Kabuli Pulao


We recently had a birthday lunch for my husband Rudy celebrated with Afghani cuisine.

The menu consisted of Kabuli Pulao, Chicken Korma, Mixed Vegetable Korma, Chicken Kababs, Sweet and Sour onion salad.

Appetisers: Beef Mantu and Potato Bolani.

Dessert: Sheer Korma and Cake.

The Kabuli Pulao was a huge hit, especially with the birthday boy 🙂 Sharing with you all this ‘tried and tested’ recipe. Its absolutely sumptuous and delicious!!

Kabuli Pulao

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients
1 kg. mutton, cut in large cubes
3 cups Sela rice
4 medium onions, sliced
6 carrots, shredded
4 large tomatoes, sliced
6 cloves
6 cardamoms
3” cinnamon
1 tsp black cumin
1 tsp black pepper powder
3 tsp. garam masala powder
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup raisins (or less if required)
A handful almonds and pistas for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil, as required

Method

  1. Wash the rice. Add hot water to cover the rice and soak overnight .
  2. Clean and wash mutton and season with one teaspoon salt.
  3. Take a large pot to cook the pulao. Add 2 tbsp. ghee to the pot, heat and then add the shredded carrots, fry stirring often until cooked, then add the raisins and toss till the raisins are fried and swell up. Remove and set aside.
  4. Then add the meat and fry till brown. Remove.
  5. Add more ghee if required, add the onions and fry to a deep golden brown, then add the sliced tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes dissolve and become a paste.
  6. Add the crushed garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black cumin, pepper powder and 1 tsp garam masala, toss lightly. Add salt and the browned meat and sufficient water to cook. May use a cooker if desired.
  7. Cook the meat till tender and done. Remove the meat and set aside. Keep aside one cup of the stock.
  8. To the remaining meat stock add the soaked rice, remaining garam masala powder and bring to a boil. Taste and add salt if required.
  9. Lower flame, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook till the rice is done and the stock is absorbed. Switch off the flame.
  10. Open the lid and sprinkle the reserved one cup stock over the rice, then place the cooked meat over the rice in a single layer, top with the fried carrots and raisins and make holes around the rice with the handle of a wooden spoon to allow steam to escape.
  11. Cover the pot with silver foil or a kitchen towel, place the lid and cook on high for 5 minutes, lower flame and cook 5 minutes more. Switch off the flame and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.
  12. To serve gently move aside the meat and carrot raisins. Place the rice on a platter and top with the meat, then carrots and raisins. Garnish with toasted almonds and pistachios if desired.

Cauliflower Fry


Cauliflower Fry Gobi Fry

This recipe is similar to the Raw Banana Fry (Cooking with raw Bananas) that I posted, but the method is different.  Here the cauliflower is marinated in the spices and vinegar/lemon solution, then dipped in the batter prepared with the marinade and flours.

Has anyone tried marinating the florets prior to coating with batter and frying? Just takes it to another level as the cauliflower absorbs the subtle spicy, and tart flavors so you taste it right through the vegetable itself and not just the coating.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. Vinegar or Lemon juice, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 cup water, approx.
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup corn flour
  • ¼ tsp. soda bicarb (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup curry leaves for garnish
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. Cut the Cauliflower into large florets and soak in hot boiling water with 2 tsp. salt for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Mix the ginger garlic paste, chilli & turmeric powder, salt with the vinegar/lemon juice and water. 
  3. Add the florets to this marinade and leave for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Can be prepared and left overnight if preparing for an occasion.
  5. Remove the florets and set aside. 
  6. To the marinade, add all purpose flour, rice flour, corn flour, soda bicarb and make a thick paste. 
  7. If you wish to achieve a deeper color, add few drops of red food color to the batter. I have avoided it.
  8. If it’s too watery add some more of the flours (rice & maida).  It must form a coating that adheres to the cauliflower floret when dipped and lifted from the batter.
  9. Test salt and add if necessary.
  10. Heat oil in a kadai.  Do this while making the batter, so it is heated when the batter is done.
  11. Dip the florets in the batter to cover well and deep fry in small batches till crisp and golden on medium flame. 
  12. Drain on kitchen towel.    
  13. After the last batch is fried, fry the curry leaves in the hot oil for a minute and remove.
  14. Garnish the fried cauliflower with the curry leaves and serve as a side with a main meal or with tomato ketchup or chilli sauce as a snack or appetizer.
  15. Serve immediately while still hot and crisp!

