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Chana Masala/ Chole Masala/ Chickpea Curry

A flavorful, thick, stew-like curry that’s not overly spicy, and the perfect plant-based vegan meal.

Chana masala is traditionally based with chickpeas, onion, ginger, fresh cilantro, a blend of spices, and tomatoes. The magical step that takes this dish to the finger lickin’ level is the bulk of flavourful spices and DIY garam masala.

It can be prepared a number of different ways, but I chose the simple route: One pot OPOS method. 😋😜

It’s vegan, gluten-free, good for you and freezable so you can save your time. How wonderful. Enjoy this version of mine with rice or naan/chapathi, but I promise that it tastes damn good.


250g Chickpeas, (boiled or canned)

2 medium Onions, finely chopped

2 medium Tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 inch piece Ginger, finely chopped

2-3 Green chillies, roughly chopped

½ tsp Coriander powder

½ tsp Chillipowder (Kashmiri if possible)

1 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tbsp Garam masala, homemade

1/2 Lemon, juiced

½ small pack Cilantro

Salt, to taste



  1. Heat a pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, ginger (just finely minced).
  2. Then, add onions to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions start to turn brown.
  3. Next add tomatoes. Repeat this process until they turn mushy.
  4. Immediately add green chillies and stir to combine.
  5. Add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander and garam masala. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add drained, boiled chickpeas. Stir until it coats well with the masala, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup water. (Tip in the chickpeas, along with their cooking water for more flavor).
  7. Maintain a simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes, or until thick. Stir occasionally.
  8. When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Serve with rice and/or chapathi, naan, sprinkling additional cilantro on top.

Special Note:

  • Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish.
  • Simmering chickpeas broth lends them plenty of flavor.
  • DIY Garam Masala creates better flavor than mixing pre-ground spices.

Fish Dum Biriyani/ Malabar Fish Biriyani

Northern Kerala, the malabar region has many wonderful cuisines. One such authentic dish is Biriyani.

Biriyani is always there to make us happy. Be it a lazy weekend or family get-together or any functions, it never fails to impress us. So for all the Biriyani lovers here, Come let me introduce you to the Malabar Fish Dum Biriyani.

Ghee rice and fish masala are arranged in layers and blending is done by the dum process. The fish is marinated and shallow fried before adding to the biriyani masala.

As you know biriyani is made with long grained Basmati rice, but here in this Malabar region, it is made with a short grain “kaima rice”. Now those of you, who do not have access to kaima rice, can very well try it with Basmati rice as I had done today 😜.

Ghee plays a prominent part in Malabar cuisine. If you are health conscious, you can use half ghee and half refined oil or even omit ghee and drizzle a bit of ghee finally while layering the dum too. The choice is yours.

In this Malabar recipe, I have used Seer Fish. You can use Pomfret or any fish of your choice. This is a very simple Biriyani and can be made with Chicken too. But I prefer- fish.

Devour the classic Malabar Dum Biriyani with the detailed instructions below.. (This is a fairly big post, so pls excuse).

How to make Malabar Dum Biriyani….

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Serves: 3 people


  • 1/2 kg Seer Fish
  • 1 1/2 cup, Kaima Rice (or any rice of your choice)
  • Cardamom, Cloves, Bay leaves
  • Saffron
  • Cashewnuts, Raisins

For marination:

  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • Salt
  • Lime juice (optional)

For the gravy:

  • 2 Onions, medium sized, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 Green Chillies, thinly slit
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel Powder
  • Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt
  • 5 tbsp Ghee
  • Oil

Here we go….


  1. Wash rice and soak in water for 20 minutes, drain out in a strainer and keep aside.
  2. Marinate fish with the ingredients listed above and rest it for about 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins. Keep it aside. In the same pan, add thinly sliced onions and a pinch of sugar and fry till they are caramelised and brown.
  4. Soak saffron in a 1 1/2 tbsp of warm milk.

For Rice:

  1. In a pressure cooker, pour 3 tbsp of ghee. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaves. Fry for a minute. Now add thinly sliced onions and saute until onion turns golden brown.
  2. Now add in soaked Basmati/ Kaima rice and saute for few minutes.
  3. Add 2 1/4 cups of boiling water (ratio is 1 cup rice= 1 and 1/2 cup water), salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Combine well and pressure cook for two whistles. (If cooking in a kadai, cook in a medium low flame until water is fully absorbed).

