Vrat Wali Kadhi

In continuation with last few posts on food to be eaten during fasts, here’s a recipe for Kadhi. Kadhi is a North Indian dish made with buttermilk and tempered with spices.

Everyone has a different approach to making kadhi, here’s how I make it. I like the consistency to be really thick. Unlike the usual kadhi made with gram flour, since I made this during Navratris, this one is with rajgira flour and added peanut powder to give the kadhi a smooth creamy texture.

Kadhi

Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup full fat yoghurt
4-5 cups water
3 tsp rajgira aata / Amarnath grain flour
1/4 cup powdered penut powder
5 tsp oil
10 curry leaves
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
a pinch of turmeric (optional)
Rock salt to taste

In a bowl, whisk yoghurt and add rajgira flour and rock salt to taste with water and mix well.

Add turmeric if you use turmeric during fasting.

On medium heat, take oil in a wok and add cumin seeds followed by curry leaves and green chillies. Let them sizzle for a minute.

Add peanut powder and roast it well on low heat for 2 minutes.

Add coriander and cumin powder and mix it well.

Add the yoghurt mixture to the wok and keep stirring it till the mixture thickens.

This should take 10-15 minutes. Take off heat and serve with rajgira roti and potato sabzi.

I once had 2 boiled potatoes on hand. I just diced them and shallow fried on a pan, seasoned them and added the potatoes to this kadhi. The result was good enough!

Garnish with roasted cumin powder and serve with a smile!

Sabudana Khichdi

A quick post in continuation to the previous post. Food for fasting souls. Sabudana i.e sago or tapioca seeds are quite filling due to their high starch content. Sago seed powder also acts as a good thickener for stews and soups.

The recipe below is for Sabudana Khichdi, a simple assembly of modest ingredients to keep the hunger pangs away while fasting. Serve with plain yoghurt topped with roast cumin powder with side of freshly cut fruits.

Sabudana Khichdi

250 grams sago seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
3 tsp canola oil
6 tsp powdered peanut powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 green chillies finely chopped
Rock Salt to taste
8-10 curry leaves

Soak sago seeds in water overnight or at least 4-6 hours.

By morning, the sago seeds should be soft and should have absorbed the water.

Add coriander powder, cumin powder and rock salt to the sago seeds and mix it well.

Pour oil on a wok on medium heat, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies and let it sizzle.

Add powdered peanut powder, you can buy the readily available powdered peanut from Al Adil or roast peanuts and give them a mix in the spice jar.

Let it cook for a minute or so and add the sago seeds mixture.

You can also add diced boiled potato cubes to this to give the khichdi more body and make it more filling.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with chilled yoghurt.

Kaju Peda – Cashew Truffles

CP
It’s the eighth day of Chaitra Navratri today. Navratri is a festival of nine nights, “Nav” means nine and “Ratri” means night.
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences hence it is observed as an auspicious period of worship for Hindus.
During this period, people fast and do not eat non-vegeterian food and avoid onions and garlic. We ended our fast today with prayers in the morning and made the ‘bhog’ i.e. offerings of poori, Semolina Halwa and Kale Chane.
 
I have featured here a recipe for Kaju peda, it’s a traditional Indian cashew nut fudge recipe. It’s very simple to assemble and easy to make as well. I made this for Diwali last and again on Gudi Padwa.
Gudi Padwa is celebrated on the first day of Navratris and marks the start of a Marati new year.  Gudi Padwa is mainly celebrated in the Indian state of Maharashtra where I was brought up.
Cashew Pedas
 
Makes Approximately: 20 pedas
 
Ingredients
200 grams cashew nuts
2 tsp clarified butter / ghee
1/2 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
Few tsp of full fat milk
Slivered Pistachios to garnish (optional)
Soak the cashews in warm water for 2-3 hours. Once the cashews are soft, drain them and blend with very little water in a blender.
Pulse the cashews until they are creamy.
Cashew Mixture
In a thick bottom wok on low heat, heat ghee and add the cashew mixture. I usually oil the wok so that the cashew mixture does not stick to the wok.
Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder and full fat milk to this mixture and keep blending it well until the sugar dissolves.
Cooking
After a few minutes, the mixture will start leaving the sides of the wok. Turn off the heat at this point.
Cooling the Mixture
Let the mixture cool until it is ok to handle the mixture. Make bite sized balls from the cashew mixture. Let me show you my attempt previously around Diwali which I was not quite happy with.
Diwali
Result this time, the difference just adding 2-3 tsp of milk to the mixture so that it does not dry out. Also I did grease my palms well and hence you see the sheen on the peda this time around. Win!
Cashew Peda2
Press down a pistachio sliver in the cashew ball and roll it well.
You can also use silver vark easily available in Al Adil stores to add a nice festive touch to the pedas.
I will bring you some Navratri recipes over this week before it’s too late. Happy Cooking! 🙂

Aloo Ki Sabzi – Spicy Potato Curry

Potatoes are such a versatile ingredient to work with. From making Fries, patties, hash browns to making Pav Bhaji, you can adapt this crop to whatever catches your fancy.

