How to make Khaman Dhokla

Khaman dhokla is a savory steamed item like idli made from besan. I love the tangy sweet flavour of this dish! It is a rather filling snack and is popular as a Gujarati dish. The recipe that I am going to write down is an instant one. Since, the time I have made this on my own it has become my favourite snack. Initially, I heard from a lot of people that it is difficult to make but when I tried it this way, it was a piece of cake, quite literally. So go ahead and try it today!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups besan/gram flour
  • 1 tbsp rava or semolina (optional)
  • 3 tsp ginger-green chili paste (You may use  a whole chili and ginger and grind it together with the batter in a mixer)
  • 1 sachet of regular eno (for 1 cup of besan) or fruit salt or ½ to ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 2 to 3 pinches of turmeric powder (very little. it reacts with the soda or fruit salt and turns red)
  • a pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • Salt or as required
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup water (adjust the water according to the requirement) or you can use ready made diluted buttermilk
For tempering:
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, about 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 green chili, chopped (optional)

Sugar syrup:

  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tsp sugar
  • 1 glass water

How to make:

First prepare the batter –

  1. Grease a steamer pan nicely with ¼ to ½ tsp oil. Dhokla will come out as a cake only if the pan is greased properly.
  2. Take 1.5 to 2 cups besan or gram flour in a mixing bowl or pan.
  3. Add 2 to 3 pinches of turmeric powder, a generous pinch of asafoetida, 1 tsp lime juice, ginger, green chilies and salt in a mixer along with the besan. Add a little diluted buttermilk.
  4. The batter should be thick yet free flowing. the amount of water/ buttermilk required depends on the quality of flour, so add as required.
  5. Stir and then add 1 tbsp rava or sooji if you think the batter is too runny. Rava will soak some water. Stir so that there are no lumps.
  6. Bring to a boil 2 to 3 cups of water in a steamer. Keep the pan in the steamer for a while so that it heats up as well.
  7. Add fruit salt / baking soda to the dhokla batter. It will fluff and foam will form. Baking soda gives the soapy aroma if used in excess and the dhokla makes you feel uncomfortable behind your throat. So I prefer Eno /Fruit salt.
  8. Stir quickly. The fruit salt should be mixed evenly with the batter. Make sure the texture is not uneven.
  9. The batter would froth and become bubbly. You will quickly have to pour it in steamer pan.
  10. Your dhokla is now ready to be steamed.
  11. Leave it for 15-20 mins. Check once in 15 mins by inserting a toothpick. If the batter sticks to the toothpick steam it a little longer.
  12. Once, it is perfectly steamed, take it out of the steamer. Take a small knife and gently slide along the edges and turn it on the plate. It should look like a cake. Cut it in squares.
  13. Make sugar syrup by adding water sugar and lemon juice. Slowly pour it over dhokla. It will take in water. After sometime, add some more.

Tempering:

  1. Heat oil and add mustard when the oil is heated.
  2. Add cumin, curry leaves, green chillies and sesame seeds (til)
  3. Once done, pour it on the dhokla.
  4. You may garnish it with coriander leaves and grated coconut

There is a recipe to make the dhokla in microwave as well but I have not tried it. You can check this website for recipe.

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Quick and Simple Basundi

My husband just loves Basundi. People used to tell me it is difficult to make. Even my mom has not tried making it. Someone told me this simple recipe for what I think is one of the most delicious creation by human beings. There is a lot of effort but the procedure is simple.

Ingredients –

  • 1 litre full fat milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • dry fruits (optional)
  • Kesar optional

How to make –

  1. Pour milk (1 litre full fat milk) in a thick bottomed sauce pan or kadai.
  2. Keep stirring on low flame and stir till it thickens
  3. Once it thickens slightly add sugar and keep stirring.
  4. You will have to stir often so that it does not stick to the bottom. Milk also has a tendency to turn brown or burn.
  5. Let it thicken. There will be milk solid stuck to the vessels. Scrape it and put it back in the basundi mixture.
  6. Add dry fruits if you wish. I like it plain.

