Tuesday, October 27, 2020

ALVAMANDE HUMMAN

 ALVAMANDE HUMMAN

In my mother tongue, Konkani,  Colocasia (also known as Taro Root) is known as Alvamande. We make a dish called Alvamande Upkari, a stir fry made using the roots of the colocasia. With the leaves of the colocasia, we make one of the most popular dishes in Konkani cuisine called Pathrodo.

Colocasia is called Arbi in Hindi and Kesavuna Gedde in Kannada. Many dishes  are made across India using colocasia/arbi. Some of these are featured in this blog including :-

It is well established that colocasia/taro root has numerous health benefits. 

Today's recipe is for a coconut-based side dish from our Konkani cuisine made with colocasia called Alvamande Humman. 

"Humman" is a spicy thickish coconut based curry. It usually is served as an accompaniment to rice and dal in the main meal where it complements the dal with its spicy taste.  



Ingredients:-

  • Alvamande ( Colocasia), 250 gms 
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Byadgi Red Chillies, 6-7
  • Tamarind, size of small marble
  • Raw Rice, 1 tsp ( optional) 
  • Asafoetida/Hing Powder, 1/4 tsp 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coconut Oil, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Method:- 

Firstly, wash the colocasia thoroughly 
In a pressure cooker, cook the colocasia with adequate water for 1-2 whistles or till it gets done 
Take care that the colocasia does not get mushy or overcooked
Remove, drain the water and allow it to cool
Then peel the skin of the colocasia and cut them into roundels 

Dissolve 1/4 tsp of asafoetida in 1 tbsp of water. Mix well and keep aside.

In a mixer jar grind together the coconut gratings, roasted red chillies, tamarind and raw rice to a smooth paste adding the required amount of water . Keep aside

Take the cooked colocasia roundels in a vessel and to this add the ground paste and salt to taste 
Mix well, adjust the consistency to make it gravy-like by adding water and bring to a boil 
Then lower the flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes 
Switch off the gas
Now add the dissolved asafoetida and the coconut oil and mix well
Keep it covered for a few minutes to enhance the flavors in the dish
Serve the Alvamande Humman as a side dish with the main meal




Tuesday, October 20, 2020

KADALE KAALU USLI

 KADALE KAALU USLI

During the festival of Navaratri, we make a variety of dishes using legumes such as "uslis" and "sundals", typically without onion and garlic. These are offered as naivedyam and later served as a light snack. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for some of these, like:- 

Today's snack is called Kadale Kaalu Usli and gets its name from Kadale Kaalu being the Kannada words for Black Chickpeas. These are called Kala Chana in Hindi. This can also be made using Kabuli Chana.

This easy to make snack is commonly made in my home State of Karnataka during the Navaratri Festival.

Tip : Whenever I make this dish, I keep the excess water from the cooked kadale kaalu and use this to prepare saaru later. 


Ingredients:-

  • Kadale Kaalu (Black Chickpeas/Chana ), 1 cup
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Hing ( Asafoetida) Powder, 1/4 tsp  
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp 
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, broken into halves, 1
  • Curry Leaves, 6-8
  • Lemon Juice, juice of half a lemon
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
For Dry Grinding: -
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Ginger, roughly chopped, 1/2 " piece
  • Green Chillies, 2
  • Coriander Leaves, a fistful 
Method:-

Wash and soak the Kadale Kaalu in adequate water for about 8-10 hours or overnight
Discard this water the next morning  
Pressure cook the Kadale Kaalu - adding enough fresh water to immerse it - for about 4-5 whistles,  till it gets cooked
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked Kadale Kaalu and drain away the excess water (retaining a little- for use in next steps) 
In a small mixer jar, dry grind together the fresh coconut gratings, green chillies, chopped ginger and coriander leaves.  Keep aside
In a thick bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tbsp of oil and when it gets hot on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the asafoetida, turmeric powder,  broken red chilli and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the cooked Kadale Kaalu ( along with the retained water ), the coconut-ginger-chilli etc mixture prepared earlier, salt to taste and mix well 
Cook on medium heat till the excess water evaporates and the masala gets well blended with the Kadale Kaalu
Switch off the gas and squeeze the lime juice and mix once again 
Transfer to serving bowl 
Serve Kadale Kaalu Usli 








Wednesday, October 14, 2020

NELLIKAI THUVIYAL

 NELLIKAI THUVIYAL  

 

During one of our visits to Chennai, we were invited by our friends to their house for breakfast. Along with the hot dosas was served a chutney for accompaniment which was quite delicious. I was then told it was Nellikai Thuviyal.

As I had guessed, it was made of gooseberries! I also came to know that there is a difference between thuviyals and chutneys, when I asked her this question.  I was told that generally thuviyals are more thick and coarse than chutneys and have lentils in them. 

So today's recipe is for Nellikai Thuviyal, made with health-filled gooseberries, which I learnt that day. 

As you may know gooseberries are called Nellikai/Nellikayi in Tamil and Kannada, Amla in Hindi and Avalo in Konkani, my mother tongue. 

Gooseberries are supposed to be rich in Vitamin C. In these days of the Covid 19 pandemic, gooseberries can well serve as immunity-boosters. 

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

I hope you will enjoy this simple but tasty accompaniment for your breakfast dosa/idli.



Ingredients:-

  • Nellikai ( Gooseberries),  5
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal), 2 tbsp
  • Coconut, cut into small pieces, 2 tbsp
  • Byadgi Dry Red Chillies, 5
  • Hing ( Asafoetida Powder), 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tsp 
For Seasoning
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal), 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 8-10
  • Oil, 1 tsp
Method:-

Wash and de-seed the gooseberries and roughly chop them
In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and roast the Urad Dal and the Byadgi dry red chillies till the dal turns golden brown and the chillies become crisp
To this add the asafoetida and sauté for a few seconds
Next add the coconut pieces and sauté for 30 seconds
Remove from the gas and allow this to cool
Heat 1 tsp of oil in the same pan, and sauté the chopped gooseberries for about 1 minute
Keep aside and allow this to cool
In a small mixer jar, do the initial grinding -on pulse mode - of the roasted Urad Dal, dry red chillies, coconut pieces, asafoetida powder and salt to taste 
Next, add the roasted gooseberries to the same mixer jar and grind once again to a coarse paste, adding just the required amount of water, to make the Nellikai Thuvaiyal
Lastly, heat 1 tsp of oil in the small pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the Urad Dal and sauté till it changes colour
Add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Add this seasoning to the Nellikai Thuvaiyal
Serve as an accompaniment to dosa/idlis

If you have tried out this dish and liked it, please do leave a comment in this blog. Thank you! 





Saturday, October 10, 2020

VAALI BHENDI


VAALI BHENDI 

"Vaali" is what we call Malabar Spinach in my mother tongue, Konkani. This is called "Basale Soppu" in Kannada. 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. 

Even with the limited space available in a balcony garden, I have grown Vaali in pots which comes in handy from time to time. You can easily grow them by planting the firm stem in a pot. 

Elsewhere in this blog you will find other recipes for dishes made with Malabar Spinach such as:-
Today's recipe is for another popular Konkani dish- made with Malabar spinach - called Vaali Bhendi. 
In our cuisine, a bhendi is a spicy coconut-based side dish made with legumes or vegetables topped with a seasoning of garlic. 

In this side dish, we use both the leaves and the stems of the spinach 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), one bunch or about 250- 300 gms
  • Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Roasted Red Chillies, 6-7
  • Tamarind, size of a small marble 
  • Raw Rice, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
For Seasoning:- 
  • Garlic Cloves, lightly crushed, 8-10
  • 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. Keep aside
In a vessel cook the Vaali leaves and tender stems in adequate water 

Chop the remaining not so tender stems (Dhento) into 1" pieces 
Cook the dhento in a pressure cooker or in a vessel separately as these take longer to cook 

In a mixer jar grind together the coconut gratings, roasted red chillies, tamarind and raw rice to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water

Add the ground paste and salt to taste to the cooked Vaali leaves, tender stems and the dhento and mix well
Adjust the consistency by adding required amount of water and bring to a boil
Then lower the flame and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes stirring from time to time

In a small seasoning pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and when it gets hot add the lightly crushed garlic cloves  and sauté till they become golden brown
Add the seasoning to the Vaali Bhendi 
Serve hot with steamed rice










Tuesday, October 6, 2020

CAPSICUM MASALA

 CAPSICUM MASALA

Capsicum ( or bell pepper as you would call it in the United States) is a popular vegetable in India. It is very versatile and is used in a wide variety of dishes across the country. We are fond of this at home so I make dishes with them from time to time. 

You may know that capsicums are a good source for fibre and vitamins and have numerous health benefits.

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

Today's recipe is an easy to make side dish made with capsicum, onion and spices with the addition of roasted peanut powder. This goes great with rotis. 


