वदनी कवळ घेता नाम घ्या श्रीहरीचे | सहज हवन होते नाम घेता फुकाचे ||
जीवन करी जिवित्वा अन्न हे पूर्ण ब्रह्म | उदरभरण नोहे जाणिजे यज्ञकर्म ||

Monday, April 25, 2016

Leafy Green Vegetables

Maharashtrians use lots of leafy vegetables in their day-to-day cooking. It was mandatory to eat leafy greens everyday when we were kids. Now I am glad that I got to taste so much variety.

Here is my attempt to give pictorial view to some of the very commonly available greens. I will keep on adding more pictures to this page. I have recipes of for most of these greens on my blog. Please try and look for these beauties in your local farmers markets, grocery stores and and try them.

तांदुळजा/हिरवा माठ (Chinese Spinach) -



लाल माठ (Red Amaranth) -

 


राजगिरा (Amaranth) -




शेपू (Dill) -

Dill Leaves


चंदन बटवा (Bathua) - 

Chandan Batwa


चाकवत - 

Chakwat


आंबट चुका (Green Sorrel) - 

Ambat Chuka 1


पालक (Spinach) - 



Spinach


मायाळू (Malabar Spinach) -



Malabar Spinach / Water Spinach


मेथी (Fenugreek) -
 



Methi Bhaji


घोळ (Purslane leaves) -  




चिवळ / चिऊची भाजी - 

Chival-Chivai-Chiu



लाल भोपळ्याची पाने (Pumpkin leaves) - 



करडी / करडई (Safflower leaves) -

KaraDaIchee bhaji


आळूची पाने (Colocasia  leaves / Taro leaves / Elephant ear leaves) -

Taro Leaves


हरभऱ्याची पाने (Garbanzo leaves) - 

Even more closeup


आंबाडी (गोंगुरा / Red Sorrel) -

Ambadi / Red Sorrel / Gongura


मुळ्याचा पाला (Radish Leaves) - 

Radish Leaves


कांद्याची पात (Green Onion / Scallions) - 

Green Onion



Wednesday, April 06, 2016

उडदाचे पापड आणि आठवणी


शाळांमधील उन्हाळ्याच्या सुट्ट्यांमधे आजुबाजुच्या घरी पोळपाट-लाटणी घेऊन पापड करायला यायचे 'निमंत्रण' आम्हाला मिळत असे. मम्मीला शिवणाचे बरेच काम असल्याने त्या कामावर माझी रवानगी होत असे. आमचा घरचा पोळपाट पांढरट सनमायका लावलेला होता. आणि बर्‍याच मुलींना त्यावर पापड लाटायची इच्छा असायची. त्यामुळे सगळ्या मैत्रिणी त्या दिवसापुरत्या का होईना माझ्याशी नीट बोलत. हीच कथा दिवाळीच्या करंज्या करताना!

या उन्हाळीसामानाच्या, उद्या मी करते, परवा तू कर अशा बायकांमधे चर्चा होताना कधी-मधी ऐकायला यायच्या. वळवाच्या पावसाच्या अंदाजानुसार एकेकीचे बेत ठरायचे. बरोबरीने कुणाच्या पाटावरच्या शेवया, कुणाच्या मशीनवर केलेल्या शेवया, भाजीचे सांडगे, तळणीचे सांडगे, खिच्चे, बटाट्याचे पापड, वेफर्स, उपासाच्या चकल्या, कुरवड्या, भातवड्या, पापड्या, सालपापड्या असे विविध प्रकार बायका करत असत. त्यातही काहींचा अगदी सरळसोट कारभार असे तर काही त्यातही वेगवेगळे रंग वगैरे घालून वेगळेपण दाखवत. एखाद्याच्या घरात जर लग्न असेल तर मग दुप्पटीने करायचे असे. आणि मुलीचे लग्न असेल तर मग रंगीत पापड वगैरे रुखवतासाठी केले जाई. गव्हले, मालत्या वगैरे खिरीचे ५ प्रकार करून बुरडाकडून आणलेल्या बारक्या सुपात किंवा दुरर्ड्यांमधे ठेवले की मस्तच दिसत.  जरा मोठी शिबरी(बुट्ट्या) आणुन त्यात हे सगळे उन्हाळसामान नीट लावून त्यावर जिलेटीन कागद लावून रुखवतासाठी माळ्यावर कोणाचा हात लागणार नाही अशा जागी ठेवत. माझ्या मम्मीचे हे सगळे प्रकार खुप नाजुक होतात म्हणून आजुबाजुच्या एकदोन लग्नात तिच्याकडून लोकांनी करून नेलेले पण मला आठवतात.

