Thursday, 25 June 2015

Kataachi Amti

"Such awesome climate", "Such a romantic weather", "It's raining", "It's cloudy", "Oh, there are cold winds" , "All i need is kandaa bhaji, bhutta and chai" or "A cup of coffee and a book"!! Yes people! It's Monsoon!!! The season has arrived. A lot of people hate this season for the mud, dirt and traffic jams. Yes, for the restaurants, events and fashionistas, rains surely play a spoilsport. But there are people like us, who love to get wet, get the clothes dirty and hands muddy. There is a different form of energy and newness everywhere in the season. Maybe because rains give a life. A life to a plant to form a tree. A life to a seed to grow into a fruit or a flower. Rains, i feel, connects us back to our roots.

Happy Monsoon!!!

There is a very beautiful article i came across recently which talks about "Dirt not being dirty". I could completely relate to the writer and am of the opinion that throwing ourselves in mother nature only develops our immune system and makes us strong. So, we should come out of the fears of "You will catch cold if you get wet in the rain", "Wash hands or change clothes as soon as you get them dirty" or " Use sanitizer even for popping a chocolate in the mouth". In fact we should be friends with the germs, so they can help us survive in any possible conditions. Read this article here . So all i can say is Let go... get dirty... be free... Just like them :))

Talking about connecting to the roots, there are some things, incidents, or words that bring the memoirs of our roots and instantly connects with us. Food does so too. Even though we are living in the fast food era of pav bhajis and pizza's, there are some dishes that connect us back to our roots. I am not only talking about the ancestral recipes here but regional dishes too. Like a simple daal has so many names and versions of dhal, curry, bele, paripu, varan or amti. The recipe i am posting today connects me to my roots. Its a typical Maharashtrian delicacy served with Puran poli. I have only made Puran poli twice and fortunately they have come out well! It is said that Puran poli is most difficult to make, and the one who is able to make it successfully is called a "Sugran" (a competent housewife). 

Puran poli and kataachi amti is a terrific sweet-spicy-tangy combination. This amti is made from the reserved water after boiling and draining the chana daal when making puran. Usually it is made in the same pan, and a little cooked daal (gram) is added for the taste but by nature, this amti is very thin like a soup consistency.


Leftover water after pressure cooking 1 cup of chana daal ( bengal gram ) in about 2 and half cups of water for 3-4 whistles.
Cooked bengal gram - 4-5 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind pulp - 1 n half tbsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Goda masala - 1/2 - 3/4 tsp
Grated jaggery - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coconut - 2-3 tbsp (Tastes great with fresh grated coconut but i didn't have it handy, so used dry coconut (kopra))
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon stick - 2 small
Cloves - 2-3
Bay leaf - 1
Curry leaves - 5-6


The leftover water after cooking the chana daal would come around 1 and half to 2 cups. Add about 2 cups of water to it and keep aside.

Try making the amti in the same pan in which puran is made. If not, use a fresh pan/kadhai. 

Scrape the puran from the sides and bottom of the pan and mix it with the gram water kept aside.

Note: I had forgotten to keep 4-5 tbsp of chana daal aside for the amti. So i boiled it again in another bowl. But you can keep some aside before making the puran.

Dry roast the coconut and cumin till golden brown and grind it together into a powder.

Heat oil in a kadhai. Add bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. When it starts leaving aroma, add in curry leaves. Now add about 1 cup of the gram water to it. It will splutter, so make sure the flame is low. Add in the tamarind pulp.

Stir and bring to a boil. Now add salt, chilli powder, goda masala and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the jaggery (can also be replaced with salt), and the remaining gram water.

Let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut-cumin powder and mix well.( If adding fresh coconut, add cumin seeds in the tadka and coconut in the end as garnish )

Tastes best when served either hot or cold with puran poli or steamed rice.

NOTE: If you are not making Puran or Puran Poli and just want to make Kataachi amti, then you can pressure cook or boil some chana daal on stove top for approx. 40 minutes till the daal is tender. Drain and use the water for kataachi amti and use the chana daal to make something else.

Happy Cooking :)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Oregano Dinner rolls

Friendship is such a cherished relationship, isn't it? We have our childhood friends ( langotiya yaar ), our school friends, our college friends, our work-mates, our society friends... The list goes on! Some i know even have movie-friends like a friend whom you would call to catch up a movie, and throw all the filmi- gyaan you know later on, by discussing the film as a critic :) And yes, oh yes, how can we forget our pen-pals? Something which we have lost with time! :( 

I still remember when we were kids, there used to come a monthly or bi-monthly magazine wherein there was a list of all the pen friends from across the world (I am talking about the days when computers were not a household necessity) and we could choose and write to the address given. My brother had some pen-pal girlfriend from Russia, so we used to receive postcards and personalized letters from her. I really miss those days, and i still prefer writing a handwritten card or a mail anytime to this email and whatsapp.

