Egg masala

There are many nights when I get sick of the dozen or so eggs lying in the refrigerator for several weeks. We do not consume eggs all that often but once I manage to finish a carton, my hands will itch till I put another one in my shopping cart when at Costco! So the cycle repeats. Finish one and get another one immediately to think about. It is on one of those days that I badly wanted to get done with half a dozen eggs that I prepared this dish and we all enjoyed this dish with some hot Rotis.

We will need,

Eggs 6 no
Peanut oil 3 tbsp
Fennel seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves 8-1074
Cardamon 2
Onion 1 medium minced
Garlic 3 cloves grated
Ginger 1/2" grated
Green chillies 5-6 minced
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Dhania powder 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder 1/2 tsp
Tomato 1 medium
Garama Masala a generous pinch
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander a handful chopped
Mint a handful torn
Lemon juice to taste

  • Heat oil in a Wok. Throw in the fennel and the cardamon. Once they sizzle, throw in the curry leaves, immediately followed by the minced onions.
  • Saute the onions till the onions are very well caramelized and almost brown in colour. 
  • Once the onions are done, throw in the garlic, ginger and chillies. Saute for a few minutes. Keep moving the mixture lest they burn.
  • Once the mixture is fragrant, throw in the turmeric, Dhania powder and the Jeera powder. Saute for a few seconds. Throw in the chopped tomatoes. Cook till the oil separates.
  • Meantime crack open the eggs into a mixing bowl breaking the yolks.
  • Push the onion-spice mixture to the sides and pour the eggs into the wok. Cook on low till the eggs start to cook. Stir and scrap the bottom to make sure the eggs or the masala does not burn. 
  • Once the egg start to solidify, fold in the Masala. Keep stirring the mixture till all the moisture evaporates and the eggs are cooked through.
  • Adjust salt. Throw in the Garam Masala. Finish with the torn mint and coriander. Serve immediately with rotis.

Cucumber Kosambari

Kosambari is our  typical  raw dish in a meal mostly with some soaked-sprouted legumes and some crunchy vegetable/fruit. This time around it was all about the summer cucumber. I had run out of the usual split green gram and had to throw a Kosambari dish on the table. So did something with just some tender, summer cucumber that we had picked ourselves from a nearby farm. The cucumbers were so tender almost sweet and as crisp as it gets.
The Kosambari has a strategic position in our meals. The sweets address the sweet tooth of course, the rice dish fills up the soul and the palya is the good-nutritious part which fills the belly. The Kosambari sort of acts like a palate cleanser along with lightening the entire meal. We adore the Kosamabri and it is a summer staple. So lets capture the warmth of the fleeting summer in this dish of cucumbers.

  We will need,

Cucumber 1 medium chopped
Coconut 3-4 tbsp
Peanut oil 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/8 tsp
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Hing a dash
Curry leaves a few
Dried red chillies 3-4
Fresh coriander a handful chopped
Salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste

  • Place the chopped cucumber in a bowl. Toss in the coconut.
  • Prepare the Oggarane. Heat the oil in a wok. 
  • Throw in the mustard seeds, Jeera, hing, curry leaves and broken red chillies. Turn off the heat when it stops sizzling. Allow the Oggarane to cool down.
  • Toss the Oggarane with the cucumber-coconut mixture. 
  • Adjust salt and lemon juice. Stir in the chopped coriander.  Serve immediately. 

