Black Chickpeas And Cucumber Masala | Taushem Tondak

Today’s recipe is simple and delicious Black Chickpeas and Cucumber Masala. We call this as Taushem Tondak in Goa. Taushem means cucumber and tondak means masala gravy.  I have added black Kabuli chana or black chickpeas to this tondak to make it a bit unique. You can add any type of gram to this tondak.

I made this for our lunch box and hubby loved having it with chapatis and I had it with rice. This dish is nutritious as it gives you the nutritional benefits of black chickpeas and cucumber. Since it does not have onion and garlic it can be consumed even on the veg days. Check this link to find Masoor Tondak recipe.

Black chickpeas are low in fat and high in dietary fiber and therefore helps in weight loss too and lowers the blood cholesterol too. Cucumber too is highly nutritious and helps maintain a healthy weight, manage stress, fight inflammation and serve as a super food for the brain. Combine both these cucumber and black chickpeas into this yummy Goan preparation and have a great meal.

Serve this to your guests and surprise them too J It has no onion and nogarlic yet its taste is as yummy as any other masala gravies.
Ingredients:                                                    Prep. Time: 30 Mins, Serves: 4
1 cucumber, peeled and cubed
½ cup black Kabuli chana / black chickpeas

For the gravy:
1 cup grated coconut
4 dry red chilies/byadgi chilies
1 marble sized ball of tamarind
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
5 black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon sugar
Salt to taste

  • Soak the black chickpeas in water for 4 hours and then pressure-cook it. Drain and retain the water.
  • Separately boil the cucumber cubes in water. Drain and retain the water.
  • Grind the ingredients meant for gravy by adding ½ cup water to make a thin gravy.
  • Mix the pressure cooked black chickpeas, sugar and boiled cucumber to the gravy. If the gravy is thick use the water (1/4 cup or as needed) retained after pressure cooking the black gram or cucumber.
  • Add salt to taste.

Note:                                                                                                                   If the gravy is thick, use the water retained after draining boiled cucumber or pressure-cooked black chana.
You can season thick tondak with 1 tsp mustard seeds.
Instead of black Kabuli chana, you can use green/white gram too.

Find more tondak recipes - click here.
Click here for no onion and no garlic recipes.
Click here for recipes with legumes.

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Stuffed White Pomfret

Stuffed White Pomfret or Bharille Paaplet is a delicacy in the Goan kitchen. My mom always made stuffed mackerels for me as I love them. I can never eat simple rava fried mackerel, but if it is stuffed I just love it. The stuffing is so yummy that you feel like eating it again and again. I have used the same green stuffing for white pomfret and it tasted divine.

White pomfret is a sea fish. It is expensive as compared to black pomfret. In Bangalore this was the first time that I got fresh white pomfret. Every other time hubby unluckily got spoiled white pomfret and we had to discard it due to the bad taste. This time we were lucky. We got fresh and tasty fish. Hubby just goes to More Megastore’s fish section, checks the fish that he wants to buy, opens its gills and only then decided whether to buy that fish or not. Then he directly goes inside the kitchen where they cut the fish and checks how the person at the store cuts it. In this way we can get the fish cleaned and cut right infront of us. And since we are their daily customers, we get VIP treatment at the fish stall there.

Alright coming back to today's recipe, you can make this stuffed pomfret with the green masala that I have mentioned today or recheado masala mentioned in this post. Serve it with fish curry and steamed white rice. Having sol kadhi or kokum kadhi at the end with some white rice completes a Goan meal.

Enjoy today's post and do let me know how your stuffed pomfret turns. Try this rava fried black pomfret recipe too.

Ingredients:                              Prep. Time: 30 Min's, Makes 2 
2 white pomfrets – medium sized

For Marination:
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp salt

For Stuffing:
3 green chilis
4 tablespoon grated coconut
6 garlic pods
1/2 inch ginger
1 inch piece of tamarind
1 tsp coriander seeds
4-5 black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1/2 medium sized finely chopped onion

For coating:
1 cup rava
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Oil as needed for frying
Salt to taste

