Tag Archives: Dinner

Taikulo ani Bikna Cassia Tora and Jackfruit Seeds Vegetable


Taikulo ani Bikna (Casia Tora & Jackfruit seeds Vegetable)

The early monsoon brings an array of wild foods that are super healthy and delicious. The rain makes wild vegetables grow in abundance alongside roads and in the hilly regions. Taikulo is one of these seasonal, local, monsoon vegetables, available for free, with all of its healthy goodness.  I, however, purchased this lot from the ladies at Mapusa market for Rs.30/-.  The vegetable looks a bit faded as I could not cook it the same day.

Taikulo also called Senna tora or Casia tora (Botanical name) is a wild leafy vegetable that grows along all the roadside and can be plucked straight from the plant and cooked into a simple and nutritious vegetable.  Only the tender leaves are used in cooking. Although the whole plant and roots and seeds are widely used in traditional Indian and South Asian medicine. It is said to have numerous health benefits. From an Ayurvedic stand-point the leaves and seeds of this plant are said to contain acrid, laxative, anthelmintic, ophthalmic, liver tonic, cardio tonic and expectorant properties. Adapted from : Vayuvision

Ingredients

4 to 6 cups Taikulo leaves

3 red chillies

6 flakes garlic

1 medium onion

½ tsp. Turmeric powder

½ cup coconut

10 to 12 jackfruit seeds (pre-boiled)

2 tbsp. oil

½ tsp. salt or to taste

Remove the tender leaves from the stems and discard the thick stems. Wash the taikulo leaves well, add some salt and soak in salted water for 15 minutes.  Drain and chop finely.  Slice the onion, crush the garlic and break the chillies into bits.  Heat the oil, add the red chillies, garlic and onion.  When onion is translucent, add 1/2 tsp. turmeric and mix.  Avoided excessive spices to get optimum benefit from the vegetable. Then add taikulo leaves, salt, some water and cook for 15 to 20 minutes till tender.  Add the boiled jackfruit seeds, cut in half and the coconut, mix and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve as an accompaniment with any main meal.

N.B.: When jackfruit is in season, collect the seeds and dry they for a day or two which makes the skin a bit loose and becomes easier to peel. Then, wash and boil jackfruit seeds, cool and store in zip lock bags in the freezer. 

How to effectively cook Dry Prawns and Lady Fingers in a Curry Mangalorean & Goan Style Curry


Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste.] A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes. The flavors of this ingredient are released when allowed to simmer. Source: Wikipedia

Dried Shrimp and Lady Finger Curry with Sola (Dried mango)

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Dry Prawns (Before cleaning)
  • 20 to 25 Lady Fingers
  • 8 flakes dried mango (Sola)
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Grind to a paste

  • 4 red Kashmiri chilies
  • 6 small round chilies (from Goa)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper corns
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 flakes garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 to 5 flakes tamarind (small ball)

Roast prawns gently on medium low flame till aromatic and crisp. Becpmes easier to clean when crisp, the heads etc. fall off easily. Leave aside to cool. Prepare the masala ingredients and grind to a smooth paste using some water.

Wash the lady fingers and drain. Cut off the heads and tails and cut each slantwise into 2 to 3 pieces depending on the length of the lady finger. Cutting slantwise gives you a better view of the inside of the lady ifnger which can be sometimes infested with worms.

When the prawns are cool, clean them by removing the head, tail and legs and immerse in water for 10 minutes to soften. Soak the mango sola in water in a cup till required.

Slice the onion and fryin 2 tbsp. oil till light brown. Squeeze out the water (discard the waer) from the prawns and add to the onion. Remove the dried mango from the water (reserve the water) and add to the prawns and saute for 2 minutes. Add the masala paste, sufficient water for the curry, salt and bring to a boil. Then add the lady fingers, adjust the consisency of the curry and cook 10 minutes. Reduce flame when it starts boiling. After 10 minutes check if the vegetable is cooked, if not simmer further 5 minutes. Remove from eat when curry appears glossy and fat surfaces. Serve hot with rice for a delicious, nutritious and satisfying meal.

