Ginger Curry or Inji Curry in Malayalam is perhaps the tastiest of all curries in Kerala cuisine. According to legends, a good ginger curry is equivalent to 1000 curries. Vararuchi was a brahmin in ancient Kerala. He used to travel to distant places and during his trips he used to have food from the Brahmin families he visited in those places. One day he visited a house and was attracted to the daughter of the family. He however wanted to test her before he proposed his interest to marry her. So he asks her to prepare him food with 1000 curries.
The girl’s mother was baffled because she thought it was impossible to prepare 1000 curries in such a short time. However, the clever girl asked her not to worry and prepared Inji Curry. Vararuchi was very impressed with the meal that consisted of rice and just Ginger Curry. Since then Ginger Curry is said to be equivalent to 1000 curries.
If you are interested in preparing this legendary dish as it is prepared in my native Quilon (Kollam) district, then here is how you can do it.
- 100 gm of ginger (peeled and cut in small, thin pieces)
- 15 large shallots (peeled and cut in small, thin pieces)
- 6 green chillies (cut in small pieces)
- Tamarind of the size of a small Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
- 6 garlics (peeled and cut in small pieces)
- 15 curry leaves
- Asafoetida (1 cm diameter piece)
- Pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Put the tamarind in water and stir until it becomes a juice.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan and deep fry the ginger pieces until golden brown and set aside.
- Repeat the procedure with the shallots.
- Repeat the procedure with the 15 curry leaves and 6 garlics.
- Once all the fried items have cooled down, you have to mix them and grind them into a paste by adding a little water.
- Filter the oil that you have used for frying and use it again to fry a small piece of asafoetida. Once fried, you have to powder it.
- Heat the mustard in the same oil after you have taken out the asafoetida.
- Once the mustard starts popping reduce the flame and add 2 spoons of coriander powder and 1 spoon of red chilli powder to it. Immediately after that add the paste that you had prepared before. Make sure that there is no more than 2 seconds delay since the chilli powder may get burned out.
- Once you have stirred it well, add the tamarind juice along with salt and two pinches of fenugreek.
- Add powdered asafoetida and pepper to this.
This is the Kollam style ginger curry. Try it out and let me know how it tastes. This can be a side dish for both rice as well as drinks.
Lazzy Cook (http://lazzycook.blogspot.in)
You may call it Naadan or Country chilly chicken or whatever you want but it is one of the tastiest versions of Chilli Chicken I have ever had, thanks to a famous chef who described the dish to us and my parents whose exceptional culinary skills inspired me to learn cooking. This version is different in its preparation and the exquisite taste that it derives out of it. Without further ado, let me get on with the materials required.
- Chicken, cut in small pieces – 500 gm
- Green chilli, cut along its length – 8
- Ginger, cut in very small pieces – 2 table spoons
- Garlic, cut in small pieces – 2 table spoons
- Vattal Mulaku (Refer: Capsicum annuum), ground into paste after boiling in vinegar – half a cup
- Refined oil – half a cup
- Tomatoes, cut in small pieces – 1 cup
- Capsicum, cut in pices – half a cup
- Salt – to taste
- Onion – cut in cubical pieces – 1 cup
- Water – half a cup
- Shallow fry the chicken pieces after applying salt and red chilly powder
- On a hot pan, add half cup refined oil and saute the ginger and garlic along with onion and green chilli
- Add Vattal Mulaku paste and salt to this mixture along with the half cup water and stir for a couple of minutes
- Add the fried chicken and tomato and close the pan for 10 minutes
- Add the capsicum and turn off the flame.
The particular aspect of this chilli chicken preparation is that it does not use any artificial color. The red color of this dish comes from the paste that we prepare after boiling the Vattal Mulaku in vinegar and grinding it into a paste. Some people fry the chicken after chilling it from 2 to 24 hours. I don’t suggest that because even otherwise the dish is perfect. It is better to serve this chilly chicken dish with bread. You may try it exactly the same way as described here or make your own modifications. Let me know your feedback.
