Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bhenyachi Bhaaji / Okra cooked in Goan style.

Okra/bhindi is called as bhenyae in Goan konkani. I love okra a lot in any form so it always makes an appearance in my kitchen at least once every 15 days. And fortunately my husband and both kids love it too. They specially like it cooked in this simple manner.
Bhenyachi bhaaji is a very simple dish prepared with the Goan trinity of "onion, coconut and green chilly" and of course the okra itself. The flavouring imparted to the vegetable comes from the humble onion and coconut with a touch of spice from the green chilly and a tangy punch from the kokum.
Again, this is a fat free recipe as there is no use of any oil. My Mom used oil sparingly in her cooking.
This is one of the many ways my Mom prepared okra.
Also this is the way bhenyaae /okra is prepared in most households in Goa.

3 cups chopped okra/bhindi/bhenyae,
1 medium onion, chopped,
2 green chillies, slit,
2 tbsp grated coconut,
8 pieces of kokum/sola,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar.

  • Put all the ingredients in a pan along with a few tsps of water and cook on medium to medium low heat with lid half covered till the okra is cooked.(covering the pan completely makes the okra slimly)
  • Stir the ingredients in the pan not with a spoon but just shake the pan and toss the ingredients inside the pan, that way the cooked okras will not break.
Adding kokum stops the okra from getting slimy when cooked.
Also the kokum adds a unique tangy flavour to the okra.
You can add tomato if you do not have kokum but the flavour will be slightly different.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baked Cheese Crackers

Cheese crackers are an all time favorite not only with kids but grown ups too.

I make these very often for my kids as these crackers are very cheesy and crispy with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. You cannot stop with popping just one in your mouth.......they are very addictive.

1 and 3/4 cup all purpose flour,
1/2 cup butter, room temperature,
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tsp sugar,
1 tsp paprika,
1 tsp baking powder,
few sprinkles of water to make dough.

  • Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and make a soft dough. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 325 F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Roll the dough to 1/2 cm thickness and then score to get shapes or can use spritz cookie press to get the rippled effect crackers or can use the star plate of the chakli maker to get star shaped crackers.
  • Put on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, do not allow to burn.
  • The crackers will just turn mildly golden brown.
  • Cool and store in an air-tight container.

Add any chopped herbs or any other spices like cumin seeds or black pepper to make fancy grown up version.
These crackers do not expand when baked so when arranging them on the tray no need of spacing them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Doodhi Bhaaji / Pumkin Stir Fry.

Pumpkin takes the top spot on my list of favorite vegetables, I like it in any form, any day. This is one of the ways Ma prepared doodhi bhaaji, in its most simplest form with the 'Goan Trinity' of onion, green chilly and coconut. Goan tirphal also called sichuan pepper is used for this dish and this pepper gives the humble pumpkin a unique flavor, kicks it up a notch and takes it to a totally different level.

4 cups chopped pumpkin(yellow or butternut),
1/2 onion, chopped,
1-2 green chillies chopped,
3 tbsp grated coconut,
10 tirphal pieces/sichuan pepper (optional),
salt to taste,
few tsp of water.

  • Wash and rinse the tirphal, discard the black seed inside it, it is not edible.
  • Crush the the pepper slightly but do not powder it.
  • Mix all ingredients in a pan, cover and cook on low flame till the pumpkin is tender.


Discard the tirphal when serving the vegetable, the pepper is not edible.

As with most of the other vegetable dishes, Ma never used oil to cook this dish too.

The tirphal imparts a distinct flavor to the humble pumpkin.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dangar / Seafood(clams/oysters/shrimp) Cutlets

Last few weeks have been very hectic as we were busy packing and moving from west coast to east coast of Canada to a new city. Just settling down in our new home here in Toronto.

Today I am posting a recipe for seafood cutlets called as Dangar in konkani.
Dangar is nothing but a simple seafood cutlet mainly using shell fish like clams(tisryo/khube) or oysters(kaalva) or shrimp.

I make these oyster dangar quite often specially when I have guests over for dinner.
I get huuuuuuuuuge oysters(palm size) here in Canada or I just chop them into small pieces and then use them.

1 cup chopped oysters,
1/2 onion chopped fine,
1 medium sized tomato , chopped fine,
1-2 green chillies, chopped fine,
6-7 tbsp chickpea flour/besan
4 tbsp rava,
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,
2 tbsp grated coconut,
salt to taste,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi powder,
1/2 tsp garam masala.
oil for shallow frying.


  • Mix all the ingredients except the oil.

  • Heat a skillet on medium high heat and drizzle a tea spoon of oil, not too much.

  • Pour 2 tbsp of batter and spread slightly to make a small pancake like round shape.

  • Fill the skillet with these cutlets (according to how many you can fit on the pan).

  • Drizzle a couple of teas spoons of oil around the cutlets.

  • After 4 minutes use a spatula to flip the cutlet on the other side.

  • Cook for 2 minutes, then take off heat.

  • Dangar ready to be dunked in ketchup or to accompany a typical Goan meal of rice, dal/fish curry.


Adjust the besan and rava to get the desired consistency. Omit rava for a gluten free version.

Add more green chillies for a fiery version.

Once the ingredients are mixed together, prepare and fry the cutlets immediately or else the whole mixture turns into a pulp as the tomatoes and onions release water.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Besan Badam Ladoo / Chickpea Flour Almond Sweetballs.

