Breakfast eats/ Quick and Easy/ Recipes/ Sandwiches/ Snacks/ Vegetarian

Mixed Vegetable and Cheese Sandwich

This is one of those versatile sandwiches which can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner (at least in our house). Our daughter is a typical teenager and she is not much into eating vegetables.  However, she enjoys this sandwich and in her opinion, the more cheese in the sandwich, the better it tastes! I remember my Mom making these at home.  She would get cubes of Amul cheese and painstakingly cut them into smaller pieces or she would grate them.  Its very easy for us now as grated cheese is readily available.  Electric sandwich makers make the job even easier. Rajesh says he had  one of those old fashioned toaster contraptions at his house when he was growing up. He says it stood him in good stead when he was in college in India and was cooking his own food.  Version 2.0 is now used by his Dad at home and is pictured below

toaster

Ingredients

  • Bell pepper, any color - 1, finely chopped
  • Corn kernels - 1 cup (optional)
  • Onions - 1, finely chopped
  • Tomatoes - 1, deseeded, finely chopped
  • Jalapeno peppers - 1, deseeded, finely chopped
  • Cilantro - small bunch, finely chopped
  • Grated cheese - 1/2 cup (I used shredded Mozarella cheese)
  • Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Bread slices
  • Butter, as required

Instructions

1

Finely chop all the vegetables and set aside.

2

Microwave the corn kernels as per instructions on the cover, drain water and set aside to cool.

3

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients other than bread and butter and set aside.

4

To assemble the sandwich:- Apply butter to the bread slices. Evenly spread the vegetable mixture over a slice of buttered bread and cover with another slice of buttered bread. Place this sandwich in the sandwich maker and toast till done.

5

Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Vegetable and cheese filling

Vegetable and cheese filling

Note:

  • Green, red, orange or yellow bell pepper can be used. There are times that I have used two or three different colored ones in one sandwich and at other times, I have made this using just the green peppers.
  • If Jalapeno peppers are not available, you can use green chillies instead but remember that these are spicier so adjust the quantity accordingly.
  • Use less salt as the cheese has salt.
  • I add salt to the vegetable and cheese filling just before I grill the sandwiches.  If you plan to use the filling over a period of time, adding salt initially to the mixture results in the vegetables getting watery thereby making your sandwiches soft and soggy.
  • The unsalted mixed vegetable filling can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Dessert/ Festivals/ Konkani Dishes/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Panchkadaayi

Today is Ganesh Chathurthi or Chauthi (in Konkani).  In Hindu mythology the God Ganesh is often portrayed with a large belly indicative of his appetite and it is customary to cook several dishes during this festival.  Of those myriad dishes, one of my favorite is Panchkadaayi or Panchkadai.  Growing up, this dish would be prepared only twice a year in my house, Krishna Janmashtami  and Chauthi.  To this day, Chauthi  is celebrated with a lot of pomp and splendor in my parents’ house.

As a kid, I remember going to Udupi, our native place, to celebrate Chauthi.  The festival would be celebrated at my great grandparents’ house.  My siblings and I have fond memories of some wonderful times with extended family, having loads of fun and feasting on the scrumptious Chauthi food.  In the evenings, all of us cousins would go from home-to-home, looking at different Ganeshas, keeping track of how many Ganpathis we saw and receiving Prasad from every house that we visited.   Most of the houses would serve Panchkadaayi or Goad Phovu (Sweetened Beaten Rice) as Prasad but we would always feel that the one at our house was the best!

Once I was old enough to use the coconut grater, I used to help my Mom grate coconuts for all the dishes that she would prepare.  Given that this was a feast and several dishes relied on the use of coconuts, there would be a mound of grated coconut when I was done!  Of the plethora of dishes that my Mom would make for Chauthi, I used to look forward to eating Panchkadaayi more than any other dish.

