Aloo matar subji (Potato & peas in a spicy gravy)

Lunch today comprised of my take on an Indian classic, aloo matar subji with some gluten free rotis (recipe posted earlier with a couple of tweaks – added an egg and some caraway seeds this time).   There are a few vegetable combinations with potato that work really well and peas is one of them.   I picked up some fresh peas from the supermarket last week and did not want to see them go to waste and so I shelled them and kept them in the fridge with a view to using them today.  I can’t wait to make this again for Anna when she’s back – I think she will love it.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 4-5 medium potatoes peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup of fresh peas
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3 green chillies
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1″ piece of ginger (skin off)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor (mango powder)
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) optional
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish
  • 3 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

 

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Par boil the potatoes and peas and keep aside.   Use a pestle and mortar to make a paste of the ginger, garlic, green chillies and black peppercorns.   Heat a heavy bottom pan and add ghee and cumin seeds with a pinch of asafoetida .  Stir for a minute before adding the paste – stir for another couple of minutes, add the chopped onions and cook for 5-8 minutes till the onions start to turn brown.   Add the turmeric, red chilli and coriander powder with a dash of salt.  Give it a good mix before adding the tomatoes.   Cook over medium heat till the fat leaves the masala.  Add the potatoes and peas with a cup of water.   Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 minutes till the vegetables are cooked.   Add the amchoor and fenugreek at this stage  (if you can’t find amchoor then use juice of half a lime), adjust the seasoning and mix well.  Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with your favourite Indian bread or rice.

 

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Gluten free rotis with dudhi subji

Having searched the web for alternatives to wheat rotis we stumbled upon a recipe for gluten free rotis made from sorghum (jowar) flour and amaranth (rajgaro/rajgira) flour.   We were both surprised with the pleasant outcome and questioned why we hadn’t done this before.  We have also included a recipe for a dudhi (calabash or bottle gourd) subji  to go with the rotis.  We are excited with this discovery as we can include it in future dinner parties and not rely on rice only.

Bottle-Gourd-Doodhi-

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Gluten free rotis

What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthum gum
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

6 rotis – depending on size

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with some cold water to form a dough.   Roll out into discs and cook on skillet.   Add a bit of ghee to both sides to ensure a softer roti.

 

Dudhi subji

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 long dudhi peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 small tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Whole garam masala (5 cloves, 5 green cardamoms, 1″ piece of cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves)
  • 3-4 tbsp ghee
  • Handful fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Par boil the dudhi and keep aside.   Grind the onion, garlic and ginger into a paste.  Heat ghee in a pan and add whole garam masala and saute for a few minutes before adding the ground paste.   Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes till the paste is cooked through and begins to brown.   Dissolve the coriander, chilli, cumin and turmeric in 60 ml of water and add to the pan.   Stir the paste for another couple of minutes before adding the pureed tomatoes.   Continue to cook for 10 minutes till the fat leaves the masala.   Add the yoghurt and stir in the par boiled dudhi and peas and simmer for 15 minutes.   Sprinkle the garam masala powder, adjust the seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander.

Methi and spinach chicken

One of my favourite recipes from my food bible (Prashad by Inderjit Singh Kalra) is methi (fenugreek) chicken.  I made some a few days ago and added spinach to the recipe which works a treat.  As with every recipe in this book the outcome never seems to fail and the final product is worthy of any top class restaurant.  We had the chicken with brown rice string hoppers but it is a great dish to serve with your favourite Indian bread or rice pilau.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg chicken – we used skinless, boneless thighs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 300 gm chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 5 tbsp ginger (3 tbsp chopped and 2 tbsp julienned)
  • 6 green chillies chopped (de-seed if you want to reduce spiciness)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 250 gm chopped tomatoes
  • 150 gm baby spinach
  • 150 gm fresh fenugreek (if using dried fenugreek leaves – sprinkle 2 tbsp towards end of cooking process)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
  • Whole garam masala
    • 5 green cardamom
    • 1 black cardamom
    • 5 cloves
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 1 bay leaf
    • A pinch of mace
  • 1/2 cup of ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Whisk yogurt in a bowl and add chicken, salt, chopped spinach and fenugreek leaves.  Leave this marinade aside for 30 minutes.  Heat ghee in a oven proof pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.  Add onions and saute until golden brown.  Then add chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies, stir for 2 minutes.   Dissolve the turmeric, chilli and coriander powder in 60 ml of water and add to the pan – stir for 30 seconds.   Add the tomatoes and cook(stir often)  till fat leaves the masala, add the marinated chicken along with marinade and about 1 cup of water.   Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and the fat leaves the masala once again.  Adjust the seasoning.  Sprinkle the ginger and coriander (and dried fenugreek leaves, ‘kasoori methi’ at this point if not using fresh leaves).  Cover with lid.   Mix some wheat flour and water to make a dough and seal the lid with the dough before placing in a 200 degree pre heated oven for 15 minutes.   Remove the seal, stir and serve hot with your favourite Indian bread or rice.

