Simple recipes

Raw Banana Erussery


Banana Erussery   (Chena Vazhakkai Erissery)

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

Ingredients

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

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

Bombay Vegetable Sandwich


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

Ingredients

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

For Green Chutney

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

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

Goan Vatanayanchi Bhaji Chonya Ros


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

Ingredients

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

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

Zucchini Fry


The zucchini, courgette or baby marrow  is a summer squash, a vining herbaceous plant whose fruit are harvested when their immature seeds and epicarp (rind) are still soft and edible.

Ordinary zucchini fruit are any shade of green, though the golden zucchini is a deep yellow or orange.  At maturity, they can grow to nearly 1 metre (3 feet) in length, but they are normally harvested at about 15–25 cm (6–10 in).

In botany, the zucchini’s fruit is a pepo, a berry (the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower) with a hardened epicarp. In cookery, it is a vegetable, usually cooked and eaten as a savory dish or accompaniment.

Source – wikipedia

Ingredients

(I am using 12 zucchinis approx. in the video recipe, so the ingredients used are proportionately more)

  • 4 to 6 Zucchini
  • ½ tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Vinegar or Lemon juice, or to taste
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • ½ tp. Cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. coriander powder
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Method

  • Wash and drain the zucchinis.  Trim the head and tail and cut vertically into ¼” thin slices.  If the zucchinis are tender and unblemished the skin can be retained.  Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Then drain the water which is released from the zucchinis. Mix the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder, rice flour, corn flour, vinegar and salt (if required because the zucchinis are already salted) and make a thick paste using as much water as required.  Mix the slices with the batter.  A;ternatively you can dip each slice in the batter to coat before frying, in which case more batter will be required.  Heat oil for deep frying, when hot reduce flame and fry in small batches till crisp and golden.  Drain on kitchen towel.  Serve immediately when still crisp 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, raw banana, bread fruit, potatoes, yam, mushrooms, etc.

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.

Amla Rice


Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked rice, cooled or leftover rice
  • 8 to 10 amlas
  • 1 small raw mango (optional)
  • 6 green chillies, slit
  • 1 tbsp. chana dal (split chick peas)
  • 1 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 10 to 12 cashewnuts or groundnuts
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

Slit the green chillies and grate the amlas.  Discard the seed.  Heat a pan and add ghee, when hot, add the mustard seeds.  When they crackle, add the channa dal, urad dal, cashewnuts and fry till light golden.  Add the green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a minute.  Add the grated amla and (raw mango if using) and fry for a minute.  Add turmeric powder and salt and stir and mix well.  Cook the mixture on low heat for 5 minutes, mix and check seasoning.  Add the cooked rice, mix well and heat through.    

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.

Egg Frittata with potatoes and sausages


Egg Frittata with potato and sausages

A spin-off on the famous Parsi “Papeta par Eedu”, with the additon of sausages, this is a really simple and quick breakfast bake, albeit in a frying pan! For more Egg-based options check out ‘Eggciting breakfasts’!

Ingredients

5 eggs

2 medium onions, chopped

1 Potato, thinly sliced

1 Tomato, chopped

2 green chillies, chopped

¼ tsp turmeric powder (optional)

4 Beef or Chicken Sausages (Frankfurters), thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped

1 tbs. ghee

Slice the sausages thinly and fry 2 minutes till the edges turn crisp.

Fry the chopped onions & green chilli adding 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the tomatoes and fry for a minute and top with the sliced potatoes. Sprinkle over with salt and pepper. Cover and cook ten minutes.

Spread the fried sausages over the potatoes and break the eggs one by one over the sausages. Cover and cook till done. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

On a frying pan or skillet, heat ghee and fry the sliced sausages for two minutes or till crisp at the edges. Remove and set aside. 

To the same pan add chopped onion and green chillie and saute till onion is light brown, add a spoon of ghee if required. Add turmeric and mix.

Add tomatoes and sauté for a minute, add ½ tsp salt and mix. 

Spread the potato slices evenly over the onion tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let cook 10 minutes on low flame, till potatoes are almost cooked.

Spread the sausage slices over the potatoes and then break the eggs one at a time over the sausages.  Cover and cook ten minutes or until the top is opaque and the eggs are cooked.  

If you like the eggs runny, remove as soon as the whites are set. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Corn Kababs


Corn Kababs

Maize, Makka

Ingredients

2 cups corn kernels (2 cans 165 gms. each drained weight)

½ tsp. green chilli paste

½ tsp. garlic paste

½ tsp. ginger paste

1 tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

4 heaped tbsp. gram flour (besan, chickpea flour)

½ cup coriander leaves

Grind the corn coarsely, leaving some whole.  Add the chilli, garlic and ginger paste.  Alternatively, grind 2 green chillies, 3 flakes garlic and 1” pc ginger with the corn.  Add the gram flour, lemon juice, salt, sugar and coriander leaves.  Drop tbsp. full into hot oil or form into kababs and deep fry.  May be shallow fried if preferred.  Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney.  Great as a snack, appetizer or into as a sandwich.

