Saturday, November 18, 2017

Methi Na Ladva/ Ladoo

Methi na ladva is a traditional recipe which is more of a medicine than a sweet. This is typically given to mothers after they deliver a baby. It is also used as a, "cure," for back or joint pains during winter months. These ladvas are generally better consumed during the winter season. Fenugreek seeds contain many minerals and vitamins, which are beneficial for bone health. I learned this specific recipe from my mother. I may make a good ladva, but I still can't beat my mother's homemade methi ladva. She is the best at it! As it is currently winter time, it's time to make methi na ladva! Enjoy and stay warm!

Preparations Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 20 ladvas

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups jaggery, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup ghee (for jaggery)
  • 2 cups ghee (for flour)
  • 3/4 cup gund/ gum, finely ground
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut (dry coconut; topravatki)
  • 3/4 cup almond, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons methi powder (Adjust methi powder according to your taste)
  • 4 tablespoons ginger powder
  • 3 tablespoons peepramul powder
Directions:
  1. In a kadai, add ghee and wheat flour. Roast the flour until it gets fragrant.
  2. Add gund powder and stir. Make sure the gund crackles. 
  3. Next, add almond, coconut, ginger powder and peepramul powder. Mix well.
  4. Turn of the gas and leave the kadai aside. 
  5. Take another kadai and, on a medium heat, add ghee and jaggery together. Stir continuously, When the jaggery melts (no lumps), turn off the stove. 
  6. Add the melted jaggery into the flour mixture and mix well. Allow it to cool a little bit. Then, add methi powder and mix well.
  7. Shape the mixture into round ladoos using your hands. The size of a ladoo is approximately bigger than golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball. 
  8. Allow it to cool and store in an air-tight container.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Jaadi Teekhi Sev

Gram flour sev is a quick and savory snack often prepared during Diwali. This variation is my mom's recipe of preparing the sev. The taste of this sev is spicy and the texture is crispy. You may make medium spicy sev by adding less red chili powder (adjust the heat level according to your taste buds). Sev may be stored up to two months, but make sure to store in an air tight container. You will also need a chakli press for making this sev (available on Amazon). The discs with slightly larger holes are required for sev. I don't add baking soda when I make sev, but you may add a pinch of it if you want. Spicy, or mild sev, are great munches at any time of the day.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil (for the dough)
  • 1 pinch of baking soda (optional)
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 4 tablespoons water (approx.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to deep fry 
  • Chakli moulds: plate fitted with big holes (Sev no sancho).
Directions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the sifted gram flour and all the spices (turmeric powder, red chili powder, carom seeds, asafoetida, oil and salt). If you prefer using baking soda as well then also add it now. Mix well, add water and knead to a soft-consistency dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Then, knead again for 1 minute. Grease the chakli moulds and discs with a little oil. Place the disc towards the bottom of the cylindrical sev maker. Take a part of the dough and roll it into a log. Gently place in the sev maker and cover the sev maker with a lid.
  3. On high flame, heat oil in a frying pan. Once hot, lower the flame. Into the hot oil, directly press the sev maker to make sev. Move in a circular motion so the sev is equally distributed.
  4. Fry until the color changes to golden on both sides and the sev becomes crispy. Remove the sev from oil and place the fried sev on paper towels to absorb out the excess oil.
  5. Repeat with left over dough. When the sev is room temperature, store into an air tight container. Sev is ready to consume.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Crispy Spicy Puri

Crispy puris are made from whole wheat flour with a few added spices. They are perfect as a tea-time or coffee accompanying snack. The delight of these puris lies in their taste. I usually prefer to make them as a homemade snack, rather than buying from a store, because homemade snacks taste fresher and are more hygienically made compared to ready-made ones. These make for a good and filling snack while travelling as well. The puris taste great with pickle, chundo or pickle green chilis. Have fun!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4  (approx. 25 to 30 puris)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/ oil (for dough)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil (to smooth out the dough)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water (room temperature)
  • Ghee or oil for frying
Directions:
  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients well. Knead into a tight and stiff dough. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Knead the dough one more time to smooth it out. Then, make small, tiny balls. Flatten each ball between your palm and roll into a 2" diameter circle. 
  3. The rolled circle should be of medium thickness - not too thin or too thick. Roll all of them and prick the surface with a fork or knife all over.
  4. On medium flame, heat ghee or oil in a frying pan. Deep fry the puris until golden brown in color on the both sides.
  5. Drain and keep them on an absorbent paper. Let cool and store in an airtight container. 
  6. Enjoy! They stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Valor Muthiya Nu Shaak (Hyacinth Beans/ Broad Beans)

