Nandhu Chettinad Kuzhambu / Crab Chettinad / Nandu Curry

Crab Chettinad:(Chettinad Style)

Crab Masala. Crab Curry. Crab in Hot and Spicy Gravy. Nandu Masala. Kekra Masala.

This is my Dad's favorite recipe. He used to take me to all the chettinad restaurants in Chennai. I enjoyed encountering the hot chettinad food for the first time. Though most of them think its hot and spicy....I bet, one will forget after tasting it. The spices used here in the restaurants are super strong, but its sort of right blend. However this is not authentic chettinad tho'...the original chettinad food is devoid of spicy food / non-veg!!! The one which we enjoy in Chennai restaurnats are all 'fusion food' between chettinad and Mughal:) Is'nt that exciting. One should probably try this cuisine style sometime in their life. I actually had hard time in guessing the ingredients....you know. Few are really hard for me to predict. My Dad helped me out in cooking this recipe for the first time.


Crab 1/2 kg cleaned and washed....if needed made into halves
Sesame oil 1 cup
Turmeric 1/2 spoon

To be fried with little oil and made into paste:

Sesame oil 4-5 spoons
Onion 1 chopped
Garlic 5-6 cloves
Ginger 3-4 inches chopped

To be roasted each separately and powdered:

Whole black peppercorns 1-2 spoon
Dry red chillies 3-4
Cinnamon sticks 2-3
Cloves 3
Cumin seeds 1-2 spoons
Poppy seeds/cas cas 1-2 spoons
Dhaniya/coriander seeds 1 cup
Fresh coconut 4" size - chopped and slightly toasted- then made into paste.

For garnishing:

Fry crisply curry leaves in hot oil and set them aside. Maybe a large bowl full.


1. In a wide pan add oil and crab. Add salt plus turmeric powder and enough water to cook the crab. Maintain the flame in medium to high flame during this process. Cover the pan while cooking.

2. Once the crab is 3/4 cooked and at the same time all water gets evaporated......add the paste of onions, garlic, ginger and tomato now.

3. Cook them uncovered. Constantly keep stirring.....to make sure of the paste gets well absorbed to the crab at all its sides.

4. Once the raw smell of the paste is gone......add the powders of cinnamon, cloves, cumins, poppy seeds, dhaniya, pepper, dry chili and dry coconut.

5. Now stir fry them....till the raw smell of the powder is gone and oil shows up on top.

6. Garnish them with crisply fried curry leaves.

Serve with along with plain rice, idly, dosa or aapam.


Meen Kuzhambu:(Tamizhar Style)

Fish Curry, 'Chapalu Pulsu' in Telugu or 'Machili Curry' in Hindi....eventually 'Meen Kuzhambu' in Tamil.


Fish 1/2 kg washed and cleaned(scaled & fins trimmed)
Onions 2 large size finely chopped
Tomato 2 finely chopped
Garlic 2 peeled and crushed
Thick Tamarind paste 1 spoon
Curry leaves 3-4 twigs
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Chenna dal 1/2 spoon
Urad dal 1/2 spoon
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 spoon
Dry red chillies 3-5 slitted
Black pepper 1/2 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Jaggery 1/2 spoon
Rice Flour 1 spoon
Sesame oil 1-2 cup


1. In a wide pan add oil.

2. Once the oil comes to smoky hot.....add mustard, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, chenna dal, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, dry red chilli flakes and whole pepper.

3. Now add garlic and fry them for a while......followed by onions and tomato.

4. Add jaggery and rice powder.

5. Add salt, turmeric and chilli powder.

6. Add tamarind paste plus enough water to make curry.

7. Cook this curry with lid for minimum20-30 minutes......or until it comes to thick gravy and at the same time looses all its raw flavour. Usually until oil shows up on top.

8. Now remove the lid and add fish to it. Cook them without covering for 2-3 minutes.

9. Don't use lid even after cooking.

10. Serve this curry after 2-3 hours. Or after the fish gets well absorbed this curry.

Serve this curry along with plain rice, idly, dosa or aapam.


