Local and Seasonal food

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.

Brinjal Pakoras


Brinjal Pakoras

Brinjals or aubergines or eggplants as they are called are a very versatile vegetable and a universal favorite, available roundthe year. They are delicious fried as pakoras, bhajias, stuffed with mince or green chutney masala (these recipes are in the book Mai’s recipes). The brinjal bharta and brinjal pickle are famous and so is the turkish recipe Imam Bayildi

Ingredients

  • 6 medium brinjals (or two large)
  • 1 ½ cups besan (gram flour)
  • ¼ tsp. soda bircarb (optional)
  • 1 tsp. carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp. amchur (dry mango powder) or pomegranate seeds powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Oil for shallow frying

Method

  1. Slice the medium brinjals horizontally.  If large cut into round slices.
  2. Mix the gram flour, soda bicarb, ajwain, chilli powder, amchur, salt to taste and make a batter with 1 cup water.
  3. Add some more water if batter is too thick. 
  4. Batter should coat the brinjals without dripping. 
  5. At the same time the coating should not be too thick. 
  6. Shallow fry to golden brown on both sides in hot oil. 
  7. Serve hot with ketchup, mint sauce, chilli garlic sauce or any sauce of your choice. 
  8. Make into sandwiches with bread or pita bread or rolled into a chapati for breakfast, packed lunch or a snack.

Radish Vegetable


Raddish Vegetable

Radish is in season in winters and an excellent way to add fibre and nutrients to your diet. Radish also helps in fighting cough and cold. Have your tried eating fresh radish marinated in vinegar? If you have a blocked nose, it provides instant relief. East Indians make a lamb curry with radish called Lonvas using east indian bottle masala. Turns out delicious. Mooli parathas a North Indian speciality are famous all over. So enjoy the goodness of radish this winter.

Radish Vegetable (Moolo Bhaji)

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch radishes with leaves
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 red chillies
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. salt

Method

  1. Clean the radish by discarding the yellow and stained leaves and reserve the tender and unblemished leaves.
  2. Peel the radish
  3. Place everything in salted water for 10 minutes. 
  4. Drain an rinse well. 
  5. Chop the leaves and slice the radish into thin slices.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan, add the crushed garlic, and red chillies broken into half. Saute a few seconds. 
  7. Add the sliced onion and toss, then add the vegetable, salt, cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes. 
  8. Not necessary to add water as the vegetable releases water. 
  9. However, half way through cooking if the water has dried up, add a quarter cup of water, cover and cook till the radish is tender. 
  10. Add the coconut, mix and cook further 2 minutes. 
  11. Remove and serve hot as accompaniment with Rice curry or serve with rotis. 
  12. Makes a light and healthy dinner with just chapatis (rotis) and moolo bhaji.

Quick Raw Mango Curry


Quick Raw Mango Curry

A delicious tart & spicy curry made with 6 fleshy mango seeds. I had used the mango flesh to make “God Lonche” pickle (Sweet & Sour Mango Pickle) and didn’t want to waste the mango seeds.

Served the curry for lunch with boiled rice, valchi bhaji tel piyav, kaane fry (lady fish fry) and prawn balchao (made by my friend Melville). Lip smacking!!

Ingredients

  • 3 raw mangoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1” pc. Ginger, shredded
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 3 flakes garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. jaggery
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Grind to a paste

  • 2 tbsp. Bafat masala powder
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut

Method

  1. Heat oil in a vessel, add the mustard seeds and cumin,
  2. When they pop, add the garlic, ginger, chillies and onion and fry till light brown. 
  3. Add the masala paste, with the masala water, salt, stir and cook till oil appears on the edges. 
  4. Add the raw mangoes and bring to a boil, lower flame and simmer till oil surfaces. 
  5. Add jaggery, cook further 2 minutes and take off flame. 
  6. Serve hot with plain boiled (steamed) rice. 
  7. We had this curry with rice, valchi bhaji (check out my Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav video) and Kaane fry (Lady fish fry)
  8. Was simply awesome!

Cooking with Taro


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Taro (Colacasia) Plants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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