Friday, June 28, 2013

Crispy Ghee Roast Dosa

Ghee roast dosa

Ghee Roast dosa

For every South Indian their day is incomplete without a plate of dosa, idli ,vada and sambar.Today i am here with crispy ghee roast Dosa a popular breakfast in south India and in the menu of restaurants it is a must. It is prepared by drizzling ghee and the dosa should be very crispy with a golden brown colour
  • 4 cup Dosa rice or raw rice
  • 1 cup Urad dal/ Split black gram
  • 1/3 cup Moong dal/split Green gram or Tur dal
  • 1/3 cup Chana dal
  • 1/3 cup Masoor dal
  • 1 cup Thick Beaten rice/Poha/avalakki
  • 1tsp Methi/Fenugreek seeds
  • Ghee for Roasting
  • Salt to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Wash and soak moong dal,masoor dal, chana dal ,rice and methi for at least 4 hours in summer and 8-9 hours in winter in one big bowl, with enough water.
  2. Soak urad dal separately in a bowl for 5-6 hours.
  3. Wash and Soak Poha/beaten rice for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain water from urad dal. Keep the water for grinding.
  5. Start grinding by putting urad dal and a little water in my wet grinder. If the paste is getting dry and very thick, add water as required. I used about 4 -41/2 cups of water. Keep grinding until there is a good amount of froth. The paste should be very smooth and fluffy like whipped egg white or cream. You can use mixer grinder if you do not have a wet grinder.
  6. Transfer the urad dal paste into a big vessel.
  7. Now Strain water from rice and dal mixture. Use this water for grinding.
  8. No need to wash the grinder. Add the rice and dal along with soaked poha into the grinder. While grinding rice and dals, first put 3/4 cup of water. Add water slowly on the stones and on the sides where you can see that a thick paste is forming. Otherwise the grinder will not grind properly and may stop to rotate. With the help of a spatula mix the mixture.
  9. When the rice and dal is ground to a smooth and fluffy paste, the grinding process is complete.
  10. Now mix this rice mixture to the Urad dal mixture and blend it well.The batter should be thick thick like pancake batter.Keep the batter overnight for fermentation
  11. Fermentation will make the batter to raise.Transfer the batter into 2 or 3 boxes. Fill only half of them.
  12. Next day morning add salt and give a nice beat till the bubble appears and salt dissolves completely.
  1. Preheat the dosa tava or griddle or non-stick dosa tava , when it is hot ,sprinkle some water mixed with oil and just clean the tava with the help of the dosa spetula /flat spoon meant for lifting dosas,The water is sprinked to bring the temperature of tava little down, so that we can rotate the batter well. . Dosa will come in good golden brown colour and it will not stick to the tava.
  2. Then put a spoonful of batter or ladleful batter in the middle of tava and spread it with the help of ladle as a medium circle size dosa with very thin base .After few seconds drizzle ghee around the dosa and let it cook for few min, till you can see on the dosa itself the golden brown colour.
  3. Now after making the dosa , it is up to you , how you want to fold it or what shape you want to give. I have just rolled my dosas,the way it is served in many restaurants.
  4. Repeat the same above process, every time you cook the dosa.
  5. Serve hot with chutney,sambar and Potato baji.
  1. In cold countries, you can ferment and then refrigerate. But in hot places like India, when the batter is ground it is kept in fridge. When needed, the required quantity is taken and then fermented. For example, for next day breakfast, the required amount of batter can be taken and kept for fermentation overnight in the kitchen. When the batter is fermented in the morning, add required additional salt and then prepare idlis or dosa. In cold places, you can grind in the evening (say 4 pm) and keep it for fermentation near a heater until next day morning. The batter should be in a warm environment to get fermented properly. If the batter gets fermented in lesser time then no need to keep it for longer period.
  2. Every time you put the dosa,try to sprinkle some water and clean it with flat spoon

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mango sago with basil seeds

Mangoes are in my top favourite fruits of all time I was highly tempted by this recipe for Mango Sago shared by dearest friends Suphala and Vidya on one of the Facebook groups.I was so fascinated by the idea of adding basil seeds/sabza,thanks to vids ( vidya pai) who posted beautiful mango sago garnished with some basil seeds. It is popularly know as falooda seeds here in India. .It is sweet, not overly sweetened which is good. I could taste the mango flavor that added and basil seeds which makes this mango sago just out of this world.:)

The basil seeds are crunchy, not hard to chew. These Seeds are nutritious and a great source of fiber. Basil seeds (Thai basil) aid in digestion. It helps to relieve cramping, constipation, indigestion and irregular bowel movements. Relieves colds and stress . I heard that it reduces your appetite and minimizes food cravings which results in weight loss.

