Sunday, December 10, 2017



Amongst us Konkanis, we make a popular coconut-based mildly-spiced curry called Ambat. Elsewhere in this blog you will find the recipes for Cauliflower Ambat, and Peas & Potatoes Ambat. The distinctive feature of the ambat is the seasoning with onions.

Today's recipe is for an Ambat made using Fresh Pigeon Peas which we call Jeev Thori in Konkani. It is called Thogarikaalu in Kannada and Thuar in Hindi. You can see the Fresh Pigeon Peas in the picture below.

I have used Bilimbi (which we call Bimbul in Konkani) as I had some readily available. This is seasonal and if you don't have it, you could use tamarind instead. The final product is not as spicy as you might think it is. The colour comes from the use of our famous Byadgi Red Chillies.

Adding 1/2 tsp of raw rice while grinding the coconut gratings etc gives it a better texture.

  • Jeev Thori ( Fresh Pigeon Peas) , 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Medium-sized Potatoes, 2
  • Onion, roughly chopped, 1
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 5, or to taste
  • Raw Rice, 1/2 tsp
  • Bimbul ( Bilimbi),  cut into slices, 2  or Tamarind, small marble sized
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Onion, finely chopped, 1 for seasoning


Peel and cube the potatoes.
In a cooker, pressure cook the thori along with the potatoes and one onion adding adequate water for 2 whistles
When the cooker cools, remove the cooked thori, potatoes and onion and keep aside.
Drain and keep the stock aside for later use
Separately, cook the sliced bimbuls in a little water till they become soft. Take care not to overcook them as they get cooked very fast.
Add the cooked bimbuls to the thori, potato, onion mixture and mix well.
In a mixer, grind together the fresh coconut gratings, roasted red chillies and raw rice adding the required amount of water to a smooth paste. (You could use some of the stock kept aside for this purpose.)
Add this ground paste and salt to the cooked thori mixture and adjust the consistency by using the remaining stock or water.
Bring to a boil and let it simmer for  couple of minutes.
Heat oil in a small pan and when it gets hot add the finely chopped onion. Saute till it turns golden and add the onion seasoning to the ambat
Serve hot

Friday, December 8, 2017



A pulao is commonly made in different parts of India as an integral part of the main meal. It is often confused with biriyani as you can read from this interesting article in NDTV's Smart Cooky. I make pulaos from time to time so elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for vegetarian pulaos like Spicy Vegetable Pulao, Green Peas Masala Pulao, and Paneer Pulao.

Today's pulao is quite different in that we use no vegetables at all. Instead, we use button mushrooms now easily available all through the year thanks to neighbourhood departmental stores. This recipe has been adapted from Mushroom Pulao in Padhu's Kitchen.

It can be made quite fast and turns out to be aromatic and tasty. Besides mushrooms have many health benefits as well.

  • Button Mushrooms, 200 gms
  • Basmati Rice, 1 cup
  • Cinnamon, 1 " piece 
  • Bay Leaf, 1
  • Cloves, 3
  • Large-sized Onion, thinly sliced, 1
  • Ginger Garlic paste, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies, slit, 3
  • Mint Leaves, chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Coriander Leaves, chopped, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Curds, 3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Wash and soak the basmati rice in adequate water for 1/2 hour, then keep aside after draining the water.
Wash and clean the mushrooms by dabbing them with a wet cloth and patting them dry
Quarter or slice the mushrooms but don't slice them too thin 
Heat oil in a kadhai/cooker and when it gets hot add the cinnamon, bay leaf and the cloves
Saute for a few seconds
Add the thinly sliced onion and saute till they become translucent
Add the ginger garlic paste, slit green chillies and saute for a few more minutes till the raw smell goes
Now add the sliced button mushrooms, chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves and saute
Add the curds and saute for a few more seconds
Add 2 cups of water, salt and the basmati rice and pressure cook for 2 whistles
Once the cooker cools, remove the pulao and fluff gently using a fork
Serve hot with a raitha of your choice

Monday, December 4, 2017



There are many snacks that can be made using peanuts (called "Moongphali" in Hindi, " Kadalekayi" in Kannada, and " Verkadalai" in Tamil.). Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Congress Kadalekayi which is so popular in Bengaluru where I live, and for Verkadalai Sundal.

