Monday, 30 June 2014

Palak Tambli

Tambli is a traditional curry from North Karnataka. It is quick, simple and easy that involves no cooking. This curry is ideal during hot summer as it keeps your body cool. It is coconut based curry using green leafy vegetables. Besides cooling the body it also adds the goodness of green leafy vegetables to the dish. This works like a magic for mothers, who wants to feed their kids healthy and tasty food. As the greens are hidden but still has all its nutrients intact. This is severed at room temperature with plain steamed rice, pickle and chutney. However the best accompaniment is Bendi and plain steamed rice (Bendi recipe is posted in my previous blog). It has many versions, this is authentic Konkani version and one of my all time favorite dish, even when I was a child. 

Ingredients:

½ bunch Palak Leaves
3-4 green chilles
½ cup fresh coconut (scraped)
½ tsp oil
1tsp jeera
small marble size tamarind
salt to taste

Method

Boil the palak leaves and keep it aside to cool. Slit the green chillies and set aside. In a small pan heat oil and add jeera and chillies. Fry till the jeera changes its colour. Grind fresh coconut, tamarind, boiled palak, jeera and chillies together to a smooth paste. Remove this paste in a vessel, add water to form a curry consistency and salt to taste. This should be served at room temperature with plain steamed rice, pickle, chutney or papad and bendi.(Bendi recipe in my previous blog).

Suggestion tips:
  1. Instead of palak you can use any other green leafy veg (e.g cauliflower leaves, tendli leaves, radish leaves or navalcol leaves etc) and follow the same method.

The green curry is 'Palak Tambli'.




Sunday, 29 June 2014

White Vatana / Peas Bendi

Vatana Bendi is a very traditional and authentic curry from North Karnataka. Extremely simple and pungent comfort food which opens up your taste buds. The ingredients used are very few and easily available at home. This ideally goes with rice and Tambli (another traditional curry).


Ingredients:
1 cup dry white vatana/peas (soaked overnight)
5-6 dry red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
pebble size tamarind
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
1 tsp oil (preferable coconut oil)
5-6 garlic cloves

Method:
Pressure cook the soaked peas for 2 whistles and keep aside. In a small pan, heat ½ tsp oil and fry red chillies and coriander seed till the seeds turns brownish. Grind the roasted red chillies, coriander seeds and tamarind coarsely and add 1 tbsp cooked peas to the mixture. Then again grind this to a smooth fine paste. Add this grounded paste to the remaining cooked peas and mix well. Add water to adjust the consistency of curry and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil. Heat oil for tempering and add garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic changes its colour. Pour this tempering on the prepared curry. Serve hot with rice.

Tips:

  1. Tempering can be done with any vegetable oil, however coconut oil is used traditionally.
  2. You can make Bendi using any other dried beans/whole pluses (e.g. whole masoor, broad beans, rajma etc.) and follow the same method. The soaking time may vary as per the grains.


In the above picture the red curry is Vatana Bendi and the green curry is Palak Tambli served with rice.

Recipe for accompanying curry 'Tambli' in my next blog. 



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sushi Making @ Busago


The term Sushi always awakens my taste buds. So when I got an invite for Sushi making @ Busago I immediately dived for it. The place was nice and warm on the first floor level. I noticed that sushi making ingredients were kept ready on some of the tables. Wow !!! so now we will be making sushi…how exciting J. This was something I was looking forward to and finally I am going to learn how to roll a sushi.

Ingredients for sushi
Chef Nikhil Chib who owns the restaurant taught us how to make a sushi. Post the demo we were asked to make our sushi with 15 different ingredients. The unique ingredients were coconut milk and condensed milk. We were divided into groups and each group was making their uniquely flavored sushi. The judges Nikhil Chib and his wife Natasha then tasted all our creations and the best sushi was selected to be on their menu.

Chef Nikhil Chib demonstrating the Sushi Roll
We were four in our group and we decided to make one veg and two non-veg sushi. I was so excited to experiment with different ingredients and tried my hands on the non-veg with chicken sausage, coconut milk and few other ingredients. And another was like California Roll with Salmon, wasbi, asparagus etc. Now it was judging time. All of us were very curious to see the expression on the judge’s face and the awaited for the results. Finally the judges declared two winners one veg Green Geisha made by Saloni’s team and the non-veg sushi was won by us. We named it 3C- Crooked Cocount Chicken. It was absolute fun creating the sushi roll and all the more coz our sushi roll is now a part of the menu.