तर आपण काय बोलत होतो? उडदाचे पापड!!
उडदाचे पापड करायचे म्हणजे तयारी त्यामानाने कमी लागायची. उडीद डाळ आणून वाळवून एकदम बारीक दळून आणली जाई. ही डाळ दळायला नेली की गिरणीवाला हमखास ३-४ वेळा विचारून डाळ वाळवून आणली आहे ना याची खात्री करायचा. एखादा वस्ताद तर ४-५ डाळी स्वतः कुडुमकुडुम खाऊन खात्री करून घेतल्याशिवाय चक्कीत घालायचा नाही. एखाद्या घरचे खटले जर मोठे असेल तर सहजी ३-४ किलोचे पापड त्यांच्याकडे केले जायचे.
डाळ दळून आणली की एकदा कोरड्या पेपरवर चाळून घ्यायची. त्यातून लावण्यापुरती वेगळी काढायची. मग एका मोठया परातीत पापडाचा माल मसाला आणि पीठ सगळे नीट एकत्र करून घ्यायचे. आणि पाण्याची अगदी बारीक धार सोडत पीठ घट्ट मळून घ्यायचे. हे पीठ इतके घट्ट असे की जणू काही क्रिकेटचा बॉलच! मग तेलाचा हात लावून पीठ डब्ब्यात घालून ठेवले जाई.

सकाळी उठुन मग घरची बाई हे पीठ कुटायला बसे. तेलाचा हात लावून खलबत्त्यात एकावेळी साधारण ४-५ पोळ्यांचे किंवा त्याहुनही कमी पीठ एकावेळी कुटले जाई. मदतीला कोणी असेल तर मग ५-६ घाव मारून झाले की मदतनीस थोड्या तेलाच्या हाताने दोन्ही हाताने ते पापडाचे पीठ ओढून-एकत्र करून-ओढून-एकत्र करून असे फेसत असे. यामुळे पापड एकदम हलका होई. आता हे चालू असताना, घरची चिल्लर आणि पुरुषमंडळी पिठ खाण्यासाठी मधुन मधुन डोकावून जात. हा कार्यक्रम सगळ्या पिठाचा करून झाला की ते पीठ तेल लावून मग पुन्हा झाकुन ठेवले जाई.

मग रोजचा स्वयंपाक, जेवणखाण उरकले की घरच्या चिल्लरपैकी एकजण गल्लीत सगळ्या घरी जाऊन पापड करायला पोळपाट-लाटणे घेऊन या असे 'आवताण' देऊन येत असे. मग आपापल्या घरची कामे उरकुन मग बायका मुली पापडाला बसत. एकटी गोळ्या करून त्याला तेल लावून ठेवी. ह्या गोळ्या करायला खुपदा खजुरी दोरा वापरला जात असे. क्वचीत एखादीकडे सुरी असायची. एखादी लहान मुलगी असेल तर ती लहान पापड लाटून देई मग एखादी तेच पापड मोठे करत असे. हे मोठे पापड करणार्‍या असत त्यांच्याकडे रेषा-रेषांची, चौकडीची मस्त लाटणी असत. पापडांचे तेल मुरल्याने मस्त तुकतुकीत झालेल्या या लाटण्यांचे मला फार कौतुक होते! त्याने पोळपाटावर मजेशीर असा सरसर-करकर असा आवाज येई. असे २५-३० पापड झाले की गोळ्या करणारीची पापड सावलीत वाळवण्यासाठी साडीवर पसरण्यासाठी नेमणूक होत असे. मधुन मधुन लाटणार्‍यांसाठी लाट्या, चहा, सरबत असा खुराक चालू असे आणि महत्वाचे बरेचसे गॉसिप सोबत चघळायला असे. करमणूकीसाठी टी.व्ही. नव्हते त्यामुळे अमकीचे लग्न, सिनेमाच्या स्टोर्‍या, गाणी, अमकीच्या लग्नात काय झाले, तमक्याने नविन सायकल घेतले असले चर्वित चर्वण सरसर होणार्‍या पापडांबरोबर पटापट पुढे सरकत असे. हे पापड सगळे सावलीतच कोरडे करत असत. पापड कडक उन्हात वाळवला तर तुकडे पडतात म्हणून मग असे आधी सावलीत आणि एक सकाळ कोवळ्या उन्हात वाळवले जात. त्यामुळे गप्पांमधे कधी खंड पडत नसे. हा हा म्हणता २-३ किलोचे पापड सहज होऊन जात. मग घरची बाई सगळ्यांसठी परत एकदा चहा करी. सोबत जाताना रात्री खिचडीबरोबर खाण्यासाठी ५-६ पापड सोबत देई. येवढे पापड लाटल्यावर घरच्या भाकर्‍या थापायचे त्राण कोणाकडेच नसत!!

नवा दिवस उजाडला की परत कोणाचे तरी आमंत्रण आणि परत हाच प्रयोग, हीच पात्रे फक्त स्टेज निराळे!

आमच्या घरचे पापड मात्र मी साधारण ५-६ वीत असल्यापासून मी आणि मम्मी दोघीच करत आलो आहे. रोज १/२ किलोचे पीठ भिजवून असे २ किंवा तीन दिवस हे पापड करायचे कारण बर्‍याचदा इतक्या घरचे पापड केल्यावर बायका उरका पाडल्यासारख्या जाड जाड पापड करत किंवा मग मम्मीच्या शिवणकामानंतर साधारण ४ ते ६ वगैरे आम्ही पापड करत असू. पापड नीट गोल होत नसेल तर शिकण्यासाठी मम्मीने कित्येकदा पापड मोडून गोळा करून करत करायला लावले आहेत :) आता ते टॉर्चर वाटते पण तेव्हा नीटपणाची सवय लागली ती पुढे कधी सुटली नाही.

