Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nylon Khaman Dhokla Sandwich

No, I would not go that far just to make up a 'N', it is really called that!
I have also heard of nylon poha and nylon sabudana, a litttle wierd I would say! I have come up with my own explanation as to why it may have gotten the not so appetising name, 'Nylon Dhokla' !
Well, when I think of nylon, the things that come to my mind are the long and comfortable chairs back home with the nylon cloth material sewn as the base of the chair or the nylon bags that we happily trotted around with as kids and of course who can forget the nylon saree;-)
My theory is, nylon, for some reason unbeknownst to me, translates to 'instant' or 'pre-processed' in the case of food items. The traditional khaman dhokla is made by soaking a mixture of various dals, grinding it and then fermenting it before finally steaming it into a dhokla. But the nylon one is made of chickpea flour (besan), no grinding or fermenting involved here. It is an instant version and hence the name nylon khaman dhokla. Phew! Now that we have the definition out of the way, we can safely proceed to the recipe.
I learnt this recipe from 'G' aunty when she was visiting us from India some time back. I watched her prepare it once and now follow all the steps diligently to make this snack. Speaking of 'G' aunty, I will be happy if I've even half the energy & enthusiasm that she has when I reach her age ;-)
Khaman dhokla is a much loved Gujarati snack. It is a steamed snack with a tempering of mustard, cumin, sesame and is adorned with coriander leaves & grated coconut. It is usually served with coriander chutney. It can also be made into a sandwich by spreading layers of green chutney or ketchup in between slices of dhokla. This is one snack which goes very well in parties as well.
Here is how I make Nylon Khaman Dhokla Sandwich.
1 cup chick pea flour (besan)
1 cup water
1 tsp ginger & green chili paste
1 heaped tsp sugar
salt, turmeric powder, 1tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 tsp eno salt
1tbsp oil, mustard seeds, jeera, hing, sesame seeds, curry leaves, 2 slit green chili
chopped coriander leaves, grated coconut
Mix of 3 tbsp lemon/lime juice, 1tbsp water & 1 tbsp sugar (as per taste)
1/2 cup green chutney
Blend chick pea flour, water, chili-ginger paste, lemon/lime juice, salt, turmeric powder, sugar very well. Do not add all the water at once, add little at a time and make the batter a little thinner than bhajia batter. You might need just a tbsp or two less than the whole cup. Mix it well and make sure there are no lumps. Keep water for steaming in a wide pan. These days you also get special dhokla steamers in the market as pictured below. In the absence of this you can use any shallow container for steaming.

Add eno salt to the batter and mix very well. Steam till an inserted knife comes out clean, about 15-17 minutes on high flame. Let cool. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, jeera, hing, sesame seeds, curry leaves, 2 slit green chili and keep this tempering aside.

For the sandwich, prepare two slabs of the dhokla. Cool. Sprinkle the lime/sugar mix over one slab. Spread green chutney over that and then cover with the other dhokla slab. This is just like icing a cake, a savory cake at that, like shown below.

Pour the tempering over this. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut. Cut into pieces and enjoy Nylon Khaman Dhokla Sandwich!!

This is my contribution to Nupur's A-Z series for 'N'.
I would also like to contribute this to Barbara for her wonderful event 'A Taste Of Yellow' .

