Thursday, October 30, 2014

Phova Chetni | Pova Chutney ~ Konkani Style Spiced Beaten Rice


One of the most common weekend breakfast options at our place is the beaten rice. Surprisingly I didn't eat much of it during my childhood as I am eating it today. A case of acquired tastes you could say. The reason I started making different kinds of beaten rice snacks at home was because Roshan is an ardent fan of the same and ever since our son tasted it he has become a huge fan. I am pretty pleased because I don't need to rely on boxed breakfasts anymore - cereals and such are usually loaded with tons of sugar to attract even the most unrelenting of palates. I am glad that our Mangalorean breakfasts are not shunned at my place as is the case with most children brought up in the Gulf. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with South Indian breakfasts if you know how to manage your food intake the rest of the day and combine it with a fitness regime that helps shed the extra calories. I know tons of people who have given up wholesome nutritious breakfasts because of two reasons - the lack of time to prepare them or the belief (based on the myth) that they are calorific and don't help one to stay in shape. Since I am no gyan guru or certified nutritionist I will let that argument be. Instead I would like to promote this simple ingredient - the beaten rice as the wonder ingredient that you can stock in your pantry.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sardine & Potato Cutlets


I love the fact that we are stepping into November in a couple of days. It is a month full of birthdays and planning for the upcoming festivities. During this time I also like to keep our meals at home as simple and easy as possible - just to gear up for the over load of calories that will happen soon. While flipping through my small treasure trove of recipes I found this interesting one that called for tinned sardines and I set to work. I had never used canned food my entire life except for sausages in brine. After coming to Dubai I have been buying canned pineapple to make pineapple sheera but that's about it. While I don't prefer anything that comes in tins I decided to buy the tinned sardines out of sheer inquisitiveness. I wondered how they were packaged. Were the bones removed before packaging them? If yes, how!!!?? I decided to go ahead and satisfy myself with the answers by just buying the tin. When Roshan and I opened the tin and peeped into it there seemed nothing unusual about it

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mango & Saffron Rasāyana ~ Diwali Dessert ~ Easy & Simple Recipe


As many homes across the world celebrate Diwali today I wish to offer my heartiest wishes to each and everyone who is celebrating this beautiful festival of lights. I thought it was apt to present this lovely dessert on this very joyous occasion although in many parts of the world mangoes are no longer available. However, the beauty of this dessert is that you can replace mangoes with any pulpy fruit  although I chose the king of all fruits, the grand mango. 

Last week Roshan brought some mangoes, not Indian ones though. We enjoyed them thoroughly as part of our breakfast and in this dessert as well. The beauty of this dessert is that it can be put together in a jiffy especially when you are expecting guests on short notice. Its the most hassle free of them all as you don't need to cook it and it pretty much suits everyone who has a sweet tooth. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chuda | Poha Chivda | Spicy Beaten Rice Snack


Chuda as Chivda is called among the Mangalorean Konkani speaking community needs no introduction. It is a very popular tea time snack along the Konkan coast of India and is prepared in every home - well almost. At my place we used to buy it from the little bakery around the corner which used to sell the freshest of snacks. On days when we went to buy our week's stock of goodies we found the chuda, freshly prepared and still a little warm. Chuda was prepared by our neighbours the GSB Konkanis especially during the festivals. When I was little I enjoyed playing with my neighbours and had the chance to enjoy this snack whenever I popped into their house. It was perhaps the snack that was prepared and stocked up all year round owing to its simplicity and ease of preparation and also because it is a low calorie snack that tastes as good as deep fried snacks except that its not deep fried. 

