Posts filed under ‘Maharashtrian Recipes’

Fasting and feasting- Bhagar (spicy Barnyard millet) and Danyachi (Groundnut) Amti

Bhagar and Danyachi amti is a typical Maharashtrian feast made during religious fasts.This spicy dish is a great gluten free meal option even on non-fasting days

Continue Reading July 15, 2016 at 1:50 am 1 comment

‘Super Grains’ for a Super Summer Breakfast!Nagli Ambil/Ragi Kanji Recipe

Nagli Ambil (Ragi Kanji) is a quick,rustic porridge made from Nagli/Ragi/Finger Millet flour, usually served for breakfast in many parts of Maharashtra. The nutritive benefits of Nagli are well known since ancient times. In fact these are our very own ‘Super Grains’,making a fashionable comeback of sorts, with smart colourful boxes labelled ‘Millets’ , sitting fashionably on the health food aisle in supermarkets! 🙂 A bowl of Ragi Kanji in the morning serves as a calcium+protein rich, power packed breakfast and also helps to keep the body cool (nugget of my Grandma’s wisdom J). This is one of my most…

Continue Reading April 27, 2016 at 3:49 am 2 comments

‘Super Grain’ for a Super Summer Breakfast!Nagli Ambil/Ragi Kanji

Nagli Ambil (Ragi Kanji) is a quick,rustic porridge made from Nagli/Ragi/Finger Millet flour, usually served for breakfast in many parts of Maharashtra.

The nutritive benefits of Nagli are well known since ancient times. In fact these are our very own ‘Super Grains’,making a fashionable comeback of sorts, with smart colourful boxes labelled ‘Millets’ , sitting fashionably on the health food aisle in supermarkets! 🙂

Ambil Blog

A bowl of Ragi Kanji in the morning serves as a calcium+protein rich, power packed breakfast and also helps to keep the body cool (nugget of my Grandma’s wisdom J). This is one of my most favourite Summer breakfast and takes me back to my childhood, each time I have it!

Try to use Nagli flour made with the skin on for best results. I prefer this savoury version of the porridge over the sweet version, since I am not very fond of sweets. You can adjust the water- flour ratio to make a porridge consistency to your liking. For a refreshing kick you can top it with homemade curd or buttermilk. When I posted the Ambil photo on FB, I got a few new ideas of adding garlic/onion tadka to the Ambil. Will do that next time and update here. Till then here’s the recipe for Nagli Ambil/Ragi Kanji .

Ambil

Nagli Ambil/Ragi Kanji recipe
Serves: 2
Cooking time: 10 Minutes
Ingredients

2 ½ Cups water

3 tablespoon Ragi Flour

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon Ajwain

¼ teaspoon Hing (Asafoetida)

Salt to taste

2-3 tablespoon Curd/Buttermilk for topping (optional)

Pinch of Cumin powder for garnish (optional)

Method

Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan. To the leftover ½ cup of water add the Nagli flour and stir to dissolve it completely till no lumps remain.

Add the cumin seeds, ajwain, hing and salt.

Once the water starts boiling, slowly add the ragi-water mixture, stirring constantly to ensure that no lumps are formed. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes.

Serve hot with a dollop of Ghee or cool completely and serve topped with curd/buttermilk. Sprinkle some cumin powder if you like.

April 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

India’s Best blogger, Khadya Jatra and Khandeshi Cuisine

India’s Best blogger, Khadya Jatra and Khandeshi Cuisine….confused? …read on 🙂

2016 seems to have started on a very positive note! Betterbutter had organized ‘ India’s top blogger contest ‘.To participate we had to Curate a meal for two in a foodbook to make a complete meal. I participated and my foodbook menu included- Meetha Pan spritzer, Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas, Garam Masala spiced Palak Paneer Timbale and Meringue nests topped with Mango curd and fruits. foodbook

As you must have guessed by now, I won the India’s top blogger contest! The prize is as awesome as the concept & contest- a gorgeous orange coloured Le Creuset Casserole! Thank you again Betterbutter for this!

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The recipes are already on the blog or you can check out the foodbook and some of my recipes here on betterbutter.

