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Swetha's Fusion
Where there is Fusion there is Creation!

Balekhai Bajji - Plantain Pakora

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What do you need:
Plantain - 1 (Skin peeled and cut into 4mm slices)
Channa besan (Bengalgram flour) - 2 cups
Rice flour 3 tsp
Sujji Rawa 2 tsp
Chilly powder to taste
Salt to taste
Hing (Asafetida) 1/8 tsp
Baking soda 1/8 tsp (Optional)

How to make Balekhai Bajji:
* Mix all the dry ingredients and add water slowly to form a thick paste.
* Heat oil at medium-high and verify it has heated up by putting a small drop of the mixture that you just made
* Dip the vegetable in the paste and deep fry turning once to fry the other side. Once done, place the bajjias on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
*Bajji is ready! Serve hot with chutney or ketchup.

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~ Balekhai Bajji - Plantain Pakora ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/25/2006 06:30:00 PM :: 3 comments

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Gongura Chutney

Monday, July 24, 2006

Gongura (Roselle) - 1 bunch - about 5 stems.
Red Chilies - 1 cup - 8 to 10 Red chilies.
Garlic - 4 cloves.
Turmeric.
Jaggary(brown sugar).
Salt to taste
For seasoning: Oil/Ghee, Mustard, Methi, Urad Dhal and Hing (Asafetida).

How to make Gongura Chutney:
a Separate gongura leaves from the stems and wash the leaves throughly. Spread the leaves on towel for removing the moisture off the leaves.
a Heat a pan on low heat, fry gongura leaves with very little oil or ghee. Remove into a food processor. In the same pan roast the garlic cloves and red chilies. (Optional: If you want extra spicy or want to add green chilies instead of red chilies, Green chilies needs to be dry fried too).

a Add chilies, garlic, salt, turmeric and a small amount of jaggary (say a size of peanut) with the gongura leaves and grind into a fine paste.

a Season the chutney with Mustard, Methi, Urad Dhal and Hing (Asafetida) in hot oil or ghee.

a Serve gongura chutney with Rice - topped with Ghee.

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~ Gongura Chutney ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/24/2006 05:25:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Roasted Corn

Roasted Corn
Haaa! Roasted corn.. who can resist it? Especially when it is raining :)
It is nice if you have a BBQ grill - for an Indian style charcoal roasted corn... but since I don't have one, I had to improvise... on electric burner (You can see in the last picture of this post).

What you need:
Corn - white ones taste better then the yellow ones.
Chili sauce (or Red chili powder).
Lemon Juice.
Salt.

What to do:
* Remove the husks off the corn. Discard the outer husks, which are usually bad. The rest of husks can be used for serving and to make brush to apply the spice on the corn.
* Mix Chili sauce (or Red chili powder), Lemon Juice and Salt in a small bowl and keep aside. If you are serving children omit Chili sauce or Chili powder.

Roasted Corn - Flavor on Top
* If the corn is directly over the coils of the burner, obviously the burner will have to be replaced very soon. So, you can keep a phulka maker frame over the burner, or do what I did - took a metal coaster bent its 3 legs and made sure the coaster does not touch the burner. Place the corn over the coaster and it at medium high. Repetitively turning the corn so that all the sides are roasted evenly.
* Remove corn from the burner, apply the mixture evenly with a brush. Roast the corn again for few more minutes. Yummm Spicy roasted corn is ready to enjoy.
Roasted Corn on the Burner

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~ Roasted Corn ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/24/2006 02:47:00 PM :: 0 comments

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Balekhai (Plantain) Fry & Fish Fry

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Plantain-Green Banana
Plantain(Balekhai) is a cousin of the banana. You can cook plantain just like potatoes.. bake, boil, fry.. it just always tastes yummy! Balekhai fry is one of my all time favorite. I especially like it with Tomato Sar.

There are two ways to prepare the masala for this, one is amma's Kundapur style masala and the other - my shortcut way ;)

This masala can be used for other vegetable fry like.. Potato Fry, Cauliflower fry and Fish fry.


Amma's Kundapur Style Masala:
Red chilies - 3 cups.
Cumin (Geera) - 1 Tblsp.
Coriander seeds - 2 Tblsp.
Tamarind Paste - 1 Tblsp.
Turmeric Powder = 1 Tsp.
Salt to Taste
Method: Dry Roast Red Chilies, Cumin and Coriander seeds separately. Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste with water. Store the paste in a jar and refrigerate for future use.


My Shortcut/Quick Masala:
MTR Rasam powder - Tblsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 Tsp.
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp.
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Tsp.
Lemon Juice/Tamarind paste - to Taste.
Salt to Taste
Method: In a bowl add all the ingredients with water to from a paste.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Balekhai Fry: Wash and peel the skin of the Plantain. ( apply oil to your hands and on a knife to help in washing plantain stains) Cut plantains into 5mm thin slices. Add fry masala and let it marinate for 5 minutes.





Put a flat griddle/tawa on low fire. Apply oil to the tawa. In a plate take Sujji Rawa for dipping. Take a piece of marinated plantain, make sure all the sides are covered with masala, after dipping the plantain pieces in Sujji rawa, place it on the tawa. Repeat the same with rest of plantain peices and arrange them side by side on the tawa. Turn the burner to medium.
Cover the tawa and cook for 8 minutes. Then apply little oil and flip the plantain pieces over to cook the other side. Cook for 5 more minutes or until done.


