Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken Chettinad

Chettinad is a small area in Tamilnadu state of South India. Perhaps, Chettinad is more famous for its mouth watering, spicy non-veg cuisines than its geographical importance. The specialty of Chettinad cuisines are freshly ground spices and any dish topped with a poached egg. Chettinad is a comparatively dry area, surprisingly opposite to the hot and humid Tamilnadu. This environmental factor is also reflected in their cuisine. As with other South Indian dishes, Chicken Chettinad is prepared with coconut, coconut oil and curry leaves. But if you are not comfortable with any preparation with coconut oil, you are free to use any white oil. The killer combination of rice and Chicken Chettinad is one of the hot cuisines in South India. It is also taken with rice based supplements like idli, uttapam, dosa, appam etc.
Now start making this exquisite preparation and note down the ingredients –

Difficulty Level – Easy

Serves for – 4 persons

Marinating time – ½ hour

Preparation time – 1 ½ hours

Ingredients –
Chicken – 800 grams (with bone, skinned), cut into small pieces
Onion – 2, medium sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes – 2, large sized, finely chopped
Red chili powder – 2 teaspoonfuls
Turmeric powder – 2 teaspoonfuls
Lemon juice – 15 ml
Oil – 30 ml
Water – 2 cups
Fennel – 2 tsp
Cumin seed – 1 tsp
Black pepper – 1 ½ tsp
Poppy seeds – 3 tsp
Desiccated coconut powder/ fresh coconut – 5 tsp
Cinnamon – 2 Nos
Cloves – 2 Nos
Cardamom – 3 nos
Star anise – 2 petals
Curry leaves – 10 Nos, big size
Green chili – 2 Nos, chopped
Split roasted gram – 2 tsp
Garlic – 10 cloves (make a paste)
Ginger – 1 ½ inch (make a paste)

Marinade the chicken with lime juice, half of the turmeric and salt for half an hour.

The Procedure
• Heat a frying pan. Dry roast fennel, cumin seed, black pepper, poppy seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and split roasted gram. Put all of them in a grinder and make a powder. Add ginger and garlic paste into it. Add some water. Make it a thick paste.
• Put a thick bottom pan over the flame. Add oil into it. Fry the onions till they become golden-brown.
• Add the curry leaves, green chili, chopped tomatoes, the spice paste, red chili powder, coconut powder/ finely chopped fresh coconut and remaining turmeric into it. Fry the whole mixture for 2-3 minutes or till oil moves out from the mix.
• Add the chicken marinade into it. Mix the spice and the chicken thoroughly. Cover the lid of the frying pan and cook for 5 minutes in medium heat. Make sure that spices do not get burnt by mixing them one more time.
• When the spices get dark brown in color, add the water and salt. Cover the lid. Cook it till the chicken pieces become tender.
• Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Sprinkle some coconut powder and lemon juice over it.
• Serve hot with rice.

• If your taste suits, you can add a little more chili powder.
• If you find it difficult to get fresh curry leaf, which is one of the most important ingredients, you can get dried curry leaves in any store. Soak it in some warm water before use.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pulao/ Pulav

