Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!


Curry Leaves Chutney Pudi/ Powder.. Hebbar Iyengar style..!

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....

All organic.. home-grown ingredients are awesome to have & to eat.. Don’t you agree?? As a kid I remember my grandmother preparing this very fragrant chutney pudi from the freshest curry leaves available.. yup, plucking them from the 5 curry leaves tree we had in our garden :), using the copra she made from drying the excess coconut coconuts from our garden. There were 6 coconut trees in our garden. Loads of coconuts were always available. The excess ones were turned into copra & then taken to the oil mill by my grandmother to extract oil. Then she would use the oil to cook her yummy food or savouries..! Such memorable days…!

It is very common to see a curry leaves tree in almost every South Indian house. You your passing by a South Indian house if you can smell the tadka/tempering with the heavenly aroma of curry leaves. Along with the awesome fragrance that they impart.. they also have loads of medicinal value. Most of us have a tendency to keep the leaves aside when we eat a meal, this is an awesome way to consume the curry leaves & take in all its benefits.

I do not have my grandmothers recipe. Beginning of this month, K’s granny came over to spend a week with us. I had loads of copra with me. I asked her if she could help me make some Curry leaves chutney pudi. K loves chutney pudi a lot. Whenever he see’s the bottle he almost every time pops a spoon of it into his mouth. So K’s Pati (granny in Tamil) helped me or rather I should say, taught me to make 2 kinds of chutney pudi. A curry leaves one and another coriander leaves kind. The recipe for the coriander leaves chutney pudi is slightly different from this one, so don’t go around swapping the curry leaves with coriander leaves. I will post the curry leaves chutney pudi recipe soon.

I do not have pictures of the making of the chutney pudi, I wanted to click some pics with pati & I was so excited learning this recipe that I completely forgot about the camera. Next time I get down to making this one, I’ll make sure I click pics.

I love curry leaves chutney pudi a lot as it makes me nostalgic. This was the only kind of chutney pudi my gran made for us. I have also received requests to post garlic, peanut, idli chutney pudi recipe’s. All these will take some time as I have lots of chutney pudi in stock now. With just the two of us around I don’t want to stock up loads of varieties & they going bad. So as & when my stock needs to be replenished I shall get down to making these. Until then I have this new recipe which will serve as a small project for you this weekend.. :) Happy Cooking..!

Ingredients: (15-20 servings) Preparation Time: 20-25 mins
Tur dal – 1/2 cup
Copra grated/desiccated coconut – 3/4 -1 cup
Black peppercorns – 10-12
Dried red chilli’s – 15-16 byadgi chilli variety, you can use the other hotter varieties, use according to your taste
Curry leaves – 45-50 medium-sized leaves, washed, drained, wiped dry & leave it to dry on a kitchen towel
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece, make sure there are no seeds
Jaggery – 1.5 – 2 tbsp, powdered
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric – 1/8 tsp
Oil – half a tsp
Salt to taste – preferably use rock salt

Take a skillet, dry roast the dried red chilli’s & the Tur dal. Keep tossing them around constantly & maintain heat at low. Once the fur dal begin to change colour to a light brownish & the chilli’s too turn paler, turn the heat off. Transfer the ingredients to a plate and let it cool down to room temperature.

Meanwhile while the Tur dal & chilli’s are cooling down, heat the oil in the skillet. Add the asafoetida & let it sizzle. Maintain heat at low. Now throw in the turmeric & the curry leaves. Fry till the curry leaves begin to lose their moisture and begin to turn crispier. Now add the copra and black peppercorns and toss it around for a minute or two. Turn the heat off. Transfer this to another plate. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Add the powdered jaggery, tamarind and salt to the roasted, cooled down dried red chilli’s & dal mixture. You can pulse this mixture in a food processor till the ingredients are broken down. Next add in the roasted curry leaves mixture. Process all the ingredients till you get a coarse powder. In between you can taste & adjust the salt.

Transfer the contents to a plate. Let it dry out for about 15-20 mins (The jaggery & tamarind have some moisture content in them which will get transferred to the roasted ingredients). Transfer the chutney pudi to an airtight glass jar.

You are set for 2-3 months i.e if it lasts for that long.. :) I mean to say you can store this for 2-3 months. After this time frame, it will begin to lose it’s freshness & aroma.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with any South Indian breakfast dishes like – Dosa, Idli, Upma etc as an accompaniment when you’re in a hurry & really cannot get down to preparing a fresh coconut chutney.

Hebbar Iyengar style Curry leaves chutney pudi....
In Mangalore we eat this chutney pudi by adding a tsp of coconut oil to a tbsp of chutney pudi, mixing the pudi/powder in the oil so that its easier to eat & tastier. But Iyengar’s like to eat their chutney pudi with a tsp of ghee instead of oil. Do let me know if you have a new way to eat your chutney pudi.. :)

Tip: You can make a butter chutney pudi sandwich.. believe me it’s yum.. :)


Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle…

Ambuli Pachhodi...

