Thursday, July 27, 2017

SPICY BHINDI ANDHRA STYLE

SPICY BHINDI ANDHRA STYLE

Lady's Fingers ( more commonly called Okra in the United States) is called Bhindi in Hindi, Bendekayi in Kannada and Telugu, and Bhenda in Konkani. It has to be one of the most common vegetables cooked in Indian kitchens. North or South, East or West you will find ever so many bhindi dishes especially in vegetarian homes. It has numerous health benefits.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Bhindi Shengdana from Maharashtra, Bhenda Sagle from our Konkani cuisine, and Bharwan Bhindi from North India. Today's dish is adapted from Spicy Bhindi Andhra Style by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor from his FoodFood TV channel.




Ingredients:
  • Bhindi ( Lady's Fingers) 250 grams
  • Shallots, 15-20
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 7
  • Peanuts, 1/4 cup
  • Oil, 1 and 1/2 tbsp 
Method:

Wash the lady's fingers and pat them dry
Snip off the two ends of the lady's fingers and cut them into 1" pieces. Keep aside
Dry roast the peanuts and when they are cool enough to handle, de-skin them and keep aside
Dry roast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds
Grind them together along with the roasted red chillies and the de-skinned peanuts and garlic to a coarse powder in a small mixer jar. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and when it gets hot add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes on medium flame
To this add the lady's fingers and salt and mix well
Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, till the lady's fingers become tender but not over cooked
Lastly, add the peanut-spices powder and mix well till it gets well blended with the lady's fingers
Serve hot.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

SPICY BABY CORN SATAY

SPICY BABY CORN SATAY

A few days ago, I had posted the recipe for Baby Corn Masala which we enjoyed very much. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for other dishes using baby corn such as Crispy Chilli Baby Corn and Palak Baby Corn Subzi.

A satay has its origins in Indonesian cuisine and is usually seasoned, skewered and grilled meat. It is extremely popular in Singapore, Malaysia and other South Eastern countries too.

Since I had some baby corn at home, I was looking for a different kind of recipe using baby corn when I came across this Healthy Starter version of satay using Baby Corn. The amount of oil used is minimal. This is adapted from Spicy Baby Corn Satay by the legendary Tarlaji Dalal.

It makes for a delicious starter which we loved so much!




Ingredients:

For Preparing the Marinade
  • Curds, (Dahi) 3 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Garlic, (Lehsun) grated, 1 tsp
  • Carom Seeds, (Ajwain) 1/4 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Cornflour, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
Other Ingredients:
  • Baby Corn, 12 nos or about 250 gms
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Spring Onions ( including Greens) finely chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Capsicum, cut into strips, 1/8 cup
  • Cornflour, 1 tsp dissolved in 2 tsp of water
Method:

Wash the baby corn and blanch it by briefly keeping them in boiling water and then plunging them into ice cold water. Keep aside.

Then we prepare the marinade (see picture below). Take all the ingredients listed under "Preparing the Marinade" and mix them well. Add the blanched baby corn and toss till each of the baby corns is well and evenly coated with the marinade. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. 


Heat oil in a broad non-stick pan, and when it gets hot add the finely chopped spring onions and the capsicum strips
Saute on medium flame for 1 minute
Add the marinated baby corn and the cornflour paste
Mix well and saute on medium flame till the baby corns are well coated with the spring onion and cornflour paste.


Transfer to serving plate and insert a toothpick in each of the satays. Serve hot as starters.




Friday, July 21, 2017

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: MAINLAND CHINA

OUR DINING EXPERIENCE: MAINLAND CHINA

Both my husband and I are fond of Chinese food, or really the Indian version of Chinese food which is popularly called Indian-Chinese. Recently to celebrate my birthday, we went to Mainland China in Jayanagar, Bengaluru which is one of several Mainland China restaurants in the city. I know there are many others in Whitefield, Malleshwaram, Koramangala, Indiranagar and so on..



It is important to make a reservation especially when you are dining there in the week end. We did so when we reached there at 1.30 p.m. we were straight away escorted to a table for two. Initially it looked as if there weren't too many diners but within no time it filled up. Soon there were no tables empty at all.

To start with, we ordered the Leechis and Basil Quenchers . These mocktails  tasted out of this world. The blend of the leechis and basil was a treat to the palate.



There is so much to choose from when it comes to soups. We overlooked the more common Sweet Corn Soup, and Lemon & Coriander Soup opting for the Hot and Sour Soup. This is made with soy and crushed white peppercorn. It was quite delicious.

For starters, we asked for the tried and trusted Assorted Non- Vegetarian Dimsum Platter. We read from the menu that Dimsums mean Heart's Delight in Chinese. The best part of the Dimsums is that they are lightly spiced and steamed. The platter had a good mix with Chicken Siu Mai, Pan Grilled Crab Cake and Prawn Hargao. These were delectable especially as we dipped them in the accompanying sauces. We particularly liked the orange sauce made with mustard with chillies.



For the main course, we did not  want to experiment so chose a combination of fried rice and fish, We skipped the offerings in noodles. There was again innumerable types of fried rice to choose from.  We opted for the Prawns Fried Rice which we had with Chilli Basil Fish served with Devil's Sauce as this was marked as being more spicy than the others on the menu. Both these dishes were great. The quantity served was quite adequate for the two of us. We were so engrossed in enjoying the fried rice and fish that no pictures were taken. That shows just how delicious they were!!

You can't leave without dessert, can you? We opted for the Dessert of the Day which was Date Ice Cream with Palm Jaggery and Roasted Almonds. It was well worth the extra calories that must have gone in.



All in all, we left entirely satisfied with the dining experience. The food was exceptional, the service and ambiance were pretty good too.

Highly recommended if you are looking for a tasty Chinese meal.

Monday, July 17, 2017

BABY CORN MASALA

BABY CORN MASALA

We are fond of baby corn in my house. Unlike in the past when they were relatively difficult to get, these days neatly packed baby corn is easily available in most departmental stores.

You might like to check out the health benefits that baby corn provides. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Palak Baby Corn Subzi, Crispy Chilli Baby Corn, and Baby Corn Masala Microwaved.

Today's recipe for Baby Corn Masala is adapted from Padhu's Kitchen. It tastes great and goes well with rotis and rice.



Ingredients:



  • Baby Corn 250 gms or about 12
  • Tomato Puree, 3/4 cup from 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • Onion Paste, 3/4 cup from 1 large sized onion 
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies, 3
  • Cashewnuts, 5
  • Salt, to taste
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, 1 and 1/2 to 2 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, chopped, for garnish
Method:

Wash and cut the baby corn into roundels and pressure cook, adding a little salt, in adequate water for 1 whistle. Remove when it cools and keep aside.
Boil water and place 2 medium-sized tomatoes after you make criss- cross cuts at the bottom for about 3-4 minutes. Remove and place in cool water. Once they are cool enough to handle drain the water, remove the skin and blend the tomatoes to a smooth puree in a blender. Keep aside.
Peel and grind the onion into a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Grind the green chillies to a coarse paste. Keep aside.
Soak cashewnuts in hot water for about 15 minutes and then grind them to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadhai and when it gets hot add cumin seeds, and when they sizzle add the ground onion paste and saute on medium flame stirring continuously till the raw smell goes and it changes colour to a little brown
To this add the ginger garlic paste, and the green chilli paste and saute for a couple of minutes
now add the tomato puree, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. ( Remember you have already added salt when cooking the baby corn that you will soon add).
Cook the tomato puree on medium flame stirring now and then until the oil separates
Add the cashewnut paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes
Add the cooked babycorn roundels and the water in which it was cooked
Mix well and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

VAZHAKKAI PODIMAS

VAZHAKKAI PODIMAS

Today's dish is from the State of Tamilnadu. The main ingredient is raw banana ( called "Vazhakkai" in Tamil) which has many health benefits. I make dishes using this from time to time. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Chettinad Vazhakkai Curry, Kele Koddel, and Swadisht Vegetable Rolls.

Some grate the cooked raw bananas when making this dish but I like the chunky taste of the pieces so prefer to chop them instead. If you wish, you can garnish the dish with fresh coconut gratings.

This easy to make mildly spiced side dish ( "podimas" in Tamil) goes well with rice and sambar.



Ingredients:
  • Raw Bananas, 2
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Onion, chopped, 1
  • Green Chillies, chopped, 3-4
  • Ginger, chopped, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice- juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
Method:

Wash and pressure cook the raw bananas for 1 whistle. Allow it to cool
When they are cool enough to handle, peel the cooked raw bananas and cut them into cubes 
Heat oil in a kadhai and when it gets hot add mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal and curry leaves, and when the dal changes colour add the chopped onion, chopped green chillies, and chopped ginger 
Add salt to taste and fry till the onions turn a light pink
Now add the chopped raw banana pieces
Cook on medium flame for a couple of minutes 
Finally add chopped coriander leaves and squeeze the juice of half a lemon
Serve hot





Saturday, July 8, 2017

BHENDA ALLE PIYAVA GHASHI

BHENDA ALLE PIYAVA GHASHI

Through my blog, I have tried to share some of our traditional Konkani GSB cooking for a younger generation. You will find here recipes for dishes such as Jeer Mirya Kadi, Cauliflower Ambat, and Magge & Mashingasaang Koddel.

