Urad Daal Bonda – (Quick and easy alternative for Uzhunnu Vada)

bondaUrad Dal – 1 cup
Rava / Sooji – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1 big (Red onion preferred)
Chopped Green Chilly – For your taste (I chop 7-8 Thai hot chili pepper)
Black Pepper crushed – For your taste (I use about 1 tsp)
Red Chilly flakes – For your taste (I use about 2 tsp)
Salt – For your taste
Chopped Curry leaves – 10-12

Soak Urad daal for 30 mts to 1  hr in water, then drain, and grind it. Add only half cup of water as we don’t want it to be too loose. Grind to a fine batter, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients to it, and beat the batter really well with a spatula/spoon. Make sure this is beaten well for air to get inside to make it more soft. (Next time I will try to beat this with an electric stand mixer and see if it is easier. handheld mixer should be fine too).

Heat oil in a frying pan to medium to medium high  for frying this. Make sure you have enough oil to cover the bonda.  Once oil is hot, you can put small balls of the batter to the oil and fry. I usually use two table spoons to make bonda shape. Or you can use wet hand to make bonda balls. Once bottom of the bonda is golden brown, you can turn it upside down for the other side to become golden brown. Adjust heat, if needed.

You can eat this with coconut chutney.  Recipe below:

Grind -> Coconut (1 cup), 4 green chili, 2 tsp red chili powder, salt, Couple of curry leaves, little ginger,  half Red onion chopped (small shallots preferred), and half cup of water. Add bit more water, if chutney is too thick. You can eat like this. -OR- do the next step too. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small pan, add 2 tsp mustard, when it splutters,  turn off the stove, and add 2 dried red chili broken into pieces, and some curry leaf. Mix it together. When it cools off little add the ground chutney mix and mix well.

Priti’s Awesome Kali Chicken

Ingredients for marinating chicken

1. Whole cut up chicken (1 chicken) cleaned, washed and drained (you can also wash with vinegar, before washing with water, to make it smell better)
2. Yogurt – Half Cup
3. Make a paste with Garlic (10 cloves), Green chili (3-4), black pepper (10-15), Black Jeera (1/2 tsp)
(You can make this paste and store in fridge for couple of days)
4. Ground black pepper – 1 tsp
5. Ground White pepper – 1 tsp
6. Red whole pepper – 2 or 3
7. Oil – 1 tsp (Olive, Canola, Vegetable oil etc is fine)
8. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
9. Salt – as needed

Marinate washed and drained Chicken with ingredients above and leave it for an hour. (Sometimes I don’t get this much time, and I just do 15 mts, and still tastes good)

Heat some ghee (about 2 tbsp) in a pan and shallow fry the chicken. You can mix and turn in between for it to cook evenly. Take it out when it starts to brown. I usually see this as the chicken getting almost cooked, and getting firm.. so that it will stay nice and tasty when added to the gravy.

Ingredients for Gravy

Fennel Seeds – 20
Bay leaves – 4 one inch pieces
Cinnamon stick – 4-5 one inch sticks
Chopped yellow onion – 2 cups
Chopped tomatoes – 1 big tomato
Red chili powder – 1 tsp (reduce if you think it is getting more spicy)
Honey – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Heat a pan with little oil. Put fennel seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks let it be fry.
Then sauté chopped onions till it is slightly brown
Add chopped tomatoes and saute/fry again until it forms a nice sautéed mixture.
Add some salt for this mixture only.
Add red chili powder, Coriander powder and sauté for some more time.
Add prepared chicken to it, and mix well and cook on medium heat until chicken is tender.
Make a nut paste with milk (I used an equal mix of almond (10), walnut(10) and pistachio(10). You can just use cashews if that is easier).
Add the nut paste to chicken.
Stir 2-3 minutes for it to mix well.
Add water for gravy for the consistency you like. I like it little thick like butter chicken etc.
Garnish with 1 tsp honey & gram masala.

Goes well with Ghee rice, Pulav, Chapathi, Nan etc.

Priti’s Yummy Chilli Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloin – 3 pounds
  • Veggies for the Sauce:
    • Celery Chopped – 2-3 Sticks
    • Green  and Red Pepper chopped – 1 cup
    • Chopped Jalapeno – 2-3
  • Sauce
    • Tomato sauce (canned is OK too) – .5 cup
    • vinegar -1tspn
    • Maggi masala chili sauce – 2tbspn,
    • Ketchup – 2tbspn
    • Miracle Manchurian Mix from Indian Store – 1 tbspn
    • MSG – 2-3 pinches
    • Red chilli pwdr – to your taste
    • Chicken Broth – just enough to make the sauce to your desired consistency.
Note: Some ingredients are listed in the directions, and not in the ingredients list above. Also, add spices/chilli for your desired taste.  MSG is optional, but helps with the taste. This dish can also be made with Cauliflower or fish(tilapia).

