Sunday, 26 July 2015

Dish #414 - "Ringna no Hollo" - Kathiyawadi Brinjal Speciality

A Kathiyawadi speciality of roasted brinjals, skinned and made into a simple but exotic preparation. This dish is very similar to the Punjabi "Baingan Bhartha" , but dish is more rustic in nature and has no major Indian spices...
I love this more than the Punjabi version....

Brinjals – 1 kg
Oil - 3 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Onions - 3 medium size, chopped
Ginger - 2 inch pieces
Green Chilles - 2, chopped
Red Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt - to taste
Tomatoes - 4 large, chopped
Fresh coriander leaves - 1 ½ tablespoons, chopped

Wash, pat dry and prick the brinjal. Roast them over open flame until the skin scorches and starts peeling off and brinjal start to shrink. Let them cool. Remove skin and mash the pulp completely. Heat oil in a kadai. Add cumin seeds. Cook for half a minute and add onions and sauté until translucent. Add ginger and green chillies and cook for a minute. Add red chilli powder and mashed roasted brinjals. Cook for seven to eight minutes over medium heat, stirring continuously. Add salt to taste. Add tomatoes and cook on medium heat for seven to eight minutes or till oil separates. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and amul butter.

Serve hot with Phulkas or Bajra Rotla.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Dish #413 - Chilly Crabs

Crabs - 1 kg - cleaned
Brown onions - 2 - roughly chopped
small red chillies - 8 choppe
Vegetable oil - 125 ml
Shrimp paste (belacan) - 3 tsp ( Optional but to get Singapore chilly carb authentic taste this has to be used)
Tomato puree - 250 ml
Light soy sauce - 1/4 cup or 60 ml
White sugar - 1 tbsp
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
White vinegar - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
coriander leaves - for garnishing

Clean and cut the crab into quarters. Crack the claws to allow the flavors to penetrate. Set aside.
Place the onion and chilly in a food processor and process to a puree.  
Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chilly puree and the shrimp paste, and fry for 6-7 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the paste begins to change color. Add the tomato puree, soy sauce, sugar, tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and salt, and mix through. 
Add the crab pieces and cook, covered, over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the shells turn red and the crab is cooked through. Garnish with coriander.
In the original Singapore version an egg is stirred thru and tossed lightly to coat. 

Dish #412 - Bharwa Karela or Stuffed Bittergourd

Bitter gourd (balsam pear/ bitter melon) is a young, tender, edible fruit-pod, though its bitter taste might turn some people away from it, in-fact, it really can sweeten your health through virtue of its disease preventing and health promoting phyto chemical compounds. Fresh bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin-C which is one of the powerful natural antioxidants which helps scavenge deleterious free radicals from the human body.
Due to its hypoglycemic action, bitter gourd makes an excellent remedy for diabetes. The insulin-like components in bitter gourd help to lower blood and urine sugar levels without increasing blood insulin levels.
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 delicious dish made using bitter gourd, this is a north Indian cuisine inspired dish.

Serves 2
Bittergourd or Karela - small ones - 10-12 nos
Onion - 1 - finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 - finely chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves - finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch - finely chopped
Oil - 1-2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp (or more as per taste buds)
Chat masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Amchur/Dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Black salt - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Peel the bitter gourds using a peeler, now wash and slit then on one side lengthwise and remove the inside seeds.
Soak in salt water for 15-30 mins so that the bitterness gets reduced. You can also use them directly.
Meanwhile, take a large pan, keep on medium heat, add oil, once hot add the onions, green chilly, ginger and garlic and fry till onions turn translucent.
Now add all the masalas and salt as required, and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Switch of heat the allow to cool.
Now remove the bitter gourd from the salt water, pat dry and stuff them with the cooled mixture.

Once they are stuffed well, tie each one using a thread if you feel that the masala will slip out.

Take a shallow pan, and fry the karela on low heat and using minimal oil - 1-2 tsp.
Once done remove the tied thread.
Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander leaves.


Saturday, 4 July 2015

Dish #411 - Thai Red Curry

Thai red curry is a traditional fiery curry from Thailand... its a coconut milk based curry simmered with any fish, chicken or assorted vegetables. An excellent complement to steamed rice.
You can pick the ready made Thai red curry paste from any Supermarket or you can follow my "red curry paste" recipe. I got this recipe from an old Thai lady whom I met during our recent trip to Thailand. Infact from one of the small shacks in Krabi which served some amazing thai food...

Thai red curry paste - 6 -7 tablespoons
Coconut milk - 2 cups
Oil - 1tbsp
Basil leaves - finely chopped - 
2 tbsp 
Brinjal - 1 - cut into cubes
Big red chilly - to garnish
salt to taste

Red Curry Paste :
Whole dry kashmiri red chilles , soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained - 10
Roughly chopped onions - 3/4 cup
Finely chopped lemon grass - 
1/4 cup
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp 
Cumin seeds - 
1 tbsp 
Roughly chopped ginger - 
1 tbsp 
Finely chopped coriander - 
1 tbsp 
Roughly chopped garlic - 
2 tsp 
Grated lemon rind - 
2 tsp 
White pepper powder - 
1/2 tsp 
salt to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend it into a smooth paste using ¼ cup of water. Use as required or store refrigerated.

Method to make curry:
Heat the oil in a broad non-stick pan, add 5 to 6 tbsp of the red curry paste and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the basil and cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.
Add the coconut-milk, brinjal cubes and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for another 5 to 6 minutes, while stirring continuously.
Add the fish or chicken or assorted veges and mix well and cook on a medium flame for few more minutes till done.
Serve hot garnished with red chilly bits.

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