Archive for January, 2011

This recipe is from Geeta Pachhi’s daughter – Sunita Shenoy

Crabs – 5 to 6 medium sized
Red bell pepper – 1 
(cut length wise)

Yellow bell pepper -1
Onions – 2, medium sized (cut length wise)
Oil – 3 tbsp
Thai curry paste (ready made paste is available)

Coconut milk (thick) – 1 cup
Sat to taste

1. Wash crabs several times removing the dirt and the yellow of the crabs.
2. Cook them with salt and keep aside
3. Heat oil in a big pan. Add lengthwise slit onion and bell pepper and fry till they become soft and transparent.
4. Add thai paste according to ur taste and coconut milk as per desired consistency and simmer for 5 seconds.
5. Then add cooked crabs in this and stir for a few minutes. (Add basil or lemon grass leaves optional)
6. Serve with rice.

I can eat any number of these any given time… They take long time to be made as they are slow cooked on tawa but they disappear in no time. This is one of my comfort foods when served with Rice and Dal, even on its own straight off the hot tawa. My Bong family opine that this can’t be had as a side with Rice. But we amchis like anything fried with Rawa coat!
Potatoes – 2, sliced
Turmeric powder – a tsp
Red chilli powder – as per taste (optional)
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Salt – to taste
Rawa / Suji / Semolina – required to coat the potato slices
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
1. Marinate the potatoes with turmeric powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida and salt.

2. Coat the potato slices with rawa and place on hot tawa. (on low flame)
3. Drizzle oil all over and cover with lid.
4. After 3-4 mins, invert all the potato slices and drizzle little more oil.
5. Remove from tawa when the slices are cooked.

This goes out to Veggie / Fruit a Month: Potato hosted byDivya originated by Priya

Yet another dish from Geeta Pachhi’s kitchen that’s sure to tingle tongues and win hearts!!!
Shrimp – 1 kg 
Chilli powder – 3 tbspn 
Onion – 2 big onions, sliced 
Garlic cloves – 3, mashed 
Tamarind pulp – 2 tbspn 
Oil – 5 tbspn (preferably coconut oil) 
1. Peel the shrimp and devein them.Wash thoroughly in the water 5 to 6 times. 
2. Add the shrimp heads cleaning them thoroughly (optional). Keep aside.
3. Heat oil. Add chopped onion, mashed garlic and fry till they become brown in color.
4. Add the chilli powder and tamarind pulp and stir for 1 minute.
5. Add the washed shrimps. After a while the shrimp gets cooked and the water comes out from the shrimp , add salt to taste.
6. Simmer till all the water evaporates and the curry becomes dry.
7. Serve with rice and dal

Chilli powder is mentioned as 3 tbsp as Byadgie (less spicy) chilli powder is used here. If using a spicy chilli powder, add as per spice tolerance.

Alu Bharta

Potato is a common favourite of Amchis and Bongs. This dish easily booked a spot in my Comfort Food list. Alu Bharta could be prepared in umpteen ways. This version was taught to me by my kids’ nanny Savitha. Her version also had a boiled egg. She would place an egg amidst potatoes in pressure cooker for boiling. That was the first time I came to know that eggs could be boiled in pressure cooker too…
Alu bharta + Steamed Rice + Dal / Rasam = Bliss + Comfort for me
…….And I believe many can vouch for this.
Potatoes – 3, medium sized
Red chillies – 1 or 2 based on spice tolerance
Onion – 1 small, sliced
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Egg – 1 optional
1.      Boil potatoes, peel and mash together. (Along with egg if using it)
2.      Deep fry red chillies in oil till crisp, remove from oil, press wth hands into flakes and keep aside.
3.      Saute sliced onions in mustard oil till golden brown.
4.      Add mashed potatoes, salt and red chilli flakes. Keep stirrng on medium flame till they are mixed well and the mash turns reddish.

This goes out to Veggie / Fruit a Month: Potato hosted by Divya originated by Priya

Another mouth watering sea food delicacy from Geeta Pachhi. Let’s straight away dive into the recipe without further ado…
Sear / King fish – 1/2 k.g (6 to 7 small pieces)
Grated coconut – 1 cup 
Chilli powder -2 tbspn * 
Green chillies – 3, slit
Onion – 1, chopped 
Ginger – 1″ piece, chopped
Salt to taste
Tamarind  – 1 small marble size ball
Coconut Oil – 1 tbsp


1. Wash fish thoroughly in water 
2. Apply  some of the chopped onion, chopped ginger and salt to the fish pieces.
3. Grind coconut with chillipowder and tamarind to a fine paste.
4. Remove from the grinder and add rest of the chopped onion and ginger to it and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add water according to ur consistency and salt to taste.
6. Add fish pieces in the gravy and simmer for a few secs . 
7. Add coconut oil top after removing from flame.
1. Instead of tamarind, add 2-3  Kokum (Garcinia Indica) while simmering the masala.
2. Chilli powder is mentioned as 2 tbsp as Byadgie (less spicy) chilli powder is used here. If using a spicy chilli powder, 1 tbsp would be sufficient.
3. Fish curry can be made with Teppal (Sichuan Pepper) also. In that case, onion and ginger must be omitted. Instead 12 to 13 Teppals should be added when you are about to remove the masala paste from the grinder. Simmer this Teppal masala fro some time with sufficient water and then add fish. cook till the fish is cooked. Drizzle coconut oil on top after removing from flame. 
This dish has a secret way to my man’s heart. Dimer Jhol or Egg Curry is his all time favourite. Mostly this gets cooked during lunch and gravy is kept as thin as to last till dinner. Abbas would always rave about his Laskhmi (pronounced as Lokkhi) Masi’s Dimer Jhol and challenge that nobody could match her levels. He was very right in saying that coz I myself have tasted this dish cooked by her and nothing can beat it. I feel there are some unique dishes that are like signatures of individuals. If one tries to recreate it, the magical element of a hand’s touch can’t be brought to it.
Lakshmi Masi is Ma’s sister and this is her signature dish. Whenever she would visit us, we took it for granted that she would make it for us. Each time I would stay near her while she cooked it and recorded in my mind each step with proportions, but failed to recreate the magic again. She is no more with us but her memories fail to fade away. This dish is a tribute to her coz the last time I made it, Abbas was bowled over and he said ‘This is IT!!!’ 
Boiled eggs – 4
Potatoes – 2, medium sized, cut into quarters
Onion – 1, medium sized, sliced
Ginger paste – 2 tsp
Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2-3 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick – 1″
Bay Leaves – 2
Salt – to taste
Sugar – a pinch
Oil – 2 tbsp (Mustard oil can be used for authentic Bong taste, I genrally mix mustard and sunflower oil)
To pound:
Cardamom – 2-3
Cloves – 3-4
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
1. Deshell the boiled eggs and make small incisions randomly all over them. Marinate with salt and turmeric powder. Shallow fry them in oil till their exteriors turn golden. Keep aside
2. Marinate potato quarters with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry in oil till the exteriors turn golden. Keep aside.
3. Temper the remaining oil with cumin seeds and bay leaves.
4. When the cumin seeds splutter, add chopped onions and a pinch of sugar. Saute till they are golden brown.
5. Add ginger and garlic paste. Saute till the raw smell goes.
6. Now add half a cup of water along with red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, and salt.
7. Also add the shallow fried eggs and potatoes. Gently keep stirring till the water evaporates.
8. Add another half cup of water and still till the water evaporates. You may repeat this process one or time if you wish to.
9. Now add a cup of water and pound garam masala, adjust salt if required. Cover and cook till the potatoes are cooked. Remove the lid and cook till the gravy has attained your desired thickness.

