Friday, March 26, 2010

Fresh Vegetable Sagu

The first time I had Sagu was when I came to Blr to attend Sapient College way back in 2000. It was everywhere at the local darshinis served with set dosa and at the ABB cafeteria where I was training. What I did not like however were the dried green peas used in the sagu. It has taken me 5 yrs after coming to Blr to try making it at home. So it had to be with fresh peas and veggies.

The difference also is that in the restaurants sagu can get really spicy if not hot. The overload of garam masala is something I don't have tolerance for. My recipe is much milder yet flavorful. I arrived at it after mentally noting recipes from various aunties that I enquired with for their family recipe of a good sagu at wedding sand poojas I attended and the saggu never failed us.


1 cup fresh peas.
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
salt to taste

1 tablespoon roasted and split chickpeas, dahale/ phutani
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons grated coconut
1 green chili
1 handful of cilantro
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cloves
1 small piece of cinnamon

First grind the masala to a fine paste with just a little water. Keep aside

Now heat a vessel, add oil to it. Splutter mustard seeds add the asafoetida. Now put all the fresh veggies stir fry for 5 mins. Add water and cook till soft. Once the veggies are cooked add the ground masala. Top up with water and bring to a boil. The consistency should be creamy. Don't forget the salt, I almost forget to type it here.

Here is Blr sagu is an evening time accompaniment with dosas and rava idli. I have observed that  in the morning time dosas are eaten with sambar but in the evenings mostly with different types of sagu. The set dosa is always served with sagu irrespective of the time of the day.

Though I have tried it at home now. I confess I still love all my Thindis/ snacks with sambar and coconut chutney.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Colors of Holi

Maushi Yesavchi distey! The Padar/ pallu is big so I think this aunty is from Vesave, each koliwada has its own style of wrapping the padar. We call it OTi in Koli.

Finger in mouth and am whistling~~~ Awesome! I love my koli women!!!

I miss all these spontaneous performances of the bold Koli women you get to see at Holi in the various Koliwadas in Mumbai. I want to to post it here for all to see how spunky Koli women can be. She can sells fish in the bazar, run her family's fishing business, cook the festive meals and then enjoy herself at the Holi venue. What are filmstars in front of them. I miss this a lot. It brought back memories of my father's cousin, his wife and his son who loved entertaining people. Atmaram Kaka and Kaki RIP and Suresh Dada I miss your fun. I miss all the fun at Colaba koliwada, the holi, the Khandoba chi Palkhi. All of it!!

If ever my Dad reads this he will hide himself. He disowned his people for all this fun!!! Can you believe it. He used to let me go to Colaba for Holi warning me not to be part of the TAMASHA. I was not allowed to dance on the streets with my people but he never objected me going to a pub!!! Its a different thing I never danced there too coz I never picked the skills from where I had to.

I love this. I miss it to the point I feel homesick when I see the celebrations on TV. Then such videos bring back the laughter in life.

Dedicated to all my blogger friends with roots in Mumbai, Bee, Manisha, Nandita, Nupur, Sonia. Saee, is lucky to be in Mumbai.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Summer Is Here

Ideas for light cooking and refreshing food.

 Roasted vegetable and broken wheat salad
(Roasted onion, tomato, broccoli, lettuce in 2 teaspoons olive oil. Pressure cooked broken wheat. Mixed it with the roasted vegetables. Added some grapes for fresh sweet. Balanced the salt.)

Bhel, Black eyed bean vadas and Fruit Salad

All and sundry celebrated Women's day. Today a colleague asked us ladies what was our reaction to the Women's reservation bill. To which all 3 of us felt it was irrelevant in today's age. This should have been passed 10 yrs ago.

This was a conversation between "Hum Tum" on the occasion of Women's day

Tum: "All Women attention seekers." etc. etc. go the complaints
Hum: "Say what you like. I only love you more for all your stupidity."
The Narrator: When you realize the value of a women's love, she would have gone and you would be an old  haggard and  full of regrets.

As for me I don't need a women's day. I celebrate womanhood everyday.

Well summer is here and the beauty is in the heat and that of winter it's cold, then we should not ask for it to be the other way round. Enjoy the Sunshine ladies!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Fat free Moog Dal Ladoo

 Freshly made Moog dal ladoos with jaggery making them glossy

There was a time when we were children we gauged the financial status of a person by the way they cooked, it was not about health conscious cooking then. We always complained that my grandma used less oil to fry fish. So my grandpa called it Tal-bhuz (Fry roast). Another grandma used very little ghee in the ladoos. My Mom and Aunts would ask "Dhad tari lagtat". Now when I make ladoos with no fat what so ever it is health consciousness and style.

Well before I go on the recipe here is the original recipe with both ghee and sugar that inspired this fat free one with jaggery.

1/4 kg split green lentils with skin/ salichi moog dal
1/4 jaggery
1 cup milk

In a dry wok roast the dal till it starts emanating a nutty flavor. 

Cool a bit and while still warm powder it in the dry grinder. Make it fine.

Now put the jaggery in the wok and let it melt. Once the jaggery is completly molten and bubling like lava, fold in the powdered dal. Mix well and homogenize. Let it cool enough for you to be able to roll the rolly pollies. You can add nuts at this point. I did not use any nuts this time. Then add the cup of milk. The consistency of the mix has to be like soft dough. Go slow on milk if you think you have the right consistency for the rolling. Shape the ladoos. Spread them out in the plate, each with a little space around to prevent from sticking and should retain a good shape.

Don't worry about the milk it gets absorbed well and the ladoos have a good shelf life of a month. These ladoos are fat free so for best taste eat then within a week. As they age they dry out and turn hard. Enjoy a healthy breakfast with a ladoo a day.

Dad was happy to start his day with Ladoo and Chivda whole of last week. It is the traditional breakfast/ snack in many Maharashtrian homes and continues to be in the rural areas.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Weekends should be of this...

The dinner was superb! Thanks Sayantani for sharing the recipes. 

Then followed a dessert of home made black forest cake.  

 The green paste there is Gongura pickle I bought at Big Bazaar. Was thrilled to find it. Mixed it with hot steamed rice and made a Mudha /ball ! I was amazed at that itself. How I have changed from hating the rolling of rice into balls and now doing it myself :P
(In the plate you see  Madras Cucumber Sambhar, steamed rice, Dosa, leftover Karaishutir Kochuri and star fruit slices)


That was last weekend.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Zunka or Korda Pithla

Zunka is dry besan and onions mix cooked in oil. Zunka needs no introduction to most Indians, in the least they know that it is a Maharashtrian staple in the rural areas. Yet many confuse the Zunka with Pithla. The ingredients are the same so many call it Korda Pithala.

Mom and aunts made this Zunka atleast once a week. I remember it used to be made in a super sized kadhai and they used about 0.5 kg of besan, 1kg of onions and 250 ml of oil for a family of 18! It used to be quite dry with different types of bhakaris. But then those were the days of a full thali for lunch and dinner. So a dal and rice following it helped a lot. These days since I cook either only roti/ bhakari with bhaaji or Rice with dal and curry for separate meals. It is only on weekends I make full Thali meals. So when it is Zunka - Bhakari Bait (special planned menu) then I always have Matha/ Spicy butter milk to go with it.

One tradition in our family is we never use water or buttermilk or for that matter any other liquid in our Zunka. That is why we don't call it Korda Pithala. In many homes the leftover liquidy pithala  is dried out on a girdle the next day to get Korda pithala. Ours is not like that, we make it special. I think I have never eaten Zunka the way my family makes it anywhere outside our home. That is why infact my family would hate to eat Zunka outside home and not even at the Marathi specialty restaurants having Zunka on their menu, they were scorned at.

We the Koli family are famed for it. There are other such family specials, like our sheera,  Kanda Bhajji, fried batata pohe etc. Many who ate at our home would demand for these. Oh I forgot the very milky boiled tea. Especially in my village people sweared by the tea from our kitchen. I'm missing my Mum and Devaki Kaki whose cooking I loved, most times. Mothi Aai's Non veg dishes are a far off memory. Aruna Kaki's cooking has changed a lot, its not the same though delicious even now.

I'm missing everyone here Kaka, Kaki, my lil bros, Hrushi, Som, my 4 sisters younger versions ;), Duskya, Kalkay-which means Kalimata in Koli (I still hate her), Paro, Malay (my Mallu, Malmal no more! Now she is Khadbadit). Bhau, Vahini, Surekha Tai, all our maids, dogs, Sultan- Som's pet rooster. Oh and Sushil, can't miss him and his sample family. Eh, Don't ask me what all this means. I love you all :D* If you guys aren't shameless and happen to read this you will come to see me.

Am jogging myself out of this to come back to the Zunka recipe.


4 onions
1/4 cup besan/ chickpea flour
1 teaspoom coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 green chili
3 tablespoons oil or more
salt to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro

Pour the oil, add the onions. Fry till translucent. Then add the cut green chili and the spices, mix. Then add the besan and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook. Mix intermittently. Leave the cover on till it is cooked completely and the raw taste is no more. The besan will look fluffy once it is cooked properly. Add the salt and mix well.

Finally put off the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro.
Serves best with bhakari but chapati also works.

On Trail