Baked Stuffed Karela – Bitter Melon Recipe

15 Aug

Bitter Melon is not a common vegetable at the grocery stores in the US but is a very popular vegetable among the Asians and for its health benefits. In Goa one of the popular recipes I grew up with is stuffed karela made with prawns/shrimps and goan recheado masala. The stuffing is first cooked and then stuffed melon is shallow fried in oil.  My recipe is vegetarian with 2 variations from the original recipe, I have skipped the prawns and I baked the karela instead of shallow frying.

 stuffed-prawns-shrimps-karela-recheado-masala-recipe-fried-shallow-keema

Since karela is a bitter melon to rid the bitterness it requires 3 things that I think help cut the bitterness. First applying a generous amount of salt to each melon inside out and let stand for 30-45 minutes to drain out the bitter liquid. Second it need an acid and finally a little sweetness. Indian’s believe in many health benefits of karela/bitter melon you can check out more on my earlier blog post of Prawns and Bitter melon Fry by clicking here.

stuffed-karela-goan-indian-ingredients

Serving Size: 12 small karela – 4″ size

Ingredients:

12 small karela/ bitter melons

2 medium onion chopped fine

1 medium tomato chopped fine

6 cloves of garlic chopped fine

1″ ginger cut fine

3 tbsp of goan recheado masala

1 tsp of sugar

1 bunch of fine chopped cilantro

2 tbsp of garam masala

salt to taste

Directions:

Split each karela and scoop out the seeds apply generous salt to each one inside-out and keep aside for 30-45 minutes. It will let out some bitter liquid. Wipe each dry with a paper towel.

In a pan heat oil, saute the onions till soft. Next add the ginger garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes along with the recheado masala. Finally add the sugar and salt to season mix well.

Take of heat and add the chopped cilantro. Keep aside to cool.

To the dried karela apply a little oil and garam masala inside and out and stuff each one with the recheado filling.

Bake at 415F for 35 minutes till the karela is soft.

stuffed-prawns-shrimps-karela-recheado-masala-recipe-goan

 

 

 

For Variations

  •  Add prawns/shrimps or paneer to the stuffing and instead of baking shallow fry the karela till they soften on the outside about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  • Some recipes in Indian Cuisine use ground beef or chicken and potatoes.

Do note this recipe is spicy. You can make your own stuffing. My recommendation would be to add sour and sweet taste to cut the bitterness.

Nachne Polle – Gluten Free Sweet Red Millet Flour Pancakes Recipe

29 Jul

According to my mum Polle/Pole/Polo in konkani is a sweet or savory pancake made of flour. I really do not know much history about the Goan polle/polo nor could I find any information online. Hopefully on my next trip to Goa I can get more information on less popular Goan recipes that are disappearing. Another on my wish list is “Shollio/sholorio“. I hope I have spelt it right….if not please correct it in the comment section below…Thanks!

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-gluten-free-recipe-coconut

The nachne(millet in konkani) pole are almost red-black in color if you use the goan coconut jaggery but if you use the pale brown then it had a reddish-pink color. I do make these pancake often now since my husband and I enjoy them for breakfast and evening tea and it is gluten-free and vegan🙂  . These pancakes are not fluffy but if you like them to be fluffy you can add about 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the batter. Growing up as a child we had a variations of the pancakes made for evening tea and some more homemade snacks. We ate boiled sweet potatoes, coconut stuffed pancakes called allebelle,  nankhatais, patolios, boiled taro, gorchem, bolo de rulao, bolinhos de coco, xiro, docebaji, plum-cake, atoll.

pole-polo-rred-millet-flour-pancake-ingredients

 

Serving Size: 12 pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cup red millet/ragi/nachne flour

1 cup grated fresh coconut

3/4  cup grated jaggery

1.5-2 cups water or coconut milk (pancake batter consistency)

1/2 tsp of baking powder (optional if you do not like dense pancakes)

2 pinches of salt

Directions:

Mix the batter together till the jaggery mixes well and dissolves.

Heat a nonstick pan and pour approx 1/4 cup of the batter and let cook about 4 minutes on each side on medium heat.

Enjoy a nice healthy tea snack.

You can make in advance and store it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Just warm them up in the microwave before eating.

pole-polo-red-millet-flour-pancake-ragi-nachne-goan-recipe

Pressure Cooker Seasoned Black Beans Recipe

22 Jul

I had never cooked with black beans before as I always bought canned ones from the store. I was very surprised as to how easy and flavorful it was cooking at home.  Making your own is a better option than the cans considering from a health safety point of view. You can refrigerate or freeze the beans for later use. I made this recipe a couple of time now with and without oil and you cannot tell much of a difference.

seasoned-black-beans-pressure-cooker-recipe-cuban     seasoned-black-beans-pressure-cooker-soak-no-rice-recipe

One know fact about Goan cuisine is it does not use black beans neither did I see them in stores growing up. My husband has made an effort (with his wife’s helps🙂  ) to eat more greener. He has been eating almost 90% plant-based diet and I must admit it can be monotonous if not being creative. It is also hard work and has to be planned. Since we do eat a lot of leafy green salads I am always looking for some protein to be included and black beans along with garbanzo beans are my goto.

