Green Peas Masala| Matar Masala

Every winter, I eagerly wait for fresh green peas or matar to hit the markets. There is something charming about green peas when they are in season – they are sweet and tender and absolutely beautiful. Even the process of shelling them is therapeutic! They are one of my most favourite winter veggies, and I love adding them to various dishes throughout the season. One of the eternal loves in our family is Green Peas Masala or Matar Masala.

Green Peas Masala or Matar Masala

A closer look at Green Peas Masala, the way I make it

Green Peas Masala refers to a North Indian gravy-based curry made using peas. Most restaurant versions of this curry are made using dried green peas, but I prefer using fresh ones. There’s a melt-in-the-mouth quality to seasonal fresh green peas that just can’t be achieved with the dried ones. The curry tastes absolutely flavourful when fresh green peas are used – frozen ones come close but aren’t the real deal.

I don’t use any cream in my Green Peas Masala, nor curd or milk. It is made with very little oil too. In fact, I keep it very simple, with the bare minimum of ingredients used. It still turns out super delicious and creamy, I say, and makes for a great accompaniment to rotis, naan or parathas. It tastes just as good as a restaurant or dhaba version, if I may say so myself.

My version of Green Peas Masala is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free too.

How to make Green Peas Masala or Matar Masala

Here is how I make it.
Ingredients (serves 4):

To pressure cook:

  1. 3 cups shelled green peas
  2. 1/2 cup water

To grind:

  1. 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 4-5 cloves of garlic
  4. A 1-inch piece of ginger

5. 10 whole cashewnuts

Other ingredients:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. Red chilli powder to taste
  6. 1/2 cup water or as needed
  7. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder
  8. 1 teaspoon chana masala
  9. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

For garnishing:

  1. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  2. 1/2 tablespoon kasoori methi

Method:

1. Take the shelled green peas in a wide vessel. Add in 1/2 cup of water. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles or till the peas are cooked through, but not overly mushy. Let the pressure release naturally.

2. In the meantime, we will prepare the paste required for the Green Peas Masala. Peel the ginger, garlic and onion. Chop the ginger and onion roughly. Chop the tomatoes roughly too. Grind the chopped ginger, onion, tomatoes along with the garlic cloves and cashewnuts together to a smooth paste. Do not add any water. Keep aside.

3. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the cooked green peas out. Keep ready.

4. Now, we will start making the Green Peas Masala. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

5. Add the tomato-onion paste we prepared earlier, to the pan. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till the raw smell of the ingredients goes away. The paste will start to thicken.

6. Still keeping the flame at medium, add in salt and red chilli powder to taste and jaggery powder. Also add in the cooked green peas, along with the water they were cooked in. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about 2 minutes.

7. Add in the garam masala and chana masala. Also add in 1/2 cup of water or as needed to adjust consistency. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 2 more minutes or till the mixture thickens and comes together as a whole. Switch off gas when the mixture is still a bit runny.

8. Rub the kasoori methi between the palms of your hands, and add it to the pan. Also add in the finely chopped coriander. Mix well. Your Green Peas Masala is now ready. Serve hot or warm with rotis, naan or parathas.

#WinterVeggies Special at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

I’m sharing this recipe with you all, in association with Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. #WinterVeggies is the group theme this week, wherein all of us are sharing our favourite dishes made using winter vegetables.

When Sasmita of First Timer Cook suggested the theme for this Monday, I jumped with joy because winter veggies are highly beloved to me. I’m loving the winter-special vegan, gluten-free Beetroot Carrot Soup that Sasmita wrote about a couple of days ago. I can’t wait to try it out!

Tips & Tricks

1. You can use dried green peas, instead of the fresh ones. In that case, soak the dried green peas for 8-10 hours or overnight, then cook them in enough water for 4-5 whistles. Then, proceed to make the Green Peas Masala, as per the above recipe.

2. I find that a mix of chana masala and garam masala gives a better flavour. You can use only chana masala or garam masala either, too. I have used home-made chana masala and garam masala here.

3. ‘Nati’ (country) tomatoes give a much better flavour to this curry as compared to the ‘farm’ ones.

4. Use as much water as needed, to adjust the consistency of the curry. Remember to stop cooking when the curry is still on the runnier side. It thickens up further upon cooling.

