Pasta and Veggie Dhokla

Dhokla is a traditional Gujarati dish, a savory steamed bread with a light and spongy texture. It is typically made with channa dal (split peas) but I’ve had various types, made with rava (semolina or cream of wheat) and besan (chickpea flour).

A friend recently introduced me to her version, incorporating vegetables.  You can use any veggies in the recipe – I always seem to have carrots, bell peppers and frozen peas on hand so I used those.

You might be wondering about the pasta… the angel hair pasta and potatoes simply help bind the ingredients together!

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Ingredients

3/4 cup uncooked, broken angel hair pasta

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1/4 cup frozen green peas

1/4 cup finely cut carrots

1 small raw potato, finely diced

1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon each, ginger and garlic paste

1/2- 1 teaspoon, finely cut green chillies

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cream of wheat (coarse variety, if buying from an Indian store)

2 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon Eno or baking soda

1/2 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

Chopped cilantro for garnish

  Preparation

To steam the Dhokla, boil 2 cups of water in a large 4 or 6 quart cooking pot and keep it simmering. Place a small cooking rack or an overturned small metal container or bowl at the bottom. Grease an 8″ cake pan.

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Add pasta to a mixing bowl and mix in the vegetables.

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Next add the yogurt and spices, cream of wheat, and oil and mix well.

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 Lastly add the Eno or baking soda.

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Pour into prepared cake pan, cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil, add the sesame seeds and mustard seeds and when the seeds start to pop, remove and pour and spread over the steamed dhokla. Remove pan and cool for 5 minutes and cut into diamond shapes.

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Remove to a serving plate and garnish with chopped cilantro.

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“Cheerios” Chuduva

A few years ago when my (adult) daughter started eating Cheerios regularly, I came up with the idea of making Chuduva (a spicy savory snack mix) with them.  At that time, Multi Grain Cheerios contained 100% of the RDA of iron per serving*… and since my daughter had an iron deficiency during her pregnancy it was the perfect snack for her. She was also told that having Cheerios with milk slows down the absorption of iron so she had been looking for creative ways to eat them.

I still make Cheerios Chuduva regularly (except with regular Cheerios which has less sugar than Multi Grain) as my retired husband likes to munch on something during the day – its still one of his favorites!

*Now the recipe has changed and it only has 45% of the RDA of iron per serving, similar to regular Cheerios.                                                          IMG_2224

Ingredients

8 cups Cheerios

2 tablespoon oil

2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 sprig curry leaves (optional)

3 whole red chillies

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( red chili powder)

2 cups potato sticks

1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (any type of nut will work)

1/2- 1 cup raisins (optional)

 Preparation

Heat oil in a large wok, add the cumin seeds, red chilis and curry leaves. Stir till the cumin seeds start to brown. Add the turmeric, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir and add the raisins. Stir for 30 seconds and add the cheerios, potato sticks and peanuts.

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Continue to stir on low heat until the mixture is well mixed for about 3 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Chilli Cheese Toast

Growing up in India, Chilli Cheese Toast was served often at “tea time”, when we would have a snack along with a cup of hot tea at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  Cheese toasts originally were deep-fried – needless to say they were delicious!  No one thought about calories back then or about all that fat we were consuming!

As time went by, a healthier version was created – lighter but as flavorful and quick to prepare. The toasts are perfect for lunch on a cold day along with a salad or soup, or served as an appetizer.

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 Ingredients

4 slices of firm whole wheat bread

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons finely cut onions

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

1-2 finely chopped green chillies

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder (or a mustard spread)

 

Preparation

Place the bread in the oven, on broil, to brown one side of the bread.

Mix the remaining ingredients to a smooth paste.

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Apply the cheese spread to the side of the bread which was not toasted.

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Place under the broiler until light brown.

Cut into quarters or in half.

Serve immediately.

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