Feb 27, 2008

Tavshya Bhakri (Cucumber Dosa)..

I wanted to make something and send for Suganya's Weekend Breakfast Blogging-Healthy Eats..Ya, took so much time to think what to make as a healthy breakfast, coz I hardly make anything. Breakfast on most days is just bread or cereal. I can't take in cereal also, so that leaves me with only bread. But back home, breakfast is a big deal(which should be). All homes usually have heavy breakfast. I see my mom spending a whole lot of time getting the breakfast ready and ofcourse yummy yummy ones. No particular item will be repeated in a week or even 2 weeks. Ok, lets go to the dish now.

So, this one in particular is one of my favourites and is called Tavshya Bhakri which means Cucumber Dosa. This is a very common item am sure in all Konkani homes. The same dosa can be made also by replacing Cucumber with Magge(Dosakai). Simple, tasty and nutritious. What more can one ask for, rite?..


Fine Rava/Semolina/Suji Rava - 1 cup
Peeled and Grated Cucumber - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - to fry


- Mix the grated cucumber, sugar, coconut, rava and salt together. Add about 1/4 cup water or less to make a thick but spreadable mixture (mixture should not be runny or watery).
- Heat a heavy tawa, apply little oil all over, add little of the above mixture and spread it to make a thick round Bhakri(dosa). Drizzle oil on sides and on top of the bhakri.
- Then, flip the bhakri and fry on other side till done.
- Serve hot with chutney or chutney powder.

This bhakri tastes best when hot. It is one of the most softest and meltable bhakris inspite of its thick look. So, thinking that this is a good and healthy breakfast, goes to Suganya's wonderful event..

Feb 24, 2008

Arusuvai Friendship Chain and Sindhi Aloo..

The Arusuvai friendship chain has been going on for quite sometime now in India. It was started here, in the US, recently by The Yum Blog, Bhags & Bharathy. Thank you, for starting this chain. Its great to be part of this chain and join in both the excitement and the anxiety of what pops up as your secret ingredient in the mail and what you would want to pass on to your friends !!!

I got my package from Seema of MyRandap, neatly wrapped up with the secret ingredient and some lovely chocolates and a card, in continuation of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. Thanx so much Seema for the hard to resist chocolates and the very versatile ingredient. I thought it was coriander powder, but Seema said it was Coriander-Cumin (Dhania-Jeera)Powder, home-made by her. The moment I opened the packet, I knew this was home-made, coz of the freshness and the fragrance.

And right at that moment something came up in my mind. There was a Sindhi colleague of mine back in India, whose Dabba (lunch-box) we would all attack. She had this amazing cook whom we would sing praises of. The rajma-chaval,Sindhi Aloo, the parathas, its a long list. Me being a big fan of Potato (Aloo), I specially remember the Sindhi Aloo dish. Its just a simple and easy recipe, but tastes just extra-ordinarily good. I remember to have asked her the recipe and then made it a few times before. So thought, with the dhania-jeera powder, this would be a perfect thing to make after ages.

I will mention the recipe here, but you can adjust the quantities of all the ingredients according to your taste.
Update: I asked Seema about her Dhania-Jeera recipe and this is what she told me "For the Dhania-Jeera powder I use 1 glass dhania & 1/4 glass Jeera (My mom's recipe). Dry fry Dhania till you can get a nice aroma. Turn off gas & add jeera & stir for a minute or two... Allow to cool & grind to a fine powder." Thanx Seema :).
You will need small pototoes, coriander-cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and oil.

- Peel and slice the potatoes. (Small potatoes are best for this. If using the bigger ones, cut each slice into 2-4 pieces).
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the potato slices in it and keep stirring till the potatoes get cooked in the oil itself. If you take very little oil, the slices will stick to the bottom, so make sure you take enough oil.
- After the slices are fried/cooked, remove them from the pan onto a plate.
- Leave just about a tsp of oil in the pan and drain out the rest into a container or so.
- Now in this oil in the pan, on very low heat, add salt, red chilli powder, dhania-jeera(coriander-cumin) powder, and turmeric powder. Take care not to burn these. Switch off the heat.
- Add the potato slices back into this, and mix well such that the mixture coats the slices well.
- Serve hot with rice and any gravy.
I am so fond of this, that I just gobble up little by little right after am done making it. Hard to stop..

I will update on whom I'm sending the secret ingredient to, as am awaiting for one more response...

I would like to send this post as my contribution to Ode-Potatoes hosted by Sia of MonsoonSpice and also to Dhivya of CulinaryBazaar for her event - The Potato Fe(a)st.

An Award for me-Thank You :)...

“Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

Yes, my very first award in the world of blogging. Am thrilled, excited and at a loss for words. The wonderful Meera of EnjoyIndianFood awarded me with this. I went to congratulate a dear blogger friend Purnima of FantasyCookBlog and saw her mention my name there too. Can't express enough of my heartfelt thanks to you both :)..Thanx So much Meera and Purnima :). What can be more encouraging than this ??

Some people who have influenced my blog and made it going or rather gave me the encourgement when I was apprehensive of starting a blog at all, I thought this award would make perfect sense to pass it on to them.

Well, now when I think of passing it on, I would like to exchange them with Meera and Purnima, as their names pop-up first, but then, they already have it.

I would like also like to pass this onto

Suganya of TastyPalettes
Arun of ArunShanbhag.com

Shilpa of AayisRecipes, Asha of FoodiesHope, HappyCook of MyKitchenTreasures and Deeba of PassionateAboutBaking are the people I would like to pass this on to also, but I see that I am late in doing so, as they already got it :)..

So thank you once again and this really boosts me up :)...

Feb 17, 2008

Chocolate and Cherry Cake..

Last week was the wedding anniversary of our very good friends. I wanted to bake something nice for them, but then was skeptical. Plus I had very little time also. I have been admiring Deeba's work with baking and all the goodies that she makes. I saw Purnima's lovely cake on her blog too. Upon my asking, both of them have been very nice and have given me their suggestions also. I had wanted to bake for some other occassion, but took on their inputs for this one. Thank you so much Deeba and Purnima both for the tips and more for the encouragement. So, I just went ahead and tried my hand at this cake.

For those of you who see it, it may look really plain and simple, but for me was a great achievement, coz I have never decorated a cake before. Although the finishing on the cake sides is not good and I messed up royally with the cream piping, I was very happy with what I made and was very glad that my friends were happy and they liked the taste of the cake too.

Since I was short on time, I just used a ready-cake mix of Funfetti sponge cake. With one pack, I baked 2 cakes of 8inch square and then sliced each cake into two and then layered them with a cherry-cream filling in between.
For both the filling and the chocolate ganache, I followed Deeba's recipe from here and here.

For the filling

Whipped Cream - 500 ml
Icing Sugar - 4 tbsps
Canned Cherries - 1 tin, chopped. I used a few of the Maraschino cherrries, a little of cherry pie filling and a few green candies cherries.
Reserve a few of the Maraschino cherries for placing on top of cake.

Method for filling

- Using electric beater, beat the whipped cream with the icing sugar till it holds peak.
- Take out about 3 tbsps of this in a ziploc baggie and keep aside.
- In the remaining cream, mix in the chopped cherries, about 2 tsps of pie filling anf mix well.
- I kept this in the fridge till use.

Chocolate ganache

Semi-sweet chocolate morsels - 200 gms
Heavy whipping cream - 200 ml

Method for ganache

- Put the chocolate morsels and cream together in a pan. Heat till the chocolate melts. Remove from heat and mix till it forms a uniform mixture.
- Keep aside till it cools down at room temperature. Be sure to cover the pan with a cling-wrap so that a film doesn't form over the ganache.

For the creamed piping on top and sides, I just used the ziploc bag in which I had reserved the extra cream.

I made shortcuts this time by cooling both the cake and the ganache in the fridge and put together everything after cooling.

Feb 16, 2008

Green Chilli and Lemon Pickle/Marchanu Athanu..

Its time for RCI-Gujarat hosted by Mythili and Green chilli and lemon pickle is my contribution to it. Again its Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Flavors of India’ that I referred. Have twisted the original recipe to suit our taste, but nonetheless followed her procedure. In Gujarat, pickles are eaten with snacks and all meals. The chillies that you get in Gujarat are pale green in color and milder in heat. But I used the long green hot chillies that we get in the Indian stores.


Salt – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Ground Cumin – ½ tsp
Fresh hot green chillies, wiped clean with a damp cloth and dried off – 10. (The original recipe says 16-24)
Limes – 2, each lime to be cut into 12 pieces
Mustard oil preferably – 2 tbsp
Hulled, Split mustard seeds – 3 tbsp
White vinegar – 1 tsp (I did not use it).


- Mix the salt, haldi and cumin.
- Make a shallow slit along the length of each chilli. Fill each chilli with the salt, haldi and cumin mixture.
- Put these chilies into an air-tight container or jar. Add the cut limes and shake and mix well. Now, seal this container and leave un-refrigerated for 2 days.
- After 2 days, heat oil in a small pan. Cool this oil and add the mustard seeds and mix well. Add the vinegar also and beat well.
- If there is any water or liquid in the jar of chilies, discard it. Then, empty the drained chillies and limes into the pan of oil, vinegar and mustard seeds. Mix well and put the mixture back into the jar. At this point, the mixture looked like the picture below.

- Leave this for at least a week, shaking the jar now and then.
- This pickle will keep un-refrigerated for long for many months and the taste improves more with maturing. After a week of maturing, the pickle looks like this. I think it needs to mature a little longer before we can eat it.

P.S: I have tasted pickles with mustard oil and they truly taste different and nice. But I didn’t have mustard oil at home, and didn’t want to buy a bottle just for this and then not to do anything else with it. So I just used the normal cooking oil.
The original recipe calls for lime but I used lemons.

Feb 13, 2008

Happy Valentines Day !!!

Well, its Valentines Day tomorrow and guess what I've been busy making. No, no recipe or dish here. I have just a few cards here that I made for my son's preschool classmates. I thought it would be a nice project for me to do with my son and he will enjoy it. He just helped me a little with sticking the small yellow hearts and then started playing with his cars. When I asked him to come and help me with the rest, this is what he said, " I'm too busy Aayi(mom), you can do it"...Ya right, high hopes that I had. Anyways, it took me quite some time to finish them all. This alongwith a few goodies, hopefully the kids will like them all and have a lovely morning tomorrow. Happy Valentines Day !!!

Feb 8, 2008

Khara Shev (Theek Kare)

Theek Kare as we call it in Konkani is a popular and common snack in most houses, as it is the most simplest one. Earlier when people used to make the snacks and savouries at home, this would be on top of the list as it can be eaten as a snack with tea or with upmas and other dishes which we top with Shev. Nowadays though, people prefer buying readymade snacks from stores, so we don't see it that often unless on occassions. This is a spicy version of the shev where we use red chilly powder, and with ajwain and hing, it tastes really good.


Besan/Gram Flour - 2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup (approx)
Hing/Asafoetida - a pinch
Ajwain/Carom seeds - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - to deep fry


- Mix the besan, hing, ajwain, chilli powder, salt and a few drops of oil together.
- Add water to this little at a time to make a dough (as shown in picture) which should form a soft ball.
- Using the mould (chakli press), put in the plate for the Shev. Apply oil to the inside of the mould.
- Take a small ball of dough, put it in the mould and using the press, drop the mixture directly into hot oil in kadhai.
- Fry on both sides and take out on paper towel.
- Let it cool completely before storing in air tight container.

P.S: - I tried a little of the thin variety of Shev with the plate of small perforations and the rest with bigger perforations (is shown in collage picture).
-After frying, it will come out as one whole. After cooling, slightly press with your palm and it breaks evenly into smaller pieces.

Feb 7, 2008

Dharwad Pedha..

My parents have moved to Dharwad about 2 years ago. Dharwad is famous for the Karnataka University. Otherwise, its a very quiet place with pleasant weather. This was the first time I stayed in Dharwad for a long time, and must admit that I was quite bored. I was complaining to my parents that they shouldn't have moved back from Bangalore. Yes, lots to do in Bangalore and ofcourse all my friends are there too. But, what makes me blog about Dharwad now ?? Aha, there lies the point. The very famous Dharwad Pedhas :). Those of you who have eaten them before know what I'm talking about, and those who haven't, you must taste them when you get a chance. They are absolutely fantastic and you just can't stop at one :)...

Dharwad Pedhas are available mostly everywhere made by different Sweet shops. They look the same in appearance, but the taste nowhere matches the ones available in Dharwad itself. This time when I was there, I went to the market with my Dad early afternoon just before I was leaving to come here. So I needed some Pedhas. We were caught in traffic in one of the lanes. It was some festival that day too. I was worried as to what happened and hoping not to see some bad accident ahead or so. My dad just smiled at me and pointed out far ahead. LOL, it was a queue of people leading to the Babusingh Thakur Pedha Store. Yes, people were actually waiting out in the hot sun, waiting for this particular sweet to get ready as the whole stock from morning was exhausted already. This store is supposed to be the best. I was surprised at the crowd but then thought, yes, well worth the effort :)....

So, after all that, don't think I actually have a recipe for the Dharwad Pedhas here (I sure would like to get a recipe for them someday). No, its just that I got a parcel from my Dad this week through one of our friends here who had been to India. Yes, thanx to my Dad and the friend, we relished on those Pedhas and I thought I would give you a glimpse of them too :)....
In my house right now, its a competition going on between the three of us. Each of us just wants the maximum ;). If you ever in Dharwad, don't forget the Pedhas...

Feb 6, 2008

Vatanyachi Paatal Bhaji (Peas Curry)

This is a most versatile kind of bhaji or gravy. A paatal ( which means of liquid consistency) bhaji which goes great with dosas or rotis, can be mixed with rice or can be had with just plain bread or paav. Many of the small food places or canteens in Goa, will serve a similar(note: this is not the same ) kind of subji with their ever famous Paav(bread). If you ever go to visit the temples in Goa, don’t forget to enter the small hotels there. They serve the most amazing food.
Another way you can use this curry is as a base for chaats at home. If not in a mood for making a whole chaat, just cut up some onions, tomatoes, and cilantro, spread over the curry, put some Shev over it and enjoy a wholesome snack.
So, here goes the multi-purpose vatanyachi bhaji.


Dried Green peas – 1 cup, soaked in water overnight
Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes – 2 medium
Onions, finely chopped – 1 big
Tomato, chopped – 1 medium
Garlic cloves, finely chopped – 2
Ginger, finely chopped – ½ inch piece
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 tsp
Coconut Milk – 2 tbsp (optional)
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp (optional)
Salt – to taste


- Wash the soaked peas, pressure cook with little salt upto 1 whistle. Keep aside.
- Heat little oil in a wide pan, add the onions to it and fry till translucent. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and fry for 2 mins.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, fry. Then add the chopped potato pieces, mix well, add little salt and water. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat till potatoes are cooked but not mushy.
- Add the boiled peas to the pan, and add the turmeric, chilli powder, garam masala powder. Mix well and adjust salt and water to get required liquid consistency.
- Add the coconut milk (if using), and mix well. Switch off the gas. Add the lime juice (if using) and mix.
- Serve hot with rotis or rice or dosas or any of the ways mentioned above.

Vatanyachi bhaji with Udada Pole (Udad dal Dosa)

Feb 4, 2008

Rava Dosa with Avocado..

I had one avacado left and din't know what to do with it. So thought why not put it in a quick rava dosa and try the flavor ?? Just went ahead and tried the same and was pleased with it. Avacado doesn't really give any flavor to the dosas, so the rava dosa tasted just fine ;)....


