Friday, 30 January 2015

Aloo Gobi-Dry Potato And Cauliflower Cooked with Spices

Aloo gobi is a dry vegetarian dish served as an accompaniment with rotis ,phulkas or rice.This is a classic in Punjabi cuisine and quite common in that region.This is a wonderful dish as it involves the usage of typical Indian spices which make it aromatic,flavourful and tempting.I like this dish as it is spicy and mildly tangy too.In the konkan cuisine too we make dry dish with combining potato and cauliflower which is simple and tasty whereas this one totally rocks!!!

Boiled potato cubes                                           1.5cups
Cauliflower florets                                            2-2.5cups
Green peas(fresh/frozen)                               2-3tbsp
Onion,sliced (M)                                                1-2
Green chilli                                                          2-3
Ginger choppings                                             1tsp
Garlic flakes                                                       5-6
Turmeric powder                                             1/3tsp
Kasoori methi
(dried fenugreek leaves)                              2pinches
Kitchen king masala                                      1/2tsp
Garam masala powder                                 1/4tsp
Coriander(dhania)powder                         1tsp
Dry mango(amchur)powder                     1/2tsp
Saunf(fennel) powder                                  1/4tsp
Oil                                                                        1- 2tbsp
Cumin seeds(jeera)                                      1/2tsp

  • Wash and soak cauliflower florets in salt water to get rid of worms if any,rinse in fresh water,drain in a colander.
  • If using frozen peas,then soak in water for 10-15 minutes,drain.
  • Make a paste of ginger,garlic and green chillies with the help of a mortar
  • Heat a kadai/skillet with oil and toss in the jeera.
  • Add the sliced onion wedges and sauté till pale,add the prepared paste and sauté for some more time till the rawness fades.
  • Add the powders one by one,also kasoori methi and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add the florets,peas,and give a stir.
  • Add the cubed potatoes,salt and sprinkle little water.
  • Cover with a lid and cook on a low flame till the florets are done and this dish should be dry.
  • Sprinkle water if necessary in between.
  • Serve with rotis and rice along with any daal.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Baingan Choka-Spiced & Mashed Roasted Brinjals/Eggplants/Aubergines

This is a simple yet tasty way of preparing mashed brinjals .Here brinjals and other vegetables are directly roasted  on fire which  gives a smoky flavour to the dish. "Choka "belongs to the Indian State of Bihar. There,it is served with Litti , a snack food made with wheat and lentil made into balls.It can also be made with potatoes and the oil which is used traditionally is mustard oil.I have used olive oil here.It was worth trying as it tastes wonderful!!! more or less like Amchi Gulla Bajji(mashed brinjal in Konkani style)ranni ghallel (roasted in fire) with a different flavour.Please go ahead with the recipe and try out ASAP.
Brinjals(med)            2 nos
Onion(m)                    1nos
Tomato(m)                 1nos
Garlic cloves             3-4
Green chilli                1
Olive oil                       1tbsp
Asafoetida(hing)     a pinch

  • Roast brinjal,green chilli,garlic onion and tomato directly over flame(over gas burner) till charred turning at intervals.
  • With the help of cold water peel the charred skins and chop each one of them to pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida followed by chopped onions,saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chopped garlic and green chilli and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped brinjal,salt to taste and saute for another minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and combine well,with the back of a spoon mash nicely.
  • Add fresh chopped coriander,sprinkle little water and cook covering for 2-3 minutes on a low flame.
  • Good as an accompaniment with rice,kichidi or roti.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Sweet Pongal-Rice and Split Green Gram Pudding

This is an easy to prepare and tasty dessert of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.It is known by the name Chakkara pongal/Sakkarai pongal too.Here rice and lentils are cooked along with milk which gives a rich flavour to the dish and  which is cooked with jaggery/light brown sugar and enhanced with flavours of cardamom,saffron and nutmeg,even a pinch of edible camphor may be used,which I have not used here.This is specially prepared on harvest festival in the state of Tamil Nadu which falls in the month of January.A healthy dessert as jaggery is used for sweetness .I learnt to make this wonderful pongal from my dear friend Jaysree Venkat,whose many more recipes are in the queue .

