Caramel Pudding

This is my all time favorite dessert, to make as well as to eat... Its always got compliments from everyone who's had it.

Eggs  10
Milk   ½ litre
Sugar  2 teacups
Vanilla essence  ½ teaspoon
Sugar  4 tablespoon (to caramelize)

Beat eggs well. Add sugar & mix well. Add ½ litre milk (milk should just warm, not hot & not cold). Add vanilla essence. Mix well. Now strain this through a strainer and pour into another bowl. Now heat a thick bottomed non-stick pan. When its really hot, add sugar (4 tablespoon) let it melt until it is a light brown color, don’t add water, keep stirring. Immediately turn off the gas. Take a mould that has been brushed with ghee or butter. Pour caramel into it. Keep aside for 3 minutes to set. Now pour the egg mixture. It should only come to ¾th of the mould. Cover the top of the mould with aluminum foil or butter paper. Steam this for ½ an hour in a steamer. Once it’s cooked, turn it on to a plate. Keep in the refrigerator (not freezer) and serve cold, with some caramel poured on it.

Chicken with crushed red-chillis

Chicken 1 kg cut into small pieces
Dry red chillis 2 handfuls, roughly crushed (Don't use the store bought one, freshly crushed one's are always a better option)
Onion 2, cubed
Tomato 3, cubed
Garlic ½ a pod, cut each clove in half lengthwise
Chilly powder 2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut oil 3-4 tbsp
Juice of 1 lime
Mustard ½ tsp
Curry leaves 3-4 sprigs


  • Heat oil, sputter mustard. Add the crushed red chillis (you can crush by using the pulse option in the mixer a couple of rounds). Immediately add the onions and curry leaves. Fry till the onion becomes transparent.
  • Now add the tomatoes and fry till the oil separates and the tomatoes are mashed.
  • Then add the spice powders & salt and fry some more.
  • Add the chicken pieces; mix in well till the masala is well coated on the pieces. Don’t add additional water as it will be released from the chicken itself.
  • Add the garlic and the lime juice. Close lid. Cook in medium heat. Stir every 3-4 minutes.
  • Keep frying till all the gravy dries out and the chicken starts to get a golden brown coating.
  • Serve hot preferably… with anything that you want… this is a great side for a drinks session too ;-)
  • Enjoy!

Coorgi Pandhi Curry / Coorg Pork curry

This is the typical Coorgi style pork curry… I first had it at my best friend Dipti’s place, in Coorg, made by her mom. Auntie’s a terrific cook and there are a lot of her preparations which I love... but this is an all time number one... This recipe was passed on to me through word of mouth, but don’t worry, its accurate…

This preparation consists or 3 parts -- the marinated pork, the coarsely ground masala. Roast and powdered masala

(1) Pork or ‘pandhi’ (as they call it in Kodavatakk or Coorgi language) 1 kg, cut into medium sized pieces. Marinate this in ½ tsp of salt 1 tsp each of turmeric & chilly powder each, for about ½ an hour.

(2) Coarsely ground masala:
  1. Shallots 8
  2. Garlic 10 pods, that’s right PODS, not CLOVES (if they are small, or about 7 if they are big)
  3. Green chillis 4-5
  4. Ginger 1” piece
  5. Coccum 2-3 pieces or strips
The above ingredients should be crushed rather than ground. 

(3) Roast and powdered masala:
  1. Coriander seeds 1 tsp
  2. Black peppercorns 2 tsp
  3. Cumin seeds 1 ½ tsp
  4. Mustard ½ tsp
Roast and make a fine powder.


  • Add the ground masala and 1 cup of hot water to the pork and cook well in the pressure cooker, about 10-12 whistles should be fine.
  • When cooked, add powdered masala. Mix well and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, till you get a thick gravy.
  • The gravy will be black in color thick in consistency.
  • Best when served with ‘Otti’ (which is a Coorgi style rice flat bread) or with rice.

Malabar Crab Curry

This is a typical Mallu preparation, and especially a Malabarie one.

