Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Oatmeal & Wheat Pancakes

Tried my hand at another healthy breakfast option by Tarla Dalal. I have decided to try at least 90% of the recipes from each book I own (this will help me slow down a bit when it comes to purchasing cook books at random!). Maybe I should dedicate 2011 to healthy cooking. I have indulged the whole of Jan in cooking/eating out lip smacking delicious (but not importantly healthy) food. The effect has already begun to form on my waistline & cheeks :-(. Maybe the festivities are the culprit (or just a lame excuse). Now on, I am back to eating home cooked, nutritious meals starting with power packed breakfasts. This particular recipe was always ignored cuz I dont really like my breakfasts to start on a sweet note, but it's worth a try. The outcome wasnt as sweet as I expected. I am going to try this sometime soon.


Sweet Oatmeal &Wheat Pancakes

Recipe Source: Healthy Breakfast by Tarla Dalal
Makes 6 pancakes

You Need:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp or just a dash of cinnamon powder
  • 2 tbsps powdered sugar
  • 1 cup water (or a little less)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp fruit salt (I use Eno)
  • 2 tsp oil for greasing the pan prior to frying
Method:

1. Mix all ingredients (except the fruit salt & oil) to make a smooth batter
2. Add the fruit salt & stir well. Set aside for 2minutes
3. Heat a griddle/tawa and grease it with some oil
4. Spread a ladle full of batter in the centre with a circular motion 
5. Cover & cook until golden brown on both sides
6. Serve hot with honey & orange segments (I only used honey)


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pathrade (Steamed Rice Cake with Shredded Colocasia Leaves)

I tried another favourite Mangalorean dish - Pathrade (pronounced as Pathra-Day) which is close to getting extinct from Mangalorean kitchens. It maybe because most Mangaloreans have scattered all across the globe and finding the key ingredient to make the Pathrade - Pathradyache Kolay or Alwache Kolay (Colocasia Leaves) is harder than striking oil in Antarctica. Besides these leaves which are shredded and mixed with rice batter, one also needs Teak tree leaves (Sagoni in Konkani, Saaguvani in Kannada,Satgun in Hindi) in which this mixture is packed and then steamed in a Tondor (steamer). Alternatively we use the leaf of another tree called 'Sandhalyache paan' - I am not sure of its Kannada & English names, but will update the post with the same soon. You may use banana leaves to steam the Pathrade if the above mentioned two types of leaves are unavailable. Worst case, aluminium foil may also be used if leaves are not available.


Traditionally Teak leaves are used which not only lend a lovely flavour and fragrance to the pathrades but also a very pale purplish colour if you use almost dried leaves.

I was lucky to have found the two kinds of leaves during my recent trip to Mangalore and since I already own a Tondor, making this dish was easier than I thought. It was fun too, since I had only my imagination & sense of taste to aid me during preparation. Ofcourse, good ol J.B Lobo's recipe book was my faithful teacher throughout.


Now that I have my own kitchen garden where I grow 2 types of spinach (Ceylon baji as they call it in Mlore & Palak), Miri (Kali Mirch/Pepper), Tulsi (Holy Basil) & Karano (Brahmi/Thyme-Leaved Gratiola) - the Pathrade leaves have joined the bandwagon. Take a look...


If you are unable to get the colocasia leaves, you can make pathrade with Spinach (Valche Baji/Basale)/Palak and steam the mixture in Banana leaves as Teak leaves are hard to find even in Mangalore.



Pathrade

Yield: 6 large pathrades

You Need:

To be shredded:
  • 6-7 very large or 17-18 small colocasia leaves/Arbi leaves
To be ground
  • 500gms boiled rice - washed and soaked for a minimum of 2 hours
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 5 dry red chillies (kumti)
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/cumin
  • 1 marble size ball tamarind
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • Salt to taste (approx 3/4th - 1 level tsp)
For wrapping & steaming
  • 6 large or 10-12 small teak leaves - Washed and wiped dry
Method:

1. Drain the soaked rice well and grind it along with the other ingredients mentioned under 'To be ground' using very little water (just to get the mixie blade going). The batter should be finely ground but dryish.


2. Shred the colocasia leaves finely and mix it to the ground batter well. The best way to shred the leaves is to place one of top of the other (stacked up) and then roll them together and shred in one go. This will save you a lot of time.
3. On a working surface place a Teak leaf (below pictures are of another locally available leaf) and place about 2 portions of batter in the centre along the spine of the leaf. Leave out the corner edges so that batter doesn't spill out. Something like this







4. Fold the leaves along the sides & tips & fasten with wooden toothpicks
5. While you are busy making the remaining 'packets' of batter, place sufficient water in a Tondor (steamer) and bring it to a boil
6. Place all the pathrades on the shelf inside the Tondor, cover & steam for 20 minutes on high flame
7. Remove from the steamer & allow to cool. Now you can open up the packet & cut into pieces of about 1/2 inch width & use in the curry or just apply Meet Mirsang (Salt+Chilli paste+vinegar) and fry as you would fry fish


8. You can store these for as long as 5-6 months in a deep freezer, but just ensure that you place them in zip lock (freezer safe seal bags), otherwise when you thaw them the next time around you will have slightly soggy Pathrades which will need a little squeeze before using.

Sunday Special - Pathradyanchi Kadi (Mutton/Chicken Gravy for Pathrades)

I dedicate this post to my darling hubby Roshan who encouraged me to start this blog & to those two special people (Prema & May) who nudged me to revive an almost dying blog. Thank You - from the bottom of my heart!

Pathrade (pronounced as Pathra-Day)

Making Pathrades and then its gravy is probably one of the most complex Mangy dishes. Maybe one reason why it is not prepared as frequently as our granmas used to make a gazillion years ago. Although I had tried my hand at making this gravy many times before - the work involved wasnt as much as I used to add ready made Pathrades made by my mom in law.

This time around I made everything from scratch and maybe I will bookmark this dish as an annual festival event! I didnt have any bad experience while making it, its just that the whole process is quite time consuming & while your kitchen smells heavenly and gives you a lot of 'maa-ki-yaad' (flashbacks of your childhood involving your mommy), you'll have a pile of utensils of every shape & size staring at you from the kitchen sink. Sigh! - This is when I thank my stars to be able to afford domestic help!

Did I scare you already? Nah! Trust me, it's worth every bite....when hubby & I ate this masterpiece, there was pin drop silence as we wolfed it down shamelessly!



Pathradyanchi Kadi

Recipe Source: My Mum


You Need:

  • 1 kg mutton - cut into medium size pieces and cooked with a little salt till tender (takes about 20mins in a pressure cooker if you get tender mutton) OR Chicken 1 kg (can be cooked in the gravy - no need of precooking if the chicken is tender)
  • 2 large pathrades (cut into about 18-20 pieces of 1 inch width). (Click here to see how it's made)

For the gravy :

Condiments to be roasted separately & then ground together:
  • 8-9 long red chillies (I used Bedgi)
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 2 heaped tsps jeera/cummin
  • 3 tsps coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2 small onions roughly sliced (or 1 large)
Grind the above condiments and the below 2 ingredients with a little water or thin coconut milk
  • 1 marble size ball of tamarind
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
You also need:
  • Thick & thin roce of 1 coconut OR coconut milk made out of 6 tbsps of coconut milk powder dissolved in 2 cups tepid water - abt 450ml  - This makes about 550-600ml of thick coconut milk.
  • 1 medium size onion finely sliced (for frying)
  • 1/2 onion for tempering (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste
Tip:
If you are using a mixer grinder, use the dry grinding jar (the smallest among all jars meant for grinding powders) to grind all the dry items (jeera, dry chillies, coriander, peppercorns, turmeric, mustard) to a fine powder and then add the tamarind, coconut & onions - this ensures that your masala is ground to a nice & smooth paste


Method:
1. In a large vessel, heat some oil and then fry the sliced onion till it turns golden brown
2. Add the ground masala and fry a bit - no need to fry too much as all the ingredients have already been roasted - this process has already eliminated the raw taste/smell if any
3. Add the masala water from the mixie (not more than 1/2 -3/4th cup) and bring it to a boil.
4. Add the coconut milk & boil for 1 minute.
5. Add the mutton pieces and its stock (about 2 cups). By now your gravy is a thin pale yellow colour. Check salt & tamarind and add more if required - ensure you dont add too much salt as the mutton was cooked with salt
6. Bring it to a boil & add the pathrade pieces and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn off flame & in another small pan fry the 1/2 onion in some oil and when it turns golden brown add it to the gravy. This is optional
7. Serve hot!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fish Curry With Coconut for Sanaki/Mudav/Ghol

Here's one more fish curry that I make often. We get 'Gol' fish which is actually huge and its pieces (cubes) which are usually boneless is what is sold. This fish is pretty bland by itself and tastes better in a gravy than in it's fried form. However, for the convinience of cooking (its sold skinless & in cubes - so minimum effort to clean as there are no scales either) I buy this fish occasionally & sometimes replace Surmai (King Fish) with Gol while preparing Fish Biryani. Unfortunately I do not know the English name of this fish, but you can make this curry for any fish like Pomfret, King Fish or Rawas too. As per the recipe you can make this curry for Mudav fish (as it's called in Tulu) or Sanaki (Konkani/Tulu)


