Showing posts with label south indian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label south indian. Show all posts
Was in a mood today for some south Indian flavors of chicken. As was searching online came across this simple and quick recipe Curry Leaf and pepper Chicken recipe from my favorite chef - Sanjay Thumma.
The best part about this dish is that it doesnt require any fine chopping and dicing and hence saves a lot of time. Once ready, I am sure you are going to love the aroma of Curry leaves and pepper that fills the house :)
Here is my recipe for Curry Leaf and Pepper Chicken

Curry leaf and Pepper Chicken

Chicken  - 500 Grams
Curry leaves  - 3 Sprigs
Onion - 2 medium sized roughly chopped
Tomatoes   - 2 Medium sized roughly chopped
Ginger - 1 inch cut into small pieces
Garlic - 5-7 cloves
Grated Coconut  - 2 tbsp

Fennel seeds -  1 tsp
Oil   - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder  - 1 tsp
Chilly powder   - 2 tsp
Turmeric  - a pinch
Pepper -  2 tbsp roughly crushed
Coriander chopped - optional


  1. Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Heat it and when hot, add onions and saute. Add some salt to fasten the cooking. 
  2. 2 mins into the sauteeing, add roughly chopped ginger and garlic and saute
  3. When the onions are translucent (no need to brown it), add the tomatoes and saute well.
  4. Cook for 2 mins and then add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and grated coconut
  5. Saute well, add 1/2 cup water, put the lid on and let it cook for 5 mins.
  6. When done, remove from heat and let it cool. Blend in a blender to a coarsepaste. I like it rough because that goes well with the chappatis.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and when hot, add fennel seeds.After a minute add a handful of curry leaves and saute.
  8. Now add the chicken pieces and some salt and 1 tsp crushed pepper and saute for 5 to 10 mins till the chicken is white and almost cooked.
  9.  Now add the onion -tomato paste, mix it well with the chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Adjust the water and salt according to your taste.
  10. Add some more crushed pepper and serve with chappatis, dosa, appams or rice.
  11. You can also garnish with chopped coriander.
I chanced upon this recipe while browsing for newer Mutton side dishes. "Chukka" means dry gravy in Tamil, and this  apparently is a very famous Chettinad dish. The south indian flavors of curry leaves and the spices gives an added taste to the mutton! A must try for all mutton lovers :)
Mutton Chukka Varuval
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1. Cut 500 gms of boneless mutton (lamb)pieces into small 1 inch pieces. Marinate with salt, pinch of turmeric, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and 1 tsp red chilli powder for atleast 1 hour. 
2. Pressure cook the marinated mutton  for 5-6 whistles along with water to just cover the pieces. Remove from heat and keep aside to cook before opening the pressure cooker. 
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, saute 5-6 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon and 1 bay leaf. Add 2 sprigs of curry leaves and saute
4. Now add 1 finely chopped onion and saute. Add 5-6 cloves of finely chopped garlic. When the onion is translucent, add 2 chopped tomatoes and saute it till cooked. Add 1 tsp coriander powder at this point.You can also add a pinch of garam masala at the end to increase the balance towards the spices. 

5. Add boiled mutton along with the water used in cooking, mix well with the masala and cook without the lid till the water evaporates. I kept it a little wet so that it can be eaten with rice as well. 
6.Adjust the salt depending on the taste. 
Serve hot as a side dish with chappatis or rice.
Tried this recipe from last Saturday when friends Preeti Patil and Jay came over. This starter with its south indian flavors was a hit with them..
Very easy to cook and the key is in cooking the chicken till it is browned well. 

