Bringing Imagination to your Cooking…!!!

Karnataka

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

Method:
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.. 🙂

 


Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes….

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

Hiya, hope alls been well with all of you, I would like to share some awesome news with all of you, my recipe for Shahi Paneer has been nominated to be one among the best 200 recipe’s for Shahi Paneer recipe’s on the internet. The recipe with the maximum number of votes will be chosen as the winner. Here is the link.  My recipe is randomly positioned at No.29, do cast your vote if you think I deserve the vote. :).

A few days after we moved, K’s aunt – Geetha Atte (Atte in Kannada refers to Dad’s sister) had asked us to come over for breakfast. I would not have accepted the offer if she did not live close-by ;). Breakfast has always been one of the areas I need to work on. Not being a morning person has some advantages like – You can sleep longer. Have eggs for a quick breakfast & minimise your morning dishes.. :D. All this works when your just a couple I guess. So all you guys out there with kids would be cursing me as they have early morning hustle bustle & enormous amounts of cooking & dirty dishes in the sink. When it comes to disadvantages, there are loads, I have no time for an elaborate breakfast. Breakfast dishes which require a lot of prepping up are a big No No! Before you are done with breakfast you need to begin thinking about lunch :(.

Ah well back to the breakfast invite. When we went over to Geetha Atte’s house, she was ready with the batter for Rotti (Rotti is a savoury pancake in Karnataka). When she asked us if we were ready to have hot rotti’s, I thought she was referring to the traditional Akki Rotti (A recipe I posted a while back in the blog), the usual rotti prepared for breakfast by people from Karnataka. When she was preparing the rotti in the kitchen, the aroma that filled the house was very different from the one you usually fills the air when you prepare Akki Rotti. Different people prepare akki rotti with different veggies, I thought maybe she was using something different from the veggies I had tried before in Akki rotti. When she served us the rotti, I was surprised looking at the colour & texture as it did not look anything like akki rotti & nor did it taste like it. When I asked her what it was, she explained that it was just like akki rotti, made of semolina instead of rice flour & instead of water to bind the ingredients together, she uses tender cucumber juice. Then I figured that the rotti did have a subtle flavour of cooked cucumbers. All in all really yummy. She made really large rotti’s & I ended up eating 2 of them, I simply loved them.

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

I have been meaning to prepare this at home since that day & share the recipe with all of you. The recipe is quite similar to Akki Rotti & served with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle of your choice. Today happened to be that day.. :D. K likes the rotti’s thin & crispy. You can make them thicker too but these tend to get kinda heavy on the tummy; you have one & your done with your breakfast, so we prefer it thinner, so that we can eat a couple of them each. Well I don’t really know if this dish frequents in other Kannadiga’s kitchen’s, but for me it was a real catch.

The reason I have been playing Hide & Seek through my blog is because I have finally taken a step to being an Entrepreneur, I have been busy working out things & have started my Home Baking venture called “Floured”. 🙂 I’m all excited & have been baking & packing the orders :D. Do wish me luck guys..! I promise to post as often as I can on Keli Paan, I won’t forget my first baby!!.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3) Preparation Time: 30 mins
Fine Semolina/ Rava – 1.5 – 2 cups, You do not need pre-roasted rava for this.
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, skin off & grated
Onion greens – 2-3 stalks, finely chopped. Note: you can use Spring onions greens as well.
Cucumber – 1 medium-sized, peeled. Note: make sure you have one with real tender seeds, else the large seeds will make the juice grainy
Green chilli’s – 3 medium-sized, slit & fine chopped into bits
Coriander leaves – 4-5 sprigs, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Freshly Grated coconut (optional) – 2 tbsp,
Cooking oil – as per need
Salt to taste

Method:
Take a medium-sized mixing bowl & add the chopped onions, grated carrot, chopped onion greens, coriander, green chilli’s, cumin seeds, asafoetida & salt to taste. Mix well. Keep aside. Let the onion sweat & let out some water.

Roughly chop the peeled cucumber & blend it to a smooth paste. Do not add any water.

Note: 1. If you could not find a tender cucumber for this, make sure scoop out the seeds & throw them away, before you blend.
2. Geetha Atte says you can even grate the cucumber, but she prefers the convert it to juice.

Mix the juice along with the other ingredients & also add 1.5 cups of rava/semolina & the grated coconut if you wish to add. (I did not choose to add grated coconut). Mix well. Check if you need to add some more salt. We need a easy to handle dough. Not too dry & not too wet. If there is too much water in there, add some more semolina till you achieve a consistency which is easy to handle. Those of you who are familiar with akki rotti will know what I’m talking about.

