Olan(Cowpeas ‘N Pumpkin stew)

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Olan is one of those dishes that you should make when you absolutely want no spices or masala. It is a simple dish made with the most simple ingredients and yet is a wholesome dish. Another easy dish that has a definite spot in your Onam sadya leaf ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the color of this dish. The color itself is an indication of the simplicity of this dish. Usually this is made using pumpkin, but you could use squash instead.

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

Squash/Pumpkin – 100 gm/1 cup
Cowpeas – 1/2 cup
Green chilli – 3 nos, slit
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut milk – 5 tbsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste(approx. 1/4 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Soak cowpeas in water for 8 hours or overnight. Boil it using little salted water in a cooker(give about 5-6 whistles).
2. In a pan, put little water(approx. 1 cup), sliced squash/pumpkin, slit green chillies, curry leaves, coconut milk and salt. Boil these in medium flame.
3. Add the cowpeas when the pumpkin/squash is half cooked. Cook covered till the vegetable cooks through. Add water if needed.
4. Remove from heat and pour coconut oil and give a good mix.

Serve with rice!

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Potato Kootu Curry(Coconut milk based potato gravy)

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Potato kootu curry is NOT one of the most popular kootu curry for onam sadya. In most homes, kootu curry is made of either raw banana or yam or black chana/kadala. The preparation of these kootu curry will also be very similar to any other preparation using coconut and jeera paste. However, I stick to this kootu curry when it comes to sadya/feasts since that would be a different taste from the other dishes. This is a preparation style of southern most Kerala bordering Nagercoil. My mom introduced this dish to one of our sadyas back in our school days and ever since I have loved this side dish.

I was thinking it will go well only for a rice combo plate. But last time I made it, we had this curry with poori and we liked it quite good. This is a very simple dish and gets ready in no time. Try this for your onam sadya this time and enjoy the difference ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Potato – 1 no. medium sized, cubed
Onion – 1/2 of a medium sized, cubed
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cloves – 3 nos
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
Cardamom – 1 no
Coconut milk – 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Coconut oil – 1.5 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1 no
Salt – to taste(approx. 1/2 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Take some water(little over 1 cup) in a pan. Put cubed potatoes, cubed onions, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, half of curry leaves and salt in it.
2. Let it boil. Cook covered in medium flame till the potatoes cook through. Add water if needed.
3. Reduce the flame and put coconut milk and give a good stir. Cook for 3-4 mins and remove from stove.
4. In a pan, heat coconut oil. Put mustard seeds and once it splutters, add broken dry red chilli and remaining curry leaves. Saute till dry red chillies turn slightly brown.
5. Pour this onto the potato gravy kept aside and give a good mix.

Shahi Mutter Paneer

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Shahi Mutter Paneer holds a definite spot in my menu if I have any vegetarian friend coming home for dinner, especially if they are from North India. This dish is an absolute charmer with paneer lovers. For a change, I like this rich and creamy sauce myself and it is a perfect side accompaniment for Naan or parathas.

Few weeks back, my friend asked me for this recipe. I was waiting for some guest to come so that I can make this for them ๐Ÿ˜› So, Ronia, this one’s for you ๐Ÿ™‚

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INGREDIENTS:

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

Onion – 1 no, sliced
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 2 nos, chopped
Tomato – 1 no, sliced
Green peas – 1 cup
Paneer cubes – 1 cup (apprx. 160 gm)
Yogurt – 1 tbsp
Heavy cream(optional) – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1.25 tsp)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cloves – 8 nos
Cardamom – 6 nos
Black peppercorn – 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
Kasoori Methi dry(Dry Fenugreek leaves) – 2 generous pinches
Bay leaf – 1 no
Coriander leaves – 5 strands, chopped

METHOD:

1. Heat oil in a pan and put whole garam masala(Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon, Black peppercorn, Cumin seeds and Fennel seeds) to it.
2. Once it splutters, put onion, ginger garlic paste, green chilli and salt. Cook in medium high flame and saute occasionally.
3. Once the onions turn pink, add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
4. Saute for 1-2 mins till the spices cook well, till it turns light brown.
5. Then add tomatoes and saute well. Let it cook well in medium flame. You will know that it is cooked through when the oil starts to separate.
6. Then add dry kasuri methi(crush it by rubbing between your palms) and saute for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let it cool.
7. Meanwhile, boil green peas in microwave(for apprx. 7 mins) using little salted water(apprx. 1 cup).
8. Once the onion tomato mix cools down, using a mixie/blender, grind this into a smooth paste. This is the gravy base for your curry, so add water as required to make a thick gravy.
9. Heat ghee in a pan. Add bay leaves to it and once it turns light brown, add the gravy to the pan and let it boil. Please note that the gravy can splutter and cause burns if not careful. Keep it covered with a splutter protector.
10. Add the boiled peas and paneer cubes to the gravy and let it boil in medium flame. Also put sugar and stir well.
11. Add heavy cream and/or yogurt to the gravy and mix well. Add water to bring the gravy to desired consistency. Let it boil for 2-3 mins and remove from heat.
12. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Butter Naan or Garlic Naan or Paratha ๐Ÿ™‚

Aloo Mutter(Potato and Green peas)

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Aloo mutter is one of the most common side dish we make with chappati. Aloo means potato and Mutter is green peas. Most North Indian recipes of this type would call for potato and I love that, coz I love potato in any form :- D. You could make this dish with gravy or a drier version. I prefer the dry version. This goes well with chappatis or pooris or even jeera rice.

You can make similar curries with various vegetables like Baingan(Eggplant), Gobi(Cauliflower), Lauki(Bottle Gourd), Green peas and Paneer etc etc. This is a very basic recipe and fairly simple. Doesnโ€™t require too many fancy ingredients. With this same approach you can make dry sabjis with various other vegetables like okra, beans, cabbage etc. I will post that recipe one of these days. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS:

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

Onion – 1 nos, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1.5 tsp
Tomato – 1 nos, chopped
Green chilli – 2 nos
Potato – 2 medium sized ones, cubed
Green peas – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/3 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 5 tbsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1 tsp)
Coriander leaves – 5-6 strands, chopped

METHOD:

1. Heat oil in a pan and put cumin seeds. When it splutters/turns brown, add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste, half of the salt and chopped green chilli.
2. Cook in medium high flame and saute occasionally.
3. Once the onions turn pink, add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
4. Saute for 1-2 mins till the spices cook well. Then add garam masala powder.
Note: If you want a thick sauce where the onions dissolve into the gravy, cook onions really well till it turns brown and oil starts to separate.
5. Then add tomatoes and saute well. Let it cook well in medium flame. You will know that it is cooked through when the oil starts to separate.
6. Put cubed potato, green peas and the remaining salt. Add some water also. Give it a good mix. Cook covered in medium flame till the vegetables cook well.
7. Occasionally pour some water and stir well so that the spices/masala doesnโ€™t stick to pan or get burnt. If you want more gravy, add enough water to form gravy and let it boil.
8. Once the vegetables cook, cook uncovered in medium high flame and sautรฉ well. If you want dry sabji/aloo mutter, cook till all the water evaporates.
9. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with warm chappatis or jeera rice.

Mutton Stew

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Mutton Stew: Mutton or Goat meat is not something we buy a lot. Frankly speaking, I donโ€™t even like any red meat. Even DD isnโ€™t a great fan whatsoever or thatโ€™s how I would like to pretend/believe ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, I had this stew at a friendโ€™s place and I liked the flavor and combination with appam. From that day, I wanted to make it one day. Its been months since I have been thinking of making it, but finally I went and bought mutton few days back. And of course, this was the only recipe I had in mind ๐Ÿ˜› Thanks to my dear friend Moneesha for the tips and guidance. She took time to elaborate the process and I followed it to the dot, so that I donโ€™t go wrong. Also because I donโ€™t make mutton often. This probably was just my 2nd time buying mutton!!

