Category Archives: Gujarati

Simple Tendli (Ivy Gourd), The Kooky Mum’s Way

Simple Tendli/Tindora/Ivy Gourd, The Kooky Mum's Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tendli, The Kooky Mum's Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You know how there are some foods which you’ve had over the years and which have seen you from childhood into tantrum-filled teenagehood into a (hopefully!) mature adulthood and while you have changed their taste remains unchanged? This is one such recipe.

Tendli, also known as tindora, ivy gourd, baby watermelon, little gourd and gentleman’s toe (!) was a firm favourite in our family. The amazing thing was that each time my mum cooked it, it tasted exactly the same (as is the case even now).

I tried replicating her recipe from my imagination and the end result was a twin – taste: copy; texture: copy; aroma: copy. How bizarre is that?!

Interestingly, cooking with tendli is not confined to the Indian subcontinent.

According to Wikipedia, its consumption “extends from Africa to Asia, including India, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, eastern Papua New Guinea, and the Northern Territories, Australia. Its documented introduced range includes the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.” I find this very fascinating and would love to experiment with this vegetable in some non-Indian dish.

a really simple, straightforward, fuss-free recipe which can be made with basic store cupboard ingredients

It goes very well with rotis. I had some salad on the side as you can see from the photo. A delicious, nostalgic dinner.

Ingredients

250 Grams tendli

2 Medium size potato

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons chilli powder

1 Tablespoon coriander powder

1 Tablespoon cumin powder

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Wash the tendli and either dry it on a kitchen towel or leave it in a colander to get rid of the excess water.
  2. Once the tendli is dry, halve it along its length and slice it finely.
  3. Wash and slice the potato in the same way (halve along its length and slice finely) or in medium size cubes.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. Once it is hot, reduce the heat to minimum and add the asafoetida and turmeric.
  6. Next, add the sliced tendli and salt to taste.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover, add the potato, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  9. Once again, mix thoroughly, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. By the end of this cooking time, both the vegetables should have cooked. If no, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  11. Serve with roti. also goes very well with dal and rice.

Suran (Elephant Foot Yam) Stir-fry

Suran (Elephant Foot Yam) Stir-fry

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Suran Stir-fry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, the good news – suran (also known as elephant foot yam) is a dieter’s dream. Surprised? I certainly was!

During my most intense weight loss phase, I foolishly avoided this root vegetable thinking that it was high in calories and carbohydrates.

There came a day when I was craving suran so badly that I decided to look up its nutritional value. Lo and behold, I discovered the vegetable’s numerous health benefits.

Suran has plenty of minerals, omega 3, good for those watching their blood sugar level and is very high in fiber.

According to this website, “the fiber content in elephant yam is naturally high and therefore, it is usually considered a slimming food, as it promotes weight loss and reduces the levels of cholesterol in the body. If elephant yam is cooked in the right way, it can be eaten without any fear of weight gain.”

100 grams of the vegetable has 79 calories (same as white potato), but – in my humble opinion – is far healthier

Here’s a very quick and simple method of cooking suran which requires minimum ingredients. It is my mum’s recipe and, till recently, the only way I knew how to eat suran.

With benefit of new knowledge, looking forward to some kooky experiments with this hardy tuber.

easy, comforting and quite filling

Since I love it so much, I eat a bowl of this on its own for dinner. You can also serve it with any type of bread.

Ingredients

500 Grams suran

1-2 Teaspoons minced ginger-green chilli paste

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

A generous pinch asafoetida

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Peel and cube suran in even, bite size pieces. It is important to make sure that you try and cut them all the same size so that they cook evenly.
  2. Wash the suran cubes in plenty of water till the water runs clean.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok like pan.
  4. When the oil is hot, lower the heat and add the asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  5. Stir for 30 secs.
  6. Tip in the suran cubes, ginger-chilli paste and salt to taste.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for about 20 minutes till suran is tender.
  8. Enjoy hot.

Note:

  1. Some varieties of suran can cause irritation to the throat therefore it is important to make sure that you cook the vegetable fully.
  2. If you have sensitive skin, you may like to rub some oil on your hands before you start peeling the suran. The oil acts as a protective barrier and won’t cause irritation.

Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Idada/White Dhokla of Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea

Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: depends on cooking method, please see below
  • Difficulty: easy
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Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have talked about the well known Gujarati dish idada in  one of my previous posts when I had made them with cabbage.

