Sunday, October 31, 2010

Green Beans plant

My container garden produces a modest harvest of veggies. We enjoy them immensely.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Yardlong beans

Isn't that a pretty color?
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Friday, October 29, 2010

Purple Beans

Aren't they cute?

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Khatti Meethi Masoor Daal

I have adapted this recipe from Global Vegetarian cooking by Troth Wells. This recipe was contributed by Dinyar Godrej. I have modified the original recipe to suit to our tastes.

Khatti Meethi Masoor Daal
Red Lentils with Spinach
1/2 cup red lentils/ masoor daal
1 cup shredded spinach

Grind to paste
3-4 garlic cloves
1" ginger, peeled
2 red chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp oil/ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need,
salt to taste
1 tbsp brown sugar or jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tbsp minced cilantro

1. Pressure cook red lentils & spinach adding 1 cup water. Mash lightly and set aside.
2 Heat oil/ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds and turmeric powder.
3. Add ground masala and fry for 2-3 minutes adding spoonful of water if masala sticks to the bottom of the pan.
4. Now add cooked daal, brown sugar/jaggery, salt and tamarind. Add enough water to adjust the desired consistency.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Serve with plain rice.

Note -
1. Do not mash spinach to a  puree.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Yellow Watermelon

The watermelons with yellow pulp are quite common in the Farmers' market. I find them totally crazy!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

MuLyachi DaaL

I know you are wondering about exactly how many bunches of radishes I bought from the farmers' market!! But the truth is that I do get carried away when it comes to shopping at the local markets!

MuLyachi दाल
मुळ्याची  डाळ
Radish Daal Curry

Pressure cook
1/2 cup toor daal
1 big piece of daikon radish, peeled & chopped into semi-circles
1 tbsp chopped onion
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to paste
2 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tbsp onion
5 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriader seeds

1 tbsp oil
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

You will also need
1 tsp jaggery
3 kokums, rinsed
salt to taste

1. Pressure cook toor daal with remaining ingredients under pressure cook, adding 1 cup water. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add tempering ingredients
3. As they sizzle, add daal, coconut paste and water to adjust the consistency.
4. Add jaggery, kokum and salt.
5. Bring to boil. Switch the gas to low. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve hot with plain rice and ghee/clarified butter.

Note -
1. You can mash cooked daal but take care not to mash the radishes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MuLyachi Kadhi - Radish buttermilk Soup

Mom often adds some flavorful veggies like radishes or drumsticks/shevgyachya shenga to her usual kadhi. Each veggie adds a unique flavor to the kadhi.

MuLyachi Kadhi
मुळ्याची कढी
Radish Buttermilk Soup

Whisk together
1 cup plain yogurt
2 cups water
2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan

2 tsp oil or ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves, not torn/use the whole sprig
2 green chilies, slit
1 tsp grated ginger

You will also need,
A generous pinch of sugar
salt to taste

1. Heat oil or ghee in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
2. Add cut radishes, 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 10-12 minutes till radishes are cooked.
3. Add buttermilk mixture. Stir continuously.
4. Add salt and sugar. Bring to boil.
5. Switch off the gas.

Note -
1. Keep stirring the boiling kadhi so it won't curdle. 

Baby Radishes

Fresh baby radishes from my farmers' market
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Friday, October 22, 2010


I made this simple radish salad with the baby radishes that I got from the farmers' market.

Radish Salad
1 medium radish or 1 bunch of baby radishes
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp ginger, minced

Grind to a paste
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh coconut
2 green chilies

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves, torn

1. Peel and chop radishes very finely.
2. Stir in all the remaining ingredients including coconut paste.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients
4. Drizzle the tempered oil over the salad.
5. Mix well and serve as a side dish.

Note -
1. The name kochchoLi suggests finely chopped so do not grate the radishes for this recipe.
2. Traditionally, coconut oil is used for tempering.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tomato che Saar(2)

Fall is the perfect season to slurp this delicious "saar".

Tomato che Saar(2)
Tomato Broth/soup

salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp jaggery

Pressure Cook
4 medium tomatoes, washed, make X with a knife on each tomato
1 cup water

Grind to a fine paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2" ginger
1 - 2 green chilies (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp toop/ghee/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida

1 tbsp chopped cilantro - optional

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain rice

1. Make a X slit on the tomatoes and pressure cook with water. Let them cool down. Now peel the tomatoes starting from X
2. Grind coconut paste and set aside.
3. Grind peeled tomato pulp and set aside.
4. Heat ghee in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. As it splutters, switch the gas to low. Add tomato pulp and coconut paste.
6. Add 2 -3 cups water to get the desired consistency.
7. Add salt & jaggery. Switch the gas to high. Bring to a rapid boil.
8. Switch gas to low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro - if using.

Note -
1. Scouring X mark on tomatoes while boiling is the tip I saw on the food network. It helps to peel boiled tomatoes faster.
2. You can pass the boiled tomato pulp into strainer to avoid any seeds. I think of it as a good source of fiber. To be honest, I do not peel tomatoes either. But then it's a personal choice. Because peeled & strained saar willl taste better.
3. Instead of adding coconut in grinding, you can also add thin coconut milk when the curry is simmering.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Khotte - my way

My grandmother's house in South Mumbai was admired by all of our Konkani relatives. The reason was a big jackfruit tree within the compound(fence). The tree was so planted that its branches used to peer in grandma's kitchen balcony and window. What else does a Konkani want when jackfruit leaves are just within your arms reach? I mean devouring Khotte by just plucking those fresh jackfruit leaves right outside the kitchen window was a dream come true for the people in Mumbai.

Here in US, I haven't seen jackfruit leaves. I have seen the whole jackfruit in Chinatown, but am not so lucky to see the jackfruit leaves. Banana leaves are easily available in Chinatown. I use them to make panki, pannoli, ghavan etc. When I made pannoli, I thought of adding idli batter just the way I made pannoli. When I did it next time, I wanted to be even more adventurous. I decided to make a coneshaped roll of banana leaves, twisted a little at end so the batter won't drip and used a toothpick to hold the shape. (My grandmother used jackfruit leaves to make a cup and used small sticks called - choi -in Konkani to hold the shape). I poured idli batter and steamed it. Though it didn't have the same flavor of jackfruit leaves, it gave the flavor of banana leaves. It was unique as well. It sure was a delicacy and everyone was excited to open their individualized idli wrapper!

Khotte with Banana Leaves
Idlies steamed with banana leaves
Idli batter
Banana leaves

1. Cut  banana leaves into 4 rectangles each.
2. Roll into a cone shape. Twist at the bottom of each cone.
3. Use toothpick so each cone holds its shape. Keep all the cones ready.

4. Pour water in a steamer. Bring to boil.
5. Pour idli batter in each cone.
6. Place vertically so the batter won't drip. Cover with a lid
7. Steam for 25-30 minutes.
8. Serve hot khotte with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. For a traditional flavor, serve khotte with a few drops of coconut oil.
2. First I tried steaming for 20 minutes. But it wasn't cooked the whole way. So I steamed it for 10 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Trevti Daal

Trevti means 3 daals. This daal tastes good with rice or rotla/bhakri.

Trevti Daal
Three daals
1/4 cup toor daal
1/4 cup yellow moong daal
1/4 cup chana daal

Salt to taste
1/2 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp Gujarati garam masala

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, chopped

1. Wash and pressure cook 3 daals. Mash and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the spices. As they sizzle, add onion and garlic. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add tomato and saute again for about 5 minutes.
4. Now, add chili powder and garam masala. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add mashed daal and water to adjust the consistency.
6. Add salt and bring to a rapid boil.
7. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Note -
1. Paprika can be used as a mild chili powder.

Check out
Jagruti's version

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Bikanda VaLValayn - Jackfruit Seeds Curry

Jackfruit seeds are devoured in Maharashtrian, Gujarati and Konkani cuisines. They are called "Phansachya aaThaLya, Champa ni gotli and bikand" in those languages. I am sure they must be having many different names in different Indian languages.

