It is already Epiphany, 06th January, and Christmas is now most definitely over – until next time.
But before I post my Prawn Moilee today I like to share with you a picture of our own (Christmas) Crip with the Three Wise Men having now arrived at The Stable. Jo gets all the credit for actually building this one and the figures, angles etc. were all purchased by us over the years in Germany, England, Thailand and here in our own town in India. So many good and happy memories are attached to this tableau.
For New Year’s Eve we once again stayed at home – we have always preferred it like this.
But what to cook for this special occasion? –Very simple, one of our other favourite dishes, Prawns Moilee! Prawns simmered in slightly mild and creamy coconut gravy. Having the Arabian Sea as our coast, gives us all this beautiful sea-food for our kitchen. The prawns used in this preparation by me are acquired directly from the Chinese Nets (pictured above) workers.
Kerala is known of course, amongst other things, as the land of coconuts and there for one will find in most of our local cuisine either freshly grated coconut or/and coconut milk –absolutely delicious.
So, come and join us at our table, have a glass of wine or whatever, and enjoy this wonderful local dish
PRAWNS MOILEE for 2
For you who like to know – Moilee just means “An Indian curry, originally from Goa, containing fish or seafood and coconut milk”
To make the Moilee you need:
2 x Tbsp Coconut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
1 x large Tomatoe, sliced
Curry leaves (10 – 15 numbers)
1 x cup of Onions, sliced
3 x green Chillies slit in middle
1 x Tbsp Ginger, finely sliced
2 x Cardamom
2 x Cloves
½ x tsp Fenugreek seeds
½ x tsp Mustard seeds
A small piece of Cinnamon (stick)
3 x dried red Chillies
3 x Garlic pods, very finely chopped
½ x tsp Turmeric powder
1x tsp Coriander powder
1 x cup of Coconut milk
How to make the Moilee:
1. In a bowl mix together all the items mentioned under ‘to marinate…’ and keep aside for ca. 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil and when hot add and fry the Fenugreek seeds. After this add the Mustard seeds until they ‘pop’. Add Cardamom, Cloves, Cinnamon stick, dry red Chillies. Stir and add Onions, Ginger, green Chillies, Garlic and the curry leaves and fry until the onions turn translucent.
3. After this add Coriander- and Turmeric powder and keep stirring for ca. ½ minute. Now add the prawns, ½ x cup of Coconut milk and the sliced Tomatoes and cook until the Prawns turn pink.
4. When this is done add the remaining ½ cup of Coconut milk and bring this to a slight boil for a minute only.
5. Serve with Rice or Appam and enjoy!
Having all the fresh Coconut at our disposal we make Moilee with two kinds of Coconut milk; first we squeeze the freshly grated Coconut with some water to extract the initial thick (first) milk and repeat the process on the same to extract the thin (second) milk.
That’s it! And Happy New Year to you all.
Hello my friends – after a somewhat lengthy hiatus I now have come back and will try to share one of our delicious recipes again once a week.
But first of all Jo and I like to wish you all the very best for the coming year; good health (and good fortune), joy and happiness and may at least some of your wishes, if not all, come true!
Christmas came and went – now is the time to say “good bye to 2019 and hello 2020”. Like most of us we too will be spending time with relatives and friends here in India whilst dreaming of snow, cold etc. in my own native country Germany. Hm – maybe next year!
Today I like to share with you one of our most favourite dishes, Jo’s very special Pork Vindaloo from a recipe he has devoped into his very own over the last few years. For any kind of celebration we will serve, amongst others, Biriyani and of course his Vindaloo. It is so delicious that we will never have any left-overs here.
We like our food really hot, but if you want to scale down on chilli by all means do so, but remember Vindaloo is by nature a very spicy dish. It is a jumbled pronunciation of the Portuguese dish “carne de vinha d’alhos” (meat marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic), which was introduced to Indians in 15th century by Portuguese explorers.
So, go ahead and enjoy this Vindaloo and, if you like, let me know what you think.
1 kg Pork, cut into medium sized pieces
3 x big onions, thinly sliced
4 x Tbsp grated coconut
1 x inch ginger, crushed
5 x large garlic pods, crushed
4 x Kashmiri Chilli, dried and whole
1 x tsp cumin powder
1 x tsp fenugreek
5 x cloves
3 x cinnamon pieces
5 x cardamoms
6 x black peppercorns
1 x star anise
1 x small bay leaf
2 x tsp mustard seeds
1 x cup white vinegar
½ x tsp black pepper powder
3 x Tbsp chilli powder
2 x tsp coriander powder
1 x tsp turmeric powder
1 x tsp ginger/garlic paste
4 x Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 x sprigs of curry leaves
2 x cups of water (initially)
Salt, as required
Method of Preparation:
1) Wash the pork pieces well, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2) Rub a little bit of chilli powder and salt into those pieces and keep aside.
3) In a Mixi grind into a fine paste, with a little water, grated coconut, portion of one sliced onion, cumin powder, mustard seeds (1 x tsp only), pepper powder and coriander powder.
4) Heat oil. When quite hot add fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, pepper corn, star anise and the bay leaf and mix. After a few seconds add the remaining mustard seeds and let them ‘pop’ and then add the Kashmiri chillies and the sliced onion.
5) Fry this on medium heat until the onions turn golden brown.
6) Now add the grinded mixture, ginger/garlic paste and turmeric powder and fry until the oil rises.
7) Add the Pork pieces and fry in this mixture for app. Five minutes.
8) Add vinegar, water, salt and curry leaves and slow cook until the water almost dried up and the meat is deliciously tender.
9) Done – serve with rice, chapatti, naan or paratha and enjoy!
A beautiful Cauliflower and green peas curry.
Our festival season is slowly starting off with today’s Independence Day celebration and most people will have been watching on their TV the splendid celebrations all over the country.
Next week Kerala will be celebrating their most famous annual festival – ONAM. Malayalis around the world are all ready to welcome the Hindu mythological king Mahabali. Onam is mainly a Hindu Harvest festival.
The Onam feast, also known as Onam Sadhya, is one of the most important parts of Onam celebration. The Sadhya comprises mainly of 26 sensational dishes and there is a set order in which the dishes are served during the Onam fest, wherein the meals are only served on fresh, clean banana leaves (locally known as “Kerala plates”).
There is of course no way that we will cook 26 dishes just for the two of us, but instead we will enjoy some of our well liked and tasty (vegetarian) dishes during that time.
I will start Onam off with this lovely Cauliflower and green peas curry – a curry enjoyed by Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian alike.
This recipe here is for 4 people.
1 x big cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 x big potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 x cup of green peas (I use frozen peas, thawed)
2 x tsp sugar (or jaggery, if you can get it)
¼ x tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
4 x big onions, peeled and cut into pieces
2 x inches of fresh ginger
4 x green chillies
4 x green cardamom
2 x cloves
Piece of cinnamon stick
4 x big tomatoes
Small ball of Tamarind paste
2 x tsp oil
1 x tsp cumin seeds
Boil potatoes until nearly ready – add cauliflower florets and continue cooking for a few more minutes. Drain and keep aside.
In a wok heat 2 x Tbsp of oil, add the cooked vegetables plus the green peas, stir and cook for 2 more minutes. Take off flame and keep aside in a dish.
Now, in your ‘mixy’ grind all the above mentioned ingredients into a smooth paste, adding tomatoes at the end. Keep aside.
In your wok again heat 2 x tsp of oil and fry cumin seeds for a few seconds. Add the grinded masala, salt, turmeric powder and 2 x tsp of sugar (or jaggery). Stir.
Add all the cooked three vegetables and mix gently. Let gravy thicken for just a couple of more minutes (this is not a liquid curry).
Rice or any roti (chapatti, paratha etc.) and some pickle are good with this.
That’s it – enjoy
It’s been now close to 9 long months since I have been able to post my last Recipe.
Unfortunately I had a couple of health issues to deal with. But now it seems that I am ok again – toi-toi-toi (as we say in Germany wishing Good Luck!)
And so I use one of the famous (film) quotes of Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger “…. I am back” and so happy too.”
Actually I intended to post this last week Thursday, but I had forgotten that it was the famous “Thrissur Pooram” – meaning to sit in front of the TV for a few hours to watch this incredible spectacle and so unique to our part of India – our Kerala!
A few years ago, I had the chance to visit Thrissur with Jo. Thrissur (Trisivaperoor) is less than 70 kms by road from our Cochin. Perched on top of a beautiful hillock right in the heart of Thrissur (in central Kerala) is the ‘Vadakkunnathan Temple’ – one of the oldest temples in Kerala. Having begun in the 11th century, it underwent modifications and additions until the 19th century. The annual festival of Pooram with its elephant pageantry is celebrated on these temple grounds.
