Monday, April 30, 2007

Borrowed Kids and a Hassled Me




Hi Friends

Hope all of you are having a good summer ignoring the heat.

Well I've been busy with my transition into a new role at work. I am quite happy to get the profile I aspired to get for a long time. Project delivery is thing of the past now. It is a relief. My new role is quite exciting and calls for interaction with creative minds. We are building a new portal for the business group I belong to right from scratch. Yay!

Humm people think I have a way with my team. Not always. Trupti announced the Little chefs in the kitchen event. Now I thought I don't have kids of my own yet, my nephews and nieces are in Mumbai so cannot get them to cook with me for this event. Now what would I do. I declared to Trupti that I would borrow my neighbors kids. Humm to all it might sound easy.

So I called my neighbor's kid Sumukh a well behaved soft spoken kid all of 9 yrs. I like this type. Sumukh too was excited. Next morning he was at my door dressed in his new T-shirt so that I can get good pictures. Now don't think I told him that. Kids are very suave these days. Behind him stood Gaurav the new kid in the neighborhood.

As they came in G was wide eyed and looking around. He was visiting me for the first time. I cuddled both the kids thinking Wow their parents are lucky to have them. After a glass of juice and some cookies I thought it was time for me to get down to business.

So I told S and G, "We are going to cook some simple dal and rice in the cooker." Sumukh came into the kitchen. "Auntie you get everything ready. I will close the cooker. I like to do that." Meanwhile G spotted something in the glass cupboard. He started shouting "Sumukh come here quick. " There ended my attempt to get them into the kitchen.

My cupboard was ransacked. All things spread out on the floor. The next I knew my spring toy parrot was being tugged at. The spring was stretched and the parrot that rocked on the spring now was flying in the room in a circular movement. Though I am an adult I love my toys and seeing the scene I was aghast. Was I supposed to stop and yell at them or would a 'Thadak' help. I almost did. I tried bribing with chocolates but could not distract them from the same stuff they seemed to like at the same time!

Finally I left the room and went to the kitchen to make a meal for the kids as I had promised also muttering to my self never to invite them together again. Sumukh is a quite child, I had never seen him like this.

In a jiffy I fixed the meal and cut up fruits for the salad a lot of which got vanished as the frequent visitors to the kitchen smuggled them out.

Sharing here the pictures of the fateful day when I failed to lead the team.
Lesson learnt: All that you learn at work does not work at home.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sister Rolls

Cheese Oregano and Apple Cinnamon Jam Rolls



Friday nights are always the baking nights for me. I just wait for the week to end so I can bake. I have made so many different types of breads that now I feel tired to write the recipes. Bread making is so easy. For the dough I follow the usual classic recipe. The creative part is how you shape it and what you add while shaping. On this particular friday I made one Cheese Roll and one Apple Cinnamon Jam Roll. Half the cheese roll for my colleague Pradeep for treating me to so many authentic hot kachoris that he gets from his favorite shop in Mysore and the kajai. The sweet rolls for Dad to satisfy his craving for sugar.

I called them sister rolls as they sat in the baking tray like sisters one fat one thin.

How I did it:

Followed the Classic White bread recipe as usual.

After the second rise divided the dough into two parts 2/3 and 1/3 balls.

The 2/3 dough ball was flattened and generous amounts of grated cheese was layered. The oregano sprinkled. Rolled tight to form a swiss roll. Placed in a greased baking tray. Dressed the top with more grated cheese and oregano.

The 1/3 roll flattened and washed generously with Apple cinnamon jam from ITC's Kitchens of India. Rolled tight to shape a swiss roll. Put along side its fat sister in the tray.

Baked both at 200 deg cel for 25 mins in a preheated oven. Removed onto the grill after done. Glazed with whole milk to get the shine. Warm bread oooohhhh!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shev Batata Puri N Matka Kulfi

Weekends is a time to binge. Some time back we tried the Haldiram's Shev Puri packet and the Amul's matka/ pot kulfi.

