Parsi Fish Vindaloo

 

 

 

 

I’ve always believed that birds of a feather ‘feed’ together. Otherwise there is no explaining why most of my father’s closest friends’ wives were excellent chefs and all their get-togethers were always about great food.

Vera Umrigar is a jewel among cooks. Wife, mom, petrol pump owner, she managed a spatula with the same fervour she did a broken axle. Her smoked ham, dotted with cloves and glazed with honey, her exquisite apricot soufflé, as frothy and festive as a wedding frock and her sugar-studded apple pies are memorable to me 20 years after I first feasted on them.

The families went to the Umrigar’s home in Lonavala for long weekends and the boot of the car was converted into a mobile freezer, piled high with everything from my mother’s vindaloo and pao bhaji to Vera’s dhansak and kheema cutlets, all frozen rock solid a week in advance to survive the drive. Any space leftover was meant for waffle machines, OK wafers and mom’s Balicao jars.

Whatever thawed first was demolished quickly and efficiently. We were lawn movers and there was no grass too tall.

The weekend rolled by, literally, as Vera’s Maharashtrian maid, togged up in a nine-yard sari, drawn between her legs like some Roman warrior, rolled puran polis to fill the tiny gaps between 4-course meals.

Let me tell you this. There is nothing, nothing quite like a puran poli straight off a hot tawa. Those cold chindis sold in shops are very sad.

The crisp top is paper-thin and the weight of a spoonful of ghee cracks it open like a pond of ice on a sunny day. Ghee meets warm jaggery in an eternal romance. My fingers would get all jammy as I tried to break off bits of poli and turn the pages of my Enid Blyton all at the same time. I pitied Fatty; all he got was cold tongue sandwiches.

Everyone knows the Goan Pork Vindaloo, but when Vera offered her mother’s recipe for a Parsi Fish Vindaloo, I was all ears. Parsi cuisine unites ancient Persian traditions with both Indian and British colonial ones. Sour Zereshk or barberries in Berry Pulao is Persian while Worcestershire sauce in Lagan no Saas is a British one.

“Parsi vindaloo? It’s not a prawn patia?” I ask incredulously.

Vera explains that there are many kinds of prawn patia, the classic sweet and spicy Parsi prawn dish, not pickle, less curry that’s served with dhan dal. “Some Patias are made with kadipatta, while others are not. Some have garam masala, others do not.”

Like all vindaloos, this one is also an Indian-Portuguese fusion. It contains red chilies, red wine vinegar (vin in Portuguese) and garlic (alho in Portuguese) and is sweet, spicy and sour. The vinegar and jaggery balance the spicy chillies.

So how is it different from a Goan Vindaloo?

Vera whispers conspiratorially. “It’s got lots of fresh kothmir in it and you eat it with hot Toor Dal Khichdi.

As you can guess by this point I’m lying in a pool of drool.

When Vera pulls the ground masala out of the fridge, its deep almost unreal red colour brings back a flood of memories. My Dad would always say that he could tell my mother and Vera’s vindaloo by the red colour.

Good vindaloo must have this flaming colour. Not the dull brown that so many inferior restaurant-vindaloos have.  So what’s the secret? How do you give the gravy such a deep red without synthetic colour or an overdose of chilies.

Vera uses dried Kashmiri chilies, but suggests you can also use bedgi. She insists you use fresh homemade tomato puree, processed in a food mill, also called a puran maker in India, not in a mixer.

When you blitz tomatoes they lose their red colour and turn pink.

She then proceeds to fry the masala in oil. “This dish needs oil ha? You can’t fry a masala without oil ok?”

I imagine someone trying to make vindaloo with non-stick, fat-free cooking spray.

I can’t help but giggle. Those days of excess, of ‘lagaooing’ and ‘enjjwaaaying’ good food are a thing of the 80s. Of showing up at your friends place at midnight and honking for kheema pao are gone. Everyone is caught up with immortality. If it weren’t for the Parsis, I really think there would be no majja in life.

“And Tara, add the chopped kothmir and the pomfret to the masala together so their flavours get into the gravy. Dhaniya is not a garnish. It’s part of the curry.”

She puts the steaming fish vindaloo on the table.

I will stop writing now.

I won’t describe it.

Just make it.

Be zindadil for a day.

Lagao.

Use dried red chillies and tomato puree for a bright color.

Vera Umrigar’s Parsi Fish Vindaloo

The Goan pork vindaloo is extremely well-known, but this tangy fish vindaloo is a gem that deserves a permanent place in your recipe collection. The flaming red colour is a red herring – it isn’t that spicy!

Make the tomato puree using bright red tomatoes and process them in a puran maker or a food mill. This way you will maintain a bright red colour.

Ingredients (Serves 4-5)

1 kg silver pomfret steaks (about 8 pieces plus head and tail)

For the masala:

15 red kashmiri or bedgi chillies with stalks removed, broken into bits

8-10 large cloves of peeled garlic

5 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp red vinegar or to taste (kolahs or kalverts)

½ cup chopped red onions

4 cups fresh tomato puree

¼ cup crumbled jaggery or to taste

1 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

¼-1/2 cup vegetable oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Method:

1. Grind the first 5 ingredients for the masala to a smooth, fine paste. This will take several minutes. Add a little water if required.

2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet on a medium flame.

3. Add the ground paste and cook, stirring frequently about 8-9 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan and the sides to prevent the spice paste from sticking to the bottom. When the oil begins to separate from the sides, stir in the tomato puree and continue to cook for 10 minutes on a medium flame until the mixture bubbles and thickens.

4. Add 1 tbsp of jaggery and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir well.

5. Lower the flame and add the fish slices one at a time and the coriander leaves. Stir gently.

6. Cook until fish is tender.

7. Taste for salt and sweetness. Add more vinegar, jaggery and salt if required.

8. Serve with toor dal khichdi or plain white boiled rice.

 

CHHOLE- AMRISTAR STYLE CHICKPEAS

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

250 grams  Chick peas also called  garbanzo beans and Kabuli chana soaked overnight in excess water

pinch baking soda
3 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
2-3 tbsp garlic finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and finely julienned
1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) lightly toasted
1 tsp Cumin (jeera) seeds lightly toasted
2-3 tsp good quality fresh Garam masala powder (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp Turmeric (haldi) powder
1/2-1 tsp Red chilli powder/cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp Dried fenugreek leaves also called kasoori methi
1 tsp Dried pomegranate seed powder also called anar dana
Salt to taste

Jaggery if desired

Method:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and wash again. Then pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles in 6 cups of water and pinch of baking soda. The chick peas should be edible but slightly firm.
  2. Reserve chick peas and water.
  3. Heat the ghee in a medium size pressure cooker or thick bottomed cast iron pan  over medium flame; add the  ginger and saute till it softens. Add the garlic and sauce again till it softens but don’t brown garlic.
  1. Add the toasted fenugreek and cumin seeds and saute for a minute, then add chick peas (with the water in which they are boiled).

  1. Add garam masala, dried fenugreek, turmeric, pomegranate powder and red chilli powder on medium heat. Add 2 cups water and cook 15 minutes covered.
  2. Add salt to taste, cook again until gravy thickens and chickpeas are very soft. Add more water as required until chick peas are velvety soft. You can also pressure cooker this.
  3. You can also add some jaggery to adjust the taste to your palate.
  4. Serve hot with puri, boiled rice, bhatura or kulcha.

PUFF PASTRY IN INDIA

Puff Pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

Puff Pastry- Where to Buy It in Mumbai and What to Make with It

Before the chicken puff came puff pastry. In India Pattice and savory Khara biscuits available at Irani cafes are the most commonly eaten snack made from puff pastry. 

Puff Pastry also known as butter paste and puff paste originated in France where it is called pâte feuilletée or feuilletage. Feuille is the French word for leaf.

 Puff pastry, unlike pâte brisée is a laminated dough where layers of dough are repeatedly rolled and rested with layers of butter to produce a very flaky, fine and crisp dough.  In some early, medieval recipes eggs were also added to the dough. 

The process is far more time consuming than short crust or the choux pastry (pate a choux) so many home cooks buy it frozen or readymade at a bakery.

photo Gallica

The first published recipe for puff pastry appeared in François Pierre La Varenne‘s “Pastissier Francois” in 1653.

But it was invented some years before this in 1645 by a French pastry cook’s apprentice, Claudius Gele who accidentally stumbled upon the technique for puff pastry while trying to make a loaf of bread for his bed ridden father. 

Claudius later went to work for the Brothers Mosca’s pastry shop in Florence, Italy where he continued to produce the puff pastry for his employers all the while keeping the recipe secret. He made his employers a fortune. 

While many food historians agree puff paste was a logical outcome of short crust pastry others believe that it was influenced by Middle Eastern Phyllo and werqa dough made with olive oil and fine sheets of dough. 

My 1765 edition of The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by a Lady has an early recipe for ‘Puff-pafte’. By the early 1800’s Puff Pastry become the standard term used in English cookbooks.

photo

 

In Mumbai you can buy Puff Pastry to order at Worli’s City Bakery.  They sell it by the kilogram and must be ordered with 24 hour notice. It is also available refrigerated in 250 gram sheets at American Bakery in Byculla. Both are vegan. Check with the local Irani cafés in your city –if they make khara biscuits and pattice, chances are they will sell you the readymade dough. You can also buy it in the frozen section in supermarkets and some club shops.

I would advise you keep the fresh puff pastry refrigerated (not frozen) at all times and use it within 24 hours.

For me puff pastry is the go to when I don’t have time to make leavened dough or a short crust pastry.

Here are some of the easy, elegant and delicious recipes I make. You can also make chicken pot pies, cheese straws, vol au vents, poisson en croute (whole fish wrapped in pastry.

No Huff, Puff Pizza photo Bini Bharucha

NO HUFF PUFF PIZZA

Perfect for large groups, you can add on almost any filling.  While this recipe calls for a red sauce you can also do a Pizza Bianco or a sweet dessert pizza with fruit compote and almonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAPOLEONS

This classic layered dessert should be served plated as individual portions. They are impressive and elegant but easy to make.

Napoleons with pastry cream and fruit photo by Bini Bharucha

http://www.taradeshpande.in/mixed-fruit-napoleons-with-pastry-cream/

MUSHROOM AND GOAT’S CHEESE BEGGARS PURSES

Beggars Purses with puff pastry photo Beynaz Mistri

Knotted with chives these delicate purses can be stuffed with meat, prawns, tofu or turn them into a dessert.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/puff-pastry-beggars-purses-with-mushrooms-goats-cheese-and-thyme/

APPLE, HONEY AND CINNAMON TURNOVERS photo Bini Bharucha

Turnovers are so easy. I bake them just before the dessert course and serve them warm with vanilla ice cream and some honey drizzled over the top. A winner! 

http://www.taradeshpande.in/easy-apple-honey-and-cinnamon-turnovers/

 

Poisson En Croute

A classic French preparation this is a complex dish but makes a spectacular main course.

poisson en croute with puff pastry photo Tara Deshpande

 

BRINJAL/EGGPLANT/AUBERGINE BADENEKAYI GOJJU

This is a style of roasted and mashed eggplant from the  southern state of Karnataka.

It differs a fair bit from Maharashtra’s Vaangi Bharit and Punjab’s Baigan Bharta recipes which you will also find on the website.

You can watch the video on my Instagram feed @deshpandetara

SERVES 4

2 400 GRAM FIRM, PURPLE BRINJAL OR ITALIAN EGGPLANTS

1/2 TSP URAD OR WHITE BENGAL GRAM

1/2 TSP MUSTARD SEEDS

1/4 TSP FENUGREEK SEEDS (OPTIONAL)

PINCH ASAFETIDA

1 TSP TAMARIND EXTRACT OR TO TASTE

1 TABLESPOON CASHEW PIECES UNSALTED

1 TABLESPOON CASHEW POWDER ROASTED AND UNSALTED

1-2 iNDIAN GREEN CHILIES CHOPPED COARSELY (TO TASTE)

1/2 TSP JAGGERY (TO TASTE)

1/2 TBSP PEELED AND CHOPPED GINGER ROOT

1/2 TSP TURMERIC POWDER

3 TABLESPOONS VEGETABLE OIL

CHOPPED CILANTRO OR CORIANDER LEAVES FOR GARNISH

 

METHOD-

Slow roast the whole eggplants on an open flame or over a charcoal grill until they turn soft and fall apart. Cool them then slowly peel off the charred skin. Lightly wash them, remove larger seeds and puree ion a blender with tamarind.

Heat half the vegetable oil on a high flame.Add onions, green chillies and ginger and sauce well. Add to the brinjal puree and blend again.

Heat remaining oil in the same skillet. Add urad dal, then mustard and fenugreek seeds and asafoetida and sauce 1 minute. Add onions and cashew pieces and saute 1 minute.

Add turmeric and saute quickly. Immediately add eggplant puree and stir well. Stir I cashew or peanut powder. Add salt to taste. Adjust tamarind and jaggery.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice or flatbreads such as chapatis or rotis or with idlis.

 

 

VAANGI BHARIT-MAHARASHTRA STYLE ROASTED AND MASHED EGGPLANT WITH YOGURT AND PEANUTS

Mashed eggplant is made in different ways in Maharashtra where it is very popular. This version is served with yogurt and crushed peanuts. Other versions include a Varhadi style prepared with linseed oil and a  “each” or raw version where the eggplant is roasted and stirred together with raw ingredients such and chopped chillies.

I love this version because it is lightly spiced and you can enjoy the flavour of eggplant.

The peanuts bring a lovely crunch and the whisked yogurt balances out the spicy green chillies.

The yogurt is cold while the mashed eggplant is hot. If you dont add the chopped onions the dish is Satvik or suitable for religious occasions.

Serve with Phulkas or Chappatis and a lentil preparation.

 

SERVES 6

3 400 -450 GRAM PURPLE BRINJAL/AUBERGINE OR ITALIAN EGGPLANTS

3/4 TEASPOON TURMERIC

1 CUP FULL FAT YOGURT WHISKED TOGETHER WITH HALF CUP LIGHT CREAM AND SALT TO TASTE

2 TBSPN FINELY CHOPPED ONION (OPTIONAL)

3/4 CUP SALTED, ROASTED PEANUTS CRUSHED

1 INDIAN GREEN CHILLI FINELY CHOPPED (OPTIONAL)

FOR TEMPERING-

PINCH ASAFETIDA

1 TEASPOON MUSTARD SEEDS

2-3 GREEN CHILLIES FINELY CHOPPED

6-7 FRESH CURRY LEAVES TORN

3 TABLESPOONS VEGETABLE OIL

METHOD

ROAST EGGPLANTS OVER AN OPEN FLAME UNTIL THEY FALL APART AND SKIN IS COMPLETELY CHARRED ON ALL SIDES. COOL THEN PEEL OF SKIN AND DISCARD. LIGHTLY WASH EGGPLANTS AND REMOVE LARGE PATCHES OF SEEDS IF ANY. RESERVE.

HEAT VEGETABLE OIL IN A NON STICK SKILLET AND ADD MUSTARD SEEDS AND SAUTE 1 MINUTE. ADD CURRY LEAVES AND ASAFETIDA AND SAUTE UNTIL LEAVES BLISTER.

ADD GREEN CHILLIES AND SAUTE 30 SECONDS. ADD MASHED EGGPLANTA DN TURMERIC AND STIR WELL. ADD SALT TO TASTE.

PLACE THE HOT EGGPLANT IN THE CENTER OF A BOWL AND POUR THE YOGURT AROUND IT. GARNISH YOGURT WITH PEANUTS, GREEN CHILLIES AND RAW ONIONS. SERVE IMMEDIATELY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUNJABI BAINGAN BHARTA/FIRE ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATOES

THIS STYLE OF ROASTED AND MASHED EGGPLANT IS POPULAR ALL OVER INDIA AND A CLASSIC STYLE OF HOME COOKING EVERYWHERE AND POULAR IN DHABAS IN PUNJAB. IN HOME KITCHEN THE EGGPLANT IS NOT PUREED BUT COARSELY MASHED.

I ATE THIS DISH AT SEVERAL DHABAS IN BOTH PUNJAB AND CHANDIGARH AND WHILE THEY WERE ALL GOOD I PREFER THE ONES MADE AT HOME WHERE THE BULK OF THE DISH IS EGGPLANT SEASONED WITH A RESTRAINED AMOUNT OF MASALA.  A YELLOW DAL IS A GOOD ACCOMPANIMENT TO A BHARTA.

SERVES 6

3 400 GRAM PURPLE EGGPLANTS/AUBERGINE/ITALIAN EGGPLANTS

1 TEASPOON CUMIN SEEDS

2 DRIED RED KASHMIRI CHILLIES STALKED REMOVED

1 INCH PIECE OF CINNAMON

1 BLACK CARDAMOM

1 TEJPATTA OR DRIED BAY LEAF

4 TBSP VEGETABLE OIL

1/2 CUP FINELY CHOPPED RED ONION

2 TBSPNS GARLIC AND GINGER PASTE

1 CUP PLUM TOMATOES CHOPPED

1 TEASPOON TURMERIC

SALT TO TASTE

 

METHOD

ROAST THE EGGPLANT ON AN OPEN FLAME OR A CHARCOAL BARBEQUE UNTIL COMPLETELY CHARRED, SOFT AND TENDER. COOL THEN REMOVE CHARRED SKIN GENTLY AND DISCARD.  WASH EGGPLANT VERY LIGHTLY IN WATER AND DISCARD LARGER PATCHES OF SEEDS. RESERVE

HEAT OIL IN A LARGE NON STICK SKILLET AND ADD CINNAMON, BAY LEAF AND CARDAMOM AND SAUTE 1 MINUTE. REMOVE WITH SLOTTED SPOON. ADD THE RED CHILLIES AND CUMIN SEEDS AND SAUTE 1 MINUTE. ADD ONIONS AND SAUTE 2 MINUTE UNTIL SOFT AND OPAQUE. ADD TOMATOES AND SAUTE UNTIL PULPY AND SOFT 2-3 MINUTES.

ADD GARIC AND GINGER PASTE AND STIR WELL. SAUTE 2 MINUTES UNTIL FRAGRANT.

ADD TURMERIC, AND STIR WELL.  ADD THE EGGPLANT AND MASH COARSELY . ADD SALT TO TASTE.

GARNISH WITH FINELY CHOPPED CORIANDER OR CILANTRO LEAVES.

SERVE HOT WITH PARATHAS, KHULCHAS OR ROTI.

 

 

Bendekaya Gojju Okra and Tamarind curry

Bendekaya Gojju Okra and Tamarind curry

 

 

Gojju in English means pulp and it is generally always a tangy and spicy dish with jaggery and a souring agent such as tamarind or hog plums.

However there are many variations for gojju across the southern states of India. A classic Karnataka dish Gojju can be a mashed eggplant gojju, a soupy onion (eruli) curry, a thick raisin  curry(ona draksha) even a thin tamarind flavoured gravy.

TIP-To prevent Okra from getting gummy during the cooking process wipe the whole vegetable with a slightly damp cloth and then again with a dry one. Do not wash the okra in running water.

Ingredients

250 Gram tender whole Bhindi (lady finger or okra)

1 1/2 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate

Jaggery and salt to taste

Oil

For dry masala:

1 tsp Fenugreek seeds

1 tsp white sesame seeds

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon split Bengal gram or urad dal

For wet masala paste:

1 Cup Desiccated coconut

1 tsp small black Mustard seeds

1 1/2 tsp Uncooked rice

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

8 Bedgi dried red chillies, stalks and seeds removed

For tadka/tempering:

2 tbsp vegetable Oil

3 Whole dry red Bedgi or Kashmiri chilies

1/2 tsp small black Mustard seeds

Method

Dry masala:

1.In a dry skillet on medium heat dry roast all the ingredients for the dry masala until fragrant. Stir to prevent burning about 2 minutes. Cool completely then grind into a fine powder. Feel it between your fingertips to make sure it is finely ground and doesn’t feel coarse.

Wet masala paste:

1.In a dry skillet roast all the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Cool then grind to a coarse consistency. Add some water, a tablespoon at a time and keep grinding until you have a smooth chutney like paste. 

