Ragda Piyali

Piyali refers to the bowl in which the Ragda is served. My earliest memories of eating Ragda was straight after tuitions. A group of us school girls all rushing to our favourite chaatwala to place our order.

Serving us each according to our taste and perfecting it, was his trick to keep customers flocking to him.

So best eaten as a snack but can also be eaten for meal times. Guaranteed it’s finger licking good and will finish off in no time.😋

So to the recipe in a jiffy.

Ingredients for Ragda:

  • Vatana/White dried peas 2 cups/500gms. soaked overnight
  • Tumeric powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Oil 1 tbs.
  • Water 5 cups
  • Potatoes 2-3nos./250gms. washed, skin peeled and cut into small cubes.
  • Salt to taste
  • Onions 2nos. medium size/300 gms. Cleaned and finely chopped
  • Coriander 1/4 bunch cleaned, washed and finely chopped
  • Tamarind 2 small lime size balls soaked in 1/4 cup water
  • Kokum 6-7 nos. soaked with the tamarind in the same bowl.
  • Coriander powder to taste
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • Cumin powder to taste

Method:

  1. Discard the water in which the peas are soaked.
  2. Add fresh water and boil the peas and potatoes with tumeric, salt, oil for 4 whistles or for half an hour. Keep aside and let it cool naturally.
  3. In the meanwhile extract a thick pulp from the tamarind and kokum. Keep aside in a bowl.
  4. Finely chop onions and keep in a bowl.
  5. Finely chop coriander leaves and keep in a bowl.
  6. Keep the coriander, chilli and cumin powders ready in small bowls.
  7. Now carefully open the cooker and check your ragda/white peas and potatoes and the taste(for salt).
  8. Add water and boil again if too thick.
  9. In a bowl take the quantity of Ragda you want to eat.
  10. Add the onions, coriander leaves, cumin, coriander and chilli powders along with the tamarind-kokum pulp.
  11. Mix well and enjoy.
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Channa Bhaji

Channa/Chone/Black Chickpeas isn’t a favourite of mine in comparison with chickpeas or garbanzo beans which I absolutely love. But this dish, the way it was prepared was an absolute winner. (A long lost recipe from my paternal side of Aldonna in Goa). This dish which I had eaten was nearly 35+ years ago. So I had attended a family wedding in Aldonna, Goa. Nearly lunch time and being a kid at that time was very busy playing. Lunch wasn’t ready yet. Well feeling very hungry I ran to eat the soft Number 8 bread. Suddenly I was offered this dish. The colour was dark black. Not very appetizing. I somewhat hesitantly ate a teaspoonfull of it. It was yummy to say the least.

I haven’t seen it or eaten anything like it before. So from memory based on the taste of it I prepared this dish.

So let’s jump to the recipe:

  1. 2 cups black chickpeas cleaned, washed and soaked overnight
  2. 1 full coconut grated
  3. 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  4. 1 onion finely chopped
  5. 3 tbs. Samaracho Pitto (click the link for the recipe)
  6. 3 tbs. Thick tamarind juice
  7. 65 gms. Coconut palm jaggery grated
  8. 1/2 tsp. Tumeric powder
  9. Oil 3-4 tbsps (I have used coconut oil)
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Water 5 cups to boil the channas

Method: In a cooker add the drained black chickpeas and the water along with tumeric powder. Let the cooker give off 4 whistles. Remove from the gas and let it cool. In a non-stick pan dry roast the coconut till golden brown. Remove and keep aside to cool. In a non-stick vessel add coconut oil and saute the onion till golden brown. Now add the Channa, samarcho Pitto and salt. Stir well and add tamarind pulp along with stock. Stir in the coconut and mix well. Let it cook for sometime till oil floats. Last add the grated jaggery and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes. Switch off the gas and enjoy with hot chappatis.

Recipe for Samarcho Pitto click herebelow:

Samaracho Pitto

Arroz with Jeerem Meerem Mutton

Sunday’s were always special. So was the food as everyone was at home. Most Sunday meals always started with the Goan Arroz (Pulav) and a meat dish. The aroma was so tantalising that I would disturb mum half way through. And she would keep repeating the ingredients jeerem, Meerem, aaley etc. So reliving the memory I recreated the lunch.

Now the recipe for Arroz is not something great but I will share the same with you.

