Local and Seasonal food

Turnips with Greens Bhaji


Knol Khol, Kholrabi, Kholrabi greens, Navalkhol, Gunth Gobi, Ganth Gobi, Shalgam as Turnips are called is a great winter vegetable and a dietary staple in Kashmir.  The mature bulbs can become tough and woody, so look for tender bulbs with tender leaves.  Tender turnips can be grated or shredded and added raw into a salad.  Taste has a touch of raddish and can be included into several cuisines.

Ingredients

  • 2 Turnips with greens
  • ½ tsp. cumin seed
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  •  1 tsp. coriander seeds powder
  • 1 tsp. Dry Mango powder (Amchur)
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Oil

Clean the turnips, discard the yellow and blemished leave and the stems.  Use only tender green leaves.  Soak the leaves in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes to get rid of insects or dirt if any. Chop the leaves. Peel the turnips and chop into cubes.  Alternately you may cut into thin slices or shred into strips.

Heat a vessel and add oil, when hot add the cumin seed, when they crackle add turmeric and the turnips with the chopped greens.  Add ¼ cup water and cook 10 minutes, stirring once or twice in between.  When the vegetable is cooked, add the chilli, coriander and amchur powder and salt.  Mix and cook further 5 minutes.  Take off flame and serve hot with rotis.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bhaja Maslar Tarkari


Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 medium brinjals
  • 3 to 4 medium green chillies (slit)
  • 2 to 3 dry red chilies
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 cup sour curd
  • 1 tsp. corn flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp. salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds

Cut the brinjals into four lengthwise, removing the head and soak in salted water till required.  Heat a vessel and add the ghee, when hot add the red chillies and fenugreek seeds and fry for ½ minute.  Add the brinjals and fry till they change colour and turn brown.  Add salt, sugar and green chillies.  Mix the curd with the corn flour (this helps stabilise the curd and prevents it splitting while cooking).  Add the curd to the brinjals and stir then add the water.  Cover and cook till the brinjals are tender and the gravy is thick.  Roast & powder the mustard and cumin seeds.  I usually roast, powder and store the spices separately so have not shown it in the video.  Add the roasted powder to the cooked brinjals.  Stir well and serve hot with pooris or any Indian bread.

Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Corn Salad


Ingredients

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. Olive oil (or any oil)
  • ¼ tsp. Pepper powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Green onions
  • Corn salad

Heat the oven to 220 deg C. Clean and scrub the potatoes well keeping them whole.  Prick lightly with a fork to avoid the potatoes bursting.  Mix the olive oil, pepper and salt and brush the potatoes with the oil.  For softer skins, wrap the potato in silver foil, for crunchier potatoes leave open.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 ½ hours depending on the size and oven temperature.  To speed up baking  pierce a metal skewer  through the potatoes so that heat is conducted to the centres.  To test if potato is done pierce with a skewer which should go through easily.

Prepare the filling while the potatoes are baking so it is ready to be stuffed into the potatoes when baked.  Cut a slit or a cross on the top of the potatoes and squeeze the sides so the top is pushed open.  Use oven mitts as the potato will be hot. Fluff the flesh of the potato with a fork.  Top with your desired filling.  Spoon sour cream mixed with a little olive oil and garnish with green onions and serve with a generous helping of corn salad or fill with sour cream and/or corn salad.  Makes a delicious meal or starter or a side.

Mandas Traditional Mangalore Cucumber Cake


The traditional Mangalorean cucumber cake, both steamed and baked versions.  A favorite cake of the south especially mangaloreans relished by young and old. Also called Tavsali or Tausali from the Konkani name for the local cucumber ‘Tousche’. Other names are Thekkare Adde, Thekkare Ghatti.  Using only raw (white) rice make the cucumber cake quite dense and firm but this texture is preferred by many.  I prefer mixing both raw and boiled rice so that the texture is a bit softer. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiled rice (1 cup basmati + 1 cup boiled)
  • 1 coconut
  • 2 cups jaggery
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 6 cardamoms, powdered
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup cashewnuts/almonds (optional)

 Method

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Grind to a paste alongwith the coconut, grated cucumber, jaggery and salt.
  3. Add the cardamom powder and let it stand for about an hour.
  4. Add the chopped nuts, if desired.
  5. Bake or steam till done.
  6. To test if the mandas is ready, insert a toothpick or a knife in the center and it should come out clean.
  7.  It really depends on the size of container, thicker the mandas more the time.  Having said that, you can initially steam it for 30 minutes straight, after which you may test with toothpick or a knife and if it comes out clean it’s done.  If not steam further and check at 10 to 15 minute intervals.  The centre should be set and not jiggle.  It firms up further upon cooling. 
  8. Baking takes a fairly longer time about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Baking also renders the mandas a bit hard, hence I prefer steaming.