Rice                                                            1/2 cup
Moong daal(split green gram)       1/4 cup
Jaggery/light brown sugar             1.5 cups
Milk/ water                                            2.5 cups
Green cardamom                                3-4
Nutmeg                                                   2 pinches
Saffron(kesar)                                     2 pinches
Cashew nuts                                         1tbsp
Raisins                                                   1tbsp
Ghee(clarified butter)                     3-4tsp

  • Wash rice and daal and put in pressure cooker with the mentioned portion of milk(can add water and reduce the quantity of milk )
  • Pressure cook for a whistle and cook on sim flame for 5-8 minutes.
  • Make sure for the soft texture of rice and daal,lightly mash it with the back of a laddle.
  • Take a deep saucepan and add jaggery with little water and boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the pressure cooked rice and daal,with 2 tsp ghee and mix well,if very solid add some water.
  • Cook for another 10 mts stirring in between.
  • Add cardamom,nutmeg powder and saffron,stir and switch off.
  • In a small saucepan heat the remaining ghee and roast the cashews and raisins and pour over the sweet pongal.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Bisi Bele Bath:Hot Spicy and Sour Lentil Rice

This is a rice based dish from the State of Karnataka,India.The name Bisi Bele Bath may be translated as hot lentil rice.It involves a process where cooked rice is again cooked with tuvar daal(split pigeon peas),vegetables and a special  prepared masala with tanginess of tamarind and with a hint of jaggery Though it is a long process but worth the effort as the result is a filling and mouth watering one pot dish which makes a meal special.I learnt to make this from my dear sister Anu Pai with slight changes in the masala.

Rice                                         3/4cup
Tuvar daal                           3/4 cup

Carrot                                     1
Chayote squash                  1
French beans                       5-6
Green peas                            1/4cup

For Masala:
Fresh/dry coconut             1tbsp
Red chillies                           4byadagi,3guntur(roasted)
Chana daal                           2tsp
Urad daal                              1tsp
Coriander seeds                 4tsp
Cumin seeds                         1/4tsp
Cloves                                     4
Cinnamon                             1 inch piece
Poppy seeds                         1/2tsp
Garlic                                     1 flake(optional)
Black peppercorns           4-5

For seasoning:
Oil                                           2-3tbsp+1tsp apprx for roasting
Mustard seeds                   1tsp
Curry leaves                      5-6
Peanuts                               1tbsp
Asafoetida                         2pinches
Turmeric powder           1/4tsp
Onion(M)chopped         1nos
Tomato(m)Chopped     2nos

Other ingredients:
Salt                                      to taste
Jaggery                             1-2tsp
Tamarind pulp
(thick)                               prepared from a cherry sized ball

  • Prepare rice directly in a vessel or a cooker and set aside(should be soft,like the one we use for regular meals).
  • Peel carrot and chayote,remove the fibre from beans,wash and cut the veggies into 1 inch long pieces.
  • Wash daal and put in a pressure cooker and in another vessel add the veggies and cook for 3whistles.
  • Heat a shallow pan with little oil and roast dhania lightly,set on a plate add chana daal,roast till colour changes and aroma is felt.
  • Similarly roast the urad daal too.Also roast the jeera,black pepper and poppy seeds,set on the plate.
  • Add little oil and roast the cloves and cinnamon,if roasted chillies are not available in your pantry then roast it till crisp.
  • Roast coconut and crushed garlic flake to light golden.
  • Let everything cool,transfer the roasted ingredients into a blending jar and blend to form a nice powder.
  • Take the powder in a bowl and mix adding little water to form a paste and set aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottomed deep pan/Kadai and heat oil.
  • Once heated toss in the mustard seeds,followed by curry leaves and then the peanuts,let the nuts get roasted.
  • Add the chopped onions,saute to translucent,add turmeric powder,stir and add tomatoes and saute for few minutes.
  • Add the pressure cooked veggies(reserve water separately),salt and jaggery to taste,and assafoetida/hing for flavour.
  • Add the tamarind extract and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the masala paste and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the cooked daal(mash it,if there is water,reserve it for later adjustments),rice and mix till combines well.
  • Pour required reserved water(stock) and let it be of pouring consistency as it gians thickness with time.
  • Meanwhile have a taste of it and make necessary adjsutments(should taste taste like rice mixed with sambhar)
  • Cover and cook for 10 minutes covered on a low flame.
  • Serve topped with little ghee(clarified butter)with some boondi/chips and some raita or plain yogurt.