I have tried a lot of recipes from vahrevah and somehow they have always turned out now I am hooked on to the Sanjay Thumma's video stream on youtube

1. Marinate 1/2 kg chicken on the bone with 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and salt to taste. Keep this aside for at least 2 hrs before cooking
2. Take 2 tsp oil in a pan and heat it. When hot, add 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute till it is brown. I also added 1/2 tsp shahi jeera seeds for additional taste. Add 1 finely chopped onion, a pinch of salt and saute. When the onion is pink, add 1 sprig of curry leaves and saute.
3. Now add the chicken and mix well. Cover and cook the chicken on a low flame till about 80% done. This should take around 20 mins
4. Remove the lid and saute to remove the water that must have accumulated. Add 2 tsp vinegar and 1 tsp freshly crushed pepper powder. Keep sauteing in the process browning the chicken. Finally add 1 tsp garam masala powder and mix well. Remove from heat when you think the chicken is well cooked
5. Garnish with coriander  and serve hot as a starter or a side dish.


 I am a big fan of Pongal since my MBA days. Pongal used to be served regularly at IIMA along with Medu Vada. It was a combination that I used to look forward to at breakfast. Recently I searched online for quick pongal recipes and found this one which comes very close to what was served on campus.


1.     Wash 2 cups rice and ½ cup Moong Dal (Basically 4:1 proportion)
2.     Now cook the rice and moong dal in a pressure cooker with 7-8 cups of water and 1 tsp of turmeric for 2-3 whistles. The rice needs to be well cooked till soft.
3.     Remove from flame. Add salt to taste
4.     Give a tempering (chaunk) of whole 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 twigs of curry leaves and 1inch ginger finely chopped in 2 tbsp of ghee.
5.     Add to the rice mixture and serve.
You can also add ghee - fried cashews if you like.

I ate this dish for the first time in a shack in Kerala and fell in love with it. It goes very well with Appam and I cook it very frequently as a side dish.


1.     Marinate 20-25  prawns with 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chilli powder, ½ tsp garam masala and salt for at least an hour

2.     In a pan, add 2 tbsp coconut oil. Add 2 twigs of Curry leaves, 2 finely diced green chillies, 1 big onion julienne. Add 1 inch of julienned ginger  and 5-6 pods of garlic finely chopped. Add 1tsp ginger garlic paste. Saute all this till the onion is brown.
3.     Add 2 tomatoes finely chopped and sauté

4.     Add 1 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp garam masala and 1 tsp red chilli powder and cook all this till the oil separates

5.     Now add the marinated prawns and cook

6.     Add 1 tsp tamarind paste for the tangy flavour. Add salt according to taste

7.     Add water to adjust the consistency

8.     Cook for 10 mins on a low flame. Add curry leaves and  1 tsp garam masala just before removing from flame.

9. Sprinkle freshly cut coriander leaves and serve with Appam or rice.

This dish is my creation from different Andhra recipes that I have tasted.

  1. Marinate prawns (after removing the shell - I use smaller prawns for this dish) with ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, tamarind paste and salt for atleast an hour before cooking
  2.  Take 2 tbsp oil in a pan(Andhra dishes are high in oil but I add less of oil and use a non stick pan instead)
  3. Add 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, pinch fenugreek seeds, 3-4 dried red chillies, 2 medium sized onions (cut them into long and thin slices) and 2 twigs of curry leaves. Saute on medium heat till onions are pinkish.
  4. Add 2 chopped tomatoes and sauté.
  5. Add 2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, salt and sauté till the oil separates
  6. Now add a cup of tamarind water. You can make this by boiling tamarind in water.
  7. Add the prawns and cook for 10 mins on slow flame. Prawns cook easily to see to it that you don’t overcook them
  8. I add a pinch of sugar to balance the sourness in this dish
  9. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice
Andhra cooking is high in chilli, salt and tamarind. I don’t like too much chilli in my cooking and hence have not added much. You can add more if it suits your taste. You can replace prawns with boneless chunks of fish too.

Bisi Bele Bhaat

I love one pot dishes as they are easy to cook.
Bisi Bele Bhaat has been a personal favorite dish since years but we never tried it at home. I always thought of it as a complex dish because of the sheer mix of spices and hence used to order it frequently at Udipi restaurants. So on a lazy Sunday, as I was browsing the internet for a one pot dish, I stumbled upon this dish and thought of cooking it. It took me less than one hour to cook this but the flavours in the dish are amazing and so worth the effort.