You may find fresh jackfruit seeds at your Chinatown. Daily Delight brand sells frozen jackfruit seeds.  You may even susbstitute fresh chestnuts. I think they taste pretty close to the jackfruit seeds.

In South Canara cuisine, the basic masala/ground paste have three basic ingredients - coconut, byadgi chilies and tamarind. But as I tried to explain here, the consistency of curry(thick/thin), consistency of ground paste (coarse/fine), heat (mild/spicy/fiery), tempering(onion/garlic/curry leaves etc) change the taste & name. So in spite of using the same masala, the result is totally different.

Now, there are 3 types of curries that use the same masala, same seasoning(garlic) but still have different names (koddel/bendi/vaLvaLayn). But here, the main differentiating factor is the heat level. Bendi is hotter than koddel and vaLvaLays is the hottest. If you are a Konkani, you may have witnessed your grandmother calmly taking out 30-40 red chilies for making some super spicy curries! VaLvaLayn, Fanna Upkari are such fiery hot curries. You can decide your own heat level.

Though this super spicy, fiery hot curry goes by this quaint name vaLvaLayn, it's not same as another south canara curry valval which is very mild. Go figure!;-D

BikanDa VaLvaLayn
Jackfruit seeds curry

2 cups jackfruit seeds or fresh chestnuts
salt to taste

Grind to fine paste
3/4 cup fresh coconut
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp super hot chili powder or 12-15 byadgi chilies roasted in a few drops of coconut oil

1 tbsp coconut oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled/smashed

1. If using fresh jackfruit seeds, pressure cook the seeds, peel and halve them. Set aside. If using fresh chestnuts, roast them according to Indira's instructions. Cut into 2-3 pieces. If using frozen jackfruit seeds, place them in water. They are pre-cooked. Set aside.
Frozen Jackfruit seeds
2. Grind coconut, tamarind and chilies or chili powder to a smooth paste.
3. Add ground masala paste and seeds to a saucepan. Add water and salt.
4. Bring to boil.
5. In another small saucepan, heat oil - preferably coconut oil - add smashed garlic cloves. Fry till they are reddish in color.
6. Pour the tempered oil and garlic over the curry. Switch off the gas. Cover with a lid immediately.

Note -
1. Traditionally,  consistency of this curry should be on the thick side. Adjust the consistency per your liking.
2. This curry should be very hot. But you can use your own judgment.
3. Any oil of your choice can be used. But traditionally, coconut oil is preferred.
4. Make sure that when smashing the garlic, you are not making a paste. Each garlic should still be able to hold its shape.
5. Frozen Jackfruit seeds are available by Daily Delight brand. They are precooked.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Khajoor Halwa/Dates Pudding

I use dates or khajoor instead of sugar in many of the desserts recipes. I use Sanjeev Kapoor's halwa recipe to make kheer by adding more milk. Today for Dasra/Vijayadashmi, I made this sweet.

Recipe Source - Recipe&MenuId=0

Happy Dasra!
विजया दशमी च्या शुभेच्छा

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cabbage Sambharo

 Though the method of preparation is somewhat similar to making subzis, this is actually the recipe of a salad. Hence, make sure that cabbage remains crunchy as you stir fry quickly on a hot flame.

Kobij sambharo
Stir fried Cabbage Salad
1 small cabbage head, roughly shredded
1/2 tsp ginger, roughly shredded

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil (or more!)
1 tsp mustard seeds
12 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 lemon, freshly squeezed

1. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or kadai or a wok. Add spices. As they sizzle, add shredded ginger and cabbage.
2. Stir fry quickly on a high flame till the cabbage is coated with oil.
3. Add salt and switch off the gas.
4. Do not cover with a lid.
5. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice as the cabbage cools down.

Note -
1. This salad needs to be crunchy. Covering with a lid may make it mushy.
2. You can also add shredded carrots and bell peppers.
3. The traditional recipe needs more oil as the crunchy cabbage appears to be glistening with oil.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Mag ni Daal

There are two ways of making mag ni daal. One is this wet version and the other is dried version (kori daal).

