Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lemon Rice


2 cups cooked rice
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp channa dal (Bengal Gram dal)
1 tsp urad dal (Split gram dal)
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp hing (asofetida)
1 green chilli, slit
2 dried red chillies (Byadgi)
a sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
2-3 tbsp cashewnut pieces (or peanuts)
4-5 tbsp of lemon juice
salt to taste
coriander leaves

How it's made:

In a "kadai" or non stick pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters add channa dal, urad dal, ginger, hing, green chilli, red chilli, curry leaves, and cashewnut pieces. Fry until the color of seasoning turns light brown. Add haldi and salt. Stir for a few seconds. Add cooked rice and lemon juice. Combine seasoning and rice well. Adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves: 3

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Samsarpadavo (Konkani New Year)

Happy Yugadi/ Gudi Padwa to all.

Today is Konkani New Year. The day starts with cleaning the house, specifically the puja room. Every year, during konkani new Year, I remember the time when my Mother cleaned the house thoroughly, starting a few days prior to this day. On the eve of New Year's, the entrance of the house and puja room would be decorated with mango leaves and flowers. After puja at home, we would head over to my Bapama and Ajja's (My father's parents), where we celebrated New Year with extended family. They lived in the same town and a few minutes away from us. It was a hub for many relatives to get together for special events.
The first thing we were offered at Bapama's was "Bevu Bella" (Neem leaves and jaggery), which I never looked forward too. We all had to eat it (even after all the fussing) since it was Prasad from the temple. To remove the bitter taste of neem leaves, Bapama would treat us with "Khadisakar" (Rock Candy).
Then came the delicious, enjoyable meal. The menu would comprise of dishes made with fruits and vegetables that were in season. Chana Gashi, Tendle Batate Bibbe Upkari, Kadge chakko, Ambe Upkari, Avnas Ambe Sasam, Dalitoy, variety of Phodi's and of course Kheer/Madgane - to name a few.
It was today morning, during my conversation with my Mother, she reminded that it was Yugadi today. With very little grocery at home, I had to manage with what I had. Considering everyone's liking, it was a simple meal.

 Phagila Phodi, Chana gashiKele Phodi; white rice with Dalitoy.

Sabudana Kheer (Tapioca Pudding)

This is one kheer that everyone likes at home. I like to use a tsp of basmati rice to the kheer as it acts as a thickening agent and gives a nice aroma to the dish.


1/4 cup sabudana (tapioca)
1 tsp basmati rice
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk ( I use 2% milk, you can use whole milk)
4-5 tsp sugar, heaped
a pinch of saffron, soaked in a few tsp of milk
10-12 raisins
a pinch of ground green cardamon powder
Nuts to garnish

How it's made:

Wash Sabudana under running water and soak for 30 mins.
Wash rice and set aside.
Drain water from sabudana. Combine with rice in a heavy bottom pan. Cook in half cup of water until rice is half cooked and sabudana turns transparent. Add milk, sugar and saffron. Boil, stirring continuously. Once mixture thickens, add raisins and cardamom powder.
Garnish with cashewnuts/ almonds/ raisins.

Serves: 3

Phagila Phodi (Deep Fried Kantola)


1 (12oz) pack frozen kantola/ phagil
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida)
salt to taste
Rice flour - approximately 1/4 cup
oil for deep frying

How it's made:

Remove phagil from freezer and set aside at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
In a small mixing bowl, mix red chilli powder, hing and salt. Add very little water to make a paste. Rub paste to phagil and coat with rice flour.

Deep fry in hot oil until brown and crispy. Serve hot.

Kele Phodi (Pan Fried Bananas)

This is my husbands most favorite Phodi. I think he will enjoy it 365 days of the year.
"Nendre baale" as known in Konkani or Macho Bananas in Mexico are the best. Regular bananas cannot be used to make these Phodi's. Macho bananas are easily available at most farmer's market and grocery stores.


1 ripe macho banana
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of salt
a few tsp of rice flour
oil/ghee (clarified butter)

How it's made:

Heat an iron skillet. Spread a little oil or ghee. (Bananas fried with ghee tastes better, but I stick to oil and use a drop of ghee for flavor)
Peel banana. Cut banana horizontally and then into 1" pieces. Add red chilli powder and salt. Mix well.

