Indian

How to effectively cook Dry Prawns and Lady Fingers in a Curry Mangalorean & Goan Style Curry


Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste.] A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes. The flavors of this ingredient are released when allowed to simmer. Source: Wikipedia

Dried Shrimp and Lady Finger Curry with Sola (Dried mango)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Dry Prawns (Before cleaning)
  • 20 to 25 Lady Fingers
  • 8 flakes dried mango (Sola)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Grind to a paste

  • 4 red Kashmiri chilies
  • 6 small round chilies (from Goa)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper corns
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 to 5 flakes tamarind (small ball)

Roast prawns gently on medium low flame till aromatic and crisp. Becpmes easier to clean when crisp, the heads etc. fall off easily. Leave aside to cool. Prepare the masala ingredients and grind to a smooth paste using some water.

Wash the lady fingers and drain. Cut off the heads and tails and cut each slantwise into 2 to 3 pieces depending on the length of the lady finger. Cutting slantwise gives you a better view of the inside of the lady ifnger which can be sometimes infested with worms.

When the prawns are cool, clean them by removing the head, tail and legs and immerse in water for 10 minutes to soften. Soak the mango sola in water in a cup till required.

Slice the onion and fryin 2 tbsp. oil till light brown. Squeeze out the water (discard the waer) from the prawns and add to the onion. Remove the dried mango from the water (reserve the water) and add to the prawns and saute for 2 minutes. Add the masala paste, sufficient water for the curry, salt and bring to a boil. Then add the lady fingers, adjust the consisency of the curry and cook 10 minutes. Reduce flame when it starts boiling. After 10 minutes check if the vegetable is cooked, if not simmer further 5 minutes. Remove from eat when curry appears glossy and fat surfaces. Serve hot with rice for a delicious, nutritious and satisfying meal.

Galmbi Chutney Dry Prawn Chutney


Typical mangalorean dry prawn chutney, served as an accompaniment at any main meal. Delicious with simple dal rice or with pez!

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry prawns, cleaned with head, tail and legs removed
  • 2 cups fresh grated coconut
  • 4 green chillies
  • 4 flakes garlic (reduce to taste)
  • 1/2 ” pc. ginger
  • 4 tpo 5 sprigs coriander leaves
  • 1 small lemon sized ball tamarind
  • 1 small onion

Roast the dry prawns on a heated pan on medium low flame till aromatic and crisp. Leave aside to cool.

Grind the chutney ingredients to a coarse almost dry paste, I like to add 2 tbsp. of the prawns to the grinder alongwith the chutney ingredients. Otherwise prawns are not be be ground. Mix prawns with the chutney wiht your hands, squeezing and crushing the prawns somewhat. Serve as an accompaniment with any main meal. Excellent with a simple meal of dal rice or with pez!!

Drumstick Moringa Fruit Pods How to clean, cook and eat them in a simple yet delicious vegetable


Drumstick Vegetable, Sangho Tel Piyav

The healthy, nutritious drumstick (moringa) (sangho) fruit pods

Drumstick pods and leaves are a storehouse of essential nutrients, whereas the leaves are the most nutrient part of the plant and one of the finest sources of calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.  Fresh pods and seeds are a great source of oleic acid, a healthy fatty acid which is known to promote heart health. Moringa leaves is unique among all the greens as it is heaped with a good amount of protein about 9.8 gram of protein per 100 grams. Dry powdered leaves are an amazing source of good quality essential amino acids.

The rich culinary tradition of our country has helped us to relish and taste several types of vegetables and fruits thereby derive out the umpteen health benefits. One such amazing vegetable that is greatly valued and earns our interest is drumstick or moringa oleifera.

Moringa obtains its name from the Tamil word, murungai, denotes twisted pod. This humble vegetable is used extensively in Indian culinary dishes for more than a hundred years. Be it delectable sambhar or avail, or any meat curry, soups, pickles etc., drumstick renders its unique flavour to the dishes.

