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Beef & Potato Roast (Kerala Style)

>> September 26, 2011

Roast in the Kerala perspective means a preparation with thick gravy. Hence we have the varieties like chicken roast, egg roast, beef roast, duck roast and mutton roast. Well it is really hard to find a vegetable roast and i dunno if there are any...Anyway the roast gravy is usually made of lots of onion and tomato. Since beef is an inevitable part in a Christian home in Kerala there are many beef recipes indeed. Beef in coconut milk, Beef curry with coconut chunks, Beef chops, Beef Ularthiyathu and the list goes on. The standard beef curry which my mother prepares is a beef and potato curry with coconut milk. When I got married, the beef preparation and generally all the meat preparation was totally different at my in-laws. There was no coconut milk in any meat preparation other than for the stew. 

This is is a recipe which is my husband's favorite and needless to say this is the way my mother in law prepares beef on Sundays. 

Usually fresh garam masala is prepared for the beef curry. The recipe for garam masala is as follows:

to prepare the garam masala

cloves - 6
cinnamon - 1 inch piece
cardamom - 6 medium
fennel seeds - 1 heaped tsp or 1 1/2 tsp
poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
pepper corns  -  1 1/2 tsp
Blade of mace - 1/2 (optional)
nutmeg - 1/2 cm piece (optional)

Lightly heat the above (other than the poppy seeds) and grind it to a fine powder.

ingredients to boil the beef

beef - 1 kg
potato, (peeled and immersed in water for 15 mins) - 3 medium
small onions, crushed - 10
green chillies, crushed - 4 or less (adjust to taste)
ginger, crushed - 3/4 inch piece
garlic, crushed - 12
tomatoes cubed - 2 medium
curry leaves - 3 sprigs

chilly powder - 2 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
coconut oil - 1tbsp
garam masala - use half of the garam masala from the above mentioned quantity.
salt - to taste

method to boil beef

Heat a pressure cooker in medium flame and add the coconut oil. Immediately add the crushed onion, green chilly, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Stir for one minute. Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt. Stir for few seconds. Add the washed and cubed meat. Stir well. Add the tomatoes and whole potatoes. Stir and put the lid on and cook till done (8 whistle for the usual pressure cooker).Open the lid and cut the potatoes into four or eight. Keep it aside.

This recipe requires double tempering.

ingredients for the tempering

coconut oil - 2-3 tbsp
garlic - 6 cloves, finely chopped
ginger - 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped
onion, sliced - 3 medium sized
curry leaves - 1 sprig
garam masala - the other half of the 1/2 of the above quantity
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
chilly powder - 1 - 1 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Heat a clay pot or a wide pan and add the coconut oil. Add the garlic till golden brown. In medium heat, add the onion and salt and saute till golden brown. Add the ginger and curry leaf and stir for few seconds. Add the turmeric, chilly powder and garam masala. Saute till the raw aroma is gone. Add the cooked meat and potatoes. Stir well and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Serve hot with rice, appam, peshawari naan, meat puttu or even a stuffed paratha or kashmiri paratha. Enjoy!


Paalappam / Velleppam / Lace Appam / Hoppers / Aappam

>> September 22, 2011

Preparing palappam is an art by itself. The lace like edges of this exotic rice wafer has earned it a name as 'lace appam'. Traditionally 'toddy or kallu'  - a milk like liquid from the coconut tree was used to ferment the rice. In the modern recipe yeast is used to ferment the batter. The addition of coconut water gives a very soft, thin and wafery edge to the palappam. It is crispy outside and fluffy inside.  While preparing the palappam a portion of the batter collects itself in the middle to give the fluffy part. 

Palappam or hoppers can be prepared for breakfast or for special occasions. The accompaniments are usually spicy curries though this can be had with milk or coconut milk. Try it and you'll love it.

the following quantity yields 16 – 18 palappams

Raw rice – ¾ cup
Water – ½ cup ( + 2 tbsp if need be)
Coconut water – ¼ cup
Salt – ½ tsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Yeast – 1 tsp
Cooked rice – ¼ cup
Coconut, grated – ½ cup

 the method

Soak the raw rice for about 5 hours. The quality of the rice has an effect on the outcome of the palappam. Choose sticky rice with a pure whitish color. In Kerala, we get a rice called ‘Mavu Rice’ which is very good for a perfect palappam or a dosa.Heat ¼ cup water alongwith sugar and salt. When the water starts to boil turn off heat and add the yeast. Let the yeast melt.In a mixer jar add the coconut, cooked rice and a little soaked rice and the yeasted water and grind it to a smooth paste. Pour into a bowl. Add the remaining rice and water to the mixer jar and grind it to a smooth paste.  Pour the batter into the bowl and add the coconut water and mix well. Let the batter ferment for about  6-8 hours. The fermenting depends on the temperature. Place the batter in a warm place. After the batter is fermented check whether the batter is still thick but in a pouring consistency. Add the 2 tbsp water if need be.


preparing the hoppers

Heat an appachatti or a deep pan and pour a ladle full of batter.  Lift the pan from the heat and swirl it. Cover it and cook for about 1 – 1½ minute or until the whitish colour disappears from the middle of the palappam / hoppers. Serve hot with vegetable stew, beef stew, chicken curry, vegetable kurma, egg curry , soya mince curry or just serve with sweetened milk or coconut milk.


