Archive for June, 2010

North Karnataka Delights


2010
06.29

Anyone reading or following this website, by now would have realized, how important family and friends are to me. And yes, I have plenty of them. There is no denying that sitting in pajamas all day, writing about feelings, activities in the kitchen, random thoughts and ramblings of everyday life, all out and into the Internet, flooded with mostly strangers, is uncanny for a person who claims to have so many friends and family. But, when caught up in the travesty of life, where for the most bizarre reasons I’ve chosen to move thousands of miles away from home, this is where I manage to find at least one lending ear at  the oddest of hours. It may  be of a friend or of a family or of a total stranger. It doesn’t matter. Every time I so long to talk to someone, nothing in particular, just something I have to say at the moment,  and it is too late to call a friend or too early to call home, there is someone always waiting on me bright eyed and bushy tailed – The Internet. And thus I write here.

IMG_3291

Sorry to digress, I started off about friends, right? Ah yes, like I was saying, I really treasure my friends, old ones and new. And there is this one friend, Shilpa, that I met long time ago, when I was in class 3. Now that I’m 33, you can guess how long time back that must have been. We were like two peas in pod. She was my best friend. Beautiful, smart, soft spoken and intelligent, she was the total opposite of me. Since I mentioned opposite you can but imagine what that left me out to be. In our small world of reasoning that didn’t matter. We were great companions to each other and quite inseparable for 3 years. Then, facts of life shook us. Causing great grief to our little worlds, her parents  moved and  she had to change schools in class 6.  That, hit us real bad. We weren’t blessed with the Internet then, and in India since the phone services during those days were pretty expensive, we found it difficult to keep in touch. We tried really hard initially, though. Through snail mails and all. But, it didn’t last long and both of us moved on. No one is really inseparable, are they? 

Recently, thanks again to my dear friend, the Internet, we found(solely goes to my credit) each other and met up after 20 long years. And like all good friendships can, we picked up from were we had last left off.

A wife and a mother to a beautiful baby, a successful super talented architect today, Shilpa is a terrific cook too. Don’t ask me how I manage to churn out all these supermom-supercooks from my gamut of friends and family. The universe has its own ways! So, for our first meeting Shilpa served me this fine spread of North Karnataka cuisine that my big bottomless tummy couldn’t have enough of. A vegetarian herself, she was a little skeptical that my carnivorous taste buds could be appeased by her vegetarian spread. But I put all her angst at ease as I devoured the four parathas, a big mound of mixed rice, asked for more sides, lapped up my aamras, chugged down a tall glass of fresh herbed buttermilk and then said I could do with some more dessert! Twenty years is a long time my friend, but when it comes to food, I still might steal your lunch.

Stuffed Ridge  Gourd Masala

IMG_3288This dish is similar to the Dharwad style Stuffed Brinjal Masala popularly called Badne Ennegayi. The only difference here is the use of Ridge Gourd instead of Brinjal (Eggplant). This dish pairs amazingly well with rotis..[read more]

 

 

 

 

Lauki And Sooji Parathas

IMG_3292 These spicy lauki parathasand soft sooji parathas, unlike the usual paratha’s are pretty light on the tummy. They don’t weigh you down like the usual parathas do. [read more]

 

 

 

Aamras

IMG_3291_@This delightfully tasty dessert is perfect to cool you off on a hot summer’s day. If you havereally over ripe mangoes that are not going look too great to serve ..[read more] 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: None of the pictures of the food I had in India does justice to how they actually looked. Roy was being mean and refused to leave his SLR behind. That left me with no choice but to use a less effective camera. So, you have to try these dishes to know how good they are in real.

Lauki (Bottle Gourd) and Sooji Parathas – North Karnataka Style Flat Breads


2010
06.28

IMG_3292 

These spicy lauki parathas and soft sooji parathas, unlike the usual parathas are pretty light on the tummy. They don’t weigh you down like the other parathas do. I ate two each of them at Shilpa’s and still had lots of room for all the other goodies she had made.

Lauki Parathas

Ingredients

2 cups grated lauki
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp chili powder
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste

Directions

  • Mix all ingredients and knead it into a soft dough without adding water.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal parts
  • Pat the stuffed balls with dry flour to prevent them from sticking while rolling out.
  • Roll out the dough into circles of desired thickness(I like mine very thin).
  • Heat a skillet on high.
  • Place the paratha over the skillet and let it cook on both sides.
  • Apply ghee or oil and take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
  • Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
  • Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later
  • Sooji Parathas 

    1 cup Chiroti Rava/Sooji 
    1&1/2 cup water
    big pinch of asafoetida
    1 tsp whole cumin/jeera
    1 tbsp refined oil 
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a shallow pan. 
  • Add asafoetida and jeera.
  • Pour in the water and bring to boil.
  • Add rava and mix well. Take off the flame immediately.
  • Knead into dough.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and roll out into rotis of desired size.
  • Heat a skillet on high.
  • Place the paratha over the skillet and let it cook on both sides.
  • Apply ghee or oil and take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
  • Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
  • Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later
  • Lauki (Bottle Gourd) and Sooji Parathas – North Karnataka Style Flat Breads


    2010
    06.28

    IMG_3292 

    These spicy lauki parathas and soft sooji parathas, unlike the usual parathas are pretty light on the tummy. They don’t weigh you down like the other parathas do. I ate two each of them at Shilpa’s and still had lots of room for all the other goodies she had made.

