Monthly Archives: July 2020

Succulent Kebabs

Kebabs are various grilled or baked meats cooked on skewers or may also be shallow fried on a pan. The meats typically used are lamb which is very common but chicken and beef are also used. Kebabs for vegetarians would include a variety of roasted or grilled paneer or vegetables on skewers or the Hara Bara Kabab.

The meat used for kebabs can be minced or cut in chunks like the Malai Kabab, Chicken Tikka or the Kastoori Kabab.

Here are three additional varieties of kebab using minced lamb/Beef and chicken which includes the delightful seekh kabab! The seekh kebabs are best roasted in an open outdoor grill, but can be roasted in a closed oven as well, as I have done. Besides, due to the Covid-19 lockdown there was no way we could venture outdoors!

  1. The quintessential Seekh Kebab typically made of lamb or beef mince.
Seekh Kebab

2. The Reshmi Kebab made of chicken mince & cashewnut paste

Reshmi Kebab

3. Kebab Jeera – Beef, Lamb or Chicken mince may be used, pan fried and makes an excellent cocktail snack!

Kebab Jeera

Hope you enjoy the variety of Kebabs and don’t forget to rate and comment on the posts and recipes. Stay Safe!

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Urad Dal Vadi

Urad Dal Vadis

A crispy and delicious hot snack to provide some warmth on a wet rainy day or cold weather or simply when relaxing at home wth a nice hot cup of tea or coffee!

To get crisp and crunchy edges, make sure the batter is thick and dry. Batter should not be of dropping consistency. You can achieve this by heating gradually in the microwave after grinding the dals, till you get the right consistency. Mix and then add the rest of the ingredients. When frying take a teaspoon of batter and slide with another spoon into the oil. Avoid making balls with your hand as that would give you smooth edges, you want uneven edges for these vadis to add to the crispiness and crunchiness!!

Urad Dal Vadi

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 ½  cups urad dal
  • ½ cup yellow moog dal
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2” pc ginger
  • 2 medium onions
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt or to taste
  • A pinch asafoetida (optional)


  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. 
  2. Grind with green chillies and ginger to a coarse thick paste. Remove. 
  3. If the paste is not thick enough put in the microwave for a minute or two to dry it up a little. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate some air into the batter and combine the mixture. 
  5. Heat oil to smoking, reduce flame and put a tsp full of the batter and fry in batches on medium low till golden brown and crisp. 
  6. Remove and serve hot with a green chutney, coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Urad Dal Vadi

Other snacks to try: Saudana Vada, Medu Vada, Vada Pav

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Tuna Fish Cutlets

Tuna Fish Cutlets

Canned Tuna Fish cutlets

I owe my gratitude to our dear family friend Anita Martins for this easy and simply delightful recipe. Would never have know the ‘mayonnaise’ trick that really takes the taste to another level. Yes, absolutely, you add some mayonnaise to the tuna mix!!

This recipe is a hit at our home and made almost on a weekly basis as it is one of my childrens’ favorite. Even though they hardly eat fish, except for shrimp, they are game anyday for Tuna cutlets provided the tuna is out of a can! Moreover, since it is so quick and simple it is a go to recipe if short on time or out of options on what side dish to make. Goes very well with Dal or Moghe Sar, Vegetable curry, Kuwalo Bafad, etc.

I prefer using the “White Meat Tuna in Sunflower Oil” and also add the oil to the mixture. This really adds to the taste and texture of the cutlets. Although making the cutlets would be a little difficult to handle due to the wet mixture, but once you roll in the semolina it becomes easier to shape.

Fry the cutlets as soon as the mixture is ready otherwise the onions may begin leaving moisture and as the mixture already has the fish oil it will tend to become too wet to handle. If there is a gap between preparation and frying, just put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix just before frying. Also making the cutlets and keeping them aside before frying will tend to break them. Just roll the ball of mixture in semolina and keep aside and form the cutlets when you are ready to place on the frying pan.

Tuna Fish Cutlets

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 2 tins tuna fish (160 gms, each in sunflower oil)
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger paste (or 1″ pc. ginger chopped fine) (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder
  • ½ tsp. black pepper powder (use white peper instead, if available)
  • Small bunch fresh coriander (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Rava (Semolina) to coat the cutlets
  • Oil for shallow frying


  1. Empty the contents of the fish tins in a bowl alongwith its oil. Don’t be tempted to discard the oil as it adds to the flavor.
  2. Chop the onions, chillies, ginger & coriander leaves finely and add to the fish.
  3. Add the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala & pepper powder and salt.  Mix everything well. 
  4. Heat a frying pan on medium low and add 4 tbsp. oil.
  5. Take a portion of the mixture the size of a lemon and roll in semolina.
  6. Form the balls into cutlets on the palms of your hand and gently place on the frying pan and shallow fry on medium low till crisp and brown on both sides.

