Friday, November 30, 2012

Hotel Karthik with Unique Items

Hotel Karthik in Mangalore, is on the main road connecting Urva Stores to Kottara Chowki opposite Urva Police Station. This restaurant has many delectable dishes to offer. I am showcasing a few specialties they serve there.

Neerulli Baje(Onion Pakora):
Onion Pakora is a tasty addictive snack normally eaten along with evening tea. It is a very popular snack in Mangalore and every Brahmin hotel makes it perfectly! Crispy outside and soft inside, the flavours emanating and the spicy treat makes your mouth drool at each bite!

Glass Moode:
Moode is generally made with idli batter steamed in a tube made with a typical thorny cactus type leaf that grows wildly in villages. Mangalore is famous for moode. I had never seen glass moode in any other restaurant before I tasted it here. It is steamed in typical tall water tumbler and served with chutney and sambar. One must try this to know the taste!
Special Layered Coffee:
They say this is special coffee at Hotel Karthik but this is similar to Rimzim coffee served at Laxmi Vilas, Kalladka. The artistic way they make this is really unique! Try this at Karthik. It may look mild with thick creamy milk but as you mix the ring of fresh strong coffee decoction, you'll explore its divine taste!

Pundi(Undi/Rice Dumplings):
These are served with chutney and saagu at Karthik but I prefer them with sambar.
These are huge in size and contain loads of seasoning and grated fresh coconut in them. Very tasty and highly recommended for those who are calorie conscious!
Onion Oothaappa(Dosa):
Oothappa means bloated dosa or dumpling.
Cushion like Onion Oothappa is very popular in South India. One of the best Oothapams(As they call it in Tamilnadu) is made at the canteen of Vivekananda Kendra in Kanyakumari. A good oothappa has to be topped with loads of shredded onion and also well roasted. Karthik makes it exactly the way I want it. It is almost a complete meal!
Goli Baje(Mangalore Bajji):
Like the famous Mangalore Buns, Goli Baje is also a signature dish of Mangalorean Brahmins. They have perfected the art of making excellent Goli Bajes. Karthik makes this slightly different by adding chopped coconut bits. They also are very big, almost resembling Biscuit Ambade!

Benne Masale Dose(Butter Masala Dosa):
When I first heard about Karthik from a relative, he was surprised to know that I have not visited there and tasted their Masala Dosa in spite of being in close proximity to my home! I went there some years ago and straight away ordered Benne Masale Dose. It was worth it. Melting butter makes all the difference. They serve it with thick coconut chutney and hot and sweet sambar.

Avalakki Mosaru:
This is a favourite comfort breakfast in the undivided Dakshina Kannada District, my personal favourite. I can eat this for breakfast, lunch evening tea and dinner. One can find this combo rarely these days but most of the Brahmin hotels serve this. I like it at Hotel Karthik. Perfectly spicy, tangy and sweet Avalakki(phova/beaten rice) is mixed with achoorna containing grated coconut, jaggery, chillies and spices, seasoned with green chilli bits, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Fresh unsweetened yoghurt is served with this. It is a usual practice to sprinkle some sugar on the avalakki and top it with yoghurt, mix it as you go on eating it with a contented smile!
Many years ago, when we were small, restaurants in Mangalore didn't have Horlicks, Bournvita and such beverages. Traditional Kashaaya was popular. A healthy drink made with roasted spoices and whole wheat and millet, this drink keeps your stomach regulated and envigourates your mood.
I was a die hard fan of Kashaaya and I found the best one at Hotel Karthik!

Goli Baje(Mangalore Bajji)

Recipe Courtesy: Jaya V Shenoy's cook book 'Oota Upahaara'

When we were in school, when a holiday was declared for the next day, we used to shout "Naale raje...Goli Baje".

This Goli Baje which is known as Mangalore Bajji in other parts of Karnataka is a simple fried snack. If you go to any Mangalorean restaurant serving breakfast or evening snacks, you will never miss this.

Buns and Goli Baje are inseparable cousins of Mangalore, for both are dumplings off the same flour, that is maida.

Many fail to get the right results when they try to make Goli Baje. We succeeded, following Jaya V Shenoy's cook book 'Oota Upahaara' that was published in 1999.

Here I go with that version of Goli Baje or Mangalore Bajji. Chutney can be red, white or green. Depends on personal liking but the main item should come out perfect. That's our intention to highlight this ever popular Mangalorean snack item!

