Local and Seasonal food

Quick Stir Fried Bhindi


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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCW_pKpvwuFiKolLWqOZlutw

A Quick Stir fried Bhindi (Lady Fingers, Okra) with tips on cutting down on the slime and making them tender and crunchy and tips on how to retain the vibrant green colour. Cooked with a minimum of spices, both healthy and enjoyable! Watch video on youtube for tips.

Ingredients

  • ½ kg. Lady Fingers, Bhindi, Okra
  • 2 medium onions, cut into larges pieces
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (helps dissipate the sliminess quicker)

Method

  1. Wash bhindis. Dry with a napkin.
  2. Cut off the head and tail and cut into wedges. 
  3. Place in a cooking vessel. 
  4. Add the chopped onions, turmeric, pepper powder, oil, salt and vinegar.
  5. Mix thoroughly and keep aside. 
  6. Cook just before serving. 
  7. To cook, set the vessel on medium high flame and stir fry (keeping the vessel open) till the sliminess in the bhindi disappears.
  8. This happens as soon as the bhindi is cooked and tender. 
  9. Do not over cook and don’t close the vessel while cooking or immediately after as the vegetable will lose its vibrant green color. 
  10. Serve immediately with rotis or as an side with any main meal.

Sprouted Moong and Jackfruit Seeds Curry


Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) and Jackfruit Seeds (Bikna) Curry

A super easy, quick, delicious and highly nutritious curry.

When I last prepared the sprouted moong bhaji (check  out  the video recipe) I had saved the excess sprouts in the freezer.  The Biknas I had frozen a large batch of boiled jackfruit seeds.  These proved handy when I had to rustle up a quick nutritious meal before rushing to work!

All you need is some steamed rice or chapatis any bread of your choice, with your favorite pickle (aachar).

For a more elaborate meal, serve with fried fish or fish cutlets!!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sprouted moong (green gram)
  • 1 cup boiled jackfruit seeds (Bikna)
  • 1 medium to large Potato (optional), cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 flakes garlic, sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Bafat masala, or to taste
  • 4 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp. Salt, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Oil

Method

  1. Rinse the sprouts and drain.   
  2. In a vessel add oil, when hot add the mustard seeds, when they splutter, add the curry leaves, garlic and onion and saute till onions are light brown. 
  3. Add the bafat masala and fry for ½  a minute. 
  4. Add the moong and and potatoes, if using, and more water, salt and bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes till potatoes are cooked. 
  5. Add the boiled bikna and tamarind pulp and cook 5 minutes. 
  6. Meanwhile dilute the coconut powder with some water and add to the curry, adjust gravy by adding sufficient water. 
  7. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes or till fat suraces. 
  8. Serve hot.

Tambdi Bhaji Tel Piyav


Tambdi Bhaji Tel Piyav (Red Amaranth Vegetable)

Ingredients

  • 4 bunches Tambdi Bhaji
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 red dry chillies
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Clean the tambdi bhaji, discarding the damaged and insect eaten leaves. 
  2. Save only the clean and complete leaves and the tender stalks.  To find out if the stalks are tender, they should snap easily on breaking. 
  3. Immerse in plenty of salted water and leave for 10 to 15 minutes to loosen the dirt and kill insects if any. 
  4. Slice the onion, crush the garlic, break the red chillies into 2 to 3 pieces and transfer to a cooking vessel.
  5. Wash the soaked bhaji well, drain and chop roughly.
  6. Add the vegetable to the vessel, add salt and oil and 1/4 cup water if desired and place on heat and cook 10 minutes till vegetable is tender.  Stir in between.
  7. Add the fresh coconut, mix and cook further 5 minutes. 
  8. Take off the fire and serve hot.

Karela Bitter Gourd Stir Fry


Karela Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

Karela Bitter Gourd Stir Fry, is usually cooked at home on a weekly basis. This is the only way we enjoy it besides is easy and quick to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 3 Large Karelas (Bitter Gourd)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Coconut or Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder, or to taste
  • ½ sp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. Amchur (Dry mango powder)
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste

Method

  1. Wash the Karelas. 
  2. Chop the head and tail and slit vertically (lengthwise) in half. 
  3. Scoop out the seeds. 
  4. Cut the vegetable horizontally into thin slices.
  5. Add the salt to the sliced Karela, mix well and set aside 10 minutes.  Then squeeze out the karela to remove the excess juice (this removes some of the bitterness, but this step is optional). 
  6. Transfer the karela to a vessel. 
  7. Add the oil, chilli powder, turmeric powder, amchur and mix well. 
  8. If you skip step 5 then , set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Cook on medium flame and stir fry till karela is cooked and lightly fried, but do not burn. 
  10. Serve with rotis or as an accompaniment with any meal.

