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.
- Beetroot – 3 cups ( chopped)
- Carrot – 3 cups (chopped)
- Shallots – 6 (chopped fine)
- Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
- Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
- Dry Red Chillies – 4
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Fresh Desiccated Coconut – 1 cup (packed)
- Salt – according to taste
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Curry Leaves – 10 – 14
- In a heavy bottom wok, heat oil.
- 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
- This way you will fry both the Urad dal and the mustard seeds cooking and popping at the same time
- Now add the red chillies and the curry leaves
- 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)
- 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
- Cover and cook the beetroot till they are cooked half way through
- 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)
- Finally open the cover and add salt and turmeric powder
- Give it a good mix cook for 2 mins on high flame
- Then add the fresh coconut and turn off the flame
- Just before you serve add the curry leaves + urad dal tempering on top of the beetroot and carrots and give it a quick mix
- Serve with hot rice and dal or sambar
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
- Coconut – 1 large (grated fine)
- Dry Red Chilli – 4- 5
- Fenugreek Seeds – 4 – 5 seeds
- Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp
- Curry leaves – 10 leaves ( fresh)
- Shallots – 10 ( cut into three)
- 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
- Then add the rest of the ingredients and fry till the coconut is golden brown to a little dark brown
- 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)
- At this stage turn off the flame and let the mixture cool down
- When the mixture is just a little about room temperate, empty into a mix jar and blitz on medium
- Do not add water to the mixture
- Open the lid at every one min interval and give contents of the jar a nice stir
- 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
- Your Araap is ready!
Now to assemble the main dish
- Prawns – 1 kg – de shelled, de veined
- Coconut Pieces – 1 from one coconut ( cut to small rectangles)
- Green Chilli – 3
- Tamarind Paste – 3 tbsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup ( divided into 3)
- Place a khadai / Mann Chatti on medium flame.
- Then add the turmeric and 1/3rd of the water
- Once the water is hot add the coconut, green chilli and tamarind paste and bring to a boil
- Then add the prawns and cook for 5 mins
- Finally add the Araap to the mixture in the Mann Chatti and add a little more water
- Cover the pot and let it cook for another 5 mins
- Now if you see that you do not have enough gravy, add rest of the water and cook for 2 mins
- You will see the gravy thicken and turn from light yellow to golden dark brown
- Your Theeyal is ready!
- Serve with hot rice or crisp dosa 🙂
I love street food but like I said, I am very very scared of falling sick. Time and again I have tried street style food and some how I manage to fall sick 5 out of 10 times. So it takes me a while to taste food off the road. Once such drink is the Kulukki Sherbat. My friend in Kerala was kind enough to make me a glass of this wonderful drink 2 years ago and from then on I have been in love with this drink. It is the perfect blend of sweet, sour and spicy!
- Pineapple – 1/2 cup (chopped to fine pieces)
- Lime Juice – from 3 limes
- Sabja Seeds / Basil Seeds – 2tbsp (washed and soaked for 10 mins)
- Ginger – 1 tsp (chopped fine)
- Green Chilli – 1 ( chopped fine)
- Honey – 3 – 4 tbsp ( or according to taste)
- Water – 1.2 lt (cold)
- Ice cubes – as required
- In a bottle add lemon juice, honey, ginger and chilli. Put the cap on the bottle and give it a nice shake for 5 seconds
- Then add the rest of the ingredients including the ice cubes. Put the cap back on the bottle and give it a nice shake again for one minute
- Serve right away over ice cubes!!
Use fresh ingredients for a refreshing drink!!