We Indians prepare an array of sweets and circular ladoos make it to the top list. There are soooooooo many varieties of ladoos one can prepare. The basic method of preparation is pretty simple -- heat ghee-roast flour(any)-take off heat-add sugar/cardamom powder/chopped nuts-mix-cool slightly and then rolls into 1-2 inch diameter balls..........voila, ladoos all ready to be devoured.
Besan Ladoo is a favorite in my house, my hubby n kids love it but I cannot say the same for myself though. I am more of a rava coconut, motichoor, wheatflour ladoos kind of a person, I prefer these ladoos over besan ones any day :-)
But I do make besan ladoos very often to satisfy my family's love for these yellow golden sweet morsels.
My kids are very fussy when it comes to eating nuts in ladoos, so to get them to eat the healthy nuts I thought why not disguise the nut in a powder form and add to the ladoo.
The verdict kids ate the ladoos without a fuss or complain about nuts and the almond powder did not overpower the besan flavor of the final product.

2 cups besan/chickpea flour,
1/2 cup ghee,
1 and 3/4 cup fine sugar(adjust sugar according to taste),
1/2 cup ground almond/badam powder,
1 tsp cardamom powder/elaichi powder,
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg/jaiphal powder,
pinch cinnamon powder/tikhi powder.

  • Heat ghee in a pan and roast besan on low flame till the raw smell disappears and nice aroma starts developing to the besan, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Add the ground almonds during the last 10 minutes and let the whole mixture roast well for 10 minutes.
  • Keep stirring during the whole process or else the mixture will burn. (The color of the besan should be a dark yellow and now brown)
  • Switch the heat off and add fine sugar, cardamom powder, grated nutmeg and cinnamon powder.
  • Mix well and keep aside for about 8-10 minutes.
  • When cool enough to handle with bare hands take 2 tbsp of the mixture at a time and press and squeeze and roll into 2 inch diameter balls.
  • The above quantity yielded 30 ladoos(medium sized).


Add some chopped nuts and raisins if desired. I did not add any nuts as I added ground almonds to the mixture.

Can grind the sugar to fine powder and then add to the ladoo mixture, I prefer a crunch to the ladoo so I added fine sugar that we get here, (the texture of the sugar is like chiroti rava).

Adjust the sugar according to your taste. I added slightly less sugar as I do not like ladoos too overly sweet. But the usual formula says equal parts flour and sugar.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tavsali / Goan Style Cucumber Cake

Tavsali is a healthy, egg less, low fat (or fat free if ghee is omitted) Goan Style Cucumber Cake.
I love the beautiful green specks of grated cucumber (skin n all)distributed all over the light brown colored cake.
Tavsali is prepared using cucumber/kakdi that are called "taushe" in konkani.
I remember my mom had made this cake for me when she had come to the US to help me during my first pregnancy.
My grandma and mom used to prepare this cake without any oven. A tava or thick bottomed skillet was kept on a stove, then the cake pan was kept over the skillet. Next a lid was kept on the cake pan and the lid was covered with a layer of hot coals. Thus creating an oven kind of condition for the cake to "bake".

This cake can be prepared in 2 ways either using rava/semolina or using goan rice powder, each gives a different taste and texture to the end result.
Goan rice is called "ukade tandol" or rosematta rice in US & Canada. The rice is dry roasted then ground to a fine powder and used instead of rava.
The tavsali made using the ukade tandol powder tastes better then the rava one but still both are equally delicious.

This is a simple egg less cake not overly sweet with dominant flavours of cucumber, coconut, cumin and peanuts.
No, it is not a typo, indeed jeera/ cumin seeds are used to make this sweet. In fact many Goan konkani sweets are flavoured with jeera powder like tavsali, poss, and some varieties of kheers.
2 cups grated cucumber/kakdi,
1 and 1/2 cups grated jaggery or brown sugar,
1 and 1/4 cup rava/suji/cream of wheat/semolina,
1 cup grated coconut,
2 tsp jeera /cumin seeds (unroasted and ground to a fine powder),
4 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts,
2 tbsp chopped raisins,
1/2 tsp cardamom powder/ elaichi,
2 tbsp sesame seeds,
pinch of salt.

  • Roast rava (dry or in 1 tsp butter/ghee) and cool.
  • Mix all the rest of the ingredients and pour the batter in a 8 x 8inch baking pan.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F and bake the cake in the oven for 30 minutes till cooked through.(prick a toothpick in the cake and check to see if it comes out clean).
  • Broil the cake for 5 minutes so that the top also gets a nice golden color.
  • Take out of the oven cool, cut and serve.

I sometimes add 2 tbsp oats flour and 2 tbsp flax seed meal to the batter for additional nutrition.
Usually this cake is prepared the previous night and the flavors allowed to blend well and it is served for breakfast the next day.
This cake can be refrigerated for up to a week. To serve just reheat in the microwave for a minute or 2 and enjoy warm cucumber cake.
Add almonds & cashew nuts if desired.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rajma Tikki / Red Kidney Beans Cutlet

Rajma tikki is one easy scrumptious snack to make as long as u have some cooked beans on hand. I usually make these for after school snack for my son, specially on cold winter days.
Nothing like a protein loaded, warm tikki/cutlet dunked in ketchup or chutney.

1 cup cooked rajma,
2 bread slices,
1 tbsp ginger, minced,
1 tbsp garlic, minced,
1 tsp amchur powder,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi,
1 tsp garam masala,
3 tbsp chopped parsley or coriander leaves,
salt to taste.

  • In a food processor add bread slices and make bread crumbs, add rajma and pulse a few more times, than add the rest of the ingredients and pulse again.
  • Take out in a bowl.
  • Make small balls and flatten slightly to make discs or long strips.
  • Shallow fry in a hot skillet using little oil on medium heat.


Add minced green chilly for a more spicy tasting cutlet.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day !!

