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Monday, July 30, 2018

Malabar Special Neychoru | Ghee Rice (Step by Step Pics)

Malabar special ghee rice(neychoru) is an aromatic rice with the flavors of ghee well incorporated in every bite. This rice is made with the kaima rice or jeerakashala rice and I have used kaima rice to prepare the same. However, you can always try this recipe with basmati rice too. The amount of ghee can be altered as per your wishes and health, but if you really wanna get the Malabar style authentic taste and flavors then please don't compromise on the amount of ghee. The rice is mildly spiced with garam masala and green chillies and so this rice pairs well with any thick gravies, may that be veg or non veg. You can always pair this with any of these non veg curries like butter chicken, nadan kozhi curry, murgh badami, chicken xacuti(goan curry), beef curry, pepper chicken chettinadu , chicken sukha(mangalorean),  chettinad chicken curry. This rice can also be served with some of these veg curries too, paneer lababdar, kadai mushroom, palak paneer. H is a big fan of Malabar recipes, and he loves the Malabar style biriyani and snacks a lot. This neychoru is well fried in ghee and then cooked in whole spices and water, fluff with a fork. The rice is well coated with ghee which gives the softness and aroma, I don't know how well can you appreciate the ghee coating on the rice through the pics. Check it out !!

Watch out the #shorts ghee rice (made with basmati rice) on YouTube, enjoy.

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 4-5
Author ~ Julie
kaima rice / jeerakashala rice 2 cups
water 3 3/4 cups
salt to taste
ghee 3 tbsp divided
green chilly 2 vertical slit
ginger paste 1tsp
onion 1/2  chopped fine
whole spices bay leaves 1, cinnamon 1" piece, cloves 3-4 ,cardamom 3

for garnish
coconut oil 1 tbsp
raisins 2 tbsp
cashews 2tbsp
onion 1 medium fine sliced

  • Wash the rice well and soak in water for 30 minutes.
  • Heat a cooker and add the ghee 1 tbsp. Add the whole spices saute until nice aroma. Then add in the ginger paste and saute. Add in the green chillies and fine chopped onion,add the drained rice and add in another 1 tbsp ghee.Saute the rice until you hear breaking sound of the rice,it may take a few minutes.

  • In the mean time,boil 3 3/4 cups of water(amount of water may vary as per rice). Add this boiled water in the rice and mix well. Add salt,check salt(always add a little more than required which will be correct for the rice when cooked).
  • Cook covered tightly in the cooker or thick bottomed pan on high flame. In between check the rice- when the water reduces slightly below the rice then reduce flame to low and cook again till done. It may take about 10 -12 minutes for the rice to get cooked. I usually switch off flame when there is a 1/4 cup water left as this water gets absorbed in the residual heat in the pan/cooker and keep covered.

  • In another pan, heat the remaining  ghee and fry the raisins,cashews. Drain the fried cashews and raisins,add this over the ghee rice(ney choru) and in the same pan with remaining ghee,add the coconut oil and fry the onions (in batches else you may need more oil) till lightly golden brown. Garnish with the fried onions on top and we served with the special chicken curry.

* I have used Rose brand kaima rice. You can make with basmati rice too.
* You can always make this rice with a combination of oil and ghee, or use less ghee. But I feel using these measures mentioned above gives the perfect aroma, flavour and softness to the ghee rice.

Please check out more Malabar special recipes from this blog space:
* Thalassery Chicken Biriyani
* Eenthapazham Achar(Dates Pickle)
* Unnakaya
* Kaya Pola
* Erachi Pathiri
* Kalathappam
* Meen Pathiri
* Chicken Samosa
* Pazham Nirachathu
* Chemmeen Curry(Malabar Style)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Special Chicken (Kozhi) Curry

Nadan Kozhi taste is special unlike the broiler chicken. Broiler chicken needs the added effect of spices,tomato and roasted coconut or coconut milk or any added condiments to add substance to the curry. These days I have nearly stopped making the regular chicken curry and have started modifying flavors to the regular chicken curry to make it more flavorful and everyone at home prefers  some new recipe with chicken. This is one such recipe that definitely goes perfect with ghee rice, naan or any Indian staples. I didn't know to name this chicken curry and so named it as' special chicken curry'. This recipe is my own trial and error version which just worked well and is running without any flaws. The sauteeing is same like the regular chicken curry but here in this gravy we add whole garam masala . But then this is ground along with some roasted coconut flavor to add that special aroma. This chicken curry is slow cooked to impart the flavors well and then end result is a scrumptious chicken curry, try and check this out !

