Home cooking

Sambar Udupi Sambar


Vegetable Sambar

Udupi Sambar

Sambar is such a versatile dish, it can be paired with so many south Indian breakfasts, snacks or main meals.  This recipe turns out so delicious, you will never want to try another recipe.

Ingredients

  • 100 gms. Tur dal (Toovar) Split pigeon peas
  • 5 to 6 lady fingers
  • 1 brinjal
  • 1 potato
  • 1 drumstick
  • 8 small peeled onions (keep whole) or 2 medium onion cut into thick slices
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 6 red chillies (missed this in the video)
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 lime sized ball tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 big onions finely sliced
  • Few curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Wash dal and soak in water for 1 hour. 

Roast and powder coriander seeds, red chillies, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida.  Cover tamarind with two cups of water for 5 minutes and squeeze out the pulp. 

Cook the dal in the water it was soaked, adding ½ tsp. turmeric and salt till soft.  Remove from fire, add warm water and pulse in a mixer to a paste.

Clean the vegetables and cut into small pieces.  You may use vegetables of your choice.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the sliced onions till soft.  Add tomatoes, turmeric and salt and cook till tomatoes turn soft.  Add all the vegetables except the lady fingers.  Mix well and add the powdered masala and cook till vegetables are almost done, then add the lady fingers.  When vegetables turn tender, add the dal mixture, mix and put in the chopped green chillies and bring to a boil.  Add tamarind pulp. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.  Meanwhile heat a pan add the remaining oil and put in curry leaves and mustard and cumin seeds.  When the seeds stop popping transfer immediately to the sambar and serve hot with plain boiled rice, idlis, vadas and dosas. The consistency of the sambar can be adjusted to your choice.

Check out the other Udupi specialities to enjoy with Sambar:-

Idli Sambar:  https://youtu.be/sjFC6Eo-FQ0

Sada Dosa :  https://youtu.be/LxuaPUfsMRU

Uttapam    : https://youtu.be/5NRoejIuUbc

Medu Vada : https://youtu.be/EOA_pY3m4gI

Instant Quinoa Idlis : https://youtu.be/MLVGUfpBRLE

Sweet Potato Khichidi – Ratalayache Kees


Sweet Potato Khichidi – Ratalyache Kees

Promotes gut health, say the health experts!  A dish so full of nutrients yet so simple and easy to make, apart from eating boiled sweet potatoes!

Fasting food!  Upvas recipe. Delicious sweet potatoes, rich in nutrients and fibre and antioxidants that promote the growth of good gut bacteria and contribute to a healthy gut.  Ashadi Ekadashi Special.  This flavourful dish is a combination of spicy, sweet, tart and can be cooked in a jiffy!

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 medium Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. roasted peanut powder
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. lemon, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Wash and scrub potatoes well.  Not necessary to peel.  Grate and transfer to a bowl of water to prevent oxidation.  Heat a pan and add the ghee.  Reduce flame and add the cumin seeds, when they crackle add curry leaves and green chilli and saute a few seconds.  Add the drained sweet potatoes and mix.  Cover and cook 7-10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.  Add the peanut powder, salt, sugar and lemon juice and fresh coconut and mix well.  Switch off and let rest 5 minutes, before removing to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.  Enjoy with yogurt and pickle.  An excellent breakfast or snack! Great as an accompaniment to any main meal.  If you have observed, no water is added to the dish and hence the sweet potatoes are likely to stick to the pan. Using a non-stick pan helps.  Nonetheless, the slightly browned part of the Kees that has stuck to the bottom of the pan tastes the best!

Instant Quinoa Idlis


Quinoa Idli – No fermentation required!

Makes 12 Idlis

Quinoa is rich in protein, dietry fibre, B vitamins and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains.  Cooked quinoa provides energy and is a rich source of manganese and phosphorus and a moderate source of dietary fiber, folate, and the dietary minerals iron, zinc and magnesium.  Quinoa is gluten-free with a high concentration of protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup White quinoa
  • 1 Cup Oats
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 4 tbsp. grated carrot
  • ¼ cup who cashewnuts
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 ½ cup Water, approx.