Raw Banana and Yam Curry with Jackfruit seeds


Raw Banana and Yam Curry with Jackfruit seeds

This is a satvick preparation, no oil,  onion, garlic, chillies.  Can be had as a fastiing food as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 Raw green bananas
  • ¼ kg. yam (suran, soorn, elephants foot)
  • ½ to 1 cup boiled and peeled bikna (jackfruit seeds) or substitute with boiled red kidney beans
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. pepper corns
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder (1 tsp when boiling the vegetable & one tsp to add when grinding)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt

Method

  1. Clean and cut the raw bananas and yam into cubes and immerse in water until required.
  2. Boil with water, 1 tsp. turmeric, salt and curry leaves, till tender.
  3. Boil the jackfruit seed, cool and peel, boil red kidney beans if using.
  4. Add to the yam and plantains.
  5. Grind the coconut, cumin, pepper corns, turmeric powder to a smooth paste. 
  6. When the vegetables are tender, add the curry paste, mix well and heat through. 
  7. The curry paste is not to be cooked too much just heated through, so make sure the vegetables are cooked well before adding the curry paste. 
  8. You may mash some yam pieces against the sides of the pan to thicken the gravy if you must. 
  9. Serve hot.

Dudhi and Chana Dal Bhaji


Dudhi and Chana Dal Bhaji

Dudhi and Chana Dal bhaji

(White pumpkin & split chick peas vegetable)

We love this vegetable gravy. Only turmeric powder is added as a spice in addition to the fresh ingredients. So even though it is cooked with minimum spices yet turns out delicious, light & nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 lakes garlic, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves to garnish.

Method

  1. Wash and boil the dal in 2 cups water. 
  2. Peel the pumpkin, cut into cubes, wash and drain. 
  3. When the dal is half cooked add the pumpkin cubes and salt and cook till dal and pumpkin are tender.  Don’t overcook the dal, should be tender yet whole.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Take another vessel and add oil. 
  6. When hot add the chopped onion and garlic and green chillies. 
  7. Fry till onion is translucent
  8. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook till tomatoes are soft. 
  9. Add turmeric powder, mix and add the cooked dal and pumpkin, sufficient water for gravy and bring to boil. 
  10. Lower flame and simmer for 10 minutes or till oil surfaces. 
  11. Adjust seasoning and add the chopped coriander leaves, mix.
  12. Serve hot with any Indian bread or steamed rice.

Methi Bhaji with Prawns


Methi Bhaji with Prawns

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 bunches Methi leaves
  • 1 Cup prawns
  • 2 medium Onions, chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp. ginger garlic paste (optional)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. mixed masala (Sunday/Bafat/East Indian, etc.
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Oil

Method

  1. Chop off the roots of the methi and cut each bunch into two or three pieces.
  2. Immerse in plenty of water so that the sand settles to the bottom.
  3. For methi grown at home without soil, there is no sand or soil but do soak in water to remove as much of the husks as possible.
  4. Wash in two to three changes of water and drain well.
  5. Clean, devein and wash prawns.
  6. Dain and set aside.
  7. Heat a pan, add oil, then add the onions and saute till translucent.
  8. Add the chillies and the tomatoes and fry till tomatoes turn soft.
  9. Add the masala powder, salt and stir.
  10. Add the methi bhaji, a cup of water, mix and cook for 10 minutes covered.
  11. Then add the potatoes and mix, cook for 10 minutes covered.
  12. Then add the prawns, ½ cup of water if required, mix and cook for further 10 minutes.
  13. Open the lid, check seasonings and cook further 2 to 3 minutes till oil appears on the surface.
  14. Serve hot with rotis, chapatis, phulkas, etc.

Check out how to grow Methi indoors

https://cooklikececilia.com/Growing-Methi-indoors-without-soil

Chana Dal and Tendli Curry


Chana Dal & Tendli Curry

(Split lentils/split Bengal Gram/Baby Chick Peas/Tendli/Ivy Gourd)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Chana dal
  • ¼ kg. Tendlis
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Grind to a paste

  • 2 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 to 4 flakes tamarind
  • 4 tbsp. coconut powder

Tempering

  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • Few curry leaves
  • 3 to 4 crush garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 tbs. oil

Wash the dal well and soak in water for 15 minutes.  Place in a vessel and boil till almost soft.  Clean and cut the tendlis into 4 and add to the dal, add salt and cook till vegetable is tender.  Grind the masala to a paste and add to the dal vegetable mixture.  Rinse the grinder jar and add to the curry adjusting to desired consistency.  Bring to a boil and simmer 10 to15 minutes.  Meanwhile prepare the tempering.  Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard and when it splutters add the garlic, curry leaves and onion and fry on medium low till light brown. Just before switching off the heat, garnish the curry with the tempering.  Serve hot with rice or any bread of your choice.