5. Adjust the quantity of jaggery as per personal taste preferences. I would not suggest skipping it. It does not make the curry overly sweet, but rounds off the other flavours nicely.

6. Adjust the quantity of red chilli powder, garam masala and chana masala as per personal taste preferences.

7. Fresh green peas, especially when in season, work best in this curry. However, if you don’t have access to them, frozen green peas work well too.

8. Some fresh cream can be added to the curry, too. You may also add in some milk while adding the cooked green peas. I have not used either.

9. I have used cashewnuts here to thicken the gravy. You can use almonds instead, too. A mix of cashewnuts and almonds can be used too.

10. It is important to saute the tomato-onion paste well till the raw smell of the ingredients completely goes away. Add in the cooked green peas only after this.

11. You can add in whole spices like cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves along with the cumin seeds. I usually don’t, as I keep this curry really simple.

12. The green peas can steamed, instead of pressure cooking them as I have done here. Remember to cook them till they are done, but they should not get overly mushy.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Gavar Nu Shaak| Gujarati Cluster Beans Curry

I simply can’t resist cluster beans when vegetable shopping. They are among my favourite veggies, and I have to pick some up when I spot a fresh bunch. I love the slightly bitter, mildly sweet taste of the cluster beans – ‘kotthavarangai‘ in Tamil, ‘gavar‘ in Gujarati and ‘gavarphalli‘ in Hindi. This Gavar Nu Shaak is one of my most favourite things to make with the beans, apart from the Kotthavarangai Vattalkozhambu I so love too.

Gavar Nu Shaak, Gujarati style cluster beans curry

What is Gavar Nu Shaak?

It refers to a stir-fry made using cluster beans, Gujarati style. Though it is a very simple dish to make, requiring very few ingredients, it is an absolute delight. It is full of flavours, a brilliant accompaniment to rotis or dal-rice. Cluster beans are known to have several health benefits, and this is a delicious way to consume them.

I learnt how to make this Gavar Nu Shaak when we lived in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It was a much-loved dish in our family, and still continues to be. The carom seeds or ajwain added to the tempering, the hint of jaggery, the garnishing with fresh coriander and grated coconut – all of these little touches make the stir-fry taste exceptional. The ajwain balances out the gas-inducing properties of the cluster beans, while the jaggery controls their bitterness.

How to make Gavar Nu Shaak

Today, I’m sharing with you all the recipe for Gavar Nu Shaak, the way I make it.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. About 350 grams cluster beans (gavarphalli or gavar)
  2. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  3. 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  4. 3/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Red chilli powder to taste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  10. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  11. 2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut

Method:

Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Remove the strings from the cluster beans. Chop them into finger-length pieces. Keep ready.

2. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Then, add in the carom seeds and asafoetida. Let these ingredients stay in for a couple of seconds.

3. Now, add the chopped cluster beans to the pan, along with a bit of salt. Add in a little water too. Mix well. Reduce the flame down to medium.

4. Cook covered on medium flame till the cluster beans are about 70% done. Uncover in between, add a little water if required, and stir, then cover and allow to cook again. This stage should take 3-4 minutes.

Top left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left: Step 7, Bottom right: The Gavar Nu Shaak is ready

5. When about 70% done, add in the red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well. Sprinkle a little water if required. Cover and continue to cook on medium flame till the cluster beans are almost fully cooked, about 2 minutes more.

6. Still keeping the flame medium, add in the jaggery powder. Mix well. Cook on low-medium heat, covered, till the cluster beans are fully done. This should take a minute or two more. All the water should have dried up by now. Switch off gas at this stage.

7. Mix in the finely chopped coriander and grated coconut. Your Gavar Nu Shaak is ready. Serve warm or at room temperature with rotis.

Tips & Tricks

1. Choose cluster beans (gavarphalli) that are fresh, neither overly tender nor overly mature.

2. Cook the cluster beans covered, on medium flame, sprinkling water as and when required. Make sure the beans do not burn.

3. Sprinkle only a little water as required at intervals, while cooking the cluster beans. Do not add too much water.

4. Adjust the amount of salt, jaggery powder and red chilli powder as per personal taste preferences.

5. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery powder. I prefer the jaggery powder, though.

