Chutneys and bhajis

Green chili chutney (Hasi menasinakayi chutney)

Adults only chutney – Attempt this only if your taste buds are mature enough to handle very spicy dishes :).

North Karnataka food is very popular for its spicy dishes. This must be one of the spiciest cuisines of world. People here eat raw green chilies with rice or rottis. When I say raw green chilies, they are not the mild ones available here in US. They are the very spicy variety. Most of the North Karnataka people are vegetarians. Most of the recipes are centered around onion, garlic, chilies and peanuts. Even though I can’t tolerate so much heat, I absolutely love the taste of all these dishes. When I cook at home, I make these dishes a bit less spicy.

This chutney is a classic example of very hot chutneys served along with rice or rottis. This is one of those dishes that are made in advance and saved for a week or so. When people eat this, most of the times their faces turn red, but still everyone likes this. I reduced the amount of chilies to suit our taste buds.

Ingredients:
20 green chilies
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tea spn jaggery
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract or 2 pieces of tamarind
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 tea spn chopped ginger
3-4 strands coriander leaves
4-5 curry leaves
Oil
Salt

Increase the amount of green chilies if you can handle more spicy dishes.

Method:
Heat a little oil and fry green chilies. Take them out and add peanuts. Fry for sometime. Take them out.
Now add curry leaves, onion, garlic, ginger and fry till onions turn translucent. Cool to room temperature.
Grind all the ingredients and tamarind without adding water.
Take out in an airtight container and refrigerate. This remains good for about 1 week. Serve with rice or chapathis or rottis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 15mins

Butter dosas (BeNNe dose)

Few years ago, one day my brother and I were roaming around Gandhi bazaar, Basavangudi in Bangalore in the evening. My brother is a great foodie, he knows almost all the good restaurants in Bangalore. He tried to take me to these restaurants every time we went out. So, all of a sudden, he said, there is a famous restaurant called Vidyarthi Bhavan in that area and they serve these amazing beNNe(butter) dosas. Lets go there.

In my mind, I thought it would be a big posh restaurant. We reached there and I was shocked to see the atmosphere. It was an old restaurant packed with people. There was a huge line of customers waiting to be seated. I told my brother that I didn’t want to eat there and I was wanting to get out of that place. But as always, he declined. Anyway, after we waited for like 45 minutes, we got a seat. We had to share our table with few more people as there was a huge crowd. Then I saw a waiter arriving with a huge stack of plates with dosas arranged one above other. These dosas were so good that, I even forgot I was upset with my brother for taking me there :).

Since then, I have read and heard about this restaurant innumerable number of times, and many people agree that those are the best dosas you could get. Yummmm….

So with that background, you can guess how happy I would be, when my dad gave me two neatly bound books containing hundreds of recipes from different Kannada magazines, and when I opened the first book, the first page had this recipe. This was a cut out from “Tharanga”, a Kannada weekly. The owner of Vidyarthi Bhavan – Ramakrishna Adiga had shared the recipe for their beNNe dosa. God bless him for sharing this with readers, “Tharanga” for publishing it and my dad for saving this cut out and passing it on to me. I could not stop drooling over it again and again, so I gave it a try today. It was amazing. Crispy from outside, the palya(potato bhaji) was superb, the chutney had a strong ginger taste to it. In all, just mind blowing. Try it once to know what I am saying. I am trying to translate the article here.

For Dosas:
1 cup urad dal
2 cups dosa rice
2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup maida
Butter
Oil
1/8th tea spn baking soda
Salt

Dosa rice is available in almost all grocery stores in India. It is slightly thicker than regular rice. I used regular rice for this.

Method:
Soak urad dal and rice separately for 2-3 hrs. Grind dal to a very smooth paste. Now grind rice to a smooth paste. Mix both well. Now mix rice flour, maida, salt to it and mix well. Leave it for 4-6hrs (or overnight). Do not make the batter too thin.
Add soda to it and mix well.