And then now, there are virtual friends - on Facebook, on Instagram or Twitter (though, am not yet in twitter). And me? I have some blogger friends :) The advantages of Blogging world. Past few days when i didn't post anything, it felt so good to hear some words from a few of them asking my whereabouts, that i felt connected. Though i haven't met any of these friends, or know anything about them on personal level, we are connected. Connected through our blogs which we read and follow regularly. Thank you so much all you girls (women's too :)) Kudos to the blogging world :)

Back to the post, I had already tried and posted recipe of Pav . I wanted to try the dinner rolls since a long time. Recently i bought a whole lot of dried herbs and have been using them a lot in my cooking. These dinner rolls, i added a hint of oregano and the aroma was divine. As in such we all know, that there is nothing more exciting or therapeutic than baking and that too baking bread! To add to that the aroma of oregano was fantastic! These rolls can be served with soup, or any curry, or just cut them in half and apply butter or any spread of your choice. 


Maida (All purpose flour) - 1 and half cups (Can be replaced with wheat flour or half and half)
Active dry yeast - 1 tsp
Lukewarm water - 1/8 cup
Egg - 1 (beaten) (Can replace with milk)
Milk - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1 n 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
Oregano - 1- 1 n half tsp


Warm the water in microwave (not hot, just lukewarm). Add sugar and yeast to it and set it aside for 10 - 15 minutes. It will foam up which means the yeast is active.

Take the flour in a bowl. Add salt, beaten egg ( if adding), butter, and make a well in the center. Add the yeast-water mixture. Mix it all well. Now slowly add milk and knead for about 7-10 minutes to a nice smooth dough. You might require less/more milk, so add milk slowly as you knead. 

If you feel the dough is a lot sticky, then add flour or spread flour on the base and knead on it.

The dough will be nice and soft. Now grease a bowl and keep this dough covered in it to raise for about 1 n half hours or so.

You will see that the dough has raised to almost double the size. Knead it well again and add about 3/4 tsp oregano in it while kneading.Knead for about 4-5 minutes.

Grease and dust a baking tray. Now make round balls of the dough (or the shape desired) and place them in the baking tray leaving some space in between. Cover and let it rest for about an hour to raise again.

Now add the remaining oregano on top. Brush it with milk/butter or some beaten egg (if using).

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Now bake the buns for about 20 minutes or till golden brown on top.

Happy Baking :) Happy Cooking :)

Friday, 12 June 2015

Kolhapuri Khichadi

Hello all you lovely people! The weekend is already here and the rainy season too! No, not in Delhi yet, but back home in Mumbai it seems the season has already shown it's glimpses of showers! From all my friend's pictures and messages and status updates, i already felt as if I am in Mumbai! Each of us has a memory with rains - sometimes good, sometimes otherwise! My love affair with the rains has been associated with watching it pouring down sitting by the window! Yes, other than getting drenched in the first rains, i don't like to travel much in the season. The reason : Traffic jams!!! Unless it's an outdoor trip or a trek, i prefer staying home, listening to music, reading, or just lazing around.

Image source : Google

And how can we forget food? Hot cuppas of coffees and teas being made in the kitchen with some fried bhajiyas or poha or warm sabudana khichdi! Uffff...Nothing beats this food in rainy season. I would have mentioned "Maggi" too, but with the recent controversies and news about it, i would rather not add it to the list ( Though, i must say, the damage has already been done as Maggi was a saviour during the stay-alone days :)). I found 2 very nice images from Google which i am sharing. Its true... Rains bring happiness :)

Image source : Google

Coming to the post, i have already posted the recipe of Sabudana Khichdi . The one i am posting here is a different version which is popular in Kolhapur. The only difference is adding extra corriander leaves and coconut and making a paste. Some even make it a little spicier (we are all aware of the kolhapuri spicy masala, so eating spicy is natural to them) by adding more green chillies or addition of red chilli powder. I had tasted this khichdi when i visited Kolhapur in 2010 to the famous Mahalaxmi Temple. And of course, couldn't resist buying some authentic (and cheap) Kolhapuri chappals :

Though the regular Sabudana Khichdi is our comfort food and remains a weekly breakfast dish at my home, this version is a hot-favourite too :)


Sabudana - 1 cup
Danyacha kut or coarsely ground peanuts - 1/2 cup
Ghee or oil - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 3
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
Potatoes - 1 (Peeled and cut into small cubes)
Corriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Grated fresh coconut - 2-3 tbsp


Rinse the sabudana thoroughly in a strainer 2-3 times under cold water. Since sabudana is starch, make sure you don't over rinse it as it will turn soggy. Drain well.

Place the sabudana in a covered bowl for about 8 hours or overnight. Add just a little water to it (Don't soak, or immerse the sabudana in water. This will make the khichdi sticky.) Sabudana should be soft and milky white the next day. They would have expanded. If not, add just a little water and soak for some more time. 

Make a paste of peanuts (if using grounded peanuts or powder, then mix it later along with salt or sugar), coconut, green chillies and corriander leaves. Add this paste along with salt and sugar to the sabudana. Mix well as if the sabudana is marinated with the paste. 

Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Ass cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the potatoes. Saute briefly and cook covered for 4-5 minutes till done. Alternatively, you can also add boiled potato cubes. That will reduce the cooking time.

Now, add the sabudana and mix well. Cook covered for about 10-12 minutes, stirring well to avoid sticking and clumping.

Each pellet should be separate yet cooked. You will know it's done when it turns translucent.

Garnish with corriander leaves. You can also add grated fresh coconut on top for garnishing.

Serve along with curd.

Happy weekend everyone and Happy Cooking :)