Monday, 28 December 2020

Banana blossom pathrode/ Banana flower/ kundige or baale hoovina pathrode

Banana flower/ baale hoo/ banana blossom is a magical vegetable which is mostly ignored part of banana plant/ plantain. This is rich in various nutrients and good for almost all age groups & people with different health conditions.  As they are rich in fibers, they are best for diabetics, & parts of banana plant such as plantain stem, flower & extract of tuber is recommended for people having kidney stones. Banana flower is helpful in treating diarrhea and other digestive system ailments. So next time if you get hold of a banana flower, think before throwing. But also note that, not all varieties of banana flowers are edible as few are too bitter to eat.

Today, I am sharing a lovely recipe of breakfast prepared with these wonders of nature. This idea of banana blossom pathrode & recipe for the same is shared by my sister in law Vinaya Girish. Thank you so much for this!

Banana blossom pathrode/

Here is the recipe.

Preparation time: 4 hours (includes soaking of rice)

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

Banana flower – 2 (medium)/ 2 cups (finely chopped)

Dosa rice – 1.5 cups

Parboiled rice/ kuchilakki – 3 cups

Coriander seeds 1 tsp

Red chillis – 5 to 6, adjust to desired spice level

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Tamarind  - gooseberry sized

Salt - to taste (about 1-2 tsp)

Jaggery – 2 tbsp

Coconut oil –4-5 tsp

Banana leaves - 6-8 (to steam cook the pathrode)

 

Method:

  • Wash and soak both varieties of rice for 4 hours. No need to worry if rice is soaked for more hours.
  • Clean banana leaves by washing and wiping with a clean cloth. Wilt them holding one by one on flame.
  • Remove outermost cover of banana flowers and wash them clean. Chop them fine.
  • Take chopped banana flowers in a wide bowl. Add 4-5 tsp. coconut oil and mix well with fingers. This helps in reducing the bitterness of the banana blossom. Set it aside covering the bowl with a lid.
  • Now, wash soaked rice once again, drain water completely.
  • Take coriander seeds, red chillis, tamarind in a mixer jar. Grind until spices are powdered. Add washed rice, salt, grated jaggery, turmeric powder to the same and grind. Make paste which is neither too smooth nor too coarse.
  • You can add little water if required, but mix should not be too runny. About ¼ cup of water will be required.
  • Transfer it to the bowl having chopped banana flower. Combine to batter and vegetable well.
  • Pour 2-3 ladle of batter on each wilted banana leaves, don’t spread it too thin. Wrap the batter with leaves like any other kadubu or kottige. It should be like packets* so that the batter doesn’t come out.
  • Place these packets in steamer filled with enough water carefully so that steam passes all over. Cook for 40- 45 minutes.
  • Allow cooling (until warm) a bit before serving with coconut oil.
  • It tastes great if served after seasoning with basic spices & coconut jaggery mix.
Banana flower pathrode

Notes:

baale hoovina pathrode

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Tender tamarind appe saaru/ Hunase kai (appe) huli / Raw tamarind stew

Appe huli or appe saaru is a type of stew / appetizer from Uttara Kannada! This tangy & spicy drink is commonly prepared with mango if in season or with preserved mangoes. This name is because of a special mango variety called apppe midi. Occasionally they are made with lemons/ citron or tamarind…This drink is served as appetizer during any festive meal.

Tender tamarind appe saaru

As raw/ tender tamarinds are in season now, one can try this delicious drink at home. I got hold of few tamarinds from a nearby farm last week. My mother who is at home made this saaru and we loved it as much as appe saaru. Process of appe saaru (of mango) remains same as this by replacing tamarind with mango! This drink improves digestion & increases hunger. The sourness of the tamarind and rich flavor of asafoetida/ hing and cumin seasoning makes this drink as mouth-watering dish!

Hunase kai (appe) huli

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6 cups

Ingredients:

Raw tamarind (big) – 1

Green chillis - 2, adjust to taste

Salt – 1 tsp, adjust as you like

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp (powder)

Coconut oil – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

 

Method:

  • Scrape out outermost brown skin and wash tamarind well. Need not peel thick.
  • Chop it roughly and remove bigger seeds if any. Tender seeds are ok to have.
  • Take tamarind, green chillis in a mixer jar, grind to smooth paste adding water as required.
  • Transfer to a vessel, add enough water to dilute. This drink should not be too thick, instead it should be runny.
  • Add salt, asafoetida & boil well. Switch off the stove.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, cumin, pinch of asafoetida & curry leaves in oil. On spluttering, add to appe huli. Serve hot & flavorful saaru to drink.
Raw tamarind stew

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Figs kheer/ Anjoor payasa

Hello there, hope you are doing good & staying warm this winter. Today, I am sharing a delicious dessert recipe for this winter with figs. It is anjeer/ anjoor payasa or figs kheer. If you like bananapayasa or dates kheer, then you will definitely love this.

