Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rasam


Rasam or saar is another Konkani traditional dishes. Traditionally, toor dal is not added to it, but I add it as a thickening agent. It can also be had as a soup on a cold chilly day. Chana dal stock or the water used to boil chana or any vegetable stock can be added to the rasam to enhance the flavor.

Ingredients
1 1/2 tablespoon rasam powder
2 tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 strand curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard
5 pinches asafoetida
1/2 cup cooked toor dal (optional)
10 tablespoon coriander leaves (chopped)
chilli powder (optional)
salt for taste

Method

Chop tomatoes into small pieces. Add water in a vessel and add tomatoes, tamarind and rasam powder. Get to a boil and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add toor dal and coriander leaves, salt and adjust chili powder and water as per desired consistency. Get to a boil again. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the rasam. Serve hot with rice, curd and papad.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dry Coconut Chutney / Chutney Pitti


Chutney Powder or Chutney Pitti (in Konkani) is one of the handy things for breakfast or lunch. Young children are given this as a sidedish along with rice mashed with hot milk. This chutney can be relished with dosa, idli, rice, chapatti and bread. Chutney sandwich was one of my favorite tiffin dishes and is great to carry for travel. Apply butter on one side of each bread slice and apply chutney and serve. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
1 cup Kopra or grated dry coconut
3/4 cup putani dal or split dalia












small ball of tamarind
dry red chilies --about a handful or as per taste
1 cup curry leaves or 1/2 cup roasted garlic pods
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
salt for taste


Method
Roast the dry coconut on medium heat for 10 minutes. Then roast the dalia for around 10 minutes. Also roast the red chilies and curry leaves or garlic separately for 10 minutes each. Cool all the roasted ingredients. Grind all the ingredients into a smooth, dry powder along with tamarind, asafoetida and salt. Store in a dry jar and this remains good for a month.


Preparation time: 40 minutes

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lal Math Sabzi / Tambdi Bhaji Upkari


I make a lot of leafy vegetable sabzi's as they are considered to be very nutritious. In Maharashtra this leafy vegetable is called lal math. My mother makes coconut-based curry with this vegetable and I will post that recipe subsequently. This vegetable is available during the summer season here. I buy this every time I see this at the grocery store and make this delicious sabzi.



Ingredients
2 bunches of lal math
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 pinches asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium onion chopped (optional)
salt for taste
2-3 dry red chilies
2 tablespoon grated coconut(optional)

Method
Wash the bhaji leaves well and chop them coarsely. Add oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add asafoetida and broken red chili. If you are adding onion, then add the chopped onion and fry till transparent. Add the chopped leaves and cook and cover on a low flame for 10-15 minutes or till soft. Add salt as per taste and garnish with grated coconut. Serve with chapatti or rice.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kidney Beans Curry / Rajma

Rajma and chole is my favorite comfort food. Bread-rajma, puri-rajma, rajma-chawal are great combinations other than the regular rajma-roti. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients
1 cup rajma
1 cup chopped onion
3 medium tomatoes
1 cup cilantro or coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
2 green chili
2 teaspoon chana masala (I used MDH chana masala..it contains coriander and cumin powder)
3 tablespoon yogurt
chili powder for taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 pinches asafoetida
salt for taste
2 tablespoon oil

Method

Pressure cook rajma with 1/2 teaspoon salt till it is soft. Drain out the excess water. In a pan add oil, asafoetida, turmeric, cumin seeds. Fry for a minute. Add ginger-garlic paste and finely chopped green chilies and fry for another minute. Add chopped onion and fry till transparent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the chole masala and coriander powder and mix well. Gently crush the paste with a masher. Add rajma and cook well till the masala is well absorbed. Add 2 cups of water, yogurt, salt, chili powder, cilantro. Mash with a masher again; this time to crush some of the rajma beans. This will result in a thicker gravy. Cook for around 20 minutes till a desired consistency of gravy is reached. Garnish with garam masala.


Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Indian Lentil Stew / Sambar / Kolmbo / Kolumbo


Sambar or Kolmbo (as it is called in Konkani) is one of the traditional Konkani recipies. It can also be had a soup or with idli or dosa.

