Bengali · Dessert · Festive · Indian cuisine · Mithai/Sweet Dish

Patishapta Pithe/ Sweet Crepes with Coconut-Jaggery stuffing

Firstly greetings of the New Year to all my readers 🤩 let’s all look forward to another rollicking year of our delectable food journey.. 😋 wishing everyone a great 2019 !!

Winter is a bengali’s favourite season & what would the winters be without the sumptuous ‘Pithe’? Yes, it’s the auspicious & festive month in Bengal of the rice harvest festival, called the ‘Poush Sankranti’ or ‘Poush Parbon’. Different parts of India celebrate this harvest festival in different ways – ‘Pongal’ down south, ‘Lohri’ in the north, ‘Makar Sankranti’ in the west. Indeed! The ‘Diversity of Cultures’, is India’s richest treasure 😍

In Bengal, the Poush Sankranti is celebrated making the mouthwatering ‘Pithe’. Now ‘Pithe’ isn’t a single dish but an umbrella term used for a category of sweets prepared during the harvest festival. The dishes commonly prepared are Patishapta Pithe, Puli Pithe, Dudh Puli, Gokul Pithe, Chitoi Pithe.

Today, I’ve tried ‘Patishapta Pithe’, a sweet crepe made of rice flour & samolina stuffed with a coconut-jaggery filling. A treat for those with a sweet tooth, this dish is every Bengali’s weakness. A must make this winter, let’s see how it’s made….

Patishapta Pithe/ Sweet Crepes with Coconut-Jaggery stuffing

Ingredients

For the crepes

  • Refined flour – ½ cup (60 grams)
  • Semolina – 4 tbsp (40 grams)
  • Rice flour – 2 tbsp (20 grams)
  • Powdered sugar – 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda – less then ¼ tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Ghee – 4 to 5 tbsp (for making pancakes)

For stuffing

  • Freshly grated coconut– 1 big cup
  • Jaggery grated – 3/4 th cup
  • Cashews – 8 to 10
  • Cardamom powder – ½ tsp

Method

Take refined flour in any big bowl.

Add semolina, rice flour, baking soda, 1 tbsp powdered sugar. Mix well

Add milk into it little by little to make a smooth lump-free batter. You may need a little less milk or more to get a better of medium consistency.

Pls note :Batter shud not be too thin or too thick… Medium consistency.

Keep the batter aside for 20 minutes.

Prepare stuffing in the meanwhile.

In a wok, add some ghee, add grated jaggery.

When the jaggery starts to melt, add the coconut, cardamom and chopped toasted cashews into it.

Mix all ingredients really well. Cook till the mixture dries up & becomes a homogenous mass.

The the stuffing out in a bowl, allow it to cool a little.

Now let’s get started with making the crepes.

Place a nonstick pan or tawa over flame and preheat it.

Pour 1 tsp oil over it and spread evenly. Now take 1 small ladle full of batter and spread it over the tawa, with circular motions by tilting the pan like a dosa.

Pour some ghee all around the crepe.

When it gets slightly brown in color from beneath, flip the sides and roast until it gets brown from the other side as well.

When it’s roasted from both the sides, take it off flame and place it over a plate.

Now likewise prepare the second pancake. Similarly prepare rest of the pancakes as well.

Place 1 or 1.5 tsp of stuffing in the centre of the roasted pancake and fold it in a roll.

Likewise prepare the rest of the patishapta.

Around 10 to 12 patishapta can be prepared with this batter measurements.

Scrumptious and mouth drooling Patishapta is ready to be savoured.

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. The batter consistency needs to be medium, neither too runny nor too thick.
  2. One need not use the ladle to spread the batter like a dosa, tilting the pan in a circular motion will do the trick.
  3. Another alternate stuffing can be made with just condensed milk & khoya/mawa (milk solids) too.
  4. I have used the regular jaggery here, for an enhanced flavour, date palm jaggery can be used too. Also many Bengalis add khoya/mawa to the stuffing, I haven’t added it here.
Appetizer · Gujarati Cuisine · Indian cuisine · Veg

Methi na Muthiya / Fenugreek Leaf Dumplings

Methi Muthiyas are an irresistible snack made with the goodness of fenugreek leaves. This is a traditional Gujarati snack that is highly nutritive & a great tea time munch for weight watchers.