Mag ni Daal
Yellow Moong Daal
1/2 cup yellow moong daal
salt to taste
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
Grind to paste
2 green chilies (or per desired heat)
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 small onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1. Pressure cook yellow moong daal and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, add onions. Saute till onion is soft. Now add tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes.
3. Now, add ground paste. Fry for 5 minutes.
4. Add mashed daal, coriander-cumin powder, chili powder, salt.
5. Add water to get the desired consistency. Bring to boil.
6. Switch the gas to low.
7. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Note -
1. MIL suggests using more oil for the traditional way of making this daal.
2. Though this daal has curry like consistency, do not add too much water to get broth like results.
3. Adjust chili powder depending on the number of green chilies used in this daal.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vada Paav

My birthday menu always had two mandatory items on the list. One was batata vada and the second was cake. The first was always homemade and the second one was from the local bakery. Now, I have blogged about batata vada, laadi paav and even garlic chutney. But I have never put a picture of the magical combination of all three together. So here it is - Vada paav for two birthdays today. Happy birthday, my blog and happy birthday, self!

Vada Paav
Mumbai's Own Burger!
1 recipe batata vada
1 recipe laadi paav
1 recipe garlic chutney

1. Slit paav open.
2. sprinkle some garlic chutney.
3. Place/stuff a vada.
4. Take a big bite!!

Note -
1. You can make your own variations by adding green/sweet-sour chutney instead of garlic chutney.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chana Bataka nu shaak (1)

I have given this shaak the suffix (1) because this is the one without onion and garlic. The second recipe in the draft is with onion and garlic which will make its blog appearance some day!
Chana Bataka nu Shaak (1)
Chickpeas with Potatoes
3 cups chana/chickpea sprouts
2 potatoes
1 tsp jaggery
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp or 2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafeotida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1. Pressure cook chickpeas and potatoes.
2. Peel and dice the potatoes.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan.
4. Add turmeric powder. mustard seeds and asafoetida.
5. As it sizzles, add cooked chickpeas, potatoes, and all the remaining ingredients
6. Simmer till all the water is evaporated
7. Garnish with cilantro.
1. Instead of tamarind, chopped tomato can be used. If using tomatoes, add along with turmeric in tempering.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

KaLa Masala

This masala is from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. It is not related to goda masala. However, at myt home, we use the term kala masala and goda masala interchangeably to refer to this goda masala.

This Marathwada Kala masala is a must for their fiery mutton curries. I received this masala from a friend who is not a blogger. Thank you, A!

Monday, October 11, 2010


I bought this basil plant from our farmers' market. It was fun cooking with fresh basil for pizza, pasta and pesto

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lemongrass Plant

Lemongrass is known as gavati chaha in Marathi and paati cha in Gujarati. It's very easy to grow. You can either buy lemongrass from your farmers' market (very economical!) or you can buy from your supermarket. Place it in a cup filled with water for 3-4 days or till it sprouts roots. Once you see those roots, just plant it in soil. 
We us the grass like leaves of the lemongrass (gavat is grass in Marathi & hence the name gavati chaha or paat also means the needle like leaves and hence paati cha in Gujarati)  for making tea. A perfect remedy for cold in this fall weather!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tal Gurer Payesh

Recipe Link

My Modification -
1. I also added some shevya/seviyan along with rice for this kheer.
2. I used Thai palm jaggery for this recipe.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Pedvyache Tirphalache Suke

When I went to Whole foods, I almost flipped. There were fresh sardines. I just couldn't believe my eyes. I hurriedly asked the fishmonger to pack 4 for me. and I waited. Thank God, I reached there before a chinese lady because she took each and every remaining sardine. I was happy with my catch! I decided to make Tirphalache Suke. I kept devouring it all by myself for next few days since hubby doesn't eat anything that's not boneless.

Pedvyache Tirphalache Suke
Sardines Curry

4 sardines, cleaned & make gashes

salt to taste

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to a fine paste

1/2 cup fresh coconut

12 byadgi chilies, roasted in a drop of coconut oil (It's spicy!)