Menthya Bhaath

We had a lot of fun celebrating the Gowri-Ganesha festival with family. For a change, after a long long time we did go to the temple as well. And after the temple visit it was all about eating. It is so very important for me to put a festive spread every traditional festival. After all, most of my early childhood memories are connected to food. Hopefully Sunny boy will remember his childhood similarly. Living in a country where traditions are very different from my own, it is quiet difficult to give Sunny boy a piece of my own childhood. He will never know what it is to go to the temple first thing in the morning on Gowri Habba, tummy rumbling yet dressed in crisp and new 'Reshme-langa' the traditional silk skirt and new colorful glass bangles. And then it would be waiting for the seemingly for-ever-lasting pooja to finish so that we did get some prasada to eat. He will never know what it is to get 'Tambula','Bagina' something he would quite simply term it as a 'return gift'. Then coming back home from the temple after demolishing the assorted fruits, Kosamabari, Tambittu and all the goodies the come along with the Tambula and sitting down to a hearty meal of Kadubus and Holiges. The last is probably the only part that I can still pass on to my Sunny boy. If not all the little joys that comes as a package back home, I can put a festive spread on the table and hopefully he will remember the food as well as the good times around the table.
Traditionally our festive meals will have one sweet Payasa -pudding, one or more sweet dishes, one or more vegetable palyas, one or more salads like Kosamabari, spiced rice dishes, fried goodies like papads, fritters and spiced yogurt etc.
This time for the Gowri Habba, we had lemon Chitranna and Menthya Bhaath
We will need,

Cooked rice (preferably short grain) 4 cups
Peanut oil 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Hing a dash
Curry leaves 10-15
Fresh Fenugreek greens1 big bunch
Tomatoes 2 medium

for the spice blends

Channa Dal 1 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tbsp
Dhania seeds 2 tbsp
Dried red chillies 8-10 (Preferably the Byadagi variety, adjust according to taste)
Cinnamon 1/2"
Marathi Moggu 1
Kopra 1/2 c (grated loosely packed)

  • Prepare the fenugreek greens. Chop and discard the roots and tough stems. Save the tender stems and the leaves. Tear them into small pieces. Wash and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom wok. Throw the Jeera and mustard seeds. Once they crackle, throw in the hing, curry leaves followed by the washed and cleaned fenugreek. Saute.
  • Meantime. Prepare the spice blend. On a dry skillet, toast the spices one after the other till golden brown and fragrant. Remove and pulse in a food processor till the spices are powered. Heat the same skillet and throw the Kopra on the skillet. Turn the heat off. Pulse the Kopra into a slightly coarse powder as well.
  • Once the fenugreek is tender, throw in the spice blend. Saute for a few minutes till the mixture is fragrant.
  • Throw in the chopped tomatoes and cook till oil separates from the mixture. 
  • Dump the ground Kopra adjust salt. Cook and stir well to combine everything.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Mix the prepared fenugreek and the rice with some ghee and lemon juice if desired. Adjust salt and serve immediately. 
For best results use cooked and cool rice. using hot rice will break the grains and the presentation will be poor.

Ellu-Gasgase Kadubu / Stuffed sweet rice dumplings

Gowri-Ganesha habbada shubhashayagalu..Wishing you all a very happy Gowri and Ganesha festival. Ganesha is such an adorable god,  he is cute, chubby and he is fond of food. We celebrate the occasion of lord Ganesha's birthday by feasting! (No prizes for guessing) This is the picture of our sweet little Ganesha. We lit the tea lights, offered the Kadubu to the birthday boy and then the Aarti before settling down to the feast.

We loved everything. On the menu was Menthya Baath, green beans palya, Kosambari, Nucchinaunde, kayi haalu and assorted Kadubu. I made Kayi Kadubu and MIL made the sesame-poppy seeds Kadubu. The Kadubus were served with Kayi haalu and oodles of ghee. Thanking my MIL for the Kadubu as well as the recipe.

