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.
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.
A magical makeover for leftover rotis - takes no more than 15 minutes. Quick, tasty, easy and healthy - perfect for breakfast!
- Grind all rotis coarsely. It's best done with your hands.
- In a medium pan, prepare tadka by adding all ingredients listed under tadka in the given order.
- Add finely chopped onion and fry it until it becomes translucent.
- Add roasted peanuts or green peas and let them fry for a minute.
- Add red chili powder, cumin-corainder powder (optional) dry coconut flakes, and salt. Mix well.
- Now add roti flakes, mix everything together and let it steam for 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and lemon juice and again steam it for another 2 minutes.
- Serve hot! Garnish with fine shev or chopped coriander leaves.
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.
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
A Diet Friendly Recipe
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.
- Wash and peel bottle gourd and grate it. Squeeze out excess water in a separate bowl. We can use it if needed.
- 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.
- Now divide it in 3-4 parts. Apply some oil to your palms and using your fists shape it in cylindrical rolls.
- Place these rolls in a steamer and let it steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Once done, remove from the steamer, let it cool slightly. Then cut it into equal sized small pieces.
- If you want to make tempering, in a frying pan, heat some oil.
- Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the pieces and saute on a medium flame for a few minutes.
- Serve hot!
I was introduced to ‘Kadhi-Khichadi’ combination by S. I completely admit that it’s a marriage made in heaven; not very common among Maharashtrians but adored by Gujaratis.
It goes without saying that there are couple of variations found through out India – Maharashtrian kadhi, Gujarati kadhi, Punjabi kadhi and sindhi kadhi to name a few. The basic idea is to mix besan and buttermilk with some spices to make spiced, flavorful watery accompaniment to other dishes. You will find more sugar in Gujarati kadhi than any other version, punjabi kadhi has more spices and also pakoras while sindhis like to have vegetables in their kadhi.
Here is the basic kadhi, the version I grew up with –
Comforting to eat, Effortless to make
I will describe Khichadi in word one – Soul-food! It’s so comforting, fulfilling and satisfying. This was the first recipe I learned from my mom when I first started my job in Bangalore. It’s a ‘++’ version of वरण भात ‘Varan-bhaat’ (dal-rice) but it’s actually easier to prepare than dal-rice.
The best part I like about Khichadi is it’s a one pot meal. All you do is mix all ingredients together in pressure cooker, then wait for few minutes and dig in! Well khichadi literally means a mixture. The rice in it adds the starch, which somewhat magically means comfort in any language, and the moong dal adds a good source of protein which is easy to digest.
It is also a dish that is found throughout the country in some form or the other – khichdi, khichri, khichuri, venn pongal, even kedgeree, which was adopted by the colonials, are all variations on the same theme. Like names there are different khichdis too. I like it soft, almost mushy and watery, but some prefer it like pulao, all grains intact.
My mom makes a milder version with no garam masala –
I generally make a spiced khichadi with whole garam masala and green peas.
The general rule is to use 2 parts rice and 1 part moong dal but I use both in equal proportions. You can use split moong dal which is green or yellow. Here is my version –
मूगा-तांदुळाची खिचडी Moong Dal Khichadi
Comforting to eat, Effortless to make!
- Wash and soak the rice and the dal in water for about half an hour. If you don't have time skip this step.
- If you have time use a large wide and heavy bottom pan to prepare khichadi. Or you can also use a pressure cooker and make it quicker.
- Either ways, in a pan, heat the oil and add whole garam masala (clove, cinnamon, peppercorns and cardamom). Also mustard seeds.
- When they start to pop add cumin seeds, curry leaves, hing and turmeric.
- Drain all the water from the grains and add them to the oil. Mix well for a minute.
- Now add goda masala and red chili powder and mix well.
- If you want add green peas or any other vegetables and mix again.
- Add 4 cups of water and stir everything together.
- Add grated coconut.
- Add salt and taste it.
- Now let it cook on medium heat for 3 whistles. If you skip the first step, you might want to wait for 4-5 whistles depending upon your cooker.
- If you are making it a wide pan, let the water come to a boil and then simmer for few minutes. Stir it occasionally. But keep a lid on it by leaving a small gap for the steam to escape.
- Serve it hot with ghee and chopped cilantro.
If you still think this is not easy to prepare, there is an instant version too. I recently came across AyurFoods and I have tried their moong dal khichadi. It was as delicious as home made. It’s nicely packaged and can be a good healthy meal while travelling.
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.
It must be healthy as there is nothing unhealthy – either ingredients or the process. Give it a shot.
Red Pumpkin Paratha / Thepla
Easy to make, no special ingredients and no much preparation.
- Cut pumpin into big pieces, wash it nicely and also remove the center part that might contain seeds,
- Steam these big pieces for 5-8 minutes, until the pumpkin becomes tender.
- Meanwhile, cut green chilis and garlic into fine pieces. Grate some ginger.
- Once steamed, let it cool. Rinse it with cold water to quicken the process.
- Smash it with hands and make sure there are no lumps.
- Add finely chopped chilis, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, turmeric and all the seeds.
- You can also cilantro but it's optional.
- Add whole wheat flour and besan gradually and prepare dough. Pumpkin should have enough water so add water only if needed.
- If the dough feels very sticky, add more wheat flour but also adjust the amount of salt.
- Use some oil, to knead the dough.
- Now make small balls and roll it into small parathas, use wheat flour for dusting.
- Roast them lightly on a tawa using ghee.
- Ready to serve!
No Marathi food blog can be complete without “Pohe” (flattened rice flakes). It’s not just a comfort food but also an intrinsic part of our culture. When a prospective groom and bride families meet together for the first time, the girl serves pohe and tea. Hence “kanda-pohe-meeting” (poha with onion) does bear a special meaning in Maharashtrian culture.
