Erachi pathiri

Erachi pathiri is a deep-fried bread stuffed with a spicy non veg filling. An extremely popular snack in the Malabar and a must have for Iftar. The filling is rich and spicy cooked in coconut oil. It is aromatic, with the flavours of fennel seeds, pepper and curry leaves giving it a nice traditional touch. This goes inside a perfectly consistent dough and deep fried to a golden brown mass of crunchy goodness.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Onions finely chopped
  • finely chopped ginger and garlic
  • green chillies – 2
  • chicken – cooked and shredded
  • curry leaves finely chopped (5-6 leaves)
  • Powdered  fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • chilly powder – 2 teaspoon
  • turmeric powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Squeeze of a lemon(optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Oil to deep fry

Method:

  1. Cook the chicken by adding pinch of turmeric and salt and shred the pieces and set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add the green chillies, ginger and garlic.
  3. Add onions and salt and saute until golden brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves and fennel seeds powder and saute.
  5. Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute well.
  6. Add the shredded pieces of chicken and cook well without adding any water.
  7. Top with some pepper powder and turn off the flame. You can optionally add a squeeze of a lemon to neutralize the spice.
  8.  Add sufficient water and knead the dough well as you would for normal rotis. Leave it aside for a few minutes to make it soft.
  9. Make small balls of the dough and roll it into a small circle.
  10. Cut the roti in half and add a small spoonful of the filling to one side of the semi circle and fold it. Seal the sides by pressing it with your fingers.
  11. Pinch and fold the sealed sides .
  12. Deep fry the pathiris on high flame until golden brown.

Notes:

  1. I used chicken in this recipe, you could use any non veg of your choice, chicken, beef mutton or even boiled egg. You could pick some chicken pieces from the curry and shred them to make the filling.
  2. Make sure to drain the oil well after frying as it absorbs a lot of oil. 
  3. If you cant pinch and fold the sides properly, you could use a fork to shape the sides. The idea is to seal them properly so that oil doesnt get inside while frying. 
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Fresh Mango Cake(Stove top)

The only good thing about this scorching summer heat is that mangoes are in season and when it comes to the ‘king of fruits’, the options are endless, be it puddings or mousse or cakes or even the fruit by itself. This mango cake is super soft, spongy and moist with the flavor of fresh mango popping out in every bite and to top it all, there’s a whole layer of sliced mangoes which makes it all the more juicy and mango’ey! This recipe would surely make you go mangoes this summer!! It does not require an oven and is made on the stove top in a pressure cooker. IMG_20160521_191002534

Ingredients:

  • Fresh mangoes – 3-4
  • Flour – 3/4 cup
  • Eggs – 3
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • oil/butter – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla essence – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hot milk/hot water – 1/4 cup
  • Salt/baking soda – enough to cover the bottom of the pressure cooker

Method:

  1. Nicely puree 2 mangoes into a thick pulp and set aside.
  2. Blend together the sugar and the eggs, adding one egg at a time.
  3. Add vanilla essence and continue to whisk.
  4. Add oil or melted butter and mix well.
  5. Add the mango pulp and mix, the mixture should’ve doubled by now.
  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to the mango mixture and whisk everything well until combined.
  7. Pour some hot milk or water and combine. This is to make the cake moist and spongy. Combine really well. Move the mixture to your baking container.
  8. Cover the bottom of a large pressure cooker with salt or baking soda.
  9. Place a wire rack or a small tray on the bottom of the cooker and place the baking tray on top of this wire rack such that it doesn’t touch the bottom or sides of the cooker.
  10.  Cover the cooker with the lid , but make sure you do not use the whistle of the cooker, Cook this on high flame for 15 mins, then on low flame for 20 mins.
  11. After a total of 35-40 mins, the cake would be ready, check by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  12. Top the cake with finely sliced mangoes and serve.

Notes:

  1. If using an oven, bake the cake at 180 degrees C/350 degrees F .
  2. You can use sand also instead of salt, the idea is to just prevent the cooker from burning.
  3. Make sure you do not  use the whistle of the cooker or else the cake would get soggy with all the moisture formed in the cooker.

 

Mutton stew

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There is no appam in kerala without a stew. And a mutton stew is like the king of all stews. Tender pieces of mutton cooked with traditional spices like cinnamon and cardamom in a rich, thick coconut milk gravy. What better way to start your day than to treat yourself with a bite of soft appam soaked in such a delicious gravy. Extremely popular dish in kerala, and so increasingly common that every non veg household has a recipe of their own. And this one is from my mom in law’s kitchen and my personal favorite.

