Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mushti Polo-Rice and Lentil Dosa/Pancake

"Mushti" means fist and "Polo "means dosa/pancake in Konkani and so is the name of the dosa-Mushti Polo.In this particular recipe the measures are in cups and puffed paddy is measured in fist.This is a spongy variety of dosa that goes good with any kind of coconut chutney and one of the favourites among Konkans and also there are numerous ways to make this dosa.I have followed this recipe from a food group and the credit goes to Ms.Vijaya Shenoy whose recipes are damn good.I like this recipe as it needs no coconut(other recipes for this particular dosa need a little,so,good when you are out of stock of fresh grated coconut).
One more important thing in this dosa is about the holes that form as soon as a ladle of batter is poured.The sooner and more number of holes are formed then it means a perfect mushti polo,and definitely not an issue with this recipe.Many of them don't prepare this dosa as the batter needs to be perfect which is a tough task during cold seasons.I use a grinder to prepare the batter which may be one reason for nice and spongy dosas irrespective of the weather.I will post the dosa recipe with coconut in my future posts.

Dosa rice                                                        1.5cups
Urad daal(split black gram)                 1/4cup
Methi seeds(fenugreek)                          1tsp
Puffed paddy(lai,aralu)                         2 fistful

  • Wash and soak both rice and urad daal together for 5-6 hours.
  • Soak methi seeds separately in a small bowl with warm water.
  • Wash the puffed paddy,discard any husks if found,squeeze using a strainer.
  • Blend everything to a smooth batter using required amount of water with the help of a mixer blender or a grinder(the batter in the grinder becomes really awesome).
  • Transfer this into a steel/plastic container 
  • Add salt and mix the batter nicely and let it ferment overnight.

Preparing dosas:
  • Mix the fermented batter well with a ladle.
  • In a small bowl take 1/2cup of water and add 1/4tsp oil.
  • Heat the griddle.
  • Dip and squeeze a small towel into  the water mixed with oil.
  • Rub it all over the heated griddle.
  • Take a ladleful of batter and pour to form a circle.Spread it lightly(as these are thick dosas)
  • Cover and cook turning the flame to medium.
  • No flipping is needed for this dosa.
  • Repeat the same procedure for making remaining dosas.
  • Serve with chutney of your choice.
  • Here I have used puffed paddy instead of Poha (beaten rice) as mentioned in the original recipe 
  • Using poha will result in dark brown base,and sometimes it even sticks to the griddle.This is a thick variety of dosa and needs couple of minutes to cook so using puffed paddy or puffed rice is advisable.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Honey Cake

Cakes are something that are loved by one and all.In Bangalore we get very good cakes and there are a number of bakery chains across the city with each one of them having their signature bakes like the black forest cake @sweet chariot,Cheesecakes @ Cakewala,Chocolate truffle cake @ammas pastries and Honey cake especially by the Iyengar bakery @9th block Jayanagar(there are many Iyengar bakeries across the city though)..and many more choices too.I always wanted to bake one by myself and was not getting a foolproof recipe.Few days back i came across this recipe in a food blog and there was no looking back as i trust the person who posted it,none other than Ms. Vidya Nayak Shenoy whose posts are always wonderful and the recipe she had followed from Ms.Jayshri Baleri whose posts and presentation are the ones I love to gaze at.Thanks a ton to Ms.Shenoy for this wonderful  cake and motivating  me and also thanks  to Ms.Baleri.
This cake is dedicated to my adorable niece Anoushka who is turning 5 today.

All purpose flour (maida)             2cups
Sugar                                                    1cup
Baking powder                                 1tbsp
Butter                                                  1/2cup(@room temperature)
Eggs(large)                                      3nos(@room temperature)
Milk                                                     1cup
Vanilla essence                              1tsp

For the Syrup-
Water                                                150ml
Honey                                               1/4cup
Sugar                                                5-6tsp
Rose essence                                 2-4 drops

For garnish:
Mixed fruit jam                           3-4tsp
Dessicated coconut                   2tbsp


  • Grease a 9" baking tin with butter and also dusting with  a little flour and set aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 Degrees C
  • Sieve the flour adding baking powder 2-3 times and set aside.
  • Take a mixing bowl and with the help of a wooden spatula mix the butter first lightly .
  • Using a electric blender whsik the butter for a minute
  • Add the sugar and mix it with a wooden spatula first
  • Using electric blender gently start blending then do it for a couple of minutes till it becomes creamy.
  • Add eggs one by one and blend again till well combined
  • Add sifted flour in batches,also the milk and vanilla essence and mix the batter gently with a wooden spatula using cut and fold method.
  • Once done with mixing pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven @180 degress for 35 minutes.
  • Check if a knife poked at centre of the cake comes clean,which means it is done.

