COCONUT RICE

This delicious rice dish of Cochini Jews is very interesting.

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INGREDIENTS : 2 cups Basmati rice, 1/2 cup grated coconut, 2 cups coconut milk, 3-4 onions, 1″ ginger, 1-2 cloves garlic, 3-4 cardamoms, 5-7 cloves, 1 2″ cinnamon stick, few black pepper corns, salt to taste, coconut oil, 2 cups water.

DIRECTIONS : Wash the rice thoroughly…….. Soak for at least half as hour….. Heat oil…… Finely chop onions and stir fry till golden brown……20170707_104753Grate the garlic cloves & ginger and add to fried onions….. Sauté…… Drain the rice and add to the above mixture…… Add salt….. Sauté……. Add cardamom, cloves, black pepper corns & cinnamon……. 20170707_105138Sauté……. Mix in grated coconut and coconut milk…..20170707_105347

20170707_105808Stir well….. When the rice mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat…… Cover….. Simmer for at least 10- 12 minutes……. Add water as required….. When done, remove from heat….. Keep aside covered for at least 10 minutes……. 20170707_114027Serve hot.

NOTE : Normally for each cup of Basmati rice, one requires 2 cups of water….. Here, as one is adding 2 cups of coconut milk, one should add 2 cups of water.

NEY CHORU

(GHEE RICE)

This dish is a very popular & simple dish…… Very easy to prepare and is normally cooked for special occasions…… Goes very well with spicy chicken/mutton/vegetable dishes.

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INGREDIENTS : 2 cups Basmati/Jeerakasala rice, 2-3tbsp ghee, 2-3 onions, 4 cups water, salt to taste.
Whole spices : 2-3  1″cinnamon, 1 star anise, 4-6 cloves, 4-6 cardamoms, few black pepper corns, 2 bay leaves.
For garnishing : Few cashew nuts, few raisins, 1-2 onions.

DIRECTIONS : Wash the rice thoroughly & soak for at least half an hour……. p_20161124_172648_hdr_1.jpgHeat ghee….. Stir fry cashewnuts & raisins separately and keep aside…… Stir fry sliced onions in the same ghee with little salt till golden brown……. Keep aside.p_20161124_172638_hdr_1.jpg

Drain rice…… Heat ghee…….. Add whole spices….. Sauté….. Add sliced onions & stir fry till slightly pink….. Now add the drained rice & salt…..Sauté till rice becomes translucent……. Mix in half of fried cashewnuts, raisins…….p_20161124_173508_hdr_1_1.jpg Add water…….p_20161124_173652_hdr_1.jpg Cook till rice is done & water is completely absorbed…… p_20161124_174550_hdr_1.jpgGarnish with fried onions and remaining fried cashewnuts & raisins……… Serve hot.

NOTE : One can add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste & lemon juice to spice up the dish.

KOZHI PERALAN

( CHICKEN WITH THICK GRAVY)

This is a traditional chicken recipe with a thick gravy of roasted aromatic spices……. It goes very well with chapati/ rice/ ghee rice/ appam……. This dish has an unusual & distinct flavour due to it’s main ingredient being coriander powder.

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INGREDIENTS : 500gms Chicken, 4 tbsp coriander seeds, 1tsp fennel seeds, 4-6 pepper corns, 2 dry whole red chillies, 2″cinnamon sticks, 4 cloves, 4 cardamoms, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1″ginger, 8-10 garlic cloves, 1 tsp vinegar, few pearl onions, 2 large onions, 1tsp rye(black mustard seeds), 2-3 sprigs curry leaves, coconut oil as required, salt to taste.

DIRECTIONS : Dry roast coriander seeds, fennel seeds, pepper corns, red chillies, cinnamon sticks, cloves, & cardamoms……… Cool the spices & grind them finely…… Grind the ginger & garlic to make paste…… In a pan mix chicken with ground spices, pearl onions, ginger & garlic pastes, vinegar, turmeric powder and salt……. Add enough water to cook the chicken till almost done & very little gravy remains…….p_20160421_135554_hdr.jpg

Take out the chicken pieces from the gravy & keep the gravy aside……. In the meantime, heat oil….. Add rye, curry leaves & stir…… When the rye splutters, add sliced onions & fry till golden brown……p_20160421_135452_hdr_1.jpg

Stir in the cooked chicken & fry till the chicken pieces are lightly browned…… Now add in the reserved gravy & cook till it becomes thick…….p_20160421_140729_hdr_1.jpg

Serve hot.

Note : Increase or decrease black pepper & red chillies according to taste……. Coconut oil gives authentic flavour……. But one can also use groundnut oil…… If pearl onions are unavailable, one can use shallots.p_20160624_114750_hdr_1.jpgPearl onions.

