Good to be back!!

Hello readers!!

Happy Holidays and I Wish all the readers a Happy & Prosperous New year.
May this New Year bring newly found prosperity, love, happiness and delight in your life!


I am glad to be back in the blogging world after a short sabbatical.
I really missed out on many events during this short break. Also Thanks to one and all who visited my blog.

Happy blogging!!

Anu.

Chickpeas curry or Chole



Chole or chana masala is garbanzo beans or chick peas (kabuli chana in Hindi) cooked in a luscious tomato onion sauce and served generally with bature, a Indian bread deep fried or rotis, steamed rice, naan etc.,
In total it’s the best of its kind and is full of flavor! This is a classic north Indian dish. There are so many different recipes to prepare this classic dish. I learnt this recipe from my sister, it’s simple and easy. I have few more recipes for chole or chana masala, but almost all came very close in terms of taste. But of all I have sticked to this recipe, it’s easy and effortless to make and the spice level can be fine tuned to suit your taste buds.

Here’s a list of ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup garbanzo beans or kabuli chana (can use canned ones too)
3 to 4 fresh ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 medium onion chopped
½ inch ginger minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (add more if you want it spicy)
½ tsp chana masala powder
1 bay leaf
2 to 3 cloves
1 cardamom
½ tsp saunf or fennel seeds
½ inch cinnamon
¼ tsp sugar
2 to 3 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped for garnish
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee/clarified butter for cooking (I combine both)

Method:

1. Soak kabuli chana or garbanzo beans (if using dried ones) for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight, wash well, and pressure cook it using about 2 to 3 cups water for about 5 to 6 whistles or till done.

2. Meanwhile heat up oil & ghee in a kadai or a wide pan, add the saunf, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and fry for a minute.

3. Add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic & fry till they are light and golden.

4. Now add the finely chopped tomatoes & fry till they melt and look mushy and pulpy.
Add all the powders namely turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and the chana masala powder and fry further till the gravy starts leaving oil on the sides.

5. Now add the cooked chana or garbanzo beans along with the water. Lightly mash the chana, the mashed chana makes the gravy starchy and thick. Season with salt and add sugar and mix well, at this point check the spice level and adjust everything accordingly.

6. Now cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes on simmer. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and switch off the heat.

7. Serve hot with hot pooris, rotis/chapattis with few sliced onions and a lime wedge.


Vegetable Fried Rice






Today I was reading Asha’s food blog and came to know that Sharmi from Neivedyam is hosting the JFI or Jhiva For Ingredients for September. And to my surprise the ingredient is Rice, now who cannot like Rice or dishes prepared with rice.
Rice is my favorite, yes pulao, biryanis, fried rice etc., I can go on and on here!
This recipe that I have here doesn’t have the apt ingredients that you will find otherwise in a conventional Fried rice recipe. And when you say fried recipe the first thing pops up is the Chinese fried rice which has soy sauce, scrambled eggs etc. Today while I was in the kitchen I wasn’t focused and really didn’t know what I wanted to cook! Yes it happens with me again not sometimes, in fact most of the times! Completely clueless! Mind you sometimes this clueless action brings out the best recipe!
I had some cooked basmati rice and when I opened my refrigerator I found some scallions, Savoy cabbage, bell peppers/capsicum, carrots etc., you know the basic veggies that go into a fried rice recipe! So I was all set to prepare this fried rice! Since I was out of soy sauce I didn’t stop myself here, I saw some chilli vinegar sitting there and proceeded myself with the prep work, cutting veggies etc., the whole dish took about 20 to 30 minutes approximately! The final outcome was good and the fried rice was really tasty! I loved it and I hope you like it too..!
I am immensely happy to present this recipe for JFI-Rice!

Ingredients:

2 to 3 cups cooked basmati rice (completely cooled & not over cooked)
1 medium onion thinly sliced
3 to 4 scallions/green onions chopped
1 ½ cups vegetables chopped thinly such as capsicum, carrots, cabbage, peas etc.
½ inch ginger finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 or 2 green chilli cut into rings
½ tsp chilli vinegar (you can add soy sauce if you want instead of chili vinegar)
2 to 3 tbsp olive oil
½ to 1 tsp cracked pepper
Salt to taste

Method:

1. First up heat olive oil in a wide non-stick pan preferably, and add the chopped onions, ginger & garlic and sauté them till golden.

2. In goes the carrots first, since they take a bit extra cooking time to cook, fry well for about 4 to 5 minutes, and now add the capsicum, scallions, green chillies and fry well on a moderately high heat till the capsicum fades out its color. Lastly add the cabbage and stir fry it till the leaves starts wilting.

3. Add in the salt and cracked pepper (I use a pepper mill), you can use a mortar and pestle. Mix everything together.

4. Now reduce the heat to low & add the rice, combine the rice and vegetables together with a flat spatula and add the chilli vinegar or soy sauce and gently fold everything.
Check the salt at this point.

