Archives

Kumbalanga Moru Koottan / Ash Gourd in Yogurt Gravy (Kerala style)

Yet another mom’s signature dish straight from Kerala. Moru kuttan is very common in Kerala and easy to make. This is a yogurt based vegetable curry flavored with coconut. Traditional tempering adds more flavor to the curry. This simple yet yummy curry will woo you for sure.


Servings :  2

Preparation time: 10 mins 
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level : Moderate

Ingredients:

Ash Gourd 250 gm
Turmeric powder ¼ Tsp
Salt as req
Red chilli powder ½ Tsp
Water ½ Cup 
Curd  ¾ Cup
For grinding:
Coconut (Grated) ½ Cup 
Cumin seeds ½ Tsp
Green chilli 2 nos
For tempering:
Coconut Oil 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds ¼ Tsp
Fenugreek seeds ¼ Tsp
Curry leaves A stem
Dried red chilli 2 nos

Method :

1. Peel the skin of ash gourd and chop them into cubes.
2. In a pan add water, chopped ash gourd, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Place it
    on medium heat and cook for 10 mins.
3. Grind the grated coconut with cumin seeds and green chillies by adding little water to a coarse paste.
4. Add the coconut paste to the ash gourd and mix wel. Cook further 5 more mins in low flames.
5. Turn off the heat and add the beaten curd and mix. Transfer to serving bowl.
6. For tadka take a small frying pan and heat oil. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds,
    dried red chillies and curry leaves respectively.
7. Pour the tadka on to the curry. Serve with steamed rice.

Notes:

  1. This recipe can be used to make Yam, raw mangoes, raw plantain, pumpkin moru kootan.
  2. I haven’t used curry leaves as I don’t get it here. 
  3. Adjust the quantity of curd according to the sourness.

Pavakka Theeyal/Kaippakkai Theeyal/ Bitter gourd curry

Another vegetarian dish from Kerala “Kaippakkai Theeyal”. Kaippakkai meaning “Bitter gourd”. You could also use vegetables like yam, pearl onion, raw mangoes, eggplant in place of bitter gourd. It’s a curry made with roasted spices,coconut and the vegetables are boiled in tamarind water.  
When we hear the name bitter gourd most of our face changes to no no mode..  But trust me, this

recipe is full of flavours. From sourness from the tamarind, sweet from coconut & jaggery, to slight bitter from the bitter gourd makes this dish delicious.
I like my theeyal with steaming hot rice and chutta papadam (Papad toasted in charcoal or fire). Give it a try and I am sure you will like it.

Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Bitter gourd                                       100 gm
2)      Pearl onion                                        30 gm (5-6 nos)
3)      Asafoetida                                         a pinch
4)      Tamarind                                            5 gm
5)      Turmeric powder                                ¼ Tsp
6)      Jaggery                                               ¼ Tsp
7)      Coconut Oil                                            1 Tbsp
8)      Water                                                 1 ½ Cups             
For grinding:
9)      Coriander seeds                                1 Tbsp
10)   Peppercorns                                       ½ Tsp
11)   Garlic                                                 2 cloves (Optional)
12)   Dried red chilli                                   2 nos
13)   Fenugreek seeds                               ½ Tsp
14)   Coconut (Grated)                               ½ Cup/50 gm
For Tadka:
15)   Mustard seeds                                  ½ Tsp
16)   Curry leaves                                      10 nos
17)   Pearl onion                                        2 nos
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the ingredients given under grinding except coconut and transfer to grinding jar.
2)      In the same pan dry roast the grated coconut till brown and transfer to the same grinding jar.
3)      Grind them using ½ cup of water to a paste.
4)      Chop the pearl onions coarsely.
5)      Slice the bitter gourd thinly.
6)      Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 5 mins. And squeeze them to extract tamarind paste.
Cooking:

