Diwali the Festival of Lights is celebrated with great fervour throughout India. A variety of sweets and savouries are made to welcome home the Goddess Lakshmi who is considered the Goddess of Wealth. Posting the variety of food items that have been made .
This is a lip smacking dish that I learnt from my friend Purnima Trikannad Udyavar. It goes well as a side dish with Dal and rice or with Chapati too. It’s a mix of tangy, sweet and spice and is extremely flavourful!
3 green capsicums/ Bell peppers
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tbsp Chana dal/ Bengal Gram Dal
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4th tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 tbsps Sesame seeds
5 Dry Red chillies
3 tbsps grated coconut
2 tbsps oil
2 tbsps Tamarind paste
5 tbsps jaggery syrup
A large pinch of Hing/ Asafoetida
A large pinch of Haldi/ Turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds.
Chop the Bell pepper into bite sized pieces. Pressure cook the peanuts with a little salt till done. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Roast the Chana Dal, Coriander seeds, Methi and Sesame seeds in that order to a golden brown. Roast the red chillies separately in a drop of oil. Allow to cool. Grind this mixture with the grated coconut to a smooth paste. Keep aside.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it crackles add the Hing. Toss. Add the chopped Bell pepper and saute for a few minutes. Add salt and Haldi. Toss.
Add the boiled peanuts to it and cover and cook for a few minutes. Drop in the ground paste, tamarind paste and the jaggery syrup. Mix thoroughly. Add half a glass of water, cover and cook till done.
Star Fruit is seasonal, and a variety of dishes ranging from chutneys, pickles and curries are made from it. Posting a sweet, tangy and spicy curry today. This is a traditional Konkani recipe known as Karmbala Upkari.
6 Star fruits sliced
200 gms jaggery
7 green chillies
2 tbsps Coconut oil or oil of choice
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp Urad Dal/Split Black Gram
1 dry red chilly
A sprig of curry leaves
1 tbsp rice flour or corn starch
Disslove the jaggery in a litre of water. Bring it to a boil. Drop in the sliced Star Fruit, green chillies and salt. Cook till done. Disslove the rice flour or corn starch in a little water to make a paste free from lumps. Pour it into the boiling curry. Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the mustard and after it splutters add the Urad Dal. After it turns golden brown drop in the red chilly bits. Toss. Add the curry leaves. Tip in the seasoning into the Curry. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
With fresh and luscious Strawberries flooding the market, couldn’t resist indulging in an icecream topped with fresh Strawberry Crush. The icecream is Vanilla from Naturals and the Strawberry Crush made at home. Recipe Link to the Strawberry Crush is given below.
Jelly has been a favourite since childhood. I am particularly partial to the Raspberry flavoured one. Here I have used Weikfield Raspberry Jelly. Followed the instructions on the pack. The only addition is the juice of one lemon for that extra zing!
Fresh Strawberry Crush is an absolute delight on icecream or in milk shakes. I usually make a big bottle of it when Strawberries are in season. Essence and preservative free, it tastes divine!
250 gms Strawberry
500 gms sugar
400 ml water
1 tbsp lemon juice.
Wash and remove the stem of the Strawberries. Chop them and tip them into the mixer. Puree them well. Keep aside. Heat the sugar and water in a pan. Boil to a two string consistency. Add the lemon juice. Boil for a couple of minutes and then drop in the strawberry puree. Continue boiling for a few minutes till the puree coats the back of the spoon. Remove and keep aside. The crush may appear watery, but turns semi solid when it cools. Cool thoroughly and store in an air tight bottle in the fridge.
Note: The shelf life if the Crush can be increased by adding a pinch of Sodium Benzoate after the puree has been added to the sugar syrup. I personally prefer the crush without any additives or preservatives.
Most communities in India make a Buttermilk Kadhi. The taste, flavour and so also the ingredients differ from region to region. Posting a Buttermilk Kadhi the traditional Konkani way.
300 ml thick curd
400 ml water
3 tbsps Besan/Chickpea flour
15 garlic cloves crushed gently
A pinch of Haldi /Turmeric
3 tbsps Ghee/clarified butter
3 dry red chillies broken into bits
Churn the Curd well. Add the water and Besan and whisk thoroughly, so that there are no lumps left. Boil this mixture on a gentle flame. Drop in the salt and Haldi. Mix thoroughly. Heat the Ghee in a pan. Tip in the garlic cloves and roast to a rich, golden brown. Add the broken red chilly bits. Toss and drop the seasoning into the boiling Kadhi. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Serve hot over rice or khichdi.
Babies in most Konkani households begin their solids with this Nanchanya bolu/ ragi porridge. Finger Millet is highly nutritious, as it is rich in iron and vitamins and sprouting it increases the B complex content in it. This was one food that I continued giving both my children for breakfast instead of the usual glass of milk as it is not only nutritious but also very filling. Easier and faster instead of getting them to eat breakfast(which can be packed in the tiffin box) at 6 am in the morning before leaving for school.
1kg Finger Millet / Nachani/ Ragi
1/2 kg wheat
Wash both the Ragi and Wheat well and soak in water for a day. Drain out all the water and tie in a cloth. Allow it to sprout. Sprouting time depends on the humidity and temperature. After it has sprouted, dry it in strong sunlight for four days. Store it in an air tight container and powder as required.
To make the Porridge.
1 glass of milk (250ml)
1 tsp powder
1 tbsp jaggery syrup or a small piece of jaggery
A pinch of salt
Mix the powder well in milk and only then cook it along with the jaggery and salt on a gentle flame till it bubbles. Allow to cool and serve.
This is yet another variety of Saung that is popular with the Konkani community of Mangalore. One can use either tamarind paste or tomatoes to add sourness to the dish. I personally prefer using tomatoes to the variety of Saung made, as it adds texture to the gravy. The only Saung that I make use of Tamarind paste is while making the Potato and Onion Saung. Saung goes well with both Chapati and Rice.
250 gms of shelled peas
3 large onions
2 heaped tbsps Coriander powder
1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilly powder
5 tbsps coconut oil
Deskin and wash the potatoes. Chop them into tiny cubes. Chop onions and tomatoes fine. Keep aside. Pressure cook the peas and potatoes with a little salt in two glasses (500ml) of water with a little salt to one whistle. Allow the cooker to cool down completely before opening it. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions and roast on a high flame till half of them turn dark brown and the other half remain translucent. Drop in the Coriander and chilly powders. Toss for a couple of seconds and immediately add the tomatoes and salt. Roast for a couple of minutes till the tomatoes wilt. Add the cooked pea and Potato mixture, a glass of water if required and simmer gently, stirring often till the tomatoes are cooked. Cover and keep aside for half an hour for the flavours to infuse before serving.
Saung is a Konkani delicacy. It can be made with fresh vegetables or dried lentils. Though the most popular one is the Potato and Onion Saung, I love the one made with Brinjal as well. Traditionally, Tamarind puree is added to give the tang to Saung, but I have replaced it with tomatoes to add texture to the gravy.
10 baby Brinjals
3 tbsps Coriander powder
2 tbsps Kashmiri Chilly powder
5 tbsps coconut oil
Wash and slit the Brinjal into half, keeping the stem intact. Chop the tomatoes and onions fine. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add the onions and the Brinjals and roast along with a little salt, till the onions turn a golden brown. Add the coriander powder, chilly powder and the remaining salt. Toss, and drop in the tomatoes. Add a glass of water and bring to a boil. Simmer till the Brinjals and tomatoes are cooked. Serve hot with either Rice or Roti.