Chicken Fry(Irachi varuthadu)

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Chicken fry: This recipe here is an unconventional style of making chicken fry. Usually in Kerala, chicken fry is deep fried. However, in my home, mom used to always cook the chicken separately and then, roast/shallow fry the chicken later. I have always found that tastier than the deep fried chicken. Also, the chicken is more softer when you cook it this way. And you don’t feel guilty of eating deep fried stuff. The same is the case with fish fry. We always shallow fry the fish instead of deep frying it.

Now, this chicken fry or chicken roast(if that’s how you would want to call this dish 🙂 ), isn’t very common preparation style. However, by far, this is the best chicken fry I have had 🙂 And it isn’t too much of masala or spices that gives it the flavor, but simple things like the onion paste used for marination and the mint leaves that gives it a different and distinct taste. I have been able to impress every guest to whom I have served this chicken fry and I have been asked for the recipe immediately 😉 So this is a tried and tested recipe, with 100% guarantee of being liked by everyone 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Chicken(with bone) – 750 gms
Onion – 1 nos, sliced
Green chilli – 2-3 nos, slit
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves – 10 strands, chopped
Mint leaves – 4 strands, chopped
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1/4-1/2 tsp)
Oil – 3 tbsp

For marination:-
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Onion – 1/2 no, grind to paste
Red chilli powder – 1.5-2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder(optional) – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Wash and clean the chicken and cut into medium sized pieces. Marinate the chicken with the ingredients mentioned under ‘For Marination’ section. Keep aside for 30 mins or so.
2. Transfer the marinated chicken into a saucepan(I used an aluminium vessel with lid) and in medium flame, cook it covered. The chicken will leave some water by itself. So keep checking and add water little by little if needed. Occasionally stir the chicken pieces and make sure the chicken doesn’t stick to the vessel.
Note: The good part about this style of cooking chicken is that you don’t need to use much oil for frying the chicken and also, the steaming of chicken will make it much softer and juicier.
3. Once the chicken is well cooked, remove from flame and keep aside.
4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and fry sliced onions in medium high flame. Also add the green chillies and salt.
5. Once the onions turn brown and start to become slightly crisp, add in the cooked chicken and garam masala and stir well so that onions are spread over evenly on the chicken pieces. Fry the pieces till chicken starts to brown and roasted.
6. Add the chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves and saute. Continue to fry and saute the chicken pieces till the chicken surfaces are fried and roasted to your liking.

Serve as appetizer or even as a side dish with rice varieties 🙂

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Konju Peera (Shrimp with grated coconut)

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Konju Peera: Konju malayalam means prawns/shrimp and Peera is grated coconut. This dish is one of the easiest dish I have ever learnt to make. Peera pattichadu/vattichadu is not so common dish towards northern Kerala. Since it is not a dish made in my home ever, I wasn’t keen on making it also. However, one day I just happened to go through some cooking video of ‘Netholi(Anchovy) peera’. Looking at the ease of preparation method and the time it would take to cook this, I decided to try making it once and see how I would like it. By the way, Netholi Peera is a more common dish than Konju Peera 🙂 The only reason I made Konju peera is because, I didn’t have anchovy in my fridge but had shrimp. And when I decide to make or do something, I have to do it then and there – Impatience!!! My loved ones aren’t very proud of this character on mine 😛

Anyway, long story short, I made this dish within 30 mins of watching that cooking video 😀 Such a traditional and authentic dish and it tasted yummmmm!!! This was my first ever ‘peera’ experience and this dish has definitely taken a place in my heart 😉 It is a very simple dish with very simple, yet most authentic Kerala flavors 🙂 It goes very well as a side dish with rice.

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INGREDIENTS:
Note: Cup used for measurement is US measurement cup, 1 cup = 237 ml

Shrimp/Prawns/Konju/Chemmeen – 100 gms or 12 large shrimps
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Ginger – 1/2 inch, chopped
Shallots – 3 nos, sliced
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Green chilli – 3 nos, slit
Kudampuli/Gambooge – 1.5 nos
Turmeric powder – 1/3 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste (apprx. less than 1/2 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Wash and clean the shrimp/prawns.
2. Put all the ingredients mentioned above except for coconut oil, in a sauce pan or meen chatti(clay pot) and give it a good mix with your hands or a spoon.
3. Heat the sauce pan and pour little water(apprx. 1/4 cup) and let it boil.
4. Once it starts to boil, bring the flame to low heat and cook covered for about 10 mins(till the shrimp/prawns/konju is cooked).
5. Pour the coconut oil to the sides of the sauce pan/meen chatti and give a light mix. Do not stir the Konju peera too much. Remove from heat.

