Oct 21, 2008

Focus Kerala!

Our current focus is on Kerala cuisine.... Kerala is in the southern part of India and besides its breathtaking natural beauty it is known for the many spices it produces!
As with many aspects of kerala culture, the cuisine has been influenced by numerous traditions. It is a creative combination of vegetables, meats and seafood flavoured with a variety of spices and almost always cooked in coconut milk. Spices are used in Kerala to tone up the system the way wines aid the digestion of western cuisine.
Infact most Keralites could come up with remedies for common illnesses right off the kitchen shelf! Try asking a 'malayali'...

Above is a picture of a 'Sadya' - a traditional Keralite vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf; consisting of about 20 items including rice, curries, popadum, yoghurt, banana chips, and a few sweet dishes. Your local Keralite restaurant may perhaps serve a 'sadya' on the 'Onam' harvest festival which for 2009 falls on Sep.02.

Jokes :
If you constantly refer to banana as 'benana' or pizza as 'pissa' you know you're a Malayali..
If you use coconut oil instead of refined vegetable oil and can't figure out why people in your family have congenital heart problems, you might be
a Malayali.
If your idea of hot cuisine is kappa and meen curry, then, yes, you are a Malayali.. (kappa-tapioca, meen-fish)

If you have beef puttu for breakfast, beef olathu for lunch, and beef curry with 'porotta for dinner, yeah, definitely Malalyali.
All meant in fun, don't get all 'SIMBLY AGITATED'


Aviyal (Avial)

vegetables 2 cups (cubed and boiled)
[beans, carrots, potatoes, drumsticks, raw bananas]
cumin seeds 2 tsp
coconut 3 tbsp (shredded)
green chillies 4-5
buttermilk 3/4 packet
turmeric 1/4 tsp
coconut oil 3 tsp (seasoning)
coriander leaves 1 tbsp (chopped finely)
Salt as per taste


  • Roast in a little oil cumin seeds, coconut, green chillies (separatly) and blend to a smooth paste.
  • Add the salt, turmeric and the coconut paste to the buttermilk.

  • Add the boiled vegetables.

  • Heat on a vey low flame till the buttermilk mixture reaches a thick texture.

  • Keep stirring continously.

  • Now add the chopped coriander leaves.

  • Season with mustard, curry leaves, hing , cumin and red chillies in hot coconut oil.

  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

(Thee - fire in malayalam)

shallots or pearl onions 1 cup
large onions 2
grated coconut 1 cup
coriander seeds 1 tsp
garlic cloves 2
methi seeds 1 tsp
tamarind extract 1 tbsp
chili powder 1 tbsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
oil 2 tsp
curry leaves few
Salt as per taste


  • Peel and chop the large onions finely.

  • Heat one teaspoon of the oil in a frying pan and add 1/2 cup of the chopped onions.

  • Saute well and when browned, add the curry leaves, coriander seeds and methi seeds.

  • Stir for a few more minutes and remove and keep aside.

  • On a low heat, dry roast the coconut till light brown.

  • When cool, blend the coconut with the onion mixture adding a half cup of water.

  • Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds.

  • When they pop, add the curry leaves and remaining onions and shallots and stir till browned.

  • Add the tamarind extract and 1/2 cup water and salt.

  • When it starts to simmer, add the blended paste and cook on a low fire for 20 - 30 minutes.
    Serve hot with steamed rice.

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(Thoran - usually finely chopped vegetable preparations with coconut)

Cabbage 1 (small and chopped)
Carrot 3 Nos (Peeled and grated)
Large Onion 2 Nos (Chopped)
Grated Coconut 2 cups
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Jeera Powder 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves few
Long grain rice 2 tsp
Oil 5 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 tsp Salt as per taste


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan.

  • Add the rice. When it turns to light brown, add the chopped onion and saute for 3 minutes.

  • Add the grated carrot, Stir for 2 minutes and then add the cabbage, chilli, turmeric, jeera and salt.

  • Add the grated coconut and place a a lid over it and cook for 2 minute.

  • Remove the lid and add the lemon juice.

  • Stir it occasionally and let it become dry. Add the curry leaves on top.

  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Chicken Masala
Kerala Malabar Style

chicken 1 (cut in medium sized pieces)
coriander leaves 1 (whole bunch chopped)
onions 4 (sliced)
garlic 6 cloves (sliced)
ginger 1 1/2 inch (finely chopped)
lime 1/2
coconut 1 (freshly grated)
oil as required
Salt as per taste
Grind together to a smooth paste
red chillies 12
poppy seeds 1 1/2 tbsp
coriander seeds 2 tbsp
cumin seeds 1/2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
garam masala 1 tbsp
cashew nuts 1 tsp


  • Soak the grated coconut in 1/4 cup of hot water and extract the thick coconut milk.

  • Then add additional glass of hot water and extract the thin milk (2nd milk).

  • Add 1/2 cup of hot water and extract the last diluted milk. (Grind and extract)

  • Heat oil and fry the onions ginger, garlic till brown.

