Tag Archives: Maharashtrian

Dried shrimps gravy.

This recipe is for Madhavi who commented that she wanted dry shrimp/ prawn gravy recipe. Beware my non-vegetarians friends that this recipe might suit your palates since its an acquired taste but  those who like it , they crave for it .

People along the coastal part of India dry different varieties of fish so that they can last longer. In the process of drying and ? curing the fish gets a pungent smell which can be hard to stand. My mom makes dry fish curries and dried shrimps called “sodey” in my native language is one of my favorites. I found dried shrimps in one of the local South-east asian grocery stores and decided to try it out.

Ingredients-

1 packet of dried shrimps ( roughly about 1 1/ cup) ,
1 large onion,
1 tomato( optional),
2-3 cloves of garlic,
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste,
1 tsp chilli powder,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
1 1/2 tsp tamarind pulp.
Salt to taste.

Break the shrimps in to halves and put them in luke warm water for a while so that they become soft. Wash them and keep them aside. Heat up the oil and add crushed garlic. Once the garlic turns brown add the chopped onion and saute well. When the onions turn translucent add the ginger-garlic paste and fry them well till them start turning brown. Add the chopped tomato and saute a bit more. Then add the dried shrimps and saute over a high flame initally. This will reduce the pungent smell. Then add the chilli podwer, turmeric powder and salt. Add some water depending on the consistency of the gravy and tamarind pulp. Cook the shrimps with a lid over a medium flame. This particular dish should have a good balance of spicy and tangy flavour. Once the shrimps are cooked, garnish with fresh coriander and its ready to serve.

It can be served with Rotis ( whole wheat bread) or Rice. I feel it goes best with Bhakris ( bread made of different kinds of flours) and thats how I had it for my dinner.

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Sweet dumplings/ Modak

I had mentioned in my earlier post that this week is Food festival week so it was for me 🙂 Last Sunday was Ganesh Chaturthi one of the Indian festivals and I made a sweet dish called “Modak” which resembles a dumpling but with a sweet filling inside it. In the state of Maharashtra in India, Ganesh Chaturthi ( 4th day after the new moon day according to the Lunar calender) is celebrated with great enthusiasm and modak is synonymous with Lord Ganesha.

To make Modak one has to first prepare the filling.

Ingredients- 2 cup of fresh grated coconut
1 cup of jaggery / sugar. ( I took 3/4 proportion og jaggery and 1/4 of sugar)
Few raisins,
1/4 tsp of cardamom powder.
Saffron ( optional)
Heat up a pan and mix the coconut with the jaggery and stir it over medium flame till the water from the coconut evaporates. Add raisins and cardamom powder to it.
Once the filling is prepared we proceed to make the dough for the modaks. Boil about 2 cups of water , add a little oil and 1/4 tsp of salt to it. Once the water boils add 2 1/2 cups of rice flour to it and stir immediately on a low flame so that the flour forms a lump. Then switch of the flame and cover the vessel with a lid for about a minute or so. While the dough is still hot apply bit of oil on the hands and knead the dough well. Take a small ball of the dough and with the fingers make it like a cup. Keep the rest of the dough covered as it tends to dry up quickly . Add the filling in the centre of the cup and then with your fingers pinch the sides and then gather them together to close the dumpling. When finished it should look like a lotus bud. Once the modaks are steam them and they are ready to eat. Traditionally they are steamed over a base of banana leaf so that they retain the moisture and the covering doesn;t become too dry.

Making modaks by hand is a skill which I haven’t yet mastered thoroughly so some of my modaks don’t look dainty. One can also use a Modak mold so the process is less tedious. I recommend that use a fresh pack of rice flour when you make modaks otherwise the dough tends to break at the edges .

I hope you all enjoy making modaks and if anyone of you has a nice picture do send it to me and I will post it on the blog.

Stuffed Banana / Bharli keli

The month of Aug in India is a month of festivals and for me that equates to yummy food. When I was growing up my mother always made special dishes on certain occasions. On Gokulashtami day ( Birth of Lord Krishna according to the Mythological tale) she used to prepare this recipe out of raw bananas. So this year I thought why not try out the same, ofcourse with variations because we don’t get those raw bananas ( rajali keli) in the US. For this recipe I took –

5 ripe Bananas,
1 cup of fresh grated coconut,
1/3 cup of jaggery ,
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder,
1/4 tsp Nutmeg powder,
some raisins,
1tbsp of clarified butter / Ghee.

