Tag Archives: carom seeds

Gilki Bhajji Or Sponge Gourd Fritters/Pakodas

A new month starts, I am on my next blog post that I am writing from my hometown in my motherland. Yes folks, I am back in India, currently visiting my hometown and then moving on to other cities.

After a couple of days of shopping for the home tour and finishing other errands, I took my exit from the hot and extremely humid Summer weather of the Middle East and landed in my hometown and got welcomed with heavy rain downpour. The first step out of the aircraft brought a big cheer on our faces when we saw it was pouring heavily outside. It is so amazing to think about how I experienced different weathers in different countries on the same day.

When I started writing the post I was at my sister’s place, and now finishing this incomplete post from another city. Both my sister and Brother-in-law have always pampered me with their love and affection, and it has always been a joy to spend time at their place, not to forget the yummy tasty food that my sister makes and I love hogging on.

Reaching the hometown, the Scooter ride becomes the fun and adventure part of all trips. I ventured out on a two-wheeler to breathe the air of my city, a rainy day, sometimes drizzling with intermittent rain or other times a heavy downpour. At one stretch of the road the rain is heavy and by the time we are at the end of the road the rain is scant. One has to experience the exhilaration of coming back to the hometown after living away for a long time to understand how one feels. I loved each minute of the scooter drive, the erratic traffic, the overtaking of other vehicles, the constant honks, the hands used to give direction for turning to left or right, the sheer sense of back to old style driving, zipping through, zigzagging or make way through vehicles was simply thrilling, all this is missed when one is driving a car. The drive around the familiar roads, seeing the familiar road side stalls, the fruit vendors, the vegetable vendors, the drizzle and sometimes heavy downpour and maneuvering the scooter around brought back fond memories. I am happy to be in my city.

I stopped at the vegetable vendors during my scooter jaunt and purchased few vegetables that I do not get to see in my place of residence in the Middle East. These fresh looking Sponge Gourd ended up in my purchased vegetable bag and the accompanying rain resulted in these Pakodas being fried in my sister’s kitchen.

Fresh Gilki or Sponge Gourd
Fresh Gilki or Sponge Gourd

INGREDIENTS:

Sponge Gourd: 2 nu.

Bengal Gram flour: 250 gm

Green Coriander: 1 Tbsp (Finely chopped)

Red Chili Powder: 2 Tsp

Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp

Sesame Seeds: 1 Tsp

Salt: To Taste

Oil: For Frying

Ingredients for making the Gilki Bhajji or Pakoda
Ingredients for making the Gilki Bhajji or Pakoda

METHOD:

Wash the Sponge Gourd, wipe it dry, and then cut into medium thin rounds.

Heat a Kadai and put oil and heat the oil on high setting of the gas stove.

Take gram flour in a bowl, add the chili powder, Carom and Sesame seeds, and salt and using half to three fourth glass of water make a medium thick batter. Add the finely chopped coriander. Add 1-2 Tsp drops of hot oil and then beat the batter smooth.

Gram flour batter for dipping the medium thick roundels of Gilki.
Gram flour batter for dipping the medium thick roundels of Gilki.

Dip the roundels of the Sponge Gourd into this batter and then put in the hot oil and deep fry till crispy and golden brown in color. Remove them and drain on a kitchen tissue roll, serve hot with Tomato Ketchup or any favorite sauce. I like them plain without any sauce or dips.

This Sponge Gourd pakoda or bhajji was the first dish that I made on my home tour using the local seasonal vegetables. It was nice to have my sister around to watch me when I was busy with my recipe and clicking different angle photos for posting as my next blog post.

Friends, here is one more of the Maharashtrian recipes that I enjoy eating. Happy trying out these crispy Bhajjis in your kitchen.

Do visit again for my next blogpost- a Corn recipe, another seasonal favorite.

ashu.

Baked Thalipeeth with Spicy Tomato Chutney, my alternative for a Pizza Dinner.

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Most of us are fond of eating pizza, I am no exception. Pizza is something the kids would never say no and possible would eat almost regularly, every day, only if I allowed it. When the mood is for eating pizza, but to avoid the frequent intake of refined wheat flour and yeast to make the pizza base, for those evenings this is my quick menu to satiate the pizza hungry kids. My mother used to make something similar to this recipe but used the regular gas stove for cooking, but I baked it and the family was happy with the final product. It does not take very long time for making this recipe, except for the baking time.

Thalipeeth: Thalipeeth is a type of flat bread, a dish from Maharashtra state in India. Though typically it is made of multigrain flour mix, but for today’s dish I am using only wheat flour as the main ingredient.  It is mixed with onions, spring onions, green chillies, seasoned to personal taste and baked to get the desired crunch and crispy taste. An extremely spicy tomato dip/chutney is served along with it.

Ingredients For Thalipeeth:

Whole Wheat flour-3 cups (300-350g)

Oil: 3 Tbsp

Onion: 1 large (finely chopped)

Spring onions: 1 cup (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 3-4 Medium sized (finely chopped)

Green Coriander: 1-2 Tbsp (finely chopped)

Carom seeds: 1 Tsp. (Ajwain)

Flaxseed: 1 Tbsp (I use it, its a good source of fibre and omega-3 essential fatty acid)

Sesame seeds: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To taste

Turmeric powder: 1/2 Tsp.

Curd: 2 Tbsp

Baking powder: 1/2 Tsp

Water: As required to make a medium soft dough.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan assisted. Grease a square baking tin, I used a brownie baking tin.
  2. Sift the wheat flour and baking powder together.
  3. Take a clean, dry bowl and add the sifted wheat flour. To it add the finely chopped onions, spring onions, chillies, coriander,  the three types of seeds mentioned above, salt, turmeric and curd.
  4. Mix all the ingredients of the bowl thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp oil to it and mix well.
  5. Using the required quantity of water make a medium soft dough and knead well.
  6. Taking the greased baking tin firmly press the dough inside the tin. Press with fingers to get even thickness on all sides.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with oil and drop few drops along the walls of the tin.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or till we get golden brown crust.

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One can enjoy this dish with chilli sauce or a curd dip, but I prefer the tomato dip. Recipe of the tomato dip follows.

Spicy Tomato Chutney/Dip:

Ingredients:                  

Ripe red tomatoes- 2 Large

Onion-1 small

Green chillies- 2-3 (spicy variety)

Garlic-2 cloves

Salt/ red chilli powder/ turmeric- As per taste.

Oil- 1-2 tsp.

Mustard seeds- for seasoning

Method:

  1. Heat oil in pan and add the mustard seeds, chopped green chillies, garlic and onion. Sauté till they are soft.
  2. Then add the red chilli powder, turmeric, and salt.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till done.
  4. Remove from heat into a bowl and cool.
  5. Blend this in blender to get the smooth dip.

Tip: If one does not wish to use a blender, then you can add a little water to the tomatoes and cook them to a very soft and saucy consistency.

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