Inviting you all to Viki's kitchen in facebook too. Also welcoming you all to visit my arts and hobbies page in facebook.. Have a nice day !

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Vaaval meen kulambu

Meen kuzhambu - fish curry

Buying fish from market can be a very pleasant experience, if you seriously love seafood. In my hometown we prepare the fish kuzhambu in earthenware, which yields a native flavor. Nothing can beat a meen kulambu prepared in clay vessel. Love to remember the way hubby and myself searched for this earthenware vessel to make the fish curry in Madras:)

Before marriage I used to go with my Anna (elder brother) to buy fish. Even though anna is a physician, he loves to do grocery shopping (see, its in the genetics...hi..hi). So he would enjoy chatting with the vendor , but never bargains (I am good at bargaining though). He is crazy for crab and shrimp along with all the sea food. That's what makes me love him more. He likes my cuisines very much and always say lovely words about it to all he know....I am not sure , if I cook that good , but his encouragement makes me to do better:) There were days , when he would come home to taste my fish kulambu even at odd hours and drive back home. Even that slightest thought makes me feel home sick.....so, lets go to vaawal meen kulambu now:)

I prepared this curry using pomfret fish. We can use any fish for this recipe.

English names: silver pomfret fish / pompano fish
Tamil names: vaaval meen, vowval meen, vellai vawal meen.
others: Maanji in Tulu and Avoli in Malayalam.
Click to know about this fish.


Tips to buy good fish:
Always buy fish that looks and smells fresh.
It should be firm to touch.
The gills should be red and never pale.

Fresh pomfret fish washed and cleaned:



Fish kulambu:



Items required:
Fish - 1 lb
sesame oil - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small keylime size
Red chilly powder -1.5 tsp
coriander powder- 3 tsp
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
tomato - 2
green chillies - 2
curry leaves- 2 sprigs.

To grind:
shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
shallot - 8
cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Method:
wash the fish and remove all the fins and scales by a knife.
Then slice it into big chunks.
Apply little turmeric powder over the fish and keep aside.

Extract juice from tamarind and add chilli powder, coriander powder, pinch of turmeric powder, salt and mix well.Keep aside.

Heat the sesame oil in vessel. (Fish curry prepared in earthen vessel tastes good).Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves .

Then add chopped tomato and saute till oil separates.
Add tamarind juice mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes.
Then add the finely ground coconut-onion paste.
Immediately after this starts boiling add the fish pieces.
cover the vessel and simmer the heat.

Keep the curry gets cooked in simmer heat for 15 minutes.
DO NOT stir the curry after adding the fish, otherwise you may end up with broken pieces.
Then put off fire.Garnish with chopped green chillies and curry leaves.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with rice , chapathi or Idly or dosai .
Deep fried fish, omelet ,ripe mango are good side dishes along with meen kuzhambu and rice.44

(Add a tsp of jaggery / brown sugar before switching off, for  a more subtle taste) 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sweet bajji

Bajji is a deep fried Indian snack. It is generally prepared by dipping a slice of vegetable in besan / All purpose flour and deep fried in a wok. Mostly they are savory snacks except for a few.

Almost a month ago I prepared this sweet bajji for an evening snack. I used plantain fruit (Etham pazham / Nenthram palam in Tamil) , a wild variety of banana. I have tasted this kind of bajji in Trivandrum, but in a long shape (Pazham pori). But I didn't want to use a lot of oil. So I sliced the fruit horizontally and dipped in AP flour , then deep fried it in enough oil.But if we want a bajji like that of the Kerala one, then slice the plantain longitudinally into 1/4 inch pieces.

Got this recipe from Malabar spices. Thanks to the author, the result was exactly like what I used to get from Kerala.

Today I got a much useful thought from Katherine about time and good friends. Thanks dear. Just wanted to share this and hope you all like it.



Ingredients:
Ripe plantain (Nenthram pazham)- 1
All purpose flour / Maida - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1 tsp (optional)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Baking soda - a pinch
Salt - a pinch
Water - 3 tbsp (just enough to make a thick batter)
oil to deep fry - 200 ml (1 cup)

Method :
Peel and slice the banana into long slices / round slices of 1/4 inch thickness.

Mix all other items except oil to make a batter like thick idly batter.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Reduce to medium flame, so that there is no smoke.

Dip the banana slices one by one and carefully fry both sides till we get a beautiful golden brown color.

Don't overload the oil . fry 4 to 5 round bajjis in a course.

Gently strain the fried bajjis using a slotted spatula and remove excess oil by placing them on paper towels.