Honestly, I got a little tired of the stirring, so don’t go by the picture. But it had a homely taste to it, so it was lovely anyway. For correct reference of how it should look. refer some pictures on the internet.

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Vatana Usal – Curry

Ingredients 
main ingredients:
  • ¾ cup green peas (Vatana)
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (lal mirch powder)
  • ½ or 1 tsp garam masala or malvani masala or goda masala
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
for masala curry paste:
  • ½ or ⅓ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp unsweeteened dessicated coconut
  • ½ inch ginger (adrak)
  • 3-4 garlic (lahsun)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 tsp oil
 
 
Method:
  1. rinse and soak the beans overnight in enough water.
  2. next day drain the water and pressure cook the beans with some salt in 2.5 to 3 cups water till they are cooked completely and are soft.
  3. drain and keep the cooked beans aside.
making the masala curry paste:
  1. in a pan heat oil. add the chopped onion and fry till they become transparent.
  2. now add the ginger and garlic and fry for a minute
  3. add the fennel and coriander seeds.
  4. fry for 1 or 2 minutes till the fennel and coriander seeds start becoming crisp or lightly browned
  5. add the fresh grated coconut along with the dessicated coconut.
  6. on a low flame, roast the mixture till the coconut becomes golden browned.
  7. keep on stirring, so that the coconut does not burn. let this mixture cool.
  8. then grind this mixture in a small blender or magic bullet or masala grinder with some water.
  9. heat oil in a pan. add chopped onion and fry till transparent.
  10. add the masala paste and fry for a minute.
  11. add tomatoes and all the spice powders – turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala powder, salt along with the cooked black eyed beans.
  12. stir and add water. bring to a gentle boil without a lid and then simmer for some minutes about 12-15 minutes.
  13. check the seasonings and add the salt or spice powders if required.
  14. once the whole curry has all the flavors blended, then remove from fire.
  15. garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve Vatana usal hot with steamed rice, chapatis or bread.

Fried Modaks

On the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi I made some delicious fried modaks. They did not turn out as good as my mom would make but it was not bad for first timer. Check out this simple recipe.

Ingredients 
for the outer covering or shell:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or maida (multi-purpose flour) or half and half both
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp warm oil
  • water to knead the dough
for the inner filling:
  • 1.5 cups grated or powdered jaggery
  • 1.5 cups fresh grated fresh coconut or unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • 1 or 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 or 1.5 tsp cardamom powder or crushed cardamom
  • a pinch or two of grated nutmeg (optional)

Method:

preparing the covering
  1. with the ingredients mentioned for the outer covering, make a smooth dough.
  2. cover and keep the dough aside for 20-30 minutes.
preparing the filling:
  1. mix all the filling ingredients.
  2. cook and stir on a low or medium flame till the mixture is dry and cooked.
  3. keep aside to cool.
preparing & shaping the modaks:
  1. take a small ball from the dough.
  2. roll thinly in to a circle of about 3-4 inches diameter.
  3. gently take this circle on your palm.
  4. now add the filling in the center.
  5. pinch the edges one by one. pinch at least five edges.
  6. bring together all the pinched folds in the center.
  7. deep fry the modaks in medium hot oil or ghee till golden browned.
  8. drain on kitchen tissues.

 Image Source: spiceupthecurry.com

Tomato Paneer – A low fat paneer recipe that is worth every calorie!

A milky concoction of cottage cheese chunks, tomato puree, a pinch of sugar and mild spices, all tossed together in olive oil.

Took this recipe from NDTV Cooks. It is one good recipe!! Sadly there are no measurements in this one.

Key Ingredients: Cottage CheeseOlive OilCumin SeedsStar AniseGingerGarlicCapsicumTomato PureeSaltSugarGaram MasalaCoriander LeavesMilk

”  In a pan add olive oil, zeera, star anise, ginger-garlic paste.

Add the diced capsicum. Saute for 1 minute. (You can saute it for longer in case you do not like your capsicum too crunchy.)

