Monday 30 April 2012

Onion Rings

"Onion Rings" an evening snack loved by most kids.
Onions contain a variety of natural chemicals that have are capable of fighting infections and healing the human body.
Probably that is the reason why Onion is used in most dishes.
This snack is not a very healthy option due to frying, but once in a while we indulge in home made deep fried snacks rather than outside food. 
Its better to discard the oil once used, so use as little oil as possible even if it means frying 2-3 rings at a time.

Sunday 29 April 2012

Tomato Chutney

The Tomato can offer enormous health benefits for you, especially “cooked” tomatoes. Tomatoes are in the fruit family and have tons of vitamins and minerals in them that your body needs. A single tomato can provide about 40% of daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant which acts against cancer-causing free radicals. It also contains abundant vitamin A and potassium as well as iron. Potassium plays a vital role in maintaining nerve health and iron is essential for maintaining normal blood health. Here is a Tomato Chutney, which can be used as an accompaniment for Chapatis/Rotis and also dosas/pancakes.

Friday 27 April 2012

Punjabi Aam ka Achar - Punjabi Mango Pickle

A perfect accompaniment to "Aloo Paratas" is the "Punjabi Aam Ka Achar" or Punjabi style Mango pickle.
For years I have been relishing this at our Punjabi friend's place, but last year took instructions from my friend's Mom and made it successfully. So here's an easy to make pickle compared to south Indian pickles.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Kirla Podi (Bamboo Shoot fritters)

"Kirla Podi" or Bamboo Shoot fritters is one of my favorite side dish for lunch.
"Kirl" means bamboo shoots in Konkani.
The main nutrients in bamboo shoots are protein, amino acid, fat, sugar and inorganic salt. They are rich in protein, The bamboo protein produces eight essential and two semi-essential amino acids. The total sugar content is lower than that in other vegetables. The water content is 90% or more.

Bamboo shoots are mainly used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine. However, in coastal Karnataka, we have many delicacies made out of Bamboo shoots. This is the first among them.
This dish is not the healthiest of options since it involves frying, but its definitely the yummiest in the list of Bamboo Shoot dishes.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Mango Lassi (Mango Yoghurt Smoothie)

A refreshing and healthy drink from mangoes and yoghurt...
Mangoes are very much beneficial for people suffering from acidity and its enzymes helps to relieve indigestion problems.
Mangoes are useful to children who lack concentration in studies as it contains Glutamine acid which is good to boost memory and keep cells active.
Mango is slowly gaining new acclaim as diabetes fighter. Earlier there was a myth that people with diabetes should not eat mangoes but that’s not true. Not only the fruit the leaves also fight against diabetes. Before going to bed put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with lid. Next day morning filter the water and drink it in empty stomach. Do this regularly.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Jeer Meere Kadi Chutney (Cumin Pepper Rasam and Chutney)

Here is a "Kadi" or Rasam and Chutney combination ( Soup and Spread) , that is not just tasty but also has numerous health benefits.
This dish is made from Cumin and Pepper.
Cumin or jeera is a excellent source of iron, a very good source of manganese and a good source of calcium, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. 
The health benefits of cumin include digestion, insomnia, respiratory disorders, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, lactation, anemia, skin disorders and immunity.
Black pepper is an excellent source of manganese, a very good source of iron and vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber and copper. It helps in digestion and breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

This is a traditional Konkani dish which is served with Rice.
My granny and Mom are experts in making this.

Monday 23 April 2012

Chinese Stir fried Summer Vegetables

This is a simple Stir Fry of Fresh Summer vegetables in Chinese Style.
I make this stir fry sometimes as part of our dinner, but mostly as a late evening snack.
Choose the vegetables you like and Stir fry them my way, am sure you will like it.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Ayraan (Lebanese style buttermilk)

A lebanese drink made of buttermilk flavored with garlic. Its served as an end to any lunch/dinner.
A slight variation to the "Healthy Buttermilk" I have already posted in my blog.

Healthy Buttermilk

A perfect ending to any meal in my home is Buttermilk. Although I do make different types, this is the one which I make daily.
The traditional Chaas or Buttermilk served normally contains mostly Jeera/Cumin and Black Salt.
However considering the health benefits of flax seeds, I have been using 1 tsp of flax seed powder in the buttermilk.
Cumin seeds, are an excellent source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body.
Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system.
Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber, and an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for prevention of arthritis and Osteoporosis in women. Flax seeds also help to lower cholesterol levels, especially in women. Flax seeds also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.