Source: Netmeds.com

Ingredients

  • 6 Drumsticks
  • 5 flakes garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. fresh coconut

Method

Cut the head and tail of the drumstick and cut into 2 to 4” segments, removing the skin as far as possible keeping the segment intact ensue it does not disintegrate. Discard the head, tail and the skin.  Wash and drain the cleaned drumstick pieces.  Slice the onion and peel and crush the garlic. Heat a pan, add 2 tbsp. coconut oil, when hot add 1 tsp. mustard seed and allow to pop, then add crushed garlic flakes. Saute for a minute and add the sliced onion and fry thill soft and translucent.  Add the drumsticks and toss to cost with oil.  Add a cup of water, ½ tsp. salt or to taste and bring to a boil.  Mix, cover and cook 10 minutes.  Stir in between.  When done, add the coconut, mix well and simmer 5 minutes.  Take off flame and serve hot as a side with any main meal.  To eat, hold the drumstick piece firmly with your teeth and pull with your fingers while extracting and consuming the pulp and the seeds inside the pod.  Chew the skin, if you wish, and discard.  Simply delicious!  The skin should not be ingested, only the pulp and tender seeds inside the pod.

Moringa Leaves Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry Vegetable


The new superfood – Moringa leaves, healthy, nutritious, excellent for gut health and for diabetics.  My mother never had to buy these leaves, they were always available in the home garden or the neighbourhood.  Thankfully these are now available worldwide at Asian stores, albeit at a price!

Ingredients

  • 2 Bunches Drumstick Leaves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Roast and grind to a coarse paste

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 dry red chilies
  • ½ cup fresh or dessicaed coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Separate the leaves from the stems of the drumsticks and remove as much of the stems as possible although the small tender stems may be retained.  Soak in plenty of water for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly changing the water atleast twice so that any dust etc. can come off.  Drain and set aside.

Drumstick Leaves Moringa Leaves Stir Fry vegetable

The new superfood – Moringa leaves, healthy, nutritious, excellent for gut health and for diabetics.  My mother never had to buy these leaves, they were always available in the home garden or the neighbourhood.  Thankfully these are now available worldwide at Asian stores, albeit at a price!

Ingredients

2 Bunches Drumstick Leaves

1 medium onion

1 tsp. mustard seeds

2 tbsp. coconut oil

Roast and grind to a coarse paste

1 medium onion chopped

2 flakes garlic

¼ tsp. turmeric powder

4 dry red chilies

½ cup fresh or dessicaed coconut

Salt to taste

1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Separate the leaves from the stems of the drumsticks and remove as much of the stems as possible although the small tender stems may be retained.  Soak in plenty of water for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly changing the water atleast twice so that any dust etc. can come off.  Drain and set aside.

Heat a pan and add oil.  When hot add the red chilies, garlic and onion.  When light brown add the coconut, turmeric powder and salt and saute for 2 minutes till light brown and you get a nice roasted aroma.  Set aside to cool. Then grind to a coarse paste.

Slice the remaining onion.  Heat a pan and add oil, when hot add the mustard seeds, when they pop add the sliced onion and fry till translucent and soft.  Add the ground masala and saute 2 to 3 minutes adding the rinsed water from the jar. Add the drained drumstick leaves, mix and stir fry for 10 minutes.  Remove to a serving dish and serve hot.  The vegetable will have a slight crunch to it and a slight bitter taste so is very healthy and excellent for diabetics, is very nutritious and good for gut health due to it’s fibre content.  Some may want the leaves to be more tender, in this case add ¼ cup water and cook further 5 minutes.  Serve hot. 

Sorpotel and Sannas Combo Traditional Goan and Manglorean festive meal


Sarapatel or Sorpotel, is a dish of Portuguese origin now commonly cooked in the coastal konkan region of India, primarily Goa, Mangalore and East Indians of Mumbai Sarpatel. The former Estado da Índia Portuguesa colony. It is also prepared in northeastern Brazil. The word ‘sarapatel’ literally means confusion, referring to the mish-mash of ingredients which include Pork meat and offal (which includes heart, liver, tongue and even pork blood sometimes). However, in modern-day version, blood is rarely used as now getting the pure blood is slightly difficult. The meat is first parboiled, then diced and sauteed before being cooked in a spicy and vinegary sauce.

