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Daring Cooks cook Indian : Masala Dosa (Updated)

Posted by vivnidhi on September 15, 2009

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Masala Dosa with Sambhar, coconut chutney and Podi

Debyi from http://www.healthyvegankitchen.com hosted this month’s challenge and ordered Indian Dosas for all of us at Fresh Restaurants (www.freshrestaurants.ca) in Toronto, Canada. Since we all live in a virtual world these days, we were all handed over a recipe from their cookbook  and asked to make dosas to serve ourselves. Now, masala dosas (and oh my dear idlis, made from a similar batter) are a very big favorites with me. I can eat them all the time. My parents and I spent a couple of years in Vishakhapatnam , Andhra Pradesh and that is where my mother learnt to make good idlis and dosas. Another big influence was my Aunt who spent half her life in Chennai, then Madras and cooked fabulous South Indian meals.

Unfortunately I cannot make something with grains and flour and call it a dosa. A similar fare called Chil-ra is made in North India and I will be talking about it at the end of the post. Hence, I used my regular recipe for making dosas . I hope Debyi won’t mind it……..I kept the whole thing Vegan :-) .

The Recipe:

Dosa:

  • Idli Rice 3 cups soaked in water overnight
  • Black gram (Urad Daal)  1 cup soaked in water overnight
  • Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp.
  • salt to taste

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Fenugreek seeds,urad daal soaked and drained and idli rice soaked and drained in picture 2

Soak fenugreek seeds and urad daal together in water overnight. Since I make idlis and dosas from the same batter, I soak rice and lentils separately. Grind the lentils with little water till a very smooth paste is achieved.

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Ground lentils

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Rice needs to ground well too…..adding rice paste to lentils paste and final paste before fermentation

After lentils and rice are ground well, add rice paste to lentils paste and add about 2 tsp. salt. Leave to ferment 12 to 14 hours. Unless, you live in a hot weather, in that case check after 5-6 hours. The dough should almost double.

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Half the batter : after fermentation. Add water as required and dosa batter’s ready

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Ladle the dosa batter in circular motion

Potato filling:

  • Potatoes 4 medium boiled and chopped
  • Onion 1 big sliced
  • Ginger grated 1 tsp.
  • Canola Oil 2 tsp.
  • Asafoetida (Heeng) 1/2 tsp.
  • Mustard seeds (Rai) 1 tsp.
  • Fresh Curry leaves 2 stems washed
  • Bengal gram (Chana Daal ) 1 tsp.
  • Black gram (Urad Daal) 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder (Haldi) 1 tsp.
  • Red chilli powder (Lal mirch) 1/2 tsp.
  • salt to taste

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Potato filling ingredients clockwise:Fresh curry leaves, boiled potatoes, asafoetida, urad daal, chana daal, grated ginger, mustard seeds and sliced onions

To make the filling:

Heat the oil in a wok and add all the ingredients except potatoes, onion and salt.

Fry for one minute then add the onions. Let them fry for 2 more minutes.

When the onions start to turn translucent, add the potatoes and salt. If the mixture seems too dry, add 2 Tbsps. water. Cover and cook the filling for 5 minutes. The filling is ready.

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Add the potato filling as the dosa starts to brown at the bottom

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Fold the dosa and we’re done

I prepared 2-3 dosas at a time on a big electric griddle as I was serving 5 people at a time. The best crispness and color is achieved on an iron griddle. The iron griddle is heated , a couple of drops of oil are added to it and a raw onion just sliced at the top is used to spread the oil on the griddle. This is the traditional way of preparing dosas.

Sambhar :

  • Split yellow pigeon peas (Arhar/Toor Daal)  2 cups boiled in a pressure cooker with turmeric and salt
  • Canola Oil 1 Tbsp.
  • Mustard seeds (Rai) 1 tsp.
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 tsp.
  • Asafoetida (Heeng)  1/2 tsp.
  • Fresh Curry leaves 2 stems washed (remove the stems ;-) )
  • Ginger 2 tsp. grated
  • Garlic 2 cloves minced
  • Shallots/pearl onions 1/2 cup (cut if required to bite size pieces)
  • Tomatoes 2 chopped
  • Vegetables of choice (beans, bell pepper, bottle gourd etc. ) optional
  • Sambhar Masala powder 1 Tbsp.
  • Tamarind concentrate 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish

To prepare the sambhar heat oil in a big saucepan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and fresh curry leaves. When you hear the mustard seeds crackle, add the ginger and garlic.

Next add the shallots or pearl onions and fry for a little bit more. Next add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes start getting mushy, add the boiled lentils. Mix well and let it come to a boil. The consistency should be like lentil soup. It can be thinned a bit more if desired.  Finally add the sambhar masala powder and the tamarind concentrate.

(If using actual tamarind, soak it in hot water for 15 minutes. Take the pulp out and discard the fibrous portion and the seeds.)

Garnish with cilantro leaves and the sambhar is ready.

Coconut Chutney:

  • Grated coconut (fresh/frozen) 1 cup
  • Dalia Daal (Roasted split Bengal gram) 1/2 cup
  • Peanuts 2 Tbsp.
  • salt to taste

for tempering:

  • Canola Oil 1 Tbsp.
  • Asafoetida 1/4 tsp.
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp.
  • Fresh Curry leaves 2 stems washed
  • Whole Red chili 1

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Dalia Daal/ Roasted split Bengal gram

This is a very basic coconut chutney but tastes great! To prepare the chutney, grind the chutney ingredients in a grinder (ideally) or a blender (I use) and add a little water. Grind the ingredients well till you get a smooth consistency.

Heat oil in a small wok and add all the tempering ingredients. Heat till you hear crackling noise and the tempering ingredients look crisp. Do not let it burn. Add immediately to the ground chutney.

The coconut chutney’s ready!

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Coconut chutney

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Please help yourself ;-)

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Dosa with Nutella , caramel sauce and some sweet butter

 

Chil-ra or Godhuma Dosa:

The actual recipe given by Debyi uses spelt flour to make the crepe. In North India , it is called Chilra and in South India, it is called Godhuma Dosa (whole wheat flour dosa)

The way we make it in North India is slightly different and hence my clarifications. We do not eat the chil-ra with any curry. It is usually eaten with pickle or cilantro chutney or even Bhukni (a dry tangy spice powder)

The Recipe:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour (atta) 2 cups
  • Onion 1/2 medium minced
  • Ginger 1 tsp. grated/minced
  • green chilli 1 cut fine
  • tomato 1/2 medium chopped fine
  • Carom seeds 1 tsp.
  • salt to taste
  • water

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Clockwise: Atta , water , onion, green chili, ginger and tomatoes

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Chil-ra with yogurt and mango pickle……comfort food

Add all the ingredients and enough water to make a smooth batter. Make sure no lumps remain.

Heat a griddle and make crepes out of these. These will not be as thin as the lentil mixture. But the meal’s ready instantly. I used to love eating these as kid and still do. My kids are a big fan as well……….only I do not know if it’s the chance to eat pickle or chil-ra that draws them to it. Anyway, it’s a good quick fix for me ;-) .

Edit : 17 Sep.  09 : Oh Dear me! I just re-read my post and realized that I have written the quantity of rice as 1 cup and that of the lentils too. It was a typo. I am so very sorry if anyone has tried making this with the wrong ratio given.  I have marked in red , please do check.

Posted in - Turmeric, -Arhar (Toor) Dal, -Asafoetida, -Canola Oil, -Cilantro, -Curry leaves, -Dalia Daal/Roasted split Bengal Gram, -Fenugreek seeds, -Garlic, -Ginger, -Idli Rice, -Mustard Seeds, -Onion, -Potatoes, -Red chili powder, -Tamarind, -Tomato, -Urad daal/ black gram, -Whole wheat flour, Shallots, _Chana Daal/ Bengal gram | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Choode Matar ki Tehri (Beaten rice, peas pilaf)

Posted by vivnidhi on June 30, 2008

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Choode Matar ki Tehri

Chooda or poha in Hindi or beaten rice, flattened rice is eaten all over India. It is widely available at Indian stores in the US. It comes in two varieties..thick and thin. Kande pohe (onion beaten rice) is a very popular snack in Maharashtra, India. Choode matar ki tehri is more like a delicacy eaten in Uttar Pradesh(Benares or Varanasi region to be more specific) when the fresh peas are harvested. It is similar to poha yet has a very distinct Uttar Pradeshi stamp on it:). One should use thick poha to make the Maharashtrian version. In Uttar Pradesh, the thinner kind was more widely available, hence even thin beaten rice can be used to make this but one has to be very careful with the thinner ones as they tend to stick to each other. So, anybody trying this for the first time should go for the thicker poha.

The Recipe:

  • Beaten Rice/Poha/chooda : 2 cups
  • Milk 1 cup
  • oil 1 Tbsp.
  • Asafoetida/ Heeng powdered 1/2 tsp.
  • Cumin seeds/ Jeera 1 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder 2 tsp.
  • Red Chili powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Rai / mustard seeds 1/2 tsp.
  • Ginger 2″ piece minced or grated
  • Green chilies 2 minced (can be adjusted as per taste)
  • Green peas 1-1/2 cups
  • salt to taste
  • Garam masala 2 tsps.
  • Fresh Cilantro leaves/ Dhaniya 1/2 cup chopped
  • Lime juice 2 tsps.

Soak the beaten rice in 3/4 cup of milk for 10 minutes. Keep fluffing every 2-3 minutes to avoid them sticking together.

Heat oil in a saucepan and add asafoetida, cumin seeds and mustard seeds. When you hear the mustard seeds popping and cumin seeds sizzling, add half the ginger and the green chillies.

Saute briefly and then add the green peas.  Cover the pan and lower the heat. Add half the salt. Frozen peas are ideal as they tend to be really fresh. Contrary to popular belief, frozen peas are actually better than supermarket peas in the pod. If you grow your own or buy fresh from a farmer, its a different story. But, in general, peas tend to lose the fresh flavor quite quickly , the companies which freeze the peas, do it quite quickly to retain the flavor. Hence, the frozen peas are quite fresh, in general. So, stop feeling guilty when opening the freezer pack:).

When the peas have turned to a fresh green color, add the soaked beaten rice and sprinkle turmeric, red chili powder and rest of the salt on top. Mix well, with a light hand, making sure that not a lot of beaten rice is broken. If the mixture looks too dry, sprinkle some milk on it and cover again. Work on a low flame. In about 5 minutes, the tehri is ready.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and half the ginger that we saved. Sprinkle the garam masala on top. I like to cover the pan again for 5 minutes after putting the gas off for the flavors to mingle. The ginger added in the end and the cilantro adds a lot of flavor to the dish.

This is distinct from the regular poha we make cause 1) it is soaked in milk instead of water. 2) Traditionally it does not use onion or potato. 3) The main flavors are that of asafoetida and garam masala and a lot of peas are used. 4) no curry leaves are used.

Do try this version. Even though I love the quick regular poha, this is a delicious change and loved by all at home. When you would want to reheat (if there are any leftovers) use 2-3 tsps. of milk before heating so that it doesn’t taste dry.

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Enjoy!

I couldn’t miss the SWC- Uttar Pradesh, hence, here’s my entry on the final day. This is also my entry to WBB -Express Breakfasts……heading to Raaga in an express…………

Posted in -Beaten Rice, -Cilantro, -Green Beans, -Peas, Milk | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

YELLOW Ice Cream Shake

Posted by vivnidhi on June 23, 2008

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Mangoes

I have been wanting to post since a long time ( as usual) but I couldn’t. Since I started writing this blog, I have been wondering that why do I blog about food? Instant gratification if somebody praises is Great! And, on the other hand, its a lot of fun to be talking about the stuff that you are passionate about and discussing it with people having similar interests. Why do we read other food blogs? Because we love sharing and reading about food!! I have been stating the obvious so far but what I am getting at is the wonderful community we have created in the process!  We are making so many friends as we go about our own ramblings! Somebody unknown……..but there to listen to us!!

The Jugalbandi team has this month organized a special edition of CLICK in which they are fundraising for Briana Brownlow of Figs with Bri.   There are raffle prizes as well.

Briana was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. This  fundraiser will help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.  I think  Briana is an extremely brave girl and needs all the support that we can provide. So many more good wishes on your way girl!! Just keep up that spirit!!

What is amazing is that 92% of the $12000 has been collected as I write this post. Only $907 left!  I wondered what would really be the point of my writing all this when so much has been done by bloggers more widely read than me. But the reason I am writing is that even if one more person comes to know   of this through me……….my job is done. Kudos to Briana Brownlow & to the Jugalbandi team!!

