Friday, 31 August 2012

"Rogan Josh" - A Kashmiri Delicacy

Rogan josh (or roghan josh) is an aromatic lamb dish of Persian origin, which is one of the signature recipes of Kashmiri cuisine.
Rogan josh (or roghan josh) was originally brought to Kashmir by the Mughals. It is one of the main dishes of of the Kashmiri multi-course meal the "Wazwan" along with "Tabak Maaz".
The authentic dish is a Spicy, thin mutton curry cooked with fennel and dry ginger and the main gravy or sauce comes from yoghurt.
However, there is a modified version of this dish served in many restaurants, which also contains tomatoes.
Cook this version of Rogan Josh at home, its very easy to make and goes well with both rice as well as breads or rotis.

Kiddies Meal Combo 10 - Appo & Crispy Cutlets


Tips for lunch box:
1. Make the Appo batter the previous day and keep in fridge.
2. Make cutlets and keep them in the fridge the previous day so that morning you will only have to shallow fry them.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

"Crispy Cutlets" - made from Broken Wheat and Cottage Cheese

Broken wheat or Daliya or Burgul is as we all know boosts energy and enhances stamina.
Cottage cheese or Paneer is a food that is low in calories and high in protein.
Hence, broken wheat and Cottage cheese combination is very good for our overall health.
Although broken wheat is good for health, its not very palatable and not really liked by many, especially kids.
I make "Tabbouleh" or "Lebanese Broken Wheat Salad" quite often, but its not easy to convince my little one to eat it.
So today I decided on trying something new and different, which is not just healthy but also tasty and appealing to us and kids too!
So I made these cutlets using broken wheat as well as cottage cheese! Very simple to make and yet delicious!
After shallow frying they turned out very crispy so I have named it "Crispy Cutlets"!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

"Erissery" - Onam Special - A Kerala Delicacy

Onam is the biggest and the most important festival of the state of Kerala. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm all over the state by people of all communities. According to a popular legend, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali, whose spirit is said to visit Kerala at the time of Onam. 
'Onasadhya' is the grand feast served during the celebration of Onam in Kerala. It is served in Banana leaves. It consists of around 30 different dishes.
Today being Onam I made one of the side-dishes served for this grand feast. It is made of raw plantains and Yams and is called "Erissery".
"Erissery" is also made with pumpkin and red oriental beans. 
I made this dish after getting a few tips from my ex-manager who is also a very good friend of mine. She celebrates Onam and is an expert in making this.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"Nandrabale Bajo" in Konkani or Nendran Plantain Fritters

Banana is among the most important fruits of the world. The "Nendran" or "Nendrabale" variety of plantain tends to be firmer and lower in sugar content than "dessert" bananas. Bananas are almost always eaten raw, while plantains tend to be cooked or otherwise processed, and are used either when green or unripe.This unusual and considered very rare banana, also called Nendran” in India.
Plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying. 
It is cultivated all over South India but mainly in the state of Kerala.
However, its easily available in most super markets in India and in Asian shops across the globe.
The very famous Kerala chips are made from these unripe Nendran.
Here is a Konkani snack made from ripe Nendran plantains, its easy to make and can be made in jiffy, and is yummy to taste!

Monday, 27 August 2012

"Batato ani Piyave Upkari" or Potato n Onion Stir fried curry

"Batato ani Piyave Upkari" is a very traditional and age old Konkani side-dish, which can be categorized as comfort food.
Its very easy, quick to make, and also healthy since it has the goodness of both onions and potatoes.
It is believes that the best benefits of onions as well as potatoes can be obtained by eating them raw or boiled. So this is one dish where both are boiled so we can get maximum health benefits.
In the Konkani community, this dish is best made by mothers and if you eat this dish it will remind you of your mom no matter how far or near you are to her.
This dish goes best with rice and dal, or just plain red rice or boiled rice Konji or Porridge.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

