Savory Cucumber Pancakes

Savory Cucumber Pancakes, Fat-Free and Gluten-Free

Cucumber. Now here’s a vegetable that knows how to give and give and give for very little in return. Each spring, I plant a cucumber vine because there’s nothing as potent as a fresh, cooling, absolutely refreshing slice of cucumber to beat the humid summer blues we endure in D.C. Each year, it rewards me with armfuls…

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Tofu Egg Curry, an Indian style curry

Tofu Egg Curry

In my childhood home, egg curry was a perennial favorite. My father, whose family hails from India’s Konkan coast, had a very special and flavorful recipe he’d make for us occasionally, and I can still remember its rich, deep flavor. He’d add to it some onions, a few spices and lots of coconut — an ingredient…

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Crisp savory Pancakes with Lentils, Brown Rice and Veggies

Savory Indian Pancakes with Lentils, Brown Rice and Cabbage | Sanna Polo

Sanna Polo, a superhealthy Indian-style pancake packed with lentils, brown rice and veggies is a complete meal in itself. And if that sounds incredible to you, skip over and read the recipe. In Konkan along India’s west coast, where my dad’s family hails from, “polo” is local for dosa: a food most of you are no doubt familiar with….

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Mango Curry

Mango Curry

This silky mango curry is a delicious memory of growing up in India’s sultry summers. Each year, when May rolls around, Indian markets are overwhelmed with a flood of mangoes, lovingly referred to here as the “king of fruits”. Mountains of mangoes in every shape and size add brilliant orange color to an already colorful…

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Vegan Mung and Rice Pudding With Coconut and Saffron

Here’s a kheer (an Indian pudding) that my Konkani parents make for Makar Sankranti, a celebration in their part of India that falls on the same day as Pongal. The recipe is very similar to Sakkarai Pongal, except that my parents’ version has some coconut milk, a staple of the Konkan region where coconut trees…

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kholamba

Kholamba, a Low-Fat Vegetable Stew

India’s regional cuisines are so strikingly diverse that when resemblances and overlaps occur they inevitably make you wonder where the dish could have originated. There’s never a simple answer. A long-running food argument in our home has been over the beginnings of what is perhaps Tamil Nadu’s most famous stew: the sambar, or kuzhambu. You…

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Sweet Potato Humman With Papada Kismoor: Fat-Free Cooking

I always felt a bit like an outsider looking into the extended household of my childhood where uncles, aunts and cousins spoke to each other in Konkani, cooked Konkani food, and retreated to their Konkani native towns with cute names like Hubli and Sirsi for the summer. That’s because although my dad was a Konkani…

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Goan Feijoada

My Goan stepmother is a talented and adventurous cook. The last time we were visiting with her and my dad in Goa, she pulled out some pink beans from her pantry and introduced them to us as “Portuguese beans.” While Indian cuisine is rich in all sorts of beans and legumes, pink beans are not…

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Dalitoy

Dalitoy

A delicious food memory from the Konkani home of my childhood is Dalitoy, a simple and ultra-easy dal preparation. It is a rather straightforward dish, requiring none of the ingredient-grinding and masala-making that gives other dals their complex flavors and identities. All you need for the dalitoy, once you’ve cooked up the dal itself or…

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Chavde (Mande) for Ganesh Chaturthi

I have a real weakness for crispy sweets. And at the top of my list is an exquisite, lacy, sesame-seed-and-cardamom-sprinkled delicacy that’s perhaps not very well-known outside Maharashtrian and Konkani homes: Chavde, or Mande. In my childhood home, sweet-making was a joint endeavor between my parents and I can still see them as they made…

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Vegetable Vindaloo

When the flower children went east looking for spiritual enlightenment, it is not surprising that many ended up in Goa, a lush paradise along India’s scenic west coast.Not surprising because not only is Goa indescribably gorgeous, but because it also is the home of an inclusive, diverse, happy people steeped in the intoxicating culture of…

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Mooga Molay Randayi

Moogache Molay Gathi, a Konkani Recipe

My dad hails from Karwar, a beautiful town along India’s Konkan coast. Although his family moved to Bombay when he was little more than a child, they kept in touch, as all immigrant Indians do, with the culture and cuisine of their native land. Konkani cuisine is quite rich and varied, but the common denominator…

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