Chemmeen Choru – Kerala Style Spicy One Pot Shrimp Rice

Anjali Venugopal May 24, 2020 NO COMMENTS

There are days when all I need is a dance of flavours from Kerala on my palate. This recipe does that for me. It is a one pot shrimp rice that is almost like a little glimpse into the vibrant cuisine of my hometown. The coconut oil, the ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves along with fresh prawns make this dish an absolute delight for anyone craving for a bit of Kerala for lunch or dinner.

Things you will need:

(Serves 3-4)

  • Jumbo Prawns- 18-20 , cleaned, deveined and the tails preferably left on
  • Good quality long grained Basmati rice- 2 cups
  • Water- 4.25 cups
  • Onions- 1 large or 2 medium sized, sliced finely
  • Tomato- 2 small, chopped
  • Ginger- 1 inch stick, julienned (it’s nice to have a little bite of fresh ginger in this dish)
  • Garlic- 4-5 cloves, minced (if you are using the large variety, 2 large cloves will do)
  • Green chillies- 4-5 slit lengthwise
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 1 heaped tablespoon
  • Coriander powder- a little less than 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon
  • Ground black pepper- ½ teaspoon
  • Juice of half a lime or 1 tablespoon vinegar for the acidity
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
  • Green cardamom- 3 pods
  • Cloves- 3
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
  • Coconut oil- 2 tablespoons
  • Ghee- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste

How to go about it:

  1. First, wash the Basmati rice twice, soak for 10 minutes and strain well. Keep it aside.
  2. Marinate the prawns in a bit of salt and the black pepper. Keep aside.
  3. Place a wok or deep pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and move it all around for a minute. Next, add the sliced onions and half the curry leaves. Saute the onions well until they are nice and golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute them for 30 seconds. The raw smell must go and the fresh flavour of these ingredients will be released in the hot coconut oil.
  5. Next, add the tomatoes. Give it all a quick mix and keep the wok closed for 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes soften up and can be mashed with the back of the spatula.
  6. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric. Add salt to taste. Fry the spices and the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the mixture darkens in colour and it all begins to look homogeneous. Add the lime juice and mix well.
  7. Next, place the marinated prawns and the remaining curry leaves in the wok and mix well to ensure the masala coats all the prawns evenly. After that, keep the wok closed for 7-9minutes. It is important that the prawns are not overcooked to ensure the best results for this recipe. After 7-9 minutes (or once the prawns are cooked), open the wok and you will see that they are cooked and that they have released some water which is the base flavour in which we’ll be cooking the rice.
  8. Now. Important. With a small spoon, take just the prawns out of the wok. Leave the masala mixture behind. This is to ensure that we don’t over cook them. Keep them aside.
  9. Next, add a tablespoon of ghee to mixture. Mix well. Empty the strained and now dry rice (yes, the raw rice) into the wok and mix well. Please be careful while you mix as the grains of rice will now be brittle because of the soaking. Do it lightly to ensure you don’t break the grains.
  10. In the meantime, bring the water to a rolling boil separately.
  11. The rice must be fried for about 2nminutes or until the grains feel slightly crunchy to the touch.
  12. Add the boiling water and mix well. Increase the heat to a high. Add more salt as required for the entire dish. Stir carefully and allow the rice to cook with the wok kept open. Allow almost all the water to evaporate and there is but a light moisture remaining. The rice will now be al dente. Take the wok off the heat.With the help of a fork, lightly stir up the rice to loosen the grains. DO NOT stir the rice unnecessarily. Just lightly make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  13. Place the cooked prawns on the top of the rice. Sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander leaves on top. Cover the wok and place a heavy weight on top of the lid. I use my mortar and pestle. Allow this to rest on the counter for 20 minutes before serving. This is when the rice cooks completely and the flavours get balanced. So, patience.
  14. Serve warm with raita and pickle. Dig in! 🙂

Instant Carrot and Ginger Pickle

Anjali Venugopal May 19, 2020 NO COMMENTS

I love pickles. They have the power to make even the laziest of meals more appetizing. This one is made with carrots and ginger. It’s hot, sour and sweet all at the same time and it is a favourite.

