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.

 

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)

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)

What Childaa or Chilva is to Rajasthan and North Indian, Pesarattu is to Andhra Pradesh and South India. It is a crepe or dosa like snack made with split green grams (called Pesar Pappu in Telugu; thus the name Pesarattu).  It is a very filling and healthy breakfast.  It also has a variation called MLA Pesarattu which is made by filling the pesarattu with a layer of upma.

You can make the pesarattus thin and crispy or slightly thicker. To make the pesarattu thicker, keep the batter coarse. The consistency of batter should be like dosa batter. You can add asafetida, garlic, fresh coriander to the batter while grinding it but it is optional.

In North India, it is filled with grated paneer and in south its eaten plain or filled with a layer of upma or chopped onions. You can also add grated carrots to the filling if you like. This tastes best with coconut chutney or garlic chutney.

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)

Ingredients

Makes 12-15

  • 1 cup split green gram (moong dal) soaked for 6-8 hours
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/ghee/butter for cooking

Recipe

Wash the moong dal and soak in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water and grind the moong dal, chillies, ginger, and salt to a smooth paste.  Add little water if required. The consistency of the batter should be like of a dosa batter.

Heat a flat griddle (tava). Spray or smear some ghee/oil and wipe it. Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it thin on the griddle. Top it with grated paneer and onions. Spray or drizzle oil/ghee/butter around the pesarattu. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Turnover and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.

Quick Bisi Bele Bath

Quick Bisi Bele Bath

Bisibele bath is a dish from Karnataka but also popular in Hyderabad. It’s a spicy and sour mix of rice and lentils.  My mom uses left over rice and dal to make excellent instant bisi bele bath. It’s a quick makeover to the left over dal rice. Just add some mixed vegetables, spices and you have an interesting and delicious breakfast/lunch dish ready.

Hyderabad has numerous restaurants which serve a dish called sambar rice with veggies. This recipe of my mom comes closest to it. My mom uses the khatti dal that we prepare at home. You can use any toor (split pigeon pea) based dal. I haven’t tried this dish with other lentils yet. If you are using a dal which is not sour, add tamarind water while cooking.

You can use any vegetables you like for this dish but I prefer carrots, beans and peas. The main ingredients for this dish are sambar powder and the karampodi. They take this simple dal rice mix to another level. You can add or reduce the karampodi as per your preference of spice in food.  Bisibele bath can be served a breakfast or lunch. It tastes best when it is hot.

Quick Bisi Bele Bath

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 dry red chillies
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ¼ cup mixed vegetables chopped (carrot, beans, peas)
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • ½ tbsp sambar powder
  • 1 tbsp karam podi (gun powder served with idlis or south Indian meals)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup dal (I used the khatti dal my mom prepares at home)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind water (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Heat oil in a pressure cooker.  Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add dry red chillies, asafetida, and curry leaves.

Add onions and vegetables and sauté for 1-2 mins. Add tomatoes and cook for 30-40 seconds. Add sambar powder, karam podi, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well. Add dal and 1 cup water.  Close the cooker and cook till the pressure is released once (one whistle). Switch off the gas after one whistle. Once the cooker is cooled, open and add rice and mix well. Close the cooker again and cook on slow flame till you get two more whistles. Open the cooker once it is cooled completely. Add chopped coriander and serve hot with papad and lime pickle.

Idli

Idli

Idli is my most favorite food. I can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This popular and healthy breakfast from south India is a sour dough preparation made with urad dal and rice. Dal and rice are soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then steamed in special idli moulds to get soft and fluffy idlis. This recipe is my mom’s recipe using urad dal and idli rava. These are the idlis you get in Hyderabad and for me these are the best idlis in the world. You can get idli in Hyderabad 24×7. There are famous road side joints which have people queuing up at even 2 am for soft melt in the mouth idlis.

Idli recipe looks very simple but getting soft and fluffy idli takes lot of effort and experience. It depends on the quality of urad dal and idli rava. If the rava is not washed properly, the idlis will turn out yellow. Adding fenugreek seeds to the urad dal will help the batter ferment well. If the dal is less, idlis will be hard. Some people add poha to the urad dal. But adding excess poha will make the idlis flat.  Adding bottled or cold water while grinding the batter also helps to make the idlis softer.

The consistency of idli batter should be like whipped cream. It should fall of from spoon easily. Do not over fill the mould. Leave some space for idlis to expand. Idlis can be enjoyed with different chutneys and sambhar. The most common combination for idli is coconut chutney and sambhar. I like it with karam podi.

Idlis make one of the healthiest breakfasts. Top the idlis with ghee or butter if you like.

Idli

Ingredients

Makes 20-30 idlis depending on the size of Idli mould

  • 500 gms (2 cups) Idli rava
  • 200 gms (3/4 cup) urad dal
  • 10 grams (2 tbsp) fenugreek seeds

Chutney

  • ½ cup coconut
  • 3 green chillies
  • ½ cup yellow roasted chick peas
  • ¼ cup ground nuts roasted
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Salt to taste

For chutney

Grind all the ingredients for chutney to a smooth paste using little water.

