Saturday, 27 June 2020

Raw mango subzi with spicy coconut seasoning/ Mavina kai palya/ Nekkare mavina palya

Mango, King of fruits! Enjoy them in all the possible ways before this season ends! You will get varieties of them just meant to consume as ripe fruit to raw as vegetables too. Especially the multiple varieties of wild mangoes are used in number of sweet & savory side dishes & curries. They make the meal tasty & make you crave for more
Here is one of the delicacies from coastal Karnataka, which is Mango stir-fry in a spice mix of fried urad dal, red chillis in coconut. A best suited variety of mango for this subzi is called Nekkare mavu/ HoLe mavu which is a wild mango with pleasant & unique flavor. This palya can be made not only with matured raw mango but also ripe wild mango. Check for my post of ripe mango palya.
This dish reminds me of my childhood summer holidays & my aunts (paternal). They used to stay with us for few days & make this & many mango & jack fruit dishes with mom and we all used to relish with so much of fun. All those are evergreen memories, immeasurable pleasure!
If you get any wild variety of raw or ripe mango, you can use that. Check for the recipe of ripe mango subzi here. I tried it with totapuri here and sharing the recipe now.

Raw mango subzi with spicy coconut seasoning

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
Raw totapuri mango (matured) – 1 (big)
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Urad Dal/ Black gram dal – 2 tsp
Red chillis – 3
Grated Jaggery – 4 tbsp/ big chunk, adjust according to the taste. It needs more jaggery.
Salt – to taste
Coconut Oil or any cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves

Method:
  • Wash mango clean, remove & discard stalk part. Cut  into small pieces.
  • Now take a frying pan or wok. Fry urad dal, 2 red chillis by adding few drops of oil until dal turns brown and you get a nice roasted aroma. Do not burn any ingredient. Add grated fresh coconut & sauté couple of times. Switch off the stove.
  • Dry grind the fried ingredients coarsely, when it cools down. Keep aside.
  • In the same frying pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds &1 red chilli broken into rough pieces. Allow spluttering.
  • Add chopped mangoes (with seeds), salt, jaggery and required water to cook. Cook it well by covering the pan. Once done, add ground paste or coconut mixture. Mix well, allow until water evaporates completely. Garnish with curry leaves.
  • Serve the palya with hot rice, ghee or with curd rice and enjoy.
Mavina kai palya
Note:
  • It tastes good even with little gravy like gojju.
Nekkare mavina palya

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Making buttermilk, butter & ghee at home/ Homemade butter from milk/ Homemade ghee

Who doesn’t love the aroma of freshly made ghee at home? Making curds, butter & ghee at home is worth for the pleasure that it gives to one though the effort making it is big! Just give it a try just for the satisfaction that it brings the one soon after that fresh aroma of ghee fills your home!

Making buttermilk, butter & ghee at home

Even I used to feel as if it is a huge task until recent, but now I am used to it on regular basis and I make it happily! Back in my childhood, churning curds to make buttermilk was an everyday affair at home. My mom used to milk every morning and evening, filter, boil it and make big pot of curds everyday with leftover milk after daily use. Next morning churn with a manual churner, collect butter, clean and keep adding with fresh butter eery day for maximum a week’s time. Use that butter to make ghee. Fresh buttermilk was consumed either by family members, farm workers or shared to relatives when required for a function feast or any other occasion. If excess it used to go to the bio gas (sustainable energy for cooking) plant! It is the practice still existing in native at my mom’s placeJ
Oh my, it is unimaginable in the urban lifestyle that we follow today. We buy milk with which we may not get enough milk cream to make butter every day. In this case we can collect cream for 5-6 days in refrigerator and use it for the process. I am sharing my method of making buttermilk & butter in this post. I get freshly milked milk daily from a farmer, so quality of milk is better too. The measure of butter may not be the same in case of packed milk! You can use full fat milk here instead.

Finally, I don't waste the ghee residue (brown meal formed after making ghee), it goes either in my chapathi/roti or Ghee residue cake. Using the vessel used for making ghee while kneading dough or making cake batter helps in cleaning it as well.

Homemade butter

I am not making ingredients list here as major ingredient involved in here is milk & curds! Majorly there are 2 steps involved here.

1. Making of curds
2. Making butter & ghee from the curds


Method:



1. Making Curds:
  • Boil milk very well and allow cooling.
  • On cooling completely, a layer of fresh cream will be formed on top. Collect it with a spoon or with your fingers (if you are comfortable), transfer to a stainless steel box or jar with lid. Add a spoonful of curds and refrigerate.
  • If you make the curds at home and you get some leftover curds every day after using it, then collect it in a separate jar too and refrigerate that as well.
  • Every day follow the above procedure and add cream daily to the already collected cream.


