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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Bakery Style Meat Rolls (Step by Step Pics)

My eyes always hook up on the bakery trays filled with different variety of snacks in Kerala bakeries and meat rolls being our family favourite, can't resist buying anytime..Do you love the bakery style meat rolls ? These are really tempting and delicious to have with a cup of black tea or coffee. I have had the same kind meat rolls as posted here with a crisp bread crumb and soft bread like inside and a spicy meat filling. This filling can be used to make chicken rolls as well or vegetable rolls or any filling of your choice  with the same bread dough but I personally love the meat rolls the best :P

Though I love the bakery meat rolls but must say that the store bought one hardly has any meat in them. The real difference can be felt when we try making these at home. The filling and the cover making can be a little tedious if you make it together the same day. The best way to prepare for a party starter is to prepare the filling well in advance and refrigerate, thaw before making rolls and use. There is another alternate method where you can prepare dosa with the all purpose flour(maida) to ease work instead of making the bread dough and then the filling is kept in the center of the prepared dosa and rolled up like spring rolls, dipped in egg mixture, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. But in this case, you will not get the actual taste of a bakery style meat roll. Its more like a meat filled spring roll. However, this method can be used for a simpler version of the same meat rolls. I have rolled these in rusk crumbs which gave a more neater finish and a mild sweetness that added to the taste of meat rolls. Do give this a try and lemm know too, am sure you will love the filling snack with tea !!


Preparation time ~ 1 hour 30 minutes
Cooking times ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 8-9 meat rolls
Author ~ Julie
for masala 
beef 250 gms or minced beef 250 gms
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
salt to taste 

onion (savala) 2 medium-sized chopped
curry leaves, 2 sprigs cut
ginger- garlic paste 1 tbsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1 tsp
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
fennel powder / perinjeerakam podi 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
oil 2 tbsp

for cover
maida (all-purpose flour) 2 cups
instant yeast 3/4 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
sugar 1.5 tsp
unsalted butter, softened 1 tbsp
leuk warm water 3/4 cup

for frying
eggs 2
bread crumbs / rusk crumbs 1 cup

  • If using minced beef, you can omit the below step and proceed further. I used regular curry cut beef and so added the washed beef in a pressure cooker with 1/2 cup water, turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt. Cook for 4 whistles or till cooked. Open the cooker once the pressure releases, remove the cooked pieces and add to a blender jar. Pulse this once cooled 2-3 times until it looks shredded. Keep aside and reserve the stock as well.

  • Rub the all-purpose flour(maida) and softened butter until well incorporated like puttu podi. Then prepare a dough using salt, sugar, yeast, and leuk warm water. The dough should be a little loose, not sticky. Knead for 5 minutes and then place in an oil smeared bowl. Brush a little oil on top of the dough and leave to rise for 1-2 hours. 
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions with curry leaves. When the onions turn translucent and is light brown, then add the ginger- garlic paste and sauté till raw smell disappears. To this, add the spice powders on low flame and sauté till the raw smell vanishes. Then add the minced beef along with the reserved stock. Check salt and add if needed. Finally, dry up the moisture left in the masala and cook till done. Switch off flame and leave to cool.
  • After one hour, the dough doubles in size (mine was done in one hour) and then punch down the air in the dough, make equal sized 8 balls. Also divide the filling in 9 equal portions and keep aside.
  • Apply a little oil on the chapathi board. Then, take a ball and place on the oiled board, flatten using palms to spread in a 3' circle. Place the filling and try closing the dough by bringing the dough over the filling, stick both edges and then pinch out excess dough from the ends or can fold over the closed edge too, but pinching gives a nice shape to the roll. Then press and seal all open edges, roll in your palm to shape. Spread a little flour in a plate and place the rolls one by one, spacing apart so that they don't stick to each other and to the plate (ALTERNATE METHOD LISTED IN NOTES).
  • Similarly, repeat making all the made balls to rolls, you should have the excess pinched off edges of dough of all 8 rolls in the bowl, now make one single ball and add the last filling to this and seal edges like before (If you are not planning to pinch off the excess dough and seal over with it then divide the filling in 8 portions only). 
  • Now, beat the egg in  a bowl and spread the bread crumbs in a plate. To the egg mixture, dip each roll completely and then roll in bread crumbs/ rusk crumbs(I have used rusk crumbs as didnt have bread ready at hand). Line a tray with bread crumbs lightly and then place them one by one in the tray so that they don't stick and leave space in between each roll to expand (The total time to be left after making rolls should be 15-20 minutes to expand).
  • Then heat oil in a shallow pan or wok. Slide the rolls in oil and wait for 30 seconds to flip the other side. Keep the flame on low- medium as the bread cover takes longer to cook and if cooked on high heat the cover may not cook properly. Evenly cook all sides, don't leave the rolls unattended to cook that side longer as the dough layer expands and may break open, filling may ooze out (I used a shallow heavy bottomed pan and so kept flipping all sides and corners so that it's evenly browned. Tilted the pan slightly for the tail ends to get browned). Finally, drain from oil using a slotted spoon and place on paper towel.
  • Repeat making all rolls till it's done, don't leave the rolls on tissue paper or paper towel for long as it becomes soggy and soft. Place on plates once the oil is absorbed, else you loose to enjoy the crunchy bread cover.