For Masala:

  1. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp of oil, shallow fry the marinated fish pieces. Transfer it to a plate.
  2. To the same pan, saute onion until it is slightly golden.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and green chillies, saute until the raw smell goes away.
  4. Now add tomatoes and saute till it turns slightly mushy.
  5. Add in turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, salt and curd.
  6. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for few minutes. When oil starts oozing out, add the fried fish and cook for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.

For Dum process:

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan, Spread the fish layer. To the top of it, add the rice, fried onions, nuts, rasins, coriander, mint leaves, and sprinkle saffron soaked milk.
  2. Layer it with the remaining fish masala and rice with the garnishings on top.
  3. Close it with a tight lid, so that steam does not escape. (Cover it with chapathi dough or aluminium foil).
  4. Keep a dosa tawa on a low flame. And place the pan above it for 7-10 minutes for the flavours to develop. Switch off the flame and rest it for 5 minutes.
  5. Mix gently and fluff it with fork.
  6. Serve hot biriyani accompanied by Cucumber raita, papadam & pickle.


  • Adding a pinch of garam masala between the rice layers enhances the flavour (optional).
  • If you have thick slices of fish, shallow fry it and dum it between the rice layers. If you feel so, slices are thin and may break easily, just top it above the rice and layer it with garnishings and go for dum process.
  • I’ve used Kashmiri and Chilli powders, if you use chilli powder alone, adjust spice accordingly.
  • You can either seal the lid with chapathi dough or wrap it with aluminium foil and place a shallow plate with heavy weight above it.

Home Style Fish Curry/ South Indian Fish Curry/ Meen Kuzhambu

Having easy access to the southern coastline, fish makes a prominent feature in my hometown. You can savour a lip-smacking range of fish preparations with the available varieties that make mealtime an extremely satisfying affair.

An easy everyday fish curry with shallots and coconut.

The best part is many recipes here have Coconut as the key ingredient. It adds an excellent taste and flavor to the dishes. Traditionally it’s cooked in an earthen pot, where the fish is cooked in spicy gravy of shallots, tomatoes, and spices sautéed in coconut oil.

This flavorful Home Style Fish Curry has Indian inspired flavours and is quick enough for a satisfying meal. This delicately-flavored dish can be served with the white rice or even idli, dosas.

I have one more fish curry recipe, Kanyakumari Style Varutharacha Fish Curry in my blog which is really tasty too.

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 40 mins
Serves : 3-4

For the paste

  • 1 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Coconut, grated

For the curry

  • 500 grams Tuna (Kingfish or any variety)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 inch Ginger, chopped
  • 5 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium Tomato (chopped or ground to a paste)
  • 3 tablespoon Chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup Aubergine/Brinjal, chopped
  • 1 Tamarind (marble sized Ball)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds
  • Handful Curry Leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil


Kerala Chicken Curry/Nadan Kozhi Curry

An authentic kerala style chicken curry. This curry embraces the rustic style of chicken simmered in coconut milk and Indian spices. While it have variations in the level of spices and ingredients used across regions, it never fails to find its way in weekend lunch menu.

It goes well with the Malabar Nei Choru (Ghee rice) and most of the Indian breads (Appam, Chapathi and Parotta). No wonder it turns to an absolute favourite for anyone who loves Kerala cuisine.

This is my favorite one which suits for a weekday menu. It is an ideal recipe for bachelors and newbies too.

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Chicken curry well flavoured with spices

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 40 mins
Serves : 3-4


  • 500 grams Chicken, curry-cut with bones


  • 2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt


  • 2 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1 inch Ginger, crushed or coarse paste
  • 6 cloves Garlic, crushed or coarse paste
  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Fennel powder
  • 1-1 1/2 tablespoon Garam masala powder
  • 1 cup Coconut milk, thick
  • 3 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Salt

Here we go….!!!!

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken.

    Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken.
  2. In a bowl, add the chunks of chicken, season it with the ingredients listed for marination and rest in for minimum 30-45 minutes.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoon Coconut oil in a heavy based uruli/kadai. When the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onions and curry leaves.