Fish Curry With Coconut for Sanaki/Mudav/Ghol

Adapted from: Sambardo by J.B Lobo

You Need:
700gms Ghol fish cut into cubes

For the masala
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 long red chillies (kumti) (reduce it to 3 red chillies as you need to fry 1 green chilly as part of the 'shindaap')
  • 3 tsps coriander
  • 1 heaped tsp jeera
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 medium size onion roughly chopped
  • 3/4th cup grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp vinegar 
For the Shindhaap (Ingredients to be fried before adding the masala)

  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 green chillie
  • 1/2 inch ginger chopped fine
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
  • oil

Method:

1. Clean the fish in some turmeric & salt water and set aside in a colander so that the water drains off - this helps in removing the fishy smell in the gravy
2. Grind all the ingredients for the masala (except the salt & vinegar) to a fine paste
3. Heat oil & fry the onion till golden. Add the green chillie & fry till transparent. Add the ginger & garlic & fry lightly - do not allow it to brown
4. Add the ground masala & fry on slow flame till oil leaves the sides
5. Add upto 1 1/2 cups of water. Leave the gravy a little thick - once the fish is added it will leave its own water (and some more if the fish has not been thawed completely if it was frozen)
6. Bring the gravy to a boil and add the salt & vinegar. Check the taste. Let it boil for 1 minute before you add the fish pieces gently.
7. When all the fish has been added to the pan, gently cover each piece with the gravy and give the pan a shake (twirl it a bit) so that the gravy has covered the fish well.
8. Cover & leave the fish to cook on medium flame - you will notice the gravy bubbling up. Cook for about 2 minutes - not too long as fish cooks fast & you dont want it crumbling. The fish will continue to cook in the heat of the pan even after it has been taken off the stove
9. Turn off the flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & allow the curry to sit for a while
10. Serve hot with boiled or white rice.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Nutritious Parathas (With Spinach, Carrots & Potatoes)

What does a mommy do when her little son refuses to eat vegetables? Go on a hunt for recipes that disguise them in various forms ofcourse. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out what to feed my little brat cum angel. As much as my husband & I love Mangalorean food, our son is anti-Mangalore when it comes to veggies and the way they are cooked. Our recent holiday trips saw us ordering a lot of rotis, kulchas & naans for him at various hotels as they proved to be the safest kind of food plus he enjoyed them. I thought I'd try my hand at something of that sort which also had some healthy veggies in it. I found an apt recipe in Tarla Dalal's 'Healthy Snacks for Kids'. These parathas are quick to make and you can store the dough in the fridge for upto 2 days - just in case your tot is in the mood for a quick snack at odd hours.


Nutritious Parathas

(Printable Recipe)
You Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup Besan (channa atta)
  • 3/4th cup peeled, boiled and grated potatoes
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach (palak or any other) (make sure that the spinach is washed & completely dried otherwise your dough will turn sticky)
  • 1/4 cup grated carrots
  • 2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 4 tbsps fresh curds (yogurt)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
Method:

1. Mix all the ingredients (including the oil) and knead into a soft dough - If you find the dough a bit sticky, dust some extra flour to make it smooth. Keep dough aside for 10minutes
2. Divide into 8 equal portions and roll into round parathas or you can use a cookie cutter & cut into interesting shapes. Keep them a little thicker than chapathis
3. Heat a tawa and place the paratha on it & cook on slow flame till it is golden brown on both sides
4. To make the parathas soft, always fry on slow heat & brush with a little oil or ghee.
5. Serve hot - they are delicious when eaten plain, with cheese spread, mayonnaise or the authentic way - with pickle or fresh curd.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Special - Kube Mutli (Cockles/Clams In A Gravy With Mini Rice Dumplings)

It's not too often that I find fresh cockles or squid in the fish market that I go to. On my recent trip there, the 'mogorle' (fisherwoman) in her shrill voice excitedly told me that I must buy the fresh cockles that just arrived. Knowing that this particular lady never cheats me, I immediately agreed to buy 3 'wantas' (which means batches in Hindi).

Depending on where they are sourced from, one needs to be careful while cleaning them. While in Mangalore, you can vouch for their freshness and cleanliness, in places like Mumbai, you often get cockles that are filled with 'ubeer' (filth), so it's really important to clean them thoroughly & then place them in the fridge for a good 30minutes so that they open their shells (gasping for breath - poor things) so you can clean them properly before steaming/cooking them.

While I often make a 'Sukkha' (dryish dish with coconut & spices) out of the cockles, this time around I decided to make the 'Kube Mutli' with my prized possession.

Sometimes I wonder who created a dish like the Kube Mutli. Mutli is also known as Pundi in Kannada & Tulu and Kube is known as 'Marwai' in local language. Whoever thought of adding cockles to rice dumplings swimming in a gravy made of coconuts!! Whoever it was deserves a pat on their back(s) cuz this is one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes.

I have called it a Sunday Special cuz that's the day of the week when we have a grand meal. The entire week goes by in a mad rush & I resort to making simple dishes that are not too time consuming. I am not sure if many of us would try our hand at making this authentic dish in today's time & age cuz it took me a loooong time to make this entire dish from scratch. But it was worth the effort since I am slowly beginning to learn the importance of 'slow food' in this age of fast foods & instant gratification & zero nutrition, I hope you make it too - someday, when you have at least a good 2 hours on your hands.


Here's a snapshot of how a batch of cockles looked like. Gorgeous arent they? I call them the gems of the sea

Kube Mutli

Recipe Source: My Mum

You Need:
About 60-70 cockles, washed, drained and meat retained in only one shell (kerl) of each cockle while discarding the other (else you'l have a clutter of empty shells & loads of tiny disappointments :-)

OR
600-700gms Chicken (If you are unable to find cockles in the city where you live) - This variation is known as the 'Kombi-Mutli'

For the Mutli:
  • 250gms (uncooked) boiled rice (also called as 'Ukdo' in Konkani, 'Ukda' in Hindi & Marathi & Idli rice in English) - washed and soaked in water for at least 1 1/2 hours
  • Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
  • 4 long red chillies (kumti mirsang)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
  • 2 handsful grated coconut (to be ground along with masala)
  • 1/2 coconut (1 volen) to extract milk (roce) OR 4 tbsps coconut milk powder dissolved in 500ml warm water
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped (to be ground)
  • 1 small onion finely sliced (for frying)
  • 1 small ball of tamarind (as per taste)
Method:

To make the Mutlis:

1. Drain the soaked rice completely and grind it fine along with salt. While grinding add very little amounts of water only if required (if you are grinding in a mixie you may require to add small amounts of water just to get the blade going) - Trust me, this can be a painful job! If you have a 'gatno' (grinding stone) or a wet grinder - then consider yourself blessed!
2. Place the batter in a thick bottomed vessel or kadai on a slow flame & allow it to roast a bit - this process is called as 'ubzounche' in Konkani which involves partial cooking of the batter by placing freshly ground wet batter over slow flame to help it arrive at a dough ball kind of consistency which then allows you to make small mutlis (balls) out of it & then steam them in a 'tondor' (steamer)
3. Give the batter a stir or two and switch off the flame when you can see that dough looks a little transparentish. Allow to cool for not more than a minute
4. The next step is a little tricky - try & make balls - a little bigger than marble size, without burning your hands, but if you wait for the dough to cool too much, then it becomes hard & you wont be able to make that kind of a 'little dimple' impression on each mutle (thats the singular form of the Mutli)
5. While you are busy making the mutlis, place sufficient water in a tondor/steamer & bring it to a boil.
6. Place the mutlis in a steel bowl and then onto the 'shelf' inside the tondor. Cover the lid & steam for 15minutes. Switch off the flame & open the cover. Place a thin muslin cloth (called as 'Bairas' in Konkani) over the mutli bowl so that the vapour falling off the tondor cover doesnt make the mutlis soggy. Allow them to sit for a while till your gravy is ready.



To make the Gravy:
1. Heat a pan & dry roast the following one by one -  dry red chillies, sliced onion, coriander seeds & grated coconut. Remove & allow to cool
2. Grind the roasted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients - peppercorns, garlic, jeera, mustard & haldi to a fine consistency. If you have a thin roce (coconut milk) extracted out of the coconut (not powder method) you can use that to grind the masala


3. Heat a big pan (large enough to accomodate the gravy+mutlis+cockles) and add some oil. When the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion to golden brown
4. Add the ground masala and fry well. Add the masala water (from the mixie) and bring it to a boil. Add the roce/coconut milk and boil for 1minute
5. Add in the mutlis. Cook for 5mins on slow fire
6. Add the cockles and salt to taste & cook for another 2-3 minutes.
7. Turn off flame and allow it to rest for 5mins (this allows the mutlis to soak in the gravy)
8. Serve hot!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Curry (Without Coconut)

Today I decided to make Sannas (A fluffy kind of Idlis made with yeast) and started looking for a good Chicken curry recipe that I could not only make in a jiffy but would have enough gravy to be eaten along with Sanna. I normally make the Chicken Green Curry that goes really well with Sanna or the Chicken Curry (with roasted condiments) which is also nice. However, since I wanted to try something different for a change, I made this from my first ever Mangalorean recipe book (which ofcourse is in tatters now). I made a few changes and it was ready to go.

This curry makes no use of coconut - ground or milk and can be made by those who shudder at the thought of having coconut based curries. You can make a dry version of this dish by skipping the water used to make the gravy.


