Baked Onion Bhajia – Vegan and Gluten Free

22 May

This recipe can have many names it just depends on what you wish to call it. Pakoras, pakodas, bhajia, Bhaji, savory muffins, pancakes…yes, I use the same batter to make breakfast pancakes. How cool is that :-).

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-besan-bhaji-bhajjiI have used the traditional Goan recipe for deep-fried bhajias. It is a common sight along the street in the evening. I remember the Aai(mom) who would make it just outside of the general store with a stove, deep-frying pan and newspaper that she wrapped the bhajias. On my recent visit to Margao in Goa I saw her daughter who does it now. The smell of deep-fried onions would make me drool on my walk back home from the bus stop during my college days.

onion-bhajia-pakora-deep-fried-gluteen-free-snack-ideas

Deep Fried Goan Onion Bhajia’s

The batter is made with gram flour (besan, chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour), turmeric, ajwain or jeera(optional) and water. Sliced onions, overnight brine whole green chillies or slices of potatoes are added. You can spoon a small amount at a time and deep fry or bake like I did. This is a very common street food snack in Goa and perfect for those raining days with a nice cup of hot tea.

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients-gluten-free-savory-muffinsI made my baked onion bhajia in the muffin tin for its shape. I did not want to make the batter too thick and was not too sure of the shape if I had baked small scopes on a cookie sheet.

Serving Size: 11-12 muffins

Ingredients:

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients1 cup gram flour

1/4 tsp of powder ajwain (optional – but good for digestion – antiflatulent)

1/4 tsp of turmeric (for color)

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1.5 sliced medium-sized white or red onions

1 jalapeno chopped

1/2 bunch of fresh chopped cilantro.

2  tbsp of oil

3/4 cup water

Salt to taste

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-indianDirections:

Heat oven to 500F

Grease a muffin tin

In a mixing bowl add the first 4 dry ingredients, water and strip well to a smooth batter. Next add the onions, cilantro, jalapeno, oil and salt and mix well.

Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 8 minutes then flip the muffin and bake for another 8 minutes.

goan-onion-pakoda-pakora-bhajias-recipe-ingredients-garbanzo-beans-flour-pancakes

Eat it hot off the oven with a nice cup of milk tea. Cool and refrigerate the rest. Warm up and enjoy it for a quick healthy snack or a breakfast muffin.

Caldinha de Peixe

15 May

Making this recipe of Caldinha de Peixe (fish) made me remember my dad. He loved this curry for the subtle sweet flavors and less heat. He also loved any kind of fish as he grew up on a beautiful small island and had access to fresh seafood all the time. In Goa the fish used to make this recipe are pomfret, king fish, prawns or pumpkin. Since tilapia is more readily available in the stores I used it. Caldinha is a popular dish made for feast celebrations.

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-caldin-curry-vegetarian-vegan-recipeI have seen a variation of recipes online some with vinegar, tomatoes and ginger. I am sharing with you our household recipe that I remember that does not include the above. On a side note when vinegar was suggested there was a mention of the coconut milk cuddling. My suggestion is to skip it as the required sourness is achieved by adding tamarind.

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-caldin-recipeYou can make a few different variations to this recipe. It can be made vegetarian or vegan by adding pumpkin, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, deep-fried tofu or deep-fried paneer. As it is way less spicier it is kid friendly as well.

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lbs of tilapia fillet cut into 4 pieces each

1 medium onion chopped fine

5 garlic cloves

10 whole peppercorns

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

tamarind the size of a nickel

1 jalapeno ( de-seed for less heat)

1/8 tsp of turmeric powder

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup water

salt to taste

couple chopped sprigs of fresh cilantro

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-ingredientsDirections:

Wash the fish apply salt and keep aside.

Grind garlic,cumin, coriander seeds, peppercorns, tamarind and 1/3 of the onion along with couple tablespoons of coconut milk.

Heat oil in a pan, add the remaining chopped onions, saute till soft.

Next add turmeric, the ground paste and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, water and simmer on medium heat uncovered ( else it  will spill).

Finally add the fish, season with salt and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes on medium low heat till the fish is cooked.

Garnish with chopped cilantro.

caldinha-de-peixe-fish-goan-portuguese-fried-fish-recipe-mushroom-cauliflower

Serve hot with white rice, appam( rice pancakes), bread or sanam( steamed rice cakes).

A perfect Goan meal would be rice, curry and some nice crispy Goan fried fish…yum!

Spicy Braised Chicken with Goan Twist

8 May

A Very Happy Mothers Day to all you Mom’s out there. You deserve to be celebrated.

If you love braised meat and spicy then this is going to be your new favorite. Since Goan recheado masala is traditionally used with seafood it was a risk to use it with meats. My husbands regular out of the box cooking experiments, which at most times are successful just gave me the nudge I needed to experiment in cross-continent cooking(not sure if I sound right) but I am sure you get the point :-) . braised-chicken-thigh-recipe-spicy-recheado-masala-breast-goan This recipe does not use wine but uses a red spicy curry paste made with vinegar and the meat liquid is used to braise the meat. I prefer bone in for added flavor of the bone and marrow but you can do boneless.  This spicy braised chicken has multiple uses. You can use it as a side, on a salad, lettuce wrap with a sweet sauce, sandwiches or for even a quesadilla. It is that good and just 3 ingredients!

braised-chicken-thigh-recipe-spicy-recheado-masala-indian-cast-ironThe best way to enjoy very flavorful meats is to marinate the meat overnight in the refrigerator with the spice paste, salt and sugar. Technically the longer the better.

braised-chicken-thigh-legs-recipe-spicy-recheado-masala-spices-used-imageServing Size: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 lbs of boneless chicken thighs

3-4 tbsp of recheado masala

1 medium onion diced

1/2 tsp of sugar.

