September 28, 2011

Dhokla. The identity of Gujarati Cuisine

Dhoklas. Yellow, moist and spongy. Somewhere between a cake and a bread. Now, the title s not a finality. It s just my opinion. Easy to make. And yummy in the tummy. Thats what they are. And this is how i made them.

Source: Malliga Badrinath s 100 tiffin recipes
Serves: 4 to 6

What you need?

Besan flour or chick pea flour 1 cup
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Ginger 1 inch bit
Green chilli 3
Curd 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp ( no, dont cringe!! you will love it )
Eno 1 and 3/4 tsp

For tempering:
Mustard seeds
Hing a large pinch

For garnish:

Grated coconut 1 tbsp
Corainder leaves chopped fine 2 tbsp

How to make it?

Grind the green chillies and ginger to a fine paste in a mixer. If that doesnt seem to work, use that mortar and pestle to crush the ginger and chillies together to make a coarse paste.
In a mixing bowl, add the besan flour, the chilli ginger paste, sugar, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Now make a batter by adding curd and water. Mix well so that no lumps are formed.
Grease a deep bottom flat vessel with oil generously.
Mix eno to the batter and combine well. Now pour the batter to the pan and steam in a pressure cooker without the pressure valve for 12 to 15 mins. Insert a knife into the steamed dhokla to see if it comes out clean. If it does not, then steam for another 3 mins. Remove from  cooker and let it cool. Cut into small pieces and temper with all the tempering ingredients.
Garnish with coriander and coconut. Serve with mint chutney. Makes a nice evening snack. But dhoklas for breakfast not my cuppa.
This is my entry to  Vrat ka Khana, event hosted by Kalyani at her blog and Krithis event serve it steamed hosted by Denny

Spring onion paratha

When i started cooking, i bought a whole new set of Tarla dalal s books. Small in size, affordable prize but indispensable for an amateur cook like me. Whenever i visit a book store i cant resist going to the aisle where they have all those glossy cook books stacked. They make me drool literally. And that s the story of how i picked up this book on parathas by Tarla Dalal. And when i came home i realized i have many more recipes for breakfast and dinner and lunch. Yes, we love parathas. No i m not from Punjab. My husband neither. But we love dunking our parathas in rich creamy yoghurt and lick our fingers later. Paratha love. And when i combine spring onions with our parathas, it s a super hit. Thats what this post is about. Spring onion parathas.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
Source: Tarla Dalal s Parathas
Makes: 8 medium size parathas.

What you need?

Spring onions chopped finely 1/2 cup
1 medium size onion chopped finely
Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Ajwain or carom seeds 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Any vegetable oil I used canola 1 tsp
Jeera powder 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Water for kneading

How to make it?

Take a large mixing bowl. Add the flour, jeera powder, chilli powder, salt and the carom seeds. Give it a nice mix.
Now add the onions and spring onions. Mix the flour well again. Now start kneading the dough by adding water little by little. Dont add too much water. Half way through the kneading , add the oil and knead well till you get a soft pliable ball of dough. Let the dough rest for half an hour.

Then, divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Flatten a little and dust it with some flour and roll them into parathas.

Roast on a girdle with a little oil smeared on either sides of the paratha until brown spots appear.

Serve hot with raitha, pickle or tomato chutney.

Note: you can even add a few coriander leaves to the dough for a different flavour. I wouldnt recommend adding green chillies. 

Tomato Chutney A different style For Blog Hopping Wednesdays

My mom and i have a regular conversation which is something like this. Ma, whats for breakfast? I dont know, kanna. says mom. And then , i say idli or dosa batter is there? Then my mom says yes but what side dish to make? So for moms like her and daughters like me, different side dishes are a fantasy. Here s one from Hyma s blog. Tomato thokku. As a part of blog hopping, i tried her recipe and my husband loved it. And i love the concept of blog hopping too. What a joy ride it was on the buffet table at the Radhika s Blog. Thanks to Radhika for making me a part of this. Anyway from Hyma s blog to the buffet table at ticklingpalates, here comes tomato thokku.


Serves: I have no clue.

What you need?