For a simple weekend lunch, I made this spicy and tangy potato curry and served it with some chapatis. A quick assorted salad and raita on the side make it a complete meal.

Serves : 4
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes

Ingredients
2 large potatoes boiled and cubes
1 large onion finely chopped
1 large tomato finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies broken in half
8-9 curry leaves
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chaat masala
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 cup water
4 tsp tomato paste
Salt to taste
4 tsp canola oil
Handful of fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Boil the potatoes in salted water. Let them cool and peel the outer skin, chop the boiled potatoes in cubes.

Heat oil in a wok, add cumin and mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, add red chillies and curry leaves.

Let them sizzle for a while, add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute until the raw flavor diminishes.

Add onions and cook them until they are translucent.

Add tomatoes and cook them for a few minutes.

Add tomato paste to this mixture and cook until it leaves out a ring of oil on the sides of the wok.

Masala1

Add all the dry masalas to this mixture and cook for a minute.

Add boiled potatoes and let it stand in the mixture so that it absorbs the masalas well.

Masala

Slowly add water to the potato mixture, you can choose to use less or more water as per the consistency desired for the gravy.

Cover the wok and let the curry cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture.

Take it off the heat and garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Spicy Potato Curry

Serve this with rotis or rice as per your preference.

Chatori Galli – Barsha 1

I love eating street food and the mere mention makes me go weak in my knees! Such is my fascination with chaat vendors that I should be given the most loyal customer award for visiting Elco, Bandra Mumbai traveling to the other side of the city just to eat the pani puri and papdi chaat.

I find very limited good chaat houses in Dubai unlike India wherein there is one in every corner of the street. I came to know about Chatori Gali in Al Barsha via Twitter. Some one strongly suggested that I visit them for their jalebis.

Chatori Galli

This is a relatively small dining place just behind Mall of Emirates and a stone’s throw away from Bikanervala which is more popular in the area. Just a disclaimer, I have tried these dishes reviewed over 5 visits and found them to be consistent.

I started by trying the Gol Gappe (Delhi) or Phuchkas (Bengal) or Pani Puri (Mumbai). It is hollow fried crisps filled with a sprouts / potato mixture and downed with flavored water. I wasn’t impressed. It lacked serious amounts of masalas and that “ahhaa” factor.

We next moved on to try Raj Kachori, deep fried round flattened ball filled with a stuffing of lentils, cubed potatoes, sprouts, well beaten yoghurt and chutneys and garnished with sev.

Raj Kachori

The Kachori in itself was quite dried out and hence not crisp and was overloaded with yoghurt. There was very minuscule amounts of stuffing and hence it was another ‘No’ for me.

Pyaaz Kachori

On a side note, the Pyaaz Kachori (Onion stuffed) was great in comparison.

We also tried Ram Ladoo, a popular snacking dish in North India. These are deep fried moong dal (split green gram skinless) and urad dal (split green gram skinless) balls served with spicy tangy green chutneys garnished with grated raddish. It was average and needed to be soaked in the chutney before serving them. That’s how it’s traditionally served, maybe I had high expectations!

Ram Ladoo

The best memories I have had of Ram Ladoo are in my teens when I visited Amritsar and ate them at a small time vendor. He soaked them in Kanji, a popular Punjabi fermented drink made with red carrots, turnips, beets spiced up with rock salt, red chilly powder and mustard powder. He later topped them with spicy hot green chutney and radish! Drool worthy!

Moving on to the review, we proceeded to order Bread Pakoda, now this won me over completely. Bread slices sandwiched with a spicy mashed potato mixture coated in chickpea flour batter and deep fried.

Bread Pakoda

It had a generous sprinkling of chaat masala. It was served to us piping hot and with a side of coriander and tamarind chutneys.

Samosa Chaat

We tried Samosa Chaat, it was delicious. They served the samosa piping hot and were quite generous with the chutneys (thank goodness!), as a result, me and my guests were vying to get the last bite. Gluttony!

On another visit we tried “Parathe wali Galli ke Parathe” this immediately took me back to the bylines of Old Delhi in Chandni Chowk where Sahil first took me for a date many years back shortly after we visited the magnificent Jama Masjid.

For old time sake, we ordered the Parathas, you can choose two from the various varieties of parathas available. We ordered aloo pyaaz (Flat bread stuffed with spicy boiled potato and onions mix) and Gobhi (Cauliflower stuffing). Usually parathas are cooked on a tawa (flat griddle) but this particular type of parathas are deep fried in a wok.

