Chicken Pepper Fry (Chicken Tamil style)

Desperate to get away with the busy Sunday loads, I decided to do a spicy chicken to match the chill winter morning. This is probably no different from what most of you do or maybe it is ! In my family,it was a clear win with rasam and steaming hot rice.

When you have too many chores to handle, you can just do some water to cook the chicken, the ultimate result can still be crispy with soft and tender inner layers. I hardly spent any time with the cooking here,check out the steps.


Chicken - approx 800gms (I dont buy chicken which are more than 900 gms, so post cleaning this is what it weighed)
Onion - 3-4 small /2 big
Curry leaves - 1 cup (I use a lot of them, apart from the goodness they also contribute extra crispiness )
Whole Garam Masala - Approx 3-4 pieces of cloves, cinnamon (1 inch each), Cardamon, bay leaves
Saunf - 1 tsp
Pepper - 2 tsp (try crushing in fresh pepper corns, they do enormous taste enhancement)
Dhania Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Jeera Powder - 1 1/2tsp
Tomato - 2 small/ 1big
Garam Masala Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Green Dhania Powder - 2-3 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste (1 1/2 tsp)


1. Heat oil in a wok.
2. Add saunf (Aniseeds). When they splutter, add curry leaves. When curry leaves become dark green in color,it indicates they are done. At this stage, remove 10 -12 leaves and keep aside for garnishing.
3. Now add the the whole garam masala.
4. Add onion,tomatoes,pepper powder, garam masala,Dhania powder,Turmeric powder, Jeera powder, Green dhania powder and salt.
5. Add 1 cup water and cover to cook. In approx. 20 minutes when the water is used, remove the cover and cook for 10min. This makes the chicken crispier from outside.
6. Remove from heat and garnish with fried curry leaves.

Dal Ghost aka Mutton in Dal gravy (Andhra Spicy Mutton)


For the gosht:

Mutton - 3 cups(1/2 kg)
Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Ginger paste - 2 tsp

For the dal ::

Masoor dal - 1/2 cup
Toovar dal(Arhar) - 1/4 chana
Chana dal(Bengal gram) -1/4 cup
Urad dal(Split black lenthils) - 1/4 cup
Onions - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 1cup
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind paste - 2tbsp

For the tempering :

Garlic - 2 tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 3-4
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt - to taste

For the Garnish :
2 tbsp chopped corainder


For the ghost:
1. Clean and wash the meat.Apply the ginger paste,garlic paste and salt and mix well. Keep aside

2. Pressure cook the mutton for 15 minutes,remove and keep aside.

For the Dal:

1. Soak the dals for 3-4 hours, if you are running short of time like me most of the times, then soak it for 1/2 hr in hot water.

2. After 1/2 hour add onions,tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt to the dals and pressure cook for 20 minutes.

3. When cooked add tamarind paste to it and cook for 1/2 hr (You may choose to add the tamarind to the Dal while pressure cooking, but make sure you cook for 10 minutes more as Tamarind hinders the cooking process )This is make sure we get a smooth paste of Dal for a Memorable "Dal Ghost".

For the Tempering :

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic, dry red chillies.

2. Add chilli powder,cumin powder,coriander powder and garam masala.Keep stirring to avoid tanning the masala's.


1. Add Meat, Dal and tempering together.Mix well. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Server hot with Steamed Rice.

Almond Cake ( Desert Recipe )

Serves : 10
Preparation time : 25 min plus 1 hr cooling

Ingredients :

225gm Butter softened(plus extra for greasing)
55gms semi sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
1tbsp Strong Coffee
1 ½ cup Maida (Self raising flour / refined flour)
1tsp Baking powder
1 cup golden superfine sugar
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup ground almonds
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method :

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fah/180 Deg Fah. Grease a 1.7 lit ring mould. Place the chocolate and coffee in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water until the chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth & let cool. Sift the flour and baking powder into separate bowl.

2.Add the butter , sugar, eggs, ground almonds and milk. Beat together thoroughly until smooth.

3.Transfer one half of the cake batter to another bowl and stir in the vanilla extract. Stir the melted chocolate into the other half of the cake batter. Place spoonfuls of the 2 cake batters alternately into the prepared mould, then drag a toothpick through to create a marbled effect. Level the top. Bake in the oven for 50-60 min or until well risen and tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand in the pan for 5 min, then turn out into a wire rack to cool completely.

