Friday, 13 June 2014

Vali Bendi (Malabar spinach/Basella Curry)



Basella/Malabar spinach or vine spinach is a leafy vegetable found in tropical Asia and Africa. It is a creeper and grows in full sunlight and humid weather. In Konkani, Basella is known as Vali.  It is used in quite a few dishes..
Apart from being a tasty leafy vegetable, Basella has many health benefits as well. It helps in reducing cholesterol and is highly fibrous which helps in digestion. It is rich in vitamins and minerals. 

Vali Bendi is a coconut based gravy tempered with crushed garlic. This is usually eaten with rice. Vali /Basella is used in various Konkani recipes . Spinach/Palak in “dal palak” can be replaced with Basella thus making it which is a tasty variation to the dish.


Ingredients
Basella (chopped) – 4 cups
Coconut – ½ grated
Dried Red Chili – 5 (Guntur Chilli/Spicy Chilli)
Kashmiri Chilli – 2 to 3 (for color)
Tamarind - a small piece (maybe size of two groundnuts)
Garlic - 10 to 12

Method
1.       Wash and chop the leaves.
2.        Put it in a vessel and boil in little water. Do not add lots of water as the leaves will release water.
3.     Lightly fry the red chillies and keep aside. Now grind coconut, red chillies and tamarind to make a    smooth paste.
4.       Once the leaves are cooked (they will wilt and change color) add the ground masala and mix well.
5.       In a wok heat some oil and add crushed garlic. Fry it till the garlic is slightly brownish in color.
6.       Add this to the curry and mix well.
7.       Season with salt 


Serve hot with rice.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Alsande Tonak(BlackEyed Beans in Coconut gravy)



Alsande Tonak is very common in all Goan weddings and celebration (So I have been told). It was one the attraction for my wedding receptions as well. For a foodie Goa is paradise. Authentic Goan seafood delicacies, Goan dessert bebinca, hot from the oven pav bun and freshly baked cakes are all must try. 

One advantage of marrying a Goan is that i have got a chance to learn Goan cuisine (still learning).  The first time I tried Tonak was at my wedding reception. But I was too tired to enjoy it.  Now I prepare this very often at home. 


Alsande are sold everywhere in Goa, be it in the markets or on highways en route to the airport from Panaji. Fresh stock are available in April, which are bought is huge quantities, sunned and stored for the rest of the year.
 
The two restaurants that serve delicious Tonak are Café Tato and Café Bhosle in Goa. These two restaurants are always on my list of “must visit” when in Goa. The Alsande and sukki bhaji mix(potato curry which is also yum!) with pav is too die for.



Ingredients
Alsande/BlackEyed Peas – ½ cup
Coriander Seeds -  4 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
PepperCorns – 4 to 5
Cloves – 3
Cinamon – ½”
Cardamom - 1
Grated Coconut -  ½ a coconut
Red chillis – 2 ( more if u like spicy)
Onion –2 big sliced. ( 1 for grinding and 1 for frying)
Coriander leaves for garnish




Method
1.       Soak the peas for 3 to 4 hrs
2.       Pressure cook it till for 1 whistle.
3.       In a pan heat oil and fry all the above ingredients.
4.       Grind it into a smooth paste.
5.       In the same pan, heat some oil and sauté the onion.
6.       Add the ground masala and fry for a minute.
7.       Now add the boiled peas
8.       Garnish with coriander leaves.


Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with pav or chapati.
 

Note: The measurements are approximate. I don’t measure them while cooking. Usually just go with my instincts.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Veg Cutlet



 

Veg cutlet is a very popular tea time snack.  The ingredients are always readily available and it does not take long to prepare this.  These are extremely easy to make and one of the best ways to get kids eat vegetables. 
Cutlets were almost never prepared at home back in my childhood days. The reason being my uncle owned “Kamath Cold Drinks” in Udupi and we just got it from there. Those were the best cutlets ever. Not just because it was my uncles restaurant. It was really lip smacking delicious. 
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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Friday, 23 May 2014

Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink)





It’s the peak of summer. The temperature is soaring day by day, at least in Mumbai.  Every day I hear someone telling me that yesterday was the hottest day this summer.  The sweltering heat usually increases thirst for some chilled drink. Forget the aerated drink and over sweetened squash available in the markets. The best way to “beat the heat” is with a refreshing cool and natural drink “Aam Panna”. 


