Tag Archives: Dinner

Tandoori Chicken


Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken is synonymous with Indian cooking, a universally loved and enjoyed roasted chicken! Tandoori chicken also forms the basis of many Indian gravy dishes like, Butter Chicken, Chicken Tikka masala, Chicken boti kababs. Try this 5 star quality tandoori recipe, which may seem overwhelming but is really quite simple. Roast in an oven or charcoal grill or BBQ on an electric grill. You may also roast on a pan on the stove top, but with this method the chicken tends to leave water while roasting, resulting in loosing some of the flavors of the marinade. But still possible to make tandoori chicken without an oven! Substitute the saffron with turmeric if not available and avoid the orange color if you must! I have not used butter to baste the chicken but does add more flavor and taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium chicken

First Marinade

  • Salt
  • 1 tsp red chillie powder or to taste
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • Butter for basting

Second Marinade

  • 3 tsp. yogurt
  • 3 1/2 tsp. cream
  • 3 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron
  • 2-3 drops orange color
  1. Remove skin, clean and wash chicken.  Make two to three deep incsions each on the breasts, legs and thighs and marinate with salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Whisk yoghurt in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Rub the chicken with this mixture.  Keep aside for four hours or overnight if desired.
  3. Preheat oven to 350deg F. Skewer the chicken and keep a tray underneath to collect the drippings or roast in a hot tandoor or pre-heated oven till the moisture evaporates and it starts leaving oil. Baste with butter, if required.
  4. .Cut the tandoori chicken into desired sized pieces and serve with sliced onion, lemon, green salad and naan or any bread of your choice.

Baingan Bhartha


Baingan Bhartha

This Aubergine delicacy is a famous punjabi recipe. Brinjals are available throughout the year and a very common vegetable. A simple vegetable turns into a delectable dish. Even though brinjals are considered as a night shade it is widely consumed. Enjoy this delicious bhartha sa a meal by itself with rotis or phulkas and serve as an accompaniment.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms. Brinjals (Aubergine, Eggplant)
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger. chopped
  • 1 tsp. paprika (or Kashmiri chilli powder) or to taste
  • Salt
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, chopped

Method

  1. Wash brinjals and wipe dry.
  2. Apply a little oil to the brinjals and roast on direct flame till charred and skin starts peeling off.  This can be done in a charcoal grill to get the charcoal flavor or oven. 
  3. Remove and immerse in water to cool.  Remove he skin and stem and chop.
  4. Heat ghee, add cumin and when it crackles, add onions and cook till translucent, add ginger and saute few seconds. 
  5. Add the chilli powder, salt, mix, add tomatoes and saute till fat appears at the sides. 
  6. Add the chopped brinjals and saute for 5 minutes, add green chillies and mix.  Check seasoning. 
  7. Remove and garnish with coriander leaves. 
  8. Serve with rotis or phulkas.

Panchmel Dal


Panchrattan Pakwan

Punj Rattani Dal –

Dal made with a combination of five lentils and tempering with combination of five spices and condiments. Also referred to as “Panch Rattan Pakwan”.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Moong (whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Masoor (Whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Urad dal (preferably whole)
  • 2 tbsp. Chana dal
  • 2 tbsp. Tur dal
  • 2” sticks cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. cream (optional)

Tempering #1

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1″ pc ginger, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Tempering #2

  • 1 tsp oil or ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. each black cumin, kalonji (onion seeds), methi (fenugreek), saunf (fennel), mustard seeds
  • 2 red chillies

Method

  1. Wash lentils and soak in water for one hour. 
  2. Chop onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves.
  3. Cook the lentils with 8 cups water & 2 sticks cinnamon.   
  4. Bring to a boil, remove scum if any, reduce flame. 
  5. Add coriander, cumin, red chilli and turmeric powders and salt. 
  6. Cover and simmer till cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Mash the dals lightly again the sides of the vessel with a wooden spoon. 
  8. Tempering  #1 : Heat a pan and add butter, onions, ginger, tomatoes, yogurt and garam masala, stir over medium heat till fat leaves the mixture.  Pour over the dal and mix well. Cook 5 mns.
  9. Tempering #2 : Heat ghee, add all the five seeds, break the red chillies and saute till they crackle and add to the dal.
  10. Stir in malai. 
  11. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves with rotis, phulkas or steamed rice.