Paranthe Wali Galli ke Paranthe

The parathas are served with Chole (spicy and tangy chickpea curry), Kaddu Ki Launji (Pumpkin cooked downed with spices and mildly sweet), Aloo Sabzi (Potato cubes in onion tomato gravy), Mixed cauliflower and carrot pickle smeared with mustard powder, a few pieces of tomato and cucumber and sweet chutney. Unfortunately since we have ordered this twice, I can’t seem to find the picture with Kaddu ki Launji.

I loved the Aloo Sabzi, it was quite spicy but I savoured every morsel of the paratha dipped in the sabzi. Yumm!

As for the parathas, I could not have beyond one piece. The parathas were crisp on the outside but all that deep frying made them too heavy.

Bedami Aloo

We moved on to Bedami Aloo. Bedmi is an another popular breakfast option served in Chandni Chowk and Old Delhi. It is a puri (deep fried puffed bread) made with wheat flour and ground lentils, either skinned black gram dal or green gram dal.

The accompaniments which come along with the Bedami Puri are same as the parathas. We were keen on having it only with the Aloo sabzi and asked to be served the same instead of the Chole and Kaddu Ki Launji. Again great dish and a must try once you visit this place.

Sarso Ka Saag - Makai Roti

We also ordered Sarson Ka Saag with Makke Ki Roti. Sarson ka Saag is mustard leaves and spinach leaves cooked with spices in and usually mustard oil. Makke ki Roti is flatbread made with maize flour, easily available in Indian grocery stores here. It was delicious and was served with a side of jaggery and raddish.

Tawa Paratha & Raita

If you are looking for a lighter option than the parathas then you can also opt for the various menu options like Methi Roti, Gobhi Roti or Missi Roti. I chose Tawa Paratha (Wholewheat flatbread cooked on a disc shaped griddle) with Boondi Raita. Simple home style dinner option.

Kadhi

I tried the parathas with Raita and once with Kadhi Pakoda, it was simply delish. The Kadhi was punjabi style, buttermilk cooked with gram flour, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and red chilly powder.

Vegetable Poha

We also tried Poha, it was a nice light snack. Poha is flattened wife flakes cooked with onions, peas, mustard seeds and garnished with peanuts, coriander leaves and Sev (Savoury Gramflour Vermicelli).

It was just good to be had with a side of masala chai. The tea served at Chatori Gali is prepared fresh and they use Lipton tea bags for the same however I did skip this on my subsequent visits. I don’t blame them, I’m quite picky about the masala chai I have.

Thandai

Sahil tried Thandai, it is a chilled drink made from milk, ground dry fruits flavored with kewda, rosewater, saffron, sugar and fennel seeds. This one was made with store bought syrup and sparingly topped with almond flakes. He found it quite refreshing. Their drinks menu also has fresh juices, Kanji, Fresh Lemonade, Lassi and Milkshakes.

Motichoor Ladoo

In desserts, we tried the Motichoor Ladoo, it was quite dry and not good enough.

Let’s move on to the sole reason you should visit Chatori Galli, which is their Jalebi. It’s deep fried flour shaped in spirals and soaked in sugary syrup flavored with cardamom or saffron at times. It’s difficult to explain what a “jalebi” is and hence the pictures below:

Jalebi In Making

It was crispy, crunchy and supremely heavenly. It tasted divine and was just the thing you need to taste on a day when you feel under weather. When dipped in the Rabdi, it is a killer combination!

Jalebi & Kulfi

We however had the piping hot jalebis with their stick kulfi. The kulfi was quite creamy and not too sweet and good way to end a hearty meal.

Matka Kulfi

The Matka Kulfi was pretty looking in the earthen pot but did not taste as great as the Stick Kulfi.

Visit Chatori Galli with a big appetite, the service is quite off sometimes mainly due to how busy the place is in evenings. However we have found a friend in Sandeep, a great guy who takes pleasure in serving you well.

Until next time, Happy cooking 🙂

Other Locations: Oud Metha / Meena Bazzar, Bur Dubai

Disclaimer : All featured dishes and meals were paid for my me and this post is not a sponsored one.

Besan Ka Chilla – Savoury Gram Flour Pancakes / Crepe

This is a recipe for Besan ka Chilla, simply put Indian savory pancakes made with chickpea / garbanzo bean / gram flour. This is a very easy to make recipe and is perfect for winter mornings or evenings. Goes perfectly with a cup of hot masala chai.

Assembling the ingredients is also very easy. This is my go-to weekend breakfast recipe and is quite filling as well. Chickpeas are an excellent source of proteins and this is an easy gluten free option as well. You can add any vegetables to this versatile crepe / pancake recipe. Sometimes I like to add capsicum or shredded carrots to the mix.