Since we have this Buttermilk every night after dinner, 
I thought this would be an easy way to include flax seeds in our daily diet.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Roasted Garlic Chutney Dry

Garlic is known best for keeping cold at bay. Eating a clove of garlic when you feel like you may have an onset of cold, improves your immune system and strengthens up the natural defense system of the body.
Garlic has compounds that help prevent any kind of heart disease. It helps in lowering the cholesterol level in blood.Garlic also helps in the control of blood pressure or hypertension. Garlic is effective against fighting off a host of infections.

Here is a Garlic Chutney, that that be used with pancakes as well as in sandwiches. 
A favorite with all of us at home. 
I have also carried this on my trips abroad, and all my friends who have tasted this have loved it.

  • A dry chutney that can be stored for up to 6 months in the refrigerator and can be stored outside for atleast a month.
  • It can even be mixed with equal quantities of butter to make a sandwich spread.
  • It can be used as a side dish with rice and dal.
  • and also as an accompaniment for dosas/pancakes.
Very easy to make, needs very few ingredients and yet to versatile.

Friday 20 April 2012

Mango Salsa

Here is the recipe of my favourite evening snack during the mango season..."Mango Salsa"
This spicy, sweet, fruity blend of fresh ingredients will turn any dish into an exciting new favorite.
It tastes great with grilled vegetables, fish or meat, but I make it mostly as an evening snack.

Thursday 19 April 2012

Coconut Burfi

Coconut Burfi a sweet loved by all who love coconut. I have been making this burfi from so many years but the biggest compliment I got for this sweet was from my close friend's kid who I went to see a few weekds back, who was hardly 1.5 yrs and could barely talk, but the minute she tasted this sweet, she kept pointing out to the sweet and kept saying "more..gimme more"
That's when I decided that I must put this up on my blog.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Paneer Tikka (Grilled Cottage Cheese)

Paneer Tikka or Grilled Cottage Cheese, is a very popular vegetarian starter.
There are many ways to make Paneer Tikka but this is my way of making tikka in the fastest possible way.
I have used a gas barbeque to grill the paneer.
But you can you use any kind of barbeque or grill.
The ingredients however remain the same.
You could grill capsicum, tomatoes or even pineapple chunks along with the paneer.
I made grilled only red onions with paneer since my daughter likes them. We mostly make it as a late evening snack, rather than a meal starter.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Instant Eggless Tomato Omlette (Rulav Tomato Dhoddak)

These dosas or Pancakes are a slight variation to the "Sweet Semolina Pancakes" or "Rulava Dhoddak" which has already been published on my blog.
In my childhood, I did not like the sweet version of pancakes, so my Mom created this  savory version and called it " Instant Tomato Omlette"(without eggs).

Railway Lamb/Mutton curry

Railway Lamb / Mutton Curry dates back to the days of the British Raj, when traveling by train was considered aristocratic. This very popular and slightly spicy dish was served in Railway Refreshment Rooms and on long distance trains, with Bread or Dinner Rolls. The curry was not too spicy keeping in mind the delicate palates of the British. It was also popular with the Railway staff who had to be on duty for long periods at a stretch. The vinegar or Tamarind juice used in its preparation would ensure that the curry would last for quite a few days and was an ideal accompaniment with rice as well.
I remember my great grandfather making this curry using ghee, he learnt it from some of his colleagues.
I found this recipe in my grand mom's recipe book a few years back.

Monday 16 April 2012

Phirni (Rice Pudding served chilled)

"Phirni" is a "Rice pudding" or a "Rice dessert" famous in North India and neighboring countries.
It is a variation of the "Rice Kheer" and served in all functions especially in the summer season.
Since Kheer is normally served hot, I think the olden day cooks, created this variation so that it could be served cold during summer. I learnt this dessert from my grand mom.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Rulava Dhoddak (Semolina Sweet Pancakes)

Semolina is low-fat, high carbohydrate food offers a lot of energy along with a variety of other nutrients, including lots of protein and several important minerals as well as vitamins E and B. It is low in cholesterol and sodium and fairly high in fibre and can be safely incorporated into a well-balanced diet.
Semolina is a refined food and should be used once a week only. Remember, whole food is always preferable to refined food.
These pancakes are quick and easy to make and does not require any previous day preparation.
Its a pancake or Dosa which comes to your rescue when you have a sudden urge to eat pancakes or you have unexpected guests at home.
I learnt this dosa from my Mother-in-law.