Things you will need:

  • Carrots- 3 medium to large sized, cut into two inch long wedges. See picture above.
  • Ginger- 2 inch piece, julienned. Even slightly thicker bits work if you like the bite of nice fresh ginger. Works very well in this pickle. See picture above.
  • Fresh green chillies- 6-7 finely chopped
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 3 heaped tablespoons
  • White vinegar- a little less than 1/3 cup
  • Black mustard seeds- 1.5 teaspoons
  • Fenugreek seeds- ½ teaspoon
  • Dried red chillies- 3-4
  • Water- ½ cup
  • Salt- to taste
  • Sugar- 1-1.5 teaspoons
  • Cooking oil- ¼ cup (Gingelly oil is your best bet. Canola works too, I used Canola)

How to go about it

  1. In a pan, heat the cooking oil. Medium heat. Once hot, add the mustard, fenugreek and dried red chillies. Allow the seeds to spultter.
  2. Next, add the ginger and the green chillies. Saute well for 1.5- 2 minutes. This will ensure that the flavours are released well into the oil.
  3. Now take the pan off the heat and add the chilli powder. Move the chilli powder around for 30 seconds while it is off the heat to ensure it doesn’t burn. Place the pan back on LOW heat. Fry the chilli powder for another 30 seconds. It will get darker in colour but make sure it does not burn!
  4. Add half the vinegar and mix well. Keep mixing for another 15-20 seconds.Next, add the remaining vinegar and water. Mix well. Add the salt too (you may want to add a little extra salt as this is a pickle. Helps to preserve the carrots and also tastes great with all the chilli, vinegar and sugar).
  5. Add the carrot wedges and mix it all up well. If you feel you’d like a bit more sauce in the pickle, add more water. Mix very well and keep the pan closed for about two minutes (on medium heat) and allow the carrots to cook ever so lightly. The carrots must be crisp even at the end.
  6. Add the sugar (add 1 tsp and see if you need more to reach the right balance), mix well again, check salt and add more if required. Pickling is a skill you acquire with time. So, if you’re a newbie, keep tasting at every step to get to the right balance that works on your palate.
  7. Allow the pickle to come to room temperature before storing away in clean and dry glass bottles. Keeps well for months in the fridge. Just make sure you use a clean and dry spoon every time you serve the pickle.

Hot and Sweet Prawn Noodles

Anjali Venugopal May 18, 2020 NO COMMENTS

Just as the name suggests, this recipe is fiery and sweet at the same time. Perfect to answer all your asian food cravings. But here is a disclaimer. All the ingredients I have used here are not exactly what’s used in authentic Asian cuisine. I have just made a bunch of ingredients work together to give me the result which is a lip smacking and delicious plate of prawn noodles. I got the canvas to work on this recipe when I saw the garlic shrimp noodles Seonkyoung Longest ( ) had posted on her page.

If you’re a vegetarian and want to substitute the prawns, this recipe works well with mushrooms. Everything remains the same but instead of the fish sauce, add another tablespoon of soy coupled with a tablespoon of white vinegar for the acidity.

Things you will need:

(Serves 2)

  • Spaghetti – 200 grams (approx 100 grams per person. Spaghetti or Linguine work the best for this recipe)
  • Jumbo prawns- 15 (cleaned, deveined and preferably with the tails left on. Great flavour. Big prawns work the best for this recipe.)
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter- 1 inch cube
  • Garlic – 6-7 cloves minced (if using the large variety, 2-3 cloves)
  • Green peppers- 1 small sliced
  • Carrot- 1 medium sized, cut into matchsticks
  • Corn flour- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper (ground)- ½ teaspoon

For the spice mix:

  • Dark soy sauce- 2.5 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce- 1.5 tablespoons
  • Honey- 3 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper powder- 1.5 tablespoons (step it up if you like it more fiery. I would think that regular chilli powder would work as a substitute but I haven’t given it a try yet. But be wary of the quantities!!)