Divide the dough into 4-5 equal portions. Take a tava or a pancake pan & spread one portion of the dough evenly around on the tava, using your fingertips. Spread it as thick or thin, it is completely upto your preference.

Spread out one portion evenly on the tava...

Place the tava on the stove & turn on the heat to medium. Sprinkle some drops of oil around just like you do when preparing a Dosa or a pancake. Cover & cook. Check after 2-3 minutes. Add some more oil if required. Cook till the rotti/pancake starts to separate away from the pan or starts to brown from the bottom. Turn over, cover & cook for another minute.

Turn the rotti over....

Take the lid off & transfer the rotti to a plate.

Tips: If you are using a non-stick coated tava then I suggest you have 2 tava’s when you plan to prepare this. After you take out one rotti, you will need to cool the tava back to room temperature. Else you will not be able to spread the dough & there are chances you will burn your fingertips.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with your favourite accompaniment. We usually eat Rotti’s with chutney, thokku, chutney pudi or pickle.

Rava Rotti/Savoury Semolina pancakes...

Notes:
1. No turmeric in here. Don’t think I forgot to mention it in the ingredient list. The slight yellow hue is from the grated carrots.
2. Never spread the rotti on a hot tava, You will end up burning your fingertips & plus it is a waste of time as you will not be able to spread the dough around.
3. You will need another tava at room temperature to prep up for the next rotti. Basically you need time to cool the one that is come off the heat & prep it again for its turn while the other one is on heat.
If you are looking for the akki rotti recipe on my blog – Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka

If you are looking for recipe’s for an accompaniment – Chutney’s & Thokku.


Charmure Undo.. A guest post by Manjula..

Charmure Undo

It’s been a while since I had gotten to know Manjula who is a fellow Konkana blogger.  She has a lovely blog called Lakshmi Canteen & she specializes in Konkani cuisine & has some amazing recipe’s. Since she lives in the US she has access to a wider variety of Indian vegetables & ingredients, so I could not help but ask if she was interested in writing out a guest post for me & the foodie spirit in her made her agree instantly even though she was in between moving houses.. So I asked her to take her time & send the post to me whenever she was ready.. ! 

Over to Manjula….

My name is Manjula Pai and I am from Udupi, now living in Atlanta, US. My blog – Lakshmi Canteen is focused on vegetarian recipes, mostly from South Coast of Karnataka. 

 Charmure Undo

I was so happy when Anitha requested me to write a guest post in her awesome blog. This is my first ever guest post, so I decided to post a simple, healthy sweet – Charmure Undo (Puffed Rice Ladoo). I hope you all enjoy this recipe. 

Charmre Undo

I thank Anitha for giving me this opportunity. I truly love her space. Now let’s get back to the recipe.

Ingredients:
Puffed Rice- 4- 4 1/2 cups
Dark Jaggery / Antu Bella – 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder (freshly ground) – 1/2 tsp
Ghee (Clarified butter) – For greasing hands

Notes:

Puffed Rice – It has to be very crispy. If you feel that it is not crispy then dry roast it in a pan for few minutes. 

Jaggery – Jaggery used here has to be the one I have mentioned above. The regular jaggery doesn’t have the binding property.

Procedure:

Making these ladoos is very simple. It is a 3 step process – melt the jaggery, add puffed rice,  and finally form the Ladoos

The jaggery I used looked like this (This jaggery is very soft and is specially used to make ladoos, burfi, chikkis, it differs from the usual one used as a sweetener in coffee’sThis jaggery has good binding capabilities and has a distinct taste).

Jaggery

Take a big pot. Heat the jaggery on a medium flame along with 4-5 Tbsp of water. The jaggery begins to melt and starts to boil. It will look like deep colored caramel.

 Melting Jaggery

Continue heating till the end point. To know the end point, add 1-2 drops of melted jaggery in a small bowl containing water for every 2-3 minutes. The jaggery should form a firm drop. Once this consistency is reached, turn off the heat immediately. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Finally add puffed rice and mix until everything gets uniformly coated with the jaggery syrup.

Mix the puffed rice with the jaggery..

Allow it to cool slightly (remember that the mixture hardens as it cools). Once you are able to handle the mixture, grease your palms with ghee. Then take small amount of mixture and form ladoos of desired size. Continue making ladoos, till you consume all the mixture.

