Patishapta Pitha

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Today I have a lip smacking dish all the way from the eastern part of India, West Bengal. I like to repeat that the mega marathon of this kind pushes you to look beyond your comfort zone and find some unique dishes from places you never expected to see. I never thought I would blog about a crepe / dosai kind of dish from Eastern India and now I have three and counting. The husband has spent around 8 years living there and so he is a self proclaimed expert on all things Bengal. I managed to raise his eyebrows too. If that is not an achievement I don’t know what is. Okay, I know but this is an achievement too, right?

Patishapta Pitha is a light and soft crepe made with all purpose flour, semolina and sugar and the most delightful part of it is the filling which is sweetened khoya or pal gova (in Tamizh). I read the recipe a few times to confirm the filling and to be honest, it makes for a wonderful snack or a unique desert. The husband and daughter have been making puppy eyes in a bid to get an unending supply of these pithas. Ha!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 8-10 pithas

WHAT WE NEED

130 gms All purpose flour

85 gms Semolina

80 gms Sugar

100 gms Unsweetened Khoya

500 ml Milk

Ghee / Clarified butter

Water

 

WHAT TO DO

For the filling

  • Heat the milk in a heavy bottom pan till it comes to a boil
  • Reduce the gas to simmer and let it reduce to half the quantity
  • Stir the milk at frequent intervals and remove the cream stuck to the sides of the vessel and add to the boiling milk
  • After it has reduced to half or less than half of the original volume, add the khoya and 50 gms sugar and mix well
  • Stir continuously if on a high flame else stir frequently
  • Once the mixture reaches a semi solid consistency turn off the gas and let it cool slightly
  • It will thicken further even after turning off the gas

For the pitha

  • Mix the all purpose flour, semolina and balance 30 gms sugar with sufficient water to make a thick batter
  • The batter should be in the consistency of a regular dosai batter
  • Heat a tava and once it is hot, spread a little ghee on it
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it into a circular shape
  • Add a large spoonful of the filling at one end of the pitha in a straight line
  • Disengage the pitha from the tava with a steel spatula and roll it starting from the side where the filling is kept
  • Once rolled, keep turning it every 20 seconds on either side till it turns golden brown
  • You can add a few drops of ghee to fasten the process
  • Take it off the heat and repeat the procedure with the rest of the batter
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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NOTES

  1. If you do not have khoya, add another 500ml of milk to make the filling. It will take much longer (around 2 hours) to complete the process
  2. You can replace this filling with a mixture of grated coconut and jaggery
  3. If you do not want it to be too sweet, reduce the sugar in the pitha by 10gms
  4. This dish can be enhanced by serving it with some sweetened condensed milk

 

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Lauki Chilla | Bottle Gourd Pancakes

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The Chilla is a very popular breakfast dish primarily because it is so quick and easy to make and makes for a hearty meal. When I was looking for pancake like dishes for L, I did not have many options. The chilla was on my mind ever since I began this marathon because if there isn’t one in a marathon about pancakes / dosais, it wouldn’t do justice to the theme. Then I looked for lauki and chilla and voila! Because there is a chilla with every ingredient. Don’t trust me? Try Google!

This is an instant breakfast dish and can be made in a jiffy. Just get all the ingredients together, mix and cook. You can’t ask for an easier dish, especially for a hectic weekday morning. I have never successfully made a besan chilla and so I usually fall back on the moong dal chilla. But this one turned out really soft and tasty, especially with the green chutney. So, that is a huge item ticked off the to-master checklist!!

For more Bottle Gourd recipes check out this Refreshing Juice and also this hearty Bottle Gourd Soup

For more recipes with chickpea flour check out these mint pakoras, nankhatais, bhajiya pav and stuffed snake gourd.

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Recipe from here

Makes 3-4 Chillas

WHAT WE NEED

1/3 cup Besan / Chickpea flour

1/4 cup Grated Bottle gourd / Lauki

3 tbsp Rava / Semolina

3 tbsp Curds

1/4 tsp Red chilly powder

1/4 tsp Asofoetida

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds

Salt

Oil

Water
WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the besan, bottle gourd, rava, curds, red chilly powder, asofoetida, turmeric powder and salt
  • Add water to make a thick batter
  • Heat a tava and drizzle some oil on it
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it in a circular shape
  • Drizzle some oil on the sides of the chilla
  • Once it is cooked, 1-2 minutes, use a steel spatula to disengage the chilla from the tava and turn it over
  • After a minute, take it off the tava
  • Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter
  • Serve warm with ketchup and green chutney
  • Enjoy!

 

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Khura |Buckwheat Pancakes

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After yesterday’s sizzling street food magic of Mumbai, we are back to more traditional recipe. During one of my more experimental days, I had made a spicy version of the Neer dose and actually managed to find time to click pictures too. I was desperately trying to fit it in somewhere during this month but like I said, my blog would turn into a Karnataka tourism brochure. So I have filed it away in my magic folder for now to be used later when it would be more desperately needed. And if you know me, that will be very soon.

Today’s dish is from the state of Arunachal Pradesh. This is my favorite part of the mega marathon when we discover similarly structured dishes across cuisines and states. The khura is a nearly instant kind of dosa made with buckwheat flour. I have blogged about too many rice based dosais that this break from it will be a good one. Also, as luck would have it, I had just the right amount of buckwheat flour in my refrigerator which needed to be done with.  Usually the khura is simply the mixture of buckwheat flour, water and salt. But I had a small amount of finely chopped veggies that needed to finished and so added it too.

Check out other recipes with Buckwheat flour – Ajdov Kruh and Chia Seed Cookies.

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Makes 10 mini pancakes

WHAT WE NEED

1/2 cup Buckwheat flour

2 tbsp Finely chopped vegetables (optional)

Salt

Water

Oil

 

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the buckwheat flour and salt with enough water to make a thick pancake like batter
  • Set aside for 30 minutes
  • Add the vegetables and mix well
  • Heat a tava and drizzle some oil on it
  • Pour small ladles of batter to make mini pancakes
  • Let them be thick and not too thin
  • Once the edges start to brown turn it over using a spatula
  • After a minute take it off the heat
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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Jini Dosa

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When I posted the Farali Dosa few days ago, I spoke about the option of a French fries dosa. Surprisingly many of my blogging friends expressed an interest in it. I am yet to come to terms with that travesty but I thought it would be a good idea to include at least one dosa from the street food scene of Mumbai. Most of the options I found were cheese dosa and schezwan dosa but I had other nicer options for those alphabets and so I discarded them. Then I came across this Jini dosa which sounded a lot more interesting than the Javversi (Sago) dosai I had otherwise planned.

To be honest, I haven’t tasted this dosa in the streets of Mumbai despite living there for over 25 years. It could be because I thought it a waste to eat dosa out when it was so easily available at home and when the alternative was an array of chaats. Jini dosa is a kind of masala dosa which doesn’t use too much of potatoes. It is a combination of veggies like cabbage, capsicum, carrots with schezwan sauce and tomato ketchup and topped with loads of cheese. The veggies are semi cooked on top of the dosa itself and retain a slight crunch.

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Makes 4-5 dosas

WHAT WE NEED

2 cups of dosa batter

3/4 cup chopped vegetables

2 tbsp Schezwan sauce

2-3 tbsp Tomato ketchup

1-2 tbsp Chilly sauce (optional)

2 tbsp Butter

Grated cheese

Oil

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix all the vegetables in a bowl
  • Heat a tava and spread a little oil on it
  • Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it in a circular shape
  • Keep the gas on simmer for the dosa to cook slowly
  • Once the top part of the dosa is slightly cooked, add 2 tbsp of vegetables, 1 tsp of schezwan, 2 tsp of tomato ketchup and 1/2 tsp of chilly sauce
  • Mix well and spread it on the dosa with a spatula or potato masher
  • Cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Top it with grated cheese
  • Cut the dosa into 4-5 parts with a pizza cutter or knife
  • Roll each part into a roll
  • Serve warm with ketchup or chutney
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. I used cabbage, carrot, capsicum, green peas and sweet corn. You can use any or all of these or potatoes, tomatoes,spring onions,etc.

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Baked Mini Donuts

Today is the first day of a three day weekend. The daughter and I have an agreement that she eats whatever I make during school days and I make whatever she asks for during holidays. Most of the time it makes mt life easier though I understand I have to renegotiate this just before vacations. So today she asked for donuts and I had to bake something for this week’s theme of Baked Treats. Thankfully this worked dor both of us and we had some delicious baked donuts.

I picked the recipe from King Arthur Flour whose recipes work for me. This is a recipe with eggs though I will try and post about the eggless version soon.

Makes 12-14 mini donuts

WHAT WE NEED

185 gms All purpose flour

75 gms Sugar

35 gms Brown Sugar

30 gms Unsalted butter

30 gms Oil

1 egg

3/4 tsp Baking powder

Pinch of Baking soda

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup / 100 ml Milk

WHAT TO DO

  • Preheat the oven to 230C
  • Whisk the butter, oil, sugar and brown sugar till it is a smooth mixture
  • Add the egg and whisk again till it is fully blended in
  • Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground nutmeg and mix well
  • Add the flour and milk alternating between the two starting and ending with flour. It will be a thick batter
  • Grease the donut pan and pour the batter upto half of the cavity
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Take out the pan and let them rest for 7-8 minutes
  • Demould the donuts and cool on the wire rack
  • Add your favourite toppings
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. A simple topping can be icing sugar sprinkled on top of the donuts while it is warm
  2. Chocolate and nuts also are a good topping option.

This is my post for the Kid’s Delight event started by Valli of Spice your Life and hosted by me this month for the theme, ‘Baked Treats‘.

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    Eggless Cinnamon Rolls

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    The second dish in this week’s theme of ‘Wraps & Rolls’ is the classic Cinnamon Roll. I have previously posted this dish which is an egg version whereas this one is an eggless version. My recent endeavour has been to bake eggless versions of the dishes I usually bake with egg. This one is delightful, so soft and delicious. The best part is that it tastes so good without the glaze. It reduces work not to mention calories.

    Adapted from here

    Makes 15-16 rolls

    WHAT WE NEED

    For the dough

    3/4 cup warm milk

    1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

    1/4 cup Oil

    1 tbsp Butter, melted

    2 tsp Instant yeast

    1/4 cup Sugar

    2 1/4 cups All purpose flour

    1/2 tsp Baking powder

    1/4 tsp Baking soda

    1/2 tsp Salt

    For the filling

    1/2 cup Brown sugar

    1 tbsp Cinnamon powder

    3 tbsp Softened butter

    WHAT TO DO

    • Mix the lemon juice with the warm milk and set aside for 5 minutes
    • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, butter, oil, baking powder, baking soda, yeast and salt
    • Add the milk and make a smooth dough
    • Set aside for an hour or till it doubles in volume
    • Mix all the ingredients for the filling and set aside
    • Roll out the dough into a 24*18” rectangle
    • Spread the filling on the dough with your hand
    • Roll the dough on the longer side into a tight log
    • Cut the log into 15-16 pieces
    • Grease a baking tray or line it with parchment
    • Place the rolls on the baking tray few inches apart so that the dough has space to increase in volume
    • Set aside for 40 minutes
    • Preheat the oven to 185C
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes or till the rolls are golden brown
    • Serve warm
    • Enjoy

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    This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Wraps & Rolls’.

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    Herbs & Garlic Rolls

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    All through my life I have tried to lose weight. It has mostly not worked because I would not stick to any plan for more than a week. Then I would look at people thinner than me wearing pretty clothes and sulk. This has been going on forever with no end in sight. Finally I figured out how to solve the problem. No, I am not propounding a new weight loss strategy. All I am saying is that my problem has always been other people being thinner. So I figured I would put my baking to use as a dark art and get everyone around me to put on weight. If that is not a delicious solution I don’t know what is.

    So these garlic rolls are the first step in that direction. In my defense, they did turn out delicious and quite gobble-worthy.

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    Recipe adapted from here

    Makes 10 rolls

    WHAT WE NEED

    1 cup All purpose flour

    1 cup Whole Wheat flour

    2 1/2 tsp Instant yeast

    1 tsp Sugar

    1 tsp Salt

    2 tbsp Olive oil

    3/4 cup Warm water

    60-70gms Herbed garlic butter

    Sesame seeds to garnish

    WHAT TO DO

    • Add the flours, yeast, sugar, salt and oil in a large bowl
    • Add 1/2 cup water and mix to form a smooth dough
    • If the dough seems too dry then add 2tsp water at a time till the dough comes together
    • Cover and set aside for an hour or till the dough doubles in volume
    • Take out the dough and roll it into a 1/2″ thick rectangle
    • Spread the garlic butter on the dough evenly
    • Roll the dough into a tight log from the longer side of the rectangle
    • Cut the log into 10 pieces
    • Grease an 8″ round baking pan and place the rolls side-up on the pan
    • Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top and set aside for 20 minutes
    • Preheat the oven to 185C
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes or till the rolls are golden brown
    • Brush with the balance butter on top
    • Serve warm
    • Enjoy!

     

    NOTES

    1. I used the store bought garlic butter but you can also make it at home. Take 70 gms of salted butter, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 2-3 tsp of mixed herbs. Pulse the garlic and herbs together in a blender. Add them to the butter and mix well. Add salt if needed and use.

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    This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Wraps & Rolls’.

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    Honey glazed carrots

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    For my third and final dish in the ‘One vegetable three ways’ theme, I chose to do the ever simple and ever popular dish -honey glazed carrots. Usually baby carrots are used for this recipe but since those aren’t available in my part of the world, I picked the bigger carrots and sliced them to make this dish. I make it for the daughter for her snack box or an evening snack and she likes it most of the time. Kids!

    Serves 2

    WHAT WE NEED

    300 gms Carrots (3-4)

    1-2 tbsp Butter (Salted / unsalted)

    1-2 tbsp Honey

    A pinch of red chilly powder

    A pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter

    1 1/2 cups Water to cook the carrots

    WHAT TO DO

    • Heat the water in a vessel
    • Wash, peel and cut the carrots into finger long pieces
    • Add the carrots to the water once it starts getting hot
    • The carrots should be tender in 5-7 minutes
    • Drain the water and set the carrots aside
    • In a pan, heat the butter
    • Once the butter melts, add the carrots and salt (if using) and mix well
    • After 2-3 minutes, add honey and mix well
    • If this is not for kids, then use red chilly powder to balance the sweetness of carrots and honey
    • Simmer for 3-4 minutes
    • Once the carrots are glazed well, take off from the heat
    • Enjoy!

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    This is my post for the Blogging Marathon, under the theme, ‘One vegetable three ways’.

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    Cheese & Garlic Scones

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    When I made a Hi-Tea combo couple of months ago, my favourite of the lot of dishes was the Cheese and garlic scones. These are super easy to make and taste so good. It is one of the few baked dishes that even my husband liked and asked for seconds. I have made it several times since and it has been appreciated by kids and adults alike. This makes for a quick and easy snack with all ingredients easily available at home. I do think of adding some vegetables to it but then I feel maybe some dishes should be left just for taste instead of trying to healthy-fy everything all the time.

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    Recipe from here

    Makes 8 scones

    WHAT WE NEED

    1 cup All purpose flour

    1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

    1/4 tsp salt

    1/4 cup shredded cheese

    1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated

    1/2 cup Milk

    WHAT TO DO

    • Preheat the oven to 220C
    • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl
    • Add the shredded cheese and garlic to the bowl and mix well
    • Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the milk except for 2 tsp of milk
    • Bring together all the ingredients and form a dough
    • Do not overmix
    • Grease a baking tray and transfer the dough to the tray
    • Pat it into a 1″ thick circle and cut into 8 wedges
    • Brush the balance 2 tsp milk on the dough
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes or till the top gets brown spots
    • Cool for 10 minutes
    • Serve warm with butter

    NOTES

    1. I have tried this dish with cheddar cheese, pizza cheese (mix of cheddar and mozzarella) and matured goat cheese and it works beautifully with each one
    2. I found the goat cheese (matured) slightly bland in comparison to the other two and so I sprinkled some dried rosemary to enliven it

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    This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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    Cheese & Oats Paniyaram

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    So I am back after a month though it seems like ages. In March, I had a very different perception of how April and May would turn out considering it is the daughter’s vacation time, but it wS hectic and chaotic in wholly different ways. Right from having a oil splash accident to help organise the brother & sis-in-law’s baby shower to help playing nurse to the father-in-law, this summer has me running in circles. Now it’s hardly any time left for school time and to begin the routine again.

    In between all this activity the husband managed to travel for work and wearily asked me if I would need some rye flour or gluten again. Seems like he has finally resigned to fate, which is nice! I was kind and asked him to only pick up some cheese since he was in Amsterdam. He did and has been asking me to add cheese to everything I make. So when I picked this theme of ‘One protein three dishes’, I knew it simply had to be cheese. So here is the first of my three ‘cheesy’ dishes which is a quick and comparatively healthy snack for adults and kids alike.

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    Recipe adapted from here

    Serves 3-4

    WHAT WE NEED

    1 cup Quick cooking oats

    1 small sized carrot, grated

    2 tbsp Rice flour

    1 tbsp Semolina

    2-3 tbsp shredded cheese

    1-2 green chillies, finely chopped

    1″ ginger, grated

    1/2 tsp Baking soda

    Few coriander leaves

    Salt

    Oil

    Water

    WHAT TO DO

    • Heat an appe pan with 2-3 drops of oil in each cavity
    • Mix all the ingredients except baking soda and oil
    • Add enough water for the batter to be thicker in consistency as compared to idli batter
    • Add baking soda and give it a quick mix
    • Pour the batter into the appe pan till it is almost full
    • Cover and cook in simmer for 2-3 minutes
    • Once the top part seems cooked, turn it over with a spoon and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes
    • Take it off from the pan and repeat for the remaining batter
    • Serve with chutney or ketchup or mayonnaise of your choice
    • Enjoy!

    NOTES

    1. I used matured goat cheese but cheddar should also work just as well
    2. Green chillies and ginger can be reduced or omitted if making for kids

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    This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘One protein three dishes’.

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