  1.  Crab 500gms, cleaned and cut in half
  2. Onion 1 big, sliced
  3. Tomatoes 2, sliced
  4. Ginger 2” piece, chopped
  5. Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Coconut oil 1 tbsp
  8. Curry leaves 1 sprig
For the masala:
  1. Coriander powder 2-3 tbsp
  2. Chilly powder 1 tbsp
  3. Black Peppercorns 1tsp
  4. Jeera  ½ tsp
  5. Cinnamon ½” piece
  6. Cloves 2
  7. Garlic 3-4 cloves
  8. Curry leaves 2 sprigs


      • Heat a pan and dry roast the masala ingredients together till it turns into a dark brown color. Keep aside and let it cool.
      • Once it’s cool, grind into a smooth thick paste with some water. Keep aside.
      • Now, heat a fish-chatti or a skillet and add the oil. Fry the onion and ginger together, (you can add a green chilly too if you want to, but I wouldn’t recommend that coz that might make the curry too hot as it already contains black pepper as well as red chilly powder) when the onion stats to become transparent, add some salt and turmeric powder. Keep frying for couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and curry leaves. Fry till the tomatoes are soft.
      • Add the crab pieces, and half a cup of water. Close lid and simmer for about 10 minutes.
      • Open the lid and cook for a couple of minutes, now add the ground masala. Add half a cup of water.
      • Close lid, leaving a small gap to let it evaporate and cook on a slow flame for another 15 minutes.
      • Now open the lid and increase the heat a bit and cook for 5 more minutes.
      • And the crab curry’s ready to be served.
      • Can be served with rice or any other Mallu main course like appam, kallappam etc. 
    It’ll be tastier if you could cook it a day before and reheat the curry a couple of times, the gravy would then become a thick blackish brown color.

    Orange soufflé

    An all time favorite party dessert, this recipe captures the flavor of oranges better than any other. 

    Milk  ¾ cup
    Ripe (sweet) oranges 3 [peeled and made into pieces]
    Eggs 4
    Sugar 6 tsp
    Flour 6 tsp
    Gelatin 2 tsp
    Water 1/4 cup
    Orange essence a few drops
    Castor sugar 5 tsp
    ½ an orange peeled, and the segments should be skinned and the pieces broken into tiny bits for decoration
    2-3 Mint leaves to decorate
    • Soak gelatin in around 1/4 cup water.
    • Separate egg yolks, add sugar and flour to the egg yolk and cream it. Gradually add milk and beat well.
    • Double boil till thick and creamy. Let it cool.
    • Then add half the gelatin and essence.
    • Whisk egg white, add castor sugar.
    • Fold in remaining gelatin and the orange pieces. Mix very slowly and patiently, or else you’ll spoil the fluffiness of the soufflé. 
    • Arrange the  soufflé in a dish; the egg yolk mixture first, then the egg white mixture, and finally the orange bits and mint leaves.
    • Cool in the refrigerator. Serve after a couple of hours of refrigeration. 

    Chicken in green gravy

    In this dish, the chicken is cooked in a coconut and herbs paste, which imparts a garden-fresh flavor and fragrance. It’s best served with rice.

    You’ll need:

    1 whole chicken weighing about 1 kg, cut into medium to small pieces
    2 onions, sliced
    2 tomatoes, quartered
    1 tsp minced ginger
    2 tsp minced garlic
    1 tbsp lime juice
    1 tbsp salt
    ¼ cup oil
    Coconut paste*

    *Coconut paste:
       ½ cup grated coconut
       1 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
       ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
       4 green chillis
       Curd ¼ cup 
       Grind the ingredients into a smooth paste.

         6 cardamoms
         6 cloves
         2 cinnamon sticks
         Roast and grind to a powder.


    • Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and fry for a couple of minutes, until they are soft.
    • Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they are browned evenly. Add the coconut paste and fry for 2 minutes or until the oil rises to the top.
    • Add the chicken, salt and spice powder. Mix well, cover and cook for about 20 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and well seasoned.
    • Add the tomatoes, fry for another minute, then remove from heat. Stir in the lime juice, just before serving.

    Fish Molee

    This is a spicier version of the typical Fish Molee or Stewed fish. It's made from fried fish that's simmered in a smooth coconut milk gravy. This tastes great with bread and goes well with appam too.

