Duck Leg  Biryani 

Not long after I made the Keralan Style Mutton Biryani, I adapted the recipe for this version and it worked particularly well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.



Duck Leg Biryani 
Ingredients :
Biryani masala blend
Cinnamon sticks 2
Cardamom green 8
Cardamom black: 2
Cloves: 6
Caraway seeds : 1 tsp
Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
Bay Leaves : 1
Star Anise : 1
Nutmeg 1/2
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Mace : 4
Duck legs 4
Biryani masala : 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
250g green beans
Masala sauce
Onion 4 thinly sliced
Tomatoes : 3 chopped
Green chillies 4 chopped
Ginger paste 2 tbsp
Garlic paste: 2 tbsp
Biryani masala : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Rice
long grain rice 2 cups
Cloves 4
Cardamom, green 4
Cinnamon stick 1
Bay leaves : 1
Salt to taste
Garnish
Cashew nuts
2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried till crisp
Coriander 1 small handful, chopped
Saffron 1 pinch

Method:
Start by heating a heavy based dry frying pan, add all biryani masala spice blend and gently roast until the spice aroma has developed. Remove the spices from the heat, place in a heavy-duty spice grinder and grind to a fine blend.

Prepare the duck legs by removing the skin and sprinkling 1 tablespoon of biryani masala blend and season with salt. heat some coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan and brown the duck legs. remove froth pan and keep to one side.

Make the Masala sauce in the heavy based pan, which has a tight fitting lid you will need this later; add the cashew nuts and fry until golden, remove and keep to one side. Add the sliced onions and fry until soft and golden, add the ginger, garlic and chilies, fry until browned. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook down, add a splash of water to stop the sauce from sticking. Add the remaining masala spices, season with salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Now add the browned duck legs and half of the chopped herbs to the masala sauce and combine, add another splash of water if the mixture look dry. Cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes adding a little water from time to time to reduce the risk of the masala sauce sticking.

Pre heat the oven to 180c

While the duck legs are cooking prepare the rice, first wash the rice and drain. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan; add the rice spices to the oil and temper. Add the drained rice to the spices with 4 cups of water and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, you do not want the rice be fully cooked, drain and place to one side.

Place a pinch of saffron in a 1/4-cup of warm water and leave to infuse.

Once the duck legs are ready, place the green beans on top of the masala sauce and half the rice, layer with the chopped herbs, fried onions and cashew nuts, and then the remaining rice. Garnish the very top with fried onions.

Pour over the saffron water, replace the lid and cook for a further 25 minutes.

Mutton Biriyani Kerala Style. 

I stumbled upon this recipe a few weeks ago after reading a blog on the famous Lucknow Mutton Biryani, which set off a craving for the dish. Predictably, I’ve made a few tweaks to the spice blends as I wanted quite a heavy lean towards cinnamon and clove flavours to the dish to match the robust flavour of the mutton.

Ingredients:

Biryani masala blend 

Cinnamon sticks 2

Cardamom green 8

Cardamom black: 2

Cloves: 6

Caraway seeds : 1 tsp

Fennel seeds : 1 tsp

Bay Leaves : 1

Star Anise : 1

Nutmeg 1/2

Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp

Mace : 4

Marinade

Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder 1 tsp

Natural yogurt 250ml

Biryani masala : 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Mutton 1kg

New potatoes 8

Masala 

Onion 4 thinly sliced

Tomatoes : 3 chopped

Green chillies 4 chopped

Ginger paste 2 tbsp

Garlic paste: 2 tbsp

Biryani masala : 1 tsp

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Coconut oil: 2 tbsp

Cashew paste 

Fennel 1 tsp

Poppy seeds: 1 tsp

Grated Coconut 50gms

Cashew nuts one small handful

Rice

long grain rice 2 cups

Cloves 4

Cardamom, green 4

Cinnamon stick 1

Bay leaves : 1

Salt to taste

Garnish

Cashew nuts

2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried till crisp

Mint leaves 1 small handful, chopped

Coriander 1 small handful, chopped

Saffron 1 pinch

Method:

For the biryani masala blend:

Start by heating a heavy based dry frying pan, add all biryani masala spice blend and gently roast until the spice aroma has developed. Remove the spices from the heat, place in a heavy-duty spice grinder and grind to a fine blend.

Place the mutton in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients and combine, cover and put to one side for 2 hours.

Prepare the cashew paste by soaking the poppy seeds, fennel, and cashew nut in some hot water for 20 minutes. Add to the grated coconut and grind to a smooth paste, cover and place it to one side.

Make the Masala sauce by heating the coconut oil in a heavy based pan, which has a tight fitting lid you will need this later; add the cashew nuts and fry until golden, remove and keep to one side. Add the sliced onions and fry until soft and golden, add the ginger, garlic and chilies, fry until browned. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook down, add a splash of water to stop the sauce from sticking. Add the remaining masala spices, season with salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Now add the marinated mutton, new potatoes, cashew paste and some of the chopped herbs to the masala sauce and combine, add another splash of water if the mixture look dry. Cover and cook over a low heat for an hour adding a little water from time to time to reduce the risk of the masala sauce sticking.

