Sunday, September 30, 2007

Khaman Dhokla

Dhokla has been favorite Gujrati food since childhood. Ever since I started cooking, I have made several attempts at it..need I say unsuccessful attempts!! :) Then I stumbled across Jai and Bee's Khaman Dhokla recipe on Jugalbandi. Thank you, Jai and Bee! Below is the same recipe with minor modifications.

Note - The ingredients are spread across the post till the end. Please make sure to read the entire post for all the ingredients.

Ingredients (serves 3 or serves 1 if it's me)

Besan - 1 cup
Canola Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Green chilli - 4 chopped
Water - 1/2 cup

Mix all the ingredients together and keep aside. This will be a thick batter.

Lemon Eno - 1 tsp

Just before you put the above mixture in the presssure cooker without whistle (just for steaming), add the Eno and mix it well quickly. It will develop a whitish color.

Take an utensil and spray it lightly with oil. I use the Pam Spray. You can use Canola oil as well. Drop the above mixture in this utensil and let it settle down evenly. You don't need to mix anything now.

Add some water to the pressure cooker to develop steam. Place the above container with the dhokla mixture inside the pressure cooker with the water surrounding it. Pressure cook on Medium-High heat for 15 mins without whistle. After 15 mins, put off the heat and let the pressure cooker rest as is for the next 5 mins. Take out the container and temper it with the tempering ingredients.

Tempering ingredients

Canola oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6
Water - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 2 tbsp
Fresh coriander leaves - few sprigs chopped

Heat oil. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and let it crackle. Add this to a mixture of water, sugar and lime juice. Mix well and add to the prepared khaman dhokla cake.

Enjoy with pudina chutney or dhaniya chutney.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Machha Chencheda \ Maccha Ghanta

My mom is here with me now. So I am learning a lot of our Oriya authentic dishes which are healthy as well as tasty for the appetite. Things which used to be made almost every other day in our house and I used to avoid eating them. But now when I am getting to eat the same thing after 2 years, it tastes heavenly. My mom tells me that the below combination of veggies is preferred, but you can mix and match - a ideal way to clear up your fridge ;) Different places in Orissa call this by different name - two of them being Chencheda and Ghanta. Maccha means fish.

Ingredients (makes 5 servings)

Rohi Fish Head - 1
Potato - 1 big, chopped and cubed
Brinjal - 1 big, chopped and cubed
Pumpkin (Calabaza) - 1/4 of a medium sized one, chopped and cubed
Tomato - 1 chopped
Onion - 1 medium, ground to paste and 1 medium chopped and cubed
Garlic - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 2 tsp (1 tsp to marinade the fish and 1 tsp for the curry)
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Curry powder - 1 tsp
Fish Masala - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Dry Bay leaf - 2
Cumin seed - 1/4 tsp
Canola oil - 1 tbsp

Step 1

Marinade the fish head with salt and turmeric powder for 30 minutes. Fry with canola oil till the fish is cooked and crispy. Keep it aside. Note - If you don't have fish head, you can use 2-3 pieces of meaty fish pieces. Alternatively, you can use tiny shrimps as well with their shells on and this dish becomes "Chingudi Ghanta or Chingudi Chencheda". :)

Step 2

Heat oil. Add dry bay leaf, dry red chili and cumin seed and let it crackle. Add the chopped onion and cook till it is golden brown. Add ground masala, chopped tomato, turmeric powder and curry masala. Fry till the oil separates. Add chopped potato, chopped brinjal and chopped pumpkin. You can add Poi leaf as well. Add salt. Saute on High for 5 mins. Next keep it covered on Medium heat till the veggies are half cooked. Add the fried fish head and cover the fish with the veggies. Cover the dish and let it continue cooking. Once the veggies are cooked, remove the cover and add a pinch of sugar, fish masala and garam masala. Saute till the curry is dry or slightly wet, as you prefer it.