The flavourings and spices differ from region to region, for example, some use more vinegar. The size of the pieces also varies, as does cooking technique: some sautee the meat prior to cooking it in the sauce, while others add the diced parboiled meat directly to the sauce.

In Goa and Mangalore, Sorpotel is often accompanied by “sanna” – a spongy, white, and slightly sweet steamed rice and coconut bread. However, it can also be enjoyed with bread, on rice, or in a bun as a sandwich.

Made by African slaves in Brazil, the dish had the tail, ear, intestines, tongue and a hint of blood. It was a filling, rich ode to offal. The pork-loving Portuguese got it to India. What came to India was the version popular from Alentejo region of Portugal, to which the native Goan Christians and East Indians added their own tricks to make it even more interesting. It is this variety that is available today. Source – Wikipedia

Sorpotel

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Kg. Fatty Pork (Belly preferably). If using Pork Liver, use 1 Kg pork and ½ kg liver (I have not used liver as it’s not available here)
  • 2 Large onions, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt or to taste

Grind to a paste with vinegar

  • 1.5 cups vinegar
  • 25 Kashmiri Red chilies
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 8 to 10 pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 24 flakes garlic
  • 4” pc. Ginger
  • 4” pc. Cinnamon
  • 8 cardamoms
  • 8 cloves

Clean and wash pork (and liver if using) and cut into large pieces.  Heat the pork on  pan and fry for 10 minutes to release the fat, turning the pieces.  Do not add any additional oil. Drain the pork and keep the fat aside. 

Add the pork pieces to a large pan, add salt and enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame and cook 30 minutes till meat is almost done.  Remove from heat, drain and reserve the stock. 

When meat is cool enough to handle, chop into tiny pieces.  If using liver, chop and keep the pork and liver pieces separate.  Do not mix them at this stage. Heat the pan again and add the fat which was set aside.  Add the chopped pork and fry for 10 minutes till light brown.  Drain and remove. Then add the liver pieces and fry 2 to 3 minutes, drain and remove. 

To the same pan, add the minced onion and fry till light brown.  Then add the ground paste and fry 2 to 3 minutes,  add pork and liver pieces and continue frying for 5 minutes.  Add the reserved stock and more water for the gravy and bring to a boil, cover and simmer till meat is tender.  Check seasonings and add salt, vinegar, as required.  Add water to thin down the gravy. 

Enjoy with Sannas, steamed rice, bread, poee or Fugias. For those who don’t eat pork, try this recipe with lamb or chicken liver…… delicious.

Sannas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • Coconut water or Toddy as required to grind the batter
  • 1 tsp. salt  or to taste
  • ¾ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. luke warm water

Method

Wash and soak rice overnight.  Grind with the coconut using coconut water or toddy, in 2 batches to a smooth paste of pouring consistency (not too thick). 

Bloom the yeast by adding the yeast to a mug, then add the sugar and lukewarm water, stir well, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes.  Once it blooms add to the rice batter and mix and beat the batter well with your hand.  In warm weather the batter should ferment in 2 to 3 hours.  In cold weather will take longer. 

When batter is fermented, set the steamer on heat.  Grease the sanna molds and fill them half way with batter allowing room for the sanna to rise.  Steam for 20 to 25 minutes.  After 20 minutes pierce a thoothpick in the sanna and it should come out clean, if not steam for another 5 minutes and test. 

Transfer the sannas to a water bath to cool slightly.  Demould with a butter knife, back of a spoon or simply pull them away from the edges with your fingers.  Place in a casserole spread with a muslin cloth or a wooden bowl or tray to prevent the warm sannas from sticking to the base. 

Enjoy for breakfast with a dollop of ghee or butter or with Sorpotel, any Pork curry or chicken or mutton curry.

