Chicken Karahi – Dhaba Style. What’s not to love about Super Quick Punjabi Khaana?
A Punjabi dhaba is a roadside eatery in parts of India and Pakistan that served Punjabi food. Usually found on highways and at truck stops on the linkways between cities, towns, and villages.
They were in fact first opened to feed the truckers on their long-distance trips. The truckers were mostly Punjabi and hence was born this form of Punjabi authentic-fast food, offering wholesome home-style meals quickly at any hour of the day.
No longer a pit stop for the truckies, Punjabi Dhabas’s are now frequented and enjoyed by one and all, making this apart of the Punjabi social as well as food culture!
This Wok-tossed chicken can be prepared super fast and comes in handy when you are pressed for time. Serve with chapatis, flatbreads… Check out the quick video!
Varutharacha Kadala Curry is the authentic preparation of Black Chickpeas in a spiced, roasted coconut curry. The inviting aroma of the grated coconut, being fried with the simple spices lets everyone know what we are having for breakfast! Puttu and Kadala is a very popular breakfast item in Kerala and my husband loves it.
Roasting the grated coconut requires patience. You just can not step away from the stove during the 10 minutes of stir-frying
Earlier I had shared the recipe for a Simple Kadala Curry, which does not use the method of frying the coconut with patience and care. You can use that recipe on your rushed days. However, the patience and love that goes into this homely preparation yields a result that is well worth the extra effort!
Check out the stepwise pictures or the video for more detail.
Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat is another delicious and extra quick starter/salad, that can enhance any meal and dinner menu. Think of it as the Indian version of the Western potato salad, with the added goodness of chickpeas and crunchiness is supplied by the red onion and the tasty, crispy Aloo Bhujia.
Aloo Bhujia is crispy, tangy and spicy Potato Noodles, often available at your local Indian Grocers. I will add the link to the recipe for Homemade Aloo Bhujia soon.
Dahi Aloo Chana Chaat can be served as a light snack on its own or as a salad/ side dish along with the main meal. I love all types of Chaats. So refreshing and fulfilling. This chaat item makes a good side dish during Ramadan as well, where light refreshing starters are often needed.
Thalassery Beef Biriyani has been a long requested recipe here on RAS. Those of you who frequently visit for my Malabar style recipes, I hope you will enjoy my recipe for a delicious Beef Biriyani.
Thalassery is truly a place represented by its hospitable locals, who are always happy to feed a hungry soul… The varieties of delicious Arab and Mughal influenced foods, as well as the vast array of sweet and savory snacks, makes any trip to this place undeniably ‘Unforgettable’!
Although famous for its endless list of tea time snacks, the Thalassery Biriyani is, without doubt, the most famous dish from the region.
Thalassery Biriyani is a cultural embodiment and is reminiscent of foreign influences in Malabar. It is a by-product of the Mughal-Arab cultural influence in North Kerala due to the trade that lasted for centuries before the 1900s and the emigration to the Middle East of locals from the 1970s onwards.
So here is my special recipe for Thalassery Beef Biriyani. I hope you will make it and send me a pic! This post has taken forever with getting all the ingredient measures to perfection. If you follow my recipe, I guarantee you success.
Buffalo meat is often used in this recipe, and I believe it tastes so much better. In fact, many delicious curries and fries that one mistakes to be beef throughout Kerala is actually Buffalo meat.
Another key ingredient in Thalassery Biriyani is the variety of fragrant rice used. Although Basmati is famous in Biriyani, Thalassery prides itself in using the indispensable Wayanadan Kaima/ Jeerakasala rice to make this authentic Biriyani. It is a very short delicate grain with a lovely fragrance that permeates throughout the popular rice dish. Since good quality Kaima rice is not always available, you may use Basmati if you can not find it.
The cooked rice and meat is layered in a sealed pot, in the ‘Dum’ method of sealed cooking which prevents any steam from escaping and enforces the flavors to marry well with each other. The aroma throughout the house when the Dum (pronounced ‘DHuM’) is cut open is quite captivating.
Punjabi Chole Bhature – the ever popular street food, everyday food, snack and favorite of the young and old alike! Chole(Cholay) is the Punjabi name of this curry made of chickpeas. It is also known in other regions as Chana Masala. Chana Masala and Chole are basically the same curried dish of chickpeas. It may be semi dry or have more gravy and the recipe varies from home to home and Dhaba to Dhaba (Punjabi roadside food stall)!
Bhature, (Bhatoora), is a soft, fluffy deep-fried leavened bread. It is similar to Puri which is its unleavened counterpart. Bhature is most often served with Chole, hence the name of the meal – ‘Chole Bhature’.
Chole is extremely simple to make. This easy recipe delivers a fast and so very yummy, semi dry gravy of chickpeas. Check out the stepwise pictures (slideshow) below. The Bhature is quite simple to make as well (although it may require a little practice). I often make the chole on its own to serve along with salads too.