Churum Undo

Charmure Undo is ready!!

Thanks Manjula for this lovely recipe, perfect timing as Diwali is around the corner… 🙂 I always hesitate when it comes to posting sweet-dishes  since I don’t have  a sweet tooth. Been a while since I ate these, thanks for making me take a walk down memory lane with this post… I remember eating them when my grandmother used to make them. I had completely forgotten about these ladoos..  I remember my cousins used to have competitions on how quick you can eat these ladoos. These ladoos are so crispy & yummy you won’t stop at one… they are so light & you can indulge as it is made from jaggery & not sugar… 🙂

If you liked this recipe, you may also like – Madgane – one of the quintessential Konkani Payasam/sweet-dish….Gaajar Halwa/ Carrot HalwaMuhallabia.. a Lebanese sweet dish…. etc. 


Egg Puffs – A Savoury, South Indian Bakery treat

Egg Puffs...

Is there anyone who has not had puffs for a snack? I guess there won’t be anyone I know of, unless of course you don’t like it..

Bakery products are quite famous in the Southern States of India… Apart from Bread, you get cream rolls, jam rolls, apple cakes, their basic cupcakes, different kinds of biscuits, cutlets, rusks & of course puffs.. There are many different kinds of puffs available. Starting from the basic veg puff there are options like chicken puffs, mutton puffs, egg puffs are the most famous as there are more eggitarians around than meat eaters. But the newer additions to these traditional ones are mushroom, paneer puffs… 🙂

Egg Puffs - A South Indian, Savoury Bakery treat...

K’s Maternal uncle owns a Bakery & K loves most of the bakery products available.. His favourite being Rusk which we all love to dip in a cup of tea… other than that whenever we visit his uncles bakery we always have to have an egg puff if it’s not sold out already.. 🙂

But my love for puffs began as a kid. We always have a snack in the evening back in my parents house. It is usually the breakfast dish that we end up eating as a snack, but on those days mum was under the weather or if she was busy we would pick up Puffs on the way back from school. There is this tiny bakery near our house called P.R Bakery.. the owners are Malayali’s (People who belong to the state of Kerala, India).. To this you would say.. aren’t most bakery’s owned by Malayali’s??? while we ponder on that thought.. let me continue.. & then its been in my life everywhere.. even when I moved to Manipal for studies, then to Bangalore for work it was always available in the vicinity… a bakery was present at almost every corner in bangalore.. 🙂 … K & I both miss eating this..

I have prepared this a couple of times.. but never had any patience to click pictures & post pictures along with the recipe.. 😛 But I don’t think I will even have a thought of preparing this back in India since its so readily available, who would go through all the trouble.. 😛 Here I have the luxury of buying ready rolled puff pastry.. which is a blessing.. the entire process of rolling puff pastry is very tedious, requires a lot of patience & I ran out patience this one time.. 😛

I wanted to pack them for K as a snack, but unfortunately it took longer than I expected to turn golden brown & he had to leave without them.. 😦 So kept his share aside..

This is easy peasy if you can get your hands on some ready rolled puff pastry.

The shape of the puff may vary from bakery to bakery, I have eaten square/triangular/rectangular & circular puffs.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 45 – 50 mins
Ready rolled Puff Pastry1/2 a sheet or more depending on the size of the puffs you want to prepare
Eggs – 2,
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped the way you wish
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, finely chopped
Green Chilli’s – 2, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Freshly crushed black pepper powder – as per taste
Garam Masala Powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder (optional) – a pinch
Fresh Green Peas (optional) – 1/4 cup
Curry leaves – 6-7 leaves roughly torn
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees if it’s a fan assisted oven else to 220 degrees.

In a pot filled with water, boil the eggs & keep aside. De-shell the eggs & slit them into 2.

While the oven heats up, heat oil in a fry pan set to medium heat. When the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds & let them sizzle. Once they begin to change colour add the green chilli’s & sauté them for a minute so that the spice gets infused into the oil.

Next add the ginger & the chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt (add turmeric if you wish to), sauté them till they turn translucent. Now add the garam masala powder & mix well. When the raw flavours begin to fade away, add a tbsp of water & then add the curry leaves along with the slit eggs. Add the green peas if you wish to. Add salt to taste & crushed black pepper. Mix well. Turn off the heat before the peas turn hard.

Filling is ready....

