Sunday, August 29, 2010

Missi Roti (Chickpea Flatbread)

I was reading this cook book "Curry Cuisine" and one of the recipes caught my eye for it was a bright yellow flat bread with dots of red onion, cilantro and spring onions, the Rajasthani Missi Roti. It looked appetizing so i bookmarked it for the Sunday brunch.
As legend has it, chickpea increases water retention in the body and is therefore a popular snack amongst desert travelers. I followed the recipe to the dot but I was out of cilantro and spring onions. Also I never had ajwain in my pantry. So I skipped the ingredients that I ran out of and used cumin instead of ajwain, mint instead of cilantro. Also next time I am planning on using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour for a healthier version.

1 and 1/4 cup of Besan
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp ginger paste
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbs finely chopped mint
1 tbs finely chopped onion
1 tbs finely chopped green onions(optional)
100 ml water
salt as per taste
1 tbsp melted ghee


Mix all the dry ingredients together, then slowly add water and knead to make a stiff dough. Leave the dough covered with a damp paper towel for 20 mins.
Make round balls of the dough and roll them into rotis. Cook the rotis on a pan on medium to low heat until they are golden brown on both sides.
Brush rotis with ghee and serve.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Dhokla is chick pea flour, seasoned and steamed to spongy and moist goodness. Its sweet, sour and spicy.
It had been there in the back of mind for a long long time now, I was more interested in making Dhoklas than eating it. Has it ever happened to you, where you enjoy making something more than you would enjoy eating it? Anyway, so after pestering my colleague/friend for the recipe, google came to my rescue. I found a bunch of recipes online which I adapted to match the ingredients I had in hand. Most of the recipes I read called for "Fruit Eno", I hadnt heard of it before but I found that its primarily soda+citric acid, luckily I happened to have both. The Dhoklas turned perfecto!

Dhokla Ingredients:
1 cup Besan
1 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup water
3 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp citric acid granules or alternately 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar
Salt as per taste

2 tbsp lemon juice + 2 tsp sugar + 1 sprig chopped cilantro(optional)mixed together

Mix all the Dhokla ingredients together except soda which you add in the end. Make sure there are no besan lumps left and the batter is smooth. Now add soda and stir gently. Leave the batter for 15-20 mins.
Pressure cook the batter on high heat for 30-40 mins(w/o the whistle). Switch off the gas and remove it out of the pressure cooker. Let it stand to cool. Once its cooled down completely cut it into cubes or whatever shapes fancy you. Pour the garnish on top.

Heat oil and add add mustard seeds, when they start to sputter turn off heat and pour it on top of the garnished Dhoklas.

Serve as is or with any other chutney. I served it with my favorite Mint chutney.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mint chutney

I grow my own mint and have an abundant supply of fresh mint year long. Having a perennial supply of chutney would be a wonderful thing but alas they dont have a long shelf life. So when I make a big batch of chutney I keep a little in the refrigerator and the rest in the freezer.
Mint chutney is the accompaniment to a lot of Indian snacks, like bhajiyas, wadas plus its super simple to make.

1 cup Fresh Cilantro washed and stems removed
1 cup Fresh Mint washed and stems removed
3 tbsp grated coconut(fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp Fried channa daal
5-6 Green chilies or as per taste(I ran out of green chillies so substituted it with 4tsp of red chili powder, it turned out equally good.)
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt as per taste

Grind all the ingredients together. The greens already have water in them so be careful how much water you add. I usually keep a glass of water handy and keep adding it in the mixer when the ingredients become too dry to grind(you will know because the mixer will start making a loud noise when stuff in it gets too dry to grind.)
Do a taste check. This is how I usually do it.
- If there is less of anything like salt or spiciness, you are lucky its a easy fix, just add a little of whats missing do a quick pulse in the mixer.
- If its over spicy, add some lemon juice. Sourness kills spice, a useful tip from my mom.
- If its salty then there is more work needed to fix it, you will have to add more of all the ingredients except salt and re-grind. I hate to get in this situation and usually add less salt because its easy to add more later if needed.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Batata Wada

Potatoes cooked, diced, spiced,rolled into balls, dropped into chickpeas batter and then deep fried into golden brown goodness, we call Wadas. Fresh Mint chutney recipe here, sounds like a natural accompaniment to warm wadas. In Bombay, wadas are a popular snack in street side stalls. People old and young enjoy this delicacy all the same. Its easy to make and is a great mid-afternoon snack with tea or coffee.

Ingredients for Wada:

3 Potatoes boiled, skinned and cubed into bite size pieces.
2 tsp oil + more oil for frying
1 tsp Cumin seeds
3-4 green chilies chopped or as per taste.
Juice of 1 small lemon(1 tbsp)

2 cups besan(chickpeas flour)
2 tbs corn flour
2 tbs chili powder or as per taste
Juice from 1 lemon
salt as per taste

Making Wada:
1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan
2. When the oil is hot add cumin followed by green chilies
3. Add potatoes, salt and lemon juice
4. Stir well, cover and turn off the heat.
5. Once the mixture cools, make ping pong sized round balls.
6. Mix all the ingredients under batter section. Make sure there are no lumps.
7.Heat oil for frying in a deep pan.
8. Drop the potato balls in the batter and then into the frying pan.
9. Let the wadas turn golden brown before taking them out.

Serve the golden brown wadas with Mint chutney. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ragi Dosa (Millet Flatbread)

Millet or Ragi can be compared to wheat for its protein content. Also its high in VitaminB and Folic acid. There are several millet dishes some that I have tried out are, Ragi mudde(millet flour cooked in water and then rolled into round balls) which is a common meal served with a whole Onion in south India, Bhakris(flat bread) in Maharashtra, Kasaya(millet flour cooked in milk and sugar added at the end). And finally Ragi Dosa which was an occasional tea time snack my mom prepared.

1. 2 cups Ragi flour
2. 1 cup rice flour
3. 5 cups water
4. 2 tbsp curds
5. 1/4 cup onion finally chopped
6. 5 green chillies chopped
6. 1 tsp cumin
7. 1 sprig each of cilantro and mint chopped(optional)
Salt as per taste

1. Whisk all the ingredients together
2. Heat a greased griddle on medium heat and pour in a ladle of batter, spread it by slightly tilting the pan so that the batter has spread all over the surface of the griddle.
3. Let it cook for about 2-3 mins and flip over when its golden brown on one side.
4. Let it turn golden brown on the other side before pulling it off.
Serve with chutney or ghee.