Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mysore Vegetable Saagu

If you happen to visit places in old Mysore province stretching from Davangere to Chamarajanagar, you will definitely find Poori Saagu on the menu of any vegetarian restaurant. Many restaurants serve saagu along with Set Dosa and even with Rava Idlis.
I have tasted the best Poori Saagu in Shimoga in the late Sixties. There were good restaurants like Sathkar, Meenakshi Bhavan and Gopi Hotel serving the delicacy. Back in Mysore and Chamarajanagar, I have relished saagu with saada dosas, thatte idlis(Battalu Idlis) and rava idlis. At Hotel Deepa in Mysore, I had tasted Saagu Masala Dosa first in 1979. Some hotels still serve Saagu Masala Dosa in Mysore and Bangalore. Balepet Udupi Sri Krishna Bhavan makes excellent saagu masala dosa.

Saagu is the Mysorean style Korma that goes with all these snacks mentioned above. It is not very fatty, it is spicy, sweet and tangy. the presence of roasted chana daal and cashewnuts make the gravy rich and smooth, while the mild hint of cloves and cinnamon give that nice arome to the gravy. Following recipe was given to Meena by her friend Nirmala Urs, who is a good vegetarian cook specialised in Mysorean style of delicacies. Meena slightly changed the recipe according to our taste.


Mixed Vegetables:
Potato - 1 medium washed, peeled and chopped into 1/2" cubes
Peas(Preferably fresh) - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1 medium washed, peeled and chopped into small cubes
French Beans - 8-10 washed and chopped into small pieces
Tomato - 1 medium washed and chopped into small pieces
Chayote Squash(Seeme Badanekaayi) - 1/2 washed, peeled and chopped into small cubes

Saagu Masala :
Freshly grated coconut - 1 cup
Coriander Seeds - 3 Tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Roasted Chickpeas(Hurkadle/Putaani) - 1 Tbsp
Cashew Bits - A handful
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1" stick
Green Chillies - 3-4 chopped
Onion - 1/2 peeled and chopped into small cubes
Coriandeer leaves -A handful chopped
Ginger(Optional) - 1" piece peeled and chopped

Sugar - 1/2 Tsp
Salt - To taste

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
Refined Vegetable Oil - 2 Tsp

Parboil the vegetables with 2 cups water and salt to taste.
Grind the masala ingredients to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When they crackle, add the curry leaves followed by turmeric powder.
Add the ground masala paste, add sugar and fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add parboiled veggies along with cooked water and bring to a boil
Check for salt.
Simmer for 2-3 mins till the masala blends well with the veggies.
Serve with piping hot puris/chapathis/phulkas/set dosas/idlis/rava Idlis/aapams.

You can also add cauliflower, paneer, baby corn, sweet corn and capsicum to the saagu.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Urad Moong Multigrain Idlis

Presenting whole Urad and Moong Multigrain Idlis with added rava for our followers to commemorate the commencement of Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa blogspot 2 years ago. We kick started with my favourite breakfast snack Moong Daal Usli and I thought another moong daal snack should do justice to the Second Anniversary at least!

Whole lentils with skin are rich in vitamins minerals and fiber. North Indians mostly cook whole lentils and make curried and daals. We also make some snacks with them like the Andhra special Pesarattu and idlis. It is a practice in South, especially Udupi and Mangalore side to make idlis or khottige with any one whole lentil like Black gram(urad), Green gram(moong) or Horse gram, with rice as base.

Meena learnt a new combo after a friend suggested that we can mix two or more whole lentils and make excellent soft fluffy tasty idlis. She tried making whole urad and moong idlis but this time it is with added Bombay rava. Try this, eat with any kind of coconut chutney and you will love this. Don't forget to dress up the idlis with a knob of butter, as it can melt and add to flavour. For me, melting butter is a must with them. Besides, these fatless steamed healthy idlis may feel high and dry if we don't butter them!

Whole Urad(Black Gram) with skin - 1 cup
Whole Moong(Green Gram) with skin - 1 cup
Bombay rava - 1 cup(Optional)
Green chillies - 2 minced
Ginger - 1 inch piece minced
Salt - To taste

Wash and soak the lentils for 8-10 hours or overnight at warm room temperature.
Drain and grind to a fine paste on the grinder adding very little water.
Mix in the optional rava, minced green chillies, ginger and salt to taste.
Pour a handful of the batter each into idli moulds and free steam for 15 mins, or till done.
Serve with a knob of fresh butter and  coconut chutney of your choice.
You can also douse fresh coconut oil over them and relish with raw cut mango pickle in brine.

We Are Two Today!

Two years completed with over 340 recipes and food related articles published, over 540000 blog views, One National TV Channel(FOX Life India) prime time show Twist Of Taste with Vikas Khanna, 3 video documentaries on eating out and 1334 likes on our FB page.

Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa has come a long way, and we strive hard to render nothing but the best to our followers.

Thank you all the family members, friends and well wishers for being supportive in this movement.

Yours faithfully,

Rajanikanth Shenoy Kudpi(Kudpi Raj)
Meena R Shenoy

Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup

This is a Mangalorean Bunt Jain delicacy that I relished during my younger days. Our neighbours were Jains in Ballalbagh where we lived for 16 years from 1958 to 1974 in Veera Bhavan compound as tenants of Dharmasthala Heggades. Till the late Sixties, Late D Puttaswamy was in the main house with his wife Late D Kusumavathiamma and their two sons. Kusumamma she was fondly known as, was from the Yermal Royal Family, and she was a great cook. I must confess, that I learned neatness in preparing/serving/presenting food to a great extent, watching her work in the kitchen! Every item from sweets, savoury items, curries, pickles and custard puddings she made were delicacies with a touch of perfection.

They later moved to another house in the same locality but I was like her own son and every time I visited them, she would offer some or the other sweet and snack with strong hot coffee. Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup was one of the delicacies she made often. When I was working in Mysore district and Bangalore, every visit to their home during my holidays used to be a delight, for she always made my favourite sweet and savoury fried pathrode in jaggery syrup! 

Jains deep fry slices of pathrode roll and make this but I have my own innovation. They make this by soaking rice, grinding it with tamarind, chillies, turmeric, coriander seeds, fenugreek(methi) seeds and asafotoeda to a paste, apply that paste over the pathrode(Colocasia)leaves, make rolls, tie plantain thread at equal distance on the rolls, slice them and then deep fry till crisp. These fritters go into thin hot jaggery syrup and get soaked for a while before consuming. These may look somewhat like Gulab Jamuns but the savoury fritters in sweet jaggery syrup taste just out of this world. As you bite into the succulent juicy chewy pathrode, you can feel a vivid array of flavours that get released on your taste buds, making you bask in a feeling of ecstasy!

I tried this with Maraalva Paan or Tree Taro Leaves. I had the paste made for Maraalva Phodi to which I added coriander powder, fenugreek powder and turmeric powder, applied that paste over the maraalva leaves and made a roll. This roll was frozen and then cut into 10mm thick slices and deep fried in hot coconut oil. Then I made a thin jaggery syrup and dropped these fritters in that to make fantastic Fried Pathrode in Jaggery Syrup! Enjoy the traditional Jain treat which your kids may also love to eat.

I for one become a kid myself when I relish this, reminiscing over the fantastic preparations by Kusumamma. This dish is dedicated to her, whom I deem as my second mother. Incidentally, it is the Second Anniversary of Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa Blogspot today, and my birthday as well!

Ingredients for Pathrode:
Tree Taro leaves(Maraalva Paan) - 10-12
Hoorna(Roasted Black Gram powder) - 1/2 cup
Coriander Powder - 2 Tsp
Fenugreek(methi) Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Rice flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Asafotoeda - a pinch
Tamarind - Cherry size ball
Salt - Q.S.
Water - Q.S.
Coconut Oil or Refined vegetable oil - For deep frying

Make a thick solution of hing in water.
Extract tamarind in 30ml water.
Mix all the powders and salt to taste to make a thick gummy paste, adding the asafotoeda solution and tamarind extract, adding water as required.
Check for salt.
Wash and wipe the tree taro leaves dry.
Remove stem and ribs if any, with a sharp knife.
Spread one big leaf shining side down.
Anoint the masala paste evenly in a thin layer.
Place a smaller leaf over its edge and again smear the masala paste.
Go on arranging layers to make sufficiently thick and tight roll, tucking the ends inside like a 'Patrvadi Roll'.
Keep the roll in the freezer for 6-8 hours till it hardens.
Remove from the freezer and transfer to the cutting board.
Using a very sharp slicing knife, make 1/2 inch thick slices of the roll.
You can arrange these slices in a fridge container, keep them for later use and they remain good for 2-3 days.
Heat oil in a thick kadai.
As soon as the oil starts fuming, reduce the heat to less than medium.
Roll each slice in rice four and deep fry 6-8 slices at a time in hot oil on controlled heat till crisp, puffy and brown.
Remove any dropping in the oil each time as you finish frying them phodis.
Drain the phodis on the perforated ladle and then transfer over to absorbent paper.

Ingredients for Jaggery Syrup:
Jaggery - 1 cup of broken small pieces.
Water - 3 cups

In a saucepan, heat water and add jaggery.
Bring to a boil and remove any impurities.
Keep boiling for about 10-15 mins or till the syrup formed is reduced to little less than half and resembles honey.
Switch off the flame and keep covered.