Chicken Curry
Adapted from: Sambardo by J.B Lobo

You Need:
  • 500 gms chicken
  • 4 small or 2 large onions finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs coriander leaves chopped
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves chopped
  • 2 tbsps curds (not too sour) - beaten to creamy consistency
  • 3 medium tomatoes, boiled, deskinned and mashed
  • 1/2 tsp red chillie powder (reduce/skip this as per your tolerance to spice)
  • 1 1/2 heaped tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • 2 heaped tsps coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 dry red chillies (the long 'Kumti' mirsang from Mangalore) or you can use 3 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ghee or oil for frying
  • salt to taste
Method:
1. Cut the chicken into medium size pieces, wash, drain & set aside
2. Heat the ghee or oil in a kadai (wok) and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste & fry some more
3. Toss in the masala powders - coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli - and fry. Add the whole dry chillies
4. Add the chicken and fry for about 2 minutes until all the masala has coated the chicken well. Add salt
5. Add curds and stir well and cook the chicken for 2 mins. Dont add water yet as it will cook in its own juices
6. Add the tomato paste & garam masala powder and cook on slow flame
7. Add 1/2 cup water or upto 1 cup water if you desire more (thinner) gravy.
8. When the chicken is cooked garnish with chopped coriander & mint leaves. Simmer for 2 mins and switch off the flame.
9. Serve hot with Sanna or steamed rice. A dry version of this dish can be served with chapathis.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beef Sukka

My most relaxed Sundays are those when my hubby volunteers to cook. He's as much a foodie as I am & loves to cook authentic Mangalorean dishes (he leaves the experiments with other cuisines to me). Of late due to his busy schedule he prefers to relax on Sundays, but one such Sunday when he did give me an off from making a special Sunday lunch saw him making some noises in the kitchen. Some slicing & stiring later I got to eat some delicious Beef Sukka. This is his favourite dish although I prefer eating red meat very occasionally, but I must give credit for the way he makes it...so here's his version of the Beef Sukka.


Beef Sukka

Recipe Source: My husband
You Need:
  • 1 kg beef with fat - cut into medium size cubes
  • 2 medium size onions sliced finely
  • 2-3 tbsps  tomato puree
  • 2 tsps Bafat powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
  • grated coconut - 1/2 -3/4th coconut
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • salt to taste
For the tempering (fon in konkani, oggarane in kannada, tadka in hindi):



  • curry leaves (kadipatta)  5-6 leaves




  • 3-4 cloves garlic


  • Method:
    1. Pressure cook beef till tender (takes about 30 mins on slow fire if the meat is tender)
    2. Heat oil in a wok/thick bottomed kadai and fry the onions till golden brown
    3. Reduce flame and add bafat powder and tomato puree. Fry for about a minute
    4. Add grated coconut* and toss till you get a nice aroma for about 2-3 mins.
    5. Add only the meat pieces retaining the stock. Mix well with the masala & allow to cook on slow fire for 3-4 minutes stirring every now & then to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan
    6. Add the stock and salt to taste and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
    7. Turn off flame & in another small pan (tadka/fon/tempering dish) heat oil, toss in garlic cloves mashed a bit and also the curry leaves, turn off immediately (as soon as the curry leaves let out a nice aroma) but before the leaves get burnt
    8. Garnish the meat with this tadka & serve hot

    Tip*: You can twirl the grated coconut in a blender for about 10 seconds just to get a better texture which is not too fine & not too coarse

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Tomato Garlic Chutney

    Tomato Garlic Chutney
    Recipe Source: Healthy Breakfast by Tarla Dalal
    You Need:
    • 6-7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup spring onions chopped
    • 1 tbsp spring onion greens finely chopped
    • 2 dry red chillies, soaked in a little water for about 10mins - this helps soften them up
    • 1 cup tomatoes finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp coriander finely chopped
    • 1 tsp oil (I use olive oil)
    • salt to taste
    Method:
    1. Drain the soaked chillies and chop them finely
    2. Heat the oil and saute the spring onion whites and garlic over a slow flame till they are lightly brown.
    3. Add the chillies and salt & saute again
    4. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes over a slow flame till the tomatoes are soft and can be mashed slightly
    5. Cool completely and then add the chopped coriander & spring onion greens, mix well & serve with Mini Soya Dosa


    Mini Soya Dosa

    Somehow my luck with trying out breakfast goodies never seems to be running out (i run out of luck for everything I try most times - haha). Almost ALL of the Tarla Dalal breakfast recipes turn out gorgeous. By now you must have figured out that I am such a breafast person. Have always been. During my school days I could never imagine getting out of the house without a decent breakfast - something which was always in abundance at home owing to the large joint family we used to live in. In small towns breakfast is always the most important meal - people still twitch their noses at cornflakes & stuff which are unappealing. Or maybe this is just in south India - I dont know.
    My breakfast has to be nice & steaming, colourful, tasty & nutritious. These ground rules make me hunt for recipes & I have hit a gold mine with the Healthy Breakfast recipe book by Tarla Dalal. Will post as many recipes as I possibly try. Do try this one...its a breeze!


    Mini Soya Dosa 

    You Need:

    • 1 cup soya milk (I use Godrej Sofit Natural flavour - they have flavoured soya milk too like mango, chocolate etc- you need to use the unflavoured one)
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 green chilli chopped
    • 1/2 cup onions grated (or chopped very fine)
    • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
    • 1/4 tsp Eno's fruit salt (Yep, the one you ask your pharmacist for when you have a gurgling sound in your tummy :))
    • salt to taste
    • 2 tsps oil for cooking
    Method:
    1. Make a thin batter using the soya milk and wheat flour and add some water if required to achieve the thin consistency. Add the green chillies, onions, coriander, fruit salt, salt and mix well.
    2. Heat a non stick pan and grease it a little with oil. You can use half an onion and poke it with a fork as we do in Mangalore - this ensures that you use very little oil and the same is spread evenly across the pan
    3. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter (or use a regular round ladle that is used for making dosas) on the pan and spread it in a circular motion to make a thin dosa
    4. Cook on both sides and brush a little oil if required
    5. Repeat to make more dosas
    6. Serve hot with Tomato Garlic Chutney



    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Soup with Cheese, Salami & Mixed Veggies

    A bowl of hot soup is my comfort food. When I am too full to eat a full meal or want to diet a bit & avoid the carbs I turn to soups & one can get real creative with soups - especially if you have a well stocked fridge with an assortment of veggies. I usually keep the basic vegetables like carrots, potatoes, french beans & peas handy round the year, so I can make something in a jiffy. This recipe is nutritious and healthy and turns out yummy enough for my brat to get some veggies inside his lil tummy :)

    Soup with Cheese, Salami & Mixed Veggies

    Serves: 2-3

    You Need:
    • 1 spring onion along with the greens - chopped
    • 1 small onion thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup each of carrots & potatoes
    • 5-6 french beans cut julienne
    • 7-8 florets of cauliflower
    • 1 cube of cheddar cheese
    • 4 slices of chicken salami
    • 1 tsp pepper powder (you can add more)
    • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
    • 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock OR 2 stock cubes (bouillon cubes) disolved in 2 cups of water
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Method:
    1. Pressure cook the vegetables in sufficient water for about 1 whistle
    2. In a wok or pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and fry the onion till golden brown. Add the spring onion and fry for about a minute
    3. Add the ginger paste and pepper powder & saute
    4. Add the cooked veggies and the stock water and bring to a boil
    5. Add the cheese cube and stir until disolved and lower the flame
    6. Add salami and cook for two minutes.
    7. Serve hot with bread

    Dukramasaso Saladh (Pork Salad)

    My mother-in-law (Mamma) who is one of the very good cooks I am related to (besides my darling mom ofcourse) introduced me to some delicious Mangalorean fare during my several trips to Mangalore. One such dish which can be put together in a jiffy as a 'sakne' (accompaniment to alcoholic drinks) is the Pork Salad.
    I have not tasted this dish anywhere else and I dont think I ever need to as I am sure that Mamma's version is undoubtedly the best. This recipe is one of the few that I collected during my recent trip to Mangalore - most of which were prepared for the Christmas day feast at home. Pork being one of the most favourite delicacies that appeal to most Mangalorean palates, this crunchy-munchy-sour-spicy baby is quite tantalizing - Try this along with some hard liquor!


    Dukramasaso Saladh

    Recipe Source: My mum-in-law

    You Need:
    • 1 handful of Pork - well cooked in a little turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 1 inch ginger chopped finely
    • 1 green chilli slit
    • 2 small onions sliced horizontally (across the breadth of the onions)
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tsp oil for frying
    Method:

    1. Slice the pre-cooked pork into thin pieces (do not shred it too fine or else the fat will turn too chewy - but cut it thinner than the normal cubes that you cut for the regular Pork Bafat dish)
    2. Heat the oil & fry the pork lightly
    3. Remove from heat & when it has cooled down a bit mix all the chopped ingredients, salt & vinegar well
    4. Serve & enjoy this crunchy dish!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Soya Granules Sabzi

    A few years ago I tasted a soya dish & disliked it instantly. I vowed never to eat it again. Sometime back I was flipping through my favourite author Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe book and stumbled upon the recipe of the Soya Granules Sabzi which I thought I should try since I had a box of Nutrela Soya Granules lying around without a purpose (I tend to randomly buy boxes with interesting packaging at the supermarket :P ). The outcome was surprisingly tasty & its something I keep making for breakfast at least twice a month as it goes very well with chapathis. My husband who was terrified at the thought of having 'soya' for breakfast is not complaining anymore!