Next comes the mango ice cream shake.I can barely make anything with fruit in my house! I am definitely not a better creator than nature!! Fruits are mostly eaten raw here………..and mangoes!!!! I will not be allowed to touch them but to remove the peel! “We don’t own a mango orchard………..don’t cook with them!” (Do you think my husband & son dislike my cooking so much, they don’t let me cook with mangoes?)  Anyway’s, we ended up with a box of mangoes that did not taste very good:(. It is very difficult to please people coming from

the land of Langda, Dashehri & Aphonso (names of Indian mangoes). But , the box in my house really wasn’t good enough to eat raw. So, I substituted tomatoes with mangoes in all my salads! Worked fabulous with the tomato scare around that you should not be eating raw these days! And one day I made the Mango ice cream shake. Now why??? Oh cause I absolutely love Cold stone ice cream shakes!! Just don’t look at their nutrition content!! So, I made mine up with the fabulous mango flavor (something even they don’t have;))

Make a speedy ice cream in a ziploc bag. This is so much fun with kids! My son thought he really made a great ice cream for Dad on Father’s day ! And then Mom blended it and made a shake out of it! Am I glad he is only 2 and a half:).

Here is my quick recipe for Mango Ice cream shake.

The Recipe:

  • Half & Half 2 cups

  • Sugar 1/2 cup
  • Crushed ice 6 cups
  • Salt 1 1/2 cups
  • Mangoes (the small ones) 5 seeds removed and chopped
  • Skim milk 2-4 Tbsp.
  • Rose essence 1-2 drops (no more!!)

So, make the speedy ice cream as given here if you want to make the shake in 30 minutes. Or if you have time, put half & half, sugar and mangoes in the freezer to set. You would not need the salt and ice if using the freezer method.

Once the ice cream has set (don’t let it set too hard). A soft ice cream is good. Remove it and put in a blender with 2 Tbsp. milk and 1 or 2 drops of rose essence,just to give it some underlying fragrance. Blend , and the shake’s ready! You can add a little more milk if need be. I absolutely love it cause its rich and creamy, with a faint rosy undertone and not watery at all, cause I don’t even add ice. Its delicious , do try it, when in the mood to indulge!

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YELLOW, My entry to CLICK

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I like mine with a spoon……….Mango Ice Cream Shake!

And , don’t mind the yellow pictures scattered throughout the post, its ok !!:)

Oh! I would like to send my ice cream shake to Meeta who writes the beautiful blog What’s for lunch, Honey for Mango Mania. Cheers!!

Update: Just cleared up the photographs cluttering the post. I couldn’t stand them, even though I asked you all too. Thanks for your patience…….:) .

Posted in -Mango, Milk | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Corn Flakes Bhelpuri

Posted by vivnidhi on December 24, 2007

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I am almost always late to enter the kitchen on Sunday mornings. And , I also like breakfast to be something else but whole wheat slices, sprouts and coffee. It was easier for my Mom , I think, our Sunday breakfasts were always great………samosas, kachoris, fresh mathris……….I can’t keep frying something great each weekend:(.

So, this Sunday morning I wondered what to make and saw Cornflakes. Had no time to waste, chopped a lot of stuff, mixed with masalas, in went chutneys and lo……..cornflakes bhelpuri was ready! Added a piping hot cuppa coffee, and there couldn’t have been a better breakfast on this cold snowy morning.

The Recipe:

  • Cornflakes 2 cups
  • Puffed rice 1 cup
  • Onion 1
  • Tomato 1/2 (as I just had half a tomato left, you could add more,if you want)
  • Tomatillos 2
  • Cucumber 1/2 (of a large one )
  • Cilantro/ Coriander leaves 1/2 cup
  • Potato 1 (scrubbed well & boiled)
  • Peanuts 3/4 cup
  • Salt 2 tsp.
  • Red chili powder 1 tsp.
  • Chaat Masala 1 Tbsp.
  • Green Chutney (cilantro/mint/tomatillo……..any would do as long as its tart and fiery) 2 Tbsp.
  • Sweet Tamarind chutney (sonth in Hindi) 2 Tbsp. (These are available readymade in Indian stores or can  be made as I explain in the note and kept for months in the refrigerator.)

Again the list is long here, but the recipe is really versatile. One can adjust as per what one has on hand. The real quick method of making is here:

1. First fork a well scrubbed potato, wet it well or place it in a microwave container with 2 Tbsp. of water and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Microwave times may vary but this is real quick.

2. Meanwhile chop fine all the rest of the veges…..tomato, tomatillo, cucumber, cilantro. Take the potato out and chop it as well. Add to a large container cause these tend to take more space.

3. Peanuts are roasted in the microwave as well. Keep microwaving for a minute at a time and checking continuously till you get them brown per your preference.

4. Puffed rice also goes in the microwave for a minute or more if you need but a minute at a time is the best idea. Its good to have it spread in a plate where you can check it easier. When it gets really crisp, its ready.