Happy Mother's day to all mom's out there.

I am a mom of two lovely kids, so being a mother myself, now I understand all the things my mother did for me.
I am truly grateful and thankful to my mom for everything she did for me n more.
Mother's Day is a very emotional day for me coz 4 years ago I lost my Ma (just 2 days before mother's day). An even after 4 years I have still not been able to accept my loss.
So every year when Mother's Day is round the corner, I feel very happy seeing the excitement in my kids eyes for their mom(me), but at the same time I feel very sad that my mom is not around for me to show her how much I care about her.
Every time my kids surround me and hug me, I just feel that wish I could do one thing and that is to give my mom a nice big hug too..........just to show her how much I love and appreciate her.

I miss my mom everyday specially living in a foreign country on the other side of the world away from my homeland. But I miss her the most on Mother's Day.
One thing is surely true though that no one can replace a mom's love and affection.

So, Ma, wherever you are and if you are seeing me then, I just want to say "Thank you for everything"

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cornmeal Idli(Gluten Free) / Steamed Cornmeal Circles.

Again these cornmeal idlis were born out of necessity to make quick idlis without using rava/semolina.
As semolina/rava idlis are quick to make but they are made of wheat(my daughter is allergic to wheat), so to eliminate wheat from the recipe I replaced the semolina/rava with fine cornmeal but otherwise just followed the rava idli recipe.
There, I created a new quick recipe to cater to my daughters need for gluten free and my crunch for time.
I liked the beautiful natural yellow hue of these idlis, without any addition of turmeric powder/haldi powder.
These Idlis can be enjoyed by all and is not limited to just for people with gluten allergy only.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sabudana Vada/Appe (Gluten Free, Fat Free) / Tapioca Puffs.

In this part of the world, we are still getting our share of snow :-(
I wanted to make something hot n crunchy for my son for after school snack, but was not at all inclined towards a deep fried snack.
Had just made a batch of boiled potatoes, so what better way to use boiled potatoes for snack other then make tikkis or sabudana vadas, I opted for the latter :-)
I made sabudana vada but in an Appe pan/ Aeblevisker pan. They turned out pretty good, crispy on the outside and soft n mushy on the inside.

My Appe pan is non stick so I made them without a drop of oil, they are totally fat free :-)
Enjoy these guilt free vadas !!

3/4 cup sago,(washed and soaked in water enough to cover the sago for 1 hour then drain any water, I used mini sago pearls called as sago seeds, the size of mustard seeds),
3/4 cup potatoes, boiled and mashed,
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts,
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves,
1 green chilly minced,
2 tsp lemon juice,
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera,

  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Heat Appe pan(pan has many indents/depression similar to muffin pan) on medium heat.
  • Make small balls of the dough and put in each indent of the appe pan.
  • Let cook for 3 minutes then turn, so that it cooks on the other side.
  • The other side will cook quicker, so cook may be 2 minutes on the other side.
  • I got 18 Appe Sabudana Vadas from the quantity of ingredients mentioned above.
  • Enjoy with whipped sweet yogurt, chutney or ketchup.
Can add a few drops of oil while cooking.
If you prefer a darker shade of browning for the vadas, cook a few minutes more on each side, but take care that they do not burn. I prefer mine just golden brown.
They were perfect snacks for my kids.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Frozen Ginger Garlic Paste.

I know I freeze a lot of things, but I tend to look for short cuts as much as possible in cooking without compromising the taste, texture and looks of anything, specially with 2 toddlers around me all the time.
I use a lot of ginger-garlic paste in my cooking but I do not have the patience to make the paste everyday.
I tried making the paste and keeping in the refrigerator, but felt that it smelt weird after a few days and also changed color which was not at all appetizing.
So now I make the ginger-garlic paste, put the paste in ice cube trays and freeze them , then just take the cubes and keep them in a zip lock bag and back in the freezer they go.
The frozen cubes retain the original color and the flavor too.
Any time I need a tbsp of ginger-garlic paste I just take out 1 cube and add to my cooking.

I also make ginger-garlic-green chilly paste in the same manner and freeze them as cubes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kalae Kappa/Phodi / Shallow Fried Raw Plantain Slices.

Shallow fried plantain slices are prepared in the same way as is potato slices and pumpkin slices.
These shallow fried slices are crunchy on the outside and moist n juicy on the inside, just perfect to devour with simple rice and dal.
Peel the green skin of the plantain, but do not take all the skin off, leave some on.( You can see a layer of the peel on the slices in the picture). Slice into 3/4 cm thick circles.
The rest of the ingredients and method is same as for shallow fried potato slices.
These require sprinkling of water just like potato slices to cook them all the way through.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cornmeal Dhokla(Gluten Free) / Steamed Cornmeal Squares.

As my daughter is allergic to wheat I have learnt to adapt many recipes and make them gluten free without changing the taste n texture of the dishes.
I make this cornmeal dhokla quite often instead of rava dhokla. It has the same texture as rava dhokla only it is gluten free.
Allergic to wheat or not, this cornmeal dhokla is liked by all.

Just replace cornmeal for semolina and use the rest of the same ingredients and same procedure to prepare as rava dhokla.
Sometimes I add grated carrot/cucumber / zucchini or green peas / corn thus giving it a slight twist.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Doodhi Kappa/Phodi / Shallow Fried Pumkin slices.

In Goa Monday is a vegetarian day, and a vegetarian meal is prepared, which is usually made up of rice, dal, a vegetable and shallow fried phodis made of any vegetable like potato, pumpkin(doodhi), raw plantain banana, eggplant(vaangi), bread fruit(neer phanas), elephant yam(suran), taro root(Maadi),bittermelon(kaarle) to name a few.