    Add thinly sliced onions
  4. Add a pinch of salt while sautéing (This speeds up the process and enhances the flavor).
  5. When the onions turns to light brown paste, add crushed ginger and garlic. Stir till the raw smell fades away.

    When the onions turns to light brown paste, add crushed ginger and garlic.
  6. Add in chopped tomatoes, saute till it turns mushy.

    Add in chopped tomatoes, saute till it turns mushy.
  7. Add Red chilli powder, Coriander powder, Fennel powder, Turmeric powder, Garam masala and salt.

    temp 42
    Add in the mentioned spice powders
  8. Once the oil starts to separate from the sides, add in the marinated chicken pieces and toss gently.
  9. Cover with a lid and cook in low flame. (No need to add water, the chicken will cook in its own juices).
  10. Stir inbetween. If its dry, add two tablespoons of water and give a stir. (Be careful, not to burn)

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    Cover and cook in low flame
  11. Pour thick coconut milk. Adjust salt and allow to boil in medium flame (Cook uncovered).

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    Pour thick coconut milk and boil in medium flame
  12. Get into the desired consistency and switch off the flame. (Oil starts floating at the top when it is done)
  13. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  14. Cover and allow to rest for best settling of flavours.
  15. Serve with Nei choru or any rice of your choice.

    temp 43
    Serve hot with Nei Choru

Special note:

  • Coconut oil, Curry leaves and thick coconut milk are the key ingredients for the rustic flavour of the dish.
  • Allow the chicken curry to cook in a low to medium flame, if not you will end up with a looser runny curry.
  • Oil starts floating at the top, indicating that your curry is done. Switch off the flame.
  • Always use fresh homemade garam masala powder instead of the store bought ones.
  • Kashmiri chilli powder gives the bright red colour to the gravy.
  • Lukewarm water yields good quantity of coconut milk.

If you like this recipe, Do not forget to rate us at the end of the post. 

Did you make this recipe? If yes, do let me know how it turned out in the comments below. Do share a picture on instagram with hashtag #CookedFromHungrystomach and tag us @hungry__stomach


Wherever in the World, delve into Mutton Curry

Mutton Curry is undeniably one of the most preferred non-vegetarian recipe. The unique flavours of Indian cooking, which were embraced by many emigrants, have been developed over time to make the ‘Mutton Curry’, famous across the globe.

Mutton features very regularly on my dining table but the variety keeps on changing almost every time from Rajasthani Laal Maas, Roganjosh, Kerala Mutton Curry, Mutton Vellai Kurma and so on.

Mutton Curry, as the name says, it is the chunky goat meat cooked in aromatic spices, this one is a classic recipe which is an indulgent and a delight to the palate.

This glossy cum spicy mutton curry is signature recipe of my mom which she cooks very often.  “It is like the best of all her recipes”, my betterhalf says..

Although there’s no special occasion required to relish and dig into the flavors of this amazing Mutton recipe. A little patience while mutton gets ready and voilaaaah… you are done!!

Firstly to make a delicious mutton curry, the choice of meat is very essential. The mutton has to be tender and fresh. To make the mutton pieces soft and tender, wash and soak it in lukewarm water, rinse properly and then marinate it with the spices and keep it aside for two hours. If you do not have so much time to rest it, use raw papaya paste. This is the key step to tenderize the meat.

The ingredients and technique is actually pretty simple, you are sure to end up with this delicious mutton curry as your favourite bowl of comfort food.

Serve it with plain rice/biriyani/ chapathi of your choice. I would like to pair it up with Ulundhu Vadai (Its not that wierd combo actually…)

Now to the recipe.  Hope you like it…

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2-3



  • 500 gram Mutton, curry-cut with bones
  • 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric Powder

Mutton Curry:

  • 1 inch Cinnamon
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 1 petal, Star anise
  • 1 cup Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
  • 2-3 Green Chillies, slit lengthwise
  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 2 tablespoon homemade meat masala/garam masala
  • 1/2 cup Coconutmilk (optional)
  • Bunch of Coriander, Chopped
  • Salt
  • Oil