Khadya Jatra: I wrote this article for a Facebook group initiated by Saee of My Jhola– Angat Pangat, which re-discovers traditional Maharashtrian cuisine. We are starting with a new series on the group called ‘Khadya Jatra’ #APKhafyaJatra ,where a specialist of a particular sub-cuisine of Maharashtra will curate some background information about it and give an authentic recipe with step by step images.Members can then try out the recipe and thus get a chance to learn about the sub-cuisine and recipes.

I am fortunate to be the first ‘specialist’ and Saee invited me to curate some information and a recipe about Khandeshi Cuisine.Thank you Saee for this,I am honoured.

Spicy, fiery gravies with a thick sinful layer of oil floating on top (tarri) -that’s a trademark Khandeshi dish for you!

Nashik (where I stay) borders the Khandesh region (some parts of present Nashik district are part of Khandesh),has a strong influence of the Khandesi cuisine and you can see specialties like Misal and Shev Bhaji dished out at every nook and corner.

The quintessential Kala Masala forms the base of most gravies (rassa) along with dry coconut (khobra), onion and garlic. These are traditionally served with Bhakri or Rice.

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Peanuts and peanut oil is also extensively used for cooking. Peanuts, small green lavangi mirchi or fiery Red mirchi, garlic are roasted on an iron griddle or directly on charcoal, pounded in a wooden mortar and pestle (Badgi-musal) to make the famed Thecha. Apart from the staple Jowar Bhakri, Kalnyachi Bhakri- Chutney is very popular with most Khandeshi’s. Kalna is a blend of Jowar + Urad and is served with a spicy peanut chutney.

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The Khandeshi love for eggplants need not be stressed. Be it Bharit made using large green eggplants (Jalgaoni Vangi) or small eggplants stuffed with kala masala or mashed eggplants (Ghotleli Bhaji), every Khandeshi loves this vegetable! The Ghotleli Bhaji and Dal batti are part of many festivities in most Khandeshi households.

Mande (Khandeshi version of Puran Poli) and Wheat Kheer are the popular sweets from the region.

The hot summers are utilized to make different types of Papads and Vade (Valvan) like the laborious yet rewarding Bibde.

A very popular Khandeshi preparation is Patodyachi (or Patvadya) Bhaji. Rolled out Besan flour dough is cut into strips and cooked in a spicy kala masala gravy. The other lesser known form of this preparation is called ‘Dubuk Vade’. Instead of making strips, dumplings are made from the besan batter and cooked in a similar gravy. I am guessing the name Dubuk comes from the noise it makes when a dumpling is dropped in the gravy-I am not sure of this though 🙂

Dubuk Vade 1

 It is simple, it is spicy, it is fiery, it uses Kalal masala gravy and it is absolutely lip smacking- ticking all the right boxes for typical Khandeshi, homestyle food. I have toned down the heat and oil to suit our taste; you can adjust it to yours.

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Here’s the recipe for Dubuk Vade

Recipe serves ~ 3-4 persons

Ingredients

For the Rassa

2 onions, sliced

¼ cup dry coconut, grated (Khobra)

4-5 garlic cloves

Handful of fresh coriander leaves, cleaned and washed

2 teaspoons Kala Masala (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Red chilli powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

2+2 tablespoon oil, divided (or more if you like)

2 teaspoon Cumene seeds (jeera)

Salt to taste

Water as required

For the vade (dumplings)

¾ cup Besan, sieved (gram flour)

2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated

½- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)

Salt to taste

Method

To make the Rassa

Heat 2 tablespoon oil on an iron griddle or in an iron wok.

Add the onions and garlic and sauté till the onions start browning. Stir so that the onions and garlic are sautéed evenly.

Add the grated coconut and sauté till it just starts browning and starts emitting the aroma.

Add the coriander. Stir around to mix.

Take it off the heat and add the red chilli powder and kala masala.

Mix and cool completely.

Grind the masala, in a blender, using very little water to a smooth paste.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan/wok.

Add the cumin seeds.

Once they sizzle, add the ground masala and sauté.

Cook till the water evaporates and the oil starts oozing out, taking care not to burn the masala.

Add sufficient water (about 2 ½ -3 cups) to make a medium consistency gravy.

Season with salt and let the Rassa boil for a few minutes.

Meanwhile make the dumplings

Mix all the ingredients under dumplings. Add water to make a batter of dropping consistency (~ ½ cup)

Drop spoonfuls of the batter in the boiling Rassa, working quickly so that all the dumplings cook evenly. Add little water to the bowl/vessel in which you made the dumpling batter, whisk and add that to the gravy so that it will thicken a bit.

Cook for a few minutes till the dumplings are cooked through (about 8-10 minutes) and the gravy thickens a bit. (add water if it is too thick)

Serve hot with Jowar Bhakri or Rice, with a raw onion and lemon wedge on the side

Note: If you want that layer of oil floating on top, use more oil and chilli powder.

 

March 14, 2016 at 5:44 pm 8 comments

Dulche de leche & Apple Satori

A can of Homemade Dulche de leche lurking in the fridge got me thinking about this Satori.

Satori is a Maharashtrian sweet flat bread, usually stuffed with Rava and Khoya/Mawa .The stuffed bread is then cooked on a griddle ,drizzled with homemade ghee.

I decided to swap the Dulche de leche for khoya. It’s the season of Apples and Apple pies, so some grated apples and spices were added to the filling. I love the McCormick Apple pie spice mix I bought a few years ago. The warm spices mingled well with the Apple and Dulche De leche stuffing. I made a small test batch of about 7-8 Satoris and they were gone in minutes. I think grated pumpkin should also work in place of Apples.

The Dulche de leche I used was very firm since it was sitting in my refrigerator for quite some time. A filling made with a runny or a sauce like consistency of Dulche de Leche may not be a good idea, since it will be difficult to stuff and roll out the Satori.Take care that it is firm enough.

Satori 002

If you would like to try something different this Diwali, here’s my fusion recipe for

Dulche de Leche & Apple Satori

Ingredients

For the cover

¾ cup Maida

¾ cup fine Rava (Semolina)

Small pinch salt

½  tbsp oil

~1/2 cup water (or more if required)

For the filling

2-3 tbsp Ghee

4 tbsp fine Rava/Semolina

2 Apples,peeled cored and grated (I used 1 Granny Smith and 1 Red Shimla apple)

3-4 tbsp Homemade Dulche de leche

½ tsp Apple pie spice mix (or you can use Cinnamon, Nutmeg, All Spice powder)

Ghee to cook the Satori

Method

For the dough

Boil water with the oil. Cool .

Mix the Maida, Rava and salt in a bowl.

Gradually add the water till it all just comes together.

Knead into a soft pliable dough.

Cover with a kitchen towel and keep aside for half an hour.

To make the filling

Heat the ghee in a pan.

Add the Rava and roast for 2-3 minutes .

Add the grated apples and mix nicely. Add 1-2 tbsp water and cook covered for 3-4 minutes or till the apples are cooked and water evaporates.

Cool slightly. Add in the Dulche de Leche, mix well.

Refrigerate for half an hour.

Pinch off 7-8 balls from the dough. Flatten the ball into a disc.

Roll out the ball a little. Add a tablespoon and half of the stuffing in the centre.

Bring together the edge and Seal it, like you would for a stuffed paratha.

Dust the work surface with a little flour.

Gently Roll out into a ~4 ½ inch disc, taking care that the filling does not come out. Don’t make them very thin.

Cook on medium heat on a hot griddle on both sides, till light brown spots appear.

Repeat this process to make the rest of the Satoris.

These can be cooled and kept in an airtight container at this stage.

When ready to serve, heat them on the griddle, drizzle homemade ghee liberally on both sides and serve.

 

November 9, 2015 at 12:19 pm 3 comments

Fast Food- Orange glazed baby Sweet Potatoes and Plantain

I don’t usually observe any religious fasts. The popular local fasting food-Sabudana does not agree with me much. But I like to explore the traditional fasting recipes, that use alternative grains and vegetables. I like Sweet potatoes and I keep substituting them for potatoes. They are usually available in the market only during these religious fasting days. With all the ongoing festivities and fasts, Sweet Potatoes are abundantly available now.

While growing up, my mom often made these ‘Ratalyache Kaap’ (pan fried Sweet Potatoes with jaggery). I don’t have a sweet tooth and I find them too sweet for my taste….and hence my little twist to the Ratalyache Kaap –Orange glazed kaap. The addition of a  tangy citrusy burst, rock salt and chilli flakes beautifully balance the sweetness. I have been experimenting with green,unripe plantains and hence I tossed in a cooked unripe plantain along with the Sweet Potatoes. Date syrup adds a rich, molasses like taste to the kaap.The pomegranate and pumpkin seeds are added just to give it more freshness and crunch. You can use any other seeds or nuts that are ‘allowed’. I have used baby Sweet Potatoes because they looked cute and they cook quickly. In case you don’t find them, you can use the regular ones and alter the cooking time.

sweet potato 026

I have realized that the best way to update the blog regularly, is to participate in online food events :).The deadlines provide the necessary push for me to post recipes on time 🙂

The theme this month @TheHub is ‘Sweet Recipes & Fasting Recipes’ that are usually made during these 9 holy days of Navratri. Orange glazed Sweet Potatoes and Plantains is my entry to The KitchenAid India Navratri Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen.

That also reminds me, to let you know that I was invited to contribute recipes at Archana’s Kitchen, which I gladly accepted and you can now find my recipes on Archanas kitchen here

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for Orange glazed baby Sweet Potatoes and Plantain

Serves-2

Ingredients

7-8 baby Sweet potatoes, washed thoroughly and sliced  (Do not peel)

1 large green, unripe plantain

Juice and zest of 1 large orange

2 tbsp Date syrup

½ tsp grated jaggery

Rock salt to taste

¼ tsp Chilli flakes/black pepper powder (optional)

2 tbsp Ghee

Pomegranate seeds and Pumpkin seeds for garnish (or any other seeds/ nuts)

Method

Cook the plantain with the skin in a pressure pan with salted water, for 1 whistle.

Cool and peel the skin and slice.

In a non- stick pan, heat the Ghee

Add the sliced baby Sweet Potatoes

Stir to coat the slices with Ghee.

Cook covered for 2-3 minutes on low flame.

Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice,zest,Date syrup,jaggery and rock salt.

Add this to the Sweet potatoes and cook uncovered on medium flame, till  the liquid thickens.

After about 3-4 minutes of cooking, add the sliced plantain and mix so that the orange glaze coats all the slices.

Sprinkle the chilli flakes or pepper powder if using.

Serve hot or cold garnished with Pomegranate and Pumpkin seeds

September 29, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1 comment

The Misal Pav burger!

The hot Summer, Exams, work, Summer camps  and a rather long recipe delayed this post. Did I mention the heat? It’s still hot but finally I am back with The Misal Pav Burger recipe.

As I said in my earlier post, the idea for this burger kept hovering in my head for a long  time. I kept thinking of various combinations to make the patty, the sauce and the toppings. Finally when I baked the Kummelweck rolls, I decided to go ahead with whatever ingredients I had in my pantry. Moth beans or Matki are a staple in our house. Matki sprouts are usually found in my fridge, since everyone loves the Usal (curry) made with it.

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The burger patty here, is made using sprouted Matki and potato+breadcrumbs as a binder. I have found a new shop in Nasik -Aarogyam, which sells Nagli/Whole wheat and sprouted wheat bread. So this time the Patty has Nagli breadcrumbs. You can use whole wheat or white breadcrumbs too. Mom made fresh Kanda Lasoon Masala, so the patty was spiced with my Mom’s homemade fiery love 🙂

Raw mangoes are were in season and I made a shortcut Methamba (Mango Chutney). My brother got me a bottle of Roopak’s Aachari masala, along with other spices. I cooked the raw mangoes and spiced them with this Readymade Aachari masala. The masala is awesome by the way 🙂

Misal Pav burger

The other element that I added to the burger was the fiery Masala Chutney. Masala Pav, is a favourite street food here- a bun or the Bombay Pav is served with a spicy Onion-Tomato masala chutney made using Pav Bhaji masala. I substituted the Pav Bhaji masala with the Kanda Lasoon masala. I was apprehensive when I put together all the elements of this Misal Pav burger , but it turned out so good that the son gave it ’the Best Burger ever’ thumbs up!

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The Misal Pav burger recipe

Makes about 5-6 burgers

Ingredients:

5-6 burger buns or Laadi pav

~2-3 Tomatoes Sliced

1 large onions sliced

1 cucumber sliced

Few sprigs fresh coriander leaves

For the Patty:

1 cup sprouted moth/matki beans cooked in salted water (just cooked, not mushy)

1 potato cooked,peeled and mashed

¼  cup bread crumbs or as required

2-3 tbsps Chopped coriander

1 small onion chopped

3-4 garlic pods chopped

2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts

1 tsp green chili paste or red chili powder to taste

1-2 tsp Kanda Lasoon masala

Salt to taste

Oil for shallow frying

For the Mango Chutney

1 raw mango cubed

3 tbsp grated jaggery or more to taste

1-2 tsp Aachari masala

Salt to taste

2-3 tsp oil

For the Onion-Tomato chutney

1 onion chopped

1 tomato chopped

2-3 garlic cloves sliced

2 tsp Kanda lasoon masala

½ -1 tsp red chilli powder

3-4 tsp oil

Salt to taste

Method:

For the Patty

Mix all the ingredients for the patty except the oil.

Make ~ 5-6 balls of the mixture and flatten into a patty

Shallow fry in hot oil in a nonstick pan  till browned on both sides

For the Mango chutney:

Heat oil in a pan.

Add the chopped mangoes, jaggery and salt. Cook for 5 minutes or till the mangoes are just cooked.

Add the Achari masala and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

Take off the heat and cool.

For the spicy chutney

Heat oil in a small pan.

Add the garlic and onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes

Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes more

Season with salt and spices

To assemble the burger:

Cut the burger buns in half.

Add 1-2 tsps of the spicy chutney.

Place slices of tomato, Cucumber,onion and coriander leaves

Place the patty on the salad.

Top with the tangy Mango chutney and then top with the other half of the bun

Serve immediately

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May 28, 2015 at 5:57 pm 1 comment

Desi Health Bites – Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas

I love experimenting with different grains and flours. Jowar, Nagli/Ragi,Amaranth, Corn etc.. are pantry staples in my house. Most of the times,I use a blend of these grains for our day-to-day food in the form of khichdis, upmas,dosas.

One such multipurpose, wholesome flour mix is the ‘Thalipeeth Bhajani. This is a pantry staple in every Maharashtrian household.

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Bhajani Thalipeeth basically is a quick flat bread made using this multigrain Bhajani mix along with chopped onions,sometimes some chopped fresh or leftover vegetables, fresh coriander, sesame seeds and spices.It is usually served for breakfast with fresh homemade Curd/Yogurt, homemade white butter and/or sweet lime pickle.

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My Mom makes her own Thalipeeth Bhajani by roasting – Jowar, Bajra, wheat, Nagli,Rice,Gram dal,Urad dal and cumene , coriander seeds and then milling them together. Needless to say I get my Thalipeeth Bhajani mix  readymade from her as and when I am out of stock :). Most supermarkets, grocery stores, health food shops now stock Thalipeeth flour, so it is easily available or see the Quick Mix version given below.

Another favourite item from the Maharashtrian cuisine is ‘Khamang Kakdi’ – cucumber salad tempered with spices and topped with crushed peanuts. I love to add Tomatoes and onion to my Khamang Kakdi.

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Both these Classic Maharashtrian favourites, I have combined in a quick modern Appetizer Avatar- Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas, akin to the Mexican Tostadas.

Thalipeeth Tostadas 2

It seems to be a long winded recipe but it uses simple day-to-day ingredients found in most Indian kitchens.With some advance preparation it can be easily put together in under 30 minutes.

I have used Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil for making my  Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas.

“Fortune rice bran health oil has a key micronutrient called “oryzanol”, an antioxidant found only in the bran of rice. It helps reduce bad cholesterol,increase good cholesterol and keeps your heart healthy, making it a healthier choice.

Squalene is an organic compound naturally produced by human skin cells and is a natural moisturizer. Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil contains good amounts of it which prevent the ageing of skin.

Antioxidants improve health by fighting free radicals that harm the immune system. Fortune Rice Bran Health oil has natural antioxidants that help build strong immunity”.

Fortune Rice Bran Oil

“It is a myth that colourless or transparent oils are healthier than dark oils. FRBH is refined optimally to keep all the essential micronutrients intact. It has a darker appearance primarily due to Oryzanol.