Vazhai pazha bajji is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as snack along with tea.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lotus root kuruma

If you belong to a village with a lake then you won't be surprised with this kuruma. Recently I got these roots labeled as waterlily root in an Asian store, so made this kuruma along with roti. It tasted just like plantain stem (vazhai thandu) but with some sweetness like yucca root (ezhu ilai kilangu / kappa).

Medicinal uses:
The property of the lily / lotus root is “cool.” It has a lot of fiber. Its consumption is supposed to benefit liver function and is said to strengthen the heart, spleen and stomach. Uncooked lotus root juice clears “heat” and stops all internal bleeding; cooked lotus root can “promote blood,” treat women for anemia from heavy menstruation and at the same time clear and improve energy. (click to read more here)

How to cook it?
Peel the outer skin and wash thoroughly.
Then cut it into rounds and wash again to remove any dirt.
Then slice it according to use.
Even the raw root can be used as salad or juice.
It will take nearly 10 minutes to cook a pound of root in water.
Some people make crispies out of the fine slices too.


Ingredients:
Lotus stem - 1 lb (3 stems)
Fennel - 1/2 tsp
coconut milk - from 1 cup shredded coconut
(I used 2 tbsp form the canned coconut milk)
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
onion - 1
tomato - 1 (optional)
curd (Indian yogurt) - 1/2 cup
oil - 2 tbsp

Masala to grind:
Cashew - 10 (optional)
cumin - 1/4 tsp
ginger - 1 inch
garlic - 3 pods
green chilly - 6
cardamom - 2
cloves - 2
cinnamon - 1/2 inch
mint leaf - 1 stem
cilantro - a handful

Method:
Peel and slice the lotus stem. (we can chop them into small cubes also, as it will give more taste).
Wash thoroughly to remove any dirt and place it in a vessel.

Pour water enough to immerse the sliced lotus stem.
Add 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp turmeric powder and cook covered for 15 minutes.

In the mean time heat a wok with 2 tbsp oil.
Add fennel and let it get red.

Now put the finely chopped onion and saute till it becomes golden brown.
Then add the finely chopped tomato and cook till oil separates.

After that pour the ground masala and cook till raw smell vanishes.
Gently add the cooked lotus stem along with the remaining water.

Mix the curd , coriander powder and add salt to taste.
As soon as the curry starts boiling add the coconut milk and switch off when it starts bubbling.

Louts stem curry is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve with roti or paratha or any pulao.

Song from 'Juno'

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash wednesday, Lent season and Showers of awards!

Today is the first day of the Lent season, The Ash Wednesday. We participated in the Ash Wednesday mass at an early hour in the St.Fatima Church near our house. This season has a lot of meaning and I am trying to change a lot to make myself worthy. The prayers for this season ,The Stations of the Cross is very mind blowing.
Wish me good luck in following that , my friends:)

Awards:

Ash, Monica, Naina, Kanchan, Palak ,Suzie and Akki of "Le-Bouffe" have bestowed me the kreativ blogger award. They have a wide variety of dishes contributed by the members and I am eager to try their Shepherd's pie soon. Its so sweet to see such a group of enthusiastic friends. Keep rocking gals!



Moreover Devi of Devi's blog has also gracefully passed me the above award. Devi is a very friendly blogger , who often gets cart loads of awards . I am sure she deserves them much. Her post on chettinad traditions is quite interesting.
Her paniyarams are awesome. Waiting to see more chettinad cuisines from her:)
Thank you so much Devi for your appreciation. It means a lot to me.

Then Deepa of Hamaree Rasoi has also added my joy by presenting this kreativ blogger award. Thanks dear! You are so sweet to share this with me too. She has a lot of traditional North Indian dishes. Your Gosht Shahjehani is in my to-do list now Deepa:) You have a great blog dear!

I have already scribbled my Me-Me:) So click to read it.

Malar of Malar's cuisine has passed me the beautiful blogger, happiniess 101 and cheer reading awards .






I am speechless Malar. I feel honored:)

I tried her mouthwatering egg biryani and it was a big hit. Great job Malar!

Thank you dearies:) You all made my day!

Event :

I am re-posting the following dishes for Jyoti of Panch Pakwan's Pasta party event. Great theme dear. Eager to learn a lot from your round-up:)

Pasta Soup


Oven baked pasta


Lasagna


Creamy pasta

Happy hosting dear!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

TamilNadu style Mutton Biryani

Happy Valentine's Day !