My recipe for our famous Mutton Curry…

  1. Marinate mutton with the ingredients mentioned under marination for 2 hours. (This makes the mutton pieces juicy and succulent as the spices are fully absorbed.
  2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute bayleaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves for a minute.
  3. Add thinly sliced onions. Cook this for 7-8 minutes or till the onions are translucent. (The colour of the fried onions decides the colour of the final curry. Fry until they are nicely browned on medium heat.)
  4. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till the raw smell fades away.
  5. Add in green chillies, stir for a minute.
  6. Now add chopped tomatoes, cook till the tomatoes have turned mushy.
  7. Add in red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and homemade meat masala/garam masala. Once the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  8. Add marinated mutton and saute everything together for 5 minutes to lightly sear the meat.
  9. Add water to cover and salt to taste.
  10. If using a pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 30-40 minutes (5-6 whistles). If using a stovetop pot, cook for 45-60 minutes and let pressure release naturally.
  11. Once the pressure is released, open the lid and if the gravy reaches little thick, add coconut milk or water to adjust the gravy consistency.
  12. Check for the salt content and add salt if required and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Switch off.
  13. Let the curry rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  14. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve warm.

Special Note:

  • The colour of the fried onions decides the colour of the final curry. Fry until they are nicely browned on medium heat.
  • Adjust the quantity of red chili powder to suit your taste.
  • Marinate mutton for about 2 hours. If you do not have so much time to rest it, use 1 tbsp of raw papaya paste. This is the key to tenderize the meat.
  • Coconutmilk gives richness to the gravy, but is purely optional.

Moru Curry/ Pineapple Pulisseri/ Moru Kachiyathu

Moru Curry, otherwise named Pulisseri or Kachiya Moru, is a Kerala style seasoned yoghurt which is served as a part of Onam sadya.

Pulisseri is a favorite summer curry in every Malayalee’s house. A variety of vegetables can be used to make this curry, including mangoes, plantains, cucumber, tomato, pineapple, and ashgourd making it such a versatile dish.

Tangy, subtly spicy, aromatic and outrightly lip-smacking curry perks up my mood every time I eat it! I usually make it when I don’t have veggies in stock or my lazy bug bites me.

This recipe is relatively simple and can be made with or without coconut. Here is how to make it with pineapple and coconut paste.

With Kerala moru curry, you can enjoy a good hearty meal with just “papadam” as accompaniment.

Pineapple cooked with spices and simmered in a yogurt and coconut sauce is a tangy accompaniment to matta rice


Author: Nathiya Adiseshan

Preparation Time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2-3


  • 1 1/2 cup Curd, beaten with 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup Pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup Coconut, grated
  • 1-2 Green Chillies
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chilli Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig of Curryleaves
  • Salt

How to make Moru Kachiyathu (Kerala Style Seasoned Buttermilk)

  1. Peel and dice the pineapple into small pieces.
  2. Cook pineapple with 1/2 cup of water, turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt on low flame (approx 5-7 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, place coconut, ginger, green chilli, cumin seeds and turmeric powder in a mixer jar. Add little water and blend to make a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  4. Once the pineapple is cooked well, add the coconut paste to this and bring the curry just to a boil.
  5. Now add the beaten yoghurt, salt and stir continuously for a few minutes minutes until it is heated through. Switch off. (Take care not to over boil the curry)
  6. Heat coconut oil in a pan over medium flame, add the mustard seeds, once they splutter, add red chillies and curry leaves. Turn off the flame and pour to the curry. Immediately cover with a lid, so that all the aroma stays in the curry.
  7. Tasty Pineapple Moru Curry is ready. Serve with matta rice and enjoy!!!

Special Note:

  • Pineapple cooks quickly and hence ensure not to overcook it. 
  • Take care not to overboil the curry, else it will get curdled.
  • Keep the yogurt out from the refrigerator for a couple of hours for it to become a little sour.


If you like this recipe, Do not forget to rate us at the end of the post. 

Did you make this recipe? If yes, do let me know how it turned out in the comments below. Do share a picture on instagram with hashtag #CookedFromHungrystomach and tag us @hungry__stomach

Prawns Masala/ Chemmeen Mulakittathu

This is comfort food to me, well!!!

People, being grown up in the coastal regions are big fish eaters. Seafood, whether it is prawns or fish or squid, has always been special to me,  because it was made very often during my younger days at home.

