Paaya is a food dish prepared with the leg bones called trotters of either goat or sheep cooked over coal or wood fire for a long time in the old days along with the regular ingredients and the result is an awesome curry which goes well with Idli, dosa, appam, idiappam and bread. But the best combination is “paaya and Idli” only. Since the fur in the legs need burning and washing with water, the cleaning itself is a laborious affair.
Moreover cooking the bones well for a longer period in a pressure cooker makes them soft and so many people prefer to make it only once in a blue moon. But there are people who love and swear by this food dish “paaya”! These days well cleaned bones are easily available in the market.
Cooking Time : 2 hours
Servings: 6 persons
1. leg Bones (Cleaned and chopped ) : 8 legs
2. Onion : 150 grams
3. Shallots : 100 grams
4. Ginger : 2″ piece
5. Tomato : 100 grams ( approximately 2 no )
6. Coriander and Curry leaves : a few sprigs
7. Aniseed : 1.5 Teaspoon
8. Cumin : 1 Tablespoon
9. Turmeric Powder : 1 Teaspoon
10. Chili Powder : 1.5 Tablespoon
11. Coriander Powder : 1 Tablespoon
12. Coconut paste : 0.5 Cup
13. Salt : 1.25 Tablespoon
14. Gingelly Oil (preferably ) : 1.5 Tablespoon
15. Water : 4 Cups
METHOD : Clean the bones thoroughly with water. Peel and chop the onions,Shallots,Ginger etc. Grate the Coconut and make a fine paste using a blender. Fry lightly in an empty skillet Cumin seeds, Coriander and chili powder. Keep the pressure cooker over medium flame and pour oil. First add the aniseed and then the chopped Onion, shallots, ginger etc and fry them well. Then the chopped tomato can be stirred along with coriander and curry leaves. The cleaned, chopped leg bones along with cumin, T. Powder, Chili powder, Coriander powder and salt should be mixed well in the cooker. Pour two cups of water and pressure cook for 15 minutes. It takes quite some time to get the bones cooked soft and tender. Open the lid to check ( when cold ) whether it is cooked well. Again you can pressure cook the same for another 15 minutes. Since the bones do not disintegrate easily
like the meat, you need not worry about overcooking. Finally add the coconut paste along with another two cups of water and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Coconut Barfi – As the name suggests, this healthy and easy to make coconut sweet is prepared with palmyrah jaggery. It is made in just a few minutes and can remain fresh for a few days.
PIECES : 20
COOKING TIME : 30 MINUTES
1. Coconut: 1 ( medium size)
2. palmyrah jaggery : 150 gram
3. Ghee (clarified butter ) 1 tablespoon full
4. Cardamom : 2 no.
5. Cashew, almond or any other nuts of your choice : 2 tablespoon
Crush the cardamom and the nuts and keep them separately. Scrape the Coconut and fry it lightly in an empty skillet for 5 minutes. In another skillet melt the jaggery using 1 tablespoon water and strain it removing dirt. Now add the fried coconut to the melted jaggery over moderate flame stirring well. You can add the ghee and the cardamom with the crushed nuts etc to the mixture. The mixture becomes sticky and thick in 10 minutes. When it starts leaving the side of the skillet, remove from flame and pour it in a greased
plate. Use a spatula to flatten the mixture and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. Then start cutting in to squares.
Dhalcha is a curry item usually served along with “Biriyani” as an accompaniment. It is prepared with a combination of two dhals, mutton bones and various vegetables. This food dish can be consumed along with “Idli, dosa and chappathi ” etc. A minimum of 5 vegetables are used for this curry.
Cooking Time: 1 hour INGREDIENTS: 1. Mutton with bones : 200 grams 2. Toor Dhal & Bengal Gram Dhal together : 0.75 Cup ( 150 grams ) 3. Cumin seeds : 0.5 Teaspoon 4. Turmeric Powder : 0.5 Teaspoon 5. Ginger & Garlic paste : 1.5 Teaspoon 6. Cinnamon : 1 Small Piece 7. Cardamom : 2 8. Cloves : 2 9. Mint & Coriander leaves : small bunch 10. Chili Powder : 1.5 Teaspoon 11. Shallots : 50 Grams 12. G. Chili : 3 13. Tomato : 1 14. Salt : 1 Teaspoon 15. Water : 3 Cups 16. Vegetables : one drumstick, 2 Eggplants, 1 Potato, 1 small piece ashgourd, 1 small mango, raw Banana etc. 17. Tamarind Juice : 0.25 Cup 18. Coconut Paste : 0.25 Cup
Wash the dhals and soak in 1 cup water for 15 minutes. Wash mutton, bones in water. Clean and dice the vegetables and keep them aside. In a pressure cooker add items 1 to 13 from the above list along with 2 cups of water and cook the same for 8 minutes. Then add all the diced vegetables along with salt and cook for another 5 minutes till the vegetables are tender and soft. The tamarind juice along with coconut paste can be mixed in the curry and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Heat a skillet with oil and saute the cinnamon, cloves,cardamom and the curry leaves. Pour it over the boiling curry and let it simmer for 5 minutes over low flame.
