Bimbul, Bilimbi or Tree Sorrell is a fruit which is used as a souring agent instead of Tamarind. Pickles both spicy and sweet are made from this fruit which is known for it’s medicinal value as well. I had never made a cold preparation of this fruit, so when my dear friend Pushpalata Satish shared her recipe with me, I lost no time in trying it out. Goes extremely well with Dal rice, Roti and even Curd rice.
7 cloves of garlic
5 green chillies
2 tbsps grated coconut
2 tbsps coconut oil
Roast the Bimbul, green chillies and garlic in one tbsp of oil till the Bimbul changes colour. Allow to cool. Grind it along with the coconut and salt to a coarse paste. Do not grind it to a fine paste as it is best enjoyed coarse. Tip it into a bowl and drizzle with the remaining coconut oil. Serve immediately. This preparation needs to be refrigerated as it is not heated.
Puranpoli is a sweet traditionally prepared on Khojagiri or Sharat Poornima that is the Full moon following Navaratri . Folklore has it that it was prepared to appease the Moon God hence the shape and colour. The Puranpoli is so delicious that it is is well worth the effort that goes into making it. It is best enjoyed with fresh home made ghee/clarified butter. Many thanks to my dearest friend Simran Gangolli for her wonderful recipe.
250 gms Chana dal/ split Bengal Gram
150 gms Maida/all purpose flour
150 gms Wheat flour
15 pods Cardamom
5 tsps Sugar
3 tbsps Oil
4 tbsps Ghee/Clarified Butter
A pinch of Haldi/turmeric powder
1 heaped tbsp Dry ginger powder /Soonth
A pinch of Salt
Take the Maida and wheat flour in a bowl. Make a well in it. Add the haldi, salt and the oil and crumble it. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Add the ghee, knead it into the dough and keep it aside for two hours. Powder the Cardamom and sugar and keep it aside. Pressure cook the Chana dal for four to five whistles. Drain the water. It can be used to make Katachi Amti which is a preparation served over rice. Puree the Chana Dal in the mixer. Make a thick syrup of the jaggery and add it to the pureed chana dal. Tip both, the pureed Chana Dal, Dry ginger powder and the Jaggery syrup into a pan. Boil on a low flame till it starts leaving the sides of the pan. When touched it should not stick to the fingers. Add the Cardamom powder. Mix well and allow to cool. This stuffing is called Puran . Make balls of the Puran. Knead the maida and wheat dough for a couple of minutes and make equal number of balls as that of the Puran. Roll the dough into a circle slightly smaller than a poori. Place the ball of Puran, enclose it with the dough, dust it with Maida and roll out into required size. Heat a tava/ skillet. Dry roast the Puranpoli on both sides to a golden brown. Enjoy drizzled with Ghee.
Peas Pulao is a simple and delicious one pot meal which is usually accompanied by a Raita and Papad. The whole spices used impart the wonderful fragrance to the Pulao . I prefer to eat mine without any accompaniement.
250 gms Basmathi rice
150 gms shelled peas
5 one inch piece of Cinnamon/Dalchini
7 pods of Cardamom /Elaichi
3 Star Anise/ Badyan/Chakri phool
7 green chillies slit
A fistful of cashews
2 large onions sliced
5 tbsps Ghee/Clarified butter
2 tbsps oil
500 ml boiling water.
Wash the Basmathi rice and keep aside. Heat the Ghee and oil mixture. Drop in the Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, Star anise and Cashewnuts. Allow the whole spices to splutter and the cashews to turn a golden brown. Drop in the chillies and onions and roast till translucent. Add the peas and Basmathi rice. Gently sauté for a minute. Drop in the boiling water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on a gentle flame till done. Ready in twenty minutes. Serve with Onion raita and papad.
The GSB or Konkani cuisine is varied and it makes use of a variety of lentils and vegetables. Peels and pith of vegetables too are used so also the stem, leaves, roots and flowers. Sharing a traditional Konkani Thali today of Rice, Dalithoy, Ivygourd and Tender Cashew stir fry, Fresh Pigeon peas upkari, Yam pickle, Khotto, Pigeon peas and tender Jackfruit ghashi, Pathrado, Mango curry, Pumpkin and Drumstick fritters, Neem leaves dry chutney, Mixed vegetable Pickle, Madgane and Buttermilk. Recipe links to all the items are given below.
