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

Veggie Pasta in a Tomato Sauce

Pasta is a very popular meal option at home, like I’m sure it is in a lot of homes. I love how versatile the recipes can be and how quickly pasta meals come together. This recipe is no exception. I use a mix of vegetables, usually whatever I can find in the fridge. I use Passata to make my sauce and that gets it ready in a jiffy. This recipe is ready in under 30 minutes and that includes all the prep work too. It has so much flavor, its hard to believe how simple the recipe actually is. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.





Veggie Pasta in a Tomato Sauce 

4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1/3 – 1/2 cup capsicum, chopped (I used a mix of red and green peppers)
1/2 zucchini, thickly sliced
A handful of broccoli florets
1/3 cup corn kernels
10 olives, sliced
1 cup passata / tomato puree / canned tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Red chilly flakes, to taste
1 tsp mixed herbs (dried)
1/2 tsp oregano (dried)
1/2 tsp sugar
Pasta
Parmesan cheese, to grate over the pasta

Start by cooking the pasta according to the package instructions.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, season the water generously (I use 1.5 tsp salt) and add the pasta to the pot. Stir immediately, to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other and to the bottom of the pot.

When the pasta is cooking, heat another pan.

Add olive oil to the warm pan and add the garlic. Saute till the garlic turns fragrant.

Add the onions and cook over a medium heat till they soften a bit.

Add the peppers and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or till they start to soften.

Add the broccoli florets and saute for another minute or so.

Now, add the zucchini and corn and stir through. Cook for another minute or two.

Season with some salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the red chilly flakes and the herbs. Stir through.

Add the passata and the stock.

Let it come to a boil and leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes or till the veggies cook through and the sauce develops good flavor.

Add the olives and the sugar and stir through. Take off the heat and set aside.

By now the pasta should be cooked. Reserve 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain t
he pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Place the pan on medium low heat. Add a couple of tbsp. of the reserved pasta water. Stir through and let the extra liquid cook off for another minute or so, or till your pasta reaches the desired consistency.

Grate some parmesan cheese over the pasta and serve.

Enjoy!

Peri Peri Chicken Wings

Peri Peri Chicken Wings – a perfect , spicy dish to serve up at a party or game night, or even with a nice big salad for a quick weeknight meal. Either way, these are super delicious and while looking through the blog recently, I realized that I haven’t shared many chicken wings recipes here. So today, I’m going to rectify that. I bring you some spicy, delicious Peri Peri Chicken wings. These are made from scratch and bake off in the oven. So there’s very little hands-on time required for this recipe. All you have to do it put together a simple marinade paste and then work on a dip, a salad or anything else you’d like to serve these wings up with.

PeriPeriChickenWings
Peri Peri Chicken Wings
 

If you’re prepping your own chicken wings, split the wings and either set the tips aside for a stock or discard. I bought Marco’s Wing Nibbles from Woolworths that has this stage dealt with so you use the wings as is. 

This recipe couldn’t be any simpler. After prepping the wings, you simply wash them and pat them dry. Sprinkle with salt and use our beautiful homemade marinade. Peri Peri is known to be a spicy sauce / marinade and this one is. If you enjoy a good Peri Peri, but don’t want it too spicy, you could substitute some of the birdseye chillies with a milder pepper. That way you will still get the color and volume in the marinade but it won’t be too spicy. 

In our house, we love spicy food, so I’ve used birdseye chillies with the seeds and all. And can I tell you, these wings turned out so very delicious. It packs the perfect amount of kick for us and when you pair this with the homemade Blue Cheese Dip, it is absolutely divine. 

The Blue Cheese Dip has the perfect cooling affect to counter the spiciness of the wings. Let me tell you, once you taste this, you won’t be able to stop at one. But don’t just take my word for it. Go ahead and make these wings and try them out for yourself. 

So let’s take a look at the recipe now, shall we?

Peri Peri Chicken Wings

Recipe by Trisha VazCourse: AppetizersDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal
Marinade time

30

minutes

Peri Peri Chicken Wings – a perfect , spicy dish to serve up at a party or game night, or even with a nice big salad for a quick weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo chicken wings (split the wings and either set the tips aside for a stock or discard. I bought Marco’s Wing Nibbles from Woolworths that has this stage dealt with so you use the wings as is.)

  • Salt, to taste

  • Chopped parsley, to garnish

  • For the marinade –
  • 8 birdseye chillies

  • 4-6 large cloves of garlic

  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp extra hot Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp black pepper powder

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime

  • 1 – 2 tbsp vinegar

  • For the Blue Cheese Dip
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of Blue Cheese crumbled

  • White pepper powder, to taste

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions

  • The wings –
  • Grind all these marinade ingredients to a paste.
  • Wash the chicken and pat dry.
  • Season with salt.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat the chicken pieces well. Set aside to marinade for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Lightly grease a baking dish. Place the chicken wings in a single layer.
  • Bake for about 30-40 minutes or till cooked through, flipping them over about halfway through the the cooking process.
  • Garnish with some chopped parsley.
  • Blue Cheese Dip
  • Mix all the ingredients together. Serve up.

Recipe Video

Lamb Kebabs … and how to make quick pickled onions and a yogurt dip.

Nothing says ‘Spring is here’ more than some Lamb kebabs. Spring Lamb is in stores now and while some of the premium cuts can be very pricey, today’s recipe uses ground lamb (lamb mince). This is not just easy on the hip pocket, but cooks up really fast too.

You can serve these kebabs as a starter, or with a salad as a main too. Today I’m serving it up as a wrap with some homemade, quick pickled onions and a yogurt dip. Start off by making the pickled onions and the dip, so that they have a little time to let the flavors develop. 

Quick Pickled Onions

1/2 onion, sliced
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp Lemon juice
Separate the half rings of the onion slices. 
Sprinkle salt and lemon juice over the onion and mix well to let the seasonings get to all the onion slices. 
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. 
Yogurt Dip / Spread

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar, or to taste
1/2 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A few mint leaves, finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. 
Lamb Kebabs

500g lamb mince
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 chillies, finely chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Oil, for frying
Mix all the ingredients and shape into kebabs. 
Heat some oil in a pan. 
Fry kebabs for a couple of minutes on each side, or till you get a beautiful golden brown color on each side and till its cooked through to your liking. 
Serve hot. 
** To make the wrap, I use some homemade, whole wheat chapatis, layer some salad greens on top, add a couple of the kebabs, smear some yogurt dip over and top with some pickled onions. Wrap up and enjoy.  

Moong Dal Khichdi

Up until a few years ago, I wasn’t the biggest fan of khichdi. At the time, I had never made it myself and the few versions that I tried, always fell short. That is till I tried Gloria’s recipe. Gloria used to be my brother-in-laws housekeeper and she was very skilled in the kitchen. While I didn’t have the opportunity to spend to much time with her, this was one recipe, she very willingly shared with me. I have tweaked it to suit our tastes and I love this version. To me this khichdi has now become comfort food. So, whenever I’m under the weather or even if its just a cold, wet day, I feel myself yearning for a bowl of this moong dal khichdi. Have I mentioned that this is a ridiculously easy recipe? Well, it is and today I’m sharing this little gem with you. I hope you try it out and like it as much as we do.

Moong Dal Khichdi
Serves 2
1/3 cup basmati rice
1/3 cup moong dal
1 tbsp oil
1 chilli, cut into large pieces
1/2 a medium sized onion, chopped 
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Fresh coriander, chopped (leaves and stalks)
For the tempering – 
1 1/2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Wash the rice and the dal separately. Repeat this process a few times, till the water runs clear. Soak the rice and the dal separately. The rice needs to soak for about 20 minutes and the dal for about 10 minutes. (So I soak the rice first, and 10 minutes later, I soak the dal). Drain the water in each of the bowls and run some fresh water through and drain again. 
Heat the oil in a vessel on medium heat.
Add the chillies and saute for a few seconds. 
Add the onions and saute till they have softened and are a little translucent.  
Add the pepper and turmeric powder and stir well, to coat the onions. 
Add the rice and the dal and stir through. 
Now, add 2 1/3 cup of water. (I use a 1:3.5 ratio. That is, 1 part rice to 3.5 parts of water. Towards the end if you feel the need to add some more water, you can. I added another 1/3 cup towards the end. So this time I used a 1:4 ratio. The quantity of water will depend on your rice. So start off using 3.5 parts)
Add salt to taste and stir through. Once the salt has dissolved, you can taste the liquid in the pot and see if it is seasoned to your liking or add more salt, if needed. 
Bring the water to a boil. Then cover the pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the rice and lentils cook off till tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. (At this point if you feel the need to cook it further, add a little more water and continue cooking as stated above.)
When done, take off the heat and start working on the tempered spices. 
In a small vessel, melt 1 1/2 tbsp ghee. 
Add the chopped garlic and stir around. Let this cook gently till a little of the rawness of the garlic goes away.
Then, add the cumin seeds and gently cook a little more. This will infuse the ghee with beautiful flavors. Make sure to watch carefully, as you don’t want the garlic to take on any color or burn. 
Add this to the pot of khichdi and stir through. 
Finish off with some chopped coriander and stir to distribute well. 
Serve hot. Garnish with a little extra coriander and serve with a pickle of your choice. I recommend a Mango Chundo / Chunda (a sweet and slightly spicy Mango pickle).
Enjoy!

