Monday, October 26, 2015

Aaloo Daal Pakora

BM # 57
Week : 4 , Day: 3
Theme: Book Marked Recipes
Uttarkhand Cuisine

This is the last post for the month of October and I have one more recipe from Thali Spreads. For today it is Aaloo Daal Pakora which is served as a snack and is one of the favorite snacks of the locality of the Kumaon. It is served with chutney or tomato ketchup. 

The Aaloo Daal Pakora was very similar to the Delhi Aaloo tikki, the stuffing is similar, but this is a very mild snack, and If I were to make again I would use some more spice.  Adding some chilly would definitely make it much more delicious. Let the kids enjoy it as it is.

Aaloo Daal Pakora

4 boiled potatoes, mashed
1 cup mix dal ( Moong and udad)
1 tsp onion
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp garlic
1 tbsp green chilly, chopped
Coriander leaves
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp cornflour mixed with water to form a batter.
Bread crumbs to coat 
Oil to deep fry

Peel and mash potatoes add salt and half of lemon. 
Chop onions, ginger, chilies and coriander leaves. Mix it with dal. Add lemon juice 
Flatten the potatoes and stuff the dal mixture. 
Make a cylindrical role and dip in corn flour batter.
Coat it with breadcrumbs, deep fry in oil. 

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

BM # 57
Week : 4 , Day: 2
Theme: Book Marked Recipes
Rajasthani Cuisine

The Rajasthani Mirchi Vada has two versions, one where we use the big chilly and stuff it with potato , dip in gram flour batter and deep fry. The other version is where you make a mock chilly from potatoes and stuff a marinated green chilly inside, dip in batter and deep fry. For today I have made the second version.

Some people use a raw green chilly inside, but that becomes very hot, so I normally marinate the chilly with salt and lemon juice . This cuts down the spice and you have a nice tangy , spicy chilly to bite in. The potato coating over the chilly has to be done rather artistically, you have to have the stem out and coat the chilly, so after frying you have a nice big Mirchi Vada.

I made these for the Jodhpuri Thali for The BM Buffet.

Rajasthani Mirchi Vada

1 cup besan (chick-pea flour)
1 tsp salt
Water (to make the batter)
Oil for deep-frying

Marinated chilly
6 regular green chilly
Lemon juice
Wash and wipe the chillies and slit them.
Discard the seeds.
Fill in salt and drizzle lemon juice .
Leave it for 15 - 20 minutes.

The Potato Masala
500 gm potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp amchoor (dried mango powder)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2 tsp saunf (fennel seeds), crushed
Salt to taste

Heat oil.
Add a pinch of asafoetida.
Mix together the potatoes, salt, chilli powder, amchoor, turmeric powder, fennel ,green chillies

Assembling the Mirchi Wada
Take the lemon drizzled chilly.
Coat it lavishly with potato mixture, making sure the stalk of the chilly is out.
This will appear like a big fat chilly.
Dip in gram batter and deep fry till golden.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Vazhakkai Bajji

BM # 57
Week : 4 , Day: 3
Theme: Book Marked Recipes
Tamil Spread

We are a great fan of pakoras, but since they are deep fried we hardly make them. The air fryer surely is a boon, because one can make these in them. The pakoras that we make are normally with chick pea flour, but the South Indian version also has some. rice flour , and are called Bhajji. I had never made or tasted a banana bhajji , I wondered how the family would react to these ,as these were totally new .

Anyway since these were a part of the Tamil Spread I was not really worried, as everyone had many dishes to eat. All the same everyone ate these and quite liked them, they were a nice change from the normal pakoras that I make. These were nice and crisp, I guess the rice flour does the trick.

Vazhakkai Bajji

2 raw green plantains, peeled and sliced
1/ 2 cup gram flour
1 tsp rice flour
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Combine all ingredients for batter in a bowl.
Gradually add water and make a smooth, thick batter of pouring consistency.
Heat oil to a smoking point.
Lower the heat to moderate .
Dip the banana slices in the batter and slide them into the oil.
Fry the Bajjis till golden, adjusting the flame .

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Meetha Bhaat from Uttarkhand

BM # 57
Week :3 , Day: 3
Theme: Indian Sweets
Uttarkhand Cuisine

While cooking the Thali from Uttarkhand I wanted to make a traditional sweet for the Thali. Since the inspiration to the thali was Chef Virender, I took his suggestion which was Meetha Bhaat. Meetha Bhaat is very traditional and is always a part of Uttarkhand spread.

The rice used for the Meetha Bhaat is the local rice available in the hills. These look like brown rice and have a dusky complexion. The grains are broken but the Meetha Bhaat tasted amazing. I used mollasses to sweeten the rice.

Meetha Bhaat
Recipe Source: Chef Virender

3/4 cup rice
60 gms or to taste jaggery
1  tbsp ghee / oil
2 cardamoms, crushed
Pistachio for garnish

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
Drain the water after 15 minutes.
Heat ghee in a pan.
Add the rice and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add cardamom and double the water of rice.
Cook on full flame till 90 percent of the water is absorbed.
Add grated jaggery , mix gently and simmer the gas.
Let cook on slow fire till the rice is done.
This should take another 5-7 minutes.

