Starters

Shallow Fried Colocasia Tuber (Maaddi Phodi)

maaddi phodi

Many tubers are used in Indian cuisine. They are full of carbohydrates and are easily digestible. Yam or suranagadde is known to many people. Maaddi – tuber from colocasia plant is the other popular tuber available here. This is a type of colocasia with slightly darker and thicker leaves. It is usually available after the rainy season or early winter. Farmers dig out the tubers when the leaves of the plant dry up. There are many verities of maddis – small and large sized ones. The portion connected to the leaves is soft and is used to prepare phodis. Rest of it is harder and is used to prepare bharth and randayi(sidedish). Many people use the leaves to prepare pathrode, alavatti or venti ganti)randayi.

Ingredients:
Maaddi slices
Salt
Asafoetida
Rava/Sooji
Chilli powder
Besan
Oil

Method:
Peel off the skin of maddi and make slices of the size of 3/4 cms thickness. Put them under water for about ten minutes.Remove them from water and sprinkle salt and asafoetida. Keep them aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
On a different plate, mix rava, chilly powder and besan. Roll the maaddi pieces in this mixture and put on the hot frying pan.
Spread 1-2 tea spn oil and cover the lid, let them cook. When they are fried, turn them upside down.
sprinkle some water and fry further.

PS: Some people get itching after touching the maddi. Before touching water, wash your hands with tamarind water. The portion of Maddi attached to the leaves is soft and should be used to prepare phodis.

Pictorial:maaddi phodi1

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maaddi phodi

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Spicy Salmon Kababs

spicy salmon kabab

I have been trying to include more fish and chicken in our diet. It took a while for us to get used to the smelly fish – salmon. Since this is one of the healthiest fishes available in the market here, I try to make something with it atleast once a week. Recently I tried 2 types of kababs with them. I think they looked kinda cool. So Ishaan was ready to try these. The pieces get marinated very well as they are cut into small pieces.

Ingredients:
1 lb salmon cut into 2×2 inch pieces
1 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
Lemon wedges

Marinade : Make a smooth paste of following
1/2 cup thick yogurt
1 tea spn ginger
1 tea spn garlic
1 tea spn chilli powder
A pinch turmeric
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn amchoor powder
Salt

Method:
Apply the marinade to salmon pieces. Add the coriander leaves. Leave it aside for atleast 2hrs.
Arrange the pieces on skewers. Grill them till done. I use my cast iron grill pan for grilling.
Serve hot with lemon. Serve it as a starter or as a main dish with some rice and a simple dal.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 30mins

Pictorial:

spicy salmon kabab1

spicy salmon kabab2

spicy salmon kabab3

spicy salmon kabab4

spicy salmon kabab

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Baked Sweet Potatoes

baked sweet potatoes

I was thinking about making some sweet potato fries for a long time now. We first tasted them in a restaurant few months ago. We all loved them. When I started making them, instead of deep frying, I baked them. They came out really great. I topped them with some chaat masala for some extra taste. Ishaan loved these :).

Ingredients:
1 big sweet potato (about 3 cups cut into thin long pieces)
1/2 tea spn chilli powder
1/4 tea spn chaat masala
Olive oil
Salt

Method:
Heat water in a big pot. Add a little salt. When water starts boiling, add sweet potatoes. Cook for 4-5mins till the sweet potatoes are sightly cooked(but not completely done). Discard all the water.
Now line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Add chilli powder and little more oil. Mix well. Spread the sweet potatoes in a thin layer. Spread a little olive oil on them.
Preheat the oven at 450F for 10 mins.
Bake the sweet potatoes for aout 15mins till they are crispy.
Sprinkle a little chaat masala on top. Serve immediately.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15 mins

Pictorial:

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baked sweet potatoes2

baked sweet potatoes3

baked sweet potatoes

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Grilled Chicken Kabab With Kasuri Methi

grilled chicken kabab w k methi

In May, we visited our cousins in Boston. V’s cousin’s wife, we call her Poornima vaini, makes delicious chicken dishes. Every time I visit her, I learn something from her. She pampered us with this grilled chicken, biryani and many more. She had taken this to a get together and it had become a huge hit.