Fine Rava - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour - 2 tbsp
Wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste
Avacado - 1, cut in half, pitted, pulp removed and mashed.
Crushed Cumin (Jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies, cut fine - 4
Cilantro - little, chopped
Curry leaves, chopped - 2
Oil - to fry


- Mix the rava, rice flour, all-purpose flour, wheat flour, mashed avacado pulp, cilantro and salt with enough water to make a thin batter.
- Heat very little oil for seasoning in a small pan. Add the crushed cumin, green chillies and curry leaves. Add this to the batter.
- Keep the batter aside for about 15 mins.
- The batter might thicken after this. You can add water now and adjust the consistency.
- Heat a tawa, pour the batter on the tawa all over. Do not spread the batter in a circular motion on the tawa. Just pour.

- Drizzle little oil all over and turn over when crisp and cook the other side also.

- Serve hot with chutney or sambar or both :)..

Feb 2, 2008

Spring Onion Koshumbri ( Salad )

I hadn't heard of this salad till today. Aayi told me about it, that she had made this a few times and everyone who had it, liked it. Its not a Konkani item, but I guess she tried it from somewhere. I was quite skeptical on making a salad just with onions, but my mom insisted me to try it once. So, I tried it and was happy that I did. With enough lime juice and coconut, the onions don't taste that pungent and the crunchy salad goes as a nice side either with rice and dal, or as a topping on papads.


Spring onions - 1 bunch (approx.8 stalks), chopped.
Green chillies - 2 small, chopped
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Fresh Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

- Take little oil in a small pan and fry the green chillies in it. Keep aside.
- Add the grated coconut, lemon juice, pepper powder and salt to it, mix well with hand. Add this to the chopped spring onions and mix well.
- After the green chillies have cooled, slightly crush them with hand and mix well with the above mixture. The green chillies should be well mixed, so that the spice comes out in the onion mixture.
- Serve as a side with rice and sambar or with papad.

I'd like to rush this entry to Radhi for JFI-Onions. Jihva is the brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi.

Feb 1, 2008

Chicken Curry-Kerala Country Style..

I wanted to make some chicken gravy to go with Dosas. I always have a liking for the dishes made simple and the country way. So, when I came across something of that sort in Madhur Jaffrey’s ‘Flavors of India’, I thought it would be the right combination for a dosa. I have adapted the curry from the book, but varied the quantities of ingredients and the method to suit our taste.
I think the name ‘country’ is apt for this dish, as it is so comforting and with dosas, was deadly…The original version of the curry in Kerala is called Kori Kootan.


Red Onions, finely sliced – 1 medium
Fresh/frozen grated coconut – ¼ cup
Ginger – ½ inch piece
Garlic cloves, big ones – 3
Dried red hot chillies – 10-12
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Cloves – 1
Cinnamon stick – ½ inch piece, 1
Green cardamom pods – 1
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Chicken pieces, with bones – 1/2 lb
Tomatoes, finely diced – 1 medium
Shallots (preferably), or Red onions, sliced – 3-4
Salt – to taste

- Make a paste of the ginger and garlic and set aside.
- Now, blend the coconut with the chilies, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom into a smooth paste. Set aside.
- In a wide pan, take little oil. When hot, add the sliced onions. Fry till they turn golden. Then, add the paste of ginger garlic. Stir little and add the turmeric and salt.
- Add the chicken pieces and stir and fry for about 10 mins till the chicken is lightly browned.
- Add the tomatoes to the chicken. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- Now, add the ground paste of coconut and spices.
- Add water to adjust the consistency, turn the heat down and let it simmer until the gravy becomes thick and the chicken gets cooked.
- In a separate pan, take little oil, fry the shallots till brown and crisp. Remove and spread on paper towel.
- When the chicken is cooked and the gravy done, turn off the heat and add the fried shallots and stir them in.
- Serve hot with dosas or plain rice.