Dal Baati Churma

Dal Baati Churma

Dal Baati churma is probably the most popular of the Rajasthani cuisine. Ghee dipped baatis are served with a spicy dal and sweet churma laddus. Add gatte ki sabji and rice to this and this turns into a big delicious and royal Rajasthani meal for you. As with all other recipes, this is my family recipe of daal baati which my mom has been cooking for more than 40 years now. I would suggest cooking dal baati only in ghee to get the authentic taste. It is a lengthy recipe but every bite is worth the time you spend cooking this.

baati

Baatis can be baked or fried. Some people boil the baati first and fry it after that. My mom just fries the baatis in ghee. Semolina adds a nice crunch to the baatis while ghee makes them melt in mouth. Make sure to cook baatis on a low to medium flame so that they are cooked well. Some people drizzle ghee on baatis while some keep them dipped in ghee until they serve.

churma

Panchmel dal and churma are the other two importants parts of this dish. You can serve the churma in form of laddu or in powder form. Ghee again decides the taste of churma. Use desi ghee and this will take the taste of churma to another level.

Do serve the dal, baati, churma with a wedge of lime. Traditionally, piping hot dal and baati are crushed and mixed with churma and topped with more ghee and a dash of lime and fresh onion slices.

Dal Baati Churma

Ingredients

Makes  8-10 servings

For Baati

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (aata)
  • ¼ cup semolina (rava)
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ¼ cup yogurt (dahi)
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ¼ cup pure ghee
  • ¼ tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 2 pinches turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee to fry the baati

For Dal

  • ½ cup moong dal
  • ½ cup toor dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal
  • ¼ cup chana dal
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida (heeng)
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon (dal chini)
  • 2 cloves (laung)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste

For Churma

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (aata)
  • ¼ cup pure ghee
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder (ilaichi)
  • 1 tbsp chopped dry fruits (almonds, pistachios and cashews)

Recipe

For Dal

Wash and soak the dals for 20-30 mins.  Drain water and put all the dals in pressure cooker. Add 4 cups water and some salt and cook for 3 whistles. Once the cooker is completely cooled, open the lid and mash the dal lightly and keep aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in another pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds and once the seeps pop, add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, dried red chilli. Sauté for few seconds and add green chillies, heeng, curry leaves and grated ginger and sauté for few seconds.

Add a cup of water, turmeric, coriander powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Once the water comes to boil, add the cooked dal and mix well. Check the consistency of dal and add more water if required.  Also, check for salt at this stage and add more salt if required. Bring the dal to boil and let it cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame. Finally add chopped coriander and switch off the gas.

For Churma

In a deep bowl, mix together the flour and ghee.  Add little water and knead firm dough. Divide the dough into eight portions. Take each portion in your palm and close your fist to make an indentation in the dough. Heat ghee in a frying pan and deep fry the dough portions till they are golden brown. Fry them on low flame. Drain on absorbent paper and let them cool down completely.

Once they are cooled, break them into pieces and grind them to powder using a grinder. Add sugar, cardamom powder, and dry fruits and mix well. You can serve the churma like this in powder form or you can even make laddus out of it. To make laddus, heat 2 tbsp ghee and pour it on churma and mix well. Grease your palms with some ghee and take 1-2 tbsp of churma in your hand and roll it into round balls.

For Baati

Mix all the ingredients for baati and knead firm dough using little water and rest it for 5-10 minutes. Knead the dough again for 5-6 minutes. Divide the dough into 20 portions. You can make more or less baatis depending on the size of the baati you like. Shape each portion into an even sized ball and flatten the balls lightly using your thumb to make an indentation in the center of the baati.

Heat ghee/oil in a frying pan and fry the baatis till they are golden brown. Make sure to fry the baatis on a medium flame so that the baatis are cooked from inside too. Drain the baatis on absorbent paper and keep them aside.

To serve

Break baati in two pieces and pour a spoonful of melted ghee on top and serve with dal, churma, a wedge of lime and onion slices.

Bharwan Bhindi

Bhindi Masala

Bharwan bhindi is a spicy curry from Hyderabad. Bhindi is cooked with salan like gravy made with ground nut, sesame seeds, tamarind paste, and spices. Tamarind is an important part of my family recipes. I remember my mom keeping a stock of tamarind water and ground peanuts and sesame seeds always. This gravy goes well with capsicum, tomatoes, and even potatoes. Add tamarind water/paste based on your taste and the sourness of tamarind.