P.S.: The mixture will be quite wet but when rolled in the semolina will be easier to handle and will set when frying.  Do not put too much oil, just fry in enough oil on medium low.  The cutlets may break if fried in too much oil.

Try my other cutlet recipes, Sprout Cutlet Rolls, Spicy Fish Cutlets, Hara Bara Kabab, Zucchini & Quinoa Patties

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Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers
Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers

Menu V

Typical daily diet for lactating mothers, to be followed for atleast one month after delivery.

A constant dilemma usually faced is what to cook? and what to eat? and for women who have given birth many foods are restricted especially when breastfeeding their baby. Hence, the food choices get further narrowed down. This post is to alleviate some of the confusion as to the diet required to be followed by lactating mothers. Hopefully, these tips would also take away some of the stress in menu planning, faced by those caring for “mother and babe”.

Points to bear in mind:-

  1. Include more of nuts, fruit, vegetables in your diet.
  2. Meals should be light, freshly cooked and easily digestible. 
  3. Avoid packaged and processed foods, aerated drinks, alcohol and packaged juices. Fresh juices are preferable, include yogurt and buttermilk, if possible.
  4. Use only healthy fats like pure ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil for cooking.
  5. Avoid heavily spiced food.
  6. Limit sweets and fried food.
  7. Avoid left-over food from previous day etc, as far as possible.
  8. Avoid Pork and Beef.
  9. Avoid Mackerels, Sardines, King Fish, Shrimps & Crabs, Shell-fish i.e. anything from the Crustaceans, shellfish, mollusks group.
  10. Avoid potatoes, brinjals, starchy food and pulses to avoid flatulence and indigestion which can affect the baby through the breast milk.

Daily Diet Plan Schedule is approximate and should be adjusted to suit your day. Most of the recipes are available on this site and can be accessed by clicking on the link. Additional options/recipes can be found in the book “Mais Recipes”.

Fenugreek/Ajwain (Carom seeds) tea 3 to 4 times a day or throughout the day instead of plain water.

To prepare Fenugreek Ajwain water : Add a teaspoon each of Fenugreek, Ajwain (Carom seeds), Cumin and Fennel (Badishep) seeds to one litre or 1.5 litres of water, bring to a boil, switch off flame, cover and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve, to be taken by the mother, preferably warm, throughout the day instead of normal water

On rising

Warm water or Ajwain/Fenugreek tea, 5 to 10 soaked almonds with 1 or 2 dates. (Pre-soak the almonds the previous night, next morning peel and eat).

Breakfast – 08:00 a.m. approx.

1.Preferably hot/warm breakfast consisting of either of the following options :

2. Milk, or tea coffee made with milk

3. A tablespoon of  the lactating traditional preparation Thiklem.

Mid-morning: 11:00 a.m. approx.

  1. Porridge made of oats, ragi (tisan), vermicilli, rawa, or bread butter with tea coffee made with milk.
  2. One tablespoon of either Ginger (Aale) or Garlic (Lohsun), if available.

Lunch : 01:00 p.m. approx.

With steaming hot Rice.

  1. Main dish Either Fish/Lamb (Mutton)/Chicken/Vegetarian.

2. Side dish Options:

  • Grilled or Fried fish/Chicken/Mutton Chops
  • Vegetables like, leafy greens, spinach, pumpkin, gourds, french beans, tendli (Ivy Gourd/Gherkins) yam (very good for internal healing), lady fingers, raw banana.

3. Salad Options- cucumber, beetroot, carrot, lettuce, sprouts, quinoa, fresh thyme salad, etc.

4. A bowl of Nivol on alternate days (not everyday)- drink the nivol with your meal or you can have over your rice with some grilled fish/chicken.


Methi Paez or Ajwain Paez as dessert after food. So if you are having Nivol, skip the methi/ajwain paez, have either one of the three.

Once in a while include Gulianchi Kheer, for dessert instead of Methi or Ajwain Paez.

Evening Tea: 04:00 to 05:00 p.m.

A tablespoon of Thiklem and some small snack or dry bhel, khakra, etc., or fruit.

It is advisable to limit intake of tea and coffee to once a day or maximum two per day, if you must.

Late evening: 07:00 p.m. approx.

Vegetable, Chicken or  Beef or Mutton Bones Soup.  It is advisable to have a bowl of warm soup daily, prepare the instant soup, if you must.

