Saturday, April 10, 2021

DRUMSTICK MASALA

 DRUMSTICK MASALA 

The popular veggie, Drumsticks, called Shevaga in Marathi, Nuggekai in Kannada, Murungukkai in Tamil, and Mashingasaang in my mother tongue Konkani are extremely nutritious as well as tasty. They have numerous health benefits. 

The drumstick pods as well as the leaves can be used in different dishes. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes using drumsticks, such as:-

Today's recipe is for a delicious dish made with drumsticks which I have adapted from Masala Drumsticks by Chef Ruchi Bharani of Rajshri Foods.

I tried this out recently and we simply loved it! 



Ingredients:-

  • Drumsticks, chopped, 2
  • Gram Flour, (Besan), 3 tbsp
  • Peanuts, 3 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 2-3 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida, 1/4 tsp 
  • Jaggery, grated, 2 tsp
  • Kitchen King Masala, OR Garam Masala,  1/4 tsp
  • Water, 1/2 cup 
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
For Seasoning:
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida, 1/8 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

Method:-

Wash the drumsticks, snip off the two ends, lightly scrape the skin and cut the drumsticks into 2" pieces
Slit each of the drumstick pieces without breaking them
Steam the drumstick pieces in adequate water with a little salt in a steamer for about 8-10 minutes 
Make sure they are cooked yet remain firm 
Remove from the steamer and allow it to cool. 
In a pan, dry roast the besan for about 3-4 minutes till it gives off a good aroma. Keep aside
In the same pan, dry roast the peanuts till they pop and the skin becomes dark brown.
Transfer to a mixer jar and grind the roasted peanuts to a coarse powder. Keep aside. 
In a big plate, mix together the roasted besan, the roasted peanut powder, fresh coconut gratings, salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder, asafoetida , grated jaggery and Kitchen King masala with 1 tbsp of oil 
Make sure they are well mixed as this forms the stuffing for the drumsticks 


Take each of the steamed drumstick pieces and stuff the prepared masala in them 
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and on medium heat add the cumin seeds, when they sizzle add the asafoetida and curry leaves and sauté 
To this add the stuffed drumstick pieces and the remaining masala
Mix gently and sauté for about 2 minutes on medium heat 
Add 1/2 cup of water, mix again and cook for 2-3 minutes till the water evaporates and the drumsticks get well coated with the masala
Transfer to serving plate
Serve Drumstick Masala as a side dish with the main meal 





Tuesday, April 6, 2021

VAINGANA SAUNG

 VAINGANA SAUNG

Brinjals - as eggplants or aubergines are more commonly known in India- are available all through the year. They are called Vaingan in my mother tongue, Konkani; Baingan in Hindi, Katirikai in Tamil and Badanekai in Kannada. They are considered good for health being specially suited for those who have diabetes. 

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

Today's recipe is from our Konkani GSB cuisine. A saung ( pronounced "song" ) is a spicy side dish popular in Konkani cuisine which is usually made with potatoes or legumes with onions. 

I have adapted today's recipe from Eggplant/Brinjal Saung from my cousin, Vinaya Prabhu's popular cooking blog: Vinaya's Culinary Delights. 

We generally use tamarind extract to give the tanginess to the saung, but in this recipe tomatoes have been used instead. The amount of chilli powder you use will depend on your taste and the spice level of the chilli powder used. For example, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder is relatively less spicy but gives good colour while as others are far more spicy. I have used measurements to suit our requirements in terms of oil and spice level. 



Ingredients:-

  • Vaingan (Eggplant/Brinjals),  8-10 (baby brinjals)
  • Large-sized Onions, 2 
  • Medium-sized Tomatoes, 3 or about 200 grams 
  • Coriander Powder, 1 tbsp
  • Chilli Powder, 2-3 tsp or to taste  
  • Coconut Oil, 3 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
Method:-

Wash the baby brinjals, cut them at the base in a criss cross manner keeping the stem intact
Wash and finely chop the tomatoes and onions
Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and on medium heat add the finely chopped onions, brinjals and a little salt and sauté till the onions change colour and become golden brown 
To this add the chilli powder, coriander powder, and salt to taste. Mix well.
Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft and mushy 
Add 1 cup of water ( or a little more if required) , mix well and bring to a boil
Lower the heat and cook covered on medium heat stirring from time to time till the brinjals get done
Transfer to serving bowl and serve the Vaingana Saung as a side dish with the main meal 




Sunday, April 4, 2021

PANEER URAD METHI

 PANEER URAD METHI 

Paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese is one of the most popular ingredients in many Indian kitchens. Earlier it was restricted to North Indian especially Punjabi cuisine but over the decades has become popular everywhere!  If you are interested you may like this article on the History of Paneer in India!

From time to time, I use store-bought paneer in making dishes for lunch or dinner. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for various Paneer dishes, such as:-

In Goa and Coastal Karnataka, they make a dish of fish with Urad (Black Gram Dal) and Methi (Fenugreek Seeds). Today's recipe is for a dish which uses paneer in the same combination. I have adapted this from Paneer Urad Methi by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in his Food Food channel. 

We had this with rotis and it tasted very yummy! 


Ingredients:-

  • Paneer, 250 grams, 
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal) , 1 tbsp
  • Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Seeds, 2 to 3 tsp 
  • Black Peppercorns, 10
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 4
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/3 cup 
  • Raw Rice, 1 tsp
  • Medium sized Onion, 1 ( Roughly sliced, 1/2  + finely chopped 1/2) 
  • Kokum Petals, 4-5 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tsp +1 tbsp 
Method:-

Cut the paneer into cubes. Keep aside
Cut the onion into half. Roughly slice one half of the onion and finely chop the other half. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a thick-bottomed pan . On medium heat roast the urad dal, methi, coriander seeds, peppercorns and dried red chillies, till the dal and the coriander seeds change colour and become golden
To this add the roughly chopped onion and sauté 
Next add the coconut gratings and sauté till fragrant
Switch off the gas, remove the roasted ingredients and keep aside to cool
Then move it to a mixer jar, add the rice and the required amount of water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil and on medium heat add the finely chopped onion and sauté till it becomes translucent
To this add the paneer cubes and mix gently 
Now add the freshly prepared ground paste, kokum petals, 1/2 cup of water, salt to taste and mix gently 
If the gravy is too thick, add more water to adjust the consistency
Bring this to a boil then lower the flame and let it simmer for a couple of minutes 
Transfer to a serving bowl
Serve hot with rice or rotis 



Friday, April 2, 2021

PEANUT SESAME LADOO

 PEANUT SESAME LADOO

Most of us love to eat sweets ! We are ever ready to have one or the other of the many different types of sweets we make in India. A popular Indian sweet made in every Indian home is the Ladoo/Laddu.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for different types of Ladoos such as:-

Today's recipe is for a delicious ladoo made with just three ingredients: Peanuts, Sesame Seeds, and Jaggery. 

As you know, peanuts and sesame seeds have numerous health benefits. Peanuts are rich in protein , fat and fibre. Sesame Seeds are rich in nutrients vital to bone health. The third ingredient jaggery is again rich in many minerals and vitamins. It scores over refined sugar in many ways. 

Also, this recipe does not call for the use of ghee. So the good news is that these ladoos- in moderation, of course- are healthy as well being very tasty! 

I have adapted this from Peanut Sesame Ladoo or Palli Nuvvala Laddu by blogger Hari Chandana.

The quantities mentioned of the ingredients yielded me with 10-12 Ladoos. 


Ingredients:-

  • Peanuts, 1 cup
  • Sesame Seeds, (Til), 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery, grated/powdered, 3/4 cup
  • Cardamom, 2 :  Peel and powder / 
Method:-

In a thick-bottomed pan, dry roast the peanuts on medium flame for about 6-8 minutes stirring continuously till they crackle and they become brown in colour 
Remove from the pan and allow it to cool then remove the skin of the peanuts by rubbing them between your palms. Keep aside
In the same pan, dry roast the sesame seeds on medium heat stirring continuously till they turn golden in colour and start popping. Keep aside and allow it to cool.
In a mixer jar, grind together the roasted peanuts and the roasted sesame seeds, in pulse mode, to a coarse powder
To this add the grated/ powdered jaggery and pulse it again so that the jaggery gets well blended with the peanuts-sesame powder 
Transfer the contents to a plate, break up lumps if any and mix in the cardamom powder
Take small portions of this mixture and shape them into ladoos using your fingers and palms 
Store the Peanut Sesame Ladoos in air tight container

* Tips : Running the mixer in normal mode will result in the sesame seeds and peanuts releasing too much oil, hence we should use the pulse mode with frequent intervals 




Monday, March 29, 2021

MULLANGI KOOTU

 MULLANGI KOOTU

A commonly available root vegetable in India is the radish.This is called Mooli in Hindi, Mullangi in Kannada and Tamil. It is strong in antioxidants and hence has several health benefits

A Kootu is frequently made in our South Indian cuisine. It is a side dish of semi-solid consistency made with lentils and vegetables. 

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

Today's recipe is for a side dish made with radish called Mullangi Kootu. The taste of this dish is enhanced by the addition of peanuts. You should use coconut oil if possible, for the seasoning. 

This is a saatvik dish as it contains no onion or garlic. 

 I made this recently and we enjoyed it.



Ingredients:-

  • Mullangi (Radish), 2 or about 250 gms
  • Moong Dal, (Split Green Gram), 1/4 cup
  • Groundnuts, 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
Roast & Grind To A Paste:-
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Channa Dal, ( Split Bengal Gram), 1 tbsp
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 2
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Oil, 1 tsp
For Seasoning :-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Urad Dal, (Black Gram Dal), 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig 
  • Coconut Oil, 2 tsp
Method :-

Wash the radish thoroughly, snip off the two ends, peel and cut the radish into cubes
Wash the moong dal and groundnuts, 
In a pressure cooker, cook together the radish cubes along with moong dal, groundnuts and a little turmeric powder, in adequate water for 3 whistles
Once the cooker cools, remove the contents and keep aside
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a small pan,  and on medium heat fry the coriander seeds, channa dal, and Byadgi red chillies till the dal changes colour to a golden brown 
Once these roasted ingredients cool, transfer to a small mixer jar and grind, along with the fresh coconut gratings,  to a smooth paste adding the required amount of water. Keep aside. 
Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a thick bottomed pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the urad dal and sauté till it changes colour, then add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the cooked radish-dal-groundnuts, salt to taste and mix well
Now add the freshly ground paste and mix well
Adjust the consistency of the Kootu by adding water if required. The Kootu should have a thickish consistency. 
Bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes, then switch off the gas
Transfer to serving bowl
Serve the Radish Kootu as a side dish along with hot steamed rice and rasam



Thursday, March 25, 2021

PALAK TAMBULI

 PALAK TAMBULI

Palak is what spinach is popularly called in many parts of India. As you know, it has numerous health benefits and is therefore commonly used in all our cuisines, both in North and South India, especially amongst the vegetarians. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes using palak such as:-

Today's recipe is for a side dish called Palak Tambuli and is from Karnataka. Tambuli is a curd based raita kind of accompaniment to rice dishes and is served with the main meal. It is considered to be especially good for the hot summer months as it has a cooling effect thanks to the curds. 

I have adapted this Palak Tambuli from the well-known Kannada cookery channel Swayam Paaka. 

We had this for lunch the other day and it was truly delicious. Highly recommended. 


Ingredients:-

  • Palak ( Spinach) Leaves, 1 bunch
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup 
  • Fresh Curds, 1/2 cup
  • Water, 1/2 cup
  • Salt, to taste
For the Masala:
  • Peppercorns, 15
  • Jeera (Cumin), 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chilli 1
  • Ghee, 1 tsp 
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Jeera ( Cumin), 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee, 1 tsp
Method:- 

Pluck the Palak leaves from the stems, wash them thoroughly and dab them dry. Roughly chop and keep aside.
Whisk the curds and slit the green chilli
Heat 1 tsp of ghee/oil in a pan and on medium heat add the pepper corns and saute
Next add the cumin seeds (jeera),when they sizzle add the green chilli and sauté for a few seconds
To this add the chopped palak and sauté till the leaves wilt 
Cover and cook the palak for 5-6 minutes on low heat till the leaves are well cooked stirring from time to time 
Now add the fresh coconut gratings, mix well and turn off the gas. Allow it to cool.
Transfer to a small mixer jar and grind to a fine paste adding 1/2 cup of water
Next add this ground paste to the whisked curds along with salt, and mix well
Add more water if required to get the desired Tambuli consistency
Heat 2 tsp of ghee/ oil in a tadka pan, and on medium heat add the mustard seeds 
When they splutter add the cumin seeds and when they sizzle switch off the gas 
Pour the seasoning to the  Palak Tambuli and mix well
Serve the Palak Tambuli with hot steamed rice or as an accompaniment to the main meal 



Sunday, March 21, 2021

NENDRA PAZHAM PRADHAMAN

 NENDRA PAZHAM PRADHAMAN

I am delighted to share with you that today, March 21, 2021 happens to be the 8th anniversary of my blog. I would like to thank you my family, friends and followers of this blog, for your continued encouragement and support for "Cooking With Shobana" since I started this in 2013.  