Serve hot with roti or rice-dal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shrimp Malaikari

Labor Day Weekend - no big plans, what to do? Make something special to eat :) What do I make? Search my favourite bloggers recipes. Yahoo..found it! Let's make Shrimp Malaikari by dear Sandeepa. Thank you, Sandeepa for sharing this delicious recipe. It was so long since I made anything with coconut milk that I had almost forgotten it's taste. This dish turned out great. Do try it. As usual, I will try to use this gravy with some vegetarian ingredient sometime :)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

Tiger Shrimp -15
Onion - 1, ground to paste makes about 10 tbsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Dry Bay leaf - 2
Cardamom- 4
Cloves - 6
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Sugar - a pinch
Canola oil - 1 tsp
Chaokoh Coconut milk - 2/3 cup (1 can for 45 shrimps)
Water - 1/2 cup
Chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp

Marinade Ingredients

Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp, or as per taste
Chili Powder - 1 tsp

Step 1

Marinade the shrimp with the marinade ingredients for 30 mins. Sandeepa recommends the shrimp with their heads on. Shallow fry the shrimps till they turn golden brown. Note - They will cook a little in the coconut-milk based gravy in Step 2.

Step 2

Heat canola oil. Add garlic paste. Let it cook till the garlic is cooked. Next add dry bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. When these spices crackles, add the onion paste with a pinch of sugar. When the oil separates, add the ginger paste and let it cook. Add the coconut milk with water, chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. When the gravy bubbles, add the fried shrimps of Step 1.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sandesh Mitha

Was looking for some new sweet dish recipes when I came across the "Sandesh" recipe posted by Sharmi of Neivedyam. In almost all the sweet-shops of Bhubaneswar, you will definitely find this sweet. It used to be such a regular sweet in our place that I stopped eating it. Another item that you disliked when mom served it to you as a kid, but now you crave for it! :)

Ingredients (makes 20 pieces)

Ricotta cheese - 2 cups
Condensed milk - 3 tbsp
Milk powder - 1tbsp
All purpose flour - ½ tsp
White sugar - 4 tbsp
Raisins/Cashewnuts to garnish - same as the number of Sandesh pieces

  • Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Using a thick-bottomed pan, cook this mixture in Medium-Low heat till the mixture thickens and leaves the side of the vessel. Keep stirring continuously, approx every 5-10 mins, so that it does not stick to the sides and burn. I had to cook for approximately 1 hour.
  • When the mixture is cooled down, make small balls and garnish it with dry fruits. I used raisin tossed and lightly roasted in very little butter.

Bisi-Bele-Bhaath with Kosambari

Since I started blogging to learn more about the different cuisines round the globe, there was no chance that I would not participate in Regional Cusines of India (RCI) event-Karnataka (one of the southern state of India) being hosted by our dear Asha of Foodie's Hope. The announcement for this event is here. RCI was originally started by LakshmiK of "Veggie Cuisine" blog and other foodie bloggers take turns hosting this event

More about Karnataka tourism here.

Karnataka, in particular Bangalore, is a place very dear to me. As a kid, this was the very first place (Bangalore and Mysore) my parents had taken me on sight-seeing. After every trip, my dad would require (read, trouble) me to write an essay about it (Well, I hated it as a kid. But now you know why I loved writing GRE and eventually blogging). The grandeur of the Mysore palace and the vast expanse of natural beauty Brindavan Gardens with Mysore all decked up for Dussehra was enchanting. And the simplicity and the warmth exuded by the people made the essay-writing a cake-walk..even here I have to mention food ;)

Fast forward a few years and I land up in Bangalore for training (and eventually work for a year) with all my dear friends. We have literrally grown up there. This was the first time we were away from home and away from the secured environs of the dorm. But Bangalore was home - a city with warm loving people who are cosmopolitian while maintaining the Kannadiga culture - the modern-day India. I miss Bangalore!

I cherish the memories of our weekend movie outings (first movie was at Rex theater, yeah! remember, Vrindu?), window-shopping in MG Road/Brigade Road ;), actually shopping at Commercial Street and Jayanagar 4th Block. Or stuffing ourselves with yummy chat at Gangotri, Koramangala. First bite of KFC Chicken - Thanks to the yummy Indianized version of KFC Chicken, I can never develop a liking for the KFC Chicken in US :( Dosa outing at Dosa Corner, Jayanagar. And the multitudes of other eating places! How easily we slip into food memories! :)

Since I have provided more than enough background on why I am excited about RCI-Karnataka, you would think that contributing for this event was easy for me. Not at all. Since I never cooked back then. :( How could I ever just eat without finding the recipe...That's not the present day me :) Now I get so inquisitive, I wonder if people think I am confirming whether they actually made it or not :) So I searched and searched and finally narrowed down on Kosambari and Bisi-Bele-Bhaath. Funny thing is I loved Kosambari when it used to be served for lunch in office cafeteria. I used to like it so much that I would eat only Kosambari for lunch. But I did not know it was called so and that it was made of Moong dal till exactly two days ago! :)

Enjoy the recipes and do let me know if anything can be modified to make it authentic Kannadiga. Please let me know if you have any authentic Kannadiga non-veg dishes. I would love to try them.