Dinner: 08:000 p.m. (or soon after your soup)

Similar to lunch options. With Rice preferably, or with any type of bread.

Bedtime: 10:00 p.m. (Optional)

Hot milk or Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh). Helps in healing and promotes good sleep, immunity booster.

To prepare Turmeric Milk – Boil one cup milk with 3/4 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. Misri (Candy sugar) or honey, 1/4 tsp. pepper powder. Sip slowly while hot. If using honey do not add while boiling, add after boiling, stir and drink hot.

Fruit – Anytime in between meals – Preferably seasonal fruit, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Bananas, Avocados, Cantaloup, Chickoo, Figs, Cherries, Grapes.

N.B. : Above is a guide for menu planning alongwith traditional mangalorean foods to consume while breastfeeding. Please bear in mind I am niether a dietician nor a nutritionist. The guide is what I have learnt from my mother and from elders in our family and from my personal experiences of giving birth to three children and having three grandchildren. As I have benefitted from these experiences, I am sharing the information. Please seek professional or medical advice when necessary.

For further information on Postnatal Care for Lactating Mothers, please click on the link

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Cooking with Spinach

Leafy green vegetables are high in nutrients, low in calories, important for skin, hair, bone and overall health, while providing the necessary protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.  It is advisable to incorporate a leafy vegetable daily into our diets for optimum health.  It is also affordable and easy to prepare.

Here are a few easy recipes using spinach:-

  1. Mutton Palak – A delicious non-vegetarian dish using spinach with the least amount of spice, yet full of flavour.
Mutton Palak

2. Hara Bara Kabab – Spinach, Green Peas and Potatoes combined to make the famous Tikkis. Serve as a starter, appetizer or a healthy snack!

Hara Bara Kabab

3. Kashmiri Saag – Spinach cooked with a exorbitant amount of garlic and red chillies, but does not overwhelm the dish, just makes it superbly but mildly spiced with the flavors of garlic.

Kashmiri Saag

4. Dahi Palak – A dish you can throw together in minutes yet turns out delicious. Serve with steamed rice, Khichidi, Pulao or with rotis or any Indian bread.

Dahi Palak

5. Tuna & Braised Onion Salad – A salad which doubles up also as a main course! Just enjoy it with some crusty bread or Pita bread or any Indian bread and your meal is done for the day!!

Tuna & Braised Onion Salad

More ways to cook with leafy vegetables –

Spinach and leafy vegetables can also be cooked using the simple mangalorean ‘Thel Piao” method using green chillies, onion, garlic, a little oil and water and cooking till done and then garnishing with fresh coconut.

Curries like spinach or Valchi Bhaji with prawns, or black-eyed beans are some of popular recipes using leafy vegetables. My recipe for Alun stem with Alasande can be used for these dishes.

The book “Mais Recipes” has the recipes for these dishes.

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Mutton Palak

Mutton Palak

Mutton Palak

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 kg. Mutton
  • 3 bunches fresh spinach or ½ kg. frozen (whole leaf) spinach
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • Small bunch coriander leaves
  • 4 to 6 green chillies
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 medium sliced onions
  • 1 medium tomato chopped


  1. Clean and wash mutton, cut into 2” cubes. 
  2. Wash spinach and soak in salted water for 10 minutes, rinse and chop finely.
  3. If using frozen spinach, step 2 is not required. I have used frozen spinach. 
  4. Grind all the ingredients from ginger to salt to a fine paste. 
  5. Heat ghee, fry onions for a couple of minutes till soft. 
  6. Add the paste and fry well for further 2 inutes. 
  7. Add the mutton and saute till it changes color and ghee begins to separate. 
  8. Add sufficient water to cook the mutton till almost done. 
  9. Add the tomato and spinach and continue cooking on low flame till mutton is tender.

P.S.: Same recipe may be made using Chicken.

Hara Bara Kabab

Hara Bara Kabab

Boil potatoes, peel and grate.  Boil the peas and mash coarsely.  Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.

Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves.  Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt.  Add cornflour for binding. 

Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes.

Hara Bara Kabab

  • Servings: 10 -12 Patties
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print


  • 2 large or 4 medium potatoes
  • 1”  ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp.  chaat masala
  • 1 cup green peas, boiled
  • 1 cup spinach, blanched & chopped finely
  • 4 green chillies
  • Small bunch coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Cornflour
  • Oil for frying


  1. Boil potatoes, peel and grate. 
  2. Boil the peas and mash coarsely. 
  3. Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.
  4. You may use frozen whole leaf spinach and follow above step.
  5. Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves. 
  6. Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt. 
  7. Add cornflour for binding. 
  8. Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil on medium flame, for 3 to 4 minutes.

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