Achari Brinjal Moju

Achari Brinjal Moju
Brinjal lovers will love this dish which has its roots in Sri Lanka, and is a staple in most Sri lankan homes and restaurants. This is basically a fried brinjal pickle, which is served at meals normally with rice, but I prefer having it with a chappati.(flatbread). This dish comes together in no time . The crunch of deepfried brinjal and shallots, subtle tangyness of vinegar and mustard and sweetness of sugar give this simple dish a balance which is amazing. There are many twists to this recipe, each one having its own charm. In my recipe today, I have added dijon mustard to enhance the tartness and sweet mango pickle instead of sugar. You can add honey or sugar instead. Tweak the recipe at your will.
This purple coloured vegetable called eggplant or aubergine is popular in many cuisines world wide. Be it the bhaigan ka bharta in north India, where the brinjals are flame roasted, mashed and cooked in an onion tomato gravy. Or the Greek Mousakka, where aubergine, minced meat sauce and potatoes come together to form a hearty casserole. As for me, my childhood memories of eating Brinjal are not very great😊the only way I really liked it was fried and sprinkled with dry spices. Mom would cut the brinjals into round pieces, give small cuts on the surface, and soak them in salted water for a while. Then squeeze the water out and deep fry till crisp. This was normally served with khichdi or pulav. It was much later that I developed a taste for brinjal cooked as a sabzi. And today its one of my favourite vegetable.😊 The aroma of brinjal being fried in the kitchen always draws me in to grab a few pcs of fried brinjal ..top on my list😊

Do try this simple and tasty recipe.

Ingredients
250 gms purple brinjal
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsps cornflour
10 shallots
2 green chillies and 2 red chillies ( cut slantingly)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsps chopped garlic
1 tbsps finely chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp freshly powdered mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsps black pepper powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp homemade sweet mango chutney or achaar (pickle) or honey or powdered sugar. I have used my homemade sweet mango achaar.
2 tbsps fried onions
2 tbsps coconut oil
Some chopped corriander leaves.
Salt to taste

Method..
1..Cut brinjals into finger stick size.
Soak in salted water for an hour, squeeze dry, roll in a mixture of flour and cornflour. Deep fry till crisp. Keep aside.
Also deep fry the shallots and sliced chillies.

2… Mix mustard seed powder, dijon mustard, vinegar and sweet mango chutney together in a small bowl.

3…Heat 2 tbsps of coconut oil and saute curry leaves, ginger, garlic till fragrant. Shut the fire and add cinnamon, pepper and salt..mix well

4..Add the dijon mustard mix, fried brinjals, fried shallots and chillies.
Stir well and serve garnished with chopped corriander and fried onions.

** can be eaten at room temperature.
***best made at time of serving and consumed immediately.

Vegan omelette with Premix Recipe.

In a world where instant is becoming a norm, whether its instant noodles or instant meals which only need to be reheated. Everyone wants to cook something that is not time consuming or tedious and at the same time, nutritious. Today’s recipe is all that, instant and quick. A premix is always handy to have around in our pantry, and if it is a homemade premix, rest assured you are stress free knowing no preseravatives and chemicals are in it. HOMEMADE is the new normal now, especially since the world wide lockdown. A vegetarian omelette premix, which is also vegan is a boon to have, breakfast and snacking or even a light meal are suitably covered.
Growing up in Pune, my mom made a vegetarian omelette from besan(chick pea flour) frequently. This was our meal on days when she did not feel like cooking😊. 2 slices of white bread and a crisp besan omelette and tomato ketchup. Soul satisfying. I have added oats and flaxseed powder to the premix, making it more nutritious. This premix quantity will yield about 275 gms, which is good enough for about 15 medium omelettes. This premix stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1 cup besan( chick pea flour)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup flaxseed
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp red chillie powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds)
1 tsp jeera( cumin seeds)
1 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)

