Monday, July 28, 2008

Nucchi - Coconut Rice

Growing up Chapathi,Rice items like Pulav,Lemon rice etc was a part of our breakfast menu and not Lunch. Though these days I have started making them for Lunch. One such item is Coconut Rice - Nucchi. This is simple rice which is easy to make with no much fuss of cutting veggies/Onions and can be made easily either with leftover rice or fresh rice. One pot meal in short.
What's needed:

2 cups Rice
3-4 tbsp Grated Coconut
3-4 Green Chilli's slit
Salt to taste
4 cups Water

For Seasoning:

1 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Methi(Fenugreek) seeds
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
Few curry leaves
Oil 1 tbsp

1)Heat oil in a kadai. When hot add mustard seeds. when they start spluttering add Urad dal and fry until slightly pink. Add methi seeds and fry for a min. Take care not to burn the seasoning. Add curry leaves and fry until done.
2)Add 4 cups water and when it starts boiling add rice ,spilt green chiilis and salt.
3)When the water gets 90% absorbed add the grated coconut.Keep the flame on sim and cook until water is fully absorbed. Serve hot.
P.S: I used Basmathi rice so I use 1:2 ratio of rice to water. Even Sona masuri rice can be used for the same. If using Basmathi rice you can soak the rice for 15- 30 mins to speed up the process. Incase of using Left over rice then you can directly add green chilli's in the tadka and then mix in the rice,add grated coconut and salt to taste.


Last weekend was a party weekend for us. First, We were invited by one of our friend's over for lunch and second, at night we had a small amchi get together at home. So it was lot of cooking in my small lab. Parents too will be leaving this weekend so I decided to make a small treat for them. Parents love do we. so I zeroed on making Rasmalai. But the problem was that I had neer tried making Rasmalai at home. Not even the ras. Initially I thought of buying Haldiram's rasgulla and dropping them in to homemade Ras. But then I decided against it and googled up for the recipe. That's when I stumbled upon here. The picture and the step by step explanation was enough to inspire me. Thus I proceeded and made a small batch first. When the channa cooked up nicely I was glad and even the Ras too tasted good. I was sure this would come out well. When we ate it chilled.. It simply tasted good. It tasted just like the way it does in Resturants. So full of confidence I decided to make one more batch to take to our friend's place and also as gift for our friend's. The second time I made it I used Fresh milk instead of Full cream milk yet the taste was still the same. It was hit and everyone liked it. Thank you Mansi for this wonderful recipe. If not for this recipe I really doubt if I would ever think of attempting this at home. This is surely easy to make and also a no failure recipe.
I have made some changes to the recipe:
1)As I didnot have time I skipped hanging the Channa for two hours, Instead hanged it for only 20 minutes. Yet it came out soft.
2)I did not have pistachios so I used only silvered Almonds.
The end result was good. This is definitely a keeper.

Update 20 august 2012: Made this again and took a better picture this time. Followed the recipe to the T. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Batate Vaagu - Spicy Potato Side dish

Potatoes are all time favourite at our place. We love anything with potatoes in it. Thus over time I have collected a lot of recipes with potatoes. Batate(Potato in Konkani) Vaagu is one such of them that I learnt from my mom. Vaagu in Konkani means Tiger. I do not know why this side dish is called Vaagu. But this is feircely spicy and goes well either with rice or Chapathi. Last night we had Batate Vaagu with white rice and valval. This dish is a combination of flavours that is imparted from the addition of grated Coconut, Tomatoes Tamarind and Chilli powder. Without further explanation here is What's needed:

4 medium sized Potatoes boiled and cubed.
2 medium Tomatoes chopped.
juice of marble sized Tamarind.
1/2 - 1 tbsp Red Chilli powder (adjust as per your spice level tolerance)
1 1/2 tbsp grated Coconut
1 tsp hing(Asafoetida) water or generous pinch of hing powder
Salt to taste

For tempering:

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
few curry leaves

To garnish
Finely chopped coriander leaves.

1)Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add mustard when they splutter add Urad dal. Fry until pinkish and add curry leaves.
2) Add tomatoes and cook until mushy. To this add chilli powder, Hing water, Tamarind paste, salt and fry well. Mix in chopped potatoes. Sprinkle some water and fry for some time(around 3-4 mins). Add grated coconut and further fry for 10 mins or until all the water is absorbed and the potatoes along with coconut are roasted well. Garnish with corainder leaves and serve hot with chapathi or rice.

Valval making its way to the Curry Mela

When Srivalli announced the Curry Mela I was mentally making a list of curries that I would make to participate in the mela. But due to other commitments my list got limited only to my thoughts and I was not able to post anything. Everytime I would end up making simple saaru or daalithoy and some stir fried side dish. Finally I decided to make something that would make its way to Curry Mela and thus last night I made Valval. I have already blogged about this. To view the recipe click here. I am making a seperate post to send this Srivalli's Curry Mela. Thank you Srivalli for hosting this wonderful mela. BTW Srivalli has also made a list of Food blogs in her Blog. Do check out her blog to find all the wonderful bloggers at one place. Thank You Srivalli for making it easier for us to search food blogs based on specialized cuisine.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Alsande Bea Sarupkari (Black eyed beans in garlic seasoned curry)

We use a lot of grains,lentils and beans in cooking along with vegetables. When beans are used it is usually made with Coconut based gravies. Sarupakri is an exception to this. The name sarupkari loosely means stir fry with some soup in it. Sarupkari was very common side dish with rice for us while growing up. We all loved it as it had a simple taste and nice aroma of seasoned garlic. When I got married this was one among the first South Indian dish I had tried in my new house. My in-laws were not aware of such dish. But now this is frequent at our place as it does not take long time to prepare and yet is delicious.

What's needed:

1/2 cup Black Eyed Beans soaked in water for 2-3 hours
1 small Potato peeled and cubed
4 Green chilli's slit (Increase or decrease as per your spice tolerance level)
Salt to taste

For Seasoning
5-6 Garlic pods crushed well
2 red chilli's torn

1)Pressure cook beans and potato until soft. Make sure that they retain their shape.
2)Transfer the boiled beans and potato to a vessel. Add water if required. Add the spilt green chillis and salt and boil it well.
3)Once done remove it from flame and in a seasoning pan heat oil and add crushed garlic fry until it turns slightly brown and add red chillis. Pour the seasoning over the gravy. Serve hot with rice,pickles or papads.

Variation: A variation can be done to the saarupkari by giving it a seasoning of mustard and curry leaves instead of Garlic. If garlic is not used then while bringing it to boil after adding green chilli's hing water is poured over it to get wonderful aroma.

P.S: Saarupkari can be made even with Moong(Whole green gram) or Tingalavre(Dried white beans). They taste equally well.

Aamras and Poori Saagu

King of fruits - Mango often makes it appearance in our fruit basket. The mangoes available here are neither sweet nor do they have tanginess so that they can be used in curries. Though it often hapens that when I see these beauties I cant resist the temptation to buy it :( With a secret hope that it would be of different variety and that it would taste better. Finally due to lack of taste it gets used up in milkshakes or juices and on rare occasion as Aamras. Here is how I make aamras :

What's needed:

4 Ripe mangoes
2-3 pinches of fresh pepper powder
Sugar to taste

Fresh powder of 5 peeled green cardomom seeds.
1/2 - 1 cup of fresh milk

Blend all the ingredients in a blender and serve chilled. Aamras can be served along with Pooris or on its own.

Poori saagu:

One of the common breakfast items in Bangalore hotel is Poori saagu. My hubby is a great fan of Poori. He loves it with any side dish. Though the frequency of its appearance in our kitchen is very very low. From the past few weeks whenever I asked him as to what to make for breakfast I would get a prompt reply of either idli or Poori saagu/Bhaji. So finally one day I decided to make Poori saagu. I did not have the recipe to make saagu so I searched the blogosphere and landed at Aroma! When i saw her recipe of Saagu I decided to make it. I was dissapointed when I saw the ingredient list. I did not have Chana dalia(its not available here), Poppy seeds, nor the mint leaves. I did not want to make this by skipping all these finally it was decided to make kurma instead of Saagu. I made it a point to ask amma to get a small pack of dalia when she came here. And thus we had Poori saagu for breakfast today. Thanks for the recipe Asha Saagu came out really well and as per your suggestion I made it previous night and we had it this morning with Fluffy Pooris. Saagu will definately be made on regular basis from now on though I might try making dosas/Chapathi to go with it. Since I have followed the recipe exactly I am not going to write it down here. Please click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Paneer Matar masala With baby corn

Last week I found some fresh tender baby corn at the market and could not resist buying them. My parents and us both like Baby corn so I picked up 2 packets of beautiful baby corn. I used most of them to make Baby corn manchurian leaving behind just a few of them. Last night when I decided to make Paneer matar with chapathi for dinner and I saw few baby corns which needed to be finished too. Thus a new addition to the usual paneer matar. This is not authentic Paneer matar masala. I also added kasuri methi and kitchen king masala that gives a different taste to the gravy.

