Monday, September 6, 2010

Chicken Pickle/Kozhi achar

Chicken pickle.. i think most of u get confused about the title, right? Did she type it wrong.. no guys.Today i thought i can share with u guys something special. That is Chicken Pickle. Kerala is famous of these kind of non-vegetarian pickles.The Fish, Chicken and Beef pickles are the very popular non vegetarian pickles in Kerala. Amma hardly makes any non-veg pickles but my aunt  is an expert in making fish pickle.(Sure i will post the fish pickle ).
For long time i was thinking to prepare this chicken pickle. Whenever i talk about the chicken pickle  my hus used to say u can't make chicken pickle like fish (Tuna, King fish) because chicken texture is so different.really i was in dilemma.one day suddenly he asked what happened? Nowadays not hearing abt the chicken pickle? Anyway u just try it.. So I decided to prepare it in the same day and luckily some chicken was there in the freezer. Frankly speaking i did not know the recipe but i wanted to give it a try. I searched for its recipe but hardly find any.so what i did is i just called my aunt and collected the fish pickle recipe then made some changes and tried this  one and the result was superb. My hus really liked it and he concluded that the chicken pickle is as good as the fish one. (Only if I get a good review from my hus, i try those recipes again.

Really it is a delicious side for rice or roti. No need to make any other curries. Usually for this preparation we are using lots of oil. if u want to prepare the low-fat version, do not add more oil. if u want to keep the same for longer it is good to use more oil. But i don't think we are going to keep the chicken-pickle for that long. Here i prepared it with only one pound of boneless chicken and it is finished within days.
So let me tell u how i made the delicious pickle.
Ingredients
Chicken(boneless)(kozhi kashnangal): 1 lbs
For Marinating the chicken
Salt (uppu) : to taste
Turmeric Powder (manjal podi): 1 tbsp
Ground Pepper (kurumulaku podi):1tbsp
Garam Masala Powder: 1 tbsp
Redchili Powder:1tbsp
For frying
Sesame Oil (nallenna): 5 tbsp
Mustard seed(kaduku): 1 tsp
Red chili(chuvanna mulaku): 4 nos
Curry leaves(curryveppila): 2 sprig
Garlic(vellulli): 10 pods
Ginger(inji): 1 big size
Green Chili (pachamulaku): 3 nos
Asafoetida: 1/2 tsp
Red Chili powder: 3 tbsp
Whole pepper(kurumulaku): 5-8 nos
Whole Fenugreek(uluva): 3nos or Fenugreek powder: 1/4 tsp
Red chili powde(mulaku podi)r: 2 tbsp
Salt(uppu) : to taste
Vinegar(vinagiri): 3 tbsp
Preparation
  • Cut the chicken into very small pieces.and pat dry the chicken in the kitchen tissue paper
  • Marinate the chicken with salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder and garam masala. Keep it for an hour
  • Slit the green chili ,slice the ginger and garlic.
Procedure
  • Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the chicken. Do it in batches.
  • Transfer  the deep-fried chicken in to a sheet tray and  let it cool for about 5-10 minutes
  • Heat 3-4 table spoon of oil  (you can use same oil which is used in the above step)  and add  mustard seeds
  • Once it started spluttering add the red chili, whole pepper and fenugreek seeds followed by green chili, ginger and garlic slices. Fry until the g-g-g get light brown color .
  • Add the Red chili powder and asafoetida .fry for a minute or two.(if u r using the ground fenugreek fry that too)
  • Add the curry leaves into the mix.. saute well.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and the extra oil (if u like to add) and mix all together and heat for 3-5 minute in very low heat.
  • Once the mix get cool down add vinegar..Keep the same in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the room temperature.
The delicious pickle is ready to have..
Cook's Tip
  • Completely dry the chicken pieces using kitchen tissues
  • keep the marinated  chicken pieces for more than an hour.
  • use the sesame oil instead of any other oil.
  • Always use dry spoon to serve the pickle otherwise the the pickle get moisture and it leads to get the fungal and that spoils the whole pickle
  • You can keep the same for 3-4 months in the refrigerator.(Add more vinegar and oil, if you are planning to keep it for long time. Also make sure that all chicken pieces are immersed in the oil-vinegar mixture)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Banana Chips & Fried banana pieces in jaggaery(Ethakaya Upperi & Sharkkara Piratti)