Method
Roast the sesame seeds for few mins and keep aside.
Grind seperately the oats and and flax seeds to a fine powder.
Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl .
Store in an air tight container

To make the omelette.
In a bowl, take 2 tbsps of the premix and add about 2 or 3 tbsps of water( you might need more) mix gently and add some chopped onions and corriander leaves, and if you like it spicy add chopped chillies. Now mix and add little water to get a batter which is medium thin. Not to thin nor thick.
Heat a non stick pan, brush with oil and using about 2 or 3 tbsps of batter spread out making a thin omellete. Pour little oil around the omelette. Once crisp on the underside, flip over and let it become crisp. Serve with a chutney or chillie sauce.

Sindhi fusion Dal pakwan

This delicious dish of sindhi origin, barely needs an introduction,as it is so well known , almost like a trade mark for us sindhis. Crispy Pakwan( fried flat bread) topped with a creamy dal chana, garnished with citrusy onion relish, and a sweet and sour tamarind sauce, with a sprinkling of red chillie powder, its a match made in heaven, in terms of gastronomy.

Dal chana( lentils)is cooked to a creamy consistency, normally bland with just salt and turmeric. But I have been making the dal with a green twist since years, and its remained an earmarked recipe im my cook book.My version is slightly different , as I have added ginger, garlic and green chillies, and the addition of cardamom powder as it brings a subtle rich flavour to the dal, this is my fusion version😊
Mostly served for breakfast on lazy sundays.Growing up in pune, mummy usually made the dal at home, and prefered getting the pakwans from the sindhi uncle at babajan chowk, who sold dal pakwan from his cart only on sundays., It was something we looked forward to. In India it is sold in carts, in sindhi dominated areas, or even sweetmeat shops. That is not to say that only sindhi people relish this soul satisfying dish😊. People from all walks of life love and appreciate the deliciousness of dal pakwan.
Try making this at home and listen to the satisfying sighs around your table…😊
Yes, making pakwan is time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Ingredients for dal
1 cup dal chana ( Rinsed and soaked in water for 4 hours)
2 green chillies
5 pods garlic
1 inch pc of ginger
12 curry leaves..chopped finely.
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1/2 tsp saunf( fennel seeds)
1 tsp finely ground cardamon powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt, or as needed.
Method.
Boil the dal till soft, but not mashed.
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies with little water.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ajwain, saunf, curry leaves, add cardamon powder and turmeric powder.
Add the ginger garlic green chillie paste and saute for a while.
Now add the boiled dal and salt.
Add 1 cup water and let it cook on medium flame till the dal reaches to a thick consistency, but not mashed. Pour in a bowl and garnish with khatti meethi chutney, kechumbo kotmir and a sprinkle of red chillie powder.
Serve with pakwan,

Ingredients for Pakwan
1 cup flour( maida)
1 level tsp salt
1/2 tsp jeeri( caraway seeds)
1/2 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)
1 tbsp oil
Cold water to knead the flour.

Mix flour, jeeri, ajwain, salt and oil.
Add some cold water and knead a stiff dough. Dough should not be soft nor very hard. Medium hard dough. Knead well till pliable . Cover with a wet napkin and keep aside for half an hour. Now make small balls of the dough, roll out into thin puris. Prick with a fork.
Fill a wok with oil to upto half level
Heat till oil is medium hot.
Slide in the puris, press with a sloted spoon,for few seconds. Then let the puri continue to cook untill its crisp and golden brown.
Each pakwan takes upto 5 mins on a low to medium flame. Remove and keep aside.

Serve with a onion relish( kachumbo)
Cut one onion finely, add sliced green chillies, add little salt. Then wash under running water. Strain properly, add little sugar, vinegar and salt.

Khatti meeti chutney( sweet and sour sauce)
Boil together 4 tbsps thick tanarind paste with 4 tbsps grated jaggery. Abd about 10 tbsps water. Cook till medium thick.. strain into a bowl, add little salt, red chillie powder and jeera powder.

