Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kalya Vatanyache Aambat


 
 
Initially, My maternal grandmother was not familiar with "Black Peas" or Kala vatana which is celebrated in Malvani cuisine. But due to many intercommunity marriages in the family, and her willingness to learn and include novelty in her daily cooking, she cooked these lovely black pearls using her traditional Konkani Masala.
 
As I have mentioned before, when a South Canara vegetarian curry has onion tempering, it is called "Ambat". So this is how "Kalya Vatanyache Ambat" was created. Its name conveys it all. It inherits the influence of Marathi and Konkani. Aren't food and language meant to nurture and connect people? Who are we to judge if it's authentic or not?
 
KaLya Vatanyache Ambat
Black Peas Curry 
Ingredients
2 cups black peas/Kale Vatane sprouts
1 tbsp onion, chopped
salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 - 3/4 cup fresh coconut
4 - 5 byadgi chilies, roasted in a few drops of coconut oil
2 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
1 tsp oil (use coconut oil for the authentic flavor)
1 tbsp chopped onion

Method
1. Pressure cook black peas sprouts and chopped onion, adding adequate water .
2. Grind the masala per the directions above. Make sure to grind finely, adding little water as necessary.
3. Pour cooked sprouts along with cooked liquid in a saucepan. Add ground masala to the saucepan. Adjust water to make not very thin but not thick gravy. Add salt . Bring to boil. Simmer.
4. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add chopped onion. Saute till it becomes brownish but not burnt. Pour the sizzling oil in the curry. switch off the gas. Cover immediately.
5. Serve with plain rice.


Note -
1. You can add a pinch of turmeric powder when peas are getting cooked.
2. You can also add a spoonful of cooked peas to the coconut mixture while grinding.
3. Instead of onion tempering, you can give the garlic tempering. Just note that the name of the curry will change to "Koddel". :-)
4. Please do not confuse these black peas with whole urad or black beans. These are small black peas grown in Maharashtra.
 


Friday, January 30, 2015

Prawns Curry with Bilmbi


 
After getting Bilimbi, adding them to the traditional prawns curry was just a natural progression. Here, bilimbi acts as a souring agent and hence tamarind or kokum is not used.

It's amazing to note the number of souring agents used in different parts of India. Tamarind, Kokum, Bilmbi, Ambado, Kachri (Rajasthan), Amchoor, Raw mango, Vinegar, Yogurt...the list is endless.

Prawns & Bilmbi curry
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups prawns, deveined, cleaned
salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to a fine paste
1 cup freshly scraped coconut
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roasted
7-8 black peppercorn, roasted
A small piece of onion
7-8 byadgi chilies, roasted

Tempering
1 tsp oil - preferably coconut oil
2 tbsp. minced onion
A pinch of turmeric powder
10 bilambi

Garnish
A lemon wedge

Suggested Accompaniment
A heap of plain rice

Method
1. Clean prawns and marinate with salt and turmeric powder
2. Roast coriander seeds, chilies and black peppercorn. Grind with coconut and onion, to a fine paste, adding little water as necessary.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion and turmeric power. Add bilmbi and 2 tbsp. water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add marinated prawns and finely ground masala.
5. Add water depending on the desired consistency.
6. Bring to boil. Switch gas to low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
7. Cover and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Note -
1. Serve this curry with plain rice and a lemon wedge.





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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bilimbi Gojju



I spotted "Irumban Puli" in the frozen vegetable section of my local Indian stores. Though these specific words meant nothing to me, the picture on the packet screamed "Bilimbi"! So I had to buy it. :-)

The first simple recipe that I tried, was by making chutney using coconut and garlic. It was more or less similar to the Ambule Gojju.

Bilimbi Gojju
Bilimbi Chutney
Ingredients
5-6 Bilimbi/
1/2 cup coconut
4-5 garlic cloves
salt to taste
7-8 byadgi chilies (Use more or less per personal preference)

Garnish
Few drops of coconut oil

Method
1. Steam bilimbi in a spoonful of water. Let it cool down.
2. Grind coarsely with all the remaining ingredients.
3. Drizzle coconut oil as a garnish.

Note -
1. This gojju should be hot and should have a strong garlicky flavor.
2. Serve this "chutney" as a side dish with your meal or an accompaniment with dosa/idli.




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Friday, January 23, 2015

Loshni Vodi



 
Almost all parts of India has their own solar cuisine. Today's delicacy is from South Canara Cuisine called "Losni Vodi". My aunt sent over these "vodies" or sun-dried papadums which have a strong garlicky note. These are meant to be deep fried and eaten as a fritter with your daily meal of sheeth/rice, daali tauy/daal, some freshly made upkaris and nonche/pickle.

Authenticity may scoff at my attempts to reduce the calorie intake. Yes. I didn't deep fry them. I microwaved them!



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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Laal Chawal


 

I found a packet of this "Laal Chawal" while browsing through the shops of Mumbai. Since I always love to try out new things, I picked up this packet. I used some for making rice by following the recipe on the back and the remaining rice , I used for making idlies.

 
Following information was written on the packet.
This rice is rain-fed from a traditional rice growing area of Maharashtra.

Clean and wash rice with thrice the amount of water in pressure cooker, adding sea/rock salt to taste
After one whistle, put cooker on skillet and lower heat to simmer
Cook for 45 minutes.


