Fansi Dhokli Nu Shaak

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 3
Theme : DEF – Curries

My family loves Gujarati food and that’s how I decided on this curry for today. Trust me – it wasn’t easy to find a dish starting with the alphabet F. Fansi is beans in Gujarati. There seems to be many versions to the basic beans curry, I went with the one with dumplings.

I have followed the method in this YouTube video for most part. The recipe usually involves making the dough for dhokli and the cooking it with beans and spices. The video I followed had onions and tomatoes in it too, so that’s what I did. Because of the wheat flour, the curry has a tendency to thicken up if you keep it for long. You might have to reheat it with some water to break it at the time of serving.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For dhokli

  • 3 tablespoons chickpea flour/Besan
  • 3 tablespoons wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Water as needed to make dough

For Fansi

  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon jeera seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon hing
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1.5 cups French beans, diced
  • Salt as needed
  • 1.5 cup water or more, as needed

Method:

  1. Make the dhokli first. In a mixing bowl, add the besan and wheat flour along with the spices, salt and oil. Mix to combine. Add water in steps and knead to make a soft smooth dough.
  2. Pinch off small balls from the dough. Keep the ball on your left palm and press it with your right thumb. You will get a small disc this way. Repeat with the rest of the dough and set the discs this aside.
  3. For the curry, heat oil in a pan. Add the Jeera, hing and carom seeds. Sauté the onions and when it turns pink, add the garlic paste. Now add the tomatoes, salt and the spices. Mix well, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and mushy. Add the beans and 1.5 cups water. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes until the beans are almost done.
  4. Add the dhokli discs and add one more cup of water if needed. Cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the dhoklis are done. Taste test a piece to see whether it’s cooked through. Once it’s cooked, remove from heat and serve hot with rotis.

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Eggplant curry Instant Pot

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : DEF – Curries

This week’s blogging theme is Curries in alphabetical order and for the alphabet E, it’s an eggplant curry. My initial plan was to make an egg curry in Instant Pot, but then this one sounded better to me.

Eggplant is not exactly a favorite veggie for most people. I don’t have eggplant haters at home, but at the same time no one requests for it too. But this curry changed that a bit. I have made this couple of times already since my husband likes it a lot.

I use Instant Pot a lot and so I ended up buying couple of cookbooks for it too. One of the books I use most is Archana Mundhe’s The Essential Indian Instant Pot cookbook and this recipe is from there. Every single recipe I tried has turned out great, so it’s a good book to invest if you have an Instant Pot and cook Indian food often. A big bonus with this recipe is that it’s not only tasty, but very very easy to put together too.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggplants
  • 1 big onion, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. From the round end of the eggplants, cut a ‘plus’ and cut through until you are close to the stem. Keep the stem intact so that its not cut into four pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the finely chopped onions, coconut, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, jaggery and salt as needed. Mix everything well together.
  3. Carefully stuff the eggplants with the prepared mix. You will have some leftover, set it aside.
  4. Turn the Saute mode in Instant Pot. Heat oil. Add the stuffed eggplants. Turn off the Instant Pot and add one cup of water to the bowl. Slowly distribute the leftover filling on top of the eggplants.
  5. Switch to Manual mode for 5 minutes. You can let the pressure release naturally or do a quick release once it’s done.
  6. Once the pressure is released, if the gravy is runny, gently scrape the filling on top of the eggplant and add it to the gravy. Press the Sauté button and bring everything to a boil. This helps the gravy thicken a little bit more. Serve with rice or rotis.

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Dal Tadka

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : DEF – Curries

I am back in the blogging space after a really long time. Each time I take a break, it always seem to extend it beyond what I originally meant! Anyway, here I am finally with a theme that I should have kick started last month. It’s an ongoing alphabetical theme for the year and I have chosen Curries as my theme.

About the recipe here, it’s dal tadka. I have used red lentils (masoor dal) here, but this can be made with toor dal or moong dal with the same results. This pairs well with roti, naan or rice. It’s surprising that I don’t have any recipes for dal tadka in the blog though I have made this as part of some Thalis before.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup masoor dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • A pinch of kasoori methi, optional
  • Lemon juice to taste, optional
  • Salt to taste

For tadka:

  • 2 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Jeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or chili flakes

Method:

  1. Pressure cook 1 cup dal with 3 cups water And turmeric powder. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil and sauté the onions. Once the onions turn pink, add the ginger garlic paste. Mix it in and add the coriander powder and garam masala. Mix it in. Add the dal and salt as needed.
  3. If the dal is too thick, add some water, half cup at a time. Once everything comes to a boil, add the kasoori Methi and lemon juice. Mix well. Take off the heat.
  4. For the tadka, heat ghee in a small pan. Add red chilies, jeera and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the chili flakes or chili powder. Take off the heat and add to the dal. Serve with rice or roti.

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Vadacurry with Idli

BM #106: Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

The first time I had vada curry is when our friend’s mom prepared it for us. It’s not a dish I grew up eating, but the first time I had it, I absolutely loved it. I thought it was a complicated process to prepare these, but it’s a fairly easy one. First you have to soak Chana dal and then grind it fennel seeds and dried red chilies. It’s ground to a coarse paste and steamed as small vadas. The gravy for this is the common onion tomato base with the usual spices. The vada is then broken into smaller pieces and added to the onion tomato gravy.

The only difference I see in my friend’s mom’s recipe from the other ones in internet is that she keeps a little bit of vada batter aside and uses it to thicken the gravy later. In the other recipes I see coconut being used for this purpose. The smell and taste of fennel seeds here is absolutely divine. Mine doesn’t have that much fennel, so feel free to add a bit more ground fennel seeds to the gravy if preferred.

This is a typical breakfast/dinner dish and is usually served with soft thick dosas or idli. This was dinner getting packed as lunch next day for my husband:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend’s mother

Ingredients:

For vada

  • 1 cup Chana dal
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • Salt as needed

For curry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the dal overnight or for at least 3 hours. Drain the water completely and pulse it in a blender with fennel seeds, chilies, chili powder and salt. It should be a coarse paste and not a smooth paste. Remove the ground paste to a bowl reserving about 2 tablespoons ( roughly a handful) of it back in the blender. The reserved batter will be blended with water to use for thickening the gravy later.
  2. Take a marble sized ball from the vada batter. Flatten it and place it on a steamer rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Steam for 12 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For the curry, heat a tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onions till it’s pink. Add the ginger garlic paste and mix it in. Add the tomatoes and all the spice powders and salt. Mix everything well and let it cook until the tomatoes are really mushy and almost like a paste. You can add a little water whenever it looks dry or if the curry starts sticking to the pan.
  4. At this point, add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust seasonings.
  5. Break each vada into smaller pieces, roughly 3-4 pieces per vada. Add the broken vada to the gravy. If the curry is dry, add more water. You are looking for a chili like consistency.
  6. To the reserved vada batter, add 1/4 cup water and grind to a very smooth paste. Add this to the gravy and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds if preferred. Taste test again and adjust seasonings if necessary. Take off the heat and serve with idli or dosa or even roti.

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