Showing posts with label Snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snacks. Show all posts

Friday, March 20, 2015

Two Recipes with Dal! Dhokla and Mulligatawny Soup!

Did you guys know that World Water Day is around the corner? I, for one, have been in the water-wasters club for many years, with brushing my teeth leaving the tap on. While this is one of the major habits one needs to change in order to conserve water, there are many more (especially in the kitchen) which won't take much getting used to and will in turn impact our water conservation practices in a hugely positive manner. Here are a few:

1. You do not need to use a lot of water while boiling vegetables. The idea is for the water to just cover the vegetables in it. Instead of pouring out the water, you can use that flavourful Vegetable Stock in place of water while cooking your next meal!

2. Don't use water to defrost food. You can just leave the frozen food in the fridge overnight instead!

The good folks over at Tata I-Shakti have taken a great initiative during this #WorldWaterDay to make everybody aware of these little things, while also talking about their wholesome unpolished Dals. I have made the switch recently, and I could not be happier. Not only does 1 cup yield more Dal as compared to polished Dal, these Dals only require 2 cycles of rinsing as opposed to 4 times with the regular polished variety. Not to forget that the Polished Dals also are stripped off of their nutritional content.

On this blog post I will be sharing 2 recipes from my kitchen, that waste minimal amount of water. First one is a healthy take on the globally favourite Dhokla, which I have been making with Moong Dal off late. Not only is this healthier, I have used the soaking water to blend the soaked Dal, instead of pouring it down the drain and replacing with fresh water.

The second recipe has a story of its own. It is the world famous Mulligatawny soup. Mulligatawny soup comes from Mooluga Thanni, which literally translates to Pepper Water. It was served to the soldiers during the British Raj in India, just because they demanded there be a Soup course. Well, the British left, they took the recipe with them, and heavily anglicized it to suit their palate. They added meat to the soup, thickened it with Coconut Milk, but I am not complaining, for I am a huge fan of this dish! It may be a bit lengthy but it is really easy, and the final product will blow your socks off. I guarantee it.

So, without further ado, I present these two recipes to you, one by one!

Recipe: Moong Dal Dhokla
Serves 6
Takes 20 minutes plus 4 hours soaking time.


1 cup Tata I-Shakti Moong dal.
2 cups Water
An inch of ginger
2 Green Chilies
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
A pinch of Asafoetida (heeng)
1 tsp Oil plus some more for greasing
1 tsp Eno Fruit Salt or Baking Soda

For the Tempering:

1.5 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tbsp White Sesame Seeds
2 Green Chilies, Chopped
6 Curry Leaves
A pinch of Asafoetida
3/4 Cup Water
1 tbsp Sugar (optional)

For Garnishing:

A handful of Coriander leaves, chopped.
A handful of Grated Fresh Coconut, scraped.


Soak the Moong Dal in 2 cups of water for 4 hours. Drain it but reserve the water.

Grind it in a blender with the Chili and Ginger. Use the reserved water (add more if desired) to get the pouring consistency like that of a Dosa.

Set up your steamer on the stove. Grease the steaming plate with Oil. I used 2 flat plates.

In the mean while, mix in the Turmeric, Red Chili, Asafoetida, Salt and Oil and give it a good stir. Just before adding into the steamer, add in the fruit salt and mix well with a steel spoon such that the batter is fluffy. Pour it into the two plates and set them in the steamer.

Steam for 12 to 15 minutes, then turn the heat off and let it stay for another 2 minutes. In the mean while, make the tempering.

Heat up a small pan with the Oil. Add in the mustard seeds, when they pop add the Asafoetida and the chopped chilies, followed by sesame seeds and then curry leaves. Let them splatter. Top this up with water and Sugar if desired, and let the mixture come to a boil. Turn the stove off and keep this aside. You can choose to skip the water soaking step, but I like my Dhoklas moist.

Remove the Dhokla from the steamer and cut them into desired shapes. Soak them with the water from the tempering, and add the tempered goodness all over them. Garnish with Coriander leaves and grated coconut. Serve with chutney!