 Due to its jelly or gelatinous texture as it swells in water, it makes you feel full, which could help to curb your appetite if you consume it before meals.
         Yesterday i managed to get few really fragrant "Pairi " mangoes ,so I thought I'd give it a try I didn't think there was a way to improve my favourite fruit, the mango,but damn this is so so good. You NEED to try this! Trust me ^-^

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
  • 3 Pulpy Mangoes
  • 1/2 cup sago/ tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 Liter Full fat Milk
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Fresh cream ( optional)
  • 2 tsp Basil seeds,soaked in water and drained ( optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Peel the mangoes and cut into cubes.Reserve one quarter of the cubed mangoes for garnishing
  2. In a blender, blend the rest of the mangoes and cream for a short while till well mixed.Add the sugar in if your mangoes aren't really sweet. In this pudding i have used Pairi variety mango which is quite famous in south india,which not only sweet but gives nice rich orange- yellowish color to my pudding.
  3. Wash and drain the sago.
  4. Place sago with 2 cups of water and sugar into a sauce pan
  5. Cook the mixture on medium-high heat till bubbles appear. Stir occasionally.
  6. When mixture bubbles, reduce to medium-low heat and continue cooking till mixture becomes relatively translucent with few white dots (uncooked sago). The mixture is relatively sticky .
  7. Cook for about 20 - 25 minutes or till mixture becomes almost translucent. I took about 20 minutes for mine to be right. Do stir occasionally to prevent the mixture from burning.
  8. When sago is cooked, stir in warm milk.Cook for another 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. add in 1/2 of the fresh mango puree and blend it well . then add in the rest of the mango puree. Stir well.
  11. Scoop into bowls or individual serving bowls and allow it to cool to room temperature before chilling it for another hour in the fridge. Top with cubed mango and some soaked and drained basil seeds before serving.
If you choose to try, feel free to let me know what your experience was like.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jamun/Indian Black berry Juice

The jamun is also called Jambul in India. It's other synonyms are jambolan, and indian black berry. This anti-oxydent fruit has so many health benefits. Indian Black berry or Black plum is always appreciated for the color, flavor and taste of its fruit. When sucked, it changes the color of the tongue to purple due to its coloring properties. 

Besides these properties, its usefulness in treatment of diabetes is also praised by the people and health benefits of the fruit are apprciated by all. Medicinal properties of Black berry:- 
1. The extracts of the bark, seeds and leaves are used for the treatment of diabetes.
2. The leaves have antibacterial properties and used for strengthening teethes and gums. 
3. Oral administration of dried alcoholic extracts of the seeds to diabetic patients was found to reduce the level of blood sugar and glycosuria in trials conducted at CDRI, Lucknow 
4. The bark of black berry tree is astringent, digestive, diuretic, antithetical and is considered useful for throat problems 
5. A decoction of the bark and powdered seeds is believed to be very useful in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery and dyspepsia 
6. The antibiotic activity of black berry extract has been widely studied and found useful against a number of microbial agents. 
7 Jambolene, the enzyme found in jamun, helps to utilize the glucose in the body thereby inhibiting the unwanted rise in the blood glucose levels. 
         Try and have at least a few of these fruits when they are in season for their medicinal value, if not for their unusual flavour. Jamun is a fruit that is most commonly avoided by many, due to its sharp and tangy taste
Ingredients for the Jamun decoction
  • 1/2 kg Jamun
  • 1 liter Water
  • 1 tsp Ginger,crushed
  • 5-6 Mint/pudina leaves
Cooking Directions
How to make the decoction:
  1. Wash and drain the fruits.
  2. Combine the jamun fruit along with the seeds,crushed ginger, mint leaves and little water in a pan and turn your heat up to the highest it will go and bring this to a boil quickly.Do not allow it to boil long,just get it to the point that it's bubbling.Just as soon as you see it boiling,cover the pot and remove it from the heat.
  3. Allow to cool and strain using a metal strainer.
  4. chill before serving.
Method 1 of making sweet jamun juice:
1/2 cup sugar
6-7 ice cubes
 Add sugar and ice cubes to the decoction If you desire less sweetness or reduced calories,just reduce the amount of sugar in relation to the water.Mix it well and pour into tall glasses for serving it top of some crushed ice cubes.
Method 2 of making jamun juice without sugar:
1tsp chat masala
1/2tsp Jeera powder
Crushed ice cubes
Rock salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients with the jamun decoction and serve.