Today I am going to share with you guys the very delicious and famous Kerala snacks -Ethaykka Upperi(Banana chips) and Sarakkara Pirratti (fried banana in jaggery). These are some of the must see dishes in Kerala feast also.I think whoever visits Kerala, sure get a chance to taste the banana chips and they will buy a big bag full of chips for their family too..
Last weekend during our  shopping at Costco, for finding the chicken sausage ,i asked for help to one of the shop assistant and she told me the exact  location. She then asked us abt our native place in India.I just told we r from kerala..Then she was so excited and screaming: “wow! You r from GOD's own country?” (I really surprised about how she knew about that slogan because international people hardly know about Kerala). she was talked abt the places Cochin kovalam etc and these delicious banana chips and the taste of the big fish she ate during the house boat cruise( House boat cruise is one of the main attraction in Kerala).. . When she talked about these banana chips really made us crave to eat the same. How  beautifully she explained the beauty of our place and the deliciousness of our food.. She also mentioned  that she is saving money to plan for another vacation to Kerala in future.
When she mentioned about these Banana chips, I thought of making it at home. When i prepared the chips i just tried the Sarkkara piratti also. 
The banana chips are very easy to make one.. but you have to fry it nicely otherwise it won't get that crispy texture.About the sarkkarapiratti, it’s easy but be careful while making the jaggery syrup it should be in right consistency otherwise the the banana pieces wont get the  jaggery coating.. also deep fry the banana pieces and let it cool then only add to the jaggery syrup.Hope u guys will try to make it at home.Use the raw plantain only
Let me tell u how i made these items:
1.Banana chips(Ethakkaya Upperi)(ഏത്തയ്ക്ക ഉപ്പേരി)
Ingredients
Raw Plantain (പച്ച ഏത്തയ്ക്ക): 1 no
Oil(എണ്ണ): for deep frying
Salt(ഉപ്പു്‌) : to taste
Turmeric Powder(മഞ്ഞള്‍ പൊടി ): a pinch(optional)
Procedure
  • Heat oil in a pan.Add the banana pieces and the turmeric powder in to it( slice the banana using the slicer and  directly add them into the heated oil) 
  • Deep fry until crispy.
  • Transfer the chips to kitchen tissue. Just add some salt and mix well.let it cool for 3-5 minutes.
The chips are ready to have.Keep it in an airtight container(if u have any left over)
Cook's tip
  • Do not keep the sliced  banana for long.It will get dark color and won't get the fresh taste.
  • When u transfer the fried pieces add the salt and mix well.. 
  • apply the turmeric powder in to the sliced pieces  and then fry it otherwise add the turmeric powder directly in to the oil.
2.SarakkaraPiratti(Fried Banana pieces in jaggary mix)
Ingredients
Jaggery(sarkara - ശര്‍ക്കര): 1/2 pound
Water:!/2 cup
Raw Plantain(pacha ethakka- പച്ച ഏത്തയ്ക്ക) : 2 medium
Ground Dried Ginger(chukkupodi - ചുക്കുപൊടി): 1/2 tsp
Grond Cardamaom(elakka podi - ഏലയ്ക്ക പൊടി):1/2 tsp
Oil(enna - എണ്ണ): for frying the banana pieces
Rice flour (അരി പൊടി) : 2 tsp
Procedure
  • Slit the plantain and cut them cross into medium size pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan ,add the plantain pieces fry until crispy.
  • Transfer the fried pieces in to a kitchen tissue and let it cool..
  • By the time make the jaggery syrup.Add the jaggery with 1/2 cup of water and make a syrup which has right consistency (the syrup will be like oil(means neither it be watery nor so thick)
  • Reduce the heat to very low and add the dried Ginger and cardamom powder to them and mix well .
  • Add the fried and cooled plantain pieces into the jaggery syrup.Mix well.Switch off the heat and mix the pieces until it completely coated with jaggery finally just sprinkle the rice flour. 
  • Transfer the sharkarapiratti into a plate and let it cool.. 
The delicious sharkkara piratti is ready to have..Keep them in an airtight container.. 
Cook's Tip
  • Do not add more water for making the jaggery syrup.
  • The syrup should be in right consistency. if u feel it's get the oil texture that means its ready to use .. do not be so thick or so thin then the banana piece won't get the coating properly
  • Do not forgot to sprinkle the rice flour.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yogurt Curry/Moru Curry (no Coconut)