5. Finally crank up the heat to medium to medium high, cover & cook for about 5 minutes.

6. Serve hot with your choice of side dish, best would be Cauliflower Manchurian.

Potato Hummann



Now talking about potatoes, they are versatile & they taste yummy in any form. It is one of my favorite vegetable. This recipe is very simple and easy to make, and it’s just tasty and appetizing with hot steamed rice with a dash of pickle or any stir fry/upkari.
Unlike any other dish, here we drizzle few tsps of oil and there is no traditional tempering as such. The raw oil & the asafoetida draw the most impeccable aroma and it’s truly one of the best.




So here’s the list

Ingredients:

2 cups of potatoes cubed
1 cup Fresh coconut
7 to 8 Fried red chillies preferably byadgi (You can add more depending on the spiciness you desire)
Marble sized tamarind
Asafoetida ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
4 to 5 tsps Coconut oil or any cooking oil

Method:

1. Firstly peel the potatoes and cube them, wash well and drain off the water.

2. In a saucepan pour about 2 cups of water and add the cubed potatoes and cook till done.

3. Blend the coconut, red chillies and tamarind into very fine paste with little water.

4. Now add this grounded masala to the potatoes and season with salt bring it to a good rolling boil.

5. Lastly add in the asafoetida and drizzle the oil, mix one last time and close the lid and also switch off the heat. Don’t cook once you have added the oil.

Serve hot with rice.

SaKKre Kichidi





When Asha from Foodie’s Hope invited me to participate in the RCI:Karnataka Cuisine
I was pleased to participate, this is my first Food Event participation and I am really thrilled and happy to be part of this event! Thanks Asha!!
More over being from Karnataka the whole event & the participation makes extra special for me. When it came to the recipe for this event I thought what could be better than the authentic konkani style Kichidi.
We make kichidi using chana dal, cracked wheat, sugar, fresh grated coconut and a good amount of cashews and raisins fried in ghee. The nutty flavor from roasted chana dal and the starchy and smooth cracked wheat makes a rich and nice aromatic dish.Sakkar in konkani means sugar,we also prepare using jaggery or gud. Both taste equally good and have their own true flavors.This is a regular dish at my place and was prepared during most of the festivities. Everyone loved it and we served it with a spoonful of ghee & thinly sliced fresh and ripe bananas, oh I tell ya’ll the experience is just delightful in every bite!!



Ingredients:

¼ cup chana dal
½ cup cracked wheat
¾ cup sugar (add more if you want it very sweet and vice versa)
Water
1 tsp cardamom powder (2 to 3 cardamom pods)
½ cup freshly grated coconut (can use frozen too)
4 tbsp ghee or clarified butter (more the merrier)
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp cashew halves

Method:

1. To start with, heat a pan and dry roast the chana dal on a medium heat till you feel the roasted aromas from the chana dal.

2. In the same pan add about 1 tbsp ghee and roast the cracked wheat till its fried well, about 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat.

3. Take pressure cooker and add both the chana dal as well as the cracked wheat, add water (about 2 to 3 cups) and cook for up to 4 to 5 whistles or till done.
If you are cooking the dal and cracked wheat in a saucepan then cook the dal first, when its half way through done add the cracked wheat and cook till soft and mushy.( add water if needed)

4. Heat a heavy kadai or a deep skillet, pour the cooked chana dal & cracked wheat (the texture should be very soft and mushy just like pongal or kichidi), add little water about ¼ to ½ cups during this step depending on how thick it is.

5. Add sugar, freshly grated coconut, mix well and cook further on a medium flame for about 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Heat a small tadka pan; add ghee (clarified butter) and fry cashew halves and raisins till the cashews turn golden brown and the raisins fluff up.

7. To the kichidi now add the cardamom powder, the fried cashews and raisins and combine all together.

While serving drizzle a tsp of ghee!

Note: Don’t worry if the kichidi is a little watery, because as time goes by it thickens and regains its texture.

Tomato Rice



Tomato rice is a simple and easy to prepare dish. There are endless recipes to make this tangy and wholesome dish. Using fresh juicy tomatoes will help enhance the taste of the dish. The sweetness and tanginess from the tomatoes makes the whole dish delectable and sharp. It’s a substantial meal in itself and can be served with raita & chips or pappads.
I prepare this quite often since hubby just loves it. I cook rice ahead of time and then completely cool it before mixing it to the tomato onion gravy. This helps the rice from becoming mushy in texture. It’s great for picnics, pot lucks or any parties!




Here’s the recipe

Ingredients:

1 cups basmati rice
3 to 4 ripe tomatoes finely chopped
1 medium thinly sliced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
½ tsp garam masala powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (add more if you want spicy)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander seeds
¼ cup water
¼ tsp sugar
Salt to taste

For seasoning/tadka:

4 tsp ghee/butter
1 tbsp cooking oil
½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
½ tsp mustard seeds (optional)
2 cloves
1 small bay leaf
½ inch cinnamon
1 cardamom
½ tsp fennel seeds or saunf
3 tsp cashew halves (optional)
4 to 5 curry leaves or kadi patta

Method:

1. First up wash the basmati rice in 1 or 2 changes of water and cook till done. Make sure it’s not over cooked and the grains are separated. Cool it completely.

