Thalassery Chicken Biryani

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg biryani rice
  • 1/2 kg chicken
  • 800 ml water
  • 4 tbsp refined oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp crushed ginger
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2.5 cups sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 15 cashew nuts, split
  • 15 raisins
  • 5 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 green chillies, slit
  • A handful of mint and coriander leaves
  • 1 large onion, sliced for frying
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

For Garam Masala (to Grind) –

  • 5 cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 piece mace
  • 1 tsp fennel

Method –

  1. Marinate chicken with a little turmeric, lime juice and salt for 30 minutes
  2. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes and drain
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp ghee in a pan
  4. Toss in cinnamon, cardamom and cloves
  5. Next add hot water, salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Drop the drained rice into the water and cook by absorption method for 15-20 minutes. Keep aside.
  7. In another pan, heat oil and fry cashew nuts along with raisins and keep aside. Also fry the single onion to golden brown and keep aside.
  8. Add 1 tbsp ghee to the pan with oil and sauté the onions and green chillies for 7-8 minutes, until the onions turn golden brown.
  9. Toss in ginger and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  10. Add the remaining turmeric powder, coriander powder and pepper powder and continue sautéing.
  11. Add chopped tomato and cook the masala for 6-7 minutes.
  12. Drop in the marinated chicken, coriander leaves, mint leaves and the ground garam masala. Cook chicken for 12-15 minutes in its own juice and masalas. Once done, keep aside.
  13. Take a thick-bottomed vessel and layer precooked rice and chicken masala.
  14. Top with fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins.
  15. Cover the vessel with a tight lid and keep on a hot plate for 15 minutes.
  16. Serve hot with raita

Pyaj Xaak Alu Bhaji (Spring Onion Greens and Potato Stirfry)

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of spring onion greens
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp panch phoran
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil

Method –

  1. Separate the onion part from the greens and chop then into 2 cm lengths
  2. Chop the potatoes likewise
  3. Heat oil in a pan
  4. Add panch phoran and green chillies
  5. Add the onion part of the greens
  6. Sauté for 2 minutes
  7. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder and salt to taste
  8. Cook covered on low heat
  9. When the potatoes are almost done, add the spring onion greens and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes
  10. Serve hot with chapati

Pork with Bamboo Shoot

Ingredients

  • 500 gm pork
  • 15-20 dry red chillies
  • 2” ginger
  • 8-10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup shredded fermented bamboo shoot
  • 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as required

Method –

  1. Dry roast the peppercorns for 1-2 minutes and keep aside
  2. Coarsely pound the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle
  3. Roughly break the dry red chillies and add them in a bowl
  4. Add hot water, cover the bowl and soak the chillies for about 5 minutes
  5. Pound the soaked chillies coarsely in a mortar and pestle
  6. In a pot, add the pork cubes, pounded red chillies, salt to taste and cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally
  7. Add enough water to cover the pork and cook till 50-60% cooked
  8. Add the shredded, fermented bamboo shoot and cook till the pork is completely cooked
  9. Adjust the gravy consistency as per your requirement
  10. Add the coarsely pounded ginger garlic and dry roasted Sichuan peppercorns
  11. Cook for 3-5 minutes and switch off the flame

Paneer Curry

Ingredients

  • 500 gm paneer
  • 250 gm potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seed paste
  • 2 tsp coriander paste
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1.5 tsp turmeric paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala paste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee

Method –

  1. Cut the paneer into small cubes
  2. Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes
  3. Heat oil and fry the paneer till light golden and set aside
  4. Similarly fry the potatoes and set aside
  5. In the same oil, add cumin seeds and bay leaves
  6. Then add all the pastes except garam masala and sauté
  7. Add tomatoes, chillies and salt to taste
  8. Continue to sauté till the tomatoes are soft and the curry gets a rich colour
  9. Add water and bring it to a boil
  10. Add the paneer and potatoes, cover and simmer till potatoes are tender
  11. Add ghee and garam masala paste at the end