A lot of ingredients go into this lovely snack and the beaten rice is mixed into it resulting in crispy flakes that have elements of spiciness, sweetness and saltiness. The aroma, flavours and crunchiness of the roasted gram, cashew nuts and peanuts pack in more magic into this otherwise humble snack. There are several ways of making the chivda and I am sure there are thousands of recipes for the same but the most basic of ingredients include the beaten rice, mustard, green chillies, curry leaves, roasted gram, salt and sugar. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mangalore Peda | Besan Peda



As we are inching closer to one of the biggest festivals of India my news feed on Facebook is being bombarded with all kinds of recipes - sweet and savoury. It is almost impossible to turn a blind eye to them. It makes me simply want to try them out but then I tell myself to focus and stick to the list of goodies I have already planned to prepare. While most of my experiments are good to go on the blog some of them fail to impress and so those are struck off the list making way for more goodies until I try them again (and again). Well, I have been trying to get a particular Mangalorean sweet right and somehow it has not impressed me to the extent of being posted on the blog. Today on its second attempt I realised that I couldn't go on trying the same dish so many times as I am running short of time to post the rest of my recipes (you know how much I love blogging, don't you?) just in time for Diwali. Although we don't celebrate it at home I just love this excuse to make sweetmeats at home. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks


Khara Kaddi is probably one of the most loved dry snacks in Mangalore. It is usually available in bakeries and since it was never prepared at home (my mum didn't prepare a lot of deep fried snacks) we usually bought it only when we had guests over. Dry snacks such as the Khara Kaddi, Sontay (deep fried sweet potato sticks), Shemey (plain sev), Masala Kadale (spicy peanuts) or Corn Mixture (a rustic mixture of corn flakes, peanuts, puffed paddy, roasted gram seasoned with spices and curry leaves) were usually preferred along with the customary potato chips (crisps if you please). We didn't have a particular name for this and it was only when I reached Mumbai after my marriage that I got to know that the generic term for such snacks is called as 'farsaan' which is nothing but a random collection of dry savouries with a long shelf life.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kashi Halwa ~ Karnataka Style Ash Gourd Halwa


That time of the year that everyone eagerly waits for is here. The festive season is finally here!! Eid just went by, Diwali is just around the corner and before we know it we will be celebrating Christmas and New Year! It has got to be my most favourite time of the year. I got into this mood last month when I was flipping through my collection of recipes debating on which sweet I should try out for Diwali. While we don't really celebrate it at home it has always been a part of our lives and we have been included in the celebrations by our neighbours and friends. Exchanging sweets is a huge ritual in India and was more so in Mumbai where we lived for almost a decade before we moved to Dubai. Not only did we receive sweets from our neighbours and friends but also from Roshan's staff and clients. Sweets of all shapes and sizes (and calories) made their way into our house and we gratefully gorged on them, bite after bite without a care in the world. While I miss all those goodies now I think I am better off without an abundance of sweets as I simply cannot resist them and shedding the extra weight is a laborious journey that I'd rather not embark on!

I have been seeing endless recipes of sweets on practically every food group that I am a part of on Facebook. Most of them are so easy to prepare that it is virtually impossible to resist the urge to jump up from my seat and make a mad dash towards the kitchen to prepare them. I then decided to reign in my urges and look at recipes that weren't just empty calories but had some amount of nutrition in them. This automatically led me to cancel the deep fried sweets like jalebis, boondi laddoos, gulab jamoons and shahi tukdas (at least for now) from my list. I felt it was better to make sweets with some sort of veggie in it - of course veggies are equal to junk food if you over cook them and kill all the nutrients so pressure cooking came to the rescue. This dessert has now ceased to be completely sinful .

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Rolls


The best memory of a 'roll' that I can pull out from the depths of my mind is that of my friend's birthday party when I was in class 6. Poonam was one of the affluent girls who lived in my grandma's neighbourhood and hence birthday parties were a common thing for her unlike me who never had birthday parties as a child. That was not the norm in those days, especially not for middle class families like ours so all we did was cut a simple plum cake at home and that was it. Naturally I yearned for birthday parties - to invite and to be invited, to have fun, to give and receive gifts, to eat some mouthwatering snacks, to blow out the candles and cut the customary birthday cake. I still remember Poonam's party when a bunch of us were invited, perhaps more than half the class. I rushed home from school that day, gulped down my coffee and changed into a pretty dress and took a little gift, a stationary box for her. I was welcomed by her parents and grandparents and then I drifted off into that wonderful party mood. Games, music, food, the works everything that made for a grand birthday party. However, of all the things that we were served that day I loved the bread rolls the best. Her mum had prepared some amazing snacks out of which the bread rolls won hands down for me. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dahi Kadhi (Yogurt Based Vegetable Curry)


