Friday, March 23, 2007

Chai/Coffee and some snacks :)

You know how its in our culture-we welcome our guests with some chai/coffee and snacks :). So, this post is to share some chit-chat over chai.

So, Ji Aayain Noon (Respect to the visitors-literal, a popular Punjabi greeting).

I have prepared two of my favorite evening tea/brunch time eats: Vesan da pooda (besan ka cheela) and Rave idlis.
Poodas/Cheela are savory pancakes made out of besan/gram flour and are popular across different Indian cuisines. Sometimes this dish is also referred to as tomato omelette/vegetarian omlette :). Punjabi poodas use Anardana and dhaniya seeds-two ingredients that go hand in hand with other savory besan treats like pakodas.

Ingredient we need:

  • Besan
  • Jeera n' dhaniya seeds/ Cumin and coriander seeds
  • Anardana/dried pomegranate seeds
  • Finely chopped onions and tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro/coriander
  • Chopped green chillies (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of garam masala (optional)
  • Water to make the batter and a spoonful of sour yogurt for some tangy taste.
Sift besan to fluff the flour a bit and add the dried seeds, salt and garam masala. Mix again and add yogurt and enough water to make a utappam like batter, avoiding lumps (slightly thick, no too much-should flow easily still). Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, cilantro and chillies, mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Now, lets heat the tava/griddle (medium heat), sprinkle some oil and spread it-then add a ladle full of batter and spread it. Once the top side looks a bit cooked and set, drizzle a lil' oil and turn the pooda. Let this side cook too and we are ready to go. Indira has a fun post on besan dosa too :). You would also enjoy Trupti's bisquick poodas.

To serve: How about some kicked up ketchup (Jai n' Bee), or Dhaniya-pudina/Cilantro-mint (Punjabi:Dhaniya-poodna) chutney. For chutney:grind together the dhaniya and pudina leaves with a green chilli, salt , a pinch of sugar and some lemon/lime juice. Some people also add onions. This should all be good for tea-time. But what if you are hungry and made this for brunch time! Remember, this is a take on omlette :))-so we'll have it as a sandwich. Toast two whole-wheat/low-carb/flax bread slices (take your pick) crisp-layer one slice with half-pooda, chutney and a slice of tomato) and make a sandwich.

Tasty variations on Pooda:
  • How about mixing some rave-idli flour (roasted rave with the condiments; see below) with besan to make poodas :). IT WORKS, and how! to give the most amazingly fluffy poodas.
  • What if we made bite-size poodas :). In Punjab, we make these often-to be used in making chilladiyaan da raita (Chilladi-lil' cheela/pooda). Its amazing.
Rave idli: A cpl. of days back, i had a catch in the neck and was looking for some quick eat-happened to be reading Anita's Mad Tea Party and on the side bar spotted the words "Instant Gratification" :). Yes, thats what it is-Rave idli. A popular and quick eat. I had gotten my idea for dinner-it had been almost a cpl. of months since i had this fluffy goodness! She details a nice recipe here-so why am i writing about this-because i did something interesting by chance.

Having no home made sour yogurt (a result of my recent laziness), i reached for the store bought butter milk (home made lassi/majji would do as well) and made a batter with that instead. Just added some fried cashews, cilantro and green chillies to the batter. and this gave me the most amazing rave-idlis ever. Try this variation. Kinda' tangier and fluffier :). And it works well even without baking soda! That was the best part-because i made two batches one with and the other one without soda: and no difference! Ofcourse, the batter without soda rested a bit longer (20 minutes). And if you are in a mood for decorating the idlis a bit, then place a few peas/matar and grated carrots in the idli stand, before you add the batter (didn't do it this time). This is how rave-idlis were served in Bangalore, including my graduate school (Indian Institute of Science) mess and cafeterias, with a variety of yummy kurmas as a full meal(in an upcoming post).

For thindi/snack, lets make another quick chutney: In hot oil, splutter mustad seeds and urad daal (a pinch each), and saute chopped onions (1/2 onion), grated ginger (1 tsp.) and one chopped tomato. Saute for 5 minutes and cool. Now grind this with a fistful of grated fresh/frozen coconut, a green chilli, salt and some lime juice. Chatpati chutney :).

Chai n' Coffee: As we prepare these snacks-lemme share my bit on chai n' coffee. I am a convert :). You won't believe, but i never had much tea/coffee till my second year M.Sc., the barrier was crossed in the beginning of my graduate school-and now i love chai n' coffee :).

My chai usually has: Chhoti Elaichi (Green Cardamom), Dalchini (Cinnamon), Badiyun Khatai/Dagad-Phool (Star Anise) and ginger (i freeze the ginger root-so when you grate it, you get a fine powder). This is a great combination, or so say my friends. For coffee: i am so in love with what Golden Girl's Aayi makes: light coffee with ginger-and the lil' tip to freeze the ginger root is her idea :).

So, hope you had a fun time reading and enjoyed this chai time get together.

Whats next:
  • Cheese paratha with quick sabzi
  • Having fun with turnips :).


Manisha said...

Gosh those rava idlis look good! I am planning to make them this weekend.

I told you what we ate! ;-)

musical said...

He he, Manisha-try them: they ROCK!

Send some pizza over sis-i am starving/went for a movie and got back home so late.

Anita said...

Am I looking forward to some authentic Punj food!

musical said...

wait for my next post :). Meanwhile, try chilladiyan da raita-real Punju stuff!

PS: i know rave-idlis are not quite Punju ;).

JeevSingh said...

Two questions:

1) Do you actually cook this stuff and later take pictures to put on the blog?

2) Are you single? a friend was asking (seriously)

musical said...

Jeev Singh:

1. First question: Yes, i cook them myself and take pictures.

2. Its a personal question/won't like to answer!

JeevSingh said...

Ohh, okay sorry about being so implusive and asking that.

Sharmi said...

Hi After I typed my first comment, I realised that out of curiosity I made lot of typo. sorry about that. I have had this cheela long back in India and loved it. thanks for the recipe!!


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