Hagalakai Melara / Bitter gourd Majjige Huli :

Bittergourd always comes under the Love or Hate category. People are fond of this veggie or hate it at the core. Bitter gourd is an acquired taste. All four of us in our family love it and Bitter gourd Melara is synonymous with the Chowthi celebration at our home. As a kid, I relished Chakli dunked in this Melara, and the custom continues with my daughters.

In Mangalore, we always use pale/white bitter gourd the most,taste-wise less bitter and loved by many.

Method:

Ingredient:

Bitter gourd – 1 big

Salt- as needed.

Green chillies – 2

tamarind – one gooseberry size (soak in 1 cup of water)

To grind: Fresh Coconut – 1 ½  cup

For Seasoning: Coconut oil- 1 tablespoon, mustard – 1tsp, red chilli – 1 (optional), curry leaves- 1 spring.

Method:

-Wash the bitter gourd, slice roundels, and if seeds are hard, remove seeds.

-Boil little water, add tamarind pulp, slit green chillies, salt, and Bitter gourd roundels and cook until it is soft and perfect.

-Now, grind the coconut into a fine paste, add the paste to the cooked veggie, adjust the consistency, and boil for 2 minutes.

-Add buttermilk or beaten curd, and switch off when it starts to boil.

-Prepare seasoning, heat oil, splutter mustard, add red chilli and curry leaves, fry and pour over Melara. Serve with Rice.

The best way to have this Melara is during festivals when Chakli is made. That too Chakli immersed in a pool of bitter gourd Melara. Try this if you have not tried it yet.

Haalittu Payasa / Rice Noodle Kheer :

It is an age-old recipe and an almost extinct dessert in our region/ community. Haalittu, the name itself, suggests the softness of the rice noodles.

Here, freshly prepared rice noodles are cooked in boiling jaggery-laced water, enriched with coconut milk, and flavoured with freshly ground cardamom powder. 

The method is straightforward and not so complex.

Ingredients:

Dosa Rice – 1 small tumbler

Jaggery – ½ to ¾ tumbler or more

Salt- ½ tsp

Fresh Coconut – To extract milk or Coconut milk – 1 pack

Cardamom powder – 1 tsp (freshly ground)

Method:

-Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hrs with sufficient water.

-Grind the soaked rice with salt into a smooth paste.

-Take one thick Kadai, pour the batter, heat on a low flame and cook until it forms a smooth pliable dough, with constant stirring.

-When the mixture cools down, take a chakli presser, fix a multi-hole plate, press the noodles and keep it ready.

-In another thick-bottomed vessel, take jaggery, and sufficient water or if you are using freshly extracted coconut milk, take 3 rd and 4th extract of thin coconut milk and boil until the raw smell of the jaggery vanishes.

– Now, drop the rice noodles and boil further. When noodles are well cooked, add thick extracted coconut milk or open the tetra pack, pour, and give one boil.

-Garnish with cardamom powder and serve hot. Here, we don’t use any ghee-fried dry fruits.

-if you wish to add, you can add and serve.

Soya Nuggets Kurma:

Soya Chunks/nuggets curry is a perfect protein rich side dish for any Rotis. I usually make Yeasted Roti’s to go with it. It tastes good with regular whole wheat pulka or chapati as well.

Soya chunks or nuggets, also known as meal makers, are made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is easy and quick to cook and known as veg meat. Though it does not have its flavour, it tends to absorb flavours well. I have shared Soya chunks in  Biryani, and now, I want to share this kurma.

Ingredients:

Soya nuggets – 1 to 2 cups

Oil – 1 + 1 tbl spoon

Cumin – 1tsp

Green chillies – 2 (slit)

Cashew – 10

Onion – 2 (medium, chopped)

Garlic – 8 – 10 (crushed)

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 1tbl spoon

Coriander – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1tsp

Coconut – 1 cup (grated)

Curds – 1 small tumbler

Salt, sugar – to taste

Coriander leaves – little

Method:

-Take one saucepan, boil water and pour soya nuggets, and when it swells, drain the water and keep aside.

-Now, take one skillet, heat one tbl spoon of oil, and fry cashew, garlic, and onion.

-When the onion turns translucent, add all the dry masalas such as turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala.

-Add coconut, switch off the flame and toss the coconut for 2 minutes.

-Cool the mixture, grind it into a smooth paste, and keep it aside.

-Now, heat one tbl spoon of oil, cumin, and green chillies toss for 1 minute. Next, add ground masala paste, adjust the consistency by adding water and boil.

