Indian Borage (Dodda Patre) Chutney-1

Indian Borage (Plectranthus amboinicus) or Mexican Mint is a medicinal plant grown in most parts of Southern India. In Karnataka, it is called as Dodda Patre. Its fleshy leaves have an Oregano like flavor and are used extensively in cooking and for curing various ailments.

Doddapatre is a hardy plant and grows easily in pots. Most people in Southern India have it in their garden considering its health benefits. A detailed account of its health benefits is available at http://www.urbanmali.com/health-benefits-of-indian-borage-doddapatre/

Here is a recipe for a chutney made from the Dodda Patre leaves that is delicious and very easy to make.

Ingredients

15-20 Dodda Patre leaves washed and dried

1 Red Chili

½ tsp Urad Dal

½ tsp Chana Dal

1 tsp oil

½ cup grated Coconut

½ tsp Tamarind juice

Salt to taste

For the seasoning (optional)

1 tsp oil; 1/4 tsp mustard seeds; 1 red chili

Method

  1. Wash and chop the Dodda Patre leaves.
  2. Heat oil. Add the urad dal and the Chana dal. Add the Red chili. Fry till the dals turn slightly brown. Remove all the dals and the red chili and set aside.
  3. To the same oil, add the chopped Dodda Patre leaves and fry till it wilts and changes color as shown above. Remove and set aside.
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    Fried Indian Borage leaves, dals and red chili

     

  4. Grind the roasted ingredients to a fine paste with the coconut, tamarind and salt.
  5. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the red chili. Add the ground paste, mix well and fry for a minute.

Serve with rice, dosa or chapathi. You could also use it as a sandwich spread.

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Indian Borage Chutney

Mango Raita (Mange Pajji From Coorg)

Mango, the King of Fruits, is a fruit which is tasty, healthy and nutritious. It is a rich source of Vit. A, Beta Carotene and Potassium. Mangoes find their way into many dishes in both their raw and ripe forms. When they are raw, Mangoes are used to make pickles. They are also sun-dried and powdered to form a souring agent called Amchoor.  Come April and the King of Fruits ripens. In the ripe form, they end up being used in soups, salads, curries and desserts.

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Mango, the king of fruits!

In this post, I am sharing a raita made from ripe Mangoes.  This is a great combination of sweet Mango, spices like green chilli, mustard, garlic, ginger, and curd.  This is traditionally served with Coorg Vegetable or Mutton Pulav and Coorg Nei Kool or Ghee Rice. It can also be enjoyed with plain hot rice.

Mange Pajji is yet another favorite recipe from our kitchen. It is very easy to make and tastes delicious. One particular year, during summer, I remember having made it almost every single day! Such is the demand for Mange Pajji at our home! I hope you will like it too.

Here’s how to make Mango Raita or Mange Pajji from Coorg.

Ingredients

1 Mango (well ripened and sweet)

1 Green Chilli, chopped  (if you want it spicy, you could use more)

1 Clove of Garlic, crushed

1/4” piece of Ginger, crushed

¼ tsp of Mustard seeds, crushed

¼ cup Coconut, grated

½ cup fresh Curd (beaten)

Salt to taste

For the seasoning:

1 tsp Oil

¼ tsp Mustard seeds

1 Red chilli, broken into a few pieces

6-8 Curry leaves

Method

  1. Peel the Mango and remove the pulp. If you wish to have the seed in the raita, as we do, leave a little pulp around the seed.
  2. Grind the Mango pulp, green chilli, coconut, garlic, ginger, salt and mustard seeds to a fine paste. Pour this out into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the beaten curd to the above paste. Mix well till it is nicely blended. Add the Mango seed to it. If this mixture is too thick, you could add ¼ cup of water.
  4. Heat oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add the broken red chilli and curry leaves and stir for a few seconds and then turn off the heat. Pour this over the raita and stir well.
  5. Pour it out into a serving dish.

Mango Raita is ready!

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Mango Raita (Mange Pajji From Coorg)

Raw Jackfruit Curry (Mudi Chekke Curry From Coorg)

Since Jackfruit is in season, here’s another recipe using raw Jackfruit from Coorg. This recipe is another delicacy from my home town. In the last post, I shared a recipe for Raw Jackfruit Fry, which is a dry preparation. Should you wish to prepare a curry, here is a recipe. It can be served with Akki Votti, rice or chapati. Here’s what you’ll need to make Raw Jackfruit Curry.