Pulav or commonly known as Pulao or Polao is again a Mughlai preparation. It is basically a sweet steamed rice preparation mixed with dry fruits and other condiments. Best goes with Mutton Korma or Mutton Curry.
Pulao has its ancestors in the Persian rice recipes and its primitive form was also well liked by Alexander the Great. Pulao is present in cuisines of almost all the East European countries and South East Asian countries it its local form. Pulao can also be made with beef, mutton and chicken in its non-vegetarian form and potato, peas and soy chunks in vegetarian form. But here we shall discuss the original Mughlai preparation.
Serves – 4
Difficulty Level – Easy
Preparation Time – 45 minutes
Gobindobhog/ badshabhog rice – 500 grams
Dahi/ Curd – 200 grams
Ginger paste – 50 grams
Sugar – 250 grams
Water – 1 liter
Garam masala – 10 grams
Green chillies – 5-6 pcs
Sa Jira/ white cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Ghee/ Clarified Butter – 200 grams
Javitri (Mace) – 50 grams
Bay leaves – 4-5 cloves
Jafran color/ kesaria color (Saffron color) – slight
Cashew Nuts – 100 grams
Raisins – 50 grams
Almonds – 25 grams
Pistachio – 25 grams
Salt – to taste
Wash the rice with water and spread it over a newspaper. Keep it for 30 minutes to make it dry. Then mix the ginger paste, curd and the saffron color to it. Mix well.
Pour the ghee into a pressure cooker and heat it lightly. Keep the gas in simmer. Then add bay leaves, garam masala, javitri, and Sa jira.
Add the dried rice into this mixture.
Add 1 liter of water, not more than that.
When the water turns to hot, add the salt, sugar green chillies and ¾ of the cashew and raisins to the mixture. Close the lid tightly.
Before the pressure cooker starts making noise (when there is enough steam inside but it is not released yet), put off the gas burner. Keep the pressure cooker in this position for 10 minutes. It will help the rice to become soft (Dum preparation).
Open the lid. Mix them well. Add the pistachio and rest of the cashew and raisins to it. Mix them again. Close the lid.
Serve hot.
The amount of water is important so as to make the pulao better. The rice grains will be separated from each other.
If you like a sweeter taste, add another 1-2 tsp of sugar.
Goes well with Mutton korma and chicken curry. If you are vegetarian, you can take it with Sahi paneer.
You can find the ingredients of Garam Masalahere.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I am lately thinking putting names of some of the good e-books containing Indian recipes. Here goes one. e-book on Indian Recipes

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Indian Mutton Curry

Indian mutton curry is a finger licking preparation prepared from Indian lamb or goat meat. It goes very well with rice, pulao, mutton biryanis, rotis, puris and naans. I am showing you an easy and less time consuming method of cooking this delicious dish.
Cooking time - 60 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Preparation time - 60 minutes
Mutton pieces of medium size - 1/2 kgs
Yogurt-200 gms
Green papaya grated 3-4 tbsp
Turmeric powder-1tsp
Coriander powder-1 tsp
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder-1/3 tsp
Garam masala powder or hot spice mix-1 tsp
Green cardamom pods-4
Black cardamom- 1 pod
Cinnamon sticks- ½ inch pieces-2-3
Bay leaves-3
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Dry red chilly- whole 2 pieces
Green chili-1 crushed
Ginger paste-2 tsp
Garlic paste-2 tsp
Sugar-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Onions two medium sized-chopped
Tomatoes-two medium size puree
Hot water- 500ml
Cooking medium- mustard oil or white oil- 100 ml
Coriander leaves for garnishing
1.Marinate the mutton pieces with the yogurt, ginger garlic paste, grated papaya, green chilly and all the powdered spices except the Garam masala for about 50 minutes.
2.In a thick bottomed pan put the oil. When it is hot give the sugar and heat it till it turns into caramel. This gives a rich color to the gravy. Then give the cumin seeds, bay leaves, and the whole red chillies. After the seeds crackle, pour the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
3.Then pour the meat (without the liquid portion of the marinade) first and cook for about 7-10 minutes in a medium to high flame. Then reduce the flame and cover with a lid.
4.Cook for another 25 minutes in a low flame with occasional stirring.
5.When the oil starts to separate fry the mutton spices well. Then pour the leftover liquid marinade and the tomato puree and cook covered in a low- medium flame for another 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
6.Now add hot water and transfer the whole into a pressure cooker.
7.Pressure cook for about 10 minutes till the meat gets soft.
8.When done, add the garam masala powder and the ghee and cover again for five minutes.
9.Garnish with coriander leaves (optional) and serve hot.
1.Grated papaya used to marinate, makes the meat softer and takes less time to cook.
2.In place of yogurt you can also use 3 tsp of white vinegar. The yogurt makes the gravy richer and more flavorful.
3.Garam masala powder is mainly a mixture of green and black cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon.