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Sesame seeds

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy

फोडणीची पोळी / Phodnichi Poli – Leftover Rotis Makeover

Tadka,  Phodani,  bhagar,  vaghar, chaunk or tempering or seasoning, we may call it by different names but we all agree that it’s one of the greatest inventions of Indian Cooking! A method that’s widely used in Indian Cooking and the only ubiquitous ingredient in many of our traditional dishes from North to South and East to West.

A simple method in which whole or ground spices – such as  mustard seeds, cumin and coriander with some hing and turmeric are added to hot oil or ghee. The heated oil or ghee has amazing qualities of extracting and retaining vital nutrients from the added ingredients, the same technique being used since ages for making Ayurvedic oils and medicated ghees.

The hot oil or ghee infused with the aromas of whole spices is so magical that it can elevate any basic ingredient, including as humble as a leftover roti or poli in Marathi. And what you get is a popular Maharashtrian dish; extremely tasty, super easy and a perfect healthy breakfast item that pairs nicely with a cup of chai or bowlful of fresh yogurt.

leftover-roti-makeover

It tastes best with leftover rotis as they tend to absorb oil more easily due to their extra dryness. A simple tadka with standard ingredients and curry leaves with some characteristic Maharashtrian ingredients such as peanuts and dry coconut flakes and sesame seeds, the dish provides enough oil to digest the dry rotis with extra yum factor! The peanuts can be substituted by fresh green peas, they add a hint of sweetness and a beautiful green color. But I prefer the nuttiness of roasted peanuts.

Phodnichi_poli1

 

Phodnichi Poli

Phodnichi Poli

A magical makeover for leftover rotis - takes no more than 15 minutes. Quick, tasty, easy and healthy - perfect for breakfast!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Grind all rotis coarsely. It's best done with your hands.
  2. In a medium pan, prepare tadka by adding all ingredients listed under tadka in the given order.
  3. Add finely chopped onion and fry it until it becomes translucent.
  4. Add roasted peanuts or green peas and let them fry for a minute.
  5. Add red chili powder, cumin-corainder powder (optional) dry coconut flakes, and salt. Mix well.
  6. Now add roti flakes, mix everything together and let it steam for 2 minutes.
  7. Add sugar and lemon juice and again steam it for another 2 minutes.
  8. Serve hot! Garnish with fine shev or chopped coriander leaves.
Gujarati/ Quick n Healthy/ Upvasache Padarth/ Winter Special

Sweet Potato Muthiya

Healthy yummy fasting snack, which is quite a rare combination!

Sweet Potatoes or रताळे (Ratale in Marathi) are in season and I absolutely adore this root vegetable. I am so glad that it’s allowed during fasting. Steamed  sweet potato with a pinch of salt and sunth (dried ginger) was my favorite after school snack.

Unfortunately my husband is not a great fan of sweet potato so I don’t make it that often but this time I experimented with a basic muthiya recipe and turned it into muthiya that can work during fasting. I used sweet potato with chestnut flour (शिंगाडा पीठ) and rajgira flour, added fresh ginger, lime juice and some cumin powder. The result was yummy healthy snack which I am extremely proud of!

Sweet Potato Muthiya

 

They taste sweetish, tangy, hot with lost of gingery flavor. Singoda and rajgira flavors are very subtle. The seasoning is a must, it takes the dish to a whole new level.

Sweet Potato Muthiya

Sweet Potato Muthiya

Healthy yummy fasting snack, which is quite a rare combination 🙂

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Start by washing, peeling and grating sweet potatoes.
  2. Add salt, lemon juice, freshly grated ginger, cumin-coriander powder and a bit of jaggery or sugar to grated sweet potatoes and mix well. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Now start adding both the flours 1/3 cup at a time. Mix well to form a dough. You won't need any water as sweet potatoes will leave out all the moisture. Add flour as needed to make not-so-thick dough.
  4. Add green chilies and mix well. Taste it.
  5. Prepare a steamer pan.
  6. Make muthiya - by pressing the dough in your palms to give it a cylindrical shape. Place these in the steamer and let them steam for about 15 minutes. Check with a sharp knife.
  7. Let them cool down a bit, before you slice them.
  8. If you are using these for fast, prepare seasoning with ghee and cumin seeds, else you can add mustard seeds, curry leaves and sesame seeds. Add sliced muthiya and shallow fry them on both side.
  9. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or sauce.
Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Roti Paratha Dosa & More/ Snacks

Doodhi Bajra na Thepla / Whole Grain Flatbread with Bottle Gourd

Gujaratis are well known for their snacks and they have all kinds – deep fried, steamed, baked, fermented, roasted. It’s pretty amazing that one single region of India has encompassed so many diverse techniques as part of their daily cooking.dudhi thepla

Theplas are Indian flatbreads made with whole grain flour mixed with seasonal vegetables and some commonly used spices such as green chilies, cumin-coriander powder, ginger-garlic paste. All combined into a dough using yogurt. Since there is hardly any water used in making the dough, these theplas last for couple of days, making them a perfect healthy snack for picnics or long journeys. The dough also contains some jaggery or sugar, which is signature of any Gujarati dish, trust me it actually makes it yummy! Serve it hot with pickle or chundo and yogurt.dudhi bajra thepla

Bajra flour has a very earthy flavor and it combines well with the mild flavor of dudhi. There is a good balance of different tastes of whole wheat, bajra, dudhi and ginger-garlic and jaggery.

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Dudhi Bajra Na Thepla

Healthy breakfast with not so used Bottle Gourd

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and grate dudhi using wider slots on grater.
  2. Squeeze out all the water from grated dudhi, and I really mean all of it. Dudhi contains lot of moisture and it leaves out more after we add salt to the dough, so it's time to use some muscle power.
  3. Add all ingredients together one by one, except for oil. Initially add 1 spoon of yogurt at a time and add more as needed. But make sure you try to bring the dough together before you add more yogurt.dudhi thepla ingredients
  4. Lastly add oil and knead everything nicely. Oil adds more moisture so do keep it in mind.
  5. Make smaller balls, and roll them flat using a rolling pin.dudhi thepla in process
  6. Cook them on a flat tawa just like a paratha, using oil on both sides.
Breakfast/ Events/ Gujarati/ Snacks

હાંડવો / Handavo / Savory Lentil Cake and Bake Fest June 2013 Announcement

Gujaratis are known for their variety of farsan – snacks – dhokla, khaman, shev-khamni, khandvi, gote, lochyo, kachori, mathiya, muthiya …. it’s a long list. I have previously posted two recipes for muthiya – dudhi na muthiya and palak-methi na muthiya. Handvo or Handawa is yet another healthy Gujarati snack which is not deep fried. It’s actually baked!handvo

Traditionally this savory lentil cake is baked in an aluminium pot filled with sand in the bottom, which when heated, provides dry heat just like our modern ovens. I found it quite interesting. It’s prepared with a mixture of different dal flours such as chana dal, toor dal and urad dal and rice flour. The veggies such as dudhi (lauki), lilwa tuwer – which is a speciality of Gujarat and mutter maintain the moisture and yogurt helps it ferment before you bake it. It cannot be classified as a Gujarati dish until it’s seasoned with oil tadaka! You might be tempted to try it without the oil but please don’t unless you want to miss the real charm. The oil seasoning with mustard seeds and sesame seeds makes it very special and very Indian.

I used handwa flour I bought at an Indian grocery store. If you want to make it at home, please scroll down I have mentioned the proportions of the dals and rice. Don’t use the instant handvo mixtures, they contain lot of citric acid and the taste is nowhere close to an authentic dish.

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Handavo / Handwa / Savory Lenti Cake

Savory non deep fried lentil cake!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Prepare batter using handvo flour, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, ajwain seeds, turmeric powder, chopped green chilis, salt and a pinch of sugar. 
  2. Let it sit for 6-7 hours or overnight.
  3. Then add grated doodhi and other vegetables.
  4. Add fruit salt and whisk it in one direction until the batter becomes light.
  5. Pour this batter in loaf pan or muffin pan and bake it at 350 F for 30-35 minutes for a loaf pan and 20-25 minutes for muffin pan.
  6. In a small skillet, prepare tadka with oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds. Add this on top and serve it warm.

Notes:

You can more veggies like fresh methi leaves, spinach leaves or zucchini.

For Homemade Handavo Flour soak all these ingredients for 3-4 hours and grind toa fine paste.

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup tour dal
  • 1/4 cup chana dal
  • 1/4 cup urad dal

Sending this to Dish it Out event.

I am so happy to let you know that I am hosting Vardhini’s Bake Fest event for June 2013. Teh event is open from June 1st till June 30th. Here are some rules –

  • Send in any recipe which has been baked / broiled.
  • Only vegetarian or vegan recipes please.But Eggs are okay for baked dishes.
  • Usage of the logo is mandatory as it helps spread the word.BakeFest-200
  • Linking to original Bake Fest page and this announcement is mandatory.
  • Leave a comment below.
  • You can link your old entries if they are reposted with the below links and the logo.
  •  You can send in any number of new entries and a maximum of 2 old entries.

Looking forward to your innovative creations. Happy baking!


Maharashtrian/ Snacks/ Winter Special

भोपळ्याचे घारगे / Bhoplyache Gharage/ Sweet Pumpkin Puri

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, India
Source – http://nitinmahesh.blogspot.com/

My primary school had a unique tradition of biding farewell to 4th grade students by taking them on a two-day trip to Mahabaleshwar. It’s a hill station  situated amongst Sahyadri range and it’s about 115 km from Pune.

This used to be the only two-day school trip and I still remember all the planning and plotting we did to decide who all would stay in one room and how we would convince out favorite teacher to stay with us in our room. of course, food was an important part of discussion and also a prestige issue as to who gets what from home and to make sure we all don’t get one thing  and so on … Our class teacher had asked our parents to pack one tiffin and keep it as a surprise for us, you know the joy of discovering your favorite thing made by your mom with an element of surprise, truly priceless!

We were half way through and our teacher asked us to open our surprise lunch box and guess what I had in my box. भोपळ्याचे घारगे  (Bhoplyache Gharage). It’s a traditional Maharashtrian tea-time snack, The puris are made with Pumpkin and Jaggery and whole wheat flour. Soft yet not too sweet! Best for picnic, as they last for couple of days. They keep you full but not so heavy on your stomach.

Bhoplyache Gharage

भोपळ्याचे घारगे / Bhoplyache Gharage/ Sweet Pumpkin Puri

भोपळ्याचे घारगे / Bhoplyache Gharage/ Sweet Pumpkin Puri

Soft, not too sweet pumpkin puris.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Peel and dice the pumpking into big cubes. 
  2. Steam it until it becomes really soft. It takes around 10-12 minutes. Do not add water to pumpkin while steaming.
  3. While it's steaming hot, mix the grated jaggery and mix well.
  4. Let it cool down so you can add whole wheat flour and knead a firm dough. Like you would make it for regular puris.
  5. Add 1 tea spoon of hot oil and knead it again. The dough should not stick to your hands.
  6. Pumpkin tends to leave water so adjust the amount of flour accordingly. Add sesame seeds if you like.
  7. Now you have two options, either roll our individual puris or make a big one and use cookie cutter or a sharp edged bowl and cut small puris out of it. I used the second option which is quicker and you get equal sized puris.Bhoplyache Gharage in making 1Bhoplyache Gharage in making 2
  8. In a medium pan, heat the ghee on a medium flame and deep fry the puris until golden brown.
  9. Don't let them turn too brown or else they become hard once cool down.
  10. Let them cool down and you can store them in an airtight jar for up to 6 days.Sweet Pumpkin Puris

My first official sweet entry for “Dish It Out – Squash & Sugar” event happening here at MyHomeMantra till March 31st. DishItOut

Appetizers/ Breakfast/ Gujarati/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

દુધી ના મુઠીયા / Dudhi na Muthiya / Steamed Bottle Gourd Fist Cakes

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Moist and fluffy inside; golden crispy outside; the Muthiya make a perfect pairing with a cup of tea! ‘Muthi’ means fist in Gujarati and it’s called Muthiya because the dough is turned into cylindrical shape using fist.

Spinach Dudhi Muthiya

Made with whole wheat flour and grated dudhi with very little oil, since the dough is steamed and then sauted in a typical Indian tempering, this dish is perfect for those who are on a “diet”.

I love Spinach and Cilantro in my Muthiya, it adds moisture and flavor and color. So I actually made Dudhi Palak (Spinach) Muthiya but Spinach is completely optional.

Dudhi Na Muthiya

Dudhi Na Muthiya

A Diet Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

Instructions:

It might look like a big list of ingredients but almost everything is straight from your pantry so it does not much time to prepare it.

  1. Wash and peel bottle gourd and grate it. Squeeze out excess water in a separate bowl. We can use it if needed.Shredded Dudhi
  2. In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together and knead to make soft dough by adding water if required. You can also use the juice we just squeezed from the grated dudhi. Also add 1 tsp of oil and knead again.
  3. Now divide it in 3-4 parts. Apply some oil to your palms and using your fists shape it in cylindrical rolls.Dudhi Muthiya in progress 1
  4. Place these rolls in a steamer and let it steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Once done, remove from the steamer, let it cool slightly. Then cut it into equal sized small pieces.Dudhi Muthiya with tadka
  6. If you want to make tempering, in a frying pan, heat some oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the pieces and saute on a medium flame for a few minutes.
  8. Serve hot!

 

 

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Superfoods

भाजणीचे थालीपीठ / Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

 Comfort, redefined!

There are times when we eat to find a feeling beyond fullness. We eat looking for a feeling of joy, a momentary salve for sore spirits, a feeling of goodness. At times like these, we usually turn to what we call “comfort food”. वरण भात (Varan Bhaat), rice and dal in its simplest cooked form rates high on my list of “comfort foods”. Then comes the khichadi and my all time favorite –  थालीपीठ (Thalipeeth) with metkut and yogurt!

Bhajaniche ThalipeethIt’s a very common and very typical Maharashtrian recipe and it’s speciality is that it’s a perfect menu for morning, noon or night. It’s made with a flour mixture which is called भाजणी or Bhajani. It’s actually a grounded mixture of whole grains like whole wheat, rice, jowar, bajra, urad dal, chana dal and cumin and coriander seeds. “Bhajane” in Marathi translates to dry roast in English. The whole grains are first dry roasted in a pan and hence the name – “bhajani” and then are ground together to form fine flour which can be stored for months. You can think of it as an instant mix.

thalipeethachi bhajaniIt takes less than 10 minutes to make actual thalipeeth if you have the mix ready.

Thalipeeth-1

 

Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

Bhajaniche Thalipeeth

Hearty pancakes, super quick and super healthy, loaded with healthy carbs and fibre!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

If your bhajani mix contains salt and red chili powder, feel free to adjust the amounts accordingly. Ajwain seeds, fennel seeds and sesame seeds are totally optional but they do add more flavor to every bite. Cilantro and onion help make thalipeeth moist but they are optional too. And same is the case with ginger-galric-chili paste., it's for added flavor. If your bhajani doesn't contain cumin and coriander seeds, you can add 1 table spoon of cumin-coriander powder.

Now the more interesting part - It's just 4 step process - mix everything, put it on a pan, cook and eat with butter! I am getting too excited, I know!