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Chicken Khudi


Chicken Khudi

This is an East Indian speciality made using the famous East Indian ‘Bottle Masala’.  This dish can be prepared with Chicken, Mutton or Beef. 

The Mangalorean community have their own very famous ‘Bafat Masala’ powder.  Try this recipe with bafat masala powder in lieu of bottle masala!!

Chicken Khudi

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Chicken (mutton or beef)
  • 4 large onions, sliced
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. dessicated or fresh coconut
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2” pc ginger
  • 1 tbsp. bottle masala
  • 1 tbsp. thick tamarind paste  (2 to 3 tbsp. if it is watery) or juice of one lemon
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 medium potatoes (optional)

Method

  1. Clean, remove skin and cut chicken into medium sized pieces.  Wash well and set aside.
  2. Roast the onions, chillies, garlic and coconut and grind to a paste alongwith the ginger and bottle masala.
  3. Wash, peel and cut potatoes into cubes.
  4. Heat ghee in a vessel, add the ground masala paste and saute few minutes.
  5. Add the chicken and mix well with the masala and cook till the chicken changes color. 
  6. Add salt, rinse the masala jar and add the water to the chicken. 
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce flame and cook the chicken for 30 minutes. 
  8. Stir the chicken at 10 to 15 minute intervals. 
  9. If additional water is required, add hot water. 
  10. Add the potato cubes and cook 10 minutes. 
  11. Test if potatoes are cooked and check seasonings. 
  12. Add garam masala powder, mix, cook for a minute and take off flame.
  13. Serve with steamed rice, pulao or any bread, dosas, sannas, etc. of your choice.

Chicken Khudi

Rava Upma


Rava Upma

Rava Upma

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Quick Savoury Breakfasts

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rava (Semolina)
  • 2 tbsp. cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • ½” piece ginger
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 tsp. gram dal
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. ghee in a kadai and roast the rava on low heat
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  3. When the rava turns light brown, remove and set aside. 
  4. Add 2 tbsp. ghee to the kadai and fry the cashewnuts till they change color. Remove. 
  5. Add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad and gram dal and saute. 
  6. Add the curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, and saute few seconds.
  7. Then add the onion and bay leaves and fry till onions turn soft. 
  8. Add the yogurt and salt and stir to mix well. 
  9. Add 4 cups water, stir and bring to a boil. 
  10. When it comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat and add the Rava. 
  11. Mix well to dissolve lumps if any. 
  12. Stir and cook covered till all the water is absorbed. 
  13. Open, stir and cook till mixture turns dry and thick and leaves the side of the kadai. 
  14. Add the cashewnuts, mix and turn off the heat. 
  15. Serve hot plain or with chutney for breakfast or tea-time snack.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls


Deep Fried Shrimp Balls (in sweet & sour sauce)
Deep Fried shrimp balls (as an appetiser)

These delicious, super crispy and crunchy shrimp balls make a great appetiser to complement any chinese or other meal. Serve with ketchup, or any other chinese dipping sauce.