6. This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe, which is completely vegetarian and vegan as well. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

7. To make this shaak gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most Indian brands of asafoetida do contain wheat flour to a lesser or greater extent. They are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell, in your comments!

Pasta Arrabbiatta| Spaghetti In Easy Arrabbiatta Sauce

Pasta Arrabbiatta is a big favourite in our family. It is something we order often when we eat out, and something I love making at home often from scratch, too. Today, I’m going to share with you all the recipe for Pasta Arrabbiatta, the way I make it.

Home-made Pasta Arrabbiatta, from scratch

What is Pasta Arrabbiatta?


Pasta Arrabbiatta is an Italian dish wherein pasta is cooked with a spicy red tomato sauce. The term ‘Arrabiatta‘ means ‘angry’ in Italian, referring to the bright red colour of the sauce used and its spiciness.

A peek into my version of Pasta Arrabbiatta


Typically, sweet Italian San Marzano tomatoes are used in the making of the sauce for this pasta. The spiciness comes from red chilli flakes and, sometimes, ground black pepper.  However, I have used the sour ‘Nati‘ aka country tomatoes here, along with some onion added in for a bit of sweetness. I have used red chilli powder for the heat, with some jaggery powder to balance it out. I have used a commonly available brand of cheese here, instead of the Parmesan that is used in authentic Pasta Arrabbiatta. I have used very little oil and cheese here, too, and done away with the cream that some restaurant versions use. I tone down the spiciness of the sauce too, as suited to my family’s tastebuds.

I won’t claim this is an ‘authentic’ Italian recipe – rather, it is a recipe for an Italian dish developed using  ingredients readily available to me, made as healthy as I could make it. And, let me tell you, this Pasta Arrabbiatta does turn out absolutely delicious! The best part about making it from scratch at home is that you know exactly goes into it, and can customize the ingredients just the way you want. Also, you can put together this hearty, flavourful meal  in about 30 minutes!

#MyFamilyFav at Foodie Monday Blog Hop


This recipe is brought to you in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #MyFamilyFav, wherein we are all showcasing dishes best liked by our co-habitants. 🙂 I thought it was a good idea to share my easy Pasta Arrabbiatta recipe, considering how much we love it at home.

Priya Vijaykrishnan, the talented food blogger at Sweet Spicy Tasty, suggested the theme for the week. Her blog is a treasure trove of easy-to-follow recipes from around the globe. You’ve got to check out the lovely Potato & Capsicum Sambar she has shared for the theme!

How to make Pasta Arrabbiatta from scratch

Here is how I go about making it.

Ingredients (serves 2):

For sauce:
1. 6 medium-sized tomatoes
2. 1 small onion
3. Salt to taste
4. 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
5. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste

Other ingredients:
  • 1. About 250 grams spaghetti
  • 2. Salt to taste
  • 3. 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4. 8-10 cloves of garlic 
  • 5. 2 tablespoons black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6. 2 tablespoons grated cheese or as needed + a little more for garnishing
  • 7. Mixed Italian dried herbs, as needed

  • Method:

    1. We will begin by putting the spaghetti to cook. Take about 1-1/2 litres of water in a big pan, add about 1 tablespoon salt to it, and set it on high heat. Allow to come to a boil. Now, add in 1 teaspoon of oil and the spaghetti. Cook on medium flame for 5-7 minutes or till the spaghetti is cooked through. At this stage, drain out the water from the cooked spaghetti completely, by placing it in a colander. Allow it to cool down fully. You can run some cold water over it, to cool it faster.

    2. While the spaghetti is cooking, we will start to prepare the Arrabiatta sauce. Chop the tomatoes into large cubes and add to a mixer jar. Peel the onion, chop into cubes, and add to the mixer jar too. Grind the tomatoes and onion together to a smooth puree.

    3. Now, transfer the tomato-onion puree to a heavy-bottomed pan and place it on high flame. Cook on high flame till it starts bubbling, about 2 minutes, then lower the flame. Continue to cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away and the sauce starts thickening, 3-4 minutes. Add salt to taste, red chilli powder and jaggery powder. Mix well. Continue to cook on medium flame till the sauce reaches a thick but slightly runny consistency, 2-3 minutes. Switch off gas at this stage. Your Arrabiatta sauce is ready.

