Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Roast (Kerala Style)

Autumn is here and I love it! Finally we have some awaited cool weather. I hope you are enjoying good weather where ever you are as much I am. This morning, enjoying the cool breeze blowing in through my patio, bright sunlight finding its way through the lattice work and with some joyous music playing on my CD, I cooked. Have you tried cooking with music? It’s wonderful, rather therapeutic I should say.
So, what did I cook? I made naadan (Kerala style) chicken roast, chocolate chip muffins and healthy bran muffins. No, they are all not for today but it will take us through the rest of the week.
Now, having given you a glimpse of my day let me get down to business. The 'naadan' (country style) chicken roast recipe I am sharing comes from my mom which she got from her mother so we are talking some authentic Kerala cooking today. I spoke to both my mom and her sister so I guess I need to give them both the credit. They are like most of our parents; if you ask them how to make something they will rattle along, oh that, simple! Take a little of this and a little more of that put them all in together give it a good stir and voila! The dish is ready. It took me a couple of conversations with both my mom and aunt to get to the bottom of how much a little bit of this and a little bit more of that means. Either ways, I must tell you after a couple of experiments I have quite mastered the ROAST! Every time I make this dish we lap it up like we have been starving for days. So go ahead and try this and enjoy it with some rice or chapatti!



Chicken - 4 lbs approximately 2 Kg
Whole red chili - 30 nos seeded
Shallots - 1 lb 450 gms
Ginger - 1/4 cup
Garlic - 1/4 cup
Vinegar - 2 tbspn
Salt - to taste
Garam Masala - 1 tbspn
Turmeric - 1/2 tspn
Coconut Oil or any oil of preference - 4 tbspn
Curry Leaves - 4 sprigs
Potato - 1 thinly sliced rounds
Friend onions for garnishing


1. Marinate chicken in 1 tbspn vinegar, 1/2 tspn turmeric and a little salt for 1 hour
2. Soak red chillies in 1 tbspn vinegar mixed with 1 tbspn of water after taking out the seed and leave it for a while to soak. (split chili in half and tap it to get the seeds off).  Add a little water to the vinegar
3. Crush the ginger, garlic, shallots and the soaked red chillies and add the mixture to the chicken and cook for 20 min on medium fire
5. Heat oil in a pan and on medium fire shallow fry the chicken and set aside
6. Once all the chicken pieces are fried (read golden brown on both sides) pour the gravy into the pan and cook till oil clears the pan
7. Pour the gravy on top of the fried chicken
8. Decorate with fried potatoes, onions and cashew nuts


Contributor: Sunitha

Monday, September 28, 2009



Happy Dasara to you!! Dasara/Vijayadashmi is being celebrated across India today and we are glad to celebrate it with you. The "vijayadasami" day marks the end of the Navarathri festival, a festival spanning 10 days starting on the first day of the Ashvin month of the Lunar Calender.
In Kerala, we consider this as the most auspicious day for "vidyarambham" (beginning of education letters, music or dance).
I especially would like to talk about the day before "Vijayadasami,” "Saraswathi Pooja. Saraswathi pooja as the name suggests is the worship of goddess Saraswathi the goddess of knowledge, art and music. As a custom we wrap all our books together and keep it in our prayer rooms to be blessed on this day. For the next two days we are not supposed to read or study and you can imagine a school goers excitement and relief in such a situation.
I remember my school days, we would wrap all our books together in brown paper or newspaper, pray and come off all excited in our minds about all the games we can play over the two days. Family and friends would get together and play all day. We would either be on our swing outdoors or play some indoor games. You get the picture? No reading, studying but just plain play. Ha! Those blissful days! This is the time of the year when my mother wouldn’t bat an eye over our going about.
Now, I have my own little people at home. One who has to go to school and the other too young to start his education. However, in a couple of years he will be ready on Vijayadashmi to be wrapped in the off white mundu lined with golden zari and sit on his Fathers lap and start writing his first word. Thereafter, his father or an elderly person will write on his tongue with a gold coin if we have one handy or with any other coin. With these rituals we believe he will be blessed by Saraswathi Devi with all the talents and he will excel in them. It is a wonderful day for new beginnings and I hope you, yes you who are reading this now will have a day of new beginnings, new blessings. A day to let go of your fears and troubles and embrace new joys and new blessings.
Contributor: Namitha P.S: We will be back with lip smacking recipes tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spinach/ paalak thoran

Two years back, when I reached Uncle Sam's country, I was really nervous just like anybody who lands in a new place.I knew there won't be many Indians in the place we were going to live. For the same reason, I thought there won't be any Indian groceries either. It was a great relief when I saw spinach on our first trip to the grocery store. Like a flash of lightning this idea struck, "Why not make spinach thoran instead of cheera thoran".