As you probably know, peanuts have many health benefits too apart from being so tasty. Most kids seem to love peanuts as indeed do many adults.

I have called today's dish "Chatpata Moongphali" as it is a spicy dish as the name suggests. The spice level of course can be adjusted as per individual taste. I specially love having coffee after biting on the chillies in this dish!

This easy to make yet tasty dish can be served with tea, coffee or with drinks! Needless to say, you will find people wolfing them down!!

  • Moongphali (Peanuts), 1 cup
  • Green Chilli, chopped fine, 1 or 2, or to taste
  • Onion, small sized, finely chopped, 1
  • Chilli Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Lime Juice, 1/2 tsp


    In a pan, dry roast the peanuts on medium flame stirring continuously till they are evenly browned
    Alternatively, you can use the microwave oven to dry roast the peanuts  for about 2-3 minutes on high or till they get browned
    Allow them to cool, then remove the skin and keep them aside. 
    Mix together the chopped green chillies, finely chopped onion, and chilli powder and salt in a bowl
    Add the de-skinned peanuts and mix till they are well blended
    Add the finely chopped coriander leaves and lime juice and once again mix thoroughly  

    Wednesday, November 29, 2017



    The pumpkin is considered to be one of the more healthy of vegetables as you can see from this article. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Red Pumpkin Soup and Yellow Pumpkin Kootu.

    Today's recipe is a side dish adapted from Pumpkin Masala by Chef Sanjay Thumma of VahChef. I like the pumpkin to be cooked yet remain firm otherwise if it is overcooked it will be mushy.

    We had this with rotis and it tasted great.


    • Pumpkin, 500 grams, 
    • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
    • Cashewnuts, broken, 10 (optional)
    • Onion, chopped, 1
    • Turmeric Powder, a pinch
    • Curry Leaves, a few
    • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
    • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
    • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
    • Sugar, 1/2 tsp
    • Besan, 2 tbsp
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 1 tbsp + a little for roasting the besan
    • Water, 1/4 cup or as required
    • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, for garnishing

    Wash the pumpkin, remove the skin and the core with the seeds. Dice the pumpkin
    Heat oil in a kadhai and when it gets hot add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the cumin seeds, when it sizzles add the broken cashewnuts ( if used), and chopped onion. Mix well and saute.
    To this add salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves, and ginger garlic paste
    Mix and saute for a couple of minutes till the raw smell goes
    Now add the diced pumpkin, coriander powder, chilli powder, sugar, a little water and saute
    Cook covered till the pumpkin becomes tender. Take care that the pumpkin does not get overcooked
    Separately, heat 1 tsp of oil and roast the besan till it turns golden and gives off a good aroma
    Sprinkle the roasted besan to the pumpkin curry. mix well and cook covered on low flame for another 3-4 minutes
    Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves

    Saturday, November 25, 2017



    Today's recipe is for a side dish made with string beans which we call "Alsande Sukke" in my mother tongue, Konkani. Alasande is what we call string beans in Konkani while sukke is a semi-dry side dish. This is usually served with the main meal of rice and dal.

      Ingredients: s
    • Alsande (String Beans) 500 gms
    • Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
    • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 4-5 
    • Tamarind, small marble sized ball
    • Coriander seeds, 1 tsp
    • Urad Dal ( Black Gram Dal) , 1 tsp
    • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
    • Curry Leaves, a sprig
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 1 tbsp

    Wash the string beans, snip off the two ends and cut them into half inch pieces.
    Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadhai , roast the coriander seeds and black gram dal seperately till they become golden and keep aside.
    In the same kadhai, add the remaining oil and when it gets hot add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
    To this add the cut string beans and cook covered on medium flame. Sprinkle some water and let it cook till done, stirring from time to time
    In a mixer, grind together the coconut gratings, roasted red chillies, tamarind, roasted coriander seeds and roasted black gram dal  to a paste which is a little coarse, adding just the required amount of water. This ground masala should not be watery.
    When the string beans are almost cooked add the above ground masala and salt and cook till the string beans gets well blended with the ground masala.
    Serve as an accompaniment to the main meal of rice and dal.

