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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eggless Mocha Chocolate Mousse - Easiest Recipe Ever!


The grand finale of this year's Christmas does not end with this mousse :-) I had planned a whole bunch of things to be made and posted before the 24th of December (today) but somehow due to my extra hectic schedule this year owing to a wedding in the family and cousins flown in from across the globe my task became harder than I had anticipated. Luckily I had prepared a lot of things ahead of time and those will keep showing up on the blog in the next few days. Christmas is not just about a single day - 25th of December. Christmas is a season, a season of love, togetherness and happiness. These three elements are interdependent. There can be no love if there is no happiness and there can be no happiness without love. Togetherness depends a lot on the former two. So basically to celebrate this part of Christmas I have this mousse for you which brings coffee and chocolate together to create a beautiful, simple and easy dessert that is served in tequila/vodka shot glasses - a serving size that is just right. No overindulgence. Simplicity also means that you can put this dessert together a day in advance and all you can do is chill and enjoy your party and when it's time for dessert you just pop these beauties out of the fridge and serve them. Sounds easy?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Coffee Fruit Cake ~ No Alcohol, Last Minute Christmas Cake


It's that time of the year when it gets busier every day and you are trying to fit in things at the last minute. Falling sick at this time is something you just cannot afford and that's exactly what happened to me today. Down with a bout of sneezing and the works - all thanks to endless hours of shopping in the open air last night at the Global Village. It was great hanging out with the girls in my family and we ended up buying a lot of stuff - happiness is just this!

Last week I made this cake twice and I was pretty happy with the results. It is a different kind of a cake that takes little time to put together and the result is perfect. A moist, flavourful and aromatic cake that can give tough competition to its boozy counterparts. The only effort required here is in chopping the fruits into small bits. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guliyo / Gulio (Deep Fried Rice Marbles) - Traditional Mangalorean Kuswar


Christmas is exactly a week away and I have so many things to complete! While browsing through my list of Christmas recipes I realised that I hadn't posted the Gulio recipe yet. It is a quintessential Mangalorean Kuswar item although it is slowly losing out to other popular items on the goodie platter. To those new here, 'Kuswar' is a collective term for Christmas goodies prepared in Mangalorean Catholic households and includes sweets as well as savouries - mostly deep fried. 

A few years ago I had prepared the gulio and photographed them too but when I sat down to write the recipe I realised that I had misplaced the piece of paper I had noted it on. Since that week I had prepared several Kuswar items I couldn't remember the proportions and decided to try them again before posting the recipe. Days passed by and I simply forgot about it. Today I realised that it was high time I prepared and posted this recipe and with this my Kuswar collection is almost complete. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

White Chocolate Tarts


A few weeks ago when I set out to bake the first batch of Christmas goodies I had a few recipes in mind that I wanted to try. My cousin came home that day and flipped through my recipe book and said we should try these tarts as she loved white chocolate. Reluctantly I agreed as I had no experience making tarts from scratch. Previously I had made quiches using store bought tart shells and as always I was always hesitant to dabble with recipes that required making things from scratch. The fear of failure always keeps me from trying new things unless someone pushes me into it. Well, I got that push from my cousin that day who very confidently said that we should give it a try and that it would be a fun learning experience. Since I had her around, my little elf to give me company we set out to make these tarts with just 4 tart moulds. Four for a batch of 12 tarts as per the recipe. Sheer madness! Since we had just jumped into making these tarts without having an inkling of how much time it would take us with just 4 moulds we spent pretty long making them. However, the final result was mind boggling! Such beautifully crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth tarts with a gorgeous white chocolate filling that were begging to be polished off in one go!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raisin Chicken ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


There is so much of activity going on that I am hardly able to keep up with blogging these days. Tonnes of recipes are being tried out and some of them need to be tried out several times before I can present a fool proof recipe to you. So much work and so little time! Phew! I realised that today is the 15th already, just a few more days to go before Christmas so I guess I will post my recipes ASAP without any long stories. What do you say?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Date Rolls ~ Bombay Style Christmas Sweet


During my time in Mumbai I had the opportunity of eating Bombay style Christmas goodies only at my aunt's place. Since we didn't have any Goan or East Indian friends I missed out on all the fabulous chance to eat the traditional goodies made by them during the season. However, the ironic part is that whenever we visited my aunt's place I only enjoyed eating all the lovely goodies that she made but since the blog did not exist back then and making Christmas sweets from scratch was never in my agenda I never bothered to learn making them! What a pity! It was just recently when I decided to venture out into making some Bombay style goodies that I realised that there was no proper recipe available online that I could rely on. I then managed to ask my aunt for her recipe and since she is an old hand at making these goodies for over 25 years I knew that I could trust her recipe a 100%.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Beetroot Wine



Another wine recipe that I am adding to my repertoire is this beautiful and delicious beetroot wine that I made sometime ago and completely missed to post! Today I realised that it was the 10th of December already and I had not yet posted this recipe! As this wine needs a minimum of 2 weeks to ferment I think it is perfect to be made just in time for Christmas - if not to be drunk on Christmas day you can definitely enjoy it during the season as the festivities continue upto the New Year. If you are patient enough you can keep it for longer and enjoy it on New Years day and some more for Valentine's Day! Its colour is perfect for this season, what say? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Coconut Basbousa ~ Eggless Middle Eastern Semolina Dessert Cake


Christmas is all about giving and sharing and this festive season brings with it great memories of food. While my childhood revolved around traditional Mangalorean goodies called the Kuswar my adulthood had a mixture of goodies from everywhere, especially after I got married and reached Bombay. I have eaten several types of goodies and I am really excited to recreate them this Christmas. While that is still happening in the background everyday with a many hits and a few flops there is this amazing recipe I decided to share with you today. Actually my fingers have been itching to post this recipe for quite sometime now. It is a delectable Middle Eastern cake that is made with semolina instead of all purpose flour (maida) and one that is drenched in sugar syrup. Hang in there! Don't let the mention of sugar syrup put you off! I personally don't like things that are ultra sweet and as we figuratively say "drenched in sugar". This is a beautiful and genius of a dessert cake that I got to know about after coming to Dubai 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Chicken Indad ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style Hot, Sour & Sweet Chicken Curry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


