Best Ever Butter Cookies



At last a homemade cookie that has no eggs and flavored with butter, cardamom, cashews or almonds and coconut which is so delicious. With its dome shaped crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft inside makes a perfect accompaniment with tea or coffee and equally wonderful on their own. It just melts in your mouth and can be so indulging. You cannot go wrong in selecting this treat.These butter cookies are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. They are a favorite in my household and also among my relatives, friends and alike.
I had this cookie few years back, one of my acquaintances had made this and had given some to us. At first when I saw the cookie which was slightly brownish or I will use the better word golden and frankly it really didn’t appeal to me or may be because that particular day I was so busy entertaining one of our close family friend I really didn’t get much time to indulge in right away and admire it. Anyway, so at the end of the day when I was done with all my work in the kitchen and was ready to doze off I once again saw the cookies and thought what the heck let me just try this! And guess what they were so rich, crisp and had this amazing texture in every bite!! The rich buttery flavor melts in your mouth and the traces of cashews, cardamom and coconut balances the sweetness! Gosh I just couldn’t wait to take the recipe. What I liked the most was the combination of cashews, coconut and cardamom which are more Indian flavors and no Eggs! Unlike any other cookie that I have had I think this is the best cookie at least to me and to my close relatives and friends who had a chance to indulge in!!

So here’s a list of ingredients

3/4 stick of Unsalted Butter(room temperature)
¼ cup of Sugar
1 cup of All Purpose Flour sifted
½ tsp of Cardamom powder
¼ cup of powdered Cashews or Almonds(You can add any nuts you like, if you are allergic then simply skip and add more coconut flakes instead)
½ tsp Baking Soda
1tbsp dry Coconut Flakes

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 350 degree and position the rack on the middle shelf.

2.Add butter, sugar and baking soda in a bowl and mix it very well.

3.To the mixture add powdered cardamom and add flour little by little so that it blends properly. Now add powdered almonds or cashews and mix it again. Also add the dry coconut flakes and mix further till forms a nice dough.

4.Take a tblspn of dough and flatten it like a cookie. Place on the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

5.Bake until golden brown or for about 15 minutes. When done, Cool completely on a wire rack.


Makes about 16-18 cookies.


Spicy Vegetable Pulao




Basmati Rice flavored with exotic spices cooked with fresh assorted vegetables is often called pulao or pilaf. They are delicious and nutritious in their own way. The aroma of the spices blended with Basmati rice is so delightful. It is served along side a thick Yogurt Sauce what we call Raita and is often served as a main course.
This is one of my favorite dishes. I have few different recipes for Pulao. This recipe is easy to prepare and very tasty!
I learnt this version of vegetable pulao recipe from a good friend of mine. When I had this for the first time I just loved it, and ever since it’s been a regular dish in my kitchen.
My friend had added few Craisins or dry sweetened cranberries. The hint of sweetness & tartness from the dry sweetened cranberries blends very well with the spicy flavor!I liked it and have been adding them everytime now. You can simply skip on craisins if you don’t like or can happily substitute them with raisins!!

You will need

1½ cups basmati rice
Vegetables like peas, carrots, French beans, potatoes about 1 ½ cups
1 large Onion chopped into length wise/vertically
2 medium Tomatoes chopped
2 tsp Cashew halves
3 tsp craisins
½ tsp Fennel/saunf seeds
4 tbsp butter/ghee (or equal amount of cooking oil)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped 2 tbsp

To make paste:

Garlic cloves 3
Ginger 1”inch
Green chillies 5 (you can add more if you want it spicy)
Red chillies 5
Cloves 4
Cardamom pods 2
Cinnamon stick 1” inch
1 tbsp coriander seeds/ dhania
½ tsp cumin seeds/ jeera
Turmeric powder a pinch

Method:

1. Wash the rice in 4-5 changes of water and soak in water for 30 minutes.

2. Make a fine paste of the above mentioned ingredients.

3. Melt the butter in a pan or pressure cooker whichever you intend to use and fry the onions, cashew halves & fennel seeds till golden.

4. Add the craisins and stir for a minute or two and pour in the ground paste. Fry this well on a medium flame till the raw smell fades and also it leaves oil on the sides. Be careful not to burn.

5. Throw in the chopped tomatoes & chopped coriander leaves and fry further till soft and mushy. Add the vegetables and fry for another minute or two.

6. Add rice and fry till the rice becomes transparent. Now pour in the water, I added about 2 ½ cups of water. You can use the same proportion for water depending on the rice you use. But in my guess adding little less than equal will be good else the basmati rice can be mushy & also looks over cooked.

7. Add salt, coriander leaves and mix well. Cook for 1 or 2 whistles if using a pressure cooker. I cooked for 1 whistle.
If cooking in a pan or kadai then keep checking periodically so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom and sprinkle water if needed. Cook till the rice is done and make sure the grains are separate and not sticky.

8. Let the cooker cool by itself. Serve along side Raita.

Shrimp Curry



Shrimp marinated in a tangy and spicy sauce, seasoned with garlic and smothered in pureed tomatoes. The taste is very enriching and is out of the world.
I had this curry sometime back at a relative’s place. I made sure I asked her for the recipe. She roughly gave me the measurements of the ingredients.
She also told me that she had added a few dehydrated red bell peppers just to make the curry more flavorful and vibrant! I don’t have a dehydrator so I decided to use paprika which can enhance the color and equally contribute to the flavor!
When I tried the recipe I just eyeballed everything and tried to suit it to our taste buds. You can adjust the proportions to meet your needs.
What I liked most about this simple curry was there is no coconut unlike any South Kanara seafood recipe. Yet the taste was unbelievable. Its very light and the flavor of all the spices, the tanginess of tamarind and tomatoes makes it so unreal! There is a similar version prepared in South kanara region what we call Shrimp Humman where coconut forms the base for gravy and also we don’t use garlic or tomatoes. But here tomatoes form the base for the gravy and gives a nice “body” and rich texture to the Dish! Hence adding good amount of pureed or very finely chopped tomatoes would be inevitable here. Also cooking /frying the tomatoes till mushy is also a very important step. Believe me this is very important because when I tried it for the first time I didn’t wait till the tomatoes were all pulpy and mushy, so the end result was not so good.
You will require

Large Shrimp peeled, deveined and cleaned about 12

For the marinade:
1.Luke warm water about 1 cups cup to soak the tamarind.
2.Tamarind paste about 1 or 2 tsp, (If using the whole tamarind you will need about golf ball size, soak it in luke warm water for about 10 minutes and extract the pulp)
3.Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp or can add more if you want it hot and adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly.
4.Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
5.Dhania jeera powder ¼ tsp, this wasn’t there in the recipe, but I like the flavor of dhania jeera especially in sea food preps.
6.Asafoetida ¼ tsp
7.Salt to taste.

For seasoning..

1.Cooking oil 2 to 3 tsp
2.Garlic cloves 2 finely chopped
3.Ripe Tomatoes 4 very finely chopped or best the option would be to just pulse it in the blender for a minute or 2… (If you intend to use canned tomatoes, then that’s fine too)
4.Paprika ½ to 1 tsp

Method:

1. Soak tamarind (if using the whole tamarind) in warm water and squeeze the juice. If using the tamarind concentrate then add about 1 to 2 tsp and make a solution.

2. Take a bowl and add cleaned shrimps, tamarind solution, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, dhania jeera powder, asafoetida, and salt. Mix well and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes.

3. Heat a saucepan and add oil, when heated through add the chopped garlic and fry till slight golden. (Be careful not to burn the garlic)

4. Add the finely crushed tomatoes and fry till it’s soft and mushy like a paste. Add paprika and fry further for a minute.

5. Now add the shrimp and the marinade (along with the water) and cook till the shrimp is cooked through. At this point adjust the spice and salt. Add water if it’s thick and adjust the consistency. The consistency should be like a thin gravy.
Serve with rice and pappads.

Cabbage Upkari/Stirfry



There are days when I just don’t feel like eating any spicy or rich dish, the next thing that comes to my mind is cabbage upkari or any other upkari with fresh vegetables. It is easy to prepare and doesn’t need much cooking time and also over cooking the cabbage can ruin the texture and taste!
The sizzling panna or tadka gives all the flavors and makes it yet another simple and wholesome meal!
This recipe doesn't have onions, adding a few thinly sliced onions will also be perfect!!

Recipe follows…

Ingredients:

Cabbage thinly shredded about 4 cups
Potato 1 small chopped into small chunks

For Panna/tempering:

Cooking oil 2 tsps
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1tsp
Chana dal ½ tsp
Curry leaves about 5 torn into pieces
Asafoetida powder a pinch
Turmeric/haldi powder ¼ tsp
Dhania jeera powder ½ tsp
Green chillies 3 slit
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Chop cabbage and potato. Wash and drain the water well.

2. Heat a kadai/pan, add oil. When it’s heated through add mustard seeds, when they start to crackle add urad dal and chana dal and fry for a min or till they turn lightly brown. Be careful not to burn.

3. Add curry leaves, green chillies & asafoetida and fry for a minute. You can right away feel the aromas from asafoetida.

4. Finally add the drained cabbage, potato, dhania jeera powder along with turmeric and stir fry this for a minute or two.

5. Add salt and sprinkle very little water as cabbage releases water whilst cooking.This cooks in a jiff say about 5 mins (approx)
Try not to over cook and the cabbage should be cooked just perfect and crisp!!

Serve with rice & Daalitoy.

Delicious Daalitoy!!



Daalitoy is a staple for the Amchigele or the GSB community.
It is an aromatic variety of Konkani dal served with rice. Most of the beginners start off their cooking skills with Daalitoy.I was one among them too!!
It is easy to prepare and equally delicious.
Daalitoy is prepared using cooked toor dal and then tempered with ghee, asafoetida, curry leaves.The tempering is the key I believe with the flavors of ghee, asafoetida and fresh curry leaves..ah!! It is such a simple variety of dal with minimum ingredients but the taste is heavenly!
No festive occasion would be complete without it.
Every small or big occasion has Daalitoy and people just relish it.

Recipe Follows..

Ingredients:

Toor dal ¾ cups
Turmeric a pinch
Green chillies slit 3
Ginger ½ tsp (chopped and mashed a little)
Salt to taste
Water to adjust the consistency.

For tempering:
Fresh Curry leaves 1 sprig
Ghee/oil 3 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Red chilli 1 cut into pieces
Asafoetida/hing ½ tsp.

Method:

1. Wash Toor dal in 1 or 2 changes of water.

2. Pressure cook toor dal along with turmeric powder till soft.

3. Transfer it into a heavy saucepan and cook it further. Add water if you think it’s too thick. Add salt, green chillies, ginger and bring it to a good rolling boil. Keep stirring in between so that the dal doesn’t stick to the bottom.Switch off the heat.

4.
Heat ghee in a small tadka pan, when hot add mustard seeds, when they start to crackle add curry leaves, red chilli pieces, asafoetida and fry for a second.Add this to the dal & close the lid immediately.

Serve with rice along side pickle and pappads.
I served Daalitoy with a simple Cabbage Stirfry or what we call Upkari and onion pickle!