Rajasthani Gatte Ki Sabzi

Located in the north-west of India, Rajasthan is the biggest state in the country, as far as land area is concerned. Home to the Thar desert and the Aravalli mountain range, Rajasthan is a dry and arid place for most part of the year. The weather conditions have, undoubtedly, affected the state’s cuisine. The lack of availability of fresh vegetables and greens has led the Rajasthanis to depend upon ingredients like gram flour and sun-dried lentil fritters (vadi). The cuisine favours dishes that last for a few days. Daal Bati Churma, Pyaaz Kachori, Ker Sangri, Jaisalmeri Kala Chana, Dal Kachori, Bikaneri Sev and Gatte Ki Sabzi are some famous dishes from Rajasthan.

Wondering why I’m talking so much about Rajasthani cuisine today? Because I’m about to share with you the recipe for one of the state’s signature dishes – Gatte Ki Sabzi. We are showcasing dishes from Rajasthan this month, in the Shhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group that I am part of, and that’s the dish I chose. My partner for the month is Jayashree of Evergreen Dishes, a lovely blog with several traditional Indian dishes. She assigned to me the two secret ingredients of coriander and cumin, and they fit right into the recipe for Gatte Ki Sabzi, a dish I’ve always loved and wanted to try out. So, here we are. Don’t miss checking out the delicious Moong Dal Bada Jayashree made using the two ingredients I gave her!

For the uninitiated, Gatte Ki Sabzi refers to a supremely delicious curry from the Indian state of Rajasthan. Gram flour is mixed with a few spices, shaped into dumplings and cooked, then served with a delightful curd-based gravy. The tangy, spicy gravy is just the perfect complement for the soft, soft dumplings (gatte). Together, they make a wonderful accompaniment to parathas, rotis and the likes.

I made the Gatte Ki Sabzi using this recipe from My Weekend Kitchen as the base, with a few variations of my own. This is an authentic Rajasthani recipe that the blog author Ashima has learnt from her mom. I made the sabzi recently for lunch, and it went on to be so much loved by everyone at home! Worth every bit of the effort I put into the making.

Without further ado, here’s presenting to you the way I made the Gatte Ki Sabzi. I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #287, the co-hosts this week being Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Rita @ Parsi Cuisine.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

For the gatte:

  1. 1 cup gram flour
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
  5. 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 2-3 tablespoons curd
  10. Oil, as needed to grease your palms

For the gravy:

  1. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
  4. 1 cup thick curd
  5. 2 tablespoons gram flour
  6. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 1 cup water
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 2 green chillies
  10. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  11. A dash of red chilli powder
  12. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

For the tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  4. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1 pinch of fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  6. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  7. 2 dry red chillies

For the garnishing:

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

Method:

We will begin by making the gatte or gram flour dumplings that this recipe requires.

1. Take the gram flour in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add in the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, carom seeds, fennel seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder, and curd.

3. Mix everything together to form a soft dough.

4. Grease your palms with a little oil, and then shape logs out of the dough, about 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Keep these logs ready.

5. Heat about 2 cups of water in a wide pan. When the water starts boiling, turn the flame down to medium. Add the dough logs into the hot water. Cook uncovered on medium flame till you begin to see bubbles on the logs. Switch off gas.

6. Remove the logs from the water using a spoon. Place them in a colander and let all the water drain out. Reserve the water in which the dough was cooked – do not discard it.

7. Let the dough logs cool down completely. Now, cut them into roundels. Keep ready – these are the gatte you will be adding to the gravy later.

Next, we will prepare the gravy.

1. Add the gram flour, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and garam masala to the curd.

2. Slit the green chillies length-wise and add them to the curd. Peel and grate the ginger finely. Add to the curd. Whisk everything well together.

3. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the onions, and cook on high flame till they start turning brown.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, along with a little of the cooking water we had reserved earlier. Cook on high flame till the tomatoes turn mushy.

5. Now, reduce the flame to medium and add in the whisked curd. Cook on medium flame till the curd mixture starts boiling.

6. Now, add in about 1 cup of the reserved cooking water. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings. Add in the chopped gatte as well. Mix well.

7. Cook the gravy on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or till it thickens. Switch off gas.

Now, we will add the tempering and garnishes to the gravy.

1. Heat the oil for the tempering in a small pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to pop.

2. Reduce the flame to medium. Add cumin seeds, asafoetida, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies to the pan. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, ensuring that they do not burn. Add this tempering to the gravy.

3. Crush the kasoori methi lightly between the palms of your hands. Add it to the gravy.

4. Add the finely chopped fresh coriander to the gravy. Mix well. Your Gatte Ki Sabzi is now ready to serve!

Notes:

1. Use slightly sour curd to make the gatte and the gravy. Overly sour curd might alter the taste of the dish.

2. Adjust the quantity of curd you use in the gatte as per requirement. Use only as much as you need to bind all the ingredients together into a soft dough.

3. The gatte are cooked when you see bubbles on their surface. Do not overcook them. Make sure you cook them on medium flame only, and do not overcrowd them in the pan either.

4. Once cooked, you can cut the gatte as big or as small as you like.

5. Make sure you reduce the flame to medium before adding the curd to the pan, while making the gravy. Otherwise, the curd might split, causing the gravy to lose its taste.

6. Adjust the quantity of the reserved cooking water depending upon the consistency of the gravy you require. I have added one cup of water here, because I didn’t want a very thick gravy.

7. You may use ghee instead of oil, for the tempering.

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

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Ragi Roti|Gluten-Free Finger Millet Flatbread

I am here today with a recipe for Ragi Roti, Karnataka-style finger millet flatbread that is completely gluten-free.