While making dosas:
Tava used for making the dosas should be thick. If it is too thin, dosas get burnt soon. I used my regular dosa pan(non stick).
– Heat tava. When it is hot, apply some oil to it. Now sprinkle a handful of water on hot tava and spread it. Again apply some oil. Spread one or two dosas and check if they come out easily.
– Every time while making dosas, first apply oil to tava, sprinkle water and then spread dosa. (I didn’t try this on my non stick tava since I was a bit concerned that the non stick coating would come out by sprinkling cold water on hot tava).

What next?
– Once dosa is spread, drop a tea spoon of oil on it. Flip the dosa. Flip again and spread a table spoon of bhaji/palya over it, spread little oil/butter on it and fold it.

 

(I folded it in half which was more convenient to me. I think in the restaurant they fold it like this, I din’t remember it. I was so excited that I even forgot to flip the dosa, but still it was great).

Potato stuffing – Palya or bhaji

2 cup boiled and mashed potatoes
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn urad dal
1/2 tea spn chana dal
4-5 green chilies
6-7 curry leaves
2 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
A pinch turmeric
1/2 tea spn finely chopped ginger
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal. When dal is slightly browned, add curry leaves, ginger, green chilies and onion. Fry till they turn translucent. Pour 1/2 cup water, salt and turmeric. Cook for sometime. Now add the potatoes and mix well. The potatoes should get mashed well for maximum taste. Garnish with coconut.

Chutney:

1/2 cup dalia (hurigadale/putani)
1 cup fresh or frozen coconut
1/2 tea spn chopped ginger
4-5 green chilies
Salt

Method:
Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste. Add a little water to bring it to required consistency.

Onion chutney

For me, chutney was always synonym with coconut chutney. I started eating different types of chutneys after going to Bangalore. I liked to eat these chutneys with dosas or idlis. So I keep searching for these tasty chutney recipes.

This recipe is from a TV show. I am not a big fan of raw onion because of its smell. So when I saw this recipe for the first time, I thought it might smell of onions even though this chutney is fried after grinding. Thats the reason I didn’t make it for a very long time. But few weeks back, while going through my diary I found this recipe. I tried it and it was fantastic.

Ingredients:
2 cups onion pieces
5-6 red chilies
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract (thick extract of 2-3 pieces of tamarind)
1 tea spn jaggery
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves and fry for sometime.
Grind the seasoning and all other ingredients to a paste without adding too much water.
Heat a little oil and fry the chutney till the water is evaporated and the chutney is well cooked.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 15mins

PS: I ground it to a coarse paste. But I feel it will taste better if you can grind it to smooth paste.

Potato-ginger bhaji

Aayi serves this bhaji with chapathi during Saturdays when we don’t eat nonveg, garlic and onions. I had written more about these fasting days in my potato bhaji with poha masala post. Usually this and chapathi are served for breakfast. Aayi has many such no-onion, no-garlic side dishes that go well in such days.

This bhaji was always at the back of my mind, but I had never prepared it. But after coming to US, I needed something to go with chapathi in my husband’s lunchbox. I was bored of making same thing again and again, so I asked Aayi and prepared this. This bhaji has only a few very common ingredients, but the bhaji turns out to be very very tasty.

Ever since I heard ginger helps in reducing headaches, I am making this bhaji as well as ginger tea whenever possible.

Ingredients:
2 cups chopped boiled potatoes
1 and 1/2 tea spns grated or finely chopped ginger
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
3-4 curry leaves
3-4 green chilies
1 tbl spn grated coconut
2-3 strands of coriander leaves
A pinch turmeric
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add cumin seeds. When they are fried, add ginger, curry leaves and slitted chilies. Fry for sometime. Add potatoes, turmeric and 2 cups of water. Add chopped coriander leaves, coconut and salt. Cook for another 1-2mins.
Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15mins

Masoor bhaji

This is a dish I have grown up eating. Aayi makes this with rice rotti(alayle pita rotti) for breakfast. The cooked masoor and the garam masala gives a very different aroma to this dish. This tastes good when it is made very spicy and goes very well with the bland taste of rotti.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup masoor(whole)
1/2 cup onions(chopped)
1/2 cup potato(chopped)
3/4 cup coconut(fresh or frozen)
3-4 cloves
2″ piece cinnamon
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
3-4 red chilies
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract (or use 2 small pieces of normal tamarind)
3-4 pepper
Oil
Salt

Increase the spices if required.

