Moms Kitchen - Andhra Recipes: July 2008

Moms Kitchen - Andhra Recipes

July 25, 2008

Chicken Avakaya (Chicken Pickle)

Mixture of exotic spices with chicken is a pickle made back at home by my mom. A perfect partner for steamed rice. For all those chicken lovers out there, try this and I bet you'll love it.

you'll need

chicken - 1 lb (I've used chicken with bones) cut into bite sized pieces

Turmeric - 1 tsp

ginger & garlic paste - 1 tbsp

Oil - 1/4 cup

Mustard seeds (avalu) - 1 tsp

coriander seeds (dhaniyalu) - 1 1/2 tbsp

cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/4 tsp

cloves (lavangalu) - 10

cardamom pods (elaichi) - 3

cinnamon stick (dalchini) - 1 inch

poppy seeds (gasagasalu) - 2 tbsps

Large Lemon - 1 (Squeeze the juice and set aside)

red chilly powder - 1/4 (adjust according to spice level)

Salt to taste

How to:

1) Wash chicken pieces under running water and drain.

2) In a bowl mix together ginger garlic paste, turmeric. Add washed chicken pieces to this mixture and coat well.

3) Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan/kadhai, reduce the heat to medium and add chicken to it. mix gently, cover the pan with a lid for 2 mts.

4) Remove the lid and on medium low flame allow the chicken to fry till golden brown. Keep stirring in between such that all the pieces are evenly cooked and colored. Do not overfry the chicken as this turns the pieces hard to chew. Light golden brown color would be good.

5) Once the chicken is fried, set aside and allow it to cool. Meanwhile dry fry all the spices individually (mustard seeds, coriander seeeds, cumin seeds, cloves, elaichi, dalchini and poppy seeds) on low flame till nice aroma comes out. Do not burn them (the pickle would turn bitter if spices are over burnt)

6) Once done allow the spices to cool off and grind all spices together to a fine powder.

7) Heat the squeezed lime juice on low flame for 10 seconds (Do not overheat). Alternatively you could warm it for 10 seconds in a microwave. Adding fresh lime juice will not let the pickle stay fresh for long time and thats why we want it to be warm.

8) Now add ground spice powder(do not add entire powder at once, instead add in small quantities and adjust according to your spice levels), dried red chilly powder, to the fried chicken and mix well. Add lemon juice and adjust salt.

9) If the pickle looks too dry a little bit of oil could be added. Its not required to heat oil at this point of time.

10) Leave the pickle in the bowl for an hour and transfer it into a closed jar. This pickle stays fresh for a month even if not refrigerated. If you are not refrigerating the pickle and leaving it outdoors, make sure the pickle is covered with good amount of oil floating on top. It can be eaten on the day of preparation itself. Serve it with steamed rice. Also goes well with dosas and idlys too.

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July 17, 2008


When I was young, I had not the slightest interest in learning to cook. During my visits to the kitchen, I sniffed around exclaiming "Boy, that smells weird! Does it it turn out good?" without even offering to help my mom nor trying to learn cooking.

When I first came with hubby dear to our new house a few years earlier, I knew very less about cooking. My first day at home, I attempted to replicate what I had seen in my mothers kitchen during those days. I made endless blunders to master the basics of her cooking. As I learned I measured my progess to my memories of food that I tasted way back in my mom's kitchen. My sambhar had to taste as good as my mothers, Chapathis as puffy as hers so on and so forth. As I did this, I realized cooking good food is joy and since then learning various dishes topped my favorite list of things I'd love to do for myself.

Todays recipe is a simple quick and easy dish that is served as a dessert. We call it "Appalu" in our region and are served in hanuman temple as prasadam.
Well nothing beats the taste at the temple, but this is for all of you out there, who really miss home and want to have a taste of it...

We need...

Sooji - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup ( Increase if you prefer more sweetness)
Water - 2 cups
Ghee/Clarified butter - 2 tbsps
Cardamom/elaichi powder - 2 tsps
oil for frying - 2 cups

How to ....

1. Heat a kadhai/skillet and fry sooji on low flame for about 2 mts. This would prevent lumps when added to water. Take care not to burn/change the color of sooji. Over frying results in loosing the shape/breakage while frying. Allow to cool off and set aside.

2. Bring water to boil in a sauce pan, reduce heat to medium. Slowly add sooji and sugar to water while mixing gently to avoid any lumps. Reduce heat to medium low now.

3. Add ghee, cardamom powder and mix well. You can taste the mixture and add more sugar at this point of time.

4. Cover the pan with a lid, allow to cook for 2 mts. switch off the flame. Do not remove the lid for 15 mts.

5. Later remove the lid and allow it to cool off. By the time sooji mixtures cools off it looks like wet greasy paste. Grease your hands with oil/ghee, take a spoonful of mixture, shape them into rounds and pat them flat (about 1/4 inch) like tikkis. Arrange all of them on a greased plate. Alternatively you can directly drop them in oil while you shape them.

6. Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan/kadhai. Do not over heat oil. Place the kadhai with oil on medium flame and allow the oil to heat up. (about 5 - 7 mts)

7. Drop each patty slowly into oil. Do not overcrowd the pan. This would result in patties sticking to each other and breaking. Fry till golden brown on both sides. Do not over fry. Overfrying turns them hard. These taste good if fried till the right color turns up. They should melt soft in your mouth as you chew them.

7. Fry all patties in batches, remove and strain on a kitchen towel. Store in an airtight container. They last upto 1 week even if not refrigerated.