Nadan Chicken Cutlet – Kerala style Chicken Croquettes

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Hello my Dear Wonderful People!

How are you all doing? Happy Valentines day! A day for love, a day to be loved and a day for love to be loved! Yup.. Its one whole day when we get to show our special people that they matter to us. And unlike many people, I absolutely love the idea of having this day. No it doesn’t not mean that we can’t show love on other days, and if you see it like that then I feel sorry for you. If you giving me another chance to show you how much you mean to me and you make it mandatory on the 14th of every Feb then I am taking it! Cause you know what? no matter how hard I try, some days, I forget to tell you how much you mean to me. Somedays I try but I might not be able to get to you cause you were having a bad day. But today I am going to take that day. Also maybe 20 years from now, this day might not mean as much as it does today but so what? Today is what matters right?

So on this special day, I decided to make my husband his favourite deep fried snack. These cutlets. I do not make them often, infact the last time I made them was close to a year ago. Simply cause they are deep fried and they involve quite a few steps. But once you make them, you could make a large batch and freeze them and use them as and when you want. That is what I did this time 🙂 This recipe is from my grandmother and her cutlets are out of this world. These little bites of heaven are perfect for a evening snack or a great side for dinner time. There are many variations to these cutlets, some people add cashews to the meat and some others fry the meat and add rice flour. My recipe is quite straightforward. Boil / cook each part of the recipe. Combine , dip , coat and fry! FINISH!

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Chicken – 500 gms ( boneless)
  2. Potatoes – 4 large
  3. Onions – 3 cups ( chopped fine )
  4. Green Chillies – 10 ( adjust to taste)
  5. Ginger – 4 inch knob
  6. Garlic – 14 cloves
  7. Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
  8. Coriander Powder – 4 tsp + 1 tsp
  9. Garam Masala Powder – 3 tsp
  10. Pepper Powder – 2 tsp
  11. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 cup ( chopped)
  12. Mint leaves – 1 cup (chopped)
  13. Salt – 1 tsp + 2 tsp + 1 tsp ( adjust to taste)
  14. Oil – 2 tbsp + more for deep frying
  15. Eggs – 2 ( beaten )
  16. Bread Crumbs – 1 cup ( more according to shape of cutlet)

Instructions :-

  1. Peel potatoes and boil till soft. Set aside
  2. In a pressure cooker add the chicken pieces. Then add 1 tsp turmeric powder + pepper powder (2 tsp) + Coriander powder 1 tsp + 1 tsp salt. Pressure cook the chicken for 3 whistles. ( If you do not have a cooker, just use a pot and boil the chicken till cooked well.)
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, open the cooker and look for water. If there is excess water, cook the chicken on high flame till all the water has evaporated. Same for when cooking in a pot. Once all the water has evaporated, set aside to cool down
  4. Then in a blender, blend the chicken to form a coarse paste. Make sure not to grind it too much. You want some chucks of chicken to remain
  5. In a large flat bottom pot, add 2 tbsp of oil. Once the oil is hot. add the onions and fry till golden brown. During this time in a mortar and pestle add the ginger + garlic and green chillies. Crush to form a nice coarse paste
  6. Add the ginger paste to the onions and fry till the garlic looses its raw smell
  7. Then add the rest of the turmeric powder + coriander powder + garam masala powder. Give it a good mix and fry till the masala has cooked well into the onion mixture
  8. Set aside to cool. During this time lets get our assembly line ready 🙂
  9. In one plate add the boiled potatoes + the onions spice mixture. Add the fresh mint and coriander
  10. Mix with your hand to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Then add the ground chicken
  11. after you have mixed the chicken with the rest of the spiced potato mixture, make small patties of equal size and set on a large cookie sheet or plate
  12. Now with one hand dunk the patties into the light beaten egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs to coat evenly
  13. Set aside in a large plate ready for frying!
  14. In a large wok or Khadai, heat oil
  15. Once the oil is hot ( on medium heat) fry the patties till golden brown
  16. Reserve on kitchen paper to drain excess oil
  17. Serve right away with ketchup!

Sundal – Chicken pea salad with fresh Coconut, mustard and curry leaves

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Hello my wonderful readers!

It has been so hot in Bangalore I can not begin to describe the heat! When I moved to Bangalore, I remember even in March some morning we would have to wear sweaters to school. But given the heat now, its hard to believe there was a time like that.

This recipe is actually a “Prasadam” also. Ok now a Prasadam is an offering that s made to good and then distributed in a temple or any religious place, between the devotees. Even a fruit or flower offered to god, can be considered a Prasadam. In many home in India, this recipe is made every day, using various kinds of pulses, nuts etc (like peanuts, green gram etc) We make this dish during the summer months, cause unlike many indian dishes, this is low on heat, spice and it is considered a salad. I love how easy it is to make this dish and its easier to polish off 😛 Ok now if you are using chickpeas from the can, then you do not need to soak it overnight and pressure cook it. I buy 2 kilos of these grams every month ( the dry version) So it basically goes into this, or hummus or a North Indian Channa Curry.

