Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu Latest Episode

Healthful Indian Flavors with Alamelu - Program #204

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Episode Description

[Original Airdate: January 28, 2011]

Culinary instructor and author Alamelu Vairavan shows simple ways to cook an all-time Indian favorite, Garlic and Pepper Chicken. She also prepares Onion and Tomato Salad; and, Cabbage with Ginger and Coconut Poriyal. (4 of 13)

Guest Info

Segment #1
Garlic and Pepper Chicken

Segment #2
Onion and Tomato Salad

Segment #3
Cabbage with Coconut Poriyal


Garlic and Pepper Chicken


  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 to 5 slivers cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ural dal
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper and cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (more, if desired)
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped lengthwise (optional)


  1. Cut chicken into medium-size pieces. Rinse, drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, red chili pepper, cumin, fennel seeds and ural dal.
  3. Add onion and garlic. Saute for few minutes. Stir in turmeric powder.
  4. Add chicken and ginger to skillet. Cook, covered, over low heat until the chicken is partially cooked.
  5. Add black pepper and cumin powder, salt, curry powder, and cayenne powder. Stir well to coat the chicken with spices. Add tomato sauce and about 2 tablespoons water. Stir and cook chicken, covered, over medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes. During the cooking process, stir often to prevent chicken from sticking to the skillet.
  6. To enhance flavor or to increase tenderness of chicken, add red onions over the chicken. Remove from heat.
  7. Note: Boneless skinless chicken breasts may be used in place of chicken thighs. Adjust other seasonings according to your taste. Serves 4 to 6

Onion and Tomato Salad


  • 1 cup onion, cut lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/2 green chili, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt(more, if desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Mix onion, tomato, and green chili.
  2. Add enough yogurt to blend well with the vegetables.
  3. Add salt and mix well.

Cabbage with Coconut Poriyal


  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 to 4 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (more, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground or unsweetened powdered coconut


  1. Place oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, stir in curry leaves, mustard seeds, and urad dal. Cover and fry until mustard seeds burst (listen for popping sound) and urad dal is golden.
  2. Add cabbage, ginger, and green chili pepper. Stir well into seasonings and add salt. Cover and cook over low heat until cabbage is tender (about 3 minutes) but still crisp.
  3. Add the coconut and stir well.
  4. Serves 4