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Friday, January 12, 2007

Kerala Recipes from Maria

(Images from Google Images)
My dear friend Maria from Cochin, Kerala, South India, generously sent me 8 lovely recipes that I'm sharing with you now.
1. Seared Kingfish or Pompfret fish, (Fish masala fry)

2 x 3/4 inch (2cm) cutlets White fish
1/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed make paste with water (always
make paste with a little water)

Put all the ingredients onto a plate in a little pile.
Sprinkle over the vinegar and mix to a paste with the fingers.
Pat the masala evenly over the sides of the fish and marinate for minimum 1/2 an hour and better still for 4-5 hours.

When ready to Fry, Put 2 tablespoons oil in a pan on a high heat. Sprinkle the fish with a little(pinch) salt more on both the sides of fish , reduce the heat and add the fish. Dip fish in oil on one side, turn over onto the other side and back again so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Increase the heat medium flame and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then 5 minutes on the other.

Eat with rice. Thoren

2. Kerala Chicken Masala Fry

2 chicken breasts
Scant 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 level teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon garlic paste (crushed garlic)
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Put all the ingredients together on a plate and mix with the fingers. Rub into the chicken breasts (skin off, but still on the bone and slashed). Marinate for a minimum of 1/2 hour - longer is better.

After each marination, add a bit of salt on both the sides that is a very small pinch ,as the salt that is added earlier will have been soaked in .

Heat some oil in a wok to a medium heat. Dip the pieces of chicken backwards and forwards in the hot oil so they won’t stick and continue to cook. Can be cooked in the oven also.If using in the oven just drip very little oil over the chicken piece.

3. Chicken Masala
Serves 2

4or 5 tablespoons oil
a few small bits of cassia
2 cloves
2 onions, halved and sliced
1 heaped teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 green chilli, slit
1 heaped teaspoon crushed ginger
4 teaspoons corriander powder
Small bunch of corriander leaves
1 semi heaped teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 chicken thighs
2 chicken drumsticks
2 tomatoes, sliced into strips

Ten minutes before cooking, sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder pinch of black pepper and a little salt little 1/2 teaspoon wine vinegar over the chicken pieces , and coat well.

Put 4 or5 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot add a couple of small bits of cassia and 2cloves, then add the onions and garlic paste and the green chilli. Stir for a minute or two and lower the flame. (Always lower the flame before adding any powdered spices.)

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric on top of the onions, stir, then increase the heat. (With a dry dish use less turmeric, and with a wet dish use more turmeric). Stir and cook for 5 minutes to cook the garlic. Add 1 well heaped teaspoon of crushed ginger, cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat and add 4 teaspoons of freshly ground corriander powder, stir for a few seconds then raise the flame to fry the corriander powder well so it loses its raw taste. (Chilli powder frys very fast, so only add it at the end.) Lower the flame again and add 1 semi-heaped teaspoon garam masala powder, then stir for a few seconds then raise the
heat, stir again and fry the masala for 1 minute. Lower the flame, add 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (or 1/2 teaspoon paprika) then 1/2 teaspoon salt on top of the onions. Mix and raise the flame again.

Add the sliced tomatoes and stir. Fry to soften the tomatoes well for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and coat well with the masala and tomato,and a little water 1/4 glass.And cook the chicken covered in medium flame , stir slowly in between when the chicken is cooked add the corriander leaves and just warm up a bit .( If you don’t want the dish to be too spicy, add 1/2 cup of coconut cream at the end.)

(If you want the chicken masala with sauce and not spicy you can add 1 cup of coconut cream in the end instead of 1/2 cup).when ready check the sauce for salt and sourness ,if needed could be added a bit.

4. Garam Masala Powder

50g fennel seeds
5 cardamom pods
6 cloves
4 flat cinnamon (cassia) sticks size of your pointed finger.

Roast in a dry pan on a very low flame. And then blend in a dry blender till powdered well. Use within 1 month. Store in a sealed container.

5. Okra Pepper fry
Serves 2-4

10 okra
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 pinches of salt

Wash, top and tail the okra and make a slit with a knife on three sides. Mix the spices with your hands and toss the okra in the spice mixture and allow to marinade for 10 minutes. Just before serving, fry in a little butter or oil over a medium heat for 2-5 minutes. The okra will be slightly brown. Serve with fried chicken or fish fry and some potato fry.

6. Rice – cooked with spice

Serves 2

1 cup Jeera rice (like Basmati but smaller, wash to remove starch)
2 cups of hot water or a little more 1/4 cup more
4 bits of cassia
4 cardamom pods
5 cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Break the cassia into pieces. Heat a casserole on a high heat and add 1 or two tablespoon of oil . Lower the flame and add the cassia, cardamom and cloves, stir to pop. Add 1/4 teaspoon flat turmeric in very low flame , stir then add the washed and drained rice and raise flame and fry for a few minutes . Add 2 cups of hot water and 1/4 cup more, add a generous
teaspoon salt the water should be salty. Cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes in medium heat or until the rice absorbs all the liquid. Remove the lid, stir, cover and leave to relax for 10 minutes.

with Love,

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