Maida - 2 cups
Chana(Bengal Gram) Flour - 1/2 cup
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 Tsp
Soda Bicarb - 1 Tsp
Green Chillies - 4 Chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece chopped
Salt - To taste(Approximately 1 Tsp)
Water - 1/2 cup
Oil  - For deep frying

Combine buttermilk and water.
Add salt to taste, sugar and soda bicarb.
Sift maida and chana flour.
Add the chopped green chillies and ginger, then the flour mixture and mix well.
The batter should be slightly watery but not too thin.
Keep covered for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Drop tablespoonfuls of the batter
in hot oil using your hand, preferably dipped in water and fry the baje till crisp on medium flame.
Transfer to a perforated vessel or a kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
Serve with chutney of your choice.

Variation: You may add finely chopped coconut kernel and chopped curry leaves to the batter.

Watch this video by Faltu Productions made specially for Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa featuring Anuradha Pai, Maya Rao and Kudpi Raj with voice narration - 

Malabar Restaurant, Bangalore

Some of the traditional eateries in heart of Bangalore still continue to satiate the needs of those long standing clients who grew up in areas like Akkipet, Nagarthapet, Chickpet, Balepet and Cottonpet. As you approach Upparapet Police Station from Majestic Circle(Kempegowda Circle), you will come to a junction where two roads join and lead to a small lane. This lane is well known as Balepet.
On entering  Balepet, you will come across three major landmarks as far as eating out is concerned. First one is Venkateshwara Sweets where you get the world's best Special Mysore Pak. Second is Malabar Restaurant and the third is Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan. All these three places are well reputed ones and you can se hundreds and thousands swarming around here for the tasty treats that have remained consistent since many decades.
When I worked for a Bank in Chickpet back in the Eighties, for breakfast and lunch I used to eat mostly snacks and I used to visit Sri Malabar Lodge where steaming hot idlis,vadas, tavala vadas, mohantaal, kesari bhaat, uppumav, dosas, pongal and many other dishes were available at reasonable prices. Traditionally they served them on a plate lined with plantain leaf. Those days they had only self service system with coupons.
The tradition continues today in a well furbished new setup in the same place with both self service and service sections. They have also opened a Sweets Stall outside. The name has been shortened to Malabar Restaurant.
I was in Bangalore earlier this year and I religiously visited Balepet to have my quota of goodies at Malabar Restaurant. The service room upstairs was not as crowded as the self service section. The colourful menu showed many new items. I decided to stick to my old favourites Uppumavu and Masala Dosa.

Uppumavu is  uppittu in Kannada and is served with chutney and tomato gojju here. The tangy gojju and the spicy chutney go well with the bland uppumavu. Next the Masala dosa which is way much thicker than other restaurants is softer but the stuffing is different with some red masala within the bhaji. Chutney and sambar are served along with the dosa which is quite filling. Coffee is as good as any restaurant in Bangalore with the strong aroma of freshly ground coffee beans invigorating one's mood in the morning!

Malabar Restaurant is open on all week days except on Wednesday.

Chicken Stew

Kerala is land of coconuts. It has many delicacies made using coconut and its products. Kerala Istew or Stew is one of the most popular main course dish that is normally eaten with Aapams. Chicken stew is an ultimate experience for the coconut lovers and the curry is smooth, lightly spiced and has a wonderful flavor that lingers on and on.

It can be made with a variety of vegetables, a combo of Chicken or Mutton with veggies or just meat with potatoes. It tastes equally good anyway, for the spices and the coconut milk give the dish that rich flavor.

Here is authentic Chicken Stew for you which I relished with ready to eat Kerala Parottas that are available in major stores.

Simple Chicken Stew with Kerala Parottas
Chicken - 1 kg small pieces
Potato - 1 large, peeled and cubed
Onions - 2 large, sliced
Ginger - 1" piece chopped
Garlic - 4-6 cloves, chopped
Green chillies - 6-8 slit
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cardamom - 2
Peppercorns - 6-8 whole
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Thick coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Thin coconut milk - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coconut Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Fresh Butter - 1 Tbsp
Lemon - 1

Chicken Stew with Veggies and Phulkas
Heat butter and oil in a thick bottomed pan.
Add few curry leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns, cardamom and fry.
Add chopped ginger and garlic and saute for for few secs.
Add the slit green chillies and sliced onions and fry till onions are transparent.
Add turmeric powder and stir well.
Add the chicken pieces and cook on medium flame for 10 mins.
Add the thin coconut milk and salt and mix.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 mins without cover.
Add potato cubes and cover.
Simmer till the chicken and potatoes cook and the gravy thickens.
Turn off heat add the thick coconut milk, squeeze lemon, sprinkle pepper powder and mix well.