"Murgh Makhani" or Butter Chicken

"Murgh Makhani" is the most popular Punjabi non-vegetarian dish after Tandoori Chicken.
This is nothing but Butter Chicken cooked the authentic way!
Its a slight variation to my "Granny's Butter Chicken" already published on my blog. My granny's version has onions, but this one has no onions and is more creamy than that.
A dish we all love!
Very easy to  make and needs no fancy ingredients. Cook this at home and am sure you will cook it every weekend at home, without wanting to order it in a restaurant!
This dish is a big hit with kids due to its creamy and its very mildly spiced gravy.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Lebanese Chickpea Patties or Falafel Patties with Lebanese Potato Garlic Dip

The Lebanese Chickpeas Patties is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, some herbs and the lebanese spice mix "Baharat". The patties are traditionally sandwiched between Pita bread and the assembled mezze or starter is called "Falafel".
Lebanese cuisine has one main ingredients called the "Baharat powder".
Its easily available in most super markets, but incase you cannot find it, you can make it at home.
Its a spice powder just like the Indian Garam masala, the ingredients of which I have also given.
I however make only these patties and serve them with home made "Lebanese Potato Garlic sauce/Dip".
Try making them at home they are super easy and yummy!
One of these days I will make the Pita Bread at home and assemble the "Falafel", but today due to lack of time I made these patties alone and served them with the dip and my family/friends loved it.

Lebanese Potato Garlic Dip

A perfect accompaniment to the "falafel patties" is the Lebanese Potato Garlic Dip.
Easy and quick to make, this goes well with even Indian starters.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

"Vasthada Rotti" or Hot n Sweet Indian Bread

Here is a simple "Roti" or Indian Bread, known as "Vasthada Rotti" in Konkani that has been made in my maternal grandparents home for generations.
Very easy to make and requires no side dish thanks to the Hot, Sweet and Salty nature of the rotti/Bread.
I make it on days when I am in no mood to cook but still prefer something home made which is warm and cozy to dig into! 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients. Here is an easy to make and healthy mushroom soup which my family loves.
The health benefits of mushroom include relief from high cholesterol levels, cancer and diabetes. It also helps in weight loss and increasing immunity. 
Hence its good to add a serving of fresh mushrooms to your daily diet to get important nutrients.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Beaten rice in seasoned curds or "Kalle Pohu" in Konkani


A simple, quick n easy to make dish which is also one of the dishes made during Krishna Janmashtami special.
"Kalle Pohu" is nothing but Beaten rice mixed with seasoned curds.
Its a very healthy dish which can be eaten as a snack or as a meal itself.

Monday, 20 August 2012

"Sheer Khurma" or Festive Vermicelli Pudding

Sheer khorma or Sheer khurma is a festival vermicelli pudding prepared by Muslims on Eid ul-Fitr in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. It is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast, and a dessert for celebrations. Sheer is Persian for milk and khurma is Persian for dates. This dish is made from dried dates. This special dish is served on the morning of Eid day in the family after the Eid prayer as breakfast, and throughout the day to all the visiting guests. It is very popular in South Asia and the rest of Central Asia.
I have eaten this in some of my friends homes, but never tried making it until today.
However yesterday I spoke to one of my close friend who celebrates Eid and asked her how to make this. She told me the steps on the phone and I made it.
Its truly delicious! 


Serves 8
Ingredients:
Dried dates - 12
Warm water - 1/2 lt
Almond paste of 5 almonds 
Very Thin Vermicelli - 100 gms - roasted - I bought the roasted one from the departmental store
Milk - 2 ltr
Green Cardamom - 6
Butter - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 2 cups