Do not take out the pastry sheet from the fridge till this stage, i.e once you have the filling ready, get it out. Now cut the pastry sheets into the desired size as shown.

Cut four pieces from the ready rolled puff pastry sheet as shown..

Divide the filling into 4 equal portions, each having one half of an egg. Now add each portion to the centre of each cut puff pastry sheet as shown.

Add the divided portions of the filling to each cut puff pastry piece...

Close the sheet over the egg as shown. Seal the edges lightly.

Transfer them on a baking tray lined with some baking sheet which is greased.

Bake in the pre-heated oven till the outer covering of the puff turns golden brown. Ideally around 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot along with ketchup or dip of your choice.

Egg Puffs...
Hope you like this recipe, if you did, then you may also like – Bun Masala / Scrambled Egg BurgerBread rolls with an Indian flavour/Masala bread rolls.. they go perfect with Masala chai..Chicken Frankie RollRed pesto Egg Bomb Burgers… etc.


The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji – South Indian style

The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji - South Indian style

Who doesn’t love a good Masala Dosa.. what makes a Masala Dosa really special? Of course the bhaji added in between the dosa. This bhaji is so simple to prepare that if you’re a dosa lover, you will instantly stop going to restaurants once you learn to prepare this bhaji at home…

South Indian Style potato bhaji.. for masala dosa..

This recipe is very versatile because it has so many accompaniments.. a few I can think of are – a ladle between your dosa for Masala Dosa/eat it with Puri’s/ add it between bread slices for a sandwich/grill it between bread slices (with some cheese of course)/Add it when your baking buns for yummy Potato bun – Iyengar bakery style/ eat it with chapati’s/make a burger with this as a filling… versatile isn’t it??

Aloo bhaji- South Indian Style

Similar bhaji is also prepared in the Northern states of India, but the ingredients that add a South Indian touch to this curry leaves & a few tsp of lentils with some asafoetida for the tempering. The aroma is lovely.. like I always say.. South Indian food has the lovely aroma of the tempering added to it.

I omit the lentils added to the this recipe as I’m not a big fan of it. I remember asking my MIL “Whats the need to add the lentils to the tempering.. (as I always made my mum omit it if I was around :P) & she replied that Vegetarians always fall short of proteins, hence they are added as a part of the tempering to include it your food”. Well in the recipe below I have included it in the ingredients list, so you can customise it based on your taste.

As usual K’s lunchbox is a big deal for me.. he loves the Potato buns from his uncle’s Iyengar bakery, there were some burger buns lying around.. thought why not I fill them up with some of this bhaji.. he will surely enjoy them.. 🙂

Aloo Masala Burger..

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 depends on how much of filling you like)    Preparation Time: 20 mins
Potatoes – 2 medium-sized potatoes, unpeeled
Red onion – 1, medium-sized, finely chopped or diced
Ginger – half an inch piece, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 2, finely chopped/slit, choice is yours
Mustard seeds – half tsp
Cumin seeds – half a tsp
Bengal gram/chana dal – 1 tsp
Urad dal/Split black gram dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 7-8, roughly torn
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Asafoetida – a pinch
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Bring one litre of water to a boil or enough to cover the potatoes; add some salt & pressure cook the potatoes for 2 whistles. Make sure the pressure is off before opening the cooker. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl of water at room temperature to cool them off. Peel the skin off & throw away the water. Cut the potatoes into cubes. Keep aside.

Tip: While the potatoes are cooking You can use the time to chop & get the base for the masala ready.

Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan/kadai. Set heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds & let them sizzle for a minute. Add urad dal & bengal gram. When they begin to change colour, add the cumin seeds & when they begin to change colour add the chopped green chilli’s & ginger. Sauté them for a minute so that the spice gets infused into the oil. Next add the asafoetida & let it sizzle for a few seconds.

Now add the chopped onions & a pinch of salt & turmeric. Sauté them till they turn translucent. Add the curry leaves. Mix well. Add the cubed, pressure cooked potatoes. Add salt to taste. Mix well & let them absorb the flavours. Turn off the heat when the potatoes begin to get mashed up when you move them around.

Turn off the heat when the potatoes begin to get mashed up.

Note: Some add garden peas to this recipe as well. You can add some if you wish to.

Garnishing:
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji - South Indian style

Serving Suggestions:
As mentioned earlier, this dish is very versatile.. serve with Dosa for delicious Masala Dosa/ with Puri’s/Poori’s / with Chapati’s or make a sandwich with this as the filling, you can grill the sandwich as well/ Add this as a filling when you bake buns.