Add tomato puree. Add salt, garam masala and sugar. Cook till it leaves oil on the sides.
Add milk. Mix well. Add the paneer cubes. Let it cook for 2 minutes on low flame. Do not over cook the milk as it can curdle.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Note: Paneer cubes can be grilled on a non-stick tawa till light brown before adding to the base. You can also add a split green chilli to increase the heat of the dish in step number 3. ”

Let me not forget to mention, “No Onion”! Suitable for Jain friends and people who are fasting on a religious day. You may avoid garlic and this might still taste great.

Courtesy: http://cooks.ndtv.com/recipe/show/tomato-paneer-351812

 

Tomato Paneer

Maharashtrian Special – Pitla

My good friends’ mother always makes this dish. It is easy to make but I kept waiting to learn from her mother. Finally, made it on my own. It did not taste like her’s but it wasn’t half as bad. Try it. Quick fix lunch and dinner.

What do we need?

Chickpea Flour (Besan) – 6 Tbsp
Oil – 2 Tbsp, divided
Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves (Kari Patta) – few
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/4 tsp (divided)
Onions – 1 medium, finely chopped
Garlic – 6 cloves, finely chopped
Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
Roasted Cumin/Coriander Powder – 2 tsp
Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp or to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Tomatoes – 2 medium, chopped
Cilantro (Coriander) – 5 sprigs, finely chopped
Water – 2 cups
Lime/Lemon Juice – 1 Tbsp or to taste
Salt – to taste

Let’s get started-

In a medium pan, heat 1 tbsp (of the 2 tbsp) Oil.
2. Add in the Chickpea Flour and roast till it gets a wonderful aroma.
3. Remove from flame and transfer to another bowl.
4. In the same pan, heat the balance of the Oil (1 tbsp).
5. Once hot, add Mustard Seeds, allow them to pop.
6. Add in Cumin Seeds and let them splutter.
7. Add in Asafoetida (1/8th tsp), Curry Leaves, Onions, Garlic and Green Chillies, in that order and mix well.
8. Cook till the Onions are translucent.
9. Lower heat and add in dry spices – Roasted Cumin and Coriander powder, Red Chilli Powder and Turmeric Powder.
10. Cook them for a minute.
11. Add in the roasted Chickpea Flour, cook for 2 minutes
12. Add in Tomatoes, Cilantro and Water (little at a time).
13. Mix well so there are no lumps and it forms a gravy.
14. Add in Salt and Lime/Lemon Juice to taste.
15. Allow it to come to a boil.
16. Add in the balance of the Asafoetida and mix well.

17. Serve hot with Chapatis, Bhakri or Bajra Roti.

Add a pinch of love. And it is ready to eat!

 

Pitla

Pitla

Vaghareli Roti – Crumbled Chapati

After you are done with your dinner or when you get up in the morning you realise that there are some 7-8 rotis leftover then you can do what I did. This dish has many names. Officially it is called Vaghareli Roti. Other names are shila polichi phodni or phodni chi poli etc. Basically, this is made out of leftover chapatis.

Here’s what we need-

  • Chapati/Roti – 7-8
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida – pinch
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Green Chillies – to taste, finely chopped
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig (optional)
  • Onions – 1/4 med, diced
  • Potatoes – 1 med, diced
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Red Chili Powder – to taste
  • Coirander leaves – to ganish
  • Salt – to taste
  • Lemon Juice – to taste

Let’s begin-

Roughly chop chapati/roti in a food processor or by hand.
Heat Oil in a medium pan on medium heat.
Add Mustard Seeds and let them pop.
Add Cumin Seeds and allow them to turn golden.
Add Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder, Green Chilies, Curry Leaves and Onions. Mix well and cook until onions are light golden.
Add Potatoes, Salt, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Red Chili Powder. Mix well, cover and cook until potatoes are tender.
Add in crumbled Chapati/Roti and Lemon/Lime Juice and mix well.
Cook for few minutes uncovered until chapati is slightly crispy.
Garnish with Coriander Leaves and serve hot.