For the okra

Wipe okra clean with a slightly damp cloth. Avoid washing it. Once clean wipe with a dry cloth to remove any liquid. Snip a little bit of the end off- just the tip and slice off the head.

Heat 4 tsp of oil in a skillet on high heat (copper clad if you have one as it facilitates quick browning) and saute the whole okra, turning from time to time until golden brown and blistered on all sides.

Add the ground paste, lower heat to medium and stir well about 2-3 minutes to coat the okra and cook the spices. Stir constantly. 

Add 3 cups of water and the ground spices. Stir in tamarind and a teaspoon of jaggery and salt. Cook until gravy has thickened and the okra is tender. If required add more water to ensure okra is cooked.

Adjust for salt and jaggery.

For tempering

In a small skillet heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil, add all the ingredients for tadka/temper and saute for about 30 seconds without burning them.

Pour the tadka over the bhindi and serve hot. Stir well before serving with hot rice or chapatis.

KERALA KAALAN- YAM AND YOGURT CURRY FOR ONAM SADYA

Ingredients serves 6
100 g of Suran or  elephant yam peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 raw banana peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup of full fat or low fat plain yoghurt/curd thoroughly whisked
2-3 Indian green chillies stalks removed
3.5 tsp. of ghee or vegetable oil plus 1 tsp
½ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. fenugreek seeds
½ tsp. mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
3 dry whole red chillies (Kashmiri ir. Bedgi)
10 fresh green curry leaves
For the masala paste grind together
1 1/2 cups of fresh grated white meat of coconut
½ tsp. whole cumin seeds

Method of Preparation
Grind the  fenugreek  and cumin seeds to a smooth powder  without water in a spice grinder. Then add the green chillies and coconut and grind again adding a little water to facilitate grinding until you have a smooth chutney like paste.

Cook all the vegetables in 6 cups of water with  turmeric powder, 1 tsp ghee or oil and 1 teaspoon salt for 6 minutes on a medium flame.

Add yoghurt and stir well. Lower the flame.

When the vegetables are just tender add the ground coconut mixture and stir well. Bring to a boil and then remove from flame.

Heat 3.5 teaspoons of ghee or oil in a small frying pan. Add  mustard seeds and sauce 1 minute. Then add dry red chillies and curry leaves and cook until fragrant and golden. Pour over the vegetables and stir well. Adjust for salt.

Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

 

BISEBELEBATH: Stewed vegetable and rice risotto

BISE BELE BATH: HOT TANGY RICE AND LENTIL STEW

BISE BELE BATH: HOT TANGY RICE AND LENTIL STEW

Ingredients

One of Karnataka's most well known dishes this is a complete meal and the closest dish we have to risotto. Ideally it should be thick and the rice and lentils soft but not mushy. You can also add cauliflower, moringa even radish to the stewed rice. if you are vegan replace the ghee with vegetable oil.

FOR THE SPICE MIX

You can buy this readymade as well.

Ingredients:

Chana dal - 1 tbsp

Urad dal - 2 tsp

Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp

Bedgi or kashmiri dried chillies - 8

Fresh red chilies - 1

Black pepper corn - 6 pieces

Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp

Mace or Javithri - 3 petals

Black Cloves - 3

pod of Green Cardamom seeds only - 1

Cinnamon - 1 inch stick

Marathi Moggu (optional) - 3

desiccated coconut - 2 tbsp

White Poppy seeds or khus-khus - 1/2 tsp

white sesame seeds-1/4 tsp

FOR RICE

Raw white rice such as Sona Masuri or Mysore Sanna or use brown rice – 1 cup

Toor or Arhar dal (split pigeon peas) – 3/4 cup

Tamarind concentrate– 1-2 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Jaggery and salt to taste

vegetable Oil – 2 tbsp

Mixed Vegetables to add:

French/Green beans – 1 cup diced

Carrot – 1 cup diced

Fresh shelled green peas-1 cup

For Tempering:

Small black Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Whole dry Begdi or Kashmiri red chilies – 3

Unsalted, unfrosted Cashew nuts or roasted peanuts – 10

Hing or Asafetida – 1/8 tsp

9 fresh green Curry leaves torn

Ghee – 2 t tbsp

Vegetable oil -1 tbsp

Instructions

FOR SPICE MIX:

In a dry skillet roast all the spices except the coconut on a low flame until fragrant and toasty about 4 minutes, stirring regularly.

