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.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Appam




The typical breakfast or dinner dish of Kerala. It also finds place in the menus of  Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. This pancake with a soft spongy center and laced outer crust is simply a beauty to sight and taste. Paired usually with egg curry, vegetable stew or meat stew, this can be relished during anytime of the day.

Basically these are pancakes made by grinding rice and coconut, followed by fermenting the batter with yeast, and then made in a special pan called appa chatti. There are many variations in the process of grinding the batter for the appam. I have tried various methods, but felt this one gives the best appams in terms of taste, texture and appearance. So over to the recipe of appam.


 Ingredients
2 cups idli rice
1 coconut grated
2-3 Tbsp sugar
1/4- 1/2 tsp yeast(I used instant yeast)
salt to taste
water for grinding

Method
  • Soak the idli rice for atleast 3 hours.
  • Grind the soaked rice with the coconut into a very smooth batter by adding enough water.
  • Take a laddle full of the batter into a sauce pan and add 1 cup of water to it. Mix well.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil and on a medium flame cook this stirring continuously until it turns into a thick paste.
  • Remove from heat and allow this paste to cool.
  • In the blender take this cooled paste, add 1 cup of water, yeast, sugar and salt.
  • Blend this for one minute until everything is combined well. Add this mixture into the remaining rice and coconut batter prepared before and mix everything well.
  • Keep the batter aside and allow it to ferment for about 4 hours.
  • You can see a risen foamy batter once the fermentation is done.
  • Heat an appam kadai(appa chatti). Smear with some oil if you are not using a non-stick one.
  • Mix the batter well and take a laddle full of the fermented batter and pour into the appa chatti. 
  • Now pick up the appa chatti and swirl in a circular way once. This leaves a thick center part and thinner, lace like outer sides. 
  • Cover and cook the appam on a medium low flame until the center of the appam is cooked and the sides turn to light golden brown.
  • Serve this immediately - from the pan directly to the plate.
  • Appams are delicious when served with egg curries, vegetable stew or meat stew or any other curries.
  • Many like to have these appams hot with just a dash of some sugar sprinkled on top.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Portuguese Custard Tarts



Rich egg custard in crisp and flaky pastry.
Ingredients
 1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet frozen puff pastry sheets(thawed)

Method
  • Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius. Lightly grease and line 12 muffin cups with the pastry sheets, pressing the pastry sheets to the bottom and sides of the muffin cups.
  • Combine milk, cornflour, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook this mixture on a medium low heat until it starts to  thicken.
  • In a separate bowl mix the egg yolks with half cup of the above prepared milk mixture. Whisk well.
  • Add this yolk mixture gradually back into the milk mixture, stirring continuously Cook whisking continuously until the whole mixture thickens.
  •  Remove from heat and pour this mixture equally into each pastry sheet lined in the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust of the pastry turns golden brown and the custard filling is lightly browned.
  • Serve warm.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Manthal/ Sole fish fry



Ingredients
 3 big sole fish/ manthal(approx 750gm)
2-4 shallots
6-7 garlic pods, peeled
1 Tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
 few curry leaves
salt to taste
1Tbsp coconut oil
1tsp sesame oil

Method
  • Clean the fish, wash and cut into medium size pieces.
  • Grind together the shallots, garlic, curry leaves, chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt with one teaspoon coconut oil  into a fine thick paste(you can sprinkle little water to make the grinding easy, but take care not to add too much)
  • Marinate the fish with the grinded paste for atleast 15-20 minutes(the more the better).
  • Heat a nonstick pan. Pour the remaining coconut oil and sesame oil.
  • Once the oil is hot,turn the heat to medium low. Place the marinated fish on the pan and fry, flipping over after few minutes until both the sides of the fish is cooked and roasted well.
  • Remove from the pan and garnish with curry leaves.
  • Serve with rice and any curry of your choice.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Potato Stir Fry

Nothing is more comforting than a simple potato stir fry. Make this as an accompaniment with curd rice.
Pure bliss...
Ingredients
2 medium sized potatoes
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
2 Tbsp oil
a pinch of fenugreek powder
2 Tbsp chopped coriander leaves

 Method
  • Peel, wash and chop the potatoes into small cubes
  • Heat oil in a wok. Add the chopped potatoes and stir fry for 2 minutes on a medium high flame.
  • Reduce heat and add the chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • Cover and cook on a low flame for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Sprinkle the fenugreek powder and stir fry for 1-2 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and add the chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and serve.


Recipe courtesy: Our friend Usha. Thankyou Usha for sharing this simple and easy recipe with us.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chicken Piccata


A delicious chicken dish that is usually served with a lemon flavoured butter sauce. An absolute favourite of all. Here I have made a simple dip which goes well with this. An impressive dish that is so easy to make. Serve with a dip and garden fresh green salad.
Ingredients
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
salt to taste
a pinch of crushed black pepper
1 egg, beaten well
1 cup bread crumbs
oil

Method
  •  Slice the chicken breadth wise into thin rounds(like potato chips) and keep aside.
  • Marinate the chicken with the chopped parsley, thyme, pepper, salt and lime juice. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Add the beaten egg to the marinated chicken and rub it on to the chicken pieces well.
  • Coat each slice of the chicken in with the bread crumbs and deep fry in oil until golden on both sides.
  • Drain onto an absorbent paper.
  • Serve hot with a dip.


For the dip
4 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp finely chopped parsley

Mix all the ingredients for the dip well in a bowl and serve with the chicken piccata.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Carrot Kheer




Wishing everyone a Happy Diwali...


Ingredients
250 gms carrots
2-3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp ghee
2 cups milk
4-5 Tbsp condensed milk
2 cardomoms, crushed to a powder
few raisins
few cashewnuts

Method
  • Peel and chop the carrots into big chunks.
  • Add the chopped carrots to a pressure cooker, add a little water (approx.1/4 cup). Close and cook on a medium flame until the cooker gives off one whistle. Allow the pressure to subside , then open the cooker and transfer the carrots to a blender.
  • Blend the cooked carrots into a puree.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp ghee in a non stick kadai. Pour the blended carrot into the hot ghee and keep stirring until the water is absorbed from the carrots and the ghee starts to leave from the sides.
  • Now pour the milk, sugar and condensed milk. Keep stirring until  the mix starts to turn thick.
  • Switch off the flame.
  • Fry the raisins(until they puff up) and the cashenuts(until they turn golden brown) in the remaining ghee. Add to the prepared carrot payasam.
  • Sprinkle the cardamon powder. Mix and serve hot or cold.

*Adjust the amount of sugar and condensed milk as per your taste. You can even skip adding sugar and add only the condensed milk too for a more creamy flavour.