Monday, July 25, 2011

Purple Cabbage, Radish & Carrot Salad

This is a very healthy, colourful and tasty salad. Now-a-days, salad has become an integral part of our diet in most homes and my home is no exception to this.

Salads when eaten raw is highly beneficial but during the monsoon season it is advisable to refrain from eating them raw instead stir-frying them on a high flame is a better option as it destroys the bacteria that maybe present and at the same time retains its texture and freshness.

The preparation of salad is quite an art. I am learning this by watching various food shows on TV.  Cutting of vegetables is of utmost important especially those like radish, carrots, beetroots etc.

So here is a quick stir-fry salad with the Indian touch to it. In the original recipe, it required a dressing which was poured over the thinly cut raw vegetables.

Red Cabbage, Radish & Carrot salad 2
Purple Cabbage, Radish & Carrot Salad

Red Cabbage, Radish & Carrot salad 4
Vegetables sliced and ready for Stir-Frying


Red Cabbage
1/8 pc
Radish (Mooli)
¼ pc
1 small
Red chilly flakes
1-2 tsps ( or as per taste)
Fresh curry leaves
1 sprig ( you can add more)
To taste
Olive oil
2 tsps
Lime juice
1 tsp
Corriander leaves (chopped)
1 tbsp


Peeling the carrot into ribbon shape

  1. Wash all the vegetables and peel the skins of the radish, carrot and onion. Deseed the capsicum.
  2. Slice the onion and the cabbage thinly. Cut the capsicum into thin strips.
  3. With the help of the peeler, peel the carrot and radish (just as you peeled the skin) so that you get thin peels of ribbon and continue doing so till you get the desired quantity.
  4. Heat olive oil (you can use any other cooking oil too) in a wok/kadai. Keep the flame high.
  5. Add the sliced onions, curry leaves and red chilly flakes. Stir constantly till the onions are translucent.
  6. Add capsicum and red cabbage. Give it a good stir for a minute or two.
  7. Then add the thin peels of radish and carrot. Mix well. Add salt and give it another quick stir and remove from flame.
  8. Finally garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and lime juice.

Cooking time : 5-7 mins
Serves: 2


  • You can substitute ginger or garlic for onions. OR  you can  use all three i.e. onion, ginger and garlic. The choice is yours.
  • This salad goes well with chapattis.
  • For yet another purple cabbage salad, see here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Muskmelon "hershalen" (dessert)

Musk melon is also known as cantaloupe. The Indian name for this fleshy fruit is
 “kharbuz”. In konkani language, this is known as “Chibbad”. However, I have found 
that the  ‘chibbad ‘ variety that is specially available in Karnataka is slightly
different in shape from the  kharbuz that is available elsewhere in India. 'Chibbad" is
elongated while the kharbuz is round in shape. Taste wise too I believe there is a
subtle difference (with my tongue I could not find much) ! People who have been
brought up on chibbad, since childhood probably would find the difference !

My mom used to prepare “hershalen” with this fruit. She used to prepare it by cutting the
melon into tiny cubes/ thin strips. Milk and sugar was then added to the melon pieces
sprinkled with cardamom powder and served chilled. It tasted very refreshing especially 
during the summer.

I have made this "harsahalen" with a slight twist. I have used the melon ball cutter 
instead of cutting them into cubes and made a milkshake with  the remaining melon.

In my earlier post, with  watermelon too, I have made use of this melon ball cutter
to make it more appealing !

 Musk Melon Harshalen (sweet dish)
 Muskmelon hershalen with a twist

Musk Melon /Kharbuz
1 small
11/2 – 2 cups
Sugar (powdered)
2-3 tbsps
Cardamom powder
1 tsp


  1. Wash the melon and cut it into half. Scoop out the pulp.
  2. With the help of melon ball cutter, scoop out as many balls as you can and place them in a bowl.
  3. Then peel off the outer skin of the melon and cut the remaining melon into chunks and place it in the blender. Now add milk and sugar and run the blender for 2 mins or until all the melon pieces have blended well into a smooth milk shake.
  4. It is now ready to be served.

Serves: 4

 Musk Melon 2
Muskmelon cut into half

  Musk Melon balls
Muskmelon ball scoops

Serving suggestion:

Place few melon balls in each of the 4 bowls. Pour the blended mixture over these balls.
and sprinkle cardamom powder on top and serve.

  • This dessert tastes better when chilled.
  • If the musk melon is sweet, you may omit the sugar or add them as per your taste.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bendekayi Gojju (Okra curry)

This is a typical Banglorean dish and a very tasty one too. In kannada language, "bendekayi" means lady's finger or okra as it is also called and "gojju" means curry.

I got this recipe from TOI (Times Of India) some months ago and tried this with a few alterations. Since its  a hit in our family, I do this quite often. Appearance wise, this dish looks like our regular Konkani "Sagle" which all the "Amchis" relish and are familiar with! The similarity however ends here. Tastewise, it differs though both are equally good.  I will leave it to you to try it out and judge for yourself!

Another easy and tasty recipe made form lady's finger is the "Stuffed Okra", which you can see here.