    You'll need:

    750 gms fish, thickly sliced
    ½ tsp turmeric powder
    1 ½ tsp salt
    ½ cup coconut oil
    1 onion, thinly sliced
    1 tbsp thinly sliced ginger
    2 green chillis, slit in half
    2 sprigs curry leaves
    1 tbsp rice flour or all purpose flour
    1 ½ cups thin coconut milk
    1 cup thick coconut milk
    ¼ tsp garam-masala*
    1 tbsp shallots, sliced thinly (fried in 1 tbsp of coconut oil) for garnish

    *[For the garam-masala:
       Peppercorns 2 tbsp
       Star anise 3
       Cloves 5
       Cinnamon 3 big pieces
       Cardamom (green) 3
       Cardamom (black) 2
       Fennel 1 tbsp
       Roast and powder together all the ingredients. This powder can be stored in an airtight       container for months. But it’s better to make it freshly every time, in a smaller quantity.]

    Method for making the Fish molee:

    • Marinate the fish in turmeric & ½ tsp salt. Set aside for 1 hour.
    • Heat the oil in a shallow pan, and fry the fish for a minute, on each side. Remove the fish from the pan when it’s lightly browned on both sides.
    • In the same oil, fry the onion for 2-3 minutes, until it’s lightly browned. Then add the curry leaves, ginger and green chillis. Sauté for a minute.
    • Stir in the flour. Add the thin coconut milk and the remaining 1 tsp of salt.
    • Slowly add the fried fish pieces. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
    • Gently stir in the thick coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
    • Garnish with the fried shallots.

    Pancakes with Maple syrup

    Pancakes are something one can have anytime of the day…breakfast, lunch, evening snack, dinner or even as a midnight snack!
    I remember my childhood days when we used to come back from school, and would be welcomed by the delightful aroma of hot pancakes & maple syrup that Mom would have kept ready for us. Everyday there used to be a different snack, and since I was never very fond of rice this used to be the bribe for me to eat my lunch or else she wouldn’t let me touch it, and I would have done anything for the snacks, let alone eat rice. Those were the times I used to thank god for a Mom who loves to cook … who would be waiting for us at the front door with a serene smile on her face…. who did not run after building a career, and was least bothered about what would happen on her work-front if she wasted half an hour on making pancakes for her kids…and more than God, I guess we should thank our Dad, for insisting that Mom needn’t work, that he would take care of everything…. though he’d left the choice to her… thankfully, mom chose us above a job.
    So today I was looking up mom’s old cookbook when I saw this recipe, and suddenly the good ol’ nostalgia struck again… and I had to have the pancakes with the maple syrup…. and I did….
    And here’s how…

    • Maida 2 small cups
    • Eggs 3
    • Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp
    • Baking powder 1 pinch
    • Castor sugar as per your taste, I used about 5 tbsp
    • Salt 1 pinch
    • Milk ¼ small cup
    For the topping:
    • Maple syrup
    · Add all the ingredients to a blender. Make a smooth, thick paste.
    · Heat a non-stick pan, pour 1 ladle of the batter on to the pan, do not spread it.
    · Cook both sides for less than a minute each.
    · Once all the pancakes are ready, take a plate, keep one pancake in the middle, pour a little maple syrup on top, keep another pancake on top of the first one, and pour some more maple syrup. Repeat with about 3-4 pancakes for each serving.
    · Enjoy the pancakes, I accompanied it wid some apple juice!

    Sending this to Any one can cook series of  Umm Mymoonah

    Naadan kozhi varatti vechathe... Country Style Chicken Fry

    There's nothing much to elaborate about this dish... its just another Mallu-style chicken semi-gravy recipe. Since chicken is definitely the most popularly available & preferred form of meat, not just in Kerala, but perhaps all over the world, there would most probably be a million and one ways to prepare it.