Amongst the Pooram festivals of Kerala, the most famous is the magnificent Thrissur Pooram. Introduced during 1789 – 1805 by Shakthan Thampuran, the then King of Cochin, and it takes place in the month of “Medam” (April/May in the Malayalam calendar).
During this year’s Pooram held on April 25, for 1 ½ days, a great parade of thirty richly caparisoned elephants carrying ceremonial umbrellas with ‘Aalavattoms’ and ‘Venchamaroms’ were displayed. On the elephant in the centre rides the temple deity ‘Vadakkunathan’ (Shiva). They come out through the magnificent temple entrance tower and line up in the open ground. A most beautiful site, those magnificent creatures clearly enjoying all the fuss and the extra culinary titbits of leafs, bananas etc. and their giant ‘earlobes’ flapping in unison to keep the heat and flies away.
Fifteen elephants in a row facing the other fifteen for the famous ‘Kudamattom’ (exchange of those colourful umbrellas).
For ‘Kudamattom’ two parties representing the two divisions of Thrissur. ‘Paramekavu’ and ‘Tiruvampadi’ each puts forth their best exertions to make their display grander than the other while bands of musicians playing their traditional instruments of drums, cymbals, etc., add local melodies to the occasion.
During this grand community event celebrated by the entire citizens of Thrissur, a vast crowd from near and far gather on the grounds to witness and support the Pooram. The renowned grand display of fireworks related to the Pooram should not be missed.
The next Pooram is on Medam 29th, which is Monday, May 13th 2019 (for those who might be interested visiting)
But now to our “meal of that Pooram day” – a most delicious Prawn dish with green mangoes – a recipe which I extracted from Jo, whose Indian cooking I absolutely love.
Prawns with Mango Jo’s Style
Altogether you will need:
½ kg prawns, peeled and deveined
19 Ullis (keep of those appr. 8-10 whole for curry)
4 green chillies, to be used for blending in Mixi (keep 2 for curry)
5 dry red chillies, halved for tempering
2 green mangoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp Ginger & Garlic paste
1 1/4 Cup of grated coconut
3 Tbsp of coco oil
½ tsp Fenugreek
3 medium sized Kokum’s, washed and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
5 tsp coconut powder
1 ½ cup of water
1 ½ tsp black pepper powder
1 ¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ Tbsp of coconut oil
½ tsp of mustard seeds
2 sprigs of curry leafs
Salt to taste (to be added only at the very end!)
Prepare in advance
Grind 4 x Ullis and 2 x green chillies and 1 x tsp Garlic and Ginger paste and 1 1/4 cup grated coconut, and if available, some left-over home-made chutney, very very finely.
Peel 2 x green raw mangoes and cut into large pieces and keep aside.
Put aside 5 x dry red chillies, cut in halves, and 5 x sliced Ullis for tempering later with some Curry Leafs.
Take a large pot, heat up 3 x Tbsp of coco oil (or Veg oil), ½ x tsp Fenugreek,– stir and add 10 x sliced Ullis and 2 x green chillies, sliced, stir and sauté.
After 5 minutes add fully drained Kokum’s (3 x) and half fry only – do NOT add salt yet -.
Mix 5 x tsp of coconut powder in 1 ½ x cup of water and keep aside.
After some time add around 8-10 x Ullis (for bite) and sauté.
Add 1 ½ x tsp black pepper powder and 1 ¼ x tsp yellow powder (Turmeric).
Add 1 x tsp Coriander powder (heaped) and mix.
Add grinded lot and fry for appr. 10 minutes. Only now add cut mangos and salt to taste. Boil for another 10 minutes until raw mango is cooked.
Now add all the earlier prepared prawns and add the 1 ½ x cups of coconut milk, cook for 5 minutes until prawns have all turned pink,
Heat ½ x Tbsp of coconut oil, add ½ x tsp Mustard seeds and 5 x dry red chillies, cut in halves, 5 x sliced Ullis and 2 x sprigs of Curry leafs, stir for 1 minute and pour over the curry.
Serve with Rice and Poppadums.
That’s it – enjoy your meal.
As long as I can remember come New Year’s Day I have made “Gebrannte Mandeln” (sugar-burnt-almonds) to give away to friends as a little ‘thank you’ for this and that.
