Wednesday, August 16, 2017



Teasel Gourd/Kantola is a relatively rare vegetable that we get only in the monsoon months of July-August. We call this "Phagil" in Konkani and it is a vegetable that many of us crave for this time of the year. It has various health benefits being rich in protein and iron and low in calories.

We make different kinds of dishes using phagil. For example, elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Phagila Phodis, and Phagila Puddi Sagle.

Today's recipe is for a simple "talasani" which is what we call a stir fry kind of dish with a distinctive seasoning of garlic.

This is usually served as an accompaniment with the main meal of rice and dal.

If you are using broken red chillies, you will add them after the garlic pods are roasted and saute them for a minute or so. Needless to say, in this case you will not add chilli powder.

  • Phagil/Teasel Gourd/Kantola, 250-275 grams, about 5-6 in number
  • Garlic Pods, lightly crushed, 10
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste OR 2-3 Broken Red Chillies
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 to 1 and 1/2 tbsp

Wash the phagils, snip off the two ends and chop them into pieces
Apply salt to the chopped phagil and set aside for 30 to 60 minutes
Later, squeeze out the water and keep aside
Heat oil in a kadhai and when it gets hot add the lightly crushed garlic pods
Saute for a couple of minutes till they turn golden and give off a good aroma
Now add the phagil pieces and cook covered on medium heat till they get done stirring from time to time
Check for salt and add only if required. Remember you have already applied salt to the phagils earlier.
Sprinkle chilli powder and mix well till the phagil pieces get evenly mixed with the chilli powder
Cook for a couple of minutes more and switch off the gas
Serve as an accompaniment to the main meal of rice and dal

Saturday, August 12, 2017



You cannot help thinking of Dosas whenever you think of a typical South Indian breakfast.  Fortunately, we do not get tired of the dosa because of the sheer variety in the dish. The variations are too many to list here but elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for the plain Dosa, the Urad and Moong Dal Dosa,, the Rice Rava Dosa, and the Moong Dal Dosa.

Today's recipe is for the Set Dosa which gets its name from the manner in which it is served. It is supposed to have originated from the Udupi area in my home State of Karnataka.

This recipe is adapted from Set Dosa in MTR Dishcovery, recipes propagated by MTR, which has become a household name in Bengaluru.

  • Dosa Rice/Raw Rice, 2 cups
  • Urad Dal (Split Black Gram) 1/2 cup
  • Fenugreek Seeds, (Methi) 1 tbsp
  • Patla Poha/Nylon Poha (Thin Beaten Rice) 3/4 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required to make dosas

Wash and soak the dosa rice, urad dal, and fenugreek seeds together in adequate water for about 3-4 hours
Thereafter, keep aside after draining the water
In a mixer, grind together all the soaked ingredients with 1 cup of water to a paste
Wash the poha, drain the water and add it to the mixer with salt and some more water and grind again to make the dosa batter
The batter should be of pouring consistency (not too thick but not too runny either). If it is too thick, you can add water as required.
Transfer the batter to a container. This should be big enough to contain the increased volume of batter once it ferments.
Keep the batter covered for 10-12 hours or overnight in a warm place to ferment
You will find the next day that the batter would have increased in volume 
Heat a tawa and lightly grease it with some oil
Pour a ladle of batter in the center of the tawa
Spread the batter lightly and cook covered on medium heat for 1-2 minutes till pores appear on top of the dosa
Drizzle oil around the dosa and flip to cook the other side till it gets fully done
Transfer to serving plate where traditionally 3-5 such dosas are stacked one on top of the other, hence the name Set Dosa.
Serve with chutney of your choice and sambar.

Monday, August 7, 2017



"Phagil" is the Konkani word for Teasel Gourd/Kantola, a seasonal vegetable which is  available only in a certain time of the year, that is during the monsoons in July-August. This vegetable is called Adavihagalakai in Kannada, Kakrol in Bengali, Adavikakarakaya in Telugu and Kattupavakai in Tamil.

Most of us Amchis keep a sharp look out for this vegetable during the season using it to make several dishes. Elsewhere in this blog you will find the recipe for Phagil Phodis or Teasel Gourd Fritters.

Today's recipe is for a side dish using phagil which goes great with our rice and dal.

I prefer to shallow fry the teasel gourd and hence this recipe is based on this method. You can deep fry the teasel gourd using more oil as required.

