Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ragda Patties with a twist!

I have spoken about my love for Mumbai and its food in my previous post. Ragda patties is one such dish that I first tasted in my house in Mangalore when my pacchi visited us. It was during one of her visits during our vacations that she made this speically for us. Until then we did not know about this wonderful dish. Once I tasted it..I was hooked on to it. The procedure too was very simple. Though I had eaten it many times at roadside vendors, I had never attempted to prepare it at home until I came here. Since we have a week long off here due to the Chinese New year (Spring festival) I get a lot of time to cook and enjoy with the company of my hubby. It was on one such day that I made this. I did not have dried yellow peas so I used Chickpeas, hence the twist in the tale :D  I followed the recipe that I remembered how my aunt prepared some 13 years ago ;) and the taste was wonderful :D

Here is what's needed:
For Ragda
1 cup Chickpea (Soaked overnight and pressure cooked until soft)
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp roasted Cumin and Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Oil

1) Heat Oil in a pan and add in jeera. When it starts spluttering pour the cooked chickpeas, spice  powder and salt to taste. 
2) Mash few chickpeas to make the gravy thicker. Add water to bring the curry to pouring consistency. Give a rolling boil and switch off. 
P.S: If you like your ragda to be spicy you can add chilli powder.

For Patties:
3-4 boiled Potatoes
1/2 - 1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Chat masala
finely chopped coriander leaves 
salt to taste
Breadcrumbs (optional)

1) Mash Potatoes and mix well all the ingredients given for Patties except oil and breadcrumbs.
2) Heat a tava. Make small balls of the patties mixture. Roll them into breadcrumbs slightly and flatten them. Place the patties on tava and shallow fry until done.

I did not have breadcrumbs in hand so directly shallow fried the patties on tava with little oil.

Sweet Chutney/Tamarind Chutney:
 I just soaked equal parts of tamarind and jaggery together in little water for 1/2 an hour. Squeezed the tamarind out. Added salt and chilli powder to taste. We do not get dates here so skipped it :)

To Serve:
Place 2 patties on a plate. Pour a ladle full of ragda. Top up with little tamarind chutney, finely chopped onion & corinader leaves. Sprinkle some sev on top and serve immediately.

Sending this Yellow dish over to Harini who is hosting FIC Yellow
Also sending this over to Srivalli who is hosting My Legume Love Affair - Seventh Helping
which is the brain child of Susan of The Well - Seasoned Cook. Finally this goes to JFI-Chickpea hosted at Sometime foodie the brain child of Indira of Mahanandi.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A delicious and simple lunch!

The last 2 weeks have been hectic for us here. First it was me who fell sick and then hubby caught the virus from me! I had not cooked for almost 2 weeks as I was too weak to eat and leave alone cook. I did not have the interest nor the energy to cook. Initially, I had fever and cold. Then the cough appeared. The cough syrups did not give relief neither did any of my home remedies. After few sleepless nigts rushed to the doc who gave some syrup and tabs. Within two days it worsened and again we met the doc and this time after taking an X-ray he put me on anitbiotics. Finally with medicines and home made remidies I am doing much better. In the mean time hubby dear caught cold and fever! both of us were coughing together. Luckily he has a week long holidays for the Chinese New year.. which starts from tomo. I will make a post on Chinese new year soon. 
Yesterday I was longing for something simple and quick along with some fries. My taste buds had gone really bland and were craving for something deep fried. It had been ages since I had fried anything. Thus decided to make a simple meal of rice, horse gram stir fry and horse gram saaru with cauliflower fry!
I am sending the horse gram stir fry over to Srivalli who is hosting My Legume Love Affair - Seventh helping which the brain child of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.  

