Advance planning

Buns

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About Buns

Buns is an essential item in most bakeries in India. In a city like Bangalore for example you find buns such as Khara bun (spicy bun), Sweet bun, Cheese bun, Egg bun etc. But this particular bun I am describing is prepared at home. It is traditionally called buns, although its different from the ones I just mentioned in at least one important way – this is deep fried whereas most others are baked. In Konkani we call it Gubbus Rotti. My mom used to prepare it for tiffin in the evenings while we returned from school. It tasted great and that meant my sister and I used to fight for the first one out of the frying pan.

It is available in hotels here and since some people like it with less quantity of sugar they relish it with Potato bhaji or chutney. We at home add sufficient quantity of sugar to make it sweet enough that it can be consumed  as it is.

What you need to have:

1. Curds 200 ml

2. Maida (All purpose flour) – 325 gms

3. Sugar powder – 200 gms

4. Ripe/Dotted cavendish banana – 1

5. Cooking soda – 1/2 teaspoon

6. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

Ingredients of Buns

Ingredients of Buns

What you do with what you have:

1. Sieve maida with cooking soda while ensuring they have mixed well.

2. Crush banana, sugar powder, salt, curds together in the mixer and transfer the mixture into a bowl.

Crushed mixture of curds & Banana

Mixture of curds & crushed banana

3. Mix sieved maida from Step 1 to the above mixture and adding 2-3 teaspoons of cooking oil .

4. Make a medium soft dough as shown in the image and keep it for over 6 hours.

Ready Buns dough

Ready Bun dough

4. Make into 1″ radius balls and roll into medium thick puris of 4″ diameter and deep fry in cooking oil to medium dark brown colour as shown in the image below. Always fry on medium flame only else it will turn dark brown and may taste bitter.

What they look like:

Ready to serve Buns

Store them in airtight containers . It serves as lunch box to kids as well.

What to remember: It is better to use cavendish ripe/dotted banana (a little extra ripe will serve the purpose.) Other variety bananas will not serve the purpose . Buns will be very hard if other varieties of bananas are used for the purpose. The dough should be soft and doesn’t even need to dust the balls in any flour. Also use only cooking soda and not baking powder. Just apply a little cooking oil to the chapathi roller and roll buns like the puris in size but a little thick in texture. The quantity of maida that holds to the quantity of curds depends upon the size of the banana and ripened level of it.

Number of servings: 25-30 buns

Time taken   :30 minutes (other than kneading the dough) 

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Sankashti Food – Sagu (Sabudana) Kichadi

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Sankashti is Sankashta Hara Chathurthi. People have cut short it by naming it as Sankashti. It comes once in a month, falling exactly 4 days after the full-moon day. People follow it by fasting the whole day and visiting Ganesh temple in the evenings. Gana homas are held in almost all Ganapathi temples in the early mornings. I believe that Lord Ganesha is so powerful that he fulfills everybody’s wishes if they are made with true devotion. He is the remover of obstacles (hence also the name Vigneshwar) and as such worship him before starting an endeavor. It is the same Lord Ganesha who was only one with the capacity to write Maharshi Vedavyasa’s dictation of the epic Mahabharat.

Yesterday was Karthik Sankashti. Since it was on tuesday, its called Angarika sankashti. This is the day we eat Sabudana Kichadi. I am putting up the recipe for Sabudana Kichadi here. This dish is prepared from Sabudana, Peanut powder and boiled potatoes. Sabudana is called Sabakki in kannada.

What you need to have:

Sagu (Sabudana) – 100 grams

Roasted peanut powder – 50 grams

Boiled Potatoes – 2

Fresh grated coconut – a handful

Chopped coriander leaves – 2 teaspoons

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

salt – as per taste

sugar – a pinch or two

Ingredients of Kichadi

For Seasoning:

Mustard – 1 teaspoon

Black gram Dal – 1/2 teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

some few fresh curry leaves

Green chillies – 4

Seasoning and Garnishing items

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash Sagu (sabudana), drain water and keep it aside for about 2 hours.