Dinner party – Sahni family

A good friend once quoted “the best discovery true friends can make is that they can grow separately without growing apart” (you know that feeling when you meet someone after a very long time it and you pick up from where you left off).  This quote has stuck with me for the last 15 odd years and as I meet up with friends from yesteryear the more profound this quote seems.  On Friday night we had the Sahni family over for dinner.  I knew Pawan and Sumatee from my days in Bahrain – they were a second family to me after my sister and brother-in-law moved to Dubai.  When I left Bahrain in 2001 their 2 kids Niharika and Akhil were only 6 years and a year and a half.

Friday night was an opportunity for them to meet my family for the first time as we got reacquainted after 12 odd years.   Niharika and Akhil were a lot older but Pawan and Sumatee hadn’t changed much (time has been a lot kinder to them!! ).  Anna and I thoroughly enjoyed prepping for the dinner and below are a few of the recipes from our dinner party.

Appetisers

  • Falafel & sweet potato balls with sweet chilli sauce (store bought from COSTCO)

Main Course

  • Kadai chicken (recipe from “Prashad” by Jiggs Kalra)
  • Meat belli ram (“”)
  • Dahl makhani (“”)
  • Minted roast potatoes
  • Kachumber salad
  • Jeera pilau
  • Chappathis

Dessert

  • Homemade lactose free strawberry ice cream

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Kadai Chicken

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg boneless chicken thighs cut into three pieces
  • 3 ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 1 kg tomatoes chopped
  • 4 green chillies deseeded and chopped
  • 40 gms ginger chopped
  • Small bunch of coriander chopped
  • 5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 8 whole red chillies (dry variety)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek (kasoori methi)
  • 7 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Dry grind the coriander seeds and red chillies to a powder and keep aside.  Heat ghee in a pan, add garlic paste and sauté over medium heat until light brown.  Add the dry spices, stir for 30 seconds, add tomatoes, bring to a boil, add green chillies, ¾ of the ginger and a third of the chopped coriander, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes.  Then add chicken, bring to a boil, simmer, stirring occasionally until the fat leaves the masala, the gravy becomes thick and the chicken is tender.  Sprinkle garam masala and fenugreek leaves and stir for a couple of minutes.  Adjust the seasoning.  Garnish with remaining ginger and chopped coriander and serve with Indian bread of your choice.

Meat Belli Ram

What do I need to make it?

  • 1.2 kg spring lamb (I used boneless leg of mutton) cubed
  • 600 gms yoghurt whisked
  • 500 gms onions sliced
  • 7 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 5 tbsp garlic chopped
  • 10 green cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (use paprika or cayenne as alternatives)
  • 7 ½ tsp coriander seeds
  • 125 gm ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Firstly, mix all of the ingredients, except coriander seeds and ghee with yogurt and leave the lamb chunks in this marinade for at least 2 hours.

Heat ghee in a pan, add coriander seeds and sauté over medium heat until the begin to crackle.  Transfer the lamb, along with the marinade and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.  Then cover and simmer, stirring at regular intervals until meat is tender.  Uncover, increase to medium heat and cook until fat leaves the masala.  Adjust the seasoning.  Serve hot with Indian bread of your choice.

Dahl makhani

What do I need to make it?

  • 2/3 cup whole urad dahl
  • 3 tbsp red kidney beans
  • 3 ½ tsp ginger paste
  • 3 ½ tsp garlic paste
  • 120 ml tomato puree
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 120 gm unsalted butter
  • 120 ml single cream
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Wash and soak dahl and beans before pressure cooking (traditional recipe calls for cooking on open flame but I’ve found pressure cooking quicker with little compromise on taste). Once cooked mash the dahl and add remaining ingredients (save 20 gms of butter and cream for later) with some water and cook over low heat for 40 minutes (stir occasionally to ensure the dahl doesn’t stick to the bottom).  Add the remaining butter and cream and cook for ten minutes.  Adjust the seasoning and then serve with either rice or Indian bread of your choice.

