Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Thai Basil Chilly Baby Potatoes

Thai Basil Chilly baby potatoes is the perfect vegetarian starter.
Its a quick and easy recipe, and a dish which I make very often.
I grow Thai Basil in my little balcony so I can use them whenever I want.
My daughter loves this, and so do all of us.

Its perfect for today's rainy and cold weather.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Prawns & Malabar cucumber in Spicy Garlicy Gravy - A Mangalorean curry

The most comforting meal for me is "Prawns & Malabar cucumber in Spicy Garlicy Gravy" with red rice. This is a konkani dish which my aunt and mom make best, but over the years I too have mastered the art of making this curry.
Very simple to make and most comforting in every way.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hot n Sweet fresh Coriander Chutney/Dip or "Thikkat Mikkat" - a Konkani dip

Call it whatever you want, "chutney", "dip", "side dish", this is one dish my Mom and granny used to make during my childhood. Goes well with rice and dal or with chapatis or dosa and also with fritters or chips.
Very easy to make and yet so versatile.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

"Bharli Vangi" or Stuffed Eggplant - Maharashtrian Style

"Bharli Vangi" means stuffed Eggplant/brinjal in Marathi.
I have already posted my "Granny's Brinjal Masala Dry" which is my personal favorite, but today I made this dish in the Maharashtrian style, following the recipe in my grandmom's cookbook.
It turned out delicious, hence I am posting this.
This dish goes very well with phulkas or rotis.Am sure you will love it too!

Monday, 22 October 2012

"Dahi Vada /Dahi Bhalla/Thayir vada" or Split Black lentil dumplings in seasoned Yoghurt

"Dahi Vada" or "Dahi Bhalla" or "Thayir Vada", call it with whatever name you like, if you like curds, this is one street food/starter/evening snack that you will love to eat!!
Its nothing but Split black lentil fried dumplings, served with seasoned yoghurt.
In North India this is called as Dahi vada, in Western India as Dahi Bhalla and in South India as Thayir Vada...!
In the North Indian version this is served without the sweet chutney, but in the western version the vadas are topped with the sweet chutney which is the Dates n Tamarind Chutney/Khajur Imli Chutney.
In both these North and West Indian versions, the curds is just whisked well with a little bit of salt.
In Northern and Western India this is served as a starter/snack.
But in the South Indian version, the curds is diluted a bit and seasoned with some south Indian aromatics/spices.
In South India this is a part of breakfast.
Whichever the version maybe, we love all Dahi vada.
My Mom used to make this very often during our childhood, her version would be Thayir Vada the South Indian one, but I would always add the green mint and coriander chutney and sweet dates n tamarind chutney and convert it to a North+Western Indian version and eat it.
This is one dish which can be served as a starter in a north Indian meal/buffet, eaten for breakfast or as an evening snack.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"Missi Roti"/ Wheat n Gram flour Indian Bread - A Punjabi delicacy

"Missi Roti" is another Punjabi delicacy....loved by all of us.
This one one Indian bread which makes for a quick breakfast dish, lunch box option or a simple dinner. It also goes well with all dals and curries as well as simple curd raitha.

Friday, 19 October 2012

"Peanut Sundal" or Stir fried boiled peanuts

Peanuts are rich in energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
They are especially, rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acids that help to lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increase HDL or "good cholesterol".
Hence, "eating a handful of peanuts a day, helps to keep bad cholesterol at bay"!
But remember to eat boiled or dry roasted peanuts, not fried.
"Sundal" is nothing but a Stir-fry of boiled legumes.This Sundal is prepared in most south Indian homes, but under various names, Some call it "Upkari", some call it "Palya". The name "Sundal" is however used in Tamil Nadu.
This is served in most temples and religious gatherings as prasad to the devotees.
But you also see it sold in paper cones on the beaches of Tamil Nadu.
This is one snack we all love to eat, whether its summer or winter.
I have prepared this Sundal but in Konkani we call it "Chane Upkari" which I made for Ram Navami festival.
Chane Upkari - Konkani style

The most common legumes used to make "sundal" are white and black chickpeas.
Since I have already posted Black Chickpeas Stir fry in Konkani style, today I made "Peanut Sundal" in Tamil style which I learnt from a friend.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

"Sabudana Vada" or Sago Fritters

"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.
This Sabudana Vada is a nice crunchy, savoury snack that is yummy to eat, and I normally make it during Navartri / fast days for my lil one.
A slight variation in the look of my vadas, is that I stick a bit of "Sago" on the top of the vadas just before frying to give it that 2 tone effect.
And my daughter loves it that way...!

