I learnt this recipe for aromatic, delectable Saag Paneer (Palak Paneer) from Heena Jhanglani. Her daughter had carried just the curry base (without the Paneer) for lunch one day and told me it was just another type of Sai Bhaji (or a dish made with greens). I took that basic recipe and added some Paneer to it to make this wonderful Palak Paneer with a Difference.
Heena Jhanglani is quite a treasure trove of recipes and continues to surprise me ever so often with the stuff she sends in her daughter’s lunch box. This Saag Paneer/Palak Paneer is just another example of that skill.
Traditional Palak Paneer uses just spinach to create the green base. This recipe uses spring onions with the greens as well as generous dose of green garlic chives. This lends the dish a unique flavour and texture that sets it apart from the traditional Palak Paneer.
I am quite in love with this flavour rich version of Palak Paneer and will make it every time I find spring onions and green garlic chives. 🙂 Thank you, Heena-ji, for this wonderful recipe. Keep them coming!
Surnoli is a wonderful light-on-the-stomach sweet dosa made with rice, coconut and jaggery. From what I have read on the Internet, it is a part of the Saraswat cuisine and is quite a popular breakfast in Goa, Mangalore and other such regions where there is a concentration of Saraswat Brahmins.
What fascinated me about Surnoli was its golden hue and its fluffy, porous texture. I have seen stacks of Surnoli posted in various Konkani food groups and have always been meaning to try it. I got the perfect opportunity this month when I got Rice and Coconut as my secret ingredient to make a dish from Goa was the theme this month on the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group.
My partner for this month’s challenge is Priya Satheesh who blogs at Priya’s Menu. She has just started a #100Chutneys series that is simply stupendous. Do take the time to visit her blog and try her recipes.
Coming back to the Surnoli recipe, it is everything I imagined it to be and more. It is soft, fluffy, and just the right amount of sweet. My family and I savoured it with various accompaniments: white butter, spicy mango pickle, and tangy lime pickle. Each and every combination was a hit.
How to Make Surnoli: The Sweet Dosa from Saraswat Cuisine of Goa and Mangalore
Surnoli | A Sweet Dosa from the Saraswat Cuisine (Goa and Mangalore)
Surnoli is a sweet dosa made with rice, coconut and jaggery. It is from the Saraswat cuisine and is a popular breakfast in Goa and Mangalore. All you need is some white butter or spicy mango pickle on the side.
Goa, Indian, Mangalore, Saraswat
Water, If required
Butter or Oil to Make Surnoli
Making the Batter
Wash the rice well under running water.
Soak the rice and methi in 1.5 cups water for at least 4 hours.
Just before grinding, add the poha to the rice and let it soak for 1-2 minutes.
Drain all the water.
Grind together the soaked rice+methi+poha, jaggery, coconut, dahi, turmeric and salt to a smooth thick batterof pourable consistency. Add a little water, if required. Do not add too much water or the batter will not ferment well.
Let the batter ferment for 6 hours or more.
Making the Dosa
Just before making the dosa, add Eno and mix with a gentle hand. If your batter has fermented very well, you may want to skip the Eno.
Over medium flame, heat a flat tava or a griddle and grease it with a little butter or oil.
Pour a large ladle of batter in the centre and let the batter spread by itself. Do not spread like for a dosa.
Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. The surface of the Surnoli should be porous and cooked.
The addition of Eno just gives you a more porous Surnoli. If your batter is very well fermented, you can omit it.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Surnoli, A Sweet Dosa
Making the Surnoli Batter
Wash the rice well till the water runs clear.
Soak the rice and the fenugreek seeds in enough water for about 4 to 6 hours.
After the rice has soaked, drain all the water from it.
Just before you grind the batter for Surnoli, wash the poha well under running water and add to the wet poha to the drained rice. I just add the poha to the water the rice is soaking in and then drain everything together. If you are using the thin variety of poha (patal pohe), just add it as is while grinding without washing.
To a large mixer grinder, add the the soaked rice, fenugreek seeds, poha, jaggery, coconut, dahi, turmeric and salt.
Grind to a smooth thick batter that is pourable consistency. Add a little water, if required.
Transfer the ground batter to a vessel. Cover and set aside for at least 6 6 hours for the batter to ferment. You can speed up the fermentation by using sour dahi.
Cooking the Surnoli
If you want a really fluffy Surnoli, just before it, gently mix Eno into the batter and wait for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, over low to medium flame, heat a flat tava. Do not use high heat because the jaggery in the batter will cause the Surnoli to caramelize and burn quickly.
Add a pat of butter or few drop of oil and grease the surface well.
When the tava is hot, pour a large ladle of batter in the middle of the tava and let the batter flow into a thick dosa by itself. Do not spread like for a dosa.
Cover the dosa and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Lift the cover at regular interval to check if the surface is cooked and porous.
Using a flat spatula loosen the edges and remove the Surnoli into a plate. Do not flip over and cook.
One of my favourite breakfast items is soft, fluffy Idli, What can elevate this simple dumpling to a gastronomic delight is Senaga Pindi Pachadi (Besan ki Chutney | Gram Flour Chutney). You will find this pachadi served often in many Andhra homes, but I have not seen it elsewhere.
This chutney is also popularly called Bombay Chutney in South India. I guess that’s because someone change the recipe for the Maharashtrian Pithla to arrive at this recipe. A rose by any name….
This particular version of the Senaga Pindi Pachadi is my father’s speciality. For as long as I can remember, Daddy has been the only one in our home to make this pachadi. He would not even allow my mother to make it. Daddy would get up early in the day to patiently roast the senaga pindi (besan or gram flour) till it was just turning brown and then letting it cool before he sieved it. He would then rope in my brother or me to spoon the sieved besan into water while he mixed it in to ensure there are no lumps. Then we were banished from the kitchen till he completed making it.
Daddy is very, very particular about how he makes it and the quality of help we render. 🙂 Believe you me, the first time I made this under his supervision, I was sweating bullets!
Do try this pachadi as it is so simple to make and tastes great along with hot idlis and chutney powder. As a bonus, it is also an healthy alternative to coconut chutney!
When I decide to try any recipe that involves deep-frying, there is quite a flutter in my home as I avoid deep-frying as much as possible. So this weekend as I got ready to make delicious Maddur Vada, I had quite an audience in amused family members.
Jokes aside, I have been wanting to make Maddur Vada at home for ages and decided to make it this Saturday just on a whim. It is a recipe that transforms ingredients commonly found in Indian homes—rice flour, semolina, maida (APF), chillies, and curry leaves—into a delicious snack.
What I loved about Maddur Vada is despite the deep-frying it did not absorb any oil, and had a light crispness on the outside while being soft on the inside. So even the Octagenarians in my home could enjoy it without much trouble.
Like Chitti Boorelu, Punugulu, and Goli Bhajje, Maddur Vada turned out to be the perfect accompaniment to my evening tumbler of Kaapi.
Fry the Maddur Vade on moderate heat because otherwise you will have Vade that are fried on the outside but raw on the inside.
A simple way of detecting if your oil is too hot is to see if blisters form on the outside of the Maddur Vada. If there are, the oil is too hot.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make the Perfect Maddur Vada
The First Step: Making the Maddur Vada Dough
In a large bowl, combine the rice flour, maida, rava, chillies, curry leaves, hing, and salt.
Mix all the ingredients well and make a small well in the middle.
Using a ladle, heat 2 tbsp oil and add it to the dry ingredients.
Using a spoon, quickly mix the oil into the dry ingredients. This oil helps make the Maddur Vada softer on the inside and also helps it cook well when we deep-fry.
Now add small quantities of water and knead the ingredients together to make a dough that is just soft enough so that it can be shaped into small discs. If the dough is very stiff, the Maddur Vada will break as you are trying to shape them. If the dough is too soft, the Vade will absorb oil when you fry them.
Shaping and Frying the Maddur Vade
To a kadhai, add about 1.5 cups of oil to deep fry to Maddur Vade. You need about a 2″ deep layer of oil. I use a small but deep kadhai.