5 ripe medium size tomatoes blanched
urad dal 2 tbsp
Tamarind marble size or 1 tbsp tamarind paste
Dry red chillis 4
Oil 1 tsp for frying the dals.
Salt as to taste

For tempering

Oil 1 tbsp
mustard seeds a few
A sprig of curry leaves
Hing a large pinch
Turmeric Powder a large pinch

How to make it?

First boil the tomatoes in hot water to blanch them. The peel will come off seperately and the tomato will have suffered a few cracks. Poor the vegetable. Anyway thats when you know its ready to be taken off the heat. Leave it aside to cool. Do not attempt to peel right away or you will burn your fingers. What did you think? The tomato will spare you after all the agony it suffered. I speak from experience.

Now, fry the dal and the the chillis in a kadai until light brown. There s a wonderful aroma that comes when you fry any dal. And i love it. Leave it to cool.

Now peel the tomatoes. In a mixer add all the ingredients, dal, chilli, tomato, tamarind and salt. Grind to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Add the turmeric, hing and the curry leaves. Now add the tomato paste and simmer till oil seperates.

Serve with idli, dosa or even parathas. I did and they tasted delicious.

September 12, 2011

Capsicum Paneer Masala Dosa| Dosa Recipes

Like carrot and peas, Like son and father. That s how south indians and dosa are. I am proud to be that way. Healthy, filling, yummy and easy to make. Dosa The South Indian Crepes. Amma moru morunu dosa pannu ma.... i remember telling my mom.( amma, please make crispy dosas) But, when i got married, i couldnt make a dosa without a tear or two and then i realised how mean i had been to my mom. It took me a year to master the art of dosa making. And so i thought finally lets post something on dosas. Here s for you, Capsicum Paneer Masala Dosa and this s my entry to the event Dosa Recipes at My Culinary Creations

Source : A million memories of eating stuffed paneer dosa at the Annapoorna Restaurant in Coimbatore
Yields: 5 dosas

What you need?

For the batter

Par boiled rice 4 cups soaked overnight in water
Urad dal whole 1 cup and a little more soaked overnight
Fenugreek seeds 3 tbsp soaked overnight
All the above must be soaked seperately.

For the stuffing

Panner 150 g crumbled
Capsicum 1 medium size chopped finely
Onion 1 large chopped fine
Tomato 1 large and 1 small chopped fine
Chilli powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder a large pinch
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Oil 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Cilantro for garnish

Lets make the batter first . If you make batter out of the amount of rice that i mentioned you can store it in the fridge and use it for 4 days. Grind the urad dal and fenugreek together first. When you make a ball out of the urad dal batter, it should be able to float in water without disintegrating. It will take you 25 mins.
Then grind the rice for about 25 to 30 mins. Mix the urad dal and the rice mixture together, add salt and leave it to ferment for 8 to 10 hours. Dosa always tastes best when the batter is fermented. Now that the batter is ready, lets prepare the stuffing.

For the stuffing, heat oil in a kadai. After the oil heats up, add the onions and saute until pink and aromatic. Next add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Next add the tomatoes and saute until oil leaves the sides. Now add turmeric powder and all the spice powders. Add salt and mix well. Now add the capsicum and saute for 3 mins. Next add the crumbled paneer and combine gently but well. Now, garnish with cilantro.

Heat a girdle or a tawa. Spread one ladle of dosa batter evenly on the tawa and wait for the dosa to become brown and crisp. Make sure its well cooked and spread the required amount of stuffing. Fold the dosa and serve with coconut chutney or tomato chutney or peanut chutney.

Makes a very good breakfast or dinner meal. Filling and healthy.

chocolate fudge cake

I cannot stay put without cooking or using my oven for more than a week. I m that addicted . Sometimes you want to bake or cook for that feel good factor or just because you want to make someone happy. This cake was done because i couldnt stay put. I m not a chocolate person. In the sense i dont drool or go gaga over anything chocolate. I can only think of cavity and visits to the dentist when i see chocolate. But when my not so fond of desserts husband badgered me all week long to bake a cake, i thought why not? but the story does not end here. I was browsing through various blogs and at last came to Nag s blog. Then my husband pointed out at her chocolate fudge cake recipe and said " i want this" And that s how chocolate fudge cake was born in my kitchen.Rich, dense and fudgy. A step by step account of how to make the cake... :)
Scroll down..