All that I can remember when I eat this is secretly stashing my lunch-bag packed for school with some raw mangoes that fell from our Mango tree during the season. We had two lovely, huge Mango trees at home. “HAD” Sad but true, one very close to the gate & it fell one nasty stormy night blocking the road in front of out house & we lost electricity as it brought down the electricity pole along with it. We had to sit in darkness for almost for a couple of days till the power lines were restored. Sadly the other one had to be cut down 4-5 yrs after the first one fell because of old age.

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi or rather an instant raw mango pickle

I went to school with a bunch of other kids on an auto-rickshaw. Singing, eating & chattering all the way. Was so much of fun. We were a bunch belonging to different classes. I lived like 10 km away from school. But thoroughly enjoyed jumping into the auto rickshaw & having a ball. :) Yes, coming back to my stash of raw mangoes in the lunch bag, as few of my classmates went home for lunch I would hand it over to them & ask them to mix it up with the required ingredients to prepare this or just ask them to chop it up into wedges & pack some salt & red chilli powder & pack it back to class. Afternoon sessions were then fun… the box with the raw mangoes & the masala were passed around carefully during class & we would devour all of it till we licked our fingers clean. I was allowed to eat this only once in a while as an overdose can make you sick.. Oh such fun days those were, first the secret picking from the ground since mum wouldn’t approve eating too much of it, she would let me carry some approvingly maybe once a fortnight, but then the girls in class would demand for some almost every couple of days :)).

Ambuli/Raw Mango Pachhodi...

This is something that takes me down memory lane.. such warm & fond memories :))) This is easily available in small carts in and around Mangalore & small towns around Mangalore when it is the mango season. It is a very popular snack loved by people from all age groups. Many refer to this recipe as an instant mango pickle. It tastes just like a pickle because it has all the similar flavours other than excess oil & salt.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)        Preparation Time: 5 mins
Raw Mango – Use the variety you like, I always preferred my home-grown variety but now I usually use Totapuri variety.
Tip: Use a variety that isn’t too sour. Raw mangoes which are just beginning to ripen also taste good as they add a lovely sweetness to the sour & the hot recipe.
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp, adjust according to you taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Sambar powder – 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tsp, adds an authentic touch, if you can’t consume coconut oil then add some extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

You can grate or finely chop the raw mangoes. Throw away the kernel & the fibrous covering around the kernel. Throw the chopped or grated raw mango into a bowl, add all the spice powders, asafoetida, salt & oil. Give contents of the bowl a good mix. Dig in to the bowl to check & adjust the salt & spice. That is it your done.. :)

If you have some patience, cover the bowl & let the raw mango pieces absorb the salt & other flavours.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as is, as a side or as a snack.

Ambuli Pachhodi...

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli….. Classic GSB breakfast dish

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

This a classic breakfast dish of the GSB’s or Konkana’s. It is a very simple & delicious breakfast dish. Once you have a look at the ingredients you will agree that the days when you don’t have a breakfast idea, you can give this a try as you would have all these in your pantry for sure.

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

Mum in town, I love these simple breakfasts she puts together. K & I are usually the paratha or omelette, corn flakes or muesli asked her to make this for breakfast today. You can prepare the phova chutney in another way, using slightly different ingredients, without the onion & sambhar powder. That recipe will be up soon as well.

Poha/beaten rice is called Phova in konkani. I really don’t know how & why the name usli is used. Asked mum.. she just shrugged, she said “From all the dishes that come to my mind when I think of the word usli, all I gather is something tossed with a tempering of mustard seeds, green chilli’s and curry leaves, then garnished with grated coconut, again ask someone else to confirm” she said. Till I find someone to give me the history behind the name, let us stick to this one.

I had put up a status the Keli Paan Facebook page, asking fans for new recipe’s they look forward to see on the blog. Anu Mehta Kapoor asked for new healthy breakfast ideas & since mum made this, it seemed perfect for her request. I hope you enjoy this recipe Anu. :)

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)        Preparation Time: 20 mins
Thick/ Thin beaten rice or Poha – 1.5 cups, I used thick poha
Coconut – 1/2 of a medium-sized coconut grated, keep 2 tbsp aside for the dal
Mung dal – 1 cup, washed & drained
Onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped
Mustard – 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Sambhar powder – 1- 1.5 tbsp
Sugar – 1.5 – 2 tbsp or you can use powdered jaggery
Green chilli’s – 4, slit
Ginger – 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs or about 12 leaves
Oil – 1+1.5 tbsp
Salt to taste

Muga daali usli:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai, maintain heat at medium. When the oil heats up add the mustard seeds, let it sizzle. Now add about 5-6, curry leaves & green chilli’s along with the chopped ginger; sauté them for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups water, salt to taste. Once the water begins to bubble, add the washed mung dal, close the kadai with a lid, simmer & cook. Once the dal cooks and all the water has evaporated, check the seasoning & adjust. Garnish with 2 tbsp of grated coconut.

Phova Chutney:
Meanwhile, when then dal is getting ready, in a large bowl, mix together the grated coconut, chopped onion, sugar, sambhar powder along with some salt to taste. Once the onion begins to sweat a little add the poha little by little & mix well. In a tempering vessel heat up 1.5 tbsp of oil, once hot add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds & let it sizzle. Turn the heat off, add the curry leaves & mix. Transfer this tempering over the poha.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve the poha with a portion of the mung dal on the side. Mix the dal with the poha & enjoy.

