Starters

Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Jolad undi
Jolad Undi

Corn or Jola(in Kannada) is in season now. I saw this recipe in a magazine a while back Since we all love corn, I have tried it many times at home with my own little modifications and it comes out great. Since these balls are steamed, these are healthier options compared to the fried cutlets.

Pictorial:
 Make a coarse paste of corn and then of all other ingredients.

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Make balls from the mixture and steam.
jolad undi3

Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Steamed spicy corn balls perfect for a snack or starter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 2 tbl spn coriander leaves
  • A drop of oil for greasing the plate optional
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Cook the corn(cooking in advance is not necessary if using most of the frozen corn which cooks very fast) and make a coarse paste of corn.
  • Make a coarse paste of coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, asafoetida and salt.
  • Add the paste to corn.
  • Make small balls of the mixture, give it a slightly elongated shape.
  • Line them in a cooker vessel or plate and steam them for 10mins.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

Add spices like garam masala or coriander-cumin powder for a slightly spicy version.
Bind the balls well by pressing them to make sure they don't fall apart.

 

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Breadfruit Phodi (Palapansa phodi)

Neerpansa Phodi
Phodi

Different people call it by different names – Palapanas, Neerpanas, jeev kadgi to name a few. Many years ago, we had a long discussion about Konkani name of breadfruit. When I visited India this time, our tree was full of beautiful breadfruits. My parents were very happy that I visited during that time and I could enjoy one of my childhood favorites. They tell me that they have kept this tree mainly because of me. I also saw lot of tiny breadfruits getting sold in the market. Aayi had prepared a huge batch of chips for me. She also prepared the delicious randayi. But my favorite has to be the phodi. Fresh breadfruits make the best phodis.

Pictorial:
Breadfruit on the tree
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Cut breadfruit put in water.
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Apply salt, turmeric and asafoetida to pieces.
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Roll the pieces in rava and shallow fry.
palapansa phodi4 palapansa phodi5

Breadfruit Phodi (Palapansa phodi /jeev kadgi phodi)

One of the most popular items on the menu in North Kanara during the rainy season are these shallow fried phodis prepared with fresh breadfruits.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbl spns rava sooji
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • A pinch turmeric powder
  • Oil
  • 1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
  • Salt
  • 8 breadfruit pieces

Instructions
 

  • Remove the green skin and inner most hard white part of breadfruit.
  • Cut the edible part into pieces(refer pictures).
  • Put the pieces in water while cutting them.
  • Mix pieces with asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt, tamarind juice.
  • Keep aside for 10-15min.
  • Heat a tava and apply little oil to it.
  • Mix rava with chilli powder and little salt.
  • Apply it on all sides of breadfruit pieces and shallow fry on the tava.
  • Close the lid and let it cook.
  • After few minutes, turn them upside down.
  • Check the phodis after few minutes by poking them with a knife/spoon.
  • If they are still not done, sprinkle some water, cover and cook for another 5-10mins.
  • Serve hot with rice and dal.

 

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Spinach Cakes (Palak Pathrode)

palak pathrode
It was many years ago, one of my readers sent this recipe to me. I had only tried traditional pathrode till then. This recipe looked very interesting. I wanted to try it, but somehow, I forgot about it. Now, last few months, I have tried to dig any and every recipe using spinach. I just could not find the email with the recipe, so I apologize for not mentioning the reader’s name here (please post a comment if you are reading this).

So aayi used the same recipe as the traditional pathrode to make these. They came out so good.  This is much easier than the traditional one since we don’t have to worry about finding colocasia leaves or rolling them etc. They are so good, I am going to make them often.

Ingredients:

1 cup packed spinach
2 tbl spns toor dal
1 tbl spn rice
3 red chillies
2 tbl spns fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1 tea spn jaggery
A pinch of asafoetida(hing)
Oil
1 tea spn urad dal
1 tea spn coriander seeds
Salt

Method:
palak pathrode1

Soak toor dal and rice in water for about 30mins.
palak pathrode2 Aayi's Recipes
Heat a little oil and add urad dal, coriander seeds, asafoetida and red chillies.
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Grind them with coconut, jaggery, soaked toor dal, rice, tamarind adding very little water.
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Chop spinach in small pieces. Mix the coconut paste with spinach and salt.
Apply a little oil to a cooker insert (applying oil is optional, it helps in taking out the pathrode easily).  Put the mixture in the vessel and steam it in pressure cooker, without a whistle, for about 15mins.
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Cut it into squares and serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

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Spicy Pizza Pockets (Spicy Calzones)

spicy pizza pockets
We are pizza fans,  instead of going out and eating pizzas, I have started making them at home frequently. I make the pizza dough with one pack yeast (with recipe given below), use half of it and freeze remaining half. So we have pizzas once in a week or two. Making everything at home gives me enough options to customize it the way I want. I usually completely skip cheese. Sometimes I use marinated paneer as topping, sometimes I use basil pesto instead of traditional tomato pizza sauce.

