Mangalorean Egg Curry (Eggs in spicy Coconut gravy)

Mangalorean Egg Curry (Eggs in spicy Coconut gravy)

The Mangalorean Egg Curry is one of the dishes that usually features on my menu whenever I invite eggetarians (ovo-vegetarians) for dinner! It’s quick, simple (since I use coconut milk from a can) and a ‘sure to be a hit’ dish !! I always poach the eggs in the gravy-since I feel that it adds to the taste. But if you don’t like the look-you could boil the egg and then put them into the gravy!

Mangalorean Egg Curry

Ingredients for Mangalore Egg Curry (serves 4-6):
  • Eggs: 6 nos.
  • Potato: 1 medium boiled and diced
  • Onion: 1 big (finely sliced)
  • Tomato: 1 medium (diced)
  • Coconut milk: 1 can (I use the thick one not the ‘lite’)
  • Red chilli powder: 4-6 tsp (depending on our spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 4 tsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1tsp

Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/ jeera: 1/2 tsp

Method: 

  1. Heat the oil in a kadai, add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the turmeric and sliced onions.
  2. Add the salt and fry the onions till they are translucent, then add the diced tomatoes and let it cook.
  3. Add the red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder, potatoes and mix well.
  4. Add the coconut milk and about a cup of water and simmer. Taste the gravy and then reduce the flame.
  5. Carefully break the eggs and drop the contents into the gravy one by one (leaving a little space between each). Cover and cook on a low flame for 6-8 minutes (DO NOT STIR).
  6. Once the eggs are cooked switch off.
  7. Serve the mutta curry (Mangalore Egg Curry) with rice and a side dish.

Note:

For those in a hurry and who don’t have time to make a separate vegetable side dish, you can add different mixed vegetables (add it after frying the onions) like french beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, etc to this dish itself.

The mutta curry also goes well with phulkas/chapathies.


Mullangi Sambar (Radish and lentil curry)

A good way to increase your vegetable intake (or if you are in a hurry and don’t have time to dish out a vegetable sabzi along with the protein) is to be creative and :

  1. try and add it into dishes that you would normally make without vegetables-for example, instead of plain khichdi, upma, biryani,noodles, pasta-add different vegetables (always keep frozen veggies-saves a lot of time)
  2. if you have time-grate vegetables and add it to dosa/idli batter, chapathi/roti dough.
  3. add frozen palak (chopped), methi can also be added to dosa/idli batter, chapathi/roti dough,
  4. add different vegetables(or frozen mixed vegetables) to your gravies/dals/curries

Here’s a recipe for Radish sambar-remember don’t throw away the leaves of the radish. They are edible and can be used as any other greens or try out this ‘radish leaves sabzi‘.Radish Sambar

Mullangi Sambar/ Radish Sambar

Ingredients for Radish Sambar:

  • Tur dal: 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes: 3 small
  • Radish: 2-3 medium chopped into circles or quartered(keep the leaves for another day or make this Sri Lankan Mallung recipe)
  • Onions: 1 medium (cubed)
  • Sambar powder: 2-3 tsp (or to taste)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: to taste
  • Oil: 1 tsp

For tempering:

  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Cumin/jeera seeds: 1tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Chana dal: 1tsp
  • Hing: a pinch
  • Curry leaves: a few

Method:

  1. Take 1.5 cups of water and cook the dal, turmeric along with whole tomatoes(do not chop) in a pressure cooker(three whistles).
  2. In the meanwhile, add the oil into a cooking pot, add the onions and saute till translucent.
  3. Add the chopped radish and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once the pressure drops, open the pressure cooker and take out the whole tomatoes and add to the onions and radish. Mash well.
  5. Add the salt, sambar powder and mix well.
  6. Mash the dal well and then add it to the onion, radish and tomato. Add a cup or two of water (less if you like the sambar thick or more if you want it thin)
  7. Let it boil for 10 minutes.
  8. Switch off. Get the tempering ready (heat the oil, add mustard,jeera,urad+chana dal-when the mustard pops add the curry leaves and hing and switch off).
  9. Add the tempering immediately to the sambar and cover the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve with rice, idli,dosa or you can even have it as a spicy soup.