For Idli

Wash the idli rava 3-4 times under running water. Soak in water and keep aside 6-7 hours.  Wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds 3-4 times under running water.  Soak in water and keep aside for 6-7 hours. Drain water from urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste adding little water. Drain the water from idli rava and add the urad dal paste to it. Add salt and cover and keep aside over night to ferment. Remember to leave enough space in the utensil for the batter to rise as it ferments. If the temperature outside is cold, keep the batter in a microwave or oven (do not switch them on) or any warm place.

Once the batter is fermented, mix it lightly. Pour the batter in greased idli mould and steam for 8-10 minutes. Check the idli and steam again for few minutes if required. Serve hot idlis with chutney and sambar.

 

Gobhi Parathas (Cabbage Stuffed Parathas)

Gobhi Parathas (Cabbage Stuffed Parathas)

Gobhi or cabbage paratha is not one of the famous parathas you get at the restaurants. This is my family recipe and I have never seen these parathas being sold anywhere. Shredded cabbage and spices are mixed and roasted with gram flour to make a spicy filling for whole wheat parathas. This is my mom’s way of sneaking vegetables into our food. She replaces gobhi with radish (muli) when it is in season and it tastes equally yummy.

Gram flour tends to burn if not sautéed continuously. It is best to make the filling on lowest flame throughout. The gram flour is done when it starts changing color and you can smell the aroma. You can use grated radish instead of cabbage for a variation. In both cases, do not add water to the filling as the both the vegetables have enough water content.

Rolling out a paratha with a filling needs lot of practice. You need to make sure that the dough is of right consistency. If the dough is too hard, the filling will come out, if it is too soft, you will not be able to roll it well. You also need to make sure the filling is spread throughout the paratha. If you do not roll it well, you might end up with filling only on sides or only in centre. Practice is the key.

These parathas are perfect for a rainy day. My mom makes them for breakfast/dinner and they taste yummy even when they are cold. Just roll up the cold paratha and dip it in chai for a filling chai time snack. I like my parathas hot with chilled yogurt and lime pickle.

Gobhi Parathas (Cabbage Stuffed Parathas)

Ingredients

Makes 12-15 Parathas

For the Dough

  • 2 ½ cup whole wheat flour (aata)
  • 1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to knead the dough

For the Filling

  • 2 ½ cup cabbage (patta gobhi) grated
  • 1+1/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 4 green chillies coarsely ground
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp oil + some more to cook the parathas
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

For the Dough

Combine the flour, carom seeds, salt, and water to make a soft and smooth dough. Cover and keep it aside.

For the Filling

Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or non-stick pan. Add the gram flour and roast it on a slow flame mixing continuously till it is slightly brownish (2-3 minutes) in color. Do not over roast it. It will taste bitter otherwise. Add green chillies paste and roast again for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, salt, chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, lime juice, and chopped coriander. Mix well and roast for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.

For Parathas

Divide the dough into equal portions. Roll out a thick small disc (appx 5 inches). Put a portion of the cooled filling (appx 1-11/2 tbsp) in the center and bring the edges together to form a small ball. Flatten it lightly with hand and roll into a paratha. Try not to let the filling out while rolling the paratha.

Heat a griddle and cook the paratha on both sides using little oil just like you would cook a normal paratha. Serve with chilled yogurt and pickle.

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Pongal or Kara pongal (as known in Bangalore) is the south Indian version of Khichdi (a dish prepared with rice and lentils). This is a popular breakfast dish in south India and you can find it at any tiffin center. At my place, this is a quick recipe which my aunt makes when we crib about lunch or when we are hungry at odd times like 4-5 pm. This is her recipe of Pongal. Dal and rice are pressure cooked and a tempering of cashewnuts, black pepper, curry leaves, and cumin seeds in ghee is added to complete this yummy and quick breakfast.

Pongal and Vada served at the Tirupati Tirumala temple is the best Pongal I have ever eaten. Long time ago, when the Tirumala temple was not so commercial, common man could taste this pongal. You can still try your luck if you visit the temple for morning prayers. The most important thing to keep in mind for this recipe is to do the tempering (tadka) in ghee ONLY. That is what gives it the wonderful flavour. Remember to eat this hot and fresh. This can be served with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Pongal (South Indian Khichdi)

Ingredients

Serves  4

For Pongal

  • 3/4th cup rice
  • 1/4th cup moong dal
  • ½ inch piece of ginger grated (optional)
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 12-15 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 10-12 cashewnuts

Recipe

Combine the ingredients for pongal and pressure cook for 4 whistles on low flame. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mash the pongal with back of a spoon.

Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Add peppercorns and cashew nuts and sauté till the cashews are lightly browned.

Pour this tempering on the pongal and mix well. Serve hot with coconut chutney.