 tip: Select sweet and ripe jamuns that are soft pulpy, for best results.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Magge Thanbura...a konkani delight

when I was growing up, specially during monsoon every meal included jackfruit seeds in some form or another.  Steamed or boiled seeds ; with gravy or without, you name it and we ate it. As a true GSB i too love  every part of jackfruit ,specially the seeds, we make so many curries and i really enjoy almost all the dishes.
 Indeed its a  nostalgic dish for me.  It’s one of the first dishes that my grand mom used to cook for me and it was also one of the first dish she taught me how to cook. Its a  simple dish with lots of fried garlic and chillies ,which makes this dish spicy and aromatic.
500 gm- Sambar cucumber/madras cucumber 
20-jackfruit seeds
2-Garlic bulbs
10 -Whole Red dried chillies
1tbsp-coconut oil 

  • Cut sambar cucumber into large chunks/ cubes and remove the seeds 
  • Crush the seeds and peel the outer cover.
  • Pressure cook both together with 4 cups of water for about 15-20 minutes or just take 2 whistle .
  • Let it cool down a bit,then open the pressure cooker and transfer the cooked veggies into a vessel/sauce pan.
  • Add salt and bring it to boil and turn off the heat.
  • Now prepare the tempering .Crush Garlic and cut the chillies to small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a tempering pan add crushed garlic followed by chillies,fry till they are well roasted.
  •  Add this to the cooked veggies and serve hot with rice.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Halasina Gatti/Ponsa muddo (jackfruit dumplings steamed in tender leaves of teakwood)

This jackfruit dish is very popular in mangalore and tastes heavenly specially with home made butter or ghee. its traditionally made using teakwood leaves or banana leaves as a wrapper,which helps the cook the dish evenly with the steam and double the flavour and aroma and also gives nice rice pinkish red colour to the dish when steamed in tender teak-wood leaves .This whole thing gives a very authentic feeling to the dish.

Both tender and ripe fruits and the seeds are rich in minerals and vitamins. Ripe fruits are rich in vitamin A, which maintain good vision. Vitamin B complex helps convert food into energy. Iron, is present in blood, which is involved in the movement of oxygen through the body. Try this and do

  • 3cups Dosa rice/Raw rice
  • 1 cup jackfruit bulbs,de-seeded
  • 1 cup Jaggery ( you can adjust depending on the sweetness of jackfruit)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut,grated
  • 1tsp Salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak rice in water for 2-3 hours.
  2. Wash the rice & drain the water. Grind the jackfruit & rice along with coconut ,not so smooth texture. Which means medium texture. Not very smooth, not so coarse.
  3. Then add jaggery & grind further for 2-3 minutes.You can use 2-3 tbsp of water if the batter is too thick,while grinding.
  4. Meanwhile wash & dry the Teakwood/ sagwan leaves.
  5. Dry roast all the leaves one by one over the gas top to get rid of its stiffness by just swiping the leaf over the fire or you can microwave leaves for 1 -2 minutes.
  6. Now add salt to the batter and mix it well.
  7. Arrange the leaves and pour 1 ladle full batter on the leaves and slowly spread it using back of the spoon or with your hand .
  8. Once the batter is spread evenly, seal the spread by covering it from all four sides,to form a packet like shape.
  9. Keep a steamer ready to cook these dumplings.You can use double boiler or idli steamer.
  10. once you are done with the packets. arrange these sealed packets in a steamer.
  11. Steam cook for an 45-50 minutes on high flame. Just keep a check to see if it is cooked. To check just pierce a pack with the help of a fork. When it is cooked you would see the sealed pack has turned pink. The color of the leaf turns dark pink color.
  12. Once done let it cool & then relish it with fresh home made butter or ghee/clarified butter.
  • 1 Do not have to worry if sagwan leaves are not available. The batter can be spread on banana leaves instead or you can steam this in greased ramekins.
  • 2 you can replace rice with idli rava
2nd Method
  • grind together jackfruit ,coconut and jaggery to fine paste
  • Then heat a heavy bottomed pan or kadai and pour the jackfruit mixture and washed idli rava.
  • Boil this for 5-10 minutes till the mixture is semi solid
  • Then steam as i mentioned in the 1st method.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Colostrum pudding (Posu/Ginnu/Junnu/karvas )