Method:
Soak masoor in water for around 1hr (this helps to cook masoor faster).
Cook masoor with onion and potato (Just 1-2 whistles if using cooker).
Heat a little oil and add cloves, cinnamon, pepper and coriander seeds. Grind them with coconut, red chilies and tamarind.
Add this masala to masoor and cook for around 5-10mins.
Serve with rice rotti(alayle pita rotti).

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

Chole-Bhature

Chole – Bhature is one of the most popular dishes from Punjab. Every one has their own recipe for Chole. Even I have tried making it many times. All my friends loved my recipe. But somehow, I was not cooking Chole at home anymore. When I got a request for this recipe, I prepared it again. It came out very well. So before I forget the recipe, I thought of posting it here. This may not be the authentic version of Chole, but I am sure you all will enjoy it.

Bhature is made of maida(refined flour) and deep fried in oil. The actual Bhature is of a chapathi size. But I made them very small, so that I could fry them in the smallest pan I had. I followed the great chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe with few changes for bhature.

Bhature

Ingredients:
2 cups maida or all purpose flour
1/2 tea spn baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tea spn sugar
Oil
Salt

Method:
Mix all the ingredients(except oil) to form a uniform dough and keep it aside for 1hr.
Take a small ball of the dough and roll into the desired sized Bhature.
Deep fry the Bhature in oil.

Chole

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups chick peas (or 1 can of chick peas)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 big tomato
1/2 tea spn ginger-garlic paste
1 green cardamom
2-3 cloves
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1/4 tea spn fenugreek seeds(methi)
1/2 tea spn black salt (rock salt)
1 tea spn kasoori methi(optional)
3-4 black peppers
1/2 tea spn chili powder
1 tea spn oil/ghee
2-3 strands coriander leaves
Salt

Method:
Soak chick peas in water overnight and cook them. If canned peas are used, wash the peas 2-3 times.
Blanch tomatoes (heat water and cook the whole tomato for 3-4 minutes). Blend into a smooth paste.
Dry roast all masalas from cardamom to black pepper and powder them.
Heat oil/ghee, fry onions and ginger-garlic paste till the onions turn slightly brownish.
Add the tomato paste and the masala powder, chili powder, salt (add less salt as the masala has rock salt in it). Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked chick peas, kasoori methi and cook for another 5mins. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with Bhature.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 45mins

PS: If you want more gravy, increase the tomato and onions.

Smoked eggplant (Vaygana bajji)

The Konkani name of eggplant is “Vayngana”, ‘n’ is pronounced by nose, but usually while typing, I have seen it is written as ‘Vaygana’. The name “bajji” is a bit confusing as this is not the normal deep fried fritter. I am yet to find out the significance of this name.

This dish is a kind of “Baingan ka bhartha”, but the Konkani ‘bhartha’ or ‘bharth’ has the ground coconut chutney in it. For ‘bajji’ we do not grind coconut. Both have exact same ingredients, but the preparation method makes them taste very different. But there are few people who call this dish as ‘bharth’.

This dish is usually served with a kind of rice rotti prepared on banana leaf. This rotti is called “mumbri” or “cholkya vayli rotti”. This is my favorite breakfast combination. Alternatively, this can even be served as a side dish with rice and papad.

Bajji is also called ‘Karmana’ and when this is prepared with the green eggplants called “gulla”, this is called “gulla karmana”.

Ingredients:
Eggplant 1 big
Coconut 1/2 cup
Green chillies or red chillies 3-4
Tamarind 1/2 tea spn
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt

If the eggplants available in India are used, increase the number. After smoking, at least 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of pulp should remain.
1/2 cup of chopped onions can also be included in this dish. But I prefer the version without onion.

Method:
Smoke the eggplant as explained here. Peel the skin and put the pulp in water.

Keep it in water for 5-10mins and discard the water.
Mix coconut, green chilies, tamarind, onion(if using), asafoetida and salt with hand.

Now add the pulp and mix well. Add 1-2tbl spn of water if required.
Serve with rice rotti (mumbri).

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15mins

PS: Will post the mumbri recipe tomorrow.