मम्मीचे पापडाचे प्रमाण असे -
१ किलो उडीद डाळ वाळवून दळून आणायची. लावण्यासाठी १-१.५ वाटी पीठ काढून ठेवायचे.
२० ग्रम पापडखार खडे फोडून चाळून घ्यायचा
बारीक मीठ पाव वाटी
१०-२० ग्रॅम मिरे
हिरव्या मिरच्या ६-७ किंवा चवीप्रमाणे
एक-दोन गड्डे लसूण (आवडत असतील तर)
जीरे १ टेबल्स्पून (छान दिसतात म्हणून)

कृती -
मिरी मिक्सरवर बारीक करून घ्यायची.
हिरव्या मिरच्या, लसूण एकत्र वाटून घ्यायचे.
चाळलेल्या पिठात हे सगळे नीट मिसळायचे. अगदी हळूहळू पाणी घालत पीठ घट्ट भिजवायचे. पीठ मू अजिबातच भिजवायचे नाही.  पुरीच्या पिठाहूनही कठीण असते हे पीठ. बोट लावले तर बोट जराही आत नाही गेले पाहिजे.
दुसरे दिवशी खलबत्त्यात कुटायचे, ताणून ताणून फेसायचे.
कमीत कमी पिठावर पापड लाटायचे.

लहान प्रमाणात करून पहायचे असेल तर १ कप पीठ, १ टीस्पून पापडखार, १ टीस्पून मिरे, एखादी मिरची वापरून पापड करून पहाता येतील :)

असेच मुगाच्या डाळीचे पापड करतात पण ते पीठ खुप लवकर मऊ पडते. आभाळ आलेले असेल तर पापड करत नाहीत कारण पीठ मऊ पडते म्हणतात.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Maharashtrian Style Chili Lime Pickle (Mirachiche Lonache)


My family has been growing green chilies in the family farm for generations. It might be because the region gets very less rains. The variety we grow is called Sankeshwari Chilies. It is moderately hot and moderately red in color. I remember we actually never buy chili powder from store as yearly supply is send to us by my uncle. In the past he also grew some Byadagi chilies just for home and mixed it with the Sankeshwari to give bright red color to the chili powder. I think later he stopped doing it.

My Ajji used to make awesome pickles from chilies like Maeen Mula (sorry no picture) and green chilies, Green mangoes and chilies, Green Mangoes and Garlic and many more combinations. There is a very special pickle made in the region called Channyache Lonache (छन्न्याचे लोणचे). Channya is very similar to Parwar. But I am not hundred percent sure about how close these two vegetables are to each other.

But my favorite pickle is Chili Lime Pickle as it is the most flavorful pickle in my opinion. Softened green chilies, creamy mustard and perfect sourness of limes makes it to die for! I love to eat this pickle with home churned butter and bread toast. Another favorite combination is this pickle, soft warm Idli and butter! Oh! heaven in mouth!

If I remember correctly, this pickle is made in winter time as that is the season when Fresh chilies are available in abundance. It needs nice and juicy limes as well. I say limes because traditionally we get limes in abundance in India and very rarely lemons. But here in US I have used both lemons and limes and it produces similar results. These days I tend to use more lemons because lots of our neighbors have lemon trees and I get steady supply of pesticide free lemons in the pickle season. And I get to make many many varieties of lemon pickles!

Chilies and Limes cut

Choosing correct spice level for green chilies is very important step. I think spicy is not always tasty because it kills other flavors of the dish and it is particularly true with this pickle. I choose medium spicy long light green chilies from nearby farmers market.


Mixed together with tempering


Here is my mom's general recipe -

1/2 kg Fresh Green Chilies (medium spicy variety)
10 medium size Lemons
2+2 tbsp Methi seeds
2-3 tsp Hing
3-4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 cup Salt (as per taste)
1 cups Mustard Seeds
1/4 cup Oil (any flavorless oil)


Preparation -
Wash green chilies under running water without crushing them. Let them dry completely on paper towel overnight in single layer.
Also wash the lemons and dry them overnight in single layer. We do not want even a single drop of water on either lemons or chilies.
Next day first dry roast 2 tbsp methi seeds and cool them. Grind to make coarse powder.
Grind mustard seeds coarsely and set aside.
Heat oil in a small kadhai. Add 2 tbsp methi seeds, hing and turmeric powder. As soon as the methi seeds start sizzling add ground methi seeds and ground mustard seeds. Let mustard seeds sizzle for a minute and shut the heat off. Let the oil cool down to room temperature.
Discard all the stems from chilies. Discard chilies that are broken or have black spots. And make sure each and every chili is dry and there is not a single drop of water on it.
Clean lemons and dry them with towel.
Now start cutting chilies with dry knife and dry cutting board. Cut the chilies in 1 centimeter length. Keep them in a deep bowl.
Now squeeze juice 5 lemons and set aside.
Chop remaining lemons in 1 centimeter pieces. Add these to the chilies.
Mix about 2-3 tbsp salt and lemon juice with chili-lemon mixture.
Let it sit down until oil is cooled down completely.
Mix oil with the chili-lemon mixture and mix it thoroughly. Adjust salt if necessary.