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 servings
Author ~ Julie


to marinate chicken
chicken 500 gms (1lb)
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder  1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
lime juice 1 tsp
salt lightly
for gravy

onion 2 medium sized sliced
shallots 1/2 cup sliced
ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
whole garam masala -1" cinnamon(patta), 3 cloves(grambu),2 cardamom(elakka)
tomatoes 2 medium sized
perinjeerakam/ fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 2 tsp
coriander powder 2 tsp
*coconut grated 2-3 tbsp
salt to taste
coconut oil 2tbsp + 2tsp
curry leaves 2 sprig

  • Wash the chicken  under running water,rinse 3-4 times and drain the water completely. Marinate the chicken using the ingredients listed above for an hour.
  • Heat oil in  a pan and add the whole garam masala listed above. Add in the ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell disappears. Add in the thinly sliced onions and shallots.
  • Saute the onion until its lightly browned. Add in the spice powders on low flame, saute until raw smell disappears.
  • Add in the tomatoes,add few splashes of water and cook covered till tomatoes are mushy and well cooked. Switch off flame and leave to cool.
  • In the mean time,dry roast the coconut with the fennel seeds until coconut is lightly browned. Switch off flame and add to the onion tomato mix. Grind together once its cooled to a smooth paste. You may not require to add water at all but if required add a tbsp to grind to a smooth paste.

  • Heat the same pan used for sauteeing and add coconut oil (2tsp).Add in the curry leaves(1 sprig) and add the paste. Saute on low flame for 2 minutes and then add 1 cup water. Slide in the chicken pieces and let it come to a rolling boil,add salt. Simmer the flame to low and cook covered for 20 minutes on low flame. In between check the gravy,if it thickens considerably add another half cup water,adjust salt.
  • After 20 minutes, when the chicken is well cooked and gravy is thickened switch off flame. Granish with coriander leaves(cilantro) and curry leaves (I haven't used cilantro).
  • Serve warm with naan or ghee rice. We had with ghee rice, pairs perfectly.

* I used a mix of kashmiri chilly powder and hot chilly powder but you can always use spices as per tolerance.
* I have used chicken with bones but you can use boneless too.
* You may get a thick gravy with 2tbsp coconut added but if you wish to have a very thick gravy then go for 3tbsp grated coconut.

Do check out more Kerala style chicken recipes
*Chicken Ularthu(Kozhi Ularthiyathu)
*Nadan Kozhi Curry
*Thattukada Chicken Fry
*Chicken fry with Roasted Coconut
* Chicken Roast
* Chicken Curry 
* Pasted Chicken 
* Nadan Chicken Fry 
* Kozhi Nirachathu 
* Chicken Stew

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Amla Murabba | Maduramulla Nellikka | Gooseberry Sweet Preserve ~ Step by Step Pics

Though amla has so many nutritional health benefits but hardly anyone fondly consumes them raw at home. Have you tried sipping a glass of water after eating a nellikka (amla)? The water tastes so sweet that you forget all the tart taste of amla,that's the magic of amla. Kids eat one for the sake of the pull and push of mom and then its done. So I need to think ways to sneak this wonder fruit. I remember my mom making murabba when we were small kids(probably we also rejected to eat raw). She learnt the recipe from our neighbour aunty when we stayed in Delhi. My usual ways of using up amlas was limited to amla pickle(nellikka achar) or nellikka uppilitathu. The murabba part though known was conveniently forgotten as it requires pricking with forks and so looked tedious. However,I gained up the energy to finally give this a try last year and made a small batch of half kilo amlas. I bought the bottle to limelight only after a month of preserving and to my surprise it just got over in 2-3 days. By then the season of nellikka also had come to an end and had no scope of trying again. This year I made a larger batch as soon as I got hold of some big plump ones which were easy to prick and were nicely juicy.And these pictures are taken after 15 days of soaking in sugar syrup. As the nellikka soaks in this sugar syrup it is succulent and sweet, the more you can preserve the better it is. Do try these out in this amla season, am sure kids would love to have it !

PS: These pics are taken one month after making murabba, as the amla/nellikka is preserved longer the sugar syrup and amlas color turn deeper ( more of a caramelized ) .

