Spicy Grilled Swordfish South Indian Recipe

Spicy Grilled Swordfish South Indian Recipe

The second time I visited India, my family and I were invited to one of my husband’s many cousin’s home for dinner. Maya and Bob Reddy were absolutely charming and bonded instantly with my children. Ever since that evening, they have had a special connection with each other. Over the years we visited each other and the friendship strengthened. Unfortunately Maya passed away in 2009.

 

That evening in 1996, we dined on her patio under traditional Indian lantern light. Maya served us the most delicious feast I have ever tasted. Everyone ate their fill on the exquisitely selected and prepared food. I don’t recall that we ate much the following day. One dish in particular had a huge impact on my impression of Kerala cooking and became my favorite preparation for fish. I call the recipe Maya’s Karimeen Pollichathu. This recipe uses the local freshwater specialty, pearl spot fish, which is found throughout Kerala. The fish was sliced into thin steaks, about a ½-inch thick. They were marinated in a special blend of spices then grilled to perfection.

 

This month I chose my version of Maya’s recipe as the South Indian recipe of the month. I call it Spicy Grilled Swordfish since I have changed the fish from the local specialty and the method of cooking. I hope this grilled swordfish recipe becomes part of your repertoire!
 

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Since I am currently in the process of implementing some enhancements to my website to make it more accessible and useful, one of the enhancements is the creation of separate lists for Kerala recipes and Tamil Nadu recipes. While updating the lists, I noticed that I had only had one recipe of the month that had meat as the main ingredient. I decided I needed to fix this so I picked one of my all time favorites, Meat Masala.


This Meat Masala recipe is delicious and easy to make! It is a perfect recipe for a weekend when you have time for the spices to marry with the meat. It has flavor but is not spicy hot so everyone will love it. The meat is cut into small pieces and cooked slowly with garlic, ginger, onions and some savory spices to season it. The original Kerala recipe used lamb but I have made it with beef. 

 

Meat Masala, delicious South Indian recipe.

Meat Masala, delicious South Indian recipe.

This dish is best served with white rice, chapathi or pooris. Kachi serves it as a sandwich on white or wheat bread for lunch. I prefer serving a generous scoop of it on a roll. It tastes like South India’s version of a moist-rub barbecue sandwich! Yum!

 

Check out the recipe

 

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Portuguese traders and explorers from the 16th Century should be thanked for the wonderful spicy Prawn Balchao to be created. They took spices, vegetables and shrimp paste from India to Macau where they were integrated into the local cuisine. During this time, Goa was a Portuguese colony until it joined India in 1959. “Bacalhau,” as it is called in Macau, was eventually created and taken to Goa where it evolved into the famous Prawn Balchao that is so popular in Indian cuisine today.

Goa is the smallest state in India as well as its richest state. Located on the western coast of the country along the Arabian Sea, Goa is a popular international tourist destination for beautiful beaches, historical sites, religious sites and fantastic food. Seafood is one of the most popular ingredients along with rice, coconut milk and kokum that is the fruit from the tree by the same name (also called the sour apple tree). Paste made from this fruit is used instead of tamarind to give a sour flavor to food. The food has also received some distinct influences from the Portuguese such as the use of chiles, tomatoes, potatoes and pineapples that they brought from Brazil.

 

Prawn Balchao features sweet, sour and spice in one dish.

Prawn Balchao features sweet, sour and spice in one dish.

Prepared with either fish or large shrimp, the Indian recipe for Prawn Balchao has a thick and tangy dark red sauce that is said to resemble an Indian pickle in its flavor and texture. It tastes sweet, sour and spicy all in one bite for a mouth-watering treat. The use of vinegar in this recipe should not be a surprise since the Portuguese were seafaring people who used it to preserve food. This Indian recipe is most often served with plain boiled rice so the rich flavors can be highlighted effectively. Sometimes you can find prepared Balchao Masala at Indian grocery stores that is made with cumin, red chiles, sugar and vinegar ground together to make a paste. I prefer to make the masala fresh; it doesn’t take much time at all.

 

The flavor of this Prawn Balchao recipe is so incredible that it is now my husband’s favorite Indian recipe! Try it at your next dinner party; you will receive rave reviews and requests from your guests for a repeat performance!

 

Click to see the Prawn Balchao Recipe.

 

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Since December was the month of indulgent partying and eating, I thought I would share a light version of Seafood Biryani recipe as the January Indian Recipe of the Month to help get us back on track.

My husband bought a bag of frozen langoustines from the store the other day and decided it would make a great Seafood Biryani. I thought about it for a minute and realized that since there is Fish Biryani and Shrimp Biryani, why can’t there be Seafood Biryani?

Seafood Biryani made with langoustines.

Seafood Biryani made with langoustines.

I had purchased a box of Fish Biryani spice from my favorite Indian store, National Imports, during my last trip to Carrollton. This spice blend was produced by a company I had never heard of before: Eastern Condiments. I learned that it is a large company based in Kerala, India that provides individual spices as well as a large array of spice mixes. I chose this product because a company in the region of Indian on which I focus made it and I was thinking about writing another product review in a future blog entry.

We used the Eastern spice mix, supplemented it with our own spices, lightened up the recipe to reduce the calories and had dinner on the table in 45 minutes (something that can’t be done when following a traditional recipe). It turned out to be fantastic!  Serve it with some onion raita or even plain yogurt on the side and you will receive may rave reviews when your family and friends taste the first bite!

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Since we are approaching the busiest time of the year, I want to give you a new spiced up seafood recipe called Shrimp Avinasi that is easy to make and absolutely delicious. It is a hit at my house especially with my son. It literally takes just minutes to prepare and, when served on top of geera rice (a simple fried rice that is seasoned with just cumin seeds, salt and pepper) with a nice green vegetable of your choosing, will delight your family and guests.  My Shrimp Avinasi recipe will become a favorite! Enjoy!

