Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Shankarpale Cutter


Kaccha Kobi - Cabbage Salad



I do not know why this salad is called "Kachcha Kobi" in my family? It translates to "raw cabbage". I think it should have been at least called "Kobichi Koshimbeer" because after all, no raw cabbage heads are placed in your plates. :-D I think it might be a fusion food in my grandmother's kitchen where roasted, crushed peanuts give a Maharashtrian touch and the tempering of urad daal, byadgi chilies and methi seeds give a South Canara feel!! Whatever it is called, I love this simple salad and I sometimes have it as a light meal in itself.

Kachcha Kobi
Cabbage Salad
Ingredients
1 small cabbage, shredded fine
1/2 lemon, Squeezed (or as needed)
1 green chile, chopped
salt to taste
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, crushed
A pinch of sugar
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut
Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp urad daal
2 byadgi chilies, halved

Method
1. Mix all the ingredients for salad - using your hands.
2. Heat oil for tempering. Fry till urad daal becomes pinkish brown.
3. Add tempered oil on the salad. Mix well.
4. Serve.


Note -
1. Use fresh lemon.
2. The fenugreek seeds/urad daal become crunchy while eating this salad. Do not use fenugreek seeds, if you do not like to chew on the whole fenugreek seeds.
3. Shredded cabbage may appear high in quantity. But after adding lemon juice, it wilts and shrinks in quantity. Adjust salt accordingly.


This simple salad goes to EC's WYF: Soups, Salads & Starters event.
This post is also my contribution to Divya Vikram's Diet Foods event.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Olan

It amazes me that different cuisines use the same ingredients and come up with deliciously different dishes. Black eyed peas and red pumpkin are used to make Olan as well as to make "Chora ane Kola nu Shaak" in Gujarat.

Olan
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup black eyed peas (I used frozen)
1 1/2 cup butternut squash, peeled & cubed
3-4 green chilies, slit
salt to taste
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 tsp coconut oil + as needed
1 cup coconut milk (I used reduced fat)

Method
1. Add black eyed peas, chilies and squash in a big saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low & simmer for about 20 minutes or till done.
2. Add curry leaves, coconut milk, salt and coconut oil.
3. Simmer for 7 minutes.
4. While serving you can drizzle a few drops of coconut oil in the individual bowl.

Note -
1. Butternut squash is a good substitute for the red pumpkin.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Collard Greens Thoran

I used Collard Greens for this simple thoran and to my surprise, it became a smashing hit at my home. I call a dish "smashing hit" when Gudiya relishes it. She kept on eating this Thoran and asked for second helping. That really made my day!!:-D

Collard Greens Thoran
Collard Greens Stir Fry-Kerala style
Ingredients
1 lb chopped collard greens, frozen
salt to taste

Grind to a coarse paste
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chili
1 clove of garlic

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 red chilies, halved
1/2 tsp urad daal
2 cloves of garlic, slivered
1 or 2 shallots, chopped

Garnish
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)

Method
1. Rinse the frozen collard greens under water so no icy particles remain.
2. Grind the masala to a coarse paste without adding any water.
3. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, urad daal, curry leaves & red chilies. As daal turns little brownish, add garlic and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes till onion is soft.
4. Now add collard greens. Stir. Cover and cook for about 11 minutes.
5. Add ground paste and salt to taste. Cover again and cook for another 11 minutes.
6. Add coconut oil - if using - and switch off the gas. Keep covered till ready to use.

Note -
1. Collard greens has rough texture compared to other leafy greens like spinach. Spinach can be substituted and it may require less cooking time.
2. Though I used frozen collard greens, fresh ones can also be used.

Aviyal

Oh no!! I missed the deadline. It always was at the back of my mind to send over the festive dishes for Onam celebrations at Priyanka's Asaan Khaana. I guess I neglected to check the deadline. I thought it is Sept 30th. Anyway, I will post the dishes I made for the event one after the other.

I have eaten Aviyal with gravy as well as dry version where the masala sticks to the veggies. I personally prefer the one with gravy to slurp this absolutely amazing and delicious concoction.


Aviyal
Mixed vegetable stew from Kerala
Ingredients
1 cup butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1 potato, peeled & cubed
1 green plantain, peeled & cubed
6-7 pieces of drumsticks
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 cup lima beans
1/3 cup carrots, peeled, diced
3 sprigs curry leaves
1 cup yogurt
salt to taste
3/4 cup coconut milk(I used reduced fat)
1 tsp coconut oil

Grind to paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
4-5 green chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds

Method
1. Add all the vegetables to a big saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and 2 sprigs of curry leaves. Bring to boil. Cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes till the veggies are cooked.
2. Mix yogurt with the ground paste and slowly add it to the saucepan. Add water to get the desired consistency.
3. Add salt to taste, remaining sprig of curry leaves.
4. As the curry comes to a gentle boil, add coconut milk & coconut oil.
5. Serve with rice or appam. (I love to slurp it like a soup/stew or should I say "stoup" a la Rachel Ray!!:-)

Note -
1. I have substantially reduced the quantity of coconut milk, coconut and coconut oil.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sangli che Bhadang


This recipe has appeared here.
http://www.sailusfood.com/2008/09/25/indian-food-trail-traditional-maharastrian-snacks-sweets-guest-post-by-meera/

Thakkali Quinoa


My husband is not much of a rice eater. Actually he can go without rice forever. The only exception is "Thakkali Saadam" or tomato rice. He just loves it a lot. I make Thakkali Saadam quite regularly at our home. So why not Thakkali Quinoa? Since I was making it as a one dish meal for dinner, I also added some yellow moong daal for the protein boost.


