Shital's-Kitchen

Friday, September 15, 2017

Moth Chawal

Publishing a recipe after a long time...yes, you guessed it right, summer break has ended and new school year has started in full swing. Back to School night is over this means I do have some time now to do what I love! I do have a backlog of recipes to post which I will do it soon. :)

Summer was exciting, and while I got a chance to be with friends and socialize, I also had a chance to learn something new and exciting. It all started with an idea...an invitation for a Delhi style chai party from a friend, SM. It was NOT a CHAI PARTY... it was indulging in delicious food. Not just regular food but authentic, traditional, and flavorful Delhi style food served on Delhi style beautiful props. Flavorful, chatpata Gol Gappas set up on a Thela or four wheel cart just like it would be in India and SM and her mom (I will refer her as Auntiji), who was visiting her from Delhi, would make fresh Gol Gappas and serve for all you can eat. I cannot express the fun of the live Gol Gappa counter. Thank you so much SM and Auntiji! I would have just loved to end the chai party here, but that was not the case. There was more food and now chai party turned into dinner. Chole & Kulche,  Dahi Bhalle, gourmet sandwiches, and something very new to me was Moth Chawal. A simple dish which was flavorful and super delicious. Although each and every food item was delicious, Moth Chawal stole my heart. It was a new concept and was very innovative. I could have never imagined Moth to be so tasty. We all expressed our wish to get the recipe from Auntiji. That is when I thought she could be a guest blogger on my page. It would be my pleasure to learn a simple but yet a North Indian specialty and take pictures if Auntiji could make it live. It was my wish, and SM and Auntiji made it happen. I was so happy to be invited over and I reached there with my camera :) I can't thank you both enough!

The experience was just phenomenal! Not just the recipe, but I got to know so much more about the North Indian culture and food. Moth Chawal is a simple layered dish made with Moth or Matki and rice. Moth lentils are cooked with spices to form a gravy. This gravy is then layered with cooked rice, a special spice mix for tangy flavor, chopped onions, and to top it with crisp papdi or puris. It is the combination of flavors, textures, and I would totally categorize it as one of the healthy, protein rich dishes for vegetarians. If you have read my earlier posts you would know what it means. Lentils together with rice make complete proteins for vegetarians. Auntiji said that this simple but yet healthy recipe was made for breakfast or brunch. In the olden days when weddings were elaborate and everything was prepped at home, this recipe was a healthy breakfast for the guests and other family members. That totally makes sense, serving something that is delicious as well as healthy so that everyone is ready to do all the running around and preparing for the wedding ceremonies and fun. It is now one of the popular street foods for commuters and people on the go.

Here is the entire recipe with pictures made in SM's kitchen. Thank you so much Auntiji for such an insightful and delicious recipe, and also for delicious Aam Panna we had while chitchatting. :)

Ingredients

1 cup moth/matki
2-3  tbsp. oil
2-3 medium tomatoes.
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. red chili powder

1/2 cup rice
2 cups water
1 tsp salt.

For special spice mix
3 tbsp amchoor /dry mango powder
1 tbsp Degi mirch /red chili powder
1 tbsp dhania powder /coriander powder
1 tsp. jeera seeds /cumin seeds
1 tbsp garam masala / spice mix
1/2 tsp. Ajwain/carrom seeds
Mix all the above ingredients and powder it well.

For Garnishing:
1 tbsp. tamarind pulp dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped onions
Crisp papdi or puris
Juice of one lemon

To make moth gravy:
  • Wash and soak moth/matki in 2 cups of water for an hour or two.
  • Chop tomatoes into quarters and  puree them well. Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add cumin powder and then pureed tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add soaked moth beans to sauteing tomato puree. Mix well
  • Add salt and chili powder. Mix well.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and cook til you hear around 2 whistles. Moth beans do not take very long time to cook. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cool before opening the pressure cooker. 
  • Open the pressure cooker and mix cooked moth well.
Meanwhile get the rice prepped.
  • Heat 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add salt to boiling water.
  • Add 1/2 cup washed rice to boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes or till done.
  • Strain the water and keep rice aside in a bowl.
 Get this ready
  • Soak 2 tbsp. tamarind in water or mix 1 tbsp. tamarind pulp in water and keep it aside.
  • Finely chop onions for garnishing.
  • Special spice mix.

To serve use a wide serving bowl or something like a deep dish platter.
  • Spread rice evenly into the serving platter or a bowl.
  • Sprinkle around 1 tbsp. special spice mix over the rice and squeeze a juice of 1/2 lemon.
  • Evenly spread cooked moth gravy over rice.
  • Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of special spice mix and evenly spread 1-2 tbsp. tamarind dissolved in water.
  • Evenly spread chopped onions and sprinkle some special spice mix again and squeeze fresh lemon.
  • Top it off with broken/crush pieces of papdi/puri for crunch. (you could add papdi just before serving so that it would remain crisp)
  • Serve and enjoy!

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
I was able to take pictures while Auntiji prepared and talked about this recipe.

Wash and soak moth in 2 cups of water for an hour or two.

Chop tomatoes into quarters and  puree them well. Keep it aside.
Heat oil in pressure cooker. Add cumin powder and then pureed tomatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes.


Add soaked moth beans to sauteing tomato puree. Mix well
Add salt and chili powder. Mix well.


Cover the pressure cooker and cook til you hear around 2 whistles. Moth beans do not take very long time to cook. Turn off the heat and let the pressure cool before opening the pressure cooker. 
Open the pressure cooker and mix cooked moth well.

1 tbsp. tamarind pulp dissolved in 1/2 cup water or 2 tbsp. tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup water.