Doodhi / Pumpkin is one of my favourite vegetable( actually I like all vegetables, so all veges come in my fav category :) ). Shallow fried pumpkin slices is an all time favourite in our house after the ultimate shallow fried potato slices.

The ingredients and method to prepare this is the same as Batatachi Phodi / Fried Potato Slices just substitute pumpkin for potatoes.
Another thing to note is that pumpkin cooks quicker than potatoes so these slices will be done faster than potato slices.
Any vegetable can be shallow fried in a similar manner.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Simple Bok Choy Bhaaji / Stir Fry.

I like any leafy vegetable, I buy any fresh greens that I can lay my hands on in a Chinese store and cook it just as Ma cooked any greens.

I walk in my mother's footsteps for this matter, she used to cook any kind of vegetables she could lay her hands on too.

Most of the leafy greens I cook is in a similar manner as Ma did with the "Goan trinity" of onion, green chilly and grated coconut. Adding any dal to it is optional , but it definitely enhances the taste and stretches the prepared dish a bit.

Another thing to note about simple goan vegetable stir fry is that there is absolutely no use of oil ( at least in my house). So basically it is fat free dish, now doesn't that sound good !!!!

This bok choy stir fry is prepared in the same way as the ghosali bhaaji / ridge gourd stir fry.

2 tbsp chana dal, washed and soaked in 2 tbsp water for 15 minutes(optional ),
4-5 cups chopped, bok choy,
1/2 onion, chopped,
1-2 green chilly, chopped,
3 tbsp grated coconut,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar.

  • Put all the ingredients in a pan.
  • Cover with a lid and cook on medium low heat till the vegetable and the dal is tender.
  • Add some extra water if the water dries up and the vegetable n dal is not cooked.
Can use either chana dal or moong dal or omit it totally.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sakhar Bhaat / Sweetened Rice

Sakhar Bhaat is one of the easiest n simplest sweet to make.
Cloves is the prominent spice n flavouring agent in this Goan sweet.

1/2 cup rice, washed and drained for 20 minutes,
1 tsp ghee,
1 tsp raisins,
2 tsp chopped cashew nuts,
1 tsp powdered cardamom,
5 cloves,
pinch of nutmeg,
pinch of saffron soaked in a tsp of milk or some orange color,
3/4 cup sugar,
2 and 3/4 cup water.

  • Heat ghee in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add the cloves and rice, saute till the rice is nice n toasty.
  • Add the raisins and cashew nuts and saute a minute more.
  • Add hot water , cover and cook till the rice is cooked/done.
  • Add the cardamom, nutmeg, sugar, saffron milk or color and mix well (but very gently or else the grains of rice will break and become a mush).
Let the rice cook fully as the rice does not cook anymore once the sugar is added.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ghosali Bhaaji / Ridgegourd Stir fry.

Ridge gourd is called " Ghosali " in konkani.

This is one of my favourite vegetables. It is a simple preparation with the "Goan trinity" of onion, green chilly and coconut. ( Yeah, I thought just as Cajun/Creole cooking has the trinity of onion , pepper and celery in all its dishes, the same way Goan cooking in my family also uses the 3 essential ingredients of onion, green chilly and coconut in everyday dishes, so I thought why not call it the "Goan trinity" ) :)
Ma cooked most of the vegetables without any oil. There were only selected vegetables for which she used the oil tempering(phodni).
No oil is used for this dish so it is practically fat free cooking !!

Peeled Ridge gourd (ghosali)

2 medium sized ridge gourd(ghosali),
2 tbsp moong dal,(optional),
1/2 onion , chopped,
1 green chilly, chopped,
2 tbsp grated coconut,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar,
2 tbsp water.

  • Peel the skin of the ridge gourd and chop it.
  • Wash moong dal and soak in 2 tbsp water for 5 minutes.
  • Put soaked dal along with water in a pan , add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Cover and keep the pan on medium low heat.
  • Stir after 5 minutes. Cook till the dal n the vegetable is tender.


Can use either moong dal or chana dal.

Use the ridge gourd peels to make chutney or thepla.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ruby Red Strawberry Jam.

I used Ma's technique to make the pineapple jam. So now as strawberries are in season I thought of making strawberry jam. It turned out awesome. I specially liked the vibrant ruby red color of the jam.

1 and 1/2 cup strawberry pulp,
1 and 1/4 cup sugar,
2 tbsp lemon juice,
4 cloves,
2 pieces cinnamon sticks.

  • Put the strawberry pulp in a pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the sugar and spices and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Finally add the lemon juice and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Take the pan off heat and let cool.
  • Pour in a glass jar.
This jam stays fresh at room temperature. The jam will thicken slightly after cooling.
Can omit the spices but I like the aroma of the spices and I feel it enhances the flavor of the jam.

Increase or decrease the amount of sugar according to the sweetness of the strawberries.
Make any fruit jam using the same method and proportion.
I added 1/4 tsp red chilly powder during the last minute, as I like my jam a little sweet, a little spicy, a little tart, more like murabba taste.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shrikhand / Sweetened Yogurt.

Although Shrikhand is not a typical Goan sweet Ma made Shrikhand very often and it was a regular fare at my parents place.
It is a no cook dessert that is ideally eaten with puri. But we used to have it for breakfast with chappati. I know what a nice way it was to start the day with heavenly creamy shrikhand !!
2 cups yogurt,
3/4 cup powdered sugar,
1/2 tsp powdered cardamom,
pinch of kesar/saffron soaked in 1 tsp warm milk,
some chopped nuts(optional).

