Friday, February 29, 2008

Another Award & Spinach Ambat

Well, Well its pouring awards , awards & more on the blog world!!! Everyone's getting awards & passing it on.....I am truely overwhelmed on getting another award! Getting the E for excellence award so soon after entering the blog world is tuely amazing & i am so... happy! Thank you Dear Purnima of Fantasy Cooking for passing on this award to me.....I appreciate it :-)

I would like to pass it on too,

Laavanya of Cookery Corner , Maya of Konkan World and Meera of Enjoy Indian Food . Congrats girls on your well deserved awards :-)

Spinach Ambat
This is an authentic konkani dish, made quite often in our house. Ambat is a coconut based curry & cooked given seasoning with Onions. You can make Ambat with carrots, potatoes, Spinach, Chayote squash. This goes well with rice & some simple sabji.


Spinach- 3 cups
Coconut - 3/4 cup
R.Chillies - 5
Tamarind - a small piece
Onion - 1
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 tsps


1. Wash the spinach & chop it. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

2. Roast R .chillies in a drop of oil till slightly brown. Then grind it with coconut & tamarind to a fine paste.

3. Add the ground masala to the spinach, add salt & 1/2 of onion finely chopped & bring to a good boil.

4. Season with finely chopped onions sauted in oil till brown.

Serve hot with rice...Ambat is ready & delicious!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Black Channa Theeyal

I first tasted this dish at our very close Family friend L aunty's house. It was awesome & i instantly loved it. Got the recipe from aunty & made it quite a few times already.


Black Channa - 1 cups
Jeera - 1 tsp
Corriander seeds - 2 tsp
Methi seeds- 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1
Curry leaves - few
R.Chillies - 5
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - one small lime size (soak in water)
Salt - to taste


1. Soak Channa & pressure cook next morning.

2. Fry in little oil - Jeera, Corriander seeds, methi, chopped onion, curry leaves,R.chillies. Keep aside.

3. Then fry the coconut till it gets a nice brown colour.

4. Grind all the fried ingredients to a fine paste.

5. Now in a pan add oil & once hot add the mustard seeds. When it splutters at the ground masala & fry well for 5 minutes.

6. Then add tamarind extract & salt & bring the gravy to a good boil. Finally add channa & bring to a good boil & check on the gravy consistency.

Serve hot......... goes well with rice & rotis!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My First Award!!!

My very first award - "Nice Matters" was passed on to me by - Pravs of Simply Spicy , Dhivya of Dhivyas Kitchen & Laavanya of Cookery Corner. Thank you Dear Pravs, Dhivya & Laav for passing it on to me & few other blog friends. I truely appreciate it. This is my first award & i am in peak of excitement.......Its like getting on Oscar :-)

"Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

I was telling my daughter i got an award & she was like so wheres the trophy! Ha Ha!! Kids have their own thinking....

I have been in blog world only few months.. still a baby, learning slowly & trying to grow. Made a lot of friends & feels more like an extended family. Look forward to all comments / suggesstion all of you leave. Appreciate the time each of you take behind every comment & the sweet words.. its been fun blogging & every morning with my hot cup of coffe i log onto the blog world!!

Thank you all for all the sweet words, encouragement you give. I need no more recipe books i guess, as so many wonderful recipies in all blogs, its a giant collection of recipes!

I would like to pass on this award to all of you. I know i have to restrict the list & most of you have already got it. So it goes to Nupur of "One Hot Stove",RC of "Red Chillies", Deepa of " Recipes N More" & Ramya of "Mane Adige".
Thank you all & Happy Bloging!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Arusuvai Friendship Chain & The Secret Ingredient !!

The Arusuvai friendship chain has been going on for quite sometime now in India. It was started here, in the US, recently by The Yum Blog, Bhags & Bharathy. Thank you all, for starting this chain...... its fun watching people send & receive the "Secret Ingredient" & wait till a dish comes out of it!

So finally today i got my secret ingredient, sent by Deepa of Recipes N More.

It was a big chunk of Jaggery! I was excited on seeing it & quite a few dishes crossed my thoughts..... i wanted it to be something very different & i landed up making - Soornali. Its a kind of dosa - I made the salty & sweet version.. enjoy !!


Raw Rice - 2 cups
Coconut - 3/4 cup
Poha - 1/2 cup
Butter milk (Sour) - 1 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cucumber - 1 (If desired)

For Sweet Soornali : Jaggery - acc to taste.


1. Soak rice & methi seeds together for about 2 hours.

2. Grind it to a fine paste along with the coconut.

3. Wash the poha & set aside. Once it fluffs up, add to the ground mixture & grind well. Add the butter milk & salt.

Now transfer half the batter to a vessel & add in grated cucumber & mix it in well. This batter is for the "Salty Soornali". Cucumber can be omitted too if you dont want them, but it imparts a nice flavour & taste.

To the rest of batter i added about 1 cup of grated jaggery & ground well again. Check the batter for sweetness & accordingly adjust. This batter is for the "Sweet Soornali". You can add some elaichi powder if you like, but traditionally we dont add it.

You spread it like regular dosas, little thick & cover & cook only on one side. The sweet soornali, try taking with ghee.. it comes out real yum!

Soornali can be eaten with home made fresh butter or with any chutney of your choice. Ofcourse the sweet soornali - needs no accompianment! So heres the Soornali ready to be enjoyed!

The Secret Ingredient is now again on the move from my place to...

Maya of Konkan World.
Dhivya of Dhivyas Kitchen &
Red Chillies

Thank you Maya, Dhivya & RC for participating & continuing the chain. Good luck & awaiting the superb dishes you will come up with.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Udad Maida Dosa with Tomato Chutney

This is an easy dosa & requires no fermenting! Its very soft & fluffy too.


Udad Dhal - 1 cup
Maida - 3 cups
Salt - 3tsp


1. Soak Udad dhal for 2 hours & grind to a fine paste.

2. Mix the maida in a big container with lots of water without lumps. Add salt to it. Cover it & put it in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours. The maida will settle & water will be on top after couple of hours. Throw away the water.

3. Now to the maida, add the ground udad & mix it in well. Spread as regular dosas & cover & cook only on one side.

Hot hot Udad Maida dosas are ready!


Spicy Tomato chutney, goes very well, with these soft dosas.


Tomato - 4
Oil - 2tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp
Channa Dhal - 1tbspn
Curry leaves - few
Red Chillies - 5
Salt - to taste


1. In a pan add oil & once hot add the mustard seeds, jeera & curry leaves.

2.Then add the channa dhal & fry it till its slightly golden brown in colour. Add the red chillies & saute 2 minutes.

3. Finally add in chopped tomatoes & fry for 3-4 mts. Allow to cool before grinding. Add required salt to the chutney.

For a variation, i add cilantro instead of curry leaves for a different taste. Adding green chillies can also be done.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Batata (Potato) Song

With The Potato Fest (Dhivya) & Ode to Potato (Sia) being announced, i wanted to participate in these events! So many of you,have already sent their entries for this event.. heres mine - Batata Song - A konkani Potato dish, which is delicious & easy to make.


Potato - 2
Onion - 3
Tamarind - Small lime sized (soaked in water)
Chillie Powder - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 tsp


1.Pressure cook the potatos. Peel them & cool them completely. Cut them into medium sized cubes.

2. In a pan add the oil. Cut the onions into small cubes & saute them till slightly transparent.

3. Then add the chillie powder & mix it well. Now pour in the tamarind water & bring to a boil.
4.Then add the potatoes, salt & mix well. Add little water & bring it to agood boil.

You will see the gravy thickening a little. Serve hot with rice & dhal...This is a perfect combination! Simple & yet delicious.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cooking from other blogs # 1

I have been trying out, few recipes from other blogs.....Its been fun trying something new in some one else's style / method of cooking!

Its been interesting, trying out recipes & they all turned out so yummy & delicious! Its nice learning new recipes & meeting all my new friends. Though i started blogging only about 4 months back, i have made so many friends that, i feel this is another part of my family here that i interact with -"My Blog Family". Thanks to all of you for taking time to leave comments & sweet words.. I always appreciate it!!

Here's the first few recipes i tried.....

Microwave Masala Peanuts: These were super easy & real yum! We had a party at my place & my first trial at this.. i made one batch & loved it & rightaway made 2 more batches.. it was gone in a jiffy!! With drinks in hand.. do i need to say these vanish pretty fast.. believe me, you know these are not deep fried & low cal, so you go on & on.... Thanks Asha for a nice & guilt free recipe!!

Vegetable Pulav or Bhath: Again a super hit!! Made this for a baby shower & it was loved by all. I followed the recipe to the dot, just i changed the veggies, as did not have Zucchini & bean on hand! I put in peas, lima beans instead & made it. We loved this one.. Asha Thank u:-)

Dry Garlic Chutney: This one was very nice & we loved it with curd rice. I thought mixing some of this with butter or cream cheese would make a lovely spread on crackers. But it did not last that long for me to try different things :-) Thanks Asha!! LINK:

Pineapple Sheera: This one tasted great. Different from our regular sheera, but delicious. A nice way a fruit to go in along with the sweet..... Even my kids enjoyed it. Thank you Shilpa :-)

Moru Kolumbu: I had decided to try this the minute i saw the photo on her blog! To top it she used so many ingredients - that i never use in my method of moru kolumbu. So i tried it & it was real yummy... i thought it would last for next days lunch too... but it was all gone :-) Thanks Laav for a great recipe !

