Blogging Marathon #24: Day 1
Theme: Cooking from Restaurant Menus
For this month's final week of Blogging marathon, I chose a very interesting theme, "Cooking from Restaurant Menus". Valli gave us quite a few menus to choose from and I chose "India House Vegetarian Restaurant".
There are way too many Indian restaurants in New Jersey that makes us too picky. Most of the restaurants are sub par and too expensive. All of the dishes taste the same with the same masalas and all the menus look the same too. There are probably only a handful of restaurants that we usually revisit while the rest are only one-timers. Moral of this story is I prefer going to non-Indian restaurants than Indian ones, mostly because I want to try and see what other cuisines have to offer and partly because going to an Indian restaurant costs more on the pocket with uninspiring dishes.
When we are at an Indian restaurant, I like to order dishes that I don't usually make at home, may be the house specialties or specials for the day. Also I stay clear of deep fried dishes, so bhaturas, koftas are out for me. So thanks to BM, I've tried 3 new dishes that I've never made at home and have only occasionally ordered at a restaurant.
For day 1 under "Subah Ho Ya Shyam" section, I've ordered/ made "Chole-Batura". This is the first time I've made bhaturas at home and I had my mom help me with the dough and the frying, so officially my mom made them and I'm taking the credit :-) I added some whole-wheat pastry flour that I had to use up, to add some fiber to the bhaturas.
- Mix all of the ingredients and using enough warm water form a stiff dough. Knead for 1-2 minutes. Cover with damp cloth and let rest for 2-4 hours.
- The dough will get slightly puffy after resting. Divide the dough into equal pieces, we got about 16-18 medium size pieces. Roll them between the palms into a smooth ball. Roll into a 4-5" circle. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Deep fry in hot oil pressing lightly to puff up and golden brown on both sides.
- Serve hot with chole.
- Soak chickpeas in lot of water overnight or for at least 6 hours. Then pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles until tender. Grind ½ cup of the cooked chickpeas into a smooth paste. Set aside until ready to use.
- Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan; add onions and cook until translucent. Add ginger + garlic paste and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Next add tomato sauce, all the dry masalas and salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the cooked chickpeas along with the ground chickpea paste and 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Add more water if the xurry looks too dry.
- Garnish with Cilantro, chopped onions and lime wedge; serve with bhaturas or puris or rotis.