Tag Archives: India

Kappa (Yucca root) fry Kerala style

6 Oct https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/

I should be grateful for the number of followers I have on this blog and I should have titled this post as apologetic because I have been so lazy to post! I have been concentrating more on my other blog. But I honestly want to say sorry to all the ones who believe in me and have followed my blog as faithful readers! Sorry! I have backdated this post but I will be try to be more consistent.

My husband has his roots in Kerala as I have mentioned before. It took me time to learn some of the delicacies of Kerala cuisine but I have definitely caught up with a few. I may not have mastered them since the people in Kerala are generous with the use of coconut oil but it will be difficult to guess that a Maharashtrian has made the South Indian delicacies. Well if anyone wants to see the optimum use of a coconut they should definitely visit a native of Kerala.

Yucca root or cassava or tapioca is what we call Kappa in Malayalam(language spoken in Kerala). Its starchy and can replace potatoes. It is high in carbs and low in protein. It is low in fat and cholesterol-free! So I love it and my husband loves it with beef-fry. I will share the recipe soon. Let’s get down to this one.

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Tip : A clean kappa is one with close ends and has no spots or growth on it. To clean kappa, you will need a sharp knife, strong board and strength! Cut the ends, cut in half, peel, or peel first with a peeler and cut in half and then cut half in half lengthwise. You will see the thread that you see in the pic. It also resembles the core of the pineapple. Trim the core where you see the thread. Cut the remaining part into cubes or quarters.

All you need:

  1. 1 whole Kappa/Yucca root/Cassava
  2. 1 tsp turmeric
  3. 4 red whole dried chilies (I also add finely chopped green chili as I love it hot)
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1/2 tsp cumin(optional as its not traditional)
  6. 4-5 cloves of garlic, remember to crush the garlic for it to release its oil and coarsely chop it.
  7. 1 small red onion or 3-4 pearl onions chopped finely
  8. 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  9. 2 tbsp oil preferably coconut
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 2 tbsp Shredded coconut to garnish
  12. Water for boiling

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Clean, peel, cube and wash Kappa.
  2. Boil Kappa cubes in water that covers the cubes for about 10 minutes or until tender. Remember to add salt and half the turmeric to the water. Drain the water.
  3. Now comes the tempering. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, once they crackle add the cumin(optional), curry leaves and red chilies.
  4. Now add garlic and onion and saute till onions turn pink(you can even brown the onions if you like).
  5. Add remaining turmeric. Adjust salt.
  6. Add the kappa cubes and mix well. Let the kappa get coated evenly with the entire mixture.
  7. Turn off the heat and garnish with shredded coconut.

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Potato wrapped Tilapia with Cilantro sauce

21 Mar

Probably I would have never come up with this recipe on my own, I had watched an episode of a guy who is a chef in a restaurant in Goa, India and I don’t remember what fish he used and what herb he used for the sauce but I was so inspired by it, I tried making my own version and it was pretty good! I wish I could remember the recipe or the chefs name so that I could also post a link to the original recipe. Well, I will keep searching. In the meanwhile, let’s try this one.

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Tip: You can use any sort of fish and any sort of herb and make it your own. The sauce has to be thicker than in the picture.

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All you need:

  1. 1 to 1 1/2 lb Tilapia or any other fish fillet (preferably a wider fillet)
  2. 2 Potatoes skin peeled off
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 1/2 cup All purpose Flour
  5. 1 tbsp Oil (per fillet)
  6. 1 tbsp Butter (per fillet)
  7. Salt(for seasoning)
  8. Black pepper powder (for seasoning)

For the sauce:

  1. 1 cup Cilantro or any herb of your choice for a thick green sauce.
  2. 1/2 Onion chopped
  3. 1 clove Garlic chopped
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp cup Cream
  5. 1/4 cup White wine (optional, substitute with vegetable stock)
  6. 1 tsp Oil
  7. 1 tsp Butter
  8. Salt (for seasoning)
  9. Black pepper powder (for seasoning)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Slice the fillet in two pieces if it is a wider fish than tilapia. I used a whole fillet of tilapia since it was a narrower fillet as one whole portion. Adjust for more servings accordingly. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven at 350º.
  3. If you have a slicer go ahead and slice thin roundels of the potato or with a peeler keep peeling potatoes for thin slices.
  4. Grab hold of 2 plates, place a beaten egg in one, pour some all-purpose flour in the other.
  5. Dip the fish in the all purpose flour, dip it in the beaten egg mixture.
  6. Wrap the fish in the potato slices making sure the fillet is covered entirely. Season with little salt and pepper.
  7. Heat oil in a pan, add butter. Fry the potato wrapped fish in the oil on medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the potato changes color.
  8. Transfer onto a oven proof dish and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. In the meanwhile prepare the sauce. Slice the onion. Chop the garlic.
  10. Heat oil and butter in the same pan and toss in the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Add a splash of white wine and stir in cream.
  12. Remove from the heat, cool it down a bit.
  13. In a blender add the chopped cilantro and the cooled mixture, blend it to a smooth texture. Strain the sauce.
  14. Heat the strained sauce for a minute or two.
  15. Plate the sauce on a serving dish and place the fish in the centre.
  16. Serve hot.

