Hi all..I know ..Many of you might be drooling over the pic right now..This being the ever-so-famous n craved-for-all-the time delicacy of Kerala cuisine,Konchu Pollichathu.. :) ..Pls don pelt upon me some petrifying jinx's or something..Afterall I am here to share with you the recipe right.So am not that bad..!! :D ..I am not quite sure,what is the malayalam word for lobster..Googli-ing dint help me..I have seen them serving medium-large sized prawns in house boats.That's why I have put the name here as Konchu..You can try this with the usual prawns as well.If someone knows more about this,pls feel free to jot down in your comment..:)
Before going into the drool n slurp affairs,leme have some small talk with you all,like always.I have been kinda off-mood or lazy or mebe you can even call that sick,since past few days..Not a fever exactly..So excuse me if I have skipped to reply your comments or not updated with your latest posts.I was not planning to post today as well.But this whole culinary experience n pics ,made me come here n share this with you all..:) ..Thanks for all your comments n I really really enjoy going through them..Psst..did I tell you that I love your loong comments..? :) ..Its always nice to read them with personal touches .You can always ask me any doubts regarding the particular posts and ofcourse constructive criticisms/suggestions are welcome as well..:) ..One thing I wanted to share here since long is about the comment forms in blogger.I visit so many blogs and comment on most of 'em, eveyday.Many of your comment forms( in blogger) asks for a word verification before submitting the comment,n I bet like me,lotsa you find it a big nuisance.I know..I know..its to shoot the spamie boy.But then,if you have the moderation thing set for the comments,there is not much need of putting this added inconvenience of verification setting also.Many a times,I have to stare hard n make out the complex words,while many times they don't show up at all..n I have to keep on submitting,till I get something that look like letters. Blogger sucks..!! ..Sometimes I loose patience n skip commenting too..So hope you got my point and will think about this..!! :).
..n I saw a Tom Hanks movie Splash last day..After my aquarium visit ,this film proved to be something that is now giving me fishie n mermaid dreams all through night..:P..Its kind of silly n kiddish fairy tale kinda movie..But it was fun to watch.We mused that this could be easily remade into a Mallu/hindi movie n was discussing who'll play who.. :P ..Tom is very young in the movie n the mermaid actress was cute as well.Many hilarious scenes are there all throughout..:)
Yeah..n I have got hold of Marley n Me dvd,for a quiet n comfortable wailing at home..:p Will let you know how it was,soon.. :)
So,lets be back to business..I am pretty sure that all of you have heard about House boats n the endless treats that they offer to your eyes,tongue n tummy.If I happen to mention about my hometown Alleppey in Kerala to any of Non-mallu pals,most of them will shoot me with some jealous looks n will start telling about the amazing experiences they had, in House boats there.Most of you might have had that,n I bet stumped by the fabulous food they serve.
For all of you who never heard of this,
These are houseboats of Kerala,the floating luxury homes,where you get to stay n see all those endless beauties ,that has been kindly bestowed upon our place Kerala,by God Almighty.You can rent the house boats for as many days as you wish,n there will be a chef specially for you,who with the magical sleight of his hand,will whip out the most delicious n scrumptious traditional food,that you have ever tasted.My home is in this place, n so all throughout my life,I am used to see these houseboats floating placidly through Vembanattu Kayal.I never thought much about it ,until I heard from others n understood that I should be quite proud of it.Now we are planning to rent one of the beauties n have a fun time,on our next visit to home.The main attraction of it is the food of course.The personal chef will provide you with all those sea food n traditional food of Kerala..Vegetarians can have Sadya's as well..So no worries..While you are floating through the Kayal(lake) ,enjoying the serene views n fresh smell of greens, you might spot a local toddy(a local alcoholic beverage made from coconut sap) shop,n then you can drop by n enjoy the most Nadan food..like beef roast or Kakka/kallumekkaya porichathu or Karimeen pollichathu or Njandu roast or ...,with a glass of fresh toddy(If u dare to try)..:D The chef of yours will prepare the food right in front of you with the fresh caught fish of your choice.The whole experience is a gastronomical delight n I have seen people struggling to stop,once they start talking about the great time they had.So I guess I have pretty much lured you into taking a flight n dropping right into one of the house boats n enjoy all the fun n fiesta..:D
The main attraction of Houseboat food or say,the hero of our film is Konchu Pollichathu aka Lobsters roasted n slightly burned in a spicy n tangy gravy.The cost of a plate of it,will give you an idea of how tasty it is.One look at the plate n you'll be stumped.I have failed in recreating the look here,cos what I got was not that Kerala lobster,n it had no whiskers n head or such things.If you are lucky enough to get the Nadan ones,you don't remove the thin shells n whiskers n all.It should stay and its really crunchy n yum.Mine had only a thick shell,which I removed with much pain.So excuse me for that.But I promise you that it tasted great.The flesh had a mixed taste of prawns n crabs.Here also lobsters are very costly,n Kutts had an unusual craving for this.So we just bought it out,n I really had to sweat to make this one.. didn't want to compromise with the taste,as it was just one n precious ..lol..:D
Usually,for Pollichathu( which means burnt), in houseboats what they do is after shallow frying the marinated lobsters ,they wrap them in banana leaves and dunk them in the spicy tangy gravy n grill them in a Kanal aduppu( Its a grilling set up with ,coal on top n bottom).So the gravy will be slightly burned n will stick n penetrate into the lobsters making it super-scrummy.Here obviously I dint have any setup..So after dunking the lobsters in gravy ..I baked them for a while which made the gravy stick to lobsters,n yet not satisfied again roasted/fried them for sometime..So you see..big effort for a lazy bum like me.. :D
So lemme tell you what I did,
I cleaned ,slightly gashed with knife,n marinated that one 1/2 lb lobster with 2 tsp Chilli Powder,1 tsp Pepper powder,1/2 tsp turmeric powder,1-1.5 Tbsp Fresh Ginger-garlic paste(should be fresh for the taste)a sprinkle of Garam masala,and a drizzle of lime juice. Marinate well making the masala's reach every nook n corner n keep it aside for an hour.
After the time ,I shallow fried it in some oil infused with flavor of curry leaves. It took some 15 minutes.Keep flipping the lobsters to sides,once in a while.The fragrance that spreads now will make you jump for it.But don't..!! :D
Now,in the same kadai,heat oil,throw in lots n lots of curry leaves, 1 Tbsp of minced garlic n ginger,saute till raw smell goes.
Throw in 1 cup of chopped shallots/onions and saute well.Add 3-4 medium sized cubes of tomato and saute.
Add 1 -1.5 tsp Chilli powder,1/2 tsp pepper powder,1 tsp Coriander powder and mix n saute for few minutes.
I added one piece of cocum and 1-2 Tbsp of tamarind juice n brought to a boil.
Taste n add more pepper/chilli powder or remove cocums,if its too tangy for you.The more tangy more tasty.
Now when the gravy begins to dry,add 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk and simmer for while,till its again lil dry.
Now dunk the shallow fried lobster into it and cook for sometime.
You can stop with here,but what I did was I covered the prawns with all that gravy,placed the kadai in a baking pan n bake it at 225 F for some 35-40 mins.The heat and time varies for ovens,so please keep checking in between and check with a wooden spatula,if it has sticked to bottom or so.Mine didn't...
When you feel like,you lobsters look roasted n well coated with gravy take it out n use.
After taking outa oven,I fried it on gas-top for some more time .Then I mashed some curry leaves in oil and poured over them.
Garnish with cilantro n a sprinkle of lime juice,if you like n serve hot with rice,roti or appams or anything or even without anything..!!!
It was superb n so yummy n we couldn't get enough of it..Cant wait to have it again..!! :)