Idada are very healthy because they are made from fermented batter and steamed. Fermented foods have many health benefits and are often overlooked in most people’s diets.

in today’s kooky version, I have added a couple of vegetables to up the nutritional quota

My previous idada experiment was so successful that I decided to replicate it with kohlrabi and fresh green chickpeas, both of which are currently in season.

Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpeas for IdadaWhen I had last cooked with kohlrabi (green pea and kohlrabi cake), I had decided to buy the vegetable whenever I saw it.

As for the fresh green chickpeas, they are very nice to look at and cook with but a pain to shell.

So imagine my delight when I chanced upon a greengrocer selling both (the fact that he was selling shelled chickpeas was a bonus!).

As you can see from the above photo, the kohlrabi leaves were very fresh and so I decided to include them as well.

At first, I thought I would coarsely grind the chickpeas in a food processor before adding them to the batter but then I decided to throw them in whole.

If you would like to make these, you can either use ready idli batter (in the UK, ready batter is available in many Indian grocers) or you can soak the rice and lentils, grind them and ferment them. As it is still a bit cold where we are, I used my ‘fermenting in cold climate‘ method to  get the batter to rise. It took nearly 48 hours for this process to happen.

if you use instant idli batter, these can be made in a jiffy

If you can’t get hold of fresh green chickpeas, you can use green peas instead.

The following method is using ready idli batter. If you would like to soak, grind and ferment, please go here for instructions and quantity.

Ingredients

1 Cup idli batter

1 Kohlrabi

1/2 Cup fresh green chickpeas (or green peas)

2-3 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, size of your thumb

Salt to taste

1-2 Teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon oil

Method

  1. First prep the kohlrabi. Discard any tough stems and keep the fresh leaves.
  2. Peel the kohlrabi with a regular knife, The skin will come off very easily.
  3. Wash and finely grate the kohlrabi.
  4. Wash and finely chop its leaves.
  5. Wash the fresh chickpeas or green peas.
  6. Wash and mince the chilli.
  7. Peel, wash and mince the ginger.
  8. To the idli batter, add the grated kohlrabi, chopped leaves, chickpeas/green peas, chilli, ginger and salt to taste.
  9. Grease a cake like tin with half tablespoon oil and pour the batter in it.
  10. Evenly sprinkle coarsely ground peppercorns across the surface of the batter.
  11. Steam for about 45 minutes.
  12. Once cooked, remove from the steamer and drizzle the remaining oil (and a bit more if you like).
  13. Let the idada sit for about 3 to 4 minutes before cutting in square or diamond shape and serving.

Note:

  1. To check for doneness, insert a knife or a toothpick, it if comes out clean you know that they are cooked.

Batter for Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea IdadaThis is how my batter looked waiting to be steamed.

delicious with some green or red chutney

Panchkutiyu Shaak II/Seven Vegetables Cooked in Coriander, Coconut & Green Garlic

Panchkutiyu Shaak II/Seven Vegetables Cooked in Coriander, Coconut & Green Garlic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statistics tell me that Panchkutiyu Shaak is one of the most viewed posts on Kooky Cookyng. While this is good to know, am not sure what the reason could be.

So here I am sharing with you another version of this famous Gujarati vegetable dish which is a bit different from the previous one I have posted.

a very healthy and delicious recipe which can become a dinner party scene stealer

For starters, panchkutiyu means five [vegetables] whereas this particular recipe uses seven different vegetables. Also unlike the other recipe, in this one green garlic is optional and I have added muthiya (although you can do away with them if you like).

can qualify as an easier, non-seasonal, version of undhiyu

This particular recipe can be cooked any time of the year using seasonal flat beans (papdi).

The following should be good enough for 4 people. Goes very well with rotis. Any leftover tastes even better.

