Mavinakai gojju

This amazing dish is made of raw mangoes and widely prepared in the malnad region of Karnataka. The tangy-spicy combination of this dish will leave you yearning for more. This dish is usually prepared with raw mango of dindaga variety. I prepared this dish with the raw mangoes from my in-laws garden. I’m not sure of the variety name right now but will surely get back on that. It certainly was not dindaga. This recipe was taught by my granny dearest.
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Ingredients
2 raw mangoes
5-6 green chillies ( I used 15-20 jeerige menasina kai, a small sized chilli which is super hot in taste)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
A pinch of Asafoetida or hing

Let’s get into action
First cut the mango as shown in the picture below.
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You will have 6 pieces, I have 5 as I was super tempted to eat the raw mango with salt and gave in to the temptation.
Heat a pan and place the raw mangoes in it. Add water so the raw mangoes are almost immersed in it.
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Close the lid and allow it to cook till soft. After 5-7 min, turn the mangoes and cook for few more mins. Add more water if required.
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Once done, transfer the mango pieces into a bowl. Allow it to cool. If there is any water left in the pan, preserve it for later use.
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After the mangoes cool, squeeze the mangoes to separate the pulp from the skin. Add in preserved water to help the squeezing process. Now, add salt to taste.
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Chop the green chillies finely. If your using jeerige menasinakai, like me, crush them using mortar and pestle.
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Take a small pan. Heat coconut oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the green chillies and fry till they turn light brown. Then, add curry leaves and hing. Fry for a few seconds.
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Take it off the heat and transfer the contents to the mango pulp.
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Mix it well and it is done!!
Enjoy this gojju with rice and a little coconut oil. I’m sure you can’t stop at one serving!
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Bataani baath / Peas Rice

Bataani baath is a simple rice dish which can be prepared in a jiffy. This happens to be my daughter’s favorite so I keep preparing it often when peas is available at economical price.

Ingredients
1 cup rice ( I used sona masuri, basmati can be used as well)
1/2 cup peas
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp jeera
1 tsp of oil
For grinding
1 green chilli, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp jeera
5-6 peppercorns

What to do with all this!?!
Heat oil in a cooker pan. Once it heats add jeera.

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Once jeera is fried, add the onion.

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Fry till they are pinkish. Now, add the peas. Fry it for a minute.

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Then, add the rice. Make sure you wash it well before adding. Fry the rice for 2 mins.

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Grind chilli, mint leaves, coconut, jeera, peppercorns to form a smooth paste.
Add it to the rice.

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Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Pressure cook it. Wait for the cooker to cool.

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Just before serving add a tbsp of ghee and mix the rice. This gives a nice aroma. This step is completely optional.
Enjoy your peas rice with this salad.

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Seemebadhnekai sasve

Seemebadhnekai is also called as chayote and cho cho. Today I present yet another dish from the malnad and south canara region.
Sasve means mustard. Since the flavor of these seeds are dominant in the dish it probably borrows the name.

Ingredients
1 medium sized chayote, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp oil
1/4 cup curds
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
Salt to taste
For sasve paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 green chilli
4 tbsp grated coconut

How to go about…
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard crackles, add the chopped chayote. Cook the chayote with the lid closed. Chayote cooks really fast especially if its tender.

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Grind coconut, green chilli and mustard with little water to make a smooth paste.

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Add the paste to the cooked chayote.

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Next, add the curds. Mix it well.

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Garnish it with coriander leaves. Enjoy your sasve with rice or as a salad.

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Menthe Thambuli

Thambuli is a dish extensively prepared in the Malnad and South Canara regions in Karnataka. It is curd based dish which can be had with rice. Having some parts of my roots from Malnad I prepare this dish quite often.

Thambuli is generally prepared of green leafy vegetables and spices. Menthe(Fenugreek) Thambuli uses only spices. I have always prepared this whenever I had guests and had to prepare an authentic lunch. This recipe has never let me down.

Ingredients

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp Channa dal

2 tbsp grated coconut

3 red chillies (reduce it to 2, if you want it less spicy)

Few curry leaves

1/2 cup curds

1 tsp oil

For seasoning

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal

1 tsp oil

How! 

Assemble all the ingredients and keep them handy.

In a small pan, heat oil. Once heated add fenugreek, channa dal. Fry till they turn light brown.

Now, add red chillies. Fry them well. Then add curry leaves and take the pan off the stove. Fry the curry leaves for few seconds and add the grated coconut. Grated coconut should get lightly heated. Add salt to taste.

Now grind it to a smooth paste with as little water as possible. This ground paste can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Transfer the paste to a bowl. Add curds. If the curd is too thick, feel free to add milk or water to get a thin consistency. Thambuli is almost done.

Take a pan(previously used). Heat oil. Once the oil is heated, add mustard seeds and urad dal. Once the mustard seeds crackle and urad dal turns light brown, add it to the thambuli.
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Thambuli is now ready to be served with rice!
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Karela Fry

Karela or bitter gourd is not a vegetable that most of them like. But the benefits of this gourd are many.
So, today I present to you a bitter-less way of enjoying the bitter gourd or karela fry. My dad prepared this the best. I miss his cooking, and everything else. I dedicate this post to him, with love.

Ingredients

6 tender bitter gourds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp Dry tamarind powder/ dry mango powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For Filling –

1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

2 tsp Coriander seeds

1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds

1 tbsp Urad dal

1 tbsp Channa dal

1/4 cup Peanuts

Handful of curry leaves

3-4 red chillies, broken

1 tbsp grated dry coconut/kobri

This how we will proceed…

Slit open the bitter gourds. Remove the seeds. Brush it with turmeric and salt. Keep it aside for an hour. This will make the bitter gourd leave water. Squeeze gentle and remove the water.

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For masala – Roast jeera, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dal, channa dal, peanuts, curry leaves, red chillies and finally the grated dry coconut. Cool it.

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Once cooled, grind it to smooth powder.To the powder, add salt, tamarind powder and turmeric powder. Turmeric powder shown in the pic is made at home from our garden-grown turmeric!

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Mix it well. Now, take the halves of the bitter gourds and fill in the masala liberally. Close the bitter gourds and tie each pair with thread.

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In a pan, heat oil and place the bittergourd beside each other. Shallow fry the gourds till they turn brown on low flame. If there is very little masala left add it to the dish. If there is lots, you can store them( in airtight container) for as long as you want and use it for other dishes.

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Once the gourds are cooked. Enjoy them with hot rice! I love to eat them as is!

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Peas pulao

This is a simple yet tasty dish. Apt for kids and people who love their food less spicy. Another point to be noted, you can prepare it real quick.

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati Rice
1 cup peas
1 green chilli, slit
1/2 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1 green cardamom
2-3 cloves
6-8 peppercorns
2 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon
1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped ( optional )

What to do with all this?!

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Using a mortar and pestle, make a coarse powder of the spices – cinnamon, cloves, jeera, cardamom and peppercorns.

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Place a pressure cooker on the stove. Once it is heated, add oil. To this add the crushed spices. Fry for a min.
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Now add the green chillies, ginger and mint leaves. Fry till the skin of green chillies turn to a lighter shade of green.
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Add the green peas and fry for a min longer. Then add the washed basmati rice. Fry for a min.
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To this add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Close the lid and cook it for 2 whistles. Keep it on low flame for 2-3 mins before removing it from heat.
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Once the pressure is out, your Peas pulao is ready! You can eat it as is or with a gravy/curry of your choice. We enjoyed our pulao with Tomato-onion gravy.
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Quick and Simple South Indian Lunch

For me, a yummy lunch is Rasam rice with palya and curd rice with pickle. I’m sure many will nod their heads here. You know what the best part is?!? This lunch can be cooked in 30- 35 mins. Just follow my lead and you will be serving hot and delicious meal in a short time.

I will not make a list of ingredients today, but jump straight into action. Please note the quantities mentioned here will serve 2-3 people.

Here begins the algorithm –

Step 1: Wash 1 and 1/2 cup of Sona Masoori Raw Rice in a vessel that fits inside the pressure cooker. Add 3 cups of water for 1 cup of Rice and pressure cook it for 3  whistles and after that keep it on low flame for about 5 mins. Take it off the flame and let the cool. Right after you keep the pressure cooker on the stove, go to step 2.
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Step 2: Once you keep the rice for cooking, wash 3 tbsp of Toor dal and put it directly into another cooker. You can also use a single cooker for rice and dal. I prefer to cook dal separately for no particular reason. Before closing the lid, add sufficient water and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder. Pressure cook it on low flame for 2 whistles and take it off the heat. Let it cool.
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Step 3: Wash and peel 4 carrots. Chop them evenly.Take a few curry leaves and chop them as well. Heat a pan. Add about 1 tbsp of oil. To the heated oil, add 1 tsp of  mustard seeds and 1 tsp of Urad dal. Fry till mustard seed crackle. To this add, 2 red chillies, torn. Fry till red chillies swell and then add the curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds and add the chopped carrots. Stir it for a min. Add salt to taste and stir again. To this add sufficient water for carrot to cook. I added about 3/4 cup of water. This quantity may vary. Start with 1/2 cup if required add more at later stage. Close it with a lid and let it cook. It took roughly about 10 mins to cook.

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Step 4: Cut 1 tomato into 4 parts. Grind it along with 1 and 1/2 tsp of rasam powder to get a smooth paste. Do not add water while grinding.
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Step 5: I’m sure the cooker containing dal would have lost the pressure by now. Transfer the dal into another vessel along with the water and smash them lightly. Keep the vessel on medium heat. Bring it to boil. To this add salt according to your taste. Once it boils, add the tomato paste and boil once again. Once it boils, keep it on low flame. Add water for a watery consistency.
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Step 6: Grate about 2 tbsp of coconut. Chop a small bunch of coriander leaves to get about 2 tbsp of it. Keep a few curry leaves handy.
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Step 7: Add half the chopped coriander leaves to the rasam. Also add the curry leaves and boil for 2-3 mins. Take it off heat.
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Step 8: Add the grated coconut and remaining coriander leaves to the carrot palya. Mix them well. Carrot palya is ready.
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Step 9: The seasoning. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of ghee. To this add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp of jeera (cumin seeds). Once mustard seeds crackle, add a pinch of hing. Take it off heat and add it to the rasam. That sizzling sound and the aroma of spices as the seasoning hits the rasam, is pure bliss! To preserve the aroma, immediately close it with a lid. Rasam is also ready.
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Step 10: By the now, the rice is also done. And the clock will say your time is up! Serve the lunch hot!
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I have it all place on the dinning table and ready to eat! Bon appetit!