Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sinful Solkaddi

The Sinful solkadi is the soul of konkan cuisine , It would not be fair with other states in konkan region so I would just not credit it to Goan Cuisine only.. Kokum has a wide use as a souring agent in konkan.  Well Solkadi is made from Kokum rinds or kokum juice concentrate (aagaal).The main characteristic of this typical curry/kodi/kadi is its digestive properties which makes it a must drink after every meal as it aids digestion.

Kokum has high substance content called Garcinol. Garcinol reduces inflammation responsible for certain cancers, diabetes and neurological disorders. Garcinol is also an antiviral, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, and antiulceration. It also posseses several applications in Ayurveda including the treatment of inflammatory issues, rheumatoid pain and bowel problems, intestinal parasites, delayed menstruation, sores dermatitis, ear infections and wards off heatstroke.

Locally, Kokum is also called bhinda / bhirina / bhirinda in Goa.With permutations ans combinations of different ingredients in making the curry renders to its uniqueness and has a very important place in our cuisine.
Kokum Kadi or solkadi is prepared in various varieties with different communities having their signature recipe of this brew. Most preferred combination is with coconut milk /coconut extract or tender coconut water or just warm water. Use of warm water in its preparation helps in infusing better flavor of the ingredients used in solkadi.

Brew, Curry, Juice..... You decide how you prefer it....

Here are a few versions of the most staple comfort food solkadi..

Version I


10ml of kokum aagal(concentrate)Or Kokum rinds Handful 

(soaked for 1 hr in 100ml hot water)
500ml Coconut milk
4 chillies
1” ginger crushed(optional)
5 cloves Garlic Optional
½ tsp Asafoetida powder
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped.
Salt for taste

Mix all Ingredients except Coriander leaves. Leave aside for 1hour .Drain the liquid and check for seasoning .Lastly, add Coriander leaves .I love loads of coriander leaves. Some prefer it with a dash of sugar but I omit its use. Serve with hot rice and dried fish or batata kappa .Or just drink as appetizer. The colour of this brew is light pink in colour.

Version II

10ml of kokum aagaal (concentrate)Or Kokum rinds Handful (soaked for 1 hr in 100ml hot water)
500ml Tender Coconut Water or water
2 chillies
1” ginger crushed(optional)
5 cloves Garlic Optional
½ tsp Asafoetida powder
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped.
1tsp Sugar
Salt for taste

Mix all Ingredients except Coriander leaves. Leave aside for 1hour .Drain the liquid and check for seasoning .Lastly, add Coriander leaves. The color of this brew is raspberry red.

Version III

10ml of kokum aagaal (concentrate)Or Kokum rinds Handful (soaked for 1 hr in 100ml hot water)
500ml hot/Warm water
5 chillies
1” ginger crushed(optional)
8 cloves Garlic Optional
2 tbsp Coriander leaves chopped.
Salt for taste

For Tempering
1tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds crushed ( optional )
1 tsp Asafoetida powder
2 sprigs curry leaves

 Mix all Ingredients except Coriander leaves and those for fodni /tempering .Leave aside for a hour or so.Drain the liquid and check for seasoning.Heat a pan with vegetable oil. Add mustard seeds let it splutter then add cumin seeds ,asafoetida powder ,curry leaves and Stir. Add the Fodni to the drained solkadi mix.Lastly,add Coriander leaves.Serve with rice. The color of this brew is raspberry red.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bhendya shivark / lady finger in coconut gravy

Bhendya shivark-Saar / Lady finger in coconut gravy 

In a good Goan's house you will find a vegetarian day .Here is a mouthwatering gravy prepared with legendary sath xiranche bhendye other variation is by adding prawns to the gravy for lip smacking" sumta kodi ".

