Posts filed under ‘chana dal’

My Foodcourt turns 10! We are celebrating with the prize winning recipe for Microwave Borscht with Golay!

Yes! My Foodcourt turns 10 today! and a recipe for Microwave Borscht with Golay- to celebrate this decade long journey,the win and good food in general!

Continue Reading August 4, 2016 at 9:18 am 2 comments

Hadga/Agasti Flower Bhajias

A very Happy New Year to all of you.

New Year

I am back after a looooooong silence on MyFoodcourt. As you can guess the resolution for 2015 is to blog as much I can!

I have been thinking of posting recipes for a long time. The ‘comeback recipe’ for the blog has spanned from Christmas cake to Yule log to Pavlova to a humble porridge-but only in my mind!

A trip to the older part of the city a couple of days back lead me to a treasured discovery- the edible Hadga flowers. I had a faint memory of my childhood ,of my Mom using these flowers for cooking. The lady selling these flowers was kind enough to inform me that I need to remove the bitter tasting stamens from the flowers before cooking them.

hatga 005

A chat with Mom about these flowers and she was nostalgic about how these flowers reminded her of her childhood. (Now you know where my love for these offbeat, treasured foods comes from). Mom said she makes a ‘Pith Perun’ bhaji (stir fry with Besan/chana dal flour).Our house help informed me that you can make sinful Bhajias with these flowers. The dipping mercury made the Bhajias more tempting than the stir fry …and so Bhajias were made. The stir fry has to wait its turn, but I had to blog about these treasured flowers rightaway!

hadga bhaji 053FB comments on the photo of the flowers and Google research have enlightened me that they are also known as Agasti,Bokful in other Indian languages and also that they are eaten as a vegetable in Southeast Asian countries.

hadga bhaji 001

I have used carbonated water just to make the Bhajias crispier- just plain water will be fine too.We enjoyed the crispy Hadga Bhajias sans accompaniment.

Here’s my recipe for

Hadga Flowers Bhajia

Ingredients

8-10 Hadga flowers (the younger flowers are better for Bhajias, but I had to make do with whatever I had)

½ cup Besan/Chana dal Flour

½ cup Rice flour

½ tsp Asafoetida(hing)

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp Red chilli powder

½ tsp Ajawain/carom seeds (optional)

Carbonated (or plain) water to make a the batter

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying

 Method

Heat the oil in a wok.

Remove the stamens from the flowers and keep aside.

Mix the flours, spices, Ajwain and salt in a bowl.

Add 2 tsp of the hot oil to this dry mix.

Add the carbonated water to the dry mix to make the batter (not too thick, not too thin) ~  1/4  cup

Coat each Hadga flower with the batter and deep fry on medium heat till crisp and lightly browned.

Serve immediately.

January 7, 2015 at 8:40 am 3 comments

Ambe Dal

The Mango Mania refuses to leave us. First the tangy green raw mangoes and now the luscious ripe ones. I am still hooked on to the raw mangoes and have been using them in every way I can.

Ambe Dal is a traditional Maharashtrian preparation, specially made during these hot summer days when green Mangoes are abundant. It’s super quick and easy to make (with the exception that you need to soak the dal in advance) and requires just a few easily available ingredients.

The tart raw mangoes are grated and added to coarsely ground soaked chana dal (split Bengal gram). This mixture is then flavoured with a spicy tadka (tempering) of Red chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida . I personally love the flavor of asafoetida .

This cool,tangy-spicy Ambe Dal is served on a banana leaf along with Aam Panha (recipe here)

Here’s the recipe for Ambe Dal

Ingredients

1 cup Chana dal (split Bengal gram) soaked in water for 5-6 hours

½ raw mango, peeled and grated (depending on the tartness the amount can be adjusted)

½ tsp sugar

Salt to taste

For the tadka (tempering)

3tsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumene seeds

5-6 curry leaves

Pinch of asafoetida

1-2 dry Red chillies broken into pieces

Method

Rinse and Drain the soaked Chana dal.

Grind the dal coarsely .

Add the grated mango, salt and sugar .

In a small wok/pan heat the oil.

Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter add the cumene seeds.

Add the curry leaves, asafoetida and the red chillies.

Add this tadka over the Mango Dal mixture and mix nicely .

Cool and serve on a banana leaf along with Aam Panha. I love to ‘cool this dal in the refrigerator for half an hour and then serve.