    I personally feel that this dish is a very good substitute for the scrambled eggs (egg burji) and I was able to demonstrate this to my dear husband by serving some to a guest recently & passing the dish off as 'scrambled eggs'. After two morsels my guest was surprised to note that it was soya & not eggs :). What's different about this dish is that instead of soaking the soya in water, you need to soak it in warm milk with a pinch of salt. This gives a nice creamy texture to the granules and adds to its taste.


    Soya Granules Sabzi

    You Need:
    • 1 cup soya granules
    • 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
    • 2 medium onions finely chopped
    • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
    • 1 green chilli finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (you can increase it to 1 level tsp if you have a tolerance for spice)
    • oil for frying
    • salt to taste
    • coriander leaves chopped - 1/4 cup
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    Method:
    1. Wash the soya granules & drain - squeeze out the excess water if any & place in a bowl
    2. Add some warm (almost hot) milk to the soya, add a pinch of salt & keep aside to soak for 20-30mins
    3. Heat oil in a pan & add jeera. When they change colour add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown
    4. Add the chopped ginger & green chillies and cook for half a minute
    5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they mash up a bit - takes about 2-3 minutes
    6. Add the chilli & turmeric powder and cook till oil leaves the masala
    7. Add the soya granules and mix well. Add half of the milk used to soak the granules and cook till the granules are soft - this takes at least 10minutes on slow fire.
    8. Add salt to taste & leave it on slow fire till the dish is almost dry
    9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & serve hot with chapathis or steamed white rice



    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Sheera (Semolina Pudding)

    Sheera is also known as 'Kesari Bhath' in northern Karnataka especially Bangalore. During my initial visits there I could never figure out what kesari bhath was until I saw it for myself! While I never used to like store bought sweets during my childhood (now I gobble them up shamelessly!), homemade sweets were always welcome. Sheera is considered to be a nutritious evening snack in most homes as it is made of rawa (semolina) and is a good source of carbohydrates & energy (with generous dollops of ghee & cashewnuts & raisins added for good measure to make it even more lipsmacking).

    While Sheera is more of a snack in South India (served for breakfast & evening tea along with Upma or Mangalore buns in most Udupi hotels) in the North its variation is called as the Sooji Halwa with the dish being a little more sticky & ghee laden. Nuts like Badams (Almonds) are also generously added.
    While the mention of 'sheera' takes me back to my mom's kitchen, it also has a flipside to it. Pineapple sheera also reminds me of funeral masses (the 7th day or month's Mind Mass as per Catholic tradition) where it was customary to serve pineapple sheera and/or vegetable upma, meat puff and a steaming cup of hot coffee or tea to the grieving family, friends & those gathered for the mass. In those days it was common practice for many to attend the Mind Mass of those even remotely known to you :) - no prize for guessing why! Yep - the 'deadly' sheera :)


    Sheera

    Recipe Source: My mum

    You Need:
    • 1 cup sooji (rawa/semolina)
    • 1 fistful cashewnuts
    • 15 tsps sugar ( between 12-14 tsps is medium sweet)
    • A few raisins
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tbsps ghee
    • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder or 1/4 -1/2 tsp yellow food colour or a few strands of saffron mixed in the milk
    Method:
    1. In a thick bottomed pan (or kadai) heat some ghee & fry the sooji for about a minute (till you see it turning slightly golden). Reduce flame and do not wait till the sooji turns really brown. Remove & set aside
    2. In the same kadai add some more ghee & fry the raisins & cashewnuts just a little (do not burn)
    3. Add the roasted rawa to the cashews & raisins and reduce flame to very low (lesser than sim if you can juggle a bit with the gas knob - unless ofcourse you are using a pan which is non stick of the best quality)
    4. In a separate vessel boil the water & milk (1 cup each) till it begins to bubble. Add the salt & sugar
    5. Add this boiling liquid to the rawa and quickly add the Turmeric powder/food colour and keep stirring to ensure no lumps are formed.
    6. Cover the pan with a lid & stir again after a minute or so.
    7. Well cooked sheera will have no lumps & the grains fluffy
    8. Serve hot - add a tsp of ghee on top if you dont mind adding a few grams to your waistline! Enjoy!

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Plum Chutney

    In my previous post I have mentioned about the Mangalorean Sweet Pulao which is not complete without the plum chutney. A few years ago not everyone considered this an afforable option of a chutney because of dates & raisins that go into it which are quite expensive. However, today its not such a big deal to source dates which are available in every supermarket but not too many people have this item on their menus.

    This chutney is quite a gourmand's delight. Whoever thought of putting these different ingredients together has done a fabulous job and the outcome always tingles my tastebuds :)


    Plum Chutney

    Recipe Source: The Mangalorean Ladies Club Cookery Book


    You Need:

    • Dates - 6
    • Mint leaves - 3 sprigs
    • Cloves - 2
    • Cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
    • Onion - 1 small
    • Skin of 1 dried red chilly (remove the seeds) (You can put half the skin if you have lower levels of tolerance to spice)
    • Ginger - 1 inch
    • Plums (raisins) - 25gms or about a fistful
    • Beetroot - 1 slice (boiled)
    • Banana (ripe) - 1 medium sized (Mysore banana (the sweet & plump variety) or Kadhali/Elaichi as it's called in Mumbai)
    • Tamarind - 1/2 a marble size (literally a scrap of tamarind is suffient)
    • Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

    Method:
    Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste. If you find it a little spicy, dont worry - having it with the sweet pulao will balance the spice, however, if you are still hesitant, you can add 1/2 a banana to the chutney & grind it again.
    Serve with Sweet Pulao




    Sweet Pulao

    When I was little I used to always look forward to the weddings in Mangalore simply because the food served was lavish and something different from the regular fare dished out at home. I think this was a couple of decades ago when people used to actually look forward to marriage parties & such simply because they either couldnt afford to make rich dishes at home or it wasnt common practice to cook meat during the week. Chicken was probably what most families used to cook on Sundays. Although the spread (during a wedding party) included the regular Pork, Mutton Biryani, Appams, Sheviyos etc, I specially looked out for the Sweet Pulao accompanied by the Plum Chutney. My mother used to prepare this combo on Birthdays & some special occasions at home which is why I love to make this once in a while & relish it (I can have it for breakfast, lunch & dinner)



    Sweet Pulao

    Prep time: 15-20 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves 4-6

    You Need:
    • 2 cups Basmati rice washed & soaked for about 15-20mins
    • 4 cups water, freshly boiled
    For the garnishing:
    • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup cashew nut halves, cleaned
    • 1/2 cup raisins, cleaned
    • 3-4 cardamoms
    • 3-4 cloves
    • 1" stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3-4 tablespoons white granulated * see notes
    • salt to taste (approx 2 teaspoons of table salt) - but adjust to taste
    • Ghee or oil for frying the onions and ghee to fry the rice.
    Method:
    1. Prepare the onions for garnishing by heating ghee or oil in a wok or pan and frying the sliced onions till golden brown. Take care not to burn them. Use a slotted spoon to drain them and place them on an absorbent kitchen tissue. You may also deep fry the onions (see notes for the same.)
    2. Fry the cashew nuts  till golden brown and remove. Repeat with the raisins but don't fry them too long, just until they puff up, then remove. See notes before proceeding to the next step.
    3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and sugar to taste and keep it simmering and ready.
    4. Add some more ghee if required, fry the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf  on a medium low heat and take care that they don't burn. When you get a nice aroma add the washed and drained rice & fry for about 1-2 minutes (or until the ladle begins to feels heavy - if you continue stirring beyond this point the rice will begin to break)
    5. Add the freshly boiled water and check the taste. You should get a fine balance of sweet and salty. Adjust the sugar and salt quickly if required and then bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
    7. When the mixture is boiling quickly cover the pan with an airtight lid or aluminium foil so that no steam can escape. Reduce the heat to a simmer (sim) and cook for 5 minutes (keep an alarm!)
    8. Once 5 minutes are up, turn off the heat and let the pan sit undisturbed. Don't open the lid at all! Set the alarm for 15 minutes.
    9. After 15 minutes, open the pan and gently fluff up the rice using a fork. Cover for half a minute.
    10. Garnish with fried onions, raisins & cashew nuts & serve hot with plum chutney

    Notes:
    1. For best results use long grain basmati rice. The older the rice, better the taste and less mushy it will be
    2. Use only white granulated sugar for pure white pulao.
    3. Take care not to burn the onions or raisins and cashewnuts if you are frying them before you fry the rice (assuming you are using a single pan for all jobs). Burning of ingredients imparts a dull/darkish colour to the ghee and will lead to pulao that is not white in colour. If the pan indeed has burnt ghee, transfer it to a bowl, wipe clean the pan with a kitchen tissue and proceed to fry the rice in fresh ghee.


    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Sweet Oatmeal & Wheat Pancakes

    Tried my hand at another healthy breakfast option by Tarla Dalal. I have decided to try at least 90% of the recipes from each book I own (this will help me slow down a bit when it comes to purchasing cook books at random!). Maybe I should dedicate 2011 to healthy cooking. I have indulged the whole of Jan in cooking/eating out lip smacking delicious (but not importantly healthy) food. The effect has already begun to form on my waistline & cheeks :-(. Maybe the festivities are the culprit (or just a lame excuse). Now on, I am back to eating home cooked, nutritious meals starting with power packed breakfasts. This particular recipe was always ignored cuz I dont really like my breakfasts to start on a sweet note, but it's worth a try. The outcome wasnt as sweet as I expected. I am going to try this sometime soon.


