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Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #205

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Episode Description

[Original Airdate: February 4, 2012]

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan prepares a delicious Carrot and Peas Pilaf Rice with walnuts. She also prepares a highly aromatic and exquisite chicken dish cooked in coconut and almond sauce, "Chicken Kurma;" and, a delightful stir-fry Brussels Sprouts and Chick peas Poriyal. (5 of 13)

Guest Info

Segment #1
Carrot and Peas Pilaf Rice with Walnuts

Segment #2
Chicken Kurma

Segment #3
Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Poriyal


Carrot and Peas Pilaf Rice with Walnuts


  • 1 cups basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 3-5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 to 4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup onion cut lengthwise
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. walnuts


  1. Rinse and drain basmati rice. Cook basmati rice in 2 cups of warm water in a rice cooker or on stovetop. Transfer cooked rice to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat butter over medium heat in a wide saucepan. When butter is hot, but not smoking, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick. Stir-fry for a minute.
  3. Add cumin seeds and stir-fry for another minute. Add onions and cook about two minutes.
  4. Add garam masala powder and salt. Stir well.
  5. Warm the cooked rice. Add rice and stir-well with the above seasonings.
  6. Add carrots, peas and walnuts to the rice and fluff the rice gently.

Chicken Kurma


  • 1 pound skinned chicken (about 6 pieces such as thighs or breasts)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened powdered coconut
  • 2 small slices fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 green chili peppers
  • 12 raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. khus khus (white poppy seeds)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-4 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 3 to 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (as desired)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro


  1. Cut chicken thighs and breasts into small pieces. Wash the chicken pieces, drain, and set aside.
  2. In an electric blender, grind together coconut, ginger, garlic, chilies, almonds, cumin, fennel seeds, the khus khus with 1 cup of hot water to facilitate the grinding process. Process on high for at least 2-3 minutes until mixture has a creamy, liquid consistency. Set kurma sauce aside.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add bay leaf, cinnamon and curry leaves, cumin and fennel seeds. Stir-fry until seeds are brown.
  4. Immediately add onion and tomato and cook for a few minutes. Add turmeric powder and mix well.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to saucepan. Stir well and cook, uncovered, over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken becomes opaque and slightly brown.
  6. Pour kurma sauce over chicken mixture in saucepan. Add salt, curry powder, garam masala and 1 cup warm water. Cook, covered, over low heat, until chicken becomes tender (approximately 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  7. Add cilantro and continue cooking over low heat for a few minutes.

Brussels Sprouts and Chickpea Poriyal


  • 3 cups fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chutney powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered unsweetened coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped shallots for garnish (optional)


  1. Coarsely chop brussels sprouts.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in mustard seeds and urad dal. Cover and fry until mustard seeds burst (listen for popping sound) and urad dal is golden.
  3. Add onion and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Add chickpeas, salt, and chutney powder to skillet and stir well. Cook, covered, for 2 minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add Brussels sprouts and mix well with the ingredients in the skillet. Cook covered over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add coconut. Mix well with vegetables. Garnish with shallots.