Monday, January 17, 2022

MUSHROOM XACUTI

 MUSHROOM XACUTI

In my house, we like dishes made with mushrooms. Apart from being tasty, it is well-known that mushrooms have several health benefits. They are low in calories but have lots of vitamins and antioxidants.

They are fast to cook and are commonly used in different parts of India.  Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for mushroom dishes, such as:-

Today's recipe is from Goa. It is for a dish called Xacuti which is pronounced as "sha-kuti". It is a curry made with spices, poppy seeds, coconut and dried red chillies.  We can make this with chicken, mutton, vegetables, mushrooms etc. 

Today, I have made Xacuti using button mushrooms. This has been adapted from Goan Mushroom Xacuti in the popular website, Archana's Kitchen. 

We enjoyed this with peas pulao.





 Ingredients:-

  • Button Mushrooms, 400 gms
  • Onions, 2
  • Ginger, 1" piece
  • Garlic Cloves, 4
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, 1 + 1 tbsp 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander Leaves, 2 tbsp  for garnish
For Xacuti Spice Mix:-
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 5
  • Poppy Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Fennel Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Cloves ( Laung),  3
  • Cinnamon, 1 " stick
  • Black Peppercorns. 1 tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind, 30 grams or lemon sized ball 
Method:-

Clean the button mushrooms thoroughly and dab them dry with a clean kitchen towel
Slice the mushrooms and keep aside
Finely chop the onions, ginger, garlic cloves, and coriander leaves

In a pan, dry roast the poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and fenugreek seeds for 2 to 3 minutes on low flame, till the spices get roasted and give off a good aroma
Switch off the gas, keep aside and allow it to cool
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and when it is heated add the onions, ginger, and garlic
Saute for 3 to 4 minutes till the onions become soft and slightly brown
Add the fresh coconut gratings and roast for 1 minute till it turns slightly brown
Switch off the gas and allow this to cool
Transfer all these roasted ingredients to a mixer jar
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of water, little by little, and grind these to a smooth paste. Keep aside
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and on medium heat add the sliced button mushrooms, salt, and turmeric powder and sauté for a few minutes till the mushrooms shrink and start leaving water 
To this add the freshly ground paste, mix well and add and water as required to get the desired consistency
Cover and bring to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5 minutes
Switch off the gas and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves 
Serve Mushroom Xacuti with Peas Pulao





Thursday, January 13, 2022

BENDAKAYA PULUSU

 BENDAKAYA PULUSU

Lady's fingers /Okra has to be one of the most common vegetables in India. Called Bhindi in Hindi,  Bendekai in Kannada, Bendakaya in Telugu and Bhenda in my mother tongue, Konkani, this vegetable has numerous health benefits. It is strong in vitamins and has a good quantity of proteins as well. 

Somehow over the years, in my house we have developed a liking for Andhra cuisine. Naturally, therefore, elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes such as:- 

 Pulusu in Andhra cuisine is a curry with a distinctive flavour of tamarind.

Today's recipe is for a dish made with Bendakaya (Lady's Fingers/Okra) and is called Bendakaya Pulusu. This goes great served with hot steamed rice.



Ingredients:-

  • Bendakaya, (Lady's Fingers/Okra), 250 gms
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds, 1/8 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a few
  • Medium-sized Onions, 2, 
  • Green Chilli, 2 
  • Large-sized Tomato, 1
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Tamarind, lemon sized ball,
  • Jaggery, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, 2 tbsp for garnish
  • Oil, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste

Method :-

Wash the okra/ bendakaya thoroughly and dab them dry with a clean kitchen towel
Snip off the two ends of the okra and cut them into 1 " pieces
Chop the onions and tomatoes
Slit the green chillies
Grate the jaggery 
Finely chop the coriander leaves 
Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water for about 10 minutes and extract the juice