May 9, 2012 at 12:57 pm 7 comments

5 years of Blogging and My Mom’s Puran Poli with Katachi Amti

Puran Poli is a quintessential Maharashtrian delicacy and you may wonder how it has not featured on My foodcourt in the past 5 years. Yes, My Foodcourt turned 5 this August! I have been neck deep in work, kids and the daily grind. August and now September just zoomed past me and I just realized that it’s been fabulous 5 years of blogging; sharing and interacting with my virtual friends! Its late but we are celebrating nevertheless 🙂

Many festivals in Maharashtra like Holi, Gudi Padwa, Gauri-Ganapati Puja,Dassera  feature the Puran Poli as its star attraction, as far as the festival food is concerned. The skills of a good Marathi cook are gauged by the way he/she can make the Puran Poli. My dad is a very good cook and to explain effectively his cooking skills I just say that he can make good Puran Poli’s and Bhakris! I don’t have to say anything else, it’s understood that he is indeed a very good cook 🙂

Regular readers of this blog know that I don’t have a weakness for sweets, in fact far from that and maybe that’s the reason why Puran Poli has not been featured on My Foodcourt.  My mom makes one of the best Puran Polis and even I cannot resist eating her Puran Poli. She uses some fresh coconut and Khoya/Khawa/Mawa in addition to the usual Chana dal for the filling to enhance the richness and flavor. The proportion of jaggery and sugar is just apt for my taste buds.

I got a chance to capture the Puran Poli making process this time when I stayed over at my parents place during the Gauri- Ganapati festival. The consistency of the Puran/stuffing, the dough and the skill of rolling them out determine the resultant nature of the Puran Poli. With a little bit of practice you can make decent Puran Polis. The amount of effort put into making Puran Poli is worth every bit.

My Mom made it for many people (~40 Puran Polis) and hence the proportions appear in kg. You can scale it to your requirement. She made the Puran a day in advance, so she didn’t have too much work the next day. Also the left over Puran can be stored in the freezer in a sealed bag/container and used as and when required.

The Puran Poli is usually served with Katachi Amti , made from the leftover stock from cooking the Chana Dal. The stock is spiced up with different masalas to balance the sweetness of the Puran Poli.

Note: This is an indulgent sweet and needs all the oil, ghee, sweetness and richness that is mentioned below. So make this when you are not too conscious of the calories being consumed 🙂

Here’s celebrating 5 years of My Foodcourt with my Mom’s Puran Poli recipe:

My Mom’s Puran Poli recipe

For the Puran (Stuffing)

1 kg Chana Dal

½ tsp Turmeric

¾ kg Jaggery

3/4th  Katori Sugar (my mom uses a katori/Vati to measure for her measurements)

200 gms Khoya/ Khawa/Mawa ( you can use Pedhas)

½  medium sized freshly grated coconut

Nutmeg powder ½ tsp (optional)

For the covering Dough:

½ kg Wheat Flour

1 tbsp All purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Oil as required

Rice Flour for dusting the Puran Poli

Method:

For the Puran (Stuffing)

Cook Chana Dal with twice amount of water, with turmeric in a pressure cooker till very soft but not mashed. (about 2 whistles and ~15 mins on low flame thereafter.)

Meanwhile roast the Khoya in a pan on low heat till slightly pink/very light brown.

Grind the Coconut in the mixer to a fine paste without adding water.

Drain and remove water from the cooked Dal and reserve the water.

Heat a kadhai and add the dal and on a low flame dry out all the moisture from the Dal.

Add the jaggery, sugar, coconut paste, roasted Khoya to the dal.

Cook and stir till the mixture is completely dry. (take care not to burn the mixture)

Add the nutmeg powder mix well.

Remove the mixture from the heat and pass it through a Puran press/ Food Mill.

Keep aside till you are ready with the covering dough. This filling can be made 1-2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the Covering Dough:

Sift the wheat flour and the all purpose flour and pinch of salt through a fine mesh sieve.

Add oil (2-3 tbsp) and water and knead into a soft elastic dough. (You may need to add more water/ oil to get very soft dough)

Keep the dough covered for about an hour.

After an hour add about 3/4th Katori  oil, salt and little water to make it more soft.

Take a lemon sized ball of the dough. Flatten it using the finger tips with the help of the Rice flour

Take a bigger ball of the Puran/stuffing mixture.

Place it on the flattened dough,seal and cover it with the dough such that the Puran gets stuffed inside the dough.

Roll out the stuffed dough using the Rice flour for dusting into a round chapatti (as thin as possible), taking care that the Puran/stuffing does not come out and the chapatti does not stick to the surface.