Preparation time ~ 2 days
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 12 amlas 
Author ~ Julie

nellikka/amla / gooseberry 500 gms
sugar 500 -700 gms
*fitkari/alum powder 1/2tsp(optional)

  • Wash and *soak amla for 2 days in fresh water.Then remove from water and start pricking each amla with a fork as much as possible.Add this in another bowl with fresh water with fitkari/alum powder (if using). Leave again overnight.

  •  Next day,boil a pan with water.When the water reaches boil,slide in the amla/gooseberries. Leave for two to three minutes.Drain from water and leave to cool.

  •  Add in the sugar mentioned on top of the amlas/gooseberries.Mix well and keep aside for half an hour. The liquid from the amlas / goosebeeries start to ooze out.Boil only the sugar syrup in a pan till it reaches two string consistency.Switch off flame and add the gooseberries.Cover and leave for 2 days( There may be a possibility of water oozing out from the gooseberries and amlas shrink in size.In that case,remove the gooseberries from the syrup and boil the syrup again in a pan and thicken the syrup).

  • Add the gooseberries,leave to cool. Transfer to air tight containers preferably glass containers and can be stored upto a year.

* Soak amla /gooseberry in a glass or ceramic jar as there are chances of citrus fruits reacting to other utensils esp plastic and steel.
* I didn't get fitkari(alum) to buy here and moreover my mom made murabbas without using alum.So I was confident to do.If you can access fitkari,better to add to purify amla.
* I have adapted the recipe from here and has worked out good.

* Nellikka Achar
* Nellikka Chammanthi
* Nellikka Uppilitathu
* Nellikka Syrup
* Amla Candy (Nellikka Mittai)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Square Paratha (with Flax Seeds )

Square parathas are nothing fancy to talk about  and a simple parathas that are rolled in square shape. These parathas are layered with ghee and folded. Then rolled over again to get a square shape. These were a quick fix by my mom for our lunch boxes. We were happy to carry those parathas with a dash of mango pickle or lemon pickle with it. I do make these for my kids too for dinner or lunch box sometimes but never thought to share in the blog space but recently I got a mail asking to post more simple paratha recipes and so thought too share this up. Flax seeds are a new entity at home brought to uplift our omega 3 fatty acids as says the benefits. But sneaking these tiny seeds is a big headache and to be added in disguise. So I finally ended powdering and sneaking these in chapathis,pancake mix and parathas,works good to some extent. My elder one asks me- "What are the brown spots on these,amma?" I casually reply that the parathas/pancakes are probably a little over toasted..though its not a very convincing reply but still they haven't refused to eat as there was no obvious taste or flavors coming up in tastes. And their belief that mom is always right and so must be something healthy easily works out good in these instances. This is a simple layered paratha recipe with added flax seeds.

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 6 parathas
Author ~ Julie

wheat flour 1.5 cups
flax seeds 2 tbsp
salt to taste
water (approx) 1 cup
ghee 2 tbsp

  •  Add the flax seeds in a blender and powder until smooth.
  •  In a bowl, add the wheat flour,flax seeds powder, salt  and pour water little by little to knead in a chapathi dough. Keep covered for 20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough in 6 balls and then roll each dough in a chapathi of 3" size. Smear ghee on the chapathi and then fold over in thirds and then fold again.
  • Roll again thinly to make the parathas. Heat a frying pan and transfer each paratha on the pan. Cook both sides until lightly toasted and puffed up. Smear ghee on both sides and then transfer to a plate.
  • Make the other parathas similarly and serve warm with any curries of your choice or any pickles. We served with a mixed vegetable curry.

* You can make the square parathas without the addition of flax seeds too.
* You can make pooris with the dough too.


Friday, July 20, 2018

Chocolate Chip Custard Ice Cream (Eggless)

Its been very long time since I have a pack of custard powder in my pantry,after making fruit custard a few times. And fruit custard is something that I make as a last dessert because this was a very frequent dessert made at home by my mom and so kinda got bored with it. However,kids love custard and so sometimes make for them. What next could be done with custard powder, that's the time I thought to make an ice cream with this powder and added kids favorite chocolate chips in them which added a nice crunch in between the smooth ice cream. This is an eggless ice cream and can be whipped in minutes. I have used vanilla custard powder but you can definitely try with different flavors of custard powder. The color of the ice cream is same as vanilla ice cream which I posted sometime back. Do try this out  before winter sets in.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time~ 10  minutes
Serves~ 500 ml icecream
Author~ Julie

custard powder 2 tbsp
milk 1 cup + 1/2 cup divided
whipping cream  1 cup(200 ml)
sugar 1/2 -3/4 cup
vanilla essence 1 tsp

chocolate chips mini  2tbsp

  • Make a thick paste using 1/2 cup milk and custard powder. Boil the remaining 1 cup milk and bring to a boil. Add the sugar as per sweet tooth(add more than required as the sweetness may reduce once mixed with whipping cream). Pour in the custard mixed milk and keep stirring on low flame so that the custard doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. when the custard coats the back of the spoon put off flame. Leave to cool completely,put a cling wrap on top layer of the custard so that there is no film forming on top.

