Friday, August 25, 2006

Spicy Vegetable Kurma..

I have successfully survived 4 months with my daughter, Nanditha and though she doesn’t seem to be a big fan of my cooking (she’s an Enfamil fan), she likes to stare at our mouth when we are eating. But Nirmal enjoys traditional Indian cooking, especially vegetarian dishes.Since he is traveling a lot, weekends are special for us and so this week I decided to make a vegetable Kurma for him.

The Indian KURMA is probably one of the oldest side dishes concocted!!! You take some carrots, potato, beans, green peas etc add some masala and lo…you have a side dish that you can eat with almost any tiffin item including APPAM !! Well, I use the exclamation mark with appam b’coz appam has been long associated with stew and so it has been difficult for me to even convince my mother that appam with kurma is not the same as an inter-caste marriage!!!

The whole idea of having appam with kurma is to have something spicy in comparison to the more bland stew combination. But I promise you that this dish is no where close in spiciness to any of my other posts and so if you have ever fled my page earlier wary of all the spice in the cuisine – This, YOU WILL LOVE.


  • Vegetables (carrot, beans,couliflower,green peas,potato) - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1 big
  • Tomato- 1 big
  • Green chilies -5
  • Ginger -1" piece
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Oil -2 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds -1 teaspoon
  • chilli powder- 1 1/2teaspoon
  • Coriander powder 1 1/2 teaspoon( add more or less)
  • Garam masala - 1 teaspoon (preparation link)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coconut milk 1/4 cups
  • Salt to taste


  • Coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Cashew nuts - one handful (about 10)
  • Poppy seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds 1/4 teaspoon
  • Green chillies - 4


  • In a thick bottom vessel, heat oil and splutter mustard seeds. Add bay leaf, onions , green chillies , ginger and ginger garlic paste one by one and fry. Onion should not turn brown color. add the powdered ingredients and fry for few mins. Put the vegetables in this along with the coconut milk ,salt and enough water and cook. When it is half way through add the finely grinded paste (refer TO GRIND ) and choped tomato . Let it cook until done. Add a few curry leaves and coriander leaves at the end for a better aroma and taste !!


U can use the frozen vegetables that are cleaned and cut available in the grocery stores . U can serve this kurma with almost everything!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Spicy Chemmeen Peera...

This last Saturday we decided to eat out and we took my mom to a South Indian restaurant. Tired of the standardized Indian menu…the menu here was a big relief. It had Alapuzha fish curry, madras chicken, karimeen fry etc..etc. My mom was impressed and so we were planning on what to order even as Nirmal was staring at the prices on the menu !!!!

Nirmal being a big shrimp lover, ordered the madras shrimp masala and me and my mom order kari meen fry and alapuzha fish curry. The waiter promised to make the dishes spicy for us. So even before the cook had a chance to get his stove ready we started to talk about how great a find this restaurant was and I was explaining to my mother that since they had a malayalee cook, the taste should be close to what we have in kerala !!!! – It took me 20min to realize that I had spoken a little too fast.

The biggest disappointment was the madras shrimp masala. The dish was made from tiger shrimp and had these huge chunks of shrimps fried in a mix of onions, tomatoes, lot of masala and coconut milk. It was no where close to the kerala taste that we had expected and no where close to being spicy.

So in this recipe I would like to introduce to you the ‘Chemmeen Peera’(spicy shrimp with coconut mix) . It is a blend of the authentic Kerala taste, no masala and the necessary spice you can easily concoct this dish. Since it has no masala in it, the taste of shrimp will linger longer in your taste buds and if you can’t win your husband over with this – then there is no saying how else you can win !!!


  • shrimp - 1 lb
  • coconut grated - one half
  • green chillies - 6
  • small onions (shallot) - 10-15
  • ginger - 1 inch peice
  • curry leaves - 2 springs
  • chilli powder - 3 tbs
  • turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • coconut oil - 3 tsp
  • salt to taste

  • Clean the shrimp. Cut the shrimp into small bite size peices. Cut the oninons into very thin slices. chope the green chillies and ginger.put together all the ingredients in a bowl . Mix well this with 2 tsp of coconut oil.transfer this mix into a vessel and add just 1/2 cup of water.U don't need to add much water since the shrimp has a better moisture content.Cover the vessal with a lid and cook until done and all the water is evoparated.aprox time 20 mins. when its done remove from fire and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil and few curry leaves..