  • Clean the fish by cutting only its head and fins. Remove the scales. Don’t cut into pieces. Just make a slit on one side and 2 slits on the top without cutting the fish bone.
  • Marinate the fish by applying 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt.
  • Grind all the ingredients meant for stuffing except the chopped onion. You can add 1/4 cup water while grinding. Don't make the paste too watery, keep it a bit thick.
  • Mix raw chopped onion to the paste and ¼ tsp salt and mix well.
  • Stuff the fish with the ground masala from the slit part. Apply some masala paste on all sides of the fish.
  • Keep the rava ready by mixing the ingredients meant for coating except oil.
  • Coat the stuffed pomfret with rava on all the sides.
  • Heat the frying pan and spread oil as needed. After oil gets heated, place the rava coated stuffed pomfret on the frying pan. After 15 Mins, gently turn it to the other side. 
  • You can use two big spatulas for turning it to the other side. Put a little oil in the top of the turned pomfret. Fry it for another 15 Mins. Switch off the gas.
Note: Do not let the rava get burnt. So always fry on low flame and keep on flipping to both sides.
Serve it hot.

For stuffed fish recipes, click here.
For fried fish recipes, click here.
For recipes with fish, click here.
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Mackerel Uddamethi | Bangda Uddamethi | Mackerel Curry In Black Urad Dal And Fenugreek Seeds

Ever since my childhood I have loved this Mackerel Uddamethi or Mackerels cooked in coconut curry to which fenugreek and black urad dal has been added. It tastes just delicious and leaves one licking their fingers. You can serve this curry with rice or have it as a side dish in your fish thali. Some people love to eat this with pav/bread or chapatis.

My aunty is a specialist in cooking this curry and even now when I cooked this I remembered her. No one could beat the taste of the curry that she prepared. Since I am born and brought up in a joint family which consisted of 25 members, I have several aunts. Each and every aunt has one or the other specialty and I remember them when I cook or eat that particular dish.

In office one of my Goan friend mentioned about this dish and how she won her mom-in-laws heart due to that dish. I then remembered that I have not cooked this dish nor eaten this since several years. I made a quick call to my Mom and got the recipe and made this delicious dish at home. Sharing it with you all to try it out.

Ingredients:                           Prep. Time: 60 Minutes, Serves: 4

For Marinating Mackerels:
2 large Mackerels
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon salt

For the curry:
6 tablespoon grated coconut
1 medium sized onion
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon rice
¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds/methi
1 tablespoon urad dal/black gram dal
4 dry red chilies
10 peppercorns
1 lemon size ball of tamarind
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste

De-scale, clean and cut the mackerels into 3 pieces. Discard the head.
Marinate them by applying red chili, turmeric power and salt and keep it in fridge (not freezer) for 30 Min’s.

In a kadai, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Stir fry rice till it turns brownish, remove and keep it in separate plate.

Then in the same oil, stir fry urad dal till it turns brownish, remove and keep it aside.

To the same oil add fenugreek and peppercorns together. Stir fry till fenugreek changes color, remove and keep it aside and switch off the gas.

After this cools using a mortar-pestle coarse or powder rice and black gram and keep it aside.
Coarse fenugreek seeds and peppercorns in the same mortar-pestle and keep it aside.

Chop half the onion length wise, switch on the gas and stir fry in the same oil till it turns pinkish. Add grated coconut to this and fry on low flame till it turns brownish and switch of the gas. Let this cool down.

After cooling add the fried onion and coconut mixture from the kadai to a mixer jar along with tamarind, turmeric powder and dry red chilies and grind it into a thick gravy by adding sufficient water. Ensure that all the ingredients are ground well.

Now cut the remaining half of the onion and fry it in the same kadai which will now be empty. Add oil if needed. Pour the gravy from the mixer to the kadai and mix well. Add 1 cup water.

Add marinated mackerels and stir. Now add the coursed black gram, rice, fenugreek and peppercorn to the gravy. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Please follow the exact procedure, else the uddamethi will become bitter. It tastes event better the next day as all the flavors get marinated.
Serve it with rice or chapatis.

For more recipes with mackerels, click here.
For more fish curry recipes, click here. 
Check this page where I have collected all the Goan recipes from Raksha's Kitchen.
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Sweet-Corn And Peas Pulao

Sweet-corn and Peas Pulao is another rice that I make for our weekly lunch box. This recipe is healthy and kid-friendly too. Today I was at home as my little one had fever. However she demanded that she wants pulao. I found some sweet corn kernels and green peas in my fridge and quickly made this yummy and filling one pot meal.

My little one always wants spicy things just like her dad. As she grows, her taste buds too have started developing. Every time I cook something, she is filled with praise and says “My mom cooks the best food”. What else can be a bigger reward than having your family love the food that you cook?

