Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sutta badanekai bajji | Sutta badane gojju | South Indian Smoked eggplant Curry : Vegan eggplant side dish

.................a South Indian baingan bharta or Smoked eggplant curry!

This sutta badanekai gojju is my mom-in-law's recipe. She makes it often to go with rice. It uses very less ingredients and yet tastes delicious! It is quite healthy too. This could be used as a side dish to rice, roti, phulka or akki rotti.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: An hour for smoking the eggplant

One large eggplant: about 1 pound
Finely chopped red onion: 1/2 cup
Finely chopped green chilli: 4-5 nos
Brown sugar/jaggery/bella: 1 tbsp
Tamarind water: 1/4th cup (extract from a small lime sized taramind)
Salt: As needed

For tempering:
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-5 nos, torn
Hing/Asafoetida: a big pinch

Wash the eggplant & pat dry. Prick the eggplant using a knife at several places. Roast the eggplant on a stove top or in an oven. I normally roast it in the preheated oven at 375‭⁰F for about an hour.
Let it cool. Once cool, peel the skin & finely chop the flesh of the eggplant.

Add the chopped onion, green chilli, jaggery, tamarind water, salt to the chopped eggplant.

Get your hands dirty now. Mash the whole thing thoroughly until the spices mix well.

Let it sit aside for 30 mins for the flavors to develop.
Prepare the tempering. Heat the oil, once hot, drop in the mustard seeds & curry leaves. When the leaves wilt, add the asafoetida & turn off the heat.
Pour the tempering over the eggplant mixture. Mix well & serve.


  • You could roast the eggplant on the stove top. Stove top method of roasting the eggplant takes much less time than roasting in the oven.
  • I do not add coriander leaves to this curry recipe as I do not want any other herbs to overpower this dish.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Indo Chinese Tortilla | Tortilla Noodles | Masala Tortilla

I buy a pack of tortilla once a while to make the breakfast burritos or the cheese quesadilla. I pack the burritos to my hubby's lunch box too. Most of the times after making a couple of burritos, I forget about the remaining tortillas. They rot in the fridge for many days & one fine day, tortillas find its way to our tummies in the form of Tortilla noodles or this masala tortilla.
I couldn't think of a proper name to this recipe. Could you guys suggest me something? It is similar to the noodles but I cut the tortilla into bite sized pieces. I call it masala tortilla at home, but I haven't used any Indian spices. Request you guys to come up with an apt name.
If you like Indo Chinese recipes, you will love this for sure. For a healthier alternative, use whole wheat or multigrain tortilla.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins
Serves: 2

Tortilla* : 3 nos, cut into bite sized pieces (about 1 inch long)
Oil: 2 tsp
Onion: 2 tbsp, chopped fine
Cabbage: 1/4th cup
Garlic: 1 pod, minced
Bell pepper: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Vinegar**: 2 tsp
Soya sauce: 2 tsp
Chilli sauce: 2 tsp (I have used Sriracha sauce)
Salt: As needed
Pepper powder: a pinch

* I have used flour tortilla. Feel free to use any kind of tortilla you have at hand.
** I have used distilled white vinegar.

For the garnish:
Spring onion greens finely chopped (I did not have it & so skipped it)

Heat oil in a broad pan. When oil is hot, add the onions. Saute the onions on a medium-high heat for 2 mins until the onions are slightly browned & crunchy.
Add the garlic & saute. Throw in the finely chopped cabbage & toss.
When cabbage is cooked, add in the bell peppers & toss. Always maintain the medium-high heat.
Add in the chopped tortilla, vinegar, soya sauce, chilli sauce, salt, pepper powder & toss until the sauces blend in. 
Turn off the heat & serve it hot.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Horse gram idli upma | Idli uppittu | Mashed and seasoned idli : Left over magic

I always plan & make idlis in bulk so that I can use the left overs to make idli oggarane, idli upma, podi idli etc. In fact, I love these left over dishes more than the plain idlis :)
Here is my version of the idli upma with bell peppers.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 1 