    4. While the sauce is cooking, do the prep work needed for the pasta. Peel the garlic cloves and chop finely. Grate the cheese and keep it ready. Keep the olives handy.

    5. When the spaghetti has fully cooled down, we will start preparing the Pasta Arrabiatta. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the chopped garlic and let it stay in for a few seconds, for it to get slightly cooked. Turn the flame down to the lowest. Add the cooked and drained spaghetti to the pan, along with salt to taste and the Arrabiatta sauce we prepared earlier. Toss well, using a pair of tongs, gently so as not to break the spaghetti. Switch off gas.

    6. Mix in the olives, mixed Italian herbs and grated cheese, gently. Your Pasta Arrabiatta is ready.

    7. Transfer the prepared Pasta Arrabiatta to two serving plates. Sprinkle some mixed Italian herbs on top, as well as some grated cheese. Serve immediately.

    Tips & Tricks


    1. I have used spaghetti from DiSano to make this Pasta Arrabiatta. You can use any shape/variety of pasta you prefer.

    2. Make sure you don’t overcook the spaghetti. I prefer cooking it thoroughly – a little more than the al dente stage – but not overly mushy.

    3. I have used the tart ‘Nati‘ or country tomatoes in the sauce. You can use any variety of tomatoes you prefer. You can use canned tomatoes if you want, but I personally feel the fresh ones make a huge difference.

    4. I have used jaggery powder and onion in the sauce here, to balance out the tartness of the tomatoes. You can use sugar instead, too.

    5. Make sure you don’t overcook the sauce. Stop cooking it when it is still slightly runny, so it mixes well with the spaghetti. I prefer the raw smell of the tomatoes completely gone.

    6. Red chilli flakes or red paprika can be used to spice the sauce. I have used red chilli powder for the same.

    7. Make sure you mix the pasta gently with the sauce, so it doesn’t break. Using a pair of tongs to toss the pasta is recommended.

    8. I have used Del Monte’s black olives, pitted and sliced, here. You can use green olives instead, too. Use as much as you like.

    9. Using good-quality olive oil and cheese makes a world of difference to the Pasta Arrabiatta. I have used extra-virgin olive oil that the husband brought back from a work trip to Israel, and it is just fantastic. I have used processed cheese from Amul.

    10. I have used dried mixed Italian herbs from Keya, here.

    11. A dash of coarsely ground black pepper can be added to the sauce, instead of the red chilli powder. I prefer using red chilli powder, though.

    12. You may add in any vegetables of your choice, to the Pasta Arrabbiatta. Here, I haven’t.

    13. I have used processed cheese from Amul, here, grated moderately thick. You can use any variety of cheese you prefer. Use as much or as little of cheese as you want.

    14. You may retain the water from cooking the pasta, and use it as required to thin out the Arrabbiatta sauce.

    15. This recipe is completely vegetarian, but not vegan (plant-based) or gluten-free.

    Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


    Red Amaranth Rice| Amaranth Greens Pulav

    More often than not, I’m looking to prepare meals that aren’t too elaborate, but are yet hearty, flavourful and nutritious. This Red Amaranth Rice or Amaranth Greens Pulav ticks all those boxes.

    Red Amaranth Rice or Amaranth Greens Pulav

    A closer look at the Red Amaranth Rice

    I have made this rice dish using red amaranth leaves, those beautiful greens streaked with bold red and purple. The health benefits of red amaranth greens are widely known, and this is a lovely way to use them. In traditional Tamilian households, greens like this are typically used in the making of poriyal, kootu or sambar, but I love using them in rice dishes like this one, too. It does make for a nice change!

    Red amaranth greens. Aren’t they pretty?!

    This is a one-pot recipe that can be put together in mere minutes. Just add everything to a pressure cooker, let it whistle, and you’re done! Perfect for busy weekdays.

    This Red Amaranth Rice or Amaranth Greens Pulav is a simple thing that needs few ingredients, but turns out super delicious!

    Red Amaranth Rice for A-Z Recipe Challenge

    I’m sharing my way of making Red Amaranth Rice today, in association with the A-Z Recipe Challenge.