Mint roast potatoes

We came across an interesting variety of potatoes we had never seen before and bought it to make this dish.   It is quite seasonal like Jersey potatoes and very tasty.

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg anya potatoes (Jersey or new baby potatoes will work too)
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • Grind to a paste
    • 4 cloves of garlic
    • 3-4 green chillies
    • 4-5 Indian button onions
    • ½ inch piece of ginger
    • Small bunch of fresh coriander and mint leaves
    • Small ball of tamarind
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • Pinch of asafoetida
    • 3 tbsp oil
    • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Par boil the potatoes with a pinch of turmeric powder and a dash of salt.  Heat oil in a large pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add the sliced onions and sauté for another 5 minutes before adding the paste ingredients.   Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes before adding the par boiled potatoes.  Continue to cook on a low heat till potatoes are cooked through and begin to roast a bit.  Serve hot.­

Kachumber salad

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • 1 small green pepper chopped
  • Half a cucumber chopped
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • Juice and rind of a lime
  • Handful mint, coriander and basil leaves chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Make sure all the vegetables are chopped in similar size pieces and mix in a bowl with chopped herbs, lime rind/juice and seasoning.   This salad works really well for Indian meals and barbecues with grilled meats.

Homemade strawberry ice cream

We recently bought an ice cream maker from Andrew James with a view to make our own at home and to experiment with flavour combinations.  For starters we have followed general guidelines that came with our ice cream maker and so far we have successfully produced two batches – both are lactose free (Anna made a wicked orange marmalade ice cream to inaugurate the ice cream maker).  We can now say that we have definitely been bitten by the “make your own bug” and plan to feature ice cream on the dessert menu for future dinner parties..  The original recipe for this ice cream recommended double cream and caster sugar (no tofu or soya cream).

What do I need to make it?

  • 450 gms strawberry
  • 2 ½ tbsp fruit sugar
  • 275 ml soya cream
  • 75 gm silken tofu
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large meringue nests

How much will I make?

Around 1 litre tub

How do I make it?

Puree the strawberries with the fruit sugar.  Blend half the puree with the vanilla extract, soya cream and tofu.  Break the meringue into mixture till it dissolves and then refrigerate till ready to use.  Once ice cream is done pour in the remaining strawberry puree and swirl into the mixture.  We served the ice cream on a bed of broken meringue and topped it with a summer berry compote and fresh strawberries (our rendition of Eton mess).

Weekly rice treat – Bhel Puri

Trying to be strictly Paleo, diet wise,  is pretty hard work but  there’s no turning back on the wheat and gluten front (we have now abstained for over 4 months and feel a lot more energetic and rejuvenated).  This weeks rice treat was bhel puri with a wicked green chutney and store bought tamarind sauce. We had the bhel puri with a delicious smoothie – not sure how I missed the boat on making homemade smoothies – easy as ABC and incredibly tasty.  Had some left over apples and banana and blitzed it with some frozen berries and fruit salad (no ice needed!)

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Bhel Puri

What do I need to make it?

  • 125  gms puffed rice (mamra)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • Small green mango chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • Handful of fresh coriander chopped
  • 4 tbsp tamarind sauce (we use Maggi Tamarina tamarind sauce – available in all Asian groceries)
  • 4 tbsp green mint & coriander chutney
  • Fine sev (gram flour noodles) to garnish

How much will I make?

Serves 4 comfortably

How do I make it?

Use a large salad bowl to pour the puffed rice in.  Sprinkle the other ingredients (except sev) and sauces and mix well till the puffed rice is evenly coated.  Add a little more of the sauces if needed.  Place into bowls and garnish with sev before serving.
Green chutney

What do I need to make it?

  • Handful mint leaves
  • Small bunch of coriander
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 2-3 small green chilies
  • 1 sprig of spring onion
  • Small carrot (gives the chutney more body)
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Around 150 – 200  ml

How do I make it?

Put all the ingredients in a blender and puree to a fine paste – use very little water if needed.  Adjust the seasoning.  This is an awesome chutney to spread on bread with cucumber and cream cheese or as a dip for samosas, dokhlas or any Indian snack.

