Mar 30, 2009

MeeryaKana Panak / A sweet spicy drink

This is a drink that is made in my home on Ugadi day. It looks simple to look at, but is packed with flavour with the pepper, jaggery & lemon all going in to make it something you keep wanting for more.


Black pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cardamom seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jaggery grated - 4 - 5 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Water - 3 cups


- Blend the peppercorns and cardamom seeds with very little water ( 2 tsps or so).
- Now add this to all the rest of the ingredients mentioned and stir till the jaggery is dissolved.
- Ready to be served.

Note :
- We don't strain this before serving. The mixture settles at the bottom, so swirl the glass a little before taking a sip to get a little bit of everything in the sip.
- Leftover can be chilled in fridge.

This post goes to the event Think Spice- Think Pepper hosted by Divya of Dil Se. Thanks for hosting Divya.
Think Spice is an event started by Sunita.

Mar 29, 2009

Tomato Rice-1

This is one variation of Tomato Rice that I'm sharing here today. I got this recipe from my SIL who in turn got it from her friend. It tasted really wonderful and is easy to make too.


Tomatoes, medium size, chopped very fine- 2 nos. ( I used 2 big Roma tomatoes)
Garlic cloves - 3
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds/Saunf/Badishep - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp or more
Lemon juice - 1 tsp ( optional)
Onions, finely chopped - 1 big . I used red onion
Curry leaves - 4
Basmati rice - 1 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil/Ghee/Clarified Butter


- Wash the rice and soak it in water for about 30 minutes.
- Make a wet paste by blending together the garlic, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander and fennel seeds with very little water. Keep aside.
- If cooking in pressure cooker, heat the cooker, add ghee or oil or mixture of both, add the onions and fry till lightly browned. Add the curry leaves.
- Add the blended paste and saute for a minute, taking care it does not stick to the vessel.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and fry well till everything becomes a pulpy mixture and oil starts separating.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice, add it to the above, add salt, and saute for a few seconds.
- Add 2 cups of water to the cooker, add lemon juice(if adding), close the lid with the whistle, and let it cook for 1 whistle. If using electric cooker, follow all the above steps and cook till done.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with raita or salad or papad.
- If you want an even richer taste, just reduce the quantity of rice to 1 cup and follow the rest of the quantities and procedure. In case of 1 cup of rice, add 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Try using ghee in this preparation, tastes wonderful.

After Asha's comment, updating and sending it to a few more events now.
And since the deadline for this event is extended, it also goes to FIL-Tomato hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights.

Mar 27, 2009

Gava Peetha Guli/ Wheat flour ladoos- Happy Ugadi..

Wishing all the readers a Very Happy Ugadi! Wish you all health and happiness!

The recipe here today is of Wheat flour laddus/Gava peetha guli, which is one of the very most often made and loved item in most Konkani households. It is called by different names like Unde, Peetha Guli or just Guli by the Konkanis between North Kanara and South Kanara regions of Karnataka. Most people from all over India make these ladoos and its known by different names to everyone, but I will share today my Mom's recipe, that I have known and relished all these years.

The most interesting fact about these laddus is that they break very easily. Even when eating them, one has to be careful as to just get a piece in the mouth while still holding the rest of the piece intact in the hand. I have known many friends of mine when young, who used to pick one and bite and either there would be a big mess of the laddu crumbling on the floor or they would choke. So if you do try it, its a warning to eat it slowly and carefully.

Wheat flour - 3 cups
Sugar - 2 cups
Elaichi/Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Melted Ghee/Clarified butter - 3/4 cup plus another 2 tbsps.

- Make a fine powder of the sugar in a blender/mixer. If using powdered cane sugar also, you will need to make a fine powder of it. You can add the cardamom seeds in the blender and powder it alongwith the sugar.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, add 2 tbsps of ghee and roast the wheat flour on low flame till its very slightly browned and gives out an aroma. Keep stirring constantly to avoid burning. Once roasted, switch off the heat. The whole roasting takes about 30 mins or more.
- Add the 3/4 cup of melted ghee to the roasted flour and mix roughly with a spoon.
- Once the flour is warm enough to handle, add the powdered sugar+cardamom mixture (or cardamom powder separately if not powdered alongwith sugar) to the flour mixture and mix everything evenly using your hands. This mixing has to be done with hand. Mix such that there are no lumps formed by the ghee and the sugar is evenly mixed.
- Immediately, when mixture is still warm, taking little mixture at a time, form laddus using your palms. If you feel you cannot bind them easily, add little more melted ghee and bind them.
- Once completely cooled, store in air tight container and use.