Ingredients:

  • Mutton pieces
  • Onions – 1 large roughly chopped
  • Tomato – 1
  • green chillies – 3-4
  • ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Potatoes – 2
  • thick coconut milk – 1 cup
  • oil – 3 teaspoons
  • cardamom, cloves and cinnamon – 2 pieces each
  • garam masala – a pinch
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom.
  3. Add onions, tomatoes, green chillies and ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  4. Add chopped potatoes and mutton pieces and add a cup of water.
  5. Add salt and pressure cook for about 15-20 mins or until the mutton is thoroughly cooked.
  6. Once cooked, open the cooker and stir really well. On low flame add a cup of coconut milk and a pinch of garam masala and turn of once it starts to bubble. Do not boil.
  7. Serve with appam, idiappam, chapatti or even bread.

Notes:

  1. After adding the milk, make sure it doesn’t boil otherwise the milk will curdle and the stew wont taste as good.
  2. If using store bought garam masala, you’ll need to add 1-2 teaspoons to get a better flavour.
  3. You can replace coconut milk with normal packet milk and it will work just as fine.
  4. You can replace mutton with beef or even vegetables like carrot, green peas etc in this recipe.
  5. You can avoid saute’ing and pressure cook everything together as well.

 

Mashed potatoes and chicken casserole

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A truly heartwarming delicacy, loaded with the goodness of minced chicken and nicely cooked potatoes layered between aromatic sauces flavored with ripe tomatoes, vegetables and spices. The chicken is nice and tender and the potatoes nicely mashed, ensuring a wholesome and filling meal to satisfy your tummy. The sauce is loaded with chicken and veggies cooked for hours to a perfectly thick and consistent layer of goodness. Topped with a generous layer of hot and bubbling cheese, this recipe will leave you craving for more.

Ingredients:

  • Minced chicken
  • Potatoes (Boiled and mashed) – 4
  • Tomatoes – 5
  • grated carrot -1
  • capsicum finely chopped -1
  • tomato ketchup – 2 teaspoons
  • garlic – 10 cloves finely chopped
  • Onions finely chopped – 1
  • oregano seasoning
  • ginger garlic paste – 2-3 teaspoons
  • butter – 50g
  • milk – 2/3 cup
  • flour – 1/4 cup
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • olive oil- 3 teaspoons
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

For the red sauce

  1. Boil the tomatoes and puree them in a blender.
  2. Cook the puree on light fame until it slightly begins to thicken.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and sugar and set aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the finely chopped garlic.
  5. Once the garlic starts to turn brown, add the onions and saute well.
  6. Add the grated carrots and the finely chopped capsicum when the onions turn translucent.
  7. Add the minced chicken and cook until the chicken turns white.
  8. Pour the tomato puree on to the cooked chicken and vegetables and add tomato ketchup.
  9. When it begins to boil, season with salt, pepper and oregano spice mix.
  10. On low heat let this cook for 2-2.5 hours until the sauce gets nice and thick.

For the white sauce:

  1. Melt the butter and add flour to it. mix well
  2. On low heat, mix well until smooth
  3. Add the milk and stir well until the sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Turn off the flame and season with salt and pepper.

layering:

  1. Mix mashed potatoes with ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper.
  2. Grease a baking pan with olive oil.
  3. Add a layer of red sauce evenly spread.
  4. Pour some white sauce.
  5. Add a layer of mashed potatoes.
  6. Pour some more thick layer of red sauce.
  7. Pour some white sauce
  8. Top it with another layer of white sauce.
  9. Cover the entire top layer with generous amount of grated cheese.
  10. Cover with a foil and microwave on medium for 10 mins
  11. Remove the foil and microwave on medium for another 5 minutes.
  12. Serve hot.

Notes:

  1. While preparing the white sauce, make sure you keep stirring to avoid formation of lumps.
  2. Make sure to add enough garlic and ginger to balance out the potatoes
  3. Use ripe tomatoes for better color for the sauce.
  4. I added some chilly powder to the red sauce as I wanted it to be spicy. Just make sure to add enough seasoning otherwise the cheese and potatoes would make it taste bland.  

Sweet and sour grilled chicken

A perfectly balanced recipe with just about everything to suit every mood. The marinade is sweet, spicy salty and perfectly tangy all at the same time and the chicken pieces are moist and juicy and browned to perfection. Its tender and neither too crisp nor too rare. Extremely easy to make with readily available ingredients

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Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken pieces( thighs and breasts)
  • Honey – 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Chilly sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Pepper powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/butter

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with all the ingredients except oil and leave for at least 30 mins.
  2. Grease a pan and grill the meat pieces for 10 mins.
  3. Flip the pieces and grill for another 10 mins.

