Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Daanyachi Chutney (Peanut Chutney)

As promised in my last post, I am posting the recipe for a family favorite---daanyachi chutney. This is a dry chutney and can spice up almost any meal or snack. There are two versions that I am going to post along with the numerous ways to enjoy it. So here goes...

Ingredients: (this is my mom's version)
1cup Roasted and skinned peanuts
1 clove garlic
2 tsp Cayenne pepper (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste

Grind together the peanuts, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt in a mixer or food processor. Pulse the mixture to avoid too much oil coming out of the peanuts. Check for taste and adjust accordingly. Daanyachi chutney is ready!

My mother-in-law's version:
Skip the garlic and instead add 1 tsp of Jeera (Cumin seeds). Rest of the ingredients and method remain the same.

The two methods can also be combined and this chutney can be made by adding both garlic and cumin seeds.

Ways to enjoy this chutney :
  • Apply some tup (ghee) to a hot poli (chapati) from the griddle and sprinle some daanyachi chutney on it. Roll it up and sink your teeth in. I always had this when my mom used to make polis at home.
  • Mix the chutney with some dahi (plain yogurt) and eat it with chapati or bhakri. Alternatively, you can also add some finely chopped onion and some tadka to it. This is how my hubby loves it and this is a great side dish.
  • Spread some unsalted butter (especially the home made white butter) or tup (ghee) on a toasted slice of bread, and sprinkle this chutney on top. You have a spicy and tasty toast/sandwich.
  • Mix in a little chutney in Dahi-Bhakri, or Curd rice. It gives a nice kick to the dish.
I hope you all enjoy this extremely simple and delicious chutney recipe.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WBB : Breakfast from Leftover Bhakri (Jowar roti)

I cannot believe this...more than 10 days since my last post! Time sure flies. There were so many things to attend to, the last few days, that I just could not manage to write anything new. My family had started wondering whether I had lost interest in blogging ;) What a scary thought ! :))
Anyhoo, coming back to today's post...the recipe that I am sharing today is really simple and fast to make. We call it 'Dahi- Bhakri' which is nothing but crumbled Jowar roti mixed with plain yogurt and some tadka. Whenever there is leftover Bhakri, the breakfast for next morning is always 'Dahi Bhakri'. When I was in school, a lot of times, my mom used to make this for me as an after-school snack and I used to love it! I even remember, that once, my mom was not at home and my dad offered to make this snack for me. I was so skeptical at this idea, as I had rarely seen my dad in the kitchen. But he, very lovingly made it the way he used to have it as a kid, and boy, was I impressed! To this day, I cherish that afternoon and the taste of his 'dahi bhakri' still lingers on my tongue.
This can also be served for lunch or dinner as a side dish. This is my entry for WBB#15 : Leftovers, hosted by Nandita of Saffron Trail.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2-3 Leftover Bhakris (Jowar)
4-5 tbsp Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Milk
2 tbsp Daanyacha koot (Roasted peanut powder)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

For the phodni (tadka):
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp Mohri (mustard seeds)
1/4 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)
1/4 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
2 Dried red chillies
1 Big clove of garlic chopped

Tear the bhakris and then crumble them until you have tiny pieces of the bhakri. This can be easily done in the food processor too. To the crumbled bhakris, add salt, peanut powder and cayenne pepper if using. Now, in a small kadhai, heat the oil. Then add the mustard seeds and once they start popping, add the cumin seeds. Next add the hing and then the red chillies. Fry for a minute and then add the chopped garlic cloves. Fry till they turn golden. Make sure that you don't fry them too much, or else the garlic will become bitter. Pour this phodni (tadka) over the Bhakri mixture. Mix in the yogurt and milk. Mix well. You can adjust the quantity of milk and yogurt to your liking. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

My Dad's Version:
Instead of adding roasted peanut powder, add daanyachi chutney (peanut chutney), which is a dry chutney. I will post the recipe for this chutney in my next post.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Chiroti/Chirote --- RCI Karnataka

Since the time I have started blogging, I have realized even more, that two states share more than just a border. The cities/villages that are closer to the borders have a lot of things common culture wise and food wise. This post of mine explores one such sweet that is a favorite in two states, that are close to my heart.
Chiroti as it is known in Karnataka, or Chirote as it is known in Maharashtra, is a flaky, unleavened pastry that is very traditional in both cuisines. No wedding in Karnataka is complete without the traditional Chiroti served with Almond Milk or Badami Halu. In Maharashtra, it is generally made as one of the Pancha-Pakwanna (5 sweets) on festival days. Making Chiroti can get a little tedious if you are making a large batch all by yourself. So when these delightful Chirotis have to be made on a large scale, all the ladies of the family get together and make them. Talk about Division of Labor ;) Of course, there are easier methods too, which none other than our very own Asha has described here; but I am going to describe the detailed and slightly complicated version...why not, after all, its my mom who made them...I just was taking notes and clicking pictures ;) So this post is really on behalf of my mom and she would like to send this entry for RCI-- Karnataka, hosted by Asha and brainchild of Lakshmi.

Ingredients: (makes about 15)
1/3 cup Maida (All Purpose Flour)
1/3 cup Fine Rawa (Sooji)--use the fine variety as the coarse one does not blend in well.
2 tbsp Oil approx. (Vegetable/Canola)
Water to make the dough
Rice flour to dust
2 tbsp tup (ghee) beaten till fluffy and creamy (unsalted butter can also be used)
Tup (Ghee) to fry (Vegetable/Canola oil can aslo be used but it won't give the same flavor as ghee, what we call 'khamanga pana') :)

For the syrup:
1 cup sugar
Water enough to soak the sugar
Few saffron strands
2-3 tsps Lemon juice

Mix the maida and rawa together and add the oil to it. Mix together. You know the oil is sufficient when the maida-rawa mixture becomes crumbly, ie. when you hold the mixture in your hand it should stick together. Then add water and make a dough like you make for chapatis. The dough should be pliable. Keep aside, covered, for 3 hours at least. The longer it sits, the better.
After 3 hours, take the dough and divide into small balls (size can vary). Now, divide each ball further into 3 more balls. The idea is to make 3 chapatis out of these and layer them on top of each other. Roll out a thin chapati ,without applying a lot of pressure, out of each ball.

Take one chapati, brush some beaten tup (ghee) on the surface...

...dust some rice flour over it and then put another chapati over it.

Apply the beaten ghee on this chapati and dust with the rice flour and place the third chapati on top. Repeat the process of applying ghee and flour. Now roll this layered chapati to make a roll like this,

Do not pat the roll and flatten it with your hand. Instead, pick it up with both hands and pull very gently from each end a little to flatten it. If you pat it to flatten it, the air gets pressed and your Chiroti will not be fluffy.

Now cut this roll into small pieces like this.

Make the sugar syrup before you begin to fry the Chiroti. Take the sugar and add water just enough to soak the sugar. Put it over the heat and let it come to a 2 string consistency. Turn off the heat and add the saffron and lemon juice. Keep aside.
Heat the ghee. Take each small piece and roll out gently without applying too much pressure. The layered edges should be intact.

Once the ghee is hot enough, drop in the rolled out chirotis and fry.

Hold each piece vertical in the hot ghee for a minute, so that it fluffs up.

Then leave it to turn golden brown.

Remove from the ghee and drop into the sugar syrup,

Coat it well with the syrup and place it in a strainer. Tilt the strainer slightly so that the excess syrup will flow down. Let them cool and then store in an airtight container at room temperature. These last for 7-10 days.

Here is a look at the final product....

Instead of dunking them in the sugar syrup, you can also dust them with white powdered sugar while they are still hot. See here.

You can serve these with some Almond Milk. See here, and here.

These can even be stored plain without dipping them in the sugar syrup, which last for about 15 days and can be consumed with any dry chutney.

Finally, the Unsweetened Chiroti can be transformed into a delicious kheer/payasa, which is my favorite and the recipe of which, comes from my grandmother's Karnataka roots.

Chiroti Payasa:
Heat about a cup of milk. Add sugar according to your liking. Crumble the unsweetened Chirote into the milk once it comes to a boil. Let it come to a boil again and then remove from the heat. Add saffron. Garnish with chopped almonds. Let it sit for a while and then serve. The longer it sits, the thicker it will get and the better it will taste :)