Cholko means a piece of Plantain leaf in my mother tongue Konkani. Breakfast was usually served on a piece of plantain leaf. In this recipe Cholkya Bhakri translates to Bhakri patted on a Plantain leaf and roasted on either a clay or regular tava/Skillet. The difference in taste when a Plantain leaf is used is very distinct. No oil is use. If it is drizzled with oil then it is called Tella Bhakri.
250 gms raw rice
1/4 of a large coconut grated
2 onions finely chopped
5 green chillies roasted over an open flame
2 tbsps coriander leaves
Wash and soak the rice for four hours. Grind to a coarse paste along with the coconut and roasted green chillies. The mixture should be thick and not runny as the Bhakri is patted on the leaf. Tip the mixture into a bowl. Drop in the finely chopped onions, salt and coriander leaves. Mix well. Heat the tava. Place a plantain leaf on it and pat the mixture neither too thick nor thin on it. Cover it with another piece of Plantain leaf and roast on a slow flame till the leaf turns brown. Flip. Roast on the other side too. Slide the roasted Bhakri on to a plate. Serve hot with pickle, jaggery syrup or butter .
These cabbage and onion Pakoras can be made in no time. Serve them as a quick snack with tea or as an accompaniment to Dal and rice. They need no accompaniment like tomato ketchup or mint chutney as they have all the spices added.
2 large onions sliced thinly
Cabbage the same amount as the onions
1 green chilly finely chopped
150 gms of Besan/Chickpea flour/ 3/4 cup
2 tbsps rice flour
1 tbsp oil
A large pinch of Ajwain /Carom seeds
1/4 tsp Hing/Asafoetida
1 tsp chilly powder
Oil to fry the Pakora
Take the Besan, rice flour, chopped green chilly, salt, chilly powder, Hing, ajwain and one tbsp oil in a bowl. Crumble and add just a little water to make a thick paste whisking all the ingredients well. Drop in the sliced onion and cabbage and mix thoroughly. Heat oil in a pan. Take a little of the mixture and keep dropping it all over into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd as the Pakora then doesnt turn crisp. Fry on a medium flame to a nice golden brown. Serve hot.
Most Hindus avoid onion and garlic during the ten days of Navratri. It is basically a kind of cleansing done to rid the system of toxins. Some even undertake a strict fast making a meal of only one vegetable throughout the nine days. These vadas are a blessing when children crave for something crunchy. Though these are sans onion and garlic they are super tasty. I thank my friend Bhama Narayanan who shared this recipe with me. I have added a couple of spices to enhance the taste.
1/4 cup Chana Dal/Split Chickpea
1/4 cup Arhar Dal/Split pigeon peas
1 heaped tbsp Urad Dal/Split black gram
3 dry red chillies
2 green chillies
1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
5 pepper corns
1/2 tsp Jeera /Cumin seeds
A kidney bean size piece of Hing/ Asafoetida
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 tbsps coriander leaves
Oil for frying the vadas.
Wash and soak the three Dals in enough water for three hours. Drain well. Powder the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper corns, dry red chillies, green chillies and Hing. Tip the powder into the large mixer jar and drop in the drained Dals. Grind the Dals to a coarse paste in batches, using pulse mode. Do not use any water to grind. Remove the dough into a bowl. Add finely chopped curry and coriander leaves. Add salt, mix well. Take a small portion of the dough onto your palm, roll into a ball and flatten it to form a vada. Heat oil in a pan. Gently slide in 5-6 vadas at a time and fry them to a golden brown on a medium flame. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel. Serve hot.
Sharing a Thali today of Rice, Dalithoy, Chana Ghashi, French Beans upkari, Cucumber Hullel, Coriander leaves Gozzu, Capsicum Fritters, Cheppi Kheeri, Mixed vegetable Pickle and Masala Buttermilk. Recipe links to all the items are given below.
Cheppi in Konkani means that preparation which is bland or without the addition of sugar or salt. This is one preparation which is made during Gauri Pooja and also on Dussehra by the Konkani community. . Fresh husked paddy is cooked in Coconut milk and towards the end a turmeric leaf is added which imparts the fragrance to this dish.
100 gms rice
1 coconut grated
1 Turmeric leaf
Grind the coconut to a fine paste with water. Strain it through a sieve or a muslin cloth. Keep the first extract of the coconut milk aside. Take out the second and third extract similarly and cook the rice in this milk. Once the rice is cooked drop in the Turmeric leaf and the first extract. Bring to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes, switch off and keep aside for about fifteen minutes for the flavours to infuse. Serve hot.