Friday, 28 September 2012

"Tawa Bhindi" or Pan fried Okra/Lady's Finger

"Tawa Bhindi" or Pan fried Okra or Lady's Finger is one of the easiest side-dishes to make that goes well with roti or chapatis.
And if you love Bhindi you could use it as a stuffing for sandwiches too.
This is one quick dish to make especially after a long and tiring day at work.
And Okra or Lady's Finger is one of the vegetables which cooks very quickly.
Also it has a lot of health benefits. Its very low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. This makes it an excellent food source for someone who is trying to watch their weight.
Its also high in fibre, antioxidants and minerals.
So for those who are always eating lunch outside in office canteens or restaurants, its good to include this vegetable as a part of your dinner atleast 2-3 days a week.
During the time I was working in an office,  (I cannot say just working cause being a full time mom and home maker I have even more work now then before...), I used to always look out for simple dishes that use minimum ingredients and also cook very quickly. 
And during that time one of my neighbor who is a Rajasthani lady, taught me this quick and easy Tawa Bhindi. I am not really sure if this is the Rajasthani style, but whatever it is, it tastes yum and easy to make too!
Since then I make it regularly at home and we all love it!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Mutton Shami Kabab

Shami kebab literally means Syrian kebab (Sham) in Arabic
Shami kebab or shami tikka is a popular Indian, Pakistani and Persian style of kebab, that is composed of small patty minced mutton, ground chickpeas and spices.
I make these at home quite often, as it is easy to make and tasty too...!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Butter Chilly Calamari or Squid

Butter Chilly Calamari or Squid, is a quick and easy to make starter/Entre'e, which is served in most food joints in Goa, starting from the small shacks on the beach to the biggest and the best of restaurants.
Our visit to Goa is not complete until I have gorged on a few plates of on some lovely deep fried fresh calamari in the sea side beach shacks.
Deep fried Calamari and Butter Chilly Calamari are my personal favorites.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Gulab Jamun

"Gulab Jamun" is a popular dessert in countries of the Indian Subcontinent such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is made of a dough consisting mainly of milk solids. Traditionally, khoya, an Indian milk product is rolled into a ball together with some flour and then deep fried, It is then put into a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater, kewra or saffron. The term gulab jamun comes from Persian, gulab, "rose water" referring to the rosewater-scented syrup, and Hindustani jamun, a South Asian fruit with a similar size and shape.
These days, gulab jamun powder is also commercially available, so the dessert can be prepared easily.
However we love the traditional Gulab Jamun made using Khoya, and today being my lil one's 10th bday I have made these, as she loves them..!!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pathrode or Stuffed n Steamed Colocasia rolls or "Pathrado" in Konkani

"Pathrode" is a very popular Mangalorean Delicacy made using Colocasia leaves also known as "Arbi ke patte" in Hindi.
Its called as "Pathrado" in Konkani and "Pathrode" in Kannada and Tulu.
This side-dish is prepared for most festivals during the monsoon season between June to Sept since its during this season that the leaves grow in plenty.
But you can also grow them in your backyard or balcony.
Its made by most of the native communities of that region, all with their own variations to the stuffing.
I have made my Mom's Konkani version where the stuffing or masala is a a ground paste of green gram or moong, grated coconut, dry red chillies and tamarind or bimbul a sour fruit that grows in coastal karnataka.
The other variations use toor dal etc but I somehow love this version the best!
Trying making them at home, they are really easy to make.

I know its not so easy to find colocasia leaves, but the solution is simple, grow them in your own garden or balcony.

In India and parts of Asia it is known as "Colocasia" and is a food crop.
But in other parts of the world like USA, Canada and Australia it is also known as "Elephant Ear" as is an ornamental plant.
Do buy the bulbs and plant them at home, you will be able to make these new dishes very easily.
Make sure to use enough tamarind in your dish to get rid of the itchiness.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Sichuan Pepper seasoned flat beans and bread fruit curry or "Avro ani Jeev Kadgi theppal Ghashi" in Konkani