Last week, when I wanted to make something different, I thought about calzone. I have been thinking about making them for so long, but somehow never did. I made a spicy stuffing with loads of vegetables. Unlike the traditional stuffing where cheese is normally used along with other stuff, I left out cheese. These came out so delicious. V kept asking why I had not tried them before. They were like baked cousins of samosas. I will be making these more frequently with different stuffing.

Pizza dough:

1 pack active dry yeast
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or atta)
2 cups all purpose flour (or maida)
1/2 tea spn dried oregano
1 tea spn brown sugar or honey
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbl spn butter
1 egg (optional, use water
Salt

Method:
Heat the water till it is lukewarm (I just microwave it for 15 secs), ie, till it is warm to touch.
Add sugar or honey to water and add the yeast. Keep is aside for about 5-10mins till the water becomes frothy (indicating the yeast it active).
Now add all other ingredients and mix well. Once it becomes a dough, knead the dough very well for 8-10mins. I make the dough in my KitchenAid stand mixer with dough hook.
Apply some olive oil to a big bowl and keep the dough in it covered.
Leave it in a warm place for 2-3 hrs till the dough doubles in volume.
Now use the dough to make pizza.

Spicy Stuffing:
2 cups vegetables (celery, carrots, peas, onions, corn, broccoli)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tea spn dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn chopped garlic
Oil
Salt

Method:
spicy pizza pockets1 spicy pizza pockets2
Heat oil and fry garlic. Then add onion, celery, carrots. Fry for few minutes.
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Add chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and fry.
Add tomatoes, salt, mix and let it cook till the mixture is dry.
spicy pizza pockets5 spicy pizza pockets6
Now add remaining vegetables – peas, corn, broccoli. Cover and let it cook on a medium low flame. When all vegetables are cooked, take the kasuri methi on the palm and slightly crush with fingers and add to the vegetables. Mix well.

Assembling :
Preheat the oven at 400F for 10mins.
spicy pizza pockets7 spicy pizza pockets8 spicy pizza pockets9 spicy pizza pockets10 spicy pizza pockets11
Take small balls of dough and roll them into 1/4 inch circles.
Keep 2 tbl spn of stuffing on one half and fold the other half on top like a moon. Press the edges to seal.
Brush the top with water (which gives the color when baked), sprinkle a little salt and chili flakes(optional).
spicy pizza pockets12 spicy pizza pockets13
Bake in 400F oven for about 15mins or till the top is golden brown. (I opened the oven at around 10mins and brushed the tops with water once again and kept them back).
Then I turned them upside down, brushed the other side with water and baked again for 5mins just to make sure they got crispy from other side too (this is optional step).
Brush the top with a little olive oil for some extra taste. Serve hot.
I used half of the dough which made 5 calzones.

spicy pizza pockets14

PS: – This is just a method more than a recipe. Experiment with different stuffing and any store bought/homemade pizza dough.
– The stuffing was so tasty, I served the left overs with chapatis next day. It will go well with any bread, naan, rotis, chapatis or simple curd rice.
– Serve them hot right out of oven for best results.
– Make sure the stuffing is very dry. Any moisture in it would soak the dough.
– Make them smaller and serve as starters at parties, they will surely win many hearts.
– Above dough recipe can be used to make pizzas. It makes delicious and soft pizza base.

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Ground Chicken Nuggets

ground chicken nuggets

I have a strong aversion for any ready made frozen stuff. I am ok to eat them once in a while on vacations, but I try not to buy them when I am at home. So I have been trying to make chicken nuggets at home. We have recently started ordering nuggets  for Ishaan at restaurants and he eats them sometimes and just walks away some other times.

The only thing I have ever prepared with ground chicken was kheema, since it does not look like chicken no one wants to touch it (other than me, who is a big fan). So I decided to make something different this time. I wanted to make something that Ishaan would eat, so burger was out of question. He does not care for them so far, I will introduce it slowly. I tried these nuggets, all of us really enjoyed them. The best part was, since I used ground chicken, the spices got mixed with every bit and they turned very flavorful. Just make sure not to over cook them.

Ingredients:
1 lb (approx 0.45kg) ground chicken breasts
1 tea spn thick yogurt
1 tea spn chilli powder
1/2 tea spn garam masala
1 tbl spn finely chopped ginger
1 tbl spn finely chopped garlic
1 tbl spn finely chopped coriander leaves
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil
Salt

Method:
ground chicken nuggets1ground chicken nuggets2ground chicken nuggets3ground chicken nuggets4
Add yogurt, chilli powder, garam masala, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and salt to chicken and leave it aside in refrigerator for 30mins-1hr.
ground chicken nuggets5ground chicken nuggets6
Heat a tava (I used cast iron) and spread some oil.
Make small balls of the chicken mixture, slightly press them on the palm of your hand. Then roll them in bread crumbs. Shallow fry them till chicken is completely cooked through.
Serve hot on their own or with ketchup or a cold raita.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 30mins

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Grilled Chicken-Vegetable Kababs

chick-veg kabab

Few days ago, we had some friends visiting us. One friend suggested I make ragda pattis for them, I wanted to make something else for starters. Most of these friends are chicken lovers, so I thought of making chicken kababs. There is something very interesting about chicken on skewers – my family is not a big fan of skewers, but I love the look of them. Just to make them more interesting, I added some capsicum (green bellpeppers) and pineapple to them.

These were so easy to make – the time consuming thing was to put them on skewers and then grilling them. I did skewering while watching IPL match – Ohh, I am a big Rahul Dravid fan and loved watching him bat!.  I would have baked them, but I had enough time left before my friends arrived. So I went ahead with grilling them on my cast iron grill pan. They went very well with green chutney that I prepared for ragda pattis. They were all gone in minutes. I wish I had prepared more!.

Ingredients:
1 lb(approx 0.45kg) boneless chicken
1 capsicum (green pepper)
10-12 pineapple pieces
2 tea spns ginger garlic paste
1  tea spn cumin powder
1 tea spn coriander powder
2 tbl spns thick yogurt(curd)
1 tea spn chilli powder
Salt

Method:
Mix together yogurt, ginger garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder, salt in a bowl.
Add about 3/4 th of the marinade paste to chicken pieces and keep aside for 4-5hrs.
Add remaining marinade to pineapple and capsicum pieces, mix well.
chick-veg kabab1chick-veg kabab2
Skewer chicken and vegetables.
Heat a grill pan and grill them till chicken is done.
Serve hot.

chick-veg kabab3

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Hummus with Lemons Pickle and Capers

hummus

I am a big fan of cooking channels. I used to watch Food Network for hours before Ishaan was born. Then a time came when I didn’t have a single moment to sit infront of TV, so we decided to cancel cable. Then, around last year, I found out this amazing channel CreateTV. It has some of the best cooking and art shows, somethings I really love.  The cooking shows are very simple and without any of the extra glamour/hype of Food Network. I watch it when I find any free time.

Few days back, I was watching the show Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence. She showed how to preserve lemons and then prepared hummus with it. It looked really interesting, but I wasn’t going to buy/make preserved lemons for this one dish – I may try that in future when I want to make something else with them. Instead of that, I thought it is a great way to use up some lemon pickle. I prepared a HUGE batch of this pickle last year and I want to use it soon to make some space in my pantry. I did not remember the exact hummus recipe, I prepare it with whatever I remembered. This has been a huge hit in my parties recently.

I serve it with either some crackers or vegetables like cucumber or carrots. Last time when a lot of it remained, I just mixed it with wheat flour to make hummus chapatis, yummm!.

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas
3-4 pieces lemon pickle
1/2 tea spn red chilli flakes (optional)
1 tbl spn tahini or 1 tbl spn white sesame seeds
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
1-2 tbl spn lemon juice
1 tea spn chopped garlic
Olive oil
Capers(optional)
Salt

Method:
Soak chickpeas in water for 5-6 hrs or overnight. Cook them in pressure cooker. (You can just use canned chickpeas. Rinse them out well before using. I prefer soaking and cooking them at home).
hummus1hummus2
Roast sesame seeds and cumin seeds.
Grind together chickpeas, sesame seeds (if using tahini, directly use it here), lemon pickle, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chilli flakes, salt (be careful while using salt because lemon pickle already has a lot of salt). If needed, use olive oil while grinding. Take the paste in a bowl.
Spread some olive oil and capers on top. Serve.