The video is full of tips and steps for the perfect Sorpotel texture and taste and soft and spongy sannas!!

Vaal Usal


Vaal Usal Valache Usal Dalimbi Usal

Sprouted Vaal, Butterbeans, Lima Beans, field beans

Lima beans provide more protein per serving than any other type of beans and are rich in vitamins & minerals.  Good source of fibre alongwith micronutrients like manganese, copper and  magnesium – source: healthline

Ingredients

  • 2 cup Sprouted and Peeled Vaal beans
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. jaggery
  • 6 Kokum petals
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Soak the Vaal beans for 12 to 15 hours.  Drain the water, rinse and leave in the bowl to sprout for 24 hrs.

Sprinkle water or cover the beans and drain 2 or 3 times so that the beans stay moist to aid sprouting. In most markets in India, sprouted beans are readily available.

Once sprouted, peel and discard the skin.  Keep immersed in water whilst peeling which makes it easier for the peels to slip off.  Put the peeled beans in a bowl of water.  Soak the kokum in a little water.

Heat  a vessel, add oil.  When hot, add the cumin seed, asafoetida and curry leaves.  Stir and add ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute and add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.  Add the drained beans, salt and a cup of water.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes till tender.  Then add, chilli powder, turmeric, kokum with the water and cook futher 5 minutes.  Substitute with 1 tbsp.  tamarind pulp if kokum not available. Then add the jaggery and coriander leaves.  Cook 2 minutes, adjust seasoning and consistency of gravy and take off flame.  Serve hot with rice for lunch or dinner or any bread of your choice for breakfast!  Delicious, spicy, tangy with a hint of sweetness makes this Usual an all time favorite!

Banana Muluks Banana Semolina Jaggery Balls


Kele Mulik Recipe – Konkani Banana Modak Recipe – Ganesh Chaturthi Special Recipes – Kela Muluk (Banana Sweet Dish), Kela Fritters.

Known by several names, this quick recipe is easy, simple and delicious.  Don’t ever throw away leftover bananas, when you can use them to make these crunchy, crispy, scrumptious muluks!!

Makes 12 to 14 lemon sized Muluks

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup coconut fresh or dessicated coconut
  • ½ cup jaggery
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cardamom powder
  • Rawa as much as required to make a smooth dough

Mash the bananas well, add the coconut and jaggery and mix well ensuring the jaggery is melted.  Add salt and cardamom powder and add rawa as much as required to make a smooth soft dough.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  Heat oil in a wok, when hot add spoonful of dough or form soft balls by hand and drop gently  into the pan.  Fry on medium low till golden brown and cooked through.  Remove and serve immediately.

Breadfruit Fry


Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. Most breadfruit varieties produce fruit throughout the year. Both ripe and unripe fruit have culinary uses; unripe breadfruit is cooked before consumption. Before being eaten, the fruit are roasted, baked, fried or boiled. When cooked, the taste of moderately ripe breadfruit is described as potato-like, or similar to freshly baked bread.  Breadfruit is exceptionally high in fibre and excellent for gut health!!

This recipe is similar to the Raw Banana Fry (Cooking with raw Bananas) that I

posted, but the method is different.  Here the breadfruit is marinated in the spices

and vinegar and then dipped in the batter prepared with the remaining marinade and

addition of flours.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Breadfruit
  • 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
  • Oil for frying

Method

Cut the end of the breadfruit and peel.  Cut into half, then fours.  Remove the pith and cut into 1/4 slices lengthwise or horizontally if its a large fruit.  Immerse in plenty of salted water, to prevent oxidation. 

In a separate bowl, mix the ginger garlic paste, chilli & turmeric powder, salt with the vinegar/lemon juice and water.  Add the breadfruit slices to this marinade and leave for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the breadfruit and set aside.  To the marinade add all purpose flour, rice flour, corn flour, soda bicarb and make a thick smooth paste.  If it’s too watery add some more of the flours.  Batter should coat the slices. Test salt and add if necessary.