Or make Aloo Masala burgers like I did.. pack them for a picnic or for food on the go.. 🙂

Aloo Masala burgers..

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.. 🙂

If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy – Adraki Aloo Gobi/Gingery Potato & Cauliflower, Peppery Raw plantain sabji…, Easy Potato fry/ Aloo fry, Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala… 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

Method:
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.

Garnishing:
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.


North Karnataka Badanekai yenagai/ Small purple Brinjals in a sweet & nutty sauce

North Karnataka Badanekai yenagai/ Small purple Brinjals in a sweet & nutty sauce....

This dish is like a favourite among all dwelling in the Northern part of Karnataka. The first time I ever tasted this, was when I used to stay with about 20 other girls in a hostel in Bangalore. My roommate was from Bellary & she brought this from home, when she got back after a holiday. I don’t really like brinjal, if you notice this is my first post which has brinjal in it. But, believe me this is dish is yummy.. the minute you taste the masala that’s wrapped all around the brinjal, you will for sure want more.. Brinjal is called Badanekai in Kannada. Something slow fried in a little excess oil is called Yenagai..

North Karnataka Badanekai yenagai/ Small purple Brinjals in a sweet & nutty sauce....

Peanuts, sesame, cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds & red chilli’s all dry roasted & mixed with some coconut & tamarind & ground together to form a yummy paste, which is later on stuffed inside the brinjal & cooked along with some tempered mustard seeds, asafoetida & some heavenly smelling curry leaves .. I know your mouth must be watering reading this elaborate description. 🙂 It does take a wee bit more time than most of the other dishes I posted earlier. But all the efforts are totally worth it, & I’m sure you won’t disagree once you try it.

This is popularly eaten with a North Karnataka style Indian bread/roti called Jolada Rotti, which is made of corn meal/Jolada hittu (Kannada)/Makki ka atta (Punjabi) (Thanks to El for pointing this out to me.. I wrote corn flour instead of corn meal). It’s very thin & quite filling. This post is only on how you can prepare Badanekai Yenagai. You can also eat this with chapatis’.

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)          Preparation Time – 40-45 mins
Small Purple brinjal/aubergine/eggplant – 6-7,
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Red onion – 1 small-sized, finely chopped
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Small Purple Brinjal/Eggplants/Aubergines..

For the Masala:
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cloves – 4 Cloves
Cinnamon stick – a small piece, about half an inch piece
Dried Red Chilies – 4-5, medium-spicy variety, if you have only a spicy variety then use 2-3, or use 4-5 if you love your food spicy.. 🙂
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp, I used white sesame seeds
Pink groundnuts – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut – 6 tbsp if you are using fresh coconut, else 5 tbsp of desiccated coconut
Tamarind – 1/2 of a marble-sized piece
Jaggery – a small piece, about 1/2 tsp if you powder it
Red onion – 1 small-sized chopped
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a fry pan, set heat to medium. First add the groundnuts to the fry pan & dry roast it, after about a minute add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, dried red chilli’s & sesame seeds. Don’t let them burn, keep tossing them around till the groundnuts begin to pop around. Turn off the heat & let it cool down to room temperature.

Now grind the dry roasted ingredients along with the grated coconut, tamarind, jaggery & salt to taste. Add about 50 ml of water to help you grind these ingredients into a coarse paste.

Freshly ground paste..

Now, wash the brinjal. Don’t throw away the stem. Take each brinjal & make 2 slits starting from the bottom till the stem, the cuts should look like a cross, as shown.

_MG_0133

Make sure you don’t cut the brinjal into pieces though. Now stuff the freshly prepared paste into the brinjal carefully, in between the slits. Keep the extra paste aside for use later on.

Carefully stuff the paste through the slits into the brinjal..

Now, heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan. When the oil is hot, set heat to medium, add asafoetida & let it sizzle for a couple of seconds. Now add the mustard seeds & let them sizzle, next add the curry leaves & sauté them for a couple of seconds. Now add the finely chopped onions along with a pinch of salt & sauté them till they turn translucent. Transfer the stuffed brinjal’s into the fry pan, cover & cook for around 5 minutes till they get lightly roasted. For even roasting toss them around every couple of minutes.