    Sweet Oatmeal &Wheat Pancakes

    Recipe Source: Healthy Breakfast by Tarla Dalal
    Makes 6 pancakes

    You Need:
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/4 tsp or just a dash of cinnamon powder
    • 2 tbsps powdered sugar
    • 1 cup water (or a little less)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/2 tsp fruit salt (I use Eno)
    • 2 tsp oil for greasing the pan prior to frying
    Method:

    1. Mix all ingredients (except the fruit salt & oil) to make a smooth batter
    2. Add the fruit salt & stir well. Set aside for 2minutes
    3. Heat a griddle/tawa and grease it with some oil
    4. Spread a ladle full of batter in the centre with a circular motion 
    5. Cover & cook until golden brown on both sides
    6. Serve hot with honey & orange segments (I only used honey)


    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Pathrade (Steamed Rice Cake with Shredded Colocasia Leaves)

    I tried another favourite Mangalorean dish - Pathrade (pronounced as Pathra-Day) which is close to getting extinct from Mangalorean kitchens. It maybe because most Mangaloreans have scattered all across the globe and finding the key ingredient to make the Pathrade - Pathradyache Kolay or Alwache Kolay (Colocasia Leaves) is harder than striking oil in Antarctica. Besides these leaves which are shredded and mixed with rice batter, one also needs Teak tree leaves (Sagoni in Konkani, Saaguvani in Kannada,Satgun in Hindi) in which this mixture is packed and then steamed in a Tondor (steamer). Alternatively we use the leaf of another tree called 'Sandhalyache paan' - I am not sure of its Kannada & English names, but will update the post with the same soon. You may use banana leaves to steam the Pathrade if the above mentioned two types of leaves are unavailable. Worst case, aluminium foil may also be used if leaves are not available.


    Traditionally Teak leaves are used which not only lend a lovely flavour and fragrance to the pathrades but also a very pale purplish colour if you use almost dried leaves.

    I was lucky to have found the two kinds of leaves during my recent trip to Mangalore and since I already own a Tondor, making this dish was easier than I thought. It was fun too, since I had only my imagination & sense of taste to aid me during preparation. Ofcourse, good ol J.B Lobo's recipe book was my faithful teacher throughout.


    Now that I have my own kitchen garden where I grow 2 types of spinach (Ceylon baji as they call it in Mlore & Palak), Miri (Kali Mirch/Pepper), Tulsi (Holy Basil) & Karano (Brahmi/Thyme-Leaved Gratiola) - the Pathrade leaves have joined the bandwagon. Take a look...


    If you are unable to get the colocasia leaves, you can make pathrade with Spinach (Valche Baji/Basale)/Palak and steam the mixture in Banana leaves as Teak leaves are hard to find even in Mangalore.



    Pathrade

    Yield: 6 large pathrades

    You Need:

    To be shredded:
    • 6-7 very large or 17-18 small colocasia leaves/Arbi leaves
    To be ground
    • 500gms boiled rice - washed and soaked for a minimum of 2 hours
    • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    • 5 dry red chillies (kumti)
    • 1/2 tsp jeera/cumin
    • 1 marble size ball tamarind
    • 1/2 cup grated coconut
    • Salt to taste (approx 3/4th - 1 level tsp)
    For wrapping & steaming
    • 6 large or 10-12 small teak leaves - Washed and wiped dry
    Method:

    1. Drain the soaked rice well and grind it along with the other ingredients mentioned under 'To be ground' using very little water (just to get the mixie blade going). The batter should be finely ground but dryish.


    2. Shred the colocasia leaves finely and mix it to the ground batter well. The best way to shred the leaves is to place one of top of the other (stacked up) and then roll them together and shred in one go. This will save you a lot of time.
    3. On a working surface place a Teak leaf (below pictures are of another locally available leaf) and place about 2 portions of batter in the centre along the spine of the leaf. Leave out the corner edges so that batter doesn't spill out. Something like this







    4. Fold the leaves along the sides & tips & fasten with wooden toothpicks
    5. While you are busy making the remaining 'packets' of batter, place sufficient water in a Tondor (steamer) and bring it to a boil
    6. Place all the pathrades on the shelf inside the Tondor, cover & steam for 20 minutes on high flame
    7. Remove from the steamer & allow to cool. Now you can open up the packet & cut into pieces of about 1/2 inch width & use in the curry or just apply Meet Mirsang (Salt+Chilli paste+vinegar) and fry as you would fry fish


    8. You can store these for as long as 5-6 months in a deep freezer, but just ensure that you place them in zip lock (freezer safe seal bags), otherwise when you thaw them the next time around you will have slightly soggy Pathrades which will need a little squeeze before using.

    Sunday Special - Pathradyanchi Kadi (Mutton/Chicken Gravy for Pathrades)

    I dedicate this post to my darling hubby Roshan who encouraged me to start this blog & to those two special people (Prema & May) who nudged me to revive an almost dying blog. Thank You - from the bottom of my heart!

    Pathrade (pronounced as Pathra-Day)

    Making Pathrades and then its gravy is probably one of the most complex Mangy dishes. Maybe one reason why it is not prepared as frequently as our granmas used to make a gazillion years ago. Although I had tried my hand at making this gravy many times before - the work involved wasnt as much as I used to add ready made Pathrades made by my mom in law.

    This time around I made everything from scratch and maybe I will bookmark this dish as an annual festival event! I didnt have any bad experience while making it, its just that the whole process is quite time consuming & while your kitchen smells heavenly and gives you a lot of 'maa-ki-yaad' (flashbacks of your childhood involving your mommy), you'll have a pile of utensils of every shape & size staring at you from the kitchen sink. Sigh! - This is when I thank my stars to be able to afford domestic help!

    Did I scare you already? Nah! Trust me, it's worth every bite....when hubby & I ate this masterpiece, there was pin drop silence as we wolfed it down shamelessly!



    Pathradyanchi Kadi

    Recipe Source: My Mum


    You Need:

    • 1 kg mutton - cut into medium size pieces and cooked with a little salt till tender (takes about 20mins in a pressure cooker if you get tender mutton) OR Chicken 1 kg (can be cooked in the gravy - no need of precooking if the chicken is tender)
    • 2 large pathrades (cut into about 18-20 pieces of 1 inch width). (Click here to see how it's made)

    For the gravy :

    Condiments to be roasted separately & then ground together:
    • 8-9 long red chillies (I used Bedgi)
    • 5 peppercorns
    • 2 heaped tsps jeera/cummin
    • 3 tsps coriander seeds
    • 1/2 tsp mustard
    • 1 cup grated coconut
    • 2 small onions roughly sliced (or 1 large)
    Grind the above condiments and the below 2 ingredients with a little water or thin coconut milk
    • 1 marble size ball of tamarind
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    You also need:
    • Thick & thin roce of 1 coconut OR coconut milk made out of 6 tbsps of coconut milk powder dissolved in 2 cups tepid water - abt 450ml  - This makes about 550-600ml of thick coconut milk.
    • 1 medium size onion finely sliced (for frying)
    • 1/2 onion for tempering (optional)
    • Oil for frying
    • Salt to taste
    Tip:
    If you are using a mixer grinder, use the dry grinding jar (the smallest among all jars meant for grinding powders) to grind all the dry items (jeera, dry chillies, coriander, peppercorns, turmeric, mustard) to a fine powder and then add the tamarind, coconut & onions - this ensures that your masala is ground to a nice & smooth paste


    Method:
    1. In a large vessel, heat some oil and then fry the sliced onion till it turns golden brown
    2. Add the ground masala and fry a bit - no need to fry too much as all the ingredients have already been roasted - this process has already eliminated the raw taste/smell if any
    3. Add the masala water from the mixie (not more than 1/2 -3/4th cup) and bring it to a boil.
    4. Add the coconut milk & boil for 1 minute.
    5. Add the mutton pieces and its stock (about 2 cups). By now your gravy is a thin pale yellow colour. Check salt & tamarind and add more if required - ensure you dont add too much salt as the mutton was cooked with salt
    6. Bring it to a boil & add the pathrade pieces and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn off flame & in another small pan fry the 1/2 onion in some oil and when it turns golden brown add it to the gravy. This is optional
    7. Serve hot!