The food value of fenugreek leaves is known to all. While the list of its benefits is expansive, here are a few of its merits…

  • Controls the cholesterol levels.
  • Inhibits blood sugar levels.
  • Excellent in resolving gastric issues like inflammation & diarrhoea.
  • Aids weight loss by controlling appetite by making the stomach feel fuller.

Traditionally it can be steamed or fried depending on your taste or dietary preference. The steamed muthiyas are usually eaten as a tea time snack while the fried version is used to prepare ‘Undhiyu’, another popular Gujarati winter preparation!

Leafy vegetables are in abundance during winters. I love methi, & try to use is it as much as possible when it’s in season. The muthiyas are a great way to get your children to savour the fenugreek leaves, which otherwise isn’t much preferred owing to its bitter taste. The preparation with the spices that go in it, camouflage the bitterness, making it appealing to the little ones. This surely is an answer to your 4pm hunger pangs, and a healthy one at that…

Here I’ve tried the steamed version. So let’s get started …

Methi na Muthiya/ Fenugreek Leaf Dumplings

Ingredients

For making the muthiya

  • 1 bunch fenugreek (methi) leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
  • 1/2 cup besan (Bengal gram flour)
  • 1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste

For tempering the steamed muthiya:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves

For garnishing the steamed muthiya:

  • few chopped coriander leaves
  • some freshly grated coconut

Method

Put the chopped methi leaves in a bowl, add salt to taste and mix well.

Allow to stand for 5 to 7 minutes and squeeze out all the liquid from the methi leaves.

Combine the leaves with the remaining ingredients in a bowl and knead it into a soft dough, adding water only if required.

Make sausage shaped long rolls, oil the exterior a little and place the rolls in a greased container with a lid.

Place the container in a idli steamer.

Steam these rolls for 17-20 minutes, using the double boiling method.

Allow the rolls to cool fully. Once cooled, slice the steamed rolls in 1 inch thick roundels.

Shallow fry the slices for 2-3 minutes. Pour the tempering (as per the list provided above) evenly on all the slices.

Serve hot or warm garnished with some chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut scrapings.

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. Step 1 is important to take away the bitterness of methi leaves. Do not skip it.
  2. For a predominant flavour of methi leaves, add them generously 😊
  3. The dough needs to be kneaded into a firm roll. Add water judiciously. Add extra flour if the dough feels loose.
  4. Ensure that the container used for double boiling is an air tight one, should any water seep into the container while steaming, the rolls will get soggy & mushy.
  5. Cool the rolls completely before slicing them. Warm rolls will not yeild neat slices.
  6. I did not have coconut scrapings, so haven’t added it here. Would recommend adding them as they lend a beautiful flavour to the muthiyas.
Indian cuisine · Main Course · Side Dish · Veg · Veg Curries

Mathura ke Dubkiwale Aloo/ Mathura Special Potato Curry

As the name suggests, this dish is from Mathura, the heart of UP. Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna is not only known for its temples but also for its delectable food. This authentic curry is one of the most popular ones, cooked in most houses & relished as street food across the city.

What sets this dish apart is its simplicity in the use of ingredients…But be assured the flavours that come across will leave you asking for more. I love how the humble potatoes help in thickening the texture of the curry while the coriander leaves add to the delicious flavour. Since it is a potato curry without onion or garlic in it, it can be made during Navratri or other falahar days. An ideal dish for fasting & feasting alike.

Traditionally this curry teams best with hot khasta kachoris, that is how it is served in Lord Krishna’s janmabhoomi. But they would taste great with puris, luchis or even paranthas as well.

A versatile dish that can be made as a breakfast side dish or a main course, this dish is a must try for all potato lovers. As a bonus, it’s easy on the ingredients & can be made in a jiffy. So let’s get going….