To serve:

Add the fried phodis into the hot jaggery syrup, soak for 10-15 mins and serve hot in a dessert bowl with a fork.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Chicken Bond(Chicken English Fry)

 The name is Bond. Chicken Bond!

This name may ring a bell about the 'Spy Who's Loved by Many' for English action movie buffs, but it is actually not a dish loved by Mr Bond! Rather, the appearance of the dish has indirect suggestion to a weapon used by Mr Bond in the stories, his pistol or gun!

Yes. We used to call this Pistol as the shape of the chicken joint looks like one! I relished this starter dish at Anupama Restaurant in Hotel Usha Mangalore in the early Eighties. My friend Kulyadi Divakar Pai first introduced me to this dish like he did in the case of many other exotic dishes including Ceylon Parathas and Chicken White Korma. We few friends used to hang out regularly on weekends at Anupama, now renamed as Anupama's Shetty Lunch Home. They made this perfectly with a blend of Indian spices with English sauces to deliver a spicy succulent deep fried chicken joint rolled in a sweet and tangy sauce. The aroma of the sizzling English Chicken used to emanate all over the place, making many a customer ogle the dish and go for the same, as their waiter took order for food!

Years have gone by, and Anupama was closed in Hotel Usha way back in the late Nineties, moving to Abhiman Residency. I was not so regular there, as we started cooking most of the delicacies at home. However, I always had the urge to make this dish at home for which, I could not get recipe anywhere. Back in Hotel Usha, the partner Ravindra Shetty(Kaane Ravi, we call him fondly) was a close friend but he was always tight lipped about their recipes. His elder brother Mohandas also was secretive.
I am not the type who would pester restaurateurs to part with their trade secrets. Now that Anupama has started Shetty Lunch Home in the same premises again, one can try this dish there. Highly recommended to those who like sweetish starters.
I could assume the formula of the dish in course of time. One advantage for me is, I not only remember the taste of various dishes I have tasted over the years in different places, I also can guess the major ingredients that go into a particular dish. All that remains to be formulated, is the quantity of spices and the process of cooking. That too is not so difficult when I can see that North Indian, Chinese and Continental special starters are mostly marinated with salt pepper and select spices, deep fried and then cooked with a sauce or gravy. Likewise, I formulated this dish as well, not quite like Anupama makes it, but close to that. Adding Worcestershire sauce is left to your choice, but I found it essential, as I named the dish 'Chicken Bond'. Chicken English Fry wouldn't be complete without authentic English ingredient in it. Right folks?
Chicken joints(Tangdi) without skin - 2
Salt and Pepper
Red Chilli Paste
- 1 Tsp
Minced Garlic - 1/2 Tsp
Minced Ginger - 1 Tsp
Lemon Juice - 1/2 lemon
Corn Flour - 2 Tsp
Refined Flour(Maida) - 2 Tsp
Refined Vegetable Oil - At least 250 ml, For deep frying
Butter - 30 Gms
Brown Onion Paste - 1 Tsp
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1 Tsp
Sugar - 1 Tsp
Worcestershire Sauce - 2 Tsp(Optional)
Dark Soy Sauce - 1 Tsp
Tomato sauce/Ketchup - 2 Tsp
Chopped Parsley or Cilantro - A handful for garnishing

Wash, pat dry and put gashes on the chicken joints.
Rub salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp each of minced ginger and garlic, 1 Tsp red chilli paste on the chicken joints and marinate them for 1-2 hours in the fridge.
Mix in the flours, heat oil in a deep frying pan and fry the marinated pieces of chicken on medium heat till crisp and done.
Drain on kitchen paper lined in a colander.
Heat a nonstick shallow pan and melt butter.
Ad brown onion paste along with ginger paste and fry for 1 min.
Add the Kashmiri chilli powder, sugar, the three sauces, and saute till the mass is well blended.
No need to add salt, as the sauces already contain salt.
You may add 10 ml diluted vinegar, if you are not adding Worcestershire sauce.
As the sauce sizzles, sprinkle little water if the sauce is too thick.
Drop the deep fried chicken pieces one by one carefully and roll them over to coat them fully with the sauce.
Let it cook for 1-2 minutes and get slightly dry.
Transfer to a serving dish.
Garnish with freshly chopped Parsley or cilantro.
Serve with French fries or salad of your choice as a starter.
This also goes well as a side dish with noodles, fried rice, ghee rice or pulao.

Frying Tips:
1. Oil should be fuming hot and then maintained at medium heat while frying from first joint till the last. As soon as one joint is fried and removed, allow the oil to heat up for 2-3 minutes before dropping in the next one.
2. Use tongs to pick the chicken joints and turn them over.


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