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. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Potato Rawa Fry / Batata Kapa

One of the quickest and tasty accompaniment for lunch or dinner. Favorite among kids and adult as well.

2 Medium sized Potatoes
1tsp Chilly powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
4 tbsp Semolina / Rawa
Salt for taste
Oil for Frying

Method - Pictorial 

Select 2 medium sized potatoes
Peel and wash to remove starch and dirt

Cut into disk shapes ,immerse in water to avoid discoloration.
Cut in uniform size as shown in picture.
Remove from the water,drain well.
Apply turmeric and salt,keep for 5 minutes.
Add Chilly powder and mix well.

Apply Semolina / Rawa on both sides

Heat 1-2 tbsp oil 
Arrange the potato chips on skillet as shown above and fry.

Turn sides and fry well.

Serve hot with Rice and Dal ; Rice and Shivarak(saurak) , Rice and Solkaddi /Chutney combination..