Thakkali Quinoa
Tomato Quinoa Porridge
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup yellow moong daal (optional)
salt to taste
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (6 oz) organic tomato paste or 3 tomatoes, grated to pulp & peels discarded
1 tbsp sambar masala

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp urad daal

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped

Method
1. Soak quinoa and moong daal in water for about 1 hour.
2. Drain. Add 3 1/2 cups water and bring to boil.
3. Simmer till the grains are cooked. Keep covered. Let it cool down completely. Use a fork to fluff it lightly.
4. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
5. Now add onion. Saute till it softens.
6. Now add tomato paste or pulp and sambar powder.
7. Give a quick stir and add about 1/2 cup water.
8. Add salt to taste. As the mixture starts bubbling, add cooked quinoa-daal mixture.
9. Stir well so all the ingredients are mixed well.
10. Cook for another 7-9 minutes, covered.
11. Switch off the gas. Keep covered for about 10 minutes.
12. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -
1. Instead of canned tomato paste, you can use tomatoes, peeled and pulped or grated raw tomatoes or follow your favorite recipe of Thakkali Saadam.
2. You can use 1/2 cup rice and 1/2 cup quinoa if you like.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chicken Do Pyaza

This is the first chicken curry that I cooked all by myself. I was a lanky teenager then who was extremely fond of cooking. One fine day, with this recipe from my older cousin, I was confident enough to cook it all by myself. I didn't want anyone in the kitchen as I wanted to do everything. In spite of my ultimatum, my dad hovered around, worrying I might get hurt due to my so-called clumsiness! I am happy to say that the curry turned out to be a winner and I had no injuries!!:-D

Later during my initial "blender/mixer less" days in America, I made this curry often as it does not need any grinding - you can always use mortal & pestle for making ginger-garlic paste. But no grinding does not necessarily mean no hard work. The whole thing of making this curry a success, is chopping the heaps of onions (and shedding tons of tears!!) and sauteing them till they are nicely browned. and that really takes forever!!:-D



Chicken Do Pyaza

Ingredients
1 lb Chicken, boneless, skinless, cubed
2 lb thinly sliced red onions
3 tbsp Ghee (I used 1 tbsp canola oil)
3 tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
2-3 big Tomatoes Sliced
¼ Cups curds
salt to taste

Khada Masala/Whole Spices
2 Cloves
1 Cardamom
2 Bay leaves
2 Cinnamon

Grind or crush
2” Ginger
5 Garlic cloves
seeds of 1 cardamom

Garnish
2 tbsp coriander leaves /cilantro, chopped

Method
1. Grind or crush the cardamom seeds, ginger and garlic to a fine paste . Marinate the chicken pieces with this paste. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Heat ghee or oil. Add onions. Fry till golden brown. Saute on a low flame. This is the most crucial step. It may take forever!!:-D I guess, around 45 to 60 minutes to be more precise!!
3. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom.
4. Add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder. Fry well till tomatoes are reduced to a soft pulp. 5. Now add chicken pieces, and ½ cup water.
6. Add whisked curds.
7. Cook on low fire.
8. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top
9. Serve hot Rumali Roti or Naan & lemon wedges.

Note -
1. Sometimes I let all the water evaporate to make this curry thick or sometimes I keep some gravy to it. Both versions taste good.
2. You can adjust the quantity of garlic cloves depending on the size as American garlic cloves are humongous!!
3. You can use pressure cooker to expedite the process. Simply saute the onions in the pressure cooker, pan or handi. And after adding chicken and water, cook for 3-4 whistles. Let the pressure drop of its own. Open the lid & then simmer if you want the moisture to evaporate.
4. Though the recipe does not ask for it, I always marinate chicken with some ginger-garlic paste & turmeric powder & refrigerate till ready to use.
5. In my opinion, onion chopper does not work well for this recipe. First of all the onions need to be thinly sliced. The Onion chopper makes extremely small pieces with just way too much moisture. You decide!!


My very first chicken curry is my entry to Shrilekha's Chicken Event.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dudhi Na Muthiya

My dear friend, Purnima was looking for some bottlegourd recipes. So here you go!

Dudhi Na Muthiya
Bottlegourd Dumplings
Ingredients
1 medium bottlegourd, peeled, grated, water squeezed out - 1 1/2 cup
1/4 cup Bajra flour
1/4 cup Jowar flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup besan
1 tbsp rice flour
salt to taste
1 1/2 tsp green chili-ginger paste
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp oil

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 boriya chilies
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Garnish
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh coconut (Optional)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Method
1. Squeeze the water out from the grated bottle gourd. It should be around 1 1/2 cup.
2. Mix all the ingredients and make a stiff dough.
3. Make balls and roll them to make logs.
4. Steam the logs in a steamer or pressure cooker without whistle. for about 20 minutes or till cooked.
5. Let them cool down. Cut them into bite sized pieces.
6. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
7. Drizzle the tempered oil on the muthiyas. Garnish with coconut, cilantro & lemon juice.