-When it has boiled for a while, switch off the gas. Add beaten curd and drained soya and mix everything properly.

-Switch on the gas, and allow the gravy to boil. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti or any flavoured rice.

Capsicum Upma/ Uppittu:

Uppittu/ Upma can be prepared in so many ways. Each recipe has its unique flavour and is an excellent option when you want to eat a quick, no-preparation meal. Upma works out well and fits the bill on any meal and time of the day, even as a tiffin box item.

My daughters, who love Upma in any form, have a particular fondness for Capsicum Uppittu, and that was why I want to share this much-loved recipe, under “beginners guide” in my blog. 

Ingredients:

Fine rava / Bombay rava / Uppittu  rava – 2 cups

Oil – 6 tablespoons

Mustard – 1tsp

Urad dal – ½ tsp

Chana dal – ½ tsp

Cumin – ½ tsp

Cashew nuts – 2 tablespoons

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Onion – 1 big (chopped)

Green chillies – 2 to 3

Small Tomato – 1 ( optional)

Capsicum – 1

Salt

Water – 5 cups

Coriander leaves – as much as needed

Grated Coconut – as much as needed

Method:

-Boil water in one vessel by adding the required amount of salt.

– Take one Kadai, add oil, splutter mustard, cumin, urad, chana dal, cashew nuts, curry leaves, green chillies, onion, and fry.

-If you are adding Tomato, add now and fry for a while.

-Next, add chopped capsicum and fry until it is soft.

-Now add Rava and fry till it is grainy. Add coriander leaves, and fry until it is crisp.

-Add water, and cook on a low flame by closing the lid.

Garnish with grated Coconut, close the lid, and leave it for resting.

-After 5 to 10 min, if you mix it, upma would turn perfect in texture and soft.

-Serve and enjoy.

 

 

Cauliflower and Broccoli curry:

This curry happened by accident. Yes! My daughter was craving creamy cauliflower and broccoli curry, as a side dish for one pot rice dish, like menthya bath/methi greens rice or jeera rice.

It was challenging for me to create creamy without using fresh cream or any considerable quantity of fat. The final verdict was to publish this curry in my blog so they could refer to the recipe and make it.

The result is here, which is vegan as well as creamy, super rich side dish with roti or rice.

Let us see the recipe part-

Ingredients:

Broccoli and cauliflower florets – 1 Bowl (cleaned and blanched)

For Masala Paste:

Oil – 1 tbl sp

Cumin – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1” piece

Bay leaf – 1

Clove – 2

Black peppercorns – 3 to 4 (optional)

Almond – 6

Cashew – 6

Garlic – 6 to 10 cloves

Onion – 1 (chopped)

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Green chillies – 1 to 2 (slit)

Tomato – 1 (chopped)

Salt and sugar – according to the taste

Coconut – ½ cup (freshly grated)

Paneer butter masala powder or any oriental curry powder – 1 spoon

Method:

-Wash cauliflower and broccoli florets, blanch in boiling water, drain the water and keep it aside.

-To prepare masala paste, heat oil, and add all the dry masalas from cumin to peppercorns, fry a little.

-Add cashew and almond, and fry until it turns light brown.

-Add chopped onion, green chillies, turmeric, and fry until it turns transparent and light brown.

-Next, add a little salt to chopped tomato to quicken the process. When it turns soft, add coconut and fry until it emits an aroma.

-Cool the content and make a smooth paste by adding water.

-Now, put this ground paste into the same Kadai in which masala has been roasted and adjust the consistency by adding water.

-Check the seasoning and adjust the salt and sugar according to the taste. Boil the content.

-When it starts to boil, add blanched broccoli and cauliflower and allow it to boil.

-Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with roti, peas pulav or menthya bath.

Huchellu Chutney :

If you are wondering what exactly it is? Wait! It has some more names, such as Gurellu in Kannada and Niger seed in English. They are used extensively in the North Karnataka region.

Niger seed or Huchellu is filled with many nutrients and is the best Omega 3 natural supplement for vegetarians.

I made Huchellu chutney with Ragi Rotti, considered the best combo in Bangalore.

Ingredients:

Chana dal – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1tsp

Peanuts – ¼ cup

Hurigadale, roasted gram – 2 tbl spoons

Green chillies – 2 to 4

Garlic – 4 cloves

Curry leaves – 4 leaves

Coriander leaves – little

Salt and tamarind little

Roasted niger seeds or powder – 1 tbl spoon

Fresh coconut – 2 to 3 tbl spoons

Method:

-Heat little oil, roast chana dal, urad dal, and peanuts. Add roasted gram, green chillies, and garlic cloves and fry further.

-Switch off the gas, add curry leaves and coriander leaves, and toss a little to wilt the greens; cool.

-Grind the content to smooth paste by adding coconut, salt, and tamarind.

-I don’t add any seasoning. If you wish to add it, please go ahead and add it. Serve with Ragi rotti.

Basale bendi / Malabar spinach and jack seed curry :

I have already shared a couple of Basale / Malabar spinach recipes and the jack seed recipes in my previous posts. If you are interested in finding out more Mangalore based recipes, such as basale Chutney and basale with raw papaya curry, the method to preserve jackseed, hummus, the side dish with coloured cucumber, dry curry with bamboo shoot and Rasam. Please click the hyperlink and check it out.

As we all know, basale is rich in iron, fibre, and vitamins and low in calories. When combined with jackseed, natural plant protein is an added benefit; cooked jackseed is creamy in texture, tasty to the palette and healthy for our bodies.

Here is the most amazing Malabar spinach and jack seed recipe from my family to yours, which is a perfect pair with Hot Rice or traditional red rice rotti or Rotti by using rice flour.

Ingredients:

Malabar spinach – 250- 300 grams

Jack seeds – 12 to 15 ( crushed and shelled) OR Soaked black-eyed peas (white)

Onion – 1 sliced (medium)

Turmeric – 1tsp

Salt – as required

Jaggery – ½ tsp

Red chilli powder – 1tsp

Tamarind – small gooseberry size, soaked in water.

For the Masala Paste:

Grated fresh coconut – 1 cup

Red chillies – 4 to 6 ( Byadagi)

Coriander seeds – 1 tbl spoon

Cumin – 1 tsp

Garlic – 2 cloves (optional)

For the seasoning:

Coconut oil – 1 tbl spoon

Mustard – 1 tsp

Red chilli – 1

Crushed garlic – 8 – 10

Curry leaves – 1 spring.

Method:

-If you are using Pieces of stems from the Malabar spinach, cook those stems with salt in a pressure cooker for 2 to 3 whistles. Add Jack seed or Black eyed peas and chopped Malabar spinach greens, tamarind water, salt, jaggery, and red chilli powder when the pressure releases.

-cook further in an open vessel or close the lid of the pressure cooker and give one whistle.

-Now, make masala. Heat little coconut oil, splutter mustard, add coriander, cumin, (garlic) and red chillies, and fry until it is crisp. Now, grind these fried items with coconut and make a smooth paste.

-Add the ground masala to cooked veggies, boil, and season.

-For seasoning, heat coconut oil, splutter mustard, add crushed garlic and red chilli and fry until it turns light brown; add curry leaves and pour it over the curry. Enjoy with Dosa, Rotti or with Rice.  

 

 

Badanekai palya/ Brinjal dry curry:

Usually, Brinjal/ Eggplant of Mangalore/Udupi region is known as “UDUPI GULLA”. No! We have two varieties.

Both are Heirloom, native variety.

How to differentiate our native varieties of brinjal? It is so easy.

Here, I am talking about our “Oora Badane”, “Native Brinjal” of Mangalore. 

Much bigger (almost like purple brinjal, used in Bhartha). The outer skin is shiny pear-shaped; the outer skin is thinner, pale green with white lines.

It is fleshy and used in our style of Bhartha ( Roasted sweet and sour Gojju), Palya, Sambar and kayi Huli.

We all know that GI tagged “Udupi Gulla”, which is small, darker in the shade, matte-finished outer skin with a couple of thorns at the woody stalk. ( which is at the backside in the picture) 

For this palya, we use fleshy, seasonal native brinjal. This one side dish, which my husband craves for and asks to make, and he relishes with Ghee smeared Chapathi.

The recipe is simple and needs freshly ground masala or readily available Rasam powder.

Ingredients:

Round Brinjal – 1

Onion – 2 ( medium)

Green chillies – 2

Salt

Tamarind – gooseberry size

Turmeric – ½ tsp

Jaggery – as needed

For the masala powder:

¼ cup – grated coconut

2 -Red chillies

Coriander -1 tsp

Cumin – ½ tsp

For the seasoning:

Coconut oil – 2 tbl spoons, mustard – 1tsp, urad dal – 1tsp, Chana dal – 1tsp, hing – 1 pinch and curry leaves – 1 spring

Chopped coriander – to garnish.

Method:

-Slice onion. Chop green chillies. Soak the tamarind in a small cup of hot water.

-Roast the coriander, cumin, red chillies in a drop of oil, make a coarse powder and keep it aside.

-Now take a bowl with water and immerse the chopped brinjal. Brinjal pieces should be slightly bigger and ¼” thicker. (Please refer to the pictures)

-Now, we would do the seasoning, take one Kadai, heat oil, splutter mustard, add urad dal, chana dal, hing and fry until it is slightly brown. Add curry leaves.

-next, add onion and green chillies and fry until it is transparent and wilts.

-Extract tamarind water pour-over. Add turmeric, salt, jaggery. When water starts boiling, add brinjal and mix everything properly.

-Close the lid and cook the veggie on a low flame. Add freshly dry ground coconut masala, mix everything, once again close the lid and cook further to absorb the flavour.

-Switch off the gas and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves. It pairs well with Roti or rice.

NOTE:

If you are using the rasam powder, add little coconut and proceed with the procedure with the Rasam powder.

-Freshly made masala and the usage of cold-pressed coconut oil does give the authentic taste.

Omum and dry ginger Tambli:

Omum/ Ajwain/ carom seeds are the lesser-known spice of our Indian Kitchen. Our moms turn their hands whenever we complain about bloating or Indigestion and feed us Omum water by infusing it with water. It has been known for its benefits in treating bloating and diarrhoea due to intestinal inflammation for ages.

As we all know, Carom seeds have Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal properties. We are here, Combining Carom with dry ginger, which has the capacity of cleansing our digestive system and nourishing our body. The taste of the tambli is so refreshing and soothing.

—such a simple preparation.

I learnt this recipe from my Foodie friend, Lakshmi Akka.

Ingredients:

Carom seed/ omum – ½ tsp

Grated dry ginger – ¼ tsp

Ghee or coconut oil – ½  tsp

Grated Fresh Coconut – ½ cup

Buttermilk – 1 serving spoon

Method:

Take ½ tsp of ghee or oil, fry omum and dry ginger.

-Grind fried items, coconut, salt and water to make a smooth paste.

-Add buttermilk adjust the consistency by adding water.

-If you like seasoning on tambli like me, please go ahead and heat some ghee add cumin and curry leaves. Pour on Tambli and enjoy it as a soothing drink or with Hot Rice.

Khara Pongal/ Ven Pongal :

Ahh..what to say about humble Pongal? It is one of the comfort food for any South Indian. It is most prevalent in Tamilnadu as a Ven Pongal and a Khara Pongal at Bangalore.

Be it breakfast or as popular Tiffin Item or Lunch or Dinner in a chilly winter season, with added healing properties of ginger, black pepper, hing and loads of ghee to soothe your soul.

It is one of the wholesome, one-pot meals. As the Makarasankranthi festival is around the corner, I would love to share the recipe I follow at home and loved by my family.

Ingredients:

Rice – 1 cup

Moong dal /green gram dal – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 tbl spoons

Cumin – 1 tsp

Hing – ¼ tsp

Green chillies- 2 (slit)

Ginger – 1′ ( julienne)

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Milk – 1cup

Water – 7 cups

Salt

Fresh coconut gratings – ½ cup

Tempering: Ghee – 1 tbl sp, mustard, cumin- 1 tsp, black pepper – 1 tsp – 2 tsp, curry leaves – 1 spring, chopped cashew nuts – 1 to 2 tbl spoons.

Extra ghee – to serve ( optional)

Method:

-Dry roast yellow moong dal for 2 to 3 minutes. Cool it. Wash rice and dry roasted moong together and soak it for some time, or you can use it directly.

-Take a cooker, add 2 tbl sp ghee, add cumin, hing, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and turmeric and fry for 2 minutes.

-Now drain the rice and moong dal, add-in, mix everything and add water, milk and boil.

-When water starts boiling, add salt, coconut, close the lid, and cook for three whistles.

-Crush black pepper and cumin by putting them together in a mortar and pastel. Keep it ready.

-After opening the lid, make tempering by heating ghee, splutter mustard, add crushed pepper and cumin, curry leaves, cashew bits and fry until the cashew becomes light brown. Pour over the tempering on ready Pongal.

-Mix everything, serve with tamarind gojju, sambar, Raita or chutney.

NOTE: I usually use Broken rice, which is used explicitly for Pogal and available in all the local Rice traders here in Bangalore.

If it is not available, I would prefer to use Jeeraga samba rice/ small grain rice/ sannakki.