 Lady fingers (approx 250 grams use available variety)
1/2 Coconut gratings*
1 tsp coriander seeds*
1 cup potato(optional)
2 medium sized onions
salt as per taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder*
1 tomato 
little tamarind*
2 tsp Oil
1 tbsp chilly powder or handfull of red chilies*
4 tarvoti /lavangi chilies*
4 amsol /kokum rind (optional use instead of tamarind)

** Grind starred ingredients to a fine paste along with half onion.

Chop remaining onion
Wash,dry and cut lady fingers 2'' long after removing its head as shown in picture.

In a pot / kadai ,heat Oil 

and fry chopped onions till pink add vegetables a stir fry for another minute.

add ground paste ,

add water to achieve desired consistency of gravy. Please don't make it too watery.Adjust salt and add kokum rinds .cook till vegetables are cooked well .

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.Serve hot with Parboiled rice along with batata kaap and pickle.

Pesto Sauce

The greens used in this sauce are nutritionally very rich , they provide very many health benefits to us. Some of the health benefits are .... They are a storehouse of polynutrients that possess disease prevention properties. Fresh mustard greens leaves are rich in folic acid, which is a water soluble vitamin and plays a very important role in DNA synthesis .They are a rich source of several vital anti-oxidants,essential minerals and carotenes, which build up the body immunity system.
They are ranked in one of the highest positions among the greens which contain a good amount of Vitamin k.They are a good source of vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient hat maintains healthy mucus membranes and good skin in the individuals.Its storehouse of vitamin C, which are natural Anti-oxidants. Vitamin C protects the body against viral infections and radical injuries.
Finally the sauce can be spread on bread, roti or even used as dips . Or simply use it to make delicious pasta. 

1/2 kg kale leaves (substitute- mustard greens)
handful cilantro leaves
1 medium bowl basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
handful of soaked almonds
1 tbsp Garlic chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
2 green chilies(optional)
Salt as per taste
1/4 tsp crushed black pepper 

Wash the Greens, clean and Pat dry 
                        (Steam the greens-optional)    
Chop the nuts
Grind all ingredients to a coarse paste if you are using the pesto mixture for making pasta. 
If using for other purposes grind finely adding more oil if needed for desired consistency.
Use fresh or store in refrigerator up to 4 days. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bhendya bhaji /Ladyfinger Stir fry/ bhendi upkari

Sath Xiramche bhende [Abelmoschus esculenta ],is the popular lady finger variety grown in Goa.St Estevam is known also as 'Juvem' and in the past was known as "Shakecho Juvo" - the isle of vegetables – known  for its long, seven-ridged, light green ladyfingers. Therefore the people of Juvem came to be nicknamed ‘bhende.

8-10 long lady fingers
2 Onions chopped
4 kokum rinds
5 Green Chillies slit length-wise
2tbsp mustard Oil
1/2 Cup grated Coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala (Optional)
1/2 tsp cumin Seeds
2 Garlic flakes crushed(Optional)
Salt to taste


Wash lady fingers ,pat dry with clean cloth / kitchen towel and cut them into small pieces as shown in picture.
Chop Onion finely.
Slit chillies length wise

In a Skillet/ Kadai ,heat Oil.
Add Cumin Seeds,Garlic cloves and slit chillies fry for a bit .
Add chopped Onions
Fry till it turns pink and translucent ,add salt for taste.
Add chopped lady fingers,Stir fry for a bit .Surprisingly, the local lady fingers / bhende are not very sticky .
Cover and cook on a slow flame for 5 mins.
Remove lid  ,add kokum rinds and stir every now then to avoid sticking .
Add Garam masala and turmeric powder.
Stir well.
Cook till done.Check for seasoning.
lastly,add grated Coconut.
Stir well,put off the flame .Serve hot with Chapati or relish with rice and curry.

