Side dishes

Cumin and Ginger Potatoes

Are you tired of wracking your brain for dinner ideas that are both quick and delicious on a hectic weekday? Look no further! We’ve got just the recipe that will not only save you time but also leave your taste buds dancing with joy. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to a simple yet incredible potato dish that’s bound to please everyone at the table. Say hello to the aromatic magic of ginger and cumin that elevates this humble potato creation to a whole new level of culinary delight. This dish is inspired by aayi’s potato bhaji that I grew up eating.

Weeknights can be a whirlwind of activity. After a long day at work or a series of daily responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. But settling for bland and uninspiring meals isn’t the solution. Instead, consider a delightful and hassle-free potato dish that will satisfy your hunger without robbing you of precious time.

Our weeknight wonder is none other than the Ginger and Cumin Potatoes. This dish is a testament to how a few simple ingredients can come together to create something extraordinary. The combination of earthy potatoes with the aromatic goodness of ginger and cumin creates a flavor profile that’s both comforting and exciting.

What sets this potato dish apart is the captivating aroma that fills your kitchen as you prepare it. The combination of ginger and cumin creates a fragrant symphony that’s as delightful to the nose as it is to the palate. The gentle spiciness of the ginger and the earthy notes of cumin complement the starchy sweetness of the potatoes beautifully. It’s a harmonious blend that can turn a simple side dish into the star of your weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped potatoes
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn grated ginger
1 tea spn oil
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 cup chopped bellpepper(optional)
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds.
When they start popping, add curry leaves.
Add chopped potatoes, grated ginger, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder.
Mix everything very well.
Add tiny bit of water, close the lid and let the potatoes cook half way through.
Open the lid and add bellpepper.
Close the lid again and let the potatoes cook completely.
Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time :20mins

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Black Chana Sidedish (Chane randayi)

Chane Randayi

Chane randayi is a very popular Konkani sidedish from North Kanara. It is slightly different from the Chane Ghashi which has slightly different spices, so the taste of the dish changes based on these few spices.

Chne randayi is prepared with either black or the kabuli chana. A vegetable like banana(cooking kind), suran etc are added along with it to give a nice taste. This was a regular on the menu at my home.

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup banana or suran(elephant yam) cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
1 tea spn coriander seeds
4-5 red chillies
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1/4 tea spn asafoetida(hing)
4-5 curry leaves
4-5 pieces kokum or 1 tea spn thick tamarind extract
Oil
Salt

Method:
Soak chana in water for 7-8 hrs.
Pressure cook chana with banana or yam for about 3-4 whistles. (If the chana used is old, it will take more whistles).
Heat a little oil, add coriander seeds.
Grind with coconut, red chillies.
Add the ground masala to the cooked chana, add kokum or tamarind, salt.
Cook till it starts boiling.
In a small pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it starts popping, add hing, curry leaves.
Add this seasoning to chana.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time: 20mins

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Mixed Vegetable Sagu

Sagu

Most of the restaurants in Bangalore serve setdosa – mixed vegetable sagu or puri and sagu. This spicy, delicious, filled with vegetables sidedish makes a great side for so many dishes. My brother started making this and now my aayi makes this very often. When I tried this, it was a hit with my family.

Set dosa recipe is here.

Ingredients:
2 cups vegetables (carrots, potato, green peas, beans)
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomato
5-6 curry leaves
1 tea spn mustard seeds
Oil
Salt

For the masala –
1 tbl spn hurigadale (putani/dalia/roasted chana dal) (optional)
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup onion
A small piece ginger
3-4 garlic
3-4 green chillies
4 cloves
1/2″ cinnamon
2-3 cardamom
1 tea spn coriander seeds

Method:
Pressure cook the vegetables with little salt for 2 whistles.
Grind the ingredients under masala without too much water.
In a pan, heat a little oil, add mustard, curry leaves.
Add 1/2 cup onion and fry for few minutes.
Add 1/2 cup tomatoes and fry for few minutes.Now add masala and fry till the raw smell goes away.Add the cooked vegetables, adjust salt. 
Cook till the masala boils for few minutes.
Serve hot.

Serves :5-6
Preparation time : 30mins

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Roasted eggplant(Vayngana Bharth)

Vayngana Bharth


There are so many different ways of using a roast eggplant (vayngan in Konkani) and there are so many ways to roast an eggplant. Bharth, Bharith or Bhartha are different names of this dish, which is prepared in few different ways. This particular recipe is for a Konkani special vayngana bharth.

There are so many ways to roast an eggplant. You can directly do it on stove/fire or bake in oven or broil in oven. But I have found that this method of roasting on tava is by far the easiest and mess free way, especially when you don’t have access to oven or don’t want to start it. Aayi learnt this from my pachi and has been following it for years when she does not have burning coals(they still burn wood to heat water at my hometown).

There are few other roasted eggplant recipes that you could try – another bharth recipe, bajji recipe.

Vayngana Bharth

Ingredients:
1 big eggplant
4 red chillies
1/2 cup coconut
A pinch or small stone hing(optional)
A small piece tamarind
Oil
Salt

Method:
Apply oil to eggplant.
Heat a tava(do not use nonstick). Keep the eggplant on it and cover with vessel.
Turn it around few times till it is completely roasted.
Put it in water. Peel the skin.
Discard the water.
Grind coconut, tamarind, hing(optional) with red chillies. At the end, add the eggplant and pulse couple of times.
Take it out in a bowl and add onion and salt.
Serve with a papad.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 20mins

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Fried ivy gourds(Tendli talasani)

tendli talasani

Ivy gourd is the vegetable loved by most. It is one of my favorite vegetables. I love it in any form. ‘Fried ivy gourd’ is a very easy to make and amazingly delicious dish. I was not very fond of this dish when I was a kid, but recently I have become a big fan. It tastes great when it is fried till the ivy gourds become almost black and you can’t even say those are ivy gourds. Hot rice, a simple daal and these fried ivy gourd is a complete meal I would cherish anytime.

Earlier we used to smash one tendli at a time in mortal and pestle. It would take a lot of time to prep them. Now I just cut the ends, take them in a ziploc bag and smash them using a meat tenderdizer/pestle.

‘Talasani’ are the dishes prepared by frying the vegetables in oil. So water should not be used at any point. The other popular talasani is ‘batate talasani‘.

Aayi’s version does not include garlic in this. But my brother tasted this dish at one of his friend’s place and they had used garlic. So he started using it in this dish. I love both the varieties. Although aayi does not use curry leaves, I like to use it.

The other ivy gourd dish I make frequently is tendli upkari. We use these in different types of daals and sambars also.

Ingredients:
Ivy gourds(tendli) 2 cups
Red chili powder 3/4 tea spn
Turmeric a pinch
Oil 1 tbl spn
Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spn
Asafoetida a pinch or garlic cloves 2 (4-5 if Indian garlic is used)
Salt

Increase the chili powder if required.

Method:
Remove the ends of ivy gourds and crush them slightly.

tendli talasani1tendli talasani2

 

 

 

 

 

 




Heat oil in a nonstick pan and add mustard (add curry leaves at this point if using). When they start popping, add asafoetida (or crushed garlic). Add the gourds, turmeric, chilli powder and salt.

tendli talasani3tendli talasani4tendli talasani5tendli talasani6
Fry on a low flame till the gourds turn dark brown/black.

tendli talasani7
Serve hot with rice and daal.

tendli talasani

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: These should be fried on a very low flame. If they are not fried till dark brown/black, they remain tender from inside and do not taste good. These taste great when made spicy.


Originally posted on Octbober 9, 2006. Reposting by adding a video(demonstrated by my 6 year old).

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Spicy chickpeas (Kala chana)

Kala Chana is a spicy chickpeas curry with a heady aroma of ajwain and garlic, goes well with chapatis or naan.

Kala Chana was given to me by one of our relatives many years ago. I was told that it is a North Indian dish. The name comes from the dark color that comes by cooking them in garam masala(It does not actually become black, but dark brown depending on garam masala used). I do not have any more details about this dish. This has a unique flavor from ajwain seeds. I used to make it very often as my son loved this garnished with few raw onions. I did not prepare this for many years, after my children moved out for their college. I found it back in one of my diaries while searching something.

Kala Chana is very easy dish to make. Do not substitute or leave out any of the ingredients as this one needs all the ingredients to get the real taste of it. You could adjust the level of spice according to personal preference.

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas(Kabuli chana)
1/2 tea spn ajwain
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 tea spn chopped ginger
3/4 tea spn red chilli powder
1 tea spn amchoor powder
1 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch turmeric powder
Oil
Salt

For garnish:
Chopped onion
Chopped green chilli

Method:
Soak chickpeas in water for about 5-6 hrs (When they are soaked, they swell up considerably. Depending on the quality, it can become 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups).
Cook chickpeas with ajwain and garlic in pressure cooker till they are cooked.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds, ginger. When they fried a bit, add amchur powder, turmeric, cooked chickpeas. Add garam masala, salt, chilli powder. Slightly mash the chickpeas with a spoon. Cook till the dish becomes dark in color.
While serving, add green chillies and onions on top. Serve with chapathis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 35mins

Originally posted on Oct 13, 2008. Updated on Aug 9 2020.
I use mixture of Black chana and Kabuli chana to give it the beautiful dark color and texture.

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Spicy Okra (Bhende Song)

Okra/bhende is one of the most loved vegetables at our home. My grandmother used to prepare this dish very often. Song is a very spicy Konkani side dish. The most popular song being the batate song – version with coconut and without coconut.