Pre heat the oven to 180c

While the mutton is cooking prepare the rice, first wash the rice and drain. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan; add the rice spices to the oil and temper. Add the drained rice to the spices with 4 cups of water and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, you do not want the rice be fully cooked, drain and place to one side.

Place a pinch of saffron in a 1/4-cup of warm water and leave to infuse.

Once the mutton is ready, place half the rice over the masala mixture and layer with the chopped herbs, fried onions and cashew nuts, and then the remaining rice. Garnish the very top with fried onions.

Pour over the saffron water, replace the lid and cook for a further 25 minutes.

 

 

 

Spice Kitchen : Murgh Hara Masala

Sundays are all about the chicken in most households, admitidly it’s usually a roasted. In the house I grew up in, our weekends didn’t culminate in a Sunday roast but a variety of spiced dishes. So if you ever come to mine on a Sunday it’s fairly unlikely that that I won’t  serve you a roast dinner, don’t get me wrong I enjoy a roast but I’m not bound by tradition of having one every Sunday or every month. 

If you don’t fancy a roast dinner try this dish that I wrote about when I was Malabar Aaanaa, it will liven up any dull Sunday.

This weekend was the first time I’ve had chance to get back on the spice trail to try something new and delicious. I did a fair bit of trawling through my recipe books and came across this tasty recipe for Murgh Hara Masala and being the person I am, I played about with it slightly.


Ingredients :

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion , thinly sliced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp masala chat

2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

2 chicken breasts, diced

2 chicken thighs, diced

100ml plain yoghurt

350 ml chicken stock

1 small handful of fresh mint, finely chopped

1 small handful of fresh coriander

1 green chilli, finely chopped

1 banana shallot, finely chopped

1tbsp lemon juice

100g fresh spinach, blanched and puréed

Salt to taste

1 stalk of fresh curry leaves

Method

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium flame and add the sliced onions. Brown the onions and then add the garlic and chilli and fry until the raw smell has gone.

In a small bowl mix the chat masala and Kashmiri chilli powder and add a little water so not to scorch the spices, add this mix to the onions , garlic and ginger. Cook out the spices for 1 minute.

Add the chicken and seal the meat coating it with the spice mix.

Add the chopped mint, coriander, lemon juice, shallot and green chilli to the chicken and cook out for 2 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick add a splash of water.

Add the yogurt and bring to a simmering point and cook for a further 2 minutes

Add the stock and spinach and cook until the chicken is tender for 10- 15 minutes.

Add the curry leaves and season with salt, cook for a further minute.


Serve with rice and chapatti.

Upma – South Indian breakfast recipe

Upma is a typical South Indian breakfast made from semolina and vegetables. I’ve made this dish many times for Tiffin Brunches and Keralan Kitchen pop ups under Malabar Aaanaa,  it’s propabably one of my favourite dishes  and is best served with pappad and chutneys, it also goes well with my Kerala Mutta Curry recipe.

Upma , South Indian breakfast recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups coarse semolina
1 red onion chopped

1 small green pepper, finely chopped

1 small carrot, diced

3 green chillies, de-seeded and thinly sliced

4 stalks curry leaves

1 x 2 inch cassia bark

1tsp cumin seeds

3 cups boiling water

1tsp brown mustard seeds

1/3 cup of cashew nuts

2 dried kashmiri chillies (broken)

salt and peper to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil

In a dry frying pan roast the semolina over a medium heat until golden. Once this has been done remove from the pan and put to one side.

In another pan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat, first add the cashew nuts, whole spices and curry leaves and temper until the aroma develops then add the onions, chillies onions, peppers and carrot, fry until soft and golden.

Add the semolina to the onion mixture and combine, add the salt and pepper to taste.

Slowly add half of the boiling water once this has evaporated, add the remaining water and stir using a metal spoon. Try not to stir the mixture too much as the mixture will become stodgy.

Remove from the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Fluff the mixture with a fork to separate the grains and serve with coconut and coriander chutney, and pappad

Enjoy.

Kerala Mutta Curry – eggs baked in masala 

Here’s a great brunch dish that will add spice to any weekend . I  made this for a clients 30th birthday brunch when I was running Malabar Aaanaa, all who attended loved this dish and said that the brunch added to a very special weekend.

Most of the egg curries I’ve had in Kerala have used hard boiled eggs. I feel the curry looses out on the silkiness of a soft yoke and a certain richness when combined with the masala, so with this in mind I cook the egg from the scratch in the masala sauce giving the dish a more enjoyable flavour and texture .


Kerala Mutta Curry – Baked Eggs in a Masala Sauce 

Ingredients

6 eggs, organic

For the Masala Sauce

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium onion, sliced

2 sprigs of curry leaves

2 tsp coriander seeds, ground

2 green chilli, deseeded and split lengthwise

1inch ginger, minced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

5 fresh medium tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground

1 tbsp cumin, ground

1/2 tsp garam masala

2 inch cinnamon stick

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a heavy pan and temper following spices: cinnamon stick and curry leaves for 2 minutes, then add the sliced onions.

