Saturday, June 16, 2018

Simple Chicken Curry

The basic recipe. Preferably use a non-stick pan to cook this, so the masala does not stick to the pan. Makes a huge difference.


  • Chicken - 1 kilo
  • Ginger garlic paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Curd - 2 tablespoons
  • Onions - 3. Chop into fine pieces.
  • Tomatoes - 2 big ones. Chop into small pieces.
  • Clove, Cinnamon, bay leaf: a few pieces
  • Red chilly powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper - a few corns
  • Some coriander leaves


  1. Marinate chicken in some ginger garlic paste, some curd, and a teaspoon of salt. Either for a few hours or overnight in the fridge, not freezer. The curd tenderizes the chicken.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in a non-stick pan until brown. Sprinkle some salt if you want it to brown faster.
  3. Add some pieces of clove, 2 sticks of cinnamon, and a couple of bay leaves if you have. Stir for a minute until you can feel the smell of spices coming out, they should not burn.
  4. Add the red chilly powder and few crushed pepper corns. Pepper corns is according to your taste, you can add more later after you have checked the taste. Stir for a few seconds - don't leave chilly powder in too long, it will burn.
  5. Add the marinated chicken and stir and cook until the water is gone and the chicken starts to brown. The masala would have coated the chicken well now. You can get the smell of the ginger garlic paste frying. The chicken will be half-cooked at the end of this.
  6. Add the chopped tomato now and stir and cook. The tomato gives the gravy to the dish. Once the tomato is cooked nicely check salt and add more if needed. Add more pepper at this stage if you want it hotter.
  7. Add a little water if you want more gravy, but not too much.
  8. To check if chicken has cooked, use a fork and take out a piece and taste - it will be white inside and breaks easily.
  9. Switch off and add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Vadu Manga Pickle

Nothing has made me this happy in a long time - I made my very first pickle, and that too my favourite - and it turned out all right! Thanks to Satya Sadasivan, who shared this super-simple Kerala Tamil Iyer recipe for tender mango pickle with me, answered all my many questions, and guided me through the whole process with a lot of patience. :) 

You get these baby mangoes only in summer, in some of the older markets. So March-April is a good time. I just about managed to get the last ones from Malleswaram 8th Main market in Bangalore. Make sure they look freshly plucked and not picked from the ground - those may go bad. I bought 3 kilos - they fitted into those two jars in the picture.

Things you will need, other than ingredients:
  • A big towel to dry the mangoes on.
  • A measuring cup for the mangoes and later spices. I just used a big coffee mug.
  • A plastic bucket with lid to soak the mangoes in salt
  • A wooden ladle to stir
  • Glass jars or the bharanis like I have used, see picture - I got them from a footpath shop that sells flower pots and stuff.

Important: Everything that you use for this recipe has to be dry - no moisture anywhere - on the mangoes or any of the utensils and vessels. So before you start on each step, ensure all utensils are completely dry - including the mixie jar you grind the mustard seeds in. :)

It has no oil, can you beat that? :)
  • Tender mangoes, 5 cups - choose any measure, I chose a big coffee mug. I bought 3 kilos and that came up to 5 cups for me. Any measure is okay, you just need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
  • Salt, 1 cup
  • Red chilly powder, 1 cup
  • Dry-roasted and powdered mustard, 3/4th cup
So the ratio is: For each 5 measures of mango, add 1 measure salt, 1 measure chilly powder, 3/4th measure mustard powder. That's it. :)

  1. Wash mangoes.
  2. Now dry each mango with a towel one by one. Then spread them out on a towel on a table and leave them under the fan overnight, so all traces of moisture are gone.
  3. Once you are sure they are dry, check again and throw off any mangos that don't look good. One single bad mango could spoil the whole pickle.
  4. Now measure the mangoes in your cup and add them to the dry bucket. My 3 kilos fitted into 5 cups, heaped.
  5. For each 5 measures of mango, add 1 measure of salt. I used regular salt. Mix well with the dry wooden ladle.
  6. Close the lid and leave for 7 days. Open and stir with the dry ladle twice a day. Water starts coming out of the mango by the third day.The mangoes would have started to shrink and shrivel.
  7. On the 8th day,  add one measure red chilly powder and 3/4th measure mustard powder for each 5 cups of mango. Mix well.
  8. Now transfer to a glass jar or porcelain jar like in the photo.
  9. Close with lid, wrap a cloth around and tie tightly. Leave for another week. The mangoes should have become softer. Your pickle is ready. :)
Note: I have been greedy and already ate one, it's not yet a week. :)  It tasted nice and crisp and salty-yummy.