Note -
1. You can also shallow fry the muthiyas if you like.

Dudhi Peels & Seeds Upkari

Simple Upkari from my grandmother's kitchen. Follow the recipe when you have freshest available dudhi or bottle gourd. It uses the peels and seeds!


Dudhi Peels & Seeds Upkari
Ingredients
2 cups chopped peels and seeds of dudhi/bottlegourd/ghia/lauki
salt to taste


Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
/2 tsp asafoetida
2-3 byadgi chilies, halved


Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut (or more per your taste!)


Method
1. Chop the peels and seeds of the bottlegourd
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. As the mustard seeds start to pop, add chopped peels and seeds. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Cover it with a lid with some water on top.
5. Cook on a low flame.
6. Add salt to taste. Add coconut.


Note -
1. Use coconut oil for the traditional flavor.

Dudhi Thepla



Dudhi Thepla
Bottlegourd Flatbread
Ingredients
1 small bottlegourd, peeled, de-seeded, grated - about 1 cup
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
2 tbsp besan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp owa/ajmo/
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp oil

wheat or rice flour for dredging while rolling

oil for roasting

Method
1. Knead all the ingredients for the dough adding water as needed.
2. Make about 7 balls.
3. Roll into thin discs using flour while rolling.
4. Roast on both sides, adding oil as needed.
5. Serve warm.

Note -
1. Keep the roasted theplas in a clean kitchen napkin or aluminum foil till ready to eat.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vaalache Birde(1) -Bitter Field Beans Curry


This "birde" is considered as a Maharashtrian delicacy. The most difficult to find ingredient in this recipe is "Kadu or kadve" vaal. Mom always gets it for me whenever she visits.


Vaalache Birde(1) (Prononuced as Bir - day)
Bitter Field Beans "green" Curry
Ingredients
2 cups bitter field beans sprouts/kadu vaal/kadve vaal/DaLimbya
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp sugar

Grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1/4 cup cilantro/coriander leaves
3-4 green chilies
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, minced

Method
1. Follow the process as mentioned here to get the sprouts.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. When onion is softened, add sprouts and 2 tbsp water.
4. Cover and let it cook on a low flame.
5. Add ground green masala with 1/2 cup water.
6. Add salt to taste & sugar.
7. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Note -
1. The consistency of this curry should be little thick.
2. Substitute mung beans if you can't find Kadve vaal.




This post is my contribution to Sunshine Mom's celebration of the color Green.

Millet chi Usal

My aaji used to make "JondhaLyachi Usal". It is made with Jondhala or Jowar or Jwari or sorghum. But I have never seen whole jowar at the Indian stores. I came across "Millet" at the whole foods. Though it was different than the usual jwari/jowar in India, I decided to give it a try & made "Millet chi Usal".


Millet chi Usal
Millet Porridge
Ingredients
1 cup millet, about 1 3/4 cup sprouted
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 lemon
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp plain yogurt (optional)

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 green chilies
1 sprig curry leaves

Garnish
1 tbsp coconut
1 tbsp cilantro
lemon wedges
sev

Method
1. Pick millets and remove impurities. Soak in water overnight.
2. Next morning, drain the water and leave in a muslin cloth. Tie a knot and let it sprout. Leave aside for about 8 hours.
3. You will see tiny sprouts.
4. Heat oil in preferably nonstick pan.
5. Add all the ingredients for the tempering.
6. Add millet sprouts and saute for 5 minutes.
7. Add warm water, salt, sugar and yogurt - if using.
8. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Cover and let it cook for about 7 minutes.
9. The millet grains should appear cooked and swollen. If the water is completely evaporated and all the grains do not appear to be cooked, add another 1/2 cup water.
10. Switch off the gas. Keep covered for 5 minutes.
11. Stir in lemon juice.
12. Garnish with coconut, cilantro. While serving, sprinkle some sev on top.

Note
1. Do not let the millet sprout more than 8 hours else it will start smelling rancid.
2. Yogurt adds a little sourish taste. Do not use it if you do not care for that flavor.
3. Serve hot.


I am contributing this post to Aparna's WBB - Whole Grains

&

Suganya's JFI - Whole Grains.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fajetu - Mango Kadhi

Mango pulp adds a unique flavor to this delicious Kadhi.

Fajetu - Mango Kadhi
Ingredients
1 cup mango pulp
1 cup water
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
1/2 tsp green chili-ginger paste
salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery (optional)
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder

Tempering
1 tsp ghee/clarified butter
3-4 boriya chilies
3-4 cloves
2 sprigs curry leaves
1/4 cup water

Method
1. Whisk mango pulp with yogurt, 1 cup water, besan, cinnamon powder, chili ginger paste, jaggery - if using and salt.
2. Heat ghee. Add the ingredients for tempering except water. As the cloves are heated, add water and bring to boil.
3. Now add the mango mixture. Stir well.
4. Bring to a gentle boil while stirring the kadhi.
5. Do not over boil else it will curdle.