Note :
- When you add the sugar, it should not melt in this laddu. That's the reason its added when the flour mixture is not too hot but warm enough to handle.
- We do not add any nuts in this laddu, in my family.
- These quantities will yield 25-27 laddus.

Enjoy your Ugadi everyone!

These laddus are off to JFI- Wheat hosted by Roma of Roma's Space. Thanks for hosting Roma.
Jivha for Ingredients is an event started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Mar 25, 2009

Tomato Chutney

This is a recipe which I learnt from my Mother-in-law. When they had visited us, she saw some packets of readymade tomato chutneys that I had in the fridge. That is when she taught me how to make this and also made a big batch for me. This is a versatile chutney and has a very long shelf-life. From applying on breads, to having as sides with rotis/dosas/or just rice, it comes handy when you need it.

The procedure for making it is a little tiresome and you need to use your hand constantly when its being made, but if its so versatile, might as well take the pains one day and enjoy it later rite.

So, here goes..


Tomatoes, medium size - 5 ( I have used Roma Tomatoes)
Fenugreek/Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 3-4
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp (or more). I have used the extra hot variety.
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Oil - 1 tbsp or more


- Pressure cook the whole tomatoes for 1 whistle in the cooker with water only under the vessel and not with the tomatoes.
- Once pressure comes down and cool enough to handle, discard the skin from the tomatoes and blend them to make a fine puree.
- In a heavy pan, heat the oil, add the methi seeds and once lightly browned, add the curry leaves. Next pour the tomato puree and add the salt, red chilli powder and the turmeric powder. Now, you have to keep stirring the mixture, else it will keep spluttering around. Either keep stirring continuosly on medium heat or turn the heat to low, cover the pan lightly just so that steam can escape from the pan. Keep checking and stirring every few minutes to see the water content and to avoid sticking.
- Stir evenly till all the mositure content has gone, the oil starts separating and the mixture becomes dry and comes together as one.
- Turn off heat.
- Once completely cooled, you can transfer it to a container with lid and refrigerate for months.
- Without refrigerating, it will be be good at room temperature easily for 2 days.
Note :

- More oil is used usually to keep the contents good for a long time. However I have used 2 tsps. Also its important that there is no water content at the end when the chutney gets done, if you want to store it for long. Else keeping it a little liquidy with the water content works just fine.
- Please keep in mind that the whole mixture of 5 tomatoes will reduce and yield only about 1/4 cup of the chutney, so adjust the spices and salt accordingly if you do want to make a bigger batch.

This is my entry to SWC-Meals on wheels, hosted by Lakshmi of Taste Of Mysore. Thank you for hosting Lakshmi.

This is also my entry to the FIL - Tomato hosted by Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights. Thank you for hosting Sanghi.

Mar 24, 2009

MBP-Snacks from Meera's..

I have tried the following recipes from Meera's - EnjoyIndianFood. As is the case with all of Meera's recipes that I have tried, these came out great and were enjoyed by all. Thankyou Meera for sharing them with us all.

Please click on the title links for Meera's recipes.

1. Eggless Banana Cake

I just followed all her instructions. The only thing I added were a Tbsp of black raisins, rest is all the same as per recipe. The aroma in the whole house when this was baking was just like that of Banana Mulka ( a Konkani banana fritter). If you like Mulka, you can't miss this.

2. Lemon Yogurt Cake

Again, followed exactly her recipe, and just like her, didn't do the glace. A true winner cake for teatime.

3. Khatta Dhokla

I am always in awe of the number of Dhokla's, Muthiyas and other goodies Meera makes. Had bookmarked quite a few, and finally made this one day. I tried both the variations that she mentioned, with chilli powder and black pepper powder. They both tasted very good. This is a keeper recipe.