Moringa Leaves Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry Vegetable


The new superfood – Moringa leaves, healthy, nutritious, excellent for gut health and for diabetics.  My mother never had to buy these leaves, they were always available in the home garden or the neighbourhood.  Thankfully these are now available worldwide at Asian stores, albeit at a price!

Ingredients

  • 2 Bunches Drumstick Leaves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Roast and grind to a coarse paste

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 4 dry red chilies
  • ½ cup fresh or dessicaed coconut
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Separate the leaves from the stems of the drumsticks and remove as much of the stems as possible although the small tender stems may be retained.  Soak in plenty of water for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly changing the water atleast twice so that any dust etc. can come off.  Drain and set aside.

Drumstick Leaves Moringa Leaves Stir Fry vegetable

The new superfood – Moringa leaves, healthy, nutritious, excellent for gut health and for diabetics.  My mother never had to buy these leaves, they were always available in the home garden or the neighbourhood.  Thankfully these are now available worldwide at Asian stores, albeit at a price!

Ingredients

2 Bunches Drumstick Leaves

1 medium onion

1 tsp. mustard seeds

2 tbsp. coconut oil

Roast and grind to a coarse paste

1 medium onion chopped

2 flakes garlic

¼ tsp. turmeric powder

4 dry red chilies

½ cup fresh or dessicaed coconut

Salt to taste

1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Separate the leaves from the stems of the drumsticks and remove as much of the stems as possible although the small tender stems may be retained.  Soak in plenty of water for 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly changing the water atleast twice so that any dust etc. can come off.  Drain and set aside.

Heat a pan and add oil.  When hot add the red chilies, garlic and onion.  When light brown add the coconut, turmeric powder and salt and saute for 2 minutes till light brown and you get a nice roasted aroma.  Set aside to cool. Then grind to a coarse paste.

Slice the remaining onion.  Heat a pan and add oil, when hot add the mustard seeds, when they pop add the sliced onion and fry till translucent and soft.  Add the ground masala and saute 2 to 3 minutes adding the rinsed water from the jar. Add the drained drumstick leaves, mix and stir fry for 10 minutes.  Remove to a serving dish and serve hot.  The vegetable will have a slight crunch to it and a slight bitter taste so is very healthy and excellent for diabetics, is very nutritious and good for gut health due to it’s fibre content.  Some may want the leaves to be more tender, in this case add ¼ cup water and cook further 5 minutes.  Serve hot. 

Sorpotel and Sannas Combo Traditional Goan and Manglorean festive meal


Sarapatel or Sorpotel, is a dish of Portuguese origin now commonly cooked in the coastal konkan region of India, primarily Goa, Mangalore and East Indians of Mumbai Sarpatel. The former Estado da Índia Portuguesa colony. It is also prepared in northeastern Brazil. The word ‘sarapatel’ literally means confusion, referring to the mish-mash of ingredients which include Pork meat and offal (which includes heart, liver, tongue and even pork blood sometimes). However, in modern-day version, blood is rarely used as now getting the pure blood is slightly difficult. The meat is first parboiled, then diced and sauteed before being cooked in a spicy and vinegary sauce.

The flavourings and spices differ from region to region, for example, some use more vinegar. The size of the pieces also varies, as does cooking technique: some sautee the meat prior to cooking it in the sauce, while others add the diced parboiled meat directly to the sauce.

In Goa and Mangalore, Sorpotel is often accompanied by “sanna” – a spongy, white, and slightly sweet steamed rice and coconut bread. However, it can also be enjoyed with bread, on rice, or in a bun as a sandwich.

Made by African slaves in Brazil, the dish had the tail, ear, intestines, tongue and a hint of blood. It was a filling, rich ode to offal. The pork-loving Portuguese got it to India. What came to India was the version popular from Alentejo region of Portugal, to which the native Goan Christians and East Indians added their own tricks to make it even more interesting. It is this variety that is available today. Source – Wikipedia

Sorpotel

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Kg. Fatty Pork (Belly preferably). If using Pork Liver, use 1 Kg pork and ½ kg liver (I have not used liver as it’s not available here)
  • 2 Large onions, minced
  • 2 tsp. salt or to taste

Grind to a paste with vinegar

  • 1.5 cups vinegar
  • 25 Kashmiri Red chilies
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 8 to 10 pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 24 flakes garlic
  • 4” pc. Ginger
  • 4” pc. Cinnamon
  • 8 cardamoms
  • 8 cloves

Clean and wash pork (and liver if using) and cut into large pieces.  Heat the pork on  pan and fry for 10 minutes to release the fat, turning the pieces.  Do not add any additional oil. Drain the pork and keep the fat aside. 

