Sunday, November 29, 2009

Vaal Papdi Bhaaji/French Beans Stir Fry.

This is my 50th post on the blog.

And I would like to post this simple French Beans Stir Fry which is my Pappa's favourite bhaaji.

This vegetable was a regular item and was cooked at least once a week at my parents place. I guess this shows how much my Pappa likes the vegetable.

Usually in Goan kitchen one adds mustard seeds and cumin seeds for the tempering, but somehow I do not know why but Ma only added mustard seeds for this bhaaji. May be my Pappa liked it this way.

And also the vaal papdi was always just cut into pieces about 1 and 1/2 inches in length. My Pappa liked chunkier vegetables then finely chopped or minced, he said that the nutrients of the vegetables is retained when kept chunkier. Also this vegetable was always made nice and crispy. Of course according to his age now Pappa prefers fulled cooked vegetables. :)

2 cups french beans chopped,
1/2 onion chopped,
1 or 2 green chillies chopped or slit,
1 tsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

  • Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the chopped onion and green chilly, cook for few minutes then add the cut beans, salt, sugar, turmeric powder and a sprinkle of water and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low and cook on low flame till the beans are cooked but not mushy.
Cut beans to whatever size you prefer.
Add grated coconut if you like.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mixed Dal Dosa/ Mixed lentil Crepes.

Mixed Dal Dosa served with Aam ras and mixed vegetable Stir fry.

3/4 cup udit dal,
1/2 cup mung dal,
1/4 cup channa dal
1 tsp methi seeds,
pinch of sugar,
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
Oil to grease and drizzle on pan.

  • Wash and soak dals and methi seeds for 4-5 hours. Drain and grind to a fine paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. (Pancake like batter.)
  • Heat non stick pan and grease it slightly with 1/2 tsp of oil.
  • Then pour 1/4 cup of batter and spread around thin like for a dosa .
    Let cook for a minute and drizzle some oil on the dosa and on the sides, then flip to other side with a spatula and let cook on other side for few minutes.
  • Serve hot with chutney or ketchup or any vegetables side dish.

This is the best way for young kids to eat any kind of dals without a fuss.
Drizzling the oil on the dosa makes the dosa crispy.
This is a nice recipe to use up any small amounts of dals that you have in the pantry.
Can vary the amounts of dals.

Friday, November 27, 2009

More Cakes

I used the same Butter-less cake batter to make all the below different cakes.

Chocolate Vanilla stripped cake.

Clock wise - Plain cake, Cranberry and nuts cake bars, Lemon poppy seeds cake, Walnut cake.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Butter-less Vanilla Cake.

I love baking a lot. And I am always on the look out for recipes that do not use much butter for baking.
Now a days I rarely bake cakes with butter. I try to use olive oil for baking whenever possible.
This is one cake that I bake very often. It is so moist and rich, tastes almost like a pound cake without any butter.

2 eggs,
3/4 cup sugar,
1/2 cup oil(olive or vegetable oil),
1/2 cup milk,
1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour,
1/2 tbsp baking powder,
1 tbsp vanilla.

  • Beat eggs well. Add sugar to eggs and beat well.
  • Next add oil and milk and beat well.
  • In another bowl mix flour and baking powder.
  • Gradually keep adding a tbsp at a time of flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix, till all the flour is used and everything is well incorporated.Finally add the vanilla and mix.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Grease and flour a loaf pan(8x4) or a 7 inch round pan.
  • Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes, till cake is done.
  • To test for doneness insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake and see.
  • When done take out of oven and cool for 15 minutes and then invert the cake out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost if desired. We prefer ours plain.

Can double the recipe and bake in a Bundt pan.
Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to the above batter to make chocolate cake.
Add chopped nuts or raisins if desired.
If eaten the same day the cake is usually crusty and a bit dry but if eaten the next day it becomes very soft and moist.
Can substitute any other liquid(orange juice/coffee/wine) for the milk.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Guilt-Free Bhaji(pakoda) Triangles/Chickpea Flour Triangles.

I know the name kind of makes u think what in the world is she talking about..................Bhaji(pakoda) and guilt-free???????
Well, the other day I felt like eating bhaji but did not want to indulge in the oily stuff, so thought ok, let me try this method.
And guess what it did work !!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now there is no stopping me from enjoying these bhaji's any time of the day.

5 tbsp chickpea flour(besan),
1 tsp rice flour,
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 green chilly , chopped fine,
1/4 cup chopped onion,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
2 tsp oil.

  • Mix all ingredients except oil in a bowl, add few tbsp of water to make bhajiya batter.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a 8 inch non stick pan on medium heat.
  • Pour all the batter in the hot pan and spread(like a thick dosa).
  • Let cook few minutes, take a spatula and flip the bhaji pancake.
  • Drizzle 1 tsp oil on the edges of the circle and let cook on other side for 1-2 minutes.
  • Turn off heat. Take the bhaji pancake off the pan and cut into triangles or squares and enjoy with some ketchup or chutney and a hot cup of tea.
The rice flour makes the bhajiya crispy.
Increase green chilly to make more spicy.
This batter was sufficient to make one 8 inch circle.
These need to be eaten crispy hot or else they get soft.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Bhindi Bhaaji/Okra Stir Fry.

Bhindi is called " Bhene " in konkani. Ma made this bhenyachi bhaaji often, only she did not add amchur powder, she would sometimes add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice.

3 cups bhindi, cut in a slant or angle,
1 onion, chopped,
1 tomato, diced,
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder(haldi),
1 tsp garam masala,
1/2 tsp dry mango powder(amchur)/ 2 tsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp oil,
1tsp jeera(cumin),
1 tsp mustard seeds(rai),
salt to taste.

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • When hot add the jeera and mustard seeds, when they splutter add the chopped onion and saute well.
  • Next add the tomato and bhindi and mix well.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, sprinkle a few teaspoons of water and reduce heat to low and allow the bhindi to cook till tender but not mushy.
  • Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves if desired for garnish.

Can cut the bhindi in any desired shape, the end result and taste is the same.
Sometimes Ma made it using green chillies and omitted the garam masala.
Also at times she would add some fresh grated coconut to it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Blog Is Mentioned In Femina.

First of all I would like to thanks Rashmi Deshpande, who was kind enough to mention my blog in the October issue of Femina(dated 21st October).

My blog is mentioned in the article "20 things we think every woman ought to know" by Rashmi Deshpande, it is mentioned in the sub link number 5 - Basic Cooking(page number 204).

For a novice blogger like me who just started my blog recently it is really a matter of joy to be mentioned in a prestigious magazine like FEMINA.

I also thank the blogger who informed me about this news. If it was not for her I would never have known this.

My Papa ran all over town(Panaji,Goa) to glance through the issues of Femina (September and October) as we did not know which issue it was mentioned in.
My Papa finally managed to get a copy from a library and emailed me the scanned copy of the magazine on my Bday, and that was one of the best Bday presents I ever got.
My cousin K bought the magazine and emailed me several scanned copies so that I could upload a copy on my blog. Thanks K. I owe you one. ;)

I wish my mother was here today so I could share this joy with her.
I started this food blog in remembrance of her, I am sure she must be looking over me at this moment.

Thanks Ma for everything...............

Tomato Onion Bhaaji

Our meal of paneer bhaaji, masoor thondak, tomato bhaji and chappati.

This tomato bhaaji is a typical goan dish eaten with chappatis or bread(pao - this is in konkani for bread rolls) in the morning for breakfast.
My mom used to make this very often.

1 onion, diced,
7-8 tomatoes , diced,
1 green chilly, chopped fine,
3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced,
2 tsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
pinch of hing,
2 tbsp grated coconut,
3 tsp goan garam masala or any garam masala,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp sugar,
salt to taste.
chopped coriander leaves for garnish.


  • Heat oil in a pan, add the hing, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

  • When they splutter add the chopped onions, garlic and green chilly and fry till the onion in translucent and cooked.

  • Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt, sugar and grated coconut and mix well.

  • Let cook for few minutes uncovered(if you cover there will be lot of liquid in the dish).

  • Add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with bread or chappati.

I prefer mine with bread as the bread soaks up the juicy liquid.
Can add chopped or whole cashew nuts.
Add more green chillies for spicier version. I tend to make mine less spicy because of my kids.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Paneer Bhaaji / Cheese Stir Fry.

My son simply loves paneer. Every time I make this recipe he will say "mom did u make cheese bhaaji". He calls paneer as cheese, which technically speaking is right.
I do make paneer pulao, paneer makhni, palak paneer, etc, but my son loves this simple paneer bhaaji the most. So this bhaaji is a regular fare at our house.

2 cups diced paneer(cheese),
1/2 medium onion , diced,
1/2 cup diced bell pepper,
2 tsp oil,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
1-2 tsp garam masala,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
salt to taste,
2 tsp dry kasoori methi leaves, crushed,fenugreek leaves),
1 tbsp lemon juice.
Coriander leaves to garnish.


Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
Add the mustard and cumin seeds and when they splutter add the onions.
Cook till onions are translucent.
Next add the bell pepper, garam masala, turmeric, salt and mix well.
Add the chopped paneer and mix till everything is coated well with the spices.
Finally add the crushed methi leaves and lemon juice, mix, cover and keep for few minutes on slow fire.
Turn off heat and add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

Add any colored bell pepper.
Add red chilly powder to make more spicy.

This post is off to JFI-Paneer hosted by Trupti, an event started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Masoor Thondak / Masoor Curry.

I am a pressure cooker "freak" or "fan" whatever you may call it, I make anything from pulao to biryani to dals and beans, to chicken in the pressure cooker.
My favourite is my mom's Instant Chicken , cooked in the pressure cooker of course.
I have not yet experimented with seafood in the pressure cooker till now though, may be one day I might venture in that direction too........

I make most of my beans and channa in the pressure cooker, as that is the best shortcut when you want to have food on the table quickly and you have 2 toddlers around you all the time.
This recipe falls in one of those categories where I "dump" everything in the pressure cooker and pressure cooker for a couple of whistles and voila quick gravy with beans is ready to devour with simple hot phulkas/rotis(flat bread) or rice.

Anyways here is the recipe for the Masoor Thondak.

1 cup masoor washed and soaked in water for about 20 minutes.
1 tsp oil,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
pinch of hing,
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine,
2 tbsp grated ginger,
2 tomatoes, chopped,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 green chilly, slit,
salt to taste,
1/2 tsp sugar.
chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

  • Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add the hing and cumin seeds and when they splutter add the chopped onions , garlic, ginger and mix well.
  • Next add the drained masoor and the turmeric, everyday masala, salt and sugar.
  • Mix well till everything is coated with the masala.
  • Add about 1 and 1/2 cups of water and put the pressure cooker lid on with the whistle and pressure cook on medium high heat for 2-3 whistles.
  • When you open the cooker adjust the amount of gravy consistency as you desire.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
  • There you go quick masoor thondak ready to eat.
Can make any kind of beans, channa, lentils in this way.
Substitute any kind of garam masala of your choice for the everyday garam masala.
Add some more green chillies or red chilly powder if you like more spicy.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Batata Simla Mirch Bhaaji/ Potato And Bell Pepper Stir Fry.

2 cups chopped potatoes,
2 cups chopped bell pepper, any color,
2 tsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp garam masala,
1 tsp lemon juice,
salt to taste.

chopped coriander leaves for garnish

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add mustard and cumin seeds, when they splutter, add the potatoes and stir well.
  • Add the turmeric powder, garam masala and salt, mix well.
  • Sprinkle a few teaspoons of water.
  • Cover with a lid,reduce heat to very low and let the potatoes cook till tender.
  • Add the chopped bell pepper and mix and cover again and let the pepper cook.
  • Finally add the lemon juice, mix and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

I used mixed bell pepper(yellow, orange,red and green).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Aloo Paratha/Potato Stuffed Flatbread.

Aloo paratha, with some yogurt and pickle, ummm....... who can decline an offer of such a combo. At least I cannot. Made this for dinner the other day, my kids enjoyed it very much.

For covering
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour,
1/2 tsp salt,
2 tsp oil,
water to make dough.

For filling,
3 potatoes cooked, peeled and mashed,
1/2 tsp cumin powder(jeera ),
1/2 tsp coriander powder(dhania),
1/2 tsp dry mango powder(amchur),
1 tsp turmeric powder(haldi),
1 tsp white pepper powder,
salt to taste.

extra ghee or oil to apply on the cooked paratha.

  • Take whole wheat flour in a bowl, add salt and the oil to it. Slowly add water and make a soft pliable dough. Keep aside covered for about 20 minutes.
  • Mix all filling ingredients.
  • Make lemon sized balls of the dough(about 8). Divide the filling also into 8 portions.
  • Roll out the dough into a circle about 4 inches in diameter, spread one portion of the filling on one side of the circle and cover to make semi circle, press the edges to seal ,dredge in flour and roll out into a thin paratha.
  • Heat a tava or non stick pan on medium high heat and roast the paratha for about 2-3 minute on each side till it is cooked.
  • Take it off the pan and apply oil or ghee on both sides.
  • Cook the rest in same manner.
  • Serve with yogurt and pickles.

I know this is not the authentic way to make and roll a paratha, but this method works fine for me without the stuffing coming out. The authentic method of making a circle of 3 inches in diameter and then putting stuffing and covering the stuffing and then making a ball and trying to roll it flat into a paratha is a disaster for me :(
Even though I fold it in a semi circle I still almost manage to roll it out to an almost circle paratha :)
I picked this knack of making circles from my mom :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Parsi Fish Sauce/Fish in Egg Sauce.

I came across this recipe in my mom's (one of the many) magazine cuttings(mostly Femina/Woman's Era/Eve's Weekly).
I have about 20lbs of paper (which I got from India), of recipe cuttings and recipe diaries and cookbooks collection that belonged to my Ma with me. These are my most priced possession in remembrance of my mother.

Now back to the recipe, to be more precise I found it in the 1978 Aug-Sep issue of Femina. It has a whole parsi menu for a meal. I decided to make this Parsi Fish Sauce.
I wasn't sure about the egg vinegar mixture and then not boiling it but it tasted wonderful, slightly tangy, slightly spicy. This recipe is definitely a keeper recipe.

2 fish fillets cut in to pieces,
marinate fish for 1 hour in the following.
1/2 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1 tsp paprika(for color),
salt to taste,

1 tsp cumin seeds,
1 medium onion chopped,
3 green chillies,
2 cloves garlic minced,
2 tbsp flour,
2 eggs,
1/3 cup white vinegar,
2 tsp sugar,
salt to taste.
5 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
4 tbsp oil.

