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Tag Archives: South India

July Favourites

It’s been such a fabulous and rewarding month filled with such amazing opportunities on the work front. I am thoroughly drained but it has all been so worth it.

After a few months of discussions, brainstorming and testing, I was finally able to announce my collaboration with Feastively. It is a joy that I cannot put into words to finally see my recipes as a meal box. And of course the thought that it would be of immense help to busy families to put healthy, fresh and delicious meals in 15 minutes on the table.

I have already done a blog post announcing the collaboration so you can read it all here. And to purchase my fresh box, visit the Feastively website. If any of you have already cooked with it, I would love to hear your feedback.

Visit the Feastively website to purchase my special Beef Mince Curry with potatoes, peas and served with steamed rice.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

The second highlight of the month was the opportunity to be one of the judges for an upcoming series called Zee TV Chef Diaries. Shot in Melbourne, it’s a cooking series for passionate home cooks to showcase their culinary talents. It was an incredible honour because judging someone else’s cooking is no easy task. But I was happy that I was able to do my best; an experience I will cherish forever.

And the third was being chosen as one of the Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018. Again a huge honour especially being in the company of some of the photographers that I have admired and learned from since the beginning of my blogging journey.

Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018 - thespiceadventuress.com

There’s been a lot of recipe development that happened in July; it was a busy month again with lots of brand collaborations and the like. But one of my favourites was this simple Kerala platter with rice, parippu curry (Kerala style lentils); beetroot stir fry and mussels thoran (mussels stir fried with grated coconut and spices). It’s the taste of home!

Mussels thoran - thespiceadventuress.com

And time now for all other favourites for the month of July:

Most parents are often made to feel guilty about having just one child. I hope this article will make you feel better about the decision.

I have a little boy or I would have shopped this entire site. But I do buy for my nieces.

An easy peasy chicken noodle dish.

This kofta biryani is perfect for our Sunday lunch. And a long siesta thereafter….

I love taro (arbi), one of my favourite root vegetables.

A Vegan Wellington! How interesting….

Enchilada and a casserole….what a great idea!

Love gazpacho especially in summer but never tried a tomatillo version.

The best chicken sandwich I have seen in a long time

Totally making this pork burger

 

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Kerala style Stingray Curry

When you are a native of another country living abroad, shopping for many ingredients can be a real chore. Often you would know the name of ingredients in your local or native language and it can sometimes be a difficult task to find the English name for it while shopping here.

And with Google and Wiki being my best friend in most instances, I still find it hard sometimes especially while shopping for seafood.

That’s what happened last week at the market. I had taken my parents out to the Dandenong Market, to show them around as well as pick up some seafood and other ingredients. I was quite curious when their faces lit up at the sight of a particular product. And I was so surprised to hear that it was one of my absolute favourites, a local variety that is often called ‘therendi’, a fish species popular in some parts of Kerala.

Therendi (also called therachi) is actually a variety of Stingray which is quite famous for its unique cartilaginous structure.

Kerala style Stingray Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

I have often seen this at the markets but never could identify because it was always cut up and kept in chunks rather than the whole fish and also I had no clue of its English name. And I was always under the impression that stingray was not for human consumption!

To cut a long story short, I was quite ecstatic that one of my favourite ingredients is so easily available here. Stingray is a common or popular fish in many Asian countries; it is a very affordable one often being dubbed poor man’s fish. But I love its cartilaginous flesh which has a really unique texture when you bite into it.

There are many delicious ways of preparing this fish, but one of my favourite preparations is the spicy curry using chilli, coconut and kokum that is quite famous in the Kottayam region of Kerala. A lipsmacking, fiery preparation that is best enjoyed with steamed red rice and tempered buttermilk curry, or perhaps with steamed tapioca.

Kerala style Stingray Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

Kerala style Stingray Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

The defining flavours of this curry are powdered red chilli and kudampuli (black kokum). As I mentioned, it is a fiery one but you can always adjust the heat level to your preferences.

And remember, this curry always tastes better when allowed to sit for a while especially overnight. So prepare ahead if time permits.

Ingredients:

  1. 600gms stingray; cut into cubes
  2. 2 shallots/small onion; finely chopped
  3. 1 inch ginger; finely chopped

This post was bought to you in collaboration with Supreme Seafood, so head over to their website for the full recipe.

And do not forget to tag me #thespiceadventuress if you try it out. 

Kerala style Stingray Curry - thespiceadventuress.com

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka)

Clams – my new seafood craze!

Clams - Food Photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Every week I visit my local farmer’s market and every single week, I need to buy seafood. Yes, my love for it is something all of you have become accustomed to. So this week, I decided to venture a little out of my comfort zone and buy clams.

Out of my comfort zone because I have not cooked these ever before. But there was this delicious recipe that I have been wanting to try out and so came home with some amazingly fresh clams. And a couple of Google search and YouTube videos, I realized that clams are the easiest to clean and cook with.

I got this recipe for Kube Sukkhe or Mangalorean style Spicy Clams from Shireen who runs the really delicious blog Ruchik Randhap. An amazing blog you need to follow if you want to learn more about the food of Mangalore, a beautiful little (well, not so little) town in Karnataka, South India. And especially more, if you freak out over seafood like I do.

The Kube Sukkhe is a traditional and very popular way of cooking clams among the Protestant Christians of Mangalore. Clams are cooked in its shell in a spicy coconut mixture and the dish is best paired with rice and a simple dal. Cooking the clams in its shell imparts a lot of flavour to the dish and also increases the nutrient value of the dish.