Serve with Aapam or Parottas

Pineapple Menaskaayi

Menaskaayi is a popular Madhwa Brahmin's specialty side dish made with raw Mango or sour pineapple. Some people also make this with capsicum or long green chillies.

I like the pineapple version which is spicy sweet and tangy to taste. The flavour and smell are mouthwatering! This is one of the best curries in Udupi cuisines and here we go with Pineapple Menaskaayi.

Sour Pineapple - 500 Gms cut into small chunks
Grated coconut - 1/2 Cup
Red long chillies - 25
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Urad daal - 1 Tbsp
Fenugreek - 1 Tsp
White sesame seeds - 2 Tsp
Mustard - 1/2 Tsp
Jaggery - 50Gms grated
Coconut Oil - 2Tbsp

Roast all the dry spices and red chillies separately with little oil. Allow to cool.
Grind these along with grated coconut to a coarse paste.
Heat remaining oil in a thick bottomed vessel. add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
Now add the pineapple chunks, ground masala, grated jaggery, salt to taste and little water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer.
When pineapple pieces are tender and the masala is semi-thick, switch off the flame and serve with steaming rice and rasam.

Avare Kaalu Akki Rotti

Most of the areas in interior and North Karnataka are flooded with Cow beans(Lilva beans) or Avare Kaayi from November to February. These green beans have a distinct aroma and are a delicacy for people who know the taste. Avare Kaalu festival is held in the capital city Bangalore every year during Sankranthi. Variety of Avare Kaalu dishes are presented. In old Mysore side, people deep fry the peeled beans(Hitkavare or chitkavare) in oil and mix them with bits of copra, masala powders and fried groundnuts to make a tea time snack.

Avare Kaalu can be used in curries, soups and snacks. We get good quality Avare Kaalu from Mysore every year when our friend Nirmala Urs gets hand picked fresh beans in abundance. Meena blanches them and packs them in small portions and freezes them so that they can be used during the off season. We normally make Avare Kaalu akki rotti, uppittu, akki rave uppittu, huggi curry and pulav.

So, here's our first presentation, an avare kaalu snack which tastes great with fresh butter - Avare Kaalu Akki Rotti.

Avare Kaalu
Avare Kaalu - 1 cup boiled
Rice flour - 4 cups
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Green Chillies - 2 - 3
finely chopped  
Coriander leaves - A handful chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
Salt - To taste
Refined Oil or ghee - For roasting
Plantain leaf(Optional) - Cut into 8" squares

Akki Rotti Roasting
Combine all the ingredients and add sufficient warm water, mix into a wet but not watery batter. Check for salt.
Heat a chapathi tawa, sprinkle oil and take a handful of the batter. Spread it with gentle pats on the tawa.
If you desire, spread the batter on a greased plantain leaf square and  spread it on the hot tawa. Cover a lid.
Roast the rotti well, adding a spoonful of oil when you flip it.
Serve hot with fresh butter or Ucchellu(Niger seed) Chutney.

Avare Kaalu Akki Rotti

Chicken Xacuti

Goan cuisine is normally spicy and pungent. The excessive use of spices and Tamarind helps in digestion and also gives the dishes that extra flavor. Though Goans use dried Kokum skin and Vinegar in most of their cuisines, this one is different. I have visited Goa many times since 1970 but never had a taste of this dish.

Recently Meena tried Chicken Xacuti following a recipe passed on by a friend and it turned out excellent. Spelled ‘Shakuti’, Goan Konaknis developed this cuisine and it is found in almost all restaurants in Goa today!

Chicken without skin, cut into 12 pieces – 800Gms
Oil - 4 tablespoons
Coconut, scraped - 1 cup
Garlic - 4-6 cloves
Whole dry red chillies, broken - 4
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Black peppercorns - 10
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1 teaspoon
Carom seeds (ajwain) - 1 teaspoon
Poppy seeds (khuskhus/posto) - 2 tablespoon
Cloves - 6
Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
Star anise - 4
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Onions, chopped - 2 medium
Salt to taste
Tamarind pulp - 1 tablespoon
Nutmeg, grated - 1/4 teaspoon