Now layer about a teaspoon salt in a glass jar and fill in the pickle. Continue with the process until all the pickle is bottled.
Now add single layer of salt on top of pickle. Close the lids tightly.
Keep in cool dry place.
Pickle is Ready to eat!
Notes -

  • My mom used to open bottles every 2-3 days and mix and keep it cool and dry place until chilies are softened. I realized that my pickle invariably goes bad if I do that so I do not open the bottles for almost a month. Recently I have been using 8oz mason jars, pickle stays fresh for long time and one can use only one small bottle as needed. I have also left my pickle bottles in fridge for almost a moth without touching it to avoid spoiling it.
  • Keep your hands, all the ingredients and utensils dry is the key to make pickle that lasts. Also not washing your hands frequently during the process is important.
  • Another very interesting recipe I cam across on Maayboli was to grind mustard seeds with lemon juice to make it more spicy. In that pickle tempering is only made from methi seeds, hing and turmeric powder. It also tastes heavenly. 


Friday, January 15, 2016

TiLachi vaDi or chikki - Sesame Brittle


तिळगूळ घ्या गोड बोला।।

Makar Sankrant is just around the corner. It marks end of winter solstice. It is believed that the Sun starts moving towards Northern Hemisphere on this day by length of one sesame seed! This is the only festival in India is celebrated by Solar calendar, all others are celebrated according to Lunar calendar. It is celebrated all over India. It is called Sankrant in most of Northern India and as Pongal in Southern India.
It is winter time in India in January so Sesame seeds are used in abundance.  It is believed that people should eat more healthy oils during winter time to fight cold weather. Jaggery produces heat and believed to be better for health if eaten during wintertime.


Making chikki or brittle is easy but can be tricky. It needs little patience to make it crispy and not chewy. Here is my mom's recipe which she learned from my grandmother (her mother-in-law). My mom makes the best chikkis ever! I learnt to make these from her when I was in college. And easiest available ingredients to practice were churmure/kurmure (puffed rice) or roasted peanuts. And growing up in a sugarcane capital of Maharashtra helped because we always had organic jaggery in abundance at home!

TiLachi Vadi (Sesame Brittle)

Here is how my mom makes chikki -

1 cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 cup Roasted Peanut Powder (coarsely ground)
1 cup Grated Jaggery
3-4 Cardamom Pods
2-3 tbsp Graded Dry Coconut
2 tbsp Walnut Oil / Ghee (divided use)
Water

Preparation - 
Pick over sesame seeds and dry roast them on low heat. Seeds will plump up once they are roasted properly. Do not let the seeds burn. Set it aside once roasted.
Grease stainless steel plate (10-12" diameter) and a flat bottom stainless steel bowl with little ghee or walnut oil).
Add jaggery in a heavy bottom pan, add about 2 tbsp water.
Start heating jaggery water mixture on low-medium heat. Do not increase heat as it will burn jaggery quickly and color of the final product will be darker.
Soon the syrup will start boiling (4-5 minutes), keep stirring to avoid burning the jaggery. Syrup will start bubbling. Take 1/2 cup water in a separate bowl and drop single small drop of syrup in the water. Move the drop in water to cool it. Now see if that has become hard like candy. You can try chewing it. If the ball does not stick to your teeth and is crunchy then syrup is ready. If it is chewy then keep stirring on low heat for couple more minutes and taste for the crunchiness by adding another drop in water bowl.
Once syrup is ready add 1 tbsp ghee or walnut oil and mix quickly. Remove the pan from heat then add roasted sesame seeds, peanut powder and dry coconut and quickly mix everything. It will form a ball, quickly pour that in greased plate and flatten with back of a greased bowl. You have to work quickly as jaggery will start cooling off quickly making it hard to work with.
Once the surface is flat and the thickness is even then using sharp knife cut into diamond shapes without going through the brittle.
Let it cool completely (3--40 minutes) and then make the pieces on the scorched lines. Enjoy!

They last for more then 15-20 days if stored in a airtight container.

