Recipes R Simple Archive

Kerala Recipes

Kothu Parotta | ‘Torn Paratha’ Stir-Fry

Kothu Parotta is a popular Street snack, in parts of South India and Srilanka. ‘Kothu’ means minced or chopped. This is a stir-fry, made with savory scrambled egg and chopped up / torn pieces of parotta (paratha) which is the popular layered and fried flatbread

You can hear the signature clacking noise in the evenings near the Kothu parotta stalls as the vendors chop up the ingredients together on a hot cast iron griddle, using a flat metal spatula.

People as they cue up eagerly to buy the hot and savory snack, love to see the process, which varies from vendor to vendor. Some add cooked chicken to the mix, but I much prefer the one with egg.

These days, it is easy to buy parotta almost anywhere. Next time, reserve a few to make this quick and yummy snack in no time at all.  It may be served with any simple dal or chicken curry or ‘ quick dalcha’.

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Fried Prawn Starter | Kerala Style


Here is a Fried Prawn Starter recipe from the houseboats and backwater resorts of Kerala. It’s fast, simple and fun to make! It’s delightful to be served as starters at parties or on your friendly game night.

They can of course, also be served as a side with your meal. The prawns are peeled and deveined but the tail and sometimes head is left intact for presentation purpose. Don’t forget the lime/lemon wedge. A squeeze, while serving helps to make the flavors pop in your mouth!

I do love prawns and especially fried prawns. I have a few other versions for you to check out as well. Kerala Fried Prawns,  Tasty Coconut Shrimp Fry Prawn Tikka,

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Varutharacha Kadala Curry | Black Chickpeas Curry with Ground Roasted Coconut

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.

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Thalassery Beef Biriyani | Malabar Biriyani

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.

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Njandu Chikkiyathu | Spicy Shredded Crab Meat with Coconut

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.

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Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Tamarind and Tomato

malabar fish curry with coconut tomato and tamarind Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Tamarind and Tomato

Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Tamarind and Tomato

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.

Scroll down for Video. .

THONDAN MULAKU Malabar Fish Curry with Coconut Tamarind and Tomato

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Kozhi Ada | Mini Fried Chicken Dumplings

kozhi ada Kozhi Ada | Mini Fried Chicken Dumplings

Kozhi Ada – Mini Fried Chicken Dumplings

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 🙂

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Vanpayar Ularthiyathu | Brown Bean and Shallots Mash

Vanpayar Ularthiyathu Vanpayar Ularthiyathu | Brown Bean and Shallots Mash

Vanpayar Ularthiyathu

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.

IMG 2109 Vanpayar Ularthiyathu | Brown Bean and Shallots Mash

brown beans

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Fish Roe Fry | Kerala Palinjeen Fry

fish roe fry Fish Roe Fry | Kerala Palinjeen Fry

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!

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Nadan Varal Curry | Bral Fish Curry

Nadan Varal Curry Nadan Varal Curry | Bral Fish Curry

Nadan Varal Curry – ‘Bral’ Curry

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.

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