Bhindi Masala

Cooking bhindi is a tricky (and sticky) job. Placing a plate filled with water on top helps the vegetable cook evenly without getting burnt. It makes the cooking process quicker too.

Bhindi Masala

You can make the gravy in advance and freeze it too. Add vegetable (steamed) of your choice and you can have a curry ready in jiffy. This curry tastes best with phulka or paratha. You can try it with rice too.

Bhindi Masala

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 15-18 okra (bhindi)
  • 3 tbsp ground nuts (mung fali)
  • 1 ½ tbsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 2tbsp tamarind paste or tamarind water
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil

Recipe

Wash bhindi in water and let it dry completely. Cut both the ends of the bhindi. Cut each bhindi into 2-3 pieces and make a slit in each piece. Roast and grind the ground nuts and sesame seeds. Heat oil in a kadhai or a non stick pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add chopped bhindi. Mix well and cover the pan/kadhai with a plate. Add water in the plate. This will help the bhindi cook evenly and it will also not let the curry burn.

Carefully check the bhindi every few minutes. 6-8 minutes should be enough. Once the bhindi is almost cooked, add the ground nuts and sesame seeds, tamarind water, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Add little water (1/4 – ½ cup) if the gravy looks too dry. Let it cook till oil floats on top (2-3 minutes). Add chopped coriander and served hot with rotis or rice.

Peppermint Mocha Cups

Peppermint mocha cups inspired by the popular holiday classic peppermint mocha coffee. Tart shells filled with a mint flavored ganache and topped with coffee flavored cream to rekindle the holiday memories.

Peppermint mocha season is long gone now but we are still craving for more. It is one of the most cherished holiday drinks for us especially for my three year old who absolutely loves the chocolate and mint combo. I have always been a fan of chocolate and mint and chocolate and orange flavors. Nothing beats chocolate when it comes to making people happy. I made these mocha cups for my son who just relished each and every bite.

Ganache Cups

Making a ganache is not as tough as it looks or sounds. You just need to get the right Quality and right Quantity. I prefer Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips for the ganache and a good quality heavy cream. The ratio for a ganache is two parts chocolate and one part cream. The cream should be very warm but not boiling.

Ganache

You can buy readymade tart shells or bake your own at home. You can make them in any shape you like. Remember to fill the muffin cups with beans while you bake them. This dessert is best enjoyed chilled.

peppermintMocha

Ingredients

For the Tarts

Makes 12 small tarts

  • 140 gms all purpose flour
  • 70 gms butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 2-2.5 tbsp milk

Ganache

  • 150 gms semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 100 ml heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp peppermint flavor

Mocha Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (at least 30-40% fat)
  • 3-4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon coffee powder

Recipe

For the Tarts

Combine flour with baking powder and sugar.  Cut in the butter using only finger tips till it resembles bread crumbs. Add one table spoon chilled milk at a time and make dough.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough and cut in rounds and line the muffin cups. Fill the cups with beans/rice and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15-20 mins. Cool them completely before proceeding with next step.

For Ganache

Put chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream until it is just about to boil. Pour it over the chocolate chips. Leave it for a minute or two to let the chocolate melt. Stir with a spatula and mix well. At first it might look broken but keep stirring until it comes together in a creamy and shiny texture. Add the peppermint flavor and mix again. Keep it aside to cool.

For Whipped Cream

Mix coffee and sugar in little cream (you can adjust the coffee and sugar proportion as per taste or how strong you want the flavor to be). Add rest of the cream and whip till you get hard peaks. Chill in the fridge.

To Assemble

Put ganache in a piping bag or simply spoon it in tart shells. Top it with whipped cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Chill for 15-20 mins before serving.

 

Dal Pakwaan

Dal Pakwaan

 

Dal Pakwan is a sindhi breakfast. It is crispy puris made of all purpose flour (maida) and topped with chana dal mixed with onion, tomato, sweet and spicy chutneys and lots of fresh coriander. I don’t know its Rajasthan connection but I remember eating it in Ajmer where it is sold as a street food. This might not be the most authentic version of dal pakwan as I have made modifications for taste and presentation.

Dal Pakwan

Traditionally pakwan is a big circle shaped crispy puri with the topping of dal. I wanted to make bite sized snacks which are easier to eat so I made them in different shapes like taco shell, canapé, and also in square shape for the ease of serving and eating. I also substituted half of all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. You can add any herbs to the pakwan dough to add a flavor to the puris. Remember to poke the puris with a fork before frying. You can also use this dough to make canapés to fill with dal or any other savory filling.