We will need,

For the filling

Poppy seeds 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds 1/2 cup
Kopra  1/4cup
Coconut grated 1/2 cup
Cardamon 1
Jaggery 1-1.5 cup (adjust according to taste)

For the Kadubu
Rice flour
salt a pinch

  • To prepare the filling, toast the poppy seeds on a hot skillet till the seeds pop and smell fragrant. Remove on a plate and set it out to cool.
  • Toast the sesame seeds next on the same hot skillet till the seeds pop and are golden in colour. Remove on a plate and set it out to cool.
  • Toast the Kopra and coconut separately till fragrant. Remove on a plate and set it out to cool.
  • Pop the poppy seeds into a grinder and blitz it into a fine powder. Repeat with sesame seeds and coconut.
  • Crush the jaggery in to a coarse powder.
  • Toss the poppy seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, jaggery and crushed cardamon. Set it aside.
  • For the Kadubu, mix 2 cups of water, a pinch of salt and two spoons of rice flour.Bring the mixture to a boil. Dump 3 cups of flour into the water. Stir well and cover and  cook the mixture. To know if the dough is cooked, touch the dough with a wet finger. If it sticks, it needs a few more minutes. If it does not, then the dough is ready. Allow the dough to cool.
  • Once the dough is cool, pinch lime sized dough and roll it between palms. Roll out the dough into a three inch circle using either a rolling pin or your fingers. 
  • Place a spoonful of filling on the right half of the dough circle and close the left half over the filling. Pinch to close the two semi circles into a dumpling. Repeat till all the filling is used.
  • Serve it with ghee and Kayi haalu
P.S: To make the dough, 1.5:1 ratio of rice flour:water works well usually. But several times I have used more/less flour too. It depends on the quality of the flour. Adjust the proportions accordingly.
Sending this out to Prasada special in the let's party event.

Jeerige Kattu

Like I mentioned in my previous posts, we are enjoying a prolonged period of feasting. My aunt J used to make this delicious curry which I last tasted decades ago. The taste lingered in my memory and it took us these years to get down to the kitchen stove and simmer a pot of curry. When she visited us this time, we all wanted her to make this curry. She did and we loved the curry very much.

We will need,

Toor dal 1/4 cup
Turmeric a pinch
Black pepper corns 1 tsp
Ghee 1 tsp

For the masala paste
Onion 1 medium
Dried red chillies 6-8(Byadagi chillies)
Huli Pudi/ Sambar powder 1 tsp
Tomato 1 medium
Jeera 1.5 tsp
Coconut 3 tbsp
Garlic 3 cloves
Tamarind 1/4 tsp

Ghee 3 tbsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves a handful
Dried red chillies 2-3  
Salt to taste

  • Wash and clean the dal and combine it with 2-3 cups of water, pepper corns and turmeric in a pressure cooker.
  • In a wok, toast all the ingredients for the masala paste except the tamarind one by one. Remove and allow the mixture to cool down. Pulse the mixture into a smooth paste.
  • Combine the masala paste with a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and bring it to a simmer.
  • Meantime, pulse the dal and the peppercorns in a blender till smooth. 
  • Pour the dal paste into the simmering masala paste. Increase heat and add a little water to bring the mixture to a desired consistency. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer the mixture again.
  • Prepare the Oggarane/Tadka. Heat the ghee. Throw in the mustard, curry leaves and he dried red chillies. Once they splutter, remove from heat and pour into the simmering curry. 
  • Adjust salt and serve hot with rice.

Rawa Rotti

We love Akki Rotti. But sometimes it is difficult to make them, especially if time constrained or if just a bit lazy.  It is on such days that I end up making this one.This variety is a lot less messy and very easy to roll out. Here it is

We will need,

Chiroti Rawa 2 cup (the finest variety Rawa available)
Salt a pinch
Water 1.5 cups

  • Heat water and salt in a pot preferable non stick pot for easy cleanup.
  • Once the water comes to a gentle boil, dunk in the Rawa and stir well to make sure there are no lumps. Turn off the heat. Cover and let the mixture cool enough to handle.
  • Once the mixture cools down, knead the mixture and bring it together.
  • Pinch small balls of the dough and flatten it on a rolling board.
  • Pre-heat a Tawa. Roll out the flattened balls of dough using a rolling pin into discs about 6-8 inches in diameter.
  • Cook the discs on a hot Tawa on both sides and serve hot with butter/ghee and a curry of choice.

