Thursday, 14 February 2019

Pumpkin curry with coconut cumin gravy/ Sihi kumbala Kalasu/ Jeerige Bendi

Pumpkin suits best in making of spicy sambhar, palya and even payasa/ kheer and it is naturally sweeter in taste. It is a nutritious vegetable and is very rich in vitamin A and other.
Today, I am posting the recipe of a traditional curry from my native place which is Sihi kumbala kalasu or pumpkin in cumin flavored coconut gravy!

Pumpkin curry with coconut cumin gravy

Preparation time: 10 minutes (excludes soaking time of chickpeas)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3
Pumpkin pieces (roughly chopped) – 2 cups, about ½ of a small pumpkin
White chickpeas (soaked in water overnight) – ½ cup (optional)
Freshly grated coconut –½ cup
Cumin seeds – 1.5 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery – 1-2 tbsp (adjust to your taste)
Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Wash and soak white chickpeas (or channa) overnight. Wash couple of times and drain water completely.
  • Add little salt and water, pressure cook the soaked chickpeas for 2-3 whistles. Set aside until pressure releases.
  • Cut pumpkin into small cubes. Need not peel the skin and use tender one to make this curry.
  • Now, boil the chopped vegetables with little water. Add salt, jaggery, red chilli powder to it.
  • When it is half cooked, add already cooked chickpeas. Boil well until vegetable cooked soft.
  • Meanwhile, grind grated coconut, cumin seeds to smooth paste using a mixer jar. Add water as required.
  • Add this coconut paste to cooked vegetable. Combine and boil well.
  • Switch off the heat after boiling for 5 minutes.
  • Prepare a seasoning / tadka of mustard seeds, minced dry red chilli and curry leaves in coconut oil. On spluttering, add it to the curry.
  • Serve with rice and ghee or with mild flavored rice.
Sihi kumbala Kalasu
  • Chickpeas, an optional ingredient can be eliminated.
  • As tender the pumpkin picked, tastier the curry.
  • Other vegetables like snake gourd / bottle gourd / Ridge gourd can be used in making this. Channa (chickpeas) should not be added in case of these vegetables.
  • This curry is very mild and less spiced and usually made sweeter. You can adjust the sweet level as you like.
Jeerige Bendi

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Eggless Choco Coffee Brownie Cake

My today’s post is dedicated to all chocolate lovers on this season of Valentine’s Week! It cannot be defined as brownie or cake. But I bet, you are going to love this moist, soft & spongy goodies which has enhanced flavor of chocolate. Addition of coffee complements the chocolaty taste which makes it richer & better. Also remember it has ragi, no egg and no baking powder!
I used chocolate beverage mix ‘Winner’ from Campco. You can use other sweetened chocolate drink powders or unsweetened cocoa powder instead. Make sure to increase the amount of sugar if you are using unsweetened cocoa powder. Now, let us come to the recipe part.

Eggless Choco Coffee Brownie Cake

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 250 grams
Plain flour/ Maida – 1.5 cups
Ragi/ Finger millet flour - ½ cup
Small semolina/ chiroti rava – 2 tbsp
Buttermilk/ curds – 1.5 cups
Warm water – ¼ cup
Sweetened Cocoa drink powder – ½ cup (I used winner0 or ¼ cup (if unsweetened cocoa powder)
Coffee decoction (thick) – 2 tbsp or use 1 tsp of instant powder
Sugar – 1 cup or increase by half cup in case of unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt – ¼ tsp
Oil/ Melted butter – 3 tbsp
Baking soda/ cooking soda – 1 tsp

  • Grease baking tray with few drops of oil or melted butter, set aside.
  • Heat ¼ cup of water to make it warm, do not boil it. Stir in & dissolve cocoa drink powder and coffee decoction (or instant powder).
  • In a mixing bowl, take above prepared cocoa- coffee mix, add in curds/ buttermilk.
  • Add sugar and salt. Stir it with a spatula so that it will be combined well.
  • Add oil/ melted butter. Mix again.
  • Now add small semolina, plain flour, baking soda and ragi flour one by one and mix well to make a batter which has no lumps in it. Consistency should neither be runny nor very dry.
  • Adjust by adding flour or milk to get desired consistency of idli batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.
  • Pour the prepared cake mix into the greased baking tray.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until inserted fork comes out clean.
  • Allow cooling, then cut and serve when warm.
Choco Coffee Brownie