Ingredients for Arroz:

  1. Basmati rice 1/2 kg washed and soaked for 1/2 hour and drained
  2. Cloves 4-5 nos.
  3. Cinnamon 1″ thick stick
  4. Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
  5. Bay leaf 1 no.
  6. Onion 1 cut lengthwise
  7. Tomato 1 finely cut (I have skipped this as hubby doesn’t like tomatoes)
  8. Ginger-garlic paste 1 tbs.
  9. Oil 3-4 tbs
  10. Veg/Chicken Broth 1 cup/1 cube
  11. Water 2 cups
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Tumeric 1 tsp

Method: In a non-stick vessel add oil and let the oil become hot. Now add the cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn and bay leaf. Let it crackle in the oil. Add the onion and saute till golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute till the aroma is released and the paste becomes golden brown.

Now add the basmati rice and saute for sometime. Add the stock/cube and keep on fast fire. After adding the cube now add the water. Let it boil. When it boils add the tumeric and salt and stir well. Decrease the gas to a simmer and cover slightly with a lid. Let it cook till nearly done. Check the rice for doneness once the water dries completely. Switch off the gas and enjoy your Arroz.

Jeereem Meerem Mutton Recipe:

  1. Mutton 1 kg cut into cubes washed and drained
  2. 5-7 green chillies finely chopped
  3. 1″ cinnamon sticks (5 nos.)
  4. 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeerem)
  5. 1 tsp Peppercorns
  6. 1 tsp. Cloves
  7. 1″ ginger
  8. 5-7 garlic pods
  9. Tumeric 1 tsp.
  10. Vinegar 2 tbs. (Coconut vinegar or Apple cider Vinegar)
  11. 1/2 coriander leaves
  12. Onions 2-3 finely chopped
  13. Tomatoes 2 finely chopped
  14. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  15. 1 cup water
  16. Salt to taste
  17. Oil as required

Method : In a mixer make a paste of item nos. 2-11. Add little water and keep grinding for 2-3 times more. Keep the mixer aside.

In a pressure cooker heat the oil. Add the onions and fry till semi-soft. Now toss in the mutton and saute well till the aroma is released. Now add the ground masala and fry well. See that the meat is covered in the masala. Now add the tomatoes and saute well. When the tomatoes become mushy add salt and water. Cover the cooker and let the mutton cook. Once the cooker gives 3-4 whistles, switch the gas off. Let it cool naturally. Open and stir the mutton. Enjoy with the Arroz.

Wholewheat Crinkly Ginger Cookies

I love ginger biscuits which I had first tasted when we visited Sri Lanka. Whenever possible I buy ginger biscuits and enjoy it with a cup of tea.

So I decided let me try and make Ginger Cookies. I also wanted to make it healthy so experimented with different ingredients. Happy it was such a success.

So directly to the recipe:

  1. 3 c wholewheat flour
  2. 1 tbs baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
  4. 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg powder
  5. 1/3 c honey
  6. 1/3 c butter (melted)
  7. 1/2 c milk
  8. 100 gms. Freshly grated Indian ginger
  9. 150 gms Preserved Ginger cut into small bite size pieces ( store bought)
  10. 2 tbs. Dried Ginger powder

Method: In a strainer strain wholewheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, grated ginger and dried ginger powder. Mix well using a spatula.

In a microwave safe measuring cup melt butter and add honey to it. Add it to the dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk to form bread crumbs shape. Add the finely chopped ginger preservatives. Warm the milk in the same cup in the microwave and add it to dough. Bring the dough gently together using the tip of your fingers. Let it rest for 1/2 an hour for the baking powder to activate.

In the meanwhile preheat your oven to 150°C. Line your oven tray with parchment or butter paper. Take a tablespoon and scoop out 2 tablespoonfull dough. Using the palm of your hands shape it into rounds. Place the cookies about 1″ away from each other. Once you have done the entire batch place them in the oven. (You may need 2-3 oven trays/batches depending on the size of your oven) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Switch off the oven and let it cool. When slightly cool to touch remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Fill into an airtight jar. Enjoy your cookies with a cup of tea or plain as a snack.

Idlis

I had eaten idlis in Bombay from restaurants (which arent very fresh and tasty) I was very biased to Sannas. So 1 afternoon when my ex-colleague Stella brought some homemade idlis I couldn’t stop raving about how soft they were.

So Stella gave me her family recipe which I took home and perfected. For those who don’t know about idlis it’s a rice cake served from breakfast to dinner with a variety of Chutneys and sambars. To finish it off a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Without much ado let’s jump to the recipe.