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Fish Curry With Coconut for Sanaki/Mudav/Ghol

    Here's one more fish curry that I make often. We get 'Gol' fish which is actually huge and its pieces (cubes) which are usually boneless is what is sold. This fish is pretty bland by itself and tastes better in a gravy than in it's fried form. However, for the convinience of cooking (its sold skinless & in cubes - so minimum effort to clean as there are no scales either) I buy this fish occasionally & sometimes replace Surmai (King Fish) with Gol while preparing Fish Biryani. Unfortunately I do not know the English name of this fish, but you can make this curry for any fish like Pomfret, King Fish or Rawas too. As per the recipe you can make this curry for Mudav fish (as it's called in Tulu) or Sanaki (Konkani/Tulu)


    Fish Curry With Coconut for Sanaki/Mudav/Ghol

    Adapted from: Sambardo by J.B Lobo

    You Need:
    700gms Ghol fish cut into cubes

    For the masala
    • 5 peppercorns
    • 4 long red chillies (kumti) (reduce it to 3 red chillies as you need to fry 1 green chilly as part of the 'shindaap')
    • 3 tsps coriander
    • 1 heaped tsp jeera
    • 1/2 tsp mustard
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric
    • 1 medium size onion roughly chopped
    • 3/4th cup grated coconut
    • 1 tbsp chopped coriander
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tsp vinegar 
    For the Shindhaap (Ingredients to be fried before adding the masala)

    • 1 small onion sliced
    • 1 green chillie
    • 1/2 inch ginger chopped fine
    • 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
    • oil

    Method:

    1. Clean the fish in some turmeric & salt water and set aside in a colander so that the water drains off - this helps in removing the fishy smell in the gravy
    2. Grind all the ingredients for the masala (except the salt & vinegar) to a fine paste
    3. Heat oil & fry the onion till golden. Add the green chillie & fry till transparent. Add the ginger & garlic & fry lightly - do not allow it to brown
    4. Add the ground masala & fry on slow flame till oil leaves the sides
    5. Add upto 1 1/2 cups of water. Leave the gravy a little thick - once the fish is added it will leave its own water (and some more if the fish has not been thawed completely if it was frozen)
    6. Bring the gravy to a boil and add the salt & vinegar. Check the taste. Let it boil for 1 minute before you add the fish pieces gently.
    7. When all the fish has been added to the pan, gently cover each piece with the gravy and give the pan a shake (twirl it a bit) so that the gravy has covered the fish well.
    8. Cover & leave the fish to cook on medium flame - you will notice the gravy bubbling up. Cook for about 2 minutes - not too long as fish cooks fast & you dont want it crumbling. The fish will continue to cook in the heat of the pan even after it has been taken off the stove
    9. Turn off the flame. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & allow the curry to sit for a while
    10. Serve hot with boiled or white rice.



    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Nutritious Parathas (With Spinach, Carrots & Potatoes)

    What does a mommy do when her little son refuses to eat vegetables? Go on a hunt for recipes that disguise them in various forms ofcourse. I've been racking my brains trying to figure out what to feed my little brat cum angel. As much as my husband & I love Mangalorean food, our son is anti-Mangalore when it comes to veggies and the way they are cooked. Our recent holiday trips saw us ordering a lot of rotis, kulchas & naans for him at various hotels as they proved to be the safest kind of food plus he enjoyed them. I thought I'd try my hand at something of that sort which also had some healthy veggies in it. I found an apt recipe in Tarla Dalal's 'Healthy Snacks for Kids'. These parathas are quick to make and you can store the dough in the fridge for upto 2 days - just in case your tot is in the mood for a quick snack at odd hours.


    Nutritious Parathas

    (Printable Recipe)
    You Need:
    • 1 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
    • 1/4 cup Besan (channa atta)
    • 3/4th cup peeled, boiled and grated potatoes
    • 1 cup finely chopped spinach (palak or any other) (make sure that the spinach is washed & completely dried otherwise your dough will turn sticky)
    • 1/4 cup grated carrots
    • 2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
    • 4 tbsps fresh curds (yogurt)
    • 2 tsp oil
    • salt to taste
    Method:

    1. Mix all the ingredients (including the oil) and knead into a soft dough - If you find the dough a bit sticky, dust some extra flour to make it smooth. Keep dough aside for 10minutes
    2. Divide into 8 equal portions and roll into round parathas or you can use a cookie cutter & cut into interesting shapes. Keep them a little thicker than chapathis
    3. Heat a tawa and place the paratha on it & cook on slow flame till it is golden brown on both sides
    4. To make the parathas soft, always fry on slow heat & brush with a little oil or ghee.
    5. Serve hot - they are delicious when eaten plain, with cheese spread, mayonnaise or the authentic way - with pickle or fresh curd.


    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Sunday Special - Kube Mutli (Cockles/Clams In A Gravy With Mini Rice Dumplings)

    It's not too often that I find fresh cockles or squid in the fish market that I go to. On my recent trip there, the 'mogorle' (fisherwoman) in her shrill voice excitedly told me that I must buy the fresh cockles that just arrived. Knowing that this particular lady never cheats me, I immediately agreed to buy 3 'wantas' (which means batches in Hindi).

    Depending on where they are sourced from, one needs to be careful while cleaning them. While in Mangalore, you can vouch for their freshness and cleanliness, in places like Mumbai, you often get cockles that are filled with 'ubeer' (filth), so it's really important to clean them thoroughly & then place them in the fridge for a good 30minutes so that they open their shells (gasping for breath - poor things) so you can clean them properly before steaming/cooking them.

    While I often make a 'Sukkha' (dryish dish with coconut & spices) out of the cockles, this time around I decided to make the 'Kube Mutli' with my prized possession.

    Sometimes I wonder who created a dish like the Kube Mutli. Mutli is also known as Pundi in Kannada & Tulu and Kube is known as 'Marwai' in local language. Whoever thought of adding cockles to rice dumplings swimming in a gravy made of coconuts!! Whoever it was deserves a pat on their back(s) cuz this is one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes.

    I have called it a Sunday Special cuz that's the day of the week when we have a grand meal. The entire week goes by in a mad rush & I resort to making simple dishes that are not too time consuming. I am not sure if many of us would try our hand at making this authentic dish in today's time & age cuz it took me a loooong time to make this entire dish from scratch. But it was worth the effort since I am slowly beginning to learn the importance of 'slow food' in this age of fast foods & instant gratification & zero nutrition, I hope you make it too - someday, when you have at least a good 2 hours on your hands.


    Here's a snapshot of how a batch of cockles looked like. Gorgeous arent they? I call them the gems of the sea

    Kube Mutli

    Recipe Source: My Mum

    You Need:
    About 60-70 cockles, washed, drained and meat retained in only one shell (kerl) of each cockle while discarding the other (else you'l have a clutter of empty shells & loads of tiny disappointments :-)

    OR
    600-700gms Chicken (If you are unable to find cockles in the city where you live) - This variation is known as the 'Kombi-Mutli'

    For the Mutli:
    • 250gms (uncooked) boiled rice (also called as 'Ukdo' in Konkani, 'Ukda' in Hindi & Marathi & Idli rice in English) - washed and soaked in water for at least 1 1/2 hours
    • Salt to taste
    For the Gravy:
    • 4 long red chillies (kumti mirsang)
    • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 4 peppercorns
    • 1 tsp jeera/cumin
    • 1/4 tsp mustard
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
    • 2 handsful grated coconut (to be ground along with masala)
    • 1/2 coconut (1 volen) to extract milk (roce) OR 4 tbsps coconut milk powder dissolved in 500ml warm water
    • 1 small onion roughly chopped (to be ground)
    • 1 small onion finely sliced (for frying)
    • 1 small ball of tamarind (as per taste)
    Method:

    To make the Mutlis:

    1. Drain the soaked rice completely and grind it fine along with salt. While grinding add very little amounts of water only if required (if you are grinding in a mixie you may require to add small amounts of water just to get the blade going) - Trust me, this can be a painful job! If you have a 'gatno' (grinding stone) or a wet grinder - then consider yourself blessed!
    2. Place the batter in a thick bottomed vessel or kadai on a slow flame & allow it to roast a bit - this process is called as 'ubzounche' in Konkani which involves partial cooking of the batter by placing freshly ground wet batter over slow flame to help it arrive at a dough ball kind of consistency which then allows you to make small mutlis (balls) out of it & then steam them in a 'tondor' (steamer)
    3. Give the batter a stir or two and switch off the flame when you can see that dough looks a little transparentish. Allow to cool for not more than a minute
    4. The next step is a little tricky - try & make balls - a little bigger than marble size, without burning your hands, but if you wait for the dough to cool too much, then it becomes hard & you wont be able to make that kind of a 'little dimple' impression on each mutle (thats the singular form of the Mutli)
    5. While you are busy making the mutlis, place sufficient water in a tondor/steamer & bring it to a boil.
    6. Place the mutlis in a steel bowl and then onto the 'shelf' inside the tondor. Cover the lid & steam for 15minutes. Switch off the flame & open the cover. Place a thin muslin cloth (called as 'Bairas' in Konkani) over the mutli bowl so that the vapour falling off the tondor cover doesnt make the mutlis soggy. Allow them to sit for a while till your gravy is ready.



    To make the Gravy:
    1. Heat a pan & dry roast the following one by one -  dry red chillies, sliced onion, coriander seeds & grated coconut. Remove & allow to cool
    2. Grind the roasted ingredients with the rest of the ingredients - peppercorns, garlic, jeera, mustard & haldi to a fine consistency. If you have a thin roce (coconut milk) extracted out of the coconut (not powder method) you can use that to grind the masala


    3. Heat a big pan (large enough to accomodate the gravy+mutlis+cockles) and add some oil. When the oil is hot, fry the sliced onion to golden brown
    4. Add the ground masala and fry well. Add the masala water (from the mixie) and bring it to a boil. Add the roce/coconut milk and boil for 1minute
    5. Add in the mutlis. Cook for 5mins on slow fire
    6. Add the cockles and salt to taste & cook for another 2-3 minutes.
    7. Turn off flame and allow it to rest for 5mins (this allows the mutlis to soak in the gravy)
    8. Serve hot!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Chicken Curry (Without Coconut)

    Today I decided to make Sannas (A fluffy kind of Idlis made with yeast) and started looking for a good Chicken curry recipe that I could not only make in a jiffy but would have enough gravy to be eaten along with Sanna. I normally make the Chicken Green Curry that goes really well with Sanna or the Chicken Curry (with roasted condiments) which is also nice. However, since I wanted to try something different for a change, I made this from my first ever Mangalorean recipe book (which ofcourse is in tatters now). I made a few changes and it was ready to go.