Transfer to a plate and let cool. When cool grind to a fine powder. Add coconut and grind again to a smooth consistency. Feel it between your fingers. if it feels gritty or sandy grind again.

Store in a clean air tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

FOR THE RICE

Instructions:

Wash toor dal and rice separately. Place them in pressure cooker in two containers. The rice in an excess of water about 4 cups and the lentil in 1.5 cups.

Steam and cook for 4 whistles. Cool cooker and remove rice and lentils.The lentils should be extremely soft and the rice just slightly over cooked.

Drain the excess water from the rice over the vegetables, add more water if required and parboil them about 4 minutes on high heat. Drain and reserve vegetables.

Muddle the rice lightly, then the lentils then combine them.

Add tamarind extract, turmeric and all the vegetables. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the powdered spice mix. Cook for 5 mins over low flame. Stir to prevent burning.

Cook until the water gets absorbed and the bisi bele bath thickens considerably.

Check for salt, tamarind, jaggery and spices at this stage. Add to your taste. Bise Bele Bhaat is not a very sweet dish so add jaggery in very small quantities.

For the tempering heat ghee and oil a small pan over high flame.. Add mustard seeds and saute one minute. Add curry leaves and red chillies cook 1 minute. Add cashews and cook till cashews are golden.

Add asafetida.

Pour this tempering over the simmering bisi bele bath and mix well.

Drizzle a little more ghee on top.

Serve piping hot with papads, tapioca or potato chips.

http://www.taradeshpande.in/bisebelebath-stewed-vegetable-and-rice-risotto/

Amba Sasav/ sasaam-Mango Curry with Mustard

AMBÉ SASAV

Seasoned Mango Curry

6 servings

In Karwar, Karnataka the Kala Ishaad mango is used to prepare this mango curry, in other parts of the Konkan coast Ghontan, small sucking mangoes are preferred. Sasav in Konkani means mustard so it is the principal spice in this dish.

Raywal, Mayapuri, Dussheri and Rajbhog mangoes, with a more watery flesh also give the curry a good consistency. 

The pulp is squeezed off the seed, called ‘bata’ and left a little chunky, but if you prefer a smooth curry you can blend it. Traditionally the bata are returned to the curry and served as part of the portion over hot plain, boiled, white rice. 

In the Konkan, hot rice is often served with chilled curries such as sol or ambé sasav. The word saasam is mustard in Konkani.

Ingredients 

8 large over-ripe mangoes or 12-14 small sucking mangoes

1½ tsp salt or to taste 

Jaggery if required

Spice paste

2 tsp mustard seeds

6 dried red Kashmiri chillies, stalks and seeds removed (add more for a spicier curry)

6 tbsp grated fresh; or frozen, unsweetened coconut 

Tempering (optional)

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Pinch asafoetida

8 fresh green curry leaves torn

1.5 tbsp vegetable oil

Method 

Toast the whole spices and chillies for the spice paste in a dry skillet on high heat for 1 minute. 

Remove from heat, cool and grind to make a fine powder. 

Add the coconut and grind to a fine consistency. Reserve.

Peel the mangoes and place them in a mixing bowl with 1.5 cups of cold water.

Squeeze the pulp from the mangoes into the water in the bowl, till the seeds are bare. 

Remove and reserve the seeds if you plan to add them to the curry, otherwise discard them.

Stir the spice paste into the mango pulp and add the seeds, if desired. Do this manually. Do not blend in a mixer, this curry is meant to be chunky.

Heat vegetable oil in a small tempering spoon. Add asafoetida as well as mustard seeds and cook 60 seconds until the splutter and turn fragrant. Add curry leaves and cook 30 seconds. Add the mango curry and stir well. At this point you can cook the curry over the flame for 4-5 minutes or leave the mangoes raw.  If you cook the mangoes eat the curry hot. If you leave them raw chill the curry and serve with piping hot rice.

Add salt and jaggery to taste.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Serve cold with piping hot plain, boiled, white rice.