Posts Tagged ‘Coconut Milk’

Vegetable Biryani- Chettinad Style


2011
03.31

IMG_9199

Known to be the spiciest and the most aromatic cuisine of India, the Chettinad cuisine is one of my favorites. I’ve spent many glorious evenings in Chennai wiping away plates of Biryani and sucking on spicy succulent crab meat while my totally vegetarian best friend V, looked on with great amusing interest. I’m sure her smirk would disappear in a tick had she only known the great void (tragedy) her vegetarian life had conferred on her.

Anyway, coming back to serious cooking,  here’s a vegetarian version of the popular Chettinad biryani which is so flavorful that I’m sure even a die hard meat eater would easily go for a second helping :) .

Ingredients
1 lb veggies of your choice. (I used, cauliflower and broccoli florets, diced bell peppers and carrots, peas and  potatoes cut into long strip like fries)
3 cups basmati rice
1 large  or 2 medium sized red onions finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, diced in chunks 
2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
11/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp chopped mint 
5 cloves
4, 1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon
2 bruised whole cardamom
1/2 tsp red chili powder, alter this based on tolerable spice level
2 tsp paprika, for color
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder  
refined vegetable oil
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup curd
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste

Spices for Grinding

3 cloves
2,1/4 inch pieces of cinnamon
seeds from 1 cardamom
1 tsp of fennel seeds

Directions

  • Soak washed basmati rice with 4 cups of water and set aside for an hour. 
  • Dry roast the spices mentioned for grinding and grind to a semi coarse powder
  • Heat refined oil in a wide bottomed pan that can be fitted with a tight lid and doesn’t let steam escape and fry the veggies one at a time until almost cooked and set aside.
  • In the same pan add ghee and  add more oil if necessary,
  • When hot, add the whole cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and let them puff up.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté until deep brown (the onions should look fried).
  • When the oil comes clear, move the onions to the sides of the pan and add turmeric and the ground spices to the oil accumulated at the center of the pan and sauté for 30 secs.
  • Add remaining ginger-garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the diced tomatoes, chili powders and sauté until oil separates.
  • Reduce the flame to low and add the coconut milk, curd, lemon, salt, cilantro and mint and let it simmer.
  • Add 1 tbsp of ghee, salt and cook the rice until the water boils and the rice is only  3/4 done.
  • Drop in the fried veggies into the masala mixture mix well and flatten it at he bottom of the pan
  • Pour in the boiling rice into the pan making the rice form a layer on top of the masala and veggie mixture and has no direct contact to the bottom of the pan.
  • Close the pan tight shut and let it sit on the very low flame for 15 – 20 min or until the rice at the top is done.
  • Remove from the stove and mix in the rice and masala
  • Serve with raitha and mango pickles.
  • Navratan Korma


    2011
    03.25

    Navratan Korma, meaning a mixture of nine gems is a delicious vegetarian dish from the Mughlai cuisine. The nine gems indicate the nine veggies, fruits and nuts that go into the dish. Influenced by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal empire this is as grand and as rich as any vegetarian dish can get.

    IMG_9085

    Ingredients

    10 oz of paneer/cottage cheese
    1/2 cup cashew nuts 
    1 large onion chopped
    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/2 tsp white pepper powder
    1 tsp punjabi garam masala
    1 1″ piece of cinnamon
    2 bay leaves
    1 pod of bruised cardamom
    4 cloves
    3-4 cups mixed veggies(I used cubed potatoes, chopped French beans, diced carrots,green peas,cauliflower florets, diced bell pepper)
    1/4 cup pineapple chunks
    10-12 raisins
    2-3 tbsp heavy cream
    2-3 tbsp refined oil
    Salt to taste

    Directions

  • Cut the paneer into slabs (not cubes) and toast them on both sides in a non stick pan in 1 tbsp of oil. Make sure you don’t over do it. Both the sides should have just a slight hint of brown to bring out the nutty flavor of the paneer.
  • When all the slabs of paneer are toasted cut them up into small cubes, sprinkle a little salt and set aside.
  • Grind 1/4th cup of the cashews along with the onions.
  • Parboil with salt all the veggies individually (cooking time for each varies) and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add turmeric and cumin powder and sautéfor 30 secs.
  • Add the remaining cashew nuts and the whole spices.
  • When the spices puff up add the cashew onion paste and the ginger garlic paste and sauté until oil separates.
  • Add the garam masala and pepper powder.
  • .Add one cup of water and bring to boil.
  • Add the the veggies, paneer, raisins and pine apple and let it simmer until the veggies are cooked.
  • Garnish with heavy cream
  • Server hot with Indian breads
  • Mushrooms And Potatoes in Coconut Milk Gravy


    2010
    08.13

    IMG_7791

    This simple dish goes amazingly well with Indian breads. I’ve used Portobello mushrooms here. But, you can use any kind you like. The mushrooms and the potatoes so readily absorb the sweetness of the coconut milk that every bite of it leaves you wanting more. Though you can make this dish with just mushrooms I’ve added potatoes too, only because I wanted more volume and they being the most versatile of the veggies I knew would remain subtle and not over shadow the mushrooms in this dish.