Heat oil in a kadai or wide frying pan.  Dip the breadfruit in the batter to cover well. Deep fry in batches till crisp and golden on medium flame.  Drain on kitchen towel.    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, cauliflower, raw banana, potatoes, yam, mushrooms, etc.

Traditional way to make fried breadfruit is to just add some chilli powder, turmeric, salt and lemon juice or tamarind pulp to the slices and then shallow fry till cooked and lightly browned on both sides.

Radish Vegetable Mooli ki Sabji Rajasthani Style


Radish Vegetable Mooli Ki sabji

Radishes are a good source of antioxidants like catechin, pyrogallol, vanillic acid, and other phenolic compounds. These root vegetables also have a good amount of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells from damage. Some health benefits of radishes include: Reduced Risk for Diabetes, Enhanced Liver Function, Cardiovascular Improvement. Their nutrition Calcium, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Iron, Manganese – Source: Wedmed

Ingredients

  • 2 medium white radish, with the leaves
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
  • 1 tsp. green chillie paste
  • 1 tsp. Ginger paste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. amchur powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

Clean the radish, immerse the leaves in salted water.  Use  only tender leaves. Chop the leaves fine.  Grate the radish or chop into thin slices.  Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin, ajwain, ginger & green chilli paste and saute for few seconds.

Add the chopped radish, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, amchur and salt.  Mix well and cook for 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary, till vegetable is tenderand moisture is almost absorbed.  Serve hot Serve hot with rotis for breakfast or dinner or as an accompaniment to any meal.

Steamed Rice Vadas Dumplings with Peanut Chutney


A delicious and healthy breakfast option or snack. The spicy, tangy peanut chutney can be used for dosas, idlis, as a sandwich spread or as a dip!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  cup matta rice (or 1/2 cup basmati and 1 cup boiled rice)
  • Salt to taste

Tempering

  • 1 tsp. Mustard seed
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. Chana dal
  • 1 tsp. Urad dal
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1” pc. Ginger, chopped (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
  • A pinch Asafoetida

Wash and soak rice for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. Grind to a smooth paste adding as little water as possible.  In case the rice paste has excess moisture, microwave at 30 second intervals, until the paste is dry and easy to form into a ball.  For the tempering, add 2 tbsp. oil to a heated pan.  When oil heats up, add 1 tsp. mustard seeds, cumin, asafoetida, chana dal, urad dal, chopped green chillies, chopped curry leaves and saute for a minute.  Add one chopped onion and fry till soft and translucent.  Remove from heat and when cool add to the rice paste and mix well.  Add salt and mix.  Form into 2” diameter balls.  Steam for 20 minutes till done.

Peanut Chutney

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw peanuts
  • 8 red chillies
  • 2 tbsp. coconut
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

  • Tempering
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 3 to 4 flakes garlic crushed
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Roast the peanuts with a little oil till light brown.  Transfer to a grinder.  Roast the red chillies and when you get an aroma and the chilles are roasted add 2 tbsp. grated fresh or dessicated coconut.  Add this to the peanuts, add tamarind pulp and salt, some water to grind to a thick paste.

For tempering, heat oil in pan, then add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add cumin and curry leaves.  Saute for a minute then add the ground peanut paste and mix well to heat thru.

Serve alongwith steamed vadas for a delicious & healthy breakfast!

Zavla with Brinjal


Zavla (Dried Baby Shrimp) with Brinjal

Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste. A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes. The flavors of this ingredient are released when allowed to simmer. javla: made from a tiny species of shrimp called karandi, which is typically dried head and shell on and consumed whole. (Wikipedia).