Asian fusion noodle omelette

Eggs, world wide favorite ingredient for countless recipes. You name it and an egg is most often present in most cakes, custards, souffles, in savoury dishes and the list goes on.
At our home eggs in some form are always present at breakfast time.
My favourite anytime dish is bedo dabroti( an omelette and a slice of bread).
Today’s recipe incorporates instant noodles mixed with beaten eggs and some vegetables to give you a noodle omelette. The slight difference here is that I have not cooked the noodles. So the omelette has a bit of crunch. A hearty snack or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a crunchy salad .
Do try this simple to put together recipe. Feel free to add or change the vegetables. A bit of crunchy bacon or ham will surely high light this simple wholesome dish. Came across this idea on a tik tok video and played around with the additional vegetables and realised that we used to make a similar omelette using cooked noodles. Flash back mode.😊. Do try this recipe.



Ingredients

2 packets of any brand instant noodles… maggie, indomie etc
Spice mix sachets( included with noodles)
2 tbsps finely chopped carrots
2 tbsps finely chopped cabbage
2 tbsps finely chopped paprika
2 tbsps finely chopped spring onions and celery.
3 big eggs or 4 small eggs.



Method..
Put the noodles from the 2 packets in a food processor and blitz for few seconds. You will get crushed noodles. Alternately you can crush the noodles manually while still in the packet, with your hands or a rolling pin.
Transfer broken noodles to a big bowl, add the spice mixture from both the packets. At this point you can add some chillie flakes or chopped chillies if you wish.
Add the carrots, cabbage, parika and spring onions celery to the noodles.
Beat the eggs seperately and add to the noodles. Mix well and add to a preheated nonstick frying pan to which about 3 tbsps oil have been added.
Spread the egg mixture evenly.
Cook on a low flame for few mins, untill golden brown.
(Do not cover)
Gently flip the omelette. Cook for a few more minutes.
Remove onto a platter and cut into wedges.
Serve hot…
** as we are using the spice packets which are included in instant noodle packets, there is no need to add salt or any other spice. Unless you wish to make it more spicy.

Dhaba chicken

Many years ago, I happened to come across a concept to making a meat dish similar to the recipe I will be sharing with you all today. This particular dish is really very tasty, and best eaten with parathas or phulkas. For those of you who are eggetarians, can substitute paneer for chicken. Just imagine a delicious chicken curry, topped with beaten and seasoned eggs, then steamed for a short time.
Please try and use boneless chicken fillet or thigh .
The name which I have given to this dish, not a very original name for sure, but thats how I have written it in my cook book. And also because I always make it in a stainless steel container, which is also called a dhaba. Today’s reference picture also contains a small glass ramekin, in which I made it, just for you all to see how it looks.
Do try this recipe, and serve it with kechumbo( onion relish).

Dhaba chicken

500 gms boneless chicken cut into cubes.
150 gms finely chopped onions
2 tomatoes
4 pods garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 sprig curry leaves(12 leaves)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chillie powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp chicken tikka masala or any box masala you have handy
Salt to taste
1 cup thick yogurt
Chopped corriander leaves.
2 eggs .
Grated cheddar cheese.

METHOD.
Take a bowl, add yogurt, red chillie powder, turmeric, corriander powder, garam masala, chicken tikka masala, chicken cubes. Mix well and keep aside.
Now heat 4 tbsps oil in a pot, and add finely chopped onions .
Saute till golden brown , remove and keep aside. When cool, blend together with 2 tomatoes and keep aside.
In a mixer jar, add curry leaves, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic. Add little water and grind to a fine paste.
Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan and add the curry leaf paste, saute for 5 mins and add marinated chicken..cook till almost dry, then add the fried onion tomato paste. Cook till oil seperates. Add salt and corriander leaves. Check the gravy.
Consistency of gravy should be thick, but not dry.
Lastly smoke it.( optional) ( picture is included)
Now, put the chicken curry into a steel or heat resistant glass container. Beat eggs in a bowl , season with salt , and pour on top of the curry. Top with grated cheddar cheese, sprinkle red chillie powder and chopped corriander leaves.
Steam in a hot steamer for 10 or 15 mins. Serve hot with parathas or phulkas. And onion relish.

