Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Kashmiri Dum Aloo - Baby Potatoes in Yoghurt based Gravy

Today I made Kashmiri dum aloo, which is nothing but baby potatoes in yogurt based gravy with traditional North Indian spices.
Potatoes is a vegetable we all like and here is another yummy dish using potatoes.
My daughter loved this dish mainly cause of the baby potatoes that look as well as taste delicious.
In the traditional Kashmiri recipe, the Potatoes are stuffed with Khoya, cashew nuts, raisins and green chillies, but this version of Dum Aloo I learnt from my Grandmom who only fried the potatoes before simmering them in the gravy.
For those watching their weight, you could just par boil the potatoes once, and then simmer them in the gravy without frying.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Green Chilly Chutney or "Mensinkai Gojju" in Kannada

This Green Chilly Chutney popularly known as "Mensinkai Gojju" in Kannada, is a popular side-dish in Karnataka. 
The fresh green chilly is rich in Vitamin C, while the dried version is rich in Vitamin A.
A good source of Potassium and Iron, Vitamins B and E also, and is low on calories (due to very low amounts of fat and cholesterol)
The burn experienced by eating chilly helps digestion, and in dissolving blood clots.
Green chilly treats wrinkles, it burns a lot of calories, and decreases your appetite to some extent so good for losing weight.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

"Biskut Ambado" or Urad dal Vada or Urad Dal fritters

The weather is so lovely these days, drizzling, cool and oh so beautiful.
On such days I love to make something special as an evening snack especially on weekends when everyone is at home.
So today I made these gorgeous Urad dal Vadas or fritters popularly known as "Biskut Ambado" in Coastal Karnataka by the Konkanis.
This is best eaten with Ginger and Green Chilly Chutney.

Ginger and Green Chilly Chutney

Here is a simple Chutney that goes well with all kinds of south Indian breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa and also also snacks like Vadas, Upma and other fritters.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Drumstick Pitla - A Maharashtrian delicacy

Pitla is a Maharashtrian delicacy sometimes also referred to as Comfort food. Its a side-dish that is served with the famous Maharashtrian Bhakri or Jowar Roti.
Pitla is mostly made using some greens like Methi/Fenugreek leaves or Spinach/Palak.
This version of Pitla is made of Drumsticks and I learnt this from my Grand Aunt who lived in Mumbai.
Quick and easy to make and can be eaten both with rotis or bread.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sweet n Spicy Bamboo Shoots n Jackfruit Seeds curry or "Keerlu Bikkanda Go'd Sukke" in Konkani

Here is a very special delicacy from the Konkani cuisine made from Bamboo shoots and Jackfruit seed which is known as "Keerlu Bikkanda Go'd Sukke" or Sweet n Spicy Bamboo Shoots and Jackfruit seeds curry.
This curry or side dish is so tasty that there is a very old story that describes how irresistible this dish is.
The story goes like this....
Once a newly married man was invited to his in-laws house along with his wife for a weekend dinner.
The season then being the rainy season, this "Keerlu Bikkanda Go'd Sukke" was cooked as part of their elaborate meal.
This guy loved spicy food so refused this dish while being served inspite of lot of coaxing from his wife and Mother-in -law.
However the enthusiastic mother-in-law, somehow served a bit of this dish by mistake.
And while eating the meal, this guy managed to taste it and fell in love with it.
However he was embarrassed to ask for more and finished the meal. Since it was pouring that night, he could not go back to his house, and was forced to spend the night at his in-laws place itself.
And guess what, he could not fall asleep since he kept thinking of this wonderful ans tasty dish. And at midnight he ventured into the kitchen at his in-laws place to have some more of this dish.
Am sure after reading this story you will surely try to cook it.

Monday, 23 July 2012

"Patholi" or Coconut n Jaggery filled rice dumplings steamed in Turmeric leaves

"Patholi" is a sweet dish prepared by the Konkani community on the festival of "NaagPanchami" or "Festival of the Snake God".
Its nothing but "Rice dumplings stuffed with Coconut and Jaggery and steamed in Turmeric leaves".
This is a very special delicacy and the speciality of this dessert is the lovely aroma that the turmeric leaves impart to the dumplings on steaming.
Another savoury side dish also prepared on this day is "Pathrode" or "Stuffed and Steamed Colocasia leaves" which I will be posting shortly.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Go'd Pohu or Poha Panchakajjai or Sweetened Beaten Rice