Preparation time : 25min (if cooking chickpeas at home).

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Chickpeas Vadas – Inspired by Falafel

chickpeas vada

Few months ago, one of my friends asked me if I can cook for a function in temple. I had to make a large tray of Chole. I said yes, but I had no idea how much chickpeas were needed to make that. I bought 8lb of chickpeas and soaked about 6lb. But I used about 4lbs from it. Remaining, I froze to use later. For next two weeks, I prepared few dishes with those frozen chickpeas.

I wanted to try Falafel for a very long time now. But I hardly deep fry, so it never happened. Finally I tried it. I did not follow the traditional Falafel recipe, but followed my own recipe. They tasted great.

Ingredients:
2 cups soaked chickpeas
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
Oil
Salt

Method:
Grind chickpeas without adding water. Add all other ingredients except oil.
Make small balls from the mixture and deep fry them.
Serve hot. They taste great on their own.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

Pictorial:

chickpeas vada1

chickpeas vada2

chickpeas vada3

chickpeas vada

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Raw Jackfruit Shallow Fry (Kadgi Phodi / Chakke Phodi)

chakke phodi

Jackfruits are easily available in this season. Raw jackfruit is called pansa kadgi or Chakke kadgi in Konakni. It is one of the very commonly used ingredients in Konkani recipes. These phodis have a silghtly different method of preparation compared to any other phodis that we prepare. These are not as common as the other ones. But they have a distinct taste and liked by many. Recently, one of our readers asked about this. So I prepared them after a long time. They cook slowly. Hence it is required to cook them in cooker and then shallow fry.

Ingredients:
7-8 Raw jackfruit (kadgi) pieces
1/2 cup rawa(sooji or rice rawa)
1 tbl spn rice flour or Chana flour(besan) – (optional)
Salt
1/2 tea spn chilly powder
Asafoetida
Oil

Method:
Cut the raw jackfruit into two halves. Remove the skin.
Remove the innermost part. Cut 1 cm thin slices and immerse in water for about ten minutes to get rid off any gum that comes after cutting.
Remove the slices and cook in a cooker under steam pressure for one whistle. After cooling, sprinkle salt, asafoetida and leave for about five minutes.
Mix rawa, chilly powder and chana flour(besan) on a plate. Roll the jackfruit pieces in the mixture. Put them on hot tawa and shallowfry them
on both sides. Chana flour or Riceflour is used to keep the rawa intact.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

Pictorial:

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chakke phodi2

chakke phodi3

chakke phodi4

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chakke phodi

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Fried Salmon With Green Masala

fried salmon with green masala

This is another of those salmon experiments we liked. Recently we started buying Salmon from Costco. It is quite cheaper there compared to Whole Foods (where we do all our grocery shopping). I buy a big piece, cut into smaller pieces and freeze them into individual bags. Some days I just make this dish and a salad for dinner.

Aayi prepares this green fish using Mackerel (bangda) or king fish (Ishwan/Visonu/Surmai) or some other fish available in India. I add a little bit of mint if I have it on hand. This is Ishaan’s favorite fish dish.

Ingredients:
1 lb salmon
6-7 strands of coriander leaves
7-8 leaves of mint (optional)
2 green chillies
1 tea spn chopped ginger
1 tea spn chopped garlic
2 tbl spns lemon juice
Oil
2 tbl spn rice flour
1 tbl spn sooji
Salt

Method:
Cut Salmon in 2 x 2 inch pieces.  Make a smooth paste of coriander leaves(you can also include a handful of mint leaves), green chillies, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, salt. Apply the paste to fish pieces and leave it refrigerator for few hours.
Heat a tava and spread some oil. On a plate, mix rice flour and sooji. Roll the fish pieces in rice flour-sooji mixture. Shallow fry on hot tava till the fish is cooked through.
Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Serves: 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

Pictorial:

fried salmon with green masala1

fried salmon with green masala2

fried salmon with green masala3

fried salmon with green masala4

fried salmon with green masala5

fried salmon with green masala6

fried salmon with green masala

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