Note -
1. If you can not find the boriya chilies, use any variety of dry, red chilies.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cucumber Plant


Cucumber plant showing off its first baby cucumber

A Vada with a last name?

Have you ever eaten a Vada with a last name? I am not kidding. It's almost synonymous with the Anavil community of South Gujarat. It goes by the name "Desai Vada" or more correctly "Dehai Vada" as per the nuances of the Batlabhai dialect of the region.

Since it is a deep fried version, I have tweaked the original recipe a bit to suit our taste. But I have also given the original recipe below.

Desai Vada - My way
Ingredients

1 cup urad daal

1 cup Vada nu Loat

2 tbsp sour yogurt

salt to taste

1/2 cup spinach, shredded

2 tbsp milled/ground flax seeds

1 tsp ginger grated

Oil for greasing the Appe Pan

Method

1. Soak urad daal overnight. Grind it next morning. Cover and keep aside for about 4-5 hours for fermenting.

2. Roast vada nu loat on a low flame for about 5 minutes.

3. Add to the urad daal paste along with the remaining ingredients.

4. Add water as need to make the batter.

5. Grease Appe pan. Ladle the batter in each hole. Cover and let it cook.

6. Flip and let it cook on the other side.

Desai Vada - The Original One

Ingredients

2 cup vada nu loat

1 cup sour buttermilk (or as needed)

salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

Method

1. Soak vada nu loat in the sour buttermilk. It should be thick consistency.

2. Cover and keep aside for fermenting.

3. When the dough is almost doubled in its size, it is ready for making vadas.

4. Add salt. You should be able to make round spherical balls with your hands.

5. Heat oil for deep frying. Slide the balls.

6. Deep fry till vadas are browned on all the sides.

7. Serve hot along with Keri nu ras, Modi Daal, Kadhi, Khata Dhokla, Undhiyu, Puri to make a full fledged Gujarati feast.

Note -

The butter milk should be at room temperature. and it should be sour to get the sourish taste to the vadas.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Shikran - Banana Milk Sweet

 ShikraN used to be my mom's fallback plan in a hurry when kids rejected the veggies like padwal/snake gourds or Dudhi/bottle gourds!! :-D

It's an extremely simple recipe but my moushi - maternal aunt - enhanced it by adding a drop or two of vanilla essence. and oh, what a delicious difference it made!



Shikran
Banana Milk Pudding
Ingredients
1 banana, peeled and cut into thin circles
2 cups milk
2 tsp sugar (or more!)


Garnish
1/2 tsp cardamom powder, freshly ground
or
2-3 drops vanilla essence


Method
1. Dissolve sugar in milk.
2. Add bananas.
3. Stir in cardamom powder ot vanilla essence.
4. Serve chilled with hot chapati or eat it as a dessert.

Flying Rani Cutlet

I think Indian Railways should publish a cookbook about all the delicious food served on the different trains. We used to go to different destinations and travelled by Udyan Express, Shatabdi, Paschim, Rajdhani, Sayaji Express, Konkan Railway...Every train used to have its own speciality. Since I travelled by Flying Rani the most, I do remember perfectly what all goodies are served there. Flying Rani - A double decker fast train - takes you from Mumbai to Surat. It is a lifeline of many officer goers & angadias who travel from South Gujarat to Mumbai for their daily bread & butter. Let's talk about food.

You get sukha bhel - bhel without chutneys, chana daal - fried chana daal mixed with onions and lemons, just superb Shreeji Khaman (dhokla), fresh coconuts (at Dahanu), sweetest chickoos ( at Gholwad), and some nature's bounty like sweet bundles of lemongrass together with mint leaves (lemongrass - paati cha in Gujarati, gavti chaha in Marathi), starfruit - Karambole, & of course, you get this cutlet.

This is just my own version based on the memories. One unique thing about this cutlet was generous use of Kasoori methi. It added such a wonderful flavor. I made my own changes like I shallow fried it instead of deep frying it. I used Panco breadcrumbs, and I also added some paneer.


Flying Rani Cutlet

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1 carrot, peeled

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup paneer/Indian cottage cheese

1 tbsp besan/chickpea flour

1/2 tsp chaat masala

1 tbsp kasoori methi, crushed by hand

1 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to a fine paste

1/4 cup cilantro

1" ginger

2 green chilies

2 cloves garlic

To dredge

panco or any bread crumbs (as needed)

2 tsp kasoori methi, crushed by hand

Oil to shallow fry

Method

1. Pressure cook potatoes, carrots and peas. Mash potatoes & carrots. Mash peas slightly.

2. Mix boiled veggies with paneer, green paste, salt, chaat masala, lemon juice, chili powder, kasoori methi & turmeric powder.

3. Shape into oblong cutlets

4. Heat oil in a frying pan.

5. Mix the breadcrumbs with the kasoori methi.

6. Dredge the cutlets gently in the breadcrumbs mixture and shallow fry till browned on both sides.

7. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Note -

1. Panco - Japanese breadcrumbs - is supposed to make fried food crunchier. Use regular breadcrumbs if you can't find panco.

