Traditional recipes

Shish Taouk


Shish Taouk Sheesh Tawook Lebanese Style Chicken Kababs

Delicious Middle Eastern Kabobs – Lebanese style. Superb as appetiser, starter or make a meal of it. And what to say of sandwiches, which are at the heart of middle eastern food and lifestyle. Just slather the pita bread with Toum and pile on the shish taouk kabobs and salads and pickles for a satisfying and delicious snack or meal!

Ingedients

  • 1 Kg. Boneless chicken breasts
  • 6 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 small slice of lemon with the peel
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, if available.  If not use regular vinegar
  • 6 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. white pepper or black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. oregano, crushed
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder or paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste

Method

  1. Cut the chicken into 1” cubes.
  2. Mix all the ingredients from yogurt to tomato paste and mix well into the chicken cubes. 
  3. Marinate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. 
  4. Heat the grill. 
  5. Skewer the chicken and grill till light brown. 
  6. Turn over and brown the other side. 
  7. Serve with grilled tomatoes, onion, olives, cucumber, olives, etc.
  8. Serve as a appetizer or accompaniment to any main meal.
  9. Have with pita bread, spread with Toum (Garlic Sauce) and green salads.

Toum


Traditional Homemade Lebanese Garlic Sauce

Toum (Garlic Sauce) usually used as a dip for grilled chicken, meat, etc. So creamy and fluffy and ah the taste… simply lip-smacking, you can just eat and lick it as it is. You would never believe it is homemade! Serve with Shish Taouk, Souvlaki chicken, Crispy fried chicken and any grilled meats or roasted vegetable. Slather on pita bread sandwiches or serve as a regular dip!

Traditional homemade garlic sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup iced water
  • 3 cups oil, like canola, sunflower

Method

  • Peel garlic and remove the germ if desired (makes the taste less sharp) by cutting in half and scooping out the germ in the centre of the garlic.  I skipped this step today due to lack of time.
  • Place the garlic with salt in a blender and process till garlic is smooth, use the lemon juice at intervals to facilitate movement of the garlic. 
  • Add a little water if the lemon juice is not sufficient.  Adding more lemon juice may make it too sour.
  • Once the garlic becomes a smooth paste, start adding the first cup of oil in a continuous drizzle while the blender is running. 
  • Stop the blender to give it a rest.
  • Then continue adding the remaining oil alternating with the iced water till all oil and water are incorporated. 
  • The paste should be light and fluffy by now.  
  • If not add one egg white and run the blender for 2 minutes to achieve the fluffy consistency.
  • Transfer to a sterilized glass jar or a container and refrigerate. 
  • Use for a month, if it lasts that long! 
  • This recipe makes a large quantity of toum.  So it would be better to try with half or quarter of the recipe. 
  • But bear in mind that if the toum doesn’t become thick and fluffy, the garlic mixture should not be wasted, use it in cooking where garlic paste (with tartness) is required.

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.

Hot and Sour Sardines Curry


Hot and Sour Sardines Curry

Hot and Sour Sardines Curry

Tarle Amotik curry (Tallyanchi Kodi)

Ingredients

  • 3 large sardines or 8 to 10 small
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 6 kokum petals (dried mangosteen)
  • 10 to 12 Tefla (Indian Prickly Ash)
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Grind to a Paste

  • 8 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 2 tbsp. coconut powder (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. peppercorns
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 6 flakes garlic
  • A small ball tamarind

Method

  1. Descale the fish, cut off head and tail and remove and discard the intestine, etc. 
  2. Clean and wash well. 
  3. ½ tsp. salt and set aside. 
  4. I have taken 3 large sardines and cut each into half.
  5. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  6. Slice the onion and slit the green chillies. 
  7. Crush the tefla lightly to release the flavor and set aside. 
  8. Take a vessel and add the onion and green chillies.  
  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. Add 1 tsp. salt or to taste.
  12. Place on heat and bring to a boil. 
  13. Add the tefla and kokum pieces.
  14. The tefla add flavor to the curry and not to be consumed.
  15. Reduce flame and simmer 5 minutes. 
  16. Add the fish.  Do not stir to avoid breaking the fish.  Shake the vessel so the fish pieces settle and do not overlap each other. 
  17. Increase flame, bring to a boil, reduce flame and simmer 10 minutes till oil appears on the surface and the curry appears glossy. 
  18. Switch off and serve hot with steamed rice. 

Surnali


Surnali or Surnoli

Surnali (Surnoli)

Buttermilk Dosa, Sponge Dosa, Sweet Dosa, Konkani Pancake, Mangalorean Surnoli, Udupi Surnali, Sweet Surnoli, Plain Surnoli

A Soft and fluffy mangalorean pancake you can make in two ways – Sweet & Plain (Savory) which can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack or as an accompaniment with your favorite curry for lunch and dinner.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Idli or basmati Rice
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 1 cup poha
  • ¼ tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Soda bicarb

For sweet version

  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ cup jaggery powdered (for half the above quantity of batter)

Method

  1. Wash the rice and fenugreek seeds and soak in buttermilk for atleast 4 hours. 
  2. Soak the poha in water for 15 minutes. 
  3. Grind the rice, poha, coconut to a thick paste. 
  4. As far as possible do not add more water when grinding. 
  5. Add salt to the batter and divide into two. 
  6. To one half, add turmeric powder and jaggery and mix well till jaggery is dissolved.
  7. Leave both the batters to ferment 8 hours or overnight. 
  8. Before frying you may add a pinch or ¼ tsp. soda bicarb to the batter (If the batter has not fermented well) and mix.  This is optional.
  9. You may thin down the batter slightly, if required by adding little water if batter is too thick.
  10. To fry, heat a dosa pan very hot, smear with oil using an onion, put two ladles of batter (3/4 cup), do not spread. 
  11. Cover and cook till it is covered with holes, becomes opaque and light brown on the edges.  (Suruli for holes in Konkani).
  12. Remove and serve the sweet Surnalis with butter
  13. And the plain or savory ones with chutney.
  14. Also enjoy them with your favorite curry for lunch or dinner.

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.

Yam and Moong Curry


Yam and Moong Curry

Yam (Suran, Elephants foot) and Moong (Green Gram) Curry

Ingredients

  • ½ cup whole moong (green gram)
  • ½ kg. Yam (elephants foot)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Bafat masala, or to taste
  • ½ cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp. tamarind pulp
  • 1 tsp. jaggery (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. Oil

Method

  1. Clean the yam and cut into cubes, wash and drain.  Use gloves to prevent hands itching. 
  2. Pick and wash the moong and boil with 2 cups water. 
  3. When half done, add the yam pieces and cook till moong and yam are tender. 
  4. Add salt. 
  5. Take off flame. 
  6. In another vessel, add oil, when hot add the mustard seeds
  7. When they splutter, add the curry leaves, crushed garlic and onion and saute till onions are light brown. 
  8. Add the bafat masala and fry for a minute. 
  9. Add the moong and yam vegetable alongwith the stock and add more water for curry if required.
  10. Bring to a boil and simmer till oil surfaces. 
  11. Add the tamarind and jaggery and fresh coconut and adjust seasoning. 
  12. Cook for 5 minutes and take off the heat.  Serve hot.

Sprouted Moong Bhaji


Sprouted Moong Bhaji

Sprouted Moong (Green Gram) Bhaji

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 cups sprouted moong
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 to 3 flakes garlic, sliced
  • 1” pc ginger, chopped
  • 2  tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Bafat Masala
  • 1 tsp. Salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Few curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. Coriander leaves, chopped to garnish

Method

  1. Wash and pick the sprouted moong, drain. 
  2. Heat a pan, add oil.  When hot, add the mustard seeds. 
  3. When they splutter, add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chillies and saute for ½ a minute. 
  4. Then add the onion and fry till translucent. 
  5. Then add the tomatoes and fry till soft. 
  6. Add the bafat masala.  You may add more or less according to taste and saute for  a minute. 
  7. Then add the sprouted moong, salt and one cup water, mix, bring to a boil and cook 10 to 15 minutes until the moong is cooked. 
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

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

Thai Green Curry


Thai Green Curry

Ingredients

To be ground to a paste

  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp. pepper powder, preferably white
  • 2 medium shallots or onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 green thai chillies (or normal green chillies)
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 8 to 10 stalks of fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp. salt

Vegetables

Use as per your choice of type and quantity.