    Lauki Parathas

    Ingredients

    2 cups grated lauki
    3/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    2-3 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp coriander powder
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Mix all ingredients and knead it into a soft dough without adding water.
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal parts
  • Pat the stuffed balls with dry flour to prevent them from sticking while rolling out.
  • Roll out the dough into circles of desired thickness(I like mine very thin).
  • Heat a skillet on high.
  • Place the paratha over the skillet and let it cook on both sides.
  • Apply ghee or oil and take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
  • Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
  • Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later
  • Sooji Parathas 

    1 cup Chiroti Rava/Sooji 
    1&1/2 cup water
    big pinch of asafoetida
    1 tsp whole cumin/jeera
    1 tbsp refined oil 
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a shallow pan. 
  • Add asafoetida and jeera.
  • Pour in the water and bring to boil.
  • Add rava and mix well. Take off the flame immediately.
  • Knead into dough.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and roll out into rotis of desired size.
  • Heat a skillet on high.
  • Place the paratha over the skillet and let it cook on both sides.
  • Apply ghee or oil and take off the flame when cooked thoroughly on both sides.
  • Serve hot with, curd, pickles or butter.
  • Cool completely in the open if you want to box them for later
  • At Home


    2010
    06.21

    I’m back. 2 months of pure fun, being pampered and spoilt by family and friends over in a blink of an eye. Oh well I guess, such is life. Everything comes with an end. I just need to learn to treasure the moments and hold on to the lingering memories. But before I get all sappy and bore you with the – how lost and homesick I feel right now, I have a few more delightful recipes and pictures of the food back home that I’d been overfed with in the last couple of months.

    BitterGourd–Carrot-Mango pickle / Pavakka Carrot Manga Achaar

    IMG_3237This is my Mom’s all famous  mixed pickle recipe that comes together fairly quickly and one of my favorites. Like all mothers do my Mom eyeballs all her ingredients and so the proportions tastes… [Read More]

     

     

     

     Chiratta Puttu and Kadala Curry (Black Channa Masala)

    IMG_3271

    Puttu and Kadala or Puttu with banana and sugar is one of the most popular Kerala breakfasts. I hated it as a child. I found it insipid, dry and boring then and wondered how my folks ate it with such relish every ..[Read More]

     

     

     

     Aam Ras

    IMG_3291_@ This delightfully tasty dessert is perfect to cool you off on a hot summer’s day. If you have really over ripe mangoes that are not going look too great to serve because they are oozing from all sides, it is a good idea to make a simple Aamras out of them. [read more].

     

     

     

     Dharwad Specials

    IMG_3288Anyone reading or following this website, by now would have realized, how important family and friends are to me. And yes, I have plenty of them. There is no denying that sitting in pajamas all day, writing about feelings, activities in the kitchen, .. [more, coming soon]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Aamras


    2010
    06.18

    This delightfully tasty dessert is perfect to cool you off on a hot summer’s day. If you have really over ripe mangoes that are not going look too great to serve because they are oozing from all sides, it is a good idea to make a simple Aamras out of them. There are lots of variations in making this. Some add nuts, others add milk and saffron, and some use jaggery instead of sugar. How you like to make it depends on what you are in a mood for. Cause each addition adds a distinct flavor to the dessert.

    IMG_3291_@

    Ingredients
    2 cups mango pulp
    1/2 cup milk (optional)
    2 – 3 tbsp or to taste jaggery
    pinch of saffron (optional) 2 tsp chopped almonds or cashew nuts
    1/2 tsp cardamom powder (reduce the quantity if you aren’t adding milk)

    Directions

  • Blend all the ingredients.
  • Serve cold as dessert or with puris and rotis

  • Puttu and Kadala Curry (Black Channa Masala)


    2010
    06.14

    Puttu and Kadala or Puttu with banana and sugar is one of the most popular Kerala breakfasts. I hated it as a child. I found it insipid, dry and boring then and wondered how my folks ate it with such relish every other day. Today, the subtle aroma of Puttu steaming in the wee hours at my sister Sophie’s place gets me so hungry that I doubt if the soul that lives in me now, is the same one that dwelt in me as a child. If it is, I have no idea what brought about this 180 degree change.

    Though traditionally it is made with rice flour, my health freak sister, Sony, makes it with Millet (raagi) and sometimes Rava(semolina) too. And I must say it tastes great as well. If you don’t have the customary device called Puttu Kudam to make this, don’t fret.  You can use any possible steaming device, like even an idli pan to make it. No biggie. At Sophie’s, her help, Thangamma, smoothened out a coconut shell, drilled a hole into one of the three indentations or eyes (as they are called) and voila  – they had a puttu making device. They simply fill up each chiratta or coconut shell with the puttu mixture, place the hole on the shell onto a steaming nozzle of a pressure cooker, cover it with a plate and a mound of chiratta puttu is done in less than 5 minutes. I found this idea to be really neat and got Thagamma to  ready a few shells for me to carry back home. How much of Puttu I’m going to make, I don’t know. But I sure like to have all the right devices around ;)!