  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, chopped onion, green chilly, garlic and fry well till cooked but not brown,
  • Add flour and cook for few more minutes till raw smell of flour goes away.
  • Then add 1/2 cup water and then add the marinated fish.
  • When the fish is cooked reduce heat to very low.
  • In the meanwhile beat eggs and mix vinegar and sugar in egg mixture and mix well.
  • Slowly add the egg mixture to the fish mixture on the stove.
  • Hold and lift the vessel and swirl the ingredients in the pan gently.
  • Cook for few minutes, do not boil or else the gravy will curdle.
  • When the sauce is thick take off heat and add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with steaming rice.

The only changes I made in this recipe is the addition of cumin powder to the fish as in another Indian cookbook that I have it mentioned cumin powder and not cumin seeds, so I added both cumin seeds as well as cumin powder.
The second change is I added 1 tsp of paprika for color as the red chilly that I have does not give any color to the dish, so the paprika enhanced the color of the dish.

The recipe called for crispy fried onions along with coriander leaves for garnish, but I did not have crispy fried onions so just omitted it, but the dish tasted good anyways.
I reduced the recipe to 1/3rd of the original recipe.
This quantity that I made serves 2-3 people.
I used Sole(Lefoo in konkani) fillets, original recipe used pomfret.
You can add more green chillies or red chilly powder to make more spicy.

This post is off to Meera's RCI - Parsi Cuisine started by Laxmi of Veggie Cuisine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Everyday Garam Masala

One day I came up with this concoction to add sufficient flavour but not overpowering taste of spices to the dishes that I make.
I have been making this masala and using a few teaspoons for any kind of lentils(masoor or moong) or channa(vatana or Kabuli channa). This gives the lentils and channa dish a beautiful fragrance of spices without the heat.

2 tbsp coriander seeds,(kotfiryo),
1 and 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds,(jeerae),
2 tbsp black pepper(miri),
1 tbsp black cardamom,(masala velchi),
1 tbsp cinnamon (thikhi).

Dry roast all ingredients individually and then grind fine in a coffee grinder.
Store in a dry clean bottle and use as required.

The words in the brackets are the konkani pronunciation of the spices.
This amount is just enough to use a couple of times. It tastes best when fresh as does any kind of ground dry masala.
Increase the amount of black pepper to make it more spicy.
I have used this masala for the Masoor Thondak/Semi-Dry Masoor Curry.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Broccoli Salad/Broccoli In Yogurt Dressing.

This raita I made using only grated broccoli stems. This was not so much like raita but rather more like a coleslaw. I used less yogurt for this salad but same list of ingredients as below Broccoli Carrot Raita.

Broccoli Carrot Raita

I never throw the broccoli stems away, this time I thought of making raita of it bcoz it tastes nice and crunchy.
My son gobbled 2 bowls of this with his chicken burgers.

1 broccoli stem grated,
1 carrot grated,
1/2 cup yogurt,
2 tbsp sour cream,
1/2 tsp cumin powder,
salt to taste,
1 tbsp sugar,
pinch of red chilly powder,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.

  • Mix yogurt, sour cream, salt, sugar, red chilly powder, cumin powder, and coriander leaves.
  • Add the grated carrots and grated broccoli stems.
  • Serve cold.

Can omit sour cream and use only yogurt.
Once I used only grated broccoli stems. You can mix and match any vegetables.
Add chopped mint leaves for a change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Rajma "Baked" Beans.

"Baked" beans is a regular fare in our family, my son and myself love it very much.
I make baked beans using different kinds of beans each time, today I decided to use Rajma.
The major differentiating factor in this recipe is that I do not "bake" my baked beans but rather pressure cook them. I guess this recipe should be called "Pressure Cooked Baked Beans". :)
This is not an original recipe, I prepare it to suit the taste buds in our family.

3/4 cup rajma soaked in water over night,
1/2 cup barbecue sauce,
1/2 cup molasses,
2 tbsp tomato sauce or ketchup,
1/4 onion, chopped fine,
salt to taste,
1/4 tsp white pepper,
1 tsp mustard,
2 tsp oil.

  • Heat the pressure cooker on medium high heat and add 2 tsp oil.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and water to cover the rajma. The water should be about 1 inch above the rajma, approximately 1 and 1/2 cups water. Mix well.
  • Put the lid on with the whistle and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles.
  • Once you open the cooker and if it has to much liquid then cook a few minutes uncovered till you get the desired consistency.
  • There you go , pressure cooked "baked" beans ready to enjoy along with grilled chicken or fish and a salad.
Make it as spicy as you like. I made my mild bcoz of my kids.
Can omit onions and mustard.

Event Participation.
This post is my first entry to JFI-Rajma hosted by Divya , an event started by Indira of Mahanandi

Instant Rava Dhokla/Steamed Semolina Squares.

Dhokla is one of my favourite snacks. I make different kinds of dhoklas.This one is a very easy dhokla recipe that does not require any soaking or grinding or fermentation and can be enjoyed any time of the day or year. And quick to make as starter for parties.

1 cup semolina(rava),
1 tbsp chickpea flour(besan),
1 cup yogurt,
1 tsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp sugar,
2 tbsp oil,
salt to taste,
1 tsp turmeric powder(haldi),
1 tsp eno fruit salt or baking soda(soda bi carbonate),
warm water to make batter consistency.

For tadka/tempering.
2 tbsp oil,
1 tsp fine mustard seeds(rai),
1 tsp sesame seeds,(til),

For garnish.

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish.
2 tbsp grated coconut(optional).

  • Mix semolina, besan, yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric powder, sugar salt, and add warm water to this to make a batter. Consistency should be like pancake/ dosa batter.
  • Heat a large pan with water, put steamer insert.
  • Take a deep tray or thali/plate that fits in the large pan, about 8-9 inches in diameter, apply little oil to the plate and keep it in the steamer insert.
  • Put the Eno fruit salt in the batter and beat well till frothy for a minute and immediately pour in the greased plate.
  • Cover the large pan with a lid and let steam on high for about 10-15 minutes.
  • To check for doneness insert a toothpick in the centre of the dhokla.
  • Take the plate out of the steamer and let cool slightly for 5-8 minutes and cut into squares or diamond shapes.
  • Heat the oil for the tempering in a small pan , add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and when they splutter pour this tempering all over the dhokla.
  • Sprinkle with shopped coriander leaves and grated coconut(optional).
  • Serve with ketchup or chutney of your choice.

You can add 1 tsp of green chilly ginger paste but I prefer the dhokla without the ginger chilly paste.
Also can saute a couple of green chillies in some oil till they get blisters and change color and accompany this with the dhokla.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Savouries From India

My Papa send these two from Goa ---Famous Zantye's Cashews and Spicy Palak(Spinach) Shev.

These other Goodies my hubby got from Mumbai.

Nylon Shev and South Indian Sarkaraupperi (deep-fried raw bananas, dipped in a jaggery syrup and then dusted with dried ginger.)

Dry Cocktail Samosi, Banana Wafer/Chips, Bhakarwadi.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Crab Apple Tree in My Backyard.

This is the crab apple tree in my backyard. This year the yield was less compared to last year where the tree was loaded with bright scarlet crab apples.
It has blossoms of white flowers in spring and then these apples start off the size of olives, from green to light pinkish to bright scarlet red. They are very tart and are usually used to make jelly(tedious process).
I make crab apple sasav (goan dish) and also throw a couple in dal , it gives a nice tangy flavour to the dal.

Some Goodies From India

My hubby had been on a short trip to India. So I asked him to bring a whole list of goodies from India, mostly savouries and sweets. Here are some of them.

Ice Halwa(the flat squares), Pista Elaichi(cardamom) flavour(white) and Pineapple flavour(Yellow)

And Sutar Feni (white threads) and Soan papdi(yellow squares).

Savoury pictures in next post.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cocktail Samosa

I made these dainty cocktail samosas using a tiny samosa mould.
What I liked best was that each and every samosa was of the same size and that made the platter of samosas look very elegant.
I used the usual potato filling, may be next time I will try different filling for the cocktail samosa.
My kids were very excited and happy to hold and eat the tiny samosas that were the perfect size for their tiny hands and fingers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poss/ Steamed Milk Sweet.

The other day I prepared the famous Bengali delicacy Bappa Doi(baked yogurt).When I tasted it I though ummmmm...... this is similar in texture to Poss and if I add some more ingredients I would probably get the same taste as Poss.
Poss is a delicacy in Goa that is prepared using cows colostrum milk.
This dessert is not too sweet.
I called up my Aayi(maternal grandmother) and Mami (aunt) and got the list of additional ingredients that was added to the milk to make poss.

Well, I tried it and voila, it tasted same as the Poss that I ate in Goa only thing was there was no need of the colostrum milk. I could enjoy this delicacy any time of the year without the need for colostrum milk.

1 and 1/2 cup yogurt,
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk,
1/2 cup regular milk or coconut milk or combo of both,
1/2 tsp cardamom powder,
2 tbsp fine coconut powder/ coconut milk,
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder( do not roast ),
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

  • Put the yogurt in a cheese cloth and hang to drain for 4-5 hours.
  • Mix the drained yogurt, condensed milk, regular milk well.
  • Add the cardamom powder, cumin powder, coconut powder and turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Pour in a vessel that fits in the pressure cooker(I used a 6 inch glass vessel) and put a lid on the glass vessel.
  • Put some water in the pressure cooker, invert a small plate in the pressure cooker and then put the glass vessel over the plate.
  • Put the lid on the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 5-6 whistles.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

I noticed that with 2-3 whistles the poss was slightly runny, whereas with 5-6 whistles it was very nice and firm.
Can substitute 1/2 cup coconut milk for the regular milk.
Make in individual containers or ramekins if you like.
If the poss is eaten chilled the next day then it tastes better and juicy and firm.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My Diwali Faral/Thali for the year 2009
This is what we had for diwali this year. Usually I make at least 5 kinds of sweets and 5 savouries, 5 kinds of fav(pohe), yellow vatana usal and ambade/mango sasav, but as this year my hubby was out of town so made just a few goodies.
I made batat fav(batata pohe/yellow ones), doodhatle fav(milk pohe), chiroti, shankarpali, khobarachi kappa(coconut barfi) , and in the centre a couple of dates. My mom always kept dates in the diwali faral plates, I have no idea why.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cherry Tomatoes from my garden.