2. In a deep skillet heat ghee and oil, when hot add mustard seeds (optional), when it starts to sputter add cumin seeds or jeera, saunf or fennel seeds, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, curry leaves, cashew halves and fry for a minute.

3. Add sliced onions and sauté till they start to sweat. Add minced ginger & garlic and fry further for about 3 minutes or till the raw smell fades.

4. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till soft & mushy. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder & garam masala powder, fry well on a medium flame.

5. Now add the salt, sugar & water, cover and cook for about 3 minutes. Let the water evaporate.

6. Finally add the cooked rice and mix carefully with a flat spatula. Check the salt and adjust accordingly. (I turn off the heat while I mix the rice) Make sure the rice and the tomato-onion mixture is blended well with rice.

7. Turn on the heat back, cover the lid and cook further for about 2 to 3 minutes. Finally garnish with coriander leaves

8. Serve along side cucumber & onion raita.

Potato Masala



Potato Masala or in konkani Batate masala is nothing but a dry version of saung, at least to me, Why because ingredients are same except that there is no water added to make a rich gravy consistency instead here boiled potatoes are chopped to bite sized pieces and then added to the sautéed onions and mixed with all the spices viz., chilli powder, Sāmbhar powder and tamarind. My bapma(grandma) used to add a tsp of Sāmbhar powder and it really made it tastier!Goes very well with Rice and Daalitoy combo yet with rotis too! It’s easy to prepare and quick too, if you have boiled potatoes handy in your fridge this dish can be set in no time!

So here’s the recipe

Ingredients:

3 to 4 medium sized poatoes
1 big or 2 small (nos) onion finely chopped
1 to 2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp Sāmbhar powder
¼ to ½ tsp tamarinds concentrate
Salt to taste
3 tbsp cooking oil
Less than ¼ cups of water

Method:

1. Peel the potatoes & boil them till cooked. When cooled roughly chop them into pieces.(You can make bigger pieces too because when you mix them all together they will get slightly mushy).Meanwhile when the potatoes are getting cooked chop the onions finely.

2. Heat oil in a kadai or a heavy bottomed pan (you can use non-stick pan as well) and add the chopped onions and sauté them till golden brown.

3. Now add the chilli powder, Sāmbhar powder and the tamarind concentrate and sprinkle (may be a tbsp) just about very little water and mix well. (Don’t add too much water).

4. Now add the boiled and chopped potatoes, salt and mix well till all of it is very well combined. Once mixed check for the salt & spice level & adjust accordingly.

5. Cook it for some 5 to 10 minutes covered on a medium low heat and check in between so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom.

6. Serve with rice along side daalitoy or chapathis/rotis.

Brinjal upkari or GuLLa Upkari



This is yet another simple yet flavorsome dish. Very much like any other stir fry dish but a little liquid is left to make it tastier and delish. This is prepared along with drumsticks, so the taste is merrier. I used the green little brinjals/eggplants this dish.
Back in our house hold and I am sure in most of the Amchigele speaking world this dish is called gulla(brinjal) gal gal upkari. I have no idea what the word Gal Gal means, but so to say I wonder since there is a little liquid retained in the upkari may be its called gal gal upkari.
If anybody has a more specific reason then the one I know then please let me know.
We prepared so many different varieties of dishes using brinjal/eggplant and each one tasted invariably great!
Looks like a brinjal marathon here with me posting Eggplant recipes one after the other!

Recipe follows

Ingredients:

8 green brinjals (eggplants) diced into small cubes
8 drumstick pieces
1 tbsp Coconut gratings
Salt to taste
1 jaggery
1 to 1½ cups of water to cook

For seasoning/tadka:

4 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 to 6 curry leaves
2 to 3 red chillies torn into pieces
¼ tsp asafoetida

Method:

1. Firstly chop the brinjals into small cubes and leave it in cold water which is salted (1 to 2 tsp) for about 15 mins or so. When ready to cook rinse it well, drain and set it aside

2. Heat oil in a kadai/skillet, when heated through add mustard seeds, when they start to pop add curry leaves, red chillies and fry for a minute on a medium heat.

3. Add in the chopped brinjal and drumstick, asafoetida and stir fry for about a minute or two. Now add in the water, cover & cook.

4. When almost half done add the salt, jaggery and coconut gratings and mix again and cover further till done. Make sure you retain some water at then end, the water has more flavor. Serve as a side dish along side rice, dal and pappads.

Fried Eggplant



This is a very simple recipe wherein just the minimum spices are used to coat the eggplants, then covered with semolina or corn meal and fried till crisp which makes a succulent & tasty fry. The sweet & creamy flesh of the eggplant complements well with the spicy and crusty outside. In total it’s a satiating experience. Growing up we had fresh eggplants right from our kitchen garden and they tasted so good without any harsh fertilizer etc.
Everyone in my household loved this fry especially my grandpa, I remember him plucking the right and firm eggplants from the garden and my mom used to prepare this fry right away. The freshness of the eggplant made it more tasty! And my mom used to coat them with spices and set it aside for sometime till it absorbs all the spices. And just before frying she would sprinkle some rice powder and once again toss lightly and then deep fry. They were just too good and heavenly.
Now coming to this recipe, I don’t deep fry them, but the over all recipe ingredients are same except that I use corn meal or semolina for the encrusting/breading part, and since I shallow fry it I guess semolina or corn meal does a neat job giving it a nice crunchy and golden outside.