5. Let the puffed rice cool for a minute and then add it to the chopped vegetables. Add salt, red chili powder, chaat masala, green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney to the vegetables.  Add the cornflakes and peanuts. Mix really well. Check salt and spice level and adjust according to your taste. You may add lime juice, I didn’t find the need.

And you are ready to serve!! Its difficult for anyone to NOT like this sweet and spicy chaat.

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Note: Sweet Tamarind Chutney/ Imli ki meethi Chutney/ Sonth is quite easy to make with tamarind concentrates available in Indian grocery stores in the U.S.

Mix 4 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate with with about 1/2 cup water and add 1/2 cup sugar to it. Mix it well and check if the sugar level is as desired. It actually is quite sweet in taste. It should also be quite thick like honey. Heat a Tbsp. of oil and add 1/4 tsp. asafetida, 1 tsp. red chili powder and 2 Tbsp. cumin powder. You could also add a handful of golden raisins. Put it in a bottle and keeps well in the refrigerator for months. If using fresh, you could also add finely chopped banana to it but do not add it and refrigerate. Lip smacking meethi chutney is ready which can be used on almost all kinds of chaat.

Posted in -Cucumber, -Green Chutney, -Onion, -Peanuts, -Potatoes, -Puffed Rice, -Sweet Tamarind Chutney, -Tomatillo, -Tomato, Corn Flakes | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Quince Jam’s spicy nuance

Posted by vivnidhi on December 20, 2007

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Quince

The sweetest aroma fills my house as I write this post. “This is Quince”, said the friendly cashier at ZZ’s produce market in Ann Arbor. I usually shop for fruits and vegetables at ZZ’s and he now recognizes me. He was making sure that I knew what I was buying. He said most people get drawn to the sweet smell of quince and are just not prepared for the hidden tart taste. Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is related to apples and pears, looks like a cross between them and has a sweeter smell than both. It is said that this is a very tart fruit and just can’t be eaten raw. As luck would have it, I have bought it twice now and found that my quinces have a woody , very agreeable taste. Less tart than granny smith apples. So, I went ahead and tried to read as much literature was available about this fruit on the internet. Came to know that the sweetness of quince varies from year to year or tree to tree.

Quince is also supposed to be found all over deciduous forests in India but I had never heard of the fruit until I came to the U.S. It has been traditionally used as a medicine and flavoring agent. It is used in colisting diarrhea, dysentery, constipation and diarrhea. It is aromatic, astringent, cooling, febrifuge and also acts as tonic for heart and brain. The gel from the quince seed provides essential vitamins and minerals to nourish the skin. I had never heard of any of this. Quince tree is a valued dwarfing rootstock for pear which produces more fruit-bearing branches and has accelerated fruit maturity when used in this way. Sources of this information are quince seed, Indian-herbs and quince disease report.

I had been thinking of cinnamon subconsciously because of Sunita Bhuyan’s “Think Spice” event as she wants food bloggers to think, think. Cinnamon or Dalchini was a favorite of mine when I was a child. I would eat cinnamon sticks or quills raw cause I loved the sweet taste. My conclusions about its use in my kitchen is that, it is either used to flavor sugar cause it enhances the sweet flavor so well OR in Indian cooking, it is used along with other very strong spices (whole or powdered) to give a sweet tinge to the sharpness of other spices. Then came my regular RealAge food bites email, which said that this natural germ fighter also helps lower blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels — one-quarter teaspoon a day is a healthy goal. Now anything that helps maintain blood sugar levels and and lowers triglycerides is a must in my kitchen.

Somehow, quince and cinnamon paired up well for me. The regular quince jam was flavored with cinnamon and ah! the result was impressive. Cinnamon’s subtle sweetness perfectly complements the quince’s sweet aroma. The following recipe is my adaptation of this Quince Jam recipe. Also, “Marmalade” comes from the Portuguese word marmalada, meaning “quince jam”, most marmalade today is made from citrus fruits, especially oranges.

The Recipe:

  • Quince 2
  • Sugar  1/2 cup
  • Water
  • Cinnamon 1/8 tsp.

Scrub the quinces well as the peel enhances the flavor. Slice the quince in quarters and remove the seeds.  Do not remove the core and add enough water to cover the slices.