Cherry Tomato Salad

I made this Cherry tomato salad using the tomatoes form my backyard. I just cut the tomatoes into 2 pieces and sprinkled a little bit of salt, sugar, pepper powder, lemon juice and chopped coriander leaves.
Voila, a fresh yummy salad ready to devour

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Batatachi kappa/phodi topped with boondi raita.

A fancy appetizer if you may say so, fried potato slices topped with a dollop of thick boondi raita and a spring of coriander leaves.

Add mint or pudina leaves in place of coriander leaves.

Add a dollop of sour cream or any kind of thick chutney in place of the raita.
Get creative with the toppings and enjoy.

Batatachi Kappa/ Batatachi Phodi /Fried potato slices.

Batatachi kappa with rice and dal , umm umm good. Nothing can be more simple and satisfying.

2 potatoes, peeled washed and sliced into 1/2 cm thickness,
1 tsp salt,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp lemon juice (traditionally soak kokum in water and use that tart juice),
semolina(rava) for coating the potato slices,
oil for frying.


Mix all the spices with lemon juice and apply to potato slices.

  • Heat a non stick pan on medium heat and drizzle 2 tsp oil on it and take one potato slice dip it in the semolina on all sides and keep it on the hot pan, repeat for other slices of potato in same manner.
  • Drizzle another 2 tsp oil on the potato slices and the turn the slices on the other side, then sprinkle a few tablespoons of water on the potatoes and immediately cover with a pan, reduce heat to low and let the potato slices cook till tender.
  • To test prick a fork in the slices of the potatoes.
  • Then take the cover off and increase heat to medium and let the slices crisp up, again turn and let crisp on the other side. Serve hot or room temperature.


Use similar method to fry pumpkin slices, brinjal slices, okra.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friends visiting and 3 dishes.

My Husband's friend S and his wife B came to our place all the way from US. I had never met them before so I was on my toes not sure how they would be. They are very down to earth , homely kind of people. My kids enjoyed playing with them. My husband and his friend met after almost 9 - 10 years.
Well, I felt very comfortable with them and so did they.
We planned to go to Banff here in Alberta, so B said she will make biryani, dry chicken, and a shrimp dish too.

Let me say this, B is an excellent cook.

The biryani was soooooo good we did not get to take any pics, but I managed to take the pics of the chicken and shrimp dish prepared by her before we gobbled that too.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sukho Galmo ( Dry small shrimp dish)

I like seafood but am not much of a galmo fan, but my husband likes fish a lot so made this for him.

2 cups Galmo (dry small shrimp), washed and rinsed twice with water,
1 medium onion, chopped fine,
1 tomato, chopped into 1 inch pieces,
2 new potatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp paprika,
5 tbsp coconut milk,
2 tbsp garam masala,
5-6 pieces of sola (kokum),
1 tsp salt,
1 tbsp oil.

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat add the chopped onions and potatoes and stir fry till they are well coated with the oil.
  • Next add the salt, turmeric powder, paprika, garam masala and a couple of tbsp of water.
  • Reduce heat to low , cover the pan and let the potatoes cook til tender.
  • Then add the washed galmo(dry shrimp), chopped tomato, sola(kokum) and the coconut milk. Adjust water for the consistency.
  • Cover again and cook till everything is well cooked and blended.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice and may be a simple bhaji like beans bhaji.
I got galmo (dry small shrimp ) from a Chinese store.

This is not a traditional goan recipe but sometimes I cook fresh shrimp in this manner too, so well decided to make the galmo in that manner.
I get my stock of kokum when I visit goa, India.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Kitchen Garden Produce.

Loads of baby red potatoes, odd shaped zucchinis and fresh mint from my kitchen garden.

French Beans Bhaji.

Simple beans bhaji with new potatoes from my kitchen garden.

1 lb/ 500gms french beans, chopped into 1 cm pieces,
1/2 small onion, chopped,
2 small new potatoes, diced, (I used potatoes from my kitchen garden),
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp garam masala(mild),
2 tbsp grated coconut.
1 tbsp oil,
1/2tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
1 tsp salt.


  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and let them splutter, then add onion and diced potato and the salt.
    Mix well and add few tbsps of water, cover the pan and reduce heat to low and let the potato cook slightly.
  • Next add the chopped french beans and the rest of the ingredients.
  • Cover and let the beans and the potato cook till tender.

