Saturday, 29 October 2011

Uzhunnuvada/Urad dhal vadas (Maami's Corner)

Often times I've served Thaiyr Vadas to my gullible nephews & nieces. Never did it occur to those innocent souls to question why I did not serve them just the  crisp vadas without the messy curd.They did relish those servings though!
I have a confession to make. When you reach my age it really does not matter....  anyway. I was never able to shape the vadas as it should be. The consistency never was right. There always seemed to be much too much water however little I added.  The secret in this recipe is then...
Courtesy: Anitha Manjunathan


Black gram dhal/urad dhal: 250 g
Rice flour: 2 tsps
Onions: 1 chopped
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil- to fry


Soak the dhal for half an hour.
Grind using very, very little water (just sprinkle, if you need)
 Add rice flour, chopped onion, chilli, curry leaves & salt.
Mix well, use a clean plastic sheet to shape the vadas.
Wet you hands & the sheet, place a small ball, shape it, make a hole in the centre & drop it carefully into hot oil. Fry on medium fire till golden brown.
Serve with coriander/mint chutney.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Prawn Xacuti (Traditional Fare)

A very famous Goan recipe, similar to the Kerala Varutharacha masala. Chicken or fish can be prepared the same way.

Prawns: 250 g shelled & deveined
Green chilli: 2 slit
Shallots: 100 g
1. Coconut: 1/2cup
2. Red chilli: 8
3. Coriander seeds: 2 tsps
4. Cinnamon: 1 piece
5. Cloves: 4
6. Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp
7. White sesame/til seeds: 1 tbsp
8. Aniseed/fennel: 1 tsp
9. Ajwain/carom seeds: 1/2tsp
10. Garlic: 10 cloves
11. Ginger: 1” piece
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Tamarind paste: 1/2tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


Heat a pan & dry roast 1 to 11 & grind using vinegar to a smooth paste.
Heat oil in a pan, add sliced shallots, green chillies & prawns.
Sauté well.
Add the ground paste, half a cup of water & cover the pan.
Cook till prawns are done (about 7 minutes).  
Stir in tamarind paste & salt.
Retain the gravy if you like it that way or dry it up well.
Serve with rice.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Date Surprise (Quick fix)

Generally sweets are associated with a lot of sugar & ghee. Here’s a healthy option to the usual DIWALI sweets. 

Dates: 200 g
Milk powder: 1 cup
Cashew nuts: 2 tbsps
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Ghee: 2 tsps
Cardamom: 2 powdered
Baking soda: a small pinch


Chop dates fine, also the nuts.
Heat a non stick pan with a teaspoon of ghee, fry the nuts & add chopped dates.
Sauté well till soft & can be rolled. Keep aside to cool. Divide into evenly sizes balls.
In the meantime, mix milk powder, sugar & cardamom powder with 5 tablespoons of water.
Add a small pinch of baking soda & transfer into a greased plate & steam for half an hour.
Cool & make balls of this.
Take a date ball, flatten it on your palm, place a milk ball in the centre & cover it well with the date coating.
VOILA! A healthy sweet is ready.

Chocolate Brownie (Just Bakes)

A chocolaty-nutty treat indeed! Try this.
Dark chocolate: 200g
Walnuts: 100 g chopped
Plain flour: 200 g
Baking powder: a pinch
Sugar: 100 g
Butter: 100 g
Eggs: 4
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp


Double boil butter & dark chocolate till creamy. Cool the mix.
Whisk eggs & sugar, add essence.
Mix the chopped nuts with flour & fold into egg-sugar mixture.
Add melted chocolate.
Pour into a greased baking tray & bake at 1800C for 35 minutes.
 Let it rest in the tray for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool.
Cut into pieces and watch it disappear!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Brain Fry (Traditional Fare)

   Courtesy: Elsie Morris    
Goat brain: 2
Onion: 2
Fennel seeds: 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Tomato: 2 chopped fine
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Garam masala: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Cook brain in salted water, cool & remove the blood vessels. Chop into pieces. 
Heat oil, fry fennel seeds, onions brown, then add ginger-garlic paste & curry leaves.
Now add the powdered spices, when fragrant, add tomatoes.
Sauté well till oil clears out well. Add the brain. Fry well till it looks like scrambled eggs.
Adjust salt & add coriander leaves.
Serve with bread or pav.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Kalamari Chilli Garlic (Party Menu)

Squids/kalamari: 500 g
Garlic: 50 g
Onions: 1 cut into rings
Red chilli 10 crushed
Garam masala powder: 1 tsp
Pepper powder: 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp
Soy sauce: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Cut the squids into rings.
Heat oil in a pan, add crushed garlic & red chilli. Fry till fragrant.
Add onions, squid rings, & soy sauce.Do not over- cook it will become rubbery & chewy.
Once done sprinkle pepper, turmeric & garam masala.
Dry it well & serve as short-eats at parties.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tawa Veggies (Maami's corner)

I first tasted this dish at a reception at Bangalore, since then, have been trying to replicate that taste. After umpteen trials, I have put this together. Gathering from the expression on Eric’s face, who is having this for dinner right now, I think, I did it! 

