Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Coconut chammanthi

Coconut chammanthi, a staple food of the homes in Kerala, especially when one falls sick or on a cold rainy day most of the Keralites prefer a steaming hot bowl of kanji(rice gruel) and to accompany that a nice thenga(coconut) chammanthi.

1 cup grated coconut(use freshly scraped for best results)
2 tsp red chilli flakes(or crushed whole dried red chillies)
1/2 inch ginger piece(chopped)
4-5 shallots (sliced)
1 small lime sized ball tamarind
1 Tbsp coconut oil
few curry leaves


  • In a pan heat the coconut oil. Add the chilli flakes,ginger, shallots and curry leaves and roast well for 2 minutes until a nice aroma comes.(Take care not to burn the chilli flakes). 
  • Add the grated coconut and mix well. Roast for one minute(no need to brown the coconut) and then take off from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Grind this mixture along with the tamarind and salt. Preferably do not add water but in case you find it difficult to grind add 1 or 2 tsp of water while grinding. The consistency should be thick.
  • Serve this chammanthi with rice, idli or dosa.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hyderabadi Prawns Biriyani


500 gms prawns, cleaned and deveined
500 gms basmati rice
3 big onions sliced thin
6 green chillies, chopped fine
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
juice of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
300 gms yoghurt, whisked
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
6 Tbsp oil + extra for frying onions
1 Tbsp ghee

For the biriyani masala
1 tsp shahi jeera
1 tsp fennel seeds
4 cardomoms
5 cloves
4 half inch cinnamon sticks
  • The ingredients under the biriyani masala  have to be dry roasted for 2 minutes and then ground into a fine powder.  In this recipe 2 tsp of the this masala is only required(use less if you are prefer a milder biriyani).The remaining powder can then be stored in an airtight jar.
  • Fry the sliced onions until they turn crisp and golden brown. Drain from the oil and keep aside.
  • Soak the rice for 30 minutes and then drain and keep aside.
  • Marinate the prawns with turmeric powder, chilli powder, 1 tsp of the prepared biriyani masala, ginger paste, garlic paste, half of the fried onions, chopped green chillies, half of the mint leaves, lemon juice, salt and yoghurt.
  • In a large cooking pot, add water(three times the amount of rice). Add 1 tsp of the biriyani masala, bay leaves, 1 Tbsp oil(you can add the oil in which the onions were fried),  few mint leaves and salt.
  • When you taste the water it should be salty. Bring this water to a rolling boil.
  • Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pan, add the oil and ghee. Spread the marinated prawns along with the marinade over the oil and keep aside.
  • Add the soaked rice to the boiling water. Allow to boil for 4 minutes. Rice should only be half cooked. Remove from heat and drain the rice immediately.
  • Once drained spread the rice over the prawns marinade evenly. Sprinkle the remaining mint leaves, coriander leaves and fried onion on top. (You can aslo drizzle 1Tbsp of saffron infused milk(a pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 Tbsp of warm milk) on top of the rice at this step)
  • Cover  with a tight lid and cook on high flame for 7 minutes. Then bring down  to a medium-low flame and cook for 5 minutes. Finally turn the flame very low and cook for 7-10 minutes. Switch off the flame. Do not open immediately. 
  • Allow the biriyani to stand for atleast 30 minutes before opening the lid.
  • Serve hot with raita, pickle and pappad.