Vegetarian

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.

Cluster Beans in yogurt gravy


Cluster Beans in Yogurt gravy

Gavar or Cluster beans have only limited ways of preparation and are usually cooked by us with prawns and potatoes as the vegetable by itself is quite bland and sometimes has a bitter after taste. Hence it is usually cooked with a lot of spices to make the vegetable more tasty and palatable. This recipe with yogurt and spice powders makes it quiet tangy and savoury and goes well with rotis. If you wish to use over steamed rice, add a little more water to make the gravy lighter.

An excellent vegetable, the more tender the better as the mature beans render thick stems on either side of the bean which must be removed before cooking.

Gavar dahi sabji

Ingredients

  • ½ kg. Cluster Beans (Gavar)
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp. asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tsp. gram flour (Bengal gram flour)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Remove head and tail and string the cluster beans. 
  2. Instead of cutting the beans, break into pieces with your hands while stringing the pieces. 
  3. Boil the beans for 10 to 15 minutes, with ½ tsp. salt till cooked. 
  4. Drain the water and keep aside. 
  5. Mix the yogurt with the coriander powder, chillie powder, gram flour and ½ tsp salt and beat well. 
  6. Heat a vessel, add 2 tbsp. oil, add mustard, cumin and fennel seeds, asafoetida. 
  7. When the seeds crackle, add the yogurt masala mixture and cook till oil separates. 
  8. Add the curry leaves and mix, cook for a minute, add ¼ cup water, mix and bring to a boil. 
  9. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring at intervals. 
  10. Add the cooked beans, mix and simmer 5 minutes. 
  11. Check seasoning. 
  12. Serve hot with any Indian bread.

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.

Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav


Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav

Valchi Bhaji (Malabar Spinach or Buffalo Spinach)

Always a delight to lay hands on fresh and tender valchi bhaji in this part of the world. In India it is grown in home gardens and easily available. A very simple and easy way to cook is just steaming it with oil, garlic, chillies and onion and garnished with fresh coconut and hence referred to as “Tel Piyav”. Other variations of cooking this spinach is a curry with shrimp or with tur dal or black-eyed beans for a vegetarian version.

Thoroughly enjoyed the vegetable with a meal of steamed rice, raw mango curry and lady fish fry!!

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Bunch Valchi Bhaji about 1 kg.
  • 1 Onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

  1. Clean the valchi bhaji.  Separate the leaves from the thick stems, the tender stems keep with the leaves.
  2. Cut stems into large pieces, keep the leaves whole  and soak in salted water for 10 minutes to loosen dirt & kill insects if any. 
  3. Drain, rinse in clean water and drain again. 
  4. Chop the thick stems, tender stems and leaves into 1” pieces. 
  5. Transfer the vegetable to a cooking pot.
  6. Slice the onion, slit the green chillies and crush the garlic and add to the vegetable alongwith the salt and oil. 
  7. Keep on medium flame and cook 10 minutes until stems are tender.
  8. Not necessary to add water as the vegetable will leave water while cooking. 
  9. Add the fresh coconut and cook 3 to 5 minutes. 
  10. Serve hot. 
  11. Makes a very healthy and satisfying addition to any main meal.
Valchi Bhaji Tel Piyav

Rava Upma


Rava Upma

Rava Upma

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Quick Savoury Breakfasts

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rava (Semolina)
  • 2 tbsp. cashewnuts
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • ½” piece ginger
  • 1 tsp. urad dal
  • 1 tsp. gram dal
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 small bay leaves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 3 tbsp. ghee
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups water

Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. ghee in a kadai and roast the rava on low heat
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  3. When the rava turns light brown, remove and set aside. 
  4. Add 2 tbsp. ghee to the kadai and fry the cashewnuts till they change color. Remove. 
  5. Add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad and gram dal and saute. 
  6. Add the curry leaves, ginger, green chillies, and saute few seconds.
  7. Then add the onion and bay leaves and fry till onions turn soft. 
  8. Add the yogurt and salt and stir to mix well. 
  9. Add 4 cups water, stir and bring to a boil. 
  10. When it comes to a rolling boil, reduce heat and add the Rava. 
  11. Mix well to dissolve lumps if any. 
  12. Stir and cook covered till all the water is absorbed. 
  13. Open, stir and cook till mixture turns dry and thick and leaves the side of the kadai. 
  14. Add the cashewnuts, mix and turn off the heat. 
  15. Serve hot plain or with chutney for breakfast or tea-time snack.

Traditional Cucumber Karam


Traditional Cucumber Karam

Traditional Cucumber Karam

  • Servings: 6-10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Traditional Karam Cucumber Coconut Salad – Thousyache Karam

Ingredients

  • 2 Large cucumbers
  • 2 medium onions
  • Salt to taste
  • Grind to a paste
  • 1 cup fresh coconut
  • 2 green chillies or to taste
  • ½” piece ginger
  • 3 to 4 pieces of tamarind
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp salt, if required.