 

Shrimp Avinasi Indian recipe

Shrimp Avinasi Indian recipe

Note: A friend of mine has just returned from a two month trip to Mysore which is in the state of Karnataka just to the north of Kerala. She recently commented that she misses the Dosa and Coconut Chutney. As a welcome home gift, the recipes for these dishes will be the Recipes of the Month for December so she can make them for her family at home. Originally from Kachi’s kitchen in Kerala, I have adapted them for U.S. kitchens. I hope you enjoy them, Lisa!

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This month, I selected Beef Potato Curry as the Indian recipe of the month. It is a great dish to add to your repertoire since it is simple to make and is really low in calories. Utilizing a small amount of oil, lean meat, spices and vegetables comprise the ingredient list. No cream is needed to make the curry (the sauce) for this dish.

 


Beef and Potato Curry

Beef and Potato Curry


 

If you set out the dry spices and chop up the garlic, ginger, onions and tomatoes in advance, my Beef Potato Curry recipe is a quick to prepare. The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of Indian chili powder. Since this chili powder is known to be hot, I used a little bit less than 1 teaspoon. The result was a comfortable level of heat for me. For those who like their food hot, I would suggest using  1½ teaspoons. I would recommend using ¼ teaspoon of it, or substitute cayenne pepper which is not quite as hot, for those who don’t want a hot dish. I served this dish with rice and chapatis. It reminds me of beef stew with an Indian twist.  Enjoy!


 

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I asked my husband last week what I should pick for this month’s special recipe. He immediately suggested I use Bindi’s Mint Chicken recipe.  I’m not sure why it popped into his mind since I had never made it before but I am really glad that he did. I think you will like it very much.


 

Mint Chicken

Mint Chicken with Rice

The first time I tasted the Mint Chicken recipe was during a dinner at my sister-in-law’s house about 20 years ago. It had the most delicious blend of spices and herbs that I had tasted in a long time.  Chicken and mint are definitely intended to be cooked together. It is not a hot dish in the least. The first time I tested the recipe, I knew that without some Indian chili powder, it was needed. If you don’t like any heat at all in your food, this is a good recipe (without the chili) for you.


This is an ideal recipe for a busy weeknight dinner. Preparing the marinade requires just a few ingredients and 15 minutes of time. After you come home from work the next day, just grill the chicken and fry the onions. Dinner will be ready in no time. It is also good for a summer dinner with friends when the chicken can be grilled outside. Serve it with a salad and some grilled vegetables. Your guests will be impressed.


 

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I picked my Kotayam Pepper Chicken Fry recipe for the Indian Recipe of the Month. Since we are in the middle of yet another winter snowstorm with high temperatures in the teens, a hearty dish that would warm us up from the inside is a smart selection for dinner. On the side, just serve a simple rice dish and a vegetable for an American style dinner. It can be served with rice and pappadams or the layered Malabar parathas for an authentic meal.

Kotayam Pepper Chicken Fry

Kotayam Pepper Chicken Fry

 

A few days ago I was chatting with some of my high school friends about the use of onions versus shallots in Indian cooking. This recipe uses 7 shallots in the marinade and 4 more in the masala in addition to 2 red onions. I promised my friends Joni and Mary to select a recipe this month that is “hearty and healthy and tingly”. I think that when served hot, this dish accomplishes all three of the objectives. I hope they tell me what they think.


About the recipe…

 

Kachi created the Kotayam Pepper Chicken Fry recipe a few years ago after her brother, Naraynan Nair, told her about a fantastic dish he had eaten in a restaurant while on a business trip in Kotayam which is a small town in Kerala between Cochi and Trivandrum. He liked it so much that he told her what he thought the ingredients were and described the flavor so Kachi could replicate the recipe. It has a lovely mild but rich flavor.


I had this dish for the first time a few weeks ago after Kachi returned from a visit to my sister-in-law’s house. I absolutely loved it and plan on making it for dinner this evening. Check for the picture to be posted tomorrow.

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The Indian recipe I selected for December is one that Kachi just created before she went to visit her daughter and her family for the holidays. My Chicken with Mushrooms in Cashew Sauce recipe is a delightful dish that is not difficult or time consuming to make. This recipe is a bit unusual for Indian cuisine since there are not very many that use mushrooms. In fact, Kachi’s Kitchen did not include a single mushroom dish even though I love the flavor they offer.

Indian Recipe for Chicken wiht Mushrooms in Cashew Sauce

Indian Recipe for Chicken wiht Mushrooms in Cashew Sauce


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My husband was never taught how to cook when he was young even though he grew up in a home in which the food was always delicious and plentiful.  After coming to the U.S. for graduate school, he had to learn how to cook on his own very quickly in order to avoid fast food restaurants.  Studying to be an engineer, he approached cooking just as he would a science experiment.  He had to use ingredients that were inexpensive, were nutritious and would not spoil quickly since he was living on a very tight budget and spent all of his time studying.  Remembering the recipe for Vegetable Rice (Pachacurry Pulav) which was featured in March, he added a can of tuna and a couple of eggs to make a one pot meal that was high in protein.  The October Indian recipe is my husband’s special creation – Tuna and Egg Fried Rice.

Tuna and Egg Fried Rice is a very easy recipe to make.

Tuna and Egg Fried Rice is a very easy recipe to make.


This Tuna and Egg Fried Rice Recipe is so good and easy to make that both Kachi and my husband’s sister now make it.  I think this is a good introductory recipe for people who are not used to Indian food and spices as well as those who have eaten it for years.  We had it for dinner tonight with raita and pappadams.  Delicious!

 

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