It is enriched with a gamut of nutrients and is good for heart, immunity, skin and hormones. It is appropriate for people of all ages”

thalipeeth tostadasHere’s the recipe for my Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas

Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas

Makes about 18-19, 3” round Tostadas

Prep time: 20 mins

Cooking time: ~30 mins including baking time

Ingredients

For the Tostados

2 Cups Thalipeeth flour/Multigrain flour *

1 tsp Ajwain/Carom seeds

2 tsp Sesame seeds

½ tsp Dry red chilli powder (or to taste)

2 tsp Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil

2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves

¼ tsp garlic paste

½ tsp Asafoetida/hing

Warm water as required (~ ¾-1 cup)

For the topping

1 large cucumber peeled finely chopped

1 large Tomato ,seeds removed & finely chopped

½ onion finely chopped

3 tsp roasted peanuts crushed

2 tsp chopped fresh coriander leaves

½ tsp brown sugar

Salt to taste

For tempering

2 tsp Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp Cumene seeds

5-6 Curry leaves

½ tsp powdered Asafoetida

1-2 green chillies chopped

For the herbed Yogurt/Curd

¾  cup thick Yogurt/curd

2 tsp chopped mint leaves

2 tsp chopped coriander leaves

Rock salt to taste

Method

For the Tostados

Preheat the oven to 170 deg C.

Line a baking sheet with Parchment paper.

Add the flour or flours to a mixing bowl.

Add all the other ingredients except the water.Mix well.

Slowly add the warm water and knead the flours into a stiff but pliable dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.

Roll out into a thin layer. The layer should be as thin as possible while still workable.

Cut rounds using a 3” cookie cutter/ sharp edge of a small steel Dabba.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake till they turn golden around the edges – ~15-20 minutes. (Keep an eye on them after about 12 minutes as they burn easily.)

Cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: These can be made well in advance. Can be stored in an air tight container for about 2 weeks.

For the topping-Koshimbir

Mix the cucumber, tomatoes, onions in a bowl.

Add the crushed peanuts, salt,sugar and mix

In a small Kadhai/pan add the oil.

Once hot, add the mustard seeds.

Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the cumene seeds, Asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies.

Pour this over the Cucumber-tomato-onion mixture in the bowl.

Add the chopped coriander and mix again.

Note: The veggies can be chopped in advance but mix everything just before serving and use immediately

For the Herbed Yogurt/Curd

In a small bowl mix together the Yogurt and the herbs.

Season with Rock salt and mix well.

To Assemble the Mini Thalipeeth Tostadas

Keep the crispy Thalipeeth Tostadas on a large serving plate.

Add 1½- 2 spoonfuls of the Koshimbir Topping.

Top with a dollop of the herbed Yogurt

Serve immediately

Other serving suggestions:

You can use Sweet Lime pickle along with the juice, or a coriander-mint chutney or the Marathi Red/Green Chilly Thecha instead of the herbed Yogurt

Thalipeeth Tostadas 1

*Make your own multigrain Quick Thalipeeth flour mix:  ½ cup Wheat flour+ ¼ cup Rice flour+ ¼ cup Ragi/Nagli flour+ ¼ cup Jowar flour+1/4 cup Bajra flour+ ¼ Besan/chickpea/Gram flour+ ¼ cup Urad Dal/Black lentil flour + ½ tsp roasted cumene powder+ ½ tsp coriander seed powder

This blogpost is in association with Fortune Foods as a part of their Desi Health Bites activity– The Hunt for the Best Rice Bran Oil Recipes. For more updates and healthy recipes using Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil, follow Fortune Foods on Facebook and on Twitter at @fortunefoods

March 16, 2015 at 10:00 am 1 comment

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.

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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.

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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

A Plum post!

The thing that I like most about summers is the bounty of colorful fruits that it offers. Not just mangoes but Jamuns, Litchis,peaches apricots, cherries, plums we have been savoring them all! The lad is a fresh fruit lover and loves snacking on them. The little lady of our house on the other hand is a mango addict but refuses to eat any other fruit. The only way to feed her fruits other than mangoes and bananas is to sneak them in shakes or smoothies.

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The gorgeous weather (yes finally it’s raining here!) has increased the frequency of the kids’ hunger pangs. That also means my mind is constantly thinking of recipes to satiate the ever hungry kids with ‘different’ yet wholesome food. (I wonder how my mother managed when we were growing up?)

Litchis went into salads and Granitas when it was warmer. Peaches/apricots in crisps and parfaits.