Nowadays she decided menu for her lunch box. Every night she tells me what should go in her tiffin the next day. She even tells me directions like how she wants the subzi to be, whether gravy or dry. When the tiffin comes home empty after school I feel like a big mission has been accomplished. Check this Chitraanna recipe/Lemon rice that I made when she demanded and it was a big hit.
Ingredients:                                            Prep. Time: 45 Min's, Serves: 4
For boiling the rice:
1 and 1/2 cups basmati rice
1 tsp pepper powder
2 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
2 cloves

Make the masala paste:
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 green chili
8 pepper corns
2 cloves/laung
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
10 garlic pods
1 inch cinnamon/dalchini
1 cardamom/elaichi

For the pulao mix:
2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 cup sweet corn kernels
1/2 cup green peas
4 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp. chili sauce
Salt to taste
Oil as needed

Step 1: Par boil the basmati rice either on gas or pressure cooker or rice cooker by adding one bay leaf, 2 peppercorns and 2 cloves. Once the rice is par boiled, take a fork and run it through the rice. Sprinkle the rice with pepper powder and keep aside.

Step 2: Take the sweet corn and green peas, boil them and keep aside.

Step 3: In a mixer, add the ingredients mentioned for pulao masala paste. Grind by adding 2 tbsp. water to a fine paste. Keep this aside.

Step 4: In a kadai, add 4 tbsp. oil and fry till onion turns pinkish. Then add bay leaf and chopped coriander (see ingredients mentioned for masala mix) and fry. Stir and add chopped tomatoes.
Add ginger garlic paste and stir.

Step 5: Now add the grinded masala paste from the mixer and stir well.

Step 6: Next add boiled sweet corn and green peas and mix well.
Add green chili sauce and stir.
Add little salt to taste. Remember we will be adding salt again after mixing the rice, so add less salt.

Step 7: Then add the boiled rice and mix well ensuring that the rice grains does not break.
Adjust salt again.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Note: If you are using frozen sweet corn kernels and green peas, then thaw and then boil them.
You can add other veggies like beans, carrots, mushrooms and soya chunks while making the pulao masala mix.

Check the other rice varieties by clicking here.
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Egg-Drop Curry | Egg Curry

Egg-Drop curry or Egg Hooman was always my favorite at my mom’s place. My aunty used to make this for lunch frequently. In Goa, we make different types of curries to have with rice everyday. So when fish was not available or when we could not eat a particular type of fish due to some illness, we used to eat this egg-drop curry with rice.

When I was expecting my first kid, I was served with this egg hooman instead of fish curries. Certain fish like Mackerel contains high levels of mercury and that was the reason why I was not allowed to eat it during my pregnancy.

Today I did not have fish at home, but I had some eggs and grated coconut in my fridge. My daughter also said that she wants non-veg curry for lunch. So I made this curry for her, just like any other fish curry. She loved it. Check this other type of egg curry recipe.

Ingredients:                                    Prep.Time: 20 Mins, Serves: 4
3 Eggs
½ cup chopped onion
5 chopped garlic flakes

For the gravy:
4 tbsp. grated coconut
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 marble sized ball of tamarind
3 dry red chilies
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp. oil

  • Grind together the ingredients meant for gravy except salt and oil by adding ½ cup water. Add more water if needed while grinding. Ensure that the coconut is finely ground.
  • Heat a kadai/wok, add oil. After the oil gets heated add onion and fry till it turns pinkish. Then add chopped garlic, stir and fry till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
  • Now pour the ground gravy into the onion garlic mixture in the kadai. Mix well.
  • One by one break and add egg. Just break the egg above the gravy and drop it in the gravy carefully.
  • Discard the shells.
  • Let the egg get slightly cooked in the gravy. Add some hot gravy on top of the egg so that it gets cooked properly.
  • After some time, add salt to taste and stir well.

Note: Break the egg from top of the curry and just drop it in the curry. Then with a spoon add hot curry on the egg yolk so that it gets cooked in the hot curry.

“This recipe is been created for The Urban Spice and KitchenAid India Diwali Contest”.

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Pimp My Rice – By Nisha Katona – A Book Review

When I received a mail from Nourish books asking whether I am interested in doing a book review, I jumped up with joy and immediately said a big YES. Reason is I love cookbooks and getting a cookbook written by a wonderful author Nisha Katona even before it being officially launched in the market was something I could not resist.

Nisha Katona is a rice evangelist, barrister and founder of Mowgli Street Food. She has thousands of fans following her on Twitter for Curry Clinics. She also has a popular YouTube channel.

