Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Instant Dosa / Rice Crepes

My mom always made this as a quick breakfast solution on weekdays. I would just love the sweet half-cooked pink onions in this dosa and would single them out to taste them separately. My mother would use all the left over butter milk to make this dosa and it would impart a sightly sour or tangy flavor which would make every bite of the dosa addictive. We would also have another batch in the evening after coming home from playing with friends and these hot dosas with chutney would be an ultimate treat on a cold day. Everything tastes better with butter!! These dosas also go well with butter or a dollop of ghee but dry coconut chutney seems like a more sensible option. 

2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup yogurt or buttermilk
2-3 green chilies or as desired
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Chop the green chilies and mix all the ingredients together. Add water to make a very thin dough as crepe dough. The mixture should be watery and runny. Heat a tava or non stick pan and spread a thin layer of oil. Pour a ladleful of mixture at the center and it will automatically spread to the sides. Cover till cooked on one side and then flip it over to the other side and cook till little brown spots appear on both sides. Serve with puddi-chutney(dry coconut chutney) or dosa chutney. Serve hot as the dosa tends to be sticky and rubbery if it cools down. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Leftover Chappati Ladoo

When we have many people at home for lunch or dinner, it is difficult to estimate the number of chappatis to prepare. If there are left over roti's and if they just languish in the refrigerator for a few days, they find their way into the thrash soon. I find it extremely sinful to intentionally throw left over food. So I usually try to make food in required quantities, but sometimes if it happens that there are leftovers, I like to put them to use as soon as possible. At my home left over rice usually finds its way into methi ricecurd rice or phodni bhaatThis dish is a healthy and tasty way to put to use all the left over chappatis. This is one of the dish I make with left over chappatis. My mother added this recipe to our recipe collection when we were in Pune. I also use black sesame seeds in this ladoo as I find they are more flavorful than the white sesame seeds. Many of my Maharashtrian friends used to get two tiffin dishes made from left over chappatis. One was this ladoo recipe and another was left over chappati upma. Both are very popular in my home and my parent's home. I will put the upma recipe soon on the blog. 

Left over 2-3 chappatis or roti
2-3 tablespoon powdered jaggery
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds or white sesame seeds(optional)
2-3 pinches of cardamom powder
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter

Tear the chappati into small pieces and put it in the mixer to grind it into small bits. Grind without adding any water. Toast the sesame seeds till crisp. Mix milk, jaggery and cardamom powder well with hand. Add the ground chappati bits and sesame seeds into the jaggery mixture and mix well. Add ghee and make small, tight round balls out of the chappati mixture by pressing it in your palm. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Potato Bhaji Sandwich and Special Coffee

This is my childhood school friend N's special coffee recipe. Though I am not very fond of coffee especially after afternoons, coffee at her home is always an exception. She beats the coffee to make it frothy. When milk is added it retains some of its frothiness and the well blended sugar and coffee makes it very special.

Potato Bhaji is another of my mother's tiffin sandwich or breakfast sandwich recipes. When the bread is crisply toasted with butter on both sides, it tastes delicious. We usually buy oatnut whole grain bread, but to taste it in its real version I some times buy white bread to make this sandwich. 

Special Coffee
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 teaspoon sugar or as desired
1 cup of milk or as desired

Put the sugar and coffee powder into a cup and add just 1/2 spoon of water. Don't add more water else the froth will not be formed properly. Beat it with a spoon the same way you would beat and egg. I beat it at least for 5-10 minutes till a bubbly froth is formed. Add hot milk and stir well. Serve immediately.

Potato Bhaji Sandwich
For Potato Bhaji recipe in Konkani style click here
Bread slices
Butter for frying

Heat a tava on medium heat and oil it with butter. Put two bread slices on the tava for a second so that they are slightly heated. Reverse the slices and spread potato bhaji on one of the slices and cover it with the other slice. Toast both sides till crispy and serve immediately. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Version Of Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is a traditional Maharashtrian dish made of a mixture of flours. Various flours like rice, finger millet, jowar, chickpea, wheat, black gram go into the making of the thalipeeth flour mixture. There are different versions about the proportion in which the flours should be mixed. I use a larger proportion of Ragi or black millet flour. 

Thalipeeth is a great dish to have in the cold humid winters of US. All the flours are roasted and hence it contains less water content. According to Ayurveda (Indian school of medicine) roasted flours are easier to digest and should be had in cold and rainy season when the digestive system tends to be sluggish. In California it rains very heavily during the winter season and during the past few years it has been extremely cold and humid even during the spring season. During such times, thalipeeth is very healthy and quick option to have during any time of the day- for snacks, breakfast or as a meal. It is very heavy as the millet flour contains lot of fiber, hence I feel its an excellent way to keep extra weight at bay during the winter. Ragi or finger millet flour is also a great source of iron. I usually roast a gallon container full of the thalipeeth flour and keep it handy to make thallipeeth in any times of need.

Flour Mixture

1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 cup ragi or nachani flour
1/2 cup jowar or bajri flour
2 tablespoon chick pea flour or besan
3 tablespoon whole wheat flour or chappati flour
2 tablespoon urad dal flour or black gram flour
2 teaspoon coriander power
2 tablespoon yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt for taste
1 cup finely chopped onion
a handful of coriander leaves
1-2 chopped green chilies if desired
oil for frying

To make the urad dal or black gram flour, I wash the gram well with water and dry it in the sun till all the water is evaporated. Then roast it for 10-15 minutes till it is crisp and then powder it finely. I make the powder in bulk - 1/2 - 1 pound at a time.

Mix all the flours in a thick bottomed pan and roast them on low flame stirring occasionally. The flour should not burn or change color. This is done so that the moisture in the flours evaporates and the flours become light and easy to digest. I roast it for 15-20 minutes till a nice aroma floats around the kitchen. Mix the red chili powder, turmeric and coriander powder towards the end and roast the mixture for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool down completely.

Procedure To Make the ThaliPeeth
1/2 cup of this mixture will make one pancake. So measure the flour mixture accordingly. Add chopped onion, green chilies, chopped coriander and curd to the flour mixture.. Mix well and add water as needed to make a sticky dough. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

Heat oil on a tava or non sticky pan. Take 4-5 tablespoon of this mixture and pat it well to make a thin pancake. Apply a little water to your hand to make the pancake even. 

Cook uncovered on medium flame till brown on both sides.

Serve hot with curd sweetened with little sugar or with butter.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spicy Horse Gram Curry/ Kulitha Ambat

Horse gram or kulith is often used in Konkani cuisine to make curries and dosa. Sprouting it increases the protein content and in Konkani's say consuming horse gram makes you fit as a horse. It is beneficial to reduce cold, cough and flue symptoms and helps in increasing energy and reducing fatigue. Pressure cooking this pulse makes it easier to cook. The sprouted horse gram is used to make Ambat and the soaked horse gram without sprouting is used to make Koddel. Ambat is a curry seasoned with onion and koddel is a curry seasoned with garlic. 

1 cup horse gram

1 cup cubed magge or konkani cucumber, yam (suran) or bottle gourd
1/4 cup cashew nuts (preferably raw cashew)
1/4 lemon sized tamarind
4-6 red chilies (preferably byadgi or kashmiri)
1 cup grated coconut
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste


Wash horse gram well in water and soak it over night. Drain the water and put the horse gram in a thin muslin cloth and tie the ends of the cloth to make a bundle. Put some weight on the bundle using a stone or heavy vessel and keep aside for another 8 hours to allow the horse gram to sprout. 

Wash the horse gram sprouts well in water and pressure cook it with cubed vegetable till soft, but not mushy.
Roast the red chili on low flame for 3-5 minutes till it is crisp but not brown. Grind the chilies with the grated coconut and tamarind into a fine paste. Add the paste to the boiled sprouts and get it to a boil. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add finely chopped onion to it. Fry the onion on low flame, sautéing continuously, till the onion is light brown and caramelized. Add the onion seasoning to the curry. Cover it for 5 - 10 minutes before serving to enable the flavor of the onion seasoning to infuse into the curry. Serve hot with rice.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bhutti / Spicy Coconut Curry

Bhutti is a spicy Mangalorean curry made with the following combinations- mushroom, cabbage and cauliflower and potato, cabbage and potato, cauliflower and potato, potato, ivy gourd or tendli. I made it with cauliflower and potato combination in the photo. It is usually served with the bland dalithoy or dal. 

3 cups chopped cauliflower and potato (you can select the vegetable quantity as desired)
3 medium onions
1 cup grated coconut
6-7 red chilies (byadgi or kashmiri with mild pungency prefered) 
1 teaspoon tamarind paste or 1/4 lemon sized tamarind
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
4 tablespoons oil (preferably coconut oil)
salt for taste

Fry the coriander seeds on low flame for 3-4 minutes till it is slightly heated. Take care so that it should not change color to brown. Grind the coconut, tamarind, chilies and coriander into a coarse paste. Traditionally, the coriander seeds are put in the end of the grinding process and only a pulse or two is run to ensure that the coriander is very coarsely ground. The paste should be ground with as little water as possible into a thick paste.
Heat oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Fry onion till transparant and ensure that it does not turn brown or caramelize. Add the cauliflower and cook covered. the cauliflower should be half cooked and not be mushy. Add the ground coconut paste and get the curry to a boil on very low flame for around 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with rice and dal.