Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Honey Punch


While the Indian summers are slowly making way for the monsoons, we in the Middle East are gearing up for it. While I have always favoured the summer (and still do) this time we don't have an escape from it, should it get to us, as we aren't travelling anywhere. Staying in Dubai for the whole of the scorching summer will mean trying to stay hydrated throughout the day and staying indoors as much as possible. While having a good amount of water is a must, adding fruit and vegetable juices to one's diet can immensely benefit us. Fruit juices taken in small qualities can help give the body a boost of energy and nutrition that is very important during the hot season. This recipe comes to you after a really long time. I think the last beverage recipe that I posted must have been 4 years ago! To be honest, I am not much of a fruit juice person (not a fruit person either, I am more inclined towards eating vegetables) but my family loves juices. We refrain from buying artificial juices like concentrates or powdered mixes to make instant drinks and homemade is what we prefer. Luckily for us, in the UAE we get a lot of fresh juices that have a very short shelf life and may contain a minuscule amount of preservatives. 

When I was browsing through my recipe index I found a handful of beverage recipes and decided that I must add to it. So hopefully, this summer you will see a lot more basic juice recipes made from natural ingredients. I will try to include recipes for some traditional Mangalorean thirst quenchers too, so don't forget to come back often! By the way, have you tried these recipes?

Bonda Sharbath (Tender Coconut Sherbet)
Saunth Panak (Jaggery, Ginger & Pepper Drink)
Yellu Bella (Sesame & Jaggery Juice)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Egg Pepper Curry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Egg curries are a rare occurrence in my kitchen, they almost never happen. This is mainly because the sonny boy dislikes eggs and so I try and disguise eggs in other forms before feeding him. I mostly bake a lot with eggs or make a French toast for him. An egg curry is usually reserved for days when I haven't made a plan of what to cook for lunch and this again doesn't happen very often unless I have hit a major cooking roadblock. Last week when I was debating on whether to make a pure vegetarian fare for lunch, the hubby volunteered to make something simple with eggs. So this recipe was the outcome of his experiment. We really enjoyed it and now I am wondering if I should dedicate one day a week for egg based curries. Well, when I was little I used to love spending my vacations at my cousins' place and my aunt used to make egg curries every Saturday. She carried on with this tradition for many many years and if you landed up at their place on a Saturday, you could expect a nice egg curry for lunch! The best part about this egg curry affair was that the eggs were laid by the chickens raised at home. You see my uncle was very passionate about raising chicken and growing fruits & vegetables in his backyard as a means to keeping himself busy after returning from his stint in the Middle East during the Gulf War. So apart from dogs and cats, chickens roamed wild and free in the huge garden. I am sure that these 'free-range' chickens who led a stress-free life (apart from facing the risk of being gobbled by an occasional snake or being chased by the psycho cat from the neighbourhood) were able to produce high-quality organic eggs that we got to enjoy. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kolache Ambe | Meetak Ghalle Ambe ~ Raw Mangoes in Brine



Time flies, doesn't it? We have stepped into June and soon, half a year would have passed by us. While I generally like to post two recipes a week, I decided that this recipe must be shared as quickly as possible because, before we know it the mango season will be over. I have been meaning to share this post since ages, however, the last time I took pictures was when we were in our previous house where the lighting wasn't very favourable. Last week when I came across some very raw and firm raw mangoes at the grocery store I decided to put them to use immediately. 

Raw mangoes in brine is a staple at our home since the past few years, we use them mainly to flavour coconut chutneys that we enjoy for breakfast. The flavour goes through a metamorphosis once they soak in the brine and adds a sparkle to whatever dish you wish to flavour it with. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mutton or Beef Soup with Root Vegetables


So we (read 'me') have been trying to eat light since a week and this soup is the result of that determination. We love soups for dinner but don't experiment a lot as it's just a 'dump into a pot and you are ready to go' kind of soups that we have. By 'pot' I mean pressure cooker cuz it's such a time saver. We usually like clear soups, so its been a while since I've tried a recipe that needs blending of everything together. My kids enjoy clear soup too and that is a blessing. It really is an easy and nutritious meal option when you are running short of time to make anything elaborate. To aid our impromptu soup making plans, we usually buy 'soup bones' ie, request the butcher to give us marrow bones whenever we buy meat and freeze them in batches of half a kilo each. On rare occasions that we manage lunch with extra food left over from the previous day, we simply thaw a bag of bones (ha!) and pressure cook it into a steaming bowl of goodness for a quick and simple dinner. Slurp!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Brookie ~ A Cross Between a Brownie & a Cookie


