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BOSHI# 16

It's Wednesday once more and here's another simple, spicy and delicious boshi made up of my favourite things (as always!) - fish fry, tomato saar and french beans in a thel piao (oil & onion) style recipe. So comforting irrespective of the weather and season.

Since I am not a big expert at making fish curries I usually fry up the fish - fish itself is a rare treat for us adults as my son doesn't like it much and so we buy fish in small quantities like once a month (from the Deira fish market) and freeze it, mostly to be fried.  I hope you enjoy this seafood boshi today

Do check the complete Boshi series here

RECIPES:
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Dear Readers,

Ruchik Randhap's fan page on Facebook has crossed 7000 likes! 

Thank YOU!

A big welcome to all the new readers of my page and hope you enjoy all the upcoming recipes. My heartfelt gratitude to all my old readers, fans and friends alike who have made this possible - it is because of your constant love and support that I am able to carry on with the blog.

I know that over a period of time Facebook does not show my posts to everyone who has liked my page. If you select 'Get Notifications' you will receive my new posts in your newsfeed but there is a new feature where you can add my page and other pages that you like to a kind of a 'reader' (if you are familiar with RSS feed readers). I have compiled a tutorial below for your understanding.

Please go through the 6 pictures attached below and add Ruchik Randhap to your 'Interest List' so you never have to miss a single post!

If you are on Facebook and have not yet 'Liked' my page, I welcome you to do so now!

Click here to like my page and then follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Click on 'Liked' and select 'Add to Interest Lists'

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I have just survived a crazy weekend. Crazy in terms of how busy I got and having had absolutely no time to do anything but just go with the flow. Was almost out of the house for 3 consecutive days, only returning to eat and sleep. I wonder how working parents manage their homes. A big salute to all of you. Having said that stay at home parents have their share of woes and a big salute to all moms and pops who stay at home to make lives better for their little ones. Anyway, before I go blabbering some more, I better get to the recipe of the day. The last that I tried soya chunks was years ago when I was still in Mumbai. Since we are hard core non vegetarians I didn't really see the need to cook soya as a source of protein - we get plenty of it from fish, poultry, meat and legumes. Now that I am planning meals that revolve around Lent and eating more foods that fall in the 'pure veg' category are taking center stage I have bookmarked a few soya and paneer recipes. 
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As the week draws to an end I have a special recipe for you - prawn pickle which is one of Mangalore's favourite condiments. It is a perfect accompaniment to your simple meals, especially during Lent when you have started including a lot more vegetables in your diet, like I have. People who usually don't like seafood will enjoy this pickle as there is absolutely no fishy smell to it and the prawns are tiny and very enjoyable to munch on. When I say 'people' I am actually referring to my son who doesn't like seafood but enjoys prawns, usually breaded and deep fried. He enjoyed this pickle too along with my brother's kids who had come to spend the day with us last week. 

This pickle, as all pickles do, goes really well with coconut milk based gravies as the sweetness in the coconut milk is perfectly balanced by the spice in the pickle. I tried this combo last week when I had made the Egg Roce Curry and I was literally licking my fingers (and my plate - errr, not really!) after I had finished the last few morsels. Don't believe me? Try it!
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BOSHI# 15

An egg, in my opinion, is the most versatile ingredient on this planet. You can eat it in so many different ways, in sweets or savouries. My favourite way of eating an egg is frying it sunny side up or in a curry, hard boiled and dunked in a deliciously creamy coconut milk gravy with a few spices - so delicious I tell you! Since it is Lent we try to eat very little of meats and are focusing on simpler meals. Since fish is a luxury in my house (we don't get to buy it very often and can't make it too frequently because of a fussy eater) we stick to chicken and eggs in our diet. However, the egg roce curry is a rare thing as the husband is not so fond of coconut milk based gravies. Anyway, I decided to treat myself and made this simple roce curry with veggies on the side - red amaranth leaves cooked 'thel-piyao' style - so typically Mangalorean and to add some charm to the plate I cooked up some bitter gourds with Mangalorean palm jaggery. Bitter gourds make their appearance once in a blue moon but taste wonderful when paired with this curry. The blend of flavours was simply spectacular! Hope you enjoy it too!

RECIPES:
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Sometime last year, in my quest for traditional Mangalorean recipes I came across this extremely simple recipe. 'Saar' as it is called in the local languages of Mangalore is nothing but a watery, thin gravy made from onions or tomatoes or lentils. It is pretty much like a clear soup where water forms much of the base and very little flavouring is added to it. Saar is a traditional accompaniment to rice in Mangalorean meals. The most popular ones are the different types of lentil saar which have more water than lentils in them unlike their North Indian counterparts which are a blend of one of more lentils, used in generous proportions and cooked till mushy and blended/churned to a thick soup like consistency. 

'Sheeth Ani Saar' are usually the primary ingredients on the meal menu of any Mangalorean household. A side dish of vegetable or seafood and some papad or pickle would pretty much be consumed on a daily basis. This is something most families eat even now irrespective of their caste, creed and social standing. If you see, it is an affordable meal - rice, saar and some seafood (for non vegetarians) or a couple of vegetables on the side (for vegetarians). 
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A simple meal of dal, rice and fish fry can beat the blues out of anyone (seafood lovers actually), isn't it? This has been my comfort food ever since I was a child and I turn to it even now. On days when I haven't planned an elaborate meal or have forgotten to keep meat to thaw in the fridge the previous night I just place some fish to thaw for a couple of hours in the fridge and then on counter till it thaws to room temperature. I find this easier as chicken/meat takes longer to thaw and most of my fish is frozen in smaller portions (as we are technically just two adults who eat fish at home). My little girl loves fish as much as her brother hates it. Anyway, since I don't want to force him anymore I limit his fish intake to boneless fish such as basa or cream dory which is usually shallow fried with rava or breaded and deep fried like fingers. 
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This Lent I hope to post as many vegetarian dishes as possible but the main focus will be on easy and simple cooking so that I stay out of the kitchen and spend more time in prayer and retrospection. Since my kids are pretty fussy I cannot eliminate non vegetarian foods completely from my menu but I have decided to limit it to just seafood and eggs this season. A lot of readers tell me that my pictures make them salivate and I definitely don't want to be the temptress making it hard for you :-) While I personally believe that it is not food you should give up but your vices, to each his own really.
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BOSHI# 14

Today, the 18th of February is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent - the season of fasting and prayer and observing moderation and frugality. Christians all over the world observe it in their own way, be it giving up of certain habits or luxuries which also extends to festive and luxurious eating. This Lent I hope to give up sweets which I simply cannot resist - this includes sweet baking too and so my meals at home will be simple and frugal starting with this boshi.

Today's boshi is a simple one with Dal Khichdi - my comfort food, prepared with rice, lentils, carrots and spinach cooked together till mushy and served piping hot with a dollop of ghee. You can also see a small bowl of yogurt/curd that goes so well with this frugal yet nourishing meal. Papad and pickle (I used prawn pickle here) add to the flavour quotient.

RECIPES:
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My obsession with baking breads is growing by leaps and bounds! I am so thankful to be a part of the baking group that helps me explore a new bread every month! The bread chosen by Aparna for the month of February for our We Knead To Bake project# 25 is this gorgeous bun called as the 'Black Forest Bun' as it is an adaptation of one of my favourite layered cakes that is Germany's gift to the world. The Black Forest Bun uses a cherry compote (or jam) and chocolate cake filling and is pretty much like cinnamon rolls. These super delicious buns make for a very hearty breakfast if you like to start your day with something sweet. I think these were chosen to be the bread of the month because the Valentine's Day fever is on everywhere and although I could have made these ahead of V-Day I didn't quite have the time last week. Today is my last day of posting this recipe as Lent begins tomorrow, the 18th of February and I will not be doing any posts on sweets - baking or otherwise.
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