Mutton Korma Gosht Korma


Mutton Korma Gosht Korma

Gosht Korma is a great lamb curry which does not make use of turmeric.  The consistency of the curry can be made to your choice of taste, thin gravy or thick to almost dry and all are delicious.  Adjust the amount of water accordingly. The thin gravy can be served as a main course with steamed rice. The thick/dry version with any Indian bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Lamb, assorted cuts if desired
  • ½ cup ghee
  • 10 green cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon (1”)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 cup  chopped onions
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. black pepper powder
  • 2 drops vetivier (optional)
  • ½ tsp. saffron
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • Chandi-ka-Varq (optional)
  • 20 Roasted Almonds (optional)
  1. Clean and cut lamb into 1” chunks, clean chops.
  2. Whisk yogurt in a bowl
  3. Dissolve saffron in warm milk
  4. Pound Almonds lightly with a pestle
  5. Heat ghee in a vessel, add cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves, sauté over medium heat until they begin to crackle.
  6. Add onions, sauté until light brown, add the ginger and garlic pastes and sauté until the moisture has evaporated.
  7. Then add the coriander powder, red chillies and salt and stir.
  8. Add lamb, fry for 5 minutes, add yogurt, bring to a boil, add approx. 3 to 4 cups water, cover and simmer stirring occasionally until lamb is almost cooked.
  9. Now add garam masala, and pepper and mix well.
  10. Add vetivier, stir and cover.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Adjust seasoning.
  11. Add saffron and stir.
  12. Remove to a bowl, garnish with varq and roasted almonds.
  13. Serve with any Indian bread or pulao.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls


Deep Fried Shrimp Balls (in sweet & sour sauce)
Deep Fried shrimp balls (as an appetiser)

These delicious, super crispy and crunchy shrimp balls make a great appetiser to complement any chinese or other meal. Serve with ketchup, or any other chinese dipping sauce.

Serve it also as a main chinese accompaniment with noodles or rice, with a sweet and sour sauce.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Cups chopped shrimp, large or small pieces as desired
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 1 medium onion chopped or 3 to 5 water chestnuts chopped
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. corn flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 6 slices bread, chopped into fine cubes (Use more bread if required)
  • Oil for frying

Sweet and sour sauce

  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar (or regular vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. light soya sauce
  • 5 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cups water

Method

  1. Clean, devein and chop shrimp. 
  2. Chop the bacon strips.  ( have used beef bacon).
  3. Mix the shrimp, bacon and chopped onion (or chestnuts) with the beaten egg, pepper powder, salt and corn flour. 
  4. If you wish you may grind this mixture so it is easy to handle when forming the shrimp balls or cut the shrimps very fine.
  5. Cut out the sides of the bread slices and discard.
  6. Chop the bread.
  7. Add a handful to the prawn mixture. 
  8. Keep the rest for coating the shrimp balls. 
  9. Heat oil in a wok. 
  10. Meanwhile form the shrimp balls
  11. When the oil is heated, reduce the flame and fry the shrimp balls in batches.
  12. Remove and keep aside.
  13. Serve as an appetiser with any sauce or dip.
  14. Alternatively serve in sweet and sour sauce as a side dish with Steamed rice, fried rice or noodles.

To Make Sweet & Sour Sauce

Mix the tomato paste, vinegar, orange juice, soya sauce, brown sugar, corn flour and water.  Heat a vessel with a tbsp. of oil, add the sauce ingredients and keep stirring on low heat till the sauce thickens and becomes translucent. Taste and add salt if required.

Reduce the amount of water if you want the sauce to just coat the shrimp balls. Add the deep fried shrimp balls to the sauce just before serving. Serve with steamed rice, fried rice or Chow mein.

Deep Fried Shrimp Balls in Sweet and Sour Sauce

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.

Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken


Methi Murgh Fenugreek Chicken

Methi Murgh

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg. Chicken
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp.ghee/oil
  • Whole garam masala
  • 5 Green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 5 cloves
  • 1″ cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch mace (optional)
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2″ ginger
  • 1/2″ ginger juliennes
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. fenugreek (kasoori methi)
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves

Method

  1. Clean, remove the skin and cut chicken into medium pieces or 8 large pieces if you wish.
  2. Whisk yogurt in a large bowl, add salt and leave the chicken in this marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Peel, wash and chop onions.
  4. Peel and chop garlic and ginger.
  5. Remove stems and chop green chillies.
  6. Wash and chop tomatoes.
  7. Clean, wash and chop coriander.
  8. Heat ghee in a pan, add whole garam masala and saute over medium heat until it begins to crackle.
  9. Add onions and saute until golden brown.
  10. Then add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilles, stir for 2 minutes
  11. Dissolve turmeric, coriander powder and red chillies in 1/4 cup water and add.  Stir for 30 seconds.
  12. Now add tomatoes and fry until fat leaves the masala
  13. Add the marinated chicken alongwith the marinade and 3/4 cup water
  14. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until chicken is almost cooked and fat leaves the masala once again.
  15. Adjust the seasoning.
  16. Sprinkle fenugreek, ginger juliennes and coriander.  Cover with a lid.
  17. Seal the pan if desired and keep on low heat for 15 mintues.
  18. Serve with an Indian bread of your choice.

P.S.: Kasoori methi may be replaced with fresh fenugreek.  If using fresh, clean, wash and immerse in salted water for 10 minutes to remove the bitterness.  Drain and add to the marinade.

Mince Jeere Meerem


Mince Jeere Meerem

Mince Jeere Meerem

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 Kg mince (Beef or Lamb)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp. Jeere Meerem masala powder
  • 1 cup green peas (or Potatoes, cubed)
  • 1 small cup coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1½ tsp. Salt or to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil/ghee in a vessel
  2. Fry the chopped onions and green chillies till onions turn slightly brown. 
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes.
  4. Drain the mince completely and add to the pan with a tsp of salt.
  5. Saute till the mince turns brown and the water completely dries up.  Continue to brown the mince till fat begins to separate.  Do not hasten this step.  The browning of the mince brings out the flavor in the meat.  Should take 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once nicely browned, add the jeere merem powder, mix, add two cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower flame and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
  8. Open after 10 to 15 minutes and give it a good stir. 
  9. If water dries up, add some more hot water as per the consistency you desire. 
  10. Add the peas and cook further 10 minutes. 
  11. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  12. Serve with Pao or Parathas or Pooris or steamed rice or pulao.

A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes


A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes (excluding preparation)

To keep it real have used my daily regular utensils 😉 😉

A meal for four persons

  1. Raouns (Rawas, Indian Salmon) Fish Curry
  2. Cabbage Vegetable
  3. Lepo (Sole Tounge Fish) fry
  4. Steamed rice
  5. Mango pickle (homemade)
  1. Rawas/Raouns (Indian Salmon) Fish curry

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Raouns fish
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1” pc ginger
  • 1 raw mango
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

To grind to a paste

  • 4 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 6 peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ½ medium onion

Method

  1. Clean and wash & cut fish.  Apply a little salt and set aside. 
  2. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  3. Slice the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  4. Wash and peel the raw mango and cut into wedges.
  5. Heat 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil and add the sliced onion, green chillies and ginger.  Saute till lightly brown. 
  6. Keep the flame low so the flavors of the onion, chillies and ginger release and give off a nice aroma. 
  7. Add the masala paste, the masala water, raw mango pieces and salt. 
  8. Stir and increase the flame and bring to a boil, simmer till oil appears on the edges. 
  9. Add the fish, stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to medium low and cook for ten minutes. 
  10. When curry is done it will leave fat and appear glossy.
  11. Remove from flame.

P.S.: Same recipe may be used for Pomfret, Gole fish (Hammour), Mandeli (Golden Anchovies), Surmai (Kind Fish).  This curry is called sweet fish curry where chillies are less and coriander seeds are more. Other curries are the amotik (Spicy hot) usually made with Tarle (Sardines), Bangde (Mackerels), Bhing (Herring) Tato (Shark) etc., Green curry with fresh green masala for Pomfret, Fresh Bombay duck, etc. and the Kane  (Lady Fish) where curry to similar to above but Ajwain is added to the masala and onion and garlic are increased. 