Coconut Birinji:

Coconut Pilaf. Coconut Biriyani. White Biriyani. Thenghai Saadham. Nariyal Ki Pulav.
Thengai Pulav.

Caprylic acid, present in coconuts...appear to play a key role in combating Candida albicans(Candidiasis). This fatty acid apparantly coats the gastro-intestinal walls and starves the yast cells. Caprylic acid is easily absorbed in the instestines.

Besides coconut is a natural lax(laxative). Treated for constipation in folks remedy!

This is my Grandma's recipe. She makes it really good than anybody else.She makes everything really simple but they taste very heavenly. Here this recipe is one of her blend.....it is served along with 'Pudhina Thuvaiyal' ....its nothing but 'Mint Paste' or 'Mint Chutney'. Its her unique combination.....makes the dish really wonderfull.


Thick coconut milk 2 cup
Basmati rice(any long grained rice) 1 cup
Mint leaves 1 cup
Green chilies 7-9 slitted
Garlic 1 cup
Onion chopped 1 cup
Ghee/butter/refined oil
Cinnamon sticks 2-4
Bay leaves 3
Cloves 3


1. In a pressure pan add ghee and wait till its smoky hot. Then add cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves.

2. To the above add green chillies, garlic pods, mint and chopped onions......fry till they loose their raw smell and onion turns to translucent color.

3. Once the oil shows up on top add rice and coconut milk....one can add salt now. Pressure cook till 2 whistles.

4. This mild Birinji can be served along with brinjal(eggplant) serva or with mint chutney and onion raita.

Chili Gobi (Cauliflower pakora):


Cauliflower florets 1 bowl
Egg white 1
Corn flour 4-6 spoons
Soy sauce 2 spoons
Ginger - garlic paste 1-2 spoons
Lime juice 1/2 cup
Red chili powder 1 spoon
Garam masala powder 1 spoon
Red color (optional)
Oil for frying


Cut cauliflower into large florets. Leave them in warm water for few minutes. Then remove the florets without water dripping from it.

Combine all the above said ingredients except cauliflower.

Rub this paste to cauliflower and set aside for 2 hours.

Now heat oil in a frying pan. Surface fry them in hot oil till crispy. Fry just few at a time. Repeat the same for remainig batch.

Leave them over kitchen tissues for a while.

Serve warm as a side dish or snack.

Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka:

Panir Tikka.

This is best vegetarian appetizers I ever had.


Cottage Cheese 100 grams
Ginger-garlic paste 1/2 spoon
Chili powder
Garam masala powder
Lemon juice
Vegetables as your choice.


Hang the yoguts for couple of minutes and throw away the whey.

Now mariante all the above together (except veggies).

Thread them to the skewer. Grill them to you perfection.

Hot and Spicy French Toast:


White bread/ Whole wheat bread 4 slices.
Milk 1/2 cup
Eggs 4 well beaten along with salt
Curry leaves 1 twig finely chopped
Spring onion leaves alone 1 twig finely chopped
Green chillies 1 finely chopped
Coriander leaves 1-2 twigs leaves alone
ginger - garlic paste 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1/4 spoon (optional)
Garam masala powder 1/4 spoon (optional).
Butter for smearing the skillet


1. Mix everything in a bowl except bread.

2. Dip each bread for few seconds and place on a hot skillet.

3. Toast them till golden brown.

4. Serve them hot with cheese and french fries.

Dahi Vada:

Thayir Vadai. Thayir Vada.

For Vada:

Urad dal 1 cup
Moong dal 1/2 cup
Raw rice 1-2 spoons
Green chillies 2-3 finely chopped
Cumin seeds 1-2 spoons
Oil for frying.


1. Soak all the above except oil, cumin and green chillies in water for 1 hour.

2. Grind it with adding very less water. So that the batter is thick enough.

3. Now add green chillies and cumin seeds.

4. Fry them in hot oil and place in a blotting paper to remove the oil from it. Repeat 2-3 times on a blotting paper.

5. Then soak these vadas in a warm water for another 1-2 minutes. Each time change the water to discard the oil in it.

6. After removing from warm water place it in a colander and squeeze off its excess water.

7. Repeat the process for all the vada.

For preparing curd/yogurd smoothie:

Milk 1-2 cup
Sour yogurd 3-4 cups.


