Monday, May 31, 2010

Khaman Dhokla -Version 2

When we lived in Bahrain in the early 90s, there were not many Indian stores as now. Neither were there many restaurants as there are today, though there was a sizable Indian population then. We were only three Indian families in my apartment block and naturally the womenfolk were sharing food and recipes. One of them was from Gujarat and generously gave us recipes for dhoklas.

Having attempted the Dhokla recipe for the Indian Cooking Challenge, I made improvements to my neighbours recipe. Later when I picked up a cookery book that came along with the instruction manual from TTK for a skillet (that my mother-in-law has owned for over 35 years), I found yet another recipe for the same.

Hence this recipe is my version combing all of the above. Since it is made by soaking and grinding the channa dhal, I opted to grind whole channa, soya beans and channa dhal. (Inspired by Tarla Dalal's green peas dhokla)
I would love to send these dhoklas to Susan, the wellseasoned cook, who initiated the MLLA and is hosting the MLLA 23rd edition this May.

1 cup channa dhal
3 teaspoons whole soya
1/2 cup whole channa
1/3 cup yoghurt beaten
1/4th teaspoon sodium bi carbonate
3 green chillis (grind to a paste)
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1/4th teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4th teaspoon citric acid (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ENO Fruit salt

For topping on the dhoklas:
1 teaspoon oil mixed with 2 teaspoons water

For tempering:
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green chilli finely chopped

For garnish:
Freshly grated coconut
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Chopped curry leaves

Serving suggestion:
Serve with coriander -coconut chutney.

Grind together 2 tablespoons fresh coconut, 1 green chilli, few mint leaves and salt.
When partly done, add to the above a fistful of coriander leaves and grind further until smooth.
Remove from the grinding jar and mix a teaspoon of lime juice.
Preparation of dhokla:
Soak the whole channa and soya beans overnight.
Wash and saok the channa dhal for two hours.
Wash again all the soaked legumes. Grind to a coarse batter adding the beaten yoghurt for grinding.
Add the juice of lime, salt and turmeric powder and leave aside for a few hours.
Keep the steamer with water on stove and allow the water to come to a boil. Let the water be boiling while you prepare the plate for steaming
Just before steaming, add to the batter soda-bi-carb, citric acid, sugar and the chilli paste.
Whisk thoroughly and mix them well.
Dust the plate in which you desire to pour the batter with some of the ENO fruit salt.
Add the rest of the fruit salt to the prepared batter. Whisk quickly and as the effervescence rises, pour the batter in the plate and place it in the steamer.
Cover and steam for 5 -7 minutes, reducing the heat to medium soon after a steady steam flows.
You may open and check if the dhokla has cooked by inserting a toothpick. You may steam for a further minute or two if necessary.
Switch the fire off and keep covered, on the stove for 5 minutes.
Open the lid, take the plate off the steamer and add the oil-water mixture over the steamed dhokla.

Allow to cool. Cut pieces and transfer to the serving plate.
Heat some oil and add the tempering. Add this to the cut dhoklas. Garnish with the coconut, coriander and curryleaves.
Serve with green chutney.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Russian Potato Bread

This bread recipe was in a book on baking that my neighbour’s daughters gifted her for Mother’s day. She gave the book to me to copy a few breads that I might find useful and easy to bake. I am unable to give due credit to the author of this book because I have hurriedly copied the recipes and not the name of the book nor the author.
I quote what was in the book:
"In Russia, potatoes are often used to replace some of the flour in bread recipes. They endow the bread with excellent keeping qualities".
225 grams potatoes
465 grams all purpose flour (I have again mixed whole wheat and all purpose flour)
15 grams fresh yeast
2 teaspoons salt
25 grams butter
Panning and baking the bread:
Cook potatoes until tender. Reserve the boiled water about 150 ml.
Mash the drained potatoes well.
Add warm water to the yeast and cover it. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes to rise.
Mix the flour, salt and rub in the butter. Add mashed potato and the yeast. Knead to a smooth dough adding the reserved water.
Knead for a further 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place this is a lightly oiled utensil and cover allowing room for the dough to develop.
After about an hour when the dough has almost doubled in size, turn it on to a lightly floured board and knock back, punch and knead gently.
Shape this into a plump oval loaf of about 18 centimetres long.
Place on a baking tray. Sprinkle some bread flour over the surface.
Cover the dough with a lightly oiled cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. At this juncture pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F/ Gas mark 6.
Using a sharp knife slash the top in diagonal cuts giving a criss-cross effect.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Remove and cool on wire racks.
Serve with a soup or just a tiny block of butter.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sago Murukku