ONION RELISH/ KECHUMBO
Cut one big onion into slices, grate one carrot, and thinly sliced paprika. Mix with with 2 tsps salt. After sometime wash under running water, squeeze out all water, and add lime juice, salt and sugar to taste.

Aloo ka Salan with Khameeri Roti

ALOO or POTATO, one of the most popular and versatile vegetabe in the world. This wonderful root vegetable, takes on all flavours beautifuly, when teamed with meat or vegetables. Today’s recipe is based on a recipe from the book DAASTAN E DASTARKHAN by Sadaf Hussain. I loved reading this book which has awesome recipes . A cook book well written with each recipe having its own small memory attached to it.

In India, every region has its own popular recipes for aloo sabji/ salaan. The sookha aloo puri served in maharashtra, which is a popular dish to take on long train journeys, or the aloo or potato chaats of Banaras which are oh so spicy and tangy, the Dum aloo of Awadi cuisine and so on.
Potatoes are a favourite with children and adults. Also considered to be healthy carbs, unless fried.
But the pleasure of eating french fries dipped in different sauces, or biting into a piece of sindhi aloo tuk, double fried crispy goodness is something which I love. So when I came across this interesting recipe incorporating anjeer( dried figs) I knew I had to make this. And believe me it was a very tasty sabji which I paired with Khameeri Roti.

INGREDIENTS For Aloo Salan
4 boiled potatoes, cubed.
1 big onion finely chopped
2 +1 tbsps of mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
4 medium tomates, finely chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tsp khus khus(poppy seeds) soaked in 1 tsp water, then ground to a paste.
1 tsp corriander powder
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turneric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 or 3 dried figs , diced.
Salt to taste
Fresh corriander leaves.

METHOD.
Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a pan and sauted the boiled potatoes till crisp.
Remove and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsps mustard oil , when it smokes add onions and saute till translucent.
Add cumin seeds, and ginger garlic.
Cook for few mins before adding the tomatoes, green chilli and all the dry spices.
Add the khus khus paste and diced figs.
Season with salt to taste.
Toss in the potatoes, and about half cup of water.
Reduce the heat and let it simmer covered for about 10 mins.
Adjust the gravy as you wish, I prefer a thick gravy which can be mopped up with a soft roti.
Garnish with corriander leaves.
KHAMEERI ROTI
In a deep bowl take 250 gms flour
Add 1 tbsp instant yeast, 1 tsp powdered sugar , 1 tsp salt.
Mix the dry ingredients and add 1 tbsp of oil. Rub with finger tips.
Add 100 ml of warm milk and 50 ml of warm water.
Knead to a smooth dough adding 1 tbsp oil as you go.
Cover with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for 1 hour.
After one hour, DON’T punch down the risen dough.
Just divide into 6 and roll out thin rotis.
Heat a tawa and put one roti, cook on high heat.
Flip after few mins and baste with flavoured oil, pressing with a spatula as you go.
Sprinkle corriander leaves .
And flip again.
Remove onto a plate.
Serve hot.
# Basting oil..
Take 1/4 cup oil, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, and 1/4 tsp red chilli powder.

Chine roast chicken

As the name suggests, this is a recipe having slight chinese origins, with a touch of indonesia in the form of chillie sambal. A very simple recipe to make and of course eat😊. It looks very pretty when served . Serve this roast chicken as a starter.