Serve it also as a main chinese accompaniment with noodles or rice, with a sweet and sour sauce.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Cups chopped shrimp, large or small pieces as desired
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped or 3 to 5 water chestnuts chopped
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. corn flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 6 slices bread, chopped into fine cubes (Use more bread if required)
  • Oil for frying

Sweet and sour sauce

  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar (or regular vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. light soya sauce
  • 5 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Clean, devein and chop shrimp. 
  2. Chop the bacon strips.  ( have used beef bacon).
  3. Mix the shrimp, bacon and chopped onion (or chestnuts) with the beaten egg, pepper powder, salt and corn flour. 
  4. If you wish you may grind this mixture so it is easy to handle when forming the shrimp balls or cut the shrimps very fine.
  5. Cut out the sides of the bread slices and discard.
  6. Chop the bread.
  7. Add a handful to the prawn mixture. 
  8. Keep the rest for coating the shrimp balls. 
  9. Heat oil in a wok. 
  10. Meanwhile form the shrimp balls
  11. When the oil is heated, reduce the flame and fry the shrimp balls in batches.
  12. Remove and keep aside.
  13. Serve as an appetiser with any sauce or dip.
  14. Alternatively serve in sweet and sour sauce as a side dish with Steamed rice, fried rice or noodles.

To Make Sweet & Sour Sauce

Mix the tomato paste, vinegar, orange juice, soya sauce, brown sugar, corn flour and water.  Heat a vessel with a tbsp. of oil, add the sauce ingredients and keep stirring on low heat till the sauce thickens and becomes translucent. Taste and add salt if required.

Reduce the amount of water if you want the sauce to just coat the shrimp balls. Add the deep fried shrimp balls to the sauce just before serving. Serve with steamed rice, fried rice or Chow mein.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup


Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

This soup (and the hot and sour soup) is the favorite of everyone in our family. So making a small quanity does not serve the purpose at all. It must be made in a huge pot so we can have sufficient seconds!

This recipe has chicken soup cubes for the stock, to keep it simple and quick. If you wish you may make the stock from scratch with chicken.

Sweet Corn and Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Large Boneless Chicken Breast (two cups shredded chicken)
  • 2 cans Corn Cream Style (approx. 400gms each)
  • 4 to 8 Chicken soup cubes for the stock
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder
  • ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Corn flour
  • 8 to 10 cups water

Method

  1. Take a pot for the soup, add 8 cups water and place on heat. 
  2. Add the soup cubes, I have added 8 cubes one for each cup of water. 
  3. Stir to dissolve and bring to a boil. 
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and pepper powder.  
  5. Cook till the cubes are fully dissolved.  
  6. Salt is not required.  If you are using less cubes then add salt as required. 
  7. Taste for salt.  I added another two cups of water as it seemed salty. 
  8. Meanwhile, shred the chicken breast into small pieces or strips.
  9. Add to the stock and bring to a boil. 
  10. Reduce heat and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  11. When cooked, add the corn cream style and simmer for 5 minutes.  
  12. Beat the eggs in a bowl
  13. Make a slurry with the corn flour and some water. 
  14. Add the corn flour slurry to the chicken corn mixture. 
  15. Stir and cook till the broth thickens. 
  16. Check seasoning. 
  17. Stir the soup and while stirring add the beaten eggs in a steady stream and stir vigorously to break up the eggs so they form strands. 
  18. Let cook 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat. 
  19. Serve hot with soya sauce, chilli sauce and if you like it spicy add some sriracha or hot sauce for garnish.

Traditional Cucumber Karam


Traditional Cucumber Karam

Traditional Cucumber Karam

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Traditional Karam Cucumber Coconut Salad – Thousyache Karam

Ingredients

  • 2 Large cucumbers
  • 2 medium onions
  • Salt to taste
  • Grind to a paste
  • 1 cup fresh coconut
  • 2 green chillies or to taste
  • ½” piece ginger
  • 3 to 4 pieces of tamarind
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp salt, if required.

Method

  1. Cucumbers used for this recipe are the local cucumbers (we call it gaunti toushe).
  2. Wash, peel and remove the seeds of the cucumbers. 
  3. Cut into thick slices. 
  4. Add a tsp of salt, mix and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  5. The cucumbers will release water.
  6. Squeeze out the water and transfer to a serving bowl. 
  7. Slice the onion horizontally into thick slices and mix with the cucumber. 
  8. Grind the coconut, green chillies, ginger, tamarind and mustard seeds to a coarse paste with a little water. 
  9. Add ½ tsp salt if required. 
  10. Mix the ground paste with the cucumber onion mixture and combine well with your hands. 
  11. Serve cold. 