Hope you all had a hearty Valentine's day. Before that I should accept, I didn't cook anything for Valentine's day. Instead hubby took me out and gave me rest for the whole weekend. Felt great to roam around, sit idle and shop like a freak:).

This mutton biryani post is inspired by one of my reader who asked me to give the correct but easy procedure to make a mutton biryani at home.

Here is the typical procedure on TamilNadu style mutton biryani. Enjoy!



(Snap taken very long back, when I was a neanderthal. But believe me the biryani tasted great...hi..hi)

Ingredients:
Goat meat (with bones) - 1 lb
Basmati rice - 1 lb (2.5 cup)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
lemon - 1/2
curd - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1
onion - 1 (big)
cilantro - a handful
mint leaf - a handful
cinnamon - 2 inch
ghee - 4 tbsp
bay leaf - 2
nutmeg - a pinch
star aniseed - 1
cashew - 10
raisin - 10
almond - 10
green chilly (slit) - 5
salt - approximately 1.5 tsp

To grind:
Green chillies - 8
ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 6 pearls
cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
cardamom - 4
cloves - 5
black pepper - 1 tsp
fennel - 1 tsp

Method:
Wash and clean the meat. Chop it into big chunks.
Cook the meat in pressure cooker along with the ground masala , turmeric powder, cinnamon (2 inch) and water enough to cover the meat.

(As we get the whistle reduce the flame and switch off after 15 minutes to get the meat cooked completely. Otherwise we can cook in open flame too. But it will take a lot of time. To reduce the cooking time add green papaya paste or meat tenderizer powder (1 tbsp for 1 kg meat) and marinate the meat for 2 hours before cooking.)

In the mean time wash and soak the rice for 1/2 an hour.

Chop the onion in lengthwise. Slice the tomato finely.

Heat the ghee in a wok and slide in the bay leaf, nutmeg, star aniseed , cashews, raisins, almond and immediately add the onion . After the onion turns red add the chopped tomato and saute till the oil separates.

Put the chopped cilantro, mint and let them wilt.

Now add the cooked meat along with the soup , salt, slit green chillies , curd and let it come to a boil. Taste and add some more salt if required.

Then add the soaked rice leaving behind the soaked water. Let rice absorb all the water.

Add some water (if required) and the water should completely cover the rice and should stand a thin layer (1 cm) above the rice.

Squeeze the lemon and cover with a tight lid. Switch off the flame.

Heat a thick dosa tawa until it becomes very hot and reduce the flame. Place the semi cooked biryani over the tawa and cook for 1 hour.

(*If you want to do the dhum process then cover the vessel with a tight flat lid. Bring 2 liters of water to boil, cover by a lid and place it over the biryani vessel. Heat the tawa in minimum heat for 1 hours. This is the dhum process.

*If you want to do the dhum process in oven , then preheat the oven to 400 deg F and place the biryani vessel alone and reduce the heat to 200. After 1 hour the biryani will be cooked perfectly

* If you want to cook it in pressure cooker, then take a 10 or 12 liter pressure cooker. Pour 2 cups of water to it. Place the biryani vessel inside the cooker and cook with weight. After the whistle comes, reduce flame and switch off after 3 minutes. This is the procedure to make mutton biryani in pressure cooker

*OK! How do they do mutton biryani for weddings or large scale parties? They marinate the mutton with green papaya paste / meat tenderizer and cook the gravy in a very large vessel for long hours. Then add rice, do the dhum using hot charcoal over the biryani vessel and get the rich biryani done. They do it overnight or for very long hours).

Mutton biryani is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with raitha, boiled egg and a spicy gravy.

Note:

*After soaking the rice , we can drain the water completely and roast the rice in ghee (1 tbsp for 1 cup of rice) mildly.Then follow the above procedure to get the rice look separate.

* Don't cook the mutton with salt or tomato. Otherwise the meat won't get cooked properly.

*I have heard, the chefs won't add red chilly powder or coriander powder for mutton biryani. If desired we can add some pepper powder along with green chillies.

*If you see the rice not cooked properly, then sprinkle 1 cup cow's milk or water and close the lid. cook again for 1/2 an hour in very low heat and steam. (I follow this method to cook it uniformly).

*Rice calculation:
Generally they calculate the rice for an adult as 3/4 cup while making biryani.
The quantity of rice should be equal to that of meat.