Powder the quinoa and oats in a grinder and add to a bowl.  Mix with 1 cup water.  Then add additional water a little at a time, as required to make a thick smooth batter or dropping consistency.  Batter should not be too watery. Add, salt, chillies and cumin seeds.  Mix.  Then add carrots, peas (preferably frozen peas as they cook faster).  Temper the mustard seed in the oil and add to the batter.  Add cashewnuts and mix well and keep aside.  Keep the steamer with some water to heat.  Grease the idli molds.  When the water starts boiling, fill the idli molds with approx. ¼ cup of batter in each mold.  Place the idli stand in the steamer, place the lid and steam for 15 to 20 minutes.  Pierce a toothpick, if it comes out clean the idlis are done.  Serve with coconut chutney.

Choris Chilly fry Goa Sausage chilli fry Choris Pao


Goan Sausage (Choris) Chilli Fry

The deicious and tantalizing Goa sausages and the famous Choris Pao, a universal favorite, prepared from a simple sausage chilli fry.  The sausages have all the spices required, all that is needed is some onion and potato (if you wish) to prepare this dish.  The taste and flavor of the cooked sausage chilli fry is directly related to the quality of sausages.  So do take care to source the best ones you can find!

Ingredients

  • 20 small beads Goan Sausages (or 10 large ones)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, as required
  • 1 medium potato (optional)

Remove the string and remove the casing of the sausages.  Some even like to keep the thread and casing and simple cut the sausages strands into 2” pcs.  In this case wash the outer casing of the sausages before using.

Clean and slice the onions roughly into thick slices/pieces.  Peel, wash and chop potato into cubes.  Add the sausages, onions and potato to a vessel.  Barely cover with water and keep on flame and bring to a boil.  Stir at intervals.  Cook till water has almost dried, just a little should remain for gravy.  Serve hot with pao or pulao.

Choris Pulao Goa Sausage Pulao


Chorisan are synonymous with Goa!

The Goa sausages famous all over the world, cooked and added to rice for a spicy, tangy, delicious pulao.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 30 small beads goa sausages (chorisan)
  • 3 medium onions
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 cardamoms
  • ½ tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 2”  sticks cinnamon
  • 2 stock cubes, any flavour (I used chicken)
  • ½ tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Oil

Wash and soak the rice, till required.  Cut the thread of the sausage beads and slit the casing to remove completely.  Keep the sausage meat aside.  Clean and slice the onions.  Heat oil in a vessel and add the onions, fry till translucent.  Add the sausage meat and 1 cup water and cook 15 to 20 minutes till all the water is absorbed and sausages are tender.   Take a larges vessel to cook the pulao.  Add 4 cups water, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and the stock cubes.  Add ½ tsp. salt to taste.  When the water starts boiling and the stock cubes are dissolved, add the soaked drained rice.  Mix well and cover.  When it begins boiling, reduce to low flame and cook till water is half absorbed.  Then add the cooked sausages and mix well gently.  Cover and continue cooking on low till all the moisture is absorbed and rice is cooked.  Serve hot.  Delicious!  A family favorite!!

Amla (Indian Goosberry) Saar Rasam


The taste of Indian Amla is sour, bitter and astringent, and it is quite fibrous.  According to Ayurveda, amla fruit is sour (amla) and astringent (kashaya) in taste (rasa), with sweet (madhura), bitter (tikta) and pungent (katu) secondary tastes (anurasas). Its qualities (gunas) are light (laghu) and dry (ruksha), the postdigestive effect (vipaka) is sweet (madhura) and its energy (virya) is cooling (shita). Source Wikipedia

These fruits are reputed to contain high amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). 

Ingredients

  • 6 Gooseberries
  • 1 Tomato
  • 2 tsp. Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 pc. Ginger
  • 4 to 5 flakes garlic (optional)
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 red chillies
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves

Wash and deseed the amlas.  Wash the tomato, chop and keep aside. Grind the peppercorns and cumin to a powder. Remove and set aside.  To the same jar add the amlas, garlic, ginger, green chilli and grind to a paste adding some water.