The book travelled all the way from UK to Bangalore in impressive packaging. When I opened the parcel, I was surprised by the size of the book, the hard cover, the page quality, and the images which are styled beautifully, the yummy recipes… I mean everything.

The book Pimp My Rice features all recipes with rice, right from starters to main course to desserts. The author has nicely explained the various methods of cooking rice, whether to soak rice or not to soak and some rice-cooking tips at the beginning of the book. The author even mentioned that rice cooking is favored where fuel is precious, where pans are few, where mouths are many, where children sit on their mother’s hips as they cook one handed. Rice is therefore understood to be a cook’s best friend.

The author also mentioned about her personal experience with rice, how her mother fed her rice balls in steel plate and how rice is at the spiritual heart of life-affirming situation in India.

Caramel Berry Blend
The book starts with an Introduction followed by cooking methods. An index with ingredients is maintained at the end of the book making it easy to search for a recipe.

The recipes are classified into the following categories:
Kick starts – Blinged breakfasts
Light Fantastics – Starters, Lunches & late-night munchies
Main Grains – Fantastic feasts from around the world
Souped-up Sides – Super support acts
Happy endings – The rice sweet elite

Some recipes which caught my attention are Pimped rice peri, Turkish stuffed mussels and Belting Bhajis. Chilled rice raita is very similar to the curd rice that we make here.

Turkish stuffed mussels
My Verdict:
Since rice is the staple food in majority of Indian places, I feel that this book is a great use in all Indian house-holds. I recommend this book to all people who cook rice daily and who want to try different types of dishes with rice. The book can be purchased from Amazon.

Book Name: Pimp My Rice
Author: Nisha Katona
Cost: UK 20.00 Pounds, US - $24.95, CAN - $26.95
No. of Pages: 224

Do check out the other book reviews that I had done before by clicking here.

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Sukya Sungtachi Kismoor | Goan Dry Prawns Kismoor

During rainy season when we don’t get fresh fish in Goa, we make Sukya Sungtachi Kismoor or Dry prawns kismoor. The name kismoor means mixture or to mix everything together. I make this kismoor in two ways. I have explained one way here which I had learnt from my Goan house help.

The other type is just by mixing raw grated coconut, raw onion and other ingredients. Hubby loves the 1st way. We also make dry mackerel kismoor (click for the recipe). So whenever we don’t get fresh fish, we use dry fish and make different types of recipes using it.

We Goans love fish. Fresh or dry does not matter. If there is no fresh fish specially when fishing is banned, people consume dry fish which they store for over a year. Kismoor is now available in Goan restaurants too and is an authentic Goan dish. Just have it as a side dish with your fishcurry, rice and fried fish.

Teffal and dry red chilies
Ingredients:                                          Prep. Time: 30 Mins, Serves: 4
 ½ cup dry prawns/shrimps
6 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
1 finely chopped onion
1 inch grated/finely chopped ginger
15 teffal/ green sichuan pepper
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp. tamarind pulp
1/4 tsp salt

Clean the dry shrimps or dry prawns by cutting the heads and tails.
Then add 1 tsp oil on the tawa/frying pan and gently roast the dry shrimps till the strong aroma goes away. Do not burn the dry prawns. Remove and keep aside.

On the same frying pan, add 2 tbsp. oil and fry finely chopped onion till it turns pinkish.

 Add grated or finely chopped ginger and fry for 2 Mins.

Add crushed teffal and mix well.

Now add grated coconut and fry till the grated coconut turns slightly brownish.

Then add the roasted shrimps. Add turmeric powder, chili powder and salt to taste.

Mix well. Add tamarind pulp and give everything a nice stir.
Serve with rice and dry fish curry.

Note: To make tamarind pulp, soak 1 marble sized ball of tamarind in ¼ cup water. I used this tamarind pulp. You can use store bought tamarind pulp. Adjust the quantity as per your taste.

Check for more recipes with dry fish by clicking here.

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Doodanche Fov / Milk Poha / Beaten Rice In Milk

Tomorrow is Diwali and the Goans all over the world will be making different types of Fov/Poha/Avalakki. Various types of dishes that we make with beaten rice are potato poha/bataat fov, buttermilk poha (takanche fov), curd poha (dhai fov), jaggery poha, coconut milk poha (nalla rosanche fov), sugar poha (sakhar fov) etc. My mother in law makes all these varieties of beaten rice on this Diwali day.

