Sunday, August 9, 2009

Erachi Choru(Mutton Pulao/Pilaf)-Another Malabar Moplah Speciality!

Erachi Choru2

Erachi Choru or Mutton Pulao/Pilaf is another speciality dish of Malabar Moplah cuisine. If you have read my previous posts on Mutton Biriyani and Unnakkayi, by now you would be quite familiar with the Moplah cuisine, the origin of Moplahs and their culture. I have always loved Moplah cuisine and as said in one of my posts, my joy knew no bounds when I came across this cookbook-Malabar Muslim Cookery by Ummi Abdulla, which for me, opened the world to Malabar cuisine.

Erachi Choru3

I would like to share more facts which I came to know through this book which would give you more insight into Moplah cuisine. The Moplahs have a sub cultural individuality of their own which is reflected in their way of life. Their cuisine exudes special Moplah flavours, though it has certain similarities with Kerala cuisine in the use of coconut oil, coconut and its dependence on rice as the staple food. But there are certain dishes like Pathiri(Rice Chapati), Neichoru(Ghee Rice), Mutta Mala(Egg Garland) that are intrinsically Moplah. The everyday Moplah cuisine is usually spicy and hot and is mostly non-vegetarian with rice as the staple food accompanied by fish, meat or chicken.

Erachi Choru4

Biriyani, though being introduced by the Moghuls, the Moplah variations are reputed for the distinct taste and flavour. There are differences between Biriyani and Pulao, mostly in the taste, flavour and method of preparation though these differences may be subtle for some. Biriyani, the king of rice dishes is rich in spices, tastes like curried rice and forms the main course of a meal. Pulao is prepared with less spices and usually served as accompaniments with any spicy curry/chutney. Hence more care is needed for preparation of Pulao, which would otherwise taste bland.

Erachi Choru

I always preferred Biriyani over Pulao until I tried out this Malabar Moplah Meat Pulao(Erachi Choru) from Ummi Abdulla's cookbook and I developed a liking towards Pulao ever since. In Moplah Pulao preparation, the meat and rice are cooked separately and then mixed together. The cooked rice grains should be fluffy and separated, else you will end up with a mushy pulao. Also the meat shouldn't be overcooked, else it would break on mixing with rice. I had one such instance when I overcooked the meat and ended up with a minced meat Pulao!

Mutton- 2 lb(1 kg), chopped
Biriyani Rice - 2 cups
For the gravy:
Onions - 2 sliced
Tomatoes - 2, chopped
Fresh Ginger - 25 gms minced
Garlic cloves - 5 minced
Green chillies - 4 chopped
Chilly powder - 3/4 tsp(or more)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1.5 tsp
Freshly roasted and ground spices(recipe follows)
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - a small bunch, chopped
Mint leaves - few, chopped
Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Ghee for cooking
To dry roast and grind:
Cinnamon - 2 each 2.5" long
Cloves - 7
Cardamom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Star anise - 1
1/2 whole nutmeg
Fennel seeds - 2 tbsp
For rice preparation:
Cinnamon - 1 (2.5" long)
Cloves - 4
Cardamom - few seeds
Bay leaves - 2
Ghee for roasting
Lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Coconut milk - 2 cups(optional-you may replace with water)
Water - 2 cups


For preparing rice:
  • Wash and drain rice.
  • Crush cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and add the above crushed spices and bay leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add rice and roast at low heat, stirring continously until the rice grains turn crisp. Do not allow the colour of grains to change. This process may take around 10 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk, water, salt and lemon juice to a vessel, add the roasted rice and cook till water has been absorbed.Keep aside.
For the meat preparation:
  • Dry roast the spices mentioned above and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies to a coarse mixture without adding water. Keep aside.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and saute the ground coarse mixture of ginger, garlic and chillies until raw smell goes.
  • Add sliced onions ans cook till onions turn brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute till it turns mushy.
  • Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander pwder, roasted ground spices, salt and saute well for some time until the raw smell of masalas go.
  • Add mutton, lemon juice, cilantro, mint leaves and mix well.
  • Add enough water and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and cook till mutton is well cooked.
  • Remove lid, increase heat to high and cook till water has been absorbed. Stir continously to prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the gravy has turned dry remove from heat.
  • Add half of prepared meat to a large mixing vessel and add half of cooked rice. Mix well. Now add the other half of meat and cooked rice and mix everything together gently taking care not to break the mutton pieces or rice grains.
  • Serve hot with raita, pickle, papads or any chutney of your choice.
  • Enjoy the authentic taste of Malabar cuisine in every bite!
And its been raining awards! I feel blessed and happy to have recieved a bunch of awards from few fellow bloggers. Thanks a lot to all of you for considering me. You have made my day :)