I added dry coconut to the bhaji. I usually add dry coconut for bhajis and let it cook with the vegetable so that way the dry coconut gets moisture and flavour from the vegetables and the spices.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dahi Kadhi.

This kadhi is made in Gujarat / Rajasthan/ Punjab and may be some other states of India too.
I love the Gujarati version of slightly sweet dahi kadhi very much.

2 cups plain yogurt,
2 cups water,
2 tbsp chickpea flour(besan),
2 tbsp sugar,
1tsp salt,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp minced ginger,
1 green chilly, minced,
For the Tadka(tempering).
2 tbsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
4 cloves,
1 inch piece of cinnamon,
pinch of hing,
3 dry red chillies,
7-8 kadipatta leaves(curry leaves),
cilantro for garnish.

  • Mix yogurt, water, besan, sugar, salt, minced ginger, minced green chilly, and turmeric powder till everything is well mixed and there are no lumps.
  • Pour this mixture in a pan and keep the flame on medium heat, keep stirring till there is a rolling boil in the mixture.
  • Then reduce heat to low and cook for 15-18 minutes , stirring all the while.
  • Heat oil in another pan on medium heat and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaves, dry red chilly.
  • When the seeds start to splutter pour it in the yogurt besan mixture, stir well and cook for another 5-8 minutes till the kadhi gets a smooth velvety look.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Can make white kadhi by simply omitting the turmeric powder.
Can add any pakoda, vegetables or boondi to the kadhi.
The key step for this kadhi is to pour the yogurt-besan mixture into a pan and then heat the pan and then later add the oil-spices tempering. This way there is no chance for the buttermilk mixture to curdle. And the dahi kadhi gets a velvety smooth taste and look to it.
I have noticed that if you make the tempering first and then add the buttermilk-besan mixture into the hot pan there are chances that it might curdle.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ma's Birthday / Ma's Vanilla Cake.

Today is Ma's birthday, she would have turned 63 years old today.

Ma always made cakes for our birthdays and I always helped her in the mixing when she made the cakes. When I was old enough to bake I started baking the cake by myself for Ma's birthday and that made her really happy and proud that I could bake too.

We did not have a oven, so Ma kept a thick ( kayl/thick kadahi )pan on the gas stove, then she kept the baking pan with the batter on the very hot tava and then she finally covered it with a very wide deep vessel(toop) and reduced the heat to medium and baked the cake till done, usually about 35-40 minutes.

This cake is for you Ma if you are seeing over me.

This is Ma's recipe of simple vanilla cake.


3 eggs,

2 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour,

2 cups sugar,

1/2 cup butter, room temperature,

1 tsp baking powder,

1/2 tsp baking soda,

1 tsp vanilla essence.
3/4-1 cup milk or more( to get cake batter consistency)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.

  • In a bowl mix flour, baking powder and baking soda, keep aside.

  • In another bowl beat eggs for 2 minutes with an electric beater, then add soft butter and beat for another 2 minutes.

  • Next add the sugar and beat till everything is well incorporated.

  • Gradually add the flour mixture 1 tbsp at a time, till all the flour mixture is used up.

  • Finally add the vanilla essence and mix well.

  • Grease and flour a deep 10 inch baking pan(round or square). Pour the batter into the pan and bake in oven for 45-50 minutes. test by pricking a clean toothpick into the cake, if the toothpick comes out clean then the cake is done, if there is some sticky batter on the toothpick then allow cake to bake for some more minutes.

  • Once cake is done, take it out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Run a knife around the edge of the cake pan.

  • Then take cake out of pan and cool on wire rack till cooled completely.

  • Eat plain or apply frosting of your choice.


I baked this cake in a 10 inch spring form pan.

Ma always said add the essence last as that way the cake gets more essence flavour. So I always follow that tip for any cake that I bake, no matter when the recipe says to add the essence. :)

Can add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to make chocolate cake.

Also add any kind of chopped nuts or tutti frutti to cake to make a variation.

Ma usually added cream( in place of the milk) that we get in India after we heat the milk.
I decided to add milk instead.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Daat Polae(thick dosa) with chutney and potato bhaji.

In konkani we say polae for dosa and daat means thick.Daat polae or thick dosa with coconut chutney and potato bhaji. Scrumptious meal thats what my 5 year old son said when he saw what was for breakfast that day.
I am not much of a chutney or bhaji with polae person, I like mine plain dunked in chai(tea) as all the holes get soaked in tea and ummm... that's a totally different taste.

My Aayi(maternal grandma) makes the best polae in the whole wide world. When she makes them there are tiny holes(due to fermentation) all over the polae. Usually she serves it with channa ros.

When Ma made polae she never ever added udit dal, it was just rice and methi seeds along with sometimes a handful of cooked rice or soaked poha. So the polaes were always snowy white in color. Ma served the polae with coconut chutney.
Since coming to Canada I have missed the polae made by Aayi and Ma.