One of our most favourite activities as a family is to travel and see the world. We have just returned from a lovely vacation in Oman over the weekend. Our family friends cum relatives invited us and we gladly accepted the offer. Oman was one of the places I looked forward to seeing as I had browsed through some awesome pictures of that place a few years ago. However, it was a place I had noted in my list and didn't think I would see this soon. Glad that the trip happened although it was pretty short. We got to visit some important landmarks in and around Muscat city and also had a weekend getaway to a beach resort. So yeah, everybody is happy - the kids enjoyed their break and so did we. Most importantly its the food that entices me on any holiday. While there wasn't a lot of seafood on offer at the resort (and plus I was on a diet - more on this later) I enjoyed whatever I got.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zero Oil Sardine Fry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Apparently today is World Heart Day. Yayy to that! Well, this is a topic close to my heart (pun unintended!) as I have a history of heart problems on my dad's side and I have been warned by all and sundry to eat healthy and stay fit. While it is a constant battle to choose healthy food over unhealthy (read baked goodies) I do make an effort to eat healthy at home. As a parent I need to lead by example so I firmly believe that if I eat trash then I have nothing to teach my kids about eating well. Anyway, we aren't such big health freaks either as is evident from my blog. We love food and we love to cook and yes, we love to eat so we do indulge in calorie rich stuff once in a way and most certainly when we eat out or are on vacation. Having said that, I do want to make an effort to keep our home cooked menus as grease free as possible. Keeping this in mind we decided to try out this lovely recipe handed over by my mom in law. It makes use of no oil to fry sardines. 
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Phova Chetni | Pova Chutney ~ Konkani Style Spiced Beaten Rice


One of the most common weekend breakfast options at our place is the beaten rice. Surprisingly I didn't eat much of it during my childhood as I am eating it today. A case of acquired tastes you could say. The reason I started making different kinds of beaten rice snacks at home was because Roshan is an ardent fan of the same and ever since our son tasted it he has become a huge fan. I am pretty pleased because I don't need to rely on boxed breakfasts anymore - cereals and such are usually loaded with tons of sugar to attract even the most unrelenting of palates. I am glad that our Mangalorean breakfasts are not shunned at my place as is the case with most children brought up in the Gulf. Seriously, there is nothing wrong with South Indian breakfasts if you know how to manage your food intake the rest of the day and combine it with a fitness regime that helps shed the extra calories. I know tons of people who have given up wholesome nutritious breakfasts because of two reasons - the lack of time to prepare them or the belief (based on the myth) that they are calorific and don't help one to stay in shape. Since I am no gyan guru or certified nutritionist I will let that argument be. Instead I would like to promote this simple ingredient - the beaten rice as the wonder ingredient that you can stock in your pantry.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sardine & Potato Cutlets


I love the fact that we are stepping into November in a couple of days. It is a month full of birthdays and planning for the upcoming festivities. During this time I also like to keep our meals at home as simple and easy as possible - just to gear up for the over load of calories that will happen soon. While flipping through my small treasure trove of recipes I found this interesting one that called for tinned sardines and I set to work. I had never used canned food my entire life except for sausages in brine. After coming to Dubai I have been buying canned pineapple to make pineapple sheera but that's about it. While I don't prefer anything that comes in tins I decided to buy the tinned sardines out of sheer inquisitiveness. I wondered how they were packaged. Were the bones removed before packaging them? If yes, how!!!?? I decided to go ahead and satisfy myself with the answers by just buying the tin. When Roshan and I opened the tin and peeped into it there seemed nothing unusual about it

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mango & Saffron Rasāyana ~ Diwali Dessert ~ Easy & Simple Recipe


As many homes across the world celebrate Diwali today I wish to offer my heartiest wishes to each and everyone who is celebrating this beautiful festival of lights. I thought it was apt to present this lovely dessert on this very joyous occasion although in many parts of the world mangoes are no longer available. However, the beauty of this dessert is that you can replace mangoes with any pulpy fruit  although I chose the king of all fruits, the grand mango. 

