Monday, June 30, 2014

Methi Thepla


"Methi Thepla"

Methi Thepla is a popular Gujarati Flatbread made with Whole Wheat Flour and Fresh Methi leaves (Fenugreek) along with spices. These Theplas are very easy to make and can be stored for 3-4 days, making it a great snack option while travelling. The best thing about these are that you could have it at any time be it breakfast, lunch or dinner or even as snack in between meals.

Methi is a wonderful gift of nature which is very commonly used in Indian kitchens, either as a leaves, fresh or dried or in the form of seeds.  Methi contains protein, fibre, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, iron and alkaloids which impart numerous health benefits, Its believed that consumption of methi post pregnancy helps lactating mothers, is beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels, reduces cholesterol, aids in digestion and not to forget is also used as a home remedy for acne and hair problems. 

Though methi has so many health benefits, still many of us avoid eating this wonder herb because of its bitter taste. Methi theplas are for sure one of the best ways of including methi in our day to day diet apart from other preparations like Whole wheat Methi bunsMethi mutter paneerPalak methi aloo ke subziMethi chicken.

In fact these theplas are one of the best ways of including fresh methi leaves specially for kids who are fussy about green vegetables but love to have parathas.

Ingredients

Whole wheat flour (Aata) - 2 cups
Yogurt / Curd - 2/3rd cups
Fresh Fenugreek leaves (methi) - 1 cup
Green chillies, chopped - 3-4 (optional)
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4th teaspoon
Sesame seeds - 1 tablespoon
Carrom seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon

1/2 cup oil to roast the theplas

Method

Clean the methi leaves, wash and finely chop them. I like to use the stem finely chopped as it adds extra fiber to the theplas, however you could discard them if you feel that they are really hard.

In a large mixing bowl add flour, spice powders, carrom seeds and sesame seeds mix well and add the chopped methi leaves, chopped green chillies and curf along with salt. Mix all ingredients well until it resembles a crumble.




Carefully add water and knead into a firm pliable dough apply some oil and let the dough to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.  Apply some oil on your palms and divide the dough into small lemon sized balls (approximately 16- 18).  




Heat a tawa or skillet and on the other side start rolling out the theplas. Taake one ball at a time flatted and dip in some dry flour and roll into 6-7 inches diameter thin theplas.


Place the rolled thepla on the hot tawa,let it cook for 30-40 seconds and once small blisters start appearing flip and cook the other side apply some oil and spread evenly on the first side, flip once again and apply oil to the second side and cook evenly on both sides until well done and small brown spots start appearing. 




Serve hot or cold along with your favourite pickle or curd. we love to have it with Chunda along with a hot cup of tea.



Notes:

A lot of people use besan along with aata to make the theplas, which I feel is fine when you have the theplas fresh, but if you plan to store them for a longer time or carry them while you are travelling,  its always better to avoid the besan as it tends to make the theplas dry.
While making the dough ensure that the dough is firm, soft dough makes it difficult to roll out the theplas and if the dough is too hard then the theplas turn out dry.
To keep the theplas softer for a linger duration apply a small amount of ghee or butter on one side of the thepla soon after you remove it from the tava.
Ensure that you allow the theplas to cool down to room temperature before you pack them.
Methi leaves are easily available but if you don't have them or are unavailable then you could  replace it with dry methi leaves or Kasoori Methi.
If using dried methi leaves reduce the quantiy to 1/3rd of the fresh ones, as  dried herbs are stronger in flavor than the fresh ones. 
A lot of people like to add sugar to the thepla dough, I have not added, however if you wish you could add around a teaspoon of sugar.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chunda / Chundo - Gujarati Mango Pickle.

"Chunda / Chundo - Gujarati Mango Pickle" 


Chunda or Chundo - A Traditional Gujarati Mango Pickle made with Raw mangoes. Its sweet, its sour and hot too... This recipe is from my mom who actually learnt it from my Massi (my mom's sister), who had amazing Gujarati neighbours....in fact she called them her extended family.  Most of the Gujarati recipes which I know have been passed on through her and my friends in Mumbai.
Its one of the most simple pickle recipe which I know, grated raw mangoes, combined with sugar, salt and spices... The best thing about these are that they can be prepared over stove top and are fast too.
As this recipe has been passed on from massi to mom and now to me I am sure mom must have done some changes to the original but trust  me its just too good...and worth trying.