How to go about it:

  1. Marinate the prawns in corn flour, salt and black pepper. Keep aside.
  2. Combine all the ingredients given under “for the spice mix” in a bowl, mix well and keep aside.
  3. Cook the spaghetti in salted, boiling water according to the instructions on the packet until al dente. Strain and keep aside but reserve the pasta water for later.
  4. Place a large pan or wok on medium to high heat and heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Place the marinated prawns in the hot oil and cook each side for a minute. Both sides will be a golden brown.
  5. Add the minced garlic and butter. Toss it all around until the butter has completely melted.
  6. Add the spice mixture, give it all a quick mix and add the vegetables. Toss it all around for 30 seconds. We don’t want the veggies to be cooked. A light wilt is all we need.
  7. Add the cooked pasta and mix it all up well. You can now add about ½ cup of the pasta water to combine it all well.
  8. Serve immediately with a cold beer 🙂

Dal Makhani – The True Queen of Dals

Anjali Venugopal May 15, 2020 NO COMMENTS

I love my meat. But there are a few vegetarian dishes that truly get me to overeat. One is this royal Dal Makhani. Serve it with some hot jeera rice and it’s a meal in itself. It’s rich and absolutely flavorful and one of my most favourite things to eat any day. But you must remember that the Dal Makhani is not something you can decide to cook when you are already hungry. It takes time, patience and love. Give this dish the love it needs and you’ll see magic.

Things you will need:

(serves 3-4)

  • Whole black urad dal- 3⁄4 cup
  • Red kidney beans (Rajma)- 1⁄4 cup
  • Water- 3.5 cups (to pressure cook)
  • Butter- 2 tablespoons or two 2 inch cubes
  • Red onion- 1 medium sized, chopped finely (chop well!)
  • Green chilies- 3 chopped finely
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 teaspoons (grind a 1 inch stick of ginger along with 5-6 cloves of garlic)
  • Tomatoes- 2 large, pureed with skin on
  • Cumin seeds- 1⁄2 teaspoon
  • Cloves- 3
  • Green cardamom- 3 pods
  • Cinnamon- 1 inch stick
  • Indian bay leaf- 1
  • Kashmiri red chili powder- 2 teaspoons
  • Cream- ¼ cup
  • Kasuri Methi crushed- ½ teaspoon (optional)
  • Salt- to taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves (optional)

How to go about it:

  1. Soak the black dal and the red kidney beans together, overnight in enough water for a minimum of 9-10 hours. Once that is done, drain the water and rinse the lentils well. Keep it aside.
  2. Add the 3.5 cups (the same cup you used to measure the dal) of water and pressure-cook the lentils for at 20 whistles on high heat. Don’t add salt now. Check after 20 whistles to see if the lentils are cooked well and can be mashed with the back of a spoon. If not, add another cup of water and let it cook for another 2-3 whistles. The point here is to make sure the lentils are cooked thoroughly and that the black dal melts in your mouth.
  3. Once the dal is cooked, keep it aside.
  4. Next, in a heavy bottomed dish, heat 2 tablespoons of butter. Medium heat. Don’t let the butter burn though. Add the whole spices (cumin, cloves, green cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf). Saute for 30 seconds or until the spices release the flavour into the melted butter.
  5. Add the finely chopped onions and saute till they turn golden brown. Next, add the ginger garlic paste and green chillies and saute for 20 seconds.
  6. Next, add the pureed tomatoes, salt to taste and chilli powder and keep sauteing till most of the water content from the tomatoes evaporates and the fat starts to release from the sides. The mixture will now be slightly darker.
  7. Add the cooked dal with the stock and a cup of water and mix very well. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it stay on the stove on a low heat for a minimum of 40 minutes uncovered. Make sure you keep stirring the pot frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The longer you let it simmer, the tastier it gets. So, 40 minutes is a minimum. Stay patient.
  8. If you feel the dal is getting too cakey or dry, keep adding half cups of water and mix well. I keep tasting the dal every now and then and you’ll actually feel the flavours deepen and come together to form a balance like never before. You can also ensure the salt it just right.
  9. Once the dal has simmered for a while and is nice and thick, add the cream. Take off the stove immediately and mix well. The Dal Makhani is not a watery dal. It’s rich and luscious.
  10. Add the kasuri methi (optional) and give it a good mix. Garnish with a small swirl of cream and chopped coriander leaves for an enhanced flavour.
  11. Serve warm with Naan or Jeera Rice or Rotis. Tastes even better the next day!