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.

Chicken in White Sauce Pasta

Pasta – one humble ingredient but endless ways to cook it up. It has got to be one of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen. You can serve it hot or cold, in a soup, salad or as a main. It works so well with so many different veggies, proteins and sauces. I love me some pasta and always have a couple of varieties in my pantry cupboard.

Pasta dishes can range from simple to a little more complicated. I personally, love the idea of a few simple recipes that I can use during the week. This Chicken in white sauce pasta is one such dish. With a little multi-tasking, I can serve this up in well under half and hour. Yup, you heard that right, under 30 minutes. Honestly, what takes the most time, is boiling up the pasta itself. If you don’t eat meat, you can still make this recipe, just leave out the chicken and add some mushrooms, peas or even a little spinach. A vegetarian variant turns out equally delicious. 
Are you ready to check this recipe out???

Chicken in White Sauce Pasta
(Serves 4)
A single Chicken breast fillet, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup green capsicum, diced
1 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Chilli flakes, to taste
1/2 – 1 tsp Mixed herbs, or to taste 
1 tsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp olive oil 
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock / water
Pasta (enough for 4 servings)
A little parsley, to garnish
A little Parmesan cheese, grated
For the white sauce – 
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Salt, to taste
Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. I bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season generously with salt. Add the pasta and cook till done. Drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. 
While the pasta is cooking, season the chicken with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Mix well. 
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken and cook through, stirring occasionally, till the chicken has cooked through. Remove the chicken in a bowl and set aside. 
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and quickly add the garlic. 
Stir through and immediately add the green capsicum. Still through and let the capsicum cook for about a minute. 
Next add the broccoli and saute well.  (See note*)
Add the corn and stir through. 
Season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and mixed herbs, to taste. 
Add 1-2 tbsp vegetable stock (you can also use water), stir well, cover and let the veggies steam and cook for a minute or two or till they are done to your liking. (If you are adding cooked broccoli to the pan, you can leave this step out. )
Add the cooked chicken to the pan and stir through. Set aside and cook your white sauce. 
To cook the White Sauce / Bechamel Sauce – 
(For detailed instructions on how to make a great white sauce, check the video above)

Add a tsp of olive oil to the pan on medium heat. 
Add the butter and let it melt. 
Add the flour and stir briskly, making sure the flour incorporates well with the butter and oil and that no lumps are left. 
Cook this roux off for about 30 seconds to a minute or till the raw smell of the flour has gone. (Do not let it develop any color.)
Add half the milk to the pan and stir through well, making sure no lumps remain. 
Add the remaining milk and whisk well. 
Cook the sauce till it has thickened to your liking, whisking well.
When the sauce is done, lightly season with a little salt. 
To assemble the pasta – 
Add the white sauce to the chicken and veggies in the pan.  Stir well. Add the cheese and mix through. 
Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust, if needed. 
Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir through. 
Serve your pasta in some serving plates. Finish with a light sprinkling of parsley and a grating of parmesan cheese. 
*NOTE: Our broccoli is fairly tender and cooks very quickly. If your broccoli takes longer to cook, blanch or steam it before adding to the pan.