The Uzbek Plov also known as Pilaf or Osh is an exceptionally delicious style of biryani from Uzbekistan. Widely claimed to be Stalin’s favourite dish, this rice and mutton based recipe from Uzbekistan is easier to prepare compared to other conventional biryanis. It can be prepared as follows:
- Lamb Meat cut in squares (preferably of a fat lamb) – 0.5 to 1 kg
- 2 – 3 cup Basmati Rice (or Uzbek Rice)
- 3 – 4 big carrots cut in very small pieces
- 2 Onions cut in medium pieces
- 5 Green chilly cut in small pices
- Vegetable Oil
- 4 – 5 garlic with skin
- Salt – 2.5 teaspoon
- Black Pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
- Other spices if necessary (cinnamon, clove etc.) – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoon
- Coriander Leaves
This dish is to be prepared in good flame in the beginning and hence the vessel you use must have a thick bottom. This ensures that the meat doesn’t get charred.
- Wash the basmati rice and keep it soaked in lukewarm water before you start the preparation.
- Pour the vegetable oil in the main vessel and wait until it gets heated.
- Once the oil gets heated up, add the mutton pieces and fry them until they become light brown.
- Add the onion, carrot and green chilly to this and mix them until the the onion turns golden brown.
- Add salt, pepper powder and other spices that you have selected and continue to mix. You can reduce the flame at this stage.
- Spread the mixture evenly. Filter out the water and add the rice to this mixture. Make sure that the rice completely covers the mutton, carrot and onion mixture. You should stop mixing at this stage.
- Pour water to this without disturbing the rice distribution. The water should completely submerge the rice.
- Once the water starts boiling, close the the lid. Reduce the flame further.
- Wait for 10 minutes and check whether the water has been absorbed into the rice.
- Place the garlic pieces on top of the rice.
- If the rice hasn’t got cooked at this stage, create a small opening at the center of the mixture and add water there without disturbing the structure.
- Close the lid and wait for another 10 minutes.
- Repeat this process until the rice is cooked.
- Turn off the flame and keep the vessel undisturbed for 30 minutes.
You can add coriander leaves after 30 minutes and mix the dish well. When adding water the second time, be sparing in the quantity used because you should not overcook the rice.
Your Uzbek Plov is now ready. You can use Yougurt Kachumber as a side dish. What makes the taste so exquisite is the lamb fat. The mutton gets fried both in the vegetable oil and the fat that comes out of the meat. The first time I prepared this, it didn’t come right. So don’t be disheartened. Try again and you will be fine. The day I saw this recipe in the newspaper, things were a mess but I learned from my mistakes and so should you. This recipe has one extra ingredient, which is green chilly but trust me, it makes the dish amazing. Let me know your feedback!
Fish Fort Cochin or Fish Fort Kochi is a delicious recipe for people who love experimenting with fish curry. We heard about this dish two years ago when my dad met someone from Fort Kochi who detailed how to concoct this incredibly tasty curry. The original name of this dish is unknown but we started calling it Fish Fort Kochi. Here is how you can prepare it:
1. Fish, cut in medium sized pieces (any fleshy fish would do) – 1 kg
2. Peeled and crushed garlic – 1 handful (small hand)
3. Crushed Ginger – 1 (3 inches long)
4. Green Chilly – 10 (cut into small pieces)
5. Tomato – 1 (big, cut into small pieces)
6. Kudampuli (Gambooge) – 1 (big, cut into pieces)
7. Chilly powder – 4 teaspoons
8. Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
9. Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoons
10. Coconut oil – 3 tablespoons
11. Clay pot
1. Apply turmeric over the fish nicely and keep it aside
2. Heat the oil in the clay pot until it boils and add the ginger, garlic and green chilly and cook until golden brown
3. Add tomato to this mixture and stir for 5 minutes
4. Add chilly powder and coriander powder and stir slightly for 5 more minutes
5. Add water in stages in small quantities. Make sure that the gravy is in paste form and never gets too fluid. Stir continuously.
6. Add salt and kudampuli and once the gravy starts boiling add the fish
7. One the fish starts heating up in the boiling gravy, reduce the flame
8. Stir the center of the clay pot so that the gravy doesn’t burn and stick on it
9. Once most of the water boils away, stop the flame and let it cool
It is preferable to eat this preparation after it has cooled. If you can wait for a day, better. The specialty of this curry is that it doesn’t use onion at all. Be careful not to add onion even by mistake. If you are keeping it for a day, do not take it off the clay pot. It is advisable to use ginger and garlic in their natural form instead of buying the paste.
Enjoy the dish and Let me know your feedback.