Friday, December 22, 2006

Vaingana Sagle (Stuffed Baingan)- Konkani style

Presenting before you a pucca Konkani recipe which is purely coconut based. It is one of my favourites and goes well with Chapathi(Indian bread) as well as rice and dal(as a side dish). The prerequisite for preparing this delicacy is a mixer/blender. Hence, please ensure that you have one before finalising on whether you want to try this out or not(Mostly referring to the NRI bachelors who avoid buying one in the US of A).

Cooking Tip: Choose small(Roma tomato sized)Brinjals. Slit/stuff them with the masala while the dal is being roasted and also while the Seasoning mix is getting ready on the gas stove- Again a time saver tip.

Serving size is about 3 to 4 people

Time taken: 20 -25 min

Ingredients Required:
For the stuffing:
10 to 12 blue or green small sized brinjals
Half a coconut, one handful coriander seeds, 1 to 2 tsps urad dal,
4-5 red chillies(or 1- 2 tsps red chilly powder, Quarter inch ginger,
2 finely chopped onions.
One inch sized jaggery and half a small lemon sized tamarind.

For the seasoning:

2 tsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
4-5 curry leaves.

Method of Preparation:

Roast the coriander seeds and urad dal on a plain tava till they release aroma(become light brown as well). Mix them with Grated coconut(even big chopped pieces would do since you are using a mixer), jaggery, tamarind, ginger and salt and grind to a fine paste. It is better to mix the roasted items to the paste during the last few rounds of grinding in order to obtain a smoother consistency. Add the finely chopped onions to the paste after removing it from the mixer. Check for salt and spice to ensure the taste that you want.

Then, take a wide based frying pan and pour the oil to heat. Sputter mustard seeds in it and add the curry leaves as well. While this is being done, remove the stalk of the brinjals and slit each of them longitudinally into six to eight parts lengthwise (such that each brinjal remains as a whole with several slits running down till almost the end of the base). Fill the insides of these slit brinjals with the above ground masala(paste). After the seasoning is ready, overturn these stuffed brinjals into the pan and cover for ten to fifteen minutes or until cooked.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Maavinkaai Chitranna(Raw Mango Rice)

Mango rice, the name itself is so very mouthwatering! Learnt it from my uncle who was into catering business. This typical Kannada recipe is very much similar to lemon rice, but it happens to be much more tangier and tastier than Chitranna(lemon rice). Whenever you are fed up of eating the regular dal, chaval, roti, could try this one for a change. It would surely set right your taste buds.

Serves about 4 people

Time Required: About 25-30 minutes if rice is not ready. Otherwise, it would take about 15 minutes.

Cooking Tip: If the rice has already been prepared, nothing like it, for, we would require cold rice here. However, pls ensure that the rice is cooked in such a way that the grains don't stick to each other. If you haven't prepared the rice, cook it in a separate pot while the mango mix is being made(saves your time)

Ingredients required:
For Seasoning:
5 tsps Oil, 2 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves, 5 Red chillies,
little Hing, Chana dal & urad dal half tsp each , few Groundnut seeds,
Turmeric powder half tsp.
For the pulp:
Raw Mango medium sized(Is dark green and hard to touch)

Rice(pref one with long grain) one large cup.

Method of Preparation:

Cook one cup of rice separately in a vessel such that it does not become sticky. Keep it to cool .
Heat oil in a kadai/cooking pot or pan. Sputter mustard seeds along with curry leaves in it. Add the rest of the seasoning stuff to it and stir until the dals and groundnuts turn light brown in colour. Then add the turmeric powder and mix for a few seconds.

Meanwhile, deskin the raw mango with a peeler and grate this mango. Add this grated mango to the seasoned mix and cook for about 5 minutes or so until most of the water is lost from the mango pulp(This way, we could store this pulp in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks). Add a little more salt than usual to this mix('gojju' in kannada) considering the fact that the rice would also need salt. Once this gojju cools down(in less than 2 minutes), mix this well with the cooled cooked rice. Don't forget to fry some chopped onion separately and add it to the rice for extra taste. We just had this rice for dinner. After all the heavy food we have been eating for the past few days, I must say that this is a very good change. Hope you enjoy making it and eating it as well!


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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aloo Gobi Matar.

This is a North Indian gravy item which goes with Chapati/Indian bread. Named after potatoes, caulis and peas which are the veggies added to this dish. Very yummy!!

