How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

How to make bread rolls
Bread Rolls

Believe me when I say, there’s nothing better than taking a batch of freshly baked bread out of the oven. Except of course, eating it. Have you ever tried baking bread at home, from scratch? I know a lot of people feel intimidated by the thought of yeast. I was a member of that club for a very long time. But I can tell you this much, if you keep a few things in mind, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of bread baking. Moreover, there are so many varieties to try.

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one that I fall back on frequently to make bread rolls. It’s a very basic bread recipe and makes a great starting point, if you haven’t baked bread before.

Things to keep in mind –

  • Yeast – Make sure that your yeast is viable. This is easy to do. Place the quantity specified in the recipe in a bowl with warm water and sugar. When rested for about 5 minutes, the yeast gets bubbly and frothy, signalling that it is still viable. If it doesn’t froth up, you may need to replace your yeast.
  • Using warm water – Make sure that your water is warm, not hot. You should be able to keep your finger submerged in the warm water comfortably. If you cannot, the water is too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Kneading the dough – Kneading the dough takes a little time. You need to do this patiently. This helps build gluten fibres, which in turn will help your bread rise well.
  • Resting time – Bread almost always, cannot be rushed, unless you’re making a quick bread. The time needed to rest (prove) your dough depends on the ambient temperature. Resting the dough in a warm spot in the kitchen will help it rise. If it is really cold where you are, consider keeping it by a window that gets a lot of sun or in the oven with just the light on.

Keep these vital points in mind when you’re making bread and you will see great results. Bread making gets better with practice. If your first batch doesn’t turn out spectacular, don’t worry, the next batch will be better, since you now know what to expect. So now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s move on to the recipe.

How to make Bread Rolls (Pao)

Recipe by Trisha Vaz
Yields

12

Rolls
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Resting Time

2

hours

Soft and light, these delicious bread rolls are made from scratch and make the perfect addition to any dinner menu or party meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dried yeast

  • 2 tsp sugar

  • 1/4 cup warm water + 1 cup warm water (approx.) to knead the dough

  • 3 cups plain flour / all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil

Directions

  • In a little bowl, place the warm water and add sugar and yeast to it. Stir to mix a little. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  • In a large mixing bowl, place the flour and salt. Mix through.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and sugar solution. Mix it in with the flour. Add more warm water gradually and knead to a smooth, soft dough. (I had to use just over 1 cup of water) Once the dough comes together, continue kneading for about 5 minutes. You will find the dough gets a little more stretchy than it first was.
  • Drizzle oil and knead it into the dough.
  • Lightly oil the bottom of the bowl and place the dough in it. I lightly oil the top of the dough too. This keeps it from drying out. Cover and set aside in a warm spot in the for about an hour or till the dough has doubled in size.
  • Knock the dough back to get rid of the air bubbles and roll to a ball. Cut into portions and roll out into smooth balls. Place them about an inch apart in a lightly greased baking pan.
  • Cover and leave it in a warm spot for the second rise. This takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Brush the top of the bread rolls with some water and bake for about 25-30 minutes.
  • As soon as the bread is baked, take it out of the oven, brush some butter over the top and cover the pan for around 5 minutes with a clean tea towel. This traps the steam in and keeps the rolls soft.
  • Then take the rolls out of the pan and leave them on a cooling rack to cool.

    Enjoy!!!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • This is a vegan friendly recipe. I used a vegan butter, but feel free to use a butter of your choice.

Rose Cookies – Kokkisan

With Christmas fast approaching, today I thought I’d share with you a recipe for Rose Cookies. Rose Cookies, Kokkisan or Achu Murukku – these are a few names these little treats go by in different parts of the South of India. If you’ve not had these before, imagine amazingly crisp, deep-fried, sweet cookies. They are so more-ish. Which is why it’s a good thing this batch yields quite a few cookies.

Rose Cookies
Rose Cookies

Let’s move on to the cookies themselves, shall we? While they’re not difficult to make, the batter can be very temperamental and finicky. This is one Kuswar treat I personally find the most trying. The most important part of this recipe is the batter. It takes a little patience and tweaking to get it to just the right consistency. But boy, once you do, churning these cookies out is a breeze.