Here is collage of steps -

Sesame Brittle Step By StepTips -
  • The process sounds tedious and lengthy but start to finish it takes maximum 30 minutes. 
  • Making the candy consistency of jaggery is the key. Do not rush through that step. 
  • I usually make it in a non-stick pan and at the end of the process my pan is clean as it it was never used. 
  • I cover my large cutting board with aluminum foil and grease that and a rolling pin with walnut oil. And roll it quickly to make thin (1/4 centimeter) brittle. 
  • I have never used candy thermometer to make these, if you use it, please drop a line about that process. 
Other Makar Sankrant Specials -


Monday, January 04, 2016

Light Paav Bhaaji



Paav Bhaji is a crowd pleasing one dish meal that almost everyone loves. I like to slurp the bhaji with least amount of paav(breads) possible. I like the taste of all the vegetables together and spicy soup like paav bhaji. Everyone has their own recipe and they swear by its authenticity and I am no different. I like my vegan version of Paav Bhaji with crusty sourdough bread. Little while ago a friend told me she uses Kasuri Methi to garnish at the end and I tried that and fell in love with it. Another time different friend told me she uses mushrooms instead of potatoes and she loves that version. I am not a great fan of mushroom so I have not tried that version.

Later one day when I was making paav bhaji I remembered the conversation and wanted to cut down number of potatoes. So I decided to use big chunk of Dudhi or Ash Gourd which was eagerly waiting in my fridge to be used in something fancy(or not)! I had to pay attention to few things while making the final version but the general result was very light but tasty version of paav bhaji. I loved it, but significant other thinks its good for us to enjoy at home but might not be as crowd pleasing as the original version. Now I am looking for guinea pigs for my next round of trial :)

Here is the recipe for you to try and report if you liked it or still prefer the original potato heavy version!

Light Pav Bhaji

Serves 4 people generously.

2 Medium White Potatoes
1/2 of medium Dudhi (Ash Gourd)  (2-3 cups cubed)
1 Large Bell Pepper/Capsicum (I use red)
1 Small Carrot
Few Green Beans
3-4 Medium Tomatoes
1 cup Green Peas (Please do not use Petite Green peas they are too sweet)
3-4 Byadagi Chilies
1 Small Blob of Ginger (grated)
2tbsp Paav Bhaji Masala (or per taste)
Red Chili Powder - Per Taste
Salt - per taste
3-4 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Water as needed

Garnish - 
1 Small Onion
Chopped Cilantro
Lemon Wedges

Pav/Sourdough Dinner Rolls/Dinner Rolls

Preparation -
Wash all the vegetables. 
Peel potatoes, cut in half.
Peel carrot and cut in 3-4 pieces.
Peel dudhi and dice in 1" cubes.
Quarter one tomato.
Add all these vegetables in pressure cooker, add one cup of water and pressure cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until done.
Meanwhile, chop onion, tomatoes, and bell pepper in 1/2" dice.
Mash all cooked vegetables with potato masher.
Heat oil in heavy bottom pan, add chopped onion and sauté onion until golden brown.
Mix in chopped tomatoes and sauté till oil separates.
Now its time to add chopped bell pepper and sauté until done.
Add green peas, pav bhaji masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix and cover for 3-4 minutes util peas are cooked. Mash with potato masher.
Add grated ginger and all mashed up vegetables, mix well.
Adjust salt, pavbhaji masala and chili powder.
Let the bhaji boil.

Serve piping hot as usual with toasted pav, chopped ciltantro, chopped onion and lemon wedge.

Tips -
  1. You can use zucchini or any other summer squashes instead of dudhi. 
  2. Please use water as when needed, dudhi or summer squashes contain water and can make bhaji bit watery. 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Alepak Pohe

(Link to Marathi Recipe)

I had this for the first time when I was in 7th grade when I spent 2 months of summer vacation in Belgaum. I had such a gala time playing cards with cousins. I learnt lots of card games from my older cousins.
This is a Belgaum/Belgavi special pohe dish. It is served with sugarcane juice. If you ask anyone from Belgaum about Alepak pohe and she start drooling. This recipe is my Ajji's she must have gotten it from one of the their regular vendors. It is very simple to make and can be ready in about 15-20 minutes.

Alepak_Pohe
2 cups of Think Pohe
5-6 tbsp Freshly Grated Coconut
Small piece of Ginger (1/2" blob)
2-3 Green Chilies
2-3 tbsp Phutane Daale
Juice for m1/2 Lime
1/4 cup Chopped Cilantro
1 tbsp Sugar
Salt per taste
1/4 cup Dry Roasted Peanuts skins removed

Preparation -
Clean, sieve pohe to remove any husk etc.
Mix pohe, salt, sugar, lime juice and cilantro and peanuts. Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp water if needed.
Set it aside for 15 minutes.
Grind phutane daale, ginger, green chilies, salt and sugar to fine powder.  Make 4 small balls set aside.
Mix remaining ground daale-chili paste in mixed pohe.
Divide pohe in four equal parts. Serve with one ball of daale-chili ball.

Tips -
Enjoy it with fresh sugarcane juice if possible.
I used frozen coconut.
I have used Kerala style Matta Pohe.