Mom and Dad have celebrated a few Chauthis at our home here in the US and although it was not on the same scale as at home in India, Mom seemed happy with the things that were available here during that time.  Whenever she would make Panchkadaayi during Chauthi here, she would make some extra powder for me and store it in the freezer so it would be easy for me to make panchkadaayi in the future.  All I had to do was mix the coconut and sugar to the powder.  I ran out of my powdered daal stock last year, so this year, I decided to take the recipe from her and try it out myself.  Turns out, its pretty simple, just takes a little bit of elbow grease!

I do not know how the word Panchkadaayi came about, but I do know that it takes only Panch or five ingredients to make this dish.  Rajesh tells me that his Mom used to make this dish using jaggery instead of sugar and I am sure that would be equally tasty as well!  That recipe is a little more elaborate since it involves making a syrup with the jaggery and water.  There may be different variations to the way this dish is prepared, this is the way my Mom’s been making it.

Ingredients

  • Bengal gram (chana daal) - 1/2 cup
  • Grated coconut - 1/2 cup, packed
  • Sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Sesame seeds (til), white or black - 1 tsp
  • Cardamom (elaichi) powder - 1/2 tsp

Instructions

1

Dry roast chana daal on low to medium heat till fragrant. Let it cool. When cool, powder it using a blender or a coffee grinder.

2

Using a sieve, sift the powdered daal onto a plate and if you still find some coarseness left in the powdered daal, put it back in the blender and blend some more. Sieve again.

3

Dry roast the sesame seeds till light brown and set aside.

4

In a wide bowl, put in the grated coconut and sugar and mix well. It has to be mixed so well that the grated coconut starts to ooze out liquid as you mix and it is into this liquid mixture that you mix the dry daal powder.

5

To this soft mixture, add the cardamom powder and mix well.

6

Now add the sifted powdered daal to this mixture, little at a time and start to mix.

7

Once you have used up all the powdered daal and its mixed well, add the sesame seeds and mix well. Serve immediately or savor it leisurely, it tastes just as good later!

Note:

  • My Mom normally sifts the chana daal powder twice, she likes the powder to be very smooth. The texture is really up to you whether you want it to be soft or coarse.
  • You can use white or black sesame seeds, I used the white ones as I didn’t have the black ones at home.
  • This dish depends on how well you can mix/mash the coconut and sugar mixture. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. My Mom insists on using the tips of her fingers to mix. I thought using the back of a fork would work for me but it didn’t help me and I ended up using my hands as well!
  • I added the powdered daal little at a time as I wanted to avoid the dish becoming too dry.
  • I prefer to use freshly pounded cardamom powder as that imparts a different taste when compared to using store bought powder and it takes the dish to an altogether new level!
Appetizers/ Chicken Dishes/ Curries/ Non Vegetarian/ Quick and Easy/ Recipes

Chettinad Chicken

The first recipe we posted on this site was a Chettinad Mutton Curry.  I’m coming a full circle by posting one for Chicken.  This recipe is loosely based on a Madhur Jaffrey recipe.  This is a quick, dry dish and could also be served as an appetizer.

Ingredients

  • Whole chicken - 3 lbs
  • Shallots (or onions) medium sized, finely chopped - 3
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp, divided
  • Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal (split black lentils) - 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chillies (Byadgi) - 10, broken into halves
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Cilantro - 1 small bunch, finely chopped
  • Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

Instructions

1

Skin and clean the chicken and cut into bite sized pieces.

2

Marinate the chicken with some salt, turmeric powder and 1 tsp ginger garlic paste for a couple of hours. The longer, the better!

3

Heat oil in a pan.

4

Add the mustard seeds and when they start to sputter, add the urad dal.

5

When the urad dal starts to brown, add the fennel seeds, red chillies and the curry leaves

6

Stir for a few seconds taking care that the chillies and the seasonings do not burn.

7

Now add the onions and cook them till they brown slightly.

8

Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes.

9

Add the chicken and salt and cook on medium-heat.

10

Don't add water to the chicken, as it cooks, it releases its juices. Continue to cook the chicken till the juices evaporate.

11

Add the pepper powder and cook till the chicken browns slightly, stirring intermittently.

12

Garnish with Cilantro leaves.

13

Serve hot with rice or roti.

Notes

This is a dry dish but if you prefer you can stop the cooking process when there is still some moisture left in the pan.  The cooking time really depends on the type of chicken you are using.  I've noticed that the broilers cook faster than the "country" chickens. I've used byadgi red chillies in this recipe.  Byadgis are typically less spicy, if you use a spicier variety of dried red chillies, adjust the number accordingly.  I would probably use 6.

Chettinad chicken curry

 

 

Appetizers/ Konkani Dishes/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Vegetarian

Mashinga Sanga Palle Dangar or Drumstick Leaves Fritters

Drumsticks in the West conjure up images of chicken or turkey legs.  In India, drumsticks refer to the fruit of the Moringa tree.  These almost stick like vegetables would be cut into 2 inch segments and used typically in sambar.  The vegetable cannot be swallowed, it has to be chewed and the remaining fiber has to be discarded.  Moringa leaves are now considered to be a health food in the US and you can find a number of articles on the Web touting its benefits, especially as a natural source of multi-vitamins.  We didn’t know this, we just loved the “dangars” or fritters that my mother made.  The leaves could also be used to make a pancake using the same batter as the “Sannapolo“.  Our family friends, the Raos in Florida have a  Moringa tree in their garden and they sent us a care package with drumsticks and leaves recently.  Since Rajesh loves the “dangars”, I made some over the weekend, here is the recipe!  If you prefer not to deep fry the fritters, you can use the batter to make pancakes by cooking them over a griddle.

Ingredients

  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Chana Daal - 1 cup
  • Grated Coconut - 1 cup
  • Roasted red chillies(preferably Byadgi chillies) - 10-12(more or less depending on your taste)
  • Asafoetida powder (Hing) - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
  • Oil - very little
  • Salt to taste
  • Drumstick leaves - 1 cup, roughly chopped
  • Onions - 1 small, finely chopped (optional)
  • Oil - for deep frying

Instructions

1

Soak the rice and chana daal for an hour or so.

2

In a pan, heat very little oil and roast the red chillies till fragrant.  Set aside.

3

Blend the grated coconut, roasted red chillies, turmeric powder, tamarind paste and asafoetida powder to a very smooth paste.

4

Add the soaked rice and chana daal and blend some more.  See to it that the rice and daal remain coarse, not finely ground.

5

Pour the blended batter into a vessel and add the chopped drumstick leaves and onions, if using.  Add salt to taste and mix well.

6

Heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying.   When the oil is hot, turn the heat down to a medium flame, take a tablespoon of the batter, make balls, flatten them (like patties) and drop in the hot oil carefully.  Let it turn golden brown and  when done, turn the flattened patties over and cook till crispy and done.

7

Serve hot either as an appetizer or these can also be served as a side dish with rice and Daalithoi (Konkani Daal).

Notes

Do not add a lot of water while blending, the mixture should not be too watery, else it will absorb oil when deep fried. The rice and daal have to be ground coarsely, do not blend it too fine. I used finely chopped onions when I made this dish, its optional. The drumstick leaves can be chopped roughly, it is not necessary to chop them fine. The fritters need to be fried on medium heat for them to cook uniformly.  On high heat, they cook quickly on the outside and stay raw inside. If you want to avoid deep frying, using the same mixture, you can make sanna polos or pancakes.  Heat a griddle and brush some oil on it.  Drop a ladle of the mixture on to the hot griddle and spread it in a circular shape using the back of a spoon.  The cooking time varies depending on how thick or thin you have spread the mixture.  Once its turned brown on one side, flip the pancake over and let the other side cook as well.  This can be served with fresh butter.

