Thursday, 24 September 2015

Red Chilli and Garlic Sauce/Chutney

Here is a simple and easy chutney/sauce recipe that can be made and preserved for a few weeks.The zesty flavour makes it go as a dip or use in different ways(follow note for ideas after the instructions below).This also reminds me of the chilli garlic sauce available in the Asian markets in the US which we used to like a lot.
Red chillies(bydagi)                     20 nos
Garlic cloves
(peeled,chopped)                           10-12
Salt                                                      to taste
(light brown sugar)                     a pinch
Vinegar                                             2tsp
Water                                                a little to get a consistency while blending
  • Cut the chillies into two if too long and soak in water for 2-3 hours
  • When the chillies are plump,drain out the water and transfer into a blending jar
  • Add the peeled and chopped garlic,salt,jaggery,vinegar and pulse it a few times till it becomes a coarse paste.
  • Now add little water and blend to a paste,add water if needed to help smooth blending.
  • Meanwhile have a taste of it so as to make necessary adjustments.(salt,vinegar)
  • Transfer into a clean dry bottle and store in refrigerator
  • Stays upto a month.

Those who feel it has the raw flavour of garlic(which actually doesn't feel so)may sauté this chutney for a few minutes with a tsp of oil for a few minutes.Cool and preserve in a bottle jar.This way the shelf life will also increase.

 Serving Suggestions:
  • Can be served as dip as it is or mixing with a little ketchup.
  • When mixed with little curd goes well with parathas and tastes like laal techa.
  • Can be smeared on plain/masala dosa to get a nice flavour.
  • Can be added to fried rice/noodles  just after sauteening the onions and sauteeing 1-2 tsp of this chutney to get a schezwan flavour.
  • Can be added while mixing bhelpuri.
  • Enhances the taste of pav bhaji( sauté 1-2tsp of this chutney after sauteeing onions)


Monday, 21 September 2015

Kultha Saaru-Horsegram(Kulthi)Spicy Soup

This definitely falls under the comfort food category.The recipe has no coconut and is very simple and easy to prepare.I call this soup because all such bean based saru/sarupkari reminds me of my friend Jaysree who use to say this is like soup and can be had just like that.It is called as Humman by Kerala GSBs and the nomenclature keeps changing according to the region.
This recipe can be prepared with just the stock by draining the cooked horsegram and prepare a dry subzi with seasoning it with spices and garnish with coconut.I like it along with horsegram so have used up all the horsegram.
This is a typical village food as in olden days they used to cook it in large earthenware or a utensil in enormous quantities using the firewood method that took hours of cooking which used to give a smoky flavour but that used to be tasting heaven(remember this from my childhood),there the cooked horsegram was used as a feed for cattle and the stock was used for cooking purposes and excess used to be distributed with relatives and friends.I can remember how it used to be  in demand.Nobody would deny when they were offered as cooking in this way made the stock thick and could be preserved for couple of days since it was boiled for hours and only those practicing farming and cattle at home would do this and it was definitely precious.
The traditional firewood method is no longer in vogue as farming is very rarely practiced these days.

Kulith/horsegram                       3/4cup
Salt                                                    to taste
Oil                                                      2-3tsp
Red chillies                                    4-5
Garlic flakes                                 10-12(crush lightly with or without peels)
Water                                              3-4 cups(for pressure cooking)

  • By hand picking method clean the horsegram and make sure no tiny stones and sand particles are there.
  • Soak for 1 hour,overnight soaking is also preferable as it can reduce pressure cooking time.
  • Rinse horsegram and put in a pressure cooker with 3-4 cups of water.
  • Cook for 1 whsitle,then lowering flame cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • Once the pressure is gone transfer the contents into a soup pot adding salt to taste.
  • Bring to boil and meanwhile in a little saucepan heat oil and brown the crushed garlic and also the red chillies that are broken into pieces.
  • Pour the prepared seasoning over the boiling saru.
  • Boil for another 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Best served with rice or can be had like a soup too!!
  • For non garlic version just replace garlic with a tsp of mustard seeds and add little asafoetida for flavour either to the seasoning or add in form of extract when it is still boiling.
  • Chunks of cooked cucumber may also be added.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Marvala Panna Phodi-Tree Colocasia Leaves Fried Rolls