* You can use minced meat too to prepare the masala.
* You can even use minced chicken  or cooked mashed veegies to make chicken rolls / veg rolls.
* You can add chopped green chillies to the masala, but my kids don't like biting in the masala, so just avoided.
* Use 4-5 cloves of garlic and 1.5' size ginger to make 1tbsp paste. Adding fennel powder adds a unique flavour, you can omit if you don't like the flavour. Adding coriander leaves to masala is optional.
* The dough rising depends on the climate and the place you keep rising. Keep in  a warm place to rise faster, the warmer, the better. You may need to wait till 2 hours in winter.
* Some bakeries add mayonnaise to the spread chapathi and then place the filling, which gives a tangy flavor and white streaks in the masala once fried. Our place bakery do this, you can do that variation too.
* The alternate method of making these rolls is to shape each of the prepared balls without filling in it, dip in egg mixture and bread crumbs and then fry these rolls. Finally, once it's fried, cut a slit through the rolls and using a spoon, add spoonful of made masala in these and enjoy. These rolls are also served in few bakeries, they look tempting with the filling popping out. But I personally love the closed ones and made those. Advantages of doing this method is that the closing of the rolls after placing filling is a bit tricky and that can be avoided. 
* The dough should be a little loose, not sticky to rise better.
* I have rolled in rusk crumbs which gave the rolls a neat finish and also a mild sweetness than bread crumbs which added to the taste of meat rolls.


Monday, July 26, 2021

Indian Coffee House Masala Dosa (Step by Step Pics)

How many of you love the famous Indian Coffee House masala dosa?? We as a family love the masala dosas !! Whenever you land near an Indian Coffee House, the aroma of the crispy masala dosas with coffee is a perfect attraction to enjoy them. The Indian Coffee House is a restaurant chain run across India and is run by a series of worker cooperative societies, most of the waiters in the restaurant have a similar uniform with a turban. The menu list in Indian coffee house is quite simple, but every coffee house that you get in is crowded during peak hours like breakfast / lunch/ tea time. We love having masala dosa with uzhunnu vada(medu vada) with a cup of coffee.

Corona time, has given us ample time to experiment all the favourite tastes of restaurants. Kids were longing to have Indian Coffee House masala dosa, though I make the regular masala dosa often. Then it's their persuasion that I gave this masala dosa a try, and they were really happy with the outcome. Though it's quite similar to the traditional masala dosa but the signature mark to the dosas is the red color filling which you find only in Indian Coffee Houses. They add beetroot and carrot to the masala, and you get to bite small bits of these cooked veggies in between, and the rest of the filling is almost the same. Enjoy these masala dosas with thenga(coconut) chutney and a cup of piping hot coffee.

Check out more Dosa Recipes-

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Serves ~ 10 masala dosas
Author ~ Julie
to make dosa 
dosa batter 2.5 cups
salt to taste

for the filling
potato 3 medium-sized 
beetroot 1 medium-sized 
carrot 1 medium-sized
green chilly 2-3
onion 1 large sliced
ginger 1’ piece fine chopped 
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt as per taste
coconut oil 2 tbsp
kadala parippu / chana dal 1 tbsp
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves a sprig

  • Wash and add the potatoes in cooker with enough water and salt. Cook till 3 whistles and then wait till the pressure is released. Drain water and peel the skin of potatoes. Mash the potatoes to smooth and keep aside.
  • Boil the cubed carrot and beetroot in another pressure cooker or in an open vessel. Cook till done and mash the veggies. You can mash to a smooth paste, but I have seen chunks of the boiled veggie in Indian Coffee house served dosas. So, I have left a few pieces and mashed the rest.