    Ingredients

    1 lb Portobello mushrooms chopped into chunks
    3 red potatoes
    1 large onion finely chopped
    1tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    3 –4 green chilies chopped
    2 tomatoes chopped into chunks
    1 sprig of curry leaves
    1/2 tsp cinnamon-clove spice mix
    1/4 tsp turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup canned coconut milk
    1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
    2-3 shallots finely sliced
    1/2 tsp red chili powder
    1 tsp of lemon zest
    1 tsp black mustard seeds
    1 tsp coriander powder
    1 tbsp chopped cilantro

     Directions

  • Cook potatoes in a pressure cooker or boiling water.  Chop into big chunks and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Add cumin and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add green chilies and ginger-garlic paste until you get rid of the raw smell.
  • Add tomatoes, turmeric, black pepper, chili, coriander and cinnamon-clove spice mix and sauté until the oil separates.
  • Add the mushrooms and sauté until they are cooked.
  • Add the potatoes, salt  and mix it into the dish.
  • Reduce the flame, pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Heat a tsp oil in another pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and when they pop, throw in the curry leaves and the shallots and sauté until the shallots are fried.
  • Pour the mustard seasoning over the curry.
  • Garnish with lemon zest and cilantro.
  • Serve hot with hot Indian breads.
  • Motta Curry / Eggs in Coconut Gravy


    2010
    04.24

    IMG_7061

    This easy to make dish is a variation of my kerala chicken curry. I’ve simply replaced chicken with eggs here. This makes a great accompaniment for rotis or appams.

    Ingredients

    6 boiled eggs each cut into half
    1 medium sized onion, finely sliced
    2 -3 shallots finely sliced
    1/4 tsp kerala garam masala
    1/2 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp chili powder (base it on tolerable spice level)
    2 tbsp coconut Oil
    1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
    1/4 cup canned coconut milk ( use 1 cup thick coconut milk if you are making fresh from scratch)
    salt to taste
    one sprig Curry Leaves
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1/4 tsp whole black pepper corns

    Directions

  • Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in cooking pan, splutter 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, add cumin, pepper corns and onions and sauté till the onions are nicely caramelized. The onions have to attain a deep brown color.
  • Add ginger-garlic to the pan and continue sautéing until the oil separates.
  • Add turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala powders and salt and mix well for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water reduce heat and let it simmer covered for 10 – 15 mins,  stirring occasionally.
  • Add coconut milk, mix it thoroughly and let it remain on very low flame for a couple of minutes.
  • Finally, shallow fry shallots with 1 tbsp of coconut oil remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves and season the curry.
  • Serve with Appams or Indian breads.
  • Kerala Style -Meen Curry With Thengapal/Fish Curry With Coconut Milk


    2010
    02.14

     

    fish in coconut milk200

    Had one of those rare weekends when everything went as planned. A quiet Saturday with friends of the family, a flawless Sunday with a long afternoon nap, clean to-do list, and best of all, with Monday being a holiday, absolutely no dreadful Sunday-Evening-Jitters. Yes, I bask in the  luxury of weekends and all. But the torture I go through at dusk every Sunday,  at the thought of having to get back to work the next day, makes me sometimes wish they never happened. Silly me, I agree. I choose the monotony of a work week forever, over a roller coaster of work, fun,  and back to work again.

    Anyway, well rested and in high spirits on Monday evening I drove to the market, having decided to treat my DH with some well deserved home cooked meal. He did a fine job at making the weekend perfect for me. Among many other things, he’d gotten the  house  immaculately spic without me having to raise a finger (sigh! if only we had more valentines day weekends). So, when my fish monger showed off his wears of some the finest silver white Pomfrets that I hadn’t seen for a long time, I was glad my luck was still sticking around. And, like I always do when I see a good buy, I went amuck. So, if you are not a big fan of Pomfrets, I’d suggest you come back to this site in probably a year’s time, because the next gazillion posts are going to be Pomfret this, Pomfret that and Pomfret this and that too ;).

