Vegetarian

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.

Tomato Cheese Pizza


A universal party snack – Most simple and so easy to make at home.  Loved by old and young! Feel free to create your own toppings.  Can be baked on the stove top using a pan.

Ingredients (makes 12 to 15 small circular pizzas)

  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. warm milk
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup Pizza sauce or as required
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Chopped and sauteed pepperoni or mortadella (optional)
  • Chopped onion (optional

Mix yeast and sugar in warm milk and stir.  Cover and leave to bloom.  Rub the butter into the flour.  Mix in yeast mixture, stir in the eggs and knead well.  If dough is too sticky dust some flour or grease your hands with butter and knead till smooth. Cover and put in a warm place for 2 hours, until double in size.

Knead risen dough for 3 minutes.  Work into large flattened circles or use a cutter to make smaller pizzas.  Arrange on a greased baking tin and spoon over with the sauce, and other toppings. Sprinkle over with grated cheese.  Bake in a hot oven gas mark 4 for 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.  To bake on the stove top, heat a flat pan on medium low heat till hot.  Place the dough circles on the pan and quickly add the toppings.  Cover and cook 10 minutes till cheese melts and underside is light brown.

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.

Sheviyo Idiyappam String Hoppers


Sheviyo or Shevigo also known as Idiyappam or string hopper is made with ground rice steamed and then pressed into a hand held sev mould or a typical stand alone shevigo equipment.  In Kerala, Tamil Nadu etc Idiyappam is made of rice flour mixed with hot water 2:1 proportion with salt and little oil and kneaded to a soft dough.  The dough balls are then put in the sev mould and pressed onto idli trays and steamed.

I have illustrated the Mangalorean and Goan style of making the Sheviyo i.e. soaking rice, grind to a paste then steaming the batter as a rice cake which is then cut into pieces and pressed as string hoppers with a sev mould.

It can be eaten as a sweet dish for breakfast or a teatime snack garnish with chunn i.e. a jaggery coconut filling or with sweet ros i.e. coconut milk and jaggery mixture.

As a savoury dish serve them with any coconut milk (Roce) curry like chicken or mutton or vegetable stew.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiled rice or 1 cup basmati and one cup boiled mixed
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Coconut Jaggery (Chunn) filling

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup jaggery grated
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom powder

Coconut Jaggery Milk

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ½ cup jaggery or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom powder

Wash and soak the rice for atleast 6 hours.  Gridn to a smooth paste, add salt, mix and transfer to a cake tin to steam.  Set the steamer and when the water boils place the dish with the rice batter on the steamer and steam for 20 to 25 minutes on medium high.  To check if done, pierce a knife and should come out clean.  Cut the rice cake into large pieces and press the pieces through a sevio or sev (ghatia/chakli) mould using the plate with large holes (if you prefer thinner strands, use the plate with smaller holes) and press like noodles into small circular heaps. 

To make the chunn – heat a pan and add the grated jaggery, add a little water to speed up melting and cook till fully dissolved.  Add the coconut and cook for a minute, then add the cardamom powder and keep aside till required.

To make the sweet milk – Heat the coconut milk till it reaches boiling point and then add the jaggery and simmer till dissolved.  Add cardamom powder, mix and take off heat.

Serve with coconut jaggery filling or sweet coconut milk for breakfast or as teatime snack and with chicken or mutton curry or vegetable stew 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.

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.

Artichoke Salad


Full of flavour, a great salad for artichoke lovers, like moi! The addition of herbs and abundance of vegetables makes it a hearty sumptuous salad and could easily double-up as a meal paired with crusty bread and some warm soup! Adding roasted peppers and sun dried tomatoes, rather than fresh would certainly take it a notch up. Must try it myself….. Fell free to add your choice of vegetables like asparagus, cucumbers, shredded carrots, olives, sliced fennel, etc.

Artichoke Salad

Marinated Artichoke Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 Can artichokes (400 gms), preferably marinated
  • 1 can chick-peas (400 gms)
  • 1 capsicum (or roasted peppers)
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup lettuce
  • 1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
  • Salt to taste (if required)

To marinate the artichokes (if using regular canned artichokes)

  • 2 flakes garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ to 1 tsp. red dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried or 1 tbsp. fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary)
  • 1 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil

Method

  1. Dain and rinse the artichoke hearts
  2. cut each into four and transfer to a jar or dish with a lid. 
  3. Put the sliced garlic over the artichokes,
  4. followed by the chilli flakes,
  5. herbs, whole peppercorns, salt, lemon juice and olive oil. 
  6. Cover and shake gently to mix. 
  7. Artichokes can be eaten or used in the salad right away or leave to marinate couple of hours.  I left it in the refrigerator overnight.
  8. To make the salad – (if using ready marinated artichokes, start from this step)
  9. Take a serving dish and add the chick-peas, drained and rinsed.
  10. Then add the tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, marinated artichokes, honey or maple syrup, salt if required and onion.
  11. Mix well and check seasoning and add some marinade from the artichokes if required. 
  12. Toss well and chill before serving. 
  13. Makes an excellent starter or appetizer or accompaniment with any main meal.

Gulab Jamuns


Gulab Jamun

Quick & easy Gulab Jamuns!

For those watching their sugar consumption, just squeeze out the syrup and enjoy, no guilt feeling there……;)

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups milk powder
  • ½ cup maida (all purpose flour)
  • ½ tsp. soda bicarb
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom powder (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. melted ghee or butter
  • ¼ cup water, or as required
  • Ghee/Oil for frying

Optional for stuffing the gulab Jamuns

  • Few shelled pistas
  • Lump sugar (Khadisakkar/misri)

Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 whole cardamoms, press to open them a little
  • Pinch of Saffron (Kesar)

Method

  1. Dilute the sugar with the water and boil alongwith cardamoms to a watery syrup. I prefer a light syrup.
  2. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes, add the saffron if using.
  3. While the syrup is boiling, mix the milk powder and maida alongwith the soda bicarb and cardamom powder (if using).
  4. Add the melted ghee and mix well.
  5. Knead adding little water at a time into a soft dough.
  6. Roll into 25 to 30 small round balls (they swell on frying and further swell when immersed in the syrup).
  7. You can stuff the gulab jamun with pista or misri with a bit of saffron if desired.
  8. Heat ghee/oil in a kadai for deep frying.
  9. Reduce the flame and fry the balls in batches of 10 or so, on low flame to a golden brown.
  10. If the fire is high the inside of the gulab jamun may remain uncooked.
  11. Remove, add to the syrup and set aside for the syrup to be absorbed. Serve preferably warm.

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.

Stuffed Mushrooms Baked


Stuffed Mushrooms Baked

Ingredients

  • 12 to 15 medium mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder
  • ½ tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil

Rinse the mushroom under running water.  No need to wipe as we will peel them. Remove the stems and set aside.  Peel the mushrooms and place in an oven proof baking dish.  Chop the mushroom stems finely.  Add the grated cheese to a mixing bowl.  Heat oil in a pan and saute the mushrooms stems and chopped onion for 2 to 3 minutes till it softens.  Cool the mixture and add to the cheese.  Add the bread crumbs, pepper powder and salt and mix.  Stuff the mushrooms with this mixture and bake 20 minutes in a moderate oven till tops are golden.  Serve immediately as a starter or appetizer.

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