This recipe has been with me for years, and we make it ever so often. The original recipe calls for pork, but we prefer the chicken version. Pls use tender chicken fillets or boneless chicken thigh. The process calls for boiling the chicken with some spices. Very simple to put together. I would like to mention that vegetarians can use thick slabs of tofu or paneer.

Ingredients

250 gms boneless chicken fillet

1 tbsp light soya sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp white pepper powder

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tsp sweet soya sauce( kecap manis) or honey

1 small beetroot peeled and sliced

( to impart the red colour )

6 red chillies

4 pods of garlic

4 cloves

1 inch pc of cinnamon

Lime juice and red chillie sauce.

Method

In a pan, add 3/4 cup of water, and add chicken, salt, pepper, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, soya sauce, oyster sauce, sweet soya sauce, vinegar, sesame oil , beetroot, garlic pods and whole chillies.

Bring to a boil and simmer till the water evaporates .

At this point if you feel the colour of the chicken is a bit pale, as that depends on the beetroot. You can add a few drops of red colour.

Discard the cloves cinnamon, and beetroot.

Remove the chillies and garlic, grind coarsely in a pestle and mortar. Add little chillie sauce and juice of one lime….this is your sambal dip.( I have used kaffir limes for a lovely fragrance.)

Finally, roast the chicken on a open flame to caramalize it…just few mins is enough.

I have used a steel mesh with a piece of foil and a few drops of oil.

To serve, cut the chicken , into slices at a slant to show the red and white contrast…

Enjoy with the spicy sambal dip.

Sindhi Aisi bhaji/sabji (spinach and Ridge gourd)

Todays Delicious recipe is in memory of my dear mother in law, who made this particular version of spinach and turaiya, whenever I had given birth to my children. Supposedly very good for lactating mothers. She made sure I ate this sabji every second day for 40 days after child birth. It had to be turaiya every day, either mixed with spinach or made plain with only cardamom, which we sindhis call as phote bhugun turiyuoon And to be frank I loved eating both these variations. She sometimes served it with plain chappatis and sometimes with mitho lolo( sweet flat bread).The only thing that she omitted was chillies. Aisi, otherwise would mean only spinach cooked plain with out the addition of any other vegetables. But, this version of mummy is really very tasty..😊

The way this sabji is cooked is almost like the famous sindhi saibhaji, but the addition of turaiya gives it super silky texture. We cook it in the pressure cooker and mash it towards the end till everything is one beautiful green smooth sabji. Adding garlic once while cooking and once as a tadka just enhances the taste.

Spinach was not my favourite vegetable when we were growing up, but as an adult it definately has a special place in my list of favourite vegetables. I remember my mother making tikkis out of left over saibhaji, just by adding boiled potatoes after drying out the sai bhaji as much as possible by cooking it further. She always panfried the tikkis which were yummy… A close cousin to the hara bhara tikkis which we relish at Indian restaurants.

Do try this simple recipe and serve with any simple pulav or phulkas.

Ingredients

350 gms peeled and chopped turaiya/ ridge gourd

150 gms chopped spinach

1 big onion finely chopped

2 tomatoes sliced

4 green chillies finely chopped

2 tbsps chopped garlic

1 tbsp chopped ginger

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp methi seeds

1/2 tsp hing..asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste

3 tbsps oil

Method..

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pressure cooker and add methi seeds, cumin and hing. Saute till fragrant.

Add chopped onion and saute till golden brown.

Add 1 tbsp of garlic, ginger and green chillies.

Add tomatoes, corriander powder, turmeric, salt

When tomatoes are pulpy, add chopped turaiya and cook till the turaiya start letting out water.

Add the chopped spinach and 1/4 cup of water.

Close the cooker and cook for 3 to 4 whistles.

Open the lid, and churn with a wooden hand churner( mandiro) or an electric whisk.

Lastly heat 1 tbsp oil in a small pan, add 1 tbsp chopped garlic and fry till pale golden. Add this tadka to the sabji…mix well and serve.

