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VEGAN

recipes for a Lacto-Vegetarian diet.

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2010 April 27 [Tuesday]

methi-onion thalipith

While I feel that Thalipith is a healthier option to Parathas, some people like like the latter's softness than thalipith which is not very tasty when it turns cold and hard but the former does have more ground pulses than the latter, which may atmost have one vegetable--Talking of which, I can never forget the best parathas we had, at Mussourie --a small eatery on Camel Back Road, meters before the Gurudwara, run by a Sikh couple. The scary part was the wild monkeys which would not hesitate to accost you and violently snatch the packed food...phew! I digress.

Returning to the bhajani which consists of different pulses that are dry-roasted before being ground into flour. I experimented with a combination of wheat, jowar, bajra, chana dal, rice, urad and moong dal(s). Ofcourse, there are multiple methods to make the bhajani for thalipith and you can experiment depending on the desired chemistry, thence outcome.

BHAJANI
* Jowar: 1 kg.
* Bajra: 1 kg. (if you cant find bajra, substitute it with rajgira OR ragi --only 200 gms else the final product will break)
* Wheat: 1 kg
* Moong dal: 1/2 kg (OR urad dal: 1/2 kg)
* Chana dal: 1/4 kg
* Rice: 1/4 kg (increasing this quantity will result in the pancake turning stiff and crack whilst cooking)

METHOD:

1. Dry roast each of the above ingredients separately till the grains turn crispy brown. Do not add oil to the kadai while roasting.
2. Cool them and mix it well and grind together all the roasted ingredients in flour mill for a very fine powder consistency (not coarse like flour for parathas).

This is 'bhajani' flour, can be used for thalipith and also for chakli and even as a base for instant dosa.  Although I dislike cooking I like the experiments that $A and me try in the kitchen. Most of the times I am just astounded at the chemistry created with various ingredients though.  If the bhajani is stored in a clean, dry and airtight container, it can last a few months (even a year?) without any bugs BUT I would not vouch for the taste of product made with flour that is so stale :-/


THALIPITH

* 4 cups Bhajani flour (see above, for bhajani mix)
* 1 small chopped Onion
* 2 tbsp Chopped coriander
* 1/2 tbsp Shveta Till (white sesame seeds)
* 1/4 tsp Ajwain seeds
* 1 tbsp Coriander seed (dry roasted) powder
* 1 tsp Red chilli powder
* 1 tsp Thecha (green chillies paste)
* 1 tsp ginger paste
* Black peppercorns (depending on your spice level)
* 1 tbsp Jeera/cumin seeds
* 2-3 tbsp Oil
* Salt, to taste.

Preparation Method of Thalipith

1. Take four cups Bhajani flour and finely diced onions, black pepper powder, turmeric, coriander, ginger and thecha paste, jeera, chopped coriander, Till, Ajwain seeds, Coriander seed (dhania) powder, and red chilli powder.
2. Knead with water to make firm dough. [Hint: While making dough you can add 1 tablespoon of curd and reduce the water. This is only if you intend to consume on the same day.]
3. Roll into rotis and make 2-3 holes with a spoon.
4. Cook over a hot tava (griddle), smearing oil on the holes. Cover the tava and cook for two minutes. Turn and cook both sides till crisply cooked.
5. Enjoy hot with pudina chutney or dahi raita (curd) or plain unsalted butter.

This time while mixing I added ragi for a darker color and had taken pictures of the methi-onion thalipith but I am feeling lazy to upload them. The next on my to-learn list is the yummy Vegetarian-Ma-Po-Tofu from a Chinese restaurant but I dont know where to find silken tofu in India.

2010 January 27 [Wednesday]

Ghargey Puri

Yesterday I made "Ghargey", a sweet puri made out of the very common red pumpkin or "lal bhopla" -- the same one that is used in sambhar and kootu or curry. Its very simple and easy to make. This is a typical Maharashtrian dish.

Ingredients for Ghargey :

  • 1 cup (cleaned & grated) lal bhopla/red pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup gura/jaggery. [If you dont have jaggery use brown sugar]
  • 1 cup wheat flour (dont use maida)
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp elaichi powder
  • Oil for deep frying the puri.
Preparation :

0. Warm the ghee in a pan and add the grated bhopla and stir well.
1. After a minute or so, add the jaggery and mix well. Remove all lumps. You can also smash banana (the elchi or the kerala variety) and add it to this. 
2. Cook them till the water leaves the sides of the pan. [TIP: do not overcook it into a hard lump.]
3. Turn off the gas and add the cardamom powder and mix well.
4. Cool the pumpkin mixture and transfer to a second vessel. To this, add 2 tsp oil and a pinch of salt. Slowly add the wheat flour and knead the dough. Avoid adding water. Cover and let the dough rest for a few minutes.
5. Divide the dough into small portions and roll them out into round puris with a rolling pin.
6. Deep-fry them in medium hot oil until they puff-up and turn golden brown.
7. Enjoy hot. With shrikhand, its just yum!!

I know that folks expect pictures but the problem is the pooris got over very quickly ;-)

2009 November 18 [Wednesday]

Manga-Inji

Pickles are an integral part of Indian cuisine but when one is sick the spicy ones like mango, etc.. are taboo, even if your palate demands it. Well food is incomplete without without a peck at some form of pickle, of which there is a whole variety even for folks who are sick. 

Nartankai is one such yummy pickle that is made out of the humble lime-fruit but then I had a whole batch of mangai-inji/mango ginger that suddenly grew from the mud that i had purchased from the nursery. I had no clue what to do with the white coloured inji-manga which smells like mangoes when cut and a chutney would be nice but with a short shelf life, so I chose to pickle it instead...

Ingredients:

  • 5 inches of mangai-inji (cleaned, peeled and cut into small pieces)
  • 2 inches of haldi root (cleaned, peeled and cut into small pieces)
  • 5 limes (washed and cut into cubes)
  • 10 thin green chillies (finely chopped)
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate for a few hours and your pickle is ready to eat. Its a very good digestive agent.

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