Ingredients
2 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoon
sambar powder or Kolmbo pitti
2 cups toor or arhar
dal or pigeon peas
1/2 cup tamarind juice prepared by soaking tamarind or 1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1 onion or 1 cup chopped madras onions or shallots (see here.)
1 potato
2 cups vegetables (you can add any of these vegetables as per your preference or availability- eggplant (brinjal), drumstick, cauliflower, ivy gourd (tendli), carrot, beans, pumpkin (squash), ash gourd)
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt for taste
chili powder if needed
3 table spoon cilantro or coriander leaves
10-12 curry leaves
2 tablespoon oil

Method

Cut all the vegetables into approximately equal size. Boil or pressure cook all the vegetables and potato till soft. Don't overcook the vegetables. Pressure cook the toor dal. Beat the dal with a hand beater till smooth. Chop tomato into small pieces. Cook tomato with sambar powder and tamarind paste/juice till the tomato is soft.
In another pan fry onion in 1 teaspoon oil till transparent. We fry it so that the onion loses its raw smell. The onion helps to give a sweetish taste to the sambar. Add the vegetables, dal, fried onion and tomato mixture into a large pot. Add water as per desired consistency. Add salt and chili powder as per taste. Cook on a low flame for around 20 minutes and get it to a boil.
In a seasoning pan, add mustard seeds and 1/2 teaspoon oil. When the mustard seeds splutter add curry leaves and add this to the sambar. Mix well and remove from heat. Keep covered for another 5 minutes till the flavor of the seasoning blends well with the sambar. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with rice, dosa or idli.




Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-5

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Moong Sabzi / Moong Usal



Moong sabzi or moong usal is a very easy and nutritious recipe. It goes well with both rice and chappati and is great for tiffins. You can buy sprouted moong at the grocery store or sprout it at home. To sprout moong, soak it in warm water for around 12 hours. Wash the moong well and tie it in a muslin cloth. Sprinkle handful of water over the muslin cloth bag to keep it wet. Keep a heavy weight over the muslin cloth bag and let it remain for another 12 hrs. If you don't have a muslin cloth, just let it remain in any vessel in a warm place for 12 hours after draining the water.



Ingredients
2 cups of sprouted moong
2 table spoon chopped coriander or cilantro
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt as per taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 pinches asafoetida
6-7 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon maharashtrian goda masala (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar or gur
1 teaspoon oil

Method

Heat oil and and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric powder. Add the moong and cook covered till the moong is soft. Add salt, sugar/gur and chili powder for taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with chapatti or rice.

Preparation time: 25 minutes excluding sprouting time
Serves: 2

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coconut Chutney with Asafoetida / Heeng chutney



Konkanis make variety of chutneys to go with various dosa's and idli's. This chutney is made with asafoetida and tastes delicious with a strong flavor of asafoetida. I served this with masala dosa.

Ingredients
1/4 teaspoon heeng or asafoetida
1 cup coconut
2 green chilies
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon tamatind concentrate or 1/2 inch piece of tamarind
salt for taste

Seasoning (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 red chili

Method

Grind coconut, green chilies, tamarind, sugar, salt and heeng. Add oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves and red chili. Remove from heat and add to the chutney. Mix well and keep the chutney covered for 5 minutes before serving.


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Monday, July 21, 2008

Masala dosa




Ingredients

3 cup rice
1 cup urad dal
1/2 teaspoon methi (fenugreek) seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Method

Soak the urad dal and rice in separate containers for around 8 hours. Add the methi seeds in the rice container. While grinding, grind approximately 1 /3 part of the urad dal till smooth( To check if it is ground well, I put the batter between my thumb and index finger and stretch my fingers apart and check if the batter forms a string. If the string of batter breaks, while stretching into a string, I grind it further).

Then add 1/3rd part of rice to the urad dal and grind well. Repeat same with the rest of the parts.

The idea is to grind the urad dal very fine and the rice little coarsely. If you mix the urad dal and the rice together and grind, the urad dal will not be ground finely. These instructions are mainly for grinding using a mixer or a blender and I have not used the stone grinder .

Mix salt into the batter and keep in a warm lace for 6-8 hours or till the batter rises and almost doubles.

Now oil a griddle (i use a cast iron griddle) and spread one ladle full of battter on the griddle. It should be spread as thin as possible.

Cook covered till done on one side. Turn the dosa on the other side and cook uncovered. Put bhaji in the dosa and serve hot with chutney .


I had some left over batter and I made rice cake or dosa dhokla the next day. I put the batter into a a flat vessel and sprinkled red chili powder on top. Then I steamed it for 25 minutes. Then I seasoned it with a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Then, added a garnish of coriander leaves and grated coconut.
Rice cake is ready!!.





Serves: 6-7

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Corn on the Cob




We get awesome sweet corn at the farmers market. We usually get 8-10 cobs to last us for the whole week. I usually boil it in the pressure cooker as it is faster. Sometimes we roast it in the oven, but that takes quite some time. We don't have gas (we have electric coil gas) at our home and we can't roast it like we do in India. This weekend, I made a butter-based sauce and applied it over the corn, and it enhanced the taste of the corn by a zillion times. This is one step ahead of the namak-mirch and limbu applied by the "bhutta wala" in India. This also makes a excellent snack to satisfy the late afternoon hunger pangs.


Ingredients
2 corn
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt for taste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or as per taste
1 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro
2 tablespoon butter

Method

Boil corn and cut each cob into 2 as it is easy to hold. Soften the butter to make it spreadable. Mix salt, chili powder, coriander leaves into the butter.


Apply this butter on every cob. The butter will melt when you apply it on the hot cob. Serve immediately.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Muskmelon or Cantaloupe Salad / Chibbad Harsale



Muskmelon is one of my father's favorite fruit. It is called "chibbad" in Konkani. My mother makes chibbad harsale usually on weekends. It can be had as an dessert after lunch or dinner. When selecting muskmelon, check if it has a sweet smell. This will ensure that it is ripe. If not, then keep the muskmelon near bananas, and it will ripen within 2-3 days. Don't try this recipe with Honeydew melon. The recipe uses coconut milk, which can be easily found in Indian stores in the US or can be prepared using the following recipe. This recipe goes to the event Iftar Moments Hijri 1431 hosted by Umm.

Ingredients

1/2 muskmelon (cut into cubes)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup jaggery or as per taste (if you don't have jaggery, use sugar)
1 teaspoon cardamom powder

Method

Dilute the coconut milk as per desired consistency. I use fat free milk to dilute it, but water can also be used if you don't want the flavor of milk in the salad. Cut jaggery into small pieces and add it to the coconut milk. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, then mix with hand to dissolve the jaggery completely in coconut milk. Add cardamom powder and muskmelon pieces. Served chilled.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves:2-3

Friday, July 18, 2008

Carrot Salad / Carrot Koshimbiri

Carrot koshimbir is a konkani salad. It can be made with yogurt or without it. Carrots are a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C potassium among other nutrients. This salad should be served as soon as it is prepared as carrot loses its nutrition if kept exposed for a long time. It can also become watery as carrot or any other vegetable loses water when salt is added to it. Also we buy carrots and radish from our local farmers market and they taste sweeter and tastier than those available at the regular grocery store. This same salad can also be prepared by replacing carrot with radish or mooli or beetroot. Coconut is used for garnishing if lemon juice is used. I usually avoid using coconut due to the fat contents present in it, but traditionally it is used as a garnish. I am sending this to roundup organized by Suma and Siri.

Ingredients
2 medium sized carrots
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 lemon juice or 1/2 cup curd
1 tablespoon grated coconut (if lemon juice is used)
1 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro for garnishing
1/2 teaspoon sugar or as per taste
1 chili finely chopped
salt for taste


Method

Grate the carrot. In a seasoning pan add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add green chili and remove from heat. Add this to the carrot. Mix in sugar, salt, curd or lemon juice and mix well. Garnish with Coriander leaves and coconut .


Another day, I found yellow beet root at the farmers market. I half-boiled it and grated it and added it along with the carrot. So, the beetroot was a little cooked, but still had its crunchy texture. The yellow-orange salad looks yummy too!!.



Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dosa Chutney


This chutney uses less coconut, so I make this most of the time instead of the traditional coconut chutney. This is very easy to make and if you don't have much time to make breakfast, the onion and dals can be fried the previous day and chutney can be made for breakfast in 5 minutes the next day by grinding all the ingredients. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients

1 onion
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/2 teaspoon chana dal
2 green chilies
2 tablespoon coconut
1/4 teaspoon jeera
1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or small piece of tamarind
1/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
4-5 coriander leaves
2 teaspoon oil
salt for taste

Method

Fry onion in 1 teaspoon oil till transparent. Fry urad dal and chana dal in another teaspoon oil, till brown. Add all the other ingredients to the onion and dals and grind into a fine paste.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Squash and Vegetable Soup


Last week I made soup from summer squash and other vegetables. My husband loves vegetables and I make lot of soups and salads. This is a light soup and can also be had as a light dinner.


Ingredients
1 cup chopped summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash
)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 handful peas
1 tomato chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1/4 tablespoon sugar
salt
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
pepper for taste

Method

Boil squash, tomato, peas and carrot till well cooked. Mash the vegetables so that some of them are mashed. This will help to thicken the soup. I blend it for around 5-10 seconds using a hand blender. Fry onion in 1/2 tablespoon oil till transparent. Add this to the vegetables. Fry flour in rest of the oil till light brown in color. Cool the flour and mix well in 1/2 cup cold water so that no lumps are formed. Mix the white sauce in the soup, add salt, sugar, coriander leaves and pepper and heat it on a low flame for 20 minutes. Serve hot with soup sticks or bread. I served it with vegetable wheat thins.



Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kadhi

This is a comfort food which can be prepared in a jiffy. It is great to also just sip it like soup on a cold day. It goes well with rice or pulao. My husband prepares this with vatana bhat. My husband loves ginger and adds it in this Kadhi, but if you don't like it you can skip it.

Ingredients
2 cups curd
2 tablespoon besan (chickpea flour)\
2 green chilies
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
5 pinches asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon oil
salt for taste
8-9 curry leaves (optional)
coriander leaves or cilantro for garnishing


Method

Mix curd, ginger and besan so that there are no lumps. Add water as per desired consistency. Heat the mixture till it comes to a boil. In a seasoning pan and oil and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, add asafoetida, turmeric powder, chopped chilies and curry leaves. Add this to the kadhi. Add salt as per taste. Serve with khichidi, rice or peas pulao .

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4


Peas Pulao / Vatana Bhat



This is one of my husband's recipe. During his bachelor days, he would make this vatana bhat with kadhi. The other day when I was busy with my studies, he made Kadhi and Vatana bhat for dinner. I was very surprised with the simplicity of this lovely recipe. It is a great comfort food for winters when one cannot eat cold curd. Vatana Bhat can be prepared within minutes and it is a great recipe for lunch tiffins. I am sending it to the “Think Spice: Think Turmeric event organized by Sudeshna
and Sunita.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup peas
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder or maharashtrian kala masala
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5 pinches of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnishing
1 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Method

Wash the basmati rice and leave it for aside for 20 minutes. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Mix in peas and basmati rice and saute for around 5 minutes. Add chili powder and garam masala. Boil 3 cups of water and add to the rice. Put lemon juice and salt for taste. Adding lemon juice keeps the rice grains from sticking. Cook covered till the rice is done. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with kadhi .


Preparation time:40 minutes
Serves:2-3


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tandoori Paneer / Paneer Tikka




This is an excellent recipe for your next barbecue party. Last week we went to BBQ with my husband's friends and I had made tandoori paneer. There were 18 people and I took 5 pounds of marinated paneer. These soft, juicy chunks of paneer along with grilled vegetables make a mouthwatering appetizer for any occasion. Paneer should be marinated for around 2-4 hours and should not be marinated for long like chicken or other meat.

Ingredients
500 gms paneer
1 1/2 cup curd or yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoon MDH tandoori masala
1 teaspoon chat masala powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
lemon juice for taste
salt for taste
oil for grilling

1 capsicum
2 tomatoes
1 big onion
Skewers for grilling

Method
Cut the paneer and the vegetables into big cubes.


You can use the chili powder and coriander powder available in the market. I roasted 7 Byadgi chillis (these are not spicy, but provide a rich red color) and powdered them in my coffee bean grinder. I use this grinder to grind all my spices and it takes just 2-3 minutes to grind the them into a very fine powder. If the chili powder from 7 byadgi chilies is not enough to provide a spicy flavor, then add the normal chili powder to make it spicy as per your taste.

Mix curd, milk and all the powders, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and lemon juice to make the marinate. Adjust salt in the marinate so that it will suffice for the bland paneer and vegetables.


In a big bowl, add the panner, vegetables and the marinate. Coat the paneer and vegetables well with the marinate.

Let the paneer marinate for 3-4 hours. The paneer can be grilled on a barbecue grill or in a regular oven. Soak the skewers in warm water for around 20-30 minutes, so that they don't char on the grill. Place the paneer and the vegetables on the skewers and and brush them with cooking oil or cooking spray. Grill the panner till brown on all sides. Enjoy the chat-pata tandoori paneer with mint chutney.

Preparation time: 30-40 minutes excluding the marination time
Serves: 4-5

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rava Upma


Rava Upma is a very simple dish to make for breakfast. This is a commonly made for breakfast dish in almost all Konkani households. Half of the recipe can be prepared the previous day and then cooked the next day for breakfast within 5 minutes. When I was young, I was not very fond of mustard seeds flavor, and I distinctly remember hating this dish. But later, when I grew up I guess I got used to the mustard flavor and started liking this dish. Spicy sev or chivda or chuda can be used to garnish this dish.

Ingredients
2 cups coarse thick rava or sooji or semolina
4 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
2 green chilis or 2 red chilies
5 pinches asafoetida
1 spring curry leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon grated coconut
1 tablespoon oil
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
salt for taste
Method
Fry semolina till light brown in color. Keep aside.

Add oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add asafoetida and urad dal and fry till urad dal is light brown. Add chopped green chilies or broken red chilies, ginger and curry leaves. Fry for half a minute and add the semolina. Stir and mix well. You can follow the recipe till here and make it the previous day. Adding water and cooking can be done the next day morning. Boil water and add to the semolina. Mix well so that there are no lumps. Add sugar and salt for taste. Garnish with coconut, coriander leaves and sev or chivda.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alu Gobi / Cauliflower and Potato Sabzi


This is my sister, Neeti's recipe. She learnt it from one of her school friend whose mom would give this alu gobi sabzi for tiffin. My sister is a great fan of North Indian cuisine apart from our regular Konkani cuisine. We used would enjoy the chat-pat alu gobi. Here is her recipe.


Ingredients
1 medium cauliflower
2 medium potatoes
1 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
5 pinchful of asafoetida
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon amchur (dry mango) powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro or coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon anardana
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt for taste

Method

Cut cauliflower and potato into big chunks. Ensure that the chunks are of the same size to ensure that the vegetables cook evenly. If some chunks are small than others, the smaller ones will cook early and get mushy by the time the larger pieces cook. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Fry for a minute and add the vegetables. Cook covered on medium flame, stiring, so that all the vegetables are cooked. Cook till the cauliflower and potato are 3/4 cooked.


In 1/4 cup water, add chili powder, turmeric powder, anardana, coriander powder, sugar, salt, garam masala and coriander leaves.


Add this to the vegetables and stir well till the cauliflower and potato is well covered in the masala. Cook covered till the potato and cauliflower are well cooked. Sprinkle amchur powder on top. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Prepration time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Stuffed Capsicum in Creamy Sauce / Bharvan Shimla Mirchi

I had this dish at Shiva's last month, when we went to dine out on my husband Atul's birthday. I liked it a lot and as I had capsicum at home, I thought I would try to make Bharvan Shimla Mirchi. It turned out to be very tasty and here is the recipe.

Ingredients
3-4 green capsicums
2-3 medium sized potatoes
75 gm paneer
1 red onion
3 small tomatoes diced
3/4 cup milk
2 green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon amchur powder (dried mango powder)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
10-15 raisins (optional)
5-8 cashew nuts (optional)
1 handful of cilantro or coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon kasuri methi (dried
Fenugreek leaves)

5 pinches
asafoetida
1 teaspoon sugar
turmeric powder
oil for frying
salt for taste


Method
Wash the capsicum and make one slit on each with a sharp knife. Remove the seeds and top from the slit.


Boil and remove the skin of the potatoes. Mix and mash potatoes, paneer, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon amchur, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, raisins, salt and 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro. Now stuff this mixture into the capsicum. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and fry the capsicum till well cooked on all sides.


Roast covered, on a low flame, turning it frequently so that it is slightly brown and soft on all sides. Don't burn the capsicum. Gently pick up the capsicum from the pan and keep aside on a plate. Instead of roasting in a pan you can bake it in a oven for 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees or till well cooked on all sides.

Add 1 tablespoon oil in another pan and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add chopped onion, ginger, garlic, chopped green chili and fry till onion is golden brown. Add tomatoes and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 1/4 spoon turmeric powder, chili powder as per taste, 1/4 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 spoon sugar, kasuri methi, milk and cashew nut. Grind into a smooth paste. Fry this paste in the same pan for 10 minutes without adding additional oil. Add salt for taste. Add the shimla mirchi into this paste and coat it well with the paste. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and 1/4 teaspoon garam masala. Serve hot with chappati or pulao.

Preparation time: 75 minutes
Serves: 2


Monday, July 7, 2008

Pumpkin or squash flower fritters / Dudde mitte phodi



I buy squash flowers at our local farmers market. In India we used to buy pumpkin flowers or buds, but in US they call them squash flowers. These days pumpkin flowers or buds are very rare to find even at the vegetable markets in India, and hence a delicacy. These flowers are very tasty and are very nutritious. We make fritters also called phodi in konkani out of these flowers. Fritters can be made with many vegetables like potato, brinjal, cauliflower, banana, okra etc. These flowers cannot be stored for a long time and wilt very fast, so they should be consumed in a day or two after being picked from the plant. You can also make the besan pakoda out of these flowers. Here is the pumpkin flower recipe.


Ingredients
Squash or pumpkin flowers 10-15
semolina for coating
5 pinches asafoetida (heeng) mixed in 1 tablespoon water.
red chili powder as per taste
salt as per taste
2 tablespoon oil

Method
Wash the flowers and remove the bracts or the small leaves near the stalk of the flower. Cut the flowers diagonally and apply chili powder, salt and asafoetida water to the flowers. Coat the masala gently with hand and do not crush the flowers. Keep them aside for 5 minutes.

Put 1 tablespoon oil on a tava and keep on medium heat. Coat each piece piece well with semolina and put on the tava. Cook covered till the it is soft and then flip on the other side. Fry uncovered this time. Add more oil if needed. Enjoy the fritters.




Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fried Ivy gourd or Tindora / Tendli Talasan



Ivy gourd or tendli is a a very tasty vegetable. Tendi talasan is a Konkani recipe which involves spicy, stir fried ivy gourd . This was one of my and my bappama's (father's mother) favorite recipes. After coming home from school, the first thing I would do was to rush in the kitchen to see what my bapamma had prepared for lunch with bapamma behind me, telling me to wash hands before touching food :). I would be very happy to see tendi talasan on the menu. I would relish it with rice mixed with milk. My husband also loves tendli talasan and I make this dish very often. While buying tendli, ensure that you pick the thin slender ones and not the fat thick ones. The fat ones may be ripened and may have red seeds in them. The tendi with red seeds is discarded and not used for any recipes.


Ingredients
250 gm tendli or ivy gourd
4 pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon oil
salt for taste

Method

Wash and cut both the ends of the tendli. Now crush the tendli. Take care not to split open the tendi while crushing as this can burn the tendi while cooking.




In a wide bottomed pan add oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add turmeric powder and chili powder. Add the crushed tendli immediately and mix well with the spices. Cook covered on a very low flame till the tendili is tender. Then cook uncovered on a low flame till outer sides of the tendi are caramelized well. (I cook 250 gms of tendi for around 45 minutes stirring the tendi frequently) Serve hot with rice or chappati.

Preparation time: 70 minutes
Serves: 2-3


Moong Ambat / Moong Ghassi / Green Gram Curry -Konkani Style







Moong sprouts are very healthy when used in any dish. This curry is very famous in Mangalore and Konkani cuisine and is usually part of any festival or marriage cuisine. The reason it is famous because this curry does not contain any onion or garlic which is mandatory of any Konkani festival cuisine. Wet cashew nuts are used while making this curry. But as wet cashew nuts are not available in US, I pressure cook the dried cashew nut pieces and it tastes almost similar. 

Ingredients
100 gm moong sprouts
1/2 cup shelled cashew nuts (Use wet cashews if available)
1/2 cup grated coconut
3-4 roasted red chilis (I use the Byadgi chillis
which are not very spicy but impart a deep red color to the masala)
4-5 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon coconut oil or other oil
1 potato, 1 raw banana or 1/4 cup suran or yam as vegetable
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or small piece of tamarind
5 pinch asafoetida
salt for taste


Method
Chop the vegetable (potato, raw banana or yam). Cook the vegetable with the moong and halved cashew nut. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt while cooking the moong. Grind coconut, red chili and tamarind into a smooth paste. Mix it with the cooked vegetable and moong and get the curry to a boil. Put oil in seasoning pan and add mustard. When the mustard splutters, remove from heat and add asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this to the curry, add salt and heat covered for 4-5 minutes on low flame. Serve hot with rice.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2


Cauliflower Sabzi / Cauliflower Upkari



Ingredients
1 medium cauliflower washed and chopped

1 potato (optional)
1 teaspoon coconut oil (preferably) or other oil
2-3 red chilis
1 teaspoon mustard
1 small onion (optional)
5 pinches asafoetida
1 potato (optional)
1/2 cup green peas (optional)
1 tablespoon grated coconut
salt for taste


Method

Add oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add chili, asafoetida and chopped onion. (You may skip onion, if you don't like it. ) Fry the onion till it is transparent and add the cauliflower and other vegetables. If you are adding potato, then fry it for a minute and then add the cauliflower. Add 4-5 tablespoons water. Cook covered on a low flame.
Once it is half cooked, add salt. Just sprinkle some water if the sabzi starts to burn at the bottom of the pan. Garnish with grated coconut.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2


Alu Methi / Fenugreek and Potato vegetable




This dish is easy to make and great to take while traveling or for tiffins. My mom would make alu methi and bhindi sabzi with chapattis when we travel long distances during vacations. The fresh methi leaf can be substituted with a cup of kasuri methi. Methi is a great digestive aid and is known to lower cholesterol and checks sinus,diabetics and arthritis. Methi lovers are sure to love this alu methi recipe.

Ingredients
1 bunch methi
3 potatoes
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 tesapoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon jaggery
salt for taste

Method
Pick the methi leaves and wash them. Coarsely chop the leaves, mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep it aside for around 20 minutes. Wash and cut each potato into 4 pieces each. Add oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Fry for half a minute and add potatoes and fry till half done. Add turmeric powder, corinader powder, chili powder. Mix well and add the methi leaves. Cover and cook till methi is well done. Add jaggery and adjust salt after tasting. Serve hot with chapatti.

Preparation time 35 minutes
Serves: 2

Barley Khichidi




I found barley at the Indian store. I have recently heard about the advantages of eating oats and barley and want to include both these cereals in my daily recipes. You may wish to read some advantages of barley here. I found that barley has a similar texture and taste like whole wheat grain. I have known people preparing barley water, but I wanted to make some dish with the whole barley in it. I tried out this khichidi which has a very Indian flavor. Both I and my husband enjoyed this dish for dinner.

Ingredients

200 grams pearl barley
50 grams toor dal
1 carrot
(chopped)
1 zucchini (chopped)
2-3 cloves
1 small cinnamon stick
3-4 spring onions (optional as cilantro or coriander can be also used as garnish)
7-8 mushrooms (washed and chopped)
4 tablespoon corn kernels
5 beans (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1/2 cup peas
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
3 pinch
asafoetida
1/8th teaspoon garam masala (optional)
salt for taste

Method
Wash and soak the barley and dal overnight. Rinse it the next day and keep it aside. Add oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and asafoetida in hot oil. Add the chopped onion and ginger and saute for 4-5 minutes. Mix in all the vegetables except spring onion and cilantro. Add the chili powder, salt, dal and barley. Stir in 500 ml water. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro or spring onions. Serve hot with raita , salad or papad.

Preparation time: 35 minutes excluding soaking time
Serves: 2