Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dhingri Paneer Laziz Nazakat

Just wondering what name should I give to the new mushroom paneer dish that Meena made today for dinner! She experimented, making some delicious dish with left over mushrooms and crumbled home made paneer for me to eat along with phulkas.

I put a wall post past midnight on Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa page in Facebook -

Within 2 hours, got over a 100 responses. Out of the 11 names that I chose today, one emerged as the clear winner. She is Ms. Anita Kamath Pai from Mumbai. This dish has been named as per her winning suggestion - "Dhingri Paneer Laziz Nazakat".

Mushroom - 50Gms quartered
Paneer - 25Gms crumbled
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 Tsp
Tomato - 1 small chopped
Onion - 1/4 chopped
Salt and pepper
Green Chilli - 1 minced
Cumin powder - A pinch
Turmeric powder - A pinch
Coriander greens - 1 sprig chopped
Oil - 1/2 Tsp
Lemon - a small wedge 

Heat oil, fry ginger garlic paste along with chopped onions, minced green chilli and chopped tomato.
When the raw smell disappears, add salt and pepper, turmeric and cumin powder, followed by the crumbled paneer and quartered mushrooms.
Cover and cook till mushrooms are cooked and the water content evaporates almost 90%.
Garnish with coriander greens and squeeze lemon before serving with hot phulkas.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Biscuit Ambade

Idli Vada
Idli Vada, the most popular snack combo from South India also emerged as the most preferred breakfast combo all over the world. Biscuit Ambade or Uddina Bonda is the spherical round form of Medhu Vada that is most common in the undivided South Kanara district and also in Bangalore where they serve it with a kind of Moong Daal soup. I think the name Biscuit Ambade was given to this snack, since it is crisp as biscuit and ambade means round.
In Mangalore, during my childhood days, Ambade chutney and Ambade Sambar was part of eating out at restaurants like Udupi Krishna Bhavan, Mohini Vilas, Vishwa Bhavan, Indra Bhavan, Taj Mahal, Rama Bhavan and the big ones made by Thejo Bhavan at Basavangudi near Dongerkeri where they never served chutney or Sambar with ambades. Their contention is, the ambade has already ginger, chillies and coconut in it, hence no need of any accompaniment. Balli's Podi joint in Car Street still makes nice Ambades. However in my opinion, Biscuit ambade tastes good with sambar! You can have this for breakfast or as tea time snack.
Biscuit Ambade

Urad Daal - 1 Cup
Ginger - 1" piece chopped
Green Chillies - 3 Chopped(Or 1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper)
Curry Leaves - A handful chopped
Coconut kernel - A handful chopped into tiny bits
Salt - To taste
Asafotoeda - A pinch dissolved in little water
Oil - For deep frying

Ambade Sambar
Soak urad daal for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
Drain our water, wash well and grind to a smooth stiff paste without adding water. 

If you are grinding in a mixer, you may add very little water while grinding.
Lightly crush the chopped ginger and green chillies and add.
Add the curry leaves. coconut bits, salt to taste and asafotoeda solution.
Mix well with your hand.
Heat oil in a kadai.
When the oil starts fuming, reduce the heat to medium.
Take a bowl with water.
Dip your hand in water, take a small lemon sized portion of the urad daal batter, shape into a ball and drop carefully into the hot oil.
Likewise you may go on adding the balls till the oil surface in full.
Fry on medium heat, turning the ambades over from time to time, taking care not to over burn them.
When the ambades turn golden red and crisp, transfer to a tray or basin lined with absorbant paper.
Serve hot with chutney, sambar, daalithoi or soup.

Dudhi Saannan(Sweet Idlis) by Nisha Baliga Shenoy

Dudhi Sannan is a popular steamed breakfast snack developed by the GSBs. These sweet idlis are energising, full of flavour and a sure hit with kids. Traditional cooking involves soaking the rice, grinding it with other ingredients, fermenting the batter and then steaming the idlis. Some may follow easier method by using idli rava but I always like to make it the traditional way.
Dudhi Saannan
Dudhi saannan is in a way steamed version of Surnali, the sweet dosas that we GSBs make for breakfast. Try this and you will feel like preparing this often.

Dosa rice - 2 cups
Powdered Jaggery - 2 cups
Grated Coconut - 2 cups
Beaten Rice(Phova) - 1 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tsp
salt - To taste
Buttermilk - Enough to soak rice
Turmeric powder - A pinch
ENO fruit salt - One packet
Raisins and Cashew bits - A handful each(Optional)

Step by step method
Soak the rice along with methi seeds in buttermilk for 4 hours.
Grind it to a grainy consistency  along with coconut, jaggery and soaked phova.
The batter should be of idli batter consistency.
Add a pinch of turmeric powder, mix well and keep aside to ferment overnight.
Next morning add salt to taste and a packet of ENO fruit salt, Mix the batter well.
keep aside for 2 minutes, meanwhile keep the steamer ready for steaming the idlies.
Grease the idli moulds.
Pour the batter into the moulds and steam the idlies.
You can add some raisins and cashews whiling steaming
Serve Hot with fresh butter or ghee!

Simple Prawn Curry Rice

Prawn Humman, a typical simple prawn curry has been highlighted some months ago under Pre-Diwali Dinner article. Best combo with prawn humman is boiled red rice and some vegetable or fish fry. I also like it with a simple Kachumbar Salad.
Prawn Curry with Boiled Rice and Kachumbar Salad
This curry tastes heavenly when cooked in Earthen pot or Kullen. Since it is the right season to catch prawns and also considering the lower prices of prawns now a days compared to other sea food, gorge on this sumptuous meal, folks!
Prawn Curry
Recipe for Prawn Humman here.
Prawn Curry with Boiled Rice, King Fish Masala fried,
Ghee Rice and Stuffed Paratha

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bibbe Humman

Bibbo or tender cashenut is a popular delicacy among GSBs. In the high Season from February to May, GSBs make various preparations with bibbo. Bibbe Upkari, Aambat, Sukkhe, Saghlen, Song, Vaagu, Valval and Humman are few of them.

Bibbe Humman is made just like Batate Humman or Prawn Humman but amount of red chillies used here is less than in other cases. A spicy tangy coconut based masala is freshly ground, calculated amount of fresh bibbo is cooked along with, garnished with asafotoeda solution and coconut oil to finish off a delicious aromatic curry which can be consumed with rice, idlis or chapathis.

Bibbe Humman
Fresh Bibbo(Tender Cashews) - 100
Potato - 1 medium(Optional) peeled and cut into small bits.
Green chillies - 2-3 cut into small round bits
Grated Coconut - 1/2
Red short chillies - 4-6 Roasted with little oil
Tamarind - Size of a cherry
Salt - To Taste
Asafotoeda - A pinch dissolved in little water
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Fresh Bibbo(Pic courtesy: Nisha Baliga Shenoy) 
Soaked Bibbo(Pic courtesy: Nisha Baliga Shenoy)
Wsh and soak bibbo in slightly hot water for 2 hours.
Peel and separate the halves.
Cook the bibbo and optional potato bits with two cups of water(or water sufficient to submerge them) and salt to taste, till tender.
Grind grated coconut along with roasted red chillies and tamarind to a smooth paste using little water.
In a thick bottomed wide mouthed vessel, Add the cooked bibbo along with the water, ground masala paste and green chilli bits.
Adjust volume of water and salt according to need.
The gravy should be thick but not dry.
Cover and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 2-3 mins.
Add asafotoeda solution and coconut oil.
Mix and and serve with rice, chapathis or idlis.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Groundnut Chikki(Peanut Candy) by Anuradha Mudalagiri Kamath

Groundnuts are sold by the heaps in my home town Nagara. I grew up eating raw nuts, roasted ones and also the tempting candy chikki. The commercially available chikki has added gum in it, which is not good for the digestive system. Home made chikki with pure ingredients is not only healthy, tastes good and crunchy.
I was on a trip to Mangalore last week. Thought of a few online friends and asked couple of them about their preferences. They both said they prefer Lonavla chikki. I thought, I will surprise them with my home made Chikki. They also didn't make out first that it was home made till I revealed the truth!

Here is a simple method of making Groundnut Chikki at home. Takes just 10 mins to make. The slightly caramalised taste of sugar blended with the roasted nuts and the skin gives the chikki that unique chocolaty taste.

