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BasaLe Soppina Koddel - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/06/basale-soppina-koddel-udupi-mangalorean.html

A kaleidoscope of images, people and colours flash in my mind as think of one dish that is very close to my heart. It is called BasaLe Soppina Kodhel or Kodhilu or Koddel, a simple coconut based curry of Malabar spinach cooked in a freshly roasted spice paste and tempered with generous amount of garlic fried in coconut oil.

With the gloomy and windy rains, it feels more like cold autumn days than beginning of summer season and this BasaLe Soppina Koddel is perfect thing to cook and serve piping hot with some crispy akki rotti or ragi rotti or with just a bowl of rosematta (Kerala red rice) or white rice with a generous spoonful of desi ghee and a side of papad. It also goes well with some hot chapatti or shavige (rice string hoppers). Did I tempt you enough? If yes head over to blog to check the recipe, food story and more photographs.
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Cooked a complete thali from my hometown today and felt like I was back home! This Udupi-Mangalore cuisine is heavily based on two main ingredients, fresh coconut and yogurt and of course the quintessential tadka of curry leaves in coconut oil. The spices used are minimal and very basic Ines as this regional cuisine is all about keeping the flavour of vegetables intact without overpowering spices. It is one of the healthiest regional cuisines of India and is lauded for its fresh and simple flavours.
This simple thali has
1. Beetroot palya (a simple stir fry of beetroot with tempering of mustard seeds n curry leaves in coconut oil)
2. MuLLu-soute Sasame (sa-sa-mey means mustard seeds. This is no-cook recipe where finely chopped cucumber is mixed in mustard flavoured coconut gravy)
3. Beetroot pachadi (grated beetroots in yogurt-coconut gravy)
4. Brahmi tambli (brahmi leaves in yogurt-coconut gravy flavoured with peppercorns and cumin seeds)
5. Tomato-pepper saaru (thin spicy soup of tomato and tamarind)
6. BasaLe kodhel (Malabar spinach and stems cooked with freshly ground paste of spices and coconut and tempered with garlic and curry leaves)
7. BaLekayi Melara/Majjige HuLi (Raw banana/plantain cooked in buttermilk-coconut gravy and tempered with fenugreek and curry leaves in coconut oil)
8. Kesari Bhaath (semolina pudding flavoured with saffron and ghee)
9. Masala Majjige Neeru (spiced buttermilk)
And no Udupi-Mangalorean thali is complete without a smudge of homemade no oil tender mango pickle. 😊 Sweet n delicious Kesar mango is mandatory during summers to end the meal. 😀

Happy Sunday!

(📷 by @SiaKrishna Copyright of http://monsoonspice.com)
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Panakam (Jaggery Limeade flavoured with crushed cardamoms, peppercorns and dry ginger, a refreshing and healthy summer drink) - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/04/rama-navami-panakam-recipe-jaggery.html

Today is the ninth and last day of Chaitra Navaratri as per Hindu calendar. Today is also Ram Navami, a festival that celebrates the arrival of Vishnu’s 7th avatar, Lord Rama. Growing up in South India, it meant eating kosambari (cucumber and moong bean salad) while guzzling down tall glass of Panakam (sweet and summery health drink of jaggery and lime flavoured with crushed green cardamom, peppercorns and dry ginger), listening to the tales of Ramayana.

I am not a religious person, but that doesn’t stop me from cooking and eating festive foods. As with any other Hindu festival, Ram Navami is also celebrated with special food offered to the deity called neivedyam. Once the food is offered to the god, it is distributed among people as prasad or prasadam, a blessed food. Panakam is one such food that is made during Ram Navami along with other neivedyams such as kosambari, and majjige neeru (spiced butter milk). They are simple and quite refreshing summer recipes, showcasing the wisdom and scientific reasonz with great health benefits behind every festival food designed by our ancestors.

As my lil one is at home, enjoying two weeks of spring break, I decided to make tall jug of this refreshing drink. As a mother, I go to great length to make sure that he eats and drinks fresh, mostly home cooked, food every day that is not only fills his stomach, but boosts his immune systems and keeps him healthy. And Panakam beats any other sugar high drinks sold in supermarkets which are high on calories and zero nutrition!
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Sprouted HuruLi Saaru and Usli (Spicy horse gram sprouts soup and stir fry) - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/03/sprouted-huruli-saaru-and-usli-recipe.html

HuruLi Saaru is a very rustic curry made using sprouted horse gram cooked in a spicy coconut gravy and tempered with spices and generous amount of garlic! Usli is a simple stir fry of cooked horse gram sprouts with handful of spices and garnished with freshly grated coconut. It is one of the most flavourful and satisfying dish which tastes amazing when served with rice, dollop of ghee and few papads may be! It is one of those dishes that makes you smile and brings tears to eyes! Recipes that nourished and nurtured my body and soul…
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Belgaum Kunda or Belgavi Kunda (Sweet caramalised milk fudge from Belgaum, North Karanata) ~ http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/03/belgaum-kunda-recipe-how-to-make.html

For me no festival is complete without some sweet dishes to not only sweeten our mouth, but also our life. I have this wonderful sweet dish called Belgaum Kunda or Belgavi Kunda from North Karnataka today which is made by reducing and curdling the milk and cooking with caramalised sugar syrup. Head over to my blog to read interesting history of this beautiful region and how this sweet came to life. :)
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Lime and Fresh Green Peppercorns Pickle - http://www.monsoonspice.com/2017/01/lime-and-fresh-green-peppercorn-pickle.html

Some food traditions are worth saving and one such food tradition I am talking about today is all about homemade pickles. Truth to be told, there is no comparison between the much superior homemade pickle where best quality ingredients are used and carefully cooked to that of store bought pickle which is bulk produced in factories. Homemade pickle tastes different and oh so much better they bring the essence of the person who has made it. A pickle is a reflection of the person who has made it as it requires the knowledge, experience, expertise, best ingredients and patience. And trust me, no store bought, bulk produced, machine made pickle can compete with the taste of homemade pickle that dots on your dinner plate which enhances the taste of every morsel you take! Because in the end you are not just preserving the fruits or vegetables, but preserving memories, family recipes and the taste of home!
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Kashaya or Kashayam ~ Sweet and spicy herbal drink made using selected aromatic spices based on the ancient Indian health science of Ayurveda

http://www.monsoonspice.com/2013/03/kashaya-or-kashayam-recipe-herbal-or.html

Make this magic potion that can cure nagging cold, chesty coughs, lose of appetite, clear sinuses and nausea and also a wonderful and healthy substitute for caffeine loaded drinks.
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Mangalore Buns ~ Mildly sweet deep fried whole wheat banana poori from Udupi-Mangalore

http://www.monsoonspice.com/2013/04/mangalore-buns-recipe-deep-fried-banana.html

Golden brown and perfectly puffed up sweet Mangalore Buns with a chewy and spongy texture and sweet flavour is something that is loved by people of all ages. Little sprinkling of cumin seeds and sometimes a generous spoonful of crushed black pepper seeds gave a nice twist to these sweet tasting buns. This is one of the kind recipes that you won’t find in any restaurants outside Udupi-Mangalore districts and don’t miss the chance of sampling of the delights of my native place if by any chance you get to taste them in small Udupi hotels.

But why wait until you plan your trip to Udupi-Mangalore? Mangalore Buns are not only simple and easy to make at home, but also the ingredients used in this recipe can be easily sourced in any part of the world. The hot beautifully puffed golden brown Mangalore Buns are treat on its own! You don’t even need any side dish to enjoy them and hence they were the best things to pack for any picnic lunch or long train travels. Traditionally they are served with just a piping hot Filter Kaapi (Filter Coffee), but I like mine dunked in hot and sweet Maggi Tomato Ketchup. You can also serve it with any spicy coconut chutney or even a spicy Indian curry if you want to make a meal out of it.
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Potato and Peas Kurma ~ Potato and green peas cooked in creamy and mildly spiced coconut gravy

http://www.monsoonspice.com/2013/04/potato-and-peas-kurma-recipe-how-to.html

Today I am sharing my Amma’s signature recipe of Potato and Peas Kurma which is very close to my heart! For a very long time I kept this treasured family recipe locked in my heart and at last have decided to share it with you all! There are many variations of this Potato and Peas Curry as every region and every home has their own signature recipes made using different ingredients, spice combinations and cooking techniques. But for me my Amma’s Potato and Peas Kurma will remain the very best Kurma dish. From the use of selected aromatic spices to the unique cooking technique, this Potato and Peas Kurma has won many hearts over the years by everyone who had a chance to taste.
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Aloo-Kala Chana Chaat ~ Warm black chickpeas and potato salad with spiced tamarind dressing

http://www.monsoonspice.com/2013/04/aloo-kala-chana-chaat-recipe-warm.html

Quick and simple Aloo-Kala Chana Chaat or Warm Black Chickpeas and Potato Salad with spiced tamarind dressing, perfect for the kind of weather which we are having these days with spells of sunshine in between drizzles or gale of wind! It is neither too warm nor too cold kind of weather and all I wanted to eat on a days when DH is out of town is this bowl of Aloo-Kala Chana Chaat.

Surprisingly my little boy loves this Black Chickpeas and Potato Salad as much as I do and on days when I am not very eager to cook something elaborate, this comes to my rescue. I make it less spicy for his delicate palate, but slowly he is started to like and enjoy complex flavoured Indian food and I am thrilled about the variety of food I can cook for him. While my little boy eats a bowl of Aloo-Kala Chana Chaat with Chapatti and Dal, I polish off rather a large bowl of this goodness with a bowl of chilled yogurt or tall glass of spiced buttermilk.
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