Notes:

  1. You can use the same marinade and shallow fry the pieces until nice and brown. I stove fried one batch and grilled another, you can pick a method to suit your mood.
  2. Make sure the pieces are cooked to a nice and juicy texture, do not overcook.

Fried Banana balls

Quick and easy to make tea time snack. Soft and chewy on the inside, with every bite giving you the juicy taste of ripe bananas. The added rice powder gives it a slight crunchiness while retaining the fluffy texture. The balls are deep fried in coconut oil which gives it an extra flavor to soothe your taste buds.

P_20160407_180717.jpgIngredients:

  • Ripe bananas – 3
  • Plain flour (Maida) – 2 cups
  • Rice flour – ½ cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Sugar 3-4 teaspoons depending on sweetness of bananas
  • Pinch of salt
  • Coconut oil

Method:

  1. Mix the bananas well with the plain flour and rice flour. You can use your hand to properly mix this.
  2. Add one egg, sugar and a pinch of salt and continue to mix.
  3. Add water and make the batter such that its neither too runny nor too dry. You should be able to scoop up a spoonful.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a pan and slowly add spoonful of the batter to the hot oil and deep fry until golden brown.
  5. Serve with hot black tea.

 

Notes

  1. You can add cardamom powder to the batter for added flavor.
  2. You can use any variety of bananas to make this except the traditional Kerala bananas (Nendras).
  3. You can avoid adding rice powder if you don’t want it to be crispy. This can be made eggless also.
  4. To use little oil and avoid deep frying, you can use an unniappam pan.

Coffee Tart

Intensely energizing and extremely refreshing, coffee is by far one of the best thing that has happened to humanity over the centuries. Just a smell of coffee can revive your senses and make you completely stress free and even happy. This recipe of coffee tart just does that. It has the goodness of coffee with its rich and intense flavor and even has the little bitterness that comes with an actual cup of freshly brewed coffee. The filling is smooth and creamy coupled with the sweetness and bitterness of rich coffee with a semi crisp biscuit-butter base. It is a no bake tart and its not adulterated with chocolate or any other flavoring, guaranteed to give you your best dose of caffeine on a stressful day!!

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Ingredients:

  • Coffee powder – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Egg yolks – 2
  • Sugar – 1/2 cups
  • corn starch – 1 1/2 tablespoon
  • milk – Lukewarm, slightly less than 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon
  • gelatin – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Thick Fresh cream – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Digestive biscuits – 1 packet
  • Butter at room temperature – 150g
  • Choco chips/choco flakes/ chocolate shavings

Method:

  1. To make the base, powder the digestive biscuits and blend it well adding the butter until you get a soft mouldable mass.
  2. Grease the bottom of your tart pan with butter and cover it with the powdered biscuit-butter mix. take care to smooth it out evenly using the back of a spoon. Make sure you cover the sides as well leaving enough room in the middle for the filling. Refrigerate this until the filling is ready.
  3. For the filling, first mix sugar with the egg yolks and whisk until it becomes soft and a pale yellow color
  4. Add lukewarm milk to the egg sugar mixture and combine well.
  5. Add cornstarch to the above and mix well.
  6. On a low flame keep stirring the above mixture till it begins to thicken.
  7. After cooling it, add the vanilla extract and coffee powder and mix well.
  8. Fold in the heavy cream and pour it over the biscuit base.
  9. Top it with choco flakes/ choco shaving/choco chip and refrigerate for at least 4 hours

Notes:

  1. Make sure to keep the flame low while heating the mixture and keep stirring otherwise, the mix will get burnt fast and become a lumpy mess. 
  2. I used digestive biscuits for the base, you could try with oreo or even normal baked pie base

 

Chicken Bhuna

A street food which is said to be originated from Bengal, Chicken Bhuna is a side dish where the chicken is cut into small boneless pieces and cooked in a thick tomato based gravy. The dish gets its name from the Urdu word ‘bhunna’ meaning ‘to fry’ and that’s the key  specialty to this recipe; the spices are fried until the aroma mixes into the gravy and the meat is added to these spices and cooked completely in its own juices resulting in a very thick and flavorful gravy. Best paired with rumali rotis or paavs, the Chicken bhuna is definitely a royal treat!

