Mains, Side dish

Chicken Kurma- tasty restaurant style

Chicken kurma is a very flavourful chicken curry which has a base made out of onions, tomato and fresh coconut. The freshly ground spices along with the coconut gives it a deep and rich flavour. This curry goes well with rice, naan, roti, chapati, dosa, idli etc.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

1. Chicken cut ~750 gms
2. Onions- 2 medium
3. Tomato- 1 medium
4. To grind to paste : Ginger – small piece, Garlic- 5 pods , Green chilli- 1or 2
5. Cinnamon stick – 1
6. Cloves- 2
7. Cardamom pods- 2
8. Curry leaves – few
9. To grind to paste: 1/2 cup coconut, 1 tsp fennel seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp peppercorns
10. Spice powders: Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp, Coriander powder- 1.5 tbsp,
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
11. Coriander leaves- little
12. Sunflower oil- 3 tbsp

Please watch video for the method.
Do like and subscribe to my channel for more such videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7iMBtOPhutY-nKesd7a2jA

 

snacks, Starters

Murukku- crunchy and crispy savoury snack

Murukku is one of my favourite savoury snacks from childhood. I got this recipe from my mom as I didn’t want to miss any ingredient. This crunchiness and taste cannot come in any store bought ones.

Murukku is generally made for any festival or poojas. It is also a great snack for kids and adults. The ones which my mom makes is usually in a round shape like a chakli. But here I have pressed it in a free form. Do try this simple, easy and yummy recipe.

Ingredients

1. Rice flour- 1 cup
2. Urid dal flour – 1/4 cup
3. Pepper- 1 tsp
4. Bicarbonate soda- small pinch
5. Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
6. Sesame seeds- ( black or white)- 1/2 tsp
7. Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
8. Ghee- 2 tbsp
9. Coconut milk(optional)- 1/2 cup
10. Oil, salt, water as required

 

Please watch the video for the method:

General Tips and tricks

Top 3 Pressure Cooker Hacks- that you didn’t know

I must say that the Pressure cooker is one of the most useful kitchen utensils that I own. It has become an inevitable part of my every day cooking especially when it comes to cooking the traditional dals  (lentils) and meat. But recently I have been doing a lot of OPOS dishes(One pot one shot) which is a very unique style of cooking dishes. The below hacks have been inspired from that.

Here, I am sharing three hacks which will surprise how simple it is when it is done using a pressure cooker.

  1. Masala Chai – Serves 2: Ever since I discovered this, it has always been chai using the pressure cooker at my home. Easy and stressfree way!

chai

Method:

  • Pour 2 cups of milk in a Pressure cooker( used 5 litre cooker).
  • Add 3-4 tsps of loose leaf tea powder.
  • Add 1 -2 cardamom pods and optionally ginger piece.
  • Pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and switch off.
  • Let the pressure settle (around 5 mins)
  • Open lid and strain the tea using a filter.
  • Add sugar to your taste.
  • Stir well and enjoy tasty Masala Chai!

2. Boiled egg

egg

Method:

  • Place the eggs inside the pressure cooker (used 2 litre cooker)
  • Add 1.5 cups of water
  • Cover and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle
  • Remove from heat and let the pressure settle.
  • Open the lid and peel the eggs
  • Perfectly boiled eggs are ready.

3. Polish silver utensils

sil

Method:

  • Place the silver vessels inside the pressure cooker
  • Cover it with water. Make sure it does not cross 3/4th the level of the cooker.
  • Put a small ball of aluminium foil.
  • Add 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • Cover and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and remove from heat.
  • Let pressure settle and open.
  • Remove the vessels and wipe it using a paper towel
  • Super polished silver vessels are back.

Please watch the video which shows all the 3 hacks tried and tested below to believe what I just wrote.

 

Mains, Starters

Meen Pollichathu- fish baked in a banana leaf

Meen Pollichathu is a traditional Kerala dish which is packed with flavours and a very heart warming dish. The uniqueness of this dish is that the fish is cooked with lots of spices wrapped in a banana leaf. The banana leaf renders an additional taste which elevates the overall taste of the dish to the next level. It is guaranteed to transport you to God’s own country in every bite.