* We add kokum rinds/lemon juice/tamarind water to avoid stickiness while cooking lady finger.
* The recipe suits any lady fingers grown across the world.Just increase the quantity according to size.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Patoleo / Sweet Dish in turmeric leaves

15th august; India celebrates Independence Day today. In Goa, We also celebrate the oldest feast day of Our Lady with great religious fervor the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady(Virgin Mary) on 15thAugust with rest of the world.
The Assumption ( Latin: assūmptiō, "taken up") of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven,informally known as “The Assumption” marks the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. As Mary completed her life as a shining example to the human race,the perspective of the gift of assumption is offered to the whole human race. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.

Goan’s prepare special sweet on this feast called patoleos made of a paste of ground local rice spread over turmeric leaves and stuffed with a mixture of scraped coconut, cardamom powder and coconut jaggery. In Hindu homes coconut jaggery is substituted with sugarcane jaggery. Steamed or fried either way it comes out yummy. Patoleos is prepared in Hindu homes for festivals like Nag panchami,Mangal Gauri - Hartalika vrata(upvaas) , the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi . Salt free patoleos made of varai or wheat flour, are offered as naivedya to Goddess Parvati, as far as legends go Maa Parvati had a strong craving for these sweets during pregnancy etc and Catholic homes for festivals like konsache fest -harvest festival, San jao ( feast of St John the Baptist) and the Feast of Assumption of Our Lady etc.All the festivals / Feasts celebrated by both Hindu and Roman Catholic Communities associated with making of patoleos are celebrated during monsoon season June-September.
The key ingredient in making patoleos "turmeric leaves" have a very pleasant, unique aromatic smell rich in flavour.Turmeric leaves are used as a herb in cooking, as it gives a distinctive flavor to food. You can add quite a lot of these exotic tender greens to the any recipe, increasing your nutrient intake and giving your taste buds a real treat at the same time and it is medicinally useful as well, to prevent coughs ,colds,aches and pains. Turmeric leaves is cathartic, astringent and, antiseptic. It is also popular as a gentle laxative.

Fresh turmeric leaves are widely used in India, mainly along the coastal regions, where almost every backyard will have a patch of turmeric growing in it. It's availability in our home backyard and market also coincides with the rainy season when patoleos are made .. Making patoleos a much savored and mouth-watering monsoon delicacy.

Ingredients For Patoleos 
1/2Kg Rice Flour
2 coconuts Finely Scrapped
400 gms Jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
Salt to taste
25 Turmeric leaves

In a vessel add rice flour and salt for taste add enough water and knead the rice flour into a smooth dough.It should be easy to spread on the turmeric leaves.
Wash and trim the turmeric leaves as shown in the pic,retain all the trimmings (dette-Stalks).
Scrape coconuts fine,add jaggery,cardamom powder and mix well. 
On the front side of each turmeric leaf,
Place a small portion of the dough along the main vein of the leaf .
Hand in motion(Pic got blurred)
& flatten the dough towards the sides pressing with your fingers.
See that you spread the dough thinly and evenly on the leaf.
Then place a little of the coconut mixture in the center and fold the leaf over pressing the edges firmly.
Prepare all the patoleos in same way.Till you run out of fillings ,dough or turmeric leaves :)
Add the trimmings(turmeric leaves stalks)along with the water added to the steamer(Confro). The turmeric trimmings will give out its sweet aromatic flavor in water; patoleos steamed in this flavored water will come-out more aromatic and yummier.
I pressure cooked for 4 whistles 
Steam cook the patoleos for15-20 mins in a confro or any modern steamer,or pressure cooker till done.
A dekho in cooker! Voila!!!they are done
Once done the color of leaves will turn olive/ shevaali (bottle-green)color.Serve hot with leaves on.
Alternatively Patoleos can be fried on a skillet /Iron hot plate/ Tawa using Ghee/Oil...Hmmm equally yummy.

*Confro- Traditional steamer in Goa.
*The rice flour can be replaced by local red ( Ukade rice )available in Goa which can be soaked, dried and powdered.
*Varai (Proso millet-)Varai is a kind of millet which is very fine and of small particles, almost like a coarser semolina.It is consumed by people who are on a fast.