Mathura ke Dubkiwale Aloo

Ingredients

  • 600 to 650 gms potatoes boiled & cubed
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder or 1 inch ginger, crushed in a mortar & pestle
  • 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder or deghi mirch powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida powder/hing
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves/dhania
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt as required

Method

Boil the potatoes till they are very well cooked and can be easily mashed.

Peel and lightly mash the potatoes. keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Crackle the cumin first.

Add the green chilies and stir for a few seconds.

Switch off the flame and add all the spice powders one by one – turmeric, asafoetida, kashmiri red chili powder, amchur powder, garam masala powder and dry ginger powder.

Stir and keep the pan on fire again.

Add the mashed potatoes and stir well. pour 3 cups water. Add the salt.

Stir very well and let the curry simmer for 10 to 12 mins till all the flavors from the spices have blended well in the curry.

Cover & cook till the curry thickens a bit.

Add the coriander leaves and switch off the flame. stir and keep covered for few minutes.

Serve mathura ke dubki wale aloo with pooris, luchis,kachoris or parathas!!

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. Dry ginger can be substituted with freshly ground ginger too. If doing so pls add the ginger before you add the dry spices.
  2. Switch off the flame while adding the dry spices, they might burn otherwise.
  3. The starch in the potatoes gives the curry a lovely thick texture. Make sure the potatoes are well boiled. It will be a good idea to mash a few pieces to thicken the curry

Recipe Credits : Vegrecipesofindia

Appetizer · Indian cuisine · Soup · Veg

Dhania aur Tamatar ka Shorba/ Coriander & Tomato Stew

There’s a nip in the air here… it’s that time of the year when you want to huddle up in that cosy blanket… Aaachooo! that time of the year when sniffles & sneezes are getting the better of you. Yes, you’ve guessed it right, winters are here 😀!! A warm cuppa shorba is just what you need, to keep you warm & comfortable 😋

A ‘Shorba’ or ‘Chorba’ is a kind of a hot soup or stew having a Persian origin. Traditionally a Shorba is prepared by simmering meat in boiling water along with salt and flavored with aromatic curry spices and herbs. However, over the years, vegetarian variants of Shorba have become popular as well. Shorba is said to be derived from an Arabic term, ‘Shurbah’, meaning soup. The difference between a Soup & a Shorba is Soup is often served as the first course but Shorba can also be served as an accompaniment to the main dish or in between courses. Another theory also indicates that when Mughals came to India, they brought a lot of dishes, Shorba being one of them.

So, today we’ll be trying an Indianized version of the Shorba – ‘Dhania aur Tamatar ka Shorba’. With ingredients easily available in one’s pantry, this flavourful shorba is a must try during winters. After all, who can say no to a soothing cuppa soup in this chilly weather 😉

What you will need is…

Dhania aur Tamatar ka Shorba a.k.a Coriander & Tomato Stew

Ingredients

  • 3 large or 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 tsps gramflour
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to cook
  • Butter ( optional )
  • Bread croutons while serving

Method

In a cooker heat the oil on a medium flame.

Add the cumin seeds. When they crackle add chopped coriander leaves.

Lower the flame & add a some red chilly powder. Saute & ensure the spices don’t burn.

Quickly add the gram flour, & saute till the rawness of the flour goes. The mixture should release a nutty aroma.

Next drop in the roughly chopped tomatoes.

Saute briefly till the tomato turns mushy & mixes well with the spice & flour mixture.

Add 3 cups of water to the mixture.

Adding salt, pressure cook the mixture on high flame for 1 whistle & low flame for 5 mins.

Switch off the gas & allow the mixture to cool.

When the mixture cools, puree it to a smooth paste. You may choose to strain it.

Add water to the puree to get the desired soup consistency.

Adding a dollop of butter to a pan, reheat the soup till it boils.

Garnish the shorba with butter sauteed coriander leaves & croutons.