Chemmeen/Prawns is regular in my kitchen but for the past few days I have been cutting the corners of all my prawn recipes. Not that I I would not venture hour-long cutting and chopping, but my hero is allergic to seafoods 😦  I do a fair share of cooking nowadays. Some days are like that…

This is what I made today, that brought the broadest smiles, not just on me, but on him. “Prawns Masala/ Chemmeen Mulakittathu” with the authentic kerala flavours oozing through. Although the list of ingredients and process may seem a bit overwhelming, when you actually go into making it, you will realize that it actually is the simplest one ever! This recipe can be made with equal success in fish too.temp 23

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 25 mins
Serves : 3 to 4

Masala Paste:

  • 1 cup Coconut, dessicated/grated
  • 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 4 Red chillies
  • 3 tablespoon Coriander seeds/ dhaniya
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Oil


  • 500 grams Prawns, deveined
  • 1 medium Tomato, chopped
  • 1 Brinjal, chopped
  • Tamarind, Goose-berry sized or to taste
  • 3 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • Salt

Here we go….!!!!

  1. Clean and devein the prawns. Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water for 15 minutes and extract its juice.

  2. Heat oil in a pan at medium heat. Fry dried red chillies, coriander seeds, curry leaves and onion. Add in grated coconut and fry till light brown. Switch off the flame.
  3. Let it cool. Add in a pinch of turmeric powder. Transfer into a blender and pulse, adding water bit by bit, to get a very fine paste.

    temp 19
    Add in a pinch of turmeric powder.  Transfer to a blender and grind to a fine paste.
  4. Cook the tomatoes and brinjal in a claypot/meenchatti adding salt and little water. Cover and cook until tomato gets mashed up.

    temp 13
    Cook the tomatoes and brinjal with little salt and water.
  5. Add the ground roasted coconut masala and tamarind extract. Mix well.
  6. Simmer till the gravy thickens on a low flame. Season with salt.

    temp 14
    Simmer till the gravy thickens
  7. Add in the prawns. Do not stir any more, rotate the pan to mix the prawns and the masala well. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. (Check in between, the prawns gets done quickly)

    temp 17
    Add in prawns gently.
  8. Switch off.
  9. Set aside for 15 minutes. Serve with rice or tapioca.temp 22

Special Note:

  • The prawns gets done quickly (within 3 minutes), so check in-between, else you will end up in rubbery prawns.
  • I have used Jumbo/King Prawns, you can use regular prawns too.
  • Pour a tbsp of coconut oil over the curry before serving. 

Mushroom Pulao Recipe/ Easy Mushroom Pilaf

We all love eating and there are times when we love to gulp in some really good food. What if you are in a hurry, just don’t have access to nearby restaurants or not to spend much time on cooking and you still feel like gorging on some yummy delicacy?

Pulao comes to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!!

Pulao/Pilaf is one of the common rice dishes being made in most Indian houses today. Pulao is an one pot meal cooked with assortment of dry spices and veggies. The uniqueness of the dish lies in the use of cardamom, cloves and peppercorns which make this pulao flavoursome and delightful.

Voilaaah.. I won’t call this as one authentic recipe but it never fails to give the typical aroma. This one pot meal does not require any elaborate steps. So if you are in a hurry packing office/school lunches, but still want to make your lunchbox special, then go for this. So you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Made from fresh ingredients, this is one of the best Pulao I have ever had in a while.  Look no further make the easiest pulao. Made in rice cooker. Can be made in pressure cooker too. With step by step pictures.

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Cuisine: Indian
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3 servings


Curry Paste:

  • 4 sprigs Coriander Leaves
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 4 Green Chillies
  • 1-inch piece of Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Peppercorns

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the abovesaid ingredients coarsely and keep aside. This will become our curry paste.

For the Pulao:

  • 2 Cloves
  • Small stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cardamom 
  • 10 Cashewnuts,chopped (optional) 
  • 1 Onion, (big) thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces Mushrooms (any variety)
  • 1 1/4 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 tablespoon Ghee
  • 2 tablespoon Oil
  • Salt, to taste

Making of Mushroom Pulao…..