Preparing the syrup:
while the cake is still baking prepare the syrup
Combine honey water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to boil and simmer the flame for 3-5 minutes.
Switch off and add rose essence(add just only few drops)

For garnishing the cake:
When the cake is still warm prick the whole cake with a toothpick.
Using a spoon pour the mixture evenly over the cake.
Spread the jam on the cake evenly with a back of a spoon.
Sprinkle the dessicated coconut on top.

Slice the cake and serve-


I have made minor changes-
The recipe calls for rose water and I have used essence instead.
The original recipe calls for 1/2tsp chilli powder mixed to the jam before spreading over the cake,whereas I have not used chilli powder..You may give a try and let me know .

Friday, 13 February 2015

Useful Cooking Tip/Trick #1-Cooking Beetroot

Apart from cooking we also look forward to learn some tips-it may be some shortcut or to avoid some mistakes happening.Here is an useful tip for cooking beets along with anything in the pressure cooker.Generally beetroot takes some time to cook directly on stovetop and needs to be pressure cooked(I like it to be soft) for preparing any dish out of it.When it is cooked with something else the colour of beets get easily mixed up.Here is an amazing tip and it really works keeping the colours intact.I have tried cooking it even with daal and there was no smudging of colours at all!!!!!


Here is a look of cooked beets along with cabbage-

  • You may notice there is no smudging of colours(have placed beets in a container with a steel ring/plate on base,just for support adding very little water and had sprinkled sugar)
  • This way time and energy(fuel) can be saved.
  • As beets are naturally sweet ,adding sugar does not make any difference in terms of taste.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Birinda Saaru-Seasoned Kokum Water

Garcinia Indica or Kokum/Birind(Konkani) in common, is mainly used in the cuisine of  Konkan region of India.The fruit belongs to Mangosteen family.The pulp of the fruit is used in preparation of fruit juice/squash which has a bright red colour of its own.The rind of the fruit is sun dried and preserved for anytime use.This dry rind has a sour taste and acts as a good substitute for tamarind.Kokum has cooling effect on body during summers and also helps to aid digestion.It has antioxidant,antibacterial,anti-carcenogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.It is low in calories and high in dietary fibres and vitamin C.
This is a simple saaru(or something like rasam)which has a good blend of all tastes in it prepared by soaking dry rind for few hours which gives a rich colour to it.

Kokum dry rind(birinda sola)           5-6
Salt                                                                to taste(1tsp apprx,can > or <)
Jaggery powder
(light brown sugar)                                 2tsp                                     
Green Chilli(slit)                                       1
Water                                                            500 ml
Asafoetida/hing(optional)                  2 pinches

For seasoning:
Ghee(clarified butter)                         1tsp
Jeera(cumin seeds)                             3/4tsp
Red chilli(broken)                                1
curry leaves (broken)                        3-4

  • Soak the dry kokum rind in 1/4 cup warm water for 2-3 hours.
  • Take the soaked rind (which is bright beetroot red in colour)in a soup pot.
  • Add salt,jaggery,slit green chillies,asafoetida and water,bring to a good rolling boil.
  • Lower the flame and allow it to boil for 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a small seasoning pan heat up the ghee.
  • Add broken red chillies,sauté,toss in the jeera and let crackle,add curry leaves.
  • Pour this over the cooking saaru.
  • Serve as a warm beverage or can mix up with rice along with a subzi,papad and pickle on side.

  • Sometimes the rind will be very sour in which case the sweetness has to be increased.
  • This saaru should taste tangy,sweet and spicy(khatta,meetha and theeka).
  • As the rind gets older the red colour diminishes,so,better stock in freezer.
  • The fruit is generally sun dried in summer every year,so the earlier the better is the colour.