2. Making of buttermilk & butter:

  • After 4-5 days, keep the box with the collected cream outside the refrigerator.  Add one more spoon of curds and mix well, keep covered to make curds. You should make it the previous night of the day you plan to make buttermilk.
  • Next morning, refrigerate it for an hour or two (cooling this helps to get butter to separate out from the buttermilk cleanly).
  • Now, it is the time to churn this creamy curds to make buttermilk. You can use a hand blender/ mixie jar (juice jar)/ mathana (the one I use which is very comfortable for me). If you have very less curds, then mixie jar is a best option (It should be leak free).
  • Take all the collected cream and curds stored everyday together, blend until butter is separated on top of buttermilk as ball (solid state).
  • Now take hot water (should be able to touch with fingers) in a wide bowl. Dip your hand in it, and collect the butter formed on buttermilk. Transfer only collected butter to a thick bottomed pan in which you make ghee. Dipping hand in hot water helps to avoid sticking of butter to your hand.
  • Now wash the butter thoroughly in clean running water for 3-4 times or until traces of buttermilk removed completely from butter.  The washed water should start running clean! Dip palm in hot water while doing this as well.
  • Transfer the prepared buttermilk to a clean vessel and store in refrigerate which can be used to drink by making masala buttermilk or used in cooking too.
  • Now heat cleaned butter in pan on medium flame. Initially it starts frothing which starts reducing. You can stir with a spoon in between.
  • It is done when the hissing noise comes down and you start seeing brown ghee residue in bottom of the pan.
  • You should take extra care at this point as even after switching off, with the hotness, it boils for a while and ghee may be burnt if you don’t switch off the heat on time.
  • If it is not boiled properly, then the aroma may not remain good for long time.
  • After switching off the heat, allow cooling for a while. Pass it through a sieve to separate the ghee residue and collect the freshly made ghee in a steel container with a lid or in a glass jar. You can refrigerate it on completely cooling or use immediately which stays good even outside refrigerator for a week or two.
Homemade ghee



Notes:
  • People add few curry leaves or beetle leaves while making ghee from butter. It is believed to be keep ghee fresh for long. I prefer without anything. If steps are followed properly while making & storing and butter is cleaned well, then ghee remains fresh with nice aroma.
  • Make sure you churn cream the very next day of keeping it out of refrigerator. Otherwise, buttermilk turns bitter and the smell of ghee doesn’t turn good. You can postpone 1-2 days to churn it out by keeping the cream in refrigerator until then.
  • Images I shared here is of ghee made with beetle leaves, whereas I don't follow it in my regular method. After a week, the flavor of beetle leaf starts dominating over ghee aroma!
  • Keeping the dishes to store curds, butter, ghee etc.. very clean is important. Otherwise, the aroma that you expect may not be achieved.
  • Use hot water to wash vessels involved in making dairy products.
  • Store ghee in stainless steel boxes or glass jars with tight lid.
Homemade butter from milk





Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Hing ki Kachori/ Hing kachori

Name is Hing Kachori/ hing ki kachori, but there is no big part is taken by hing/ asafoetida in this dish. Basically it is spicy urad dal mix stuffed poori with some amount of hing added.  
It was about 5-6 years back while I was working for a software firm, we used to have nice time during lunch break with 4 of us. Our group had one from Kolkata, one from Kashmir & other ‘re from Karnataka. We were usually discussing about food and I learnt few dishes including Thai salads then. One of the dish I have heard for the first time was this Hing kachori. It was in my to-do since then, but somehow I could not try it! May be due to the reason I am not well versed with stuffing things, I avoid even stuffed parotas. Recently I tried it and it is not as difficult as I imagined. It turned to be delicious too. I served it with stuffed tomatoes/ bharwan tamatar. Used urad dal here, I guess it can be made with tur dal  as well. Yet to try that out!

Hing ki Kachori

Preparation time: 6 hours
Cooking time: 30 -45 minutes
Serves: 16 medium pooris.

Ingredients:
Urad dal – ½ cup
Ginger – ¼ inch
Green chillis – 1-2
Fennel seeds/ saunf – 1 tsp (optional), good to have
Salt – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Asafotida/ hing – ¼ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp, adjust according to your taste
Chilli powder – ½ tsp, adjust according to your taste
Maida/ all purpose flour/ wheat flour – 2 cups, I used (1+1 wheat & maida)
Cooking oil – 3 tsp + for deep frying