Take oil in a vessel and add the ustard seeds, when they splutter add the curry leaves and red chilies, saute for a few seconds, then add the pepper and cumin powder and the chopped tomatoes and add ¼ cup water to cook the tomatoes and to avoid spice powders from burning.  When the tomatoes are soft add the amla paste, sufficient water 1 to 2 cups as per desired consistency, salt, turmeric powder and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame and cook 10 minutes.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.  Serve hot as soup or with plain steamed rice.  An excellent winter preparation due to its high vitamin C content.

Beef Jeerem Meerem


Beef Jeerem Meerem

Goan Beef Jeerem Meerem

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Boneless Beef
  • 2 green chillies
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 or 2 potatoes, as required (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. Jeerem Meerem powder
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)

Method

Clean and cut meat into cubes or slices.  Wash, drain and set aside.  Grind the ginger and garlic to a coarse paste.  Marinate the meat with the 1 tbsp. of the jeerem meerem powder, juice of lemon and salt. Keep aside for one hour atleast.

Slice the onions and tomatoes, slit the green chillies and cut the potatoes into cubes or wedges.  Heat oil I a vessel and fry the onions till light brown.  Add the ginger garlic paste and saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and fry till soft.  Reduce heat and add the remaining jeerem meerem powder and saute for a miunute.  Add beef and cook on high heat till meat changes color, reduce heat and cook till water evaporates.  Add the tamarind pulp and a cup of hot water, bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.  Then lower heat and cook another 20  minutes till meat is tender.  Add the green chillies and potatoes and cook further 10 minutes till potatoes are cooked.  Check seasoning.  Add ½ tsp. sugar (optional) Usually this is a dry dish but you can add some hot water if you need to have some gravy and simmer till oil surfaces.  Served with Goan pulao (Aroz) or any bread of your choice.

Surati Papadi Bhaji


Papadi Bhaji – Surati Papdi vegetable (Lima Beans) Vaal Papadi or Sem

This is a winter vegetable in India and found in abundance in the winter season.  The Gujarati famous dish “Oondhiya” is usually made when surati papadi is in season. 

Ingredients

  • 250 gms. Surati Papadi
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 green chillies (optional)
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • ½ to 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 medium potato (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Wash the papadi, drain.  String the beans by removing the head and the tail and the fibrous string on both sides of the beans.  Split open the papadi pods and remove the seeds and set aside. It is important to split them open because sometimes these beans are infested on the inside, discard the infested ones.  The split pods can be broken or cut into ½” to 1” inch sized pieces.  Sometimes the shells of the beans will be hard and are not edible, in such cases only the seeds are used for cooking.

Chop the onion and tomatoes, slice the garlic and tomatoes.  Heat oil and add the

Onion, garlic and chillies and fry till translucent.  Add the tomatoes and fry for minute.  Add the chilli, turmeric and garam masala powder, mix and add the vegetables and salt.  Add ¼ cup water and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Then add the potatoes if using, mix, cover and cook further 10 minutes till vegetables are cooked.

Stuffed Pomfret with green masala in Banana leaf


Delicious, succulent and moist Stuffed Pomfrest in mouth watering green masala and cooked iun banana leaf which prevents the fish from absorbing too much oil! Use stuffing of your choice, red, green or recheado masala. Recipe is from my mother’s book “Mais Recipes”. Get hold of your copy soon. Here is the link for details: https://cooklikececilia.com/mais-recipes-contact-details

Raw Banana Erussery


Banana Erussery   (Chena Vazhakkai Erissery)

Raw bananas have several health benefits so we always find new ways to add them to our diet.  This is a Kerala style preparation and one of the items on an Onam Sadya.  Referred to as Chena Vazhakkai Erissery or Ellisery, this is a simple dish with the use of fresh coconut, curry leaves and cumin seeds as the only ingredients for the gravy apart from onion, red chillies and garlic with some coconut for garnish. Yam, pumpkin and beans are also included as per personal preference.  I have added some pre-cooked jackfruit seeds. Enjoy with steamed rice or appams!

Ingredients

  • 3 large raw bananas
  • ½ cup boiled jackfruit seeds
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ tsp. black pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 4 flakes garlic, cushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 to 6 small round red chillies (or 2 long chillies, broken into pieces)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Peel the bananas and chop into small cubes.  Immerse in water till required.