1)      Heat ½ Tbsp Oil in a pan.
2)      Add asafoetida and chopped onions.
3)      Fry till onions turn golden brown. Now add little turmeric powder.
4)      Add the sliced bitter gourd. Saute well to combine.
5)      Add the ground paste and salt. Stir fry for a minute till it is mixed well with the vegetables.
6)      Pour in the tamarind water, mix well and bring to boil.
7)      Once boiled, reduce the flame to low.
8)      Close the lid and cook till the bitter gourd becomes soft.
9)      Finally before turning the heat off add jaggery. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowl.
For Tadka
10)   Take another pan and heat oil.
11)   Add Mustard seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves and sliced onions.
12)   Fry till onion become golden brown.
13)   Pour the tadka onto the theeyal.
14)   Serve with steamed rice.

Note:

1)      Theeyal also can be made using okra, eggplant, raw mangoes, yam, pearl onions. 
2)      Adding jaggery is optional. Adding jaggery lessens the bitterness from the bitter gourd.
3)      The brown colour of the curry comes from the fried coconut and coriander seeds.
 So you need to fry them well.

Pepper Chicken / Kozhi Milagu varuval

Black pepper is one of my favourite ingredient, especially when used in Non veg preparations. I am posting Pepper chicken recipe with a touch of Kerala tadka. The taste totally rely on the fresh ingredients we use to prepare. So I have used fresh ingredients wherever I can. This is definitely a treat to your taste bud. We love to have pepper chicken along with rasam and rice. However it can be also served with Indian bread. Nothing is as heavenly as an ice cream after this peppery meal.

Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hr
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Chicken with bone                         300 gm
2)      Onion                                                  200 gm (One Big)
3)      Tomato                                               150 gm  (Two Small)                          
4)      Ginger                                                 15 gm
5)      Garlic                                                   4 cloves
6)      Green chilli                                        2 nos
7)      Curry leaves                                      10 nos
8)      Cumin seeds                                     1 Tsp
9)      Clove                                                   4 nos
10)   Green Cardamom                          2 nos
11)   Bay leaves                                         2 nos
12)   Cinnamom                                         1 stick 5cm length
13)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp
14)   Vegetable Oil                                   1 Tbsp
15)   Coriander leaves                             For garnishing
16)   Water                                                  1 Cup
For Marinade
17)   Lemon juice                                      2 Tbsp
18)   Coriander powder                          1 Tbsp
19)   Red chilli powder                            ½ Tsp
20)   Turmeric powder                            ¼ Tsp
21)   Cumin powder                                 1 Tsp
22)   Ginger garlic paste                        
23)   Crushed black pepper                  1 Tbsp
24)   Salt                                                       as required
25)   Vegetable oil                                    1 Tbsp
For Dry Roast
26)   Coriander seeds                              1 Tbsp
27)   Black peppercorns                         1 ½  Tbsp
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the black pepper corns and coriander seeds separately
2)      Grind the coriander seeds to fine powder and crush the peppercorns to coarse.
3)      Make a paste of ginger, garlic and one green chilli.
4)      Clean the chicken and pat dry using towel. Marinate chicken with lemon juice, ginger garlic paste,
 powdered coriander seeds, turmeric powder, Red chilli powder, Cumin powder,  Salt, Oil and
 half of the crushed  black peppercorns. Marinate for atleast 15 mins.
5)      Slice the onion thinly. Slit remaining one green chilli. Chop the tomatoes and grind them
using blender.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a pan.
2)      Add cumin and allow it to splutter.
3)      When it splutters add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Sauté for 30 sec.
4)      Now add half of the thinly sliced onions. Stir fry till it becomes translucent adding little salt.
5)      Add turmeric into the onion and mix well
6)      Add the marinated chicken and combine well. Stir till chicken turns white.
7)      Now add the tomato paste and 1 cup of water. Mix everything well.
8)      Reduce the flame to low and cook the chicken for 30 -45 mins or till gravy thickens. Stir inbetween
to avoid  gravy sticking to the pan. Check for salt and if needed add it.
9)      When the gravy is thickened add the remaining crushed peppercorns. Stir to mix well.
10)   Turn off the heat.
For Tadka
11)   Take another pan and heat oil.
12)   Add curry leaves, remaining sliced onions and green chilli. Fry till onion become golden brown and
little crunchy.
13)   Transfer this mixture to the chicken and combine well.
14)   Garnish with coriander leaves and onion. Serve with rice or rotis.
Note:
1)      While marinating, instead of lemon juice you can add vinegar or yogurt.
2)      Tadka step is optional. The taste of fried onion and curry leaves adds special taste to the gravy.
If you want to skip tadka then add the onion, curry leaves and green chilli after adding the whole
 spices (Step 3)
   