  • Place a strainer in a bowl, line it with a cheesecloth. Put the yogurt in it and keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
  • You should get about 1 cup of hung yogurt.
  • Add the sugar, soaked saffron in milk and mix well.
  • Sprinkle nuts on top and refrigerate.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy with puri or chappati !!

The more longer you drain the yogurt the more thick and creamy it will become.
Can add 1 tbsp sour cream to get the same texture and taste as authentic shrikhand.
Mix some mango pulp in the shrikhand to get Aamrakhand(Mango flavoured shrikhand).
Event Participation.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gluten Free, Egg Free Fluffy Pancakes.

What do you do when one child has wheat allergy and the other child is demanding to eat pancakes.....well, u go and buy gluten free pancake mix from the store(which is pretty expensive and require the use of eggs or egg replacer) or else you come up with a gluten free, egg free pancake mix at home.
My daughter gets her wheat allergies on and off so I came up with this pancake recipe. These are egg less pancakes too as for some time she was allergic to eggs too.
Usually gluten free pancakes require the use of guar gum or xanthum gum, but in this recipe I have not used any of those ingredients and yet not compromised on the taste or texture of the pancakes.
These pancakes have the same texture, look and taste as the regular pancakes. My both kids(6 and almost 3 years old) nor my hubby could tell the difference in the pancakes. They devoured them as regular pancakes :)
Thus I accomplished my mission of satisfying my sons demand for pancakes and also my daughters need of eating gluten free, egg free pancakes :)
The ingredients list is long but it is worth a try.

4 tbsp rice flour,
2 tbsp moong flour,
2 tbsp urad flour,
2 tbsp cornmeal,
1/4 tsp baking powder,
1/4 tsp baking soda,
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder,
1 tbsp sugar,
2 tbsp yogurt,
water or milk to make the batter.

  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Heat a pan on medium heat.
  • Pour 1/4 of the batter in the pan and let bubbles appear on the batter.
  • Flip the pancake and let it cook on the other side for a minute.
  • Repeat process till you finish the batter.
  • Enjoy with maple syrup or fruit syrup.


This quantity of batter yielded 4 medium sized pancakes. Can double the recipe.

Or else you can mix the dry ingredients in a big batch and store like I do and when you want to make pancakes just take the required quantity of the dry mix, add the wet ingredients and the batter is ready in a jiffy.

I used milk to make this batter.

Can use butter milk instead of milk to get buttermilk pancakes.

I use the same batter to make pancake puffs with success.

Can add one or more of the following to the batter for a variation - banana, blueberries, chopped strawberries, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts,chopped almonds, raisins, etc.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crunchy Banana Chips

I have never in my life made banana chips at home but surely eaten a cartload or should I say truck load of them :)

Today I thought of making them at home. Had a plantain banana that I purchased from the grocery store a couple of days ago.

The chips came out pretty good and they were very easy to make. I had never made them at home with the fear of sprinkling water in hot oil. But today I overcame that fear !!

My son (who loves banana chips) tasted these chips(actually finished all the chips making many rounds in the kitchen and grabbing some chips on the way each time) and said they get 5 star(his grading goes from 1-5), and that next time I need to buy more bananas and make lots more chips :) so that he can take them for snack time in school. When my kiddo says that I should pack certain food next time for his school lunch or snack I know that it has met his approval. My 6 year old son is quite a foodie, guess he gets it from his mom ;)

Here goes the recipe.


1 plantain banana(raw),

1/2 cup water,

1/4 tsp turmeric powder,

salt to taste,

oil for deep frying(preferably coconut oil).


  • Peel the banana, wash and soak in water for about 1/2 hour.

  • Mix water, salt, turmeric powder and keep aside.

  • Heat oil. Drain the bananas and wipe dry with paper towel.

  • Slice the bananas into thin slices (using a mandoline) directly in the hot oil. Or else you can use a knife and make thin slices on a chopping board and then slide them into the hot oil.

  • When they are 3/4 cooked, sprinkle a tsp of the water solution on the bananas in the oil.

  • Hold a splatter screen over the oil after you sprinkle a tsp of the water solution.


  • The oil splutters in all directions.

  • Take off the screen and mix the chips.

  • Drain the chips onto a paper towel to absorb the access oil.

  • Proceed with the rest of the banana to make the chips.

  • There you go yummy crunchy banana chips ready to munch on !!


Season the chips with red chilly powder,crushed peppercorn or any other masala blend for a variation after draining from the oil. I preferred them plain with salt only.

Frying the chips in coconut oil gives it the authentic taste.

Next time I will soak the raw bananas in water mixed with turmeric powder to get a more darker shade of yellow colored chips.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pancake Puffs

Ever since I bought the Appe/Appam pan from India, I have made full use of it by making pancake puffs, idli batter appe, savoury appe using pancake batter, etc in it.
In konkani(Goa) the appe/appam are called "Ellappe" will post the Goan Ellappe recipe soon.
These delicate golden brown spongy balls cooked in the Appe pan are a treat not only for kids but for grown ups too ;) My kids love any variety of appe but their favourite are these dainty pancake puffs.

Pancake batter


  • Heat the Appe pan on medium heat.

  • Pour a spoon full of the pancake batter in the indents of the pan.

  • Let cook for a couple of minutes then flip to the other side and let cook for a minute on the other side.

  • Take out of the pan.

  • Enjoy sprinkled with icing sugar or drenched in maple syrup.


Sometimes I make savoury puffs using same pancake batter but add whatever seasoning I want like, chopped onion,grated carrots, minced green chilly, chopped coriander leaves , etc.