Eggless Date & Walnut Cake: This was was a Super-Duper hit at my place & with all our friends too! By request, i have already baked this cake - 6 times :-) Yes, we truely love it & are ready for it always! I thought i had pictures of it, but can't find... not to worry.. i will bake one soon & update it here. Thank You Pravs for an awesome recipe!!LINK:

Thank You, dear blog friends, for sharing all your wonderfull recipes, i truely enjoy reading all posts & learning new stuff every day!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Val Val - A typical Mangalorean dish

Val Val - Are you thinking what a name for a dish! Well, i frankly don't know why they call it like that, but trust me its a super tasty dish & you can just eat it by itself.....Its very easy to prepare & a sure item on the menu for festivals & usually a must for konkani weddings.

In this dish we use vegetables - that are very specific (as far as i know) & we use Raw Cashew, called as BIBOO (in Konkani). Its the outer nut from the cashew fruit, that is dried & packed with the skin. We soak it in water & peel the skin & then use it. Instead of Biboo you can substitute regular cashews too.
Biboo is something as far as i know not available here in US. Its more in Mangalore / Bangalore / Kerela / Bombay where you will find it.

Here's recipe for Valval...


Pumpkin (Orange one)- 1 medium piece
Sweet Potato - 2
Potato - 1
Tindora - 1/4 pound
Biboo ( Raw Cashew) - 1cup
Coconut milk - 1 can
Green chillies- 12no
Ghee - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste
Rice flour - 2 tsp


1. Soak the biboo for 2-3 hours in hot water. If using regular cashews - no need to soak.

2. Peel the biboo & pressure cook for just 1 whistle. Raw cashews too pressure cook.

3. Cut all veg into 1 " long pieces length wise & put in a pan. Now add to the half can of coconut milk & water - just enough to cover veg. Add in slit green chillies & cover & cook.

4. The veg will get cooked & when almost done, add in the biboo/ cashews, salt & stir all well.

5. Now add the rest of the coconut milk & slowly bring to a boil. Once it boils if you want to thincken the gravy just take the rice flour & mix it with little water & make a paste & pour it into the dish & stir well. Bring to a boil again.

6. Season with ghee, jeera & curry leaves.....Serve hot.

You can just eat it by itself. It goes well with any spicy curry too.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tomato Saaru / Soup - How ever u like to call it!

With winter being the season & we here having 8" of snow, Rasam was the perfect dish i could think of cooking! A perfect dish for all those colds & coughs associated with the season. So heres a simple rasam / soup - if u like to just drink it.....


Roma Tomatoe- 5
MTR Rasam Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 2
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - for ganishing


1. Blanch the tomatoes in hot water til u see the skin of it ready to come off.

2. Peel of the skin & put it in a blender & blend it well.

3. Now transfer to a pan & add water ( I added 1 cup) - to bring to your desired consistency. Add MTR Rasam Powder, Salt & bring to a boil.

4. Season with finely chopped garlic roasted in oil, till slightly brown. Add in chopped cilantro leaves & serve hot!

We had it with rice, but you can even drink it like a soup.....your choice!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Vatani Usal

I first had this dish at my friend Vandy's place. It tasted so yum with hot hot puris she served us. I instantly decided i need to learn & make it, but unfortunately got stuck as she said you need "GODA masala" ! What masala??? Never heard of that!! Then she told me it was a Maharastrian Masala. I waited for someone to make an India trip & finally got my Masala a week back - a friend was sweet enough to bring it for me :-)

I have no idea if this masala can be made at home.. will try to do more research & see....If any of my blogger friends know about it, please let me know. Will appreciate it!
UPDATE: Asha of Foodies Hope replied about Goda Masala. She has got the recipe, to make this masala in her blog. Just type RCI - Maharastra in the search box in her blog & you'll get the link. Thanks Asha !

Here recipe for Vatani Usual:


Yellow & green peas (dried) - 2 cups
Onion - 2
Garlic - 2 pods
Tomato - 2
Tamarind - small lemon size (soak in water)
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Goda Masala - 2 tsps
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Cilantro - for garnishing
Salt - to taste


1. Soak the green peas over night. Pressure cook them, taking care not to over cook it.

2. In a pan add oil & saute the thinely sliced onions till their almost brown. Then add the minced garlic & saute for 2 mts.

3. Now add the chillie powder, turmeric powder & mix it well. Now add the finely chopped tomatoes & tamarind water.Stir it all well & cook this on a medium flame till the tomatoes are mashed up & masala leaves oil.

4. Now add the cooked peas, goda masala, garam masala & salt. Mix everything well & add water to bring it to a desired consistency. Bring it to a good boil.

Garnish it with cilantro leaves & serve hot with pooris or rotis! Real yummy dish.