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Quince slices ready to be heated

Cover the pan and let it boil on medium heat for about 35 minutes. Remove the cores now and strain and save the leftover water. Puree the boiled slices in a blender. I needed to add all the saved water when pureeing the quince pieces. Two quinces produced exactly 2 cups of puree. I added only 1/2 cup of sugar to the total puree as my quinces were quite sweet. Heat the quince puree and sugar on high heat while stirring constantly. Bring it to a rolling boil and then reduce the heat to medium high. Keep stirring all along. Very long back in India , I had taken a course on Jam and jelly making. Even though I have forgotten most of what I learnt, I know that a plate test is done to test if the jam is done. Pour a tsp. of the jam on a cold plate.If it spreads a little, not leaving water around it, then the jam is done.Put the heat off. Add cinnamon to it and fill it in a sterilized, dry bottle. I did not find any need to add extra pectin as quince has enough natural pectin in it. And, since I made a very small amount,no preservative was used.

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Spicy Quince Jam

Not a great picture, but you get it, right? :). On tasting the jam, my two year old tester immediately responded with “Bahut Achha Hai” (meaning:its very good) and the slice of bread was eaten up after a meal. This is rare!!  So, if you come across this sweet smelling, tart fruit, please don’t shy away, it is delicious. It would be great in a chutney too……..now lets think about that later!

Posted in -Quince | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Baked Guna

Posted by vivnidhi on December 10, 2007

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Baked Gunas with a cup of milk and thekuas

Its fun participating in the various events going on this season. That was part of the reason why I wanted to write a foodblog; to be able to participate and chronicle my recipes. So, I have been really excited about participating in the Eat Christmas Cookies event hosted by http://foodblogga.blogspot.com. And, I got a surprising go-ahead from my Doctor when it seems like I am not going to get gestational diabetes this time around. This news definitely called for a celebration!

I have never seen my mother bake a lot except cakes and nan khatai……..the only Indian cookie that could be made at home. But I have seen my mother deep fry a lot of snacks.  As I wanted to try something authentic, I decided to try one of her standard recipes and bake it instead of frying. The result was fabulous, delicious like fried yet healthier.  I also wanted to use a recipe which had whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour and oil instead of ghee which is almost entirely saturated fat.

Though not a regular everyday snack, Guna is certainly made on Hartalika teej in Uttar Pradesh. It is  accompanied by “mathi” which is plain, unsalted form of Guna made using all purpose flour.  Hartalika teej is a 3 day festival which takes place on the onset of monsoon, the third day of first fortnight of ‘Bhadra’ month based on lunar calendar. Its a festival very dear to the womenfolk cause it celebrates them in a way. Rural parts have fairs and make shift swings seem to spring up on every tree. Women adorn themselves with jewellery, new clothes and its basically fun time.  Mythology states that Goddess Parvati had penanced for a 100 years to be able to unite with Lord Shiv. Goddess Parvati is worshipped on Hartalika teej  as her blessings would lead to marital bliss. The difficult part for married women is that they have to fast, without water on the second day. The next day, fasting women break their fast with guna and mathi. As I do not celebrate teej anymore here in  the US, I can certainly make it as a sweet treat for Christmas. The festive spirit’s the same!!

The recipe:
(Makes 50-60 gunas)

Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Almonds 1/4 cup
Walnuts 1/4 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Green Cardamom 2
Vegetable Oil 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.

I have used jaggery in this recipe cause it gives a very distinct taste to the gunas. First wet the jaggery in as little water as possible, just to make it pliable enough to be mixed with flour. Alternatively you can put small pieces of jaggery in a food processor and mix the sticky jaggery with flour. Soaking the processor container in water for 10 mins will clean it without a hassle. Grind the almonds and walnuts along with cardamom to flour like consistency. A few bigger pieces remaining would be fine. Mix all ingredients really well. This is the most difficult and important part: mix everything really well.

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Flour, oil and grinded nuts

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Mix the ingredients well

If you need to add any water, just keep adding by fistfuls, till you are able to make a hard dough.

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Guna Dough

Make 3 parts of the big dough and roll it with hands till you have a thinner, longer dough piece. There will be oil on your hands as well as the rolling board. Having enough oil is the key to making crisp yet not hard gunas. Break it with hands along the cross section into smaller pieces or use a knife to cut. Heat the oven to 350° F. Flatten the small rounds now using a rolling pin. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and keep putting the flattened rounds on it.  Bake it in the oven for 8-10 minutes. The gunas get crisper as they cool.

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The gunas are ready!

Another sweet called thekuas can be made from the same dough.

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Small rounds are made of the dough. The colander imprint is made by pressing on the colander.

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These are baked at 350° F for about 15-20 minutes.
My personal choice are the gunas. Hope you like them too!

Posted in -Almonds, -Walnuts, -Whole wheat flour, Sweets | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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