JFI Entry - Tindora Fry

Vijaya has sent this entry for JFI/ Coconut
In her own words, "one of my friends has a blog and I often visit other food blogs from her site. When I saw the ingredient for this month's JFI was coconut and that non-bloggers could participate, I wanted to send a recipe. This is a simple preparation of gourds that goes well with rice and rasam or sambar".


TINDORA FRY (Ivy gourd stir fry)
(serves 2-3)
15 to 20 tindora (ivy gourds)
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 cup fresh coconut, grated
1 tsp red chilli powder
4 garlic cloves, mashed (optional)
1 tsp garam masala
a pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
For seasoning
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
2 dry red chillies
4 tbsp oil

Wash and slice gourds into rounds. Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add seasoning ingredients.

Stir for a few minutes then add gourds and curry leaves. Saute on moderate heat till the leaves turn crisp. Season with salt, cover and cook.

Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coconut. Next add crushed garlic cloves and fry until they turn brown.

Finally add garam masala and mix well. Serve hot.


Sweet stuff - Sweet potato kheer

How many times do you pick up sweet potatoes on your grocery trip? I for one can easily avoid this particular spud for months without even realizing it, yet here I am posting my second dish with the vegetable in less than four months.

Well it's because I just couldn't let JFI pass without blogging about my favoritest (one needs to create a new word for such a dish!) kheer. It is one of the few Konkani desserts that uses coconut milk rather than coconut.

The authentic version has both thick (first extract) and thin (second extract) milk but I couldn't resist the temptation to reduce a teensy bit of calories and used only thin milk. I also added some roasted vermicelli for a crunch. Whatever you do, just don't add too much jaggery; the kheer should retain the flavor of the sweet potato.


RATALYACHI KHEER (Sweet Potato Pudding)
(serves 3-4)
3 medium size sweet potatoes
1/3 cup grated jaggery or to taste
5-6 cardamoms, peeled and powdered
1 1/2 cups thin coconut milk (I used canned)
1 tbsp vermicelli roasted in 1 tsp ghee (optional)
cashews/ pistachios for garnish (optional)

Peel the potatoes and slice them. Add just enough water to cover and boil until tender. Drain excess water if necessary. Mash potatoes coarsely.

Add jaggery and cardamom powder. Mix well. Next add coconut milk, stir and bring to a gentle boil on low heat. Add roasted vermicelli and simmer for a minute.

Spoon into individual bowls, garnish with nuts and serve chilled (or warm if you prefer).

* If you want a creamier kheer add upto 4 tablespoons of thick milk before removing from heat.

Entry for JFI/ Coconut

Tags: hashale


Binge break - Kobichi Bhaji

If my posts have been extremely infrequent it's because we have been having a wonderful time catching up with family. Blogging inevitably took a back seat, though food didn't. It never can where my family is concerned ;-)

After decadent dinners involving several courses and a gazillion calories no doubt, we (finally) decided to give it a rest. I made a very simple cabbage dish - this preparation is a huge favorite in my home because well, it doesn't taste like cabbage! The trick is adding a small amount of chana dal - a nutty partner to the bland vegetable.

This clever tactic (devised by hassled mothers I am sure!) is quite often used with the less popular vegetables; for instance besan in methi zunka.


KOBICHI BHAJI (Cabbage with split Bengal gram)
(serves 3-4)
1 medium size cabbage
1/4 cup chana dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1-2 green chillies, slit
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 tbsp coconut, grated
4-5 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
salt to taste

Wash chana dal in 2-3 changes of water. Add enough water to cover and soak for an hour. Meanwhile wash and shred cabbage. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, chillies, asafoetida and turmeric.

Add drained chana dal and saute briefly. Sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of water, cover and let dal cook. When it is half done add shredded cabbage. Season with salt. Cover and cook the cabbage in its moisture.

When dal is cooked (neither the dal nor the cabbage should be mushy) sprinkle grated coconut and chopped cilantro on top. Serve hot with rotis.

* Variation: substitute chana dal with green peas or use bottle gourd instead of cabbage



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Feeling saar-y...

I believe most Konkani homes make a 'saar' with just about everything but the kitchen sink. Alright I am exaggerating but you get the idea :-)
These thin soup-like curries (similar to the rasams of the South) do not take long to cook and pair well with rice. Twenty minutes from start to finish and dinner is served. So it is hardly surprising that every available ingredient is stewed in water then transformed into a delicious saar with a tadka.

Saars are made with tomato, kokum, cilantro, peppercorns, sprouts... the list is endles. Though they taste pretty good all year round a big bowl of piping hot saar in the winter is a real treat.

The recipes are highly flexible and can be tweaked to suit individual preferences or the contents of your fridge. If you don't have tamarind use lemon juice or tomato, use garlic in place of asafoetida; really the most essential ingredient is water!


KOTHMIR SAAR (Cilantro Soup)
a handful of cilantro (tender stalks and all)
1 small green chilli
1-2 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 tsp tamarind paste*
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
a pinch of asafoetida
salt & jaggery to taste

Grind cilantro, coconut and green chilli to a paste. Heat oil in a sauce pan, then add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.

Add the ground paste. Cook for a few minutes. Add a cup of water (or less/ more for desired consistency), jaggery and tamarind. Season with salt, bring to a gentle boil and serve hot (pairs well with plain rice as well as pulao and masale bhaat).

* This saar is made on the tangier side to complement the herbs.



JFI for Coconut


It's my turn to host Jihva this month and I have chosen an ingredient that I frankly can't do without. In fact it'd be difficult to attempt any dish from my part of the world without it. But cooking aside, coconut is integral to all of India. It is by breaking this fruit that we begin a new venture after all.
So to mark the new year that is coming upon us, January is dedicated to the COCONUT.

Use it any way - tender, grated, sweetened, dessicated; in any form - milk, cream, water, oil, heck even liquor if you want to be really adventurous ;-) and make a dish with it.

If you don't know what I am talking about you really need to read food blogs more often (everday would be a good start!). Till then here is the brief - Jihva for Ingredients is a monthly food event started by Indira of Mahanandi. A new host selects an ingredient every month and bloggers everywhere make a dish featuring it. Past JFI's include dal, Diwali treats and jaggery among others.

Your misson should you choose to accept is :-) -

  • Prepare a dish with coconut and post the recipe on your blog (preferably) on Jan. 1
  • Send me an email at with the permalink to your post and a photo of the dish in 75×75 pixel size
  • Include the name of your dish and your blog's name in the email
  • Check the roundup at the end of the week

Non bloggers are welcome. Email me a photo of your dish with a description and I will gladly include it in the round up.

That's it friends. Let's go nuts this time around!

Simply sweet - Gulpohe

I have mentioned before how my cousins and I would spend almost every summer vacation at my grandparents' house in the Konkan. When I look back I realize how overworked and thoroughly hassled the women of the house must have been, cooking for 12+ people all day. Continually hungry people I might add ;-)

Gulpohe was the standard feature on the breakfast table then. It doesn't require any cooking (yes really) and can be made for a large number of people with ease. I have wonderful memories of sitting around a long, noisy table in an old kitchen; sunlight streaming in through the windows, eating gulpohe while my aunts bustled to and fro from the kitchen. My biggest worry at the time was whether it would be my 'den' for the next game of hide and seek. Sigh... those were the days.

Gulpohe is an appropriate dish for this month's JFI hosted by Kay. There is nothing else to the dish except jaggery - elegance in simplicity.


GULPOHE/ KALAILE PHOV (Beaten rice with jaggery)
(serves 1-2)
1 cup thin poha (beaten rice)
1/4 cup jaggery or to taste
1/4 cup grated coconut
2 cardamoms, peeled and powdered
4-5 cashews & raisins (optional)
a pinch of salt

Grate jaggery. Mix with coconut, cardamom and salt.

Add poha and mix gently. Lightly sprinkle water over the mixture until it softens.

Cover and let sit for a few minutes so flavors can blend. Toss in cashews and raisins if using.

Serve at room temperature.

Entry for JFI # Jaggery hosted by Kay of Towards a better tomorrow