Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kerala Chicken Stew

My introduction to food from Kerala started with the Chicken Stew. We had the coconut milk based stew with loaves of bread called Pav.  The aroma of the spices in the mild tasting stew was the highlight of the dish and this was permanently etched into my memory. Whenever I think about Kerela food, this stew always comes up first. This dish is traditionally had with appams but the stew will taste just as good with bread.

The recipe is based on the one  at
http://dosamma.blogspot.com/2007/07/kerala-chicken-stew.html
with suitable modifications made for convenience sake. 


Ingredients:
  • Chicken preferably boned else chicken stock cubes with boneless pieces.
  • Mixed vegetables
  • 2 small potatoes
  • Onion - 1
  • Chopped ginger and garlic
  • 1 tomato, chopped into long pieces.
  • 2 green finger chillies - Just chop the top off and drop in whole to avoid making a spicy stew.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala.
  • 2 small pieces cinnamon, 3 cardamom, 3 cloves, 2 Star Aniseed.
  • 3-4 curry leaves.
  • A can of coconut milk. Dilute half of the coconut milk in water to use a the medium while cooking. The rest of the will be used at the end.
  • Salt to taste 
Method:

  • Heat oil and stir in the whole spices.
  • Add onions, curry leaves, chopped ginger and garlic, green chillies and fry till the onions are translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and garam masala. Fry for 20 seconds and add the diluted coconut milk. Add salt.
  • Add vegetables.
  • Add boned chicken and let the stew boil until the chicken is done. If using boneless chicken, first add the concentrated chicken stock and let the stew boil. At this point, the vegetables should be cooked half way. Add the chicken and let it boil for a further 10 - 12 minutes.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, add the remaining half of concentrated coconut milk and let it simmer for a minute. Do not boil at this stage as the coconut milk may curdle.
  • Serve with toasted bread.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A day out at the Museum with the Canon 10-22 USM lens

It has been a couple of weeks since I borrowed a friend's Canon 10-22 USM wide angle lens. I have been thinking of buying a wide angle lens for some time now but wanted to test it out before committing to buying it.

I got the perfect opportunity to test the lens over the Easter weekend when we visited the Natural History Museum at London.  I have been to this museum a few times earlier with my camera but never really managed to get good pictures on those occasions.

This time however, I had the right lens for the job. The wide angle allowed me to get very close to the display while being able to capture it in its entirety. This was necessary since the museum had a large number of visitors on that day. Getting a shot of the exhibit while trying to avoid people crossing the frame would have been difficult with a  longer focal length. The grandeur of the building was captured very nicely by this lens.

This lens would also be a very good option to have when sight seeing around cities with its cramped spaces and large buildings.

Natural History Museum - 20100403