    This curry makes no use of coconut - ground or milk and can be made by those who shudder at the thought of having coconut based curries. You can make a dry version of this dish by skipping the water used to make the gravy.


    Chicken Curry
    Adapted from: Sambardo by J.B Lobo

    You Need:
    • 500 gms chicken
    • 4 small or 2 large onions finely chopped
    • 3 sprigs coriander leaves chopped
    • 2 sprigs mint leaves chopped
    • 2 tbsps curds (not too sour) - beaten to creamy consistency
    • 3 medium tomatoes, boiled, deskinned and mashed
    • 1/2 tsp red chillie powder (reduce/skip this as per your tolerance to spice)
    • 1 1/2 heaped tsp cumin (jeera) powder
    • 2 heaped tsps coriander powder
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
    • 1 tsp garam masala powder
    • 2 dry red chillies (the long 'Kumti' mirsang from Mangalore) or you can use 3 Kashmiri chillies
    • 1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
    • ghee or oil for frying
    • salt to taste
    Method:
    1. Cut the chicken into medium size pieces, wash, drain & set aside
    2. Heat the ghee or oil in a kadai (wok) and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste & fry some more
    3. Toss in the masala powders - coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli - and fry. Add the whole dry chillies
    4. Add the chicken and fry for about 2 minutes until all the masala has coated the chicken well. Add salt
    5. Add curds and stir well and cook the chicken for 2 mins. Dont add water yet as it will cook in its own juices
    6. Add the tomato paste & garam masala powder and cook on slow flame
    7. Add 1/2 cup water or upto 1 cup water if you desire more (thinner) gravy.
    8. When the chicken is cooked garnish with chopped coriander & mint leaves. Simmer for 2 mins and switch off the flame.
    9. Serve hot with Sanna or steamed rice. A dry version of this dish can be served with chapathis.


    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Beef Sukka

    My most relaxed Sundays are those when my hubby volunteers to cook. He's as much a foodie as I am & loves to cook authentic Mangalorean dishes (he leaves the experiments with other cuisines to me). Of late due to his busy schedule he prefers to relax on Sundays, but one such Sunday when he did give me an off from making a special Sunday lunch saw him making some noises in the kitchen. Some slicing & stiring later I got to eat some delicious Beef Sukka. This is his favourite dish although I prefer eating red meat very occasionally, but I must give credit for the way he makes it...so here's his version of the Beef Sukka.


    Beef Sukka

    Recipe Source: My husband
    You Need:
    • 1 kg beef with fat - cut into medium size cubes
    • 2 medium size onions sliced finely
    • 2-3 tbsps  tomato puree
    • 2 tsps Bafat powder
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
    • grated coconut - 1/2 -3/4th coconut
    • Oil - 2 tbsp
    • salt to taste
    For the tempering (fon in konkani, oggarane in kannada, tadka in hindi):



  • curry leaves (kadipatta)  5-6 leaves




  • 3-4 cloves garlic


  • Method:
    1. Pressure cook beef till tender (takes about 30 mins on slow fire if the meat is tender)
    2. Heat oil in a wok/thick bottomed kadai and fry the onions till golden brown
    3. Reduce flame and add bafat powder and tomato puree. Fry for about a minute
    4. Add grated coconut* and toss till you get a nice aroma for about 2-3 mins.
    5. Add only the meat pieces retaining the stock. Mix well with the masala & allow to cook on slow fire for 3-4 minutes stirring every now & then to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan
    6. Add the stock and salt to taste and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
    7. Turn off flame & in another small pan (tadka/fon/tempering dish) heat oil, toss in garlic cloves mashed a bit and also the curry leaves, turn off immediately (as soon as the curry leaves let out a nice aroma) but before the leaves get burnt
    8. Garnish the meat with this tadka & serve hot

    Tip*: You can twirl the grated coconut in a blender for about 10 seconds just to get a better texture which is not too fine & not too coarse

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Tomato Garlic Chutney

    Tomato Garlic Chutney
    Recipe Source: Healthy Breakfast by Tarla Dalal
    You Need:
    • 6-7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup spring onions chopped
    • 1 tbsp spring onion greens finely chopped
    • 2 dry red chillies, soaked in a little water for about 10mins - this helps soften them up
    • 1 cup tomatoes finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp coriander finely chopped
    • 1 tsp oil (I use olive oil)
    • salt to taste
    Method:
    1. Drain the soaked chillies and chop them finely
    2. Heat the oil and saute the spring onion whites and garlic over a slow flame till they are lightly brown.
    3. Add the chillies and salt & saute again
    4. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes over a slow flame till the tomatoes are soft and can be mashed slightly
    5. Cool completely and then add the chopped coriander & spring onion greens, mix well & serve with Mini Soya Dosa


    Mini Soya Dosa

    Somehow my luck with trying out breakfast goodies never seems to be running out (i run out of luck for everything I try most times - haha). Almost ALL of the Tarla Dalal breakfast recipes turn out gorgeous. By now you must have figured out that I am such a breafast person. Have always been. During my school days I could never imagine getting out of the house without a decent breakfast - something which was always in abundance at home owing to the large joint family we used to live in. In small towns breakfast is always the most important meal - people still twitch their noses at cornflakes & stuff which are unappealing. Or maybe this is just in south India - I dont know.
    My breakfast has to be nice & steaming, colourful, tasty & nutritious. These ground rules make me hunt for recipes & I have hit a gold mine with the Healthy Breakfast recipe book by Tarla Dalal. Will post as many recipes as I possibly try. Do try this one...its a breeze!


    Mini Soya Dosa 

    You Need:

    • 1 cup soya milk (I use Godrej Sofit Natural flavour - they have flavoured soya milk too like mango, chocolate etc- you need to use the unflavoured one)
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 green chilli chopped
    • 1/2 cup onions grated (or chopped very fine)
    • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
    • 1/4 tsp Eno's fruit salt (Yep, the one you ask your pharmacist for when you have a gurgling sound in your tummy :))
    • salt to taste
    • 2 tsps oil for cooking
    Method:
    1. Make a thin batter using the soya milk and wheat flour and add some water if required to achieve the thin consistency. Add the green chillies, onions, coriander, fruit salt, salt and mix well.
    2. Heat a non stick pan and grease it a little with oil. You can use half an onion and poke it with a fork as we do in Mangalore - this ensures that you use very little oil and the same is spread evenly across the pan
    3. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter (or use a regular round ladle that is used for making dosas) on the pan and spread it in a circular motion to make a thin dosa
    4. Cook on both sides and brush a little oil if required
    5. Repeat to make more dosas
    6. Serve hot with Tomato Garlic Chutney



    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Soup with Cheese, Salami & Mixed Veggies

    A bowl of hot soup is my comfort food. When I am too full to eat a full meal or want to diet a bit & avoid the carbs I turn to soups & one can get real creative with soups - especially if you have a well stocked fridge with an assortment of veggies. I usually keep the basic vegetables like carrots, potatoes, french beans & peas handy round the year, so I can make something in a jiffy. This recipe is nutritious and healthy and turns out yummy enough for my brat to get some veggies inside his lil tummy :)

    Soup with Cheese, Salami & Mixed Veggies

    Serves: 2-3

    You Need:
    • 1 spring onion along with the greens - chopped
    • 1 small onion thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup each of carrots & potatoes
    • 5-6 french beans cut julienne
    • 7-8 florets of cauliflower
    • 1 cube of cheddar cheese
    • 4 slices of chicken salami
    • 1 tsp pepper powder (you can add more)
    • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
    • 2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock OR 2 stock cubes (bouillon cubes) disolved in 2 cups of water
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    Method:
    1. Pressure cook the vegetables in sufficient water for about 1 whistle
    2. In a wok or pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil and fry the onion till golden brown. Add the spring onion and fry for about a minute
    3. Add the ginger paste and pepper powder & saute
    4. Add the cooked veggies and the stock water and bring to a boil
    5. Add the cheese cube and stir until disolved and lower the flame
    6. Add salami and cook for two minutes.
    7. Serve hot with bread

    Dukramasaso Saladh (Pork Salad)

    My mother-in-law (Mamma) who is one of the very good cooks I am related to (besides my darling mom ofcourse) introduced me to some delicious Mangalorean fare during my several trips to Mangalore. One such dish which can be put together in a jiffy as a 'sakne' (accompaniment to alcoholic drinks) is the Pork Salad.
    I have not tasted this dish anywhere else and I dont think I ever need to as I am sure that Mamma's version is undoubtedly the best. This recipe is one of the few that I collected during my recent trip to Mangalore - most of which were prepared for the Christmas day feast at home. Pork being one of the most favourite delicacies that appeal to most Mangalorean palates, this crunchy-munchy-sour-spicy baby is quite tantalizing - Try this along with some hard liquor!


    Dukramasaso Saladh

    Recipe Source: My mum-in-law

    You Need:
    • 1 handful of Pork - well cooked in a little turmeric powder
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 1 inch ginger chopped finely
    • 1 green chilli slit
    • 2 small onions sliced horizontally (across the breadth of the onions)
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tsp oil for frying
    Method:

    1. Slice the pre-cooked pork into thin pieces (do not shred it too fine or else the fat will turn too chewy - but cut it thinner than the normal cubes that you cut for the regular Pork Bafat dish)
    2. Heat the oil & fry the pork lightly
    3. Remove from heat & when it has cooled down a bit mix all the chopped ingredients, salt & vinegar well
    4. Serve & enjoy this crunchy dish!

