Alle Piyavu Fish ( Fish in coconut and onion-ginger gravy)

Alle piao is one of the most popular fish recipes in a 'Konkani' household. Alle in konkani means ginger and piyavu / piao means onion. Eventhough the masolu(gravy) is similar to many other konkani curries, the ginger adds a unique flavour to this preparation. This recipe was requested by Mr. Kishor Rao from Maharashtra. I used tilapia fish for this recipe.
What you will need:
1 fish (cut into 2" pieces)
1 cup shredded fresh/frozen coconut
6 dry fried red chillies
3 - 4 green chillies, slit
tamarind - about half the size of a lime
1" piece ginger - finely chopped
1 small onion - finely chopped
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Grind coconut, red chillies and tamarind into a fine paste.
Transfer the paste into a pan. Add water to get the desired consistency.
Add salt, chopped ginger, green chillies and onion and bring it to a boil.
Add the fish and cook until the fish is done.
Pour the oil on top and turn the heat off.
I like to add coconut oil as it brings a unique taste to this preparation.

This is one of the easiest fish curries I have ever made. It just takes 10 minutes of preparation. I used tilapia fish for this preparation. I like to make it very spicy. After a long day at work, I like to eat this spicy fish with paij (rice soup, usually made with boiled rice).
What you will need:
1 small fish (cleaned and cut into 2" pieces)
1 tsp chilli powder (or more)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Mix all the powders and ginger garlic paste with 1/4 cup of water to make a paste.
Heat the oil. Add the paste and fry until the raw smell of the paste goes away.
Add the fish pieces and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook until the fish is done.
Turn the heat off and add the lemon juice.

Sheera is a pudding made with semolina. It is made both in north and south India but is referred to with different names. In Karnataka, it is called 'Sajjige'. You can also add some pineapple pieces to this preparation to make pineapple pudding. In some places it is served as a dessert. In the fast food restaurants in Bangalore, this is served for breakfast with upma / uppittu. In many north Indian temples, the halwa is given as 'prasad'. Also in North India, puri halwa is served for breakfast.
What you will need:
1 cup medium rawa (sooji or semolina)
3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 cup warm milk
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
few strands of saffron
3 - 4 cloves
8 - 10 cashewnuts

How to prepare:
Soak the saffron in 2 tsps of milk.
Heat ghee in a pan. Add cashewnuts and stir-fry. Now add the cloves and then add the rawa. Fry the rava on a medium heat until the nice aroma comes out. After the rava is done, slowly add the warm milk and water while stirring the rawa. Cover and cook until the water evaporates. Now add the sugar and mix well. Cook for another 2 minutes.Add the cardamom powder and saffron soaked in milk and turn the heat off.
Serve hot.

Palak Paneer ( Spinach with cottage cheese )

What you will need:
1 cup cubed paneer
1 cup chopped tomatoes
4 cups chopped spinach
1" ginger
1-2 green chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 cup cream or 1 cup milk
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Blend the spinach coarsely but make sure it does not become a paste.Keep aside.
Blend the tomatoes, chillies and ginger into a fine paste.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the tomato paste.
Add the coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Cook until the oil separates from the paste. Add the spinach and cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Add salt and cream or milk and cook until the spinach is completely cooked.
Now add the paneer cubes and mix gently. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3 - 5 minutes. Serve hot.

What you will need:
1 1/2 cups of fresh or frozen peas
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1" piece of ginger
2-3 green chillies
1 cup cubed paneer (cottage cheese)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup cream or 1 cup thick milk
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Cook the peas with a little salt and keep aside.I do not like to deep-fry the paneer, but if you like it that way, you could deep fry the paneer cubes until light brown in color. Instead I put the paneer cubes in water for 15 minutes so that the smell goes away and use them as it is.
Grind together the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies into a fine paste.
Heat oil. Add cumin seeds, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and fry until you smell the aroma of the cinnamon stick.
Add the tomato paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. Cook until the oil separates from the paste.
Add the cooked peas and adjust the salt. Now add the paneer and cream or milk. Add crushed kasoori methi to the gravy. Let the mixture boil for 3-4 minutes.
Serve hot with roti, parantha or rice.

I never liked ragi until I tasted this dosa. It tastes best when served hot with mint/ pudina chutney.

What you will need:
2 cups ragi flour
1 cup shredded coconut fresh/frozen
1 cup chopped onions
5-6 green chillies, finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee / clarified butter
salt to taste

How to prepare:
In a bowl, mix onions, coriander leaves, green chillies, coconut, salt and sugar with 2 cups of warm water. Add the ragi flour and mix well so that no lumps are formed. The consistency should be similar to that of the dosa batter.
Keep it aside for 15 minutes.
Heat the griddle and grease it with ghee. Pour a spoonful of the batter on the griddle. Cover and cook. Pour some ghee on the top and then flip it and cook the other side. The onions in the batter should be slightly roasted. Remove the dosa when done.

What you will need:
1 small cucumber / magge (yellow cucumber)
1 1/2 cups thin rava / rice rava
1/2 cup wheat flour
4 tsp sugar
ginger - a small piece
4 green chillies - chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp shredded coconut
curry leaves - 2 strands
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Peel the skin of the cucumber and grate it.
Add the rava, wheat flour, coconut, green chillies, chopped ginger ,chopped curry leaves, sugar and salt. Mix everything well. If required, add just a little water. Do not add too much water.
Heat the griddle and grease it. Spread the mixture on the pan with your hand.
Cover and cook. After the first side is done, flip and cook the other side.
Serve hot with butter on top.

Batat phovu / poha ( Flattened rice with potatoes )

What you will need:
3 cups poha
1 cup chopped onions
1 potato - cut into very small cubes
4-5 green chillies cut into big pieces
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 tbsp shreadded fresh/frozen coconut
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
curry leaves - 2 strands
some chopped coriander leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
6 tsp oil / ghee
salt to taste

How to prepare:
Add water to the poha and wash it and immediately drain all the water out.Squeeze excess water if necessary. Add the salt and sugar to the poha and mix. With your hands,break any lumps that might be formed in the poha.
Heat oil/ghee in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When these crackle, add the green chillies, urad dal, curry leaves, turmeric powder and mix. Then add the chopped onions. When the onions are slightly brown, add the potatoes. Add a little salt and cover and cook until the potatoes are done. Now add the poha and coconut. Cover and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off. Add the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.