  1. Wash rice, drain water and let it stand, start the next step straightaway.
  2. In a pressure cooker/ heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee and oil, add spices one by one, once they start to crackle, add cashews, fry until golden brown.
  3. Add in Onions, saute till it turns golden. (Add salt to quicken up the process here).

    temp 5
    Add Onions, and fry until golden.
  4. Now, add in the ground paste and fry until the raw smell disappears.

    temp 8
    Add the ground paste and fry until the raw smell disappears.
  5. Add mushrooms, fry on high for 2 minutes.

    temp 3
    Add Mushrooms and saute well.
  6. Stir in the rice and fry until it is all well coated with the masala. Now add required salt and mix everything well.

    temp 6
    Add rice & salt.
  7. Add 2 cups of water to every cup of rice used and if pressure cooking, keep for 1 whistle and 5 minutes on low flame.

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    Add in water, bring it to boil
  8. Switch off and wait for the pressure to release fully. Open and fluff up gently with a fork.

    temp 10
    Tadaah……. It’s done!!!!!
  9. Serve with any curry of your choice.

    Spicy and flavour packed one pot meal kinda Mushroom Pulao, perfect for busy mornings..

Special Note:

  • Another to way accentuate the taste and aroma of this recipe, you can dry roast the spices, grind it and then add it to the Pulao.
  • Peppercorns gives the heat to the recipe. If you want a really spicy pulao, you can add a couple of slit green chillies extra. But I prefer mild one
  • Add lot of mushrooms for an excellent earthy flavour.
  • If cooking in the electric rice cooker, bring the water and rice to a boil and cook till the pulao is done.

Kanyakumari Style Varutharacha Fish Curry

Varutharacha Fish Curry
Varutharacha Fish Curry – “Ribbon fish cooked in coconut paste which gives the curry a wonderful flavor so that the spiceness is balanced out”

When the love for food is simple and simple is good..

As kanyakumari lies on the coastal borders of India, seafood have always been predominant source for the ardent food lovers. Fish curry recipes are very common and is usually made from a variety of fish like Seer fish, Ribbon fish, Tuna, Sardines, Pomfret and many other as well to create wonderful delicacies.

Today’s recipe, Varutharacha fish curry is my Mom’s signature recipe.. Amma makes this more often, may be like, atleast once in a week.. But the taste varies each time with the fish she makes it… Varutharacha fish curry is a tamarind based curry simmered with coconut/shallots paste. The addition of coconut and shallots gives a nice aroma and light sense to it. The curry is so simple to make as it is made in one pot. Today, I have used Ribbon Fish (Belt fish / hair tail, also called as vaalai meen/ வாளை மீன்) for the curry.

This goes perfectly with steamed rice accompanied with thoran and kerala aviyal to make the meal more special.

Author: Nathiya Adiseshan
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 45 to 50 mins
Serves : 2 to 3


  • 2 Ribbon Fish (வாளை மீன்), cleaned and cut
  • 1 cup Tamarind Extract
  • 2 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek seeds (Vendhayam/Methi)
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Kadugu)
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil

To grind

  • 1 cup Coconut, grated
  • 3 Shallots, peeled
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 2 garlic pods
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeeragam)
  • 1 teapoon Black pepper (Nalla mizhagu, kuru mizhagu)
  • 2 tablespoon RedChilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder

How to make Fish Curry Recipe

  1. To begin making the Varutharacha fish curry recipe, wash the fish and season it with salt and turmeric powder and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan (preferably manchatti), heat two tablespoons of oil on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
  3. Add in grated coconut, shallots, garlic, curry leaves, black pepper and saute until the coconut turns golden brown.
  4. Add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder and mix well.
  5. Allow it to cool. Grind it to a smooth paste.
  6. In the same pan, add in tamarind extract, ground coconut paste and a sprig of curry leaves and bring it to boil.
  7. Place the marinated fish pieces gently on the curry.
  8. Add appropriate amount of salt and give the curry a good stir.
  9. Cover the pan with lid leaving some gap on the sides to avoid the gravy spilling all over.
  10. Cook till oil floats on top.
  11. In a tadka pan, heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds, curry leaves and shallots. Pour this over the curry.
  12. Switch off the flame.
  13. Serve the Kanyakumari Style Varutharacha fish curry along with steamed rice, kerala aviyal and thoran to enjoy your sunday lunch with comfort food.

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Special note:

  • Coconut oil, Curry leaves and shallots are the key ingredients for the rustic flavour of the dish.
  • Allow the curry to cook in a low to medium flame, if not you will end up with a looser runny curry.
  • This curry tastes best with Tuna, Sardines too. Give a try.