Chicken Xacuti with Brown Bread
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan and lightly brown coconut and transfer into a mixer jar.
Add garlic cloves.
Dry roast red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, carom seeds, poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon and star anise till fragrant.
Add all to the coconut in the jar. Add turmeric powder and a little water and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat the remaining oil in a deep pan and sauté onions till well browned.
Add chicken and sauté on high heat for two to three minutes.
Add salt and mix.
Add the masala paste and stir well.
Add two cups of water and stir.
Add tamarind pulp and mix.
Grate some nutmeg (about ¼ teaspoon) and add.
When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for about thirty minutes or till the chicken is done.
Serve hot with boiled red rice, paav bun or with rotis.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Khaara Bhaat

Khaara Bhaat(Spicy Upma), a variant of Mangalorean Tomato Bhaat is a daily breakfast favourite in Bangalore. A combo of Khaara Bhaat and Kesari Bhaat(Sheera) called as Chow Chow Bhaat makes Bangaloreans happy and contented!

Khaara Bhaat can be made in two ways. One is the simple version with one or two basic vegetables in it, that I have shown here. Other one has Sambar powder and some amount of Garam Masala to make it spicier and more aromatic. The second version with many vegetables used as ingredients is also known as Rava Bisibele Bhaat at Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan, Balepet Bangalore.

Try this simple version. Simply a great treat for your family and guests.

Bombay Rava - 2 Cups
Fresh or boiled green peas - 1 Cup
Onions - 2 small Chopped
Tomatoes - 2 small chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Lemon - 1/2
Coriander leaves - A handful chopped
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Urad daal - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
Green chillies - 2-3 Cut into small bits
Ghee or oil - 4 Tsp
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Salt - To taste

Boil 6 cups of water and keep it simmering.
Heat 2 tsp ghee or oil in a thick bottomed kadai. Roast the rava on medium fire till aromatic. Remove and keep aside.
Wipe the kadai and dispose off the remaining rava.
Heat remaining oil and dd mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter.
Add urad daal and fry till golden. Add curry leaves and green chilies and fry till green chillies turn slightly whitish.
Now add the chopped onions and fry till transparent.
Add the green peas and fry till they are tender.
Now add the tomatoes and turmeric powder and fry till tomatoes are soft.
Add salt to taste, sugar and then the roasted rava and slowly add the boiling water while mixing the ingredients carefully.(Take care not to stand too close to the kadai, since the boiling water tends to spurt the hot mixture out of the kadai)
Allow to cook on medium flame till the rava is cooked and starts to expand.
Mix gently, remove from flame and keep aside for 5 mins. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and squeeze lemon.

Mix well and serve with coconut chutney or any namkeen of your choice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wonton Soup with Macaroni

Here's one soup that's wholesome and a meal by itself. boiled Wontons are best relished in soup and macaroni adds the Italian touch to this Chinese broth. I am sure, the entire family will love this soup that is non-spicy, healthy, tasty and filling.

Wonton Wrappers - 10-12
Mushrooms - 50 Gms
Chopped ginger - 1 Tsp
Chopped shallots - A handful
Chopped celery stalk - 1
Dark Soy sauce - 1 Tsp
Salt and Pepper
Boiled Macaroni - 1 Cup
Spring Onions - 2-3 stalks chopped
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Vegetable stock or 2 Maggi Veg cubes boiled in water - 1 Ltr
Corn Starch - 1 Tbsp mixed in 20ml water
Refined Oil - 1 Tbsp
Diluted Vinegar - 1 Tsp

Heat little oil in a wok. Stir fry the chopped ginger, mushrooms, celery and shallots. Add a dash of soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Place  a spoonful of the mushroom mixture on each wonton wrapper and fold the wontons into bag like shapes. Use little maida paste in water to seal the wontons if necessary.
Heat the same wok, add little oil, Stir fry the chopped onions and till transparent and crisp.
Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, drop the wontons one by one and allow to cook for a few minutes.
Now add the macaroni, salt and pepper to taste, corn starch mixture and vinegar. When the soup thickens, switch off the fire, add the spring onions and serve hot.

You may use cooked chopped chicken, shrimp or pork instead of mushrooms. In that case, use chicken stock.

You may add chopped blanched spinach along with wontons and macaroni.

Sticky Date Pudding

Winter months call for some dessert filled with energy. Since dates are available in abundance during the winter months, the idea of sticky date pudding came to our mind. Meena has some good recipes in collection but we found this one by Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor yummy and perfect!
Dates - 1 cup pitted and chopped
Bicarbonate of soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Boiling water - 1 cup
Butter - 90g, softened
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract -  1 teaspoon
Eggs - 2
Refined flour - 1 cup sifted
Powdered sugar - QS

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line the base of a 7cm deep rectangular cake pan.
Place dates and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Pour over boiling water. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Using a large metal spoon, fold through date mixture and flour until well combined.
Spoon mixture into prepared cake pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn onto a plate.

