What’s so special about Fried Chicken? I would say nothing much. In this KFC era, fried chicken is a very common dish. In addition, being in Kerala means that at least once in a month you would eat Kerala Chicken Fry. That’s why today I wanted to try something different. Today’s special is called Ayam Goreng Berempah which is a delicacy from Malaysia. Now, these three words literally translate to “Chicken Fried Spice” or in other words “Spicy Fried Chicken”. There is a variant called Ayam Goreng Berempah Serai where “Serai” means lemongrass. Unfortunately we didn’t have lemongrass in our vicinity so we had to skip that. We also made other modifications. So without further ado, here is the recipe:
Set – 1
- Chicken – 1.5 kg (cut in large pieces)
Set – 2
- Onion – 1 (medium sized)
- Garlic – 4 large cloves
- Ginger – 1 inch
- Lemongrass (white part) – 4 sticks (this is optional)
Set – 3
- Egg – 1
- Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
- Salt – 1 1/2 tsp (or as you wish)
- Meat Masala – 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Cornflour – 3 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – 1 to 2 sprigs
Set – 4
- Coconut Oil – As required for deep frying (the original recipe recommended vegetable oil but our stock of it was over)
- Blend Set – 2 ingredients in a blender to make a paste
- Make a batter out of Set – 3 ingredients
- Mix the chicken with Set – 2 and Set – 3 to marinate and keep it aside for at least 1 hour
- Take a woke or deep frying pan and heat sufficient oil in it.
- Deep fry the chicken pieces until they are golden brown and crisp
- Remove the fried chicken and keep it on paper towel to absorb the excess oil
- Serve with the sauce of your choice.
- Marinating the chicken overnight is the recommended method. So if you decide to prepare it, try marinating it the previous night
- The oil should start smoking. It is a good idea to throw a curry leaf into it to see whether it bubbles. That shows whether the oil is ready
- The oil can be any cooking oil except olive. I am not sure what is wrong with olive oil but the author from whom I learned this has specifically stated this.
- Lemongrass is an ingredient I skipped. Perhaps when I prepare this next time I will try adding it and see the difference.
I must thank the author who has written the original recipe which I modified. You may check out my other recipes as well as follow me on Instagram if you need updates about any upcoming recipes. Enjoy!
My readers on this blog as well as my Instagram followers might already be familiar with my affinity towards non-vegetarian dishes. No offence to vegans but I really love some meat in my diet. Last week my dad asked me whether I could find a mutton recipe that is different from the usual that we prepare. I went looking for Iranian, Malaysian and Kashmiri recipes but all of them had one or two ingredients that we didn’t have. That’s when I looked for a Sri Lankan recipe and I found this really delicious mutton curry that I am sharing with you today. Of course we have made our own modifications to the original recipe. So, let’s get on with the dish:
- Coriander – 1 tbsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch
- Fennel Seeds – 2 tsp
- Dry Red Chilli – 12
- Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
For Main Work
- Mutton – 1 kg
- Onion – 4 large
- Fennel Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch
- Curry Leaves – 2 sprigs
- Cardamom pod – 2
- Turmeric Powder – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Green Chilli – 4
- Coconut Cream – 5 tbsp
- Coconut Oil – As required
- Coriander Leaves – For garnishing
- Dry roast the ingredients for the masala in a frying pan for a couple of minutes (without burning) and let it cool
- Powder the ingredients in a blender
- Marinate the mutton with turmeric powder and a little salt and keep it aside
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker
- Saute the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods along with the curry leaves for about 1 minute
- Add the onion and green chilli and saute for another minute
- Add the mutton into this and saute for about 5 minutes
- Add the masala with some salt and stir for 10 minutes
- Add water to this (do not add too much if the mutton already has water in it)
- Close the lid and let it pressure cook up to 6 whistles (for Indian mutton)
- Turn off the heat and let the steam pressure subside
- Open the lid and see if there is excess water in the gravy
- If there is, then heat it for some more time until the gravy is thick as per your requirement
- Add the coconut cream and mix well
- Simmer for about a minute or two
- You may garnish with chopped coriander leaves
So there you go folks. This is the Sri Lankan style Mutton Curry that I modified from this original version. I am pretty sure you will like it. One curious thing about these foreign recipes is the special masala mix that they use. Somehow the aroma is superb and it spreads in all neighborhood. This was the case when we cooked Uzbek Plov for the first time and it was repeated with this one as well. Enjoy!