 
Moru curry(yogurt curry - “കാച്ചിയ മോര്” ) is one of the popular dish  of kerala.. Usually we used to prepare the morru curry with grated coconut. But we can prepare the same with no coconut. Today i thought of sharing the “Yogurt curry with no coconut “recipe.Any keralites favorite combo is rice with this morrucurry.if u add the thoran (vegetable Stir fry) and pickle it will be a perfect meal.My brother is a great fan of this moru curry.Here my hus’s tastebud always ask for this delicious curry too, He likes the above combination and I am too happy becuase no other non veg side is needed for him.
Amma always prepare the coconut version.I got this  recipe idea from my friend Seena..Once we got a chance to taste this curry from her home. And my better-half really liked it. If he likes any dishes  he asks me to  try the same by myrself.So i will always try to get the recipe from my friends.(He likes very few:)) .i collected the recipe from seena's mom. Really our special thanks to her mom -our dear thankam aunty .(One more thing i like to write is when seena visited her mom’s place , she sent one full can of this tasty curry for us too)When she shared the recipe she didn't give me the exact measurement( expert cook hardly give exact measurement for any recipe ingredient ,am i right? I think so..).
When i first tried the curry it was not a success because i added more fenugreek .Usually fenugreek give nice flavor but if u add more than required, it tastes so bad.. and it spoils the entire  taste of the curry. i do remember  my hus called that as uluva moru curry.but he didn't disappoint me he had it with rice..When i try the same at next time i added more garlic and  couldn’t make out the exact taste what aunty prepared for us..After a few tries, now i got almost the same taste.(my hus says) One best part about this delicious curry is  we can keep it refrigerated for weeks .Its a very simple recipe.I always say all the recipes are simple and tasty.. really i am honest in these words..So try it.I think a best choice for working moms too.
OK let me tell you how i prepared this.
Ingredients
Curd(thayir): 1 cup
Water:1 cup
Salt(uppu): as required
RedOnion/Pearl onion(Valiyaulli/Kunjulli):a small piece/2 nos
Garlic(vellulli): 2 pods of a medium sized garli
Ginger(inji): 1small piece
Fenugreek seeds(uluva): 1/4 tsp
Cumin seed(jeerakam): 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder(manjal podi):1/2 tsp
For seasoning
Oil(enna): 1 tsp
Mustard seed)kaduku): 1 tsp
Red chili(chumanna mulaku): 3 nos
Curry leaves(kariveppila): 1 sprig
Preparation
  • Mix the curd with water and blend it in a mixture. Otherwise mix well using a spoon
  • Crush the ginger garlic fenugreek seed and cumin seed
  • nicely chop the red onion piece /pearl onions
Procedure
  • Heat oil in a pan.Add the mustard seed once it started spluttering add the red chili and the curry leaves.saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chopped onion,saute well until it become light brown color
  • Add the crushed GGFC followed by turmeric powder and saute for another minute.. 
  • Reduce the heat to very low 
  • Add the Diluted curd into the mixture.Mix all togther and heat the mixture for 1-3 minute.Never let the mix to boil.
The Delicious Moru curry is ready to have.Have it with rice..
Cook’s Tip
  • Do not add more fenugreek or garlic, follow the above measurement.
  • If u like u can dilute the curd by adding more than a glass of water.
  • Just crush the GGFC .The crushed one gives nice flavor than the paste.
  • Do not overheat the curd mixture.it spoils the curry by forming the lumps.
  • GGFC -Ginger GarlicFenugreekCuminseed.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Lime Pickle (Cheru Naranga Achar)

Every one's favorite, right?.. I know this is a must-see item in almost all home’s dining table. Got it?. ya it is every one's favorite side dish -the yummy n tangy Lime Pickle. Today i thought i can share with you guys my grandma’s special Lime Pickle (Naranga achar)Home made pickle always taste good than the store-bought one and the making of the pickle is not that difficult.  
About the recipe: It is my grandma’s  recipe. She always prepare so delicious pickles and whatever she makes it tastes 100 times better  than anyone else’s.. Now she is not with us but we always remember her through her special  recipes.My amma  is not that expert as my grandma for making these achars (Pickle) and Chammanthi podis.(Chutney Powders). Like my grandma my valiyamma (Amma’s Sister) is also an expert in making pickles..Her pickles are always demanded one in our family.. When my mom came here last summer, she sent both mango and lemon pickle for us. Especially when you are “expecting”,  you always crave for these pickles.. yeah. I know it is not that good (having too much of pickle) for health but you cannot control it .Anyway i really enjoyed having it even with my breakfast and finished the whole box with in a short span of time.When amma was here she  taught me how to make this pickle.but  whenever I prepare the pickle, i used to call and ask her the recipe. 
Until came here in  USA, I didn’t know that there are differences between lemon and lime. I thought all are same. But when I came here I realized that both are different and they look different, taste different. I think, Lemon is not good for making pickles compared to lime which have more sour taste and less sweet taste.
When we found a bag of lime here in the Kroger I thought of making the pickle because this lime is a seasonal one. So when i saw  i asked my hus and he said yes.. He likes amma’s pickle so much.and also .its hard to find such kerala pickles here in any store.. so i always prefer to make it at home.( we tried the store bought also and found the 2 best pickles -Priya’s Lime Pickle and Bedeker’s Mango pickle ).
I can guarantee this one is  a very easy to make recipe and u can make it in a large quantity  and keep it refrigerated for months.. And one thing u should be careful is that do not use any wet spoons which adds moisture and the pickle very easily get fungus and that spoils the whole pickle..So take small quantity in a container and use that.. And one more thing if u have use the Sesame oil( u can find the same in Indian grocery) ,It gives real and perfect taste and flavor of the pickle and also it helps pickle to last longer 
Ok let me tell you how i made this
Ingredients
Lime:(cheru naranga) 1 pound
Water : for cooking the lime
Garlic(vellulli): 12 pods
Red chili:(Chumanna Mulaku) 5 nos
Red chili powder:(Mulakupodi) 4 tbsp
Asafoetida Powder(Kayam):1/2 tsp
Salt:(uppu) as required
Sesame Oil(nallenna): 1/4 cup
Vinegar(vinagiri): 1 tsp or as required
Mustard Seed (kaduku): 1 tsp
Curry leaves (kariveppila): 2 sprig
Preparation
  • In a big pan boil enough water and cook the lime in the boiling water until the lime  become tender.add enough salt also.
  • Cut the lime into 8 pieces(slices) and keep the slices in a airtight container for 2 days.Add salt according to your taste. 
  • Slice the garlic pods (lengthwise)
Procedure
  • Heat the sesame oil in pan.Add the mustard seed,once it started spluttering add the curry leaves and red chili saute for 30 second
  • Add the garlic slices into it and saute until it get nice brown color.
  • Add the chili-asafoetida salt powder mix into the heated oil...Lower the heat to low.
  • Fry all the ingredients until completely fried (dark color).
  • Let the mix to cool down and then add the  lime slices into the mix
  • After 4-5 hrs add one/2 tsp of vinegar and mix very well. vinegar has to get into all the part..
The delicious pickle is ready to have. Keep it in an air tight container .Keep refrigerated after one week.
Cook’s tip
  • Do not overcook the lime.then u can’t make it into slices..
  • Soak the lime in salt for 2-3 days in room temperature.. Check the salt  in between.
  • If u like u can use more Garlic and chili powder.
  • Always keep the pickle in airtight container and keep it in room temperature for a  week.
  • do not use any wet spoons which adds moisture and the pickle very easily get "fungus" and that spoils the whole pickle.
  • If u want u can use any other oil instead of sesame oil.Here i used Idhayam sesame oil.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Erisseri-Pumpkin and Red beans in Coconut Paste