Raisins - 5
Almonds - 10 - slivered
Pistachios - 10 - slivered

Method:
Wash dates and soak for about 15 minutes in warm water. 
Discard water, pit the dates, slice thinly. Start boiling the milk. Add thinly sliced dates to boiling milk. Also add paste of almonds to the milk.
Now boil the milk, stirring continuously till its reduced and is thick and creamy.
Heat butter in a pan, add crushed cardamoms and fry for 1 min. Add vermicelli to the butter and fry for 2-3 minutes or until it is heated through. Wash raisins and add to the vermicelli. 
Fry another minute.
Now add the fried vermicelli, raisins and cardamom to the boiling milk and allow to boil for 15 minutes. 
Add in the sugar and allow to boil il for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat, let cool slightly before transferring to the serving dish. Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachios. Serve warm or chilled, will be equally delicious!!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Konkani Style - "Batate Ambado" or Spiced Mashed Potato dumplings - fried

A perfect sunday evening snack is this "Batate Ambado" or Mashed Potato dumplings-fried.
This snack has different variations in different states/communities which I will publish slowly, but this one is the konkani version which I love.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

"Tabak Maaz" - A Kashmiri Delicacy of Mutton Ribs/Chops

This recipe is from Kashmir, in India, and is a component of the formal grand feast called Wazwan. Wazwan is a 36-course rich and delicious meal, the trend of which started with the Wazas (the master chefs of Kashmir and the descendants of the cooks who migrated from Samarkand to Kashmir in the 15th century). Wazwan consists of mostly non-vegetarian dishes.
I first ate this dish in a house boat in Kashmir when I was about 12 years, and loved it. From then on, whenever we traveled or dined out, if this dish was on their menu I always ordered it.
But none was as delicious as the one I had tasted in Kashmir.
However recently there was a "Kashmiri Food Festival" in one of the restaurants in Bangalore and lo! this dish was part of the lovely spread.
With a little bit of research and trials, I was almost able to recreate this amazing dish.
And now its time to share this with you!

Friday, 17 August 2012

"Shahi Paneer" or Royal Cottage Cheese


"Shahi" means Royal. "Shahi Paneer" is a very old and traditional North Indian/Punjabi side-dish. It used to be a dish prepared for royal feasts and it is this dish that later got modified and became the current day "Paneer Butter Masala".
Cooking Shahi Paneer perfectly is supposed to be an art. In olden days the culinary skills of a newly married bride in the North Indian States used to be judged by how well she could cook this dish.
Even today there are lot of Mother's-In-Law who still believe that if her Daughter-In-Law can cook a delicious Shahi Paneer then she is good in cooking everything. Such is the significance of this dish.
From the day I started cooking, I have always been thinking about cooking this dish but never really tried it, for the fear of being judged by none other than myself.
But a few months back, I finally managed to crack the perfect recipe and make the perfect "Shahi Paneer" and believe me this is no rocket science, its easy as any other dish...if you follow my recipe.

So make this dish if you want to impress someone with your cooking! or may be just to impress yourself as to how good a cook you are!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Dates n Tamarind Chutney or "Khajur Imli ki Chutney"

This wonderful chutney is something that is served with almost every snack or chaat in India.
Its incredibly delicious and is not only served as a dip or chutney with snacks and chaats but used even to make the "Pani" in Pani Puri.
This chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks and can even be frozen for upto 3 months and used as required.
Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.
Sweet and tangy tamarind is one of the widely used condiment spice found in every South Asian kitchens! Tamarind is rich in vitamin C. Therefore, including it in your daily diet protects you against vitamin C deficiency. It helps to improve and strengthen your immune system.
Both Dates and Tamarind are high in Iron!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin is one of the vegetables which is very low calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich a source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. This is a vegetable recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Here is an easy to make Pumpkin soup which is not just healthy but also very tasty.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Cauliflower Pakoda or Cauliflower Fritters

My earliest memories of  "Cauliflower Pakoda" is during my childhood days when we were living in Mangalore, and my Mom would fry these delicious pakodas and all my neighboring friends would come home just smelling the lovely aroma.
Once she had made it during our apartment Association meeting/High Tea party and everyone loved it. 
Since those days this snack has been one of my favorites and now its the same with my daughter.
Like most of my other dishes, this one too is very easy to make and will be loved by kids.
A little bit of indulgence since it is deep fried, but once in 1-2 weeks is fine....I guess!
Try making this on days when your kid comes back from school and says "Mamma I have had too much of healthy food from last 1 week, and I want some nice snack"
This is exactly what my little one says after an overdose of home cooked healthy food.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Stir Fry Potatoes or "Batate Thalasini" in Konkani