    Till a few years back, most Mallus hardly bought chicken from the store. They preferred to rear their chicken at home, I suspect it is so in some areas even today, though definitely not so around the towns & cities. I remember seeing chicks running around people's yard, when we used to visit some of our country-side relatives when i was a kid. It used to be a very exciting sight for us kids back then. The aunties used to grab one of them for the visitors for lunch, and before you knew it, the merry chick who was running around a while ago, would soon be on our plates and no sooner inside our tummies. I used to feel sorry for the chicken, but only till the minute it was served on my plate, after which my appetite always used to weigh more than the grievances about the chicken, so i would just pray for the chicken's soul and focus on attacking what's on my plate. After all, that's the circle of life... Those were the days... the store bought chicks which reach adulthood in less than 28 days eating all that junk food (or whatever it is that they feed them to make them grow so fat in so few days) never taste the same as the one which grew up slow and steady in the yard, eating the garden insects & the earthworms. But I'm not complaining, something's definitely better than nothing.... So we'll have to satisfy our chicken cravings with the junk-food-eating-chicks.

    So here's how those country-side aunties used to prepare the chicken....


    Chicken 1 kg cut into small pieces
    Onions 5-6 sliced
    Shallots 10-15 sliced
    Green chillies 2-3 Slit in half
    Ginger 2" piece crushed well
    Garlic 1 pod crushed
    Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
    Chilly powder 3-4 tsp
    Corriander powder 4-5 tsp
    Oil 1 cup, preferably coconut oil
    Salt to taste
    Lots of curry leaves

    • Fry the turmeric, curry leaves, 1/2 of the chilly powder, corriander powder & salt. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
    • Heat the oil in a wok or a pan & saute the onions & shallots on a medium flame, till they start turning into a golden brown color. Lower the heat, and add the green chillies & remaining chilly powder. Saute for a few seconds and add the marinated chicken pieces.
    • Keep stirring for about 5 mins, then add some water and close the lid and let it simmer on a medium flame for about 10 mins.
    • Add the curry leaves, ginger and garlic, and some more salt if required. Cook for another 10 mins on a slow flame.
    • Once you've opened the lid, keep stirring for about 10 more mins (the chicken shouldn't get mashed up) , or till the gravy reduces. The gravy's consistency should be thick, but not dry.
    Can be served with idly, chapattis, porotta or rice.   

    Kallu shaap meen curry... Toddy shop fish curry

    Now, let me give you the recipe which is cherished by all the (non-vegetarian) coastal residents of Kerala, but mainly by the visitors of "kallu-shaaps"(toddy shop). This is always served with toddy, as a side-dish at the local toddy shops.

    Its a spicy red gravy, which isn't too thick nor too thin in consistency.. It may look a little scary to the weak-hearted folks. You might think that it'll claim your tongue, but trust me its not so bad, you'll agree with me once u try it. My dad for one hates any food that's even close to spicy (or so he claims). Everytime and every meal that mom makes this curry (any given meal is incomplete in our house without it) dad has to crib that it's so hot that he gets hiccups (he says so for everything which has more than a pinch of chilly in it, but still licks his plate, when we're not watching!) but he won't let a day pass when he would not help himself to a handsome serving of the 'notorious curry'.

    Its usually eaten only the next day after preparation, after its been simmered and simmered and simmered for about 3 to 4 times, by when it would have turned into a deep red shade and definitely irresistible! It'll most definitely not come out anywhere close to its authentic taste if prepared in any other form of utensil other than a meen-chatti.

    So here goes...

    Things you'll need:
    • Fish 1/2 kg cut and cleaned
    • Onion 1 sliced
    • Tomato 1 sliced
    • Green chillies 1 or 2 slit in half
    • Ginger 1 big piece chopped
    • Kashmiri chilly powder 4-5 tbsp (Use the non-spicy one which is just for color and texture, DON'T USE THE SPICY ONE IN THE ABOVE MENTIONED QUANTITY!! If u do, i will not be responsible for any casualties arising from its consumption... & I mean it!!)
    • Hot chilly powder 1 tsp ONLY, coz the kashmiri chilly will have a bit of spiciness in itself, and we're also adding green chillies
    • Tamarind almost half a handful soaked in hot water and about 1 tea-cup thick juice extracted (its not a a typing mistake, you'll actually need so much)
    • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
    • Salt to taste
    • Sugar 1 tsp (to balance all the flavors)
    The fish, it's called 'Uluva-meen' or 'Kadambe' in Malayalam, no idea what its called in English.. you can use any other fish of your choice