    This is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who share recipes made using ingredients in alphabetical order, every month. This month, all of us are cooking with ingredients starting from the letter R, and I chose to go with ‘Red Amaranth’ and ‘Rice’.

    How to make Red Amaranth Rice or Amaranth Greens Pulav

    Here is how I go about making it.

    Ingredients (serves 3-4):

    1. A small bunch of red amaranth greens
    2. 1/4 heaped cup green peas
    3. 1 medium-sized onion
    4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
    5. 4-5 cloves of garlic
    6. 1 cup rice
    7. 1/2 tablespoon oil
    8. Salt to taste
    9. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
    10. Red chilli powder to taste
    11. 1/2 tablespoon jaggery powder
    12. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
    13. 1 teaspoon chana masala or to taste

    Method:

    1. Wash the amaranth leaves thoroughly, to remove any traces of dirt. Chop them finely. Keep ready. I had about 2 cups of greens when finely chopped.

    2. Also keep the shelled green peas ready.

    3. Peel the onion, and chop finely. Keep aside.

    4. Wash the rice well, under running water. Drain out all the water and keep ready.

    5. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly.

    6. Grind the ginger and garlic cloves together, using a little water. Keep aside.

    Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Step 5 and 6

    7. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom. Add in the onion. Saute for a minute.

    8. Add in the chopped amaranth and green peas. Saute for a minute more.

    9. Now, add in the washed and drained rice as well as the ginger-garlic paste. Mix well. Saute for a few seconds.

    10. Add in 3-1/4 cups of water. Mix well.

    11. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, garam masala and chana masala. Mix well.

    12. Close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on. Cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Then, wait for about 5-7 minutes to open the cooker. After another 5 minutes, fluff up the rice gently. Your Red Amaranth Rice is ready. Serve it with plain curd or raita of your choice.

    Top left and right: Steps 7 and 8, Centre left and right: Steps 9 and 10, Bottom left and right: Steps 11 and 12

    Is this a vegan and gluten-free recipe?

    This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

    This is a gluten-free recipe as well. I have used home-made garam masala and chana masala here, which are free of gluten too. However, if you are using store-bought spice mixes, do make sure they are entirely gluten-free.

    Tips & Tricks

    1. You may use ghee instead of oil, in the above recipe. However, if you want to keep the dish vegan, stick to oil.

    2. I have used Sona Masoori rice here. You may use any other variety you prefer. You may have to adjust the quantity of water you use, in that case.

    3. I have used an 8-litre pressure cooker here.

    4. Adjust the quantity of water you use and the number of whistles you allow, depending upon how grainy you want the rice to be. The above measurements yielded well-cooked rice, which was not overly mushy, just perfect for us.

    5. Adjust the quantity of chana masala and garam masala as per personal taste preferences.

    6. You may skip the jaggery powder if you so prefer. However, I would strongly recommend using it, as it adds a lovely flavour to the rice.

    7. You can use whole spices like cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom and stone flower too. If so, add them to the hot oil before the onion.

    Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

    Omapodi| Tamilnadu Style Sev

    Omapodi – the Tamilnadu version of sev – is synonymous with Diwali, for me. I grew up watching my grandmother and my mom making big boxes full of omapodi in the lead-up to Diwali, for the extended family and friends. The fragrance of the carom seeds in the omapodi dough frying in hot oil, would waft around the house, a sign that the festival of lights was very, very near. Till date, I can’t imagine celebrating Diwali without omapodi. Over time, though, as lives got busier and more stressful, I started resorting to store-bought omapodi to commemorate the festive season. This Diwali, though, thrown into introspection by the pandemic, I decided to make my own at home. A soul-satisfying experience, that!

    Our family recipe for Omapodi

    Omapodi, like I was saying earlier, can be referred to as the South Indian version of sev. The distinguishing feature here is the addition of carom seeds (omam) in the dough, which gives the dish a heady aroma and flavour, while also aiding in digestion.

    Omapodi is a deep-fried savoury snack during Diwali, in the South of India. It is, actually, one of the easiest Diwali savouries there is. The omapodi can be eaten as is, or used in other savoury preparations like Mixture. Crispy and crunchy and delicious, I like munching on omapodi on its own, sometimes with a cup of tea on the side.

    Today, I’m sharing our family recipe for omapodi, the way my grandma used to make it.