Raw Groundnuts without shells - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 Cup
Ghee - 2 Tsp
Cardamom powder - A pinch(Optional)

Dry roast the groundnuts on medium heat in a thick kadai till well roasted and golden.
Allow to cool down and then pound into coarse powder.
If you wish, you may blow away the skin. I retain it since it gives the chikki better taste and provides fiber that is good for digestion.
Wipe the kadai and place it on the flame again
Add 1 Tsp ghee and the sugar into the kadai.
Keep roasting till sugar melts and starts caramalising.
Switch off the flame immediately, add the roasted groundnut powder and cardamom powder optionally and mix in.
Before the mass cools down, apply remaining ghee on a granite platform or a plate and spread the chikki mixture evenly, as thin as possible.
Smothen with a flat ladle and cut into pieces with a sharp knife to desired shape and size.
Store in a cool air tight container.

Note: If you leave the sugar beyond melting point on the flame, it turns into dark caramel and becomes too hard. Switch off the flame immediately as sugar starts to melt and becomes syrupy.

Rulaanva Idli and Ramdan

We GSBs call semolina as rulaanvu. Special wheat semolina is mostly used in making snacks by us. Rulaanva Idli is a non fatty steamed idli full of proteins. It is tasty and healthy breakfast. The added ginger and green chillies give the idlis a good flavour. This idli should not be confused for Rava Idli.
Rulaanva Ramdan is the pan cake version and is slightly oily. This is a change for kids who love roast pan cakes. This was perhaps formulated by our ancestors based on the famous Gujarati snack Handvo.
Broken Wheat Semolina - 2 cups
Urad Daal - 1 cup
Ginger - 2" piece chopped
Green Chillies - 2-3 chopped
Curry Leaves(Optional) - A handful chopped
Salt to taste

Soak Urad daal for 2-3 hours.
Grind to a smooth batter using just sufficient water.
Rinse semolina and add to the batter.
Beat well with your hand.
The batter should be thick and even.
Allow to ferment for minimum 8 hours at room temperature.
Add salt to taste and the chopped ginger, green chillies and curry leaves.
Mix well and fill idli moulds with a handful of batter each.
Steam in a steamer or pressure cooker without weight for 20-25 mins.
Serve with chutney of your choice. Goes well with hing chutney.

Ramdan/Doddak by Nisha Baliga Shenoy
Rulaanva Ramdan:
If you have left over rulaanva idli batter, you may prepare a seasoning with coconut oil mustard seeds and curry leaves in a kadai and our the batter into the hot seasoning.
Roast well on both the sides, adding little oil while roasting. This is known as Ramdan/Ramnan/Doddak and is very tasty.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Aambuli Pachchodi

Aambuli is raw mango and now is the season for raw mango. We GSBs make a spicy instant salad/pickle called 'Pachchodi'(Pachadi means salad in South Indian language) with raw mango that is either eaten as it is or with curd rice. During festivals like Kodial Theru, one may see Temple Square in Car Street bustling with activities and charmuri vendors doing brisk business selling charmuri and aambuli pachchodi. When it is off season for raw mangoes, they make it with cucumber.

Raw mango that we select for the pachchodi should not be too sour or too sweet. Right mango such as raw Totapuri mango is selected, washed, wiped clean and then chopped into small bits. Calculated amount of red chilli powder, salt and hing goes into it and finally a generous drizzle of fresh coconut oil is mixed in for that lovely flavour. Apart from being flavouring agents, coconut oil and hing also help in controlling acidity that may be caused by the sourness of the raw mango and the hot chilli powder.

My younger days were incomplete without this pachchodi that I used to eat at least 2 plates when I visited Temple Square during Theru. A glass of iced sugarcane juice or fresh lime soda after consuming pachchodi gives a heavenly contented feeling!

Raw mango - 1 medium
Red Chilli powder - 2-3 teaspoonfuls(According to taste)
Salt - To taste
Hing(Asafotoeda) Powder - 1/2 Tsp(Or a pinch of hing dissolved in little water)
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Wash, wipe and finely chop raw mango with skin to small bits.
Add chilly powder, hing and salt. Mix well.
Drizzle oil and mix again.
Traditionally pachchodi served in newspaper cones but better served in paper plates or stainless steel plates in hygiene point of view.
This is a good accompaniment with fresh juices and drinks.