Meen Pollichathu is very popular around restaurants in Kerala. I first had it when I visited Munnar (Kerala) for my honeymoon. I immediately fell in love with the gorgeous melting in the mouth texture of the fish. As soon as I got my hand on some fresh banana leaves here, I just had to make this favourite of mine.

Hope you enjoy making this at your home as well.

Meen Pollichathu

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Fish (of your choice, used Barramundi here)- 250 gms
  2. For marinade:
    1. 1/2 tsp Chilli powder,
    2. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, salt
  3. For masala: Onion- 2 medium Tomato- 1 Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp Oil- 2 tsp Curry leaves- few Ginger garlic paste – 1 – 2 tbsp Chilli powder- 1 tsp Coriander powder – 1 tbsp Turmeric powder- 1 tsp Desiccated coconut- 2 tbsp
  4. Big banana leaf- 1 half

Directions

1. Preparing the masala: In a pressure cooker or pan , add little oil.

2. Splutter mustard seeds, add onions , tomato, ginger garlic paste and all the spices for the masala in point 3 of Ingredients.

3. If using pressure cooker add 1 tsp water, cover and keep it on high for 1-2 whistles and remove. Release the pressure and mix the masala into a paste using the ladle.

4. If using pan, cook it all into a thick masala consistency.

5. Separately marinate the fish with little chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt for around 15 mins.

6. Pan fry with 1 tsp oil for around 2 mins on each side of the fish. Set aside.

7. Clean and wipe the banana leaf. Show the leaf over open low flame for few seconds. This will ensure that the leaf does not break or rip while folding.

8. Spread the banana leaf. Take some prepared masala paste and spread it. Place the fish on top of the masala. Again put the remaining masala paste over the top of the fish and spread it.

9. Fold in the leaf over the coated fish on all four sides.

10. Take a pan and place this wrapped banana leaf on to it. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 mins on each side.

11. The fish will get cooked well with the masala.

12. Remove the banana leaf from the pan and slowly open it.

13. Yummy and delicious Meen Pollichathu is ready to be served. Enjoy!

Also please watch the video recipe below :

Mains

Special Mutton Biryani

Biryani is a dish which is always in my weekend menu. Mutton biryani is something even more special as the frequency I make it is less compared to the usual chicken biryani. But every time I do make this mutton biryani, it turns out perfect and hence my foolproof recipe.

In the mutton biryani, we know exactly how much water needs to be added as the meat is first cooked in a pressure cooker with its marinade and little water. After that the rice is cooked along with the meat and we can be sure that the meat will not ooze out any more water and a perfect well grained biryani is ready.

I always prefer to cook mutton first unlike chicken which needs only less cooking time. And once we cook the rice with the cooked meat, we also will get a falling off the bone meat in the biryani which will be absolutely delicious. Hope you like my recipe below. Enjoy!

Special Mutton Biryani

  • Servings: 5-7
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Mutton (Goat meat)- 1.5 kgs
  2. Basmati rice- 2 cups
  3. Onions- 3-4 big ones
  4. Tomato- 1
  5. Oil( used sunflower oil)- 1/2 cup
  6. Mint leaves- 1 bunch
  7. Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup
  8. Cinnamon stick-1
  9. Anise seed- 1
  10. Bay leaf-1
  11. Optional: A pinch of saffron soaked in little milk/ orange food colour.
  12. Ingredients for marinade
    1. Chilli powder- 1-2 tsp
    2. Coriander powder- 2 tbsp
    3. Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
    4. Turmeric powder- 1 tbsp
    5. Biryani powder- 1-2 tbsp
    6. Plain yogurt- 3 tbsp
    7. Green chilli- 2
    8. Cardamom pods-4
    9. Clove- 2-3
    10. Ginger garlic paste- 3 tbsp
    11. Salt as required