Tamil Chicken 65

Anjali Venugopal May 13, 2020 NO COMMENTS

Disclaimer. This dish is deep fried and this means 1) it’s not your healthiest bet and 2) you’ll end up having to throw away the leftover oil. Having said that, this crispy fried chicken is delicious as an appetizer, or for a regular meal with rice and dal and the best still, as a munchie while you are sipping on a cold beer.

Things you will need:

  • Boneless chicken breasts- 2 (cut into small bite sized pieces)
  • Oil for deep frying- about 400 ml (I use rapeseed oil for frying)
  • Curry leaves- 2-3 sprigs. Be lavish as the curry leaves give the base flavour for this dish.

For marination:

  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 2 tablespoons (If you prefer it hotter, use 1 tablespoon of regular red chilli powder and 1 tablespoon of Kashmiri. The Kashmiri chilli powder is what gives this recipe its colour as I am against using artificial food colouring.)
  • Ginger garlic paste- 2 teaspoons (make a paste with a 1 inch stick of ginger and 5-6 small cloves of garlic)
  • Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper powder- 1.5 teaspoon
  • Lime juice- 1 tablespoon
  • Egg- 1
  • Salt- to taste
  • Corn flour- 2 tablespoons
  • Regular all purpose flour- 1 tablespoons

How to go about it:

  1. In a bowl, make a marinade using all the ingredients listed under ‘for marination.’ Rub the mixture on the chicken pieces. Mix very well, preferably with your hands, and allow this marinated chicken to rest in fridge for about 30 minutes to one hour.
  2. When ready to fry the chicken, place a heavy wok on medium heat and heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add some curry leaves and wait for 10 seconds. Place the marinated chicken bits in the hot oil, making sure you don’t over crowd the wok, and deep fry with the wok uncovered, until the outer covering is nice and crispy.
  3. Fry in batches with enough curry leaves every time. And serve hot with sliced red onions, a dash of lime juice and a frosty beer on the side.

Apple Cinnamon Preserve

Anjali Venugopal May 12, 2020 NO COMMENTS

This is an old fashioned apple preserve which works well on toast or pancakes or in pies.

Things you will need:

(yields 500 grams worth)

  • Apples- 3 large (peeled, core removed and cut into small pieces)
  • Cinnamon- 2 inch stick powdered or 1.5 teaspoon
  • Sugar- 1.5 cups
  • Juice of 1 lime

How to go about it:

  1. In a dry, large, deep and heavy bottomed pot, place the cut apples and add the sugar. Mix well. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the pot on a medium heat and keep stirring while you wait for the sugar to melt.
  3. Once the sugar begins to melt, add the cinnamon and lime juice and keep mixing it all well. The apples will now begin to release water.
  4. Keep stirring the contents for another 25-30 minutes or until the apple pieces soften up. Break down the larger pieces with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Aim to get the preserve to a nice jam like consistency with little chunks of well cooked apples here and there. Don’t allow it to get completely smooth.
  6. Cool down completely before storing away in dry, glass jars. Keeps well for 3 weeks in the fridge.

Hi, I am Anjali

A lawyer who gave up law to pursue her one true love, food.

I was born and raised in Trivandrum in arguably one of the most beautiful corners of the world, Kerala (the southernmost state of India). I have now made a home in Paris with the love of my life.

If I had to pick two things that made me the happiest, I would pick cooking and meeting new people.

Follow us

Trending Post