Poori Thali

BM #116 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : Indian Flatbread Thali

Like I mentioned yesterday, my deep frying skills aren’t the best. I neither like to deep fry nor am I good at it! So these deep fried pooris are a rare occurrence at my place. Can you blame my husband for getting excited? He LOVES pooris, but his borderline cholesterol is great excuse for me not to make any :D. Hey, it’s all for his own good, believe me! ;-)

This thali was planned on the fly. I had sambar rice with raita and pickle planned for lunch. I had some leftover chole from the night before. So decided to pair the chole with poori and serve as part of the lunch. I want to make batura for the chole someday, but I always come up with some good sounding excuse for wanting to postpone it.

I made three kinds of pooris – plain, ajwain (carom seeds) and a chutney flavored poori. The flavors are inspired from the same YouTube video. The chutney flavor wasn’t too prominent in the final poori though. I might increase the amount a little more next time (if I ever make poori again!)

I always serve chole with cut raw onions and lemon wedges. Since there was a salmonella outbreak and I didn’t know where my onions were sourced from, I skipped the raw onion part. I needn’t have worried, it was not from the farm that recalled it. So I served chole with lemon wedges. I also made a fresh garlic chutney, originally from Vaishali’s space, using frozen green garlic. Fresh green garlic always reminds me of our trip to Ahmadabad for BM 25 meet and Vaishali :-).

Read on for the recipes and more pictures.

The thali has three kinds of poori though each plate has only one poori each.

  1. Chutney Poori
  2. Ajwain poori
  3. Plain poori
  4. Chole
  5. Lime wedges
  6. Fresh garlic chutney
  7. Sambar rice
  8. Raita / yogurt
  9. Pickle
  10. Kachumber (salad)
  11. Gulab jamun (readymade)

Chutney poori :

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • Water to make a dough
  • Salt as needed
  • Oil to deep fry
  • For the chutney : Grind together 1 cup coriander leaves, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 3 green chilies, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 inch piece of ginger To a smooth paste without adding any water OR use 3 tablespoon readymade green chutney
  • Add the wheat flour into a mixing bowl. Add the chutney and salt as needed. Slowly add water and mix it in. knead to get a slightly stiff dough. Cover and Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Take a small lime sized ball of the dough, roll it out using a little oil to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Deep fry in oil, drain once it puffs up and serve hot with chole.

Ajwain poori:

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain/ carom seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • salt as needed
  • Water needed to make a dough
  • Oil to deep fry
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, ajwain seeds, ghee and salt. Mix to combine and add water little by little and form a smooth but stiff dough. Take a small ball of dough and roll it out into a small circle. Deep fry to make pooris. Serve with chole or any curry of your choice.

Kachumber:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 big tomato
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 small green chili
  • Salt and lemon juice, as needed
  • Finely chop all the vegetables and mix in a bowl with salt and lemon juice as needed. Serve with pooris or chapati.

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Chaat Platter

BM #116 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Platters

I have a picture of a chaat lunch in my drafts folder, I had taken the picture because it was filling out our dining table with the various chutneys and yogurt and the fillings and everything. I actually had to stand on top of a chair to take a picture of the whole meal. It looked nice and so I had planned a chaat platter for the mega marathon.

Once I had the recipes in place (ragda patties, Chole tikki and pani puri as bass recipes), I happened upon the world of food boards/ charcuterie boards. You have to look up that hashtag in Instagram or give a google search to see what a visual treat that it is!! It’s chopping boards or cheese boards or trays completely filled with food. I have seen Charcuterie or cheese boards before, but the boards can be of any theme of your choice. And so I decided to do a chaat platter like a food board.

The biggest advantage of serving a food board is that you can choose and make whatever combination you like. With these base recipes of Chole, ragda and pani puri, you can make a whole lot of chaat recipes. The same patti can be used for ragda patties, Aloo tikki Chole and Aloo tikki chaat. For pani poori, you can have variations like boondi pani puri, Dahi poori, Chole pani puri, ragda pani puri on top of the regular potato and Chana filling. You can try any combination you want. Usually I make a couple of different kinds of pani, but with so many options, I decided to stick with just the regular pani.

I usually make the chutneys too at home, but this time I had some readymade chutneys and so used that. I have linked the recipes that I use below, but the platter has the readymade one. The puris are also readymade. The chaat masala is homemade, mine finished during the peak coronavirus times, so made it at home since I had all the individual spices.