Phova Chutney with Muga Daali Usli...

Dukra Maas – as they call it in Mangalore; the best Pork curry ever!!!

Dukra Maas..

Anyone born or brought up or who has something to do with Mangalore would have definitely heard about the famous Dukra Maas.. If you have not,then its a shame.. go bury your head somewhere !! I’m kidding, of course. If you have not heard of it, well then there is always a first time.. & I’m glad you did through this post on my blog. Pork lovers should definitely not miss such a delightful recipe.

Dukra Maas..

If you follow me through the Keli Paan page on Facebook, you would know that I have a terrible cold brewing up from within. A runny nose accompanied with a terrible headache & loads of crumpled tissues in my dustbin. Since we are moving back to India I have been looking into my pantry to use up the groceries I can & my eyes had fallen on the packet of Bafat powder. I knew instantly that this curry would cheer me up. :) I took a walk down to the grocers despite the horrible wet Scottish weather to buy some pork. I wanted a hot bowl of soup & Dukra Maas to cheer me up. While sipping on some soup I made myself, the pork simmering away & the aroma started lifting my spirits. That was the state I was in yesterday.. I’m much better today.

Dukra Maas..

All my friends know my love for pork & I guess you would too if you have been around while I had pork dishes posted on Keli Paan! The first time I remember eating pork ever was in my Pre-University days & I was like damn.. what was I thinking of? Why didn’t I ever take a bite out of my schoolmates lunch boxes when they brought pork for lunch on Mondays to school??!!??? Guess had there been a microwave oven back then during school times my friends would have had to either carry an extra portion for me or forget their lunch. That’s how crazy I am about this meat. To top it all, this curry tastes even more fabulous the next day; as the pork absorbs all the lovely spices & flavours of the added ingredients. I also loved being invited to a Catholic wedding or a roce or any function because of the authentic dukra maas which will almost always be on the menu.

Dukra Maas..

Dukar/Dukkar is a pig in Konkani & maas is meat. This curry is like a sunday ritual in almost every Catholic home. A typical Catholic family wakes up every sunday morning, attends the mass/the service in their Parish/Church; gets back home with a stop at the butchers to pick up fresh pork; & then the family waits for the mum/wife to fix this wonderful curry. This served often with uber soft idli’s called Sanna’s. The batter for the Sanna’s is usually prepared the night before, just like the batter for any Idli/Dosa, as it needs to ferment. (Recipe of Sanna’s will be up soon as well).

The weather in Mangalore is pretty hot & sultry as it is situated in the Arabian sea coastline. Men make sure they stop by at the Wine shop to pick up some beers & that’s usually chilling in the fridge or some opened in anticipation of the pork. A beer is the best to wash down the hot & spicy pork simmering away in the kitchen & it makes the wait unbearable.. !! I know all these details because I have been invited over to many friends houses on Sundays because of my love for pork & I really mean it when I say that the wait is unbearable; the aroma is so tantalising that you just want to go tell the aunty cooking that there is someone at the door asking for you & dig into the simmering pot & get out some pork before she chides you & shoo’s you away!

Dukra Maas...

Check out the ingredients, other than the bafat powder all the ingredients are always present in any pantry. I had ready-made Bafat powder which I got along with me to the UK. Store bought of course. Many households make their own though & I have asked a friend to pass on the recipe to me. So the recipe to make Bafat powder will soon hit Keli Paan, after some wait though. But for the rest who want to try this dish out, all you need to do is pester any Mangalorean friend you have to get it for you or ask them where you could pick it up from. :) It will be available in Mumbai & Bangalore for sure, in those good old Mangalorean bakeries.

Tip: Do make some extra & save some for the next day & you will not regret it, it sure is tastier the next day.

The next day...

The fat tends to thicken & form a layer on top which melts when heated up.

Ingredients: (Serves 2 – 3 )          Preparation Time: 3+ hrs (Includes time for marination)
Pork – 400 -500 gms, cubed or small pieces, I used pork belly pieces, throw away some of the fat if you want to, I like having some fat in the curry, so I leave some pieces
Bafat powder – 2.5 – 3 tbsp
Green chilli’s – 2 – 3, finely chopped
Ginger – 1.5 -2 inches piece, finely chopped
Garlic – 7-8 cloves, diced
Red Chilli powder – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp if the Bafat powder is not as spicy as you expected
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble-sized ball soaked in some warm water
Bay leaves – 1,torn into a few pieces
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
White Vinegar – 2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp Note: 1/2 tbsp is used to garnish in the end for that extra zing
Onions – 2 medium-sized, diced
Salt to taste

Marinating the pork:
Wash & drain the pork & keep aside. In a medium-sized pot, mix together the bafat masala, garam masala, ginger, garlic, salt,bay leaves, vinegar, green chilli’s along with the juice squeezed out from the soaking tamarind. Throw in the drained pork pieces. Mix well & let the pork marinate for at least an hour.

Marinated Pork...

Sorry about the Photograph above, clicked at night..