Ingredients for the idlis: (A)

  • Raw idli rice 1c (washed and soaked separately for 4-6 hours)
  • Urad dal 1/2 c (washed and soaked separately for 4-6 hours)
  • Cooked rice 1/4 cup (to be ground)
  • Water (as required) (I had used a little more than 2 1/2 cups of water for the total batter)
  • Salt (as per taste)
  • Oil for greasing the trays
  • Idli cooker with trays or vatis

Method: After the requisite time has passed grind the rice in batches adding little water in the mixer. Remove and keep in a separate bowl.

Now grind the urad dal adding little water. Remove in a separate bowl and keep aside. Finally take a little batter of the rice, dal and the cooked rice. Grind again adding little water.

Remove into a bowl and keep aside. Keep repeating the process till the entire raw rice, cooked rice and dal have been ground and mixed. Wash the mixer with a little water and add to the bowl. Stir and cover. Keep it in a warm place to ferment. I had kept it on my kitchen counter overnight. In the morning you will see that the batter has fermented (bubbles have formed) and increased in volume. Add salt and stir well.

Now in an idli cooker fill water to 3/4 it’s capacity. Close the cover and let it heat up. In the meanwhile oil the trays or containers in which you intend to steam your idlis. Now open your idli cooker and when you see the water is boiling you are ready to steam your idlis.

In the meanwhile let’s prepare the chutney

Ingredients for chutney (B)

  • 1/2 a coconut grated
  • 3 green chillies (increase or decrease as per taste)
  • Water 1/4 c

Ingredients for sauteeing:

  • 2 tbs Oil ( Use coconut oil for a more authentic taste)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 round button red chillies
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Non-stick pan for sauteeing

Method : Grind the coconut, green chillies and add a little water at a time. (2 tbs). Open the mixer and add a little more water into the cup. Push down the masala well with your hands. Grind twice or thrice with a little water. Keep the mixer aside.

Now in a non-stick pan add the oil. Let it become very hot. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the button red chillies. Let it fry for a few minutes in the oil. Now pour the coconut chutney from the mixer into the pan. Add a little water into the mixer and add this water into the pan. Stir and cover the pan. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Last add the curry leaves and add salt. Let it cook for a minute. Stir and taste the chutney. Switch off this gas.

Continuing (A)
After nicely oiling the trays pour spoonfuls of it into the tray. I pour the batter till each portion is 2/3 full. Keep to steam for 15 minutes for the 1st batch. Latter batches can be done in 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.😋

Notes : 1. The time for soaking and fermentation will be much lesser in summers.

2. Urad dal is called split black gram.

Red Pumpkin Vegetable

Red Pumpkin or Bhopla as it’s called in Hindi is a very easy vegetable to cook. I love the bright yellow orange colour. I enjoy this vegetable with a hint of spices. Let’s get to the recipe without much ado.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gms red pumpkin de-skinned, seeds removed and cut into 1″ cubes and soaked into a bowl of water (Reserve the skin as I will be preparing something from it and the seeds can be toasted and eaten)
  2. Oil 3 tbs.
  3. Asafoetida a pinch
  4. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  6. Button red chillies 4-5 nos.
  7. 3 Kashmir chillies broken into 2″ pieces
  8. Grated Coconut 2 tbs.
  9. 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  10. Samarcho Pitto 1 tbs.
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Water 1/4 cup

Method : In a non-stick vessel add oil and let it become hot. When it is smoking hot add the asafoetida.

When it turns golden add the mustard seeds. When they start popping add the cumin seeds and chillies. As soon as the cumin turns golden add the onions and fry for a few minutes. Cover and cook till they become translucent. Now add the pumpkin, samarcho Pitto and salt. Cover and cook.

Stir nicely mixing well. If dry add water. Within 5-7 minutes the pumpkin will be ready. Decorate with coconut and enjoy.

Recipe for Samarcho Pitto click below

Samaracho Pitto

Benefits of eating red pumpkin vegetable:

1. As a diabetic I have personally experienced that I skip the need to eat a sweet after eating red pumpkin.

2. Red Pumpkin is good for the heart.

3. It is high in fibre, potassium, vitamin C, low in calories, has anti-oxidant properties

4. It is also a good source of beta carotene.

Moong Godshem

This is a specially dedicated to friends from one of the food groups who asked me how I minimise wasting food. I don’t like to waste food because that was what was taught to us from childhood. (Now with things being costly who would want to?)

I remember I had gone to spend my vacations with my aunt Maria and her family. So that particular lazy afternoon my cousin sister after waking up from her siesta told her mother, she was hungry. Being a guest I was quiet, but was hungry too. (I think of food 24/7😂).