Ingredients

Raw Mangoes - 5 (Approximately 500 grams)
Salt - 2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar - 2 1/2 cups (Adjust sugar as per taste)
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (really hot ones)
Roasted cumin seeds powder - 1 1/2 teaspoon

Method

Soak mangoes in water for half an hour, wash thoroughly and peal  and grate then.





Place the grated mangoes in a large mixing bowl, add salt and turmeric powder, mix well, cover and let it marinate for 2-3 hours. (If possible keep it in sunlight)



Once the mangoes have marinated for almost 2-3 hours, you will see that they have released some water, don't worry and don't discard the water. Transfer the marinated Mangoes to a cooking pot and add sugar 2-3 tablespoons at a time and keep mixing until the sugar has combined well.




Place the pot on medium heat and stir constantly until all the sugar has melted and bubbles start to appear. Reduce the flame to low and red chilli powder, mix well and continue cooking on low flame. Keep stirring continuously as this is the most crucial stage, continue cooking until the syrup reaches the one string consistency. You might feel that the syrup is a bit runny but don't worry urn off the heat, as once it starts cooling it will attain the desired consistency. Also remember over cooking will result in crystallization of sugar.



Let it cool down, then add roasted cumin powder and mix well. Once its cooled down completely and is at room temperature, store it in clean and airtight glass jar.


Chunda is ready to serve. A perfect accompaniment for Theplas, Savory Parathas and Masala Puris.

Notes

To make Chunha or Chundo please use firm Raw Green mangoes which are very sour and have a greenish white pulp, never use the ones which are yellowish in colour.
Chunda can be stored up to a year in room temperature if kept in an airtight jar and as my grandma says never use a wet spoon to take out pickles.
I have shared the stove top method of making chunda but mom also makes it the traditional way, which is simple but takes more time.
Please check seasoning and adjust as personal preference.

Traditional Method - Once  the shredded mangoes have marinated well, she combines all ingredients together and fills them up in clean and sterilized glass jars, covers then up with muslin cloth and keeps it in sunlight every morning and would bring it indoors in the evening.  This process would take around 7-10 days for the pickle to be ready.

Knowing how impatient we were for the pickles she used to prepare a small batch of may be a kilo or so. Usually pickles at home are made in large quantity so that they could last for a year at least. 






Sunday, June 22, 2014

Murgh Masaledar



"Murgh Masaledar"

Murgh Masaledar is is a spicy, tangy and very flavorful preparation of chicken. Marinated chicken, simmered in an onion and yogurt based gravy along with roasted aromatic Indian Spices.

Ingredients

Chicken,on bones - 800 grams (cut into 12 pcs)
Onion, sliced -2 medium
Onion small - 1 small
Garlic (fat ones) - 3-4
Coriander powder  - 1 tablespoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf - 1
Green cardamom - 4
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
Yogurt - 3 tablespoon
Kasuri Methi - 1 teaspoon
Ginger julienned - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 2-3
Oil- 3 tablespoon
Salt to  taste

For the Chicken Marinade

Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon

For Dry Roasted masala

Whole red chilli - 1
Whole coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Whole cumin - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Cardamom - 3
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Black Pepper corn - 5-6

Preparation

Clean and wash chicken.  In a large mixing bowl  add the crushed ginger garlic paste ,turmeric powder, garam masala powder , salt and lemon juice to the chicken  piece, mix well so that all ingredients combine well. Ensure each and every piece of chicken is well coated, cover and let it marinate for an hour or two in the refrigerator.
  



Secondly, dry roast all the ingredients under the "Dry Roast Masala" sub heading, once they start releasing the aroma turn off the heat, let the masalas cool for some time and grind them to a coarse powder. (Do read notes before roasting the spices)

Last but not the least make a paste of one small onion along with 3-4 cloves of garlic. Add the coriander powder, cumin powder, Kashmiri red chilli powder and turmeric powder to the onion garlic paste, mix well and keep aside.