Horse gram happens to be one of my fav lentil. It has a very funny story behind. Growing up, I used to always fall every now and then. I dont remember even a single year when I have not fallen! Be it inside the house, school playground or even temple! Whenever I used to come home after falling my mom used to joke and ask me "paay ponu ailie ve?" meaning Did you bow and come?!! After coming to Shanghai until my parents visit I had not fallen. I was mighty proud and told them one day. The same day we were just planning to go for walk and I was walking over the foot path and suddenly my ankle twisted and I was just about to fall but some how I didn't! Mind you I was not even wearing heeled shoes.. it was simple running shoes that I was in. You can imagine the look on my parent's face!! Anyway's due to this my elder brother always made fun of me and told mom to feed me Horse gram everyday so that my legs would becomes strong! Usually horse is fed horse gram and it is said that due to this it has strong legs and can run fast!
Such is the link between me and horse gram!

Anyways, here is the recipe:
Kulitha upkari 
3/4 cup horse gram
2 Green chilli's slit
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 
a generous pinch of hing/asafoetida
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
Salt to taste
1) Pressure cook horse gram with lots of water until soft. Strain and reserve both the horse gram and the water.
2) Heat Oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cooked horse gram, salt, green chillis  and hing. You can little water too so that the salt is uniformly distributed.
3) When done garnish with freshly grated coconut and serve hot.

To make kulitha Saaru,  Boil the reserved liquid from cooking horse gram. Add two slit green chilli's and salt to taste. Give it a rolling boil. Prepare a seasoning by heating little oil and adding 4-5 crushed garlic cloves. Fry them until nicely browned and pour this over the Saaru. Enjoy with steamed rice :)

This is slightly different way to make the cauliflower bhajji's. I learnt this from my uncle who is a very good cook. His recipe is an all time hit in our family.  I have blogged about his cooking in one of my earlier post. I cannot give you the exact measure to make this as I just add the ingredients as and when necessary. I love this method of frying since it does not absorb a lot of oil and tend to become very crunchy.
I usually soak the bite sized cauliflower in salt and turmeric water to remove any dirt of worms. Ater 10 mins wash them well. In a bowl, add in the washed cauliflower pieces, red chilli powder,salt, jeera, besan, around 2 tbsp of rice flour and hing powder. Do not add any water at this stage. Mix well. The water from cauliflower usually helps to form the paste. After mixing if needed add little water (do not add much to make a paste) and besan as required until the florets are well coated with the mixture. Let it sit for 10 mins. Then Heat oil. While heating oil my uncle usually suggests to keep stirring the oil and when it turns hot deep fry the florets in batches on medium flame until crisp and golden. Enjoy hot.
I made a very small batch of the bhajji's and we enjoyed it with rice, kulitha upkari and saaru. The meal was perfect for the -6C weather we had yesterday. Will start blog hopping soon.. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keerlayile Mooga Usli

I have always loved legumes more then veggies..I love them in their simplest form such as saarupkari which does not need any fancy ingredients.. and occasional indulgence in coconut based dishes. We amchi's eat a lot of coconut based dishes. We do add a little bit of freshly grated coconut to anything and everything! I am not very fond of coconut but when I make coconut based dishes I make sure to make them with the amount of coconut required than skimping on it! These days we have cut down our intake in terms of coconut and decided to stick to keeping it to minimum.
When we first came here, I was disappointed that the Indian stores did not have the variety of legumes that we eat back home. I found only moong,Rajma,Chickpeas both variety. I miss horse gram, whole toor, White beans a lot. Back home I used to cook with beans and veggies alternatively. However, we do get excellent green moong and Rajma in local markets along with soybean.
This is a simple yet healthy breakfast which we make regularly. 
Here is what's needed:
1 cup sprouted Moong (green gram)
2 green chilli's slit
a small piece of Ginger chopped fine
a pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
a very small piece of Jaggery (Optional)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1) Heat oil. Add in mustard seeds, when they splutter add in the green chilli & sprouts.(You need not remove the skin. I had removed them to make this dish. But then realized that the qty was too much so reserved it. However, I have noticed that most of the times, the skin tends to float in water when being cooked. In such cases I just remove them and discard)
2) Add suffecient water, salt, chopped ginger and jaggery if using.
3) When it is 3/4 th done add the hing and mix well. Cook covered until done on medium flame.
When done the moong should be able to hold its shape and yet be cooked. You can garnish this with grated coconut to enhance its taste. Serve hot.
It can be served for breakfast or as a side dish with rice. We had this for breakfast with banana milkshake. Usually this is combined with Poha but we love to have it as it is.
P.S: In place of the moong you can even use moong dal. 