Folks, I've been waiting to share this recipe with you since February this year. It's been a really long wait because I lost the recipe that I had jotted down on a piece of paper. Perhaps this is why you see older recipes making their appearance on the blog much before than in comparison to the newer ones. By some stroke of luck, I found the piece of paper but it was still not an accurate recipe so I tried out the recipe once again yesterday and while the brookies baked I simply scribbled and played around with this 'invitation'. The birth of the brookie happened quite by chance. What was destined to be a double chocolate chip cookie was underbaked and turned into a soft mound of chocolatey goodness with a few cracks on top. I know that the other version of a brookie is a combination of choco chip cookie dough and brownie and is a visual treat as well, but trust me, the brookie takes you to a whole new level of deliciousness. Let me explain why. Firstly, its a cookie, so it automatically qualifies as an accompaniment to a nice, tall glass of milk. Secondly, its a brownie, so you can totally indulge in it at any time, one brookie at a time. Portion control people! (don't eyeroll at me now - Haha!). Fine! I don't have a thousand reasons why you should make it but I seriously think you should. You can thank me later!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Millet Semiya & Mango Kheer Using Condensed Milk


We in Dubai are just gearing up for the summers. I know that in India, folks are experiencing the peak of it and getting to eat mangoes and other seasonal goodies is perhaps the only consolation. This year in particular we haven't gone hullabaloo about mangoes at home although my husband has bought and enjoyed many of them secretly (by hiding them in the fridge) I haven't really gone overboard trying out new recipes. I feel pretty lackluster now, like I have somehow missed the moment, because mangoes will go out of season before we know it, at least the Indian ones will. But then, its a blessing to be in Dubai as we get to enjoy fruit from all over the world, irrespective of what season it is. 

We had a guest for lunch a few days ago and as usual the hubs and I split up our duties. The menu was drawn up and the work divided. Usually, he makes the starter(s) and the meat curries while the rice breads, rice and dessert is my domain. Before I started with the dessert I decided to have a dekko at the stuff I had instead of buying something new. Every year I have this ritual of taking stock of ingredients that I have and beginning to clear them up before we go on our annual vacation. Although a vacation is not on the cards this year, I decided to look through my fridge and pantry and picked up stuff that I had bought and never used. I found a pack of millet sevai/semiya which my friend Lakshmi had gifted me in India last August. Thankfully it had not crossed its expiry date and I knew I had to use it up fast. A tin of condensed milk also popped out and I decided to marry them off together and make a simple vermicelli/semiya kheer. Then it occurred to me that mangoes had not been transformed into anything magical in my kitchen this season. It would be such a shame if I didn't play around with some mango recipes, for the sake of my own satisfaction if not to impress the guest. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Fig & Almond Muffins ~ Eggless & Dairy Free


The nicest thing about families that understand you as a food blogger is when they share your passion for all things food. Whether it is buying props for my photography, ingredients for my cooking or letting me know about food related events that are happening in the city, my family always goes out of its way for me. The huge collection of props that I've amassed over the years is thanks to my hubby, brother and sis-in-law because they never miss an opportunity to generously buy stuff for me. Over the past few months, my brother has been travelling a lot and each time he returns it is like having Santa come over with a goodie bag full of exotic things for me :-) From beautiful knives, cheeseboards, bowls, cups, spoons and coasters to spices, dry fruits and chocolates I have been truly spoilt for choice! 

During the last couple of months I was gifted a lot of dry fruits and after eating many of them I decided to put them to better use. Since baking is my passion I kept looking for recipes that would fruitfully (pun not intended!) mask the ingredients so that my kids would eat them. They aren't such big fans of dry fruits and will hardly go beyond a bite. These muffins were the perfect choice as I could cleverly hide some almonds in them too! Yep, mums can be sinister that way :)

Pineapple & Green Chilli Chutney


Summer is finally here! It's the best time to make the most of the season's bounty. While I do have a couple of mango recipes to be tried out, I decided to share this lovely chutney recipe with you that I made with pineapples. I actually started out to make pineapple jam but was discouraged by the amount of sugar used and decided to make something savoury. I was inspired by my Mango Chutney recipe that I had made a while ago. It tastes great as a spread on chapathis or bread and if you have grown up enjoying jams and preserves like I have, then you must try this one. 