One of the tastiest preparations in Mangalore is the Indad style of preparing chicken or pork the latter being the most popular version. Before I started blogging I thought that vindaloo and indad were the same however, vindaloo is more of a Goan preparation and the indad is our very own Mangalorean way of making this amazing curry with a thick onion base complimented with a fine balance of spice, tang and sweetness. If you have tried my pork indad recipe you will know that it is a great dish to be served on a special day. It tastes wonderful with any kind of rice bread especially with sanna (yeasted rice batter steamed cakes) or polay (yeasted rice batter pancakes)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi#7 - Kori Ghassi, Kadale Manoli & Rotti


BOSHI# 7

A typical Bunt style Boshi that has all my favourite things! Spicy and delicious!
On the left you can see a spicy chicken curry made of spices and coconut, enough to tingle your senses! Then comes the kadale manoli - a spiced up dish made of black garbanzo and ivy gourd garnished with oodles of roasted coconut! Simply marvelous!
Finally, to mop it all up you have crispy rice crepes that quickly soak up the gravy and turn soft, mushy and oh so delicious! - 

RECIPES:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Date & Lemon Spirals (Spiral Shortbread Cookies with a Date Filling)


The best season of the year is here! The month of December has always been my favourite and is more so this time as a lot of my relatives are visiting Dubai and we are having plenty of get togethers and stuff which is an enjoyable experience for all of us. This year I wanted to kick start my Christmas goodies series pretty early but eventually couldn't manage to start posting them on time. I thought of starting off last week but decided to wait for Advent which was on Nov 30th. Advent is essentially a season of preparation and is a date designated four Sundays before Christmas. Before you proceed I invite you to read my introductory post on Christmas and its real meaning. A post which I had written in 2011 but essential to be read before every Christmas lest we allow the commercialisation of this festive season to overwhelm us or even blind us into thinking it is the birthday of Santa! (yep, pretty much the kind of comments I keep reading on Facebook and such)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kadale Manoli (Using Taal Masala Powder) ~ Mangalorean Bunt Style Black Garbanzo & Ivy Gourd ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Last week one of my uncles was here from Nairobi to attend the wedding in the family. As he was staying with us Roshan and I decided to prepare some traditional Mangalorean dishes as it is not very often that he gets to eat it where he lives. We decided to bring out our prized packet of 'rotti' (crispy thin rice crepes/ wafers) and serve it with kori ghassi (chicken curry) and some vegetable dish on the side. We had never prepared this combo of two veggies, both of which are our favourite and off it went on the menu. 

Kadle manoli stands for garbanzo beans & ivy gourd cooked together in a dry dish garnished with lots of coconut and aromatic spices. The dry roasting of the grated coconut is key for that aroma and deliciousness which is inherent to Mangalorean dishes. This is what a sukka is all about. Coconut is not just used as a garnish but is actually roasted for a long time until it releases a bit of its oil and also this technique helps change the colour of the coconut to a pale golden brown.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sheermal / Shirmal ~ Persian Flatbread Flavoured with Saffron & Milk


It's time for another bread this month. After the lovely pizza that I baked a couple of times last month and posted this month it is now time for me to go ahead and explore my love for baking breads. I have joined this lovely baking project called 'We Knead to Bake' where we get to learn a new bread and insights revolving its history every month. I felt that it was a great way to learn to make different kinds of bread especially as I was hesitant to start on my own. For this month's project (We Knead to Bake#22) Aparna Balasubramanian chose a simple and beautiful bread for all of us to try - Sheermal. This lovely bread with subtle flavours apparently has its origins in Persia but is found in various countries of the Asian sub-continent. Sheermal looks like Naan but is slightly more fluffy, mildly sweet and very aromatic.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi#6 - Bangude Puli Munchi, Gosalem Thel Piao & White Rice


BOSHI# 6

This Boshi has got to be a favourite amongst many many Mangaloreans. At least it is a huge favourite in our house. The fiery gravy that drowns fresh mackerels accompanied by slightly sweetish but simple preparation of ridge gourd and piping hot rice! Throw in a papad and your meal is done. So delicious and satisfying!


RECIPES:

Bangude Puli Munchi ~ Mangalorean Bunt Style Fish in a Hot & Sour Gravy


A super simple meal at my home generally revolves around seafood. It had been ages since I ate this traditional Mangalorean Bunt style fish curry that is fiery and delicious - it pairs up so well with rice and a vegetable on the side. I decided to cook it up last week as I had some last minute shopping to do for a wedding in the family and wanted a simple meal. Since we love eating fish, especially mackerels we stock up on it regularly. We either fry it up or cook it in a curry with lots of gravy to drown the rice. This is one dish that I had not tried so far and I decided to go ahead with it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aloo Baingan


For our regular meals Roshan & I are very fond of having simple suppers of rice and fish curry or vegetable and chapathis. Usually it is the latter as we prefer having rice in the afternoon and chapathis with whatever is leftover from the afternoon's meal for dinner. Since I like to experiment with all kinds of veggies I bought some brinjal a few days ago. So far I had only known to marinate the slices and fry them but going forward this lovely dry dish that serves as an excellent option for a veggie on the side is going to be on my bi monthly menu. 

This week has been especially hectic for me as there is a wedding in the family for which I have been running helter skelter shopping for last minute nothings so in a way the elaborate cooking in my kitchen has come to a standstill and easy, tried and tested recipes are making their way into our meal menus. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi # 5 - Special Ison/Surmai Curry, Soorn (Yam) Sukka & White Rice



BOSHI# 5
For today's boshi I have selected two items that are found in the sea and under the earth :-) Fish and yam. We are seafood lovers and a fish curry and rice combo meal is always welcome at home. To pair with this delicious combo I have added Mangalorean style yam which we call as the 'sukka' or 'sukhe' prepared with a traditional blend of spices called as the vegetable masala. It is so versatile that you can make practically any vegetable using the blend. Enjoy!