I’m very elated to have the first guest post of my blog. I just asked her once if she could pass on a recipe of hers to post on my blog? She was so liberal to let me choose any dish from her collection of pics posted in FB. I chose the Amchi Crab Curry without any second thoughts. Her enthusiasm and passion in life is an ideal example for us to look up to. I have only met her once in person but in touch with her through FB. I’m very grateful to you Pachhi for being so kind in sending the recipe and also letting me publish your clicks of the dish. Hope to have more from you in this space.
Introducing ‘The Evergreen Inspiring Lady’ – Geeta Baliga:
Over to you Pachhi –

Hello, my name is Geeta Baliga. Seema Kamath invited me to blog about my special recipes. First, let me tell you about myself. I was born in Chennai and grew up in Calicut, Kerala. I was the 12th  of 12 children of my parents Vinayak and Sushila Kini. I got married at the age of 21 to Mr. Mohan Baliga and moved to Hubli. I have 2 daughters and a son. I was an entrepreneur and ran a very successful pre-school called Rose Bud in Hubli for 35 years. Now all my children are gown up and settled in North America. I now have 5 adorable grand children, the oldest being 19 and youngest 7. I have now moved to the US to stay closer to my family. My passion for cooking was inspired by my mother-in-law, Rukmini Baliga, who made fantastic and authentic Konkani food. Konkani cuisine is known for great fish curries and other seasonal delicacies like “Kadgi Chako” and “Keerla Sukhe”etc etc My husband’s family was also large (10 children) and we constantly had family visiting us for whom I helped cook barrels of curries, chakkulis and ubbatis, phenories, shevai, thile undo, halvas etc. While in Hubli I had friends from all parts of India – Panjabi, Marasthrian, Sauzi and Lingayat (Hubli locals), from whom I learnt to make other types of cuisines. Over time my reputation grew as the best cook in the family and circle of friends, particularly for seafood.

So, here is my first recipe… Crab Curry. Enjoy.

Medium size crabs – 6, if they r too big cut it into half
One half of full big coconut – grated
Green chillies – 6, slit
Red chilli powder – 2-3 tbsps
Tamarind – a small ball
Ginger – 2″ piece, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – a pinch

For seasoning:
Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 5-6
Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped

1. Grind coconut with tamarind and red chilli powder in to smooth paste. Keep aside.
2. Wash the crabs 4 to 5 times. Remove the yellow stuffs from its shell while washing.
3. Cook crabs adding little water with chopped onions, chopped ginger, slit green chillies and salt.
4. Add the masala paste and simmer. Don’t add too much water to avoid becoming too much watery.
5. Then season with mustard seeds and curry leaves or season it with chopped onion. That’s all.

4 o’ clock hunger pang – Sindhu (my Sis) and I charge into the kitchen! In less than another 15-20 mins, both of us waiting for the pressure cooker to whistle… Our anxious walk around the kitchen would remind one of people outside Operation Theatre waiting for the doctor to come out… Once the whistles are done, we wait for the cooker to cool down and stop hush hush, so that we could open the lid and attack!!! Our guest to taste these culinary achievements (at times mishaps) was our Granny. She was always supportive and actively stood by our side in all such passionate things that we did… Miss her to the core!
With hubby and Ma disliking one pot meals, now I hardly get to indulge into these delicacies. What made me realize how badly I missed a pulao? Had gone to the beauty parlour and the beautician’s hub calls up. She is instructing him to get all the ingredients for making Pulao. I come back home and was casually chatting with my maid. Asker her what she cooked? (That’s one question I don’t fail to ask even in the shortest of conversations) Fate had it that she too cooked Pulao that day and I was put in a ‘Do or die’ situation. Luckily there was some plain rice and fish curry just enough for Abbas from the previous day and Ma was in Kolkata. I made this 1-pressure-cooker-3-whistles rice and satiated my Pulao forbidden soul.
Note: After Abbas finished his dinner I asked him to taste it but he was firmly reluctant. Pestered him to have just a spoon. Well, little was he aware that no one can eat just one spoon of this dish… He he
Rice – 2 cups
Veggies – 1 cup, chopped into cubes (I used carrots, beans, potatoes and green peas)
Onion – 1 small, chopped
Bay leaves – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil + ghee or just oil – 2 tbsps
Water – 4 cups
For the masala:
Coconut – grated, 2 tbsps
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Ginger – 1” piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Mint leaves – 10
Coriander leaves – a handful
Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – ½” stick
  1. Grind together the ingredients called for under the masala header using little water if required.
  2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add bay leaves.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute till they turn transparent.
  4. Now add the ground masala and sauté till raw smell goes.
  5. Add the veggies, rice, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Add water and close the lid.
  7. I generally cook for 3 whistles i.e. the cooker is left on high flame till the first whistle, put it on low flame and cook for next two whistles. Or first five minutes on high flame and next two on low flame and switch it off. Do not open the lid till the pressure cooker is silent (You know what I mean!)
  8. Server with raitha. (I love it on its own)
I had forgotten to take pictures of it. So clicked after having packed it for lunch…