Dal Pakwan

For the dal too, I have added mung dal and toor dal to the recipe as suggested by a friend from Jaipur where it is a popular dish. It turned out healthier and tastier. You can also add deseeded and finely chopped cucumber to the topping. Chaat masala also adds to the taste.

Remember to keep the dal very thick. Mix the tomato onion mix just before serving and serve immediately to avoid the snack getting soggy.

Dal Pakwan

Ingredients

Serves 4-5

For Pakwan

  • ½ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (aata)
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry

For Dal

  • ¼ cup split green gram (mung dal)
  • ¼ cup split pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • ¼ cup Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • Few pinches rock salt
  • Few tea spoons lime juice
  • Few tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped
  • Few tbsp sweet chutney
  • Few tbsp mint chutney

Recipe

For the Pakwan

Mix together the flours, black pepper powder, ajwain, 2 tbsp oil, salt, and little water to make stiff dough. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 mins. Knead again and divide into equal number of portions. Roll and cut each portion into a shape of your choice. Poke with a fork at 2-3 places and deep fry in hot oil until its crisp.

Pakwan is usually big and circle shaped. I wanted to make bite sized snack so I cut them in small 3 inch circles and squares.

For dal

Wash and soak the dals for 1 hour. Pressure cook with salt, turmeric and asafoetida till the dals are cooked (2-3 whistles). Do NOT add too much water. The dal needs to be fairly thick. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mix the dal lightly and keep aside.

In a bowl, mix together chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, roasted jeera powder, rock salt and little lime juice.

Just before serving, add the onion tomato mix to the dal and put it on the pakwan. Top it with mint chutney and sweet chutney as per taste. Garnish with lots of coriander. Serve immediately.

 

Badam ka Seera

Almond Halwa

Seera can be cooked very quickly. Roasting the flour is the only thing that takes time. And well roasted flour is the key to a delicious seera. Flour gets burned quickly. Roast it on a slow or medium flame and do not leave it unattended. If it is over roasted it can even taste bitter. Do remember to soak the almonds for at least 4 hours. This will help to grind them very smooth.

Badaam ka Seera

Seera Puri is the traditional combination but the combo I like is papd churi with seera. Crush a roasted papad and serve it with the seera. It cuts the sweetness of seera. This seera tastes best when it is hot.

Almond Halwa

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka aata)
  • ½ cup pure ghee
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 10-15 almonds soaked for 4 hours
  • 1 ¼ cup hot water

Recipe

Peel the almonds and grind them to a smooth puree. Use little water if required.

Heat ghee in a kadhai or a thick bottomed pan. Add the flour and roast on low flame till it is lightly browned and you can smell the aroma of ghee and flour. Keep mixing the flour non-stop or it might get burnt. Add the almond paste and roast again for 2-3 minutes till the flour is brownish. Add the hot water and stir continuously making sure no lumps are formed. Once the seera is slightly thicker, add the sugar and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with papad.

 

Thalipeeth (Maharashtrian Savory Pancakes)

Thalipeeth is a Maharashtrian breakfast or tea time snack. It is a very nutritious dish made with seven types of flours and fresh vegetables. Thalipeeth is usually served with fresh homemade butter, ghee, or thick yogurt. The recipe varies from region to region or even family to family and this is the recipe I have eaten. The flour for thalipeeth is called Bhajni. It is a mix of various flours. Even this differs from family to family. Some people add ragi and semolina while some leave out the bajra flour. I use the store bought bhajni flour which is easily available.

Thalipeeth

Even with the other ingredients, it differs from home to home. Traditionally it is just onions but you can add chopped spinach, chopped methi leaves, grated carrots or grated cabbage too. You can also add sesame seeds or coarsely ground peanuts. Rolling the thalipeeth can be a task. Since the dough has bajra flour and besan in it, it is not easy to roll with a rolling pin. If you cannot shape it with your palm like bajra rotis, you can put it between sheets of greased plastic and roll it. I used two sheets of butter paper and did not have to use the extra oil for greasing.

Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is thicker than roti. Making holes in the thalipeeth and cooking it covered helps it to cook evenly. Thalipeeth is best eaten hot with homemade butter, ghee, or thick yogurt. I like it with garlic chutney and yogurt.

