Chicken prepared with crushed red-chilies

Different regions of Kerala has different styles of preparing a similar dish. For instance, chicken fry. This recipe is adapted from one of my Aunts who lives in mid-Kerala, a place called Palghat. This preparation is unique to this particular region.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken 1 kg cut into small pieces
  • Dry red chilies 2 handfuls, roughly crushed (Don’t use the store bought one, freshly crushed one’s are always a better option, you could even jus tear them into pieces, but make sure you put on a pair of gloves before you do this!)
  • Onion 2, cubed
  • Tomato 3, cubed
  • Garlic ½ a pod, cut each clove in half lengthwise
  • Chili powder 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Coconut oil 3-4 tbsp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Mustard ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves 3-4 sprigs

Method:

  • Heat oil, sputter the mustard. Add the crushed red chili (you could use the pulse option on the mixer a couple of rounds). Immediately add the onions and curry leaves. Fry till the onion becomes transparent.
  • Now add the tomatoes and fry till the oil separates and the tomatoes are mashed.
  • Then add the spice powders & salt and fry some more.
  • Add the chicken pieces; mix in well till the masala is well coated on the pieces. Don’t add additional water as it will be released from the chicken itself.
  • Add the garlic and the lime juice. Close lid. Cook in medium heat. Stir every 3-4 minutes.
  • Keep frying till all the gravy dries out and the chicken starts to get a golden brown coating.
  • Serve hot, with rice, bread etc. This is a great side dish alongside alcohol.
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Chicken Piralen – Chicken roast, The Malabar way

Chicken is definitely the most versatile meat. And this preparation is one of the most common ones all around Kerala. Almost every would blog has a version of this recipe. I have followed my Mom’s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken 1kg, medium to small pieces
  • Coriander powder 3 tbsp
  • Chilli powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric ½ tsp
  • Pepper-Saunf powder* 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder ½ tsp
  • Cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, a little of each 

*’Pepper-Saunf powder’ :

Take black pepper and saunf (fennel seeds) in equal proportions and grind and store in an airtight jar. This masala can be added to almost any non-vegetarian preparation.  It improves the taste immensely. 

 Grind all the above spices together with a few drops of water and marinate the chicken in it for an hour. 

Ingredients:

  • Ginger 2” piece, chopped
  • Garlic 10-12 cloves, crushed
  • Shallots, 10-15, sliced
  • Apple cedar vinegar 1 tbsp (You can substitute with normal vinegar if you don’t get this one)
  • Water 3 cups
  • Salt 1 tsp 

Cook the above ingredients together with the marinated chicken, until the chicken becomes tender. Then take the chicken pieces from the gravy and keep both aside. 

For seasoning:

  • Coconut oil 4-5 tbsp
  • Onion 1, sliced thinly
  • Chili powder 1tsp
  • Curry leaves, a few

Heat the oil in a deep skillet and fry the onion and curry leaves in it. When the onion turns golden brown in color, add the chili powder and sauté for a minute. Now add the chicken pieces and fry well for about 10 minutes on a medium heat. The chicken shouldn’t get scrambled. Now add the gravy which was kept aside and mix well into the fried chicken. Keep cooking on a medium to low flame till the gravy becomes thick. Goes well with Rice, Chapatti, Vellayappam etc. 

Koondal peera – Squid (calamari) fried with ginger and grated coconut

Squid is a unique kind of seafood. Squid, like cuttlefish, have eight arms arranged in pairs and two, usually longer, tentacles. In English speaking countries, squid as food is often sold using its Italian name calamari. Its rubbery texture and opaque color has led a lot of people to misunderstand it to be tasteless. But those who know about squids, will know that, if cooked in the right way, can be one of the tastiest. It can be cooked in various ways – barbecue, curry, fry etc. The arms and tentacles are edible, the parts that are not eaten are the ink, beak and gladius (pen). Cleaning squid is fairly simple, you just need to know the right technique as with crab, prawn etc.
At home, I prepare squid in various ways, when I feel lazy, I shallow fry it, which is the simplest way. Sometimes when I feel less lazy its squid masala or I fry it with coconut and ginger, which is the recipe I am about to share here. It has a very gingery flavor with a coconut masala. This tastes great with rice.

Ingredients:

Squid – 1/2 kg, cleaned and cut into rings or strips
Kudampuli – 2 pieces
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Shallots – 8-10, peeled and crushed
Grated coconut, crushed lightly – 1 cup
Jeera (cumin seeds) – 1/4 tsp (to be crushed with the coconut)
Ginger, grated – 1/4 cup
Garlic – 2 cloves, crushed
Green chillis – 4-5, (or as per your spice tolerance) crushed
Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – A few

Method:

1. Cook the squid with the kudampuli, turmeric, salt and 1/4 cup water for about 10 minutes or till the squid turns whitish from opaque, on medium heat. By this time the squid would have released its juices too.
2. Add the shallots, and cook till the water has almost completely evaporated. Add the coconut-jeera mixture, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the curry leaves and coconut oil, and sauté for another 5-10 minutes and the squid is ready to be served. It’s quite a simple preparation, having a distinctive flavor of ginger.

Prawn Roast

A worldwide favorite and definitely the most versatile seafood…. the vote would most certainly go to Shrimp or Prawn. Shellfish usually are more popular than other kinds of seafood, for most people mainly due to the ease of cooking, versatility, the ease of eating, since there’s no bones to worry about (with the exception of crab of course!) and more than anything, the taste!

I don’t really want to go on to the part where I’d have to admit to prawn being high in cholesterol… for now we’ll just skip that and get to the interesting part…

For the Prawn roast, we’ll need

Prawn or shrimp – 1/2 kg

{Marinated for 30 minutes in 1/2 tsp chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, a tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt}

Onion – 1 big, chopped

Tomato – 1 big, chopped

Green chillis – 1, chopped

Garlic – 5-6 cloves, crushed and chopped

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Hot red chilli powder – 1 tsp

Kashmiri chilli powder (for color) – 1 tsp

Pepper – 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Coriander leaves, chopped – 2 tbsp

Coconut oil – 3 tbsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat the oil in a shallow pan and fry the prawns just until they turn white. Remove and keep aside.

In the remaining oil, add the onions and sauté till they turn pink. Add the tomatoes, green chilli and garlic, sauté till the tomatoes are softened and the oil starts to rise through. Add salt, turmeric and both the chilli powders. Fry for a minute, just enough to get rid of the raw smell of the powders. Add the prawns and mix it in well, so that the masala is well coated on the prawn. Throw in the curry leaves and the coriander leaves.

Prawn roast ready to serve!!