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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Madurai Chicken Salna

Madurai Chicken Salna

Salna/Chalna is a very popular gravy, esp. in Madurai along with Biryani or Parotta.

Ingredients: Quantity
Whole Chicken 1 nos
Large Onion Finely Chopped 2 nos
Tomatoes chopped 2 nos
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Green Chili 1-2 nos
Coconut Milk(Optional) 1/2 cup
Grind to paste:
Dry Red Chili* 6-8 nos
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds 2 tsp
Roasted Peanut** 1 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Grated Coconut 1/2 cup
Mustard 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 1-2 strands
Cinnamon 1 stick
Cloves 2-3 nos
Cardamom 1-2 nos
Oil 2-3 tbsp
Salt To taste

1) Dry roast all the items for spice paste and grind into a smooth paste.
2) Heat oil in a sauce pan and add all the items for tempering and then add the finely chopped onions and sauté until they are translucent.
3) Add the ginger garlic paste and green chili and sauté for 2 Min's and then add the tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are well cooked. Add the cleaned and cut chicken and sauté it for a min and then add the ground masala paste.
4) Add 2 cups water and let it cook for 30 to 40 Min's on medium flame until the chicken is well cooked.
5) Add the coconut milk, if you are using and let it cook for 2-3 Min's.
6) Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and serve with Biryani, Parotta or Dosa.

Note: * You can use chili powder(1 tbsp), coriander powder(1 tbsp), Cumin Powder(1 tsp), Fennel Powder(1 tsp) and pepper powder(1 tsp) instead of the whole spices.
** You can use cashewnuts instead of peanuts.
Usually salna is watery in consistency and not made as a thick gravy.

On request from vegetarian friends, wanted to update some vegetarian alternates.
# You can fry Brinjal and add it to the gravy instead of chicken or just leave the chicken and the gravy would taste good enough.
# You can add boiled egg cut into half/quarters, into the gravy 5 min's before it is done.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Onion Raitha

Amma's Thayir Pachadi

The Thayir Pachadi, a classic dish made by my mother, a very tasty one and my favorite Raitha, which can be served with various rice dishes. I do not like the smell of raw onions therefore prefer this fried onion Raitha.

Ingredients: Quantity
Beaten Yogurt 1 cup
Small sized Onion 1 nos
Ginger grated 1/2 tsp
Green Chili Chopped 1 nos
Coriander Leaves Chopped 2-3 strands
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 1 strand
Oil 2 tsp
Sour Cream (Optional) 1 tbsp
Salt To taste

1) Heat oil in a small fry pan add mustard and curry leaves, once the mustard splutters add the green chilies, grated ginger, chopped coriander and chopped onion. Fry until the onion caramelizes.
2) Add this to the yogurt and add the sour cream if you are using it.
3) If the yogurt is too sour, then add a little milk. Add salt just before serving.
4) This can be served with Pulao's, Biryani, Tomato Rice or other Rice varieties.

Note: For a traditional Biryani Raitha do not fry the onions along with the other stuff. Just add them raw at step 2 along with the tempering.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fish in Red Curry

Fish in Thai Red Curry Sauce

Very tasty Thai red curry sauce which can be used as a base to cook several dishes. The dish is slightly modified using the ingredients available in the local market.

Ingredients: Quantity
White Fish 1 lb
Large Onion 1 nos
Thai Red Curry Paste 3-4 tbsp
Coconut Milk 1 cup
Green Chili 1 nos
Fish Sauce/Soy Sauce 1 tsp
Brown/Palm Sugar 1 tsp
Kaffir Lime Leaves/Lemon Rind 1-2 nos/1 tsp
Oil* 2-3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Cayenne Pepper Powder(Optional) 1/4 tsp
Salt To taste
Dried Basil 1/2 tsp
Fresh Basil 5-6 leaves
Chopped Parsley To Garnish

1) Clean and cut fish into large cubes and marinate fish with salt and turmeric powder for few Min's.
2) Heat oil in a fry pan and fry a 2-3 Min's on each side and set aside.
3) Heat oil in a large sauté pan and sauté the onions for 1-2 Min's and then add the red curry paste sauté for few Min's until the raw smell disappears.
4) Add the lemon rind/lime leaves, green chili, fish sauce, sugar, Cayenne pepper powder and the coconut milk, water/stock and simmer for 8-10 Min's.
5) Add the fried fish to the curry and let it cook for another 10 Min's.
6) Add the dried basil, and then garnish with fresh basil and chopped parsley.
7) Serve hot with steamed rice or flavored rice.

Note:* Usually peanut oil is used for this dish. You can use olive oil or canola oil or vegetable oil.
You can also add vegetables like carrot, zucchini, mushroom to this curry.
You can replace fish with chicken or vegetables or shrimp.
You can make you own red curry paste using the recipe Red Curry Paste or use a readymade paste.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Red Curry Paste

Indo-Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai red curry paste is a basic condiment in Thai cooking. I have left out few ingredients that are not easily available in our local markets and substituted a few with similar ingredients. Check out the notes for the original ingredients.

Ingredients: Quantity
Small Shallots 4 nos
Dried Red Chillies 4-5 nos
Coriander Powder 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Black Peppercorns 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder* 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon Rind* 1/2 tbsp
Ginger Grated* 1 tbsp
Garlic Chopped 5-6 nos
Soy Sauce/Fish Sauce/Tamarind paste* 2 tsp
Chopped Coriander 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp

1) De seed and soak the red chili in water for 10 Min's.
2) Strain the water and add rest of the ingredients to the soaked red chili and blend it into a fine paste.
3) This paste can be stored in refrigerator for a couple of days and can be used with various gravy dishes.

Note:* To make the authentic Thai red curry, replace few of the above ingredients with their original ingredient based on the availability.

Original Ingredient Replaced Ingredient
Paprika Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
Lemon Grass Lemon Rind
Galangal Ginger
Shrimp Paste Soy Sauce/Fish Sauce/Tamarind Paste
(Use little less in quantity,
since this will lighten the Red color of the paste.)

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks

Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Sour Cream Dipping Sauce

Ingredients: Quantity
Chicken Drumsticks 4 nos
Tandoori Chicken Masala Powder* 2 tbsp
Onion Powder 1/4 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Crushed Dried Fenugreek leaves 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
Thick Yogurt 1/4 cup
Salt To taste
Sour Cream Dipping Sauce:
Sour Cream 1/4 cup
Heavy Cream 2 tbsp
Paprika 1/4 tsp
White Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Crushed Dry mint 1 tbsp
Crushed Dry Parsley 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Salt To taste

1) Clean and marinate the chicken with all the other ingredients for 2-3 hours or overnight.
2) Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line a roasting pan with foil and spread oil.
3) Place the chicken drumsticks in the pan and roast them for 25 mins and turn them onto the other side and roast for 20-25 mins.
4) Remove the excess water from the roasting pan during the last 10-15 mins.
5) Mix all the ingredients for dipping sauce and serve with the tandoori drumsticks.

Note:* You can use ready made tandoori chicken masala powder or make your own using the recipe Tandoori Chicken Masala Powder