Saturday, September 19, 2020

MUSHROOM MASALA

 MUSHROOM MASALA

Thanks to our supermarkets, these days mushrooms are readily available all through the year. This is quite different from the old days when they used be considered seasonal. They were available in plenty - but only during the rainy season. People used to eagerly look forward to this time of the year for them. 

Mushrooms are rich in Vitamin B and are said to have several health benefits

We make dishes with mushroom quite often so elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes with mushrooms,uch as:-

Today's recipe is for Mushroom Masala which I have adapted from the YouTube video in Sruthi's Kitchen. 

The additional special tadka of garlic, chilli and freshly crushed pepper in butter gives it a distinctively delicious flavor. We enjoyed this flavorful dish with hot rotis.


Ingredients:-

  • Button Mushrooms, 200 gms
  • Large-sized Tomato, 1 - to be made into a puree 
  • Medium- sized Onion, 1
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp 
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Green Chilies, 2 
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp, or to taste
  • Kitchen King Masala, 1/2 tsp
  • Medium-sized Capsicum, 1
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp, for garnish
For Special Seasoning:-
  • Butter, 1 tbsp
  • Garlic Cloves, chopped, 3
  • Green Chilli, slit, 1 
  • Curry Leaves, 4
  • Black Peppercorns, freshly crushed, 1/4 tsp or to taste 
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 1 tbsp
Method:-

Wash the mushrooms and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel
Cut the mushrooms into quarters 
Wash the capsicum, remove the core and seeds and chop into cubes 
Finely chop the onion and coriander leaves and slit the green chillies
Prepare the tomato puree and keep aside
Chop the garlic cloves 


Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a thick bottomed kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the cumin seeds, when they sizzle add the curry leaves, slit green chillies and turmeric powder
Saute for a few seconds
Next add the finely chopped onion, the ginger garlic paste and a little salt and sauté for about 5 minutes till the onions becomes translucent and the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste goes 
To this add the spice powders; cumin powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and Kitchen King masala and mix well
Now add the chopped capsicum, tomato puree and the chopped mushrooms and mix well
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat till the mushroom and the capsicum get done and well blended with the masala 
Check for salt and add as required
Lower the flame and simmer the Mushroom Masala

In a small tadka ( seasoning) pan, heat butter and when it melts add the chopped garlic, and 1 slit green chilli and sauté  till it gives off a good aroma
Add 3-4 curry leaves and a little of the chopped coriander leaves and sauté for a few seconds 
Next add the freshly crushed pepper and sauté 
Pour this seasoning on to the Mushroom Masala
Switch off the gas and garnish with the remaining coriander leaves 
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve Mushroom Masala hot with rotis, chapatis or naan 




Tuesday, September 15, 2020

BASALE SOPPINA TAMBULI


BASALE SOPPINA TAMBULI


"Basale Soppu" is the name for Malabar Spinach in Kannada. Today's dish is popular in my Home State of Karnataka where this Basale Soppina Tambuli is usually served with steamed rice. This is an easy to make dish which is both tasty and good for health.  

The Malabar Spinach is a climbing vine much akin to the usual spinach. It is also called Vine Spinach. This plant has numerous health benefits. In Konkani, my mother tongue, this is called , "Vaali". 

I have this growing in pots at home which comes in handy from time to time. You can easily grow them by planting the firm stem in a pot. 

We enjoy a variety of food from Karnataka in my house, so elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for other dishes well-known in this State such as:-
We can make Basale Soppina Tambuli with either 1 cup of fresh curds or with 1 and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. 

I have adapted this from Basale Soppina Tambuli from the website of the Kannada channel Swayam Paaka. 



Ingredients:-
  • Basale Soppu ( Malabar Spinach), chopped, 1 and 1/2 cups 
  • Jeera, (Cumin Seeds), 1 tsp
  • Peppercorns, 16
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 3 tbsp
  • Curds, 1 cup
  • Water, 1/4 to 1/2 cup 
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Ghee/ Oil, 2-3 tsp
Method:-