 


Spicy Peanut-Garlic Chutney Powder

This is one of my husband’s favourite chutney’s and he just cannot stop sprinkling it over everything and anything! I had never tasted it (forget even making it) before I got married and had only heard about it from him(my MIL apparently would always have a batch of it in the house).
My family used more of coconut(milk/paste,etc) for our cooking as we are originally from a small coastal town in South India (Mangalore to be specific, for those who are familiar with India and Indian towns), whereas my hubby’s family is more familiar to using peanuts in their cooking.
He sort of knew what ingredients his mom used for making it and asked me to try it. I tried making it a couple of times and every time he found something wrong with it-it was either not “garlicky enough”(even when I had added 10 garlic cloves!!) or “too pasty”. Finally, fed-up with these comments,I decided to call up my MIL(why didn’t I ever think of it before???? Silly me!!) and ask her how she makes it-that’s when she told me my mistakes:

  • use about 3-4 raw garlic cloves (I used to saute them in a little oil) to get the “garlicky” taste,
  • and use a handful of roasted bengal gram dal(roasted and puffed split chickpeas) which not only adds to the taste but also absorbs the oil from the peanuts (and the moisture from the raw garlic) and hence the result is a “powder”chutney and not a “pasty” chutney!

Over the years,I’ve not only perfected the art of making this chutney powder,but also added my own “healthy” ingredient-flaxseeds!
Ingredients for Peanut Chutney Powder:

  • Roasted peanuts: 1 cup(skinned)
  • Roasted gram dal: 1/2 cup
  • Garlic: 2-3 cloves
  • Flax seed : 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • Turmeric: 1/4th teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon(add more if you want it spicier)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Powder all the ingredients together to get a coarse chutney.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight container and store in the fridge(should keep for about 2 weeks or maybe even more).

You can use it as a chutney or sprinkle a little on noodles/fried rice/salads or mix it with a little yogurt and use as a dip or as a filling inside sandwiches.


Pumpkin and bhindi/ladiesfinger sambar (Palakkad style)

We had this awesome sambar at a friends place during the Diwali weekend. It was made by my friend’s mother and she had used pumpkin and ladiesfinger/okra for the sambar. The family has it’s roots in Palakkad,a town on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Being Palakkad Iyers their cuisine is a unique blend of the cooking styles from both the states (Kerala and Tamil Nadu).
I’ve always used the popular ready-made sambar powder to date and had never made the sambar from scratch(roasting and grinding the masalas). I had to get the recipe and it turned out so well that I’ve decided to make sambar the ‘hard-way’ instead of taking the ‘easy way’ out henceforth.
This sambar is typically made with any two of these seasonal vegetables: ladiesfinger/okra, arabi/taro root, pumpkin, capsicum and drumstick.
Here’s the recipe as given by Ms Sarda Ramakrishnan:

Pumpkin Sambar Palakkad
Ingredients for Palakkad Sambar: (Serves 8)

  • Coriander seeds: 2tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds:1 tbsp
  • Channa dal: 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies: 5
  • Tamarind pulp: walnut sized (soak in water and squeeze out the pulp),
  • Tur dal: 2 cups (finely mashed)
  • Fresh coconut: 1/2 cup grated
  • Pumpkin: 1 cup (cut into 1 and 1/2″ pieces)
  • Ladiesfinger/Okra: 1 cup (cut into 1 and 1/2″ pieces)
  • Hing/asafoetida: 1/2tsp
  • Salt: to taste

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves:5-6 nos.
  • Oil: 2tsp

Method:

  1. Roast the coriander seeds,fenugreek seeds,channa dal and the red chillies in a pan till the fenugreek and channa dal start turning red.
  2. Let it cool and then grind to a fine paste along with the grated coconut.
  3. Cook the pumkin and okra pieces in the tamarind pulp along with salt and enough water till the vegetables are half cooked.
  4. Add the cooked tur dal and the ground masala paste to the vegetables. Add enough water to bring it to a sambar consistency.
  5. Bring the sambar to a boil and add the hing powder.
  6. In a separate pan,heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When it starts to sputter,add the curry leaves.
  7. Pour this tempering over the sambar.
  8. Serve hot with rice.

Mangalore Cucumber and Moong Sprouts Gassi (curry)-Mangalorean Style

Another favorite Mangalorean dish-the sprouted moong/mung and Mangalore cucumber ghassi. Gassi is the Mangalorean term for ‘curry’ or gravy. The Mangalore cucumber is also called the ‘Malabar Cucumber’ is a commonly seen vegetable in South India.