3 kashmiri chilies

1 tsp rice grains

7 - 9 peppercorns

1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp

1/2 tsp turmeric pwoder

Soak in 1/4 cup water

9-10 tirphals/triphals


1/2 - 1 cup water


1 tsp coconut oil


1. Clean and rinse sardines. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.

2. Pour the ground masala in a wide & heavy bottomed saucepan - so all the sardines can be kept in a single layer. Add marinated sardines & 1/4 cup tirphal water & 1 cup water.

3. Switch on the gas. Add salt to taste. As the curry starts boiling, drizzle coconut oil on top.

4. Switch off the gas. Cover and keep aside for 5 minutes before serving.

5. Serve with plain rice

Note -

1. After grinding the masala to a fine paste, you can add tirphals and water. and grind quickly for a few seconds. Tirphals shoulndt get ground but just a flavor needs to be mixed with the masala.

2. Tirphals are not meant to be eaten. They are added only for flavor.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thai Sweet Basil

From my container garden

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green Peas Plant

I just threw the green peas (dried ones) from my pantry in the soil. I have observed that the climate shouldn't be too hot for the green peas.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


From my kitchen garden

Some kohlrabi dishes that I have blogged so far -
1. Kohlrabi Athanu - Kohlrabi Pickle
2. Navalkolachi Bhaaji (1) - Kohlrabi Stir Fry
3. Navalkolachi Bhaaji (2) - Kohlrabi Moong Daal Stir fry
4. Navalkolachi Koshimbeer - Kohlrabi Salad

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Bengali Khichuri

Today is going to be a very busy day. So without any more typing, I will leave with a picture and the corresponding recipe. Ciao!!

Recipe Link -

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kakdi na Pooda

A pooda/pancake which  is just right when you get a bounty of cucumbers from your veggie garden.

Kakdi na Pooda
Cucumber Crepe
1 big cucumber, peeled & grated, squeezed to remove the extra moisture

2 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp besan
2 tbsp jowar flour
salt to taste
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 green chilies chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp flax seeds powder (Optional)
Sour buttermilk as needed to soak the flour
A pinch of baking soda (Optional)

Oil for frying

1. Mix all the dry flours with sour buttermilk for 4 - 6 hours. Keep covered in a warm place in order to get good fermentation. The batter should resemble the idli batter.
2. Now add all the remaining ingredients except oil.
3. Heat a pan or tawa or griddle.
4. Pour a ladleful of batter to make a circle. Drizzle oil around the "pooda". Cover and cook. Flip and cook on the other side. Make sure that the pooda is nicely crispy.
5. Serve with chutney or ketchup along with chhaas.

Note -
1. Do not add too much water or buttermilk after cucumber is added. Cucumber will leave the moisture.
2. You can also add some chopped green garlic or green onion for a different flavor.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kairichi Amti

This simple curry also goes by the name  "Udid Methi" because of urad daal and fenugreek seeds in the masala.

Kairichi Amti
कैरीची आमटी
Raw Mango Curry
1 big raw green mango or 2 -3 small raw green mangoes
salt to taste
1 1/2 tbsp jaggery

Grind to paste
3/4 cup fresh coconut
9 black peppercorns
4-5 byadgi chilies
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad daal

1 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1. Cut raw mangoes into slices. Set aside.
2. Roast spices without adding any oil. Grind along with coconut to make a smooth paste.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the tempering ingredients.
4. As they sizzle, stir in raw mango slices. saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid. Let it cook for about 10 minutes till the mango is soft. The green color of the peel will turn into pale shade.
6. Add ground coconut masala paste, salt and jaggery.
7. Add enough water to make gravy. The consistency should not be too watery.
8. Bring to boil.
9. Simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Serve with hot, white rice

Note -
1. Choose firm raw mangoes.
2. Use coconut oil to enhance the flavor.
3. The taste should be sweet sour and mild. So adjust jaggery to balance the tartness of the raw mango.

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Kashir Gaadh - Kashmiri Fish Curry

I found this recipe when I made Alla Roganjosh last time. I love seafood in any form. Though it was different than our traditional coconut based seafood curry, I loved it nonetheless.

Recipe Source -


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