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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dal Gosht ~ When The Hubby Cooks


Hello, my lovely readers! What special plans have you made for Easter? Well, since it's a working day here in Dubai we will be having our festive family meal at night as the kids will have school and fixing a mutually convenient time for lunch is not possible. The hubs and I have drawn up a simple list of dishes to cook together and then we aim to spend a quiet time relaxing at home. Pork bafat and some kind of chicken or mutton curry will definitely be on the menu. I am planning to make some sanna to go with it. I am still wondering what to make for dessert. Perhaps I should make the self-saucing rich chocolate pudding that I posted yesterday or maybe I should try a totally new recipe so that if it turns out well I could confidently share it with you guys. What do you think? 

And hey, that reminds me that I still have a nice dessert recipe waiting to be posted. I really hope to squeeze in some time before Saturday to post it, so do come back to check. Okay? 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Eggless Self-Saucing Rich Chocolate Pudding


Folks, I am back from my long hiatus (okay, fine! I just posted a recipe last week, but it feels like forever). I am slowly learning to keep the promise to myself - of being less 'gadget-friendly' (what I call myself when I get too friendly with my phones/laptop) and more people-friendly (what I end up doing when I keep gadgets at bay). Last week was the last week of the spring break for my kids and we made the most of it. I packed 4 kids (two of my own and two of my brother's) and off we went to the movies and to a gaming area and to the library (all on separate days of course - fun things must always be spaced out). On the other days, stories were read, movies (at home) were watched and one-minute-microwave-mug-cakes were made, eaten and enjoyed. A friend from India was on vacation in Dubai with her family and we met up, chatted over a simple Mangalorean meal of boiled rice, valchebaji ani guley and mutton sukka, watched the sunset (reached the beach almost when the sun kissed the sun-kissed shores goodbye for the day!) and headed to the Dubai Water Canal to take the mandatory touristy pictures (it was our first time there too). It is nice to have friends over but unfortunately, when friends meet after ages and have to manage little ones it becomes impossible to have a tête-à-tête. Nevertheless, it is always heartwarming to meet childhood friends, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Eggless Olive Oil, Fruit & Nut Cake and a review of 'Keep Calm & Go Crazy' by Rohan Monteiro


I just can't believe that the first quarter of this year has been kissed goodbye. Three whole months have come and gone and I wonder if I have achieved anything substantial at all but in my defence, I did make some resolutions despite telling you guys that I wouldn't be making any this year. One of them was to tell at least 10 people who made a difference in my life that I was grateful to them for their presence/encouragement/love/support. I managed to tell 5 and this was in Feb. In March I decided to pick up my habit of reading which I had sadly abandoned when motherhood encroached into my 'me time'. While I am glad that my blog kept my writing skill (or the lack of it) alive, reading books completely took a backseat. While I voluntarily gave up watching TV after moving to Dubai, I would still manage to watch movies and shows on YouTube once a month or so. I would still read a lot of articles on my phone or computer but curling up with a nice smelling book (yeah, books need to smell right for me) seemed like a thing of the past. I think this changed for the better when our family friend arrived last month from Oman and gifted me a book written by his brother-in-law. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paneer Green Masala


Paneer, a favourite amongst most vegetarians was never a part of our diet until our little fellow grew up to love it. Now, I buy it almost every week from Lulu supermarket as making it at home is not an option (I must try it soon though). Since he prefers eating paneer to fish I don't mind buying it every week if need be as it is a good source of protein. I try a lot of recipes but somehow I never got around to posting most of them. Just recently I was trying to look for a suitable recipe that would taste different. We had already tried Palak Paneer, Tawa Paneer, Paneer Kurma and Paneer Butter Masala (links to some of these recipes are given below) and now I wanted to try something new but also something that would be accepted without a fuss.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (With Non Vegetarian Options)


As I had mentioned in my post a few days ago, I am slowly getting better at cooking Indo-Chinese food. These noodles were a part of a weekend meal that was much loved. I can count this dish to be amongst those that are soul satisfying for the simple reason that they are so delicious without being too complicated to make.  These noodles are perfect for little ones too, I mean who doesn't like noodles yeah? It is usually the meal of choice when I am hard pressed for time, but that usually is the very last option (the instant noodles pack, I mean). These made-from-scratch noodles are a lot more healthy than their instant counterpart because homemade is best you see, mother says so!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baby Potatoes in Savoury Butter


Potatoes find themselves in some form or the other in our everyday meals. Either they turn up for breakfast in a savoury, thick, mashed curry form to be mopped up with chapathi or neer dosa or are cooked with fish, chicken or meat curries or sukka for lunch. Sometimes they are sliced up and marinated with salt & pepper/chilli powder and shallow fried for the son's lunchbox. Other times, especially on weekends they are mashed or baked and served alongside grilled fish or chicken. So many ways to enjoy the spud, innit? Since the little fellow loves baby potatoes roasted with bacon  I bring them often. This time he wanted something different to go along with bacon wrapped chicken and I made these simple savoury potatoes tossed around in a few ingredients. I had shared a picture of the plate, complete with bacon wrapped chicken thighs, baby potatoes in savoury butter and spiced beetroot brown rice (recipe to follow) on my Instagram. Do follow me there if you haven't already as I share tidbits of my life.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pesto & Bell Pepper Rice