Source: Nagalakshmi Vishwanath s chocolate fudge cake recipe
Serves:I really cant say you know!! It depends if you are alone you ll eat up the entire thing

What you need?

All purpose flour or maida 1/2 cup                              
Butter unsalted 135 g or 1/2 cup and some more
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Cocoa powder 1 heaped tbsp
Dark chocolate the cooking one chopped 125 g
Powdered sugar 6 tbsp
Eggs 4
Butter for greasing
Salt a pinch

How to make it?

First sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Now comes the tricky part. Melting the chocolate. Choose two thick bottom vessels one smaller than the other but will fit into the bigger one. Fill 1/4 th of the bigger vessel with water and boil well. Now add the chocolate and the butter into the smaller one and place it over the bigger vessel. And turn down the flame. Stir it well to mix the butter and the chocolate well. Wait until the chocolate is melted and mixed well with butter. Let it cool

Now, in a medium size bowl, beat the eggs lightly until a bit fluffy and light for 3 to 4 mins if using a electric beater and 8 mins if by hand. Next add in the powdered sugar and mix well with a spoon until mixed well.

Now, add the cooled chocolate butter mixture to this egg mixture and combine well but gently till well incorporated. No need to beat.

Next, bring out the flour mixture and mix it well with a fork so that its well combined. Gently fold in the flour to this liquid. No need to beat again but make sure there are no lumps.

Grease a ring mould or any cake pan and pour in the mixture. Bake for 20 to 22 mins. My cake came out gooey and fudgy in the centre because i guess i used the wrong mould and preheated the oven twice by mistake but even then it was heavenly. Do the skewer test to see if its baked well before you take it out but dont bake for more than 22 mins. Let it cool and serve with whipped cream, fruits or ice cream.
Of course, it tastes great without all the other evil things too ;)

September 8, 2011

mixed veggie stuffed parathas

Thursdays are a no onion garlic day. So making dinner is a very difficult task. After raking my brains for hours on end, I came up with parathas stuffed with mixed vegetables. I had cabbage, peas and carrots with me. You can add whatever veggies that you have in hand. I avoided the potatoes cos of the calorie factor. If you are making it for kids, then you can add potatoes and grated cheese too. On to making the parathas.

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
Source: Bhavna my stand in cook and a few friends.
Serves 2 (makes 5 parathas)

What you need?

For the dough

Whole wheat flour 21/2 cups
Water as needed
Salt to taste
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Some more flour for dusting

For the stuffing

Cabbage chopped finely 2 cups
Green peas frozen or fresh 1/4 cup
Carrot grated 1 cup
Oil 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Jeera powder 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder a large pinch
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Coriander for garnish

How to make it?

Lets make the filling first. In a kadai, heat oil and add cumin seeds. Once they splutter, add the turmeric and add the cabbage. Saute for 3 to 4 mins on a medium flame.Add all the spice powders. Add the peas next and saute for another 4 mins. Now add salt and give it a nice mix. Turn the flame to low and add the carrot. Saute for a minute and turn off the flame. Keep aside.

Now, the dough. Add the carom seeds and salt to the flour and combine well. Warm 1/2 a cup of  water first. Not boiling hot but just warm. Like you can put your finger in the water and stand the heat. Add this water to the flour little by little and make a dry mix.The flour should not be completely mixed and kneaded. You sprinkle the water little by little and mix the dough. Keep the flour mixture covered for 10 to 15 mins. After 15 mins or so, add normal cold water and knead the dough.( Secret to super soft rotis or parathas is the warm water flour mix!! So dont skip it)

Now, lets make the parathas. Divide the dough into 5 equal parts in the shape of a ball. Slightly flatten the ball and dust it with flour. Roll out the dough on a board into a thick paratha like layer and stuff the vegetables. Now bring the edges of the paratha together and give it a nice pat together. And roll out again to a bigger paratha. Heat a tawa and place the parathas. Apply oil and roast them for a min or 2 or until brown spots appear on the surface of the paratha. Do the same for both the sides. Enjoy with pickles and raita.

This is my entry to Radhika s event Lets Cook: Scrumptious Breakfast @Tickling Palates Lets Cook Scrumptious Breakfast