Method

  1. Cucumbers used for this recipe are the local cucumbers (we call it gaunti toushe).
  2. Wash, peel and remove the seeds of the cucumbers. 
  3. Cut into thick slices. 
  4. Add a tsp of salt, mix and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  5. The cucumbers will release water.
  6. Squeeze out the water and transfer to a serving bowl. 
  7. Slice the onion horizontally into thick slices and mix with the cucumber. 
  8. Grind the coconut, green chillies, ginger, tamarind and mustard seeds to a coarse paste with a little water. 
  9. Add ½ tsp salt if required. 
  10. Mix the ground paste with the cucumber onion mixture and combine well with your hands. 
  11. Serve cold. 

This is a traditional Mangalorean salad, served on all festive and celebratory occasions.  A must item for the “Novem Jevon” which is celebrated on 8th September, to celebrate the nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary and the blessing of the new harvest i.e. the grains of paddy.

Wishing one & all a Happy Feast!

Here are other dishes that make up the “Novem Jevon” menu:

  1. Sannas
  2. Chana Bhaji
  3. Alun Dento
  4. Karatein Sukhe (Karela vegetable)
  5. Raw Banana Bhaji
  6. Moong Sukha
  7. Kaane Fish curry
  8. Pathrode
  9. Vorn

The dishes can be any variety and any number but must be in odd number. Sannas, Alun Dento, Karatein Sukhe, Chana Bhaji, Vorn are commonly prepared. Understand Udupi and Kundapur side, fish curry alongwith veg dishes are prepared, but proper Managalore side it is only vegetarian preparations.

Cooking with Raw Bananas


Enjoy the goodness and health of Raw Bananas by including them in your diet. Easily available throughout the year. Here are three delicious and easy recipes to try out.

Stuffed Raw Bananas

Stuffed Raw Bananas

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Big Raw Bananas
  • ¼ cup coconut
  • 4 green chillies
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 to 3 red chillies
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • Half lemon juice

Method

  1. Peel the bananas and soak in water to prevent oxidation and turning black.
  2. Cut the bananas into 2 inch pieces lengthwise. 
  3. Cut each piece into half, halfway down the centre. 
  4. Grind together coconut, green chillies and coriander leaves. 
  5. Mix in salt, turmeric and lemon juice.
  6. Stuff the paste into the bananas. 
  7. Heat 1 tbsp. Oil or ghee and put in mustard seeds and red chillies. 
  8. When the seeds stop popping, put in the bananas. 
  9. Cover tightly and cook till bananas are done. 
  10. Serve hot.

Raw Banana Fry

Raw Banana Fry

Raw Banana Fry

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 4 Raw Bananas
  • 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
  • 3 to 4 tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. corn flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup curry leaves for garnish
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. Peel the bananas and soak in water to prevent them turning black.
  2. Slice the Bananas horizontally into thin slices. 
  3. Mix the ginger garlic paste, chilli & turmeric powder, rice flour, corn flour, vinegar and salt and make a thick paste using as much water as required.
  4. Mix the slices with the batter. 
  5. Heat oil for deep frying, when hot reduce flame and fry in small batches till crisp and golden.
  6. Drain on kitchen towel. 
  7. Fry the curry leaves in the hot oil for a minute and remove.
  8. Garnish the fried bananas with the curry leaves and serve 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, zucchini, bread fruit, potatoes, yam, mushrooms, etc.

Raw Banana Bhaji

Raw Banana Bhaji

Click on the above link for the recipe.

15 Minute Breakfast Recipes


Leftover Dosa Upma

Leftover Dosa Upma

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A simple and easy upma recipe to use-up leftover dosas, sannas, idlis, etc. Similar Upma can even be made of leftover bread. Transforms into a completely new and delicious dish which you will certainly enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup yogurt
  • 2 cups Dosa, chopped into pieces
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1tsp. urad dal
  • 2 tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • Few curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. ghee

Method

  1. Beat the yogurt and add the dosa pieces and set aside. 
  2. Heat a kadai, add the ghee, when hot add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter
  3. Add the urad dal, let it turn lightly brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves and green chillies. 
  5. Saute lightly. 
  6. Add turmeric and the marinated dosa pieces. 
  7. Mix well and heat through. 
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot for breakfast or as tea-time snack or a mid-morning snack.

Check-out more fifteen minute recipes:-

  1. Vermicelli Upma
  2. Bacon & Eggs
  3. Low Carb Toad in a Hole
  4. Egg Roll
  5. Toad in a Hole
  6. Egg Omlette with Cherry Tomatoes
  7. French Toast
  8. Rava Adai
  9. Poha Upma
Poha Upma

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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Urad Dal Vadi


Urad Dal Vadis

A crispy and delicious hot snack to provide some warmth on a wet rainy day or cold weather or simply when relaxing at home wth a nice hot cup of tea or coffee!

