Friday, July 13, 2012

Black Eyed Peas Curry - Konkani Style

This past weekend saw us driving seven hours to meet family. S is now used to being tied in in his car seat but not for that long. He prefers the free-will style of riding that Bangalore provided! :) So with many halts and a few tantrums, we managed there and back in one piece and in pretty good dispositions too. I guess that is what a much-needed break does. S & M both take to kids immediately. And while S takes to adults quite quickly (a little bribe always helps there, I must add!), M needs a longer time and lot of forced interactions from the adult before she opens up. The five cousins, ranging from eight to two, had a jolly good time together and we adults were able to relax and just chill.

Coming to this curry, the masala is a typical Konkani one. My MIL sometimes dry roasts the coconut and sometimes not. Both have their own distinctive flavors and I like them both equally. The plain garlic tadka adds a wonderful flavor to the curry. Use coconut oil, if you can, like the Konkanis do. Any other cooking oil works fine too.

Black Eyed Peas Curry

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried black eyed peas (or a 14oz can and skip the soaking/pressure cooking)
4-5 big cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 tsp coconut oil
salt to taste

To roast and grind:
1/2 cup coconut gratings/shreds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp urad dal
1/5 tsp methi seeds (optional)
4-5 dried red chilies

Method:

Soak the black eyed beans for a few hours and pressure cook with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt, until well cooked but not mushy. Drain and keep aside. Reserve about half a cup of the drained water.
IN a pan, dry roast the roast and grind ingredients, adding coconut in the end for about 10 seconds. Cool and grind along with tamarind concentrate & water to make a slightly runny paste.
In the same pan, combine the cooked beans, the reserved water and the ground masala. Add more water for a thinner consistency.
Add salt and bring to a boil.
Heat coconut oil and fry the crushed garlic, until slightly browned. Pour this over the cooked curry.
Serve with chappatis or plain white rice.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Ravioli Bites

Italian, mainly pasta, features more often in my house than I can count. But my blog certainly does not reflect that, since this is my first Italian recipe here in almost 6 years of blogging! Most pastas I make involve store bought sauces or quick pasta salads involving olive oil & whatever else I have in hand. Nothing to write about, really. My kids enjoy pastas too and I certainly like it that there are at least a few foods that don't require my cajoling them to eat. And following Jessica Seinfeld's modus operandi in Deceptively Delicious, I sneak in pureed veggies in their pastas and they're none the wiser for that. M likes vegetables but mainly in the raw form. She used to munch on raw capsicum when she was about three, which was too hot even for me. The little fellow is fine with most vegetables as long as they're mashed up and no pesky skin on them to annoy him.

(Update: Turns out I have a frittata here somewhere, so technically this is my second Italian recipe :)

This recipe for ravioli bites is adapted from here and here. I pan fried the ravioli, instead of either baking or deep frying. The serving suggestion is with a spaghetti sauce but these are great just by themselves. I could eat these by the dozens, really!

Ravioli Bites


Ingredients:


1 16 oz packet of cheese-filled ravioli, cooked and drained (about 20)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp grated parmesan, divided
1/4 cup buttermilk
Olive oil, about 2-3 tbsp

Method:

Heat about a tbsp of oil in a frying pan.
In a bowl or plate, combine bread crumbs, oregano and almost all of the parmesan (reserving some for garnish later).
Dip the cooked ravioli in buttermilk and then dredge in the bread crumbs mixture.
Shallow fry the ravioli in batches, cooking each side for about a minute on high, until browned and crisp.
Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top and serve with some marinara sauce for dipping.