Saturday 14 April 2012

Pal Payasam (Milk Kheer /Dessert)

"Pal Payasam" or "Milk Kheer/Dessert" is a traditional dessert made by the people of Kerala, on their New Year day " Vishu".
This is almost the same dessert known as "Kheer" in North India and also known as "Doodh Paak" in Coastal Karnataka.
"Pal Payasam" as such I learnt from my ex-boss and now a very good friend. She used to make large quantities of this dessert and bring to our office on Vishu ( Kerala New Year) and distribute to our enitre team of almost 50.
This dessert is very simple to make.

Friday 13 April 2012

Tabbouleh - A Lebanese Broken wheat salad (Daliya salad)

"Tabbouleh" is a salad made of broken wheat or burghul or Daliya (in hindi) and other fresh ingredients, and is very popular in the Arab world.
Broken Wheat is low in fat and absolutely free of saturated fats, cholesterol and trans fats. Hence this food is a great way to help maintain a consistent weight loss regimen.

There are very many Indian dishes which use broken wheat or Daliya but somehow I have never liked them so much hence never managed to include broken wheat in my diet.
But from the day I tasted this salad in a restaurant in Fujairah UAE , I loved this. It has very simple and commonly available ingredients so managed to recreate it.
Now broken wheat is part of our regular diet.
Try making it, and am sure it'll be part of your regular diet too.

Thursday 12 April 2012

Ambe Gojju (Seasoned Ripe Mangoes)

“The king of the fruits”, mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities. Mango fruit is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Fresh mango is a very rich source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. 
I make several different Mango dishes, here is the first among them. 

"Mango Gojju" is a side dish which is made from small juicy mangoes which are both sour and sweet. It does not require any boiling except for the seasoning. This side dish is very easy to make, so if you love mangoes and also have a sweet tooth, then you can make it daily just like me.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Coriander n Mint Chutney ( Cilantro n Mint Dip/Spread)

Coriander, commonly known as Dhania in India, or Cilantro in the Americas and Europe, is a herb which is extensively used around the world as a condiment or as a garnish or as a decoration on the dishes.
This is one dish made from Coriander or Cilantro that can be used as A Chutney, A Spread and A Dip.

  • A healthy Chutney that can be used with all North Indian and Tandoori starters.
  • A spread that can be used to make sandwiches.
  • A dip that can be used with all kinds of fritters.
  • A good accompaniment with cutlets and some types of pancakes.

I learnt this from my Mom. If you make this without adding water but only with lemon juice, it can be stored in the fridge in an air tight jar for 5 days.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Bibbe theek Ambat ( Cashewnuts in semi spicy coconut gravy)

A slight variation to the "Bibbe Song" , is the "Bibbe theek Ambat" ie Cashew nuts in semi spicy coconut gravy, is for those who prefer less spice in their food.
This is a fantastic recipe, created by my mom for my dad who is not a big fan of spicy food. I serve this dish with puris or rice.

Monday 9 April 2012

Dynamite Drumsticks

Drumstick tree called the "Power house of minerals" is the most common tree in India. Its leaves,fruits, flowers, barks and seeds have medicinal values and are used in various manners in all dishes. Invaluable in preventing cardiac diseases; researchers have stated that the nutritional value of the leaves is equivalent to 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges plus 4 times the calcium in milk plus 3 times potassium in bananas plus 2 times the protein in milk plus 4 times thevitamin A in Carrot. 
This dish is not really a traditional konkani or any other cusine, its just a successful experiment by my mom, which I have recreated to suit my palate.
The name "Dynamite Drumsticks" however is given by my husband when he first looked at my presentation, but after eating it he loved the perfect balance of hot, sweet and sour tastes.
Apart from drumsticks this dish has just 6 ingredients always available in your kitchen and you will be amazed how simple Indian cooking is.
Every ingredient brings out its best flavour in this dish.

Sunday 8 April 2012

Shilpa's Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani is a favorite among most of my friends. 
The word biryani is derived from the Persian word "Birian" which means "fried before cooking".
This Biryani is my own creation and the easiest and fastest way to make Biryani that tastes like the Biryani served in restaurants.

Saturday 7 April 2012

Hummus (Traditional Arabic/Lebanese Dip)

Here is an exotic dip from Lebanon. This dip has curd mixed with a paste of chickpeas. This dip is a good choice for weight watchers as it is low on fat and full of proteins.
"Hummus" is normally served with traditional bread called "Pita bread", but can also be served with vegetable sticks saute'd with olive oil and pepper.
I learnt this dip during one of our vacations to Dubai.