I would like to send these all to MBP-Snacks & Savouries hosted by Ashwini of SpicyCuisine.

MBP is started by Coffee of The Spice Cafe.

I would also like to add that a few days back, Meera passed on these lovely awards to me.

Thanx a lot Meera, am truly glad to get them from you and humbled.

Mar 22, 2009

Tried & Tasted and loved..

Suganya of Tasty Palettes is one blogger who always awes me with her photography and recipes and the variety of cuisines she blogs about. Many a times, I am just stuck drooling at the pictures and takes me quite long to scroll down and look at the recipes. And this month's Tried & Tested being her blog, I couldn't but help try out these few recipes, out of the many which I have bookmarked. All of them were just superb Suganya and thankyou for sharing them with us all.

So, here we go.

1. Pala Musu- Green Jackfruit Curry. (click on the link title for the recipe)

I used the canned jackfruit and just followed all of her recipe without any tweaks. Sure a keeper recipe this is. If you like raw jackfruit, you should try it too.

2. Pepper, Garlic and Cumin Rasam with Potato Roast. (click on title link for the recipe)

I tried both of these as a combination with Rice and its comfort food at its best. I have never made Rasam this way, so was a very good learning experience for me. The potato tasted excellent too, not too many ingredients and a simple recipe. Taste- Superb!

My pictures don't do justice at all to her recipes, but try it to know the taste. Thanks Suganya for sharing with us your recipes.

Tried and Tasted was originated by Zlamushka of Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen.

Mar 12, 2009

Tomato Rasam-1

This is rather my bizarre way of making Tomato Rasam. Bizarre coz I never saw or heard anyone making Rasam like this. You may laugh at this, but this is what I used to make soon after I got married. I tasted some excellent rasam's at friends places, but the long procedures somehow kept me from following them. Very soon I learnt about canned tomatoes, in almost every other form. How thrilled was I when I made my first Rasam after a lot of thinking and whether to or not to with the Canned Tomato Paste, lol. We both instantly liked it and ofcourse after making some changes to it, this became my standard way of making rasam for a very long time. Since we both used to love Rasam a lot, I used to make it so often, with pepper, ginger, with or without rasam powder, with celery in it, and what not. We used to love to drink this rasam every other day. Some of my friends politely would tell me that's not how Rasam is made.
Slowly, I gave up canned tomato for the fresh ones and that rasam recipe of mine was forgotten. Few days back, I suddenly remembered it and thought, why not make it and enjoy it, my recipe of bygone days. Now, if I thought of making it again, it should be tasting good rite. Even though made from the canned stuff, it tastes really good to just gulp it down sip by sip. Try it..


Tomato paste, canned - 1 1/2 tbsp
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball, soaked in water and juice extracted from that.
Garlic cloves - 3
Black pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or more
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Cilantro, chopped - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 3-4
Salt - to taste


- With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic, pepper corns and cumin seeds together.
- Heat oil in a pan, add this crushed mixture, saute for a few seconds, add the curry leaves.
- Add the tomato paste with 4-5 cups of water, add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, tamarind juice, and cilantro. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes till the mixture boils completely and you don't feel any rawness of the paste.
- Serve hot.

Note :

- Making it thicker or thinner by adding more or less water.
- Adjust and vary the garlic and pepper according to your taste levels. You can give an extra seasoning of garlic after the rasam is ready.

Mar 10, 2009

Beetroot Koshumbri/Salad

This kosumbari is prepared by crushing the seasonings with your fingers ( Chirdunu) and then adding to the salad. The taste imparted from the crushed chillies is very different and quite hot. It makes a perfect balance with the sweetness of the Beetroot and the coolness of the yogurt. You can use many other vegetables in this kind of kosumbari.