Pluck the Malabar Spinach leaves from the stems, wash them and dab them dry. Then chop them to get about 1 and 1/2 cups of chopped leaves. 
Whisk the curds
Heat 1/2 tsp of ghee/oil in a pan and on medium heat add the cumin seeds (jeera) and then the pepper corns and sauté 
To this add the chopped Malabar Spinach leaves and sauté till the leaves wilt 
Continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes till the leaves becomes tender
Now add the fresh coconut gratings, sauté and turn off the gas. Allow it to cool.
Transfer to a small mixer jar and grind to a fine paste adding just the required amount of water
Next add this ground paste to the curds along with salt, and mix well
Heat the remaining ghee/ oil in a tadka pan, and on medium heat add the mustard seeds 
When they splutter add the cumin seeds. When they sizzle add the broken red chilli and sauté for a few seconds more, 
Switch off the gas and add the seasoning to the Basale Soppina Tambuli and mix well
Serve the Basale Soppina Tambuli with hot steamed rice 






Friday, September 11, 2020

ALOO GOBHI

ALOO GOBHI


Today's recipe makes use of potatoes ( Aloo in Hindi) and cauliflower ( Gobhi in Hindi).  Alone or in combination with other vegetables, they must be amongst the most common vegetables to be used in India.  The two of them make for a popular pairing of vegetables.

Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for some of my favourite dishes using potatoes and or cauliflower such as:- 
Today's recipe is for a side dish made with both potatoes and cauliflower. I have adapted this from Aloo Gobhi Spicy Party Style in the website of the cookery expert Nisha Madhulikaji. 

In making this dish, I used two pans -one for cooking the potatoes and cauliflower, and the other for making the masala.  

I believe the original recipe called for the deep frying of the cauliflower but in this version we skip the deep frying yet get a tasty side dish that goes great with rotis, chapatis etc. 

We tried this our the other day- and loved it! 





Ingredients:-
  • Cauliflower Florets, 300 gms
  • Potatoes, 3 or about 300 gms
  • Tomatoes, 2 or about 200 gms
  • Ginger, 1/2 " piece
  • Green Chillies, 2
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 2-3 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida, a small pinch
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp 
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste 
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Bay Leaves, 2
  • Cinnamon, a stick
  • Cloves, 2-3
  • Pepper Corns 10
  • Kitchen King Masala, 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, 2-3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
Method:-

Wash and peel the potatoes, cut them into fairly large cubes and immerse them in water to avoid discoloration 
Wash and roughly cut the tomatoes, ginger, and green chillies
Wash the cauliflower florets thoroughly and immerse them in water with a little turmeric powder and salt for abut 10 minutes (to get rid of the impurities if any). Drain away the water, rinse the florets again and keep aside 
In a small mixer jar, grind together the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies to make a smooth paste. Keep aside. 
Heat a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil, and on medium heat add 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the potato cubes and cauliflower florets, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and mix well
Cover and cook on low flame, stirring from time to time, till the cauliflower and potatoes get done. 
As we have not added any water and we are cooking on low flame, this process may take about 20 minutes 
The cooked potatoes should be soft and the cauliflower florets should get cooked yet remain slightly firm

Parallelly, heat 2 tbsp of oil in another pan, when it is hot add 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, and when they sizzle reduce the flame and add a small  pinch of asafoetida, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves and pepper corns 
Saute till the spices give off a good aroma

To this add the tomato-ginger-chilli paste prepared earlier and mix well
Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp of chilli powder and 1 tsp of coriander powder
Mix well and cook, stirring from time to time, till the oil separates, 
Now add 1/2 cup of water, salt, 1/4 tsp Kitchen King masala and some of the coriander leaves and mix well
To this add the cooked potatoes and cauliflower florets and mix well 
Cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame till the potatoes and cauliflower gets well blended with the masala
Switch off the gas and add the remaining coriander leaves 
Transfer to serving bowl
Serve hot with roti, paratha, naan or chapati or as a side dish with rice







Monday, September 7, 2020

TOMATO SAARU

TOMATO SAARU


The tomato has to be one of the most versatile of vegetables we get in India. Though technically a fruit, it is more often than not counted in the vegetables. North or South, East or West, you will find it being widely used to make a large variety of dishes. 

Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamins C and K, potassium etc and so have numerous health benefits

 Elsewhere in this blog, you will find dishes made with tomatoes such as:- 
Today's recipe is for Tomato Saaru as we call it in the Udupi-Mangaluru parts of Karnataka. It is akin to the "rasam". We used to come back from trips to our native place remembering this Saaru along with other delicacies from that region. 

As this dish does not call for the use of onion or garlic, it is considered a saatvik dish. 

I have adapted this from Tomato Rasam video by the enterprising and entertaining couple, Mr and Mrs Kamath. 

This aromatic Saaru goes great with hot steamed rice and ghee.  