I had made it some time ago though, I just got around to posting the recipe now. So what have you been upto folks? Cooking and enjoying a lot of mangoes I bet! If you have any recipe requests please do send me a mail on ruchikrandhap@gmail.com and I'll try my best to share the recipe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beef (or Mutton) Pepper Curry


A couple of days ago when I set out to make lunch I was wondering what to prepare. It had been a while since I had tried out a new meat recipe and to be honest I have become a little lazy to hunt for anything new and generally like to stick to my tried and tested collection of recipes. When it's beef or mutton I only like to make 'sukka' out of them as it is fast and simple but then when I saw my collection of beef recipes I decided that it was about time I added a new recipe there. Here's what I currently have on the blog under the 'beef' category (of course, the mutton recipe collection has some recipes that can be made with either mutton (goat meat or lamb) or beef)

Beef Chilli Fry *(Mangalorean)
Beef Sukka *(Mangalorean)
Beef or Mutton Devil *(Mangalorean)
Tongue Curry  *(Goan/East India/Bombay Style)
Beef Fry  *(Kerala Style)
Pepper Beef *(South Indian-Chinese Fusion Style)
Simple Meat Stew  *(Mangalorean)

So I started to make a dish on my own. Added a bit of this and a bit of that and decided to make something with a hint of green, more like a green masala base. However, as I started to prepare the masala, more ideas popped into my head and I ended up making something totally out of the box. Some ingredients were fried before being ground and that added a whole dimension and depth of flavours to this dish. I can vouch for the fact that this dish can be made with mutton and chicken too and can be served with any carb you please - plain white rice, boiled rice, pulao,  neer dosa, dosa, idli, sanna, chapathi, poori (yes!), cous cous (yes, yes!), kuboos (and why not?!), ragi muddhe (steamed finger millet balls) and maybe even corn tortillas! See! The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beetroot Chilli Garlic Brown Rice


Folks, I am having a super duper busy week ahead and this was the case for the past couple of weeks too! My thoughts wander to my blog every so often and I want to hop in here to tend to it but it just ain't happening. Got some draft posts that I need to clear so I've been trying to edit pictures every now and then (my laptop is permanently perched on my little breakfast table now so I check comments and other random things in between my kitchen chores). Today I leave you with this beautiful, vibrant and very flavourful brown rice that is packed with nutrition. When the Farmer's Market was on here in Dubai (it just closed for the season last Friday) I had picked up some lovely beets with their greens. I truly believe that there is nothing more wonderful than eating fresh and eating clean. It's like your whole system revels in it. This happens to me magically every time I visit the FM and buy farm fresh produce and enjoy the goodness in myriad different ways over the week. While the beet greens found their way into simple dal, I made this rice with the beets. Normally, we don't have any takers for beetroot. While the husband detests anything that remotely qualifies as 'sweet' the kids may or may not eat it depending on how sweet the beets happen to be. Too fussy, I know. So the best trick to get them to eat beetroot is to grate it and add it to salads, bake with them (they make for gorgeous red velvet cake, trust me) or add them to soups or make flavoured rice like I just did.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Indhacha Peetachi Mani | Fishtail Palm Sago Pudding ~ Gluten Free & Vegan Traditional Mangalorean Sweet


It's been quite a while since I posted a traditional Mangalorean recipe. Today as I sifted through my draft posts I found this recipe for a lovely Mangalorean pudding which in Konkani is called as 'MaNi' (the pronunciation of the 'N' is made with a little twist in the tongue). The main ingredient of this pudding, 'Indache peet' as it is popularly called in the Konkani dialect spoken by Catholics is derived from the trunk of the Caryota Urens tree. Caryota Urens is the botanical name for the fishtail palm. In the olden days, everyone used to have at least one or two trees in their backyard and the flour was a must-have ingredient in every Mangalorean pantry. Some people still follow the tradition and stock it all year round to be quickly cooked into a thin gruel and drunk by anyone having an upset tummy. I have had this concoction for as long as I can remember, especially during my childhood when my mother used to make it and mix some milk, a pinch of salt and a little sugar to taste. The drink was satisfying and delicious. I will post the recipe soon.

