Xacuti with Mushroom and Eggplant

BM Theme : A-Z Curries

Xacuti is a curry from Goa, India. It’s mainly used to prepare meat based dishes, but here I have made it with mushrooms. I had some eggplants I wanted to use up, so I added that as well to the curry.

There is a lot of spices involved in making the masala, each recipe online gives out a different set of spices. I have followed this YouTube video for most part but have made some minor changes. Instead of a two step roasting and grinding, I combined both step and did everything in one shot. You don’t have to use all the paste in the curry, the curry will still be flavorful if you keep aside a little bit for later use too.

Read on for the recipe. I prefer to serve this with rice than with rotis.


For the masala part:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 10 pepper corns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the curry:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped eggplants, optional
  • paste from above
  • Salt as needed
  • A Handful Coriander leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a big pan. Add the onion and sauté until it’s pink. Now add the dried red chilies, cumin, fennel, coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon, pepper corns and poppy seeds. Sauté until the spices turn aromatic and the coriander seeds change color to a slight golden hue. Now add the shredded coconut. Sauté until it turns light golden brown and is aromatic. Take off the heat and grind to a smooth paste once it’s cooked down. Add a little water, if needed, to help with grinding. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in the same pan. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until onion changes color and is slightly brown around the edges. Add the tomatoes and let it cook until it’s mushy.
  3. Add the eggplants, turmeric powder and let it cook until it’s half done. Now add the mushrooms and cook until it releases water and is 3/4th done.
  4. Add the ground masala paste and 1/2 cup water and mix well. Add more water if needed to bring to the consistency you prefer. Add salt to taste and let the curry cook for 7-10 minutes. Taste test in between and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Turn off the heat, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves on top. Cover and keep aside until it’s time to serve.

White Kidney Beans curry

BM Theme : A-Z Curries

For the letter W for the A-Z theme, I used white kidney beans to make a curry. The curry has a tomato onion base, but for the masala, I used pav bhaji masala instead of the regular masalas. I love pav bhaji masala and sometimes add it to chole and rajma too. You can skip the pav bhaji masala and replace it 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.

To serve, I keep some lemon slices on the side. My son loves that little tanginess lemon adds to the curry. I served it with Tehri, a rice prepared with potatoes and green peas. I will update the recipe soon for it.

Read on for the recipe.


  • 2 cups cooked white kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala
  • salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves, a handful
  • Lemon juice, optional


  1. If using dry beans, soak it overnight and pressure cook with enough water until done. I used some from a batch that was already soaked and cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and let it brown. Now add ginger garlic paste and green chilies. Cook for a few seconds and add tomatoes. Add all the dry masalas and salt. Mix well and let it cook until tomatoes are done and mushy.
  3. Add the beans and water as needed. Mix well and let it boil and cook for 7-10 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat, add coriander leaves for garnish. This curry suits both plain rice and roti. A squirt of Lemon juice adds a nice flavor to this curry.

This post goes to Valli’s Blogging Marathon.

Vatana Curry – Dry peas curry

BM Theme : A-Z Curries

There was an year long theme for A-Z in last year‘s Blogging Marathon. I didn’t finish on time, so I am publishing the rest of the posts now. Today’s post is for the letter V. I had prepared this dried peas (Vatana) curry to serve with Avocado parathas as part of a thali.

I made vatana curry for lunch and served with the Rajasthani Khoba roti. It’s fun to make khoba roti, it has a distinct pattern. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of it other than the one above. It was time for our lunch and I didn’t want to keep my family waiting. I am planning to make it again, hopefully I can take some pictures before it gets devoured!

The recipe for the curry is simple – it’s has the regular onion tomato base with ginger, green chilies and garlic. I used yellow dried peas here, you can make this with the green ones too.

Read on for the recipe.


  • 1 cup dried peas, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1” piece of ginger, minced finely
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish


  1. Pressure cook the soaked peas with fresh water to cover it completely and has 1” of water on top of the beans. It takes about 6-8 minutes in instant pot. Let the pressure release naturally and set this aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped onions along with minced ginger, garlic and green chilies. Let the onions cook well. Now add the finely chopped (or pureed) tomatoes, along with the dry masalas and salt. Mix well, cover and let it cook until tomatoes are done and oil floats on top – about 5-8 minutes. Mix in between to prevent burning. Add a little water if it’s too dry.
  3. Add the cooked peas along with the water and mix carefully. Let it come to a boil and let it cook for 6-10 minutes until the flavors mingle. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Turn of the heat and sprinkle coriander leaves on top. Keep the pan covered until it’s time to serve.

Taco Platter with Mexican Rice

BM #117 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : Colorful Foods

I entered the world of tacos a little late, but it’s a meal that I prepare couple of times a month now. It’s so easy to put together and that’s such a selling point for me. It can be adjusted to everyone’s preferences – the toppings take care of whether it’s spicy or not, sweetish or not – so everyone is happy at the end of the meal. Add cheese and sour cream to the toppings and the kids are really happy!

I mostly stick to the same set of toppings, because its easy to stock those. Sour cream, cheese, couple of kinds of salsa, guacamole, corn salsa are regulars. I keep rotating a few of my favorite fillings. My choices are always between – cilantro lemon rice, black beans filling with salsa, Refried beans, spiced soya mince and Mexican rice. There are so many more fillings you can try, but these are what I usually make. I serve with soft tortillas and hard shell tacos, so everyone’s choice is covered.

The platter has :

  1. Taco shells
  2. Flour tortillas
  3. Refried beans
  4. Mexican rice
  5. Guacamole
  6. Shredded cheese
  7. Tomato salsa
  8. Street style corn
  9. Chopped tomatoes
  10. Sour cream
  11. Pineapple soda

Ingredients for Mexican Rice:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped optional
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika/ chili powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup tomato sauce/ purée
  • A handful of chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste


  1. Select sauté mode in Instant Pot and add the oil. Add the onions, jalapeños, garlic, peppers and sauté for a minute. Add the rice, salt, cumin, chili powder. Sauté for a minute.
  2. Add the water, stir it in. Now the add the tomato sauce/ purée. Don’t stir the sauce because sometimes instant pot throws up “burn” sign. So add the sauce on top and leave it there.
  3. Close the lid and change the program to Manual for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and mix everything. Add the chopped cilantro and serve on its own or as a filling for tacos.

Linking this post to Kids Delight, event hosted by Vaishali this month.