Update: I am sending this over to Srivalli who is hosting My Legume Love Affair, Seventh helping which is the brain child of Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook. Thank you Srivalli, Susan for this event. Thank you Asha, Namrata for reminding me to send this across.

Batate Bhajjun Upkari ~ Simple Potato Side dish

Batate Bhajjun upkari is simple Potato side dish. This was one of the dishes that amma resorted to when there were not many veggies or during the days when she observed fast. Me and anna always looked forward to this meal. Whenever she made this we were sure that we would have steaming hot white rice and daalithoy. The combination of the these three is heaven for us. Even today when we are at home she makes sure that she makes this atleast once. When amma makes this she generously uses oil and believe me it tastes much better than the way I do it as I always reduce the oil and try cooking with one tsp of oil. 
Here is what's needed:
4 medium sized Potato washed thoroughly, peeled roughly and chopped into small thin pieces and soaked in cold water until used.
Oil 2 tsp
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Urad Dal
2-3 red Chilli torn
salt to taste
 Heat oil. (I normally use 2tsp for this dish but it needs more than that to get a very good crispy taste) Add mustard seeds, when they splutter add in the urad dal and fry until slightly golden. Throw in the torn red chilli and after 20 secs add the drained potato pieces and salt to taste. Cook covered on medium flame until crispy and done. You can add little amount of water for the Potato's to be cooked. Tastes best when hot and served with rice and daalithoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Humble Daalithoy!!

Every Konkani blog in this blogosphere has a recipe for Daalithoy! We amchi's love daalithoy so much that we do not need rice to go with it. We just slurp it like payasa.. Any function is incomplete without daalithoy. A lot of times at functions in Mangalore you will see that we have rice and tomato saaru for the first course and second course rice and daalithoy. Sometimes, people tend to have only daalithoy without rice for second course. Amazed? Most of the amchi houses have daalithoy on everyday basis. People also joke that daalithoy is our KulDevata (Family deity). This also happens to be the first of the recipes that girl's usually cook with and also the first of the food that is introduced to kids when they start with rice.
We love DDT... not Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane.. but Daat DaliThoy (thick daalithoy).
When we were in school, our parents made sure that every year we got to go to different places during our summer holidays. Dad who was then a teacher also got vacations and mom took long off's. We have even taken 45 days long trip within India. We used to pack light and each of us had a suitcase of our own and every suitcase had one set of cloths of every other member. In case any of them happens to lose their bag then they can atleast wear something fresh until new cloths were purchased. We have almost completed the "Theerthyathra" at very young age, i.e when I was in sixth grade. It was during one such trip, that we were out from Mangalore for almost 45 days.We were visiting Mumbai (then Bombay) for my cousin's thread ceremony and from there we had started our trip to Varanasi and covered Badrinath, Kedarnath,Nepal, Kulu,Manali,Shimla,Kolkata(then Calcutta),Delhi,Haridwar, Hrishikesh etc. The first few days we enjoyed eating out and but then it got so boring that we missed home food. We missed the normal simple meal and terribly missed having Daalithoy. On the last day of our trip we had called up my mhaav(Aunt) and when my mom was speaking to her I took the phone and asked her to make rice,Daalithoy and pathrado. I still rememeber the way we hogged food that day!