"Batate thalasini" is a side-dish using potatoes which  is typically a Konkani dish but knowing the simplicity of the dish in terms of the ingredients it may be a part of any other South Indian cuisine too which I may not be aware of.
This dish is all about textures, the potatoes have to be sliced as thin as possible, with or without the skin, and stir fry till some slices are crisp and the others soft and well done.
This dish can be prepared very easily and quickly and goes well as an accompaniment with rice and rasam or dal.

I make this dish very often, but never really thought of putting this up here cause of its simplicity, but very recently I made this for my friend's kids who loved potatoes and served it along with rice and rasam, and they loved it. 
I then realized that this dish is a hit with kids too! 
So that's why I decided to share this with all of you.
I normally make this for Sunday dinner or Monday's after the heavy binge on weekends.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Dal Palak or Spinach with Yellow Lentils

"Dal Palak" or Spinach in Yellow lentils is a very easy dish to make, especially on festival days like Krishna Janmashtami where the dinner is a fairly grand affair and involves lot of cooking, so you need to cook a lunch that does not contain Onion or Garlic, is very easy, quick to make, and also gives you energy to spend hours in the kitchen.
So today I made this Dal Palak and had it as a side-dish with Rotis/Chapatis.
Yellow lentils are an excellent source of fibre and protein, vitamins and minerals.
Spinach as we all know, contains Iron which is good for those who suffer from anemia. Its also helps to lower blood pressure, build immunity, helps fight cardiovascular diseases, and helps in maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Teasel Gourd Fritters or "Phagila Podi" in Konkani

Teasel Gourd or "Phaagil" is very popular vegetable in the coastal regions of India widely available during the monsoon season.
The most common side dish made with this vegetable is the "Phaagila Podi" or Teasel Gourd fritters which we all love.
This is another snack/side-dish which my Mom makes quite often during this 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. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

"Tortilla De Patata" or Spanish Omelette

The Spanish omelette is a typically Spanish dish consisting of a thick egg omelette made with potatoes and fried in olive oil.
The tortilla may be eaten hot or cold; it is commonly served as a snack (tapa) or picnic dish throughout Spain. As a tapa, it may be cut into bite-size pieces and served on cocktail sticks.

I make this dish on days, when I am not in the mood to cook different dishes like a side, main etc, but still would like to eat some home made stuff, and we all love it!
Its easy and quick to make and filling too.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Sweet n Spicy Beaten Rice or "Phova Chetni" in Konkani - A Breakfast dish

"Poha" or Beaten rice is dehusked rice which is flattened and dried into thin dry flakes.
One the benefit of beaten rice is that it is fat, cholesterol and sodium free. Thus it is beneficial for obese and hypertensive patients. It is rich in riboflavin, vitamin E, Calcium, and Magnesium.
Here is a very old and traditional breakfast dish that my mom and grand mom make which is not only quick to make, but also nutritious and tasty.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

"Birinda Saaru" or Kokum Rasam - Konkani Style


Here is a tasty and healthy rasam made from Kokum also known as Birind in Konkani.
This rasam brings back childhood memories when my great grand mom would make this during our visit to their house in Kerala.
But at that time I only knew it tastes good, only when I started cooking did I realize that it was one of the healthiest fruits known to us.
Kokum is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is rich in dietary fibre.
It is rich in vitamin C and 
B-complex vitamins. Kokum helps control heart rate and blood pressure and is also good for digestion.
Kokum reduces sun strokes and prevents dehydration.
Kokum rind is used to lower cholesterol.
According to the Journal of Oncology and Haemotology, Garcinol, present in kokum, can inhibit intestinal cancer cell growth without affecting normal cells.

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