    IMG_3271

    Chiratta Puttu

    Ingredients

    2 cups rice flour
    1 cup fresh grated coconut
    1/3 –1/2 cup hot water
    salt to taste

    Directions

  • Add salt and 1/2 the amount of coconut  into the flour and mix well. 
  • Sprinkle water little by little to the rice flour and mix it. The flour should be just wet enough for steaming,  it should remain as a coarse mixture and not come together like dough.
  •   Loosely fill rice and and remaining coconut in layers into the puttu making coconut shell or the puttu kutti.
  • Steam on top of a cooker nozzel if using coconut shell, closing it with a lid on top or in a puttu kudam or in a idli maker for 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with kadala curry or with bananas and sugar.
  •  

    Kadala Curry or Black Channa Masala

    Ingredients for Kadala Curry

    1 cup Black Channa (black chickpea) – 1 cup
    1 cup finely sliced shallots
    1 cup fresh grated coconut
    2 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp red chili powder
    ½ tsp turmeric powder – ½ tsp
    ½ tsp kerala garam masala
    ¼ cup coconut kothu (diced)
    ½ cup chopped tomatoes
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    salt to taste
    2 tsp coconut oil
    ½ tsp mustard seeds
    2- 3 green chilies
    1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

    Directions

  • Soak the channa in the water over night.
  • Cook the black channa well and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in a pan. Add the grated coconut and sauté until it turns brown.
  • Add coriander, turmeric, chili powder and garam masala.
  • Stir all the ingredients in until it becomes brown. Make a paste of this and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in the same pan. Add mustard and when it pops add curry leaves, green chilies and the diced coconut and sauté for 30 secs.
  • Add shallots sauté until translucent, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté until it forms a mush.
  • Add the cooked channa, pour sufficient water and mix well.
  • Add the coconut paste and bring to boil.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
  • BitterMelon-Carrot-Mango pickle / Pavakka Carrot Manga Achar – Kerala Style (Ready to Eat)


    2010
    06.12

    IMG_3237 

    This is my Mom’s all famous  mixed pickle recipe. It comes together fairly quickly and is one of my favorites. Like all mothers do, my Mom too eyeballs all her ingredients while cooking. So the proportions I’ve mentioned might not be as accurate. You may have to alter  them according to your tastes.

    Ingredients
    1 cup cut julienne style bitter melon
    ½ cup cut julienne style carrot
    ½ cup cut julienne style raw peeled mango
    2 tsp cut julienne style garlic
    2 tsp cut julienne style green chilies 
    1 tbsp salt (or to taste) 
    big pinch of asafoetida 
    ½  tsp roasted cumin powder (dry roast cumin seeds and powder them)  
    ½  tsp black mustard seeds
    ½ tsp roasted fenugreek powder (dry roast fenugreek seeds and powder them)
    2 –3 tbsp sesame or refined vegetable oil
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/4 cup natural vinegar

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, sauté melons, carrots and mango, one at a time, for a few minutes each until they are just tender. Make sure not to cook them.
  • Drain them out of the oil and set aside.
  • In the same oil add asafoetida and mustard and when the mustard pops, add cumin, curry leaves, fenugreek, ginger, garlic, green chilies and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the sautéed veggies, salt and vinegar and mix thoroughly on very low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate in air tight containers.
  • BitterMelon-Carrot-Mango pickle / Pavakka Carrot Manga Achar – Kerala Style (Ready to Eat)


    2010
    06.12

    IMG_3237 

    This is my Mom’s all famous  mixed pickle recipe. It comes together fairly quickly and is one of my favorites. Like all mothers do, my Mom too eyeballs all her ingredients while cooking. So the proportions I’ve mentioned might not be as accurate. You may have to alter  them according to your tastes.

    Ingredients
    1 cup cut julienne style bitter melon
    ½ cup cut julienne style carrot
    ½ cup cut julienne style raw peeled mango
    2 tsp cut julienne style garlic
    2 tsp cut julienne style green chilies 
    1 tbsp salt (or to taste) 
    big pinch of asafoetida 
    ½  tsp roasted cumin powder (dry roast cumin seeds and powder them)  
    ½  tsp black mustard seeds
    ½ tsp roasted fenugreek powder (dry roast fenugreek seeds and powder them)
    2 –3 tbsp sesame or refined vegetable oil
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    1/4 cup natural vinegar

    Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan, sauté melons, carrots and mango, one at a time, for a few minutes each until they are just tender. Make sure not to cook them.
  • Drain them out of the oil and set aside.
  • In the same oil add asafoetida and mustard and when the mustard pops, add cumin, curry leaves, fenugreek, ginger, garlic, green chilies and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and add the sautéed veggies, salt and vinegar and mix thoroughly on very low heat.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate in air tight containers.