 

MEEN CURRY

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(FISH CURRY)

INGREDIENTS : Fish, vegetables(brinjal, potatoes, drumsticks, etc.), prepared masala, curry leaves, water as required.

PREPARED MASALA : Red/green chillies, turmeric powder, onion, ginger, tomatoes/raw mangoes/tamarind/curd.

PREPARATIONS : Make prepared masala by grinding chillies, turmeric powder, onion, ginger & tomatoes/raw mango/tamarind/curd. Tanginess is a must in Kerala preparations.

Keep water to boil according to consistency. Once it starts boiling add fish, vegetables, prepared masala & curry leaves. Keep boiling till cooked. Serve hot with Kappa Udachath (Mashed Tapioca).

MEEN Curry made with thakkali (tomatoes)……. p_20160620_140500_hdr_1.jpg

Meen Curry made with manga (raw mango)……..p_20160620_140822_hdr_1.jpg

NOTE : Curd with shark is also a variation of fish curry which is normally made in North Kerala. According to Ayurveda, fish & curd is not considered good. So this combination is less popular & less used.
Turmeric is added to all preparations as it is germicidal.

KAPPA UDACHATH

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(MASHED TAPIOCA)

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INGREDIENTS : Tapioca, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red/green chillies, onions/garlic/coriander leaves/coconut/curry leaves, rye(black mustard seeds), coconut oil(optional).

PREPARATION : Boil tapioca with salt & turmeric powder. Mix in grounded red chillies. One can add onions, garlic, coriander leaves, coconut, etc……gives different distinct flavours when added together or individually. After mixing the masala, heat the tapioca mixture on gentle heat so that it does not stick & burn. Mix in coconut oil. Serve with fish curry.

NOTE : Instead of red chillies, one can add green chillies.
There is another variation, where instead of adding grated coconut, coconut is roasted golden brown & grounded & then mixed in with tapioca.
To create another variety, instead of mixing in coconut oil, one can do tempering. Heat oil. Add in rye, red chillies, curry leaves. Add this tempering to tapioca mixture.

MALABAR KOZHI BIRIYANI

(MALABAR CHICKEN BIRIYANI)

This biriyani is also called Thalassery Biriyani and is evocative of various foreign influences on Malabar Region……Thalassery is sea port through which export of spices took place….. Thus Arab, European & Malabar cultures merged here giving rise to some wonderful recipes like this biriyani…… A short grained, thin & fragrant Kaima or Jeerakasala rice is used in this recipe.

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INGREDIENTS : 1/2 kg Chicken, 250 gms Kaima/Jeerakasala rice.

1st MARINADE : 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 lemon, salt to taste.

2nd MARINADE : 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1- 2 tsp poppy seeds, 2″ginger, 1 pod garlic, 3-4 green chillies, few sprigs coriander, few mint leaves, few curry leaves, 1/2 cup yoghurt.

MASALA FOR CHICKEN : 2-3″ cinnamon, 4-6 cloves, 4-6 cardamom, 2-3 bay leaves, a pinch of nutmeg powder, 4-6 onions, 1 large tomato(optional), 1-2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter).

FOR THE RICE : 2″ cinnamon, 4-6 cloves, 4-6 cardamoms, 2-3 bay leaves, 6-8 curry leaves, 1 large onion(optional), 2-3 tbsp ghee, salt to taste, water.

FOR GARNISH : Eggs, cashew nuts, raisins, 1 pinch saffron, 1/2 cup milk.

DIRECTIONS : Wash chicken pieces thoroughly….. Mix 1st marinade together and marinate the chicken for at least an hour……

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Stir fry the marinated chicken quickly in oil till 1/4th done…….

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Keep aside.

Grind together cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, garlic & green chillies……. Mix the paste with coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves, yoghurt & the remaining 1st marinade……. Marinate the 1/4th done chicken with this marinade for at least 1/2 an hour.

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Wash the rice thoroughly…… Heat ghee in a pan….. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves & curry leaves…… Sauté….. Add onions….. Fry till it just turns pink……. Add the washed rice….. Sauté till rice turns translucent…… Add just enough water….. Cook till almost done & water is dry. Keep aside.

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Heat ghee in another pan….. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves……. Add sliced onions….. Fry till brown….. Add in chopped tomatoes & a pinch of nutmeg powder….. Sauté….. Add marinated chicken….. Stir properly…..

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Cover the pan with lid & cook on medium flame for at least 5-6 minutes….. Remove the lid, increase the flame, keep stirring, cook till chicken is done & the gravy is thickened.

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Finally, take another pan ….. Layer it with alternate layers of rice & cooked chicken……

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Top layer should be rice…….