Heat a non-stick tava/griddle.

Once rolled out, use the rolling pin to transfer the Puran poli to the  tava.

Cook on both sides till golden brown.

Remove from the tava.

Serve hot Puran Poli’s with a generous drizzle of hot melted ghee and Katachi Amti (recipe below).

 

Katachi Amti Recipe:

Stock/water left over from cooking the Chana dal for Puran (above) add water if required to make it thinner.

3-4 cloves

4-5 Black pepper corns

1-2 tsp Mustard seeds

1-2 tsp cumene seeds

7-8 curry leaves torn into pieces with hand

1 tsp grated jaggery

1 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp Maharshtrian Kala Masala or Garam Masala

~4-5 tbsp chopped fresh Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

Method:

Heat the oil in a deep pan.

Add the mustard seeds.

Once they splutter, add the cloves and peppercorns fry 1-2 second and then add the cumene seeds.

Add the curry leaves and the coriander leaves.

Add the Kat/stock .

Add the jaggery, tamarind pulp, Masala and season with salt. (you can adjust the proportion of jaggery and tamarind to your taste.)

Bring it to a boil and serve hot with Puran Poli.

Stay Tuned for a fabulous Giveaway coming soon on MyFoodcourt!

 

 

 

 

September 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm 27 comments

Comfort food-Poha(beaten rice) spiced with Methkut

I was feeling a bit under the weather for the past few days. The wet rainy days did not help to lift up my spirits. Elaborate cooking took a back seat and it was time for some quick easy meals.

Poha (beaten rice) is a must-have ingredient for all Maharashtrian pantries. It is a regular item on the ‘essential items’ in the monthly grocery list. Poha is a handy ingredient when you have unexpected guest, you are pressed for time, need a quick meal or when you want some comfort food!

The modest Poha is dressed up here with a few spices and a classic Methkut powder to make one of the most delightful comfort foods for me.

The recipe is quite forgiving and does not need any pre-planning. Day-to-day ingredients are used and it can be made at the last minute.

The key ingredient used to flavor this Spicy Poha is a Methkut. Methkut is a classic powder made from a few dals and spices and is used in most Maharashtrian households to flavour soft cooked rice; again a comfort food and one with lot of childhood memories.

I used readymade Methkut powder but you can find recipes here and here.

This spiced Poha makes a great tea time snack along with a cup of spiced Chai or a glass of freshly brewed filter coffee.

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups Thin poha (beaten rice)

2-3 tbsp Methkut powder

3-4 tsp coconut water /buttermilk/milk or just plain water

Pinch of sugar

Salt to taste

For the tadka (tempering):

A handful of peanuts

A handful of roasted Chana dal (Dalia)

4-5 dry Red chillies cut  into pieces

4-5 curry leaves torn into pieces

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp turmeric powder

~2-3 tbsp oil 

For the garnish:

Lime Juice

Fresh coriander leaves 

Method:

Sprinkle coconut water/buttermilk/milk or just plain water on the poha and mix to make it a little moist.

Add the methkut, salt and sugar and mix nicely to coat the poha. (Adjust the amount of Methkut to your taste).Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a small pan.

Add the mustard seeds and once they splutter add the cumene seeds followed by the peanuts.

Fry the peanuts well and then add the roasted chana dal.

Add in the turmeric powder, Red chilles and curry leaves.

Add this tadka\tempering to the poha and mix nicely.

Keep covered for a ~ 5 minutes for all the flavours to mingle.

Garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves.

Variation: If you cannot find Methkut you can use the Chutney podi which is normally served with dosa.

Or I have blogged about another version of spicy Poha (Dadpe Pohe) earlier on My Foodcourt here.

 Also see Poha spiced with Tamarind

July 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm 8 comments

Lemon Rice

Nothing is as refreshing as lemon in this scorching heat , even if the lemon is in the rice! Lemon rice is just the right recipe for these hot summer days. The tangy lime juice peps up the humble rice. This is my mother-in –laws recipe (like all other south Indian recipes on this blog) and I love the way vegetables are added to the Lemon rice making it a wholesome meal by it. Here I have added green beans but I sometimes add capsicum too. 

Lemon Rice recipe:

2 cups cooked rice, (add salt while cooking the rice)

Juice of 2 lemons (or as tart as you like)

1 cup chopped green beans

4-5 green chilles chopped

2-3 tsp Chana dal

7-8 curry leaves

2tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

3-4 tsp oil oil

Salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan/wok.

