A Taste of the South at Home
Zambar, a restaurant in Vasant Kunj in New Delhi, is an exploration into South Indian coastal cuisine, highlighting the catch of the seas – prawns, fish and crab with authentic recipes from the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka.
The dishes are a union between fresh seafood and pungent spices and ingredients including lime, tamarind, chilies, peppers and coconut milk.
So till you can get to go and try Zambar yourself, here are two recipes for you from the chef to try at home.
Chicken – 500 gms
Onions – 3-4 finely chopped
Green chilies – 5 to 6 (slit into two halves)
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Chili powder – 1 – 2 tb sp
Poppy seeds – 3 to 4 tb sp
Cloves – 6
Cardamom – 3
Small cinnamon stick
Coriander seeds – 2 tb sp
Cashew nuts – 2 to 3 tb sp
Ginger – 1″ piece
Garlic – 3 pods
1. Grind poppy seeds, cloves, elaichi, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, cashew nuts, ginger, and garlic to smooth paste.
2. Mix chicken with ground masala paste, chili powder, turmeric, and salt, leave aside for 15 mts.
3. Sautee chopped onions, a pinch of turmeric, curry leaves, green chilies
4. Add chicken cubes and cook.
Fish (whole) : Pomfret/Pearl Spot/Mackerel
Banana Leaf : Large enough to wrap fish
Chili Powder : 3 tsps
Turmeric Powder : ¼ tsp
Pepper Powder : ½ tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste : ¾ tsp
Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp
For Coating Gravy:
Red pearl Onions : 1 cup finely Chopped
Ginger : 1Tbsp chopped
Green Chilies : 4-6 chopped
Curry Leaves : 1 sprig
Turmeric Powder : Pinch
Chili Powder : Pinch
Coconut Milk : 4 Tbsps
Salt to taste
Make a paste of the Marinade ingredients. Make slits in the fish and apply paste. Leave for 2 hrs. Shallow fry, 2-3 minutes each side.
Sautee onions, Ginger, Green Chilies, Curry Leaves. Add turmeric & Chili powder. Roast for a while. Add coconut milk and salt to taste. Mix well.
Wilt the banana leaf over a low flame.
Put ½ the gravy in the center. Put fish over it. Pour the rest of the gravy over the fish. Wrap the fish well with the banana leaf.
Place in a flat non-stick pan. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes.