Thursday, September 9, 2010

Poori Masala

Sept 9th 2010

Poori - Masala is what you could call a classic. It is a snack/tiffin that kids are always very happy to come home to. And adults like my husband included still don't let go of their childhood favorite :)

This can very well be dinner or breakfast too. I mean who is to tell you when to eat what you like really?  The Chole recipe posted yesterday also go very well with these pooris. Without any further chit chat, let us get down to business.

Difficulty level : Easy 

Time:  40 min

Ingredients ( for Pooris)
  • 1 packet thawed Tortilla Land Flour or Rotiland Wheat Tortillas  (I get mine at Costco)
  • Oil to fry
Ingredients ( for Masala)
  • 5-6 potatoes cooked in pressure cooker with water and cooled
  • mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
  • urad dhal - 2 tbsp
  • chana dhal - 2 tbsp
  • green chillies - 3 t0 4 nos
  • cashews - 2 tbsp
  • ginger - 1 or 2 inch piece
  • hing - a pinch
  • curry leaves - 3 or 4 nos
  • onions -2 to 2 1/2
  • tomatoes - 1
  • peas - a cup
  • cilantro - a bunch chopped finely
  • water (if needed)
  • salt ( per taste)
  • turmeric powder - 2 pinches
  • lemon squeeze (optional)
Method de Preparation
  1. Put potatoes (unpeeled) in the pressure cooker with water and allow to cook well ( 3 whistles or equivalent). When cooled, peel, mash into big chunks and keep aside.
  2. Take oil in a pan, add mustard. When it splutters, add the urad, chana dhal. Add the green chillies (slit lengthwise) and ginger next (chopped finely). Finally add the cashews. Be generous here - throw in an extra few just in case :P
  3. When they all brown slightly, add the longitudinally chopped onions. Cook till translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the peas. Add turmeric powder here.
  5. Cook well for a min or two and then add the potatoes.
  6. Add water if you like it watery ( like sago) else just add salt and allow everything to come together.
  7. When all done, season with curry leaves and chopped cilantro.
  8. Serve with pooris (tortillas) cut in 4 and fried in medium hot oil.
Chef's Tip:   You can skip the ginger and the lemon, based on your taste buds. You can add a little bit of water if you don't like the masala very firm. You can skip the tomatoes too if you like.

Confession: OK. I agree the pooris are not going to be round, but let us not be stereotypes here and think outside the box for a minute. Do we care more about the taste and convenience than about the perfect circle? We are not in geometry class anymore and can live with a bit of asymmetry, now can't we?

Source for Pooris:  Kavitha 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Garama Garam Chole (Chick peas or Garbanzo Curry)

June 16th 2010

Chole or Chick peas can never ever go out of style. This versatile bean is a great source of protein and can be eaten as a sabzi or a snack or just plain once cooked. This makes a great addition to salads or even to raitas. And you can either go the old fashioned way and start from scratch - soaking the beans overnight and cooking it or pick the garbanzos that are cooked and readily available in cans ( just make sure you pick one that is low in sodium). 

Difficulty level : Easy 

Time:  40 min

  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (soaked overnight) or 1 1/2 canned garbanzos 
  • 2 to 2 1/2 onions chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • bay leaf (1-2 nos)
  • cinnamon stick (1 nos)
  • Cardamom (1-2 pods)
  • garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • salt (to taste)
  • turmeric (a pinch)
  • chilly powder (1-2 tsps)
  • garam masala powder (2 tsps)
  • dhaniya powder (2 tsps)
  • coconut (1-2 tbsp)
  • Saunf - Fennel (1 tbsp)
  • oil
  • ghee or butter ( 1 tbsp)
  • cilantro (for garnish)
Method de Preparation
  1. If you are using soaked garbanzos, cook them in the pressure cooker (allowing 3 whistles or equivalent) after soaking overnight. If using canned garbanzos you could still allow them to cook in the cooker for just 1 whistle to enhance softness.
  2. All vegetables can be chopped coarsely as you will be grinding this to make the gravy.
  3. Take oil in a pan, add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and garlic.
  4. When slightly browning, add the onions and sauté till translucent or well cooked.
  5. Add the chopped tomates and continue to saute.
  6. Add a little bit of salt and turmeric.
  7. Add the saunf and the coconut and sauté for a couple more minutes and then turn off the heat.
  8. Allow to cool and then blend slightly in the mixer. Don't make into a puree, but grind coarsely so you can still feel the texture of the vegetables.
  9. In the same pan, add a spoon of butter or ghee and then add the powders (garam masala, dhaniya and chilly) and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Adding the powders this way instead of just into the gravy gives a cooked restaurant style flavor.
  10. Add the ground paste and the cooked garbanzos and salt.
  11. Allow everything to come together for a min or two.
  12. Turn off heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  13. Serve as it or squeeze lime and sprinkle chopped raw onions.
Chef's Tip:   You can skip the saunf and coconut and add some half/half in the end to give a creamy taste and an alternative version or to reduce the spice level.

Goes with: An easy alternate to making bhaturas from scratch is to use the Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits. Just spread them like you would do a roti and then fry in oil and your bhaturas are ready!

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