Moringa leaf pancake

Drumstick leaves (Moringa leaves) pancake

Blog

Iyengar Bakeries

Mention the words “Iyengar Bakery” to any Bangalorean and he or she will lapse into a reverie filled with dreams of hot puffs, potato buns and benne biscuits (butter biscuits).  These neighborhood institutions have served generations of customers while maintaining an old world charm.  There is nothing like the aroma of fresh baked bread and when you add cakes, rusks and puffs to the mix, the result is an intoxicating blend of aromas that draws hungry customers inexorably to the bakeries.

IMG_5211

Srinivasa Brahmins Bakery (formerly known as Lakshmi Janardhana Bakery) in Seshadripuram, Bangalore

Growing up in Kumara Park in the seventies, our bakery of choice was the Lakshmi Janardhana Bakery in Seshadripuram, simply called “Janardhana Bakery”.  Those were the days when as hungry school boys, the tiffin or “tea” between lunch and dinner was a full fledged meal.  My mother made dosas, sandwiches or aloo parathas.  The food was digested after a game of football or cricket and we were ready for dinner in three hours or so!  On those occasions when my mother did not have time to prepare a snack, she would give me some money to get some goodies from the bakery.

IMG_5230

Trays of freshly baked rusks

The trip to the bakery was a fairly short one but in the mind of a young schoolboy quite an adventurous one.  I had to negotiate the “down” to get to the bakery.  The “down” was a short stretch of a hill slope that had a winding path leading down to Seshadripuram.  As I hurried down the slope, I had to decide what I wanted to buy.  Puffs were the favorites.  These were crispy and spicy, puffed pastry sheets filled with spicy vegetables, usually green beans.  These could be pretty filling too.  A variation of the puff was the cream puff – triangular turnovers that did not have a stuffing but had a thick layer of icing on two sides. There was Khara bread, “Khara” literally meaning spicy in Kannada as well as regular bread.  Fresh baked loaves of bread that would be sliced upon order and wrapped in a newspaper that was bound by twine.  Then there were the buns – sweet bun, khara bun and potato bun.  The potato buns were something else!  Delectable, soft buns baked with a spicy potato mixture.

IMG_5268

Potato Bun and Puff

I had to get to the bakery at about 4 pm when the first batches of puffs would come out piping hot from the oven.  As I turned around the corner, the aromas from the bakery would waft over and I would quicken my step.  There would be a crowd at the bakery and I would jostle my way in armed with a list of orders from my family.  There were moments of indecision when one of the items was unavailable or I changed my mind at the last moment.  In either case, there was really no reason to be disappointed as the substitutes were equally delicious.  I would then hurry back home and we would all sit down to enjoy the treats.  Sometimes there would be extras or somebody would change their mind and I would happily dig into the leftovers.

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Baked goods on display at the counter. Top shelf – fruit cake, apple cakes, dil khush and sweet buns!

While we stuck to a fairly select menu, there would be exceptions especially when my cousins visited from Bombay.  These were times when we would try other items.  There were different varieties of cakes, the “apple cake” was my favorite. Flaky pastries such as Dil Khush (literally meaning “happy heart”), a pastry filled with coconut and Dil Pasand (something that the heart likes) a pastry filled with tutti frutti were also fair game.  The biscuits just melted in our mouths.  Benne Biscuit (butter biscuit), the sweet biscuits were an eternal favorite and the khara biscuit was the savory one.  If you were not in the mood for any of these, there was the ever dependable rusk that would be eaten dipped in tea or coffee.

IMG_5218 (1)

The Oven where all the magic happens!

We left Kumara Park in 1981 and over the years we made occasional visits to the bakery.  On my trip home recently, I stopped by at the bakery on a Friday morning.  The old order had changed and the bakery was now being run by the next generation.  Mr Madhu did not recognize me but he knew my father and brother well.  He was gracious enough to make time to talk to us about the bakery.  He said that the bakery had been started in 1968 by his father Mr Varadaraja Iyengar who had moved to Bangalore from Hassan, part of a generation of Iyengar Brahmins who set up bakeries all over Bangalore.  Over the years, the bakery has been renamed to “Srinivasa Brahmins Bakery”.  Items such as puffs and khara buns are baked in the afternoons, the maximum demand for them being in the evenings whereas bread, biscuits and cakes are available throughout the day.  