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.

Kashmiri Saag


Kashmiri Wazwan recipe, Kashmiri Haakh recipe. To cook it in a jiffy, I have used frozen spinach.

If using whole leaf frozen spinach, like I have done, this dish should not take more than 15 minutes including preparation. No chopping or cleaning of spinach required, just throw all the ingredients together in a pot and you have a wholesome, healthy, nutritious and delicious dish generously spiked with garlic and red chillies but since the  chillis are Kashmiri, the dish is not spicy hot!!  And if like me you have a batch of peeled garlic always handy, should not take more than 10 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil (mustard if preferred)
  • 3 brown cardamoms, or 3 to 4 green cardamoms
  • 10 kashmiri whole chillies
  • 25 whole garlic, peeled
  • 250 gms. whole spinach
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat oil and add the brown cardamom, kashmiri whole chillies, whole garlic, whole spinach (saag), little salt and water.
  2. Cook till done (in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle).
  3. Serve hot.

P.S.: The quantity of red chillies may seem daunting but trust me the saag did not turn out spicy hot as would be expected because Kashmiri chillies as usual are mild.

The Original Club Sandwich


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The Original Club sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bread
  • 3 slices smoked turkey
  • 3 slices, bacon fried crisp
  • 1 egg, fried
  • 2 to 3 slices tomato
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Garnish : Cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, lettuce, olives.

Please watch video on You Tube for assembling the sandwich.

Check our my video six breakfast sandwiches to kick-start your day!

Pasta Salad


Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • Elbow macroni, 2to 3 cups, cooked
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • mint leaves
  • basil leaves
  • lettuce
  • green olives
  • black olives
  • Feta cheese (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice
  • Ingredients and quantities vary according to availability and taste

Mix everything together and and chill 30 mns. before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Keeps for 3 to 5 days well refrigerated. Raw onion may be added just before serving.

Rava Adai


Rava Adai

Ingredients

  • 250 gms. Rava
  • 50 gms. Rice flour
  • 1 tbsp. grated coconut
  • 2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
  • Salt and chilli powder to taste
  • Sour butter milk (or yogurt mixed with water)
  • Ghee as required
  1. Mix rava with all the above ingredients upto chilli powder.
  2. Add enough buttermilk to form a thick batter.
  3. Heat a flat griddle and grease it will ghee
  4. Pour one to two tbsp. of batter and spread it into a thick round.
  5. When the underside turns golden, pour a little ghee around the edges.
  6. When both the sides turn golden and crisp remove from fire and serve immediately.

Delicious with hot cup of coffee or tea at breakfast or tea-time!

Panki


Panki

Pankis are made by cooking batter between banana leaves which imparts a distinct aroma to the pankis. While pankis made with rice flour are more common, they can also be made with moong dal (soaked and ground).

The name Panki is derived from the leaf i.e. paan. As it is cooked between the leaves, it is called Pan-ki. The delicious savoury taste and light but satisfying panki, makes the effort all worthwhile!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • ½ cup sour curds, beaten
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp. green chilli paste
  • 2 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. melted ghee
  • 4 to 6 banana leaves, washed and wiped clean.

Method

  1. Mix the rice flour with curds, salt and 3 cups warm water in a bowl, to make a medium thick batter of pouring consistency, like lassi.
  2. Cover and keep aside for 3 to 4 hours or overnight to ferment.
  3. Then add the cumin, sugar, ginger green chillie paste and garlic paste and mix well. 
  4. Add ¾ to 1 cup water if required.
  5. Remove the thick center stem and cut the leaves into even sized pieces of desired shape, square, round, oval.
  6. Grease the leaves lightly and lay 3 to 4 leaves on a hot griddle, oiled side up, and spoon 2 to 3 tbsp. of the batter over each leaf, depending on the size of the leaf.
  7. Cover with another leaf and press lightly to help the leaf adhere to the batter.
  8. Cook for a minute or so and turn over.
  9. Press the leaf with the spatula applying some pressure to spread the panki as thin as possible. 
  10. Cook 2 minutes or till light brown spots appear on the leaves and the panki appears to peal off the leaf. 
  11. Repeat with the remaining ingredients till all the batter is used up. 
  12. The leaves can be re-used in case you run short. 
  13. Serve hot with green chutney, if desired.
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