1. In a blender mix milk and curd until the are smooth runny appearance.

2. Soak vadas in this yogurd now.

3. Wait till curd gets absorbed into vada and then refrigerate them.

For sprinkling and garnishing:

Cumin seeds roasted and powdered freshly
Chopped onions
Chopped coriander leaves
Grated carrot
Tamarind sauce
Mint smoothy

Ingredients for mint smoothy and Tamarind sauce:

Mint leaves 1 cup
Salt 1/2 spoon
Curd 1/2 cup


1. Blend them smooth in a mixer.

Tamarind paste 1 spoon (thick)
Brown sugar/Jaggery 2-3 spoons
Salt 1/2 spoon
Red chilli powder 1/2 spoon


1. Mix everything in a little water and bring it to boil but still runny consistency.


1. In a bowl place 2 chilled vadas and pour yogurt smoothy on top.

2. Then sprinkle with onion, carrot, coriander leaves.

3. Now sprinkle cumin powder.

4. Run a spoon full of tamarind sauce and mint smoothy.

Soya chunks Biriyani:

Meal maker Biriyani/Soya Chunks Biriyani.


Meal maker/soya chunks 1 bowl full
Small grained rice(seeraga samba) or long grained rice(basmathi)
Onion 1 chopped
Tomato 2-3 chopped
Mint/Pudina leaves 1 cup full
Ginger - garlic paste 2-3 spoons
Green chillies 6 slitted
Lime juice from 1 fruit
Clove 3
Cinnamon sticks 2
Cardamom 3
Star anise 1
Bay leaves 3
Chili powder 1 spoon
Marathi mokku 2-3
Ghee/butter/refined oil 1 cup


1. Soak soya chunks in warm water for 1 hour....or better boil soya chunks with little salt added to it. Boil for minimum 6-8 minutes. Then squeeze off the water held in a colander.

2. In a pressure cooker add oil/ghee and wait till its smoky hot.

3. Add the spices clove, cinnamon, cardamom, marathi mokku, star anise, bay leaves and fry for a while.

4. Later add green chilies and onion....fry till onion is translucent and lost its raw smell.

5. Now add ginger - garlic paste to the above and fry till it looses its raw smell.

6. Add tomato plus mint leaves and fry till it looses its water content and oil shows up on top.

7. Now add chilly powder, lime juice and soya chunks. Add water and rice with salt now.

8. Measure the water according to rice you use. For 1 cup of rice 1 and 1/2 cup of water. Salt this water and bring it to boil.

9. Cook till 2 whistle.

10. Serve them hot with onion or cucumber raita.


BBQ Chicken Wings:


Chicken wings 4
Ground black pepper 4 spoons
Lime juice 1 cup


1. Marinate chicken with all the above said ingredients for complete 4 hours.

2. Preheat oven before 10 minutes at 450 degree Celsius.

3. Place chicken on a shallow tray without any wrap.....if needed bit greased.

4. Roast it till its brown approximately 20 minutes.

5. Serve them hot with cheese bread, garlic bread.....etc.


Hush Puppies: (American starters)

Hash Browns and Hush Puppies are my all time breakfast favourite here. Although tasted it in quite a number of places...the best came from 'Cracker Barrel' a true Southern County Style Restaurant chain here. Both myself and AK like this place....I llik their interiors.....see its a chain of restaurant....they have same kind of antique collection through out the places....wow! So....I asked my friend Vicky how to prepare one at home...so here is the recipe she shared with me! Hope you'll will enjoy it!:)


Corn meal 1 cup
Maida/all purpose flour 1/4 cup
Spring onions 2-4 very thinly chopped
Green bell pepper/Capsicum 1 very finely chopped
Onion 1 very finely chopped
Milk 250 ml
Oil for frying