Directions:

Wash chicken and get all the water out with a paper towel.  Use a meat mallet and tenderize chicken, and cut into small pieces. Keep aside.

Marinate chicken for 0.5 – 3hrs or overnight in a ziploc bag with: ginger-garlic paste, green chili sauce (or green chili), soy sauce, korean hot sauce, red chili powder, Kashmiri Chili (for color), black pepper, Corn flour (3 tbsp), wheat flour (1 tbsp), Korean pancake mix (1 tbsp – Optional), MSG, Vinegar – 1tsp, and Salt.

Fry the marinated chicken in Canola/Vegetable Oil, and keep it aside. You can freeze this for later use as well.

Saute 1 med sized onion chopped fine in canola or vegetable oil till it is light brown.  Add 2 tbsp of Chopped Ginger/Garlic, and saute for a minute. Add  1 cup of Chopped green onion and saute again for a minute. Add all veggies listed above for sauce. Saute it for couple of minutes until the veggies softens. Add all ingredients listed in the sauce section above and let it boil for few minutes to get it all blend well. Mix 1 tspn of corn starch with water, and add to the sauce (helps to thicken sauce).  Add Fried chicken to the sauce and blend it well for 2-3 minutes.

Garnish with sesame oil and cilantro (Optional).

Enjoy with rice, fried rice, chapati or nan…..

Simple Pulissery (Yogurt/Curd Curry)

Ingredients:

  1. Thick Yougurt (Curd) – 4 cups
  2. Water – 1/2 cup
  3. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Fenugreek Powder – 1/8 tsp (Half of turmeric)
  5. Green Chilli – 1-2 (to your taste)
  6. Cumin seeds (powdered) –  1/4 tsp
  7. Fenugreek Seeds  – 10
  8. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Curry Leaf – 5-6
  10. Dry red chilli (Dried Cayenne Pepper) – 2  (cut in 2-3 pieces)
photo (11)

“Homemade Yogurt preferred.

If that is not available, buy pre-made from Indian store”

Preparation:

In a blender, mix/grind ingredients 1-6.

Heat up a pot, turn the flame to medium-high. Add 2-3 tsp of oil. Add fenugreek seeds. When it is golden, add mustard.  When mustard splutters, add dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves.

Switch off the stove, and take the pot out of the stove for some time  for it to cool down. (If you add yogurt mix  immediately when the pot is hot, the curd will start separating.)

Add yogurt mix from step 1 to the pot, bring it to the stove and switch on the stove in low heat. At this point, stay with the pot, and make sure the curd mixture just gets warm. Mix it in between so that it gets heated evenly. Switch it off when it is lukewarm, and keep it away from stove or any source of high heat. High heat can change the consistency of  curry. So, be careful as mentioned in this step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naadan/Fusion fish curry (Fusion of two kerala fish curry recipes)

Chef’s note:

This is a fusion of two kerala style fish curries. I liked few things in both curries and wondered how it will be if I combine only the things I like. Here is the result, and I love it!!! I made it when our friend Siji came over, and he wanted the recipe. So, adding it here 🙂
Don’t have any pictures. Will add when I make this next time.

The two curries are:
1) Puliyum Mulakum curry: Courtesy to my mom. I think she learned it from her mother in law
2) Varutharacha Meen curry: Courtesy to my mom.
** One more courtesy to Mani chechi in Chattanooga. She shared a recipe which added Garlic to fish curry, and I liked the flavor. So, decided to include that as well

Ingredients:
1. Fish (Salmon, Pampano, King fish etc): 2 pounds (cut it into 1 inch pieces, and cleaned/washed/drained)
2. Scraped coconut (fresh, frozen, dried): 4 table spoons (not heaped)
[Fresh is best, frozen second best)
3. Chilli powder: 4 table spoons (not heaped)
4. coriander powder: 5 table spoons (not heaped)
5. turmeric powder: 1/2 tea spoon
6. finely chopped Garlic – 6-7 cloves
7. finely chopped Onion – 1/2 cup (red onion preferred)
8. Curry leaves – 18 leaves (3 stems)
9. finely chopped Green chilli – 4
10. finely chopped Ginger – 1 inch piece
11. Fenugreek seeds – 15 nos
12. Kokum (Kudam puli) – 4 pieces (wash well and soak it in 1/2 cup water)
13. Salt – as needed

Procedure:
1. In a pan, pour 1 table spoon of oil (olive/vegetable/coconut oil), and heat it. Once it is hot put the fenugreek seeds.
When seeds are brown (not burnt), add the coconut. Saute that until it is light brown and dry.
Add the chilli and coriander powder and saute it until it gets a darker brown color (this will be the color of the curry).
Saute frequently so that the mixture wont get burnt.
Just before taking it out the stove add turmeric powder and mix well. Let this cool down.