Aysha of Life Today, Ashwini of Ashwini's Spicy Cuisine, Ganga of My Favourite Foods, Faiza of Faiza Ali's Kitchen and Prasu of Prasu's Kitchen have passed me this wonderful Kreative Blogger award. I'm so happy to receive this award for the second time :)

Ganga of My Favourite Foods, Faiza of Faiza Ali's Kitchen and Prasu of Prasu's Kitchen have passed me these awards as well- I love you blog Award & Lovely blog Award. Thanks a ton friends :) I really treasure these.

Love Blog AwardLovely Blog Award

Ganga of My Favourite Foods, Faiza of Faiza Ali's Kitchen and Prasu of Prasu's Kitchen have also tagged me and here are the details :) Also the rules are:
Respond and rework – answer the questions on your own blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, and add one more question of your own. Then tag eight or ten other people.

1.What is your current obsession?
Blogging and Bowling

2. What are you wearing today?
Top and Jeans

3. What’s for dinner?
Kerala meal with rice, moru curry(a curry with curd), thoran, pickle and papad.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?

5. What are you listening to right now?
To the sounds of traffic

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
They are all sweet and friendly people with a talent for cooking

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
Kerala, India

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Hat, sunscreen and cold water

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

10. Which language do you want to learn?

11. Who do you want to meet right now?
Parents and brother

12. What is your favorite colour?

13. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own closet?
A turtle neck lambswool top

14. What is your dream job?
A management position in a software firm

15. What’s your favourite magazine?
Love all food magazines

16. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
Shopping and Dine out at my favourite restaurant

17. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?
Revealing clothing

18. Who are your style icons?

19. Describe your personal style?
Simple and elegant

21. What are your favourite movies?
Bucket List, Titanic, Keerthichakra, Iron Man...the list goes on...

22. Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
Dress according to the occasion, try not to be pompous but elegant that mirrors your personality, wear accessories that match the outfit

23. Coffee or tea?
Masala tea

24. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
Listen to soft music

25. What is the meaning of your name?

26. Which other blogs you love visiting?
Love all blogs that I follow

27. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?
Palpayasam(Rice Kheer) & Black Forest Cake

28. Favorite Season?

29.Which is your dream destination?
My homeland-Kerala, India

30. Who inspired you to start a blog?
My hubby

My question:
Most important tip for a successful career?

I would like to pass these awards and tag to the following fellow bloggers:
Priyameena of Madurai Style
Shn of Mishmash
Seena of Salkkaaram


Other Rice Dishes:

Fried RiceDill RiceMushroom Fried RicePhotobucket


Priti said...

Pilaf looks delicious....lovely colours...Congrats on your award

Sailaja Damodaran said...

Congrats.....Iam sure ur pulao must have come out good.

Pavithra said...

Pooja congrats on ur well deserved award with lovely answers ..good to know abt you... the pulao is really tempting ..but sorry only I can admire it.

Sushma Mallya said...

congraz on ur award pooja...and it was nice to know more abt u as well...and this pulav really looks yummy...will try it with chicken soon...

sangeeta said...

came to know so many things about moplah cuisine through your blog...the biryani look yummy....there are so many different versions that you can have a different version it's true that it's such a delicately prepared dish that the flavor changes with slight variations in masala n treatments given to it...

nice to know about you...n congrats for all the awards..
check out my experimental n healthy cooking at my other blog..

Varunavi said...

Congrats pooja,even i love payasam

Biryani looks so yummy

Valarmathi said...

Yummy looking pulao. Very tempting. Congrats on ur award dear and thanks for passing it to me.

Ann said...

Oh I was planning to blog the same and that too from ummi look terrific Pooja..