Sago murukku was the challenge given to members of Indian Cooking Challenge way back in March, to be posted by the 15th of April. Though I had two recipes in one cookbook, I never had attempted until Srivalli lured me by posting the challenge.
I tried the recipe given by her, which is the same as it appears below. But all plans to post were not to be. I travelled to India and disappeared from blogsphere for a while. Now that I am back, I wanted to post the recipe though very overdue.
Rice Flour 2 cups
Gram flour 1/2 cup
Fried gram flour - 1/2 cup
Sago pearls - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Curd - 50 gms (half of half cup)
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp or as per taste

Special Utensil :
Muruku Achu

Method to prepare:
Soak Sago in butter milk for 3 hours. Ensure that you soak it enough; otherwise you may risk having the sago burst.
Mix all the flours together.
Heat 50 gms oil, mix to the flour along with salt and chili powder.
Then add the soaked sago slowly and knead to a dough, the consistency should be easy to be pressed through the murukku press.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Place a small portion of the dough in the muruku achu.
When the oil is hot, press down directly in the oil as murukus.
Cook on medium flame to ensure the muruku is fried well.
Remove from oil with a slotted ladle and place on absorbent tissues to remove excess oil.
A very tasty, somewhat tangy (because of the buttermilk) murukku is ready to enjoy.

Ensure sago soaks in buttermilk well and is soft or else it will burst when you press it down in hot oil.
Cook on medium to ensure even cooking.
I powdered the sago prior to mixing to the buttermilk, just enough to form a dough, let it stand for sometime and added the rest of the flours and the hot oil. I did not have any bursting or cracking.
This recipe resulted in somewhat hard murukkus to my liking. I usually add more butter or fat to the dough than given in this recipe. Nonetheless it tasted good and I am determined to try them again sometime later.
The recipe book I mentioned does not have the gram flour in the recipe. The author has used only rice flour and sago pearls. That might be also an interesting option.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Chidwa is one of my Monday morning saviour recipes. Quick to fix, especially, in the microwave, while the stove top can be used for some task. It is a Maharashtrian dish and is a family favourite.
The recipe is for serving two and done in a microwave where the output/ 100% power is 900 watts. Please adjust times according to the output of your machine.
1 cup beaten rice/ poha/ aval
1 medium onion chopped
2 green chillis chopped
2 tablespoons peanuts, shelled, roasted in the microwave on high for 2&1/2 minutes
Few curry leaves
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon channa dhal
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons lime juice
Salt as per required
Chopped coriander leaves for garnish.

Wash the beaten rice well, twice or thrice until the running water is almost clean.
Drain all the water, add the turmeric powder and the salt and mix well. Allow to rest for a few minutes until the poha is soft.
In a microwave proof bowl, place the oil and heat on 100% power for 30 seconds.
Add the mustard seeds and keep again on high, allowing the mustard seeds to crackle.
Add the channa dhal and the peanuts. Cook this for 2 minutes on 100% power.
To the above add the green chillis, chopped onions and the curry leaves. Saute’ on 100% power for 3 minutes and a half, stirring once in between.
Add the beaten rice, mix well and place in the microwave. Cook, with the lid on, at 100% power for 3 minutes and then reduce to 60% power and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Allow a standing time of 1 minute.
Remove add the juice of lime and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with any chutney.