RECIPES:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Goan Chilli Chicken


As we are inching towards another festive season my kitchen sees a lot of experiments with chicken and other meat dishes - so far it has been a lot of chicken and a less of the other kind mainly because you can pair up a good chicken curry or side dish along with your regular weekday meal. Since poultry is my my all time favourite we tried our hands at other birds too, but more of that later. I love bookmarking almost every possible chicken recipe that I come across in books that I own or borrow from the library or simply browse on the net. This recipe is an adaptation of what I found in Sanjeev Kapoor's book on the Konkan Coastal cuisine and it was a crowd-pleaser I must say. You can either cook it up during the week or reserve the recipe to charm your guests when you invite someone special or simply adorn your dining table during a festive occasion. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi # 4 - Chicken Sukka, Sango Sukhe, Daliso Saar & Rice


When I was little, chicken was a weekly indulgence eaten only on Sundays. Today we cook it during the week too and when I can't think of anything new to make I just whip up a simple meal that consists of chicken sukka along with other things. It's just so delicious I can't begin to describe. I am sure those of you have eaten it will agree! 

BOSHI# 4
One of my most favourite items are on this plate - Chicken sukka, long beans thel piao (Oil & Onion Style) served with boiled rice and Mangalorean style watery dal. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza - Basic Recipe


My achievements in the baking field are driven by two things - my passion to bake and the undying support and encouragement from the husband. If my cakes have progressed from burnt rocks to deliciously moist edible goodies then I have him to thank as he has survived them all without discouraging me or asking me to give up and spare the ingredients that I have wasted over the years. My cakes are well received at home, no matter what recipe I decide to try and no matter what the outcome. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have enjoyed baking so much - so thank you Roshan!

However, on the flipside the same man who loves my cakes and appreciates them also pesters me to try breads - something I was simply not interested in baking. My logic was that I couldn't wait all those hours taken by the dough to prove and who had the energy to knead the dough I said. If bread was available in the store it was more than enough for me and I never felt the need to create it from scratch at home. But then the whole logic of buying a big oven when we moved to Dubai was this - that I could make different kinds of breads and bake multiple ones in one go. Alas! That point is shoved into my face time and again so like the numerous other things that I have been coaxed into trying (like blogging for example) he convinced me that I should give pizzas a try. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Boshi Series - Mangalorean Plated Meals


A few days ago, on a purely experimental basis I started posting the picture of my plated meals on my Facebook page and boy was I surprised! The response was unexpected and overwhelming in a great way! Lots of people felt that this was a great way of sharing my recipes and as expected they seemed to agree that it helps them plan their weekly meals accordingly. 

I then decided to publish the pictures on my blog too so that it helps the larger audience of my blog. Do let me know what you think of it and whether you like the plated meals that I post. Do you have any suggestion to make the series better? Do write in to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com and don't forget to follow me on my Facebook page - Ruchik Randhap. That's where all the action is! Get instant replies to your queries by following me there. I am a FB addict, I admit! :)

If FB is not your thing, then catch me on Twitter, PinterestGooglePlusIndiblogger & Instagram too (I'm pretty new here!)


The term 'boshi' stands for plate in Konkani. This is a collection of my simple everyday meals displayed on a plate

BOSHI# 1 (pictured above)
This is a quintessential Mangalorean meal with my favourite items - clams, leafy greens and dal made the GSB/Konkani way. It tastes wonderful with piping hot steamed or boiled red rice.

RECIPES:

2. Amaranth Greens Thel Piao (made the same way as the ridgegourd (gosale) thel piao) 
4. Red Boiled Rice - No recipe

BOSHI # 2 (pictured below)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cajun & Soy Chicken


Between the two of us Roshan is the one who experiments a lot with recipes giving them a twist of his own very often. I am the one who takes the least number of risks and I usually like to stick to recipes without modifying them too much - maybe this has come from the habit of maintaining accuracy for the sake of the blog, so everything is measured before using. Notes are made parallely so that what goes on the blog is an accurate recipe that is meant to yield results similar to what I received. This habit has become such an integral part of me that even while cooking the most mundane/everyday fare I tend to use measuring cups and spoons - yeah, I am that crazy. It drives Roshan crazy too if he catches me carefully measuring out ingredients. Anyway, that's the way I am I guess. Everyone has their own quirks and this is mine :-)

Coming to today's recipe, this is one of those rare gems that I can proudly display as my own creation. Last year after we moved to Dubai and were staying at my bro's I set to work one day with a batch of chicken thighs. Since I was obsessed with working with a large oven - something that I didn't have back in Mumbai I decided to bake or grill them for dinner. I started marinating them without a clear idea as to what I was going to make. On our recent trip to the supermarket Roshan and I had found this bottle of Cajun spices (pronounced as 'kay-juhn' (jun as in run) which perked our interest. I reached out for that bottle and sprinkled a bit of it and then a bit of soy sauce and oyster sauce and the rest of the ingredients were added as per my Indian, very Mangalorean sensibilities - I like my chicken to be nice and flavourful and spicy too. So in went the green chillies, coriander, ginger and garlic. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mirsangiso Saar (Dry Red Chilly and Onion Clear Soup) ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Mangalorean cuisine is a rich amalgamation of ingredients. Most often than not we eat calorie rich food although we don't realise it but there are these gems in our cuisine which are not very popular and those that aren't very rich and extravagant. I am sure that many of you are not familiar with this humble 'saar' that has just 3 ingredients besides water, salt & oil. It has got to be the most frugal of the lot as it has nothing much to add to its strength apart from the very strong flavour of tamarind balanced adequately by the spice from the red chillies and the onions. 