Gulla Puddi Saglen

Gulla means bubble or round. Gulla is also a kind of brinjal or eggplant grown in and around Udupi. Matti Gulla is specially grown in a place called Matti or Mattu near Udupi.

Legend has it that Vadiraja, a seer belonging to Dwaitha school  gave the seeds of this gulla to the poor locals to plant in this soil to get the  unique ash green coloured small variety of brinjals that are sweet and delicious. They grow only during the spring season and when summer catches up, their season is over. If you try to grow them at diffrent place with different soil conditions, you will get the normal shiny big brinjals instead of matti gulla!

Matti Gulla is dear to Madhwa brahmins who make various curries like bolu huli, mudde huli, gojju, menaskai and ennegai. They offer gulla preparations to Lord Krishna at Krishna Mutt as naivedyam and serve it as prasadam to the devotees.

We GSBs have improvised the dish gulla saglen and prepare Gulla Puddi Saglen that resembles the Ennegai that Madhwa Brahmins make. The use of jaggery enhances the taste of gulla and drumstick gives the dish better flavour and is a rich source of  mineral supplements. Most of the GSBs prepare this dish in the high season of Matti Gulla.
Matti Gulla - 250Gms
Drumstick - 1 cut into 1.5" long pieces
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Urad Dal - 2 Tsp
Coriander seeds - 3 Tsp
Red Chillies - 4 short and 4 long
Turmeric powder - A pinch
Tamarind - Size of its seed
Jaggery - A small piece
Salt - To taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - A sprig(Optional)
Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp

Wash gulla and cut the stem.
Make gashes on them or cut into 1" chunks.
Roast the chillies, coriander seeds and urad dal with little oil till crisp and aromatic. 
Grind to a coarse paste along with the grated coconut, jaggery, tamarind and turmeric powder using little water.
Reserve the water used for washing the grinder.
The ground masala should be thick and dry.
In a thick bottomed kadai, heat coconut oil and season with mustard seeds and optional curry leaves.
Roast the ground masala paste till oil leaves the sides.
Add the gulla and drumstick pieces, salt to taste and the water obtained from washing the grinder.
Cover and cook till gulla is just tender but not mashed.
Raise the heat, allow the masala to get dry, while mixing gently and taking care not to burn the masala or the cooked veggies.
Serve with rice and daalithoi.

Chicken Pepper Chilly Fry

Indo Chinese cooking has been greatly improvised by adapting some of the popular Chinese dishes to Indian taste. Chilly Chicken and Chicken Manchurian are the two most popular Chinese Chicken dishes that the local restaurants started making in their own ways using a few local ingredients.

I first ate this dish Chicken Pepper Chilly Fry at Nandini Fish Bowl on KSR Road Mangalore in the Nineties. Spicy tangy and juicy dish that tickles the palate and leaves a peppery taste on the tongue and clears the throat and sinus congestion as the dynamite travels down the gullet!

Here's the method we used to make this fiery hot and tangy dish.

Boneless chicken pieces - 8(Around 250Gms)
Green Chillies - 4 slit lengthwise
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves chopped
Ginger - 1" piece chopped
Curry leaves - A handful
Kasoori Methi - A pinch(Optional)
Salt and Pepper
Dark Soy Sauce - 1 Tsp
Diluted White Vinegar - 2 Tbsp
Corn Starch - 2 Tbsp
Oil - For deep
frying + 1 Tsp
Marinate the chicken pieces with 1 Tbsp vinegar, salt and pepper for 2-3 hours.
Squeeze out the marinade(reserve the marinade for later use), dip the marinated chicken pieces in corn starch and deep fry in hot oil till golden.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok.
Fry curry leaves, add chopped ginger, garlic onions and slit green chillies.
Stir fry on high flame.
When the onions turn transparent, add salt and pepper to taste, the reserved marinade, the fried chicken pieces, kasoori methi, soy sauce and vinegar.
Keep tossing and stir frying till the sauce coats the chicken pieces.