Beetroot, peeled and grated - 1 cup
Roasted Peanut powder - 1 tbsp
Fresh/Frozen grated coconut - 2 tsp
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1/4 cup
Cilantro, chopped - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste

For the tempering
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 3
Red Dry Chillies - 1-2


- Wash, peel and grate the beetroot.
- Add the yogurt, grated coconut, peanut powder, tomato, cilantro and salt to the grated beetroot and mix evenly with a spoon.
- Now, take very little oil in small pan, add the mustard seeds, once they crackle, add the curry leaves and the red chilli pieces and switch off the heat. Once this seasoning cools down, crush it in the pan itself with your fingers. The red chillies and the curry leaves will become powdery since they became crisp from the heat.
- Then, add it to the beetroot and mix evenly.
- Serve as a side with rice and curry.

This post is my contribution to FIC-Pink/Rose hosted by Priya of Easy N Tasty Recipes. FIC was started by Harini of TongueTicklers. Will check to see if it qualifies for pink or not.

Mar 9, 2009

Minestrone Soup my style..

There will be many a variations of this soup. This is what I have been following for a long time, and its just my way of making it. I do not claim this to be the authentic recipe for it, for I have no idea what's the right recipe for it.

This was one of the very first soups I tasted when I came to this country, the food place being Olive Garden. Many a times, we used to go to Olive garden just for this Soup. I wouldn't enjoy the rest of the Entree's or the rest of the meal as much as I would enjoy this (of course, some of their entree's are just superb and some I haven't liked that much). Why I'm talking of this is that my inspiration for the soup is based on the Minestrone Soup at Olive Garden. Ofcourse, I don't know their recipe, but I follow this recipe everytime and we all like it just fine.


Medium Shell Pasta, cooked - 1 cup
Red Kidney Beans, soaked overnite or atleast for 1 hr in very hot water. - 1/2 cup
Celery, chopped alongwith the leaves - 1 3/4 cup. Approx. 3 stalks
Carrots, diced - 1 1/2 cup
Fresh baby spinach, chopped - 1/2 cup
Broccoli heads - 4-5 (optional)
Tomatoes, chopped fine - 2 cups. Approx. 3 medium tomatoes.
White Onions, finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves, finely chopped - 2
Dried Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil) - 2 tsp.
Freshly crushed black pepper powder - as per taste. (optional)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsps.
Grated Parmesan Cheese - as you wish.


- Pressure cook the Red kidney beans with enough water for 2 whistles. The beans should be cooked but not mushy or broken. Keep aside and retain any remaining water.
- In a pan, add the oil, add the onions and garlic, saute for about a minute, add all celery, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, salt, the extra water from boiling the kidney beans + 2 cups of plain water.
- Close the lid and cook on medium flame for about 20-25 minutes or till vegetables are tender.
- Then, add the chopped spinach, the cooked pasta, cooked kidney beans, the seasonings & pepper and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
- Serve hot with some grated parmesan cheese on top and some garlic bread by the side.

Note :

- You would need a total of 4 cups of water for this preparation, so adjust accordingly. I used 1 cup of the kidney beans cooked water.
- I normally use the diced tomotoes from the can, but this time I have used fresh ones.
- Broccoli is usually not used in this soup, but I did here.
- Zucchini works great in this soup, but I didn't have any at the time.
- You can do the whole cooking of the soup in the pressure cooker, on low medium flame without any whistles.

This post is off to 'SWC-Soups', hosted by Neha of EasynTasty Recipes. Thankyou for hosting Neha.

This post also goes to 'My Legume Love Affair- Ninth Helping', hosted by Laurie at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. My Legume Love Affair is the brainchild of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Also, a lovely 'Friends' Award that my friend Ashwini of NannaAdige passed on to me. Thank you dear Ashwini and am happy and honored to get it from you.
The award states that:
"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement (? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Going by the rules and picking out eight friends, I would like to pass this on to these lovely people:

1. Meera of EnjoyIndianFood

2. Purnima of FantasyCooking

3. Asha of FoodiesHope

4. Ujwal of Ujwal's Kitchlab

5. Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures

6. Asha of Grandma's Recipes

7. Cham of Spice Club

8. Vanamala of Nalapaka

I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. Thanx again Ashwini.

Mar 7, 2009

Fried Yucca with Garlic Sauce

I had never tried Caribbean cooking before, but when I came across this recipe, I thought it was easy to try and sounded great in taste too. Now that I made it, I can say, it tastes fantastic! The picture doesn't convey much, but believe me its an awesome dish!

