Friday, July 31, 2009

Vegetable Saagu

Little M's birthday and the blogiversary both happened last week. Both turned three! Little M had a nice birthday, with a trip to the beach and a day of fun at Sesame Place. The thing she was looking forward to the most was cutting the cake, which we did soon after breakfast. Otherwise, she'd be asking the same question - 'when can I cut the cake?' - the entire day! :)

When I started blogging, it was going to be about 'food, movie reviews, people, life - basically anything that I find interesting!' as my tagline says. These days though, it's mainly been a food blog with a few non-food posts thrown in here and there. This has been a good place to save and share my family recipes. Thanks to all the folks who take time to stop by and read my posts. I really appreciate that! A very special thanks to the commenters, for I look forward to your comments and feedback.

Speaking of family recipes, here is my mom's version of vegetable saagu. Saagu is a coconut based curry from Karnataka, that is usually served with pooris, set dosas or rava idlies.

Vegetable Saagu


3 cups mixed vegetables, chopped & boiled (peas, carrots, potatoes, beans, capsicum etc)
1/2 cup water (I used water from the boiled veggies)
1 tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish

To Grind:
1/2 tsp jeera
2-3 cloves
2" piece of cinnamon
5-6 peppercorns
1/2 cup coconut
1 medium onion
3-4 green chilies (or to taste)
1/5 tsp turmeric
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp dalia or raw rice

For Tadka:
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds

Pressure cook vegetables in a little water for 1-2 whistles. Alternately, you could microwave them for 4-5 minutes on high or boil them on stovetop with water. Strain & keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the tadka ingredients. Once the seeds start to pop, add the ground masala and fry for 5-6 minutes, until the smell of raw onion is gone.

Stir in the boiled veggies and water. Add salt and lime juice. Bring to a boil.

Transfer vegetable saagu a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Spicy Cabbage Pakoras

Pakora is a fried snack found across South Asia, and an integral part of Indian, Punjabi and Pakistani cuisine. Pakoras are also found in other South Asian countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. (Source-Wiki) These are fritters made with different vegetables like potato, onion, cauliflower etc or boiled eggs, dipped in a batter and deep fried. They are popular snacks that are perfect accompaniment to afternoon teas/coffees or to ward off blues during the rainy monsoon season! Here is a simple recipe for Cabbage Pakoras,

Cabbage Pakoras

Cabbage Fritters ~ Pakoras

Recipe Name: Cabbage Pakoras (Spicy Cabbage Fritters)
Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Level: Beginner
Recipe/Post by: Vani
1 cup Cabbage (shredded)
1/4 cup Chickpea Flour/Besan
2 tbsp Rice Flour
1 tsp Red Chili Powder (or to taste)
1/8 tsp Asafoetida
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
4-5 tbsp Water
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Cabbage Pakora
Cabbage Pakoras with Mint & Coriander Chutney


  1. Combine cabbage, the flours, the powders, ginger and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add enough water to bind the ingredients and mix well. The consistency of the batter should be thick, just enough to coat the cabbage.
  3. Heat oil to 375F.
  4. With a spoon, scoop the batter and drop in hot oil.
  5. Fry until the edges are crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Then turn them over to fry on the other side, for another minute or so.
  6. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
  7. Serve with mint and coriander chutney and/or date/tamarind chutney.

    Special Notes/Tips:

    • Pancake mix can be used instead of the two flours used here. Since the flour has a tinge of sweetness to it, you can add more red chili powder to balance it out.
    • Ajwain or carom seeds can be used in place of cumin seeds or can be left out altogether.
    • Coleslaw mixes with pre-shredded cabbage and carrots are a quick and easy substitute for the shredded cabbage.

