Ras No Fajeto (Mango Kadhi)

Ras No Fajeto

Fajeto or ras to fajeto as it is addressed is a mango flavored Gujarati kadhi. Yogurt whisked with mango pulp and gram flour is tempered with spices like cinnamon, ginger powder, cloves etc and served with hot puris. Mango season in Gujarati homes means mangoes for lunch breakfast and dinner and may be in between for snacks too. When I first heard of this dish, I was very skeptical ( I hate sweet flavors in main course, especially with rice) but the taste won me over. Mango kadhi might not sound appetizing if you are not a mango lover but if you like Gujarati food, this dish is worth a try.

The richer the aroma of mangoes, the flavorful fajeto you will have. Ratnagiri or alphonso are the best choices for this kadhi.if you want to add more flavor you can replace the water in buttermilk with the water from mangoes (from peels and stone). You can adjust the sugar in this dish depending on the sweetness of mango pulp and as per taste. You can even replace sugar with jaggery. For the pulp, I would recommend a thick and strained pulp.

The dry spices especially ginger powder (saunth) complements the mango flavor very well. Try not leaving that out if you are short of ingredients. You can use oil instead of ghee for the tempering. Some people roast and powder the cinnamon, cloves, and dry ginger, but I like the taste with whole spices (I can take them out once I have the desired flavor).

While fajeto can be eaten with rice too, I love it with hot puris.

Mango Kadhi

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 5 cup butter milk (1/2cup yogurt+1 cup water)
  • 1/2 tbsb gram flour (besan) besan
  • 1/4 cup mango pulp
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp mustard and cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 piece of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder (saunth)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger grated

Recipe

Combine the ingredients for fajeta in a bowl and whisk well. Make sure there are no lumps. Keep aside.

Heat ghee in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the curry leaves, dry red chilli, green chilli, cloves, cinnamon, ginger powder, and grated ginger. Sauté for 5-10 seconds. Add the yogurt mix and continue stirring till the mixture comes to a boil. You can do this on high flame too. Once the fajeta comes to boil, reduce the flame and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with puri or rice.

Dabeli

Dabeli

Dabeli is a famous street food in Gujarat and Mumbai. This gujarati version of burger is filled with spiced potatoes, sweet, spicy, and sour chutneys and fresh pomegranates. Usually smeared with butter and served hot. Post wedding dinners can be disasterous if you are served puri-sabji and kheer combo for 5-6 dinners in a row. Dabeli was a big respite when one of my husband’s cousin made it for dinner for us. This was the first time I enjoyed a snack with sweet taste. She is a pro at making lip smacking snacks and I have borrowed this recipe from her to share it on Vegetarian Khana.

The potato filling is layered in a plate with edges and then cut into portions. The common layers are potato and spice mixture, masala peanuts, fresh coriander, pomegranate, and sev. Some people add fresh grapes too. If you want to prepare the masala ahead, add the pomegranate and sev layers in the end so that the sev does not get soggy.

Dabeli is filled with three different types of chutneys. Sweet, spicy, and sour. You can layer the chutneys and toppings on the dabeli as per taste. I like to use fresh red chillies for the garlic chutney but if that is not available you can use red chilli powder. These chutney can be made ahead and refrigerated. Left over chutney can also be stored for few days.

You can make your dabeli healthier by using the whole wheat or multi grain burger buns. Substitute the butter with olive oil. I did not see a major difference in taste when I made these substitutions. Just spread the chutneys evenly, add the potato filling and press the dabeli a little while cooking. Dabeli can be enjoyed both hot and cold.

Dabeli

 

Ingredients

  • 4 pav/burger buns
  • 4-5 tbsp garlic chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp coriander chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp sweet chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp thin sev
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate
  • Butter to cook the dabelis

For filling

  • 1 ½ tbsp dabeli masala
  • 2 potatoes boiled and roughly mashed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp masala groundnuts
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For the garlic chutney

  • ¼ cup peeled and chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 fresh red chilli (substitute this for 1 tbsp red chilli powder if fresh red chilli is not available)

For coriander chutney

  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp groundnuts
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

For the coriander chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste using little water. Keep aside.

