Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rava-urad dosa

My mom makes a different variety of Rava Idli where she grinds the soaked urad daal and ferments it but instead of adding rice or idli rava, she adds roasted semolina right before steaming idlies. I made dosas with the same batter.

Rava-Urad Dosa
Semolina Pancake
1 cup urad daal, rinsed and soaked overnight
salt to taste
*1 cup fine rava, roasted
oil for greasing

1. Soak urad daal in water overnight..
2. Grind to a smooth paste adding minimal water.
3. Mix salt to taste. Cover with a lid. Keep in warm place to ferment for 8 hours.
4. Roast rava on a low flame.
5. Add it to the fermented batter. Add water to get the consistency of the dosa batter.
6. Heat a pan/griddle. Take a ladleful of batter and spread to make thin dosa.
7. Drizzle oil as needed. Cover and let it cook till crisp.
8. Serve with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. You can add 1/4 tsp methi seeds along with urad daal.
2. When you add roasted rava to the batter, some lumps may form. Use a whisk or a fork to break the lumps and make a uniform batter before proceeding.
*3. I like to keep the daal - rava proportion to 1:1 but you can also use it as 1:2. So for 1 cup dry urad daal, use 2 cups roasted rava.
4. Use fine rawa.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mint Hummus

This recipe is just a variation of the previously blogged Cilantro hummus recipe and a result of fastest growing mint in my backyard.

Mint Hummus
Inspired by Rip Esselstyn's Hummus Recipe
1 can organic garbanzo beans
salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, freshly squeezed or as needed
2 green chilies (optional)

1. Grind all the ingredients together.
2. Serve as an accompaniment with pita or as a spread/dip with dosa, idli, sliced bread etc.

Note -
1. Adjust the amount of mint based of your own preference.

Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bharochi Akoori

It is my understanding that Bharuchi Akoori is Parsi scrambled egg garnished with spices and nuts/dryfruits. So it's entirely my creation, I don't vouch for its authenticity. Serve with buttered toast (Use Amul please!:-) and a dollop of tomato ketchup.

Bharochi Akoori
Scrambled Egg - Bharoch style
4-6 eggs
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Tempering 1
1/2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. almond slivers
1 tbsp. cashew bits
1 tbsp. golden raisins
2 tbsp. ricotta cheese (optional)

Tempering 2
1/2 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp. minced onion
1 small tomato, minced
1 tsp minced chili
A pinch of coriander-cumin powder or dhansak masala

2 tbsp. minced cilantro

1. Whisk eggs with the spices. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté nuts, raisins and ricotta cheese if using. Set aside.
3. Add oil to the same saucepan. Add tempering ingredients except coriander-cumin powder. Sauté till onion -tomatoes are soft.
4. Add coriander-cumin powder.
5. Now stir in whisked eggs. Keep on stirring. Adjust for salt.
6. When they reach semi-cooked consistency, add fried nuts, raisins and ricotta cheese - if using.
7. Stir well till they get the desired consistency - (fully cooked or semi-set pudding consistency).
8. Garnish with minced cilantro.
9. Serve with buttered toast.

Note -
1. If dhansaak masala is not available, use coriander-cumin seed powder.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chicken Kerala

 Chicken Kerala Served with Shevai

Last day of the Ashadh month -  according to the Hindu calendar - is called "Gatari Amavasya" in the non-vegetarian community of Maharashtra. This is the day when friends and family get together to celebrate "Gatari Party" where non-vegetarian food takes center stage. Vegetarian preparations are limited to the mandatory carbs (rice/chapti/bhakri/vade) and salad. After all, the holy month of Shravan starts next day. Many folks refrain themselves  from eating any non-vegetarian preparations for a month or even up to 4 months (called Chaturmas which means 4 months). Some even shun onion and garlic.

Since Gatari fell over the weekend this year, I decided to celebrate it the traditional way. While flipping my recipe diary, I realized that I haven't blogged the recipe that I learnt from my roommate during my early years in the United States. Since I don't remember its original Malayalam name, I have been calling this as "Chicken Kerala".