Add the pork pieces to a large pan, add salt and enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame and cook 30 minutes till meat is almost done.  Remove from heat, drain and reserve the stock. 

When meat is cool enough to handle, chop into tiny pieces.  If using liver, chop and keep the pork and liver pieces separate.  Do not mix them at this stage. Heat the pan again and add the fat which was set aside.  Add the chopped pork and fry for 10 minutes till light brown.  Drain and remove. Then add the liver pieces and fry 2 to 3 minutes, drain and remove. 

To the same pan, add the minced onion and fry till light brown.  Then add the ground paste and fry 2 to 3 minutes,  add pork and liver pieces and continue frying for 5 minutes.  Add the reserved stock and more water for the gravy and bring to a boil, cover and simmer till meat is tender.  Check seasonings and add salt, vinegar, as required.  Add water to thin down the gravy. 

Enjoy with Sannas, steamed rice, bread, poee or Fugias. For those who don’t eat pork, try this recipe with lamb or chicken liver…… delicious.

Sannas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Idli Rice
  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • Coconut water or Toddy as required to grind the batter
  • 1 tsp. salt  or to taste
  • ¾ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. luke warm water

Method

Wash and soak rice overnight.  Grind with the coconut using coconut water or toddy, in 2 batches to a smooth paste of pouring consistency (not too thick). 

Bloom the yeast by adding the yeast to a mug, then add the sugar and lukewarm water, stir well, cover and leave aside for 10 minutes.  Once it blooms add to the rice batter and mix and beat the batter well with your hand.  In warm weather the batter should ferment in 2 to 3 hours.  In cold weather will take longer. 

When batter is fermented, set the steamer on heat.  Grease the sanna molds and fill them half way with batter allowing room for the sanna to rise.  Steam for 20 to 25 minutes.  After 20 minutes pierce a thoothpick in the sanna and it should come out clean, if not steam for another 5 minutes and test. 

Transfer the sannas to a water bath to cool slightly.  Demould with a butter knife, back of a spoon or simply pull them away from the edges with your fingers.  Place in a casserole spread with a muslin cloth or a wooden bowl or tray to prevent the warm sannas from sticking to the base. 

Enjoy for breakfast with a dollop of ghee or butter or with Sorpotel, any Pork curry or chicken or mutton curry.

The video is full of tips and steps for the perfect Sorpotel texture and taste and soft and spongy sannas!!

If you don’t have a steamer, cook your Sannas in an Oven. Check out the video below.

Vaal Usal


Vaal Usal Valache Usal Dalimbi Usal

Sprouted Vaal, Butterbeans, Lima Beans, field beans

Lima beans provide more protein per serving than any other type of beans and are rich in vitamins & minerals.  Good source of fibre alongwith micronutrients like manganese, copper and  magnesium – source: healthline

Ingredients

  • 2 cup Sprouted and Peeled Vaal beans
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. jaggery
  • 6 Kokum petals
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Soak the Vaal beans for 12 to 15 hours.  Drain the water, rinse and leave in the bowl to sprout for 24 hrs.

Sprinkle water or cover the beans and drain 2 or 3 times so that the beans stay moist to aid sprouting. In most markets in India, sprouted beans are readily available.

Once sprouted, peel and discard the skin.  Keep immersed in water whilst peeling which makes it easier for the peels to slip off.  Put the peeled beans in a bowl of water.  Soak the kokum in a little water.