Potato and Red Pumpkin Gravy


Aloo Pethe ka Saag

A quick, deliciuous, nutritious dish without onion and garlic. Rajasthani vegetarian cuisine.

Potato & Red Pumpkin Gravy

Rajasthani cuisine

Ingredients

  • ½ kg. Red pumpkin
  • ½ kg. Potatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1” pc cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 1 tsp. Kalonji (nigella/onion seeds) Optional
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tomato, chopped (or 1 tbsp. tomato paste) (missed it in the video recording)
  • 1 tsp. amchur (dry mango powder)
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsbp. Ghee
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

Method

Clean, Peel and wash the red pumpkin and potatoes.  Cut into cubes.  Heat the ghee and fry the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, nigella seeds, mustard seed and fenugreek seeds until the seeds begin to crackle.  Add the yogurt, chili, coriander, cumin and turmeric powders and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.  Adjust spices to taste.  Add the tomato paste or the tomato and fry for a minute.  Add the potato and pumpkin cubes, ½ cup water, cover and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Add the amchur, sugar and salt.  Mix and simmer for a minute.  Serve hot.

Bhing Amotik Curry


Bhing Amotik Curry meal

Bhing Amotik Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Bhing (Herring, Hilsa, Pala)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 2 green chillies

Grind to a Paste

  • 8 to 10 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 3-4 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 small onion
  • 5 flakes garlic
  • A lemon sized ball tamarind

Method

  1. Descale the fish, slit from head to tail from the side to open in two horizontal  halves. 
  2. Cut each half in the center vertically into two and slice each strip diagnonally into wedges. 
  3. As this a thorny fish, cutting in this manner keeps the bones long enough to remove easily when eating. 
  4. Wash the fish well, apply a little salt and set aside.
  5. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  6. Shred the ginger, slice the onion and slit the green chillies. 
  7. Take a vessel and add the ginger, onion and green chillies
  8. Add a tsp. of salt and squeeze together to extract the flavours. 
  9. No oil is required for this curry. 
  10. Add the masala with the masala water and adjust consistency of the curry (we like it thin).
  11. Place on heat and bring to a boil. 
  12. Reduce flame and simmer 10 minutes. 
  13. Add the fish and shake the vessel so the fish pieces settle and do not overlap each other. 
  14. Increase flame, bring to a boil, reduce flame and simmer 10 minutes till oil appears on the surface and the curry appears glossy.
  15. Switch off and serve hot with steamed rice.

Mutton Green Curry with Turnips & Veggies


This is my mother-in-laws signature mutton curry which she served with much love Sunday after Sunday. Sadly she passed away too early for me to enjoy her delicious cooking. Apart from our holiday trips, after marriage, I was fortunate to stay three months with her before joining my husband in Kuwait.

My husband has just not had enough of this mutton curry and the turnips that go with it! He relishes the curry especially the turnips. Whenever turnips are in season, he invariably picks them up and when they enter our home they must end up in this curry. No, they absolutely cannot be cooked in any other way! But the truth of the matter is that they are amazingly delicious in this mutton curry. For those who are not very fond of turnips, potatoes are included and make sure to cut them in a shape different from the turnips, either in wedges or halves if the turnips are in cubes, because once cooked it is difficult to differentiate between the potatoes and the turnips in the curry. My children rarely eat turnips so the usual question when serving will be “Mama are the long pieces potatoes”?

So do cook and enjoy this tasty lip smacking curry, the only dish I learnt from my mother-in-law!!

Ingredients

To cook meat

  • 1 Kg.  Mutton/Lamb
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2” pcs. Cinnamon
  • 4 to 5 cloves
  • 3 to 4 cardamoms
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Vegetables

  • 1 or 2 turnips
  • 1 or 2 potatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups French beans
  • 1 cup green peas

Grind to a paste

  • One bunch coriander leaves
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1.5”pc. ginger
  • 6 flakes garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp. pepper corns
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1” pc cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 4 to 5 flakes tamarind
  • 4 tbsp. heaped coconut powder
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut oil or ghee