Capscium Masala

Sunny boy started school. He is having a tough time. He cries all the while, right when I hand him over at the school till the time I pick him up.It is so hard. I feel like crying my heart out and I did. I hate myself for putting that my precious little boy into such hardship. Many times I did consider pulling him out of school even if it has just been four short days with an hour session each. But somewhere down inside there is an urge to do the right thing, may be a little painful but give him some time to adjust to the strange world called school. Every night before I slip into sleep, I tell myself, O.K, just tomorrow, just one more day let me send him to school and what if he comes home happy and full of stories to tell me about his school, his teacher,his new friends.What if he likes it today....

Otherwise, I am still busy with family visiting from India and the other day we picked some peppers from a farm. They were lovely, fresh and colorful. I dished out some Capsicum Masala  along with Rawa Rotti. Everybody loved it.

We will need,

Peppers/ capsicum  1lb diced
Peanut oil 1/4 cup
Jeera 1/2 tsp

Onions 2 medium
Garlic 5 cloves
Garlic 1"
Chiili powder 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
Dhania powder 2 tsp
Jeera powder 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/4  tsp
Tomatoes 2 medium
Almonds 6-8
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Butter 2 tbsp (optional)
Salt to taste

  • Combine onions, garlic and ginger in a blender along with a little water and pulse till smooth.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottom wok. Toss in the Jeera when the oil is hot. Once the Jeera stops sizzling, add the onion paste carefully, not to splatter the mixture all over.
  • Stir the mixture and cook it till the raw smell disappear, about 15 minutes. 
  • Meantime, blend the almonds and tomatoes into a smooth paste  and set it aside.
  • Once the onion mixture is cooked, throw in the turmeric, chilli powder, Dhania powder and the Jeera powder. Stir well add a few tbsps of water if the mixture is too dry. Cook till the oil floats on top and the mixture is fragrant.
  • Pour in the tomato mixture and stir well. Simmer and cook till the mixture is homogenous about 10-15  minutes.
  • Throw in the diced capsicum and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes till the capsicum is slightly tender but very well crisp. Throw in the butter at the end if using. (I love the butter)
  • Serve hot with a bread of choice.

Aloo Vadi

Last month was a busy month. We had a family reunion and it was a lot of cooking, cleaning and traveling. Sunny boy started school this week too. Poor little Sunny boy, he is not liking school much, keeps crying till I go there to pick him up.It feels so bad to leave him crying there. Sometimes I feel I should just get him off the school and let him play at home with me. But then I will have to bite the bullet sometime, if not today tomorrow or next year. I am confused and  Sunny boy crying makes it even worse. I only hope he feels better soon. I just feel like hugging him close to me, and keep him there forever.

This one again from my days at Amritsar. During the lean summer months, fresh vegetables are hard to come by. It is during that time that such innovative use to pantry staples becomes imperative.

We will need,

Vadi also called Badi 1.5 cups
Potatoes 2 medium diced
Brinjal 1 small diced
Peanut oil 3 tbsp + Sunflower oil to deep fry
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Onion 1 small
Tomato 1 medium
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp (adjust  according to taste)
Dhania powder 2 tsp
Jeera Powder 2 tsp
Garam masala  a generous pinch
Fresh coriander  a handful
Salt to taste

  • Break the Vadi into bite size pieces and deep fry them in hot oil. Remove and drain it on paper towels. Set it aside.
  •  Heat the peanut oil in a wok and throw in the mustard seeds, Jeera and the fennel. Once they stop spluttering throw in the onion. 
  • When the onions are translucent add the potatoes. Add a pinch of salt, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, till the potatoes are ever so slightly tender but not all the way cooked. 
  • Now throw in the remaining spices and saute till the raw smell of the spices disappear. 
  • Add the eggplant, tomatoes and the deep fried Vadi along with a little water, cover and cook till the vegetables are cooked and the spices are well blended.
  • Adjust salt and finish with the fresh coriander.