Prepared from 1st day colostrum and fresh milk

Colostrum is the first milk of mammals. Like human colostrum, colostrum from cows is rich in immune factors, antimicrobial fatty acids, vitamins and minerals--all necessary to protect the calf from infection and insure adequate growth during infancy. Colostrum has a long history of use in the practice of medicine, especially in Ayurvedic medicine, and has been successfully used to treat a host of chronic diseases including allergies, autoimmune diseases, respiratory ailments, digestive disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, gout and depression. In fact, colostrum is said to be the perfect anti-aging food and has been used in expensive spas for years.
      In the English countryside, colostrum is called "beestings" and is used in a variety of custard and pudding dishes. It can be substituted for eggs because when used, it will cause the puddings to "set." In konkani we call it posu, in kannada Ginnu and in Marati it is known as Karvas and in north india it is know as Junnu

  • 1 cups cow's colostrum (milk from the first or second milking after calving)*
  • 2 cups  colostrum (2nd milking)*
  • 11/2 cups Jaggery 
  • 1 tsp Cardamom powder
prepared from 1st milking and 2nd milking 
Cooking Directions
  1. Mixing the colostrum with milk is an art one has to learn, but the rule of thumb is that if it's from the first milking, then it should be thinned 1:2, but if it's from the second milking, then it should be thinned with two parts colostrum to one part milk. To make sure you're getting the mix right, do a test batch and cook it to see how it comes out.
  2. First dissolve the jaggery in a milk and stir together the milk and colostrum, When you're sure of the mix,strain if necessary to remove any impurities in the jaggery. add the cardamom powder and stir to mix
  3. Now Pour the mixture into a saucepan or bowl or pudding mould and steam it just like we steam idli in a steamer.
  4. Boil some water in a vessel and put a lid or cover it with a  foil to avoid moisture entering and cook gently in a water bath on the stove-top for until the mixture is set. The pudding should be solid, soft and smooth  the texture is similar to creme caramel. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the ramekins or pudding moulds.
  5. Let it cool completely before cutting.
  6. Serve chilled.
  1. Jaggery can be replaced with Sugar  for this recipe (depending on your taste). I prefer adding jaggery itself.
  2. You can replace cardamom powder with saffron strands or vanilla essence to get a different flavor.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kurukku payasam...Healthy kerala style red rice pudding

 Rice payasam is usually a heavy, occasional indulgence, it's pretty easy to cut some corners to turn this former guilty pleasure into a healthy, diet-friendly treat!


 Today i am here with a traditional kerala style payasam. Red boiled rice. The red rice is also known as the unakkalari by kerala peoples. If you cannot find red rice in store then you can buy Rose Matta rice or you can use some any non-sticky rice like brown basmathi for preparing this type of payasam .This is a very healthy pudding as it is made with red rice and jaggery. Red rice , rich in fiber and is a good source of manganese and selenium. Jaggery is rich in iron and is definitely a better choice than sugar.

This recipe combines coconut milk and red rice or brown rice to result in a delicious, creamy dessert. The coconut milk cooks the rice into a perfectly soft texture, and with a tad of sweetener and a dash of cinnamon, this rice Payasam is the poster child for sweet comfort food. Enjoy!
  • 3/4 cup rose matta rice/red rice (nellu kuthari)or Chamba arii or payasam Rice
  • 1 Coconut ( grated)
  • 1/2 Kg Jaggery
  • 6-7 Cardamom
  • 1/4 piece Nutmeg/jaipal
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 15-20 Cashew nut,broken
  • 1 tbsp Raisins
  • 8-10 Almonds,sliced
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
Cooking Directions

  1. Soak rice in water for about 3 hours.
  2. After 3 hours strain and grind rice, coconut grating,whole cardamom and nutmeg to smooth paste using 2 cups of water.
  3. Add about 11/2 liter of water to make thin watery consistency and keep aside
  4. Dissolve jaggery in a little water and heat on a low medium flame or until it begins to melt. stir well switch off the gas.Then filter it to remove impurities.
  5. Heat non stick pan or thick bottomed kadai and add the ground rice -coconut paste and Water and cook on medium flame and stir continuously till the rice paste becomes almost thick.
  6. At this stage add melted jaggery water, keep stirring till the payasam thickens to the desired consistency .
  7. Now, heat the ghee in a pan and add the raisins pieces of cashew nut and almonds fry till golden brown and the raisins have puffed up, remove and add to the payasam and mix well preserving some nuts for garnishing...Enjoy!