    Monday, November 20, 2017



    Once in a while when I feel like it, I write about our experience in dining out at a restaurant, hoping that would be of use to readers of my blog. These days with Trip Advisor, Zomato and what have you, there are many inputs you can get about a restaurant but this is to share my personal experience.

    Chutney Chang has something for everyone. If you are one of those who approach a buffet spread as if it is your last meal on earth, there is enough and more for you. Go ahead and eat till you drop. If you are more choosy, you can wander around looking at the wide variety of dishes and choose what attracts you or what you like best.

    We went there recently to celebrate my husband's birthday and came away extremely satisfied with our dining experience. We visited Chutney Chang in Jayanagar though there is one in Church Street too. For elder people the landmark is the old Cosmopolitan Club, for the youngsters it is Amoeba!

    What we liked was the spaciousness of the place. There were ever so many people around but it seemed like we had our own space and the tables were not crushed close to each other.

    We started with the Sweet Corn Chicken Soup which was quite delicious. There was also Noodle Soup on offer which looked quite interesting. 


    For starters we headed to the Live Grill from where we picked up Tawa Fried Seer Fish, and Stuffed Chicken Rolls sliced into Spring Roll like portions. These were excellent hot off the tawa. Also on offer was Mutton Kheema in roasted pav (buns) .

    For the main course, we had Gosht Dum Biriyani, Chicken Tangri Kabab, Murgh Sesame Kabab and Fish Spring Rolls had with mint chutney, garlic and chilli sauce. The mutton pieces in the biriyani were soft and tender. The fish spring rolls were awesome!

    We also sampled the Bombay street food inspired Tawa Fried Noodles with a host of colourful ingredients that go into it.

    In conversation with Chef Martin as we have the Tawa Fried Chicken Noodles.

    Did we try most of the buffet? Of course, we did not. We didn't go to the Live Chaat section or the  Live Dimsum counter nor did we taste the vegetarian delicacies on offer.

    For dessert, we skipped the Indian sweets and stayed with chocolate brownies, strawberry pastry, and marshmellows and jujubes soaked in the sinful chocolate from the chocolate fountain.

    We visited on a Friday afternoon. The Khao Chao Indian Chinese fusion theme was on. The bill for two of us came to Rs. 1550 inclusive of all taxes. The staff were courteous and helpful especially Sheela our helpful hostess who took good care of us.

    Overall, we were delighted with our dining experience and would heartily recommend the buffet at Chutney Chang. I believe you will get your money's worth!

    Friday, November 17, 2017



    Potatoes (Batata/Batato in my mother tongue, Konkani) are an excellent source of Vitamin C and potassium. I make dishes using potatoes quite often as they are easily available all through the year. For example, elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Konkani dishes using potatoes such as Batate Humman, Batate Losne Saung, and Batata Usli.

    Today, I will share how I prepare an easy to make yet delicious stir fry called, "Batate Upkari." As an option, some prefer not to peel the potatoes but I have always peeled them. How much you roast the potatoes is a matter of individual taste. Some prefer to roast them till they are almost crisp by using much more oil. If you use Kashmiri chilli powder it adds to the colour without making the dish too hot.

    This dish is usually served as an accompaniment to our meal of rice and dal.


    • Potatoes, medium-sized, 3-4
    • Mustard, 3/4 tsp
    • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp, or to taste
    • Hing, (Asafoetida), powdered, 1/4 tsp
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 1 and 1/2 to 2 tbsp


    Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into cubes
    Keep the cubed potatoes in a bowl of water so that they don't get discoloured
    Remove the cubed potatoes from the water, drain away the excess water and apply salt. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes
    Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and when it gets hot on medium heat add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the powdered hing and saute for a few seconds till it gives off a good aroma
    Squeeze out the excess water from the cubed potatoes and add them to the kadhai
    Cover and cook on medium heat stirring from time to time till they are almost done
    When the potatoes get cooked, remove the lid, check for salt and add if required.
    Add the chilli powder and mix thoroughly until it gets uniformly mixed with the potatoes. 
    Cook until the potatoes are roasted to the extent you desire drizzling more oil as required.