2. Cabbage vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 small tomato (Optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 flaked garlic
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Shred the cabbage and soak in salted water for few minutes. 
  2. Slice the onion and green chillies, chop the tomato.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and wash the curry leaves.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. 
  5. Add the garlic and curry leaves, followed by the chillies and onion and saute for a minute. 
  6. Add the cabbage and salt, mix.
  7. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till done.  Do not add any water.
  8. Garnish with fresh coconut.

3. Lepo fry (Sole Tongue fish fry)

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Lepo
  • 3 tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • Rice flour or Rava to coat the fish

Method

  1. To clean the fish, cut the head and pull out the skin from both sides and the intestines.  Wash and leave aside to drain.
  2. Mix the red chilli powder, salt and vinegar to a paste and apply to the fish and marinate for half hour.
  3. Heat some oil to shallow fry the fish. 
  4. Take some rice flour or rava in a plate. 
  5. Roll the fish to coat evenly and fry on medium flame for 5 minutes on each side till crisp.

4. Steamed Rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or boiled rice if you wish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for atleast 15 minutes.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a vessel. 
  3. Add the pre-soaked rice, salt and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce flame and simmer till rice is tender.  Strain the water. 

Tip: Cook the rice on low flame so the grains remain whole and separate and do not break.

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Chicken Cafreal


Chicken Cafreal

Inspired by Late Wendell Rodricks

Chicken Cafreal

  • Servings: 8 to 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg. Chicken
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves (about 100 gms)
  • 12 to 15 flakes garlic
  • 2” piece ginger
  • 6 green chillies (or to taste)
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Tomatoes (deseeded)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. ghee or as required

Method

  1. Clean and cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash and set aside to drain.
  2. Grind to a paste ingredients from garam masala to lemon juice. 
  3. Marinate the chicken with this masala, add salt and mix well.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and fry the chicken, reserving the marinade, in batches to light brown to seal the juices.  Set the chicken aside.
  5. Heat a vessel and add the coconut oil to the ghee left over from frying the chicken.  If not add a tbsp of ghee. and fry the masala paste for 5 minutes till the raw smell disappears and fat leaves the masala. 
  6. Add the chicken, salt if required, 1 cup hot water and cook till chicken is tender and gravy is thick about 15 minutes.  Simmer till fat separates.
  7. Serve hot garnished with onion rings and lemon wedges.
  8. Repeatedly reheating this dish just makes it better, by improving the texture and taste of the gravy and gives it a deeper color.

Chicken Cafreal

Cooking with Taro


Songe-Réunion.JPG
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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Succulent Kebabs


Kebabs are various grilled or baked meats cooked on skewers or may also be shallow fried on a pan. The meats typically used are lamb which is very common but chicken and beef are also used. Kebabs for vegetarians would include a variety of roasted or grilled paneer or vegetables on skewers or the Hara Bara Kabab.

The meat used for kebabs can be minced or cut in chunks like the Malai Kabab, Chicken Tikka or the Kastoori Kabab.

Here are three additional varieties of kebab using minced lamb/Beef and chicken which includes the delightful seekh kabab! The seekh kebabs are best roasted in an open outdoor grill, but can be roasted in a closed oven as well, as I have done. Besides, due to the Covid-19 lockdown there was no way we could venture outdoors!

  1. The quintessential Seekh Kebab typically made of lamb or beef mince.
Seekh Kebab

2. The Reshmi Kebab made of chicken mince & cashewnut paste

Reshmi Kebab

3. Kebab Jeera – Beef, Lamb or Chicken mince may be used, pan fried and makes an excellent cocktail snack!

Kebab Jeera

Hope you enjoy the variety of Kebabs and don’t forget to rate and comment on the posts and recipes. Stay Safe!

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MENU PLAN FOR LACTATING MOTHERS


Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers
Menu Plan for Lactating Mothers

Menu V

Typical daily diet for lactating mothers, to be followed for atleast one month after delivery.