I have been thinking a lot about gluten-free foods, lately. I have met several people of late who have been following a gluten-free diet for themselves and/or their families, for various reasons. We have had interesting discussions about how wheat chapatis and bread used to form an integral part of their meals earlier, and how they quit these to move on to other gluten-free products. This got me thinking about the various gluten-free preparations that are possible in Indian cooking, and how I could help these families make something delicious and simple, which would fit into their dietary requirements. Coincidentally, a discussion on gluten-free foods started in our Foodie Monday Blog Hop group too, and I heartily agreed when Batter Up With Sujata suggested that all of us showcase #GlutenFreeTreats on our blogs this Monday. Hence, this recipe for Ragi Roti.

But first, let’s try to understand what gluten is and what exactly a gluten-free diet entails.

What is gluten?

Gluten is something that occurs naturally in certain grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It is what gives elasticity to dough made using these grains, helps food retain shape and texture.

Why does one follow a gluten-free diet?

Mostly due to medical reasons. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are two major reasons people are advised to go off gluten. There are also some who might not be diagnosed with these conditions as such, but prefer a gluten-free diet because it helps their gut. I have also come across women who have been recommended a gluten-free diet for relief from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). Going gluten-free has also been suggested for improvement in children with hyperactivity and/or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Here, I’d like to say that I’m neither a medical practitioner nor a nutritionist, just someone who’s trying to understand the various types of foods and dietary requirements of the world. I share this here, on the basis of my interaction with people and the reading I’ve resorted to, in the hope that this information will benefit someone.

What does going gluten-free mean?

Following a gluten-free diet means, very obviously, avoiding the whole grains that naturally contain gluten – wheat, barley, rye and the likes. Food made from these grains would need to be substituted with others that are entirely gluten-free – finger millet (ragi), pearl millet (bajra), or sorghum (jowar), for instance.

You would also need to closely check labels of processed foods, to understand if there is wheat or any other glutinous food included therein. For instance, wheat flour is commonly mixed with asafoetida, to make processing easier. Abstaining from gluten would also mean refraining from processed foods such as this.

Some foods might be gluten-free as such, but might be processed in a facility where foods with gluten have also been processed. There might be some cross-contamination in this case, that people following a gluten-free diet should avoid.

Some products like sauces, canned fruits or vegetables, malted milk products, pre-chopped fruits or vegetables, ice cream and mocktails should also be checked for gluten inclusion and/or cross-contamination.

Read more about a gluten-free diet in this Healthline article.

Gluten-free preparations in Indian cooking

Indian cooking in general uses several grains and flours that are gluten free. There are various preparations using gram flour, oats, rice, rice flour, ragi flour, jowar, bajra and the likes that are not only gluten-free but quite nutritious too. A simple step such as avoiding asafoetida in tempering can make various Indian foods completely gluten-free. You will find quite a few gluten-free preparations on my blog as well.

Ragi Roti or Gluten-Free Finger Millet Flatbread

Coming back to the ragi roti, let me tell you that this is a delicious flatbread. It requires very few ingredients and is quite simple to prepare, once you get the hang of it.

Ragi aka finger millet is loaded with health benefits, and this roti is a good way of harnessing them.

The recipe I share with you here indicates the way ragi roti is largely made in Karnataka. It is quite a popular food in the homes of Bangalore, as well as in Old Bangalore-style restaurants.

Let us now see how to go about making this Ragi Roti. I’m linking this recipe to Fiesta Friday #286, co-hosted this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Ingredients (makes 7-8 rotis):

  1. 1-1/2 cups finger millet aka ragi flour
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  4. 1/4 cup sour curd
  5. 1 medium-sized onion
  6. 2 green chillies
  7. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  8. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  9. Oil, as needed to make the rotis

Method:

1. Take the ragi flour in a large mixing bowl. Add in salt to taste, cumin seeds, sour curd and chopped coriander.

2. Chop the onion finely and add to the mixing bowl.

3. Chop the green chillies and curry leaves very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.

4. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl together. Adding water little by little, form a soft dough. The dough will be a bit sticky – do not make it too dry.

5. Get a thick dosa pan nice and hot.

6. In the meantime, we will begin preparing the ragi rotis. For this, grease a piece of plastic or banana leaf with a little oil and place a small ball of the ragi dough on it. Using slightly wet fingers, pat it with your hands to spread it out till it forms a circle. If the roti breaks while patting, just seal the edges and continue to pat till you get a circle that is slightly thicker than a regular chapati. Poke 2-3 holes in the ragi roti, using your hands, to ensure even cooking.

7. Now, with lightly wet hands, gently loosen the roti from the plastic sheet/banana leaf, sliding it onto the hot pan. Make sure you don’t get the plastic sheet or banana leaf in contact with the hot pan.

7. Spread a little oil around the ragi roti and let it cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat. The roti should turn a slightly darker colour on the bottom. Then, flip it over and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side as well. Transfer the roti to a serving plate. Serve hot with coconut chutney or pickled onions.

8. Prepare ragi rotis from all the dough in a similar manner.

Notes:

1. Making ragi roti this way requires a bit of patience and practice. Do not be disheartened if you do not get it right immediately.

2. Grated carrots and/or coconut can be added to the ragi roti dough too. Here, I haven’t.

3. You may mix some wheat flour with the ragi flour, to make the rotis easier to shape. I haven’t, here, considering I was to make a gluten-free preparation.

4. These ragi rotis are best consumed hot, straight off the stove.

5. I have included some tips to make the shaping of the ragi roti easier, in the above recipe. Please read the entire recipe carefully before proceeding to make the dish.

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

Mug Na Dhokla| Whole Green Moong Dhokla

I love using whole grains in my kitchen, every once in a while. I make sure we get enough of legumes – whole moong and masoor, kabuli chana and rajma – in our diets. Not only are they immensely tasty, but most of them are rich sources of protein and other nutrients. Plus, they are so versatile, and can be used in so many different types of dishes! This Whole Green Moong Dhokla was the result of a recent kitchen experiment in this league.

