Monday, December 07, 2009

Palak Phadhphada and Chapati Mats

What is he scooping up with a dona? Something definitely special!

To many Malaria is a small disease. In my family 0ur general health is pretty good, the occasional cough and cold is to be ignored. We live with some other things that are our partners in life. So its a big deal especially for my Dad when he falls ill. If I have learnt something in life it is to mock the things that try to bring me down and appreciate the smallest things in Life.

I tell W also many times there are so many thing to be happy about. A sunny morning, an unexpected shower, a beautiful temple in an unexpected location, a beautiful kid. GOD has endowed us with so much, good looks, sensitive heart, enough money to buy what we want etc. What else does one need!

I was little shaken up when Dad collapsed last Wed. Yet after the treatment was started we started playing a game. Everyday for the last 4 days, I'd ask Dad what do you think will be your platelet count today? He would say may be up by 15 thousand, I'd say double. The only time I sunk in the heart of heart was when it showed a dip on the second day. Today the count was normal so we did a Thumbs up!!! and thanked the hospital staff as we left. We told them tomorrow will be our last visit. Doc said to Dad "See me only if you feel weak or there is a problem".

It is a technique, we wanted to be happy. Another thing that works for us is good food, food from our memories, food that comforts.

It is Phadhphada! You got to read the story to know if it is the traditional or yet another of my experiment with new ingredients.

This recipe is non traditional. I made it with what is available today.

Dad loves ALu cha Phadhphada. LOL. I know you will guffaw. It gets its name from ALu/Colocasia leaves and the noise its puree makes while cooking in the pot. I don't know why, I haven't spotted ALu leaves here in Blr in the last 4.5 yrs. So I used Palak instead. Instead of the Chincha-Gul (Tamarind-Jaggery) I used Kokum agal-gul. Another twist is Moog dal for thickening instead of the traditional Chana dal.

So here is a recipe which comes very close to ALu cha Phadhphada.


1 large bunch Spinach/Palak
2 tablespoons Moog Dal
1/2 cup fresh boiled peanuts
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Goda masala
2 tablespoon Kokum Agal (extract) OR Tamarind extract
2 tablespoons of Jaggery or a little more, check the taste.
salt to taste.
2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

First wash thoroughly the spinach. In a small pressure cooker wash the Moog dal. Add to it the Palak. Add the spices, red chili powder, turmeric powder, Goda masala and salt. Add a glass of water. Close the cooker. Allow 3 whistles. Let it cool.

Till then, heat the oil and make the phodni with mustard seeds. On spluttering and the Kokum agal or Tamarind extract. Drop in the jaggery and allow to boil rapidly. Now add the peanuts, save a bit for sprinkles.

Its time to open the cooker. Puree in the mixie the cooked Palak and Moog dal till smooth. Pour the puree into the already boiling liquid. Mix well. It needs to be covered as it would start making the Phadh phadh sound true to its name :)

Stir well. Cook for another 5 mins. While serving decorate with a few boiled peanuts sprinkled over a bowl of hot Palak Phadhphada.

Serve with Bhakari or Phulka. It is creamy with rice too. Lipsmacking is the word.

This time in Mumbai I picked up these cool inexpensive Chapati Mats. They absorb the sweat released by hot chapatis and keep them soft. How you use them, is by placing one mat at the bottom of your chapati box and one on top just under the lid. I remember how the last chapati always got thrown at the dog when we were kids, it was due to the sogging in the steam. A good mat should be made with layers of cloth and not sponge. It should be washable.

You can even make your own. Cut out rounds the size of your box. Layer with cloth and quilt it. Use a piping to seal the edges. You are ready for chapati making and storing them soft till you serve.

Incase you can't get yourself these or make them just continue using a napkin to line the chapati box.

The Chapati Mats I got from Mumbai. They help to keep the chapati sweat free and soft.

Chimuli runs to the window to entertain herself when Mama does not give attention. She tried hovering around Grandpa but he seems to growl at her lately so she finds her own way to keep out of sight.

Woof Woof Vinaya Maushi!


  1. The phadhpada used to be a staple in the wedding feast. Wonder if it still is.
    Liked your variations. Does it alter the taste too much?
    Chimni has grown a lot and how shiny is her coat!

  2. Nice to hear ur dads feeling better. The phadphada bhaji sounds a little bit like patal bhaji my aaji used to make.

  3. I haven't see phadhpada in the wedding feasts in Mumbai. May be if it is a sit down lunch they serve it. These days its always buffet with funny dishes that one cannot recognize as Maharashtrian specialities. The food is prdominantly Punjabi and Chinese.

    Yes Nikita it is also called Patal bhaji.

  4. I am so proud of my chimi baby.. vinaya maushi loves you and mamma very much . muaahhhh sweetheart :). Dont worry. Grandpa will be rocking soon ! cheers

  5. Palak Phadhphada looks delicious, never had this before, should taste yummy.....

    Chapati mats are very innovative, must be really useful:)

  6. Khoop chan ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ


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