Transfer to serving dish and serve hot as a starter snack or with fried rice or noodles of your choice.
This also goes well with rice and curry.

Note: 1. We use heavy volumes of black pepper powder and vinegar in this dish to get the spicy tangy taste. You may reduce or increase the volumes according to your taste.
2. You can also prepare this with prawns, paneer, cauliflower or mushrooms. In the case of veggies, no need to marinate the pieces.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Shocking Truth about silver foil (Varakh)

Courtesy: Taranga Magazine
Authors: Nafiza Joseph and Shailaja N Raj

A couple of years ago, Indian Airlines, the domestic air-carrier of India had issued instructions to its suppliers to supply sweet without silverfoil called VARAKH. Do you know why ??? Silver is widely used for various purposes in the market today. Silver is considered precious and its utility is enormous. The reason behind this is that silver reflects back 95% of the light energy that falls on it.

The silver foils used for edible purposes is called VARAKH So what's so special about VARAKH? This is what I would like to bring to your notice. If you keenly observe this VARAKH under a microscope don be perturbed if you happen to see traces of blood, stools and saliva of a cattle or ox.

VARAKH is a silver foil and we have no second questions on this, but to prepare this VARAKH important parts of the CATTLE/OX is made use of. Intestines of Cattle/OX are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This is obtained after butchering to death the cattle/ox for beef and the part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the animal and handed over to the manufacturers of VARAKH. Before handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the limited facility that is present in the slaughterhouse. We are not sure how neatly this job is carried out. Intestines are cut into small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a notebook.

A silver block is placed in the middle of these bound intestines, and the hole thing is placed in a leather bag and sealed. Experts, who know how to make VARAKH, pound the bag with wooden sticks, till the entire bag flattens out. The silver block would by this time be turned into silver foil.

This Silver foil would now be separated from the intestine pack and will be placed on paper. This is VARAKH, which reaches the market ready for use. Even staunch vegetarians, who shy away from egg, unknowingly consume this as a part of sweet, pan and arecanut. Some unknowingly consume this because of the additional taste that VARAKH provides. Now the question is "Why the intestines of the cattle/ox? Why not something else?" The reason behind using the intestines of the cattle/ox for preparing the VARAKH is because of the elasticity of the intestines. They do not get cut even after a severe pounding. This aspect is brought out in the magazine "Beauty without cruelty" and the Television show of Maneka Gandhi, "Heads and Tails". In India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of "VARAKH" is consumed. Can you estimate how many cattle/ox are sacrificed for just a bit of taste? If you are surprised as I am, after reading this article please inform as many as possible so as to ensure that we unknowingly don't consume beef.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Special by Queenie Mendonca

Valentine's Day is traditionally celebrated on February 14, a day to exchange tokens of affection regardless of age.  Many schools send in a list of student's names to exchange valentine candies and cards.  Over one billion cards are sent on this day in the US each year and women purchase around 85% of all valentines.  In addition to cards, millions of  boxes of chocolates and bouquets of roses purchased (mostly by men) on this special day.

First thing comes to our mind when you talk about Valentine's Day is Love, which symbolizes Red Heart and a cupid. So, my hunt began in search of a watermelon, the perfect fruit for carving a Valentine Day card.

Following are the fruits and vegetable I used for the carving: 
One watermelon
One apple
One grapefruit
One red bell pepper

As usual, I washed the watermelon and towel dried.  Using a pencil, traced the outline of hearts, cupid and letters.  Then carefully scraped the skin around the letters, cupid and hearts.  Carved the top heart on the watermelon carefully starting from around the 'I Love U'.  Then slowly spooned the watermelon to give a red color appearance to the heart.

I carved three heart shapes each from an apple, grapefruit and bell pepper.  Finally, using toothpicks, I arranged the apple hearts on top of the Watermelon and the other hearts on heart shaped grapefruit.

Here is to all Valentines: "Wishing you A Very Happy Valentine's Day".  Love be with you always.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Marvai Pundi by Uma Shenoi

Uma called me yesterday evening and asked me if I am interested in highlighting Marvai Pundi in my blogspot. She added that if I am interested, she will send some over with Meena and also the recipe. I said "Is it something to ask? By all means send it. I haven't eaten Marvai Pundi since last 2 years!"