1. Place the all (except oil and milk) in a wide tray and bake it in the oven for few minutes.

2. Mix them well using milk...until dropping consistency.

3. Drop them as balls and deep fry them in oil till golden brown.

4. It is served along with fish or prawn starters.
Sesame Chicken:


Chicken bone-in, skin-less small pieces
Sesame seeds polished (white) 1-2 spoons
Soy sauce 2 spoons
Ground black pepper 1 spoon
Ground cinnamon sticks 1/4 spoon
Ground cloves 1/4 spoon
Cayenne pepper/red chili powder 1 spoon
Lime juice 1/2 cup
Minced garlic 1-2 cloves
Minced ginger 1-2 inch sized
Oil for frying
Onions chopped into rings for garnishing
Coriander leaves chopped for garnishing


1. Mix all the above said ingredients except chicken.

2. Rub this mixture well into the chicken and set aside for 2 hours.

3. Pour oil in a deep pan and set it to medium to high flame.

4. Surface fry the chicken till golden brown.

5. Garnish them with onion rings and coriander leaves.
Baked Corn


Sweet less corn 2-4
Cayenne pepper/red chili powder 1 spoon
Lime juice 1/2 cup


1. Rub this all ingredients to the corn and set aside for 2 hours.

2. Wrap them in an aluminium foil.

3. Place it on an preheated oven for half an hour....set the oven at 450 degree Celsius.
Grilled Potatoes:


Large potatoes 4
Lime juice 1 cup
Ground black pepper 1 spoon
Paprika powder/cayenne pepper 1 spoon
Minced garlic 1 clove (optional)
Butter 4 cubes


1. Mix all the above said ingredients except potato and butter.

2. Make lot of incision all over the potato with fork or a sharp needle.

3. Rub this mixture well into the potato a set it aside for nearly 2-4 hours.

4. Now wrap them each separately in an aluminium foil along with a cube of butter in it.

5. Bake them in oven at 350 degree Celsius for 30 minutes.

6. Remove the foil and allow it to cool for awhile.

7. Place it on a well greased griller for another 10 minutes each side....set the oven at 350 degree.

8. Serve them hot with tomato or hot sauce.

Jerk Chicken or BBQ Chicken

Jerk Chicken:

BBQ Chicken, Home Made BBQ Chicken. Indian BBQ Chciken. Jerk??!! Chicken.

I don't know, how it got this name...but its kind of kool, right! I like to be called 'Jerk Chicken', he he. As per the thumb rule...one need to grill it!! But here, I baked and broiled...to get that charred effect, I went beyond the usual ingredients...hmm, Yes...used bit of 'brown sugar', it really worked...gave a nice little 'black spots' here and there!! Today I used cornish hen, just for a variation!!


Bone-in, skin-less chicken 1/2 kg either breast or thigh portion
Lime juice 1 cup
Vinegar 2-4 capful
Brown sugar 1/4 cups
Mint juice 1 cup/essence alone
Paprika powder/Cayenne pepper 1 spoon
Ground cinnamon powder1/4 spoon
Ground clove powder 1/4 spoon
Minced garlic 1 clove
Minced ginger 1 inch
Ground black pepper 1 spoon
Soy sauce 1 spoon (optional)
Butter few cubes


1. Make a deep incision on the chicken pieces....one can use a sharp fork to make wholes here and there.

2. Mix all the above said ingredients except chicken and butter.

3. Rub this mixture well into the chicken...marinate it nearly 2-4 hours.

4. Wrap each chicken separately along with a piece of butter in an aluminium foil...make sure of all parts covered well.

5. Bake this in preheated oven at 450 degree Celsius for about 45 minutes.

6. Now remove the foil carefully and allow it to cool.

7. Then place this chicken pieces on a griller and toast them at 350-450 degree for 10 minutes each side.

8. Serve them hot with mint chutney or tomato sauce will do.


Ellu Saadham - Priest Nandha Kumar's Recipe

Sesame Rice:

Til Rice/ Til Ka Chaawal/ Ellu Saadham.