The fig variety that I used is elephant ear fig which we harvest in good numbers from my garden during the season! So far, I made delicious fresh figs milkshake, banana & figs smoothie, anjeer banana buns, Fresh figs halwa and figs & banana bread. This time, I tried preserving some of the figs harvested by following the same method we use to preserve ripe banana.  I stored this sweetened & cooked fig in freezer and used in payasa after a month. It turned out very tasty. Optionally you can add few dates while making this sweet/ pudding. Here, I am writing the process of making payasa with fresh figs, not with pre-processed figs. You can use pureed & processed figs or dry figs too.

Figs kheer

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Well ripe juicy figs – 6 nos

Jaggery (powdered/ grated) – 1 cup, Adjust according to desired sweet taste

 Sugar – 3-4 tbsp

Coconut milk – 1 cup thick & 1 cup thin

Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp

Dates – 6-8 (optional)

Chopped nuts of choice (cashews/ almonds) – 2tbsp

Ghee – 3 tsp

 

Method:

  • Wash and soak dates in water for half an hour. Remove seeds.
  • Wash figs, peel the skin and chop the pulp roughly.
  • Take chopped figs & soaked dates in mixer jar and make smooth paste without adding water if possible.
  • Take a thick kadai/ pan, add 2 tsp ghee and ground paste of figs & dates.
  • Add 3 tbsp sugar, mix well. Heat this on medium flame, stirring frequently.
  • Take care not to burn this mixture. Switch off the stove when fig paste is cooked well and it forms a single mass leaving the sides. Process will take around 15 minutes. (If you are planning to store this for few days, then cook until it turns to halwa consistency).  
  • Now, add this cooked figs mix & thin coconut milk in a thick vessel or in the same pan in which figs are cooked. Mix well and bring this to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, prepare jaggery syrup with little water, strain to remove any impurity.
  • Add this syrup to the boiling kheer, further boil for a while.
  • At the end add thick coconut milk and switch off when it just starts bubbling. Do not boil it after adding thick coconut milk as it will result in curdling.
  • Top with roasted/ fried nuts in little ghee. Serve this kheer/ payasa hot or chilled.
Anjoor payasa
Notes:

  • If you are using dry figs, then soak them in water for a while before grinding like how I added dates. You can directly add this ground paste to coconut milk & boil to make kheer.
  • The process remains same to make dates payasa.
Anjeer pudding

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Jeera Aloo/ Cumin flavoured potato dry curry

This is one of the quickest side dish recipes one can think of! It can be prepared in no time if boiled potatoes are ready. It makes a lovely combination to chapathi/ roti & poori.

Ingredients required to make this also very less and easily available in every Indian kitchen. Let us go through the recipe now.

Jeera Aloo

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

Potatoes (medium sized) – 5-6

Cumin seeds – 1.5 tbsp

Green chillis – 2 chopped

Fresh Coriander leaves - 2-3 tbsp, finely chopped

Cumin powder – ½ tsp

Chilli powder – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt – 1 tsp (to taste)

Lemon juice- 1-2 tsp (adjust as you like)

 

Method:

  • Rinse potatoes well and pressure cook them with enough water. Potatoes should be cooked but firm.
  • Don’t boil too soft & mushy. 3 whistles should be sufficient. Set aside until, pressure settles down.
  • Meanwhile, keep green chillis & coriander leaves washed & chopped separately.
  • When potatoes are cooled, open the pressure cooker, peel & discard the skin.
  • Cut potatoes into cubes of desired size.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • On spluttering, add chopped green chillis, fry for a while, until raw smell goes off or they start changing colour.
  • Add cumin powder, cubed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder & chilli powder.
  • Mix everything well so that spices & salt blends well with potatoes.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves, mix once again.
  • Switch off the stove.
  • Add lemon juice & mix.
  • Serve with hot roti/ pooris.

