Achu’s Crazy Hot Southern Style Fried Chicken

Peanut oil, for frying (Canola or vegetable oil is fine too if you don’t have peanut oil)
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp hot sauce
1 egg beaten
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry
1.5 tbsp ground cayenne
1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

If you are making Sandwich with fried chicken:
Iceberg lettuce
Mayonnaise -or- Sriracha Mayo
4 Kaiser rolls or good sandwich buns
(Optional) Pickles and chips

Season the chicken with salt, and keep it aside.

Arrange things for coating chicken:
Dry mixture: In a shallow bowl or Aluminum foil, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and Salt (as needed, to taste); buttermilk, hot sauce, egg, and a pinch of salt in another shallow bowl. Mix it until well combined.
Wet mixture: In another shallow bowl, mix buttermilk, hot sauce, beaten egg, and a pinch of salt.

Bread the chicken thighs:
Now, coat chicken with dry mixture by dipping all sides of the chicken in it, then dunk in the buttermilk mixture, then back into the dry and transfer to a plate.

Add oil to cast-iron skillet. Oil should be atleast 3/4 – 1 inch for better deep frying experience. Set to medium-high heat that is needed for deep frying. You can drop a small piece of flour mixture into the pan with oil. It should instantly sizzle but not burn. When the oil is hot and checked as explained above, add the breaded chicken thighs. If there isn’t enough space for all of them, do this in batches.)  Fry for about 4 1/2 minutes on one side. And about 4 mts on the other side after flipping chicken.

While they are frying, combine the cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper in a heatproof bowl.

When you’re done frying the chicken, add about 1/2 cup hot frying oil to the bowl with the spices and whisk until smooth.  Dunk the fried chicken in the spiced oil. (If it gets too thick at any point, just thin out with a little more hot oil.)

If you are doing sandwiches, arrange sandwiches with bun/rolls, lettuce, mayo/chipotle mayo.   Optional: Pickles, sliced Onion, Tomato slices. Serve with Chips or Sweet Potato Fries.

Note: Kids decided to cook dinner on Fridays during COVID lockdown. So, Achu prepared this hot chicken yesterday, and Sanju did the Sweet Potato Fries to go with it. It was yummy. Not the healthiest…but can have this once in a while… 🙂

Sanju’s Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe here:

Sanju’s Sweet Potato Fries (Oven Baked)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 3-4 inch long, and 1/4-wide inch strips.

3 tbsp Oil (any oil. I used Canola Oil)
1/2 tsp Salt (Sea Salt preferred)
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray.

Place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in oil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and paprika, and toss lightly.

Place Parchment/baking paper on a cookie tray or another large flat baking tray.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer on it. Don’t overcrowd. Spray Cooking oil on it.

Bake until tender and golden brown. Cooking time is 18 to 24 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving. Oven temp and time varies. So, taste a piece, and if you like it to be baked some more you can. I put it in 500 degrees F for 8-10mts. Please make sure it is not getting burnt during this last step.

Ammachi’s Easy Meen (fish) mulaku curry


Fish – 2 pound  (1 Kg, Cut into small 1 inch pieces)
Fenugreek Seed – 15
Ginger chopped – 1 inch piece
Garlic chopped – 8
Green chillies chopped – 4-5 chillies
Kudam puli – 2-3 pieces (aka. Dried Garcinia gummigutta/Malabar tamarind)
Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped. (If you have small onion/shallots, take just that, -or- some of that, and half onion)
Curry Leaf – 10-12


  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add fenugreek seeds and cook until golden brown.
  • Add Chopped onion to the oil and Sauté  until it is very soft and golden brown.
  • Add 2 tsp’s of chili powder + 3 tsp of Kashmir chili + 1/4 tspn turmeric, and continue sautéing.   Take it off the stove and allow  it to cool.
  • Grind above mixture with water once it cools down. Add enough water while grinding to get your desired consistency of fish curry.
  • Heat oil in a Meen chatti (earthenware) or a deep pan, and Sauté finely chopped Ginger and curry leaf.  Then add chopped garlic and chopped green chillies. Continue sautéing.
  •  Pour the ground mixture to the pan, add Kudam puli 2-3 pieces, and mix well.  Once it boils add fish and allow it to boil for 3-4 mts. Then lower heat and simmer it for 20-30mts.  Add some more curry leaf at the end, and turn the heat off. (Optional: You can add 1  tbspn of coconut oil at the end while adding curry leaf)

Tom Kha Gai – Thai Coconut Soup



2 Tbsp. oil
1 yellow onion sliced
4 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 red jalapeno pepper, or a couple of Thai chiles, chopped
Fresh ginger chopped – 1 tbsp
2 lemongrass stalk pounded with the side of a knife or mallet. (each stalk approx. 4 inch long)
3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups canned coconut milk
2 medium chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces, (or use shrimp)
1 pinch sugar
3-4 Tbsp. fish sauce plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2-3 green onions sliced thin (Optional)
fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish

In a pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until onions are softened.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Add in coconut milk, chicken breast ( or shrimp). Simmer for 10 -12 mts until chicken breast pieces are just cooked through. Taste broth and chicken and add salt if needed.  Simmer for 5 more mts, then add sliced green onions, fish sauce, sugar(pinch), and lime juice – try tasting and if needed, add more of fish sauce, and lime juice to make the taste better.

