Saturday, September 20, 2014

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with a Twist! (And Oh-So-Simple!)


Another week has gone by and right after I finish with this post I plan to do a million things. The first one on the list is to tune back into the 'school routine' mode. Besides this I'll have to chalk out a rough list of sandwiches and other lunch box items that I'll have to prepare during the upcoming week. A couple of weeks ago I tried making chicken nuggets at home. I was randomly browsing some cooking videos at home and chanced upon one by chef Nicko of Nicko's Kitchen and I wanted to try it out immediately. The process was very simple and the result very delicious and healthy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cabbage Miryapito ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style Pepper Cabbage (Using Stew Powder)


Until a few years ago the only cabbage preparation that I knew to make was the very typically Mangalorean style vegetable thel-piao or oil & onion method which is more like a saute. To be honest, it does not involve any process of sauteing. All you need to do is dump the ingredients in a pan, sprinkle some water and wait for the veggies to cook until limp. After some generous sprinkling of coconut it was ready to be served. This is one of the two ways that mum used to prepare it at our place. The other was more like a fugad minus the coconut where some red chillies were tossed in hot oil before the cabbage was added. Either ways, I never complained as I love vegetables. The only vegetable I didn't touch during my childhood was the bitter gourd for obvious reasons. I took to enjoying it only after I began to manage my own kitchen and wanted to experiment with all kinds of vegetables.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moode | Mooday ~ Rice Cakes Steamed in Screw Pine (Kewra) Leaves


As a South Indian I have had the good fortune of eating many rice breads/cakes and rice based sweetmeats steamed (or pan fried) in various kind of leaves. From sweet dumplings steamed in turmeric leaves to jackfruit pudding steamed in teak leaves I am glad I have eaten them all. Well, almost. I still have one steamed bread to be tried out and I hope I have the chance to do it on my next trip to Mangalore. On my recent trip there I spotted some of these moulds made out of screw pine leaves. Traditionally they are made at home by the Hindu community of Mangalore but nowadays most people prefer to purchase from the market and as such you may find vendors who sell just that - leaf moulds and perhaps homemade coconut leaf brooms to make a few extra bucks. 

A day before Nagara Panchami was celebrated in Mangalore, Roshan & I went hunting for these moulds in the downpour. We must have scanned the whole of Car Street and the flower market before landing up at the doorstep of an old flour mill that had closed down years ago but had comfortably housed the paraphernalia of a man who was busy weaving moulds together. I bought my stuff and jumped into the car quickly before the rains got me and off we came. My mum-in-law checked with her neighbour for the recipe and off we set to prepare the batter. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Simple Badami Chicken ~ Chicken in Almond Sauce


Our weekend meals are usually elaborate, experimental dishes. However, yesterday I chose to prepare chicken so that we could enjoy some leftovers today as I had to take the kids for a musical concert in the morning and knew I'd barely have any time to finish the cooking and clean up the kitchen before leaving. I flipped through a few books and checked my list of bookmarked recipes on the kitchen pin up board. I had finished making almost everything I had bookmarked since ages save for a kebab recipe. I then grabbed my favourite book by B.F Varghese and narrowed down on this recipe which she named the Rajput Chicken Curry. I cross checked on google for a similar recipe but couldn't find any by the same name. On the contrary I found many recipes with more or less the same ingredients named as Badami chicken or chicken in almond sauce although those recipes were more elaborate and extragavant.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Maslyechi Jeere Miri Kadi - Cumin & Pepper Style Fish Curry


One of my favourite Mangalorean style fish curries is this simple cumin & pepper style curry. Well, although it says cumin & pepper the list of ingredients is not limited to just these two. It would be virtually impossible to dunk the fish pieces in a curry made of barely 2-3 ingredients but among the various types of fish curries we make back home is this style which is prepared for a particular kinds of fish. Most times we prepare the coconut curry where we use copious amounts of freshly grated coconut as the key ingredient in the preparation. The coconut curry is an easy way to make fish curry with virtually any kind of fish available on hand but then our ancestors were wise. They, from various trials & errors have devised ways to cook different varieties of fish, thrown together different blends of ingredients to compliment the nature of the fish being cooked enabling the flavours to complement each other thus making the meal experience a wholesome and enjoyable one. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ghare Sukhe | Uppad Pachir Aajadina / Salla Upkari (Salted Jackfruit Sukka)