Cut into 3/4 inch slices, sprinkle powdered sugar on both the sides and serve with tea, coffee or juice.

Spring Chicken

Chinese cuisine is widely popular in India. Those Chinese who migrated to Mangalore in the Seventies found a firm base with regular clientele here. I remember Nanking in Milagres Complex Hampankatta and Ho-Pei in Sujatha Hotel Kodialbail, being the earliest Chinese Restaurants opened in Mangalore in the Seventies. One of the specialties both these restaurants had was their crispy golden Spring Chicken.

The name Spring Chicken is derived from the generous use of Spring Onions in it. Unlike its spicy cousins Drums of Heaven and Chicken Lollypop, this is bland and kids love this. Added flavour and taste can be achieved by dipping these in chilli vinegar, hot garlic dip, red chilli sauce and tomato ketchup while consuming.

Kebab size Chicken pieces - 500 Gms
Dark Soy Sauce - 1/2 Tsp
White Vinegar - 2 Tsp
Salt - To taste
White Pepper - 2 Tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 Tsp
Corn flour - 2 Tbsp
Refined flour - 2 Tbsp
Chopped Spring Onions - 2-3 sprigs
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp(Optional)
Green Chilli - 1 chopped(Optional)
Refined Vegetable Oil - For deep frying

Combine vinegar, salt, soy sauce, 1 tsp white pepper powder and ginger garlic paste.
Marinate the chicken pieces for 1-2 hours in this mixture.

Make a thick smooth batter with corn flour, maida, 1 tsp white pepper powder, sugar, salt to taste and baking soda.
Mix in the chopped spring onions and chopped green chilli.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan, dip the chicken pieces in the maida corn flour batter and deep fry till the batter forms a crust.
Drain excess oil and t
ransfer into a colander.
Allow to cool for 15-20 mins and re-fry them in hot oil till crisp and golden.
Serve with red chilly sauce and tomato ketchup.

You may substitute chicken with small chunks of paneer, mushroom, capsicum or cauliflower.
In that case, mix all the ingredients in the maida corn flour batter, dip the pieces and deep fry them.
Take care while using mushrooms, since they contain high water content.

Andhra Chilli Chicken

For non-vegetarians who love Andhra food justice is not fully done unless all or some of the following dishes are not relished in an authentic Andhra style restaurant.

Chicken/Mutton Biryani, Chicken '65, Chicken/Mutton Roast and the deadly hot spicy dish Chicken Chilli are world famous and Bangalore leads in authentic Andhra style restaurants with RR Hotel being the pioneer when started in the Seventies, followed by Annapoorna, Navayug, Amaravathi, Nagarjuna and the recent rage Nandini Deluxe.

Andhra Chilli chicken may vary in taste from place to place but I still remember the authentic one tasted at a household in Indiranagar Bangalore in 1980 where a doctor friend hosted me lunch and his mother made the best chilli chicken that day! I am a fan of spicy food and the heat generated in the body after consuming this Andhtra Chilli Chicken is so intense, sweat starts trickling down from the head and the mouth feels like active volcano!

Keep a big glass of chilled curds or buttermilk ready as you conquer this deadly Andhra Chilly Chicken. Those with hyper acidity or heartburn issues, please avoid this dish. The quantity of chillies and pepper can be varied according to taste. Some recipes have cloves cinnamon and other dry spices as additives but I like the dish as I have prepared here.

Chicken without skin - 1 KG cut into medium size pieces
Green Chillies - 20-25(10-12 coarsely ground and rest slit lengthwise)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tablespoon
Lemon - 1
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Refined Oil - 2 Tablespoon
Pepper powder - 2-4 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Kalova Seeds Optional(Tirphal) - 4-6 soaked and ground along with green chillies
Salt - To taste

Marinate chicken with salt, half the quantity of pepper, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, half lemon juice and ground paste for 3-4 hours.
Heat oil and fry slit green chillies till transparent. Remove and keep aside.
Now fry chopped onions till golden.
Add the marinated chicken and fry till oil leaves the sides. Transfer to a pressure cooker in a steel bowl. Don't add water. Pressure cook for 5-10 mins.
Transfer to the original pan and add the fried green chillies, remaining pepper and half lemon juice. Mix well and simmer for 5 mins. 

Andhra Chilli Chicken is ready.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tongue Tickling Appe Midi Pickle by Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath

Those who have seen the Malnad regions of Shimoga district or parts of Uttara Kannada and Udupi Districts must have come across a peculiar pungent kind of whole tender mango pickle. Appe Midi is the variety of mango that is a must in most of the houses in Malnad. This pickle is freshly prepared and stocked in the months of may and June before the monsoons start
A meal without Appe Midi pickle is incomplete in Malnad region. The tongue tickling wicked tang of the tender mango and the divine aroma of the masala blended with the latex of salted Appe Midi takes one into a heavenly trance even after completing the meal! Some even eat it directly and many like to have it with steaming hot Congi, curd rice, dosas or idlis.

Tender Appe Midis are hand picked by expert gardeners, they are washed and wiped dry to eliminate dust and impurities, mixed with powdered rock salt and allowed to marinate for a week when the mangoes ooze out the clear latex sap that gets mixed with the salt to make the brine base for the masala. Sun dried red long Byadgi chillies are ground with fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric and asafotoeda in calculated quantities to make the masala paste. The marinated mangoes are mixed with the masala and the pickle is ready for consumption in two weeks.
There are many varieties of Appe Midi. In my home town Nagara(Bidanoor), 84Kms from Shivamogga, we used to have ceramic clay jars full of Appe Midi pickle and also used to distribute it among the relatives and friends when I was young. The nearest town Ripponpet has orchards specially cultivated with Appe Midi trees that yield the finest tender mangoes in the high season. The weather and the soil conditions decide the texture and taste of these tender mangoes. Mostly these trees grow on the river banks.

Rekha Ramakrishna, proprietor of RR Pickles in Ripponpet has her own orchard yielding good variety of Appe Midi and she makes the best Appe Midi pickle using pure spices under hygeinic condition and markets them in sealed PET bottles and jars. She has two kinds of whole mango pickles, Appe Midi and Jeerige Midi. These are priced seasonally depending on the cost of productiion and availability of tender mangoes in the season. Some make this pickle adding sesame oil and spices like cloves but Rekha does not add those ingredients and makes them like grandma used to make!

Rekha Ramakrishna of RR Pickles
Now I am settled in Mumbai but I visit my home town at least twice a year. Most of our family members have migrated to bigger cities or foreign countries and no one at home makes them Appe Midi pickles anymore. Whenever I go there, I make it a point to buy a few bottles of Appe Midi pickles for myself and my friends.

Try them to get the real taste of them. Once eaten, forever smitten!


Mrs Rekha Ramakrishna (Phone: 08185 242739 Mob: 09448884761)
Near Shiva Mandir, Shivamogga Road,
Ripponpet 577426(Hosanagar Tq)
Shivamogga District, Karnataka State

Further reading:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath

Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath from Mumbai has joined Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa and from now on she will regularly contribute articles on traditions and traditional as well as health food.

Anuradha hails from the historical town of Nagar in Shivamogga district. Having her schooling and College education in Nagar, She joined Canara Bank in 1972 as Clerk/Telex Operator and has worked for 36 years in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Mumbai. She has settled down in Ghatkopar Mumbai after retirement in 2008. Her two daughters Supriya and Sulekha have married and settled happily.

Anuradha is a happy go lucky person who has passion for singing, acting, travel, music, drama, reading writing, cooking and making craft from waste materials like paper and plastic. She cooks mainly healthy traditional dishes and makes soups salads and sweets with pure ingredients for a healthy and happy living.

Welcome Anuradha Kamath. Garam Tawa awaits culinary treats from your kitchen to entice our discerning readers!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ginger Prawns Indian Style

Among the seafood delicacies, Prawns are exotic tasty and nutritious. Easy to cook and of late due to prawn farming, cost effective as well. Prawns can be adapted in various recipes. I've found this recipe not only popular but it leaves a memory of fine dining that lingers on and on.....

Shelled de-veined jumbo prawns - 500gms marinated with salt pepper and vinegar for 2-4 hours in the fridge
Brown onion paste - 2 Tbsp(Sliced onions shallow fried with little oil till brown and ground to a fine paste in the mixer blender.)
Ginger paste - 1 Tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 Tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Tomato puree - 2 Tbsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 Tsp
Dhania powder - 1/2 Tsp
Kasoori methi - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Refined oil - 25 Ml
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Lemon wedges(Optional)

Ginger Prawns and Mushroom Pulav
Shallow fry the prawns in little oil with little turmeric powder and Kashmiri chilly powder till slightly cooked. Remove and keep aside.
Heat remaining oil, fry the brown onion paste, ginger garlic paste, salt, all the powders and kasoori methi till oil leaves the sides.
Add sugar and tomato puree and fry till raw smell disappears.
Add the prawns, mix well and fry for 2 mins with masala, cover, simmer for 2 mins or till prawns are cooked and the gravy is thick.
Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves and lemon wedges.

Goes well with steamed plain Basmati Rice, Rotis, parathas or ghee rice.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Chinese Chilli Chicken

Recipe courtesy:

If you go to any Chinese Restaurant and think about which starter chicken dish to order, the first name that comes to mind or you find mostly on the menu is invariably Chilli Chicken! This dish is so popular like its cousin Chicken Manchurian, every kid, every youngster, every adult having tasted Chinese cuisine knows this dish. Though there are ready mixes available to prepare this dish, nothing like freshly prepared Chilli Chicken! The flavours are unique when you prepare it on high flame in your home. Here we go.....

Boneless Chicken cut into cubes - 400 gms
Cornflour/ corn starch - 2 1/2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Black peppercorns,crushed - 1/2 teaspoon
Egg - 1
Oil - 1 tablespoon + to deep fry
Green chillies,sliced - 6-8
Garlic - 8-10 cloves chopped
Onions - 2 medium diced
Green capsicums - 2 medium cut into thick strips(Optional)
Dark soy sauce - 2 tablespoons
Red chilli sauce - 2 tablespoons
Chicken stock - 1 cup or little more
Diluted Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
Onion shoot - a handful chopped

Chilli Chicken sauce sizzling
Chilli Chicken Ready
Take chicken pieces in a bowl. Add half the cornflour, salt, crushed black peppercorns, egg, a little dark soya sauce and mix.
Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep fry the chicken pieces till golden. Take care not to overcook. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in another wok. Add garlic and sauté for half a minute. Add green chillies and continue to sauté. Add onion, green capsicum and sauté.
Add the remaining dark soya sauce, red chilli sauce and stir. Add a little chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil.
Blend the remaining cornflour in a little stock. Add blended cornflour and mix. Bring that to a boil.
Add fried chicken pieces to the wok and toss. Add salt and cook for a minute. Add vinegar and stir.
If you want gravy add some more stock and let it come to a boil. Garnish with chopped onion shoot.

Serve hot as a starter or as side dish with choice of fried noodles or fried rice.

Andhra Chicken Dry

Among the starter/side dishes in Andhra, the ever popular Chicken '65, the deadly Chilly Chicken and the scrumptious Chicken Roast are widely popular. Here is one more dish to tickle your taste buds. Andhra Chicken Dry. This is perhaps Andhra's answer to our Mangalorean Chicken Sukha!

I had tasted this dish long ago in Mysore where I had a neighbour Nagappa from Ananthpur who was expert in cooking and he made this dish many times in his room. I feel lucky that I found the recipe online after many years of search to find proper one.

Squeeze that generous bit of lemon and consume it. Just carries you into a feeling of total bliss!

1. Broiler chicken - 1.5KG bird skin removed and cut into small pieces
2. Pepper and salt to taste
3. Lemon - 1/2
4. Ghee - 20 Ml
5. Refined Oil - 20 Ml
6. Coriander seeds - 2 Tsp
7. Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
8. Fennel seeds(Saunf) - 2 Tsp
9. Poppy seeds - 2 Tsp
10. Cloves - 6
11. Cinnamon - 2" stick
12. Peppercorn - 1 Tsp
13. Onions - 3 Big Sliced
14. Coconut - 1/2 grated
15. Tomatoes - 3 Big chopped
16. Ginger - 2" piece
17. Garlic - 10-12 cloves
18. Coriander leaves - 25 Gms
19. Mint leaves - A handful
20. Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
21. Kashmiri Chilli powder - 2 Tsp
22. Tamarind - extract of a small ball(Optional)
23. Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Marinate chicken pieces with pepper, salt and lemon juice for 2-3 hrs in the fridge.
Dry roast ingredients 6-12 and powder them as finely as possible.
Roast onion slices with little oil till brown.
Make two equal portions.
Grind the roasted powder and one portion of roasted onions along with ingredients 14-22 till smooth.
Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel. Roast the marinated chicken pieces till they are tender. Remove and keep aside.
Heat oil and fry curry leaves followed by the ground masala till oil leaves the sides and masala is well browned. Add salt to taste, add the cooked chicken pieces with its juices, mix well, cover and cook till dry and done.
Garnish with brown onions and serve with lemon wedges.

Goes well with rice, roti, phulkas, parathas, idlis, aapams or bread.

Katta Mandige - A Premium Jain Sweet

Katta in local Tulu dialect means rice soup and Mandige means folds rolls or layers in North Karnataka Kannada as far as I am given to understand. Mandige is a sweet popular in Hyderabad Karnataka and the Jains settled in undivided South Kanara District mastered and popularised this centuries ago.
I was living in a Jain neighborhood in Ballalbagh Mangalore for 16 years since 1958 and I had a taste of this sweet then made in rural places around Karkala. The Bunt Jains are experts in making these tissue thin crepes with powdered sugar and pure ghee within the layers.

Traditionally, a special metallic thick stone is heated on wood fire and a thin layer of rice soup is spread. It gets dry and before it gets roasted, they remove that wafer thin sheet, place it on a flat surface and sprinkle powdered sugar and drizzle it with melted pure ghee. Another sheet is laid over this and the process is repeated till many layers are formed.Then they fold the mattress of these sheets and cut them into small strips or chunks and serve them at special occasions. Feast at most of the Jain weddings is incomplete without this sweet dish.

Padival's Restaurant in Moodabidri still sells Katta Mandige commercially but is mostly made with hydrogenated vegetable oil with a hint of ghee, for the cost of production is too high.

Here's Katta Mandige from Padival's Restaurant for those whom this delicacy is lesser known or unseen or even heard of before, the rare and premium Jain sweet.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey by Queenie Mendonca

Thanksgiving is not complete without a Turkey for most Americans.  The main dish on Thanksgiving Day is ‘Turkey’.  So, some call Thanksgiving Day as 'Turkey Day.'  On Thanksgiving Day, Americans give thanks for the blessings of the past year. They feast, celebrate, and play games.
The first thanksgiving feast was celebrated for three days in the fall of 1621, at the end of the harvest by the Pilgrims.  George Washington is the first president to proclaim the first 'National Day of Thanksgiving' in 1789.  Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Sarah Josepha Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated with family and about 40 million people travel state to state to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, which creates jam in the airports and roads.

Normally private offices are closed on Thursday and Friday, whereas, most of the Government offices are open on Friday.  Many stores have massive discount sale day after

Thanksgiving and it is called black Friday.  Many people camp out as early as 3am  before the store opens to buy the special discounted and limited items.

Pumpkin pie is one of the desserts eaten on Thanksgiving Day.  Keeping pumpkin and turkey in mind, I decided to carve a pumpkin.  Having a shortfall of pumpkin this year, I was not able to find any pumpkin.  Not knowing what to carve for Thanksgiving without a pumpkin, finally, the following idea came to my mind.  First thing came to my mind was carrots and orange, and I decided to create my own Turkey!!

I have used one orange, 12 baby carrots, two raspberries, one garlic clove, and toothpicks.

First I cut one baby carrot into three small circles. To one of the circle, using a toothpick I attached a piece of garlic clove to form a beak and using a marker, I drew eyes on the carrot, right above the beak.  I attached a piece of raspberry using a toothpick, right below the circle face that slides on the neck to represent the wattle.  Using a toothpick, I attached seven baby carrots to form a tail feather, which looks like a fan, and one carrot in the front to form a neck.  I attached two carrots to form leg and two circles that I had cut and kept aside to represent feet.  Finally, I attached the face to the neck and one raspberry to top of the circled face to make a hat.

Wishing all of you Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lemon Grass Juice by Veena Bhaktha

Lemon grass has medicinal as well as cooling properties. It is used widely in Thai recipes and in concoctions for whooping cough and recovery from bad cold. I have found one more use of Lemon grass in my ancestral home in the remote village of Hosmath in DK District. It is a refreshing aromatic juice with the tang of lemon and richness of Vitamin C.

If consumed regularly, kids will develop better resistance for diseases and also be hale and pink. A good restorative in the cold winter months!

Lemon Grass - Half of what is shown in the image
Sugar - 8 teaspoons
Juice of 1 Lemon
Salt - A pinch

Chop lemon grass, add Sugar and salt with 5 glasses of cold water and blend it in a mixer
Filter the contents add lemon juice and serve it cold.


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