Wednesday, June 29, 2011

‘Kanangaa Daadau” Sweet Potato Snack

“Kanangaa” means Sweet Potato in Konkani language.  This humble tuber is available throughout the year and is also easy to prepare and is healthy too.  Recent research recommends sweet potato instead of the regular potato to diabetic patients.

My late sister-in-law had introduced me to this simple and tasty dish. The actual recipe is prepared by boiling the sweet potato and then mashing them to a pulp. And the final “tadka” or seasoning  given on top. It’s as simple as that.

I have made a slight change in the recipe i.e. instead of mashing them I have cut them into cubes as I feel it is more appealing. It is generally said that “you eat with your eyes first”! But, when I am in a hurry, I simply mash it as I know for sure that the taste remains the same (either in cubed or mashed form) !

Sweet Potato Dish - Daadau
Kanangaa Daadau

Sweet Potato - boiled 1
Steamed Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato Steamed
Steamed and cubed Sweet Potato


Sweet potato (boiled or steamed)
1 large
As per taste
For seasoning

3 tsps
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
Green chilies (chopped)
A pinch
For Garnish

Corriander leaves (chopped)
1 tbsp
Grated coconut (optional)
1 tbsp
Lime juice
1 tsp


  1. Cut the boiled or steamed Sweet potato when cooled into cubes and keep aside.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan or kadai.  Add oil and mustard seeds and salt. When the mustard seeds starts spluttering, lower the heat and add the chopped (or slit)green chilies, curry leaves and asafetida.
  3. Now add the boiled and cubed sweet potatoes (keeping the flame low) and mix it gently (so as to prevent the sweet potatoes from getting mashed) for a minute or two.
  4. Remove from flame and garnish with lime juice, coriander leaves and grated coconut.
  5. Serve hot.
Serves: 2

This is a very tasty and healthy evening snack for children as well as adults alike.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Haldi Paana Patholi" (Turmeric Leaf Patholi)

“Haldi Paan” is a Konkani word for Turmeric leaf and “Patholi” is the name of the sweet dish that is prepared by using the Haldi paan. These leaves are very aromatic and this aroma is transferred to the sweet dish. The leaves as such are not eaten.

For the konkanis, however, patholi is a delicacy and is a must in the menu during some of our religious functions for eg. “Vyna Puja” (Gauri Puja) &  Chavathi (Ganesh Chaturthi) to name a few. I believe this must have become a norm as the availability of the leaves is in plenty during the monsoon and these festivals are celebrated during the rainy season.

Steaming hot "Patholi"in a platter

Patholi 4
Steaming hot patholi just out of steamer

Patholi 2
 Haldi Paan with the rice batter and coconut-jaggery filling

Patholi 3
Haldi Paan (with the batter and filling inside) folded and ready for steaming


Turmeric leaves
10 -12
½ cup or about 100gms
Beaten rice (Poha)
½ cup
Coconut scrapings
¾ cup
A pinch
Powdered Jaggery (molasses)
2 tbsps
Cardamom powder
1-2 tsps

Method :

  1. Wash and soak the rice and beaten rice for an hour.
  2. Grind this with a tablespoon of coconut scrapings, salt and half a tablespoon of powdered jaggery to a smooth paste without adding any water.
  3. Mix the remaining (powdered jaggery, coconut scrapings) and cardamom powder and keep aside.
  4. Wash and wipe clean the turmeric leaves and place the leaves with the front side facing upwards.
  5. Divide the ground paste into 10 -12 portions (depending on the quantity of turmeric leaves being used)
  6. Spread the ground paste thinly onto each leaf.
  7. Take little quantity of the jaggery, cardamom & coconut mixture and spread it lengthwise in the centre of the leaf in a straight line and fold the leaf lengthwise.
  8. Follow this procedure for all the leaves. Then, gently place these folded leaves (taking care to see that the batter does not come out from the leaf) in a (preheated) cooker or steamer and steam for about 15 mins.
  9. When done, remove from the cooker /steamer and serve hot.

Instructions for serving:
Patholi is generally served hot as it is (with the leaf) or the leaf can be peeled off and then served. It is eaten with a dollop of ghee (clarified butter) on top of each patholi (after the leaf has been peeled off) as this enhances its taste.

  • I used the organic jaggery (dark colour) instead of the usual golden colour jaggery.
  • If the steaming of these “patholis” is done in the cooker, remove the whistle of the cooker and steam them as you would do for normal “idlis”.
  • Jackfruit patholi is prepared in a slightly different way. The recipe can be found in my earlier posts.

    Idli made from "patholi" batter
    Since I had fewer Haldi paan, I utilised the leftover batter and the coconut jaggery mixture by making idlis.

    I smeared the idli mould with ghee and placed a spoonful of this batter and topped it with the coconut-jaggery mixture and steamed it as I would for the normal idlis. Believe me, it tasted quite good as my hubby gobbled it up in a jiffy!

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Turmeric / Haldi

    Indians are familiar with the word Turmeric or Haldi (as it is known in India) as this is used in their daily cooking in the powder form. It also has a lot of medicinal properties and cosmetic uses too.  It is believed that the regular use of the paste made from the turmeric powder, gram flour and  milk cream with a dash of lime on one's skin especially the face makes it very smooth and glowing. 

    The leaves of this plant are very aromatic. Most people are not aware that the leaves of the turmeric plants are used in the preparation of sweet dish. However, people from the southern region of India especially in villages, are quite familiar with this plant as these are grown in their backyards in almost every homes. In cities however, they can be easily grown in pots.

    Turmeric/Haldi PlantĀ 
    This turmeric plant is growing in my balcony

    A year ago I was given this haldi plant by one of my relatives. I found that this plant grows easily and does not require much care. During the rainy season, it flourishes. But since my garden is limited to my balcony, I have to be satisfied with whatever quantity of leaves it puts forth from the limited space available in the pot to prepare the sweet dish!

    Dried Turmeric Roots
    The tender turmeric roots (looks like a ginger root and can be easily mistaken for one) are available in the market and these can be used to grow your own turmeric plant. It is also used in the preparation of pickle. The dried roots can be ground into powder form and used in cooking. The common home remedy for congested nasal passage (blocked nose due to cold) is to burn the dried root at one end and to inhale its smoke through the congested nostril  The blocked nose is cleared immediately. I have tried it myself and can vouch for it.

    As this plant is now growing happily in my balcony, I decided to find out more about this aromatic plant and share with you regarding its uses and also on how to grow them.

    Another variety of turmeric known as “Ambe Haldi” (in Konkani meaning mango turmeric) is also available and this variety as the name suggests, has the aroma of a mango and is yellowish orange in colour.

    This humble ingredient has various benefits. You may find the following links useful.

    Source :

    Watch out for my next post on the sweet dish prepared from this aromatic leaf.

    Saturday, June 11, 2011

    Safari - Part II – Nagarhole

    Nagarhole is about 11/2 hours drive from Kabini. It is also a wild life Sanctuary. Here, it is said that the sighting of elephants is guaranteed. We were really lucky enough to sight five elephants (three on one side of the road and two on the other) late in the day. But our luck seem to have disappeared suddenly. Cause, at that precise moment, my camera displayed “Battery empty”. And as though this was not enough, my husband’s camera was displaying “use the flash” and he dare not use “the flash” as the elephants were pretty close (to our jeep) for comfort and the sudden use of flash may annoy them and they could come charging.

    My husband somehow managed to click a Tusker (who was camera shy) a little earlier in the day.

    I however, had to be satisfied with the pictures of flora on the following day after the batteries were recharged. Fortunately the place where we stayed (King’s Sanctuary) was fantastic with a lot of greenery and exotic plants and flowers. I am sharing these with you.

    Nagarhole -Kings Sanctuary
    The sight that greeted us when we entered the gates of King's Sanctuary

    Nagarhole -Tusker
       Tusker - picture borrowed from my husband

    Crested Serpent Eagle - Picture borrowed from my husband

    Bird of Paradise
     Bird of Paradise
    Heleconia ( Lobster claw)
    Heliconia (Lobster Claw)

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Safari - Part I - Kabini

    Hi ! Friends – Last month (May 2011) was quite busy in the sense that a lot of family functions were lined up and as you all know during these times, relatives meet after a long gap and naturally after the event is over generally we tend to spend whatever time left to get together and make the most of it.

    So, this time too, we (me & my hubby) along with my cousin’s family planned a short trip to Kabini, Nagarhole and Coorg.

    We just returned from this wonderful vacation and came back rejuvenated. We have always loved the nature and wild life. The greenery is amazing and the natural beauty of these places is something to cherish especially after a few showers.

    In this post I would like to share the wild life that we spotted during our safaris (jeep as well as boat) in Kabini. We spotted so many birds that it is difficult to upload all the pictures.

    We were greeted by this heavenly sight at the Kabini Jungle Lodges and Resorts.

    Kabini-Elephant &baby
    Mom & Baby  - I borrowed this picture from my husband 

    Spot Billed Duck 1
    Spot Billed Duck

    Night Heron 1
    Night Heron - Isn't he cute?

    Kabini-Grey heron2
    Grey Heron - Picture borrowed from my husband

    Apart from these animals and birds, we also saw sloth bear (unfortunately no picture), Gaur (Indian Bison), wild boar, Ibis (both black as well as white), egrets (little  as well as great egret), Osprey (Migratory bird from Scotland), peacock, cormorants, kingfisher, painted stork, open billed stork etc.

     Watch out for the Part II of Safari at Nagarhole