  • Phagil/Kantola/Teasel Gourd, 250 gms (approx 5 in number)
  • Large sized Onions, chopped, 2
  • Coconut Gratings, 3/4 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 4-5
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Tamarind, size of a small marble 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 to 1 and 1/2 tbsp


Wash and trim the two ends of the phagil/teasel gourd
Chop the phagil into small bits, apply salt and keep aside for 45 minutes to an hour
After that, squeeze out the extra water from the phagil
In a non-stick kadhai, add oil and shallow fry the teasel gourd till they turn crisp
Keep aside.
In a little oil, roast the coriander seeds till they turn golden
In a mixer, grind together coconut gratings, roasted red chillies, coriander seeds and tamarind to a coarse paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside
Heat oil in the same kadhai, add chopped onions and fry till they turn golden
Add the ground paste and salt to taste
(Remember that some salt has already been added to the teasel gourd at the preparatory stage)
Fry till it becomes semi-dry
Now add the fried teasel gourd and mix well till they are well and evenly coated
Transfer to a serving dish and serve with rice and dal

Thursday, August 3, 2017



The beauty of coloured capsicum (which is what bellpepper is popularly called here in India) is that apart from its health properties and taste, it adds considerably to the visual appeal of the dish. Here for example is one such dish, a simple preparation using two of my favourite vegetables, babycorn and capsicum. 

This dish is relatively easy to make especially since most of us often have cooked rice handy. It is adapted from Babycorn & Capsicum Rice by Tarlaji Dalal. 

We had it the other day and it tasted just great!!


  • Babycorn, chopped, 3/4 cup
  • Coloured Capsicum, ( Red, Yellow & Green)  chopped, 3/4 cup 
  • Cooked Rice, 2 heaped cups
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Onions, finely chopped, 1/2 cup
  • Garlic, finely chopped, 1 tsp
  • Tomato Ketchup, 4 tbsp
  • Tomato Puree, 1 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Sugar, a pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground Pepper, to taste

Chop roughly equal proportions of red, yellow and green capsicum such that you have 3/4 cup in all. 
Heat oil in a broad non-stick pan, and when it gets hot add the finely chopped onions and garlic
Saute on medium flame for 1 minute 
Add the chopped babycorn and coloured capsicum, mix well and saute for another 3-4 minutes 
Now add the tomato ketchup, tomato puree, chilli powder and sugar
Mix well and cook on medium flame for 1 minute 
To this add the cooked rice, salt and pepper
Mix well so that the capsicum, babycorn and the rice get well blended and cook on medium flame for 1-2 minutes
Serve hot 

Monday, July 31, 2017



Paneer or Cottage Cheese is one of the more popular ingredients in Indian vegetarian cooking. Most houses these days especially in the urban areas have developed a taste for paneer dishes which earlier were had only in restaurants. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for Methi Paneer, Paneer Lababdar, and Paneer Chettinad.

 Today's recipe is for a simple shallow fried dish which is yet quite delicious. It has the flavour of ginger and garlic and you will love it as a starter.

  • Paneer (Cottage Cheese), 200 gms,  
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lemon Juice, 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder, 2 tsp or to taste
  • Ginger Paste, 3/4 tsp
  • Garlic Paste, 3/4 tsp
  • Rice Flour, 1 tbsp
  • Semolina, (Medium Rava) 1 tbsp
  • Oil, for shallow frying

Cut the paneer into cubes of about 1 and 1/2 inches
To marinate the paneer, add salt and lemon juice to the paneer in a bowl and mix lightly.
Keep in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
After that, take it out of the refrigerator add turmeric and chilli powder, some more salt, ginger paste and garlic paste.
Mix all this well into the paneer cubes, so that they are well coated
Cover the bowl and keep back in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes
Mix together the rice flour and semolina in a plate
After 20 minutes, take out the marinated paneer from the refrigerator and dust the paneer cubes one by one with the rice flour-semolina mixture till they are well coated
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and when it gets hot, shallow fry the coated paneer cubes till they become a golden brown.
Then flip the paneer cubes and likewise cook the other side
Serve hot as starters, plain or with mint chutney

Thursday, July 27, 2017



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. This was pointed out to me by my friend and fellow blogger Nandini Kini.

I liked the way the slight sweetness of the shallots complement the spicy masala in the dish.

  • 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
  • Garlic, 5 cloves
  • Oil, 1 and 1/2 tbsp 

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



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!


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

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.