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June 2007

Rawa Rasmalai-Semolina sweets

Rawa Rasmalai

As long promised here is another  recipe for a rawa /suji semolina dessert.


1 cup suji
1 coconut, ground
1 cup sugar
5-6 elaichi/ cardomom, powdered
1 tbsp ghee
1 1/2 litres milk

Heat ghee in a kadhai and roast the suji for a couple of minutes. Add the ground coconut and half of the sugar. On low heat keep on stirring the mixture till the sugar dissolves. Add the cardamom powder. When the mixture begins to get sticky take off fire and form small oval shaped balls. Set aside for a couple of hours.
Boil the milk and add the rest of the sugar. Keep simmering on low heat  till the milk becomes half its original quantity i.e. 750 ml. Now immerse the suji rolls gently into the hot milk.Remove from fire. Let it cool. Chill for at least half an hour before serving.

An illustrated glossary of Indian Fish-3 - Malabar Sole

Fishbutton Flatfish are common in India one of the most important fisheries being the Malabar Sole or  Lep as it is known in the vernacular in Maharashtra. Scientifically known as cynoglossus semifasciatus it is found in greater numbers in the waters of the Indian Ocean on the east coast and in the estuary of the Godavari, for which reason it is more commonly known as the Bengal tongue-sole in English. It is also found around Sri Lanka where it is native.


I buy sole at the Kirkee fish market which is open till late in the evening. They stock a lot of river fish,  eel, shark and other species which are not always available in other areas of the town.

Other common names for sole are Nangu in Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. It is also referred to as Manthal in Kerala and Nakkumeen in Tamilnadu. Since there are 137 species of tongue fish it is likely that one can be mistaken for a different variety in different states. The Kukur jeebh of Bengal is also referred to as Bengal tongue sole in English( note: without a hyphen)  but its scientific name is cynoglossus cynoglossus, thus a different species.

Relatively inexpensive as compared to the pomfret, sole is a common food fish especially amongst the poor. Is is not, however, as rich in Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, as in fish like the salmon and mackerel .

Like other tongue fish it feeds on the ocean and estuary floors and is fished in the ocean only when it comes in to fairly shallow waters in September and October. During the monsoon, shoals tend to go out into deeper waters. At the end of October they migrate out again to breed, returning only at the onset of the monsoon. The biggest catches are, however, on the Malabar coast between Kadapuram in Thrissur district and Edakkad in  North Kerala.


The Malabar sole, as with all tongue fishes, has both its eyes on the left side of its head and can be recognized by its shape which is ovoid in the front and pointed towards the tail. The following simple fried fish recipe is good for all flat fish.


Fried fish - Tala hua macchhi

Serves 2-3 people


  • ½ kg small  Malabar sole fish (about 6).
  • 6 tbsp rava / semolina
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp haldi / turmeric
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 limes cut into quarters


Clean sole by peeling off the skin. It comes off really easily. Cut head and wash well.


Mix all the masalas and rub on both sides of the fish. Let it stand for half an hour. Now spread the rava / semolina on a plate and coat both sides of all the  fish.  Heat half  the oil in a large non stick frying pan and fry three fish at a time.  Brown well on both sides for 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately with lime quarters and tomato chutney.

Ghati Mutton


Nupur, who writes one of my favourite blogs One Hot Stove, is hosting RCI Maharashtrian cuisine. RCI stands for Regional Cuisine of India by the way, and is an initiative by Lakshmi,  author of Veggie Cuisine.  So, after a long break doing many other things, I am back to blogging and what better to return with than with a dish from where I live, me own dear hometown Pune. Home town is probably a misnomer. Okay homecity. From GPO to BPO it is pretty spread out.

Every day I find another monstrous glass fronted building has sprung up purporting to be a "state of the architecture" structure. Sadly it is built on the grave of a crumbling piece of heritage.When we have rid ourselves of all that makes Pune Pune and have made it a Hip and Happening  place maybe we can rest upon the rubble and pat ourselves on the back and looks Umm, what other city on earth looks so distressed I wonder. In the throes of road building and flyover constructions the city is hung with a pall of dust which insinuates itself into every space.Even sitting huddled in the interiors of  the Pataleshwar caves on Jungli Maharaj road will not rid one of it.Then the only resort is to trek up, up and away into the Western Ghats.

Ah well-Back to the recipe...a nice old ghati one from one old ghati.



  • 1 kg shoulder mutton (chop into 1 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 copra/ dried coconut grated fine
  • 10 red chillies
  • 2 inch pieces of fresh haldi/ turmeric sliced fine
  • 1 tbs dhania / coriander powder
  • 1 tbs khus / poppy seeds
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 2" piece cinnamon
  • 8 whole peppercorns.
  • 1 tbs ghee
  • 2  large onions ( chopped fine)
  • 2 cups water

Roast all the masalas on a tava or non stick frying pan till light brown. Do not burn. Grind all the roasted ingredients in a  blender along with the ginger, garlic and salt to make a fine paste. Rub the paste on the pieces of mutton and marinate for an hour or more. Heat the ghee In a kadhai and fry the onions slowly till soft and brown. Add the marinated meat along with all the spice paste and brown well. Add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Lower heat cover tightly and simmer for 1 1/2 hours till meat is really soft. You can top up the water as required.

I added cubed potatoes in the last twenty minutes of cooking which is an option when you want to make a one dish dinner.

Eaten with chapathies or rice this is one Maharashtrian dish everyone just polishes off.