2. Wash, peal, and boil potato in the cooker as usual and cut them into small pieces.

3. Roast peanuts until you get a pleasant aroma and properly done in such a way that it is ready to eat. Peal and powder in the blender/mixer to a medium/fine consistency.

4. Mix potato pieces, sagu, peanut powder, lemon juice, salt and (pinch) sugar and keep it aside.

5. Keep a shallow botton bowl on the gas and pour 4 teaspoons of oil in it. Add mustard and black gram Dal. On sputtering, add green chillies, curry leaves and cumin seeds to it and mix.

6. Add asafoetida powder and straight away add the ready mixture from Step 4 and maintain medium flame.

7. It is ready in around in ten minutes. Decorate with grated coconut and corriander leaves.

It can be a lunch box as well. At night after moon-rise and according to the timings in the calender people have their dinner after offering Modak as an offering to the Lord.

What it looks like:

26-2-2009-0252Ready to serve Sabudana kichadi

How long it takes: 30 minutes (excluding 2 hours of rinsing)

Number of servings: 2

Good to remember:

1. Buy quality sago for the dish.

2. At times if the quality is not good the whole lot of sago dissolves in water, so please wait and do accordingly.

3. One can avoid Asafoetida for the dish.

Idli

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About Idli

Idli is a popular dish that is almost synonymous with South Indian food. It is available in almost all the hotels and even the road side coffee stalls in Southern India, especially Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Most South Indian homes prepare Idly atleast once a week. Although Idli chutney is the traditional combination, more recently Idly/Sambar is also very popular. In places like Bangalore when people have to rush to their workplace early in the morning, they never bother to prepare breakfast. Instead they just eat at Idli-Sambar-Chutney at roadside stalls. Left over Idli can be either be steamed for a while and can be consumed again or they may be shallow fried. In fact, one may even prepare Idli upma on left over Idlis.

Idli is also healthy since it is prepared from the fermented batter of Black gram Dal/udad Dal and either raw rice rava or boiled rice rava. Mostly Idlis available in the hotels is made of boiled rice rava since it works out cheaper. (The reason being that the boiled rice rava proportion to Urad Dal is double that of the raw rice rava.)

I am posting this recipe upon the request of a reader although myself hailing from Karnataka I should have put up this recipe earlier on ! So here go the Idlis.

What you need to have:

Black gram Dal – (Urad Dal of a good brand like the Double Ghoda) -1 cup

Raw rice rava – 2 and 1/2 cup (only if grinding dal in a grinder) Else it can be 2 cups

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and soak dal in water for about 2-3 hours. Wash and drain rice rava and dry it on a cloth.

2. Grind Dal in mixer/grinder for about 20 minutes adding water in steps.

3. Mix rice rava to the ground batter from above and add salt to taste (adding salt also provokes to fermentation).

4. Allow this mixture to ferment for about 8-10 hours.

The fermented idli batter

Fermented idli batter

5. Next morning grease Idli maker with the batter as below.

Note: Idly batter should be always ground thick. In fact, even after mixing rice rava it should be thick. Please do not add water because once fermented it will be fine. You can make out the consistency of the batter in the above image where the batter is being poured into the idly maker.

 

idli batter being filled in idli maker

Setting up idli Batter for steaming

6. Steam idlies in the cooker for about 20 minutes.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar. For one of the various chutneys, see my previous post.

What it looks like:

 

Idli with Chutney & Sambar

Some warnings:

1. Idlis may not come out fine the first time. Please give 2-3 trials.

2. If you are living in colder climates, then you may want to grind the Dal 24 hours in advance (instead of the usual 12 hours) to allow for fermentation.

3. Idli prepared by Dal ground in the mixer will not be as soft as if Dal is ground in the wet grinder.

4. One more thing is the softness of idlies depends very much on the quality of the Dal.

5. If you are using a microwave to warm the Idlis, do so with the lid closed without which they might become too dry and difficult to swallow !