Sweet Porridge also known as Payasam is the ultimate dessert in Kerala Cuisine. When it comes to an easy-to-prepare payasam, the Vermicelli or Semiya Payasam comes to mind immediately. It is very recently that I came across a video of a variant of this dish which is pink in color. If you are familiar with Kerala food, you might have come across a payasam called Palada which has a light pink color. But that color is achieved through caramelization of sugar. To be more precise it is light brownish in color and not really “pink”. However, the maker of this video took a different route to add exact pink color to semiya payasam. So when I checked online for this method I found that there were many people who have tried this and successfully added pinkish tint to their payasams. The following is our version of the same which my mom and I prepared. It is more or less similar to what is available in other videos and websites.
- Semiya (Vermicelli) – 350 gm
- Milk – 3.5 liters
- Sugar – 500 gm
- Clarified Butter (ghee) – as required
- Cashew Nuts – as required
- Raisins (Kismis) – as required
- Almonds – as required
- Green Cardamoms – as required
- Beetroot – 1
- Rose Water – two teaspoons
As you may already guessed, the beetroot in the list of ingredients is used for making the pink color.
- Cut the beetroot into small pieces
- Add about 1.5 cups of water to it
- Boil this mixture until the color of beetroot is extracted into the water
- Turn off the flame and set aside
- Break the semiya into small pieces of half an inch length
- Heat the ghee in a large vessel
- Stir fry the semiya until most of the pieces have attained light golden-yellowish-brownish color
- Turn off the flame and remove the semiya from the vessel
- Pour the milk into the same vessel and start heating
- Stir the milk until its water content is reduced and it becomes thicker
- Add the fried semiya into this and continue stirring
- Take a piece of semiya and squeeze it to see whether it has been cooked
- If it is cooked well, add sugar and stir well until all the sugar is dissolved
- Add 4 tablespoons of beetroot essence that you had prepared earlier. This will turn the payasam pink.
- Stir for 2 – 3 more minutes
- Crush the cardamoms in a pestle
- Remove the skin from the crushed cardamoms
- Add this to the payasam
- Add two teaspoons of rose water to this
- Turn off the flame and close the container leaving a slight gap so that the the steam can escape
- Cut almonds into small pieces
- Heat ghee in a small frying pan
- Fry the cashews and remove it
- Fry the raisins and remove it
- Fry the almonds and remove it
- Add these fried items into the payasam and stir
- Do not add sugar before the semiya pieces are cooked. It will interfere with the cooking process
- While frying, never allow the semiya pieces to become dark brown
- You can add more beetroot essence before serving if you need a darker shade of pink in your payasam
- You can add more rose water but make sure that you don’t add too much as it may affect the taste.
Your Pink Semiya Payasam is now ready. If you have any questions or comments, you can put that in the comments below. I must thank Mia Kitchen and others who gave us this idea. We plan to extend this to other payasams such as Palada and see how it goes. Thanks for reading.
In her last visit my sister-in-law taught us how she makes her amazing Tuna Cutlet. When she and my brother visited this time, we surprised them with our own version of the Tuna Cutlet and it really impressed them. Today I am sharing with you the same recipe. I hope you will make amazing cutlets and let me know your feedback.
- Canned Tuna (150 gm each) – 2
- Medium Potatoes – 4
- Large Onions – 2
- Green Chilly – 6
- Garlic Cloves – 12
- Garam Masala – 1/4 teaspoon
- Kashmiri Chilly Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Black Pepper Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
- Coconut oil – for frying
- Egg White – from 2 eggs
- Bread Crumbs – As required.
- Boil the potatoes and peel them.
- Remove the brine from canned tuna.
- Cut the onion, green chilly and garlic cloves into small pieces.
- Fry the onion, green chilly and garlic cloves until the onion turns golden brown.
- Add the tuna and continue frying until the tuna pieces break down fine.
- Add the Black Pepper, Kashmiri Chilly Powder and Garam Masala with salt.
- Cook until the tuna is soft and well mixed with the onion and other things (almost like Egg Bhujia)
- Mash the potatoes nicely and add to the tuna mixture.
- Combine the cooked tuna with the mashed potatoes until you get a good mix.
- Turn off the flame and wait until the mixture becomes warm enough so you can touch it.
- Put fresh bread in a blender and grind them to make fine powder.
- Using your hand take some amount of tuna-potato mixture and mold it in any shape you want.
- Beat the egg white.
- Dip the tuna-potato mixture you have shaped in the egg white.
- Dip it in the bread powder so as to coat it completely.
