Tea time snacks are a big hit with me. I like having a little something to munch on with my cuppa. For as long as I remember, I have always dipped something in my tea.
Raise your hands of, as a teenager or an adult you have downed an entire packet of Parle-G biscuits with your tea! I know I have.
For those who grew up in India ( and are in their late 20's 0r 30's) , they will identify with what I have to say.
As soon as 4 O'clock sets in ( and you do not have to look at the clock) most tea addicts will have what we call 'talab'( if I am not mistaken). As if on auto pilot, the lady or in some cases the man of the house will start making tea. While the tea brews, the 'khau che dabbe' are pulled out and an assortment of biscuits ( or cookie as you might want to call them, I'll stick with biscuits), khari (made with puff pastry ) or jeera butter (not butter- as in the spreadable one, this is different).
Dipping a biscuit or khari in tea and eating it was routine.
My Mother and her siblings are all tea addicts! For them, it's tea-time, anytime! 'Chaha chalel' ( I don't mind a cup of tea) was a given when we visited each other. My Uncle would visit us late evenings, sometimes. He would come from Thane to Wadala on his motorbike and when he sat down and heaved a sigh, he would say, " Akki, chaha taak na!" (Akki/ Akka= elder sister, please make me a cuppa). After the refreshing cup of tea, he would take me for a big round on his bike much to my delight!
My Aunts were no different! Nor am I.
Often when I am at a friends home and she asks if I want tea, I rarely refuse and of course, if they are at mine, I will make ginger-tea.
Over the years, hot buttered toast, Marie biscuits and Parle G and many a times chivda have played kho-kho with each other. And now, we have a new contender. Muthiya!
I had heard of Muthiya and seen packets in the frozen aisle, however, I never felt like picking one up, just to try.
Then one day, Sonali shared some with me and I loved it! I finished what she gave me and shamelessly asked for seconds.
Of course I asked for the recipe. And having tasted fresh Muthiya, I was not going for the frozen version. I wanted to make it at home.
I made these a couple of times, but they did not taste as good, something was not clicking. It did not taste as good as the one I had tasted at Sonali's. I was disappointed, thankfully I was not ready to give up.
I made very few changes and finally arrived at what worked for me. The result! Tasty Muthiya, as you can see.
One Medium sized Bottle Gourd / Lauki/ Dudhi- peeled and grated (discard the spongy interior and seeds)
1 Cup Whole Wheat flour / Atta1/2 Cup Besan /Chickpea Flour
1/4 Cup Rava/ Semolina ( coarse)
2-3 Green Chilies ( about 1 tsp) or less, if you prefer low heat
1 inch piece Ginger
2 Tbs Sugar
3-4 Tbsp, Plain thick Yogurt ( start with 2-3 Tbs and go on adding the remaining as required)
Salt to taste
3-4 Tbs Oil
1 Tbs Baking Soda
2-3 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 tsp Turmeric / Haldi
1 tsp Red chili powder ( optional)
2 Tbs Oil
2 tsp Mustard seeds
Few Curry leaves - optional2 tbs Sesame seeds ( I usually eyeball this ingredient. We like the crunch and so I am liberal in it's use)
Minced Cilantro to garnish.
Pulse the ginger and green chilies in the mixie and make a paste. Alternatively, use a mortar-pestle and pound it to a smooth paste.
Slice off the top and bottom of the gourd. Peel the outer skin off. Grate the gourd/ lauki. Do Not grate the spongy inside and the seeds. Set aside.
Mix the flours and semolina. Add the ginger-chilies paste and all the remaining ingredients (oil, sugar, yogurt, turmeric, lemon juice and red chili powder- if using) except the ENO fruit salt.Squeeze the grated lauki /bottle gourd and add it to the above mix.
At this stage, set the steamer on the stove. Prep the steaming plate, grease with oil / cooking spray. As the water comes to a boil, add the baking soda to the mix above and bind in to a smooth dough. This will be sticky, scrape the dough off your hands, oil them if required and knead it gently.
Make 4 equal sized portions and with oiled palms, make 'logs' of the dough and set them gently in the steamer.
Cover and let them steam and cook for about 20-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool the logs and cut into rounds. I prefer making small bite size pieces (quartering every round).
Heat 2 Tbs oil in a non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot ( not smoking) add the mustard seeds. As the seeds pop, add the sesame seeds and curry leaves.
Add the Muthiya pieces and mix gently, coating the pieces with the seeds.
Let the Muthiya pieces sit in the pan for a minute or so until they have a golden brown color and a slight crunch on the outside.
Take off the heat and garnish with minced Cilantro and serve with a hot cup of tea.
- Muthiyas make an excellent snack on the go. They are filling and also a healthier option than chips!
- Adjust the heat as per your liking.
- These can be frozen and eaten at a later date.
- They have great shelf life and make a good 'picnic/ traveling' food option