Caramel Custard

Ingredients

For Caramel –

  • 1/3 cup sugar

For Custard –

  • 1/2 litre full cream milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Method –

  1. To prepare caramel, take a light coloured pan and allow the sugar to melt over low medium heat
  2. Swirl the pan and once the caramel reaches the desired colour, pour it into a pan of about 6” diameter
  3. Keep it aside to cool and harden
  4. Boil the milk and cool it to nearly room temperature
  5. In a mixer, combine milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and blend on low speed for a few seconds until well combined
  6. Pass this mixture through a sieve into the container with caramel
  7. Cover the container with 2 layers of aluminium foil and steam for about 40 minutes
  8. Once it cools down, refrigerate for 3-4 hours

How to Make Soft Paneer (Cottage Cheese) at Home

Ingredients

  • 1.5 litres whole milk
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar/lime juice

Method –

  1. Bring the milk to a rolling boil
  2. Turn off the heat
  3. Add vinegar/lime juice
  4. Stir until the whey separates and you can see the curds
  5. Put a strainer in a large bowl
  6. Put a cheesecloth over the strainer
  7. Pour the liquid over the strainer
  8. The curds will be collected in the cheesecloth and the whey will drain out
  9. Gather the sides of the cheesecloth together, press the paneer gently and hang to completely drain out the water
  10. Leave it hanging for about 30 minutes
  11. Then refrigerate the paneer for a least 1 hour before cutting into cubes

Note – 1.5 litres of milk will yield approximately 300 gm of paneer

Paneer with Fennel and Milk

Ingredients

  • 500 gm paneer, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup peas, steamed
  • 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tsp maida
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ghee

For the paste –

  • 1.5 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 green chilli

For the Tempering

  • 1 tsp fennel, coarsely pounded
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 slit green chillies

Method –

  1. Make a paste of fennel, ginger, green chilli and set aside
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil
  3. Lightly fry the paneer and set aside
  4. Add 1 tsp ghee in the same pan
  5. Temper the oil with fennel, bay leaves and green chillies
  6. Add the steamed peas and sauté for 2 minutes
  7. Add the paneer and season with salt
  8. Now add the paste and green chillies
  9. Sauté for 2 minutes and add milk
  10. Simmer for 3-5 minutes

Jaluk Diya Murgi (Assamese Style Black Pepper Chicken)

Ingredients

  • 800 gm chicken
  • 300 gm onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 medium whole potatoes
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp or more of black pepper powder
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Add mustard oil in a kadhai
  2. When hot, add bay leaf
  3. Add the chicken and fry on high heat for 5 minutes
  4. Add the whole potatoes and cook covered for 5-6 minutes
  5. Next, add the onions, ginger garlic paste, coriander, cumin, black pepper powder and salt.
  6. Mix well and cover and cook the chicken on low flame for 25 minutes
  7. The chicken will get cooked in its own juices
  8. When oil separates, it is done
  9. Serve with rice

Choto Maacher Chorchori (Small Fish Stirfry)

Ingredients

  • 250 gm small fish
  • 1 tsp panch phoran
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut in thin long pieces
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  • Heat mustard oil in a kadhai
  • Fry the fish and set aside
  • In the same oil, add panch phoran and green chillies
  • Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute
  • Add onions and fry till translucent
  • Add potatoes, cover and fry till half done
  • Add the spice powders and salt to taste
  • Sauté till the spices are cooked
  • Add the tomatoes and fish
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Poka Mithoi (Rice Flour Laddoos)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice
  • 3/4 – 1 cup jaggery
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp carom seeds

Method –

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 2 hours
  2. Drain the water completely and spread it on a muslin cloth overnight
  3. Once it is completely dry, grind it finely in a mixer
  4. Dry roast the spices
  5. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle and mix it with the rice flour
  6. In a pan, add the jaggery and a few spoonfuls of water
  7. Heat the pan and cook till no lumps are there taking care not to make it watery
  8. Add the liquid jaggery in batches to the rice flour and make it into a dough
  9. Apply oil to the palms, pinch out little bits of dough and form into round balls