IMG_5232

Service with a smile! Mr Madhu slicing freshly baked Khara Bread

These bakeries give a different meaning to the word “fresh”.  They are a throwback to the days when “fresh” translated to baked on the same day as opposed to commercially available bread that has a shelf life of weeks.   We went home with a wonderful smorgasbord of khara bread, dil khush, apple cake, rusk and a variety of biscuits – all a gift from Mr Madhu.  He absolutely refused to accept payment stating that you cannot put a price on affection.   I am happy to report that the quality of items has not changed and they are as delicious as I remembered them.  The rusk was crisp and fresh.  The khara bread was just as I remembered it, the right amount of spice that allowed me to eat the bread without any accompaniment.  I left the apple cake for the end. It was moist and utterly delicious.  One bite transported me back to the late seventies when as a skinny boy, armed with a couple of Rupees, I made the trek over the “downs” to Janardhana Bakery.  All is well!

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My childhood home in Kumara Park – we rented the first floor, the owner’s family occupied the ground floor and second floor

Dessert/ Konkani Dishes/ Recipes/ Vegetarian

Madgane

Madgane (pronounced mud-guh-nay) is a quintessential Konkani dessert/payasu prepared during most festivals and served at weddings as well. Traditionally, it is served with Khottos during festivals like Ugadi, Ganesh Chathurthi and Diwali.  Khotto-Madgane is an eternal favorite for us Konkani speaking people and I guess that particular combo is an acquired taste.  It is a coconut based dessert and jaggery is used as the sweetener instead of sugar.   I remember my Mom making coconut milk at home by first grating the coconut and then grinding the grated coconut repeatedly to extract the milk.  I skip this step and use store bought coconut milk.  This step cuts down on the preparation time as well.  Madgane has a thicker consistency compared to other payasams.   Payasams are a genre of South Indian desserts that are usually prepared during festivals.

Of all the payasams that my mom makes, this is at the top of the list for me.  I had made Madgane for Ugadi this past Friday and decided to share the recipe.  This is the kind of dish which tastes great served either hot or cold.  In my house, I like to eat this warm and Rajesh eats this cold or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • Bengal gram/chana daal - 1/2 cup
  • Tender cashewnuts/bibbos - 25 (more can be added if you like)
  • Jaggery shavings - 1 cup
  • Grated coconut - 1 cup
  • Rice flour - 2 tblsp
  • Cardamom pods - 8, divided
  • Coconut milk - 1 can (400 ml)

Instructions

1

Soak the tender cashewnuts/bibbos in water overnight or atleast for 4-6 hours.  Peel the skin and split the bibbos in halves and set aside.

2

Wash and soak the Bengal gram/chana daal for about 30 mins or so.

3

Jaggery is sold in the form of blocks.  We need shavings from this block.  Traditionally, this is done on the versatile "Adoli", the fixed curved blade that is a staple of most homes in South India.  Use a knife to shave off edges of the block of jaggery.

4

Blend the grated coconut, rice flour and 4 cardamom pods to a smooth paste.  Rice flour is added to give a thick consistency to the dish.

5

Peel the remaining cardamom pods and extract the seeds.  Using a mortar and pestle, powder the cardamom seeds to a fine powder.

6

In a pressure cooker, add the soaked chana daal along with the water its soaked in as well as the split cashew nuts.  Cover and pressure cook for exactly one whistle.  Any more than that, the daal and cashewnuts can turn mushy.  Set aside.

7

In a wide non stick pan, pour in the cooked daal, tender cashewnuts along with the stock it was cooked in.  Add the jaggery shavings and on medium flame, bring it to a boil.

8

Add the blended mixture.  Rinse the blender with a cup of water and add this to the mixture.  Continue cooking this on medium flame.  At this point, it is very important that you keep stirring the mixture as it starts to thicken and if it is not stirred continuously, it can stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.   Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes or so.

9

Pour in the canned coconut milk and mix well.  You can also rinse the can with water and add this to the mixture and bring it to a boil.  Cook this mixture for another 10-12 minutes.  KEEP STIRRING as you are doing this.  If for any reason, you have to step away from your stove, make sure to remove the pan from the heat.

10

When the mixture has reached the consistency of pancake batter, add the cardamom powder, bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.

11

Serve hot or at room temperature or cold, its totally up to you!

Notes

- I remember my Mom mentioning that they used to add a little soaked rice when blending the grated coconut as rice flour was not readily available when she was growing up.  I take the easy way out and add rice flour.
- Every pressure cooker varies, so cook the daal according to your cooker.  My pressure cooker is comparatively new, so it cooks relatively faster.
- The more the mixture is cooked, the thicker it gets! As it cools down, it gets thicker as well.
- You can also adjust the sweetness by adding more jaggery if required.  I felt one cup of jaggery shavings was more than enough for the quantity that I prepared.
- The color of the dish is also dependent on the jaggery used.  The fresher the jaggery(golden brown color), the lighter the color of the dish.  If the jaggery is old, it turns to turn a dark shade of brown and in turn, the Madgane also turns out to be a shade darker.

Quick and Easy/ Recipes/ Rice Dishes/ Vegetarian

Chitranna (Lemon Rice)

Chitranna or lemon rice is a quick and easy rice dish that is very tasty and tangy and is normally prepared during festivals and pujas in the Southern part of India.  This dish can be made with leftover rice and my mom would pack this for me for lunch when I was in school and later in college.   This dish can be made using limes or lemons.  I used limes as I was out of lemons.  I like it with both (I can’t tell the difference, maybe my taste buds are not discerning enough, I guess).  Mom would add chopped vegetables like beans, carrots and green peas to this dish.  In Rajesh’s house,  peanuts were used in lieu of the vegetables.  This is one of those dishes that can also be eaten at room temperature and thus lends itself to be packed for school lunches, picnics etc.

Ingredients

  • Cooked Rice - 1 cup
  • Peanuts - 1/2 cup
  • Lime juice - 2 tblsp
  • Oil - 3 tblsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Black gram/udad daal - 1/2 tsp
  • Bengal gram/chana daal - 1/2 tsp
  • Hing/asafoetida - 1 pinch
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Dried red chillies - 2
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 5, split(more or less, depending on your taste)
  • GInger - 1 tsp, finely chopped (optional)
  • Cashewnuts - 1/4 cup (optional)
  • Cilantro - for garnish

Instructions

1

Cook rice using your preferred method and spread on a plate to cool.  The grains should be separate and should not clump together.  I used leftover cold rice.

2

Add the lime juice to the cooled rice and mix well.

3

Heat oil in a large wok or pan.  Season with mustard seeds.  When the seeds splutter, put in the udad daal and chana daal.  Allow the daals to become light brown and then add the peanuts.

4

Roast the peanuts till light brown.  At this point, if you are adding cashewnuts, add them after roasting the peanuts.

5

Add hing followed by the dried red chillies, curry leaves, green chillies , ginger (if using) and the turmeric powder.  Saute the whole mixture for a minute or so.  Add salt to taste.

6

Now add the cooked rice and using a very gentle hand, mix well.

7

You can garnish this dish with finely chopped cilantro.

8

Serve hot or at room temperature with pickles, raitha, curd rice or papads.