Mangalore cucumber Gassi
Ingredients for Mangalore Cucumber and Moong Sprouts Gassi : 

  • Mangalore Cucumber: 1 medium size
  • Moong Sprouts:200gms
  • Tomato: 1 big or 2 small (chopped)
  • Coconut: 1/2 or 1 cup grated
  • Red chilli powder: 4-5tsp(add more/less according to your tolerance level)
  • Coriander powder: 3tsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/2tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin /Jeera seeds: 1tsp
  • Turmeric:1/4th tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 8-10nos.
  • Garlic: 2-3 crushed

Method:

  1. Wash and cut the Mangalore cucumber into half-scoop out the seeds from the centre(check if it’s bitter, if bitter than make sure you scrape out all the seeds and fibre around it).
  2. Cut them into 1″ cubes. Take a saucepan and cook them along with the sprouts with enough water and a little salt.Cover and cook till the Mangalore cucumber almost turns translucent (or is almost cooked),then add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
  3. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut with the red chilli powder, coriander and cumin/jeera powder to a fine paste.
  4. Add the coconut paste to the saucepan, mix well, test for salt and cook for about 6-8mins.
  5. Switch off.
  6. Take a smaller saucepan/tempering pan and heat the oil, add the mustard,jeera and urad dal. When the mustard starts to sputter, add the turmeric, curry leaves and then the crushed garlic.
  7. Add the tempering to the ghassi. Close the saucepan immediately.
  8. Serve the Mangalore Cucumber and Moong sprouts ghassi with rice and a side dish/chutney.

Kothu Phulka (HEALTHY version of Kothu Parotta)

Traditionally in Tamil Nadu, ‘Kothu Paratha’ is made from ‘parotta’ or the South Indian ‘paratha’ which is a layered paratha made with loads of oil and maida. I did try it out once with frozen Kerala Parotta’s (available in all Indian stores) and I admit that it is sinfully delicious!
The tasty Kothu Parotta never became a regular feature as obviously I had my reservations of using the frozen ‘maida’ (refined flour) oily parotta’s.

Yesterday, I had 3 leftover phulkas (roti’s made whithout oil) from lunch and with it came the idea of the ‘healthy version of the Kothu paratha/ parotta’!! This I have renamed as “Kothu Phulka” !
Kothu Paratha’s are made by tearing up the cooked paratha and then cooking it in a gravy of either meat, chicken or egg. The kothu phulka that I made is with egg. Vegetarians/vegans can omit the egg and make it with just the onion+tomato gravy or replace the egg with tofu. Here are the ingredients for the ‘healthy version of the Kothu Paratha(the Kothu Phulka):

Kothu Parotta Healthy
Ingredients for Kothu Phulka: (Serves 2)

  • Phulkas/whole wheat tortillas: 3-4 nos. ( broken into 1″ pieces)
  • Eggs: 3 nos. (can be substituted with 200gms tofu/paneer or chicken)
  • Red onion: 1 medium or 1/2big (chopped fine)
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium (chopped fine)
  • Green chillies: 1-2nos. slit in half (use more or less according to your spice tolerance)
  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves: 2-3 tbsp (finely chopped)
  •  Red chilli powder: 1-2tsp(again according to your spice tolerance)
  • Coriander powder: 1tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
  • Cumin/jeera: 1tsp
  • Curry leaves: 8-10nos.
  • Turmeric: 1/4th tsp
  • Oil: 1 tsp

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and when it starts popping add the curry leaves.
  2. Then add the turmeric powder,chopped onions, the green chillies and salt and fry till the onions become translucent.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder and the coriander powder and stir till the tomatoes are cooked.
  4. Add the eggs/tofu and mix well. Keep stirring on a low flame till the eggs are almost cooked but not too dry. Test for salt.
  5. Now add the phulka/tortilla pieces and mix well such that the egg/tofu mixture coats all the phulka pieces.
  6. Garnish with lots of cilantro and serve the ‘Kothu Phulka’ piping hot.

For those who want to avoid the egg/tofu-add the phulka pieces directly after the tomatoes are cooked (point 4).
Enjoy this healthy version of the “kothu Paratha” at lunch/dinner, breakfast or even for a Sunday brunch !
It also makes a good lunch box recipe!

Sweta Uchil-Purohit

Online Dietitian India

 


Dal Makhani (low-cal version)

Pulses are a great source of protein. This means they can be particularly important for people who don’t get protein by eating meat, fish or dairy products. Pulses are a good source of iron.Pulses are also a starchy food and add fibre to your meal. Eating a diet high in fibre is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes.