When they are evenly roasted, add the paste left, add around 200 ml water & a bit of salt, simmer, cover & cook till the curry reaches a nice thick consistency & the brinjal is cooked. But keep an eye as there are chances that the water may evaporate quick, resulting in the curry starting to burn from the bottom.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with Jolada rotti/chapatis’. You may also eat this along with some Akki Rotti.

North Karnataka Badanekai yenagai/ Small purple Brinjals in a sweet & nutty sauce....

If you liked this recipe, also check out – Khatta Mag/Gujarati style moong bean sabji…., Peppery Raw plantain sabji…Adraki Aloo Gobi/Gingery Potato & Cauliflower, Chatpata Methi Aloo etc.


Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style

Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style...

The last couple of days I have been missing home a lot, was feeling a wee bit low…. to pep me up, I prepared just that dish which I knew would help me feel better.. 🙂 & guess what.. it did soar my spirits up.. 🙂 Just a whiff of it simmering away made me feel just right..! Sometimes having loads of time at your disposal can be dangerous as well…! I’m glad I had unexpected company for lunch today. 🙂 Thanks Waqar for dropping by, you also did help in making me feel better. Oh yes, he loved the curry as well.

Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style...

This dish is again very famous in & around Mangalore, my hometown. Very popular in most restaurants around. It lives up to its name; its very hot & tangy; will tingle your taste buds perfectly & clean your nose as well.. Naa.. I’m kidding about the nose cleaning part. Check the ingredient list & there is big chunk of tamarind used, this overrides the power of the red chilli’s leaving the dish perfectly balanced. Oh well, I watched “Star Trek” at the movies today hence I’m using the term.. “override”… Interesting movie, never thought I would enjoy this movie.

Back to the recipe, this curry can also be prepared using fish or prawns. Originally this curry is prepared to have a thick sauce, & only when planned to be eaten with rice is this made runny as a curry. My plan was to eat this with rice. You can decide how you want to prepare this. You may wonder from the colour of the curry that most Indian curry’s look the same, but believe me once you eat them they are quite different from one another.. Just like how the patty & the sauce used in the burger changes the taste.. 🙂

I would recommend this curry to all tangy food lovers.. !!! The curry is originally a deeper brownish red in colour….The colour  mainly depends on the red chilli’s & the tamarind added.. I used the right type of red chilli’s unfortunately the tamarind did not add the brownish  colour it should.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)             Preparation Time: 20 mins
Chicken – 500 gms, curry cut, on the bone, washed & drained
Red chilli powder (optional) – as required. Just in case the red chilli’s used are not as hot as you thought

For the Masala:
Tamarind – 1 lemon size ball, as shown in the picture
Dried red chilli’s – 10- 12; I used the ones called Byadge chilies, which are originally used for this dish. You can use Kashmiri chilli’s as well
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Garlic – 4 cloves
Cooking oil – 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

For the tempering:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves- 1-2 sprigs, roughly about 10-12 leaves
Garlic – 3 cloves, crushed using a pestle
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Method:
Soak the tamarind in about 100 ml warm water for about an hour.

Lemon-sized tamarind piece..

Extract the pulp, make sure you throw away the seeds. Retain the water left for use later on.

Set a frying pan to medium heat & add the oil. When the oil is hot, lower heat to low & fry the chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, 4 cloves of garlic with a pinch of turmeric. Do not let burn the chilli’s or cumin seeds burn. Once all the ingredients begin to change colour turn off the heat.

Fry the ingredients mentioned...

Use little water and grind the roasted ingredients along with the tamarind to a smooth paste.

Freshly ground masala/paste..

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan; set heat to medium. Add the mustard seeds & let them splutter, next add crushed garlic & sauté it for a few seconds till you can aroma of frying garlic fills your kitchen. Now add the curry leaves, & toss them around for a few seconds. Next add the freshly ground chilli paste. Turn heat to low. Add water as needed. You can add the tamarind water kept aside if required.

Tip: Add water to the blender jar used to grind the masala, give it a good mix & use this water to achieve the desired consistency.

Note: I was planning to eat this with a bowl of hot steamed rice, hence added some extra water; this curry as mentioned earlier is semi-gravy, usually eaten with Neer dosa or chapathi’s; so add water as per the accompaniment you plan to eat it with.

Add salt to taste & bring it to a boil. Check if the curry is hot enough. As mentioned earlier this curry is hot as well as tangy; most of the spice is cut down by the tamarind; hence there maybe a need for you to add the optional red chilli powder I mentioned in the ingredient list.