Stuffed Giant Mushrooms


Stuffed Giant Mushrooms (A variation in the filling from the stuffed mushrooms baked)

Ingredients

  • 800 gms. Large White Giant Mushrooms (about 15 nos)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 green chillies
  • Garlic, chopped
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1tsp. Herbs,
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Bread crumbs to sprinkle

Method

  1. Clean the mushrooms, remove stems and keep aside. 
  2. Peel the mushrooms and discard the skin. 
  3. Chop the mushroom stems, chop onions and chop and deseed tomatoes. 
  4. Chop green chillies and coriander leaves and mix together and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Stuff the mushrooms with the filling, top with mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with bread crumbs. 
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Mushrooms and Peas Curry


A rich South Indian preparation of Peas and mushrooms.  It’s a breeze if you are going to use frozen peas and canned mushrooms, like I have done. Those who don’t like mushrooms can substitute with eggplant, zucchini, tofu, sweet potatoes. And those who don’t prefer peas, you may substitute with corn.

Mushrooms and Peas Curry

Bataani Kaal Kari

Ingredients

  • 250 gms. mushrooms
  • 250 gms. Green peas
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (black gram dal)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. coconut cream powder
  • 1 tbsp. cashewnuts
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Method

  1. If using fresh peas, peel, wash and boil.  Set aside. 
  2. If using fresh mushrooms, rinse under running water and cut into fours or slices or halves if they are small. 
  3. Saute in a tsp of oil on medium for 3 to 4 minutes and set aside.    
  4. I have used canned mushrooms (drained) and frozen peas, so will be cooking both directly.
  5. Heat oil and add the mustard seeds, when they cackle, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds and the urad dal and saute till the dal changes color. 
  6. Add the chopped onion and cook till translucent and light brown. 
  7. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till liquid evaporates. 
  8. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric and salt. 
  9. Add a little water so the spices do not burn and saute for a minute.
  10. Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till fat separates. 
  11. If using canned mushrooms and frozen peas add and mix and add 1 cup hot water for gravy and cook, stirring in between till fat at surfaces. 
  12. Meanwhile dilute the coconut cream in 2 tbsp. water and add to the mushroom peas curry, stir. 
  13. Blend the cashewnuts with a little water to a paste or powder fine and dilute with some water to a paste. 
  14. Add the paste to the curry and simmer 5 minutes. 
  15. If using fresh peas (boiled) and mushrooms (sauteed), add them at this step.  
  16. Add fresh coriander reserving some for garnish. 
  17. Adjust seasoning. 
  18. Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander.
  19. Serve hot with steamed rice or any bread.

Steamed Cabbage


Ready in minutes, makes an instant addition to a dinner table and a great side or accompaniment to any meal. Smaller the cabbage, the better! Steam just before serving. You can adjust the amount of butter required and make sure to use salted butter for extra flavor.

Steamed Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cabbage or 2 small cabbages
  • 6 to 8 cubes butter (size as per choice) preferably salted
  • Pepper and salt, to taste

Clean the whole cabbage by removing the outer leaves if they have any blemishes and look stale.  Trim the stem and cut the cabbage into wedges but keeping  the stem intact. Place the cabbage in a vessel to compactly arrange.  Put the butter cubes in between two wedges of the cabbage and sprinkle some water.  Cover and cook on medium flame for 10 minutes or till tender, but not overcooked.  The cabbage should be tender but still have the crunch.  Serve hot, sprinkled with salt and pepper.   It’s best to steam the cabbage just before serving.

Quick Stir Fried Bhindi


Subscribe to my Youtube channel for video recipes

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.
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