Heat  a vessel, add oil.  When hot, add the cumin seed, asafoetida and curry leaves.  Stir and add ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute and add the chopped onions and fry till translucent.  Add the drained beans, salt and a cup of water.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes till tender.  Then add, chilli powder, turmeric, kokum with the water and cook futher 5 minutes.  Substitute with 1 tbsp.  tamarind pulp if kokum not available. Then add the jaggery and coriander leaves.  Cook 2 minutes, adjust seasoning and consistency of gravy and take off flame.  Serve hot with rice for lunch or dinner or any bread of your choice for breakfast!  Delicious, spicy, tangy with a hint of sweetness makes this Usual an all time favorite!

Radish Vegetable Mooli ki Sabji Rajasthani Style


Radish Vegetable Mooli Ki sabji

Radishes are a good source of antioxidants like catechin, pyrogallol, vanillic acid, and other phenolic compounds. These root vegetables also have a good amount of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells from damage. Some health benefits of radishes include: Reduced Risk for Diabetes, Enhanced Liver Function, Cardiovascular Improvement. Their nutrition Calcium, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamine, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Iron, Manganese – Source: Wedmed

Ingredients

  • 2 medium white radish, with the leaves
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
  • 1 tsp. green chillie paste
  • 1 tsp. Ginger paste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. amchur powder
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Salt to taste

Method

Clean the radish, immerse the leaves in salted water.  Use  only tender leaves. Chop the leaves fine.  Grate the radish or chop into thin slices.  Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin, ajwain, ginger & green chilli paste and saute for few seconds.

Add the chopped radish, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, amchur and salt.  Mix well and cook for 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary, till vegetable is tenderand moisture is almost absorbed.  Serve hot Serve hot with rotis for breakfast or dinner or as an accompaniment to any meal.

Zavla with Brinjal


Zavla (Dried Baby Shrimp) with Brinjal

Dried shrimp are shrimp that have been sun-dried and shrunk to a thumbnail size. They are used in many East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian cuisines, imparting a unique umami taste. A handful of shrimp is generally used for dishes. The flavors of this ingredient are released when allowed to simmer. javla: made from a tiny species of shrimp called karandi, which is typically dried head and shell on and consumed whole. (Wikipedia).

Dired shrimp is a unique way to add flavor to a array of dishes.  Baby shrimp are extremely tiny shrimps that appear translucent when dried.  They are tender and delicate but have a strong seafood taste.  Dried shrimp can be stored for prolonged periods compared to fresh shrimp and are widely stored and used during monsoon season in India and Asia.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium purple brinjals
  • 1 cup dried zavla (baby shrimp)
  • 3 spring onion with greens
  • ½ cup coriander leaves
  • 6 flakes garlic
  • 1” pc. Ginger
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2 tbps. Mixed masala (East Indian/Sunday Masala/Bafat powder available at grocers)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste
  • 4 top 5 petals kokum (dried mangosteen)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp (use 2 tbsp. if kokum is not available)

Soak the dried zavla in plenty water for few minutes.  Wash well and squeeze out the water.  Set aside.  Wash the brinjals, cut off the stem and chop into cubes.  Chop the green onions, garlic and green chillies.  Heat oil in a vessel, add onion, ginger, garlic, chilies and kokum and saute for a minute.  When onion is translucent, add the masala powder, mix well and add the zavla and brinjal, add ½ cup water and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame and cook 10 minutes till brinjals are tender.  Add the chopped coriander leaves (save some for garnish) and salt.  Simmer 3 minutes.  Add the tamarind pulp and cook till oil surfaces.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve hot with chapatis or any bread of your choice or as side to any main mail.

Methi Mattar (Fenugreek green with Green Peas)


Green leafy vegetables – Methi leaves (fenugreek greens) have many health benefits.  They are full of fibre and nutrients, vitamin C & K in particular.