foodie_views_link_url = ‘http://aromaticdining.blogspot.com/2012/05/pepper-chicken-kozhi-milagu-varuval.html#more’; foodie_views_submit_or_vote();

Kerala Chicken Curry with Cheratta Puttu / Nadan Kozhi Kuttan with Cheratta puttu

I have come up with one of the highly popular and most desirous recipe from Kerala”Puttu” (Malayalam). Usually served for breakfast along with “Chickpea curry”. “Puttu” is a dish made by steaming rice flour using cylindrical vessel and so the shape of puttu is cylindrical. It is called “Kuzha Puttu”(Kuzhal = Small Cylindrical pipe). Another way of steaming puttu is by using half coconut shell which is called “Cheratta puttu” (Cheratta = coconut shell). Nowadays  some variation of puttu uses wheat, rava, whole grains etc.. Also you can find readymade flour for making puttu. On the other hand, the accompaniments also varies widely. Most common is chickpea curry, banana and palm sugar. Also goes well with any other curries and non veg curries.

Since puttu is steamed, it is considered very healthy food. To add more healthiness and naturalistic to the dish, I have tried red rice flour and steamed using coconut shell. Instead of Kadala curry, I made Kerala Chicken curry (Nadan Kozhi Kuttan) to go with puttu.

Cheratta puttu



Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Level: Easy
Ingredients:
1)      Red rice flour                                    200 gm
2)      Salt                                                    as required
3)      Grated coconut                                 4 Tbsp
4)      Warm water                                      1 cup
5)      Halved coconut shell                        2 nos
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the rice flour using pan.
2)      Let it cool for 2 mins.
3)      Add salt to the warm water and mix well.
4)      Now add the warm water little by little to the rice flour mixing them well.
5)      Stop adding water when the consistency of the flour becomes somewhat moisture.
When you hold the mixture tight in your palm, it should form a ball.
6)      Rice flour should have moisture in it but not lumps.
7)      Clean the halved coconut shells using water.
Cooking:
8)      Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of grated coconut in each coconut shell.
9)      Divide the rice flour into two. Add each portion to each coconut shell.
10)   Sprinkle another 1 Tbsp of grated coconut at the end of the filling.
11)   Boil water in electric rice cooker (or) in a large pan (or) in idli cooker (or) any other steamer.
12)   Place the steamer partition on the electric rice cooker. If you are using idli cooker, place the
bottommost idli plate or if you are using any other steamer prepare the steamer for placing the shells.
13)    Place a wet cloth on the steamer and invert the coconut shell onto it, the mouth of the
 shell facing boiling water.
14)   Steam for 10- 15 mins.
15)   Turn off the heat and slowly take off the coconut shell from steamer along with the cloth to
avoid any fall off of rice flour.
16)   Place it on a plate and gently remove the coconut shell alone from the steamed rice flour.
17)   Serve hot with chicken curry.
Note:
1)      Use white rice flour, wheat flour, rava or any other whole grains in the place of red rice flour.
          Just make sure it should be coarsely powdered.  
 2)    Adjust the steaming time according to your steamer. Normal steaming time is 10 min in medium flame.