I typically use whole green moong in a gravy-based curry with the regular suspects like tomato, onion, ginger and garlic. I also sprout them for salads or make dosa or kurma with them. Recently, though, I thought of trying out a Whole Green Moong Dhokla, and the result was so finger-lickingly delicious that it became an instant favourite with everyone at home. This is our new love now – a go-to snack option.

Making these Whole Green Moong Dhokla needs a bit of prior preparation. The moong beans need to be soaked and then ground along with a few other ingredients, then allowed to rest and ferment. That’s it – your batter is all set to get converted into delish dhoklas! The effort is totally worth it, I can assure you of that. I don’t mind it because I know I’ll be feeding my family a very nutritious – not to forget delish – steamed snack at the end of it all.

This dish can be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used in the tempering.

So, do try out these Mug Na Dhokla or Whole Green Moong Dhokla. I’d love to know how you liked them!

Here is how I make them. I’m linking this recipe to Fiesta Friday #286, co-hosted this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1-1/2 cups whole green moong
  2. 1 cup curd
  3. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  4. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  5. 2-3 green chillies
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. 2-3 tablespoons jaggery powder
  8. 1/2 tablespoon oil + a little more for greasing the steaming vessel
  9. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  10. 2 + 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  11. 1 + 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  12. 1/2 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  13. 1 + 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  14. 1 + 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut

Method:

1. Wash the whole green moong well under running water. Drain out all the water. Add in enough fresh water to cover the moong. Let the moong soak, covered and undisturbed, for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. When the moong is done soaking, drain out the water from it. Transfer to a mixer jar.

3. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and add to the mixer jar. Chop up the green chillies and add to the mixer jar too, along with the curd. Grind coarsely.

4. Transfer the ground batter to a large vessel. Add in salt to taste, jaggery powder and turmeric powder. Mix well, using your hands. Set the batter aside, covered and undisturbed, in a warm place for 10-12 hours for it to ferment.

5. Once the batter has fermented well, it is ready to use in making dhoklas. For this, grease a wide vessel with some oil. Pour half of the batter into the greased vessel. Keep aside.

6. Take about a cup of water in a pressure cooker bottom, and place a stand inside. Place the pressure cooker over high flame. Allow the water to come to a boil. At this stage, place the vessel with the batter inside the cooker and close it. Steam on high flame for about 12 minutes, without putting the whistle on. Switch off gas.

7. Wait for 5-7 minutes before opening the cooker and getting the dhokla out. Wait for 5-7 more minutes before cutting the dhokla into squares, using a spatula or knife.

8. Meanwhile, we will prepare the tempering for the dhokla. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Turn down the flame to medium, add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Then add 2 pinches of asafoetida, 1 sprig curry leaves, 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that the tempering does not burn. Switch off gas and pour this tempering evenly over the dhokla.

9. Spread 1 tablespoon each of finely chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut evenly over the dhokla. Serve the dhokla warm or at room temperature.

10. Prepare dhokla using the rest of the batter, similarly. Temper these dhokla too in a similar manner. Garnish the same way with chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut.

Notes:

1. Use sour curd for easy fermentation. I used home-made, day-old, slightly sour, thick curd.

2. Mix the batter using your hands, to speed up the process of fermentation. This is crucial.

3. For a Jain version of the Mug Na Dhokla, you can skip the ginger and garlic completely.

4. You can add some red chilli powder to the batter if you feel it is not spicy enough. I didn’t.

5. Don’t use curd that is too watery to grind the batter. Don’t add any water while grinding either.

6. The exact time the batter will take to ferment will depend upon the consistency of the batter, the climate, the sourness of the curd used, etc. Mine usually takes 10-12 hours to ferment.

7. Make sure your batter is well fermented before you begin making the Mug Na Dhokla. If the batter refuses to ferment, you may add a teaspoon of Eno Fruit Salt (plain) to each batch before steaming. Make sure you add in the Eno just before the batter goes into the pressure cooker for steaming.

8. Make sure the dhokla has had a few minutes to cool slightly, before it is cut.

Liked the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Bun Halwa| Easy Bread Halwa Without Milk

I was introduced to Bun Halwa on our visit to the temple town of Madurai, a couple of years ago. While breakfasting at the iconic Gopu Iyengar’s one day, Bun Halwa was on the list of specials. We had never tried it before, were intrigued enough to order it, and fell in love with it when it arrived. When they saw how much I was enjoying the piping-hot halwa, the serving staff was kind enough to teach me how to go about making it. After that, this has been a go-to dessert at our place, any time we have buns (or bread!) left over.

I present to you today the way I prepare Bun Halwa at home, largely the way I learnt at Madurai, with a few little flourishes of my own. Let me tell you that this is one super simple dessert to make, one you can blindly trust when you have unannounced guests over and need to make a sweet treat in a jiffy. It’s a delicious, delicious way to use up those last few bakery buns or bread that have been lying around the house, threatening to go stale! πŸ™‚

Let’s now check out the recipe for Bun Halwa aka Easy Bread Halwa.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 medium-sized buns
  2. About 4 tablespoons ghee
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1 tablespoon raisins
  6. 6-7 cashewnuts
  7. 6-7 almonds
  8. 2 generous pinches of cardamom powder
  9. 4-5 glace cherries for decoration (optional)

Method:

1. Cut up the buns into small squares. Keep ready.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan, and add the bun pieces to it. Fry the bun pieces on medium flame till they get brown and slightly crisp. Do not burn them. Transfer the fried pieces of bun to a plate and keep aside.

3. In the same pan, take the water and sugar together and place on high heat. Let the sugar get completely dissolved in the water.

4. When the sugar syrup starts bubbling, reduce the flame to medium. Add in the fried bun pieces. Mix well, mashing the bun pieces with your ladle. Add in a tablespoon more of ghee.

5. Continue to cook on medium flame, stirring constantly, till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan begins to come together like a halwa. Add 1 more tablespoon of ghee to the pan at this stage, and mix well. Switch off gas.

6. Mix the cardamom powder to the Bun Halwa.

7. Now, chop the almonds and cashewnuts roughly. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee in a small pan. Turn the flame down to medium, and add in the raisins and the chopped cashewnuts and almonds. Mix well and let them stay in till the raisins plump up and the nuts begin to brown. Don’t let the dry fruits and nuts burn.

8. Mix the fried raisins, cashewnuts and almonds into the Bun Halwa. Serve hot, decorated with chopped glace cherries (if using).

Notes:

1. I have used two Nilgiri’s tea buns here, which were moderately sweet. If you are using sweeter milk buns instead, you could decrease the quantity of sugar you use.

2. Bread can be used in place of buns. About 6 slices of bread could be used in the above recipe, in the place of the 2 buns.

3. Adjust the quantity of ghee and sugar you use, as per personal taste preferences.

4. A bit of rose essence can be added to this Easy Bread Halwa, too. Here, I haven’t.

5. This Bun Halwa tastes best when had hot or warm.

6. Some versions of Bun Halwa also use milk. I haven’t used any here.

7. Don’t skimp on the ghee, otherwise the halwa will stick to the bottom of the pan and turn out lumpy and tasteless.

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This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, the members of this group share recipes as per a certain theme.

The theme this week is #MithaiMeinTwist, suggested by Sasmita of First Timer Cook. For the theme, we are showcasing Indian dessert recipes with a twist. This Bun Halwa aka Easy Bread Halwa was my choice for the same.

I’m linking this recipe to Fiesta Friday #286, co-hosted this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Mambazha Pulissery| Ripe Mango In Yogurt Gravy

We are down to the last few ripe mangoes of this season. I scout street-side carts and vegetable shops in search of good ones. In doing so, I attempt to hold on to the remnants of summer, whatever remains of this favourite summer fruit of mine. I rustled up some Mambazha Pulissery
recently for probably the last time this summer, using the few good Neelam mangoes I managed to get my hands on.

If you are wondering what Mambazha Pulissery is, let me tell you that refers to ripe mangoes cooked in a yogurt gravy. This dish hails from Kerala, and is redolent of coconut and green chillies, the way several dishes from ‘God’s Own Country’ are. It is a delicious, delicious thing, the sweetness of ripe mangoes, the heat from the chillies and the sourness of yogurt complementing each other perfectly. I learnt how to make Mambazha Pulissery years ago from my mother-in-law, who hails from Palakkad. It’s an eternal favourite at our place, and I absolutely had to make it as we stand on the cusp of bidding goodbye to summer.

There are several different versions of the Mambazha Pulissery, as far as I understand. Different families bring in their own little variations to the recipe, while the major ingredients remain more or less the same. Some use little ripe mangoes whole in the pulissery, to suck on and discard the seed at the serving table. We prefer using chunks of mango in it, instead. We also don’t cook the pulissery after the yogurt has been added to it, which is what is practiced in quite a few homes.

This recipe for Mambazha Pulissery does not use any onion or garlic, but does include a knob of ginger for a punch of flavour. It can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida used here in the tempering.

So, here goes our family recipe for Mambazha Pulissery. Do try it out and let me know how you liked it?

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

For grinding to a paste:

  1. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  2. 1 green chilly, chopped
  3. 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds (rai)
  4. 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

For the tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  3. A pinch of fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  5. 1 sprig of curry leaves
  6. 3-4 dried red chillies

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup ripe mango, peeled and chopped into medium-sized cubes
  2. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  3. Salt, to taste
  4. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
  5. 1 cup curd

Method:

1. Grind together all the ingredients listed under ‘To Grind’. Use a small mixer jar, adding a little water. Keep aside.

2. Take the chopped mango in a pan with about 1/4 cup water. Place on high flame. Cook till the mango is slightly soft – don’t overcook it.

3. Add the ground paste to the pan, along with salt, turmeric powder and jaggery powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame till the raw smell of the paste goes away, about 2 minutes.

4. Switch off gas. Allow the cooked ingredients to cool down fully.

5. Whisk the curd well to make it lump-free. Add this to the pan when the mixture has completely cooled down.

6. Now, we will prepare a tempering for the Mambazha Pulissery. Heat the coconut oil in a small pan. Turn down the flame to medium and add in the mustard. Allow it to sputter. Add in the fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, taking care to ensure that they do not burn. Add this tempering to the pan. Mix well. Your Mambazha Pulissery is ready to serve, with some steamed rice.

Notes:

1. Use mangoes that are ripe but firm, without any blemishes. Do not use mangoes that are too fibrous. I have used 2 small Neelam mangoes here, which gave me roughly 1 cup of flesh when chopped.

2. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and coconut you use, as per personal taste preferences.

3. For best results, use curd that is sour, but not overly so. I have used home-made curd here, which was well-set but not overly thick. If the curd you are using is too thick, whisk it with a little water before adding it to the pulissery.
4. If the mangoes you are using are too sweet, you may skip using the jaggery powder in the pulissery.

5. Make sure the cooked ingredients have fully cooled down, before adding the curd to the pan. Otherwise, there are chances of the curd splitting. Do not cook the pulissery after adding the curd or heat it before serving. This Mambazha Pulissery is typically served at room temperature.

6. Add the tempering at the end, so as to retain the fragrance of the coconut oil in the pulissery. And, yes, coconut oil is a must here. Use any other oil, and the pulissery just doesn’t feel the same.

7. Do not overcook the mango. Cook it till it softens a little, then add the ground paste to it.

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

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #285.

