I love all shelled seafood and prawns are my favourite. I have always made prawn biryani but my usual recipe is quite long and complicated. The other day, I wanted to make prawn biryani fast. And I came up with this recipe that can be made in less than an hour.
Prawns 250 g, cleaned, shelled and deveined
For the marinade:
Red chilli powder 1 tbsp Turmeric powder 1 tsp Pepper powder 1/2 tsp Salt to taste
If there is one variety of banana that I absolutely love, it is the Ethapazham or Nendrapazham, or plantain. It is great as a fruit, in curries and in desserts. This particular curry, Ethapazham Pachadi, is easy to make and is a fine balance of sweet and spicy.
Ethapazham or plantain 2, peeled and chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut 3 tbsps
Green chillies 2
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Red chilli whole 1
Coconut oil 1 tbsp
Yoghurt 2 tbsps
Boil the chopped plantains with red chilli powder, turmeric and salt in 1 cup of water.
Grind the grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds.
Mash the cooked banana.
Add the ground coconut mix.
Add the curry leaves and bring to a boil. If it is too thick, add some water.
Take it off the heat and add the whipped yoghurt.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and whole red chilli.
Raw Papaya Salad is a delicious dish available at all Thai restaurants and a favourite with most patrons. The mix of hot chillies with garlic, shrimps, tamarind paste and fish sauce makes for a riot of flavour, very pleasing to the palate. I have tried to make a vegetarian raw papaya salad that offers the taste without the shrimps and the fish sauce.
Raw papaya 1 small
Tomato 1 medium
Garlic 3 cloves
Chillies 6-7, really hot ones
Fresh cowpea (lobiya) 2-3, roughly broken into 2” pieces
Soy sauce 1 tsp
Olive oil 1 tsp
Rock salt to taste
Peanuts 1/2 cup, roasted
Cashew nuts 10, roasted
Tamarind pulp 1 tbsp
Jaggery powder 2 tsps
Peel and slice the papaya into thin strips. I cut it the way the Thais do by scoring and slicing the papaya. You can follow this video to learn how to do it right
Soak the sliced papaya in iced water for 15 minutes. Drain. This will make the papaya crunchy.
Crush the garlic and rock salt in a wide mortar and pestle. Add the chillies to the mortar. I used the Indian Bird’s Eye chilli, known as Kanthari in Kerala. In Singapore, I used Cili Padi. The spiciness of the chilli gives the salad its special flavour and a kick.
Add the soy sauce and olive oil to the garlic and chilli in the mortar. Add the jaggery and the tamarind pulp. I soak a lump of tamarind the size of a small lemon in some water overnight and squeeze out the pulp and use it.
Add the drained papaya to the mortar and pound gently.
Cut the tomato into thick wedges. Add the cowpea and tomato to the mortar and pound gently to get out the juices of the vegetables.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the salad. Add the lemon skin too and pound gently. Toss well and then remove the lemon skin from the salad and throw it away.
Add the crushed peanuts and cashew nuts and toss well.
I was introduced to this recipe at our cooking class in middle school. The teacher had us making these delicious fried dumplings to be eaten during recess. I have loved them since then. They are light, tasty and easy to make.
All-purpose flour (maida) 2 cups
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Milk 250 ml
Egg 1 large
Sugar 3/4 cup
Oil for deep frying
Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar.
Break the egg into the mix.
Add the milk and make a smooth batter.
Heat the oil in a wok and drop a little bit of the batter in. It should form a ball and rise to the top.
Drop the batter into the hot oil, a ladleful at a time and fry till they turn golden brown on either side.
This is a cake that I whip up in 15 minutes and bake for 40 minutes. When guests call and say they will be at my place in less than an hour, I make this for tea and gossip. Goes well with wine as well.
All-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups
Butter 180 g
Sugar 1 cup
Baking powder 1 tsp
Vanilla 1 tsp
Whole almonds 10
Milk 2 tbsps
Cream the butter and sugar together till it is smooth.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the mix. Whisk well to get the air in.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and mix into the beaten mixture.
Add the vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
Pour into a greased cake tin. I used a heart-shaped cake tin for a change.
Arrange the almonds on top. They will sink in as the batter rises in the oven.
Bake in 160 degree C oven for 40 minutes but check after 30. A toothpick stuck into the cake should come out clean.
Cool on a rack and cut into cubes. Serve with tea or red wine.
It is jackfruit season in Kerala and the tree in my cousin’s backyard is laden with fruit. She gave me raw jackfruit and my original plan was to cook it the traditional way with coconut. But the smell of fresh raw jackfruit as it boiled was so tempting that I decided to try to make biryani with it. This is a recipe that I developed on the fly and the end result turned out delicious.
Raw jackfruit 300 g, cut into cubes
Turmeric 1 tsp
Basmati rice 2 cups, soaked for 15 minutes and drained
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Onion 1 medium, sliced
Garlic cloves 5
Ginger 1” piece
Green chilli 1, chopped
Tomato 1 large, chopped
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Oil 2 tbsps
Water as needed
Boil the raw jackfruit in two cups of water with salt and turmeric till all the liquid evaporates. By now the jackfruit should be tender but still succulent.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. You can use any vegetable oil.
Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds stop sputtering, add the onions. Sauté the onions till they turn golden brown.
Crush the garlic and ginger in a stone pestle and mortar. Add this to the onions. Sauté for a few minutes till the raw smell of garlic disappears. This should take only about 2-3 minutes. Add the curry leaves.
Add the cooked jackfruit to the pan and fry for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and green chilli. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the drained rice and mix well. Add the spices and add about 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the biryani and cook till the water evaporates. By now the rice will be cooked.
Switch off the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Serve with a green salad or mango salsa.