This is one of my favourite rice, I learnt from my our family friend 'Natha Kumar'...he is a priest at 'Thiru Par Kadal - Shree Ranganathan Temple'. He is one of the amazing cook I ever met. Mommy learned many recipes, especially some authentic Iyengar recipes and Temple foods.

He feels free, to come home and assist my Mom. When I was studying in school, he used to pack my lunch box with this magic food 'Ellu Saadham'. I know, its a simple recipe...but my school friends loved it a lot. My whole lunch box will be 'Swaaha' in a minute. All my friends were crazy about this dish.

I don't know, its kind of traditional dish I suppose. Hindus like to prepare it on annual memorial day of their ancestors or to Sani Bhagawan (God of Saturn).


Choose any long grained rice(basmathi) or small grained rice (seeraga samba) -2 cups

To be roasted and powdered:
Black or Brown Sesame 1 cup
Chana dal 1 spoon
Urad dal 1 spoon
Dry red chilies 4-6

Roast the above said ingredients each separately. Powder them either together or separately. One can add little salt to this powder.

For seasoning:
Ghee or gingeli/sesame oil 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Chenna dal 1 spoon
Urad dal 1 spoon
Dry red chilies 6-8 numbers
Curry leaves
Whole black pepper 1 spoon
Sesame seeds 1 spoon
Cashew nuts 10-12 numbers

In a pan heat oil or ghee and add all the above ingredients until they pop and fried well.


1. Cook rice along with salt and a spoon full of oil. Make sure to get stiff and separated rice.

2. Mix the powder and seasoning items to rice and add little ghee once again.
Sesame Candy Balls:

Ellu Urandai


Sesame (black or polished)1 cup
Brown sugar/Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 spoon
Ghee 1/2 cup


1. Roast the sesame in a dry pan and set aside.

2. In a large pan add brown sugar, 1/2 cup of water and bring it to boil. Make it till its thick syrup.

3. Add the roasted sesame to this syrup and cook until all the water content evaporates.

4. Add ghee to it little and the cardamom powder.

5. Apply ghee to your hands and start making balls while it is still warm. Or one can just pour them in a flat plate....which is previously well smeared with ghee.


Chicken Pakora:

Chicken 65. Deep fried Spicy Chicken. Poricha Kozhi Varuval. Kozhi Porichadhu.


Bone less, skin less chicken 1/2 kg
Ginger 5-6 inch size - freshly grated
Garlic 4-5 cloves - made into paste
Black pepper - coarsely grounded
Chili powder 1 spoon
Egg white part
Lemon juice from 1-2 fruit
Salt to taste
Soya sauce 2-4 spoons
Cinnamon sticks 2-3 well powdered
Cloves 5 well powdered
Corn flour 4-6 spoons
Red color (optional)
Oil for frying
Garlic pieces 1 cup fried crisply
Curry leaves 1 cup fried crisply
Green chilies 6-8 chopped and fried crisply


1. Mix well all the above said ingredients except chicken.

2. Rub this paste to chicken and place it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Don't forget to close it with lid while refrigerated.

3. Bring the oil to boiling point and maintain it on the medium flame.

4. Fry well the chicken until it is reddish brown.

5. Garnish them with crisply fried curry leaves, green chilies and garlic

Vegetable Omlette:

This recipe was shared by my school days friend 'Meenakshi'! We had 3 Meenakshi-s in the class. So this is shared by Meenakshi from Katpadi. While I was in +2....she brings this unique omlette in her lunch box. She told me...she prepared this all by her own. Brilliant Idea! Thanks Meena!


Eggs 3-4 (well beaten)
Carrot 1 (finely grated)
Beans 50 gms (finely chopped)
Small onion 1 (finely chopped)
Green chilies 3-4 (finely chopped)
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to spray
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Oil to smear


1. In a large bowl mix all the above said ingredients except pepper, coriander and oil.

2. Place a skillet/tawa over medium flame.

3. When the tawa is hot enough smear a spoon full of oil and make an omlette over it.

4. One should close it with lid. Maintain the whole process in medium flame only. Once the vegetable are semi cooked turn over to other side.

5. Garnish them with coriander leaves and pepper.