Showing posts with label Malabar Cuisine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Malabar Cuisine. Show all posts

03 June 2012

Kallumakkaya Achar / Mussels Pickle - Celebrating 100th post

Can't believe I came so far. Yayyy it's my 100th post!! I know I have been slow to reach this milestone. But when I began my journey blogging, never thought I would come so far and be more and more passionate about food. My first thoughts were that I would use this blog like a recipe book to save my favorite recipes but later did I find out how much fun it is to get feedback, likes and best of all make so many new friends. All the while enjoying the cooking too.Thank you all for the support and for joining me in this journey.

To celebrate my 100th post I wanted a dish which is so much a speciality of Malabar region - the best pick was 'mussels pickle'. Mussels pickle is an all time favorite. Once you taste it you will want more and more. One of my other favorite with mussels is the Kallumakkaya Upperi / Mussels dry and the Arikkadukka / Stuffed Mussels.


Fresh Mussels - 1 kg

Chilly Powder - 1tbsp + 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 +1/2 tsp (or as required)
Gingelly Oil - 200ml + 2 tbsp for frying kismis
Green Chilly - 20 g
Ginger - 40 g (1/4 cup slivered)
Garlic - 75g thinly sliced (1/2 cup tightly packed)
Curry Leaves - 12 leaves
Vinegar - 1 cup + 1/4 cup+2 tbsp to dip muslin cloth
Kismis - 3 tsp
Split mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Wash and clean the mussels.
Marinate it with chilly, turmeric and salt for half hour.
Transfer the marinated mussels to a skillet and let boil to dry up the water in it.
Heat oil, transfer the mussels into it and fry.
Using a slotted spoon strain the mussels and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen tissue.
In the same oil fry the ginger for 1/2 minute. Add in the garlic fry for 1/2 minute. Then add in the chilly. Fry for 10 secs. Switch off the flame. Add in the curry leaves.
Transfer the fried mixture along with the oil and the mussels into a vessel. Mix well.
In a mud pot mix 2 tbsp chilli powder with vinegar and bring to a boil. Let cool completely. Transfer it to the mussels mixture.
Heat 2 tbsp gingelly oil to fry kismis. Add it to the mussels mixture.
Add the split mustard seeds.
Check salt .Wrap a muslin cloth (dipped in vinegar and squeezed) around the vessel and leave it overnight.
Next day add 1/4 cup of vinegar and mix well. Transfer it to a bharani / air tight container.

Cooking Tips:

  1. Use small  fresh mussels.
  2. Reduce the amount of chilly if you like it less spicy.
  3. Fry the mussels till the oil stops bubbling. It should not be over cooked.
  4. Add salt with care as the mussels will have salt in it. A little extra can be added the next day.
  5. You can add thinly chopped dates too.
  6. Make sure that there is no moisture in the vessel / bharani you transfer the pickle.
  7. It can be used right away but better if you can keep it for a week and then use. The masala   blends in.

19 May 2012

Malabar Style Chicken Korma

The word 'Korma' seems to have originated from Mughlai Cuisine. It is a thick gravy dish. The flavour of the curry comes from the combination of spices, coriander, fennel seeds and yoghurt. It gives so much different flavour to the curry. And it is quite unlike the red curry we usually make - Chicken Roast or the brown coconut based curry - Varutharacha Chicken Curry. The thick creamy texture and taste goes so well with chapathi's or any rotis.


Chicken - 1/2 kg

Cloves/ Grambu - 6
Cardamom/ Elakka - 4
Cinnamon / Patta - 2" piece

Onion - 3 (big)
Ginger - 1 1/2 " piece
Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

Scraped Coconut - 1 1/2 cup (loosely packed)
Fennel Seeds/Perumjeerakam - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds /Khus - Khus - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 6 (or upto 9 if you like it spicy) *see note 1

Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Chilly Powder - 1 1/2 tsp

Tomato - 3 medium
Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup*see note 2

Salt - to taste
Refined Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup (loosely packed)

Clean and chop the chicken into small pieces.
Chop the onions into thin slices. Ginger finely chopped.
Chop the tomatoes into medium size pieces and keep aside.
Wash and filter the khus khus.
Make a coarse paste of the coconut, fennel seeds, khus- khus and green chilly.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the spices - cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
Tip in the onions and saute till translucent. Add in the ginger and garlic paste.
Add the dry masala powders. If required add 1 tsp oil at this stage as it may get too dry. *see note 3
When the raw smell of the masalas are gone add the chicken.
Mix in the coconut paste, yoghurt, salt and tomatoes. Stir well on medium flame for 2 minutes.
Add the water. Check salt and close the cooker lid.
Cook on low flame for 3 whistles or until the chicken is cooked.
Open the lid, stir well and then season with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis.