"Avro ani Jeev Kadgi theppala ghashi" is nothing but Flat beans and Bread fruit curry which is seasoned using a unique spice called "Theppal". This spice is used to season dishes on festive days , just like the way Asafoetida and mustard seeds/curry leaves are are used, since these are considered as 'Sathvik" in the Hindu religion. These spices are used instead of onions and garlic on these auspicious and holy days.
"Theppal" is a spice which until recently I always thought was unique to Coastal Karnataka and Goa.
Its only very recently that I came to know that "Theppal" is nothing but "Sichuan pepper" that is used in Chinese cuisine and sometimes Japanese cuisine too.
However the Konkanis used it a bit differently.
They use it to season curries.
Breadfruit is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium and very high in Vitamin C, Dietary Fiber and Potassium. The nutritional value of breadfruit helps you to maintain optimum health. Breadfruit has been considered as a nutritionally beneficial fruit.
Flat beans are low in fat and offer an excellent source of protein.
Sichuan pepper is not only tasty, but is also reported to have a number of health benefits and is sometimes used as a blood purifier and digestive aid.
Here is a side-dish which is made using "Flat beans" and "Bread fruit" and then seasoned with Sichuan pepper.

Friday, 14 September 2012

"Aloo Dahi Papdi Chaat" - An Indian Street food

"Aloo Dahi Papdi Chaat" is one of my favorite Chaats or Indian Street food, which I make regularly at home.
My most favorite chaat is ofcourse "Pani Puri".
However due to reasons of hygiene, I have almost stopped eating chaat on the streets especially after I have become a Mother.
I not only make the chutneys at home but also make the "Puris" or "Papdis" at home itself.
Half a cup of semolina will make around 40-50 puris or papdis and this is sufficient for me and my daughter for 2-4 rounds of chaat.
Another reason for making "Papdi" or "Puri" at home, is that they are crispier and stay crispy fresh in an airtight container for more than a week.
Also the shop sold puris are so big that my lil one could barely put the whole puri/papdi in her mouth in one shot...
all these reasons were enough to continue making puris and papdis at home.
However the earliest memories of making "Puri" for chaat is of my granny during my college days while we lived in Hassan.
We loved chaat and there was no good place in Hassan to eat chaat, so my granny found out this recipe of making Puris through some cookery books and a few attempts.
My brother an I would try to help her in rolling the puris and make a mess of the kitchen, but that was really good fun..
And we would make hundred+ puris.... on a sunday afternoon and gobble them all up in no time..
The work of cleaning up the kitchen would be on my sweet Mom...
But those childhood memories are so amazing that they motivate me to actually spend some time and effort to make puris and papdis at home.
But try making this once at home from scratch, am sure you will make it again and again and stop eating chaat outside.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Shark Ambotik - A Goan Delicacy

The meaning of "Ambot" is Sour and "Tik" is spicy in Portugese. This is a Portugese influenced dish from Goa, which is made with fish that has less bones.
Instead of Shark you could use "Pomfret" or "Seer" fish.
Whenever we go to Goa, I make sure that I have this dish in "Martin's Corner", one of the most popular Sea food joints in Goa.
But our Goa trip happens just twice a year, so what do I do the rest of the year whenever I feel like having this dish, well the only solution was to learn to cook it. 
After a little help from one of my friends in Goa, I managed to successfully make it at home.
Now eating this dish does not have to depend on our Goa trip!
This dish is best enjoyed with steaming rice and a Goan fish fry to go with it!
Try making this at home, its fairly simple and quick to make!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Black eyed peas in Chilly Garlic broth or "Alasande Bea Saarupkari" in Konkani

Black eyed pea also called as cowpeas, lobia or lobiya or chawli in Hindi, bobbarlu in Telugu. It is small soft textured oval creamy white bean with a black eye. This bean is available as fresh or dried bean and can be used for preparing soups and many side dishes. It is an excellent source of fiber, folate and a good source of iron and has various health benefits as well as important vitamins and minerals.
It is known as "Alasande Bee" in Konkani as it is one of the most commonly cooked beans in the Konkani community.
The bean when lightly overcooked becomes soft and mushy and makes a good broth.
This dish is one of the easiest side dishes to make, and probably would be one of the first dishes someone would learn to cook.
This dish is like a bean broth which is seasoned with roasted dry red chilly and garlic.
Very simple to make and yet so delicious!
Its served best with rice but can also be had as a soup on a cold rainy or winter day.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

"Khandvi" - A Gujrathi Snack also known as Gram Flour Finger Food

"Khandvi" is a Gujrathi Snack which is made of Gram flour.
Gram flour is a high-protein, gluten-free baking ingredient that can replace wheat and all-purpose flour in many recipes.
My grandmom used to be an expert in making this "Khandvi" and it always seemed very difficult just looking at the end product.
But one day after watching her make it, I realized that it wasn't really that tuff.
Today I made this and my daughter just loved it.
Try making this, am sure you and your family will enjoy eating it!