  1. Finely chop your onion and cilantro.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix everything together except for oil and water.
  3. Mix in water gradually to form a firm dough. Taste it and adjust salt to your taste.
  4. Use a little bit oil to knead the dough and mix it together. No real kneading is needed.
  5. Heat a tawa / flat skillet on a medium heat.
  6. Take handful of dough and press it down with your fingers to to roll it out like a pancake, around 1/2 inch thick. Be careful with your hand if the skillet is hot.
  7. If it feels sticky, use some water.
  8. Make three to four holes in it and add few drops of oil in each hole. Also add a few drop surrounding the thalipeeth.
  9. Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 5-6 minutes until you hear crackling sound.
  10. Turn it over and let it cook again for 3-4 minutes.
  11. Wipe the skillet with a wet towel before making the next one.

Serve it hot with yogurt and pickle or chutney. By the way, homemade butter is a must!

I like it with metkut mixed with yogurt and topped with talnachi mirchi! Yum!

This is my entry to Jagruti’s Pancake Day celebration.

Desserts/ Festival Special/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Winter Special

Til-Gul / Tilachya Wadya / Sesame Candy

तीळ गूळ घ्या गोड गोड बोला!

Makar Sankranti, marks the transition (Sankraman) of the Sun into Capricorn (Makar) rashi on its celestial path. Traditionally this has been one of many harvest seasons in India and being agriculture based community, harvest season and festivals always go hand in hand. Known by different names, it’s celebrated all over India.

In Maharashtra, we celebrate it by exchanging til-gul laddoo and halwa as token of goodwill and we fondly say “तीळ गूळ घ्या गोड गोड बोला” which means “Savor this sweet Til-Gul and may the sweetness fill your thoughts and speech”. The Til-Gul literally translates to Sesame Seeds and Jaggery. The laddoos or wadis made with jaggery, sesame seeds, peanuts and coconut  not only taste good but also provide the essential oils needed in cold, dry winter days.

Even though I have made tilgul at home, Makar Sankranti doesn’t seem the same anymore. It’s just not in the air. In my school, everyone would get tilgul and halwa from home and there would be so much variety with these simple ingredients – different shapes, sizes, softness. But I always thought my mom makes the best tilgul; soft, easy to bite which melts in your mouth.

tilgul

The other best part of Sankranti was Puranpoli and that makes me really nostalgic. For now here is the recipe for TilGul

Til Gul / Tilachya Wadya

Til Gul / Tilachya Wadya

Sesame Seeds, peanuts, coconut and jaggery. You can't go wrong with these.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Roast all sesame seeds in a deep bottom skillet or kadhai, till they start changing their color. Do not get them too brown.
  2. Similarly, roast the peanuts. And grind them, but not into a fine powder. Crunchy pieces always taste better.
  3. Also roast the shredded dry coconut slightly. It takes almost no time if the skillet it already hot.
  4. When sesame seeds are cool enough to handle, grind them.
  5. In a saucepan or kadhai, take 1-2 table spoons of Ghee and add jaggery. Let it melt completely. Reduce the heat.
  6. Now add ground sesame seeds, peanuts and coconut and mix well until everything comes together.
  7. Grease a big plat with some Ghee and spread the mixture onto the plate evenly.
  8. While it's still hot, mark the lines with a sharp knife and let it cool down.
  9. Separate the wadis when completely cooled down.

Notes

  • If you want to make hard wadis like Chikki, use the special Chikki Jaggery. Also when it melts, put a drop of melted jaggery in a cup of cold water, if it forms a firm ball the jaggery syrup is done. This will make hard candies.
  • You can also substitute jaggery with sugar but it does not taste the same.

Wish you all a wonderful Makar Sankranti and may it bring warmth and lots of happiness in your life!

