Recipes Beyond Borders- sometimes Exotic, mostly Healthy, always Delicious

Ingredient: dry red chilies

Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal – Easy Indian Lentil and Gourd curry

Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal – Easy Indian Lentil and Gourd curry

My first foray into Goan Cuisine, and it turned out so well! I found a large variety of vegetarian recipes to try out, and wanted to use ingredients specific to the Goan and Konkani cuisines. The Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal that I finally came up with, tick marked all the boxes I set for the post: Tasty, nutritious, easy, authentic and it incorporated the two ingredients I had been set for this month’s Goan Theme challenge from the FB group I belong to, Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. More about this group, later on.

First, a little about some of the ingredients I used to make the Goan Bitter Gourd Kokum Dal. The recipe I finally firmed up  after browsing the internet and the few cookbooks I could find, needed kokum as well as terphal, a species related to the Himalayan Sichuan Pepper (which seems to be variously known as teppal, tefla etc). I consulted my daughter Mridula as to what the ‘tefla’ in the recipe was (I thought it was a kind of fish!)  I could have tried sourcing the kokum and terphal in one of the many Mangalorean stores dotted around Bangalore, but then opted to buy them online from amazon as I was not sure I would be able to get the terphal spice elsewhere. The rest of the ingredients were ones I already had at home. Bitter gourd or karela is a favourite on my dining table. If you hesitate to take karela because of the bitterness, then do try it in this dish – the jaggery, the kokum and the spice all go to reduce the bitterness and in fact enhance the taste of the bitter gourd. And you know it is chock full of nutrition and health benefits, right?

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Puliyodharai – Spiced Tamarind Rice made from Pulikachal

Puliyodharai – Spiced Tamarind Rice made from Pulikachal

This post is dedicated to H.U.G – Humane Universal Good Deed Network, who had undertaken to generate and distribute 200,000 meals for the needy and the underprivileged at Bangalore, during the Daan Utsav between 2nd and 8th October 2016. A menu had been fixed, with simple rice items which could be easily cooked even in large quantities in the micro kitchens being established, and by volunteers who were  to help in this endeavour. Follow H.U.G and the hashtag #HUGFeedWithLove, on Facebook to know more about the event. One of the items on the menu is a Puliyodharai or Tamarind Rice, and here is my recipe for preparation of the same.

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