Once the curry bubbles add the chicken pieces and simmer & close with a lid & let the chicken cook for 8 – 10 minutes. The raw flavours will fade away & the chicken should be cooked.

Garnishing:
Garnish with some additional curry leaves if required.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with the accompaniment of your choice. I had the curry with a bowl of steamed rice. You can alternatively eat this curry with chapathi’s or neer dosa or appams.

Chicken Puli Munchi/Chicken in Tangy Hot curry- Mangalorean style

There you go… a dish which is as appealing to your tummy as it is to your eyes. I licked my fingers clean.. the cutlery was just for the pics.. 🙂

If you liked this recipe & want to check out some more Mangalorean specials, check out – Kori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curry, Basic South-Indian Chicken curry – Chicken MasalaBatani Ambat/ Konkani Style Green Peas in Coconut, Tamarind gravy, Muga Ghashi/ Sprouted Mung bean in a tangy coconut curry- Konkani Style etc.


Kori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curry

Kori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curry..

Again K to the rescue for this recipe. I clicked the pics but he helped in preparing it.. My necks still stiff though.. went & saw a doctor yesterday,, I’m on some meds now.. hope to get well soon & back into action.. feel so tied up.. a fully filled pantry & I’m lying down, not allowed to cook.. asked to rest… sigh.. 😦 its torture.. !!!

This curry is my quick version.. I used coconut milk powder as K was not in the mood to grate coconuts.. but it turned out very similar to the curry when you prepare it with fresh coconut.. This dish is popular in Mangalore & the regions around. A dish made by the Tulu speaking community called the Bunts.. Very coconuty & flavourful, not to mention that the dish is hot as well..

Kori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curry...

Is a very good accompaniment with rice/rotti/sanna’s/neer dosa…when you are lazy to prepare any of these you can eat this with some bread as well….. We had this with some rotti (wafer thin dried rice sheets broken roughly & eaten soaked with some curry, again a Mangalorean/Bunt speciality.. called Kori Rotti.)..

Anyways let’s go ahead with the recipe.. since I’m not allowed to sit for long with the laptop..

Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Chicken – 500 gms on the bone, curry cut pieces, washed & kept aside
Coconut milk powder – 6-7 tbsp, dissolved in about 500 ml water, make sure there are no lumps, I used Maggi coconut Milk powder, the original recipe calls for grated coconut.. you can freshly grate about 3/4 of a medium-sized coconut & use it instead of coconut milk.. But if you do.. then grind it along with the other ingredients mentioned for the paste..
Turmeric – a pinch
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely diced, divide this into 2 portions
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs, roughly about 12-15 leaves
Garam Masala powder – 1/4-1/2 tsp, based on the dried red chilli’s you used. Use 1/4 if the curry is already hot, else add 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp, substitute this with normal cooking oil if you do not like to use coconut oil in your cooking… I used this as it gives this dish its authentic flavour
Salt to taste

For the masala:
Garlic – half a pod, roughly about 8 cloves peeled,
Tamarind – 1 marble sized piece, without seeds
Dried red chilli’s – 4 of byadgi/Kashmiri chilli’s for the colour & 8 of medium spicy variety
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Black pepper corns – 8 in number
Cinnamon stick – a small piece, about a quarter of an inch
Cloves – 2 whole

Some of the ingredients for the paste..

Method:
Heat a fry pan, dry roast all the ingredients mentioned for the masala, except the tamarind.. one by one.. let them turn a light brown. Do not let them turn black.Keep them aside so that they cool down..

Heat oil in a pot, set the heat to medium. Add one half of the onions & let them fry till they turn translucent. Add some salt to fasten this process.

Meanwhile add all the ingredients mentioned for the paste which were dry roasted, along with the tamarind to a blender jar & grind them to a smooth paste. Do not add water while you grind..

By now the onions would have turned translucent. add a pinch of turmeric & add the ground masala and fry this masala with the onions for a minute or two… lower heat so that the masala does not burn..Roughly tear one half of the curry leaves & add them to this.. fry for another minute…Now add the chicken pieces & mix them well in the masala.. after about a couple of minutes add the coconut milk..increase the heat to medium if you had lowered it earlier. Let the curry come to a boil… add salt to taste..mix well.. cook till the raw flavours fade away & the chicken is cooked tender..

Before turning off the heat, in a fry pan fry the rest of the onions kept aside till golden brown.. add curry leaves & add this tempering to the curry… turn off the heat..

