Ingredients :

Prawns : 250 Gms.
Potato : 1 Cut into cubes
Onion : 1 Large, Chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp.
Tomato : 1 Deskinned and chopped
Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : ½ Tsp.
Red Chilli Powder : 1 to 2 Tsp.
Malvani Masala : 1 or 2 Tbsp. (Depends on how much spice you can handle)
Coriander Leaves : 1 Tbsp. Chopped
Salt : To Taste
Sugar : 1 Tsp.
Vegetable Oil : As Required

For the Curry Paste :

Grated Fresh Coconut : 1 Cup
Dried Coconut/Kopra/Desiccated Coconut : 2 Tbsp.
Onion : 1 Large, Sliced
Ginger : 1 Inch, Chopped
Garlic : 10-12 Cloves
Green Chilies : 2-3 cut into pieces
Coriander Seeds (Dhane) : 1 Tbsp.
Cumin Seeds (Jeere) : 1 Tsp.
Fennel Seeds (Saunf/Badishep) : ½ Tsp.
Tamarind Pulp (Chinch) : 1 Tsp.

Method :
For the paste, heat oil in a wok. Add the spice seeds and the onion, ginger, garlic and chilies. Sauté till light brown. Now add the dried coconut and sauté till brown. Then add the fresh coconut and sauté till the coconut is light brown. Take care not to burn any of the ingredients. Then remove and cool. Add tamarind to this mix and make a smooth paste.
To the prawns, add salt, turmeric. Mix well and keep aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté. Now add the ginger garlic paste and sauté. Add the Deskinned tomato and fry till the tomato has completely disintegrated. Now add the malvani masala, red chili powder and turmeric. Sauté and add the potatoes. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the paste, salt and sugar to taste. Cover the pan and cook till the potatoes are almost done. Now add the prawns and cover and cook for 3-5 minutes till the prawns are cooked. Check the seasoning. Add chopped coriander and serve hot.

P.S. : For people who don’t like tamarind, they can also substitute kokum in the recipe. Make sure to add only 1 or 2 pieces as it’s very sour. Add it towards the end of the cooking, just prier to adding the prawns.

I love this sandwich. It’s easy to make and doesn’t take long to prep. So if you are in a hurry try this one.

Ingredients :

Day old bread sliced – baguette or any country bread will do.

Egg – 1 no.

Cheese – 100 Gms. ( processed or cheddar or any hard cheese)

Green chilli – 1-2 spicy chillies like lavangi or jalapeno finely chopped

Onion – 1/2 no. finely chopped

Capsicum – 1/2 no. finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Grate cheese and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Spread on the bread slices. Put under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes or till the cheese is browned.

 

 

 

Ingredients :

Large Potatoes : 2 no.

Mangoes : 2   – 3 Enough to give about 300 ml. Juice

Hot Green Chillies like Lavangi or Jalapeno or Habanero : 4 – 5 no.

Ginger : 1 inch cut into Julienne

Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Methi Dana or Fenugreek Seeds : 1/4 Tsp.

Curry Leaves :  4-5 no.

Whole Dried Red Chillies : 3-4 no.

Asafoetida or Hing : 1/4 Tsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 1 Tbsp.

Salt and Sugar : To Taste

Ghee or Clarified Butter : 1 Tbsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 Tbsp.

Method :

Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes or triangle shapes. Peel the mango and remove the pulp and puree it.

Cut the chillies in two pieces lengthwise. Make a paste of whole wheat flour and water.

In a shallow pan add ghee and heat over low heat. Add the potatoes to the ghee and saute till lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

Now add the mustard and fenugreek seeds and let them pop.

Now add the green chillies, ginger, hing, curry leaves and red chillies and saute and then add the potatoes.

Add the mango pulp and enough water to cook the potatoes. Add salt and sugar and cover and cook till the potatoes are cooked but firm.

Now add the flour paste and cook till the gravy thickens.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

 

 

 

Ingredients :

Fresh Grated Coconut : 1/2 nos.

Fresh Green Chillies (Lavangi or other spicy variety) : 4-6 nos.

Fresh Chopped Ginger : 1″ piece

Roasted Cumin Seeds (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Tamarind Pulp : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : To Taste

Sugar : a Pinch

Oil : 1 Tsp.

Black Mustard Seeds (Rai) : 1/2 Tsp.

Curry Leaves : 4 nos.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Method :

Make a smooth paste of coconut, chillies, cumin, ginger, tamarind, sugar and salt. Don’t use too much water as we don’t need a runny paste. Then in a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and curry leaves and pour this tempering (tadka) over the chutney.