Monday, 15 October 2012

"Palak waali Makki ki Roti" / Maize n Spinach Indian Bread

"Makki ki Roti" with "Sarson ka saag" is a very famous Punjabi meal.
"Makki ki roti" is nothing but rotis or Indian bread made from Maize (Corn) flour.
The flour is naturally rich in dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamin B, omega 6 unsaturated fat and vegetable proteins. It is also rich in magnesium.
This Corn flour is used in Indian cuisine mainly to make rotis/Indian bread.
It is also extensively used in Mexican cuisine to make Mexican Tortillas, Tacos and Nachos.
These rotis are easy to make and also very filling, eating 1 of these rotis is equivalent to eating 3 wheat rotis of the same size.
The "Makki ki Roti" is normally made plain, and then served with lot of butter, but this version of adding Spinach/Palak I learnt from my Punjabi friend's mother who makes this everytime we visit them.
And when served with lots of butter, its tastes all the more delicious..!

Friday, 12 October 2012

"Mor Kuzhambu" - A Kerala delicacy or Kerala Style "Kadi"

Mor Kuzhambu is a very famous kerala side-dish /accompaniment. Mor means "Buttermilk" in Malayalam and "Kuzhumbu" or Kulambu is the accompaniment served as the first course in the meal.
For those who do not understand both these words, its a kerala style "kadi" or "sambhar" like dish.
This is one of the easiest kerala dish which can be cooked in no time and with ingredients that are always available in the kitchen. This goes very well with rice.
I often add some vegetables to it like Okra or Pumpkin, but today I made it just plain.
Its also incredibly easy to make so after a hard day outside home, you can make this for dinner.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bitter Gourd Pickle or "Karathe Nonche" in Konkani

"Karathe Nonche" or Bittergourd pickle is an instant pickle made from fried bittergourd pieces.
We often associate the word "pickle" with "time consuming",  "lot of effort" etc..
This pickle is very easy to make and can be made very quickly.
This is made especially during festivals and functions when large lunch gatherings are organised.
This pickle is a perfect balance of spice, tang and the light bitterness of the bittergourd.
Bittergourd lowers blood glucose levels, hence a serving of bittergourd is a must for diabetics atleast 3-4 times a week.
Even for others, bittergourd has plenty of health benefits.
So Try making this!
This pickle can be preserved upto 1 week preferably in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Masala French Toast

"Masala French Toast" is my twist to the regular sweet french toast which we all know.
I have been making these almost every week for the past several years, but from the time I started my blog, I have not managed to click a picture of this dish.
The reason is quite simple, every time a few of these toasts are off the pan, they are goggled up by my husband and daughter and last but not the least by the one who is making them.. u guessed right....ME!!
So somehow not been able to present them in a serving dish and take a picture.
However today I decided to make it as a mid-morning snack for my daughter as she has study hols, and while she was studying made these and clicked a picture...
Couldn't keep my hands off them, but somehow did manage...
So here goes, a simple, tasty and healthy snack but for those who return home after a long and tiring day at work, this could work as a meal itself...
Also one of the simplest dishes for beginner at cooking or a single person living alone!!

Colocasia Stem curry or "Venti Thalasani" in Konkani

"Venti Thalasani" is nothing but a side-dish made using the stems of the Colocasia leaves.
The Konkani just like many other communities in India, are known for using all parts of a vegetable for making tasty dishes.
In coastal Karnataka, they use the leaves for making "Alvatthi or Hot n Sour Colocasia leaves", "Pathrode or Stuffed and Steamed Colocasia Rolls" and "Ganti thalasani or Saute'd Knotted Colocasia leaves"and the stems are used for making this dish.
The consistency of this dish is a bit like Rasam so it can be used as an accompaniment with rice.
The flavors and juices of the stems are so well merged with the dry red chilly and garlic, that its hard to believe that such a simple dish so little ingredients could be so tasty.
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 "Alocasia" or "Elephant Ear" and is an ornamental plant.
Do buy the bulbs and plant them at home, you will be able to make these new dishes very easily.
Although the stems are not itchy like the leaves, you can use a bit of tamarind to provide a bit of tang to the dish.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Bread Upma or Bread Usli

Bread Upma or Bread Usli is an easy to make breakfast dish or evening snack, that can be made in a jiffy.
It can also be packed in lunch boxes. 
I normally make this as an evening snack and sometimes for breakfast. And even pack it in lunch box for my husband and kid. But remember do not use tomatoes if you are packing it for lunch, the end result gets soggy.
The version I made today is a bit South Indian as I am using mustard seeds, urad dal, rasam powder etc like the south Indian Upma.
You could also use Jeera and Garam masala powder to get a North Indian taste.
Either ways this dish tastes great!