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rawa Dosa

Rawa Dosa is something that satiates your appetite when you want to have dosa but do not have the ground & fermented batter ready. Well there is a solution to that too, ready made batter!! but then there aren't many who have that kind of 'luxury' ;-(
In Matunga one step out of the house and you would have a hard time deciding from amongst the EXCEPTIONAL restaurants in the area. Oh boy! what a place!!!!! But lets not get carried away ;-)
In case you do not want to step out of your home but still enjoy a crisp dosa, Rawa Dosa is the way to go!! It is quick to make and tastes awesome, if I might say so myself ;-). Enjoy it with Onion sambar and Potato masala.
Rawa Dosa: There are many variations to the ratio of the three flours used in this dosa. This is the one I use successfully.
1 cup rawa
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup maida
2 tbsp chopped onion (optional)
2 green chili chopped
1 tbsp oil
rai(mustard), jeera, curry leaves, coriander leaves
Mix rawa, rice flour & maida with water to make a watery batter.
this batter is supposed to be on the runny side, do not make it thick. Add salt. Heat oil, add jeera, curry leaves & green chili. After a few seconds add chopped onion and saute till onions turn translucent. Add to the batter. Heat the tava well, spray some oil and pour the batter. This batter should not be spread on the tava, it should be just poured and should form a lace for the best texture. Once this side is cooked, flip the dosa and cook the other side. Repeat for the remaining batter.
Onion Sambar
1/2 cup toor dal
1/2 onion sliced
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp sambar pwd
1/2 tsp chili pwd
1 tbsp oil
rai(mustard), jeera, hing, 1/4 tsp methi seeds, curry leaves, 2 dry red chili
coriander leaves
Pressure cook the toor dal. In the absence of a pressure cooker, the dal can be boiled in a wide saucepan, just that it takes longer to cook by this method.
Heat oil, add rai, jeera, methi seeds, red chili, hing & curry leaves. Add sliced onion and saute till onion turns translucent.
Add tamarind paste and a cup of water. Let it cook till the raw taste of tamarind disappears. Add sambar powder & red chili powder(if using). Add whisked boiled toor dal and water as per required consistency. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
One of my friends adds a tsp of ghee just before switching off the stove and it adds a great taste, it is purely optional though!
Potato Masala
4 potatoes boiled
1 onion sliced
2 green chili finely chopped
1.5 tbsp oil
rai(mustard), hing, curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt
1/2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
Mash the potatoes roughly. Heat oil, add rai, hing, curry leaves & green chili. Add sliced onion & fry till it turns translucent. Add turmeric powder, salt & fry a bit.
Add mashed potatoes and mix well. Cook till done. Can add a tbsp water if it gets too dry. Add the lemon juice and switch off the gas. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Variation: You can add cashew nuts for a crunch.
Enjoy Rawa Dosa with onion sambar and potato masala.
This is my contribution to RCI-Tamil started by Lakshmi. Thanks for the event, Lakshmi.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dahi Bhalle aka Dahi Wada

I've convinced myself that Dahi Bhalle can be classified under the "fried, but no oil" category( I think I just invented a new category here;-) ) Well I do fry it, but the soaking of the wada in water after the deep frying gets rid of most of the oil, me thinks! I make a huge batch of these wadas and then freeze them. They freeze very well. When in a mood for chaat, I make either Dahi Bhalle or Papdi chaat.
Dahi Bhalle is wadas dunked in loads of chilled and seasoned curds and then topped with tamarind chutney and spices. Papdi chaat, a popular snack in the northern parts of India is a tangy and spicy mix of crushed papdis (fried dough) and dahi bhalle, again served with loads of curds and chutneys. The roadside bhaiya(vendors) have their own signature blend of spices, which, if not impossible is pretty hard to duplicate. I add freshly roasted jeera(cumin) powder, red chili powder and salt. I've seen my friends add chat masala and black pepper powder as well, you can choose the mix that best suites your taste.
I learnt how to make Dahi bhalle/Dahi wada from my mom, she makes the best dahi bhalle ever ;-)
1 cup urad dal soaked for 2 hours
(you can soak a handful of yellow moong dal along with the urad dal)
1" ginger piece
1 green chili
pinch of soda (optional)
salt, fresh roasted & powdered jeera powder, red chili powder, sugar
chopped coriander leaves
Grind the soaked urad dal, ginger and green chili very well. It is best to do it in small batches to avoid over heating of the grinder motor. Add very little water while grinding, the batter should be light and airy. It is very important NOT to make the batter watery, else the wadas will not be fluffy. The ginger and chili gives just a subtle hint of the spices, the intent is NOT to overpower the wadas with any strong flavor. Add salt to the batter. Can add a pinch of soda just before frying to lighten the batter. Spoon the batter into the hot oil and deep fry on medium heat till done and cooked through.

Once all the batter is used up and wadas are ready, I separate them into batches. I keep one batch for cooling down so that it can be ready for freezing. Dunk the other batch into hot water and squeeze them soft. (If the wadas turn out hard, it can still be salvaged. Bring salted water to a boil and add the wadas. Let them soak in the water for a few minutes and then squeeze, they are ready to be used)
Arrange the wadas on a platter. Whisk chilled curds with some salt, sugar and water to thin it down a little. Do not make it too watery though. Pour this over the wadas. Garnish with lots of tamarind chutney, jeera powder, red chili powder and chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy chilled dahi bhalle!
I have tasted different variation of this. Some like their curds to be sweet, others like it salty. The Gujarati version has a sweet and spicy flavor and uses liberal amounts of curds.
The Punjabi version is salty and the wadas are just submerged in the curds but not floating in it. The dahi wada that I've tasted in Udipi cafes has tempered sweet curds.

