Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ivy Gourd and Cashew Nut Sabzi / Tendli Ani Bibbe Upkari / Tendli Upkari


Tendli bibbe upkari is one of the dishes which is a must in any Konkani or Goan wedding lunch. In Karnataka and Goa we get unpeepled wet cashew nuts with the skin on. These cashew nuts are boiled or pressure cooked in salt water till tender and the skin is peeled. Later the skinned cashews are cut in half and added to the curry. In US, I skinned cashewnuts available in the Indian store and pressure cook them in salt water. If you want to make healthy recipe, don't add the cashew nuts and coconut. Here is the recipe.


IvyGourd and Unpeeled Wet Cashews
Ingredients
400 gms tendli
100 gms cashew nut (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3-4 green chilies

1 dried red chili
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other oil
4 tablespoon grated coconut (optional)
salt as per taste

Method

Wash and soak the cashew nuts for 4-5 hours. Cut the tendli length wise into thin stripes. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard. When the mustard seeds splutter, add red chili and slit green chili and fry for a minute. Add the cut tendli and cashew nuts. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and cook covered till the tendli and cashew nut is soft, and the water is evaporated. 


Add salt as per taste. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot with rice.


Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4

Finger Millet Dosa / Ragi or Nachni Dosa


This is one of my easiest and healthy breakfast recipes. I make this dosa out of ragi atta or finger millet flour. I get this flour from my Indian grocery store. I serve it with sambhar, chutney or butter.


Ingredients
2 cups ragi or nachni flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated coconut (optional)
1 medium onion
handful of chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
2-3 green chilies
1/2 cup curd or butter milk
oil for frying

Method
Chop the onion and green chilies finely. Puree the coconut. Add these to the flour along with salt and coriander leaves. Add water and/or butter milk or curd to the flour till a thin consistancy is reached.


Oil a tava or pan and spread the batter evenly on the tava and cook covered.


Flip the dosa to the other side and cook uncovered. Serve hot with butter, chutney, sambhar or sauce.



Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4


Friday, August 29, 2008

Spinach Papaya Curry / Palak Popaspala Ambat


This curry is made with raw papaya and spinach. Ambat in Konkani means "sour" or "Khatta". Magge or a variety of cucumber can be substituted instead of raw papaya.


Ingredients

1/2 medium sized raw papaya or 1 cup magge chopped into 2 cm cubes
1 bunch spinach
1/2 cup grated coconut
3/4 cup toor dal
3-4 byadgi chilies or red chilies
1/2 inch piece tamarind or 1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
salt as per taste
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil

For seasoning: mustard and asafoetida (for people who don't prefer onion or garlic tadka)
or
1 medium sized red onion


Method

Boil spinach and papaya till soft. If you pressure cook, then ensure that the papaya does not become all mushy. Boil toor dal and whisk it to remove any lumps. Fry red chilies and grind grated coconut, red chilies, tamarind into a smooth paste. In a vessel, mix the boiled vegetables, the masala paste, toor dal. Add water as per desired consistency. Get the curry to a boil. Add salt as desired.

Seasoning: In a seasoning pan, heat oil add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the seasoning to the curry.
or
Chop the onion finely.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mango Panna / Mango Panha




Ingredients

1 medium raw mango or 1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
5 tablespoon sugar
3 cups water

Method

Boil the raw mango. Cool it and separate the mango pulp and discard the stone. Grind the mango pulp with cardamom powder and water. Sieve the pulp to remove any fiber. Add sugar and water to the pulp as per desired consistency. Serve chilled.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Potato Sabzi - I

I made this sabzi to go with the Mangalore buns. At my home we usually eat buns with tomato ketchup, jam or chutney. Once, we went to visit one of my husband's friend who had called us over to meet their parents. His parents had come from India to visit them. His mom had made a potato bhaji to go with the buns. She told me she uses home made garam masala and coconut to make this sabzi. I don't make buns in winter as the dough never rises well. So, nearly a year later, when we had guests I made buns and this potato sabzi. Everyone liked this sabzi a lot.

Ingredients
5-6 potatoes
handful of peas
1/2 onion
2-3 pods of garlic
2-3 red chilies or as per taste
1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
1-2 pepper corns
4-5 cloves
5 pinches turmeric powder
1/4 inch piece of tamarind or 1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
5 pinches asafoetida
2 tablespoon coconut
1 tablespoon oil
salt for taste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds


Method
Boil potatoes and keep aside. Fry red chilies, coriander, cumin seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Grind all of these into a fine powder. Add tamarind, coconut and the above powder and grind into a fine paste adding very little water. In a pan add 2 tablespoon oil. Add cumin seeds, turmeric and asafoetida. Add chopped garlic and fry for a minute. Add onion and fry till it is golden brown in color. Add the masala paste and fry for 3-4 minutes. Chop the boiled potatoes and add them to the sabzi. Mash the potatoes till they are properly incorporated into the masala paste, adding around a cup of water. Add salt for taste and cook for around 10 minutes. Serve hot with Mangalore buns.



Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Monday, August 25, 2008

Marinated Onion rings in ginger


I made this salad long time back in the mid 90's when I was in school. I don't remember exactly where I read about this recipe. I guess I read it in the newspaper or in some magazine which my mother subscribed. My mother works for a Bank and I had the full freedom to use the kitchen in the afternoons. I would make this and I and my sister would have it as a snack with roti's. It goes well with tandoori's and naans. I prefer the red onions as they give a distinct beautiful color to the salad.

Ingredients
1 red onion
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon grated coconut
1 teaspoon sugar
salt for taste

Method
Peel the onion and chop it into thin rings. Separate the onion rings. Sprinkle lemon juice and grated ginger on these onion rings and mix well so that all the rings are well coated with lemon juice and ginger pieces.


Marinate these rings for 2-3 hours. Discard the marinate and remove as many ginger pieces as you can from the salad. Sprinkle salt, sugar, grated coconut and mix well. Serve with tandoori or chappati.

Preparation time: 10 minutes excluding the marination time
Serves: 2 -3

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sai Bhaji



I first tasted Sai Bhaji at my friend AK's home. She tells me that it is one of the Sindhi comfort foods and is very nutritious as a lot of vegetables, palak and leafy vegetables are used. She does not use carrot or methi in the recipe. But as I had these at home, I added them to the sai bhaji. Sai Bhaji can be enjoyed with rice or roti.

Ingredients
2 bunches palak or spinach
handful of methi or fenugreek leaves
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes (medium or large- depending on how sour you want it)
5 tablespoon chana dal
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 green chilies
1/2 cup chopped eggplant, pumpkin, carrot
1-2 medium potato
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder (optional)
1/2 cup carrot (optional)
1 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon oil

Method

Wash the chana dal and soak it in warm water for 2 hours. Wash the palak and methi leaves multiple times in water till all the sand particles are cleared. Heat oil in a pressure cooker or pan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric. Fry for a minute. Add ginger, chopped green chili and onions and fry till the onions are golden brown. Add chopped tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes are soft. Add coriander powder and chili powder and mix well. Add chopped eggplant, potato and carrot and chana dal. Add chopped palak and methi leaves. mix well and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt and 2 cups of water. If you are making it in a pan then cook with lots of water till the chana dal is soft (this may take 45 minutes to 1 hour). Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. After the pressure drops, open the pressure cooker and mash the sai bhaji till all the ingredients are mixed well. Sprinkle garam masala on the sai bhaji and serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Potato Brinjal Sabzi / Aloo Baingan


Potato is a very versatile vegetable and eggplant combination is one of my favorite combination. My uncle's maid in Calcutta cooks very simple sabzi's with variety of vegetables. Though she uses the same spices as we do, her sabzi's taste much better and flavorful. Her secret- cook using minimum water on a very low flame. She just sprinkles a bit of water on the vegetables just to keep them from burning and stirs continuously so that the vegetable are evently cooked. Here is her recipe for eggplant and potatoes.

Ingredients
1 medium eggplant
3 potatoes
3 green chilies
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt for taste
4-5 pinches of asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil

Method

Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes. Add oil in a heated pan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. Add slit green chili and fry for a minute. Add diced potatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes. Cut the eggplant into small cubes and mix in well with the potatoes. Sprinkle handful of water and cook on low to medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Add salt and mix well till potato is soft. Serve hot.


Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Potato in Spicy Tamarind sauce / Potato Song


Potato Song is a traditional Konkani speciality. Potato Song is usually made with bland dal, rasam or roti. It is very simple to make and is very tasty. I added mustard seeds to this recipe as my husband likes it, but traditionally we don't add mustard seeds. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
1 medium red onion
3 potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (preferably byadgi or kashmiri chili powder)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or 1/4 cup tamarind juice
1 teaspoon oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste

Method

Boil potatoes and cool them. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add onion. If you are not using mustard seeds directly fry onion. Fry till the onion is just transparent. Don't fry the onion till brown. I fried it for around 4-5 minutes on medium flame constantly stirring it. Then add the tamarind paste, chili powder salt and 1 cup of water. Get the mixture to a boil. Add chopped potatoes and cook till the potatoes are coated well with the onion and tamarind mixture. Serve hot.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chikki



Chikki is a versatile sweet which can be made and stored for a long time. It is very popular in Lonavla and Khandala in Maharashtra. Here they make chikkis from variety of things apart from peanuts. They make it using almond, cashew nut, pista, sesame seeds and coconut. While traveling from Pune to Mumbai by bus, there is a stop at Khandala and Lonavla. The shops there sell a variety of chikkis. Usually it is made by combining more than one of the above ingredient. Also I have seen that in these places they use sugar instead of gur or jaggery to make the chikki and so the chikki looks transparent. In India you get "chikki gur" which is more stickier than the normal jaggery and it gives a lovely golden glaze to the chikki. I have not seen chikki gur in my grocery store in US (I did see kolapur gur at Cash and Carry..but not sure if it is same as chikki gur). If you don't find chikki gur then use the normal gur. I made sesame and peanut chikki and here is the recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup chiki gur (if you don't find chiki gur then use 2 cups of normal gur)
1 cup normal gur or jaggery
3/4 cup peanut
3/4 cup white til
2 tablespoon ghee
1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (optional)

Method

Roast the peanuts and squeeze them with hand to remove the peanut peel. If you blow air sharply, the peanut peel will fly to one side and thus can be separated from the peanut. Remove as much peanut peel as you can. Chop the peanut into small pieces (I use the mixer to chop the peanuts..just give a pulse or two). Keep aside to cool. Roast the sesame seeds till light brown and let it cool. Spread 1 tablespoon ghee on a plate and keep aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan and add the jaggery. Heat on medium heat till it forms a slightly sticky paste and stir occasionally. Reduce the heat to low. From this stage on, I keep a bowl of water near by and put a drop of the jaggery paste into the water every 3-4 minutes. If the drop solidifies, it means that the gur paste is ready. If not cook on low flame stirring the mixture all the time and check again. When it is ready, mix the peanut, cardamom powder and the sesame into the jaggery. Stir well, so that the peanut and sesame are well incorporated into the jaggery. Now spread the chikki mixture on the ghee greased plate and press it with the bottom of a cup or a wooden roti presser till it is evenly spread on the plate. Apply ghee or oil to knife and cut into squares. If the chikki mixture cools down, then the chikki will crumple when you try to cut it into squares. This can be stored in an airtight container for around 15 days to a month.


Preparation time: around 1 hour

Monday, August 18, 2008

Potato Stir Fry


This is my grandmother's recipe. My sister loves potatoes a lot and when my grandparents visited us when we were in Bhopal in the early 1990's, my sister asked my grandmother to make something "different" for tiffin with alu. So my grandmother made this potato fry and gave us for tiffin. These peppered potatoes taste great with rice and dal too apart from roti.
I make this bhaji when I make sambhar or rasam. it is a great dish to make if you don't have time to make dinner. You can also stuff it into bread and make great sandwiches for breakfast. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
5-6 potatoes
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon pepper powder or as per taste
3 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Method

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes. Sprinkle pepper powder, cumin powder and coriander powder on them. Heat oil in a pan and add these potatoes. Cook covered on medium heat till the potatoes are 3/4th cooked. Then remove the cover and cook them on high heat stirring continuously. The potatoes should be a little caramelized on all sides. Sprinkle garam masala on the potatoes. Serve how with roti or rice.


Preparation time: 25 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Kala Chana Sabzi / Chane Upkari



Chana sabzi is made during many festivals or special occasions. During Ganesh Chaturthi, this is served as prashad. This is one of my favorite sabzi's and I even have it as a snack with tea.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup kala chana
2 tablespoon grated coconut
3 green chilies
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt for taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon oil
5 pinches asafoetida
10-12 curry leaves or kadipatta


Method
Wash and soak the kala chana for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Pressure cook it with 1/2 teaspoon salt for 2-3 whistles or till soft. In a pan add oil, asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add slit green chili and curry leaves. Fry for a minute and add the boiled chana. Don't discard the water which was used to boil chana. You can make saar or chana rasam out of this. Add salt and sugar as per taste. Add a cup of water and cook the chana for 10 minutes. Garnish with coconut and serve hot with rice or roti.

Preparation time: 20 minute excluding the soaking time
Serves: 3-4

Friday, August 15, 2008

Konkani Vegetable Fritters / Phodi

Sweet Potato Phodi


Bitter Gourd and Bhindi or Okra phodi


Brinjal or Eggplant phodi

Shallow fried Vegetable fritters or phodis is another traditional Konkani recipe. It does not involve deep frying and is a great way to eat vegetables. Also these fritters can be be put inside bread slices with ketchup they can make great sandwiches. It is great to carry these for picnics and travel. Phodi's can be made with many vegetables like eggplant, potato, okra, yam or suran, taro root, cauliflower, raw banana, pumpkin, bitter gourd or karela, mushrooms, pointed gourd or parwar, radish , sweet potato, ripe plantain, radish, jackfruit, bread fruit and many others. Suran, jackfruit and taro root needs to be half cooked to make fritters.

Ingredients

Any of the above mentioned vegetables. I used egg plant.
red chili powder for taste
few pinches of asafoetida
1/2 cup semolina
oil
Salt for taste

Method

Cut the vegetable into thin slices.



Apply salt, chili powder and asafoetida to the slices. Keep them aside for 10 minutes. Coat the vegetable with semolina on both sides. Place the slices on a well oiled tava or a pan and drizzle a teaspoon of oil on the vegetable slices. Cook covered on medium-high flame and then flip the fritters on the other side. Cook uncovered till the vegetables are caramelized and cooked on both sides. Serve hot with rice.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Black Chana Rasam / Chane Saar







We make this saar with the water used to boil kala chana. It is served with rice and can be also had like a soup.

Ingredients

2 cups of water in which chana is boiled.
10-15 boiled kala chana
1 tablespoon grated coconut
3 green chilies
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other oil
2 tablespoon coriander leaves

Seasoning:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
asafoetida
8-10 curry leaves

or season with:
3-4 garlic pods

Method
Grind the kala chana seeds with grated coconut to make a fine paste. Put the chana water in a vessel along with the paste and slit green chilies. Get the mixture to a boil. Add salt as per taste. For seasoning, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add asafoetida and curry leaves. Add the seasoning to the saar and cook covered for 3-4 minutes so that the seasoning flavors are absorbed by the saar.
Alternative, for seasoning, crush the garlic pods and fry in the coconut oil on a low flame till golden brown. Add the garlic pods to the saar.
Garnish with coriander leaves.


Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

Monday, August 11, 2008

Gujrati Mixed Vegetable Sabzi / Undhiyo


Undhiyo is a very colorful vegetable sabzis from Gujrat. It consists of multiple vegetables stuffed with green paste made of coconut and herbs and is cooked over slow flame for long time. Undhiyo also called "Undhiyu" is usually made during the winter season when vegetables are available in plenty. 
It is one of my favorite vegetable dish. I had asked the caterer to make Undhiyo as one of the vegetable sabzis as part of my wedding lunch. He made a great non-garlic version and it was a great hit. Such is my love for Undhiyo. Some people think that it takes a lot of time to make Undhiyo and a lot of oil is used in the process. Both of these facts are not true. I made Undhiyo with very less oil and it was prepared little more than an hour. I used frozen suran, surti padpi and ratalu as they are not available in the markets here. I also used beans, peas and carrot which may not traditional Undhiyo vegetables. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients
4 medium potatoes
1 carrot
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup beans
1/2 cup ratalu or red yam
1/2 cup suran or Indian yam
1 cup surti papdi
1/2 cup surti val
1 raw banana
5-6 small eggplant
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 teaspoon sugar or gur
lemon juice
2 tablespoon oil
salt for taste
5 tablespoon coriander leaves for garnishing

For the Chutney masala:
1 cup grated coconut
2 cup chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
3-5 thai green chilies (or as per taste)
1 inch ginger root
4-5 garlic pods or fresh green garlic (optional--don't use it if someone doesnt like garlic)
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Muthia:
2 cups coarsely chopped methi or fenugreek leaves
1 cup besan or chick pea flour
2 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped thai green chili
oil for frying
salt for taste

Method


For the muthia, mix all the ingredients well. Heat oil till very hot and using a tablespoon drop the muthia mixture into the hot oil. Fry till well done on both sides. Drain the oil on a kitchen paper. Make the muthia's when you are cooking other vegetables.

For the chutney masala, grind all the ingredients-coconut, coriander leaves, ginger, chilies and salt into a coarse paste. Add as little water as possible.

For the Undhiyo:
Now for the undhiyo, peel the banana, potato and carrot and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Leave the eggplant whole with its stalk and cut an X mark on the bottom of the eggplant. I used frozen and cut suran, ratalu, so I didnt have to peel and cut them.

Mark the banana, eggplant, carrot and potato pieces with an 'X' sign with the knife. Cut each potato into 4 pieces. Fill the chutney masala paste into all these pieces. (Keep some 4-5 tablespoon chutney for other vegetables.) Sprinkle lemon juice on these vegetables so that they don't get brown and oxidize. In a pan add 2 tablespoon oil, mustard seeds and asafoetida. One the mustard seeds start to splutter, add coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and pepper. Stir well and add the cut and stuffed banana, potato, eggplant and carrot. Cook on a low flame for around 15 minutes till the vegetables are 1/2 cooked. Meanwhile, in another pan add 1 teaspoon oil and add surti papdi. Stir fry on high heat for 2-3 minutes and drain on kitchen paper. Stir fry surti val and beans also in similar way. In the same oil stir fry ratalu and suran for 2-3 minutes each. Add the surti papdi, val, suran, ratalu, beans and peas in the same pan as other vegetables and sprinkle the remaining chutney. Add salt, sugar and lemon juice for taste and cook for another 20-30 minutes till all the vegetable are well cooked. Add the muthia and cook again for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice or roti.




Preparation time: 1 hr 15 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Watermelon dosa / Kalingan Polo

We get lot of sweet watermelon during the summer season. But who knew that the white part of the watermelon- which lies between the red juicy part of the watermelon and the green skin, could be used to make dosas. Every time we ate a watermelon, my mom would make these dosas the next day. She would also give it for my tiffin. In college, all my friends would enjoy them as much as I did. To get the white part scoop up as much white part as you can after removing the red juicy part. Its alright if it includes some of the red part as it will impart red color to the dosa.

Ingredients
2 cups rice
1/2 cup grated coconut
white part of the watermelon
2-3 fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

Soak rice and fenugreek seeds for 5-6 hours. Grind the rice, fenugreek seeds with coconut and white part of the watermelon. Don't add much water as the white part of the watermelon contains lot of water. Add salt and mix well. Oil a pan or tava and spread a thin layer of dosa. Cook covered for a minute. Now flip the dosa and cook uncovered on the other side. Serve with butter and honey, or dry chutney or with ambule gojju.


Preparation time: 30 minutes excluding soaking time
Serves: 3-4

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Black Eyed Beans curry / Alsande Randayi


Ingredients
1 cup black eyed peas also called lobia, alsande or chawli
1/2 cup raw banana, potato or yam (suran) chopped into cubes (optional)
1 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
6-7 curry leaves
small piece of tamarind or 3/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
3-4 red chilies
asafoetida
salt for taste

Method
Soak the peas for 8-9 hours. Cook the peas and vegetables with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a pressure cooker till soft. Grind the coconut, red chilies and tamarind to a make a smooth paste. Put the paste in a vessel with the peas and get the curry to a boil. Put oil in a seasoning pan and add asafoetida and mustard seeds. when the mustard seeds splutter ass curry leaf and remove from heat. Add the seasoning to the curry and cook covered for 2 minutes so that all the flavors of the seasoning are absorbed by the curry. Instead of mustard and asafoetida seasoning, you can fry 4-5 crushed garlic pods in the oil and add to the curry.

Preparation time: 45 minutes excluding the soaking time
Serves: 2-3

Friday, August 8, 2008

Baigan Bharta




I make Baigan bharta in two ways. If I am making a side dish to go with chappati, I make it in the North Indian style with tomatoes and onions. If we are having it as a side dish with rice, I make it in the traditional way with coconut. Both the recipes are very tasty and easy to make.


North Indian style recipe:

Ingredients
1 brinjal
1 small tomato
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder
chilli powder for taste
coriander leaves for garnishing
5 pinches asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon oil
turmeric powder
salt for taste

Method

Roast the egg plant till the skin is charred.

Let it cool for a while. Remove the skin and mash the pulp. In another pan, add oil, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Roast the cumin seeds for a minute and add turmeric powder, onions and ginger. Roast till the onions is transparent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the mashed egg plant and mix well. Mix in garam masala, salt and chilli powder. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chappatis.


Preparation time: 20 minutes excluding time to roast egg plant.
Serves: 2


Konkani Style recipe:
Ingredients:
1 medium Egg plant
1/4 cup grated coconut
1-2 green chilies
small piece of tamarind or 1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
asafoetida
salt for taste

Method:
Roast the egg plant till the skin is charred on all sides. Keep it aside till it cools down. Meanwhile make a masala by grinding coconut, green chillies, asafoetida and tamarind. Skin the egg plant and mash the egg plant pulp well. Mix it with the masala and add salt as per taste. (After making the masala, I put the egg plant pulp and give the mixer
one pulse, so that the egg plant is well mixed with the masala) Serve hot with rice.

Preparation time: 10 minutes excluding time to roast egg plant.
Serves: 2


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vegetable Fritter / Bhajiya or Bhaji


Bhajiya or (Bajo in Konkani) is a very popular dish. It is served in any Konkani wedding lunch/dinner. Bhajiya can be made with different vegetables like egg plant, cauliflower, raw banana, okra, capsicum, onions, potato, drumsticks, pumpkin, jack fruit, bitter gourd, bread fruit and many other vegetables. I always make these bhajiyas whenever we call over friends for dinner. It is easy to prepare and is liked by all. I made potato, banana and capsicum bhajiyas recently.

Ingredients
Different Vegetables
Chili powder
thyme seeds or ajwain
heeng or asafoetida
Gram flour
oil for frying
salt

Method

Cut the vegetable into thin slices. Apply salt, chili powder, asafoetida to the vegetables. Prepare a batter with the gram flour and water. Add thyme seeds and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the batter. Dip the vegetables in the batter and fry on high heat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Strawberry Milkshake



We get strawberries from the farmer's market every week. I make strawberry milkshake every weekend with these sweet and juicy strawberries. You can also use frozen strawberries of you don't find fresh strawberries in the market.

Ingredients
12-15 strawberries
2 tablespoon vanilla and strawberry ice cream (optional)
1 1 /2 cups milk
2 teaspoon sugar
3-4 ice cubes

Method

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend all the ingredients till smooth. Serve chilled.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Serves:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cucumber Pancakes / Cucumber Dosa / Tavshe Polo

This is a quick cucumber dosa recipe which can be made in a short time. It also makes a great tiffin recipe. This dosa is had with butter and honey.


Ingredients
2 medium cucumbers
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 green chilies
2 cups rice powder
1 cup rava or semolina
3-4 tablespoon gur
3 tablespoon grated coconut (optional)
oil for frying
salt for taste

Method
Grate the cucumbers. Finely chop green chilies and mix well with the cucumber and ginger. Mix all the other ingredients and add water to make a thick batter. Keep aside for around 30 minutes. Oil a tava or pan and spread the batter to make thick dosas.
Cook covered and then turn the dosa. Now cook uncovered once you turn the dosa over. Serve hot with butter and honey or chutney pitti. You can also have rasam or any other curry as a side dish with this dosa.


Optional: Add 1/2 teaspoon jeera seeds or seasoning of mustard seeds and turmeric. 
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Puffed Rice Chat / Charmure Upkari / Konkani Bhel




The other day at 10pm both I and my husband had a craving to eat chaat or anything spicy. In US we don't get chaat food like in India and sometimes we both get bad cravings for Chaats and other Indian street food. I remembered my mom's quick charmure upkari and we had it as a after dinner snack. Here is a quick and easy recipe to satisfy cravings for spicy chaat food.


Ingredients
2 cups crispy puffed rice, murmura or charmuro (if it is not crispy, heat it in a pan
on medium flame till crispy)
2-3 green chilies or red chili powder as per spiciness desired
small piece of tamarind or 1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoon grated coconut
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (opional)
5 tablespoon finely cut gur or jaggery
salt for taste

Method

Roast the coriander seeds and cumin for 3-4 minutes or till hot. Put it in a mixer and dry grind it till you find a coarse powder. Add cut green chili, coconut, tamarind and salt. Grind into a paste without adding water. Put the paste into a vessel and mix in the cut jaggery. Mix well with hand, crushing the jaggery into the coconut paste. Adjust salt and sugar and add coconut oil. Mix the paste well with the puffed rice and serve immediately. If you keep it for long the puffed rice may get soggy because of the wet paste. You can garnish it with coriander leaves.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Friday, August 1, 2008

Gulab Jamun




I am a great fan of fried items and sweets. When we lived in Bhopal for around 8 years, we were introduced to a lot of North Indian snacks, sweets and food. Diwali, Dushera and Ganesh Chaturthi are celebrated with great pomp and show in Bhopal. There are huge jhankis or tableaux made for every festival. Many of these moving tableaux would depict various stories from Mahabharata, Ramayana and other mythological epics or social and current issues like Olympics, global warming an deforestation. As kids we were excited to go with our parents and tried to visit as many of them till late night. But it was definitely the burning of Ravana effigy that stole the show. Huge Ravana effigies would be erected during Dushera in every locality of the city, and it would be burnt on Vijaydashami to signify victory of Good over Evil. We would buy a lot of mithai or sweets from Manohar Dairy in Bhopal during festivals. Their "mixed dry fruit burfi" was out of the world. This dairy also served mouth watering north Indian snacks like chole bhatura and I have never had that tasty snacks and mithai anywhere else.
In Bhopal some areas areas are named numbers.. like "Saath Number", "Dus Number", "Gyrah Number" or Locality no.7, Locality no.10, Locality no.11. No idea why the the district planning department decided to name these areas with these"numbers". These areas also have a lot of shopping, restaurants and also house residents complexes. In Bhopal, there is a store called Chappan Bhog in "Dus Number", if I am not mistaken. This place would serve 56 items. Chappan Bhog was near my father's office and he would often get treats from there. Their unique chuda mixture with cashew nuts and raisins made an excellent snack. They also sold sweets like kaju katli or kaju barfi and gulab jamuns. The other day I was reminiscing old memories of Bhopal and chappan bhog gulab jamuns. So when our friends visited us for dinner last week I decided to make gulab jamuns for dessert. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
1 cup milk powder
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon ghee
milk or cream for kneading
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
oil for frying

Sugar Syrup
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 pinches saffron or rose essence
6-7 pods of cardamom

Method

For the sugar syrup, dissolve the sugar in water and heat it on medium flame for 20 minutes. Add crushed cardamom and saffron and mix well. Keep aside for 30 minutes.
Sieve flour and baking powder. Mix well with milk powder. Add ghee to the mixture. Keep adding tablespoons of milk to the mixture and keep mixing. The final dough will not look like roti atta and it will be sticky. Apply ghee to your fingers and palms while you mix the milk and powders together. Make small balls out of the mixture and deep fry them in hot oil on all sides. I heated the oil and added the gulab jamun balls into the hot oil and then reduced heat when I turned then on the other side. I don't like to fry the jamuns if they look dark in color, but if you want darker color you can fry it till dark brown. Remove from heat and put the balls into the sugar syrup. Keep at least for 40 minutes in the fridge so that the gulab jamuns are chilled and have absorbed all the saffron and cardamom flavor.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Makes around 15-20 gulab jamuns