For garlic chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste using little water. Keep aside.

For the filling

Heat oil in a kadhai or non-stick pan. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes till the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes, turmeric, dabeli masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a round or square plate with edges and fill it evenly. Add a layer of masala groundnuts and top with a layer of chopped fresh coriander. Cut the filling in four portions and keep aside. If masala groundnuts are not available, you can make them at home. Just roast the groundnuts in very little oil and add salt and red chilli powder.

To make dabeli

Slice the pav/bun into two pieces. Spread approximately 2 tsp each of coriander chutney and sweet chutney on one side and 2 tsp garlic chutney on another side. You can spread more/less chutneys as per taste. Add a portion of the potato filling and top it with approximately 1 tbsp of fresh pomegranate and 1 tbsp sev. Close the bun and brush it with butter on both sides.

Heat a tava or non-stick pan. Cook the dabeli on both sides pressing it lightly. Serve immediately with sweet chutney, coriander chutney, or ketchup.

Rotli Nu Chaas Valu Shaak (Leftover Rotis in Spiced Buttermilk)

Left Over Roti Snack

Rotli Nu Chaas Valu Shaak

 

Rotli nu chaas valu shaak is leftover rotis cooked in yogurt and few spices. It is like a quick and easier form of dal dhokli. Some days are just lazy when you don’t feel like cooking but you still want to eat something healthy and tasty. In a place like Singapore where vegetarian food is not as easily available as in India, home food always tastes better and is sometimes the better or only option. This is one of the quick fixes when everyone is tired or there are leftover rotis at home. There is a similar dish that is made at my place. I will post that soon. This is one of the best dishes that my mom in law prepares.

Somehow all the moms have this trick of transforming simple things into yummy delightful meals. They do not even use fancy ingredients. Just a few basic spices and you endup raving about the same leftover food which you would have had made faces at a while ago.

This tastes even better if the butter milk is lightly sour. Make sure to keep stirring the buttermilk till it boils. Since I was using the store bought thick curd for buttermilk, I added more water, if you are using homemade curd you can reduce the quantity of water. This is healthy, quick, and delicious and can be enjoyed as lunch or dinner. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that you cannot prepare this in advance. It tends to get lumpy as it gets cold. This one pot meal is best enjoyed hot.

Rotli Nu Chaas Valu Shaak (Leftover Rotis in Spiced Buttermilk)

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 5 whole-wheat rotis
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk (I used ½ cup curd and 1 cup water)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Recipe

Tear the rotis into small and medium bits and keep aside.

Whisk together the buttermilk, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai. Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves and green chilli. Add chopped garlic and dry red chilli and cook for 30 seconds to one minute. Add the buttermilk and bring to boil while stirring. Add the roti pieces and reduce the flame to minimum. Check for salt and spice and make adjustments if required. Cook for 5-6 minutes, till the yogurt gets thick and rotis get soft.

Do not stir a lot after you have added the rotis. Just a mix or two should be good. Add chopped coriander and serve immediately.

Masala Khichdi

Masala Khichdi

Khichdi is a preparation of rice and lentils and is a comfort food. It is also a common baby food or food for people who are sick as it is a very basic and healthy food without any or much spices. It is a very quick recipe too. Rice and dal are pressure cooked with salt and turmeric and its done.

I was never a khichdi fan until I had this wonderful spicy or masala version of khichdi. In Bangalore, we were local guardians to a wonderful girl from Gujarat who was in Bangalore to study Pharmacy. Her mom made this Khichdi for us when she came to drop her to Bangalore. Since then, Masala khichdi is a regular on our menu.