Please feel free to share your Black Beans Recipes in the comments section.

seasoned-black-beans-pressure-cooker-ingredients

Serving Size: 4 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups of overnight soaked black beans

4 cups water

1 tsp of whole cumin seeds

4 crushed cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp of red chilli powder (optional)

1 chopped small onion (optional)

3 tbsp of oil

1/8 tsp of baking soda

Salt to season

Directions:

Add all the ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook for 25 minutes or 4 whistles.

Take off heat and let the pressure be released completely before you open the cooker to be safe.

Drain the liquid and save for making soup. Use black beans to make a variety of foods like rice, tostada, salad or more.

seasoned-black-beans-canned-recipe-vegetarian-vegan-tostada-salads

 

Goan Guisado de Galinha – Chicken Stew Recipe

8 Jul

Guisado in portuguese means “stew”. This recipe is credited to the portuguese influence on Goan heritage. It is more of a chicken curry than a stew. My mom makes it often at our home. Since my dad loved potatoes, she always added some. In my recipe there is a little added heat from fresh green chilli as my mom says that it adds a nice fresh flavor to the curry. If you feel it has too much heat then substitute the red and green chilli with paprika.

chicken-guisada-guisado-recipe-pollo-goan-portuguese

I may be wrong but based on my online search, in Portugal polvo(octopus) guisado is more popular than galhina(chicken). Also I found out that guisado is a very popular dish in south america with variations from each country.

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 lbs of chicken (thighs, drumsticks with or without bones)

1 small onion chopped

1 small tomato chopped

5-6 garlic clove chopped

1″ ginger chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

1 green chilli halved (optional)

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

1 dime sized tamarind

1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds

2 potatoes cleaned and quartered

1 cup of water

salt to taste

chicken-guisado-guisada-recipe-goan-imports-ingredients

Directions:

Clean, wash and apply salt, ginger and garlic to the chicken pieces and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

Add the tamarind ball to the cup of water and let soak.

Heat oil in a pot add onions and saute till soft. Next add the green chilli, cumin, red chilli powder, turmeric and tomato and saute till the tomato softens.

Next add the chicken and saute for 4-5 minutes till well coated with the spices.

To this add tamarind water, cut potatoes and season with salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for 30-35 minutes. Check in between and stir.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or bread.

chicken-guisado-guisada-recipe-portuguese-mexican-colombian-pork-beef

Bolinhos de Coco – Coconut Cookies Recipes

24 Jun

Bolinhos de coco or Bolinhas ( cookies in portuguese) is a very popular cookie for evening tea time in Goa. They are also popular during christmas. Since cream of wheat /rava is used to make them, they have a nice crunch and can also be tricky if not made right. The cookies can be hard to bite. In India cream of wheat is used to make multiple sweets/ desserts, Baath / Batica (cake), Sheera / Xiro , Neureos ( deep-fried coconut stuffed sweet dumplings).

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-recipe-baked-christmas-baath

As I was researching the recipe I found that some used white flour in the batter and some cooked the batter slightly before baking the cookies.  My recipe does not use flour but I did roast the cream of wheat/rava for a couple of minutes on medium heat to remove the rawness. My mom always did it and it gives a nice toasted smell. I also soaked the batter for 5 hours to soften the rava  before I baked the bolinhos and added a little extra baking powder to make it light instead of the cookies being dense. Since I used frozen grated coconut I replaced the water with coconut milk. In my opinion the frozen grated coconut found in the US is squeezed out of the first milk and so has no taste.

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-christmas-ingredients

Serving size: 20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups of toasted cream of wheat / rava/ sooji

2 cups grated coconut

1.25 cup of sugar

3 tbsp of butter

2 beaten eggs

1/2 cup water or coconut milk

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

2-3 pinches of salt

Directions:

In a pan heat sugar, frozen coconut, salt, butter and water / coconut milk till all the sugar melts. Take off heat and mix in the cream of wheat / rava and let stand for 4 to 6 hours.

Heat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet or line a cookie pan.

Next add the 2 beaten eggs and baking powder and mix well.  Shape into cookies and bake for  25-30 minutes till light golden brown.

goan-sweet-bolinhos-bolinhas-coconut-coco-recipe

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