Now coming back to this recipe there is no approximate measurements for this recipe. It is simple and straight forward. Pressure cook 1/2 cup of Toor Dal with a drop of oil until done. Approximately 3-4 whistles. Mash the dal thoroughly and add salt to taste. Pour water to bring it to desired consistency. Add in 2 slit green chilli's and keep the pot on gas. When it starts to boil add a pinch of asafoetida/hing. Give a rolling boil and switch off. Prepare tempering with heating oil, add in 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds. When they splutter add 4-5 curry leaves and a torn red chilli. Fry for few secs and pour the seasoning over the prepared dal and serve hot with Rice.
There are a lot of varations to make Daalithoy. This is how we make in Mangalore homes and temples. As and when I make different variety will post them here. I also add some chopped corriander leaves for garnishing at times.

This simple dal is off to FIC- Yellow being hosted at Harini's "Tongue Ticklers"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tomato Gojju

Some dishes are so simple to make, yet they taste great. One such according to me is this. It does not need too many ingedients and still is full of flavour and aroma. This recipe is from my granny's kitchen. My grandfather was an Ayurvedic pandit and most of the simple health problems were treated with change in diet. This gojju was prepared whenever anyone at home suffered from mouth ulcers. You may find some helpful information here
I make this gojju when I am bored of making the usual Saaru, Daalithoy or sambar. 
What's needed:
2 medium sized Tomato
1 small Potato 
1 green Chilli
a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
1 tsp grated jaggery
Salt to taste

For Seasoning
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
5-6 Curry leaves
1 red Chilli torn 
finely chopped Corriander leaves to garnish
1) Pressure cook tomato,Potato and green chilli with suffecient water until done. When cooled mash it thoroughly. 
2) Add water to bring it to desired consistency. Keep the pot on gas. Add salt, jaggery and hing.
Give it a rolling boil.
3) Prepare seasoning by heating oil and adding mustard seeds in them. When they splutter add 
in the curry leaves and red chilli if using. Switch off and pour the seasoning into the gojju. Garnish with chopped corriander leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Healthy beginning ~ Mooga Daali Usli/Bette

Another year passed... leaving behind its wonderful memories.. 2008 was a special year for me. I quit my job, travelled places, pursued my hobbies,tried new cuisines, spent quality time with my hubby, created my blog and in the process new friends .. All said it was a wonderful year with very few mishaps.. The year flew by in rapid speed and without us realising we were ready to welcome 2009. We celebrated with friend's, Watched the Fire crackers show when the countdown ended, wished all our loved one's and missed them. Hope the year ahead will be wonderful and peaceful.
On the blogging front, I have been "Missing in Action". First started with New year cleaning.. Well if you have not heard of New year cleaning then this is a new one! Then it was bidding good bye to a dear friend of mine who shifted to Pune for good. This did not mean that I did not cook. I did, but was not able to click pics.
I have been thinking of blogging about the places that we have visited in China this year as a record. Let me know what you think about it.
Starting this year's cooking post with a healthy breakfast/dinner item "Moogadaali Usli/Bette". This is very much similar to Pongal with minor changes. Moong Dal is rich in protein and easily digestible. This is comfort food for us and can be fixed easily with no much fuss! 
Here is what's needed:
1 cup Moong Dal
1/4 cup Basmati Rice
1 tsp Mustard seeds
5-6 Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Jeera
2-3 green Chilly - slit
a small piece of Ginger finely chopped
2-3 crushed black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tbsp grated Coconut grated
Water 3-1/2 cup
1) Heat Oil. Add mustard seeds, when they splutter add jeera and sauté till golden. Add curry leaves, crushed pepper, slit green chillies and sauté for few seconds. 
2) Add water and bring it to a good boil.
3) Add washed moong dal and washed rice. Add salt to taste and ginger pieces. Cook on medium flame until done. (i.e The dal is fully cooked but still holds it's shape. If it is not cooked you can add little hot water and let it cook). 
4) Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot.
Harini is hosting FIC-Yellow at her blog, this is my first entry to this event. For more details visit her blog. Harini, This is for you :)