Coconut Rock Buns

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During the past week in Mumbai, I accompanied my mother and daughter to many friends’ homes for the ubiquitous Navrathri vethalapakku. The norm is to invite ladies of family and friends and present to them some beetle leaves, beetle nut, turmeric, coconut and fruit. Some people go the extra mile and give additional gifts as well and I got some amazing stuff this time. B what ended up happening was that, at the end of five days, we were buried under a coconut hill. We got so many coconuts from all the houses we visited which was compounded by the fact that the daughter asked for them when she didn’t get one leading to total coconut chaos. 

My mother made me take 6 coconuts (grated, thankfully) back to Bangalore and now I am using it across dishes even in those we don’t usually add them. The only good thing is that the husband loves coconut and is a very happy soul these past few days. So when I read about coconut’s popularity in th Caribbean cuisine, I was thrilled. But I found most recipes using coconut milk and not simply coconut as is. Then I found this coconut rock and I figured I had to make it. I added more coconut than the dish needed but that only ended up making it more flavorful. I also increased the proportion of sugar which worked out well. I also added the sweet cherries on top to give the Iyengar Bakery feels to the husband who was thrilled. So, I managed to hit many birds with one stone, or should I say rock. Yay!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 8 rock buns

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                1 cup

Butter, unsalted                  1/4 cup

Sugar                                     1/2 cup

Raisins                                   3 tbsp

Baking powder                    1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                   1/2 tsp

Ground cinnamon               1/2 tsp

Egg                                           1

Vanilla                                     1 tsp

Milk                                          4 tsp

Coconut, grated                      1/4 cup + 2 tbsp

Water            

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 1/2 cup water, add the raisins to it and cover. Once it plumps up, drain the water and set aside. It should take around 10-15 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a baking tray and line it with parchment paper
  • Using fingertips, rub the butter with the flour till the mixture gets a sand like texture
  • Add the sugar, raisins, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and coconut and mix well to combine
  • Mix the egg and vanilla in anothe bowl and then add to the flour mix
  • Add milk and mix well to form a dough
  • Use a spoon to drop the dough on to the baking tray. Since it is to be rocks, the shape need not be well defined 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes till done. Broil for 2 minutes to get the golden brown colour on top, if needed
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’.

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Goan Egg Curry

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Any decent cook needs to have tried and tested recipes for classic dishes which are used so frequently that one can make it in her sleep. I have been searching for a fool proof egg curry recipe for quite a while now but somehow the recipes I tried so far failed in one of the key criteria – husband and kid should like it, has to be easy to make, should not involve tough to get ingredients. Finally I found this one and it has succeeded on all three counts. Except coconut milk, all ingredients are usually always available in my kitchen and thanks to my everlasting love for Thai curries, I have coconut milk as well. If you don’t have coconut milk, increase the grated coconut quantity by 3-4 tbsp and add regular milk. 

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Protein – Egg 

Recipe from here

Serves 3-4

WHAT WE NEED

Coconut milk                    1/2 cup

Tamarind paste                      1 tbsp

Green chillies                          2-3

Cumin seeds, roasted             2 tbsp

Dried red chillies, roasted    2-3

Coriander seeds, roasted       2 tbsp

Poppy seeds, roasted              1 tbsp

Coconut, grated                       3/4 cup

Garlic cloves                            6

Chopped ginger                      1 tbsp

Oil                                             1/4 cup

Onions, finely chopped         2 cups

Curry leaves                            2 sprigs

Tomatoes, finely chopped    2 cups

Garam masala                         1 tsp

Turmeric powder                   1 tsp

Eggs, boiled & shelled            6

Salt

Coriander leaves to garnish

WHAT TO DO

  • Grind together the grated coconut, ginger, garlic, green chillies, roasted cumin seeds, roasted dried red chillies, roasted coriander seeds and roasted poppy seeds to a fine paste
  • Heat oil in a pan and add onions and curry leaves
  • Cook until onions are translucent and add the tomatoes
  • Cook till the oil separates, around 6-7 minutes
  • Add the ground paste, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt and cook till the oil separates again
  • Add two cups water and cook till it boils
  • Simmer for 10 minutes and add coconut milk and tamarind paste 
  • Let it come to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the eggs and garnish with fresh coriander 
  • Serve hot with rotis or paratha
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.
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Hayagreeva

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This week I will be posting March festival recipes i.e. recipes of dishes made for festivals that fall in the month of March. Since the most popular festivals are Gudi Padwa and Ugadi, I will be posting one recipe for Gudi Padwa, one Karnataka recipe for Ugadi and one from Andhra where Ugadi is also celebrated. These festivals mark the beginning of the year for the people from these regions and is celebrated with much pomp and splendour.

When I picked this theme, I promptly called by bestie who is a Maharashtrian married to a Kannadiga to pick her brains about what dishes they make. Her mother-in-law prepares this jaggery and bengal gram delight called Hayagreeva or Hayagreeva Maddi for Ugadi and it sounded just perfect for me to try out.

This dish from Karnataka is surprisingly simple with jaggery and Bengal gram teaming up to drive away whatever guilty feelings you might have regarding gorging on a dessert with abandon. Like any self respecting south Indian dish it has the ubiquitous coconut in it which adds a lovely crunch to the otherwise mushy delight and when it is topped with dry fruits roasted in ghee (clarified butter) you know there is no chance you are going to give this one a miss.

There is a nice story behind the dish which was mainly prepared for the deities of Udipi. Mythology says that a devotee, Sri Vadirajatirtha used to offer this dish to Lord Hayagreeva who came in the form of a white horse to devour it all. Thus the dish has been named after the Lord himself.

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Serves 3-4

Recipe from here.

WHAT WE NEED

Bengal gram / chana dal                 1 cup

Powdered jaggery                              1 cup

Ghee                                                      3-4 tbsp

Desiccated coconut                          4 tbsp

Cashew nuts                                       8-10

Raisins                                                 10-15

Almonds                                             4-5

Honey (optional)                              2 tbsp

WHAT TO DO

  • Pressure cook the bengal gram for 4 whistles and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Set aside the cooker for 20 minutes before opening it
  • Mash the bengal gram well and set aside
  • Heat a pan and add the jaggery and bengal gram to it and mix well
  • Cook on medium flame and keep stirring frequently while the jaggery melts
  • Cook till the mixture thickens which should take around 10-12 minutes
  • Add the cardamom powder, honey and 2 tbsp of ghee, mix well and turn off the gas
  • Cut the cashews and almonds into small pieces
  • Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and add the cashews and almonds
  • Once they turn golden brown, turn off the gas and add the raisins
  • Pour this over the jaggery mixture and add the desiccated coconut
  • Mix well and serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. Adding honey is optional. I added it because my family does not like the dish to be too thick and honey helps in reducing that a bit and makes the dish a little free flowing though not much and adds a nice aroma and flavour to the dish.

 

This is my post under Festival Themes for the Blogging Marathon.

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