Note:-

  • Roll the lime/lemon on the kitchen countertop or any flat surface prior to extracting the juice.  I microwaved them for about 12-15 seconds which helped in the process as well.
  • I do not add the lime juice to the peanut mixture because I have found that sometimes the peanuts turn bitter when I do this. I hence add the lime juice to just the cooked and cooled rice.
  • Make sure to use cooled rice, even if the rice is a little warm, it can clump together when you add it to the peanut mixture.
  • My mom uses finely chopped ginger in the dish saying it enhances the taste.  I prefer to skip ginger in my version.
  • You can adjust the quantity of the lime juice depending on how tangy you want the rice to taste.
Appetizers/ Konkani Dishes/ Quick and Easy/ Recipes/ Snacks/ Vegetarian

Cabbage Ambado (Cabbage Fritters)

cabbage fritters

Cabbage ambados were an all time favorite at my house while growing up.  Ambado refers to a deep fried fritter and there are several kinds depending on the ingredients used.  At Rajesh’s house, the cabbage ambados were called “cabbage daangars”.  Irrespective of what they are called, they are absolutely delicious.   The original recipe calls for soaked lentils and rice, this variation is quicker and can often be prepared when those unexpected guests drop in. These can be served as appetizers or as a side dish, with white rice and Daalithoi.

Ingredients

  • Cabbage - 1 cup, finely chopped
  • Onions - 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • Green chillies - 4 minced (more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Cilantro - small bunch - finely chopped
  • Mint leaves - 20 leaves, finely chopped
  • Chickpea Flour (Besan) - 1/2 cup
  • Rice Flour - 1/4 cup
  • Semolina (Sooji/Rava) - 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric pow der - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions

1

In a bowl, mix the chopped cabbage, onions, green chillies, cilantro and mint along with salt and set aside for about 25 minutes.  The salt draws out the moisture from the cabbage and onions.

2

Add the remaining ingredients (with the exception of oil!) and mix well.  The moisture drawn out by the salt is sufficient to bind the mixture.  If you feel the mixture is watery, add some more chickpea flour.

3

Taking a spoonful of the mixture at a time, shape the mixture into balls or into flat patties.

4

Heat oil for deep frying and when the oil is hot, drop the balls/patties in the oil and fry on medium heat till they are golden brown.

5

Serve hot with tomato ketchup or cilantro/mint chutney.

Note:

  • As far as possible, avoid adding water while mixing the batter.  The ambados will end up absorbing oil when they are fried, if there is too much moisture.
  • Fry the cabbage ambado on medium heat.  If you fry them on high heat, the exterior cooks quickly but the cabbage mixture inside stays raw.
Breakfast eats/ Konkani Dishes/ Recipes/ Rice Dishes

Mumbri (Rice Flour Pancakes)

I still remember the first time I ate “mumbri”!  My mother’s cousin  had just been married and invited us home for breakfast.  His wife was from North Kanara and she would prepare this delicious dish called “mumbri” he said.  So, one fine morning, we trooped into their house for breakfast.  I was seven years old.  It was love at first bite!  Mumbris are these delicious rice pancakes seasoned with onions, cilantro, green chillies and grated coconut.  It became a staple at our house, the only downside is that it takes a little long to fry on the pan.  Each time my mother would prepare one, I would devour it and then wait in anticipation for the next one.  Aparna has solved that problem by having two griddles going on at the same time!

Ingredients

  • Rice Flour - 1 cup
  • Water - 1.5 cups
  • Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
  • Cilantro - 1 small bunch, finely chopped
  • Green chillies - 3, finely chopped
  • Coconut - 2 tbsp, shredded
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - for frying pancakes.

Instructions

1

Heat the water in a sauce pan until it comes to a boil

2

Add the finely chopped onions, cilantro and green chillies and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes

3

Add the shredded coconut and salt and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

4

Turn off the heat, add the rice flour and keep stirring with a spatula so the rice flour does not form lumps.

5

Let the mixture cool down.

6

Now heat a griddle on medium heat and oil the surface

7

Cut 2 squares of parchment paper (10x10 inches)

8

Form a ball of dough with the cooked mixture, place it on a sheet of parchment paper, place the other sheet over it.