It is a pack of 15 -16 puris with a packet of shev and 3 chutneys, green and red chili chutneys and the sweet and sour tamarind chutney. This pack mentions shev batata puri so we decided to make exactly that.


Preparation:

1 packet Haldiram's Shev puri

1/4 kg potatoes boiled and mashed

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped cilantro

salt to taste

Asssembling the dish:

Place the Puris in a big plate and place small morsels of mashed potatoes on it. Next tomato and onions. Then sprinkle the salt and the three chutneys and the shev on top. Dress up with chopped cilantro. Serve separately in quarter plates for individuals.

Verdict:

The chutneys are not enough for all the puris and if this dish is not spiced right its just tame. The shev is too thick by Mumbai standards they should provide the very thin variety. Even of shev is the quantity is less.

_________________________________________________


Amul Matka Kulfi

The Matka Kufi was very good, nice creamy and bits of badam-pista. The best thing about Amul is their icecreams are made from milk unlike the ones made from cream so one can have 2 helpings of Amul instead of a rich creamy single helping of the other brands. ;) LOL.

I found the plastic pots really cute yet I would love to have the kulfi in a real matka. Can Amul do it?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Saundhe Aloo with Pale bhaji

This is one of the diet recipes I love. It's simple and filling and also satiates the Jihva. Is that a pun. Righto! This goes as my entry to Jihva for Green Leafy Vegetables. Indira the creator and organizer of this event is hosting it again on Mahanandi. This one is special as she has collaborated with Nandita’s WBB. So there are two recipes for the event. How could I send just one. One for Indira and one for Nandita!

Those Saundhe Aloo taste awesome and look like eggs nestled in the twigs. We have it just by it self but it would go really well with any type of Bhakari or Roti.


Ingredients


6 baby potatoes
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon toasted coriander powder
1 teaspoon toasted cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon oil

1 bunch of any single leafy vegetable OR
Mixed greens chopped fine
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes
2 chopped green chillies
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
2 handfuls cilantro chopped
2 teaspoons oil
salt to taste

To prepare the potatoes:

Boil the baby potatoes and peel the skins. Prick holes with a fork. Prepare a marinade with the tomato sauce, red chili powder, salt, toasted coriander and cumin powder. Marinate the potatoes in it for 15 mins. Then heat oil and stir fry till dry and roasted well.

Next in a shallow pan add oil and heat. In the oil fry the onions followed by the tomatoes till you get a nice paste. Add the green chillies and the chopped leafy vegetables of your choice. Stir fry till dry.

Assemble the dish by layering the fresh grated coconut on the leafy greens stir fry. Then the cilantro and on top the Saundhe aloo. While serving lift up all layer in a flat plate with aloo on the top and enjoy it !

Simple healthy and tasty to the hilt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sweet Coconut Kachori


I was introduced to this Kachori by my buddy Ambrish. We had just started working in Mulund in a start-up company after our PG. Yeah that was the best part. We did our two years at university together then worked together too. We pulled in more friends to work in that company it was some exciting time for us. We never were in a hurry to go home. It meant struggling together to prove our mettle. The owners too were happy they never had to put pressure on us. Most evenings after work we would be starving and at the time I was not to keen to eat street food. Can you believe that! Yes it's true. Yet most evenings we would hang around at different places in Mulund East area. Ambrish was our guide as he was from Mulund West. We would sometimes feast on food made my his Mom at his home as it was hop skip and jump away from our workplace.

Ambrish took us to this little hole in the wall shop near Mulund East station for a bite one evening. I was hooked to these little rolly pollys of sweetness. Guess who would pay for these treats! I was considered the girly penny pincher only at such times as the boys always had dry pockets. Else I was always considered one of them as I was a complete tomboy. Yet I remained a girl too much to handle for all my guy friends and colleagues when it came to work ideas and my risk taking nature. I could never use foul language like they did though and they could never dare to use it when I was around.

Well Dost here's to you!

Ingredients
For the filling:
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sugar

For the cover:

1/2 kg potatoes boiled
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon semolina
salt

For the chutney:
1 lemon sized ball of tamarind
1/2 cup seedless dates
1 teaspoon red chili powder
salt

Oil to fry

This recipe requires some amount of preparation so lets begin with the chutney.