Kesari Bath or Sweet Semolina Pudding

Sweet Semolina Pudding or Kesari Bath
Serves 4
Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/4 cup
Green cardamom - 4 - peeled and powdered coarsely
Saffron or Kesar - 1 pinch soaked in water for 10-15 minutes
Dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds etc  - 2 tbsp
Water - 2 cups

Take a heavy bottomed regular pan or non-stick pan.
If you are making this first time, its easier in non-stick pan.
Meanwhile on the other stove, allow 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan.
Keep the pan on low heat, add ghee, when lightly hot, add the semolina and fry well for 3-4 minutes.
Now add sugar and fry for 1 minute. Now add the cardamom, mix well, then add the safffron and the water and the boiling water.
Cover and cook till all the water has evaporated.
The boiling water is added so that the semolina cooks quickly and does not get sticky incase its not fried well.
If using non-stick pan, you could cover it for just 1-2 minutes and then open the vessel and cook till all the water has evaporated out of the Semolina. 
Serve hot or cold garnished with dry fruits.

Khara Bath or Semolina Upma

Semolina Upma or Khara Bath
Serves 4
Semolina/Rava - Medium size - 1/2 cup
Vegetables like sliced Carrots and Green Beans, and peas - 1/2 cup - boiled
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
dry red chilly - 1/2
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4
Green chillies - chopped - 1
Ginger - sliced - 1/2 inch piece
Onions - chopped - 1/2
Tomato - chopped - 1
Rasam or Sambhar powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Water - 2 cups
Ghee - 1-2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - chopped - 1 tbsp

Take a heavy bottomed regular pan or non-stick pan.
If you are making this first time, its easier in non-stick pan.
Keep the pan on low heat, add ghee, when lightly hot, add the mustard, urad dal, dry red chilly, curry leaves and allow to crackle. Now add ginger, green chillies and onions and fry till onions become translucent.
Now add the chopped tomatoes, rasam powder and salt and fry till tomatoes get really soft. Now add the boiled vegetables.
Meanwhile on the other stove, allow 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan.
When the tomatoes are well done and ghee begins to separate, add the semolina/rava and fry for 1 minute.
Now pour the boiling water in the pan, cover and cook till the rava is cooked and all the water has evaporated.
The boiling water is added so that the semolina cooks quickly and does not get sticky incase its not fried well.
If using non-stick pan, you could cover it for just 1-2 minutes and then open the vessel and cook till all the water has evaporated out of the Semolina. 
Now add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
Serve hot garnished with tomato slices and Coconut Coriander Chutney, just like served in "Darshini hotels" all over Bangalore and neighboring towns.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Saute'd Knotted Colocasia Leaves or "Ganti Thalasani" in Konkani

This is another dish using Colocasia leaves or Arbi leaves, which I Love the most.
"Gaanti" means knot in konkani.
This dish is made by first rolling the colocasia leaves and then tieing each one as a knot, and then making a curry out of them.
The colocasia leaves couldn't get more yummier than this..!!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Potato Parwal Curry - Orissa Style

This Potato and Parwal Curry is a simple and tasty side dish for chapatis. This is an Orissa Style dish.
Actually I am not a big fan of Parwal, but this dish is really awesome.
Some years back I had hired a cook for about a month, and that person was from Orissa. 
He used to make this dish and I liked it, and so did my family. Since then, I make this quite regularly at home.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Semolina Laddoos or "Rava Laddoo" or "Rave Laadoo"

"Rave Laadoo" or "Rava Laddoo" or "Semolina Laddoos" are a very famous dessert in South India.
These laddoos are very simple and quick to make.
Also, unlike other laddoos it does not need much ghee!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Raw Jackfruit fritters or "Kadgi Phodi" - A Konkani delicacy

"Kadgi Phodi" or "Raw Jackfruit fritters" is another Konkani delicacy which I love. 
Raw Jackfruit is known as "Kadgi" in Konkani and "Kathal" in Hindi.
I normally make these on festivals when I can indulge in fried food without feeling guilty of having them.
Yesterday when I went to the market, I found some really tender raw jackfruit and I bought it. Since the jakfruit I bought was very raw, tender and small I decided to make "Kadgi Phodi" in Konkani style.
Usually the bigger raw jackfruits are only good for curries like "Kadgi Chakko" or "Kadgi Ghashi".
Cutting a raw jackfruit is really not difficult.
I have explained the cutting procedure in the recipe.
I know lot of people, hesitate to buy jackfruit since they feel its difficult to de-skin and cut it. But trust me 1 attempt and then you will realize that its easy and worth it, since all the dishes made from raw jackfruit are really yummy.!
Do make my other 2 dishes "Kadgi Chakko" or "Kadgi Ghashi", you will love them too!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Lady Fish Curry or Kane Ghashi or "Nogli Ghashi" in Konkani

Lady Fish Curry or Kane Ghashi or "Nogli Ghashi" in Konkani is a very famous fish curry in coastal Karnataka mainly Mangalore and surrounding places.
A simple and easy to make curry which goes perfectly with steaming white rice.
You could alter the spiciness of the curry as per your liking, but this is one curry that tastes good both ways, when mildly spiced or highly spiced.

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