2. Grind this mixture with just enough water to grind it. Add water as necessary to grind it. Don’t make it too watery, as the curry will be too watery too
Keep this mixture aside

3. Now put the vessel/pan/pot in which you will be making fish curry (I like the clay pots (chatti) from kerala) on the stove in medium heat and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil.
Once it is heated add green chillies, onion ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute for a minute until it becomes slight golden brown colour.

4. Now add the mixture from step 2.

5. Add the soaked Kokum(puli) also (you can add the water in which it was soaked. but dont use the bottom part of the water as it may have sand/dirt etc).

6. Add Salt and water. Water should make it the consistency you like in your fish curry. It is always good to keep it little less than your actual needed consitency, as water will come out of the fish when you add it and cook.

7. Once it starts boiling, add fish to it, and cover it. Once the whole thing starts boiling, simmer the stove and cook it for 20-30 minutes. (fish cooks pretty fast)

8. You can taste fish and curry and add salt, kokum or water if you need more. Cook it for some more time. Switch off the stove, keep it covered for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!!!

Yummy Kerala Style Biriyani (My mom’s recipe)

BiriyaniIngredients for Rice:
Basmati rice – 2 cups (Soak rice in water for atleast an hour)
Cinnamon – 4 one inch pieces
Cloves – 6 nos
Cardamom – 4 nos
Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
Water – 3 cups
Ghee & Salt

 

Ingredients for marinating  chicken:-
Chicken – 3 lbs  (Cut the chicken into big pieces – 2 inches piece. Don’t need to cut chicken If you are using Chicken leg pieces. Just make some slits on the piece, so that masala will go in.
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – A little
Black pepper – 1 tsp
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 3 tbsp  (you can make more, so that you can use rest for biriyani gravy too)
Masala powder – 1-2 tsp  (I make masala powder  from Fennel seeds-Cinnamon-Cardamom-Cloves- star Anise-Bay leaves)

Ingredients for Chicken gravy:-
Onion(big) – 3 nos (Sliced, Red onions preferred)
Chilly powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder – 3 tbsp
Masala powder – 2 tsp (same from above)
Garlic-ginger-Green chilly-Cilantro-Mint Leaves paste – 2 tbsp
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 2 stems
Coriander leaves – 2 stems
Roma Tomato – 2-3 (quartered – one tomato in 4 pieces)
Oil- As required
Yogurt – 1/4 cup

Ingredients for Garnishing:
Ghee – As required for frying (I take like 1/2 inch high ghee on a small pan for frying this)
Thinly sliced Onions (red onions preferred) – from 1/2 – 1 onion
Cashews – 20 nos
Raisins – 20-30 nos
Mint leaves(Pudhina) – 3 stems
Coriander leaves – 3 stems

Fry the above garnish items one after other in the order listed above, and keep them aside separately. Onion should be added when ghee is very hot and make sure it doesn’t get burnt. Don’t overcrowd while frying onion. If you have more, do separate batches of frying. After frying onions, you can lower heat to medium. Raisins are done frying when they expand to form balls. Cashew just need to be slightly brown outside.

Note: If you want to reduce amount of ghee used, don’t do this step. Instead use cashews, raisins and leaves for garnishing, without frying in ghee.

Ingredients for Aroma and color:
Rose essence – 1 tsp
Yellow color powder – a pinch
Mix  Rose essence and  color powder, and keep it aside.

Preparation for pan frying Chicken and then making Biriyani Gravy:

Fry:
1)Mix together all the ingredients for marinating the chicken.
2)Marinate the chicken with the above paste for approximately an hour.(You can do/prep this previous night and refrigerate it)
3) Pan Fry this chicken in oil. Don’t fry the chicken pieces for long time. Otherwise, it will become very dry and hard. Just want the outside to be sealed and fried, inside may not be cooked well. But this will get more cooking time when we make gravy with chicken.  The purpose of doing this is to make the pieces little stronger so that it won’t split into small pieces while making curry.

