Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cabbage Thoran(Bhaaji/Sabzi)/Cabbage Stir Fry

Thoran means a vegetable side dish (veg bhaji/sabzi) served with rice. In Kerala we make thoran's with variety of vegetables and it is a mandatory dish served daily with rice or chappathi. Cabbage thoran is Keralites favorite and this dish is lucky enough to get a special place in even Kerala Sadya dishes. I have started using the Violet cabbage instead of white one after coming to US sinve it is rich in Iron and vitamins and also is easily available in market. Cooked violet cabbage looks awesome and tastes great :). So here comes the authentic Kerala recipe of cabbage thoran, you can use white or green cabbage which ever you have handy at home. Serve with rice and Moru/yogurt curry!!!

Ingredients: -

Cabbage chopped lengthwise - 1 small
Onion finely chopped-1 medium
Chopped Green chilly – 4
Grated coconut -3 tbsp
Turmeric pwdr- 1tsp
Curry leaves few
Salt to taste
Coconut oil -2 tsp
Mustard seed – 1 tsp
Urad daal – 1 tsp
Whole red chilly – 2

Preparation Method:-

1) Mix chopped cabbage with onion, green chilly, turmeric powder, salt, few curry leaves and grated coconut and set aside (mix these entire things well with hand).
2) Heat up a frying pan, pour coconut oil, add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add urad dhal, remaining curry leaves, red chilly and sauté for a minute.
3) Add the cabbage mix to this and stir well. Close the pan with the lid and let it cook for another 2-3 mins.
4) Open the lid, stir well and check for the taste. Switch off the flame if the cabbage is cooked enough. You really don’t have to cook this for long, the crispy cabbage tastes better.
5) Cabbage Thoran is ready to serve with Rice/Roti.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish Curry(Meen Mulakittathu-Malabar style)

I think fish is a kind of staple food for Keralites (I am not sure about all parts of Kerala, but Malabar is known for fish foodies). Back in my home town I remember women and men waiting for the guy who brings fish on his bicycle. Most of them are in a hurry to get the fish and comes in a hurry thinking they are late and the fisherman might have left. You can clearly make out these confusions from their face and the glowy smile comes up on their face when someone says the fisherman had not come yet and they are also waiting for the fish.

I believe my grandma makes the best fish curry ever and again this recipe of mine has evolved out of her cooking. There are lots of recipes for fish but this is a simple one, anyone can make this curry with the basic ingredients found in every kitchen.

Ingredients: -

King fish – 6 to 8 pieces
Shallots thinly sliced – 3 big or 6 small
Green chilly sliced - 4
Tomato chopped  – 1
Ginger finely chopped – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric pwdr – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice - 2tsp + 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Tamarind – a lemon size ball(can use 1 tbsp tamarind paste instead, depends on the sourness u need adjust the amount)
Curry leaves few
Coconut oil - 2 to 3 tsp
Water - 1 cup(to soak the tamarind)

Cooking Instructions: -
  1. Cut the fish into med size pieces if the fish pieces are big. In an earthen ware(man chatti) put the fish pieces, some salt(rock salt preferably) and 1 tsp lemon juice and mix with the fishes. Wash and clean the fish gently without breaking the fish and set aside.
  2. In a bowl add 2 tsp of lemon juice, 2 tsp chilly powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt and make a paste for marinade. Marinate the fish with this paste and keep for an hour(if possible)
  3. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the maximum tamarind paste out of it and set the tamarind water aside. Pour 1/2 cup water to the same tamarind and squeeze out the rest of the tamarind water from it and trash the tamarind. 
  4. Heat some oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds, add fenugreek seeds and saute for a minute. Add shallots, ginger, green chillies and some curry leaves and saute till light brown.
  5. Add the tomato and saute till it is soft.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt and saute until it mix well. Add the squeezed tamarind water and let it cook well for 5 mins till onion and tomatoes are slightly cooked.
  7. Add the fish pieces(u can lightly fry this fish with very little oil if desired, frying helps the fish not to break while you cook) and let it again cook for another 5 mins or till the fish is cooked properly.

    8. Remove from stove,add some more curry leaves and a tsp coconut oil on top and serve with Rice or Kappa(Cassava) or anything of your choice. 

Tip: - Fish curry tastes better after four to six hours of preparation or on the next day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Prawn Masala


Prawns/Shrimp – 1 lb
Onion finely chopped – 2
Tomato chopped – 1
Green chilly – 3
Chilly powder – 1½ tsp
Turmeric powder – 1tsp
Coriander powder – 1tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves -1 small bunch chopped
Salt to taste

Preparation Method:-

1) Clean the prawns and marinate with 1 tsp chilly pwdr, ½ tsp turmeric pwdr and 1 tsp salt for about 30 mins.
2) Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onion, salt few curry leaves and sauté for a while. When onion turns translucent, add green chilies and ginger-garlic paste and sauté well until the raw smell leaves. Add chopped tomatoes and sauté well until tomatoes are mashed up.
3) Add turmeric powder, chilly powder and saute for a minute till everything gets mixed well. Add the marinated shrimp and sauté for another two-three minutes. Add coriander powder and pepper powder and sauté well. Now add the garam masala pwdr and mix well and sauté for a while and simmer the flame to low-med.
4) Close the pan and let it cook for about 7-9 mins in low flame. Open the pan, prawns will be cooked well with nice aroma, red and juicy. If you want to reduce the gravy, cook it lid open on medium flame again for about 3-5 min and keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick on to the bottom of the pan.
5) Now add some chopped coriander leaves and stir well and keep some for garnishing.
6) Remove from flame and move into a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and is ready to serve with rice, roti or naan.

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