A constant dilemma usually faced is what to cook? and what to eat? and for women who have given birth many foods are restricted especially when breastfeeding their baby. Hence, the food choices get further narrowed down. This post is to alleviate some of the confusion as to the diet required to be followed by lactating mothers. Hopefully, these tips would also take away some of the stress in menu planning, faced by those caring for “mother and babe”.

Points to bear in mind:-

  1. Include more of nuts, fruit, vegetables in your diet.
  2. Meals should be light, freshly cooked and easily digestible. 
  3. Avoid packaged and processed foods, aerated drinks, alcohol and packaged juices. Fresh juices are preferable, include yogurt and buttermilk, if possible.
  4. Use only healthy fats like pure ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil for cooking.
  5. Avoid heavily spiced food.
  6. Limit sweets and fried food.
  7. Avoid left-over food from previous day etc, as far as possible.
  8. Avoid Pork and Beef.
  9. Avoid Mackerels, Sardines, King Fish, Shrimps & Crabs, Shell-fish i.e. anything from the Crustaceans, shellfish, mollusks group.
  10. Avoid potatoes, brinjals, starchy food and pulses to avoid flatulence and indigestion which can affect the baby through the breast milk.

Daily Diet Plan Schedule is approximate and should be adjusted to suit your day. Most of the recipes are available on this site and can be accessed by clicking on the link. Additional options/recipes can be found in the book “Mais Recipes”.

Fenugreek/Ajwain (Carom seeds) tea 3 to 4 times a day or throughout the day instead of plain water.

To prepare Fenugreek Ajwain water : Add a teaspoon each of Fenugreek, Ajwain (Carom seeds), Cumin and Fennel (Badishep) seeds to one litre or 1.5 litres of water, bring to a boil, switch off flame, cover and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve, to be taken by the mother, preferably warm, throughout the day instead of normal water

On rising

Warm water or Ajwain/Fenugreek tea, 5 to 10 soaked almonds with 1 or 2 dates. (Pre-soak the almonds the previous night, next morning peel and eat).

Breakfast – 08:00 a.m. approx.

1.Preferably hot/warm breakfast consisting of either of the following options :

2. Milk, or tea coffee made with milk

3. A tablespoon of  the lactating traditional preparation Thiklem.

Mid-morning: 11:00 a.m. approx.

  1. Porridge made of oats, ragi (tisan), vermicilli, rawa, or bread butter with tea coffee made with milk.
  2. One tablespoon of either Ginger (Aale) or Garlic (Lohsun), if available.

Lunch : 01:00 p.m. approx.

With steaming hot Rice.

  1. Main dish Either Fish/Lamb (Mutton)/Chicken/Vegetarian.

2. Side dish Options:

  • Grilled or Fried fish/Chicken/Mutton Chops
  • Vegetables like, leafy greens, spinach, pumpkin, gourds, french beans, tendli (Ivy Gourd/Gherkins) yam (very good for internal healing), lady fingers, raw banana.

3. Salad Options- cucumber, beetroot, carrot, lettuce, sprouts, quinoa, fresh thyme salad, etc.

4. A bowl of Nivol on alternate days (not everyday)- drink the nivol with your meal or you can have over your rice with some grilled fish/chicken.

OR

Methi Paez or Ajwain Paez as dessert after food. So if you are having Nivol, skip the methi/ajwain paez, have either one of the three.

Once in a while include Gulianchi Kheer, for dessert instead of Methi or Ajwain Paez.

Evening Tea: 04:00 to 05:00 p.m.

A tablespoon of Thiklem and some small snack or dry bhel, khakra, etc., or fruit.

It is advisable to limit intake of tea and coffee to once a day or maximum two per day, if you must.

Late evening: 07:00 p.m. approx.

Vegetable, Chicken or  Beef or Mutton Bones Soup.  It is advisable to have a bowl of warm soup daily, prepare the instant soup, if you must.

Dinner: 08:000 p.m. (or soon after your soup)

Similar to lunch options. With Rice preferably, or with any type of bread.

Bedtime: 10:00 p.m. (Optional)

Hot milk or Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh). Helps in healing and promotes good sleep, immunity booster.

