So this is a basic version of a go-to recipe – robust, tasty, easy to make, and quite the staple with rice, chappattis, naans, parathas …
2 chicken breasts, in pieces
1 big onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned, pureed
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
chili powder – to taste, depending on how spicy you want the curry
3 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 stick cinnamon
5 cardamom pods
Coconut milk, as required
Ginger garlic paste
Cumin seeds and powder
Red chili powder
Coriander seeds and powder
In hot oil, saute the fennel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. When aromatic, add the chopped onion and fry till lightly browned.
Add the ginger-garlic paste, fry.
Add the turmeric, chili, coriander and cumin powders, fry to a paste.
Add the tomato puree, keep stirring for a few minutes, till cooked.
Add salt and the chicken pieces, cook till done, usually about 10 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, give it a good stir and a simmer.
Pix borrowed from the web, as usual, with thanks.
Mona brought with her a small bottle of masala powder and produced magic in the kitchen.
This was her mother, Pam’s, basic masala powder, made fresh every year, which she sent to her daughters in Dubai and Shanghai.
The curries are to die for.
Masala for Chicken and Meat Curries
1/2 kg dry chilies
1/2 kg (dhaniya) coriander seeds
50g mustard seeds
50g cumin seeds
50g fennel seeds
50g black pepper seeds
50g methi seeds
50g chukka (dry ginger)
1” piece asafoetida powder
1 tbsp channa dhal
1 tbsp thoovar dhal
2” piece haldi
Roast briefly, about 10 minutes, separately, on a low flame.
Blend to a powder. Sieve and store in an airtight jar
Add garam masala powder for chicken and meat curries.
For fish curry, add chili and turmeric powders to the above.
Recipe for Chicken Curry with the above Masala
1 chicken breast in pieces
Big onion, sliced
a little fennel
a little cumin
1 piece cinnamon
Ginger garlic paste
1 tomato, skinned, chopped
1 tbsp of Pam’s masala powder
100 ml coconut milk diluted with 50 ml water
Fry onion, fennel, jeera, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
Add ginger garlic paste, fry.
Add tomato, fry.
Add haldi, coriander and cumin powders and Pam’s masala powder.
Cook to a paste.
Add chicken pieces and a little bit of hot water.
When chicken is half cooked, add mixture of coconut milk and water.
Cook till done.
Pix off the web, with thanks.
Another dish, south Indian, and easy to make (along the lines of the egg curry … with a couple of omissions and additions).
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prawns, cleaned, de-veined, shelled
1 big big onion or 2 small small onions (I love the sound of this !!), chopped or sliced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, crushed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green chili, seeded and sliced (can increase or decrease according to taste and this is balanced by the chili powder added later)
1 sprig curry leaves
cokum 2 small tomatoes or 1 big one, chopped
fresh coriander leaves, chopped, to garnish
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder) )
red chili powder, according to taste )
2 heaped tbsp coriander powder )
mix into a paste with a bit of water, 1 tsp vinegar )
In hot oil fry the onion, ginger, garlic, chili and curry leaves, and brown on low heat, stirring all the while till the ‘raw’ smell disappears.
Add the paste and keep stirring and frying, again till the ‘raw’ smell evaporates. Add the tomatoes and salt (the salt makes the tomatoes cook faster), and cook well to desired consistency, adding water in spoonfuls to ensure the paste does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the cokum and coconut milk, cook a bit and add the prawns and cook gently and carefully till just done. Do not overcook the prawns.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Images borrowed from the web, with thanks.
… to go with dosas … crisp dosas and this piquant accompaniment …
2 big onions
a knob of ginger, about a cm all round
1 clove garlic
2 to 3 sprigs fresh coriander
Fry all of the above in a bit of oil, cool a bit and grind to a paste.
1/2 to 1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 to 1 tsp cumin seeds
In hot oil, sputter the above in the order listed, pour over the ground mixture.
Ready to go !
Pix borrowed off the web.
Another of her simple superlatives … great with plain rice.
South Indian to the core, and lovely.
A sprig of curry leaves
a handful of fresh grated coconut
1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 or 2 green chilies, deseeded
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.
red pumpkin, skinned, cubed
haldi (turmeric powder)
1 green chilie, halved
1 tsp sambhar powder
For the tarka / garnish
dry red chilies
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Pressure cook the black eyed beans with the haldi, green chili and the sambhar powder (2 whistles).
Remove the lid, add the raw pumpkin, salt as required and the ground paste. Simmer on a low flame for about 10 minutes till the vegetable is cooked.
Tarka (sputter the garnish ingredients in hot oil, pour over the dish) and serve.
Simple, and whipped up in a flash.
In India, and breakfast is all things South Indian, which means dosas, idlis … and today, adais for breakfast. I watched her deftly prepare the accompaniment, and here is the how.
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 pod garlic
bit of fresh ginger, one and a half times the size of the garlic pod
4 sprigs coriander leaves, with stem
1/4 tsp tamarind
Blend all of the above together into a thick paste.
Tarka : In a teaspoon (or a bit more) of hot oil, sputter jeera seeds, mustard and a few curry leaves and pour over the ground mixture.