When I called mum today she gave me the weather update - "Shirandariso paus yetha anga, boro kalok zala (it's raining cats and dogs here and its really gloomy and dark)". Well, a typical day during the monsoons in Mangalore. On such days everyone likes to dig into some kind of comfort food. While I am thoroughly missing the monsoons (really enjoyed them while I was there in July) I did manage to bring back some tangible memories with me - salted tender jackfruit that my mother in law and I had prepared together. So the last few days saw me preparing two variations of how these chunks could be cooked. The first one is where we make a 'sukka' or saute of the tender jackfruit with basic spices and loads of coconut. Dishes made the 'sukka' way are called as 'sukhe' in Konkani. This is like a very basic dish which you can put together in no time. We Mangaloreans make plenty of sukka variations with vegetables and even meat. Sonay sukhe (garbanzo beans sukka), clam sukka, chicken sukka and beef sukka are probably the most famous dishes on the menu at our place. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kaju Badam Milk Powder (Cashew Nut & Almond Health Drink Mix)


Now that schools have started the mommy in me is working overtime trying to chalk out meal plans and ensure that the son gets decent meals that help his weight gain. Well, sorry to bore you with the same old stories, but my life is pretty much bound by the school routine during the academic year and all I can think of is how to sustain my little one during the long hours at school. That's how life is for moms across the world I guess (although I swear it was a lot easier in India as the school timings were more relaxed and travel time didn't eat up his playtime). So all I do now is wake up at an unearthly hour, pack the lunch box, fix breakfast, feed and pack the child off to school and worry about what to make for the next day. Well, planning meals ahead of time happens most of the time but not always. I mean, I am not a super woman and I do like to laze around the day sometimes and in the bargain my son has to settle for a cheese sandwich the next day, something I can slap together in 2 seconds. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tropical Coconut Muffins


Most of my baking adventures happen on days when I have plenty of other things to do but when the baking bug bites me I simply sideline the rest just to satiate my hunger for baking. Since the little one now is showing her true colours and stepping into her terrible twos it is hard to finish baking in one go with an eternally clingy little monkey. Although I don't do any meticulous planning before baking (most of my baking happens on a whim) I phase out the whole program over a period of hours. If the bug bites me in the morning I try to complete my cooking first and parallely keep the eggs and butter out of the fridge. Next, I go about measuring the ingredients and placing them in different bowls and plonk them on my work table in the kitchen. We have a little foldable table that we picked up from IKEA for this very purpose. It springs into action only when required (a.k.a when the rest of the counter tops and workplaces are overburdened with random clutter) and gets shooed away when not in use. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mithache Ghare | Kolache Ghare | Tender Jackfruit in Brine (Salted Raw Jackfruit)


Thanks to blogging I have been reintroduced to many Mangalorean classic recipes that were not frequently prepared at my place. On my recent trip to Mangalore the season was just right for us to enjoy a few of the abundant dishes that are prepared out of raw and ripe jackfruits. My mum-in-law was very enthusiastic to teach me to prepare the 'happoL' (papad/poppadoms) but to our bad luck within a week of our arrival in Mangalore it started to pour non stop and our 'happoL' fiasco died an early death. These papads made out of tender but not ripe jackfruit (the pods need to be formed completely) are called as 'ponsache happoL' that require very good sunshine as it aids proper drying and subsequent storage for upto 1 year without spoiling. Anyway, I am glad that I got to see the process and perhaps if I go to Mangalore during the summer next year I could try my hand at preparing some again. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cinnamon Coffee Rolls


Every once in a while you come across a recipe that simply urges you to try it right away and impresses you beyond your expectations. Well, this is one such recipe. I have been so apprehensive about trying out any kind of breads. I have over the past two years tried my hand at several types of breads and none of them have impressed me. A few flops later I vowed never to try my hand at breads ever again. This despite the fact that the whole purpose of buying a big oven after we moved to this place was to be able to make all kinds of breads like the baguette for example. The husband has been yearning for breads actually. So much that we picked a book on breads on our recent trip to Mangalore. Along with this book I had also bought a tiny book called Coffee, 100 Everyday Recipes. the Everyday Recipes series is my favourite and I have several other books from which I have tried numerous recipes. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with a Twist! (And Oh-So-Simple!)