Today's recipe is for a childhood favourite called Bhenda Alle Piyava Ghashi which my mother used to make so well. It is a side dish in Konkani cuisine in which lady's fingers (Bhenda) are cooked in a coconut based masala along with ginger (Alle) and onions (Piyavu). Unlike other ghashis, we do not season this dish but in the end we drizzle a little coconut oil to enhance the taste.



Ingredients:
  • Tender Lady's Fingers, 18-20
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 4-5
  • Tamarind, marble sized ball
  • Large-sized Onion, 1
  • Ginger, 1 " piece, 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Coconut Oil,  a little, to drizzle on the dish
Method:

Wash the lady's fingers and pat them dry. Snip off the head and tail of the lady's fingers.
Cut them into 1 and 1/2 " pieces and slit them vertically without breaking the pieces
Peel and chop the onion. Wash, peel and chop the ginger
Cook the chopped ginger and onions in a pan using the required amount of water. Keep aside.
In a thick bottomed kadhai heat 1 tsp of oil and saute the lady's finger pieces adding a little salt
Cook covered for a very brief while taking care that they remain firm and do not get overcooked. The lady's fingers will get cooked in their own juices as we have added salt. No water needs to be added.
In a mixer grind together the fresh coconut gratings, roasted red chillies and tamarind to a smooth paste using  the required amount of water.
Now add the ground paste to the cooked ginger and onions, add salt and bring to a boil
To this add the cooked lady's fingers and let it simmer for a few minutes more
Lastly drizzle a little coconut oil



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

AKKI ROTTI WITH BADANEKAYI YENNEGAYI

AKKI ROTTI WITH BADANEKAYI YENNEGAYI

Today we shall make Akki Rotti or Indian Flat Bread made of Rice Flour. In the northern part of my home State of Karnataka, different types of rottis are made as part of the daily meal. These include jolada roti or jowar rotti, (made of sorghum) and akki rotti (made of rice flour).

Traditionally, akki rotti is often had with a vegetable side dish called yennegayi. The word " yennegayi" itself comes from two Kannada words, "Yenne" for oil and "Kayi" for vegetables. Different types of  vegetables can be used in making yennegayis but the most popular in the North Karnataka region has to be Badanekayi Yennegayi made with baby brinjals or egg plants. The recipe for Badanekayi Yennegayi is here in a recent post in this blog.

Tips:

# The proportion of rice flour to water is 1: 1. It can be 1: 1.5 depends on the quality of rice flour for which extra warm water is kept aside to be used only if required.

# When kneading the dough if is still not soft and pliable enough, additional water may be required

# 1 cup of rice flour, yielded me 8 akki rottis. Of course the size depends on the size of the dough used to make each rotti.

Please try this for yourself. You will find that akki rotti and badanekayi yennagayi make a delicious combination.



Ingredients:
  • Rice Flour, 1 cup + 1/4 cup for dusting
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tsp + some for smearing the palms while kneading dough
Method:

To prepare the dough of rice flour, boil 1 cup of water in an utensil, and keep ready another 1/4 cup of warm water to be used- if required- later
To the boiling water add 2 tsp of oil, salt to taste and 1 cup of rice flour and mix well with ladle to make sure there are no lumps formed
Turn off the gas and keep the utensil covered for about 5 minutes for the dough to become soft
Next transfer the dough to a broad plate and when it is cool enough to handle, apply a little oil to your palms and knead the dough till it becomes soft and pliable. (Add more warm water to knead the dough only if required).
Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes
Make lemon sized balls of the soft dough, dust them in the rice flour kept aside and flatten them gently with your palm
Now roll out each of these balls of dough gently into rottis
Heat a thick bottomed tawa
When it gets hot, carefully pick and place the rolled out rotti on the tawa
When the rotti is cooked and slightly changes colour and bubbles form, turn it over and press the rotti gently with a ladle and cook till brown spots appear on it
Cook the rotti till it becomes light brown on both sides
Similarly cook all the rotis
Serve hot with Badanekayi Yennegayi