Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Keerla Polo (Spicy Bamboo Shoot Dosa) ~Quick Version

Keerla Polo is a popular dosa in Konkani Cuisine. In Konkani, keerlu means bamboo shoot. In Coastal Karnataka, as soon as the monsoon season sets in, fresh bamboo shoots are available in the market. It is then cleaned by discarding the outer tough leaves and the tender inner part are stored in salt, in big glass or porcelain jars. They stay good for 1-2 yrs. 

My mother makes this dosa and you can check her method here. But then one day I got lazy and thought why not try it using rice flour instead of grinding the rice. My husband really liked this version. He liked it so much that he keeps demanding for this every now and then.

Do try this version and serve it with rice and any side dish of your choice.

  • Bamboo Shoots*-  2 cans (or 2 1/2 cups crushed)
  • Rice flour- 1/2 cup
  • Red chilli powder - To taste
  • Salt- To taste
  • Oil - For shallow frying
*If using the ones stored in salt water then soak the bamboo shoots in fresh water and change the water 2-3 times, in order to remove excess salt.


Wash the bamboo shoots thoroughly. 

Then crush them using a mortar and pestle or a kitchen stone and transfer into a large bowl.

Now add salt, red chili powder and rice flour. Mix well. Mixture is ready.

Now heat a skillet (I used cast-iron). When hot, add few drops of oil on the skillet. Then take a portion of the mixture and pat it to spread (spread it as thin as possible).

Cook the dosa on a high heat until both the sides turn crispy and golden-brown.

Once done transfer it to a plate. Continue with the rest of the mixture. 
Keerla Polo is ready!!

Serve it hot as a side dish to rice and curry of your choice. Above measurement makes four big sized dosas.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

How To Sprout Beans?

Beans are a good source of protein for Vegetarians. Sprouting the beans increases their nutritional value. Learn about it here. Making sprouts at home is so easy. It is always better than buying the store bought sprouts. I hope this post will inspire you to make sprouts at home. If you are already making them then pat your back :-)


  • Dry Beans (any variety) - 3/4 cup
  • Cheese Cloth - Optional
  • Bowl/ Jar


Wash the beans and soak them in enough water for 8- 10 hours.

After soaking, they plump up and look like this-

Now discard the water and rinse the soaked beans 1-2 times (drain the water completely).
The main requirements for germination to happen is little bit of moisture and air.
Method 1: This is the method I follow. I have a microwave rice cooker which has holes at the top (steam vent). I put the soaked beans in it.
Then invert the colander (it is a part of the cooker) on the beans loosely. 

Then just place the lid over it. Finally I keep it in oven (of course turned off) for 12- 24 hours depending on the weather (sprinkle little water if the beans are dry, after few hours). The sprouts are ready.

Method 2: In case if you don't have a rice cooker, then simply place the soaked, drained beans in a bowl and close it with a cheese cloth and place it in a warm place (sprinkle little water if the beans are dry, after few hours).

Method 3: In this method you just put the soaked beans in a cotton cloth (or cheese cloth) and tie it tightly. Then just place it in a warm place (sprinkle little water if the beans are dry, after few hours). I don't prefer this method as some of the sprouts get stuck to the cloth and they tend to break while removing. 

Above measurement of beans makes 3 cups of sprouted beans.

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Homemade Frozen Rotis

Frozen Roti is a recent try in my kitchen. I really liked the way it turned out. I am kind of person who believes in home made fresh food. But then there are times where you don't have sufficient time to cook for yourself. For those days these stuff come handy. I don't like to buy the frozen rotis available at the stores. So thought of making it. I saw this video and couple of other blogs related to freezing rotis and Indian food. I was amazed reading them.

This process is little time consuming but all the effort will surely help your loved one :-)


For the Rotis:
  • Whole Wheat flour (or Multi grain Flour)- 3 cups
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Salt - To taste (I didn't add)
  • Water - As required
For Storing:
  • Parchment Paper
  • Baking Sheet/Cutting Board
  • Zip Loc


Take the flour in a big bowl. Add oil and salt. Mix well. Now add water little at a time to form a soft non-sticky dough. Apply little oil on its surface and close it. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Then divide the dough into smaller portions (I made 18 of them).

Dip the ball in flour and then start rolling each dough into a 6-7 inch circle.

Continue with the rest of them (don't pile the rolled rotis. They will stick to each other.I usually roll them in batches)
Now cook the roti partially on a pre heated skillet on both sides (no need to brown it).

Then allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, spread them on a baking sheet or cutting board and put them in the freezer for 30 minutes (this step will make sure your rotis don't stick later. This is called flash freezing. I did them in batches).

While they are flash freezing, cut the parchment paper.

After flash freezing it will look like this.

Then pile them up with parchment paper in between. Transfer them in a Zip loc and seal them by removing all the air. Place it in the freezer.