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. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Honey Punch


While the Indian summers are slowly making way for the monsoons, we in the Middle East are gearing up for it. While I have always favoured the summer (and still do) this time we don't have an escape from it, should it get to us, as we aren't travelling anywhere. Staying in Dubai for the whole of the scorching summer will mean trying to stay hydrated throughout the day and staying indoors as much as possible. While having a good amount of water is a must, adding fruit and vegetable juices to one's diet can immensely benefit us. Fruit juices taken in small qualities can help give the body a boost of energy and nutrition that is very important during the hot season. This recipe comes to you after a really long time. I think the last beverage recipe that I posted must have been 4 years ago! To be honest, I am not much of a fruit juice person (not a fruit person either, I am more inclined towards eating vegetables) but my family loves juices. We refrain from buying artificial juices like concentrates or powdered mixes to make instant drinks and homemade is what we prefer. Luckily for us, in the UAE we get a lot of fresh juices that have a very short shelf life and may contain a minuscule amount of preservatives. 

When I was browsing through my recipe index I found a handful of beverage recipes and decided that I must add to it. So hopefully, this summer you will see a lot more basic juice recipes made from natural ingredients. I will try to include recipes for some traditional Mangalorean thirst quenchers too, so don't forget to come back often! By the way, have you tried these recipes?

Bonda Sharbath (Tender Coconut Sherbet)
Saunth Panak (Jaggery, Ginger & Pepper Drink)
Yellu Bella (Sesame & Jaggery Juice)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Egg Pepper Curry ~ When The Hubby Cooks!


Egg curries are a rare occurrence in my kitchen, they almost never happen. This is mainly because the sonny boy dislikes eggs and so I try and disguise eggs in other forms before feeding him. I mostly bake a lot with eggs or make a French toast for him. An egg curry is usually reserved for days when I haven't made a plan of what to cook for lunch and this again doesn't happen very often unless I have hit a major cooking roadblock. Last week when I was debating on whether to make a pure vegetarian fare for lunch, the hubby volunteered to make something simple with eggs. So this recipe was the outcome of his experiment. We really enjoyed it and now I am wondering if I should dedicate one day a week for egg based curries. Well, when I was little I used to love spending my vacations at my cousins' place and my aunt used to make egg curries every Saturday. She carried on with this tradition for many many years and if you landed up at their place on a Saturday, you could expect a nice egg curry for lunch! The best part about this egg curry affair was that the eggs were laid by the chickens raised at home. You see my uncle was very passionate about raising chicken and growing fruits & vegetables in his backyard as a means to keeping himself busy after returning from his stint in the Middle East during the Gulf War. So apart from dogs and cats, chickens roamed wild and free in the huge garden. I am sure that these 'free-range' chickens who led a stress-free life (apart from facing the risk of being gobbled by an occasional snake or being chased by the psycho cat from the neighbourhood) were able to produce high-quality organic eggs that we got to enjoy. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kolache Ambe | Meetak Ghalle Ambe ~ Raw Mangoes in Brine



Time flies, doesn't it? We have stepped into June and soon, half a year would have passed by us. While I generally like to post two recipes a week, I decided that this recipe must be shared as quickly as possible because, before we know it the mango season will be over. I have been meaning to share this post since ages, however, the last time I took pictures was when we were in our previous house where the lighting wasn't very favourable. Last week when I came across some very raw and firm raw mangoes at the grocery store I decided to put them to use immediately. 

Raw mangoes in brine is a staple at our home since the past few years, we use them mainly to flavour coconut chutneys that we enjoy for breakfast. The flavour goes through a metamorphosis once they soak in the brine and adds a sparkle to whatever dish you wish to flavour it with. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mutton or Beef Soup with Root Vegetables


So we (read 'me') have been trying to eat light since a week and this soup is the result of that determination. We love soups for dinner but don't experiment a lot as it's just a 'dump into a pot and you are ready to go' kind of soups that we have. By 'pot' I mean pressure cooker cuz it's such a time saver. We usually like clear soups, so its been a while since I've tried a recipe that needs blending of everything together. My kids enjoy clear soup too and that is a blessing. It really is an easy and nutritious meal option when you are running short of time to make anything elaborate. To aid our impromptu soup making plans, we usually buy 'soup bones' ie, request the butcher to give us marrow bones whenever we buy meat and freeze them in batches of half a kilo each. On rare occasions that we manage lunch with extra food left over from the previous day, we simply thaw a bag of bones (ha!) and pressure cook it into a steaming bowl of goodness for a quick and simple dinner. Slurp!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Brookie ~ A Cross Between a Brownie & a Cookie