The term 'saar' loosely means a kind of a broth or clear soup that is served along with rice. The popular 'saars' are usually lentil or tomato based and these were what I grew up eating but after I got married I was introduced to this type of a clear soup that was made at my in-laws' place and something that Roshan swore by. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fish Green Masala Fry


There is no doubt that the Sequeiras are seafood lovers, save for one little Sequeira who won't have  anything to do with fish. Well, most fish. For some reason after he turned 3 he decided to give up all kinds of fish - we still haven't figured out why. It is a task to get him to eat fish and in the past couple of years I just decided I wouldn't force him. Perhaps some dish he ate had a tinge of fishy smell to it and that could be the reason why he gave it up altogether. But recently I decided that it was time to reintroduce the food which was once his favourite. I started by making fish fingers at home (recipe here) with Basa or Cream Dory. Boneless fish is easier to work with but I was limited to just this fish. It gets really tedious to make an extra something for him on the days we have fish. In the recent months our kitchen saw a decline of seafood being cooked because who had the time to slave over cooking different types of food, clicking, blogging, minding the extra naughty almost 2 year old and making that extra dish to appease the little god? I decided that enough was enough, it was time to beckon the Mangalorean in him and I started off making just seafood at home. Mostly seafood. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Phova Chetni | Pova Chutney ~ Konkani Style Spiced Beaten Rice


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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sardine & Potato Cutlets


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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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


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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chuda | Poha Chivda | Spicy Beaten Rice Snack


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

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mangalore Peda | Besan Peda



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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks


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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kashi Halwa ~ Karnataka Style Ash Gourd Halwa


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

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Rolls


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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dahi Kadhi (Yogurt Based Vegetable Curry)


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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zero Oil Sardine Fry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chilli Cheese Toast with a Twist! ~ When the Hubby Cooks!


We were not friends with paneer for the longest time. Then it slowly started to make its appearance in our home. Personally I never fussed about eating paneer no matter how it was cooked and how creamy (or not) the paneer was but the husband used to hate paneer thanks to the chewy store bought ones which were hastily cooked by caterers at the mess he used to eat at before he got married. However, since I like to include all kinds of ingredients in the meals we eat I slowly started experimenting with it. As thousands of paneer lovers will agree with me, homemade paneer is the best but in lieu of that I guess fresh, store bought paneer that has been sourced from a reputed dairy is the next best solution. 

So after all this hullabaloo about not liking paneer, guess who made these toasts? Roshan of course! He is a paneer convert now (well almost!). We made this when we had some tiny guests for a tiny party at home earlier this year and since that day it has been a major hit with the kids asking us for it every time they visit us and squealing in delight when we take some on picnics or long drives. 

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. 

Friday, August 22, 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. 

Monday, August 18, 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. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beetroot Halwa ~ Easy, Pressure Cooker Method



This Independence Day I have no Tri Colour dish to post. Instead I picked a very simple sweet dish made out of beets. This beetroot halwa is a cousin of  the very popular carrot halwa or gajar ka halwa as we call it in Hindi. I had written about my low haemoglobin count and how I was trying to get it to normal levels. I read up a lot about how beets are simply magical to produce good blood in your system. Despite know about its health benefits we aren't so keen to eat beets cooked in anyway so there were plenty of times that they would hang around the fridge for days before they eventually got chucked into the bin (don't gasp, it's true). I finally decided I must put an end to that wasteful trend and went ahead and grated them up to be made into a nice halwa. 

This recipe is super easy. I adapted my own carrot halwa recipe and decided to pressure cook the beets as I wanted to speed up the cooking process. The resultant halwa was a perfectly cooked sweet dish with its nutrients intact (or so I'd like to believe) as pressure cooking is known to retain the nutritional value of food unlike the traditional stove top method where you cook the halwa over a slow heat for hours. The best part of pressure cooking is that it is a huge time saver and also lets you be distracted and multi task. While the beets cooked I cleared up the kitchen and what not (this includes shooing away husband who popped his head a hundred times to check if the halwa was done)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ultra Crispy Onion Rings - The Best Ever! ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


So the sonny boy gets his food wishes honoured by his dad once in a while. Once in a while would be an understatement as he gets his way around almost everyday. Most times I insist that he eats what is cooked but on some occasions we oblige him by preparing things that he relishes eating. When it comes to replicating fast food at home I am satisfied that what we make at home is any day better than the junk dished out by most fast food joints. The best part about living in the internet age is that recipes of foods from around the world are available at our fingertips. The onion rings have been one of our lil boy's favourite snacks and the husband has tried replicating them several times using different recipes but none of them were 100% satisfactory - in terms of their taste and crispness or rather the ability to stay crisp much after they came out of the deep fryer. 

We used to enjoy some crisp onion rings at TGIF, Mumbai and always wondered how they stayed so crisp for a long time. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Simple Pumpkin Sukhe


Last month when I was at my in-laws' in the midst of her mid morning cooking session she asked me if I knew how to cook this simple pumpkin dish. I quickly dropped whatever I was doing and bolted to the kitchen and said that I wanted to learn. It was raining cats and dogs outside and I had this warm fuzzy feeling inside me telling me that lunch that day was going to be a delicious one. There was red boiled rice kept in the hot box waiting to be strained, there was an awesome prawn & potato curry still bubbling on the stove and some breadfruit marinated with meet mirsaang (salt & chilli paste) waiting to be shallow fried. Lunch was going to be awesome. I was already salivating. I was starved and couldn't wait to eat. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tongue Curry - When The Hubby Cooks!


Ola people! I am back from good ol' Mangalore and I am missing it so much already! My trip was awesome. We spent a month and a week there and the children enjoyed it as well. The first one week was a little terrible with the humidity and heat as the rains were delayed, but once we received the first showers it was just wonderful. The whole experience helped evoke so many wonderful memories especially as we drove around our favourite places visiting people or buying stuff or simply vagabonding. Mangalore is truly great if you wish to detox and unwind. Err! detox doesn't really happen if you are related to people who cook awesome food. All we did was binge on all the gorgeous food - either cooked at home or at homes where we were invited to share meals. Nevertheless, it gave me an opportunity to savour different kinds of Mangalorean delicacies and note down the variations in the preparations as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eggless Mocha Chocolate Mousse - Easiest Recipe Ever!