Here is the recipe I followed.

  1. Take 2tbsp of ghee/cooking oil in a pressure cooker
  2. Add 1 tbsp of mustard seeds, 1tbsp cumin seeds, 2 dried red chillies, 1 onion diced into cubes, 2 green chilli slit in the centre, 2 twigs of curry leaves and then 1 pinch of asafoetida in that order on medium flame.
  3. When onion is slightly brown add 2 teaspoons of ginger garlic paste
  4. Add 1 carrot, around ½ cup of cauliflower, ½ cup of beans, ½ cup of peas, ½ cup of okra, 3-4 small sized brinjal all diced into ½ inch cubes. No fine cutting required here as the vegetables melt down in this recipe.
  5. Add a pinch of turmeric as you sauté the vegetables on medium flame
  6. After 5 mins, add 1 cup of toor daal (which has been pre-soaked in water for half an hour after draining the water) and 3 cups of rice (again soaked in water for half an hour and drained)
  7. Add 1 tomato diced into cubes

8. Add water (quantity should be so much that there is one inch of water on top of the rice).I like it a bit runny and hence added a lot of water

9. Cook on medium heat for at least 2 whistles

10. Once you put of the pressure cooker, wait for the pressure to ease and open the lid. Add 1 cup of tamarind water and 5-6 tbsp Bisi Bele Bhaat masala(see below).Adjust the water if needed according to your liking.

11. Cook some more till the masalas are well dissolved
12. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve with raita and papad.

Method of the Bisi Bele Bhaat masala
Dry roast 6 dried red chillies, 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 inch cinnamon, 5-6 cloves, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 2tbsp chana dal and 2tbsp urad dal on low flame. You can add pieces of coconut around 1tbsp to this. Once you can smell the spices and they are little brown, grind the powders to a coarse paste.

This dish can serve 6 people. One can experiment with the vegetables but brinjal gives this dish a distinctive flavor and hence don’t miss this ingredient

Recipe inspired from

Chicken 65

This dish was always on the menu at restaurants, but I somehow had never tasted it before moving to Hyderabad. But once I tasted this dish here it has become one of my favourite starters. I always wondered why is it called 65 and not any other number. One explanation was that it required 65 ingredients and hence I set out to find the recipe to see if it is actually that complex. I found the best recipe on and also the simple explanation. Chef Thumma says that this was the 65th dish on the menu card of a restaurant in Chennai and hence the name. Tried this recipe out for starters and found out that its not a difficult dish at all to prepare. It actually tastes very good and comes very close to what we get in restaurants.

Here is the recipe that I followed

  1. Marinate boneless chicken for an hour with salt, 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste and 1 tbsp pepper. I always make fresh ginger garlic paste when I have time instead of store bought one – adds a fresh flavour to the food.
  2. After an hour add 2tbsp cornflour, one egg and mix. Deep fry the chicken pieces in oil. See to it that the pieces don’t stick to each other. Drain and keep aside. The chicken pieces taste so good that we almost always devour half of it while deep frying itself.
  3. For the sauce, take 2tbsp oil in a pan. Add 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 10 flakes of chopped garlic (you can add more garlic if it suits your taste), 2 twigs of curry leaves, 1tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1tbsp each of pepper powder, cumin powder and chilli powder. Saute till the raw taste of masalas is gone.
  4. Add red chilli garlic paste. You can either buy it at a store or make it at home. For this boil water and add around 5 Kashmiri red chillies and around 10 flakes of garlic and then grind them to a thick paste in a mixer.
  5. Saute the paste. Drop a few drops of water. Toss the chicken and cook for around 5 mins.
  6. I also add 2-3 onions cut into 1 inch cubes and separating the layers along with the chicken. This gives some volume to the dish and the onions taste good with the sauce.
This dish has a south Indian taste to it and its main flavours are from pepper, garlic and curry leaves. Hence use fresh ingredients and in generous quantities. The dish at restaurants has a characteristic red colour which comes from the red chilli garlic paste. You may add food colour but I avoid it.

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