Gravy:
1) Heat little oil or ghee or both together in a pan or a kadai (for cooking chicken with gravy).
2)Add ginger-garlic paste and saute for sometime. Before that starts browning, add onions and cut green chillies and and saute` well.
3)When it is sauted well and turns slightly brown, add chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder,  black pepper, masala powder and salt and saute again until it makes a nice soft mixture. (About 15mts)
4)Add fried chicken pieces to it. Mix gently without breaking chicken pieces. Cover and  cook in medium heat. So, all mixes well. This will take sometime (like 30mts or so in low medium heat, so that chicken and onion mix can blend well and create a thick biriyani gravy. All water should be gone, and result in a roasted style. It will loosen up when we add curd and tomato later.  You can save the time by cooking rice while this gravy is going on, as you don’t have much to do other than mixing and making sure chicken and gravy is not getting burnt or sticking to the bottom of the vessel.
9) When it is almost dry and roasted, Add yogurt and mix it well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
10)Add tomatoes, cover and cook. Make sure Tomato layers at the bottom, so that it cooks fast, and gets a roasted feel. You don’t have to blend tomato into the gravy much. It is nice to have pieces of roasted tomato to eat in biriyani. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add Cilantro and Mint leaves to this and mix in.
12) Mix in between. The gravy should be like a  roasted paste. It should not be too dry or watery.  Check salt and add more, if needed.

Preparation for Cooking Rice:

1)Soak rice in water and keep for an hour. Drain water from rice and keep it aside.
2)Heat 2 – 3 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottom vessel (for cooking rice).
3)Add 3 – 4 pieces of Fennel Seeds, cinnamon, Star Anise, cloves and cardamom and stir for a while. (Optional: nutmeg Pieces).
4) When spices gets roasted and a nice aroma comes, Add water. For 1 cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water. Add Salt to the water for your taste, and allow it to boil.
5)Add the drained rice into it. Mix well, and cover and allow it to be cooked in medium high heat. Keep a close eye, when water starts disappearing, open lid, mix well, cover again, and turn heat to low.  Keep it covered and cook some more time (may be 5-8mts), so that water will disappear from bottom of the vessel too. Turn off the stove, and Don’t open the lid. Leave it covered for 20-30 mts. (it continues to cook while it stays  closed and warm)

For Baking Biriyani:-

For Oven Style:-
1)Take a big shallow oven safe dish. You can use Aluminum foil  trays too instead of flat dish. I usually use 9X13 inch thick baking dish (Glass, Ceramic etc). They are close to two inches high.
2)Coat it with ghee.
3)Put the chicken with gravy as a layer followed by a layer of  the rice. Usually for 2 inch dish you can have only one layer of chicken and rice.
4)Sprinkle few drops of Rose essence and color mix on top of the rice with a spoon carefully. Too much of this will give a very strong smell. So, be careful and drop only few spoons. You can use the same spoon to spread these drops across so the colors spreads bit more.
5)Sprinkle 1 tbsp of ghee on top of it, and spread it. Sprinkle the fried Mint and Cilantro. Sprinkle the fried cashews and raisins on top of it. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover tightly with an oven safe lid or aluminum foil.
Optional: You can add few slices of pineapple, and boiled eggs on top of the rice, before baking, if you like it.
6)Bake this in the centre of the oven at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes. If you are making more quantity, you can put that in multiple shallow dishes and bake in the oven at the same time.

For Stove top Style:-
Use a big wide vessel coated with ghee or butter to make biriyani. Make layer of chicken,  rice, color/essence, mix, ghee and garnish as described in the above step. You can make repeat the layer if needed. Press the top layer down with a flat spoon so that the content is packed without much air inside. Cover it with a lid and heat the filled vessel on a low flame for approximately 20 – 25 mins. Check the bottom of the vessel in between with a spoon or something to make sure it is not getting burnt. If it is getting burnt, reduce the heat.

For Serving:

Take portions vertically from the baked biriyani so that a serving plate will have both rice and chicken with masala. Accompaniments listed below:

– Biriyani goes well with with lime pickle, Yogurt raita or Sarlas (Vinegar and Red Onion Salad) and pappadam. Raita can be made with Red onions, tomato, green chillies(optional), curd and salt.  Sarlas – I make by mixing thin slices of red onion with, green chillies chopped, white vine vinegar to cover onions, and salt. Leave it mixed for atleast 20-30mts. Can be refrigerated too. I prefer Sarlas over raita for Biriyani. May be Mallu taste buds 🙂
– Use the same quantity of Mutton instead of chicken to make Mutton Biriyani with the same recipe.

ENJOY!!!!