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.