    Diwali Fiesta at Foodie Monday Blog Hop

    I’m sharing this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop.

    The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. This week, we decided to showcase special foods keeping in mind the fact that Diwali is fast approaching. This eternal favourite of mine wasn’t up on the blog, and this theme gave me the perfect foil to do so.

    How to make Omapodi

    This is how we go about it.
    Ingredients (serves 6-8):

    1. 2 heaped teaspoons carom seeds (ajwain/omam)
    2. 3 cups gram flour (besan/ kadala maavu)
    3. 1 cup rice flour (chawal ka atta/ arisi maavu)
    4. 2 teaspoons salt
    5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    6. 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
    7. Oil for deep frying

    Method:

    Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left: The carom seed extract, Bottom right: Step 3

    1. Soak the carom seeds in about 4 tablespoons of water for 15-20 minutes. Then, grind the carom seeds and the water together in a small mixer jar.

    2. Strain the water using a strainer with a fine mesh. Little by little, add about 1/2 cup water to the ground carom seeds in the strainer, and squeeze out all the juice from them. Discard the ground carom seeds. I got about 3/4 cup of the carom seed extract. See the video below, to understand how to go about the process of extraction. Strain the extract once more to ensure that there are no coarse particles that remain.

    3. Measure out the gram flour, rice flour, salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder in a large mixing bowl. Combine these ingredients well together.

    4. Take the oil for deep-frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Set on high flame. Allow the oil to get nice and hot.

    5. In the meantime, fix the plate for sev or omapodi, the one with small holes, inside the press. We use a hand-held press with different plates for making different types of snacks – see the picture below for a clearer understanding.

    6. Now, pour the carom seed water into the mixing bowl. Mix well. Add in about 2 tablespoons of the hot oil to the mixing bowl too. Bind into a dough that’s not watery or runny, yet not too stiff, as shown in the picture below. You may add in a little more water if required.

    7. When the oil is ready for frying, reduce the flame down to medium. Take a large ball of the dough and place it inside the press.

    8. Squeeze the press to release tiny ribbons of the dough into the hot oil. Deep-fry till crisp and slightly brown, then turn over and cook on the other side for a few seconds too. Transfer to a platter. The first batch of omapodi is ready.

    9. Use all the dough in a similar fashion. Let the omapodi cool down fully, then transfer to a clean, dry, air-tight box.

    Top left: Step 4, Top right: The hand-held press I used to make the omapodi, Centre left and right: Steps 5 and 6, Bottom left: Step 7, Bottom right: The deep-fried omapodi

    Tips & Tricks

    1. The soaking and grinding of carom seeds helps in extracting all the essence from them. If carom seeds are added as is or coarsely powdered, they might get stuck in the press.

    2. Make sure you do not make the batter too stiff or too runny. It should be soft and pliable.

    3. Do not overcrowd the pan while deep-frying. Squeeze out only a little of the dough in each batch, to ensure even frying.

    4. Make sure the oil is hot and ready before adding in the dough. To check this, add in a small piece of the dough into the oil – if it sinks to the bottom, the oil isn’t ready. If it slowly rises to the surface and starts changing colour, it is ready.

    5. Do not over-fry the omapodi. Just a few seconds on either side is good enough for the fine ribbons of batter.

    6. You can use either the plate with super-fine or moderately fine holes in the press, to make this omapodi. Here, I have used the one with super-fine holes.

    7. Adjust the amount of salt and red chilli powder as per personal taste preferences.

    8. Allow the deep-fried omapodi to cool down fully before transferring it to a clean, dry, air-tight box. Stored this way, the omapodi stays well for a week to 10 days, at room temperature.

    9. I have seen many these days avoid the addition of carom seeds in omapodi because the grinding and straining is a bit of a cumbersome process. However, for me, omapodi is not omapodi without the carom seeds. My grandma used to use them, and I do too.

    10. Many families skip the addition of rice flour. However, we have always used it. A mix of gram flour and rice flour yields crispy omapodi, as does the addition of hot oil in the dough. The latter is a very important step too, so do not skip it.

    12. You may add a little asafoetida (hing) to the batter. We usually don’t.

    13. This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is entirely gluten-free too.

    Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!