Since then I have also tasted this dish at few restaurants where it is called dal khichdi. I still love this simple and quick masala version made by Ridhhi’s mom. This can be a quick and filling meal if you are tired to cook roti sabji or you just want a healthy one pot meal. You can eat this masala khichdi with pickle, curd, papad or have it the gujju way with a glass of chilled chaas (buttermilk).

Masala Khichdi

Ingredients

Serves 3

  • ¼ cup rice
  • ¼ cup mung Dal
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece ginger grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic chopped (optional)
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 1 dry red chilli broken
  • 2 tbsp groundnuts
  • 1 small onions chopped
  • 1 small potato chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Wash rice and dal 3-4 times and soak them in 3 cups of water for 5 minutes.

Heat oil in a cooker. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, dry red chilli, and green chilli. Add ginger and garlic and sauté. Add groundnuts and sauté. Add onions and cook till they are translucent. Add potatoes, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and garam masala and mix well. Add the washed rice and dal with water. Add salt and mix well.

Close the lid and pressure cook for four whistles. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mix well. Mash the khichdi with the back of the spoon while mixing. Add chopped coriander and mix well. Serve hot with curd, pickle, and papad.

Karela Masala (Bitter Gourd Curry)

Karela Masala (Bitter Gourd Curry)

I am not celebrating the most hated vegetables week. My mom in law is visiting us and I am just trying to make the most of it. I am trying to learn from her the best recipes she makes. Next few weeks you might see lot of gujju stuff on Vegetarian Khana and if you want to see any gujju dish on Vegetarian Khana, do share it with me so that I can ask her to teach me that. It is Karela (Bitter gourd) masala this weekend. People either love Karela or they absolutely hate it. I don’t love it but I love the Karela fry that my mom makes, or the masala Karela that my mom in law and my aunt make. Karela is very bitter, but is eaten a lot in India because of its medicinal value.

To reduce the bitterness of Karela, peel the Karela, cut it into small pieces and discard the seeds. Sprinkle little salt on peeled and chopped Karela and leave it aside for 20-30 minutes. When ready to cook the Karela, wash it under running water and squeeze the Karela to reduce the bitterness.

Remember my mom in law’s signature mixed veg curry recipe? Well, this one uses the same masala. If you have the masala ready, this is a very quick recipe. You can check the recipe for masala here. Adding a little jaggery, adds flavor and helps to reduce the bitterness of Karela.

Make sure to take the curry off from flames as soon as you finish mixing the masala. Cooking it for a long time will make the besan in the masala stick to the pan. This curry tastes good with bajri roti or whole wheat rotis. You can serve this with fresh/pickled onions and the non spicy chillies.

Karela Masala (Bitter Gourd Curry)

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 cup chopped Karela (bitter gourd)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder (optional)
  • 4 tbsp mixed vegetable sabji masala
  • 1 tsp jaggery
  • Salt to taste (Remember the masala and the karela already have salt so taste the curry and add salt only if required)

Recipe

Peel the Karela. Remove seeds and chop into small pieces. Sprinkle approximately 1 tsp salt and keep it aside for 25-30 minutes. Squeeze the Karela and throw the water. Wash them in running water and squeeze again.

Pressure cook the Karela with 1 cup water and little salt for three whistles. Once the pressure is released, strain the Karela and discard the water.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add onions, little salt, and turmeric powder. Sauté and cook for 1-2 minutes till the onions start getting brown. Add Karela, chilli powder, and jaggery. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the sabji masala and mix well. Cook for 40-50 seconds and take off from the gas. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot roti.

Baigan ka Bharta (Ringna no Orro)

Baigan ka Bharta (Ringna no Orro)

Ringna no Orro or Baigan ka bharta gujju style. This is my mom in law’s world famous recipe. Everyone who has eaten this version of the bharta is a fan of her cooking. This is a very common recipe in Gujarat and people relish this with hot rotla (bajra ki roti). This is an almost no cook dish.

All you need is a big and beautiful looking Brinjal/Aubergine/Eggplant. Only cooking you will need for this dish is roasting the Brinjal on open flame. You can also grill it if you like.