Chicken Kerala
Chicken Curry - Kerala Style
1 kg chicken, cleaned and cut

Green Paste Marinade
5-7 green chilies
2" ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Red Masala Paste
10 Red chilies
2 tbsp. coriander Seeds
10 black pepper corn
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 -3 cloves
1" cinnamon
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp. freshly scraped coconut
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup water

4 tbsp. coconut oil (Use more or less per preference)
4 springs of curry leaves
1 cup chopped onion

You will also need,
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup coconut milk

Suggested Accompaniment

1. Marinate chicken pieces with green paste.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
3. Add curry leaves. As they splutter, add chopped onions. Sauté till it's golden brown.
4. Now, add chicken with marinade. Sauté for 10 minutes.
5. Add red masala paste and water.
6. Place tomatoes and cilantro.
7. Stir once. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 whistles.
8. Let the pressure drop. Adjust for salt.
9. Add coconut milk.
10. Let it simmer.
11. Serve with Shevai, rice or appam.

Note -
1. Adjust green and red chilies per your preference.
2. The original recipe does not call for roasting spices. You may roast the spices before grinding to add a different flavor.
3. You can use any oil of your choice but coconut oil is the preferred oil.
4. I generally use less oil than the recipe calls.
5. I use a combination of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Salsa Thalipeeth

I love my thalipeeth and I also love experimenting with my thalipeeth. So after experimenting by adding hummus and cheese with my thalipeeths, it's only natural that I have moved on to the next condiment in my fridge - Salsa!

Salsa Thalipeeth
Salsa Pat a cake
1 cup tomato salsa
1-2 minced green chilies (optional)
1 tbsp. cilantro
salt as needed

Thalipeeth Bhajni as needed

oil for cooking

1. Take salsa in a deep dish/paraat.
2. Add chilies, cilantro, salt. Mix.
3. Add enough bhajni to make a thick dough.
4. Heat a pan/griddle. Make equal balls.
5. With wet hands, pat the dough ball right on the pan.
6. Make 4-5 holes with the pack of spoon.
7. Drizzle oil around and in the holes.
8. Cover and let it cook.
9. Cook on both sides till crispy.
10. Serve hot.

Note -
1. If you do not have readymade thalipeeth bhajni, mix few flours together and proceed. Thalipeeth bhajni has roasted grains and legumes and hence has a rustic flavor. If you are going to mix instant flours, try to roast them.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


PoLay is a word used to describe dosa in mostly GSB households. These dosas are soft and not too crispy. When you add rice to dosa batter, rice makes it crunchy. But this dosas do not have rice and hence they are soft. You can certainly make these for breakfasts or dinner but my grandmother used to serve them along with aftrnoon/evening tea.
Lentil Pancakes
1 cup Urad Daal
1 cup chana daal
1 cup moong daal
A pinch of asafoetida

salt to taste

Oil as needed for roasting

Suggested Accompaniment
Hinga Chutney
Any coconut based chutney of your choice.

1. Soak all the daals with sufficient water for about 6 hours.
2. Grind with asafoetida and salt.
3. Cover and keep aside till ready to use.
4. Add water to make a thick batter consistency.
5. Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan. Spread the batter to make a circle.

6. Drizzle some oil. Cover and let it cook.
7. Once the dosa appears to be cooked, take it out and keep in a plate.

Note -
1. This dosa is not meant to be cooked on both sides. So make sure that it is cooked well before serving.
2. This dosa is not meant to be crispy. It is soft.
3. Sometimes I add half of yellow moong daal and half of green moong daal (with peels).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vangi-batata bhaaji

This is bhaji can be made dry or with gravy (rassa) by adding more water.