Plums  were a bit tricky to sneak in -since the boy loves tart fruits but no sweets for him. The daughter wont eat tart fruits but loved her sweets.

plum 4

I had some leftover coconut milk from a Thai curry made earlier. On a whim I decided to make Sol Kadhi sans the Sol-The kokum. So you can call this ‘Plum Kadhi’ instead. The end result was as appetizing as the quintessential Maharashtrian favourite Sol Kadhi (have blogged about it here earlier).

plum 2

Plum Kadhi recipe

Makes ~ 4 cups

Ingredients

1  1/2  cups Coconut milk

~ 2  1/2 cups water

2 Plums pitted and chopped

¼ tsp green chilli paste

¼ tsp garlic paste

Black Salt to taste

Cumin powder and coriander or mint leaves for garnishing

Method

Blend all the ingredients except cumin and coriander/mint leaves together.

Chill and Garnish with cumin powder/coriander/mint leaves.

 

To satisfy the little on I made Plum Karanji-handpies. I chose to bake instead of deep fry the local favourite sweet Karanji with a Plum twist. A  layered cover (also called as Satha/Sathyachya karanjya in Marathi) wherein I substituted half the quantity of  all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and filled it with a sweet and sour plum filling. The end result was a stunning (specially when cut), crisp karanji with an unsual  sweet -sour  taste- almost a cross between a karanji and a hand pie and hence they are Plum Karanji-handpies !

plum 7

Plum Karanji recipe

Makes ~ 6 Karanjis

Ingredients

For the cover

¾ cup All purpose flour

¾ cup Whole wheat flour

3 tsp fine semolina

4 tbsp ghee melted

2 tsp icing sugar

Pinch of salt

~ ½ cup milk or enough to knead a tight dough

 For the filling

7-8 Crisp plums, pitted and chopped

3 tbsp scrapped fresh coconut

2 tbsp crushed/powdered cashewnuts

¼ tsp clove powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

~ 6 tbsp powdered jaggery (or to taste)

 For layering

4 tsp ghee

2 tsp Cornflour

Cinnamon sugar for dusting (optional)

Method:

For the filling:

In a pan add the plum, coconut and jaggery. Cook on a low flame  till the liquid evaporates (~ 4-5 minutes)

Add the cashewnut powder and the spices.

Mix well and cool completely.

 For the layering mixture:

Whisk the ghee  a few times till it becomes fluffy.

Add cornflour and whisk again.

 For the Cover

In the bowl of the food processor add all the cover ingredients except the milk. Pulse 1-2 times

Add the milk slowly till a firm dough is formed. Knead into a ball.

Cover and keep aside for half an hour.

Halfway through the waiting time heat the oven to 180 deg C.

After half hour, cut the dough into 4 equal parts.

Form a ball of 1 dough piece and roll out into a thin circular disc ~ 6 inch diameter

Keep aside, covered.

Roll out the 2nd dough ball to a thin circular disc like a chapati.

Spread about a tsp of the ghee cornflour mixture evenly on the rolled out dough.

Cover this with the rolled out chapatti no 1.

Repeat the with the 3rd and 4th dough ball. Total you have 4 rolled out chapatti like discs layered with the ghee-cornflour mixture.

Put a tsp of the cornflour-ghee mixture on top of the 4th layer.

Make a tight roll of the layered chapattis, like a Swiss roll.

plum 9

Trim both the edges and cut the rest of the roll into 6 pieces approximately 1 inch each.

Cover the other cut pieces till you roll out and fill the first one

With the cut side down roll out each piece into a circle like a poori

Place 1 tsp of the plum filling in the centre of the poori

Cover one side of the poori with the other into a semicircle-karanji shape.

Seal the ends using a fork or a fluted cutter

Place on a greased baking tray and bake till golden in color (~ 15 mins)

Dust with Cinnamon sugar mixture (optional)

Serve hot

 

With just 10 days to go for the first Indian Food Bloggers Meet ,the IFBM FB page is abuzz with all the upcoming excitement.There are several contests for participating bloggers being held as a run-up to the actual meet.

I am sending the ‘Plum Kadhi‘ and the ‘Plum Karanji Handpies‘ to the KitchenAid Plum contest

July 22, 2014 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

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