Lent, a solemn religious observance for Christians is a period that lasts approximately 6 weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. During this time one is urged to give up vices or temptations of any kind. Most Christians make a personal decision to give up all or some kinds of non vegetarian food. While the focus is not on food I will try and post as many vegetarian recipes as possible this Lent. So, keeping the many requests in mind, here's a simple yet flavorful recipe for a one pot meal that you can put together in a jiffy. It is perfect for those who are in a hurry to cook a nutritious meal and can be made for your weekday dinner. All you need is some cooked rice and you can serve this in no time. I used homemade basil pesto sauce that I made from a ton of basil that I picked up at the farmer's market here. You can use store bought pesto or even make some using coriander leaves at home. I will post the recipe soon. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicken & Mushrooms in Soy Sauce


My dream of making Chinese food that didn't flop came true over the weekend. As I said in my previous post my son loves to bookmark recipes and our bookshelf reorganizing adventure resulted in rediscovering many cookbooks that I owned but never used. I have a real treasure of very old cookbooks that are possibly out of print today and I really cherish them and the people who gifted them to me. The hubs is particularly fond of whipping up a quick continental meal (most of such recipes on the blog are his), however my attempts in the past have been near misses with a few hits that you see on the blog. This is perhaps one reason why although I get a lot of requests to post Indo-Chinese food recipes I never had the courage to dabble with that cuisine. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


A couple of weeks ago I was reorganising my bookshelf. Since we have some extra space in the kitchen we decided to free up some space on our regular shelf and move some cookbooks to a smaller book cum knick knack shelf. The joy of rediscovering some old cookbooks was something else. My lil boy who is as passionate about cookbooks as I am sat with me flipping through endless recipes. He grabbed some sticky notes to bookmark the ones he wanted me to make over the next few days. A bacon enthusiast and a picky eater rolled into one, the fellow loves to ogle at food pictures. He is the first to pick our weekly, glossy magazine that accompanies the newspaper on Friday mornings and flip through the recipe section of the book. He believes that he was born with a continental palate (seriously, kids these days have taste buds with a mind of their own - I know this sounds complex, but that's how it is). So when he sees something that looks mouthwatering off he goes to add it on his 'list of things to drive mommy crazy about'. Anyway, so when we found this recipe he coaxed me into making it for him. Daddy brought home the bacon (literally and actually made an announcement about it) and mom set about to cook chicken thighs wrapped with bacon - a fun project for mother & son on a cosy, dull Friday morning. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Restaurant Review ~ Al Afia Restaurant (Mangalorean Cuisine), Al Mahata, Sharjah


Restaurant: Al Afia
Location: Opposite Wardah Hotel Apartments, Near Mahatta Park, Al Qasimia, Al Mahatah, Sharjah 
Cuisine: Mangalorean cuisine with a good mix of multi cuisine dishes
Price Range: AED 80-100

THE PLACE
Al Afia restaurant which was started in January 2016 is primarily a Mangalorean restaurant that also serves multi-cuisine food. Incidentally, they have been in the restaurant business for years. If you are from Mangalore and have frequented restaurants in the mid 90s then you may remember a tikka joint named 'Susata' located at Attavar, Mangalore.

A couple of months ago one of my relatives happened to tell me about the restaurant that belonged to her friend and I was invited to do a food review. I gladly accepted this offer as I am so passionate about Mangalorean food and I am sincerely pleased that I got to taste some fabulous food over the weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mushroom Cutlets


I have always loved mushrooms however during my growing up years they were not so easily available in our local market or the vegetable vendor. It was a premium item that was sometimes seen on the shelves of the local horticulture store (I forget the exact name) that got exotic veggies from Bangalore and sold them at a not so affordable rate so we usually stuck to the humble, local veggies. Mushrooms and paneer was something I would enjoy to the fullest while we ate out which wasn't much either. After I got married and the blog came into being I slowly started my experiments with it. White button mushrooms are the most popular and so they got cooked in various forms. From the Mushroom, Garlic & Celery Soup, Mushrooms in a Chilli Cashew Gravy, Mushroom Curry, Peas & Mushroom Kurma, Mushroom Masala to the hubby's experiment with Baked Portobello (large sized) Mushrooms, we have tried a lot of recipes and loved them too. However, until recently the little boy (who never experiments with new flavours) never liked them and would religiously pick them out of his food. So to get him to enjoy them, I started making these cutlets out of mushrooms. I used my own recipe for minced meat cutlets (link at the bottom of this post) and worked around creating something with mushrooms. He loved them! I never told him that there were mushrooms in the cutlets and so he would happily gobble them up. Just recently he saw me chopping the mushrooms and realised that they didn't taste so bad afterall. Now his face brightens up at the mention of mushrooms in any dish!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pepper Beef


Most Mangaloreans are big lovers of Indo-Chinese food and so we usually stock up on condiments to help whip up a quick meal. However, let me tell you that we don't really make super authentic Chinese or Indo-Chinese - at least our older generation of Mangaloreans didn't know how to do that as recipes from that cuisine weren't as freely available as they are today, thanks to the internet. Most recipes were handed down from one generation to the other or learnt from caterers who would offer a dish or two with a Chinese feel to it for parties or wedding. Most were fusion dishes - Mangalorean Indo-Chinese, with a liberal dose of Byadge chillies, cumin and what have you! Of course, the addition of soy sauce miraculously helped pardon all our sins and legitimatized the dish. Most times we experimented with pork as we Mangalorean Catholics love this meat and don't really have too many recipes to pick from. 

