Khichdi with caramelized onions and curry leaves

khichdi recipe

Khichdi recipe

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I know, I know. Khichdi doesn’t need a recipe. Everybody has one or ten. But this one I made last night because there were no vegetables at home and it was pouring outside is probably the best one I’ve made. Mostly because I didn’t add anything else to it besides mustard oil, salt and lots of turmeric. The consistency was perfect and the caramelized onions I made to go with it was so delicious!

Serves: 2 hungry people

Ingredients for khichdi:

Uncooked rice – 1/2 cup

Tur dal – 1/2 cup

Mustard oil – 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 2 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Rinse the rice and dal at least thrice.

Bring 3 cups of water up to boil in a pressure cooker, and tip the rice and dal in it.

Add the turmeric, mustard oil and salt.

Cover and let it cook on high till two whistles are let out.

Now lower the flame and let it cook for exactly 12 minutes.

Let the pressure drop on its own before taking the lid off.

Ingredients for the onion relish:

Onion – 1 large finely sliced

Ghee/oil – 1 tbsp

Sugar – 1 tsp

Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat the ghee/oil in a nonstick pan.

Saute the onions in it with sugar, pepper and salt.

Let it turn nice and golden brown.

Serve with khichdi.

Additional: Heat a tsp of ghee and add a tsp of mustard seeds. Let them splutter before adding a handful of curry leaves. Once they crackle, tip it on to the khichdi and onions.

 

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Eggless ragi banana bread – no butter, no sugar, no maida

Ragi banana bread recipe

ragi banana bread

I’ve only had ragi three ways – dosa, mudde (steamed balls) and manni (Mangalorean style pudding). I know it’s good for you and I know we should be including it in our regular diet. Keeping this in mind I tried out this banana bread recipe with ragi and whole wheat flour. I added dates as well for extra sweetness. I’m one of those people who’d rather eat a slice of regular cake and maybe burn off the calories with a brisk walk or a run, instead of eating a no fat, no sugar, no flour kind of dessert. Nothing against the ones who do, of course. I just can’t enjoy it that way. This is one of those desserts.

It turned out very soft, spongy and moist without the addition of eggs, which was very surprising to me. But I could taste the ragi distinctly. It’s not my favourite flavour. But for those who look for such recipes, this has got to be gold. A friend who is quite the fitness freak loved it. That gave me the validation to put out a blogpost. So here it is.

Ingredients:

Ragi (finger millet) – 1/2 cup

Whole wheat flour (atta) – 1/2 cup

Banana – 2 medium size (or 3/4 cup mashed)

Dates – handful pitted and chopped

Honey – 1/4 cup

Plain yoghurt – 1/2 cup

Olive oil (or regular) – 1/4 cup

Baking powder – 1.5 tsp

Baking soda – 1/2 tsp

Salt – a pinch

Cinnamon or nutmeg powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven for 10 mins at 190 degree C.

Whisk together oil, yoghurt, honey, dates and mashed bananas.

In another bowl mix the flours, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon powder together.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Don’t over whisk.

Bake for 40 mins in a bread loaf tin.

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Lazy chicken curry with ginger, garlic and coconut milk

easy chicken curry

It’s that time of the month when the bank account runs dry and so does enthusiasm. Maybe they’re connected in some way. This is when I forage my fridge for leftovers and other ingredients to cook a decent meal. This time around I had ginger, garlic, green chillies coconut milk, tomatoes and apples. I kept the tomatoes and apples aside and went on to make some chicken curry with the rest. I got boneless chicken for this, of course.

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This curry has basic ingredients but tasted pretty good. It works well if you’re in a hurry or if you’re new to cooking. Especially with chicken. Feel free to tweak it by adding other spices like cumin, pepper, etc.

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken – 500 gm cut into pieces

Onion – 1 chopped

Ginger – 1 inch piece or more

Garlic – 5 cloves

Green chilli – 2-3

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Coriander leaves for garnish

Salt to taste

Oil to cook

Method:

Saute onion in some oil till translucent.

In the meanwhile blitz together the ginger, garlic and green chillies till they form a coarse paste.

Add the ginger, garlic and chilli mixture to the onions.

Saute for another 3 mins.

Tip the chicken pieces in and stir them around.

Add the rest of the ingredients with a splash of water.

Cover and cook on low flame for 15 mins or till done. Cooking time depends on the size of the chicken pieces. If they’re small let it cook for 10 mins. Always check by cutting open the biggest piece.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rice or roti.

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Masala omelette, greasy toast and rose milk – Nostalgia for breakfast

The 90s take me back to Mangalore, where I spent most summer holidays. I also stayed there at granny’s place for 5 years to finish school and college. My favourite and my best years, of course. There was this petty shop in the neighbourhood where the owner, Vinayaka, treated his customers like family. Well, those were such times. There was this sense of belonging to a place, to its people and its food. That shop didn’t have a name. He said he’d have to pay extra taxes and rent if he got it commercialized (or something to that effect). He anyway sold things like newspaper, cigarettes, chocolates and other small things.

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Kori gassi | Mangalorean chicken curry

Kori gassi | Mangalorean chicken curry recipe

chicken gassi

 

Nothing can come close to my late grandmother’s kori gassi (chicken gravy, literally translated). It was even better when made in a clay pot (bisalé) on a wood fire ‘stove’ which gave it an earthy smokey flavour. The flavours would intensify the next day and the gassi would then be had with neer dosae (paper thin rice crepes) or semedadye (string hoppers/rice noodle cakes).

Grandmothers and mothers have years of experience behind them cooking these dishes. Even today mother can’t give me the exact measurements for her curries. She says you need to have a free hand and a few trial and errors to get it right yourself. Which turned out to be quite the case. However, after many practices over the past year, I’ve come close to being pleased with this kori gassi. I serve it with kori rotti (crispy rice wafers?). This rotti is available in all Mangalore stores. Let the rotti soak up the curry and enjoy!

Ingredients:

Chicken on the bone cut into pieces – 1 kilo

Onion – 1 large sliced, 1 medium finely chopped for garnish

Coconut milk – 1 cup

Ghee – 1 tbsp

Ingredients for ground masala:

Coconut – 1 cup freshly grated

Kashmiri/byadagi chillies – 4 large or 6 medium (I deseeded 2 of them so it’s not too hot)

Dried gundu chillies (small round ones) – 3 (these are for heat)

Cumin seeds – 1.5 tsp

Coriander seeds – 1 tsp

Peppercorns – 1 tsp

Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp or a pinch (use sparingly else the curry will turn bitter)

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Garlic – 4 medium cloves

Ginger – 1 inch piece

Tamarind – pulp from a tbsp full of it or 1 tsp if you’re using readymade paste (you can alter this according to taste)

Turmeric powder – 1.5 tsp (you want that lovely colour!)

Water – just enough to get the blender running to make the paste

Method:

Wash chicken pieces and keep aside.

Dry roast chillies first on a hot nonstick pan and keep aside.

Now dry roast the rest together, except the coconut, tamarind, ginger and garlic.

After this, dry roast the coconut till it’s lightly toasted. It also shrinks a little.

Once they all cool down, put them in a blender along with the ginger, garlic, turmeric and tamarind.

Add a splash of water and blitz away till you get a relatively smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat ghee in a kadai or a cooker and saute the onion slices in it till they turn soft.

Add the chicken and the ground masala. Mix well coating the chicken with the masala.

Add a cup of water, salt and half the coconut milk.

Let this come to a bubble, lower the heat and cook for 30 mins or till chicken is tender.

Add the remaining coconut milk and check for taste. Adjust salt accordingly.

Let it simmer for a min or two and take it off the heat. Cover with a lid and let the curry rest.

Heat some more ghee in a pan and fry the chopped onion in it till brown and garnish the chicken with it.

Serve with rice, dosae or like I do, with kori rotti.

 

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Double chocolate fudge brownies

Double chocolate fudge brownies recipe

double chocolate brownies

Made these double chocolate fudge brownies for someone in the team today because it’s his birthday. He asked for an entire batch of brownies so he could sit by the window and eat them all by himself. What he wanted were fudgy gooey ones, so I altered my brownie recipe a little to see how it turns out. I don’t know what it tastes like because I gave him the whole thing! But it looked fantastic.

double chocolate brownies

That’s the thing about chocolate – it’s hard to go wrong. A good brownie recipe can be altered to suit your taste. Make them extra fudgy or cakey, or use milk chocolate or even frost them. I’ve even stuffed one batch with oreo cookies. For these, I played around with some condensed milk to make it gooey, reduced the flour and added cocoa to the condensed milk – that’s why the ‘double’ chocolate. Give these a shot and let me know how they turn out. Hardly takes any time.

double chocolate brownies

Prep + baking time: 30 mins

Yield: 9 brownies

Ingredients:

Dark cooking chocolate – 1 cup chopped up

Butter – 1/4 cup

Eggs – 2, at room temperature

Sugar – 1/2 cup (I went a tbsp less than that)

Vanilla – 1 tsp

Baking soda – 1/2 tsp

Cocoa – 1 tbsp

Condensed milk – 3 tbsp

Salt – a pinch (only if you’re using unsalted butter)

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line an 8/9 inch baking pan with parchment paper or greased with butter and dusted with flour.