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Monday, 19 May 2014

Prawn in Butter Pepper Garlic Sauce





Prawn in butter pepper garlic sauce has been on my “ to-do list”  for almost a year now.  I usually stay away from seafood dishes that look bland.  But all that changed when I tried this mouthwatering delicacy in Istanbul, Turkey.  The sauce for so full of flavor, it was like party in my mouth. I could go back to Istanbul just for this tasty delicacy.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Caramel Custard With Condensed Milk(In a pressure cooker)




Caramel custard is a sinfully delicious dessert. The soft, creamy texture is a treat for the palette. The definite choice for dessert at the end of sumptuous meal, atleast for me.  I have been eating this recipe for as long as I can remember. It’s just that we called it pudding in my house.  
 

So when I heard about caramel custard I had no idea it is the same as the pudding I devour so often. As a kid I used to help my mom to make this. Back then we did not have a tin cutter and opening the tin of condensed milk was the most time consuming part to the entire preparation.  My main job would be to open the tin .I thoroughly enjoyed as the condensed milk would ooze out and I could lick it.


Over the last few years it wasn’t made at home. So I was waiting for reason to make it and what better reason than my blog. This was my second attempt at making the custard. The first time I added more water and the mixture became very watery. It wouldn’t set properly . That’s why be careful when you adjust the consistency of the mixture.


The best part of this recipe is that it is not baked but steamed. Even if you don’t have an oven, you can still make it.  Moreover you don’t need to fancy ramekins or custard bowls. In fact I made them in regular steel bowls.

There are many recipes that use milk, eggs , eggs yolks but this is the simplest of all.



Ingredients
Condensed milk (Milkmaid) – 1/2 tin
Eggs – 3
Sugar –3 tbsps. (Or as required)
Sugar for caramel – 3 tbsp
Vanilla Essence  - 1 tsp (optinal)

Method
1.       In a large bowl, beat the eggs.
2.       In another bowl, mix condensed milk, sugar. To this add the beaten eggs. Check the consistency.
3.       If it is too thick and little water. Don’t make it too thin.
4.       In 4 ramekins or small bowls sprinkle some sugar and heat it on low fire. The sugar melts into a brown semi solid .Let it set.
5.       Now pour the mixture prepared above.
6.       Place it in a pressure cooker without the whistle and cook for 5 to 10 mins .
7.       With the tip of ur finger separate the edges of the custard from the dish.
8.       Invert it into plate.
9.       Refrigerate to cool it or have it hot .



Caramel Custard is ready.
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Kuwale Sasam(Ashgourd red gravy tempered with mustard and curry leaves)





I am finally posting a vegetarian recipe. This  is a  authentic Konkani(GSB) delicacy. Most of the traditional Konkani dishes are vegetarian. .They are prepared with less oil and are very healthy. My grandmother used to often say that “ Konkani’s eat everything from the root to the fruit of a tree” .  However in today’s age of fast food/junk food ,these traditional recipes are gradually  being forgotten. This is an attempt to keep the beacon of traditional foods burning.

Kuwale or Ashgourd has many medicinal benefits. It is the best food for diabetic patients. Ash gourd helps in losing weight and detoxifies the body.

The traditional kuwale sasam is not very spicy and is a greenish yellow colored dish. Since I like bright red gravies I have used Kashmiri chilies . This makes the dish look more vibrant and appetizing.


 
Ingredients
Kuwale/ Ashgourd – 500gms
Grated Coconut – ½ a coconut
Red chillies(Guntur) – 4 to 6
Tamarind – one small lemon sized
Mustard seeds – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 twigs



Method
1.       Peel the skin .Cut the Kuwale/ Ashgourd in to chuck size pieces about 3” and wash it.
2.       In a vessel ,boil the Kuwale/ Ashgourd with some water.
3.       Grind together  grated coconut ,red chillies  and tamarind with little water to make a smooth paste
4.       Once the Kuwale/ Ashgourd is semi cooked ,add the masala and salt to taste.
5.       In a small pan, heat some oil.
6.       To this add mustard seeds. Once it spultters add the curry leaves and sauté for a second or two.
7.       Add this to the curry and mix well.
8.       Serve hot with rice.