The okra version is made with lot of onion, sliced okra, lot of chillies, tamarind and a little coconut. The final dish becomes spicy, sweetish from onion, tangy from tamarind.

Ingredients:
2 cups okra chopped into thin strips
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut
10-15 red chillies (use as much as you can handle)
1/2 tea spn thick tamarind extract
1 tea spn coriander seeds
Oil
Salt

Method:
Dry roast coconut. Grind it with red chillies, coriander seeds, tamarind.
Heat oil and fry onion for few minutes. Add okra pieces, salt and fry till okra is done.
Add coconut paste, cook for 3-4mins. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time : 20mins

Pictorial:

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Okra Bharta (Bhende Bharth)

V’s grandmother mentioned about this dish during our last India trip, somehow it had slipped out of my mind. Cooked okra is mixed with raw onion, coconut and some other ingredients to make this delicious bharth. It makes a great combination with some spicy papad(happal). This is a classic Konkani recipe. It can be made with roasted eggplant(brinjal), cooked okra or some other vegetables.

I personally didn’t care much for it because of the raw onion. So aayi makes any bharth without onion for me and with onion for everyone else. So if you are a raw onion hater like me, go ahead and leave it out.

Ingredients:
2 cups okra(bhinde/bhende) cut into pieces
1/4 cups fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 cup chopped onion
A pinch asafoetida(optional)
4 green chillies
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat a little oil and fry okra for 5-6mins. Then add very little water and let it cook. (Traditionally it is not fried, just cooked with little water, but since it becomes too slimy that way, I fried it before adding water. Alternatively, okra could be steamed without adding any water).
In a bowl, mix coconut, onion with green chillies, tamarind, asafoetida(optional). Mix very well using your fingers. Now add the cooked okra and mix well, mashing the okra a bit. Serve with papad as a side dish.

Serves : 1-2
Preparation time : 15mins

Pictorial –

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Snake gourd sidedish (Padwale Randayi)

padwale-randayi
Shilpa had posted this recipe on Sailu’s blog along with an introduction to Konkani cuisine. This must be one of her favorite dishes, so she asked me to post this again here, so that we can have it in this blog’s collection as well.

I was not surprised when she had picked this dish while writing about Konkani cuisine. She has always loved this. My aayi (Shilpa’s grandma) used to search for snake gourd (padwale/paddale) and make this for her. We miss her every time we cook this dish. Though we make few different dishes with snake gourd, this is the one that always gets cooked when she is at home.

Randayi is a side dish prepared by Konkanis, which has a coconut base. Randayis usually have watery coconut base but are served as side dish. Like many other randayis, this too is a mixture of vegetable and dried beans. We usually don’t mix teppal with seasoning, since this randayi has teppal, we don’t add extra seasoning(of mustard, curry leaves) to it.

Ingredients:
1 cup snake gourd pieces
1 cup black eyed peas(alsande)
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
5 red chillies
4-5 teppal
2 kokum pieces
1 tea spn jaggery(optional)
Salt

Method:
Cook snake gourd and black eyed peas. The peas should not get mushy.
Grind coconut along with red chillies to a smooth paste.
Add the paste to cooked snake gourd and black eyed pieces. Add kokum, salt, jaggery. Slightly crush teppal in 1 tbl spn water (do not make a paste. It is crushed just to bring out the aroma). Add it along (along with the water) to the dish. Cook for 5-6 mins. The dish should not become too dry or too watery.

Preparation time : 25mins
Serves : 4-5

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Cucumber chutney (Taushe huLel)

 

Taushe Hulel

 

Cucumber is called  “Taushe” in Konkani.  “Taushe hulel” is a side dish which is usually a part of meal that is offered to god during festivals. I saw a similar dish here, the only difference being, we use the cucumbers (used for salads) and everything is used raw.

So this dish can be prepared in just 10mins :).

This dish is a must in Shri Krishna janmashtami festival meal. During this festival, men chant different names of Lord Krishna and offer tulsi leaves to god. After the chanting, which almost goes up to 2-3 hrs, pooja is performed around midnight. During the pooja, a variety of food is offered to god and we used to eat this “prasad”  at midnight.

Pictorial:

Cut cucumber into pieces. Fry mustards seeds and asafoetida in a little oil.


Grind coconut with chillies, tamarind and fried mustards seeds into a chutney consistency.

Mix the chutney into cucumber

Cucumber chutney (Taushe huLel)

A spicy cucumber chutney with a coconut base
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cucumber pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
  • 1/2 tea spn mustard seeds or a pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 to 4 green chilies
  • A small piece tamarind
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds.
  • When they start popping, add asafoetida. (Usually either mustard or asafoetida is used. I normally add both)
  • Grind them with coconut, green chilies, tamarind, fried mustard to paste using very little water (like chutney consistency).
  • Add the cucumber pieces, mix well.
  • Serve as a side dish with rice.

 

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