The grand finale of this year's Christmas does not end with this mousse :-) I had planned a whole bunch of things to be made and posted before the 24th of December (today) but somehow due to my extra hectic schedule this year owing to a wedding in the family and cousins flown in from across the globe my task became harder than I had anticipated. Luckily I had prepared a lot of things ahead of time and those will keep showing up on the blog in the next few days. Christmas is not just about a single day - 25th of December. Christmas is a season, a season of love, togetherness and happiness. These three elements are interdependent. There can be no love if there is no happiness and there can be no happiness without love. Togetherness depends a lot on the former two. So basically to celebrate this part of Christmas I have this mousse for you which brings coffee and chocolate together to create a beautiful, simple and easy dessert that is served in tequila/vodka shot glasses - a serving size that is just right. No overindulgence. Simplicity also means that you can put this dessert together a day in advance and all you can do is chill and enjoy your party and when it's time for dessert you just pop these beauties out of the fridge and serve them. Sounds easy?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Coffee Fruit Cake ~ No Alcohol, Last Minute Christmas Cake


It's that time of the year when it gets busier every day and you are trying to fit in things at the last minute. Falling sick at this time is something you just cannot afford and that's exactly what happened to me today. Down with a bout of sneezing and the works - all thanks to endless hours of shopping in the open air last night at the Global Village. It was great hanging out with the girls in my family and we ended up buying a lot of stuff - happiness is just this!

Last week I made this cake twice and I was pretty happy with the results. It is a different kind of a cake that takes little time to put together and the result is perfect. A moist, flavourful and aromatic cake that can give tough competition to its boozy counterparts. The only effort required here is in chopping the fruits into small bits. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Guliyo / Gulio (Deep Fried Rice Marbles) - Traditional Mangalorean Kuswar


Christmas is exactly a week away and I have so many things to complete! While browsing through my list of Christmas recipes I realised that I hadn't posted the Gulio recipe yet. It is a quintessential Mangalorean Kuswar item although it is slowly losing out to other popular items on the goodie platter. To those new here, 'Kuswar' is a collective term for Christmas goodies prepared in Mangalorean Catholic households and includes sweets as well as savouries - mostly deep fried. 

A few years ago I had prepared the gulio and photographed them too but when I sat down to write the recipe I realised that I had misplaced the piece of paper I had noted it on. Since that week I had prepared several Kuswar items I couldn't remember the proportions and decided to try them again before posting the recipe. Days passed by and I simply forgot about it. Today I realised that it was high time I prepared and posted this recipe and with this my Kuswar collection is almost complete. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

White Chocolate Tarts


A few weeks ago when I set out to bake the first batch of Christmas goodies I had a few recipes in mind that I wanted to try. My cousin came home that day and flipped through my recipe book and said we should try these tarts as she loved white chocolate. Reluctantly I agreed as I had no experience making tarts from scratch. Previously I had made quiches using store bought tart shells and as always I was always hesitant to dabble with recipes that required making things from scratch. The fear of failure always keeps me from trying new things unless someone pushes me into it. Well, I got that push from my cousin that day who very confidently said that we should give it a try and that it would be a fun learning experience. Since I had her around, my little elf to give me company we set out to make these tarts with just 4 tart moulds. Four for a batch of 12 tarts as per the recipe. Sheer madness! Since we had just jumped into making these tarts without having an inkling of how much time it would take us with just 4 moulds we spent pretty long making them. However, the final result was mind boggling! Such beautifully crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth tarts with a gorgeous white chocolate filling that were begging to be polished off in one go!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Raisin Chicken ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


There is so much of activity going on that I am hardly able to keep up with blogging these days. Tonnes of recipes are being tried out and some of them need to be tried out several times before I can present a fool proof recipe to you. So much work and so little time! Phew! I realised that today is the 15th already, just a few more days to go before Christmas so I guess I will post my recipes ASAP without any long stories. What do you say?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Date Rolls ~ Bombay Style Christmas Sweet


During my time in Mumbai I had the opportunity of eating Bombay style Christmas goodies only at my aunt's place. Since we didn't have any Goan or East Indian friends I missed out on all the fabulous chance to eat the traditional goodies made by them during the season. However, the ironic part is that whenever we visited my aunt's place I only enjoyed eating all the lovely goodies that she made but since the blog did not exist back then and making Christmas sweets from scratch was never in my agenda I never bothered to learn making them! What a pity! It was just recently when I decided to venture out into making some Bombay style goodies that I realised that there was no proper recipe available online that I could rely on. I then managed to ask my aunt for her recipe and since she is an old hand at making these goodies for over 25 years I knew that I could trust her recipe a 100%.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Beetroot Wine



Another wine recipe that I am adding to my repertoire is this beautiful and delicious beetroot wine that I made sometime ago and completely missed to post! Today I realised that it was the 10th of December already and I had not yet posted this recipe! As this wine needs a minimum of 2 weeks to ferment I think it is perfect to be made just in time for Christmas - if not to be drunk on Christmas day you can definitely enjoy it during the season as the festivities continue upto the New Year. If you are patient enough you can keep it for longer and enjoy it on New Years day and some more for Valentine's Day! Its colour is perfect for this season, what say? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Coconut Basbousa ~ Eggless Middle Eastern Semolina Dessert Cake


Christmas is all about giving and sharing and this festive season brings with it great memories of food. While my childhood revolved around traditional Mangalorean goodies called the Kuswar my adulthood had a mixture of goodies from everywhere, especially after I got married and reached Bombay. I have eaten several types of goodies and I am really excited to recreate them this Christmas. While that is still happening in the background everyday with a many hits and a few flops there is this amazing recipe I decided to share with you today. Actually my fingers have been itching to post this recipe for quite sometime now. It is a delectable Middle Eastern cake that is made with semolina instead of all purpose flour (maida) and one that is drenched in sugar syrup. Hang in there! Don't let the mention of sugar syrup put you off! I personally don't like things that are ultra sweet and as we figuratively say "drenched in sugar". This is a beautiful and genius of a dessert cake that I got to know about after coming to Dubai 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Chicken Indad ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style Hot, Sour & Sweet Chicken Curry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


