Sunday, 31 July 2016




          Moog ududha polo was my father’s favourite dosa. Though a breakfast dish, my mother would make him nice, hot dosas in the evening. When we hungry kids return from school, we would see father so happy at the dining table.

A quick wash later, I delighted in dipping hot pieces of moog ududha polo into crunchy, tangy, hot piyyava gojju. I relished every bite, tapping my feet in joy. After eating 5 or 6, I would be just as hungry as before. Such was the freshness and the texture of the polo with the gojju.

The best thing about this dosa, other than the vegetable protein is that diabetics can safely enjoy this tasty dish to their heart’s content since it contains neither rice nor wheat.

Ingredients (for 4 large servings):

     1)    Mung beans (green grams – moog in Konkani and cherupayar in Malayalam) – 150 gm.
     2)    Urud dal (black gram lentils – ududha dali in Konkani and uzhunnu parippe in Malayalam) – 150 gm.
     3)    Grated coconut – 100 gm.
     4)    Hot green chilies – 15 gm.
     5)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     6)    Fresh ginger – ½ inch piece.
     7)    Salt – 5 gm.
     8)    Water – 750 ml.
     9)    Coconut oil – to grease the pan

To prepare:

          Soak the first two ingredients in water overnight (at least 6 hours). Rinse well twice or thrice in tap water.

Drain off the water and transfer to your food processor. Tip in the coconut, the green chilies, the ginger, the curry leaves and the salt. Add enough water to grind to fine paste.

          If the food processor is smaller, you can grind in 2 or 3 batches. Take care to use exactly 750 ml. of water for the entire process. Transfer the batter to a vessel.

To cook:

A 75 ml. ladle will hold enough batter for a perfect thin dosa. Set a cast-iron dosa pan or a flat wide pan (or two) on high heat. Stir the batter well.

As soon as the pan is hot, grease it with coconut oil (if you are using a non-stick pan, do not grease it but drizzle the oil onto the dosa) and pour in a ladle of batter in the centre. Move the bottom of the ladle lightly from the centre to the sides of the pan in widening circles to make a beautiful paper-thin dosa. Turn down the heat and cover with a cloche.

As soon as the batter is cooked (a minute or two depending on heat and pan), lift up the cloche and let the dosa take its time to roast a little bit. Serve delicious, fresh, hot moog ududha polos with crunchy piyyava gojju or with coconut chutney. Eat polo after polo and enjoy!


          It is best if you use the cast iron pan greased with coconut oil to get the full taste of this stimulating dish. However, you can use any other cooking oil as well. The cast iron pan also infuses tiny doses of soluble iron in your meal for good health.

Friday, 29 July 2016




     1)    Fully ripe Nendran bananas – 2 Nos.
     2)    Powdered sugar (icing sugar) – 1 teaspoon
     3)    Butter – 1 tablespoon

To cook:

          Peel the bananas. If the bananas are small, cut lengthwise into halves. If they are large, cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 slices. Set a flat pan on high heat and tip in the butter. Gently place the banana slices side by side, taking care not to crowd the pan.

          Turn down the heat and let the bananas cook and roast slowly. Turn gently after 5 minutes and dust a little bit of powdered sugar on the roasted side. Another 5 minutes and your delicious snack is done. Dust a little more sugar if you so wish. Enjoy warm, by itself or with breakfast or tea.

Butter Banana with Mooga Usli and Toast


     1)    For beauty, it is good to make butter banana in a non-stick pan. For even better taste and health however, you might prefer to use a cast-iron pan.

     2)    The riper the banana (with blackening skin), the better the taste as well as the medicinal property. You also need less sugar or no sugar at all.


          Please use organic Nendran bananas whenever possible.




     1)    Fully ripe, medium sized Nendran bananas – 4 Nos.

     2)    Sugar – 1 tablespoon
     3)    Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tablespoon
     4)    Cardamom – 2 pods

To cook:

          Peel the bananas. Slice them across roughly to 1 cm. thick pieces (alternatively, you can chop them to small bits of any shape as well) and set aside. Peel the cardamom and crush the seeds to powder.