Ingredients:-
  • Thuar Dal, (Split Pigeon Peas) 1/2 cup 
  • Medium-sized Tomatoes, 3
  • Green Chillies, slit, 2-3
  • Jaggery, grated, 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind, size of marble 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, for garnish, 2 tbsp

To Be Dry Roasted & Ground To A Powder : 
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tbsp
  • Asafoetida Powder, 1/2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds, 1/4 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 9
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp 
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, broken into halves, 2 
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Ghee, 1 to 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Method:-

Wash the Thuar Dal and pressure cook in adequate water for 3-4 whistles or till it is done 
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and keep aside 
Wash and cut the tomatoes
Soak the tamarind in warm water for about 10 minutes and extract the juice. Keep aside. 

In a kadhai, dry roast the Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida Powder, Fenugreek Seeds, and Byadgi Red Chillies on medium heat stirring continuously till the spices turn slightly golden 
When the roasting is almost done, add the curry leaves and sauté 
Allow the roasted ingredients to cool and transfer to a small mixer jar
Grind these roasted ingredients to a smooth powder. Keep aside. This forms the Saaru/Rasam Powder. 

In a mixer jar, blend together the cooked Thuar Dal and the cut tomatoes to form a paste 

Heat a kadhai and add the ground dal and tomato paste just prepared, and 4 cups of water. Mix well
To this, add the slit green chillies, tamarind extract, grated jaggery and turmeric powder. Mix well
Bring this to a boil and cook till the raw smell goes
Now add 3 tbsp of the prepared saaru/rasam powder, salt to taste and mix well
Cook covered for 5 minutes. Mix well and switch off the gas.

Heat ghee in a small pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the broken red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds 

Pour this seasoning on to the Tomato Saaru
Lastly, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with steamed rice and ghee 

* The remaining Saaru/rasam Powder prepared can be stored for future use - within a week  








Thursday, September 3, 2020

KOVAKKAI PODI CURRY

 KOVAKKAI PODI CURRY    

Ivy Gourd is commonly available all over India. It has an orange -red pigmentation which is rich in beta-carotene. This makes it good for our health in many ways. Ivy gourd is called Tindora in Hindi, Tendle in my mother tongue, Konkani ; Kovakkai in Tamil, and Thondekayi in Kannada. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with ivy gourd such as:-

Today's recipe is for a side dish from Tamilnadu cuisine made with Ivy Gourd. What I liked best about this dish is the use of a freshly made ground powder ( called Podi in Tamil) which gives the ivy gourd an entirely new taste. I have adapted this from Kovakkai Podi Curry by My Magic Pan. 

While cooking the ivy gourd, I prefer to keep it slightly crunchy but that's a matter of individual taste. You can serve this side dish with steamed rice and rasam. 



Ingredients:-


  • Kovakkai ( Ivy Gourd) , 250 gms
  • Medium-sized Onion, 1
  • Garlic Cloves, 3-4
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2  tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
To Dry Roast & Grind For The Podi
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 3
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Chana Dal, 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Peanuts. 1 tbsp
Method:-

Wash the ivy gourds, snip off the two ends and cut them into roundels
Chop the onion and garlic cloves
Heat a thick-bottomed Kadhai and dry roast the Byadgi Red Chillies, Coriander Seeds, Chana Dal, Cumin Seeds and Peanuts on medium heat till the dal and peanuts change colour,  and the chillies become crisp
Allow it to cool and transfer to a small mixer jar and grind it to a coarse powder and keep aside

Heat oil in the same kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when  they splutter add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the chopped garlic and sauté till it gives off a good aroma
Next add the chopped onions and sauté till they become translucent
Now add the chopped ivy gourd, salt to taste and turmeric powder and mix well
Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time till the ivy gourd gets cooked
Take care that it does not get overcooked. I prefer the ivy gourd to be slightly crunchy.
To this add the prepared Podi (ground powder) and mix well
Cook for another 2-3 minutes on medium heat till the ivy gourd gets well blended with the podi 
Switch off the gas and transfer the Kovakkai Podi Curry to a serving bowl
Serve hot with steamed rice and rasam 




Sunday, August 30, 2020

VAALI AMBAT

VAALI AMBAT

The Malabar Spinach is a climbing vine much akin to the usual spinach. It is also called Vine Spinach. This plant has numerous health benefits. In Konkani, my mother tongue, we call it as "Vaali". It is known as Basale Soppu in Kannada.  