Serve as appetizer or side dish along with hot rice and rasam.


Variations: Instead of plantain, use Potato slices or Cauliflower. For Cauliflower, after mixing the flowerets with masala, add Sujji rawa and mix and spread on tawa for cooking.

Even fish can be fried in the same way. Here in the picture I prepared Salmon. Since slices are bit thick the burner should be set to medium low. For fish, Ghee can be used instead of oil for better taste and reducing fish smell.



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~ Balekhai (Plantain) Fry & Fish Fry ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/18/2006 04:52:00 PM :: 1 comments

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Amma's Kokum (Bhirand) Sar

Saturday, July 08, 2006



Kokum also known as Bhirand (or Murgoonhulli in Kundapur) is well known to counteract the heat (... well summer is here now). Recently, industries have started extracting Hydroxyl Citric Acid (HCA) from the rind of the fruit. HCA is claimed to have fat-reducing properties for the human body. Kokum fruit reduces fat, cools the body, purifies the blood, fights cholesterol and helps in digestion. I make Kokum Sar when I prepare Chicken curry or the next day when we had food which is very hard to digest. I read somewhere; human digestive system is designed to be herbivores. Well that's all science, let's come back to the taste buds.. I mean fooood :)

Kokum Rasam

What you need:

Kokum (Murgoonhulli)- 1/2 cup (say 6 to 7 pieces)
Tomato - 1 diced (Optional)
Garlic cloves - 6 crushed *
* (Take each garlic clove at a time, place the side of the knife flat over the clove and hit it with your fist. The garlic gets crushed and the skin peels out easily)
Haldi (turmeric powder)- 1/2 tsp.
Roasted Geera(cumin) powder - 2 tsp.
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp.
Sarin Puddi/Rasam powder - 2 tbsp
Jaggary - size of an almond
Salt to taste
Coriander a small bunch
For seasoning: Ghee/oil - 2 tsp; Mustard seeds; Curry leaves; Hing.

In a sauce pan take little ghee/oil, add crushed garlic and saute for a minute (Optional: add diced tomato and let it cook for 3 minutes). Add 2 cups water and Kokum to it. Bring it boil.

At this point you will have dark Pinkish liquid. Add 3 more cups water, haldi, roasted geera powder, Sarin puddi/Rasam powder, black pepper powder, jaggary and salt. Bring it to boil. Add lots of chopped Cilantro (coriander) leaves .

For seasoning: in a metal small kadai add 2 spoons of ghee/oil and heat on low flame, add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds starts to pop add curry leaves and Hing. Pour the whole season into the Sar/Rasam and cover the Sar immediately so that the flavor and aroma is locked in. :)

Serve hot with Rice.

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~ Amma's Kokum (Bhirand) Sar ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/08/2006 02:46:00 PM :: 6 comments

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Sarin Puddi

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Sarin Puddi
Mustard - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 cup
Coriander seeds - 2 cups
Fenugreek seeds - 2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Asafetida - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1/2 cup
Urad Dhal - 1 1/2 cup
Whole Red chili - 3 cups
Cinnamon - 2 stick
Turmeric - 2 tsp

Dry roast all the ingredients separately. Grind all together in a food processor to powder. Transfer in to wide bowl or a plate allow the powder to cool down before storing in air tight container.

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~ Sarin Puddi ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/05/2006 03:41:00 PM :: 2 comments

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Amma's Tomato Sar

Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Amma's Tomato Sar... Hummm.. Yummy! Sar means Rasam/Curry. It is just the Kundapur way of saying it. Amma make's her own Sarin Puddi (Rasam Powder) at home. And portions of it is distributed to the daughters. Well, in my case since I am far from my home land and frequent trip for refilling Sarin powder is out of question, I have adopted to MTR Rasam Mix. There are lot of companies make Rasam pdr.,but I prefer MTR. And though I know how to make Sarin puddi at home, I get sick making it, :( and it never comes out as good as amma's Sarin puddi.

Tomato Sar (Rasam)

What you need:
Tomatoes - 4 diced
Garlic cloves - 6 crushed *
* (Take each garlic clove at a time, place the side of the knife flat over the clove and hit it with your fist. The garlic gets crushed and the skin peels out easily)
Haldi (turmeric pdr) half tsp.
Roasted Geera(cumin) Pdr - 2 tsp
Black pepper pdr - half tsp (optional)
Sarin Puddi / Rasam powder - 2 Tbsp
Jaggary - size of an almond
Salt to taste
Coriander a small bunch
For seasoning: Ghee/oil - 2 tsp; Mustard seeds; Curry leaves; Hing.

In a sauce pan take little ghee/oil, add crushed garlic and saute for a minute then add diced tomatoes let it cook for 3 minutes. Then add haldi, roasted geera powder, Sarin puddi/Rasam powder, jaggary and salt. Add chili pdr/black pepper pdr if you need it spicier. Mix all the ingredients and add 4 to 5 cups of water. Let it simmer to boil (boil for 5 minutes). For seasoning: in a metal small kadai add 2 spoons of ghee/oil and heat on low flame, add mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds starts to pop add curry leaves and Hing. Pour the whole season into the Sar/Rasam and cover the Sar immediately so that the flavor and aroma is locked in. :) Add lots of chopped coriander to the Sar. Serve hot with Rice.

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~ Amma's Tomato Sar ~
Posted by Swetha @ 7/04/2006 03:35:00 PM :: 0 comments

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