Boil all the ingredients together in a vessel and let it cool. Later puree it and save.



Then mash the potatoes and knead into it the bread crumbs, semolina and salt. The dough should be wet very soft.


The filling is made by just mixing together all the listed items.



Next shape small baskets of the dough in it fill about a spoonful in the basket and then collect the edges and seal to get a stuffed ball. For ease at frying press it down to form a pattie else the rolly polly one are good too.

Deep fry these Kachoris in oil on medium heat till golden brown.

The kids and adult love these equally.



Monday, April 16, 2007

Summer Salad

It's hot hot hot Blr. In many ways than one Blr is attracting more and more people like never before. I came here to escape the heat N dust of Mumbai but looks like the gypsy in me will soon look for cooler place now. It is high time.

Well here is a salad I made to keep cool while my feathers are ruffled and was in no mood for spices. I want to run the water and have a liesurely bath.

Ingredients

1 cup of apple cuts
1/2 cup orange segments
1 tablespoon orange juice
6-8 olives sliced
10 cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 small pack of Marie biscuits/ semi sweet biscuits

Mix apple cuts, orange segments, olives and cherry tomatoes together in a large bowl and sprinkle basil , drizzle orange juice and toss the salad for 5 mins. Chill the salad and serve it on Marie biscuits.

Enjoy the fragrant salad and the colors of the summer.


Did you know?:

I always wondered how apples imported in India looked so shiny. A closer look and I was aghast! They are coated with a thin layer of wax to retain freshness. Since then I wash all fruits which are consumed with the skin on in luke warm water. If giving to a child I peel off the skin.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Goranchya Shekatachya Shinga




Looks like its a season for Koli recipes all of a sudden. This is my elder cuz V's favorite bhaaji. Shektachya Shinga in Koli are your Drumsticks of the veggie kind in English.

This recipe will be much appreciated by any one who likes sweetness of the gujju kind in their food. It is the only Koli curry that has jaggery in this amount. Infact the name itself gives away what you can expect from it Goranchya Shektachya Shinga ie. Drumsticks made with jaggery.The bhaaji is Rasedar or with gravy it has to be eaten with Chavlachi Roti like a true Koli.

Selecting the drumsticks for this curry is half the battle won. The drumstick have to be plump and fleshy. Cleaning them is a task to be done well before you start cooking. This is not a vegetable that you can keep a pan on the heat and chop up and add to the seasoning. It needs preparation.

Firstly about cleaning. The pods have to be deskinned just about peeling off the green layer and then cut into finger sized pieces. This would allow it to cook well and soak in the flavors. You will know what I mean only once you taste this curry.

Wiki surprised me with this one "The roots are shredded and used as a condiment in the same way as horseradish, however it contains the alkaloid spirochin, a potentially fatal nerve paralyzing agent, so such practices should be strongly discouraged"

We in Thal have never used the root though! If ever I become a spy for India I will remember this.

In Thal every home has their own Shekat tree. If someone does not have it they can collect the pods from neighbors tree and asking permission is not a rule. So when the owner spots anyone collecting them they ask, "Is it for Pivli Dal?" OR sometimes the borrower would say, "For the kids" and the response would be, " Go ahead take your hearts fill."

My indelible memory of Goranchya Shektachya Shinga are of when a whole lot of them were cracked on by back for going to collect discarded tickets at Colaba Market bus stop with my cuz K when just 5-6 yrs. All I wanted to do is play bus conductor. I needed real ones for it but someone tipped my Dad about this mischief. My mistake was I was tiny and that road was a heavy traffic one. Mom made Goranchya Shektachya Shinga that night and I went to bed empty stomach cuddled in G'ma lap. Cuz K was turned into a rooster/ Kombda for 2 hrs (I can't translate this). He grew up to become a shameless handsome achiever! ROFL. Dad could not forgive himself for many years.

So here is the recipe for the Goranchya Shektachya Shinga!