Boil the banana pieces with turmeric and salt and 1 cup water.  Grind ½ the coconut, cumin and curry leaves to a paste adding water.  Add to the cooked bananas, mix and cook 5 minutes.  Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seed and when they pop add the crushed garlic and onion.  When light brown, add the remaining coconut and fry till nice and brown.  Add to the erussery (reserve some for garnish) and mix well. Remove to a serving dish and serve hot garnished with some fried onion coconut mixture.

Bombay Vegetable Sandwich


Famous Mumbai Street Food – One that is savoured by all and satiates the appetite instantly and provides comfort to the belly especially if you have been on the road for a few hours. Savour each bite of this crunchy, soft and tart sumptuous sandwich as a snack, which also doubles up as a quick lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf sliced Bread (Brown or white)
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Salt as required
  • Pepper powder as required
  • Chaat masala (optional)
  • Roasted cumin powder (optional)
  • Butter
  • Green Chutney
  • Ketchup
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)

For Green Chutney

  • 1 large bunch coriander leaves
  • 1 large bunch mint leaves
  • 4 to 6 green chillies
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Grind to a paste, using as little water as possible.

Boil the potatoes, peel and slice thinly.  Wash the cucumbers and tomatoes.  Peel the cucumbers and slice thinly.  Peel the tomatoes, slice thinly.  Line half the sliced loaf on a board and apply butter, then green chutney.  Top with cucumber slices, then potato slices, ketchup (using the excess pouches that usually come with home delivery), then tomato slices.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and chaat masala/cumin powder if using.  Add the fresh basil, if you wish.  The butter the remaining half of the bread slices and cover the sandwich.  Also used the heel of the loaf, you can avoid if necessary.  Grill the sandwich briefly to barely toast the bread if you like.

Chicken Pickled Chops


An East Indian speciality.  The chicken is cooked in just 4 spices ground in vinegar alongwith almonds and raisins and the masala is sauteed in a substantial amount of onions which not only adds body to the gravy but also makes it immensely flavorful, spicy complemented with sweetnes of the raisins and tartness of vinegar!

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken
  • 2” pc ginger
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 8 red chillies
  • 1 tbsp. Almonds (or cashewnuts)
  • 1 tbsp. raisins
  • ¼ cup Vinegar
  • 6 to 8 large onions
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. ghee

Cut the chicken in to suitable pieces, discard the skin, wash and drain.  Clean the garlic and ginger and grind alongwith cumin and red chillies to a paste with vinegar.  You can add a little water to get the contents moving in the grinder as excess vinegar could ruin the dish.  Clean the onions and cut into thick roundels. Heat a vessel and add the ghee, when hot add the onions and fry till light brown. Add the masala paste and saute till fat separates.  Then add the chicken, mix, cover and cook on medium 30 minutes till tender.  Stir at intervals.  After 30 minutes add the salt, mix and check seasoning.  Simmer for further 5 to 10 minutes till fat appears on the surface.  Serve hot with rice or fugias.

Fugias


The recipe was given to me by my sister, which happens to be her in-laws family recipe, passed on to her by her Mother-in-law.  An East Indian traditional dish, mandatory at weddings and festive occasions.  Served with Sorpatel, Vindaloo or any spicy curry.  I have paired it with Chicken Pickled Chops, another East Indian preparation!

Ingredients

  • 500 gms.flour (maida)
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • 100 gms sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¾  water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • Oil for deep frying

Method:

Add the sugar, coconut milk, water, butter and salt to a saucepan and heat until the sugar melts.  Set aside to cool a bit. Take the flour in a large bowl or vessel, add the eggs, the yeast and the coconut milk mixture. make sure it’s not too hot but if it’s warm it may help in the dough rising faster. Use a hand mixer (if desired) and mix the batter till it’s like thick cake batter.
Add more water as required to get the right consistency. Should be of dropping consistency but not runny. Leave to ferment for 4 to 5 hrs.