  • The shrimp that we get in india is smaller in size and has a better taste than what we get here in U.S. To get all the masala into the shrimp, cut it into small bite sizes.
  • I f u r not a big fan of spicy food, u can reduce the chilli powder to 2 tbs or even 1 tbs..but this perticular receipe need to be spicy to taste good!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Whole Chicken Roast....

My daughter just turned 3months last week and trust me when I say she keeps me busy !!! She really does. So between feeding her, changing diapers and cooking lunch for my husband and mom it has been a HECTIC week. But talking about my first receipe - my daughter has this habit of stretching herself after the feeding. Her way of saying, I have worked too hard; I am exhausted and am ready to sleep - get my bed ready !!!! Anyway, my husband makes fun of her saying that she looks like a 'Uricha Kozhi' (naked chicken) when she does those stretches. And she really does - with her hands up in the air and legs tucked close to the stomach she closely resembles one.

So we were making fun of her one day and I started telling my mom how I bake a whole chicken for her Son-in-law and how much he loved it. I was hoping to get my mother excited with the talk about all the masala that went into it but instead my husband got excited. It had been long since I had baked one for him and so I agreed to make him the Spicy Roasted Chicken this week. The best thing about this receipe is that it fires up a party and whether you are hosting a party with drinks or a regular dinner party you will have your guests scrambling for more till the chicken is licked to its bones. And plating a whole chicken rather than pieces of it is like watching a catwalk and admiring a dress rather than just picking a dress from a retail shop. You will have to cook it to believe me !!

Things U Need:

  • Whole chicken
  • To Marinate

    • chilli powder- 3 table spoon
    • coriander powder- 3 table spoon
    • ginger garlic paste - 3 table spoon
    • turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
    • garam masala - 1 teaspoon
    • meat masala - 2 teaspoon
    • fennal seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
    • lemon juice from one lemon
    • butter 1/4 stick
    • salt to taste

    To Bake :

    • onion
    • butter1/4 stick

    Marination :

    Clean the chicken - wash thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towel (else the masala would not stick to the meat), remove the skin carefully. If u like u can use the chicken with the skin too. I wouldn't recommend it though. Mix all the ingredients (refer 'To Marinate' section) into a paste. Rub the paste over the chicken throughly and keep it in the fridge for atleast 5 hrs. Normaly I marinate the chicken in the morning and bake it in the evening.

    To Bake :

    • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the chicken in a oven proof dish. Cover it with aluminium foil and bake it for 30 mins on one side . Take the dish out . Flip the chicken over ,cover it again with the foil and bake the other side for another 30 mins. After 30 mins remove the foil and put the sliced onion and butter chunks over the chicken and bake it for another 45 mins. Take it out when the onions are rosted and mixed well with the masala. The chicken will be dark brown in color and will have a nice aroma from the masalas and the rosted onion.


    • I use homemade garam-masala instead of buying it at the grocery stores. Roast 3tbs of fennel seeds, 3tbs of cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves, 10 cardomoms and 1tsp of black pepper-corns together. Powder the mixture and store it in a air-tight jar. I find the homemade masala has a better aroma than the brought-out ones. Try and let me know.

    NOTE :

    • The baking time is 2 hrs. it might vary according to the size of the chicken and the diffrent type of ovens. I know some of u cooks might think 2 hrs is a little long. But trust me, I have tested this recipe so many times and the outcome is awesome. The chicken will be roasted well and will be too spicy and hot. So if u are weak at heart then beware of the spice !!!

    KNOTTING THE APRON – an intro…

    1, 2, 3 , 4, 5.... I can probably count the number of times I must have dragged myself to the kitchen to make a coffee or help my mother with some cooking. Now it all seems like a dream!!!The transition from carefree_and_kitchenphobic_girl to Married and being the woman of the household was a BIG CHANGE. And the worse part was that it all happened in a day! The early days were not easy - I am sure a lot of you can relate to my plight. Cooking meant juggling with recipes from Vanitha, cookery shows, Food TV and the internet...just to name a few. And then, you had your friends on the phone, an international call to your mother to clarify what fenugreek seeds were!! By the time you are finished, your kitchen is a mess and you are literally praying that the TRUST that you had placed on that recipe pays-off. It rarely does !! It's been 3yrs of married life and the fact that I have survived, puts me right up there and gives me the right to preach cooking. This blog is an effort to share receipes that I have tested..tested and tested and am damn sure they work. It is an effort to get other housewives like me share their experiments and help concoct dishes that have a traditional and modern blend to it. Typical spicy kerala dishes that make your husband coming back to you for more !!! So let's knot our aprons and fire up the pan..
    Top Food & Drink Blogs Chefs Blogs Check Page Rank Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape