Monday, December 24, 2012

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake by Queenie Mendonca

Its Christmas time. Many people probably must be in shopping malls looking for a beautiful gifts for their beloved, while someone else is making a festive dinner for the family to rejoice and celebrated the spirit of Christmas!

Want to experience a sweet explosion in the mouth? Try this!

Some years back I remember eating this really delicious, decadent Molten Lava Cake at Chilli’s. It was at that moment I decided that I want to make this 'at home' so I could relish it every time I wanted it and whenever I wanted it. This desire pushed me to create this wonderful recipe. So all you people who are out to impress your loved ones, go ahead and bake this one, I’m sure you wont be disappointed.

Here's presenting the scrumdiliumcious Molten Lava Chocolate Cake.... Dig in guys!

For the cake:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter to brush the ramekins
1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the fillings and toppings:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (or semi sweet chocolate)
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Caramel sauce, for drizzling (optional)
Vanilla ice cream

Have all the ingredients?? Then what are you waiting for...


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush four 10-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin cups (I used five 7-ounce ramekins) with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Dust the molds with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; set aside.

Combine the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter and the sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed.

Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and the vanilla; beat 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl.

Add 1 egg and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed, then add the remaining egg and beat 1 more minute.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the hot milk mixture. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula until combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling each slightly more than three-quarters of the way.

Transfer the molds to a baking sheet and bake until the tops of the cakes are domed and the centers are just barely set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; let the cakes cool until they pull away from the molds, about 30 minutes.

Assemble it...

Fill it:
Microwave the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to melt, total 1 minute, 30 seconds. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reheat before using, if necessary.

Use the tip of a paring knife to gently loosen the cakes from the molds, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board. Use the knife to cut a 1 1/2-inch circle on the top of each cake, cutting almost to the bottom.
Hollow out the cake with a spoon; save the scraps. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap or without wrap and microwave until steaming, about 1 minute.

Drizzle plates with caramel (optional), then unwrap the cakes and place on top. Pour about 3 tablespoons filling into each cake.
Close the hole with a cake scrap. Save or discard any remaining scraps.
Top each cake with a scoop of ice cream.  Spoon more chocolate sauce on top, spreading it thin so it hardens into a shell.
Enjoy! Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Cake by Vinaya Pai

First of all, I heartily thank Rammohan Pai and Vinaya Pai for being our guests in the blog.

My friend Rammohan Pai and his wife Vinaya Pai make this cake every year to return favours or to share and celebrate the joy of the season! The Pai family hails from Mangalore and now happily settled in Milwaukee USA.
Watch the two part video in which Mrs Pai meticulously demonstrates how to make the cake, while Mr Pai explains each step to follow with excellent video coverage!
Part 1

The complete list of ingredients and process is here :
2 1/4 Cup of Sultanas
1 1/2 Cup of Raisins
1 1/2 Cup of Currants
3/4 Cup of Glazed Cherries
1/2 Cup of Orange and Lemon Peels
1/4 Cup of Glazed Pine Apples
1/4 Cup of Dried and Cut Apricots
1 1/2 cup of Butter
1 cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of Rum/Brandy
5 Eggs lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon of Molasses
1 3/4 Cup of Plain Flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water

Put all fruits in a heavy bottom pan, add the butter, brown sugar, brandy/rum and water.
In medium heat stir until the butter melts, bring it to a boil in medium heat still and let it simmer for about 15 minutes in low heat.
Remove the pan and let it cool to room temperature and leave it overnight.
Don’t refrigerate.
Next day add beaten eggs, molasses, flour, baking powder to the fruit mix and mix it well.
Grease 9x11 pan,(or line with wax paper-optional ), fill upto 1/2, sprinkle cut almonds on the top.
Bake it in the oven for 1 hour 10 min at 300 degree F.
Allow it to cool and cut into pieces.

 Part 2
At the end they also show the Chocolate chip cookies they made which is their daughter Preethi's favourite.

Pandi Curry(Coorgi Pork Curry) by Munjandira Appaiah Venu

Merry Christmas viewers! Here is the authentic Coorgi Pork Curry, Pandi Curry by MA Venu for all the viewers, a special dish presented for Christmas.

About the author: Munjandira Appaiah Venu (MA Venu) was my colleague in Syndicate Bank. He is good at traditional Coorgi  recipes. He and his wife Ponnamma(Who works for Corporation Bank) have settled in Mangalore with their son Vipul Belliappa who is doing Engineering. I have tasted Venu's home made excellent Pandi Curry at least a dozen times over the years!

- Kudpi Raj

We Kodavas are known for exotic living style. We have grown with the nature and our main line is growing Coffee. We make use of natural produce and cook our food the traditional way. Coorg is a small district with many coffee estates and some also offer home stay since a few years, Many have joined the Army to serve for the Country, not forgetting the son of Coorg our own Field Marshal K M Cariappa, the first Chief of Indian Army.

The modern style of living has not taken away the beauty of our traditional life. The main three festivals, Kailmuhurtha or Kailpodh, Kaveri Sankramana and Huthri or Puthri are still celebrated with grandeur. We are brave but friendly race who mix with any class creed and religion people and believe in co-existence. The cultural exchange has brought us even closer to the vegetarian Hindus whose dishes we not only relish but prepare at home as well. My friend Kudpi Raj is fond of Pandi Curry and Akki Rotti and on his request I am presenting this dish Pandi Curry for the viewers as special recipe for Christmas.

Pandi Curry
We make Pandi Curry traditionally using the black vinegar Kachampuli which has a high degree of pungency with medicinal values. Kachampuli is concocted from a sour fruit called Kodampuli. It is prepared in such a careful way, the vinegar can be kept at room temperature without losing its taste and flavour for years together, if kept in a dry cool place in air tight jars or bottles. The kachampuli we get commercially is often adulterated and made with synthetic vinegar mixed with tamarind extract!
Pandi Curry Cooked in Earthen Pot
During the British Raj days, the Imperials used to hunt wild boar and their cooks mostly being Coorgis used to prepare Pandi Curry for them. Now since hunting is banned, we make this dish with typical Country Pig meat available in Coorg. This meat has less fat and the flesh is red unlike the farm pig meat which is pink and contains more fat. Without fat, this dish has less flavour, so please keep it in mind when you choose the pork. It should be meaty with a thin layer of fat.
Pandi Curry with Kadambuttu
Pandi Curry is served with Akki Rotti(Pathiri) that we make by mashing left over cooked rice, mixed with rice flour, roasting the rotti on flame without oil. The rottis made thus are soft, have a nice flavour and smokey taste. Apart from Akki Rotti, we also make Kadambuttu, or rice dumplings that also go well with the dish. Kudpi Raj has experimented with their special Undis and neer dose as well and said they taste equally good. You can also have it with aapam, bread, dry chapathis or phulkas.

1. Pork - 1 Kg
2. Red Chilly Powder - 2 Teaspoon
3. Turmeric Powder - 1 Teaspoon
4. Salt - To taste
5. Coriander Seeds - 4 Teaspoon
6. Cumin seeds - 1 Teaspoon
7. Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
8. Black Pepper corns - 2 Teaspoon
9. Madras Onions or shallots - 100Gms chopped
10. Green Chillies - 8-10 chopped
11. Ginger - 2 inch piece
12 Garlic - 10-12 Cloves
13. Coriander leaves - A handful chopped
14. Curry Leaves
(Optional) - 2 Sprigs
15. Refined Oil - 2-3 Teaspoon
16. Kachampuli - 1 Teaspoon

Pandi Curry with Neer Dosa
Clean, wash and cut the pork into small pieces.
Apply red chilli powder, salt and Turmeric powder, keep aside.
Dry roast the spices 5-8 one by one, till they all turn dark roasted but not burnt.
Dry grind in a mill to make a fine masala powder, which resembles coffee powder.
Coarsely grind or pound ingredients 9-13 to a rough chutney.
Heat 2 Teaspoon oil in a thick bottomed vessel. I prefer earthen pot for that extra flavour.
Fry curry leaves(Optional) followed by the ground chutney.
Fry till brown.
Add the marinated pork, little water, cover and cook till the pork is almost done.
Now add 2 teaspoon masala powder and Kachampuli. Check for salt. Cook further on slow fire for 5-10 mins.
Serve hot with akki rotti, kadambuttu, aapam or neer dosa.

Pandi Curry with Undi and Bread

Note: If you don't get Kachampuli, you may substitute that with a spoonful of brown vinegar and a spoon of tamarind extract.

Baked Bangude(Mackerels Baked)

Recipe courtesy: Saraya S Hegde's Cook Book 'Mangalorean Cuisine'

Mackerel is the most common fish available and consumed as staple food in the undivided coastal district of Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka State. Bunts are pioneers in fish and meat preparations with spicy tangy masalas.

Baked Bangude is one such preparation that is made with an aromatic spicy tangy masala coated on the fish and baked in an oven or in a thick bottomed vessel on slow fire. This consumes less oil and is a healthy alternative for fried fish. The fish thus gets infiltrated with all the goodness of the masala and becomes stiff and dry, tastes heavenly and goes well with brown rice Congi or with fish curry rice.

1. Bangude Fish(Mackerels) - 12
2. Red short chillies - 25-30
3. Coriander seeds - 2 Tbsp
4. Cummin seeds - 1 Tsp
5. Fenugreek seeds - 1 Tsp
6. Caraway seeds(Oama) - A pinch(Optional)
7. Peppercorns - 2 Tsp
8. Turmeric powder - 2 Tsp
9. Garlic - 6-8 Flakes
10. Tamarind - Size of 3 small lemons
11. Salt - To taste
12. Asafotoeda(Hing) - A pinch(Optional)
13. Green Chillies - 10-12 chopped(Optional)
14. Ginger - 2" piece chopped
15. Garlic - 1 full pod crushed
16. Coconut oil - 4 Tsp

Roast masala ingredients from 2 to 7 and then grind together with ingredients from 8 to 11 to a fine paste, adding as little water as possible.
Add a pinch of hing if you desire while grinding. Keep this masala aside.
Mix the chopped green chillies, ginger and garlic in coconut oil. Add this to the masala.
Clean the mackerels and make 2-3 horizontal slits on both sides of each.
Coat the mackerels with the masala and keep them in a flat greased vessel and bake them at 150° C for 15-20 mins or so, till done.
We arranged them on a nonstick pan, covered and cooked them on low flame till done.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chicken Croquettes

Pics by: Prakash Kamath Kanthavar

It was in the year 1983 that I visited Hotel Windsor Manor in Bangalore for the first time. Sitting in Nelson Room with my colleague on a lazy summer evening, we ordered for chilled Lager and asked the steward what goes well with it as a starter.

He suggested Chicken Croquettes and we certainly enjoyed the crisp cigar shaped goodies with sweet and spicy mint chutney and ketchup. By the time we ordered for main course, we had already gobbled up three plates of Chicken Croquettes and washed them down with 2 bottles of chilled lager each!

Over the years, I have tried them at many big restaurants but I always remember the perfect Chicken Croquettes that I had eaten at The Windsor Manor.

Other day, we had some relatives for dinner and I told my wife, let's make Chicken Croquettes as one of the starters. We had a recipe book in which that dish was there but looking at the ingredients, I was little doubtful if it will turn out as good as the ones I had tasted for the first time. With little variation, we could come very close to the original but still not the same, though quite tasty and crisp!

This one is easy to prepare and is a sure hit with the guests, especially youngsters. We had made about 90 croquettes that were consumed by our guests within a jiffy!

Let me show you how we made Chicken Croquettes that go well with sweet and spicy Mint Chutney.

Ingredients for Chicken Croquettes:
1. Minced Chicken                                        200 Gms
2. Mashed Potatoes                                        200 Gms
3. Ginger-Garlic paste                                    1Tsp
4. Green Chilly                                               1 Minced
5. Onion                                                          1 Small minced 
6. Coriander Leaves                                        A handful chopped
7. Red Chilli Powder                                       1 Tsp 
8. White Pepper powder                                  1/2 Tsp
9. Garam Masala powder                                 1/2 Tsp
10. Lime juice                                                  1 Tsp
11. Salt                                                             To taste
12. Bread Crumbs                                            Sufficient
13. Egg Yoke(Optional)                                  1 Egg Beaten well.
14. Refined Vegetable oil                                For deep frying
1. Mix ingredients 1-11 and keep in the refrigerator for one hour.
2. Make croquettes of equal size (Almost the size of index finger).
3. For faster preparation, dip in egg white; roll in bread crumbs and deep fry in hot oil under medium flame till golden brown and crisp.
4. If you are not using egg, roll the croquettes in bread crumbs, arrange them in a tray with layers of paper, keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours and then deep fry in hot oil.
5. Serve with Mint Chutney.
6. Should make around 90-100 Croquettes.
Ingredients for Sweet and Spicy Mint Chutney:
1. Mint leaves                              A Handful
2. Coriander leaves                      A Handful
3. Onion                                       1 Medium
4. Green Chilly                             1 - 2
5. Jaggery or Dates                       25 Gms
6. Tamarind                                  Cherry sized ball
7. Jeera powder                             1 Tsp
8. White Pepper Powder               1/2 Tsp
9. Green Tomato                           1 Small (Optional)
10. Salt                                          To taste

Grind all the ingredients in a blender to a fine paste adding little water if necessary.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Avare Kaalu Huggi

Huggi is nothing but rice Pongal or Khichdi in a dry consistency. It is made with Moong daal and rice as two main ingredients, seasoned with Cumin seeds and crushed black Peppercorns. Huggi tastes better when boiled Avare Kaalu is mixed with it while cooking. This is a healthy meal which is recommended to even patients recovering from indigestion or fever.

Avare Kaalu Huggi is very popular in Old Mysore province of Karnataka and with this dish, we come to the end of this year's Avare Kaalu special dishes.

Huggi with curd and pickle
Avare Kaalu - 1/2 Cup Boiled with little salt and drained
Moong Daal - 1 Cup
Raw rice - 1 Cup
Cashew bits - A handful
Peppercorns - 1 Tsp coarsely crushed
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp coarsely crushed
Green Chillies - 2 sliced(Optional)
Turmeric Powder - A pinch
Grated coconut - 1/2 Cup
Salt - To taste
Oil or ghee - 1 Tbsp

Boiled Avare Kaalu
Wash Rice and Moong Daal. Soak in enough water for 15 Mins.
In a thick bottomed kadai, heat ghee/oil. Fry cashew bits with crushed cumin seeds and peppercorns till the cashew bits turn golden.
Add green chilles and fry till they turn whitish. Add turmeric powder and 5 Cups of water. Bring to a boil.
Now add the grated coconut, salt to taste and the soaked rice and daal. Mix well, cover and simmer.
When the rice and daal are almost cooked, add the boiled avare Kaalu and allow the huggi to become thick and dry.
Serve with happalam, pappadam or with choice of pickle and curd.

Huggi with Potato Happalams

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chicken Manchurian with Gravy

Chicken Manchurian is another popular chinese side dish normally prepared with or without gravy. If you want to eat it as a starter, make it dry and if you wnat it as accompaniment with fried rice or noodles, make it with sufficient hot and sweet sauce.

This is easy to cook and very very sweet, spicy, tangy and tasty.

Boneless Chicken - 200Gms cubed
Pepper powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - To taste
Diluted Vinegar - 1Tsp
Dark Soy sauce - 1 Tsp
Corn flour - 1 Tbsp + 1Tbsp dissolved in 30Ml water
Maida - 1 Tbsp
Chicken Stock - 200Ml(1 Maggi cube in 200Ml boiling water)
Tomato Ketchup - 1 Tsp
Refined Oil
Garlic - 6-8 cloves chopped
Green Chillies - 2 Chopped
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Onion shoot - A handful chopped

Marinate chicken in 1 tsp pepper, salt, vinegar and little soy sauce for 2-3 hrs in the fridge.
Heat oil in a kadai, dust the marinated chicken pieces with corn flour and maida mixture and deep fry till crisp and golden.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/frying pan. Fry the garlic and green chillies, add soy sauce and sugar, then add the corn starch solution and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil. Add little tomato ketchup and mix well.
When the sauce sizzles, add the fried chicken and roll well to glaze and coat all the pieces firmly. allow to boil for 2 mins, taking care not to burn the pieces.
Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with freshly chopped onion shoot.
Goes well with fried rice or noodles.

Note: You may also add one chopped onion and an inch of chopped ginger along with garlic and green chillies while frying.

Sweet Khichdi

Also known as Sweet Pongal, this is a popular South Indian sweet made for festivals and functions. The real taste of sweet khichdi can be attained by mixing in a spoonful of fresh ghee, topped with banana discs. Khichdi can also be relished with Urad Maida or Urad Rice Dasa.
Sweet Khichdi with Urad Rice Dosa
This is my personal favourite. We followed Jaya V Shenoy's cook book 'Oota Upaahaara' but the quantity of sugar has been reduced a bit here as we like it less sweeter. We also used broken wheat(Dalia) in place of rava and added roasted cashew bits for better taste. Today is Shashti at Manjeshwar and Sweet Khichdi is made at many homes this day to celebrate the festival.
Broken Wheat(Or thick rava) - 1 Cup
Chana Daal - 1/2 Cup
Coconut(Medium size) - 1/2, grated
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee - 6-8 Teaspoon
Cardamom powder - 1/2 Tsp
Raisins - A handful
Cashew bits(Optional) - A handful roasted with little ghee

Roast the chana daal till slightly browned. Wash and keep aside.
Roast broken wheat/rava with 3 teaspoon ghee and keep aside.
Cook chana daal with 3/4 cup water till soft. Add rava and cook till done.
Add sugar and keep stirring.
Once sugar has melted and the mass keeps boiling, add grated coconut and mix.
When the khichdi gets thickened, add the remaining ghee, cardamom powder raisins and roasted cashew bits.

Garnish with banana discs as shown in the picture.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pistachio Pineapple Delight by Queenie Mendonca

A meal isn't complete without a desert. This desert is very light, easy, and takes about 10 minutes to prepare (if you have all the ingredients ready). This is one of my kids favorite all time dessert.
Crushed Pineapple in juice - 550Gms(1x20oz can)
Pistachio - Instant pudding & pie filling - 100Ml(1x3.4oz)
Cool whip - 450Gms( 2x8 oz or 1x16oz box)
Chopped walnuts - 1 Cup
Colored or white miniature marshmallow - 2 Cups (optional)
In a bowl combine crushed pineapple with juice and Pistachio pudding. Mix well. 
Fold in cool whip, marshmallow and walnuts.  
You can serve this desert immediately or refrigerate for one hour before serving.

Bread Masala(South Indian)

Those who have visited Diana Restaurant in Udupi might have tried their Bread Masala. Someone asked me if I have tried it. I frankly admitted that I have not seen that dish as my preference always goes to have their excellent Idli Sambar, Masala Dosa, Poori Dhingri Masala and of course the inimitable Cutlets!

When I was a bachelor, bread used to be the staple breakfast food. Bread butter jam, bread omlette, bread sandwich....then with some idea I came out with Bread Masala with a South Indian touch. I don't know if this is the same they serve at Diana but I guarantee you, this one is a tasty snack.

Plain bread - 8 slices cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Urad Daal - 1/2 Tsp
Curry leaves - A sprig
Oil - 2 Teaspoon
Onion - 1 big chopped
Green Chillies - 2 Chopped
Tomatoes - 2 small chopped
Sambar powder - 2 Teaspoon
Tamarind extract/Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon(Optional)
Salt - To taste
Coriander leaves - A handful chopped

Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep pan.Prepare a seasoning with mustard seeds, urad daal and curry leaves.
Add chopped green chillies and onion. Fry till onion turns transparent.
Add sambar powder and salt to taste, followed by chopped tomatoes. Fry well till tomatoes are mushy.
Optionally add the tamarind extract or lemon juice if you want the dish more tangy.
Now add the bread chunks, mix well, allow the juices to infiltrate into the bread, at the same time roasting the pieces by tossing them over high flame.
Serve garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Avare Kaalu Fry

Avare Kaalu(Lilva Bean) has another use in making a starter dish Avare Kaalu fry which goes well with cocktails, mocktails and juices. When I was in Bangalore there was this Ramda Pub on Church Street Museum Road junction where they served Green Peas Fry with drought beer. I liked it so much, I tried cooking the snack at home and succeeded.

Last year, when we got Avare Kaalu in abundance from Mysore, I tried Avare Kaalu Fry using the same recipe. Very tasty, easy to make, healthy, low on fat, full of proteins and vitamins. I recommend this dish to all the lovers of Avare Kaalu.

Avare Kaalu - 1 Cup boiled with little salt
Oil - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - A few
Onion - 1 chopped or thinly sliced
Garlic - 4-6 cloves chopped
Green chillies - 2 Chopped
Salt and pepper powder
Turmeric Powder - A pinch(Optional)
Ginger - 1 inch piece chopped(Optional)
Lemon - 1/2
Coriander leaves - A handful chopped

Heat oil in a pan. Add curry leaves, chopped green chillies, chopped garlic and sliced onions. Fry till onion slices are transparent.
Add optional turmeric powder and chopped ginger followed by the boiled avare kaalu. Fry well
Add salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle little water if necessary cover and cook till a nice aroma emanates from the cooked avare kaalu.
Switch off the flame, squeeze lemon, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with choice of drinks.
You may also try this as a side dish with rice and curry.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Red Hot Chilli Peppers by Arvind Mallya

Don't get me wrong and think I am deviating from food and writing about the Rock Group RHCP here! I am talking about real red hot chilli peppers grown in my garden.

Chillies have always fascinated me. I love hot stuff being a typical South Indian born Konkani guy now settled in the temperate climate of California USA. Thankfully, my wife Karen and my father in law have stood by me when I did my gardening bit. I grow peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables in my home garden. I love to see things grow and that took 2 months. Here are some of the Hot Peppers from my garden. The degree of heat is mild to hot from left to right. The Cayenne pepper is the mildest and Mexican Habanero is the hottest.

We do have a slightly longer season starting in May through August and sometimes September. It has been cool in California, USA and these peppers are really easy to grow, I have 2-3 plants of each in pots and some in the ground, but the one which do well are the ones in pots as the black plastic pots absorb heat and make it grow. We get all seedlings and some I grew from seed. I grow them with a good artificial fertilizer under filtered shade to medium sun. The Chinese long is the Indian we are used to but I don't find them hot here. The Habanero here is deadly.
I want to get the Bhooth Jolokia some day and also the Gandhar, I tried it did not come well my brother gave me the seeds of Gandhar, tiny peppers but incredibly hot. Yes all peppers are from my limited garden, we have a Gopher(A kind of rodent that lives underground) and loves my chilli plant and cucumbers more than I do. So I plant many things in pots and in a raised bed with wire mesh. Last year I grew more chillies, this year 2 plants of each and I have a bumper crop, I dry them in the sun and also have a small dehydrator..and use them in winter. I found the Fresno to be very hot, right next to the Thai dragon.
I have planted this year Bhooth Jalookia that's doing well, I have 2 of that and a Habanero the hottest variety, this year I also have a yellow banana pepper. I have a bottle of the Bhooth Jalookia just have to touch the tip of the fork and touch your tongue and it sets it on fire. In soups I need less then half a drop and it is fiery hot.
Gujarati Pickle: Karen's homemade pickle from home grown chillies; Pickle is from Gujarath India called Raiwal Marcha. Karen made it from a book Pickles and Chutneys of India by Rita D'Souza made for Wyeth Pharma and presented by a good friend Mr B.M. Mohan in India. The pickle is Raiwala Marcha from Gujarath normally it is stuffed green chillies she just chopped the red ones I grew, she has her own Gujju style, ground the mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric, coriander, cumin and salt and lemon juice.
Chilli, Zucchini, Potato Bhujias(Fritters): We made these by mixing half  each of besan and rice flour and then adding chilli powder, hing and salt. It came out crunchy and really tasty.
Konkani Hinga Mirsang(Asafoetida Chilli) pickle: Chillies are a combination of home grown hot to mild varieties. Credit goes to my dear wife Karen Mallya who made this from a recipe sent by Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath and her brother Panduranga Rao B.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vermicelli Uppumav with Veggies

Vermicelli is the name for Indian Sevian or Shyavige. Its name sounds like a kind of Italian pasta but Indian Vermicelli is made with a different process and is used mainly in Kheer, Uppumav, Pulav and Kesari Bhaat.

In any major store, you may find different brands of Vermicelli. My memory dates back to the Seventies, when Auro Foods based in Pondicherry came out with perhaps the first large scale manufacture of Vermicelli in India with the brand name TRUE.