Ingredients

250 Grams flat beans (papdi) of your choice

500 Grams purple yam

125 Grams potato

125 Grams sweet potato

125 Grams aubergine (any variety will do)

1 Bottlegourd

2 Cups shelled green peas

2 Cups freshly grated coconut

2 Cups fresh coriander

250 Grams green garlic (optional)

6 Muthiyas of your choice, steamed and sliced (optional)

2 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon carom seeds (ajwain)

1 Tablespoon asafoetida

2 Tablespoons cumin powder

2 Tablespoons coriander powder

1 Tablespoon turmeric powder

2 Tablespoons minced chillies

2 Tablespoons minced ginger

1 Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First prepare the masala mixture. Chop and wash the coriander.
  2. Clean, chop and wash the green garlic (if using).
  3. Take a large mixing bowl in which you need to add the grated coconut, coriander leaves, garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, minced chillies, minced ginger and salt to taste.
  4. Mix this with a spoon or hands, whichever is easier. Set aside.
  5. Next, work on the vegetables. Top and tail the flat beans and split them open. If very long, you can snap them in two else leave them whole.
  6. Peel, cut and wash purple yam.
  7. Cut and wash potato.
  8. Cut and wash sweet potato.
  9. Peel, wash and cut bottle gourd.
  10. Wash and cut the aubergine.
  11. Mix the bicarbonate of soda and half of the coriander-coconut mix to the flat beans and set aside.
  12. Combine the remaining vegetables (purple yam, potato, sweet potato, green peas, bottle gourd and aubergine) and add the remaining coriander-coconut mix. Toss the vegetables around so that they are evenly coated with the masala.
  13. Take a large cooking pot which has a tight fitting lid.
  14. Place it on high heat and pour oil.
  15. Once the oil is hot, add the carom seeds. As soon as they start spluttering, add the asafoetida.
  16. Add the papdi and stir well.
  17. Next, add the remaining six vegetables and mix them with the papdi.
  18. Place the sliced muthiya on top of the vegetables.
  19. Pour two cups of water and cover the mouth of the pot with a foil so that steam doesn’t escape easily.
  20. Now cover with the tight fitting lid, lower heat and let the vegetables cook on very low heat for 2 hours. Do not open in between. The vegetables shouldn’t stick to the bottom as we have sealed the mouth of the pot plus added 2 cups of water plus the vegetables like bottle gourd and aubergine will release their own moisture.
  21. Once the vegetables start cooking, you will get the aroma.
  22. After 2 hours, take the cooking pot off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  23. Remove the lid and open the foil. Mix the muthiya with the vegetables and check for doneness.
  24. Serve hot.

Note:

  1. Cut the vegetables into large chunks so that they do not break or dissolve while cooking.
  2. If the vegetables are not fully cooked after two hours, put the foil and the lid back and cook for additional 15 to 20 minutes. If you feel the need to add more water at this stage, make sure that you add boiling water (not room temperature).

 

Undhiyu, The Surti Way

Undhiyu, The Surti Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undhiyu is a specialty of Gujarat cooked during the winter months. It is specially enjoyed during Makar Sankranti (also known as Uttarayana) which indicates the arrival of spring in India. This falls between 13th – 15th January each year.

In the state of Gujarat, 14th January is kite flying day and a meal of undhiyu, puri and matho is de rigueur ( a bit like turkey and Thanksgiving or haggis and Burns Supper).

For a vegetable-centric dish, undhiyu is pretty elaborate and requires you to start preparing either several days ahead or atleast one day before you plan to cook.

The basic components are purple yam, green garlic, sweet potato, baby aubergine, surti papadi, banana, potato, fresh coriander, fresh coconut and methi (fenugreek) muthia.

There are several interpretations of this famous Gujarati dish and each family is likely to have their own version handed down over generations.

My father is from Surat, a state well known as much for its food as for its textile and diamond trade. The following is our family recipe which I got from my mother (who, in turn, got it from my paternal grandmother who, no doubt, would have learnt it from her mother-in-law, who… you get the picture!).

In our version of undhiyu, we don’t use dry garlic (it has to be green garlic or no undhiyu!); we don’t fry the muthia; we only use the vegetables mentioned in this post; we don’t add sugar; we don’t include any souring agent like tomato or lemon juice.; we don’t use peanut or sesame seeds

The only difference between my mother’s and my grandmother’s recipe is the use of turmeric. My grandmother’s version excludes this spice whereas my mother started adding it, given turmeric’s many health benefits.

I got talking to my friend Meher last week who was regaling me with her undhiyu experience (she had bought it ready prepared) after which I happened to be speaking to one of my aunts in Surat who told me that she had made the season’s first round of undhiyu.

On an impulse, I placed an order for the otherwise elusive surti papadi and purple yam with the guy who supplies me my vegetables. Next day, I got onto Skype with my mum to get this recipe.