3C (Crooked Coconut Chicken) Sushi, The winning non-veg Sushi
After all the fun filled activities, the day ended with the Busago famous Khow Suey. Another memorable part of the day was the Chef Nikhil Chib’s pet Rottwieler moving around and inspecting our activities.


Chef's Pet
 Seems like Chef culinary skills have been rubbed on the pet as well. 





Saturday, 14 June 2014

Kokum / Sol Kadhi

When ever I go through any recipe blog, it always has a story behind each recipe. But I never had any story behind any of my recipes. I always wondered how bloggers associate their recipes with stories. And now I too have story linked to this ever pink refreshing Sol/Kokum Kadhi recipe. I feel like a part of a pack now J.

Sol/Kokum Kadhi always makes me nostalgic. It takes me to the memory lane of my childhood. This was when we used to stay in Mumbai’s open door culture of residency. Neighbors were just like our family members, we shared each other joys and sorrows. We reached out to each other whenever in need. It was like a huge family with different cultures and castes.

I was introduced to this amazing pink colour beverage by one of my neighbor. This family was very unique from others on our floor. The family consisted of 99% elderly members, most of them were in their 60’s and 70’s. They were like my grannies and grandpa. I being in my early childhood was obviously pampered by all of them J . My mom says I was mostly spotted in their house nibbling something, may be my foodie nature was developed because of their pampering me with food J . They used to cook simple and finger licking dishes, without any exotic or rich ingredients. Yet the food used to be extremely delicious and it always used to attract me toward them. I remember whenever the clock struck the lunch time, I used to run to their house and the most inviting yet simple thali was already set for me. Sol/Kokum Kadhi was every day on the menu and I used to relish it with plain steamed rice and also as a drink. It was one of my favorite dish in the thali. All my grannies knew this and they used to serve me with all their love. I remember watching them grind the coconut, garlic and chilli into fine paste on a grinding stone and squeezing out the coconut milk. No electronic gadgets were used, everything was manual. Whenever any new dish was made in their house, I was invited or it was sent home for me. I have learnt some amazing recipes from them, now only gadgets have change but rest remains the same. However couldn't match them, they were the best cooks ...

Seeing me relishing the food at their house, my mom used to make the same dish at home with lots of healthy ingredients like mava, dry fruits etc. But it was only their food I used to enjoy eating, which used to upset my mom many times. God knows what magical ingredients they used to add in their dishes, that even the simplest of the dish tasted heavenly, may be lots and lots of love or a taste of hand. I guess lots of Love, anyway its been said that grandchildren are always most closest to their grandparents, isn't it???

Now, they are no more but their memories are always fresh in mind. Over the period of time those memories were slightly overlooked due to commitments, stress, workload etc... but never faded.

So when  Mariza Cardoz one of the member of KCCB requested for the Kokum kadhi recipe, Gastronomic Flight got an opportunity to pen down those thoughts.

So here is the Kokum/Sol Kadhi recipe in courtesy of my grannies:

Ingredients:
5-6 Kokum
1 cup scrap fresh coconut
1 green chilly or as per taste
1-2 garlic cloves
salt to taste
coriander for garnishing

Method:  

Soak kokum in 1 cup warm water for 15 -20 mins. Grind scraped fresh coconut, garlic and green chilly with little water to smooth soft paste.  Now squeeze this grounded mixture through muslin cloth or fine strainer to get chilly-garlic coconut milk. Repeat the same process 2 or 3 times (depending on the density of the coconut).  Strain and squeeze out the kokum soaked in water completely. You will get beautiful dark red colour kokum extract or juice, which is sour. Discard the kokum as all the flavor is now in the water.  Mix this kokum water to the coconut milk. Add salt to taste and mix well.  Garnish with chopped coriander and serve chilled.

Optional Suggestion

1) Some add sugar to taste, but I personally don’t like it sweet so I avoid sugar. And my grannies too never added sugar, so I follow their recipe. If you like you may add 1/2 or 1 tsp sugar (as per taste).
2) Some add tempering to the Kadhi : Heat 1tsp oil add ½ tsp mustard seed, ½ tsp jeera. When the mustard seed starts spluttering add pinch of asafoetida, curry leaves and 1 dry red chilly (optional).  Pour this tempering on to the prepared Kokum Kadhi.  
3) You can even grind the soaked kokum along with the cocount, garlic and chillies and then follow the same method as above. But please note in this case the colour will not be pink, it will be some what pinkish violet. 
4) Now this a instant version of Sol/Kokum kadhi, Instead of coconut or coconut milk use buttermilk. And follow the above method. 

Which ever options you choose from the above methods, the kadhi tastes best when served chilled.