To get crisp and crunchy edges, make sure the batter is thick and dry. Batter should not be of dropping consistency. You can achieve this by heating gradually in the microwave after grinding the dals, till you get the right consistency. Mix and then add the rest of the ingredients. When frying take a teaspoon of batter and slide with another spoon into the oil. Avoid making balls with your hand as that would give you smooth edges, you want uneven edges for these vadis to add to the crispiness and crunchiness!!

Urad Dal Vadi

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 ½  cups urad dal
  • ½ cup yellow moog dal
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2” pc ginger
  • 2 medium onions
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt or to taste
  • A pinch asafoetida (optional)

Method

  1. Wash and soak the dals for 4 to 6 hours or overnight. 
  2. Grind with green chillies and ginger to a coarse thick paste. Remove. 
  3. If the paste is not thick enough put in the microwave for a minute or two to dry it up a little. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate some air into the batter and combine the mixture. 
  5. Heat oil to smoking, reduce flame and put a tsp full of the batter and fry in batches on medium low till golden brown and crisp. 
  6. Remove and serve hot with a green chutney, coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Urad Dal Vadi

Other snacks to try: Saudana Vada, Medu Vada, Vada Pav

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Cooking with Spinach


Leafy green vegetables are high in nutrients, low in calories, important for skin, hair, bone and overall health, while providing the necessary protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.  It is advisable to incorporate a leafy vegetable daily into our diets for optimum health.  It is also affordable and easy to prepare.

Here are a few easy recipes using spinach:-

  1. Mutton Palak – A delicious non-vegetarian dish using spinach with the least amount of spice, yet full of flavour.
Mutton Palak

2. Hara Bara Kabab – Spinach, Green Peas and Potatoes combined to make the famous Tikkis. Serve as a starter, appetizer or a healthy snack!

Hara Bara Kabab

3. Kashmiri Saag – Spinach cooked with a exorbitant amount of garlic and red chillies, but does not overwhelm the dish, just makes it superbly but mildly spiced with the flavors of garlic.

Kashmiri Saag

4. Dahi Palak – A dish you can throw together in minutes yet turns out delicious. Serve with steamed rice, Khichidi, Pulao or with rotis or any Indian bread.

Dahi Palak

5. Tuna & Braised Onion Salad – A salad which doubles up also as a main course! Just enjoy it with some crusty bread or Pita bread or any Indian bread and your meal is done for the day!!

Tuna & Braised Onion Salad

More ways to cook with leafy vegetables –

Spinach and leafy vegetables can also be cooked using the simple mangalorean ‘Thel Piao” method using green chillies, onion, garlic, a little oil and water and cooking till done and then garnishing with fresh coconut.

Curries like spinach or Valchi Bhaji with prawns, or black-eyed beans are some of popular recipes using leafy vegetables. My recipe for Alun stem with Alasande can be used for these dishes.

The book “Mais Recipes” has the recipes for these dishes.

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Hara Bara Kabab


Hara Bara Kabab

Boil potatoes, peel and grate.  Boil the peas and mash coarsely.  Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.

Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves.  Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt.  Add cornflour for binding. 

Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes.

Hara Bara Kabab

  • Servings: 10 -12 Patties
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 4 medium potatoes
  • 1”  ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp.  chaat masala
  • 1 cup green peas, boiled
  • 1 cup spinach, blanched & chopped finely
  • 4 green chillies
  • Small bunch coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Cornflour
  • Oil for frying

Method

  1. Boil potatoes, peel and grate. 
  2. Boil the peas and mash coarsely. 
  3. Blanch the spinach in salted water, refresh in cold water and squeeze out excess water and chop finely.
  4. You may use frozen whole leaf spinach and follow above step.
  5. Chop ginger, chilles and coriander leaves. 
  6. Mix the grated potatoes, peas and spinach with the chillies, ginger, coriander leaves, chaat masala and salt. 
  7. Add cornflour for binding. 
  8. Form into patties and deep fry or shallow fry in hot oil on medium flame, for 3 to 4 minutes.

Musallam Phool Gobi


Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables!!

This recipe has been in my book since I was in school in the early 70’s, which was shared by Irene Vaz. In those days “Dalda” a brand of hydrogenated vegetable oil, was an household name for an affordable ‘ghee’ substitute, made famous by Lintas the company responsible for their advertising. One of their vigorous campaigns was a recipe contest and the winning recipes were published. A must ingredient in every recipe was Dalda! Have your ever seen a recipe calling for ‘Parachute’ rather than ”Coconut Oil’? But with Dalda it was the brand that was made famous rather than the product (vanaspati). Vanaspati is a thick vegetable oil NOT Ghee, but was commonly used instead of ghee.