The platter has

  1. Aloo tikki / Patties
  2. Ragda
  3. Chole
  4. Yogurt
  5. Green chutney for chaat (readymade)
  6. Tamarind chutney for chaat
  7. Coriander leaves
  8. Chaat Masala (recipe below)
  9. Chopped onions
  10. Panipuri pooris (readymade)
  11. Panipuri Paani
  12. Boondi (readymade)
  13. Potato filling for pani puri (recipe below)
  14. Chole filling for panipuri(recipe below)
  15. Lime wedges

Potato filling for pani puri

  • Mash one boiled potato with salt and chili powder to taste. Sprinkle chaat masala and some finely chopped coriander leaves, if preferred. Use as stuffing for pani puri.

Chana filling for pani puri

  • In a bowl, add half cup of cooked chana. Add some chopped onions, chaat masala, chili powder and salt to taste. Mash with a fork but leaving some Chana in chunks and some mashed. This helps it to hold together well making it easy to scoop and fill the Puris.

Chaat masala recipe:

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ajwain seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoons dried mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons amchur
  • 2 tablespoons kala namak

Method: Dry roast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds over medium heat until it turns a little darker. Once it’s cooled down, grind into a powder with the rest of the ingredients. Store in a dry airtight jar.

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Lasooni Chana Paneer

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : A-Z Curries

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and she told me that it’s her regular base recipe. She makes a big batch of the below garlic paste and the uses a spoon or two as needed for various Curries or rice preparations throughout the week. Here I have used the whole batch for a single curry and as you can guess from the ingredient list, it is a very spicy dish. You can always use half of the spice paste and make it less spicer or simple reduce the amount of chilies and black pepper.

Here I have used what I had at home which happened to be Chana and paneer. You can use any vegetable you have at home. If you are using this for rice preparations, go about it the same way – Sauté the prepared garlic paste in oil after cooking the onions, then cook along with vegetables of your choice and rice.

Between pepper and red chilies, the paste is really spicy, but I find the taste quite alright and not overwhelming for us. In a nutshell, the paste contains about one whole garlic, a big piece of ginger, Handful of red chilies, a handful of black pepper and a bit of Jeera. The measurements here are based on that and you can always adjust it according to your preference. This curry goes well with rice and roti. I prefer it with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the garlic paste:

  • 2” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 10-12 red chilies or per taste
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon jeera

For the curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Curry paste from above
  • 2 cups cooked Chana
  • 1 cup diced paneer or more
  • Salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. In a blender jar, grind the ginger, garlic, red chilies, pepper and jeera to a paste. Grind without water first, but if needed, add a spoonful of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté until it turns pink. Add the ground masala and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are soft and done. You can sprinkle some water if the curry looks dry and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the cooked Chana, paneer, salt as needed and one cup of water. Mix everything well and add more water, if needed, to bring to the consistency of your choice. Bring it to a boil, taste test and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, serve with rice or roti.

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Koshari

BM #110 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Middle Eastern recipes

Koshari is the national dish of Egypt. It is a fusion of Indian, Italian and Middle East flavors. It has rice and lentils, originated from khichdi, and it has pasta and tomato sauce, from Italy.

The dish looks complex, but it’s extremely easy to make. It has rice, chickpeas, green lentils, pasta and tomato sauce. Each of these can be cooked ahead to make serving easier. Some recipes online serves the dish in layers where as others mix everything and then top with the tomato sauce. I have tried both ways and I prefer the everything together version.

You might end up having more tomato sauce than you need, but it can be refrigerated or frozen until you can use it again. Some people like to have more sauce, so I prefer to make a little extra than running low.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cooked Chana /chickpeas
  • 1 cup green/brown lentils (whole masoor dal)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup dried pasta
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes (or 8-9 of tomatoes puréed)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or per taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Cook lentils separately until done. I pressure cooked it in Instant Pot for 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoon olive oil in a pan. Sauté washed rice for a minute. Add salt as needed and 1.5 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, Cover and cook until rice is done. Set aside.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Run in cool water to prevent sticking and set aside.
  4. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Sauté 1 chopped onion and minced garlic until it’s soft. Add a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes ( or 8-9 tomatoes, purées) along with chili powder, cumin powder and salt. Simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, taste testing and adjusting the seasonings if needed. Set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Sauté 2 large chopped onions until it’s brown. Take off the heat.
  6. Now to assemble, add the rice, lentils, cooked chickpeas and pasta in a big bowl. Taste and add salt if needed. In a bowl or plate, serve the rice mix topped with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce and a little of caramelized onions.

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