  • Now put a bowl and the beater blades in freezer for 2 hours. Also chill the whipping cream. Now pour the whipping cream in the chilled bowl and beat till soft peaks.Add in vanilla extract.

  • Gently fold the custard with the whipped cream. Freeze for 2 hours (I just break the ice by adding this in a blender and pulsed it but if you have ice cream maker,proceed as per the manual instructions) then remove and add the chocolate chips,mix well. Freeze again for 6 hours -10 hours until set. Scoop and serve chilled with a drizzle of chocolate syrup !!
* You can make this ice cream without adding chocolate chips or you can always add some chopped nuts or add butterscotch chips too.
* You can use different flavors of custard powder other than vanilla. I have used vanilla custard powder.

* Mango Ice cream
* Butter scotch Ice cream
* Pista Kulfi 
* Strawberry Ice cream
* Cilantro Ice cream
* Cantaloupe(Musk Melon) Ice cream 
* Vanilla Ice Cream
* Duet Ice cream(Banana & Mango)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kappa Vada | Tapioca Fritters (Step by Step Pics)

It all happened by chance and that chance was a really good way to sneak in a fiber rich veggie in the form of vadas. You may be wondering what am I talking about. Its about a simple tea time snack made with kappa- Kappa Vada. But unlike uzhunnu vadas there is no soaking and grinding. And I must say they taste delicious just like uzhunnu vada. The best part of these vadas is that none can distinguish the two tastes, it so well blended. I have already made these thrice and still the demand is high.

I watched a potato vada recipe almost similarly done in a TV show and that's the real inspiration behind to make these vadas. The first time I made these I had some left over boiled tapioca in fridge  and thought to try making vadas with them. When you have left over boiled tapioca then this is the best recipe that you can give a try. At my first attempt at home everyone enjoyed thinking it was uzhunnu vadas. At the end only I disclosed the secret ingredient in it is kappa. H was totally impressed with these vadas and now he gets more tapioca than required whenever he goes grocery shopping just to ensure that I make vadas for him, he he..The rava mixture adds the necessary stickiness to the dough like uzhunnu and so gets incorporated well. The outside of these vadas are crisp and the inside is soft just like uzhunnu vadas. As it gets cooled down the covers lose their crispiness just like any other vadas and at one glance and taste none will find out its mashed tapioca.  We had these with coconut chutney and all loved it. Do give these a try,am sure you will be more than happy to have tried.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 12

kappa /tapioca 10 pieces or 1 1/4 cup cooked & mashed,tightly packed  
suji / rava 3 tbsp
ari podi /rice flour 2 tbsp
green chillies  2 chopped
savala / onion 1 small chopped
inji/ ginger 1tsp fine chopped
curry leaves 1 sprig cut in pieces
salt to taste
oil to deep fry

How to prepare?
  • Boil the tapioca as you normally do, or refer this post here on how to clean and cook the tapioca. Drain and keep aside to cool. However,start to remove the fiber strands once its warm to touch. Then mash the kappa in a very smooth dough like.
  • In the meantime, add 3tbsp of suji /rava in a pan and add 1/2 cup water. Bring this pan to heat and make a porridge(kurukku) like consistency or a roux like. Switch off flame and leave to cool.

  • Once the suji/rava mixture is cool, mix this with the mashed kappa,add onion,fine chopped ginger,green chillies and torn curry leaves. Add the 2tbsp rice flour,salt and combine to get a dough like for chapathis (The dough may be a little sticky and you may not need any water to make this dough. Add more rice flour if you feel the dough is loose or else the vadas soak up more oil. I added only 2tbsp of rice flour).
  • Wash your hands to get rid of the sticky dough remains. Then make 12 smooth lemon sized balls. Flatten it lightly and make a hole like we do for uzhunnu vadas( prepare the balls and flatten as you slide them in oil;don't shape it before hand and keep else the cover may dry up).