Try this and tell me how this came out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moovarna poriyal (Tri color poriyal)

Here is another traditional poriyal with some interesting name and message. I don't know if many out there calls this poriyal by this name. But this is how my mom introduced it to me. She is great in making the small kids consume vegetables by telling them some stories behind or the facts involved.According to mom, this tri color poriyal is called as Congress poriyal in Madurai because of the the colors like saffron from carrot, white from cabbage and green from green peas. More over it will resemble the famous flower arrangement called 'Madurai kathambam'(a kind of garland like flower tied on banana fiber with multi colors like orange kanagambaram flower, green marikolunthi leaf and white jasmine) and hence the name kathamba koottu too.

What a beautiful way to remember this poriyal !

A traditional South Indian 'kalyana panthi' (marriage feasts) should have some basic side dishes arrayed on the banana leaf . They are aviyal (boiled and lesser spicy curry), poriyal (vegetables finely chopped and stir fried in less oil),varuval (crisply fried vegetables), pirattal (vegetables cooked in hot spicy masala with more oil) ,thogayal (smashed vegetables or greens), sambal (raitha / salad in curd),Vathal (sun dried crispy vegetables) and oorukai apart from the regular curries on rice.

If you know any other category please let me know:)

The color combination of all the dishes served on the leaf will tell the heritage of the people (bride's parents) who organize the wedding. So people take utmost care to have a picturesque presentation. One among those beautiful side dishes can be this multi color cabbage poriyal which is always an eye-catcher.

So here is that lovely poriyal for you all.

Other names: Congress poriyal , muttai kose podimass, kathamba poriyal.



Ingredients:
Cabbage - 200 gm
carrot - 1
fresh green peas - 1/2 cup
shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
green chillies - 2
curry leaf - 1 sprig
onion (chopped) - 2 tbsp (optional)
ginger (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
mustard - 1/2 tsp
cumin - 1/4 tsp

Method:
Shred the cabbage into fine pieces. Chop the carrot into small cubes. Peel and wash the green peas (pachai pattani).

Heat oil in a wok. Let the mustard seeds pop. Then slide in the onion, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and saute for 10 seconds. Don't let it get red.

Then add the finely chopped veggies along with sweet pea and stir fry for a minute.
Immediately sprinkle a handful of water. Add salt and cook covered till the vegetables are done. Tender crispy cooking making the poriyal more tasty. So don't over cook them.

Now sprinkle the shredded coconut and cumin seeds. Mix well and switch off.

Tricolor cabbage poriyal is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with sambar rice or any rice.
Serves 4.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anchovy fish yellow curry (Nethili meen manjal aviyal)

Anchovy and sardine are highly recommended by the physicians for their low fat content and also to improve our good cholesterol. People with heart problems are suggested to consume these variety of fish without frying.

If you want to cherish the real taste of anchovy or any small fish then go for a gravy / kulambu rather than frying. That's my suggestion:)

This is a kind of curry prepared in my father's hometown. We can notice the lack of tamarind / tomato in this curry with a very little coconut oil. This nethili meen kulambu comes under a pathiya meen kulambu variety . It will be suggested not to use tamarind or tomato while under Tamil-medication.

I got this manjal aviyal recipe from my great grand mother. So I hope it is a very authentic one. She used to tell us that, they never had an opportunity to use abundant oil or powdered masalas. So they had to grind the turmeric freshly along with the masala which imparts a very attractive yellow color to this curry and hence the name 'nethili meen manjal aviyal' or simply 'manjal oothina meen kuzhambu'.

Here is my most favorite anchovy fish curry for you all.



Ingredients:
Anchovy fish - 1 lb (1/2 kg)
unripe mango - 1 cup (chopped).
(If not available add 2 tomatoes chopped finely)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
coconut oil - 1 tsp
fennel (sombu) - 1/2 tsp
curry leaves - 2 sprig
green chillies - 3 (slit)
salt - 1 tsp (add to taste)

To grind:
Coconut (shredded) - 1/2 cup
Shallot - 6
cumin - 1/2 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
green chilly - 5 (increase as per taste)

Method:
Wash and clean the anchovies to remove any sand or impurities.
Then remove or retain the head as per taste. (If you are frying them, then the head will taste great, for this curry we can remove them). Cut and remove the tail. Slit gently in the boneless side to remove the (greenish) digestive tract.

Wash once again.

Grind coconut, shallot, green chillies, black pepper, cumin together to a fine paste.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok. Fry the fennel seeds to red. Now add the curry leaves along with chopped mango and fry for a few seconds.
(If you can't get mango then add 2 chopped tomatoes)

Add 2 cups of water , turmeric powder , coriander powder, salt, ground masala and bring them to a boil.