Well, the stew came out very well and is a killer combination with appam. Well, after making the stew I realized that in our house we make almost the same thing using egg. But we never called it stew and also never made the same with any kind of meat. So I couldnโ€™t relate. Dumb!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Am gonna soon try the same with chicken. Am sure that would be good also.

TIP: Again, I am borrowing this tip from Moneesha. If you donโ€™t get your mutton soft, then try giving more whistles that you otherwise do. After the 1st whistle, keep it for 15 mins (apprx. 30 whistles) and the mutton will be soft. Somehow, I feel the mutton is kind of hard here and takes time to get soft. You could also try to use some meat tenderizer.

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INGREDIENTS:

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

Mutton/ Goat chops โ€“ 1 lb
Onion โ€“ 1 medium sized, sliced
Tomato โ€“ 1/2 nos, chopped
Carrot โ€“ 1 small, sliced
Potato โ€“ 1 nos, diced
Thick coconut milk โ€“ 1/2 cup
Thin coconut milk โ€“ 1.5 cups (alternatively add 1.5 cups water to 1/2 cup thick coconut milk to make it thin)
Cinnamon โ€“ 1 inch stick
Cardamom โ€“ 5-6 nos
Cloves โ€“ 5-6 nos
Turmeric powder โ€“ 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder โ€“ 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder โ€“ 1/4 tsp
Shallots โ€“ 2 nos, sliced
Green chilli โ€“ 2 nos, slit
Curry leaves โ€“ 2 strands
Coriander leaves โ€“ 3 strands, chopped
Oil โ€“ 3 tbsp
Ghee โ€“ 1.5 tbsp
Salt โ€“ to taste(apprx. 3/4 tsp)

METHOD:

1. Clean the mutton/goat meat. Season the mutton with 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper powder. Cook the mutton using less water, in a cooker. Mutton will leave out some water by itself, so less water is sufficient to cook the mutton in a cooker. To make the mutton soft, you might have to give many whistles. I gave about 30 whistles.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan and put cloves, cinnamon and cardamon. Once it splutters/pops, add crushed ginger and garlic, slit green chilli and 1 strand curry leaves.
3. Once the ginger and garlic turn light brown, add sliced onion. Saute occasionally till onion turns light pink.
4. Then add chopped tomato. Cook till tomatoes cook through.
5. Then boiled mutton(including the stock), vegetables(potato and carrot), remaining salt and thin coconut milk. Add little water occasionally if required. Let this cook in medium flame till the vegetables cook well.
6. Once the vegetables cook, add thick coconut milk and water to bring it to the consistency you prefer. Bring it to boil in medium high flame and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
7. Heat ghee in a pan. Put mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add sliced shallots and remaining curry leaves. Once the shallots turn light brown, remove this from stove and pout it into mutton stew.

Serve with Appam, Idiyappam or Chappati!

Fish Curry using Raw Mango and Coconut

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I donโ€™t experiment much with fish, especially fish curry. The only fish curry I can confidently make is the kerala fish curry. The reason for this is coz, I have now made it enough number of times and each time it comes out good ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, since I am not a great fan of fish, I would depend on DD to finish any fish item. So it is important that he likes whatever I make with fish. Though he is not very picky about food, it gives me satisfaction when I see him enjoy the food I make!!!

I used to attempt making different types of fish curry. But what I never liked in most of those, is the flavor of the fish skin or fish oil. May be thatโ€™s why I like salmon fish curry or even tilapia better! But this time I thought that I should try something different and just to ensure that I also like the fish curry, I decided to peel off the fish skin. I am glad, I put that effort. Also, me and my ex-roomie, had made a curry one time when I was in Bangalore. When we made that gravy, I had told her that it reminds me of the fish curry we make in our region(Malappuram side of Kerala). So from a long time I wanted to convert it to a good coconut based fish curry. In our place, we also make fish curry using coconut. So I came up with this recipe, keeping in mind the basic ingredients usually used for making fish curry and used raw mango instead of tamarind for sourness.