The batter –

Are you ready to give these a try. Let me walk you though the process. Putting the batter together initially is a very simple process and it just a matter of whisking all of the ingredients together. The one thing you need to watch out for, is the amount of liquid that goes into it. You’re looking for a batter that isn’t too thick or too thin. It’s a Goldilocks kinda situation; you have to get it just right. A huge saving grace is that the batter is forgiving and can be easily fixed.

Rose Cookies - batter
Rose Cookies – batter

If its too thick, it wont cling to the cookie iron at all. When this happens, gradually add small amounts of coconut milk (if you’re out of coconut milk, you can use water) and whisk it in. On the other hand, if its too thin, it’ll stick to the iron and won’t release into the oil, even after you try to separate it using a fork or a skewer. To fix this, simply add a little all purpose flour to the batter, a little at a time and whisk it through and try frying it again.

The frying process –

Now that you have you’re batter sorted out, you need to keep a few things in mind while frying these cookies. Once the oil heats up, maintain it by using a medium to medium low heat. If the oil is too hot, the cookies will brown too quickly. The cookie iron needs to be heated well for it to release the cookies into the oil. The first few cookies are like a tester batch. You may have to sacrifice a couple of them while you figure out the right consistency.

Take the cookies out of the oil when they’re a little lighter than you’d like it. They tend to darken as they cool.

With these pointers in mind, you are now equipped to make a beautiful batch of these Rose Cookies.

Rose Cookies

Course: SnacksCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Difficult
Servings

500

grams (approx.)
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Rose Cookies are amazingly crisp, deep-fried, sweet cookies that make an appearance on a lot of Christmas Kuswar platters. They are so addictive, they can be enjoyed any time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup of sugar (fine grain or ground to a powder)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 cup rice flour, fine

  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract / Vanilla bean paste

  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • A pinch of salt

  • 1 tsp black sesame seeds

  • Oil, for deep frying

Directions

  • To make the batter –
  • Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl. Whisk lightly.
  • Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
  • Add the salt and vanilla and mix.
  • Add the all purpose flour and rice flour and mix lightly.
  • Add the coconut milk and whisk to form a batter. The batter shouldn’t be too thick or too thin. Use more coconut milk/water or all purpose flour to adjust the consistency as needed.
  • Stir in the sesame seeds.
  • To fry the cookies –
  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy pan for deep frying.
  • Place the cookie iron in the hot oil for about 30 seconds or till it has heated.
  • Shake excess oil off the iron and insert in batter about 3/4 of the way. Immediately place the iron in the oil. In a few seconds, lightly shake the iron to release the cookie or use a fork to help take it off the iron. Please watch the video to see the technique in action.
  • When the cookie has lightly browned, carefully flip over to fry it on the other side. When golden brown, drain any excess oil and remove the cookies onto a tray lined with absorbent kitchen paper to drain the excess oil. Take the cookies out of the oil when it is still on the lighter side. They will continue to turn slightly darker once taken out of the oil.
  • Continue frying the rest of the cookies.
  • When the cookies have cooled down completely, serve up or store in an airtight container.

    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • The consistency of the batter is very important. You may need to adjust the consistency of the batter as you fry the first few cookies to hit the right consistency. If it is too thick, add a little water or coconut milk and whisk in. If it is too thin, add a little all purpose flour and whisk through.
  • We don’t like our sweets overly sweet. Feel free to add more sugar to suit your preferences. Fry off a couple of cookies and taste them, adjust sweetness, if needed.
  • Take the cookies out of the oil when it is still on the lighter side. They will continue to turn slightly darker once taken out of the oil.


If you’re looking for more Kuswar recipes to make this Christmas, here are a few of my favorite recipes you might enjoy too –
1) Kulkuls
2) Date Rolls
3) Baath / Badca
4) Coconut Toffee
5) Milk Cream
6) Coconut Ladoos
7) Guava Cheese / Perad
8) Nankatais (Eggless)
9) Marzipan (Eggless)
10) No-cook Almond Marzipan
11) Marzipan – My favorite recipe
12) Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge
13) Chana Doce

Chana Doce

When you think of Chickpeas, a lot of people think of savory recipes. Have you tried making sweets with a chickpea base? If you haven’t, you really ought to. This Chana Doce is a Goan sweet served at Christmas time, weddings and special occasions. It is made with chana dal and coconut and mildly flavored with cardamom. There are heaps of Indian sweets that use some form of chickpeas as a base, like these Besan Laddoos or even these sweet flatbreads called Puran Poli. These two are just the tip of the ice berg and I hope to try and bring you some more Chickpea deliciousness in the future.

Today, I’m sharing with you a Goan sweet recipe. This Chana Doce is a Goan delicacy and makes an appearance at Christmas time, weddings and special occasions. The recipe calls for chana dal, which is hulled and split chickpeas. Everytime we visit Goa, we always bring some back home with us. A good Goan bakery is paradise if you have a sweet tooth. Our typical haul would include this Chana Doce and a Coconut variant, the ever popular Bebinca, Dodol, Baath, Bolinhas and Pinag. I think that about covers it. Our favorite place to buy these treats is a quaint little bakery in Mapusa called Simona’s. They also have outlets in Porvorim and Sinquerim. What’s your go-to place to buy your favourite Goan treats?

It’s hard for us to get back to Goa as often as we did when we were in Mumbai, so I’ve decided to try and make these delicacies at home. And after some experimenting, I’ve finally got a recipe for Chana Doce that I’m happy with. This is a softer version of the sweet and just melts in your mouth. The commercially available one is a little harder and has a slightly longer shelf life, but its slightly more difficult to make. We actually quite like this softer version and hope you do too.


Chana Doce

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: DessertCuisine: GoanDifficulty: Medium
Yields

800

grams
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Soaking time

3 hours

A melt in your mouth sweet made with chana dal and coconut and mildly flavored with cardamom.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Chana Dal (hulled and split chickpeas)

  • 1/8 tsp Salt, or to taste

  • 6-8 green cardamom pods

  • 1 coconut, grated (approx. 2 1/2 cups)

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of ghee (clarified butter)

Directions

  • Wash the chana dal by passing it through some water at room temperature 3-4 times. Add enough water to cover the dal by about 2 inches and let it soak for 3 hours. After letting it soak, drain the water, pass it through some fresh water and drain again. Cook the chana dal with 1/8 tsp of salt and sufficient water till soft. Drain the dal and reserve the cooking water. Let the dal cool to room temperature.Chana Doce - Soaking dal
  • In the meanwhile, crack the cardamom pods open and grind the seeds to a powder.
  • Grease a large tray or board, the back of a large spoon or spatula, a rolling pin and a sharp knife with a little more ghee.
  • Grind the coconut to a smooth paste using just a little of the reserved cooking liquid from cooking the lentils. Use as little water as you can. Place the ground coconut in a large heavy bottomed pan.
  • Grind your chana dal with a little reserved cooking liquid to a smooth paste. Again, use as little liquid as possible. Add this to the pan. Chana Doce - Grinding dal
  • Add the sugar to the pan and stir well to combine. Chana Doce - Mixing Ingredients
  • Place the pan on a medium heat and cook till it thickens and starts leaving the sides of the vessel, stirring continuously. As it thickens, drop the heat to a medium low, add the cardamom and 1 tbsp ghee and continue cooking. This process takes around 30-45 minutes.Channa Doce - Add cardamom and ghee
  • Once the mix starts forming into a ball, take it off the heat and immediately transfer to the greased tray. Level it using the back of a spoon and tidy it off with the greased rolling pin. Set it aside to cool.Channa Doce - Flatten with spatulaChanna Doce - roll out
  • Using the greased knife, cut into the traditional diamond shapes or any other shape of your choosing. Channa Doce - Cut into diamonds
  • Leave the cut pieces on the kitchen counter to cool down completely and set. Your Chana Doce is now ready to serve or store. Store in an airtight container. This will keep refrigerated for a 6-8 days.

    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • You can cook the chana dal in the pressure cooker or in a pot on the stovetop. The pressure cooker will cut down cooking time drastically. Mine takes about 10 minutes to cook all the way through. Cooking time will differ among different brands of pressure cookers. Follow your manufacturers instructions to cook the lentils till well done.
  • Use as little water as possible to grind the coconut and the chana dal. The more water you add, the longer you’re cooking time will be.
  • Always use a heavy pan to cook this Chana Doce. It keeps it from burning easily. If possible, use a wide pan. A wide pan, increases surface area and decreases cooking time.
  • Cooking time will vary depending on a number of factors like amount of water used while griding, heat level used during cooking, size and thickness of the pan, width of the pan etc. It took me 32 minutes in total. Like most Goan sweets, its hard to time the cooking process. You need to go by what you see and feel. My step-by-step video will help with this.

Goan Pork Vindaloo

A good Pork Vindaloo is a must-have at any gathering, party or special occasion in most Goan households. Today, I’m sharing a much loved recipe in our family – my father’s Pork Vindaloo. It is such a simple recipe, but results in such a spectacular curry. You are going to enjoy this one. It is perfect to serve around the Holiday season, because this can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, the flavors are even better if it is served a day after it is made. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

 

GoanPorkVindaloo
Goan Pork Vindaloo

Goan Pork Vindaloo


1 kilo boneless pork (pick a slightly fatty cut)
1-2 tbsp oil
1 – 1 1/2 onion, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
Vinegar, to taste
1 tsp sugar

For the masala – 
12 Kashmiri chillies, deseeded
6 black peppercorns
5 cloves
3 green cardamom pods
2″ cinnamon
6-8 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 inch ginger
Vinegar, to grind to a paste

Cut the pork into chunks and set aside.

Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste using vinegar. (Ideally Goan vinegar is used. If you don’t have access to it, malt vinegar or red wine vinegar will work well too.)

Heat some oil in a large pan. Saute the onions till they have softened and start caramelizing.

Add the masala and fry off well for a couple of minutes.

Add the pieces of pork and salt, to taste. Stir well to coat all the pieces with the masala and let the meat fry off for a few minutes.

Add enough water for the pork to cook through and achieve the consistency you want. I used about 2 cups of water. (You can add more water, if required, later on, when the meat is cooking.)

Cover and cook till the meat is tender.

Check for seasoning and adjust as required.

Add 1 tsp sugar to balance out all the flavors.

Serve hot. This Pork Vindaloo goes very well with some steamed rice, a Peas Pulao, some bread or sannas too.

Enjoy!

 

Goan Pork Vindaloo

Course: MainCuisine: Goan, IndianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

Goan Pork Vindaloo is a vibrant, flavorful pork curry that is spicy, tangy and so moorish, it will have you coming back for more.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo boneless pork (pick a slightly fatty cut)

  • 1-2 tbsp oil

  • 1 – 1 1/2 onion, finely chopped

  • Salt, to taste

  • Vinegar, to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • For the masala –
  • 12 Kashmiri chillies, deseeded

  • 6 black peppercorns

  • 5 cloves

  • 3 green cardamom pods

  • 2″ cinnamon

  • 6-8 large garlic cloves

  • 1 1/2 inch ginger

  • Vinegar, to grind to a paste

Directions

  • Cut the pork into chunks and set aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste using vinegar. (Ideally Goan vinegar is used. If you don’t have access to it, malt vinegar or red wine vinegar will work well too.)
  • Heat some oil in a large pan. Saute the onions till they have softened and start caramelizing.
  • Add the masala and fry off well for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the pieces of pork and salt, to taste. Stir well to coat all the pieces with the masala and let the meat fry off for a few minutes.
  • Add enough water for the pork to cook through and achieve the consistency you want. I used about 2 cups of water. (You can add more water, if required, later on, when the meat is cooking.)
  • Cover and cook till the meat is tender.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as required.
  • Add 1 tsp sugar to balance out all the flavors.
  • Serve hot. This Pork Vindaloo goes very well with some steamed rice, a Peas Pulao, some bread or sannas too.
    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Remember to use a slightly fatty cut of pork. It adds a lot more flavour.
  • Cooking time will depend on the cut of pork being used and the size of the pieces that you’ve cut.
  • While this pork vindaloo can be served straightaway, it is best cooked a day or two before you need to serve it. It helps the flavors develop and mature. Store refrigerated. If you’re making it a couple of days in advance, on the day after cooking it, bring to room temperature and heat thoroughly and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Cool down completely and store refrigerated.

Goan Sausage Pulao

Goan sausage pulao is soul food for almost every Goan. And I definitely fall into that category. I’ve only been able to make this now, more than 5 years after we moved away from India, mainly because I haven’t had access to a good Goan sausage. Goan sausages are called Chorize / Chorise and they are the spicier and tangier cousin of the Portuguese Chorizo. I recently tried making my own sausages at home and while I need to tweak the recipe just a tiny bit, I was pretty stoked with the results. They are the tastiest sausages I’ve had.

Anyway, on to the pulao. This pulao is a brilliant one-pot meal that comes together in a jiffy. You don’t need to make your own sausages to enjoy this pulao. If you do, kudos to you. Otherwise, simply buy some good Goan sausages. Your pulao will only be as tasty as your sausages are. This pulao is a culmination of my Peas Pulao and my Goan sausage chilly fry, which by the way, make a stunning combination too.
Are you ready for it???

GoanSausagePulao
Goan Sausage Pulao

Goan Sausage Pulao
Serves 2
2/3 cup Basmati rice
1 tbsp oil
2 green cardamom pods
2″ cinnamon
8 black peppercorns
5 cloves
1/2 onion, chopped
1 chilly, finely chopped (or to taste)
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
1 large link of Goa sausages
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup green peas
Salt, to taste
Wash the rice in some water and drain. Repeat this 3-4 times. Then soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. The water level should be an inch above the level of rice. After 30 minutes, drain the rice, rinse through with some fresh water and drain. Your rice is now ready to be cooked.
Heat the oil in a vessel on a medium heat.
Add the whole spices (cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves) to the oil and saute for about 30 seconds.
When the spices are nice and fragrant, add the onion and chilly. Saute till the onions have softened and turn translucent.
Add the turmeric powder and stir well.
Add the sausage and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the tomato and cook till the tomato has softened.
Now add the rice and gently stir through, using either a wooden or silicon spoon, to prevent the grains from breaking.
One the rice has fried off a little for about a minute, and is coated well with all the spices add the green peas and 1 1/3 cup of room temperature water. (The ratio of rice to water should be 1:2)
Add salt to taste. (Remember the sausage also has some amount of salt in it.)
Stir well.
Cover and cook on medium heat till all the water has been absorbed by the rice.
Take off the heat and keep it covered. Let it rest for a couple minutes.
After a couple of minutes, fluff up the pulao gently with a fork.
Serve hot.

Goan Prawn Curry

A delectable coconut based curry, slightly tart, perfectly spiced and loaded with succulent prawns, this Goan Prawn curry is an absolute winner.
 

Everyone has atleast one meal that takes them right back to their childhood. For me its this Goan prawn curry. This curry with some rice, for me, is the ultimate soul food. And I must say, my mother makes the best prawn curry in the world. Atleast I think so. This is her prawn curry recipe that I’m sharing with you today.

For a recipe like this, fresh prawns are the best. Check out my video on how to clean and de-vein prawns here. I recommend using small to medium sized prawns for the curry. Save your larger prawns (like your king prawns and tiger prawns) to crumb fry or grill.

Now, to take this prawn curry to the next level, add some okra to the curry. Don’t kick it till you try it. It is really something else. I have shared a version of that curry here. This is just how my family makes this curry. And almost every Goan family has their own version of it. 

This prawn curry is best served pipping hot with some boiled rice, Goan red rice is even better, if you can get your hands on some. This also goes down a real treat with some crusty bread.

The concept of Kalchi Kodi

While all this is quite common, something you may have not come across before is the concept of “kalchi Kodi” which simply translates to “yesterdays curry”. This is literally what it is. Any leftovers are reheated the next morning. This makes the curry really thick and it is then enjoyed with either chapatis or bread for breakfast. For me this curry for breakfast is a little too savoury. So instead, we just have any leftovers for lunch the next day.

Onto the recipe.

Goan Prawn Curry

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: MainsDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes

A delectable coconut based curry, slightly tart, perfectly spiced and loaded with succulent prawns, this Goan Prawn curry is an absolute winner.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 kg prawns, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 chillies, slit in half

  • 1 piece of amsol (dried mango)

  • 3-4 pieces of kokum

  • A walnut sized ball of tamarind

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 tsp vinegar, optional

  • For the Masala (spice paste) –
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut

  • 6 Kashmiri chillies

  • 2 large cloves garlic

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper corns

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Directions

  • Sprinkle salt, squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle the vinegar over the prawns and set aside
  • Pour a little warm water over the tamarind and set aside (I use about 1/4 cup of water).
  • Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste, using a little water as needed.
  • Heat some oil in a pot. Saute the onions till they have softened and turn translucent.
  • Add the masala and let it saute for a few minutes.
  •  Add some water to thin out your masala and get it to the consistency you like. Remember the curry will thicken as it cooks. So add a touch more water. Add the chillies and bring it to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the amsol and the kokum and let the curry simmer for 6-8 minutes. Halfway through, stir the curry through and add water to adjust the consistency, if needed.
  •  When the curry is almost ready, add the prawns. Add some of the tamarind extract and cook for another 2 minutes or till the prawns are just cooked. Don’t overcook the prawns.
  • Check for seasoning and adjust as required.

    Serve hot with rice.
     
    Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Goan Prawn Curry with Okra

Like some of you already know, my mother’s family originally is from Goa. Growing up, we spent almost every summer in our ancestral home in Goa. It was a sprawling old Portuguese styled house with large grounds surrounding it. In our garden grew a variety of mango trees. We also had a great big coconut tree. Our garden also housed some custard apple, pomegranate, chickoos / Sapota, jackfruit, cashews, guavas, bananas and so much more. Some of my fondest memories have got to be me tagging along with my aunt harvesting all the lovely organic produce right through our holidays and enjoying all the yummy food my mum and aunt would whip up for us.

This prawn curry made a regular appearance on the table along with some Goan red rice and whatever vegetable was in season. Our Goa house had 2 kitchens, one was a traditional old wood fired one and the other was a modern one with a gas stove-top. However, almost all the cooking was done in earthenware pots in the old kitchen. While everything took a lot longer to cook, the taste was unbeatable.
I would give anything to experience something like that again. While that might still be a pipe dream, for now, I just make do replicating some of the good old recipes. This prawn curry is a coconut based curry, known for its vibrant orange color and its spicy and tangy flavors. I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we do.
Goan Prawn Curry with Okra
 
500g prawns, shelled, de-veined and washed a couple of times
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 chillies, split lengthwise
A couple of pieces of Kokum / Aamsol (dried souring agents)
6-8 okra pods, trim off the stalk and cut into approx. 1 inch pieces
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp oil
A small ball of tamarind (about half a walnut in size)
For the masala / spice paste – 
1/2 cup grated coconut
6 Kashmiri chillies
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp black pepper corns
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
Sprinkle a little salt on the prepped prawns and set aside.
Soak the tamarind in a little warm water in a small bowl and set aside.
Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a fine paste using a little water, as needed
Heat the oil in a large vessel.
Add the onions and saute till they soften. Add the kokum / aamsol.
Add the ground masala / spice paste to the pan and let it fry for a couple of minutes.
Add a cup of water to the mixer and swirl around to pick up any of the remaining spice mix and add to the pan. Add more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Add the chillies and bring to a boil. Season lightly with a little salt (The prawns also have some salt on them so add salt accordingly).  Lower the heat to a simmer and add the okra.
Cook gently till the okra is almost cooked. Check for seasoning.

Mash the tamarind up and discard any pieces of fibre or shell and add some of the tamarind paste, to taste.

Add the prawns. Continue cooking just till the prawns have cooked through. (This usually just takes a couple of minutes depending on the size of the prawns.) Do not overcook the prawns.
Check for seasoning and adjust, if needed.
Serve hot.

French Beans Foogath – Goan Style Green Beans Stir Fry

You’ll notice that a lot of recipes that I share here are vegetarian. I thought I’d talk about that for a moment. While my husband and I aren’t full time vegetarians, we eat very little fish and meat. Most of our meals in a regular week happen to be vegetarian and we like it like that.
 
Today’s recipe is another such gem. Its my French Beans Foogath, a Goan Style Green Beans Stir Fry. I love keeping things simple in the kitchen. This works well for me when I’m short on time but still want a home cooked meal. This recipe ticks all those boxes. Just a handful of ingredients, a little cooking and you end up with a delicious vegetable. Now that’s my kind of recipe. I hope you enjoy it too.


French Beans Foogath

1/4 kg green beans / french beans (approx)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 chillies, cut into quarters lengthwise
1 onion, peeled and chopped
A little grated coconut
1 tbsp oil
Salt, to taste

Prep the green beans by washing them, trimming the ends and chopping into little pieces.

Heat some oil in a pan.

Add the mustard seeds.

When they start spluttering, add the chillies and stir for a few seconds.

Add the onion and saute till they’ve softened and they start developing a little color.

Add the green beans and stir well. Stir fry for about a minute.

Add a little salt and stir through for about another minute.

Add a couple of small splashes of water. Let the water come to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and let the vegetable cook.

Check the vegetable in a couple of minutes. Stir and ensure there is sufficient water. Add more water if needed. Check for seasoning and adjust if required and let it continue to cook till done.

When it’s almost done, add the coconut and stir through. Let it cook for another minute or so, to let the coconut warm through.

Serve hot.

Enjoy!!!

Goan Recheado Masala (Rechaad Masala)

Recheado Masala (Rechaad Masala) is a quintessential Goan spice blend. You will find this in every Goan or Goan food lovers home. While its a few basic spices that’s simply blended together in a mixer / food processor, the trick is getting the right balance of flavors. Every household has its own version of this masala. And yes, we have one too. The recipe I’m sharing with you today is my Mother’s recipe which I’ve tweaked a tiny bit and I think it’s now just the way we like it.
 
I always have a jar of this masala in the fridge. That’s the beauty of it. You can make a batch up when you need it or make it ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. I store it in a clean, dry, airtight glass jar and it easily keeps for weeks, if not months. It’s a great masala to have on hand. Typically this masala is used to pan fry a variety of seafood from fish, to prawns and even crabs. We also make a finger-licking, lip-smacking okhra or bhindi with this masala. I will share those recipes with you really soon. 
 
 


Goan Recheado Masala 
 
20 Kashmiri red chillies 
1 whole pod of garlic, peeled
1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
3 cloves
2 inches cinnamon
5 cardamom pods
A small ball of tamarind, about the size of a walnut
Vinegar, to grind the masala to a paste
Sugar and Salt, to taste (optional, see note)
 
Soak the tamarind in a little hot water for a couple of minutes. When it has softened, mash it between your fingers and discard any seeds, pieces of shell or fibre that you may find.)
 
Place all the spices in your mixer. Add the tamarind pulp and the water it was soaking in. Add a couple of generous tablespoons of vinegar. Blend to a smooth paste, adding more vinegar as required. (Halfway through this process, scrape down the sides of the jar to make sure you get a smooth paste).
 
When it has blended to a smooth paste, it is ready to use. 
 
Store any excess in a clean, dry, airtight glass jar in the refrigerator and use as needed. 
 
 
NOTE:
You can add a little salt to taste and 1-2 tsp. of sugar while grinding, if desired. I leave this out, so that I can season the dish as I need to, when using this masala. 
 

 

How to make Custard from scratch … and a layered custard and jelly dessert

Today’s post is a walk down memory lane for me. As a kid, this dessert made an appearance at a lot of parties and gatherings and on other special occasions too. My mum makes a version of this. However, back in the day, we always used custard powder to make our custard. And I used to love it. When we moved away from India, initially I found it a little hard to find the custard powder that we used. So I did the only other thing I could think of. I started working on a custard recipe. After a few attempts and tweaks, I came up with a recipe that I was happy with. It’s a simple, easy and super delicious one. Well, you don’t have to take my word for it. Try it out for yourself and see. And then come back and let me know what you thought of it.

 

Once you make the custard, there are so many ways you can use it. Make a thinner version and pour it over your favorite dessert. You can serve this custard with some fresh fruit or use it to make a fresh fruit tart (I’ll share how I make mine very soon). Or you can do what I did, I made a layered dessert and serve it with some jelly. It was my first attempt at serving it up this way.  If you don’t want to make individual servings, you can set your custard and jelly separately and let your guests help themselves to it.

Whichever way you decide to serve it up, you are going to love it.

Vanilla Custard 

4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
A scant pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla till it is light and creamy.

Add the cornflour and whisk it in.

Next add the milk and whisk it in till it is well incorporated and is a uniform mix.

Place on a medium heat and cook, whisking continuously for about 15-18 minutes.

Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate to set.

To make a layered dessert – 


You’ll need to whip up one portion of Jelly and a fruit salad

For the fruit salad –
1 pack of Raspberry Jelly
Assortment of fresh fruit, chopped into little pieces (Do NOT use pineapple, kiwi or papaya / pawpaw as your jelly will not set.)

Pour the jelly granules in a bowl.

Add 250ml boiling hot water. Stir to dissolve the Jelly granules.

Add 200ml cold water and stir through.

When the jelly has reached room temperature, add some chopped fruit.

Please note, every Jelly brand may have to be prepared differently. So, please follow the instructions on your box of jelly to achieve the best results.

Layer the custard and jelly in your servingware and keep refrigerated till you’re ready to serve.

Enjoy chilled!