Kosambari (makes 4 servings)

I used Payaswini's Recipe as noted here.


Yellow split moong beans - 1/2 cup (Initially soak in hot water, leave soaked for 3 hrs and then drain)
Cucumber - 1 medium , peeled and finely chopped
Coriander - 2 tbsp, chopped
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Grated ginger - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste

For Seasoning

Canola oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Asafoetida - a pinch

Step 1

Place the drained moong beans, coriander, ginger, lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Add cucumber at the end, just before tempering so that it does make the mixture watery. Mix well and set aside.

Step 2

Heat oil in pan, add the mustard seeds and allow the seeds to pop.Add green chillies, and fry a few seconds. Add asafoetida and remove from the heat. Add this seasoning to the cucumber mixture from Step 1 and mix well. Serve cold.

Bisi bele bhath (makes 5 servings)

I used Nupur's Recipe from "One hot stove" blog as noted here with some modifications.


Rice - 1 cup
Toor dal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium, chopped or Peanut
Mixed vegetables - 2-3 cups (green beans, frozen peas and carrots, zucchini, eggplant)
Tamicon Tamarind Concentrate - 2 tsp
Sambhar Powder (or MTR BBB Powder) - 4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt 2 tbsp or as per taste

For seasoning

Ghee - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 10
Asafoetida - 2 pinch

Step 1

Soak rice and dal for 20-30 mins.

Step 2

In the pressure cooker, add ghee. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds , curry leaves, asafoetida. When the mustard seed crackles, add chopped onion.When onion turns translucent however still crunchy, add turmeric powder, chili powder, sambhar powder and salt to taste. Stir in vegetables, dal, rice, tamarind concentrate, roasted cashews (optional) and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil and then pressure-cook for two whistle on Medium-High heat.

Garnish with coriander. And ghee (optional). Enjoy with chips, papad, something crispy!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Pohi Leaves / Poi leaves

I had seen certain posts in Asha's Foodie's Hope and Indira's Mahanandi about Pohi Leaves (called Poi in Oriya). Thought of sharing this pic for everyone. It is available in H-Mart Korean store and Subzi Mandi (New Jersey).

My MIL introduced this green to me. I had never tasted it before. Since this tastes similar to fresh pumkin flower fry, I immediately loved it and have continued preparing it. Poi leaf is supposedly used in Oriya cuisine for other recipes such as "Ghanta" aka wet veggie curry.

Sidenote - Fresh pumkin flower fried stuffed with potato filling dipped in rice flour batter is one of my favourite veggie dish. If I ever manage to get fresh pumpkin flowers, I will post about it. Have heard that New Jersey local farmers have these flowers available for sale during their season.

Coming to Poi leaves I love the Poi leaves shallow-fried with gram flour (besan), rice flour, fresh ginger paste, red chilli powder and salt. For example, 1 cup gram flour, 1 tbsp rice flour, 1 tbsp ginger paste, 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1.5 tsp salt or as per taste for about 10 Pohi Leaves. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics to share for this.

Noodles with Spicy Chicken Pakoda

Spicy Chicken Pakoda is one of the most popular street-food item of Bhubaneswar, Orissa. Other mouth-watering delicious street-foods include:

  • gup-chup (alias gol-gappa, hot pani-puri),
  • chicken egg rolls (hot and spicy chicken in a wrap),
  • kachodi chat,
  • dahi wada-aloo dum,
  • hot guguni (yellow peas curry)
School lunch-time or end of the school day - The parents can be late to pick up the kids, but the street vendors promptly position themselves near the school entrance. No matter how much you try, you can never avoid the enticing smell of the goodies. You will succumb to it irrespective of how hygenic or unhygenic it is. Irrespective of how often how your dad has tried to explain and convince you to avoid eating it. Your's truly used to do so. Even in spite of the fact that her mom is a wonderful cook and can recreate the exact same taste at home! :)

Fast forward to the present day - These items are in the first list of items to eat on India trip. Some things never change!