This is a traditional Mangalorean salad, served on all festive and celebratory occasions.  A must item for the “Novem Jevon” which is celebrated on 8th September, to celebrate the nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary and the blessing of the new harvest i.e. the grains of paddy.

Wishing one & all a Happy Feast!

Here are other dishes that make up the “Novem Jevon” menu:

  1. Sannas
  2. Chana Bhaji
  3. Alun Dento
  4. Karatein Sukhe (Karela vegetable)
  5. Raw Banana Bhaji
  6. Moong Sukha
  7. Kaane Fish curry
  8. Pathrode
  9. Vorn

The dishes can be any variety and any number but must be in odd number. Sannas, Alun Dento, Karatein Sukhe, Chana Bhaji, Vorn are commonly prepared. Understand Udupi and Kundapur side, fish curry alongwith veg dishes are prepared, but proper Managalore side it is only vegetarian preparations.

Cooking with Raw Bananas


Enjoy the goodness and health of Raw Bananas by including them in your diet. Easily available throughout the year. Here are three delicious and easy recipes to try out.

Stuffed Raw Bananas

Stuffed Raw Bananas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Big Raw Bananas
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • 4 green chillies
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 to 3 red chillies
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • Half lemon juice

Method

  1. Peel the bananas and soak in water to prevent oxidation and turning black.
  2. Cut the bananas into 2 inch pieces lengthwise. 
  3. Cut each piece into half, halfway down the centre. 
  4. Grind together coconut, green chillies and coriander leaves. 
  5. Mix in salt, turmeric and lemon juice.
  6. Stuff the paste into the bananas. 
  7. Heat 1 tbsp. Oil or ghee and put in mustard seeds and red chillies. 
  8. When the seeds stop popping, put in the bananas. 
  9. Cover tightly and cook till bananas are done. 
  10. Serve hot.

Raw Banana Fry

Raw Banana Fry

Raw Banana Fry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Raw Bananas
  • ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Vinegar or Lemon juice, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup curry leaves for garnish
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. Peel the bananas and soak in water to prevent them turning black.
  2. Slice the Bananas horizontally into thin slices. 
  3. Mix the ginger garlic paste, chilli & turmeric powder, rice flour, corn flour, vinegar and salt and make a thick paste using as much water as required.
  4. Mix the slices with the batter. 
  5. Heat oil for deep frying, when hot reduce flame and fry in small batches till crisp and golden.
  6. Drain on kitchen towel. 
  7. Fry the curry leaves in the hot oil for a minute and remove.
  8. Garnish the fried bananas with the curry leaves and serve as a side with a main meal or with tomato ketchup as a snack or appetizer.

P.S.: The same batter can be used to fry arbi, egg plant, zucchini, bread fruit, potatoes, yam, mushrooms, etc.

Raw Banana Bhaji

Raw Banana Bhaji

Click on the above link for the recipe.

15 Minute Breakfast Recipes


Leftover Dosa Upma

Leftover Dosa Upma

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A simple and easy upma recipe to use-up leftover dosas, sannas, idlis, etc. Similar Upma can even be made of leftover bread. Transforms into a completely new and delicious dish which you will certainly enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup yogurt
  • 2 cups Dosa, chopped into pieces
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp. urad dal
  • 2 tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. ghee

Method

  1. Beat the yogurt and add the dosa pieces and set aside. 
  2. Heat a kadai, add the ghee, when hot add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter
  3. Add the urad dal, let it turn lightly brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves and green chillies. 
  5. Saute lightly. 
  6. Add turmeric and the marinated dosa pieces. 
  7. Mix well and heat through. 
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot for breakfast or as tea-time snack or a mid-morning snack.

