Saturday, October 20, 2012

Recipe: Haloween Fizzy Blood aka Watermelon Refresher

The heat has hit Ahmedabad again, now that the monsoons seem to have passed us by and I'm back to wanting light meals and refreshing drinks.

This is one of my favourites, its very easy to put together and if you want to serve it in a fancy manner for friends/guests, just muddle some lemon chunks and mint leaves at the bottom of the glass before mixing the drink.

While I've given approximate quantities here, its completely dependent on your taste buds, whether you prefer a stronger flavour of watermelon or lemon and how sweet you actually want it.

2 tbsp Monin Watermelon syrup
60ml 7up
soda (sparkling water) to top up.
lemon wedges & mint leaves (optional)

Muddle together the lemon wedges and mint leaves at the bottom of glass if using.
Add the watermelon syrup to the glass, then add the 7up.
Top up with soda.
Check the taste. If its too sweet for you add more soda. If its not sweet enough add more 7up or watermelon syrup if you want a stronger flavour.

Kim's Haloween / Party Tips:
1. If you are having a Haloween party, this is a great non alcoholic drink that you can serve as fizzy blood with its dark red colour.

2. And for an even gorier drink, you can put in a few black jelly / licorice worms into a punch bowl, the fizz will make the worms wiggle around in the bowl.

3. If you are making it for adults and want an alcoholic version then vodka or white rum will go well with these flavours.

Monin syrups may seem expensive, when you look at the bigger bottles, but they are quite concentrated and hence last quite long.

The only syrup of theirs that I haven't liked, is the mojito mix because the sugar completely overpowers the flavour of lime and mint. You might as well use a homemade sugar syrup.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Recipe: Mooli ke Patte ki Sabji - Radish Greens - Vegan

Radish (Mooli) is not a vegetable that used to be cooked in our house, I'm not even sure if it was indigenous to Mangalore or not. But its consumed in large quantities at my husbands place and he loves eating just raw mooli  - the long white variety - with chaat powder or black salt.

So whenever, I saw it in the market, I used to pick it up for him. If I shopped at a supermarket, I used to get them with the heads chopped off, the way carrots are sold, but if I bought it at a sabji mandi (farmers market) the green leafy top used to be attached.

I used to simply chop off the leaves and discard them before even putting the radish into the refrigerator. That was until his mom told me that the greens could be cooked!

This is a variation on how she cooks the radish greens. I cook the greens the day I bring them home (like most greens they don't take kindly to refrigeration)

1 bowl of radish leaves chopped, you can also use the stalks
1 radish diced finely
1 medium potato finely diced (optional)
4-6 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
1 tbsp mustard oil (you can use vegetable oil as a substitute if mustard oil isn't available)
Salt to taste

Heat the mustard oil and temper with the garlic and jeera.
If you are using the potatoes, add them first and fry till almost cooked. (The potatoes add an extra texture and flavour, but it can be avoided if you want to keep the carbs low, or want a healthier dish)
Add the radish leaves and saute till cooked.
Add the diced radish and give a quick stir.
Adjust salt to taste.

Serve hot with dhal and rotis or rice.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Recipe: Cabbage Salad (Vegan / Raw)

This is a very light and healthy salad. While it can be eaten raw, you can also slightly saute the sliced cabbage before using, if you do not like the raw taste. Saute it only a little so that it doesn't lose its crispness and add the salad dressing only after the cabbage has cooled down.

Cabbage - you can use a mixture of purple and green, for colour
Total quantity - 1 bowl of finely chopped/grated vegetables
groundnuts - optional

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp - malt vinegar or lime juice
1-2 green chillies to taste - finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop or grate the cabbage
Finely grate the carrot.
If you are not comfortable eating raw cabbage then saute it slightly without oil or water till it loses its raw taste but retains its crispness.
Wait for cabbage to come to room temperature before mixing in the dressing.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients with a fork - they will emulsify quite quickly.
Add dressing to the vegetables according to your taste.

Optionally garnish with roasted or boiled groundnuts

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Recipe: Egg Hoppers - Appams with Egg - Breakfast Dish

Egg Hoppers aren't a dish made in Mangalore. From what I gather, this is a Sri Lankan dish, but the first time I ate it was in a Kerala restaurant in Dubai.

Its a lovely dish in itself and if you leave the egg half cooked, the yolk provides a nice liquid and colour contrast against the crisp appam. You really don't need a curry or chutney to eat this dish. Its quite satisfying in itself.

When I have leftover appam batter, this is a great breakfast dish the next morning.

Appam Batter
Salt & Pepper to taste

Special Equipment: Appam Chatti

The method to be followed is exactly the same as that for making Appams, but once you have added the batter and swirled the pan around, then you drop a raw egg in the center, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover and cook until done.

Kim's Variations:
There are 2 ways to make these egg hoppers, you can either keep the yolk whole, like I have in these pictures, or you can break the yolk and then swirl it around like you swirl the batter.

You can even make a spicy scrambled egg (bhurji) batter and pour a bit over the appam batter when in the pan.

Serve hot

Recipe: Instant Apas / Appams / Hoppers

Manglorean Apas are called Appams in Kerala and Hoppers in Sri Lanka.

Normally the process to prepare the batter takes a fair amount of time and patience. This is an easy way to make instant appams.

This doesn't taste as yum as appams that are made with love and care, soaking, grinding, fermented with toddy etc etc. But if you want appams in a hurry and don't have a Manglorean/Kerala restaurant nearby who can deliver, this is a quick fix.

1/2kg slightly grainy rice flour (not superfine)
4 tbsps sugar (adjust to taste)
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 200ml packet of Dabur coconut milk
eno (non flavoured) fruit salt

Special Equipment: appam chatti

Mix the rice flour, sugar, salt until well blended
Add coconut milk and mix together.
Add room temperature water until the batter reaches desired consistency - thinner than dosa batter, but thicker than neerdosa batter)
Mix well so that there are no lumps.
Let is stand for 10-15 minutes so sugar can dissolve and flavours even out.
Adjust salt and sugar to taste.

Heat the appam chatti and season the pan with a few drops of oil.
Add a little eno to the batter, so that it starts to froth up (aerate - this is a short cut to the fermenting process)
Mix well.
Pour half a ladle of batter into the center of the appam chatti.
Give the pan a quick swirl to leave behind a thin layer of batter around the thicker center.
Cover the pan and fry till done.

Do not turn over
The appam will start moving away from the sides of the pan when done.

The trick to making appams is the swirling of the pan so that you have a nice thin even circle around the thicker center and managing the heat, so that the sides crisp up and the center is cooked.

Serve hot with curry of your choice.

Kim's Note:
An appam chatti is similar in shape to a kadai, but much smaller.
It has handles on both ends that you need, to be able to swirl the pan.
The lid is also essential for proper cooking of an appam. (since it is only fried on one side and the center needs to steam cook)

Like any other dosa pan, do not use your appam chatti for frying anything other than appams.
Prestige has a good non stick appam chatti that does not even require greasing between appams

In the first picture, appams are served with Pork Indad and in the second, they have been served with mutton stew.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Recipe: Vorn - Manglorean Lentil Paysam/Kheer - (Vegan)

This is a kheer that nana used to prepare for us as kids. We were often served this at tea time. The lentils in this dish make it high in proteins and hence extremely nutricious for growing children.

Also, since this particular dish is made with moong dhal (split green gram), its very light on the stomach and easy to digest and can be given to people recovering from fevers and other illness.

This dish uses coconut milk and hence unlike other Indian paysams/kheers which use regular cows/buffalo milk, this can be served to vegans too.

1/2 kg moong dhal (split & husked green gram)
1/2 kg jaggery/gur (molasses are an acceptable substitute)
1 cup rice flour
400ml thick coconut milk (extract of 2 coconuts or packaged coconut milk)
powdered cardamom seeds to taste (optional)
salt to taste
roasted cashewnuts to garnish (optional)

Wash the dhal and soak for awhile till soft (moong dhal cooks quickly, so soaking isn't really required, but it helps speed up the process and saves fuel)
Extract the thick and thin milk from the coconuts if using fresh coconuts.
Boil the dhal in water and thin coconut milk (if you are using packaged coconut milk, you can mix 2 tsps thick milk with a glass of water) until soft.
The total liquid used when you start should cover the dhal + 1-2 inches.
If you find scum/thick froth rising to the top, skim and discard, but add more water to maintain the liquid level.
Always ensure that there is enough liquid, so that the mixture can bubble and not stick to the bottom.
When the dhal is cooked, add a pinch or 2 of salt and the jaggery/gur/molasses.
Remember the sweetness of jaggery/gur/molasses varies widely, so start with 1/4kg and then keep adjusting to your taste.
Keep stirring constantly till the jaggery is fully dissolved and the dhal has begun to absorb the sweetness.

Make a batter with the rice flour and water, until it is of pouring consistency.
Slowly stir in this batter into the dhal, stirring constantly to prevent the formation of any lumps,
Keep stirring the dhal and boil well
Cook until the vorn reaches your desired consistency and the flour is cooked (loses its raw taste).
Add more water if it is too thick and rice flour has not yet lost its raw taste.
Once the vorn has reached your desired consistency, lower the flame and add the coconut milk and bring to a slow boil while continuing to stir.
Cook on low flame until you are satsified with the consistency, then take it off the heat.

Traditional consistency is slightly thick, not as thick as a pudding, but slightly more liquidy than that.
When you scoop out a spoon of vorn, the rest of the vorn should fall in to occupy the negative space.

Vorn is served either hot or cold.
Before serving, sprinkle a little cardamom powder or garnish with roasted cashewnuts.

Kim's Tip:
If you don't have access to jaggery or gur, you can use molasses, but don't use sugar as the main sweetening agent.

When you look at the orginal quantities, you may be tempted to use a smaller pot. But the dhal expands when cooked and you need a large margin on the top for the constant stirring. So for these quantities (1/2kg dhal) use at least a 7 liter pot

Friday, October 05, 2012

Recipe: Pork Indad - Manglorean Sweet and Spicy Pork

Pork Indad is a traditional Manglorean dish and used to be served at any celebration - weddings, Christenings, Christmas. Among the Pork dishes cooked and served by the Manglorean Catholics, Indad is perhaps second only to Laithaun.

Preparation of this dish requires a lot of patience because the masala needs to be cooked slowly and steadily. Unlike a Pork Bafat where everything is popped into the dish and cooked together, the Indad has multiple steps to be followed, but the end result is well worth it.

For those who don't eat pork, this recipe, works well with chicken (please use chicken with skin for Chicken indad, you can discard the skin later if you like, although I personally believe its the tastiest part) and eggs. The only reason I don't make it with chicken or eggs, is ecause I feel that if I'm putting in this much effort, I might as well make it with pork.

Nana used to make the most fantastic Pork Indad and it was famous in her entire extended family. If anyone had the good fortune of eating Nana's pork indad even once, they would most certainly request it the next time they were due to come over.

When I lived in Bangalore, I used to take little frozen dabbas of nanas pork indad when I came to Mangalore for the weekend, and savour it slowly over the week. Before my husband first visited Mangalore, he would just about taste the gravy of pork if I cooked it. One weekend with Nana's Pork Indad changed his attitude towards Pork forever. If I remember right, he ate Pork Indad for all 6 of his meals on that trip.

On the Feast of Mother Mary - Monthisaibinechi festh - on September 8th, traditionally we are supposed to eat a completely vegetarian meal in honour of the harvest. But nana also used to make us a nice big pot of pork indad which she would serve us AFTER we had eaten up all our vegetables.

Sadly none of her daughters or grand-daughters have perfected the same halt (balance of flavours and textures) as nana. After Nana passed away 3.5yrs ago, I hadn't even attempted to make Pork Indad, because this dish is so intricately linked with her and my memories of her. And even thinking of her food, reminds me how much I still miss her.

However on this years Monthisaibinechi festh, the urge to cook Pork Indad got very strong and I finally succumbed to the temptation by the end of the month :)

My version is not as good as nana's, but with a few tweaks, I think I can get it there. First on the list of changes would be to buy a table top mixer grinder to grind this masala, rather than in a mixi.

Each Manglorean family has a different recipe for Pork Indad, some use mint leaves, some use dates, some use raisins, some use jaggery some use green chillies. To see what I'm talking about, you can check out Shireen at Ruchik Randhap's recipe and Michelle's recipe on The Tiffin Box.

2 kg pork (use pork that has fat and skin for the authentic flavour, curry cuts work well) cut into 1" cubes
15 long red chillies (kumti/beary chillies) - these give colour
10 short gaunchi chillies - these give heat
15 black peppercorns
1 tsp jeera
2 tsp haldi powder

10 cloves
6" cinnamon
6 medium onions
2 pods of garlic (not cloves, pods)
2" ginger
table tennis ball size of tamarind - extract pulp for use 
4 green chillies
1 handful of corriander leaves
1-2 large potatoes skinned and cut into 1cm slices (soak in mildly salted cold water)
1 small onion sliced

1-2 tbsps ghee
sugar, salt & vinegar to taste (I like to use Goan toddy vinegar)
dark rum - preferably Old Monk for punch (optional)

Dry roast all the dry ingredients individually.(red chillies, pepper, jeera, cloves, cinnamon)
Grind these together with the 6 medium onions, ginger, garlic,tamarind, green chillies and corriander leaves and a little vinegar when grinding for moisture
In a large pan, cook the pork with just a pinch of salt. The meat will release water.
When the water dries up, add 2 tbsps ghee and fry the pork untill the fat of the pork breaks down and starts melting . (If you are cooking with 2 kgs, its better to fry it in 2-3 batches, so the meat gets evenly fried)

Remove the pork from the pan and keep aside, there should be a lot of melted fat + ghee leftover.
Fry the potato slices in this fat (dry the potatoes on a kitchen towel before frying to prevent splattering)
Remove the fried potato slices and keep aside.
Fry the sliced onion in the fat until caramelised.
Then add the ground masala to the fried onions.
Fry on a low flame, adding a tsp or 2 of water as required until the masala is completely cooked and no raw taste remains.
Add the masala water (water got when washing the grinder) and a little more liquid to the masala and cook until it bubbles (this is a thick curry, so you need a semi-gravy consisitency)
Add the fried meat to the masala and cook until the fat breaks down some more and the meat turns soft.
Adjust salt, sugar and vinegar to taste. The dish should be slightly sweet, with a hint of sourness.
Garnish with fried potatoes

The potatoes taste good either crisp or when they have soaked up the masala, so you can mix some fried slices into the curry and reserve the rest for garnish.

Serve hot with appams, sannas, panpole (neer dosa), pau bread or white rice. I've served it with appams in the pictuire below.

As with most other Manglorean pork curries, indad tastes better with age. So you can make it 2-3 days before you plan to serve it and reheat it daily. Adjust salt, vinegar, sugar on the last day and add potatoes only before serving.


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