Heat oil in a thick-borttomrd kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the fenugreek seeds and sauté for a few seconds
Add the curry leaves and sauté once again
To this add the chopped onion and slit green chillies and sauté till the onion becomes translucent
Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and salt and mix well
Cook covered on medium heat till the tomatoes become soft and mushy
Add the okra and sauté on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes
Add a little more salt, chilli powder, and coriander powder and sauté taking care that the spices don't get burnt
Pour in the tamarind extract, and add the grated jaggery and mix well
Cover and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on low flame 
Add 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups of water to get the desired consistency
Cook on medium/low flame till the okra gets fully done
Switch off the gas and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve Bendakaya Pulusu with hot steamed rice 










Sunday, January 9, 2022

CABBAGE VADI

 CABBAGE VADI

One vegetable that it popular all over India is cabbage. It is called "Patta Gobhi" in Punjabi, "Bhand Ghobi" in Hindi, Khobi in Marathi and Elekosu in Kannada. There are many health benefits of cabbage as detailed in this informative slide show from WebMD. 

We make many dishes at home using cabbage. Today, I have selected some of the less commonly made but very tasty dishes of cabbage featured in this blog, like :-

Today's recipe is for Cabbage Vadis, which is tasty snack from Maharashtra. I have adapted this from Patta Gobhi ki Vadi in Ray Kitchen. 

This can be had steamed, or shallow or deep fried if you want them to be more crisp. I chose to shallow fry them today. 

We enjoyed this snack with a hot cup of tea! 



Ingredients:-

  • Cabbage, 250 gms or  shredded, 2 cups 
  • Garlic Cloves, 7 
  • Green Chillies, 3
  • Ginger, 1 " piece
  • Besan (Chickpea Flour), 1 cup
  • Rice Flour, 2 tbsp
  • Rava (Semolina), 2 tbsp
  • Til (White Sesame Seeds), 1 tbsp
  • Ajwain (Carom Seeds), 1/2 tsp
  • Hing (Asafoetida), 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric, 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander- Cumin Powder, 1 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp
  • Water, 1 tsp
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves, 1/2 cup
  • Cornflour, 3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required for frying + for greasing the plate 
Method:-

Wash and shred the cabbage
Finely chop the coriander leaves
In a small mixer jar, grind together garlic cloves, green chillies, and ginger to a paste without adding any water. Keep aside
Keep the shredded cabbage in a bowl and add coriander leaves and the freshly ground paste. 
To this add besan, rice flour, semolina, salt, sesame seeds, carom seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder, and coriander-cumin powder with 1 tsp of oil
Mix thoroughly with your fingers. The cabbage will release a little water on its own. If the mixture is still too dry, add 1 tsp of water, and mix to form a soft dough


Grease a plate with oil and spread this dough evenly on to this plate




Place the plate with the dough in a steamer and cook the cabbage mixture for about 12 to 15 minutes on medium flame till it gets done
Switch off the gas, remove the plate and allow it to cool
With a knife cut the steamed cabbage to form squares (vadis) and demould them
The Cabbage Vadi can be had as they are or can be shallow fried or deep fried, if desired, to make them  more crisp
In case you can choose to fry, take a bowl with 3 tbsp of cornflour and make a slurry adding 1/4 cup of water
Dip each of the vadis in this slurry and deep fry in a kadhai or shallow fry on a tawa
Serve the Cabbage Vadi with a chutney of your choice or with Tomato Ketchup




Wednesday, January 5, 2022

SWEET POTATO STIR FRY

SWEET POTATO STIR FRY

Sweet Potatoes are known as Shakarkhand in Hindi, Sihi Genasu in Kannada, Sakkarvalli Kilangu in Tamil, and Kannang in my mother tongue, Konkani. 

In addition to their distinctive flavor, we know that the sweet potatoes have several health benefits.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find other recipes using Sweet Potato, such as:-

Today's recipe is for an easy to make yet yummy side dish: Sweet Potato Stir Fry. The addition of roasted and crushed peanuts enhances the taste of this dish.