Tips for cooking:
  1. It is a medium spicy dish. If you want it spicy you can add up to 9 chillies. You have to add at least 6 else it will turn out sweet due to the coconut and tomatoes.
  2. This is a semi thick gravy but if you like more gravy add up to 1 cup water. Remember that water comes out of the chicken, yoghurt and tomatoes as you cook.
  3. After you add the masalas, make sure you keep stirring else the masalas will stick to the bottom of the cooker.
Sending this post to the Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by The Cooking Doctor

10 June 2011

Kinnathappam / Malabar Style Rice Cake in an Uruli

It is yet another famous tradional dessert famous in the Malabar region. Kinnathappam is served on all major occasions like weddings, house warming, baby shower...the list goes on. 

Kinnathappam is a rice cake cooked in rich coconut milk, enriched with ghee, sweetened with jaggery and spiced up with cardamom. The texture is very soft and the color is deep brown.

'Kinnam' refers to the vessel or plate in which it is transferred to and 'Appam' is the rice cake.

I have always seen people buying it from bakeries and wondered how this soft and tasty appam is prepared and decided to find the traditional way of preparing it. The first reaction I got from all was ''ohh..that is very time consuming and takes a lot of heavy stirring.'' But I was still for it to learn a very authentic dish. Finally I got the recipe and here it is for my dear readers.

Coming to the preparation part it is very tedious but the end result just makes us forget the time taken to prepare this yummy rice cake. It requires a minimum of 3 people just to stir. And since it requires lot of  effort it is usually prepared in bulk. Home prepared kinnthappams stay longer compared to the ones at bakeries. Here are the step by step preparation of Kinnathappam. Enjoy!!

Raw Rice
1 kg
¾  kg light + ¾ kg dark
Chana Dal (Kadala Paripu)
¼ kg
5 large
2 tbsp + 1 cup
7 litre
3 tbsp


Melt jaggery by adding 200 ml water. Filter it in a sieve to remove impurities. Let it cool.

Cook Chana Dal  with one piece of Jaggery in a pressure cooker. Add water just enough so that it sinks and cook till 1 whistle (half cooked).

Grind the rice to a thin paste form.

Powder the cardamom along with 2 table spoon sugar and remove skin from the mixture.

Grate coconut and sqeeze to remove the first milk(Onnam Paal). Keep aside.

Add 200 ml warm water to the coconut and squeeze to remove the second milk (Randam Paal) and third milk (moonam paal).

Keep a thick bottom vessel/ Uruli ready to start the cooking process.Mix the rice batter, second and third coconut milk, jaggery, remaining water and start stirring on high flame.

This has to be continuously stirred using a long steel spatula. It has to be steel or a heavy duty stirrer as the mixture will thicken as you stir and it will be difficult to stir otherwise.

When the mixture starts thickening (it will take about 2 hours) add the first milk and cardamom powder. Take a small portion and hold it b/w your thumb and index finger, press it and pull. A strand consistency is formed.

After about 15 minutes add ghee to the sides of the vessel. Add the chana dal and mix well.

Add sugar at this stage as per your taste/or you feel the sweetness is not enough.

This is the tradional kinnam. Keep the kinnam/vessel/ any other dish ready

 Keep scrapping off any mixture that sticks to the sides with a knife.

The mixture will start leaving the sides and start wobbling like a jelly and leaving the sides of the Uruli.

By this time keep the Kinnams /Brass vessels/ any dish ready with ghee smeared on it.

The right consistency is when you hold a small portion in between your thumb and index finger and roll, it forms a ball shape without sticking to your fingers.

Remove from fire and quickly transfer it to the vessels and flatten it so that it takes the form of the vessel.

Cool, invert it on a plate, cut and serve.