Alu Kumro Tarkari

This is the first dish that got me hooked to Bong cuisine. My Bhabi (SIL) used to make it for breakfast as a side to go along with Puris or Parathas. It’s a simple and quick to prepare dish and I simply love it. Bhabi’s version had only potatoes but this time I added cubes of Pumpkin coz it was begging to be used while it lay abandoned in our refrigerator for a couple of weeks…With or without Pumpin, the dish wins over hearts…
Potatoes – 3, medium sized cut into 1cm cubes
Pumpkin – 1 cup, cup into 1cm cubes (optional)
Green chillies – 2, slit
Nigella seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – as per spice tolerance
Salt – to taste
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp (mandatory)
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add nigella seeds and slit green chillies and sauté for a minute.
  2. Add cubed potatoes and pumpkins, salt and turmeric powder and sauté till the cubes get a golden exterior.
  3. Add a cup of water and  red chilli powder. Cover and cook till you potato-pumpkin cubes are cooked and you get a  gravy of desired consistency.
  4. Using the back of a spoon or a masher, mash lightly to get a beautiful texture.

This goes out to Veggie/Fruit of the month: Potato hosted by Divya

and also to Complete My Thali hosted by PJ and strated by Jagruti
I had baked Chocolate Mud Cake on my birthday and I distributed it among my team mates, bus mates, kids’ creche caretakers and my maid. At the end of the day, when Abbas asked me for a slice of the cake, I was ashamed! I didn’t have a crumb of it left and wanted to crawl under a rock… He said “How could you forget that I haven’t eaten it?” He shook his head in disbelief and I can’t express how I bad I felt! Anyway to make up for my grave mistake, I again donned my apron and baked these muffins. They are simply too delicious. The recipe was bookmarked from Suma’s Cakes and More where it was a guest post by Madhuri of CookCurryNook… It was actually a flourless chocolate cake and called for 500g of dark chocolate. Since I had only 200g bar on stock, I adjusted the other two ingredients proportionatley and baked them in my muffin tray.
Bitter-sweet dark chocolate compound – 500 gms  (I used the Selbourne brand 200g)

Butter – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps (I used about 1/4 cup)
Eggs – 5 nos, at room temperature (preferably large-sized) (I used 2 eggs)

My measurements yielded me 9 muffins
Method:1. Cut the dark chocolate into small pieces and microwave with the butter for 1-2 minutes till the mixture melts into a molten liquid. The melting can also be done in a double boiler method.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F. Prepare your muffin try with muffin liners. 
3. Now, while your chocolate-butter mixture is cooling, separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them into two separate medium sized bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed and set aside (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry)
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together and set aside.

6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate. Stir well.
7. Next, fold in 1/3rd of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains, without deflating the batter.

8. Pour the readied batter into muffin liners (the batter should fill the 3/4 of liners), and bake for 20 minutes. 
9. Cool muffins on a wire-rack for 10 minutes before serving.


This goes out to Priya’s Bookmarked Event Every Tuesday

Also goes out to ‘Delicious Desserts’ event hosted by Aliena @ What’s Cooking Today