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About My Cooking Diaries

This is Cecilia Pinto, currently based in Kuwait. Started this blog to share my cooking experiences with the world.

MENU PLAN FOR LACTATING MOTHERS


Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers
Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers

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.

OR

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.

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.

Mutton Palak


Mutton Palak

Mutton Palak

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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 till for 3 to 4 minutes.

Hara Bara Kabab

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  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.

Aloo Chutneywale


Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables!!

Potatoes stuffed with paneer and cooked in a tangy chutney gravy, sure to leave your palates tingling!

Clean the potatoes and trim the sides to make barrel shapes.  Scoop out the centre to form a hollow leaving  ¼ inch around.  Deep fry in oil till light brown.

Grate paneer and mix with the chopped chillies and cashewnut pieces.  Stuff the potatoes with this filling.  Keep aside.

Grind the chutney ingredients to a paste.  Whisk yogurt in a bowl.  Wash and chop tomatoes. Heat ghee in a vessel, add cumin and finely chopped onions or the ½ cup boiled onion paste and sauté for a minute.  Boiled onion paste will give you a smoother gravy.  Add the ginger garlic paste with ¼ cup water and stir till fat leaves the masala.  Add the chutney masala and red chilli powder, sauté for few seconds.  Add yogurt and 1 cup water, mix, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer till fat leaves the masala. 

Add the whole stuffed potatoes and simmer for few minutes until fully cooked.  Add tomatoes and simmer for a minute, add cashewnut paste and stir carefully.  Sprinkle the garam masala and bring to a boil.

Aloo Chutneywale

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • Oil for frying

Filling

Chutney

  • 2 cups coriander leaves
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup raw mango or 2 tbsp. lemon juice

Gravy

  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely or ½ cup boiled onion paste – To make boiled onion paste: Peel, wash and roughly chop onions.  Place in a vessel, add 1 bay leaf, 1 black cardamom and ½ cup water.  Bring to  boil and cook on low till onions are transparent and liquid has evaporated. Grind to a paste.
  • 2 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ cup tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. cashewnut paste – To make cashewnut paste:  Soak the cashewnuts in water for 30 minutes and grind to a paste.
  • 2 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt

Method

  1. Wash the potatoes and trim the sides to make barrel shapes. 
  2. Scoop out the centre to form a hollow leaving  ¼ inch around. 
  3. Deep fry in oil till light brown.
  4. Mash the paneer and mix with the chopped chillies and cashewnut pieces. 
  5. Stuff the potatoes with this filling.  Keep aside.
  6. Grind the chutney ingredients to a paste. 
  7. Whisk yogurt in a bowl. 
  8. Wash and chop tomatoes.
  9. Heat ghee in a vessel, add cumin and finely chopped onions or the ½ cup boiled onion paste and sauté for a minute.  Boiled onion paste will give you a smoother gravy. 
  10. Add the ginger garlic paste with ¼ cup water and stir till fat begins to separate. 
  11. Add the chutney masala and red chilli powder, sauté for few seconds. 
  12. Add yogurt and 1 cup water, mix, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer till fat leaves the masala. 
  13. Add the whole stuffed potatoes and simmer for few minutes until fully cooked. 
  14. Add tomatoes and simmer for a minute, add cashewnut paste and stir carefully. 
  15. Sprinkle the garam masala powder and bring to a boil.
  16. Adjust seasoning.  Cook in and open vessel, do not cover. 
  17. To serve, cut the potatoes carefully in half to reveal the stuffing.
  18. Serve with any Indian bread of your choice.

Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables. Also check out Musallam Phool Gobi & Imam Bayildi.

Musallam Phool Gobi


Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables!!

This recipe has been in my book since I was in school in the early 70’s, which was shared by Irene Vaz. In those days “Dalda” a brand of hydrogenated vegetable oil, was an household name for an affordable ‘ghee’ substitute, made famous by Lintas the company responsible for their advertising. One of their vigorous campaigns was a recipe contest and the winning recipes were published. A must ingredient in every recipe was Dalda! Have your ever seen a recipe calling for ‘Parachute’ rather than ”Coconut Oil’? But with Dalda it was the brand that was made famous rather than the product (vanaspati). Vanaspati is a thick vegetable oil NOT Ghee, but was commonly used instead of ghee.