I have adapted this from "Quick Sweet Potato Sabzi" from the well-known website, Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana

We enjoyed having this with hot rotis.  Do give it a try.



Ingredients:-

  • Sweet Potato, about 400-500 gms 
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2  tsp
  • Green Chillies, slit, 3
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig 
  • Peanuts, 3 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon, juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 2 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
Method:-

Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly 
Pressure cook the sweet potatoes in adequate water for 2 whistles or till they get done
Ensure that they are cooked yet remain firm
When the cooker is cool enough to handle, remove the cooked sweet potatoes
Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Keep aside.
In a kadhai, dry roast the peanuts for 3-4 minutes
Allow this to cool and remove the skin
In a small mixer jar, pulse the roasted peanuts to a coarse powder. Keep aside
Heat oil in the same kadhai and on medium heat add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle, add the slit green chillies and curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds
To this add the cubed sweet potatoes and mix well
Next add some of the crushed roasted peanuts (retaining a little for garnishing), salt to taste and mix again
Cook till the sweet potatoes get slightly roasted 
Sprinkle chilli powder and mix thoroughly 
Switch off the gas and mix in the juice of the lemon 
Finally, garnish with fresh coconut gratings, finely chopped coriander leaves and the remaining roasted peanut powder
Transfer to serving bowl
Serve with rotis







Saturday, January 1, 2022

GUR PAPDI

 GUR PAPDI

Here's wishing you and your families a Healthy, Safe, and Happy New Year. We know how things have been for the last two years ever since the Covid 19 pandemic struck the world. 

It is important that we stay safe. I would urge you to wear a mask, and be responsible in following  prescribed behavior during this medical crisis which seems to go on and on.

Even in difficult times, we have shown great spirit in cooking th best food for our families. In my blog, I share with you dishes that I have made myself which are healthy and tasty.

We start the New Year with a sweet. Here's an easy recipe for a sweet from Gujarat called Gur Papdi or Sukhdi. This is made with Gur (Jaggery), Atta and Ghee. 

Give it try and let me know how you liked it! 

May the New Year bring in better times for us. Once again, I wish you a Very Happy New Year. 



Ingredients:-

  • Gur (Jaggery), 3/4 cup
  • Atta, (Wheat Flour), 1 cup
  • Ghee, (Clarified Butter),  1/2 cup
  • Almonds, 8-10 
  • Pistachios, 8-10
  • Cardamom, 7-8
Method:-

Grate the jaggery 
Make slivers of the almonds and chop the pistachios
Crush the cardamom to a powder 
Grease a plate with ghee to spread the Gur Papdi and cut into desired shapes when it is ready 

In a thick-bottomed kadhai, heat the ghee and when it fully melts add the atta
Stir continuously on medium/low flame for about 7-8 minutes or till the atta gets well roasted, turns slightly golden in colour and gives off a good aroma
(Take care that you stir continuously on low flame otherwise the atta will get over roasted which will affect the taste of the Gur Papdi) 
Add the cardamom powder and mix well

Switch off the gas and continue to stir the mixture for a few minutes
Remove the kadhai and let the roasted atta cool a little
It should not cool too much
To this add the grated jaggery and mix thoroughly so that it gets well- blended with the atta and melts due to the heat retained

Spread the Gur Papdi evenly in the greased plate and garnish with almonds and pistachio
For better affect press the almonds and pistachios gently with the back of a spoon into the Gur Papdi
Make cuts of the desired shape in the Gur Papdi while it is still slightly warm
(It becomes difficult to cut once it cools too much) 
Wait for 15-20 minutes, then gently remove the Gur Papdi pieces from the greased plate 
Store the Gur Papdi in air tight glass containers 





Monday, December 27, 2021

AVAREKALU USLI

 AVAREKALU USLI

This is the season for Avarekayi in Namma Bengaluru. Avarekayi, called Hyacinth Beans or Lima Beans in English, is now available in plenty. There are so many dishes you can make with this versatile veggie. The avarekayi beans are peeled to give you the inner "avarekalu" which we use for cooking. 

