Reshma Govind
Recently I tried out a fish curry recipe using coconut. Yes, I managed to make a note of the exact amount of all the spices and other ingredients. Since I didn’t have any fresh fish in stock or fresh grated coconut, I was a little doubtful (I was a bit depressed after my ‘batura’ stunt!). It will taste a lot more “yummy-licious” if we can use fresh fish with proper ‘fish’ smell (I know it sounds weird, but the fish fillets we get in grocery stores here(US) doesn’t have any smell…no vikaaram!!!), fresh grated coconut and last but not the least “man-chatti”(earthern ware). I don’t have man-chatti also, but inspite of all the shortcomings, this dish was good enough for a satisfying meal. So here goes the recipe…



Ingredients

Fish (I used tilapia fillets) – approx. 1 lb
Shallots (Kunjulli) – 5 small ones (cut into two)
Ginger - 1" piece (thin slices)
Garlic Clove - 4 (use whole ones and slit it)
Green Chilly – 3 (adjust according to spice level)
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Water
Kokum (kudampuli) – 2 or 3 small pieces (too much will spoil the curry)
Coriander leaves (Cilantro)

Grinding

Coconut – 6 Tbsps ( I used dry coconut , but if you have fresh ones that’s the best)
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Chilli Powder – 21/2 tsps (I used kashmiri chilli, it brings out a nice rich red colour and wont be too spicy. Use less if adding regular chilli powder)
Coriander Powder – 21/2 tbsps (If you have coriander seeds, substitute half the amount with seeds.)
Dry Red Chilly – 5 (adjust according to spice level)

Seasoning

Coconut oil – 2 tbsps
Shallots – 4 (depending on size)
Curry leaves
Fenugreek (uluva) – 1 tsp

Method

  • Soak Kokum in ¼ cup water for 10 minutes.
  • Grind the ingredients mentioned in the Grinding section with some water to a very smooth paste.
  • Heat the pan or man-chatti and add the ground coconut paste and some water to dilute it (You can adjust water level according to how thick you want it, but we need some water here as it will come down later).
  • Now add shallots, green chilly, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, salt and the soaked kudampuli along with its water and give it a stir. Once this comes to a boil on medium flame, add the fish pieces and gently coat it with the gravy and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
  • Fish doesn’t take much time to cook, so keep it on low-med flame and keep covered. After 5 -6 minutes, remove the lid, give it a swirl (handle with care - breakable!). Give a taste test now and add some salt if not enough. Cook for a few more minutes uncovered until the gravy becomes a little thick. Add some coriander leaves and give it a swirl and switch off the stove.
  • Heat some coconut oil , add fenugreek (don’t add too much, curry will become bitter) and once it becomes golden brown color , add curry leaves and the sliced shallots and sauté till the shallots are light brown in color. Pour this over the curry and keep the lid closed for another 1 hr( Do not disturb ;D..it tastes good when it sits for some time and all the flavors combine well).

Note: As you know this tastes even better the next day, so spare some for the next day also :). Do not use big onions instead of shallots, it will spoil the taste of this curry. Use coconut oil for seasoning for that added flavor. I haven’t tried this with tamarind, hence I am not sure of the taste with the same. Instead of this seasoning you can use just coconut oil and curry leaves also to temper the gravy. If you have faith in me after my Batura disaster: D, be brave… go ahead, try it out and let me know……


~Luv
Resh

Reshma Govind
Yes…this is a new kind of disaster that had hit my home yesterday night. It lasted for about 2-3 hrs and the after effects continued to the next day also. Having fulfilled my wish to enter into bloggers world, my new goal was to post some very successful recipes that I had tried out. But I realized that I cannot blog any of those recipes , since I never checked the exact amount of turmeric or red chilly or coriander or jeera powders...for that matter any other ingredient. I will have to try them all once again with exact measurements!!! Mean while I thought of trying something new and that’s how I came up with the idea of Batura (I know…I over estimated my culinary skills !!)

I started off by mixing all the ingredients for making the dough. I did not have second thoughts about the experiment even though I didn’t have baking powder. The recipe asked to use sooji/rawa for maintaining the puffiness of Batura. Why not??? I added sooji. It had big grains, but I felt lazy as usual(as my mom says LAZY can be my nick name!!) to grind it to fine powder. The dough was a bit sticky, so I added some oil (as per instructions) and left it covered with a wet cloth inside the oven (you need a warm place…and no, I didn’t switch on the oven!). I was supposed to keep it for minimum 3-4 hrs, but I took it out after 1.5 hrs (patience is a virtue…when will I learn that??). Also If I keep it for 3-4 hrs, we would be having dinner next day early morning at 1 or 2 .... My dough didn’t look exactly as the one in recipe video (what did I expect??).But I went ahead with full confidence and started heating the oil in the kadai.