Some things are best done on a whim; had I known beforehand how much time and effort is required to make undhiyu, I would probably not have done so. This one is not for the fainthearted. Only make it if you are ready to put in the effort or if you have family members or friends helping you in the kitchen. But the end result is definitely worth it, specially since you get to eat home-made undhiyu only once or twice in a year.

The other good thing is that this is one of those recipes virtually impossible to make as a single portion or in small quantity. Also, it tastes just as good the day(s) after it is cooked. So any extras can be refrigerated and enjoyed more than once.

The following should be sufficient for 6 people.

Methi MuthiaIngredients for methi muthia

2 Cups muthia flour (if you can’t get ready muthia flour, you can use a combination of wheat flour, semolina and chickpea flour in equal portion)

2 Cups chopped and washed methi leaves

1 Tablespoon minced ginger and green chillies

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon coriander powder

1 Teaspoon cumin powder

Salt to taste

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients till they are properly amalgamated.
  2. While you are bringing it all together, see if you can make small oval shaped rolls out of this. If not, add a couple of tablespoons of water to moisten the mixture.
  3. Make oval shaped balls the size of one-third of your fist. You should get 18 to 20 muthia.
  4. Set aside.

Note:

  1. You can do this a couple of days beforehand if it is easier. Refrigerate the muthia till ready to use them.

Ingredients for Surti UndhiyuIngredients for undhiyu

500 Grams surti papadi

500 Grams purple yam

250 Grams sweet potato

250 Grams baby aubergine

250 Grams potato

4 Raw green bananas

500 Grams green garlic

500 Grams fresh coriander

Flesh of 2 whole coconuts

2 Tablespoons coriander powder

2 Tablespoons cumin powder

2 Teaspoons turmeric powder

2 Tablespoons minced ginger and green chillies

4 Tablespoons oil

1 Tablespoon asafoetida

Bicarbonate of soda

18-20 Methi muthia (as given above)

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First, we prepare the coriander-coconut masala mix for undhiyu. For this, clean, chop and wash the coriander. Retain the stalk if tender.
  2. Clean, chop and wash the green garlic. Use the green stem as well. Set aside about 4 tablespoons of the chopped green garlic.
  3. Finely grind the coconut flesh.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the fresh coriander, green garlic (not the 4 tablespoons you have set aside), coconut, minced ginger and green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste and a large pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  5. Mix everything together and set aside.
  6. Next, we prep the vegetables.
  7. De-string the surti papadi and open the pods. Wash and keep aside.
  8. Peel and cut the purple yam into big pieces.
  9. Wash and cut into half the potato.
  10. Wash and cut into big chunks the sweet potato.
  11. Wash and slit the baby aubergine, retaining the stem.
  12. Wash and slit the green banana.
  13. Divide the coriander-coconut mixture into two.
  14. Mix one part of the coriander coconut mixture and a pinch of bicarbonate of soda with the surti papadi.
  15. Now, take the second part of the coriander-coconut mix and divide it into two once again. Use one part to stuff the baby aubergine and green banana. Do this carefully, you don’t want to break the vegetables.
  16. Once you have stuffed the banana, cut them into half or three pieces, depending on their size.
  17. Mix the remaining coriander-coconut masala with the purple yam, sweet potato and potato.
  18. So now, you have three lots of vegetables. (1) Surti papdi mixed with the coriander-coconut mixture, (2) Stuffed baby aubergine and banana, and, (3) Chopped purple yam, sweet potato and potato combined with the coriander-coconut mixture.
  19. Next, take a large cooking pot and put it on high heat. Add the oil and once this is heated, add the asafoetida and a large pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
  20. Add the surti papdi along with all the masala clinging to it. Add 2 cups of water. Mix gently, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  21. Uncover the pot and add the methi muthia in one layer.
  22. On top of the muthia, make a layer of the stuffed aubergines, purple yam, potato and sweet potato.
  23. Lastly, make a layer of the stuffed banana.
  24. If you have any coriander-coconut mixture remaining, you can sprinkle it on top of the banana.
  25. Seal the mouth of the cooking pot with double layered kitchen foil. Make sure that the foil covers the edges, you don’t want any steam to escape.
  26. Cover with the lid of the cooking pot, lower the heat and let the vegetables cook for 1.5 hours.
  27. At the end of the cooking time, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for 15 minutes before opening.
  28. Garnish with the green garlic you have set aside and serve.