Wild rice pilaf

As Anna and I have reined back on our rice consumption we try and make our weekly treat as interesting as possible.  What started off as a trial in combining flavours together turned out to be a pretty tasty dish which we are sure to repeat in the future.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/2 cups of wild rice washed and soaked
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 spring onion chopped
  • 1 red chili chopped
  • 5-6 baby corn cut into bite size pieces
  • 5-6 mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • Handful basil leaves chopped
  • Handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 piece of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat ghee in a pan and then add bay leaves, cinnamon and star anise.   Saute for a minute before adding sliced onions, spring onions and red chili.  Saute for a couple of minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Cook for five minutes and then add chopped herbs and washed/pre-soaked wild rice.   Stir for a couple of minutes before transferring to an electric cooker.  Add three cups of water, coconut milk powder and then adjust the seasoning.  Serve hot with raita of choice.

Hosted friends for dinner 7/4/13

We had fun yesterday prepping and cooking for friends whom we should have had over long ago – better late than never.  Our guests enjoyed the food and were surprised with the variety of South Indian fare on hand versus the stereo typical list of  SI foods ie. idli/dosai/uthappam and sambar!  Our menu consisted of the following (recipes below if interested in trying it out):

Starters

  • Lamb sheek kebabs
  • Masala Vadai

Main Course

  • Courgette Olan
  • Mushroom Onion Theeyal
  • Crispy Bittergourd
  • Chicken Ularthiyathu
  • Coconut Rice

Dessert

  • Instant Homemade Rasmalai

Lamb Sheek Kebabs

This dish was our effort to replicate the delicious kebabs we have at one of our favourite haunts – Mirch Masala  (http://www.mirchmasalarestaurant.co.uk/).  Close but no cigar – Mirch has a definite je ne c’est quoi ingredient which we haven’t quite cracked yet.

What do I need to make it?

  • 500 gm lean  minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 green finger chillies finely chopped (increase/decrease to taste)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds crushed in pestle and mortar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Salt to taste

How many will I make?

Should be enough to make approximately 18-20 kebabs depending on size

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make sure ingredients are well incorporated into the meat (the egg will help bind all the ingredients together).  Finished article should look a dough ball but a lot softer.  Cover the bowl with cling film/plate and allow the mixture to rest in the fridge for an hour before cooking.  Pre heat oven to 190 degrees Centigrade (we us a fan assisted oven) – might need higher temp for conventional ovens.  Now for the fun bit of moulding the kebabs.  Get a bowl of cold water as this will help.  Wet your hands and grab a golf size ball of mixture  in one hand only and mould the  meat to the desired shape (a small cigar) using your finger.  If this is challenging then roll them into balls or shapes of your desire.  Place the kebabs on a well greased tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.  Turn the kebabs over half way through.  Serve hot with fresh mint and coriander chutney.

Masala Vadai

Nothing better than piping hot masala vadais with a cup of desi chai on a rainy day.  There are umpteen different ways to make the vadai and the ingredients can be tinkered with flavours of your choice (mint leaves, chopped garlic, ginger etc.)

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 1/4 cup  channa dahl – soaked in water for a couple of hours
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 green finger chillies finely chopped (increase/decrease to taste)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander chopped
  • Handful of fresh curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry (vegetable or sunflower)

How many will I make?

Should be enough to make approximately 20-25 vadais depending on size

How do I make it?

Drain water from dahl and blitz in blender to a coarse paste.  You should not need to add any water but if necessary add a few drops at a time.   Transfer the coarse paste into a bowl and mix the other ingredients and get ready to fry (wait too long and the onions will let go of water and the mixture will become too soft and splutter a lot in the oil).  Traditionally, one would make little patties on a sheet of plastic or form patties with wet hands bit we’ve found the easiest way is a tablespoon and butter knife.  Scoop the mixture into a tablespoon and flatten (don’t want a thick patty – will not cook through) with knife and push patty into the hot oil.  Cook till golden brown (turn the vadai’s over halfway through).  Serve hot with fresh coriander and mint chutney.

Courgette Olan

This has to be one of the simplest dishes to make but tastes divine.  Shiv did not have Olan before marriage but now swears by it and makes it regularly.

What do I need to make it?

