Tambdo Phovu – Red Flattened Rice

Pics how to make Tambdo Phovu poha, red flattened rice by Arun Shanbhag

Phovu (beaten or flattened rice) freshly mixed with few spices is a staple of Konkanis. Growing up, we’d eat tambdo phovu (tambdo – red) nearly every day for breakfast. If not for the main dish, at least as a side. I prefer it sprinkled with a little sev, or served on the side (see pic below). When visitors arrive unannounced, the women would quickly mix this as a snack. Since this is simply ‘mixed’ it is also called Kalayile (mixed) phovu. Continue reading “Tambdo Phovu – Red Flattened Rice”

Shanbhag Fastfood

During one of our trips through Karnataka, we visited Hampi to see the ancient city of Vijayanagar. What a fascinating city! Under a UNESCO mandate, extensive restorations are ongoing. The temples are awe inspiring! But for M, the best part of the trip was our stay in the nearby town of Hospet. A busy, dusty town at the crossroads of the Manganese ore trade. Here we made camp at the “Shanbhag International.” There was nothing international about this place. Even by Indian standards, it was an average “Hotel,” but importantly it had a few air-conditioned rooms. Continue reading “Shanbhag Fastfood”

Dill Idlis: A Konkani Delicacy

During this summer, we had parents, siblings and their families visiting. In addition to catching up on gossip, we were constantly eating various dishes that the women conjured up.

And they made one of my favorites, Dill Idlis (Dill is called Shaepi in Konkani). These idlis represent the marriage of the South Indian staple idli with the aromatic Dill, popular in coastal Maharashtra. Dill Idlis are primarily made along the northern coastal Karnataka (Konkan).

In making these idlis, the key is to retain the subtle taste and gentle aroma of dill, which is later complemented by warm tuup and honey while eating. So here is the brief recipe and a few pics.

Fresh Dill
Pics of Making Dill Idlis - steamed rice cakes by Arun Shanbhag
Continue reading “Dill Idlis: A Konkani Delicacy”

Idli Sambar: Its whats for brunch!

Idli Sambar: Its whats for brunch!

Of late, I was craving idlis. First it was Lakshmi, who tormented us with her pati's excellent idli making skills. Then at the Konkani Sammelan we had idli sambar for breakfast, and I only got one serving! Considering the long lines, I felt guilty and did not go for seconds. *Yes sad!*

But the ever-vigilant M dearest noticed my silent suffering. She soaked the dal for two days, ground it, fermented if for a day and on Saturday morning made delicious idlis. She even made the perfect sambar, just the way I liked it – from scratch and by blending all the spices. And with lots of eggplant, peppers and potatoes. I like the gritty feed. No powders were used in the preparation of this sambar!

And yes! I went for seconds, … and thirds!

Goad Appams: A traditional konkani sweet ball

pics of goad appams Konkani recipes by Arun Shanbhag

For Ganapati, M made Goad Appams, a traditional konkani sweet ball generally made during utsav (Hindu festivals), though not necessarily for Ganapati, when the variant modaks are the preferred sweets. The appams (sing. appo ), came out perfect. Continue reading “Goad Appams: A traditional konkani sweet ball”

Anannas Mhoramba – Pineapple Jam

Anannas Mhoramba is one of those dishes which instantly transports me to my childhood home in Donald House, Colaba. My grandmother from Bhatkal made the best mhoramba. Not too sweet and not too sour. Best eaten with warm chapattis! I remember using my fingers to wipe the plate of any traces and then licking them clean. It was that good! As kids we used to spread it on chapattis, roll and pack it for a school snack.

Its been decades since I had any good mhoramba. A few weeks ago, one of my aunts asked for a recipe and that got me thinking: why not make it myself. Actually I had tried it several times in the past here in the US. The pineapples here are just too sour and if you add too much sugar, the whole thing carmelizes and you’ll need an axe to hack it.

Finally a stoke of genius – BTW, I get about a 100 of these per day 😉 Why not try it with Canned Pineapples? I put together a recipe and it worked just great. Lets just say, I don’t complain about dinner anymore – I just reach for the chapattis and mhoramba, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even for a snack. It is not to runny and not to dense. Not too sugary – when it zings the teeth; and not too sour. Heaven! Svarga! this must be it. Since I am not a sadist, I am including a simple recipe as well. Try it and let me know what you think.

Pineapple Mhoramba:

  • 1 medium can (375 -450 gms) of crushed Pineapple in its own juice (not “in syrup”).
  • 1 medium can of Pineapple “chunks” in its own juice.
  • Open the cans and pour out about half of the juice.
  • Pour remaining in a medium non-stick saucepan (saves you the cleaning)
  • Add two cups of sugar on top – don’t have to worry about mixing it.
  • Simmer for about 45 minutes. You should just see some bubbling.
  • Use a wooden spatula and stir if you want to feel involved and hard working. I just twirl the saucepan. Its not going to burn because the heat is on very low.
  • Separately use a mortar and pestle to crush about 20 seeds of cardamon (elaichi; the seeds from about three cloves, peeled). Add to the simmering stuff.
  • Add three cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • About ten strands of kesar (saffron)
  • A fifth of a nutmeg freshly grated straight into the pot. Be careful – some folks find this too strong.
  • Let it simmer for another 45 minutes, with gentle mixing or twirling. You should see the color change to a light brown and the pineapples condensed to about half. You can let it simmer for a little bit longer if you want it a bit thicker.

That’s it! You did it!

If you made it, you get to try it out when it is still warm. If you don’t have chapattis, try it with whole wheat bread. Yumm!

I spoon it to a clean jar when it is still warm, allow to cool on the counter overnight and then cap tightly. No need to refrigerate – we always leave it in the pantry. If you are doing the cleanup, count your blessings. You get to lick the spoon clean.

By mixing the crushed and chunks of pineapple, I get a nice mix of spreadable mush and some chunks.

Any comments, or suggestions for improvements, or what to eat it with are always welcome.
Enjoy!

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