Always pick bunches that are fresh and bright green, avoid those that are yellow and wilted.  Avoid leaves that appear slimy, it is an indication of decay.  Methi is of two varieties, small leaves with tender white stems which is also called methi or menthya, venthiya, keerai and classified as micro-greens.  These are commonly used in the south of India and the Methi with Prawns is cooked as a delicacy and relished!  The Methi with larger leaves used here is an annual plant which is found in plenty in winter.  The leaves are pungent and bitter and the bitterness can be reduced by adding salt and squeezing out the water and rinsing before cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches methi (fenugreek greens) leaves
  • 1 cup green peas, shelled
  • ½ cup yogurt, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2 medium onions, chopped finely or grated
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste (or 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ¼ to ½ cup fresh cream
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil

Remove methi leaves and tender stems from the stalks.  Clean and wash the leave and soak in water for 10 minutes.  Remove from the water and wash again till the the sand and dirt is removed.  Squeeze out the water and add 1 tsp. Salt and set aside for 15 minutes.  Squeeze out the water and rinse in clean water again.  This process removes the bitterness from the leaves.  If using fresh peas, clean, wash and boil in water.  Drain and keep aside.  Frozen peas can be used directly. 

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds.  When they crackle add the chopped onions and cook till light brown, stirring.  Add ginger garlic paste and saute 2 minutes.  Add the chopped methi leaves and green chillis and cook till moisture dries up.  Add the turmeric and chilli powder, mix.  Add the beaten yogurt and cook till oil surfaces.  Then add the green peas and one cup water, salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce flame and cook 10 minutes.  Stir in the fresh cream and mix well.  Simmer five minutes and serve hot garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Spanish Paprika Prawns


Spanish Paprika Prawns

These prawns turn out absolutely delicious, so juicy and succulent.  Makes a great starter or appetiser!!  Serve with lots of lemon and crusty bread to mop up delicious gravy.

Ingredients

  • 12-15 prawns (1 Kg medium sized)
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ½ cup Aglio Olio sauce
  • Lemon and Parsley/coriander leaves for garnish

Trim the head and keep the shell & tail on the prawns.  Use kitchen scissors to cut down the middle to remove the vein.  Clip off the legs, etc. as shown. Wash and pat dry.  Rub salt on the prawns.

Take 1 tsp of just the oil from the aglio e olio sauce.  Heat a large wide pan till very hot.  Add oil and prawns.  Press the prawns down so that the shell gets a nice char.  After 2 mns on each side, add about ½ cup of the aglio e sauce and cook for 5 mns or till done.  Add lemon juice and cream, mix till heated through.  Take it off the heat and top with chopped parsley/coriander leaves.  Serve with crusty bread and lots of lemon wedges.

Homemade Garlic Bread


Garlic bread is just bread topped with garlic butter or olive oil and sprinkled with herbs like oregano, parsley, chives or basil.  Topped with cheese for a cheesy garlic bread, it is then grilled, toasted or baked in an oven or even on a stove top and enjoyed with any pasta dish or with a soup.  Called Knoblauchbrot in German and Chpon in France where is it served with a salad.  In Greece onions and olives are used for garlic bread.   A rather modest and unassuming dish but loved by young and old!

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 Loaves French Bread, or 1 large baguette
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. butter, or as required
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Fresh or dried parsley
  • Olive oil

Cut off ¼” from the tail of the garlic head.  Dip the cut side into olive oil and apply some all around.  Wrap the garlic tightly in aluminium foil an place cut side down on a metal tray and bake in an oven for 1 hour. 

Take one garlic head and squeeze the base which will push the roasted garlic pearls out of their skins.  Discard the skins.  Transfer the garlic flesh to a small (dry) grinder, add the butter and pulse till butter and garlic are creamy and smooth.

Cut the French loaf horizontally in two and apply the garlic butter.  Cut into desired pieces and play on a baking tray.  Sprinkle chopped parsley over the bread, if using dried, crush with your fingers and sprinkle over the bread. At this stage you can pre-prepare and wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze and bake when required and just before serving.

Bake in a moderate oven for 8 to 10 minutes till edges are golden.  For cheese garlic bread, sprinkle some mozzarella or freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Serve with any past of your choice or Lasagna or a hot soup.

Make the garlic bread just before serving for best results, although they can be made ahead and grilled just before serving.

TIP:

1.Roast several garlic heads and store in the refrigerator for couple of weeks.

 2.When using your oven to bake any food, take the opportunity to roast several heads of garlic so you have them at hand when required.

