meat ball curry or pork vindaloo.
There are numerous ways of making this. Here’s one.

Basmati rice: 2 cups or any aromatic rice
Coconut milk: 4 cups
Onions: 2 sliced fine
Cardamom: 2
Cloves: 4
Cinnamon: 1” piece
Bay leaf: 1
Whole black pepper corns: 10
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


Wash & drain rice.
Heat oil, fry the whole spices, pepper & bay leaf. Then add onions.
Fry them brown  & add ginger-garlic paste.
Now add turmeric powder & the rice. Fry well & pour coconut milk.
Add salt, cover & cook till done. Stir occasionally.
If using a pressure cooker, which is easier, use only 3 cups coconut milk for 2 cups rice.
(1 ½ cups liquid for 1 cup rice)
 Cook for one whistle, cool cooker, stir rice & serve. 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Mutton with Corn (Party Menu)

A popular Rajasthani preparation, which can be tried easily at home.

Mutton: 250 g
Corn kernels: 1 cup
Corn: 1/2cup ground
Onion: 2
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1/2”piece
Cloves: 2
Star anise: 1
Black cardamom: 1
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Green chilli: 3
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps chopped
Milk: 1/2cup
Curd: 2 tbsps
Lime: 1
Ghee/oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste  

Grind onion, green chilli & ginger-garlic paste.
Marinate mutton with red chilli powder, turmeric & salt in milk for half an hour.
Heat ghee/oil in a pressure cooker, add whole spices & ground onion paste.
Sauté well & add marinated meat, corn kernels & ground corn.
Add curd, coriander leaves & salt.
Cut the lime into 2, squeeze the juice of half lime & keep aside. Cut the other half into 2 & place over the mutton. Cover cooker & cook for 10 minutes.
When done, remove the lime pieces & pour lime juice, stir well & serve with rotis.

Mooli Paratha (Maami's Corner)

“MOOLI” means RADISH in English. We normally use it for ” Kootu”,” Sambar” or Salad. But up North in India, radish is used to make yummy parathas.

Radish: 250 g grated
Whole wheat flour: 1 1/2cups
Pepper: 1 tsp crushed
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps chopped
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Ghee/oil: 3 tbsps
Salt to taste

In a large bowl, put in flour, grated radish, pepper, salt, cumin powder & 1 tbsp ghee/oil.
Knead well, adding water,  to a smooth dough.
Keep covered for half an hour. Divide into 6 balls.
Roll out into fairly thick rotis.
 Cook on hot tawa, turn over after 2 minutes and dribble oil/ghee around it.
Brown it well on both sides.
Serve with a raita.

NOTE: While radish has been used in this recipe, it could as well be substituted with the flavour of the season vegetables like bottle gourd, cauliflower, cabbage, potato or even paneer.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Puli Inji(Traditional Fare) Onam special

Onam is round the corner. No ONASADYA is complete without this Puli inji.
You can make this ahead of time & store it. Tastes better this way.

Ginger: 50 g
Shallots: 5 chopped fine
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Red chilli powder: 2 tsps
Coriander powder: 2 tsps
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Asafoetida: a pinch
Tamarind paste: 1 tbsp (if using whole tamarind, take a lime sized ball & soak in water)
Jaggery/sugar: 2 tbsps
Oil: 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds: ½ tsp
Dry red chilli: 2
Curry leaves
Salt to taste

Peel & slice ginger into small pieces & fry in 2 tbsps oil. Remove & grind in a mixi.
In the remaining oil, splutter mustard seeds, add dry red chilli, curry leaves & asafoetida.
Now, add shallots, green chilli & the powders. Sauté well & add tamarind paste with ½ cup water.
Add ground ginger.
Boil well, add jaggery & salt.
Cool & bottle.  

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Meat Balls (Party Menu)

Meat balls can be served as starters at get togethers. My sister-in-law, May Solomon is an expert at this.

Minced beef: 500 g
Bengal gram dhal: 1/2cup soak in water for 1 hour
Pepper: 1 tsp
Aniseed: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Onion: 1 chopped
Ginger: 1”piece
Garlic: 6 pods
Green chilli: 3 chopped
Coriander leaves: a handful chopped
Egg: 1
Bread crumbs: 1/2cup
Oil: 1 tbsp + for frying


Heat 1 tbsp oil, add aniseed, pepper, minced beef & soaked dhal.
Cover & cook till done. Dry it out well.
Cool & grind with onion, ginger, garlic, green chilli & coriander leaves.
Add salt, egg & crumbs.
Make small balls & deep fry till brown.
Serve with sauce.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Mixed veg korma (Maami's Corner)

This is one dish that goes well with almost any cereal based item,eg. Chapati, poori, appam or pulao.

Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (carrot, peas, beans, potato & cauliflower)
Soya chunks: 1/2cup soak in hot water
Poppy seeds: 2 tsps (soak in 2 tbsps water)
Cashew nuts: 6
Coconut milk: 1/2cup thick
Onion: 2 chopped
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste: 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Cardamom: 2
Cloves: 2
Cinnamon: small piece
Bay leaf: 1
Tomato: 2 chopped
Lime juice or curd: 1 tbsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Grind poppy seeds & cashew nuts in coconut milk & keep aside.
Cube potato, carrot. Cut beans into ½” piece & break cauliflower into florets.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add cardamom, cloves & cinnamon.
Now, add onions, fry till brown.
Put in the ginger-garlic- chilli paste.
Fry till fragrant.
The spice powders should go in next.
Before it burns put in chopped tomatoes & a little salt & sauté till it softens.
Now put in vegetables & 300 ml water.
Close cooker & cook for 1 whistle.
After steam goes, add ground paste & soya chunks.
Boil for 5 minutes, adjust salt, add lime or curd before taking off fire.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Rogini Chicken (Party Menu)

Chicken: 500 g cut into small pieces
Onion: 3 sliced
Dry red chilli: 6 or 1 tbsp powder
Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts: 10
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Curd: 1 small cup (about 150 ml)
Oil: 4 tbsps
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Salt: to taste

Marinate chicken with salt & turmeric powder.
Heat 2 tbsps oil, fry sliced onion & grind with chilli, poppy seeds, ginger-garlic paste & cashew nuts to a smooth paste.
Heat remaining oil & fry chicken till evenly brown. Remove from oil & keep aside.
In the same oil, fry ground paste till it changes colour & oil oozes on the sides.
Now, add chicken, curd & salt. Stir well.
Cover & cook on low fire, without adding water.
Take off fire when gravy thickens & chicken is done.
Excellent combination with naan or rotis.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Yam Sambar (Quick Fix)

Red gram dhal is the base of a Sambar, vegetables will vary. But in this preparation Yam forms the base.For those who cannot digest pulses, this is a good alternative! 
Courtesy: Freeda Fernandez

Yam: 250g cubed
Drumstick: 1 cut into 2” pieces
Brinjal/ eggplant: 2 cubed
Shallots: 10
Green chilli: 2 slit
Tomato: 1 cubed
Tamarind paste: 1/2tbsp
Sambar powder: 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Sugar: 1/2tsp
Oil: 2 tsps
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Red chilli: 2 cut in 2
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Pressure cook yam with turmeric powder, mash well & keep aside.
Cook vegetables separately, add tamarind, sambar powder, cooked yam & salt.
Adjust consistency by adding water.
Season mustard, curry leaves & red chilli.
Pour into sambar, add coriander leaves.
Serve with rice or idlis.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Naadan Pork Fry (Traditional Fare)

Pork: 500 g
Pepper powder: 2 tsps
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Onion /shallots: 100 g
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Aniseed powder: 1 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Oil: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Make a paste with pepper powder, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala & vinegar.
Add salt to it & rub it well into cubed pork.
Pressure cook for 7 minutes, after first whistle, without adding any water.
In a pan, heat oil, fry onions brown.
Add ginger-garlic paste & curry leaves, sauté further, till fragrant.
Now, add the cooked pork, stir till the gravy evaporates & the pork fries in its own fat.
Sprinkle aniseed powder, stir well.
Serve with rice/pulao.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Fish Fry-Kerala style (Traditional Fare)

Fish: 500 g
Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Aniseed powder: 1 tsp
Garlic: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: few
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil to fry, preferably coconut.


Make slits on both sides of the fish; keep aside. 
Grind the spice powders with garlic & curry leaves in vinegar.
Mix in salt.
Rub well into fish & marinate for some time.
Heat oil, fry fish few pieces at a time.
Serve with rice.

"KAALA"Mutton (Party Menu)

This recipe is from Maharashtra. I tasted this at a neighbour’s place in Mumbai. The colour of the dish is black. Hence the name!

Mutton: 500 g
Onions: 2
Coriander leaves: 100 g
Garlic: 10 pods
Ginger: 1” piece
Asafoetida: 1/4tsp
Chilli powder: 1 ½ tsp
 Dry coconut/copra: 1/2cup
Star anise: 1
Bay leaf
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Lime: 1/2
Oil: 3 tbsps
Salt to taste
kantha lasoon masala: 2 tsp(literally translates as onion garlic masala, used extensively in Maharashtrian cuisine, garam masala can be used instead of this)

Grind half the coriander leaves with a few pods of garlic & ginger to a fine paste. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, fry copra & sliced onion, till brown in colour. Grind with remaining coriander leaves, garlic & kantha lasoon masala/garam masala.
In the same pan, heat 1 more tbsp of oil, add asafoetida powder, ground green masala & fry well.
Add mutton pieces, sauté till it changes colour. Pour enough water to cover mutton. Cook till done.
Alternately, pressure cook mutton for 10 minutes.
Again, in another pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil, fry star anise, bay leaf & ground copra masala.
Add chilli powder, turmeric powder.
Put into the mutton.
Cook till gravy thickens.
Squeeze juice of half a lime.
 Serve with Naan, parathas or pulao.