“Erisseri”, The name itself is really interesting, right?. It is a special Kerala dish, made with Red bean and Pumpkin (or Yam) in coconut paste. The main ingredient for any type of erisseri is the Red bean(van payar).About the red bean-this bean is known as  azuki bean .They have a uniform red color, but white, black, gray and variously mottled varieties are also known.You can even use black-bean or white bean. But red-bean gives more color and taste to the dish.Here i am using the red bean only(see the Picture)
Erisseri always reminds me about the Kerala feast,One of the must see dish in kerala sadhya..I used to prepare the same whenever I get a chance to buy pumpkin. When I found the pumkin in Jungle Jims( i have talked a lot about this store in my previous posts) during my last week shopping, I thought of making this kerala delicacy. So i thought today i can share with you guys this   Erisseri(With Pumpkin) Recipe.(there are two kinds of erisseri one with Pumpkin(today's Special) and other one with Yam and Plantain).Sure will post the Yam Erisseri soon
One of the important step in this recipe is that we have to add the fried coconut while seasoning, this increase the aroma and taste of the dish.My mil used to say without dried coconut we can’t call it as erisseri .You have to use the nicely grated coconut otherwise it spoil the entire taste  of the erisseri (amma used to say the same)
One thing i like to mention (anyway Onam is in our door steps with in days)is that if you are trying to make a Kerala feast, you will come to know that in almost all the dishes (Aviyal, Thoran, Erisseri and Pulisseri), we are using a mixture of coconut and cumin seed. Some dishes need some extra ingredients such as pearl onion/chili or pepper. So prepare a large amount of coconut-cumin seed mixture and use it for all these dishes. Those dishes which need additional ingredient, just add those additionals.That way u can save a lot of ur valuable time.
OK, Let me share the Kerala special erisseri..
Ingredients
Pumpkin: small portion(as seen in picture)
Red bean: 1 cup
Green Chili: 2 nos
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Salt : to taste

For grinding
Coconut: 1/2 cup
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Pearl Onion: 1 no
Water : as required



For seasoning
Coconut: 3 tbsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
Mustard seed : 1 tsp
Red chili: 2 no
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


Preparation
  • Soak the red beans/perumpayar overnight.
  • Cut the pumpkin into medium sized pieces
  • Slit the green chili
  • Make a very  nice paste of coconut ,cumin seed ,pearl onion.Add some water and salt  while grinding
Procedure
  • In  a pressure cooker cook the red beans with salt and turmeric powder until the beans are completely cooked.
  • Add the Green chili and pumpkin pieces to the cooked beans and then cook the same for one whistle..
  • Mash the cooked beans and pumpkin,then add the coconut mixture.Mix well and cook the same for 3- 5 minutes in medium heat..
  • Heat oil in another pan.Add the mustard seed once it started spluttering add the red chili and curry leaves and some grated coconut and fry until the coconut get nice brown color..
  • Add the seasoning to the cooked pumpkin beans mixture.Heat for 1 minute..
The delicious Erisseri is ready to have.. Have it with rice and some stir fry.

Cook’s Tip
  • Soak the beans overnight otherwise it won’t get completely cooked.
  • Make a very nice paste of coocnut and cumin. if u like u can add the green chili with that.
  • If u want to make more gravy add more water while cooking the beans.Usually the erisseri is in semi gravy form. 