2. Use more or less chili powder based on your preference.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Leeli Sev Khamni

If you are looking for the original sev khamni or Amiri Khaman, read here. Leeli Sev Khamni - a variation - is made with summer fresh green peas. "Leeli" means the color green in Gujarati.

Leeli Sev Khamni
Ingredients
1 lb fresh green peas, shelled
1/2 cup milk
2-3 cloves green garlic with greens
1" ginger
2 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves

Tempering
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds, fresh
Sev, as needed

Method
1. Grind peas, garlic, ginger and cilantro along with salt to taste. It should be a coarse paste.
2. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and sesame seeds.
3. As the sesame seeds change color, add ground paste.
4. Lower the flame and saute for 30 minutes till it resembles coarse semolina.
5. Add milk - spoonful ad a time and keep sauteing.
6. Garnish with coconut.
7. While serving top with sev and pomegranate seeds.

Note -
1.Frozen peas can be used. Make sure that they are completely thawed and drained. It may take more than 30 minutes to get the desired consistency with the frozen peas.
2. If you can't find fresh green garlic, use the regular garlic cloves.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

VaaLi Ambat - Daal Palak (3)

I know that those who know Konkani food well, are wondering why I called this Daal Palak because VaaLi is no spinach or palak. But I feel that
a)this is kinda konkani version of Daal with leafy greens and
b)spinach can easily be substituted if you can't find VaaLi.

VaaLi is called MayaLu in Marathi. I found it at the local Farmer's market.

VaaLi Ambat
Konkani Daal Palak
Ingredients
1 bunch VaaLi/Mayalu/malabar spinach/chinese spinach or regular spinach, roughly shredded
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup toor daal, pressure cooked & mashed
Salt to taste

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

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1 small onion, minced

Method
1. Add shredded greens in a saucepan. Add turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Lower the flame and cover till it is cooked.
2. Add mashed daal.
3. Add ground masala paste and 1 cup water.
4. Add salt to taste. Bring to boil.
5. Lower the gas. Meanwhile, heat oil for tempering in a small saucepan. Add minced onion. Saute till onion becomes golden brown.
6. Add tempered oil directly in the curry. Switch off the gas and cover with the lid immediately.
7. Serve with plain rice or chapatis.

Note -
1. Sometimes dry or fresh prawns/shrimp are added to the above curry. You can add turmeric marinated raw shrimp along with the greens. and then proceed as above.
2. Adjust the consistency of water per your liking. You may need to add more water if you make curry in advance. Due to daal, the curry seems to get thicker. If you add more water later, do not forget to bring it to boil before serving.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wheat Appe


These sweet appes are made on the Anant chaturdashi day in my family.


Wheat Appe
Ingredients
1 cup Wheat grains /gahu/gehu
1 cup grated jaggery
1/3 cup pohe/pressed rice
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/4 tsp salt
5 cardamoms

Oil for frying

Accompaniment (Optional)
Ghee/Toop/Clarified Butter


Method
1. Soak wheat grains/berries in water overnight.
2. Grind adding very little water.
3. Soak pohe for 15 minutes.
4. Add soaked poha, jaggery, salt, coconut & cardamoms in the wheat mixture and grind again.
5. Set aside covered for an hour. If needed add more water to get the consistency of Idli batter.
6. Heat Appe pan. Drizzle some oil.
7. Pour the batter in each hole, cover and let it cook.
8. Flip over and cook on the other side.
9. Serve along with ghee/toop/clarified butter - if using.


Note -
1. 1 cup dry wheat gave me about 2 cups soaked wheat.
2. Adjust grated jaggery proportion per your requirements.
3. Traditionally, ghee is used to fry these appe.
4. The above proportion gave me 25 Appes.
5. For richer taste, you can use coconut milk instead of water.
6. Without the accompaniment, it is a vegan recipe.

I am sending these whole grain Appes to Suganya's JFI - Whole Grains.
(Thanks, Maya, for letting me know about this event!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jiryache Varan - Cumin flavored daal

Jiryache Varan
Cumin flavored Daily Daal
Ingredients
1 cup boiled toor daal, mashed
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

Grind to paste
1 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted

Accompaniment
Ghee
Lemon wedges

Method
1. Put the boiled daal in a saucepan. Add 1 cup water to adjust the consistency. Add more if needed.
2. Add salt, turmeric powder and asafotida. Bring to boil.
3. Add ground coconut-cumin paste.
4. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes.
5. Serve with rice and kachrya along with ghee and lemon wedges.

