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The first rains of the monsoon have just started, and along with it comes the need to stay dry and warm. the guide invited three Pune chefs to share a few hearty delicacies for the monsoon, and also few tips on how to select your food wisely

Kerala Chicken Stew with Appam

Ingredients
For the Chicken Stew
>> 500 gm chicken
>> 4 tbsp coconut oil
>> 2 onions (finely chopped)
>> 1 red chilli (chopped)
>> 2 green chillies (chopped)
>> 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
>> 2 tomatoes (chopped)
>> 200 ml coconut milk
>> 1 lemon
>> Half a bunch coriander
>> Salt to taste
>> Pepper to taste


 — Recipe by Deepak Barua, Executive Sous Chef, Hyatt Pune 

For Appam
>> 1 cup soaked rice
>> 3 tbsp grated coconut
>> 1/2 tsp baking Soda
>> 1 tbsp cooked Rice
>> 1/2 tsp salt
>> 1/2 tsp sugar

Method
For the Chicken Stew
>> In a deep pan, take some coconut oil. Add chopped onions, red chilli, green chilli and ginger-garlic paste. Fry until soft and golden.
>> Add chicken to the masala mix and fry for three minutes.
>> To the chicken, add tomatoes and potatoes. Mix well. Add half of the coconut milk.
>> Season the chicken with pepper and salt. Add water. Put the lid on and simmer for 45 minutes.
>> To the chicken, add the other half of coconut milk, coriander and lemon juice.

For the Appam
>> In a deep bowl, take cooked rice, grated coconut and soaked rice. Blend it well into a smooth paste. Keep it overnight for fermenting.
>> To the fermented paste, add baking soda, salt, sugar and water. Blend the paste to a smooth
consistency.
>> In a small kadhai, pour one ladle of appam mix and move the kadhai such that the mix is spread out evenly. Cover it for one to two minutes. Let it cook until holes appear throughout the appam and the edges become brown.

Masala Bread Patties with Egg

Ingredients

>> 4 bread slices
>> 2 tbsp onion (chopped)
>> 2 tsp green chilly
>> 2 tbsp coriander leaves
>> 1 egg
>> 1 tsp red chilli powder
>> 1 cup oil
>> Salt to taste
>> Pepper powder to taste

Masala Bread Patties with Egg

Method
>> Chop the bread slices into small pieces.
>> Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except oil and mix well. Shape the mixture in small balls and flatten them gently.
>> Heat the oil in a pan and fry them until they turn golden brown. Serve hot.

— Recipe by Merajuddin Ansari, Executive Sous Chef,  Courtyard by Marriott, Pune City Centre.

Tips for monsoon
Monsoon comes with its own set of pros and cons when it comes to food. We got Sachin Joshi, Executive Chef at Vivanta by Taj Blue Diamond to share a few tips on what to eat and what to avoid during the rainy season. Here’s what he said:
What to eat?

Turmeric: It is a good antiseptic.
Ginger: Helps in digestion
Honey: Good remedy for cold.
Seasonal fruits: Papaya and Peach are good. Also, drink juices that are fresh.
Also try: Ginger tea; soups.
Cucumber: It has lot of fibre in it.
What to avoid?
Leafy vegetables: But if you’re using leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach and broccoli wash it more than you would do usually.  Raw vegetables or raw fruits. Fish and prawns.

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