I know that Uma cooks any dish perfectly and also that she never goes overboard when she follows any recipe. She said, a friend passed on the recipe to her and she has prepared it for the first time.

I had a valid reason to tell her that I haven't eaten the dish since last two years. We never prepared marvai pundi at home before. I first tasted this dish at Rathna's Balmatta Road and loved eating that. I have taken parcel home at least half a dozen times from there. That was the only place I had tried marvai pundi, though Meena's friends used to give her that quite often. Of course I had tasted marvai sukkha at a few occasions at couple of local restaurants but I was not a big fan of marvai then.

Marvai(Clam) being a  shell fish, is rich in calcium. Tuluvas are adept at making marvai preparations and marvai pundi is a combo meal traditionally prepared in earthen pot with masala ground with the grinding stone and Pundi(Rice dumplings) made with red rice. Mangalorean Catholics call this Kube Mutli. We GSBs make undis that are similar to pundis but we add seasoning to them.
Video courtesy: Charishma Hegde
Opening or cleaning Marvai requires skill and is done using 'Mettu Katthi' or 'Aaddoli' as shown in the embedded video. Some just boil Marvai and use the opened ones as it is. That way, Marvai loses its taste.

Marvai Curry

Marvai/Clams - 200 washed and cleaned(See video)
Grated coconut -  1
Red Chillies -  5 small, 8 long
Coriander Seeds - 5 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds -  1/2 tsp
Peppercorns - 15
Tamarind - Size of small lemon
Garlic -  5 cloves
Turmeric powder -  1/2 tsp
Onions - 2 chopped
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Salt - to taste
Oil -  2 tbsp

Dry roast red chillies, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns with little oil.
Grind the roasted spices with coconut, turmeric powder, tamarind and garlic to a smooth paste using just sufficient water.
Heat a thick bottomed vessel or wide mouthed earthen pot.
Reduce the heat to medium and prepare a seasoning with curry leaves and one chopped onion in 1 tbsp oil and fry till golden.
Add the ground paste, salt to taste and water or according to required consistency.
When the gravy starts to boil, add the marvai and allow to cook for few minutes.
When marvai has cooked, drop the pundis into the curry and cook till the the gravy thickens.
Add another round of seasoning with chopped onions in 1 Tbsp oil.
Let the pundis get soaked well in the gravy. Serve hot.

Pundi(Rice Dumplings)


Raw rice - 4 cups
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Coconut oil - 1 Tsp
Salt to taste

Wash and soak rice in for 3-4 hours.
Grind with coconut using little water to a thick and coarse batter.
Heat a kadai, add a spoonful of oil and pour the ground rice batter. Add salt to taste.
Keep stirring on medium flame till the batter forms a lumpy soft dough.
Keep a bowlful of water by the side, dip your hand in water, take a spoonful of the dough and make balls.
Steam the balls in a steamer for 20 mins or till done.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Bhenda Saglen

Bhenda/Okra/Ladies Finger is a delicious juicy vegetable. It is used in making various preparations like sambar, curries, fry, stuffed or as fritters. GSBs have a distinct thick curry that is made with bhendi called Saglen. Bhenda saglen is the most preferred form of bhenda preparation after bhenda upkari(Fry). The ensemble of spices hotness of the chillies, tangibness of tamarind and the exotic flavour and consistency of bhenda makes this curry ever popular among the GSBs.
Bhenda – Washed and 8-10 cut into 1" long pieces.
Coconut - 1 Cup grated
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Red Chillies - 4
Tamarind - Cherry size ball
Jaggery Powder - 1 Tsp(Optional)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
Oil - 2 Tsp
Salt - To taste

Boil the ladies finger pieces with a cup of water, little salt and a pinch of tamarind till almost cooked. This way, ladies finger doesn't get over cooked.
Roast the coriander seeds and red chillies separately with little oil till crisp.
Grind together, roasted spices, grated coconut and Tamarind to a coarse paste.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter.
Add curry leaves and fry till a nice aroma emanates.
Add the ground masala paste, powdered jaggery and salt to taste. Fry well till the masala thickens and the raw smell disappears.
Now add the cooked ladies finger along with the water and keep till the masala thickens and infiltrates the ladies finger.
Serve with rice and daalithoi. I prefer this with sevian/phulkas.