Ladies finger: 6
Brinjal/egg plant: 2
Mushroom: 10
Potato: 1
Carrot: 1
Spinach: 10 leaves
Capsicum: 1
Bitter gourd: ½
Tomato: 1
Onion: 1 cubed
Shallots: 10
Ginger- garlic paste: 1 tsp
Green chilli: 2 chopped fine
Tamarind paste: 1 tsp
Jaggery: a small piece
Oil: 5 tbsps
Salt to taste

For the spice mix:
1.       Poppy seeds: 1 tbsp
2.       Cumin: 1 tsp
3.       White sesame/til: 1 tbsp
4.       Peanuts: 2 tbsp
5.       Dry coconut/copra: 2 tbsps
6.       Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
7.       Chilli powder: 1 tsp

Dry roast the above & grind with tamarind & jaggery. Keep aside.

Cut the vegetables into long pieces of the same size.
Heat oil in a frying pan & fry the vegetables a few at a time, except tomato, till brown . Remove on to a plate.
In the remaining oil, add onion, sauté well, add ginger-garlic paste, green chilli & shallots (whole).
Now, add the vegetables & the spice mix along with a cup of water.
Let it boil & thicken well. Add salt & tomato.
Do not over-cook. Vegetables can vary, depending on availability.
Serve with buttered pav/bread.

Eric said “AWESOME”, after dinner.   

Friday, 7 October 2011

Nargisi Kofta /Scotch Eggs(Party Menu)

A very simple, easy to make chicken & egg preparation-stylish too!

Chicken mince: 300 g
Eggs: 3 hard boiled
Bread crumbs: 1/2cup
Corn flour: 2 tbsp
Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste: 2 tsps
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
Oil: to fry
Salt to taste


Grind the chicken mince with ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, coriander leaves & salt.
Transfer into a bowl, add bread crumbs & corn flour & knead well.
Divide into 3 portions, flatten each on your palm, place one whole boiled egg & cover with mince paste to coat all over evenly. Roll in more corn flour, if you think it needs a coating.
Repeat the same with the other eggs.
Keep in the refrigerator for half an hour to set before frying.
Deep fry, swirl it around to brown evenly.
Cut it to serve.   
It can also be put into a tomato based gravy for a kofta curry.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Crab Croquettes ( Party menu)

 Sea crabs: 4
Garlic: 1 tsp chopped fine
Pepper powder: 1 tsp
Milk: 100ml
Butter: 1 tbsp
Plain flour: 2 tbsp
Egg: 1
Bread crumbs: 1/2cup   
Oil to fry
Salt to taste


Clean crabs, cook & remove meat. Keep the claws aside intact.
Heat butter, add flour, fry well, slowly, add milk to make a thick white sauce.
Season with salt & pepper. Stir in chopped garlic & crab meat.
Cool the mix well, shape  it around a crab claw, dip in beaten egg & coat with bread crumbs.
Deep fry & serve with sauce.  

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Dhal Nawabi (Maami's Corner)

This dhal preparation is made using split black gram with skin (urad dhal in Hindi or Uzhunnu in Malayalam)
In kerala,  this dhal is only used only for Idlis or Vadas but up North it makes tasty fries & gravies.
To get rid of the sliminess , cook  for one whistle in pressure cooker, throw off the water & pressure cook with fresh water till done ( about 15 minutes). You can do the same recipe with any other dhal too.

Black gram dhal (split): 1 cup
Bay leaf: 1
Garlic: 10 pods
Ginger: 1” piece
Green chilli: 5
Tomato puree: ½cup
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Kasuri methi: 1 tbsp powdered
Cinnamon: 1 stick
Cloves: 2
Cardamom: 2
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Asafoetida: 1/4tsp
Coriander leaves: 1/2cup
Fresh cream: 3 tbsps
Ghee: 2 tbsps
Fried cashew nuts: 10—12
Salt to taste


Pressure cook dhal with bay leaf, 2 cups of water & turmeric powder, for 15 minutes.
Heat ghee in a pan, add jeera, whole garam masala & asafoetida.
Add crushed garlic, ginger & green chillies. Fry well.
Add tomato puree, chilli powder, fry till ghee clears on sides of the pan.
Sprinkle kasuri methi & add the cooked dhal.
Pour a little water to adjust the consistency.
Cook on low flame, add cream fried nuts & coriander leaves.
Adjust salt.
Garnish with more cream or butter & serve with rotis.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Spiced Gobi (Just Bakes)Maami's corner

Cauliflower: 1 whole
Onion: 3 chopped fine
Capsicum: 2 chopped fine
Cheese: 3 tbsps grated
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsps
Green chilli: 2
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp
Tomato: 3 chopped
Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp
Red chilli power: 1 tsp
Cumin powder: 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/2tsp
Lime juice: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


 Clean the cauliflower & keep it whole.
Boil water in a big pan, add salt & turmeric powder, drop the flower, stem side down & cook for 1o minutes.(There should be enough water to immerse the whole flower.)
Drain it & place on a oven proof dish.
Heat oil in a frying pan, sauté onions, ginger-garlic paste, capsicum, chopped chilli & coriander leaves.
Now, add the chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala & chopped tomatoes.
Sauté till soft & add salt. Take off fire & add lime juice.
Stuff the masala in between the florets & over it.
Sprinkle grated cheese & bake at 1800C for 25 minutes.
It can be served with Rotis/Pulao.