Thai chicken curry with lemongrass

Preparing Thai food can be challenging, because some of the ingredients are pretty exotic.It can be tough getting hold of things like galangal and kaffir lime leaves in smaller cities like mine so i have replaced it with ginger and bay leaves. Thai green curry paste often contains shrimp, and fish sauce has anchovies, which presents a problem.Because of these challenges, I decided to create my own Thai-style curry using everyday ingredients. I wanted to capture that delicious Thai flavor in a recipe that is accessible to everybody, whether or not you live close to an Asian market. The most exotic ingredient on the list is lemongrass, which is available in the produce section of most Asian grocery stores. If your market doesn't carry fresh lemongrass, it will likely carry lemongrass paste near the fresh herbs or in the Asian food section.  this herb has a distinctive flavor that really enhances the dish.

This Thai Curry Recipe is fragrant and sumptuous, and can be made anywhere from mild to spicy depending on your taste. It starts with a homemade Thai green curry paste which is easily put together with your food processor or blender. Add coconut milk, chicken, and you have a healthy and hearty curry dish that will awaken your senses and boost your mood.I just  love this recipe and it is SO simple. I've adjust it slightly due to personal preferences. I usually go light (if at all ) on the fish sauce and shrimp paste and I leave out the brown sugar completely . For my family, it is already sweet enough with the coconut milk and tomato. I also add  onion to the blender preparation and then slice the rest and put it in the dish with the chicken to cook. This is so easy and tastes wonderful.

Thai green curry paste
  1. 4-5 cloves garlic
  2. 10 green chilies 
  3. 1onion (OR 1/4 cup purple onion), chopped
  4. 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
  5. 1/2 cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves & stems roughly chopped
  6. 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  7. 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  8. 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (available in most supermarket spice aisles)
  9. 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  10. 100ml coconut milk fresh or canned 
Blend well to create a fragrant green curry paste. If using a blender, add more coconut milk to blend ingredients, up to 200ml as necessary.

Main ingredients:
  1. 4 shallots , or 2 small onions
  2. 2 stalks lemongrass
  3. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  4. 3-4 tsp Thai curry paste
  5. 1kg Chicken,cut into medium sized pieces
  6. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  7. 4 freeze-dried or fresh kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves 
  8. 300 ml coconut milk
  9. 2-3 stalks of green onion/spring onion
Cooking Directions
  • Peel shallots or onion and cut in half from top to root. Lay the cut sides flat on a board and thinly slice. 
  • Remove any tough outer leaves from the lemongrass and cut off the bulb. Thinly slice the lower half of the stalk (the upper half can be discarded OR cut into long segments and added to the curry pot for extra flavor). Chop the slices with your knife to mince, or pound with pestle & mortar.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan for a couple of minutes.Add sliced shallots or onions. Fry for 3-5 mins, until soft and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and Lemon grass and cook for 1 min, stirring all the time.
  • Add chicken pieces and stir until they are coated. Add the fish sauce,sugar (if you are using), kaffir lime leaves or bay leaves and remaining coconut milk. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins until the chicken is cooked. Stir the curry a few times while it cooks, to stop it sticking and to keep the chicken submerged.
  • Stir half the roughly chopped spring onion into the curry and sprinkle the rest over the top. Serve Hot with Thai jasmine rice or plain steamed basmati rice.
Tips :
  1. If the fresh lemongrass is not available then substitute 3 Tbsp bottled OR frozen prepared lemongrass (bottled lemongrass can be found at some supermarkets, or look for the frozen type at your Asian food store).
  2. If You'd Like More Sauce then add 1/2 cup chicken stock. OR, for a creamier green curry, add more coconut milk (1/3 to 1/2 can) or evaporated milk (both are used in Thailand).
  3. Once chicken is cooked, add up to 2 chopped bell peppers OR experiment with other vegetables of your choice - green beans, tomatoes zucchini, and eggplant all work well.Stir in the vegetables and continue simmering another 10 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and chicken is tender.
  4. You can add a tsp of shrimp paste.Shrimp paste (also known as 'shrimp sauce', 'kapi', 'trassi' or 'bagoong aramang') is a strong-smelling, very salty pink paste commonly used as a cooking ingredient in many Southeast-Asian dishes.