Ingredients

5-6 Drumsticks cleaned and cut
1 cup ground masala
2 cups water.
1/4 cup crushed Jaggery
1 tablespoon Kokum juice/ Tamarind Juice
2 teaspoon Oil
1/4 teaspoon asofeotida
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt to taste

ground masala:

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup fresh coconut grated
1 teaspoon Koli Masala / Goda masala
3-4 green chilies
1 cup pink fried Onions
2 handfuls cilantro
1 handful peanuts (This is My addition to the traditional recipe)
Grind together all the masala and keep ready

Then heat a pressure cooker add oil go on and splutter the mustard followed by the asofeotida. Stir in the ground masala. Fry for 5 mins. Then add in the drumsticks and coat them with the masala. Add the kokum juice and water. Close the lid of the PC and allow 3 long whistles. Put off the heat. Add the salt. Open the PC but DO NOT MIX. The drumsticks are very delicate and you might end up with a fibrous curry if stirred after cooking. Be careful even while serving.

The curry with Kokum juice is the authentic one but tamarind too makes it yummy though not the same.

This recipe is one for all "I like a little sweetness in my bhaaji" types. For those who don't know how to eat these here is a how to:

Hold the drumstick piece between the incisors and pull at it with the hand while you suck the pulp. Aha! My South Indian brahmin friends put a taboo on this great vegetable just because it has to be eaten this way. They don't know what they are missing!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nachani Kobi Palak Kabab




Nachani or Finger millet is the red colored grain that is so full of health. It is one of the flours I always stock at home. We make Bhakari, Ragi roti, Thaleepith etc. This time Dad suggested something new Kababs with Nachani. He is so creative and always tips me on ingredients and their use. As I mentioned in the earlier post we had lot of Palak/ spinach at home as well as cabbage/ kobi.

Here is what Dad came up with:

Ingredients

1 cup Palak/spinach puree
1 cup fine shredded cabbage
1.5 cup Finger millet /Nachani/Ragi flour
0.5 cup chickpea flour
10 green chilies chopped
1 inch ginger crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
Oil to fry

Mix all ingredients to get a ball. Divide into 2 parts and shape rolls. Place the rolls in a greased pan and steam for 20 mins in a steamer. After steaming they will look like this.

Once cooled completely cut out round like these about 1/4 inch thick and shallow fry in oil. They need to be cooked from both sides. The good ones are crisp on the outside with softer inside.


Serve these Nachani Kobi Palak Kababs with chutney of your choice or plain old ketchup. Ummmm I think you will like them no matter if you have acquired a taste for Nachani or not.

updated: 18th April 07

This too is my entry to Jihva for Green Leafy Vegetables. Cheers to the handsake of Nandita’s WBB and Indira's Jivha. This one is for Nandita, my friendly neighbourhood doctor!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lemony Cake




One Sunday I woke up really late at 9 am. That's late by our standards. We rise early no matter what day it is. So for an unusual lazy day it was a day for brunch. The menu we decided would be something sweet, something sour and something spicy. Humm that's difficult to zero in on 3 distinct flavors and recipes. I checked the stocks. I had lots on the day, spinach, flours of different kinds, cabbage, lemon, curds, milk etc.

So we finally agreed to make Lemony cake, Nanchni-Palak-Kobi Kababs (recipe to follow), Baked Cherry Tomatoes.

The first recipe from this platter put up here is of Lemony Cake.

This is an on the spot recipe made from things available yet it turned out pretty looking and quite unusually light.

Ingredients

2 lemons

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1.5 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 ghee

1/4 cup semolina

1/2 cup curd

1/4 teaspoon soda bicarb

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch of yellow food color.

Preparation:

In a bowl mix the semolina, curd and soda bicarb and keep aside to rise for min 15 mins.

Hold the lemon in the hand and with a fork scrape off the zest and keep aside. Then squeeze the juice and collect in a bowl and keep aside.

The Cake:

Sieve the dry ingredients flour, baking powder together and keep aside.

Meanwhile beat together the milk, 1 cup sugar, ghee till fluffy.

