>> 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.
>> April 11, 2014
I just started to write about this 'without coconut milk' recipe and remembered a viral post going around in Facebook about Mallus... today. There is a little bit of coconut story in that too; ......but i hate to use coconut because of all the process that includes scraping it , grinding it, and milking it :). So here is an easy parippu payasam recipe especially after you have done a lot of cooking to put a good sadya and don't wish to involve in another long process. The second best part of this coconutless recipe is that you can make it ahead and refrigerate it. This tastes good in a chilled form too. If you want to serve it warm, defrost it and reheat the payasam just before serving. No one can recognize that this is made of plain milk instead of coconut milk.
As an experiment i made this using a small quantity. I tried this twice to make sure it really works. You can multiply the measures given below to make a large quantity.
the following recipes serves 6, when served in tea cups
yellow moong dal or payasa parippu or paasi paruppu - 125 gms
jaggery / vellam / sharkara - 250 gms
regular milk (boiled) - 500 ml
powdered cardamom - 6 nos (skin removed)
ghee - 1 tbsp
cashew nuts and raisins - as much as you need.
Wash the dal / parippu 3 times and soak it in 300 ml hot water for about 20 minutes. Place the soaked dal in a pressure cooker and cook it for 4 whistle in medium flame. The dal is cooked in medium flame to make sure it softens completed and does not remain grainy. The number whistle differs with each pressure cooker. I used a Prestige pressure pan. You can cook the dal you do the normal but just follow the two steps of soaking it and cooking it in medium flame.
While the dal is cooking, place the jaggery in a pan with 3 to 4 tbsp water in low flame. If the jaggery is one whole lump don't worry. As the jaggery gets heated you can use a sharp knife and poke it. It will break into pieces. While the melting is going on, heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Drain it and reserve the remaining ghee. Meanwhile, strain the melted jaggery to remove any impurities.
Once the dal is cooked, use the back of a large spoon to mash it almost thoroughly. Place the pressure cooker in low flame and add the reserved ghee to the dal and stir it for about 2 minutes. Now add the melted jaggery and stir it till the dal and jaggery has combined thoroughly. Now check whether the dal has given way to a sweet concoction. It takes about 5 minutes.
Now add the milk and increase the heat to medium while stirring to make sure the dal mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan and does not form any lump. When the milk is thoroughly infused into the parippu payasam mix, add cardamom powder and the fried cashew nuts and raisins. Serve after 15 minutes. By this time the payasam will slightly thicken and the heat will reduce to a palatable temperature.
If you wish to serve the next day, follow the method given in the beginning of the post.
Here are some of the other easy to make payasam recipes in this blog
You might also like to make some Neyyappam for this Vishu
Click here for Vishu Sadya Recipes like Mixed Veg Theeyal, Pacha Manga Pachadi, Idichakka Thoran, Pavakka Pachadi, Olan, Pazham Pulissery, Erissery, Beetroot Pachadi, Pavakka Pachadi, Puli Inji, etc.
Have a nice time!
>> March 26, 2014
I was trying to test a new method of cooking with prawns. The recipe for this is the same as the recipe for a Fish Moilee . This tastes good with bread, idiyappam, palappam or even chappathi and Kerala parotta.
|Palappam / Velleppam|
|Rosemary & Garlic Bread|
|Kerala Wheat Parotta|
|Stuffed Vegetable Paratha|
>> March 07, 2014
This recipe is the outcome of a long wait and search to find some tender tamarind leaves. I couldn't find any tamarind leaves, so i made a chutney using tender curry leaves. In addition to the taste, this dish is also good for your hair. Eating plain curry leaf may not be very appetizing for many, but if you add some fish or prawns or even some paneer, it becomes exotic and inviting. Try to find curry leaves from your backyard so that you can find the tender ones.
25 sprigs of curry leaves
1/2 inch piece ginger
rock salt or common salt to taste
1 small tomato for the tangy taste or juice of 1/2 a lime
1 clove of garlic
4 tbsp grated coconut
bird chilly or kanthari mulaku - 5 or just use green chilly
small onion - 4 or half of an onion
20 - 25 small fish - anchiovies / kozhuva or white sardine / veloori (Marinate it with salt and chilly powder)
place all the ingredients other than fish in a mixer jar and grind it coarsely as seen in the image.
Use a banana leaf (softened in fire) or a silver foil.
If you are using a banana leaf, spread half of the chutney on the leaf and then place the fish evenly on it and then spread the remaining chutney on the fish. Wrap the leaf and place it in a wide pan or uruli and follow the steps in this Karimeen Pollichathu recipe. Need not use oil though.
If you are using a silver foil, place the foil in a baking tray and spread half of the chutney and place the fish evenly on it and then spread the remaining chutney. Wrap the foil and place the baking tray in a preheated oven at 200 C for 25 - minutes.
Serve hot with rice or just snack on it.