Note:

  1. Quantity of green garlic may seem a lot but by the time you remove the hair, its weight reduces.
  2. When you are dishing out the undhiyu, make sure that each serving includes one banana, one aubergine, one sweet potato, one potato, some papdi, one purple yam and one muthia.
  3. You can clean the papdi a couple of days beforehand. Keep it in the refrigerator.
  4. Clean the coriander and garlic on the day you are cooking. These have to be absolutely fresh.
  5. Coriander-coconut mixture forms the masala base for the vegetables. Err on the side of caution and make more of this. If you have mixture leftover after stuffing and mixing, you can add it to the papdi or sprinkle on top of the banana before sealing. If you run short, the undhiyu won’t taste as good.
  6. Undhiyu goes well with puris but if you are counting calories, enjoy it with roti or chapati.

Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surti Papadi with Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

Surti Papadi with Coriander Coconut Masala Mix for Undhiyu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Baby Aubergine and Raw Banana for Surti Undhiyu

Stuffed Baby Aubergine and Raw Banana for Surti Undhiyu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layering the Surti Undhiyu

Layering the Surti Undhiyu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the hard work is done, wait patiently!

Surti Undhiyu Cooking Away

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Undhiyu, The Surti Way

Undhiyu, The Surti Way

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panchkutiyu Shaak/Five Vegetables Cooked in Coriander, Coconut & Green Garlic

Panchkutiyu Shaak/Five Vegetables Cooked in Coriander and Coconut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

traditional Gujarati delicacy of five types of vegetables cooked in a mixture of fresh coriander, coconut and fresh green garlic

My dad is very fond of purple yam (also known as kand, rataloo, violet yam), a vegetable currently in season.

After a two month stay in Hong Kong, he was stopping over before resuming his onward journey. I thought that he may like some home-cooked dinner after such an extended stay away from home so I asked him what I should cook. His first response was my signature spaghetti. But when he came to know that I had some purple yam in my larder, he changed his response to “anything with purple yam”!

So, I decided to make this panchkutiyu shaak using the yam and other seasonal vegetables.

my signature spaghetti patiently awaits its turn

For this recipe, green garlic is a must. It simply won’t taste the same with ordinary garlic. The quantity given may seem a lot but green garlic has a very delicate taste and  is not as pungent as its dry counterpart.

The following serves 4 people. Don’t worry if there is left-over; it tastes just as good for the next couple of days as long as you keep it refrigerated.

This is a complete meal and doesn’t really need any accompaniment.

Ingredients

400 Grams Purple Yam

8 – 10 Baby aubergine

250 Grams field beans (papdi)

2 Green bananas (raw)

250 Grams fresh green tuvar dal, also known as lilva dana or shelled peas

2 Packed cups freshly grated coconut

3 Packed cups fresh coriander (including stalk, if tender)

250 Grams green garlic

2 Tablespoons Coriander powder

2 Tablespoons Cumin powder

1 Tablespoon minced green chillies and ginger

1/4 Cup oil

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

Salt to taste

Method

  1. First prep the vegetables.
  2. Peel and chop into largish cubes the purple yam. Keep it in water.
  3. Peel, wash and chop the green bananas.
  4. Top, tail, de-string and snap into two the field beans.
  5. Cut each aubergine into four and leave in some water.
  6. Wash and chop the coriander leaves.
  7. Top and peel the garlic, chop and wash. Take the green parts along with the white.
  8. In a bowl, mix the grated coconut, fresh coriander, green garlic, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli-ginger paste and salt.
  9. Remove the yam and aubergine from water and place in a wide bottom pan. Throw in the field beans, fresh tuvar dal or peas and green banana.
  10. To the vegetables, add the coconut-coriander-spices. Combine well ensuring that all the vegetables are coated with this mix.
  11. Now, take a large pot and add oil.
  12. Once the oil heats up, add the asafoetida.
  13. Stir for a few seconds and add the vegetables along with any coconut-coriander masala clinging to the the pan.
  14. Add about half a cup of water. Stir, cover, lower the heat and let the vegetables cook for about an hour.
  15. Serve hot.

goes very well with rotis or phulkas with a smidgen of ghee on them

Vegetables that I used for Panchkutiyu Shaak

Vegetables used for Panchkutiyu Shaak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Coriander, Coconut and Green Garlic Base for Panchkutiyu Shaak

Fresh Coriander, Coconut and Green Garlic Base for Panchkutiyu Shaak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooked Panchkutiyu Shaak

Cooked Panchkutiyu Shaak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ragi Grain Dhokla with Taproot Vegetables/Savoury Steamed Finger Millet Cake with Taproot Vegetables

Ragi Dhokla with Taproot Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several types of root vegetables. According to wikipedia, “Botany distinguishes true roots such as tuberous roots and taproots from non-roots such as tubers, rhizomes, corms, and bulbs, though some contain both taproot and hypocotyl tissue, making it difficult to tell some types apart.”