We don't eat a lot of pork now and since my son is a fan of beef and mutton at the moment, I try out something new every now and then. I made this last week when Dubai was under the spell of rough and windy weather and so I didn't get the best of pictures. However, the taste was such that it instantly brightened up the mood of everyone who ate it especially my neighbour who had dropped by to say hello. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bole ~ Traditional Mangalorean Semi-Matured Coconut & Jaggery Cake


Last Thursday & Friday the weather took Dubai by storm (no pun intended). The idea of venturing out, braving the winds with two kids for company did not appeal to me. Since I knew that I would be holed up indoors my fingers itched to bake something comforting. Something that I could enjoy with some hot tea while the winds heaved & howled outside. Having tried out a million cake recipes over the years I wanted to dabble with something new and different. Over the past few weeks my cousin Prema and I have been discussing the recipe of a very traditional Mangalorean cake called as the 'bole'. She first found the recipe (and introduced me to it) in a cookbook a few years ago and had told me about how fabulous it had turned out. Over the years we both meant to give it a try but in my case, the project never took off for want of the key ingredient - semi matured coconut. To be honest, until recently I didn't even know what 'adsar' meant. Despite having grown up in a household that only spoke Konkani there are a ton of words missing from my vocabulary. Ironically, this household also routinely dealt with coconuts that were grown in the garden - from planting new saplings, watering them and nurturing them in every way, to hiring and overseeing the whole process of having the coconuts plucked, sorted, de-husked and sold. So in that sense everything related to coconuts was known to me but I am not sure how this particular term skipped my mind. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chilli Garlic Rice


A one pot meal is usually my meal of choice and even more so as a mother of two. I have to think of meal ideas on a daily basis and sometimes this daily rigmarole can really get to me! If I have some leftover rice I usually like to make a quick egg fried rice or 'puliogre' (tamarind rice) using the MTR ready spice mix (of course!). My kids lap it up without a fuss as rice and yogurt is their preferred meal too but since I like to spruce it up a bit and make it more colourful and nutritious I like to add a few things to plain rice. 

Ever since we moved to a new place last month I hadn't tried out anything new. The unpacking and settling in took centre stage and I heavily depended on scheduled posts to run the blog but now I am back with renewed vigour to sparkle the blog and dazzle you all with some great recipes. When the word 'pulao' comes to mind I have always played safe by trying out simple recipes and so when I came across this one I was wondering if the outcome would be as great as it sounded. Since the recipe was not accompanied by any pictures I used my mind's eye to conjure up an image of how the end result would look like and I think the result was spot on!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Best of RR ~ Daily Cooking Series! Dalitoy/Dali Tove (Konkani Style Spiced Lentils)



Another recipe from my repertoire that has won so many hearts! Tried, tested and loved by many, it still remains to be one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes. Simple. Delicious.

*......*

If you are a Mangalorean then the Dalitoy needs no introduction. But for those who are not, well, it is a quintessential Konkani style Dal made in almost every Konkani household without fail and savoured with a lot of passion - as much as Dal is loved in Northern India.

The Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) which is used to prepare Dalitoy is probably the most sought after type of Dal across the world. Almost every kitchen has a stock of it at least in small quantities. Also, irrespective of the type of cuisine and cultural, ethnic differences that span our country, the Lentils or Dals as they are called are probably the most common item to be found in a majority of houses. Even in South India, you are bound to find one type of Dal being cooked everyday especially if it's a vegetarian household.

Since I have grown with a whole bunch of Konkani neighbours and friends I have always liked the Dalitoy or Dali Tove (pronounced as 'Tho-way). The best tasting Tove is always home made, fresh and piping hot. A typical Konkani thali (meal plate) usually includes steamed white rice, Dalitoy, one or two types of vegetables (curry or stir fry style), occasionally seafood (fried or spicy dry dish), pickles and happal (Poppadums/Papads made of Urad Dal or Red Chillies) or shendige/sandige (Sabudana/Tapioca Pearl Vadis/Odis/Fritters)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beans in Yogurt