Left over idlis: 4 nos*
Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 3-4 nos, torn
Green chili: 1 no, chopped
Onion: 1 small, chopped fine
Bell pepper: 1/4th cup
Salt: As needed
Lemon juice: 1 tsp

* I have used the hurali idli / horse gram idli

Heat oil in a broad pan.
When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds. When seeds splutter, add in the curry leaves & green chili. When leaves wilt, add the chopped onion & saute till the onions become translucent.
Meantime, mash the idlis & keep them aside.
Throw in the chopped bell pepper to the sauteed onions. Saute the bell pepper on high heat until crunchy.
Add in the mashed idlis, salt & mix well.
Add the lemon juice, mix well & turn off the heat.
Serve the idli upma with a chutney/dip of your choice.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bendekai Gojju | South Indian Bhindi Curry | Indian Okra Sauce: Karnataka Recipes

...Okra in a sweet, sour 'n' spicy sauce....

Tender, fresh, light green colored, smooth skinned & small sized okra always tempt me to buy them. I'm also lucky to get fresh okra in the nearest Indian stores here. My son loves bhindi/okra & he always tempts me to buy them. He used to love the bhindi besan & nothing else from okra. This time I convinced him for this gojju & told him that it is amma's classic gojju recipe. He loved every bit of it. In the coming months, it will be only bendekai gojju at my home & you know why ;)

Bendekai gojju / Bendekayi gojju is a Karnataka specialty. It is spicy, sweet n sour & blends beautifully with the stir fried okra. Each & every member of my family/extended family prepare this gojju & I haven't heard from any of them not liking it.. Some love to eat them with akki rotti, some with white rice & some more with chapathi/roti. I love to eat them with all of them.

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 2-3 

Okra/Ladies Finger/Bendekai : 1 lb (around half a kilo)
Oil: 1 tbsp
Brown sugar/Jaggery/bella: medium lime sized
Tamarind paste: 1 tsp*
Salt: As needed 

For the spice paste:
Oil: 1/2 tsp
Gram dal /Channa dal /Kadalebele : 1 tbsp
Black gram dal/ Urad dal/Uddinabele : 1/2 tbsp
Sesame seeds: 1 tsp
Green chilies: 4 nos
Coriander leaves: 1/4th cup, tightly packed
Grated coconut: 1/4th cup, fresh or frozen

For the tempering:
Oil: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn

Chop the okra into thin slices.(about 1/4th of an inch). If you are handling the okra for the first time, refer to the notes below before doing anything. It is that important!!

For the spice paste:
Heat the oil in a small pan. When the oil is hot, throw in the channa dal & urad dal. When they turn light brown, add the sesame seeds & broken green chilies. Turn off the heat after 30-40 secs. Let it cool.

Throw in the coriander leaves, grated coconut & the roasted dal + green chilies to a food processor jar. Add  about 2-3 tbsp water & grind it to a smooth paste.
In a broad pan, add oil & saute/stir fry the okra slices on a medium-high heat until the okra is soft & crunchy.
Transfer the fried okra to a bowl.

Take another sauce pan, to prepare the gojju. Heat oil. When oil is hot, add the mustard seeds & curry leaves to it.

When seeds crackle & leaves wilt, scoop in the spice paste, add the salt, jaggery, tamarind extract, and add around half a cup of water to it. Cook on a low-medium heat until the raw smell of the jaggery & tamarind disappears.

Throw in the fried okra to the sauce & boil it on a medium heat. Once it starts boiling, turn off the heat.

Serve it hot with rice, roti or akki rotti.

  • As okra is used in a sauce, it is very crucial to remove the slime from the okra. Below are some tips to remove the slime from the okra. 
  • Never cut a wet okra. Keep the chopping board, knife & the okra completely dry. 
  • After washing the okra, dry them on a kitchen towel & wipe them all dry again before using. 
  • Use a broad pan to saute the okra. Add more oil & saute it on a high heat to remove the slime & keep the okra crisp. 
  • Adding a pinch of amchur powder/mango powder (easily available at Indian Stores) while sauteing the okra does the trick of removing the slime too.
  • My other tips on how to remove the slime could be found here
  • Adjust the consistency of the sauce as preferred by your family. 

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