The complete Sindhi meal with Basar jo pulav, ( onion pulav) sookha aloo( potatoes with dry spices) Boondi raita, some fryums and onion carrot achar.

The tricoloured steamed cake

Cakes, we all have grown up eating cakes of various types in our childhood, and even as adults. Cakes are a symbol of celebrations,Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements etc, all call for a cake to be cut. From simple sponge cakes, to the decadent fondant cakes, the world has a cake for everyone”s taste. Each country has their own popular cakes, some cakes even named after the country or region they come from, for instance the madeira cake named after a Portuguese island is a light sponge cake normally flavoured with lemon and eaten with jam. And many more, black forest cake, lamington cake to name a few. Nowadays cakes are decorated beautifully, taste fabulous, are decadent in their richness, covered with chocolate ganaches and various other delicious toppings. Top class bakeries via with each other in producing cakes par excellence. We can choose cakes as per our choice, vegan, eggless, gluten free etc.. the public is well pampered as bakeries can cater  to almost all requests, and we are spoilt for choice.

Back to Pune, the city where I grew up, the cakes we ate then are the cakes we crave for today, simple cakes like the pound cakes of kayani bakery or the glass cakes from royal bakery, melt in your mouth cakes with the taste of real butter. These bakeries are still doling out the very same cakes of the same quality with the addition of mawa cakes, plum cakes etc. Till today the cakes are sold out in record time with people queuing up to buy the cakes for home consumption or even sending them to relatives in other cities.

Jakarta is a city where we can get the most amazing cakes, which are truly out of the world, I have yet to taste better, some of my own good friends and relatives can make the most amazing eggless cakes.  This country so rich in heritage and culture has been my home since 33 years, and has taught me so much. Even though baking is not exactly my forte, I do manage simple cakes mostly vegetarian,  used as bases for my desserts.. But the recipe I will share with You today is a steamed cake, commonly known as  BOLU KUKUS. This cake was made very often when my children were growing up and needed something to have for a evening snack. It contains no oil at all, and has a different texture as compared to a baked cake. This cake is light on the stomach and is delicious.

 

IMG_20170204_185142_744

TRICOLOURED STEAMED CAKE.. BOLU KUKUS

INGREDIENTS..

4 EGGS

200 GMS SUGAR

150 GMS FLOUR

65 ML OF THICK COCONUT MILK ( I USED THE TETRA PACK)

1/2 TBSP OF SP..( CAKE EMULSIFIER, AVAILABLE IN SUPERMARKETS OR AT BAKING SPECIALITY STORES)

METHOD

GREASE A MEDIUM SPRINGFORM CAKE PAN LIGHTLY

PUT  WATER IN A STEAMER AND PUT ON THE HEAT

NOW BREAK THE EGGS INTO A STEEL MIXING BOWL, ADD SUGAR AND THE SP

BEAT WELL WITH A ELECTRIC BEATER AT HIGH SPEED, UNTIL THE MIXTURE DOUBLES IN SIZE AND TURNS A PALE WHITE COLOUR .

SLOWLY ADD THE FLOUR AND COCONUT CREAM ALTERNATELY, AT THIS POINT U CAN REDUCE THE SPEED OF THE MIXER.

DIVIDE THE CAKE MIXTURE IN 3 PORTIONS EQUALLY, AND ADD 3 DIFFERENT FOOD COLOURING AND FLAVOURING FOR EACH PORTION…( I USED STRAWBERRY, LEMON AND PANDAN FLAVOURING AND COLOURING)

NOW PUT ONE PORTION OF CAKE MIXTURE INTO THE PREPARED SPRINGFORM TIN AND PUT INTO THE HOT STEAMER FOR 10 MINS.

AFTER 10 MINS , OPEN THE STEAMER, IF THE CAKE IS SPINGY TO TOUCH, POUR THE SECOND LAYER AND STEAM ONCE MORE ON HIGH HEAT FOR 10 MINS, FINALLY ADD THE THIRD LAYER, AND STEAM FOR ABOUT 20 MINS..