Mysore Masala Dosa| Karnataka Style Masala Dosa

Mysore Masala Dosa finds pride of place on the menu in most eateries across Karnataka. It is a popular breakfast dish in the state, and there’s no surprise there. This is such a lip-smackingly delicious dosa, after all! I’m here today to share with you guys my aunt’s recipe for Mysore Masala Dosa. She makes them beautifully, and I always make them as per her recipe.

The typical Mysore Masala Dosa is thicker than your regular dosa, crisp on the outside and soft within. A fiery, red, garlicky chutney is spread inside the dosa – the star of the dish, in fact. There is a potato filling inside too, similar to that of the Masala Dosa. Looks-wise, the Mysore Masala Dosa looks quite similar to the Masala Dosa – it is the spicy red chutney in the former that makes all the difference.

The Mysore Masala Dosa is believed to have originated in Mysore, the erstwhile capital of Karnataka state. It is one of the most popular dosa versions around the globe, Karnataka included. Different restaurants have their own style of making the Mysore Masala Dosa, but most do come with one or the other version of spicy red chutney in them. My aunt’s recipe uses a simple red chutney made with coconut, the renowned Bydagi chillies of Karnataka, garlic and salt. We love this dosa to bits – the husband and I – and it features often on our dining table.

This is a completely plant-based recipe, suitable for those who follow a vegan diet. It can easily be made gluten-free too, by avoiding the asafoetida used here.

Without further ado, let’s now check out the recipe for Mysore Masala Dosa.

Ingredients (makes about 8 dosas):

For the potato filling:

  1. 4 medium-sized potatoes
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. 2 green chillies
  4. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  5. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  6. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  9. Red chilli powder to taste
  10. 1/2 cup water
  11. Lemon juice to taste
  12. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

For the red chutney:

  1. 6-7 Bydagi dried red chillies
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 6-7 garlic cloves
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut
  5. 1 teaspoon oil
  6. Water as needed

For the dosas:

  1. 8 ladles of dosa batter
  2. Oil as needed to make the dosas

Method:

We will start with some basic prep work.

1. Break up the Bydagi chillies roughly using your hands. Keep them soaked in a little warm water for at least 20 minutes.

2. Cut the potatoes in halves, and transfer to a wide vessel. Add in enough water to cover them. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook the potatoes for 4 whistles or till they are well cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. Slit the green chillies length-wise, and keep them ready.

4. Chop the onion finely. Keep ready.

Now, we will prepare the red chutney.

1. Peel the garlic cloves. Keep them ready.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add in the grated coconut and peeled garlic cloves. Roast on medium flame till they start emitting a lovely fragrance.

3. Let the roasted coconut and garlic cool down fully, then transfer to a small mixer jar.

4. To the mixer jar, add the soaked Bydagi chilli pieces along with the little water they were soaked in. Add in salt to taste.

5. Grind the ingredients in the mixer jar together to a smooth paste. This is the red chutney you will be using to spread inside your dosas.

We will now get the potato filling for the dosas ready.

1. Get the cooked potatoes out of the cooker, once the pressure has gone down completely. Discard the water that the potatoes cooked in.

2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and roughly mash them.

3. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds and let them sputter.

4. Add in the slit green chillies and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

5. Add the chopped onions to the pan. Cook on medium flame till they start browning.

6. Add the mashed potatoes to the pan, along with salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for about a minute.

7. Add 1/2 cup water and mix well. Adjust seasonings. Cook for 1-2 minutes on medium flame. Switch off gas.

8. Mix in lemon juice and finely chopped fresh coriander. Your potato filling is ready.

Next, we will prepare the Mysore Masala Dosa.

1. Place a dosa pan on high flame. Let it get nice and hot.

2. When the pan is hot enough, lower the flame to medium. Now, place a ladleful of dosa batter in the centre of the pan and spread it out quickly into a large circle. Use the back of the ladle to do this.

3. Drizzle a little oil all around the dosa. Let it cook on medium flame till it browns on the bottom. This takes 1-2 minutes.

4. Now, flip over the dosa. Cook on the other side for about a minute. Transfer the dosa to a serving plate.

5. Spread a little of the red chutney we prepared earlier, on the inside of the dosa. Place some of the potato filling inside too, in the centre of the dosa. Fold the dosa so as to close it. Serve the Mysore Masala Dosa immediately.

Notes:

1. I use home-made dosa batter to make the Mysore Masala Dosa. You can use store-bought batter instead, too.

2. Carrots and/or green peas can be added to the potato filling. I occasionally use them.

3. Ghee or butter can be used to make the dosas, instead of oil.

4. Some people add chana dal and/or curry leaves to the potato filling. I don’t.

5. Bydagi dry chillies give the chutney its red colour, without making it way too spicy. Make sure you use Bydagi chillies to make the red chutney. If you don’t have them, you can add some chana dal or fried gram (pottu kadalai) to the chutney – just roast them along with the other ingredients and grind everything together.

6. Don’t spread too much of the red chutney inside the dosas. Spread a little quantity of the chutney with light hand movements.

7. We add some water to the potato filling to make it softer and easy to place inside the dosa. You can skip the water and keep the filling dry as well.

8. For best results, make sure you keep the dosa a little thicker than usual. If the dosa is too thin or too crisp, you will find it difficult to spread the red chutney inside.

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This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. Every Monday, we food bloggers who are part of the group showcase recipes based on a pre-determined theme.

The theme this week is #NashtaTime, which was suggested by me. For the theme, all of us are presenting regional breakfast dishes from our home state.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #285.

Gujarati Kadhi Chutney| Fafda Chutney

If you have travelled (and eaten) in Gujarat, I’m sure you would have come across a thickish yellow-coloured chutney being offered alongside snacks like dhokla, khaman, fafda, cholafali and the likes. This delicious chutney has hints of spicy, sweet and sour and actually goes perfectly with most Gujarati snacks. It is made of besan aka gram flour, and is popularly called Fafda Chutney. It is also sometimes referred to as Kadhi Chutney, thanks to the similarity in looks with kadhi. Today, I’m going to share with you the recipe for this Fafda Chutney or Kadhi Chutney, Gujju style.