This recipe is from 'Cooking the Cuban Way' by Alison Behnke and Victor Manuel Valens. The description of the dish goes like this : Fried Yucca, smothered in a zesty garlic sauce, makes a perfect side dish for roast pork. I did not serve it with roast pork, but thought this made an excellent side dish even with our Indian simple Rasam and Rice or great as a snack, just by itself. The three of us just ate most of it as a snack before the rest of the lunch was ready..

The flavours of this dish are just great with the orange juice, garlic, onions and the starchiness of the yucca. I altered only some of the quantities of the ingredients, but followed the rest as it is. Simple and delish!


For the Garlic Sauce:
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp. salt or lesser
1/2 cup sour orange juice
1 big white onion, very thinly sliced

For Fried Yucca:
1 lb. yucca
Salt to taste
3 tsp. olive oil.


- To make the mojo, with a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic cloves and salt into a thick paste. In a mixing bowl, combine garlic paste, orange juice and onion slices. Mix well and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- While mojo sits, peel the yucca and cut into 2 inch sticks. Place in a saucepan with salt and just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and cook till yucca is tender. Remove the pan from heat and drain any remaining water.
- In another saucepan, combine the mojo and oil. Cook over medium high heat until bubbling. Add the yucca pieces into this and toss lightly and saute over medium heat until barely browned.
- Serve hot.

Note : The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup oil, but I used less. Also, I would love to make this more browner the next time.

This post is my contribution to Monthly Mingle- Caribbean Cooking hosted by the wonderful Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey.

Mar 2, 2009

Panasa Dhodak/ Sweet Jackfruit Idli.

Jackfruit/Panas is grown in abundance in my native. Almost every neighbouring house has atleast one jackfruit tree in their yard. When in season, and the tree is just loaded with these, apart from eating them just the fruit as it is, many a jackfruit dishes get created in the kitchens from curries, fritters, chips to steamed idlis. Today's dish is one such which I used to love next to chips and fritters.

Since AFAM was Jackfruit this month, I thought it would be a great idea to try this Dhodak which is made with ripe jackfruit. I resorted to the canned jackfruit. Its the first time I tried jackfruit in a can, and must say its pretty good. The liquid in the can is more like pure water and not at all syrupy, so that was a plus. I just drained all the liquid and washed the fruit pieces once with water.


Jackfruit pieces, ripe - 1 cup, approx. 7 whole pieces of the fruit.
Grated fresh/frozen coconut - 1/2 cup.
Rava/Semolina - 1 cup.
Grated Jaggery - 1/2 cup.
Salt - a pinch.


- Dry roast the rava/semolina on light heat till a nice aroma comes out of it. Keep it aside to cool.
- Make a COARSE paste by blending together the jackfruit pieces and the grated coconut.
- Mix the ground paste with the jaggery, rava and salt evenly. You may add very little water (not more than 1/2 cup) to adjust the consistency to semi-solid. The consistency of this is NOT like idli batter, its a little drier in this case. Keep this mixture aside for 15 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a dish which you will use in steamer, pat evenly to get a uniform level.
- In a wide vessel with about an inch of water, put another small vessel as a base and keep the dish with the mixture on top of it, such that the mixture is a raised level from the water and not in level with it. (See collage).
- Steam for 15-20 minutes by putting the lid of cooker on, but without its weight/whistle.
- Let it stand for 2 minutes and then cut into pieces and serve hot or cold. Tastes good either way.

Note :

- We usually steam this in one big dish and then cut into squares/rectangles and serve. You can also make this in usual idli stand putting little mixture in each mould.
- The traditional one uses 1 cup of coconut for the quantities mentioned above, but I have used only 1/2 cup.
- The thickness is also made like 1 1/2 inches ( like cake), but mine are slightly thinner here.
- You can serve them with a spoonful of ghee on top or they taste great just by themselves.

This post is my contribution to the AFAM- Jackfruit event hosted by the wonderful Lakshmi at Taste Of Mysore. Thanks for hosting Lakshmi.

AFAM is the brainchild of Maheshwari of Beyond The Usual.