Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Suki Batata Bhaaji

Batatyachi Sukki Bhaaji (बटाट्याची सुकी भाजी) i.e. Potato Dry Sabzi used to be commonly served as a main course vegetable during traditional Maharashtrian weddings or festivities. There are many ways of making this simple delicacy, but the method given here is more of traditional (except usage of ginger paste, lemon juice and use of Methi seeds in tempering). Onions or Garlic may be used in this vegetable, however, since this vegetable is made on festive occasions, usage of Onions and Garlic is not prescribed. 

Serving:  2-3 people
Approx. Time: 20 minutes 
4 medium Potatoes
1 tspn Sugar
1/2 tspn Turmeric Powder
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
4 tbspn Oil
7-8 Methi Seeds 
1/4 tspn Asafoetida
1/2 tspn Mustard Seeds
1/2 tspn Cumin Seeds
7-8 Curry leaves
4 chopped Green Chillies

Other Ingredients:
1 tspn Ginger Paste 
1 tspn Lemon Juice

For Garnishing:
2 tbspns Scrapped Coconut
2 tbspns chopped fresh Coriander leaves

Wash the Potatoes and add a pinch of Salt while boiling them. Addition of Salt to the water while boiling prevents the potatoes from breaking. Once cooked, peel the potatoes and chop them in small equal cubes. 

To make Potato Bhaaji:
Heat the Oil in a non-stick Pan. Add Fenugreek seeds, Asafoetida, Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds. Once it starts crackling, add the Green Chilies, Curry leaves, Ginger Paste and Turmeric Powder . Saute it for few seconds and add the Potato Cubes into the tempering. Gently mix the Potatoes Cubes such that the tempering is evenly coated on the Cubes. Coat the tempering gently to avoid the Potato Cubes from breaking. Check the seasoning and add additional Salt and Sugar, if required. Now cover the Pan with lid and allow it to cook for 8-10 minutes on medium flame till it starts releasing steam. 

Once done, turn off the flame. Finally, add chopped fresh Coriander leaves, freshly scrapped Coconut and lemon juice. Serve hot with Roti or Puri. 

1. Alternatively, you may make this Bhaaji by marinating the potatoes in Salt, Sugar, Asafoetida and Turmeric Powder. Apply Salt, Sugar, Asafoetida and Turmeric Powder to the boiled potato cubes and rest it for 10-15 minutes. Then follow the normal method given above for tempering. 
2Ensure that the lemon juice is added at the end, or else the Bhaaji will taste bitter. 
3. The quantity of Oil required to make this Bhaaji is slightly more. But reducing the amount of Oil impacts the final taste of the vegetable. 
4. If you want to use Onions, then add finely chopped Onions in the tempering before adding the potatoes and cook till it turns pink. Then, add the Potato Cubes and follow the method given above. 
5. Apart from Onions as given in note 4 above, you may also add Chana Dal or Urad Dal in the tempering. In Marathi language, this is called as 'Vyanjan' (व्यंजन)
6. The green chillies may also be replaced with dry Red Chillies. 

Stepwise Pictures

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dinda (दिंड)

Naag means snake and Panchami means fifth phase of moon in the month of Shraavan. On this day, the snakes are worshiped. Chopping, cutting,  deep frying and roasting on a griddle is not allowed. Hence, mostly steamed recipes like Khandvi, Sandana, Modak etc. are made on this day.

In Maharashtrian tradition  Dinda (दिंड) (Steamed Sweet Cake) is also very popular and is offered to snakes. Since frying is not allowed on this day, you may make a fried version of this recipe known as 'Kadbu' on any other day which also tastes good.  In olden days, whenever clothes were given to tailor for stiching, he used to wrap it in a cloth by folding from four sides to make Dinda. The name 'Dinda' is derived from this method of folding from four sides.

Dinda is a healthy dish but may not suit the palate of people who do not like steamed recipes. Hence, you may deep-fry the same to enhance the taste and eliminate its rawness. 

Serving:  12-15 Pieces
Approx. Time: 40 minutes (Preparation)  and 20 minutes (Steaming)
For Stuffing:
1 cup Split Chana Dal (Uncooked)
1 cup Jaggery
1/2 cup scrapped fresh Coconut
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder 
A pinch of Nutmeg powder
1-2 tbspns Raisins (Sultanas /Bedane) 
1/4 tspn Salt

For Outer Cover:
2 cups Wheat Flour
3 tbspns Oil (for Moan)
A Pinch of Salt
Water as required

For Garnishing:
Pistachio Flakes 

To Serve with:
Home-made Ghee

Wash the Chana Dal and add 3 cups of Water in it. Place the Dal and Water in a Pressure Cooker and cook it. Once the Chana Dal is cooked, transfer it in a colander and remove excess water. 

To make Stuffing:
Take the Cooked Chana Dal and Jaggery in a thick non-stick pan and mix it. Place it on the medium flame for cooking. Once it is half cooked say for 15-20 minutes, then add the fresh scrapped Coconut and mix it.  Stir the mixture continuously to prevent it from charring. Cook till it becomes thick. The measure to see whether the Puran is cooked properly is to dig a spoon in the center vertically and see if it remains in the standing position. In other words, the Puran should be thick. Mash the mixture with the help of a Spatula. Turn off the flame and add the Raisins, Cardamom Powder, Nutmeg Powder and Salt to the Puran mixture. Mix well and set it aside for cooling. 

To make Cover
Take Wheat flour in a bowl. Add some salt to it and mix. Thereafter, heat the Oil in a pan and pour the hot oil on the flour. The surface of Wheat flour will become frothy.Then add some water and knead it to make hard dough. Cover it and rest it for 10 minutes. 

To make Dinda
Divide the stuffing into equal 12 to 15 lemon sized balls. Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a round shaped palm sized Puri. Place the stuffing in the centre of the Puri and tap it to make it square / rectangular shape. Fold the Puris like an envelope i.e. firstly fold the two opposite sides and then fold the balance two opposite sides to cover the stuffing. Press the folded side lightly so that all the sides stick to each other and the stuffing does not come out. In the same way keep all the pieces ready. 

Simultaneously, heat water in a Steamer. Place a clean wet cloth in the steamer and place the Dinda on a wet cloth while steaming to prevent it from sticking to the base. Do not place it on each other as it may stick. Steam it for approximately 15-20 minutes. Once done , remove it from the Steamer and garish it with Pistachio flakes. 

Pour Ghee on the top and serve hot. 

1. Since deep frying is not allowed on Nagpanchami day, this sweet is steamed. You may deep fry the same to get a good taste. (Picture of fried Dinda given at the end)
2. You may also add ghee fried Cashew nuts or nuts of your choice to enhance the taste. 
3. The excess water used for boiling the Chana Dal may be kept aside to make 'Katachi Amti'
4. Traditionally you have to make a hole in the centre of Dinda and pour Ghee into it before eating. 
5. To make the dough, instead of entire wheat flour, you may take half All Purpose flour and half Wheat flour. You may also use half water and half Milk to knead the dough.
6. Alternatively, stuffing of dried Coconut, Jaggery and Poppy Seeds is also made instead of this Puran stuffing. 

Stepwise Pictures

The picture given below is of fried Dinda.

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