- Heat the coconut oil and deep fry the cutlet until the surface is golden brown.
- Make sure that you fry only one cutlet at a time. More than one in the frying pan will break the coating and cause a mess.
- You can use any oil that you like. We have tried with coconut as well as sunflower oils so far.
- Beating the tuna while you fry it will make the meat finer and that will make the cutlet taste better.
- The Garam Masala we use is homemade using a secret recipe. You can use any Garam Masala available in the market. But if you want to know how we make our Garam Masala, you have to personally meet me and ask.
Let me know in the comments how you like this cutlet. I have posted mine in my Instagram feed. Thank you.
Chicken Mappas with Vellayappam
Today’s blog post is about a very delicious and comparatively easy to prepare chicken dish from Kerala known as “Chicken Mappas”. Mappas is a broad category of dishes which can be prepared with fish, chicken, mutton and even beef. I am unsure of the origin of this word “Mappas” but my best guess is that it is Middle Eastern. The reason for my guess is that when I was in Bangalore, I used to frequent a restaurant called Savoury Sea Shell in Bannerghatta Road. They had a rich collection of Middle Eastern dishes and one of them was an Arabian Chicken Soup. The bits of chicken were suspended in a thick whitish solution which I think was made of coconut milk. The gravy of Chicken Mappas sort of reminded me of it. Therefore I concluded that Chicken Mappas is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Keralite Cuisines. If you have some disagreement regarding what I said or have some information about the origins of this category of dishes, please let me know in the comments.
To prepare Chicken Mappas, you need the following ingredients:
- Chicken (cut in small pieces) – 500 grams
- Onions (long sliced) – 2
- Tomatoes (sliced) – 2
- Ginger (sliced) – 1 inch piece
- Garlic (sliced) – 6 cloves
- Green Chilli (chopped) – 6
- Coriander Powder – 1 1/2 ½ Teaspoon
- Garam Masala – 1 Tablespoon
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Pepper (crushed) – 1 Tablespoon
- Coconut Milk (secondary) – 1 cup
- Coconut Milk (primary) – 1/2 cup
- Fennel Seeds Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon
- Curry Leaves – 4 branches
- Coconut Oil – 2 Tablespoons
- Salt – 2 Teaspoons (can vary as per your taste)
- Coconut Oil – 1 Tablespoon
- Mustard Seeds – 1 Teaspoon
- Shallots (sliced) – 8
- Wash the chicken pieces well (you may use turmeric while washing it) and keep it on a filter to dry
- Add 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
- Add 1/2 tablespoon crushed pepper
- Mix it well and let it marinate for about 15 minutes
- Add 2 tablespoons of coconut into a frying pan
- Add the onion slices and sauté in medium flame for about 2 minutes
- Add the sliced ginger and garlic and cook until the onions change color slightly
- Add the chopped green chilli and mix it well
- Add the turmeric and coriander powder and mix again
- Cook until the raw smell of turmeric and coriander fades
- Add 1 branch of curry leaves
- Add half of the sliced tomato and cook for about 2 minutes
- Add the fennel seeds powder and mix
- Add the chicken pieces and mix well
- Add salt and mix
- Add the next branch of curry leaves
- Bring the mixture to the center of the pan and close the lid
- Reduce the flame to low and let it sit for 5 minutes
- Add the secondary coconut milk and mix well and close the lid
- Increase the flame to medium and let it sit for 20 – 25 minutes (occasionally open the lid and stir to avoid charring)
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon crushed pepper and mix again
- Add the remaining sliced tomato and 1 branch of curry leaves
- Mix well for a minute
- Add the primary coconut milk mix for about a minute and turn off the flame
- Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil into another frying pan
- Add mustard seeds
- Once the mustard seeds start bursting, add the sliced shallots
- When the shallots turn brown, add 1 branch of curry leaves and mix well to form the tadka
- Add the tadka to the mappas and let it sit for a couple of minutes
- Transfer the mappas to your serving bowl
There are a few things to keep in mind while preparing Chicken Mappas. The pepper shouldn’t be powdered. You must crush the black pepper seeds in a pestle. However, you may choose to use ginger-garlic paste if you don’t like slicing them. Coconut oil is what you need to use to prepare this dish. I haven’t tried other oils but you are welcome to experiment and let me know the results.
Chicken Mappas is exceptionally tasty and usually is eaten as an accomplice for Appam, Idiyappam or Ari Pathiri. You may also try it as a side dish for fried rice. Bon appetit!