          Set a cast-iron wok or a non-stick pan on high heat. Pour in the ghee and tip in the bananas. Turn down the heat to medium and let the bananas roast slowly. Stir gently but frequently, taking care not to let the bananas burn at the base.

As soon as they turn a light brown, tip in the sugar and stir as before for 5 minutes. Now, sprinkle the cardamom powder, stir and switch off the heat. Your delicious kele thoop sakkar is ready to serve. Serve hot by itself or as a side dish to breakfast or as a dessert. Try serving with Upma and Songe or with Vegetable Upma.



          Organic Nendran bananas are among the most nutritious of fruits. They are a great help to people suffering from anaemia, underweight problems and constipation. They help make up vitamin deficiency in children and help pregnant mothers have bonny babies.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016





          Nearly all celebrations in Kerala are enjoyed with a sumptuous feast and every banana leaf spread is incomplete without the fragrant, delightful sambar. This enchanting curry entrances Indians and foreigners alike, sparking the pang of hunger in one’s stomach and filling one’s mouth with saliva.

          Sambar is prepared in many different ways, each seemingly better than the other (see my saambar recipe and my roasted coconut saambar recipe). Okra sambar is one of the finest of sambars and will bestow you with an excellent appetite, good digestion and great cheer.

Ingredients for roasting the masala:

     1)    Onion – 100 gm.
     2)    Coriander seeds – 20 gm.
     3)    Garlic – 5 gm. (7 to 8 cloves)
     4)    Fenugreek – 2 gm.
     5)    Grated coconut – 120 gm.
     6)    Dry Kashmiri chilies – 25 gm.
     7)    Curry leaves – 1 sprig
     8)    Tor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) – 30 gm.

Ingredients for cooking:

     1)    Tender okra (Ladies’ Finger, also Vendakka in Malayalam/ Bhindi in Hindi/ Bhànde in Konkani) – 350 gm.
     2)    Potato – 100 gm.
     3)    Onion – 100 gm.
     4)    Tomato – 100 gm.
     5)    Tamarind – 30 gm.
     6)    Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
     7)    Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
     8)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     9)    Water – 1½ litres
     10)     Powdered salt – 12 gm. (2 teaspoons)
     11)     Turmeric powder – 2 gm. (1/2 teaspoon)
     12)     Asafoetida powder – 2 gm. (1/2 teaspoon)
     13)     Coriander leaves – 1 sprig (for garnish, optional)

To roast the masala:

          Peel and chop the onion (100 gm.) to superfine pieces and transfer to a pan or wok. Tip in the rest of the ingredients for roasting and set on high heat. Stir frequently till the mixture starts to roast.

Now turn down the heat and continue to stir until the grated coconut starts to turn a light brown. Switch off the heat (so that the mixture does not burn or blacken) and transfer the roast to your food processor. Pour in half a litre of water and grind to fine paste.

To prepare:

Soak the tamarind in 250 ml. of warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze nicely with your fingers until the pulp dissolves in the water. Discard the fibres and seeds, if any, and set aside the tamarind juice.

          Peel the potato and the onion. Chop the onion, the potato and the tomato roughly into chunks. Discard the hard stems of the okra and cut each into 2 or 3 pieces (Tiny, thin, tender, finger length okra such as those available in Maharashtra need not be cut to pieces at all. Removing the stems will do).

To cook:

Set a deep curry vessel on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish bursting, tip in the curry leaves. Stir once and chuck in the chopped vegetables. Stir once more and tip in the ground paste together with the remaining water (750 ml.)

Pour in the tamarind juice and stir well. Now tip in the powdered salt and the turmeric powder. Stir occasionally till it comes to a boil. Lower the heat and cover with a lid. Let the sambar cook slowly.

10 minutes later, check to see if the potato chunks are cooked. They should be soft and will cut easily with a ladle. If they are still hard, let cook for another 5 minutes (the cooking time may vary a bit depending on the heat, the vessel, the vegetables and the ambient temperature).

As soon as the potato is cooked, tip in the asafoetida powder. Stir and switch off the heat. Your ultra-delicious, mouthwatering okra sambar is now ready to serve.

Garnish hot sambar with chopped coriander leaves for even more aroma. Serve with hot rice, idlis, dosas, vadas, havishyanne, chappatis, or with freshly baked bread.


Monday, 25 July 2016



Ingredients (for 5 large servings):

     1)    Ripe tomatoes – 1 kg.

     2)    Onion – 120 gm. (see tip no. 2)
     3)    Cloves – 5 Nos.
     4)    Cinnamon stick – 1-inch piece
     5)    Cardamom pods – 2 Nos.
     6)    Cornflour – 20 gm.
     7)    Sugar – 40 gm. (see tip no. 2)
     8)    Salt – 12 gm.
     9)    Pepper powder – 2 gm. (½ teaspoon)
     10)     Garam masala powder – 5 gm. (1 teaspoon)
     11)     Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 teaspoon
     12)     Water – 1 litre

To cook:

          Peel the onion. Chop the onion and the tomatoes roughly to pieces. Transfer to a pressure cooker. Tip in the cinnamon, the cardamom and the cloves. Pour in 250 ml. of water and close the lid. Set the cooker on high heat.

As soon as you hear the first whistle, turn down the heat and let cook for 5 minutes. Now turn off the heat and allow the cooker to cool naturally (this gives the tomatoes enough time to cook perfectly). As soon as the cooker is cool enough to open, put a suitable fine-meshed stainless steel strainer or colander over the soup pan.

Pour the contents of the cooker into the strainer. Leave it there to cool down enough to be ready for grinding. Put the contents of the strainer into the food processor and grind to fine paste. Pour the paste back into the strainer and press and knead it with your fingers to strain all the tomato juice into the soup pan. Pour the remaining water over the chaff (pomace) and squeeze out the final drops of juice.

Tip the cornflour, the sugar and the salt into the soup pan and set it on high heat. Stir continuously so as to avoid burning at the base. As soon as it comes to a boil, put in the garam masala powder and the pepper powder. Stir well for 3 to 4 minutes, by which time, the soup will thicken nicely.

Now tip in the ghee and switch off the heat. Your mouthwatering tomato soup is now ready to serve. Serve hot with toast.

Bon appétit!!!


     1)    I have kept this soup mild so that even children can drink it to their heart’s content. If you want it spicier, just add more pepper powder.

     2)    This soup is a great relief for persons suffering from fever, flu, bronchitis or pneumonia. In such cases, substitute the onions with shallots and the sugar with rock candy to get instant relief. Add more pepper powder if necessary.

     3)    Persons either medically advised or just wanting to omit tomato seeds can cook this recipe after weighing 1 kg. of cut tomatoes without the seed core.

Sunday, 24 July 2016




     1)    Mature breadfruit (Jivé Kadgi in Konkani, Kadachakka, Bilathichakka, Bambuchakka or Sheemachakka in Malayalam) – 1100 gm.
     2)    Hot red chili powder – 20 gm.
     3)    Asafoetida powder – ¼ teaspoon
     4)    Putte podi or roasted rice powder – 100 gm. (weigh separately two measures of 50 gm. each)
     5)    Powdered salt – 10 gm.
     6)    Cooking oil – to deep fry

To prepare:

          Peel the breadfruit and cut lengthwise into quarters. Remove the harder gummy core and cut across into neat slices of 10 mm. ( inch) thickness.

Transfer to a deep mixing bowl. Tip in the chili powder, the asafoetida powder, the powdered salt and half of the rice powder (50 gm.). Shake vigorously to coat the slices uniformly. If the slices are too dry to be coated with all the powder, sprinkle a few drops of water and mix in nicely with your fingers (use a glove if you have sensitive skin).

To cook:

          Set a wok or deep frying pan of cooking oil on high heat. Put the remaining (50 gm.) rice powder in a saucer. As soon as the oil is hot (it should not smoke), quickly dip both sides of each slice into the rice powder and slip them into the oil one after the other. Take care not to overcrowd the wok or pan.

          Wait for 2 minutes before turning the slices carefully, trying not to scrape off the rice powder coating. Turn again every few minutes to fry the slices to perfection. Adjust the heat if necessary in order to keep the oil from smoking. After a while (it depends on heat, vessel and number of slices), as you turn the slices, you can feel them getting crisp on the outside. Lift out your delicious jive kadgi podis and drain off the excess oil. Serve hot and enjoy!

          Konkani people generally relish jive kadgi podis for lunch or supper, as a side dish to rice, porridge or cherupayar kanji. I am sure you will love this dish!

Saturday, 23 July 2016



Ingredients (to make two large sandwiches):

     1)    Fully ripe, medium large Nendran bananas – 2 Nos.
     2)    Sugar – 1 tablespoon
     3)    Grated coconut – ¼ cup
     4)    Cardamom pods – 4 Nos.
     5)    Bread – 4 large slices
     6)    Cooking oil – 2 teaspoons
     7)    Butter or ghee – a little bit to grease the sandwich maker / toaster

To make:

          Shell the cardamom. Crush the seeds to powder and set aside. Peel the banana and chop to superfine pieces. Set a non-stick pan on high heat (you can use a regular pan or cast-iron wok, but you will have to double the cooking oil as the banana tends to stick). Pour in the cooking oil and tip in the bananas. Stir frequently.

          As the pan heats up, turn down the heat slightly. Continue to stir till the bananas start to cook. The colour will change from an orange-yellow to an oily yellow as it cooks. Now put in the sugar and stir. As soon as the sugar melts, tip in the grated coconut and stir for 2 minutes. Now throw in the cardamom powder and mix thoroughly.

          The well-cooked mixture will now have thickened and will turn into a ball as you stir. Switch off the heat.

          Grease both inner sides of the sandwich maker / toaster. Put in a slice of bread and spoon in half the banana mix. Place another slice on top and close the lid. Roast till the bread envelope turns golden brown. Make a second sandwich likewise. Your delicious, nutritious Nendran banana sandwich is now ready to eat. Serve hot.



          If you like, you can make nutty sandwiches by including a couple of teaspoons of cashew bits. The bits need to be roasted in cooking oil or butter or ghee just before you put the chopped bananas into the pan.


          Diabetic patients can avoid sugar altogether from this recipe. So long as the banana is fully ripe, your sandwich will taste just fine.

Friday, 22 July 2016




Ingredients (to make around 600 ml.):

     1)    Fresh green lemons or limes – 500 gm.

     2)    Pickle powder – 100 gm.
     3)    Garlic – 2 pods
     4)    Ginger – ½ inch piece
     5)    Hot green chilies – 4 Nos.
     6)    Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon
     7)    Sugar – 25 gm.
     8)    Salt – 80 gm.
     9)    Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
     10)     Citric acid – ½ teaspoon (optional)
     11)     Water – 500 ml.

Homegrown organic green lemons

To prepare:

          Peel the garlic cloves and set aside. Cut the lemons to small pieces of around 1 cm. (½ inch) size and keep aside. Cut each green chili to 2 or 3 pieces and set aside. Peel the ginger, chop it finely and put aside. Pull the curry leaves off their sprigs and set aside.

To cook:

          Set a stainless steel curry vessel on high heat. Pour in 500 ml. of water and tip in the salt. Stir the salt until it dissolver fully. As soon as the solution comes to a boil, tip in the chopped lemon, the sugar and the turmeric powder. Let boil for 5 minutes. Now tip in the chopped ginger, the garlic cloves, the green chili pieces and the pickle powder. Stir well until it mixes in nicely.

          Tip in the curry leaves and stir for a minute. Put in the citric acid and mix nicely (citric acid is not required if you intend to refrigerate the pickle in an airtight jar and to use clean, dry spoons for serving).

Your delicious green lemon pickle is ready now. Switch off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Do not use a lid, for the condensed steam dripping back into the pickle can spoil it. As soon as the pickle has cooled, transfer to a couple of clean, dry, airtight 300 ml. jars.

This cooked pickle does not need to rest as some of the other pickles do, but it tastes even better after marinating for a couple of days. Serve with breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper!



     1)    Green lemon pickle thickens after resting for a few days. If you like using it more as a dipping pickle than as a licking pickle, please dilute it a little bit with water before use.

     2)    Green lemon pickle is one of the best pickles to bring back the taste to your palate. It will make you salivate the moment you open the lid of the jar.

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