Serves 2

Gram flour (besan) - 1 cup
Curds - 1 cup
Water - 1.5 cups
Salt To Taste
Turmeric powder  - 2 pinches
For seasoning:
Oil - 2 tsp
Sesame seeds/white til - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coconut scraped - 1 tbsp (Optional)
Coriander finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Green chillies finely chopped - 2

Mix the gram flour, curd, water, salt and turmeric to form a batter. Heat oil in a heavy pan, add batter.
Stir vigorously and evenly to avoid lump formation. Cook till the mixture does not taste raw, stirring continuously. Switch off the gas within 8 minutes to get the perfect batter. The batter should be like dosa batter when switching off the heat.
Now spread evenly and as thin as possible, on the back of a large plate using a flat spoon.

 Use circular outward movements as for dosas.
When cool, cut into 2" wide strips. Carefully roll each strip, repeat for all plates.

Cut the rolls into equal pieces.
Place in a serving dish.
Now to season before serving:
Heat oil in a small pan. Add oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds, asafoetida and green chillies.
Pour over cut/sliced khandvi rolls.

Pomfrets in Tangy Red Chilly Gravy or "Manji Phannaupkari" in Konkani

Butter fish, also known as pomfret or white pomfret fish. It is healthy and deliciously tender when steamed.
Here is an easy to make, quick Konkani fish curry known as "Phannaupkari" which is nothing but pomfret slices simmered in red chilly gravy.  This curry goes very well with plain red rice Konji or Porridge or even with rice and dal.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Prawn and Malabar Spinach Curry or "Sungat ani Vaali" Ambat in Konkani

"Malabar Spinach" is called "Vaali bhajji" in Konkani.
The dish "Vaali Ambat" is very popular in coastal Karnataka ie Mangalore and surrounding areas and until a few years back I was only aware of this vegetarian dish since my mom would make this regularly.
The base is a coconut gravy and the malabar spinach are simmered in it, and then the gravy is seasoned with onions.
It goes well with red rice or white rice.
A few years back on one of my visits to Mangalore, I had been to my Sister-In-Law's (husband's cousin) place for lunch, and she had given a twist to the vegetarian dish by adding prawns.
And all I said was "WOW" I love this dish...
Since then I make this regularly at home.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

"Patra ni Macchi" or Pomfrets Steamed in Banana leaves - A Parsi delicacy

"Patra ni Macchi" is a mouth-watering Parsi dish, which is nothing but Fish Steamed in Banana leaf.
The fish normally used is "Pomfret", but you also use any other white fish.
In the traditional recipe, fish slices are used, but I have made this dish using whole pomfrets since I had bought small pomfrets.
Pomfrets are excellent sources of protein that are low in fat. Pomfret fish is high in Vitamin D. It is also loaded with minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
The ingredients required for this dish are also the ones which are always or easily available in the kitchen, so preparing this was really easy.
I found this recipe in my grandmom's hand written cookery note book.
Personally I am more fond of fried fish being a true Mangalorean, but this is one steamed fish dish which I relish. Its not just a healthy dish but also very easy to make and since the fish cooks very fast , steaming time is just 5 minutes.

Serves 3

Banana leaves - 4 - wiped dry
Pomfrets - 500 gms - if small keep them whole, if 1 fish is 500 gms you could slice them
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/4 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
To grind:
Coconut grated fresh/desiccated - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 10
Garlic - 15 flakes
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - chopped - 1 cup
Mint leaves - 1 tbsp
Water - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tbsp

Marinate fish/slices with salt, turmeric and chilly powder and keep aside. Allow to marinate for atleast 30 minutes.

Cut banana leaves into portions large enough to wrap each fish/slice.
Grease banana leaves with little oil and keep aside.
Grind all the ingredients under "To grind" into a thick smooth paste.
Coat each fish/slice with the ground paste.

Place each piece of fish on a banana leaf and pack it and tie with a thread.

Steam in the cooker for 5 minutes after the 1st whistle.
Release the steam and remove the fish once you have switched off the heat.