Musallam Phool Gobi is from this recipe contest. Although I had it since the 70’s I tried it only in the 90’s when we invited two of our friends and their families over for Lunch as their parents were visiting Kuwait. The parents were strict vegetarians and wanting to impress them I prepared this dish, but they didn’t believe that it was home-cooked and kept insisting that it was certainly ordered from a restuarant. So that’s how delicious it turns out!

To prepare Musallam Phool Gobi, clean cauliflower and remove the leaves.  Wash whole flower well and soak it in warm salted water to 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse. 

Immerse in salted water

Wash and cut tomatoes into fours.  Slice onions finely.  Grind the ingredients from garlic to salt.  Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown, remove and set aside. 

While the onions are frying, take a deep broad vessel and add 2 tbsp. ghee, when hot, add the cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves.  Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes.  Then add the whole cauliflower, stem side up. 

Cook on low heat till half done.  Turn over and cook  till tender and light brown.  Do add any water.  Garnish with the browned onions and serve hot with parathas or chapaties or any Indian bread of your choice.

Musallam Phool Gobi

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

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4 large onions
  • 10 flakes garlic
  • 1” pc ginger
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds (can be substituted with cashewnuts)
  • 2 tbsp. dry coconut
  • 8 groundnuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. Ghee
  • 8 cardamoms
  • 1” cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves

Method

  1. Clean cauliflower and remove the leaves.  Wash whole flower well and soak it in warm salted water to 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse. 
  2. Wash and cut tomatoes into fours. 
  3. Slice onions finely. 
  4. Grind the ingredients from garlic to salt. 
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown, remove and set aside. 
  6. While the onions are frying, take another deep broad vessel and add 2 tbsp. ghee. When hot, add the cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  7. Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes. 
  8. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. 
  9. Then add the whole cauliflower, stem side up. 
  10. Cook on low heat till half done. 
  11. Turn over and cook  till tender and light brown.  Do not add any water. 
  12. Garnish with the browned onions.
  13. Serve hot with parathas or chapatis or any Indian bread of your choice.

Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables. Also check out Aloo Chutneywale and Imam Bayildi.

Imam Bayildi


Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables!!

Imam Bayildi translated The Fainting Imam, the name given to this Eggplant (Brinjal/Aubergine) preparation originates from one of the stories on the origins of this dish. It is said that the Imam passed out when he tasted this simple but flavorful dish, although not certain if it was due to the amount of olive oil or from the delicious taste!

Imam Bayildi (The Fainting Imam)

Blanch, peel and chop tomatoes. Chop parsley/coriander leaves. Remove stems and peel strips of skin lengthwise from the brinjals to get a striped effect. Cut lengthwise stopping short of the edge. Place the brinjals in salted water to avoid turning brown. Cut the onions into wedges. Chop the garlic. 

  • Heat half the olive oil and fry the onion till nearly transparent. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley/coriander leaves all over. 
  1. In a frying pan, heat remaining oil over high heat. Drain the eggplants well and fry until lightly brown on all sides but still firm. Cool the eggplants slightly and stuff the onion mixture as much as possible into the eggplants. Place the eggplants over the remaining mixture. Sprinkle the lemon juice, sugar and ½ cup water, cover and place on medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

Imam Bayildi

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 long medium-large eggplants
  • 3 large onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 tomatoes
  • Large bunch parsley or coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil

Method

  1. Blanch, peel and chop tomatoes. 
  2. Chop parsley/coriander leaves. 
  3. Remove stems and peel strips of skin lengthwise from the brinjals to get a striped effect. 
  4. Cut lengthwise stopping short of the edge. 
  5. Place the brinjals in salted water to avoid turning brown. 
  6. Cut the onions into wedges. 
  7. Chop the garlic. 
  8. Heat half the olive oil and fry the onion till nearly transparent. 
  9. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. 
  10. Add the tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. 
  11. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle parsley/coriander leaves all over. 
  12. In a frying pan, heat remaining oil over high heat. 
  13. Drain the eggplants well and fry until lightly brown on all sides but still firm. 
  14. Cool the eggplants slightly and stuff the onion mixture as much as possible into the eggplants. 
  15. Place the eggplants over the remaining mixture. 
  16. Sprinkle the lemon juice, sugar and ½ cup water, cover and place on medium-low heat for 45 minutes.
  17. If necessary add a little water to prevent from drying.
  18. Ideally served with Pita bread, goes well with chapatis or any Indian bread.

Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables. Also check out Aloo Chutneywale and Musallam Phool Gobi.

Eggciting Breakfasts


Eggs form an essential part of our diets providing us with quality nutrients like protein, iron, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids and is a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Eggs should also be cooked in the right manner to benefit from the nutrients. For perfectly boiled eggs check out my post on Think you know how to boil an egg.

For those who love eating eggs, here are several options to enjoy this nutrient dense food for breakfast or even as lunch or dinner.

  1. Egg Frittata with potato and sausages
  2. Egg Omlette with Cherry Tomatoes
  3. Eggs Benedict
  4. Egg Roll
  5. Mughalai Egg Paratha
  6. Omlette Pao
  7. Toad in a Hole
  8. Low Carb Toad in a Hole
  9. English Breakfast
  10. Egg Bhurji
  11. Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich
  12. Bacon & Eggs
  13. Egg Dosa

Egg Frittata with potato and sausages


Egg Frittata with potato and sausages

A spin-off on the famous Parsi “Papeta par Eedu”, with the additon of sausages, this is a really simple and quick breakfast bake, albeit in a frying pan! For more Egg-based options check out ‘Eggciting breakfasts’!

Slice the sausages thinly and fry 2 minutes till the edges turn crisp.

Fry the chopped onions & green chilli adding 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the tomatoes and fry for a minute and top with the sliced potatoes. Sprinkle over with salt and pepper. Cover and cook ten minutes.

Spread the fried sausages over the potatoes and break the eggs one by one over the sausages. Cover and cook till done. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Egg Frittata with Potato & Sausages

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 Potato, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (optional)
  • 3 Beef or Chicken Sausages (Frankfurters), thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbs. ghee

Method

  1. On a frying pan or skillet, heat ghee and fry the sliced sausages for two minutes or till crisp at the edges. Remove and set aside. 
  2. To the same pan add chopped onion and green chillie and saute till onion is light brown,  add a spoon of ghee if required. Add turmeric and mix.
  3. Add tomatoes and sauté for a minute, add ½ tsp salt and mix. 
  4. Spread the potato slices evenly over the onion tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let cook 10 minutes on low flame, till potatoes are almost cooked.
  5. Spread the sausage slices over the potatoes and then break the eggs one at a time over the sausages.  Cover and cook ten minutes or until the top is opaque and the eggs are cooked.  
  6. If you like the eggs runny, remove as soon as the whites are set. 
  7. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Chicken Malai Kabab


A traditional creamy kabab with cheddar cheese

Cut chicken breasts into 2” pieces.  Add ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper and mix well with the chicken pieces.  Set aside for 15 minutes.

Break egg in a bowl.  Grate cheese and mash. Chop chilles and coriander.  Mix cheese, green chillies, coriander and the remaining ingedients with the egg, whisk and rub the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for 3 hours,

Preheat oven.  Skewer the chicken and roast 10 mintues.  Baste with butter and roast again till lightly brown all over. 

Chicken Malai Kabab

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

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Chicken boneless breasts
  • 4 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. white pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Butter for basting

Marinade

  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese
  • 8 green chillies
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp. cornflour

Method

  1. Cut chicken breasts into 2” pieces. 
  2. Add ginger garlic paste, salt and pepper and mix well with the chicken pieces.  Set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Marination: Mix the egg, grated cheese, chopped chilles and coriander with the remaining ingedients, rub the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for 3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven.  Skewer the chicken and roast 10 mintues.  Baste with butter and roast again till lightly brown all over. 

The Irresistable Mangalorean Ghee Roast


The ultimate mangalorean ghee roast!

Chicken Ghee Roast is a popular Tuluva Mangalorean Chicken recipe whose origins go back to a small town, Kundapur, close to Mangalore. Chicken Ghee Roast is fiery red, tangy and spicy with a flavor of ghee roasted spices. Chicken ghee roast is pan roasted with spices and generous use of ghee. Source : Wikipedia

I am presenting the Chicken, Mutton (Lamb) and Prawn Ghee roast recipes. Although the spices are similar but there is some variation in the ingredients and preparation for each of the recipes. Click on the title for the recipe –

A typical speciality of the Bunt community made popular at Shetty restaurants, the first time I had ‘Ghee Roast’ was in Mangalore on our last visit about two years ago, at Guthu Restaurant.  We had Kori Roti, King Fish fry and Chicken Ghee Roast. The fiery Chicken Ghee Roast which immediately hit our head on the first morsel and had fire coming out of our ears had our eyes, nose watering and our mouth burning. Although it was exciting, we just could not handle the spice level, with the result we could not enjoy the meal.

The advantage of creating traditional dishes at home, is you can adjust the recipe to suit your taste to get maximum satisfaction from the meal. Our spice level is always medium spicy, hence the Prawn, Chicken and Mutton Ghee Roast does not have the usual number of chillies.  Secondly, Baydagi and Kashmiri chillies are both used, but I have used only Kashmiri as I did not have Baydagi chillies. You may increase the chillies according to your taste.

P.S.: Any leftover ghee roast (if at all any remains of these delicious dishes) can be reinvented the next day.  Just add some water when re-heating to make a curry and you have a Kundapur Curry to go with freshly steamed rice!

Click on the link for the recipes:-

Chicken Ghee Roast

Mutton Ghee Roast

Prawn Ghee Roast

5 Desserts to cool and heal in hot summer weather


Consuming foods that are cooling to the body help with heat exhaustion, indigestion, sleeplessness and other ailments associated with hot weather.

Hear are a few desserts made from foods that have a cooling effect on the body, while also providing the essentional nutrients and nourishment.

  1. Pistachio Arrowroot Pudding
Pistachio Arowroot Pudding

Arrowroot powder: Gluten free, has a cooling effect on the body and helps in digestion.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup coconut milk or regular milk
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup Pistachios, shelled
  • A pinch cardamom powder
  • 2 to 3 drops green food colour

Put the arrowroot powder in a large bowl and mix it with 2 cups of water and leave it aside for 2 to 3 hours.  The powder will settle to the bottom.  After 2 to 3 hours discard the water carefully without disturbing the arrowroot paste.  Meanwhile, soak the pistachios in water for half an hour.  Peel the skins and slice thinly. Grease a plate with ghee and set aside.

Add the 1 ½ cup water to the arrowroot paste and dilute it. Take a saucepan and add the arrowroot mixture to the saucepan alongwith the sugar and coconut milk, mix and keep on medium low flame and cook till the mixture thickens, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the green food coloring and mix well. Once thick and glossy, add the cardamom powder and sliced pistachios.  (I have added vanilla essence instead of cardamom) Cook, stirring till the mixture turns translucent and begins leaving the sides of the pan. Total cooking time should take 10 to 15 minutes.  Overcooking will cause the mixture to thin.

Take off flame and pour into the greased plate and tap the plate so the mixture spreads evenly.  Cool completely and refrigerate for atleast 6 hours.  Cut into cubes or triangles and serve. 

Variations in flavoring: Keep the pudding white and add a i) few saffron strands with chopped cashews or ii) toasted coconut flakes with sliced almonds.

P.S.: Arrowroot powder may be substituted with corn flour.

2. Mango Sago Pudding

Sago Mango Pudding

With mangoes in abundance this season, enjoy the goodness of this nutritious fruit with the cooling effects of sago pearls

Mango: High in Vitamin C, folate & beta-carotene in addition to variety of nutrients.

Sago: Gluten free, cooling and antioxidant, reduces inflammation and improves immunity.

