28.10.05

Prawn Rice - Mom's Favourite


Prawn Rice(Srilankan style)

Shrimp Rice. Roiyaalu Annam. Eral/Iral Saadham. Era Saadham. Kekda Biriyani/Chaawal.

This is my PostGrad classmate 'Anne Sundari's recipe! She is a SriLankan Tamil girl! She is a great cook herself. She used to cook for her own lunch box! Almost everyday she comes with a seafood in her lunch box! Myself and my other hostel classmates used to devour it in minutes! Oh my goodness and she never gets angry at all! She was the one who told me 'cooking is fun'! Hmmmmmm I never agreed with her back then!

Well....that particular day she had this shrimp rice in her box. Everyone were very skeptical to taste it....coz the shrimps were with whole shells actually. For the first time she was going round and round and asking everyone to taste it! No one was dare enough...like me! Ha ha....anyway it tasted great!As she had actually picked very small variety of shrimps/prawns for this recipe. And as she fried it over high heat. The shells had turned crispier! But never did I knew before that the shells are palatable! They also tasted good to me!

Anyways....I don't know what she called this recipe. I named it as 'Annie's Prawn Rice' for my convenience! Well...to have some signature to this recipe....I used samba rice and I also fried the rice for a brief time. Well....since I could not find that type of prawns all the time in market, I started using regular ones. And I use only the tail fins on ones.

Ingredients:

Small sized prawns with shell(optional) half kg
Garlic 50-100 gms crushed finely without adding water
Lemon juice half cup
Dry red chillies roasted and freshly grated
Tomato puree 3-4 teaspoons
Turmeric powder half spoon
Mustard half spoon
Cumin seeds half spoon
Curry leaves 3-5 twigs
Oil 1 cup
Cold cooked rice (short grained or long grained)

Method:

Any long grained rice cooked with salt and ghee without stickiness. Generally I use Seeraga Samba rice for this(back there-India). For 1 cup of rice 1 and 1/2 cup of water. A spoon full of salt and few spoons of ghee is added....to avoid the stickiness of rice. Spread the rice in a tray. Flip with fork....allow it to cool down. Now the rice will be stiff and well separated.

1. In a large bowl marinate washed prawns, salt, turmeric, chili flakes, lemon juice and set this aside.

2. Take a shallow frying pan and add oil. Now add mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves and fry for 2 minutes.

3. Then add garlic and fry it till golden-reddish brown.

4. Now add onions and fry till reddish brown.

5. Now add tomato puree to the above. Fry them till all water content evaporates and oil shows up in the top.

6. Now stir-in marinated prawns/shrimps and cook them without adding any water. Cover and cook over medium heat.

7. Once the prawn is cooked with its own water content...stir-fry them over high heat for another few minutes without lid.

8. When its almost dry and roasted add rice to it and mix it well without removing it from the stove...preferably in high flame...by spraying little oil.

9. Garnish them with fried curry leaves before serving.

Small prawns can be cooked without removing shells but by only removing little carapace and appendages.One can go for shell less prawn if it is too large. Retaining tail-shell alone is also okay.

Vegetable Stew(Kerala special)

I happend to taste this recipe at Taj, Kumarkoam (Kerela). The stew was so good to go with appam and iddyappam. Later I googled for this recipe and made at Home several times.

Ingredients:

Coconut milk 1 litre
Mixed vegetables chopped in cubes(cauliflower, potato, beans, carrot, peas, turnip, capsicum)
Onion finely chopped one cup
4 green chillies vertically slitted
3 inch ginger chopped
4 whole black pepper crushed
2-4 black pepper
4-6 cardamom pods crushed
Cinnamon stick 1
Cloves 2
Salt to taste
Preferably coconut oil 4-6 teaspoon.

Preparation:

1. Take a deep pan and add oil to it.

2. Once the oil comes to smoky boil turn it to sim and start adding spices...whole black pepper, cardomom, cinnamon, cloves.

3. Later add green chillies, ginger and onion...now wait until onion turns translusent.

4. Then add vegetables plus salt...cook them with little water and by covering with a lid.

5. When the vegetables are cooked add coconut milk and bring it to one boil.

This can be taken along with Dosa, Appam, Plain Rice, Chappathi, Poori.....etc.

24.10.05

Arcot Brinjal Serva


Brinjal Serva:(North Arcot Muslim Style)


Egg-Plant Serva. Kathirikkai Serva. Baingan ka Salan. Kathirikkai Ellu Kuzhambu.

Brinjal serva makes an excellent side dish for Nawabi biriyani/Arcot Biriyani. It tastes rich with this biriyani for sure! It may sound weird for some of you 'Brinjal/Eggplants with Biriyani!! But it is an unique dish found only at North Arcot belt! Where Nawabs were ruling for the small time!

The basic recipe is the same around Arcot, Vellore, Amboor/Ambur and Vaniyambadi...but the speciality comes from the powdered spices, with slight variation...the authentic spice blend promotes this regular curry to standard/trade mark dish!