January happens to be my favourite month after December of course. The reason is that just as much as I love the festive chaos that December brings with it I love the peace and calm that January promises every year. This month is usually one that helps you unwind and settle in. From a blogger's point of view it is a time for stock taking. I usually tend to put off posting regular, everyday recipes when the festive season begins, so January is a time for me to check my drafts and see what recipes took a back seat while the festive season took over. This morning as I was doing just that, I realised that I had a recipe from 2015 which totally skipped a whole year only to make its appearance now! I wonder why I didn't post this simple recipe before! I have promised myself (as part of my New Year resolution) to declutter and downsize even my recipes in draft! There are tons of recipes that fell through the cracks over the past few years. Sometimes I was not convinced that the recipe was fool proof enough to be shared and required rewriting. Sometimes I was the only one to have liked the dish (eyeroll). Sometimes the pictures were, well, bleh! and required reshooting and sometimes the festive season shoved them under the carpet. Whatever the reasons, now is the time for me to bring them to the fore and let them shine. So while I will showcase and repost some old classics, you will also find new recipes on the blog. So do make sure you come back everyday!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Best of RR ~ Daily Cooking Series! Chicken Curry Without Coconut


Folks, last month I started a new series called as 'The Best of RR' which aims to showcase recipes from Ruchik Randhap that have been tried, tested and loved by a ton of readers around the world. A few years ago I used to encourage readers to send me a picture of any dish that was tried from my blog and I would upload it in an album called 'I Made This!' on the blog here. Eventually I moved the album to my Facebook page but over the years it has become hard to manage the logistics of the incredible numbers of pictures I started to receive. Just so that my new readers benefit from this tried and loved collection I have decided to restart this series. While in December I showcased the best Christmas & festive recipes, in January & February I will share recipes that will help you in your daily menu planning! This series will run amidst the new recipes that I will regularly bring to you so do stay tuned. For those of you who are new here, a huge warm welcome and do take a moment to check out my Recipe Index that stands at 555 recipes as on date! This index is listed alphabetically (A-Z) but if you need recipes category wise do check the Visual Recipe Index which has broad categories divided into sub-categories with each and every recipe supported by a thumbnail picture to help you visualize and eat with your eyes first :-) 

Should you have a recipe request or if you are unable to find what you need (a quick Ctrl+F in the Recipe Index or the 'Search' bar on the top right of this page will help you) do mail me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com. So let's dive into today's recipe!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Karmbalache Thikshe Lehya ~ Spicy Star Fruit (Carambola) & Herb Infused Jam



The flu season is on here. Almost everyone I know is dealing with a bout of a cold or cough or fever or all the three. Ever since we moved homes early January we have been literally on house arrest trying to recover from this not so serious but pesky illness. I am sure that the season has treated most of you the same way irrespective of where you live. 

When I was going through my posts in draft I was reminded of three recipes that I had created last January and never got around to posting them. The husband had brought back some star fruit from Mangalore last year and I had divided the loot into 3 portions to be used in three different recipes. Here's the first one. A thick jam like preparation that is made from the juice of star fruits, dried herbs and a load of peppercorns to give you a kick of spice and heal you from within. Meant to soothe a bad throat, this preparation is medicinal and should be consumed in very little quantities. People with serious health issues and pregnant women may kindly refrain from consuming it. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moong Dal Idli ~ Diabetic Friendly Idli


Folks I am back with another healthy recipe for you. I am taking my resolution of posting recipes that are as healthy as possible, a bit too seriously :-) This is not a New Year's resolution. I decided to do this late last year and I hope to keep at it as much as possible. 

When I was going through my archives I realised that I posted 60 odd recipes which is pretty low as compared to the other years. A few months from now this blog will celebrate its 8th birthday! Time simply flies, doesn't it. So this year's actual resolution from a blogging point of view is to post a 100 recipes by the end of 2017. Will I be able to do this? I do not know but putting it down on paper makes it impossible to squirm out of the deal for me. I also follow the videos of a motivational speaker Jay Shetty on Facebook who also asked for an affirmation to be added along with every challenge taken. So I will now aim to post at least 25 health recipes (out of the total 100) that are aimed towards helping those with special dietary needs/restrictions. There! In the days to come I will also share my experiences with the monthly challenges I plan to start taking this year. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Foxtail Millet, Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake ~ Gluten Free Recipe


For the longest time my only association with millets was in the form of ragi (finger millet) and jowar (sorghum). A couple of years ago my friend Lakshmi who lives in Chennai introduced me to foxtail millet which is also called as 'navane' in Kannada, 'thinai' in Tamil and 'kangi' in Hindi. She highly recommended that I use it as a substitute to rice in pulaos and idli/dosa batters (a great option for diabetics who wish to avoid rice). Since living in Dubai also meant access to such products was limited I decided to hunt for it on my trip to Mangalore. In 2015 July I finally found a whole variety of millets at Desi Utthana, a small store in Mangalore (see notes for details), the focus of which was to popularise organic and locally grown/native grains using sustainable farming methods. I was told that while 'desi' means 'of one's own land/local', 'utthana' means 'to raise/grow/arise from the land'. The store is a very basic one with perhaps more than 200 different products showcased on simple iron shelves. Products ranging from different kinds of honey, herbal teas, jams and spices to organic grains is what you can choose from. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dal Gosht ~ When The Hubby Cooks


Hello, my lovely readers! What special plans have you made for Easter? Well, since it's a working day here in Dubai we will be having our festive family meal at night as the kids will have school and fixing a mutually convenient time for lunch is not possible. The hubs and I have drawn up a simple list of dishes to cook together and then we aim to spend a quiet time relaxing at home. Pork bafat and some kind of chicken or mutton curry will definitely be on the menu. I am planning to make some sanna to go with it. I am still wondering what to make for dessert. Perhaps I should make the self-saucing rich chocolate pudding that I posted yesterday or maybe I should try a totally new recipe so that if it turns out well I could confidently share it with you guys. What do you think? 