Method:
  • Wash & soak dal for 5-6 hours.
  • Once done, drain water, wash once again with clean water.
  • Take green chilli, ginger, fennel seeds in a mixie jar. Grind to make smooth paste.
  • Add soaked dal to the same jar. Add garam masala, chilli powder, ½ tsp salt, sugar. Grind coarsely. If required you can sprinkle little water, not too much.
  • Heat a pan with 2 tsp oil. Add asafoetida/ hing. Add ground paste, fry it until it is bit dry.
  • Switch off the heat, set aside to cool down.  This is our stuffing.
  • Now, in a wide mixing bowl add maida and wheat, little salt and 1 tsp oil. Knead to make soft poori dough by adding water as required.
  • Keep it covered for 15 minutes.
  • Divide dal mix into equal sized balls (about gooseberry sized).
  • Similarly, divide poori dough into equal number of balls.
  • Heat oil (2 cups) in a frying pan.
  • Roll wheat ball to make thick small poori, place one dal ball on it, cover it to stuff properly. Roll again to make poori of medium thickness which is evenly pressed all over.
  • Fry poori in hot oil, flipping in between to cook both sides. Remove from oil when it turns golden brown. Use medium flame for frying.
  • Same way, finish off all the balls.
  • Serve hot poori/ kachori with choice of side dish.
Hing kachori

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Jackfruit seed & tapioca pearl kheer/ pudding/ Halasina beeja sabakki payasa

A traditional payasa/ kheer from our place/ Coastal Karnataka is Gram dal & tapioca pearls payasa or Kadle bele sabakki payasa. A similar delicious combination can be made by replacing gram dal (channa dal) by jackfruit seed. It makes a perfect replacement. Payasa is not only delicious like traditional one, but nutritionally rich too. Jackfruit seeds are packed with nutrients such as Carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins like thiamine (B1) and riboflavin (B2) and they contain traces of  zinc, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese. These seeds make great food ingredient otherwise it is highly ignored part of this delicious fruit.
Check here for my recipes of jackfruit seedmilkshake, Halasina beejada kulfi, Jackfruit seeds halwa, halasina beejada saaru & Jackseed and green leaves sambhar. Also check the recipe of sabakki payasa. Please find the recipe of this payasa/ kheer as below!.

Halasina beeja sabakki payasa

Preparation time:20 minutes
Cooking time 30 – 45 minutes
Serves  3-4
Ingredients:
Jackfruit seed/ halasina beeja (of ripe jackfruit) – 1 cup
Sabudana/ Sabakki / Tapioca Pearls – 1/2 cup
Coconut Milk – 2 Cups (1 cup thick & 1 cup thin coconut milk)
Jaggery – 1Cup (grated), adjust to taste
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Ghee – 2 tsp

Method:
  • Crush jack seeds a bit by using mortar & pestle. Remove outermost plastic like skin.
  • If jackfruit seeds are dry, then wash them with clean water and soak in water for few minutes.
  • Cook them in a pressure cooker with about 2 cups of water for 4-5 whistles. Set aside until pressure settles down. When it cools donw, transfer it to a mixer jar and grind coarsely. Do not make fine paste. Having chunks of gram dal/ kadle bele size is important to get that enhanced taste.
  • Transfer to a thick bottomed vessel.
  • Meanwhile fry Sabakki in a thick bottomed pan with 2 spoons of ghee. This will take 5-8 minutes in low flame. 
  • In the cooker used to cook jackseed, take 3 cups of water (2 cups of water + 1 cup of thin coconut milk) and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add sabakki and close the lid. Cook till 4-5 whistle. When pressure releases, add it to the cooked & ground jackfruit seed.
  • Add jaggery , boil well.
  • When everything is combines well, add thick coconut milk. Add cardamom powder. Switch off the heat when it just starts boiling.
  • Serve this delicious rich payasa.
  • It tastes great even if chilled.
Notes:
  • To remove, impurities from jaggery, boil it with little water till it dissolves completely. Strain / filter using a strainer. Then add to the kheer.
  • Care to be taken while cooking tapioca pearls as to maintain the proper texture. Some sabakki cooks fast, some takes time. You can use your way of cooking it, either by soaking water as well.
  • Milk can be used instead coconut milk. But I love coconut milk in kheer.
  • Gram dal can be used instead jackfruit seed to make kadle sabakki payasa.
Jackfruit seed & tapioca pearl kheer

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Tamarind Juice/ Hunase hannu Sharbat/ Tamarind Mojito

Tamarind/ Imli (Hindi)/ Hunase hannu (kannada)/ Huli (commonly referred so in Coastal Karnataka) is an essential ingredient in any Indian kitchen. Cleaned & preserved tamarind with hint of salt is available throughout the year. Soutn indian sambhar cannot be prepared without this fruit. It has number of health benefits too. The antioxidants & antibacterial properties of this can be used in treating many ailments. It is believed to be good for digestive system health, problem of dry eyes, treatment of constipation and many more. It is useful in pregnancy sickness too. Recently I came to know from my sister in law that, eating a piece of tamarind helps as instant remedy for migraine/ headache.

