Thursday, October 30, 2008

Puran Poli (stuffed lentil flatbread)

Puran poli is one of the famous sweet dish of gujarati and maharashtrian cuisine.It is my brother's favourite sweet dish. It is flatbread stuffed with lentils. Normally it is served with lot of ghee(purified butter). Normally it is made with tuvar dal(red gram) in gujarat and chana dal (bengal gram) in maharashtra. I use both of them and result was good. I also suggest use of jaggery if available, because it really makes difference in the taste when you use jaggery instead of sugar. Though it requires a lot of time and patience, believe me it is worth to try!!!

For Puran(stuffing)
1/2 cup tuvar dal(red gram)
1/2 cup chana dal(bengal gram)
1 cup jaggery of sugar
1/2 tspn cardamom powder
1/2 tspn nutmet powder
2-3 tspn ghee

For dough(for cover of stuffing)
3 cup whole wheat flour

Soak the tuvar dal and chana dal for 2-3 hours. Pressure cook both the dal in the cooker for 3-4 whistles. Let it cool for some time. Remove the extra water from the dal.

Take one big sauce pan and put it on the medium flame. Put 3-4 tspn ghee in it. When ghee is hot add jaggery in it. Once jaggery is melted, add the dal in it. Now keep the flame slow. Keep stirring the mixture continuously, so there is not any lump and to prevent it from sticking in the sauce pan. Be careful while stirring, because this mixture splutters a lot. It is done when the spatula can stand still in the mixture. At the end add cardamom powder and nutmeg powder and mix well. Take of the mixture from gas and let it cool completely.

Knead the dough using water. (dough should be soft and easily pliable life chapati dough.) Divide the dough into small balls. Roll out one ball on the flat surface into approx 75 mm dia. circle. Now place spoonful of puran(stuffing) in the centre. Fold the edges of the dough over stuffing mixture and pinch the edges together to cover the stuffing. Flatten the dough again with rolling pin into approx 100 mm dia. circle.(Apply gentle pressure while rolling otherwise stuffing will come out) . Cook it on the tava or flat griddle till the both sides are golden brown.

Smear it with ghee and serve hot with any curry or just puran poli itself.

You can make puran in microwave to save your cooking time.
Normally in gujarat puran poli is served with kadhi and moong dal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Medu Vada/Vadai(lentil dumplings)

Winter has been almost started in this part of US. In this cold weather, let's have some spicy medu vada along with hot sambhar. From my childhood, I was always fascinated for this vada because of the hole in the centre. Once I started my experiments in the kitchen, I always wanted to try this recipe but hesitated because of the 'hole'. After some trial and error, I was successful to make perfect medu vada with hole in the centre.

2 cups split black gram(skinless udad dal)
2-3 tspoon ginger chili paste
pinch of asafoetida
oil for frying
salt as per taste

Wash and soak the udad dal for 18-20 hours. Make sure udad dal is soaked well in the water before grinding because that is the key for good medu vada.(you have to grind it without water, make sure it soaked good amount of water). Before grind it remove all the water from udal dal. Grind it in small batches without any water and make smooth fluffy paste. Paste should have thick consistency (you should be able to hold it in your palm and give shape).
Add all the spices and salt in the paste and mix them well in the paste.

Take one deep pan for frying and add oil in it. Put the pan on medium flame on gas. Wet your palm with water. Then as shown in the picture, take some paste in your hand and give it a shape with another palm. Then make one hole in the centre with your finger.

Put it carefully in the deep frying pan. Fry it till the golden brown, on slow flame.

Serve it hot with sambhar and coconut chutney.

Make sure you wet your hands everytime for new vada.
Fry it on the slow flame, for crispy outer texture

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dudhi chana nu shaak(bengal gram and bottle gourd curry)

During these diwali festival days, after eating lot of sweets and fried items, yesterday I want to to eat something simple yet nutritious. I found bottle gourd(dudhi/lauki) in my refrigerator. I am not big fan of bottle gourd, but I like this curry because of bengal gram. This curry tastes good with chapati(indian flat bread) as well as rice. (I don't have to make dal!!!). This is one of the best curry for diabetic person because of the lower glycemic index of bengal gram.

1 cup bengal gram(split chana dal)
1/2 cut cup bottle gourd
1 tsp jaggery(gud) or sugar (optional)
1 tsp amchur powder or lemon juice
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dry red chili
1 tsp dry red chili powder
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp of oil
pinch of asafoetida
salt as per taste

Soak the bengal gram dal for 4-5 hours. Cut the bottle gourd into small cubic pieces. Pressure cook bottle gourd and bengal gram together with water for 4 whistles. Bengal gram dal should be cooked nicely. (you should be able to break it with your fingers)

Take one sauce pan and put 2-3 tsp of oil in it. Keep the sauce pan on gas on medium flame. Add mustard seeds. Once mustard seeds starts spluttering, add cumin seeds. Then add cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chili.

Add turmerid powder and immediately add boiled bottle gourd and bengal gram (I always add turmeric powder immediately after tempering for better color). Now take 1/4 cup water in one bowl and add all dry spice in it. Mix spices well in the water and pour the water in curry.

Add jaggery or sugar (optional). At last add aamchur powder or lemon juice, along with salt.

Simmer it low flame for 20- 25 minutes. Make sure the curry has consistency like gravy, so if needed add extra water inbetween.

Garnish it with cilantro and serve hot with chapati or rice.

Dabeli (Gujarati vadapav)

Dabeli is one of my favourite street food. Especially I always miss "Karnavati Dabeli" of my home town. It is kind of gujarati version of vadapav. Though it has not fried vada so it has less calories compare to vadapav and very easy to make. The main ingredient in dabeli is dabeli masala. You can easily buy it from indian store or you can make it at home also.

Dabeli Masala (makes 2 tspoon)

1 red chilly

1 tspoon corrainder seeds (dhania)

2 cloves

1 cinnemon stick

1/2 tspoon cumind seeds (jeera)

For Filling

one and halfcup boiled and mashed potatoes

2-3 tablespoon kahjur imli chutney (date tamarind paste)

1/2 tspoon corrainder powder

1/2 tspoon red chilly powder

salt according to taste

10 hamburger buns

1 onion chopped

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

1/2 cup fresh pomegranate (anar,dadam)

2-3 tablespoon garlic chutney

6 tablespoon corriander chutney

6 tablespoon khaju imali chutney

1/2 cup sev

oil or butter for cooking

Dabeli masala

Dry roast all the spices on slow hear for around 2-3 minutes. Grind it dry and make smooth powder.

For filling

Take one bowl and add boiled and mash potatoes. Add dabeli masala as required. Add khajur imali chutney. (Keep the consistency of khaju imli chutney thick, so potatoes filling doesn't get sticky or liquid). Then add salt and other spices as per your taste.

Take one tava or flat griddle and dry roast the peanuts. Once peanuts are roasted, remove peanut skin. Take same tava and heat 2-3 tspoon oil on it. Add some dry red chilly powder and dhania powder. Then add roasted peanuts and mix peanuts with spices. Make sure peanuts are nicely coated with masala.

Take one tava or flat griddle and put it on medium flame. Cook hamburger buns with little oil or butter. Spread corriander chutney on two buns. Place portion of filling on one half of the bun. Top it with peanuts,fresh garlic chutney,khajur imli chutney, pomegranate,sev, onion. Sandwhich it with another half of the bun and enjoy it!!!