    Monday, July 26, 2010

    Pavakka Kichadi/Bittergourd in Yogurt

    When I shared the  Pachadi recipe, I mentioned that there were some confusion about these Pachadi and Kichadi dishes. Both dishes are served in kerala feast.Whenever I prepared the pachadi, I always ask myself that is this kichadi? or pachadi?.. Somehow my hus given some solution( answer ) for this confused question. If you are using Mustard seed and Grated Coconut in the mixture, it is called as Pachadi, if not, it will be "Kichadi". Pachadi is usually preparing with Pumpkin, Plantain (Ethakaya) and Pineapple etc (Some of them use mango & grapes as well). You can use any veggie/ fruit of your choice but those I mentioned above are the commonly used one. Pachadi is prepared with the blend of coconut, jeera, Mustard and yogurt. For kichadi recipe we are not using the mustard as a main ingredient with the mix(as mentioned above). But some part of kerela this variation is also  known as Pachadi.
    Today i am going to share with you the the Pavakka(Karela) Kichadi(Bitter-gourd in Yogurt ). Anyway do not confuse about the name. Usually we use Okra and beetroot for this kichadi preparation. There is not need to write more abt the nutritional factor of this great veggitable, right? However, frankly speaking I don't like this vegetable because of its bitterness but my hus is a die-hard fan of this veggie, love  to have any dish with this vegetable. So this one is a must buy item in my shopping list and also i used to make the theeyal, stir fry (mezhukku puratti)and this kichadi. If you are a "pavakka-hater" like me just try this dish, fried pavakka won’t have that much bitterness as the fresh one and you can also enjoy eating this kichadi. Sometimes we have to have such hatred dishes for healthy benefits. Whenever I avoid this vegetable my father used to say if you are not having this dish now,  you would need to drink its juice in future (Its juice is good medicine to lower Diabetes) . Nowadays my hus used to say the same. I am really scared of this diabetics so really having this bitter healthy pavakka.Anyway this kichadi is really a delicious and healthy one..Best combo with Rice and Thoran.
    Ingredients
    Bitter gourd/Bitter Melon: 1 no
    Oil: for frying
    Green chili: 1 no
    Curd: 1/2 cup
    Water: for diluting the curd
    Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
    Salt: to taste
    For seasoning
    Oil: 1 tsp
    Mustard seed: 1/2 tsp

    Red Chili: 2 no
    Curry leaves: 1 sprig
    Preparation
    • Cut the bitter gourd into thin round shaped pieces.Chop the green chilies
    • Marinate the bitter-gourd pieces and green chili with salt and turmeric powder
    • Dilute the curd by adding enough water
    Procedure
    • Heat oil in a pan.Deep fry the bitter-gourd pieces.Transfer the fried bitter gourd pieces into kitchen tissue(u can avoid excess oil in it)
    • Add the fried pieces into the curd and mix well.Add salt as required.
    • Heat oil in a pan..Add mustard seed ,once it started spluttering add the red chili and curry leaves.
    • Add the curd pavakkaya mix into the seasoning.Just heat for 30  seconds.Add salt as required
    The delicious Pavakkaya Kichadi is ready to serve..
    Cook’s Tip
    • Do not cut the pavakkaya into very thick,then it will take more oil and more time to get it fried.
    • Do not over heat the curd bittergourd mix.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Vellarikka Pachadi-Cucumber in Coconut-Curd mix

    The cucumber has a very important  role in Kerala cooking.. There are different kinds of cucumber(visit here for more details). Mainly there are two  types of  cucumbers: one is Kerala cucumber (yellow cucumber/dosakkai) and garden Cucumebr(we call it as salad cucumber-used for the raitha and salad preparation. good for eyes also).In Kerala cooking we use the former one. I always like to make the Pachadi with this vegetable. Actaually, the  Pachadi is a dish with curd, cocunut, jeera(cumin seed) and Kaduku(mustard seed). When Amma prepare this pachadi she does not add mustard. My brother and I doesn’t like the taste of mustard so she always prefer to make it  with no mustard.. but my hus home,  they used to add the mustard seeds Nowadays I used to prepare my mom’s and mil’s recipes... and we are calling both the dish as pachadi..(at first we have some confusion abt the name ) Today i am going to share with u guys my amma’s Pachadi recipe. I already added my mil’s recipe-Pineapple Pachadi.You can use fruit and veggies for the preparation. It is one of the important dish served for Kerala sadhya.(feast) .Anyway within weeks we all are going to celebrate our Onam festival .So do not miss to include this delicious pachadi in ur list..
    Ok let me share the recipe.
    Ingredients
    Yellow Cucumber:1/4 portion
    Green Chili: 3 nos
    Salt: to taste
    Curd: 1/2 cup
    For Grinding
    Coconut: 1/4 cup
    Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
    Pearl onion: 1 no
    For seasoning
    Oil: 1 tsp
    Mustard Seed: 1 tsp
    Red Chili: 1 no
    Curry leaves: 1 sprig
    Preparation
    • Peel the skin and de seed the cuumber then cut them into very small square pieces.
    • Chop the green chili
    • Make a nice paste of coconut,Cumin seeds and pearl onion.Add some water for grinding.
    Procedure
    Step1:
    • Cook the cucumber pieces with chopped green chili, salt and 1/4 cup of water for 3 minutes in medium heat.
    • Add the coconut paste to the half cooked cucumber and let the mix to cook for 5 minutes or until the cucumber pieces are completely cooked
    Step2: 
    • Let the cooked mix to cool down.Add the curd  and mix well..
    Step3: 
    • Heat oil in a pan .Add the mustard seed, Once it staretd spluttering add the red chili and curry leaves.. 
    • Add the cucumber-curd mix into the seasoning. change the heat level to very low and just heat it for 2 minutes...Do not boil the mix.
    The Delicious Vellarikka Pachadi is ready to serve.Have it with rice.
    Cook’s Tip:
    • Do not add more water for cooking the cucumber 
    • Do not add curd to the hot mixture
    • Do not over heat the pachadi while seasoning.
    • According to your taste add more chilies.
    • Do not add more pearl onion.

