Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cheela - Gram Flour Crepe

Bored of Dosa...try Cheela..The instant dosa made of Besan/gramflour needless to say delicious!
This one is another of my favourites for a breakfast.
2 Cups of Besan / Gramfour
1 1/4 cup of Water
1 cup spring onion
a Pinch of hing/Asafoetida
1/2 inch of grated ginger
1-2 Green Chillies
Oil to cook
Salt to taste
  1. Sieve the besan and mix it well with water until no lumps are there. The consistency should not be too thick or too thin..
  2. Finely chop the Spring onions and the green chillies.Add them to the Besan mix
  3. Also add the hing and grated ginger.
  4. Mix everything well
  5. Heat a girdle preferably a non-stick one.
  6. Spread oil on the girdle when its sufficiently heated incase its a non stick variety.
  7. Take a ladle full of the mix and spread over the girdle evenly as for a dosa/crepe.
  8. Allow it to cook. The sides will ease off easily when one side is done. Turn it over. Sprinkle more oil of needed.
Remove from stove and serve it hot with Pudina Chutney/Tomato ketchup.

Monday, November 30, 2009

December 3rd 1984...

It was the starting of winters for us..I was at the usual..waiting for the school bus…ready to embark on the new day ..all of us kids around the same age would spend the time just before the arrival of the bus playing...but why was the bus not arriving..we had exhausted our quota of all the games...
And then out of the bleary mist we saw it slugging at slow pace towards us..possibly around 7.00 Am..but wait why is it was not supposed to be ..since ours was the last stop where it stopped to pick up students for the school that day.
The bus finally stopped and out popped the driver's head ‘ koi gas leak hui hai city area mein Chutti hai’ (some gas has leaked in the old city area of bhopal so a holiday has been declared) …the holiday lasted for a fortnight ....fortunately for me my family lived in the new part of Bhopal..just beyond the BHEL township. and that fateful night the wind was blowing in the opposite direction…
Union Carbide factory emitted poisonous gas which killed thousands of people…maiming others …in a single night and killing thousands more in the years to come. It was situated in the older parts of the Bhopal…near the railway station…I heard later that the Station master died that night…trying to stop all the trains from passing from Bhopal…Bhopal being a junction has quite a number of trains passing it...
I guess the impact was lost on me at that age…I understood it only much later…
And the irony Union Carbide is back in business in India with a new name.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tomato Chutney

A heavy schedule and a lazy attitude but still a desire to eat tasteful stuff are a perfect combination to try out quick fix recipies like Tomato Chutney. Its easy and real quick to make. Lack of any major spices let the tangyness of tomato come to the fore in this side dish. The green chillies give it opposite edge.If you are game to it...then this is your dish!

6 Medium sized Tomatoes (approx 3 cups when diced)
2-4 Green Chillies (less if you want it less hot)
1 cup of finely chopped onions
3 large cloves of Garlic
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder (optional)
Corriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
Oil to cook
Salt to taste
Cube the tomatoes, finely dice green chillies and garlic.
Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the onion and the green chillies to it and saute it till the onions are translucent. Add the garlic to this. Saute for 3-4 minutes.Sprinkle in the turmeric, salt and the red chilli powder. Saute for a couple of minutes futher to take away the rawness of the spices. Add the tomatoes now and close it with a lid to cook. I usually cook this dish entirely on low flame and recommend the same.
Keep on opening the lid in between and mixing it. The tomatoes will loose all its water and shrink to half its original proportion. When this happens remove from flame, garnish it with corriander leaves.
Serve it with hot Parathas . An Egg Bhurgi along the side would complete the picture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chai Saga....

One of the best news that i chanced upon was that Taste of India
was back up and somewhat running!!what a relief!

And parsing through it came upon this conversation on a blog
Now i am a big time fan of chai..well actually addicted..if i don't get my morning hot of ghar ki chai (homemade tea) brew my entire day is lost...a headache is imminent so is a sour mood.My husband makes sure that the side effects don't reflect on him by religiously making it every morning for me since we got married 3 years was one of the contractual obligations (amongst others) that he signed up for when we got married. :)
Coming back to chai ...the only chai i knew in my childhood and loved to the core was the one made by my connoisures recipe but all the ingredients thrown together with 'Brooke Bond' tea in one 'Patila' (vessel) and boiled for a couple of minutes. Sometimes a piece of ginger was thrown in during the winters or when someone had an headache...

Occasionaly we would visit my mother's elder sister who lived in Shahdol...a small town in MP ( i am not sure if its in Chattisgarh now). The trains we travelled did not have pantries and at every station, usually they were all very small ones, kulhad chai (tea in small earthen pots) was amply available, long before our own Laloo decided to popularise them. It was very watery in consistence but its USP was the flavour of the earthen pot which would invariably permeate the hot tea when it was poured into it. It was flavored with cardomom a mainstay of any tea that you would care to have from any Indian railway stations.

When i started working I was invariably introduced to the dip chai..

dip dip dip...dip a little longer if you want it stronger..add the sugar and milk and its ready to drink.....

The worst of its kind the penchant to look for a better option led us to small 'gumti' pushed to the corner near the office building.Here i tasted the clove flavoured tea..and
it has stayed with me till date. We would brave the hot afternoon sun even in the summers to have a cup of this tea.I try to replicate in my kitchen..and relish it every time...just add 2-3 cloves when the tea is boiling.

An interesting thing happened.When ever we go for long drives we carry this tea with us in thermos to have during the journey. One day we forgot to add the cloves while we added it directly into the thermos and shut it up....the result was amazing when we had the tea after an hr or so..the flavour was so well assimilated and gave the simple tea a different definition altogether...a must try.
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