Last week Roshan brought some mangoes, not Indian ones though. We enjoyed them thoroughly as part of our breakfast and in this dessert as well. The beauty of this dessert is that it can be put together in a jiffy especially when you are expecting guests on short notice. Its the most hassle free of them all as you don't need to cook it and it pretty much suits everyone who has a sweet tooth. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chuda | Poha Chivda | Spicy Beaten Rice Snack


Chuda as Chivda is called among the Mangalorean Konkani speaking community needs no introduction. It is a very popular tea time snack along the Konkan coast of India and is prepared in every home - well almost. At my place we used to buy it from the little bakery around the corner which used to sell the freshest of snacks. On days when we went to buy our week's stock of goodies we found the chuda, freshly prepared and still a little warm. Chuda was prepared by our neighbours the GSB Konkanis especially during the festivals. When I was little I enjoyed playing with my neighbours and had the chance to enjoy this snack whenever I popped into their house. It was perhaps the snack that was prepared and stocked up all year round owing to its simplicity and ease of preparation and also because it is a low calorie snack that tastes as good as deep fried snacks except that its not deep fried. 

A lot of ingredients go into this lovely snack and the beaten rice is mixed into it resulting in crispy flakes that have elements of spiciness, sweetness and saltiness. The aroma, flavours and crunchiness of the roasted gram, cashew nuts and peanuts pack in more magic into this otherwise humble snack. There are several ways of making the chivda and I am sure there are thousands of recipes for the same but the most basic of ingredients include the beaten rice, mustard, green chillies, curry leaves, roasted gram, salt and sugar. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mangalore Peda | Besan Peda



As we are inching closer to one of the biggest festivals of India my news feed on Facebook is being bombarded with all kinds of recipes - sweet and savoury. It is almost impossible to turn a blind eye to them. It makes me simply want to try them out but then I tell myself to focus and stick to the list of goodies I have already planned to prepare. While most of my experiments are good to go on the blog some of them fail to impress and so those are struck off the list making way for more goodies until I try them again (and again). Well, I have been trying to get a particular Mangalorean sweet right and somehow it has not impressed me to the extent of being posted on the blog. Today on its second attempt I realised that I couldn't go on trying the same dish so many times as I am running short of time to post the rest of my recipes (you know how much I love blogging, don't you?) just in time for Diwali. Although we don't celebrate it at home I just love this excuse to make sweetmeats at home. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks


Khara Kaddi is probably one of the most loved dry snacks in Mangalore. It is usually available in bakeries and since it was never prepared at home (my mum didn't prepare a lot of deep fried snacks) we usually bought it only when we had guests over. Dry snacks such as the Khara Kaddi, Sontay (deep fried sweet potato sticks), Shemey (plain sev), Masala Kadale (spicy peanuts) or Corn Mixture (a rustic mixture of corn flakes, peanuts, puffed paddy, roasted gram seasoned with spices and curry leaves) were usually preferred along with the customary potato chips (crisps if you please). We didn't have a particular name for this and it was only when I reached Mumbai after my marriage that I got to know that the generic term for such snacks is called as 'farsaan' which is nothing but a random collection of dry savouries with a long shelf life.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kashi Halwa ~ Karnataka Style Ash Gourd Halwa