    Saturday, July 17, 2010

    Aloo Methi Masala and Beetroot Chapati

    Today’s special is  Aloo Methi masala (Potato-Fenugreek leaves Masala) and Beetroot Chapati. Usually for dinner, i always prefer to prepare the kerala style meal, Rice with some veg or non veg sides. Because that's the only time my hus can  really enjoy the  food. During the breakfast time he will be so hurry to leave to work and lunch time he will be in office. So dinner and weekend meals should be our favorite. that's the reason i always add some specials on these meals like fish fry chicken curry etc..But nowadays my little one is making me so busy. sometimes i couldn’t even find time for cooking. Always he  needs his mom to play with him. So today,  i thought i can prepare some simple but delicious meal for the dinner. After a minute thought, i  decided to make the potato curry and Chapathi. Like to make some variation to both dishes. I usually buy frozen methi leaves form Indian grocery. so thought of combining the healthy leaf with the potato..the dish became Aloo methi in my own style....And  for a variety, I made the beet-root chapathi.Very easy and within a short time span i made both the dish.
    OK lets talk about the recipes..starting with Alloo Methi Masala
    Aloo Methi Masala
    Ingredients
    Potato: 4 nos
    MethiLeaves:: 1/2 cup(i used frozen)
    Onion: 1 medium
    Tomato: 1 small
    Green Chili: 1 no
    Garlic: 2 pods
    Ginger : 1 medium
    Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
    Garam Masala: 1 tsp
    Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
    Chili Powder: 1 tsp
    Kasoori methi: 1/2  tsp
    For seasoning
    Oil: 1 tsp
    Mustard seed:1/2 tsp
    Cumin seed: 1/2 tsp(optional)
    Red Chili: 1 no
    Curry leaves: 1 sprig 
    Preparation:
    • Slice the onion into very thin pieces.Crush the ginger and garlic Chop the green chili.Cut the tomato into 8 pieces.
    • In a pressure cooker add enough water and boil the potatoes until 2 whistle.. Let it cool and peel the potatoes .Dice them into medium sized or mash them ..Keep it aside
    • Defrost the methi leaves.. (just keep  outside for 30 minutes then it will be ready to cook).
    Procedure
    Step1: 
    • Heat oil in a pan.Add the mustard seed once it started spluttering add the red chili and some curry leaves.Saute for some time .
    • Add the ggg’s followed by the red onion.. saute until the onion are  transparent.
    • Add the tomato pieces and saute for 1 minute..
    • Add the Turmeric,Chili,coriander,garam masala and kasoori methi powder and mix with the sautéed ingredients.
    Step2:
    • Add the methi leaves and mix all together.. saute well
    • Finally add the mashed potatoes.close the pan and let the mix to cook for 3-5 minutes in medium heat.. 
    • Garnish with some curry leaves.
    The delicious Potato Methi masala is ready to have Have it with chapati.. 
    Cook’s Tip
    • Here i used the frozen methi.If u use the fresh one just saute/cook for some more time.
    • If u don’t like to mash the potato just cook them accordingly.. Here i mashed the potatoes.Both ways it tastes delicious
    • According to ur taste bud change the quantity of chili powder.
    Beetroot Chapathi
    Ingredients
    Beetroot: 1/2 portion of a medium sized beet
    Wheat flour: 1 cup
    Oil : some
    salt : to taste
    Ghee/Butter: enough
    Water: enough
    Preparation
    • Dice the beet and cook them in the microwave for about 5 minutes Add some water and salt..
    • Make a paste of the cooked beet.
    • In a large sized bowl mix the wheat flour, salt, beet  paste and oil together.
    • Add enough water and mix it and make a dough with right consistency for the chapati
    • Cover the prepared dough with a wet cloth and keep it aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour
    Procedure
    • Make medium lemon size balls from the prepared dough
    • In a flat surface or flat wooden chapati maker roll them into circular shape.Add the flour while rolling it for not sticking to the surface
    • Heat the pan ...Place the rolled dough and just heat up both side (30 sec - 1 min)
    • Meantime place the chapati grill(see the picture) on the stove top and  heat that and place the half-cooked chapati on it and cook. It will make the chapati so softer and tastier.
    • Apply butter/Ghee to the cooked chapathi.. It will give nice flavor..
    The Delicious beet chapathi is ready to have..Have it with Aloomethi masala
    Cook’s Tip
    • Do not add more water to cook the beet-root.. if excess water is there just use that for mixing the flour ..
    • If u like  u can increase the quantity of the beet.
    • Instead of mixing all the ingredients together you can  do it separately.First mix and  make a dough then add the beet paste and mix together 
    sending the aloo methi to  Think Spice-Think Fenugreek guest hosted by Priya, event by Sunita..