  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add the urad dal(uzhunnu parippu), fry lightly. Slide in the sliced onions, green chillies, chopped ginger, curry leaves and sauté till translucent. Add the chilly powder on low flame and mix well. 
  • Then add the mashed beetroot, carrot. Then add half a cup of water(the masala that I had in the restaurant is a bit waterier than regular masala dosas filling). Then, finally, add mashed potatoes. Mix everything well, adjust salt if needed and put off flame (don't dry up the water content completely). Put off flame and keep aside.

  • Mix the dosa batter well and add salt. Heat an iron griddle and pour a ladleful of dosa batter. Spread evenly as thin as possible. As it gets cooked and browns, add ghee on the layer. Then add 2 tbsp  of the filling and then fold half of the dosas from both sides.

  • Brush ghee on the outer sides and fry till crisp. Remove from pan and serve warm with chutney.
  • Repeat making the other dosas in the same manner. Each time before pouring the batter, clean the iron griddle with a cloth and brush oil and then pour the batter.

* If the iron griddle becomes very hot, it's hard to spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle a few drops of water before pouring the batter and wipe dry so that the heat is reduced.
* Also, use a small katori (utensil) to spread the batter which gives an even spread dosa than ladle spread.
* Wiping the iron griddle with oil and sprinkling water gives crispier dosas than other methods.
* Add 1/2 cup rice flakes to grind when making dosa batter, gives a nice brown colour.
* Get the recipe of idli- dosa batter making in a mixer here.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Dosa Chammanthi | Red Chutney

Chutney or chammanthi is the best combo served with hot dosas /idlis. This chutney tastes best with set dosa type thicker dosas or idlis. This is my mom's style chutney prepared in our homes, and we used to call the 'red chammanthi' as kids. I usually prepare the green chilli type coconut chutney too if I have the bird's eye chilly(kanthari mulaku) ready at hand. But kids love the tomato chutney the most, and so invariably that's the usual one on the table. This is very simple to prepare and do give it a try if you haven't tried this chutney !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Serves ~ 1 bowl
Author ~ Julie
coconut grated 3/4 cup
dry red chilly 3
shallots 3-4 
salt to taste

to temper
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves, a sprig
shallots sliced 2

  • Add the grated coconut, shallots, red dry chillies and salt in a blender jar to a 3/4 th ground paste (Don't grind it very smooth, as the taste doesn't taste very good when it's smoothly ground). This chutney is not very thick and is a little watery, so add water accordingly and dilute.

  • Heat oil in  a pan and mustard seeds when hot. Splutter and add the shallots, curry leaves and red dry chillies. Switch off flame.
  • Now, transfer the chutney to the tempered pan and just warm it up. The residual heat in the pan is good enough for that. Adjust salt if needed, serve warm with dosas or idlis.

*  Add a little less salt than required for this chutney(more salt reduces the actual taste of this chutney) then only the sweetness of coconut is enhanced.
*  If you like a thicker chutney then add less water.
*If your coconut is not sweet add a pinch of sugar, I feel it balances the flavours. If the coconut is naturally sweet, skip this.
*This is a mildly spiced chutney, increase red dry chilly as needed.


Sunday, July 18, 2021

Dhaba Style Chicken Curry (Step by Step Pics)

Dhabas are roadside eateries started in national and state highways and these are usually found open 24 hours. Earlier the customers were the long route travellers esp truck drivers but these days this has become a trend for all to eat from dhaba. Dhaba had mud stands and there was cot placed for the customers to sit and enjoy, no other fancy table and seats. But now these are replaced with more comfortable seats. They usually serve a homely feel food and all enjoy the simple meal combos. There are many famous combinations served in dhabas like chole bhature, naan or phulkas(rotis) with chicken curry and a glass of freshly made lassi to finish the meal, sounds yummy?? It is 😋!!

The dhaba style chicken curry have good amount of freshly ground spices, especially the cardamom  and coriander flavour. It's best to roast and grind the whole spices for best tastes. The ratio of onion used should be half of the amount of chicken for a thick & creamy gravy. The usual scene of a dhaba curry is that the oil floats on top of the curry, for that you need to add more oil in this case. They serve this curry with parathas or freshly prepared naan in  tandoor with a blob of butter. I personally prefer going a little low on oil when it comes to fat usage for a daily affair though I have added 4 TBS of oil, and you may add more as per tastes. As you prepare this curry, the kitchen smells full of freshly ground whole spices. Do prepare this curry and enjoy with some naan or phulkas(rotis).

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves 4-5 
Author ~ Julie
for marination
chicken 700- 800g
hot chilli powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
lemon juice 2 tsp 

for masala 
onion 3 medium-sized
tomato 2 pureed 
ginger garlic paste 1.5 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1 tbsp
green chilly 2 vertical slit 
*special masala 2 tbsp
coriander leaves 3 tbsp
mustard oil 4 tbsp
water 1 cup
salt to taste

for special garam masala
green cardamom/ elakka 10
cloves/ grambu 3-4
cinnamon/ karuvapatta 1/2’
cumin seeds / jeerakam1 tsp
pepper corn/ kurumulakku 1 tbsp
coriander seeds/ muzhuvan malli 2 tbsp
mace (pathri) 1 piece

  • Wash, clean and rinse the chicken well. Drain the water completely and then marinate using chilly powder, salt and turmeric powder. I usually leave this covered in refrigerator for 8 hours but if you are marinating only half an hour then add all spices, ginger- garlic paste and lemon juice together and marinate. I generally thaw the chicken and add the ginger garlic paste and lemon juice.

  • Heat a pan and warm the spices listed below the special garam masala. Turn off the heat when its warm, and then grind in a mixer jar. Keep aside.
  • Chop the onions fine, vertically slit green chillies. Make a paste of ginger and garlic cloves, keep aside. Purée two tomatoes in the mixer jar and keep aside. Chop the coriander leaves and keep ready.
  • In the meantime, heat a heavy bottomed pan and add oil(preferably mustard oil for the authentic flavours). To this add cumin seeds and wait to fry lightly before you add chopped onions, green chillies. Sauté the onions by adding a pinch of salt and fry till lightly browned.
  • To this add the ginger- garlic paste and sauté until the raw smell disappears. Then add the turmeric powder and kashmiri chilli powder on low flame. Sauté until the raw smell disappears.
  • Then add the marinated chicken and keep sautéing to lightly fry the chicken and coat the spice masala well. Then add the puréed tomato, add salt and mix well. Cook till the raw tomatoes get cooked and colour changes, moisture dries up. Add the special masala (2 tbsp), combine well.

  • Add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Then simmer the flame to low medium for 7-10 mins, check the consistency in between, adjust salt if needed. The oil starts to float on top of the gravy is an indication of a well cooked curry and gravy. 

  • Finally, add the chopped coriander leaves, keep covered for another 5 minutes and then serve with phulkas/ naan or any flat breads or even ghee rice or jeera rice.

* Add the black cardamom too if available, imparts a nice flavour. I haven't used that.
* This curry is moderately spicy and if you want it more spicy, increase the number of green chillies.
* The special masala ingredients are listed in the same ingredient list.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

Oats Unda (Balls) ~ Step by Step Pics

How do you use oats in your meals? Porridge or make dosa or try out something else? I find it hard to sneak in oats to my kids, as they don't like eating oats as porridge. Waffles are a welcome(recipe listed below) choice, but I don't have a waffle maker now and so oats cookies is the other good choice that are OK like. So I keep experimenting different recipes that suit their taste buds to incorporate the fibre content.

