If there is a super fan of this blog, it is Kiran Jalan. She has been an evangelist for this blog like no other. And yes, it thrills me to bits to hear from Kiran. 🙂 That is enough about this blog; let me introduce Kiran.
Kiran is one of most unassuming people you will ever meet. Quiet and always smiling, she is a powerhouse of talent; something you will discover as you get to know her better. Want a glimpse of Kiran’s talent? Take a look at just a few of her Ikebana creations.
Kiran is also a great cook (according to her it is all due to her foodie husband Anup :-)). I have had South Indian food, Mumbai Street Food, Sandesh, and of course, Marwari food made by her. Each and every dish of hers without exception has been finger-licking good. The last time I visited her home, Kiran fed me some wonderful traditional Marwari food. The best part was she whipped it all up in front of me; Dahi Wale Aloo, Tikkadiya, and Gatte ka Saag were just a few of the dishes. She also made some Sandesh is a jiffy.
What I loved about Kiran’s cooking style was that it was all “no fuss”. I hope to recreate all these delicious dishes that I learnt from her on this blog (currently, I am practicing the flick of the wrist with which Kiran made the Tikkadiya; she made it seem so easy!). Oh yes, we have resolved to meet often and so you can expect many more posts under her name!
Dahi Wale Aloo or Vrat ke Alu (Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy) is the first of Kiran’s recipes that I am writing about and it is perfect for the season. Ever since I have learnt this from Kiran, I have made this dish often and have grown quite fond of it!
Thank you, Kiran, for being you!
Time: 30 Minutes
Baby Potatoes – 16 to 20
Regular Potatoes – 4 Medium Sized
Dahi, Yogurt or Curd – 3/4 Cup
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 2
Curry Leaves – A Few
Ghee – 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Method to Make Dahi Wale Aloo
Blend 3/4 cup dahi with 1/2 cup water.
Add salt, turmeric, and red chilli powder.
Boil and peel the potatoes.
If you are using regular potatoes, cut them into 1″ cubes.
Take a 2-3 potatoes pieces and mash them.
In a wok, heat the ghee.
Add cumin seeds, slit green chillies, and curry leaves.
Stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add the pototoes pieces and the mashed potato.
Stir-fry for a few seconds.
Turn the heat down to low.
Add about 1/3 cup water to cool down the potatoes.
Now add the blended dahi.
Cook over low flame for 5 to 7 minutes. Be very careful and cook on a low flame; if you turn the flame to high, the yogurt will split.
Last week I had posted the recipe for Shinghare ke Atte ka Halwaby Heena Jhanglani. This week I happened to taste Rajgira Halwa made by Mrs. Jhanglani. While that version used milk, I made another version yesterday that uses water instead of milk.
Rajgira or Amaranth Flour is one of the many ingredients that are acceptable for the Navratri fast and is used to make delectable stuff like Puris as well.
Last week I had posted the recipe for Aani Basar by Nikita Jhanglani. Today it is my pleasure to post this recipe for Singhare ke Atte ka Halwa by her lovely mother Heena Jhanglani. It is also Mrs. Jhanglani’s birthday today so it is the perfect day to post this recipe.
Happy Birthday, Aunty! 🙂
Mrs. Jhanglani regularly sends us traditional Sindhi goodies along with Nikita’s lunch. (Well, they are a part of Nikita’s lunch but she cannot not share it with us, can she? :p)
Nikita had shared this Singhara Halwa made with Water Chestnut Flour during lunch with us this past month and I instantly fell in love with its nutty taste. There was also a lovely little story associated with this dish. Nikita tells us that it was her Naani (maternal grandmother) who made this halwa often and that it had not been made for sometime in their home. Then one day, while pondering what to cook for a day of fasting, her mother suddenly remembered this recipe and made it. I am glad she did because I got to discover a new dish. 🙂
I also am hoping that this recipe is the first of many that I can post this year as a part of the Navratri Vrat Recipes series. As a South Indian, fasting during Navratri is a bit alien to me. However, I have seen my friends from West and North of India fast during the 9 days of Navratri (October 13 to 22, 2015). During this period, they do not eat any grain-based dishes and use potato, sweet potato, water chestnut flour, amaranth flour and the like to cook.
How to Make Singhara Halwa (Singhare ke Atte ka Halwa)
Serves: 4 to 6
Time: 20 Minutes
Shinghara Atta – 1 Cup
Sugar – 1 Cup
Ghee – 1/4 Cup
Water – 2 Cups
Green Cardamom – 6 to 8
Almonds – 4 to 6
Method to Make Shingare ke Atte ka Halwa
To Prepare the Almonds:
Boil a little water.
Turn of the heat.
Put the almonds in the hot water.
Cover and set aside for 5 to 7 minutes.
Drain the water.
Peel the almonds. Just press the narrow end of the almond and the almond will pop-out leaving the peel in your hand.
Chop the blanched almonds into thin slivers.
To Prepare the Cardamom
Peel and powder the cardamom.
To Make the Shinghara Halwa
In a heavy bottomed vessel or kadhai, over medium flame, melt the ghee.
Add the Shinghada Atta and saute till it starts to change colour.
Add the sugar and cardamom powder.
While stirring constantly, gradually add the water. Ensure that no lumps are formed.
Cook over medium heat till the ghee starts to separate at the edges.
Turn-off the heat.
Garnish with slivered almonds.
Offer Singhara Halwa as naivedyam and serve as prasadam.
Do use the stated amount (or even more) ghee. I made one batch of “diet” halwa with 2 tbsp ghee and it was an absolute disaster.
You do not need more that 2 cups water for 1 cup of Shinghara Atta. It may look less but it is not. This I tell you from experience. 😀
Be sure to saute the flour well till it is aromatic and just starts to change colour.
Always serve Shinghara Halwa after warming it. When it is cold, it is a bit gluggy.
I absolutely love anything to do with Sabudana, be it Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Kheer, or then Sabudana Vada. I rarely, if ever, make the latter at home because of the deep frying that is involved. However, ever since I read about low-oil versions that can be made using a Paniyaram Pan (aka Appam, Appe, or Ebelskiver Pan) I have been meaning to try making the healthy versions of the deep fried Sabudana Vadas.
As I set about trying this recipe last Saturday, I was very skeptical about the results. However, I was soon to be proved wrong and very pleasantly so. The Sabudana Vadas turned out to be perfect, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and without the loads of oil that traditional vadas tend to soak up.
I will be soon trying this technique of cooking on other deep fried goodies that I like. 🙂
Makes: 10-12 Sabudana Vada
Preparation Time: 4 to 6 Hours
Cooking Time: 35-45 Mins
Sabudana – 1 Cup
Peanuts – 1/3 Cup
Potato – 1 Medium
Green Chillies – 3 or 4
Salt to Taste
Method to Make Sabudana Vada in Appam or Paniyaram Pan
Dissolve about 1/2 tsp salt in 3 cups of water.
Add the sabudana to the salted water and let it soak for 30 minutes.
Using a colander, drain the water.
Cover and leave the sabudana in the colander for at least 4 hours to drain completely.
To prepare the potato:
Boil the potato.
Peel and mash the potato.
To prepare the peanuts:
In a wok or kadhai, over medium flame, dry roast the peanuts.
Let the peanuts cool a bit.
Rub the peanuts between your palms to remove the peel.
Blow gently to get rid of the peel.
Pound the peanuts to a coarse powder.
Chop the green chillies to fine pieces.
With a gentle hand, mix the sabudana, green chillies, peanut powder, and mashed potato.
Add salt, if required. Mix well.
Divide the mix into 10 or 12 equal portions.
Roll each portion into a ball.
Over medium flame, heat the paniyaram pan.
Add a couple of drops of oil in each cavity of the pan.
Place the Sabudana Vadas in the cavities.
Roll each vada gently so that the oil covers the surface.
Let the Sabudana Vadas cook till the surface is golden brown and crisp. Roll over the vada at regular intervals so that the surface cooks evenly.
In South India, fasts strictly mean virtually no food except Phala-haaram which literally means a fruits-only diet. In my home, I have seen people have only bananas and milk. However, in many parts of Western India, Potato, Sweet Potato, Sabudana, Peanuts etc. are allowed as fasting foods. This has given rise to an entire genre of cuisine called Vrat ka Khana or Upwas ka Khana.
Another popular “fasting” dish that I have found on many a menu in traditional Maharahstrian eateries is Farali Misal. This is a delicious, easy-to-make, spicy potato-peanut based stew topped with some crunchy sweetish farali potato chivda.
The Farali Misal is quite unlike the traditional Kolhapuri Misal so let not the name fool you. 🙂
Time: 45 Minutes
Potatoes – 3 Large
Roasted Peanuts – 1 Cup
Green Chillies – 4 to 6
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Farali Batata Chivda or Potato Chivda or Batata Salli – 1 Cup
Ghee – 1 tbsp (Vegans can use oil)
Saindha Namak or Regular Salt to Taste
Preparing the Potatoes
Boil the potatoes.
Peel and crush into pieces.
Grind 1/2 cup peanuts into a coarse powder.
Chop the green chillies into small pieces.
In a kadai, heat the ghee.
Add the cumin seeds and green chilli pieces.
Stir-fry for a few seconds till the cumin seeds just start to change colour.
Add the crushed boiled potato and mix well.
Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the peanut powder, crushed peanuts and salt.
Add about 2 cups of water or enough to cover the potatoes.
Simmer till the gravy thickens.
Turn off the heat.
Ensure that the potato-peanut curry is warm.
Divide the potato-peanut curry into four equal portions.
Top each portion with 1/4 cup of Farali Batata Chivda (potato chivda).
You could use ginger-green chilli paste instead of just chopped green chillies.
You could add more body to this Farali Misal by using Sabudana Khichadi as the base. In such a case, first add Sabudana Khichadi to the bowl, then the potato-peanut curry and finally the chivda.
If you are using Sabudana Khichadi as a base, make sure it uses no rai or mustard seeds (these are a no-no on fasting days). You may also want to reduce the amount of peanuts in the Khichadi as the potato curry has lots of it.