Method

Heat around 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottom pot or kadhai and add the marinated ckicken pieces and start frying until the meat turns opaque and the chick starts to get a nice golden colour. Don't add the extra marinade while frying the  as this will increase the cooking time, reserve it for later use.



Heat around 2 table spoon oil in a kadhai, add bayleaf, green cardomon, cloves and cinnamon stick. As the spices start to release aroma add the sliced onion and fry till they start to turn golden brown.



Add the ground onion garlic and dry masala paste to the reserved marinade, mix well. Add the masala paste  to the fried onions, mix well and fry until oil starts to appear on the sides.




Add the dry roasted masala and mix well, fry for a minute or two. Transfer the masala to the pot of chicken, if required add a tablespoon or two of water and mix well ensuring that the fried chicken is well coated with the masala, check seasoning and adjust salt accordingly (We had added salt to our marinade).  Let this fry for 2-3 minutes.



Once the chicken and masala have been combined well add yogurt  along with crushed Kasuri Methi. Mix well, add around 1/4th cup of water, cover the pot  and let it simmer on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.




Add the ginger juliennes and slit green chillies, cover and cook on medium flame for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it stand covered for at least 10 minutes before serving.


Serve hot along with roti, Lachha Parathaquick jeera rice or enjoy with simple steamed rice.



Notes:

While roasting the spices do remember that each and every spice requires a different temperature for roasting. As the quantity of spices for this recipe is not too much so what we need to do is start with first roasting the coriander, followed by cumin and red chilli, then the rest of the spices. Do not over roast the spices all we need is to get rid of extra moisture. Hence as soon as the spices start releasing the aroma turn off the heat, let them cool and then grind in a clean dry grinder.
Also i suggest that you grind the ginger garlic fresh for the marinade as it has has more flavor and tastes better too.
Just before you start frying the chicken, mix the marinade well, pick up each piece and add to the hot oil in the pot, by doing we don't end up adding the extra marinade and the chicken gets fried soon too. 









Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kanda Batata Poha

"Kanda Batata Poha"

"Kanda Batata Poha" is a  traditional breakfast dish from the Indian state of Maharashtra.
As the name suggests its made from  "Poha" or "Flattened rice", "Kanda" which means "Onion" and "Batata" which means "Potato" in Marathi.
 Poha is an extremely simple and easy dish, prepared with minimal spices yet very flavorful and nutritious. In fact its one of the most frequently made dish in our home, be it for breakfast,  packed lunch to office or just as a tea time snack in the evening.

Ingredients

Poha / Flattened riice - 1 1/2 cups
Onion, chopped - 1 medium
Potato, pealed and diced - 1 medium
Peanuts - 1/4th cups
Green chillies, chopped - 2-3
Curry leaves - 8-10
Green coriander, chopped - 4-5 tablespoon
Juice of one lemon
Mustard seeds - 3/4th teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Oil - 2 tablespoon.

Method

Wash Poha under running water, drain any excess water and let it stand for 10 - 15 minutes.


Heat about 1/2 table spoon of oil in a kadhai, just enough to grease and roast the peanuts until well done and the outer skin splits. Drain and keep aside


Heat the remaining oil in the same kadhai, add the mustard seeds, once they start to sputter add the curry leaves and the diced potatoes, mix well and fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped onions fry until the onion starts to turn translucent add turmeric powder along with salt mix well. Add 2- 3 tablespoons of water, cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done.






Once the potatoes are almost done add sugar (if using) followed by chopped green chillies mix well and add half of the chopped coriander.( I like to add some fresh coriander at this stage cover and cook for a minute or so that the potato mixture also absorbs some of the coriander flavor)




Add the poha along with the roasted peanuts, mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon juice,remaining chopped coriander and  mix well.




Enjoy hot along with a cup of tea.

Notes:

There are a couple of variety of poha available in the market these days thick ones as well as thin ones. I have used the thick ones as the thin ones turn mushy after washing.
I use a sieve to wash the poha , just put the poha in the sieve and wash it under running water for a few seconds. Remove and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes it will become fluffy.
Never soak the poha or it will become mushy.
You must be wondering why have I added the onion after adding the potatoes, its because the potato would take more time to cook and i would fry the onion and then add the potato there are chances of the onion getting burnt.
Do adjust the quantiy of lemon juice as per personal taste.