KonkanFood

Food has always attracted me and been away from home for years for my studies and work taught me the importance of good home made food. Food makes me happy. I have named by blog "KonkanFood", I come from the konkan region of India and my food is majorly influenced by this region. I love eating and like to incorporate the delicious dishes I come across in my day to day life.


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Fish Curry

Fish curry is a staple dish where I come from. I had it at least 4 days a week, well but with different fish and a added twist my whole childhood. It goes very well with a cup of white or brown rice and a fried fish.

I do prepare it once a while now and my husband loves it and we enjoy till we finish the last drop of it :). It is a very simple dish and I am sure you will like it. You can make this curry with most of the fish’s available, to start with you can try with prawns, lane snapper, mackerel.

This curry is a perfect balance of flavors, has the mild sweetness from coconut, tanginess from mango and spice from pepper and chillies. You can reduce the amount of spice with adding less amount of pepper and chillies.

I use fresh coconut but a frozen shredded coconut will also do. Today I have made it with fresh lane snapper.

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Ingredients:

Ground all the ingredients except oil, fish and onions

2 cups fresh/frozen coconut

1 tbsp whole coriander seeds

7 to 8 black peppercorns

4 garlic cloves

1/2 inch ginger

4 to 5 kashmiri whole chillies(these are lightly spiced and give the bright red color to the curry, you could also use whole paprika’s instead)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 inch dry mango /tamarind/ or 1 tomato – This is for the tangy flavor, I also use Kokum which is widely used in  konkan region of India.

3 cup water

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 small sized onion

4 pieces of lane snapper, each of 1 1/2 inch or so, You could also use 8 to 10 prawns

 

Method:

1. Grind all the ingredients except oil, onions and fish, with a glass of water to start with. Get it to a fine consistency as possible. Add more water if required.

2. In a vessel, add coconut oil and finely chopped onions. Saute till the onions turn brown, add the ground paste to the onion mixture and add remaining water and stir it well and get the curry to a boil. Note the curry shouldn’t be too thin or thick, somewhere in between.

3. Add fish to the boiling curry, keep on a low flame and let it simmer for at least 5 to 7 minutes.

As easy as that, you can enjoy this curry with rice or your favorite bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade panner/ricotta cheese

There are few things I like to make from scratch. I do not prefer using canned or store bought ready to use ingredients, which I can make easily at home. For simple health reasons and added preservatives.

This is how I make panner also called as ricotta cheese. You will not buy store ricotta cheese anymore if you try this.This is widely used in Indian cuisine to make curries, grilled and a delicacy for vegetarians. Its tastes fresh and can replace any meat in a dish. I see it is also used in many Italian recipes.

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Ingredients:

1/2 gallon of whole organic milk

1/2 cup of lemon juice or a white vinegar

Cheese cloth

Strainer

salt if required

Method:

1. Take a heavy bottom pan and heat milk. Make sure that you get whole milk, as skimmed milk will not yield the same results.When milk is about to boil add lemon and stir. Put of the gas.

2.Milk will start to curdle, keep stirring. Let it seat for 2 minutes. Add salt if you want, I don’t add to mine. In the meantime spread cheese cloth over the strainer and let the strainer rest on some vessel in which you can collect the whey. Pour the contents onto the cheese cloth, the solids will collect on the cheese cloth, I pour a glass or 2 of cold water on the solids.

3. Get the ends of the cloth and squeeze out the excess liquid, put a weight on the cheese cloth and set it aside for a hour or so. You will get fresh homemade panner in no time.

Tip: You can use the whey to in soups or knead a dough.


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Egg plant curry

Egg plant is a very versatile vegetable. Add to any preparation or just have it alone, it enhances the flavor. One of the meatless days and I tried and made this curry, very simple to do and requires a few ingredients.

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Ingredients:

1 medium sized egg plant

1 medium sized potato

1 big sized tomato

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 tbsp oil

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 red dry whole chilli

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1 bunch coriander leaves

1 cup water

salt to taste

 

Method:

1. Take a heavy bottom pan, add the oil, once oil is hot add mustard and the whole chilli. Cook on a low to medium heat at the start, as this will not burn the spices.Once they splutter, add in the spices turmeric, chilli, coriander, ginger-garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add finely chopped tomato and cook till it has reduced to a paste consistency.

3.Cut egg plant and potato in cube shape, add to the pan once tomato has completely cooked.Toss in the chopped coriander. Add a 1 cup water and cook the curry till you can easily pierce the potatoes.