Dired shrimp is a unique way to add flavor to a array of dishes.  Baby shrimp are extremely tiny shrimps that appear translucent when dried.  They are tender and delicate but have a strong seafood taste.  Dried shrimp can be stored for prolonged periods compared to fresh shrimp and are widely stored and used during monsoon season in India and Asia.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium purple brinjals
  • 1 cup dried zavla (baby shrimp)
  • 3 spring onion with greens
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 6 flakes garlic
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbps. Mixed masala (East Indian/Sunday Masala/Bafat powder available at grocers)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 4 top 5 petals kokum (dried mangosteen)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp (use 2 tbsp. if kokum is not available)

Soak the dried zavla in plenty water for few minutes.  Wash well and squeeze out the water.  Set aside.  Wash the brinjals, cut off the stem and chop into cubes.  Chop the green onions, garlic and green chillies.  Heat oil in a vessel, add onion, ginger, garlic, chilies and kokum and saute for a minute.  When onion is translucent, add the masala powder, mix well and add the zavla and brinjal, add ½ cup water and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame and cook 10 minutes till brinjals are tender.  Add the chopped coriander leaves (save some for garnish) and salt.  Simmer 3 minutes.  Add the tamarind pulp and cook till oil surfaces.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve hot with chapatis or any bread of your choice or as side to any main mail.

Methi Mattar (Fenugreek green with Green Peas)


Green leafy vegetables – Methi leaves (fenugreek greens) have many health benefits.  They are full of fibre and nutrients, vitamin C & K in particular.

Always pick bunches that are fresh and bright green, avoid those that are yellow and wilted.  Avoid leaves that appear slimy, it is an indication of decay.  Methi is of two varieties, small leaves with tender white stems which is also called methi or menthya, venthiya, keerai and classified as micro-greens.  These are commonly used in the south of India and the Methi with Prawns is cooked as a delicacy and relished!  The Methi with larger leaves used here is an annual plant which is found in plenty in winter.  The leaves are pungent and bitter and the bitterness can be reduced by adding salt and squeezing out the water and rinsing before cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches methi (fenugreek greens) leaves
  • 1 cup green peas, shelled
  • ½ cup yogurt, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely or grated
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste (or 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ to ½ cup fresh cream
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Remove methi leaves and tender stems from the stalks.  Clean and wash the leave and soak in water for 10 minutes.  Remove from the water and wash again till the the sand and dirt is removed.  Squeeze out the water and add 1 tsp. Salt and set aside for 15 minutes.  Squeeze out the water and rinse in clean water again.  This process removes the bitterness from the leaves.  If using fresh peas, clean, wash and boil in water.  Drain and keep aside.  Frozen peas can be used directly. 

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.  When they crackle add the chopped onions and cook till light brown, stirring.  Add ginger garlic paste and saute 2 minutes.  Add the chopped methi leaves and green chillis and cook till moisture dries up.  Add the turmeric and chilli powder, mix.  Add the beaten yogurt and cook till oil surfaces.  Then add the green peas and one cup water, salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce flame and cook 10 minutes.  Stir in the fresh cream and mix well.  Simmer five minutes and serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Methi Thepla


Methi Thepla  Gujarati Theplas

Theplas are synonymous with Gujarati breakfast!  A Versatile item as they can be  served even as tea-time snack or to satisfy a hunger pang!  For travellers it makes a great home-made food as it preserves well for long periods.  Theplas can make for quick and sumptuous wraps with your desired filling or simply have them with yogurt, pickle, garlic chutney, raita or any vegetable.

Instead of methi try using pumpkin (doodhi), zucchini or raddish with dried herbs, etc. as variations!!  However,  methi leaves (fenugreek greens) are found in plenty in winters and have many health benefits.  They are full of fibre and nutrients, vitamin C & K in particular.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ cup each of bajra (pearl millet) and gram (chick pea flour) flour
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp.Salt
  • 4 green chillies
  • A small bunch fenugreek leaves
  • 3 tbsp. ghee

Remove the methi leaves and tender stems and place in a bowl.  Cover with water, add a tsp. of salt and let soak 10 minutes.  Rinse and drain the water.  Chop roughly and keep aside. Chop green chillies.  In the stand mixer bowl, add the ingredients from wheat flour to salt and sieve.  Add chopped  green chilies, fenugreek leaves and ghee, mix on speed 1 for 2 minutes.  Add water (1 to 1.5 cups) to form a stiff dough.  Add the water little at a time.  Divide the dough into approx.. 6 equal portions and roll out into round discs as thin as possible.  Shallow fry on pre-heated pan till golden brown on both sides.  Serve hot with pickle, garlic chutney, raita or any vegetable of your choice.