    For seasoning:
    • Coconut oil 4-5 tbsp
    • Garlic 8-9 cloves, crushed
    • Curry leaves 3 sprigs

        • All the ingredients together (except the fish), crush it well with your hands.
        • Then add the fish. Add about 2 cups of water.
        • Simmer for about 1/2 an hour. By then it would be almost a dark red to orange color, and quite thick in consistency.
        • Add the seasoning ingredients directly to the curry. Close lid immediately.
        • Keep aside. Reheat after about 5-6 hours, repeat again in another 5-6 hours.
        • Serve with rice and a couple of 'kaandari mulagu' (bird's eye chilly) . Mash the chillies into the gravy and there you go!! The kallu shop fish curry.. Enjoy!!

        Brinjal fry / Enna kathri

        This is one more of my Achamma's simple but awesome recipes. Its called Ennai kathri, the literal translation for the name would be Oil-brinjal, which doesn't sound great, so i'll just refer to it as Ennai kathri. This curry has a thick gravy which is dark brown in colour.

        You'll need:
        1. Brinjal 4, cubed
        2. Corriander powder 2 tbsp
        3. Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
        4. Dry red chillies 4
        5. Jeera 1/2 tsp
        6. Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
        7. Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
        8. Shallots 4-5
        9. Garlic 6 cloves
        10. Curry leaves 2 sprigs
        11. Oil 1 tbsp
        12. Tamarind A big lime sized ball (Soak in water and extract the juice. The juice should be thick, as the gravy is of a thick texture as i said earlier)
        13. Onion 1 Chopped
        14. Green chillies 3 Slit in half
        15. Ginger 1" piece Chopped
        For seasoning:
        1. Coconut oil 2 tbsp
        2. Mustard 1/2 tsp
        3. Dry red chillies 2 Broken into pieces
        4. Curry leaves 1 sprig

        • Fry all ingredients from 2-10 in 1 tbsp oil. Grind well with some water, to make a thick paste.
        • Mix this with the brinjal. Keep aside.
        • Heat oil for the seasoning, splutter the mustard, add curry leaves & dry chillies.
        • Add the marinated brinjal to this. Saute till the brinjal's skin becomes soft.
        • Then add the tamarind juice.
        • Let simmer till the brinjal is well cooked.
        • The gravy should be thick in consistency.
        • Can be served with chapatti or rice.

          Grandma's fish Curry

          This is one of my grandmom's wonderful recipes....
          Mathi or Sardines are one of the very popular fishes, especially in Kerala. Its something you can call cheap and best. I for one feel its very under-priced, for the awesome thing that it is. But at the rate prices are shooting up nowadays, i'm quite certain that it wouldn't be long before mathi would be priced like seer fish or prawn, i don't even wanna imagine how much those would cost by then.
          This is one of my all time favorite fish curries, it triggers nostalgia in me, coz this is one of the most prominent memories associated with my granmom's house. My Achamma (Dad's mom) is a great cook, and this curry she makes has been the same since I first ate it, 25 years ago, when I was less than a year old, and is still exactly the same. But for me, the actual taste comes only when Naathi-- short for Naarayaniadathi, (my granmom's helping hand from 30 years or more maybe. I remember seeing her ever since i was born. She's a very short lady, not more than 4 feet, who looks the same then and now, except for a little hunch which has come in the last few years) feeds me with her 'vayasaaya kai' (Malayalam for 'old hands') as she puts it.

