Sunday, July 5, 2015


Mango ginger, also known as Curcuma Amada / Amba Haldi / Aam Adrak is a plant from ginger family closely related to turmeric. It resembles ginger but has a raw mango taste. In South India it is mostly used to make pickles. ( Mamidi Allam - Telugu ) (Mangai Inji - Tamil)

Mango ginger - 1 cup (grated)
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/2 tsp (add more if you like)
Salt ........... to taste
Jaggery ....... 1 tbsp (grated)
Tamarind juice ... 2 - 3  tbsps (to your liking)
Oil ......... 6-7 tbsps

Grind coarsely:
Mustard seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Methi /fenugreek seeds ...... 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds ............. 1/2 tsp

For tempering:
Mustard seeds ... 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida ....... 2-3 pinches.

1. Wash the ginger and wipe it dry with a kitchen napkin. Grate it. I have grated it with the skin as it has lot of health benefits.
2. In a saucepan heat oil and add the tempering ingredients.
3. When the mustard seeds crackle tip in the grated ginger and saute.
4. Add salt, ground spices, tamarind pulp and grated jaggery.
5. Continue to stir until the jaggery melts.
6. Now add the turmeric and chilli powder.
7. Stir until the oil separates.
8. Let it cool. Store it in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator.

Note: I have made it sweet and sour. If you like you may skip the jaggery and make it only spicy and tangy. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Feijoada, pronounced as (fay-zhwa-dah) is a traditional dish of Brazil... black bean stew cooked with meats and sausages. It is slow cooked in the clay pots. There is not much tempering in it except black pepper, a little local liquor called pinga / cachaca (pronounced - ka-sha-sa) and orange juice are added towards the end. This stew is served with plain rice and accompaniments like couve, ripe banana fritters, fried pork chops, farofa, and orange slices. In the state of Bahia vegetables are also added to the stew along with the meats. Wednesday and Saturday are the feijoada days and almost all the restaurants in Brazil serve this dish for lunch only. You cannot find it on any other days.

Black beans ... 250 gms
Dried beef ... 25 gms
Pork ribs .... 100 gms
Pork loin ... 100 gms
Sausages .... 100 gms
Pork trotters .100 gms
Pig tail ....... 50 gms
Pig ears ..... 50 gms
Bacon ...... 50 gms
Onions ..... 1
Bay leaves .. 3-4
Garlic ...... 6 cloves
Spring onions ... 1/4 cup
Pinga / cachaca ..... 10 ml (this is Brazilian country liquor .. you may substitute it with vodka)
Salt ..... as needed
Oil ... 4-5 tbsps

Plain rice
Orange .. 1 sliced
Banana fritters (batter-fried ripe bananas)
Fried pork chops
Couvi mantega  (Brazilian greens sauteed with garlic)

1. In a saucepan heat a little oil and fry the bacon and sausage slices separately. Set aside.
2. Now take a big pot for cooking and tip in the fried bacon along with the meats mentioned in the ingredients list. Sausages will be added later as they get cooked fast.
3. Next add the soaked black beans and sufficient water to cook.
4. In a saucepan heat oil and fry the onion and garlic to a light brown colour. Add this to the cooking meats.
5. Tip in the bay leaves and spring onions. Add a little salt and allow it to simmer for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meats and beans are done. Add the sausage slices when it is 3/4 ths done.
6. Finally add the juice of half an orange and the pinga or cachaca . Add the black pepper and salt if needed.
7. Simmer for a minute.
Serve with plain rice and all the accompaniments.

Monday, June 29, 2015


A simple chicken preparation with dried fenugreek leaves / kasuri methi which gives a wonderful aroma to this dish. For tanginess I have added sour yogurt and finally a little bit of thick coconut milk for the creamy texture. I personally prefer coconut milk to cream but if you wish to add it you may do so.

Chicken ....  500 gms
Onion ..... 1 cup (sliced finely)
Yogurt ..... 1/2 cup
Kasoori methi .. 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves .. 1/2 cup
Mint leaves ....... handful
Green chillies .... 2-3
Thick coconut milk ... 2-3 tbsps
Garlic paste ...... 1 tbsp
Ginger paste ...... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1 tsp
Cumin powder ........ 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ....... to taste
Oil ........ 3-4 tbsps

1. Clean the chicken and marinate with yogurt, salt and a little turmeric powder.
2. In a pan heat oil and fry the onion until translucent.
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute.
4. Now tip in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until the water dries up and the oil starts to separate.
5. At this stage tip in the coriander leaves, mint leaves, slit green chillies and kasuri methi along with the spice powders mentioned in the list.
6. Mix well and simmer adding a little water for the chicken to cook. Check the salt and add if needed.
7. Cover the pan and cook until almost done.
8. Finally stir in the thick coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.

Note: Add as much water as the consistency you require .. Dry version goes well with rotis and naans. 

Friday, June 26, 2015


Pathiri is a thin roti made with rice flour. This is a speciality from Malabar. The procedure is a bit different than the normal rotis. The rice flour is added to the boiling water and mixed thouroghly with a wooden spoon until it thickens.It is then cooled and rolled out into thin rotis. The rice flour is a bit difficult to roll as it breaks on the edges. You can use a round cutter or a plate to cut out the uneven edges to make the pathiri nice and presentable. These go very well with non vegetarian dishes.