  • You can make the chocolate frosting for better taste.
  • Wheat flour can also be used instead ragi flour.
  • Adjust the sugar level depending on the cocoa powder that you use. It requires more sugar if you use unsweetened cocoa or less.
  • Use fresh Curds/ buttermilk. Or you can use mixture of milk:buttermilk (1:1).
  • Heating water is just to dissolve coffee and chocolate well.
  • If you like denser cake, then bake it the previous day of serving.
  • Combination of Maida: Wheat flour (in the ratio of 1:0.5) can be used, which makes the cake bit dense.
Choco Coffee Cake

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Tender jackfruit Fritters/ Gujje podi/ Ele halasu Bajji

It is the season of tender jackfruit. Being a Mangalorean I grown up eating varieties of Jackfruit delicacies starting from Gujje (we call tender jackfruit so) to ripe jackfruit. That is generally December to June/ July. Gujje palya, sambhar are regular in any house of Dakshina Kannada or in festival menu during this season. Although usage of gujje is very common, fritters/ bajji was new to me until I tasted this delicious snack in a wedding lunch one or two years back.
This year, I got tender jackfruit bit late. I brought one from my sister’s house when I visited my native recently and tried couple of new recipes like Bajji, saung and Pulao along with our normal palya! Everything turned out super tasty. Today, I am sharing the recipe of fritter/ bajji/ podi!
Also refer the recipe of Banana stem Bajji/ Pakora.

Tender jackfruit Fritters

Preparation time: 20 minutes (excluded cutting time)
Cooking time: 30- 45 minutes
Serves: 4-5
Tender jackfruit - ¼th of a medium gujje, 20 thin slices of approx. 2 inch long
Salt – to taste
Asafoetida/ hing – 1 pinch
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ajwain/ carom seeds/ Om kalu – ¼ tsp
Gram flour/ Kadle hittu – 1 cup
Corn flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
Chat masala – ¼ tsp (optional)
Oil – for deep frying (I prefer coconut oil)

  • Cut Gujje/ tender jackfruit. Remove outer thick rind/ peel, core and discard.
  • Make thin slices of about 2 inch long. Dip in water and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the water and boil these pieces in fresh water adding little salt (¼ tsp) until they are half cooked. Do not use pressure cooker here.  Switch off the heat before they turn very soft. Drain water and keep aside to cool down.
  • Now, in a mixing bowl take ½ cup of water. Dissolve asafoetida. Add about ½ tsp salt (do not add much as it is added to the vegetable while cooking), chilli powder, chat masala and carom seeds. Prepare batter by mixing gram flour and corn flour. Add water as required to make batter of neither too thick nor too thin consistency (little thinner than dosa batter).
  • Now keep oil in a thick wok/ pan for heating. When it is hot, dip cooked gujje pieces in the prepared batter one by one and drop into the hot oil.
  • Fry until they turn golden brown and the bajjis cooked fine.
  • Finish off all the gujje pieces in similar way.
  • Serve hot bajjis with tomato sauce.
  • Be careful while adding salt to batter and vegetable. It should be in moderate quantity as we are adding to both.
  • These fritters can be served as munchooris with chopped (& fried) garlic, chilli, coriander, onions & capsicum in sauce (Soy &tomato).
  • To check readiness of oil, drop a small portion of batter in oil. It should immediately come up to float.
  • Apply little oil while cutting jackfruit to avoid much sticking.
  • You can adjust spice level of batter as per your taste
  • While frying, do not over crowd for better cooking.
Gujje podi/ Bajji

Friday, 1 February 2019

Watermelon rind stir fry/ Kallangadi Odu/ sippe palya

This simple stirfry / subzi / palya is a must try during the season of watermelon. If you are a follower of zero waste/ less waste mantra, then this is an ideal way to use the white rinds of watermelon, which is otherwise thrown off. For many of us, idea of using Ash gourd rind may not be new; similarly we can use kallangadi odu (sippe) too! Other than palya, this can be used in making dosa as well.

