May 30, 2008

DABELI, Dabeli Masala and a Comix!

Dabeli and Dabeli Masala are my entries to MBP, which is guest hosted by Supriya of "Monsoon spice" this month with a theme of "Street Food".
Coffee of "The Spice Cafe"
blog is the founder and creator of "Monthly blog patroling". Idea of this event is to patrol the blogs for dishes which suits the monthly theme and cook from other blogs to appreciate their recipes. Thanks Supriya and Coffee, enjoy the Dabelis!:)

Chaat or Street food:
As much as we enjoy and appreciate our traditional Indian homecooked food, Indians are also great lovers of Street carts filled with great crunchy munchies which spring up every corner of the cities as soon as Sun goes down or even before or permanently settled in little shacks by the roadside all day and any day.
My favorite "food group" is always been Chaat or "lip smacking tangy, spicy street cart food" as it exactly means. So far, I have recreated most of the Street cart foods at home although I have blogged very few. This time I wanted to make a chaat I haven't tasted before and choose one from a blog I haven't cooked from so far!
Dabeli is one chaat I have not tasted either on the street or at home since I always thought it probably taste like Pav Bhaji which I make at home often, so why bother making the same, until the magic of MBP stepped in and left me no choice but to try. Boy, did I get lucky or what! :D
I know many of you have blogged Dabeli, I chose to make Rricha Nimisha's Dabeli version and made Dabeli Masala from Trupti's blog. It tasted like Heaven, will be making more soon using proper Pavs or rolls as it should be made but this middle Eastern bread I used was great for making Dabeli too! :)

Dabeli Masala:

Click on the links to see both the original recipes and their photos. Enjoy!

I chose to make Dabeli Masala from Trupti of "Recipecenterforall" blog since Rricha's recipe for Dabeli didn't use any. I didn't want to make too much of Dabeli masala at first because I thought it might taste just like Pav Bhaji masala which I already have but NO!
This masala is totally different from Pav Bhaji masala and was fragrant, easy and very tasty and very different added to Dabeli Potato masala!
Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe Trupti. I will be making more of this next time! :)

I chose Dabeli (spicy crunchy masala stuffed and pressed together inside the bread rolls or Pavs) recipe from Rricha Nimish's blog. You can see her Dabelis with Pav here.
I didn't have the regular dinner roll or Pav to make this but I did bake some Middle eastern/Lebanese bread called "Khoubiz" last weekend, similar to Italian Focaccia, used it to make Dabeli toasted thick wedges sliced across. Dabeli tasted divine with this bread too!:)

To make Dabeli, you need to get all these together too:
I used to readymade bottled Mint and cilantro chutney and tangy Tamarind sauce or Delhi Chaat sauce, salted and peppered Beer peanuts, Sev or Bhujia, chopped sweet onions or red onion, Potato masala mashed with Dabeli masala, chopped green onions and Cilantro with a slice of Lemon. Some Pomegranate seeds too as the original recipe says. Traditionally, Dabelis are stuffed in Pavs or square bread rolls.

Ready for you! Help yourself!!:)


Here is a fun event if you are looking for some laughs!!
Lakshmi G of "Taste Of Mysore" has come up with theme of "creating a comic strip" which involves Brinjal/Eggplants this month. Idea is to create a comic using a Comix or any other similar website and post it in your blogs. She will do the round up which will be hilarious to read! Thanks LG, have fun and can't wait to see the round up!:))

Well..Brinjal? What a great theme I thought, my favorite veggie! I didn't know where to go for making comic strip but LG immediately linked the site and also e mailed me all the info for making one, which set me rolling.
Although my kids don't mind eating Eggplant dishes once in a while since I don't get to buy Indian Brinjals in other seasons unless of course I drive 20+ miles to a Indian store to get them. I LOVE Brinjals though, could eat Eggplant dishes almost everyday!:)
Every Summer, I make sure to plant a few without a fail and by August, we will be harvesting loads of Eggplants and cook almost 3 days a week since Eggplants don't freeze well. That's when my kids' gets very antsy and want to get rid of all the Brinjal plants as soon as possible. When we clean up our veggie patch in the Fall, they really do a happy dance!! Hahaha!!

Saga of Eggplant:
These comic strips are not transferable from the website to blogs or anywhere except to any e mail addresses. I had to take a photo of my laptop screen to post here! :P
You can see the "comix"strip I created more clearly

Here is how it goes at dinner time around 6.30pm during the Eggplant bounty season! :D

Mom (that's me, yelling from the kitchen): Hey kids, dinner's is ready!! Come downstairs, NOW!!!