Serves : 3
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes

Ingredients
1 cup besan / gram four
3 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 finely chopped green chilly
1 medium sized finely chopped onion
1 medium sized finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup coarsely chopped spinach leaves
1/2 tsp zataar powder
1 tsp carrom seeds
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chaat masala
A pinch of turmeric powder
Oil for frying
Salt to taste
Water to the consistency desired

In a mixing bowl, sieve the besan and add all the dry spices and salt. Mix well with a spoon.

Add chopped onions, tomatoes, spinach, coriander and chillies to this mixture.

Add little water and mix. Keep adding until it reaches desired consistency.

Some people like the batter to be thick while some like it runny. I prefer reaching a mid point. Here’s how my batter looks like.

Batter

Now on a greased hot pan over low heat, drop a ladle full of the batter and let it take shape. Let the mixture cook.

Besan Ka Chilla

Add any regular oil to the sides and gently flip it over. Here’s where practice comes to the rescue.

Besan Ka Chilla1

Let both the sides get evenly cooked. You are looking for a lovely brown look. I wish I had better pictures for this post.

Besan Ka Chilla2

Serve with tomato chutney or any dip that takes your fancy. I prefer it with toasted bread and butter.

Side Notes:
Adding carom seeds aids digestion.
Zataar powder can be skipped if you do not like it.

The India Pavilion – Mall Of Emirates

I love Mall of Emirates, that was the first place Sahil took me to. It was my first outing when I came to Dubai some more than two and half years back. In the first week of being in Dubai, I visited the mall thrice. There are many firsts associated with this place, the first movie, the first grocery shopping, the first big splurge, the first coffee date (with the husband of course!) and so on.

That’s my go-to place for movies or shopping. On one such tiring shopping spree, we ended up at the first level food court of Mall of Emirates and visited The Indian Pavilion next to Vox Cinemas.

Papad Chatni

It offers good Indian good and the prices and service is pretty decent too. The restaurant provides complimentary fried papas with green chutney and pickle. How nice! Who doesn’t like a good crunchy one!

The restaurant has an interesting concept of ordering mains which is a complete meal or a platter in itself. It comes with an accompaniment of roti (flat bread) or pilaf rice, 2 falafels / aloo tikkis (potato patties), cucumber raita, home style split yellow lentils and mixed salad.

Baigan Bharta Platter

I ordered the Baigan Bharta, it simply means roasted and mashed aubergines cooked with spices. I loved the roasted smokey flavor of aubergine with green peas in onion and diced tomato gravy. The green peas required to be blanched a bit more, they were quite firm.

Baigan Bharta

The Bharta cooked at my place by my grandmother used to have more of tomatoes giving it a rich red color but in the restaurant it was with less tomatoes. I liked how they finished the whole dish with red chill infused oil. This was a hit!

Achari Paneer Platter

We also ordered Achari Paneer Mutter, that’s cottage cheese and green peas cooked in a spicy brown gravy of onions and spices. The cottage cheese was slightly tossed on a pan since it had browned on the edges. It was spicy and I loved the heat in the gravy, it was finished with a garnish of coriander and chili oil.

Paneer Tikka Masala Platter

We also ordered Paneer Tikka Masala on one visit, the paneer was soft and the gravy was tangy but not overtly spicy. The red onions, capsicum and tomato wedges were char grilled and we could see the sides browned evenly.

Paneer Tikka Masala
I am a gravy person and would have loved if it came with little more gravy. Nevertheless it was a good dish with a side of butter naan.

The accompanying pilaf was fragrant and mildly spiced, the dal was the best part of the platter. I can keep going back to this restaurant just for their yummy dal. It is perfect home cooked version of split yellow lentils tempered with green chillies, finely chopped onions and tomato.

The aloo tikkis (potato patties) served had a nice crust on the outside and were piping hot inside, the mashed potatoes had a strong flavor of roasted cumin. It also had soaked chana dal and grated onions.

Mixed salad and cucumber raita provided a refreshing feel to the otherwise spicy platter.

Lamb Madras Platter

Sahil enjoyed his Lamb Madras style, as per him, it was cooked nicely with hot red chilled and curry leaves. But it was quite basic, it was good but that great.

Add On

Being an ad guy, Sahil loved the packaging of their wet tissues and even clicked it as a reference. He finds them quite fragrant.

On a side note, I have also tried their Masala Dosa which was pretty soggy and not up to the mark. The restaurant has consistently disappointed us on it’s desserts. We once ordered Phirni which was served to us hot traditionally it is always served cold and the gulab jamuns they do were quite average hence we keep skipping the dessert order.

However when in MOE and in mood for good Indian food priced decently, I would visit them for more!

Locations : Level 1, Food Court – Next to Vox Cinemas, Mall of Emirates / Spinney’s Umm Suqeim

Pricing : Average AED 120-150 for meal for two