What's needed:

1/2 cup Paneer cubes2 cups frozen green peas
5-6 tender baby corns sliced
2 medium sized onions sliced
2 medium tomatoes pureed
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
8 cashews soaked in warm water for 10mins and ground to paste.
1-2 tbsp red chilli powder(increase or decrease as per taste)
1 tsp garam masala powder(increase or decrease as per taste)
1 tbsp Kitchen King masala(increase or decrease as per taste)
a big pinch of kasuri methi
salt to taste
sugar a pinch (optional)
Coriander leaves chopped.


1)Boil the green peas and baby corn slightly with water or microwave it until its 3/4th done.
2)Heat little oil or ghee in a non stick pan and fry onions with little salt until they turn brown. Let it cool.
3)Grind the cooled onions to fine paste.
4)Add some oil to the same pan and add the cubed paneer and fry well until it turns slightly brown. Take the paneer peices and put it in a bowl of cool water. This keeps the paneer soft.
5)Heat the oil that remains after frying the paneer and add ginger garlic paste to it. Fry until the raw smell goes off. Add onion paste to it and fry for some time.
6)Once done add the tomato puree and fry well till the raw smell of tomato is gone.Add a pinch of sugar if desired.
7)Add all the masala powders and kasuri methi and fry until oil seperates.
8)Add the green peas and baby corn to it and mix well.
9)Add ground cashew paste and salt as per taste.Squeeze the paneer out of water and add it to the gravy.
10)Boil the gravy well on medium flame until the curry is of desired thickness.
11)Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it hot with Chapathi or roti.

This is my contribution to the Curry Mela hosted by Srivalli . Thank you Srivalli for hosting this wonderful event.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Instant Maida Dosa (Maida Phanna polo)

Maida phanna polo is a crisp dosa that can be made in minutes and is also tasty. It does not need any chutney or curry to go with. It is slightly spicy and is crispy when eaten hot. Maida can be substitued with Whole wheat atta too. Since this can be fixed within minutes and no fermentation is required I make it quite often with whole wheat flour.

Whats needed:
To Grind:
5 Green chilli's
1 small piece ginger
Few corainder leaves
2 tblsp grated coconut.
1 cup maida
1 tsp curds
1 tblsp semolina
salt and sugar to taste.

For seasoning(Phanna):
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Jeera
few curry leaves

1) Grind green chilli's, ginger, coriander leaves and grated coconut coarsely with water.

2) Mix maida, curds, semolina, salt, sugar and ground paste with water to dosa batter consistency. Mix well to avoid any lumps.

3) Heat oil in a small pan add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering add jeera. When Jeera splutters add curry leaves. Add this tadka to the dosa batter and mix well.

4) Heat tawa and spread thin dosa's in circular patterns. Sprinkle little oil and fry on both the sides. These dosas are crisp when hot and get soft after a while.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Undi - Rice balls

Undi(Rice balls) is a famous Mangalorean breakfast item.
It is steamed in a traditional vessel called "Pedavan” in konkani. In some of the hotels this is served with Ghashi(thick coconut gravy) or Dalithoy.
When I saw a steamer in a supermarket here in Shanghai the first dish that came to my mind was Undi. Unfortunately I did not find rice rava here. I did not know that rice could be used directly. When amma suggested I was scared to try as rice available here is sticky in nature. Plus I did not have grater to grate coconut. So I decided to try only after she came here. In the mean time I even got Ponni rice in Indian stores and my mom in law sent me a small tool to grate coconut when my parents visited here. Last week we had Undi for breakfast. So here goes the recipe:

What's needed:
Rice - 1 1/2 cup
Coconut - 3/4 cup
To Season:
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Methi - 1/4 tea spoon
Urad Dal - 1/4 tea spoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
Salt to taste
Oil to season.

1)Soak rice for 4 hrs and grind it with coconut to coarse paste. Make sure that it is not fine it should have granules like structure.
2)In a large pan heat oil and add mustard seeds. when they splutter add urad dal and fry until pink. Add Methi seeds and fry until slightly red. Add Curry leaves and fry for sometime.
3)To this pan add the Coarse rice and coconut paste. Add salt to taste and mix well.

4)Keep the flame on medium and keep stirring the mixture, slowly the mixture thickens. To check if it is ready, dip fingers in a bowl of water, and check if the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls. If the mixture doesn't stick to your fingers, the mixture is supposed to be done.

5)Make small balls of it and place it in a steamer that is pre heated for 10-15 mins. Steam it until knife inserted comes out clean. Takes around 15- 20 mins in my steamer. You can check once you get a nice aroma.

6)Serve hot with Coriander chutney or Pickles topped with coconut oil.

You can use Rice rava instead of Rice. If Rava is used then after seasoning switch off the gas and add water 2.5 times the rava. Add rava,grated coconut and salt to it. Keep it soaked for 10 mins. Then continue from step 4 as given in the recipe.