T girl: OH MAN!!! Sigh...!!!

T Boy: (iPod in his ears, can't hear a thing but follows his sister downstairs like a lamb or a kid (baby Goat!:D))

T Girl: What's for dinner mom? Hope it's Spaghetti and meatballs!!

T Boy: (Got his fingers crossed, iPod is out of his ears, curious to know!)

Mom cautiously says: Eggplant Ennegayi, Rice rotti and raita!! Homegrown Eggplants too!

T and T: (together, alarmed and frustrated) KILL THE EGGPLANTS!! KILL! KILL!! KILL!!! (cursing Under their breath...&#@&#@)

MOM: (secretly delighted and laughing to herself but not showing it outside) HeeHeeHee! Hahahaha!

Latest news:
This year's Eggplants are growing very well in my veggie patch right now to my joy and to kids' frustration!!Son wanted to burn the little plants already!!! ;D

Have a great weekend, see you all next week!:)

(Psst! A very special surprise is planned for Trisha at her high school today at 10am in the auditorium and it's a well kept secret betn parents, Principal and staff! I will be there today and will tell you all about it next week! I will catch up with all of you in the afternoon when I come back home!)
I am back and catching up now!!:))

May 23, 2008

Gobi AlooTamatar Masala, Mufuletta Sandwich with Olive salad!

I will be linking my Gobi Aloo Tamatar Masala to "fortune Cooking" event going at Nithu and Shriya's "Spicy Tasty" blog. We are supposed to choose one Zodiac sign and cook with veggies it's compatible with. I chose "Cancer sign with Cauliflower" for this, enjoy hosting girls!:)

Sangeeth from "Art of cooking Indian food"
blog has launched a new event called "Eat Healthy..Fiber Rich", and asks us to cook something fiber rich this month. Here is my Gobi AlooTamatar masala full of fiber and Zodiac friendly too, enjoy hosting Sangeeth!:)

Celebrating the Zodiac sign (Cancer) of our Bichon Frisé , A.J.!! :D
Bichon Frisé , in French literally means a "curly lap dog". Our pet AJ (short for Arvind Junior!:D) is a mix of Bichon Frise and a Poodle but he does have 98% Bichon characteristics in him than a Poodle! His birthday is in June and he will be 10years old this month, 70yrs old in dog years!:D Small dogs of his size live about 12 0r 13yrs. So I thought why not give him some attention in my blog too. He loves to snuggle on that Bean bag every night! Happy birthday old man! :D
NO! He won't eat this Gobi masala, gets his own Salmon and brown rice canned doggie food, which is his favorite dish! His food sounds better than our's, don't you think? Hahaha!!
More info about this breed of dogs are here and here.

Fiber rich Cauliflower:
This is what Whole foods website says about Cauliflower,
"Filling, high in fiber, and low in calories, Cauliflower is a great food for reducing your waistline, says Dr. Barry Sears in his book The Top 100 Zone Foods. Weighing in at only 25 calories, a cup of florets contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, one-third of the RDA for folate, and a nice serving of potassium and vitamin B6. These nutrients all work to protect your heart. Cauliflower also contains bioflavonoids, indoles, and other chemicals that protect against cancer. To retain the flavor of cauliflower and minimize nutrient loss, cook it rapidly by boiling or steaming. Overcooking cauliflower diminishes the nutrients significantly."
Food writer Mark Bittman quoted a Cornell University study, stating that 100 grams of cauliflower had 55 mg of vitamin C after boiling, 70 after steaming, and 82 after being cooked in the microwave oven.
For more info about the benefits of fiber, check out here.

Fiber contents of Aloo-Gobi-Tamatar:
1 medium baked potato with skin has 3.8 gms of fiber and 1 cup of Cauliflower has 3.35 gms of fiber, 1 small onion has 1gm of fiber and 1 Tomato has 1.4gms of fiber!

Gobi Aloo Tamatar masala:
The title literally means Cauliflower, Potato, Tomato in spices, you can make this with or without sauce. You can add any veggies like green peas and cooked beans to this recipe. Just make sure that you don't cook the veggies to death which leaves the dish without any nutrition! :)

To make it, you need:
1 small head of Cauliflower, 1 large red Potato peeled or leave the skin for more fiber and cubed, 1 large Tomato chopped 1/4 cup Tomato sauce, 1/4 tsp turmeric, cilantro.
Season: 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 small onion finely chopped, 1" ginger grated or ground.
Dry spices: 1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder, 1/2 tsp or more Chilli pd, 1/2 tsp Garam masala, add 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder and 1/4 tsp Fennel seeds pd at the end for that special fragrant touch!

To make the masala:

1. Cut the flowerettes and bake them on a sheet in a single layer at 450F oven for 20 mins or spray some oil on top and Microwave them for 3-5mins or until you see reddish spots on top.
2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add Cumin seeds, chopped onion and fry until reddish. Add ginger, stir and then cubed Potato, a tbsp of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. If potato is cooked before in the MW, it's even easier!
3. Put in all the dry spices like turmeric, Tomato sauce or Tomato pieces. Cook for 1 minute or until oil shows.
4. Now add all the almost cooked Cauliflower, salt, add about 2tbsp or more water, stir fry until almost dry, unless you want some sauce. In that case, add more water or veg stock to it.
5. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice.

Serve with whole wheat rotis for even more fiber kick or serve on a bed of cooked Quinoa, you will be in nutrition Heaven! :D

Another look!

Have a great weekend, see you all next week!

Last minute addition about Fiber:

I found a great article about the benefits of Fiber at this diet website. Take a look, it's a lot of info! Good to know all these too! :)

Anupama of "Food and More" is hosting a Sandwich Festival 2008! this month. Last time I somehow missed the deadline for her event and this time I almost did it again until I saw sandwiches flying in every blog this week. I am sending my delicious Muffuletta to her, thanks for hosting Anupama! :)

What's a Sandwich and why we we call it so?
A sandwich, essentially is a "grab and go" food made of two or more slices of bread with one or more layers of filling such as meat, cheese, vegetables, salads or ever popular peanut butter and jelly!

WIKI says, ""The first recorded sandwich was by the famous rabbi, Hillel the Elder, who lived during the 1st century B.C. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs."

"In 1765, John Montague's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, points out in his book, The Insatiable Earl - A Life of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, that the sole source for giving Montague credit for the invention of the sandwich, was gossip mentioned in a travel book by Grosley, and that at the period in question 1765, he was known to be very busy, and it is just as likely that it was for the purpose of eating at his desk."

"In 1840, the sandwich was introduced to America by Englishwoman Elizabeth Leslie, (1787-1858). In her cookbook, Directions for Cookery, she has a recipe for ham sandwiches that she suggested as a main dish!"

New Orleans style Muffuletta sandwich with Olive salad:

Here are the recipes I have already posted at Foodie's Hope few weeks ago and reposted here for "Sandwich Festival 2008!" Hope you try it! :)

Whole wheat bread and Muffuletta with Olive salad!

Enjoy and have a 3 day long safe, peaceful weekend!:)

May 19, 2008

Crunchy Asparagus in Chilli-Garlic butter, Palak Dal-Roti from "City of Joy"

I made a simple and delicious Steamed Asparagus flavored with Chilli-Garlic butter for Marta from "An Italian in the US" blog for her "Fresh Produce of the Month" event. She has chosen "Asparagus" as her choice this month. Enjoy Marta, hope you like my simple side dish!:)

Since it's a steamed dish in the Microwave, I am also sending this to Srivalli from "Cooking 4 all seasons" blog's "Microwave Easy cooking" event with a theme of "Steamed" dishes. Thanks to you too Sri!:)

About Asparagus:

Asparagus is a perennial, an almost leafless member of the lily family. Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, owing to its delicate flavor and diuretic properties.It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Only the young shoots of asparagus are eaten, often stir-fried or steamed.
Asparagus is low in calories, do not contain fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. It is a good source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fiber. Info from WIKIPEDIA and you can read more about Asparagus is here.

Steamed crunchy Asparagus in Chilli-Garlic butter:
I usually stir-fry these Asparagus and sprinkle the spices and little Mayo or any sauce over it to serve as a side dish with Chicken patties like this post I have posted before. This time I have steamed and semi-fried in the Microwave and topped with Chilli-Garlic butter for a super quick side dish. Enjoy! :)

Crunchy Asparagus in Chilli-Garlic Butter4

To make it, you need:
Chill-Garlic butter first: 1 tbsp (ie 3 tsps) softened butter, pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp Garlic pd or 1 plump garlic,chopped finely, 1/4 tsp chilli pd.Mix everything and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
Prepare the Asparagus: About 20-25 young Asparagus, 1/4 cup water or chicken stock, 1 tsp (1/3 rd of of above chilli butter mix) butter in chunks, 1/4tsp of salt if you are using just water (stock has salt already,do not add more!), 1/8 tsp coarsely ground pepper corns.
Crunchy mix: 1/4 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) plain or seasoned, 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, 1/4 tsp garlic pd, 1/4 tsp dry Italian mixed herbs. Mix everything and keep aside.