Time taken: 20-25 minutes.
Cooking Tips: Cook the masala and the veggies in two pots separately to save time. Chop and cook veggies while masala is being cooked.

Serves about 3-4 people

For the paste:
Onions 2, garlic pods 3-4, half an inch ginger
2 green chillies,
one and a half tsp cumin and coriander powder mix.
a pinch of turmeric powder, half tsp. chilly powder,
One and a half tomatoes, a little tomato puree
half tsp garam masala.

For the curry:
Potatoes 2,
cauliflower florets- one bowl,
half to one cup of peas

Method of Preparation:

Take some oil in a pan/kadai and heat it. To this, add finely chopped green chillies. Chop onions into small cubes. Toss them in with grated garlic cloves as well as ginger into the kadai and stir for a minute or until golden brown. Add the remaining masalas in the given sequence and stir for a minute. Pour in the tomato puree along with finely diced tomatoes. Cook for two minutes. Sprinkle the garam masala towards the end in order to retain the aroma/flavour and cook very little after that (just enough to relieve it of its rawness).

In the meanwhile, simultaneously in another pot, take a little oil, warm it, and add a few sprinkles of hing to it. Toss in the chopped veggies mentioned above and cook covered on med high/med flame using half a cup water for 15 min.

When cooked, add the gravy to the cooked veggies and cover till a boil. If you'd like the gravy to be a little thicker, you could mash some of the potato pieces from the cooked vegetables. Garnish with coriander leaves. Your yummy curry is ready.


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Rava/Sooji Bhakri.

A jhatpat konkani khana which could be eaten either for breakfast or as a snack in the evenings when you are hungry enough. Covering it with a lid while cooking, makes it one of the quick to make pancakes . Rava or Sooji bhakri is basically a thick roti -like stuff which can be eaten plain without the need any side dish.

Serves about 2-3 people

Time taken: 20 minutes.

Sooji(the upma one) half a cup,
finely chopped onions 2, finely chopped green chillies 2-3,
a few dashes of hing/asafoetida, a little grated ginger, a little sugar(1 sp at the most),
salt and a little curd(optional), grated coconut(if you like it).

Method of Preparation:
Mix all the above mentioned ingredients with some water. Make a thick semi solid paste(as thick as idli batter, if you have seen it). Heat the griddle/tava on medium flame and with the help of your clean hands, tap small rounded cakes of the mixture on the tava. Pour a few drops of oil around each of these and cover them with a lid until one side is done. Overturn these bhakris and cook until both the sides are well cooked or slightly brown.


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Friday, December 15, 2006

Fried Rice

1 big cup of rice serves about 2-3 good eaters if that is the only item being made.

Time taken:Not more than 25 min.

Tips: While the onions are being

fried, cut the veggies in order to save time.


cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves,

pepper/pepper powder(green chillies if pref),

onions(1 or 2), garlic(2 pods),

1 cup rice, preferably the basmati variety for the aroma

capsicum, carrots, peas(optional), coriander leaves, cashews(opt)

Method of preparation:
Take 3-4 tsp of oil in a cooker. Don't forget to put the burner on ;) . When the .oil is warm enough, add two cloves(lavang) ,3-4 pieces of cinnamon(dalchini) and bay leaf(Tej patta). Stir with a ladle for half a min. To this, add a few pepper seeds and/or green chillies, about one or two onions which have been chopped lengthwise and grate one or two pods of garlic if you like the garlic flavour. After the onions turn golden brown, add about 1 cup of unwashed rice, preferably basmati rice and roast it a little in it until it becomes whitish. This prevents the rice from becoming soggy or sticky when cooked. Then, throw in longitudinally slit capsicums and carrots. You could add peas too(not a must). Pour about 1 and a half cups of water to this mix, some salt and pressure cook for one whistle. After one whistle, lower the flame to med or slightly lower than that and cook for 3-4 minutes. Your veggie fried rice is ready.

After opening the cooker lid, you could add one or two spoons of ghee to add flavour as per your preference. . You could add cashews too if you aren't diet conscious. Garnish finally with coriander leaves. Tastes better with raita.

P.S: To the same item, if you add boiled egg in the end instead of veggies, it becomes one form of egg fried rice.

Picture Courtesy, Vinaya Vijay Miriyala. Ain't that mouth watering??


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