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Authentic Kerala Cuisine & much more…

Unakka Kappa Vevichathu(Dry Yuca Cooked)

Posted by Annita on November 6, 2008

In Kerala,Kappa/Tapioca/Cassava is also considered to be a staple food just like rice mainly because it is inexpensive and is widely available.We could eat Kappa for breakfast,as a evening snack or for dinner.Kappa can be grown very easily,only thing you’ve to taken care is the attack from rats.

unakka-kappa-vevichathu3

Variety of deliccacies can be prepared from fresh Kappa,and the most popular one is Kappa kuzhachathu with meen curry.Unakka Kappa/dry Cassava is not much appreciated when compared to the fresh ones.It is nothing, but tapioca peeled,washed,sliced/diced, boiled and dried in the sun.This can be stored for years and gives out a totally different flavor when cooked.

periyar

This dish used to be a regular at my amma’s place in Erumely.Its a very simple preparation and is usually served with Ulli chammanthi or Kanthari Mulaku (a kind of chilly called bird’s eye chilli) Chammanthi.

unakka-kappa-vevichathu1

Ingredients :-

Unakka Kappa/Dry Cassava – 4 cups
Fresh grated coconut – 1- 2 cups(use it according to your taste..I like it with more coconut)
Green chillies chopped- 6-10 (again use it accordingly)
Shallots sliced – 8-10
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – as needed

ingredients

Method:-

Wash the kappa pieces well and soak it overnight or for 8 hours.Drain and add around 5-6 cups water to kappa and allow it to boil.Strain the water and add fresh water to it again and cook kappa until it turns soft.If you’re using a pressure cooker ,cook for 1 whistle.Strain the water again and let the kappa cool.

Take a big bowl and add coconut,shallots,green chillies and salt into it.Mix them together with hand.Add kappa pieces into it and combine them well.Add 3-4 tsps of coconut oil into it and mix them together with hand.Serve with chammanthi of your choice.

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Note :-You can prepare Kappa Kuzhachathu (with ground coconut-cumin paste) with Unakka Kappa also.After the kappa gets cooked,follow the procedure of Kappa Kuzhachathu recipe.

unakka-kappa-kuzhachathu

Also check out Inji’s Kappa Puzhukku with Unakka Kappa

Posted in Breakfast Dishes, Snacks & Appetizers, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 9 Comments »

Ulli Chammanthi

Posted by Annita on November 6, 2008

I’ve blogged about an Onion chutney before,eventhough this one is also prepared with Onions , this is not a chutney,we call it Chammanthi.Chutneys and chammanthis are different,chammanthi is usually prepared in ‘Ammikkallu /Arakallu ‘ ( a variety of Mortar-Pestle), without adding any water.Here you can prepare it either in a small jar of an Indian mixer or in a wet grinder.This chutney goes well with Kappa/iddli.

Ulli Chammanthi

Recipe follows …….

Ingredients :-

Shallots /Pearl Onions(Kunjulli) – 10 medium sized
Red Chillies/Green chillies – 5-6 (use it according to your spice level.Or else you can substitute 2-3 tsps of Chilli powder.You can also mix paprika with red chilly powder for a bright red color.)
Curry leaves – a sprig
Tamarind (Vaalan puli)- a gooseberry(nellikka) sized ball
Salt – to taste
Coconut oil – as needed

Method:-

Grind all the ingredients except coconut oil, together into a coarse paste.Season with coconut oil and serve.

Ulli Chammanthi

Note :- Alternatively you can saute onions,curry leaves and chillies(only if you’re using red chillies/chilly powder,we dont usually fry green chillies ,it can be ground raw along with other ingredients) in a little oil before grinding.Rest of the procedure remains same.

Posted in Chutneys & Pickles, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 16 Comments »

Chicken Vindaloo

Posted by Annita on October 23, 2008

“Vindaloo” is a Goan speciality dish and can be prepared using any type of meat,prawns or even vegetables like mushrooms,cauliflower etc.It is a hot and sour dish with a thick gravy and goes well with rice/roti.Of all the vindaloo dishes i’ve tasted,I must say ‘Pork Vindaloo’ is the best.

This recipe is from my Amma’s favorite recipe collection.

Ingredients :-

Young chicken cut into small pieces – 1kg
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red Onion sliced thin – 2 cups
Tomato (pulp removed and chopped finely) – 1/2 cup
Tomato ketchup – 2 dsp
Vinegar – 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves sliced thin- 16 -18 small ones
Ginger sliced thin – 1 dsp
Sugar – a pinch
Oil – 1/4 cup
Salt – as needed

For Grinding :-
Paprika /Kashmiri Chilli powder- 2 dsps
Ginger cut into juliennes – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds(Jeerakam) – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (Uluva) – 1/2 tsp
Garlic cloves small – 10

Soak the above ingredients in 1-2 tsps of water and grind to a smooth paste.Keep it aside.

