The taste buds beckon again! And this time they’d also like something different please. So what do you do? What dish could possibly be rustled up in a jiffy to bring a smile to the family’s face and joy to the stomach.
Since the stomach is where the action is, here are a few selected culinary delights from Karen Anand’s collection. Read on… These mouth watering delights will definitely make you give your kitchen another dekho.
Fish with Fenugreek (Methi Macchi)
- 500g fish slices.
- salt to taste.
- 3 tbsp lime juice.
- 2 cups spinach, washed and cut.
- 2 cups fresh fenugreek leaves.
- 2 onions.
- 8–10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole.
- 2–3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
- 3 green chilies.
- 1 tsp coriander powder.
- 1 tsp cumin powder.
- 1/4 tsp turmeric.
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder.
Wash the fish and marinate with salt and lemon juice. Keep aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the spinach, fenugreek, onions, garlic, tomatoes and green chillies in a blender until smooth. Put this paste unto a vessel and cook on a low flame, stirring continuously until thick. add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chilli powder. Check seasoning. Drain the fish and pat dry. Add to the puree. Stir once and cook covered on a low flame until the gravy thickens and sticks to the fish (about 12–15 minutes).
You can also do the whole process in a heatproof dish in the oven. If there is any excess liquid in the dish, cook uncovered just before serving to dry up the water.
- 4 cups water.
- 6–8 pieces kokum (more if the kokum is dry).
- salt to taste.
- 1/4 tsp grated ginger.
- 1 onion chopped fine.
- 2 green chilies, slit.
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped fine.
Boil the kokum for 10 minutes. Cool. Strain the liquid. Add salt, ginger, onion, chillies and coriander and refrigerate until needed. Kokum saar can be kept for at least a couple of weeks in the fridge. It is an excellent appetiser, popular on the Konkan coast to coast cool down the effect of those fiery fish curries. I also serve it with steamed seafood and with raw oysters instead of lemon or any vinegar based dressing.
Sol kadi is a derivative, which can be served in the same way. Here kokum pieces are added to coconut milk (no heat) along with salt, a hint of garlic and green chillis the mixture is left infuse for at least 5–10 minutes. It is strained and can be served garnished with chopped coriander and is best served very chilled.
Kolhapuri Style Brinjal
- 1/2 kg small brinjals, slit crosswise.
- 2 large onions.
- 1/2 cup dry coconut, grated lightly roasted till golden.
- 1 tsp garlic paste.
- 1 tsp ginger paste.
- 1/2 cup fresh, chopped coriander.
- 2 tsp Kolhapuri masala.
- 1/2 tsp ginger–garlic paste.
- 1 onion, chopped fine.
- 1 cup water.
- salt to taste.
Grind onions, coconut, garlic, paste, ginger paste, coriander and kolhapuri masala to a fine paste. Fill this in the cross slits of the brinjals. Place them in a large skillet or work with a cup of water, ginger–garlic paste, a chopped onion and salt to taste. Cook covered on a medium flame until tender (about 10 minutes).
This recipe is also excellent with prawns, either dry or fresh. If you are using dry prawns, grind them along with the masala paste which you stuff into the brinjals. If you are using fresh prawns, add them at the end of cooking stirred into the gravy. For dry prawns, you will need 3 tablespoons (small variety). For fresh prawns, choose small ones, about 200g. which you peel and devein completely.
Kolhapuri Style Vegetables
You can also replace the brinjal in Kolhapuri style brinjal with mixed vegetables–cauliflower, peas the potatoes. The other ingredients remain the same. Use steamed vegetables and add a pinch of asafoetida to the dish towards the end of cooking.
- 1 kg firm, white fish, cleaned and cut into slices. If you use a filet of rawas, you can cut it into large chunks since it will have no bones.
- 1/4 cup tamarind pulp.
- salt to taste.
- 4 green chillies, slit.
- 4 cup coconut milk.
- 1/2 fresh coconut, grated.
- 3 tsp Malabar masala.
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
- 10 cloves garlic, coarsely crushed.
1 tbsp fresh green coriander.
Put the masala paste on a slow flame with a little water until it changes color (7 to 10 minutes). If it sticks add a little more water. Add the tamarind pulp, salt to taste, green chilies and lastly the coconut milk. Heat through once, add the fish until it is just cooked (approximately 15 minutes) and serve with hot rice. Garnish with coriander.
Pineapple & Cottage Cheese Chaat
- 1 fresh pineapple.