Then fold in the flour mix in the liquid blend. Keep the same direction for mixing. As the aeration is retained at optimum by this. The batter should be smooth and creamy and light too. Lastly mix the curd semolina mix and the food color till homogenized. Just before the batter is poured in the tin mix in the juice of the lemon and the zest.

Grease a cake tin of 4 inch diameter and bake at 180 deg Cel till done about 30 mins. Check by poking with a knife in the center. A clean knife indicates a ready cake.

To decorate:

Heat 0.5 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon water to get a syrup. Add few drops of lemon juice to get a clear syrup. Put the heat off once honey like consistency is achieved.

Now slice the lemon and dip each slice in the syrup using a tong and decorate the cake like shown. Pour the rest of the syrup over the cake.


Note : I am posting this recipe for tomorrow just before I move. My co-ordinates are under transition so I may not have access to the net for about a week. I'm going to chase them to settle me down quick but don't know how soon. Till then enjoy this Lemony Cake dear Friends!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chana Chor Garam


Recently Haldiram has introduced Chana choor. On our campus we have a haldiram corner and its my favorite. I pick up stuff from there and turn it into something my own when friends decide to decend on me unanounced.



Some of the packs I liked are Instant Bhel with all the chutneys, Pancharatna chivda, sweet pops, Rasgullas, Gulabjamuns etc.

I have begun to use Manisha's trick for Rasmalai using the Rasgullas and Nandini's (its a blr local brand) badam milk tetra pack topped with badam pista shreds. Thanks Manisha for the jadoo.

Back to this Chana Choor, I always thought it was Chana Chor Garam made famous by the oldie Chor garam babu mulayam mazedaar, chana chor garam sung by Asha and Sita.

The pack is a healthy replica of the street version. Roasted well in the oven flavoured with black salt. It even shows the grill marks! I love those :). Chana Chor is associated with Chowpatty in Mumbai and the Bhaiya's serve them with a dash of lime and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. I serve in different ways sometimes like the bhaiya or with chopped onion and tomato like bhel or just this and nuts.Try it out and you will know just why Mumbai street food is so popular.

This pack serves 3 people with just lime and cilantro but with onion and tomato added it could serve 4.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Neighborhood Watch

While the Tomatoes Dry.

Summer is here it is 37 deg Cel here unusual for Blr. Global warming showing its effects. India is expected to be hit by a heat wave.
This weekend I have other plans. I started drying 2.5 kgs tomatoes. Half a kilo of salted the rest unsalted. This project exposed me to the happenings around me that I don't notice during the week. It is summer time and see what the other residents of the neighborhood are up to. I enjoyed my weekend just watching them. Now don't get me wrong it is not what you are thinking ;). It's nature watch time and BTW airplanes too fascinate me.

One flew over the nest.

The Games squirrels play

After much sweet calling there they are. Spot the two.




Whats this fruit? Can anyone tell. It is sour juicy and makes great flavoring in curry. The juice is astringent and with sugar can be made into a fresh drink.
Updated: My friend Vinaya enlightened me through mail that it is called Bilimbi.


The busy industry

A lovely balcony but no users!

Is it a crow or a cuckoo?

The evening sky


Time to bring in the tomatoes now.



Friday, April 06, 2007

Pithachi Bore


Gauri finds the contents of the jar interesting.
She peers at it closer.

The lid is now opened.
She wants to see whats in there.

One in the mouth! Its Pithachi Bore Gauri.

After long here I am with a Koli specialty. I think Pithachi bore is the ingenious creation of a Koli woman whose kid is howling for munchies when all she has at hand is some rice flour, jaggery and oil.