How about one more look......

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Methi Kela nu Shaak

On our last trip to Vegas, we were a group of eight driving from Phoenix to Vegas. That was one memorable trip! No, I would not like to infringe on your time telling you how we spent time in Vegas, the powers that be out there have spent enough time and money propagating their message - What happens here stays here, whatever. But sure would like to share this snippet with you.
On the drive, one of the friends mentioned he had an assortment of bitter chocolates fresh from Europe. Now, I'm a major sucker for bitter chocolate, but the max I had tasted was 67% chocolate. He opened this beautiful green wrapper and gave us all half an inch piece, maybe less. I protested and was ready for more, blurted out something like I can handle the bitter chocolate! He cautioned me and then showed the wrapper - 97% Chocolate it said. He instructed us to savor it slowly and mindfully, adding it was for serious chocolate lovers only. BITTER it was! For a long time after that we gulped bottles after bottles of soda but to no avail, the bitter taste still lingered on the tongue for a long time. He, it seems had acquired a taste for it and quite blissfully had a few bites. As for me, I had to take my words back, I had only tasted bitter chocolate in a very mild form before that, I realised.
Anyway, what has that got to do with Methi Kela nu Shaak? Well, just that the bitter and sweet combination of this delicacy reminded me of the incident and of the sugar that goes into the chocolate to camouflage it's real bitter taste.
As far as I know, this is a Gujarati delicacy and the bitter & sweet tastes mingle very well with each other. It is a quick dish and can be whipped up in a few minutes flat. Whenever I make this at home, irrespective of the number of banana's that go in, be it 4, 6 or 12, the bowl is always licked clean, it is that good! If you like methi, you will surely like this one. The first time I heard that it was going to be a part of the menu, I hastily opened the snack boxes to see if I can use anything else in lieu of the dish. When pestered, I grudgingly tried it, you know the rest.....
Here is how I make it.
4 ripe banana
1 bunch methi finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
rai, jeera, hing
haldi, 1/2 tsp red chili pwd, 1/2 tsp dhaniya pwd, 1/2 tsp sugar
Heat oil, add rai, jeera, hing. After rai splutters, add haldi, red chili pwd and immediately add chopped methi. Sprinkle about 1tbsp water, cover and cook till done. Add salt, dhaniya pwd, sugar and chopped banana. Stir well and switch off flame. Some like it a little on the mushy side, you can make it as per your liking in terms of texture.
Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this dish, it is far too tasty for the minimal ingredients that go in.
Enjoy. You can serve it with Gujarati kadhi or any dal and rotli/rice. I also enjoy this shaak with just a bowl of home made curds & rotli, but that's just me!
Variation: You may add some garam masala for a different taste.
This is my contribution to Nupur's A_Z series.
I would also like to send this over to Indira & Nandita's JFI-WBB Greens.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Sublime Trio - Double Beans, Gujarati Kadhi & Rice

Some dishes though delicious on their own, seem to acquire an even better taste when combined with certain other dishes. One such sublime combination is double beans curry with gujarati kadhi and rice. The melt in your mouth texture of these double beans when cooked in a sweet and spicy gravy is a treat to savor! The gujarati kadhi, with it's sweetish tinge adds another layer of taste when combined with the double beans and rice. Mix the three together and enjoy this combination, you can't go wrong. I learnt this recipe from a dear friend of mine who is an awesome cook and now it has become a regular at my home.
Double Beans Curry:
1 cup double beans/ big Lima beans soaked for 4 hours
1 onion finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1tsp tomato paste (optional)
3 cloves garlic grated
1 green chili finely chopped
2 tbsp oil
rai, jeera, curry leaves, hing, 1 red chili, a cinnamon piece, 6 black peppers
1/2 tsp haldi, 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala pwd, 1 tsp jeera powder
1tbsp jaggery
coriander leaves
Boil soaked beans till done. I have found that pressure cooking these beans sometimes leads to overcooking. My recommendation is to boil them in an open sauce pan with some salt till done.
Heat oil, add rai, jeera, curry leaves, hing, red chili, a cinnamon piece, black peppers. Add garlic & saute a few seconds. Add onions & saute till brownish. Add haldi, red chili powder, garam masala pwd, jeera powder, tomatoes & tomato paste if using. Saute till oil separates. Add boiled beans, jaggery, salt and a cup of water. Jaggery adds that special touch to this delicacy. Bring to a boil & simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust consistency as per taste.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Tip: Raise your hand if you too are guilty of throwing away left over can of tomato paste after just one use. I was guilty too until I started using this tip......Once you open a can of tomato paste, spoon chunks of the paste on a plate and freeze. When a recipe asks for tomato paste, just add the chunks as required.
Gujarati Kadhi:
1 cup sour curds
1.5 tbsp besan
1 tbsp ghee, rai, jeera, 1 tsp methi seeds, cinnamon, 6 black peppers, curry leaves, hing
pinch of red chili powder
1 tbsp jaggery
1 green chili, coriander leaves
Mix curds & besan with 1.5 cups water.
(Tip: Pass the above mix thru a sieve to get rid of any besan lumps.)
Heat ghee, add rai, jeera, methi, cinnamon, black peppers, curry leaves, red chili powder & hing. Add besan mix and slit green chili. Bring to a boil, add salt, jaggery & simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve double beans curry and gujarati kadhi with rice. Enjoy the sublime trio.
This my contribution to Sushma's Tipology of the month.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lauki Bharwa' & a Readers Delite!

