Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kozhi Pidi/ Chicken and Pidi/ Chicken n’ Dumplings – Kerala Style!

Recipe No: 158
This dish had been a mystery to me for a long time… Apart from the fact that I know it is a traditional dish, I didn’t even know whose. It was a pleasant surprise when I came to know that it is actually a Christian traditional dish. I don’t know anyone in or around my family who actually make this, may be because its very regional. I did make many versions of this but this happened to be my favorite. Of course this is not my own recipe but a recipe featured in Flavors of India hosted by Dr. Lakshmi Nair that I accidentally came across in Youtube. As it featured the amounts in restaurant style,  I decided to reduced it to suit a small family of 4.


For the Pidi (Rice Dumplings)
 Ingredients                                   Serves 4
  • Rice Flour………………..…1 ½ Cup (I used from a cover, but raw preferred)
  • Coconut grated……………3/4 Cup + ¼ Cup
  • Salt……………………………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Water………………………..3 Cups
  • Garlic……………………..….3 medium cloves
  • Whole Cumin Seeds...….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Thick Coconut Milk….….1/2 Cup
  • Salt as per needed
To make and cook the Pidi
  1. Mix Rice Flour, ¾ cup grated Coconut and ½ Teaspoon Salt and roast in a wide pan on medium heat till slightly pink in color. Stir constantly or the Flour in the bottom of the pan may burn.
  2. Crush Garlic and Cumin Seeds and drop it in 3 cups of Water and boil it.
  3. Once boiled, use enough Water from it to make soft dough out of the roasted Rice Flour mixture. (You will need approximately 2 cups) Keep the rest of the Water for later use.
  4. Press the dough really nice and make small balls out of it. (Mine is a bit big but make it in the size of a small gooseberry)
  5. Measure the left over Water with Garlic and Cumin and add more Water to make it 2 cups. To this add ¼ cup grated Coconut and ½ Cup Coconut milk and let it boil on high heat.
  6. Once boiled nicely, add the prepared dumplings and cook it down on medium heat till most of the liquid is evaporated. Do stir often to prevent burning and add more Salt if needed.
  7. Switch off the flame and leave it aside to cool.
Notes:
  • Add only adequate amount of Water to the Rice Flour but press and knead really well to make the dough soft. If not soft enough the cooked dumplings will become hard.
  • While making the dough balls make sure that it has a smooth outside or it may fall apart while cooking.
  • Put the dough balls in the liquid only after it boils thoroughly, or it may fall apart.
  • Traditionally it is kept on a banana leaf to cool. I did like it as the Banana leaf  gives its flavor to the prepared Pidi making it all the more delectable. (If you don't like that flavor, do avoid that step)
Chicken Curry
Ingredients                                               Serves 4
  • Chicken……………..………..1/2 Kg (Cut into small pieces)    
  • Grated Coconut…………….1/4 Cup                         
  • Coconut Oil………………….2 Tablespoons
  • Ginger Chopped….………..1 Tablespoon
  • Garlic Chopped….…………1 Tablespoon
  • Sliced Coconut pieces……2 Tablespoons
  • Onion thinly sliced….…….1 Cup
  • Green Chilly Sliced.……….2
  • Chilly Powder……….………1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder………….1 ½ Teaspoons
  • Turmeric Powder….……….1/4 teaspoon
  • Pepper powder…………..….1/4 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder..….3/4 Teaspoon
  • Thin Coconut milk…………1 Cup
  • Thick Coconut Milk…….….1 Cup
  • Curry Leaves……………...….2 Sprigs
  • Salt as needed
For Tempering
  • Coconut Oil……………..…….1 Tablespoon
  • Mustard Seeds…………..…..1/2 Teaspoon
  • Split Whole Red Chilly…….2
  • Shallots Sliced………..………2
  • Curry Leaves………………….1 Sprig
  • Red Chilly powder………..…1/4 Teaspoon
Method of Preparation
To make the Curry
  1. Dry roast (without Oil) ¼ Cup of Grated Coconut in a pan on medium heat until brown and grind it into a smooth paste. Keep it aside till ready to be used.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil in a pan on medium high heat and saute Coconut pieces, chopped Ginger and Garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Add Onion and Green Chilly and fry till the Onion starts to brown along the edges.
  4. Lower the heat and add Chilly Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric Powder, Pepper Powder and Garam Masala Powder and saute till its raw smell is gone for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the Chicken and fry on high heat for a minute; add the Salt, Curry Leaves, ground roasted Coconut paste and thin Coconut Milk; cook covered till the Chicken is done.
  6. Once the Chicken is cooked well, add the thick Coconut Milk and heat till it starts to boil along the edges. Switch off the heat and keep it covered for 5 minutes.
To make the tempering
  1. Heat a tablespoon of Oil in another pan on medium heat and splutter Mustard Seeds.
  2. Add Whole Red Chilly, Shallots and Curry Leaves and saute till browned.
  3. Add the Red Chilly Powder and switch off the heat.
  4. Take the Chicken Curry in a serving dish and pour the tempering over the Curry.
To serve Kozhi Pidi
  1. Take some of the prepared Pidi (cooled) on a plate and pour the hot Chicken Curry on top.
Notes:
  • Adding a bit of Red Chilly Powder while tempering will give a nice color to the Curry.
  • The taste of this Chicken Curry is really awesome and it will go not only with Pidi but also with Appam, Rice and Flat Breads.
     






    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love…

    1 comments:

    sharon nettikadan said...

    AMAZING!!!! perfect, soft pidi and out-of-this-world chicken curry! Thank you SO much!

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