Lasagne


For Italian purists, lasagna is an occasion. The layered pasta dish is a labor of love to create, from mixing and rolling homemade noodles to making sauce from scratch to carefully layering the meat, cheese and noodles. It’s a special occasion dish that, done right, is a true showstopper. (Taste of home)

Lasagne are a type of pasta, possible one of the oldest types made of very wide flat sheets and made of stacked layers of lasagne alternating with fillings such as ragu (ground meat and tomato sauce), vegetables, cheeses and seasonings and spices, topped with cheese which melts after baking.  The resulting casserole is cut into single-serving square portions. (Wikipedia)

Ingredients

  • 500 gm. Or 24 sheets Lasagne noodles
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, or as required
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, or as required
  • 9” x 13” dish, for assembling and baking the lasagne

Meat sauce:

  • 2 tbsp. oil or butter melted (I have used olive oil)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 lbs. ground beef or lamb
  • 2 14 oz (500 gms. each) can/bottle bolognaise sauce
  • 1 tsp. mixed herbs (oregano & basil)
  • 2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 2 cups beef stock (made with 2 beef stock cubes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

White sauce:

  • 100 gms. butter
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 litres milk
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp. pepper powder or to taste
  • 2 tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

To make the meat sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft.  Add the meat and fry till completely browned and liquid has almost evaporated.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Adjust the seasonings, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For white sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk.  Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring, reduce heat and cook until thickened, but of pouring consistency. Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Lasagne noodles:  Some noodles require to be pre-cooked, some need to be dipped in hot water before assembling.  The lasagne sheets that I have used in this preparation are ready to use (as per directions on the box).  The Box also stated to cover the dish with foil before placing in the oven. I don’t usually cover the dish and bake it open but it is better to follow instructions on the pasta packaging for best results.  So I baked it for 20 minutes covered with foil, then removed the foil covering and completed the baking.

Grease a shallow rectangle or square dish and grease with olive oil, line with the lasagne sheets, followed with meat sauce, white sauce and repeat the layers then top with the mozzarella cheese.  Then sprinkle parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. 

Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180 dec C/350 deg F), for 45 minutes.

Cover with foil for first 20 minutes, then remove and complete baking, uncovered.

Turnips with Greens Bhaji


Knol Khol, Kholrabi, Kholrabi greens, Navalkhol, Gunth Gobi, Ganth Gobi, Shalgam as Turnips are called is a great winter vegetable and a dietary staple in Kashmir.  The mature bulbs can become tough and woody, so look for tender bulbs with tender leaves.  Tender turnips can be grated or shredded and added raw into a salad.  Taste has a touch of raddish and can be included into several cuisines.

Ingredients

  • 2 Turnips with greens
  • ½ tsp. cumin seed
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  •  1 tsp. coriander seeds powder
  • 1 tsp. Dry Mango powder (Amchur)
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Oil

Clean the turnips, discard the yellow and blemished leave and the stems.  Use only tender green leaves.  Soak the leaves in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes to get rid of insects or dirt if any. Chop the leaves. Peel the turnips and chop into cubes.  Alternately you may cut into thin slices or shred into strips.

Heat a vessel and add oil, when hot add the cumin seed, when they crackle add turmeric and the turnips with the chopped greens.  Add ¼ cup water and cook 10 minutes, stirring once or twice in between.  When the vegetable is cooked, add the chilli, coriander and amchur powder and salt.  Mix and cook further 5 minutes.  Take off flame and serve hot with rotis.

Banana flower Bhaji / Kel Phoolache Bhaji / Banana Blossom Stir fry


Banana blossom, Banana flower or banana heart, is the end of the stem holding the bunch of bananas. It is tropical vegetable used in Asian cooking and is available worldwide in Asian and Indian grocery stores year round. Banana flowers are high in vitamins A and C and have modest amounts of calcium and iron.  They are a good source of fibre. Banana flowers are commonly used as vegetables for cooking in countries such as Laos, India, Thailand, China, Burma, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam,

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana Blossom, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. urad dal (split black gram)
  • 1 tbsp. chana dal (split Bengal gram)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 top 4 garlic, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 3 to 4 Kokum petals (Mangosteen)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tsp. salt or to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh grated coconut
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander
  • ½ cup butter milk

Preparing the banana blossom for cooking and a bit tedious and lengthy process, but totally worth it. Before cleaning the blossom, apply oil to your palms and fingers to avoid them becoming sticky and black from the sap.  Also makes it easier to wash-off.

