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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Dal Maharani

Dal Maharani

Dal maharani – I don’t know the reason for this name or origins of this dal but this is one of my favorite dals. Urad dal cooked with onion, tomato, and spices. This is an in house speciality at my home. Some dishes taste best when cooked by certain people and this is surely one of them. My aunt’s signature dish which I relish with hot parathas or bajra rotis.

Dal Maharani

A very simple dal but with a difference. It does not need any trips to the grocery store but yet will pack a punch on those cold rainy nights. I enjoy this mostly on its own with a dollop of ghee.  Bajra roti or parathas are the perfect companions for this nutritious treat.

Dal Maharani

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup urad dal soaked in plenty of water for 3 hours
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp oil/butter
  • ¼ tsp tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 big onion finely chopped
  • 1 big tomato finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala

Recipe

Wash and soak the urad dal in plenty of water for 3 hours. Drain the water and put dal in a pressure cooker.  Add 2 cups of water and some salt and cook for two whistles or until it is cooked. The dal is cooked when it gets mushy when you mix it. Keep it aside.

Grind ginger, garlic, and green chillies coarsely.

Heat 2 tbsp butter/oil in a kadhai or a thick bottomed pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, and dry red chillies. Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli paste and onions. Saute and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and little salt, red chilli powder, turmeric, and garam masala and mix well. Cook till oil separates and tomatoes are mushy. Add the cooked dal and mix well. Taste and adjust salt. Cook on slow gas for 7-10 minutes mixing in between. Serve hot with a dollop of butter and a squeeze of fresh lime.

Gatte ke Chawal

Gatte ke Chawal

Gatte ke chawal is my family’s signature monsoon dish. Gatte is type of boiled or fried gram flour dumplings used in Rajasthani cuisine. This delicious rice cooked with fried gatte, potatoes, and basic spices gets ready in a jiffy and tastes best when it is piping hot. This is one of the very few dishes which my whole family enjoys without any complains.

Gatte

You can add cashew nuts, green peas, boiled Bengal gram(kala chana) to this rice. Ours has been a no onion, no garlic home for a very long time. Most of the dishes are still made the same way without onion or garlic. You can add ginger garlic paste, chopped onions, and a dash of lime to add more taste a flavor to this dish.

Gatte ke Chawal

This rice tastes best when it is eaten hot as soon as it is made. It does not need any accompaniment but goes well with plain yogurt.

Gatte ke Chawal

Ingredients           

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small potato peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp ground nuts
  • 2 bay leaves (tej patta)
  • 5-6 cloves (laung)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste

For Gatte

  • ½ cup gram flour (besan)
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 pinch soda
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry

Recipe

For Gatte

Mix all the ingredients of gatte. Add 1 tbsp water at a time and mix till everything comes together to form a stiff dough. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll them into cylindrical rolls using your palms. Cut these rolls into approximate 1 inch pieces. Boil plenty of water in a pan and cook these gattas in boiling water for 7-8 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil and fry the gattas till they are light brown. Drain and keep aside. In the same oil, fry the cubed potatoes till they are lightly browned and keep aside.

For rice

Wash and soak the rice in 2-3 cups of water for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker.  Add cumin seeds, cloves, and bay leaves. Once the seeds pop, add curry leaves, green chillies and dry red chillies. Sauté for few seconds. Add groundnuts and cook for 20-30 seconds. Add the fried gatte and potatoes. Drain water from the rice and add rice to the cooker. Mix well making sure not to break the rice. Saute for 45 seconds to a minute. Add 2 cups of water, turmeric, and salt. Mix well and close the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles or till the rice is done (the time differs from cooker to cooker). Once the pressure is released, open the lid, add chopped coriander and mix well. Serve hot.

Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable cutlet is a popular south Indian snack made with boiled vegetables and spices. This is a slightly different version of the vegetable cutlets you get at the south Indian restaurants. It is a deep fried snack but I shallow fry it on a non stick pan to make it less oily. You can have it as an appetizer or a tea time snack.

These cutlets can be prepared ahead of time and fried just before eating. You can freeze them and use them when required. The pungent and spicy taste of fennel seeds, garlic, and green chillies is the USP of these cutlets.

Vegetable Cutlet

If you find the cutlets dough watery, you can add ¼ cup of bread crumbs. This will soak the water and also add texture and flavor to the cutlets. I used the Japanese panko bread crumbs. You can use any bread crumbs. You can also use semolina (rava) to coat the cutlets. It adds crunch to the cutlets. You can deep or shallow fry these cutlets depending on your taste.

These cutlets should be served hot with fresh salad and tomato ketchup. Vegetable cutlets also go well with hot tea.

Vegetable Cutlet

Ingredients

Makes 16 cutlets

  • 3 potatoes chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 8-10 beans chopped
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup gram flour (besan)
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 5-6 green chillies
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of coriander (approximately ½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • ½ cup water
  • cups of bread crumbs or rava to coat the cutlets
  • oil to fry the cutlets

Recipe

Grind the green chillies, garlic, coriander and fennel seeds to a paste and keep aside.

Pressure cook the potatoes, carrots, beans and green peas till they are soft. Once cooled, squeeze out all the water and mash the vegetables. Put the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Add the gram flour, rice flour, bread crumbs, ground paste, and salt. Mix well. Adjust the seasoning at this stage. Roll into sixteen oval cutlets.

Make a thin watery paste of all purpose flour and water. Dip the cutlet in this water and roll it in rava or bread crumbs. Refrigerate the rolled cutlets for an hour. Deep fry in hot oil or shallow fry on a non stick pan using little oil. Serve hot.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

This is one of my oldest and best experiments so far. Right from my college days, this was (and still is) my go to dish whenever there was turai or brinjal for lunch at home. White or whole wheat bread filled with vegetables filling flavored with pav bhaji masala makes these sandwiches a complete and quick meal without any guilt. My siblings and I have always relished these quick and flavorful sandwiches.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

You can add finely chopped garlic along with onions if you like. You can also add vegetables like beans or sweetcorn. Do not overcook the veggies or they will lose the crunch. Cheese is optional. You can add a slice of cheese to the filling just before you grill it. I use olive oil to grill the sandwiches, you can use butter too. I grill my sandwiches on a tava; Sandwich maker should give the same results too.

You can prepare the filling in advance and grill the sandwiches just before eating. I pack these sandwiches for lunch sometimes and they taste good but I would still prefer them fresh and hot.

Pav Bhaji Sandwich

Ingredients

Makes 10-12 sandwiches (depending on the size of the bread)

  • ½ cup onions
  • 1 cup carrot
  • ½ cup capsicum
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 20-22 slices of bread
  • Butter/olive oil as required

Recipe

Heat oil in a kadhai or non stick pan. Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes till they are translucent. Add capsicum and sauté for a minute. Add carrot and green peas and sauté for another minute. Add pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes mixing in between. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool slightly. Fill between two slices of bread and grill on tava or a sandwich maker using butter or olive oil. You can add cheese slice to the sandwich before grilling. Serve hot with ketchup.