And hey, that reminds me that I still have a nice dessert recipe waiting to be posted. I really hope to squeeze in some time before Saturday to post it, so do come back to check. Okay? 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Eggless Self-Saucing Rich Chocolate Pudding


Folks, I am back from my long hiatus (okay, fine! I just posted a recipe last week, but it feels like forever). I am slowly learning to keep the promise to myself - of being less 'gadget-friendly' (what I call myself when I get too friendly with my phones/laptop) and more people-friendly (what I end up doing when I keep gadgets at bay). Last week was the last week of the spring break for my kids and we made the most of it. I packed 4 kids (two of my own and two of my brother's) and off we went to the movies and to a gaming area and to the library (all on separate days of course - fun things must always be spaced out). On the other days, stories were read, movies (at home) were watched and one-minute-microwave-mug-cakes were made, eaten and enjoyed. A friend from India was on vacation in Dubai with her family and we met up, chatted over a simple Mangalorean meal of boiled rice, valchebaji ani guley and mutton sukka, watched the sunset (reached the beach almost when the sun kissed the sun-kissed shores goodbye for the day!) and headed to the Dubai Water Canal to take the mandatory touristy pictures (it was our first time there too). It is nice to have friends over but unfortunately, when friends meet after ages and have to manage little ones it becomes impossible to have a tête-à-tête. Nevertheless, it is always heartwarming to meet childhood friends, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Eggless Olive Oil, Fruit & Nut Cake and a review of 'Keep Calm & Go Crazy' by Rohan Monteiro


I just can't believe that the first quarter of this year has been kissed goodbye. Three whole months have come and gone and I wonder if I have achieved anything substantial at all but in my defence, I did make some resolutions despite telling you guys that I wouldn't be making any this year. One of them was to tell at least 10 people who made a difference in my life that I was grateful to them for their presence/encouragement/love/support. I managed to tell 5 and this was in Feb. In March I decided to pick up my habit of reading which I had sadly abandoned when motherhood encroached into my 'me time'. While I am glad that my blog kept my writing skill (or the lack of it) alive, reading books completely took a backseat. While I voluntarily gave up watching TV after moving to Dubai, I would still manage to watch movies and shows on YouTube once a month or so. I would still read a lot of articles on my phone or computer but curling up with a nice smelling book (yeah, books need to smell right for me) seemed like a thing of the past. I think this changed for the better when our family friend arrived last month from Oman and gifted me a book written by his brother-in-law. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paneer Green Masala


Paneer, a favourite amongst most vegetarians was never a part of our diet until our little fellow grew up to love it. Now, I buy it almost every week from Lulu supermarket as making it at home is not an option (I must try it soon though). Since he prefers eating paneer to fish I don't mind buying it every week if need be as it is a good source of protein. I try a lot of recipes but somehow I never got around to posting most of them. Just recently I was trying to look for a suitable recipe that would taste different. We had already tried Palak Paneer, Tawa Paneer, Paneer Kurma and Paneer Butter Masala (links to some of these recipes are given below) and now I wanted to try something new but also something that would be accepted without a fuss.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (With Non Vegetarian Options)


As I had mentioned in my post a few days ago, I am slowly getting better at cooking Indo-Chinese food. These noodles were a part of a weekend meal that was much loved. I can count this dish to be amongst those that are soul satisfying for the simple reason that they are so delicious without being too complicated to make.  These noodles are perfect for little ones too, I mean who doesn't like noodles yeah? It is usually the meal of choice when I am hard pressed for time, but that usually is the very last option (the instant noodles pack, I mean). These made-from-scratch noodles are a lot more healthy than their instant counterpart because homemade is best you see, mother says so!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Baby Potatoes in Savoury Butter


Potatoes find themselves in some form or the other in our everyday meals. Either they turn up for breakfast in a savoury, thick, mashed curry form to be mopped up with chapathi or neer dosa or are cooked with fish, chicken or meat curries or sukka for lunch. Sometimes they are sliced up and marinated with salt & pepper/chilli powder and shallow fried for the son's lunchbox. Other times, especially on weekends they are mashed or baked and served alongside grilled fish or chicken. So many ways to enjoy the spud, innit? Since the little fellow loves baby potatoes roasted with bacon  I bring them often. This time he wanted something different to go along with bacon wrapped chicken and I made these simple savoury potatoes tossed around in a few ingredients. I had shared a picture of the plate, complete with bacon wrapped chicken thighs, baby potatoes in savoury butter and spiced beetroot brown rice (recipe to follow) on my Instagram. Do follow me there if you haven't already as I share tidbits of my life.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Pesto & Bell Pepper Rice