Frozen Rotis are ready!!

When you want rotis, take out desired amount and cook them on a hot skillet until you get brown spots on both sides. Don't thaw the frozen rotis before cooking.
These rotis can be stored 2-3 months.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Tips on Using Frozen Coconut

Frozen Coconut is a boon for me. I grew up in Coastal Karnataka (South India) where every other house has a coconut tree. Most of the dishes my mother makes has some traces of coconut in it :-) So grating coconut is a daily job. Somehow I hate grating the coconut to the core. But still there is no option other than grating your own. After my marriage I came to US and was very happy to see the frozen packet of grated coconut. I would always tell my mother that now I don't have to grate the coconut. 

But sometimes I was not happy with frozen coconut. In due course of time I got a valuable tip from a friend and it made my life better. So I wanted to share that tip from a long time but somehow it never happened. Better late than never :-)

#I use lot of coconut. Whenever I want to make a coconut based dish, I simply remove the packet and pop it in microwave for 60- 90 seconds. Remove the desired amount and put the packet back in the freezer (the packet I use is resealable which is another advantage). I never thaw my frozen coconut.

#While making Chutney or any Coconut based gravy , always use hot water (I just heat the water in microwave). This way you don't end up in a chutney or coconut based masala which has oil residue. This is a very important point to be noted.

#Some people thaw the grated coconut (But then you need to plan in advance). If you want to speed up the process of thawing then place the packet in a large bowl containing warm water.

#For people who live in India or any other place where frozen shredded coconut is not available - You can grate the coconut in the weekend (for working women) and store them in freezer safe boxes. This way you don't have to grate on a weekday. It saves lot of time.

#During festivals, sometimes you end up with lot of fresh coconuts which has to be used within few days. The best thing to do is grate them and put it in freezer safe containers. They will freeze well for few months. This is the tip I learnt from my MIL. She always does this. This method prevents lot of wastage and also decreases the pressure of using all of them within few days.

#For people like me who don't have a coconut grater but still get fresh coconut for festivals - In this case I just make small pieces of coconut using a knife and put it in a ziploc and freeze. It stays good for months. Use these pieces for making gravies.

I hope these tips will help all of you. If you have any other tip related to this, please feel to share by leaving a comment.

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Rasmalai ~ A Short Cut to the Traditional Recipe

Rasmalai is a very popular milk based Indian dessert. Making this dessert is a very long process. First chenna (Indian cheese) is made and then shaped into small balls (then flattened slightly). These balls are cooked in a sugar syrup. Finally they are put in a flavored milk which has been reduced for hours. Then it is served after cooling for several hours. This dessert is very rich and creamy. 

Two years back, I was lucky enough to learn making Rasmalai (from scratch) from a very good friend of mine. After that I have made it couple of times with good results. Recently I came to know that we can make rasmalai using ricotta cheese. I went through many recipes and also a video. I liked the recipe from the video and made few changes. It turned out very good. This recipe is indeed a short cut for the traditional one. Using this recipe you can make it to serve a big group. I am sure you will love this recipe as much as I did :-)


For the 'Malai':
Ricotta Cheese (full fat) - 15 oz
Sugar- 1/2 cup

For the 'Ras':
Evaporated Milk- 12 fl oz
Sugar- 1/4 to 1/3 cup
Saffron (Kesar) - Few strands
Cardamom pods- 3-4
Almonds/ Pistachios, chopped- For Garnishing


Transfer the ricotta cheese to a bowl. Add sugar and mix well. 

Now grease a muffin pan (my pan makes 12) using ghee or butter. Then spoon in the ricotta cheese mixture into the muffin pan, equally (about 2 1/2 Tbsp each). Alternatively you can also put it in a square pan.

Then bake it in an oven preheated to 350 F ( 180 C) for 25- 30 minutes or until the perimeter of the mixture turns light brown (keep a close eye on the mixture after 20 minutes. The square pan may take a different time). Allow it to cool.

Once it has come to room temperature, run a butter knife along the perimeter and remove it one by one (be gentle while removing. I broke one of the pieces while removing).

While the cheese mixture is baking, prepare the 'ras'. Pour the evaporated milk in a pan. Add the saffron strands and sugar. Mix well. Heat it until the bubbles form along its perimeter. Then turn off the heat and add cardamom powder. Mix well. Allow the milk mixture to cool completely.

Final step is to place the ricotta cheese pieces in the milk mixture. Garnish with chopped nuts. Place it in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours.

Rasmalai is ready!!

