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.