Valor muthiya nu shaak is a specialty of Gujarat. It is a seasonal vegetable which is rich in fiber and full of vitamins. The beans may also be combined with potatoes or eggplant (brinjal). The most tiring or time consuming job in this whole process is the cleaning the beans. They should be de-stringed and the pod opened. To make this vegetable, deep fried, fengugreek leaves, spices and gram flour muthiya are cooked with the valor. The dish should be served with hot chapatis/ roti or bhakri.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups of valor 
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon carom/ ajwain seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
To make methi/ frenugreek muthiya:
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh methi, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gram flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon rava/ semolina
  • 1 tablespoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon dhanajeera powder (cumin and coriander powder)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 teaspoons oil
  • Pinch of soda bicarb
  • Oil for frying the muthiya
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  1. First, wash and de-string the bean pods. Then, open the bean pods. 
  2. In a bowl, add all the ingredients to make muthiya and mix well. Then, add a little water to make the dough thick. Grease your palms and make small oval cylindrical rolls from the dough. 
  3. Deep fry the muthiya in hot oil on medium heat until golden in color.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add hing (ajwain), turmeric powder and the beans.
  5. Add chili powder, coriander-cumin (dhanajeera) powder, salt, and a pinch of soda bicarb to the pan. Mix well and add 2 cups of water. Now, let it simmer until the beans are half cooked.
  6. Add the fried muthiya to the pan along with chopped tomatoes. Mix and simmer. When the beans and muthiya become soft, turn off the stove.
  7. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
  8. Serve hot with roti, bhakri or rice with dal.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Diwali 2017 Recipes

As Diwali approaches, I'll be sharing a few recipes to help you celebrate the holiday! In many Gujarati households, it is a custom to make a variety of snacks and sweets during Diwali to enjoy with your loved ones.

The first recipe is for Mathiya, a type of savory papad that has a spicy yet sweet crunchy taste.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup mathiya flour / math dal flour
  • 1/2 cup urad dal flour
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour/besan
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds/ ajwain
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon white chili powder or coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon papad kharo (soda khar)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying 
  • Warm water as needed (approx 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon )

Directions:
  1. In a bowl mix the three flours, ghee, carom seeds, white chili powder and sugar
  2. Add papad kharo to warm water 
  3. Add water to knead the dough. In order to get dough stiff, it will need to be pounded with a stone mortar or with your fists. 
  4. After pounding the dough for at least 15 minutes, create small round balls with the dough 
  5. With a rolling pin, roll out the balls into a thin round shape (slightly bigger than the size of a puri)
  6. In a deep wok/kadai, heat the oil on a medium high setting. Fry the mathiya one at a time until they are golden brown
  7. Mathiya is ready to serve
Notes:
Store mathiya in an air tight container for freshness


Chorafali or fafda is another Diwali specialty in Gujarati households. This gluten free crispy vegan snack is perfect for munching at anytime during the day.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup gram flour / besan / chana dal flour
  • 1/2 cup split urad dal flour
  • Pinch carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Pinch soda (baking soda)
  • Pinch crushed black pepper 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon black salt to sprinkle (mix it in a small bowl)
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup water to 1/3 cup water approx
Directions:
  1. Boil 1/3 cup of water and add baking soda into it. In a bowl mix both flours, add salt, oil, black pepper and carom seeds
  2. When water gets warm, add into flour and knead the dough (dough should be stiff ). Keep aside for 20 minutes
  3. If your dough is still dry, add some oil and pound with stone mortar and stretch to make it soft and smooth. do not add more water 
  4. Make small balls of dough and roll out each ball to very thin roti size (about 5 inches in diameter)
  5. Within each circle, make about 4 to 5 cuts in the middle only while avoiding cutting to the edges OR you can cut them all of the way into wide individual strips
  6. Deep fry in oil on medium flame until golden brown 
  7. Sprinkle red chili powder and black salt on top before serving
Notes:
Once cool, store in a airtight container. They will keep fresh for about fifteen days.