Oats balls or oats unda are similar to ari unda or aval unda. This recipe comes in handy when it comes to making and also these can be stored over a week at room temperature in airtight containers. They are very easy to assemble and can be made instantly without much fuss. The best part of this recipe is that they are prepared with jaggery and no sugar is used. Dessicated coconut adds the nutty and sweet flavour. Enjoy this with a cup of tea and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~  15 minutes
Serves ~ 16-18 balls
Author ~ Julie
instant oats(quick oats) 2 cups
dessicated coconut 1 cup 
jaggery 3/4 cup
water 3/4 cup
cardamom powder / elakka podi 1/2 tsp
chopped dates 4 tbsp
chopped cashews 2 tbsp
neyyu/ ghee 1 tbsp

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the oats. Fry till crisp, it may take around 3-4 minutes on medium flame. Remove to a plate and then add dessicated coconut. Fry till lightly browned and remove to the oats plate. Also fry the cashew in ghee and add to the dry mix along with ghee. Add the chopped dates too.
  • Then melt the jaggery in 3/4 cup water and then strain the impurities. 

  • Bring the jaggery to a boil and get one string consistency, add cardamom powder. Immediately add the dry mix to this and switch off flame. 
  • Combine this well, leave to cool slightly. When it's warm to touch, pinch out small portions and make balls out of it. Apply a little ghee to the palm and then make if the mix is sticky.
  • Finally, cool completely before tasting them or storing them in airtight containers.

* You can powder the oats after frying to make smooth balls, but here kids like the chewy kind and so prefer doing this method.
* You can add raisins instead of dates or any other dry fruit. Cashew can be replaced with other dry nuts like almonds.

* Banana Oats Bar(Just 4 ingredients)
* Oatmeal Cookies(No sugar)

Monday, July 12, 2021

Mushroom Idli (Step by Step Pics)

Kids are confined to homes for the last one and half years, and they have nearly forgotten to play in groups. Though, kids have got used to the new pattern of online learning and are spending most of the time in front of gadgets. Still the chit-chats at school, the play ground time, the group works are all missed to a large extent. All of us have lost two important years in life, but I thank the almighty for keeping us safe. One small virus took a heavy toll of humans across the globe. And India especially Kerala is still striving hard to get rid of Corona and so this may still take months or even a year when things may seem normal to some extent. 

Anyway, back to today's recipe, it's a simple one to make with the leftover idlis. What do you do with leftover idlis ?? I have already shared two recipes with left over idli- Baked Idli snack and Idli Upma. Both are a hit at home whenever I prepare. Usually the breakfast idlis when served in the same form for the evening tea is a big 'no' and so these transformations to new forms are born. This is a nutritious remake with sliced mushrooms, and my kids love mushroom. The mushrooms have an earthy meaty kind smell and have a noticeable flavour in anything you add to. When mixed with cut idlis they add a perfect taste, and they totally loved it. The first time I made this was by chance as I had a few button mushrooms in hand and couldn't take pics either. But now I make it often whenever there are left over idlis and mushrooms ready at hand. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

*Left Over Idlis-  Baked Idli Snack
* Leftover Idli Dosa Batter - Kuzhi Paniyaram, Punugulu
* Left Over Idli -Idli Upma
* Cooked Rice- Crispy Rice Balls 
* Left over idiyappam(string hoppers)- Idiyappam Upma
* Left over Dhokla-  Amiri Khaman

Preparation time ~ 10 mins
Cooking time ~ 12 mins
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 2 or 3
button mushroom 10 
idlis 5-6
onion 1 medium sliced
tomato 1 medium sliced
ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp
green chilly 1 sliced
mustard seeds 1 tsp
urad dal 1/2 tsp
kashmiri chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
oil 2tbsp
salt to taste
curry leaves

  • Wash the mushrooms under running water and wipe dry on a paper towel. If you see the covering is dirty then peel the outer skin like in pic and keep aside. Slice thin.
  • Wash and cut the tomatoes, add in blender and grind smooth without adding any water.

  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add in urad dal and wait till lightly browned.
  • To this add sliced onion, green chilli and curry leaves. Sauté until lightly browned and add ginger-garlic paste. Add chilli powder and turmeric powder on low heat and sauté.
  • To this, add tomato paste and cook until the tomatoes get cooked and oil separates.

  • Slide in the sliced mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes on low flame, add salt as needed. Don't add any water, as mushrooms leave out water.
  • Then finally add the cut idlis, mix well and cook covered for another minute or two till the masala is dried up. Serve warm with tea.