To make this chutney, a slurry of besan and water is cooked till it thickens, made aromatic with the addition of a few other ingredients. It is an extremely simple thing to whip up, and making it is but a matter of minutes. The Kadhi Chutney looks similar to the Bombay Chutney of South India but, taste-wise, the two things are quite different.

I made this Kadhi Chutney to serve with Khatta Dhokla for the 15 or so kids in the bub’s class, when it was our snack turn at her school recently. I wanted to give the little ones a sneak peek into Gujarati cuisine, and I must say it worked beautifully. I was, initially, a tad skeptical offering them something so different from the regular idli, dosa, pongal, pasta and pancakes, but I was all excited to see the dabbas returning from school almost empty. Yay to that!

Coming to the Kadhi Chutney, this is an entirely plant-based recipe, suitable for someone on a vegan diet. Just omit the asafoetida used here, and you have a completely gluten-free recipe too, without much of a change in the taste. Though some people add garlic and ginger to their Kadhi Chutney, this one doesn’t have any – making this a Jain version as well.

If you have never tried out Kadhi Chutney or Fafda Chutney before, you absolutely must! Let’s check out the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1/4 cup besan (gram flour)
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/2 tablespoon oil
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  5. 2 generous pinches of asafoetida
  6. 2 slit green chillies
  7. 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
  11. 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  12. Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste

Method:

1. Take the besan in a mixing bowl and add in about 1/2 cup water. Whisk well, forming a slurry without any lumps.

2. Add the rest of the water to the mixing bowl too, along with salt to taste, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and sugar. Whisk everything well together. Keep aside.

3. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Now, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

4. Now, turn the flame down to low-medium and add the besan slurry to the pan. Mix well. Continue to cook on low-medium heat till the raw smell of the besan goes away and the mixture begins to thicken. This should take about 2 minutes. Switch off gas at this stage.

5. Mix in the lemon juice. The Kadhi Chutney is ready – serve it hot or warm or at room temperature with snacks of your choice.

Notes:

1. Some people add a bit of sour curd to the Kadhi Chutney, but I prefer using lemon juice.

2. Like I was saying earlier, ginger and/or garlic is sometimes added to Kadhi Chutney. I don’t.

3. Adjust the quantity of sugar, green chillies, red chilli powder and lemon juice you use, as per personal taste preferences.

4. Don’t skip the sugar. The Kadhi Chutney doesn’t taste the same without the sugar.

5. Jaggery powder can be substituted for the sugar, too. I prefer using sugar, though.

6. You may add in more green chillies and skip the red chilli powder altogether.

7. The Kadhi Chutney thickens a bit upon cooling.

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

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I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #284. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Petra @ Food Eat Love.
I’m also sending this recipe to My Legume Love Affair #130. This is a monthly event started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, the legacy carried forward for a long time by Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. This month, My Legume Love Affair is being hosted by Kalyani at Sizzling Tastebuds.

Masala Vadai| Spiced Paruppu Vadai

Today’s post is a little nostalgic, a little glum, a little fearful, a little hopeful. It is definitely about a big reality check that all of us need to pay attention to. I’m also sharing our family recipe for Masala Vadai, a monsoon-special delicacy from South India.

I absolutely adore the rains. Rain uplifts my spirits almost immediately. Bangalore becomes all the more beautiful in the rains (yes, waterlogged roads and traffic jams come into the picture too, but I still love it). The heady scent of wet earth, greenery sprouting everywhere, the diffused sunlight peeking through the clouds, the pitter-patter of raindrops – all of it leaves me with a fresh, clean feeling. Life starts anew in the monsoons, and I cannot not be charmed by that. And then, there are the hundreds of delectable monsoon-special foods to think of!

This year, though, there are no signs of a robust monsoon here in Bangalore. It started turning skin-blistering hot in February this year, and a scorching few months followed. The weather definitely started getting cooler in June, but there was no sign of the overcast skies, pleasant drizzles and heavy thunderstorms that usually set foot in Bangalore in April or May. The peacock in my soul has been waiting. Only in the last week or so (in July!) we had the beginnings of rain – cloudy skies in the evenings and a couple of showers. I am eagerly looking forward to the full works that I have come to love Bangalore for. Meanwhile, we had to celebrate the start of monsoon with some Masala Vadai, crispy deep-fried lentil fritters that are a specialty in the South of India.

While we are on the subject of delayed monsoons, I cannot not talk about the acute water crisis that Chennai has been facing for the last few months. It has been disheartening and scary reading media reports about the same. This report about Bangalore’s water situation going the Chennai way scares the living daylights out of me. Ground water in Bangalore (among other Indian cities) has been dipping lower and lower by the year, and there is a huge chance of it running out all too soon. It is time we do something about the situation – or we are going to be left high and dry. As a family, we have been doing our part and I urge all of you to do so, too.

Coming back to the Masala Vadai, they are delicious, delicious things that I just cannot have enough of. Made using coarsely crushed chana dal, jazzed up with onions, fennel, mint, coriander, chillies and curry leaves – these vadais are nothing short of a treat. A simpler version of these vadais is made in South Indian homes on festival days and other auspicious occasions, called Aame Vadai or Paruppu Vadai. I’m presenting an amped-up version here that is just perfect for regular days. Make these as a tea-time snack or when you have guests over, and it’s sure to be a huge hit. It is a great choice for those days when it’s pouring outside and your tastebuds crave for something deep-fried and lovely. πŸ™‚

Amma makes some mean Aame Vadai and Masala Vadai, a skill that she has passed on to me. I have extremely fond memories of Amma waiting with a plate of these fritters for me to get back home from work on rainy days. She knows I love them to bits, and her care and affection washed away all the woes of commuting home, soaked to the skin, in the midst of a downpour.

