Curry without coconut and chicken without yogurt

Last night we had guests to dinner and I had to make a fish curry without coconut and a chicken dish without using any dairy product. For me this was like running a one legged race because fish and coconut go hand in hand. There is something decidedly sweet and subtle about coconut that brings out the flavour of the fish. And a coconut gravy  should be thick so that it wraps itself around the grain of rice so that you can slurp it up.

So it was quite a challenge to come up with food that was spicy yet not fiery hot as the guests had just arrived from the Emerald Isle. Marie and Peter have made several trips to India and are familiar with our food but when foreigners say that they like spicy food you really have to take it with pinch of salt.You can’t take their words literally and have to tone down on the chillies or else you’ll have them dabbing their foreheads that break out into sweat.

I Googled a few recipes and came up with two that would help me solve my problem  one that was essentially Manglorean and truth be told tasted like a Sambhar with fish. However, since our guests didn’t know any better, it was a good alternative to a curry without coconut.  The downside of this curry is that it wasn’t thick and robust the way I like it. Perhaps it was the grated onion that I used or may be this is the way it is supposed to be..thin and runny but I must thank Yummy Tummy who came to my rescue .

The second recipe I found was a Kerala Chicken Fry which was another life saver. I used boneless chicken for this one and since I made it in a non-stick Kadahi it wasn’t as brown as it looked in the photo. But once again this was a good recipe and worth trying for a change from the usual Yoghurt based marinade that most of us are used to. I loved the delicate fragrance of the Star anise that comes through the peppery tartness of this tasty and easy to make chicken dish.

I am happy I came out of my comfort zone of Mughlai-khana and Konkani food and tried out something different. For starters I served Prawn Kebab Parsi style which are perfect if you don’t get those jumbo sized prawns that look and taste best grilled or barbecued. All this was washed down with swigs of  chilled Extra Strong Kingfisher Beer and  a Grover Viognier 2011.

No meal is complete without a dessert which was Quality Cakes new Caramel Chocolate Cake. This local baker that I discovered very recently has the yummiest chocolate cakes which stay for a week in the fridge.

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An accidental cook who likes to travel, read, watch movies and do yoga. Currently busy with full time granny duties.

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