Check-out more fifteen minute recipes:-

  1. Vermicelli Upma
  2. Bacon & Eggs
  3. Low Carb Toad in a Hole
  4. Egg Roll
  5. Toad in a Hole
  6. Egg Omlette with Cherry Tomatoes
  7. French Toast
  8. Rava Adai
  9. Poha Upma
Poha Upma

Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken


Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken

Methi Murgh

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Chicken
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp.ghee/oil
  • Whole garam masala
  • 5 Green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch mace (optional)
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2″ ginger
  • 1/2″ ginger juliennes
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. fenugreek (kasoori methi)
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves

Method

  1. Clean, remove the skin and cut chicken into medium pieces or 8 large pieces if you wish.
  2. Whisk yogurt in a large bowl, add salt and leave the chicken in this marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Peel, wash and chop onions.
  4. Peel and chop garlic and ginger.
  5. Remove stems and chop green chillies.
  6. Wash and chop tomatoes.
  7. Clean, wash and chop coriander.
  8. Heat ghee in a pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.
  9. Add onions and saute until golden brown.
  10. Then add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilles, stir for 2 minutes
  11. Dissolve turmeric, coriander powder and red chillies in 1/4 cup water and add.  Stir for 30 seconds.
  12. Now add tomatoes and fry until fat leaves the masala
  13. Add the marinated chicken alongwith the marinade and 3/4 cup water
  14. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and fat leaves the masala once again.
  15. Adjust the seasoning.
  16. Sprinkle fenugreek, ginger juliennes and coriander.  Cover with a lid.
  17. Seal the pan if desired and keep on low heat for 15 mintues.
  18. Serve with an Indian bread of your choice.

P.S.: Kasoori methi may be replaced with fresh fenugreek.  If using fresh, clean, wash and immerse in salted water for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness.  Drain and add to the marinade.

Mince Jeere Meerem


Mince Jeere Meerem

Mince Jeere Meerem

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Kg mince (Beef or Lamb)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp. Jeere Meerem masala powder
  • 1 cup green peas (or Potatoes, cubed)
  • 1 small cup coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1½ tsp. Salt or to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil/ghee in a vessel
  2. Fry the chopped onions and green chillies till onions turn slightly brown. 
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes.
  4. Drain the mince completely and add to the pan with a tsp of salt.
  5. Saute till the mince turns brown and the water completely dries up.  Continue to brown the mince till fat begins to separate.  Do not hasten this step.  The browning of the mince brings out the flavor in the meat.  Should take 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once nicely browned, add the jeere merem powder, mix, add two cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower flame and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
  8. Open after 10 to 15 minutes and give it a good stir. 
  9. If water dries up, add some more hot water as per the consistency you desire. 
  10. Add the peas and cook further 10 minutes. 
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  12. Serve with Pao or Parathas or Pooris or steamed rice or pulao.

A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes


A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes (excluding preparation)

To keep it real have used my daily regular utensils 😉 😉

A meal for four persons

  1. Raouns (Rawas, Indian Salmon) Fish Curry
  2. Cabbage Vegetable
  3. Lepo (Sole Tounge Fish) fry
  4. Steamed rice
  5. Mango pickle (homemade)
  1. Rawas/Raouns (Indian Salmon) Fish curry

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Raouns fish
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1” pc ginger
  • 1 raw mango
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

To grind to a paste

  • 4 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 6 peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ½ medium onion

Method

  1. Clean and wash & cut fish.  Apply a little salt and set aside. 
  2. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  3. Slice the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  4. Wash and peel the raw mango and cut into wedges.
  5. Heat 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil and add the sliced onion, green chillies and ginger.  Saute till lightly brown. 
  6. Keep the flame low so the flavors of the onion, chillies and ginger release and give off a nice aroma. 
  7. Add the masala paste, the masala water, raw mango pieces and salt. 
  8. Stir and increase the flame and bring to a boil, simmer till oil appears on the edges. 
  9. Add the fish, stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to medium low and cook for ten minutes. 
  10. When curry is done it will leave fat and appear glossy.
  11. Remove from flame.

P.S.: Same recipe may be used for Pomfret, Gole fish (Hammour), Mandeli (Golden Anchovies), Surmai (Kind Fish).  This curry is called sweet fish curry where chillies are less and coriander seeds are more. Other curries are the amotik (Spicy hot) usually made with Tarle (Sardines), Bangde (Mackerels), Bhing (Herring) Tato (Shark) etc., Green curry with fresh green masala for Pomfret, Fresh Bombay duck, etc. and the Kane  (Lady Fish) where curry to similar to above but Ajwain is added to the masala and onion and garlic are increased. 

2. Cabbage vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 small tomato (Optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 flaked garlic
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Shred the cabbage and soak in salted water for few minutes. 
  2. Slice the onion and green chillies, chop the tomato.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and wash the curry leaves.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. 
  5. Add the garlic and curry leaves, followed by the chillies and onion and saute for a minute. 
  6. Add the cabbage and salt, mix.
  7. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till done.  Do not add any water.
  8. Garnish with fresh coconut.

3. Lepo fry (Sole Tongue fish fry)

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Lepo
  • 3 tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • Rice flour or Rava to coat the fish

Method

  1. To clean the fish, cut the head and pull out the skin from both sides and the intestines.  Wash and leave aside to drain.
  2. Mix the red chilli powder, salt and vinegar to a paste and apply to the fish and marinate for half hour.
  3. Heat some oil to shallow fry the fish. 
  4. Take some rice flour or rava in a plate. 
  5. Roll the fish to coat evenly and fry on medium flame for 5 minutes on each side till crisp.

4. Steamed Rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or boiled rice if you wish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for atleast 15 minutes.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a vessel. 
  3. Add the pre-soaked rice, salt and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce flame and simmer till rice is tender.  Strain the water. 

Tip: Cook the rice on low flame so the grains remain whole and separate and do not break.

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Cooking with Taro


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Taro (Colacasia) Plants

Taro croms (root) is also known as Arbi, Ghuiya, Colacasia root. The leaves are called colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves. The root, stems and leaves are edible but should not be consumed raw as it containes toxic substances which are neutralised by cooking.

Taro is a tropical plant and consumption of both its root and leaves have many benefits namely, reduces infammation, controls cholestrol, boosts immunity amongst other benefits.

Available in abundance during the monsoons in India. It is also grown in African, Oceanic, Pacific and South Asian countries throughout the year. It is easily available in Indian, East Asian and Latin American Markets around the world and comes in various sizes from small to medium to large. When choosing Taro croms, pick those that seem heavy for their size, are firm and the hairy skin looks somewhat moist.

Taro Roots or Arbi can be prepared into various tasty snacks and vegetables, a few of which are mentioned below. Apply some oil on your hands when handling Arbi or wear gloves as it leaves a sticky liquid.

  1. Arbi Kofta with mint yogurt dip
  2. Arbi Makhani
  3. Arbi fry
  4. Arbi Tuk

Taro or Colacasia leaves – also known as Colacasia leaves, Alun leaves, Pathra leaves, have an abundance of benefits and are most commonly used in the traditional mangalorean Pathrode and the famous gujarati snack Pathra (Alu Vadi). The stems of the leaves are also used in cooking and we usually make a curry by adding some legumes, etc.

  1. Alu Vadi
  2. Pathrode
  3. Alun stem with Alsande Curry
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Alu Vadi
107 Pathrade
Pathrode
Alun Stem with Alasande (Red Kidney beans) and Ambade curry

It is beneficial to eat local and seasonal produce. Not only is it cheaper but also fresh as it is grown in local farms and the supply does not require transportation over days and weeks to long distances therefore the produce reaches markets quicker thereby preserving its nutritional value. Besides the nutrients lost due to contamination from pesticides etc. is eliminated as most local produce is grown organically. Any seasonal produce is naturally good as it supports the body’s nutritional requirements. Buying local produce also supports the local farmer.

Read my post on Cooking with Spinach for recipes using spinach.

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Weddings in COVID-19 times


Winnie Couture Is Now Making There Are Now Making Haute Wedding Masks

Marriages in  COVID times

Lockdown Weddings

Are weddings happening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?  Absolutely!

The COVID-19 Pandemic has jeopardised, among other things, wedding plans of many young couples i.e. those who were to get married in 2020, had all arrangements in place and were waiting for ‘D’ day to dawn.  While one or two years may have been spent in planning and preparing for the auspicious occasion, the onslaught of the Coronavirus in early 2020 have brought all plans to an abrupt halt.  Moreover, the virus continues to spread without showing any signs of retreating soon.

The answers to go ahead with a wedding or not in the present circumstances are not easy due to uncertainity surrounding the issue.  But many young couples are now considering taking the plunge and starting to look ahead.  Most countries are gradually opening up to the “new-normal”, of which we are still unsure of how long this “new-normal” period is going to last.  Could be a year or even more. Churches also are begining to open.

Basically most non-essential travel for medical reasons, study and other personal plans have been put on hold albeit temporarily, with everyone adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach.  Weddings however cannot be put on hold indefinitely.  It is a day every young couple looks forward to with much anticipation, a journey they were both so looking forward to starting before the turn of events early this year. 

Therefore, assuming the Church is willing to bless the nuptials, people should go ahead with weddings even in COVID times, with precautions so as to cause the least amount of risk to yourself and those attending.  Every government has announced guidelines for weddings in COVID times which must be adhered to.

As such, the following points reportedly must be borne in mind while planning the wedding :-

  1. Weddings should ideally be planned in the “outdoors” in the presence of a minimum number of people say no more than ten to thirty people, being family and very close friends.  Rest of the guests can attend virtually.
  2. Weddings can take place with just the two immediate families attending. 
  3. An indoor reception with no more than 30 people with proper PPE and social distancing factors.
  4. A small ceremony with the Big party to coincide with the Anniversary, whenever life returns to normal.

Having written several posts on Traditional Marriage ceremonies where the weddings are celebrated for no less than three days with a large number of guests mingling with each other, elaborate ceremonies and great merriment, in contrast a lockdown wedding would basically be restricted to, provided all necessary precautions are followed and taken into consideration  –

  1. A one day event, with a symbolic Roce ceremony with immediate family.
  2. Other pre-wedding parties like the Hen-party or Bachelors party would be celebrated on Zoom or such virtual platforms or dropped.
  3. Bridesmaids & Groomsmen to be restricted to one or max two.
  4. Photography would be restricted to one professional photographer, no videographer, no hashtags.
  5. No party favors.
  6. No immediate Honeymoon.
  7. No hugs and kisses, no handshakes.
  8. Proper social distancing, hand sanistisers and masks provided to those attending.
  9. Definitely celebrate with a cake and wine, with only the bridal couple partaking.
  10. Food may be served if it is just the immediate family and all are known to each other to be safe, if not ‘boxed’ meals would be safest.  Buffets are to be avoided.  If it is a small gathering at home, then home-cooked meals are preferable.

Many would feel it is safer for a 2021 wedding, but given that most people whose plans for a 2020 wedding have crashed, would most likely be planning a 2021 wedding.  As a result, venues would be limited as most bookings may have already been made.  So the quicker these are booked the better.

Another important aspect to consider is the size of venue.  For a usual venue of say 250 guests in normal times, the venue in COVID times for 2021 would require to be bigger maybe double the size if social distancing norms are to be implemented.

The Pandemic has made people realize the importance of life and surviving with the most basic needs. Hence priorities have shifted and extravagance is certainly not one of them.  So atleast till the curse of the virus has abated, one has to find ways to live a more meaningful and frugal life.

Marriage customs & traditions

Marriage customs and traditions (Roce)

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