Recipe: MulliGatawany Soup
Serves 4 to 5
Takes 1 hour

An inch of ginger
6 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
1 large Onion, finely chopped
1 Green Apple, peeled and diced.
½ Jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
2 tbsp flour
½ tbsp. Coriander Powder (Dhania Powder)
1 tsp. Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
 ¾ tsp. Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (You can use 4 cups of normal water, and add a stock cube to the masala while cooking, or you can also use plain water)
¾ cup Tata I-Shakti Red Lentils (Masoor Dal)
A handful of Coriander leaves, chopped.
½ cup Coconut Milk
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 tbsp Oil
A cup of cooked Basmati Rice (You can substitute with Brown Rice for a healthier alternative)
A dollop of Yogurt, to garnish.

Soup: Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a deep pan over medium high heat. Sauté the Ginger, Garlic, Onion and Jalapeño until the Onions are translucent. Add in the Apples and give them a minute, then add Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder and Turmeric Powder and stir till the masala blooms. At this point, also add in the Stock Cube if you're planning to use one. Top up with Water/Stock and pour in the Red Lentils. Let this come to a boil.

Turn the heat to medium low, cover the pan and let this go for 30-45 minutes, until the Dal gets cooked. Throw in the chopped Coriander leaves. Purée 75% of the ingredients to a smooth velvety goodness, while letting the remaining 25% be chunky, for a superb textural contrast. You'll thank me later!

Return the soup to the pan on a low heat, and add in the Coconut Milk. Give it 3-4 minutes, then season with Salt and a generous cracking of Pepper.

To Serve: Place a small handful of boiled/cooked Rice in each bowl, and top it up with Soup. Garnish with a dollop of Plain Yogurt. You can also add a squeeze of Lemon Juice. People also serve this 'best-soup-they've-ever-had' with pan fried/roasted Cashews or Almond slivers. I'm salivating already.

Note: You can make this recipe with Chicken as well (traditionally it is made with Chicken), in which case you will need 200 gm of Chicken sliced into cubes. Pan fry them before you start the Soup process, for 90 seconds on each side, and remove them. Continue with the Soup recipe as above. Throw the Chicken pieces in along with the Coconut Milk at a later stage and cook for 6 minutes instead of 3! I made mine with Chicken :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: The pursuit of 'Happi'ness. Me So Happi, Khar, Mumbai.

I am back, after another hiatus, to apologize about my absence. This time is a little different, 'coz I come bearing good news, especially for the forever hungry people in Mumbai. As I am trying to desperately find balance between my love for food, and leading a healthy and fit lifestyle, I have recently had the opportunity to try some real fun places in our city and as a "foodie" I feel very excited about the change in the food scene, with people open to trying stuff from around the world, stepping out of their dal-chawal-aloo-tikki-chaat-masala zones and opening up to subtler flavours, while taking their palates through a culinary roller coaster.

I could go on about what's hot and what's not, but its for you to decide. What I can tell you is that when I go to a restaurant, review or otherwise, I look for good food (obviously), great service, smiling faces, loud chatter, and a great ambiance. Basically, I look for a good vibe. A vibe that makes me happy- which is what Me So Happi did, it made me happy.

Me So Happi is an all day diner located right next to the Guess showroom on the Linking Road, Khar. You will easily spot the happy writing on their sign board. Walk in and you will be transported to an upbeat ambiance, with large windows, plenty of natural light, and little nothings that meant something to us as kids such as a jar full of Kismi Bar chocolates. I, for one, am not a huge fan of the high chair seating but surprisingly the chairs were very comfortable. What looked like a quaint little place was actually enormous inside, with an outdoor seating area and décor with lots of personality. If you are lucky enough you will spot the owner, Aarathi Arambhan, and the Chef Anirudh taking rounds and interacting with customers and getting feedback all along. Here is what we tried:

Smoothies: We tried the California Smoothie and the Mr.P Nutt Oats Smoothie. It was a surprise to us that this place actually served up smoothies and we were so glad we ordered these! The P Nutt Oats Smoothie is a must try.

Salads: We tried the Caesar Salad which was spot on, the Chicken and Egg Salad was nice too, but I am more of a Caesar Salad girl :)

The Quinoa and Beet salad was excellent and a refreshing change from the normal leafy stuff!

Appetizers: We also tried the Prawns on Fire, which were actually perfectly balanced and fried to crispy awesomeness. I would not say the same about the Baked Potato Skins. Safe to avoid them.

Meat lovers, do yourselves a favour and try the Big Bad Meanie Lamb Burger. I have attached the picture and it needs to explanation. It was juicy and yummy!