I love my Amma's cheera thoran and I learned from her how to make them without any lumps. If this dish tastes good the credit is my mom's, but the idea to substitute spinach for cheera, I can proudly say is my own. I shared this idea with a couple of my Mallu friends and they are to date extremely happy about it. I hope you will have the same experience and be happy with this authentic amma's recipe with a twist.



Spinach- 1bundle
Green chillies-2
shallots/chuvannulli/sambar onion -2-3(finely sliced)
Coconut-3-4 Tbsp(grated)
Turmeric-a pinch
salt-according to your taste
Rice(raw)-1 Tsp
Red chillies-3(broken into halves)
Curry leaves-1 sprig

Wisdom of the ages:

Always when you make a thoran with leaves , wash and dry the leaves completely before cutting.


1. Wash the spinach and spread it on a paper, at least 1hour before you cut them.This is very important, since if you have water on spinach you will end up having lumps in your thoran.
2.Cut the leaves into smaller pieces.
3. Grind(not much-maybe for a couple of seconds) coconut and green chillies together. If you do not have a grinder/small bowl for your mixer grinder, leave this step and just add more green chillies slit into halves.
4.Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds followed by rice.
5.Add sliced shallots and saute it till golden brown.
6.To this add red chillies and curry leaves and saute .
7.Mix spinach with turmeric, salt and coconut mix from step 3 and add into the pan.
8.Mix everything together and cover the pan.
9.Cook on medium flame for about a minute or till the steam comes.Don't keep the lid for long, since the steam will accumulate ,which in turn end up in lumps.
10.Open the pan and cook till the thoran is done by stirring in between.

This is a very simple yet nutritious dish. This goes well with pulissery/ moru(buttermilk) curry and rice.

You could use the normal "cheera" instead of spinach and also scramble eggs while giving tadka(spluttring mustard) and mix it, if you like eggs.


Contributor: Namitha

Ladies Finger/Okra baked and tossed in fried onions

I have to confess that V (my husband) is not huge on vegetarian food. However, from the time I know him he raves and rants about ladies finger. He had them in some delectable masala a long time back, from where I don't know, and fell in love with it. From then I try variations of okra always keeping in mind to keep the shape and kill that characteristic sliminess of this vegetable when not done properly. One of the experiments that comes close to achieving the desired result is as in the recipe that follows. This one is rather dry so make the dal curry 'Gul' mentioned in our blog yesterday and have the ladies finger served with it.

Ladies Finger/ Okra   - 1 pound (450 grams)
Worcestershire sauce - 2 tbspn
Pepper - 1 tspn
Onion - 1 medium size
Kanoji/ Onion seed - 1/4 tspn
Chili powder - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 tbspn

1. Wash and pat dry Ladies finger/ okra.
2. Cut the head off and slit till the end and still keeping it together
3. Marinate with ingredients 2 and 3 and salt
4. Spread it on a cookie sheet which is sprayed on lined with oil.
5. Bake at 350 F (150 degree C) for 30 minutes or till Ladies finger/ okra is tender
5. Heat oil in a pan, splutter onion seeds
6. Add onions and on a low fire cook till translucent
7. Add chili powder and turmeric and some sauce or vinegar or plain water to keep the masala from burning (just a sprinkle)
8. Add your baked Okra in and mix well making sure you don't lose the shape or mash the okra
9. Allow the vegetable and masala to blend
Serve with roti or rice and dal curry.
P.S: In case you don't want to use the oven pat dry the ladies finger and add to the pan once the masala is prepared with ingredients 2 and 3 in the masala and not marinated in okra

Contributor: Sunitha

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Parippu/Pappu curry- Andhra style

Like most of us, I didn't know much about cooking,when I got married and moved to Hyderabad. My husband (M) knew how to make the basic pappu curry, which turned out to be a life saver for us. Parippu (pappu, toor daal, sambar parippu)curry is one of the easiest and basic Andhra recipes. M knew much better than me about this recipe when I made it for the first time . I made some changes in the later years when I got more used to the experiments in the kitchen. Hope you will give it a go and see if you like it :-)

