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Kerala Banana Chips - Onam Special Recipe

>> August 25, 2015

I don't know whether a Malayali really requires a recipe for Banana Chips. It is like drinking milk or eating biscuit at a very young age and it is an inseparable part of the Onasadya. By the time the infinite number of curries are served to everyone, if you can munch on these chips and the sharkaravaratti as an appetizer.  Though we lived in Tamilnadu when we were young there were specific bakeries that sell banana chips. Now that i live in Kerala, it may sound crazy to make these chips at home. Because you can see these chips being made in every other corner shop in bulk quantities...and all you have to do is just go grab few packets....yeah...one pack is never enough.....

Since the season is also on, the quality conscious Malayali is a bit concerned about the oil being used and the health issues that can come with it....we cannot even buy coconut oil because many brands were banned a few weeks ago...so i took the safe bet and fried this in vegetable oil....


Raw Banana (Kerala variety called Ethakka)  - as much as you want (I used 1 kg organic raw banana- 10 numbers - it was smaller than the usual ones available in the market)

Salt solution - Mix 10 tsp water with 2 tsp salt (Check the first batch of chips and adjust salt)

Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil to fry


Place a wide pan with water enough to immerse the peeled fruit. Add salt and turmeric to it to removed the starch.

It is tricky to peel a raw banana. Run a knife on the banana lengthwise without touching the fruit. Repeat the same on the other side of the banana. Gently start peeling with your hands or knife. Place the peeled banana in the pan filled with salted water. Let the peeled banana stand in water for an hours. Then rinse it in running water and pat dry with a tea towel...it will not blacken.

Heat oil it a pan. What you see in this frying pan is 2 sliced bananas.

Use a slicer or a heavy knife and chop 2 bananas at a time. Add to the hot oil and keep stirring with a bamboo skewer or a knife to ensure the chips doesn't stick together. When the aggressive bubbling of the oil stops, turn to medium flame and add 2 tsp salt solution and keep stirring. At this stage stay a little away from the frying pan. When you hear a rustling sound or a hollow sound while gently tapping the chips, it is done. Use a slotted spoon and drain from oil. You can either place it in a paper towel or any other pan. Once cooled store it in an air tight container and don't forget to hide it....otherwise it will be gone in no time... :-)


Prawn Fry - Kochi style

>> August 22, 2015

Kochi style sea food preparation has not received much acclaim in the blog circle i believe...i have not seen much mention. However, the long coast and the backwaters of Kochi has its own simple and tasty preparation without many ingredients to go into it. Prawn fry is one such thing. Even now you can see some colleagues from Fort Kochi, Vypeen and Bolgatty bringing lunch with just rice and this spicy, yet mellow prawn....you don't need any other curry.

ingredients to boil the prawns

whole prawns - 250 gms
ginger - 1/2 inch piece
green chilly - 1 or 2 medium sized (slit)
turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
salt to taste

ingredients to stir fry

oil - 2 tbsp
small onions - 12 - 15
curry leaves - 1 sprig
chilly powder - 1 or 1 1/2 tbsp


Boil the prawns in a clay pot or a steel pan with the ingredients mentioned and 4 tbsp water in low flame. Stir in between to prevent the prawn from sticking to the pan. Turn off heat when prawns have changed to reddish white colour from pale white.

To stir fry, heat a heavy bottom pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, add chopped small onions (as in pic),  and let it turn translucent (don't brown it/ caramelize).

Turn to low heat and add the chilly powder and curry leaves and stir for 10 seconds. Add the boiled prawns and keep stirring till all the prawn is coated with the spice and the water is completely evaporated. Serve hot with rice.


Spicy Chilly Stand Up Kuzhalappam - Easy Recipe

>> March 06, 2015

Spicy Chilly Kuzhalappam is a slightly tweaked recipe with few strands of red chilly and a secret ingredient to make it reeaally crunchy. The snack is made to stand up to create a more impressive look....may be for a restaurant style snacking! Keep reading to know how....

ingredients for kuzhalappam

fine rice flour used for string hoppers (powedered and roasted) - 1 cup
boiling hot water - 1 cup
salt to taste or 1/4 tsp
sesame seeds - 2 tsp
grated coconut - 3 tbsp
small onion or shallots - 4
cumin - 1/6 tsp
dry red chilly (Kashmiri) - 5 (washed, deseeded and cut into thin strips)
Oil to fry
butter - 1 tsp

the method

Wash the sesame seeds twice and let it dry. Grind together coconut, shallots and cumin. Deseed the red chilly and cut it into thin strips as seen on the kuzhalappam in the image.

Measure 1 cup roasted rice flour into a bowl. Boil water with salt and pour it over the flour. Use a spoon to bring the flour and water together into a rough dough. Once the dough has cooled to medium heat, add the butter, sesame seeds, red chilly strips, ground coconut mix and knead it into a smooth dough. You can invert a steel plate and oil it to roll the dough. Pinch a good portion of dough and roll into a circle using an oiled rolling pin. Roll the circle onto the rolling pin to form a tube and then gently slide it out on the side. Now cut through the middle of the kuzhalappam to get 2 pieces. Deep fry in medium hot oil. Once it starts turning golden brown remove it from oil. Place the cut side down and the stand up kuzhalappam is ready to go. I did the rolling and frying simultaneously. You can do it the way you are comfortable with.