These fritters are actually super-easy to make. You need to soak chana dal for a few hours, and once that is taken care of, the rest falls into place fairly quickly. Below is the recipe, with some tips and tricks to get the Masala Vadai perfect. This is an entirely plant-based, vegan recipe. It can easily be made gluten-free too, by skipping the asafoetida used here.

Ingredients (makes about 20 vadais):

  1. 1 cup chana dal
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  4. 2-3 generous pinches of asafoetida
  5. 2 green chillies
  6. 2 dry red chillies
  7. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  8. 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (saunf)
  9. 1 big onion
  10. A handful of fresh mint leaves
  11. 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
  12. 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  13. Oil, as needed for deep frying

Method:

1. Wash the chana dal well under running water, a couple of times, draining out the water from it each time. Add in just enough fresh water to cover the chana dal and let it soak, covered, for 3-4 hours.

2. When the chana dal is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Transfer the drained chana dal to a mixer jar.

3. Peel the ginger, chop it roughly and add to the mixer jar. Chop the green chillies and dry red chillies roughly and add them in too. Also add salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida to the mixer jar. Coarsely grind the ingredients together, without adding any water.

4. Take the oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Place it on high flame and allow it to heat up.

5. In the meantime, transfer the ground chana dal to a large bowl. Chop the onion, curry leaves and mint finely and add them in. Also add the finely chopped coriander and fennel seeds to the mixing bowl. Mix up the ingredients well.

6. When the oil has heated up fully, reduce the flame to medium. Form 2-3 small patties out of the chana dal mixture we prepared earlier and slide them into the hot oil. Deep fry them on medium flame till brown and crisp on the outside, taking care not to burn them. Shape patties from the entire mixture similarly, and deep fry them in the same way. Serve hot.

Notes:

1. Do not over-soak the chana dal. Soaking for 3-4 hours is good enough.

2. Prepare the masala vadais immediately after you grind the ingredients. Plan out the soaking according to when you want to make the vadais. Frying the vadais long after the batter has been ground often results into them getting very oily.

3. A handful of dill leaves and/or garlic can be added to the Masala Vadais too. I usually don’t.

4. Increase or decrease the quantity of green chillies and dry red chillies you use as per personal taste preferences.

5. Make sure you fry the vadais on a medium flame. This will ensure even frying and delicious vadais.

6. The oil should get nice and hot before you turn down the flame to medium and start frying the vadais.

7. Grind the chana dal coarsely. Don’t make a fine paste, for best results.

8. Do not overcrowd the pan while frying the vadais. Fry them a couple at a time.

9. If you find it difficult to shape the batter into patties, mix in a couple of tablespoons of rice flour. I typically don’t.

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This post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group that I am part of. Every Monday, the members of the group share recipes based on a pre-determined theme.

The theme this week is #RimJhimBarse, wherein we are showcasing monsoon-special recipes. The theme was suggested by Preethi, author of Preethi’s Cuisine, a lovely blog with many wonderful recipes from across the globe.

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #284. The co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greens and Petra @ Food Eat Love.

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

Kollu Masala Usili| Spiced Horsegram Stir-Fry

Kollu Masala Usili is a delicious, mildly spiced stir-fry that is made using horsegram. A big-time favourite at our place, this usili pairs beautifully with rotis as well as rice dishes. Let me share with you today how I go about making this dish.

Horsegram – ‘kulthi‘ in Hindi, ‘kollu‘ in Tamil – is a powerhouse of health benefits. This legume gets its name from the fact that it was widely fed to horses and other livestock in the olden times, but is nothing short of a superfood. Low in fat and high in calcium, protein and iron, horsegram has been known to aid in reducing one’s cholesterol levels, digestive disorders, asthma, bronchitis, urinary issues and kidney stones. It is believed to be an excellent food for diabetics and for those who want to lose weight.

‘Elaithavanukku ellu, kozhutavanukku kollu’, goes an old Tamil saying. This literally translates into ‘Sesame for the one who has lost weight, horsegram for the one who has put on weight’. Yes, sesame has always been recognised as a food that helps one in building body weight, while horsegram is believed to be an ally for someone who wants to lose weight. Now, I’m no nutritionist and use both of these ingredients in moderation – I love cooking with both of these ‘opposite’ ingredients equally. πŸ™‚ I think this Kollu Masala Usili is a great way to use horsegram!

I soak the horsegram overnight and then pressure cook it, to make the Kollu Masala Usili. The water in which the horsegram is cooked is full of nutrients, and I drain and reserve it for use in a gravy-based curry, soup or rasam. I will shortly share with you the way we make Kollu Rasam, from the water left over after cooking the horsegram. It’s a lovely, lovely thing – this rasam – I tell you.

For now, here’s how you go about making Kollu Masala Usili.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3/4 cup horsegram (aka kollu or kulthi)
  2. 1 medium-sized onion
  3. 1 sprig curry leaves
  4. 2 green chillies
  5. 1 tablespoon oil
  6. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  7. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  8. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  9. 2 dry red chillies
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Red chilli powder to taste
  13. 1 teaspoon chana masala or to taste
  14. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste (optional)
  15. 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  16. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut or as per taste
  17. A dash of lemon juice (optional)

Method:

1. Wash the horsegram thoroughly under running water, a couple of times. Then soak it for 8-10 hours or overnight in just enough water to cover it.

2. When the horsegram is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Transfer to a wide vessel and add in 1 cup of water. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high flame for 5-6 whistles or till the horsegram is fully cooked. Let the pressure release naturally.

3. In the meantime, chop the onion finely. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Keep aside.

4. When the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, open it and get out the cooked horsegram. Strain out all the water from it – don’t throw it out, just reserve it for later use. Keep the drained cooked horsegram ready.

5. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard and allow it to pop. Next add the cumin, dry red chillies, asafoetida, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds.

6. Add the chopped onion to the pan. Cook on medium flame till it browns.

7. Now, add the cooked horsegram to the pan. Also add in salt and red chilli powder to taste, turmeric powder, jaggery powder and chana masala. Mix well. Cook uncovered on medium flame for about 2 minutes. Switch off gas.

8. Mix in lemon juice (if using), chopped coriander and grated coconut. Serve the Kollu Masala Usili hot, warm or at room temperature with rotis, dosas or a rice dish of your preference.

Notes:

1. Some people do not soak the horsegram and pressure cook it directly. I prefer soaking it overnight and then cooking it in the morning – it turns out much softer and delicious by doing so.

2. Always use soft water to soak the horsegram and to cook it.

3. Make sure the horsegram is well cooked before proceeding to use it in making this Kollu Masala Usili. The time needed for pressure cooking the horsegram might differ from one person to another.

4. I like using chana masala in the above recipe, but it can easily be substituted by garam masala or any other masala of your preference.

5. I use coconut oil or sesame oil to make this Kollu Masala Usili, usually. You can use any oil of your preference.

6. The jaggery powder adds beautifully to the flavour of the Kollu Masala Usili, and I would not really recommend skipping it. However, you may skip it if you are not too fond of a sweetish taste in your food.

7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder and grated coconut as per personal taste preferences.

8. I wouldn’t suggest skipping the lemon juice in the above Kollu Masala Usili recipe either. It rounds up the dish in a lovely way.

9. Ginger-garlic paste and/or chopped tomatoes can be used in the Kollu Masala Usili too. I usually don’t.

10. Like I was saying earlier, the water in which the horsegram is cooked is full of nutrients. Don’t discard it. Drain out the water from the horsegram after it is cooked, and reserve it. Use only the cooked and drained horsegram in the above Kollu Masala Usili recipe. Our family recipe for Kollu Rasam requires about 2 tablespoons of the cooked horsegram as well – if you plan to make the rasam our way, do make sure you reserve a little of it too.

11. This is a vegetarian dish, completely plant-based and suitable for those who follow a vegan diet. It can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the asafoetida added in the tempering. For a Jain version, skip the onions.

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This recipe is for the A-Z Recipe Challenge group that I am part of. Every alternate month, the members of this group showcase recipes that star ingredients in alphabetical order of their names.

The letter for this month is H, and I chose ‘horsegram’ as my star ingredient.

I’m also sharing this with Fiesta Friday #283. Your co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

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

Hot Cocoa| Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe

Hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside,’ said someone, and they were so very right. A well-made mug of hot chocolate indeed feels like a giant bear hug, warming up your soul and making life look better almost immediately. I would say hot cocoa has the same magical properties. When you can’t make a cuppa hot chocolate, for whatever reason, hot cocoa works just as fine. Well, chocolate anything has the power to uplift your spirits, right?

What’s the difference between ‘hot chocolate’ and ‘hot cocoa’, you ask? Hot chocolate is made using milk and real chocolate, often with embellishments like orange peel, hazelnuts, almonds, cinnamon and the likes. Hot cocoa, on the other hand, is made using milk and cocoa powder, with or without the embellishments. Hot cocoa is thinner – and less rich – as compared to hot chocolate. Both taste different from each other, but both are equally gorgeous. I often don’t have chocolate at home, so a cup of good hot cocoa does the trick for me when I’m feeling cold or sick or down in the dumps. πŸ™‚

July 7 every year is celebrated as ‘World Chocolate Day’, a celebration of all things deliciously, wonderfully chocolate-ey. In commemoration of this special day, our Foodie Monday Blog Hop group is presenting chocolate-based recipes, today. I decided to go with this Easy Hot Cocoa Recipe that I make often and absolutely adore, but have never shared on my blog.

So, here’s how you make some heavenly but easy-peasy Hot Cocoa!

Ingredients (yields 1 mug):

  1. Full-fat milk, a little over 3/4 mug
  2. 1 tablespoon cream
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1-1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. A pinch of cinnamon powder
  6. 2-3 almonds
  7. 2 squares of milk chocolate
  8. 1 slice of candied orange, with peel

Method:

1. Take the milk, cream, sugar and cocoa powder together in a saucepan. Place on high flame and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Meanwhile, chop the almonds into slivers. Chop the milk chocolate and candied orange roughly. Keep ready.

3. Once the hot cocoa has come to a boil, switch off gas. Mix in the cinnamon powder, and pour it into the mug.

4. Garnish the hot cocoa with the chopped almonds, candied orange and milk chocolate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

1. I used a standard-sized mug to make this hot cocoa, and the above measurements are reflective of the same. Adjust the quantity of milk, sugar and cocoa as per personal taste preferences.

2. The cream is added for a little bit of indulgence and to make the hot cocoa thicker. However, if you don’t want it, you can skip it altogether or reduce the quantity you use.

3. You can skip the milk chocolate in the garnishing, if you want to. The candied orange and almonds are optional too, but I would not suggest skipping them, as they uplift the hot cocoa like anything.

4. You can skip the cinnamon powder if you don’t like it. I add in very little because I like it that way.

5. Use full-fat milk, cream that is very fresh, and good-quality cocoa powder, for best results. I have used Cadbury’s unsweetened cocoa powder here.

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This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop group that I am part of. Every Monday, the members of the group present recipes on their blogs, based on a pre-determined theme.

The theme this week is #KuchMeethaHoJaye, in commemoration of World Chocolate Day, as I was saying earlier. Today, we are all talking recipes made using chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

The week’s theme was suggested by Renu of Cook With Renu. Check out Renu’s blog for some amazing bakes and beautiful recipes!

I’m also sharing this with Fiesta Friday #283. Your co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.