Friday, September 27, 2013

Bangude Maharani(Mackerel Queen)

When I was a frequent visitor at Hotel Sujatha in Mangalore till they closed down in the year 2010, they had this dish which was named Bangude Maharani. Spicy tangy masala and some chopped onions and tomatoes made it an improved version of Bangude Masala Fried. Many customers have raved about this dish there!

I was always wondering how they prepared it. I knew that they made it like fish masala fried but they added few more ingredients. Other day we got fresh bangude and made tawa fried fish, marinating them with spices, salt and tamarind. Two bangudes were left over in the fridge and my wife Meena came out with this, which tasted almost like what I used to taste at Hotel Sujatha. She was clueless about naming this and then it flashed to me that 'Bangude Maharani' would be the apt name for this. Try this with fish curry rice or as a sxtarter. Tastes fantastic and guaranteed to make a permanent entry into your list of seafood delicacies!

Bangude(Mackerel) fish - 4
Salt - To taste
Red Chilli Powder - 3 Tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 Tsp
Garlic powder or paste - 1 Tsp
Tamarind - Cherry size ball extracted in 4 Tsp water
Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
Garlic - 6 cloves chopped
Onions - 2 Small chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped
Green Chillies - 2 Chopped
Coconut oil - 2 Tsp or more
Coriander Leaves(Optional) - A handful chopped

Clean wash and put gashes on the fish.
Marinate the fish with salt, 2 tsp red chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, coriander powder, garlic powder or paste and 2 tsp tamarind extract for 1 hour.
Heat oil in a pan, add curry leaves and fry till crisp.
Add chopped garlic, onion and fry till golden.
Add chopped green chillies and tomato.
Fry well till raw smell disappears.
Add salt to taste, remaining chilli powder, turmeric powder and tamarind extract.
Add the marinade from the fish and mix.
Place the fish in the masala, cover and simmer for 1-2 mins.
Turn over and fry till done.
Arrange the fish on the serving platter, top up with the masala and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve with a lemon wedge and salad of your choice.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rulaanva Doddak/Bhakri(Sajjige Rotti) with added Carrot and Onion

When I was young, Rulaanva Doddak used to be one of my most favourite snacks. Mother used to make this for evening tea. Mother made this on thick cast iron tawa using charcoal fire and the taste was ultimate!

Some GSBs call this Rulaanva Bhakri. In Kannada and Tulu they call it Sajjige Rotti and our neighbour Jains called it Belchet. What we tasted at our younger days was plain Doddak with a generous knob of fresh butter.

Plain doddak is made with Wheat Semolina, Whole wheat flour and added green chillies, sugar, grated coconut and sometimes mashed Mysore/Salem banana for that extra softness and flavour. My wife keeps experimenting with this doddak and she has tried adding grated cucumber/carrots/watermelon rind with or without onions. This one with added carrot and onions is one of my favourites of late. It not only looks colourful but kids also love this. This is best savoured with a knob of fresh butter.
Whole Wheat/Bombay Rava(Semolina) – 2 cups
Whole wheat flour – 1/2 cup
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup
Green chillies – 3-4 chopped
Carrot – 1/2 cup grated
Onion - 1/2 cup chopped
Banana - 1 small mashed(Optional)
Sugar – 4 tsp
Salt - To taste
Water - QS
Coriander leaves – A handful chopped(Optional)
Ghee - QS for roasting

Pound green chillies coarsely along with grated coconut, sugar and salt to taste.
You may also grind them coarsely in a mixie chutney jar.
Add optional mashed banana and 1 cup water.
Add semolina and wheat flour and mix well to a thick firm batter.
Add water sufficient to get a idli batter like consistency.
Check for salt and allow this batter to stand for 10-15mins.
Add optional coriander leaves and mix just before making doddak.
Heat a thick tawa and apply ghee.
Place a handful of the batter and flatten with your fingers into a 6mm thick doddak.
Cover with a dome lid and cook on medium flame till water evaporates.
Apply ghee on the surface and flip the doddak.
Roast well on both the sides and serve hot with fresh butter.

