The nutritive part of the bottle gourd that is it’s peel combined with potato to give it texture finds its way into this stir-fry . This is one of the most traditional of Konkani recipes where the peel of vegetables is put to good use by turning it into a simple stir fry. Best consumed with rice and dal.
Peel of one large sized bottle gourd ( that is the green portion adjacent to the white portion of the bottle gourd after the outer hard portion is scraped off)
Potato exactly half the amount of the peel after it is chopped.
5 dry red chillies or more as per spice level.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp Hing/ asafoetida
Scrape the outer hard portion of the bottle gourd gently and wash it thoroughly. Slice the peel and chop it fine lengthwise into one inch sized pieces. Chop potatoes similarly. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard. After it splutters add the broken red chilly bits, Hing and toss for a few seconds. Add the chopped peel, potatoes and salt. Add about 200 ml of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook till done.
I prefer having fruits as is rather than turning them into shakes and smoothies. It’s the unbearable heat which forced me to turn this fragrant muskmelon into a milkshake. When one is longing for something nice, chilled and healthy as well shakes and smoothies are the best choice.
One muskmelon chopped roughly
2 glasses of chilled milk
5 scoops of Vanilla icecream ( I used the sugar free variety)
Blitz the chopped muskmelon, milk and vanilla icecream in the blender. I have not added any sugar as the muskmelon was very sweet. Whip well and serve chilled.
Cauliflower Pakora is one dish that can be served along with a meal or as a snack. I have already posted a couple of different varieties in this website. Posting a third variety today. This Pakora needs no accompaniment, though one can serve it with a tomato ketchup or some mint chutney.
1 large Cauliflower broken into florettes
2 tsps Kashmiri red chilly powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
Half cup Besan/ chickpea flour
2 tbsps rice flour.
Oil to fry the Pakora
Wash the florettes thoroughly. Drain and add the chilly, turmeric, coriander powders, salt, lemon juice and coriander leaves to them. Mix thoroughly and marinate for about half an hour. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is heating up, sprinkle the Besan and rice flour on to the florettes. Mix thoroughly. Drop a few florettes at a time in the hot oil. Deep fry till crisp and golden brown in colour. Drain and place on a kitchen towel. Serve hot.
Note: The Pakora should be fried on a medium flame throughout to ensure that they get cooked evenly . Frying on a high flame only results in the outer coat turning brown, leaving the insides uncooked.
Sponge Dosa is a popular breakfast item from Karnataka. The very term sponge denotes how fluffy, soft and porous the Dosa is. It is usually served with a spicy coconut chutney and some unseasoned potato bhaji. Seasoning the bhaji is purely individual choice. Here I have left it unseasoned to maintain the authenticity of the dish. Sharing the link to the coconut chutney below.
2 large fistfuls thin variety Poha( flattened rice)
1 tsp Methi/ Fenugreek seeds
Oil to roast the dosa
Wash and soak the rice, urad dal, poha and methi separately for four hours. Tip the urad dal, poha and methi into the grinder or mixer and blend it to a smooth paste. Add the rice and grind it till the batter is smooth and of flowing consistency. Add salt , mix, cover and keep aside to ferment for about eight to ten hours.
Heat a tava/ skillet. Pour a ladleful of batter and spread it just a little to form a thick pancake. Drizzle with a tsp of oil. Cover and cook over a slow flame. It is done within a couple of minutes. Remove and serve hot.
Note: this dosa is not roasted on both sides. Covering the dosa ensures that it gets cooked evenly.
Ingredients for the potato bhaji.
2 potatoes pressure cooked, peeled and mashed
1 large onions sliced
1 tsp oil
A pinch of mustard
Boil the sliced onions in a glass of water . Drain the water. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan. Add just a pinch of mustard seeds and after they splutter add the mashed potatoes, onions and salt. Mix well, heat and keep aside.
A delicious and soothing drink of chilled pineapple juice, coconut milk and some freshly chopped pineapple. This is one drink my mother simply loves. Made it today as it is Mother’s Day and watched her enjoy it. Of course mine is the non alcoholic one. You may add clear Rum if you so desire.
Half of a medium sized pineapple chopped
500 ml pineapple juice ( I used Tropicana)
200 ml Coconut milk ( I used Kara)
3 scoops of Vanilla icecream
Blitz the pineapple pieces and make it into a puree. Add the pineapple juice, coconut milk, Vanilla ice cream and ice cubes. Whip so that everything blends well. Drop in the ice cubes and serve immediately.
This is a must when pineapple is in season. A traditional dish of Udupi , it is made during weddings and all auspicious occasions in South Kanara. Sweet, spicy and tangy, it goes well with both rice and roti.
1 pineapple cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 of a small coconut
2 tbsps coriander seeds
10 seeds methi/ Fenugreek
15 pepper corns
2 tbsps Chana Dal /Bengal Gram Dal
1 tbsp Til/ Sesame
A kidney bean sized piece of hing/ asafoetida
A pinch of haldi /turmeric
12 roasted Byadgi chillies
2 tbsps Tamarind paste
5 tbsps Jaggery syrup
1 tbsp mustard
3 tbsps coconut oil
Boil the pineapple pieces with a little salt till done. Dry roast the coconut to a rich brown on a gentle flame. Roast the Byadgi chillies in half a tsp of oil till crisp. Roast the coriander, chana dal, sesame, methi and pepper corns in a tsp of oil to a golden yellow. Drop in the hing and roast to a nice golden brown. Remove from flame and add the haldi. Mix thoroughly. Grind the roasted coconut, roasted red chillies, tamarind and the roasted spices to a smooth paste with as much water as required. Drop the paste into the cooked pineapple pieces. Add the jaggery and adjust salt. Boil well. Heat oil. Add the mustard. After it splutters drop it into the boiling Menskai. Switch off, cover and keep aside for half an hour for the flavours to infuse.
What is so special about the potato balls one may ask? Everybody makes them. This time I tried dipping it in those awesome flaky Panko bread crumbs and they have turned out simply amazing! Hardly any oil absorbed and extremely crunchy. Yes, it does involves a little more work, but then the end result is delicious!
5 large potatoes
6 green chillies
2 inch piece of ginger
7 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp chilly flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper powder
2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
5 tbsps Besan/ chickpea flour
A large pinch of ajwain/ carom seeds
Panko breadcrumbs as required
Oil to fry
Pressure cook the potatoes to only two whistles. Please ensure that they don’t turn mushy. Peel and mash them well. Grind the green chillies, ginger and garlic to a coarse paste. Tip it into the mashed potatoes along with the salt, oregano, chilly flakes, pepper and coriander leaves. Mix well and make small balls. Refrigerate for half an hour. Make a slurry of besan, ajwain, salt and water. It should be neither thick like a batter nor so thin that it just runs off when the balls are dipped in it.
Heat oil in a pan. Dip the balls in the besan slurry and drop them into the Panko bread crumbs. Coat them well and drop them into oil which is constantly kept medium hot. Fry till they turn a golden brown. Remove, drain and serve along with tomato ketchup and mint chutney.
Sharing a traditional Konkani Thali today to celebrate Ugadi or the New year which falls on the first day of the month of Chaitra of the Hindu calendar. On the platter is rice, dalithoy, Ivygourd and tender fashew stir fry, Mango, pineapple and grapes Sasam, Breadfruit fritters, Moong Pathrado, Pigeon peas and tender Jackfruit ghashi, Cucumber pachadi, Adgai, Madgane and Masala Chaas. Recipe links to all the items are given below.