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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
Most important tip for a successful career?
I would like to pass these awards and tag to the following fellow bloggers:
Ammu of Nature Kitchen
Lena of Lemon n Spice
Muneeba of An Edible Symphony
Priyameena of Madurai Style
Purva of Purva's Daawat
Shn of Mishmash
Seena of Salkkaaram
Valarmathi of Simple and Yummy Recipes
Other Rice Dishes: