Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Matthi Puri (Matthi translates to 'Sweet' in Kutchi language) Non Deep Fried version

We had totally different agendas!!!!
Me and Aunt 'R', that is!!
She was visiting from India. For her without a doubt it was making the rounds of Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square & Atlantic City!
For me, without a doubt it was getting all the recipes from Aunt 'R', she being a fantastic cook :)
So, while she made lists of places to visit & shop, I made lists of recipes that I needed to get from her ;)
It did not end just at the recipes, I wanted her to demonstrate the cooking procedure so I could get it absolutely right :)
Keeping all my inhibitions aside, I kept pestering her ;)
Being a kind soul that she is, she not only obliged WILLINGLY, but was pleasantly surprised at my enthusiasm to learn new recipes.
Little did she know I had a food blog to cater to ;)

One of the recipes that she demonstrated for me was this amazing Matthi Puri.
If there ever was a food item I was told to choose to eat everyday, it would be this. It is so very rustic, so very tasty :)

It definitely does not fall in the easy to make categories and I was glad to learn it and then replicate it a few time there after :)
Matthi Puri is a sweet made out of Whole Wheat flour and Jaggery, just two ingredients!
This is usually made as a 'thando' for 'satam', a traditional festival where the gas/stove is not switched on for a day, it is given rest after the pooja and all the items made the previous day are savored. All the items for 'satam' are extremely delicious and everyone ends up eating more than their normal quota :) But you can most definitely make these anytime ;)
There is a similar punjabi delicacy called the sweet bhatura which uses similar ingredients, just that it is deep fried. Will give that recipe when I make it next time.

Here is the recipe for Matthi Puri
Soak a cup of grated/finely chopped jaggery in water.

Now comes the deciding factor. If you like things very sweet, just soak it in a little more than a cup of water. If you are like me and enjoy medium sweet, soak it in about 1.5/2 cups water.
This needs to soak couple of hours till all the jaggery melts to create a sweet solution. Break up jaggery lumps if any with your hands.

Now knead a dough with the jaggery solution and whole wheat flour (regular chapati aata).
The quantity of flour to be used is to get a very smooth and sticky dough.
Add 1tbsp oil and knead again.
IMP: Do not knead the dough to make it stiff, it has to be very loose.
Rest the dough for a minimum of 3 hrs.

When ready to make the Matthi Puri, dust your rolling surface, rolling pin with flour.
Make round-balls out of the dough, you might need a lot of flour for this as the dough is loose.
Roll into a thick puri sized circle. Keep dusting the board with flour and dredging the dough-balls in flour to make it pliable, soon you will get a hang of it. It is important to keep it thick so it does not dry out and get hard.

In my 12" skillet I make three matthi puri at a time.
Keep the flame on medium low. Once the underside gets cooked, flip the puri and continue cooking. Spread some oil on top and flip again. Press the puri well once in a while so that it gets cooked thoroughly. When it is fully cooked you will see a beautiful appetizing reddish brown color as in the pic :) It has to be slow cooked.

These Matthi Puri stay good for a long time(theoretically) and also make for an ideal travelling goodies!! In practice, they will be devoured the day they are made :)
Do try these once, you are sure to like them.
The dough making is a bit involved process, so try with a small quantity to start with.
This is my contribution to Hima's What's Your Favorite Snack Event!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Peach Apricot Galette with Walnut Paste and Creme Fraiche AND some relaxing times....

Not once!

Not Twice!!

But Thrice!!!

Yes three is the number of times I broke the golden rule of baking, no peeking while baking :)
I had to, the aroma from the oven was too irresistible not to take in all the aroma possible ;)
In my defense have to say, did not make any difference to the baking at all ;)

Regular readers to my blog know about my liking for peaches and here is one delicacy made with peaches.

Peach Apricot Galette with Walnut Paste AND Creme Fraiche!

1 puff pastry sheet thawed
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 peaches sliced
2 apricots sliced (If you can't find fresh apricot, soak dried apricot and use OR use only peaches)
2 tsp sugar

Creme Fraiche (optional)
1 cup creme fraiche
4 tbsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Grind walnuts with sugar to a paste.

Unfold the pastry on a floured surface. Core about 1/4 inch from the border and fold the border over to form an edge.

Spread the walnut paste on the sheet.

Arrange peach and apricot slices over the paste in alternating layers or as you desire. Sprinkle the sugar over it.

Bake for 20 min till edges are golden brown.

To make the creme fraiche garnish just blend creme fraiche with sugar and serve with the Galette!
Can be served without the creme fraiche as well, tastes equally good!

Enjoy a delicious slice of this Galette as a dessert or just as a gorgeous snack with your afternoon tea or coffee, like I did :)
Recipe adapted from here, I did not find the need to add the egg.

This is my entry to sweet Mansi's AFAM-Peach.

It's good to be back after a mini break :)
Here are some pictures from my trip to Canada this past long weekend! The weather was sweeeeet, could not have been better!!!

SwamiNarayan Temple, Toronto with beautiful carvings inside and out!

Downtown Toronto Skyline as seen from Lake Ontario! You can see the Rogers Centre/ Skydome & CN Tower in the centre!

The Majestic Niagara Falls! Could not help but stop by both the times :) What a beauty, get goose bumps every single time!!

On another note, Congratulations to Federer on cruising into the semis'. Always A Class Act, the Perfect Gentleman, inspite of the crowds not being with him. What a thrill to watch him play!!
Here's wishing Federer All the Very Best for the championship and record breaking Grand Slams ever!!!!!!!
Update: 9/9/07 Congratulations to Federer on winning the US Open for the fourth straight time!!!! I'm thrilled to be able to watch him play such beautiful tennis! May you win many more........