      Monday, July 12, 2010

      Chicken Liver Masala

      “Viva España” ..Hope every body had enjoyed the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer Final. At last, Spain got the cup.. The final match was not too bad though it was a physical game (especially Netherlands's play)..It was a war in the play-ground.The Red Bull vs Orange Lion. This was the first time Spain got the chance to play in the World cup final and they got it...Good work guys.
      My hus is a die-hard fan of this soccer. He used to watch all the game; for a company me too. After watching few games I also got interested in these games...I never forget the Ghana vs Uruguay match..After watching the game I was so disappointed. The penalty kick he (Gyan) took in that last minutes in the extra time was not gone through but the within minutes he scored the goal in the penalty shoot-out!.. If he could make the same few minutes ago,  those guys sure would have won the game..I always scared of watching the penalty shoot-outs.. The entire team’s future is depend on one single player, he fails to score, the entire team loses. That's bad right? Winners, you keep up your work. Losers, failure is the step for the victory, so don’t worry Keep going. We will see you all again in Barzil after 4 years.
      OK, Let me share my worldcup special recipe. It is a chicken dish.but very special kind of dish.-Chicken Liver Masala.Chicken is familiar to everyone and and it’s one of the favorite meat for all non-vegetarians. However, I am pretty sure that so many of u haven’t tried this chicken liver masala. I haven’t tried either until last week. I was not that familiar this liver curry but tasted the lever pieces often when mom used to make the chicken curry at home. She always add  the liver pieces in the chicken curry  for me as because it is my favorite one. If my brother found the piece in his curry plate, he used to say:”hey ur special is in my plate”. However I hadn’t tasted the specially made liver dishes like “Chicken Liver masala”. When we came to US,  we used to buy the Mutton liver from HALAL market but not chicken liver. We never thought about Chicken Liver. Recently I saw this chicken liver in our favorite grocery shop: Kroger.
      Today  when I started preparing tea in the morning  I realized that we didn’t have the milk.Somehow I forgot to buy it .So we decided to goto our favorite shop:Kroger.We bought the milk and i thought i can make some chicken biriyani,ya really anyway its weekend.. just told my hus and just headed to poultry section.There i saw something unusal, one box (looks like yogurt box) little confused  “why did they place this yogurt in meat section”.. Then i checked the label and realized that it was not yogurt ;it was chicken liver. I was so excited.because very first time i was seeing such an item there. changed the plan for the biryani and  bought one liver box.  Then made this soccer special liver masala.
      About the recipe,this is so simple and the process is as same as the way we used to make the chicken curry. one difference is that here we are not using the tomato.One more thing this time i used the home-made masala for this preparation. .Amma used to prepare the same at home but, whenever i asked her about the quantity she use to say “athu oru alavinangu edukkanam”. She never gives the exact measurement because she never follows the measurements, just use her intuition and experience. However, this time I could successfully convert her intuition and experiences in to exact measurements and it  came out really nice.. The homemade masala taste really superb fresh and so aromatic.so does the curry :).If u are a liver lover and if u have a chance to buy it,  don’t miss to try this delicious liver masala. It is so simple and a superb combination with chapathi, roti, paratha and tosted bread.One more thing i want to say: Keep it for sometime before serving then the liver pieces get the masala and it tastes really good. Ok let me  explain the details of our favorite chicken liver masala recipe
      Cost of the Item:3.50 usd/1.1 Pound
      Ingredients
      Chicken liver: 1 pound
      Butter: 1 tbsp
      Red Onion: 1 medium sized
      Ginger: small size
      Garlic: 3 pods
      Green Chili: 2 no
      Turmeric Powder:1/2 tsp
      Red Chili Powder: 2 tbsp
      Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
      Garam Masala: 1 tbsp
      For Seasoning
      Oil: 1 tsp
      Mustard seed: 1 tsp
      Red Chili: 2 nos
      Curry leaves: 1 sprig
      Preparation
      Step1:
      • Cut  the liver pieces into small size and wash them under running water.
      • Marinate the Liver pieces with some salt ,Turmeric powder and chili powder.
      • Slice the onion into small pieces.Crush the ginger and garlic.Slit the green chilies.
      • Prepare the Garam Masala as follows:
                   Fennel seed:1 tbsp
                   Cardamom:8
                   Cinnamon stick: 1/2 portion of a stick
                   Star Anise:1 no
                   Nut mug: 1/2 of a cardamom size
                   Peppercorn: 8 nos
                  clove:7-8 nos
           Fry all the  ingredients  and make a nice powder.Keep the rest in an airtight container.
      Step2: 
      • Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan.Add the mustard seeds,once it started spluttering add the red chili and curry leaves .. saute for 30 seconds.
      • Add the GGG’s.saute for sometime
      • Add the Onion slices into it. saute until the onions get transparent.
      • Add the  turmeric powder,Chili powder Coriander powder and Garam Masala.Mix well with the onion mix
      • Add the Liver pieces into the masla mix and cook the same for 7-10 minute in medium heat.Garnish with curry leaves.
      The Delicious Chicken Liver Masala is ready to have.Best combination is with chapathi.