Kerala Chicken curry / Nadan Kozhi curry 

Servings:  2        
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Chicken                                               300 gm 
2)      Onion                                                  200 gm (1 medium)
3)      Tomato                                               150 gm (1 medium)
4)      Green chilli                                         2 nos
5)      Curry leaves                                       10 nos
6)      Turmeric powder                                ¼ Tsp
7)      Salt                                                     as required
8)      Coriander leaves                                2-3 stems
9)      Vegetable oil                                      1 Tbsp
For roasting & grinding:
1)      Coriander seeds                                 1 Tbsp
2)      Cumin seeds                                       1 Tsp
3)      Dried Red chilli                                   2 nos
4)      Black pepper                                       1 Tsp
5)      Cinnamon                                            1 nos – 5 cm length
6)      Cloves                                                  3 nos
7)      Fennel seeds                                       1 Tsp
8)      Green cardamom                                 2 nos
9)      Poppy seeds                                         ½ Tsp
10)   Garlic                                                    5 cloves
11)   Ginger                                                  15 gm
12)   Pearl onion                                           5 nos
13)   Grated coconut                                    ½ cup
14)   Vegetable oil                                       1 Tsp
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Clean the chicken and drain all the excess water. Marinate with little salt, turmeric powder
and chilli powder.
2)      Chop the onion, green chiliies and tomatoes.
3)      Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan.
4)      Add all the ingredients given under roasting and grinding except ginger and coconut.
5)      Roast till the spices leave aroma and the seeds are lightly brown.
6)      Keep aside till it cools and transfer to mixer jar for grinding. Now roast the grated coconut
in the same pan till it become golden brown color. Set aside.
7)      Grind the coriander mixture adding the ginger and water little by little to a fine paste.
8)      Add the coconut to it and grind to combine well.
Cooking:
1)      Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
2)      Add curry leaves followed by onion and fry till translucent adding little salt and turmeric powder.
3)      Add the green chillies and tomatoes to the onion. Stir fry for 4-5 mins.
4)      Now add the marinated chicken. Toss till the chicken turns to white color.
5)      Add the ground paste and 1 cup of water. Mix well.
6)      Bring the heat to low. Close the lid and cook for about 15 mins.
7)      Check chicken pieces for doneness.  If needed add more water and allow boiling.
The curry should be watery in consistent.
8)      When done, garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Note:
    
1)      Instead of grated coconut, you can also use coconut milk. In that case use 1 cup of milk.
2)      Use chicken.with bones.
3)      If you don’t have whole coriander seeds, use coriander powder.

Vishu 2012!!

I took a while to post our “Vishu” feast since I thought to post the menu recipes at first. Our menu had few of traditional dishes. It’s been always difficult to plan whole meal for two persons. So I selected few main dishes to serve along with rice. For those who haven’t read my past posts about “Vishu” here goes a brief description 
“Vishu” is the New year in accordance with Malayalam Calender. It falls on the next day of Tamil New year. The most important event in Vishu is the “Vishukkani” meaning “the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up”. Vishukkani consists of arrangement of various fruits, mirror, konna poo (Yellow flower), raw rice and urli in the pooja room of the house.
Another famous ritual is “VishuKaineettam” where elder people gift money to the young people.
This year I prepared Aviyal, Olan, Cabbage Thoran, Brinjal Sambar with rice and Ada prathaman served as dessert. It was almost like being in hometown. 

Ada Pradhaman

Here goes one of the mouth-watering dessert from Kerala “Ada pradhaman”.  Ada pradhaman is cooked with Ada, Coconut milk and jaggery, in  the form of a thick liquid. Ada is the flakes of cooked rice. In olden days, Ada was made at home and used to make pradhaman. Nowadays we find readymade ada in almost every stores. I have used readymade ada from the brand “Nirapara”. Pradhaman is similar to Payasam or Kheer but with more variety in terms of ingredients and the way it is made.