Tips: Some prefer adding mutton fat along with bones for making “dhalcha”. Adding coconut paste is optional.
NATTU KOZHI KUZHAMBU: There was a time in our place when only chickens raised and reared in the back yard of the houses were available for consumption. Nowadays most people go for the readily available broiler chicken. Still some people prefer Nattu Kozhi (country chicken) for it has a unique taste of its own which simply surpasses any meat though the cleaning and the preparations of the curry take longer and are somewhat cumbersome.
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Country chicken ( meat): 1 kg
Shallots : 150 grams
Onion: 2 (approximately 100 grams)
Curry leaves: 4 sprigs
Ginger Garlic paste : 1.5 Teaspoon
Cinnamon: 1 small piece
Aniseed : 1 Teaspoon
Cumin : 1 Teaspoon
Pepper : 1 Teaspoon
Chili powder: 2 Teaspoon
Coriander Powder: 1.5 Teaspoon
Grated Coconuts: 0.5 Cup
Turmeric powder : 1 Teaspoon
Salt 1.5 Teaspoon
Oil : 25 Cup (preferably gingelly oil)
Water: 3 Cups
Clean the chicken well with water and keep aside. Chop the onions. Peel and fry the shallots in a teaspoon of oil in a skillet and make a paste in a grinder. Fry the aniseed, pepper, cumin, cloves and cinnamon in a skillet without any oil lightly and before taking off the stove add the coriander and chili powder and fry for a couple of minutes. Powder the ingredients and keep it aside. Grated Coconuts should be ground to a smooth paste. Now use a pressure cooker to heat oil over moderate flame . First fry the chopped onions till they turn brown in color and then add the curry leaves along with the ground shallots, ginger garlic paste and fry well. Then add the ground pepper, cumin etc powder along with the cleaned chicken pieces, salt, turmeric powder and fry for a few minutes. Add two cups of water and cook well for 10 to 15 minutes closing the lid well so that the meat gets cooked well to become soft and tender. Finally add the coconut paste with one more cup of water and let it simmer for ten minutes till the oil separates in the gravy.
Before the advent of readily available sambar masala powders in the shops, in the old days people had to make simple “ paruppu kuzhambu ” with tur dhal (red gram) and locally available vegetables without adding much spices etc. This is a specialty still liked by many folks in the interior south of Tamil Nadu. Though it lacks the strong flavor and pungent taste of sambar, it has it’s unique taste and smell.
Servings: 3 Cooking Time: 1 hour
1. Tur Dhal (red gram ) : 0.5 Cup ( 100 grams ) 2. Shallots (Small onion) : 10 3. G. chili : 5 no 4. Tomato : 1 small one 5. Vegetable of your choice – preferably drumstick and 2 brinjals (Egg plant) 6. Curry leaves and Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs each 7. Cloves of garlic: 2 no 8. Mustard : 0.5 Teaspoon 9. Cumin Seeds : 1 Teaspoon 10. Turmeric Powder: 0.5 Teaspoon 11. Asafoetida : 1 pinch 12. Salt: 1 Teaspoon 13. Oil – Gingelly: 1 Tablespoon 14. Coconut Gratings: 1 Tablespoon 15. Water : 3 Cups
Wash the tur dhal and soak it in one and a half cup water for an hour. Clean and chop the shallots, tomato, vegetables and slit the g. chili. Grind lightly the coconut gratings along with half of the cumin seeds and 2 g. chili and keep aside. In a cooker boil the tur dhal along with the turmeric powder, garlic, asafoetida, 5 Shallots, 3 g.chili, tomato and the diced vegetables for 10 minutes till the dhal and vegetables are well cooked. In a skillet add the oil and heat it over moderate flame and put the mustard seeds, the remaining cumin seeds, shallots, and finally curry leaves and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the cooked dhal with vegetables and add the salt and the remaining water with the ground coconut paste and let it boil for 5 minutes. Stir it well and before taking off the stove add the coriander leaves.
Tips: This kuzhambu is suitable for rice mostly and people prefer the thinner version of this curry. The coconut gratings can be added to the curry either ground slightly or as they are.