- 2 tsp chaat masala.
- 1 tbsp honey.
- 1/2 cup mint chopped fine (keep aside a few sprigs for garnishing before chopping).
- 200g cottage cheese cut into 1/2” cubes.
Cut pineapple lengthwise, keeping the green tuft intact, and carefully scoop out the flesh from both sides with a sharp knife, Discard, the core and chop remaining pineapple into 1/2” cubes. Toss the pineapple in a bowl with the chaat masala, honey, mint and cottage cheese.
Serve in the pineapple shell and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint. If chaat masala is not available, replace with a mixture of black salt, pinch of asafoetida, a pinch of dry ginger powder, dry mango powder and roasted cumin. If your pineapple is not very sweet, then increase the quantity of honey.
Potato & Mustard Salad
- 2 cups potatoes, boiled and cut into 1” cubes.
- 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked until smooth.
- 1/2 cup hung curd.
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely sliced and soaked in 1/2 tbsp lime juice.
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped.
- 1 tsp salt.
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard.
- 2 dry red chilli.
- 1/2 tsp cumin.
- 2 tbsp fresh coconut.
Cut the potatoes into cubes while they are still warm. Mix in the spice paste and salt. Stir well and leave to marinate for at least 1/2 hour. Whisk the yogurt and the hung curd until smooth. Add to the potatoes along with the ginger, and coriander. Serve at room temperature.
N.B.: If the yogurt or hung curd is a little sour, add a teaspoon of honey to it while whisking.
- 1/2 kg large ripe tomatoes, peeled chopped.
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp.
- 1/4 cup yellow split dal.
- 1 large onion, sliced.
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed.
- 8 coriander stalks.
- 3 tsp Sambhar Masala.
- 7 1/2 cups water.
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves (do not chop).
- 10 curry leaves.
- 1/4 tsp roasted black mustard seeds.
- 1/4 tsp roasted fenugreek seeds.
- 2–3 tbsp cooked rice (optional).
Put all the ingredients except the dal, coriander leaves, curry roasted mustard and fenugreek into a large pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes to half an hour and strain through a fine sieve. Boil the dal with 1 cup water until the dal is very soft. Add the rasam water to the dal and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt if needed. Serve piping hot, garnished with the coriander leaves, curry leaves, the roasted mustard and fenugreek.
For a more substantial soup which can be a one course, quick lunch, use 1/2 cup of yellow split dal and add to the rasam water as above. In this case, you really don’t need to strain the spices out at all. Add a few tablespoons of cooked rice to the soup.
Roasted Onion Rice
- 2 cup rice.
- 6 onion, roasted.
- 1 tsp oil.
- 1” stick cinnamon.
- 3–4 cloves.
- 2–3 black cardamom.
- 4 1/2 cups water.
- Salt to taste.
Place whole onions in a hot oven. Brush with a little oil and roast on a low to medium temperature until they are golden and soft (around 30–40 minutes). Remove. Cool and discard only the outer skin (which should be charred). Chop the soft onion. Wash rice and place in a pan with the roasted onions, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, water and salt. Cook covered until the rice is done. Add more water if necessary. Serve hot.
Smoked Aubergine Pate (Lean Baingan Ka Bharta)
- 1/2 kg large aubergines.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger.
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic.
- 4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped.
- 3 green chillies, finely chopped.
- 2 tbsp whipped yogurt.
- salt to taste.
- 1 cup fresh coriander finely chopped.
Make a few slits in the aubergines and roast each over a medium gas flame until the skin has charred all over. Alternatively score and put them in a hot oven for about 25 minutes, or until the aubergines are soft. The first method is more laborious but the flavour is better. Cool. Discard the skin and mash the flesh with the back of a fork. Add all the other ingredients to the mashed aubergine. Mix well. Serve at room temperature along with hot tandoori roti and raita.
Fresh Fenugreek salad
- 1 cup fresh fenugreek levels, the smaller the better.
- 1/2 tsp sugar.
- 1/2 tsp salt.
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed.
- green chilli, slit lengthwise.
- 2 tbsp lime juice.
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach, washed, pat dry with a cloth and chop.
- 1/4 cup green coriander, chopped.
- tsp peanut powder.
- 1 tsp roasted sesame seeds.
Add salt, garlic, chilli and lemon juice to the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Wash and dry all the greens. Add the dressing, peanut powder and roasted sesame seeds to the greens. Serve immediately.