This post is my contribution to RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sukke - Mixed Vegetables

Kantola and parwar are the vegetables that are not commonly available in my local Indian stores. and I don't care much for the frozen variety. So when I saw them fresh, I picked them quickly and I was wondering about their Konkani names. Which one is FaggiL and which one is Goyante, I asked myself. and I couldn't understand why I always keep messing these two names. While talking with mom, she told me the proper names and also reminded the delicious "Sukke", my grandmother used to prepare. I finally realized why I can't remember their konkani names. This sukke has both parwar and kantola; & that's what makes all the confusion. :-)
Sukke (pronounced as soo-kkayn)
Ingredients
5 -7 Parwar/Goyata/, sliced
5 - 7 Kantola/Faggil, sliced
1 potato, peeled & cut into chunks
1 raw banana, peeled & cut into chunks
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste
1 tbsp jaggery

Grind to a coarse paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1 tsp tamarind
5 byadgi chilies
1 tbsp urad daal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
Tempering
1 tsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves, torn
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Method
1. Prepare the vegetables as mentioned in the ingredients list. Add 1 sprig of curry leaves & turmeric powder along with 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil. Cover and let it cook.
2. Roast one after the other byadgi chilies, urad daal, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds - adding a few drops of oil.
3. Grind the masala along with the roasted spices. It should be a coarse paste
4. Add the masala to the cooked vegetables. Add salt and jaggery and 1/2 cup water.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low to evaporate all the water.
6. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds & curry leaves.
7. As the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the tempered oil to the curry. Switch off the gas. Cover with the lid.

Note -
1. Though the masala needs to be coarse, make sure that seeds and chilies are well -ground but the coconut should be a little coarse. So do not over-grind.
2. This is a dry curry. So make sure the water is evaporated & the masala sticks to the vegetables.
3. Do not overcook the vegetables. They should be cooked but still need to hold their own taste and shapes.
4. Use coconut oil for the traditional flavor.
5. Similar sukke can be made of suran (elephant foot yam) and/or potatoes.

This post is my contribution to RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chickpeas Leafy Greens Stir Fry

How on earth did I find the chickpeas leaves here? Well, I planted them!! :-D Just take a small pot of soil, throw a handful of brown chickpeas, and let them grow for about 2-3 weeks. If you let them grow more, they will have delicious green chickpeas but by then, the leaves will be very rough and difficult to chew.

Harabharyachi Paale-Bhaji
Chickpeas Leafy Greens Stir Fry
Ingredients
1 bunch chickpeas leaves bunch, roughly chopped or torn with hand
1/2 cup chickpeas sprouts or fresh green chickpeas
salt to taste
1/2 tsp jaggery or sugar to taste
1/2 tsp chili powder

Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 cloves garlic, slivered
1 small onions, chopped

Garnish
1 tbsp fresh coconut (optional)

Method
1. Chop or tear the tender leaves of chickpeas.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering. As onions starts to become soft, add chickpeas sprouts. Add 1 tbsp water. Cover with a lid. Keep some water on top.
3. As chickpeas are cooked, add the leafy greens. Saute till the leaves are wilted.
4. Add salt, chili powder and jaggery or sugar to taste.
5. Add coconut to garnish - if using.
Note -
1. Make sure that the leaves are very tender otherwise it will be impossible to chew these greens.
2. Spinach can be substituted in the above recipe. However, chickpeas leafy greens is considered a delicacy.
3. Adjust the proportion of greens and sprouts per your taste.
4. Always add salt after the leaves are wilted because the fresh leafy bunch that looks huge in the beginning, becomes a small mush after being wilted.

This post is my contribution to RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Vaasotyachi Bhaji - Bamboo Shoots Stir Fry

Vaasotyachi Bhaji
Bamboo Shoots Stir Fry
Ingredients
2 cans bamboo shoots, drained
1 cup kala vatana sprouts, boiled
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
4-5 tirphals/Teppals, soaked in 2 tbsp warm water for 15 minutes

Grind to a coarse paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
4 byadgi chilies
5 black peppercorn
1 tsp tamarind pulp

Method
1. Soak bamboo shoots in water for 4 hours. Wash and drain completely.
2. Add bamboo shoots and boiled kala vatana to a sauce pan. Add turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water.
3. Add coarsely ground masala, salt & tirphal with water.
4. Bring to a gentle boil. Simmer till all the liquid is evaporated.
5. Cover and switch off the gas.

Note -
1. Tirphal needs to be discarded. In this curry, tirphal can be mistaken as kala vatana. Tirphal adds a wonderful flavor & aroma to many Konkani, Goan and Malvani delicacies. However, if you take a bite, it may be quite pungent. So use the tirphal with stems for this recipe. So after cooking and covering the lid for some time, the aroma/flavor will be in the curry and you can easily discard the entire stem.
2. After grinding the coconut masala fine, you can add tirphal along with water and grind quickly. So the tirphals are still whole but impart the delicious flavor to the masala.
This post is my contribution to RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Kuval - White Peas Curry

Konkani food provides me the warmth of my grandmothers. I refer to Konkani food from Konkan, Maharashtra as "Malvani Food" and from Mangalore as "South Canara" food. But just as the language changes every 10 miles (or something like that!) in India, even the food changes per families, regions and homes. Even Malvani food differs drastically. My paternal grandmother never ever used Malvani Masala. and there are some Malvani friends who generously share their Malvani Masala with me, never ever cook anything without the Malvani Masala. and that lipsmackingly delicious food from Malvani restaurants in Mumbai will make you believe that Malvani food is just non vegetarian food. So here's my attempt to bring some simple Malvani home food to celebrate my Aaji's cooking and RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.