Ramdevji Maharaj, single handed elevated this humble vegetable Lauki (dudhi/ bottle gourd) to a celebrity status. Since he propagated the many healing properties of this simple vegetable, people have started using it in quite an aggressive manner. It sure is full of many nutritious elements and one can use it to prepare an array of dishes, right from juice to appetiser to dessert. I prepared an appetiser, Lauki Bharwa.

The stuffing for this dish is paneer and I always prefer homemade paneer for such dishes. I do like to keep a pack of store bought block of paneer in my refrigerator for the paneer dishes, but I feel the recipes which call for grated paneer always taste moist and yummy with fresh paneer.

To make paneer:

4 cups milk
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice
Bring the milk to boil, reduce flame and add lemon juice. As soon as the milk starts separating switch off flame. After the milk curdles totally, strain it and let the whey dry out. Squeeze well and paneer is ready to be used, simple isn' t it?

Now for the stuffing:
Mash the paneer, one small boiled potato, a few chopped raisins, coriander leaves, salt, red chili powder, pinch garam masala & lemon juice. You can also add 2tbsp chopped onion if you like. Add a tsp conflour to bind the mixture well.

Select one small & lean Lauki(dudhi) and peel it. Pressure cook it for one whistle with a cup of water and salt. Core and remove the insides of the gheea/dudhi. Stuff it with the prepared mix.

Heat 2tbsp oil and shallow fry the stuffed gheea on all sides till brownish. Slice into 1" circles and garnish with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Just before serving I heated them in a 350C oven for 10-12 minutes and they turned out pretty good. I served slices of stuffed Lauki with some shallow fried baby potatoes.
I adapted this recipe from Tarla Dalal, the original recipe is for Bharwa Lauki in tomato gravy, I decided to make it as an appetizer.

And now for the Readers Delite as promised. I was forwarded this and found it to be pretty interesting. Read it and let me know ;-)

This is weird, but interesting!
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too.
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it

Monday, April 9, 2007

Whole Wheat Flour Halwa

There are 'halwas' and then there are 'halwas'!

Be it the basic semolina halwa or the more glamorous Moong Dal halwa, it always makes its presence felt as a part of festivities and weddings, intertwined with celebrations big or small. Gajar halwa, gheea halwa, potao halwa, pumpkin halwa, green pea halwa the variety is endless.

The halwa that I'm going to elaborate upon today is whole wheat flour halwa. It is made out of coarse whole wheat flour, no it is neither 'dalia/broken wheat' nor is it 'Bulgar'. It is simply coarse ground whole wheat flour and is available in most of the desi stores here. (It is coarser in texture than semolina and smaller than broken wheat). No refined or bleached ingredients in this one ;-) .

This halwa needs no flavoring or garnishes whatsoever, I stand corrected, it should not be flavored or garnished with anything at all! The taste of wheat flour and jaggery is to be experienced to a sublime level. The combination of wheat and jaggery, two basic kitchen items mingle to bring out the best in each other, per moi! You cannot get any basic than this or any rustic than this! I just can't for the life of me understand how the combination of just three basic ingredients taste so good. I'm in love, with this halwa, can you tell?

I got inspired by my blog buddies who churn out so many kinds of pedas & ladoos, so I decided to mould this halwa in the shape of a modak.

Here comes the simple and delicious halwa.