Serve with rice and enjoy.

 

 


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Roasted Carrot Soup

Was little reluctant to try this recipe at first as I like carrots raw, in my salads or in carrot halwa. But this turned out very comforting and a great dish for supper.You can have it with a toasted bread or just as it is.

Roasted cut carrots with a piece of ginger and a tomato.I have been using oven a lot these days and its a easy way to get that extra flavor to your dish with roasting these vegetables.

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DSC03336 Ingredients:

5 to 6 medium sized carrots

1/2 in ginger

1 medium sized tomato

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium sized onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp butter

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp coriander/cilantro leaves

salt to taste

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven at 375 degree Fahrenheit, roast carrots, ginger, tomatoes with pepper, salt and oil for 20 minutes.  Let them cool to room temperature, then blend to a rough consistency.

2. In the meantime take a deep skillet add butter, add finely chopped onions. Once caramelized add in chopped garlic, turmeric and chilli powder.  Cook for 2 minutes.

3. Incorporate the blended gravy to the skillet with onions and garlic, add water if required. I kept the soup to a thick consistency. Add salt to taste.

 

 

 

 


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Nuts energy bites/Dry fruit Ladoo

Most of us crave for something sweet after meals, these ladoos are just perfect for that sweet tooth. Loaded with roasted dry fruits and sweet flavor at its best for that quick energy.

I have used jaggery in these tiny shaped balls. Jaggery is made from cane sugar too as sugar and has its sweet taste. Its the most raw form of sugar and there are no chemicals added in its making. Its widely used in India for sweet preparations and has its own health benefits. It has a golden yellow, brownish color. You will get it on amazon or in any Indian grocery store in US.

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Ingredients :

1 cup almonds

1 cup walnuts

7 to 8 pitted dates

1 cup jaggery

3 to 4 tbsp clarified butter or unsalted butter

 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet spread almonds and walnuts. Roast them for around 10 to 12 minutes. Once at room temperature roughly pound them to little pieces, not too fine.

2. Take a heavy bottom pan, put in 2 tbsp of clarified butter. Keep the heat on low to medium. Toss in the jaggery, once it comes in touch with heat, it will start melting. Stir for 5 minutes.

3. Add almonds, walnuts and dates, stir in for another 2 to 3 minutes.

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4. On a large flat plate smear the a tbsp of butter, get the pan mixture on to this plate and rest for 1 or 2 minutes. When the mixture is still little warm, apply butter on your palms. Take a portion of mixture and roll them into desired size balls. You can keep them in room temperature for 1 week and refrigerate for months together.

These are great after workouts too.

 

 

 

 

 


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Which nonstick pan you use for cooking?

It is not a cooking post today but something I would like to discuss and get your views on. Last few days I have been searching the Internet on a number of phrases like “which is the best pan to cook?”, “what material a cooking pan should be made of?”, “Is ceramic coating non toxic?”.

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I couldn’t get a definite answer to my questions and thought this would be the right forum to ask these questions.

Some of my pans/skillets have worn out and I am planning to buy some good quality and long lasting ones. I got a few the last time I visited India, they are hard anodized interior pans and a iron skillet. I have been using them for last few months and they are good but NOT non stick.

I am looking for something which has nonstick surface and the same time NON TOXIC!! I know, each of us try and search for healthy options when it comes to everyday cooking and when its a nonstick surface its less amount of oil.

Few findings:

1. Ceramic is better than Teflon coating but some ceramic coatings do have lead content.

2. Enameled iron coating are as good as nonstick but then you cannot cook in them all the time because iron leeches into the food.

Now I want your take on this and suggestions?


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Apple salad

Salads are complementary with any dish you name. I try and experiment with quiet a few. Had friends over lunch to all konkan delicacies, and realized later that I forgot to capture the dishes I prepared except this salad.

This salad is crunchy, sweet and tangy. It is quick recipe and filling too.

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Ingredients:

1 medium sized carrot

2 baby cucumbers

1 medium sized apple(I used fuji apple which is sweet and crunchy)

1 small sized zucchini

3 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp pepper powder

salt to taste

 

Method

1.Cut cucumbers, apple, carrot and zucchini in desired shape, preferably in thin strips. As this will help the seasoning to mix well.

2.In a large bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, pepper powder and salt. Add in the cut ingredients and give a stir.Check for pepper and salt and add to adjust to your taste.

Enjoy as a side dish or have it alone.