You can also use Chopped coriander leaves to give it a different taste. Also you can try using mint leaves instead of tamarind when adding coriander leaves. Use 1 bunch of coriander leaves and half a bunch of mint leaves.

Ingredients:

Split  Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) : ½ Cup

Skinned and Split Black Gram (Urad Dal) : ½ Cup

Desiccated Coconut (Grated Kopra) :  ½ Cup

White Sesame Seeds :  ¼ Cup

Dried Pandi Red Chillies (Spicy) : 16 nos.

Dried Bedagi Red Chillies (Mild) : 8 nos.

Curry Leaves : 20 nos.

Tamarind Pulp : 4 Tsp.

Jaggery : 4 Tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : ½ Tsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.

Oil : 2 Tsp.

Salt : 1-2 Tbsp.

 

Method :

Dry roast the gram dals , sesame seeds and coconut separately till they release a nutty aroma and are little browned. In a pan, sauté the red chillies and curry leaves in oil till the chillies change colour to bright red and the leaves are crispy. Mix all the ingredients together and run through a food mill to get a grainy powder. Store in an airtight container. Can be kept for a couple of months.

Ideally this is mixed with oil or melted ghee and used. This goes well with any dosas, idlis or even as an accompaniment with roti or bread. I spread some cheese spread on bread slices and sprinkle the chutney  on top to make a sandwich.

Ingredients :

Okra (Bhindi) : 500 Gms.

Garlic : 7 – 8 Cloves

Green Chillies : 4 – 5 (As required)

Lime Juice : 1 -2 Tsp.

Cumin Seeds (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Toasted Sesame Seeds : 1 – 2 Tsp.

Oil : 2 Tbsp.

 

Method :

Wash the okra with cold water and then pat it dry with kitchen towels. Cut it into roundels about 0.1 inch thick.

Chop the green chillies and garlic into brunoise.

In a saute pan, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds and when the seeds crackle, add the garlic and green chillies.

Saute the garlic for 30 seconds but don’t let it burn. Now add the okra and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the salt and lime juice and saute for a minute more.

Now you can cover the pan and cook the okra, but I like it a little crispy so normally I keep sauteing the okra over low heat till it’s cooked and crispy.

Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix well.

Serve hot.

Variation : You can also cut the okra lengthwise and add potatoes cut into same sized batons. When using potatoes you need to add the potatoes first and then when they are golden brown add the garlic and green chilli and continue as above. The proportion of potatoes to okra will be 50:50.

Brinjals

Ingredients :

Brinjals : 500 Gms.

Fresh Grated Coconut : 200 Gms.

Coriander Seeds : 60 Gms.

Dried Red Chillies : 10-12 nos.

Sliced Onions : 2 nos. large

Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.

Garlic Cloves : 8 nos.

Sesame Seeds : 4 Tbsp.

Turmeric Powder : 1 Tsp.

Tamarind Paste : 100 Gms.

Jaggery : 2 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 10-12 nos.

Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.

Vegetable or Peanut Oil : As Required

Salt : To Taste

Method :

Cut the brinjals lengthwise almost into quarters; make sure you do not cut off the stem so as to keep the brinjal whole with a cross cut running the entire length.

In a Kadhai add enough oil to fry the brinjals till brown.

For the Bagara Masala Paste :

In 1 Tbsp. oil saute the sliced onions, coriander seeds, red chillies. Add these to the coconut and garlic. Dry roast the sesame seeds and add to the coconut mixture. Also add the turmeric powder and tamarind paste to the coconut. Make a paste of all these ingredients.

In a Tbsp. of oil add slit green chillies and add the paste and saute till the fat leaves the sides. Than add the brinjals, jaggery and salt to taste. Add water as required to get a sauce-like consistency. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. This masala tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that you keep stirring the pot every few minutes. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and remove.

Tadka :

In a small pan add 1 Tsp. oil and when hot add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the curry leaves and pour this over the curry. Mix well.

This can be served with Rice or Parathas.

P. S.Vegetable Variation – You can make a tadka of mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. To this add mixed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green peas etc. Then add the bagara masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Then add chopped coriander on top.

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 6 medium sized

Onion : 1  medium sized

Curd : 1/2 cup

Salt : to taste

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 tsp

Vegetable Oil : 2 tsp

Coriander leaves : 2 tsp

For Masala :

Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp

Fennel Seeds (Saunf / Badishep) : 1 Tbsp

Coriander Seeds : 1tsp

Red Chilli Powder : 1 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp

Method :

Peel and cut potatoes into quarters or into eight pieces. Then parboil them with a little salt. Cut the onion into large dices.

Dry roast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds and then powder them. Mix the powder with the chilli and turmeric powders to get the masala powder.