On to the Diwali sweets! This recipe is for Khajoor (dates) Rolls with nuts. Dates and nuts always make a great combination and provide tremendous amount of nutritious value. While considered a dessert, these rolls are not overly sweet and can also be eaten as a snack. During Diwali, I usually make a roll to add variety to the other snacks and sweets. I just love Diwali as it brings lots of happiness!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serving: 4 (32 pieces)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates (khajoor)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped almond
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnut
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cashew
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon condensed milk (optional)
  • Approximately 3 tablespoons Almond, pistachio and coconut powder (to coat the roll)

Directions:
  1. Heat ghee in a pan, add dates, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Mash the dates a little bit using a potato masher
  2. Add chopped nuts, and continue to saute for 2 to 3 minutes over low to medium heat. 
  3. Add condensed milk (by adding it the texture of roll will be creamy and soft)
  4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn off the stove. 
  5. Apply ghee on the palm of your hand and shape the mixture into a log. Make sure the log is tight and free of air bubbles
  6. Coat the roll with pistachios, almond and coconut powder mixture, 
  7. Cover the roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes
  8. Take this roll out of the refrigerator and cut it up into 1/4" thick pieces
  9. Khajoor rolls are ready to serve
Notes:
You can store it into air tight container up to 15 days. You can also mold this roll in any shape you like.


Ghughra is a traditional Gujarati and popular Diwali sweet. It is also known as Gujia or Karanji. Ghughra is a fried dessert in a dumpling shape filled with coconut and dry fruits. You can also use mawa/ khoya to make the filling. This sweet is a "must have" in our family every Diwali as it is Anisha's, my daughter in-law, favorite. I dedicate this recipe to her.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serving: Make 35 to 40 pieces, depending on the shape

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup rava/ sooji/ cream of wheat
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (dry)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (cut it in half)
  • 1/4 cup almonds (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup cashews (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (chopped in food processor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder/ elaichi
  • Pinch of  nutmeg powder
  • 4 to 5 strands of saffron 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoon ghee
  • Ghee for frying
Dough:
  • 2 cups maida flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ghee
Directions:
  1. Roast the rava in ghee in a pan at low heat, until it becomes light brown in color
  2. Add cardamom powder, almonds, cashews, pistachios, coconuts, raisins, saffron and sugar and mix it all well together. Keep it to a side once mixed.
  3. In a bowl add maida flour, add ghee and mix it well
  4. Knead the dough and divide into small balls (the dough should be stiff)
  5. Keep the dough covered, so it doesn't dry out
  6. Take one ball and roll out into a puri shaped circle. Add some stuffing on the dough and then close it to create a half moon shape.
  7. Keep twisting around the edges to make ghughra in various shapes (you can use ghughra mold to give shape. See picture below)
  8. After you make four to six ghughra, begin frying process. Ghee should be heated in a pan on low/medium heat. Fry thoroughly.
  9. Continue steps 6-8 for remaining dough balls.
  10. Ghughras are ready to serve
Traditional shape and different shapes of ghughra:



Ghughra stuffing:


Ghughra Mold:


Being healthy and staying healthy is easy with this recipe for cereal chevda. It will take care of your munching needs without all the unhealthy calories and fat from fried snacks. This is relatively quick to make and the recipe is easy to follow. It is comprised of a mix of different cereals, some dry fruits and is mildly spiced. It makes quite an enjoyable snack.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serving: 4

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups Corn Flakes
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup potato sticks
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup roasted chana dal
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 3 green chillies chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 10 to 12 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder (mango powder)
  • A pinch of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
                          Directions:

                          1. Heat oil in a wide saucepan or kadai over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.
                          2. As the mustard seeds crack, add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves. Cover the pan for few seconds after you add curry leaves as the mixture will spray outwards.
                          3. Lower the heat to medium low and stir fry for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add raisins, cashews, almonds, peanuts and chana dal. Stir-fry for an additional minute or two.
                          4. Add fennel seeds, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, amachoor powder, garam masala, red chili powder and salt. Mix well for 30 seconds.
                          5. Add both cereals and potato sticks. Stir the mixture gently and mix it well for a minute.
                          6. Turn off the heat and add sugar. Mix it well. The chevda is now ready.
                          7. Let the chevda cool to room temperature before you transfer into a container.