Fry the onions until soft and translucent then add the garlic, ginger and green chilli, cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the spices ( but not the garam masala) and cook until the tomatoes have broken down , add a cup of water gradually to stop the mixture from sticking.

Once the masala sauce has cooked down sprinkle with garam masala and season with salt and mix.

Pre-heat the oven to 180c

Transfer the sauce to an ovenproof dish and crack the eggs into the mixture, I find it handy to make a little well in the sauce to hold the egg.
Place in the oven and cook until the egg white is just set and the yoke is still soft.
Serve with Upma, Paratha and chutneys
 
  Note:

Instead of baking the eggs, you can just poach the eggs in the pan on the stove. To poach just cover with a  lid until  and cook over a medium heat until the egg white is cooked and the yoke is soft.
 

Brunch: Bombay Toast Kerala Style 

Sweet Bombay Toast….Sweet Bombay Toast with Banana, Coconut, honey and Tayberries I first discovered this delicious breakfast treat in a very special place in Kerala called Varkala 10 years ago. This dish was expertly prepared for my husband and I by a lovely old guy called Babu, who also made us gallons of Masala chai and who offered to let us stay at his house for 100 rs a night the next time we visited. My husband and I reflect fondly about Babu and how proud he was to show his spices and prepare food for us. I should mention Babu’s version of Bombay Toast was a delicious spiced French toast lightly fried in coconut oil and topped with slice banana, freshly grated coconut and drizzled with honey.
After leaving Varkala we visited Kovallam and to our delight we discovered Bombay Toast was on the menu….. it came …..and what lay before us was an oily soggy pale limp piece of bread…. Oh the disappointment!! On arriving back home I made it my mission to cook this special dish in the style of Babu for my friends and family, who thoroughly enjoyed it and have reproduced the dish for their friends too.
I have returned to Kerala a number of times, but I have yet to return to Varkala to find Babu to ask him if his offer still stands and if he would kindly make us Bombay Toast.
This is my version in honor of Babu
Serves 4
Ingredients
4 thick slices from a stale brioche loaf

4 eggs, free range organic

1/8 cup double cream

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Masala chai spice blend

2 tsp coconut oil

2 large ripe bananas sliced

100gms freshly grated coconut

4 tsp of runny honey, I like to use orange blossom

12 tayberries optional

Method
In a shallow bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and masala chai.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium flame, add the coconut oil.
Dip each slice of the brioche into the egg mixture remove and place in the frying pan.
Cook each slice of brioche until golden on both sides, taking care not to burn.


Place on a serving plate, top with sliced bananas coconut and a drizzle of honey.


Top with Tayberries


Serve straight away with a smile and enjoy.

Kerala Prawns

In the last few months I’ve closed down my beloved Malabar Aaanaa food business for various reasons and returned back to paid employment (it’s not that bad), but to keep my hand in so to speak I’ve created The Dish Served to satisfy my need to create food and to share with lovely people.I had a number of recipes on my old site and wanted to share them afresh, so I’m in the process of transferring all my recipes over to here.

Kerala Prawns  is a spicy little dish to serve,  that will satisfy those cravings for deep flavours of the sea and warm destinations.

SERVES: 2

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOKING TIME: 20 mins
INGREDIENTS

RICE:

1 cup basmati rice

1 inch cinnamon stick

1 star anise

2 green cardamom

salt to taste

drop of oil

MARINADE:

1 inch of ginger, grated finely

1 fat garlic clove, finely grated

salt to season

1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp Kerala garam masala

MASALA:

1 diced large red onion

1 inch of ginger, finely grated

2 fat garlic cloves, finely grated

1 tsp, heaped Kashmiri chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 sprig fresh curry leaves

1/4 tsp turmeric

2 tomatoes chopped

100ml coconut milk, thick
200gm shell on prawns, deveined. I like to use the shell on prawns as it gives a better flavour to the dish.

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp fresh coriander leaf, finely chopped

METHOD:

Add all the marinade ingredients to the prawns and mix together, put to one side until needed.

Wash the rice.

Heat the oil for the rice and add the whole spices, let the aroma develop from the spice.

Add the rice to the oil, spices, 2 cups of water and salt, cook until the water has disappeared.

While the rice is cooking start the masala, heat the coconut oil in a wide pan and add the mustard seeds, wait for these to start crackling and add the curry leaves, then the onion and cook over a medium heat until translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic, cook for a further 2 minutes and until the raw small has gone then add the chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric, continue to fry for 1 minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook out until the oil separates from the mixture, once this happens place the masala in a bowl.

In the same pan add the coconut oil and heat, then add the prawns and all the marinade. Fry the prawns until nearly cooked, then add the masala and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and reduce to the desired consistency, finish with some chopped coriander leaf.

The rice should now be ready to serve with the prawns.

Please use your hands to eat this its a traditional way and will connect you with the dish

Enjoy !