6.To  prepare idli by grinding dal in the mixer should do it,  by adding water in steps to grind dal.  The proportion of   Udad dal-100grams then rice rava should be 125 grams.  Other steps is the same .

Number of Idlis : 20-25

How long it takes: 20 minutes steaming + 20 minutes grinding (in addition to fermentation)

Pathrade

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About Pathrade

Pathrade/Pathrado is one of those side dishes prepared at Konkani homes in South India. It takes a quite a while to put this dish together, but its a favorite. It is prepared from Colocasia leaves which are normally grown during the rainy season. In fact, many of us grow them in our own kitchen garden. As usual, within Colocasia leaves, there are different varieties. Some of them are itchy and if that happens, Pathrade is not so great an eating experience. So do not underestimate the importance of the leaf quality in how the Pathrade turns out. It is prepared using different pulses with the Rice Rava being the common ingredient.

What you need to have:

ingredients of pathrade

colocasia leaves

Fresh colocasia leaves

Large Colocasia leaves – 20
Green gram – 125 grams

Rice rava(thin) – 50 grams

Ingredients of masala

Ingredients of masala

For Masala :

Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup

Byadgi chili – 7

Asafoetida – 1″ piece

Tamarind paste – 2 teaspoon

masala with the leaves

Colocasia leaves with masala

What you do with what you have:

1. Soak green gram in water for about 6 hours.

2. Grind fresh grated coconut, chili, tamarind, asafoetida to a medium coarse paste. To it add soaked and drained green gram dal and grind it to smooth consistency.

3. Soak rice rava in water. Drain the water and add to the ground mixture from Step 2. You can grind this mixture a bit so its mixed well.

4. Apply masala to the leaves on the reverse of it as shown in the following images.

spreading masala on the leaves

step 2 of applyinf masala

step-4

step-5

step 6

Completed role ready to be cut into pieces

cutting the pathrade roll

cutting the pathrade roll

5. Always make sure apply masala on the reverse of the leaves, the reason being that the reverse side is rough and the masala applied attaches well to the leaf compared to the masala on the finer side of the leaf.

6. If leaves are large, about four is sufficient to make a thick role that can be cut into firm pieces. Make sure it is rolled tight so that its easier to cut.

cut pieces before steaming

Roll cut into pieces

7. Steam it either in the cooker or a wide vessel for about 25-30 minutes

steaming the pathrade

What it looks like:

26 2 2009 012

Steamed pathrade ready to eat

Relish them hot. Pathrade goes very well with Dalitoy (konkani dal). It is also served with coconut oil, independently of lunch. Left over Pathrade from lunch time are often shallow fried after rolling in dry Bombay Rava/Sooji.

How long it takes:One hour (including grinding time but excluding soaking of Green gram for six hours in advance .)

Number of servings: 15-20

Chole Masala

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About Chole Masala

Down south in Manipal it rains heavy during the month of June & July and the weather is gloomy. It tends to be not but hit but not too cold either. It is these times that one likes to have something spicy. During those days I prepare dishes like Chole Masala and Puri for tiffin in the evening. Long ago when my kids returned from school they always enjoyed it. My husband too loves it. Now both my kids being away from home and only the two of us at home I always remember those sweet days when all the four of  us were together and enjoyed relishing these dishes. 

Ready to serve Chloe masala is available in the market but as it is made with an intention of speed and profit rather than taste and hence may not have a great shelf life. Even though they may have few preservatives, they are not healthy either. Chana is available in 4 or 5 varieties in the market. What we need is the big white chana which is also called Kabuli Channa.Also as I have tagged, this dish requires advance planning (overnight).

