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Konkani

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

Method:
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

Method:
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...


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

Method:
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..

Garnishing:
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. 


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. 


Taushe Ullel – Spicy & Tangy, tempered Cucumber salad, Konkani style

Taushe Ullel..

This dish brings back memories of food from our family temple. Each Konkana Family has a family temple & their family God/Goddess. Our family temple is in Kerala, it’s a small village in the border of Karnataka & Kerala. An hours drive away from Mangalore. Most of the major festivals are celebrated together by the people who belong to each temple. Most temples serve food during a Puja related to any festival. Of course there is a trust, people donate money, there are members who are part of the temple trust who are in charge of getting the events conducted smoothly etc. If you are still wondering what I’m talking about then, it’s very similar to a group of people belonging to a particular parish among the Christians & you celebrate festivals by attending service/mass together.

My first memories of eating this is at the temple. My dad is very sensitive to cucumbers, & hence anything related to cucumbers was never prepared at home. He catches a cold the very next day if he had cucumbers. I love cucumbers.. guess you always end up liking something that is rarely prepared at home. A chilled cucumber salad on a hot summer day is just awesome, wouldn’t you agree?? I, always looked forward to eating this dish in the temple & I always made sure I never wasted and ate every bit of it.

Taushe Ullel..

Taushe refers to Cucumber in Konkani. I don’t know what’s Ullel :P, maybe its just another name. Whats in a name.. ?? Anyways, this dish is very flavourful, is crunchy from the cucumbers, hot from the green chilli’s, red chilli’s & ginger added. Coconut adds its sweetness. It’s perfect for hot summer afternoons. I usually prepare this with chilled cucumbers. :).

I have used English cucumbers here for the recipe, hence the seeds would not bother you much. Indian cucumbers have larger seeds & they do bother you a bit when you eat this. So I would suggest you to throw away the seeds if you are using Indian cucumbers.

Please be informed that this has to be eaten in about an hour or two after its put together.Else it can go bad very soon. The cucumbers let out lots of water when they come in contact with salt. So always prepare this just before your ready to have your meal. Also just make the amount that you know you will consume, it’s a shame to waste something as tasty as this.. 🙂

Taushe Ullel..

Cucumbers have so many health benefits. They are high in water content & Vitamin B, the skin is high in Vitamin C. They are an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels. Cucumbers are also known to be good for people who are diabetic since it aids insulin production. Also known to reduce cholesterol & helps regulate blood pressure.

Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cucumber – half of a medium-sized cucumber, chopped into small pieces, skin on, It is traditionally prepared this way… & I prefer it that way, you can opt otherwise
Ginger – half an inch piece, finely chopped
Green chilli – 1 or 2, finely chopped, use according to the type/your tolerance level
Coriander leaves (optional) – 1-2 sprigs, finely chopped

finely chopped cucumber....

For the fresh coconut paste:
Freshly grated coconut – 1/4 cup, I used desiccated coconut soaked in some water..
Dried red chilli’s – 2, roasted in a wee bit of oil
Tamarind – Half a marble-sized ball, make sure there are no seeds
Mustard seeds – half a tsp

For the tempering:
Oil – half a tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp

Method:
Take a mixing bowl & add cucumber, green chilli’s, ginger & mix well. Keep this aside.

In a mixer/blender jar, add the ingredients mentioned for the fresh coconut paste – oil roasted red chilli’s, tamarind, coconut, the mustard seeds & grind to a nice coarse paste. Add just a bit of water to help you grind the ingredients to a smooth paste. Once the paste is ready, you can begin to smell the lovely ground mustard seeds in the paste…

Freshly ground coconut paste..

Add salt to the paste when ready. Keep aside.

Just before you are ready to serve this dish, heat oil in a tempering vessel. When the oil is heating up, add the coconut paste to the cucumber in the mixing bowl & mix well. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. Let them splutter for a minute, now transfer the tempering over the cucumber. Mix well.

Garnishing: (optional)
Garnish with coriander leaves if required. I did.. 🙂

Taushe Ullel..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve as a side dish with your regular Konkani meal, i.e. with rice, dal & some vegetable.

Taushe Ullel..

If you like this recipe, then you may also like – Tempered Cucumber Raita – South Indian Style, Tzatziki, Alle Chutney/ Ginger Chutney, 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.. 😀

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..

Method:
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.. 😛

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

Method:
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.. 😛 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….

Madgane..

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

Method:
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.

Garnishing:
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

Method:
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

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.