Monday, August 20, 2012

Bisi Bele Bhath ~ A complete meal

Bisi Bele Bhath, is a very common dish that features in the menu of almost every local hotel in Bangalore. This is not very common in Mangalore or at my house. I am not very fond of this but my hubby loves this dish to the core. I got introduced to this at my relatives function in Mysore. It is usually served with some munchies like Potato chips or mixtures. This features in my menu these days as hubby dear is very fond of it. I too have come to a stage where I can manage to have it for dinner but only if accompanied with munchies. Please don't go by my dislike for this dish as there are a lot of fellow bloggers who adore this dish.  I dont make the spice powder at home, I use store brought MTR which many people seem to be quite happy with. But I am really looking forward to making my own spice powders at home. But for now this recipe:

Here is what's needed:
3/4 cup sona masuri rice
1/2 cup toor dal
1 cup chopped veggies like beans, carrot, potatoes, green peas
3 tbsp Bisi bele bhath powder
1/2 tsp tamarind extract
1 tbsp Ghee
salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 springs of curry leaves
1 generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
8-10 cashews
1 dried red chilli broken

1) Pressure cook dal with vegetables and rice seperately.
2) In a bowl mix the bisi bele bhath powder with tamarind extract. Add little water to make it a paste.
3) In a kadahi, heat ghee and roast the cashews. Keep aside.
4) In the remaining ghee add mustard when they splutter add hing, curry leaves and red chillies.
5) Add in the prepared paste and mix it well.
6) Mix in the dal with veggies followed by rice and salt. Mix well. Adjust the consistency of the dish by pouring water if needed. The consistency of the final dish should be somewhat like thick soup and the rice and veggies should be mushy. Give it a rolling boil and check for seasoning. Add anything if required.
7) Drizzle some home made ghee and garnish with roasted cashews. Serve along with some munchies.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Celebrating festival ~ SuThapunnav with a Konkani feast

The month of Shravan is very auspicious. In our community we perform tuLsi pooja every friday and sunday. We offer a small bunch of wild flowers that grows commonly during the monsoon season and offer it to TuLsi and then to our elders. Shravan month also sees us celebrating a lot of festivals. Being away from home during festivals just makes you feel home sick. To overcome this I decided to cook exactly the way my mom does on festivals with an array of dishes.
SuTthapunnav is celebrated during the full moon day of Shravan month. This is also known as upakarma, renewal of sacred thread or jhannuve.
Back at home, Dad would go to temple early in the morning and get the sacred threads. This is to be worn only by the male members in the family who have received Bramhopadesham. Mom would dish out a variety of dishes. My uncle (Dad's elder brother) would put the sacred thread to the male members and then bless us all. We would have sumptuous Konakni feast and enjoy a good afternoon nap. Evening would be a visit to the temple. I miss the festivals and visit to temples,and of all I miss home.
Here is what I cooked to get over the homesickness and celebrate the festival. This is a sample GSB meal. From right to left:
1) Rice
2) Valval
3) Chane ghashi : Brown chickpeas with tender jackfruit in coconut gravy
4) Okra Stir fry
5) MugadaLi goDshe: Moongdal kheer.
and Phodi's ( Deep fried Karela, Parval and cauliflower)
Chane Ghashi:  During our annual car festival at the temple I always look forward to samraadhana(feast). Somehow all the dishes that are served in the temple on the banana leaf simply tastes divine and leaves you craving for more. Chane ghashi is one of the dishes that is usually made in temple.

Here is what's needed:
1/2  cup brown chana soaked overnight
12 pieces of bite sized tender jackfruit ~ ( I used tinned jackfruit. If using fresh jackfruit remove the outer skin using a knife dipped in oil and then cut. Discard the middle stem and use as required)
1/2 cup grated coconut
4-5 dry red chillies
marble sized Tamarind
salt to taste
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Jeera
7-8 curry leaves
1 tsp oil
1) Pressure cook soaked chana until done. Since I used Tinned jackfruit you dont need to pressure cook it. If using fresh then cook it for 2 whistles.
2) Lightly roast the red chillies until crisp. Grind red chillies, coconut, tamarind, salt with little water to paste.
3) When the pressure falls down, take the chana add jackfruit and give it a slight boil. Add the ground paste and give it a rolling boil.
4) For seasoning: Heat oil, add mustard seeds when they splutter add cumin seeds and then curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the curry. Serve with rice and DaLithoy.

Bhenda Upakri: Okra stir fry

Here is what's needed:
20 Okra's washed and dried on kitchen towel
1 medium tomato chopped fine
1 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Urad dal
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Trim okra and chop in into thin discs.
2) Heat oil, add in mustard seeds. When they splutter add the urad dal. Fry for few seconds and add in the tomato.
3) Cook until it turns mushy and then add the red chilli powder and okra.
4) Fry well and add salt. Let it cook. If needed few splashes of water may be used.
5) When cooked add the grated coconut and coriander leaves.

MugadaLi godshe:
Godshe is the term used in konkani to refer sweets. I love sweets made of coconut milk and jaggery. I used packaged coconut milk. Fresh milk can be extracted and used.

Here is what's needed:
1/4 cup moong dal
1 cup thick coconut milk
1/4 cup powdered jaggery (Increase  or decrease as per your taste)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
5 cashews broken
1/4 tsp raisins soaked in warm water

1) Dry roast moong dal until slightly fragrant. Wash and then boil with water. If using fresh coconut milk then use the final extract i.e thinner milk to boil. Add cashews too.
2) When the dal boils completely and gets slightly mushy add jaggery. Give it a good boil.  Make sure that the jaggery is completely dissolved.
3) Add in the thick coconut milk. Give it slight boil. Add the raisins and cardamom powder and switch off.

This tastes even better the next day.

Phew! That was a long post. I hope you enjoyed it.