Along with this we also make chana oosali and hog-plum chutney. All these dishes are Diwali special and makes a typical Goan Diwali breakfast. The various poha varieties are cooked and kept ready right before the “Aarthi” or “Dive” as we Goans say. Soon after the “aarthi” of the men and kids in the house, the married ladies serve these poha varieties to everyone at their home.

One night before Diwali i.e. on Narka Chaturthi, we Goans get to witness the burning of demon Narkasur’s effigy and Narkasur competitions across the state. There are competitions between Lord Krishna and Deamon Narkasur and Lord Krishna finally kills the demon. After the completion everyone proceeds to their homes and lights the skylamp outside their homes.

Some people also get the big effigies of Narkasur outside our door step at mid-night by playing drums and by whistling. It is said that we should see the narkasur that night and start with the auspicious Diwali celebrations the next day. 

To know more about how we Goans celebrate Diwali, read this post.

Ingredients:                                               Prep. Time: 20 Mins, Serves: 2
½ cup poha/fov/avalakki/beaten rice
1 cup milk
1 cup water
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. crushed cardamom pods

Wash and soak the beaten rice in water for 10 Mins.
Once it softened, heat 1 cup water, add beaten rice to it and boil.
Once it starts boiling, add milk and boil for 10 Mins stirring occasionally.
Add sugar and stir. Add crushed cardamom pods/cardamom powder and stir well.
Garnish with kesar if needed.

Note: This can be served hot/cold.

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People Cooking For People - Hyatt Culinary Challenge 2015, Bangalore

I was invited along with my family for the 2nd season of Culinary Challenge #CookWithHyatt at Hyatt Hotels, Bangalore. This event was being conducted as select Hyatt Hotels across India at Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune on the same day i.e. 31st Oct 2015. Hyatt had partnered with NGO SMILE Foundation.

Leek Tart cooked by a French trained participant

A child from the foundation was partnered with a guest participant for the cook-off. The guest participants were some chosen participants from the corporate sector, bloggers, home chefs, etc. 

A Blogger - Jyothi Rajesh and a child from the SMILE foundation
The afternoon consisted of a semi-final cook off where "people cooked for people". The chosen participants got a chance to showcase their culinary skills. The recipes were judged based on the following key criteria - name of the recipe (easy to understand yet creative), nature of recipe (traditional or unique), simplicity, availability of ingredients and reason for participating.

Akki Roti made by a participant

Another dish made by a participant
... and one more
There were stalls at the Lido-Poolside Restaurant where the participants cooked the yummy recipes. 

The event was judged by food writer Ruma Singh, food critic Kripal Amanna and chef Rishad Minocher.

Children from SMILE foundation had a great time too and they too displayed their culinary skills.

Smiling faces posing for my camera
Some of the guest participants had a tough time communicating with the children who only knew to speak Kannada. Yet they made a great team and cooked off a storm. Judges were impressed by the knife skills of some of the children. Indeed budding chefs.

A wonderful moment where a participant is feeding the cake baked by them to the partner
Throughout the entire event wine, cocktails, mocktails and appetizers kept going around.

Chicken Tikka Kebabs

I loved this pineapple upside down cake which was cooked by an enthusiastic 70 year old Nirmin Lamba who is also a home-maker. The child partner chopped the cherries and decorated the cake beautifully.

The cook-off was followed by lunch. Different types of breads, salads, gravies like Mushroom hara pyaza, paneer khurchan, Lahroi murgh, Beans and potato lasagne with pesto,smashed potatoes and biryani was served.

There was a live grill which grilled yummy prawns, fish, chicken wings, pork and lamb along with veggie items like sweet corn, pineapple, mushroom, bell peppers, paneer, etc. Live pasta station was also present where pasta of our choice was being served.

Fish to be grilled
The desserts like Lemon meringue pie, Mandarian cake slice, Strawberry mousse cake, Cocoberry cake, Chocolate autumn cake, Rasmalai, etc were also very yummy.

The winner of the event was Mrs. Preeti Marwaha, a home-maker and her 13-year old partner Anjali who cooked chicken roulade stuffed with breadcrumbs, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.

The winning dish
The runner up were 11 year old Vanilla and Mr. Arnad Saha who cooked a Bengali dish named Chingri Bhapa or prawns in mustard sauce.

The dish which won the 2nd place 
The winners of the Hyatt Culinary Challenge from every location will be participating at the grand finale culinary challenge at Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.

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