  • Heat oil in a wok or kadai and wait till oil is hot. Add a pinch of dough in the oil and check to see if it pops up then drop in the prepared vadas. Wait for 30 seconds before you flip the other side and continue to cook on medium flame for 2-3 minutes(Don't overcrowd the wok with vadas and leave enough space). Then put on high flame to bown evenly and drain on paper towels. Repeat the same step of frying till you finish frying all.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney. The outer cover is crisp when hot but turns soft once its cold just like uzhunnu vadas.

* You should mash the tapioca mixture very well to remove any fibrous strands and small pieces. It should resemble a smooth dough.
* The rava and the tapioca mixture should be kneaded well to combine evenly.
* I have used roasted rice flour in this recipe.
* The dough shouldn't be very loose else it will soak up more oil while frying neither it should be very tight else the vadas turn hard. The correct texture is a soft ball that can be easily pressed down with finger to poke holes.

* Uzhunnu Vada
* Parippu Vada  
* Lobia Vadas
* Ulli Vada(Onion Fritters) 
* Punugulu
* Sabudana Vadas
* Cabbage Pakoras
* Falafel (Fried Chickpeas Balls)

Monday, July 16, 2018

Maduramulla Naranga Achar | Nimbu Ka Khatta Meetha Achar | Sweet Lemon Pickle

It was raining cats and dogs over the weekend and so schools are closed today. The weather is much better today but still with some drizzle and no trace of sun yet. The forecast says it may rain for another day. Anyways,kids are happy to get an unplanned leave as July was a month with no highlighted red days in calendar. My younger one says finally the clouds are here to shed some sweat to favour us for holidays,ha ha.
Coming back to today's post- Lemon pickles are always so appetizing and no other pickle replaces the flavors of this wonderful fruit. However, I can't enjoy lemon pickle much and so I always find ways to reduce the sour flavors in the pickle too. This particular recipe of lemon pickle is perfect in that way and the skin of lemon softens up so well that you can enjoy a lot. This pickle is more on the sweeter side. This pairs perfectly with Thalassery chicken biriyani like the dates pickle(Eenthapazham achar). December and January months are perfect to make this pickle as the skin of lemons available at this time of the year are thinner compared to those during the year. This is a north indian style pickle and there are many variations of making this pickle but I have adapted this recipe from here and here; slightly adapted to our tastes too. The lemon needs to soften and so leaving the cut pieces mixed with salt helps to fasten the process. Do try this out if you love a sweet tangy lime pickle, am sure this is a different pickle all together.


Preparation time~ 20-30 days
Cooking time~ 10 minutes
Serves~ 200 gms of pickle roughly
lemon /naranga 250 gms
sugar 250 gms
garam masala 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/3 tsp(optional)
cloves 2-3
asafoetida /kayam podi 1/2 tsp
salt 2 tbsp



  • Wash and wipe the lemons with a towel or paper towel. Cut in four or eight quarter pieces. Add this to a jar and add salt to this. Leave it in sunlight or a warm place for about 20- 30 days(some recipes call for adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to this mix but I haven't added as the lemons tend to ooze out te juice once it starts to soften).Gently mix it up with a clean dry spoon every fourth day. This will help in uniform softening of the lemons. After 20-25 days, the lemon ooze out water and the lemons tend to soften(see pic right).

  • After the lemons tend to soften,heat a pan add the lemons,sugar,spice powders, clove. Mix it up and simmer the flame till the sugar melts down and mixes up with the lemons. The sauce thickens and the lemon softens more. Switch off flame and leave to cool completely.

  • Store in air tight glass jars once after cooling. This pickle stays good more than a year. But as the pickle sits the lemon skin is nicely softened and the colour of the sauce turns brownish like caramelized sugar.
* You can use black salt, rock salt to make this pickle but I have used only regular salt.
* You may also add big cardamom(elaichi) a small tsp powdered, black pepper corns(kurumulakku), carom seeds(ajwain), cumin seeds(jeerkam/ jeera), dry ginger powder(chukku podi). But I refrained from adding as I was a bit apprehensive about the acceptance of these tastes in pickle by my family.
* It better to remove the seeds from lemon as you cut or else the seeds fall off in the sauce once the pickle is made. I didn't do this step and I felt should have been done.
* You can even use jaggery instead of sugar in that case use 300 gms of melted and strained jaggery syrup.
* Its always better to store in glass bottles. Refrain from using plastic bottles especially when storing sour items or pickles.
* Adding turmeric powder is optional as the turmeric doesn't taste very good in sweet pickles.