    Originally posted for Beyond Curries.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Methi Matar Paneer

    Stonyfield Farm sent me coupons to try their Oikos Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt. According to their site, for hundreds of years, Greeks have prized strained yogurt for its richness and creaminess, and because it makes a great cooking ingredient that’s less likely to curdle when heated. Today, we know that straining also makes Greek yogurt richer in protein than regular yogurt, and lower in lactose. I easily could have cleaned out the tub by itself but saved some to make Methi Matar Paneer, which is a cross between Methi Malai Matar and Methi Chaman. Thank you, Stonyfield Farm & Kristina!

    Methi Matar Paneer


    2 tbsp oil
    1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
    3-4 green chilies, chopped
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1/2 capsicum, chopped
    1 tsp tomato paste
    1 cup peas, boiled (nuke for 2-3 minutes)
    3 blocks frozen methi (about a cup and a half of fresh methi)
    1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, beaten
    3 tbsp half and half or cream
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup paneer, diced
    2 tbsp paneer, grated
    1 tsp each cumin powder, coriander powder, kitchen king masala and garam masala powder
    1 tsp sugar
    salt to taste

    Heat oil. Add cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add garlic and green chilies and fry for a few seconds. Add chopped onion and capsicum & fry for about a minute. Add methi leaves and saute for another minute or so. Add the boiled peas, tomato paste and salt. Stir in yogurt, making sure to stir continuously. Add the cumin and coriander powders, water and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in cream and sugar and the garam masalas. Sprinkle the grated paneer and serve.

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Taushe Doddak - Cucumber Dosa

    Little M started pre-school this week. Moved it up a bit by a few months since her sitter had to leave for India. M was all excited about going to school. Day 1 was all about skipping her way to school, singing, happy! She loved it! But it has been downhill since. Now it's reached a stage where she cries all the way to school and when I leave. I've been cutting her school short too - just 2-3 hours and will gradually increase it in the coming weeks. Wish these things were easier. I believe I used to cry my way to Kindergarten for well over a year and my mom had to literally drag me everyday! Hopefully Little M will not take after me in this aspect! :) Fingers crossed for a better next week!

    Doddak is a Konkani breakfast dish, made with rava and is almost a cross between a rotti and a dosa in consistency. This recipe here is a variation made with cucumber called Taushe Doddak, adapted from here. Thanks, Manjula!

    Taushe Doddak


    1 medium sized cucumber, grated
    1 cup rava
    1 tbsp wheat flour
    1/2 tsp ginger, grated
    2 green chilies, finely chopped
    2 tbsp fresh grated coconut or coconut powder
    1 tsp jaggery
    salt to taste

    Mix grated cucumber (mine was unpeeled) and rava together. Add the remaining ingredients. Add enough water to make a thick, almost stiff batter. Cucumber itself gives out a lot of water. A few tablespoons are all that's needed. Heat & grease a griddle. Pour a ladleful of the thick batter and spread to make a dosa. Put oil around the edges and let it cook until slightly brown on one side. Flip dosa and cook the other side. Serve with chutney and/or sambar. It is delicious just by itself, as Manjula points out. This is best had hot off the griddle, as it tends to get a bit rubbery when cool.

    RCI-Udupi & Mangalore
    This goes to RCI-Udupi and Mangalore cuisine, hosted by Sia of Monsoon Spice. The RCI event was started by Lakshmi. Thank you both!

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Aloo Fry

    After the heavy previous post, here's a quick & light one on aloo fry/potato fry. Simple and as with anything with potato, delicious!

    Potato Fry

    3 large potatoes, cut into small chunks
    2 gloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1/2 tsp cumin powder
    1 tsp coriander powder
    1 tsp garam masala
    red chili powder, to taste
    salt to taste
    lemon juice to taste
    3 tbsp oil

    Heat oil in a skillet. Add cumin. When they start to sizzle, add chopped garlic and fry for 15-20 seconds. Add the powders, the chopped potatoes and salt and mix well. Fry for a couple of minutes on high heat. Cover and cook on medium-high, sauteing every few minutes, until well cooked and slightly browned. Add lemon juice and adjust seasonings.

    Do check out the other aloo fry post - Hing Jeerey ke Aloo.