Kuval
White Peas Curry
Ingredients
2 cups white peas sprouts, boiled
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
2 sprigs of curry leaves, torn

Grind to a smooth paste
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tsp tamarind paste/pulp
3-4 small green chilies (I used Thai variety)

Method
1. Pressure cook white peas sprouts adding turmeric powder.
2. Add the cooked peas in a saucepan.
3. Add ground masala, curry leaves, salt and jaggery
4. Add water to get the desired consistency.
5. Bring to a rapid boil. Switch off the gas. Cover till ready to serve.
6. Serve with plain rice or chapati.

This post is my contribution to RCI:Konkan at Deepa's recipes n' more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gongura Daal

I met my friend, N who is from Hyderabad at our local Indian stores the other day. She was buying some fresh Gongura leaves. I meant to try them from such a long time. Though I have eaten them in the form of pickles, I had never cooked till then. So I picked up some Gongura leaves and asked N for the recipe. Her recipe was simple, cook with daal and give a "tempering" of your choice. She also advised me not to add any souring agent like tamarind since these leaves are sour.

I think they are similar to Ambat Chuka or Ambadi leaves that are used in Maharashtrian cooking.

Gongura Daal
Ingredients
1 cup toor daal
1 bunch gongura leaves, roughly chopped about 1 1/2 cups
salt to taste
Tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 red chilies, halved
Method
1. Pressure cook daal and gongura leaves adding about 2 cups water.
2. Heat oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. Add daal along with gongura leaves. Mash a little with the back of the spoon.
4. Add water to get the required consistency. Add salt.
5. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for 7-9 minutes.
6. Serve hot as a soup or along with rice.



This post is my contribution to RCI - Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine at Mona's.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Quinoa Appe

I was introduced to this healthy grain - Quinoa after coming to the United States. Now, I include it quite regularly in my cooking. Yesterday, it inspired me to make Appe. :-)

Quinoa Appe
Ingredients
1 cup Urad Daal
1 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp Quinoa
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 - 2 green chilies, chopped
2 sprigs of curry leaves, torn
1 tbsp cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
Method
1. Soak urad daal overnight.
2. Grind the drained daal in the morning. Cover and keep aside for 4 hours.
3. Soak 1 1/3 cups quinoa in water for 4 hours. Keep remaining 1 tbsp quinoa dry.
4. After 4 hours, mix drained quinoa and urad daal batter.
5. Add all the other ingredients including 1 tbsp quinoa.
6. Grease Appe Pan (or appe patra or Appya Kayili) and pour a spoonful of the batter.
7. Cover and let it cook. Flip and let it cook on the other side.
8. Serve with the chutney of your choice.

Note
1. I kept spoonful of quinoa aside to get the crunch and to make a statement that it is indeed quinoa appe!!:-) But you can soak the entire quinoa if you like.
2. Instead if soaking, you can dry roast quinoa and grind to a coarse powder before adding to the daal batter.
3. You can grind the drained quinoa to a coarse paste and then add to the batter as well.

I am sending these Appe to Aparna's WBB: Grains in my breakfast event.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rishi/Rushi chi Bhaji - Vegetable Stew


The next day after Ganesh Chaturthi is called "Rishi or Rrushi Panchmi". This stew like bhaji is served on this day. It is called Kandmoolachi Bhaji or Rishi chi Bhaji. Kandmool means root vegetables. I love to slurp this stew and the recipe itself is oil-free. It was not any healthy modification on my part. Another reason for me to like it!

Kandmoolachi Bhaaji/Rishi/Rushi chi Bhaaji
ॠ षी ची  भा जी 
Mixed Vegetable Stew - Malvani Style
Ingredients
2 corn-on-cobs, cut into 2-3 pieces
2 potatoes, peeled/cut into big chunks
1 small piece of pumpkin or acorn/butternut squash, cut into big chunks
1 raw banana, peeled, cut into big chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled, cut into big chunks
1 small carrot, peeled, cut into chunks
1 small piece of suran/elephant yam, peeled, cut into big chunks
1 small piece of konfal/purple yam, peeled, cut into big chunks
1 bunch colcasia leaves/taro leaves/ALu chi Paane or spinach, shredded
1 bunch laal maath or swiss chard, shredded
fresh stems of the maath or chard, cut into small pieces
1 smallish ridge gourd, peeled, cut into circles
1/2 cup raw peanuts - soaked for 2 hours (peanuts peeled right from the shells will taste even better)
1/2 cup fresh, green chickpeas

2-3 green chiles, slit
1 tbsp jaggery
salt to taste
2 tsp tamarind pulp

Method
1. Take a big stockpot or dutch oven. Add leafy greens like taro leaves, chard along with stems. Add 1 cup water.
2. Switch on the gas.
3. Add soaked peanuts and green chickpeas.
4. As the leafy greens start to wilt, add the remaining vegetables.
5. Now add green chilies. Cover and keep a lid on top.
6. Switch the gas to low.
7. As the water on the lid comes to boil, pour the water inside the pot and keep some more water on top.
8. Repeat the step 7 till all the vegetables are cooked.
9. Add salt, tamarind pulp and jaggery.
10. Serve hot.