Always grate the jaggery or used powdered jaggery for even cooking.

If the rice is not done after all the moisture from jaggery has dried up, you could add some water .

While the rice is being simmered, cover the pan and put something heavy on the lid, this will help the rice to cook on dum.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rawa Kesari / Semolina Cake with Saffron

BM # 57
Week :3 , Day: 2
Theme: Indian Sweets
Tamil Spread

Rawa kesari is the sweet which I decided to make for my Tamil Spread.
Rawa is semolina , and kesari refers to the orange colour of this sweet. Kesari also refers to the saffron used in this delicious sweet.

The same kesari is made in North India and is called Sooji ka Halwa. In fact we have a Sooji ka Halwa in Gujarat also. Well may be after this marathon I will make sooji halwas from different regions, it is very interesting to read about the different versions of this sweet.

The Kesari turned out very nice, but I cut down the ghee, the taste was good but I was not happy with its appearance. Also I made a blunder by adding the powdered cardamon which had a few peels. But all in all the Kesari was a hit.( probably because everyone prefers less ghee.)

Coming to the recipe
Rawa Kesari
Serves 4-6

1/2 cup semolina
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp ghee
11/4 cups water
2-3 strands saffron
1 tbsp milk
nuts and raisins

Soak the saffron in luke warm milk. Keep aside.
After 5-7 minutes crush the saffron and you will see the milk turning to a beautiful orange.
Heat 1 tbsp ghee and roast the nuts and raisins.
Remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Using the same pan roast semolina till pink , it should lend a nice aroma.
Keep this aside too.
Heat water in a pan.
Slowly start adding semolina in the boiling water, stirring constantly, so no lumps are formed.
Add a little orange food color and the dissolved saffron .
Add the sugar and rest of the ghee and Cardamon powder.
Add nuts reserving some for garnish.
While adding all these make sure you keep stirring the semolina every now and then.
Cook till ghee comes out and you see a vibrant glossy Halwa.
Transfer to a bowl and garnish.

Ghee is very important in a Kesari and you could increase the quantity of it.
You could minus the Cardamon and saffron and use pineapple instead to make Pineapple Halwa.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Caramel Rice Payasam

BM # 57
Week :3 , Day: 1
Theme: Indian Sweets

You all know my love for Kheers,and a Payasam is a different name to a kheer. While discussing dishes from Tamil Spread ,Valli told me about this caramel payasam, I wondered if it was authentic! Valli quickly cleared me on that and I decided to make this delicious payasam for my Tamil Spread. I served it chilled and wished the caramel was more prominent , but all the same everyone simply loved it.

Caramel Rice Payasam
Serves 2-4
Recipe Source ; Spice Your Life

1/4 cup rice
1/2 lt milk
1/4 + 2 tsp sugar

Wash and soak the rice for 10 mins.
Add 2 tsp sugar to a pressure cooker and place it on slow fire.
Keep stirring till the sugar has completely melted and comes to a pale brown color.
Switch off the gas and remove the cooker from the gas.
After 2-3 minutes add 2 cups milk to the cooker and place it back on the fire.
Keep stirring and now the flame can be on full.
Let the milk boil and mix with the caramel.
The milk will turn to a pale brown.
Add rice and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Let the pressure release.
Open the cooker and add sugar.
Mix well.
Add the rest of the milk , let simmer for a while. Till you get the perfect consistency of the Kheer.
Remove and add nuts. Chill and serve.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Roat , a sweet flat bread from Uttarkhand

BM # 57
Week :2 , Day: 3
Theme: Flat Breads and Pancakes
Uttarkhand Cuisine

Roat is a sweet flat bread from uttarkhand .
During weddings and other family or religious functions certain traditional Garhwali dishes are prepared, the most important among them are Roat and Arsa. Roat is made of wheat flour and is quite rich.

The traditional Roat is thick and round and quite big, but I made bite sized triangles, so each family member could eat one .
While making these Roats I realized its similarity with Sindhi Mitho Lolo. They are prepared on similar lines.

Recipe Source : Uttaranchal Recipes

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cold milk
150 gms clarified butter / ghee
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp aniseed, lightly pounded
11/2 cups jaggery
1 cup water

Heat the water and dissolve the jaggery in it. 
Sieve the jaggery solution through a muslin cloth. Set aside, and allow the solution to cool.
Mix thoroughly the wheat flour with the milk along with two-tbsp. ghee. 
Add Ani seeds and Cardamom powder and mix well. 
Add the jaggery solution to the prepared wheat flour, gradually kneading it.
Continue adding the jaggery solution and kneading the flour till it turns into a stiff dough.
Make thick roats like roties out of the dough , I made small triangles  out of it.
Place an iron griddle on a slow flame. 
Cook the roat on the griddle.
Turn the roat upside down and add ghee lavishly .
Cook each roat till it becomes brown. Remove the roat from the griddle 
Serve it when cool.

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