So my aunt told us to go out and play whilst she would prepare a Jhatphat snack. From the corner of my eyes, I saw her soak some whole moong beans.

Off we ran to play. Within 1/2 an hour we were called to eat Godshem. Godshem was yummy and strengthing too. Stomach full and we were off to playing again.

Now to the recipe:

  • 2 cups cooked moong (kept aside after boiling moong for vegetable preparation)
  • 1/2 cup scrapped coconut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Coconut palm jaggery grated 60 gms. (As per taste increase or decrease it)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • A handful of cashew nuts (optional)

Method:

In a mixer grind some moong along with coconut, and use a little water to start grinding. Now in a non-stick vessel add the ground moong along with the remaining cooked moong and the remaining water. Let it cook for around 10-15 minutes, stirring gradually to let the mixture thicken.

Add grated jaggery and stir well. Taste and see if you require more jaggery. Add the cardamom powder and cashews. Stir well to incorporate. Remove into serving bowls and enjoy hot or cold.

This can be served as a breakfast or snack

Note: Photo edited on 25.01.2018

Chicken and pasta in white sauce

Tiffin preparations are a major task specially with fussy boys. Most of the times they demand a particular dish and being a very loving wife and mum their demands are met.

So at my son’s insistence I decided to prepare Pasta for their Tiffin. My eldest son loves Mac and Cheese, but I always add a few healthy twists into my food. So here’s my version of Mac n cheese.

Ingredients for pasta:

  1. 1 packet wholewheat pasta boiled, refreshed with cold water and drained as per packet instructions.
  2. White sauce 2 cups (method mentioned below)
  3. Chicken stock 2 cups (boiled and kept aside)
  4. Chicken breast 500 gms washed, wiped and cut into cubes (marinate with 1 tsp salt and pepper each)
  5. Olive oil 4 tbs.
  6. Mozzarella cheese 250 gms
  7. Cheddar cheese 250 gms
  8. Red capsicums 1/2 finely diced
  9. Green capsicums 1/2 finely diced
  10. Yellow capsicums 1/2 finely diced
  11. Carrot 100 gms finely diced
  12. Mushrooms 200 gms cut into 1/4″ thin slices
  13. Mixed italian herbs 1 tbs (1 tsp oregano and 1 tsp basil)
  14. Parsley 1 tbs (optional dressing)

Ingredients for white sauce :

  • Butter 4 tbs.
  • Flour 4 tbs
  • Garlic 4-5 cloves finely chopped
  • Red chilli flakes 1/2 tsp
  • White pepper powder 1 tsp
  • Milk 1 cup ( full fat)
  • Nutmeg powder 1/4 tsp
  • Whisk (for whisking purposes)

Method for white sauce:

In a non-stick vessel add 2 tbs butter. As soon as the butter melts add the garlic. Fry till golden brown. Remove and keep aside. Now add the remaining butter. After the butter melts add the flour. Fry well till the aroma is released and the flour becomes nice and golden. Now add the milk. Using the whisk, whisk well till flour dissolves into the milk and becomes a homogenous sauce. Add the sauteed garlic, red chilli flakes, white pepper powder and nutmeg powder.

Cook till the mixture thickens and becomes a sauce. Remove and keep aside to cool.

Method for cooking the chicken :

In a non-stick vessel add olive oil 2 tbs and fry the chicken for about 3 minutes. Cover and let it cook for another few minutes till the meat has turned white. Remove the chicken into a bowl and keep aside.

Now add the remaining olive oil. Saute the carrots and cover and cook till the carrots have softened a bit. Add the mushrooms and cook till they become soft. Now add the capsicums 1 by 1 and cook.

Cover and let it cook for about 2 minutes. Open and mix the white sauce. Stir well to mix and add the chicken. Add the pasta and mix well. Now add the chicken stock. Add the cheese 1 by 1. Stir and mix well. Switch off the gas. Now add the dressings. Serve hot and enjoy your pasta.

Mutton Cafreal Chops

My earliest fond memories of Cafreal was mum making Chicken Cafreal. This was specially so when we travelled to Goa by bus and mum would marinate and fry chicken pieces and potato wedges so we would have food ready. (In case the bus didnt halt etc). This was also her favourite go to marinade for mutton. So when we decided at work to have a potluck lunch, I mentioned that I would get Cafreal Mutton and the immediate response was oh this dish sounds like an African name.

Without realising I mentioned that this was a Portuguese recipe. (Goans did exist even in Africa).