While the pork is marinating you can use this time to chop the onions & making some homemade bread if you wish to, because bread serves as a good accompaniment for this curry as well.

Once the pork has marinated for an hour, transfer this pot on to the stove & begin cooking the pork at low heat. Do not add any water at this stage. The pork lets out its juices & fat as times goes by & let it simmer away with an occasional stir, so that the pieces which are top also get to soak themselves in the juices.

The aroma will surely draw anyone sitting in you living room to the kitchen enquiring about what’s cooking ;), you may also have neighbours asking whats cooking.

When it’s about an hour after the pork has been simmering away, taste the curry & adjust the seasoning. Now is the time to add the extra bit of red chilli powder if you don’t find it hot enough. Throw in the diced onions & mix. Let the curry simmer away for another hour or so. Add about a cup of water. Add more if you prefer it with some gravy or curry. It’s made both ways, dry or with curry.

Go take your shower or watch your TV show. Check & adjust the salt once the onions look cooked & turn translucent. After about 2 hours, taste the pork. It should be cooked through, soft yet enough to chew on. When you begin to see the fat separate & float on top it’s nearly done. Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Don’t overcook. Turn off the heat.

Garnishing: (optional)
Once you turn off the heat, add that extra 1/2 tbsp of vinegar if you wish to.

Dukra Maas..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with sanna’s or bread. Shevio/Shevai/Idiappam (Freshly prepared rice noodles, famous in & around the Western coastal regions of India) also is a good accompaniment.

Dukra Maas..

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Sweet & Sour Pork….Pork ChukkaGreek Souvlaki wrap with salad & tzatzikiSweet Pepper & Soya Sausages etc.

Quick fish curry – Salmon Phanna Upkari

Salmon Phanna Upkari...

I was meaning to have this This typical Konkani post done once I was back in India & when in Mangalore; with the traditional varieties of fish generally used to prepare this dish like Sardines/mackerel, but damn I missed this curry so much that I had to post this. Another reason being I love Salmon. K likes Salmon too; decided why not? Salmon should taste good in this curry. 

Salmon Phanna Upkari...

My grand mum was seafood lovers delight. All thanks to my grandfather who could not let a day pass without having a piece of fish with his meal or so they say, I never had a chance to meet him as he passed away before I was born. My grandmother also got into that habit of – have to have a piece of fish with her meal. She got so good at it that all her relatives were always talking about eating her fish curries & fry’s. Most were sure to stop by for a meal at our house when they visited Mangalore & my grandmother was always ready to cook up a yummy meal & feed them :).

This recipe is the recipe passed on to my grandmother from her aunt, rather my great grand aunts recipe. Its yummy, a tad different from the way other GSB’s/Konkani’s make their Phanna Upkari. Check the ingredients, noting exotic, very few ingredients & yet its a burst of lovely flavours with every bite.

Diwali was always looked forward by me as a kid for crackers & for the amount of fish being cooked & served at home. Diwali was always during the retreating monsoons; this always meant that the sea is less rough & the markets are filled with a varieties of fish. The most popular fish for us during Diwali was Sear fish. There would be loads of fish masala in the fridge. Slices of sear fish marinated with that fiery red masala always sitting ready to be fried in the hot oil..! I can sit all day reminiscing about it.

This curry is hot, tangy & perfect with a bowl of hot steamed/boiled rice. As for the perfect day to have this would be a cold winter/rainy day because it warms you up really well.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 15 mins
Salmon/fish of your choice – 400 gms, washed & cleaned & cut into big chunks
Onion – 1 large, chopped, divided into 1/4 & 3/4 portions
Red chilli powder (optional) – just to add an extra zing if the chilli’s you used does not give the required hot flavour
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

For the freshly ground paste:
Dried red chilli’s – 10-12, use a mix of Kashmiri/byadgi(for the colour) & Kumte(for the spice), remove all the stalks/stems of the chilli’s
Tamarind – a half of marble sized piece
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

In a blender jar add the red chilli’s add 1/4 cup water & grind them into a paste. When the seeds present in the chilli’s are finely ground add the tamarind & the coriander seeds. Grind everything into a smooth paste. Add some more water water if required.Freshly ground red chilli paste..Heat a saucepan, set the heat to medium. Transfer this freshly ground paste to the saucepan & add half a cup of water. Mix well. Let the mixture begin to bubble. Simmer & let the raw flavours fade away.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small fry pan. Once hot throw in 3/4 portion of the onions. Add a pinch of salt & fry till golden brown. Keep aside.

Add more red chilli powder if its not as hot as you want it. Traditionally this curry is supposed to be filled with red chilli flavours & make you cry! Once the raw flavours fade away from the simmering curry, season with salt. Add more water if required, mix well. Add the fish pieces. Don’t mix the curry too much once you add the fish as the fish may tend to break. Once the fish begins to cook & turn white, add 1/4 portion of the onions. Now gently mix the curry taking care not to break the fish pieces. Check & adjust seasoning. Turn off the heat once the fish is cooked.

Curry ready..

Garnish with the fried onions. The super tasty phanna upkari which will surely make you cry & still crave for me is ready…! Keep your pets away.. they are sure to be drawn to your kitchen or your dining area with a whiff of these heavenly dish.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with a hot bowl of steamed/boiled rice.