Another week has gone by and right after I finish with this post I plan to do a million things. The first one on the list is to tune back into the 'school routine' mode. Besides this I'll have to chalk out a rough list of sandwiches and other lunch box items that I'll have to prepare during the upcoming week. A couple of weeks ago I tried making chicken nuggets at home. I was randomly browsing some cooking videos at home and chanced upon one by chef Nicko of Nicko's Kitchen and I wanted to try it out immediately. The process was very simple and the result very delicious and healthy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cabbage Miryapito ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style Pepper Cabbage (Using Stew Powder)


Until a few years ago the only cabbage preparation that I knew to make was the very typically Mangalorean style vegetable thel-piao or oil & onion method which is more like a saute. To be honest, it does not involve any process of sauteing. All you need to do is dump the ingredients in a pan, sprinkle some water and wait for the veggies to cook until limp. After some generous sprinkling of coconut it was ready to be served. This is one of the two ways that mum used to prepare it at our place. The other was more like a fugad minus the coconut where some red chillies were tossed in hot oil before the cabbage was added. Either ways, I never complained as I love vegetables. The only vegetable I didn't touch during my childhood was the bitter gourd for obvious reasons. I took to enjoying it only after I began to manage my own kitchen and wanted to experiment with all kinds of vegetables.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moode | Mooday ~ Rice Cakes Steamed in Screw Pine (Kewra) Leaves


As a South Indian I have had the good fortune of eating many rice breads/cakes and rice based sweetmeats steamed (or pan fried) in various kind of leaves. From sweet dumplings steamed in turmeric leaves to jackfruit pudding steamed in teak leaves I am glad I have eaten them all. Well, almost. I still have one steamed bread to be tried out and I hope I have the chance to do it on my next trip to Mangalore. On my recent trip there I spotted some of these moulds made out of screw pine leaves. Traditionally they are made at home by the Hindu community of Mangalore but nowadays most people prefer to purchase from the market and as such you may find vendors who sell just that - leaf moulds and perhaps homemade coconut leaf brooms to make a few extra bucks. 

A day before Nagara Panchami was celebrated in Mangalore, Roshan & I went hunting for these moulds in the downpour. We must have scanned the whole of Car Street and the flower market before landing up at the doorstep of an old flour mill that had closed down years ago but had comfortably housed the paraphernalia of a man who was busy weaving moulds together. I bought my stuff and jumped into the car quickly before the rains got me and off we came. My mum-in-law checked with her neighbour for the recipe and off we set to prepare the batter. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Simple Badami Chicken ~ Chicken in Almond Sauce


Our weekend meals are usually elaborate, experimental dishes. However, yesterday I chose to prepare chicken so that we could enjoy some leftovers today as I had to take the kids for a musical concert in the morning and knew I'd barely have any time to finish the cooking and clean up the kitchen before leaving. I flipped through a few books and checked my list of bookmarked recipes on the kitchen pin up board. I had finished making almost everything I had bookmarked since ages save for a kebab recipe. I then grabbed my favourite book by B.F Varghese and narrowed down on this recipe which she named the Rajput Chicken Curry. I cross checked on google for a similar recipe but couldn't find any by the same name. On the contrary I found many recipes with more or less the same ingredients named as Badami chicken or chicken in almond sauce although those recipes were more elaborate and extragavant.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Maslyechi Jeere Miri Kadi - Cumin & Pepper Style Fish Curry


One of my favourite Mangalorean style fish curries is this simple cumin & pepper style curry. Well, although it says cumin & pepper the list of ingredients is not limited to just these two. It would be virtually impossible to dunk the fish pieces in a curry made of barely 2-3 ingredients but among the various types of fish curries we make back home is this style which is prepared for a particular kinds of fish. Most times we prepare the coconut curry where we use copious amounts of freshly grated coconut as the key ingredient in the preparation. The coconut curry is an easy way to make fish curry with virtually any kind of fish available on hand but then our ancestors were wise. They, from various trials & errors have devised ways to cook different varieties of fish, thrown together different blends of ingredients to compliment the nature of the fish being cooked enabling the flavours to complement each other thus making the meal experience a wholesome and enjoyable one. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Ghare Sukhe | Uppad Pachir Aajadina / Salla Upkari (Salted Jackfruit Sukka)


When I called mum today she gave me the weather update - "Shirandariso paus yetha anga, boro kalok zala (it's raining cats and dogs here and its really gloomy and dark)". Well, a typical day during the monsoons in Mangalore. On such days everyone likes to dig into some kind of comfort food. While I am thoroughly missing the monsoons (really enjoyed them while I was there in July) I did manage to bring back some tangible memories with me - salted tender jackfruit that my mother in law and I had prepared together. So the last few days saw me preparing two variations of how these chunks could be cooked. The first one is where we make a 'sukka' or saute of the tender jackfruit with basic spices and loads of coconut. Dishes made the 'sukka' way are called as 'sukhe' in Konkani. This is like a very basic dish which you can put together in no time. We Mangaloreans make plenty of sukka variations with vegetables and even meat. Sonay sukhe (garbanzo beans sukka), clam sukka, chicken sukka and beef sukka are probably the most famous dishes on the menu at our place. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kaju Badam Milk Powder (Cashew Nut & Almond Health Drink Mix)


Now that schools have started the mommy in me is working overtime trying to chalk out meal plans and ensure that the son gets decent meals that help his weight gain. Well, sorry to bore you with the same old stories, but my life is pretty much bound by the school routine during the academic year and all I can think of is how to sustain my little one during the long hours at school. That's how life is for moms across the world I guess (although I swear it was a lot easier in India as the school timings were more relaxed and travel time didn't eat up his playtime). So all I do now is wake up at an unearthly hour, pack the lunch box, fix breakfast, feed and pack the child off to school and worry about what to make for the next day. Well, planning meals ahead of time happens most of the time but not always. I mean, I am not a super woman and I do like to laze around the day sometimes and in the bargain my son has to settle for a cheese sandwich the next day, something I can slap together in 2 seconds. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tropical Coconut Muffins


Most of my baking adventures happen on days when I have plenty of other things to do but when the baking bug bites me I simply sideline the rest just to satiate my hunger for baking. Since the little one now is showing her true colours and stepping into her terrible twos it is hard to finish baking in one go with an eternally clingy little monkey. Although I don't do any meticulous planning before baking (most of my baking happens on a whim) I phase out the whole program over a period of hours. If the bug bites me in the morning I try to complete my cooking first and parallely keep the eggs and butter out of the fridge. Next, I go about measuring the ingredients and placing them in different bowls and plonk them on my work table in the kitchen. We have a little foldable table that we picked up from IKEA for this very purpose. It springs into action only when required (a.k.a when the rest of the counter tops and workplaces are overburdened with random clutter) and gets shooed away when not in use. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mithache Ghare | Kolache Ghare | Tender Jackfruit in Brine (Salted Raw Jackfruit)


Thanks to blogging I have been reintroduced to many Mangalorean classic recipes that were not frequently prepared at my place. On my recent trip to Mangalore the season was just right for us to enjoy a few of the abundant dishes that are prepared out of raw and ripe jackfruits. My mum-in-law was very enthusiastic to teach me to prepare the 'happoL' (papad/poppadoms) but to our bad luck within a week of our arrival in Mangalore it started to pour non stop and our 'happoL' fiasco died an early death. These papads made out of tender but not ripe jackfruit (the pods need to be formed completely) are called as 'ponsache happoL' that require very good sunshine as it aids proper drying and subsequent storage for upto 1 year without spoiling. Anyway, I am glad that I got to see the process and perhaps if I go to Mangalore during the summer next year I could try my hand at preparing some again. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cinnamon Coffee Rolls


Every once in a while you come across a recipe that simply urges you to try it right away and impresses you beyond your expectations. Well, this is one such recipe. I have been so apprehensive about trying out any kind of breads. I have over the past two years tried my hand at several types of breads and none of them have impressed me. A few flops later I vowed never to try my hand at breads ever again. This despite the fact that the whole purpose of buying a big oven after we moved to this place was to be able to make all kinds of breads like the baguette for example. The husband has been yearning for breads actually. So much that we picked a book on breads on our recent trip to Mangalore. Along with this book I had also bought a tiny book called Coffee, 100 Everyday Recipes. the Everyday Recipes series is my favourite and I have several other books from which I have tried numerous recipes.