Doodh Poha | A Recipe from Maharashtra and Gujarat

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.

A spoonful of Doodh Poha with dry fruit garnish
Spoonful of Goodness | Doodh Poha

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!

Doodh Poha for Kojagiri Purnima | Sharad Poornima
Doodh Poha for Kojagiri Purnima | Sharad Poornima

How to Make Doodh Poha for Kojagiri Purnima | Sharad Poornima

Doodh Poha in a silver bowl on a dark green saree
Print
Doodh Poha
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Doodh Poha is beaten rice soaked in saffron and cardamom flavoured milk, and garnished with dry fruits. It is made for Kojagiri Poornima or Sharad Purnima in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian, Maharashtrian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups Thick Poha
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 4 to 6 Tbsp Sugar See notes
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Kesar or Saffron Strands
  • 1/3 Cup Mixed Dry Fruit I used Almond, Pista, Cashew, and Raisin
Instructions
Making the Masala Milk
  1. Add the saffron, cardamom, nutmeg, and sugar to the milk.

  2. Mix well.

  3. If you are using raisins (Kishmish), add them to the milk now so that they soak some milk and turn plump.

  4. Set aside for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the sugar dissolves well.

  5. If you are making the Masala Milk in advance, refrigerate it.

Putting Together the Doodh Poha
  1. Add the Poha and the dry fruits to the Masala Milk.

  2. Mix well.

  3. Set aside for 10 minutes for the Poha to soak.

  4. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • In the past, I have used honey instead of sugar and loved it.
  • I would recommend that you make the Masala Milk in advance and refrigerate it as Doodh Poha tastes awesome when cold.
  • Avoid refrigerating Doodh Poha as the Poha turns stiff.
  • Use thick poha and not the thin variety. The thin variety of poha tends to disintegrate in the milk.

 

Dudh Pauva
Dudh Pauva

See what my fellow bloggers at the Foodie Monday Blog Hop have posted at:

Gujarati Rice Khichu | Inspired by Savita Malde

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.

Gujarati Rice Khichu with Chilli Oil
Rice Khichu

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.

Also try Hetal’s recipes for Kela Methi ki Sabzi and a wonderful desert called Fusion Delight (hint: It has Gajar ka Halwa and Apple Cinnamon Sauce)

Without further ado, here is a detailed how-to for this wonderful Rice Khichu.

How to Make Gujarati Rice Khichu | A Step-by-Step Method

Gujarati Rice Khichu
Print
Gujarati Rice Khichu
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

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!

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
For the Rice Khichu
  • 1 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp Finely Chopped Green Chillies
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 Cups Water
For the Chilli Oil
  • 4 tbsp Oil Sesame or Groundnut, preferred
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder Spicy Preferred
  • Salt to Taste
For Garnish
  • 1-2 tbsp Finely Chopped Coriander
Instructions
Making the Rice Khichu
  1. Add the green chillies, cumin, and salt to the water.

  2. Boil the spiced water for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Taste the water. It should be salty. Add salt, if required.

  4. Turn the heat down to low.

  5. Slowly add the rice flour to the simmering water while stirring continuously.

  6. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.

  7. Turn the heat up to medium and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix occasionally. 

  8. When all the water is absorbed and the Rice Khichu starts to leave the sides, turn off the heat. 

  9. Divide into 4 equal portions.

  10. Drizzle some chilli oil and garnish with coriander.

  11. Serve immediately.

Making the Chilli Oil
  1. Heat the oil.

  2. Turn off the heat.

  3. Add the chilli powder.

  4. Mix well.

Recipe Notes
  • 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.

  1. I added green chillies, salt, and cumin to 4 cups of water.
  2. 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.
  3. After the water was boiling for about 3 minutes, I turned down the flame to low. You can even turn off the heat.
  4. Then I added the rice flour to the boiling water and mixed immediately so that there are no lumps.
  5. 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.
  6. Turn the flame down to medium.
  7. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Mix occasionally.
  9. When the Rice Khichu starts leaving the edges, and retains shape as you are stirring, it is ready to enjoy!
  10. Divide the hot Rice Khichu into four equal portions and add each portion to a plate or a bowl.
  11. In a ladle, heat the oil.
  12. Turn off the heat and add the chilli powder.
  13. Mix well.
  14. Immediately drizzle the oil over each portion of the Rice Khichu.
  15. Sprinkle some coriander over each portion.
  16. Enjoy hot with some hot tea!

Believe you me, hot Rice Khichu is food for the soul!

Rice Khichu | A Gujarati Snack
Rice Khichu | A Gujarati Snack

Healthy, Low-Oil Gujarati Handvo: In a Pan and Appam Pan

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.

Gujarati Handvo Made in a Pan

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.

Low Oil Healthy Mini Handvo in an Appam Pan

Make it using any of the techniques and the result will be the same; a soft, spongy, savoury lentil-cake that is just delicious.

I used Tarla Dalal’s Recipe for Mixed Dal Handvo as a starting point.

How to Make Healthy, Low-Oil Gujarati Handvo

Gujarati Handvo Made in a Pan
Print
Healthy, Low Oil Gujarati Handvo
Prep Time
13 hr 20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
14 hr 5 mins
 

Handvo is essentially a savoury cake made in the Western Indian state of Gujarat. Made with rice and lentils, Handvo need just some Green Chutney on the side.

Course: Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Gujarati, Indian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
For the Batter
  • 1/2 Cup Rice
  • 1/4 Cup Tuvar Dal
  • 1 tbsp Whole Moong
  • 1 tbsp Udad Dal
  • 1 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 Cup Grated Lauki/Bottle Gourd
  • 4 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Khatta Dahi, Sour Yoghurt
  • 2 Pinches Soda Optional
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to Taste
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Rai, Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Til, Sesame Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 3-4 pinches Hing, Asafoetida
Instructions
Making the Batter
  1. Wash the rice and dals well.

  2. Soak in 2 cups water for 6-8 hours

  3. After the dals are well-soaked, drain the water.

  4. Grind with the dahi into a fine paste. Add as little water as possible while grinding.

  5. Take the batter out into a large bowl. 

  6. Cover and set aside to ferment for 6 to 8 hours. The batter will not rise as it ferments, but you will see some bubbles to indicate fermentation.

  7. Grind the green chillies and ginger to a fine paste.

  8. Add the green chilli-ginger paste, grated lauki, red chilli powder, turmeric, salt, and sugar to the fermented batter.

  9. Mix with a gentle hand.

  10. Just before making the Handvo, add the lemon juice and soda.

  11. Mix well.

Making the Handvo in a Pan or a Wok
  1. Divide the batter into 4 portions (I use guesstimates 🙂).

  2. In a deep pan or kadhai, overmedium flame, add 1/2 tbsp oil.

  3. Add the 1/4 tsp mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

  4. Add 1/2 tsp sesame seeds and hing. Stir-fry for a few seconds.

  5. Gently pour 1 portion of the batter into the pan.

  6. Over medium flame, cook covered for 7 to 10 minutes. Ensure that the flame is not too high because then the Handvo will brown quickly on the outside but remain uncooked on the inside.

  7. Check at regular intervals and drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges if you so feel.

  8. When the surface of the Handvo dries out, it is time to flip the Handvo.

  9. Using a spatula, gently loosen the edges of the handvo working your way to the middle so that you can flip it over. Ensure that the side that was touching the pan is golden brown and crisp.

  10. Flip the Handvo.

  11. Drizzle 1/2 tsp oil along the edges.

  12. Over a low-medium flame, cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes.

  13. To ensure that the Handvo is cooked, gently insert a fork or a sharp knife and pull it out. It should come out clean and dry.

  14. Remove the Handvo from the pan. 

  15. Cut into quarters and serve hot with Green Chutney.

Making the Handvo in an Appam Pan
  1. Add a few drops of oil to each cavity of the Appam Pan.

  2. Over medium flame, heat the Appam Pan.

  3. Add a few mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

  4. Add sesame seeds and a tiny pinch of hing. Wait for 5 to 10 seconds.

  5. Spoon enough batter to just fill each cavity till it is almost full.

  6. Cover the Appam Pan.

  7. Over low-to-medium flame, cook the mini Handvo for 5 to 7 minutes.

  8. When the side facing up dries out, it is time to flip the Handvo.

  9. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the edges of the Handvo and flip it over. In a non-stick pan, you can simply rotate them.

  10. Drizzle 2-3 drops of oil along the edges of each Handvo.

  11. Cook covered for 5 to 7 minutes.

  12. Remove the Handvo from the Appam Pan.

  13. Serve hot with Green Chutney.

Recipe Notes
  • While Making the Handvo in an Appam Pan takes much longer, it uses much less oil.
  • Always cook Handvo on a low-to-medium flame as it has to cook well inside.
  • If you want to store the Handvo batter, just refrigerate the ground dal paste after it has fermented. Add the rest of the ingredients just before making the Handvo. 

 

Gujarati Handvo with Green Chutney

Steamed Methi Muthiya: A Healthy Delicious Snack from Gujarat

Steamed Methi Muthiya | A Gujarati Snack
Steamed Methi Muthiya | A Gujarati Snack

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.

Are you a lover of Methi too? Here is a collection methi recipes for you to try.