Add the mustard seeds

Once they splutter add the chillies-curry leaves-turmeric powder- Chana dal.

Add salt (remember the rice also has salt!)

Add the green beans, mix well, cover and cook for a few minutes.

Add this beans mixture to the cooked rice. Mix nicely till the mixture coats the rice.

Add the lime juice, adjust the salt if required.

Serve immediately.

Lemon rice can be accompanied by some salad or rasam.

March 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm 4 comments

Sai Bhaji

Sai Bhaji– This is a very popular Sindhi signature dish. It is also known as ‘Sindhi Palak’ since Palak is used in generous proportions for this recipe. I recently learnt this recipe from my Sindhi colleague and it was an instant hit in our home.Hey Nupur this time it’s the traditional SSSSSS….Sindhi , SSSSSS……Sai Bhaji for A-Z of Indian vegetables.

saibhaji.jpg

_________________________________________________________                                                            Sai Bhaji recipe

Servings :5-6

_____________________________________________________ 

Ingredients: 

1 bunch Palak/spinach leaves cleaned, washed and chopped

½ bunch Ambat Chuka (Green sorrel) leaves cleaned, washed and chopped. (If you don’t have Ambat Chuka, use more number of tomatoes to maintain the slightly sour taste of this dish. I have tried that version too and it tastes as good as this)

1 medium sized Brinjal/Baingan (the purple variety) cubed

1 medium sized potato washed, peeled, cubed

1-2 medium sized tomatoes, washed and finely chopped

1 onion peeled and finely chopped

½ cup Chana dal (split Bengal gram) soaked in water for ½ hour

6-7 green chillies chopped

½ tsp red chilli powder (optional)

½ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp cumene seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Salt as per taste 

In a pressure cooker heat oil. Add the cumene seeds, turmeric powder and then the chopped green chillies. Add the onions and sauté till the onions turn golden brown in colour. Add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes become mushy. Add the coriander powder and the red chilli powder. Add the other veggies-potato cubes, brinjal cubes, chopped palak leaves, chopped chuka leaves and mix nicely. Add the chana dal. Add one cup of water and salt. Mix nicely and pressure cook on high heat for one whistle. Reduce the heat and cook for another6-7 minutes. Once the steam goes off remove the lid. Remove the potatoes cubes and mash the remaining bhaji with the back of a round spoon or a masher. This helps to mash the chana dal and palak leaves and the bhaji becomes homogenous. Put back the potato pieces.

If you want to serve Sai Bhaji with Roti ,evaporate some water to thicken it. With rice it can be serve a little liquidish.

June 1, 2007 at 11:01 am 9 comments

All things Beet

Previously I would buy only the Beet-root without the greens. After seeing Asha’s Dal saag recipe, I was inspired to buy Beet greens along with the Beetroot. Thanks Asha for the inspiration.

beetgreens.jpg

I have made my own version of the dal.I have used the Beet greens along with three types of dals; Chana Dal, Mung Dal and Toovar dal to make this very healthy and delicious Beet greens dal. 

I used some of the leaves to make paratha for my little one J 

The pink-red stems of the Beet greens were looking so fresh and lovely that I didn’t have a heart to throw them away, which I later realized was a very wise decision! I made a delicious and refreshing Raita with them, which complimented the Dal-Rice combination.

I made Beetroot Kanji with the Root.

After making the Dal and Raita, I had a sense of satisfaction –that of utilizing most of the parts of the Beet, not wasting much (except the beetroot peels). Jbeetgreensdal-and-stemraita.jpg

__________________________________________________________ 

Beet greens Dal recipe

Servings :4-5 _____________________________________________________ 

Ingredients: 

1 ½ cup chopped Beet greens

 ½ cup Chana Dal

½ cup Moong da

l½ cup Toovar Dal

1 onion chopped

4-5 green chillies chopped

5-6 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp cumene seeds ½ tsp mustard seeds¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil 

Wash the dals , add water, a pinch of turmeric powder and few drops of oil. This helps to cook the dals faster. Pressure cook till well done. Boil about 1 cup water in a vessel, add the beet greens and cook on a low flame till the greens are soft and well cooked.Add the cooked dals to these greens. Add salt and mix nicely.Heat oil in another pan. Add the cumene seeds, mustard seeds, garlic and chopped onion and fry nicely till the onion turns golden brown. Add the green chillies.To this add the Beet greens-dal mixture and cook for a few seconds more.