Another succulent meaty dish is the Meat On Top, with an amazing gravy topping a bed of mashed potatoes. You will love it, I am sure!

We thought of trying the Cheesecake for dessert but it was out of stock (yes it is that good) so we tried the Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, which was topped with none other than Magic Pop! This one is an absolute must try!

The Pecan Nut Pie was nice as well, just thought it was a tad eggy for my liking. Will stick to the Mousse Cake or the Cheesecake!

In the end, Me So Happi made We So Happi! :)

P.S. They have recently started a Sunday Breakfast menu that opens at 7 AM and goes on till 11 AM. Cannot wait to try it!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Decoding the Dabeli.

I love Indian street food. I think it is one of the healthier options out there compared to going to malls and hogging on Pizzas and Burgers. The best part about it is that it is mostly made fresh so you’re eating nothing frozen. Give me a roadside toast sandwich made with slices of Onions, Potatoes, Beetroot,Cucumber and Tomato and I am set. Ofcourse with the mandatory schmear of the spicy green chutney on top and also a knob of butter, which is omitted in my case. I already did a Dahi Papdi Chaat recipe and it is just not enough to have just one street food recipe on my blog :D So here is the Dabeli!

Dabeli is basically a spicy potato filling stuffed inside a bun which has been layered with a hot chili garlic chutney and a sweet date- tamarind chutney. Other goodies make it even more of an eating experience such as the fresh Pomegranate seeds and also slices of Grapes, which I did not manage to find. It originates from Kutch in Gujarat, the western part of India and the mother of many other awesome street food dishes, and is one of the most popular things sold here in Mumbai. It’s Vegetarian too! So I had to decode all the elements and then put them back together and may I safely say, mission successful!

Recipe : Various (Sanjeev Kapoor, Indobase and Mom)
Serves 4

 2 large Potatoes, boiled and mashed.
2 tablespoons Dabeli Masala (If you don’t have this just grind together an inch of Cinnamon, couple of cloves, 1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds, 1 red Chili large, and a teaspoon of Coriander Seeds into a powder)
1 large/2 medium Onions, Finely chopped.
½ cup Masala Peanuts.  (You could just use normal peanuts and then saute them with some salt and spices as per your taste)
Juice of one Lemon
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida Powder/Hing
1 tablespoon Oil
Seeds of 1 small Pomegranate
½ cup Nylon Sev
½ cup chopped coriander leaves
½ cup Teekhi Chutney : Grind together 6 cloves of Garlic and 4 dried red chilies with a little bit of water and salt to form a super spicy chutney.
1 cup Meethi/Sweet Chutney. Recipe here4 Paav/Buns
1 tablespoon Butter.
Salt and Sugar to taste.


Get all your Ingredients ready!

In a pan, heat up 1 tablespoon Oil, add in the Cumin seeds, Asafoetida powder and mix it for 30 seconds. Then throw in half of the chopped Onions.

Saute them till translucent and add in the Potatoes, The Dabeli Masala, Salt, a teaspoon of Sugar, Lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of Sweet Chutney, and mix well on a low flame. Once it is all incorporated, you can add some water to adjust the consistency to a thick spreadable paste. Your filling is now ready. Put it on a flat bottomed plate, and spread it all around. Then layer it with some chopped Onions, Pomegranate seeds,  some of the Peanuts, some of the Sev and some Coriander Leaves.

Now to assemble the Dabeli, start by heating up a flat tawa on medium low heat. Make a Cavity in your Paav and on one side smear with very little Teekhi Chutney. On the other side smear the double amount of Meethi Chutney.  Repeat with all 4 buns.

Stuff the filling inside, generously.  Also add some chopped Onions and Peanuts inside. Add a pat of Butter on your pan and swirl around, and place the Paav on it. Let them cook for a couple of minutes andthen top them with another pat of butter and turn, cook for 2 more minutes. The top of the Bun should have a crisp layer.

Gosh I am one messy cook!

Decorate them with more Pomegranate seeds, rest of the Masala Peanuts, Sev and Coriander Leaves!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Soya Ramly Burger with Chili Mayo and Yogurt Green Slaw - An Ode to the famous Ramly Burger in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I tried to argue with myself a lot and tried to think down memory lane to think of a better burger that I have had, but I would have to go so far as to say that this is the best burger I have ever had. I know it is a huge thing to say, but this dish is comforting, packed with flavor, and light on the calories too. What can I say, it is a complete win-win situation :) I seriously recommend you guys to try this out! The best burger that I had before this one was the Ramly Burger on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2 months ago. Ramly is the name of the company that manufactures these ready to eat frozen chicken and beef patties which you have to just grill or pan fry. You can find these stalls just like the Vada Pav stalls here in Mumbai and every local knows about them. That is just plain out greasy awesomeness. So I had to find a way to have the best of both worlds and I think I achieved it pretty well!!!

Soya Ramly Burger with Chili Mayo and Yogurt Green Slaw
Serves 4, but with the kind of awesomeness going around I would say that it serves 2 people coz they will go for seconds.

The recipe for these Burgers is basically just a bunch of my recipes put together, plus the buns and the Yogurt Green Slaw.

You will need :

1 recipe Faux Minced Meat Burger patties
1 recipe Homemade Mayonnaise plus I added some Chili Flakes to it.You could just use store bought Mayo and add chili flakes to it.
3 eggs for the omelet, and a dash of milk.
2 Cucumbers/Zucchini, thinly sliced into ribbons.

Yogurt Green Slaw:
For this you need:
1 cup shredded Cabbage
1 cup shredded Green pepper/Capsicum
1/2 cup Yogurt
2 tablespoons Homemade Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Mustard
lots of pepper
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Vinegar/1 tablespoon Lemon Juice


Mix in the Cabbage and Capsicum in a large bowl.

Mix all other ingredients to form the dressing.

Then pour over the shredded veggies and mix well. I prefer mixing with hands, and I prefer a lot of pepper for the extra kick. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once you have everything ready, assemble the Burger.

Beat the 3 eggs with very little salt and a dash of cream or milk. Heat a flat pan on medium and then pour a little, about a quarter of the egg mixture on the pan and then swirl it around so that you get a nice thin egg pancake. Turn the heat to medium low and let the egg cook.

Now add the Soya Patty in the center, and fold the egg around it like an envelope. Sorry I could not take a picture, there was just too much going on and I was working alone :) Toast your buns at the side while this process gets completed. Now place the parcel on the lower side of the bun and top it with some Mayo and then the Cucumber slices, now add some Mustard and/or Ketchup if desired, and some Green Slaw. Top with the other half of the bun and bite into a piece of heaven. I promise you that you will not regret making this.

Of course, one can experiment by using regular cole slaw, adding other veggies like bean sprouts, onions, Lettuce, whatever you like! But do let me know how it turns out :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Faux Keema (Minced Meat) Burgers.

I am posting here after AGES! And I have no excuse at all, I have been really putting it on the backburner for a long time and now I have so many posts that I need to type! I hope every one has been doing fine :) Now, without further ado, here I go...

I made these Soya Granules Burgers today and they turned out so delicious, I just knew I had to put them up here as soon as possible. Just calling them Faux Meat Burgers to sound fancy ;)

Faux Minced Meat Burgers/ Soya Granules Burgers
Serves 4-5


1 cup Soybean Granules
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
4 slices of Bread
1 tablespoon Red Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Coriander Powder
1 tablespoon Garam Masala Powder
1 teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder
A handful of Chopped Coriander Leaves/Cilantro Leaves
Mustard Sauce to taste
Ketchup to taste
Dark Soy to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Burger Buns
1 Tomato, thinly sliced into roundels


Boil the Soya Granules in 3 cups of water with a dash of Soy sauce. Then drain them and set aside. In a pan, heat up 1 tablespoon Oil and add in the Onions, sauté them till translucent.Then add in the Ginger-Garlic paste and fry for a minute. Turn the heat to medium low, and add in the Soya Granules followed by Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala Powder. Mix well, add Salt and Pepper. Transfer this to a flat dish and let it cool.
Once cool, add in 4 slices of bread, soaked in water and squeezed, the Coriander Leaves, a dash of Mustard and Ketchup each, and Chaat Masala Powder. Knead this into a  dough and form patties. I made 12. Then fry them on medium low on a pan lightly coated with Oil. I did them 4 at a time, 3 minutes each side. They don't break unless you add a lot of pressure, so there is nothing to worry.

Now toast your buns and assemble your burgers, a half of the bun, followed by the patty, then a slice of Tomato, a dash of Mustard and Ketchup if needed, and top it off with the other half of the bun. No rocket science here! :P And ENJOY!

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