On a separate note, Konkani Foodie celebrates its 3rd Anniversary today! I am very elated when I take a step back and look at the journey traversed in a span of three years. The journey has been worthwhile and in restrospect, I have been able to learn a lot about food and nutrition which helps me when I plan meals, cook large batches of food, bake a cake or for that matter plan my grocery list. I also want to thank my Mom and my readers who offer intelligent input and feedback which enables me to learn, improvise and progress.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Byadgi Red Chillies is a peculiar variety of Red Chillies which finds abundant use in Udupi and Konkani GSB cuisine. The thin, tall crinkly Chilli gets its name from a small town Byadgi, located near Haveri district of Karnataka, a state located in South of India. The chilli packs in less heat, is less seeded and provides the distictive red color and flavour to Konkani food. These are also known as Kaddi Chillies (Kaddi = Thin and slender in Kannada). These chillies find lot of demand in South Indian cuisines and are harvested with great aplomb in many central Karnataka districts in India.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Mom often makes Hirwa Thecha – a green herb paste which she uses to combine as a sauce for curries, as chutney for breads and sandwiches, a side dish for rotis and parathas. (Hirwa = Green in Marathi language). I find this paste very handy and a small batch can be used for many different purposes. Traditionally, Coriander leaves, Garlic, toasted Cumin seeds and Green Chillies are ground to a coarse paste and used as per need.
Interestingly, the one Mom makes is a bit different from the traditional one, but nevertheless tastes yummy! I got this recipe from my Ratnagiri Kaaku. We simply loved the multi purpose paste and its abundant use. This paste is not a simple one and don’t be fooled by the timid look and the nice green color. Just a few spoons pack in lot of heat, spice and taste. So I tweak the proportions as necessary. I had a bunch of Mint leaves handy so used them up for this paste. Use tender, light green Coriander stems else use leaves alone.
Every Maharashtrian household has a different way of making this paste. Some grind them coarsely, some make a fine paste. I prefer the smooth paste and also found two methods which are practised in my family - the first one is a regular paste which can be used for Curries and Sauces; the second one which is my favorite one for summer - a spicy sandwich chutney spread. The taste is simply delicious and makes you fall in love with your otherwise regular boring sandwich.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Processing time: 5 minutes
Coriander leaves & stems – 1 cup
Mint leaves (optional) – ½ cup
Green Chillies – 3
Garlic pods – 4
Cumin seeds (optional) – ½ teaspoon
Ginger (chopped) -1 tablespoon
Onion (whole) – 1 medium
Wash Coriander leaves, Mint leaves and stems. Chop them coarsely. Toast the Cumin seeds & Green Chillies lightly on low flame in little oil for couple of minutes. Allow to cool. Be careful as chillies tend to burst open being subjected to excessive heat and pressure. Grind Coriander leaves, Mint leaves, Green Chillies, Garlic (chopped), Ginger (chopped) and Cumin seeds to a fine paste or a coarse paste. Adjust salt as per need. Do not add too much water. Store in a jar and refrigerate. Use within 2 weeks.
Suggested Use: For Curries and Sauces
Wash Coriander leaves, Mint leaves and stems. Chop them coarsely. Toast the Cumin seeds & Green Chillies lightly on low flame in little oil for couple of minutes. Transfer to a separate plate and allow to cool. Now, in the same pan, sauté an Onion split into two in oil. Once lightly crisp and brown transfer to a separate plate and allow to cool. Grind Coriander leaves, Mint leaves, Green Chillies, Garlic (chopped), Ginger (chopped), pan fried Onion and Cumin seeds to a fine paste or a coarse paste. You could add more chillies to increase the spicy flavour of the chutney spread. Adjust salt as per need. Add little or no water while grinding as this paste needs to have a chutney consistency. Refrigerate once done and use within 2-3 days as onion are prone to rapid spoilage.
Suggested Use: For Sandwich as a spread