Melt chocolate and butter in microwave or with the double boiler method (heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water). Take off the heat as soon as both are melted. Give it a mix. Don’t keep it in the heat for long else the mixture will curdle.

Stir it a little so it cools. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix immediately.

Tip the sugar and vanilla in. Mix again.

Mix the cocoa in 3 tbsp hot water and then with the condensed milk. Cocoa can dry out anything it goes into, that’s why you need to compensate that with the water. Pour it into the chocolate batter.

Now add the flour, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold it all together and pour it into the baking pan.

Bake for 20 mins.

Dust with cocoa or icing sugar before serving.

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Sticky honey chilli chicken

Sticky honey chilli chicken recipe

honey chilli chicken

Remember the Chilli honey paste recipe from a while ago? This was sitting in the fridge since then and I needed to use it before it found itself a permanent spot at the back of the fridge. I had some boneless thigh pieces marinating in ginger garlic paste sitting in the fridge as well. This is the best thing I could do with them. I simply pan fried them till they were nice and browned and cooked through and then tossed them in the chilli honey paste mixed with soy and fish sauce. Makes for a great appetizer as well.

Yield: 2 portions

Ingredients:

Boneless chicken – 4 thighs cut into pieces (you could use 2 -3 boneless breasts as well)

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Soy (dark/honey soy) – 1 tbsp

Chilli honey paste – 2 tbsp

Fish sauce – 1 tbsp (if you don’t have it, leave it out and add salt to taste)

Sesame oil – 2 tsp

Honey – 1 tbsp

Method:

Marinate chicken in ginger garlic paste overnight or for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan and cook chicken in it till browned and cooked through – say around 2-3 mins per side depending on the size of the pieces. Keep aside.

Mix sesame oil, soy, fish sauce, chilli honey paste and honey together.

Heat the pan again and pour the sauce mixture into it.

Let it bubble up for 2 mins.

Toss the cooked chicken in the sauce till coated well.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves.

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Waffles with stewed cinnamon apples

waffles

The original plan was to make apple cinnamon pancakes. That quickly changed to waffles because I’d made pancakes a couple of weeks ago and it had been a few months since the waffle maker saw the light of day. I bought the waffle maker from Flipkart during one of their big sales. It was quite a bargain – Rs. 900 I think. The brand is Lifelong.

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Smoked beetroot hummus with toasted pita bread

Smoked beetroot hummus recipe

beetroot hummus

 

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(That’s how I smoked the beets)

The first time I had beetroot hummus was in Bangalore at Pepper Cafe. I remember loving the very idea of playing with hummus. A couple of days ago, I was browsing YouTube and came across a video of a lady making beetroot hummus.  Took it further and smoked my beet before blitzing it with the rest of the ingredients. It resulted in  smokey hummus, and what’s not to love about that?!

Yield: 2 bowls of hummus

Ingredients:

Beetroot – 1 large

Cooked chickpeas – 1/2 cup

Tahini – 2 tsp (grind 3 tbsp white sesame with 1/4 olive olive oil to a paste to make tahini)

Olive oil – 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Paprika – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Smoke – 2 pieces of charcoal  with 1 tsp olive oil (smoking is optional though)

Salt to taste

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(Tahini)

beetroot hummus

Method:

Preheat oven at 200C for 15 mins.

Wrap the beet in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven and cook for and hour.

Let it cool completely before cutting it up into pieces.

If you’re going to smoke it, then place the beetroot pieces in a wide pan, leaving space in the middle for a small bowl (katori) with the hot charcoal in it.

Pour a spoon of olive oil on the charcoal and quickly close put a tight lid on the pan. Let this sit for 7-8 mins.

In the meanwhile, make tahini.

Once the beetroot has been smoked, put it in your processor/blender and blitz it till it has broken down coarsely.

Add the chickpeas, tahini, salt, paprika, cumin and garlic. A splash of water will help get things moving in the blender.

Blitz away till you get to desired consistency.

Put it in a bowl and garnish with coriander leaves and some olive oil.

Serve with toasted pita bread or veggie sticks.

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Breakfast pita pockets with Peri Peri hummus and eggs

breakfast pita pockets

These are the result of leftover hummus from the previous day. There was pita bread and eggs as well. So breakfast seemed like the ideal makeover for these leftovers. Hummus has become so popular today that most restaurants are serving it with chicken, veggies and more. I made a hummus a couple of ways – beetroot and Peri Peri. Peri Peri is easy. Just swirl regular hummus with some of the sauce and you have Peri Peri hummus. It’s easily spreadable inside pita and with some eggs, it makes for a great breakfast!

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