Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dudhi na Muthiya - Steamed Bottle Gourd Dumplings

I love, love Gujarati food! The khichdis, dals, shaaks, kadhis and oh, the farsan - muthiyas, dhokla, handvo, khandvi - love 'em all! As with any region in India, Gujarati cuisine itself has many variations based on region and season.

NJ has a few restaurants that serve Gujju food. "Jhupdi" in Edison seems to be pretty popular, though I've never had a "wow" meal there and am invariably disappointed with the food. There used to be a small home-style eatery near Woodbridge Ave that had the best Gujju food I've tasted but alas, has been closed for over a year now. "Chowpatty" on Oak Tree Road has decent Gujju food (apart from fabulous chaats). Anyone know of any other places in the tri-state area that serve good Gujju grub?

Bottle gourd is not something I cook often. Not sure why since I do like this veggie. The only other bottle gourd recipe on my blog is Lazeez Lauki (which, btw, is the longest I've taken to prepare a curry!). Muthiyas are steamed dumplings that make a fabulous tea time snack. I found this recipe for dudhi na muthiya here. Pretty simple to make and very, very tasty!

Dudhi na Muthiya

Original Recipe Here


Ingredients:

2 cups bottle gourd, grated
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup besan (bengal gram flour)
¼ cup thin rava
2 tbsp chilli-ginger paste
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp soda-bi-carb
4 tbsp yogurt
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
chopped cilantro and grated coconut for garnish

Tadka : Oil, mustard seeds, sesame seeds

Method:
Squeeze out all the water out of the grated bottle gourd and keep aside.
Combine all the dry ingredients for muthia and mix in yogurt to form a soft dough. Add a little water, if the dough is too hard.
Divide mixture into 4 equal parts and roll out each cylindrically about 6" long and 1-2" in diameter.
Grease a plate, place the rolls on them and steam them for 20 mins.
Check to see if they are done by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean, it is done.
Let cool and slice them into 3/4" thick roundels.
Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan. Make the tadka by adding mustard seeds first and then sesame seeds, after they crackle.
Toss the sliced muthiyas in this oil on medium heat, until slightly browned on both sides.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and grated coconut (I skipped the coconut).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Avarekalu Akki Rotti

Avarekayi (field beans) season in Mysore/Bangalore and surrounding areas was and still is a BIG deal. In my house, fresh beans were bought almost daily, which meant there was an avarekayi dish almost everyday during the season. Avarekayi saaru, avarekayi huli, uppittu, idli, fried avarekalu snack or my favorite, avarekayi akki rotti. My main grouse during the season was my mom's insistence that I help with the shelling of the beans, along with my sis, cousins and whoever else happened to be home, coz this bean used to be bought in multiple kilograms at a time!

I used frozen surti papdi lilva, which comes closest to the avarekalu, in this recipe for avarekalu akki rotti. It does not quite have the strong aroma of fresh avarekayi but the taste of the rotti was pretty close to the original.

Avarekalu Akki Rotti

Ingredients:
2 cups Rice Flour
1 cup avarekalu (or more)
3 tbsp shredded coconut
2-3 green chilies, chopped fine
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
a dash of asafoetida
salt to taste
water to knead dough

Avarekalu Akki Rotti

Method:
Pressure cook the beans in salted water for 2-3 whistles, until well cooked.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, adding enough water to make a soft dough. Keep aside for at least 15 minutes.
Take a small ball of dough and pat it onto a greased iron kadai/bandlee or a tawa. The thinner you pat, the crisper it gets. So upto you how crispy or soft you want the rottis to be. Make a little indentation at the center.
Pour a tsp of oil around the edges and at the center.
Cover with a lid and cook on medium-high for 3-4 minutes. Check for crispness. Remove once done and serve with ghee or butter. I used to have a dollop of home-churned butter with each rotti but that was the good old days when such things would not show on me! Chutney, pickle, chutney powder, sambar are all great accompaniments with this.

It has been raining awards in the blogosphere and I must acknowledge the ones my blogger friends have passed on to me. Some of the awards come with tags, which I will take up later. I'm not too fond of memes and find that I need to be in a certain mood to be able to write exclusively about myself. So am keeping that for later, when I do get into that aforesaid frame of mind!

Lavi has passed on the Circle of Friends and Blogging with a Purpose awards. Thanks, Lavi!

friends[1]

purpose

Pavithra Kodical, Prasu, Chaitra, Pavani, Chakh Le Re have passed on the Kreativ Blooger award to me. Thank you all!!

kreativblogger

Chaitra and Chakh Le Re
also gave me two lovely badges that say they love my blog! How very sweet. Thanks, girls!

iloveyourblogaward

Lovely+Blog+Award

Shri has given me the Honest Scrap badge. Thanks, Shri!

honest+scrap+award

I appreciate the love and recognition from my fellow bloggers. I would like to pass these on to all my blogger friends who have made my blogging experience more interactive and fun! Thank you all!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Bharli Vangi - Stuffed Eggplants

As a child, I hated most veggies. The only ones I'd eat without complaining were okra and potatoes. And eggplants were especially loathed. All the kids I knew hated them. I think it's taste is more suited to the adult palate since most folks I now know love them, including me, of course! And stuffed eggplants are especially savored, be it in the form of ennegai from Karnataka, bharelu ringan/bharela ravaiya from Gujarat, guthi vankaya from AP or this bharli vangi from Maharashtra. The source of this recipe is Khaugiri. I made a few tweaks based on the stuff I had in hand. The curry was super delicious. Thanks, K, for a wonderful recipe. I will be making this again soon! :)

Bharli Vangi

Ingredients:
6-8 small eggplants

For the stuffing:
2 tbsp dry coconut shreads
1/4 cup roasted and powdered peanuts
1 tsp roasted and powdered sesame seeds
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped fine
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp goda masala
red chilli powder, to taste
salt to taste,
1/4 tsp tamarind paste (original called for lime juice)
1 tsp brown sugar (or jaggery)

For tadka:
2 tbsp oil
mustard seeds
asafoetida
turmeric powder

Method:

Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing.
Remove stalks of eggplants and make two slits without cutting them all the way thru. Stuff the mixture into the eggplants. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and do the tadka. Put the eggplants in the oil, slit end down. Cover with a plate. Pour some water on top of the plate. This apparently keeps the eggplants from sticking to the pan. Neat tip there! After a couple minutes, turn them on their sides and rotate every few minutes.
Add the remaining stuffing. Mix well. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add 1/2 a cup of water and cook until eggplants are done.
Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with some chopped cilantro.

Be sure to check the original recipe here.