    By the time I was  done with the bulk Pomfret shopping, there wasn’t much time left to cook. So, I changed plans and decided to make this quick and easy fish curry in coconut milk, one of R’s favorite.  The recipe is similar to the Kerala Red Fish Curry , except that you thicken the gravy with rich coconut milk right at the very end. At my sister S’, insistence, if you haven’t already noticed, I managed to stick in a piece of kudampulli in the pictures too. She has me convinced that the pictures of fish curries in my previous posts looked incomplete without one of these jutting out like a sore thumb (*rolling eyes*). So, there S, I hope it meets your standards now :D!

    fish in coconut milk

    Ingredients

    1 lb fish cut into slices
    2 tsp red [amazon-product type=”text” text=”chili powder”]B000JMAXNS[/amazon-product](base it on tolerable  spice levels)
    1 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”paprika”]B000NO5CRY[/amazon-product](mainly for the red color) 
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]
    3 –4 shallots finely sliced (if you don’t have these you can use one med sized onion) 
    1 tsp grated ginger
    1tsp finely chopped garlic 
    2 kudampulli (camboge fruit rinds)
    (If you don’t have this you can use tamarind instead, but the taste won’t be authentic)
    1/4 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”fenugreek seeds powder”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product]
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/2 tsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product]
    2 –3 tbsp [amazon-product type=”text” text=”coconut oil”]B002DGNP10[/amazon-product]/any vegetable refined oil
    2- 3 oz of canned coconut milk ( canned coconut milk is much thicker and creamier than fresh coconut milk. If you are using fresh you might need about a cup in this recipe) salt to taste

    Directions

  • Soak kudampulli in a cup of hot salt water and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add [amazon-product type=”text” text=”black mustard seeds”]B001E6CFAW[/amazon-product], when they pop add in the curry leaves and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”powdered fenugreek”]B000JMBEGS[/amazon-product].
  • Add sliced shallot and sauté till golden brown.
  • Add crushed ginger and garlic and sauté till oil separates.
  • Mix together [amazon-product type=”text” text=”chili powder”]B000JMAXNS[/amazon-product], [amazon-product type=”text” text=”paprika”]B000NO5CRY[/amazon-product] and [amazon-product type=”text” text=”turmeric powder”]B000JMAXOC[/amazon-product]in a little warm water to make a smooth paste, add to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add soaked kudampulli along with the water and allow it to boil for a few minutes.
  • Add the fish pieces.
  • Close the lid and let it boil it again.
  • Once the water boils, reduce the flame and let it simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Add more water if necessary.
  • Add coconut milk and mix in gently. let it simmer for 5 minutes before putting off the flame.
  • Season again with a little oil, mustard and curry leaves if desired.
  • Serve with Rice or Kappa
  • Curry Chicken in Coconut Milk -Kerala Style


    2010
    01.02

    This mouth watering chicken curry drenched in coconut milk, seasoned with shallots, mustard and curry leaves is very unique to the character of Kerala. More specifically, Kottayam. Though so distinct to this region, this curry goes well with possibly anything you can think of – rice, rotis, naans, bread, dosas, idlis, paal appams, iddi appams an endless list. But, being from Kottayam, obviously I think it is best matched with kappa (tapioca). Come rain or shine, the malayalee in me is always ready for a bowl of kozhi curry and kappa.

    Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style

    Ingredients

    2 lb chicken skinned and cleaned
    1 large or 2 medium sized onions, finely sliced
    4 -5 shallots finely sliced
    1/2 tsp kerala garam masala
    1 tsp coriander powder
    2 tsp chili powder (base it on tolerable spice level)
    4 tbsp coconut Oil
    1 tbsp diced garlic
    1 tbsp grated ginger
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    1/4 tsp roasted cumin powder
    1/2 cup canned coconut milk ( use 1 1/2 cup thick coconut milk if you are making fresh from scratch)
    salt to taste
    one sprig Curry Leaves
    1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
    1/4tsp whole black pepper corns
    2 tbsp lemon juice

    Curry Chicken in Coconut milk - Kerala Style

    Directions

  • Marinate skinned and cut chicken pieces with 2 tbsp of lemon juice, salt and 1/4 tsp of turmeric and refrigerate for an hour or two
  • Heat 1 tbsp of coconut oil in cooking pan, splutter 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, add cumin, pepper corns and onions and sauté till the onions are nicely caramelized. The onions have to attain a deep brown color.
  • Crush ginger and garlic, add to the pan and continue sautéing until the oil separates.
  • Add the marinated chicken pieces, turmeric, chili, coriander, garam masala powders and salt and mix well for 4 – 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water reduce heat and let it simmer covered for 20 – 25 mins or until the chicken gets tender and cooked, stirring occasionally.
  • When the chicken is well done, add coconut milk, mix it thoroughly and let it remain on very low flame for a minute or two.
  • Finally, shallow fry shallots with 3 tbsp of coconut oil remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves and season the curry.
  • Serve with white rice or Indian breads.