Nothing beats eating dal makhani (with the oodles of butter and cream) with hot rice or chapathis or even naan. We always ate it in restaurants as I had no clue how to make it.I had to try out an alternative way which didn’t have so much butter or cream so that we could enjoy it regularly instead of eating it once in a way. The “better-half” warned that if it doesn’t taste like the restaurant stuff,he wasn’t going to touch it(so much for a supportive husband!).Anyway,I substituted the cream and butter with low-fat milk . I must warn you here-it takes me a good 2 hours to make this dish,but it’s worth the effort every time.Suffice to say that it was eaten by the fussy hubby and it’s been added to his list of dishes that turns out well even without the extra fat!

Some call it Dal Makhani, some say this is Maa ki dal. Well, what’s in a name-it still tastes great 🙂
Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for Dal Makhani (low-calorie version):

  • Whole urad (black matpe beans): 1 cup(soaked overnight)
  • Split bengal gram dal: 1 tablespoon OR 1/2 cup red beans(soaked overnight)
  • Tomatoes: 3 nos.(pureed)
  • Onion: 1/2 medium (preferably red onions),finely chopped
  • Garlic: 2 flakes (finely chopped)
  • Green chilies or 2 nos(slit lengthwise)
  • Low fat milk: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Red chilly powder: 1 or 2 teaspoon(according to taste)
  • Coriander/cilantro leaves-2 tablespoon
  • Curd: 1 tablespoon (whipped)
  • Sugar: 1 teaspoon (optional)
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Discard the water used for soaking the beans/dal overnight.
  2. Put 6 cups of water into a pressure cooker and add Urad,split gram(or red beans),chopped onion,garlic.Cook till one whistle then let it cook on a low flame for about half an hour.( If you don’t have a pressure cooker,cook in a closed saucepan for at least 40-45 minutes).
  3. After half an hour,switch off and let the pressure drop.Then,open and add the tomato puree and the slit green chilies.Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 mins on reduced flame.
  4. Add the milk and cook for 8-10 mins.
  5. Add the red chilly powder,sugar(optional) and salt. Let it cook on low flame for a further 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves and whipped curd.

Question:Which is your favourite high-cal dish that you would love to have in a low-cal version?


Tandoori Fish

Fish is a low-fat high quality protein. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.When buying fish keep in mind “SMASH”: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, and Herring.

Why these fish in particular? These fish are rich in omega 3 fatty acid and they are also low in organic mercury.

Here’s a list of fish that are HIGH in Omega-3’s:
Bass(striped); Herring; Mackerel, Oysters(Pacific); Sablefish(also called black cod);Salmon; Trout(freshwater).
The tandoori masala and the marination seem to camouflage the smell and the result is very tasty too!!You can pick up tandoori masala at any Indian store and if you are a little wary of the ‘red color’ you could opt for the organic version(with no added colors) or make it from scratch with garam masala, ginger-garlic paste,paprika, pepper powder and salt ( I’m not familiar with the actual proportions for each,it’s usually trial and error when I make it). Tandoori Fish when baked or grilled is a healthy way of serving fish. Here are the ingredients for the ‘tandoori fish’:

Tandoori Fish
Ingredients for Tandoori Fish:

  • Fish steaks/fillets (halibut/tilapia/tuna/salmon): 4nos.
  • Tandoori masala: 1-2 tablespoon (use less for milder taste or more if you want it spicier)
  • Yogurt: 2 tablespoon
  • Vinegar: 1tsp
  • Lemon : 1/2
  • Onion : 1/2 medium (chopped into rings)

Method:

  1. Wash the fish well (traditionally fish in India is washed in water,then some tumeric and lemon juice is applied to the pieces and kept for 1/2 an hour,and then washed off again).
  2. Mix the tandoori masala, yogurt and vinegar and taste for salt. If required,add a little salt.
  3. Coat the fish with the tandoori masala and let it marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or you could also shallow fry it in a pan till done.
  5. Squeeze some lime juice over it just before serving.
  6. Serve the tandoori fish with some lemon wedges and some onion rings.

Tofu Bhurji (Scrambled tofu)

Soya or Soy is originally from East Asia, but has recently gained popularity all over the world ever since it’s health benefits were discovered. Recently though, it has been getting some negative reports,but I personally feel that soy in moderation is fine.
The protein in soy is complete(equal to meat) and hence is better than other beans and legumes. There are many products that are made from soy,like soy flour,roasted soy nuts,soy milk, tofu,soy nuggets,etc.
This recipe is from Ms.Meghana Ghatpande(my friend Rohini’s mom and Meghana aunty to the rest of us).
Tofu is just like paneer to see and taste, but more nutritious and healthier as it’s a plant product and made by coagulating soy milk. This makes a good side dish with phulkas and can also be used as a filling inside a sandwich/wrap. It’s basically a protein packed dish,and the mustard,cumin and coriander make this dish oh-so Indian!!

