Friday, May 31, 2013

Kele Talasani (Green Plantain with Garlic)

My Mother made this frequently when we were young. I liked the combination of garlic with crunchy plantains and spices. It pairs well with white rice and dalitoy.


1 large Green Plantain
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
salt to taste

How it's made:

Peel green plantain. Discard skin and cut plantain to 1/2" cubes. Rinse under running water.
In a "Kadai" or frying pan, heat oil. Add garlic and fry until light golden brown. Add dry spices and salt. Add plantains. Stir well. Cover and cook until tender. Do not add water. During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking process, uncover lid and fry on high heat until plantains get a little crunchy on the outside. Adjust seasoning.

Serves: 2

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sweet and Sour Bitter Gourd/ Bitter Melon (Karathe)

My Grandfather loved Bitter Gourd/ Bitter Melon and he always spoke about how the vegetable was a remedy for diabetes, liver, skin and overall health. Bitter Gourd is called "Karathe" in Konkani. It wasn't my favorite vegetable for long until I got this recipe from my mother's cousin several years ago. She made this during one of our visit to India and I couldn't tell the dish was made with Bitter Gourd.
I have made this several times since its a family favorite. It's called as "Onion Curry" in my household as I use a lot of onions to hide the vegetable.
Salting the vegetable helps in draining out the bitterness (although this is not recommended). You can use Indian as well as Chinese Bitter Gourd.


2 karathe/karelas (Bitter Gourd/ Bitter melon)
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/4 - 1/2 cup rice flour
2 large onions, sliced
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric)
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
golf ball sized tamarind, soaked in warm water for 15 mins
4-5 tsp jaggery/ brown sugar
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

How it's made:

Wash and rinse Bitter gourd. Slice them in circles and discard center seeds. Add salt and set aside for 30 mins.
Squeeze out pulp from tamarind and set aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Squeeze out excess water from bitter gourd. Add chilli powder, hing and enough rice flour to coat bitter gourd. Deep fry without over crowding until golden brown. Set aside.
In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil and fry sliced onions until translucent. Add dry spices. Fry for a minute. Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt to taste. If the sauce is thick add 1/4 cup water. Boil on high heat for a few minutes. Add fried bitter gourd and stir until all the bitter gourd pieces are well coated with the sauce. The dish becomes fairly dry as all the liquid gets absorbed by the deep fried bitter gourd. Serve hot with roti or rice and dalitoy.

Serves: 4