Saturday, August 21, 2010

Phaagil or Kaakroll or Teasel Gourd Side Dish in a Milk based gravy

Phaagil in Konkani, Kaakroll in Bengali, Teasel Gourd in English, I am a great fan of this seasonal veggie. Amma used to tawa fry coating it with semolina and we would gulp in one after the other. Rawa fry is ofcourse time consuming. Typical me is always on the lookout for easy recipes for weekday juggling.

When in Kolkata, we were 5 ladies' group to have lunch together. 4 of us used to bring lunch from home and it was like a picnic daily. When Abbas would ask at the end of the day, what I had for lunch, I would go on and on with around 10-12 dishes! We would talk about everything under the sun, right from current affairs to parenting to sharing recipes to office gossip to politics to .... just everything. Post lunch we would walk out of the office campus to have tender coconut water. One of them, Amrita, had brought this dish and it instantly became my favourite. Here goes the recipe:


Teasel Gourds - 5-6, sliced into rounds
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tbsp


1. Heat oil in a pan. Add salt and turmeric powder and the teasel gourd rings. Reduce the flame, put on the lid and let it cook for a while. Once they lightly brown, and half cooked, remove from oil and keep aside.

2. Add ginger paste to the same oil and saute till raw smell goes away.

3. Add the fried gourd rings, milk. Adjust salt if required. Cover and cook on low flame till gourd is fully cooked and gravy thickened.

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Tiranga Paratha

I know Independence Day was on 15th August, and I drafted this post on 16th morning. Monday to Friday, I'm literally dancing to the tune 'Ajab Daud Hai, Gajab Daud Hai, Ye Jeena Yaaro Daud Hai'. Abbas was working during EST hours that week and I had given him the responsibility of attaching the food pics and posting it. And hence my dear readers, I end up posting this today!!!  

Independence Day for us all Indians and double celebration for our family coz it's Ma’s birthday. This was the first time ever after my marriage, that Ma was not with us on her birthday. I told Abbas that I would bake a cake and post it on my blog dedicating it to Ma. ‘No’ always rests at the tip of his tongue whenever I propose something. It’s not that he means to say it but it’s as though the word pushes itself out his mouth unable to resist. He likes spending his weekends relaxing by watching TV, taking rest, sleeping. For me its cooking, cleaning, cooking, washing, cooking, buying weekly grocery, did I mention cooking? Yes, I’m such a freak.

I was picking spinach leaves, and as usual my daughters pitched in to offer help. Abbas (irritated with my cooking obsession) says “Today is Independence Day. Nobody is bothered. People send hoards of SMS’s on Diwali, New Year and other festivals. Did we receive a single SMS today? Do you have to be busy with cooking always? Switch on the TV atleast and let the kids watch Independence Day celebrations!” My mind instantly remembered Tiranga Paratha that I had had in my childhood days at my Dad’s friend’s place. I wanted to recreate it and I wouldn’t make the mistake of even mentioning what was going on in my mind. It was a surprise during dinner…

Well, I finally received three Independence Day messages by night and the content was the same… “Freedom in mind, Faith in words, Pride in our hearts and Memories in our soul. Let’s salute the nation on our 63rd Independence Day” I am proud to be an Indian.


Wheat Flour – 2 cups
Maida – 1 cup
Carrot – 2, medium sized, peeled and cut lengthwise into finger sized pieces
Spinach leaves – 1 bunch
Salt to taste
Water to knead dough
Oil – 2 tsp per paratha


1. Boil spinach leaves and carrot with a pinch of salt in water for about 10-15 mins.
2. Once cooled, grind carrot and spinach separately with a little water.
3. Mix 1 cup of wheat flour, salt and carrot paste to knead orange dough. Keep aside.

4. Mix 1 cup of wheat flour, salt and spinach paste to knead green dough. Keep aside.

5. Knead maida with salt and water for the white dough.

6. Roll all three dough and arrange as shown in the below picture.

7. Cut vertically. Using the above measurements, I made 18 parathas.

8. Roll using a rolling pin, fry on a tawa on both sides using a little oil.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mashinga Sange Bajo - Drumstick Fries

We Konkanis can fry just about any veggie on this earth. When they are coated with semolina and tawa fried, they are called Phodis. When they are dipped in either gram flour or rice flour batter and deep fired, they are known as Bajos. This recipe can be tried by using potatoes too as in here. We generally have these as a side with Rice and Dal on the main course. They can be had with tea too, and specially during monsoons, the combo would be a bliss to indulge in. Rice flour gives a crunchy exterior, and I always love to eat the only the exterior if anyone is volunteering to eat the naked drumstick inside... he he


Drumsticks - 2, cut into finger length pieces
Rice flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - to taste
Asafoetida / hing - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Water - just enough to make a thick batter
Oil - for deep frying


1. Mix all the ingredients excpet drumstick to make a thick batter. The batter should not be thin.

2. Heat oil in a kadai on high flame. Dip drumstick pieces in the batter and drop in hot oil. Reduce the flame. Invert the drumstick pieces after some time. Drumstick might take 6-8 to get cooked completely. Just before removing them, increase the flame and take them out using a spotted spoon.

(If you are unsure about the thickness of the batter, use minimal water to make the batter first, and just fry one drumstick piece for the first time and check. Accordingly you may add water again.)

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicken Leg Roast

It was ManTam's 2nd birthday. I had a self-imposed rule of baking two cakes myself as I did on their first birthday. I don't want them to complain after growing up saying “Ek cake se hi kaam chala liya”. Had they not been twins, we would have celebrated their birthdays on separate days and would have cut two separate cakes, right? When we have rest of the affair confined to a single day :-D why not vest some extra energy in baking one more cake? Anyway, apart from the cakes we had Ghee Rice, Kosha Mangsho, and Payesh on the platter. Thought one more dish would make the main course complete. But was looking for something easy and delectable. Marinated chicken legs with a few ‘always present at home’ ingredients and placed in the refrigerator for more than an hour while the rest of the preparations were on. When one of the gas stoves was free, placed the marinated chicken in a kadai, spilling some oil on top of it, put the lid on, flame on sim and all you have to do is infrequent stirring. I did not know what to name this. My dear readers, its left to you. I had seen this recipe long long ago in one of the Kannada TV shows but didn’t remember the exact ingredients or the proportions. Just instinctual ingredients and eye ball measurements did the magic. Try it by varying the recipe (please don’t skip curd) if you like, but don’t forget to name it…


Chicken Legs – 4, make small slits all over
Curd – ½ cup
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – to taste
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste
Tomato sauce – 2 tbsp
Soya sauce – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Browned onions – ½ cup Optional

1. Marinate the chicken legs with all the ingredients except oil and keep in refrigerator for atleast an hour.

2. Place the marinated chicken legs in a kadai, add oil, cook on a low flame with lid on.

3. Due to curd’s presence, water would automatically ooze out sufficient for chicken to cook. No need to add water.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, increase the flame and cook till there is no water content left.

5. You may garnish with browned onions if you wish. Could be served as an appetizer.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010


Maria proposed Roulade as the third Sweet Punch. First thing I did was to seek Google's help to learn the way it is pronounced. It's pronounced as rooh-laad. I was very skeptical about being able to do the challenge as I had a humongous task of moving during the month end. Every weekend we were crazily going house hunting to return disappointed. Going through lot of stress as we had already given notice to the then house owner, worried that we would end up homeless. Finally we zeroed in on a house and were to move on July 24th, Saturday. On Friday morning, my daughter woke up with fever. I planned to take the day off from work and take her to a doc. While walking on the footpath, I suddenly tripped and got a twisted ankle. I knew I had to bake the cake that night or I will have to skip this challenge, coz once I move to a new place it would take some time to settle down. I was too scared to tell Abbas what I had in mind as I was sure he would blast at me if he comes to know. I quietly set out to whisk the batter. Abbas pitched in to the kitchen to see what's happening and gave a furtive glance saying "I don't know what to tell you. You know how hectic tomorrow is going to be, and you are here with sever pain in your ankle, blender clutched in your palm? This is heights of craziness" and left. I just placed the batter in a cake tin and then in the oven, set the timer and went to bed. I was too exhausted myself anyway. I got up in the morning and whipped cream, smeared it on the cake, rolled it using an aluminium foil and kept it in the refrigerator (As the cake was too cold, there were cracks while rolling). After that, didn't know how the day passed packing stuff and moving. We finally reached our new house at 10 PM. Unpacked a few boxes which held things that we immediately needed for the night. I was crazily looking for the cake to place it in the refrigerator but inspite of all our efforts we couldn't locate it. Ma said that the guys from Packer n Movers must have gulped it on the way. I was so sad that all my efforts went in vain. Then next morning, when we unpacked rest of the carton, we found it. I was elated specially after checking that it was till in edible condition. Refrigerated it for some time and we all had it. Abbas said it was my best so far. Pictures are not that good. I have clicked one among all the carton boxes to give the feel of the situation. Anyway, happy that I made it this time too among all hurdles.

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