Monday, October 21, 2013

Idli Sambar



4 cups idli rice
1 cup split urad dal
1 cup poha (beaten rice)

How it's made:

Wash and soak the above ingredients for 6-8 hours or overnight. Grind well until smooth and let it ferment. During summers, the batter can be left on kitchen counter top and it takes 6-8 hours (or overnight) to ferment. When the weather is cooler, I heat the oven to 200 deg F. Turn off the oven and after 5 mins, place the batter and let it sit for 8 hours.
The batter needs to be fermented well for soft idlis. Once the batter is well fermented, add salt. Stir well. Pour batter into idli moulds and steam for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with Sambar/ chutney.


1 medium chayote/Bangalore Brinjal, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
1 small potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3/4 cup cooked toor dal
3 tsp sambar powder
marble size tamarind, soaked in luke warm water for 10-15 minutes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
coriander leaves for garnishing

How it's made:

In a heavy bottom pan, cook chayote, potato, carrot, onion together with 1/2 cup water and salt to taste. When the vegetables are cooked add toor dal. Let it boil. In the meantime, extract pulp from tamarind. Discard fiber and mix sambar powder to tamarind extract. Add to dal and vegetables. Boil well.
In a skillet or "Phanna Davlo", heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add curry leaves. Add seasoning to sambar. Adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Moroccan Chicken

With Indian festive food almost every day, everyone at home wanted a little change. I decided to try something different and with the help of my internet friend "goggle", I came across this simple, easy recipe by Martha Stewart. She has a few recipes of Moroccan chicken with variations but this one caught my eye since it was low in fat and super easy. The recipe needs no oil for cooking and everything goes in one pot. The dish is ready in 45 minutes or less - perfect meal for a week day dinner.


4 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
1 large onions, cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp red chilli powder (or more as per personal preference)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 large green squash (zucchini), cut into chunks

How it's made:

In a large heavy bottom pan, combine chicken, onions, carrots, tomatoes, beans, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric, cinnamon  salt, pepper and 1 cup water. Boil and then reduce heat. Cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is almost done. Lastly add squash and cook for another 10 minutes until vegetable is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with couscous.

Serves: 4

Note: I used Near East brand Herb chicken couscous. Follow direction on box for cooking instructions.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sabudana/Sago Khichdi (Spicy Tapioca with Potato and Peanuts)

Sabudana Kichdi is a Maharashtrian specialty which is mostly cooked on days when one fasts. I got the first taste of this dish when I stayed in Maharashtra State for a few months after marriage. It took me a very long time to develop liking for Sabudana and till date, it's not something that I enjoy but it has always been my husbands favorite. Over the last few years, the thought of cooking this dish made me nervous. Most of the time it was a disaster and unrecognizable - it either resembled a huge ball or turned extremely mushy! After several tries, I think I finally succeeded.
Most recipes that I was given, instructed to wash Sabudana and leave about a quarter cup of water to soak for a few hours. It never worked for me. So I decided to soak 1 cup Sabudana in 3-4 cups of water overnight and it worked well. Many might not agree with this method but I have succeeded every single time since then. I personally think, the size and quality makes a difference with soaking time.


3/4 cup Sabudana (Tapioca)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small green chillies, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped into cubes
1/4 cup roasted peanut powder
salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

How it's made:

Wash and soak sabudana for 6 hours or overnight. Drain water and squeeze Sabudana between the palm of your hands. Combine salt, sugar, peanut powder, lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and set aside.
In a pan, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and green chilies. Saute until it changes color. Add potatoes, salt and cook until potatoes are done. Do not add water. Add sabudana. Mix well. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Adjust salt and sugar. Serve hot with extra lemon juice if required.

Serves: 4

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chocolate Pistachio Muffin

The past 2-3 months have been busy not to mention the busiest summer I had. Juggling between summer camp, working full time and overseas family relatives, it was a hectic summer but time well spent. I cooked quite a few authentic Konkani dishes when we had family members visiting but unfortunately didn't find time to plate, capture images and update on my blog. Never the less, I also had the luxury to enjoy good fresh food waiting when I got back from work.
Summer went by like a breeze and we are back to school routine. No more lazy weekends!
I hope to edit and post recipes that have been sitting in my inbox for awhile. My sister-in-law recently said she was bored seeing Batate Upkari on my home page every time she logged onto my blog!

Weekday mornings are always busy, and with school bus arriving by 6:45 am sometimes breakfast is on-the-go. Brainstorming options, first on my list was Banana Bread, something that everyone likes at home. But I was tempted to try something that I hadn't baked for a very long time. While browsing through my huge collection of recipe that I mostly inherited from my Mother, I found this to be quick and easy and these Muffins turned out great.


1/2 cup margarine, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips + 2 tbsp for topping
1/2 cup pistachio, coarsely chopped + 2 tbsp for topping

How it's made:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat melted margarine, egg, vanilla and milk. Mix in dry ingredients until well combined.
Grease or line muffin pan with paper cups. Fill each muffin cup until half filled. Top with reserved chocolate chips and pistachio.

Bake for 20 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes: about 15 muffins