Friday, June 24, 2011

Spicy Horse Gram Curry/ Kulitha Ambat

Horse gram or kulith is often used in Konkani cuisine to make curries and dosa. Sprouting it increases the protein content and in Konkani's say consuming horse gram makes you fit as a horse. It is beneficial to reduce cold, cough and flue symptoms and helps in increasing energy and reducing fatigue. Pressure cooking this pulse makes it easier to cook. The sprouted horse gram is used to make Ambat and the soaked horse gram without sprouting is used to make Koddel. Ambat is a curry seasoned with onion and koddel is a curry seasoned with garlic. 

1 cup horse gram

1 cup cubed magge or konkani cucumber, yam (suran) or bottle gourd
1/4 cup cashew nuts (preferably raw cashew)
1/4 lemon sized tamarind
4-6 red chilies (preferably byadgi or kashmiri)
1 cup grated coconut
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste


Wash horse gram well in water and soak it over night. Drain the water and put the horse gram in a thin muslin cloth and tie the ends of the cloth to make a bundle. Put some weight on the bundle using a stone or heavy vessel and keep aside for another 8 hours to allow the horse gram to sprout. 

Wash the horse gram sprouts well in water and pressure cook it with cubed vegetable till soft, but not mushy.
Roast the red chili on low flame for 3-5 minutes till it is crisp but not brown. Grind the chilies with the grated coconut and tamarind into a fine paste. Add the paste to the boiled sprouts and get it to a boil. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add finely chopped onion to it. Fry the onion on low flame, sautéing continuously, till the onion is light brown and caramelized. Add the onion seasoning to the curry. Cover it for 5 - 10 minutes before serving to enable the flavor of the onion seasoning to infuse into the curry. Serve hot with rice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bhutti / Spicy Coconut Curry

Bhutti is a spicy Mangalorean curry made with the following combinations- mushroom, cabbage and cauliflower and potato, cabbage and potato, cauliflower and potato, potato, ivy gourd or tendli. I made it with cauliflower and potato combination in the photo. It is usually served with the bland dalithoy or dal. 

3 cups chopped cauliflower and potato (you can select the vegetable quantity as desired)
3 medium onions
1 cup grated coconut
6-7 red chilies (byadgi or kashmiri with mild pungency prefered) 
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or 1/4 lemon sized tamarind
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
4 tablespoons oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste

Fry the coriander seeds on low flame for 3-4 minutes till it is slightly heated. Take care so that it should not change color to brown. Grind the coconut, tamarind, chilies and coriander into a coarse paste. Traditionally, the coriander seeds are put in the end of the grinding process and only a pulse or two is run to ensure that the coriander is very coarsely ground. The paste should be ground with as little water as possible into a thick paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Fry onion till transparant and ensure that it does not turn brown or caramelize. Add the cauliflower and cook covered. the cauliflower should be half cooked and not be mushy. Add the ground coconut paste and get the curry to a boil on very low flame for around 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with rice and dal. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Azuki Beans Curry / Bagde Koddel / Lal Chori Curry

Koddel is a Konkani curry with garlic seasoning. Check the recipe of Avre Koddel . The base of this curry is azuki beans and an optional vegetable like raw banana, yam or leafy vegetable like malabar spinach is added. This curry is served as a side dish with dal and rice or directly with rice. 

3/4 cup azuki beans
2 cups cut malabar spinach or 1 cup cubed yam or 1 cup potato or 1 cup Konkani Cucumber or Dosakai 1 cup raw banana or 1 cup cubed raw papaya
1 1/2 cup grated coconut
5-6 fried red chilies (preferably byadgi)
1/4 lemon sized tamarind or 1 teaspoon concentrate
6-8 small garlic cloves
1 tablespoon oil (preferably coconut)

Wash azuki beans well in water and soak for at least 8 hours. Wash well again and cook with one of the optional vegetables in pressure cooker till the beans are soft but not mushy. Roast the red chili in 1/2 teaspoon oil and grind into a fine paste with tamarind and coconut adding as little water as possible. Mix the paste with the boiled pulse and add 1 cup water or as desired if you feel the curry is thick. Get the curry to a boil. Heat the remaining oil in a seasoning pan and add peeled garlic cloves. Fry on very low heat till the garlic cloves are light pink in color. Add the seasoning to the curry and keep it covered for 5-10 minutes to enable the flavor of the seasoning to infuse into the curry. Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sweet Potato Kheer/Kanaga Payasu

This Konkani sweet dish is a revised version of Mergol which is made in South Karnataka region. Mergol is a simple sweet dish made with sweet potato, jaggery. Sweet potato is very nutritious as it is rich in fiber and vitamins. 

Traditional Mergol recipe:
1 cup sweet potato cubed(can also be cooked with skin)
1/2 cup grated jaggery or desired
1/2 teaspoon powdered cardamom

Cook the sweet potato in 2 cup of water. Add jaggery to the cooked sweet potato. cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame till the jaggery has completely dissolved. Add water as per desired consistency. Add the cardamom powder. Serve hot. 

Sweet Potato Payasa:
1 cup cubed sweet potato
1/2 cup jaggery
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 cup coconut milk (can be substituted with cow's milk)
1/3 thick semolina (mota rava)
2 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 tablespoon ghee

Fry the semolina in ghee till it is light brown. Add 1 cup water and cook the semolina till it is soft. Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and keep aside. Take care to ensure that no lumps are formed. Add jaggery and keep on low flame till the jaggery melts. Add cardamom powder. Remove from flame and add coconut milk to the kheer and stir well. Add the fried cashew nuts. Keep on very low fame for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Konkani Dal/ Dalithoy

Dalithoy is the simplest dal made almost daily in a Konkani household. There are many variations to this dal. Additionally turmeric and coriander leaves can be added for further variations. Serve with a drop of ghee and serve with rice and you have a tasty meal ready.

1 cup toor dal or split pigeon peas
green chili 2-3
1 teaspoon mustard
5-7 karipatta or curry leaves
red chili
1 tablespoon coconut oil
salt for taste

Wash the toor dal well with water. Add slit green chilies and 3 cups water and cook it in pressure cooker till soft. I usually discard the green chilies and whisk it well with a whisker. The green chilies may be added back in the dal or discarded as desired. Add water as per desired and get the dal to a boil. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, switch off heat and add asafoetida, curry leaves and red chili. Sit well and add to the dal. Add salt as per taste and serve hot with rice. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Breadfruit Fritter / Jeev Kadgi Phodi

Bread Fruit fritters is considered a delicacy in Konkani households. Fritters, bhajiya and upkari (sabzi) is made from this bread fruit. Both fritters and sabzi are had as tea time snacks with tea or kasaya. Click here to see how bread fruit looks. 

bread fruit
besan or gram flour 1/2- 1 cup as needed
pinch of heeng or asafetida
red pepper powder for taste
salt for taste
oil for frying


Cut the breadfruit depending on how many fritters you are preparing and keep the remaining part in the refrigerator. Skin the bread fruit and slice it as shown in the below picture. The central stem which extends into the fruit should be also removed.

Apply salt, red chili powder to the bread fruit slices and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. 

Mix water with the gram flour to make a thick paste of idli atta consistency. Add salt, asafoetida to the gram flour paste as per desired taste. Dip the bead fruit slices in the gram paste and fry it in hot oil on both sides till done. Serve hot as snacks or as a side dish with meals.