CHICKEN CUTLET

This Cochin Jewish style cutlets are very similar to schnitzels made in Austria…….. This is one of the favourite snacks of the Cochini Jews……. Can be also had as starters.

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INGREDIENTS : 500gms Chicken breasts, 8- 10 cloves garlic, 1/2 ” ginger, 2-3 green chillies, 1/2-1 tsp black pepper powder, salt to taste, 1 lemon(optional), 1-2 eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1/2 cup flour, oil as required.

DIRECTIONS : Wash & make fillets of chicken breasts…… Beat the fillet with mallet according to the thickness required……. Make a paste of garlic, ginger and green chillies……. marinate chicken fillets with the paste, black pepper powder, salt and lemon juice……… Mix bread crumbs with little salt……

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Dredge the chicken fillets in flour, then egg and finally bread crumbs to form cutlets…….

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Heat oil…. Fry the cutlets on medium heat till golden brown and crisp on both sides……

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Take out on paper towels…….. Serve hot.

NOTE : Lemon juice is optional…… Black pepper & green chillies can be reduced according to taste.

CHICKEN PASTEL

This is an old recipe, most probably, of Portuguese origin…… These are deep fried half moon parcels made with rice/flour and filled with stuffing ….. Various types of stuffings are made from different vegetables, eggs, fish, varieties of meats, etc……. Can be had as snacks/starters……

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INGREDIENTS :
For Dough : 3 cups rice flour/all purpose flour, 1 egg lightly beaten, 4tbsp melted butter, 1tbsp vegetable oil, 3/4th cup water, salt to taste.
For Stuffing : 500 gms chicken mince, 6-8 onions, few cloves garlic (optional), 1 potato, 2 carrots, 1-2 tsp black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1-2 tbsp vinegar, 2-3 green chillies, few sprigs of coriander, salt to taste.
Oil for frying.

DIRECTIONS : Mix together butter, oil, egg and water……. Combine about 2 cups flour and salt in another bowl……… Pour egg & butter mixture slowly into the salt & flour mixture…..Keep stirring so that the flour does not clump up…… Add rest of the flour while mixing with hands……. Keep working to form a ball and till the dough is not sticking on the fingers…. Knead till the dough is very smooth…… Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for at least for 15mins.

To make the stuffing, heat oil….. Add chopped green chilies, ground garlic & sliced onions…… Sauté…….Add finely chopped potatoes & carrots….. Sauté……. Now add in the minced chicken……..Mix in black pepper powder, turmeric powder & salt…. Cook covered till almost done and the mixture dries up…… Stir in vinegar and chopped coriander leaves….Sauté till done….. Cool.

Divide the dough in small balls….. Roll each ball out thinly…… Place a heaped spoon of stuffing on each , fold to make half moons and seal……. Deep fry these pastels in hot oil till golden brown…..Serve hot.

NOTE : If made with rice flour, covering the dough with damp cloth is a must.

 

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.