Serve with rice 🙂

Home-made Paneer

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The only time I make paneer is when I know that I have too much milk left in the refrigerator and I wouldn’t be able to use it before expiry. That’s when I start thinking of making some paneer dish. Both DD and me don’t prefer to eat paneer 🙂

Having said that, there are couple of things that I make using paneer that we like. But we can’t have it more than once in a week!!! Thats how much we dislike paneer. Sorry, no offense to my paneer loving friends 😀

So here is a good way of not wasting milk. I have a paneer roll recipe coming up, which is a good snack and a great lunch box idea for kids.

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INGREDIENTS:

Milk – 1/2 Gallon or 2 litres
Vinegar – 3 tbsp

METHOD:

1. In a saucepan bring milk to boil.
2. Pour vinegar into boiling milk and give it few seconds to split. Keep stirring.
3. After few mins, the milk splits and the whey will turn light green. Then remove the saucepan from burner.
4. Using a strainer, strain the excess whey and collect the paneer in a cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth from both ends and hang it for 15-20 mins so the excess water drips off.
5. If you are using scrambled paneer for your recipe, the paneer is ready for use immediately. Just take out the paneer and crush it with your hands.
6. If not, while still wrapped in the cheesecloth, try to give a flat shape to paneer and keep a heavy flat weight on top of it. Let it rest for 30-40 mins.
7. Take the paneer from cheesecloth and slice it into desired shape.

Egg roast

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Egg roast is a very typical side dish with appam, idiyappam or kerala porotta. Lately, I realized that DD likes idiyappam a lot. So I made idiyappam and the first combination I could think of was idiyappam and egg roast. Of course, we enjoyed this combination. I don’t make this dish often, rather this was my first time making egg roast. But I am making it again for sure. It is an easy dish to make and goes well with chappati too.

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INGREDIENTS:

Ginger – 1.5 inch piece
Garlic – 10-12 pods
Green chilli – 2 nos, slit
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Onion – 3 nos. small sized, sliced
Egg – 3 nos
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder – 3/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 6 tbsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1.25 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Boil the eggs, remove shell and keep aside.
2. Crush ginger and garlic together using pestle and mortar.
3. Heat oil in a pan and put crushed ginger ‘n garlic and curry leaves. Saute till it turns golden brown.
4. Then add onions, salt and green chillis. Saute onion and let it cook well in medium high flame.
5. Once the onions turn pink, add black pepper powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
6. Saute till the spices and onions cook well. You will know that it is cooked through when the oil starts to separate and onions turn brown.
7. Add the boiled egg and saute for 2-3 mins more. Push the onions to one side of the pan such that eggs touch the pan. This will roast the eggs nicely.
8. Remove from heat and slice the egg into halves.

Serve with idiyappam, appam, kerala porotta or chappati

Hariyali Murgh Tangdi

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Hariyali Murgh Tangdi is a fancy name I came up with for this chicken I made few days back 🙂 Hariyali means green, Murgh means chicken and Tangdi means leg. So basically this is Green Chicken Drumsticks which is marinated for 8-10 hours in yogurt and lime along with other spices, which makes this baked drumstick very tender and juicy. Another thing I like about this dish is the fresh taste it gets from the greens(mint and coriander leaves).

I baked the chicken in conventional oven. Alternatively, you could fry the chicken in a pan using some oil too. The same marinade can be used to make kababs. Instead of using drumsticks, use thigh or breast peices(basically, use boneless pieces). Skew it and bake it at 350 deg F for 35-40 mins.

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INGREDIENTS:

Chicken drumsticks/leg – 4 pieces
Mint leaves – 12 strands
Coriander leaves – 12 strands
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1.5 tsp
Yogurt – 2 tbsp
Green chilli – 4-5 nos
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1.25 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp

METHOD:

1. Clean and wash the chicken drumsticks/legs.
2. Mix all the other ingredients(except oil) well and marinate the chicken for minimum 3-4 hours(I left the marinated chicken in the refrigerator overnight).
3. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Meanwhile, grease a baking tray. Arrange the drumsticks on the tray and brush it with some oil.
4. Bake the chicken for 30-35 mins(or till chicken turns brown). Turn over the chicken drumsticks at half time.
5. Take it out and sprinkle few drops of freshly squeezed lime before serving.

Serve as an appetizer or serve with bread/dinner rolls and a side of salad.