We make "ambats" quite frequently in our Konkani cuisine. These are coconut-based curries which have lentils and vegetables in them. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for:- 
Today's recipe is for an ambat made with Malabar Spinach and is called Vaali Ambat. In this dish, we use  both the leaves and the stems, which we call Dhento. 

Tip: I usually add 1 tsp of raw rice while grinding the masala to improve its texture. 



Ingredients:-
  • Vaali ( Malabar Spinach) , 1 bunch or about 250-300 gms 
  • Thuar Dal, (Split Pigeon Peas), 1/2 cup 
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 6-7 
  • Tamarind, size of a small marble
  • Raw Rice, 1 tsp
  • Onion, 2 ( 1 for the dish +1 for seasoning) 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
Method:- 

Wash the Vaali leaves and the stems 
Remove the Vaali leaves from the stems and chop them roughly 
Select the tender stems and chop them 
Chop the remaining not so tender stems (Dhento) into 1" pieces 
Chop one of the onions into big pieces
Finely chop the other onion ( to be used for the seasoning)  

Wash the thuar dal and pressure cook in adequate water  for 2-3 whistles or till done. In the same cooker in another vessel cook the dhento
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and dhento stems, 
Mash the cooked dal and keep aside 
In a mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, roasted Byadgi red chillies, tamarind, and raw rice adding the required amount of water, to a smooth paste
In a vessel, cook the Vaali leaves, the tender stems and the chopped onion in adequate water for about 5 minutes 
To this, add the ground paste you have just prepared, the cooked dal and the dhento
Add salt to taste, mix well and adjust the consistency (by adding a little water only if required) and bring to a boil 
Lower the flame and simmer for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time
Switch off the gas
In a small pan, heat oil and on medium heat add the finely chopped onion and sauté till the onions turn golden brown
Pour this seasoning on to the Vaali Ambat
Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot with the main meal 







Friday, August 28, 2020

RISHTA : ONE MORE RTC BATTER OPTION

 RISHTA : ONE MORE RTC BATTER OPTION  

In modern day India, all kinds of convenience foods are fast catching on especially in the large metros.  Amongst the wide range of convenience food that vary from beverages to breakfast cereal, those more attuned to Indian food are happy that we have several options for Ready To Cook (RTC in today's parlance) idli/dosa batter. As you know, for many in the Southern States idlis and dosa are frequently on the family dining table. So, anything that gets them there with the minimum of effort is most welcome. 

The reasons for the popularity of RTC batters are obvious. More women are working and time is at a premium in most homes. People (who can afford it of course) are more than willing to pay for the convenience that RTC batter provides. Contrast this with the old days when the batter had to be made at home by soaking the rice and other ingredients followed by the tiresome task of grinding the batter. 

For those new to South Indian cooking, I must clarify that the process of making idli or dosa is the same whether you use home made batter or the store bought RTC batter. 

While we had several brands on the department store shelves over the last few years, a new one for me was Rishta manufactured by Rishta Foods,  I must thank my friend, Raunak Kundu for introducing me to this product when I received a gift hamper from them. 

This family owned firm started making idli/dosa batter in 2015. It appears their products have become quite popular since then.  They have an interesting and eye catching by line; " We Serve What We Eat At Home!" 

We tried this out the other day and enjoyed it immensely. The idli/dosa batter comes in two types: one is the Regular Speciality Batter which has single polished rice, unpolished urad dal and methi.  With this batter, I tried out both idlis and dosas (pictures below). 


They also have a Multi Grain version which has the more healthy combination of brown rice and sprouted ragi.  I used this batter to make idlis and what we call Appo in Konkani, also called Paddu/Paniyaram in the South. This was served with their mildly-spiced Milagai Podi and home made chutney 


The manufacturers mention that no soda and preservatives have been added in the batter. I found the Rishta batter is fairly thick, and much thicker than other brands I have used till now. It has a grainy texture which makes for a better and more coarse finish to the idlis and dosas. 

In summary, I find this product definitely worth the price even though it is a premium product that is more  expensive than the other brands that I have come across. The packaging was excellent. It speaks of the care taken to maintain hygiene/product quality. I would highly recommend Rishta's Idli Dosa Batters for those who look for premium quality and convenience. 

In Bengaluru, you can order Rishta products online from MilkBasket, Big Basket, BB Daily and TownEss ( formerly Town Essentials). 

All you need to do for Home Delivery is to Whats App on 8339912345. 

If they maintain the product quality, this could be the start of a new "Rishta" ( relationship!) for many idli/dosa fans like me!