Noodles (Makes 3 servings)


Oriental style noodle (I used Tomoshiraga Somen) - handful
Canola oil - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 3
Large onion - 1 cut into thin slices
Green Beans - 12 pieces cut at an angle into small pieces
Carrot - 1 cut into long pieces (optional)
Ajinomoto - 1/4 tsp
Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
Worchestire sauce - 1 tsp
Green chilli sauce (I used Chings brand) - 1 tsp

Step 1

Boil water. Add an handful of the vermicelli. Let it cook al dente. When cooked, put it in a strainer and wash it with cold water. Keep it aside so that all the water is drained from the vermicelli.

Step 2

Heat canola oil. Cook onion till it is just cooked. Don't let it turn golden brown. Keep it aside.

Chop green beans at an angle. Cook it while keeping it crunchy. Keep it aside. You can keep it in the same container as the onion since you will mix them all together.

You can also add carrot cut into long thin slices. Cook it while keeping it crunchy (similar to the green beans above). Keep it aside. I did not use it.

Heat a few drops of oil. Break the eggs into the pan and stir it so that the 3 eggs are mixed up. Stir it occasionally and finally break them into small chunks. Keep it aside.

Step 3

In the hot pan, add the boiled vermicelli. Add the cooked onion, cooked beans and scrambled eggs and mix. Add ajinomoto along with soya sauce and worchestire sauce. Add green chilli sauce (I used Chings brand). Use more if you like it more hot. Mix well. Caution - Do it slowly so that you don't mash up the noodles.

Spicy Chicken Pakoda (Makes 4 servings)


Chicken - 1 lb, cut into small pieces
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Flour - 4 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Sweet Paprika - 1/2 tsp (I used McCormick's brand)
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Fresh ginger paste - 2 tbsp
Shan Tandoori Chicken BBQ Mix - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1.5 tsp or as per taste

Step 1

Mix all the ingredients together and keep aside for 30 mins.

Step 2

Deep-fry the chicken pieces. Drop the chicken pieces one at a time into the oil.

To serve as a snack, garnish it with fresh onions and a pinch of rock salt (optional). Or combine it with fried rice or noodle and savour as a meal.

Tomato Shorba ( not Shorbet ;) )

The first time I had Tomato Shorba, I thought that the restaurant had cheated me by giving me flavoured tomato water ;) I slowly and gradually developed a taste for it. And it has become one of my favourites now. I got so addicted at one time that whenever I had friends visiting me, I would literally kidnap them to this restaurant! Remember, Vrindu?

Note - This was in a restaurant in Adyar, Chennai. Since morning, I have been raking my brain (read Google and Google Maps) trying to remember the restaurant's name :( Even then, no complaints against google since I got the Tomato Shorba recipe using it :) The link is here. This is supposedly a Maharastrian recipe as per Tarla Dalal shown here.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

Large tomato - 3 chopped into cubes
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup (I used the Chakoah canned coconut milk.)
Gram Flour (Besan) - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice from half a lemon
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp or as per taste

Olive oil - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaf - 4
Small Green chilli - 4, sliced into halves

Fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Ground pepper

Step 1

Pressure cook the chopped tomatoes for 1 whistle in medium-high heat with half a teaspoon of salt and sufficient water. After the whistle, cook for 10 mins in low heat. Mash the tomatoes. Use a strainer to separate the skin-seeds residue from the juice. We will only use the juice.

Step 2

Mix the coconut milk with gram flour. Take care to avoid lumps of gram flour. To this, add the tomato juice prepared as part of Step 1. Add the lemon juice, salt and sugar. Mix it well.

Step 3

Heat olive oil. Add butter. Olive oil is only being used to prevent the butter from burning (Tip from Paula's Cooking in Food Network).
Add cumin seeds, curry leaf and green chilli. Once the cumin is brown, add the tomato-coconut milk mixture prepared in Step 2.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and fresh ground pepper powder.

I am submitting this for the Super Soup Challenge being hosted by Tami of Running with Tweezers. Due date for this is September 10th, 2007.