Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kismur - Goan dried prawns salad

This is one Goan speciality that my husband can have everyday. Dried fish is not something everyone can stomach. The smell especially. What to fish eaters is an aroma of ambrosia, to non fish-eaters can be a vomit inducing stink. (I know people who feel that way about regular fish too)

It is really simple and quick to make. One of those recipes that upon touching your taste buds, take your mind on a flight to the delightful, salty, windy seashores of Goa. Watching a sunset at the beach, sipping on a chilled beer, and eating kismur with a spoon! Such are the delights of a simple life :-)

  • 1 cup dried prawns, cleaned (you must remove the heads of the dried prawns)
  • 1 large onion, preferably red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4th tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp oil.
Heat the oil and add the prawns. Roast them till your whole house smells like the seashore. Let them brown evenly and allow them to cool.

Add the onion, coconut, dry spices, salt and tamarind paste and mix well using your hands. Crush the prawns with your fingers as much as possible.

Serve cold as a starter or as an accompaniment to fish curry and rice.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lasun (Garlic) Dry Chutney

My husband has been pestering me to make this chutney for a while now. Although freely available in the market, he wanted home-made chutney. I have been putting off making this chutney only because I really don't like the process of grating the dry coconut. It's a daunting and really slow task.

Today I finally made it, and he is one happy bloke. Thanks to Sahana for the recipe.

  • 1 half dry coconut (sukka khobra)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds (I always prefer the unpolished variety)
  • 5 dry red chillies (or more if you like it hot)
  • 15 to 20 smallish pods of garlic
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (for the lovely red color)
  • salt to taste
Dry roast the dry coconut, sesame seeds and red chillies separately. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

Heat the oil and add the garlic and roast till the pods turn slightly brown.

Dry grind them along with Kashmiri red chilli powder and salt. 

Serve with a little oil, as an accompaniment to paranthas, or jowar or bajra bhakri.

Happy Cooking!

Spinach and Garlic Raita

These days I am always tired. I yearn for recipes that I can make in a jiffy, and are yet tasty and mouthwatering. This is one recipe I made last night which was made in practically ten minutes from the start to finish and was wiped off the wok by my hubby.

  • 1 bunch spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 7 to 8 small garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt (dahi)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chat masala powder
Wash and de-stem the spinach leaves. Chop them into fine shreds and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a wok, and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds begin changing color, throw in the garlic pods. Allow the garlic to turn brown and then add the spinach, coriander powder, and salt. Saute on high heat for two to three minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow the spinach mixture to cool down. Now add the yoghurt. Add chat masala to the raita.

Place it in a glass bowl and chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled as an accompaniment to paranthas, or rice based recipes.

Happy Cooking!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Katachi Amti

This is generally made from the leftover puran (filling of the puran poli). I love its taste so much, that for years, mom has been saving some puran for the amti right from the beginning.

The taste is simply explosive. The sweetness of the puran, and the sour spiciness of the rest of the masala (which isn't much). The tempering of curry leaves and mustard seeds in ghee just adds to the overall flavor.

  • 1 cup puran
  • 2 tbsp coconut freshly grated
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 small lemon sized ball of tamarind
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
  • salt to taste
Grind the coconut, tamarind and chillies together. Mis them with the puran and add a little water (add the water drained from the chana dal while making puran as it gives extra taste)

Add salt, and bring the curry to a boil. Now heat the ghee and add mustard seeds. Once they begin spluttering, add curry leaves and one large pinch of hing.

 Mix well and serve hot!

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Puran Poli

Come Holi, and it is time for Puran Poli! It is also a time for thandaai mixed with bhaang. That is definitely not on my agenda right now. Foodie I am, but  a junkie I am not.

I remember the last time my husband had bhaang. I was seven months pregnant, and it was the day before my 'Goad Bharaai'. As can be expected, I was very worried about him and my brother having bhang and making not just fools of themselves, but also putting their lives in danger (they were on a two-wheeler). But men will be men. Out of curiosity or simple case of over-confidence, they went ahead and had the bhaang. I don't know why they thought, that we wouldn't come to know. They reached home safe, thank God, but not before making a pitstop at a general store, and asking the poor shopkeeper to get them this and that, and half his shop, and then realizing that they had but 5 bucks in their pocket! Haha!