Tofu Bhurji(Scrambled Tofu): Serves 4
Ingredients for Tofu Bhurji:

  • Firm tofu*: 350 gms, cut into small squares or crumbled
  • Onion: 1 medium, finely sliced
  • Tomato: 2 big,finely chopped
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Jeera/Cumin seeds:1/2 teaspoon
  • Dhaniya/Coriander seeds powder: 1teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder:1/4 teaspoon
  • Green chilli: 1 no. (slit length wise)
  • Oil:1 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves/Cilantro:a handful(finely chopped for the garnish)
  • Salt:to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai/pan.
  2. Add the mustard and cumin seeds.
  3. When it starts to crackle and pop,add the sliced onions,salt and saute till it becomes translucent.
  4. Add the turmeric, cumin powder,slit green chilli,tomato pieces and saute till it gets cooked.
  5. Add the tofu,stir for a couple of minutes.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with phulkas.

*While buying the tofu for this dish,pick up the firm tofu if possible(as the silken/soft tofu are more suited for making dips).


Pongal/Khichdi (Indian Lentil and Rice Risotto)

Pongal is both a festival as well as a dish. In Tamil Nadu (a state in South India)it is the “harvest festival” and the dish is made on this day(I suspect, that is why they both share the same name)! There are actually two versions to this dish-the sweet one(sakkarai pongal) and the spicy one(khara pongal).
As a kid I would insist that my mom made only the sweet pongal(blame my sweet tooth for it) and subsequently, I almost forgot what the spicy version tasted like.It was much later when I started my career as a Dietitian,that I was re-introduced to the khara pongal, as it was on the breakfast menu for the patients.Again, having rice for breakfast was new to me and I tried my best to avoid it for a while.Then my seniors decided that they had to make me try it, and one fine morning(I still remember that it was a cold, rainy, Friday morning) I was ordered to taste it.So,there was me,squirming in my seat when the cook brought me a tasting cup of steaming hot pongal and another cup of raitha. Duty called(it was a rule that the dietitians had to taste the food before it could be sent to the patients) and so I took the spoon and dipped it into the cup and took a little(I was after all JUST tasting) and tasted it-and my,my, it was the tastiest pongal I had eaten. I ended up finishing the whole cup(even though I had eaten a substantial breakfast at home) and have ever since become a pongal fan!! After that I would bug mom to make the khara pongal at regular intervals.
The recipe is quite easy and if you want to up the nutritional value,you could add your favourite veggies to this rice+lentil dish.The cook at the hospital even shared a secret(that even my mom didn’t know)-just before serving the dish,mix a cup of hot milk for a nice flavour(and for some added calcium indeed)!! Vegans can omit the milk.
Ingredients for Khara Pongal/Khichdi: (Serves 3)

  • Rice:1/2 cup
  • Split mung dal: 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies: 1 or two(slit lengthwise)
  • Ginger:1″ piece(chopped fine)
  • Turmeric:1/2 teaspoon
  • Milk:1 cup(optional)
  • Mustard seeds:1/2teaspoon
  • Zeera/Cumin seeds:1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal(dehusked and split black matpe bean)-1/2 teaspoon
  • Chana dal/Bengal gram dal: 1 teaspoon
  • Peppercorns: 5-6
  • Curry leaves:3-4
  • Oil: 1 teaspoon
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Wash the rice and mung dal separately and let it soak in water for 10-15 mins.
  2. In the meanwhile,heat the oil in a pressure cooker, then add the mustard,cumin seeds,urad dal, chana dal, and peppercorns.
  3. When the mustard starts to sputter,add the curry leaves, the chopped ginger and the turmeric.
  4. Stir the ginger till it turns slightly brown,then add the chopped onions and the green chillies. Fry till the onions are translucent.
  5. Drain the water from the mung and rice,add the mung dal and saute for 2-3 mins on medium heat. Then add the rice and again stir for a minute.
  6. Add a little more than 3 cups of water and salt, mix and close the lid of the pressure cooker and let it cook for about 3 whistles. (If you have a rice cooker,then transfer the contents to a rice cooker and cook till the rice and dal are well cooked).
  7. Once it is done,mix well (the dal should be completely mashed).
  8. Just before serving mix the hot milk(optional, and check for salt) and serve piping hot with either raitha or chutney(we ate it with the tomatilla chutney ).