Chicken Changezi is an extremely popular dish in Delhi, that has been served for generations. It has a notoriously suspicious looking crimson color, due to the cooking down of the tomato gravy in ghee. The name ‘Changezi’ is due to the fact the the dish originated during the times of the fearsome Mongolian warrior and conquerer, Genghis(Changez)Khan. It was however, not made for him as been widely misconstrued.
In actuality, Genghis Khan never invaded Delhi. He in fact only went as far as the Indus and then turned back. The dish however must have been a hit, since it has prospered for so long, but in all likeliness the warrior himself would not have fancied the dish, with its typical Indian spices and richness, quite foreign to the Mongolian seasonal diet consisting mostly of meat and dairy, influenced by both China and Russia.
Chicken Changezi is rich, creamy, and quite delicious, served with flatbreads like Naan or Tandoori Roti. It is not so spicy, due to the addition of Kaju (Cashew) paste, milk and cream. Here is the recipe for this tangy, creamy and rich Restaurant style dish. Check out the Video below to see how to make it!!!
Ramadan Porridge | Ramadan Kanji
Ramadan is almost over this year, but I thought it would be good to add a recipe, since so many have mailed/ messaged me requisitioning it. Ramadan Porridge is made so often during the month of Ramadan. It is a warm and comforting porridge that you can enjoy some time after breaking your fast. It is also a good item for the suhr meals. I have a recipe for the basic Cumin Rice Porridge here : (Jeeraka Kanji). This recipe adds to that some vegetables, a little meat and stock. This Ramadan Porridge, makes it more savory and more filling, perfect for when you want to store that energy for the rest of the fasting period.
Here, I have added a little mutton that was removed from the precooked mutton for a Korma that I made. You need very little meat, so it’s a good idea to remove some when you are preparing for another dish, if you plan to make this. Chicken may be used as well.
Njandu Chikkiyathu | Spicy Shredded Crab Meat with Coconut.
Vacations to India are often filled with road trips. Long scenic road trips, either for liesure or to visit relatives who are spread all over the place. It’s fun although the kids seem to spend more time playing games on their phones than looking out and experiencing the new sights. They don’t know life outside of Singapore. India is so very vast in it’s culture and traditions. Just looking out while driving, you can witness so much.
Last vacation we traveled through Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty and then headed to our state of Kerala. On the trips we like to stop at some great hotels but occasionally we also like to try those small off-the-road eateries. These are men and women who cook from their homes and turn part of their home into little tea shops or food shacks. We stopped at one place that looked pretty neat and the people were so friendly, with huge welcoming smiles. We washed up and asked what was on the menu. It was lunch time and they said the house special was their ‘Njandu Chikkiyathu’. ‘Njandu’ is Crab and ‘Chikkiyathu’ means shredded or scrambled. Among some other staples and Rice, we ordered the Crab.
It was hot and spicy, but not too spicy and just awesomely tasty! After the meal, my husband wandered off to take some pictures off a cliff nearby and I found it perfect opportunity to ask for the recipe. The lady was very kind, in that she not only shared this recipe in detail but also invited me into the kitchen while she was preparing another delicious looking shrimp curry. (Luck was on my side, as it was not a busy day for them, and we were the only customers) .
I wrote down the recipe in my travel book, as soon as we got back into the car. And I have made it a couple of times when I came back home. We cooked this once while camping out on the Beach and had many passers by attracted by the sweet roasting aromas. The addition of small bits of coconut flesh makes it extra tasty and adds a crunch! Cooked Crabmeat is added to a spicy tongue tickling masala and tossed to shreds, absorbing all the spicy and tangy flavors. I find myself making this whenever I chance upon fresh live crabs at the market. Very easy recipe! I was holding it back till I go a better picture, but it being Ramadan and all, I dont think I will be making Crab this month.
Kori Gassi | Mangalorean Chicken Curry is a speciality of the Bunt community in Mangalore, India. Translated, ‘Kori’ means ‘Chicken’ and Gassi is ‘Curry’. The use a dried red chillies and coconut is vital in the authentic taste of this unique and tasty curry. Often served with Rice Balls (Pundi), or a local Rice Roti , known as Kori Rotti. It also goes really well with thin rice Crêpes (Neer Dosa) . At my place we have it with Kaima Pathiri / Nura Pathiri. The combination is absolutely splendid!
Dahi Vada / Thayir Vada is a very popular cold snack in India. It can be served as a side with the main meal or it can be served as a ‘chaat’ item. It may differ slightly from region to region, and again from home to home. Dahi Vada is also known as:
- Dahi Bhalla in Punjabi and Urdu
- Thayir Vadai in Tamil , Thayir Vada in Malayalam
- Mosaru Vade in Kannada
- Dahi Bara in Oriya
- Doi Bora in Bengali
- Perugu vada in telugu
Skinned Black Gram Dal is soaked to make the fritters. These can be shaped like donughts or just plain balls. The fried fritters are indeed a snack on their own. For this chaat version, the fried fritters get soaked in water or dilute buttermilk, to soften before pouring the seasoned, whipped yoghurt and all the toppings over it.
Especially in hot weather this cold chaat is very refreshing and satisfying. It is also a great item to include during the month of Ramadan, which is approaching soon. Check out the video below.