Enjoy this piping hot shorba on a chilly winter evening 🙂

Tanushree’s Notes

  1. While adding the spices to the oil, pls ensure the flame is low, or switched off if the oil is too hot. Burnt spices would spoil the taste of the shorba.
  2. The flour needs to be sauteed well until aromatic before adding the tomatoes.
  3. The straining step is optional. A smooth shorba or a shorba with a little fibre ( for the health conscious) is a matter of personal choice.
Dessert · Festive · Indian cuisine · Mithai/Sweet Dish

Gajar Ka Halwa/ Gajrela/ Carrot Halwa

Gajar ka halwa or Gajrela ( as it’s called in North India) is a traditional Indian sweet made with fresh red carrots, milk & sugar. It is mainly a winter delicacy, with fresh juicy carrots that is available in abundance, a dish where the sweetness of seasonal carrots shine.

A popular sweet dish that graces many indian functions like weddings, parties… A well made halwa is indeed tough for most of us to resist. Made with a number of variations across North India, the richer version has the creamy Khoya (milk solids) & condensed milk, while simple version can be made using just whole cream milk & sugar. 

It’s our family favourite & a must make for us during winters… There can be nothing more soothing than a warm bowl of homemade halwa after your meals. 

Well, winters are here and with all those red juicy carrots calling out to you … Who can really resist making this heartwarming delicacy? So let’s make the most of it.

Here I’ve shared two versions one with milk & the other with khoya (milk solids). 

What you’ll need is…

Gajar ka Halwa/Gajrela/Carrot Halwa


Ingredients (Version 1 with Milk)

  • 1/2 kg carrots, grated
  • 1/2 tin condensed milk
  • 2.5 cups full cream milk
  • 10 tbsps sugar
  • 10 tbsps ghee
  • Assorted nuts roasted in ghee (Cashews & Almonds)

    Method

    In a deep bottom kadhai melt the ghee
    Add in the nuts, lightly roast the nuts, keep aside.

    Add the grated carrots & cook them on low flame till they wilt. Cook the carrots on the low flame so that they don’t burn. 

    Warm the milk alongside & when the carrots lose their crunch & are fully cooked add the milk.

    Add in the condensed milk & sugar.

    Now on a low flame, cook the halwa stirring continuously till all the milk evaporates.

    The entire process takes abt 45 mins.

    When all the milk evaporates & the carrots come together as a homogenous mass , add in the toasted nuts.

    Your halwa is ready for consumption.

    Gajar ka Halwa/Gajrela/Carrot Halwa

    Ingredients (Version 2 with khoya)

    • 1/2 kg carrots, grated
    • 1/2 tin condensed milk
    • 1 cup/ approx. 150gms grated khoya
    • 10 tbsps sugar
    • 10 tbsps ghee
    • Assorted nuts roasted in ghee (Cashews & Almonds)

    Method

    In a deep bottom kadhai melt the ghee
    Add in the nuts, lightly roast the nuts, keep aside.

    Add the grated carrots & cook them on low flame till they wilt. Cook the carrots on the low flame so that they don’t burn.

    Thaw the khoya & roughly crumble it with your fingers.

    When the carrots are fully cooked, add in the condensed milk & sugar.

    When the sugar dissolves fully, add the khoya.

    Mix well, cook on a low flame. You will notice the khoya will release oil when heated.

    Keep stirring on low flame for abt 20 mins.
    When the carrot mixture comes together as a homogenous mass , add in the toasted nuts. Your delectable halwa is ready to be savoured.

    Tanushree’s Notes

    1. The khoya I’ve used, wasn’t sweet but some sweet shop do sell a sweeter version. Adjust the sweetness of the halwa accordingly.
    2. Once the carrots are grated, the halwa needs to be prepared immediately. If grated carrots are stored under refrigeration, the grated carrot loses its rich red colour & the halwa gets a brownish hue.
    3. The flame at all points of time should be low, to avoid burning the ingredients.
    4. The halwa made with khoya has a longer shelf live in comparison to the milk version.
    Festive · Indian cuisine · Mithai/Sweet Dish

    Aate Besan ka Laddoo/ Churmundo

    At midnight, on ashtami or the 8th day of krishnapaksha in the auspicious month of Shravana, lord Krishna was born… & to celebrate his birth, we perform the Krishna Janmashtami Pooja.

