Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pathrade Panna Muddo (Spicy Colocasia Leaves Idli)

Pathrade Panna Muddo is a recent try in my kitchen. Few days back, I was suggested to try this recipe from my MIL's sister. I had everything on hand including banana leaves. I told about this suggestion to my mother and she told her mother used to make this all the time in rainy season as colocasia leaves are available abundantly during that season. I don't remember my mother making it and hence wanted to give it a try. It turned out awesome and we enjoyed it with rice and dalithoy. Do try making this and let me know how it turned out.

  • Rice - 1 1/4 cup
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 1/4 cup
  • Roasted red chillies- 5-6
  • Tamarind - A small ball (gooseberry sized)
  • Colocasia Leaves**, medium sized - 18-20
  • Salt- To taste
  • Banana leaves - As required *
*Use idli moulds if you don't have banana leaves.
**You can also use spinach leaves if you can't find colocasia leaves.


Soak the rice for two hours. 
While it is soaking, wash the leaves and dry it completely. 

Then give a rough chop.

Wash the banana leaves and make small squares out of it. Allow it to dry completely.

Now grind grated coconut, roasted red chillies and tamarind (add very little water). 

It looks like this after grinding-

To this add the soaked rice without water. 

Start grinding so as to get coarse grains of rice (just like idli rava. If you make a smooth paste then the idlis will turn hard after steaming). Use water as less as possible. 

The mixture should be firm, in order to get firm dumplings. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. To this add chopped colocasia leaves, salt to taste. 

Mix well. The final mixture looks as shown below.

Then keep a portion of the mixture on each banana piece as shown.

Then close the banana leaf as shown below.

Place them in a steamer and steam for 25- 30 minutes.

Allow the idlis to cool for 5 minutes. Then remove from the banana leaf. 
Pathrade Panna Muddo is ready!!

Serve it warm along with rice and dalithoy. Drizzle little coconut oil for a twist. Above measurement makes eight big sized idlis.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Black Bean - Mushroom Soup

The temperature is dropping and all I want for dinner is a cup of hot soup. I have been making few vegetarian soups and this is our current favorite soup. Last year I had Black bean soup in 'Panera Bread' and liked it. Since then I have been thinking of recreating their soup. I went to their website and noted down the ingredients they use. I also referred to this recipe and came up with my own variation. The soup turned out quite flavorful. I enjoyed mine with few corn chips on the side. Do try this recipe and let me know how it turned out for you!

  • Cooked Black beans (or canned) - 1 cup
  • Mushroom caps - 9- 10
  • Olive Oil- 1 Tbsp
  • Onion, medium sized - 1/2
  • Bell pepper (green or red), medium sized - 1/2
  • Jalapeno, finely chopped - 1 tsp
  • Garlic pods - 3
  • Tomato, medium sized - 1
  • Cayenne pepper - To taste
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice - To taste
  • Cilantro - 2-3 sprigs
  • Salt - To taste
  • Water - As required 
Note: #You can use vegetable stock instead of water, to add more flavor to the soup. 
# Usually I cook a big batch of black beans and freeze it. Hence I used just beans. If you plan to cook the beans (separately, ahead of time) then reserve the water in which the beans was cooked. It adds more flavor and gives a black color to the soup.
#You can also used canned tomato instead of the fresh tomato. I always prefer to use the fresh ones. 


Chop the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic cloves. 

Now heat oil in a soup pot. Once hot, add in the chopped onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño all at once. Stir it and allow it cook until translucent.

Meanwhile chop the tomato and slice the mushroom.

Now add cayenne pepper, cumin powder, dried oregano and salt to the onion mixture. Fry for few seconds.

Then add in the chopped tomato and give it a stir. Let it cook for a minute. Then add water (as required), sliced mushrooms and black beans.

Mix well and close the lid. Cook it until the mushrooms turn soft. At this point you can adjust the consistency of the soup. I like it watery and hence added extra water. If you want it to be thick then you can grind small amount of black beans separately and add it to the mixture. If everything looks good, turn off the heat. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and squeeze in some lime juice. Mix well.

Black Bean - Mushroom Soup is ready!!

Serve it hot along with few corn chips on the side. Above measurement serves two.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Vegetarian Fajita Quesadilla

Quesadilla is one my favorite Mexican dish. It is one such dish where you can make just plain cheese or any stuffing you desire like some grilled veggies, chicken, beans etc.Few months back, I ate this version of quesadilla at a friend's place. I liked it a lot and hence thought of posting the recipe. The original recipe called for taco seasoning. Since I didn't have it, I made my own spice blend with the available spices in my kitchen. It turned out yummy and I was quite happy with the recipe. Do try making this and let me know how it turned out for you :-)

  • Flour Tortillas, big sized - 2
  • Red Bell pepper, medium sized - 1/2
  • Green Bell Pepper, medium sized - 1/2
  • Red Onion, medium sized - 1/2
  • Jalapeno, seeded - 1/2
  • Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded - 1 to 1 1/2 cups
  • Olive Oil - 2 tsp and extra for brushing on tortillas
  • Salt - To taste
Spice Blend*:
  • Cayenne Pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Oregano - 1/4 tsp
  • Pepper powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Onion Powder - 1/4 tsp (I didn't add)
*Alternatively you can just use taco seasoning or fajita seasoning mix instead of the above mentioned spice powder.