One of the tastiest preparations in Mangalore is the Indad style of preparing chicken or pork the latter being the most popular version. Before I started blogging I thought that vindaloo and indad were the same however, vindaloo is more of a Goan preparation and the indad is our very own Mangalorean way of making this amazing curry with a thick onion base complimented with a fine balance of spice, tang and sweetness. If you have tried my pork indad recipe you will know that it is a great dish to be served on a special day. It tastes wonderful with any kind of rice bread especially with sanna (yeasted rice batter steamed cakes) or polay (yeasted rice batter pancakes)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi#7 - Kori Ghassi, Kadale Manoli & Rotti


BOSHI# 7

A typical Bunt style Boshi that has all my favourite things! Spicy and delicious!
On the left you can see a spicy chicken curry made of spices and coconut, enough to tingle your senses! Then comes the kadale manoli - a spiced up dish made of black garbanzo and ivy gourd garnished with oodles of roasted coconut! Simply marvelous!
Finally, to mop it all up you have crispy rice crepes that quickly soak up the gravy and turn soft, mushy and oh so delicious! - 

RECIPES:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Date & Lemon Spirals (Spiral Shortbread Cookies with a Date Filling)


The best season of the year is here! The month of December has always been my favourite and is more so this time as a lot of my relatives are visiting Dubai and we are having plenty of get togethers and stuff which is an enjoyable experience for all of us. This year I wanted to kick start my Christmas goodies series pretty early but eventually couldn't manage to start posting them on time. I thought of starting off last week but decided to wait for Advent which was on Nov 30th. Advent is essentially a season of preparation and is a date designated four Sundays before Christmas. Before you proceed I invite you to read my introductory post on Christmas and its real meaning. A post which I had written in 2011 but essential to be read before every Christmas lest we allow the commercialisation of this festive season to overwhelm us or even blind us into thinking it is the birthday of Santa! (yep, pretty much the kind of comments I keep reading on Facebook and such)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Kadale Manoli (Using Taal Masala Powder) ~ Mangalorean Bunt Style Black Garbanzo & Ivy Gourd ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Last week one of my uncles was here from Nairobi to attend the wedding in the family. As he was staying with us Roshan and I decided to prepare some traditional Mangalorean dishes as it is not very often that he gets to eat it where he lives. We decided to bring out our prized packet of 'rotti' (crispy thin rice crepes/ wafers) and serve it with kori ghassi (chicken curry) and some vegetable dish on the side. We had never prepared this combo of two veggies, both of which are our favourite and off it went on the menu. 

Kadle manoli stands for garbanzo beans & ivy gourd cooked together in a dry dish garnished with lots of coconut and aromatic spices. The dry roasting of the grated coconut is key for that aroma and deliciousness which is inherent to Mangalorean dishes. This is what a sukka is all about. Coconut is not just used as a garnish but is actually roasted for a long time until it releases a bit of its oil and also this technique helps change the colour of the coconut to a pale golden brown.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sheermal / Shirmal ~ Persian Flatbread Flavoured with Saffron & Milk


It's time for another bread this month. After the lovely pizza that I baked a couple of times last month and posted this month it is now time for me to go ahead and explore my love for baking breads. I have joined this lovely baking project called 'We Knead to Bake' where we get to learn a new bread and insights revolving its history every month. I felt that it was a great way to learn to make different kinds of bread especially as I was hesitant to start on my own. For this month's project (We Knead to Bake#22) Aparna Balasubramanian chose a simple and beautiful bread for all of us to try - Sheermal. This lovely bread with subtle flavours apparently has its origins in Persia but is found in various countries of the Asian sub-continent. Sheermal looks like Naan but is slightly more fluffy, mildly sweet and very aromatic.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi#6 - Bangude Puli Munchi, Gosalem Thel Piao & White Rice


BOSHI# 6

This Boshi has got to be a favourite amongst many many Mangaloreans. At least it is a huge favourite in our house. The fiery gravy that drowns fresh mackerels accompanied by slightly sweetish but simple preparation of ridge gourd and piping hot rice! Throw in a papad and your meal is done. So delicious and satisfying!


RECIPES:

Bangude Puli Munchi ~ Mangalorean Bunt Style Fish in a Hot & Sour Gravy


A super simple meal at my home generally revolves around seafood. It had been ages since I ate this traditional Mangalorean Bunt style fish curry that is fiery and delicious - it pairs up so well with rice and a vegetable on the side. I decided to cook it up last week as I had some last minute shopping to do for a wedding in the family and wanted a simple meal. Since we love eating fish, especially mackerels we stock up on it regularly. We either fry it up or cook it in a curry with lots of gravy to drown the rice. This is one dish that I had not tried so far and I decided to go ahead with it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Aloo Baingan


For our regular meals Roshan & I are very fond of having simple suppers of rice and fish curry or vegetable and chapathis. Usually it is the latter as we prefer having rice in the afternoon and chapathis with whatever is leftover from the afternoon's meal for dinner. Since I like to experiment with all kinds of veggies I bought some brinjal a few days ago. So far I had only known to marinate the slices and fry them but going forward this lovely dry dish that serves as an excellent option for a veggie on the side is going to be on my bi monthly menu. 

This week has been especially hectic for me as there is a wedding in the family for which I have been running helter skelter shopping for last minute nothings so in a way the elaborate cooking in my kitchen has come to a standstill and easy, tried and tested recipes are making their way into our meal menus. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi # 5 - Special Ison/Surmai Curry, Soorn (Yam) Sukka & White Rice



BOSHI# 5
For today's boshi I have selected two items that are found in the sea and under the earth :-) Fish and yam. We are seafood lovers and a fish curry and rice combo meal is always welcome at home. To pair with this delicious combo I have added Mangalorean style yam which we call as the 'sukka' or 'sukhe' prepared with a traditional blend of spices called as the vegetable masala. It is so versatile that you can make practically any vegetable using the blend. Enjoy!


RECIPES:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Goan Chilli Chicken


As we are inching towards another festive season my kitchen sees a lot of experiments with chicken and other meat dishes - so far it has been a lot of chicken and a less of the other kind mainly because you can pair up a good chicken curry or side dish along with your regular weekday meal. Since poultry is my my all time favourite we tried our hands at other birds too, but more of that later. I love bookmarking almost every possible chicken recipe that I come across in books that I own or borrow from the library or simply browse on the net. This recipe is an adaptation of what I found in Sanjeev Kapoor's book on the Konkan Coastal cuisine and it was a crowd-pleaser I must say. You can either cook it up during the week or reserve the recipe to charm your guests when you invite someone special or simply adorn your dining table during a festive occasion. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mangalorean Plated Meal Series - Boshi # 4 - Chicken Sukka, Sango Sukhe, Daliso Saar & Rice


When I was little, chicken was a weekly indulgence eaten only on Sundays. Today we cook it during the week too and when I can't think of anything new to make I just whip up a simple meal that consists of chicken sukka along with other things. It's just so delicious I can't begin to describe. I am sure those of you have eaten it will agree! 

BOSHI# 4
One of my most favourite items are on this plate - Chicken sukka, long beans thel piao (Oil & Onion Style) served with boiled rice and Mangalorean style watery dal. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Pepperoni Pizza - Basic Recipe


My achievements in the baking field are driven by two things - my passion to bake and the undying support and encouragement from the husband. If my cakes have progressed from burnt rocks to deliciously moist edible goodies then I have him to thank as he has survived them all without discouraging me or asking me to give up and spare the ingredients that I have wasted over the years. My cakes are well received at home, no matter what recipe I decide to try and no matter what the outcome. If it wasn't for him I don't think I would have enjoyed baking so much - so thank you Roshan!

However, on the flipside the same man who loves my cakes and appreciates them also pesters me to try breads - something I was simply not interested in baking. My logic was that I couldn't wait all those hours taken by the dough to prove and who had the energy to knead the dough I said. If bread was available in the store it was more than enough for me and I never felt the need to create it from scratch at home. But then the whole logic of buying a big oven when we moved to Dubai was this - that I could make different kinds of breads and bake multiple ones in one go. Alas! That point is shoved into my face time and again so like the numerous other things that I have been coaxed into trying (like blogging for example) he convinced me that I should give pizzas a try. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Boshi Series - Mangalorean Plated Meals


A few days ago, on a purely experimental basis I started posting the picture of my plated meals on my Facebook page and boy was I surprised! The response was unexpected and overwhelming in a great way! Lots of people felt that this was a great way of sharing my recipes and as expected they seemed to agree that it helps them plan their weekly meals accordingly. 

I then decided to publish the pictures on my blog too so that it helps the larger audience of my blog. Do let me know what you think of it and whether you like the plated meals that I post. Do you have any suggestion to make the series better? Do write in to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com and don't forget to follow me on my Facebook page - Ruchik Randhap. That's where all the action is! Get instant replies to your queries by following me there. I am a FB addict, I admit! :)

If FB is not your thing, then catch me on Twitter, PinterestGooglePlusIndiblogger & Instagram too (I'm pretty new here!)


The term 'boshi' stands for plate in Konkani. This is a collection of my simple everyday meals displayed on a plate

BOSHI# 1 (pictured above)
This is a quintessential Mangalorean meal with my favourite items - clams, leafy greens and dal made the GSB/Konkani way. It tastes wonderful with piping hot steamed or boiled red rice.

RECIPES:

2. Amaranth Greens Thel Piao (made the same way as the ridgegourd (gosale) thel piao) 
4. Red Boiled Rice - No recipe

BOSHI # 2 (pictured below)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Cajun & Soy Chicken


Between the two of us Roshan is the one who experiments a lot with recipes giving them a twist of his own very often. I am the one who takes the least number of risks and I usually like to stick to recipes without modifying them too much - maybe this has come from the habit of maintaining accuracy for the sake of the blog, so everything is measured before using. Notes are made parallely so that what goes on the blog is an accurate recipe that is meant to yield results similar to what I received. This habit has become such an integral part of me that even while cooking the most mundane/everyday fare I tend to use measuring cups and spoons - yeah, I am that crazy. It drives Roshan crazy too if he catches me carefully measuring out ingredients. Anyway, that's the way I am I guess. Everyone has their own quirks and this is mine :-)

Coming to today's recipe, this is one of those rare gems that I can proudly display as my own creation. Last year after we moved to Dubai and were staying at my bro's I set to work one day with a batch of chicken thighs. Since I was obsessed with working with a large oven - something that I didn't have back in Mumbai I decided to bake or grill them for dinner. I started marinating them without a clear idea as to what I was going to make. On our recent trip to the supermarket Roshan and I had found this bottle of Cajun spices (pronounced as 'kay-juhn' (jun as in run) which perked our interest. I reached out for that bottle and sprinkled a bit of it and then a bit of soy sauce and oyster sauce and the rest of the ingredients were added as per my Indian, very Mangalorean sensibilities - I like my chicken to be nice and flavourful and spicy too. So in went the green chillies, coriander, ginger and garlic. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mirsangiso Saar (Dry Red Chilly and Onion Clear Soup) ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Mangalorean cuisine is a rich amalgamation of ingredients. Most often than not we eat calorie rich food although we don't realise it but there are these gems in our cuisine which are not very popular and those that aren't very rich and extravagant. I am sure that many of you are not familiar with this humble 'saar' that has just 3 ingredients besides water, salt & oil. It has got to be the most frugal of the lot as it has nothing much to add to its strength apart from the very strong flavour of tamarind balanced adequately by the spice from the red chillies and the onions. 