* Naranga Achar(Kerala Style)
* Vella Naranga Achar 
* Vadukapuli Achar(Wild Lemon Pickle)

Friday, July 13, 2018

Pavakka (Kaipakka) Paal Curry | Bitter Gourd Coconut Milk Curry(Step by Step Pics)

How many of you like pavakka /kaipakka/bitter gourd/karela?? If yes, please jote down the bitter gourd preparation which you love the most in the comment section. I know many grown ups who don't like even in our family circle. But me and my better half love this veggie like any other vegetables and so invariably have this in my grocery bag. However kids only like pavakka mezhukuparetti but we love all variations made with bitter gourd(pavakka/kaipakka).

Pavakka(Kaipakka)/ Bitter Gourd paal curry is a rich creamy delicacy from Thrissur and my MIL makes it quite often. I had not tasted this curry in our part of Kerala and so had no clues when I first tasted this curry too. However, I liked the taste of this curry with all balanced flavors of mild bitterness, mild spiciness, mildly sour and mild sweet flavors of coconut milk. And so I started making it at home too. .The rich color and the creamy texture of the curry is due to the addition of coconut milk. Vendakka paal curry that I posted earlier is also made in a similar way and tastes good with rice. My MIL doesn't use coconut bits in this curry but I started this as a fond remembrance of pavakka theeyal. Thenga kothu(coconut slices) is an added crunch in this curry along with the soft bitter gourd pieces and shallots.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ a small bowl

pavakka/kaipakka /bitter gourd 2 small or one long
inji / ginger shredded 1 tspkunjulli / shallots 10 sliced
pachamulaku / green chillies 2-3 vertical slit
mulakku podi /chilly powder 1 tsp
manjal podi /turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
malli podi/ coriander powder 1tsp
fenugreek powder /uluva podi a good pinch(optional)
thakkali / tomato 2 small chopped or 1 large chopped 
tamarind extract  1 tbsp coconut milk thick 1/2 cup(optional)
coconut milk thin 1.5 cups
curry leaves
*coconut oil 2tbsp
salt to taste

to temper 
coconut pieces sliced 2tbsp (optional)

kaduku/ mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
uluva/ fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
vattal mulakku/ red dry chillies 2 broken
curry leaves
*coconut oil 2 tsp

  • Wash and deseed the bitter gourd, cut the bitter gourd in round slices.If you have a very long and thick bitter gourd then cut in halves and then slice it out in small not very thin slices(1/8" thickness). Keep aside,if you wish to reduce the bitterness,then read the 'notes section' and proceed further.
  • Heat a thick bottomed pan and add the coconut oil. Slide in the sliced bitter gourd, add a good pinch of salt. Lower the flame and leave to fry slightly. Wait till its lightly browned(avoid over crowding and preferably arrange in a single layer so that its evenly done).Flip the other side and lightly brown it up,drain in a plate.

  • In the same oil(add more oil if needed), toss the chopped ginger,curry leaves and sliced shallots. Saute until translucent. Now add in the spice powders, chilly powder,turmeric powder and coriander powder. Lower flame and saute until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes,add about 2tbsp of water.Mix well and cover the pan. Cook covered for two minutes till the tomatoes mash well.
  • To this add the fried bitter gourd pieces and add some water(about 1/2 cup). Add the thin coconut milk,add salt and bring to a boil.Cook covered for 5-7 minutes.

  • Adjust salt and water if needed. Adding water is to prevent thickening of the gravy once the thick coconut milk is added. Add the tamarind extract and cook again for 3-4 minutes. Lower the flame and add the thick coconut milk. Mix well and turn off flame once you see one or two bubbles on the surface of the curry. Add the fenugreek powder(uluva podi),mix well and leave the pan covered. 
  • In another pan,heat the oil and add the sliced coconut pieces. Fry until lightly browned and drain on the curry. In the same oil, splutter mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies and curry leaves.Switch off flame and pour this over the curry.Keep covered till you serve (as the curry sits it thickens and tastes better as the flavors seep in well and the bitterness is reduced).