Ingredients

1 small raw Jackfruit (should be very tender and fresh)

¼ cup Black Gram Dal, soaked overnight and cooked with a pinch of salt till done

¼ tsp Turmeric powder

½ tsp Coriander powder

½ tsp Chilli powder

½ tsp Jeera powder

½ tsp Garam Masala (Optional)

1 cup fresh coconut, grated and ground to a fine paste

½ tsp thick tamarind juice

Salt to taste

For the seasoning:

3 tbsps oil

¼ tsp mustard seeds

1 onion finely chopped

8-10 curry leaves

Method

  1. Cut the Jackfruit in half, horizontally and then vertically as shown. If you find the Jackfruit to be too sticky, rub a little cooking oil on your hands. Remove the central hard part. Peel the hard outer layer and cut into small cubes as shown in the picture.
  2. Put the cut pieces into water for 5 minutes. Drain out the water and mix the cut Jackfruit pieces with turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, jeera powder and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  3. Boil the Jackfruit pieces in a little water (1/2 cup) in a pressure pan (3 whistles).
  4. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Next, add the chopped onions and fry till it turns transparent. Now add the curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  5. To this, add the boiled Jackfruit and the cooked black gram with its water. Let this boil for 5-8 minutes. Add the coconut paste and mix well. Cook this mixture for another 5 minutes till the gravy starts to thicken. At this stage, add the tamarind juice and the garam masala and mix well. If the gravy seems too thick, add ½ a cup of water and let the curry boil for a few minutes. Turn off the heat.

Tender Jackfruit curry is ready!

 

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Raw Jackfruit Curry (Muddi Chekke Curry from Coorg)

Raw Jackfruit Fry (Mudi Chekke Bartad From Coorg)

 

In Coorg, as in many other parts of India, Jackfruit is eaten in both raw and ripe forms. Even its seeds are used to make a delicious chutney. In an earlier post, I had shared a recipe using ripe Jackfruit. Here is a recipe that uses tender raw Jackfruit. This recipe is a delicacy at every Coorg table and is best served for breakfast or dinner with Akki Votis or Rice Rotis.

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If you are in India, raw tender Jackfruit will be a common sight as most Jackfruit trees will be laden with fruits as shown above. It will be available in plenty at the local vegetable store. Tender raw Jackfruit is also available frozen or in tins at most stores abroad and it is equally good. Just remember to drain out the water and rinse the pieces in fresh water before using them.

Let’s see how to make this recipe.

To make Raw Jackfruit fry for 4 people, you’ll need:

1 small raw, tender Jackfruit

1/2 cup brown Chickpeas, soaked for 4-5 hours and cooked till tender

½ tsp Mustard seeds

1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped

A few curry leaves

6-8 cloves of Garlic, sliced

2 Green chillies, slit

¼ tsp Turmeric powder

½ tsp Coriander powder

½ tsp Chilli powder

½ tsp Jeera powder

½ tsp Garam Masala (Optional)

3 tbsps grated coconut

2 tsps Lime juice

Salt to taste

3 tbsp Vegetable oil

Method

 

  1. Cut the Jackfruit in half, horizontally and then vertically as shown. If you find the Jackfruit to be too sticky, rub a little cooking oil on your hands. Remove the central hard part. Peel the hard outer layer and cut into small cubes as shown in the picture. Put the cut pieces into water for 5 minutes. Drain out the water and mix the cut Jackfruit pieces with turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, jeera powder and salt. Let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Boil the Jackfruit pieces in a little water (1/2 cup) in a pressure pan (3 whistles). When cool, gently mash the pieces so that the flesh separates.
  3. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add the Curry leaves and the Garlic. Add the slit green chillies. Next, add the chopped onions and fry till it turns transparent.
  4. Add the cooked Jackfruit pieces and the cooked Chickpeas. Mix well. Cook on a slow flame till all the moisture evaporates. Now add the grated coconut and the garam masala and cook for another two minutes. Turn off the heat when done.
  5. Finally, mix in the lime juice.

Jackfruit Fry is ready to savor.

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Raw Jackfruit Fry (Chekke Palya)

 

 

 

Stir Fried Carrots

I believe that the simplest recipes are the best, like all other things in life!

We are all well aware of the nutritional benefits of carrot. Here is a simple recipe using carrots that is a great accompaniment with rice or chapathis.  This recipe retains all the goodness of carrots and it does not have too many spices. Just remember not to overcook the carrots else they will end up being mushy and will lose most of their nutrition.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1/4 kg carrot, washed, peeled and cut as shown in picture below

2 tbsp grated coconut

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

For the seasoning

3 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

8-10 curry leaves

1/4 tsp urad dal (black gram, split)

1 onion, peeled and sliced

1 green chilly, slit

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Chopped Carrots

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the urad dal and fry for a few seconds.
  2. Next add the sliced onions, the curry leaves and the slit green chilly. Fry till the onion turns translucent.
  3. Add the sliced carrots and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on a slow fire till done. Add the grated coconut and mix well. Fry for a few minutes till all the moisture has evaporated. Add salt to taste.