The term 'saar' loosely means a kind of a broth or clear soup that is served along with rice. The popular 'saars' are usually lentil or tomato based and these were what I grew up eating but after I got married I was introduced to this type of a clear soup that was made at my in-laws' place and something that Roshan swore by. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fish Green Masala Fry


There is no doubt that the Sequeiras are seafood lovers, save for one little Sequeira who won't have  anything to do with fish. Well, most fish. For some reason after he turned 3 he decided to give up all kinds of fish - we still haven't figured out why. It is a task to get him to eat fish and in the past couple of years I just decided I wouldn't force him. Perhaps some dish he ate had a tinge of fishy smell to it and that could be the reason why he gave it up altogether. But recently I decided that it was time to reintroduce the food which was once his favourite. I started by making fish fingers at home (recipe here) with Basa or Cream Dory. Boneless fish is easier to work with but I was limited to just this fish. It gets really tedious to make an extra something for him on the days we have fish. In the recent months our kitchen saw a decline of seafood being cooked because who had the time to slave over cooking different types of food, clicking, blogging, minding the extra naughty almost 2 year old and making that extra dish to appease the little god? I decided that enough was enough, it was time to beckon the Mangalorean in him and I started off making just seafood at home. Mostly seafood. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Phova Chetni | Pova Chutney ~ Konkani Style Spiced Beaten Rice


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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sardine & Potato Cutlets


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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

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


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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chuda | Poha Chivda | Spicy Beaten Rice Snack


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

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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mangalore Peda | Besan Peda



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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Khara Kaddi | Kara Kaddi | Spicy Sticks


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

Monday, October 13, 2014

Kashi Halwa ~ Karnataka Style Ash Gourd Halwa


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

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chicken Rolls


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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dahi Kadhi (Yogurt Based Vegetable Curry)


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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Zero Oil Sardine Fry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chilli Cheese Toast with a Twist! ~ When the Hubby Cooks!


We were not friends with paneer for the longest time. Then it slowly started to make its appearance in our home. Personally I never fussed about eating paneer no matter how it was cooked and how creamy (or not) the paneer was but the husband used to hate paneer thanks to the chewy store bought ones which were hastily cooked by caterers at the mess he used to eat at before he got married. However, since I like to include all kinds of ingredients in the meals we eat I slowly started experimenting with it. As thousands of paneer lovers will agree with me, homemade paneer is the best but in lieu of that I guess fresh, store bought paneer that has been sourced from a reputed dairy is the next best solution. 

So after all this hullabaloo about not liking paneer, guess who made these toasts? Roshan of course! He is a paneer convert now (well almost!). We made this when we had some tiny guests for a tiny party at home earlier this year and since that day it has been a major hit with the kids asking us for it every time they visit us and squealing in delight when we take some on picnics or long drives. 

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. 

Friday, August 22, 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. 

Monday, August 18, 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. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beetroot Halwa ~ Easy, Pressure Cooker Method



This Independence Day I have no Tri Colour dish to post. Instead I picked a very simple sweet dish made out of beets. This beetroot halwa is a cousin of  the very popular carrot halwa or gajar ka halwa as we call it in Hindi. I had written about my low haemoglobin count and how I was trying to get it to normal levels. I read up a lot about how beets are simply magical to produce good blood in your system. Despite know about its health benefits we aren't so keen to eat beets cooked in anyway so there were plenty of times that they would hang around the fridge for days before they eventually got chucked into the bin (don't gasp, it's true). I finally decided I must put an end to that wasteful trend and went ahead and grated them up to be made into a nice halwa. 

This recipe is super easy. I adapted my own carrot halwa recipe and decided to pressure cook the beets as I wanted to speed up the cooking process. The resultant halwa was a perfectly cooked sweet dish with its nutrients intact (or so I'd like to believe) as pressure cooking is known to retain the nutritional value of food unlike the traditional stove top method where you cook the halwa over a slow heat for hours. The best part of pressure cooking is that it is a huge time saver and also lets you be distracted and multi task. While the beets cooked I cleared up the kitchen and what not (this includes shooing away husband who popped his head a hundred times to check if the halwa was done)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ultra Crispy Onion Rings - The Best Ever! ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


So the sonny boy gets his food wishes honoured by his dad once in a while. Once in a while would be an understatement as he gets his way around almost everyday. Most times I insist that he eats what is cooked but on some occasions we oblige him by preparing things that he relishes eating. When it comes to replicating fast food at home I am satisfied that what we make at home is any day better than the junk dished out by most fast food joints. The best part about living in the internet age is that recipes of foods from around the world are available at our fingertips. The onion rings have been one of our lil boy's favourite snacks and the husband has tried replicating them several times using different recipes but none of them were 100% satisfactory - in terms of their taste and crispness or rather the ability to stay crisp much after they came out of the deep fryer. 

We used to enjoy some crisp onion rings at TGIF, Mumbai and always wondered how they stayed so crisp for a long time. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Simple Pumpkin Sukhe


Last month when I was at my in-laws' in the midst of her mid morning cooking session she asked me if I knew how to cook this simple pumpkin dish. I quickly dropped whatever I was doing and bolted to the kitchen and said that I wanted to learn. It was raining cats and dogs outside and I had this warm fuzzy feeling inside me telling me that lunch that day was going to be a delicious one. There was red boiled rice kept in the hot box waiting to be strained, there was an awesome prawn & potato curry still bubbling on the stove and some breadfruit marinated with meet mirsaang (salt & chilli paste) waiting to be shallow fried. Lunch was going to be awesome. I was already salivating. I was starved and couldn't wait to eat. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tongue Curry - When The Hubby Cooks!


Ola people! I am back from good ol' Mangalore and I am missing it so much already! My trip was awesome. We spent a month and a week there and the children enjoyed it as well. The first one week was a little terrible with the humidity and heat as the rains were delayed, but once we received the first showers it was just wonderful. The whole experience helped evoke so many wonderful memories especially as we drove around our favourite places visiting people or buying stuff or simply vagabonding. Mangalore is truly great if you wish to detox and unwind. Err! detox doesn't really happen if you are related to people who cook awesome food. All we did was binge on all the gorgeous food - either cooked at home or at homes where we were invited to share meals. Nevertheless, it gave me an opportunity to savour different kinds of Mangalorean delicacies and note down the variations in the preparations as well.