      Cook’s Tip
      • Do not overcook the liver .If u do so, it will become  rubbery  and won’t get the real taste and texture.
      • You can use oil instead of butter. I prefer Coconut oil.It will give nice taste and aroma (Keralites like its taste and aroma).

      Tuesday, July 6, 2010

      Lunch/Dinner Platter and Okra in Coconut Milk curry

      I thought of posting a Kerala style lunch/dinner platter for long time. But I always forgot to take the pictures and also it is not quite easy to set all the curries for the photos. However, this time I did it and today I am going to share with you guys the delicious platter. Everywhere platter has its own traditional way of side dishes and the main dish. In Kerala style platter, we usually have rice for our lunch and dinner: Rice with one curry, one thoran (stri-fry), one mezhukkupiratti (fried vegetable) and a non-veg dish..then papad or pickle; sometimes both.Today's Platter has 3 side-dishes, the sides are "Okra curry", "Shrimp fry" and "Koorka mizukkupiratti". This a best combination platter. I already posted the recipes for Shrimp Fry and Kooka mizhukupiratti and I thought of sharing the recipe for okra curry today. Okra is my favorite veggie. So love to have any dish with this delicious veggie. Actually my hus doesn't like its texture. So whenever I prepare any dish with this vegetable, I saute it nicely and then only use it in the dish otherwise it will have the mushy(gummy) texture. He likes this curry because it doesn't have such a gummy texture. Nowadays this is a common in our menu. Hope u guys also try this curry.. It is not so difficult (the only difficult part is the prepartion of coconut milk. if u r using the canned milk then nothing to worry  ..very simple one) Within minutes u can prepare it as a side dish for ur rice, roti or paratha (even with bread).  taste really delicious.. so try it.
      OK let me explain the platter in detail
      Main Dish: Rice
      Here i used the Parboiled rice..This is a type of rice almost similar to our kuthari rice ( in shape) and also taste good and healthy.
      Side Dish1: Koorkka Mezhukkupiratti/Chinese Potato Stir Fry
      Check here for the recipe
      Side Dish 2:Shrimp Fry/Chemmen Pollichathu
      Check here for the recipe
      Side Dish 3: Okra in Coconut Milk/vendakka curry
      Ingredients
      Okra:10 nos
      Onion: 1/4 portion of a medium size
      Green chili: 1 nos
      Tomato: 1 no
      tamarind: small quantity
      Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
      Chili powder: 1 tbsp
      Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
      Diluted/Thin coconut milk: 11/2 cup
      concentrated/Thick coconut milk: 1/4 cup
      For seasoning
      Oil: 1 tsp
      Red chili: 1 nos
      Curry leaves: 1 sprig
      Preparation
      Step1:
      • Wash the okra and cut each of them into 3 pieces.
      • Cut the onion into very small piece .cut the tomato into 8 pieces.cut the green chili into small pieces.
      • Soak the tamarind into little hot water.
      • Prepare both the concendarated and diluted coconut milk.
      Step2:
      • Heat oil in a pan.Add the mustard seeds.Once it get started sputtering add the red chili and curry leaves.
      • Add the onion green chili ,saute for sometime
      • Add the Okra pieces then saute for 5-7 minute or until the okra get well sauted.
      • Add the tomatoe pieces into it saute well
      Step3: 
      • once the tomato get sauted add the salt, turmeric powder ,coriander powder and chili powder along with the tamarind juice and diluted coconut milk.boil the mix until the okra get cooked completely.
      Step4:
      • Finally add the thick coconut mix and mix well .. just  heat for 1 minute.
      The delicious okra curry is ready to have..Have it with rice and other sides.
      Cook's Tip
      • Dry the okra using the kitchen tissues before cutting them into small pieces
      • For making the diluted coconut milk just add some quantity of water.
      • If u like u can smash the cooked okra pieces .
      • Do not add more tamarind juice. If u added the more tamarind, just add more concendrated coconut milk at the last step (to balance the taste).
      Pappad pickle and curd are always a side for the rice.Hope all of you have enjoyed this delicious platter.