Thalipeeth

Ingredients

Makes 12 Thalipeeths

  • 3 cups Thalipeeth Bhajani flour
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Warm water for kneading the dough
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • oil for cooking

Recipe

Mix the thalipeeth flour, onions, spinach, chillies, coriander leaves, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and oil. Add little warm water at a time and knead the mixture into stiff but pliable dough. Cover it and keep it aside for 5-10 minutes. Knead the dough again and divide it into number of thalipeeths you want to make. Roll each portion into circles. You can do this with your palms just like the like the bajra roti is made or place the dough ball in between two sheets of butter paper and roll it carefully. Make a small hole in the center of the thalipeeth. If you are making a big roti, bigger than 5 inches in diameter, you can make multiple holes. These holes are used to pour oil and cook the thalipeeth evenly.

Heat a tava and smear around 1/2 tsp oil on the tava. Peel the butter paper from the thalipeeth carefully and  place the thalipeeth on the tava. Pour some oil in the holes and around the thalipeeth. Cover and cook for around two minutes on medium heat. Flip and cook for two more minute. Serve hot with homemade butter, yogurt, or garlic chutney.

 

Thalipeeth Bhajni

To make the Thalipeeth flour at home, roast the following flours separately on low heat for 8-10 mins making sure you do not burn any of them. Once the flours are roasted and cooled completely, mix them and store in airtight container. This thalipeeth flour can be stored for 4-5 months.

  • 1 cup Bajra atta (Millet flour)
  • 1/2 cup Chawal ka atta (rice flour)
  • 1/2 cup Besan (split bengal gram flour)
  • 1/2 cup Jowar aata (sorghum flour) 1/3 cup urad dal aata (split black gram flour)
  • 1/2 cup gehu ka atta (wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup dhania powder (ground coriander seeds)

Rajasthani Mirchibada

Rajasthani Mirchibada

Mirchi bada in Rajasthan or mirchi bhajji is South is a delicious street food made of thick and long green chillies dipped in gram flour and deep fried. It perfectly complements piping hot tea on a rainy day. For a very long time, this was our Sunday special snack along with other bhajiyas. In Rajasthan and at my home too, the mirchi bada is stuffed with a potato filling which is slightly sour and cuts the heat of chillies.

Mirchibada Stuffing

 

It is a good idea to deseed and boil the chillies for few minutes. It helps to reduce the heat in chillies. Remember not to make the batter too thin or it won’t stay on the chillies. Traditionally, roasted cashews and anardana are added to the filling but I like to add roasted peanuts and tamarind paste to add a sour kick to the spicy chilli. In south, it is slit open after frying and topped with finely chopped onions and masala peanuts. Whether you decide to serve it the south Indian or the north Indian style, remember to serve them hot. That is when they taste the best. This snack is best served hot along with mint or tamarind chutney.

Mirchibada

Ingredients

Makes 8-10 Mirchi Badas

  • 8-10 long green chillies (the less hot ones used for Mirchi bhajjis)
  • Finely chopped onion (optional topping)
  • Masala peanuts (optional topping)
  • Oil to fry

For the filling

  • 2 potatoes boiled and peeled
  • 3-4 tbsp groundnuts roasted and coarsely grounded
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp anardana powder (can be swapped for ¼ tsp aamchur powder or ¼ tsp tamarind pulp)
  • Salt to taste

For the batter

  • ½ cup gram flour (besan)
  • 2 pinches turmeric
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • Salt to taste
  • Chilled water (approximately ½ cup) to make batter

Recipe

Slit the chillies along their length to make a pocket for the masala. Deseed them and boil them in rolling hot water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.

To prepare the filling, mix all the ingredients for the filling and mash them using hand or a potato masher. You can choose to add amchur or anardana powder instead of the tamarind paste. Idea is to add a hint of sourness to the filling. You can add all the spices as per taste to make the filling more or less spicy.

Take one boiled chilli at a time and fill it with the potato filling. Do not over fill the chillies. Keep them aside till you are ready to fry them.

For the batter, Mix the gram flour, turmeric, red chilli powder, carom seeds and salt. Add little water at a time to make a paste consistency batter. It should stick to the chillies when you dip them in water. It took me a little less than ½ cup of water to get the right consistency. Using ice cold water to make batter for bhajiyas helps them become crispier.

Heat oil in a kadhai. It should not be smoking hot. To check if the oil has reached correct temperature, just drop a tiny bit of batter in the oil. If it sizzles and floats immediately, the oil is hot enough to fry the chillies. Dip a potato filled chilli in the batter and ensure that it’s properly coated. Drop it carefully in hot oil and fry until golden. Fry few chillies at a time.  Drain them on an absorbent paper and serve hot with mint or tamarind chutney.