What makes these kababs stand out is the kasuri methi. It gives an awesome taste to this. She also adds some vinegar and marinates the chicken overnight. I am not very fond of vinegar and usually do not keep it in my pantry. So I added lemon juice. I cut the chicken into small pieces, so I just marinated it for 2hrs. A little bit of red food color can also be added to give it a nice bright red color (I did not use color).

Ingredients:
1 lb (0.4kgs) chicken
1 tea spn ginger pieces
1 tea spn garlic pieces
3-4 green chillies
1 tea spn cumin powder
1 tea spn chilli powder
2 tea spns vinegar or 1 tbl spn lemon juice
1 tbl spn thick yogurt
1 tea spn kasoori methi
Salt

Method:
Make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add this paste, chilli powder, cumin powder, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt to chicken pieces. Leave it in the refrigerator for about 2hrs.
Now add thick yogurt, kasuri methi. Keep aside for another 30mins.
Grill the chicken.
Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time : 40mins

PS: I use tender breast pieces of chicken for all my chicken dishes. If you use thighs or any other parts, adjust the time accordingly.
Adjust the spice according to your taste.

Pictorial:

grilled chicken kabab w k methi1

grilled chicken kabab w k methi2

grilled chicken kabab w k methi3

grilled chicken kabab w k methi

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Ginger Pakoda (Alle Baje)

ginger pakoda

It has been raining heavily for the last few days here. Pakodas/bajes are one of the most loved dishes in this season. We make bajes with many vegetables. I have been making bajes with ginger for years now. These get a spicy and strong taste from ginger pieces. So make them small in size.

Ingredients:
2 tbl spn finelly chopped ginger
4 tbl spn gram flour(besan)
1/4 tea spn chilli powder
Oil
Salt

Method:
Mix together flour, ginger, chilli powder, salt. Add a little water and make a thick batter.
Heat oil. Take a small amount of batter and slowly slide in the oil. Fry till done. Serve hot.

Pictorial:

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ginger pakoda2

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ginger pakoda

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Drumstick Flower Cutlet (Maska Phulla Phodi)

We find drumstick tree in garden of almost each and every house in our area. They provide full iron and so used by everybody especially women to supliment their need of nutritional iron. This is drumstick season. We use the flowers and leaves in konkani cooking along with drumsticks.

Drumstick flowers are used to prepare cutlets. My kids used to love these. Many of our neighbors and relatives used to give us these flowers, freshly plucked from the tree.

Also check cabbage vada.

Ingredients:
1 cup drumstick flowers
1 cup Shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
1/2 cup toor dal
2 tea spn rice (uncooked)
1 tea spn coriander seeds
2 tea spn urad dal
1/4 tea spn asafoetida
1/2 tea spn tamarind extract
4-5 Red chillies
2 tea spn jaggery
Salt
Oil
Rava (sooji)

Method:
Soak toor dal and rice in water for about thirty minutes. Heat a little oil and fry coriander seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and red chillies. Grind coconut, jaggery, tamarind and above fried items. Continue grinding with soaked dal and salt using minimum water. Mix this masala with drumstick flowers. Make small balls and press with the palm to flatten them. Roll these in rava and shallow fry them on both sides. Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

Pictorial:

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Grilled Pineapple


Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits. I like to eat it as it is or topped with some salt and pepper or cook some delicious dishes with it, use as topping on pizza. I am too lazy to cut it, but once that hurdle is passed, it gets consumed in no time.

My recent way of eating it is by grilling it. I had seen pineapple being grilled many times on TV. But I fell in love with it once I actually tasted it. I add some pepper, salt and red chilli powder to give a nice kick to it. Salt really brings out a unique taste. I grill it only few minutes on each side to get it slightly cooked. Use sweet pineapple for a great taste. A pinch of brown sugar sprinkled on it while grilling also tastes great.

Ingredients:
2 pineapple slices
A pinch red chilli powder
A pinch pepper
Salt

Method:
Heat grill pan. Spray some non stick cooking spray.
Keep pineapple slices on the grill. After 3-4mins, flip the pieces upside down and sprinkle chilli powder, salt and pepper (brown sugar if using). Grill for 3-4 mins and flip again. Sprinkle on this side. Flip again so that both the spiced sides get few minutes on the grill.
Eat it while it is still warm.