4.To make the frosting, place the chocolate, butter and water in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water until melted. Stir until smooth, then pour over the cake, working quickly to coat the top and sides. Let set before serving .

5.Serving with chocolate toping is optional. Since I find them very filling, I prefer without them.

6.Another variation is if you don’t have ring mould, 9 inch deep round cake pan.

Karai Kozhambu ( Tamil Masala Gravy )

A slight drizzle is all that requires to make this recipe.It  has been raining since yesterday and I had set my dinner menu. Kara Kozhambu  was accompanied with Udal dal Kootu , Omellette and Applam.I plan to post on the Kootu preparation soon. This is a typical spicy and tangy recipe out the books of my Mom's recipes. I haven't seen the slightest variations in flavour even when she makes it now ! However, The same does not apply to me who likes to experiment in kitchen, so I do change the proportion of ingredients at times... However this one is original. I will share other ways you can just do some variations later.If you have your masalas prepared its probably a time saver to make it. I have also shared my  the Kara Kozhambu Masala we use at home.I make and store them in pouches for 6-8 months in fridge. Infact I make all the other common masalas like Sambar, Mutton , Rasam in advance and store them. Storing in  fridge saves the flavour !

Lets look at what takes it to make a Kara Kozhambu !

Ingredients :
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized ,soaked in 1 cup water
Onion - 1 (fine chopped)
Tomato - 2 (fine chopped)
Curry Leaves - for sauting
Garlic- 100 gm ( peeled)
Small Brinjal - 250 gms
Kara Kozhambu masala - 3 tsp ( for moderate spice)
Oil - Til oil (I prefer sesame oil)

1.Heat Oil in a pan ( oil should be a little more than what we generally use for gravies)

2.Add mustard and methi seeds. Allow to splutter.

3. Add peeled garlic pods to it and fry well.

4.Add onion to this and cook for sometime, add tomato, curry leaves. Allow to cook. Add Brinjal and cook till the brinjal is almost done.

5.Add the tamarind water to this gravy with turmeric powder and Karai Kozhambu Masala.

6. Cover and allow to cook till brinjal is all done.

7. Remove from fire and add 2 tsp of gingelly oil to the gravy.

8. Serve hot with steam rice and Applam(Pappad).

Related Links : KaraiKozhambu Masala

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Raw Banana Crispies ( Vazhakaa fry )

I came across this very healthy  and fresh looking Raw banana's in the vegetable store. Must admit the poor thing has not been one of my house favorites. However, I wanted to try out some innovative way to get them on kids list.  I am fundamentally not a believer of long hours or strenuous cooking as I run short of time with my office schedule keeping me on my toes. Nevertheless, I wanted to make something interesting out of it that didn't take much time considering that mornings are pretty challenging. So, like I do for most of my cooking I did some preparations at night . I sliced them and wrapped them in cornflour followed by coating with bread crumbs and kept them nicely stacked in a box into the fridge. Since I  worked on my Sambhar beforehand preparation in similar way, I just had to deep fry the banana slices in oil while the rice was steaming. It took probably  less than 30 minutes for the entire meal to get into the lunch box. How I make Sambhar a easy task in the morning  and I will be happy to be sharing the same in another post.

The crispies turned out to be really good. Just to add, it has become  a favorite with the kids now !

 Serves : 3

Ingredients :

Raw Banana - 1
Sambhar Masala - 2 tbsp
Bread Crumbs - 2 cups
Corn flour - 2tbsp
Read chilli powder - 1 tsp
Oil - to deep fry
Salt to taste

Procedure :

  1. De- Skin the raw banana's to remove the fibrous part of it only.Cut them horizontally in circular shapes to  approx. 2 mm size width
  2.  Heat a wide pan of water just enough to dip the banana slices. When the water starts boiling, add the Sambhar masala , salt to taste ( 1 used 3/4 tsp) and place the banana slices to this.
  3. Allow it to cook for 3 minutes, not more than that ! leave it to cool , the heat from the water will cook the raw banana further. Drain them and keep aside
  4. Now add the red chilli powder to the bread crumbs  and keep aside in a plate and in another bowl mix cornflour with water .
  5. Take one slice of raw banana and dip it in cornflour mix and then into bread crumbs till it coats well.
  6. Keep all the raw banana  slices ready  similar way and then heat oil for frying
  7.  Deep fry 3-4 slices and place then in paper towel to drain the excess oil.
  8. This can go well as evening snacks as well with Sambhar rice/ Karakozhambu and Rice

Food thoughts

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