Here is a Beaten rice or Flattened rice dessert which is the most popular dessert made by the people of the Konkani community during festivals as "Prasadam" or offering to God.
The main benefit of beaten rice is that it is fat free,  cholesterol free and sodium free. Thus it is beneficial for obese and hypertensive patients. It is rich in riboflavin, vitamin E, Calcium, and Magnesium.
This dessert is easy to make and can be eaten as a snack as well.
I learnt this recipe from my Mom and make it during important Hindu festivals.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Zucchini or Courgette Soup

Here is lovely soup and simple soup made from Zucchini or Courgette.
One cup of zucchini has 36 calories and 10% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating and helps to lower cholesterol.
Sometimes the Zucchini may have a bitter taste, so you can remove the bitterness the same way you remove the bitterness from a cucumber.
When you cut the end off of the zucchini/cucumber, rub the cut piece in a circular motion on the end of the zucchini/cucumber. The zucchini/cucumber will release a white foamy substance. Wash this off, cut as desired and use.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Galouti Kabab or Minced Lamb Kababs - Awadhi Cuisine

"Galouti Kabab" is one of the most delicate kebabs from North India, made of minced lamb. Legend has it that the galawati kebab was created for an aging Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow who lost his teeth, but not his passion for meat dishes.
‘Galawati’ or 'Galouti' means “melt in your mouth” and was perfect for the toothless Nawab who continued savouring this until his last days.
The original recipe that brought many a smile on the Nawab’s face, albeit toothless, and many a sigh of satisfaction, is supposed to have more than 100 aromatic spices.
The Galouti Kebab is part of the "Awadhi Cuisine" ie from the city of Lucknow. Along with the Lucknowi biryani and Kakori Kebab, this is one of the outstanding highlights of the great food tradition from the Awadh region in Uttar Pradesh, India.
I got this recipe, from one of my friend who is Chef in a very renowned restaurant, which specializes in Awadhi cuisine.

Raw Banana Stem Salad or "Gabbe Hashi" in Konkani

Raw Banana Stem Salad or "Gabbe Hashi" is another Konkani delicacy.
Banana stem is a potassium rich food with high fiber content and it has many other amazing health benefits. Most people include banana in their daily diet, but very few know that stem is also nutritive and has numerous health benefits. The stem is usually thrown away once the fruit is cut from the plant. So next time if you happen to find one, think of including it in your menu. Nowadays all Supermarkets have banana stem.
Banana stem is rich in fiber and helps weight loss. Due to rich fibre content, it helps body to feel full faster. The intake of food gets reduced by including banana stem to diet. It can be taken in the form of juice, but eating it as as whole and that too raw provides more benefits. Including it once or twice a week can help people looking for ways to cut down extra pounds.
When you buy Banana stem, peel off the outer 2-3 layers to get the tender stem inside which can be easily eaten raw. Cut the banana stem in round circular slices. Then cut the slices into thin slices. While cutting you can make out the hard pieces to discard.
The banana stem slices get dark as soon as you slice them, to prevent that you could keep them in in turmeric water.

This dish can be eaten both as a salad as well as a side dish with rice and dal.

Monday, 16 July 2012

"Soorna Kacchar" or Grilled Elephant Yam or Elephant Yam fritters

A quick and simple snack for a rainy evening are these "Elephant Yam Fritters".
These fritters are also served as a side dish in Konkani meals.
Once marinated and kept, they can be grilled, shallow fried or deep fried as desired and am sure you will love them when served hot with mint chutney.
The fiber content in elephant yam is naturally high and therefore, it is usually considered a slimming food, as it promotes weight loss and reduces the levels of cholesterol in the body. If elephant yam is cooked in the right way, it can be eaten without any fear of weight gain.
It has a cooling effect on the body, which is why it is good for people who suffer from hypertension.
Elephant yams are very high in omega 3 fatty acids; they help reduce the bad cholesterol in the body and increase the good cholesterol instead.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Cheesy Corn Pepper Cups