Musallam Phool Gobi is from this recipe contest. Although I had it since the 70’s I tried it only in the 90’s when we invited two of our friends and their families over for Lunch as their parents were visiting Kuwait. The parents were strict vegetarians and wanting to impress them I prepared this dish, but they didn’t believe that it was home-cooked and kept insisting that it was certainly ordered from a restuarant. So that’s how delicious it turns out!

To prepare Musallam Phool Gobi, clean cauliflower and remove the leaves.  Wash whole flower well and soak it in warm salted water to 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse. 

Immerse in salted water

Wash and cut tomatoes into fours.  Slice onions finely.  Grind the ingredients from garlic to salt.  Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown, remove and set aside. 

While the onions are frying, take a deep broad vessel and add 2 tbsp. ghee, when hot, add the cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves.  Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes.  Then add the whole cauliflower, stem side up. 

Cook on low heat till half done.  Turn over and cook  till tender and light brown.  Do add any water.  Garnish with the browned onions and serve hot with parathas or chapaties or any Indian bread of your choice.

Musallam Phool Gobi

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 4 large onions
  • 10 flakes garlic
  • 1” pc ginger
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds (can be substituted with cashewnuts)
  • 2 tbsp. dry coconut
  • 8 groundnuts
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. Ghee
  • 8 cardamoms
  • 1” cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves

Method

  1. Clean cauliflower and remove the leaves.  Wash whole flower well and soak it in warm salted water to 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and rinse. 
  2. Wash and cut tomatoes into fours. 
  3. Slice onions finely. 
  4. Grind the ingredients from garlic to salt. 
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. ghee in a pan and fry the onions till golden brown, remove and set aside. 
  6. While the onions are frying, take another deep broad vessel and add 2 tbsp. ghee. When hot, add the cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaves.
  7. Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes. 
  8. Add the tomatoes and cook for five minutes. 
  9. Then add the whole cauliflower, stem side up. 
  10. Cook on low heat till half done. 
  11. Turn over and cook  till tender and light brown.  Do not add any water. 
  12. Garnish with the browned onions.
  13. Serve hot with parathas or chapatis or any Indian bread of your choice.

Extraordinary dishes prepared with ordinary vegetables. Also check out Aloo Chutneywale and Imam Bayildi.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs


I have been making Foccacia over and over since few years but I don’t know why it did not occur to me to post it sooner. My family just loves this bread and more than half of it gets gobbled up no sooner it comes out of the oven while still warm and crisp.

Top it with chopped olives, roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, caramalized onions, etc. Foccacia is best eaten alone as a snack, but you can use it for sandwiches or pair it with dips for a delicious appetizer.

Here are the step-by-step pictures and method.

Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.  Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated.  Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours. Alternatively, if you wish to bake the same day, leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate the seasoning. 

Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of olive oil in the centre of each. Divide the dough into two pieces and place each on the pan. 

Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan. 

Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F.  With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 

Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Foccacia with garlic and herbs

  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • Italian seasoning, as mentioned below
  • Flaky sea salt

Italian seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Mix all the above together and keep to infuse until required. I have used dried herbs, use fresh if available. Secondly, you may omit one or the other as per availability, but increase the quantity propotionately so the bread is well seasoned. You may also use chopped olives.

Method

  1. Mix flour, salt and active dry yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Add the water and with a wooden spoon or whisk, mix till all the flour is incorporated. 
  3. Cover the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 8 hours upto 24 hours.  Alternatively, you can also keep to rise for two hours, if you plan on making it the same day.
  4. After the dough has risen, add the Italian seasoning and knead the dough to incorporate well. 
  5. Take two rimmed trays 9” x 12” each and pour a tbsp. of oil oil in the centre of each.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces and place one on each pan. 
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for two hours or more till the dough  spreads and covers most of the pan.
  8. Preheat oven to 220  deg C or 425 deg F. 
  9. With your fingers make depressions all over the bread, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, use more oil if required and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. 
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and edges and underside are brown and crusty.

Pao-Bhaji – Mumbai’s Iconic Street-Food!


Pao Bhaji – Pav Bhaji

Published: October 22, 2015

Pao-Bhaji (or Pav Bhaji) is a simple potato and tomato dish, made famous on the side streets of the city that never sleeps and loves to eat out.

I can gorge on street-food anytime and my favorite is undoubtedly Pao-Bhaji. In the late 70’s when I used to work at New Marine Lines, behind the Income Tax Office, the office boy would gladly fetch Pao-Bhaji for my lunch on days I did not carry tiffin from home. This happened very often as it gave me an excuse to have this mouth-watering meal.  Those familiar with this area would have tasted this and many other delicious lunch-time options available on the lane leading to cross maidan.  The food-carts now, most certainly upgraded to food stalls.

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