The blog allows me to follow my passion for cooking. To learn new dishes and share them through this medium. By God's grace, my blog has received over 3.21 million hits so far and has over 18900 followers on Facebook. 

When my husband encouraged me to start this blog in 2013, I never imagined it would reach this level of featuring in The Best Food Blogs of India from the reputed Indian Bloggers website. I am grateful to Shri Ganesha for his blessing. 

Today's recipe called Nendra Parzham Pradhaman is for a dessert made with ripe Nendra Pazham, a speciality banana of Kerala. Pradhaman is a popular dessert made for festivals in Kerala though it involves a lot of work! Usually, coconut milk (both thick and medium/thin) is first extracted to make this dish. These days this is available in Tetrapacks too! The amount of jaggery added will depend upon the sweetness of the ripe bananas used, and of course, your individual taste. The colour of the Pradhaman will vary with the amount and color of the jaggery used. I have added cardamom powder for flavour but have not added dry ginger powder. 

 I have adapted this from Nendra Pazham Pradhaman in Radhika's Tickling Palates website.

We enjoyed this very much and hope you will- too! 


Ingredients:-


  • Nendra Pazham ( Ripe Bananas) , 2
  • Thick Coconut Milk, (first extract), 1 cup
  • Medium Coconut Milk, (next extract),  1 and 1/2 cups
  • Jaggery, grated, 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Ghee, 4 tbsp
  • Cashewnuts, 8-10, 
  • Coconut Slivers, 2 tbsp
  • Cardmom Powder, 1/2  tsp
Preparatory Work:-

Wash the Nendra Pazham and snip off the ends. Cut them into 2-3 pieces depending upon the size of the bananas. Place the cut banana pieces in a steamer and steam them for about 10 minutes or till they fully done. Allow them to cool and peel off the skin. 
Grind them to a pulp in a mixer jar without adding any water. 

Cut a piece of the coconut and cut into slivers. Keep aside. 
Break the cashewnuts into halves. Keep aside. 

Extract the coconut milk, first thick and then thin and keep aside. ** Process for extracting coconut milk given below 

Heat the grated jaggery in a pan on medium flame adding 2 tbsp of water. Mix till the jaggery dissolves fully. Switch off the flame and strain the jaggery syrup through a strainer and keep aside. 

Method :- 

Heat a thick bottomed pan and add 3 tbsp of ghee. Once it melts add the cooked Nendra Pazham pulp and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring continuously on medium/low flame. 




To this add the prepared jaggery syrup, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes 
Now add the second or medium/thin coconut milk, mix and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring continuously  till the mixture thickens- take care to see that it doesn't get burnt at the bottom 
Next add the first or thick coconut milk and mix well 
Cook the pradhaman for 2 minutes on low flame then switch off the gas
(Please note that at this stage you should not cook on high heat or for too long as the thick extract could curdle) 

In a small pan heat 1 tbsp of ghee
On medium heat add the broken cashew nuts and roast them till they turn golden in colour. Keep aside
In the same pan, add the coconut slivers and sauté till they turn golden brown. Keep aside. 

Finally, add the roasted cashewnuts and coconut slivers to the pradhaman along with the cardamom powder and mix well 
Keep the pradhaman covered for  a few minutes
The Nendra Pazham Pradhaman can be served hot immediately or served later after it is chilled as per your choice.

** Extracting The Coconut Milk: 
Take a medium-sized coconut. Break it and keep the coconut water aside. Scrape the coconut gratings and grind them well in a mixer jar with 1 cup of water. Next, filter this coconut pulp through a sieve or through a muslin cloth. This gives you the first or thick coconut milk extract.

Place back the coconut gratings pulp  in the mixer, add 1 and 1/2 cups of water and grind once again. Repeat the filtering process to get the second/medium/thin coconut milk extract.