Saturday, October 31, 2009


This lovely steamed dumpling snack comes from the heart of Gujarat. Gujarat is famous for its food especially handvo, muthiya, dhokla, patra, khaman, khamni etc the list is endless. Muthiya is all time favorite tea time snack, sweet and tangy soft muthiya is a comfort and mouth watering snack for those lazy sundays when I just feel like laying back and reading my favorite novel.
I still remember my mom making this lip-smacking dish frequently during winter as fresh methi leaves are abundant during that time. She used to prepare it using kanki-korma loat (ready mix of rice and lentil coarse flour). Here in riyadh its impossible to find kanki -korma loat and methi leaves, so I have modified my mom's recipe to suit my need.

Ingredients :

2 tbs garlic-ginger-green chillies paste
350-400 gms or 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups peeled and grated bottle gourd/dudhi/lauki
1 medium sized cucumber/kakdi peeled and grated
1 large onion grated
1/2 cup whole wheat flour/atta
1/2 cup semolina/rava/soji
1/2 cup besan/chickpea flour
1/2 cup pearl millet flour/bajri ka atta
2 tbs rice flour/chokha no loat
2 tbs oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
1 tsp fennel seeds/saunf
2 tbs sugar
1/4th cup yogurt/curd/dahi
1/4th tsp soda-bi-carb
2 tsp lemon juice
handful of chopped coriander leaves
pinch of asafoetida

For Tempering :
2 tbs oil
1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
1 tbs sesame seeds/til
Pinch of asafoetida/hing

For Garnishing :
3-4 tbs of chopped coriander leaves
2 tbs grated coconut (optional)

Method : (For Muthiya)
Strain juices out of grated lauki, onion and cucumber and keep it aside as it can be used to knead dough if required.
Mix all the ingredients of muthiya in a large bowl and knead into soft dough using the veggie juice if required. You can also add more yogurt instead of veg juice for that ultimate soft muthiyas.
Now oil your palms and form cylindrical shaped muthiyas and place them in a steamer.
Steam them for 25-30 mins or untill well done. To check it they are ready, insert a tooth pick in muthiya and if it comes out clean they are ready and done.
Let them cool for a while.
Cut them into bite sized pieces and get them ready for tempering.

Method : (For Tempering)
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and add mustard seeds. Once they start crackling add sesame seeds and asofoetida.
Add cut muthiyas and stir them in for 5-7 mins.
Garnish it with chopped coriander and coconut.
Serve Hot with green chutney.

Tips: The key to great tasting muthiya is in sweet and sour taste along with delicate softness which can be achieved only with adding right amount of sugar and curd. Sugar can be adjusted according to taste and can be avoided if you don't prefer sweet at all but there should be no compromise of yogurt, it is a must. If you knead dough entirely from dahi, you can never can go wrong with softness issue, but remember in this case don't add lemon juice at all.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chawli/Chauli nu shaak

Chauli/chawli also known as long beans, lobiya/lubia in northern india or dau gok in eastern asia is a versatile vegetable used in range of dishes from omelets to stir fries and pilaf to salads. The crisp, tender pods are eaten both fresh and cooked. They are at their best when young and slender. Not to mention they carry high potential in nutritional values. Searching for more information I found this information useful, thanks to wikipedia:
"In a serving size of 100 grams of yardlong beans there are 47 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium (0% daily value), 8 grams of total carbohydrates (2% daily value), and 3 grams of protein (5% daily value). There is also 17% DV vitamin A, 2% DV iron, 31% DV vitamin C, and 5% DV calcium. (Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Individual daily values may be higher or lower depending on individual calorie needs.) "

So here goes the recipe.


250 gms chopped chauli/long beans
1 medium sized onion sliced
1 tbs ginger-garlic-green chilli ground to coarse paste
few curry leaves
handful of chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds/rai
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander cumin/ dhania-jeera powder
1 tsp urad dal/white lentil (optional)
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat add oil and urad dal.
Once the dal changes it color from white to brownish white add jeera and rai. Let them sputter then add asafoetida, curry leaves and sliced onion.
Cook for about 1 minute. Now add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for another minute.
Add chopped chauli/chawli along with turmeric powder and salt.
Add 2 tbs of water at this stage. Cover and cook for around 7-8 mins on low flame.
Open the lid add red chilli powder and dhania-jeera powder, mix well and cover and cook for 1 more minute.
Turn off the heat. Garnish it with chopped coriander and serve.
Goes nicely with thin chappati, rice and paratha of any kind.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Surmayi Paratha