Roll in rice flour and fry on both sides until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Green Chicken (Dry)

It finally feels like spring! With bright sunny skies and warm temperature, everyone at home has been looking forward to spring back to outdoor activities for very long time.
Although every season has it's own charm, spring and summer are my favorite. I make frequent visits to Farmers market for fresh produce and I use a lot of fresh herbs in my cooking. Mint is one of my most favored herb and we have it in our garden every year. They grow very quickly and need very little maintenance. Although we have a vegetable patch, I like to keep them in pots since they spread and need to be contained.
This is a very simple and easy recipe that I came up with, using coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint.


2 lb chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped roughly
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped roughly
1/4 cup yogurt
3 cloves garlic
4 green chillies
3 cloves
2 green cardamom
1/2 tsp pepper corns
1 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)
Salt to taste

How it's made:

Blend garlic, ginger, green chillies, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper corns and fennel seeds to a fine paste with very little water.
In a wide bowl, combine coriander leaves, mint, yogurt, ground paste, salt and chicken. Let it marinate for 30 mins or upto 4 hours in refrigerator.

In a non stick pan or skillet, heat a few tsp of oil. Add marinated chicken. Fry on high heat for 5 mins. Lower heat, cover and cook until chicken is well done. To finish the dish, uncover lid and let all the liquid evaporate. Serve dry (without gravy).

Serves: 6

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is a popular Mumbai street food. As a child, I don't remember eating street food as my parents were against it and they didn't cherish any dish with garam masala in it. The first time I tried Pav Bhaji was at Mumbai during an outing with my close friend. I believe it was at "Sukh Sagar", which according to my friend, was the best in town. It was a busy, crazy place. People chatting, steel plates and glasses clanking, people bumping while walking through the narrow passages-I remember wondering if I really needed to eat at this busy place.
We were served pipping hot Bhaji with a dollop of butter on it with warm butter toasted bread. It tasted pretty good and of course we were hungry after going around town!
After getting married, I learnt that my husband was a big fan of street food. Now Chaat, Samosa's, Vada Pav..... is something that I make every few weeks.


1 packet store bought Pav (bread)

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 medium potatoes, boiled
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/4 cup frozen peas
coriander leaves
2 tsp Everest pav bhaji masala
Lemon juice, for serving
salt to taste

How it's made:

Cook carrots, peas and cauliflower together.
In a non stick pan, heat oil. Add onions and garlic. Fry until translucent. Add tomatoes and pav bhaji masala. Fry until tomatoes are soft. Add cooked veggies and potato. Mix well. You can use a potato masher for texture. Adjust salt. Add coriander leaves. Serve hot with a dollop of butter and lemon juice.

Slit Pav in half (horizontally). Butter both sides and heat on pan until light golden brown.

Serves: 4

Friday, April 5, 2013

Dalitoy (Konkani Dal)

Dalitoy, is the main staple of Konkani cooking. Most Konkani household cook this dish on a daily basis. It was one of the first dish I learnt to cook when I got married.
On any special occasions, be it wedding or religious event, no meal would be complete without Dalitoy. The seasoning which comprises of chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida gives an aromatic and distinctive fragrance to this dish. Some Konkani communities add haldi (turmeric) while cooking toor dal. They also season with ghee and then garnish with coriander leaves before serving.


1/2 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
2 green chillies
1 tsp sasam (black mustard seeds)
2 dried red chillies (I use byadgi), broken into pieces
1 sprig curry leaves
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1 1/2 tsp oil/ghee (coconut oil can be used, but I use canola)
salt to taste

How it's made:

Wash and rinse dal. Add enough water to cover dal and pressure cook for 10-12 minutes. (To speed up cooking process, dal can be soaked in water for an hour or two before pressure cooking). To make the dal a little spicy, green chillies can be added while pressure cooking dal.
Once dal is well cooked, transfer to a saucepan. With a hand blender (smart stick hand blender), blend dal until creamy and smooth. Add enough water to make a medium thick soup like consistency. Add green chillies and salt. Bring to boil.
In a "Phanna Davlo" or small frying pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add red chillies, curry leaves and hing. Season to dal.

Cover and let it rest for 2 minutes before serving. Serve hot with white rice and a side dish like - Bhenda Upkari, Kori Sukka, Palak Kulitha Kodel or just pickle and papad.

Serves: 3-4