Saturday, 28 September 2013

Peanut Masala or Spicy Peanut Salad

Delicious, crunchy, and nutty peanuts are one of the popular oil seeds known to humankind since ancient times. The nuts are enriched with many noteworthy health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health. They are actually legumes but have almost all the qualities that true nuts like almonds have. Peanuts have numerous health benefits, they Aid in Blood Sugar Regulation (Manganese), Helps Prevent Gallstones, Helps Fight Depression (Tryptophan), Boosts Memory Power (Vitamin B3), Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels (Copper), Lowers Risk of Heart Disease, Cancer Protection, Lowers Risk of Weight Gain.
Eating nuts regularly is associated with a lowered risk of weight gain. Research has shown that people who eat nuts at least twice weekly are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat them.
"Peanut Masala" is another lovely easy to make starter and served in all Indian restaurants all over the world.
Easy to make, healthy and quick....
Peanut masala is lovely snack that can be eaten any time of the day.
You can make peanut masala either with plain roasted peanuts or with a special type of peanuts called "Congress kadalekai/peanuts" that is very famous in Bangalore, Mysore and most parts of Karnataka.
These peanuts are spiced peanuts that are made and stored and can be used in various short eats.
I use the spiced peanuts to make masala peanuts, it barely takes 10 minutes to make these and am sure you will love it.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

"njende curry" - Sour & Spicy Coorg Crab curry

Coorg is like 2nd home to me...
We love driving to Coorg and spending a long weekend there.. 
Some of our best friends are from coorg, everything about Coorg is awesome, the weather, the people and most importantly the food.
Coorgi Pandi curry or Pork curry is something to die for...and personally its my favorite dish in the coorg cuisine. But I still do not know how to cook pork.
Most coorg curries use Kachampuli or Coorg vinegar which is a dark tart vinegar extracted from the fruit which belongs to the Garcinia gummi-gutta family. A must for many Coorg dishes, this vinegar gives a distinct taste to dishes.
Njende curry is another of the coorg curries which uses Kachampuli.
Crabs are a favorite with most people who love seafood.
I make crab curry quite often and my speciality has always been the Spicy "Crab Curry or Chilli based - Mangalore Konkani style" curry.
Of course for the those who prefer non-spicy food "Kurle Ambat" is the best.
There is also this Bunt version of Crab curry called "Jenji Ghasi" which is another of my favorite.
For those who do not count calories, the deep fried crabs are just out of this world.
However, my frequency of cooking crab is so much that I have been looking out for some new recipes every time I travel.
Recently during one of our trips, I met a chef from a resort in Coorg. In no time we became friends and I managed to get this "Njende curry" recipe.
njende curry is a sour and spicy crab curry from coorg which is normally eaten with akki rotti or unleavened rice rotis.

Friday, 20 September 2013

"Bangude Ghassi" - Mackerel fish curry - Mangalore style

Mackerel is one of the highly recommended oily fish for a healthy diet. It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids occur in high quantities in this fish. It contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K. Various minerals also occur richly in the fish. The fish also contains protein and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 that helps to eliminate cancerous agents from afflicted cells. Mackerel fortifies the immune system. It supports the functions of organs that have been weakened by sickness. Omega-3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory agent. They help in the management of arthritis. Inclusion of oily fish in the diet improves the condition of the blood. This promotes better heart health. 
Mackerel fish is also known as "Bangude" in Mangalore's local language.
On my recent trip to Mangalore, I learnt to make this curry from my cousin...and everyone at home here in Bangalore loved it...
I'm sure you will love it too...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

"Puli Koddel" - A Konkani festive/ temple meal delicacy

Puli Koddel" is a Sweet Ash gourd curry made during Konkani festivals.
Although white flesh of the ash-gourd is tasteless it is loaded with nutrients. It's an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin C. It is also rich in many minerals like calcium. Its high potassium content makes this a good vegetable for maintaining a healthy blood pressure.
This dish is a staple in almost all meals served in our Konkani's Venkatramana temples anywhere in the world.This dish is slightly sweet and goes superbly well with the "Saaru" /Rasam.
This is another side-dish that does not contain any onion/garlic and can be called as "Sathvik food".

Thursday, 12 September 2013

"Cabbage Upkari" - A Konkani side-dish

"Cabbage Upkari" is a simple konkani side-dish that goes well with rice and dalithoy.
A side-dish which is extremely easy to make and very tasty...My family loves it...
especially my daughter... Infact when my daughter was very small around 3 yrs, she did not know how to express her love for this dish ...
so she would say "Mamma I love this dish 150 kms.."..."kilometer" was the first unit of measurement she had learnt as a child since we do a lot of driving holidays.....
Now coming to the health benefits....
the inexpensive, humble and widely used cabbage can work miracles....
Cabbage is an abundant source of Vitamin C. It is actually richer in vitamin C than oranges, which is traditionally considered the “best” source of that vital nutrient. Vitamin C, as one of the best antioxidants, reduces free radicals in your body that are one of the fundamental causes of premature aging. It also helps in repairing the wear and tear on the body through the course of your life. Therefore, cabbage is very helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depression, immune system boosting, and defending against cough and cold.
Cabbage is extremely low in calories so is good for a weight loss diet.
Raw cabbage in the form of a Cabbage salad is even more healthier than cooked cabbage...
But for those who like cooked cabbage here is a beautiful side-dish.

Monday, 2 September 2013

"Chatpate Karele" or Hot n Tangy Bittergourd

Bitter gourd is a powerhouse of health benefits.
It helps detox the blood of toxins, helps make skin clearer & also is helpful in curing diabetes.
Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
The name bitter gourd or bitter melon was derived from its bitter taste. However there are ways to reduce the bitter taste and cook some lip smacking side-dishes with this vegetable.
There is a famous saying in tulu language (Mangalore local language) which says "Kanchala Etthanda, Encholu Unnoli", which means "If you have any bittergourd curry with you, you can eat a hearty meal".
For those who love bitter gourd, I have some lovely bitter gourd recipes, mainly in our 'very easy to make' Konkani cuisine, my favorite being "Karathe Phodi" or Bittergourd fritters.
I also make a sweetish curry with bitter gourd called "Karathe Go'd thalasani" which is probably the oldest dish in our konkani community.
For the pickle lovers I have the "Bittergourd pickle" and for those who like salads there is
"Karathe Kosambari".
But the biggest delicacy of them all is the "Chilly garlic Bitter gourd and eggplant" or "Karathe ani Gulla thalasani" since its made from the traditional and patented "Gulla" or brinjal from Udupi.

Here is a simple yet lip smacking side-dish made using thinly sliced bittergourd, my very own creation and a hit in the first attempt itself.
Since I am mostly using North Indian cuisine ingredients, and the end result was indeed "chatpata" , I have given this dish a Hindi name "Chatpate Karele" meaning "Hot n Tangy bittergourd".
Goes perfectly well with rotis/chapatis and a bowl of curds/raitha.
If you feel the bittergourd is too bitter, then you could peel the outer skin using a peeler and soak in salt water for about 30 mins.

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