I am originally from Lithuania, but I have moved to Mumbai about 2 years back. Exploring Indian cuisine with some help from my hubby who is an excellent cook himself has become my new hobby.
I definitely have all 32 sweet teeth as I love making and eating sweets. Other than that I enjoy variety of foods -- something different from each cuisine, mixing things up, keeping my taste buds alert =)
This is a Kerala (a South Indian state) recipe called Konju Pulungari. Konju means shrimp and pulungari is a curry with coconut milk and something sour, either vinegar or tamarind. Pumpkin is a festival vegetable in South India. This dish is originally made without spinach. But the spinach complimented the smoothness of the coconut milk and sweetness of the pumpkin very well. If you cannot get curry leaves, just skip them.
Raita is a yogurt based sauce or dip. Usually, raita is very simple with either some cumin or some mint and cucumber, or pineapple pieces, etc. But this is a very flavorful raita with smoked eggplant, garlic and ginger. I had it first along with a very delicious Bengali dinner, I asked for the recipe and had been making it at home since then. Normally, raita is served along with spicy dishes and eaten to cool down the fire in your mouth. It can also be served as a dip along with starters. Finally, if you add some chopped tomatoes and chop the onion and eggplant flesh instead of blending them, you can have it as as Indian salad. Enjoy!
When it is made well, it is one of my favourite Indian sweets. It is very simple and easy to make, and if you have just a little bit of patience and follow a few instructions - success is guaranteed! Suji/rava means semolina, so you can find it under such names as suji (ka) halva or rava halwa, but in Maharashtra this dessert is also called sheera. It can be garnished with any kind of dried fruits and nuts, and flavoured with, for example, rose water. A very common version is with cashew nuts and raisins. It tastes the best while it is still warm, so if you are serving it not right away, put it into a microwave for a minute or so.
I love the taste of this traditional Bengali river fish stew with mustard served over steamed rice. It's very simple to make and it doesn't require many ingredients. When this stew is served outside Bengal, it usually has a thicker gravy to which onions, ginger, etc. are added. But I like this authentic version with a bit watery sauce that has clear but not overpowering taste of mustard. I used Bengali river fish called "bekti", but any freshwater fish will do. Also, I made it medium spicy, but you can adjust the amount of chilies per your taste.
These oven baked coconut shrimp can be served either as a starter or as a main dish. It takes a bit longer time to make it, but most of its prep time is just marinating. While baking in the oven, it gets a little crispy on the outside, but stays juicy inside. Coconut gives tons of fresh flavor, onion - some sweetness and a hint of cinnamon warms you up from the inside. I made it medium spicy, but you can adjust it per your taste.
This is a kind of "chivda" (savory Indian mix) that can be eaten as a snack between meals, served with drinks or along with appetizers. Different kinds of chivda are served during all festivals and celebrations in the state of Maharashtra and all over India. It can be made with flatten rice, corn flakes, puffed rice, lentils, etc. that are mixed with all kind of nuts, seeds and spices. You can make it as sweet, sour, salty or spicy as you like. I tried making it with whole wheat flakes (Kellogg's Special K) and while my hubby was a bit skeptical of this idea in the beginning, we ended up liking it very much.
This is one of my favourite masalas. It is fresh coriander based and it is very simple and quick to make. But the result is this aromatic, slightly tangy, fresh, simply delicious fish fry. My mouth is watering while just describing it to you. Adjust amount of green chilies according to your tolerance for spiciness and you can use either white vinegar or lime/lemon juice for sourness. I fried rawas this time, but any white fish will do. Serve it with either fresh salad or rice, as a starter or part of the main course.
This salad is very easy to make yet is so flavorful with roasted cumin and black mustard seeds that add nutty taste once you bite into one. Crunchy peanuts add a nice contrast to fresh and juicy cucumber that was marinated with lime juice and little bit of sugar for a short while.
Recheado is a very aromatic, flavorful and quite hot Goan masala that can be used for marinating, stuffing and frying any kind of seafood. Recheado means "stuffed" in Portuguese and if you order it in Goa what you normally get is a whole fish that was cut lengthwise, stuffed with plenty of this masala and fried. Every Goan family will probably have their own recipe for it, but after some research I come up with this masala that we loved and thought that it tasted pretty authentic. We used mackerel, but if you cannot get it, red snapper would also be great with it or any kind of meaty white fish. By the way, it is excellent with shrimp and crab! You can make more of this masala in advance, keep it in a container in the fridge for a few months and use it when you need it. This amount will be enough for 10-12 small mackerels.
So creamy and comforting, slightly sweet pumpkin, just noticeable trace of roasted garlic, smoothing coconut milk, roasted cumin seeds explode with flavour once you bite into one. I had to add green chili, but not too much, as I like a little kick in my food, but it can be skipped if you prefer it more bland. Bacon is absolutely optional, we just like when there is something chewable in a creamy soup. Bacon can be replaced with, for example, roasted pumpkin seeds.
This fried eggplant is so simple, but yet a very delicious side dish. It's a little bit crispy on the outside, but very soft and juicy inside. It is a Bengali way of preparation.
This ricotta and spinach stuffed eggplant was inspired by Moussaka-filled Eggplants. It can be served as a vegetarian starter or main dish. Ricotta cheese can be substituted with cottage cheese or paneer.
This is a Goan style pulao - an aromatic dish made out of rice that is first browned in oil and then cooked with spices and vegetables. This particular pulao is very popular in Goa and is traditionally made using spicy Goan sausage, which can be replaced with Chorizo or any other kind of sausage and made as spicy or mild as you like it.
These caramelized peaches are very soft and velvety with a subtle taste of cinnamon and clove. They can be either grilled or baked in an oven. If you use peaches that are not completely ready, still a little bit sour, it will give a nice contrast to sweet honey & pepper sauce on a creamy fresh ricotta.
This South Indian style fried fish is very aromatic and flavourful, slightly tangy, with a nice kick from chillies and garnished with sweet caramelized onions. It goes well together in a meal with curries with gravy or can be served by itself with plain rice or green salad. I used pomfret, but any other flat fish as well as sardines will do. Do I really need to mention how excellent it is with cold beer...? :)
This chicken stew with an aromatic coconut milk gravy is a great comfort food. This recipe is from Kerala, a state in India, where they use a lot of both fresh coconut and coconut milk in their cooking. Creamy coconut milk makes this stew very soothing, cinnamon and cloves warm you up, you can taste just a hint of ginger and sweetness of onions. Green chillies are optional if you prefer mild food, but they add a nice kick to the stew. It tastes and in person looks much better than in a picture!
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