To prepare Turmeric Milk – Boil one cup milk with 3/4 tsp. turmeric powder, 1 tsp. Misri (Candy sugar) or honey, 1/4 tsp. pepper powder. Sip slowly while hot. If using honey do not add while boiling, add after boiling, stir and drink hot.

Fruit – Anytime in between meals – Preferably seasonal fruit, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Bananas, Avocados, Cantaloup, Chickoo, Figs, Cherries, Grapes.

N.B. : Above is a guide for menu planning alongwith traditional mangalorean foods to consume while breastfeeding. Please bear in mind I am niether a dietician nor a nutritionist. The guide is what I have learnt from my mother and from elders in our family and from my personal experiences of giving birth to three children and having three grandchildren. As I have benefitted from these experiences, I am sharing the information. Please seek professional or medical advice when necessary.

For further information on Postnatal Care for Lactating Mothers, please click on the link

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Set Dosa


‘Pole’ for Mangaloreans and ‘Kallappam’ for Keralites, these soft spongy pancakes can be relished with chutney for breakfast or even with jam, butter or eaten just plain dipped in your tea or coffee!! These dosas are quite popular in the South of India.

For lunch or dinner serve with a chicken curry, mutton curry or vegetable stew so the dosa mops up the delicious gravy giving you a succulent morsel of food thoroughly satisfying to your tastebuds and your tummy!

Set dosa can be made with sanna or dosa batter which uses rice and urad dal (black gram dal) as its ingredients. 

The following recipe does not use urad dal but uses coconut and rice making the dosas lighter & spongy.  The recipe is similar to Appam, but the consistency of the batter should be kept slightly thicker for making Set Dosas. The size is smaller than the Udupi masala or sada dosas. You can use a dosa pan for making them but a smaller cast iron pan or frying pan would give a uniform and perfect circular shape to these dosas.

Idli rice can be used, if available, but I used basmati rice with good results. If fresh coconut is not available, use ½ cup coconut milk or ½ cup coconut milk powder. If the batter is fermenting overnight, do check on it in case you wake up in the night (to drink water or use the washroom) and if it has risen but it is too early to make the dosas, promptly put the risen batter in the fridge and make the dosas once you are ready. You don’t have to worry about having to prepare them at 4 or 5 am just because the batter is fermented. The Batter will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Soak the rice for 4 to 6 hours and grind to a thick paste alongwith the cooked rice and coconut. Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes. Add to the rice paste, mix well and leave to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.  Fermenting time will depend on room temperature.  If weather is cold, use warm (not hot)  water for grinding the batter. In warm weather it will ferment in 4 hours.

When the batter has risen, add salt and mix.  Heat a cast iron pan or a frying pan on medium high heat until very hot. 

Pour one ladle or 1/2 cup of batter on the hot pan. (Do not spread the batter like you would do for the Masala dosa).  Leave as is, cover with lid and cook till underside turns golden and dosa gets spongy and translucent and is covered with holes. 

If you wish you may turn and cook the other side. 

Serve with red coconut chutney.

Set Dosa

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

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice, preferably idli rice
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 cup fresh coconut
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. warm water

Method

  1. Soak the rice for 4 to 6 hours and grind to a thick paste alongwith the cooked rice and coconut. 
  2. Mix the yeast with the sugar and warm water and leave to bloom for 10 minutes.
  3. Add to the rice paste, mix well and leave to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.  Fermenting time will depend on room temperature.  If weather is cold, use warm (not hot)  water for grinding the batter. In warm weather it will ferment in 4 hours.
  4. When the batter has risen, add salt and mix.  Heat a cast iron pan or a frying pan on medium high heat until very hot. 
  5. Pour one ladle or 1/2 cup of batter on the hot pan. (Do not spread the batter like you would do for the Masala dosa).  Leave as is, cover with lid and cook till underside turns golden and dosa gets spongy and translucent and is covered with holes. 
  6. If you wish you may turn and cook the other side. 
  7. Serve with red coconut chutney

Red coconut chutney

Same as green coconut chutney but substitute the green chilles and coriander leaves with two to three red cillies.

Rest of the recipe is the same.

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