Method :-

Heat oil in a deep pan and pop the mustard seeds.Add onion into it saute until transparent.Add turmeric powder and fry for a while and then add chopped tomatoes followed by tomato ketchup.Fry it well in medium heat until oil starts to separate.Now add the ground paste into it and fry it again for few minutes until they are well blended and oil separates.Throw in the chicken pieces ,mix well and add the 2tbsps of vinegar and salt into it.
Do not add water into the chicken, instead cover it with a lid with some water in it and cook it gently in a medium heat stirring in between.As the water in the lid evaporates,it creates a moisture under the lid ,and it will drip into the pan thus preventing chicken from sticking to the bottom.It is a healthy way of cooking which also enhances the flavor of the dish.Don’t forget to fill the lid with water as the water evaporates.
When the chicken is done,add garlic and ginger slices into it and mix gently.Now you can discard the water and remove the lid .Continue cooking in medium heat until gravy starts to thick.Add the rest of the vinegar(eventhough it was there in the original recipe,I omitted this part as i doubt whether my family appreciates that extra sourness from the vinegar) and sugar,mix well and turn off the heat.Allow it to stand for 10-15 mts covered, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Posted in Chicken | 22 Comments »

Meen Vaatti Pattichathu

Posted by Annita on October 8, 2008

This fish curry reminds me of my Ammachi (Grandmother) and my ancestoral home in Cherthala. Cherthala is a small coastal town in Alleppy District ,Kerala which is blessed with coconut trees,backwaters and lots of fishes.

Enjoy more pictures of Cherthala here.

We used to get fresh water fishes in abundance there ,and so the fish deliccacies were always prepared with Karimeen aka Pearl Spot only.My Ammachi used to prepare wide variety of dishes with Karimeen,and this is just one among them.

(The above pictures are taken during my last visit to India-curry prepared by my Ammachi using Pomfret)

But now,Karimeen is in high demand and is one of the most pricy fish in Kerala.It is difficult to get fresh Karimeeens like it was before,and even if we could find some,it would be rather expensive and we cannot afford to have it for everyday meals.So we are forced to swallow our pride, and start enjoying many Karimeen deliccacies with other fishes like Pomfret(Aavoli),King fish(Neymeen) etc.And here in U.S i’ve come down furthur and prepared this with even Tilapia fillets.

Here goes my grandma’s recipe of Karimeen Vaatti Pattichathu (with Tilapia)…..

Ingredients :-

Fish cut into small pieces – 1/2 kg
(If using Karimeen,cut each fish into 2 or 3 pieces depending on the size of fish)
Shallots (kunjulli) – 2 cups
Ginger – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 3 big cloves
Green Chillies – 4 or 5
Chilly Flakes (Unakka mulaku chathachathu)-1 tsp
Gamboge(Kodam puli ) – 3
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Thin coconut milk – 1 cup
Thick coconut milk – 1/4 cup
(If using canned milk,always dilute it by adding enough water,for both thin and thick milk)
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs
Coconut Oil – for sauteing + 1 tsp for garnishing(Optional)
Salt – to taste

Method :-

Soak KudamPuli in 1/4 cup of salt water and keep aside.Crush shallots,ginger,garlic and green chillies together and keep it aside too.

Heat coconut oil in a pan preferrably in a Manchatti,add half of the curry leaves and crushed ingredients along with chilly flakes,saute it for 2-3 minutes in medium heat.Do not let the shallots brown.Stir in turmeric powder and mix everything together.

Now add the kudampuli along with the water ,stir and let it boil.Gently arrange the fish pieces on the bottom of the pan and pour in the thin coconut milk.

Cover it with a lid and let the fish cook in the coconut milk.When it is done,add thick coconut milk,gently mix it and switch off the stove.Add rest of the curry leaves and 1 tsp coconut oil to garnish.Cover and keep it undisturbed for half an hour.Serve with rice/roti.

(This is prepared by me using Tilapia fillets.By looking at the picture itself you could make out that my version pales in comparison .)

Note :- You can completely avoid coconut milk and prepare this in water too.It goes well with rice.

Posted in Lil' Milan's Choice, Seafood, Traditional Kerala Dishes | 11 Comments »

Moru Kachiyathu

Posted by Annita on September 23, 2008

Moru Kachiyatahu or Spiced butter milk used to be a regular in my home for lunch.This goes well with ‘Kuthari Choru ‘(rice with Rosematta rice),but if you’ve some beef fry or meen pattichathu to accompany it ….hmmm…just try it out.

Moru Kachiyathu can be kept for a long time and it tastes better with time.After 1 day,you might’ve to keep it in fridge to prevent it from getting too sour.If possible,try using ‘Indian curd’ instead of yogurt while preparing this dish.

Traditionally,Moru Kachiyathu is prepared with coconut paste,but the simpler version without coconut is more popular nowadays.

Here goes my Amma’s recipe of Moru Kachiyathu(with coconut)….

Ingredients :-

Well beaten Curd – 4 cups
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida(Kaayam) – a pinch
Fenugreek powder(Uluva) – a pinch
Salt – to taste
Oil (preferrably Coconut Oil) – as needed

For Grinding :-
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds (Jeerakam) – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp

Grind all these ingredients into a fine paste and keep it aside.

For Seasoning :-
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Shallots (kunjulli ) sliced – 1 tbsp
Green chillies slit – 3 or 4
Red chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a sprig

Method :-

Mix together curd,salt and turmeric powder in a bowl and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan and allow mustard seeds to splutter.Then add shallots ,fry until it turns brown and then add green chillies ,red chillies and curry leaves.Fry for a while and remove it from oil and keep it aside.

Reduce the heat and add the ground paste into the same oil.Fry for 2-3 mins stirring continuously.Do not let coconut paste change its color.Now add asafoetida and fenugreek powder and stir well.(Instead of adding fenugreek powder at this stage,you can use fenugreek seeds itself while preparing the seasoning.)

Reduce the heat to low and gently add the beaten curd mixture and stir continuosly until it is warm.Never let it boil.Switch off the stove and pour the prepared seasoning over it.Serve with warm rice.

Posted in Traditional Kerala Dishes, Veg Dishes | 20 Comments »