No one excels at making snacks more than Gujaratis (well, it is a toss up between them and the Sindhis, who make excellent snacks as well). So today, I present Methi Na Dhebra, one of the lesser known Gujarati snacks.
Made with Bajra flour and Methi leaves, Methi Na Dhebra is a snack made in winter because of its warming properties. What I love about this snack is that it is also very nutritious and healthy, especially if you shallow fry/pan fry it, though traditionally it is deep-fried.
This week’s theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop is Cooking Without Fire, chosen by our fellow blogger Preethi Prasad of Preethi’s Cuisine. For this theme I have chosen Doodh Poha, a super simple dish made for Kojagiri Purnima (aka Sharad Poornima) in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Doodh Poha is essentially Poha soaked in sweetened milk and garnished with dry fruits. It is supposed to be eaten cold and to keep to the theme I used raw/unboiled milk.
It is believed that the moonlight on Sharad Poornima has special powers and so food is left overnight under moonlight to absorb the moon rays. Two of the most common dishes made for this festival are Masala Doodh (Masala Milk) and Doodh Poha.
Cooking without fire is quite a bit of a challenge once you start thinking about it. All I could think of was salads and those I wanted to avoid. I did not want to make raitas or dahi-based dishes because Dahi was a “cooked” ingredient. In fact, there were many recipes that came to mind but then I realised many of the ingredients were subject to heat or pre-cooked (Mava for example). A few others like Pacchi Chalimid/Akki Thambittu, Vada Pappu/Kosambari, Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari, and Panakam I have already written about. 🙂
Coming back to Doodh Poha, you can make this delicious dish in less than 15 minutes and that is also a blessing in itself!
How to Make Doodh Poha for Kojagiri Purnima | Sharad Poornima
Are you one of those people who absolutely relish the dough made for vadiyalu (vadam, kurdayi)? I am, and my mother and grandmother used to say I eat more of the batter raw than I make vadiyalu with. So this Gujarati Rice Khichu is absolutely THE dish for me to enjoy as a snack.
It is best described as rice flour cooked in water spiced with green chillies and cumin. That is it. For those of you used to making vadiyalu (vadi), this is exactly the dough for Biyyam Pindi Vadiyalu/Sun-dried Rice Flour Fritters. As a bonus, Rice Khichu is served with oil flavoured with chilli powder, which is just the perfect accompaniment for this mellow dish.
In Maharashtra, there is a very similar dish called Ukad while Tamil Nadu has a dish called Mor Kali or Mor Koozh. Both these use buttermilk instead of water.
I learnt of Rice Khichu last week, when my neighbour shared some with me. It was made by her sister-in-law Savita Malde who is also a neighbour. Since that day I have been waiting for an opportunity to make it, and one presented itself today. 🙂
Thank you, Savita Aunty, for this simple yet wonderful dish. It will now be a regular dish in my home! I am indeed blessed to learn so much from you, Hetal, and Isha.
Gujarati Rice Khichu is a simple dish made by cooking rice flour in spiced water. It is served with chilli oil on the side and makes for a great breakfast or snack!
For the Rice Khichu
1tbspFinely Chopped Green Chillies
For the Chilli Oil
4tbspOilSesame or Groundnut, preferred
2tspRed Chilli PowderSpicy Preferred
Salt to Taste
1-2tbspFinely Chopped Coriander
Making the Rice Khichu
Add the green chillies, cumin, and salt to the water.
Boil the spiced water for 2-3 minutes.
Taste the water. It should be salty. Add salt, if required.
Turn the heat down to low.
Slowly add the rice flour to the simmering water while stirring continuously.
Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Turn the heat up to medium and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix occasionally.
When all the water is absorbed and the Rice Khichu starts to leave the sides, turn off the heat.
Divide into 4 equal portions.
Drizzle some chilli oil and garnish with coriander.
Making the Chilli Oil
Heat the oil.
Turn off the heat.
Add the chilli powder.
Traditionally, Papad Khar is added to the Rice Khichu. I did not have any at home so did not add any. It did not affect the taste.
Many recipes I saw online use Soda Bicarb as a substitute for Papad Khar. I did not add any.
This is a dish best served hot. It is not as appetizing when served cold.
Here is the recipe for Rice Khichu with the photos I took as I made it.
I added green chillies, salt, and cumin to 4 cups of water.
Next, I set this water to boil so that the salt dissolves and the flavours of the chilli and cumin are infused into the water.
After the water was boiling for about 3 minutes, I turned down the flame to low. You can even turn off the heat.
Then I added the rice flour to the boiling water and mixed immediately so that there are no lumps.
Stir continuously so that the rice flour is well incorporated and there are no lumps. A simpler way is to make a paste of the rice flour in 1/2 cup water and then add the paste to the boiling water while stirring constantly. This way you will not have the rice flour become lumpy.
Turn the flame down to medium.
Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
When the Rice Khichu starts leaving the edges, and retains shape as you are stirring, it is ready to enjoy!
Divide the hot Rice Khichu into four equal portions and add each portion to a plate or a bowl.
In a ladle, heat the oil.
Turn off the heat and add the chilli powder.
Immediately drizzle the oil over each portion of the Rice Khichu.
Sprinkle some coriander over each portion.
Enjoy hot with some hot tea!
Believe you me, hot Rice Khichu is food for the soul!
Handvo can be best described as a traditional Gujarati savoury cake. It is made with a mix of dals and rice with lauki (bottle gourd) added to it for softness.
Flavoured with green chilli-ginger paste, red chilli powder, lemon juice, and a touch of sugar, Handvo is a super-healthy. It is a full meal in itself that needs just some Chaas (Indian Buttermilk) and Green Chutney on the side.
Handvo is traditionally made in a special vessel that many Gujarati households have. However, you can just as easily cook it in a deep pan or Kadhai on a stove top.
I made my first Handvo in a small non-stick pan. However, as I was making it I realised that it was still needed considerable oil (Anything over 1/2 tsp oil is too much oil for me :)).
At this time I was also chatting on WhatsApp with Aparna Sitaraman and sharing the recipe with her. She was saying she intended to make the batter and store it, and use it to make mini Handvo in an Appam Pan as and when she had guests. What a brilliant idea that was and I immediately sought her permission to post that way on the blog.
What I loved about this mini-version (High-Tea Muffin Handvo, as Hetal called it) is that the bite-sized version made portion control rather easy for a person like me who has to battle the bulge.
I like making Steamed Methi Muthiya for many reasons. First, I love fresh Methi (Fenugreek leaves) and try to use it in as many ways as possible. Second, I am on a weight-loss journey and am looking for healthy yet delicious snacks. Third, this recipe yields the perfect Methi Muthiya; firm yet crumbly, spicy, and light on the stomach. What more can one ask for.
Methi Muthiya is a popular snack in the Western Indian state of Gujarat. There are two variants of this dish: the deep-fried version and the steamed version. I have already written about the Deep-fried Methi Muthia when I used them for making Undhiyu. Today, I am writing about Steamed Methi Muthiya which is eaten a tea-time snack.
This tea-time treat is easy to make and the ingredients are most commonly found in Indian homes. While it is a dish best enjoyed fresh, you refrigerate the Muthia to make them last longer. What I love about this snack is that it is healthy, filling and delicious. I use it as my 4 PM treat and it helps me stay away from unhealthy Chaat or fried snacks.
This is also a great way to get children to eat loads of Methi, which they otherwise find bitter.
Do also try Kothimbir Vadi, Maharashtra’s answer to Gujarat’s Methi Muthiya. 🙂
How to Make Steamed Methi Muthiya
Steamed Methi Muthiya: A Healthy Delicious Snack from Gujarat