Method

  1. Clean, cut and wash mutton.  Drain and set aside. 
  2. Chop the onions and tomatoes. 
  3. Heat oil in a wide vessel. 
  4. Add the onion and saute.
  5. Add the whole spices. 
  6. When onions are light brown, add the tomatoes and fry till soft.
  7. Add the meat and saute, cook till meat changes color.
  8. Then add sufficient hot water to cook the meat and bring to a boil. 
  9. Lower heat and cook for one hour, stirring once or twice in between. 
  10. After one hour add 1 tsp. salt, and check if meat is cooked. 
  11. If still to cook, add hot water if required and cook further 15 to 20 minutes till tender.
  12. As the meat is cooking, clean and prepare the vegetables. 
  13. Cube the turnip into 8 pieces each, the potato into four wedges each, the French beans break into 2 to 3 pieces.  Shell the green peas clean if using fresh. Set the vegetables aside.
  14. Meanwhile grind the masala to a paste. 
  15. When the meat is tender add to the meat with the masala water and check required consistency. 
  16. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.
  17. Add the  turnips and French beans and cook 10 minutes. 
  18. When turnips and French beans are almost done, add the potatoes and green peas and cook further 10 minutes till potatoes are cooked. 
  19. Check seasoning and take off heat when oil surfaces. 
  20. Serve with steamed rice, pulao, sannas, panpole, appam, bread, etc.

Mooli Rotis


Mooli Ki roti

These are not the usual Mooli Parathas but more like theplas, usually served at mealtimes but can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a teatime snack with a hot cup of tea or coffee.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated raddish
  • 4 cups wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. ajwain
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Ghee for smearing the rotis

Method

  1. Peel, clean and wash the mooli (raddish).
  2. Mix all the above and and knead to a soft dough. 
  3. Divide into equal portions (about 15 to 18) and roll into a circle as thin as possible dusting some flour to prevent it sticking.
  4. Cook the roti to a golden brown on a hot griddle (tava) on both sides applying some ghee on both sides. 
  5. Serve hot with lunch or dinner or for breakfast with yogurt, pickle.

Cooking with drumstick leaves


Enjoy healthy and nutritious drumstick leaves, popularly known as ‘Moringa leaves’ which are a powerhouse of nutrition. There are several ways to cook drumstick leaves some of which are herebelow. We used to have plenty of the drumstick trees around our houses and don’t think our mothers ever had to purchase drumsticks or the leaves for cooking.

As they are currently available in the market decided to make a few dishes and post recipes.

  1. Drumstick Leaves Adai
Drumstick Leaves Adai

2. Drumstick Leaves & Potato Bhaji

Drumstick Leaves & Potato Bhaji

3. Drumstick Leaves Tel Piyav

Drumstick Leaves Tel Piyav

Ponsa Muddo


These cakes are usually steamed in teak leaves, which impart a unique fragrance and reddish color to the cake. In the absence of teak leaves here, I have used banana leaves but would surely use teak leaves whenever I can get some and re-post the pictures. Canned jackfruit has been used in this recipe.

Ponsache Patoleo – Jackfruit cakes steamed in banana leaves (Pelakai da ghatti in Tulu)

Ponsa Muddo

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

  • 2 cups Jackfruit, chopped
  • 2 cups  white rice (or rice rava)
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • Jaggery 1/4 cup, or as required (may be omitted if jackfruit is extra sweet)
  • Salt to taste.
  • 8 Teak leaves (or 5 to 6 banana leaves cut into  medium sized pieces)
  1. Wash and soak rice for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Grind along with jackfruit, coconut and jaggery to a very thick paste using very little water. Add salt.
  3. If using rice rava, soak for 15 minutes. Grind the jackfruit, coconut, jaggery to a paste and mix  with the rava.
  4. Place 2 ladles (or more depending on the size of the leaf) and fold into  a packet and place in steamer, seam side down and steam for 30 minutes.  Cooking time would vary according to size and thickness of the jackfruit cake.
  5. Remove and cut into pieces, if cakes are large.
  6. Serve for breakfast or as tea-time snack.  Also goes well with curries on festival menus.

Baingan Bhartha


Baingan Bhartha

This Aubergine delicacy is a famous punjabi recipe. Brinjals are available throughout the year and a very common vegetable. A simple vegetable turns into a delectable dish. Even though brinjals are considered as a night shade it is widely consumed. Enjoy this delicious bhartha sa a meal by itself with rotis or phulkas and serve as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms. Brinjals (Aubergine, Eggplant)
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger. chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika (or Kashmiri chilli powder) or to taste
  • Salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Wash brinjals and wipe dry.
  2. Apply a little oil to the brinjals and roast on direct flame till charred and skin starts peeling off.  This can be done in a charcoal grill to get the charcoal flavor or oven. 
  3. Remove and immerse in water to cool.  Remove he skin and stem and chop.
  4. Heat ghee, add cumin and when it crackles, add onions and cook till translucent, add ginger and saute few seconds. 
  5. Add the chilli powder, salt, mix, add tomatoes and saute till fat appears at the sides. 
  6. Add the chopped brinjals and saute for 5 minutes, add green chillies and mix.  Check seasoning. 
  7. Remove and garnish with coriander leaves. 
  8. Serve with rotis or phulkas.
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