Elsewhere in the blog, you will find different dishes made with Avarekalu, such as:-

Today's recipe is for a popular dish in my Home State of Karnataka. It is called, "Avarekalu Usli" and is served as a side dish with the main meal.

In my experience 1 kg of avarekayi yields about 3 cups of avarekalu.

Do try out this easy to make yet so yummy dish ! I am sure you will love it! 




Ingredients:-

  • Avarekalu, (Peeled Avarekayi/ Hyacinth Beans)  1 and 1/2 cups
  • Mustard Seeds, 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 3/4 tsp
  • Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Asafoetida (Hing), 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Medium-sized Onion, chopped, 1
  • Lemon Juice, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
To Be Ground To A Paste;-
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies, 3
  • Ginger, 1/2 " piece
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 1/4 cup
Method:-

Peel the avarekayi and wash the avarekalu
Add the required water in the pressure cooker, add a bit of salt and cook the avarekalu for about 3-4 whistles till they are fully cooked
Once the cooker is cool enough to handle, discard the excess water and keep the cooked avarekalu aside
Grind together coconut gratings, ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves in a small mixer jar
Add the required water and grind to form a smooth paste. Keep aside 
In a thick-bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tbsp of oil and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the broken red chillies and curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds
To this add the asafoetida, turmeric powder and the chopped onion, and fry till the onions become translucent
Now add the cooked avarekalu and salt to taste and mix well
Next add the prepared ground paste, mix well and cook on medium/low heat till the avarekalu gets well blended with the masala
Switch off the gas, sprinkle the lemon juice and mix again 
Transfer the Avarekalu Usli to a serving bowl
Serve as a side dish with rice or chapatis 




Thursday, December 23, 2021

PLUM CAKE ( CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE) - GUEST POST BY MANJU G.RAO

PLUM CAKE (CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE) GUEST POST BY MANJU G.RAO

The festive season is here and naturally we associate Christmas with cakes and other goodies!

Today, I am delighted to share a Guest Post for Plum Cake ( Christmas Fruit Cake) 🎂 🍰 sent in by my friend, Manju G Rao.

Here's her recipe and picture.  She has started taking orders and delivers within her home town, Kanhangad, in Kerala, India. We wish her all success in her new venture,

This cake looks too yummy! 

For all of you who are celebrating Chritsmas, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas! 





Ingredients:-

  • All Purpose Flour (Maida) ---3/4 cup
  • Eggs               ---2
  • Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp 
  • Sunflower Oil__1/4 cup
  • Sugar Powder-- 1/4cup ( add 4-5 cloves while powdering)
  • Baking Powder--1 tsp 
  • Baking Soda-    --1/2 tsp
  • Salt                    -- a pinch
  • Seedless Black Raisins--1/2 cup
  • Golden Raisins.          ---1/4 cup
  • Tutti Frutti, Cherries, Cashew bits--1/4 cup altogether
  • Orange Peel Candies or Orange Zest--1 tsp 
  • Caramalized Sugar, 1/2 cup
 Procedure:-

To caramelize the sugar:  In a thick bottom pan, heat half cup sugar, when it changes the colour to golden brown, add one cup hot water( this process should be done with care as it's too hot) bring to a boil, then add all the dry fruits mentioned above except cashew bits, cook for 5 minutes until the caramel becomes slightly thick. Keep this for 2 hours until it cools( or can store this in refrigerator and can use whenever needed.)

Take a clean bowl without any water content ,break two eggs in it

Add vanilla essence, and powdered sugar

Beat with a hand beater until fluffy ( 2-3 minutes) or can use a mixie jar for this

Then add oil, mix gently,  add APF (Maida)  little by little, mix softly without any lumps

(Important: Maida should be seieved well with baking powder and baking soda before mixing with egg batter) 

Next add the caramel with dry fruits, mix well, 

Finally add cashew bits, pour into a greased pan and bake for 45-50 minutes at 170 degree.