Thalipeeth


A typical maharashtrian dish made with multi grain flours, usually served as breakfast or snack with butter, yogurt or some dry garlic chutney.  Although quite filling, it is light on the stomach and satisfying.

Thalipeeth can also be made with readymade ‘Bhajani flour’ available in most stores in India, specifically Maharashtra, as it a typical Maharashtrian dish.  In Maharashtrain household Bhajani is made at home by roasting various millets, lentils and grains, grinding to a flour and storing it.  Such flour comes handy when a quick meal is to be prepared.  Bhajani Thalipeeth is popular in West India and Maharashtra in particular which would include Mumbai, the place I grew up!  An important characteristic of making Thalipeeth is a hole is made in the centre so that ghee or oil can be drizzled into it for even frying.  Thalipeeth is a very good to carry for travel as it keeps very well for prolonged periods without refrigeration!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup besan (Gram/chickpea flour)
  • 1 cup jowar flour (Sorghum flour)
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • ½ cup bajra flour (Pearl millet flour)
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. each, chilli, coriander, cumin & garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. grated Jaggery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee for applying

Mix all above ingredients and knead with enough water into a soft dough.  Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.  Knead lightly again and form the dough into small balls.  Place one ball in between  2 sheets of greased plastic or a wet muslin cloth and roll out the thalipeeth as thin as possible.  Meanwhile, heat the tawa.  Lift one side of the cloth and place the thalipeeth directly onto the hot tawa.  Carefully remove the cloth.  Make a hole in the center of the Thalipeeth.  Can use plastic sheet instead of cloth (make sure the plastic does not touch the tawa to avoid burning).  Cook well on both sides and smear with ghee.  Serve hot with dry garlic chutney or yogurt or raita or fresh coconut and chilli.

Gajjar Halwa Carrot Halwa


Gajjar ka halwa is a combination of nuts, milk, sugar, khoya and ghee with grated carrot. It is a light nutritious dessert. The orange carrots would be ideal for their color.  Gajar ka halwa, also known as gajorer halua, gajrela, gajar pak, and carrot halwa is a carrot-based sweet dessert pudding. The dessert is traditionally eaten during all of the festivals in India, mainly on the occasion of Diwali, Holi, Eid alFitr and Raksha Bandhan. It is served hot during the winter.  Check out the recipe for Khoya below.

Ingredients

  • ½ kg. Carrots
  • ½ litre (2 cups milk)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. Green cardamom powder
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Khoya
  • Almonds, Pistas & Raisins for garnish

Peel, wash and grate carrots.  Cut the nuts into slivers.  You may blanch the nuts if you wish.  Soak raisins in water.  Boil milk in a kadai, add the grated carrots.  Reduce to medium heat and cook till carrots are tender and milk has evaporated, stirring frequently.  Add the sugar and mix  well, stirring until dissolved and the sugar liquid has evaporated.  Add the ghee and saute for 5 minutes.  Switch off flame and add cardamom powder and mix.  Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with Khoya, almonds, pistas and raisins and serve hot.

To Make Khoya:

Traditional method

  • 1 litre milk
  1. Put milk in a vessel, bring to a boil and reduce to low heat.
  2. Then stir after every 5 minutes until reduced by half.
  3. Thereafter, stir constantly while scraping the dried layer of milk that sticks to the sides, this will ensure the milk does not acquire a ‘burnt’ flavour, until reduced to a thick granular consistency.
  4. Remove to a bowl, cool and refrigerate.
  5. Use withing 48 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Alternately keep in the freezer and use as when required.

Instant method

  • 250 gms milk powder
  • 250 gms cream
  1. Mix well together and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove, mix well and microwave for another 2 minutes.
  3. Use as required.
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