आलेपाक पोहे

(Link to English Recipe)

एप्रिल-मे महिना म्हणले की मला आठवते तो कडक उन्हाळा आणि त्याबरोबर रंगपंचमी, वार्षिक परीक्षा आणि उन्हाळ्याची सुट्टी! अगदी याच क्रमाने सुरु होणारे हे ग्रीष्माचे दोन महीने. उन्हाळ्याच्या सुट्टीमधे परीक्षा झाल्यावर गावाला जायला मिळणार म्हणून आम्ही अगदी खूष असायचो. अशाच एका सुट्टीत माझ्या एका आत्याचे लग्न होते म्हणून आम्ही बेळगावला रहायला गेलो होतो. आम्ही जवळपास १० चुलतभावंडे एकत्र जमलो होतो. सकाळी उठल्यापासून आमचा दंगा सुरू व्हायचा. टीव्ही नव्हता त्यामुळे वेगवेगळे खेळ खेळणे हा आमचा उद्योग सकाळी दूध प्यायल्यावर सुरु व्हायचा. घराच्या गच्चीवर पत्रे, साड्या, लाकडे जे काही सापडेल ते वापरून आम्ही एक झोपडी बनवली होती. त्यात सकाळपासून आम्ही काही ना काही खेळत असू. आम्ही तिघी बहिणी अगदी आनंदाने तासनतास भातुकली खेळायचो. दुपारचे जेवण साधारण १ वाजता व्हायचे. जेवणे झाल्यावर उन्हात जाऊन खेळायला बंदी असे म्हणून मग आम्ही पत्ते खेळत बसायचो. भिकार सावकार, झब्बू, लॅडिस, जजमेंट असे अनेक खेळ मी तेव्हा शिकले. तासनतास खेळायचो. पत्ते खेळताना बरेचदा भांडणे व्हायची. एकदा आमची भांडणे इतकी मोठ्याने झाली की आमचे पत्ते पाणी तापवायच्या चुलीत जाऊन शहीद झाले. नवीन पत्ते आणायला परत पैसे कधी मिळाले नाहीत. मग दुपारी पुस्तके वाच, थोडावेळ झोप, चित्रे काढ असे काहीतरी करत दिवस संपत असे. पण याच काळात आम्ही चुलत भावंडे एकमेकांचे खुप चांगले मित्र बनलो. घरात कानडी-मराठी दोन्ही बोलले जाई त्यामुळे माझे कानडीचे ज्ञान वाढले आणि माझ्या बेळगावमधे रहाणार्‍या भावंडांची मराठी भाषा थोडी सुधारली.तिथे आजीच्या देखेरेखीखाली सगळ्यांना दूध-नाष्टा, दुपारचे जेवण, संध्याकाळचा खाऊ, तिन्हीसांजेला शुभंकरोती, रात्रीचे जेवण चालायचे. नाष्ट्याला पोहे, इडली, उप्पीट, अप्पे असले काहीतरी असे. जेवणात आमटी, उसळ, भाजी, भात, ताक, भाकरी आणि अंबील असे.

त्याच सुट्टीत खाल्लेला अजून एक पदार्थ म्हणजे आलेपाक पोहे. घरी कोणीही नाव घेतले की घरातले लहान-मोठे सगळे अगदी लाळ गाळल्यासारखे चेहरे करायचे. अगदी त्याच आठवड्यात दोनवेळा जरी खाल्ले गेले असले तरी अगदी हीच अवस्था असायची. जेव्हा पहिल्यांदा मी त्या पोह्यांचे नाव ऐकले तेव्हा मला वाटलेले काहीतरी गोड प्रकरण असेल. आलेपाक आणि पोहे एकत्र करून काहीतरी केलेले असेल असा माझा अंदाज होता. प्रत्यक्षात मात्र ते प्रकरण अगदी वेगळे निघाले. उसाचा रस आणि आलेपाक पोहे, कानडी भाषेत आलेपाक अवल्लक्की, हे दोन पदार्थ एकदम विकले जातात बहुदा. तिखट पोहे, गोड रस एकदम झक्कास चव असते. आजीने हे पोहे घरी केलेले मला आठवत नाहीत. प्रत्येकवेळी विकतचेच खाल्लेले आठवतात. दोन एक वर्षांपूर्वी मला या पोह्यांची खुपच आठवण आल्यावर आजीला कृती विचारली होती. तिने साधारण काय काय घटक पदार्थ असतात ते सांगितले होते. तेव्हा खाल्लेल्या पोह्यांची चव आता फारशी लक्षात नाही पण मला जेव्हा जेव्हा आठवण येते तेव्हा आज्जीच्या पद्धतीने हे पोहे मी करत असते. महाराष्ट्रातल्या दडपे पोह्यांचेच हे कर्नाटकी भावंड असे बनवतात -

Alepak_Pohe


( ही रेसिपी माहेर मासिकाच्या एप्रिल २०११ च्या अंकात प्रसिद्ध झाली होती)

 २ कप पातळ पोहे
५-६ टेबलस्पून ओले खोबरे आल्याचा लहान तुकडा
२ - ३ हिरव्या मिरच्या
२ - ३ टेबलस्पून फुटाण्याचे/पंढरपुरी डाळे
१/२ लिंबाचा रस १ टेबलस्पून साखर चवीप्रमाणे मीठ
१/४ कप धुवून बारीक चिरलेली कोथींबीर
आवडत असतील तर भाजलेले शेंगादाणे सोलून पाकळ्या करुन