Stir fried carrot is ready to eat!

 

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Stir Fried Carrot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curry Leaves Chutney

Curry leaves (Murraya Koenigii) are an essential part of everyday South Indian cooking. It is a vital ingredient for the seasoning of most dishes. Curry leaves are very healthy and have many medicinal properties. The leaves are an excellent source of iron. They are good for digestion and are used to treat chronic cases of anemia. The juice extracted from the leaves is believed to be good for diabetes.

Here is a recipe using curry leaves that is easy to make and retains the nutritional benefits of curry leaves.

 

Ingredients

1 bundle Curry leaves

2 medium sized Onions, finely chopped

3 tbsp grated copra

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

2 red chillies

1 tbsp powdered jaggery

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp cooking oil

For the seasoning:

½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp oil

Method

  1. Separate the curry leaves from the stalk. Wash the leaves thoroughly and dab dry the additional water.
  2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil. When hot, add the chopped onions and fry till transcluscent. Reduce the flame. Next add the red chillies and fenugreek seeds and stir for a few minutes. Remove the onions, fenugreek and red chillies and set aside.
  3. In the same oil, fry the curry leaves and the grated copra for a minute.
  4. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste. Add salt and jaggery as per taste.
  5. Season the ground paste and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes over a low flame to reduce moisture content. Remember to keep stirring occasionally. Once all the moisture evaporates, the chutney is ready.

Notes:

  • This chutney is ideal as an accompaniment with chapathies, dosas, idlis and rice.
  • This preparation can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Remember to use a dry spoon when you serve it.

 

Steamed Jackfruit Cake (Koovale Puttu)

It is always a challenge to make a snack that is delicious, healthy and nutritious! Here is a recipe from my home land, Coorg, that is all of this and more! It can be made using ripe Jackfruit, when it is in season or ripe Bananas at other times. Since it is steamed, it retains most of the  nutrition. It is a favorite tea-time snack that is savored by the young and old over long conversations of the day’s happenings or of times gone by.

jackfruit_helps_your_heart-_better

Ingredients

1 cup of very ripe Jackfruit pulp (deseed the fruit and puree it in a food processor)

1 cup broken rice (the same size as rava)

¼ cup Sugar

1/2 cup finely grated coconut

3 Cardamoms, powdered

¼ tsp Salt

1 tbsp ghee

A little water, if needed

Banana leaves, cut into 10 cm * 10 cm sections (may require 8-10 such sections)

Method

  1. Wash the broken rice rava.
  2. To that, add the Jackfruit pulp, sugar, salt, cardamom powder, grated coconut and ghee. Mix well and set aside for 15 minutes. If you find the mixture to be too dry, add a little water so that the mixture is moist. Remember that the mixture should not be too watery.
  3. Prepare the banana leaves by passing it over a flame for a few seconds to make it soft and easy to fold.
  4. On each section of the Banana leaf, place two tbsps of the mixture prepared in step 2 and fold the piece as shown in the images below. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

5. Steam these in a steamer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove from the Banana leaf. The Koovale Puttus are ready.

To serve the Koovale puttu, heat it on a griddle with a little ghee and serve hot.
IMG_1758

 

Please do share your experience of making this snack. I would love to hear from you.

Notes:

  1. I have suggested the use of ¼ cup of sugar considering that the Jackfruit is very sweet. If you taste the Jackfruit/Banana that you are using and find it to be not so sweet, you can increase the sugar to ½ cup or more.
  2. The puttus can be kept in the fridge for upto two days.
  3. Koovale Puttus can also be served with a little honey drizzled over it.
  4. You can use Turmeric leaves instead of Banana leaves if you have access to it. It imparts a wonderful fragrance to the puttus.
  5. The name of the recipe is Koovale Puttu as at one point in time in Coorg, the puttus were made using koovale leaves (Schumannianthus virgatus).  Today, since they are difficult to source, we are using Banana leaves.

 

Bitter Gourd Fry

Bitter Gourd is a vegetable that many people love and many people hate! Since it is a vegetable with many medicinal properties, it is a challenge to cook it in a manner that pleases all.