Lent, a solemn religious observance for Christians is a period that lasts approximately 6 weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. During this time one is urged to give up vices or temptations of any kind. Most Christians make a personal decision to give up all or some kinds of non vegetarian food. While the focus is not on food I will try and post as many vegetarian recipes as possible this Lent. So, keeping the many requests in mind, here's a simple yet flavorful recipe for a one pot meal that you can put together in a jiffy. It is perfect for those who are in a hurry to cook a nutritious meal and can be made for your weekday dinner. All you need is some cooked rice and you can serve this in no time. I used homemade basil pesto sauce that I made from a ton of basil that I picked up at the farmer's market here. You can use store bought pesto or even make some using coriander leaves at home. I will post the recipe soon. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicken & Mushrooms in Soy Sauce


My dream of making Chinese food that didn't flop came true over the weekend. As I said in my previous post my son loves to bookmark recipes and our bookshelf reorganizing adventure resulted in rediscovering many cookbooks that I owned but never used. I have a real treasure of very old cookbooks that are possibly out of print today and I really cherish them and the people who gifted them to me. The hubs is particularly fond of whipping up a quick continental meal (most of such recipes on the blog are his), however my attempts in the past have been near misses with a few hits that you see on the blog. This is perhaps one reason why although I get a lot of requests to post Indo-Chinese food recipes I never had the courage to dabble with that cuisine. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


A couple of weeks ago I was reorganising my bookshelf. Since we have some extra space in the kitchen we decided to free up some space on our regular shelf and move some cookbooks to a smaller book cum knick knack shelf. The joy of rediscovering some old cookbooks was something else. My lil boy who is as passionate about cookbooks as I am sat with me flipping through endless recipes. He grabbed some sticky notes to bookmark the ones he wanted me to make over the next few days. A bacon enthusiast and a picky eater rolled into one, the fellow loves to ogle at food pictures. He is the first to pick our weekly, glossy magazine that accompanies the newspaper on Friday mornings and flip through the recipe section of the book. He believes that he was born with a continental palate (seriously, kids these days have taste buds with a mind of their own - I know this sounds complex, but that's how it is). So when he sees something that looks mouthwatering off he goes to add it on his 'list of things to drive mommy crazy about'. Anyway, so when we found this recipe he coaxed me into making it for him. Daddy brought home the bacon (literally and actually made an announcement about it) and mom set about to cook chicken thighs wrapped with bacon - a fun project for mother & son on a cosy, dull Friday morning. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Restaurant Review ~ Al Afia Restaurant (Mangalorean Cuisine), Al Mahata, Sharjah


Restaurant: Al Afia
Location: Opposite Wardah Hotel Apartments, Near Mahatta Park, Al Qasimia, Al Mahatah, Sharjah 
Cuisine: Mangalorean cuisine with a good mix of multi cuisine dishes
Price Range: AED 80-100

THE PLACE
Al Afia restaurant which was started in January 2016 is primarily a Mangalorean restaurant that also serves multi-cuisine food. Incidentally, they have been in the restaurant business for years. If you are from Mangalore and have frequented restaurants in the mid 90s then you may remember a tikka joint named 'Susata' located at Attavar, Mangalore.

A couple of months ago one of my relatives happened to tell me about the restaurant that belonged to her friend and I was invited to do a food review. I gladly accepted this offer as I am so passionate about Mangalorean food and I am sincerely pleased that I got to taste some fabulous food over the weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mushroom Cutlets


I have always loved mushrooms however during my growing up years they were not so easily available in our local market or the vegetable vendor. It was a premium item that was sometimes seen on the shelves of the local horticulture store (I forget the exact name) that got exotic veggies from Bangalore and sold them at a not so affordable rate so we usually stuck to the humble, local veggies. Mushrooms and paneer was something I would enjoy to the fullest while we ate out which wasn't much either. After I got married and the blog came into being I slowly started my experiments with it. White button mushrooms are the most popular and so they got cooked in various forms. From the Mushroom, Garlic & Celery Soup, Mushrooms in a Chilli Cashew Gravy, Mushroom Curry, Peas & Mushroom Kurma, Mushroom Masala to the hubby's experiment with Baked Portobello (large sized) Mushrooms, we have tried a lot of recipes and loved them too. However, until recently the little boy (who never experiments with new flavours) never liked them and would religiously pick them out of his food. So to get him to enjoy them, I started making these cutlets out of mushrooms. I used my own recipe for minced meat cutlets (link at the bottom of this post) and worked around creating something with mushrooms. He loved them! I never told him that there were mushrooms in the cutlets and so he would happily gobble them up. Just recently he saw me chopping the mushrooms and realised that they didn't taste so bad afterall. Now his face brightens up at the mention of mushrooms in any dish!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pepper Beef


Most Mangaloreans are big lovers of Indo-Chinese food and so we usually stock up on condiments to help whip up a quick meal. However, let me tell you that we don't really make super authentic Chinese or Indo-Chinese - at least our older generation of Mangaloreans didn't know how to do that as recipes from that cuisine weren't as freely available as they are today, thanks to the internet. Most recipes were handed down from one generation to the other or learnt from caterers who would offer a dish or two with a Chinese feel to it for parties or wedding. Most were fusion dishes - Mangalorean Indo-Chinese, with a liberal dose of Byadge chillies, cumin and what have you! Of course, the addition of soy sauce miraculously helped pardon all our sins and legitimatized the dish. Most times we experimented with pork as we Mangalorean Catholics love this meat and don't really have too many recipes to pick from. 