Flash back some 20-25 yrs ago. Come join me in the trip down the alleys of the era gone by. It is summer time exams done and its too hot to be in Mumbai. D Mama is in Mumbai to deliver fish to his client. He is going to be back at my home in Fort for lunch and will return to Thal by evening. I pack my bag and am ready to go with him. Thal beckons me and nothing can stop me from going there. Our conversation goes like this:

Aai argues, "You are not going to Thal till I take you there. We have to ask Dad."
Me, "But you can tell him in the evening when he returns from work that I went with D Mama."
Aai, "I don't want you going there to harass people."
Me, "I won't go for a swim in the sea if no one's watching me. I won't climb trees in the afternoon when everyone is asleep. I won't roam around in the sun. I won't collect kids and harass Mama and Mami. I won't eat Keja. God promise!" I went on and on....
Finally looking at Mama. Aai, "This girl is just too much to handle, Dada take care of her and don't let her out of sight."

D Mama and me set off for Thal after lunch. We go to the Bhaucha Dhakka or the Ferry warf in the Mazgaon docks get onto a launch. I almost jump onto the upper deck. The sailors help me get on and pinch my cheek with adoration. I feel a tremendous relief of getting out of the hands of both my parents this immediately after exams. In 1.5 hour we reach Revas. I love the walk to the bus stand from the jetty. Hot batata vadas invite us at the only food stall there. The stall is built on stilts in the marsh. It is a pleasure to sit and have the batata vada there as the cool salt laden breeze brushes against the skin.

I disclose my plans to my D Mama for evening onwards after reaching Thal. I ask him who else has come to the village for the vacations. I feel proud that I am the first one to reach there. Ofcourse my cousins in the village will be surprised to see me already there. For the next one month here is my plan:

Aloud:

I decide that I will put up a shop selling glass sweets and peppermints that I brought from Mumbai.

Mama will take me swimming in the sea.

We will have a children's pooja for the 2 ft long toy boat that we owned once all cousins and friends come to Thal for the holidays.

Unsaid:

Uday, Prakash, Deepak and me will go fishing in the afternoon.

To have guavas sitting on the tree top. Go to Aatya’s Vaadi/orchad to collect mangoes and tamarind. Binge on!

To go to the Bandar with Aaji and have lots of Keja.

To go to the creek to collect mussels with Nirmal.

To play hide and seek in the haystack but watch out for G'pa. Last time I had got a pasting.

Eat lots of Karvanda/ Carissa carandas, Jambul/ Java Plum and Jaam the lovely bell shaped fruit that the Katkaris get every evening in the bazaar. They give free to us as we allow them to use our space in the bazaar.

To play the whole day and return home just in time for a bath and Shubham Karoti. Else G’pa will chase me around.

To play with dolls, cooking with real things like tiny fish caught by ourselves, real dough smuggled from some kitchen and the wooden heirloom chool my Mom had handed over to me.

Golawala will refuse to push his cart ahead as he passes my home till I buy some from him.

That done and me day dreaming I did not realize when we stepped in the village. My Mami seeing me tagging along with D Mama gasped, “Oh here she is! now she will form a gang and trouble every one in the neighborhood”. She calls me a Jakin or witch with disheaveled hair due the avatar I attain from all the playing and mischiefs.

Man my parents would take me back to Mumbai one week early before school started again. Allowing the heat boils acquired to heal. They are caused by eating too many mangoes . Also so that I regain my skin color as I would be completely tanned during the summer hols.

Keja means barter system and the goods too are called Keja. At the Bandar/ fish drying grounds women from other villages that don’t have access to the sea or fresh fish come with homemade goodies like Pithachi Bore, Shankar pali, Sanna, Fresh Mango pickle called karbat to our village. Then in exchange for dry fish we get these goodies. They go back home happy with the dry fish that they stock for the entire year. Thalkars enjoy these goodies that they never seem to have time to make. Thalkar are industrious lot and never waste the summer time that means big bucks.

We kids would make our own pithachi bore in the summer holidays in homes where the elder women would be busy with their business and the elder daughter minding the home. These generous elder girls would invite us kids and get the dough ready. Then the entire gang would shape the pithachi bore ie. Berries made from dough. While the elder girls pooled money from the gang to buy the oil to fry. Ah don’t ask the brand of oil it gives me jitters even now but I knew less then. Then they would fry the bore and guard them till cooled completely and rationed to everyone in the gang.