Serve chilled. Above measurement serves five people.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ponsa Appo (Ripe Jackfruit Paniyaram)

Ponsa Appo is a simple breakfast or snack.  In Konkani, Ponosu means ripe jackfruit and appo means small dumplings cooked in a special pan. Few months back I had prepared dosa using ripe jackfruit. My MIL suggested me to try making appo using same batter. Then I thought of making it once I find the fresh fruit. Recently I bought a huge piece of jackfruit and wanted to try it. I slightly changed my dosa recipe. I substituted semolina for rice and also added a piece of cashew in each appo for a little surprise. It turned out very good and I loved them. 

  • Semolina/ Sooji - 1 cup
  • Ripe Jackfruit, chopped- 1 cup
  • Jaggery*- To taste
  • Cardamom pods- 2
  • Grated Coconut- 2 Tbsp
  • Roasted Cashew nut - As required (optional)
  • Salt- A pinch
*The amount of jaggery required completely depends on how sweet the jackfruit is and how much more sweet you want. The jackfruit I used was mildly sweet. I like mine very sweet. Hence added more jaggery (nearly 1/3 cup). 


 Clean the ripe jackfruit. Discard the seeds and chop the clean jackfruit pods.

Now take the chopped jackfruit along with crushed jaggery, grated coconut and cardamom seeds in a blender.

Grind it into a smooth paste (without adding water).

Now transfer this paste into a mixing bowl. Then add semolina.

Mix well and allow the mixture to rest for 5- 10 minutes (at this point test the mixture for sweetness). Add water to adjust the consistency. The final consistency of the batter should be thick but of dropping consistency.

Now heat the special pan (I got it from India), used for making Appo. You can as well use this pan.

Add few drops of ghee in each small moulds. Then pour the batter in each of them. Place a piece of cashew nut in each mould.

Let it cook on a medium heat, covered/uncovered until it turns golden brown on bottom part. Then carefully turn them using a fork/spoon.

Fry the other side until you get a uniform color throughout. Remove them and serve. 
Ponsa Appo is ready!!

Serve it hot with generous drizzle of ghee on it. Above measurement makes 19 appos.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Celebrating 350th Post with Kayi Holige

Kayi Holige is a very popular South Indian sweet flat bread. In Kannada, Kayi means coconut. Holige means a flat bread which has a sweet stuffing. I got the recipe from my MIL.

This post is very special to me. One reason being it is my 350th post and the other reason being Kayi holige. Kayi holige always reminds me of my husband's grandma. She makes the best holiges. I became a huge fan of her on the day I ate this sweet for the first time. Hence wanted to post it as my 350 th recipe. I couldn't recreate her holiges but hoping for better results with passing time. I am also waiting for a chance to learn from her. I wish it comes true :-) Do give this a try and I am sure you will like it too. 


For the outer Covering:
  • All Purpose flour/Maida- 1 1/4 cup2 Tbsp for dusting
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Oil- 4-5 tsp
  • Water - 1/2 cup (adjust accordingly)

For Stuffing:
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 2 cups
  • Powdered Jaggery- 1 1/2 cups
  • Rice Flour- 3 Tbsp
  • Cardamom Powder- 1/2 tsp 


Take all purpose flour in a mixing bowl along with turmeric powder. Mix well. Now add water in small amount, to get a soft elastic dough ( It has to be soft, otherwise it becomes difficult to roll). Then add oil and knead it for 3-4 minutes. Rest this dough in a closed container for 3-4 hours. 

For Stuffing:

Grate the jaggery and keep aside.
Now take the grated coconut in a blender and pulse it 2-3 times without adding any water.

Then take grated jaggery and coconut in a pan and start heating it on a medium heat. When the jaggery begins to melt, heat it further until the mixture becomes thick. Then add the rice flour and mix well. When the mixture looks done with most of the moisture evaporated (it will be sticky and not very dry. If it is too dry then it will harden up after cooling), turn off the heat. Add the cardamom powder and allow it to cool.

Once it comes to room temperature, make 15 evenly sized balls of the coconut mixture.

Make 15 equal sized balls out of the outer covering as well (grease your hands with oil).

Now take one portion of the outer covering and start rolling it by dipping in all purpose flour. Let the size of the poori be 5-6cm in diameter (you can as well roll it on a parchment paper with oil instead of flour)

Now place a ball of the stuffing at the center of the rolled dough.

Now start sealing the stuffing with the poori as shown below.

Once this is done, press it slightly.

Start rolling it carefully with light hands (the sealed edge facing you,till it is done). Use flour as required, for dusting. Roll it as thin as you can.

Fry this bread on a tawa, on a medium-high flame, as soon as it is done (If you want to make many before frying, then close the rolled bread with a damp cloth, so that it doesn't get dried. Also don't pile. Each should be separately placed).

Fry it on either side until brown spots are got. Transfer it on a paper towel or kitchen cloth. (this will prevent from getting soggy).
Kayi Holige is ready!!

Serve it hot/warm with a generous drizzle of ghee on it. Enjoy!! Above measurement makes 15 medium sized holiges.

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