This recipe would work well with oysters, mussels and other types of clams too. There is a similar dish in Kerala which uses prawns, so that’s another option if you are not too keen on clams.

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka) - a traditional seafood preparation from the Protestant Christian community of Mangalore - thespiceadventuress.com

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka) - a traditional seafood preparation from the Protestant Christian community of Mangalore - thespiceadventuress.com

So let’s get cooking the deliciously, spicy Kube Sukkhe or Mangalorean style Clams!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 kg clams (with shells)
  2. For the coconut mixture:
  • 4 tbsp grated coconut
  • ½ onion; roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ – ¾ tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • ½ inch ginger
  1. ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  2. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. ½ onion, finely sliced
  4. 2-3 sprigs curry leaves
  5. Salt, to season

Method:

  • Clean the clams thoroughly under running water. If the shells are tightly shut, the best way to open it is to leave the clams in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Bring to room temperature and place in warm water for another 15-20 minutes. Most clams open up after this time; any tightly shut ones should be discarded.
  • Open each clam shell and scoop the entire contents into one shell and discard the other. (This is an easy task but if you do not have enough time, get your fishmonger to do the job for you).
  • In a non stick plan, dry roast the grated coconut and onions till the raw smell has gone off and the coconut has taken on a light brown colour. Make sure that you do not burn or else the dish will taste bitter.
  • Next, add the spice powders, mix well and sauté on low heat for another 30 seconds. Cool the mixture.
  • Grind this mixture along with the garlic, ginger and tamarind paste adding just a little water. The ground mixture must be coarse in consistency.
  • In another pan, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Then add the curry leaves and sliced onions; sauté till the onions turn light brown.
  • Then add the ground masala and fry lightly on low heat for about 2minutes.
  • Add the clams and season with salt. Remember that clams tend to be on the saltier side so be careful.
  • Cook on low heat covered for a couple of minutes; add a bit of water if too dry. Clams cook relatively fast so keep an eye on the dish.
  • Serve hot.

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka) - a traditional seafood preparation from the Protestant Christian community of Mangalore - thespiceadventuress.com

Kube Sukkhe (Mangalorean style Spicy Clams Sukka) - a traditional seafood preparation from the Protestant Christian community of Mangalore - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Noodle Soup with Brown Mushrooms

There is nothing more warm and comforting than a bowl of hot, steaming soup for a cold, wintry night. And if it is chicken soup, all the better!

After living for a decade in South India, where winters are just namesake seasonal changes, I had my first, true winter experience after migrating to Australia. Winters can get real harsh here…it does not really snow out in Melbourne but the winds can get really strong and the nights are long, dark and depressing. It is the time when soups, stews, casseroles and all warm dishes are made in every household to tide through the weather.

This chicken noodle soup embodies true Chinese flavours – sweet, spicy, sour, salty. The addition of noodles and brown mushrooms lifts the ordinary chicken soup into something more hearty and filling.

Egg noodles - food photography - thespiceadventuress.com

Chicken Noodle Soup with Brown Mushrooms - a bowl of comfort for a cold, wintry night - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

1. Chicken stock – 1 litre, freshly prepared (canned stock or cubes can also be used)
2. Chicken breast fillet – 250 gms, (leftover boneless chicken pieces can also be used)
3. Brown mushrooms – 200 gms, sliced
4. Egg noodles – 200 gms
5. Large red ed chillies – 2, chopped finely
6. Soy sauce – 1 tbsp
7. Worcestershire sauce – ½ tbsp
8. White wine vinegar – 1 tbsp
9. Salt – to taste
10. Pepper – to taste
12. Spring onion – chopped, for garnish
13. Vegetable oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

• Cook the egg noodles in salted boiling water, drain and keep aside.
• Heat oil in a large pot and add the sliced chicken and mushroom. Saute over medium heat.
• When the chicken pieces are 3/4th cooked, add the chicken stock.
• Add the seasonings, taste and adjust; bring to boil. Then lower the flame and simmer for 15 minutes.
• Add the noodles and simmer again for 2 minutes.
• Remove from heat and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Note – This soup has a watery or broth consistency and not a thick, glutinous one.

Chicken Noodle Soup with Brown Mushrooms - a bowl of comfort for a cold, wintry night - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Chicken Chukka Varuval (Indian style slow cooked chicken with spices and aromatics)

Chukka or sukka usually refers to a South Indian meat dish (mostly mutton but these days, you can find all kinds of meat being used) that is prepared using a myriad of spices and aromatics. The meat is cooked on low fire so that the spices get to do its work. A spicy, flavoursome preparation where the meat is juicy and succulent with the aroma of the spices wafting through……

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Recipe Courtesy, from this site.

Ingredients:

1. Chicken (boneless) – 500 gms
2. Red onion – 1, finely chopped
3. Cinnamon bark – ½ inch
4. Cloves – 2
5. Fennel/perinjeera seeds – 1 tsp
6. Curry leaves – a big handful
7. Black pepper powder – 2 tsp
8. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
9. Coriander powder – 2 tsp
10. Ginger paste – ½ tsp
11. Garlic paste – ½ tsp
12. Salt – to season
13. Oil – 5 tbsp

Method:

• Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste for upto 1 hour or longer.
• Dry roast cinnamon, cloves and fennel; grind to fine powder.
• Heat oil in a kadai/pan and sauté onions till translucent.
• Add all the spices and curry leaves, sauté for a minute on low heat.
• Add the marinated chicken pieces and cook on low fire, occasionally stirring, till the meat becomes juicy and succulent.

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Is chicken your favourite protein? Then click here for a delish spread of chicken dishes from around the world…..

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