Tag Archives: green chillies

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.

Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll

Kothimbir Wadi or Sambar Vadi: We call it Sambar Vadi in my household. All of those who are familiar with this snack would know how tasty it is and eating one wadi is never enough, we always eat more than one. I remember mother used to buy 1-2 kgs of the green coriander, patiently clean the bundles, wash the leaves, dry them and then finely chop them. The dry coconut needed to be grated. The onions needed to be finely chopped. Uff, that was too much of work to do. These were my thoughts in childhood  and I had made up plans then that I will never ever attempt to make this, I never ate the inside coriander filling during childhood so it was beyond me to understand the trouble mom undertook to make this. But things do change over a period of time as we grow, the eating preferences to some extent for me. A foodie does go the extra length to satiate the taste buds, provided it is something that one likes a lot. I am sure you all would agree that the taste of the food cooked by mothers always stays with us forever.

Growing up in a big family with specific recipes associated with particular festivals, time or season remain as fond memories. With ever shrinking family size, one might not indulge making certain dishes. The company of elders make us relive those eating moments, mom’s visit allowed me this privilege. The month gave me the opportunity to not only be under her loving care but also allowed me to meet the woman she is, whom I have always admired. The experiences and rigors of life transforms lives and make them what they become. It was overwhelming to see my mom, even at age 77, so full of enthusiasm and abundance of energy to enjoy each days moments. Her zeal for adventure, the spirit to explore and learn, to still keep caring and loving and giving, even now, when she should be the one receiving it, to still be so positive in spite of the situations and above all to lead a life that still makes a difference in other people’s lives makes me salute her, and I feel it is a blessing to be her daughter. Her strong persona gives strength in life’s weak moments. I loved each moment being with this amazing woman, my mother. I just wonder whether at her age I would be that active and zealous, I know not. But I would do my best because Yeah, I owe it to her.

Now it is time to start cooking this yummy snack from the state of Maharashtra in India. Reading the recipe you would come to know that it is not an instant dish, but does need some pre-preparation and a bit of efforts to make. But trust me, it is definitely worth trying and eating. We do get this ready-made in snack shops, on menus in hotels, but I can say the homemade ones are always the best. Though I make this every winter season or even otherwise when the taste buds crave, but I have to mention that my mom’s Sambar Vadi is the best for me. I have tried to make it as much like hers, but due to unavailability of some essential ingredient I have not added that. The post is essentially posted with the intent that the recipe needs to be saved for the next generation kids of my family. Happy cooking 😃!!!

KOTHIMBIR VADI:

INGRIEDIENTS:

Green Coriander: 400 gm (in weight after cleaning and chopping)

Onion: 1 Big

Green chilies: 4-5 nu. (finely chopped)

Fresh Coconut (grated): 1/2 to 3/4 of a fresh one or 150-200 g if dried one used. (one could use the dry grated coconut too instead of fresh)

Cumin: 1 Tsp.

Carom Seeds: 1 Tsp

Garam Masala: 1 Tbsp

Gram Flour: 250 gm

Rice powder: 1 Tbsp

Oil: For frying

Turmeric: 1 Tsp

Red Chili Powder: 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste

METHOD: Prepare the ingredients. Clean the coriander bunch, wash thoroughly, then dry the leaves and then finely chop the green coriander. Grate the coconut and keep ready for use. Chop the chilies, onion and keep ready.

Cleaned, washed, dried and then finely chopped green coriander.
Cleaned, washed, dried and then finely chopped green coriander.

Heat the pan, put half the quantity of the chopped coriander and give it toss or two and remove from the pan and keep in a bowl. This is just done for a minute or so, to remove the raw taste.

lightly tossed coriander.
lightly tossed coriander.

In the heated pan add 1 Tbsp cooking oil, then add cumin, chopped chilies and fry. Then add the chopped onion and cook till they are pinkish in color and are cooked. Once done then empty it on a plate and let it cool.

Fried in little oil until cooked.
Fried in little oil until cooked.

Once the heated coriander cools, add to it the remaining chopped coriander that is raw. Add the cooked onion and chili to this mix. Add the turmeric, grated coconut, salt, and 2 Tsp of garam masala powder. Mix all these ingredients well so that the spices are evenly coated. (For more spice one can add red chili powder as per taste) This mixture is the filling.

The coriander filling
The coriander filling.

In a bowl take the gram flour, 1 tbsp rice powder, add salt as per taste, carom seeds, 1 Tsp red chili powder, and 2 Tsp oil and add water to make a tight or stiff dough. Cover and keep it for sometime and then knead well. Make even- sized small balls and roll out puri’s. Apply garam masala paste (mix the garam masala powder with little water) on the puri and then put 1-2 Tbsp of filling in the center. Fold the sides and seal the ends. Little water can use used to seal the sides, if required. The ends should not open while frying in oil.

Make the puris and place the coriander filling.
Make the puris and place the coriander filling.

Heat oil for frying in karahi. Fry the rolls until they become crisp and then remove and drain on a tissue roll. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll.
Kothimbir Vadi or Coriander Roll.

These were the only pictures that I could click, the wadis had a very crispy outer coat (adding more oil to the gram flour results in the outer coating becoming very crisp), but mom liked them. I wish you all to give it a try if you are fond of making something new.

Enjoy! Happy Wednesday.

ashu.

Spicy Tomato Chutney/Dip

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Tomato chutney is one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes that goes well with any form of parathas, be it plain paratha or the numerous stuffed parathas that one can think of or few rice preparations like masala khichadi. It is my son’s favourite chutney and hence a frequently made recipe. It goes well my Baked Thalipeeth recipe too, the post where I have shared this same dip.

Ingredients:

Red Tomatoes: 2 Large

Onion: 1 Small

Green Chillies: 2 0r 3(spicy variety)

Garlic-2 cloves

Salt/Red chilli Powder/Turmeric-As per taste

Oil-2 Tsp.

Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tsp for seasoning.

Sugar-1 tsp (optional, I do not add.)

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.

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

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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