Now add the cleaned nethili meen (anchovy fish) and stir only one time before it gets cooked. Spread a few slit green chillies and curry leaves over it. Reduce flame and cook covered.

DO NOT stir in between. Just shake the vessel gently to mix the masala with the fish.

Take off heat in 15 minutes.

Nethili meen aviyal is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve over hot rice or along with any bread.
Serves 4.

Its award time....

Hi friends!

Nithu Bala of Nithu's kitchen and Aparna of Ladies special adukkala have showed their love towards Viki's kitchen by sharing a yummy award with me. Thanks dears. This means a lot to me.



Now as per my recent decision , I am narrating what I admire the most in their blogs.

Ladies Special Adukkala runs from singapore and I absolutely love her non veg dishes very much. Tried her ghee rice along with spicy Chemmeen and its a great success here. Yet to try her Singapore crab. What a temptation ..huh!

You have a great collection Aparna. Eager to see more exciting recipe like this:)

Nithu's collection is very authentic and perfectly guides us through easy steps. Tried her Urid dhal bonda and it disappeared from the plate even before it reached the dinning table. Thanks dear. Your bonda fetched me a lot of appreciation:)
I am flattered by her Ashoka halwa . I should try it real soon. The bread gulab jamun comes handy whenever we need a quick sweet to welcome the guests.

Great job done Nithu! Wanna see more easy and quick recipes like this dear.

Happy blogging and wish you all a great week ahead!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kalkandu saatham

Kalkandu saatham is a dessert prepared with rice (pacharisi / unboiled raw) and rock candy. It is generally served as prasadam in many Hindu Temples along with puliyotharai and vadai. Moreover in TamilNadu, during the baby shower function (Vazhai kappu), the mother-to be's parents or brothers have to prepare 'n' number of Chithrannam / kalantha saatham / kalavai saatham (rice variety in different tastes like lemon rice , tamarind rice etc) and among them the kalkandu saatham will capture the attention of all.
Knowing this recipe will come handy if we need to make any dessert in a wink.



Ingredients:
Basmati Rice - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Kalkandu (tamil) / sugar candy - 3/4 cup
Saffron - few strands
Cardamom - 2 pods
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashew - 10
raisin - 10
Nutmeg (Jathikkai in Tamil) - a pinch (or)
pachai katpuram (edible camphor) - a pinch
(I added mutmeg powder, because I had that only. But adding edible camphor is the correct version)
Water - 2 cups

Method:
Wash and drain the rice. Cook the rice with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk till it gets mushy.

Mash it finely while hot.

Powder the kalkandu coarsely (no need to crush the small diamond kalkandu as it will dissolve in heat)and add it to the rice along with nutmeg , saffron and powdered cardamom.

Heat the ghee in a small wok. Fry the cashew and raisins and pour on the rice.
Mix well.

Kalkandu saatham is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as dessert.
Mostly they serve a tbsp of this sweet along with the other variety rice during festivals.

Note:
The candy should be dissolved completely.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nandu kulambu

Crab meat can be called the exotic choice for a sea food lover. TamilNadu style crab kulambu is prepared with a hot spicy pepper curry as base. I got these unusual small size crabs (Indian crab) in an Asian market near my house and immediately grabbed some:)

Interesting info on Crab:
*Buy crab around full moon, as it is believed that the crab becomes more succulent with moon and meatless during new moon (amavasai) . Click to see more info.
* If you don't know to clean the crab, then ask your friends or elders.
*Prefer small size crabs over the long legged one for Indian curries.Eg., One kilogram should yield 4-5 small crabs.
*Crab curry helps us to get rid of body aches, cold, sinus, calcium loss etc.
*Just like 'Japanese's sushi' , some villagers in Tamilnadu drink the extract from raw crab (crushed along with shell and strained) along with ginger and brandy to relieve body aches and to get more strong. I don't know the exact procedure, so consult a professional Indian medicine practitioner before trying.
*Eating crab is an art and you may need some care / skill to remove the shells.
*The crab meat has some character to increase body heat. So it is safer to have it during cold / rainy season.

Here is some memory behind this crab curry in my family.