Now without much ado let’s jump to the recipe:

  1. Mutton chops 800 gms
  2. Salt (as per taste)
  3. Vinegar 2tbs.
  4. Tumeric powder 1 tsp.
  5. Oil (as required for frying the chops)
  6. Water (as required)
  7. Potatoes 2-3 large
  8. Tomato 1 large

Ingredients for marinade:

  1. Green chillies 6-7 (Remove the seeds and reduce the number as per taste)
  2. 1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  3. Ginger 1″ (I use Indian variety, add 1/2″ more if using Chinese variety)
  4. Garlic 3-4 cloves (I use Indian variety, if using Chinese variety add 2 more as per taste)
  5. Coriander seeds 2 tbs.
  6. Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  7. Cloves 7-9
  8. Peppercorns 1 tsp
  9. Cinammon 1″ thick piece
  10. Water (as required )
  11. Tamarind 1 lemon size ball soaked in water

Method : Wash the chops and dry with a clean kitchen towel. Now keep the chops between two cling films. Hammer gently all the chops and dip the chops in vinegar, tumeric and salt mixture. Keep aside for 3-6 hours in the fridge.

Now grind all the ingredients for the marinade from 1-10 in a mixer. Add water a little at a time to facilitate grinding the spices. Repeat this process for 2-3 times. Now add the soaked tamarind to the mixer and grind again. Remove the ground masala and add a portion of it to the chops. Reserve the balance marinade along with a litte water with which the mixer has been washed in a bowl. Keep both the marinade bowl and the marinated chops in the fridge overnight.

Now remove the chops from the fridge next morning. Let it come to room temperature. In the meanwhile clean the potatoes and chop into wedges. Add the potato wedges into a bowl with salted water and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Now in a non-stick vessel add oil and let it become hot. Remove the potatoes wipe dry and put into the pan. Let it fry till all the sides are golden. Remove and keep aside. Now add more oil and let it become hot. When the oil is hot enough add the chops and fry. After the chops brown, turn to the other side and fry till it becomes brown on the other side too. Now add the masala along with 1/4 cup water. Cover and let it cook for 20-25 minutes. Turn to other side and repeat the process. Add the reserved marinade as required and cover and cook for another 20-25 minutes. The chops are well done. You know the chops are cooked, when you can easily pass a sharp knife or fork through it.

To serve add the potato wedges and a flower shaped tomato with the chops in the middle. Enjoy with chapattis/paratha or a naan.

Notes: 1. This marinade is very flavourful and can be ground ahead of time and stored. 2. I have added less than 1/4 cup water to grind the spices. The masala shouldn’t be watery. 3. Adding vinegar to the chops breaks down and tenderizes the mutton. 4. You can alternatively also cut onions into rounds and fry them till the caramelized and add to the mutton chops.

Note: Photo edited on 25/01/2018

Egg Bhurjee

I had to fly down to India on urgency in December, but had hopes of continuing to post recipes for Christmas. Unfortunately with no access to WiFi, I was unable to post. Being down after 3 years and with plenty of odd jobs to complete I couldn’t even visit a cybercafe. So sorry for that.

Now that I’m back and have got over the jet lag and initial sickness I’m back to posting.

So to each and everyone of you A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year first and foremost. Now starting this New Year with an easy street food – Egg Bhurjee.

The first time we ate Egg Bhurjee was when my grandad was in the hospital. Staying in the hospital made me sick. (I couldn’t cook after returning home, being relieved by mum for the night) So dad decided that we would eat Egg Bhurjee for dinner, which I tasted at a street vendor’s stall.

I loved the taste. So anytime after that we needed to prepare a Tiffin in a jiffy I would prepare Bhurjee. Now without much ado jumping to the recipe.

Ingredients for Egg Bhurjee

  • 4 eggs break into a bowl and beat well.
  • 3-5 medium size onions cleaned, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes medium size washed and finely chopped
  • 4-5 green chillies washed and finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves 1/3 bundle washed, cleaned and finely chopped
  • Oil for sauteeing
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbs. Water

Method: In a non-stick vessel add oil. Let it become hot. Now add the finely chopped onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Cover and after the onions have become translucent add the chopped green chillies. Stir to mix well. Cover and after a few minutes add the tomatoes. Stir well. Cover and keep for about 5 minutes. Open and stir well. Now add the eggs and continuously stir. Add the water to break the albumin in the egg. Stir. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Lastly add salt to taste and stir. Before switching off the gas add the coriander. Stir well. Switch off the gas and enjoy with hot chappatis/parathas/phulkas or bread.