          For the curry, you'll need:
          1. Mathi 1/2 kg Cut & cleaned (Don't cut it into pieces, if u usually do that, keep the fish whole)
          2. Turmeric 1/2 tsp
          3. Salt to taste
          4. Tamarind, a small lime-sized ball (Soak in hot water for about 10 min, and take out the juice)
          5. Green chillies 3 Slit in half
          6. Ginger 1" piece Chopped
          7. Onion 1 small sliced
          8. Coconut 1/4 of a whole coconut, ground to a smooth paste along with a pinch of turmeric
          For seasoning:
          1. Coconut oil 2tbsp
          2. Garlic 5-6 cloves Crushed
          3. Curry leaves 2 sprigs

          • Boil all the ingredients together.
          • Let it simmer for about 15-20 mins.
          • When it starts to thicken, and the seasoning ingredients directly to the curry.
          • Serve hot or cold, tastes great anyway.
          This dish is best served with rice, especially boiled rice and chapatti.

          Pork Fry

          This is another one of my mom's wonderful recipes. I don't know which particular cuisine this one falls under, could be Kerala or could be Mangalorean, but I strongly suspect this is one of mom's inventions, we all know how good mom's are at inventing new dishes, as they are at inventing stories... and I'm quite proud to say that in my mom's case, I'm her inspiration for both the inventions. It seems i hated food as a kid and only ate a bit if i was told a new story for each meal and made her invent new stories, coz she ran out of the stories she knew. I can't imagine that, coz I'm such a foodie now. I'm quite sure Amma would never have imagined either, that her daughter who made life so difficult for her to eat every single meal would someday be so keenly writing up a food blog. So you can imagine how Amma turned into the great cook that she is, she kept improvising and getting better and better at cooking, just so that i would eat. So... I'm her inspiration there too.

          Anyhow, all i know is that this is one great recipe, and this isn't just my view, anyone who tasted it shares my opinion.

          I'm sure lot of us love this delicious meat. I also know lot of u don't too. For those who do, enjoy it, those who don't, please feel free to check out some of the other recipes :) I'm a pure Non-Veggie, and enjoy almost every form of non-veg, but of course, like my Acha (Dad) says "anything that doesn't bite me back"......
          So here goes the pork.....

          You'll need:
          1. Pork 1kg small cubes
          2. Turmeric 1/2 tsp
          3. Salt to taste
          4. Chilly powder 1tbsp
          5. Ginger 1 large piece, smashed and then chopped up
          6. Garlic 5-10 cloves, crushed
          7. Onion 4, sliced thinly
          8. Green chillies 2-3, split in half (This one's optional if u prefer it to be a lil less hot on the tongue)
          9. Tomatoes 2, small cubes
          10. Meat masala or Chicken masala 2 tbsp (If unavailable, replace with corriander powder, but make sure u roast it to a dark brown color beforehand)
          11. Lots of curry leaves
          12. Pepper powder 1tsp
          13. Sugar 1 tsp (To balance all the flavors)
          14. Vinegar 1/4 tea-cup
          15. Coconut oil 1 tbsp


          • Wash the meat well with water, turmeric and some jaggery, if u have it, else salt would do fine. Jaggery and turmeric removes the raw smell of the pork. Marinate in this mix for about 15 minutes before washing again in water.
          • Once its washed well, marinate the meat in the ingredients 2-10 and some curry leaves.
          • Pressure cook with about 1 or 2 cups water for about 10-12 whistles, pork needs to be cooked well.
          • Heat an 'uruli' (a traditional utensil used widely in Kerala), if u don't have an uruli, a wok would do. Add coconut oil to it, add the curry leaves, add the contens of the cooker.
          • Keep frying this stirring on & off till the gravy dries up and sticks to the meat.
          • Pork fry's ready.
          • Serve hot!
          This dish tastes great with almost anything, rice, chapatti, appam, kallappam or Kerala porotta.