Notes:

  • You can use only cumin seeds and avoid cumin powder, that gives extra flavour.
  • Cumin seeds can be replaced with coriander powder to make dhaniya aloo, in this case mustard seeds can be used in seasoning.
Jeera Aloo/ Cumin flavoured potato dry curry

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Surinam Cherry gojju/ Brazillian cherry tokku / Pitanga gojju or preserve

If had followed me or read my posts I have shared couple of posts on these attractive dark red berries called Suriname cherries. They are small, pretty & delicate fruits with very less shelf life if kept unused or untouched. If you have one plant/ tree of it, you get the fruits in abundance! That is nature’s bounty. I always scratch my head to get them in variety of dishes during season as I am a kind of person who hates wasting food/ fruit or whatever.

As these fruits are very sour & chat pata in taste, one can’t eat too many of them. At home kids don’t touch them or any other home grown fruits like figs or even papaya! So I end up making Jam, pickles, juice, chutney & this gojju.

It is a super easy recipe which gives you delicious gojju/ tokku as side dish to rice or chapathi or you can mix that with Rice to make rice item in no time. It is a lovely combination to curd rice too. Only time consuming part is cleaning and removing the seeds as they aren’t too big and worms and ants just love them! If you make this tokku once, you can store it for up to a week or more in refrigerator.

Now, I am sharing the recipe with you all.

Brazillian cherry tokku

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves 1 cup

Ingredients:

Pitted Surinam cherry – 1 cup

Jaggery powder/ grated jaggery – 3 tbsp , Adjust as you like

Red chilli powder – ½ tsp, adjust to your taste

Turmeric powder – 1 generous pinch

Salt – ½ tsp or to taste

Cooking oil – 1 tbsp

Cloves of Garlic – 10-12

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch

 

Method:

  • Wash Surinam cherries clean, check & remove if any bugs or ants present.
  • With a sharp knife cut the tip of fruit having stamen as this part contains ants/ bugs generally. Then remove seeds with the help of fingers or knife. Discard seeds.
  • Take the pitted cherries in a heavy pan or vessel, switch on the stove.
  • Add salt, jaggery, turmeric powder & chilli powder.
  • Stir once to mix well, bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Keep the flame low and boil for few minutes stirring in between.
  • Switch off the stove when it thickens & comes to the gojju consistency.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, garlics and asafoetida in oil. On spluttering & garlic turns brown, add it to the gojju.
  • Serve with Rice, a dollop of ghee and this gojju or with curd rice.
  • Store excess gojju in refrigerator.

Surinam Cherry gojju

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Dry fruits laddoo/ Dry fruits balls with no added sugar/ energy balls

 Sweets are must in case of any festival! Especially Deepavali is incomplete without loads of sweets. Obviously, we end up in guilt of overeating them. What about some sweets without added harmful white sugar!? Interesting, right? Here is that perfect healthy laddoos made without any added sugar or jaggery! Only natural sugar of dry fruits like dates & figs are used here. Also, I know there will be some dry fruits & nuts on hand post festival too. You can use all of them to make these energy balls which make great snack/ dessert or even breakfast combo option. Having one ball gives you lot of energy & it is great for kids after playing.

Dry fruits balls with no added sugar

It is winter & food articles which keep our body warm are very much essential to be added in our diet. Lentils, dal, roots & tuber vegetables, nuts, seeds dry fruits are among them. So these vegan (as no butter or ghee added in it) balls are best and they provide the energy required on the go if they are made and stored in air tight container.  You need not stick to the measurement provided here as ingredients can be added as required & as available. Only point to be noted is there should be some nuts & some dry fruits for sweetness & for binding the balls.

To learn about, seasonal regimen of winter season, check here Sharad rutucharya.

energy balls

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

 Ingredients:

Nuts of choice (almonds, cashews, pistachios) – ¾ cup, you can choose any one or two of them
Dry fruits of choice (I used Dates, figs, apricots) – 1¼ cups
White sesame/ bili ellu – 1-2 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • If using seeded dates, remove seeds and discard. Roughly chop dates & keep aside.
  • Similarly, Remove apricot seeds, chop the flesh (fruit part) roughly and add to chopped dates. You can break the hard stone like seed to get the almond like kernel* which can be added to the laddoo.
  • Chop figs roughly and keep it with dates and apricot.
  • In a thick pan, roast almonds, cashews & pista till crisp. Add apricot kernels to this while roasting if you are using them. Don’t overdo & burn them. Transfer to a plate and keep aside to cool.
  • In the same pan, add chopped dry fruits and sauté for couple of minutes. This is to remove water content if any. Please take care not to burn them too.
  • Set aside until it comes to room temperature.
  • In the same dry pan, roast white sesame seeds for a while, keep it aside in a separate bowl to cool down. Switch off the stove.
  • Now take roasted nuts in a dry jar of mixer and pulse to get coarse powder. Avoid making fine powder.
  • Transfer to the pan used to roast the nuts & dry fruits.
  • Take roasted dry fruits in the mixer jar in batches (2-3), pulse to crush them too.
  • Take all of them in the pan, mix well on low flame until they are warm and everything combine well.
  • Add sesame seeds too. Mix all well to form a single mass of every ingredient spread evenly.
  • You can use your fingers to do it if that is comfortable, that is what I do.
  • Divide this into equal sized portions to make uniform dry fruits balls.
  • Store in airtight box & enjoy as and when required.
  • Refrigerate for better shelf life.
Dry fruits laddoo
 
Notes:
  • Apricot/ khubani kernels* (shown in pic) are said to be poisonous if consumed much. So take care and add only if it is fine & using them moderately.
  • The laddoos may get spoiled soon if there is traces of water. So care must be taken while preparing.
  • I prefer washing dry fruits like figs, apricot, dates before consuming. If you have this habit, then make sure you dry them before making this laddoo.
Apricot kernel

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Tamarind tokku/ Hunase tokku/ tender tamarind spicy chutney/ Hunase khara

Tokku is very similar like pickles or gojju. It can be made easily when the ingredients required are in season, and stored for 6 months to 1 year. Tamarind/ hunase tokku is a famous dish from North Karnataka. I learnt it from a lady from Raichur who shared some of the tokku which she brought from her native initially. She shared her recipe too.

During my recent visit to our native/ Coastal Karnataka, I got handful of tender tamarinds. I and my son ate few pieces with salt which brought my childhood memories back. We used to pluck tamarinds from the trees which we crossed everyday on our way to school by walk (about 2 k.m). We were also fortunate to get some salt to pair with from nearby homes! Interesting, isn’t it??  I love tangy fruits like tamarind / hog plum/ raw mango to eat same way my son loves that too.

Now let us see how to make the tokku which is in the picture today!

Tamarind tokku/ Hunase tokku/ tender tamarind spicy chutney/ Hunase khara

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 1 cup

Ingredients:

Tender tamarind/ raw tamarind – 1 cup

Green chillis – 5-8, adjust to taste

Salt – to taste (about 1 tsp)

Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp

Cooking oil – 2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida – ¼ tsp

Turmeric powder - 1 generous pinch

 

 

Method:

  • Wash green chillis, remove stalk & dry using a clean towel, set aside.
  • Wash tamarind with running water. Spread on a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry, set aside for a while to get the dry tamarind.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan. Add fenugreek seeds & dry roast. Fry them in medium flame until fenugreek seeds turn brown & you get nice roasted aroma.
  • Break them with your fingers removing the fibrous root like structure as much as possible.
  • If the seeds are matured & hard then remove them by crushing the tamarind a bit using mortar and pestle. If tamarind is very tender, you need not remove seeds.
  • Now take these tamarind chunks, green chillis, fried fenugreek seeds & salt in a dry mixer jar. Blend until you get a fine paste.
  • Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of cumin seeds & mustard seeds in cooking oil. On spluttering, add asafoetida powder & turmeric powder. Switch off the heat & set aside until it comes to room temperature. Add it to the tokku or tamarind chutney that is prepared.
  • Mix well. Transfer to a glass jar with lid. It can be stored for almost an year if it is prepared without any water content like pickling. If planning to store for longer duration, add seasoning/ tadka before every serving, not at the time of preparation.
  • It can be served with curd rice, jowar rotti & curds.

Hunase tokku/  Hunase khara

Notes:

  • This tokku can be stored for long time without refrigeration. For safer side, I refrigerate it.
  • If making in large batch to store for longer duration, then do not add tempering/ tadka at the time of preparation. Take small portion of tokku out of large jar to serve & add seasoning to it.
  • You can add a piece of ginger as an optional ingredient; in this case, ginger flavour dominates over other.
  • Spice level can be adjusted as required by adding more or less chillis.
  • Optionally, garlic can also be added while making this tokku.