                          Note:
                          Cereal chevda can be kept for several days in an airtight container.



                          Sunday, October 8, 2017

                          Gram Flour Dhokla (with Bitter Gourd Skin)

                          We all love making different kinds of dhoklas. Why? It's such a versatile dish! Dhoklas may be had for breakfast or with evening tea, but on busy days don't we wish there was a faster alternative? Lay your worries to rest with these easy to make dhoklas using a karela's (bitter gourd) scrubbed skin. This dish simply involves assembling the ingredients, mixing them and cooking. So, it is no fuss after all. Karela skin also provides a lot of iron and other friendly nutrients. Try this recipe - it is very tasty and yummy. In my family, we also call this dish, "Gashelu."

                          Preparation time: 10 minutes
                          Cooking time: 10 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 1 cup besan (gram flour)
                          • 3/4 cup scrubbed skin of karela (bitter gourd)
                          • 1 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder 
                          • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder for tempering
                          • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder
                          • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
                          • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
                          • 2 tablespoons green coriander leaves, chopped
                          • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
                          • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds for tempering
                          • 1 tablespoon oil for tempering 
                          • Salt to taste
                          • 2 tablespoons oil
                          • 1 teaspoon oil for greasing
                          Directions:
                          1. Combine all the ingredients, except fresh coriander leaves, mustard seeds, hing and oil (as noted above) in a mixing bowl. Add four cups of water and make sure that no lumps remain. The batter should be thin.
                          2. On a nonstick pan, at medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing. Then, add the batter and stir continuously until the batter gets to a thick consistency similar to soft-rice khichu.
                          3. Grease a thali or plate with oil. Spread the batter evenly. 
                          4. In a small kadai, add 1 tablespoon oil at medium heat. Then, add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle, turn off the stove. Add 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder and sprinkle the mixture on top of the dhokla. Let it cool a little bit. Then, cut into diamond-shaped or square-shaped pieces. The taste should not be bitter, but pleasant.
                          5. Sprinkle the dhokla with fresh coriander leaves and serve.
                          Note: If you want, you may also add garlic, ginger and green chili paste to gram flour batter.


                          Saturday, September 30, 2017

                          Bharela Bhinda (Stuffed Okra)

                          Bharela Bhinda is a Jain-friendly recipe comprised of spices, bhindi, yogurt, salt and oil. This recipe is easy in terms of steps, but is time-consuming when it comes to rinsing, drying and then stuffing the bhindi. There is no garam masala powder added in this recipe. Only regular spices such as red chili powder, turmeric powder and dhana-jeera powder. I learned this recipe, using yogurt, from my mother-in-law. Adding yogurt into the masala allows the bhinda to stay green and adds to the taste as well. This bhinda recipe goes well with roti and dal. Enjoy!

                          Prep Time: 20 minutes
                          Cooking time: 25 minutes
                          Servings: 4

                          Ingredients:
                          • 4 1/2 cups Bhinda/ okra
                          • 4 tablespoons oil
                          • 2 tablespoons red chili powder (adjust your heat level)
                          • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
                          • 1 teaspoon jeera/ cumin powder
                          • 3 tablespoons coriander (dhana) powder
                          • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
                          • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
                          • 3 tablespoons yogurt
                          • Pinch of hing
                          • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped green coriander leaves
                          • Salt to taste
                          Directions:
                          1. Wash, wipe dry and trim both ends of the bhinda/okra.
                          2. Combine all the spices in a bowl with yogurt and salt. Mix well.
                          3. Slit each bhinda vertically without breaking 
                          4. Fill each bhinda with the spice mixture and then cut each bhinda in half.
                          5. Heat oil on a pan/ kadai. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing. Then, add the stuffed bhinda and cook on low heat until they are cooked per your preference (my son liked them a little burned).
                          6. Do not cover the bhinda otherwise they will get slimy or gooey.
                          7. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
                          8. Serve bharela bhinda hot with roti/ chapatis.