This is a fried version of pathrado/patra using a specific kind of colocasia leaves that grows on trees like a money plant does.The leaves are glossy and thick compared to the usual colocasia leaves.It is purely seasonal and grows in forests and available in Coastal Karnataka region during the month of june/july when there is a heavy downpour.It is available in other parts of the state thanks to the Mangalore stores.I have called it tree colocasia since it grows on trees and have no idea what it is called elsewhere.In Konkani they call it marvala paan/maralva paan ;In Kannada Mara kesu and in Tulu Mara thevu.
The leaves look like this-

Marvala paan(tree colocasia leaves) 12-15

For masala paste:
urad flour 1.5 tbsp (follow the note below)**
Rice flour 3 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1.5tsp
Salt to taste
Tamarind extract 1/2tsp
Asafoetida 2 pinches
Water to make paste
Oil for deep frying
Rice flour for the second coat

  • Devien the back of leaves and rinse it with water 2-3 times so as to get rid of dust/sand particles.
  • Drain in a colander first,later spread on a towel side by side and dry it out as much as possible either by leaving it for a while or by dabbing it with another towel.
  • Prepare the paste with said ingredients using water,it should be thick.

Making of phodis:
  • On the clean and dry counter, place the larger leaf as a base upside down and spread the paste generously.
  • Stack the leaves one by one at every angle and repeat the same process of applying paste.
  • For one roll it requires about 2-3 leaves as fillers.
  • Fold the edges on both sides,apply paste on the folded edge.
  • Now start rolling it from one end(from your end )to form a tight roll.
  • Repeat the same with remaining leaves.
  • Tie it with a string or banana fibre at intervals.
  • Cut the roll into slices(For this particular leaf roll 5-6 slices)
  • On a plate spread a little rice flour and dip each slice on both sides and press the dusted slices and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan,when it is hot carefully slide the dusted slices and fry turning heat to medium till the colour changes to brownish green and are crisp.
  • Drain in a colander then spread on a kitchen paper towel.
  • Best served with rice and dali thoy.

4-5 leaves are enough to prepare a roll.
Tamarind pulp may be repalced using Amchur powder too.

**Urad flour:
Dry roast 1/2 cup urad daal(split black lentil) on low heat till a nice aroma
cool and blend into a fine powder consistency(mine was slightly coarse,like maize flour)
Use as required.

 For an idea how to roll the leaves -


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Batate Humman-Potatoes in Coconut Gravy with The Flavour Of Asafoetida

"Humman" means a gravy that has the basic masala but it is seasoned with raw coconut oil rather than tempering and the key flavour is of Asafoetida(hing)This is a signature Konkani curry that has no onion,garlic added but the flavour of asafoetida and raw coconut oil make it lipsmacking.This curry can also be served with neerdosa,shevai(steamed rice noodles),dosa etc
For fish lovers itseems if potatoes are substituted with shrimp/prawns and the number of chillies increased for spiceness will make a delicious curry..
So fish lovers may try that version too!!
Boiled potatoes(M)                          3 nos
Salt                                                         to taste
Water                                                    as required to prepare
                                                                 masala and cooking the curry
For masala:
Fresh grated coconut                     3/4cup
Roasted red chillies                        4-5(combine byadagi for a nice colour)
Tamarind                                            size of a small berry

For Seasoning:
Coconut oil                                       2tsp
Hing extract                                    a few drops(or use powder)

  • Peel the boiled potatoes and dice into chunks.
  • Take the chunks with about 1.5cups of water in a soup pot/vessel,add salt as per taste requirements and bring to boil.
  • With the back of the laddle just crush a few potatoes just like that.
  • Meanwhile assemble the ingredients of masala in a blending jar and prepare a smooth paste adding required water.
  • Add the prepared masala to the boiling potatoes and do the texture adjustments.
  • Once the masala begins to boil add the hing extract and boil for few more minutes till the raw flavour of blended masala fades,say for 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the coconut oil on top of the gravy,boil for a further one minute and switch off the heat.
  • Best served with white,red rice,neer dosa,Shevai(steamed rice noodles)and so on..