Heat 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Add salt to boiling water.
Add 1/2 cup washed rice to boiling water and cook for 10-15 minutes or till done.
Strain the water and keep rice aside in a bowl.

To serve use a wide serving bowl.
Spread rice evenly into the serving platter or a bowl.

Sprinkle around 1 tbsp. special spice mix over the rice and squeeze a juice of 1/2 lemon.


Evenly spread cooked moth gravy over rice.


Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of special spice mix and evenly spread 1-2 tbsp. tamarind dissolved in water.


Evenly spread chopped onions and sprinkle some special spice mix again and squeeze fresh lemon.



Top it off with broken/crush pieces of papdi/puri for crunch. (you could add papdi just before serving so that it would remain crisp)

Serve and enjoy!

Auntiji with one of her best recipes. I am so looking forward to learning more authentic recipes from her. Thank you so much!

The pictures of the final dish were taken in SM's beautiful backyard with beautiful flowers around.
SM's passion of gardening and caring for her veggies and plants is seen everywhere!




Enjoy this delicious comfort food!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Crispy Noodles

When I invite my friends over for dinner, I love to host them with Indo-chinese food. There is so much delicious and creative variety to make, and is not very easily available at the restaurant. One of our favorites is tossing fresh crisp noodles with veggies and sweet and sour sauce. These crispy noodles are perfect as an appetizer as well as main coarse with fried rice.

Although fried noodles are readily available in the market, I like to make them fresh at home. They are thin and crispier compared to the one in the restaurant. You should give this recipe a try for your next event. It is easy to prepare the veggies in sauce before guests arrive and toss the crisp noodles just before serving. Potstickers, or steamed dumpling, or wonton soup pairs really well with crispy noodles for the soup and appetizer coarse. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 packet Ching's hakka noodles (or any noddles of your choice)
Oil for frying noodles
2 tbsp oil
1 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced onion greens
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
1/2 cup julienne carrots
1/2 cup sliced green beans
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 tsp. salt (if needed)
1 tbsp soy sauce 
1 tbsp chili garlic salt
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • Using instructions on noodle packet, boil noodles. Drain water and pour cold water over cooked noodles to stop the cooking process.Let water drain out well.
  • Heat oil and fry noodles in hot oil (be careful)in 3-4 batches. Do not put all the noodles in together as oil might overflow. Fry noodles till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel. Cool and store in an airtight container. Use whenever needed.
  • Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a wok.
  • Add ginger, garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add bell pepper, carrots and beans. Saute for 3-4 minutes till slightly cooked. 
  • Add all sauces to sauteing veggies and mix well.
  • Turn of the heat. Add shredded cabbage and mix well.
  • Toss in crisp noodles. Mix well.
  • Serve immediately garnished with onion greens and bean sprouts.

Here is step-by-step pictorial recipe:
Using instructions on noodle packet, boil noodles. Drain water and pour cold water over cooked noodles to stop the cooking process.Let water drain out well.


Heat oil and fry noodles in hot oil in 3-4 batches. Do not put all the noodles in together as oil might overflow. Fry noodles till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel. Cool and store in an airtight container. Use whenever needed.




Heat oil in a wok.
Add ginger, garlic and onions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add bell pepper, carrots and beans. Saute for 3-4 minutes till slightly cooked. 
Add all sauces to sauteing veggies and mix well.
Turn of the heat. Add shredded cabbage and mix well.


Toss in crisp noodles. Mix well.
Serve immediately garnished with onion greens and bean sprouts.



 Enjoy Deliciously Crisp Noodles!!!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Banana Chakri

Summers in California are not harsh, but few days of strong heat are enough to make some some dehydrated veggies and snacks to store for the entire year. While most of the snacks we make are with potatoes and sabudana or sago pearls, I was thinking of my Jain friends and felt a need to make something for them. Check out my other recipes of dehydrated snacks.

People who follow Jainism as religion refrain from underground veggies and certain leafy vegetables most of the year and specially during monsoon months. They follow a strict pattern of diet in the life. Most of them are based on scientific reasoning, and they are worth adapting in our lives.

Raw banana is a substitute to recipes that use potatoes. Raw bananas are not sweet and have texture of boiled potatoes, so boiling and mashing them to make various recipes is very simple and easy for Jain friends. Lately, I tasted Jain pav bhaji which had raw bananas boiled and mashed instead of potatoes. It tasted yum and we could not even notice any difference.

This recipe was a successful experiment to making dehydrated snack for my Jain friends, and with one of their upcoming festival, I hope my friends like it.

Ingredients:
3 large raw bananas
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp salt
  • Pressure cook raw bananas till you hear 4-5 whistles or around 30 minutes.
  • Peel and grate them well to avoid pieces.
  • Add salt and red chili powder and mix well
  • If the mixture feel dry, add a tbsp or so of water and make a dough.
  • Use a chakri press, Fill it with mashed banana dough and press to form round chakris. 
  • Dry it in hot solar heat.
  • Next day flip and dry on the other side too.
  • Store in an air tight container when it is completely dehydrated.

To serve:
Deep fry in medium hot oil and enjoy crisp snack.

Pressure cook raw bananas till you hear 4-5 whistles or around 30 minutes.
Peel and grate them well to avoid pieces.


Add salt and red chili powder and mix well

If the mixture feel dry, add a tbsp or so of water and make a dough.
Use a chakri press, Fill it with mashed banana dough and press to form round chakris. 
Dry it in hot solar heat.





Dry it in hot solar heat.
Next day flip and dry on the other side too.
Store in an air tight container when it is completely dehydrated.

Dried chakris.

Deep fry in medium hot oil and serve.

Enjoy!!!