Friday, October 26, 2007

Golyanchi Aamti

Last week my friend A visited me and was also generous in letting me borrow her cook book " Hamkhass PakaSiddhi" by Mrs. Jayashree Deshpande. As the name suggests, it is a cookbook which details Marathi Cuisine Recipes and also includes a very wide variety of others.

My knowledge of Marathi 'Jevan' is very basic, a lot was added on after RCI- Maharashtra! In fact I feel that I have been unjust by not attempting to make these dishes, or even the fact that having grown up eating 'rozcha jevan' (everyday meals) it may not be a novelty to anyone! I couldn't have made a bigger mistake! What we cook in our day to day meals is but the tip of the iceberg! There is SUCH a variety of dishes that it may take me years & years to cover even a percentage of it!!

Another reason why I did not post about these recipes was due to the fact that these were handed down to me by my Mother. Years of watching her cook without a cook book or a sheet of paper with the details ( decorated with a splattering of oil, mustard and other spices!) could only mean that there are no measurements, everything is 'andaz' (eyeball the ingredients).

If there is one word that is total chaos in the world of cooking, this 'andaz' is it! Take for example the time when I asked my Mom to send me this particular recipe (which we had tasted at her Aunt's house, who by the way is one Terrific cook) , now my Mom promptly replies with the recipe which only states the ingredients and the procedure, but measurements?? So one frantic call and I get the the answer, "Aga, andazane kar ki! soppa ahe!" (just use your judgement, it is easy). Since that is exactly what I did not want to do ( how can I post it on the blog if I do so?.. see what bloggging does?? You cook, so you can post!!)I kept postponing it!! I was delighted to find this recipe and wasted no time in preparing it!!
You need:

1 cup Channa Daal soaked for 4-5 hours

1 med. Onion chopped fine

1 inch Ginger

5 cloves Garlic & 4 green Chilies +/- to taste (grind to make a paste)

4 tbsp. Besan

1tbsp Tamarind pulp / 1 small lemon size ball of Tamarind pulp

1 lump jaggery

Salt to taste

Oil (for tempering 2 tbsp)

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

Dash Asafetida

Oil for deep frying

1/4 tsp Turmeric

Few curry leaves

4 cups Water

Drain the soaked channa daal and grind it with the ginger. Add the fine chopped onion. Add salt and turmeric and 1 tbsp Besan.Mix it well and make small marble sized balls. Heat oil and deep fry the balls to a crisp golden brown.

In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp oil, add the mustard seeds, after they pop, add cumin seeds, asafetida, turmeric and curry leaves. Add the water to the tempering. Bring this to a rolling boil. In the mean time add some water to the remaining 3 tbsp besan and make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the boiling water, this will make it thick.
Add the tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery and the chilli-garlic paste. Boil for a few mins.
Add the deep fried balls and boil for 2 mins. In about 30 mins. the balls will have soaked well and the daal will be thick.

This was a good variation to the everyday daal/ sambar and was a great accompaniment to piping hot rice!!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Simple fare- Dudhi bhoplyachi bhaji

These days M keeps ranting about me being a 'Spicitarian' and not a 'Vegetarian'.. that I need 'garam masala' in everything... Wrong!!! I don't need garam masala in everything.. and that was what I was about to prove!
I always associated doodhi with doodhi halwa, since I am partial to sweets and otherwise a 'not so tasty' vegetable. But the simple way in which my mother prepared it with no spices tasted very nice. To my surprise, all my friends in school also liked this version (I was one of those kids who did NOT like 'roti-subzi' in my lunch box, but sometimes condescended!). My fondest memories of eating roti-subzi are at home, sitting cross legged at the dining table and my Mom serving hot fulkas with home made ghee smeared on it with a generous helping of vegetables! YUM!! How I long for those days!! The luxury of being served food, not to worry about doing the dishes after a hearty meal!!!
M was pleasantly surprised when I served him this simple yet tasty vegetable with fulkas and loved it! ( he has a psychological allergy to fulkas/ rotis) .. I was thrilled to hear him rave about the soft and tasty fulkas (some credit goes to the fact that I now make fulkas on a proper gas and not a coil stove! Oh how they puff up!! ) and the tasty vegetable and even asked me what 'masala 'I used in it!! and ending up with....' you see, I never 'really' liked doodhi, but the way 'you' make it.... loved it!!

You need:
1 med. size Lauki/ Doodhi/ Bottle Gourd
2-3 tbsp Channa Daal (soaked in water for atleast 2 hours)
2-3 green chillies
3-4 Curry leaves
2 tbsp Oil
1/8 tsp. Asafetida
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt (to taste)
Sugar (to taste) ( I quite like the slightly sweet taste )
Cilantro to garnish

Peel the gourd and cut it into small cubes. The peel can be used to make a chutney, but I did not do so.

Heat oil , add mustard seeds, when they crackle add the cumin seeds, asafetida, chillies+curry leaves and Turmeric.

Add the pre soaked channa daal and about half a cup of water and let the daal cook (almost done)

Add the doodhi cubes, mix well. Add a little water if needed , cover and cook till the doodhi is fully cooked. Add salt and sugar, mix well and cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and soft hot fulkas/ roti.
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