Ingredients

  • 2 Mangoes
  • ½ cup sago
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup crystal sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt optional

Bring 2 cups water to boil in a saucepan, add the sago and cook for ten minutes. Switch off the flame and leave covered for ten mintes.  Drain and add the sago to a bowl of cold water to rinse. Drain. 

Add the sago pearls alongwith the coconut milk, 1 cup water and crystal sugar and salt to a pan and cook on medium flame till sugar dissolves and mixture thickens a little.  Remove from flame and leave to cool.  Chill till ready to serve.

Chop or slice the mangoes and reserve, before serving top with mango slices or pieces.  If you wish, puree some mango pieces and add the puree to the sago pudding and mix, top with chopped or sliced mangoes. Garnish with candied fruit is desired.

3. Moong Kheer (Godshem)

Moong Kheer (Godshen)

I remember my mother making this often as an evening tea-time snack.

Moong bean: Rich source of protein and nutrients, cooling effect on the body

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole moong beans
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup jaggery or to taste
  • ¼ tsp salt (optional)
  • ¼ cup cashewnuts, broken into bits (optional)
  • Flavoring : Saffron or pandan leaf or a large pinch cardamom powder.

Wash the moong and bring to a boil in 2 cups water alongwith the salt and the saffron or pandan leaf (if using). Reduce flame and cook till the moong is tender and fully cooked.  The water should be almost absorbed. 

Add the coconut milk, 1 cup water, jaggery and cook till the jiggery dissolves and the mixture thickens.  Remove the leaf and discard, add the cashewnuts and simmer for 5 minutes.

Garnish with cardamom powder, if using. Serve warm or cold as a dessert.  Can also be served hot as a tea-time snack.

The following two recipes have been posted earlier and can be accessed by clicking on the recipe title.

4. Kulfi and Rose Falooda

Rose syrup: has a cooling effect and promotes restful sleep as it reduces stress and anxiety and calms the mind, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Sabja (Basil seeds): Also called Tukmaria, they resemble chia seeds. Immunity boosting, rich in anti-oxidants, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, reduces body heat and relieves constipation.

5. Lychee and coconut custard

Lychees: High in Vitamin C, B-Complex, anti-oxidant, high in fibre

Lychee and Coconut Custard

Greek Chicken Souvlaki


Inspired by Suzy of Themediterraneandish.com

Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while still hot. It can be served with pita breadfried potatoeslemon, and sauces, but the souvlaki itself is eaten on its own, with the side dishes eaten subsequently. The meat usually used in Greece and Cyprus is pork, although chickenbeef, and lamb may also be used. Source: Wikipedia

Cut the chicken into cubes, blend the marinade ingredients and pour over the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for 4 hours or overnight.

Meanwhile soak the wooden skewers in water. Use as many as required and the balance can be dried again and stored.

Skewer the chicken, alternating with the onion.

Place on a preheated grill and roast till brown on both sides. Can also be grilled on a pan grill or frying pan. Use smaller sized wooden skewers to fit into the pan and roast on a well greased pan till brown all over.

Greek Souvlaki

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 1 kg. Chicken breasts, boneless
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper powder
  • ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup whie wine (or 2 tbsp. vinegar)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium onions cut into fours and petals separated
  • Wooden or metal skewers

Method

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 .5“ cubes. 
  2. Blend the ingredients for the marinade from garlic to lemon juice. 
  3. Place chicken in a large bowl and add the bay leaves. 
  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat evenly. 
  5. Cover and keep for 4 hours or overnight. 
  6. While the chicken is marinating, soak the wooden skewers (if using wooden) in water.  
  7. When ready to grill, preheat the grill. 
  8. Skewer a piece of onion petal, then a piece of chicken alternating with onion. 
  9. Place on a rack with a tray underneath to catch the drippings. 
  10. Grill till golden, turn and grill other side till done. 
  11. Serve with pita bread, roasted garlic hummus and tzatziki.

Set Dosa


‘Pole’ for Mangaloreans and ‘Kallappam’ for Keralites, these soft spongy pancakes can be relished with chutney for breakfast or even with jam, butter or eaten just plain dipped in your tea or coffee!! These dosas are quite popular in the South of India.