Here is a simple dish that I created this evening, for my daughter who likes to buy and eat Bell Peppers for their color but does not like the taste too much. So to make it appealing and nutritious I came upon this idea and called it "Cheesy Corn Pepper Cups".
Whether red, orange, yellow or green, these Bell peppers yield the highest concentration of antioxidants . One small red, yellow or orange pepper provides three times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C—way ahead of citrus. Red peppers stand out as one of the few foods that lowers the risk of various cancers.
Regardless of their exterior, all bell peppers share a healthy dose of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and ward off colon cancer. They also have vitamin B6 and folic acid that protect blood vessels from damage. Plentiful A and C vitamins boost immunity and guard against a range of ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Amritsari Macchi - Punjabi Style Pomfrets

Here is a delicious fried fish dish known as "Amritsari Macchi", with the flavor of Ajwain (also known as carom, ajowan, or bishop's weed), which is a delicacy in Punjabi cuisine. "Ajwain" is a herb also known as Bishops Weed. This beneficial herb is used in culinary process as spice as well as a major ingredient of different kind of medicines. Ajwain seeds are small in size but taste hot, penchant and bitter. It acts as good appetizer and laxative and used to treat abdominal pains. 
This dish makes an excellent snack as well as a starter to a meal. The Punjabis mostly make this dish using boneless pieces of fish and the fish mostly used is Sole, but I have used whole Pomfrets to make this legendary "Amritsari Macchi".

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Pomegranate Green Apple Salad - A Jewish Style Salad

This Salad is a Jewish style salad made from Fresh Green apples and Pomegranate.
During my stay in Dortmund Germany, I would be invited for dinner to one of my collegue's home, and this salad used to be her favorite and always part of her huge spread.
She would have the Salad dressing made a few days before, and all she had to do was cut the fruits and dress the salad.
This Pomegranate and Green Apple Salad is a fresh and light salad that is especially good to be eaten after days of heavy binging be it after festivals or after long holidays.
Pomegranates have several health benefits that include reducing cancer risk, Alzheimer's Disease Prevention, Prevention of Osteoarthritis, Lowering Cholesterol and Lowering Blood Pressure.
Green apple benefits are amazing right from weight control to skin lightening and prevention of heart diseases to cancers.
So this is the right salad to eat anytime of the day, anytime of the year.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Drumstick Flower Pancakes or "Mashinga Sange Phulla Polo"

The main health benefits of drumstick flowers are in the nutritional quality. The flowers of the plant are rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3, Vitamin A, and vitamin C. There are also the minerals calcium, iron, phosphorus and magnesium to be found in these flowers as well. The health benefits of drumstick flowers are found in the levels of protein compared to other vegetables. This may be a very good source for vegetarians and it is said to have the highest protein amount compared to any other plant situated on Earth.
Here is a traditional Konkani delicacy made from Drumstick flowers that is easy to make and yet very nutritious.
It can be eaten as an evening snack as well as a side-dish in a meal.
The actual traditional method involves grinding Toor Dal and Rice in equal proportions and then adding the required spices, but here is simplified version of the same using using ready gram flour and rice flour.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Bolanjeer or Silver Fish Naked Fry

"Bolanjeer Naked fry" is one of the most popular starter served in all coastal sea food restaurants.
Its very simple to make and can be eaten as a starter to a meal as well as a snack. 
In the below recipe I have given the measures for just 20 fish and have skipped how many people it can be served to, simply because these tiny fish are so irresistibly delicious, I could eat all 20 of them in one go. So its upto you to decide how many fish you would like to fry. 
However a small bit of information I would like to provide which could be helpful - buying 1 kg of this fish could get you around a 100-120 of them.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Teasel Gourd Chutney - "Phaagila Chutney" - A Konkani delicacy

Teasel Gourd or "Phaagil" is very popular vegetable in the coastal regions of India widely available during the monsoon season.
Teasels have good medicinal properties. They are good source of antibiotics and also help in improving blood circulation.
The Konkani community love this vegetable so much that it is part of all festivals that come in the monsoon. 
The most common side dish made with this vegetable is the "Phaagila Podi" or Teasel Gourd fritters which we all love and I will be posting it soon.
This is another side-dish which my Mom makes quite often during this season.
Its a chutney which goes well both with rotis/chapatis as well as Rice and dal.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Chicken Chowmein

Chicken Chowmein is a very popluar Chinese dish loved by most people who love Chinese cuisine.
I have been eating Chicken Chowmein from my childhood and have always loved it the way its served here in India.
I have not been to China so I cannot claim the authenticity of this dish, but one thing I can say is that I got this recipe from one of the Indo-Chinese chefs here, so this is chowmein served in most "Indo-Chinese" food joints /restaurants across India.
Try making it, am sure you will love it too.
Here I have given the recipe of Chicken Chowmein that I make at home regularly, but if you are a vegetarian you could replace the chicken with your choice of vegetables.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Basundi - A Western Indian Milk Dessert