Coriander chutney

All these days I was including coriander leaves in coconut chutney and call it ‘coriander chutney‘. But I knew I was missing something. I always loved the chutney that my friend Poornima prepares with masala dosa. But out of sheer laziness, I always skipped it whenever I prepared her version of masala dosa. I took the recipe of her chutney long back, but never tried it. This time I made sure to prepare this and the combination tasted divine.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
3-4 green chilies
5-6 curry leaves
1/4 cup coriander leaves
2-3 garlic cloves(small) (if using American big garlic, use just 1)
1/4 cup dalia split (Kadle pappu/hurigadale/chutney daal/putani)
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and fry green chilies. Grind them along with all other ingredients.
Serve with dosa or idli.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 10mins

Note: In the following picture, the dal at the right should be used for this chutney. Notice the difference between normal chana dal and this dal. (This picture is for beginners for more clarity).

Brinjal/Eggplant curry(Ennegayi or Engayi)

engayi

Usually ‘ennegayi’ are stuffed brinjal(eggplant). But since the tiny brinjals are not available at our native, aayi usually prepares this dish with normal brinjal cut into big pieces. Though I used small brinjals, I cut them into pieces to get the similar look and feel of the dish, also save time. This dish has the amazing aroma though the ingredients used are very simple. She usually makes it with alayle pita rotti(akki rotti) for breakfast. I made it for lunch along with jolad rotti(jowar roti).

Click here for another recipe of Engayi.

Ingredients:
Coconut 3/4 cup
Brinjal pieces 1 cup
Tamarind 1/2 tea spn
Onion pieces 3/4 cup
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 2″ piece
Red chilies 3-4
Pepper corns 3-4
Shahjeera(Caraway seeds) 1/2 tea spn
Coriander seeds 1/2 tea spn
Oil 1 tbl spn
Salt

Increase or decrease the amount of spices according to taste, keep in mind that the onion gives a slight sweetish tinge to the dish. If it hasn’t got the sweetish tinge, add 1/2 tea spn jaggery.
Any kind of brinjals(eggplants) can be used for this dish.

Method:
engayi1
Cut brinjal into big pieces and leave them in water for around 15mins. Discard the water, this step removes any bitterness from the brinjals(water becomes black after sometime).
engayi2 engayi3
Heat 1 tea spn oil and fry cloves, cinnamon, pepper, shahjeera, coriander seeds and red chilies. Add 1/4 cup onion and fry till they turn slightly brownish(take care not to burn spices). Add coconut and fry for around 4-5mins on low flame. Cool to room temperature and grind to a smooth paste along with tamarind.
engayi4 engayi5 engayi6
Heat remaining oil and fry onion till they turn brownish. Drain the water from brinjals and add them to the onion. Fry for 2-3mins. Add 1/2 cup water and cook till brinjals are almost done.
engayi7
Add the ground masala, salt and cook for around 5mins.
Serve with rice roti or jowar roti.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 25mins

Potato bhaji (with poha masala)

Usually in North India and in Marathi households, chapathi/phulka is prepared along with lunch or dinner. But Konkani lunch does not include them. We make chapathis for breakfast with various types of potato bhajis.

During normal days, mom serves chapathi and egg curry/omlet/bullseye. But during fasting, like in festivals or ‘‘panchami ‘- fifth tithi or ‘ekadashi’-11th tithi, where some people don’t eat meat, onion, garlic, rice items, she serves chapathi with potato bhaji (without onion, garlic) or simple upma.

Usually for fasting potato bhajis, poha massala is used because it gives a distinguishing taste to the bhaji. I had thought this bhaji is only prepared at my home, but when I got a request for this bhaji, I was very surprised. Since the poha masala is readily available at our place, this delicious bhaji gets ready in 10mins (depending on the speed with which potato cooks).

Ingredients:
2 cups boiled and chopped potatos
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
A pinch asafoetida
3/4 tea spn poha masala
A pinch turmeric
1 tbl spn coconut
Oil
Salt

In addition to above, I used few cumin seeds in seasoning. But since cumin is already there in poha masala, it is NOT required in this dish.

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add potatos, turmeric and little water. Add the poha masala, salt, coconut and cook for 2-3mins.
Serve hot with chapathi.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 10-15mins

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