I have a nonstick Appe pan, so I do not use any oil to grease the indents of the pan.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Storing Curry Leaves/Kadipatta Leaves

Curry leaves or karpilachi pana as it is called in konkani has a special place in every Indian kitchen.
In Goa one does not have to scratch ones head to come up with ways n means to store these leaves for many days because the plant itself grows in the backyard.
The ladies of the house usually just pluck the fresh leaves before starting their cooking for the day.
But when you live abroad one has to make do with the store bought curry leaves and specially if you are like me living in a place that has winter for the major part of the year, you need to store those for a long time coz how many times can you make a trip to an Indian store that too when there is a winter storm in the forecast.
Once my mom had sun dried the leaves from her backyard and got them for me when she visited me in the USA.
The other day I opened one packet of leaves that I had bought from the store but in a hurry I left the packet open in the fridge, the poor leaves just dried in the cold air of the refrigerator and got crisp.
Well, that worked for me coz I thought why not freeze the leaves, and yes that worked very fine.

I separated the leaves from the stems, washed them, wiped them dry and spread them on the tray. Popped the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours and then voila they were all frozen, put the frozen leaves in a zip lock bag(any container) and stuffed it in the freezer again.

The color has mellowed down slightly (but it is not black ) and the leaves still smell fresh when u tear them. Frozen leaves do not get crispy, they remain soft.
Have been having these frozen leaves in the fridge for over a month now.
I prefer the freezer method of preserving the curry leaves.
Usually cooks just put the whole curry leaves in the dish and while eating the leaf is discarded.
The curry leaf has lot of health benefits so to get us to eat the leaf Ma used to snip the leaves with a knife or scissors and then add the shreds to the dals or other dishes that way we used to eat it along with the rest of the food.
I follow in my Ma's footsteps in this regards, and add shreds of kadipatta whenever I use it. This way I get my kids n hubby to eat the leaves too ;) and the food looks pretty too with the shreds of kadipatta leaves in it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Avocado Bread Rolls / Avocado Laadi Pav.

I had a whole bagful of avocados laying on my kitchen counter. So came up with these delicious bread rolls and they turned out really good, crusty on the outside and soft and puffy on the inside, will be making it more often as I can sneak some healthy avocado in my kids food.
My kids gobbled the warm bread rolls slathered with butter :)
The bread rolls got a beautiful tinge of green from the avocado and yet the avocado taste was not overpowering at all.
A keeper recipe for sure !!

2 cups all purpose flour,
2 tbsp potato flour(optional),
2 tbsp oats flour(optional),
1 tsp yeast,
2 tbsp sugar,
1 tsp salt,
1 avocado, mashed,
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water or milk to make dough.

  • In a bowl mix the flours, salt, sugar, yeast and mashed avocado well.
  • Add warm water or milk and make soft dough.
  • Cover and keep aside for a couple of hours till it doubles in size.
  • Punch the dough and make round balls, I made 9 small balls.
  • Lay them 1 inch apart on a baking sheet.
  • Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes till they rise.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Uncover and place the tray in the oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes till the rolls are golden brown in color and they sound hollow when tapped.
  • Take out of the oven and brush with 1 tbsp oil(optional) and enjoy warm bread rolls.


I sprinkled sesame seeds, black poppy seeds and kalonji seeds(nigella seeds) on 3 rolls for a variation.

Can add chopped herbs to get herbed rolls. Or add chopped pista, flax seeds or some spices to get a savoury bread.

Place this dough in a loaf pan to get a bread loaf.
Next time will substitute part of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour.
When I made a second batch I added flax seed powder too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tandlachi Bhakar / Goan Rice Flour Flatbread.

Today is my Pappa's Birthday.

Tandlachi bhakar is my Pappa's favourite dish and every year my Ma would make tandlachi bhakar for breakfast for my Pappa's B'day and their Wedding Anniversay.

As Ma is not here with us to make this I just wish that today I could be in Goa and I could prepare this tandlachi bhakar for my Pappa for breakfast(sigh).

When one stays overseas,on the other side of the world, this is the major disadvantage, one cannot go and be with one's parents in joy or sorrow as and when we feel like :(

Like my Pappa I too like this bhakar very much so I tend to make it sometimes, I could munch on these all day long :)
I used to make it a lot specially when my daughter was allergic to wheat and could not eat chappati. My daughter was allergic to wheat, eggs and soy so, I used to make everything gluten free and egg free from breads to cakes to pancakes to....u name it and I used to make it, well that's another story to dwell upon some other time.

Back to tandlachi bhakar which is nothing but humble rice flour flat bread made the Goan way !!

Ma made different kinds of bhakars,like rava,wheat,nachni,etc but this one was a regular fare at my parents place.

Ma had many banana trees in her backyard and so she used fresh banana leaves for a lot of things from roasting fish(bangda) in charcoal to lining the bhakar's while roasting them on the griddle. Oh ...those bananas leaves impart an out of this world aroma to the humble bhakar.

There are 2 ways of making the bhakar either
1)add warm water in the flour and mix or
2)boil the water and then add the flour to the boiling water.
The latter produces more softer bhakar.

And there are 4 ways of flattening out the balls of dough,
1) dip fingers in water and place the dough on the hot tava and quickly spread it out using your wet fingers,
2) take the washed banana leaf and lay it flat on the counter and then flatten the dough ball using fingers dipped in water and then gently lift the banana leaf along with the flattened bhakar and keep it on the griddle along with the leaf,
3) roll the ball sandwiched between thick plastic bags(like Ziploc) or foil.
4) dip a cheesecloth in water and rinse and lay on counter, then spread the ball of dough using fingers dipped in water, then flip the bhakar on to the hot tava and take/peel off the wet cheesecloth,

I like the banana leaves method but as I do not get fresh banana leaves here in Canada and I do not like the frozen ones, I prefer the third method.