Basundi is a very popular western Indian dessert served on all special occasions in Gujrat and Maharashtra.
I first ate this dessert in Mumbai and loved it instantly.
A very easy to make dessert and requires no special ingredients other than those always available in our kitchen.
This dessert involves reducing the milk to half its quantity by continuously boiling the milk. Remember Basundi made from 200 ml of milk would be sufficient for just one person, hence when making this dessert for parties would mean more quantity of milk and a little more time.
However, its one of the most easy to make party desserts as they can be served in individual bowls and refrigerated a few hours before.

Friday, 6 July 2012

"Bhenda Sagle" or Lady's Finger Masala (Konkani Style)

Lady's Finger is a good provider of good bacteria called the probiotics which help in digestion. It also consists of good amounts of vitamin A, required for growth and repair of skin as well as maintain vision. There are also fair amounts of vitamin C, which boosts immumnity.
There are good amounts for dietary fiber present, hence it is low in colories and considered good for people on weight loss.
Here is simple and an old traditional Konkani recipe that I learnt from my Mom. Lady's finger is also known as "Bhe'nd" in Konkani which is a favourite with all of us at home.
Made with very few and easily available ingredients at home, this dish goes well both with rotis as well as rice and dal.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sardines curry or Pedve Ghashi (Konkani Style)

Sardines are rich in numerous nutrients that have been found to support cardiovascular health. They are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Also an excellent source of vitamin B12 that promotes cardiovascular well-being.
Sardines are not only a rich source of bone-building vitamin D but also a very good source of phosphorus, a mineral that is important to strengthening the bone matrix. Hence eating sardines atleast twice a week, is good to ward off osteoporosis.
Here is a simple and quick to make Sardines curry also known as "Pedve Ghashi" in Konkani. This curry is very famous with the konkani community in and around Mangalore. Its tasty and also healthy as it requires no oil except for the optional garnishing.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Heerekai Bonda or Ridge Gourd Fritters

A famous evening snack of the Kannadigas of Bengaluru and surrounding regions is the "Heerekai Bonda" or Ridge Gourd fritters.
No matter what the occasion, this is one snack /side dish which will always be made.
On festivals like Ugadi and Sankranti this bonda is served as a side dish with Bisibelebath.
This "Heerekai Bonda" is also one of the snacks served during most tea parties along with "Kesaribath" and "Kharabath".
Infact this used to be the standard menu for tea parties in the 70s and 80s.
Easy to make but yes a bit of an indulgence since this involves deep frying.
However, my practice is to use as little oil as possible and fry one or two bondas at a time and then drain on paper towels, and also discard the oil after use.
A good snack on a rainy monsoon evening too.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Ethiopian Lamb

This is another Ethiopian dish I love and used to have it quite often during my Europe trips.
This delicacy also uses the "Berbere" powder/masala which is just like our Indian Garam Masala.
I know everyone who made "Ethiopian Wot" that I published earlier, loved the dish.
So I decided to publish another one with lamb.
This is a gravy dish and can be best enjoyed with rotis or rice.

Monday, 2 July 2012

"Magge Thoy" or Malabar Cucumber Rasam

This is an easy and quick to cook side-dish cum accompaniment for rice, especially on days when you do not feel like cooking both a side dish and a rasam or dal.
I learnt this dish from my paternal grandmother would make it in a jiffy.
And yet it tastes so good.
Hence am sharing this recipe with you.
This vegetable is called "Magge" in Konkani and known as "Mangalore or Malabar cucumber" in the shops I buy them from, but any other fleshy vegetable which gets soft on boiling like ash gourd or pumpkin could be used.
This vegetable is widely used in Mangalorean, Kerala and Goan curries.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Cheese n Mushroom Stuffed Green Chillies

Green chilies have high Vitamin A and Vitamin C content. A good source of Potassium and Iron.
The burn experienced by eating chili helps digestion. A chemical named Capsaicin and the seeds give green chili the heat, which helps in dissolving blood clots and improve digestion.
Green chili treats wrinkles. It burns a lot of calories, and decreases your appetite to some extent.

So having these Stuffed Green chillies as a starter to your meal is good to control weight.

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