Serve hot.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Shark fry or "Mori thallale" in Konkani

"Shark fry" or "Mori thallale" is a very old konkani delicacy.
I remember my mom making this along with fish curry and rice during my childhood. However its not easy to find this fish in Fish-Markets/Supermarkets in Bangalore.
Today when I went "fish shopping", I happened to bump into this fish at the fish Market and I immediately bought one. 
And made this very simple fried side dish but really yum!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Keema Masala or Lamb mince masala

The "Keema masala" I have made today is almost the same as  "Keema mutter" or "lamb mince with green peas", just that I have not used green peas, since my family is not too fond of peas with the mince. 
Hence I call it "Keema masala".
You could add green peas to the same dish to make it "Keema Mutter".
This dish is very popular with Punjabis and is served in almost all Punjabi non-vegetarian restaurants.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Chicken 65

Chicken 65 is a spicy, deep-fried chicken dish originating from Chennai(Madras), as a bar snack, entree, or quick snack. It can be prepared using chicken on or off the bone.
Chicken 65 is alleged to be a dish introduced in 1965 at the famous Buhari Hotel restaurant in Chennai by its founder A.M.Buhari, a pioneer in the South Indian food industry. 
I have had several different versions of Chicken 65, but the one I have made is the closest to one I have in one of the very famous Andhra restaurants in Bangalore. My family loves it and hence I am sharing this with you all!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Babycorn, Capscium and Cottage Cheese Masala

The dish which I cooked just now is my first and successful attempt at recreating a dish, which I had in the "Independence Day thali" in one of the Rajasthani restaurants in Bangalore.
There were so many different dishes in that thali that unfortunately I do not remember the name, so I just call it "Babycorn, Capsicum and Cottage Cheese Masala".
I made this with my own instincts and memory of what I had tasted last month, and I think its worth sharing with my friends.
I used the same basic ingredients but combined them a bit differently and the outcome was a real success!

Monday, 3 September 2012

"Chow Chow Bath" - My 200th Post in 200 days....

Today I have completed 200 days of blogging my recipes and today is my 200th post.
So I have been thinking since yesterday as to what should be my 200th post...
Suddenly this morning I thought why not have a double bonanza dish which is very famous in Bengaluru and is called "Chow Chow Bath".
"Chow Chow Bath" is nothing but savoury Semolina known as " Khara Bath" and sweet Semolina known as "Kesari Bath" served together.
Its a meal in itself.
It can be had for breakfast, or lunch or even as an evening snack.
So here is the recipe...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

"Puttu" - A Traditional Kerala Breakfast Delicacy

Puttu is a South Indian and Sri Lankan breakfast dish of steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with coconut. It is highly popular in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as in few areas of Sri Lanka, where it is also known as pittu. Puttu is served with side dishes such as chickpea curry or banana.
Making "Puttu" is very easy, only requirement is that you need the "Puttu" steaming vessel/cyclinder.
My Mom and Aunts have the entire vessel, which is a cylinder on top, kept over a round vessel in which water is kept and cylinder kept over it for steaming.
This cylinder has an inlet at the bottom thru which steam enters and the layers of rice and coconut get steamed.
Since I love "Puttu", I decided to buy one "Puttu steaming vessel". However I found a newer version, ie just the cylinder which can be kept on any cooker's whistle outlet.
Storage too is very easy since the "Puttu" cylinder is fairly small.
I serve/eat "Puttu" with roasted "Nendran" plantain but my family loves it with a twist, ie "Puttu" with traditional "Konkani Dalithoy".

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Ayesha's Khandani Chicken Biryani

I have always been searching for a recipe for an authentic Muslim Biryani and have made several attempts at cooking it. The "Shilpa's Chicken Biryani" that I have published was the closest I could get to it. Although  "Shilpa's Chicken Biryani"  is great tasting and easy to make, its not really the authentic one.
On Ramzan festival this year, I made "Sheer Khurma" with some guidance from an old friend and it turned out great, however I did not have enough time to actually ask her how to make the authentic Muslim biryani.
On the same day, another friend of mine, who now lives in Sharjah, sent me this recipe. And it was a surprise... Wonder how she read my mind across so many miles...

This is the authentic Muslim biryani which her family is cooking from generations...
My joy knew no bounds when I saw her message. I was thrilled, and today I managed to make it!!
Yes this is the answer to my years of trying to make the Muslim Biryani, "Success" or should I say "Roaring Success..."
Thank you Ayesha for the recipe.... You were like an answer to our prayers.....
So Foodies... here it is...."The authentic Muslim Biryani" ... and with due credit to my friend I am naming it "Ayesha's Khandani Chicken Biryani"!
You could replace the chicken with mutton if you wish.

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