Cut the Bananas into halves and then slit them but not all the way. To make the stuffing, heat up the pan and add the grated coconut and jaggery and fry it well till the water in the coconut dries up. Add the raisins, nutmeg and cardamom to it. Now stuff the bananas with this taking care that they don’t break. The ripe bananas are very soft and tend to break easily and if they do then tie them up with a thread so that they hold the stuffing well.

Heat up a shallow pan and the clarified butter or ghee, then arrange the bananas in the pan and let them become brown on both the sides. In the original recipe you have to let the bananas cook but since we are using ripe ones don’t cover the pan to cook them. Once the bananas have a nice golden brown colour on both the sides take them off the heat. Some of the stuffing will come out of the bananas and thats acceptable.

This dish can be served either warm or cold. Its quick and easy to make and something quite traditional. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Amboli or Maharashtrian Dosa

This recipe is the Maharashtrian counterpart of the South-indian dosa. It comes from the western costal region of Maharashtra. My mom makes this in the month of “shravan” which falls in end July or August. I have never tried it but I thought of sharing this recipe with you all.

Ingredients- 1kg  of rice, 1/2 kg or Urid flour, 1/2 cup of chana dal, 1/2 cup of wheat flour, 1/4 cup of methi ( fenugreek seeds) salt to taste.

First wash the rice & dry it indoors & then grind it in to a fine paste. The chana dal should also be soaked & then ground. Then combine all the ingredients, add sufficient quantity of water to make a thick batter like consistency & let if ferment overnight. Pour it  in a metal vessel , cover it & keep  the vessel in a warm place. If the batter comes up the next day that means it has fermented well. Heat up a pan or griddle & spread the batter for a thickness similar to that of “adai dosas ” or “pancakes”. Spread some oil around it so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.  The ambolis are ready to eat when the bottom side turns golden brown.

One can eat this with any veggie or curry or even with Rice kheer. This is one of my favourite dishes. Thought the process & few ingredients are similar to that of Dosa it tastes different.

Prawns / Shrimps curry

Here is recipe for Maharashtrian style prawns curry. ( Maharashtra is a state from India)

Ingredients- 1 pound of large/ medium size prawns, 1medium onion, ginger-garlic paste, tamarind pulp, 1/2 cup of coconut milk or finely grated coconut, 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder ( you can vary to the level of spiciness you want ), 1/4 tsp turmeric, salt to taste, finely chopped coriander/cilantro.

Clean & then marinate the prawns with ginger-garlic paste, salt, turmeric, chilli powder & tamarind pulp. Then heat up oil in a wide bottom vessel, add the onions. Once the onions become transparent & start turning brown, add the prawns, saute them till you see the colour changing to pink. Then add water & lower the flame. Add the coconut milk/ grated coconut , cover the vessel & let it cook. The prawns cook very fast about 15min or so. You can add more water depending on the consistency you want. Garnish with fresh corainder. Serve this with white rice.

A besan ( bengal gram flour) Pudding.

This is a Maharashtrian Sweet dish called “Ninav” , the key ingredient of which is “Besan” . My mom always made this & everyone at home enjoyed eating it. So here is my mom’s recipe-

Ingredients- 1/2 kg chana dal ( or besan ) , 1/2 cup whole wheat grain ( or whole wheat flour) , 1/2 cup Rice ( or rice flour) . Roast everything separately . Grind it to fine flour if you are taking the whole grains. Take 1 cup of this flour & add 1/2 cup of jaggery, 2 cups of coconut milk, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp of cardamom, 1/4th tsp of nutmeg , 2 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter & mix it well. Put this mixture on low heat , keep stirring it to avoid lumps till you get a consistency of a porridge. Then take a baking pan, smear it with butter & pour this mixture into it. Preheat the oven to 150C & keep the above batter for 20 min till u see it getting a brownish tinge.
I hope you enjoy making this for your family!