Though Brinjal tops the list of vegetables I hate, I loved the smell of this one. Finely chopped onions and green chillies mixed with freshly roasted Brinjals never smelled so good to me. This cooks pretty fast and packs in lots of nutrition with very less fat.

My in laws and most of the bharta lovers enjoy this one with hot bajra roti (called Rotlo in gujarati), garlic chutney, and pieces of Jaggery. You can try this with normal whole wheat rotis too.

Baigan ka Bharta (Ringna no Orro)

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 big Brinjal (Aubergine/Eggplant, Baigan, Ringana)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 2 tbp fresh coriander finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp + ¼ tsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Brush the aubergine with ¼ tsp oil and make a vertical slit. Roast on cooktop, or grill in oven grill or barbeque grill. Keep turning it periodically till the Brinjal is charred on all side. Let it cool completely and then peel off and discard the charred skin and the green top. Chop the Brinjal as finely as possible. You can even mash it if you prefer.

In a bowl, combine the chopped Brinjal with rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve with hot Bajra roti, Garlic chutney and some pieces of Jaggery.

Dal Dhokli (Fresh whole Wheat Pasta in Lentils Gravy)

Dal Dhokli (Fresh whole Wheat Pasta in Lentils Gravy)

Dal dhokli for me is the Indian version of ravioli pasta. This is just spicier and healthier. For those who haven’t heard of it, it is fresh homemade whole wheat pasta in lentils gravy. You want a simpler explanation? In my mom’s words, it is a perfect dish to finish off the leftover dal at home. This one pot meal is a gujju dish but it is a common menu item at my place. This is my family recipe of dal dhokli so it is slightly different from the traditional Gujarati dal dhokli. My mom makes it without the sugar.

Boiled toor dal (split pigeon peas/arhar dal) is tempered with spices and dhoklis made with whole wheat flour and gram flour (besan) are added to create this one dish meal. The thing you need to take care of while making this dish is to add the dhoklis when the dal boils, or else they will stick and get lumpy. You can shape the dhoklis as you like. Diamond shape is the most common one.

You can make the dhoklis in advance and freeze them to use them next time you have a leftover dal or when you want a quick meal. Though this is a one dish meal, some families make rice with this dish. It is a perfect meal for a cold winter evening. Serve the dal dhokli with fresh cut onions and a piece of lime.

Dal Dhokli (Fresh whole Wheat Pasta in Lentils Gravy)

Ingredients

Serves 4

For Dal

  • 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) washed and soaked
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1 piece cinnamon
  • 8-10 fenugreek seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 dry red chillies broken
  • 1 green chilli slit
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste

For Dhokli

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp gram flour (besan)
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

For the Dhoklis

Combine all the ingredients for dhokli and make a stiff/firm dough using enough water. Cover and keep it aside for 15 minutes (you can prepare the dal in these 15 minutes). Knead the dough again after 15 minutes and divide it into five equal rolls. Roll out each portion into a 7-8 inch circle. Do not roll the dhokli very thin. You can look at the image above for approximate thickness of the dhokli. Cut the rolled circle into small diamond shapes using a knife or a cutter.

For the Dal

Pressure cook the dal with little salt in 1 ½ cup of water. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and blend the dal the dal till it is smooth. Add 3 ½ cups of water, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, and salt. Bring to boil. Heat 2tbsp ghee in a separate pan. Add cumin seeds, curry leaves, ginger, green chilli, cloves, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds (methi dana), bay leaves, dry red chillies, and asafoetida. Sauté on a low flame for 1 minute. Add this tadka to the boiling dal and mix well.

Just before serving, bring the dal to boil. Once the dal boils, add the dhokli pieces one by one and stir gently. Cook on low flame for 8-9 minutes stirring occasionally. Add more water if the dal thickens while boiling. Add the lime juice and chopped coriander.

Serve hot with fresh cut onions and a wedge of lime and You can also add a spoonful of ghee (optional).