This is a simple snack absolutely rustic but gets back memories of fun and carefree days that will never come back.

Ingredients

1 cup rice flour
¼ cup grated jaggery
1 cup water
oil to fry.

First pour the water in a vessel and heat to dissolved the jaggery in the water. Once it starts boiling add the rice flour and make ukad. By now you know what is ukad on this blog. If not ukad is nothing but bolied flour. Now while still hot pour out the ukad onto the counter and knead. The dough should be tight as is the picture yet smooth.

Now ask your kids to shape the marbles or dough berries while you deep fry them to a caramelized red of the jaggery. Don’t get tempted to pop into your mouth while hot else you will scorch the tongue. Hot jaggery burns are real nasty. So breathe easy. Cool them completely then enjoy the crunchy Pithachi Bore.

I made it for my friend’s 3 yr old daughter who has just returned from Finland where they live. She absolutely freaked out on them. I had probably underestimated my childhood snack that is so rustic.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Floating Pineapple Syrup

Floating Pineapple syrup is such a obvious name for this dish. It can be made in 10 mins and can be stored for a month in the fridge. This can be had as a spread or a dip. Yet I don't make it for that reason. I keep this syrup handy when I need to make a Bangalore signature dish the Pinapple Kesari bhat in a jiffy. Mumbai people visiting me for the first time here in blr get impressed with it when their much tired Sheera comes alive with the addition of pineapple. Sheera, Sanja, Sooji halva, Kesari bhat is the same thing. I think most Indians love the prasad version and hate the everyday homemade version or is it just me. Yet the Pineapple sheera is a different thing altogether to be enjoyed at a different level but recipe for it will follow someday.


For now here is the recipe for the Floating Pineapple Syrup.

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple pieces
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.

A pinch of yellow food color (I do not encourage the use of color in food)

Mix all items together and cook on a low flame till you get a sticky syrup of 2 string consistency. Don't worry too much about the 2 string consistency if the syrup feels like honey then its done. Put the heat off. Cool completely and store.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Kothimbir Vadi


Kothimbir Vadi is a starter snack that is extremely popular among maharashtrians. It is found in many eateries that pride themselves in Marathi cuisine and there are not many even in Mumbai. What a shame. Yet they do get thronged for their speciality. Most times when friends ask for a typically marathi dish I make this and it is always a hit with them. It is made with abundant use of Cilantro which is called Kothimbir in marathi.
Ingredients
1 big bunch Cilantro
2 cups chickpea flour
1/4 cup peanuts coarse crushed
4-5 fine chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon asofeotida
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
First the preparation. Grease the steamer trays and keep aside. While getting the trays ready pour 2 glasses water in a large vessel. I use a big 12 liter pressure cooker as a steamer. Leave the water to boil with lid on.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl with water to get a batter of pouring consistency. Pour the batter in the greased trays. The thickness should be about 1/4 inch. We have to leave space in the tray for it to rise a bit.
This stand is used for steaming all types of Vadis, Dhokla and Tatte idli.
If the water is now boiling and steam has collected put in the stand for steaming the batter for 20 mins with lid. If pressure cooker is used like I do then without the weight. After steaming the batter will set and rise a bit. The thickness of the steamed batter is a little more than the 1/4 inch we filled in the tray but not too puffed up.

Let it cool for 1/2 hr. and then cut up into large square pieces for the traditional feel or use cookie cutter to get the shape of your choice. Remove from the trays and save.
When you are ready to serve fry the cut outs in hot oil till golden to get nice crisp outside. Serve with dry garlic chutney or shengdane/ peanut chutney or for the kids ketchup.
Tip: When you expect a lot of guest this can be steamed and refrigerated and fried at the time of serving. So the guest get steaming hot Kothimbir Vadi.
All maharashtrians swear by it. I'm sure its OK for you to try a fried one once in a while. Khaoon tar paha you will hear a maharashtrian tell you when offering this vadi. Need I say more.
Updated: 15th Nov 08
I find many people come to this blog searching for Kothimbir Vadi and reach this page but they do see the second type so let me link it up.

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