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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Kerala Fish Molley

Fish Molley

Serves 2
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 small pieces of cassia or 1 small cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
5 cloves
1 tomato, quartered
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced thickly
1 green chilli, sliced halfway down
4 shallots, sliced through the root( used in the end
for seasoning)
3-4 fresh curry leaves
1/2 lime(used in the end of cooking)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add the cassia, cardamom, cloves for seasoning. When the cardamom pods swell up and absorb the flavour, add the quartered tomato and fry for a few minutes. Remove the tomatoes, add the onions and green chilli to the same oil and stir. Add the crushed garlic and fry for 5 minutes,then add the ginger. ( never add ginger and garlic together as the garlic needs to cook for longer.) Lower the flame and sprinkle generous 1 teaspoon of turmeric over the onions, then stir and raise the flame.After the garlic is fried add the white flour 1/2 teaspoon and crushed ginger and a few curry leaves ,and fry a bit then,

Add the diluted coconut milk to the pan where the onions and garlic are fried and allow to bubble up,keep on stirring till the milk bubbles or else the coconut milk curdles . Bring to the boil, stirring all the time and add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar.If
using a whole fish, make slashes on the sides ,If your pan is big to fill the fish use the same pan, Once you add the fish you can’t stir with a spoon. The fish should be just covered with coconut milk –cook gently for about 5 minutes,just swaying the dish from side to side. (If the fish sauce needs more sour taste add lime juice off the flame or else it will become bitter.)

Add the coconut cream, swirl and bring back to the boil. Taste and add more salt if necessary. The coconut cream may dull the salt.

To finish, In a different pan , put a few teaspoons of oil , add sliced shallots. Brown a little(4nos) shallots and add some curry leaves. Pour over the top of the fish sauce. Add the quartered fried tomatoes.

Eat hot or at room temperature with rice or any bread.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Kerala vegetables - Thoren

1. Thoren
Thoren is Kerala’s best known dish. Cabbage, carrots,
pumpkin and beans can be used in this Keralean
vegetable dish. Grated cabbage and carrots and finely
sliced beans can be mixed, but pumpkin should be kept

1 cup of freshly grated coconut (1/2 cup of
unsweetened desiccated coconut)
250g cabbage, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic,
1 green chilli
1/2tsp cumin seeds (make a paste of the above mentioned garlic , cumin and green chilli using a little water this is the masala paste)
1/4 teaspoon chopped ginger (this is used only for cabbage to remove the raw smell of cabbage.
5 shallots (8 if small), cut in half and sliced lengthwise
3 or 4 fresh curry leaves
2 or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

I use a stone rolling pin on a flat grinding stone to grind the cumin seeds with the garlic, cloves and chilli with a little water until it makes a wetish paste. you can use a pestle and mortar. (or small blender)

Shallots: slices 1 side first then turns it on its side

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok, add 1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds when oil is hot. When the seeds have finished popping lower the flame and add the sliced shallots , then add the masala that is (paste of garlic ,cumin and green chilli) and chopped ginger. Cook for a minute or two. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon turmeric on top of the shallots , not directly to the oil. Stir then mix the shallots and masala paste well, Fry the masala paste mixture for 1 minute, then add the curry leaves. Add the finely sliced cabbage and toss. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, taste and add more if necessary. Lower the flame and add the coconut. Stir well. Cover and cook over a low flame for 5 minutes.
When it is cooked, leave the lid slightly ajar.

Eat cold.