I have used broccoli, carrot, white pumpkin and thai (baby) brinjals

Clean and wash the vegetables. Cut the broccoli into florets, carrots into slices or long wedges, cube the pumpkin and remove stem of the brinjals and cut into half the larger brinjals.  Immerse the brinjals (cut ones especially) in water until use. 

(other options may be bean sprouts, French bean or sugar snap peas, squash, sweet potato, etc.)

For non-veg option

Use a cup of shredded boneless chicken or shrimp

Thai Curry ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 6 to 8 Kafir lime leaves
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice (half a lime)

Method

  1. Grind the paste ingredients till smooth. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add the green curry paste and fry on medium for 10 minutes.
  3. If using chicken add it to the paste at this point and cook 10 minutes. 
  4. Then add all the vegetables and cook 5 to 7 minutes. 
  5. If using shrimp, add at this point
  6. Add the coconut milk, water and kafir lime leaves and mix well.
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. 
  8. Add the fish or soy sauce and lime juice. 
  9. Check seasonings. 
  10. Add salt if required or increase the sauce or lime juice to taste. 
  11. Cook for a minute and take off the fire. 
  12. Serve with plain steamed rice or Thai garlic fried rice.

Sweet beaten rice Godd Fov


Sweet beaten rice (flat sweet poha) / Godd Fov

No cook breakfast or teatime snack.  Comes together in minutes (if you have all ingredients to hand).  Delicious, satisfying and healthy.   My mother made this often as a teatime snack, when we returned from school.  When was the last time you had Godd Fov?

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups thin (beaten/flattened) rice (Fov)
  • 1 cup grated jaggery
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • ½ tsp. cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp. milk/water/coconut water

Method

  1. Clean the flattened rice (fov/poha) for any dirt, etc.  Do not wash.  Pick any husk or impurities, if any. Usually the packaged beaten rice (good brands) will be quite clean.
  2. Add the jaggery, coconut, cardamom powder and mix all ingredients. 
  3. Add the milk or water to moisten the mixture a little bit and mix well with fingers. 
  4. Leave aside for 10 minutes. 
  5. Serve with tea or coffee for breakfast or a teatime evening snack.

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.

Tendli Miryapito


Tendli Miryapito

A traditional mangalorean style of cooking tendlis. Makes a nice addition to a festive or celebratory meal!

Tendli Miryapito – Tendli Jeere Meerem (Ivy Gourd/Tindoras)

Ingredients

  • ¼ Kg. Tendlis
  • 2 onions
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • 1/2 “ ginger (optional)
  • ½ cup cashewnuts (Moi) (soaked in water)
  • 1 tsp. Jeere Meerem powder
  • OR (jnstead of jeere Meerem powder)
  • ½ tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
  • ½ tsp. vinegar (optional)
  • ¼ tsp. sugar (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the tendlis in water and wash well. 
  2. Cut off the head and tail and smash the tendlis with a pestle with a light hand lest they get completely smashed. 
  3. Add the salt, masala powders, oil and mix well. 
  4. At this stage you can pre-prepare and keep aside till ready to cook or even keep in the refrigerator overnight. 
  5. Then add the chopped garlic, ginger (if using), sliced onion, add ½ cup water and cook till tender. 
  6. When cooked half way, add the cashewnuts and  mix. 
  7. Before taking off the fire add the vinegar and sugar and cook 5 minutes till water is almost absorbed. 
  8. If water dries up too quickly, add some more hot water and continue cooking. 
  9. Serve hot.
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