Mix all the spice powder mentioned under 'Spice Blend' and set it aside for later use.
Slice the bell pepper, jalapeno and onion.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and add in the chopped veggies. Fry until they turn slight brown. Once done, sprinkle little salt. Then add in the spice powder mixture and mix well. Fry for few seconds and turn off the heat.

When you are ready to make the quesadillas, preheat a skillet (I used grill pan) over medium high heat and brush one side of the tortilla with some oil and place it oiled side down onto a plate ( Tortillas were freshly made by me). 

Sprinkle some cheese on one half of the tortilla.

 Then top that with some of the veggie fajita mixture. 

Sprinkle a bit more cheese.

Fold it in half and place it on the plate. 

Continue with another tortilla. Once done, fry them on a preheated skillet until they turn crispy and golden brown on both sides.

Once done, transfer it on a plate. Cut each of the tortilla into 2-3 pieces using a knife or pizza cutter. Vegetarian Fajita Quesadilla is ready!!

Serve it immediately along with Guacamole or Pico de gallo or sour cream. Above measurement serves two people.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Ambade Nonche (Hog Plum Pickle)

Ambado or Hog Plums are small green colored fruits. They taste sour and mostly used as a souring agent. It is quite popular in the region (Coastal Karnataka, India) I grew up. When it is in season, people make pickle, add it many curries as a souring agent. They also store it in salt water for future use. Whenever my father got hog plums from the market, my mother used to make a batch of pickle. We used to enjoy it.

It had become many years since I ate these plums. Few months back, I saw them in Farmers market but I was not sure whether they were hog plums. After few days I ate Hog plum pickle in a friend's house. So now I was sure that the plums I saw that day was nothing other than hog plums! So kept searching for it and finally got hold of it two days back. So the next thing I did after coming home was to call my mother to get the recipe for the pickle. I am so happy that my pickle turned out the way I remember eating it, made by my mother. This is my first try and I am one Happy Girl!

  • Hog Plums (Ambado) - 14-15 (365g) or around 3 cups chopped
  • Lime - 1/2 (optional)
  • Lime juice - As required
  • Ginger, finely chopped - 1 Tbsp (optional)
  • Salt - 2 Tbsp (I used sea salt) or to taste
For the Spicy Paste:
  • Dry Red Chilli (Byadgi), medium sized - 17 (25g)
  • Mustard seeds - 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida - A big generous pinch
  • Water - As required
Note: If you don't enjoy biting into a lime or ginger piece then skip it completely. It does taste good with or without it. If you enjoy spicy pickles then add finely chopped green chillies.
The hog plum I used was not enough sour to balance the spiciness of the pickle. Hence I added lime juice. So taste the pickle and add lime juice as required.
Add salt little at a time. You don't want to end up with a salty mess.


Few important things you need to keep in mind before making this pickle:
#All the bowls, spoon, blender etc should be clean and dry.
#It is preferred that you start making the pickle in the morning and by evening it will be done. Next day, it will be ready to use.
#Be careful while adding salt. Add it in steps. You can always add more if required.
#The pickle has to be stored in a clean glass or porcelain jar (you can also use plastic containers. remember that it might get stained).

Now coming back to the preparation-

First heat 1-2 cups of water and bring it to a boiling point and then turn off the heat. Bring this water to room temperature. This water is used to make the red chilli paste (this boiled-cooled water helps the pickle to last longer).
While the water is cooling, wash the hog plums and ginger. 

Pat them dry with a towel and then chop them into small pieces (Hog plums have seed in the middle. So remove the edible part as much as you can. Luckily my hog plums didn't have any seed. You can add the seeds to the pickle or just discard it. Seed cannot be eaten but you can suck the yummy juice).

Now put the chopped hog plums, lime and ginger in a clean, big bowl. Then add salt (1 Tbsp) and toss well so that all of them get a coating. Cover and let it rest for 3-4 hours.

After 3-4 hours, prepare the Chilli paste.
To Make Chilli paste - Take dry red chilli, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt (1/2 Tbsp) in a blender. 

Now grind them into a fine powder. Then add little amount of the reserved water (boiled and cooled) and grind. The resulting paste should be smooth.

Then add this chilli paste into the bowl containing chopped hog plums, lime and  ginger mixture. 

Mix well. Add water little by little to achieve the desired consistency. I kept it medium thick. Check the taste. At this point I added 1/2 Tbsp of salt and lime juice (from 1/2 of a lime).

Let this mixture sit for a day or 5-6 hours in a refrigerator, so that the hog plums and lime pieces gets time to absorb the flavors. After 5-6 hours taste it and add salt or asafoetida or lime juice, if required. Ambade Nonche is ready!!

Store it in a glass/ porcelain jar. Refrigerate it for future use. It stays good up to a month or two.

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