Garnishing: (Optoional)
You can garnish with some chopped coriander leaves if you wish to..

Serving Suggestions:
Serves as a very good accompaniment for Rotti/Steamed Rice/Neer Dosa/Sanna’s…

Kori Ghassi/Mangalorean style chicken curry..

Enjoy hot…!!

For other Mangalorean delicacies check out – Sungta Hinga Udda/Sungta Randai/Prawns cooked in a red hot coconut gravy – Konkani style/RHCPCrispy MusselsFish Fry with a Konkani style batter etc.


Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka

Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka...

This is a famous breakfast dish from the state of Karnataka, India.  It’s a savoury pancake made of rice flour, chopped onions, spices, salt & water all kneaded well to form a firm soft dough. Just like pancakes you add a handful of dough enough to make a large pancake on the griddle/tava/fry pan & you spread the dough with your fingers to make a flat pancake or rotti. Make sure the tava is just slightly hot when you do this, else you may end up burning your fingers. Cooked till its crispy & golden brown. Served with some chutney. A couple of days back I had posted ginger chutney recipe, I had prepared Akki Rotti for breakfast that day as these both compliment each other beautifully.

Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka..

Akki is basically rice in Kannada (Language spoken in Karnataka, the one of the state’s of India), Rotti is nothing but a bread/pancake in Kannada. Homes in Karnataka prepare varieties of Akki Rotti’s. Some make Akki Rotti with spring onions, some with grated carrots or beetroot. Some with just chopped onions. The recipe I’m posting today is the one with grated carrots, the carrots usually impart a slight orange colour to the rotti.

I never tasted it till I met K though. My MIL used to prepare this often for breakfast. It’s quick, yummy & serves as a good lunchbox recipe as well. My colleagues at work used to love them. Since I would have a round of them for breakfast, I would exchange lunch boxes the day I carried them in my lunchbox ;).

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)     Preparation Time: 20 mins
Rice flour – 6 cups
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Carrot – 1 medium-sized, finely grated
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs i.e. approximately 10-12 leaves, roughly torn
Green Chilli’s – 3, finely chopped
Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Coriander leaves (optional) – 3-4 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Some of the ingredients..

Method:
Have some warm water handy. In a mixing bowl, mix the rice flour, salt, Cumin seeds, asafoetida & the chopped veggies including the green chilli’s & curry leaves by adding warm water little by little. Add the coriander leaves too if you plan to use them & mix. Do not make the batter runny. Knead it well to form a thick & firm dough. Do not worry if you added extra water, you can adjust by adding some more rice flour, but make sure to adjust the seasoning if you do so. Close & cover this dough for about 10 minutes so that the flavours mix.

Heat a griddle/fry pan or tava. Set the heat to low. When the tava is just about heating up take it off the heat. Spread a few drops of oil well around the tava & take a handful of the rotti batter & spread it evenly around the pan with your fingers to form a pancake/rotti. If you like the rotti crispy make sure you use lesser batter & when you spread it around the rotti is really thin. But remember that the frying pan is hot when you spread the batter & do not burn your fingers in the process. Transfer the tava back on  to the heat. Add a few drops of oil on top & edges of the rotti as well & cover & cook. Increase the heat to medium. Check the rotti in about 2 minutes. The steam generated inside cooks the top of the rotti. When the top is no longer raw, keep the lid aside & check the bottom, if its turning nice & golden brown flip the rotti over & cook till this side begins to get crispy as well, take it off heat.

Underside of the rotti should look this way, crispy & golden brown..

Tip: If the tava is hot you won’t be able to spread the dough. So make sure the tava is slightly hot when you are spreading the dough.

Reduce the heat to low. Do not put back the tava on the heat. Upturn the tava, sprinkle some water on the base of the tava to reduce the heat, add another handful of dough to prepare the next rotti. You can make about 6-8 rotti’s based on the size of the pancake or the rotti you make.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with some chutney/pickle by the side. Coconut based chutney is the best chutney for this dish. Check my Alle chutney/Ginger chutney recipe, it’s what we usually serve Akki Rotti with at home.

Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka...

Alternately you can add a dollop of butter/ghee on top when you serve this. K likes to eat this with chutney powder mixed with ghee.

For more breakfast idea’s check – Bread Upma/ Bite sized bread pieces tossed in some sweet & spicy flavoured onions, Olive & Basil bread, Indian Masala Omelette with Bread/ a.k.a Bread Omelette, more etc.