April 25, 2014

Ragda Pattice/ Patties (Chaat from Mumbai)

Ragda Pattice is a very popular Chaat item from Mumbai. This was the first dish I made for Maharashtra, but changed it to Vada Pav and kept this for 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge' instead. I've never made ragda pattice at home until I saw this recipe being made on a Telugu cooking show and made it twice since then. I remember enjoying this snack on the road side stalls in Hyderabad, one particular one close to my aunt's house was our favorite.
Ragda Pattice/ Patties (Chaat from Mumbai)

Sikkim -- Vegetarian Momos

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 25
State: Sikkim 
Dish: Vegetarian Momos
Sikkim is a state in northeastern India located in the Himalayan mountains. The state is bordered by Nepal to the west, Tibet to the north and east, Bhutan to the east and West Bengal to the south. Sikkim is the least populous state in India and it is the only state with an ethic Nepali majority.
Because of the close proximity to Nepal and Tibet, Sikkim cuisine is highly infuenced by both of those cuisines. Sikkimese are traditionally rice eaters. Meat and dairy products are also consumed depending on the availability. Besides these, various traditional fermented foods and beverages, which constitute about 20% of the basic diet. Depending on the altitudinal variation; finger millet, wheat, buckwheat, barley, vegetables, potato, soybeans etc., are grown.
Sikkim -- Vegetarian Momos

April 24, 2014

Rajasthani Goond ki Laddoo

I have never heard or saw edible gum/ goond until I had my son about 7 years ago. My MIL sent some laddoo made with various healthy flours and goond and said they are really nutritious and good for nursing mothers. Goond is an 'edible gum' extracted from the bark of a tree. It looks like a crystal and comes in quite a few colors and sizes. I was ecstatic to see it in the local Indian store and that too in couple of sizes (and price points). I bought a package and made these nutritious laddoos for the Rajasthani thali, but of course I forgot to put them in the thali.
Rajasthani Goond ki Laddoo

Rajasthani Curry Recipes (Panchmel Subzi, Subz Jaipuri & Dhana Wadi Subzi)

Here are the three curry dishes I made for my Rajasthani Lunch Thali:
  • Panchmel Subzi
  • Subz Jaipuri 
  • Dhana Wadi Subzi
Panchmel Subzi

Rajasthan -- Lunch Thali

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 24
State: Rajasthan
Dish: Rajasthani Lunch Thali
Today we are going to the 'Land of Kings or Land of Kingdoms', Rajasthan, previously known as Rajputana. It is India's largest state by area and is located on the north western side of India. The main geographic features of Rajasthan are the Thar desert and the Aravalli Range. The northwestern region of Rajasthan is generally sandy and dry because of the Thar desert. The Aravalli range and the lands east and southeast of the range are generally more fertile and better watered.
When I think of Rajasthan, I think of the beautiful forts, palaces, colorful outfits and the colorful outfits. Like the many states I mentioned, my dad went to Rajasthan too for work years ago and brought us back lot of beautiful dress materials (for salwar kameez) and bed sheets. I still have a couple of dresses that I don't wear often, but kept them for the memories and colors -- the one you see in the background is from way back when :-)
Cuisine: Rajasthani cuisine is very rich much like its culture. It is a splendid array of colorful, spicy and unique dishes. The Rajasthani platter is a gastronomic delight and if you have been to a Rajasthani restaurant you will know the amount of food they serve and the number of dishes/ courses they have -- that is one belt bursting feast indeed.
Rajasthani cooking is influenced by the availability of ingredients in this arid region and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Food that lasts for several days and that can be eaten without heating is preferred. Scarcity of water and green vegetables have all had their effects on the cooking.
Specialties: Churma, Gujia, Ghevar, Dal, Baati, Kachori etc.
Rajasthani Lunch Thali

April 23, 2014

Punjab -- Makki di Roti & Sarson ka Saag

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 23
State: Punjab
Dish: Makki di Roti & Sarson ka Saag
We are going all the way northwest of India to Punjab today. Punjab means five (punj) and ab (water), thus the land of five rivers. It has the most fertile land. Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab and it is the single largest producer of wheat in India.
I lived in Punjab the first few months of my life -- so naturally I don't remember anything. My mom went to Chandigarh (Captial of Punjab and Haryana) as a young bride and lived there for couple of years. She said the Punjabi neighbors there were very friendly and used to share homemade food with her. I asked her if she remembers any dishes or recipes, but she couldn't recollect any specifics (understandably so since it has been 30+ years). But she does remember the hearty sarson ka saag and makki di roti that the neighbor used to send over.
Punjabi dishes are probably the most famous Indian dishes all over the world with every Indian restaurant across the globe serving Naan, Mutter-Paneer and Lassi. Punjabi cuisine, however varies significantly between home cooked, restaurant style or the dhabas (roadside restaurants in India serving authentic Punjabi food). Punjabi cuisine is wholesome and is full of rustic flavors. Homemade ghee and masalas (spices) form the center of Punjabi dishes.
Today Dish(es): I decided to make this hearty, homey and very popular Punjabi dishes: Makki di roti & Sarson ka Saag. Makki di roti is made gluten free corn flour and it takes quite a bit of practice to get them right. This is my first attempt making them and might I say, it wasn't easy and there was a lot of stomach grumbling and mumbling from the rest of family for the delay in serving lunch. After struggling for some time, I was able to make a few good enough for the pictures, the rest were just eaten -- ahem without looking at the shape -- 'cos they were too hungry.
Hearty Punjabi Meal

April 22, 2014

Pondicherry -- Pori Kuzhambu or Pathiya Kuzhambu

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 22
State: Pondicherry
Dish: Pori Kuzhambu or Pathiya Kuzhambu
Today, we are going south to Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, is a Union territory in India. The French acquired Pondicherry in 1674 and held control, with occasional interruption from the Britsih and Dutch, until 1954, when it was incorporated into the Indian Union along with the rest of India.
I have a long association with Pondicherry, not directly but indirectly. I went to Aurobindo school in Hyderabad which was founded based on the principles and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Pondicherry was the residence of Sri Aurobindo and Aurobindo ashram located there. My dad would never let me go with my school friends to Pondicherry on the yearly school excursions. But he took us all there when we went on our tour of south India.
Today's Dish: I initially wanted to make a French inspired recipe from Pondicherry and even narrowed down to a stuffed peppers with a fancy French name called Poivrons Farcis, but had to change it to this simple eggplant based rasam kind of dish. I was browsing through Cham's blog Spice Club, knowing fully well that she is the native of Pondicherry. When I found this simple rasam like dish, I made this the same dau for a simple lunch.

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