Ingredients :-

  1. Chickpeas – 1 + 1.2 cup – (if using dried – soak over night and pressure cook for 4 whistles)
  2. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  3. Black Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  4. White Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
  5. Dry Red Chilli – 4
  6. Curry Leaves – 2 steams
  7. Fresh Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Green Chillies – 3 (slit into two)
  10. Lemon Juice – half of one lemon  ( optional)

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom wok / Khadai heat oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add the urad dal and dry red chillies
  3. When the chillies puff up, add the curry leaves
  4. Then add the chicken peas ( if canned drain the water and use)
  5. Add the green chillies, coconut and salt
  6. Mix well to cover the chickpeas well
  7. Turn off the flame and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the chickpeas and mix well
  8. Serve right away

 

Coconut Rice with a Red chilli, Curry Leaf and Gram Tempering

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? So this is what I made for our dinner last night. It is so simple and hardly takes any time. If you have any left over rice, you can use that too. I make a new batch of rice everyday so I can add that to my sons diet. Rice is a staple at my place. It could be fermented like in Dosas and Idilis, or plain rice and Pulav/ Pilaf or just various kinds of flavoured rice. Its not really the best thing to have a lot of rice in your diet and trust me I know that, but its just the easiest thing to cook when you can’t spend too much time in the kitchen. One question I get very often is how do I cook my rice? Now heres the thing, cooking rice purely depends on the type of rice!

If you are using a good quality Basmati rice, then one cup of rice with 2 cups of water is perfect! But if is red rice, or any kind of wild rice, its a whole different story. We make a lot of red rice at home, but that involves soaking the rice for one whole night and then using tons of water and then draining out the excess water! Its a long procedure, but personally I love the flavour of red rice. Back in my village we always have red rice. Ah the taste of red rice and avial!

My son loves it too!! We make Kanji – ( rice cooked in lots of water) and have it with Payar (green gram curry) with Papapdam and pickle. It is just the simplest dish on this planet and yet the most healthy and power packed meal ever!

Ok so back to this recipe. This recipe is super simple!! All you have to do is make the tempering and mix them both! Finished!

Ingredients :-

  1. Basmati Rice – 1 cup  ( soaked for 15 – 20 mins)
  2. Water – 2 cups
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp
  5. Dry Red Chillies – 6
  6. Mustards Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
  8. Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
  9. Cashew Nuts – 10
  10. Curry Leaves – 15 ( cleaned and dried)
  11. Asafoetida – a pinch
  12. Salt – to taste ( for the final dish)
  13. Fresh desiccated coconut – 1 cup

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a large dish with a lid. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked rice and salt. Stir gently and cover and cook for 10 mins
  2. Then using a spoon, take one grain of rice and check if the rice is cooked. If so, turn the flame off and set aside
  3. In a large wok / Khadai, heat coconut oil
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the dry red chillies, asafoetida, urad dal, channa dal and cashew nuts . Fry till the urad dal turns a light golden yellow
  5. Then add the curry leaves and stir
  6. Then add the coconut and the cooked rice
  7. Stir well to combine all the ingredients
  8. Add salt according to taste and your dish is done!
  9. Serve right away with your choice of curry or just with yogurt and popopdams

 

Nadan Mutta Roast – Egg roast the Malayali Way (Kerala style)

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So this week has been full of ups and downs, and I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am that it is coming to an end!! My camera and my phone died on the same day, my husband falls sick the next and then it got a little better and now I am just exhausted! So I really did not have time to invent or go through my recipe library. So this one is my simple Kerala style egg roast. It is so easy to make and this is my husband’s favourite egg recipe! The key ingredient is onion. Roast the onions well and you will add the most amazing flavour to the eggs.

I love curry leaves! In fact, I prefer them to coriander leaves. They just add so much more to a dish. This is partly because of my Malayalee roots. We add curry leaves to everything!! including our drinks. Ohh!! There is this drink called “Sambharam” (“flavoured buttermilk”) which is the best thing to beat the heat during these hot summer afternoons. I will have to make a post about that! Its just butter milk and a few spices with curry leaves but it is so good and refreshing (also good for hangovers, no kidding!!).

If you look at it, the traditional “Sadhya” is the most perfectly balanced meal  ever! It starts with rice and a green gram curry, move to sambar, and finally the yogurt based curry. All the way you have a array of vegetables and pickles to go along with it. Ok maybe the 4 different “Payasams” are not that healthy, but hey! How many people make it every day! My mum is a “Payasam” expert!! She can whip up a payasam in no time and it will taste just like the ones they serve you at the temples. Yes I do think that the real ingredient is love!! I may have digressed a little bit here. lol.