    Traditionally as per the norms, all of lord Krishna’s favourite dishes are made & offered to the lord as a mark of reverence after performing the Pooja. Konkani GSBs will normally cook a mix veg dish (gajbaje) or a curry make of collocasia leaves (Alvati) along with rice, dal, fries & a sweet dish (prasadam) for the naivedya. A fast is observed & tulsi leaves are offered to the deity while chanting the VishnuSahastra naam. Only after midnight, the birth time of Lord Krishna, the naivedyam is offered & the fast is broken.

    This is how Janmashtami pooja is done at my parent’s place. Traditionally, the prasadam for the lord, is either godu phovu (sweet flattened rice) or Panchkajayee. However today I am sharing with you the recipe of Churmundo or Aate Besan ka Laddoo that I had prepared during Janmashtami. 

    It’s an easy recipe, that can be made with ingredients easily available in one’s pantry.

    What you need is …

    Janmashtami special Churmundu /Aate Besan ka Laddoo

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup whole wheat flour (gehu ka aata)
    • 1/4 cup gram flour (besan)
    • 1/2 cup ghee
    • 1 cup sugar, powdered
    • 10-15 roughly crushed roasted almonds & cashews
    • 10-15 raisins
    • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

    Method

    In a heavy bottom wok, dry roast the gram flour for about 7 mins. 

    To that add wheat flour, roast on low medium heat until lightly browned. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring continuously to avoid the flour from burning.

    Add roasted almonds, cashews and raisins, roast for about 3 more minutes. Its important to keep stirring continuously, to roast evenly.

    Add ghee and keep roasting, keep stirring continuously, atta will be light brown and will have sweet aroma of roasting. This should take about 4-5 minutes.

    Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to another bowl. 

    Wait until mix is lightly warm add sugar and cardamom powder. Mix well until sugar is incorporated nicely.

    To make the ladoos, grease your palms with a little ghee, take about 2 tablespoons of atta mix into your palm. Gently press the mixture between your palms to form a smooth, round ball.

    Leave the ladoos on a plate to cool to room temperature before putting into a covered container. The ladoos can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

    Tanushree’s Notes

    1. Make sure that the flour is nicely roasted & cooked evenly. The rawness should go completely & at the same time the flour should not burn.
    2. Do not change the proportions of the ingredients. It might get difficult to bind the laddoos.
    3. Make the laddoos when the flour mixture is warm, once cooled the laddoos won’t bind well.
    breakfast · Indian cuisine · Snacks · South Indian · Veg

    Instant Bread Medu Vada

    Craving for Medu Vadas… But time pressed for the traditional soaking & grinding process?? Worry not… Try these instant Vadas. 
    An instant preparation, these Medu Vadas are a saviour when one has to dole out yummy snacks for unexpected guests. What’s better… It’s a great dish that makes use of left over bread slices 😊 . These taste just like the traditionally made ones, crisp on the exterior & soft inside. Made with just minimal ingredients that are easily available in one’s pantry, this dish is a winner all the way…

    One can serve these yum Vadas in the traditional way with Sambar &/or chutney. So next time you crave for Medu Vadas, but feel lazy… Try these instant ones to satiate your cravings, you won’t be disappointed for sure…😀😀

    You’ll need…

    Instant Bread Medu Vada

    Ingredients (yields about 4-5 vadas)

    • 4 pieces of white bread
    • 4 tsp rice flour
    • 4 tsp fine sooji/ semolina
    • 4 tsp thick curds
    • 1 small onion fine chopped
    • 2-3 Chopped green chillies
    • 1 tsp Grated ginger
    • 3-4 Chopped curry leaves
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil to deep fry

    Method

    Take the bread, make small pieces using your hands. Use the sides as well.

    Now in a bowl mix the bread pieces & the rest of the ingredients well to form a firm dough.

    If the dough feels soft add a little rice flour & if it feels too stiff add a bit of curd.

    Grease ur palms to make small balls. Flatten them & using your thumb make holes in the centre.

    Deep fry the Vadas in medium hot oil till browned well on both sides.

    Drain on an absorbent paper.

    Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar or ketchup.

    Tanushree’s Notes 

    1. I have used white bread slices, one can use brown bread too.
    2. For added taste you can add coconut bits too, I haven’t added them here.