Heat the oil and suate the onion till translucent. Then add the potatoes and the ginger garlic paste and a little water. Saute till the paste turns brown and then remove from fire.

Add the curd, the masala powder, water and salt to taste. Mix well. Return to heat and cook covered for 6-10 minutes till you have a gravy coating the potatoes.

Remove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

There are a few dishes that become closely associated with our childhood. They evoke memories that transport us to simpler times: times when things were simpler, relationships were easier and our loves and hates were frequent but fleeting.

I still remember Saturday afternoons, when I used to come home from school, glad to be greeted at the door by my mom. As she was a working mom, these occasions were special and therefore treasured.  She knew I loved her special potato tawa bhaji and used to make it on those days so I could enjoy it. The thali with steaming white rice, yellow Dal and the slightly burnt crispy potato bhaji was a combination that never failed to lift my spirits. No matter how bad the day might have been, finding mom home,  making the potato bhaji was enough to make my day.

Life is indeed a series of such small pleasures. A steaming home-cooked meal, a cup of hot coffee on a rain-soaked evening, the smell of earth after the first showers, finding a good book after rummaging through stacks of used books – there isn’t much to compare these pleasures.

I remember the first time I made this dish by myself – my mom was ill and she had asked me to cook lunch for both of us. I was scared but also eager. I had watched my mom cook a thousand times and helped her in the kitchen as I could. But this was different. I had to make everything from scratch and not make a mistake.  I kept running out to where mom sleeping and asking her every little detail that hadn’t seemed so important till now – how much water should I add to the Dal & how much in the cooker, how long should I cook the potatoes, how much salt is just right and how much chilli powder is too much. The questions never stopped and finally the meal was ready. I eagerly awaited mom’s verdict. She took the first mouthful and made a face. I was heartbroken….thank god, it was because the food was too hot. I finally gathered enough courage to ask her how the dish fared. She replied, quite oblivious to my mental state,” Very good! Tastes just like mine.” My heart did a summersault and I was hooked on cooking.

Now the recipe

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 8 medium sized

Groundnut Oil : 3 Tbsp.

Mustard Seeds : 2 Tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Turmeric Powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Sugar : a pinch

Method :

Boil the potatoes till done and peel them. Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ (inch) dices. Rub the pieces with salt and sugar.

On an iron griddle, heat oil. Then add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. When the seeds crackle, add the chilli powder. Now add the potatoes to this mixture and toss them with a spatula. Make sure the potatoes are evenly coated with the masala. Now spread the potatoes in a layer on the griddle and let the potatoes cook on medium flame till crispy on one side. Now turnover the potatoes and let them become crispy on the other side. If the potatoes burn a little, don’t worry. It gives a nice, smoky flavour to the dish.

Sambar Masala Ingredients Photo by Alaivani @ flickr

Sambar Masala Ingredients Photo by Alaivani @ flickr

No South Indian feast is complete without the Sambar. The Sambar, according to Wikipedia, is a lentil and vegetable stew or a chowder based on a broth made from Tamarind and Toovar Dal.

The Mumbaiites are believed to have been introduced to the Udupi cuisine in the early 1930’s with the opening of Cafe Mysore in Matunga, a suburb of Mumbai.The owners are from proper Udupi, as opposed to most other ‘Udupi’ restaurants, which are run by Shettys from or around Mangalore.

The difference in the Sambar from these Shetty-run restaurants is that the sambar has been modified to suit the taste buds of their local clientele. They have created a sort of sweet vegetable dal that is suitable for their local clientele. As a result, it has lost its authentic flavor. The Sambar that you get in Udupi is a lot more pungent, aromatic and flavorful.

In my house, sambar is made in a large quantity so as to last atleast 2 days. The first day is spent eating it with idli, dosa etc. The next day the taste of the sambar develops (matures) and all the subtle flavours come to the fore and vie for you attention. This makes it the perfect accompaniment to a plate of steaming white rice.

This is going to be a two part series as first I will put up the Sambar masala and then explain how to make the sambar.

So here goes –

Sambar Masala

Ingredients :

Coriander Seeds : 250 Gm.

Dried Red Chillies (Sankeshwari + Bedgi = 50:50) : 250 Gm.

Turmeric Powder : 25 Gm.

Asafoetida (Hing) : 15 Gm.

Cumin Seeds : 75 Gm.

Black Peppercorns : 50 Gm.

Mustard Seeds : 50 Gm.

Split Black Gram / Black Lentil (Urad Dal) : 100 Gm.

Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) : 100 Gm.

Raw Rice : 50 Gm.

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) : 20 Gm.

Curry Leaves : one bunch

Method :

Dry roast the ingredients individually and then powder them. Keep the masala in an airtight jar and use as required.