This recipe is invented by me by mistake(total mistake)..... however it came out amazing in taste. The other day, I guess, I was pondering over some episode I had watched, of course it was Oprah and some girl burnt by his ex-boyfriend by acid or something... and I kept thinking what the hell is happning to this world and what not and it was during this that I committed this crime of mixing wheat flour along with millet flour... actually I was intending to prepare chapati dough.... but by mistake I mixed millet flour into wheat flour... So I had to use that concoction of flour so I just added a dash of ground peppercorn and jeera along with handful of chopped coriander and salt.Made paratha of it which were a bit blackish in colour, attribute goes to millet flour and peppercorn powder and so I decided I should call it Surmayi Paratha, as we know Surma means kajal/kohl.
To my amazement this paratha at great in taste and can be prepared in a jiffy. I think I'm going to stick with this recipe for a long long time.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bajra flour/pearl millet flour
handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper corn
1/2 tsp coarse ground cumin seeds/ jeera
salt as per taste
oil for shallow frying
water for kneading the dough


Now girls you know the drill, mix everything except oil, knead into a soft dough, make 10 lemon sized balls from the dough, roll out the paratha, heat iron griddle, place paratha on hot griddle, apply oil (about 1 tsp) and shallow fry the parathas.... voila surmayi parathas are ready.

This paratha tastes amazing with anything like any veg curry or dal, sweetened yogurt, raita, chutney, ketchup or your favorite aachar.
I love it with pipping hot cup of masala tea.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Minty Vegetable Biryani

This is a simple recipe which can be served either in lunch or dinner, also handy recipe when I'm feeling a bit lazy or short of time or just when my taste buds are demanding more. P too loves aromatic recipes like these. This time I prepared this recipe as a lunch box item for P, I'm so happy since he started carrying his own home made lunch to office, atleast I don't have to worry about those greasy foods he has when he goes out for lunch from office.


1 Cup Basmati rice soaked for 15-20 mins
1 to 1 1/2 cups of diced veggies of your choice, I used potato, onion, cauliflower florets and carrot.
1 cup chopped mint leaves
Handful of chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 tsp garlic paste
2 green chilles slit into half
2 sprigs curry leaves
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera.
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 1/2 to 2 tsp biryani masala
Salt to taste.
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp oil.


Put pressure pan on medium heat and add oil and ghee, once oil is hot enough add jeera seeds along with cinnamon stick, curry leaves, slit green chillies and garlic paste. Saute for 20 to 30 seconds.
Now add diced veggies, also add all dry masala including salt, which will be for all veggies + rice. Saute for 2 mins.
At this point add soaked rice with 2 cups of water and all of mint and coriander leaves. Cover the pressure pan and cook it till 3 whistles.
Yummy biryani is ready, serve it with raita or plain curd, anything will go with this lovely aromatic wholesome dish.

I served it with cucumber raita.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Diwali!!!

Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New Year to all. Diwali holds a special place in my heart, its all about diyas, rangoli, patake and sweets to me. Its a feeling of fresh start of life, fresh hope and fresher newer dreams for the year ahead. I badly miss that barodian way of diwali, echoes of laughter buzzling around my karelibaug home which would be packed with near and dear ones, those shouts of my mom to keep watch on my younger bro and sis as they overexcitedly ignite cracker bombs (sometimes just to annoy some nosy What I miss the most is the smell of just went off diya.... hmmm I just crave it badly. I miss those slow afternoons spent preparing lovely sweets and snacks with my "mummi". I miss those most awaited evenings when my "pappa" came home with gifts for us, I used to get books lots of it but my younger bro and sis would get some video games or something that would have never attracted me but was a stunner for them, I guess its now that I realized how well our parents know what appeals us the most.
Growing up together with my siblings, I was very different than them, I was termed "a big bore" for my likings for books and jagjit singh's gazals but that neither stopped me nor discouraged me. I still remember my brother and sister quarreling over highest points made in some stupid video game Mario... it was such a huge fight, those guys didn't talk to each other of 6 days.... I never understood then what was the big deal!! but i surely have a good laugh when I remember it now.
All these things and many more happened during Diwali and Diwali Vacations.
Okie!!! so after of this random visit to memory lane all I can say for sure is Diwali is the time when I feel I'm that same silent and shy girl who used to escape on to terrace to watch the night sky lighted by all pyrotechnicians of baroda (until of course anu or ketav interupted with some silly arbitration case of "who's chance it was to light the last cracker bomb or something")
Happy Diwali !!!