9

Flatten the ball of dough by pressing on the sheet of paper above the ball of dough and then using a rolling pin roll the dough till in a circular shape until it has the thickness of a roti/tortilla.

10

With the flattened pancake still resting on the lower sheet of paper, remove the top sheet and upend the pancake on the heated griddle and cook it till it browns slightly, flipping once to cook on the other side.

11

Serve hot with butter or a chutney of your choice.

Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper

Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper

 

Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Roll the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper

Note:

  • You can use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the dough to get consistently sized pancakes
  • My mother used to use banana leaves to flatten the dough, parchment paper works as a substitute.
  • I think mumbri is a variation of the popular Akki roti (rice bread/pancake) a favorite from Karnataka.  The difference as far as I can tell is that in mumbri the vegetables and shredded coconut are pre-cooked in boiling water and the rice flour is mixed into the hot water.  In akki roti on the other hand, the ingredients are mixed in luke warm water and are not pre-cooked.
Dessert/ Konkani Dishes/ Recipes

Churmoondo (Wheat Flour Laddoo)

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali and a prosperous New Year!

“Oondo” (in Konkani) or “Laddoo” as it is called in Hindi is one of the most popular sweets in the Indian cuisine.  The name itself refers to the shape.  Many different varieties of Oondos are made in India depending on the region one comes from.  In a Konkani speaking household, I am sure Churmoondo is one of the most loved sweet items.  Granted that I am partial, but the Churmoondo that my Mom makes is one of the best that I have eaten and the credit for this recipe goes to my Mom.  Though I was very picky when it came to sweets, Churmoondo has always been my favorite.  So for this Diwali, I decided to make these yummy goodies.  This is one of the easiest sweets that you can make.

Ingredients

  • Wheat flour/Aata - 2 cups
  • Ghee (clarified butter) - 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tblspoon
  • Powdered sugar - 1 1/2 cup
  • Golden raisins - as needed

Instructions

1

Powder the cardamom pods to a fine powder like consistency.  I use a mortar and pestle to make the powder.

2

On a low to medium flame, place a heavy bottomed pan and dry roast the wheat flour till you no longer get the raw smell.  This may take about 10-12 minutes.  The flour also turns a light brown at this time.  Keep stirring from time to time,  the flour could get burnt if you leave it unattended.

3

Take the pan off the heat and make a small well/depression in the roasted flour.  Pour the ghee into the depression formed in the flour and mix well.  Put the pan back on the stove and roast for another 5 minutes or so.

4

After five minutes, take the pan off the stove and add the cardamom powder and mix well.  Also add in the powdered sugar and mix well.  Powdered sugar has a tendency to lump up in the warm flour, take care to see that there are no lumps present when you are done mixing.

5

Once the sugar is added, do not put the pan back on the stove as it can lead to the sugar melting and turning the oondos hard (been there, done that?).

6

Wait for about 5-10 minutes for the mixture to cool down slightly, or at least till it's warm enough for you to handle it with your bare hands.

7

Using clean dry hands, scoop a small amount of the flour mixture in your hands, also you can add a couple of raisins (optional) and pressing firmly, roll them into spherical shape.  You can use both your palms to roll them to give the oondos a smooth finish.  Depending on the amount of mixture you use for each oondo, this makes anywhere from 20-30 Oondos, I made about 27 Churmoondos with this mixture.

Note:-

  • Use plain wheat flour, not any other wheat flour like multigrain, etc.
  • Freshly ground cardamom powder is a must for this recipe in order to get the authentic Churmoondo flavor.
  • Powdered sugar is also a must, you can either powder it in your blender or use the store bought ones.  I used the store bought confectioners’ sugar.
  • Adding raisins to your Churmoondo is totally optional, we love it in our house.  It’s like finding an unexpected treat in your mouth when you pop the oondo in your mouth and bite on the raisin.