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).