We don't eat a lot of pork now and since my son is a fan of beef and mutton at the moment, I try out something new every now and then. I made this last week when Dubai was under the spell of rough and windy weather and so I didn't get the best of pictures. However, the taste was such that it instantly brightened up the mood of everyone who ate it especially my neighbour who had dropped by to say hello. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bole ~ Traditional Mangalorean Semi-Matured Coconut & Jaggery Cake


Last Thursday & Friday the weather took Dubai by storm (no pun intended). The idea of venturing out, braving the winds with two kids for company did not appeal to me. Since I knew that I would be holed up indoors my fingers itched to bake something comforting. Something that I could enjoy with some hot tea while the winds heaved & howled outside. Having tried out a million cake recipes over the years I wanted to dabble with something new and different. Over the past few weeks my cousin Prema and I have been discussing the recipe of a very traditional Mangalorean cake called as the 'bole'. She first found the recipe (and introduced me to it) in a cookbook a few years ago and had told me about how fabulous it had turned out. Over the years we both meant to give it a try but in my case, the project never took off for want of the key ingredient - semi matured coconut. To be honest, until recently I didn't even know what 'adsar' meant. Despite having grown up in a household that only spoke Konkani there are a ton of words missing from my vocabulary. Ironically, this household also routinely dealt with coconuts that were grown in the garden - from planting new saplings, watering them and nurturing them in every way, to hiring and overseeing the whole process of having the coconuts plucked, sorted, de-husked and sold. So in that sense everything related to coconuts was known to me but I am not sure how this particular term skipped my mind. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chilli Garlic Rice


A one pot meal is usually my meal of choice and even more so as a mother of two. I have to think of meal ideas on a daily basis and sometimes this daily rigmarole can really get to me! If I have some leftover rice I usually like to make a quick egg fried rice or 'puliogre' (tamarind rice) using the MTR ready spice mix (of course!). My kids lap it up without a fuss as rice and yogurt is their preferred meal too but since I like to spruce it up a bit and make it more colourful and nutritious I like to add a few things to plain rice. 

Ever since we moved to a new place last month I hadn't tried out anything new. The unpacking and settling in took centre stage and I heavily depended on scheduled posts to run the blog but now I am back with renewed vigour to sparkle the blog and dazzle you all with some great recipes. When the word 'pulao' comes to mind I have always played safe by trying out simple recipes and so when I came across this one I was wondering if the outcome would be as great as it sounded. Since the recipe was not accompanied by any pictures I used my mind's eye to conjure up an image of how the end result would look like and I think the result was spot on!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Best of RR ~ Daily Cooking Series! Dalitoy/Dali Tove (Konkani Style Spiced Lentils)



Another recipe from my repertoire that has won so many hearts! Tried, tested and loved by many, it still remains to be one of my most favourite Mangalorean dishes. Simple. Delicious.

*......*

If you are a Mangalorean then the Dalitoy needs no introduction. But for those who are not, well, it is a quintessential Konkani style Dal made in almost every Konkani household without fail and savoured with a lot of passion - as much as Dal is loved in Northern India.

The Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas) which is used to prepare Dalitoy is probably the most sought after type of Dal across the world. Almost every kitchen has a stock of it at least in small quantities. Also, irrespective of the type of cuisine and cultural, ethnic differences that span our country, the Lentils or Dals as they are called are probably the most common item to be found in a majority of houses. Even in South India, you are bound to find one type of Dal being cooked everyday especially if it's a vegetarian household.

Since I have grown with a whole bunch of Konkani neighbours and friends I have always liked the Dalitoy or Dali Tove (pronounced as 'Tho-way). The best tasting Tove is always home made, fresh and piping hot. A typical Konkani thali (meal plate) usually includes steamed white rice, Dalitoy, one or two types of vegetables (curry or stir fry style), occasionally seafood (fried or spicy dry dish), pickles and happal (Poppadums/Papads made of Urad Dal or Red Chillies) or shendige/sandige (Sabudana/Tapioca Pearl Vadis/Odis/Fritters)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beans in Yogurt