  • 2 courgettes washed and chopped into cubes (can use white/red pumpkin, marrow)
  • 1/4 cup black eyed peas (soaked and pressure cooked)
  • 4-5 green finger chillies slit
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp coconut powder (Nestle’s Maggi Coconut Powder – our favourite)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Place chopped courgettes, slit green chillies, curry leaves and salt in a pot and cook with a little water over low to medium flame.   When courgette is cooked, add the pressure cooked black eyed peas and bring to a boil.  Adjust the seasoning and then add coconut powder, stir till dissolved and then add coconut oil.  Done – switch off and serve with boiled rice.

 

Mushroom Onion Theeyal

Shiv hadn’t eaten theeyal prior to marriage but has found it an interesting alternative to sambhar.

What do I need to make it?

  • 150 gms button onions (or small shallots) peeled
  • 150 gms button mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • Lemon ball size of fresh tamarind (can be substituted with 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste) soaked in hot water
  • Salt to taste

 Paste ingredients

  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • 2 tbsp oriander seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/4  cup of grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

Roast the above ingredients in coconut oil and grind to a paste with a little water if necessary.

How many will it serve?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Heat the coconut oil in a pot and add mustard seeds.  Once the mustard seeds have popped add the fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.  Add button onions and saute for a couple of minutes.  Then add the button mushrooms and saute for another couple of minutes.   Add about a litre of water (should cover the mushrooms and onions).  Add the turmeric powder, salt and strain the fresh tamarind and add to the pot .  Let the mixture boil for half an hour on a medium flame till the raw smell of the turmeric goes.   Add the paste to the mixture and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Adjust the seasoning and serve with boiled rice or Indian bread of your choice.

Crispy Bittergourd (Karela)

If you know someone that hates bittergourd (like Shiv) then here’s a recipe which hopefully will convince them to think twice.

What do I need to make it?

  • 250 gm bittergourd (karela) washed and sliced
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 3-4 green finger chillies (increase/decrease to taste) sliced thinly
  • 100 gm fresh coconut sliced thinly into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil to fry (vegetable or sunflower)

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in a big bowl and work the salt and turmeric into the bittergourd.   Steam this mixture for exactly 2 minutes.  Remove allow to cool for a couple of minutes before frying.  Serve as a side dish or snack with drinks.

Chicken Ularthiyathu

This is a recipe that Anna’s mum Saroja has passed onto us.  The beauty of this is that she is a pure vegetarian but used to cook this for her late husband without tasting – wow does it pack some flavour.

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 kg of skinless deboned chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • Handful of fresh curry leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp of coconut oil

Paste ingredients

  • 4-5 pods of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger skinned
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon (1 inch long)
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds (or 2 tsp of coriander powder)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

Grind all of the above to a fine paste using little water if necessary.

How much will I make?

Serves 4-6

How do I make it?

Wash and cut the chicken thighs into 3 pieces each and mix with paste ingredients, salt and keep aside for an hour at least (the longer the better).  Cook the chicken with marinade and all and add a cup of water.  Cook the chicken till done – the masala should coat the chicken pieces and all the liquid should have evapourated  (if there’s still some moisture, don’t worry this is  not a problem – this should thicken on cooling or you serve a semi dry dish instead of dry!).  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add curry leaves and sliced onions and fry for a few minutes.   Then add the cooked chicken and roast over medium heat till the chicken forms a crispy crust (about 10-15 minutes).  Done – serve with Kerala Paratha or as a starter with drinks.

Coconut rice

  •  2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 1 ¼  cup grated coconut
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp split urad dahl
  • ½ tsp channa dahl
  • Pinch of asaefoetida (hing/peringayam)
  • Handful fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp Sesame oil (not the toasted Chinese stuff – Gingelly oil or any neutral oil)
  • Salt to taste

Garnish

  • 12-15 cashew nuts (replace with peanut if you want)
  • ¼ cup sliced coconut pieces
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil or vegetable oil

How much will I make?

Serves 4-6

How do I make it?

Place cooked rice in a large mixing bowl and allow to cool down a bit.  Heat sesame oil in pan and temper the mustard seeds, red chillies, urad and channa dahls, curry leaves and asaefoetida.  Once the dahls turn golden brown add the grated coconut and heat through for a minute.  Add the tempering to the rice and salt to taste.   For the garnish, heat the oil in a pan and add nuts and fry till golden brown – add sliced coconut and toast till brown.  Add the garnish to the rice and serve hot.