Bendekaayi Gojju


250 gms
Onion (chopped)
1 medium
Grated coconut
1 cup
A marble sized ball
Jaggery powder
1 tsp
Sambhar powder
2 heaped tsp
Coriander leaves
A small bunch
As per taste
Seasoning ingredients

4 tsps
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
A pinch


Okras being Stir-Fried
Ground Masala

  1. Wash the okras and pat them dry with a kitchen towel and after cutting off the edges, cut them into 2”-3” in length and keep aside.
  2. Heat half the oil in a pan (preferably non-stick or a heavy bottomed one) and fry the chopped onions till golden brown in colour. Remove and allow it to cool.
  3. Combine grated coconut, the fried and cooled onions, jaggery, sambhar powder, tamarind and coriander leaves (washed and chopped) in a blender and grind it into a smooth paste.
  4. Heat the same pan (where onions were fried) on medium flame, add the remaining oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing. Once it stops spluttering, add the cut okras and fry them till they are almost cooked. Sprinkle a little water if necessary so that the okras do not stick to the pan.
  5. Add salt and stir fry till they are cooked.
  6. Now add the ground masala. Mix well. Add a little water if necessary. Allow the masala to be absorbed for a few minutes and then remove from flame.
  7. Serve hot.
Serves: 3

  • If the okras or lady's finger are small in size, you can keep them whole (after chopping the ends) and making a slit lengthwise (to check for any worms). I am a little paranoid about this.
  • Stir-Frying the okras is necessary to prevent them from letting out a glue like substance.
  • Instead of the regular tamarind, you can also use the tamarind extract whch is now easily available in the super market - in which case you can use about 1/2 - 3/4 tsp of the tamarind extract.
  • This dish tastes good with rice and dal or rice and curd or even with chapatis.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mergole - Sweet Potato Paaysu

“Mergole” is the Konkani name for this sweet dish made from the tuber Kananga (Konkani), Ratallu (Marathi) or Sweet Potato (English). This is typically a Manglorean or coastal Karnataka dish.  I wanted to make this simple long forgotten paayasu and hence I had kept a small piece aside (after preparing the “Kananga Daaddau”), so that I can share this simple and tasty and easy to prepare dish.

I have used here the coconut milk pack (less work for the lazy me!) instead of the usual coconut gratings wherein you need to grind it with a little water and then strain the juice to make coconut milk. I do admit though that the fresh coconut milk does make a difference to the taste of the dish especially if one is of the “Jibbe Ruchi”  type of person (generally all Amchis are !).

Sweet Potato Paaysu


Sweet Potato (small)
Coconut milk
150 ml (11/2 cup)
Jaggery (molasses) powder
3 tbsps  or as per taste
A pinch
Cardamom powder
1 tsp
Cashews (halved & roasted in ghee)-optional
6 (whole)
Raisins (roasted in ghee) - optional


  1. Wash and skin the sweet potato. Cut it onto small cubes.
  2. Steam the cubed bits in a steamer or boil them in a little water till soft. This should take about 20 mins.
  3. Add salt, jaggery powder and the coconut milk to the boiled sweet potato bits and bring it to a boil.
  4. Finally add the roasted cashews, raisins and cardamom powder. Mix well and remove from flame.
  5. Serve hot.

Serves: 2

Sweet Potato - Raw
Sweet Potato - cut into cubes


  • This dish can be served hot or cold. The choice is yours.
  • Traditionally the sweet potato is cut into cubes (you may grate it if you wish) and the skin is not removed. Here, I removed it as the skin had lot of blemishes.
  • It is advisable to dissolve the powdered jaggery in water and strain it so as to remove any insoluble impurities.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Broken Wheat Pulav

I was recently watching a TV food show wherein, middle-eastern cuisine using “Bulgar Wheat” was being showcased. She used “Bulgar Wheat” and other spices familiar to their country.  I followed the same procedure using instead broken wheat and other ingredients used in our daily Indain cooking. Bulgar wheat is similar to our broken wheat or cracked wheat as it is also called. However pricewise, broken wheat is easier on the pocket !   This is a very tasty, healthy dish and easy to prepare too.

This is a meal by itself and good substitute for rice especially for people with diabetes. This dish is also similar to Broken Wheat Khichadi

Broken wheat Pulav
 Broken wheat pulav garnished with tomato and coriander leaves

Broken wheat pulav 2
Stir Frying mixed vegetables and broken wheat with onion and tomato mix

Broken wheat pulav 3
Pulav ready for garnishing


Broken Wheat
1 cup
Onion (chopped)
1 medium
2 large
Chopped mixed vegetables
1 cup
Green chilies (slit)
2 cups
Oil /Ghee
About 3 tsps
As per taste
For Garnishing:

Corriander leaves (chopped)
1 tbsp
Lemon juice
2 tsps


Broken Wheat
  1. Wash the broken wheat and then soak it in water for an hour. Then drain and keep it aside.
  2. Chop 1 ½ tomatoes and slice the remaining tomato for garnishing. This is optional.
  3. Heat a pan or kadai on a medium flame.  In it add the chopped onions. When the onions become translucent, add slit green chilies and the chopped tomatoes. Stir it and cover it for a while (on a low flame) until the tomatoes have turned soft.
  4. Now to this add the drained broken wheat and the chopped mixed vegetables. Mix well. Fry it for few minutes. Than add 2 cups of water and salt. At this point increase the flame and cover it with a lid. Once the water starts to boil lower the flame and let it cook (with the lid covered) for about 20 mins.
  5. Check to see that the broken wheat is cooked. Once it is cooked, remove from flame.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves, lemon juice and tomato slices. Serve Hot.
Serves : 2

    • This is a very plain basic pulav.  Any raita is a good accompaniment to this dish.
    • For mixed vegetables, I used cauliflower, potato, carrot, capsicum, and frozen green peas and corn. You can use any vegetables of your choice.
    • Variations can be made by adding different masalas – you can add ginger-garlic paste and whole garam masala (cinnamon, cloves, tejpatta, and cardamom). Or you can use the garam masala powder.
    • Another variation is by using sambhar powder.