Ingredients:-

  • Capsicum (Bell pepper), 3 or about 300 grams
  • Large -sized Onion, 1
  • Peanuts, 1/4 cup
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing), 1/8 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 6-8
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Kitchen King Masala, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
Method:

Wash the capsicum and pat them dry
De-seed the capsicum, discard the core and cut the capsicum into cubes
Chop the onion
In a kadhai, dry roast the peanuts for 3-4 minutes on medium heat till they change colour. Allow this to cool. Once it cools, transfer to a small mixer jar and grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in the same kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds 
When they splutter add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the asafoetida and curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds
To this add the chopped onion and sauté for a few minutes till they turn translucent 
Next add the turmeric, chilli, and coriander powders followed by the Kitchen King masala powder and mix well 
Saute for 1-2 minutes
Now add the chopped capsicum and salt , mix well and cook covered on medium heat for 4-5 minutes or till the capsicum gets done. There is no need to add water as the capsicum should get cooked in its own steam.
However please ensure the capsicum does not get overcooked. It should retain its crunchiness. 
Lastly add the coarsely ground peanut powder and mix well so that it gets well blended with the capsicum 
Switch off the gas and transfer to a serving bowl 
Serve as a side dish with the main meal or with hot rotis

If you try out this dish and like it, I would appreciate your leaving a comment in the blog. Thank you! 






Friday, October 2, 2020

NELLIKAI THAYIR PACHADI

 NELLIKAI THAYIR PACHADI 

This is the time of year when Indian Gooseberries are available in plenty. These are called  Nellikai/Nellikayi in Tamil and Kannada, Amla in Hindi, and Avalo in my mother tongue, Konkani.

Today's dish is called Nellikai Thayir Pachadi, Thayir being the Tamil word for curds. It is a curd based raita-like side dish served with the main meal. In today's really easy to make recipe, we grind together the gooseberries and spices and mix this with fresh curds. 

We have been told that even in ancient times our rishis knew about the many health benefits of amla. This article details some of the health benefits  of gooseberries. 

Traditionally they have been used in South Indian cooking, so elsewhere in this blog you will find other dishes made with gooseberries such as:-

For best results, we should use fresh curds when we make this dish. 
Nellikai Thayir Pachadi goes great with hot steamed rice and spicy rasam.



Ingredients:-

  • Nellikai ( Gooseberries) , 5
  • Thayir ( Fresh Curd), 1 cup
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 2 tbsp
  • Green Chillies, 3
  • Salt, to taste

For Seasoning:
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 6-8
  • Oil, 1 tsp
Method:-

Wash and de-seed the gooseberries and chop them into pieces
In a small mixer jar, grind together the chopped gooseberries, mustard seeds, green chillies and fresh coconut gratings to make a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water 
In a bowl, whisk the fresh curds and to this add the ground paste just prepared and salt to taste
Mix well together 
Heat oil in a small pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Switch off the gas and add this seasoning to the Nellikai Thayir Pachadi
Serve as a side dish to the main meal with steamed rice and rasam




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

VAL PAPDI BHAJI (FLAT BEANS STIR FRY)

 VAL PAPDI BHAJI (FLAT BEANS STIR FRY) 


Val Papdi is what flat beans are known as in Maharashtra and Goa. This is known as Chapparada Avarekayi in Kannada and Surti Papdi in Gujarati. 

Flat beans are a good source of Vitamins for us apart from having numerous other health benefits. 

Today's recipe is for a simple, easy to make but tasty stir fry. I have adapted this from Val Papdi Bhaji in Archana's Kitchen. 


Ingredients:-




  • Val Papdi ( Flat Beans), 350-400 grams
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp 
  • Byadgi Red Chilles, 2-  broken into halves
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tsp
Grind To A Coarse Paste:-
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 3 tbsp 
  • Garlic Cloves, 4-5 
  • Tamarind Paste, 1 tsp 
Method:-

Wash and de-string the flat beans
Open the beans and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces
In a small mixer jar, grind together coconut gratings, garlic cloves, and tamarind paste to a coarse mix  Keep aside
Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and 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 cut flat beans, turmeric powder and salt to taste 
Mix well, cover and cook on medium heat, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes or till the  beans get almost done ( there is no need to add water as the beans should get cooked in its own steam ) 
Now add the ground paste and mix well 
Cook till the raw smell of the garlic goes and the beans get fully done and are well-blended with the ground masala
Switch off the gas and transfer to a serving bowl 
Serve hot as a side dish with the main meal