REMOVE THE CAKE PAN FROM THE STEAMER AND SET ASIDE FOR AN HOUR TO COOL COMPLETELY, LOOSEN THE SIDES OF THE CAKE WITH A KNIFE AND GENTLY OPEN THE SPRING FORM CAKE, READY TO SERVE.

The sindhi beeh(lotus stem) pakora

The Sindhi kitchen revisited!  Sindhi food is rather simple to make , in the sense that basically onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies is what would be required to start cooking and dish, we normally don’t have complex pastes made of various spices and the usage of cream or nuts is kept to the minimum while cooking. All the recipes handed down in my family are very simple and sometimes I myself get surprised when the food turns out to be delicious in its simplicity. Growing up in Pune , where most of my mom’s family used to live, we frequently visited my mami kala’s home, which was the headquaters of the mohinani family, many  beautiful memories are attached to the nanaron( nani’s home) at kanyashala road.. those lazy afternoons where all the aunties and cousins gathered  for scrumptious lunches arranged by my aunt, the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen where the cooks (bhaiyas) literally cooked up a feast, everyone just laughing and  talking,memories of that bygone era are beautiful .Those were the days when the only way to have a group chat was to meet..:) and of course the admin was aunty kala. The snacks were  more often than not fried, but no one cared, we just enjoyed the delicious food and company.

Today I would like to share a recipe of beehyan ja pakora  with you , which is not commonly served nowadays. This snack is quite simple to make and is my mothers recipe, making use of lotus stem or beeh as we call it in sindhi. My amma(paternal grandmom) was fond of this snack and would ask my mom to make it. This vegetable was served on special occasions   at home, especially when some  important guests were invited for lunch and dinner. Mom always cooked it in a rich onion gravy, topped with raw onion slices and a squirt of lime and some sev sprinkled over the curry, and served it with bread buns or pao, to make it easier to dunk into the delicious gravy.  Lotus stem on its own is a rather bland vegetable , but it blends and adapts the taste of any spice that it is cooked with.

Lotus stem is easily available here in Jakarta because a lot of chinese people also use it for cooking. In Pune it was a seasonal vegetable, because i remember the man who used to bring lotus stem and  pabharees( seeds of the lotus plant) all the way from Pimpri a small satellite town of pune. Nowadays it is more easily available throughout the year.  In those days I was not really too fond of the vegetable but have grown to rather like it. so here is the recipe, do try it and enjoy it.

Bheeyan ja pakora

Ingredients for the besan batter(chick pea flour)

1 cup besan ( chick pea flour)20161109_123703

1 tsp each cumin seeds/ ajwain(thymol seeds)

1 tsp red chillie powder

salt to taste.

1/8 th tsp of soda bi carb

Method..

Make a smooth batter of all above ingredients by adding cold water, make sure the batter is smooth and of dropping consistency. keep aside for half hour.

Ingredients for the beeh wada

I beeh stem about 25 cms long, peeled , cut into thick circles and boiled till tender.

1 tsp each ginger/ garlic/ green chilie paste

finely chopped corriander leaves

1 boiled and peeled potato

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp amchoor powder

1 tsp shah jeeri

salt to taste

Method

Take a big bowl and roughly crush the boiled potato and the boiled beeh(lotus stem) , the beeh(lotus stem) and the potato should be chunky,  add all the dry spices, salt  and the ginger, garlic and green chilie paste and the corriander leaves

Make small balls and keep aside

Heat a wok half filled with cooking oil.

Now, dip the lotus stem balls in the besan batter( chick pea) and slide gently into the hot oil.. fry the balls until just light golden in colour, remove and keep aside.

When you want to serve the snack,  press each ball gently between your two palms until flattened and cracked.. now deep fry the flat wadas till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with cold mint chutney.