My husband spend the entire day laughing, even when I was furious. He laughed and laughed, till his eyes were ready to pop out of his head. I decided (and so did he, eventually, when the effect wore off) that we are staying away from bhaang forever.

But nothing can keep us away from Puran Poli! And katachi amti the way my mom makes it. So here comes the recipe of Puran Poli and the katachi amti follows in the next post.

  • 1 cup channa dal
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 cups maida or plain flour
  • one pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4th tsp turmeric powder (for that beautiful yellow color)
Pressure cook channa dal with ample of water. Allow it to cook for 4 to 5 whistles. Let it sit, till the cooker cools down. Then open the pressure cooker, and check the dal. It should be squishy between your thumb and forefinger. If it isn't, put it back in the pressure cooker for a whistle or two more.

Once it has cooked sufficiently, drain all the water from the cooked dal. But do not discard the water. Save it for the amti.

Break the jaggery into small pieces, and put them in a kadhai. Add the drained channa dal. Cook over high flame. The jaggery will first melt and the mixture will once again become watery. Keep stirring till the mixture dries up. Allow the mixture to cool down. Put the channa dal mixture in a puran maker, and grind it into a fine paste. You may do this in a blender if you don't have the puran maker, but remember to not use any water, and the resulting mixture will still be pretty grainy.

Make a soft dough with the maida, water, salt and oil. Add a little turmeric powder if you like the yellow color, but it is entirely optional.

Keep the dough immersed in oil. (This is my mother's tip, it keeps the puran poli soft) Remove a portion of the dough and make a deep receptacle in it with your thumbs (read my modak recipe for the method) and place a small lemon sized ball of puran mixture in it. Seal the edges of the dough shut by pinching them together at the top.

Apply a little dry flour, and roll it into a thin chapati. Be careful, the puran tends to come out a little. If it does, do not hesitate to do a little patchwork, who's to know? Perfection takes both time and practice.

Roast it on a griddle (tawa) with a little ghee if you like. Serve hot with katachi amti.

Happy cooking!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rajali Banana Bhaaji - Bananas in coconut gravy

Ever since I remember, I have loved this recipe. It is a typical GSB recipe, but I didn't find a mention of it anywhere on the net. All I could find was Rajali banana halwa.

Rajali bananas are a specialty of Vasai. These long bananas are yellow when raw, and black spots appear on their skin when they are ripe. The ripe bananas are used for this recipe, as against raw bananas which are commonly used in gravies. Although the bananas used here are ripe, do not substitute the Rajali bananas with the regular green-skinned variety. They won't hold their form and the mass will be reduced to a gooey mess.

The ingredients are such that you can easily have this recipe for a vrat or a fasting day too. The taste is an amalgamation of flavors, sweetness of the bananas and coconut, combined with the sourness of tamarind and hot spiciness of the chillies. The cumin seeds add a spicy quotient to this lovely recipe.

I am also posting a picture of Rajali bananas, so you can identify them when you see one.

  • 3 ripe Rajali bananas
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  • half small lemon sized ball of tamarind (imli)
  • 4 to 5 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds for tempering
Peel the bananas, and chop them into one inch sized pieces. Make a slit on one side of each piece.

Blend the coconut, tamarind, green chillies and 1 tsp cumin seeds to a thick mixture with little water, salt and sugar. Fill this mixture into the slit on the sides of the banana pieces.

Heat the ghee in a wok and add one tsp cumin seeds.  Now add the stuffed pieces of bananas into the ghee and the remaining coconut mixture. Toss quickly for one minute on high heat. Lower the heat and cover the wok with a lid. Allow the bananas to cook for 5 minutes on simmering heat, stirring frequently.

Serve hot with chapati (or by itself if being made for a fast)

Happy Cooking!