Royal Red Chilly Chicken Curry | a recipe adapted from Rajasthani 'Lal Maas'

>> July 23, 2014

This is a very easy recipe to make with the ultimate result being a succulent and delicious curry as you can see in the picture. The recipe uses whole spices and the heat from the spice is mellowed down by the addition of yoghurt / curd. The amount of heat in the curry can be adjusted to suit your taste by increasing or decreasing the amount of chilly powder while the quantity of other whole spices remain the same.

The dish is cooked with ghee and i did not use oil. It is good to pamper yourself with these traditional recipes and this would definitely make you feel lika a 'royal'. While cooking this chicken, the aroma was so exotic and i couldn't stop myself saying a wow. So, it is just to say that if you consume ghee once in a while it wont hurt or otherwise, indulge in this treat and you can merrily starve the next day ...he he he...


1 medium sized chicken - 1200 to 1400 gms, cut into desired size pieces 

whole spices

i am writing the list of spices in the order which it has to go into the ghee

bay leaf - 2 small leaf, torn into 2
black cardamom - 3
green cardamom - 5
cinnamon stick - 1 inch stick, 2 pieces
cloves - 6
fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
kashmiri red chilly - 20(split it into two lengthwise using scissors to remove seeds and dust & give a quick wash)

other ingredients

ghee - 2 to 3 tbsp
onion - 2 
garlic - 16 cloves
ginger - 1 inch piece
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
chilly powder - 2 tsp (add more after tasting the curry half way through the cooking)
curd - 300 ml
salt to taste

I have seen the addition of coriander leaves in this recipe in many tv shows and i have prepared this recipe with and without it. I prefer not to add coriander leaves.


Prawn & Chicken Paella - A great alternative to Biryani

>> May 31, 2014

Paella is a Spanish rice preparation home to Valencia. The original recipe includes chicken and rabbit meat and other goodies available in the region, such snails. This recipe has been customized to use locally available ingredients such as pork, chicken, fresh prawns and few other veggies. As regards the herbs, you can use either fresh rosemary or dried rosemary. Since Paella rice is not available in Kochi, i have used good quality raw rice. Please avoid using Basmati rice, because the aroma can sometimes remind you of biryani.


Fresh unpeeled prawns - 500 gms
Chicken Breast - 2 or 3 (the more the merrier), diced into small pieces as seen in the picture

Pork bits with fat, thinly sliced  - a handful (you can use bacon or pancetta)
Chilly powder or paprika - 2 tsp
White wine - 6 tbsp or Synthetic Vinegar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Carrots, diced - 2
Potato, diced - 1 small (optional)
Roughly chopped tomatoes - 2
Onion - 2 large, roughly chopped
Garlic - 15 small cloves (organic) or 10 plump cloves
Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil - 4 tbsp or more
Saffron - 1 generous pinch

Paella rice or raw rice - 4 cups (400 gms approximately)
Water - 8 cups

Salt to taste

ingredients to marinate the prawn and chicken

salt to taste
chilly powder - 2 tsp (if you want mild heat use paprika)

Vessel to be used - A wide pan (Uruli) or a Paella pan

Salt: Since the marinated meat and prawn has salt, add salt to the rice cautiously


Clean the prawns and marinate it with 3/4 tsp chilly powder and salt. Marinate the chicken pieces separately with the remaining chilly powder and salt.

Rice: If you are using Paella rice, you can add it directly to the preparations. I always like to wash and dry the rice for sometime. In case you are using raw rice, wash it 3 times and then put in a flat plate, to get rid of the moisture.

Heat oil in a pan and sear the chicken (in medium heat). When it is almost done remove it from oil. Make sure the chicken is coated with the marinade ( as seen in the picture). Similarly, fry the prawns , for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from oil. At this point, drain all the caramelised bits of chicken and prawns. Let only the oil remain in the pan. Add the thinly sliced pork and turn the heat to low. Allow the pork to cook slowly and release all the fat. Once the pork has caramelised, gently move it to the side of the pan and add the onion and garlic and saute it in medium heat. When the sides of the onion and garlic start browning move it to the side of the pan and add the carrots and potato. Saute it for a minute. Now bring all the ingredients to the centre of the pan and add the cleaned rice. Fry it gently along with the veggies and meat for about 2 minutes using a wooden spatula (Take care not to break the rice). Add the wine or vinegar and the red chilly powder or paprika and salt. Give a mix and then spread it across the pan. Pour half of the water (4 cup), alongside the side of the pan. Do not stir. Place the rosemary sprigs in 4 different directions: NSWE :).

When the rice has absorbed the water, add 4 more cups of the water in the same fashion.
Sprinkle the saffron strands. When the rice is almost done, add the fried prawn and chicken and give a gently mix. Taste it. The rice will be done in few more minutes.

Please note , the consistency of the rice is 'just to the right bite'. It will have one bite when you chew it, but it will be done with a little bit of moisture (as you see above in the pic). If you want a more soft consistency just cover the pan, after turning of the heat. But the rice will bloat a little bit, it wont be thin as you see in the image.

Get in touch with me for any doubts. 


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