With Sevian Upma

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Green Chutney Chicken

This green Chutney Chicken is finger licking good and low on fat. It also contains vitamins in abundance. Unlike chutney fish, some more ingredients go into this. Use of coconut is optional.

You can also make this chutney and keep in the freezer so that you can prepare the dish at short notice. By the time chicken is marinated, the chutney gets thawed and ready for cooking!

Chicken without skin - 1 Kg cut into curry size bits
Curds - 1/2 Cup(Optional)
Lemon - 1
Grated Coconut - 1/2 Cup(Optional)
Coriander leaves - 100Gms
Mint leaves - A few sprigs
Onion - 200Gms diced
Green Chillies - 6
Ginger - 2" piece
Garlic - 12 cloves
Peppercorns - 1/2 Tsp(Or pepper powder 1Tsp)
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp(Or cumin powder 1 Tsp)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 Tsp


Marinate chicken with lemon juice, salt, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and curds for 2-4 hours.
Dry roast peppercorns and cumin seeds.
Grind Grated coconut, coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger, garlic and green chillies along with the roasted spices to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a thick bottomed wide mouthed vessel.
Roast the marinated chicken pieces till golden.
Add the chutney, salt to taste and fry well.
Cover, simmer and cook for 15-20 mins.
Keep mixing every 5 mins to get a uniform taste.
When the chicken is cooked and the gravy is thick, transfer to serving bowl.
Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Goes well with ghee rice or rotis.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Avare Kaalu Masala Idli

Some days ago, I was discussing with another food blogger Niya's World about masala idli that I used to eat in Chamarajanagar. Call it coincidence or whatever, very next day Meena came out with Avare Kaalu Idli following a recipe from a paper cutting she had. I found its taste almost like the Masala Idlis I was talking about.
Those who don't like plain idlis may try this. Avare Kaalu is optional, though we had it in stock and we added it as per recipe.


Rice -2 cups
Urad Daal - 1 cup
Blanched Avare Kaalu - 1/2 cup
Chana Daal - 1/2 cup soaked in water for 2-3 hours.
Coconut - 1/4 cup chopped into small bits
Ginger - 2" piece chopped
Coriander Leaves - A handful chopped
Curry Leaves(Optional) - A handful chopped
Salt to taste

Make idli batter grinding soaked rice and urad daal as per recipe here
Coarsely mash the avare kaalu and add along with other ingredients to the batter.
Steam idlis as usual.
Serve with chutney of your choice.

Chinese Chilli Prawns

In the Eighties, I was a regular visitor at Ho-Pei Chinese Restaurant in Kodialbail Mangalore which was run by David Cow and his elders. David later started Hao Hao in Balmatta and Ho-Pei became Ting Hao under the management of Hotel Sujatha owners. Ho-Pei served one of the best Chilli Prawns those days. Spicy and suitable for our taste buds, we used to order slices of bread to go with that!

A relative of mine who was a close friend of David learned to cook a few popular Chinese dishes. He also made Chinese Chilli Prawns and explained me how he prepared it. However, he didn't pass on the recipe to me!

I later tried preparing that at home in the Nineties with my own measures and modifications and succeeded. Surprisingly, similar preparation was also found at Mangalore Club in the Nineties. Typical Chinese Chilli prawns come with a coating of refined flour and corn starch but I like them without coating. Try this and you will simply love this.

Prawns - 500Gms shelled and de-viened
Salt and Pepper
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 Tsp
Dark Soy Sauce - 3-4 Tsp
Diluted White Vinegar - 2-3 Tsp
Corn starch - 2 Tbsp
Green Chillies - 8-10 French cut or slit lengthwise
Capsicum - 1 small, cubed(Optional)
Onions - 2 Diced
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Chicken or vegetable stock - 1/2 Cup
Refined Oil - 2 Tbsp
Onion Shoot - 2 stalks chopped

