Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Varutharacha Mathi / Sardine Curry

This is the time of the year you start getting fatty oily sardines. Oil oozing out of the oily sardine float on top of the prepared curry. Eating these oily sardines have many health benefits and tastes good too.
In this preparation, the ingredients are roasted and ground to a paste. The fish is cooked in this roasted masala and you get a rich and oily gravy once the masala is cooked with the fish.


About 15 - Big Sardines / Mathi, cleaned
A big lime size - Tamarind
4 to 5 sprigs - Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Coconut oil

To Roast

3/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
6 to 8 - Dry whole red chili
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1.5 tbsp - Coriander powder
7 big - Shallots/ Small onion
1/8 tsp - Fenugreek seeds /Uluva
1/2 to 1 tsp - Black peppercorns
2 to 3 sprigs -Curry leaves


1 ) Heat oil in pan, lower heat, add fenugreek seeds, peppercorn, dry red chili, curry leaves, small onions and fry for few seconds. Then add coconut , turmeric powder, coriander powder and roast on low heat till coconut turns brown in color. Take off the stove and cool. Transfer to a blender and grind to a smooth paste with little water.

2 ) Pour this masala into a manchatty / earthern pot. Extract tamarind juice adding enough water to the tamarind. Add tamarind extract to the pot, then add fish, salt to taste and more water if needed for the gravy. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook covered till the fish is cooked well. Now pour little coconut oil on top of the curry, some fresh curry leaves. Take off the stove and serve hot.

Serve hot with rice, will make a delicious meal.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Diwali / Deepavali ( festival of lights) was here and neighbors brought in a sweets and snacks. Chivda was one among other snacks that is made for diwali and shared with friends and neighbors . This is a traditional maharastrian snack, made during festive times. Even otherwise you can make chivda, store it in air tight containers and snack on it, when ever you want to.


6 cups - Thin Poha / Rice flakes
1/2 cup - Roasted unsalted ground nuts
1/2 cups - Roasted dalia / puttukadalai
2 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 tsp - Coriander seeds
2 tsp - Fennel seeds
1 tsp - Jeera / Cumin
6 to 8 - Green chilies, chopped
1/4 cup - Curry leaves
1/2 to 3/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 to 1.5 tbsp - Sugar
About 1/2 cup - Vegetable oil
Salt to taste


1 ) In a big kadai / wok, dry roast rice flakes in batches on medium heat. Rice flakes will start curling up a bit and will get crisp. Take off kadai and transfer into a big plate. If the ground nuts are not roasted then dry roast ground nuts till done and transfer to another plate to cool. Now add puttukadai into the kadai and lightly warm it. Transfer to the same plate ground nut is in.

2 ) Now heat oil in the kadai, add mustard and allow it to pop, then add coriander seeds, fennel, jeera, green chili, curry leaves and let the coriander seed brown lightly. Then add ground nut, puttukadalai, turmeric powder and stir for a second on low heat. Then add salt to taste and mix in well in oil, then add rice flakes and stir in well from all sides and mix all the ingredients well.Turn the stove off, then add sugar and mix in well.

Serve with tea and snack on some chivda.

Note - You can add dried coconut /copra flakes to this mixture, after lightly roasting it. Also sev can be mixed after the chivda is made.

Go easy , when adding salt..too much of salt will spoil the taste.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Matar Pulao - Green Peas Pulao

Flavorful and Aromatic pea pulao is easy to put together. Get hold of some frozen peas from your freezer, of course defrost it and cook along with basmati rice and spices. Serve along with any meat gravy, raita and pappad.


2 cups - Basmati rice
4 cups - Water
1 cup - Green peas
2 - Black cardamom
5 - Black peppercorns
3 - Cloves
1/2 tsp - Cumin / jeera seeds
1.5 tsp - Fresh ginger paste
2 tsp - Fresh garlic paste
1 small - Onion, chopped
Salt to taste
Ghee Or vegetable oil


1 tbsp - Unsalted cashew nuts
2 large - Onions, thinly sliced


1 ) Wash rice well then soak in water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to drain out well.

2 ) Heat oil in large pan, add sliced onions for garnishing into it and medium heat fry till onion turns brown and crisp. Drain off the oil and transfer to paper towel. Then in remaining oil, fry cashew nuts until golden brown. Drain and set side on the paper towel.

3 ) Add more oil if needed, then add black cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, cumin to the oil and fry for a few seconds. Then add ginger, garlic paste and fry for a few seconds, then add onion and fry till onion turns lightly brown. Now add peas and drained rice and saute for 5 minutes.

4 ) Add water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to very low, cover and cook till all the water is used up. Turn stove off and let the rice remain on stove with lid for 5 to 10 minutes. Open and fluff rice gently with a fork. Serve on a severing platter. Garnish with fried onions and cashew nut.

Serve hot with raita and chicken curry.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Diwali And Blog Anniversary

If there is someone still out there, checking my new posts, thanks for reading. It's been 3 years and 'Simply Spicy' is 3 years old.

I take this opportunity to wish every one a ' Happy Diwali '

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marathi - Batata Baingan Bhaji ( Sabzi )

Brinjal and potato is cooked with spices and flavored with coarsely powdered peanut powder, which makes this dish interesting. A dry vegetable preparation, that will go well with roti, jowar bakri and like rotis.


3 to 4 - Green long variety brinjal, cubed
1 big - Potato, cubed
1 medium - Onion, diced
1/8 tsp - Hing / Asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/8 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala powder
1 tbsp - Coarsely powdered roasted peanuts
Salt to taste


1 tsp - Mustard seeds
2 to 3 sprigs - Curry leaves


1 ) Soak chopped brinjal and potato cubes, till you have to add them to the pan, to avoid oxidisation.

2 ) Heat oil in a kadai / wok, add mustard seeds and pop them. Then add onion, curry leaves and fry till onion is reddish. Then add brinjal and potato pieces, drained from the water. Give a good stir and fry for a minute, then add the powders - hing, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt to taste, stir well and close with a tight lid and cook on very low heat, till potato and brinjal gets cooked. Sprinkle some water if the vegetables are sticking to the pan.

3 ) Once the vegetables are cooked, add little oil and stir and fry for a minute. Turn off the stove, then sprinkle peanut powder and mix in well.

Serve hot. This will go very well with roti/ bakri
Note - Can add one tomato and cook along with brinjal and potato. Other than green brinjal, small purple one can be used too.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coconut - Lasun / Garlic Chutney

A combination of coconut and raw garlic, with red chili and tamarind, gives a rustic taste to this condiment, that is very popular Marathi chutney preparation. Whenever i shopped for groceries, i would come across this chutney in packets to be sold. Most of the times i would buy it and have along with dosa. Once i had this chutney served along with batata vada in a function and it had strong garlic taste to it. You will need an after mint after having this chutney, since raw garlic is used to make this chutney.


1/2 shell - Coconut, freshly grated
10 to 12 - Dry whole red chili, (or as to one's taste )
10 to 12 flakes - Garlic
Small marble size - Tamarind
Salt to taste


1 ) In a kadai, dry roast, red chilies on very low heat. Once the chilies are roasted (take care not to burn it ), transfer to a plate. Then add coconut and dry roast on low heat till coconut, starts getting the light brown tint. Take oof stove and transfer to a plate to cool.

2 ) In to a blender/grinder, add garlic, tamarind pulp and make a paste of it. Then add red chili and run the blender to powder it. Then add coconut, salt and run the blender to combine all the ingredients together. Don't have to make the chutney too smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Serve with dosa, roti or with rice.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tangy Bengali Prawn Curry

As my dear friend subi said i am on a roll trying out new cuisines. After trying out Bengali coconut prawns curry recently, am too eager to taste more of Bengali cuisine. Here is yet another prawns curry, Bengali style. It's too very delicious and yum with rice. I should say mustard oil, indeed imparts special flavors and gives a unique flavor to bengali cuisine. Those you have not cooked with mustard oil, do try this curry and you will love it.


To marinate prawns

2 cups - Prawns / shrimp, cleaned
1 - Lemon
Salt to taste

For gravy

2 medium - Onion, chopped
1 tbsp - Fresh Garlic paste
2 tsp - Fresh ginger paste
1 tsp - Red chili powder
2 tsp - Coriander powder
4 medium - Tomato, pureed
2 tsp - Tamarind pulp
4 to 5 tbsp - Mustard oil
Salt to taste


2 - Green chilies, split in center
1 tbsp - Coriander leaves


1 ) Drain prawns well off any water, then marinate prawns in lime juice and salt to taste for 30 minutes.

2 ) Heat a kadai / wok, add mustard oil and heat the oil till it turns smoking hot. Take off from the fire and cool the oil slightly. Place the kadai back on stove add prawns and fry until half cooked. Remove prawns from kadai and transfer to another utensil.

3 ) In the same remaining oil ( if you have run out of oil, then again add mustard oil and bring to a smoking hot, then cool a bit and proceed with next step ) add onion and fry till the onion turns golden brown. Add ginger- garlic paste, chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Stir and fry well for 5 minutes on medium heat.

4 ) Then add tomato puree and cook till oil rises to the surface on medium heat. Add little water if the mixture is sticking to the pan . Now add the fried prawns back to the kadai, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Sharpen the tangy taste with tamarind pulp and stir in well. Garnish with green chili and coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Malvani Pomfret / Paplet Curry

Recently visiting a mall, happened to see a malvani food counter in the food court. We ordered a malvani thali and had the option to choose any non-veg dish to be included in the thali. We went for fish curry. The fish curry was made out of surmai / Sear fish, with coconut based gravy. It turned out to be very delicious. Coconut is liberally used in malvani food. Kokum is used as a souring agent, which is more like kerala, kudampuli. After having tasted that delicious fish curry and the thali food, i was very keen to learn malvani way of cooking. With the help of my maid, who provided me with this recipe, i prepared this pomfret curry. Since i didn't have kokam, i used kudampuli instead to make this curry.


6 to 8 small or medium - White pomfret, cleaned & cut to pieces
2 big flakes- Garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp - Red chili powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
4 to 5 pieces - Kokum Or Kudampuli
Salt to taste

Grind to a smooth paste

1/2 a shell of - Coconut, grated
1/2 '' piece - Ginger
2 big flakes - Garlic
4 to 5 - Green chilies
1 tbsp - Coriander seeds
3 stalks of - Coriander leaves, chopped ( about half a cup )


1 ) Grind and keep ingredients to be ground to a smooth paste with minimal water and set aside. Wash kokum or kudampuli well.

2 ) Heat oil in a big pan, add chopped garlic and fry on medium heat to light brown color. Add the ground coconut paste, red chili powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute or two. Then add enough water for the gravy, kokum, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Add fish pieces, simmer and cook closed with a lid till the fish is fully cooked.

Serve hot with rice.