My entries to WYF: Teatime snack event

The following are my entries to the WYF: Teatime Snack Event.
Please click on the pictures to view the recipes.

Spicy Corn:

Spicy Corn

Spicy Teatime cookies:

Spicy Cookies Teatime cookies

Upkari / Palya (stir fried beans, carrots and potatoes)


Upkari in Konkani means vegetables stir-fried in minimum oil and garnished with fresh coconut. In most konkani households, dinner is usually paij (rice soup) with an upkari. A konkani blog without a recipe for upkari is like a North Indian restaurant that does not serve Naan/Roti.
Upkari can be made with different kinds of vegetables. Most popular being alsande upkari(long beans), tendli upkari( ivy gourd), bhenda upkari( with okra). A small potato can usually be added with alsande or tendli upkari. The most popular upkari is bibbe upkari, which combines tendli (ivy gourd) with cashewnuts. Bibbe in konkani means cashews and god...they are so good!! I cannot find the bibbe here in montreal, I will post the recipe when I find them.
Usually after I make kolmbo(sambar) or pulao during the week, I find that I have a few beans, carrots and potatoes left. So I combine them together and make this "flag" upkari. I like to call this the flag upkari because it has orange, white and green colors representing the Indian flag :)
If you are watching your diet, you can reduce the oil to just 1 tsp and cook it in a non-stick pan and also bring down the amount of coconut.
Enjoy this recipe...

What you will need:
  • Green Beans - 5 to 6
  • Carrots - 1 or 2 small
  • Potato - 1
  • Red chillies - 2
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Warm water - 1/4 cup
  • Coconut - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
How to prepare:

Wash the vegetables thoroughly and cut them into small pieces about the size shown in the picture above.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the red chillies. Saute for about 30 seconds and then add the vegetables. Saute for another minute. Add salt and warm water. Lower the flame and cook the vegetables on a low flame. Check in between to see that the vegetables are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If all the water has been dried up, you can sprinkle some more water. Cover and cook until the vegetables are done. Turn the heat off and garnish with freshly shredded coconut.

Serve the upkari with rice and dalitoy(dal) or with rice and rasam / tomato saru.

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Sambar is a vegetable made with tamarind juice and toor dal(yellow lentils), and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India. It is called Kolombo/Kolmbo in konkani

Sambar is a regular in my kitchen and I make it atleast once every week. But using different vegetables everytime, makes it taste completely different. Rice with sambar is a complete meal as we get to eat the veggies, the rice has the carbs and the lentils are rich in protein. Now this is something that is healthy and delicious...perfect!!

I have a cousin who loves Sambar so much that he has to have it everyday, we call him Sambar Krishna. Whenever my aunt does not make sambar, he buys it from a hotel nearby for 5 rupees.

There are so many variations of sambar and it tastes completely different depending on the vegetables used in the preparation. For breakfast, with idly I usually make sambar with small whole onions. When I prepare sambar with rice for lunch or dinner, I do not add onions. You can make sambar with just okra(bhindi or ladies finger) or with brinjal/eggplant(badanekayi) or radish( moolangi sambar) or with a combination of different vegetables like green beans, potatoes, carrots, drumstick, ivy gourd (tonde kayi or tendli) etc.

I had never tried moolangi (radish) sambar before until I moved to bangalore. My roommate from Mysore was an expert at making moolangi sambar. She uses a lot of coriander leaves (almost the whole bunch) and boils the sambar with the leaves and believe me, the taste is so different. For someone like me who does not like radish at all due to its smell, even I loved this sambar.

I am sure a lot of us are pressed for time and would rather use the store bought sambar powder than to grind the masala for Sambar. So here goes the recipe for sambar using sambar powder...

What you will need:
  • Tool dal - 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies - 2 to 3
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Vegetables of your choice - 2 small cups
  • Coriander leaves - a small bunch
  • * Tamarind - size of a lemon soaked in water
  • Sambar powder - 2 tsp
  • Oil
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Red chillies - 2
  • Curry leaves - 4 to 5 strands
  • Salt to taste
* If you do not have tamarind, you can use 2 small tomatoes instead and cook it with the vegetables.

How to prepare
Cook the toor dal with turmeric powder and 2 drops of oil. Cook the vegetables separately with some salt and slit green chillies. This way the vegetables are not bland when cooked.
Mash the cooked dal(lentils) well, you can use an egg beater for the same. Add the water from the cooked vegetables to the dal to change the consistency to your liking.
Strain the remaining water from the vegetables and add it to the dal. Adjust the salt. Mix the sambar powder in the tamarind juice to form a thin paste.
Put the dal and vegetables on the stove on a medium flame and allow it to come to a boi. Now add the sambar powder mixed with the tamarind juice. Add the chopped coriander leaves. Cook the mixture on a low flame for about 10 minutes. Turn the flame off. Keep it covered.
Heat oil in a separate container. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add red chillies and curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the sambar and cover it.
Serve hot with rice or sambar :)

Tip: When making sambar with okra/bhindi, never cook the okra in water. Fry the okra in oil and cook on a low flame until it is done and later add it to the cooked lentils.
When making sambar with eggplant, never cook the eggplant in a pressure cooker, or even if you do make sure you turn the cooker off before the first whistle as you do not want the eggplant to get mashed up and disappear in the preparation.
When cooking different vegetables together, it is always better to cook them in water adding the vegetables that require more time to cook first and then after they are slightly done, add the vegetables like cauliflower or eggplant that do not require as much time as other vegetables to cook.

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Shrimp Coconut Rice (Prawns and rice in coconut)

shrimp,shrimp coconut rice,coconut

What you will need:
  • Shrimps (Prawns) - 12 - 15, deveined
  • Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  • Rice - 2 cups
  • Onions, sliced - 2 medium
  • Coconut - 1 cup
  • Coriander leaves - 4 to 5 strands
  • Mint leaves - 4 to 5 strands(optional)
  • Green chillies, slit - 4 to 5
  • Ginger, chopped - 1 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves - 1 or 2
  • Cloves - 4 to 6
  • Star anise - 2
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
How to prepare
  • Marinate the shrimps in mixture of lemon juice and salt.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the cumin seeds. When they splutter whole garam masala (bay leaves, cloves, star anise). Sauté until the aroma of the garam masala arises.
  • Add the sliced onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions turn light brown in color. Add the slit green chillies, ginger and garlic.
  • Add the rice and fry for a minute or two. Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves. Add the coconut milk, 2 and a half cups of warm water and salt. Cover and let the rice cook.
  • In a separate pan, heat a tsp of oil. Add the shrimps along with the marinade. Cook for about 5 minutes until the shrimps are done.
  • When the rice is almost done, add the cooked shrimp and mix well. When the rice is cooked, transfer it into a serving dish and serve hot.