How to make:
1. Hold each Asparagus at both ends and snap. It will break at the tender spot itself. Arrange them all in a Microwave proof dish.
2. Add water or stock, salt, 1/3rd of chilli-garlic butter and pepper, cover partially and cook on high for 3 mins. Uncover, flip the Asparagus gently and microwave again for 3 more minutes without cover.
4. Take the dish out, sprinkle bread crumbs mixture on top, add 1tsp more of chilli butter and microwave for 1-2 mins.
5. Take it out and add rest of (last 1 tsp) chilli butter on top and cover with a plate to melt it. Serve on the side with any meat dishes or veg dishes.

That's it!! Crunchy Asparagus flavored with Parmesan, Panko, Italian herbs and chilli-garlic butter is now ready to devour!:D


Bhags from "Crazy Curry" has launched a new and interesting event for us to cook a dish from a novel you have read or movie you watched and named it "This book/(movie) makes me cook!". Sounds great. huh? Well....I had to get in there at the last minute because Bha as I call her is a great book lover like me. I chose to make a very humble "Dal-Roti" as the poorest people of Anand Nagar or "City of Joy" cook and enjoy in their everyday life! Yes, Dal-roti may not be not as glamorous as some dishes in other novels but it keeps their tummy full and fills the heart of all the poor but good hearted citizens of "the City of Joy" no matter what their daily struggles are. Hope the book enlightens you, makes you think how lucky you are compared to many slum dwellers' reality and these humble, comforting and delicious everyday dishes gladdens your heart too! :)

Sri reminded me of her "Roti Mela" event which going on in full swing right now. I am sending my Palak dal and roti to Srivalli from "Cooking 4 all seasons" blog for "Roti mela" as well. Enjoy Sri!:)

The City of Joy(Anand Nagar):
This book "The City of Joy" is written by Dominique Lapierre, who lived in Calcutta for sometimes to study, document and write this book, which is half fiction as well, based on his experiences there. Story has been made into a film with the same name with Patrick Swayze(Max Lowe), Pauline Collins(nun) and Om Puri(Hazari) as main characters.
I had read this book long time ago. Recently, I borrowed the movie from the library and watched it again. Do read if you haven't already or watch the movie. Story in brief goes like this:

Hazari Pal, a farmer from Bihar couldn't pay off his debts and moves his family to Anand Nagar, a slum in Culcutta (Kolkota) in the hope of making enough money to pay his debt and marrying his daughter but looses all his saved up money to a fraud who poses as a landlord as soon as they land in the city.
In desperation, he takes up a job of driving a hand driven Rikshaw, which is managed by a local "Dada", "Bhai" or "God father", underworld mafia style. During his work, he meets a Texan doctor who is visiting India to "find himself" who develops a friendship with him when Hazari rescues the robbed and beaten doctor who lying on the streets bleeding. Together, they meet a nun who introduces them to utter poverty and terrible conditions the slum dwellers live in, whom they try to help to improve with whatever little they have, running a free medical clinic.
When God father dies, his son takes over who determined to destroy the slums and uproot the people who live there, including shutting down the medical clinic run by the nun. As Hazari and the doctor sides with the nun, Hazari looses his only means of livelihood ie the Rickshaw and still doesn't give up hope as long as his family is with him to support and love!
The author writes in his book that inspite of all the trials and travails of the poorest of the poor in Anand Nagar, Calcutta, how they still manage to smile, enjoy simple pleasures of being with their loving family, help the neighbors with kindness in their time of need and enjoying the humble daily meal of warm Dal-Roti on the plate at the end of day spent doing hard physical labor as well as celebration of festivals with fragrant and delicious food served at these celebrations like dal, roti, Tandoori chicken and mint-coconut chutney with such joy which surpasses all the suppression, abuse of everyday and replaces it with faith, hope, love and dignity for life! :)

A humble plate of Hazari family's Palak Dal and Roti:
Palak dal literally means Spinach cooked with spicy lentil gravy and rotis are chapatis made of flour and baked on a griddle, a Indian flatbread similar to Tortilla, a nutritious and filling combo as common in North India as "meat and Potato" in US. Here is a step by step tutorial how to make rotis or Phulkas, the soft and puffed rotis. Enjoy the dal-roti!:)

You need: 1 1/2 cup plain flour, 1/2 cup Wheat flour, or 2 cups of wheat flour/atta, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp oil and about 1 cup or more warm water, just enough to make a soft and pliable dough. Do not add too much water at once when mixing, which makes the dough sticky.
To make Rotis/Chapatis:
1. Mix and knead all the above ingredients with enough water well to make a soft and pliable dough. Cover and rest for 15mins and divide the dough into 6 balls, roll each out to 6" circle.
2. Heat a iron or any griddle, bake each roti both sides and brush with little butter when done and keep warm until they are served.
Palak Dal:
You need:
1 cup Tuar dal, or Chana dal or Moong dal or Masoor dal (I used chana dal), 2 bunches of fresh spinach, chopped or 1 pack of frozen Spinach,thawed, about 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp oil.
To season: 2 tbsp oil or butter, 1/2 mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 onion, chopped, 2 garlic-1" ginger grated or ground to paste, 1 red chilly, 1/2 tsp chilli pd, 1 tsp Coriander seeds powder, 1/2 tsp Garam Masala, salt.
1 tsp lemon juice and cilantro for garnish.
To make dal:
1. Cook dal and Spinach with water and turmeric until soft. Mix well, add more water if it's too thick. I personally like my dal thickish to help scoop it up with soft rotis. Add enough salt.
2. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, 1 dry red chilli and onion. When slightly reddish, add ginger and garlic paste, fry for 1 min and all the dry spice pds, stir for a minute.
3. Add cooked dal and spinach to the pan and simmer for 5 mins. Adjust the salt and spices.
Garnish with lemon juice and cilantro and serve with rotis and onion slices or mint chutney.

Have a joyful week. No matter how your day begins and ends, always count your blessings and keep smiling! :)

May 16, 2008

Clicking Beans, Gougère/Cheese Puffs

Clicking Matki beans
today for my entry to "Click-Beans and Lentils" which JaiBee of "Jugalbandi" blog are hosting this month. Thank you Jugs and all the judges too!:)

About Matki beans:
These cute beans might be the smallest of all beans as far as I know! Soaked and cooked Matki beans are usually used in Maharashtrian Usal to make a spicy dish called Misal. I love the taste and loved to eat Misal when I was in college in a small local restaurant for lunch almost three times a week! Here is the recipe for Matki Pulao I made along with a photo of Matki beans, dry and soaked!:)

Matki beans Pulao:

Matki Pulao

Camera: Sony Cyber-Shot 4.1Megapixels


I am making a delicious French appetizer called Gougère to serve with red Wine for Mansi from "Fun and Food" blog's party, who is guest hosting "Monthly Mingle" with the theme of "Appetizers" this month. "Monthly Mingle" event is initiated by Meeta of "What's for lunch, Honey?" blog. Thanks to both of you, enjoy these yummies!:)

Gougère or Cheese Puffs:
Gougère are pronounced as Goozhair in French (say it in French accent please! :D) and also called Cheese Puffs in England. They are fluffy round balls made from a very thick batter called pâte à choux or cheese puff dough or thick batter and usually served with Wine at parties. If you make just the basic dough, you can add sugar and essence, bake these as sweet cream puffs, eclairs etc. and stuff with chocolate ganache or vanilla butter cream. The addition of grated cheese, herbs, spices etc transforms these into savory Gougères. Grated Swiss Gruyere cheese is usually used to make these but I added sharp white Cheddar and few spices to make it yummier!:)

This Recipe for Gougère comes from French chef Jacques Pépin , with my additions of garlic pd, parsley and Chilli flakes. Enjoy!

Red Wine with Gougère/Cheese puffs:
I know some of you are going to ask what kind of Wine did I serve with! :D
Any red Wine will go very nicely with spicy Gougère and white Wine is served with sweet Gougères! This particular red Wine is called "Old Vine Zin"(Lodi Zinfandel of California), a product of "Gnarly Head". It's a dry red Wine and tastes wonderful with warm and spicy Gougères!

Gougère piled up, grab a few! :D
Kids ate them like crazy and we parents enjoyed these with red wine! You can reheat them at 350F for 10 mins in the oven, if there are any left overs. I remember Iyengar Bakery sweet cream Éclairs in Bangalore I used to love, will make that next time! :))

Inside story!!
It should look like this inside after you bake. Fluffy with big holes and crunchy cheesy outside. Make sure the batter/dough is just warm or cold before you add Eggs to mix.

How to make them:
You don't have to use piping bag. After the initial try, I just used a spoon to scoop and drop puff batter on the baking sheet, lot easier!

You need:
1 cup milk or cream,
4 tbsp unsalted butter(1/2 stick),
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp garlic pd,
1/4 tsp or more chilli flakes,
1 tsp dry Parsley,
Pinch of cayenne pepper,
1 cup all-purpose flour,
3 large eggs,
1/8 teaspoon paprika,
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese,
1 cup grated white Cheddar cheese or any hard cheese you like,
Save some Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

To bake them:
1. Bring the milk,butter,salt,garlic pd, chilli flakes,parsley and cayenne to a boil in a saucepan.
2. Remove from the heat, add all the flour and mix well with a wooden spatula until it's well mixed. Put it back on the heat, keep mixing until you get a lump and dough is not very soft.
3. Take it off put it in a bowl or blender/mixer, let the dough cool before adding eggs, or they will become scrambled in the hot dough.

Preheat the oven to 375F, prepare the baking sheet by spraying no-stick oil or line with parchment paper.

4. When the batter is cooled, start the mixer on low or mix in a bowl by hand. Add 1 egg at a time, mix until well mixed, use all the eggs this way, add in Paprika too. Now mix in both the grated cheeses and mix well with a spatula gently.
5. With a spoon or 1 tbsp cookie dough scooper or with piping bag, drop 1 1/2 tbsp of thick batter on the baking sheet 2" apart in a round shape, don't press it down.
6. Sprinkle the top with grated Parmesan cheese lightly and bake for about 25-30mins or until the top becomes golden.
Don't take them out of the oven too early, they all collapse instead of staying puffy! Don't let them burn either, burnt cheese doesn't taste that great!
7. Take them out on a cooling rack and serve warm or reheat for a short time before serving.

Enjoy, see you all next week. Have a peaceful weekend!:)

May 12, 2008

Dosti roti stuffed with Dill-Chana dal, Cardamom Iced Tea

My Dosti Roti stuffed with spicy Dill leaves and Chana dal goes to "Roti Mela" and to host Srivalli from "cooking for all 4 seasons", who got such a grand response to her Dosa mela, she has come up with Roti mela now! :D
Here is one from me Sri, thought really hard to come up with this one , enjoy! I can't wait for round up!:))

Roti:Roti, in general is a traditional Indian flat bread, eaten with gravies made of vegetables or meat. It is most often made with wheat flour or atta, sometimes with plain flour or Chickpea flour, any other flour made of grains, cooked on a iron griddle called a tawa. It is similar to a tortilla of Mexico, Lavash in Iran etc. When rotis are stuffed with dry veg or meat preparation, they are often served as they are or just with yogurt, ghee or butter on top.

Dosti Roti:
Dosti means "friendship" in Hindi. This popular roti recipe is influenced by Indian population settled in countries like Guyana, Trinidad etc and are made with slight changes such as adding baking powder to personalize to give it a bit of rise while cooking, which makes the rotis soft.
A dosti roti is made by two layers of thinly rolled out rotis, are then stacked one on the other (or hugged?! :D) just smeared with some oil and/or flour in between the layers, then pressed gently or rolled again to make a double layered roti without any filling and cooked on the tava or iron griddle, often brushed with oil on the rotis while they are cooking. I took the basic idea of Dosti roti and stuffed with south Indian style filling to make it mine!

I thought of making a collage of all the rotis I have made so far in both of my blogs like I did in this Dosa Mela post but list is too long!! So I am just linking to my roti section in my recipe Index. Have fun browsing, you can see all kinds of rotis there!!
Just eating one of these stuffed Dosti rotis will fill you up and very nutritious all in one meal. You can replace Dill with any greens you like or use different dals too. Hope you try.

Dosti Roti with Dill and Chana dal filling, served with Yogurt mixed with chilli and Chaat masala, my style! :)

Ready for you, grab one!Sneak peek inside the Dosti roti:

Step by step photos:
For filling, you need:
1/2 Cup Chana dal, 1 cup chopped Dill leaves, 1 small onion, finely chopped, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp or more red chilli flakes, salt, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder, pinch of garam masala (optional), 1/2 tsp lemon juice.
For dough: 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour or Atta, 1/2 cup plain flour, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp Baking powder, 1/4 tsp chilli pd (my touch!)+enough warm water to make a firm dough. I use my stand mixer and knead the heck out to make a nice smooth dough! :D
Make the filling first:1. Wash 1/2 cup Chana dal, add 2 cups of water, 1/4 tsp oil and microwave for 15 mins or until it is cooked soft. Drain the water, and mash roughly until you get a thick mass, add 1/4 tsp salt. Mix and set aside.
2. Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a pan, add cumin, onion and chilli flakes, stir fry until onion is soft.
3. Add the Dill leaves, 1 tbsp of water cover and cook for 2 mins. Add in all the spice powders, salt.
4. Add cooked and mashed Chana dal, adjust the salt,lemon juice, mix well and cool the mixture.
For dough: Mix all the ingredients for roti to a firm dough with enough water, cover and let it rest for atleast 1 hour. Divide into golf sized rounds, about 10 or 12 pieces.
To make the rotis:
Heat a griddle until medium hot.
1. Roll one dough ball out to thin 6"-7" circle, do the same with another dough ball.
2. Now take 1-2 tbsp of cooled dal mix, spread it with a back of the spoon, put the other roti circle on top of the mix and seal the edges by pressing it with your fingers.
3. Press the layered roti with your palm gently and put it on the griddle and cook one side for a minute. Drizzle a tsp of oil on top, flip the roti and drizzle some more oil.
4. Cook both sides until roti is crisp and golden. Serve with plain yogurt, sprinkled with Chaat masala and chill pd which is optional.
Note: Make sure you cook the rotis on medium heat so it cooks the inside as well since it has double layer of thin rotis. Roll out the rotis thin to layer them. If they are too thick, they won't cook properly on the griddle. Enjoy! :)


Southern Iced (Green) Tea flavored with Cardamom, Honey, Balm Lemon leaves and Lime is my contribution to EC from "Simple Indian food" blog. She is guest hosting "Think Spice think.." event, which is started by Sunita of "Sunita's World". This month EC has chosen of Cardamom as her spice. Thanks for hosting EC, enjoy the chilled Tea! :)

Southern Iced Tea with a Indian twist!
Whenever you visit any homes in the Southern sates of US, specially in Summer months, first thing they offer is Iced Tea as we would offer Tea in North India, Lassi in Punjab and coffee or buttermilk etc in the south of India! Usually in the in South (US), they brew Tea in the morning in large jugs, let it cool, add sugar(for sweet tea) and lemon slices and/or mint to serve chilled or at room temp.
I have added a Indian twist to flavor the southern sweet tea with Cardamom and added honey instead sugar since I don't like my tea or anything for that matter too sweet. I like to taste the tea more than sugar in my iced tea. It's your choice how much sugar or Honey you would like to add. You can also use loose tea granules or any herbal tea to brew, I find bags are more convenient and less messy. Enjoy.

This is what WIKIPEDIA says about the tradition of Iced Tea in America:
"In the United States, iced tea is very popular as an alternative to carbonated soft drinks, especially in the hotter southern states: it is ubiquitous in restaurants, convenience stores, vending machines, and grocery stores. It may be freshly made on premises, or available in bottles and cans, and at self-serve soda fountains. Restaurants typically give the customer the choice of sweetened or unsweetened.
Sweet tea, sometimes known as "Southern Table Wine", is tea brewed very strong with a large amount of sugar added while the tea is still hot. The mixture of sugar and tea is then diluted with water and served over ice and garnished with lemon. Sometimes the diluted mixture is allowed to cool to room temperature. Other times the sugar and tea mixture is not diluted at all but poured hot over a full tumbler of ice to cool and dilute it.
The oldest printed recipe of sweet tea dates back to a community cookbook "Housekeeping in Old Virginia", by Marion Cabell Tyree, published in 1879. The term can also refer to plain tea with sugar or sweetener added. Sweet tea is the common type in the South; elsewhere, unsweetened tea is the standard.
Iced tea was popularized and believed to be created at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis by Richard Blechynden, but recent evidence has refuted this.[2] Iced tea's popularity in the United States has led to an addition to standard flatware sets; the iced tea spoon is a teaspoon with a long handle, suitable for stirring sugar into glasses".

Southern (US) Iced Tea flavored with Cardamom and honey:Personally, taking a photograph of a drink or a beverage in a glass is the hardest thing to do, pardon me for this unnatural color of tea! It's my shadow standing infront of it, photo taken on a cloudy morning! Look at the bottom part of the color in the second photo, that's how it should look! :P

To make Cardamom Iced Tea:
You need: 1 1/2 cup water, 2 herbal or regular Tea bags of your choice, (I used Green tea with Lemon, herbal tea bags), 3 Cardamoms, take out the seeds and powder or 1/2 tsp of powder, 1-2 tsp of Honey or sugar to taste, 1-2 Balm Lemon leaves (which has natural lemony mint flavor!) or Mint and a slice of Lime or Lemon slice for garnish.

To make it:
This recipe makes 1 large or 2 small glasses of beverage. Double, triple the amount if you like more iced tea, with 2 bags for each glass, approximately.
1. Pour the water in a glass bowl, add cardamom powder and heat in the Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes.
2. Take it out, add both tea bags, honey or enough sugar, let it seep for 2 minutes. Stir to mix well, squeeze and remove the tea bags. Adjust the sugar or honey to your taste.
3. Take a strainer, strain the tea to a big glass to catch all the Cardamom bits. Let the tea cool or chill in the fridge.
4. Before serving, add lots of Ice cubes, Balm Lemon leaves or mint and a lemon slice in each glass. Very refreshing to drink on a Summer day! Enjoy, see you all later!:)

May 5, 2008

Leafy Paratha roti/oil roti and Kanji with Cherupayar!

Leafy Paratha roti/Oil roti is my contribution to "Tried and Tasted", a new event which is launched by Zlamushka from "Zlamushka's spicy kitchen" blog. This month we are scouting Cynthia of Tastes Like Home blog looking for her recipes. Thanks for hosting Z, it was fun cooking these rotis from her blog. Thanks to you too Cynthia, great recipe! :)

Tried and Tasted is an event which is just launched by Zlamushka. It's similar to our own Coffee's "Monthly Blog Patrolling", except Z chooses a blog each month for us to scout and cook dishes from. I chose Caribbean style Leafy Paratha roti from beautiful and multi-talented Cynthia, who is also a journalist and writes articles related to food and others as well. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe Cynthia, we enjoyed it with spicy dry peas masala!:)
Please check out her colorful and always very informative blog about Caribbean traditions and food along with the recipe for leafy paratha roti as well, by clicking on the link below.
I always wanted to try Paratha roti or "Buss up shut" (Busted up shirt, by the way these rotis look after cooking!), so this event was a great opportunity for me to try these. Similar Malaysian Roti Canai I made before is here and Kari Ayam, a chicken curry which goes well with these rotis is here.

Leafy Paratha rotis, from Cynthia's blog:

Another look:



I have chosen Kanji with Cherupayar from shn of "Mishmash" blog, as my entries to Raaga of "The Singing Chef", who is hosting MBP this month. This event is the brain child of Coffee of "The Spice Cafe" blog. Raaga's "Monthly blog patrolling" include a theme of "Salads and Soups" this month. Thanks for hosting Raaga and my thanks to you shn for these yummy treats! :)

I patrolled shn's blog for a unique but very traditional Kerala combo of soup and salad/stir-fry from Kerala of Kanji and Cherupayar for my entires and thoroughly enjoyed eating them both for lunch. That was one comforting food!
Can these be called soup and salad? Absolutely!! Sambhar is Lentil soup for non-Indians, Risotto is another dish comparable to this rice gruel, with no veggies added and lot thinner of course but topped with spicy Moong, Rasam has the similar texture and concept of a French onion soup, aren't they? Salad can be made with Lentils as well like here!

Kanji with Cherupayar Mezhukkupuratti(Rice soup with seasoned Moong salad):

Kanji is nothing but a delicious soup, made with Rose matta or any rice of your choice, cooked in lots of water (or stock, skip the salt if you use stock) salt until it looks like a thin gruel like soup. Cherupayar is a spicy, (seasoned with onion, chillies etc) soft cooked and drained Moong (Green gram) stir fry which is my absolute favorite to have on the side with plain yogurt and rice or any yogurt Kadhi style gravies. Here is my red chori stir-fry, another variations of beans to use in the same salad.
Although Kanji or Ganji as we call it in Kannada is routinely eaten in some parts of South Canara region of Karnataka, I had never tasted the Kanji before at all, so it was my first try! I loved the simplicity and the taste, great with spicy pickle. I added a pinch of cumin pd and crushed peppercorns to rice which made it tastier and always optional. If you want to make it for lunch, you could add some chicken and veggies to rice but traditional Kanji is always eaten plain.
Please click on the link above to check out the original recipes, read the tradition of kanji in Kerala and other very entertaining, fascinating and colorful with photos of Kerala posts about her formative years spent there in her blog, which I always enjoy reading. Thanks again for everything shn, hugs to you!:)

A closer shot! :)

Cherupayar Mezhukkupuratti or seasoned green Moong salad:

Another dish I tried and loved from shn's blog is "Potato stew or Kerala Eshtu", will link at FH later with a photo.See you all later! :)