I was ready with a spatula to press the Batura softly in oil to get even golden color and puffiness. I took the Batura and slowly slid into oil, and to my shock, it stayed at the bottom of the kadai as if it was shy to come up!!! I tried to lift it up with my spatula and finally after 3-4 mins it decided to come up. Then I started pressing gently to puff it up and give an even golden color. 5 mins…10 mins….No, it doesn’t seem to puff up or change its color. Finally I gave up and took it out….I almost got an idea of my wonderful Batura and decided not to tell Sree . Let it be a surprise!!! Yes, it turned out to be quite a surprise for him, but not as pleasing as I had expected when I started out the experiment…..!!

So finally we had our oil soaked, hard, rubbery, white, flat baturas made with maida(difficult to digest..) late at night. When I started out, I never thought I would have so many prefixes for my end product. So now you know what not to do if you are planning to make Batura. I had planned to post the wonderful recipe of Batura with a mouth watering snap and finally I had the privilege to write how it became an utter disaster and what not to do!!! Whatever , does every one get a chance like this??? ; D


~Luv
Resh
Reshma Govind
Living close to San Diego we have tried to visit all possible places of entertainment there - Zoo , Wild Animal Park , Sea World. It is during one of these visits that I was stared up on by some as if I was an exhibit inside the zoo. It made me wonder whether I was looking awkward or simply beautiful ;). (i know..i know!!)The chances of second guess being almost impossible, I felt a bit uneasy!! I got to know their point of interest when some one came to me with the doubt. "Why are you having red color on your forehead??" Ohh…finally a relief to know that I am not looking that funny after all (or am I sad with the realization that I am not looking ‘simply’ beautiful?? :( )

Being a typical ‘nadan’(village) girl, Sindoor has always fascinated me. The special charm it brings to a newly married girl is wonderful. In fact I even adore a 60 yr old lady with Sindoor. I have loved it from a very young age and have always wondered how I would look in it when my time comes. As a young girl, I have also tried to analyze myself in imaginary sindoor (with whatever red color I can put my hands on!) in front of a mirror in all possible angles..(I know it sounds silly…but I am just a curious little girl..) . Now that I am married, I don’t restrict myself to a small dot or a single thin line. I don’t hesitate to make a good mark on my forehead even if I am wearing jeans. That might be the reason why people started staring!! But when all of a sudden, some body asked me the importance of Sindoor, I realized that I do not know what exactly it stood for. “In Indian culture it’s one of the symbols of a married woman”. That was all I could think about as an answer and i could tell from their face that they found it strange and i was left dissatisfied with my response. I really did not know how it became the symbol of a married woman (It’s a shame for a person who likes it so much!!!). Soon after I started the research to enlighten myself on the same. As usual I turned to Google -- now my ‘guru’ -- with my question... (he never hesitates to answer any of my questions…. be it silly or serious!).


Tradition of wearing Sindoor is said to have existed for more than 5,000 years in Hindu culture. Sindoor is vermilion, applied on the forehead in the parting of the hair by all married women. It is an expression of the desire for one's husbands’ longevity. It stands for power and good fortune and is a sign of "Soubhagya" in the case of married Hindu women. Traditionally therefore, widows do not wear vermilion. According to the scholars, red is the color of power and vermilion represents the female energy of Sati and Parvati. Hindus believe that Goddess Parvati grants "Akhand Soubhagya" (lifelong good fortune) to all the females who wear sindoor in their hair parting. Sindoor is applied for the first time to a woman during the marriage ceremony when the bridegroom himself adorns her with it. Traditional Vermilion/sindoor (or kumkum) is prepared by mixing turmeric, lime and mercury. Mercury controls blood pressure and activates sexual drive. Sindoor should be applied right up to the pituitary gland where all our feelings are centered. Having said all this, I would also like to remind you to be aware of the products now in market, as most of them have powdered lead compounds ,so be careful when you buy it!!!... So ladies, now you know what to say next time some body asks you about the red mark on your forhead :).

~Luv
Resh
Reshma Govind
Past week had been a little chaotic with all those terror attacks .I got so serious about it that I went on reading a lot about the articles on the terror attacks happened so far, terrorists and different violent massacres and finally ended up with the genocides !! All these left me kind of sad, shocked, angry and insecure:( I decided not to read anything more as it leaves you depressed at the end of the day. So here I am posting something very light. Have these hot delicacies with a cup of steaming Elaichi tea and relax….



Ingredients

Maida or All purpose Flour – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water
Green Chilly - 1
Coriander leaves (Cilantro)

Seasoning

Mustard Seeds – 1tbsp
Jeera -1tsp
Onion – ¼ - ½ cup

Method

Mix together Maida, salt, water and blend well without any lumps. It should be of Dosa batter consistency. Now add in the green chilly and the cilantro and combine well. Heat some oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds and jeera. Add the onions and sauté well till pale and soft. It tastes good with a lot mustard , but make sure it has crackled properly else it will taste bitter. Add this seasoning to the dosa batter and mix well. Keep it aside for 20 -30 minutes. Make hot - hot Dosa’s and enjoy!! (don't forget the tea :) )

~Luv
Resh