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Spinach Cutlet

I am always in search of good spinach recipes. Few days ago, I was chatting with my sister in law and asked her if she had any good recipes with it. She gave me a cutlet recipe. The following is inspired by that. It can be served as a starter at parties too. They get ready very fast and have a great taste.

Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped spinach
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 and 1/2 cups boiled,mashed potatoes
1 tbl spn rice flour
3 green chilies ground into paste
1 tea spn ginger paste
1 tea spn garlic paste
1 tea spn pav bhaji masala (or garam masala)
Oil
Salt
Sooji/rava

Method:
Mix all the ingredients except sooji/rava. Make into ping pong sized balls.
Press each ball into cutlets. Roll these cutlets in sooji/rava.
Spread some oil on a tava and shallow fry the cutlets. Serve hot.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

Pictorial:

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Mushroom Fry (Almbe phodi)

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Somewhere in the month of July – August, we get Mushrooms(Almbe in Konkani, anabe in Kannada) here. They grow naturally especially in forests. They grow abundantly near the snake nests. They are the sites of mites. But people are afraid of Cobras and many do not go near them. Many bold people go to the forest to get them at the appropriate time. We get different varieties of mushrooms. In South Kanara we get button mushrooms. In Uttar kannada (North kanara) we get different types in upper and lower ghat sections. Some of the mushrooms are very poisonous. So only few people know which ones are edible and which ones are not. These are hugely popular among people here – everyone looks forward for these in rainy season.

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After few washes
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These naturally found mushrooms have slightly different taste. They are very tasty compared to the artificially grown ones. I use them especially for frying. People use them for shallow frying or deep frying. We like shallow frying. I learnt this recipe from my grand mother. My children and all my family members are very fond of this mushroom fry. It is difficult to fry the artificially grown mushrooms available these days, as they are bigger in size. I have the experience that more than the half quantity of fried mushrooms disappear before the tawa is removed from the flame – you can’t just eat one.

We use leaflet midribs of the coconut (which is also used to make brooms) as skewers. We usually save a big batch of coconut leaflet midribs(sarni kaddi – broom sticks) just to use them as skewers.

The other dishes that I make with these mushrooms(you can also use any store bought mushrooms for these two) are – mushroom pulav, mushroom ambat.
If you don’t find these mushrooms, you could try bhende phodi.

Ingredients:
1 cup mushrooms (slit)
Salt
1/4 tsp asafoetida
4 tea spn (approx) sooji
1 tea spn chilli powder
2–3 tea spn oil

Method:
Select the mushrooms that are not blossomed(opened up). Wash and clean them with enough water and remove the soil from them. Slit them longitudinally. Keep about 5 cms. of the stem along with the top(Some have very long stems, which are cut off).
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As shown in the photo, arrange these slit mushrooms on a stick/skewers.
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Sprinkle salt over these and keep aside for five minutes. Sprinkle asafoetida powder over them.
Mix sooji and chilli powder. Roll the mushroom sticks in this mixture.
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Apply oil to the hot tawa and fry these mushroom sticks on both sides on low flame.

PS: Do not keep them for a long time after applying salt, they get too soggy.
These are exremly tasty when they are hot.

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Cabbage-coriander vada

cabbage-coriander-vada
This is a combination of two versions of cabbage vada – Aayi’s version and Dangar. I have grown up eating aayi’s cabbage vada and it is one of my all time sides. I created this version few days ago, with slight modifications. Though they are little harder than Aayi’s version, they taste great.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup finely chopped cabbage
3 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
4 red chillies
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds
Oil
A pinch asafoetida
1/4 cup toor dal
1 tbl spn rice
Salt

Method:
Soak dal and rice in water for about 30mins.
Heat oil, add asafoetida, coriander seeds. Grind them along with dal, rice, tamarind, chillies and salt. Add very little water if required (The paste should be of thick chutney consistency).
Mix the paste with cabbage and coriander leaves.
Heat tava and spread some oil. Make small balls from the mixture, slightly flatten them. Shallow fry on a medium flame till they are done. Serve hot.

Serves : 2
Preparation time : 30mins

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