Baby Potato Song(Spicy Tangy Baby Potato Curry)

Song is a signature dish of Konkani GSBs. This spicy tangy semi dry curry goes well with rice and daalithoi. Some also relish this with chapathis, pooris, idli derivatives and with paan polo. A simple but addictive curry, song is as important as Daalithoi or Pathrado in typical GSB's life.
Unlike the usual recipe with big potatoes boiled and chopped into small cubes, our neighbour Vinaya Shenoy made song with baby potatoes last week and gave us some sample. Vinaya is a young enthusiastic lady with a passion for cooking. Here's how she made baby potato song.
Baby Potatoes - 250Gms
Onions - 100-150Gms
Kashmiri Chilli powder - 2 Tsp(Or add 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp Kashmiri
chilli powder)
Salt - To taste
Tamarind extract - 2 Tsp
Coconut Oil - 2Tsp

Wash, boil and peel baby potatoes.
Chop onions finely.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Add half of the chopped onions and fry till golden brown. A
Add remaining onions and fry till transparent.
Add chilli powder, salt to taste and fry a little.
Add tamarind extract and little water.
Bring to a boil, add the potatoes and cover.
Simmer for 3-5 mins.
When the curry is semi dry, switch off the flame and serve.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Nisarga – A Family Restaurant with Tasty Treats

The ever growing city of Mangalore is recognized by its Educational Institutions, Banks, Hospitals and of late IT Companies. Cosmopolitan crowd invading this beautiful coastal city for jobs, education and health care has also found Mangalorean cuisine delectable. Local vegetarian, non vegetarian and seafood have found an important place in the gastronomical map for foodies. Not just Mangalorean, but also Chinese, North Indian and Continental cuisine have been sought after by the connoisseurs of fine dining.

Just when we thought North Mangalore is mostly inhabited by dwellers and restaurants were very few in numbers, the recent trend proved us wrong! We saw a few multicuisine restaurants come up, but mostly catering to middle and upper middle class people. Couple of shopping malls has food courts but the quality of food is inconsistent and unhygienic at times. Some restaurants have attached bar and conservative people hesitate to step into them. Fast food sometimes becomes ‘Past Food’!

Looking at the need of middle class and student diners, two dynamic youngsters hailing from small towns in the Dakshina Kannada District decided to set up a multicuisine family restaurant in the busy but decent locality of Urva Stores. They found the right premises opposite Urva Stores market, refurbished it with a clean, decent, bright and airy ambiance and called it NISARGA. Nisarga means natural habitat.

Harish from Venur and Jayaram from Kalladka are the two enterprising friendly owners of this restaurant. They have the experience of running hospitality business for over 15 years in Mangalore. They also have the good will of being good hosts in the business, winning the hearts of hundreds of satisfied customers.
Nisarga was opened on June 27, 2013 in Raghu Building, Urva Stores. One can’t miss the place in the corner of the Kodikal Road opposite Urva Stores Market. With ample seating downstairs and upstairs, this restaurant has a spacious kitchen with 4 chefs and 6 helpers, two parota makers and sufficient crew to serve and clean. Harish and Jayaram both manage the order counter and kitchen, while Harish’s elder brother Sathish manages the cash counter. The ever smiling and friendly trio attends to the customers with zeal. You can notice the difference between Nisarga and other restaurants in the locality as soon as you enter the restaurant, occupy the seats and place your order. Their service is quick, neat and clean. Seeing is believing!

I had a glimpse through the overall functioning of the restaurant recently. From the reception to the dining section, into the kitchen and then on to the parota counter and finally the wash room, they have maintained it all meticulously well. Parota maker is seen actively making hot flaky Tawa parotas and chapathis in the open area so as to avoid heat inside the restaurant. The kitchen has a big charcoal tandoor in a corner where Roti, Naan, Kulcha, Tandoori Paratha and baked food items are prepared. Next to it, they have the North Indian food section where curries are made. In one corner they have the Chinese section where hot rice, noodle, starters and main course dishes are made. They also have separate wok for vegetarian cooking. Fish curry, fish fry, non veg starters and Biryani are made by another expert chef at a separate counter. Helpers keep cleaning and chopping ingredients, while a pantry in the center has ready to serve curries, daal, salad, paapad, pickle and vegetable side dishes that go with thaali meals. Two maids clean the vessels and dishes silently and the washed vessels are dried and wiped clean before using. Pure filtered water is used for cooking and drinking. Juice counter has a variety of fresh fruits and they also have Ideal Ice Creams for dessert. Two well stocked showcase refrigerators stand tall at the entrance and only reputed brands of soft drinks, soda and mineral water are kept for sale.




The menu at Nisarga is extensive and has a choice of veg, chicken, mutton and seafood starters, soups, salads, rice, thaali meals, rotis, main course dishes, juices, soft drinks and desserts to tease the taste buds of demanding diners. Some of their Chinese and North Indian items are on par with, or even better than many high class restaurants. Mangalorean delicacies are of course authentic, especially chicken, mutton and seafood dishes. Their tawa parotas are very soft, flaky and filling. Our experience over the months has been good and we did find some of the curry items excellent. The secret of their quality and consistency is because of the strict supervision by Harish and Jayaram and also the top quality ingredients they use. You can make out by the quality of Basmati Rice they use for Biryani, Fried Rice, Ghee Rice and other rice dishes. You can also tell by the aroma of the ghee, refined oil or coconut oil that they use in curries, fried items and seafood preparations, that they use the best.

Harish says “We don’t compromise with the quality of oil and other ingredients because taste and health are two main objectives we have in mind when we cater to cosmopolitan crowd. By maintaining clean kitchen, dining and other areas, using disposable aluminum containers and laminated pouches for dry and semi wet items for packing and food grade plastic containers for curries, we ensure hygiene.”

Try their Clear Soup, Manchow Soup, Hot and Sour Soup or just plain Tomato Soup. They make them well. Rice dishes, especially fried rice, ghee rice and biryani are too good. Mutton is soft and delicious. Chiken and Seafood are fresh. Tandoori items are well baked to perfection. Try their Fresh Juices, Tandoori Chicken, Tandoori Fish, Chicken Sukkha, Kori Rotti, Neer Dosa, Idlis, Ghee Roast, Chicken Tikka, Chicken Hariyali Tikka, Malai Tikka and of course Mushroom and Paneer starters. Chicken Urval, Chicken ’65, Chicken Kebab, Mutton Chilly, Gobi or other Veg Manchurian, American Chopsuey, Fish Rava/Tawa Fried and Masala Fried, Prawn preparations, Naan, Roti, Kulcha, Tandoori and Tawa Paratha, Egg Paratha, Chcken Tikka Masala, Chicken Lajawaab, Chicken/Mutton Hyderabadi, Egg Masala, Tomato Masala, Chicken/Veg Kolhapuri, Mutton Rogan Josh, Chicken/Mutton Kadai, Veg, Nonveg and Fish Thaali Meals and so on. They all taste good and the taste never changes because they follow standard formula and the chefs are well experienced.

Take Away: Kerala Parota, Biryani Rice, Mutton Hyderabadi, Banjara Kebab, Prawn Sukkha

 “Prices of commodities like Onions, LPG, Oil, Milk products, Vegetables, Spices, Seafood, Chicken and Mutton have shot up in the last few weeks but we haven’t compromised with quality, quantity or even price”, says Jayaram. I have observed that and I do agree with what he says. With my 36 plus years of cooking experience, I can authenticate that their food is good, hygienic, homely and value for money.
Many office goers, students, IT Company Executives, businessmen and workers frequent Nisarga for dining and for take away. They have door delivery service within the 5KM range of Kottara Chowki to Car Street. They also undertake catering for small groups of 25-30 people.

Some of the regulars who recommend Nisarga:

Dr Sanjay Nayak Sujir, Dental Surgeon: “Nisarga is a fruit of labour of two hard working friends Jayaram and Harish. Food is awesome, delectable and quite reasonable. Their home delivery is faster than the Multinational Pizza chains, at least in the nearby areas. I would recommend this place to anyone who enjoys eating out.”

Nibeesh, Regional Manager, Carewell Trading Company: “I like their Parotas and some gravy items. Being from Kerala myself, I can say parotas here are very good.”

Meena, Housewife: “Their food tastes just like home made food. Never had stomach upset since I tried their food for the last 2 months. Recently we tried their Mutton Hyderabadi and Veg fried rice which had very less oil and the flavours linger on for a long time.”

Amarnath Mallya, Senior Branch Executive, ICICI Prudential Insurance: “Nice setup and comfortable dining space. I tried their soups, starters and main course with my family. Food, atmosphere and service are too good and you get value for money!”

Manoj Nayak, Manager Sales and Marketing, Provident Housing Ltd.: “Excellent seafood, main course, rotis and thaali meals. They always make them consistent and sumptuous.”

Souvik Biswas, IT Professional: “Very homely food. Nice rotis, fried rice and fish. Wish they had AC dining hall!”

Bhasker, Flower merchant, Urva Stores Market: “I know Harish and Jayaram personally for the last 15 years. They are doing a good job by giving good food for reasonable rates to family crowd.”

Kumble Srinivas Nayak, Automobile spares merchant:  “Fresh fish preparation, very good egg parotas and veg/non veg gravy items. I have tried food at many bigger restaurants but Nisarga makes it better.”

Rajiv Bhatia, Student: “Very good food and cheap prices. I am a regular here for dinner.”


Eating out has found a new dimension with the presence of Nisarga. Home delivery is just a phone call away. The owners are friendly, staff is well appointed, ambiance is fit for family dining, their menu is extensive, location is strategic, ample car and two wheeler parking is available, bus stop and autorickshaw stand are at a stone’s throw. Just try their food once and you’ll feel like trying again and again. Harish and Jayaram’s hospitality add value to their service and make you feel good. What more can one expect!

Contact numbers: 0824-4276633(Land Phone),
                              Harish:  9449522106,
                              Jayaram: 9743286936



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