First cut-off the tip and the stem so removal of the leaves (bracts) becomes easier. Remove the deep crimson outer bracts from banana blossoms.  Beneath each bract is a row of fronds/florets, remove and set aside. These are the male flowers that did not grow into bananas. Thus continue till you reach the inner petals, or bracts, which are the edible parts. Clean the florets by looking for the Calyx (the small petal in the front) and the Pistil (the long stem with a head like a matchstick).  Remove these as they don’t cook.  Discard the crimson bracts and the pistil and calyx.  You may reserve two to three clean and deep colored bracts to serve the bhaji and use them as decorative plates to enhance presentation.

Then take a bowl of water and add ½ cup butter milk and mix.  Chop the heart and florets finely and immediately immerse in the diluted butter milk till required to prevent oxidation and discoloration.

To cook, boil water in a vessel and add the chopped vegetable and cook 10 minutes, adding 1 tsp. Salt.  Strain in a sieve or colander and keep aside. Chop the onion, garlic and green chillies.  Heat oil in a vessel, when hot add the mustard seeds, when they crackle, add the urad dal and the chana dal.  Saute till light brown.  Then add the curry leaves and kokum, garlic and green chillies.  Fry 30 seconds and add the onions and fry till translucent.  Add ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. turmeric powder and mix well.  Add the boiled banana blossom, ½ cup water, mix.  Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir at intervals.  Then add the fresh coconut and cook 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped, reserve some for garnish.  Mix well, take off flame and serve hot with chapatis, neer dosa, panpole or with rice as an accompaniment.  Tastes great with any Indian bread.

Sambar Udupi Sambar


Vegetable Sambar

Udupi Sambar

Sambar is such a versatile dish, it can be paired with so many south Indian breakfasts, snacks or main meals.  This recipe turns out so delicious, you will never want to try another recipe.

Ingredients

  • 100 gms. Tur dal (Toovar) Split pigeon peas
  • 5 to 6 lady fingers
  • 1 brinjal
  • 1 potato
  • 1 drumstick
  • 8 small peeled onions (keep whole) or 2 medium onion cut into thick slices
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 6 red chillies (missed this in the video)
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 6 green chillies
  • 1 lime sized ball tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 big onions finely sliced
  • Few curry leaves
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. coconut oil

Method

Wash dal and soak in water for 1 hour. 

Roast and powder coriander seeds, red chillies, fenugreek seeds and asafoetida.  Cover tamarind with two cups of water for 5 minutes and squeeze out the pulp. 

Cook the dal in the water it was soaked, adding ½ tsp. turmeric and salt till soft.  Remove from fire, add warm water and pulse in a mixer to a paste.

Clean the vegetables and cut into small pieces.  You may use vegetables of your choice.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil and fry the sliced onions till soft.  Add tomatoes, turmeric and salt and cook till tomatoes turn soft.  Add all the vegetables except the lady fingers.  Mix well and add the powdered masala and cook till vegetables are almost done, then add the lady fingers.  When vegetables turn tender, add the dal mixture, mix and put in the chopped green chillies and bring to a boil.  Add tamarind pulp. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.  Meanwhile heat a pan add the remaining oil and put in curry leaves and mustard and cumin seeds.  When the seeds stop popping transfer immediately to the sambar and serve hot with plain boiled rice, idlis, vadas and dosas. The consistency of the sambar can be adjusted to your choice.

Check out the other Udupi specialities to enjoy with Sambar:-

Idli Sambar:  https://youtu.be/sjFC6Eo-FQ0

Sada Dosa :  https://youtu.be/LxuaPUfsMRU

Uttapam    : https://youtu.be/5NRoejIuUbc

Medu Vada : https://youtu.be/EOA_pY3m4gI

Instant Quinoa Idlis : https://youtu.be/MLVGUfpBRLE

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