Cook for 5 more minutes, then ladle into serving bowls and top with fresh cilantro.

Note: It tastes good refrigerated for a a day or two. Also, if you cook jasmine rice, you can add few spoons of that to the soup while eating to make it more filling. I prefer that way when I make this, as it helps to be served as a main meal (lunch/dinner).

Homemade Ice cream (…without ice cream machine)


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using a stand mixer or  hand mixer whip the cream until stiff peaks occur, don’t over whip. Add vanilla extract and whip it for few seconds for the extract to mix in.

Add sweetened condensed milk to whipped cream from Step #1. Gently fold in the whipped cream with a spatula, slowly incorporating the two mixtures together so it stays light and aerated.

(Optional, if you like to add fruit flavor:   Using a food processor, puree fresh/frozen -> Strawberry – 15 + Raspberry – 1 cup + Sugar – 3-4 tbsp, pour into the ice cream mixture above, and gently fold it in with the spatula. I usually make this with fruit.)

Transfer the mixture into an airtight container and freeze for 4-6 hours.

Tuscan Sausage and Kale Soup


1 lb (450g) Hot Italian sausage (or turkey sausage). I used 3 Turkey Hot Italian sausage from Whole Foods
Bacon Cooked – 4-6 strips (chop into small pieces)

1.5-2 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes – chop and soak in water. Add water just enough to soak it. Microwave for 1 minute with water to make it soft.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
32oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped and chopped. (I used 8oz chopped& washed kale pack)
1.5 cup heavy cream
2-3 teaspoon red pepper flakes crushed  – (change according to your spice level)

1/4 cup shredded grated Parmesan, for serving
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnishing/serving



Heat a  large skillet (cast iron preferred), add few tsp’s of oil to brown sausage meat. Cut open sausage into half – lengthwise, and place them on the heated skillet over medium heat.  Make sure the sausage’s inside faces down. Brown the ground sausage together until cooked through. You can break the sausage into small chunks while cooking.

Drain grease, if there is any, and transfer sausage  into a 6-quart slow cooker.
In the same skillet, add olive oil and sliced garlic,  chopped onions, and chopped bacon and saute until translucent and fragrant. Add crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper, and sauté for a minute. Then add kale and sauté for few more minutes until kale reduces its volume.

Add the above onion and kale mix to the slow cooker. Add the chopped, softened Sun dried tomatoes. Add the chicken broth. Mix until combined.

Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. I usually use low setting and leave it until I come back from work.. Most likely 9-10 hrs.

After cooking time is up add the heavy cream and mix until combined. Leave in slow cooker for another 15 minutes. When it is done, change slow cooker setting to “Keep warm”

Taste, season with salt and pepper as needed, to taste
Serve hot garnished with chopped parsley, and shredded parmesan cheese. If you like it more spicy, add crush red pepper flakes.

Recipe ideas from:   (Using Instapot)  (Using Slow Cooker)

Spicy Roasted Peanuts

Spread raw peanuts (about 2 cups) on a microwavable plate, then sprinkle chili powder (1 tsp), and salt (as needed) on it.

Sprinkle some water on it (just little to get the peanuts wet, and coat the chili powder and salt). Mix well…   Let it stay for 15 mts, to absorb water and spices.

Microwave two minutes uncovered .. Take it out and stir. Microwave again for another minute and a half… Stir again. Keep it outside of microwave oven for sometime to cool  off.  From then onwards repeat:

1) microwave for 45 seconds each and  take it out

2) allow it to cool outside

3) stir, and then back to microwave …

Until peanuts are ready/crispy.. You can chew peanuts after it cools off to see if it is crispy.. When it is very hot… It is hard to tell if it is ready as it will be little chewy… That is the reason why we are allowing it to cool little between microwaving, and tasting to make sure.  When it is almost ready you can reduce the intervals to 30 sec.

When peanuts are done and crispy, sprinkle some oil (2 tspn), 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, some curry leaves and mix well. Now microwave again two times for 45 secs each.

Once you get it correct, you can increase/decrease chili/pepper pwdr, salt etc to your desired taste. Your microwave power may vary, and you will have to adjust times accordingly. Times above are based on 2.0 cu ft, 1200 Watts microwave.