Tuesday, September 30, 2008

White Navy Beans Curry / Avre Koddel / Konkani Beans Curry




Koddel is another of Konkani curries. It is spicy and is seasoned with garlic or with asafoetida (for people who don't like garlic). It is traditionally made with pulses like avro (navy beans), kulith (horse gram), bagdo (azuki beans). I have also tried it with kidney beans , pink beans, black eyed peas , black beans and pinto beans and it comes out well. Raw papaya , magge, potatoes, ashgourd can be added to the koddel. Here is the recipe for the koddel.


Ingredients
1/2 cup white navy beans (avro) or any other beans
1/2 magge or konkani cucumber (optionally you can use potato, ashgourd or raw papaya or use just navy beans)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or small piece of tamarind
3-4 roasted byadgi red chilies
3-4 cloves of garlic or 1/4 teaspoon heeng or asafoetida
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

Method

Soak the navy beans overnight or 8-10 hours. Pressure cook magge and navy beans (avro) with 1/4 teaspoon salt till soft. Grind the coconut, red chilies, tamarind into a fine masala paste. Add this masala to the navy beans and magge and add water to get desired consistency (the water in which the beans were boiled can also be added). Heat oil in seasoning pan. Crush garlic and fry it in the oil till it is pink. Add this to the curry and cover it for 5 minutes to allow the flavors of the garlic to be absorbed in the curry. Optionally, if you don't want garlic, the heeng can be dissolved in a tablespoon of water and sprinkled with oil on the curry. Serve hot with rice.


Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chayote Chutney / Seemae BaDhneKayi Chutney






I came to know about this vegetable when we visited my aunt A in Bangalore. She would make sabzi or chutney out of this vegetable. When my parents shifted to Bangalore, my mom started using this vegetable to make chutney in Bangalorian style. When I came to US, I saw this vegetable in the Indian store by the name of Chayote, but I was not very sure if it was the Seemae BaDhneKayi I had seen in Bangalore. So I never bought this vegetable. Now when my parents visited us, my mom confirmed that the vegetable was indeed Seemae BaDhneKayi and we got it home. This chutney requires only 1 tablespoon grated coconut, but tastes like pure coconut chutney. Also this vegetable does not contain any fat. Read more about Seemae BaDhneKayi here. Here is my mom's chutney recipe.

Ingredients

1 Seemae BaDhneKayi or chayote
1 tablespoon coconut
1 teaspoon jeera
1/2 inch tamarind piece or 1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate
1-2 green chilies
salt for taste

Method

Peel the chayote and cut it into small cubes. Boil the chayote pieces till soft. Grind the cooked chayote pieces with the rest of the ingredients into a fine paste. You can serve this chutney with dosas, idlis, rice or roti.


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Friday, September 26, 2008

Whole Wheat Dosa / Gava ani Urada Polo



My mother used to make these dosas as whole wheat is very healthy. I get whole wheat from the Chinese grocery store. The atta stays in the fridge for 2 days, so I feel it is a convenient way to make quick breakfast. This dosa can be made with ginger- green chili paste or with gur if you want to make sweet dosa.

Ingredients
1 cup wheat
1/2 cup urad dal or split and husked black gram
1 teaspoon salt
oil for frying
1 inch ginger piece
2-3 green chilies

For sweet Dosa:
1/2 cup gur or jaggery

Method
Soak urad dal and wheat in warm water separately for 8 hours.
I change the water and add warm water every 3-4 hours. If you are soaking in cold water or in winter then soak wheat for around 12 hours. Grind half of the urad dal into a fine paste. I check it by putting a drop of the urad dal paste in between my fingers and making a string by stretching my fingers apart. If the string of urad dal paste breaks, I grind it further.

Add half of the wheat in the urad dal and grind further till the wheat is coarsely ground. So, if you grind urad dal and wheat together, the urad dal nor the wheat will be finely ground. Add salt, green chilies and ginger in the final round of grinding. Grind rest of the paste in a similar way. This dosa batter does not need fermenting. Oil a pan and spread the dosa batter thinly. Cook covered on one side. Flip the dosa to the other side and cook uncovered.

Serve hot with sambhar and/or chutney.


Variations: You can make the dosa without the urad dal. You can just omit urad dal. Soak the wheat and grind it with the rest of the ingredients mentioned above. Add maida or all purpose flour. For one cup of wheat add 1/2 cup maida and mix well. Add water to get the consistency of dosa atta and make dosa.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rice And Sago Kheer / Dudhpak


Dudhpak is a very easy to make dessert. I just adore the saffron flavor and the dry fruits in dudhpak. It can be made with a combination of rice and sabudana (sago) or just rice. Basmati rice imparts a great flavor to the dudhpak, however you can also use ordinary rice. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
1/2 cup basmati rice (if sabudana is not available use 1 cup rice)
1/2 cup sabudana (soaked for around 3-4 hours)
2 pinches of keshar or saffron
1 tablespoon powdered cardamom
2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts(cashewnut, non-salted almonds, dried raisins)
1 cup sugar or as per taste
4 cups of whole milk

Method
Boil the milk and let it reduce on slow flame for 15 minutes. Ensure that you sit it occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep the milk aside to cool it down to room temperature. Take 2 tablespoons of this hot milk and add keshar to it and keep it aside. Chop the nuts into desired sized pieces and fry them in 2 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter. Wash the basmati rice. Boil around 3 cups of water add the rice to it. Cook the rice till it is 3/4 done and drain the remaining water. The rice grains should not stick to each other and it should not be overcooked. Spread the rice on a plate to cool it. Meanwhile boil 2 cups of water and add the sabudana to it. Cook for around 4-5 minutes and drain the water. Mix the sabudana, rice, sugar, cardamom, milk with saffron and dry fruits. Stir it gently to fold in the rest of the ingredients with sabudana and rice. Now add the cooled milk and stir well. Keep the dudhpak in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving.

If you want to serve the dudhpak hot, use the same procedure above, but add hot milk to the rice and sabudana mixture and serve immediately.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 5-6

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eggplant and Drumstick Sabzi / Vaigana Ani Mashigasange Upkari

This is one of my favorite sabzis and it goes well with spicy sambhar or rasam. Both drumstick and brinjal contain lot of iron and other minerals, so it is a very nutritious combination of vegetables. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
4-5 drumsticks
1 medium brinjal or eggplant
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 red chilies
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon grated coconut (optional)
salt for taste

Method

Cut the ends of the drumsticks and cut each drumstick into 2 inch pieces each. Cook the drumstick in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle or until soft. Cut the brinjal into approximately 1/2 inch cubes. Add oil in a pan and add add mustard seeds. Add red chilies and fry for a minute. Add cut eggplant and cook covered till the eggplant is soft. Add very little while cooking if needed. Mix the cut drumstick and mix it well with the eggplant. Add salt and grated coconut and cook for 5 minutes or till the salt is well blended with the vegetables. Serve hot with rice.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Konkani Fish Curry / Mangalore Pomfret Curry


This fish curry is one of my favorites. I got frozen white pomfret from Coconut hill Grocery store in Sunnyvale and found that it better than the fresh fish I get at the Chinese Ranch market. This is curry made at my home back in India. It is also called "alle piyava ambat" as it uses ginger and onion to make the curry. In many households like one of my aunt's, it is called "Jhalke Randayi". All mean the same yummy curry. Here is the recipe.

Tips: Never stir the fish curry with a ladle as it can break up the fish. Stir the curry gently with a small spoon avoiding the fish or better shake the vessel to mix the masala.

Ingredients
1 cup grated coconut
1 medium size pomfret fish
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 finely chopped green chili
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3-4 roasted red byadgi chilies (I roast red chilies on a medium flame for around 10 minutes and cool it. This imparts a better flavor to the curry)
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or 1/2 inch piece of tamarind
1 teapoon coconut oil
salt for taste

Method

Clean and cut the fish into thin slices. Add the onion, ginger, green chili and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a pan and crush it with hand or back of a spoon. Add 1/2 cup water and cook till th onion is soft. Grind the coconut, red chilies and tamarind into a very fine paste. Add this masala to the onion masala. Cover and cook for around 5 minutes or till the masala comes to a boil. Add fish and cook for another 5-8 minutes or till the fish is cooked. Adjust salt as per taste and sprinkle coconut oil on the curry. Mix very gently with a spoon and cover the curry with a lid. This will enable the flavor of the coconut oil to blend with the curry. Serve hot with rice.


Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chana Sabzi

Kala Chana Sabzi a great for tiffins and goes well with roti. It is very simple to prepare and here is the recipe.

Ingredients
100 gms kala chana
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 medium tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon oil
5 tablespoon chopped coriander
chili powder and salt as per taste

Method

Wash and soak the chana for 8-10 hours or overnight. Wash the chana well and keep it aside. Add 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add chopped ginger and garlic. Saute till the color changes to golden brown. Add the onion and fry till the onion is brown in color. Add 3 chopped tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Now add all the powders and cook for 5 minutes so that the masala flavors are absorbed by the gravy. Add the kala chana and 3 cups of water. Pressure cook for 3 whistles or till the chana is soft and well cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with roti.


Preparation time: 40 minutes excluding soaking time
Serves:2-3

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beans Sabzi



This is a new kind of beans sabzi with green masala. I always feel like making beans in a different way than the regular Konkani Upkari. At the same time, I don't want to use a lot of masala as it overpowers the flavor of the beans. So I tried garnishing it with coconut and coriander leaves and it turned out to be superb. This sabzi goes well with chapatti. Here is the recipe.


Ingredients
3 cups chopped french beans
3 tablespoon grated coconut
5 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any other oil
4 pinches asafoetida
2 finely chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt for taste

Method
Take oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Fry for a minute on medium heat and add asafoetida and green chilies.Fry for another minute. Add the chopped french beans. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook the beans till they are tender. Add the coconut and coriander leaves in the food processor and give it a pulse or two, till the coconut and coriander leaves are coarsely blended ( The coconut and coriander should not be ground into a fine paste). Add this mixture to the beans and mix well. Cook covered for around 5 minutes. Serve hot with roti.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mangalore Buns - Step by Step



Mangalore buns is one of my favorite snack or breakfast dish. It is a specialty of the Mangalore region in Karnataka. I usually make it on weekends and we have it for brunch. This dish is quite heavy and filling. Whenever I see over ripe bananas in the house I usually make these buns. My mom serves this with chutney pitti. It is a great snack to take on travels and hikes. Recently, I visited one of our relatives and came to know that they serve it with a special potato bhaji. I made buns with potato bhaji when some of our friends visited us for dinner and this dish was a great hit. Here is the recipe to make buns.

Ingredients
2 medium sized over ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups maida
6 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup yogurt or home made curd
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (not baking powder--see differences here. )
1/8 teaspoon salt
milk for kneading
oil for deep frying

Method

Blend the over ripe bananas. Add yogurt, salt, sugar and baking powder to the banana paste. Mix 2 cups of flour, and add milk ( if needed )to make the dough. The dough should not be like chapatti or roti dough. It will be a little sticky.
Cover the dough with oil on top to prevent it from drying . Cover it with a cloth keep it in a warm place overnight or for around 8-10 hours. In winters, I heat the oven to 100 degrees and turn the heat off once it is heated. Then I leave the dough overnight in the oven. You can leave the dough outside in the summers. The dough should rise to almost double its previous quantity.
Cover your fingers with flour and pick out small balls of the dough. The balls should be the size of a small lemon.

Press the balls of dough well in the flour and stretch them to make small puris.

Fry these puris in hot oil till they are golden brown. Put them on a kitchen paper to drain the oil.

Mangalore buns are ready to eat. Serve them hot with potato bhaji.


Preparation time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves: makes around 30 buns


Vegetable Cutlets



Vegetable cutlets are my favorite weekend evening snack. My mother would make this very often when we were in Bhopal. We would come back home from swimming and have cutlets with bread and tomato ketchup.
I remember having vegetable cutlets at Suvidha Restaurant at CST Mumbai in the early 90's. They were the best I ever had in my life. Here is the recipe for vegetable cutlets.

Ingredients
3 potatoes
1/2 cup boiled spinach
1/2 cup peas
1/4 cup beetroot
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt for taste
1 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup semolina
2 bread slices(The side slices work great!)
3 tablespoon chopped cilantro or coriander
oil for deep frying

Method

Boil the potato, beetroot and peas till tender. Just soak the bread slices for a second and squeeze all the water. Mash all the vegetables and bread slices well. Add all the powders, lemon juice and salt as per taste. Make small balls from the dough and flatten each ball to make a cutlet. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown on both sides. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or coriander/cilantro chutney.



Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 3-4


Friday, September 19, 2008

Pomfret or Bhangda Fish Fry / Konkani Fish Fry

 Pomfret fry


Bhanga fry

This time I bought frozen white pomfret from Coconut Hill grocery store. I usually buy it from the Chinese Ranch market, but the frozen fish from Coconut Hill turned out to be very fresh and tastier. I also buy bhagda or
Mackerel from the same store. You will also find Indian Mackerel or Bhangda, Sardines (Tarlo) and other kinds of fish in the frozen section. My mother makes the masala and applies it directly to the fish. But recently my grandmom's sister M Pacchi who was visiting them at home taught her to make "masala guli" or "masala ball" and store the remaining masala in the freezer. Here is her fish fry recipe.

Ingredients

1 pomfret fish
8-10 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup Semolina or rice powder for coating
oil for frying

Method

Remove the fins and the scales of the fish and cut it into thin slices. I discarded the head and tail of the fish. Chop the garlic cloves and grind it with salt, tamarind juice, turmeric powder and red chili powder into a fine paste. I crush the garlic using stone crusher and make it into a ball using my fingers. If your skin is sensitive to chilli, apply oil to your fingers before doing this.


Coat the fish pieces well with this paste and keep aside for 30 -45 minutes. Store the remaining masala in the freezer for future use. Coat the fish in semolina or rice powder. This can be deep fried in hot oil or shallow fried on a tava. I usually shallow fry it as it consumes less oil. Serve hot with rice and fish or prawn curry.

Preparation time: 1 hour

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Green Gram Drink




This is one of my late Grandmom's (Mom's mom) health drink. She would give this drink to anyone who had stomach problems. This is a great drink to mitigate all the digestion related problems especially for acidity. Maximum benefits can be reaped if this drink is had early in the morning on an empty stomach. Consuming moong also imparts a healthy glow to the skin and hair due to the various vitamins and minerals present in the moong gram. This drink is very easy to prepare and here is the recipe.

Ingredients
1/2 cup whole moong
3-4 pods of cardamom
1-2 tablespoon jaggery or gur (sugar if jaggery is not available) (optional)

Method

Soak moong overnight or for at least 6 hours. Grind into a fine paste with cardamom seeds, jaggery and water as per desired consistency. Do not strain. Drink it immediately after preparation.


Preparation time: 5 minutes excluding the soaking time
Serves: 2

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eggplant in Spicy Coconut Sauce / Vaigana Sagle


We get small green eggplants in the Bay Area. It is smaller in size than the gulla we get in Mangalore. I made sagle which is a kind of coconut curry with ground coriander and methi seeds. The curry has a sweetish taste. it goes well with spicy sambhar or rasam. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
7 small thai green eggplants (purple eggplant if the green one is not available)
1/4 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
6 methi or fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon jaggery
3-4 roasted red chilies
1/2 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or small piece of tamarind
5 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

Method

Cut the top of all the eggplants. Cut each eggplants into four pieces. Put half cup water in a pan and cook the eggplants till soft. Meanwhile dry-roast the coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds for 3-5 minutes. Grind the tamarind, grated coconut, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and red chilies into a fine paste. Add this masala to the cooked eggplant with jaggery and salt for taste. Get the curry to a boil on medium heat. In a seasoning pan, add oil, mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, remove from heat and add curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the curry and keep the curry covered for 5 minutes. This will allow all the seasoning flavors to blend with the curry. Serve hot with rice or roti.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cold Coffee


Why am I writing this simple a post? Sometimes, when I and my husband are very tired and hungry after a hard day's work...I have just one question in my mind- what to make which will be energizing, quick, and requires minimum effort to prepare? We both are not regular coffee drinkers but enjoy cold coffee on hot summer evenings. During my college days, I and my sister used to reach home at around 4 in the afternoon and would usually make cold coffee with cream biscuits. I usually use Nescafe instant coffee to make cold coffee.

Ingredients
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 cups cold milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

sugar for taste

crushed ice


Method

Blend all the ingredients well and serve. To make it more rich, you can use 25% half and half milk and 75 % whole milk. Or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the cold coffee while serving, instead of the vanilla extract. If you like cinnamon, then add a pinch of cinnamon powder to enhance the flavor. Enjoy the chilled coffee.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mushroom in Spicy Tamarind Sauce / Mushroom Song

Song is a Konkani dish which is supposed to be very spicy. It goes well with bland dal or roti. I also like to have it with panna polo or very thin rice dosa or any other dosa. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
400 gms mushroom
2 medium onions
1 tablespoon oil

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon tamarind concentrate dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder or as per taste.
salt for taste

Method

Chop the onions into small pieces. In a pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. Add the onion after the mustard splutters and fry the onion on medium heat till transparent. The onions should not caramelize or turn light brown. Chop the mushrooms into 4 pieces each and add it in the pan. Cook the mushrooms covered for 4-5 minutes. Add 4-5 tablespoon water if the mushrooms turn dry. Add the tamarind juice and chili powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Then remove cover and add salt as per taste. Serve hot.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chole

Recently when my friends came home, I had made chole. Chole is one of my comfort foods after rajma chawal and sambhar. Every one enjoyed my chole. Here is my recipe.

Ingredients

100 gms kabuli chana
2 medium onions
4 medium tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoon jeera or cumin
1 teaspoon anardana
1 tablespoon MDH chana masala
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 boiled potato (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 green chilies
2 tablespoon oil
4 tablespoon coriander leaves
salt for taste


Method

Soak Kabuli chana for 8- 12 hours. Boil the potato. Pressure cook kabuli chana with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder till soft. The kabuli chana should not be mushy. Don't drain the water after boiling. Chop the ginger and garlic and grind it into a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan and add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds and turmeric. Add ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 30 seconds and add finely chopped onion. Fry till the onion is golden brown. Coarsely grind the tomatoes and green chilies. Add the tomato and chili paste in the pan and fry till the tomatoes are soft. Grind the coriander, remaining cumin and anardana. Add the ground powder, turmeric powder, sugar and chana masala to the chole. Add chili powder as per taste. Fry for a minute. Add the boiled chole with the water in which it was boiled and chopped boiled potato. Add more water as per desired consistency. Cook the chole on a low flame for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Adjust the salt and chili powder. Garnish with coriander leaves and garam masala. Serve with thinly sliced onion and lemon.


Preparation time: 1 hr 15 min excluding the soaking time
Serves: 4-5

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dal- I



This is the north Indian style dal. It can be had with rice or rotis. I use both masoor and toor dal to make it.
I am not very fond of toor dal, so I make this dal very often.


Ingredients
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 cup masoor dal
1 teaspoon jeera
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
salt for taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ghee (preferably) or oil

Method

Wash and boil the toor and masoor dal in a pressure cooker till the dal is soft. Whisk the dal to remove any lumps. Put the dal in a vessel and add water and salt as per desired consistency. Get the dal to a boil. In a seasoning pan, add ghee or oil. Heat it and add cumin seeds and asafoetida to it. Fry for a minute and add red chili powder and turmeric powder. Stir well and add the seasoning to the dal. Cook and cover for around 3-4 minutes so that all the flavors of the seasoning are absorbed well by the dal. Serve hot.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2