I do not have either of their recipe so I came up with my own proportions to make these dosa.

4 cups raw rice,
1 cup udit dal(split black lentil),
1 tbsp methi seeds,
1 cup cooked rice or soaked poha.
1 and 1/2 tsp salt and pinch of sugar.

  • Wash and soak rice, dal and the methi seeds in water separately for 5-6 hours.
  • Put soaked rice and cooked rice /soaked poha in a blender and grind to a fine paste, pour in a vessel big enough to allow fermentation.
  • Next grind the soaked udit dal and methi seeds till you get a fine paste.
  • Pour into the vessel containing the ground rice, add salt and sugar and mix well with a whisk.
  • Cover and let ferment overnight or for 8-10 hours in a warm place.
  • Next day the batter will be fermented and bubbly.
  • Heat a 8 inch non stick tava on medium heat, add 1/2 tsp of oil, use a paper towel and spread the oil and pour 3/4 cup of the batter on the tava, spread to make a circle, cover with lid and let cook for 2 minutes, then take off the cover and using a spatula flip the pola(dosa) over so that it cooks on the other side for another minute so that the other side gets cooked too.
  • If using non stick pan there is no need of adding more oil to the pan. Prepare the rest of the polae in similar manner. Serve hot with chutney and potato bhaji.

Traditionally in goa we use cast iron tava(bhidyacho tavo), but here I use non stick tava.
Whisk makes the mixing of the batter easy and even.
I use the same proportion to make thin polae or crispy masala dosa and idlis too.
Vary the amount of batter poured on the tava to get thin, thick or very thick dosa.


Green Chutney.

1 cup coconut,
1 green chilly(more if you like spicy),
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,
1 tsp grated ginger,
1/2 tsp sugar,
salt to taste,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
water to puree the chutney.

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and puree to a fine paste adding water as required.
  • Serve with dosa.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cranberry Chicken

I simply like cranberry chutney/sauce with roasted chicken or turkey. I made loads of the cranberry sauce and stocked it in my refrigerator, so decided to make use of it by adding it to chicken and giving it some twist. My kids loved the dish a lot.

2 cups chicken, cut into pieces,
1 onion, chopped,
1 tomato chopped fine,
2 tbsp cranberry chutney/sauce,
2 tbsp tomato ketchup,
1 tsp garam masala,
1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilly paste(g-g-g paste),
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tsp paprika,
1 tsp salt,
1 tbsp oil.

2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish.


  • Apply g-g-g paste to chicken keep aside for 15 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes till onion is translucent. Next add tomato and cook till tomato is soft.

  • Then add all other ingredients except chicken. Mix well till all the ingredients are well blended. Finally add the chicken and mix well, cover and allow the chicken to cook till tender. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and mix well.

  • Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy.

Add some more chilly powder or slit green chillies for a spicier version.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Doodh Pedas

I make microwave pedas using condensed milk or the stove top method using paneer. Today I decided to make the pedas using paneer.

1 and 1/2 cup paneer(boil 5 cups of milk, curdle and strain it),
3/4 cup milk powder,
3/4 cup milk,
1/2 cup plus 1tbsp sugar,
2 tbsp butter/ghee,
1/2 tsp cardamom powder,
slivered almonds /any nuts,
strands of saffron for garnish.


  • Heat butter in a pan on medium heat, when melted add the paneer, milk powder and milk.

  • Keep stirring on medium heat for about 18-20 minutes till the paneer mixture forms a lump and leaves the sides of the pan.

  • Add the sugar and cardamom powder (the mixture will become watery again) and stir for about 10-12 minutes till the mixture again becomes a big lump and leaves the sides of the pan.

  • Take off heat and let cool slightly, divide into 20-25 portions and roll into balls, press each ball slightly to flatten like a peda and stick a few strands of saffron and some slivered almonds on the top.
I pressed the peda mixture into molds that I got from India and that explains the flower shaped pedas.

Can substitute drained ricotta cheese for paneer.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Snap Peas Bhaji

I was very excited to get these snap peas and couple of pods of green peas from my garden. Just made a simple stir fry dish out of it.

2 cups chopped snap peas,
1/2 onion, chopped ,
1 tomato, chopped,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
pinch of sugar,
1 tsp salt,
1 tbsp oil,
2 tbsp grated coconut,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional),
2 tbsp green peas.

  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat and add cumin seeds. Then add the chopped onion and fry till onion is cooked, then add the tomato and fry again for few minutes.
  • Next add the chopped snap peas and green peas, stir again.
  • Finally add the salt, sugar, turmeric powder, garam masala and the coconut.
  • Mix well and add few tbsp of water and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to very low and allow the vegetables to cook till tender.
You can just stir fry and keep the snap peas crunchy if you like or cook till very soft and tender.

Vegetables from my kitchen garden

Yellow beans, green peas, snap peas & zucchini.
Snap Peas.
Coriander leaves.
Radish leaves.