Saturday, March 30, 2013

Nothing But Breadfruit

BreadfruitLast week while shopping for vegetables, I was very excited to see a large, green vegetable that looked very familiar.  It turned out to be one of our favourite childhood vegetables - breadfruit -  and so we bought it. The vendor had no clue as to what it was and was quite pleased when we told him the Kannada name for it.  Bread fruit is a smaller cousin to the jack fruit, usually eaten as a vegetable and can be used as a replacement for potato, in curries, cakes and dough nuts and also as a substitute for flour.  However we like it fried or dipped in batter and fried.  A delicious snack for all ages at any time.

The Recipe:     

1 breadfruit; oil for frying

For Batter :        1 cup water; 1/4 cup gram flour; salt to taste; chilli powder to taste; 1 tsp rice flour; 1 tsp cornflour; 1/2 tsp baking powder.  Mix all ingredients to a smooth liquidy batter. 

Cut the breadfruit in half, quarter it and remove the pith in the middle .  Slice into large pieces and soak in salt water for 5 minutes.  

1.  Drain thoroughly and deep fry half of the slices to a golden brown.  Serve hot with sauce  or as it is.

2.  Dip the remaining breadfruit slices in the  batter and deep fry in hot oil  till crisp and brown.  Serve hot with sauce or just as it is.


Friday, March 29, 2013

Brinjal Chutney With Rice Conjee

As far back as I can remember Good Friday has been associated with Brinjal Chutney and Ganji (double boiled rice) as the Mangaloreans call it.  At least in my mother's house.  Back then, we hated going vegetarian at any time and the Good Friday  tradition really took the cake.  Lent was associated with vegetarian food and there was no respite.  Our protests were in vain as my mother firmly wielded the culinary baton and  insisted on this year after year.  Over the years our grumblings ceased and I continued this tradition after I got married and had my own family.  Sometimes we skipped the rice ganji  and had the chutney with bread and butter.  Mmmmm.  And shall I tell you a's actually quite tasty and enjoyable.  Add a blob of ghee and a crushed pappadam or two and this simple Good Friday Dish is transformed into comforting soul food!  

The Recipe:        

Ganji (Rice Porridge) or Rice Conjee:  1 cup boiled rice and 6 cups water.  Wash the rice three to four times in running water and pressure cook in 6 cups water for 20 minutes till soft.  Add salt and keep warm.

Brinjal Chutney:  1 large purple brinjal; 1/4 coconut, grated; 2 green chillies, halved; 1 onion, sliced; 1/2 inch ginger; 1 large clove garlic; salt to taste and oil for seasoning.  

Roast the brinjal on a wired pan (see photograph) on a slow fire, turning every 5 minutes until the skin is black and the brinjal reduced in size.  You can use the oven too, but the fire gives a better taste.  Cool and peel off the skin.  Fry the onions, ginger, garlic, coconut  and slit chillies in 1 teaspoon oil.  Cool.  Grind with the brinjal to a smooth paste.  Garnish with a slit chilli and some grated coconut.  Serve with hot Ganji                                                                  before going for the 3 hour Friday Lenten Service!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Serene's Tuna Bake

Quick Baked Tuna
A few years ago we were invited to a friend's house for lunch and were served a delectable appetiser.  I was really surprised to learn how quickly it could be made.  It's a great dish to make when unexpected guests turn up. And it goes a long way.  Make extra and save it for a lazy day.   This is how you make it.

The Recipe:  

1 can tuna flakes in brine, drain and keep; 1 large tomato, chopped fine and drained of all liquid; 1/2 green capsicum, diced; 1 large onion, minced; a few coriander leaves, chopped; 1/2 cup curds; a handful potato chips, crushed; 2 spring onions, minced; 2 green chillies, minced; 1 tsp ginger garlic, minced; 50 gms grated cheese; 1/4 cup breadcrumbs.

Mix all the ingredients (except breadcrumbs) together and put into oiled pie dish.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs over and bake at 150 C for 20 minutes or until brown. .  Garnish with more coriander leaves before serving.
 Serve with crusty bread and soup.

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Unlikely Combination


This is a recipe that my sister Anu painstakingly copied nearly three decades ago into my Mum's recipe book.  Those were the days before the internet and recipes had to be written by hand and treasured and stored carefully.  When we first read it we thought it an Unlikely Combination.  Last month while going through Ma's cookbook we came across this recipe and decided to make it.  It was a culinary adventure and a gastronomical delight.    Why don't you try it?  You may be as surprised as I was.

The Recipe:
1 large chicken, cut into bits; 1 kg pork, cut into bits; 1/2 tsp ground black pepper; 8 cloves garlic, crushed; 1/2 cup vinegar; a few coriander and mint leaves; 3 tsp oil; 1 cup water; 1 1/2 cups thick coconut milk; 4 large onions, sliced.
Marinade the pork with salt & pepper, garlic, vinegar and mint, coriander leaves. Leave aside for 30 minutes. Remove pork and put chicken in the same marinade for 15 minutes .
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry half the onions golden brown. Add the marinaded pork and brown all over. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook 20 minutes.
Fry the remaining half of the onions in a nonstick pan  in 2 tsp oil. When golden brown add the chicken and brown all over. Add 1/4 cup water and cover and cook till tender on a low fire. Add the pork to the chicken and simmer for five minutes. Pour in the coconut milk, add salt to taste and bring to the boil. Remove and serve hot with plain white rice.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Leftover Surprise

This is the dish to make when you have leftovers and want to relax after a day's work.  In our house Mince is a hot favourite and the dish is usually scraped clean with bread or chappathis.  So Shepherd's Pie is a project in itself.  I always make double and freeze half, so that I can take it out of the freezer and use on a holiday or when we have unexpected guests.

The Recipe:

250 gms mince; 100 gms mixed vegetables like peas, diced carrots and corn kernels; 2 large flakes garlic, minced; 1 large onion, minced; 2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped; coriander leaves and spring onions, chopped; 1 inch piece ginger, minced; 2 green chillies, minced; salt to taste and oil for cooking; cheese (optional) for garnishing.
For Topping:  2 large potatoes boiled.  Mash with 1/4 cup low fat milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and keep aside.
Wash & drain mince.  Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan and stir fry the onions, celery, ginger, garlic, spring onions, chillies and coriander leaves till onions are glazed.  Add the mixed vegetables ans stir fry for 2 minutes.  Now add the mince and cook till brown.  If too dry add 1/4 cup water, salt to taste, bring to the boil and remove from fire.  Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly.  Top with a layer of mashed potato and dot with cheese.  Bake at 180 Degrees C or until cheese is melted and brown.  Serve hot with bread or chappathis.