Friday 6 April 2012

Sabudana or Sago Upma(Tapioca Pearls Breakfast dish)

"Sabudana" or "Sago" is also known as tapioca pearls
Sago is made from the starch extracted from the pith (center) of the sago palm stems. The commercial production of sago is in the shape of small globules or pearls.
The health benefits of sabudana (sago) are mainly in the carbohydrates it provides. Also Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates and is great for a quick boost of energy, and hence often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sago gruel is also great when you're sick because it gives you quick energy and is easy to digest. According to Indian medicine, sago and rice have a cooling effect on the system, hence sago gruel is given if you have excess bile (caused by excess body heat).
Sabudana is extremely low in fat but also low in protein. As it's just starch, other than the carbohydrates, nutrition-wise, sabudana does not contain any minerals or vitamins and has very low amounts of calcium, iron, and fiber. However, you can make up for this by using other ingredients with it, such as milk for making sabudana kheer/payasam/gruel or vegetables and peanuts for making sabudana khichdi.

Thursday 5 April 2012

Mooga Dali Kosambari (Moong Dal or Green gram Salad)

A salad served in most south Indian brahmin functions, and also distributed as "prasadam" in temples, this salad is one of the most popular side dish in South India.
Moong dal or green beans provide great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein.
Regular consumption of green beans helps to reduce cholesterol since they are rich in fibre.

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Panpolo or Neer Dosa (Rice n water Pancakes)

These pancakes known as "Panpolo" in Konkani and "Neer Dosa" in Tulu and Kannada, is a very popular pancake which is made not just for breakfast but also served for lunch and/or dinner.
The easiest to make pancakes and super soft too.
When made for breakfast they can be eaten with "Coconut chutney" , "Coconut Ginger Chutney", "Onion chutney" or even "Hinga Mirsang".
For people who have a sweet tooth, it can be served with "Godda Pankh" better known as "Jaggery pulp" and also with " Narla Rosu" or "Seasoned sweetened coconut milk". 
For lunch/dinner these dosas or pancakes can be served with "Kori Ghasi/Kundapur chicken curry", or "Poo's fav Lamb curry" or even with "Goan prawn curry".
Whatever the side dish, these pancakes goes almost with all of them.
These pancakes are loved by children when served with Ghee, cause they are really soft and melt in the mouth.
These pancakes have 2 variations. One with rice and coconut for super soft pancakes.
and varation 2, which is made using only rice and water , where you will make crispier paper like dosas.
The panpolo are generally soft and white, but I make crispier brown versions since my daughter likes them that way.

Onion Chutney (Red Onion Dip)

The nutrients in onions protect against cancer, fight fungi and bacteria, promote cardiovascular health, reduce high blood pressure and insulin resistance, and aid in weight loss.
This Chutney can be used with all kinds of pancakes.
This is my maternal grandfather's recipe.

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Chane Upkari (Dark Chickpeas Stir fry)

There are two main kinds of Chickpea:
Desi, which has small, darker seeds and a rough coat, cultivated mostly in the Indian subcontinent, Ethiopia, Mexico, and Iran.
Kabuli, which has lighter coloured, larger seeds and a smoother coat, mainly grown in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chile, also introduced during the 18th century to the Indian subcontinent.
Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. They are also very high in dietary fiber and hence a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with insulin sensitivity or diabetes. Chickpeas are low in fat and most of this is polyunsaturated.
Nutrient profile of desi chana (the smaller variety) is different, especially the fibre content which is much higher than the light coloured variety.
This dish is made using "Black Chana" or the Desi variety.

Monday 2 April 2012

Karathe Kosambari (Bittergourd Salad)

Bitter gourd, a very healthy vegetable, good for diabetics, but not liked by many.
Bitter gourd's bitter taste is generally attributed to the quinine it contains. Cooked bitter gourd stimulates the appetite, cleanses the liver, purifies the blood, and provides many other benefits. 

Knowing these benefits, my granny, mom and aunt, make so many amazing dishes with this vegetable, some of them are already posted on my blog. Here is another dish which I thought I must share with everyone.
This dish is the Bitter Gourd Salad also known as "Karathe Kosambari" in Konkani.

Sunday 1 April 2012

Idlis - A Traditional South Indian Breakfast

"Idli" the most popular South Indian breakfast. However, due to its popularity, idlis are now available everywhere in India and also in Indian restaurants all over the world.
Here is the traditional Idli recipe.
Below are given 2 variations, the end result is however almost the same, ie soft, fluffy idlis.

Variation 1 : Using Parboiled rice
Variation 2 : Use rice semolina or Idli Rawa

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