Main Course

Thai Noodles

Noodles are one amazing food. They come in so many different shapes and sizes and anything and everything can be added to them to make it flavorful.

I had these Thai noodles in a food court the other day. It was so flavorful and tasty that I could guess every individual ingredient added to it, which made it really easy to make it!

Ingredients:

Flat rice noodles – Approx 8 oz

Spring onions – 1 bunch (finely chopped)

Baby bok choy – 2 to 3 heads ( chopped)

Bean sprouts – 1 ½ cup

Soft tofu – ½ cup (cut into cubes)

Coriander/ cilantro– ¼ cup chopped

Vegetable stock- 4 Tbsp (optional)

Groundnuts/ peanuts -½ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely ground

Oil

Ingredients to make sauce:

Tamarind paste- ¾ Tbsp

Chilli garlic sauce- 2 Tsp

Soy sauce– 3 to 4 Tbsp

Stir fry sauce- 2 Tbsp

Brown sugar- 3 Tbsp

Water- ¼ cup

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl and keep aside.

Preparation:

Soak noodles in hot water for 8-10 minutes or until soft.  Heat a wok or frying pan over medium high. Add 2 tbsp of oil, stir fry bok choy and spring onions until they turn dark green in color. Now add the noodles along with vegetable stock and stir fry for 2 minutes.

Mix tofu with the noodles and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the sauce slowly and continue stir frying. Toss the noodles well so that the sauce is evenly spread to noodles. Add extra sauce if required.

Add bean sprouts, mix well. Noodles are cooked well when they are soft and become sticky. Remove from heat, sprinkle coarsely ground peanuts and garnish with coriander/cilantro.

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Main Course

HuLisoppu

This is a very popular dish is south Karnataka, made of any or all types of greens. It is very nutritious and goes very well with rice or ragi mudde (millet balls). Other vegetables like onions, potatoes, brinjal (eggplant), and beans like black channa dal, avare kaaLu (available in Indian grocery stores as “surti lilva” or “papdi lilva”) can also be added.

Ingredients:

Toovar dal- 1 cup

Black channa dal- ¾ cup

Dantina soppu (or Swiss chard) – 1 small bunch

Spinach- 1 small bunch

Dill leaves- 1 small bunch

Coriander /cilantro– 1 small bunch

Onion- 1

Tamarind- lemon size

Green chillies/jalapenos – 8 to 9

Cumin seeds- ½ tbsp

Fresh coconut- ¼ cup

For seasoning:

Mustard seeds– ½ tsp

Ghee/clarified butter-2 tbsp

Hing/ asafetida- ¼ tsp

Dry red chillies– 2

Preparation:

Pressure cook toovar dal and black channa dal and keep aside. Chop all the greens, onion green chillies and boil them with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Grind this boiled mixture with coconut and cumin seeds coarsely.

Add the cooked lentils in a pan and mix the ground mixture. Add the tamarind paste and salt  to taste. Bring the mixture to boil.

Heat ghee in the seasoning pan, add mustard seeds allow the seeds to splutter, and then add red chillies and asafetida.  Add the seasoning , mix well and serve with hot rice or ragi mudde.

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Main Course

Eggplant stir-fry

Eggplant (or brinjal in India, and “badanekai” in Kannada), is a favorite vegetable in my house. The only two varieties which I was most familiar with was the Eeranagere badanekai (Eeranagere is a town near Mysore) and Matti guLLa (Matti is a town near Udupi). If we go to an Asian market we see so many varieties of eggplant. I didn’t even know their existence until I came to the US. I have now been introduced to quite a few different cuisines where eggplant is the main vegetable. Today I tried my dish with Japanese eggplant and it turned out to be tasty!

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil-2 Tbsp

Japanese eggplant- 2 cups, diced

Red onion- 1 medium, thinly sliced

Tomatoes-2 medium, chopped

Brown sugar- 3 Tsp

Soy sauce-2 Tsp

Lime juice-2 Tsp

Chilli-garlic sauce- 1½ Tsp

Bean sprouts- 1½ cup

Bamboo shoots- 1 small can, sliced

Fresh mint- 3 Tsp chopped

Preparation:

Heat oil in a Wok or large pan. Sauté onions for 2 minutes, add in eggplant, stir-fry for 10 minutes over high heat or until eggplant is brown.

Stir in tomatoes, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice and chilli garlic sauce. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add bean sprouts and bamboo shoots, stir fry for a few more minutes.

Garnish with mint and serve with hot rice (preferably sticky rice).

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Main Course

Dosekal pathrode

Another recipe taught by my mother-in-law which is a favorite in our house. It’s easy to prepare and delicious too, usually prepared with heerekai (Ridge- gourd) but can also be prepared with baLekai (raw plantain) and badanekai (brinjal or eggplant). “Dosekal” is the griddle, literally meaning “dose stone”, or the stone on which the dose is made. Pathrode is the name of the dish.

Ingredients:

Heerekai (Ridge gourd)- cut into ¼ inch circles

Oil- for cooking

For making batter:

Raw rice- 1 cup

Urad dal-1 Tbsp

Channa dal- 1 Tbsp

Fenugreek seeds- ¼ Tsp

Soak all the above ingredients for 4-5 hours

Coconut- ½ cup

Dry red chilies- 8 to 9

Cumin seeds-½ Tsp

Coriander seeds-½ Tsp

Tamarind paste- 2 Tsp

Jaggery- 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste.