It goes without saying that it’s a very easy recipe and probably that’s why making it delicious is an art. Warm, comforting, great for breakfast and as a tea-time snack.
Maharashtrian Comfort Food
1. In a sieve, gently rinse Poha with running water for 1 minute or so.
2. Drain excess water and sprinkle Salt and Lemon Juice and sugar. Gently mix with hand and leave aside.
3. Dice two small potatoes and microwave them for 2 minutes. So that they cook faster.
4. Heat Oil in a medium pan / kadhai on medium heat.
5. Add Mustard Seeds and let them pop.
6. Add Cumin seeds, Hing, Turmeric powder. Then add peanuts and fry them for a minute. Now add curry leaves and green chilis.
7. Add onions and let them cook for 1-2 minutes. I don't like onions in pohe so I skip this step.
8. Add potatoes, mix well. Cover and let them cook for 1-2 minutes. They should be tender but not mushy.
9. Fluff up Pohe with a fork and add it to the pan.
10. Mix well. Sprinkle with a little water if Pohe have dried out too much.
11. Garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly grated coconut. Fine shev also goes well with Pohe. Serve hot.
1. You can add some chopped cilantro while making tadka. It adds nice flavor.
2. Add just enough sugar to balance salt and lemon juice.
3. Chopped mint leaves also add nice flavor to this dish.
Poha is made from rice paddy. Once they clean paddy, they soak it in hot water for about 45 minutes. They they roast wet paddy in large iron skillets to make poha or flattened rice flakes. And that’s why it contains more iron than rice.
Last time when I travelled to India, Cathay Pacific served bhindi masala for lunch. In my humble opinion, if people don’t know how to make bhindi that should just refrain from it. As soon as I reached home, the first thing I asked my mom to make was “भरली भेंडी / bharali bhendi”. It’s called “bharali” because it’s stuffed with masala. Disclaimer – This recipe is not same as Punjabi Bhendi Masala. This is truly a Maharashtrian version and if you ask me it’s the best version 🙂
Bharali Bhendi / Bhindi Masala
Little heavy on oil but totally worth it!
- Wash bhendi and let it dry completely.
- Make slits so that you can stuff the masala inside. Cut it into halves lengthwise so that it's easy to eat.
- In a small bowl, prepare the masala by mixing everything together except for salt.
- In a medium pan, take oil and make tadka by adding mustanrd seeds, cumin seeds, hing, curry leaves and turmeric powder in that order.
- Now stir in stuffed bhendi and let those cook properly.
- Sprinkle salt and mix it lightly. Make sure the masala doesn't come out.
- Keep it covered for 3-4 minutes.
- Once bhendi becomes soft and masala is cooked, it's ready to serve hot with rotis.
This dish demands a bit more oil than usual cooking but it's totally worth it. Also try to use a non stick pan in order to avoid sticking-at-the-bottom problem.
It is a good source of Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese. Read More http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2498/2#ixzz2CRq5FNaA
Pesarattu – a famous dish from Andhra Pradesh. Not only easy to make but also easy to digest. I love these because they are so light and great for breakfast. Savory and nutritious.
Pesarattu - Green Moong Dosa
An Andhra speciality
- Soak whole moong and raw rice in water for 6-7 hours
- Grind all ingredients together with soaked moong and rice to a coarse paste.
- Add water as needed to form dosa batter.
- On a hot tawa, pour a ladderful batter and make crispy dosa.
- If you like, add chopped onion and cilantro on top.
- Once the bottom side becomes golden brown, fold it in half and serve with ginger chutney.
Quick and Easy with flavors you don’t want to miss!
Urad daal and curry leaves are very prominent in South Indian preparation. The two ingredients add distinct aromas making any dish instantly tempting.
Potato Subji with South Indian Falovors
The south Indian flavor is infused by Urad daal and curry leaves.
A frying pan works better than a deep pan or kadhai due to larger surface area.
- Prepare tadka in a pan over medium flame.
- Add urad daal to tadka. Let the daal turn golden brown.
- Next goes red chilies and finely chopped ginger and turmeric powder.
- It’s time for curry leaves, let them fry for a minute.
- And then add chopped potatoes. Sprinkle some salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes with lid on.
- Remove the cover and let them cook further.
Garnish with fresh coconut and chopped cilantro.
The subji tastes better if potatoes become slightly crispy. Once potatoes become tender, remove the cover and let them cook further for a two – three minutes. This way potatoes don’t become soggy.
Luscious green curry sure to seduce your taste buds!
We had a small get-together at our place and my mom had made “Mattarchi Usal”. I still relish those moments, the taste is still alive in my memories. After a long time I tried to recreate it with slightly different ingredients. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t require any special ingredients. I am sure you will enjoy it as much I did.
Yet another traditional Maharashtrian recipe!
- Make a fine paste with coconut, cilantro, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Add some water if required.
- In a cooking pot, heat oil.
- Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and hing.
- Add turmeric powder if you like. Add curry leaves and red chillies cut into halves. Fry for another minute.
- Now add the green paste and let it cook until the paste starts leaving oil.
- Add salt as per taste.
- Add green peas and enough water to maintain the desired consistency for the curry.
- I like to add 1 or 2 star anise while the curry is boiling, but make sure you take them out once done.
- Let the peas cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and sugar.
Serve with hot bread slices or rotis.
Traditionally the green paste is made using heavy stone grinder and it’s called “Watan वाटण” in Marathi. Needless to mention, it tastes wonderful and also makes the dish very aromatic.
Sending this to ‘Flavors of Maharashtra‘ event hosted by SeduceYourTasteBuds and Simply.Food