Vangi-Batata Bhaaji
Eggplants-Potatoes Curry
6 small purple eggplants/brinjals/vaangi, sliced, stems removed
2 medium potatoes, peeled & sliced
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp jaggery
1 tbsp goda masala
1 tbsp daaNyache koot/roasted unsalted peanut powder (optional)

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp fresh coconut
1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

0. After slicing the vegetables, soak them in water, so they won't turn dark.
1. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. As the mustard seeds splutter, add goda masala. Sauté on a low flame for 1 minute. Do not let it burn.
3. Add drained vegetables. fry for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let it cook. Keep some water on the lid.
4. Now add chili powder, jaggery , peanut powder - if using and salt.
5. You can add more water to keep some gravy or evaporate the water completely.
6. Garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Note -
1. If you like, you can also add some onion in tempering. In that case, sauté till it is soft before adding vegetables.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Baida Roti

After tasting their famed Baida Roti, at Mumbai's landmark street restaurant - Bade Miya, I decided to make my own version. Of course, my version is very homely compared to Bade Miyan's pizzazz. This version can be served as a breakfast item as well.

Baida Roti - Count 3
Egg Flatbread
3 chapatis - rolled out/raw
3 eggs

2 tbsp. finely minced red onion
2-3 green chilies, finely minced - per desired heat
2 tbsp. finely minced cilantro
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Oil or butter for cooking

1 recipe thick mint chutney
A generous pinch of Chaat masala
A generous pinch of Amchoor powder

1. Whisk eggs with onion, chilies, cilantro , turmeric powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Place your rolled out chapatti on a hot tawa/griddle.
3. Let it cook on a low flame.

4. Smear some oil or butter.
5. Turn on the other side when it is barely cooked.
6. Smear thick mint chutney as shown below.
7. Now pour 1/3 of the egg mixture - about half way on the roti. Sprinkle chaat masala and amchoor powder.
 8. Tilt your tawa if needed so the mixture is contained within the circumference of the flatbread.
 9. Fold the chapatti when the egg mixture is still runny so making sure that all the egg mixture is sandwiched inside.
10. Let it cool on a low flame. Smear oil if needed. Cook on both sides flipping as needed.
11. Make sure that eggs are fully cooked. The roti will puff up as eggs get cooked.

Note -
1. It takes some time to cook eggs as we are cooking on a very low flame. Be patient and make sure that the eggs are fully cooked before serving.

Credits (Recipe inspiration)

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pineapple Raita

Cool, sweet & tangy pineapple raita goes really well as a perfect accompaniment with spicy meal. You may even serve it as a dip with pita chips.

Since I still don't know how to cut the pineapple properly, I use crushed pineapple in the can.

Pineapple Raita
Pineapple Yogurt Salad
1 cup crushed pineapple (from can, drain the juice)

1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
A dash of sugar
salt to taste (optional)

A generous pinch of chaat masala
A generous pinch of red chili powder
A generous pinch of black pepper powder

1. Drain the juice from the can.
2. Whisk yogurt with salt and sugar.
3. Stir in drained pineapple.
4. Sprinkle with spice powders on top.

Note -
1. Canned pineapple may already have sugar. So adjust sugar as needed.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Masoorichi UsaL

I love to eat this usal as a salad because it tends to be very dry if eaten with chapati. Sprinkle some sev, onion and a generous squeeze of lemon for a lovely chaat salad.
Masoorichi UsaL
Brown Lentils Salad
2 cups masoor sprouts
salt to taste
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
 tsp jaggery
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp asafetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp. freshly scraped coconut
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Suggested accompaniment
Lemon wedges
chopped onion
chaat masala
1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
2. Add spices. As they splutter, add garlic and onion.
3. Sauté till they are soft.
4. Add masoor sprouts, chili powder and coriander-cumin powder.
5. Sauté from time to time sprinkling few drops of water as needed for cooking.
6. Add salt and jiggery.
7. After the lentils are cooked, add coconut and cilantro.
8. Serve as a part of the meal or as a salad - adding suggested accompaniments.
Note -
1. Use following link to make sprouts at home.
2. Do not pressure cook masoor for making this usal as they get overcooked.
3. Just sprinkle few drops of water as needed, taking care that they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. Adding too much water may turn the usal into a mush. Each sprout should be separate and still be cooked.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chhole Tikki - It's different!

I bet you had imagined this recipe as aloo tikki on the bed of chhole, right? ;-) Well, I love that combo too, but I improvised this recipe to use up some leftover chhole. Since this was liked by my family, I decided to sneak in some vegetables next time. I didn't want to add egg as a binder so I used corn starch and soaked/drained bread.

Chhole Tikki
Garbanzo Beans Burger
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans/kabooli chane
2 medium potatoes, boiled

1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tsp garam masala
2-3 green chilies, chopped (optional)
1 tsp paprika

Stir in
1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
2 tbsp. minced cilantro
1 tbsp. minced fresh mint
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tsp amchoor masala

1 cup shredded spinach
1 shredded red radish
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 small piece, red bell pepper, minced
2 tbsp. yellow corn

2 tbsp. corn starch
2 slices bread, soaked in water and squeezed

1/4 cup rice flour or fine bread crumbs

Oil for frying

1.Pressure cook garbanzo beans and potatoes. Peel and cut potatoes.
2. Heat oil. Add all the tempering ingredients. Saute till onion is soft.
3. Add cooked beans, potatoes, salt,  tomato ketchup.
4. Simmer and let it cook for at least 15 minutes till mixture is dry.
5. Stir in cilantro, mint and spices.
6. Cool down completely. Process in a food processor.
7. Take out and add grated or chopped vegetables.
8. Add corn starch and drained bread slices.
9. Knead well.
10. Using wet hands, make patties. Place in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
11. Dredge into rice flour or fine bread crumbs.
12. Heat oil in a pan.
13. Shallow fry till the "tikkis" are browned evenly on all sides.
14. Serve with sweet and sour chutneys or use as a patty for burger buns.

Note -
1. You can use leftover chhole and proceed from step 6. onwards. If your chhole have thin consistency, you may have to heat up to evaporate excess liquid. If chhole have any whole spices, discard before grinding.
2. Adjust the amount of cornstarch and bread slices depending on the stickiness of the batter.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Garam Masalyachya Tisrya

During my early days in the United States, among many things that made me homesick, my mom's Garam Masalyachya Tisrya was probably one  of the top tens! Even today, whenever I visit home, my mom always makes this curry on the very first day.

I still remember, many moons ago, on a wintery night in the US, we stopped by a restaurant to have a bowl of soup. I spotted "Clams Chowder". It even had potatoes like my mom puts in her curry. I relished it adding tons of black pepper and crushed red pepper. Next time, I ordered it "to go" and sprinkled some Garam Masala. :-) I was trying to re-create my mom's signature curry.
We call clams "Tisrya" in Marathi. I never see clams here that we are used to in our Mumbai fish market. Even the "little" neck clams are quite big. But finally, I decided to go ahead and make this curry with the little neck clams that are readily available in the American supermarkets. You may substitute clams available in the can if you wish.
Garam Masalyachya Tisrya
Malvani Clams Curry
About 30 little neck clams
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
Roast one after the other and grind to a fine paste
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup fresh coconut
12 byadgi chilies
1" cinnamon
5 green cardamoms
4-5 cloves
10-12 black peppercorns
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
1 small knob of dagad fool (optional)
5-7 garlic cloves
1 very small piece of ginger (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1. Scrub clams very carefully. They are full of sand. Rinse thoroughly.
2. Place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add turmeric powder and 1/4 cup water. Cook till the shells open.
3. Switch off the gas. When they have cooled down enough to handle with hands, take out the clams. You may want to keep one shell if you like.
4. Drain the clam juice. Set aside.
5. In an iron kadhai, add a spoonful of oil. Roast each spice separately except poppy seeds.
6. In the same kadhai - using more oil as needed - roast onion, garlic and ginger separately till onion is dark brown but not burnt.
7. Now roast coconut till it's deep brown, not burnt. As the coconut turns brown, add poppy seeds and roast again.
8. Now, grind all the roasted spices and masala with tamarind paste and water as needed. Make sure to make a fine paste.
9. Place clams back in a saucepan. Add drained clam juice. Add potatoes. Let it cook till potatoes are semi-cooked.
10. Add ground masala paste. Add water as needed.
11. Add salt and sugar.
12. Bring to boil.
13. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
14. Serve with tandalchi bhakri - rice flatbread or chapati and plain rice.
Note -
1. You may use just fresh or just desiccated coconut. But the authentic method uses both the kinds of coconut where fresh coconut adds fresh flavor and desiccated coconut adds a rustic flavor.
2. Clams may have salt content. Adjust salt accordingly.
3. Clams are covered with lots of sand. Scrub carefully.
4. Drain the clam juice to avoid any sand particles.
5. After initial cooking, discard any clams that don't open up.
6. Many home cooks in Mumbai use a knife or viLi to crack the clams and then use them in the curry. In my family, we boil the clams first, and let the clams open the shells instead of using knife.
7. If you prefer, you can add a tempering of finely chopped onion, before adding cooked clams to the saucepan and proceed.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mint Lassi

My mint plant has gone berserk. I know that the experienced gardeners always warn against adding mint to any veggie patch. They always advise to plant mint in a separate container because it grows like wild fire. But I had a tiny patch where I wasn't going to plant anything. So I purposely planted mint there. It amazes me how it goes dormant in winter and then shoots back up in spring.
I have been trying the usual suspects like mint chutney(with coconut, with yogurt ), mint pulao , mint kadhi as well as something refreshingly different like mint lassi and  fresh mint ice cream.
Pudinewali Lassi
Mint Buttermilk Shake
 12 fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 cups buttermilk
A pinch of salt
A pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1. Blend in the blender.
2. Serve chilled.
1. Adjust salt per taste. Chaat masala already has rock salt.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Upasache Dhirde - A pancake for fasting!


Dhirde is a Maharashtrian dosa. I use "Upvasachi bhaajNi" to make upasache dhirDe. In Maharashtra, fasting and feasting go hand in hand. There are many occasions when people observe fasts like Ashadhi Ekadashi, Kartiki Ekadashi, Sankashti, Angarki Chaturthi, Vinayaki Chaturthi, and many days in Shravan. Frankly, I am not very familiar about all the fasts, but being a foodie, I do know my feasts!;-)

Upasache DhirDe
उपासाचे  धिरडे 
Pancake for fasting!
1 cup upvas bhaajNi
1/4 cup daaNyache kooT/Roasted, unsalted peanuts powder, coarsely ground
2-3 green chilies
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2" ginger, peeled & grated or pounded
salt to taste
1 1/2 cup water
1 tbsp. finely minced coriander leaves/cilantro (optional)

Ghee for frying

1. Mix all the ingredients except ghee. Add enough water to get a thick batter consistency.Make sure that there are no lumps.
2. Heat a pan or griddle.
3. Spread a ladleful of batter.

4. Drizzle ghee as needed.
5. Cook on both sides till crisp.

Note -
1. For spicier flavor, grind ginger, cumin seeds and chilies before adding to the batter.
2. Traditionally, ghee or toop is preferred for cooking "fasting" dishes. You may use oil if you prefer.
3. Some people do not prefer cilantro in their "fast food"!!;-)

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Kolumbiche Tikhale - Prawns Curry

My Mumbai visit is incomplete without slurping "Kolumbiche Tikhale" at Sayba, Bandra. Let me be honest. If I were living in Mumbai, I would not have bothered to recreate this curry at home. But then I don't live in Mumbai and I crave this curry rather insanely, so this is just my attempt.

Kolumbiche Tikhale
Prawns Curry
1 1/2 cups medium prawns, peeled
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Grind to a fine paste
1 cup fresh coconut
2 cloves garlic, chopped , roast in a few drops of oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped about 1/4 cup
1 tbsp. coriander seeds, roast
4-5 black peppercorns, roast
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp raw rice, soaked in water
7 byadgi chilies, soaked in water
2-3 Kashmiri chilies, soaked in water

1/2 tbsp. oil
2 tbsp. minced onion

Suggested Accompaniment
Plain Rice

1. Clean, rinse prawns. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Set aside.
2. Grind coconut with the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Sauté onion till golden.
4. Add prawns and masala.
5. Adjust water. Do not make it too thin.
6. Adjust for salt.
7. Bring to boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Note -
1. Kashmiri chilies are used for color and byadgi chilies are used for heat.

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