Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cannellini Beans Usal ~ Goan style

Usal and Pao is a staple adored in many homes in Konkan region especially Goa and Mumbai. Pair the fiery rich curry with Roti or the humble Pao sourced from the local Poder, either ways its a match in heaven. I like the buttery texture of Cannellini Beans available in US grocery aisle. The taste of these beans comes pretty close to Tingalore or Northern Beans. The curry flavour comes close to a typical Goan dish made out of beans called as Feijoada, a dish which finds its roots in Portugal and some parts of Brazil. It is a staple and commoner amongst Goan meals. To me, this is a short cut version to eat vegetarian Feijoada version, especially when one does not have the time to grind the masala from scratch. The original dish of Feijoada, is made with Pork and Beans cooked together in a coconut masala gravy. Its relished and paired with Pao and is opined to be the national dish of Brazil.

Cannellini Beans worked well as they do not fall apart easily and hold their shape well when cooked, plus are a rich source of protein.
They are very popular part of Tuscany and Italian cuisine and also blend well for stews made with beans and meat.

~ Cannellini Beans Usal ~

Preparation time: 12 hours (soaking time)
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Cooked Beans (water drained) - 1 and 1/2 cup

Grated Coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 pods

Green Chillies - 1

Grind all of this to a smooth paste with little water

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Jaggery/ Brown Sugar - 1/2 tsp

Garnish - Coriander leaves (chopped)

Soak the beans overnight and pressure cook next day upto 4 whistles and cool. Grind the coconut, garlic, green chillies to a smooth paste. Bring the ground masala to a boil with the cooked beans. Add Jaggery, Turmeric powder and Garam Masala powder. Adjust salt as per taste. You could add 1/2 cup of hot water if gravy is desired or choose to have it semi-dry. Cook with lid on after bringing to a rolling boil, simmer on low flame for 5-8 minutes. Turn off once done and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Pairs well with Roti/ Phulka/ Pao.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Radish Fritters (Mulya chi Kaap/ Mulyaa Phodi)

A simple fritter made out of Radish/ Mooli which tastes amazing and goes well with cooked white/brown rice. This is very popular in Goa, India and is made during the days when one follows a vegetarian diet i.e Monday and Thursday. I was anti Radish growing up and these tender, succulent fritters converted me to be a Radish lover. Radish is also high in Folic acid, Ascorbic acid and Potassium content. Here in US, they are available as Daikon Radish and are relatively larger, firm and robust in size.

~ Mulya chi Kaap ~
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Radish (peeled and cut into 1/4" discs) - 3-8
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Rice Rava - 3 tbsp

Peel the skin off Radish and cut them into 1/4" discs, rinse well in multiple changes of water and pat dry with paper towel. Allow little moisture to be present on the vegetable. Apply salt, red chilli and turmeric powder. Leave aside for 30 minutes. Heat a frying pan and dredge the radish discs one by one in rice rava. Once the pan is hot enough, shallow fry all of them. Drizzle oil on sides of the vegetable; flip them over and fry on both the sides till they get a nice golden brown crust. Alternately, one could sprinkle a handful of water and cook with a lid on and flip them till both sides are done (to avoid oil). Serve hot with cooked white rice and Shengya cho Ros.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Harekala Chillies (Dabbi Mirchi/ Dabbi Mirsaang/ Guddi Mirsang)

Harekala Chillies/ Guddi Mirsaang/ Dabbi Mirchi are a popular variety of Chillies available in Southern region of India. It gets its name from the popular village Harekala located in Dakshin Kannada, Karnataka. These chillies are very seeded, non-crinkly, also have a smooth texture and are very spicy as compared to the other popular variety of Chilli, also known as Byadgi Chillies. This variety of Chilli finds lot of importance and use in GSB Konkani cuisine.

Typically, once the harvest season is complete, sacks of these chillies are out for sale and available in local groceries and market places. In Konkani cuisine, they are specially used for getting the most sought after red colour and also to take the heat levels a few notches up. In many households, for any curry and masala, a 1:1 ratio of these chillies and Byadgi chillies are added to balance the flavour, heat and the rich red colour. Apart from regular green chillies, these two varieties of red chillies are always found in any GSB Konkani household.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seasoned Patrode (Patrode Upkari/ Alu Vadi Bhaaji)

A quick and easy way to use the crumps left over from Patrode or pretty much use Patrode in a creative way for the next day. This one is very popular in my home, everyone loves the flavour of Patrode crumps seasoned with Garlic and Red Chillies. This dish goes well with Paej.

Patrode tastes better the next day around. In my home, we use them in many ways - plain Patrode pan roasted on frying pan, Patrode dredged in Rava, Patrode steeped and soaked in Ghashi (red chillies and coconut broth with Methi seeds) and finally Patrode seasoned with Garlic and Red Chillies. Many of my cousins who do not have access to perennial Taro leaves, freeze the rolls and use them as per choice to dish out savoury Patrode dishes whenever the heart desires. Since its quick and easy, its siesta time for the cook the next day around after the hard labor. :)

~ Patrode Upkari ~
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Patrode (steamed and cooked, whole) - 6

For Seasoning -
Garlic (crushed) - 3 jumbo pods
Red Chillies (Byadgi) - 3

For Garnish -
Grated Coconut (fresh or frozen) - 3 tbsp

Thaw the Patrode at room temperature for atleast 30 minutes. Crumple them to form pieces. You could use a fork or mash them with hands. Once done, set aside. In a cast iron pan, heat few spoons of oil and once the pan is hot enough, roast crushed Garlic lightly. Add Red Chillies split into two. Add the Patrode pieces now and turn over the flame to high. Keep stirring constantly for next 2-3 minutes till the pieces get a roasted texture. Reduce the flame to a low-to-medium now. Add oil if the mixture goes dry. Once done, turn off flame. Garnish with Grated Coconut just before serving. Goes well with Paej or as a side dish.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Patrode Rava Fry (Steamed Taro Leaf Dredged in Rava)

Recently, I got a huge bargain loot of Taro Leaves (Patrode Paan) from my local Indian grocery. Its a chance opportunity which I grabbed with open arms and weird enough, they were fresh, not bruised and available in plenty. I rejoice Patrode made at home and so does my husband. The only problem is here in US, we don't get them as often as we do in India and I miss them a lot. :(

In India, my parents get a perennial supply of these leaves from a kind friend, neighbour or a close relative. This is a dish which fills me with nostalgia purely because its labor intensive and reminds me of the hours Mom slogged in the kitchen to make these for us. Any Konkani Foodie, either loves Patrode too much or would blatantly hate it because of the itchy sensation it causes in throat upon consumption.

I always tease Mom that if there is a competition to make these steamy goodies, she will win the first prize. The Patrode made by my Mom are divine and hit the taste buds with precision and accuracy which is hard to express. Everyone loves Patrode made by Mom and waste no opportunity when she invites folks for lunches and dinners. I made the conventional steamed Patrode from one roll and froze the rest in my freezer to make Patrode Rava Fry and Patrode Phanna Upkari. Cover the rest of the rolls with tight cling wraps layer by layer and plonk them in freezer bags and enjoy them at leisure.

~ Patrode Rava Fry ~
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes maximum

Taro Leaves/ Patrodey Paan/ Tere Paan/ Marvala Paan - 8-15
Red Chillies (Byadgi preferred) - 5-8
Rice (Sona Masoori) - 1/4 cup
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Asafoetida - 1 tiny ball - use the edible gum and not the powdery one
Tamarind/ Bilimbi (any souring agent) - 1/2 tsp
Salt - As per taste
Water - For batter consistency
Rava/ Sooji (Fine) - 1/2 cup
Oil - For pan frying

Contraptions used ~ Idli Steamer/ Pedaavan or Patrodo/ Sanna Steamer

Follow the procedure provided in Patrode recipe and once steamed and cooked, allow to cool. This takes around 15-20 minutes. Dredge them in Rava one by one. ensure the top and bottom surface of Patrode are evenly coated with Rava. Pan fry on both sides for 5-8 minutes. Drizzle oil on the sides. Once done, they are crisp and get a beautiful roasted brown color on both the sides. Enjoy hot with Dalitoy and cooked Rice.