Pappa, A Very Happy B'day To You & this bhakar is for you all the way from Canada !!

1 cup rice flour,
1 cup water,
salt to taste,
pinch of sugar or jaggery,
1-2 green chilly , chopped fine,
1/4 onion , chopped fine,
4 tbsp grated coconut,
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves(optional).

  • Heat water in a pan. When boiling add salt,and the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Take off the heat and let rest for few minutes till cool enough to handle. Knead the dough for a few minutes to make it smooth.
  • Meanwhile heat a tava or griddle on medium heat.
  • Make 2 balls of the dough.
  • Take a piece of foil and put the ball on it and put another piece of foil over it and then roll using rolling pin to make 3/4 cm in thickness(thick like a paratha).
  • Lift the foil along with the bhakar and then flip the bhakar on the hot tava, foil side up, take off the foil and reuse to roll the next bhakar.
  • Cover with a lid and let the bhakar cook for few minutes on one side, then using a spatula flip it on the other side and let cook till few brown spots appear and it puffs up like a roti.
  • Take off the heat and apply a little oil or ghee and enjoy with dry khobra(coconut) chutney as in the picture.
  • I prefer mine plain or dunked in hot tea !!!!!!! And so do my kids :)


Sometimes Ma used to add dill leaves(shepo leaves) or grated cucumber to the dough.

I add chopped spinach leaves or grated butternut squash or zucchini to the dough for a change and extra nutrition for my kids.

1 cup yields 2 bhakars, you can double or triple the quantity as required.

Ma usually served it with green chutney or the Goan (khobarya chi chutney)dry coconut chutney as I have shown in the picture.
When my Dad read this post he reminded me that my mom also made this bhakar by soaking rice for few hours, then grinding it to a thick paste and then cooking it on a slow flame till it comes together into a ball. Add the rest of the ingredients (seasoning ) and then make the bhakars.
But that is a lengthy process so I think I will stick to the rice flour for now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Chora Dal Dhokla / Split Cow Peas Steamed Squares.

I have a big container full of chora dal that I bought from the Indian store mistaking it for urad dal :(
So now I have to come up with ways and means to finish it off in recipes that my kids will eat and enjoy too.
I thought one way is to make dhokla coz my kids love dhokla and next means is to make dosa and idlis coz again my kids love dosas and idlis :)
I usually like to add rava and besan to any kind of dhokla that I make, love the texture that rava gives to dhoklas.

1 cup Chora dal / split cow peas,
2 tbsp besan/chickpea flour,
4 tbsp rava/semolina,
2 tsp sugar,
1 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder,
1 tsp ginger green chilly paste,
2 tsp oil,
1 tsp Eno fruit salt,
3 tbsp yogurt.

1 tbsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp sesame seeds/til,

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

  • Soak dal in water for 4 hours.
  • Drain and grind to a fine paste in blender using the yogurt..
  • In a bowl mix the besan, rava, sugar, salt, turmeric, ginger green chilly paste and then add the chora dal paste and mix well. Add the oil and mix again.
  • Add water (if required)to get the consistency of dhokla batter.
  • Meanwhile get steamer and 2 plates ready.
  • Add Eno to the batter, mix till frothy , immediately pour in the plates and steam on high for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes. Heat tempering ingredients and pour over the steamed dhokla.
  • Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Cut into desired shapes and serve with chutney or ketchup.

This quantity yielded 2 steamed plates (8 inches in diameter). Can half the quantity or steam in batches.
I used half batch to make ragi dhokla.
Add more ginger green chilly paste if you want a more spicy dhokla.
Omit the turmeric powder to get a white dhokla.
Can heat oil and then add to the batter or can add room temperature oil to the batter, both work fine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kaarle Bhaaji / Simple Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

Karela is called "kaarley" in konkani. And I am a big fan of karela. I simply love the vegetable in any form.
This is a simple stir fry for everyday meals.

Marinating the karela in tamarind is Ma's tip for reducing the bitterness in karela.
She made karela kappa(fry) and karela bhaaji with tomatoes and potatoes, but she never squeezed the juice out of the karela. She always marinated the cut karela in tamarind pulp for at least 1/2 hour.

2 cups chopped karela(thinly sliced),
1 medium onion sliced,
1 tbsp tamarind pulp,
salt to taste,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp red chilly powder,
pinch of sugar,
2 tsp oil.

  • Apply tamarind to the karela and keep aside for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan on medium heat.
  • Add chopped onions and fry till tender and translucent.
  • Add the marinated karela and fry till karela is cooked.
  • Add the salt, chilly powder ,turmeric powder and sugar and stir till everything is mixed well.
    There you go the dish is ready to be savoured with chapati or rice and simple dal.


Increase the red chilly powder if you want more spicy. I personally prefer to taste some of the bitterness in the karela.

If you don't have tamarind then use lemon or lime juice.

Add chopped garlic and ginger for a variation.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Masala Idli / Spiced Steamed Cakes

Made these masala idlis using rava idli batter.


1 tbsp oil,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
1 tsp pepper corn powder,
1/2 tsp grated ginger,
1 tbsp cashew nuts(broken into pieces),
pinch of hing,
5-8 curry leaves.

1 tsp Eno powder.

