Saboodana vada

Saboodana is a food starch which is prepared by extracting contents out of a sago palm tree. It is mainly consumed during fasting ,but has become very popular as a snack item mostly in the state of Maharashtra. 

Back in India my mother is the one who observes a fast and  everyone else just pretends to fast for the love of saboodana vada or khichdi! When my parents visited us here, my mom made saboodana vada and it was the best vada we ever had ! The recipe I had been following was very different from this one, so I decided to delete it forever and follow the new one! These vada's have crispy texture and they taste awesome! Make them for your friends or family and you sure won't be disappointed! I have not met anyone who does not like the taste of a good crispy saboodana wada!

Ingredients

  • Saboodana or Sago (Soak it for about 6 hrs)--2 cups
  • Samo rice (Moraiyo ) --3/4th cup (cooked just like normal rice, add 1 1/2 cup water and boil for 7-8 min till soft)
  • Peanut Powder --1/2 cup (roast peanuts and grindto fine powder)
  • Jeera--1 tsp
  • Chilli powder--1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves--optional
  • Salt to taste


Procedure

Combine all the the above ingredients and rub in a bit of oil . Make tiny balls  and flatten  on a greased plate with some oil, to form a thin layer or wada . Heat some oil and deep fry this wada on medium heat until it becomes golden brown. Make sure the temperature of oil is right and it is not too hot. The perfect wada is crispy outside and soft and well cooked inside..Enjoy with yogurt  or just pop it in while hot!



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Handvo


Gujrati cuisine and culture are so rich in flavors and colors that it has  captivated the mind of  every food lover across the globe. The cuisine is rich with recipes that are mild in flavor ,  yet  unique in the true sense of the word. From dandia-garbha to undhiyu and khakra the culture is appealing to everyone and offers so many things for people to enjoy and relish.

I love  gujrati and try to learn the language as I find it very close to marathi which is my mother tongue. The recipes which I grew up thinking are asli marathi were actually gujrati!!  Some of them overlap and are favorites among both the states. 

I had Handvo in one of the temples here in USA and loved it. It looks like dhokla but the texture is more grainy and ingredients are wholesome and healthy. I called one of my  gujrati friend to get the recipe and tried it 2 to 3 times with several options.. It can be made with corn,spinach,carrot but my favorite was the one made with dudhii (squash). Try the recipe if you have not tried it yet ..

Ingredients

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  • Rice – 1 cup (any type)
  • Channa Daal – 1/4 cup 
  • Toor Daal – 1/4 cup
  • Urad Daal – 1  Tbsp
  • Yogurt or dahi– 1/2 cup 
  • Ginger garlic paste--2 tbsp
  • Chilli paste--1/2 tbsp
  • Bottlegourd( Lauki) – 1.5 cups (shredded)
  • Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
  • Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Eno Fruit Salt – 1 tsp
  • Til (sesame seeds) – 2 Tbsp
  • Oil 
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves

Wash Rice and all Dals and soak them in the water for 6 hours. Remove water and  grind them with Yogurt . Take the batter out in a bowl and add ginger garlic paste,  green Chilies, salt, sugar, ajwain, turmeric Powder and the grated lauki and mix well. The lauki oozes lot of water when mixing. Let it rest overnight.

To make handvo take the fermented batter and add eno fruit salt to it. It will foam, mix it well. Pour it into a baking pan and sprinkle sesame seeds at the top. Take some oil in a small pan, heat it  and add mustard seeds, green chili paste,curry leaves, hing(asafoetida) to it. Pour this  over the batter and cover it with a aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350degrees and bake it for about 40-45 minutes, remove the foil and broil it for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Let it cool and serve with chutney or ketchup. Enjoy when it is hot !





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Vegetable Manchurian

The Indo-Chinese dishes available in India are extremely popular and very different from authentic chinese food. Our cooks have shown creativity in molding them to suit the Indian taste and came up with tasty dishes like Chinese bhel ,manchurian, different kinds of soups which pleases the taste buds and adds desi taste to the chinese cuisine.

Manchurian

This recipe of vegetable manchurian was very popular in my house back in India. I learnt it from some cookery show and my mother was apprehensive about frying the vegetables -- raw ! But the results were amazing and soon I found myself going to my friends  and demonstrating how to make this dish!! There was no internet bak then and we relied on learning it from each other which was so much fun. This is very easy to make and though the manchurian are deep fried in oil they dont absorb too much oil and taste great with the tangy sauce.

Ingredients

  • Shredded cabbage --3 cups
  • Grated Carrots--1 cup
  • Corn Flour--4 -5 tablespoon
  • All purpose flour--1 tablespoon
  • Chilli powder --1 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • For the Sauce
  • Spring onions--1/2 cup (chopped finely)
  • Ginger --1 teaspoonchopped finely
  • Tomato ketchup--2 tablespoons
  • Schezwan sauce--2 tablespoons

  • Knor's chinese chilli powder--2 tablespoons (you can use any of the packets like manchurian, chinese chili, or even hot and sour soup powder )
  • A paste of 1 teaspoon corn flour mixed with water --1/2 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

For making sauce-- Heat some oil in a sauce pan, add chopped ginger and fry before adding the chopped spring onions. Fry for very little time and add all the sauces and knorr powder and mix it together. Add the corn flour paste to thicken the sauce and add salt and pepper as per taste. 

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For making manchurian balls-- Mix cabbage, carrot, salt and chilli powder till it oozes out water. Leave for 10 minutes. Mix corn flour, all purpose flour slowly as you mix the vegetable. Add a spoon of water only if necessary. Make round flat balls and keep aside. Heat oil on medium heat and deep fry the manchurian balls until brown and crispy. Fry on medium to low heat so that they get well done from inside and increase the heat before taking them out for crispy texture.

Place the manchurian balls in a bowl and pour some sauce over it . Serve hot.

Note--You can buy the shredded cabbage and carrot combo from grocery store and use it directly to save time and effort.

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Spicy corn curry (Bhutte ka kees)

Corn or bhutta reminds me of the monsoon in India..the beautiful  smell of fresh earth, carts selling corn roasted on red hot coal sprinkled with spices   .. they tasted awesome ! We got this outside our school only during the rainy season  and ate this standing with our shoes in water with no worries about germs or anything else in the world!  Now corn is available year round in India and there are so many varieties with "American Corn" topping the list ! 

Bhutte ka kees is a rajasthani recipe which I tasted during our visit there and I was in awe of  food and culture of this royal state. This is a simple and flavorful recipe made with fresh corn.

Ingredients

  • Corn --4 ( Grated)
  • Coriander powder--1 teaspoon
  • Cumin (jeera) powder--1 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder--1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder--1/4 teaspoon
  • Hing (asafoetida) --1/4 teaspoon
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Salt to taste

Recipe

Take oil on a pan and heat it. Add the grated corn along with all the spices above and  stir it for 2-3 minutes. Now add around 4 cups of water and cook it for around 15 minutes stiring occasionally. Cover it for another 5-6 minutes and cook it till the oil leaves the sides of the pan. Add salt and switch off the gas. Add lemon juice and serve it with fresh coriander leaves sprinkled on top. It tastes great with chapati, poori or rice.

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Chakali

Happy Diwali everyone!! The festival of lights is here and celebrations are in full swing in India and all over the world where desi janta lives to celebrate this wonderful occasion. I personally love to light up the whole house as it brings such positive energy and beauty around. 

Diwali snacks are inseperable part of the festival, as they welcome everyone who comes home by satisfying the taste buds .  Tasty  snacks and sweets and they are piled up in big dabba's to be consumed during the festive season.The variety of snacks differ from state to state and the range is amazing as always in India.  In my house we made all kinds of snacks from shankarpali, chiwda, ladoo's, and chakli's. This year I tried to make some of them here in US and celebrate the festival with friends as they are like family away from home. We had so much fun making the diwali snacks from scratch and it is worth all the effort when kids love the homemade snacks as they are our biggest critics..!!and chakali is very good food 

Chakli is a crunchy snack made from rice and dal. The grains are grinded into a powder,mixed with water and deep fried using a chakli mould into golden brown pretty looking chakli. You can buy the chakli mould in Indian store and it can be used to make various snacks.

Ingredients

  • Makes 25-30 chakali
  • White Rice--4 cups(any type)
  • Chana dal--1 cup
  • Urad dal--1 cup
  • Ajwain seeds--1 tablespoon
  • Sesame seeds--1 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder--1 Tablespoon
  • Coriander powder--1 teaspoon
  • Ghee or butter--1 Tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Recipe

Step 1 ( Making Flour)

Wash the rice in water and lay it  on a cloth. Take a wide pan and roast the slightly  wet rice till light brown on low flame for 5-6 minutes and take off. Take the dals and wipe them clean with a paper towel (dont use water). Roast the dals for 7-8 minutes on low flame and combine with rice. Grind them into fine powder in a grinder or mixer. 

Step 2 (Making Dough)

Take around 2 cups water in a wide pan and boil it. Add chilli powder, Salt , ajwain seeds, sesame seeds, coriander powder, Jeera powder ,Ghee or butter and mix well. Keep stiring the water in circular motion and add the rice and dal powder mixing it well with water. Take off from the heat and let it cool. Mix it well after it cools down.

Step 3 (Chakli)

Heat oil in a pan or kadhai and fill the chakli mould with dough. Put the chakli on a piece of plastic paper and then hold it gently in yuor palm  and place it in oil. Deep fry till golden brown and take it out on paper towel.Store in airtight container.

Note:As you make chakli's the dough gets dry, use some water to make it soft so that it comes easily out from the chakli mould.

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