Directions

  1. Soak the basmati rice in water for minimum 30 mins.
  2. Marinate the mutton meat: Mix all the ingredients of the marinade to the mutton and set aside for 30 mins – a couple of hours. The longer the better.
  3. Cook the marinated mutton in a pressure cooker by adding 1 cup of water. Let it whistle on high for 5-6 whistles and then simmer for around 10 mins.
  4. Lets get ready to put together the rice and meat. In a deep bottomed pan, take some oil.
  5. Fry the cut onions in it, till it turns translucent. Add a little salt while cooking the onions.
  6. Add the cinnamon stick, anise seed, bay leaf and ginger garlic paste.
  7. After a couple of minutes, add the chopped mint and coriander leaves.
  8. Also add the cooked meat.
  9. Bring it all to a boil.
  10. Then add the soaked rice into the meat. Check if the rice is completely covered with the water a little above the rice level. Add 1/2 cup of extra water to achieve it if required.
  11. Optionally add the saffron soaked milk or any orange food colouring.
  12. Cover with an aluminium foil and a tight lid so that the steam does not escape.
  13. Cook on low heat for 30 mins.
  14. After 30 minutes open the lid and check if the rice is cooked through properly. Usually it does, else you can extend the time a little further. Also all the water should have been absorbed or evaporated by then.
  15. Carefully spoon out the biryani.
  16. Delicious and tasty mutton biryani is ready. Enjoy with raita or any side of your choice.


Please also watch the video recipe I made for the Mutton Biryani below:

Mains, Side dish

Spicy Soya Stir Fry

Soya stir fry is a delicious and tasty mock meat recipe. A protein rich addition to your daily nutrition is a must and this is an amazing recipe to achieve that. I must also add that this recipe will definitely come close to the meat taste due to the size in which the soya is cut and the variety of spices added. A must try to all the vegetarians and vegans. Enjoy!
Ingredients 

1. Soya Chunks- 1 cup

2. Onions- 2 small sliced

3. tomato- 1 medium 

4. Curry leaves- few

5. Green chilli- 2

6. Coriander leaves to garnish 

7. Oil: (preferred coconut oil) 2 tbsp

8. Ginger garlic paste: 2 tbsp 

9. Cumin and fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp each 

10. Desiccated coconut (Optional) – 2 tbsp
Spices for Soya:

1. Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp

2. Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp

3. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp

Spices for Masala:

1. Kashmiri chilli powder- 1-2 tsp 

2. Coriander powder- 1 tsp

3. Garam masala powder- 1 tsp

Directions:

1. Soak soya chunks in hot water for 20 mins

2. Squeeze the excess water out of the soya using your hands.

3. Slice each soya into smaller strips of desired thickness.

4. Coat the soya strips with chilli powder, coriander powder , turmeric powder and little salt.

5. Pressure cook this mixture for 1-2whistles adding 1/4 cup water. Set it aside.
Cooking the base masala:

1. In a pan, take coconut oil or desired oil. Add the sliced onions.

2. Add ginger garlic paste, green chilli and curry leaves.

3. Stir with little salt.

4. Add the cumin and fennel seeds.

5.Once onions turn translucent add the tomato.

6. Cover and cook for 5 mins for the tomato to cook through.

7.Open and stir it to a thick masala.

8. Add the cooked soya into the masala and mix it well.

9. Cover further for 5 mins and the masala will get nicely absorbed by the soya.

10. Open the lid, stir fry it to a dry consistency.

11. Optionally add desiccated coconut, few more curry leaves.

12. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Yummy and delicious,spicy soya stir fry is ready. In Kerala this style of cooking is called Ularthiyathu and usually beef is cooked in this tasty way. This mock meat version of soya will come close to the beef stir fry. Enjoy this healthier and protien rich dish at your home today.

Please find the video recipe below:

Mains, Side dish

Mushroom Peas Masala

Mushrooms, I considered it to be exotic as I got to have it only in restaurants and  usually as a soup in India while I was young . Only later it started becoming commonly available in the vegetable/grocery shops. And what I liked about it the most is the chewy texture and also the minimal cooking time.

After moving to Australia, I saw that there are multiple varieties available in different shapes , colours ( mostly white and brown). Though it’s widely used in stir fry and soups, this Indian curry using mushrooms and peas together makes a great combination with roti or any Indian bread.

My easy go to recipe for a vegetarian side would mostly be this one. I used frozen peas in this recipe which makes the overall cooking time involved very less.

Do try out this recipe for a delicious and tasty curry.

