Thursday, 28 February 2019

Sutta Gulla badane gojju/ mattu gulla bajji/ Roasted Eggplant or brinjal gravy

This is a very traditional Dakshina kannada recipe which is almost a forgotten dish as it needs charcoal fire to make. Traditionally it was made by cooking/ or roasting whole gulla brinjal in charcoal fire. In a way, it can also be termed as barbecued brinjal gojju. But with urbanization, finding firewood cooking setup is very rare and hence we miss this kind of dishes.
Taste of this gojju is very unique with the roasted flavour of brinjal. There is a work around to make this gojju if wood fire is unavailable. That is by boiling brinjal in a pressure cooker. It can be charred a bit by holding the cooked brinjal on the flame of a stove or by grilling in oven! Using the brinjal variety other than gulla (Large round & green variety) makes the taste slightly different than the traditional one. Still you can enjoy the flavour of this side dish which is really great with rice and sambhar!

Sutta Gulla badane gojju

Make sure to choose brinjal which is worm free while making this dish!

Preparation &cooking time:  20 minutes
Serves: 3
Gulla brinjal/ Udupi eggplant – 1 (Large)
Onion - 1, small & finely chopped (optional)
Tamarind – 1 grape sized/ 1 tsp (extract)
Jaggery – Lemon sized/ 2 tbsp (powder)
Salt – to taste
Green chilli – 1-2, adjust to taste
Coconut oil – 2 tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Cumin – ½ tsp (optional)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig

  • Wash brinjal clean. Pierce in the centre using a sharp knife or fork.
  • Place it in a pressure cooker. Add little water (about ¼ cup) just to avoid burning.
  • Cook for one whistle. Allow pressure to settle down.
  • You can use the above cooked brinjal as it is by removing the outermost skin.
  • Or roast it for couple of minutes holding on high flame just to get the extra flavour.
  • Now, peel off the outer thin skin, discard it.
  • Mash the pulp and set aside.
  • In a serving bowl, squeeze the tamarind in little water to get the extract completely. You can use the water used to pressure cook the brinjal.
  • Add grated jaggery and salt to the tamarind extract.
  • Press the slit green chilli a bit with your finger into the bowl to get the green chilli flavour nicely.
  • Add the mashed brinjal pulp. 
  • Add finely chopped onions too. Mix well.
  • Now prepare a seasoning of coconut oil, mustard, cumin, minced dry red chilli. On spluttering, add curry leaves and add it to the gojju.
  • Serve this gojju with rice.

  • Use gulla variety of brinjal to get desired taste.
  • Adjust the tamarind and jaggery quantity to adjust to your taste.
  • Refrigerate the left over gojju for longer shelf life as it is not boiled.
Roasted Eggplant or brinjal gravy

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.