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Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken  cut into small bite sized pieces.
  • Onions – 3 finely chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2 finely chopped
  • ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chilly powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Thick yogurt – 2 teaspoons
  • powdered cashews – about 10-12
  • garam masala – 2-3 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil – 3-4 teaspoons

Method:

  1. In a pan, heat the oil and add finely chopped Onions. Fry well on high flame until the onion turns slightly brown and begins to get fried.
  2. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute well for a few mins.
  3. Add finely chopped tomatoes and saute until tomatoes break down and the gravy gets pulpy.
  4. Add red chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Keep stirring until the oil begins to come out.
  5.  Turn off the flame, let it cool for about 3-4 mins and add yogurt. continue to stir and turn on the flame back to high.
  6. Add the powdered cashew, stir for few mins and add the chicken pieces.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of water and continue to cook the chicken on high flame.
  8. Cook until all the water evaporates and oil begins to come out.
  9. Turn off the flame and serve hot with rumali rotis or paavs.

Notes:

  1. This dish is entirely prepared on a high flame ensuring that the spices are fried properly. However, keep stirring frequently to avoid burning of the masalas. 
  2. If the chicken is harder and needs more time to cook, keep the flame on medium and once cooked, turn it back to high until gravy thickens. 
  3. Make sure you turn the flame off before adding yogurt because adding yogurt to hot gravy causes it to curdle badly giving it an unappetizing look.
  4. You can add more tomatoes if you like the flavor if it. I prefer to have stronger onion flavor than tomatoes. 

 

Roasted chicken and mixed vegetable salad in Yogurt and mayo dressing

A perfect meal for a lazy Sunday, when you’re not in a mood to do much cooking, nor do you want those extra calories from outside food. Salads could be a complete and satisfying meal on its own or a perfect accompaniment to your main course. The fact that you can pick the veggies that go into your salad and choose the right kind of seasoning to suit your moods is what makes it all the more appetizing to fit anyone’s taste.  There is no end to the variety of salads that you can make, a great way to couple health and taste in a way that suits your imagination and creativity. So what are you waiting for, cut short on those calories and go healthy 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken pieces
  • Vegetables of your choice
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Olive oil – 2-3 teaspoons
  • Mayonnaise – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Yogurt – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Herbs of your choice
  • Oregano seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste

Method:

For the dressing:

  1. Add freshly ground pepper, oregano seasoning and herbs of your choice to 2-3 teaspoons of mayo.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of thick yogurt to this and mix well.

Salad:

  1. Marinate the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and leave for 5-10 mins
  2. Heat about a teaspoon of olive oil on a flat pan.
  3. Add half a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste to the heated oil and slightly roast the chicken pieces until soft and brown.
  4. Shred the chicken pieces and add to bowlful of chopped mixed veggies of your choice. I used cucumber, tomato, capsicum, spring onions and red onion. Mix well.
  5.  Add a teaspoon of olive oil, fresh pepper, salt and mix well.
  6. Add the bowl of dressing prepared, mix well and serve.

Notes:

If you’re not too much of a health freak, you could add generous amounts of mayo and skip adding yogurt altogether. 

 

 

Pepper Chicken

Spicy, hot and flavorful, pepper chicken is perfect for a winter day. Every square inch of the dish tastes of pepper and if your taste buds have a special craving for spicy foods, then this is your thing. The fact that this recipe does not use water at all and that the whole chicken is cooked in the moisture of onions and the chicken makes it all the more appetizing. This is also the reason why the flavor of the pepper is so prominent in the preparation.

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Ingredients:

  • Chicken – washed and cleaned
  • Onions – 2 thinly sliced
  • Green chillies – 2 slit
  • Coarsely ground fresh pepper – 4-5 teaspoons
  •  Ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Yogurt – 2 teaspoons
  • turmeric powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • curry leaves
  • Squeeze of a lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Marinate the chicken with a spoon of turmeric powder, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper, yogurt and salt. Leave for half an hour.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the two slit green chillies and roast.
  3. Splutter some mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and stir
  5. Add onions, salt and saute until soft and translucent
  6. Add a spoon of turmeric powder, 1/2 a spoon of coriander and 3 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper and stir until the raw smell goes.
  7. Add the chicken and stir well.
  8. Cover and cook for about 20-25 mins stirring occasionally.
  9. Turn off and add a squeeze of a lemon.

Notes:

  1. You can tweak the spiciness of the dish by reducing the amount of pepper powder used and by omitting green chillies altogether. 
  2. You can also use pepper powder, but it isn’t as flavorful as fresh pepper is.