Wash and pat dry the prawns.
Marinate the prawns with salt and pepper, 1 Tsp soy sauce, 1 Tsp vinegar and 1 Tsp Ginger Garlic paste for 2 hours.
Mix corn starch with 1/2 cup of water to make corn starch paste.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok.
Stir fry the green chillies and capsicum adding little salt, till they turn whitish and onions till they are crisp and transparent. Keep aside.
Add more oil. Stir fry the marinated prawns till they turn slightly golden. Do not over cook the prawns.
Add the remaining soy sauce, sugar and pepper according to taste and stir fry.
When the soy sauce starts to stick to the wok, add the stock followed by corn starch paste and mix.
When the sauce thickens, add the fried chillies and onions, stir fry and add remaining vinegar.
Finally garnish with onion shoot and serve with fried rice, noodles or with bread.

Note: If you want this dish with gravy, add more stock.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tasty Treat from Hot Plate

Behind Lalbagh bus stop before Pabba's. there is the Mangalore City Corporation Commercial Complex. In the lower level of the complex in the corner where the road to House of Gurudev slopes down, you will find Hot Plate, a Nonveg Restaurant run by Keralite Muslims. This clean and tidy restaurant has very few items on their menu but almost all the items are good.

My personal preference goes to their Dum Biryani(Chicken or Mutton), Chicken Kebab and Chicken Roast Masala. They make these items using pure ingredients in a very hygienic manner as I have observed personally. The containers are kept closed, free from dust and flies. Marinated Kebab pieces are kept in the fridge to retain freshness.

Dum Biryani:
Chicken Biryani is priced at Rs. 100/- for Full plate and Rs.60/- for half. Full plate has 3 plump chicken pieces while half plate has one piece. Mutton Biryani is priced at Rs.110/- for full plate and Rs.65/- for half plate. 
Biryani is prepared freshly twice a day with traditional dum cooking method. Rice used is Basmati and the aromatic spices, generous use of brown onions, ginger and garlic, bits of carrots, hint of mint and other additives make this biryani succulent, spicy and tasty, each grain of rice perfectly cooked, unlike most of the Muslim restaurants where Biryani is often dry and rice is half cooked. The spicy taste also is pretty unusual for a typical Muslim Biryani. Since the owners are from Kerala, they must be making them more spicy and it suits the palates of typical Mangaloreans who love spicy food.
Take away parcel is packed in aluminum tray containers and keeps hot for  almost 2 hours. A choice of kachumbar raita, daal or gravy is packed(Any one) along with the biryani. Biryani is available 7 days a week in the afternoon and evenings but Friday afternoon, Hot Plate is closed during namaaz time and opens only after 7.00P.M.

Chicken Kebab: Chicken Kebab here is spicy, tangy and succulent. Chicken pieces are marinated in a masala with ginger garlic, chilli powder, Coriander and cumin powders, pepper, salt and curds plus a couple of other ingredients that add to the flavour. Pieces are marinated for hours and the taste of the masala infiltrates deep into the pieces. Kebab is freshly fried according to order. Full plate costs Rs.110/- and contains 8 pieces. Half plate contains 4 pieces and is priced at Rs.60/-. Kebab is packed in aluminium foil to keep them hot and crisp.
Chicken Roast Masala: The thick masala that comes with this dish is very tasty and spicy. Roasted onions with tomatoes and other fresh masala ingredients make this dish taste somewhat like North Indian special Chicken gravy items like Butter Chicken or Ginger Chicken. Chicken Roast Masala is priced at Rs.100/- for full and Rs.60/- for half. They pack this in plastic bag, which is the only drawback. Better take your own container to get this masala item if you want to.
Apart from the above three items mentioned, they have rice plate with a curry, daal and pickle, Kushka(Biryani Rice) plate with a curry and daal, Chicken masala and Mutton masala. They also have single big piece of fried chicken that they serve along with plated meals as extra. That may cost Rs.30/- per piece. Their daal is made with Tuvar Daal with added tomatoes, onions, and seasoning with garlic and curry leaves.

Fried rice and noodles are available some days in the evenings but I am not happy to see the way they make them.

Please check the prices, as I have roughly mentioned the prices according to my knowledge as per the parcel I got from there recently. Prices may change as per market trend.

All said and done, Hot Plate is a highly recommended place where quality and quantity, service and hygiene are consistent.


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