Ingredients 

1. Mushrooms cut- 1 cup

2. Peas-1/4 cup

3. Onions- 2 medium 

4. Tomato- 1 medium 

5. Ginger garlic paste- 3 tbsp

6. Cinnamon stick- 1

7. Fennel seeds- 1 tsp

8. Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tsp

9. Coriander powder- 1 tsp

10. Garam Masala- 1 tsp

11. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

12. Oil as required 

13. Salt to taste

14. Curry leaves- few

15. Coriander leaves to garnish 

Method:

1. Take little oil in pan.

2. Add some fennel seeds, cinnamon stick and ginger garlic paste.

3. After a couple of mins when the raw smell of the paste goes away, add the cut onions along  with some salt.

4. Cook on medium heat till it turns translucent (~5-7 mins).

5. Add the chopped tomato.

6. Add the spice powders: turmeric, chilli, coriander, garam masala with some curry leaves.

7. Cook it further on medium heat  till it becomes a nice thick consistency with the tomato turning soft and mushy.

8. Add the mushrooms and peas to the masala. Cover and cook further (around 5 minutes). There will be water coming from the mushrooms naturally while cooking. You can add extra water if required.

9. Once the required gravy consistency is reached , garnish with little coriander leaves.

10. Serve hot with roti or even steamed rice and enjoy!

The video recipe can be found below:

Desserts

THAEN MITTAI- sweet candy

Thaen Mittai-Sweet Candy is one of those endangered dishes which was once very popularly sold in tea stalls (potti kadai) in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India. It will bring fond memories of one’s childhood to many.

Recreate this delicious candy at your very own home with this recipe!

Ingredients ( makes around 25 thaen mittai)

1. Rice – 1 cup ( preferred Idly rice)
2. Urad dal – 1/4 cup

3. Sugar – 1 cup

4. Cardamom powder- a pinch 

5. Baking soda- 1/4 tsp

6. Water- 1/2 cup

7. Orange red food colour- little 

8. Oil for deep frying 

9. Lemon juice- 3-4 drops

Please watch video for the method:

Side dish, Starters

Phuket Fish – Indo Chinese restaurant style chilli fish

After moving to Australia the cuisine I miss the most is the Indo Chinese food. It is so popular in India next to Indian food. It is quite different from the authentic Chinese food. Probably can say Chinese inspired but with the added Indian heat and spices to suit the Indian palate.

Every time I visit a Chinese restaurant in Chennai India, my hot favourite fish to order is the Phuket fish usually as a side or starter. It is a spicy fish coated with lots of finely chopped onions, ginger and garlic tossed up in soy sauce and chilli. Recreating this delicious dish at home was truly an ecstatic moment.

I am so happy to share with you all this restaurant style Phuket fish. A very tasty and yummy recipe not to be missed.

Ingredients ( serves 2)

1. Basa fish ( or any boneless fish of choice)- 1 big fillet (350 gms)

2. Onion- 1/2 if small 1 finely chopped 

3. Ginger- 2 tsp finely chopped 

4. Garlic- 10 cloves finely chopped 

5. Red chilli- 6 nos 

6. Soy sauce – 3 -4 tbsp

7. Spring onions- a little 

8. Coriander leaves: little to garnish (optional)

9. Pepper powder( ideally white but I used black) – a pinch

10. Oil and Salt as required 
For the method please see my video below:

Mains

Kerala Fish Curry

Kerala fish curry is one of the most delicious dishes from the state of Kerala in India. It is a tangy and spicy dish best had with steamed rice.

Traditionally fish curry is made in a clay pot and one of the key ingredients is the Kudam puli or Fish Tamarind. This recipe will use the regular tamarind instead of Fish tamarind. But please go for it if you have it handy.
This recipe also includes coconut milk which gives a nice texture and flavor to the curry.

Kerala Fish Curry

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  1. Fish cut into thick slices( red snapper, mackerel etc) ~ 750gms
  2. Onions – 2 big (or Shallots ~12 will give better taste)
  3. Tomato- 1 small
  4. Tamarind pulp using 1 small lemon sized tamarind
  5. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  6. Fenugreek seeds- 1.5 tsp
  7. Curry leaves- 3 springs
  8. Red Kashmiri chilli powder – 3 tbsp
  9. Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  10. Turmeric powder- 1-2 tsp
  11. Oil (preferred coconut oil) – 1/2 cup
  12. Coconut milk- 1/2 cup
  13. Crushed ginger- 2 tbsp
  14. Crushed garlic- 10 cloves
  15. Salt as required

Please watch video for the method: