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.

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


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. 

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

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

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


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.

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

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.


200 grams pearl barley
50 grams toor dal
1 carrot
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
1/8th teaspoon garam masala (optional)
salt for taste

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

Mushroom Mattar Paneer Masala

This is a quick recipe to make when you have guests at home for lunch or dinner. This recipe does not require any prior marination and takes only about 30 minutes to cook. For a richer gravy add cashew nuts or kharbuja or melon seeds. These are beautiful cream colored seeds and we also used these to make craft in school.

250 gms cubed paneer
1/2 cup peas or mattar
1/2 cup diced mushroom
2 medium red onion
1/2 teaspoon ginger
6-7 cashew nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoon kharbuja or melon seeds
2 tomatoes
1 cup curd
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 green chili
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or jeera
1 small piece cinnamon stick
4 cloves
2 cardamoms
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
salt for taste
coriander or cilantro for garnishing

Cut the panner into equal sized cubes. Fry the panner on a greased pan until light brown on all sides. In the same pan cook chopped mushrooms till soft. Boil a cup of water and blanch the peas.
Mean while, in 2 tablespoon hot oil, fry jeera, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric powder. Then add chopped green chili, ginger and onion. Fry til the onion is light brown. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they are soft. Grind the spices, onion and tomato into a gravy with cashew nut or kharbuja seeds.
Add paste into a pan and cook on low heat, stirring the gravy, for around 10 minutes. Add curd and milk and mix well. Cook on low heat for another 5 minutes and add chili powder, garam masala, sugar, peas, mushroom and paneer. Add salt for taste and garnish with cilantro. I usually make this recipe and let it stay for 15 minutes before serving so that the peas, mushroom and mainly the panner absorb all the flavor from the gravy.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4