Long story short, the fish curry turned out awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ I was very skeptical while serving this to DD. After having it, he told me that it reminds him of the fish curry that was served with meals in Shornur railway station!!! That was quite a compliment. For me, the fact that it reminded him of Shornur itself was a success coz afterall that was my attempt. To come as close to the authentic way of making a good fish curry using coconut. Oh, BTW, Shornur is a place near my hometown ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy this coconut and raw mango based fish curry!

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INGREDIENTS:

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

Fish(Pomfret) – 200 gms(5-6 pieces)
Raw mango slices(peeled) – 50 gm(approx. 1/3 cup)
Shallots – 1 no
Garlic – 2 pods
Ginger – 3/4 inch piece
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Green chilli – 2 nos
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1 tsp)

To grind:-
Grated coconut – 1/3 cup
Coriander seeds – 1/4 tsp
Shallots – 2 nos

METHOD:

1. Clean and wash the fish and keep it aside. Please note that I remove the skin of the fish since I don’t like the flavor/oil that comes out from the fish skin.
2. Put chopped ginger, chopped garlic, 1 strand curry leaves, slit green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, raw mango slices, salt and 2.5 cups water in a saucepan. Bring it to boil. Cook covered in medium high flame.
3. Meanwhile, grind ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind’ section into smooth paste using a blender/mixie.
4. Once the mango is 3/4th done, add the ground paste and bring it to boil.
5. Add the fish pieces and cook in medium flame till the fish is cooked through. Then remove from heat.
6. In a pan, heat oil. Put mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add fenugreek seeds. Once it turns light brown, add remaining curry leaves. Add sliced shallot(remaining 1 shallot) and saute till shallot turns light brown. Remove from heat and pour it to the fish curry and give a light mix.

Enjoy with white rice!

Naadan Chicken Curry(with coconut based gravy)

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Naadan chicken curry: Why I thought of calling this ‘Naadan’ which means native, is because of the usage of coconut in the preparation of this curry. There are very few items in Kerala that are prepared without coconut based things. Be it fresh coconut, coconut milk or coconut oil, most dishes will use atleast one of these ๐Ÿ™‚

It is not a very popular dish in our house, but I realized off late that it goes very well with Kerala porotta. If you go to local small food places in Kerala or even Tamil Nadu, they give porotta with this coconut based chicken curry and it tastes yummm!!! Some of the food combinations are soo irreplaceable ๐Ÿ™‚ Like Biryani and raita, Kappa and Meen curry, Appam and Mutta curry. This has one such combination for me now, Kerala porotta and naadan chicken curry ๐Ÿ˜€

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INGREDIENTS:

Boneless chicken – 200 gms
Shallots – 10-12 nos or Onion – 1 no
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 5-6 pods
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 strands
Potato – 2 nos, medium sized, cubed
Green chilli – 2 nos
Tomato – 1/2 no
Coconut milk(thick) – 5 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 5 strands
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1.5 tsp)

To grind:-

Coriander seeds – 5 tsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch
Cardamom – 2 no
Cloves – 4-5 nos
Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp(optional)
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Black pepper – 1/4 tsp
Shredded coconut – 1/2 cup(apprx.)

METHOD:

1. Lightly roast the ingredients mentioned under ‘To grind’ section and grind them into a fine paste.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Put mustard seeds and once it crackles, add crushed ginger and garlic.
3. Once it turns light brown,add curry leaves, sliced shallots, chopped green chilli and half the salt.
4. Saute till shallots are cooked. Then add the ground mix, garam masala, turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
5. Saute till the spices cook well. Then add chopped tomatoes and saute till the oil starts to separate.
6. Then add chicken pieces(cubed into 2 inch pieces), cubed potatoes and the remaining salt. Let it cook covered. Add little water if required.
7. Once chicken is done, add coconut milk and stir well. Add water to bring it to the desired consistency.
8. Cook in medium flame for few mins, stirring frequently(the coconut milk can split if you don’t). Bring it to boil and remove from heat. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Kerala porotta, chappati or Appam!