Recipe follows:

10 slices of Purple eggplant (cut into 1 cm thick slices)
1 tsp red chilli powder (adjust the chill powder accordingly)
½ tsp dhania/coriander powder
¼ tsp asafoetida/hing powder
Salt to taste
Few drops of luke warm water
½ cup of corn meal or semolina (for breading)
Oil for frying




Method:

1. Cut the eggplants into 1 cm thick slices and place them in cold & salted water. (Add about 1 tsp salt) for about 30 minutes. Salt helps to pull out all the bitterness from the eggplant.

2. Rinse the eggplants in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

3. In a small bowl, add red chilli powder, coriander/dhania powder, asafoetida, salt and add few drops of Luke warm water and make a thick paste.

4. Take a wide mixing bowl, put in the eggplants and coat it with the thick paste thoroughly till they are completely coated all through. Set this aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Heat a tava/ griddle (I use a cast iron griddle which works great for shallow frying).
Drizzle few tsp of oil and coat it all through the griddle/tava.

6. Bread the eggplants evenly and place on the tava/griddle, drizzle 2 to 3 tsp of oil on top and fry on a medium low heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip carefully and fry the other side for another 4 to 5 minutes. (Fry on a medium to medium low heat and cooking time may vary) The eggplant has to be completely cooked through until it’s soft. Only then it will taste moist and creamy!

Serve as an appetizer or along side rice and dal!

Vaali or Spinach ambat & An Ode to MEME



The picture above was taken by me, since the leaves were not so picture perfect I thought of posting a much clearer picture that I found on the web which is below.




Picture courtesy: www.hormel.com

This is one of my favorites. Vaali(in Konkani)or Spinach cooked in a coconut sauce and seasoned with sautéed onions makes the perfect dish. Back in my home I remember we adding raw papaya pieces to this dish.
Since I am not able find the raw papaya around here I just prepared it with spinach alone and that too the Indian spinach or it’s also known as Malabar spinach or Ceylon spinach, they have thick stems and big leaves as compared to the regular spinach.. They have a slimy texture while chopped and has got a good earthy flavor & are packed with vitamins & minerals.I have saved all the thick stems intending of planting them in a big pot.
This dish very easy and simple, cooked toor dal is added to give a nice body and consistency to the dish and it is finished with a onion seasoning which makes the whole dish flavorsome & fragrant.




Recipe follows

Ingredients:

2 cups chopped Spinach (cleaned and washed)
2 tbsp onions roughly chopped
½ to ¾ cups of toor dal
Salt to taste

For Masala:

¾ cups of grated coconut
5 to 6 red chillies (fried) [Ambat is made spicy, so you can add more depending on how spicy you want]
Marble size tamarind or ¼ to ½ tsp tamarind concentrate.

For Seasoning:

1 cups onions finely chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil


Method:

1. Wash toor dal in 2 to 3 changes of water & cook both dal and spinach till done. Add salt and combine.

2. While the spinach & dal is cooking, in a blender add in the masala ingredients and add little water to grind it to a fine paste.

3. Now add in the masala to the cooked dal along with spinach and mix well till it’s well incorporated. Adjust everything at this point. The consistency should be like gravy, not too thick not too thin.

4. Heat oil in a small pan & add onions, sauté onions till golden brown. Finally add this sautéed onion to the curry and mix well and cover immediately.

Serve with rice.





Fellow blogger Lakshmi Of Taste of Mysore tagged for a MeMe, Thanks Lakshmi.

And with much ado I now give you 7 random facts about me and me alone!

Go on readers...

1. I am an archetypal Aquarian and possess all the personalities of an Aquarian.

2. I love cooking & entertaining; that's one of the reasons this blog exists.

3. I love gardening, and ended up having over 20 plant pots (most are foliage) in my apartment! I just enjoy watching them grow. I believe indoor garden lifts the spirit and makes the home come alive.

4. I love paper bags and I must admit that I collect all of them, they are cute aren’t they!?

5. I must say I love toiletries & fragrances and have a whole bunch of them and end up not using half of it!

6. I love watching British comedies As time goes by & Keeping up appearances. They are real entertainers to me.

7. And being a foodie I love watching Food Network shows!

That’s about it…with this I conclude and tag Arundati & Nirmala.Also food bloggers out there who would like to get into the MeMe loop can please take over.

Spicy Coconut Chutney



Coconut chutney or chutni is a simple dish made with coconut, chillies and tempered to perfection and served along side Indian pancakes or Dosas or idlis. People love chutney, and there are so many different varities of recipes for this infamous side dish.It’s an indispensable dish especially along side dosas or idlis without which the meal/breakfast would be incomplete!This is a very simple recipe, I am sure this is not a new recipe that I am blogging, even then I just felt like blogging it because one of my good friend asked me the recipe for chutney. So I just thought whoever is a novice to cooking can always look into it and learn this authentic Konkani Hinga chutney or Asafoetida chutney. In Konkani we call asafoetida hing like that in Hindi. I remember my bapma (grandma) & mom frying the hing/asafoetida in a tsp of oil and then grind it along with coconut, chillies etc., Back then and I am sure even today hing is available in a hard form or more like a lumpy form and looked yellowish in color. When hing/asafoetida is fried it till it’s sizzling and then blended along with coconut and chillies it gave a unique flavor and taste to the chutney, since I get it in a powdered form I add it in the seasoning instead. It still works fine. If you find the hing/asafoetida in hard form you can very well try it. Also you can substitute red chillies with green chillies and they taste just great!

The recipe follows

Ingredients:

½ cups grated coconut
3 to 4 red chillies fried in a tsp of oil till crisp
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate (optional) or you can add ½ tsp of lime juice
Salt to taste

For seasoning:

3 tsp cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 to 6 curry leaves/kadi patta
¼ tsp asafoetida

Method:

1. In a blender jar add in the coconut, fried red chillies, tamarind/lime juice, & salt and grind it to a fine paste using water. Pour it in a bowl.

2. Heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter add curry leaves and asafoetida and fry till the curry leaves are crisp and the asafoetida is also fried well, may be 1 or 2 minutes on a medium flame.

3. Add the seasoning on the chutney and mix well and serve alongside dosas or idlis.

Yumm yumm crispy Dosa



Dosas are nothing but Indian pancakes, prepared very thin or thick and served along side a spicy and savory coconut chutney. You can read more about dosas here.
This recipe uses the lentil or urad dal and the all purpose flour (refined wheat flour) unlike the usual lentil rice combination and its known as Udid Maida Pollo in konkani or urad dal maida Dosa.Pollo in konkani means Dosa
There are so many varieties of Dosas and yet again this specific recipe is also very popular in the South kanara region and often called “Tuppa Dosa”. Tuppa in Kannada means Ghee.Liberal amonut of ghee is used to fry these dosas and that's the reason its so yumilicious and to die for! Growing up we had these dosas at least once a week and mom used to make spicy hinga/asafoetida chutney. It’s a regular at my place too since hubby dear loves it!
Another most important thing about making this dosa is its not instant meaning the Maida/all purpose flour batter has to sit for a good 3 to 4 hours minimum before mixing with urad dal batter because once you mix it in the water the Maida/flour has to settle down and then only you can mix it with the urad dal batter. So if you intend to make this dosa for breakfast you have to mix in the maida/all purpose flour in the water the previous night so that the flour is separated from the water and then discard all the water and pour it into the urad dal batter. They are paper thin and very crispy and golden like the way they serve at the restaurants!

So here’s a list of ingredients that goes into making crispy thin dosas!




Ingredients:

Urad dal or black lentil ½ cup
Fenugreek or methi seeds ¼ tsp
Asafoetida or hing 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour/Maida(refined wheat flour) 1 cup
Oil/ ghee for frying (ghee preferred)

Method:

1. Firstly wash urad dal very well until the water is clear. (at least 4 to 5 changes of water)

2. In a big bowl soak the washed urad dal and methi seeds for about 4 to 5 hours.

3. Before grinding the ingredients wash the dal and methi seeds once again and drain the water and blend the ingredients to a smooth fine batter. Pour the batter in a bowl.Set it aside.The batter need not be fermented too much, it can be kept outside for about 3 to 4 hours and then store it in the Refrigerator.

4. In a separate deep & wide bowl add the all purpose flour and to this add good amount of water and mix it till you won’t see any lumps. Pour more water up to the rim and mix well again till it’s smooth and silky batter. Let it sit overnight and this helps the flour to settle down in the bottom.

5. Before making dosas slowly discard all the water from the all purpose flour and add it to the urad dal batter and mix well. Add salt and asafoetida and mix again. The consistency of the batter should not be very watery or very thick.

6. Heat up a tava/griddle to smoking hot and with a wet paper towel/tissue wipe off the tava.(If there is grease/oil there are chances of batter to be lumpy and won’t come out thin dosas)Pour a ladleful of batter on the tava and start spreading the batter to form a round and thin dosa. Drizzle a tsp of oil/ghee and cook it for about 1 to 2 minutes on a medium hot flame. Flip on the other side and cook further for about another 1 minute or 2 or till its crisp and golden.

Serve with hinga/asafoetida chutney.

Gulla Sagle/brinjal in coconut sauce



Eggplant, aubergine or brinjal all are same. Though they come in different shapes, sizes and colors as well, like Green, purple and White! I don’t know if there are any more colors.You can read more about it here.
This special variety that I have used in this recipe is the small green brinjals that I found in the local Indian store. I had come across this few years back in a Chinese store and bought it but they were full of seeds unlike the one available in the Udupi dist area called Matti gulla.Even then when I saw this vegetable again I couldn’t stop myself to buy these little brinjals. The first crop of Brinjal size weighs over a kilo and the last crops come in small sizes like the one in this picture.
They were so tasty and in our house it was prepared in some form either in sambhar, deep fried, or gulla bajji/gozzu, sagle, bharta, talasane or stir fry etc., every single day from the first day it’s in the market to the very last day!!! Growing up we used to hate it after the first few days of its arrival, but now I really want them so badly. All the things which we hated then are the most loved things now especially food related things. In this particular dish brinjals & drumsticks are cooked in a thick coconut sauce along with other spices; they form a very good combination in this particular recipe.
But sometimes the brinjals can be bitter with too many seeds in them. It’s ideal to soak the chopped brinjals in salted water to let it sit for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and then drain out all the water. This process helps in removing the bitterness.



For preparing the sagle you will need

7 small green eggplants chopped into small cubes (you can use the purple ones as well)
10 Drumstick pieces
¼ tsp jaggery
4 tsp Cooking oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
5 to 6 curry leaves
Salt to taste

For masala/paste:

½ cup coconut gratings
5 to 6 fried red chillies
¼ tsp tamarind concentrate

To be fried:
¼ tsp fenugreek/ methi seeds
1 tsp coriander/dhania seeds
1 tsp cooking oil

Method:

1. Firstly trim the stem and clean the brinjals and cube them. Soak the brinjals in salted water (about ½ tsp salt) for about 30 minutes. Drain the water and wash again in 2 or 3 changes of water.

2. Heat a small tadka pan and add 1 tsp cooking oil, add the fenugreek/methi and coriander/dhania seeds and fry on a medium heat till you smell the aromas.Set it aside.

3. In a blender take coconut gratings, tamarind, red chillies and the fried fenugreek and coriander seeds. Add little water and make a fine paste.

4. Heat oil a kadai or a deep sauté pan and add the mustard seeds, when they start sizzling add curry leaves. Now add the brinjals and drumsticks and fry on high for about a minute.
Add water about 1 cups to cook the brinjals, cover and cook till they are soft. Add salt, jaggery and mix well. (Check in between and add more water to cook)

5. Lastly add the grounded masala/paste and mix well. Adjust the consistency by adding little water to make a thick gravy. Mix well and adjust the salt and cover and cook for one last time for about 6 to 8 minutes so that the masala cooks well and gets combined with the brinjals.

6. Serve hot with rice or chapathis.


Soothing Sāmbhar



Sāmbhar is a south Indian dish made with red gram or Toor dal, Tamarind & assorted vegetables like potatoes, drumsticks, carrots, pearl onions, raddish, brinjals and so on! It is accompanied usually with Idlis, vada, dosa and steamed rice.
There are so many different ways of preparing it. It’s an easy and very popular recipe. You can find endless recipes for Sāmbhar and also there are ready made Sāmbhar powder mixes available.
I myself have over 5 different variations of Sāmbhar recipe with me. Sāmbhar is my favorite dish since I was a little kid. I remember telling my mom when I was a kid to prepare Sāmbhar very often!! I usually make my own home made powder or paste, its fresh and also doesn’t take much time to prepare from scratch. This recipe is very easy and also tasty.I learnt this version from my sister few years back. She is a fantastic cook herself! This recipe involves frying the Sāmbhar ingredients freshly, so the final result of Sāmbhar is fresh, fragrant and comforting. My mom used to make a similar recipe but she used to add about 1 tbsp of coconut while frying. Since I was not successful frying the coconut till the perfect brown I just gave up on it because if the coconut is not fried well the Sāmbhar doesn’t taste very good.



To prepare this delicious home-made Sāmbhar you will require

Toor daal ½ to ¾ cups( adding more dal will thicken the sambhar which is good)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Vegetables like carrots, French beans, drumstick pieces, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, about 1 ½ cups
Tamarind paste ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Jaggery ¼ tsp
Coriander leaves for garnish

For Sāmbhar Powder/paste:

½ tsp urad dal
½ tsp chana dal
¼ tsp cumin /jeera seeds
¼ tsp fenugreek/methi seeds
4 tsp Coriander/dhania seeds
Red chillies about 6 to 7(add more if you like spicy and adjust everything accordingly)
¼ tsp asafoetida/hing powder
A pinch turmeric powder
2 to 3 tsp Cooking oil for frying

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fresh Curry leaves 7 to 8
3 tsp Ghee or cooking oil for seasoning



Method:

1. Wash toor daal in 2 to 3 changes of water or until clear. Cook toor daal along with turmeric powder till soft and mushy.

2. Clean & chop vegetables into chunks and cook them in a saucepan till tender.

3. Mean while heat oil in a small tadka pan and fry the Sāmbhar powder/paste ingredients in order mentioned separately till you feel the aromas. When cool blend it into fine powder. You can add water and make a fine paste as well. I add water and make a fine paste, which works fine for me.

4. Now in a heavy bottomed vessel combine both the dal and vegetables and mix well. Add salt and bring it to boil.

5. Add the grounded paste/powder and mix well. To this add tamarind paste, a bit jaggery and mix it well. Let it come to a good rolling boil.
Adjust everything at this point.

6. Finally in a tadka pan heat oil/ghee, follow it by mustard seeds when they start crackling add curry leaves and fry for a minute. You can add asafoetida at this point.

7. Finish it by garnishing coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice along side pappads!

Spicy flattened rice mixed with coconut



Poha chutney or flattened rice mixed with coconut and spices is a simple dish/snack prepared with flattened rice and savory coconut chutney. When both mixed together to combine well, it makes an utterly delicious comforting & tasty snack!For those who are new to flattened rice lick here
This is a very popular recipe made in the south kanara region and is often served along side Upma/upittu. In my household we made this for breakfast or for a evening snack. My mom used to make this so very often and she used to prepare in 2 variations. One with fried red chillies which will make the poha chutney masala look red and the other with fresh green chillies which makes the chutney light creamish color with green chilli traces, which indeed is so delish!




Method:

2 cups thin flattened rice

For the masala or chutney:

4 to 5 green chillies or fried red chillies about 4 to 5(add more or less as per your desired spice level)
¾ cup freshly shredded coconut
¼ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
1 tbsp coriander seeds or dhania
3 Curry leaves or kadi patta
1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
¼ to ½ cup Jaggery or brown sugar (I chop them roughly which makes it easier to work with) Jaggery is preferred and I like mine poha chutney sweet & spicy so suit it to taste your taste buds.


For tadka: (optional)

1 tsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
3 to 4 curry leaves or kadi patta

Method:

1. First of all heat a small tadka pan add oil, when heated through add mustard seeds when they start to crackle, add cumin seeds followed by coriander seeds , curry leaves and fry till you feel the aromas.

2. In a blender or if using a mortar and pestle take the above fried ingredients, coconut, salt, jaggery, green chillies/red chillies and crush to a dry coarse paste. Do not add water at all. If you own a food processor good for you & it works great to make this.

3. In a wide bowl add the chutney and add poha little by little and use your hands to do the mixing job. Mix thoroughly and if you think it’s more spicy or sweet add a little poha and mix again.

(This is optional)
4. Heat oil in a tadka pan when hot add mustard seeds, when they begin to crackle add curry leaves. Pour this on the mixed poha. If you don’t add the tadka it won’t affect the taste. I don’t follow this step but some people give a final tempering which is fine.

P.S: We served this along with finely chopped onions, tastes really good.


Easy breezy Methi Roti



Fresh Fenugreek Leaves
Picture courtesy:www.planetearthdiversified.com



Kasoori Methi or dried fenugreek leaves

Methi parathas are a very healthy and also easy to prepare. Methi or fenugreek leaves is used as a herb and also the seed is used as spice. They are bitter in taste but very tasty, the dried leaves or what they are called Kasoori methi is so fragrant and if added to any dish it makes the entire dish so delectable and aromatic! Parathas are nothing but flat breads just like chapattis or roti but often stuffed with vegetables or simply kneaded while mixing the dough. They are served with yogurt, pickles, or simply just with a splash of butter! The taste is so delightful!
I got this recipe from my Sister-in-law who lives in Denver, she is a great cook! She had given me this recipe long time back and said I must try this; I had misplaced the piece of paper on which I had noted the recipe & recently found it. Immediately I tried the recipe but not with fresh fenugreek leaves but with dried kasoori methi and also added about ½ cup of freshly chopped coriander leaves to contribute the freshness. It turned out great and we loved it.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting purpose.
¼ cups Kasoori methi/ Dry fenu greek leaves
(You can use fresh methi leaves here, I didn’t have methi/fenugreek leaves so tried using Kasoori methi instead and they tasted equally good)
½ cups finely chopped coriander leaves.
½ tsp Ajwain or Carom seeds
½ tsp Red chilli powder
½ tsp Dhania jeera powder
½ cups of fresh yogurt/dahi
Salt to taste
¼ tsp Sugar
Oil 4 tsp while kneading the dough
Water to knead the dough
Ghee/oil for frying



P.S: You can use fresh methi leaves instead of dried ones and also use green chillies finely chopped and skip on red chilli powder.

Method:

1. In a bowl add salt, ajwain, sugar, kasoori methi, coriander leaves, oil (add ½ while kneading and reserve the remaining half for the end) and little water and mix well.

2.Add the wheat flour little by little and make smooth pliable dough. Pour in the other 2 tsp oil to the dough and again rub well to cover the dough and set aside. Cover the dough and set it aside for about an hour so. The dough should be very much like chapatti dough.

3.Make lemon sized balls and roll it out using a rolling pin just like chapattis. Roll it out slightly thicker than chapattis.

4.Heat a tava or griddle. Drizzle few drops of oil and place the paratha, when it starts puffing drizzle another few drops of oil and flip it and fry the other side. The tava should be medium to medium hot for frying chapathis or parathas, else they won’t turn soft. Be careful not to burn them. When fried on both the sides arrange on a plate or a tortilla box.

5.Serve hot along with curd/yogurt and pickle!

Easy Mushroom Panna Upkari/Saung



Mushrooms cooked in a thick and luscious chilli and tomato sauce is delectable and mouth watering. The spiciness and tanginess from the tomato paste complements very well with the mushrooms.
However this is a quick recipe, if you look for more authentic Panna upkari recipe then a thick chilli paste prepared using dry red chillies and tamarind is used. I also make Egg panna upkari the similar way; just add boiled eggs instead of mushrooms. Also tomato paste really works great in this recipe. I usually buy the 24 oz cans and pour them in the ice cube trays and freeze them in Ziploc bags, trust me they come so handy, I use them in just about any dish like Tomato Rasam, aloo matar etc., whenever I run out of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste cubes comes to my salvage. If you don’t fancy mushrooms or eggs then just add boiled potatoes. The taste is so good and enjoyable.

Here’s the list

Ingredients:

6 White button Mushrooms cut into pieces.
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chilli powder or more if you desire a spicy Panna upkari.
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp dhania jeera powder (optional)
¼ tsp Tamarind paste(optional)
4 to 5 tsp Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel & cut them to small pieces. Chop onions very finely.

2. Heat oil in a kadai, when hot add onions and fry till they are brown,(for about 10 minutes on a medium heat) add tomato paste and fry further for about 2 minutes.

3. Add all the powders and fry till the masala leaves oil on the sides.

4. Add in the chopped mushrooms and mix well. Add salt and tamarind paste very little water may be about ¼ to ½ cup mix. Cover with lid and cook till the mushrooms are done.

Serve hot with rice and daalitoy or rotis.

Chayote Upkari/stirfry



Chayote or choko is a squash like vegetable. This can be found both in Indian as well as American Grocery stores.You can read more about Chayote here or here. They can be found in abundance during December through March here. In Karnataka especially in Bangalore it was available for most part of the year & is known as Seeme badane, I have no idea what it means, and I remember my mom using it in many kinds of preparations like Sāmbhar, BisiBele Baath and in sukke which is a Konkani cuisine which is a dry sabzi made using coconut, chillies and fried urad dal and coriander seeds and blended to a coarse dry paste and also yet another dish konkani dish called Butti which would be again using coconut, coriander seeds, tamarind. I will post a sukke and butti recipe one of these days. They taste very good!
But I had never tasted a simple upkari/stir fry till last year. I learnt this from my sister, and she learnt this from her good friend. I just loved the taste and I love these kinds of simple sautéed vegetables. It’s light and so tasty! I guess any simple upkari tastes just comforting and good after a busy day or just as an accompaniment to the regular daal, rice!

Ingredients:

2 medium sized Chayote finely chopped to small cubes
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad daal
½ tsp chana dal
2 red chillies (dry) torn into pieces
¼ tsp or even less asafoetida
5 to 6 curry leaves
1 tbsp grated coconut
3 tsp cooking oil
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Clean and core out the seed from the Chayote, and chop finely into small cubes.

2. Heat a kadai or a deep dish pan and add oil. When hot add mustard seeds, when they start crackling add urad dal, chana dal and stir fry for a minute. Add curry leaves, red chilli pieces, asafoetida and fry for 1 minute.

3. Now add the chopped chayote and stir fry on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add grated coconut, salt & about ½ cups of water and cover and cook till tender and make sure the water is absorbed.

Serve with rice and daal or along side chapattis.

Spicy Daal



In this recipe Toor daal is plainly cooked till soft and mushy and then tempered with Indian spices. Toor daal is a staple in all household in India, rich or poor; Dal is prepared everyday in some households and consumed with rice or rotis. It is very healthy and has good amount of protein.
This has become one of my favorites now; this daal is simply delicious and goes well with rotis or rice.
Yesterday I was looking out for a simple Daal tadka recipe, and there were so many pages devoted to Daal tadka. Then when I entered the kitchen to make the dish I tried to experiment with some more ingredients and the result was yummy!



Here’s the list of ingredients

Ingredients:

1 cup Toor daal washed in 2 to 3 changes of water or until the water runs clear.
¼ tsp Turmeric powder

For tempering:

½ tsp Mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds or jeera
½ small onions finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped spinach or fenugreek leaves
4 small garlic flakes slightly crushed (if big flakes then use 2 and chop it roughly)
1 tsp ginger minced
5 green chillies slit vertically
4 curry leaves torn into pieces.
¼ tsp dhania jeera powder (optional)
¼ tsp garam masala powder (optional)
4 tsp cooking Oil
1 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
Few strands of Coriander leaves for garnish
¼ to ½ tsp lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan cook toor daal in about 2 ½ cups water, add turmeric powder. Cook till it falls apart and is soft & mushy.

2. Add salt and green chillies to the toor daal and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Now heat 4 tsp cooking oil in a sauté pan. Throw in the mustard seeds and when they start sputtering throw in the cumin seeds and stir for a minute till they sizzle. Add the curry leaves, garlic flakes and ginger & fry further till the garlic is slightly brown.

4. Add the onions, tomatoes and fry both till they become soft. Add the chopped spinach and stir fry till they wilt.Now put in the powders and combine.

5. Finally add the tadka to the cooked toor daal and cover & let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the Lemon juice and mix well. Also add water if the dal is too thick.

6. To end with drizzle a tsp of ghee and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis.