KOZHI THALAYANA

(CHICKEN PILLOW)

This is a very interesting Arab influenced dish……Like Middle East,  Mappila Cuisine has a lot of stuffed recipes like Arikadukka (Stuffed Mussels Fry), Aadu Porichathu ( Goat Raost : Eggs are stuffed into marinated chicken which in return is stuffed into the goat & roasted together)…… All these dishes take a lot of time to prepare but the outcome is just delicious…. Kozhi Thalayana is a whole chicken stuffed with eggs & then covered with dough & fried.

JpegINGREDIENTS : 800 gms whole chicken.

For Dough : 2 cups maida, 1/2 cup yoghurt, salt to taste, little oil, warm water.

For Marination : 1 tbsp ginger paste, 2tbsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 4 tbsp yoghurt, 1/2 small lemon, chopped curry leaves (optional), salt to taste, little oil.

For Stuffing : Eggs, 4-5 big onions, 1/2 tsp ginger paste, 1 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp garam masala powder ( powdered cinnamon + cloves + cardamom), 2 green chillies,  few curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt to taste, oil.

For Masala : 6 big onions, 2 tomatoes, 3/4 tsp ginger paste, 1  1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, 1 – 1  1/2 tsp garam masala powder, 2 green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, salt to taste, oil.

DIRECTIONS : First mix all the marination ingredients ….. Clean the whole chicken inside out…. Make cuts on the chicken….. Marinate the chicken with marinade for at least 1 hour.

To make the STUFFING, boil eggs….. Heat oil…. Fry onions till soft & brownish….. Chop green chillies & add….add curry leaves, ginger & garlic pastes….. Sauté for some time….. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder & salt….. Sauté…….. Now add in eggs & combine with the masala well….Mix in the finely chopped coriander leaves….. Remove the pan  & let the stuffing cool down.

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In the meantime, make the dough by combining maida, yoghurt, little oil, salt  & enough warm water.

To make the MASALA, heat oil….. Sauté onions till light brown….. Add chopped tomatoes, chopped green chillies, few curry leave….. Sauté…… Add the masala powders & salt….. Fry briefly…… Add in the coriander leaves….. Combine well…. Cook till the MASALA is dry….. Remove from heat…. Keep aside.

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Fill the Stuffing inside the marinated chicken….. Close the ends with toothpicks…. Also pin the legs & wings to the sides with toothpicks……

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Heat oil in a big pan…… Cook the chicken covered over low flame till done.

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Finally, roll out the dough…… It should be big enough to cover the whole chicken…. Spread half the MASALA on the rolled out dough….. Place the chicken on it……. Spread rest of the MASALA  on the chicken…..

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Cover the chicken with the rolled out dough…. Heat oil in a deep pan….. Carefully fry the dough covered chicken on low flame till done……

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When the dough becomes crisp, it is done…..

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Serve hot.

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NOTE : One can bake in the final stage to reduce oil intake…… Also I sometimes stuff chicken legs with the MASALA & place egg stuffing by its side on the dough & make small Thalayanas…… These are easier to serve.


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ALISA

 Alisa is a fortifying ,wholesome & highly satisfying one pot dish & is normally served as a starter during marriages, religious festivals like Eid & other special occasions….. It is quite similar to harisa or harees which is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe…. Yemeni Arab traders brought this dish with them to Kerala….. Thus, one can say that Alisa is a sort of fusion food of Malabar region & Arabs ……Traditionally, Alisa is cooked in large pots on low flames & although it takes a lot of time to cook, the outcome is delicious….. Here I’m going to use pressure cooker for faster cooking.

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INGREDIENTS : 1  1/2 cups chamba wheat ( branless wheat), 1/2 kg chicken/ mutton, 1-2 large onions (cubed), few cloves of garlic (optional), 1  1/2 – 2″cinnamon, 1-2 cups coconut milk, water as needed, salt to taste.

Garnish : Ghee, few cashew nuts & raisins, sliced onions.

DIRECTIONS  : Wash & soak the wheat overnight….. In the pressure cooker add wheat, meat, cubed onions, garlic, cinnamon & salt……. Pour in water till the level of water is, upto the second knuckle of the pointing finger from the tip ( say upto 1  1/2″), above the ingredients…….  Cover the pressure cooker & cook till a couple of whistle blows…… Now lower the flame & cook for around 45 mins……… Remove from heat & keep aside for some time……. In the meantime, prepare the garnish by frying cashewnuts, raisins & sliced onions till golden brown.

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Now open the pressure cooker lid, mash thoroughly & pour in a cup of coconut milk….. Mix & cook on low flame….. Check for consistency….it should be porridge like…… Add more coconut milk if required…. Turn off the flame……. Serve hot with garnish & little ghee….. Some like to have it with a sprinkling of sugar too.

NOTE :  Alisa can also be had as a breakfast dish….. One can also have it as a main meal with mutton/ chicken fry.

If chamba wheat is not available, one can use rice/ barley/semolina instead….. Cooking time will vary accordingly.

KERALA

I have deleted a post I had made on Kerala, on 12th April, by mistake….. Being new to blogging I don’t know how to recover a deleted post…. Have been trying to do so last few days…. But…. So I thought I might as well rewrite it again…….

Kerala is the southernmost state of India….. It is also known as ‘God’s own country’……CIMG1537

Courtesy : Mini Mahesh

It is known for it’s palm lined beaches & a network of shimmering backwaters…..picture nov2011 016

Courtesy : Mini Mahesh

Inland are the Western Ghats where tea, coffee & spice plantations are situated…….. Kerala is also known as the ‘Land of Spices’…….spices like black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc are in abundance…..

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Traders from far away lands came in search of these spices……. Thus ancient Kerala played host to travellers & traders from across the world including Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, British, etc., who left their impact on the cuisine, architecture, etc. of this land.

Kerala cuisine has an abundance of rice, tapioca, coconut, spices,etc…. It also features a lot of seafood like fish, prawns, crabs & mussels because of the long coastline…… Influence of various countries & cultures on the cuisine of Kerala is marked….. This cuisine reflects the synthesis of three of the religions of the subcontinent, i.e., Hinduism, Christianity & Islam.

Hindu Malyali food is full of delicious vegetarian dishes which are light & subtle…..Sadya, a traditional banquet, is a pure vegetarian meal including rice; various side dishes like sambar, rasam, buttermilk, variety of vegetables,etc. and sweet dishes like payasam served on a banana leaf.

Syrian Christians are considered to be among the world’s oldest Christians…… Their cuisine is rich & varied.

The Mappila, or Moplah, food of the Malabar Muslims was influenced by the food habits of Arab traders who came in search of spices centuries ago.

PAZHAM NIRACHATHU

 (STUFFED BANANA FRITTERS)

This is a very tasty & a must have snack during Iftar.

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INGREDIENTS  : 5-6 bananas

Filling : Same like Unnakkaya

Batter : 1/2 cup maida(all purpose flour), a pinch of salt, 3-4 tbsp sugar, water according to requirement, oil for frying.

DIRECTION : Prepare coconut filling like Unnakkaya & keep it aside……..

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Now peel the bananas & make a slit on one side….. Stuff the slit of the bananas with the coconut filling….. To make a thick batter mix maida, salt, sugar & water in a bowl…. Heat oil…. Dip stuffed bananas in batter & fry on low flame till golden brown….

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Drain onto tissue & serve hot.

Kerala- Mappila(Moplah) Cuisine

Mappila, also known as Moplah, food was influenced by the food habits of Arab traders who came to the Malabar region centuries ago in search of spices….. Later trading groups like the Portuguese, Dutch, British also brought in their influences……. Thus Mappila Cuisine, one can say, is a merger of local & borrowed food traditions…… It uses local ingredients with skills borrowed from other cultures. I will present here some of the typical recipes of this cuisine……

UNNAKKAYA

(BANANA ROLLS )

These are traditional, delicious & sweet snack prepared mainly during the Ramzan days…….

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INGREDIENTS : 4 medium ripe bananas

Filling : 2 cups grated coconut, 1/2 cup sugar,  few raisins, few cashew nuts, about 1/2 tsp cardamom powder, 1 tbsp ghee.

DIRECTION  : Pressure cook  halved bananas. After cooking, cool the banana….peel of the skin….mash it well….. Divide it into equal portions & set aside.

Fry resins & cashew nuts in melted ghee in a pan for a minute ……Add grated coconut & toss well…. Add in sugar & cardamom powder and mix well till sugar starts to melt…..

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Remove & let it cool a bit.

Now take one portion of mashed bananas, flatten it, spoon in some coconut filling, cover it in & seal it giving it a cylindrical shape…….  Deep fry these in oil till golden brown….

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Drain onto tissue……Serve hot.

INDIA

IMG-20160130-WA0036As you know from Starting Point, the main theme of this blog is influence of food of different cultures & countries on each other…. Being an Indian, it is natural that I’ll start with my own country INDIA…. India is a multifaceted country due to cultural differences, religions, festivals, languages, climate, ethnic groups,etc….. Naturally, because of this the range of cuisines varies here…… Each little corner of the country has a speciality of its own…. Historical incidents such as foreign invasions, colonialism, trade relations have also played a big role in introducing certain food stuffs to this country….for eg. potatoes, chillies, breadfruit were introduced by Potuguese…… Similarly, India introduced a variety of spices to the world….. Thus Indian cuisine reflects centuries of history of various groups & cultures interacting with the subcontinent which led to diversity of flavours & regional cuisines found in modern day India.

STARTING POINT

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Hi, I have been wanting to start a blog related with food for quite some time….. I was always interested in finding out the INFLUENCE of food of different COUNTRIES & CULTURES on each other. Love collecting recipes, going to restaurants,etc… So I thought of getting all like minded people on one platform to share experiences, recipes,etc.