Serve hot with rice. 

beetgreensdal.jpg

__________________________________________________________ 

Beet stem raita recipe

Servings :about 2-3 __________________________________________________________ 

Wash the Beet stems thoroughly (I had about7-8 young stems). Peel the thin skin from the stems. Steam the stems. (I put it in the pressure cooker along with the rice and the dals)Cool and chop the stems. Add about ½ cup Curd/yoghurt to this, salt as per taste and about ¼  tsp sugar and mix nicely.In a small pan heat 2 tsp oil, add ½ tsp cumene seeds, ½ tsp mustard seeds, 2-3 chopped green chillies. Add this tadka to the yoghurt raita. Mix nicely and chill.Serve with roti or dal-rice or have it as it is.

beetstemraita.jpg

_____________________________________________________

And that’s my little one’s paratha made with Beet greens!

beetgreensparatha.jpg

May 22, 2007 at 12:13 pm 9 comments

Chivda

Preparations for diwali are in full swing all around. First the cleaning and now making the sweets and snacks! Chivda is a must every Diwali. In fact munching on Chivda is a must all year round. Its one snack which has to be made before the earlier reaches the depletion level!

I must warn you..Chivda is very addictive..no one can eat just once!

Great snack to carry with you when you are traveling, it is also very very easy to make. Like most of the recipes there are many variations of this snack. Keeping Diwali in mind I made this Chivda without any masalas or garlic and with one of the easiest recipes.

chivda1.jpg

For Chivda you need:

2 cups crisp Poha (flattened rice) –the thin variety

1 cup murmura (puffed rice)

¼ cup peanuts

¼  cup roasted Chana dal (daliya) 

6–8 green chillies coarsely ground

10-12 curry leaves (tear them with your hands)

2 tsp white sesame (white Til) seeds

1 tsp turmeric powder

1tsp powdered sugar

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumene seeds

Salt as per taste

2 tbsp oil 

The flattened rice as well as the puffed rice has to be very crisp for making Chivda. Use the thin variety of poha.

In a deep pan heat oil. Add the mustard seeds. Once they crackle add the cumene seeds and then the curry leaves. Add the peanuts and fry for a few minutes. Then add the daliya and again fry for some time.Add the sesame seeds. Add the green chilly paste, fry nicely, add turmeric and then add the poha and the murmura.Stir nicely so that the poha and the murmura is coated with the masala. Add salt and sugar and stir nicely once again. Switch off the gas and cool this chivda nicely say about 2-3 hours and then store it in airtight containers.

Chivda can be eaten as it is.

It sould be had directly from the container! Serving in bowls with a spoon…no the taste isn’t the same!!!You can also top it with some chopped onion, chopped green coriander and lime juice.

You can also add few cloves of garlic at the tadka stage…that’s one of my favourite variations…But for diwali it has to be without garlic.

So this Diwali enjoy this quick and easy, crispy Chivda.

I warned you…it is addictive!

October 18, 2006 at 7:31 am 3 comments

Ambat Chuka Bhaji (Green sorrel curry)

I found Ambat chukka on my last visit to the market. It is a tangy cousin of Palak(Appearance is  like Palak but is very sour to taste.) In fact I googled to find out what it is called in other languages and was surprised to know that in Hindi it is actually called Khatti Palak. In English it is Green Sorrel and for other Indian languages see this page here

chuka2.jpg

Ambat Chukka with hot plain rice is one of the top listed comfort foods for me.

For ambat chukka bhaji you need

 ½ a bunch of Ambat Chuka leaves with stems

¼ cup of peanuts soaked in water for 2 hrs

1 tbsp Chana dal (split yellow gram) soaked in water for 2 hrs

1 tbsp Besan (Chana dal flour)

1 tbsp jaggery

salt to taste

For the tadka(tempering)

3-4 garlic cloves

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumene seeds

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

¼ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp oil

Cook the chukka along with the peanuts and Chana dal in a pressure pan for 1 whistle. In a pan heat oil and then add the mustard seeds, once they crackle the cumene seeds. Add the garlic cloves and green chillies. Add the turmeric and then add the cooked Chuka. Add salt and jaggery and cook for a few minutes.Adjust the water quantity to the required consistency (usually this is made to a dal like consistency which can be eaten with rice)Once the water starts boiling add the Besan stirring continuously.Cook for a few minutes more .

Sweet and sour and a little spicy Ambat chukka is ready to eat. Serve hot with Bhakri or Plain rice (with ghee of course)

chuka.jpg

October 15, 2006 at 9:42 pm 19 comments

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