Friday, April 26, 2013


Khandvi (खांडवी )
A savoury appetizer from Gujarat India, khandvi is made from gram flour and yogurt. The procedure to prepare looks easy enough, but it does require some practice to roll the perfect khandvi. I spoilt my first lot but got it kind of okay the second time. My tip, cook slowly and roll lightly. Taste wise it was a great hit with my kids. You can also prepare stuffed khandvi by spreading green chutney over the spread out batter before rolling. 

1 cup besan (gram flour)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
pinch sugar
1 tsp ginger paste
1-2 green chilies very finely chopped (optional)
salt to taste
2 tbsp grated coconut
finely chopped fresh coriander
slit green chilies
For tempering (तड़का)
1 tbsp oil
pinch asafoetida (hing)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
lime juice to taste
  1. In a pan mix besan, yogurt, water, salt, sugar, ginger paste and green chilies together to form a smooth batter with no lumps. 
  2. Cook on low heat stirring continuously to avoid any burning or lumps. Cook till batter is slightly thick. 
  3. To test if the batter is perfectly cook, take a tsp of batter and spread on a greased flat surface (plate) evenly. After a few seconds try to roll the spread part. If it comes out easily then the batter is perfectly cook, if not let it cook for more time and then test again. 
  4. Once batter is perfectly cooked, spread it on a greased flat surface evenly. I used the back of a steel plate. Spread evenly and work quickly so that you are able to spread the batter before it gets cold. 
  5. Sprinkle grated coconut on top. Cut into 1 Inch strips and roll them. 
  6. Heat oil in a small pan, add asafoetida and mustard seeds, let crackle for 3-4 seconds. Take away from heat and cool a bit. Add lime juice and mix well. Temper (तड़का) evenly all over the rolled out khandvi. Garnish with coriander and slit green chilies. 
  7. Serve with red and green chutneys. Can be made a day ahead, store in the refrigerator.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Strawberry Halwa

Strawberry Halwa

Suji halwa with a fragrant twist. Adding strawberries to the traditional suji halwa seems kind of strange but when I made this, the result was pleasantly fruity with a beautiful pink hue.
Use the same ratio of ingredients as in suji halwa, 1:1:1:3= suji:ghee:sugar:water. Just substitute 1 portion of water with 1 portion of fresh strawberry puree. To ensure a lovely pink color, roast suji at a low heat so it does not brown. Add strawberry puree at the end to maintain the color.

1 cup suji
1 cup ghee (I use 3/4 cup)
2 cups water
1 cup sugar (I use 3/4 cup)
1 cup pureed strawberries
1/3 cup roasted nuts (cashews and almonds)
  1. Heat 2 cups of water along with the sugar till the sugar dissolves. Keep aside. 
  2. Puree the strawberries and keep aside. 
  3. Heat ghee in a pan,add suji and roast on a low flame till you smell a roasted aroma. Make sure it does not change color or the resulting halwa will not be as pink. This will take about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add the sugar dissolved water and stir vigorously for a minute to prevent any lumps. 
  5. Now add 1 cup of pureed strawberry and mix continuously till the halwa leaves the sides of the pan. 
  6. Add roasted cashews and almonds and stir. Serve warm.
Recipe from a group I follow on facebook called 'Ghar ka khana' with a few changes.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Aloo chaat

Aloo Ki Chaat

Growing up in Delhi, you cannot be spared from the charms of Chaat, the most sought after street food. Of all the chaats, aloo (potato) chaat is probably the only one which is served hot and so is popular even in winters. Diced potatoes are fried in generous helpings of oil on large griddles or tava and drizzled with tamarind, mint chutneys and an array of ground fragrant spices. Whats not to like here.
This version is much lighter without compromising the taste. Roast the half boiled potatoes in the oven with just a drizzle of olive oil to get the crisp delish spud. If you prefer, you can shallow fry your diced potatoes and flavour them with chaat masala.

Non fried lighter version of Aloo Ki Chaat

Aloo chaat
Ingredients: (serves 4)

4 large Potatoes, peeled
3-4 tbsp Tamarind water (coin sized tamarind soaked in 4-5 tbsp water)
Lemon juice to taste
Fresh coriander chopped
Chaat masala
2 whole red chilies
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Black peppercorns
1/2 tsp dry mango powder(Amchur)
1/2 tsp dry mint
1/4 tsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp black salt/rock salt/kala namak
Salt to taste
  1. Microwave the potatoes in a little water till half cooked. Cut them in cubes and spray generously with oil (I use olive oil).
  2. Grill them in the oven on high till golden brown and crisp.
  3. Meanwhile dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and red chilies in a skillet till they impart a roaster aroma. Cool and dry grind to a fine powder. Add mint, amchur, black salt and sugar to this concoction to make a chaat masala. 
  4. Add desired amount of the chaat masala to the roasted potatoes. Add salt to taste (remember the chaat masala already has some black salt).
  5. Drizzle the tamarind water and lemon juice according to taste. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander.
Vendor in New Delhi frying potatoes for aloo chaat

Friday, April 5, 2013

Chatori Katori

Chatori katori

Crispy katori or basket filled with sweet, tangy spicy goodness. This is the most fun way to have chaat, a great way to serve chaat to your guests and kids just adore these. Make your own crispy katoris by using wonton wrappers for bite sized baskets or larger spring roll wrappers for a serious chaat katori. I have also seen some ready made packages of crisp bowls at costco.

Katori Chaat

Ingredients: (serves 4)
8 Spring roll wrappers
Chaat Stuff
1 cup toasted peanuts or chana dal namkeen
1/2 small red onion chopped
green chilies chopped
fresh coriander finely chopped
lime juice to taste
chaat masala to taste (recipe below)
  1. Defrost spring roll wrappers according to package directions.
  2. Trim the square spring roll wrapper edges using a large round cookie cutter to form rounded wrappers.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F.
  4. Prepare the muffin pan by spraying it with oil. Also lightly spray the spring roll wrappers on one side.
  5. Tuck these into muffin cups, oiled side up. Press down to fit into bottom and sides.
  6. Bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly before removing. Keep aside. 
  7. Meanwhile mix the other ingredients to make chatpat chaat. Fill the prepared cups (katoris) with this and serve immediately. 
  8. You can fill these with any type of chaat you like. 
Chaat masala
2 whole red chilies
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Black peppercorns
1/2 tsp dry mango powder(Amchur)
1/2 tsp dry mint
Dry roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns and red chilies in a skillet till they impart a roaster aroma. Cool and dry grind to a fine powder. Add mint and amchur to this concoction to make a chaat masala.

Other chaat filling ideas
  1. Sprouted moong dal mixed with finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander lime juice, salt and chaat masala to taste. 
  2. Boiled potatoes cubed and drained canned chickpeas mixed with finely chopped onions, green chilies, coriander salt and chaat masala to taste. Topped with a tsp plain yogurt and drizzled with green chutney and tamarind chutney
  3. Bhelpuri mix combined with finely chopped onions, boiled cubed potatoes, green chilies, coriander, lime juice, salt and chaat masala to taste. 
  4. Small cubes of various fruits such as apple, grapes, banana, pear, orange, pineapple, mixed with a pinch of black salt and sugar and a bit of chaat masala and lime juice.