Not just in the kitchen – Coconut Oil

24 Dec

As more and more people are discussing the benefits of coconut oil, let me give you a background of how coconuts are used in my community. Hailing from the Western part of India, my family roots trace along the coastal regions. Thankfully my spouse’s family also comes from a coastal region from the south of India. Both our families are aware of the different uses, traditional, religious whatever the need is for this wonderful tropical fruit called ‘Coconut’. I will be listing down the uses of mainly coconut oil however, for centuries Coconut in India has been considered sacred enough to be offered to the Hindu Gods. Because of its variety of uses of this amazing fruit is undoubtedly holy indeed. The husk is used for making coir which is found in brushes, mats, mattresses, baskets, fishing nets etc. The flesh is used for cooking countless items of food and to extract coconut milk . The trunk of the tree is used to make furniture or charcoal. The shell is turned into a variety of handicraft items. The leaves make a good roof or brooms. The coconut water is filled with electrolytes and is super hydrating, the water without fermentation is known as ‘Nira’ and once fermented is ‘Toddy’. It can further be used to make wine or sugar. Finally, the oil extracted has the following uses:

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  1. Coconut oil is mainly used for cooking.
  2. A regular good hot oil massage on the head will help in growing long and thick hair.
  3. The oil is also used as a moisturizer, try some immediately after a bath.
  4. If suffering from dandruff, mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in coconut oil as needed for covering the entire scalp and massage it lightly,leave on for 15-20 minutes. Wash off with shampoo.
  5. I remember as kids we were told to rub oil in our hair and body whenever we went out to play Holi(festival of colors). It would help in washing off the colors easily.
  6. If you suffer a minor burn, applying coconut oil helps in healing the burn faster.
  7. A mosquito, ant, bug bite has swollen your precious skin, a little oil rubbed on the bump will ensure the swelling goes down quickly and stops the burning sensation too.
  8. Cracked heels or lips, coconut oil works well.
  9. Prevent stretch marks in pregnancy, massage coconut oil daily and watch them melt away.
  10. I remember when my mom removed her make-up she always used coconut oil on a piece of cotton.
  11. Mix in some sugar for a lovely body scrub.
  12. A mix of clove and coconut oil is great for pain in the gums.
  13. The oil can be treated as a natural multipurpose skin cream for rashes, etc
  14. I remember when I had pain in my ears, my dad crushed a garlic pod and mixed it with warm coconut oil, strained and poured a little in my ear, how relieved was I!
  15. Apply some warm oil on a cotton swab inside the nose for a dry nose in winter.

Not just in the kitchen – Spices (Turmeric)

28 May

I cannot stop raving about Turmeric. It is becoming a popular spice slowly, but not limited to old wives’ tales, I would like to mention how useful Turmeric is even for simple daily needs. Just a pinch can make a lot of difference. I am no expert on this, but these are all tried and tested uses for centuries in India.

  • https://mefoodatarian.wordpress.com/ Turmeric leaves are used for wrapping and cooking food in it. Sometimes, even food is served on it in India. It is not only beneficial to the health but also gives a distinct flavor and an aroma which may be too strong for some. One of the regional dishes is called ‘Patoli’ in India steamed in turmeric leaf during ‘Ganpati’ festival, a celebration of Lord Ganesha, a God of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity.
  • Turmeric powder is used in almost every dish cooked in India since it adds color, flavor, aroma and has many health benefits.
  • Most common drink with turmeric in it is warm milk with Turmeric powder which is known to clear away cough, mild fever, a home remedy for many Indians including me!
  • Clothes are dyed in Turmeric for its powerful yellow color. But be careful, since Turmeric stains easily.
  • It has many ceremonial uses and is widely used for religious purposes in India especially for Hindu deities.
  • A paste of Turmeric is applied to the bride and groom traditionally to give that special glow before the wedding ceremony.
  • Turmeric can also be used as a face pack. Mixed with Bengal gram flour, milk or yogurt, it is known to clear off blemishes and has acne fighting properties. Let the paste dry on the face, wash off with plain water.
  • It is known for its various medicinal uses in ‘Ayurveda'(a form of traditional Indian medicine practice)
  • A pinch of turmeric if applied directly on cuts, stops bleeding and is known to destroy the germs that try and enter the body through wounds.
  • Moderation is the key, too much can be bitter but a pinch is enough for so many uses.
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