Vegetables used in Ragi DhoklaTaproot vegetables include parsnip, daikon (horseradish), celeriac, carrot, beet and turnip. Today’s story involves the last three which are currently in season.

I wanted to experiment with ragi dhokla. The internet research that I did showed me recipes for instant dhokla made of ragi flour. I decided to go down the conventional route of soaking, grinding and fermenting.

Am happy to say that the experiment worked. Unlike conventional dhoklas which are light, fluffy and porous, these are slightly dense and have more moisture.

addition of seasonal vegetables makes this a balanced meal

Ingredients

1/2 Cup split chickpeas (chana dal)

1/2 Cup whole ragi

2 Tablespoons brown rice

2 Tablespoons ragi flour*

1 Carrot

2 – 3 Radish (depends on the size)

2 Turnips

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon minced green chillies and ginger

Salt to taste

Oil for greasing and drizzling

Method

  1. We first need to work on the batter.
  2. Wash the split chickpeas, ragi grains and rice.
  3. Soak these in water for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Once the soaking time is up, grind the cereal and rice to a smooth paste. The consistency should be neither too runny nor too stiff.
  5. Now cover and leave the batter in a cool, dark place to ferment. Fermentation time will depend on the climate. If it is very hot, this can happen in a matter of 4 to 5 hours. If it is colder (as it is right now), allow 36 hours (this is what I did).
  6. When you are ready to cook the dhokla, prepare the vegetables. Wash and finely grate the carrot, turnip and radish.
  7. Take the fermented batter, add salt, turmeric and green chilly-ginger paste.
  8. Stir well and add the grated vegetables. Once again, mix well.
  9. Grease a cake tin (or equivalent) and pour the batter in it.
  10. Place this in a steamer with a tight lid and steam the dhokla for 1 hour. Check after an hour; if not cooked, steam for half hour more.
  11. Once cooked, take out of the steamer, drizzle some oil and let the dhokla rest for a few minutes before cutting in diamond shape.
  12. Serve with some green chutney.

Note:

  1. I found my batter to be a bit too runny so I added some ragi flour. It is optional and only needed to thicken the batter before fermenting.
  2. Adjust the quantity of vegetables depending on size.
  3. You can use any other vegetable such as horseradish, pumpkin, gourd or even beetroot.
  4. Ragi dhokla take longer to cook compared to traditional dhokla.

This is how the batter looks once it is fermented. It rises and turns porus.

Fermented Batter for Ragi Dhokla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ragi grains are tiny and so you may not be able to grind them all (red specks you can see from the photo below). This is perfectly okay and nothing to worry about.

Ragi Dhokla in Steamer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrot & Green Pea Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cake with Carrot & Green Pea

Carrot Green Pea Dhokla Batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the indulgent chicken dinner on Monday, I need to make up for the excess.

say hello to steamed dhokla

Traditionally, dhokla are not cooked with any vegetables. I wanted to make a healthier version of this anyway healthy Gujarati dish so decided to add carrots and green peas.

the end result is so moreish that it is definitely one I plan to revisit

This is another quick meal which takes little time to put together. However, you do need to plan a day ahead to allow for the fermentation process.

Ingredients

1 Cup dhokla flour*

1-2 Tablespoons ragi flour

1-2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Carrot, coarsely grated

0.5 Cup shelled green peas

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons minced green chilli-ginger paste

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (optional)

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle on top

Method

  1. Combine the dhokla and ragi flours.
  2. Add one cup of water, mix well and leave it in a warm, dry place for 12-24* hours to ferment.
  3. When you are ready to cook the dhokla, add the quick cooking oats, turmeric powder, chilli-ginger paste, bicarbonate of soda (if using) and salt to the batter.
  4. Mix well and pour it in a greased cake tin (or equivalent).
  5. Put the tin in a steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes.
  6. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know the dhokla are cooked.
  7. Take the tin out of the steamer, drizzle the sesame oil all over (make sure to spread it evenly across the surface) and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, cut in diamond shape and serve with green or red chutney.