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Make some small holes in rice……. Pour into each hole saffron milk…….

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Garnish the top with boiled eggs cut in 4 pieces, fried cashew nuts & fried raisins…… Sprinkle little ghee on top……Cover the pan with lid……. Keep it on very slow flame for few minutes…… Put off the flame…… Let it rest for at least 10 minutes…… Serve hot with pachadi (raita), biriyani chammanthi (chutney), date pickle (Ethapazham Achar) & papad…….

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Instead of water, Dahasamani water is preferred to be used for drinking with the meal……. After the meal of Biriyani, Sulaimani Tea is served.

NOTE : Kaima rice does not need to be pre-soaked…… One can use normal Basmati rice if Kaima/Jeerakasala rice is not available……. If the egg is nicely three fourth done then it can be used as garnish just before serving…….. Can also garnish with fried onions.

KOZHI MANDI

(CHICKEN MANDI)

Kozhi Mandi is normally cooked in a deep hole in the ground which is tiled with clay bricks…… Wood coals are used to cook….. Delicious smoked flavour permeates through the dish….. Kozhi Mandi is a Malabar version of Arabian Mandi recipes which is traditionally found in Yemen & other Middle East countries……. Here is an attempt to give an easier version of this dish…..

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INGREDIENTS 1kg Chicken, little oil.

For Marination : 2 tbsp Mandi masala, 1 large lemon, 1 tbsp ginger paste/grated, 1 1/2 tbsp garlic paste/grated, 2-3 tbsp butter, salt to taste.

For Mandi Masala : 1 cinnamon(about 3″), 6-8 cardamom, 8-10 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 1tbsp coriander, 1/2 tbsp cumin, 1-2 dried red chillies, 1 tbsp black pepper corns, 1 tsp fennel powder, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder.

For Rice : 2 cups Basmati Rice, 2-3 large onions, 1 -2 tsp ginger paste/grated, 1 tbsp garlic paste/grated, 1 -2 tomatoes, 3-4 green chillies, few strands of saffron, 8-10 black pepper corns, 5-6 cardamom, 2″-3″ cinnamon, 3-4 tbsp butter, salt to taste, 4 cups chicken stock/water, dry fruits like cashew+raisins+pine nuts (optional).

For Chicken Stock: 1/2 kg Chicken giblets, 5-6 large onions, 1-2 pods garlic, 1″ ginger, 3-4 green chillies, few black pepper corns, few green pepper corns(optional), 2 carrots(optional), 1 small potato(optional), 2-3 bay leaves, few cloves, few cardamoms, 1 1/2″ cinnamon, salt to taste, water, little butter.

DIRECTIONS  Wash and soak rice for half an hour.

Mix & grind the ingredients of Mandi Masala to make the spice.

Boil all the Chicken Stock ingredients in a saucepan on high flame for first 10-15 mins….. Use enough water to make 4-6 cups of stock……Now lower the flame & simmer covered for at least 1-1 1/2 hours ……. Skim off any scum which rises to the surface……. Cool…… Strain the stock through a sieve to remove all solids…… Aromatic stock is ready.

To make the Marinade, mix all the spice pastes & powders with lemon juice & salt…… Wash the chicken, make cuts on it & marinate with the marinade….. Keep aside for 2 hours.

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Heat a little butter & little oil in pan…… Cook marinated chicken in it covered on low flame till nicely browned…… Remove the chicken from the pan & keep aside.

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In another pan heat little butter & little oil…… Sauté sliced onions till translucent….. Add in ginger & garlic pastes…..Sauté…… Purée the tomatoes & add it in…. Stir & add green chillies….. Mix in washed & soaked rice…… Fry the dry fruits in another pan & add it to the rice….. Now mix in the leftover fried masala which one gets after cooking the chicken……. Sauté well…… Add in 4 cups of stock/water along with pepper corns, cinnamon, cardamom, butter & salt…..Bring to a boil & cook covered with lid……. (If stock is used, one has to use less pepper corns, cinnamon, cardamom & salt – as these are already there in the stock).

Just before the water is completely absorbed by the rice, remove the lid from the rice & arrange the browned chicken on it…..

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Cover with lid & cook till water is completely absorbed.

Remove the lid again & make a depression in the rice….. Place a bowl with hot coal in the depression…… Add some butter on the coal…..

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Quickly cover with lid & allow the smoke to permeate through the rice & chicken.

Serve hot with Satha ( a tomato & carrot chutney).

NOTE Ghee (clarified butter) can be used instead of butter…… Also if one does not have time to make stock, one can use water, this dish tastes equally good…… Or one can use chicken stock cubes available in market.