Folks, I've been waiting to share this recipe with you since February this year. It's been a really long wait because I lost the recipe that I had jotted down on a piece of paper. Perhaps this is why you see older recipes making their appearance on the blog much before than in comparison to the newer ones. By some stroke of luck, I found the piece of paper but it was still not an accurate recipe so I tried out the recipe once again yesterday and while the brookies baked I simply scribbled and played around with this 'invitation'. The birth of the brookie happened quite by chance. What was destined to be a double chocolate chip cookie was underbaked and turned into a soft mound of chocolatey goodness with a few cracks on top. I know that the other version of a brookie is a combination of choco chip cookie dough and brownie and is a visual treat as well, but trust me, the brookie takes you to a whole new level of deliciousness. Let me explain why. Firstly, its a cookie, so it automatically qualifies as an accompaniment to a nice, tall glass of milk. Secondly, its a brownie, so you can totally indulge in it at any time, one brookie at a time. Portion control people! (don't eyeroll at me now - Haha!). Fine! I don't have a thousand reasons why you should make it but I seriously think you should. You can thank me later!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Millet Semiya & Mango Kheer Using Condensed Milk


We in Dubai are just gearing up for the summers. I know that in India, folks are experiencing the peak of it and getting to eat mangoes and other seasonal goodies is perhaps the only consolation. This year in particular we haven't gone hullabaloo about mangoes at home although my husband has bought and enjoyed many of them secretly (by hiding them in the fridge) I haven't really gone overboard trying out new recipes. I feel pretty lackluster now, like I have somehow missed the moment, because mangoes will go out of season before we know it, at least the Indian ones will. But then, its a blessing to be in Dubai as we get to enjoy fruit from all over the world, irrespective of what season it is. 

We had a guest for lunch a few days ago and as usual the hubs and I split up our duties. The menu was drawn up and the work divided. Usually, he makes the starter(s) and the meat curries while the rice breads, rice and dessert is my domain. Before I started with the dessert I decided to have a dekko at the stuff I had instead of buying something new. Every year I have this ritual of taking stock of ingredients that I have and beginning to clear them up before we go on our annual vacation. Although a vacation is not on the cards this year, I decided to look through my fridge and pantry and picked up stuff that I had bought and never used. I found a pack of millet sevai/semiya which my friend Lakshmi had gifted me in India last August. Thankfully it had not crossed its expiry date and I knew I had to use it up fast. A tin of condensed milk also popped out and I decided to marry them off together and make a simple vermicelli/semiya kheer. Then it occurred to me that mangoes had not been transformed into anything magical in my kitchen this season. It would be such a shame if I didn't play around with some mango recipes, for the sake of my own satisfaction if not to impress the guest. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Fig & Almond Muffins ~ Eggless & Dairy Free


The nicest thing about families that understand you as a food blogger is when they share your passion for all things food. Whether it is buying props for my photography, ingredients for my cooking or letting me know about food related events that are happening in the city, my family always goes out of its way for me. The huge collection of props that I've amassed over the years is thanks to my hubby, brother and sis-in-law because they never miss an opportunity to generously buy stuff for me. Over the past few months, my brother has been travelling a lot and each time he returns it is like having Santa come over with a goodie bag full of exotic things for me :-) From beautiful knives, cheeseboards, bowls, cups, spoons and coasters to spices, dry fruits and chocolates I have been truly spoilt for choice! 

During the last couple of months I was gifted a lot of dry fruits and after eating many of them I decided to put them to better use. Since baking is my passion I kept looking for recipes that would fruitfully (pun not intended!) mask the ingredients so that my kids would eat them. They aren't such big fans of dry fruits and will hardly go beyond a bite. These muffins were the perfect choice as I could cleverly hide some almonds in them too! Yep, mums can be sinister that way :)

Pineapple & Green Chilli Chutney


Summer is finally here! It's the best time to make the most of the season's bounty. While I do have a couple of mango recipes to be tried out, I decided to share this lovely chutney recipe with you that I made with pineapples. I actually started out to make pineapple jam but was discouraged by the amount of sugar used and decided to make something savoury. I was inspired by my Mango Chutney recipe that I had made a while ago. It tastes great as a spread on chapathis or bread and if you have grown up enjoying jams and preserves like I have, then you must try this one. 