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 Muthia
Steamed Methi Muthiya: A Healthy Delicious Snack from Gujarat
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Steamed Methi Muthia is a delicious and healthy snack from Gujarat made with fresh fenugreek leaves, wheat flour, and gram flour. Enjoy it with a piping hot cup of Masala Chai.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Mins 15 Mins
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Mins 15 Mins
Steamed Methi Muthia
Steamed Methi Muthiya: A Healthy Delicious Snack from Gujarat
Yum
Print Recipe
Steamed Methi Muthia is a delicious and healthy snack from Gujarat made with fresh fenugreek leaves, wheat flour, and gram flour. Enjoy it with a piping hot cup of Masala Chai.
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Mins 15 Mins
Servings Prep Time
4 People 10 Mins
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Mins 15 Mins
Ingredients
Ingredients for Methi Muthiya
Ingredients for Tempering
Servings: People
Instructions
Making the Dough for Methi Muthiya
  1. Chop the fenugreek leaves. Wash them and set aside to drain in a colander.
  2. Mix together atta, besan, red chilli powder, turmeric, green chilli paste, ginger paste, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt.
    Methi Muthia Ingredients
  3. Add the chopped and washed methi leaves. Mix well
    Add Chopped Washed Methi Leaves
  4. Add the lemon juice. Mix well.
    Mix Methi, Flour, and Lemon Juice
  5. Using a little water, mix to create a firm yet pliable dough.
  6. Add 1 tbsp oil. Mix well.
    Methi Muthia Dough
  7. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Making the Methi Muthiya
  1. Divide the dough into 2 halves.
  2. Roll each half into a log about 1.5" in diameter.
  3. In a pressure cooker or steamer, add enough water for a 7-10 minute steam.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Place the rolls in a steamer or a flat colander.
    Make a Roll
  6. Steam the rolls for 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the rolls cool a bit.
  8. Cut the steamed rolls into 1/2" slices.
Tempering the Methi Muthiya
  1. In a pan, heat the oil.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  3. Add the sesame seeds, curry leaves, and hing.
  4. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  5. Add the Methi Muthiya.
  6. With a gentle hand, stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes till the muthia just start to change colour.
  7. Serve hot with a cup of Masala Chai.
Recipe Notes
  • Be careful not to over steam the Muthia; otherwise they will become tough.
  • You could add a pinch of cooking soda or fruit salt (Eno) to the dough. If you do choose to do this, make sure it is just a pinch.
  • I found that I did not need too much water because the moisture in the washed leaves and the lemon juice is quite sufficient to make the dough.
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Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Bhakri | Bajra Roti

Bajra Roti (a flat bread made with Pearl Millet flour) is very popular in the Western Indian states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Called Bajrichi Bhakri in Maharashtra, this roti is made often in winter as Bajra generate heat in the body.

Bajra Bhakri is much thicker than the regular roti and is eaten warm as it tends to become just a tad bit hard when it is cold. Also, the Bhakri is cooked without any oil or ghee, and so is a great weight-watcher’s recipe.

This recipe for Bajrichi Bhakri is the traditional one where you have to pat down the dough into a Bhakri (you will not be able to roll out this bread). If you want a Bajra Roti that you can roll-out, you need to add wheat flour to it. You will find the recipe for Bajra Roti that uses Wheat Flour here.

Do also try my recipes for other winter specials: Bajra Khichdi, Undhiyu, Ulava Charu, Hare Lehsun ki DalSweet Potato in Jaggery, Makai ki Roti (Makki di Roti), and Sarson da Saag.

Traditionally, Bajrichi Bhakri is eaten with Zunka, but I made Methi Pitla and Vangyachi Bharit.

Bajra Bhakri from Maharashtra
Bajra Bhakri from Maharashtra

How to Make Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Roti

 

Bajra Roti | Bajrichi Bhakri
Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Bhakri | Bajra Roti
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Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Bhakri is a flat bread made with Pearl Millet Flour. Popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan during winter, this Bajra Roti is typically eaten with Zunka.
Servings Prep Time
6 Bhakri 10 Mins
Cook Time
30 Mins
Servings Prep Time
6 Bhakri 10 Mins
Cook Time
30 Mins
Bajra Roti | Bajrichi Bhakri
Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Bhakri | Bajra Roti
Yum
Print Recipe
Bajrichi Bhakri | Bajra Bhakri is a flat bread made with Pearl Millet Flour. Popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan during winter, this Bajra Roti is typically eaten with Zunka.
Servings Prep Time
6 Bhakri 10 Mins
Cook Time
30 Mins
Servings Prep Time
6 Bhakri 10 Mins
Cook Time
30 Mins
Ingredients
Servings: Bhakri
Instructions
  1. Mix together 2 cups of Bajra Flour, salt, and warm water to form a firm but pliable dough.
  2. Knead well for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
  4. Roll each portion of the dough into a ball.
  5. Over medium flame, heat a tava or griddle.
  6. Dust a little bajra flour onto a flat surface.
  7. Place one ball of dough on the dusted surface.
  8. Using your fingers, press the dough ball into a 5" circle. Moisten your hand, if required.
  9. Place the Bhakri onto the hot tava.
  10. Dip your hand in water and moisten the surface to the bhakri. You could also sprinkle a few drops of water and spread on the surface of the bhakri.
  11. Over medium flame, cook the bhakri till the surface dries out a bit.
  12. Flip over and cook the flip side.
  13. Take the tava off the heat and lower the flame.
  14. Place the Bajrichi Bhakri over the flame fr a few seconds. It will puff up.
  15. Take off the flame.
  16. Spread a few drops of butter or ghee on the hot Bajrichi Bhakri.
  17. Serve immediately with Zunka, Pithle, or Vangyache Bharit.
  18. Repeat steps 5 to 16 to make other Bhakris.
Recipe Notes

Some great accompaniments for Bhakri are:

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