  • I have cooked rice directly in a pot on stove top by discarding the starch method as it is my usual process,but you may  even pressure cook it.
  • The vegetables can be of your choice.Veggies like knol khol(kohlrabi),and avare kaalu(field beans) are typically used by the natives.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Kultha Ramdan/Idli-Steamed Rice cakes with a dash of Horsegram

Idlis are steamed rice cakes which are a South Indian speciality popular all over the globe.Here is a recipe that involves Horse gram/Kulith/Kulthi as well in addition to the rice and urad daal/split black gram.I do not know the meaning of the term ramdan though it is called so.This is a speciality prepared by the Konkani community of coastal Karnataka,India.This is a healthy food as it steamed and also a filling one.Hope you all will like it !!

Urad daal(split blackgram)        1/2pav(3/4cup)
Kulith(horsegram)                         1tbsp
Idly rava(cream of rice)              1.5cups**(refer note mentioned below)
Salt                                                       to taste

  • Wash urad daal and horsegram together and soak for 5-6 hours.
  • Blend this using required water in a blender or a grinder to the consistency of idli batter.
  • Once done transfer into a large vessel(as this increases in volume during fermentation)
  • Reserve the water used in washing the blender/grinder.
  • In a bowl take the idli rava and soak it with the water reserved.(just enough to soak the rava)
  • After a few minutes the rava would have completley absorbed mositure,add this along with salt to the prepared batter and mix well.
  • Ferment overnight.

Preparing and Serving idlis:
  • Take a greased round dish(with 2" depth) and pour the batter to fill only 3/4th full and steam for 20 minutes.
  • Check with a knife pierced in the centre,if comes clean which means they are done.
  • Cut to squares and serve drizzled with coconut oil(option only for coastal people who can stand the flavour ) and chutney.

  • I have mentioned 1.5cups-Earlier I used to prepare the batter in a mixer blender,there the volume of batter is less,where I used to put only 1 cup of idly rava and  only 1 batch  yielded.
  • In the above recipe I have used grinder to prepare the batter where the volume is quite double than prepared in mixie jar,also it makes 2 batches of extra light idlis/ramdan,hence the quantity of rava used is 1.5cups

  • The batter can be instead prepared into idlis using the moulds.
  • Traditionally in a idli steamer a cloth is spread lined with banana leaf and then batter is poured over and steamed for more than 30 mts due to the quantity poured.
You may freeze the leftover pieces in a freezer bag  and re-heat in a microwave,by just sprinkling a little water over it, whenever you run out of snacks.I use in this manner when we are back home after an outing.Believe me it tastes as fresh as it should be.This rule applies even to idlis,pathrado and so on..

Monday, 19 January 2015

Majjige Thili Saru-Spiced Buttermilk Soup

"Majjige "means buttermilk in Kannada and "Thili Saaru" means something watery like rasam,so,it can be a variety of rasam(a spicy tangy soup prepared in South India)
For hardcore rice eaters it is a challenge as what to prepare  an accompaniment eventhough your cookbook is filled with recipes.No sarupkari,pejaupkari,rasam,dalithoy then what???..I bet this can be a heaven on your table.It is also a best way to utilise sour buttermilk if any, else, which would go into the drain.This is such a wonderful recipe which can be sipped just like any soup and please  don't curse me for those extra carbs if you have eaten one extra portion of rice(which you are tend to do if you have  this along).I came accross this recipe from a food group and the credit goes to Ms Nandini Kini whose posts are mouth watering.Thank u very much!!!
Here I have made some minor changes by adding rice flour to prevent it from curdling and reduced the quantity of fenugreek fearing it might add more bitterness.I just loved it and Iam sure you all will try and like it too!!!