Watermelon rind stir fry

Now, find the recipe of palya.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4
Watermelon rinds (only white portion) – half melon, or 2 cups chopped
Salt – to taste
Jaggery – small piece (1 tsp powdered)
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Red chilli powder – ½ - 1 tsp , adjust to taste
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Gram dal – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Grated coconut – 1 tbsp

  • Take the watermelon rinds or sippe after cutting the fruit (red) part. Peel off the outermost green skin thinly and discard it.
  • Wash and chop the white part into small pieces. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan, add oil, mustard, gram dal and minced red chilli. On spluttering, add curry leaves and chopped watermelon rind.
  • Add in salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and jaggery. Sprinkle very less water. Cook covered.
  • Saute once in between. It will take 5- 8 minutes to cook.
  • Add freshly grated coconut, mix and heat well. Switch off the stove.
  • Serve this palya with rice, ghee , rasam or sambhar.

  • Ash gourd rind can be used in place of watermelon rind.
  • For variation, mustard and coconut paste (ground) can be used instead of plain grated coconut.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Moringa leaves & flower tambuli/ Drumstick flower & leaves tambuli

Moringa/ Drumstick is one useful tree, each and every part is edible and has its own health benefit. It is called as Moringa oleifera scientifically. Bark or stem, leaves, flower and pods, can prevent or cure many health issues. Leaves are rich in iron and other vitamin, minerals and fibre and hence cure anaemia if consumed on regular basis. It is helpful in treating joint pain, diabetes, some of the stomach & intestinal ailments. It works as anti-inflammatory, anti- microbial too! It improves breast milk production.
Care must be taken while consuming (pods, seeds mainly) during pregnancy as it has laxative property. It is suggested to monitor while consuming larger measure of seed extract or even pod as sometimes it may show adverse effects such as body pain or it may increase body heat (nature being ushna (Sanskrit) which means heat.
Flower of this tree is also nutritionally very rice and good to have whenever available.

Moringa flower

Also find other recipes of Moringa (drumstick) leaves & flowers such as Moringa  leaves & multigrain spicy bread, Moringa leaves mudde palya, Moringa rice, Moringa chutney powder and Drumstick flower mudde palya. Now, let us see how to make tambuli.

Moringa leaves & flower tambuli

Preparation time; 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4
Moringa/ Drumstick flowers – ¼ cup or 1 fistful
Moringa leaves – 1 handful
Grated coconut – ¼ cup or little less
Fresh curds or buttermilk – 1 cup
Green chilli – 1 or Pepper corns- 10, I prefer later
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Ghee/ oil – 3 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1

  • Collect the leaves and flower. Remove very hard stem and softer stems are good to have.
  • Clean and remove any bugs or dried parts and wash well. Drain water completely.
  • Take cleaned flower & leaves in a pan. Add few drops of oil or ghee and fry in medium flame until they turn tender or until leaves wilt.
  • Now take grated coconut, fried leaves and flowers, green chilli or pepper, salt and cumin seeds in a mixer jar. Grind to make smooth paste of chutney consistency, adding required water.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, add buttermilk/ curds.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustards, minced dry red chilli and curry leaves in remaining oil/ ghee. On spluttering, add it to the tambuli.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice.

Either leaves or flower alone can be used in making tambuli. Remaining process goes same.

Drumstick flower & leaves tambuli

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Mustard flavoured Ivy gourd Rice/ Tondekai sasive Chitranna

Tondekai/ Tindora/ Ivy gourd or Coccinia grandis is a tropical vine and grown in almost every kitchen garden in Dakshina Kannada and Malnad region. This vegetable can be used in making curries, majjige huli, stir fry and gravies. Look for my recipes of Tindoraennegai and Tindora chutney.
Basically, we prepare coconut & mustard masala chitranna (huli anna) with lemon or tamarind in our place which tastes different than the chitranna that we make in Bangalore! I used the basic recipe of the masala chitranna with slight variations to make this Tindora rice. Let us come to the recipe part now.