Congrats on the awards !!

Suparna said...

got to know more of u through the nicely done meme :)
The biryani looks so spiced up and flavourful, got me drooling :) am holding a bucket under my mouth ;)
Enjoy dear!!

Parita said...

Congratulations on your award dear! Good to know about you :)
Biryani looks tedious to make, hmm kudos to you, look perfect!

Priya said...

Pulao looks tremendous Pooja, feel like having rite now..

COngrats on all ur award, u deserve it dear..nice to know more about u yaar!

Vrinda said...

Congrats on ur award dear,irachi chru looks so tempting,i haven't tried this yet...

My Experiments with Cooking said...

I am too lazy to carry out that procedure, could you just pass me the bowl ;) I read about that book before. It sounds like one must-buy!

Jaya Wagle said...

wow, that pulao looks yummy. I love Biryani but have never made it at home.
Congratulations on your award. You have a lovely space and you deserve it. :)

Mishmash ! said...

I was always intrigued by this dish , wanted to give it a try too but never really understood how it stands out from biryani...this one doesn't require layering and involves only mixing part? also no fried onions and other garnishes on top? is that the difference?

Congrats on all the awards and very nice of you think of me as well :)

ganga said...

mouthwatering!give me some dear

Padma said...

Congrats on your well deserved award Pooja... was nice reading more about you :)
Pulao looks delicious ... nice recipe.

Pooja said...

Thanks Priti :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ms.Sailaja :) It turned out good!

Pooja said...

Thanks Pavithra :) Will post a veg dish soon :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Sushma :) Chicken would work well too!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sangeeta :) Happy to hear that you found it interesting. Will check out your other blog soon :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Varunavi :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Valar n welcome :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ann :) Oh wow thats nice to hear! You may blog about issues. Would love to see yours :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Suparna :) Do try it sometime!

Pooja said...

Thanks Parita :) Yes with meat it does take some time but with veggies its easy. You may make a similar version with veggies!

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Priya :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Vrinda :) Since you love mutton I believe you will like this Pulao. Its different from the usual Pulao prep: and tastes similar to Biriyani with slight changes in taste :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Experiments With Cooking :) Sure dear! And yeah that book is really good! Only drawback is, the book doesnt have pictures of the final dishes, so at times its hard to assume how it would have turned out!

Pooja said...

Thanks Jaya :) Happy to hear that you liked it :)

Viki's Kitchen said...

Mutton pilaf looks so delicious. Thanks for this nice recipe. Enjoyed reading about u:)

Pooja said...

Thanks Shn and good question :) You know what? I too thought in similar terms and came up with the same answer that this involves mixing and doesnt require the slow cooking process after final layering in the case of Biriyani. Also it didnt mention the fried onions n cashews for garnish but still these may be added to enhance the taste :)

And the garam masala ingredients are also different in this case. I found that the taste is also different from Biriyani but spicier and tastier than our usual Pulao preps: :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ganga :) Sure dear!

Pooja said...

Thanks Padma :) Do give a try sometime dear!

Ashwini said...

ur making hungry with the pics...

Smitha said...

Congrats on the award Pooja. Nalla choru. It looks really spicy and nice.

Sweta said...

Congrats on your award!!
Love biryani-and this sounds interesting with the addition of coconut milk. Will try it if I can find lamb out here-it's rare,and it get's sold out like hot cakes!!

5 Star Foodie said...

The pilaf looks very yummy! Congrats on your awards!

Pooja said...

Thanks Vicky :)

Pooja said...

Hehe thanks Ashwini :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Smitha :) Do try it sometime!

Pooja said...

Thanks Sweta :) Lamb will work out equally good. I substitute lamb for mutton sometimes coz here mutton gets sold out soon :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Natasha :) said...

Pooja love biryani looks delicious dear ... congrats on ur award and nice to know few things abt u loved reading urs .

Varsha Vipins said...

Adipoli dish Pooja..I have to get hold of this book on ma next visit to India..:) tempting..

Bergamot said...

This looks like an interesting way to make a biryani or is it a pilaf, i am confused.. i think it's more like a biryani. i am gonna try this. I always make layered biryani since that's how we have been making them since generations :-)

Cynthia said...