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Soya Granules Sabzi

    A few years ago I tasted a soya dish & disliked it instantly. I vowed never to eat it again. Sometime back I was flipping through my favourite author Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe book and stumbled upon the recipe of the Soya Granules Sabzi which I thought I should try since I had a box of Nutrela Soya Granules lying around without a purpose (I tend to randomly buy boxes with interesting packaging at the supermarket :P ). The outcome was surprisingly tasty & its something I keep making for breakfast at least twice a month as it goes very well with chapathis. My husband who was terrified at the thought of having 'soya' for breakfast is not complaining anymore!

    I personally feel that this dish is a very good substitute for the scrambled eggs (egg burji) and I was able to demonstrate this to my dear husband by serving some to a guest recently & passing the dish off as 'scrambled eggs'. After two morsels my guest was surprised to note that it was soya & not eggs :). What's different about this dish is that instead of soaking the soya in water, you need to soak it in warm milk with a pinch of salt. This gives a nice creamy texture to the granules and adds to its taste.


    Soya Granules Sabzi

    You Need:
    • 1 cup soya granules
    • 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
    • 2 medium onions finely chopped
    • 1 inch ginger finely chopped
    • 1 green chilli finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (you can increase it to 1 level tsp if you have a tolerance for spice)
    • oil for frying
    • salt to taste
    • coriander leaves chopped - 1/4 cup
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    Method:
    1. Wash the soya granules & drain - squeeze out the excess water if any & place in a bowl
    2. Add some warm (almost hot) milk to the soya, add a pinch of salt & keep aside to soak for 20-30mins
    3. Heat oil in a pan & add jeera. When they change colour add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown
    4. Add the chopped ginger & green chillies and cook for half a minute
    5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they mash up a bit - takes about 2-3 minutes
    6. Add the chilli & turmeric powder and cook till oil leaves the masala
    7. Add the soya granules and mix well. Add half of the milk used to soak the granules and cook till the granules are soft - this takes at least 10minutes on slow fire.
    8. Add salt to taste & leave it on slow fire till the dish is almost dry
    9. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves & serve hot with chapathis or steamed white rice



    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Sheera (Semolina Pudding)

    Sheera is also known as 'Kesari Bhath' in northern Karnataka especially Bangalore. During my initial visits there I could never figure out what kesari bhath was until I saw it for myself! While I never used to like store bought sweets during my childhood (now I gobble them up shamelessly!), homemade sweets were always welcome. Sheera is considered to be a nutritious evening snack in most homes as it is made of rawa (semolina) and is a good source of carbohydrates & energy (with generous dollops of ghee & cashewnuts & raisins added for good measure to make it even more lipsmacking).

    While Sheera is more of a snack in South India (served for breakfast & evening tea along with Upma or Mangalore buns in most Udupi hotels) in the North its variation is called as the Sooji Halwa with the dish being a little more sticky & ghee laden. Nuts like Badams (Almonds) are also generously added.
    While the mention of 'sheera' takes me back to my mom's kitchen, it also has a flipside to it. Pineapple sheera also reminds me of funeral masses (the 7th day or month's Mind Mass as per Catholic tradition) where it was customary to serve pineapple sheera and/or vegetable upma, meat puff and a steaming cup of hot coffee or tea to the grieving family, friends & those gathered for the mass. In those days it was common practice for many to attend the Mind Mass of those even remotely known to you :) - no prize for guessing why! Yep - the 'deadly' sheera :)


    Sheera

    Recipe Source: My mum

    You Need:
    • 1 cup sooji (rawa/semolina)
    • 1 fistful cashewnuts
    • 15 tsps sugar ( between 12-14 tsps is medium sweet)
    • A few raisins
    • A pinch of salt
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tbsps ghee
    • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder or 1/4 -1/2 tsp yellow food colour or a few strands of saffron mixed in the milk
    Method:
    1. In a thick bottomed pan (or kadai) heat some ghee & fry the sooji for about a minute (till you see it turning slightly golden). Reduce flame and do not wait till the sooji turns really brown. Remove & set aside
    2. In the same kadai add some more ghee & fry the raisins & cashewnuts just a little (do not burn)
    3. Add the roasted rawa to the cashews & raisins and reduce flame to very low (lesser than sim if you can juggle a bit with the gas knob - unless ofcourse you are using a pan which is non stick of the best quality)
    4. In a separate vessel boil the water & milk (1 cup each) till it begins to bubble. Add the salt & sugar
    5. Add this boiling liquid to the rawa and quickly add the Turmeric powder/food colour and keep stirring to ensure no lumps are formed.
    6. Cover the pan with a lid & stir again after a minute or so.
    7. Well cooked sheera will have no lumps & the grains fluffy
    8. Serve hot - add a tsp of ghee on top if you dont mind adding a few grams to your waistline! Enjoy!

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Plum Chutney

    In my previous post I have mentioned about the Mangalorean Sweet Pulao which is not complete without the plum chutney. A few years ago not everyone considered this an afforable option of a chutney because of dates & raisins that go into it which are quite expensive. However, today its not such a big deal to source dates which are available in every supermarket but not too many people have this item on their menus.

    This chutney is quite a gourmand's delight. Whoever thought of putting these different ingredients together has done a fabulous job and the outcome always tingles my tastebuds :)


    Plum Chutney

    Recipe Source: The Mangalorean Ladies Club Cookery Book


    You Need:

    • Dates - 6
    • Mint leaves - 3 sprigs
    • Cloves - 2
    • Cinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
    • Onion - 1 small
    • Skin of 1 dried red chilly (remove the seeds) (You can put half the skin if you have lower levels of tolerance to spice)
    • Ginger - 1 inch
    • Plums (raisins) - 25gms or about a fistful
    • Beetroot - 1 slice (boiled)
    • Banana (ripe) - 1 medium sized (Mysore banana (the sweet & plump variety) or Kadhali/Elaichi as it's called in Mumbai)
    • Tamarind - 1/2 a marble size (literally a scrap of tamarind is suffient)
    • Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

    Method:
    Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste. If you find it a little spicy, dont worry - having it with the sweet pulao will balance the spice, however, if you are still hesitant, you can add 1/2 a banana to the chutney & grind it again.
    Serve with Sweet Pulao




    Sweet Pulao

    When I was little I used to always look forward to the weddings in Mangalore simply because the food served was lavish and something different from the regular fare dished out at home. I think this was a couple of decades ago when people used to actually look forward to marriage parties & such simply because they either couldnt afford to make rich dishes at home or it wasnt common practice to cook meat during the week. Chicken was probably what most families used to cook on Sundays. Although the spread (during a wedding party) included the regular Pork, Mutton Biryani, Appams, Sheviyos etc, I specially looked out for the Sweet Pulao accompanied by the Plum Chutney. My mother used to prepare this combo on Birthdays & some special occasions at home which is why I love to make this once in a while & relish it (I can have it for breakfast, lunch & dinner)



    Sweet Pulao

    Prep time: 15-20 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins | Serves 4-6

    You Need:
    • 2 cups Basmati rice washed & soaked for about 15-20mins
    • 4 cups water, freshly boiled
    For the garnishing:
    • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup cashew nut halves, cleaned
    • 1/2 cup raisins, cleaned
    • 3-4 cardamoms
    • 3-4 cloves
    • 1" stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3-4 tablespoons white granulated * see notes
    • salt to taste (approx 2 teaspoons of table salt) - but adjust to taste
    • Ghee or oil for frying the onions and ghee to fry the rice.
    Method:
    1. Prepare the onions for garnishing by heating ghee or oil in a wok or pan and frying the sliced onions till golden brown. Take care not to burn them. Use a slotted spoon to drain them and place them on an absorbent kitchen tissue. You may also deep fry the onions (see notes for the same.)
    2. Fry the cashew nuts  till golden brown and remove. Repeat with the raisins but don't fry them too long, just until they puff up, then remove. See notes before proceeding to the next step.
    3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the salt and sugar to taste and keep it simmering and ready.
    4. Add some more ghee if required, fry the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf  on a medium low heat and take care that they don't burn. When you get a nice aroma add the washed and drained rice & fry for about 1-2 minutes (or until the ladle begins to feels heavy - if you continue stirring beyond this point the rice will begin to break)
    5. Add the freshly boiled water and check the taste. You should get a fine balance of sweet and salty. Adjust the sugar and salt quickly if required and then bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
    7. When the mixture is boiling quickly cover the pan with an airtight lid or aluminium foil so that no steam can escape. Reduce the heat to a simmer (sim) and cook for 5 minutes (keep an alarm!)
    8. Once 5 minutes are up, turn off the heat and let the pan sit undisturbed. Don't open the lid at all! Set the alarm for 15 minutes.
    9. After 15 minutes, open the pan and gently fluff up the rice using a fork. Cover for half a minute.
    10. Garnish with fried onions, raisins & cashew nuts & serve hot with plum chutney

    Notes:
    1. For best results use long grain basmati rice. The older the rice, better the taste and less mushy it will be
    2. Use only white granulated sugar for pure white pulao.
    3. Take care not to burn the onions or raisins and cashewnuts if you are frying them before you fry the rice (assuming you are using a single pan for all jobs). Burning of ingredients imparts a dull/darkish colour to the ghee and will lead to pulao that is not white in colour. If the pan indeed has burnt ghee, transfer it to a bowl, wipe clean the pan with a kitchen tissue and proceed to fry the rice in fresh ghee.