Beef Olathiathu (Spicy Roast Beef)

Kerala Style Beef Ularthiyathu1
Happy New Year! I want to wish each one of you God’s richest blessings in 2015. May the new year bring you good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Beef olathiathu is my all-time favorite Kerala beef recipe. It’s my sister, Leela’s, signature dish and I’m sharing it as a gift to my readers for all the “likes” and comments you made on my Facebook page and here on my blog. I hope you will treasure this recipe as much as I do!

Thanks to my sister, (my Ammama), for teaching me how to make this traditional Syrian Christian dish. In Kerala, in the old days, the meat would be cooked in an urali – a heavy metal vessel, which retains heat for a long time. Today, the urali is replaced with the modern pressure cooker.

The beef is cooked and roasted in coconut oil, which complements the spices perfectly. If you prefer, you may use peanut or grape seed oil. But then, of course, you will lose some of the authentic flavor and aroma. Make this dish for New Year and enjoy the compliments!

Beef Olathiathu (Spicy Roast Beef)
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6

1 pound beef, (washed, drained, and cut into ¾-inch cubes)
40 dry red chillies, (reduce the number depending on heat and your preference)
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1-inch piece cinnamon
2 cardamoms
6 cloves
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup fresh or frozen coconut pieces, (cut into 1-inch, thin chips)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
5 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ cup water
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves

In a small non-stick pan, over medium-low heat, dry roast the chillies, coriander, pepper, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, cloves, and fennel seeds until they smell fragrant. Cool completely and grind to a fine powder in a coffee grinder. Set aside.

Mix the coconut pieces, turmeric powder, and salt in a small bowl. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the coconut pieces and fry until light brown. Add the ground spices, half the shallots, ginger, garlic, vinegar, beef, and water.  Close the cooker and bring to full cooking pressure, on high heat. Reduce to medium heat and cook for ten minutes or until the meat is tender. The amount of time will depend on the cut of beef and your pressure cooker. Allow the cooker to cool gradually. Open the lid and dry roast the beef until all the water evaporates.

To season the meat, heat the remaining oil in a small non-stick pan, over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the curry leaves, and shallots. Fry until the shallots turn brown. Add the seasoning to the meat in the pressure cooker. Place the pressure cooker over medium heat, stir and roast until all the pieces are well coated with the spices. You can garnish this dish with sprigs of fried curry leaves, if you desire.

Herbed Turkey Patties

Herbed turkey patties2

Isn’t it wonderful to have friends that readily share their recipes with you? Hannah, is one such friend, and we have a wonderful time cooking together and sharing recipes. Thank you, Hannah, for teaching me how to make these wonderful herbed turkey patties. It was great picking fresh herbs from your garden and using them in the recipe. I was so inspired by your garden, that I’ve started my own little herb garden on my deck.

I’ve modified Hannah’s recipe by changing the shape and served them for breakfast. Its a glorious fusion of herbs and spices – shallots, sage, flat leaf celery, cilantro, thyme, oregano, mint, and chilli flakes. The oyster mushroom sauce added another dimension to the complex flavor in these herbed patties. My family enjoyed every bite.

I made them for breakfast, but you can make them into meatballs as well and serve them for lunch or dinner with spaghetti and marinara sauce. They also serve as great little appetizers. Stick a toothpick into them and serve them with a dipping sauce of your choice. I even enjoyed them as a snack at tea time with sriracha on the side. You can use all the herbs or only those that you prefer. Have fun making this recipe your own.