For lunch or dinner serve with a chicken curry, mutton curry or vegetable stew so the dosa mops up the delicious gravy giving you a succulent morsel of food thoroughly satisfying to your tastebuds and your tummy!

Set dosa can be made with sanna or dosa batter which uses rice and urad dal (black gram dal) as its ingredients. 

The following recipe does not use urad dal but uses coconut and rice making the dosas lighter & spongy.  The recipe is similar to Appam, but the consistency of the batter should be kept slightly thicker for making Set Dosas. The size is smaller than the Udupi masala or sada dosas. You can use a dosa pan for making them but a smaller cast iron pan or frying pan would give a uniform and perfect circular shape to these dosas.

Idli rice can be used, if available, but I used basmati rice with good results. If fresh coconut is not available, use ½ cup coconut milk or ½ cup coconut milk powder. If the batter is fermenting overnight, do check on it in case you wake up in the night (to drink water or use the washroom) and if it has risen but it is too early to make the dosas, promptly put the risen batter in the fridge and make the dosas once you are ready. You don’t have to worry about having to prepare them at 4 or 5 am just because the batter is fermented. The Batter will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Soak the rice for 4 to 6 hours and grind to a thick paste alongwith the cooked rice and coconut. Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes. Add to the rice paste, mix well and leave to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.  Fermenting time will depend on room temperature.  If weather is cold, use warm (not hot)  water for grinding the batter. In warm weather it will ferment in 4 hours.

When the batter has risen, add salt and mix.  Heat a cast iron pan or a frying pan on medium high heat until very hot. 

Pour one ladle or 1/2 cup of batter on the hot pan. (Do not spread the batter like you would do for the Masala dosa).  Leave as is, cover with lid and cook till underside turns golden and dosa gets spongy and translucent and is covered with holes. 

If you wish you may turn and cook the other side. 

Serve with red coconut chutney.

Set Dosa

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice, preferably idli rice
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. warm water

Method

  1. Soak the rice for 4 to 6 hours and grind to a thick paste alongwith the cooked rice and coconut. 
  2. Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes.
  3. Add to the rice paste, mix well and leave to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.  Fermenting time will depend on room temperature.  If weather is cold, use warm (not hot)  water for grinding the batter. In warm weather it will ferment in 4 hours.
  4. When the batter has risen, add salt and mix.  Heat a cast iron pan or a frying pan on medium high heat until very hot. 
  5. Pour one ladle or 1/2 cup of batter on the hot pan. (Do not spread the batter like you would do for the Masala dosa).  Leave as is, cover with lid and cook till underside turns golden and dosa gets spongy and translucent and is covered with holes. 
  6. If you wish you may turn and cook the other side. 
  7. Serve with red coconut chutney

Red coconut chutney

Same as green coconut chutney but substitute the green chilles and coriander leaves with two to three red cillies.

Rest of the recipe is the same.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs


I have been making Foccacia over and over since few years but I don’t know why it did not occur to me to post it sooner. My family just loves this bread and more than half of it gets gobbled up no sooner it comes out of the oven while still warm and crisp.

Top it with chopped olives, roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, caramalized onions, etc. Foccacia is best eaten alone as a snack, but you can use it for sandwiches or pair it with dips for a delicious appetizer.

Here are the step-by-step pictures and method.

Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.  Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours. Alternatively, if you wish to bake the same day, leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate the seasoning. 

Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of olive oil in the centre of each. Divide the dough into two pieces and place each on the pan. 

Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan. 

Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F.  With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs

  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Italian seasoning, as mentioned below
  • Flaky sea salt

Italian seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Mix all the above together and keep to infuse until required. I have used dried herbs, use fresh if available. Secondly, you may omit one or the other as per availability, but increase the quantity propotionately so the bread is well seasoned. You may also use chopped olives.

Method

  1. Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated. 
  3. Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can also keep to rise for two hours, if you plan on making it the same day.
  4. After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate well. 
  5. Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of oil oil in the centre of each.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces and place one on each pan. 
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F. 
  9. With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, use more oil if required and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

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