It was when there was no refrigerator in every house; people could not store lemons for long time. It was not easy to make juice instantly like today when there was a sudden need or guests during that time. Shops were never used to be nearby home so that someone can get something. Then tamarind juice was a quick fix. It is quick, tasty & made with the ingredients available all the time. So if you have not tried it so far, try now, don’t wait more.

Tamarind Juice

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2
Ingredients:
Tamarind – small lemon sized/ 1-2 tsp extract
Sugar/ Jaggery – 4 tsp, adjust as required
Cardamom – 1
Water – 2 glasses
Ice cubes – few (optional)
Method:
Soak tamarind in ¼ glass of water for few minutes. You can use hot water, it will speed up the process.
Extract the juice completely, discard the residue. If you feel it still has tamarind, you can use in cooking.
Dilute with remaining water.
Add sweetener of choice, dissolve.
Add crushed/ powdered cardamom.
Serve this juice chilled with added ice cubes optionally.

Hunase hannu Sharbat

Notes:
You can use your choice of sweetener like sugar/ jaggery/ honey
Crushed mint leaves can be added instead of cardamom or you can make plain juice with just tamarind.
You can add soda/ carbonated water to this juice. In this case make it concentrated.

Tamarind Mojito

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Glazed carrots

I got this idea of glazed carrots in one of food groups in facebook. It was when I placed a question about carrot recipes during initial days of lock down as I received lot of carrots from nearby farm. It is so easy to make, yet unique & tasty. It is absolutely a guilt free treat and it is our new favorite (except my son!) on the go snacking option this lock down time.

Generally people make honey glazed carrots, whereas I chose jaggery as I avoid heating up honey. According to Ayurveda, honey should not be used on anything which is warmer than room temperature.

Glazed carrots

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients:
Baby carrots (preferred) – 20, you can use about 6-8 large ones instead
Oil/ butter/ ghee – 2 tsp, I prefer butter or ghee
Salt – to taste
Jaggery powder – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 1-2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 generous pinch, to taste
Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing

Method:
  • Wash carrots well, peel if you wish to. Cut and remove two ends. You need not cut the carrots if you use baby carrots. Otherwise cut them into large pieces as you like; that is 1-2 inch long sticks or circles.
  • Now add little water and cook using a pressure cooker (1 whistle) or you can boil. Care to be taken not to overcook the carrots, they should be slightly tender yet remain firm.
  • Once pressure releases, take cooked carrots in a wok/ pan with butter/ ghee or oil. Add lemon juice, jaggery, pepper powder. Heat them all together. Saute them carefully so that everything combines well. It will take 3- 4 minutes to form that glaze (shiny skin) on top of carrots. Be careful, not to burn it. Switch off the stove.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. It makes a perfect evening snack for kids or you can add it to any party menu as appetizer.
Glazed carrots

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Vitamin leaves tambuli/ Chakramuni soppu tambli

Vitamin leaves/ multivitamin plant is what they commonly referred as. Scientific name of this evergreen woody shrub is Sauropus androgynous. Having a plant of it in our kitchen garden is so handy, a handful of tender leaves can be added in chutney, sambhar, palya & many more. I have also tried pathrode with multiple local greens one of which is this plant which is named as chakramuni soppu in kannada. This green tambuli is not only tasty, but also so comforting on stomach during hot summer days. 
Our parents have practiced #eatlocal concept so well. Growing this plant is very easy as they are easily propagated by stem cutting, root or even seed. It can be developed in pot/ grow bag or directly in soil. It comes very well in tropical climate; never matters dry or humid weather!
Recipe of tambuli is very simple, you can make it with fewer easily available ingredients.

Vitamin leaves tambuli


Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
Vitamin soppu/ chakramuni soppu – fistful, tender leaves are preferred
Freshly grated coconut - ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Pepper corns – 6-8, you can use green chilli
Salt – to taste
Fresh buttermilk/ curds – 1 cup
Coconut oil/ ghee – 2 tsp
Mustard – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli -1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Method:
  • Wash & clean freshly picked leaves. Fry with a tsp of ghee/ oil until they are wilted properly.
  • Take grated coconut, fried and cooled leaves, salt, pepper, cumin in a mixer jar. Blend it to fine paste.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl, add buttermilk or curds, adjust the consistency as required with added water if required.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard, dry red chilli and curry leaves in oil or ghee. Add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve with rice & veg stir-fry or drink as it is.


Notes:
  • I recommend consume tambulis fresh as they are uncooked and can spoil soon.
  • Refrigerate it if there is left over.
  • You can make other green tambulis (like elevarige soppu /cassia occidentalis, ganike/ garden night shade, bilwapatre, pomegranate tender leaves…) by replacing vitamin soppu by various greens.
Chakramuni soppu tambuli