* You can add fried cashews or almonds for added crunch.
* Sprinkle sev or mixture on top to give another variation.
* Garnish with coriander leaves, too.
* For another variation, you can make the mushroom masala and stuff in idlis too. For that, pour half batter in idli mould and then place spoonful of mushroom masala and then cover with batter. Steam cook just like regular idlis.


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Chakkapazham Thera | Jackfruit Preserve | Homemade Jackfruit Pappad (Step by Step Pics)

Chakkapazham(jackfruit)season is almost to an end now and all Seasonal fruits like jackfruit or mango make us wait a year to enjoy them again. I know that many are in a rush to preserve the various edible parts of Keralites favourite fruit in whichever possible way they can, Right? The onset of monsoon is also delayed, giving us ample time to sun dry and preserve the jackfruit in whichever forms possible. Chakkapazham thera(pappad) is an age-old way of preserving fruits like mango, jackfruit and those days there was no cooking involved, it was just made into a paste and spread to dry on a panambu(bamboo ply). They can be then cut in thin strips or the strips can be rolled up, stored and  enjoyed thereafter throughout the year. This year I tried my hands on drying this fruit for the first time as pappad or thera, and it was a fruitful experience. The only concern to me was it shouldn't rain when it's sun drying and thankfully there wasn't any down pour. 

The chakkapazham thera takes around three days to sun dry at the most and the time totally depends on the heat of the sun too. The longer the drying time the darker the shades of the thera(pappad). I sun dried it for 4 -5 days and thee can be stored at room temperature in airtight containers. But I have stored in fridge as I didn't wish to take any risk and I thaw the pieces whenever we munch them on. The quantity of jackfruit will be reduced considerably once you make the thera(papad)form. One whole jackfruit may yield only twenty pieces of the sun dried fruit. I was very happy with the outcome that kids can munch the preservative free fruit year long and we have maximum utilized the jackfruits when in season. As the season is getting over in most places and I got a little late to post this but do bookmark this recipe and try in the next season!!


Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~20 pieces
Author ~ Julie
chakka chula (jackfruit) 20 ripe bulbs / 3 cups pulp 
granulated sugar 100 gms
cardamom powder / elakka podi 1/2 tsp
ghee/ neyyu 2 tsp 

  • Remove the ripe bulbs from the jackfruit and deseed. Chop the jackfruit pieces and add in a mixer jar, make a smooth paste without adding any water. Please make sure that there are no solid pieces left out in the pulp or else strain the pulp if possible but straining looks a tedious task as the pulp is thick and so grind it very smooth without any pieces.

  • Transfer this pulp to a heavy bottomed pan and add the sugar. Heat this mixture on a low medium flame as the mixture starts to splatter (if we do on a high flame). Continuous stirring is needed to avoid hot splashes. You may require to stir this mixture for about 10-15 minutes till the consistency looks thick and starts to coat the stirring spoon. Add the cardamom powder and mix well (The longer cooking time reduces the sun dry time but if the mixture is very thick then it becomes hard to spread on a plate).
  • Smear ghee in steel plates preferably and pour the mango mixture in the plate as a thin layer(spread using a spatula).The thinner the layer, the faster will be the drying process(I could pour in three plates)
  • Sun dry the plates with the mixture for 2-4 days(cover the top of the plate with a muslin cloth or paper towel as there are chances of fly attracting or dirt getting sticked on top of the mixture especially in the initial two days till the top looks unsticky. (The thinner the layer and the sun's strong heat decides the drying time). Mine was done in three days. 
  • Run a knife along the edges of the dried pappad(thera) and peel the pappad from the plate. Cut in strips and preserve as bars or roll the thin strips if possible. Store in airtight containers for future use in refrigerator.

* Unlike the mango pappad this mixture is thick and so the cooking time is reduced compared to mango pappad.
* The measure of sugar can be altered as per tastes and sweetness of chakka but you should definitely add sugar as it acts as a preservative too.
* You can even add a pinch of salt to balance the flavours.
* If the sunlight option doesn't work, you may even try baking the mixture by pouring in trays. But I haven't tried that yet.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Dindigul Thalappakatti Biriyani | Dindigul Chicken Biriyani (Step by Step Pics)

