Kala’s Jubilee Fried Chicken

I am celebrating my 250th recipe on this blog! I wanted to follow Indian jubilee traditions by posting a recipe of a sweet but I then thought of creating something which is unique in using a minimal number of spices and with a short cooking time. I also wanted it to be low fat with minimum wasted nutrients. The result is this fried chicken which is mouth wateringly delicious, quick and easy to make, saves fuel, and is good for health – it sounds impossible, but it is true!

Kalas Jubilee Fried Chicken - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Jubilee Fried Chicken

Continue reading

Kala’s Aeri Vaaval Mullangi Curry (Lake Pomfret and Radish Curry)

Freshwater fish dishes are relished only in interior Tamil Nadu. People in Chennai are not familiar with the taste of these fish and sometimes even mock those who consume it. But now that even marine fish are cultivated in freshwater lakes and can be bought online, the lake pomfret costs Rs. 300/kg while marine pomfret costs Rs. 800/kg! Therefore I have been developing recipes using freshwater fish. In this recipe I have combined the strong smelling radish with the mild flavoured lake pomfret and also avoided using chilli powder. Instead I have used mustard powder to give it a slight bite. This mild fish curry is a great success in my house – not with my fish hating son of course 🙂 It goes very well with chappatis, unlike the traditional fish curries.

Kalas Aeri Vaaval Mullangi Curry - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Aeri Vaaval Mullangi Curry

Continue reading

Thirunelveli Vegetable Saalna

When people think of combining vegetables and dhal in Tamil cooking, they primarily think of Aviyal. There is another dish, Saalna that is a complete contrast to aviyal both in the type of vegetables and spices used. Saalna does not use strong flavoured vegetables like drumsticks and cluster beans. It also uses cloves and cinnamon, instead of cumin and garlic like aviyal. It may not be as famous as aviyal, but is no less delicious. It is an ideal dish to celebrate the harvest and can be served with Venn Pongal.

Thirunelveli Vegetable Saalna - Kalas Kalai

Thirunelveli Vegetable Saalna

Continue reading

Prawn and Vegetable Stew

The coolest month of the year for Tamilians is January, and we are very happy to get the freshest of vegetables during this period. This concept of combining prawns with vegetables is new to my family because we made only two prawn dishes – Fry and Moli. My friend Jacintha, who is a Burmese repatriate, gave me this recipe though she said it isn’t a Burmese recipe but just a family favourite. I have used the same ingredients and quantities she gave, but have made the procedure simpler and easier. I serve it with Naan, Peas Pulav, and Mushroom and Capsicum Pulav.

Prawn and Vegetable Stew - Kalas Kalai

Prawn and Vegetable Stew

Continue reading

Kala’s Dry Chicken Curry with Madras Curry Powder

The Madras Curry Powder was developed in Tamil Nadu in the kitchens were food was cooked to suit the palate of the British during their Raj. It is quite different from the ‘garam masala’, the North Indian curry powder, which is mentioned in most so-called Indian recipes. Although the Madras Curry Powder has many spices in common with garam masala, it is also has fenugreek seeds, turmeric and, may be, curry leaves, which are typical constituents of Tamil cooking. This powder, though very popular in Britain, is available in very few shops in Tamil Nadu and has never been part of Tamil cooking, which has its own extensive range of curry powders. May be it is too mild for our palate :), and I doubt if people even knew about it since it was made specially for the British. I myself stumbled across it only a decade ago in an exclusive spice shop, which caters a lot to foreigners. Nevertheless, I find it a very versatile curry powder which can be used for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Kala's Dry Chicken Curry with Madras Curry Powder - Kalas Kalai

Kala’s Dry Chicken Curry with Madras Curry Powder

Continue reading

Prawn (Shrimp) Puffs

In India, we use the term prawn for shrimp also. While I was looking for something special to make for Christmas, I came across the recipe Idaho Tuna Puffs in The Family Circle’s Casserole Cookery Book. I decided to substitute prawns for tuna, as tuna is not easily available here, and to make it suitable for the Indian palate. I deleted the cheese from the ingredients because it didn’t contribute either to the flavour or the texture. I used silicon moulds to make these puffs. I used some of the dough to make small pies to give variety in shapes.

Prawn Puffs 1 - Kalas Kalai

Prawn (Shrimp) Puffs

Continue reading

Kala’s Gulab Jamun with Milk Powder (Milk Powder Balls in Sugar Syrup)

Happy Deepavali everyone! This Gulab Jamun is a sweet from North India that is very popular during Deepavali. My father used to make gulab jamun, certainly with the help of my mother, using milk powder instead of koya (milk concentrated to a solid block). Though we didn’t know the correct procedure, we all enjoyed the adventure of making and eating it. I have standardised the recipe after reading many other methods of making it. I also make it with milk powder because koya is not easily available in Tamil Nadu. Serve it with vanilla ice cream for a glorious combination of flavours and taste!

 

Kalas Gulab Jamun with Milk Powder 1 - Kalas Kalai
Kala’s Gulab Jamun with Milk Powder – Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream!

Continue reading