To fry:

A little bit of practice goes a long way in making Fugias.  Mix the fermented batter.  Heat a Kadai or a wok and pour sufficient oil.  When hot, start making the fugias by grabbing the batter with your left hand and squeezing it between the opening in your palm between your thumb and forefinger, like when you form a fist.  Moisten your right hand fingers in water and scoop small balls, one at a time, with your right hand and put in the oil and deep fry on medium flame turning often to cook evenly till golden brown. Instead of your right hand, you can also use a spoon to scoop the batter.  Serve with your favorite curry or enjoy as a snack or with tea or coffee at breakfast.

Goan Vatanayanchi Bhaji Chonya Ros


Apart from being famous for sea-food, one of Goa’s typical breakfast menu is Chonya Ros made with dehydrated white or green peas which are soaked in water and boiled!  Chonya Ros or Vatanayachi Bhaji is made with a coconut based gravy and served with puris for breakfast or poi and for lunch or dinner with rice.  A regular item served on religious festivals which involve fasts abstaining from meat.  Garnishing with freshly cut onion, tomato and coriander leaves is an option but lends an additional boost to the dish.  Although mildly spiced, it is truly lip smacking and delicious.  Enjoy as is without any carbs – for an excellent high protein meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dehydrated yellow or green peas
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut or dried coconut
  • 4 flakes tamarind
  • ½ tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Pick and wash the peas and soak in water overnight.  Drain the water, replenish with fresh water and cook till tender and soft, may take an hour or more.  At the end of cooking add 1 tsp. salt and mix and simmer for 5 minutes.  You can pressure cook if you prefer.  Meanwhile, heat a pan add a little oil and fry one onion, roughly chopped into pieces, till light brown.  Add the coconut and fry until coconut turns brown.  Grind it with tamarind to a paste.  Take a vessel and add 2 tbsp. oil, when hot add one chopped onion and fry till translucent and soft.  Add chilli powder, garam masala and fry for a minute.  Add the coconut tamarind paste and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the boiled peas with the stock and mix well.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes till oil surfaces.  The gravy should be runny.  Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped onion, tomato, lemon and coriander leaves (optional).  Serve with hot crisp puris for breakfast and with rice or bread for lunch or dinner.

Sheviyo Idiyappam String Hoppers


Sheviyo or Shevigo also known as Idiyappam or string hopper is made with ground rice steamed and then pressed into a hand held sev mould or a typical stand alone shevigo equipment.  In Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc Idiyappam is made of rice flour mixed with hot water 2:1 proportion with salt and little oil and kneaded to a soft dough.  The dough balls are then put in the sev mould and pressed onto idli trays and steamed.

I have illustrated the Mangalorean and Goan style of making the Sheviyo i.e. soaking rice, grind to a paste then steaming the batter as a rice cake which is then cut into pieces and pressed as string hoppers with a sev mould.

It can be eaten as a sweet dish for breakfast or a teatime snack garnish with chunn i.e. a jaggery coconut filling or with sweet ros i.e. coconut milk and jaggery mixture.

As a savoury dish serve them with any coconut milk (Roce) curry like chicken or mutton or vegetable stew.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiled rice or 1 cup basmati and one cup boiled mixed
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Coconut Jaggery (Chunn) filling

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup jaggery grated
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom powder

Coconut Jaggery Milk

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup jaggery or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom powder

Wash and soak the rice for atleast 6 hours.  Gridn to a smooth paste, add salt, mix and transfer to a cake tin to steam.  Set the steamer and when the water boils place the dish with the rice batter on the steamer and steam for 20 to 25 minutes on medium high.  To check if done, pierce a knife and should come out clean.  Cut the rice cake into large pieces and press the pieces through a sevio or sev (ghatia/chakli) mould using the plate with large holes (if you prefer thinner strands, use the plate with smaller holes) and press like noodles into small circular heaps. 

To make the chunn – heat a pan and add the grated jaggery, add a little water to speed up melting and cook till fully dissolved.  Add the coconut and cook for a minute, then add the cardamom powder and keep aside till required.

To make the sweet milk – Heat the coconut milk till it reaches boiling point and then add the jaggery and simmer till dissolved.  Add cardamom powder, mix and take off heat.

Serve with coconut jaggery filling or sweet coconut milk for breakfast or as teatime snack and with chicken or mutton curry or vegetable stew for lunch or dinner.

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