Note:

  1. If you don’t have access to ready dhokla flour, you can try this method of soaking rice and chana dal.
  2. Fermentation time will depend on where you are and the temperature in your home. In hot climate, the batter can ferment within 6-8 hours. In cooler climate, it takes longer. If unsure, even if you let the batter ferment for upto 24 hours, it shouldn’t go bad.

This is how my dhokla looked once cooked.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla Batter Cooked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here’s the end result.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla

Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Muthia/Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Steamed Dumplings

Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Muthiya Uncooked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I  am very fond of muthia –  my go-to dinner when I am at a loss as to what to make. Since I make them often, I like experimenting with different flours and vegetables.

Today’s recipe, which has multiple vegetables and grains, came about because of what was lying around in my refrigerator. As with most of the recipes on this blog, you can improvise and substitute. The purpose is to make the most of what you have in your kitchen!

Ingredients

3/4th cup muthia no lot/muthia atta/muthia flour/a combination of wheat and chickpea flours with some semolina

1/4th cup ragi flour

2-3 tablesspoons jowar dalia (coarsely pounded sorghum)

1 cup finely grated cabbage

1 finely grated carrot

1 cup finely chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves

1 tablespoon minced ginger and green chilli paste

2 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (I used Eno)

Salt to taste

One tablespoon sesame oil

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients except oil.
  2. Make sure you mix well so that everything is amalgamated together. The end result won’t be dough like consistency but it will be soft enough for you to mould.
  3. Take a handful of the mixture in your palm and roll into oval shape.
  4. Place on a clean plate and do the same with the rest of the mixture.
  5. Now place all the muthia in a steamer and steam on high heat for 30-40 minutes.
  6. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or a knife in one muthia. If it comes out clean, this means that the muthia are cooked.
  7. Drizzle some sesame oil before serving.

Note:

  1. You can prepare the muthia in advance and keep them in a refrigerator till you are ready to steam.
  2. I don’t put any oil in the mixture while binding but you can add a tablespoon of sesame oil if you like.
  3. Any leftover can be sliced and shallow fried in some mustard seeds and white sesame seeds.

serve with green chutney

Cabbage Idada/Cabbage White Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cabbage Cake

Cabbage Idada

Idada is a specialty from the state of Gujarat in India. Made of rice and skinned, split black lentils (urad dal), the batter is similar to that of idli.

Idada batter before steamingThis is a versatile dish as in you can have it for breakfast, as a snack, for dinner or accompaniment as part of an elaborate Indian meal.

To my mind, there are two main differences between idada and dhokla (another Gujarati dish with similar cooking method). Idada are white in colour (and, so, called white dhokla by some) and there is no tempering involved before serving.

In my family, we tend to ferment the idada batter before cooking although you will find some recipes on the internet which skips this stage.

Here, I would like to share with you my idada recipe with a twist. The addition of cabbage increases this dish’s nutritional value without taking away from the original taste.

The above photo was taken before steaming. Not sure whether you can see the specks of green but this is what the batter looks like with the inclusion of cabbage.

Ingredients

3/4th cup white rice

1/4th cup skinned split black lentil

one cup finely grated white or green cabbage

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon oil for greasing

1 tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle

Method

  1. Soak rice and lentils for 8 hours.
  2. Finely grind them in a mixer or a blender with some water. The consistency should be neither too runny, nor too thick.
  3. Now put the batter in a large container, cover and place in a dark corner of your kitchen for 8-10 hours for it to ferment. The reason we are using a large container is to allow some extra room for the batter to rise.
  4. When you are ready to cook the idada, mix the cabbage and salt in the batter.
  5. Grease a cake tin or a thaali, pour the batter in it and sprinkle the coarsely ground black peppercorns all over (see photo above for visual reference).
  6. Put the container with the batter in a steamer (or over a pot which is half filled with water), cover and steam for 30 minutes.
  7. To check whether it is cooked, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know that it is done.
  8. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Drizzle some sesame oil over the cooked idada making sure it is evenly spread, cut into diamond shapes and serve.

Idada cooked

This is what my cabbage idada looked like once cooked and oiled. The cabbage has visually disappeared!

serve idada with green or red chutney