Groundnut / Peanut Chicken Curry

>> September 20, 2011

Ground nut Chicken Curry is just like a normal Kerala based  chicken curry with the only difference being the addition of some herbs, groundnuts and coconut. The addition of ground nut gives an extra creamy texture to the curry.  The curry tastes good if prepared in a clay pot but care should be taken that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

the recipe

Chicken – 1 medium (1200 gms)
 Onion – 3 large
Garlic – 15 cloves (medium sized)
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Green chilly – 2

Mint leaves, chopped – 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves, stem & root – 3 tbsp
Tomato - 2 medium
Garam Masala – ¾ + ¾ tsp
Turmeric – ¾ tsp
Chilly powder – 3 tsp (adjust to taste)
Pepper powder – 1 – 1 ½ tsp (adjust to taste)

Coconut – ½ of a coconut ( 6 tbsp)
Ground nuts (unroasted) – one hand full (about 5 tbsp)

Oil – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste

the method

Soak the ground nut with adequate water for about 30 minutes. Grind it alongwith coconut to a fine paste.

Heat a heavy bottom pan or clay pot and add the oil. Add the onions and saute till it turns translucent. Add the crushed ginger, chilly and garlic. Saute for a minute and add the turmeric, chilly powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder and 3/4 tsp garam masala and saute for few seconds in medium heat. Add the groundnut and coconut paste and saute for a minute till the raw taste of ground nut goes off. (Continue cooking in medium heat). Add the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Give a quick stir and add the tomatoes. Stir for few seconds and add the chicken pieces and salt. Stir well. Let the chicken cook in low to medium flame. Stir occasionally.Let the chicken cook in its own juices. Add adequate water if need be. Cook the chicken till done. Sprinkle the remaining pepper powder (if need be) and 3/4 tsp garam masala. Check taste and turn off heat. Serve hot with rice, chapati, appam, naan or whatever you feel like having it with.
The recipe is from a program called 'Taste of Kerala' in Amrita TV.

Mughalai Chicken Biryani
Butter Chicken
Chicken Manchurian
Chicken Shahi Pulao
Tangy Tamarind Chicken Curry
Mughalai Chicken
Ginger Chicken
Hot 'n' Sweet Chicken
Chicken Sandwich

Groundnut chicken curry goes to the 'Sunday Special' event at my blog. Do send in your recipes to this event.


Sunday Special - - a weekly event at roshan's cucina

>> September 10, 2011

Come Sunday and it is time for many of us to indulge in some good food. It is said that cooking is a great way to unwind. For me cooking and blogging about food is almost therapeutical. To know more about the speciality of cuisine around the world and to encourage experimentation with new recipes, a Sunday Special event is being launched at this blog. Join me every week to display the specials we cooked for our dear ones and get to know what has been cooked in our friend's kitchen.

Sunday Special

the weekly event at roshan's cucina

# Send in any special recipe prepared on Sunday with a brief write up

# Only fresh posts may be sent. Old post may be reposted

# Entries close on Thursday at 2000 hrs IST(first edition on 24.09.2011) . Late entries will be considered for the following week

# Link back the recipe to the Sunday Special page with the logo

# Mail the recipe to cookingwithroshan@gmail.com

# The Sunday Special recipe will be published every Saturday night


Pazham Nurukku (Traditional Onam Breakfast)

>> September 05, 2011

I stumbled upon the name 'Pazham Nurukku' while I was preparing an Onam related article for the publication I was working for. It would have been the year 2005 or 2006 and an immediate search for recipe did not yield any result. Every year then on I would remember about the Pazham Nurukku during Onam season. Finally, one day there was a recipe in the The Hindu - Metro with a title, 'Pazham Nurukku in Chocolate cups'. Well I knew the chocolate cup part is slightly weird for a traditional Onam breakfast. Recently i made another search in the web and got to read various Pazham Nurukku recipes  and here we go i tried it and i knew why people gave so many nostalgic account of eating the Pazham Nurukku on an Onam day morning with lots of papad. 

I have prepared a very simple and easy to prepare recipe and have avoided the use of coconut milk and cardamom powder which i read but which i thought could be ignored. This tasted really good. Try it!!

the recipe

Banana / ethapazham  - 4
Jaggery, grated - 4 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

the method

Cut the banana into 1 inch pieces with the skin on. Steam it till it is half done. Peel the skin.

In a sauce pan, add the jaggery and melt it. Strain it to get rid off any dust particles. Place the jaggery syrup in a heavy bottom pan. Place the pan in medium heat and add the banana pieces.Cover the banana pieces with the jaggery syrup till the fruit is fully coated. Turn to medium heat. The jaggery will start sizzling at this point and thicken. Gently tilt the sauce pan so that the banana is well coated and there is no more melted jaggery. Pour the ghee on top of the banana and shake well and then gently give a stir so that all the pieces are coated with the ghee. Serve warm with papad or serve as it is.


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