Mustard flavoured Ivy gourd Rice

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Serves: 3-4
Ivy gourd/ Tindora/ Tondekai - 15 – 18
Rice – 2 cups
Onion – 1 (optional)
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Mustard seeds – 1.5 tsp
Gram dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillis - 2
Lemon – 1 or tamarind – 1 tsp
Jaggery - small lemon sized (2 tsp powdered)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cumin – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Cashews – 10

Wash and cook the rice using a pressure cooker. It requires 1:2 water and 3 whistles generally. Add 1 tsp salt while cooking the rice to combine well.
Set aside until pressure settles down.
Meanwhile, Peel the onion and slice thin or chop.
Wash ivy gourd/ tindora/ tondekai and chop. While chopping, cut length wise from the centre, slice two halves and cut each slices into halves. This is to make thin pieces so that it cooks fast.
Take a pan, fry red chillis, channa dal/ gram dal, urad dal with few drops of oil in medium flame until dal turn to golden brown and you get nice aroma.
Take the fried ingredients in a mixer jar, add grated coconut, 1.5 tsp Mustard seeds, Jaggery, 1 tsp salt, turmeric powder and tamarind (if using it, Don’t add lemon at this stage if using lemon). Grind to smooth paste without water. If required sprinkle very little.
Now heat the pan to make chitranna. Add all the ingredients under Seasoning except cashew. On spluttering add cashews and sauté once.
Add chopped Onions, sprinkle little salt and fry until translucent.
When onions done, add chopped ivy gourd. Fry in medium flame until this vegetable is soft.
Add ground masala to the cooked vegetable and mix well.
Now switch off the heat, add cooked rice. Add lemon juice if using it.
Mix very well.
Serve this chitranna hot as it is as it does not usually require any side dish. If preferred serve with choice of raita.

Tondekai sasive Chitranna

This chitranna can be made without tindora and onions. Addition of peanuts in the seasoning enhances the taste.

Tindora rice

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Fresh Turmeric Tambuli/ Curcuma Tambli /Haladi Tambuli

Though turmeric rhizomes can be harvested anytime during an year winter is the best season to harvest and use them. Turmeric/Curcuma/ Haldi is a well-known healthy spice belongs to Ginger family. Other than using them in curries & pickles as flavouring agent or as dye, you can also consume it as main ingredient in chutney & tambuli! The medicinal benefits of this spice/ root herb are really big. It works as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and has great influence in treating cold and related issues. It is also helps to improve skin health. Read my post on Turmeric/ Golden milk for the recipe & health benefits.

Let us now come to the recipe of Turmeric Tambuli which is a malenadu recipe belong to a particular community. Tambuli as name says a perfect coolant and it is best to hydrate oneself and also works as a probiotic drink. Check for other tambuli recipes here.

Preparation time: 10 minutes (max)
Serves: 4
Fresh Turmeric root/ rhizome – ¼ inch piece
Freshly grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Buttermilk/ curds – ½ cup
Pepper corns – 10, adjust to the spice level required. You can also use 1-2 green chillis.
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry red chilli - 1

  • Wash and clean turmeric root, chop roughly.
  • Take chopped root, grated coconut, salt and pepper in a mixer jar and grind to make smooth paste adding little water.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl. Add buttermilk/ curds, mix very well. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Tambuli will not be of very thick consistency.
  • Prepare a seasoning/ tadka with oil, mustard and minced dry red chilli. On spluttering add cleaned curry leaves and add that to the tambuli.
  • Serve the tambuli with steamed hot rice and other side dish/ palya.
  • Replace turmeric root by mango ginger or ginger to make the ginger tambuli or mango ginger tambuli. No need of pepper for the ginger tambuli as it is spicy by itself.