3/4 cup Coarse ground whole wheat flour
3/4 cup jaggery (I like it mildly sweet, hence I use only 1/2 cup jaggery)
2.5 cups water
2-3 tbsp ghee
(just four ingredients, water being one of them! I know I had a hard time convincing myself that it really was true)

Roast wheat flour in ghee till light brownish on a slow to medium flame. The unmistakable aroma of roasted wheat flour is hard to miss, it permeates the kitchen and then onto other rooms as well, indulge in it.
Simultaneously heat water and jaggery till all the jaggery melts and water starts to boil.
Lower the flame of roasted flour and carefully add the strained jaggery water into it and stir well. Increase the flame and stir till water gets incorporated into the flour. This is a very quick process. Cover and leave it for a minute, switch off the flame.

Halwa is now ready to be relished as is or you can shape it into a peda/modak and delve into it.
This halwa has all the goodness of whole wheat and jaggery. For all it's simplicity it sure is an amazing sweet.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Rase Wale Kale Chane

(can you feel the steam around the piping hot chane?
I almost scalded my hands taking the pic right off the stove)

Isn't it interesting how some foods are associated with a particular festival. You cannot mention one without referring to the other in the same breath. Like, Kale Chane, Puri and Halwa is always associated with 'Kanchken' during the 'Navraten', cannot think of 'Lodi' without 'gajak & revadi', has to be 'tilgul' on 'Sankranti' and who can miss the 'churma na ladu' for 'Ganesh Chaturthi'.
Is it the association of the weather with the contents of the festive foods? or is it that it was linked to be 'God's' favorite food. Whatever the case may be, these associations are stronger than one can think!
Today I'll share with you one of my most favorite dishes of all times - Rase Wale Kale Chane (black chana). This boon from mother earth is full of all the nutrition you can think of and is widely available where ever yo go, no excuse really not to eat it. There are so many variations of this wonderful legume, each with it's own spice addition, not that it needs any ;-)

I make it as a gravy dish 'Rase Wale' as well as a dry one. The dry kale chane is the trademark symbol associated with 'Kanchaken'. Also the additional perk for us kids (girls only, mind you) used to be the 10paise & 25paise coins that we used to get along with this as a parshad. I will give both the recipes here.
Here is the recipe for Rase Wale Kale Chane.

1/2 cup Kale chane soaked overnight
1 onion finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped or 3 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
Haldi, chili pwd, jeera pwd, garam masala, amchur pwd (as per taste, you know the drill)
2 tbsp ghee (can reduce or substitute with oil as per calorie constraints)
1/2 tsp jeera, 1" cinnamon, 1 black cardamom, 1 bay leaf, a pinch hing

Pressure cook the soaked chane. You need to cook this for a long time, do not worry, however long you cook them they never lose their shape, they always hold the identity that mother nature gave them. I cook for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker.
Heat ghee, add jeera, hing, cinnamon, black cardamom, bay leaf & hing. (It's ok if you do not have all the spices, just jeera is fine too, as I mentioned before these pearls of nutrition are great as is).
Add onion, ginger/garlic paste and saute till brown. Add tomato, haldi powder, jeera powder, salt, amchur, garam masala & cook well. I do not put all the spice powders all the time, play with the spices you like and create your own spice mix. Add boiled chane with the water it is boiled in and simmer for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with rice or roti.
Now for the dry kale chane.
This is a very simple and quick method to get one extremely tasty dish.

1 cup kale chana soaked & pressure cooked till done
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp oil
Rai, jeera, red chili, curry leaves
Jeera pwd, coriander pwd, haldi, red chili pwd, garam masala, pepper pwd, cinnamon pwd, amchur

Heat oil, add rai, jeera, hing, curry leaves & red chili. Add onion, green chili and garlic, saute till brownish. Add haldi, jeera pwd, coriander pwd, amchur, cinamon powder, pepper powder, garam masala, salt & chili pwd. Stir well till spices cook and emanate a tantalizing aroma. Add boiled chane and cook till most of the water evaporates. This way the spices kind of surround the chane in a thickish film. These chane are to be enjoyed with puri and sooji halwa, aah! SHEER BLISS! You don't have to take my word for it, just try it once and you will know what I'm raving about!!
(Will post my halwa recipe soon).

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Khattu Mag

OK! It's celebration time in my kitchen! Does it happen to you? You are looking for a certain spice with it's 'potency' still in tact but it isn't within your reach for a long long time. Well yesterday one of the spices which is very dear to me and my cooking was gifted to me by a dear friend. What could it be? Well it is "hing" (asafoetida).
Go to any desi store and you will find not one, but multiple brands of this spice, with huge number of bottles and cans systematically arranged one atop another. So why am I celebrating getting this simple and humble spice. Well, what I wanted was the "real' stuff, not the powder with wheat flour mixed in, and sure did I get it. I got about two pieces of 1" each, which will last a long time. The aroma of fresh hing is mind boggling. As soon as I open the dainty box that I put it in, the aroma wafts through the whole kitchen and I love it. For the tadka I just scrape a tiny bit into the oil and the aroma pervades my hands, for what feels like eternity. A little bit of OCD never harmed anyone!
Anyway, just wanted to share this 'event' with all my blog buddies. Those who have used it will know what I'm talking about, those who have not, do try to get it if possible. If not, the ever faithful 'hing in a box' comes to the rescue ;-)

'Khattu' in Gujarati means sour and Mag is whole moong. (Khattu is pronounced as 'kha' from 'khana' and 'too' and Mag is pronounced as 'mug' ) . The word 'khattu' itself makes my taste buds salivate. I do like 'khatta' dishes but nothing compared to my lil' sis, who is a total khatai fan. She can gobble up tons of 'imli' with me screaming in the background "don't eat it, you will get a sore throat", not that she listens ;-). A lot of natural souring agents are used in Indian dishes, curds, tamarind, tomatoes, lemon, kokam, anardana and amchur to name a few. The 'khatai' can elevate a regular dish to new levels which you never thought possible. Khattu Mag uses 'dahi' as the souring agent.
Here is how I make it.
1/2 cup whole moong
1.5 cup curds (dahi)
2 tbsp besan
1 tsp ginger & green chilli paste (as per your spice level)
1 tsp sugar/jaggery
1tbsp oil
Rai, jeera, hing, curry leaves, 4 cloves, 1' cinnamon piece, 1/4tsp methi seeds.
Soak whole moong for about 2 to 3 hours, this reduces the cooking time. If pressed for time, can pressure cook it directly as well. Boil till soft with salt. Drain, but do not throw away the nutritious water, reserve it.
Mix curds, besan, haldi, ginger-chili paste with 1.5 cups water and reserved liquid from moong.
Heat oil, add rai, jeera, hing, cloves, cinnamon, methi, curry leaves. Add dahi mix and cook till besan loses it's raw taste. Add boiled moong and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust the consistency as per your liking.
Enjoy this delicious goodness with rice or roti and some pickle on the side!
It's finger licking good!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Malai Toast

Thanks to our insatiable appetite for fast food, many a times we succumb to the marketing gimmicks of the food industry and find ourselves lost in the serpentine queue at the drive-thru. I hesitate to say that time is a factor, only because I believe that one can make time for something one loves to do, irrespective of what the 'pundits' say ;-)

Today I want to share with you the humble 'Malai Toast', a simple and a quick breakfast/snack. I'm known to savor this with some soup or a milk shake depending on the weather to make it a complete meal. Nothing too fancy, but a filling and a tasty snack nonetheless. Sometimes there is a need to indulge in simple flavors and this definitely fits the bill. The combination of sooji(cream of wheat), onion, tomatoes, green chilli, coriander leaves and malai(cream) makes it a snack which is hard to resist. I do replace the malai with buttermilk to make it lighter. You can use any kind of bread as per your liking, somehow white bread lets the flavors of the other ingredients shine through, I feel. But by all means, go ahead any use your favorite kind of bread.

bread slices
2tbsp sooji/rava (cream of wheat)
3-4 tbsp malai OR buttermilk (I use thick buttermilk)
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 tomato chopped
2 green chili finely chopped (alter as per taste)
1tbsp chopped coriander leaves
salt & pepper as per taste

Mix all ingredients to a thick batter. It is important to make sure that the batter is not runny(see pic) and sticks well on the bread. Spread a thin layer of the batter on the bread. Heat a griddle, add a tsp oil and put the bread on it, batter side down. Cover and cook on medium for 2 minutes. Take off the cover and let crisp for another minute. Flip and cook for a minute. (Please do not try to move the bread around on the griddle when cooking, or you will end up with batter stuck all over your griddle. Once the side is cooked it can be flipped quite easily.)

Slice into triangles or bite size squares("for the kid in you") and serve with a dollop of ketchup or any chutney of your choice. You can refer to my Misal post for the green chutney recipe.