[Update] A healthy snack that can be packed and stored for a while, sending it to Kid’s Delight – Back to Hostel special event started by Srivalli

Breakfast/ Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Snacks

लाल भोपळ्याचे धपाटे / Pumpkin Paratha

When I saw a small red pumpkin in farmer’s market, it reminded me of my childhood. My gradma (aajji) used to make gharage (घारगे) and dhapate (धपाटे). I used to love eating gharage after coming home from school. ‘Gharga’ is a sweet pumpkin puri and of couse a deep fried puri. Dhapata on the other hand, is a savory version and it’s not deep fried, so it’s more like a paratha or thepla.

pumpkin_paratha

It must be healthy as there is nothing unhealthy – either ingredients or the process. Give it a shot.

Red Pumpkin Paratha / Thepla

Red Pumpkin Paratha / Thepla

Easy to make, no special ingredients and no much preparation.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Cut pumpin into big pieces, wash it nicely and also remove the center part that might contain seeds,
  2. Steam these big pieces for 5-8 minutes, until the pumpkin becomes tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cut green chilis and garlic into fine pieces. Grate some ginger.
  4. Once steamed, let it cool. Rinse it with cold water to quicken the process.
  5. Smash it with hands and make sure there are no lumps.
  6. Add finely chopped chilis, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, turmeric and all the seeds.
  7. You can also cilantro but it's optional.
  8. Add whole wheat flour and besan gradually and prepare dough. Pumpkin should have enough water so add water only if needed. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress1
  9. If the dough feels very sticky, add more wheat flour but also adjust the amount of salt.
  10. Use some oil, to knead the dough.
  11. Now make small balls and roll it into small parathas, use wheat flour for dusting. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress2
  12. Roast them lightly on a tawa using ghee. pumpkin_paratha_in_progress3
  13. Ready to serve!
Maharashtrian/ Quick n Healthy/ Subji / Curry

Vangi Batata (Eggplant Potato curry) Unbeatable!

Eggplants in Creamy Sauce loaded with Healthy Fats!

I have adapted my mom’s recipe of “bharli vangi” (भरली वांगी) to make it super simple and extremely delicious. The one thing I like about eggplant is it’s readily available in all grocery stores and this curry does not need any special ingredients. It’s super easy and super delicious.

Ingredients

5-6 medium sized eggplants
2-3 small potatoes (optional)
For masala -
1 tb spoon cumin-coriander powder
2.5 tb spoon peanut powder (दाण्याचे कूट)
1 tsp kala masala (गोडा मसाला)
1 tb spoon shredded coconut
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp sesame seeds (roughly powdered)
1 tsp tamarind paste (or tamarind chutney) or 3-4 Aamsul pieces
1/2 tsp jaggery
for tadka (फोडणी)
1/2 tb spoon oil (just enough for tadka)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Method:

The original recipe does not contain any potatoes so feel free to omit them. I sometimes add potatoes to increase the quantity.

Potatoes take more time for cooking, so start with them first. Wash potatoes and dice them in cube sized pieces.

In a medium sized pan, heat some oil and prepare tadka with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and turmeric. Add potato cubes and mix well. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can cut washed eggplants into cubes. Keep them immersed in water with a pinch of salt. That avoids the discoloration. Transfer these eggplant pieces to the pan and also add few spoons of water.  Add tamarind paste or aamsul and let them cook for a minute or so.

Now we add the masala – Peanut powder, roughly grounded sesame seeds, red chili powder and kala masala.

Also some salt to taste. Add fresh coconut. (Dry coconut works too.) Add some more water to maintain the consistency. Let it boil for few minutes until all veggies are cooked nicely.

Once done, turn off the heat. Add jaggery and mix well. It’s ready!

Extra Credit –

I like to use तिळाची चटणी (dry sesame seed chutney), कारळ्याची चटणी and also जवसाची चटणी (flax seed powder) These seeds together with coconut provide a lot of healthy fats and also make super creamy sauce. As you can see, it requires very little oil to make this dish 🙂

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