On a medium flame, heat the oil till it is moderately hot. To test the heat, drop a tiny ball of dough into the oil. It should rise slowly to the surface and sizzle with moderate intensity. If you oil is too hot, the Maddur Vada will cook very quickly on the surface and also form blisters on the surface, but the inside will remain raw. If your oil is cold, the vada will absorb oil as they fry.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Keep covered. I found that one portion of dough is roughly what I could scoop with a standard baking tablespoon (tbsp).
Lightly grease a plastic sheet or banana leaf using 1 or 2 drops oil.
Place one portion of the dough on the greased sheet and press into a thick disc about 2.5″ in diameter. If the disc is very thin, then you have have a very crisp Maddur Vada much like a Thattai | Chekkalu.
Gently, transfer the disc onto your fingers and slide it into the oil.
Let the Maddur Vade Fry on medium heat till the side facing the bottom is golden brown.
Gently flip over the Vada and fry till the other side is golden brown.
Remove the fried Maddur Vada from the oil and drain excess oil.
Poppy seeds or Khus Khus (also called gasagasalu in Telugu) are known for their somnolent or sleep inducing properties. So, last week when my father was unwell and not sleeping to well, I made this Khus Khus Halwa for him. As a bonus, since he likes sweets, it also made him happy to eat it. 🙂
Called Khus Khus Jo Seero in Sindh, Post ka Halwa in Himachal Pradesh, and Gasagasala Hawla in Telugu, this dessert is very easy to make and is quite popular across India. It is essentially a solid version of the Gasagasala Payasam |Khus Khus Kheer I have written about earlier.
Khus Khus or Poppy Seeds are much maligned (banned in some countries) because they are the base from which opium and morphine are produced. If we can look past this fact, we will realise that Poppy Seeds are are highly nutritious with high concentrations of iron, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc.
A moderate consumption of Khus Khus is actually quite beneficial for health. One way to use khus khus is to soak and grind it to a fine paste, and then add this creamy paste to gravies or in place of/in addition to ground onion, etc.
Coming back to Khus Khus Halwa, the focus should be on soaking the poppy seeds well because otherwise the halwa will have a rather unpalatable grainy texture because poppy seeds are notoriously difficult to grind. The rest of the recipe is rather easy. 🙂
How to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa or Poppy Seeds Halwa is super easy to make and quite different in taste from other halwas. Called Gasagasala Halwa in Telugu, this dessert is not overly sweet and hits just the right notes post a heavy meal.
Himachal Pradesh, Indian Food
100gmsKhus Khus, Gasagasalu, Poppy Seeds
In about 2 cups of water, soak the khus khus overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
Drain all the water from the khus khus.
Grind the soaked khus khus to a fine paste. Use a little water or milk if needed.
In a large heavy bottomed kadai or pan, over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp ghee.
Add the poppy seeds paste and saute till it becomes aromatic and just starts to change colour.
Turn the heat to low, add the sugar and cardamom powder, and mix well.
Gradually add the milk and mix well.
Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Over medium heat, let the Khus Khus Halwa cook till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Stir at regular intervals.
Turn the heat off and transfer the Khus Khus Halwa into a serving bowl.
Drizzle the remaining ghee and garnish with the almond slivers.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Soaking the Poppy Seeds: The Most Important Step
Cover the poppy seeds with enough water and soak them overnight (or for at least 8 hours). If you do not soak the poppy seeds enough, they will be difficult to grind and/or cook.
Drain all the water from the poppy seeds. I used a soup strainer.
Using a little milk, grind the soaked poppy seeds to a fine paste.
Making the Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa
Choose a a heavy bottomed kadai large enough to mix the halwa comfortably.
Over a medium flame, heat the kadhai and melt 2 tbsp ghee.
To the melted ghee, add the poppy seeds paste.
Stir-fry the poppy seed paste till it starts to change colour and becomes aromatic.
Reduce the heat to low, and add the sugar and cardamom powder to the fried poppy paste.
Mix well and stir-fry for about a minute.
When the sugar is well-incorporated, add the milk.
Immediately mix well to ensure that the poppy seed mix blends well with the milk with no lumps.
Over medium heat, cook the mix till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Keep stirring at regular intervals to ensure that the halwa does not stick to the kadhai.
When the Khus Khus Halwa is cooked, remove it from the heat off and transfer the into a serving bowl.