Here is a recipe that enhances the flavors of this vegetable and makes it a treat to eat.

Ingredients

2 Bitter Gourds (medium sized), deseeded and sliced as shown above

1 Medium sized Onion, finely chopped

2 Green chillies, slit

A few curry leaves

1 tbsp jaggery, powdered

1 tbsp coconut, ground

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp tamarind extract

½ tsp garam masala

4 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

salt to taste

Method

Clean bitter gourd and cut into thin pieces as shown in the picture above. Mix with ½ tsp salt and set aside for half an hour.

Take a thick bottomed pan. Fry the sliced bitter gourd for 2-3 minutes on a slow flame till the moisture evaporates and the bitter gourd turns slightly brownish.

In a pressure pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the chopped onions. When the onions turn pink, add the green chillies, and curry leaves and fry for a few minutes.

Add the bitter gourd and stir well. Next, add the turmeric, chilli, coriander and cumin powders. On a slow flame, keep stirring this mixture for a few minutes.

Next, add the coconut paste, jaggery and tamarind extract. Mix well. Adjust the salt as per taste and add the garam masala. Add ¼ cup of water and pressure cook this mixture (usually 2 whistles) till it is well cooked.

Once the pressure cooker cools down, open it and once again cook the bitter gourd mixture on a slow flame and stir till the mixture is dry.

IMG_1486

Bitter Gourd Fry

Black Chickpeas Curry (Kuru Curry From Coorg)

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Here is a simple recipe from Coorg for black chickpeas curry. This dish is a great favorite at home and is loved by all.  This dish is very tasty and nutritious. In Coorg, it is generally served with rice, rice rotis or Akki Votti and Paputtu. It also goes very well with puris, chapathis and dosas.

Let’s learn how to make it.

Ingredients

1 cup black chickpeas (whole bengal gram) soaked overnight

2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped

1 medium sized onion, finely chopped

½ tsp fennel (saunf)

½ tsp coriander seeds

A few sprigs of coriander, finely chopped

¼ cup oil

Grind to a fine paste

4 tbsp grated coconut

1/4” ginger

3 cloves of garlic

1/2” piece of cinnamon

2 cloves

½ tsp fennel

½ tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp chilli power

¼ tsp turmeric powder

Few sprigs of coriander, finely chopped

Few sprigs of mint, finely chopped

Method

  1. Cook the black chickpeas with ½ tsp fennel, ½ tsp whole coriander seeds and 2 cups of water till well cooked. Set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil. Add the onions. When it turns transparent, add the ground masala and fry it till the oil separates (4-5 minutes). Now reduce the flame.
  3. Add the tomatoes and salt. Keep stirring till the tomatoes are well cooked.
  4. To this, add the cooked black chickpeas with its water (1/4 cup). Let the mixture boil well. Keep stirring till the gravy thickens.
  5. Adjust the seasoning and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with puris, chapathis, dosas or rice.

Notes:

  1. If you want a thick gravy, you can limit the water added.
  2. This curry can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. But, it is best when served fresh.

 

Rice and Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) Payasa

Greetings for the new year!

Let’s begin on a sweet note.

Here is a recipe for a sweet dish that is a favourite with everyone at home. This payasa or kheer is moderately sweet and  can be made on festive occasions. It is a very simple recipe that you can get right with very little effort. It can be served hot or cold and tastes great either way.

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Rice and Bengal Gram Payasa

To make this for 4 people, you’ll need the following:

Ingredients

¾ cup Rice

¼ cup Bengal Gram

¼ cup Jaggery, grated (can be increased as per taste)

½ cup Milk

2 tbsp Ghee

¼ cup Raisins and Cashews

Grind:

½ cup Coconut, grated

3 Cardamoms

Method

  1. Wash the rice and the Bengal gram. Cook this with three cups of water in a pressure cooker (4 whistles).
  2. Once done, transfer into a thick bottomed vessel. Add ½ cup of water (should be watery) and let the mixture come to a boil. Keep stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the jaggery by heating it in ¼ cup water. Once done, filter it to remove any impurities.
  4. Let the rice and Bengal gram mixture boil for a few minutes (3-4 minutes). To this, add the melted jaggery. Reduce the flame and let the mixture simmer and keep stirring from time to time.
  5. Next, add the ground coconut paste and stir well. Let the mixture simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Now add milk, mix well and let the mixture simmer for another few minutes.
  7. Finally, fry the raisins and cashews in ghee. Add this to the rice mixture. Stir well and turn off the flame.

Serve the payasa hot or cold as desired.

Enjoy!