  • Heat oil, add all the tempering ingredients(except the Eno & batter).
  • Add this tempering to the batter. Mix well.
  • Keep a steamer and idli stand ready to steam.
  • Add Eno to the batter, mix well and pour into greased idli molds and steam on high for 15 minutes.
  • Take the idli molds out of the steamer and let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Then unmold and enjoy with chutney or sambhar.


Can add grated carrots or peas to the batter.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ragi(Nachni) Dhokla / Steamed Finger Millet Squares.

I usually make nachni satva(ragi pudding), but this time wanted to make something different.
Dhokla sounded like a good idea. Turned out very nice and nutritious.

4 tbsp ragi flour/finger millet flour,
1 tsp Eno fruit salt.

1 tbsp oil,
1/2 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp sesame seeds.

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

  • Dry roast the ragi flour on medium heat for few minutes till the raw smell goes away.
  • Cool, then add to dhokla batter and mix well, add eno fruit salt, mix well and immediately pour in a greased 8 inch plate and steam for about 20 minutes.
  • Cool 10 minutes and cut into squares.
  • Heat the oil for tempering, when hot add sesame seeds and mustard seeds and when they splutter pour this tempering on the cooled dhokla.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with chutney or ketchup.

Use any dhokla batter of your choice.
Chop left over dhoklas to make dhokla fry just like idli fry.

Event Participation.

This is my entry to JFI-Ragi hosted by Madhuram at EgglessCooking. An event started by Indira at Mahanandi.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Peanut Besan Ladoo/Peanut Chickpea Sweet Balls.

Ma had made peanut ladoos a few times for us. I remember her roasting and grinding the peanuts , she did not add besan but I added it as I was not sure if my kids would eat just peanut ladoos. I do not have her recipe but wanted to make the ladoos. And I had a lot of peanut butter to finish off so decided to make these, they turned out awesome and quick too.
HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY with Peanut Besan Ladoos.

1 cup besan(chickpea flour),
1 tbsp oil,
1 cup icing sugar,
1/2 cup regular fine sugar,
1 tsp cardamom powder,
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder,
3/4 cup peanut butter,
raisins to garnish.

  • Roast besan with oil on low flame till well cooked and raw smell goes away.
  • Take the pan off heat, add peanut butter and mix well when warm.
  • Then add the 2 kinds of sugars and cardamom and cinnamon powder and mix well.
  • Take 1-2 tbsp of mixture at a time in hands add a raisin and roll tightly into a ball.
  • Makes 20 small or 10 medium sized ladoos

Add nuts if you like.
I used crunchy peanut butter so did not add any nuts.
Can also use almond butter to make these ladoos.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Double Methi Thepla/Flatbread

I like methi in any form. So when I picked out this recipe I thought of adding fresh and dry kasoori methi both to make the theplas. And the cinnamon gives it a slight twist in taste.

1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour,
2 tbsp chickpea flour(besan),
2 tsp oil,
1/2 tsp ajwain,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1/2 tsp dhania powder,
salt to taste,
4 tbsp chopped fresh methi leaves(fenugreek leaves),
1 tbsp dry kasoori methi, crushed,
pinch of cinnamon,
3 tbsp yogurt,
water to make the dough.

  • In a bowl mix the wheat flour, besan, ajwain, turmeric, chilly powder, dhania powder, cinnamon, dry methi, fresh methi leaves to make a soft dough.
  • Leave aside for 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into balls and roll each into a thin roti.
  • Heat a pan on medium high heat and put one thepla on the pan when it is almost cooked, flip it on the other side and when you see bubbles then flip it again and press so that it puffs ups.
  • Take it off the heat and apply ghee or oil to it.
  • Roast the rest of the theplas in a similar manner.
  • Enjoy with a bowl of yogurt or steaming hot dal or pickle.


I usually apply the ghee after I roast the theplas but you can apply while on the pan too.

Can also add a tbsp of sesame seeds if you like.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Baked Pizza & Bread.

I made some bread dough by mixing flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil and water. I am not a baker who measures so just eye balled all the ingredients.

This bread reminded me of the "kunyachi pooli" (whole wheat flour and wheat bran bread) that my Pappa used to bring from a bakery called Cafe Central in Panajim, Goa. This bread used to be very dense and it was usually made only in the evenings. So my Pappa used to get this bread on his way home from work and we used to enjoy it slathered with butter and dunked in tea, (Yaa, I like my breads buttered and dunked in hot tea).
The bread that I baked was almost similar but next time I will make it of all whole wheat flour rather then half whole wheat and half all purpose flour.
Baked this bread at 450F for about 15 minutes.

Pizza with pineapple and black olives toppings.
Made this pizza for my kids. Used some of the above same dough, some pizza sauce(ready made), mozzarella cheese, black olives and chopped pineapples. Baked at 450F for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rava Idli/Steamed Wheatlets Circles.

I had jotted down in my dairy a few recipes for rava idli and decided to try my hand at it. But I made a few changes and additions.

I did not roast the rava and also I added a tbsp each of rice flour , udit flour and moong flour and ENO fruit salt.
The idlies came out very spongy and awesome.
Here is the recipe for rava idli with a twist.

1 cup rava/wheatlets,
1 cup yogurt,
1 tbsp rice flour(optional),
1 tbsp udit flour(optional),
1 tbsp moong flour(optional),
1 tsp sugar,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tsp eno,
hot water to make batter.

  • Mix rava, rice flour, udit flour, moong flour, salt, sugar. Add yogurt and mix well. Add some hot water to make a idly batter consistency.
  • Grease idly moulds and heat water for steaming.
    Add Eno, mix well till frothy and immediately pour in the idly moulds and steam for 15 minutes.
  • Makes 12 spongy idlies.
I made masala idli using same batter.