Servings:  6 cups              

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Level: Moderate


Ingredients:
1)      Ada                                      50 gm   
2)      Thin Coconut milk               2 cups
3)      Thick Coconut milk             1 cup
4)      Jaggery                               200 gm
5)      Ghee                                   3 Tbsp
6)      Cashew nut/Almond           8 nos
7)      Cardamom                          2 nos
8)      Raisins                                2 Tbsp
Method:
1)      Ada should be cooked separately prior to cooking pradhaman.  Since we are using readymade ada, it will be best to cook them according to the instruction given in the packet. For “Niraparaada, you should wash the ada in normal water and soak them in boiled water for about 15 mins and drain the water.
2)      I have used coconut milk bought from stores. If you are having whole coconut, grate the coconut and sprinkle ½ cup of warm water. Grind the grated coconut and squeeze them to get the thick milk. Keep it aside.  Add one more cup of warm water to the coconut and grind again. Squeeze them as earlier to extract the thin coconut milk. Use muslin cloth to squeeze. Otherwise use hands.
3)      If you are going to use store brought coconut milk, you need to dilute them in order to get thin coconut milk.  For thin milk take 1 cup of coconut milk and add 1 cup of water to it. For thick milk you can use directly.
4)      Heat 2 cups of water in a pan and add the cooked ada to it. Cook them in medium heat.
5)      Take another pan and melt the jaggery (Unrefined brown sugar) by adding ½ cup of water
and filter using muslin cloth.
6)      When the ada starts boiling reduce the flame to low and add the jaggery (Unrefined brown sugar). Stir well.
7)      Add the thin coconut milk stirring continuously.
8)      Allow it to cook for 10-15 mins and check the ada. It should be soft.
9)      At this stage add the thick coconut milk stirring continuously.
10)   Bring to boil. Add crushed cardomoms and mix well
11)   Heat another pan with ghee. When ghee melts add the cashewnuts/chopped almonds, raisins and fry till it turns golden colour.
12)   Pour the ghee along with nuts into the pradhaman.
13)   Turn off the heat. Transfer to the serving bowl.


Notes:
1)      Adjust the jaggery (Unrefined Brown sugar) according to your taste.
2)      It tastes best when used fresh coconut milk.
3)      I have used almonds here instead of cashewnuts. You can also use pistachios & coconut chips for garnishing.
4)      Serve them warm after meal.

Olan

One another Side dish from Kerala. Very simple to cook yet tasty. Olan recipe has very few ingredients and less time taking dish to prepare. During any festivals in Kerala you can find “Aviyal” , Olan, Kalan, Thoran etc.. served as side dish for steamed brown rice. And most of the recipes including dessert will have coconut as an ingredient. I prepared this recipe for “Vishu”.
“Vishu” is the New year in accordance with Malayalam Calender. It falls on the next day of Tamil New year. The most important event in Vishu is the “Vishukkani” meaning “the first thing seen on the day of Vishu after waking up”. Vishukkani consists of arrangement of various fruits, mirror, konna poo (Yellow flower), raw rice and urli in the pooja room of the house.
Another famous ritual is “VishuKaineettam” where elder people gift money to the young people. We used to wait the whole year to get the gifts from our elder members from family ;).
 Olan is prepared with Ash gourd and coconut milk. In some places it is prepared with Ash gourd and black eyed bean as well. Here I have posted Olan recipe which uses only Ash gourd and coconut milk.

Servings:  4        
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Level: Easy
 Ingredients:

 1)      Ash gourd                          100 gm 

2)      Coconut milk                      3 Tbsp
3)      Salt                                     as req
4)      Coconut oil                         2 Tbsp
5)      Curry leaves                       8-10
Method:
1)      Peel off  the skin of ash gourd and chop into thin slice square  
2)      Take 1 ½ cup – 2 cups of water in a pan. Add ash gourd and salt.
3)      Place it on heat and cook for 8- 10 mins.
4)      When its cooked enough add 1 Tbsp of coconut milk and stir well. After few secs add
 another Tbsp of coconut milk and mix again. Do it same for the rest of milk.
5)      Check the ash gourd for doneness. Turn off the heat and transfer to bowl
6)      For garnishing heat coconut oil in a tawa. Add curry leaves. Pour this on the Olan.
7)      Serve with steamed rice
Note:
    
1)      You can use Black eyed bean and pumpkin along with Ash gourd