Conscious Food Pvt Ltd
Gala 317 & 318
Vasan Udyog Bhavan
Pff Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai 13

http://www.consciousfood.com/

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Uppit


That savory semolina porridge which is cooked in many Indian homes, is called Upma, Sanja, Rullav or Uppit. As the name changes, the recipe changes too. This uppit is made in my aunt's home whose family hails from Maharashtra-Karnataka border.

Uppit
Savory Semolina Porridge
Ingredients
1 cup medium rawa, roasted separately without oil
salt to taste
1/4 cup yogurt + 2 3/4 cup water to make thin buttermilk
1 tbsp. clarified butter/toop/ghee

1/2 cup green peas - frozen ok

Tempering
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp each mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
2 tbsp. cashewnuts - preferably unsalted and raw
2 green chilies, minced or slit
1 tbsp. grated ginger
3/4 cup minced onion
1/3 cup chopped tomatoes

Garnish
1/4 cup coconut
2 tbsp. cilantro
Lemon wedges
Sev

Method
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add the ingredients for tempering.
3. Keep frying till onion is soft.
4. Add pre-roasted rava and fry for 1 minute. Add green peas
5. Add thin buttermilk, salt to taste
6. Switch gas to low.
7. Keep on stirring till desired porridge consistency is reached.
8. Drizzle ghee/clarified butter around.
9. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.
10. Sprinkle sev and serve with a lemon wedge in individual serving plates.

Note -
1. I have used frozen green peas in this recipe as they are more readily available here.


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Monday, January 19, 2015

Tondli - Dalimbi


I love all the vegetables that are paired with Daalimbi/vaal or bitter field beans sprouts. These beans have a unique bitterish taste that is immensely either loved or hated by people. Sprouting and peeling vaals is a tedious process. I generally soak at least a pound of beans at a time to sprout them. I summon everyone to peel them and then I store them in separate containers in the freezer. It makes my life much easier later.

Tondli-Dalimbi
Ivy Gourds with Bitter field beans sprouts
Ingredients
2 cups sliced tondli/tendli/tindora/ivy gourd
1/2 cup vaal/daalimbi sprouts
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chilies, slit

Garnish
1 tbsp. fresh coconut
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method
1. Follow these instructions to sprout the vaals.
2. Heat oil and add the spices and chilies.
3. As they splutter, add vaal sprouts and sauté for 2 minutes.
4. Add sliced tondli/tindora and cover with a lid. Pour water in the lid.
5. Let it cook on a medium flame.
6. Add salt and sugar after cooking.
7. Mix black pepper powder with coconut and sprinkle this mixture on top.
8. Mix and serve.

Note -
1. Adjust the number of green chilies based on the personal preference.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sukil Sungtha Upkari - Sundried Prawns

 


Sukil Sungath or Suki Kolumbi is sundried prawns. Honestly speaking, I don't care much for them but being a food blogger, I have taken upon this responsibility to capture the food cooked in my family. Sukil Sungtha Upkari is a delicacy and is devoured especially during rainy season. My family members refrain from eating any seafood during monsoon. It's said that this is the breeding season and over fishing is avoided to maintain the balance in the ecosystem. This is also the time, when seafood loving Mumbaikars take out their stash of sundried fish from the pantry and cook some delicacies.

Sukil Sungtha Upkari
Sundried Shrimp Stir Fry
Ingredients
100 gm. or about 1 cup dry small shrimp, cleaned
salt to taste (Adjust if needed)
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. tamarind pulp

Tempering
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 red chilies, halved
A pinch of turmeric powder


Garnish
1/4 cup freshly scraped coconut
2 tbsp. minced cilantro


Method
1. Soak cleaned , sun dried shrimp in water for 15 minutes. Drain.
2. Heat oil - preferably coconut oil in a saucepan. Add onions and red chilies with turmeric powder. Sauté till onion is soft.
3. Add drained fish and chili powder.
4. Sauté for 5 minutes.
5. Add 1/4 cup water, salt - only if needed and tamarind paste.
6. Cover and let it cook for 15 minutes.
7. Garnish with coconut and cilantro. Mix. Switch off the gas.
8. Let it stand with lid covered for 10 minutes.
9. Serve with chapatti or rice bhakri.

Note-
1. Sun dried shrimp already has salt in it. That's the reason you soak it to remove any excess salt. Adjust salt to this curry only on the need basis.


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Muffins


Addition of ricotta cheese to any muffin recipe reminds me of Mava cakes sold at Irani bakeries of Mumbai. So whenever I come across such recipes, I jot them down immediately. I discovered this recipe in my pre-blogging recipe diary. I think this recipe may be from Cooking Light or Good Housekeeping. Unfortunately, I am not very sure. This Italian muffin recipe sure will win the hearts.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins
Ingredients
Mix
2 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk
1 cup part skin ricotta cheese
1/3 cup milk
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 eggs
2 tsp. lemon zest

Garnish
2 tbsp. sugar

Method
1. Preheat oven 400F
2. Mix and whisk ingredients shown above.
3. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture.
4. Do not over mix. Stir till moist.
5. Grease 12 - 15 muffin cups lined with wrappers.
6. Pour the mixture.
7. Sprinkle sugar on top for garnish.
8. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or till done.
9. Serve with your afternoon tea or morning coffee!

Note

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