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.
Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Tamarind and Tomato
Kerala is known for its delicious fish and seafood. There are so many varieties of fish curry that are so very delicious. While in many curries, ‘kudampuli’ or gambooge is used, in the Malabar region, most curries only use tamarind as the souring agent. Ground coconut, tomato and tamarind flavors this curry, which is so simple to make but so heartwarmingly comforting to eat as well! Served over rice with papad and vegetables or even for breakfast with puttu. For this curry, I love to use the milk pepper (thondan mulaku, ney mulaku (ghee pepper) or sambar chilli). It has the loveliest buttery or milky aroma. It can be replaced with any mild green chilli. The curry is also best made with fish like Seer Fish.
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Kozhi Ada | Mini Fried Chicken Dumplings
Hi everyone! Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR. Thank you to all my blog readers who sent in comments and wishes.. I have been away for over a month and sadly had no access ( or time) to post regularly.
I am now back and life has returned to it’s daily routines, but I might be a little slow to pick up on the recipes and videos.. you know one gets lazy after a long vacation. Today, I dusted off my laptop and decided to do a quick post just in case you are wondering where I have gone!
I will try to reply to all the comments asap on here and on my youtube channel asap!
So I was back in India for a very long vacation. We had a road trip through Bangalore, Mysore and Ooty, after which we had a bunch of weddings and lots of ‘busy’ happenings in Kerala. My whole family was there after a very long time. It was great, but now it seems like a dream.
Todays recipe, is a very popular Malabar Snack – KOZHI ADA and it goes great with your afternoon tea! These little bite sized fried dumplings are made with a spiced chicken filling. Quite easy to make, if you fancy something different today 🙂
Vanpayar Ularthiyathu | Brown Bean and Shallots Mash
Vanpayar Ularthiyathu is the classic Kerala comfort food. The ‘brown beans’ (red cow peas / red gram / ‘red chawli’) are a brownish version of the ‘green bean’ or whole ‘mung dal’. It also looks similar in shape to the ‘black eyed bean’, except it’s smaller.
In Kerala, this dish is very often served with rice porridge, where the Kerala ‘Rose Rice’ is used: an indigenous variety of rice grown in Palakkad District of Kerala. It’s a chubbier grain and is found throughout Kerala and parts of Sri Lanka.
The beans are cooked prior to stir frying with a delicious blend of shallots, garlic, pepper and dried red chilli and then mashed lightly to add a very-yummy-creamy quality.
This vegetarian item may be served with rice or even chapatis, but the classic combo will forever be Kanji and Payar ( Porridge and Beans). Poppadum’s , pickle and shallot chutney are also often served on the side. ‘Kanji and Payar’ is also often served when you are under the weather or suffering from an upset stomach.Read More
Fish Roe Fry | Kerala ‘Palinjeen’ Fry
Fish Roe Fry is a favorite in our house. Whenever I get good fish roe (Fish Eggs), I usually prepare it in this way. Both female fish roe (Hard Roe) and male fish roe (Soft Roe), may be used.. In the picture, I have used only the Hard Roe of King Fish. The roe is cooked in spiced and seasoned coconut milk before frying (scrambling) in coconut oil. Yum!
Nadan Varal Curry | Bral Fish Curry
This is the Nadan Varal Curry – The country style Bral Fish Curry which is much sought after by so many. Feelings of nostalgia, certainly take over when those who love this fish are served this curry. An authentic method of preparation that has been followed for decades. Varal fish is also known by the names of ‘banded snake head fish or dragon head fish’ .. It is also popular in Thailand and Indonesia.
Pineapple Pachadi – Sweet and Savory Pineapple Curry with Yoghurt and Coconut
Pineapple Pachadi is a deliciously different type of curry. The punch of raw mustard seeds blends so well in this yoghurt and coconut based curry with fresh pineapple! Feel the tanginess. Enjoy the sweetness. Savor the Flavor!
This is one of the dishes prepared for the Onam Sadhya.
Ada Pradhaman with Instant Ada (Rice Flakes)
Ada Pradhaman is one of the most sought after Payasams when it comes to Kerala feasts and Onam Sadhyas. Here is how to make it easily and deliciously with the store-bought instant ada. The Payasam thickens after resting a while, like in the picture. The texture can be loosened to a desired consistency bu adding light fresh milk and heating through.
Here, you can find the post on how to make Ada pradhaman with home made Ada
Nadan Parippu Curry – Dal Curry for Kerala Sadhya
This is the traditional method of preparing delicious Nadan Parippu Curry. I absolutely love this with some fresh ghee drizzled on top of the hot dal curry. Husked Moong dal is used for this dish. Give me a plate of rice, some of this awesome parippu curry, ghee, some papad and – that’s all I need!
This is the type of dal that is made for traditional Sadhyas and Feasts. Loosen the texture further by adding more water.
Anna Pathiri – Mutton Pidi – Coin shaped rice dumplings with Mutton Gravy
Presumably, the word ‘ Anna’ / ‘അണ’ in Anna Pathiri, relates to its size which is the same as the old Indian ‘Anna’ Coin. These are usually made into small thick disks which are pressed with the thumb in the centre. The dough for these coins, is made similarly to how the ‘Kerala Kai Pathiri’ is made. Other names for this dish include: Anna Pathal, അണ പത്തൽ, Kunji Pathiri or Kunji Pathal.
It can be time consuming task, but very yummy indeed. Usually it is made for special guests, occasions or for Ramadan, when you only cook the one main meal.
Sorry about the picture quality here – I will try to get a better one next time.