Wrapped in little cornucopias simply made out of newspaper they always bring a smile to everybody’s face; with most of us being reminded of those fun-filled childhood visits to our local Christmas Markets. Although I never had an overly sweet tooth this did not stop me from nagging my own mother to buy me a portion of those deliciously smelling ‘gebrannte mandeln’ each time we visited one of those markets – until she decided it would be cheaper making them at home.
To me and many people around the globe the almond is a symbol of good fortune and happiness.
“….already at sea en route to Germany, the biggest import market.”
And this is one of the main reasons why today I like to present each one of you with my little gift combined with my very best wishes for
There are so many uses for this nut in the kitchen alone, too many to start listing them all here.
And although I use Almonds a lot in my kitchen, one of my own personal ‘comfort dishes’ (especially when the wretched cold/flu has hit me) is a nice bowl of rice pudding, laced with a pinch of cinnamon and a dollop or two (wicked!) of jam and some Almonds. By the way, this is also a Swedish Christmas Tradition.
Here in India we say that eating 10 Almonds a day is good for the brain (….oh yes?!) – and so I keep stocking up once a month!
And who does not know the 5 important health benefits of Almonds: they are of course as follows:
1) Almonds are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats.
2) They are a good way to get your magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B
3) They are particularly high in antioxidant vitamin E
4) Eating Almonds instead of high carbohydrate foods has been shown to aid weight loss.
5) Vitamin E in Almonds protects your skin’s collagen to keep you looking younger for longer.
Now for you, who like to make those Almonds at home, here is this very simple recipe I have been using for so many years.
300 g Almonds (with skin on)
180 g white sugar (you can use more if you like, but ….)
2 Tbsp Cinnamon powder
The inside (pulp) of one Vanilla
40 ml water
Take a large frying pan and on medium flame heat water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla pulp stirring continuously until sugar has molten.
Add Almonds and continue stirring until all the Almonds are well covered. Now for the next 10-15 minutes keep stirring until all the water has evaporated and the Almonds have turned nicely brown.
In the meantime line a tray with parchment paper and transfer all the Almonds onto this, spreading them out and simply let them dry for a little while. For this I put the whole lot into the oven (WITHOUT HEAT) for maybe 30 minutes or so.
That’s it – done – ready to be bottled or boxed and enjoyed.
Come now and join me – jumping straight into a New Year, with a spring in one’s step, a song in one’s heart, a smile on one’s face and hope for a better tomorrow.
2016 – Nothing good is to write about that year (at least from my perspective) and so I will not dwell on all the sad, bad and unpleasant things – they came and went and now I want to leave those behind and just concentrate on the New Year ahead.
JS and I wish you all a better, happier, healthier and safer
And to put you into the right mood tonight I like to give you all a little musical gift – one of the most famous musical pieces for this occasion
AULD LANG SYNE
so beautifully (and heart rendering) performed by the Band of the equally famous Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
I just know that, just like me, quite a number of you will need a handkerchief and I also know of at least one friend in Canada who will actually need 2 of them, – yes, this music is especially for you, Rebecca!
And if THE PIPES are not for you, you might like Rod Stewarts rendition live from beautiful Stirling Castle
or you, who still remember the 1940 film “Waterloo Bridge” (starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor), might enjoy listening to Michael Buble’ and Kylie Minogue’s version of AULD LANG SYNE.
Whatever – come midnight lets join hands through cyberspace and hope and pray for a more peaceful and happier NEW YEAR.
It is the biggest Festival Season in the State of Kerala right now.
With a good number of holidays over a stretch of 10 days (including the week-ends) people are engaged in the various multi-cultural and multi-religious festivals during those days with ONAM being the main festival of the year.
Please check my old post of 16 August 2012.
So for this year once again I send ONAM Greetings to all my readers, near and far, with this beautiful greeting card which JS especially designed for my Blog on this occasion.
The background of JS designs represents a model of the traditional Kerala Saree with the Pallu on both ends decorated with the time-honoured Kasavu (Jerry).
The illustrations shown within the Saree represent the famous Pulikali (Tiger dance), Pookalam (floral designs which are exclusively for ONAM) and the customary Banana leaf (a.k.a. Vazhayila/Kerala Plate) on which the sumptuous ONAM Sadya (a meal of more than 30 Vibhavangal !!! (different kinds of delicacies)) are served.