I had made it some time ago though, I just got around to posting the recipe now. So what have you been upto folks? Cooking and enjoying a lot of mangoes I bet! If you have any recipe requests please do send me a mail on ruchikrandhap@gmail.com and I'll try my best to share the recipe.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beef (or Mutton) Pepper Curry


A couple of days ago when I set out to make lunch I was wondering what to prepare. It had been a while since I had tried out a new meat recipe and to be honest I have become a little lazy to hunt for anything new and generally like to stick to my tried and tested collection of recipes. When it's beef or mutton I only like to make 'sukka' out of them as it is fast and simple but then when I saw my collection of beef recipes I decided that it was about time I added a new recipe there. Here's what I currently have on the blog under the 'beef' category (of course, the mutton recipe collection has some recipes that can be made with either mutton (goat meat or lamb) or beef)

Beef Chilli Fry *(Mangalorean)
Beef Sukka *(Mangalorean)
Beef or Mutton Devil *(Mangalorean)
Tongue Curry  *(Goan/East India/Bombay Style)
Beef Fry  *(Kerala Style)
Pepper Beef *(South Indian-Chinese Fusion Style)
Simple Meat Stew  *(Mangalorean)

So I started to make a dish on my own. Added a bit of this and a bit of that and decided to make something with a hint of green, more like a green masala base. However, as I started to prepare the masala, more ideas popped into my head and I ended up making something totally out of the box. Some ingredients were fried before being ground and that added a whole dimension and depth of flavours to this dish. I can vouch for the fact that this dish can be made with mutton and chicken too and can be served with any carb you please - plain white rice, boiled rice, pulao,  neer dosa, dosa, idli, sanna, chapathi, poori (yes!), cous cous (yes, yes!), kuboos (and why not?!), ragi muddhe (steamed finger millet balls) and maybe even corn tortillas! See! The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Beetroot Chilli Garlic Brown Rice


Folks, I am having a super duper busy week ahead and this was the case for the past couple of weeks too! My thoughts wander to my blog every so often and I want to hop in here to tend to it but it just ain't happening. Got some draft posts that I need to clear so I've been trying to edit pictures every now and then (my laptop is permanently perched on my little breakfast table now so I check comments and other random things in between my kitchen chores). Today I leave you with this beautiful, vibrant and very flavourful brown rice that is packed with nutrition. When the Farmer's Market was on here in Dubai (it just closed for the season last Friday) I had picked up some lovely beets with their greens. I truly believe that there is nothing more wonderful than eating fresh and eating clean. It's like your whole system revels in it. This happens to me magically every time I visit the FM and buy farm fresh produce and enjoy the goodness in myriad different ways over the week. While the beet greens found their way into simple dal, I made this rice with the beets. Normally, we don't have any takers for beetroot. While the husband detests anything that remotely qualifies as 'sweet' the kids may or may not eat it depending on how sweet the beets happen to be. Too fussy, I know. So the best trick to get them to eat beetroot is to grate it and add it to salads, bake with them (they make for gorgeous red velvet cake, trust me) or add them to soups or make flavoured rice like I just did.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Indhacha Peetachi Mani | Fishtail Palm Sago Pudding ~ Gluten Free & Vegan Traditional Mangalorean Sweet


It's been quite a while since I posted a traditional Mangalorean recipe. Today as I sifted through my draft posts I found this recipe for a lovely Mangalorean pudding which in Konkani is called as 'MaNi' (the pronunciation of the 'N' is made with a little twist in the tongue). The main ingredient of this pudding, 'Indache peet' as it is popularly called in the Konkani dialect spoken by Catholics is derived from the trunk of the Caryota Urens tree. Caryota Urens is the botanical name for the fishtail palm. In the olden days, everyone used to have at least one or two trees in their backyard and the flour was a must-have ingredient in every Mangalorean pantry. Some people still follow the tradition and stock it all year round to be quickly cooked into a thin gruel and drunk by anyone having an upset tummy. I have had this concoction for as long as I can remember, especially during my childhood when my mother used to make it and mix some milk, a pinch of salt and a little sugar to taste. The drink was satisfying and delicious. I will post the recipe soon.

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.