Salt to taste

braised-chicken-thigh-recipe-spicy-recheado-masala-ingredientsDirections:

In a non-stick or cast iron pot saute the onions till soft.

Next add the marinated chicken cover and cook for 20-25 minutes turning each side after 10 minutes each on medium low heat till the meat is soft, dry and slightly browned.

braised-chicken-thigh-recipe-spicy-recheado-masala-dry-indian-cast-iron

If your chicken does not give out much liquid as mine than add 1/2 cup water.

This recipe also works well for grilling chicken.

Sprouted Moong Dal

1 May

I love this recipe, it is my go-to for days when I want to watch my carbs but not starve ( You know what I mean right ;-)). It is more an Indian recipe with a touch of Goan spices and fresh grated coconut. It does take planning to make this recipe as you need to soak the moong beans at-least overnight or for 2 days. If you have a pressure cooker then you can skip soaking.

moong-mung-beans-dal-recipes-easy-indian-goan-curry-dosa-khichdiAt times I like to sprout extra moong dal (mung beans) so I can make a Goan Tea time sweet called “Chunn” which was made years back. Traditionally it is made with chana dal but I use moong beans since I usually have it in my pantry. It is made by steaming the moong beans and then mixing it with fresh grated coconut, cardamom and Goan coconut jaggery( I get mine imported from Goa).

moong-mung-beans-dal-recipes-indian-goan-curry-sproutsSoak the mung beans in water overnight. Then pour out the water and let it sprout one more day. Cover the top of the moong dal with wet paper towel. A 1.25 cup of dry moong dal will yield approx 3.5 to 4 cups of sprouted mung beans.

moong-mung-beans-dal-recipes-xacuti-masala-coconut-vegetarian-indian-goan-curryServing Size: 4-6 people

Ingredients:

4 cups of sprouted moong beans

1 medium onion diced

1 medium tomato chopped

4-5 garlic cloves diced

3 tbsp of xacuti masala

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut

1.75 cup of water

salt to taste

moong-mung-beans-dal-recipes-ingredients-indian-goan-curryDirections:

Fry the onions till translucent. Next add the tomatoes, garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes till the tomatoes soften.

Then add the xacuti masala spice mix and saute for another 2 minutes. Add water, season with salt, cover and bring to a simmer.

Next add the sprouted moong dal, mix well and cook covered on low medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Check on salt.

moong-mung-beans-dal-recipes-nutrition-halwa-indian-goan-curry

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro/coriander. I also like to garnish it with fresh made salsa.

Serve with hot white rice, bread or naan. If you love moong dal (mung beans) like me then check out more recipes made with moong.

Gorchem – Moong Dal Pudding made with fresh grated coconut and jaggery.

Moong Dosa – Moong beans savory pancakes

Batata Bhaji – Spiced Potatoes

24 Apr

Batata Bhaji is to an Indian what roasted potatoes is to an American. The potatoes are spiced to give it flavor. It is a vegetarian and a vegan recipe. In Goa there are a few variations one where curry leaf and cumin are the bold flavors, the other is ginger and cumin. This potato recipe can be made with or without coconut also with gravy or dry. The dry version can be used to make a favorite Indian snack called Batata Vada. A deep-fried potato dumplings coated with a garbanzo bean flour batter.

batata-bhaji-aloo-potato-subzi-recipe-indian-curry-sukhi-suka

Interestingly “Batata” in portuguese is “Potato” and is a word used all over in India but there is a difference in the pronunciation and you can tell the difference if you are familiar with both. This recipe was made mostly on Fridays at our home. The leftovers are used to make kids popular grilled sandwich for snack. The bread is stuffed with potatoes and a little ketchup….yummy! You can also make potato fritters by mashing the potatoes, forming into patties and coating them with rava (cream of wheat) and shallow frying till golden brown.

batata-bhaji-aloo-potato-subzi-ingredients-recipe-vegetarian-veganServing Size: 4-6

Ingredients:

3 russet potatoes peeled and diced in 1/2″ cubes

1 medium onion diced

1 jalapeno

1 cup grated coconut

1.5″ of ginger

1/2 tsp of cumin seeds

2 cups water

1/4 tsp of mustard seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1-2 sprigs of curry leaf

salt to taste

batata-bhaji-aloo-potato-subzi-ingredients-recipeDirections:

Wash, clean and cut the potatoes in 1/2″ cubes. Soak them in light salted water.

Grind the coconut, ginger, 1/4 tsp of cumin with 1/3 cup water to a paste.

Heat oil in a pot add the mustard seeds till it splutters, add the onions, cumin seeds, jalapeno and saute till the onion is translucent.

Next add the turmeric, coconut paste, curry leaves and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining water, season with salt and cover till the gravy simmers.

Finally add the potatoes, check on salt, cover and cook on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes till the potatoes are soft. Do not over stir lest the potato get mashed.

batata-bhaji-aloo-potato-subzi-recipe-goan-coconutEnjoy with hot rice, bread, puri (poori) or dosa.

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