Chickpea Flour Rolls and Fries

Chickpea Flour Rolls (Khandavi)

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Serves: 6

The chickpea flour is known as besan and the rolls are known as Khandavi. This dish was my mother's specialty. My mother used to make it on special occasions and whenever guests were coming over. She is not able to cook anymore but I learned this recipe from her on my last visit to India.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced green chili (jalapeno or serrano)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • Oil for brushing on baking sheet
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
  1. Prepare two large or three medium sized baking sheets for spreading cooked besan. Invert baking sheets and brush them with oil and set them aside. You can also use silicon mat or spread on a stone kitchen counter.
  2. Whisk together besan, yogurt, water, green chili, ginger, turmeric, asafetida and salt in a medium heavy bottomed pot until smooth.
  3. Start cooking besan on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook besan until it is fully cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately spread besan on to baking sheets in thin layer (thickness of tortilla).
  4. Sprinkle two tablespoons each of cilantro and coconut on baking sheets evenly. Make 2 ½ inch cuts evenly on spread batter vertically along the width of baking sheet.
  5. Gently start rolling khandavi as tight as you can, until all spread batter is gone. This batter will make 12 to 14 khandavi. Arrange khandvi vertically on a casserole dish.
  6. In a small heavy bottomed pot, heat oil on medium heat until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add remaining vaghar ingredients and let it cook 10 seconds. Pour over arranged khandvi. Garnish with remaining cilantro and coconut. Serve within few hours at room temperature.

 

 

Chickpea Flour Fries

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Serves: 3

Chickpea flour is known as besan.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • ½ cup yogurt (not Greek)
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced green chili (jalapeno or serrano)
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • Oil for brushing on baking sheet
  • Oil for frying
For Tempering (Vaghar):
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
Directions
  1. Whisk together besan, yogurt, water, green chili, ginger, turmeric, asafetida and salt in a medium heavy bottomed pot until smooth. Brush with oil a small 6 x 10 baking sheet.
  2. Start cooking besan on low heat, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook besan until it is fully cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes. Immediately spread besan on to baking sheet in even layer.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to freezer for 2 to 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Cut the batter into ½ inch thick fries. Heat oil into a frying pan until hot enough to fry. Fry the fries in 3 to 4 batches until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Transfer fries to paper towel lined dish or on a wire rack to drain excess oil. Once oil is drained, transfer fries to serving dish or bowl.
  5. In a small heavy bottomed pot, heat oil on medium heat until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle, 30 seconds. Add remaining vaghar ingredients and let it cook 10 seconds. Pour over the fries. Garnish with cilantro and coconut. Serve warm.

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Mashed Potato Slider (Dabeli)

Dabeli

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Serves: 4

Dabeli is an Indian Street food available all over India. It's a vegetarian slider, the patty is made out of mashed potatoes and spices.
Ingredients
  • 2 russet potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dabeli masala, See note.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup tamarind and date chutney, See note.
  • ½ cup salted or spicy peanuts, chopped finely
  • ¼ cup coconut, finely grated
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 12-15 black raisins, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup nylon sev (fine crunchy chickpeas noodles), See note.
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup garlic chutney, See note.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slider buns
Directions
  1. Heat oil in a frying pan on a medium high heat. Add shallots and sauté it until translucent, 2 minutes. Add mashed potatoes and stir to combine with onions. Add ½ cup of tamarind and date chutney, dabeli masala, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Stir to combine with masala. Let mixture cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If mixture is too dry add some water.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a plate or a baking sheet and spread it in even layer. On top of mixture spread peanuts, coconut, pomegranate seeds, raisins, half of sev and cilantro. Stir the mixture with your hands to combine everything. Divide the mixture into four equal parts and make small patties to fit into slider buns.
  3. Slit the buns without cutting through all the way. Spread garlic chutney on one half and tamarind and date chutney on another half, about 1 tablespoon. Add the patty and sprinkle sev on both sides, about ½ tablespoon. Press the bun tight to seal the patty. Repeat same process for remaining buns.
  4. Heat non-stick pan or a griddle on a medium heat and add butter. Once the butter is melted, toast the buns with patty on both sides by gently pressing, about 2 minutes per side.
Notes
The Dabeli masala, nylon sev, tamarind and date chutney, and garlic chutney are easily available in Indian grocery stores.

 

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Tri-Color Cake

On January 26, India celebrates Republic Day with a parade. This year’s parade was very special for all of my family, the city of Vadodara, and the state of Gujarat. For the very first time the parade was led by a Gujarati Lt. General, who also happens to be my cousin. To mark this day I made a cake which represents the three colors of Indian flag. I adapted the recipe of Italian Rainbow Cookies to reflect the three colors of the Indian flag: orange, white and green. I used apricot jam and omitted the chocolate coating on top in the recipe.

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Roasted Eggplant with Spices

Baigan Bharta

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants (baigan)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium Roma or plum tomatoes, ½ inch diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • ¼ cup regular yogurt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick spray.
  2. Wash and cut eggplants in half. Arrange them on baking pan cut side down, leaving some space in between. Roast the eggplants until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Let eggplants cool for few minutes. Scoop out the pulp from eggplants, discarding the seeds. Cut the pulp in small pieces or mash with a potato masher.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan or a wok. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add garlic and sauté it until light golden brown, 2 minutes. Add scallions, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggplant pulp, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan or wok and let eggplant cook for 7 to 10 minutes to blend all the flavors. If you want to add yogurt, add at this point, and let it warm through with eggplant for a minute.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha. Can also be served as a dip.

 

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Curried Okra

Bhindi Masala

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Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. bhinda (okras)
  • 1 medium red onion, ½ inch diced
  • 1 medium tomato, ½ inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chili, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt or taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
Directions
  1. Wash okra and dry it with paper towel. Okra should be as dry as possible otherwise it will become too slimy. Cut into ½ inch thick pieces, discarding top and bottom pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on a medium high heat until simmering. Add mustard seeds and let it sizzle. Add onion, garlic, green chili, all dry spices and sauté them until onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add tomato, ginger and sauté until the mixture is almost dry, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add okra, season with salt and stir everything. Cover the pan and let okra cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes, stirring few times. Initially okra will be slimy but as it cooks it will become less slimy.
  4. Uncover the pan, lower the heat and let okra cook until curry is almost dry, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with Nan or Paratha.

 

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