Parippu Curry


Toor daal (thuvara parippu)- 1 cup
Tomato(thinly sliced)- 1 (big)
Water- 2-3 cups
Garlic(grated or mashed)- 6-8 cloves depending on the size
Mustard-for tadka
Red chillies(broken into halves)-4
Chilli powder- 1/2tsp(if you want to make it more spicy)
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Tamarind water-acc to your taste
Salt-according to taste
Turmeric-1/4 tsp
Oil-2 tbsp


1. Take 2-3 cups of water in a pressure cooker and add daal.
2. Add salt and turmeric and also add the thinly sliced tomatoes if you don't mind seeing them quite mushy. Otherwise you can saute tomatoes while you do tadka (kaduku pottikkal)
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and wait till it splutter. Then add red chillies followed by garlic.
4. Saute till garlic is done and add curry leaves. (if you haven't added tomatoes in daal you can do it at this point and saute)
5. Add chilli powder and saute for a minute.
6.Add tamarind (vaalan puli) water and let it boil.
7. Mix all these into the daal and boil it to adjust the consistency of the curry.

Parippu Curry

You can saute some Spinach (paalak) after step 5 and add into this, if you like spinach.

This curry goes well with rice and rotis.

Note: If you do not want to add tamarind, use more tomatoes instead.

Contributor: Namitha

Saturday, September 19, 2009

About US

We are friends who studied together in college. On Collaborative Curry we share our cooking experiences and recipes to help and inspire each other to get through our daily cooking ordeals. We hope our blog inspires everyone one who stops to take a peek.  

A little about us : 

Residing: in US
Home maker.

Living with my husband, darling daughter and and my naughty son. I love traveling, photography, cooking and reading. As of now I spend most of my time with my son , who is only 14months and is very curious about anything.We live in Colorado, US now. Looking forward to share my cooking experiments with you :-)

Nostalgia (Sunitha):
Residing in US
Home maker.

  I Live with my husband and am a home maker.  I am an avid reader.  I dabble with some sketching, painting and craft.  Crochet and card making topping the crafting list.  Of recent, I started taking an interest in writing and I decided blogging to be the best medium.  It give me an audience and that kept me motivated. You can read about my craft and other ramblings at pensive adagio

   This blog started when I realized cooking was taking up a lot of time.  Oh yes, I have been cooking since I was a teenager and it runs in the family.  My brother is in the Food Industry!  I decided it was time to kill two birds with one stone.  Now I can cook as much as I want and not feel like I am wasting time because I will write about it as well.  The icing on the cake is I discovered how satisfying photography can be.  My love for art and color is being met in photography. This is the perfect answer to satisfy all my different interests.  Last but not least being a peoples person this blog has opened doors to meet a lot of interesting people.  I have to say this all of you our readers keeps us going and is our motivation.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Egg / Vegetable Curry

My husband (V) loves a gravy to go with his rotis. Since I am a sucker for compliments a gravy is a sure way to get his indulging compliments ;). It warms my heart to see him mop his bowl shinning bald of the curry. With this in mind, I humored him with an egg/vegetable curry and thought it will be a good start to blog as well. Here is how I made it.

Egg Curry or Stew:


Eggs - 6
Onions chopped - 1 Cup
Ginger - 1 Tbsp
Green Chillies - 8 medium size
Garlic - 1 Tbsp
Coriander Powder - 2 Tbsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tspn
Water - 2 - 3 Cups (choose according to desired thickness of gravy)
Coconut Milk - 1 Cup
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Potato - 1
Beans - 6
Carrot - 1
Oil - 2 Tbsp


1. Boil Eggs and keep aside
2. Heat oil in a pan and slide the onions in. Saute until onions are translucent.
3. Add ginger, garlic and curry leaves in the order mentioned and stir each for 2-3 minutes before adding the next ingredient.
4. Add turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala and stir for 2 minutes.
5. Add the vegetables in and stir
6. Pour water and cook this till potato is done
7. Pour in the coconut milk and let it heat on low fire. Switch off the stove or take the pan off heat once the mixture has heated through but not boiled. You know its heated through when the spatula used for stirring when lifted off the curry gives off a smoky vapor
8. Put the eggs whole or cut in half into the curry

Cut tomato in round and place them on top of the curry.



This way you have a egg curry for a meal and if you have some left over with out the egg you have a vegetable curry. Two in one! :)

If you like this please let us know we are glad you stopped by and will love to hear from you.

Note: If you don't eat eggs avoid the eggs to make it a vegetable stew and you can add peas and cauliflower as substitutes a cup both together

Contributor: Sunitha