January happens to be my favourite month after December of course. The reason is that just as much as I love the festive chaos that December brings with it I love the peace and calm that January promises every year. This month is usually one that helps you unwind and settle in. From a blogger's point of view it is a time for stock taking. I usually tend to put off posting regular, everyday recipes when the festive season begins, so January is a time for me to check my drafts and see what recipes took a back seat while the festive season took over. This morning as I was doing just that, I realised that I had a recipe from 2015 which totally skipped a whole year only to make its appearance now! I wonder why I didn't post this simple recipe before! I have promised myself (as part of my New Year resolution) to declutter and downsize even my recipes in draft! There are tons of recipes that fell through the cracks over the past few years. Sometimes I was not convinced that the recipe was fool proof enough to be shared and required rewriting. Sometimes I was the only one to have liked the dish (eyeroll). Sometimes the pictures were, well, bleh! and required reshooting and sometimes the festive season shoved them under the carpet. Whatever the reasons, now is the time for me to bring them to the fore and let them shine. So while I will showcase and repost some old classics, you will also find new recipes on the blog. So do make sure you come back everyday!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Best of RR ~ Daily Cooking Series! Chicken Curry Without Coconut


Folks, last month I started a new series called as 'The Best of RR' which aims to showcase recipes from Ruchik Randhap that have been tried, tested and loved by a ton of readers around the world. A few years ago I used to encourage readers to send me a picture of any dish that was tried from my blog and I would upload it in an album called 'I Made This!' on the blog here. Eventually I moved the album to my Facebook page but over the years it has become hard to manage the logistics of the incredible numbers of pictures I started to receive. Just so that my new readers benefit from this tried and loved collection I have decided to restart this series. While in December I showcased the best Christmas & festive recipes, in January & February I will share recipes that will help you in your daily menu planning! This series will run amidst the new recipes that I will regularly bring to you so do stay tuned. For those of you who are new here, a huge warm welcome and do take a moment to check out my Recipe Index that stands at 555 recipes as on date! This index is listed alphabetically (A-Z) but if you need recipes category wise do check the Visual Recipe Index which has broad categories divided into sub-categories with each and every recipe supported by a thumbnail picture to help you visualize and eat with your eyes first :-) 

Should you have a recipe request or if you are unable to find what you need (a quick Ctrl+F in the Recipe Index or the 'Search' bar on the top right of this page will help you) do mail me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com. So let's dive into today's recipe!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Karmbalache Thikshe Lehya ~ Spicy Star Fruit (Carambola) & Herb Infused Jam



The flu season is on here. Almost everyone I know is dealing with a bout of a cold or cough or fever or all the three. Ever since we moved homes early January we have been literally on house arrest trying to recover from this not so serious but pesky illness. I am sure that the season has treated most of you the same way irrespective of where you live. 

When I was going through my posts in draft I was reminded of three recipes that I had created last January and never got around to posting them. The husband had brought back some star fruit from Mangalore last year and I had divided the loot into 3 portions to be used in three different recipes. Here's the first one. A thick jam like preparation that is made from the juice of star fruits, dried herbs and a load of peppercorns to give you a kick of spice and heal you from within. Meant to soothe a bad throat, this preparation is medicinal and should be consumed in very little quantities. People with serious health issues and pregnant women may kindly refrain from consuming it. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moong Dal Idli ~ Diabetic Friendly Idli


Folks I am back with another healthy recipe for you. I am taking my resolution of posting recipes that are as healthy as possible, a bit too seriously :-) This is not a New Year's resolution. I decided to do this late last year and I hope to keep at it as much as possible. 

When I was going through my archives I realised that I posted 60 odd recipes which is pretty low as compared to the other years. A few months from now this blog will celebrate its 8th birthday! Time simply flies, doesn't it. So this year's actual resolution from a blogging point of view is to post a 100 recipes by the end of 2017. Will I be able to do this? I do not know but putting it down on paper makes it impossible to squirm out of the deal for me. I also follow the videos of a motivational speaker Jay Shetty on Facebook who also asked for an affirmation to be added along with every challenge taken. So I will now aim to post at least 25 health recipes (out of the total 100) that are aimed towards helping those with special dietary needs/restrictions. There! In the days to come I will also share my experiences with the monthly challenges I plan to start taking this year. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Foxtail Millet, Chocolate & Orange Mousse Cake ~ Gluten Free Recipe


For the longest time my only association with millets was in the form of ragi (finger millet) and jowar (sorghum). A couple of years ago my friend Lakshmi who lives in Chennai introduced me to foxtail millet which is also called as 'navane' in Kannada, 'thinai' in Tamil and 'kangi' in Hindi. She highly recommended that I use it as a substitute to rice in pulaos and idli/dosa batters (a great option for diabetics who wish to avoid rice). Since living in Dubai also meant access to such products was limited I decided to hunt for it on my trip to Mangalore. In 2015 July I finally found a whole variety of millets at Desi Utthana, a small store in Mangalore (see notes for details), the focus of which was to popularise organic and locally grown/native grains using sustainable farming methods. I was told that while 'desi' means 'of one's own land/local', 'utthana' means 'to raise/grow/arise from the land'. The store is a very basic one with perhaps more than 200 different products showcased on simple iron shelves. Products ranging from different kinds of honey, herbal teas, jams and spices to organic grains is what you can choose from.