Salmon Phanna Upkari

If it does not make your nose run, your eyes tear then you have not made it the traditional way we eat it.. !! Thank heavens there are those golden brown onions which add thier awesome sweetness & its a perfect Phann (Phann refers to tempering in Konkani) for this curry.. 

I cooked this for dinner.. hence the pictures were clicked with lights rather than the natural light that I usually prefer.

Note: The colour of the curry solely depends on the type of dried red chilli’s used. So don’t be alarmed if it does not look as red as it does here.

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..Fish Fry with a Konkani style batterMeen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryCrispy MusselsMy kind of Mix-Veg Thai Yellow Curry with PrawnsSungta Hinga Udda/Sungta Randai/Prawns cooked in a red hot coconut gravy – Konkani style/RHCP etc. 

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms….

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

Mushrooms & mushrooms.. can I ever get enough of them.. I don’t think so… just like my other vegetarian friends love paneer.. my favourite starter when I think of going vegetarian for a meal is always Mushroom.. :D

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

I have been meaning to post this recipe from a while.. But never got down to it.. This recipe is real quick.. & I have used minimal oil to fry them.. I just sprinkled some oil on them once the mushrooms were battered… & then used a pastry brush to coat them with oil lightly.. this way the dish uses lesser amount of oil.. guilt free indulgence !!!

The batter I have used is an all time favourite Konkani style batter.. this is used for fish/other veggies & the rice flour used makes it super crispy.. love the fragrance & the flavour added by the asafoetida in this batter..

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms....

Something fried on the side has always been sort of ritual at home.. & it is so in most Konkani homes.. it used to be always a fight between my brother I whenever there is something we both like.. & I would always be hovering around the kitchen to get my extra share since my brother would be glued to his computer games… he would anyways make up for it once the rest got on to the dining table..

I mention that this serves 2 but I can eat it all by myself & I just did after clicking the pictures.. ;)

You may think I’m a hog, I can be one when it gets to certain dishes..

Ingredients: (Serves 2)       Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Baby Button Mushrooms – 150 gms
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Rice flour – 1 tbsp
Cooking oil – 1 tsp or less
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, asafoetida, red chilli powder & salt to taste. Now, cut each mushroom into 2, then wash the mushrooms & drain away the excess water. Immediately transfer the mushrooms into the mixing bowl which has the spiced flour mixture..

Gently move the mushrooms around so that they coated with the flour. Sprinkle few drops of water if the flour fails to coat the mushrooms.. Remember not too much of water.. just keep sprinkling a few drops every time, till they are coated as shown.

Battered mushrooms..

Keep aside for about 10 minutes.

Heat a fry pan. Set heat to medium. Dip a pastry brush in oil & apply some oil to the fry pan. Sprinkle a few drops of oil over the battered mushrooms & mix again.

When the pan heats up add enough mushrooms to the fry pan & fry them.

Fry the mushrooms with very little oil...

Lower heat if required. Coat the frying mushrooms with some more oil using the pastry brush if they look dry. Gently toss them around till they are golden brown & crisp.

Crispy golden brown mushrooms ready to be served..

Take them off heat once done. Repeat this method & finish frying all the mushrooms.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a starter or a side dish with rice & dali toy.. yummy…!

Crispy Rice flour battered Mushrooms...

I just finished them in 2 minutes after clicking the pictures.. :P

If you like this recipe, then you may also like - Fried CauliflowerCabbage Ambade/ cabbage & onion frittersChicken FryFish Fry with a Konkani style batter etc.

Soyee Bhajjile Chana Ghashi/Black chickpeas in sautéed coconut paste curry..

Soyee Bhajjile Chana Ghashi/Black chickpeas in sautéed coconut paste curry..

Being away from home always makes you crave for those things that you miss.. people of course would top everyone’s list.. next would be food for sure..

Its hard to find all the ingredients from your home country when abroad.. specially the fresh ingredients, so you have to do with canned ones if your lucky enough to live in a place where there are many of your kind & you have stores which sell goods from your country… Out of the things I miss a lot is jackfruit & dishes made of them.. If you remember a few weeks back I had posted a sweet dish made with flavours of jackfruit called madgane.. This curry has flavours from adding raw jackfruit.. I had to use canned raw jackfruit… Can’t complain.. I’m glad I get to buy canned ones when I have a craving to eat this curry.. Also the best part is that since its canned I don’t have to wait for the jackfruit season.. It will be available all through the year.. :)

This is a Konkani style curry. Soyee refers to coconut in Konkani. Again, the ingredients for the freshly ground paste are the same as that used for Ambat & other Ghashi recipe’s that I have posted earlier. The only difference here is that the coconut is sautéed in some oil, till it turns golden brown before grinding it with the other ingredients.

Konkani cuisine has a lot of variety when it comes to vegetarian food.. I would say Konkani food would be any vegetarians delight if tweaked to their taste; since Konkani food uses a lot of coconut.. it may not suit everyone’s palette. Soyee Bhajjile Chana Ghashi/Black chickpeas in sautéed coconut paste curry....

Along with the soaked black chickpeas or channa you also add a vegetable. This can be chunks of breadfruit, raw jackfruit, potatoes or yam. Since breadfruit & jackfruit are seasonal, back in India they obviously come under the delicacies bracket. I had grabbed a can of raw jackfruit along with the ripe ones from the Indian store. Hence I have the privilege of eating this today for lunch.. :)

My mum loves curry’s with jackfruit more than I do. So almost every time I would pass them on from my plate to her plate & keep just a piece for me.. I wish I could pass it on from my plate to her’s when I’m eating this. I miss her a lot.. This is dedicated to her.. :)

Note: You can make the same curry without sautéing the coconut as well. But that tastes different from this one. The non-sautéed version is usually prepared for festivals.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)         Preparation Time: 20 mins
Raw Jackfruit chunks – 12-15 pieces, pieces as big as a 2 toffees kept together
Black chickpeas – 1 cup, washed & soaked overnight
Freshly Grated coconut – 3/4 of a medium-sized coconut
Dried red chilli’s – 5-6, spicy ones + 2-3 Kashmiri chilli’s for colour
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig, around 7-8 leaves
Oil – 1 + 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Wash the soaked chickpeas & drain the water away & keep aside.

Soaked & drained channa/chickpeas

Oil roast the freshly grated coconut & both varieties of dried red chilli’s in a fry pan, till the coconut turns golden brown as shown. Do this on medium heat. Do not let chilli’s or coconut turn black or deep reddish brown, if it does, you will have to throw it away. Keep this aside & let it cool down to room temperature. Next dry roast the coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds & 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds.
The sautéed grated coconut & dried red chilli's...

While the grated coconut cools down, bring about 750 ml of water to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add the drained soaked chickpea & the chunks of raw jackfruit. Add salt to taste & pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. You need the chickpea cooked but firm. So do not overcook them. If they are hard even after 4-5 whistles, take out the jackfruit, keep aside & cook the chickpea for another 1-2 whistles or till done. Note: I used the pressure cooker to sauté the coconut & red chilli’s.. just to save on washing up another vessel.. :P Hence you see some coconut floating around in the pressure cooker.. :)

Add the raw jackfruit & chickpea to the boiling water in a pressure cooker..

While the chickpeas are cooking, you can grind the coconut, red chilli’s, roasted fenugreek, coriander seeds & cumin along with the tamarind to as smooth a paste as possible. Add water as required to help you grind.

Note: Some grind the ingredients to a coarse paste, it all depends on how you like it.

Once the chickpeas are cooked & the pressure from the cooker is off. Bring them to a boil again. Set heat to medium. Add this freshly ground paste, mix well & let the mixture bubble for 5 minutes. Now simmer. Check seasoning & adjust. If the curry is too thick, add some water & adjust the consistency. This curry should not be too runny though.

Tip: If you want it hot, then add red chilli powder as per your taste. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil (If you like your tempering with more oil, use more) in a tempering vessel. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds, let them sizzle, next add the cumin seeds, when they begin to change colour, add the curry leaves & turn off the heat. Transfer the tempering to the simmering curry. Turn off the heat. Soyee Bhajjile Chana Ghashi/Black chickpeas in sautéed coconut paste curry..

Serving Suggestions: Best accompaniment is a bowl of hot, boiled red rice or steamed white rice. Served with some vegetable stir fry (Konkani style),some pappad/poppadams & some pickle.

Soyee Bhajjile Chana Ghashi/Black chickpeas in sautéed coconut paste curry.. Tip: You can also add a dollop of ghee on top of he rice when you serve; adds some more yumminess to this already yummy curry. If you like this recipe, then you may also like - Batani Ambat/ Konkani Style Green Peas in Coconut, Tamarind gravy, Kale Koddel/ Raw plantain in a tangy coconut curry…, Muga Ghashi/ Sprouted Mung bean in a tangy coconut curry- Konkani Style etc.

Madgane – one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish….


First things first, for all those who don’t know what Payasam is… let me explain.. It is a thick or a little runny sweet dish prepared in the Southern states of India; an integral part of a South Indian meal. It is traditionally served after a meal, on the banana leaf & is scooped out with your entire palm; wiped clean by your tongue, while the other hand is used to hold the ends of the banana leaf so that the payasam does not flow out of the leaf.. Oh, very messy indeed.. but very yummy..

There are loads of kinds of Payasams. Some are made by boiling rice/dal/semolina etc in milk or coconut milk with sugar/jaggery & then flavoured with saffron, cardamom etc & garnished with raisins, cashews, pistachios or almonds.

As we never had dessert after a meal in my house; for me Payasam is a sign of the festive period or a celebration. Madgane is the quintessential Konkani payasam which is made of Split bengal gram in coconut milk, sweetened with jaggery. In Konkani, all payasams  are referred to as Goddi..  The traditional Madgane recipe does not use jackfruit, but when the jackfruit season is on, you do tend to add a good amount of chopped jackfruit into the pot while preparing this & garnished with some cashews & raisins, finally flavoured with some powdered cardamom.

Madgane - one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish...

When at home, I like to drink it out of a glass :) that’s the reason I have served it this way.. :) But it can’t beat the method of wiping your palm & fingers clean off some paysam scooped out of a banana leaf. If you have had a chance to eat it this way, you may know what I’m talking about.

I was leisurely scanning the Indian grocery store on one of our grocery shopping trips & my eyes fell on a can of jackfruit!!! I jumped with joy as I love the fruit & I so missed not eating it.. & there were flashes of all the things jackfruit is used for.. & what topped the list was Madgnae!! Madgane with oodles of jackfruit is one of my favourite payasams.. So i instantly picked up a can. Over the weekend we had a potluck party at home. I was busy with other chores so I promised all that there would be a yummy payasam from me for dessert & I ended up preparing this.. :)

Madgane - one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish..

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Split Bengal gram/Chana dal – 1 cup
Jaggery – as per taste
Coconut Milk – 300 ml, medium-thick
Jackfruit (optional) – 4-5 pockets, de-seeded & chopped finely, if you like to bite into them, then chop them into small pieces
Cashews – 8-10, chopped or use more if you wish
Raisins – 1 tbsp or use more if you wish, soak them in some water
Green Cardamom – 2 whole, finely powdered

Wash & soak the split bengal gram for 10-15 minutes before you start (This is to facilitate easy cooking of the dal). Transfer the soaked chana dal into a pressure cooker, cook with water enough to cover the dal 1 inch above its level. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Remember you do not want the dal to get all mashed up. (Check on it once the pressure is off, if the dal is not cooked as required then pressure cook for another whistle).

Tip: I heat water using a kettle so that I can avoid the time taken for the water to come to a boil.

Meanwhile when you are waiting for the pressure to come off, of the pressure cooker, you can bring the coconut milk to a boil in a pot. Simmer & add the jaggery & mix well. Add the chopped jackfruit. Next add the chopped cashews & soaked raisins. Add the cooked dal & its water to the simmering coconut milk. Mix well. Check the sweetness level; adjust as per your taste. Increase the heat to medium. Let the payasam comes to a boil again, let the payasam bubble for a minute or two, turn off the heat.

Note: This payasam tends to thicken up as times passes by because of the dal in it. So add a dash of water when you re-heat leftovers & adjust the sweet levels accordingly.

Garnish with the powdered cardamom.

Glasses waiting to be poured in..

Mix well before you serve.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot as a dessert after a South-Indian meal. Else as dessert after any meal of your choice & drink it off a cup like I do or serve it in a bowl.

Madgane - one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish...

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Caramel CustardYogurt Filled Strawberry Pots!Muhallabia.. a Lebanese sweet dish….Lime n Lemon Cheesecake Pots etc.

Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..

Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..

My mouth waters; just writing this post. The sad part is that I had prepared this dish long back, but never had the time to write the recipe down & post it.. Last week when we were in London visiting friends & trying to enjoy some British Sun.. I ended up preparing this curry for the friends we were staying with.. They instantly fell in love with the curry & we finished up a whole pot of this curry at one go.. ! That’s when I realised that I had missed out posting this recipe..!

Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..

Alle in Konkani refers to ginger & Piyav refers to Onions.. This dish would be something you might have never had before unless you frequented a Konkani friends house for meals.. :)

Not rocket science…the very basic ingredients to make ghashi/ambat/koddel or any other Konkani curry or gravy made of coconut… Such curry’s are referred to as Masla randai.. Randai is curry in Konkani & Masla refers to the coconut+tamarind+dried red chilli’s paste that is the base for most currys. The flavour of this dish is from the raw onions+ginger+green chilli’s+Coconut oil thrown in when the curry is ready, fish of course adds its flavours..

Again, the traditional method involves grinding freshly grated coconut, some tamarind & oil roasted dried red chilli’s together to a smooth paste. But as I don’t have the luxury to get fresh coconut here every time I want to prepare any Konkani curry I end up using equivalent amount of coconut milk & red chilli powder with Tamarind water to make the same curry. The taste is almost like the original just that the curry is a wee bit liquidy than it should be because of the coconut milk. I’ll describe the easy method of preparing this curry.

The irony is that.. as a kid I never ate fish curry’s.. I always wanted fish fry.. ! I need to make up for all the years that I missed eating this curry.. The sad part is that now I won’t have a chance to eat the best fish curry ever..! My grandmother made the best fish curry ever!.. She is unwell & she doesn’t cook anymore.. :(..!

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)      Preparation Time: 15-20 mins
Fish – 600 gms of Haddock/Salmon/King fish or any fish of your choice. Scales removed & cut into large chunks. I used Haddock. (Tip: Haddock tends to crumble easily if you over cook… So add the fish only when all the raw flavours in the curry have faded away..)
Thick Coconut Milk – 500 ml
Red Chilli powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp, adjust based on your taste
Tamarind – 1 marble-sized piece, soaked in 50 ml of warm water
Red onion – 1 medium-sized, chopped
Green Chilli’s – 1-2, slit or cut into small rings
Ginger – 1.5 inch piece, finely chopped
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp, use more if you like the flavour or you can swap with any other cooking oil of your choice if you do not like using coconut oil
Salt to taste

Transfer the coconut milk to a deep bottom pan. Set the heat to medium, let the coconut milk come to a boil. Simmer. Add the red chilli powder, mix well. Make sure there are no lumps. Next add the tamarind water, throw away the pulp. Add salt to taste.

Chunks of Haddock & Coconut milk..

Let this bubble for about minutes. When the raw flavours fade away… add the fish pieces. Close with a lid & let the fish cook for 4-5 minutes. If the curry is too thick, add some water to achieve the desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning. Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat off, throw in the chopped red onions, green chilli’s & ginger. Lastly, pour in the coconut oil.

Traditional method involves the following change:
Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a tempering vessel or a fry pan and set the heat to medium. Now fry the dried red chilli (8-10 chilli’s; medium hot variety) in the oil till it loses it bright red colour and turns into a light shade of brown or deep red. Do not let them turn black or dark brown. Take them off heat and cool them. Once it has cooled to room temperature add them along with the tamarind, grated coconut (1 large coconut is to be used) to a mixer jar and grind it to a smooth paste. You may need to add a little water (1-2 tbsp) to turn it into a smooth paste. Use this paste & add water based on the consistency of the curry you require & the rest of the steps remain the same.

Serving Suggestions:
Traditionally served hot with a bowl of boiled rice… You can serve with steamed rice too.

Alle Piyava Ghashi/Konkani style Fish curry..

I hope you relish this recipe as much as I do.. Enjoy your weekend guys.. :)

If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy – Fish Fry with a Konkani style batterMeen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curryGrilled/Baked fish in Green MasalaCrispy MusselsMy kind of Mix-Veg Thai Yellow Curry with Prawns etc.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma….

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma..

To begin with.. I’ll mention a few facts about Couscous… for the benefit of those who don’t know what couscous is all about… :) they are tiny granules of Durum wheat which are cooking by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughput the North African cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya etc. It is more than just a quick cook starch. Couscous contains 1% fat-to-calorie ratio. These yellow pellets are hard to make. They were traditionally made  by skilled hands, involving endless circular movements.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Thanks to globalisation in the food industry, Couscous has suddenly become very popular in the last decade or so, among people all round the world.  Most multi-cuisine restaurants offer couscous as an option instead of rice/potatoes.

I love this Upma, I prefer this over the usual Semolina upma prepared in Southern India. I eat this for breakfast at least once a week. Pretty filling as well. To me this tastes very much like the Idli upma my mum prepares from left over Idli’s at times..

This recipe was long pending. Had promised a friend who was supposed to switch to healthier food to help reduce her weight. This one is for you. :) I don’t want to mention her name here.. She would know when she reads the post. :)

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Note: Instead of using couscous you can try the same recipe with semolina or fine rice noodles known as Vermicelli in India. But make sure you dry roast both the semolina or the vermicelli before you use it. Semolina is used for both savoury & sweet dish preparations.

Ingredients: (Serves 3)       Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Couscous – 1.5 cups,
Note: For every 1 cup of couscous, water required to cook it usually is 1.5 cups. But check the cooking instructions on your packet…
Beans – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Fresh/ frozen Green peas – 1/4, cup
Carrot – finely chopped, 1/4 cup
Tomato – 1, medium-sized, finely chopped
Green Chilli – 2-3, finely chopped, add more if you like your Upma spicy
Curry Leaves – 7-8, roughly torn
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Ginger – chopped, as much as 1 tsp,
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Cashews (optional) – 6-8, cut into 2
Coriander leaves (optional) – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat a deep bottom fry pan or saucepan. Set heat to medium. When oil is hot, add asafoetida, let it sizzle for a few seconds & the heavenly aroma fill your nose up. :) Now add the mustard seeds & let them splutter. Now add the finely chopped green chilli’s & fry them for a goof minute or two, so that the spice gets induced into the oil. Next add the cumin seeds, when they turn golden brown add the urad dal, when they turn golden brown, add the cashews if you wish to. Let the cashews fry for a minute, next add the onion & curry leaves. Add salt to help fry the onions quicker.

When the onions turn translucent, add the beans, carrot. Let them fry for 2-3 minutes. Add some salt. Next add the tomatoes & green peas. Fry till the tomatoes begin to loosen up, now add the couscous. Add the water. Add salt to taste.

Tip: I usually heat the water up in a kettle so that I can avoid the time taken to bring the water to a boil. If you add water at room temperature & let it come to a boil, the veggies get overcooked & lose their crunchiness. I like my veggies crunchy in my Upma.

Simmer, cover & cook as per the instructions on your packet. I usually simmer & cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off & let the upma stand for another 5 minutes.

Use a fork & separate the couscous grains out.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with chopped coriander if you wish to. I did not add coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot for breakfast with a hot cup of Tea/Coffee or Hot Chocolate.. :) or you can eat & carry this as a snack. If you want to spice it up a bit more then serve the upma with some pickle of your choice or any chutney.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

If you liked this recipe, check out -

Spring Onion Semiya Upma,

Blanketed Frankfurters…,

Capsicum Omelette…,

Sabudana Khichdi/Soaked Tapioca pearls tossed with some Indian spices…,

Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka etc.


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