          Quilon Shark curry

          This is a very famous Shark Curry, or Varutharacha sravu curry. Its a thick dark brown curry with the taste of a variety of spices flirting with your taste-buds, making it almost impossible to decide which flavor taste's better. It's a lil tangy, a lil bitter, lil spicy and very hot! If your tongue has even a little ability to take hot and spicy food, make the best use of it while eating this, coz this is one of those curries which tends to be stubborn on being itself and not being altered at all. Not that it is any less tasty if u make slight changes, but if u reduce the spices in this recipe, it looses some of it original charm. But i'm sure u'd still enjoy it no less.
          1. Shark 500gms Cleaned and cut into cubes
          2. Coconut 1, grated
          3. Methi 1/4 tsp
          4. Turmeric 1/4 tsp
          5. Saunf 1/2 tsp
          6. Peppercorns 1 tsp
          7. Corriander seeds 2 tbsp
          8. Kashmir chillies, the long wrinkled ones 5 (For color)
          9. Spicy dry red chillies 5
          10. Shallots 3 (This is used to balance the smell and flavor of all the spices)
          11. Tomato 1
          12. Green chillies 3 or 4 (You can reduce or avoid this one if your tongue is on the sober side, coz it wouldn't make a huge difference to the curry's texture or color unlike the dry chillies or pepper)
          13. Curry leaves 2 sprigs
          14. 'Kudampuli' or kochampuli 3 strips or pieces (Soaked in 3/4 cup hot water)
          For seasoning:
          1. Coconut oil
          2. Curry leaves 1 sprig
          3. Dry red chillies 2 Broken into 2 or 3 pieces
          4. Shallots 5-6, sliced

          • Roast the ingredients 2 - 10 together, till the coconut starts to turn golden in color. Let it cool.
          • Once its cool, grind it into a smooth paste and keep aside.
          • Heat a Meen-chatti (Flat earthen pot used mainly or rather exclusively for cooking fish in Kerala), add tomato green chillies, 2 sprigs of curry leaves and the soaked kochampuli (with the water). Saute till the tomato becomes soft.
          • Add the fish pieces, stir slowly and carefully so as not to break the fish.
          • When the fish turns white in color, add the ground masala.
          • When it starts to boil turn off the heat. Don't let it boil for long coz it makes the gravy watery and looses the texture of the curry.
          • Heat the coconut oil, and add the remaining ingredients for seasoning.
          • Add this to the curry, close lid immediately and keep aside for at least 1 hour before serving. This curry tastes good with plain white rice.

          Malabar Mutton Stew

            My mom is very popular for her great culinary skills. I know a lot of moms are, but there are few of my mom's recipes which are so yummy that I feel, no mom can beat her. If you tried out this recipe, you'll agree with me. Here's the recipe for her famous Mutton Stew.

            You'll need:
            Mutton 1kg, with bone; medium pieces
            Onion 3; sliced
            Green chilies 4-5; slit in half
            Potatoes 3-4; cubes
            Ginger - about 2"; julienne slices
            Coconut milk:
            1st milk or thick milk 2 cups
            2nd milk or thin milk 2-3 cups (We would be cooking the meat in this, so take as per the gravy as u require for the stew, but don't make it too loose either, coz that'll end up giving you a very watery stew, which would not be good.)
            Curry leaves 2 sprigs
            Cinnamon 2" piece; crushed, but not powdered
            Cloves 2 pieces; crushed, but again not powdered
            Star anise - 1; broken into pieces
            Coconut oil 2 tbsp.
            Peppercorns 2 tbsp.; crushed coarsely
            Curry leaves - 1 sprig
            Salt to taste

            For garnish:
            Coconut oil - 1 tbsp.
            Shallots - 2-3; sliced
            Curry leaves - 1 sprig

            • In a heated pan add coconut oil; then the cloves, cinnamon, star anise, green chilies, onion and ginger,  sauté till the onion starts to turn golden. Add 1 sprig of the curry leaves.
            • Add the thin coconut milk (2nd); then the meat, potatoes, crushed peppercorns and salt. Pressure cook these for about 6 whistles or till the mutton and potatoes are cooked.
            • Once this is done, do a taste test for salt and spice, do any adjustments if required as per your taste. Do not add more salt after this stage, as you'd be adding the thick coconut milk after this, and ideally salt should be added before thick coconut milk is added to any gravy, else it tends to spoil the texture of the gravy.
            • Let it simmer for a while till the gravy starts to thicken. Now add the thick coconut milk (1st ). Cook for 5 more minutes and remove from heat.
            • Garnish with sliced shallots and some curry leaves fried well in the coconut oil.
            • Stew's ready. Serve hot!
            • This stew tastes the best with freshly baked Bread, Vellayappam, Kallappam, Vattayappam and Ghee rice.