That time of the year that everyone eagerly waits for is here. The festive season is finally here!! Eid just went by, Diwali is just around the corner and before we know it we will be celebrating Christmas and New Year! It has got to be my most favourite time of the year. I got into this mood last month when I was flipping through my collection of recipes debating on which sweet I should try out for Diwali. While we don't really celebrate it at home it has always been a part of our lives and we have been included in the celebrations by our neighbours and friends. Exchanging sweets is a huge ritual in India and was more so in Mumbai where we lived for almost a decade before we moved to Dubai. Not only did we receive sweets from our neighbours and friends but also from Roshan's staff and clients. Sweets of all shapes and sizes (and calories) made their way into our house and we gratefully gorged on them, bite after bite without a care in the world. While I miss all those goodies now I think I am better off without an abundance of sweets as I simply cannot resist them and shedding the extra weight is a laborious journey that I'd rather not embark on!

I have been seeing endless recipes of sweets on practically every food group that I am a part of on Facebook. Most of them are so easy to prepare that it is virtually impossible to resist the urge to jump up from my seat and make a mad dash towards the kitchen to prepare them. I then decided to reign in my urges and look at recipes that weren't just empty calories but had some amount of nutrition in them. This automatically led me to cancel the deep fried sweets like jalebis, boondi laddoos, gulab jamoons and shahi tukdas (at least for now) from my list. I felt it was better to make sweets with some sort of veggie in it - of course veggies are equal to junk food if you over cook them and kill all the nutrients so pressure cooking came to the rescue. This dessert has now ceased to be completely sinful .

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Rolls


The best memory of a 'roll' that I can pull out from the depths of my mind is that of my friend's birthday party when I was in class 6. Poonam was one of the affluent girls who lived in my grandma's neighbourhood and hence birthday parties were a common thing for her unlike me who never had birthday parties as a child. That was not the norm in those days, especially not for middle class families like ours so all we did was cut a simple plum cake at home and that was it. Naturally I yearned for birthday parties - to invite and to be invited, to have fun, to give and receive gifts, to eat some mouthwatering snacks, to blow out the candles and cut the customary birthday cake. I still remember Poonam's party when a bunch of us were invited, perhaps more than half the class. I rushed home from school that day, gulped down my coffee and changed into a pretty dress and took a little gift, a stationary box for her. I was welcomed by her parents and grandparents and then I drifted off into that wonderful party mood. Games, music, food, the works everything that made for a grand birthday party. However, of all the things that we were served that day I loved the bread rolls the best. Her mum had prepared some amazing snacks out of which the bread rolls won hands down for me. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dahi Kadhi (Yogurt Based Vegetable Curry)


One of our most favourite activities as a family is to travel and see the world. We have just returned from a lovely vacation in Oman over the weekend. Our family friends cum relatives invited us and we gladly accepted the offer. Oman was one of the places I looked forward to seeing as I had browsed through some awesome pictures of that place a few years ago. However, it was a place I had noted in my list and didn't think I would see this soon. Glad that the trip happened although it was pretty short. We got to visit some important landmarks in and around Muscat city and also had a weekend getaway to a beach resort. So yeah, everybody is happy - the kids enjoyed their break and so did we. Most importantly its the food that entices me on any holiday. While there wasn't a lot of seafood on offer at the resort (and plus I was on a diet - more on this later) I enjoyed whatever I got.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zero Oil Sardine Fry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Apparently today is World Heart Day. Yayy to that! Well, this is a topic close to my heart (pun unintended!) as I have a history of heart problems on my dad's side and I have been warned by all and sundry to eat healthy and stay fit. While it is a constant battle to choose healthy food over unhealthy (read baked goodies) I do make an effort to eat healthy at home. As a parent I need to lead by example so I firmly believe that if I eat trash then I have nothing to teach my kids about eating well. Anyway, we aren't such big health freaks either as is evident from my blog. We love food and we love to cook and yes, we love to eat so we do indulge in calorie rich stuff once in a way and most certainly when we eat out or are on vacation. Having said that, I do want to make an effort to keep our home cooked menus as grease free as possible. Keeping this in mind we decided to try out this lovely recipe handed over by my mom in law. It makes use of no oil to fry sardines.