What you need to have :

Big Channa (Kabuli) 150 grams

 

Onions – 2

Tomatoes – 2

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Chat masala – 1 teaspoon

Some Kasoorimethi

Chole masala -1 teaspoon

dry powder

Ingredients of dry Masala 

For the dry masala :

Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoons

Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cinnamon – 1″ piece

Anardhana – 2

Kashmiri chili -3

Chilli powder-1 teaspoon (optional)

wet masala

For the wet masala :                   

Wet paste : garlic

Ginger – one 1″ piece

Green chili – 3 

Onions (large) – 2

What you do with what you have:

1. Soak Channa over night.(for about 10-12 hours)

Boiled chana

Soaked and Boiled Kabuli Chana

2. Steam it in cooker with a little oil for about 20 minutes till it is soft.

3. Grind the ingredients for the Dry masala in the blender/mixer to a fine consistency.

4. Grind wet masala also to a fine consistency separately.

5. On the gas, place a wide bottomed bowl with 4 teaspoons of oil. Add 2 finely chopped onions and stir till it becomes light brown.(always add salt while frying onions so that it doesn’t get burnt also it consumes less oil.)

6. Add 2 finely cut tomatoes, Dry masala powder (ground in step 3), Turmeric powder and Chili powder.

7. Stir well and add wet masala from Step 5. Finally, add cooked chana to it and stir well.

8. Bring it to boil while also adding required quantity of salt, chilly powder if necessary.

9. Switch off the gas, decorate it with Kasoori methi and close the lid for a while so that the aroma is retained.

What it looks like:

 

 

ready to serve chole masala

How long it takes : 45 minutes

Number of servings : 4

Note: Chana should be boiled to a smooth consistency. At times it will not be smooth when steamed at the first attempt. Some times they mix two quality of chana of the same family, so do check before adding it to the masala at the final stage. If necessary, boil in the cooker again. Regarding adding chilli powder you may add it depending upon your required level of spicyness since chole masala also contains chilli powder.

Dhokla (Gujrati)

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About Dhokla

Dhokla is a Gujarati dish. I learned it from one of my friends in Guwahati back in 1991-93. She had once invited us for morning breakfast and the main dish was Dhokla. I liked it and asked her for the recipe. She told me that it can be prepared instantly also . But this is a refined way of preparing it. Of course it consumes time. It has some resemblance to Idli but the ingredients are completely different. Although we do season Idlis from the previous night/morning, we do not do so with fresh Idlis. In case of Dhoklas though, seasoning is a part of normal preparation.

What you need to have:

Chana Dal – 1cup (250 g.)

Moong Dal (Greengram Dal) – 1/2 cup (125 g)

Sour curds/Yogurt – 1 cup

Ginger piece – 3/4″ piece

Green chillies – 4

Lemon juice – 1 level tea spoon

Cooking soda – 3/4 tea spoon

Cooking oil – 1 table spoon

Chili powder – 1 level teaspoon

Eno fruit salt(lemon) – 1 sachet

Salt and Sugar to taste

What you do with what you have:

1. Soak both the dals together in a bowl for about 2 hours.

2. Drain the water and add green chillies, ginger, salt, curds and grind it to a fine consistency without adding water.

3. Remove the batter from the bowl and add cooking soda to it. Set it aside for fermentation for about 4-6 hours depending upon the weather. (Takes about 4 hours in summer and anything between 8-10 hours in winter.)

4. On fermenting the dough rises in the bowl. Add lemon juice, sugar and cooking oil to the mixture.

5. Grease the cooker separators or any round bowl and the mixture in it. Add 1/3 of the Eno sachet.

6. Mix it well and steam it in a broad Idli vessel for about 5 minutes. Closing the lid with a towel so that the steam does not fall over the steamed mixture.

7. Cut the resulting steamed ‘cake’ to the required shape and sprinkle chili powder over it.

8. Steam the remaining half of the mixture like above mixing eno salt to it. ( steaming immediately on mixing with eno salt ).

Now you need to season the dhokla. For seasoning:

1. Take oil in a small pan. Add mustard, hing, cumin seeds, red chili shreds, sesame seeds and curry leaves.

2. Sprinkle the seasoning on the dhokla. You may also add some fresh grated coconut and coriander leaves.

Dhokla can be relished with chutney or tomato sauce.

What it looks like:

How long it takes: 6 hours from scratch, 45 minutes after fermentation

Number of servings: 5