Fish Fry(Meen Varuthadu)

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Fish fry is one of the most commonly made side dish in Kerala homes. Growing up, I wasn’t a great fan of fish. Even today, I am not. But anyday, I would prefer Fish fry to Fish curry. Coming to US and having to cook by myself made me realize that one could crave for food which they hate!!! I used to hate fish. But after I came to US, there was no one to force me to eat fish. So I was happy about not having to deal with fish anymore. But after few months or an year, I got a craving to eat Fish!! Of all the things, fish??? Well, I had to deal with my fish craving. So then, for the first time, I bought fish and made it.

Ever since, I make fish occasionally. I am not a great fan of the deep fried fish that you normally get in restaurants. But I kind of like this fish fry that my mom makes. It has a very unique taste and its shallow fried. So it is softer(than its deep fried counter parts) and uses less oil 🙂 You could slice the fish into smaller pieces and fry them. I guess, that is even better coz the masala gets applied to most area of the fish. I usually make it that way. This time I just tried to fry the entire fish coz I saw it being served this way in a restaurant we went last week 😉

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INGREDIENTS:

Black pomfret – 400 gms
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – to taste(approx. 1 tsp)
Rava/ Semolina – 1 tsp
Oil – 5 tbsp

To grind:-

Shallots – 10 nos
Garlic – 3-4 pods
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Vinegar – 3/4 tsp

METHOD:

1. Clean and wash the fish.
2. In a mixie/grinder, grind all the ingredients listed under ‘To grind’ section, to a smooth paste.
3. Marinate the fish with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and the ground mixture. Apply on both sides of the fish.
4. You can marinate the fish overnight for best results. If not, keep it atleast for an hour.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Sprinkle rava on the marinated fish. This will help the marinade to stick to the fish while frying. Fry the fish in medium high flame.
6. Fry both sides till it becomes brown and is fully cooked. Use a fork/tongs to turn the fish easily.

Serve with rice or as appetizer!

Malabari Chicken Roast

Presenting: Malabari Chicken Roast
Courtesy: Raji Rajendran

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As part of my ‘Something New’ challenge, and this being the last of the 5 I had promised, I am posting a recipe that I owe to my best friend. She had passed on this recipe to me few days back. And I thought this is the perfect time to try it out.

Raji comes from the southern part of Kerala, same place DD hails from. And I found it funny that she gave me a recipe for ‘Malabari’ Chicken Roast, considering the fact that I come from this region called ‘Malabar’!!! LOL 😀 Well, I am glad, preparation of food in each home is no more restricted to their own regions or even country. After all, food is the most ideal thing that can break the limits of boundaries and bring a touch of other cultures into our lives.

Having said that, it would have been wonderful if I had got Raji to make it for me and my job would be to just enjoy the dish. I know she is an absolutely wonderful cook herself. But now that I had to make the dish myself, I thought of giving the feedback of the dish too. The spices used in this dish reminded me of the spices I use for making my palakkadan sambar. So I was little skeptical initially. But to my surprise and a pleasant one, this dish turned out to be super tasty. Me and DD really enjoyed this new chicken roast. It would go very well with Ari Pathiri also. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Raji 🙂

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INGREDIENTS:

Boneless chicken – 1/4 kg
Onion – 1 medium sized
Shallots – 6 nos
Tomato – 1.5 nos
Shredded coconut – 125 gm(about half the chicken’s quantity)
Green chilli – 1 nos
Garlic – 6-7 pods
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – 2-3 strands
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2.5 tbsp
Chilli powder – 2.5 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garam masala powder – 1.5 tbsp
Coconut oil – 10 tbsp
Salt – as per taste

METHOD:

1. In a wok heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the coriander and chilli powders and sauté until the raw smell goes of.
2. Take half of the sautéed spice and marinate the chicken(cut into small pieces) with it and set aside for 15 to 20 mins.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the fenugreek seeds and fry until medium brown.
4. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chilli to the oil. After the raw flavour goes away, add chopped onions, chopped shallots and half the curry leaves. Keep on medium flame and sauté the onion until they start browning slightly.
5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they melt and form a paste. Add the remaining sautéed coriander and chilli powder to the paste.
6. Add the turmeric powder and garam masala and sauté for about 5 minutes.
7. Now add salt and the marinated chicken.
8. Cover the wok with a lid and keep it on low heat until the chicken is properly cooked.
9. In a pan, fry the coconut and remaining curry leaves until the coconut is of a medium brown colour.
10. Add the fried coconut to the chicken and mix well. Keep this on a low heat without the lid for another 5 minutes.

Can be served with rice or chappatis