कृती -

पोहे चाळून निवडून बाजुला ठेवावेत.
आले, मिरची आणि फुटाण्याचे डाळे एकत्र करून बारीक पूड करावी. थोड्या वाटणाचे ४ छोटे लाडू बांधुन ठेवावेत. पोहे, खोबरे, कोथिंबीर, साखर, मीठ एकत्र करावे. किंचित पाण्याचा हाबका मारायचा गरज असेल तर.
दाणे घालणार असाल तर तेही घालून मिसळावे.
१५ मिनीटे पोहे मऊ होऊ द्यावेत. त्यावर बारीक केलेले आले-मिरची-फुटाण्याचे वाटण घालून नीट मिसळावे.
तयार पोह्यांचे ४ भाग करून सोबत एक एक वाटणाचा लाडु द्यावा.
खाताना लाडु फोडून मिक्स करावा.

टीपा - 
शक्य असेल तर उसाचा रस आणून त्याच्यासोबत हे पोहे खावेत.
ओले ताजे खोबरे अर्थात मस्त लागते. पण फ्रोझन खोबरे पण छान लागते.
फोटोमध्ये लाल पोहे वापरले आहेत.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Idli Fry


I love Idlis and I do make them often, sometimes from scratch and sometimes from the store bought batter. And whenever I have just couple of leftover idlis then I enjoy them with nice and spicy Green Chili-Lemon pickle. That combination is to die for! And back in India I used to add dollop of home churned butter to it and that is for me heaven on the plate!

Another way to use up lots of leftover idlis is to make idly fry! No I am not going to tell  you to 'dip perfectly good idli in perfectly good pakoda batter and deep fry' technic! This is my mom's recipe and I only like idli fry prepared this way, simple, tasty and without fuss! I have eaten idli upama, idly fry with some podis etc. but those are not for me!

Idli Fry is ready to eat!


This recipe is as simple as it can get.

8-10 Leftover Idlis
2-4 Green Chilies (More or less according to your taste)
Salt to taste
1-2 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 tbsp Oil

Preparation - 
Cube idlis into 1/2" square.
Grind green chilies, salt and cumin seeds to coarse paste. Do not use water to grind chilies.
Heat oil in heavy bottom pan. Once oil is hot enough, add ground chili mixture. Quickly give a stir without burning the chilies.
Now add cubed idli pieces. Mix thoroughly, and saute until idli pieces are coated with oil and chili mixture.
Now lower the heat and cover. Let it cook/steam for 3-4 minutes. Remove cover and mix once or twice.
Adjust salt if needed. Make sure idli are not cold, if not cover and cook for few more minutes!
Enjoy while its warm.

Cubed leftover Idlis Ground Chilies and cumin seeds

Tips - 
  1. We rarely add any other phodani/tempering items to this dish. 
  2. I prefer getting leftover idlis to room temperature before making idly fry. 
  3. I like it spicy and enjoy with hot cup of tea.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rice Noodles Salad

It has been about 3-4 years I have been learning painting from one my friend and teacher. She is one awesome teacher. When I joined I told her that I wanted to learn all the mediums beginning with pencil shading and gradually working towards water color. I am still learning to use all the mediums but watercolor has become my favorite. Let me tell you one thing, watercolor is hard! It takes lot of practice and patience. My teacher had told me that when I started so I am prepared! I recently finished recreating a fascinating painting by Georgia O'Keeffe's : 'Leaves of a Plant' with watercolors. I enjoyed painting it even though it took me longer than expected. There are lots of mistakes which I should have avoided but its a learning process one painting at a time! I hope to do better next time. Here it is for you to see -

Watercolor reproduction of Georgia O'Keeffe's 'leaves of a plant'

Now let's jump to our recipe for the day. Simple salads that feature fresh produce are my favorites in summer. I love salads but I feel hungry much faster. So I am always in search of recipes that can incorporate carbs as well as protein. I recently had one such salad that was a perfect combination of flavors of fresh herbs, fresh vegetables, rice noodles and peanuts. After I tasted it, I had to recreate it at home. It was fun to make it and now has become my favorite! Let's see how to put this all together -

Serves: 4

2 portions of Vermicelli Rice Noodles
1 Red Bell Pepper (Yellow or Orange work well too)
6-7 sprigs of Green Onions
6-7 sprigs of Cilantro
1 sprig (6-7 leaves) Mint (optional)
1 small Cucumber
1 small Tomato
1/4 cup Roasted Peanuts (preferably unsalted and dry roasted)
Salt per taste
1 Lime
1 tsp Oil

Rice Noodles Salad

Preparation - 
Cook noodles according to instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain and immediately put in cold water to stop them from cooking further. Drain again and put in a serving bowl, sprinkle with oil and mix well. This will help noodles from sticking.
De-seed bell peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.  Cut all these vegetables in 1/2" dice and add to the noodles.
Clean the green onions and chop in 1/2" dice. Finely chop cilantro. Add both these to the noodles too.
Coarsely grind peanuts add to noodles.
Squeeze lime juice and add salt to noodles and mix thoroughly. Remember you will need salt for all the vegetables so please add accordingly. Mix well.
Let it sit for at least 30-45 minutes before serving.