Ok so back to this recipe. This is your ideal week night,”I do not want take out, I do not want to make any thing too complex”, “Oh I want some spicy egg based side” – kind of dish.

Ingredients :-

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs – 6 -7
  2. Onions – 5 large – julienned
  3. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  5. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  6. Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
  7. Garam Masala Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  8. Curry leaves – 14
  9. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  10. Green Chillies – 4 ( slit into two)
  11. Water – 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup (optional)

Instructions :-

  1. In a large heavy bottom kadai / wok, heat oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and half of the curry leaves  and fry till golden brown
  3. Then add the turmeric, chilli, pepper, garam masala powder and coriander powder and give it a nice mix. Add 1 tbsp of water to the mixture. This will prevent the spice powders from getting burnt
  4. Now add the green chillies and the eggs.
  5. Season with salt and give it a good mix. Mix gently so as to not tear the boiled eggs but make sure to coat the eggs well with the onion masala
  6. Cover and cook for 5 min
  7. Garnish with the remaining curry leaves and serve with hot Rotis or Rice

 

Beetroot and Carrot Thoran – Stir Fry with Coconut and Curry leaves

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? How has the week been so far. I can’t not wait for this week to end. It has been such a landslide of incidents! From my husband falling sick, to my camera dying on me during a shoot, to my phone falling from my hand and losing its display. It has all been one eventful week. My son has on the contrary been so understanding and cooperative. I think children just know when some thing is wrong and its not them just misbehaving 🙂

Now coming back to the recipe. “Thoran” is basically any vegetable (or sometimes meat)  that is cooked on high flame almost like a stir fry and is accompanied with freshly grated coconuts and a variety of tempering. In this recipe, the tempering is made up of Urad Dal- Black (gram without the skin), red chillies, loads of curry curry leaves, mustards seeds fried in a little bit of oil. This is what gives the entire dish its wonderful fresh yet spicy taste and aroma.  “Thoran” can be made with all kinds of vegetables but the spices used for different vegetables vary. For some you could use garlic and cumin seeds and others may require other spices.

In the coming weeks,  I wanna make a conscious effort to share more Malayali cooking on my blog. Also I firmly believe that pure coconut oil is a very healthy alternative to refined oils like sunflower, peanut and mustard. But thats just me 🙂 What you should know is that this dish is the perfect, light, accompaniment to a bowl of hot rice and maybe a dal or sambar.

Ingredients :-

  1. Beetroot – 3 cups ( chopped)
  2. Carrot – 3 cups (chopped)
  3. Shallots – 6 (chopped fine)
  4. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  5. Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  8. Fresh Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup (packed)
  9. Salt – according to taste
  10. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Curry Leaves – 10 – 14

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom wok, heat oil.
  2. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the Urad dal. When the Urad Dal turns from white to light yellow add the mustard seeds
  3. This way you will fry both the Urad dal and the mustard seeds cooking and popping at the same time
  4. Now add the red chillies and the curry leaves
  5. Once the leaves have fried well, turn off the flame and with a slotted spoon, spoon out the the mixture. Make sure to drain out all the oil in the same wok. Set the curry leaves tempering aside ( we will use it at the end)
  6. Now turn on the flame again and when the oil is nice and hot add the shallots. Once the shallots are translucent add the beetroot. Give it a quick mix
  7. Cover and cook the beetroot till they are cooked half way through
  8. Then add the carrots and cover and cook till they are both cooked well. ( I find that beetroot takes a little longer than carrots to cook thats why I use this method)
  9. Finally open the cover and add salt and turmeric powder
  10. Give it a good mix cook for 2 mins on high flame
  11. Then add the fresh coconut and turn off the flame
  12. Just before you serve add the curry leaves + urad dal tempering on top of the beetroot and carrots and give it a quick mix
  13. Serve with hot rice and dal or sambar

Quick Egg Curry – Week night Dinner Idea

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Hello My Dear Wonderful Readers,

How have the holidays been? I haven’t had time to make a decent meal for the past few days. Cleaning up the house, in turn falling sick and managing the little one has been the only thing I can find time for. So this recipe is my easy egg curry recipe and yes I cheated, I bought the Wheat Malabar Paratha from the store cause I couldn’t find time to make that as well too. So here is my recipe for the simple and easy boiled egg curry for weeknight dinners!