Generally they use 'Vellore Mullu Kathirikkai' its nothing but a wild kind of Eggplant/Brinjal, which has deep violet color, very solid shiny and measures about a handfull. Its has thorns and pricky on its peduncle(stalk and umberlla)...its seeds are not obvious. It has definite flavour and taste. It wont disintegrate faster while cooking even if you prolong your cooking time.

Anyways...since its very hard find even a regular eggplant here...the whole idea of showing you all the picture of 'Mullu Kathirikkai' is moot! I made them with these short violet eggplants here, they turned up fairly okay. Let me share the recipe, then.

Use sesame oil and dark sesame seeds for rich and strong flavour. Try to cook whole Eggplant/brinjal with few slits( twice will be perfect) don't slit more, try to hold the shape.

Ingredients:

Vellore brinjal half kilo(make sure of all in equal size) - slit twice at the bulb end......do not actually cut them....maintain their shape. just trim the peduncle only.
Whole pepper half spoon
Mustard half spoon
Fenugreek seeds half spoon
Cumin seeds half spoon
Curry leaves 3 twigs
Gingili/sesame oil 1 cup
Green chilies 3 slitted
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Onion paste 1 cup
Tomato puree 2-3 cups
Tamarind paste thick just 1/2 spoon
Black sesame seeds roasted and powdered one cup
Salt
Turmeric powder
Red chili powder.

Preparation:

1. Make 2 slits in brinjal(eggplant)and set it aside in water....because brinjal turns dark when exposed. One can add little salt/lemon juice to the water to avoid the further coloration.

2. Now in a strong bottomed pan pour oil and add the spices one by one...
mustard, cumin, pepper, fenugreek seeds, green chilies and curry leaves.

3. Then add onion and ginger-garlic paste. Fry them till it looses its raw odour . Then followed tomato puree...fry until water content evaporates from them and oil shows up in the top.

4. Now add salt, turmeric, chilly powder and brinjal semi-cook them without adding water later by adding tamarind water. The whole process on low flame and preferably covered. Has the gravy bubbles a lot....it may spoil your stove top.

5. When brinjal is almost cooked add sesame powder and bring it to boil.

6. Garnish with few crisply fried curry leaves.

Iit makes exellent side dish for mughalai biryani...or can be served with any mild pulav.

Arcot Chicken Biriyani



Arcot Biryani(Mughalai style)

Arcot or North Arcot district belt of Tamil Nadu is known for its Biriyani. Well...Nawabs, small time Mughal ruler, governed this part. The outside Muslim influence and the local blend has improved this recipe. Strong south Indian chilies are the highlight here. Locally grown 'long duration paddy'...the short grain rice called 'seeraga samba' makes it outstanding!! One more speciality of this area served biriyani is, its always served with 'Kathirikai Serwa' (Eggplant Serwa/ Brinjal Serwa)! It may sound strange and weird...but people who have actually tasted it...will never yeild to any other side dish!!Here I actually attempted to give a short cut method for Biriyani. It is well known that, it is cooked with wide range of choices and methods.

Ingredients:

Cinnamon sticks 2-4
Cloves 5
Cardamom pods 5
Bay leaves 3
Biryani flower 2
Marathi mokku 3
Ghee 2 cup (clarified butter)
Green chillies 6-8 slitted
One big onion finely chopped
3-4 ripe tomato finely chopped
Mint leaves 1 cup
Lemon juice 2-4 spoon
Ginger-garlic paste 4-6 spoon
Coriander/cilandro leaves 4-6 twigs
Curd half cup
Rice 3 cups (Short grained rice - 'seeraga samba')
Chicken/turkey/mutton/beef/lamb 3 cup
Salt to taste
Red chili powder
Food color (optional).

Preparation:

Rub ginger-garlic paste with meat and add salt +lemon juice + curd and set it aside/in fridge.

Pour generously ghee in the pressure cooker and bring it to smoky hot...now add the spices one by one...cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, maratti mokku and birinji flower.

Then add green chillies, let them splutter well. Then add onions.....fry them real good until it turns to golden color.

Now followed by reserve ginger-garlic paste, fry them till it looses its raw odour. Then followed by cilandro/coriander leaves, mint leaves plus chopped tomatoes. Fryt hem till it looses its water content and oil shows up on top and sides.

Now start adding meat and fry them until the protein denatures(meat becomes pale and opaque) Reserve the marination liquid.

Start adding food color(optional)and add red chili power. Semi cook them without adding any water....(matbe can use marinade liquid now)until the raw smell of chili powder goes.

(in case of mutton,lamb,beef...cook them with plenty of water and when once they are cooked properly measure the same water according to the rice...2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice...so ensure of correct measure).

Now add water and bring it to boil followed by rice. Add enough salt again(salt for rice)Pressure cook them in Sim low-medium heat till one whistle (if you're in a hurry).or simply cook until rice is cooked 3/4.

Put them in dum for 20 minutes.

Can be served with onion raita, cucumber raita or brinjal serva/eggplant serva.

The same directions can be used for vegetables, mushroom and paneer biriyani.