Note -
1. It is okay if you can't find all the vegetables. Adjust salt, jaggery, tamarind proportion accordingly.
2. If the potatoes are very fresh, you can leave the peels on.
3. I also added some baby corns. You can add the vegetables of your choice but try to avoid okra/lady's fingers or eggplant/brinjal as they get too sticky. Preferably add as many root vegetables as you can.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mango Modak



I pretty much followed the recipe for "Bhugga" and made this Modak. As the moisture in the ricotta cheese evaporated, I added mango pulp and kept stirring till a homogeneous mass is formed.

Mango Modak
Ingredients
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (or mawa/khoya/khava)
2 tbsp sugar (use more if you prefer)
3/4 cup mango pulp
1 green cardamom, seeds crushed

Method
1. Pour ricotta cheese in a nonstick kadai/wok. Keep frying on a very low flame till the moisture is entirely evaporated. It may take about 25 - 30 minutes.
2. Add sugar and mango pulp. Keep stirring till the moisture is evaporated.
3. Switch off the gas. Add cardamom powder. Mix together.
4. Let it cool down.
5. Shape it in the desired shape like ladoo or modak or pedha.

Note -1. Refrigerate the leftovers.
2. I used small modak mold/press for making these mango modaks.
3. Khoya/Khava/Mawa can be used instead of ricotta cheese.
4. Ricotta cheese or khoya gets reduced in quantity after water is evaporated.


This is my humble virtual offering to Mumbai's beloved - Lalbaug cha Raja.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ukadiche Modak for Lord Ganesha


We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with lots of enthusiasm yesterday. Gudiya had fun clapping during the Aartis. and what's Ganesh Chaturthi without Modaks? So I decided to make them. My mom gave me the perfect proportion for making ukadiche modak on a small scale. It worked well for me.
After preparing Modaks, I was kinda brimming with joy & pride. Well, they were definitely not the best modaks I have seen. Honestly, they didn't even come close to what may grand moms, great aunts, mom or aunts make. But still, they were not bad.

I noticed that Gudiya was staring at the Modak in her plate rather intently. I was wondering what's going on? After some serious thought, she asked me - "Mumma, are we going to eat the whole garlic for dinner today?".....Oh well!!!

Here's my recipe which resulted in not-so-bad modaks but my daughter thought they were garlic bulbs. :-D

May Lord Ganesha bless us all.

Ukadiche Modak - (About 11 - 12 Modaks)
Sweet Coconut-Jaggery Dumplings
Ingredients
For Ukad or dough
1 cup rice flour
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

For the stuffing -
3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1/2 cup jaggery, grated (use 3/4 cups if you prefer very sweet version)
1 tbsp poppy seeds/khus khus
1 tbsp cashewnuts (optional), broken into small pieces
3-4 cardamoms, crushed coarsely
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder

Accompaniment
Ghee/Toop (Optional)

Method
1. Bring the water to boil adding salt and oil.
2. Slowly pour rice flour while stirring the rice-water mixture with a fork.
3. Switch off the gas. Stir well so there are no lumps. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
4. In another pan, heat coconut, jaggery mixture on a low flame till jaggery melts. Now poppy seeds and cashew pieces. Stir for about 5 minutes. Switch off the gas. Add cardamom and nutmeg powders. This stuffing is called "Choon" or "Chuv". Set it aside to cool down.
5. While the dough is still warm, (but kneadable with bare hands!) - knead the dough so there are no lumps and it is nice and smooth. This dough is called "Ukad".
6. Make small balls and roll out into a puri - this is called "Paari". Stuff the coconut-jaggery mixture. & try to bring the edges together just like - oh well - garlic bulb!! I used Modak mold at this stage. The first modak - as seen in the center - was a little crooked!! :-(
7. When all the modaks are ready, steam them for about 15- 20 minutes.
8. Serve warm with ghee/toop - if using.

Note -
1. Use freshly scraped coconut.
2. Use grated jaggery before adding to the coconut. It can be grated on the grater. That will give you the precise measurement.
3. I used bamboo steamer for steaming. Your regular pressure cooker can also be used.
4. Without ghee for serving the Modaks, this is a Vegan recipe.
5. If you like, you can line the container with banana or turmeric leaves to get the delicate flavors imparted by the leaves.
6. During Ganesh Chaturthi season in Mumbai, you get special rice flour meant for making modaks. That is made from aromatic rice like Ambemohar.
7. The proportion above for the 11 - 12 modaks is for the medium sized modaks as shown above. The count may vary if the modaks are made smaller or bigger.



Jaggery from Kolhapur

Kolhapuri Jaggery shaped in the form of Modak - sent by a dear friend from Kolhapur.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

तू सुखकर्ता तू दुखहर्ता
विघ्न विनाशक मोरया
संकटी रक्षी शरण तुला मी
गणपती बाप्पा मोरया


Trivia - Name this temple.

Answer - Sanyasashram, Juhu/Vileparle, Mumbai

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