Ke Squid roast Kerala style / Kerala style koonthal or kanava roast F

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Squid roast Kerala style / Kerala style koonthal or kanava roast

Squid is known as kanava or koonthal in malayalam.  Squid is a wonderful seafood item which can be prepared in  many ways. It can be stir fried, stuffed and so on.... briefly, squid can be converted into a tasty dish with very common ingredients available in our kitchen. Anyway, this is my first squid recipe. Here, I followed the typical Kerala style of preparation of squid with ingredients which are always available in our house.

Squid roast is actually a spicy dish where pepper powder, chili powder and green chilies,all the three ingredients were used. So please don't blindly add these ingredients, do a taste test before adding pepper powder. Also, if you are having very hot chili powder and green chilies, then I would like to suggest you to reduce its amount and use more pepper powder as the pepper increases the taste.

I didn't add  any water in this recipe as the squid will release its juices as it cooks. Also, never cook squid too much as overcooking will spoil its texture and the squid will turn rubbery. Turn off the stove as soon as the squid softens and cook nicely.

 Squid roast recipe

Author: Anju Aneesh
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: India, South India, Kerala
Preparation time: 15 minutes| Cooking time: 20 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes


  • 1/2 kg squid / kanava / koonthal, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 3 green chilies, slit
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Direction of preparation of squid roast

  1. Crackle mustard seeds in hot oil. Add a pinch of cumin seeds (jeerakam).
  2. Add onion, green chilies, ginger garlic paste and curry leaves and saute till the onion turns golden brown.
  3. Reduce the flame and add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala and saute till the raw smell leaves.
  4. Add squid and salt. Mix well and cook covered till the squid turns soft.
  5. Cook again in an open pan till the gravy thickens.
  6. Add vinegar and pepper powder and keep stirring on high flame till the masala turns dry.
  7. Garnish with some chopped coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

Let us see the step by step preparation of squid roast

  1. Heat oil in an earthenware on medium flame. If you don't have earthenware, use any kadai. In Kerala, we prefer earthen pots especially for seafood because we believe that the use of earthenware will enhance its taste.
  2. The first step is tempering, which you can do at the end also. Add in 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and wait till crackle.
  3. Reduce the flame and add 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeerakam). The cumin seeds will crackle in seconds. If you like its taste, can add a little bit more.
  4. Once the crackling sound is over,  add a spring of curry leaves.
  5. Saute chopped onions and green chilies until the onions turn transparent. 
  6. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute until the onions turn golden brown and the raw smell of ginger and garlic vanishes.
  7. Add dry spices like chili powder (1 teaspoon), turmeric powder (1/4 teaspoon), coriander powder (2 teaspoon) and garam masala (1 teaspoon). 
  8. Saute till the raw smell leaves.
  9. Add squid immediately. (The masala powder will burn quickly. If you feel any difficulty to manage, keep 1/4 cup of water nearby and pour in or you can mix 1 teaspoon of  water to the masala paste, both these steps are easier than adding spice powders directly.)
  10. Add salt to taste and mix well. 
  11. Cook covered on low flame till the squid cooks well and turns soft, Never over cook, if so it will turn rubbery. No need to add water, water will come out of the squid as it cooks.
  12. Once the squid cooked  and the gravy comes in a semi-thick consistency, remove the lid and cook again till turns dry. Then add 1 teaspoon pepper powder and 1 teaspoon vinegar and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  13. Switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves (optional).
  14. Serve with  steamed rice.

Some suggestions

  1. Never overcook squid, it will turn rubbery.
  2. No need to add water while cooking squid. The water will come from the squid itself.

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