OMG! This pilaf is outstanding! I wish I lived next to you.

About your comment: Oh but I never thought the white fleshed ones were sweet potato coz in my grocery store they are labelled as Yam. Or is Yam another name for sweet potato? - yam is not another name for sweet potato. In the US the call it yam though. So check your supermarket and ask them if the flesh is white even though it is labelled yam.

Nandini said...

Pulao looks tempting and superb! Congrats on your Award!

Pooja said...

Thanks Prasu :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Varsha :) Yes do buy it on your next trip to India!

Pooja said...

Thanks Bergamot :) Actually this falls between a pulao n biriyani because its not loaded with spices like a Biriyani but still spicier than the usual Pulao :)

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Cynthia :) Will do that next time!

Pooja said...

Thanks Nandini :)

Abhilash said...

ah! yummy.. "muh me paani aa gaya"..

This looks really delicious pooja and thanks for the comments.. do try undan pori and let me have your feedback.

Shama Nagarajan said...

really looking delicious dear....

Ammu said...

Congrag on ur awards pooja. Thanks for sharing with me. Lovely dish. Very tempting. Will try this soon.

Poornima Nair said...

Great recipe...pulao looks delicious. Nice reading about u.

Muneeba said...

Congrats on your awards ... and I SO want this pulao!! Mouthwatering!

Pooja said...

Thanks Abhilash :) Sure will try and let you know!

Pooja said...

Thanks Shama :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Ammu :) Do try it. You will love this!

Pooja said...

Thanks Poornima :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Muneeba :) Do give this a try. You may replace mutton with chicken too!

Aysha said...

Yummy yummy recipe dear...loved the clicks...n the recipe is amazing...thanx 4 sharing...

Sharmilee! :) said...

Drooling over the pics....!

Purva Desai said...

I am nota red meat eater......but this pilaf looks colourful and tempting....your dish can convert me dear....

Mandira said...

wow, this looks great. I have been looking for biryani recipe... will definitely try this!

Pooja said...

Thanks Aysha :) Happy that you liked it!

Pooja said...

Thanks a lot Sharmilee for dropping by :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Purva :) You may make this with chicken too :)

Pooja said...

Thanks Mandira :) If you are in search of Biriyani recipe then I would recommend Malabar Mutton Biriyani that I posted sometime back. This recipe is Pulao which is slightly different in taste and prep:

Divya Vikram said...

Sounds rich and delicious.And great to read about you.

Pooja said...

Thanks Divya :)

Nags said...


Faiza Ali said...

Oh looks inviting..Yummy yummy and looks very spicy :)

Preety said...

i am veggie, but your biryani still looks tempting to me:)

lissie said...

wow, tempting mutton pulao! great write up regarding Mopla cuisine.

Congrats on those truly desrve them! :)

Chitra said...

Looks nice and congrats on ur awards :)

Vijitha Shyam said...

Congrats on the award! yummy dish. The pics make me drool. Gotta try it for sure.

Sharmilee! :) said...

First time here....delicious looking pulao!!

Jyoti V said...

First time at your site...
nice work...

mathew said...

uh..i missed this of those pics which makes my stomach growl..i think i can eat that whole plate in 2 minutes..;-D

btw a belated congrats on the blog award!!:-)

divya said...

Hi pooja,
First time here....delicious looking pulao

Seena said...

Love this much!
Pooja, thanks for remembering me, but I was not able to reach you soon when you left comment there..
All the best , come back soon.. ! :)

Premyscakes said...

Wow that pic makes me drool. Looks very much perfect.

Sharmilee! :) said...

Prawn biriyani looks delicious!

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shatchya said...

I tried this erachi choru today and I have a few queries regarding this. 1. Do we have to soak the rice before cooking, since u didnt mention about soaking I didnt do it and hence my rice turned out to be a little hard. 2. I didnt get the color u got may be because I didnt fry the onions too brown, but the gravy and the rice was brown like rice mixed in mutton curry. 3. Can u give the approximate quantity of water to be added while cooking mutton cos I was able to use only half the rice. since I'm a beginner I was not able to get it right but I just love ur blog. If u clear these queries I ll be able to make a second attempt. Thank u.