Sour Buttermilk                           2cups
Methi(fenugreek)seeds             1/2tsp
Coriander leaves(chopped)    1tbsp
Rice flour                                        1tsp
Salt                                                    to taste

For Tempering:
Oil                                                      2 tsp
Red chillies                                    2-3
Mustard seeds                              1/2tsp
Curry leaves                                  3-4
Turmeric powder                        1/4tsp
Asafoetida                                     2pinches

  • In a small pan dry roast methi seeds carefully and powder in a mortar.
  • To the butter milk add salt and rice flour and whisk well with a churner or a wire whisk.
  • In a saucepan heat oil add mustard seeds,followed by red chillies(break into pieces),then curry leaves,turmeric and asafoetida(taking care not to
  • burn the seasoning)
  • Add the buttermilk,powdered fenugreek,chopped fresh coriander and bring to just one single boil.Switch off the flame.
  • Best served if mixed with white/red boiled rice.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Agase/Alsi Dry Chutney -Flax Seed Dry Chutney

Flaxseed is regarded as one of the most powerful plant food.It has the capacity to reduce the risk of heat disease,diabetes,stroke,cancer,etc.,It is high in Omega-3 fatty acids,antioxidants and fibre,if used in daily diet can be beneficial to a healthy living.It acts as a good substitute for egg in cakes.
Here is an interesting recipe that I had come across in a TV Channel.

Chana daal  (split yellow peas)  2tbsp
Urad daal  (split black gram)    2tbsp
Flaxseeds(agase/alsi)                           4tbsp
Dry coconut                                     1/2cup
Tamarind                                         chickpea sized
Red chillies                                     5 byadagi and 2 guntur
Dates(deseed)                               2-3
Salt                                                    to taste(1tsp,apprx)


  • Dry roast on medium flame chana daal till colour changes,urad daal till a nice aroma is felt and colour changes,set on a plate.
  • Dry roast flax seeds till its aroma is felt and it starts crackling and popping .
  • Also roast red chillies to crisp and dry coconut till light golden.
  • Take everything in a clean and dry blending jar,chop the dates before adding.
  • Blend to a nice powder consistency.
  • Store in a clean dry jar.
  • Serve with rice,rotis,dosas etc.,

  • Roast the ingredients on a medium flame carefully.
  • Dates can be substituted with jaggery/light brown sugar.
  • Can also add a flake of crushed garlic while roasting.


Saturday, 10 January 2015

Fenugreek and Coriander Leaves Rice-Methi aur Hare Dhaniye ki Chawal

This is a healthy as well as tasty one pot meal which can be served with raita/curd and could also be packed in lunch boxes.The aroma of the fresh greens makes it more flavourful.

Rice(washed/soaked for 30mts)                               1.5 cups
Fresh chopped coriander/cilantro/dhania          1cup
Fresh chopped methi/fenugreek leaves                 1 cup
Green peas(optional)                                                    1/3cup
Salt                                                                                       To taste(1 1/4 tsp,apprx)
Soy chunks(optional)                                                   8-10
Water                                                                                  In the ratio (1:2.5)
For masala:
Green chillies                                                                   2
Chopped ginger                                                              1tsp
Garlic cloves                                                                    4-5
Elaichi/cardamom                                                        1(only seeds)
Cinnamon                                                                         a small piece
Coriander leaves                                                           (take out 1/4 cup from the above)
For tempering:
Bay leaf                                                                             1
Cashew nuts                                                                   1tbsp
Onions(diced)small                                                    3 nos(abt 1 cup when chopped)
turmeric powder                                                          1/2 tsp
Olive Oil+ghee(clarified butter)                           3tbsp
  • Blend the ingredients mentioned under masala to a smooth paste
  • Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker,add bay leaf,cashew nuts,till light golden
  • Add diced onions saute till golden
  • Add the prepared paste and saute for 3-4 mts,or till rawness of ginger,garlic fades
  • Add rice(water drained)and saute for a minute
  • Add green peas,soy chunks,chopped methi/coriander,turmeric,salt and saute for another minute
  • Add water,cover the lid.when the first whistle is about to blow turn the flame to sim and cook for 8 minute
  • Switch off the heat.

  • I have used sona masoori rice that takes time to cook,so the ratio of water is 1:2.5.depending on the rice water should be adjusted
  • Can also add a tbsp of  fresh coconut while preparing the paste,gives a nice flavour.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Daal Palak-Green Gram and Spinach Spicy Soup

This is a North Indian daal served either with rice or roti(flatbread) or can be had in a bowl as a soup on a cold wintery day sprinkling with some fresh chopped onion with a dash of chat masala.An exceptionally tasty one as it is a combination of pulses and vegetables.
Here is a simple and tasty recipe and the credit goes to my friend Ms.Richa Goyal.

Green gram(Moong)               1/2cup
Tomato(m),chopped               1nos
Onion(m),Chopped                 1nos
Chopped Spinach(palak)

(preferably leaves

and only tender stems)           2.5cups(1 bunch normally available in markets)

Salt                                              to taste

For Seasoning:
Oil+Ghee(clarified butter)         1tsp each
Red chilli powder                          1tsp
Cumin(jeera)                                  1tsp
Asafoetida(hing)                          2pinches(the one i use is strong)
Coriander(dhania)powder      1/2tsp
Fennel(saunf)powder               1/4tsp
Turmeric(haldi)powder          1/2tsp

  • Wash the green gram and put in a pressure cooker along with chopped onion,chopped spinach and tomatoes with 2 cups of water.
  • Cook for 1 whistle then simmer the flame and cook for  for 5minutes.
  • Switch off.Let the pressure completely come down.
  • Transfer the contents into a soup pot and add salt to taste,bring to boil.
  • Whisk well with a wire whisk or a buttermilk churner.
  • In a small seasoning pan heat oil+ghee.
  • Add jeera ,when crackles add red chilli powder,switch off.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon.
  • Pour over the cooking daal and boil some more.
  • Serve hot with rice or chapathis.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Stuffed Baby Brinjals-Bharwa Baingan

Here is an easy and tasty recipe of stuffed brinjals/eggplant/aubergine/baingan/Vaingan that is one of our most favourites and goes good with rice and rotis.This awesome recipe belongs to my dear sister Ms.Anu Pai, who is an incredible cook.

Baby brinjals       10-12
Onion(m)               1
Tomato(m)           1
Oil                            2-3tbsp
Mustard seeds    1tsp
curry leaves        5-6

For masala:
Chana daal                   1tsp
Coriander seeds          3-4tsp
Cinnamon                     small piece
peanuts                          1tbsp
onion(S)                        1
garlic clove                   1

Salt                                   to taste
Jaggery                          1-2tsp
Red chillies(byadagi)    5-6


  • Take brinjals,make vertical cross slits only till 3/4th i.e., without breaking the quarters and let soak in water.
  • With little oil in a small pan roast on medium flame chana daal,dhania,cinnamon and peanuts till done and put in a blending jar
  • In the same pan with little oil saute onions,garlic to light brown
  • Add this into the blending jar of spices
  • Add salt to taste,jaggery and blend to a semi-coarse paste adding very little water.
  • Drain the brinjals and stuff with the prepared masala.
  • eat oil in a pan.Toss in mustard seeds,curry leaves followed by chopped onions,lightly brown them and add chopped tomatoes sprinkling little salt till they are slightly mushy.
  • Add the stuffed brinjals and saute on high heat for a minute or two.
  • Add remaining masala if any and little water.
  • Cover and cook till a fork pierced into a brinjal easily gets in.