Rice flour ... 1 and 1/2 cups (plus extra for dusting)
Water .......... 3/4 cup
Oil .............. 1 tbsp
Salt ........... to taste

Serve them with any veg or non veg dish.


1. Boil water in a pan adding a little salt to taste.Tip in the rice flour and oil mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon avoiding the lumps untiil it thickens. (takes about half a minute)

2. Remove it in a plate or bowl and allow it to cool a bit.

3. Knead well to make it nice and smooth. If it is dry you can sprinkle a little water while kneading.

4.Take a small portion and roll out into a thin roti using rice flour for dusting on the board. You can cut away the uneven edges with the help of a round plate or a cutter.. Roll out a few rotis to make it easier. Dust flour to avoid them from sticking.

5. Roast them one by one on a hot griddle flipping the sides fast. The colour should be white and not overdone.
 Make sure to clean the griddle / tawa each time with a kitchen towel before putting the second roti.

6.To puff them up use a spatula or a kitchen napkin pressing the edges of the roti while roasting.

Linking to:

Hearth and Soul blog hop: June last week @ Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Maritozzi (singular Maritozzo) are orange flavoured soft sweet buns, which are split and filled with smooth whipped cream. Apparently, these buns are popular during the breakfast hours in coffee bars in and around Rome and in the afternoon with a coffee or liqueur. However, you will find them being sold and eaten throughout the day. A pastry typical of the Lazio region of Italy, the pine nut and raisin dotted Maritozzi are supposedly a Lenten bread from the Middle Ages. It seems this was the only sweet thing they allowed themselves during the period of religious fasting. Some regions of Italy still make these buns during Lent as slightly larger loaves without the cream and these are called Maritozzi Quaresimali (Roman Lent Buns).
The story goes that Maritozzi got their name from the Italian word for marriage which is “marito”. One version says that according to local custom, Maritozzi were prepared by young women in Lazio who would bring them to the village piazza with hopes of attracting the attention of future husbands. Another version contends that it was the men of Lazio who gifted these pastries to their fiancĂ©es, baked in the shape of a heart, as a proof of love. The Maritozzi dough is essentially slightly enriched brioche dough, and traditionally is flavoured with pine nuts, raisins and candied orange peel. Once they’re baked, the buns are brushed with a sweet water and sugar syrup or else dusted with powdered sugar. After they have cooled, the Maritozzi are cut in half (almost through but not all the way) and filled with loads of smooth sweetened whipped cream
If you prefer you can leave out the sweet glaze and just lightly dust the Maritozzi with powdered sugar, which is what I did. Then serve them with or without cream, as you prefer. You might find Maritozzi with very prettily piped cream but the real thing is a rustic treat and not really meant to be pretty so just go ahead and use a small spatula to fill in the cream.

Watch this video to have an idea how Maritozzi are made

All purpose flour / maida  ... 2 cups
Instant yeast .... 1 and 1/2 tsps
Warm milk ..... 1/4 cup
Eggs ........... 1
Sugar ........ 1/4 cup
Butter ...... 50 gms (room tempereature)
Salt ......... 1/8 tsp
Raisins ..... 1/4 cup
Pine nuts ... 1 tbsp (lightly roasted)
Lemon zest ... grated from one lemon (you can also use orange zest )
Candied lemon peel .... 1 tbsp finely chopped ( you can also use candied orange peel)

For the Filling:
500ml fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of icing sugar
 (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cream per bun)
However it is optional.


Take warm water about quarter cup and add 1 tsp sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave it in a warm place to become frothy.

Roast the pine nuts lightly.

Cut the candied lemon peel into small pieces

Take the flour in a large bowl. and add the lemon zest and sugar.

Make a well in the center and break the egg.

Add the pine nuts, raisins and candied peel.

Mix everything and start kneading with yeast and warm milk. Use as much milk as needed. Incorporate the butter little by little while kneading.

Knead the dough until it is soft and elastic.

Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a foil paper.

 Leave it in a warm place for 2-3 hours or until it rises to double. (it may take longer in winter)

Now remove the dough  and knead lightly to remove the air pockets.

Roll it into a thick cylindical shape.

Divide the dough into 6 or 8 portions depending on the size you want.

Flatten each portion and roll it up gathering the edges on the lower side. Pinch to seal them.

Place the pinched side on the bottom in a greased baking tray. You can brush them with egg white or milk. Leave enough space between the buns for them to expand when they rise.
Loosely cover the tray and let the buns rise to double the size.

Bake them in a pre-heated oven for 350 degrees F for about 18 to 20 minutes. Do not over bake them.

Let them cool. Sift the icing sugar on top while they are still warm.

Note :If you’re going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while they’re baking, Boil the sugar and water together in a small pan, until the sugar dissolves. Brush this syrup on the tops of the hot buns once you’ve taken them out of the oven.
Let the buns cool completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut all the way through and keep one side intact. Open them up slightly (don’t let the two parts of the bun separate) and fill with whipped cream, making the edge smooth the flat side of a palette knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar glaze sticking to your fingers and pulling pieces of the brioche away.

Recipe and information - courtesy Aparna Balasubramanian - We knead to Bake # 28