Day: August 10, 2013

Kajuchi Bhaaji (Cashewnut Veggie)

Don’t look surprised at the title of this dish. Kajuchi Bhaaji is an absolute delicacy in my family and even though cashew-nuts are very famous along the coastal line of Maharashtra and in Goa – this dish is not found easily. This is my mother’s speciality and I’m yet to master the taste her dish has but I guess I will never get to her level because as they say the magic of cooking rests in the hands of the cook.

Mom makes 3 varieties of this dish – in Marathi ”sukka” kalvan (dry gravy), the curry and the curry modified with the addition of egg. Today I’ll share the recipe of the sukka kalvan which is my favourite.

The cashewnuts are not the dry or salted ones that you will generally get in the market. These are taken fresh from the fruit and very popularly known as “Ole Kaju” (wet cashewnuts). They are dried in the sun along with the skin. You can store them in a cool storage for 5-6 months. They are available only for 2 months in April and May, so I pick up in bulk and stock them at home so that I can make the dish over the next 6 months.


30-40 cashewnuts.

Onions – 4 medium sized fine chopped

Turmeric powder– 2 tea spoons

Kala Masala (Black masala) – 4 tablespoons. This is a Maharashtrian masala which is easily available in stores and mainly used for all non-veg curries.

Coconut Paste – 3-4 table spoons

Salt to Taste


Soak the cashewnuts in water for 8-10 hours (preferably overnight or in the morning if you plan to make the dish in the evening). Peel of the skin before making the dish. Split the cashewnuts from the top into 2 equal parts as shown

kajuchi bhaaji

Heat oil in pan, about 3-4 tablespoons and add finely chopped onions to it. Sauté till the onions are dark brown and the oil begins to ooze out from the sides.

kajuchi bhaaji

Add turmeric powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then add the cashewnuts and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Then add the Kala Masala powder in the given proportion and salt to taste. Add  2 cups of boiling water and let the curry cook on medium flame.

While the onions are turning dark brown and the cashewnuts are getting cooked – prepare the coconut paste on the side as below.

Roast dry grated coconut – 1 cup till medium brown in a pan. Then dry roast 1 chopped onion and 1-2 garlic petals in a pan. Roast till the mixture turns light brown. Then grind all 3 ingredients into a thick paste. The paste should be smooth and you should not be able to feel the coconut particles. You can make this paste in bulk and the same is used in chicken/mutton gravies as well as various pulses commonly made in Marathi households.

kajuchi bhaaji

Once the cashewnuts are 3/4th cooked in the curry add the coconut paste (3-4 tablespoons) and let the mixture cook on low flame. Keep stirring the mixture every 10 minutes. Cashewnuts take a long time to cook – so let the gravy cook for half hour on low flame. Then check if the cashewnuts melt into the mouth, they should become really soft. Once you are sure they have, garnish the gravy with fresh coriander leaves fine chopped and served with Chapattis, Rotis or Naan or what we Maharashtrians love – Tandalachi Bhakri ( Rice Roti)

kajuchi bhaaji 1

Hasselback Potatoes

There are days at work when I’m completely drained out (and of late there have been too many much to my chagrin). The only thing that can get me refreshed is to cook up a good dish; and to my luck I chance upon recipes like this one shared on LifeHacker.

I did a bit of my own modification – I backed it for 30 minutes instead of 50 as mentioned in the link and at a temperature of 350 degree Celsius after having pre-heated the oven at 425 degree Celsius.

This one is very easy to make. Slice the potato as shown – try to make as thin slices as you can. The thinner the slices, the crispier they get at the ends. Grease the potato with olive oil (bare minimum), pepper and salt.

After 20 minutes of baking the potatoes –  I add some herbs such as parsley, rosemary and thyme. Not the fresh ones but the dried ones and sprinkled some parmesan cheese. Then baked the potatoes for another 10 minutes and the result was a scrumptious dinner for both of us given that these days I’m back to my light dinner diet.

hasselback potatoes

When I read up further on this recipe I found suggestions to add cheese slices, bacon etc to the potatoes and bake them. That is to be tried next time – I don’t eat bacon but am sure MDH would love to try it out.

Fish and Prawns Fry

How long has it been since I updated this section of my blog! I have been lazy and not posted any recipes though I have bombarded folks with the food pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp and though they have got  many “likes”; I have also got abuses for not posting the recipes. So a huge sorry to all my friends and here I start with some fish and prawns fry recipes – make up for excellent quick starters. My father’s family hails from Guhagar, Ratnagiri in Konkan and I’m married into a Goan household – these fish/prawns fry specialities are a must in every Konkan/Goan fish-eating household. Try them and do let me know how they turned out.

The tip for frying fish – heat the oil in the pan well, try to take minimal oil and keep adding oil slowly depending on how much the fish soaks up the oil, and while frying fish maintain low flame and the let the fish cook in peace. Be careful while frying Bombil (Bombay Duck) – delicate hands a must for turning and frying this particular fish.

Red Masala Rava Fry:

This marination can be used for most fishes – Pomfret, Surmai (King Fish), Bombil (Bombay Duck), Verlya (Similar to whitebait), Bangda (Mackerel) and even prawns.

Proportions are for 1/2 Kg fish:

Marination Ingredients:

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1.5 tablespoons

Turmeric – 1 tea spoon

Red Chilly Powder – 2-3 table spoons (depending on how spicy you can consume)

Kokum (Garcinia Indica) – 7-8 petals.

Salt to taste

Lemon juice – 1-2 tea spoons

Take 1-2 tea spoons water in small bowl and mix the above ingredients well to form a nice thick paste. Then marinate the fish in this paste for atleast 1/2 to 1 hour before frying. My mother-in-law gives me an additional goan garam masala powder which I tend to add to the mixture to get an added spicy flavor.

The Coating

Rava (semolina) and rice powder are mixed together in the proportion of 2:1. A cup of this mixture is more than sufficient for a coating for 1/2 kg fish. Take the marinated fish and roll it delicately in this dry mixture till all sides are well coated in this mixture.

Shallow fry the fish on low flame ensuring that the mixture is not burnt. Let the fish fry for atleast 15-20 minutes and turn it in equal intervals to ensure both sides are cooked well. Cooking on low flame helps cook the fish really well and gives a firm crispy coating.

Serve hot with a tinge of lemon.

Bombil , Pomfret and Prawn Fry

bombil and prawns frybombil-pomfret-prawn

Surmai Fry

surmai fry

 Bangda Fry ( While being cooked and one already ready to serve)

bangda fry

Verlya Fry

verlya fry

If you are particular about oil – you can use the same marination to grill the fish/prawns without the coating. Still tastes great.

Grill Pomfret

grill pomfret

Green Masala Fry:

This marination generally works well only with Pomfret and Surmai.

Marination Ingredients:

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1.5 tablespoons

Turmeric – 1 tea spoon

Green Chilly & Coriander Paste – 4-5 green chillies (depending on how spicy you can consume), 12-15 fresh coriander stems with leaves, 5-6 mint leaves. Grind this mixture in a smooth thick paste. Use 3-4 tablespoons of this paste in the marination. The balance can be preserved for a month in deep freezer.

Kokum (Garcinia Indica) – 7-8 petals.

Salt to taste

Lemon juice – 1-2 tea spoons

Take 1-2 tea spoons water in small bowl and mix the above ingredients well to form a nice thick paste. Then marinate the fish in this paste for atleast 1/2 to 1 hour before frying.

Coating and frying technique as mentioned above.

green masala pomfret fry

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