Tips - 
  1. Tomatoes and cucumber seeds loose too much water when mixed with salt. That is the reason I remove seeds.
  2. Ideally, you can make everything ready ahead of time and mix just 30 minutes before serving.
  3. You can add small pieces of tofu if you wish. 
  4. I noticed that green onions have to be tender or use less quantity as it overpowers everything. 


Monday, August 04, 2014

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Do you love to cook? Also love to share what you make best? There is a perfect event for all of us in this category - Food Swap! A dear friend of mine, TC, invited me to the first ever food swap she organized. Her idea was simple if you like to cook and cook big batches, then bring it over and share! She also wanted to keep it within circle of friends. Everyone was very enthusiastic and brought variety of things to share. It was very fun event to be part of. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. She then decided to do that as a quarterly event! And it is gaining popularity! Do not forget to checkout what people brought for the events on the Sunnyvale Food Swap FB page.

Now you must be wondering what is the connection between the food swap and the thumbprint cookies! TC herself made citrus marmalade for second swap. It was so awesome that I did not waste even a single minute to enter my name on the swap sheet. Luckily she also liked chutney I had taken for the swap. I had the marmalade with toast for my breakfast. It was the most flavorful Marmalade I have had. I wanted to use that marmalade wisely and first thing came to my mind was thumbprint cookies. TC had shared her recipe with me but somehow I misplaced it and could not find when I needed. Quick search found me this recipe from Whole Foods and I decided to give it a try. And voila it worked like a charm!! I later found TC's recipe as well and it is almost same with few tweaks.

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup Almonds
1 cup Rolled Oats
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup Agave Syrup
1/4tsp Fine Sea Salt
6-7 tbsp Citrus Marmalade (or any other jam you have)

Preparation -
Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Coarsely grind almonds and oats in food processor. 
Mix together flour, oil, syrup, salt and ground almond-oats mixture to form dough. 
Make walnut-sized balls of the dough, then arrange  cookies 2" apart on baking sheets. 
Press thumb gently down into the center of each cookie to make an indentation. 
Spoon a teaspoon of jam into each indentation.

Bake cookies until golden brown and just firm around the edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to let cool completely, then serve immediately or store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container.
 


Flavorful and healthy!

Tips -  
  1. I used lot of marmalade as I made large impressions in the cookies and I needed to finish big bottle that TC had given me. 
  2. I am sure any other nuts should be okay in this but I have tried only with almonds.  



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Phunake/Vafole


A leafy vegetable called Chiu or Chival or Chivai is used in these dumplings when available. Khandeshi people really love this weed kind of vegetable. It grows on its own in the farms. Farmers just pull it out by bag fulls and sell. This vegetable is bit slimy and sour to taste.

Chival-Chivai-Chiu

Phunake or Vafole are Khandeshi style toor daal dumplings. These are usually eaten with Khandeshi style buttermilk kadhi. It is one protein packed lunch menu I always enjoy when I visit my in-laws place. Very simple to make but tasty.
Combination of these two, Phunake made with chivai is a delicacy in Khandesh. Everyone in my family start drooling even with the thought of it.

Phunake with Buttermilk Kadhi 

Recipe I am sharing today is made up with chopped onions and cilantro as it is not possible to get Chivai vegetable here. These dumplings are served with specially prepared Khandeshi Kadhi.

1 cup Toor Daal
1 Small Onion
3-4 Green Chilies (or per taste)
5-6 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt per taste
Fistful of Chopped Cilantro
Water as needed

Phunake-Vafole-Bhendake

Preparation -
Pick over and wash daal. Soak it in about 2-3 cups of water for 5-6 hours.
Drain soaked daal after 5-6 hours, reserve drained water. We will use that to grind daal.
Coarsely grind daal using reserved water and little more if needed. The consistency of batter should be dry and not watery.
Remove in a bowl and add salt to taste.
Chop onion and cilantro into fine dice. Mix into the batter.
Grind green chilis, garlic and cumin seeds into paste. Mix this thoroughly in the prepared batter. Taste test for salt and chilies, adjust accordingly.
Now boil water in vessel which can be fit a steamer. Oil the steamer or line with parchment paper.
Make fist size balls of prepared batter and line up properly in steamer plate. Steam on medium heat for 12-15 minutes.
Once phunake are steamed, let them cool down a little bit and then serve with Khandeshi Buttermilk Kadhi.

Tips - 
  1. Another vegetable Gholu/Ghol (purslane) and Chival are different weeds. Here is picture of Ghol - http://www.vadanikavalgheta.com/2011/08/gholichi-bhaji.htmlGhol leaves are almost 3 times bigger than chival leaves. 
  2. Once served, break the dumplings into crumbs and eat with kadhi like we eat rice and kadhi.
  3. I suggest re-steaming the leftovers instead of microwaving. 
  4. These are traditionally made with toor daal and no other daals added. 

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