Our niece joined for a professional course at a reputed college in Dindigul last year and since then sis in law's family have visited Dindigul couple of times. They tasted this yummy biriyani in Dindigul and we also wished to visit her college and planned to taste this yummy biriyani soon. Unfortunately corona and lockdown cancelled all plans, she came back from hostel and continued with online classes and our trip got postponed and so goes the wait to taste the delicious biriyani. I have made up my mind to taste this biriyani in Dindigul whenever possible in the near future as soon as corona gets over, hopefully soon. Ever since I knew about this biriyani from friends and family I badly wanted to give this a try at home. This biriyani is a quick one pot meal unlike other biriyani as there is no elaborate step by step cooking, just warm up the whole spices and grind to a smooth paste. Also there is no much usage of onions(savala) except the shallots. The shallots, mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, garlic cloves and ginger are ground coarsely which makes it easier to saute together unlike other Kerala style biriyani. 

I referred to the Dindigul food court video in YouTube and made this biriyani. The ingredients list was easily available items in our pantry but had no stone flower(kalpasi)and it wasn't easily available in grocery stores here so just left that out. This flower adds a special smoky aroma (as heard from friends), anyways will keep trying to get and keep it ready whenever I try next. This is more of a pulao kind biriyani and the rice is cooked with the chicken. The biriyani gets a yummy flavor as it gets cooked in the chicken stock and this biriyani is sticky compared to the other basmati type biriyani. Remember to fluff it with a fork and leave the lid open for 5-7 minutes before you actually serve it out. I was in a hurry to click pics and so couldn't wait much and so the rice looks a bit mushy though it wasn't overcooked. Do give this  a try if you love to try out different biriyani and am sure you will love this flavorful one, we all loved it !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 30 minutes
Serves ~ 5
Author ~  Julie
jeeraga shala(kaima) rice 2 cups
oil 3 tbsp
ghee 2 tbsp
curd 4 tbsp
water 4 cups
salt to taste
lemon juice 1 tsp
mint leaves 2 tbsp chopped
coriander leaves 2 tbsp chopped

to marinate (optional step)
chicken with bones(skinless) 500 gms
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
hot chilly powder 1 tsp
salt to taste

to grind whole masala
coriander seeds 2 tsp
fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
pepper 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
cinnamon 5-6 pieces 1'long
mace 1
cardamom 3-4
bay leaf 1
kalpasi 1 small
star anise 1
cashews 5-6

to coarsely grind
shallots 15-20 (200 gms)
garlic cloves 10-12
ginger piece 1.5 ' piece
mint leaves a handful
coriander leaves a handful
green chilli 3

  • Wash the chicken well and drain water completely. Make a marinate(optional step) using the ingredients listed above and keep aside for half an hour or refrigerate overnight. I usually refrigerate overnight that way helps to get the spices coated well in the chicken.
  • Warm up the whole spices and grind to a smooth powder in a blender jar. Remove on a plate and keep aside.

  • In the same jar, add the shallots, garlic cloves, ginger, green chillies, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Grind coarsely without adding any water.
  • Wash the jeeraga shala rice and soak in water for 15-25 minutes (use the soaked water to cook the rice helps retain flavor and nutrition).
  • In  a heavy bottomed pan, add oil and ghee. To this add the coarsely ground masala. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the raw flavor disappears and is cooked. To this add the ground whole spices(add chilly powder and turmeric powder at this stage if not marinating chicken, I usually add while marination so skip adding here). To this add the curd and mix well.
  • Then add the chicken pieces and saute for 3-4 minutes till the masala nicely coats the chicken. Then add a cup of water and add salt. Cook the chicken covered for 7-8 minutes.

  • Add in three more cups of water, lemon juice,chopped mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves  and salt. Finally toss in the soaked rice and cook covered.Place a weight on top of the lid and cook for 15-20 minutes. In between check the rice like about after half time just in case the water isn't dried up soon. Switch off flame and leave the lid open for 5-7 minutes, fluff the rice with a fork (else it becomes mushy).

  • Serve warm with raitha or a plain yogurt and sliced cucumber.


* Remember that in this biriyani the spice comes from the green chilli, pepper corns  and hot chilly powder so increase if needed. This is a mild spiced biriyani.

* The chicken marinating step is optional and you may leave out that step but remember to add the chilly powder and turmeric powder in the masala then when you cook.

* Shallots adds a sweetness to the masala unlike the onions.