  • Add the ground masala and fry for few minutes, now add the coriander leaves.

  • Now put the chicken pieces and fry, cook over a low flame till the chicken is well browned, add the last milk and cook. keep adding the 2nd milk simmer for a while. As chicken cooks fast be careful while adding the coconut milk, if you find the water is more in the curry don't add any more of coconut milk, and keep the lid open and evaporate the water

  • After the chicken is cooked, remove from fire. Let there be enough gravy.

  • Finally add lime juice and the first extracted coconut milk.
    Never boil after the thick coconut milk is added

Tastes great with appams!

Chicken Stew

Chicken 1/2 kg / or 1 pound
Potato 1 cubed
Onions 3 finely chopped
Green chillies 3 or as reqd slit open length-wise
Garlic(cut into thin pieces) 1 tbsp
Ginger(cut into thin pieces) 1 tbsp
Coconut Milk 1 1/2 cups
Cinnamon 4 small pieces(crushed)
Cardamom 4 pods crushed
Cloves 4
Curry leaves 3 stems
Oil 4 tsp
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Salt As reqd


  • Cook the cut pieces of chicken with vinegar, potatoes, salt and a little water in a pressure cooker, upto 1 whistle.

  • Heat oil in a pan Sauté onions, green chillies, garlic and ginger in this order.

  • Add crushed cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom and sauté, till onions turn brown.

  • Sauté, till the fresh smell of masala leaves.

  • Add the above mixture to the cooked chicken Cover and bring everything to a boil.

  • Add Coconut milk to the cooked chicken on a slow flame Add curry leaves

  • Allow the contents to boil and stir it often.

  • Turn off the flame immediately after it boils Check for the salt

Also tastes great with appams...

Fish Molly - fish curry in coconut milk

Pomphret or any fish 2 lbs
Tomato 2 nos
Whole chilli (red) 9 nos
Onion 1 big
Garlic 5 cloves
Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
Green chilly 5 nos
Coconut milk 1 cup
Lemon juice for taste
Curry leaves 2 stems
Ginger 1" piece
Oil 2 tbp
Salt To taste

  • Clean the fish and cut into 1 inch pieces.

  • Crush the red chili with garlic and keep aside.

  • Slice the onion thinly.

  • Cut the green chilly lengthwise and Chop the ginger.

  • Put the oil in a cooking pan and sauté the onion and green chilies for five minutes.Then add the crushed pepper, garlic and ginger.

  • Fry for 3 minutes until the smell of chili comes out.

  • Add the coconut milk, turmeric powder and let it boil.

  • Then add the fish and salt.

  • Cook well and add the tomato pieces.

  • Cook for 5 minutes - add the lemon juice and curry leaves.

Injipuli (a kind of chutney preparation)
(Inji - ginger; puli - tamarind)

Ginger 1/2 kg
Oil 5 tbsp
Small onions 1/4 kg
Tamarind 3 lemon sized (soaked in water)
Jaggery As reqd (mixed with water)
Green chillies 4 nos
Coriander powder 3 tbsp
Chilly powder 1 to 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coconut 1/2 shell (cut into small pieces)
Curry leaves a few
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a pan

  • Fry the chopped ginger with a little salt, till it turns golden brown

  • Remove it from the oil and keep it aside once done

  • Heat up the remaining oil in the pan

  • Splutter mustard seeds

  • Add coconut pieces and fry them

  • Once it turns a little brown, add curry leaves and fry it

  • Add the chopped onions and green chillies and fry, till it turns brown

  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilly powder, till the raw smell is gone

  • Add the fried ginger and tamarind water

  • Lower the flame and allow it to boil

  • Add the jaggery juice and keep it for 5 mins

Serve as a chutney, with popadums, or with a traditional Indian meal

Thanks Ref :http://www.spiderkerala.com/kerala/recipes/

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A good mix of Kerala recipes

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Faizal's Walks in Guruvayoor said...

Dear all,
In this blog, the Malayali jokes mentioned show its poor standard of presentation. As Sardarjis, Malayalys also have a plenty of thoughtful wits.
Once 3 research scholars were asked to present a thesis on the nature of elephant habitat. Among the learned one was a German, next was a French and the third one was from Kerala, the most literate state of India. The Grman set about to a thick forest in Kerala an spent 2 years to study on the topic closely watching the elephants. The Fench went to British Imperial library and went through the big and thick books and lastly, after one year submitted his thesis. Lastly our Malayali collected first two theses through a peon in the university and prepared a comparative study on the works of both German and Frech and finally bagged his doctorate.

April 12, 2009 at 9:52 AM

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Indian food uses spices and herbs that not just give it its distinctive taste and flavor but are also great for your health. Turmeric has been linked to cancer-prevention, ginger for coughs and colds and so on... Spices supply calcium, iron, vitamin B/C, carotene and other antioxidants.

So enjoy Indian food while the ingredients help your system!
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