Vermicelli Kheer and Uppumav are my favourites. I prefer the wheat version rather than the one made with rice. Here's an easy to make recipe for Vermicelli Uppumav with veggies or in Bangalore language, Shyavige Bhaat. This is a breakfast snack and I am sure will be liked by all.

Plain short Vermicelli - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Urad Daal - 1 Tsp
Chana Daal or cashew bits - 1 Tsp(Optional)
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Green Chillies - 2 chopped
Turmeric powder - A pinch
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Salt - To Tasted
Mixed chopped vegetables like beans, carrot, cauliflower - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 medium chopped(Optional)
Tomato - 1 chopped(Optional)
Lemon - 1/2
Coriander leaved - A handful chopped(Optional)
Grated Coconut - 1/2 Cup(Optional)
Refined oil or ghee - 1 Tbsp
Hot water - 1 1/2 cups

Heat little oil in a kadai. Roast the vermicelli on medium flame till it becomes slightly golden in colour. Remove and keep aside.
Heat remaining oil and prepare a seasoning with mustard seeds, urad daal, optional chana daal or cashew bits, curry leaves and chopped green chillies.
Fry the chopped onions till transparent. Fry the optional chopped tomato.
Add the chopped veggies, salt to taste and turmeric powder. Stir fry on high flame till the veggies are semi-cooked and crisp.
Add hot water and sugar. Bring to a boil and squeeze lemon. If you are adding tomato, you may reduce the lemon to 1/4.
Now add the roasted vermicelli, cover and cook on medium flame till the water is absorbed by the vermicelli.
Remove from heat, open the lid and keep aside. Sprinkle coriander leaves and grated coconut. Allow to stand for 5 mins.
Mix gently and serve hot.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Prawn Ghee Roast

Ghee Roast is one of the most popular delicacies of Mangalore, popularized by the Bunts of Kundapur. Hotel Anupama introduced this dish back in the mid Eighties. Today, almost every Mangalorean restaurant serves Ghee Roast. I prefer prawns over chicken, for prawns have a distinct flavour. After eating Ghee Roast at many restaurants, I guessed the ingredients that go into authentic Ghee Roast and with the help of my wife Meena, we came out with the authentic Ghee Roast!
Here’s the divine dish Prawn Ghee Roast which we dedicate to all the readers who have fascination for exotic food. This was prepared using 30 jumbo sized prawns and should be sufficient for 6 persons. You may reduce or increase the amount of chillies and oil according to your own taste and calorie watch.
1. Jumbo Prawns - 1 Kg shelled and de-veined
2. Lemon - 1 Squeezed
3. Curds - ½ Cup
4. White Pepper powder - 1 Tsp
5. Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
6. Salt    - To taste
7. Red long(
Byadgi ) chillies - 25 roasted
8. Red short chillies - 8 roasted
9. Coriander Seeds - 1 Tsp roasted
10. Cumin Seeds - ½ Tsp roasted
11. Fenugreek Seeds - ½ Tsp roasted
12. Garlic flakes - 12-16
13. Brown Onion Paste(Optional) - 3 Tbsp
14. Tamarind - Cherry size ball soaked in 2 tbsp water
15. Refined vegetable oil - 30 ml
16. Pure Desi Ghee - 30 ml
17. Chopped Coriander leaves - A handful
18. Lemon wedges - To garlish

Marinate prawns with ingredients 2 to 6.
If you want the prawns to stay uncurled after cooking, pass a bamboo skewer or broom stick through the prawns (But don’t forget to remove the sticks from the cooked prawns before eating).
Keep it marinated for 8-24 hrs in the refrigerator.
Grind ingredients 7 to 14 to a thick smooth paste.
Heat oil in a shallow pan.
Roast the marinated prawns till they cook.
Drain and keep aside.
In the same oil, roast the ground masala till oil leaves the sides and raw smell disappears.
Add salt to taste, the marinade and the cooked prawns without sticks.
Mix well and keep for 2-3 mins on slow fire.
Add ghee, mix and cover.
When the masala gets thick, transfer to serving dish, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges.

Same masala could be used for making Ghee Roast of 1500Gm Chicken.
You may also substitute prawns with paneer or mushrooms. In that case, reduce the quantity of chillies a bit and add 2 tsp brown onion paste to the masala while frying.This masala is sufficient for 600Gm paneer or Mushroom


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