Ingredients –

  1. Eggs – 5
  2. Onions – 3 medium size – julienned
  3. Tomatoes – 3 small – chopped fine
  4. Curry Leaves – 8 – 10
  5. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Green Chilli – 3 slit into half
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Cumin Seeds – 1/tsp
  11. Oil – 1 tsp
  12. Water – to boil the eggs + 1/2 cup

Instructions :-

  1. Boil water in a pot and add one tsp of salt. When the water begins to boil, slowly immerse the eggs with the help of a spoon. Boil for 10 mins till nice and hard boiled
  2. Then drain the water out and set aside to cool. Once cooled, de shell the eggs. The eggs are ready
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds
  4. When the seeds begins to splutter add cumins seeds
  5. Then add onions and fry till translucent. Add ginger garlic paste to the onions and fry for 3 mins
  6. Then add chilli powder, turmeric powder, curry leaves and tomatoes
  7. Once you see that the tomatoes are nice and soft, add the chillies and fry for 10 mins on medium heat
  8. Add half a cup of water at this stage
  9. When you see the mixture start to turn light brown, add the boiled eggs. Stir well to coat the eggs with the masala and cover and cook for another 5 mins
  10. After 5 mins season with salt and pepper ( optional) and serve right away

 

 

 

 

 

Chemmeen Theeyal – Prawns cooked in roasted spices and coconut gravy!

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

This time around I am taking you back to my roots. This recipe has been on my ‘to do’ list for quite sometime now but I honestly haven’t had the time to make it. Simply put, this one is a little tough and time consuming to make and for me this recipe is complex.

But just because I said that, please do not be dissuaded from trying this one out. If you have never tasted authentic Prawn Theeyal from Alapuzha, Kerala then trust me, you have missed out on something really unique. This dish does not use a single drop of oil. All its colour, taste, texture, flavour and aroma is derived from the roasted fresh coconuts. The prawns may also be substituted for fish, vegetables or just potatoes and cashew nuts (with certain minor changes to the recipe)

We Malayalee’s have a way of adding coconuts to everything! It’s actually quiet interesting to note that there is not a single part of the coconut tree that gets wasted! Every part finds a very unique use in our culture. The coconut itself is used in almost every Malayalee recipe, the leaves of the coconut tree are used for thatched roofs and chicken huts, the flowers are used in every Hindu Malayalee wedding, the branches are used for cooking fuel, the list is endless! So when I say, I am going to share a Malayalee dish, 99.9% chances are that there is a coconut or two used in the recipe! LOL

Now another thing with this recipe is that, this dish tastes better the day after it is made. Yes! Somehow the flavour just enhances overnight and by the next day the dish has so much more flavour and tastes divine. The recipe is divided into two, first is the roasted spice coconut and then the main dish. The roasted spiced coconut mixture (Araap) can be made in large batches and stored in the freezer. But remember you have to bring the mixture back to room temperature and then heat it a little bit in order to be used again for the recipe. Also fresh coconuts have to be used throughout the recipe an not the dry dehydrated kinds.

Ingredients for the Araap / the roasted spiced coconut mix

  1. Coconut – 1  large (grated fine)
  2. Dry Red Chilli – 4- 5
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – 4 – 5 seeds
  4. Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
  5. Curry leaves – 10 leaves ( fresh)
  6. Shallots – 10 ( cut into three)
Instructions :-
  1. In a large kadai, add the coconut and start to fry on low heat. Make sure to stir constantly and on low so that you do not burn the coconut. Roast the coconut evenly till light brown
  2. Then add the rest of the ingredients and fry till the coconut is golden brown to a little dark brown
  3. At this time you will be able to smell the coconut roast and the spice also emit a wonderful pungent aroma (it takes around 15 – 20 mins, be patient and ensure the heat is on low)
  4. At this stage turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down
  5. When the mixture is just a little about room temperate, empty into a mix jar and blitz on medium
  6. Do not add water to the mixture
  7. Open the lid at every one min interval and give contents of the jar a nice stir
  8. Finally you will see the mixture begin to become wet! that is because of the oil that comes out of the roasted coconut. This is key to the recipe. Make sure to blitz till you achieve a nice paste-like consistency
  9. Your Araap is ready!
Now to assemble the main dish
Ingredients :-
  1. Prawns – 1 kg – de shelled, de veined
  2. Coconut Pieces – 1 from one coconut ( cut to small rectangles)
  3. Green Chilli – 3
  4. Tamarind Paste – 3 tbsp
  5. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Water – 1 cup ( divided into 3)
Instructions :- 
  1. Place a khadai / Mann Chatti on medium flame.
  2. Then add the turmeric and 1/3rd of the water
  3. Once the water is hot add the coconut, green chilli and tamarind paste and bring to a boil
  4. Then add the prawns and cook for 5 mins
  5. Finally add the Araap to the mixture in the Mann Chatti and add a little more water
  6. Cover the pot and let it cook for another 5 mins
  7. Now if you see that you do not have enough gravy, add rest of the water and cook for 2 mins
  8. You will see the gravy thicken and turn from light yellow to golden dark brown
  9. Your Theeyal is ready!
  10. Serve with hot rice or crisp dosa 🙂