Preparation:

Dip the heerekai circles in the batter and arrange them on the griddle with the edges touching each other. Fill the gaps with batter, spread a tsp of oil around the corners and cook on a medium- low flame. Flip to the other side when it turns golden brown or roasted. Cook till it becomes crispy. This can be a side dish or an appetizer. I prefer to have it with anna saaru (rice and dal curry). Left over batter can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and can also be used for making different varieties of dose, like vegetable dose, onion dose, fenugreek leaves dose etc.

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Main Course

MeNasina saaru (Pepper Curry)

As soon as my mom hears me saying I made meNasina saaru today for lunch/dinner, she asks if we are doing okay or if any one of us is sick. We usually prepare this when we have a sore throat or a bad cold. Its a very powerful remedy. But I like to have this anytime especially when I am back from work on a  rainy day or in winter. Having meNasina saaru with hot rice on a rainy day is heaven for me and its a very easy recipe too.

Ingredients:

Split urad dhal- ¾ Tbsp

Pepper corns- ½-¾ Tsp

Shredded coconut- ½ cup

Curry leaves- 3 to 4

Jaggery-¼ Tsp

Ghee- 2 Tsp

Seasoning- Mustard seeds or cumin seeds, asafetida

Salt – To taste

Preparation:

Dry roast urad dal and pepper corns till they turn golden brown.  Grind shredded coconut, urad dal and pepper corns to fine paste. Bring this paste to boil adding sufficient amount of water, add curry leaves, jaggery and salt.  Allow it to boil for a few more minutes.

Heat ghee in a seasoning pan, add mustard seeds or cumin seeds, allow it to sputter. Then add asafetida and mix this seasoning to the curry before serving with rice.

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Main Course

BeLe saaru (Rasam)

BeLe saaru is without doubt the most popular comfort food in Karnataka. It is made with lentils and is delicious, and is easy to prepare. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like beLe saaru yet!

In my house, no one feels like they have completed a meal without eating beLe saaru-anna. My father-in-law often eats this after coming home from dinner in a restaurant!

Ingredients for Saarina Pudi (Rasam powder)

Coriander seeds-1 cup

Cumin seeds- 2 tsp

Fenugreek- 1tsp

Pepper corns-¾ tsp

Mustard seeds-½ tsp

Curry leaves- handful

Dry Red chili pieces- 4 cups (adjust the pieces according to the spiciness of the red chillies)

Asafoetida- ¾tsp

Other Ingredients:

Togari bele (Toor dal)-¾ cup

Tamarind or tamarind paste – lemon size or 2 tsp

Jaggery- ½ tsp

Tomato- 1

Curry leaves-3 to 4

Coriander (Cilantro)-2 to 3 strands

Mustard seeds-1 tsp

Asafoetida- ¼ tsp

Turmeric-¼ tsp

Coconut -2 tsp (optional)

Clarified butter (Ghee)-1tbsp

Salt-to taste

Preparation:

Saarina pudi (Rasam powder)

Dry roast all the above ingredients and grind them to fine powder. Store them in air tight container. It will remain fresh for many months. You need 1.5 tsp of this powder for this recipe.

Cut tomato half length-wise. If using tamarind, soak it in water for few minutes. Cook toor dal, tomato and turmeric in a pressure cooker.  In another container add 1/4 cup water, tamarind paste, (or squeeze the tamarind concentrate from tamarind) saarina pudi, jaggery and curry leaves and bring it to a boil. Now add cooked toor dal and tomato.  Add coconut at this point and keep stirring occasionally. Bring it to a boil add chopped coriander at the end.

Heat ghee in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering add asafoetida and turn off the heat. Add it to the saaru and mix. Serve with hot rice! Alternately, you can drink it like a soup!

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Main Course

Halasinakai huLi (raw jack fruit curry)

A special thanks to my mother-in-law who taught me this and other recipes from Dakshina Kannada district. She is from Kundapura and happens to be a very good cook.

Ingredients:

Raw jack fruit- 1/2 of a small one

or

Canned raw jack fruit- 1

Jaggery- 1½ tsp

Tamarind paste-2 tsp

Dry red chillies- 6

Coriander seeds- ¾ tbsp

Mustard seeds-¼ tbsp

Rice – ¾ tbsp

Curry leaves-6

Shredded coconut-¾ cup

Coconut oil-2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Dry roast red chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, rice and coriander seeds for few minutes. Grind all the roasted ingredients, jaggery, coconut, tamarind to a nice paste.  Adding rice makes the curry thick.

Remove the skin and cut the raw jack fruit into small cubes or cones. Cook it until tender. Canned can be directly washed and used.

Add the ground paste to the cooked jack fruit and keep it on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and allow it to boil.  Add salt to taste.

Seasoning:

Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil and add ½ tsp of mustard. Allow it to splutter and then add it to the curry. If you are not fond of coconut oil, vegetable/peanut oil can be added instead. Serve with hot rice!

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