This is my Father-in-law's favorite too and I prepared it to get his appreciation. you can read more here:)

While in Madras , we used to invite Xav's younger brother M to join us for some weekends. Even though M is his brother he resembles much of my dad's family in the preference for non-veg dishes. I have a strong craving for crab at that time and hubby totally hates it(but loves to buy them for me). Anyway I felt very lazy to prepare them for me alone . So could not enjoy my fancy crab meat for a very long time till I knew thambi's (M) taste for crab. From then on most of our weekends would start with a heavy sea food flavor which will make the whole street hungry:)Can you imagine our plates filled with crab or non-veg as main course and rice as side dish and hubby sitting near me admiring my crab eating style...LOL:)
One day when they were talking of his marriage and preferences , we were kidding him about his first question to his future wife. He told us that he would ask her if she can make Nandu (crab) curry and we we all laughed like anything. Some years passed we moved out of India but still he kept his promise by popping this question when he met the right girl. Luckily my co-sister is also an ardent fan of sea food .Anyway he kept his childish promise but we feel very guilty as we couldn't attend his wedding because of hubby's work nature. I ask myself , can I stand this guilt if I attend my own brothers marriage? Time only can answer this.
Even now when I make this curry , myself and hubby start talking of him.


Uncooked Nandu:


Nandu kulambu:


Ingredients:
Crab (Nandu in Tamil)- 1 kg
Sesame oil (any cooking oil ) - 2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric - 1 tsp
coriander powder - 3 tbsp
Chilly powder - 1 tbsp
curry leaf - 1 sprig
fennel seed - 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp

To grind:
Shallot Onion (nattu vengayam) - 10 (50 gms)
Tomato - 3 (150 to 200 gms)
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
cumin seed - 1 tsp
Black pepper - 1tbsp

Saute the onion in a tsp of oil . keep aside. Then saute the tomato, till it wilts and grind everything to a fine paste.

Method
Wash and clean the crab. Remove the front shell that covers the digestive system and remove the digestive tract, but keep the meat inside. Wash again and clean it.
Don't remove the legs. If they are very long , then gently break them into half.


Heat oil in a wok or mud pot. Add fennel seeds and let them get red.
Then add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.

Now put the crab along with the powders, salt, masala paste , curry leaf and 1 cup of water.

Cook covered for 15 - 20 minutes. Add water or 1/2 cup coconut milk if we need to dilute it. Otherwise serve as a thick curry.

As soon as we start smelling the pleasant crab curry smell, switch off.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with white rice.
Keep some curd as side , as we may need it to quench the heat of pepper:)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kashmiri Pulav

Kashmiri pulav is a very colorful rice dish served as main course along with some spicy gravy. This pulao can be the best choice for the people who cannot take the Indian hot cuisine. We can add the fruits according to our imagination.

For the very first time I tasted this Kashmiri pulao along with gobi manchurian gravy in Hotel Kamatlingapur, Bangalore.

I got the recipe from a library-book (Sorry,forgotten the author name!) in Madras. It is always a great hit in my house along with Butter chicken.

Kashmiri pulao:



Ingredients:


Main ingredients:
Basmati rice - 1 cup
warm milk - 1 tbsp
saffron - a few strands
salt - to taste

To make the flavored water to cook rice:
Mint leaf - 4 stems
cardamom - 2
nutmeg - very tiny piece
cloves - 2
cinnamon - 2 inch
water - 3 cups

To temper:
onion - 1 cup (sliced lengthwise)
Bay leaf - 2
green chilly - 2 (chopped)

Ghee - 1 tbsp

cashew - 5
almond -5 (slivered)
Raisins - 10

To garnish:
Tuti frooti - 10 pieces
Pomegranate - 1/4 cup
pineapple - 1/4 cup (chopped)
Tangarine / orange - 3 slices
black grapes - 5

Method:

Wash the rice and soak it in water for 1/2 an hour.

Boil 3 cups of water in a vessel along with mint leaves , cinnamon , cloves, cardamom. As soon as it starts boiling, switch off and let it remain closed for 30 minutes. Strain and discard the spices. (I used them while grinding the masala for butter chicken).

Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan, fry the chopped onion , green chillies and take it out. Keep aside.
Fry the cashews, raisins, almonds and keep aside.

Add another tsp of ghee and fry the (soaked and drained) rice for few minutes.

Now pour the prepared flavored water to the rice. Add salt (1/8 tsp) and cook until the rice is done (not mushy).
Using a colander / strainer remove the excess water.

Soak the saffron in milk for 1 hour, and add this milk to the rice.

Garnish with fried onion, green chilly, nuts, raisins.

Keep it warm.

Mix the chopped fruits before serving .

Kashmiri pulao is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Kashmiri pulao can be served as a main course dish along with some paratha / naan and a very spicy gravy.
The above said quantity can be enough for 2 people.
Chicken tikka masala or butter chicken are best combo for Kashmir pulav.