* If you wish to bring down the bitter flavors considerably, then drop the sliced bitter gourd pieces in sour yogurt or tamarind water for 15-20 minutes or just simply coat the bitter gourd pieces with salt and leave for 10 minutes. Drain the water,wash the bitter gourd pieces and proceed further like listed above.
* Generally coconut slices are not added to this curry but I prefer to add this as we do add in the theeyal version(roasted coconut version) of this curry. So love that crunch here too.
* Using fenugreek powder and fenugreek seeds is purely optional. It only imparts a nice flavor for coconut milk based curries.
* Try using shallots as they are sweeter compared to regular onions.

* Use 1/2 of a coconut or 1/2 coconut to extract coconut milk.
* Use only coconut oil for this traditional curry for getting the authentic tastes.
* If you are using the vine tomatoes or nadan thakkali(tomato) then you can skip adding the tamarind extract. In that case just add two large tomatoes. But I have used the roma tomatoes which are sweeter and so we need to add a tinge of sour flavors to bring down the bitterness.

* Pavakka Mezhukuparetti(Stir Fry)
* Bharvan Karela(Stuffed Bitter Gourd)
* Pavakka Theeyal (Bittergourd Curry)
* Pavakka Thoran(Bittergourd Stir fry)
* Pavakka Achar(Pickle)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Nadan Beef Fry (Kerala Style BDF) | Restaurant Style Beef Dry Fry (Step by Step Pics)

Beef recipes are all-time favourites, and so I hardly get to click pictures whenever I prepare. And its invariably prepared on weekends too when everyone is at home. This is a restaurant style beef dry fry, or you may call the nadan beef dry fry. This is a very delicious side for beef lovers after beef ularthiyathu or roast. At home and with our friends, everyone loves the nadan beef ularthiyathu(roast) that I prepare the most, don't forget to try that out and am sure you will love it too. Mom taught me all the nadan beef preparation recipes and I love all her non- veg preparations. There was a time soon after marriage when I hardly knew to cook meat and chicken preparations. It was my mom who dictated ingredients and recipes, but hers was always a rough measure(kai kanakku). But over the years, I have gained the confidence and my H says that I prepare non-veg dishes better than veg preparations these days. Beef fry is always a snacking type side dish. It's a dry beef preparation, with all the masala coated well with the beef. Kids love these a lot, and so I make a small batch for them. This is a very simple preparation compared to the roast and curry recipes. I have had this preparation in some restaurants, too, where they serve you more of the coconut pieces than beef. Anyway, do try this out if you haven't, am sure you will like it.

Preparation time~ 1 hour
Cooking time~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ a small plate
Author~ Julie

for marination 
beef 400 gms
shallots 4-5
ginger 1" piece
garlic 5-6 small cloves
pepper powder/kurumulaku podi 1/2 tsp
chilly powder /milagu podi1.5 tsp
coriander powder /malli podi  1 tsp
garam masala 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4tsp

salt to taste

for frying
coconut oil 3tbsp
curry leaves 2 sprig
thenga kothu /coconut slices 3tbsp
red dry chilli 2 broken
garam masala 1/4 tsp
pepper powder 1/4 tsp

  • Cut the beef in small cube or rectangular pieces and wash the beef under running water 4-5 times,drain the water completely. Pulse the shallots,ginger and garlic in a mixer, crush coarsely and add this to the beef with the remaining marination ingredients. Keep aside for an hour.
  • Add the beef along with marinade in a cooker,add 1/4 cup water and pressure cook on medium flame for 4-5 whistles (the cooking time may vary depending on the type of beef,so adjust accordingly). The beef should be nicely cooked though restaurants serve a harder type which is hard to bite too.

  • Once the pressure is released,open the cooker and see if there is any water left out.In that case,dry out the water by placing on heat.
  • Heat oil(2 tbsp) in a thick bottomed non stick pan and wait till oil is hot. Add the thenga kothu or coconut slices, fry till lightly browned. Add in the broken red chillies and curry leaves. Slide in the cooked beef.

  • Mix well and dry roast the beef for another 12- 15 minutes till the beef changes color to deep brown. Adjust salt if necessary and add in coconut oil(1tbsp or more ) as needed. Finally add in the garam masala 1/4 tsp and pepper powder 1/4 tsp,toss well. Switch off flame and serve warm.

* Final addition of garam masala and pepper powder adds a unique flavor to the fry.
* If you are making large quantity its better to add in batches so that the wok/non stick pan is not crowded. This helps to fry easily.

* Nadan Beef Curry
* Nadan Beef Roast (Beef Ularthiyathu)
* Beef Mappas