Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stuffed Okra

“Okra” or “ Lady’s finger” or “ Bhendi” (in Hindi) is generally available throughout the year. A variety of dishes can be prepared from this wonderful green vegetable.

This Maharashtrian dish is not only tasty and attractive.but also quite easy to prepare. Try it out.

Stuffed Okra 1


250 gms tender Okra (lady’s fingers)

For Filling:

3tbsps Gram flour

1 tsp Chilly powder

1 tsp Garam Masala

½ tsp – sugar

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

2 tbsps oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

A pinch asafetida

½ tsp turmeric powder

For Garnishing:

1 tbsp coriander leaves

1 tbsp grated coconut


  1. Wash the Okra (lady’s fingers) and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Cut off the edges and make a slit in the centre lengthwise into each one of them.
  2. Mix all the filling items in a bowl to form a thick paste. Take a little of this paste and stuff it well into each okra slits.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow pan or Kadai. Add to it the seasoning ingredients. When the mustard seeds stops spluttering, add the stuffed okra one by one taking care to see that the stuffing (masala) does not come out.
  4. Cover the pan and cook on low heat. Occasionally stir the okra taking care to see that they are not burnt. Cook till done.
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut.

Serves: 3


  • This dish goes well with Rice & Dal.
  • It is advisable to use non-stick pan/kadai while cooking this dish as no water is added while cooking.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Purple Cabbage Salad

This tasty salad is very quick and easy to prepare and is very healthy too. It is said that cabbage should be eaten raw i.e. in the form of salad rather than cooking, as it loses some of its valuable nutrients. Moreover, no cooking means less work too !

Earlier, I used to prepare this salad in a different way but I found that nothing beats our "desi" type of salad with "desi" ingredients. I learnt this recipe from one of my nieces (from my husband's side). You can spice it up adding more chilies if you so desire. She prepared this once at our place with the green cabbage. I used the same method for the purple one and the result is the same except that the leaves of the purple cabbage are slightly tougher than the green ones - tastewise, they are similar. Try it out and see for yourself.

Purple Cabbage salad


250 gms - Purple Cabbage

1 (large) - Onion

Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

2 tsps - Oil

1 tsp - Mustard seeds

1 tsp - Jeera (cumin) seeds

a pinch - Asafetida

1 or 2 - Green chilly (slit)

1 sprig - Curry leaves

For Garnishing

2 tbsps - Coriander leaves (chopped)

2 tsps - Lime juice


  1. Wash the cabbage and chop it finely. (If you have a food processor, this can be done in a few seconds).
  2. Chop the onions too finely.
  3. In a bowl, mix the chopped cabbage and onion and keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a small pan and add the seasoning ingredients - mustard seeds, cumin seeds and when they start spluttering add the split green chilly, asafetida and curry leaves.
  5. Fry it for a while and then pour the seasoning onto the cabbage and onion mix.
  6. Mix it thoroughly and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and lime juice.
  7. Add salt just before serving and mix well.

Serves: 4


This salad goes well with chapatis or puris.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi fell on 8th September this year (2010). I am a bit late in writing this blog. Nevertheless, I hope I have managed to capture the festive spirit that this festival brings about.

Exactly ten days after Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the fourth day of Bhadrapad (which falls around September) month.This festival is also celebrated through out India in every city, town and village. In some places, people come together and jointly perform this festival which is called “Saarvajanik” Ganesh festival.

Ganesh ( the Elephant God) or Ganapathi or “Vighneshwara” as he is also called means “Controller of obstacles”. Hence before the start of any auspicious activities, the first puja is performed for the Lord Ganesh.

Our Ganesha Puja is held in our ancestral home at Doddamane Katapady, Udupi district, Karnataka.

Ganesha-Katapady 3

Decorated Ganesh idol

All our relatives from nearby towns and villages gather here on this occasion. The Ganesha idol is brought home in the morning around 8.00 and 9.00 am. We have a readymade Mantap for seating the idol. The Mantap is decorated with flowers and two full sugarcane plants which are tied to the front two pillars of the Mantap. This part of the decoration is a must.

Mooda Ganapathi

108 coconuts halved

The Puja and the bhajans go on till around noon while the cooking of the prasadam and lunch preparations go on simultaneously. This year we had also made a special puja called “Mooda Ganapathy” which means offering of 108 coconuts and a specified amount of “Panchakajjai” with special ingredients - black sesame (til) sugarcane pieces, ghee, beaten rice, popped rice powder (Lhaai in Konkani) and honey.

Mooda Ganapathi 1

Pooja being performed

The 108 coconuts are halved and stacked in a big container covered with a red silk cloth and decorated with flowers. Pooja is performed by the Vedic Brahman called “Bhat” (in Konkani).

Pachkatai preparation
Preparation of " Panchakatai" in progress

After the puja, sumptuous lunch prasadam is served on plantain leaves to all family members who have gathered and the special Panchkajjai prasadam is distributed along with the halved coconut to the whole village or anyone who visits the house for the “Darshan of Ganesha”.

The Lunch Menu consisted of :

  1. Yellow pumpkin upkari
  2. Bhuri Saaru
  3. Channa Ghashi
  4. Dalithoy
  5. Six varieties of phodis
  6. Patholi
  7. Pathradau
  8. Khotto
  9. Phova Kheeri
  10. Oondau
  11. Rice
  12. Nonche

Vaaga Vesu

Children performing the "Tiger Dance" in front of the temple

Vaaga Vesu 1

"Vaaga Vesu"

I actually missed their act and only managed to get this picture

As an entertainment, people paint their bodies resembling the bodies of tigers and dance to the drum beats. This is called “Vaaga Vesu” in Konkani which means “Tiger Fancy Dress”. Children too imitate the elders and have fun dancing to the beats which they perform in front of the temple where the Ganesh idol is kept.

Visarjan Puja

Visarjan Puja being performed near the well

In the evening bhajans are sung and later on the “Visarjan Puja” is performed after which the idol is immersed in the well of our compound.

My camera batteries decided it had enough for the day, precisely at this moment and hence I could not photograph the actual immersion of Lord Ganesh.

In our house the idol is kept for one day only. In other places the festivities may go on for three, five, seven or ten days.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Soorna (Yam) Tambude

"Tambude” is a sweet & sour, hot & spicy and of course it goes without saying, a tasty Konkani dish. One can come across this dish during festivals or weddings. It is a sort of a pickle.

This root vegetable is called “Soornu in Konkani, “Elephant Foot Yam” in English and “Suran” in Hindi. Varieties of dishes can be prepared from this tuber.

It cooks quickly though cleaning this tuber might pose a problem for a few. I feel itchy all over my hands if I am not careful while cleaning it. Hence take care.

Once the hard exterior portion which is dark brown in color, is cut off, you will notice the pinkish colour on the inside. After removing the entire hard brown portion, immerse it in water to clean it. If exposed to air for a long time, it will show discoloration.

As soon as it is cleaned, chop it into desired pieces. If for some reason, you need to keep a portion of the cleaned yam (to be used later), then immerse it in a container full of water and refrigerate it. It will retain its color this way.

Soorna (Yam)Thambude 1


Mustard seeds
Methi (fenugreek) seeds
Corriander (dhania) seeds
Dry red chillies
Jaggery (powdered)
Curry leaves

2 tsps
1 tsp
2 tsps
8 or 9
½ tsp
½ tsp
A big marble size lump
To taste
2 tsps
1 sprig
3 tsps
11/2 cups


  1. Wash and cut the yam into small cubes.
  2. Boil the cubes in water till soft.
  3. Roast in a small quantity of oil – mustard seeds(1 tsp), fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chilies, asafetida and turmeric for about 4-5 mins.
  4. When cooled, grind the above roasted mixture along with tamarind and a little water to a fine paste.
  5. To the cooked yam/suran cubes, add salt and jaggery. Stir well.
  6. Finally add the ground masala. Mix well and allow it to boil. Remove from flame.
  7. Season it with mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil.

Serves : 6


  • Raw Jackfruit Tambude (Kadagi in konkani) is also prepared in the same manner as above.
  • Red Chilies can be added according to ones taste. The red chilies (Byadagi variety) which I generally use are not very hot but give good color to the masala.

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is a very simple, common, and a tasty Indian sweet dish. In earlier days, this used to be one of the first sweet dishes one would generally learn from their mothers. This is also made as “Prasadam” or “Naivedya” (offering to God) during festival time.

I remember during our childhood days when guests would arrive unexpectedly (of course, this is quite unheard of in todays world, what with mobile phones etc), my Mom would quickly prepare this sweet in honour of our guests as all the ingredients are generally available at home.

I had prepared this as "Naivedya" for the recent Janmashtami Puja.



Fine Sooji (Semolina)

1 cup


¾ cup


4 tbsps

Cardamom powder

1 tsp


1 tbsp

Kesar / Saffron (ground in a tbsp of hot water or hot milk)

A pinch / a few strands

Boiling water

1 cup


  1. Fry the sooji/semolina with a tbsp of ghee for about 3-4 minutes on a low flame.
  2. Add boiling water and stir well. Within minutes, all the water will evaporate and the semolina will be cooked and will turn soft.
  3. Now add sugar. Stir constantly while the sugar melts and see that no lumps are formed.
  4. Next add raisins and the ground kesar/saffron. Keep on stirring.
  5. Add the remaining ghee and stir as before till it leaves the sides of the vessel.
  6. Lastly add the cardamom powder and mix well. Remove from flame.
  7. Pour the contents on to a greased plate (smeared with a little ghee) and flatten it evenly with a back of a spoon or ladle.
  8. When cooled, cut it into squares or into diamond shapes.

Makes: around 30 pieces


  • Sheera lasts only for a few days without refrigeration.
  • A few chopped almonds or cashew nuts added to the above recipe also enhances its taste.
  • A variation can be prepared by adding ripened bananas to the above.