The copra & onion should be fried dark brown. That gives the dish the black colour.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Dhal Dosa (Maami's Corner)

Tired of the usual IDLI-DOSA,DOSA-IDLI breakfast? Try this for a change!  
Courtesy: Seethalakshmi Mani

Red gram dhal: 1/2cup cooked
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsps chopped
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2tsp
Dosa batter: 2 cups
Sesame oil: as required

For dosa batter:
Raw rice: 1 cup
Black gram dhal/urad dhal: 1/4cup
Fenugreek: 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Soak rice, dhal & fenugreek for 2 hours.
Grind to a smooth paste, of pouring consistency & keep aside to fement for 6 to 8 hours (or overnight.)

Mash cooked dhal well, add to dosa batter along with chopped coriander leaves, chilli powder & cumin powder. Mix well.
Pour onto a hot tawa , spread to make small dosas.
Dribble sesame oil around it, brown both sides & serve with coconut chutney.    

For coconut chutney:
Coconut: ½
Green chilli: 6
Puffed Bengal gram: 2 tbsps
Curry leaves a few
Shallots: 3
Salt to taste
Oil: 1 tsp

Sauté green chilli in oil & grind with rest of the ingredients.
Temper with mustard, dry red chilli & serve.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

CHICKEN 65 (Party Menu)

This is a crispy fried chicken dish. Good finger-food!
Chicken: 750 g
Red chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Coriander: 1/2tsp crushed
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2tsp
Ajwain: 1/2tsp
Garlic: 6 pods crushed
Curd: 1/2cup
Lime juice: 1 tbsp
Egg: 1
 Curry leaves: 2 tbsps chopped
Salt to taste
Bengal gram flour/Besan: 3/4cup
Oil to fry


Marinate chicken with all the ingredients except oil & besan. Keep for half an hour.
Sprinkle besan on chicken pieces, mix well to coat.
Fry in hot oil till brown.
(add besan only before frying, that will make chicken crisp)
Serve with lemon wedges & onion rings or sauce.
You can add edible red food colour to the chicken for the restaurant like appearance.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Sprouted Green gram curry & Theplas (Maami's corner)

Sprouting enhances nutritive value of pulses & makes it easily digestible too.

Sprouted green gram: 250 g
Tomato: 2 chopped fine
Onion: 2 chopped
Cumin: 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Asafoetida: 1/4tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps

To roast & grind:
Coriander seeds: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2tsp
Fenugreek: 1/4tsp
Pepper: 1 tsp
Aniseed: 1 tsp
Dry red chilli: 6
Coconut: 1/2cup


Heat 1 tbsp oil, fry ingredients under roast & grind, till it becomes light brown.
Grind & keep aside.
Heat remaining oil, add asafoetida, cumin & chopped onion. Sauté well, add tomatoes & turmeric powder.
Add sprouts & one cup water. Cover & cook till done
Add ground masala & salt.
Serve with rotis/theplas & raita.

Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
fenugreek leaves: 100 g
ajwain: 1 tsp
coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
green chilli: 2 crushed
ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
cumin powder: 1tsp
curd: 1/2 cup
salt to taste
oil/ghee: 2 tsps
Knead wheat flour with all the above ingredients to a smooth, pliable dough. Rest it for a while.
Make small balls of the dough, roll out each one & cook on a girddle/tawa till brown on both sides.
Smear more ghee, if you like. Serve with sprouted green gram curry.    

Friday, 5 August 2011

Naadan beef curry (Traditional Fare)

An exceptional accompaniment for Kerala Parotta, string hoppers or for that matter, even plain rice.
Courtesy: Jasmine Morris

Beef: 1 kg cubed
Onion: 4 chopped
Green chilli: 3 chopped
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Red chilli powder: 5 tsps
Coriander powder: 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: few
Oil: 3 tbsps
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add chopped onions, green chilli, curry leaves & a little salt.
Brown onions well, add ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander & garam masala powers & sauté.
Now, the beef can go in. Add salt, mix it well, cover & pressure cook for 10 minutes. (lower flame after the first whistle and time it.)
Before serving, sprinkle pepper powder.
I served it with string hoppers.

String Hoppers/Idiappam

Fine rice flour: 1 cup
Boiling water: 1 cup
Salt to taste

Pour boiling water into flour, stir with wooden spoon & keep covered for a while.
When the heat is bearable, knead well with your hands.
Divide into 2 balls, fill an idiappam maker with dough & press it out onto a greased plate.
Steam for 7 to 10 minutes & serve with any curry.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Paneer-Peas Kothambirwala (Maami's Corner)

This is a rich, fresh cream based curry, with plenty of coriander leaves flavouring it.

Paneer/cottage cheese: 200 g cubed
Green peas: 100 g cooked
Fresh cream: 100 ml
Onion: 3
Ginger: 1’ piece
Garlic: 10 pods
Green chilli: 6
Coriander powder: 1/2tsp
Coriander leaves: 100 g
Cinnamon: ½” piece
Cloves: 2
Bay leaf: 1
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Cook the onion in 1/2cup water, cool & grind with ginger, garlic & green chillies.
Heat oil in pan, fry paneer, remove from oil. Add whole spices, ground paste, sauté till fragrant & light brown in colour.
Add coriander powder, fresh cream & chopped coriander leaves.
Keep stirring till cream heats up.
Put in the fried paneer & peas.
Mix well.
Serve with rotis or ghee rice.