News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Getahead » Recipes: Chettinad nandu rasam, Fish musallam and more

Recipes: Chettinad nandu rasam, Fish musallam and more

By Sonal Ved
January 09, 2019 15:56 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Interesting recipes to will tease your taste buds.
Photographs: Anshika Varma

India is a melting pot of cultures. The diversity ensures its cuisines and flavours vary every few 100 kilometres.

In her book Tiffin: 500 Authentic Recipes Celebrating India's Regional Cuisine, Sonal Ved has tried to put together cuisines from different parts of India.

Published by Roli Books, Tiffin features local, seasonal and lesser-known dishes contributed by home chefs and celebrated chefs.

We bring you five different recipes from the book:

Amritsari Bun Chaat
Indian-style potato burger

Amritsari Bun Chaat

Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-4
Origin: Punjab


  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 burger buns
  • 2 potatoes, boiled, mashed
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander (dhaniya)
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (jeera)
  • 1 tsp Indian black salt (kala namak)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 medium-size onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic chutney 
  • 2 tbsp date-tamarind chutney
  • 2 tbsp mint-coriander chutney 
  • ½ cup spicy peanuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup nylon sev
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves (hara dhaniya)


  • Butter the burger buns and toast them gently in a hot skillet over medium heat. Set aside.
  • In a medium-size bowl, stir together the potatoes, red chilli powder, coriander, chaat masala, cumin, black salt, and salt.
  • Divide the mixture into small portions and shape each into a flat cake.
  • Return the skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Add the remaining butter. Working in batches, add the cakes to the hot skillet and pan fry on both sides until golden brown.
  • Place a cake on a bun bottom. Top with sliced onion and the chutneys.
  • Place the spicy peanuts, pomegranate seeds, nylon sev, and fresh coriander over this and serve immediately with the bun top.


Fish Musallam
Baked fish stuffed with spices

Recipe Contributor
Adil I Ahmad (Tehzeeb: Culinary Traditions of Awadh)

Fish musallam

Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 
Origin: Uttar Pradesh


  • 1 dungaar (recipe below)
  • 250 gm ghee
  • 3 kg whole catfish (singhara), or sole, washed, insides cleaned, and scaled
  • 1½ cups roasted chickpea flour (besan)
  • Few drops yellow food colouring
  • 2 cups sliced onion
  • 10 green cardamom (choti elaichi) pods
  • 10 peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
  • 10 dried red chillies (sookhi lal mirch)
  • 5 whole cloves (laung)
  • 5 black cardamom (badi elaichi) pods
  • 5 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • 5 tsp charoli seeds (chironji)
  • 1 tbsp coriander (dhaniya) seeds
  • 1 tsp ground mace (javitri)
  • 1 (1-in. / 2.5-cm) piece peeled fresh ginger (adrak)
  • 1½ cups yogurt (dahi)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

To make dungaar

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • I piece coal
  • 1 tbsp ghee


  • Heat the coal on a live flame until it turns red.
  • This should take 8 to 9 minutes.
  • Carefully, with a pair of tongs, place the coal in the dish you want to smoke. You can place the hot coal in the metal bowl or a piece of aluminium foil.
  • Pour ghee over it and allow it to sizzle for a second. Cover the dish with a lid for 7 to 8 minutes to allow it to smoke.
  • Open the lid and discard the piece of coal with the tongs and stir the dish well. This will ensure the flavour is absorbed thoroughly.

To make fish musallam

  • Rub the fish inside and out, with ¾ cup of chickpea flour and then wash it off under running water. Do this twice or thrice.
  • Cover the fish with the yellow food colour and put it on a large baking tray.
  • Prepare the dungaar.
  • Meanwhile, place the fish on a thoroughly heatproof surface and using heavy-duty grill gloves and tongs, carefully place the prepared dungaar.
  • Pour 1 cup (240 g) or less of ghee on it, in order to sizzle the coal and emit smoke.
  • Cover the fish tight.
  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 1 tbsp of ghee.
  • Add the onion and fry until golden brown. Transfer to a food processor.
  • Add the green cardamom pods, peppercorns, dried red chillis, cloves, black cardamom pods, poppy seeds, charoli seeds, coriander seeds, mace, and ginger. Process into a smooth paste. Transfer to a medium-size bowl.
  • Add the remaining ¾ cup of chickpea flour, yogurt, and cream. Whisk to combine.
  • Uncover the fish and fill the inside of the fish with this mixture. Use any extra filling to rub all over the fish.
  • Bake until one side browns. Turn the fish over and bake until the other side browns.
  • Serve hot with mint-coriander chutney, lemon wedges, and onion rings, if desired.


Bohri Style Chicken Nu Salan
Chicken in sweet and sour curry

Bohri style chicken nu salan

Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 2
Origin: Gujarat


  • 1 cup chicken, bone-in pieces, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-chilli (adrak-lasan-mirch) paste
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (sirka)
  • 1 and ½ cups water
  • 3 tbsp chicken salan masala (available at grocery stores)
  • 1 cup yogurt (dahi)
  • ½ cup almond powder (badam)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper (kali mirch), to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 (1-inch) cinnamon (dalchini) sticks
  • 2 curry leaves (kadhi patta)
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves (hara dhaniya), finely chopped


  • In a large pot over medium heat, combine the chicken, ginger-garlic-chilli paste, vinegar, and water.
  • Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Drain the chicken and reserve the stock. Set both aside.
  • In a blender, combine the chicken salan masala, yogurt, almond powder, ketchup, tomato paste, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  • In a skillet over low-medium heat, heat the vegetable oil.
  • Add the cinnamon sticks and curry leaves. Cook until the leaves begin to crackle.
  • Add the onion. Stir-fry until golden brown.
  • Stir in the yogurt-almond mixture. Saute until the water from the yogurt evaporates.
  • Add the cooked chicken pieces along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Let it bubble for 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh coriander.
  • Season to taste with pepper just before serving.


Chettinad Nandu Rasam
Crabmeat rasam

Chettinad Nandu Rasam

Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4
Origin: Tamil Nadu


For the rasam paste

  • 3 dried red chillis (sookhi lal mirch)
  • 1 tbsp (5 g) coriander (dhaniya) seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
  • 1 medium-size onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) minced garlic (lasan)

For the rasam

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fennel (saunf) seeds
  • 3 curry leaves (kadhi patta)
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-size tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 kg crabmeat
  • Salt, to taste

To make the rasam paste

  • In a skillet over low-medium heat, dry-roast the dried red chillis, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, onion, and garlic until fragrant.
  • Transfer to a blender or mortar and pestle and grind into a fine paste, adding water if needed. Set aside.

To make the rasam

  • Return the skillet to low heat and heat the vegetable oil.
  • Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves. Cook until the seeds begin to crackle.
  • Add the onion and tomato. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the rasam paste and turmeric. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 4–5 minutes more.
  • Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Stir in the crabmeat. Cook for 7–8 minutes until the crab turns orange-red in colour.
  • Season to taste with salt and serve hot.


Bamboo And Pork Stir-Fry
One-pot curry with a bit of sour tang

Bamboo and pork stir fry

Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 2
Origin: Assam


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 dried red chillis (sookhi lal mirch)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic (adrak-lasun) paste
  • 450 gm pork, cubed
  • 1 cup dried kidney beans (rajma), soaked in water overnight, drained
  • ½ cup  finely chopped tender bamboo shoots
  • 1 tbsp tamarind (imli) pulp
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 tsp red chilli paste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 4 cups water


  • In a pressure cooker over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil.
  • Add the dried red chillis and ginger-garlic paste. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pressure cooker. Lock the lid and cook for 3 whistles.
  • Release the pressure and remove the lid.
  • Check if the beans are done.
  • Serve the curry hot.

Excerpted from Tiffin: 500 Authentic Recipes Celebrating India's Regional Cuisine by Sonal Ved, with the kind permission of the publisher, Roli Books.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Sonal Ved