Category Archives: konkani

Daikon Radish Salad with Coconut (Koshimbir)

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Hello! This post features daikon radish that we harvested yesterday at Muir Ranch. The radish is a bit smaller than usually found in the store, but tastes so yummy. It’s funny that one is spicier than the other. When shopping for daikon, look for firm specimens that aren’t too big – stick to less than 12″. I like to see some leaves growing on the end (these can be cooked too – I’ll try to post some recipes for these later) but it’s not necessary. If you do have greens growing on the end, trim them when you get home if you won’t be using the radish in the next day or two. This will keep the radish fresh longer. This goes for beets and carrots too.

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The recipe here is based on a the Radish Koshimbir recipe from Rasachandrika, a wonderful and unique Konkani Indian cookbook. I tweaked it a bit by leaving out the typical green chilis and adding cilantro. Koshimbir is made with many other veggies such as carrots, beets and cabbage. Give it a try on a hot day, it’s refreshing!

Daikon Radish Salad with Coconut (Koshimbir)

1 medium daikon radish (about 1 cup shredded)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup coconut (fresh-frozen or desiccated)
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1 tsp mustard seeds

Wash and trim the tip of the radish. Peel the radish and grate into a bowl. Toss in the cilantro, coconut, salt and lemon and stir well. Set aside. Heat the coconut oil in the small pan over medium. When hot, add the mustard seeds. Once they start popping, turn off the heat and immediately pour over the salad.

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Tomato & Onion Rice Flour Pancakes

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Tomato & Onion Rice Flour Pancakes

 

 

Tomato & Onion Rice Flour Pancakes

Monday morning…we’re always running late in our house! Luckily I had already thought about what to make for breakfast last night. So I just had to get up and throw together this simple recipe for instant dosas.

Dosas are similar to pancakes but there are so many varieties and ingredient variations. A lot of times they are made with savory ingredients and eaten with chutney or curries. Dosas are one of my favorite foods to make and eat.

This recipe comes from “The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook” by Asha S. Philar. I made this version vegan, though the original calls for “buttermilk”. Rice flour is available in a lot of health food stores and Asian groceries. You can substitute other veggies such as grated carrots, finely chopped bell peppers, cilantro or radishes. In my version this morning I am using a leftover mixture of tomatoes and onions that weren’t finely cut so my dosas didn’t turn out as round as I usually like…oh well -that’s life!

Tomato & Onion Pancakes with Rice Flour

Makes 10 8″ dosas

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (optional)
  • 1 + cup of water
  • 1 cup of coconut milk, soy milk, buttermilk or other milk
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-8 curry leaves (optional)
  • additional oil for frying the dosas

Mix the flours together in a bowl. Add the water and milk and whisk to a smooth paste, adding more water to make the batter pourable (it should pour off your spoon in a stream, not drop off in chunks). Add the onion, tomato, chilis (if using) and salt and mix well.

 

 

In a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves (if using) and remove as soon as the mustard seeds start to pop. Pour into the batter and mix.

 

 

Heat a flat skillet over medium heat. When it’s ready, put a few drops of oil on the pan. Spoon about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of batter in the center and smooth around quickly into a circle shape. When using chopped veggies in dosas, it’s difficult to get them perfectly round unless the veggies are chopped very finely. Put a few drops of oil on the top. Let it cook until it starts to get brown and crispy on the bottom. Flip over and cook the 2nd side until brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and serve with chutney.


Breakfast Bread with Coconut

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Breakfast Bread with Coconut

Good Morning! Today my Sister-In-Law and I made a breakfast dish called “Bread Usli”. It’s so easy to make and puts to good use any stale or last bit of bread that no one wants to eat! This is a common dish in India, often made for a quick breakfast or snack. There are so many varieties, but we adapted a recipe from “The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook” by Asha S. Philar. It is almost identical to the recipe given to me by my Mother-In-Law many years ago. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Bread Usli

Serves 4

  • 15 slices of wheat or white (a combination of the two is best), chopped into small cubes about 1/2″ x 1/2″ x 1/2″
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 2-4 red chilis
  • 5-8 curry leaves
  • 4 tbsp coconut (fresh, thawed frozen or desiccated)

Place the cubed bread in a big bowl. Dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 tbsp water. Sprinkle the water (using your fingers or a spoon) over the cubed bread, mixing the bread cubes so that the water is distributed pretty evenly.

Heat the oil in a large pan (a wok works well) over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start popping, reduce the heat to low and add the bread cubes. Gently stir, stir, stir, lifting the cubes from the bottom to the top. Keep stirring until the seasoning is mixed in with the bread cubes. Allow to heat for about 2 minutes over the low flame. When it’s done, sprinkle the coconut over the top and mix in gently. The texture of the bread shouldn’t be crispy or soggy. Serve.

Bread Usli

My First Post – Kidney Beans

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My First Post – Kidney Beans

Hi and welcome to my food blog! This is my first post ever  though I have been thinking about it for a long time, too long perhaps! Please bear with me until I master this blogging thing, especially the technical details and the photography. Time has gotten away from me as I obsessed over what to name the blog, the perfect recipe to use to kick it off, etc. Finally I decided to just move on and post a simple, home-style dish. So without further delay, here is my first post:

Rajma Kodel is a simple to make, garlic-y, spicy, slightly sour kidney bean entrée usually eaten with rice. This is one of the first recipes that my husband got from his mom after moving to the US in 1990.  We made this often in the early years when we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on food. Now our kids love it (minus the red chilis) so we make it at least twice a month. I usually use dried beans but canned beans work beautifully in a pinch. You can also add more chilis and/or garlic depending on your mood. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Rajma Kodel

Rajma Kodel

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans (1.25 cups dried kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained OR 2-15 oz. cans of kidney beans, rinsed and drained)
  • 2 to 6 dried whole red chilis (or you can leave out altogether)*
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil for sautéing)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 3/4 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut powder or flakes  (or fresh / frozen unsweetened coconut)
  • salt to taste
  • 6-12 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

Place 2 1/2 cups of the cooked kidney beans in a sauce pan with water to cover. Turn on the flame to medium-low to simmer.  Place the rest of the beans in a blender or food processor (blender works best).

In a small pan, heat the oil and add the red chilis. Fry for about 1 minute until they start to get a little crisp and browned but not burned. Put the chilis only (reserving the oil in the pan) on top of the beans in the blender/processor. Add the tamarind paste, coconut and salt to the blender. Cover with water just to the top of the beans. Blend to make a thick creamy gravy.

Pour the gravy into the pan with the simmering kidney beans and mix gently. This should be slightly thick but you may need to add a little more water. Don’t make it too watery like a soup though!

Finally, fry the sliced garlic over low heat in the reserved oil until just slightly browned and fragrant. Pour the garlic and oil over the gravy and kidney beans and mix gently. Serve over rice with a vegetable on the side. Happy eating!

*To make this kid-friendly, I first make the recipe without the fried red chilis. Split the batch between two pans, fry the red chili and blend with a little water and add it to the “adult” batch. Voila! One spicy, one not!