Herbed Turkey Patties
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes: 15

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb minced turkey
1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 tablespoons finely minced sage leaves
1 tablespoon finely minced flat leaf celery
1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons finely minced thyme
1 teaspoon finely minced oregano leaves
1 teaspoon finely minced mint leaves
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
2 tablespoons oyster mushroom sauce
1 teaspoon salt, (depending on your preference)

In a small bowl, add the minced turkey, shallots, sage, celery leaf, cilantro, thyme, oregano, mint, chilli flakes, oyster mushroom sauce and salt. Mix it well. Wet the palm of your hands and make small lime sized turkey balls and put them on a plate.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the turkey balls, as is, or flatten them to about two-inch patties. Put about five at a time in the pan. Keep the heat on medium and fry the patties for two minutes per side or until the patties cook and turn light brown. Remove on to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the rest of the minced turkey mix. If the pan collects a lot of grime, wash and dry it before you fry the final batch of patties. These taste amazing, if you like fresh herbs.

Malaysian Chicken Curry – Nyonya Chicken Curry

Malaysian Chicken Curry4

Nyonya chicken curry is one of my all time favorite dishes. I love it and it is worth hunting for all the ingredients that go into making it. Some time ago, I shared my beef rendang recipe, another one of my favorite Malaysian dishes. The next item that I will share with you, from my list of favorite Malaysian recipes, is roti canai.

Nyonya cuisine is a blend of Chinese ingredients with spices and cooking techniques used by the Malay/Indonesian community. They call their wet spice paste rempah. The cooking skill of a new daughter-in-law is judged by listening to her preparing rempah with a mortar and pestle. I definitely wouldn’t qualify as a good cook, because I used a blender to make my rempah!

When I first started experimenting with other world cuisines, many of the herbs, spices and techniques were unfamiliar to me. Some of the ingredients mentioned in this recipe may not normally be on your kitchen shelf or in your refrigerator. But with all the specialty markets springing up these days, it was easy for me to find all these ingredients. Challenge yourself and try cooking this dish. I am sure you, your family, and your friends will be delighted with the results.

Malaysian Chicken Curry – Nyonya chicken curry
Prep time: 30 minutes, (includes time for soaking chillies)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

½ cup peanut oil
1 star anise
3 cloves
3-inch piece cinnamon, (broken in half)
2 sprigs of curry leaves
3 lbs chicken, (cut into small pieces)
10 baby potatoes, (peeled, halved and parboiled)
2 Thai red chillies, (slit in half)
2 14 fl oz (400 ml) cans of coconut milk
1 kaffir lime leaf
2 teaspoons sugar

For the wet spice paste (Rempah):
4 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
20 dried red chillies, (broken in half, seeded, and soaked in boiling water)
1 teaspoon fish sauce, (or one piece belacan, broken into bits)
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh turmeric root
3 tablespoons finely chopped galangal
3 tablespoons finely chopped lemon grass
2 tablespoons sliced garlic
2 cups roughly chopped shallots or red onions
½ cup water, (or use the water that you soaked the red chillies in)

To make the wet spice paste, break the red chillies in half, remove the seeds, and soak them in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and save the water to use to grind the paste.

Next, roast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a small non-stick pan over medium-low heat for five minutes or until they smell fragrant. Cool completely.

Drain the soaked red chillies and put them into a blender. Add the roasted spices, fish sauce or belacan, turmeric root, galangal, garlic, shallots and half a cup of the water that you soaked the red chillies in.  If you forgot to save it just use water. Blend to a smooth puree.

Place a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and when it shimmers, add the wet spice paste, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, and curry leaves and sauté for 10 minutes or until you see the paste thicken, darken in color, and the oil separating from the mixture.

Add the chicken, stir until the paste coats each piece. Add potatoes, chillies, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf, salt, and sugar. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked. Roti canai is the perfect accompaniment to this Malaysian chicken curry.

Kolhapuri Chicken Curry

Kolhapuri Chicken3

By now, all of you know that I love Maharashtrian food. Kolhapur is a city situated in the south west corner of Maharashtra and it can boast that it has one of the areas best cuisines. I featured their famous misal pav in one of my blog posts and I hope you had an opportunity to try it. The city is also known for their traditional leather sandals, called Kolhapuri chappal, and their antique jewelry.

The Kolhapuri chicken curry that I am featuring today is one of my favorites. Adjust the spice level to your taste. I added two types of chillies for this recipe. One to add heat and the other to give the curry its brilliant red gravy. I hope you will enjoy this dish as much as I do.

Kolhapuri Chicken Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

½ cup grated dry coconut, (copra)
4 dry red chillies, (depending on heat and your preference)
5 Kashmiri dry chillies, (for color)
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
4 green cardamoms
2 black cardamom
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 petals of star anise
5 cloves
1 blade mace
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
8 black peppercorns
2 pounds chicken, cut into medium sized pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup oil
3 cups finely diced onion
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1 tablespoon ginger paste
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 cups water

For the Kolhapuri Masala:
In a small frying pan, over medium-high heat, roast the grated dry coconut until it turns light brown. Remove and put it into a small bowl. The the same pan, roast the dry red chillies for two minutes. Put them into the bowl. Next, to the same pan, add the cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, star anise petals, cloves, mace, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and peppercorn. Roast until fragrant. Add the spices into the small bowl and cool all the ingredients for 10-15 minutes. Then grind to a coarse powder.

For the Kolhapuri Chicken Curry:
Marinate the chicken in one tablespoon of the Kolhapuri masala, lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt for fifteen minutes.

Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and the chopped onion. Fry until the onion turns light brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for two minutes or until the raw smell of ginger-garlic disappears. Add the marinated chicken and roast until you see brown spots on the pieces of chicken. Add the rest of the Kolhapuri masala, grated nutmeg and coriander leaves. Roast for one minute and then add water. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for 20-25 minutes or until the pieces of chicken are well cooked and the gravy thickens. Taste and adjust the salt, if needed, and turn off the heat. Serve Kolhapuri chicken curry with steaming hot rice. This is a spicy dish but you can adjust the heat level to suit your taste.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang3

In a Facebook poll of the world’s 50 best foods, CNN named Beef Rendang as #1. It is an Indonesian dish that is made by simmering beef in coconut milk and spices. I tasted this dish for the first time when it was made by my friend in California. I was hooked and I learned how to make it from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon. Over the years my recipe has evolved and taken on a life of its own – sometimes because of the lack of certain ingredients like candlenuts and fresh turmeric leaves. If you can’t find these ingredients, you can still make this dish without them and it tastes great. It takes time and effort to make this dish so make a large quantity. It keeps well and develops more flavor each day.

Rendang is a traditional dish from the Minangkabau ethnic group from Indonesia. It is also popular in neighboring countries like Malaysia and Singapore. The beef is cooked for hours in a myriad of ingredients. Some of which were unfamiliar to me until I started experimenting with other world cuisines. And, a few ingredients were difficult to find. So this recipe is not for the faint of heart!

Rendang gets its dark chocolate color from roasted and ground coconut. It is called kerisik and one of the steps in this recipe tells you how to make it. There are several steps to this recipe so follow them carefully. The cooking process is laborious and the list of ingredients long, but the end result is definitely worth the wait!

Beef Rendang
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Serves: 6-8

3 pounds beef, (chuck steak or shortribs, cut into large cubes)
¼ cup oil
1-inch piece cinnamon stick
5 whole cardamoms, lightly bruised
2 cloves
2 cups thick coconut milk, (use Thai canned coconut milk)
1 cup chilli water (reserve the water in which you soak the dry chillies – see below)
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
2 tablespoons palm sugar, (or brown sugar)
3 kaffir lime leaves

Blend into a paste:
1 cup finely sliced lemon grass, (5 stalks, white part only, dry outer layers removed)
½ cup water
25 dry red chillies, (seeds removed, soaked in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes, save water)
3 cups roughly chopped shallots
2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic cloves
2 tablespoons roughly chopped ginger
2 tablespoons finely sliced galangal
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh turmeric

Add the lemon grass and half cup of water to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Strain the dry red chillies and reserve the chili water to use while making the rendang. Add the soaked chillies, shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, and turmeric to the food processor and run until there are no clumps left and you have a smooth paste. Scrape the bowl down several time during the process. Set aside.

Dry roast and powder:
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon whole black pepper

In a small non-stick pan, over medium-low heat, roast the coriander, cumin, fennel and black pepper until fragrant. Cool and grind to a powder. I use a coffee grinder which I use only to grind spices. Alternately, you can also use these ingredients in their powder form. Set aside.

To make the Kerisik, (roasted, ground coconut paste):
1 cup frozen grated coconut or fresh grated coconut

In a non-stick pan roast the grated coconut over medium-low heat until it turns light brown and fragrant. Cool and grind in a coffee grinder until it turns oily. Set aside.

Add oil to a large heavy bottomed pot and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers add the cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Fry for 10 seconds and add the lemon grass, red chillies, shallot, garlic, ginger, galangal, and turmeric paste. Fry, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the moisture evaporates. You will also see oil along the edge of the pot. It will take about 10-15 minutes to do this. Add the ground coriander, cumin, fennel, and pepper. Fry for a minute and then add the beef. Stir and roast until all the beef is well coated with the spice blend.

Next add the coconut milk, chili water, tamarind pulp, palm sugar, and salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover with a lid and cook for two hours. Stir the rendang periodically during this time to make sure it is not catching to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the meat is tender and the liquid evaporates.

Once the meat is tender, add the kerisik and kaffir lime leaves. Gently stir until all the meat is well coated and you see the oil separate in the pot. Turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let the rendang sit for at least an hour before you serve. The meat will turn to dark brown. It is even better the next day when all the flavors have melded. Serve with rice.

Fish Molee – Fish Cooked in Mildly Spiced Coconut Milk

Fish Molee3

Fish Molee, also called Meen Molee in Malayalam, can be found on the menu at almost all wedding receptions and family celebrations in Kerala. It is a fresh fish curry, mildly spiced, and cooked in a coconut milk gravy. Definitely, one of my all-time favorite fish dishes. The recipe is simple and straightforward, with no exotic spices.

My variation of Fish Molee will give you a true taste of Kerala. I use fresh coconut milk and coconut oil, which brings out the authentic taste of this dish. But, if you have to use canned coconut milk, buy the best quality. Don’t shake the can before you open it. Use the thick top layer formed as the first extraction and the dilute coconut milk in the bottom of the can as the second extraction. Whisk both, the top layer and the bottom layer, with three-quarter cups of water for this recipe. I find that canned coconut milk from Thailand works well for my recipes. I’ve use Tilapia fish for this recipe, but you can also use other boneless, skinless fish.

Fish Molee is one of the most flavorful Kerala delicacies. Eat it with steamed rice, appams or rotis and you’ll understand why Kerala is called “God’s own country!”

Fish Molee
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

For the Marinade
3 Tilapia fish fillets, each cut into 3 pieces
3 teaspoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chilli powder

For the Gravy
3 tablespoons coconut oil to fry fish + 3 tablespoons coconut oil for the curry
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
2 cups thinly sliced red onion or shallots
5 green chillies, slit down the center, (adjust depending on heat and your preference)
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cup first extract (thick) coconut milk
1 cup second extract (thin) coconut milk
2 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Rinse the fish pieces thoroughly, drain off excess water, pat the pieces with a paper towel, and add the lime juice, turmeric, chili, and salt. Marinate for 20 minutes. Heat three tablespoons coconut oil and shallow fry fish on both sides until lightly brown. The fish does not need to be cooked as it will cook in the gravy. Remove and set aside.

Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add three tablespoons of coconut oil. When the oil shimmers, add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds crackle, add curry leaves and onion. Sauté for two minutes and then add the green chillies, ginger, and garlic. Fry all the ingredients until the onion turns translucent. Next, add the coriander, chilli, and turmeric powder. Turn the heat to medium and pour in the thin extract of coconut milk. Add lightly fried fish pieces and salt. Bring to boil. Cook for seven minutes or until the fish is cooked. If you use fish other than Tilapia fillets, it may take a few minutes longer to cook.

Next, add the thick second extract of coconut milk, tomatoes, and freshly ground pepper. Turn the heat to low and let the curry simmer for a minute. Do not bring the curry to boil once the thick extract of coconut milk has been added, because it may curdle. Turn off the heat. Let the Fish Molee rest for 15 minutes before you serve it with steaming hot rice, appams or rotis.

Chicken Cutlets

Chicken Cutlets1

I remember going to restaurants in India many years ago and ordering chicken or vegetable cutlets and soup instead of the typical masala dosa. It was a great alternative when I didn’t feel like having Indian food. It was often listed on the menu under the Western items section. Well, now we have “Indianized” the cutlet so much that it isn’t considered so much of a Western item on the menu in India any more.

I often use leftovers to make cutlets and my children think I’ve created something new and awesome. When they were young, I would put lots of vegetables into my cutlets and they had no idea! They loved them anyway. What I’m trying to say, is that once you understand the basics of cutlet making, you don’t need a recipe. You can make almost anything into a cutlet. This recipe is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Cutlets
Prep time: 35 minutes (includes time to cook chicken)
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 15

2 large chicken breasts
½ teaspoon whole black pepper
1½ teaspoons salt
2 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 teaspoons coriander seeds
2-3 teaspoons red chilli flakes, (depending on heat and your preference)
1 tablespoon kasoori methi, crushed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, finely chopped
½ teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
Oil for shallow frying

Cook chicken in three cups of water, whole black pepper, and half a teaspoon of salt. The chicken should be cooked well enough so that it falls off the bone easily. It will take about 25-30 minutes over medium-high heat. Cool, shred the meat and put into a large mixing bowl.

Lightly roast cumin and coriander seeds and crush them to a coarse powder.

Add mashed potatoes, the lightly roasted and crushed cumin and coriander powder, chilli flakes, kasoori methi, onions, and cilantro into the large mixing bowl along with the shredded chicken. Add salt and pepper. Mix well. Taste to make sure there is enough salt. Shape into cutlets – either round or oval. Line them on a baking tray.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil for shallow frying. There should be enough oil in the pan so that when you put the cutlets in, the oil should come at least half way up the sides of the cutlets.

Beat eggs in a small bowl, and spread the panko crumbs on a plate. Dip each cutlet into the egg and then coat them in breadcrumbs. Add them to the hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.


Chop N’ Drop Chicken Curry

Chop and Drop Chicken Curry

As promised, here is my Chop n’ Drop Chicken Curry recipe. I hope you made the Home-made Garam Masala that I posted last week, because this recipe calls for it. You will be surprised at how easy it is to make this tasty North Indian flavored dish.

Yesterday, I visited two of my friends. It was a fun day for me as I got to test this recipe in their homes. For me, it was a great learning experience, because I was cooking in a different environment with different equipment. For example, I have a gas stove in my kitchen and they had electric stoves in theirs. As a recipe developer, I realized that I described my recipes using the experience I had with a gas stove which might differ slightly with an electric stove.

The best lesson that I learned from cooking with friends was that sharing the cooking experience brought me much more joy than cooking by myself. I have those two friends to thank for this new enlightenment!

Chop n’ Drop Chicken Curry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6-8

3 pounds chicken, (one large chicken, cut into pieces)
2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 tablespoons grated garlic, (one whole head or bulb)
3 teaspooons Kashmiri chilli powder, (depending on heat and your preference)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
¼ cup water, (or less depending on how much water your chicken gives out)
2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated ginger, (or cut into short, thin strips – like matchsticks)
¼ cup ghee
3 teaspoons garam masala, (use Home-made Garam Masala)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 green chillies, slit down the middle, (optional)

Add chicken, onion, garlic, chili, turmeric, coriander, water and salt to a heavy bottomed, wide pan. Please note here that you could add anywhere from two tablespoons to a quarter cup of water, and this would depend on how much water the chicken gives out and whether you drained the chicken well after you washed it. Mix all the ingredients and place on high heat and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a rolling boil, add tomatoes and ginger, stir well, and cook on medium-high heat until the water evaporates and the chicken is cooked – about 10-15 minutes. Add ghee. Stir and fry until the oil separates and the chicken is roasted. Sprinkle garam masala, cilantro and green chillies. Mix everything, cover and cook for five minutes on low heat. Serve with chapatis, naan or rice.

Note: This chicken curry tastes best with the Home-made Garam Masala that you will find in last weeks blog post. You can use one large whole cut up chicken or a combination of pieces. Chicken in the U.S. cooks much faster than in India. So, I cooked it on high heat on a gas stove during the whole process. You may have to adjust the heat and time to make sure the chicken cooks well. I also used ghee for this recipe which added a distinct North Indian flavor and richness to the dish.


Fish Curry

Mangalorean Fish Curry

Today’s recipe is one that I learned from one of my Mangalorean friends while I was in Manipal. I found a lot of similarities in the way we both prepared this dish. Both of us used coconut, curry leaves, garlic, and chillies. So, I shared my recipes from Kerala with her in exchange for her Mangalorean recipes. This fish curry uses tamarind as a souring agent. I added an extra seasoning of two teaspoons of oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves before I took the above picture, but that is optional.

All you need is a pot of steamed rice to relish this fish curry. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Fish Curry
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

3 pounds rock fish, cut into slices
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
5 dry whole red chillies
1 tablespoon whole dry coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
4 fenugreek seeds
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup water
4 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1½ cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons tamarind extract

Using a paper towel, pat the slices of fish until dry. Rub a little salt and turmeric powder over them and marinate them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

In a small pan, over medium-low heat, roast the chillies, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, and fenugreek seeds until fragrant. Cool completely. Add all the roasted ingredients, half of the chopped onion, garlic, and half cup of water to a blender and grind to a fine paste.

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil, and when it shimmers, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the curry leaves, and the rest of the chopped onion. Sauté until onion is lightly brown. Add the ground paste and cook until the oil separates. Add the coconut milk, tamarind extract, half cup water, salt, and fish slices. Stir gently, cover with a lid, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve with steaming hot rice.

Egg Curry – Kerala Mutta Curry

Egg Curry4

Egg curry or mutta curry, as we call this dish in Malayalam, is a faithful standby when unexpected guests arrive at lunch time or when the vegetable bin is empty in the refrigerator. Every Indian family has their own style of making egg curry. The egg curry recipe that I am sharing with you today, is from Kerala. Coconut milk, curry leaves, vinegar, and garam masala gives this dish its creamy, spicy, and aromatic fragrance and flavor. The versatile egg curry can be eaten with rice, chapatis, appams or string hoppers. It’s a good dish to have in your recipe collection.


Egg Curry – Kerala Mutta Curry
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

6 hard boiled eggs
4 whole dry red chillies, (depending on heat and your preference)
3 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon whole black pepper
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 one-inch piece cinnamon
2 green cardamom, seeds only
2 cloves
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1 cup finely diced shallots
2 green chillies, slit in half (optional)
1 teaspoon finely diced ginger
1 teaspoon finely diced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 (13.66 fl oz) can coconut milk, unsweetened
1 cup water
3 medium potatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
A few curry leaves to garnish

In a small non-stick frying pan, over low heat, roast the dry chillies, coriander seeds, whole black pepper, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. When it starts smelling fragrant, add the cumin seeds and roast for 10 seconds. Remove from the heat and cool the spices completely. Powder in a coffer grinder and set aside.

Place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and when it shimmers, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaves, green chillies, onion, ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Cook until the onion turns translucent. Add the powdered spices and stir. Mix one cup of coconut milk with one cup of water and add it to the pan. Add the potatoes, vinegar, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. When the potatoes are done, add the boiled eggs and the remaining coconut milk. Let the curry simmer for five more minutes. Remove from the heat, add freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with curry leaves.