Thursday, October 12, 2017

Urad Dal Kachori: UP Vali Kachori: Aloo Ki Subji And Kachori

Aloo Ki Subji will be one dish that is popular in every household of India. However every state has got its own way of cooking it and serving it with. It’s served humbly with paratha or roti; served as a side with rice and dal. It is also paired with puri and batura, but the most royal match is when it is dished up with Kachori.

Those of you dont know, Aloo Ki Subji and Kachori combination is very popular in UP (Uttar Pradesh). From Ganga ghats in Banaras to Krishna’s home in Mathura to temples in Rishikesh and Haridwar this meal has stolen many hearts. It is a wholesome vegetarian meal, mostly served as breakfast or brunch near the temples and pooja places as a street food.

The simplicity and filling attributes make this dish very popular. Spicy and yet modest aloo ki subji is served with Urad Daal Stuffed Kachori. What makes it filling and perfect for breakfast are two things. a)Urad daal is heavy to digest, so you feel full very quickly. b) The kachori is made with maida (all purpose flour) and is deep fried. These two features make it so perfect for brunch as well.

What is kachori? Kachori is like puri but stuffed. The kachori we are talking here is different from Rajasthani Kachori also called as club kachori. Kachori in rajasthan are smaller and puffed up-served with chutney or as a chaat with dahi (yogurt) and meethi chutney. However these UP vali kachori are flat kachoris and are stuffed with urad dal instead of moong dal.

Aloo ki subji is also called as Mathura Ke Dubki Vale Aloo, Haridwar Ke Rassewale Aloo, Banerasi/Benarsi Aloo. Same way the kachori is called as Khasta Kachori, Kasta Bedvi Kachori.

For Dough
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
2 tablespoons semolina/suji
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons oil
Water as needed
More oil for frying
For Stuffing
1 tablespoon oil
Pinch asafoetida/heeng
1/2 cup white lenthils/urad daal
1 green chilli chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds/sabut dhaniya
1 teaspoon grated ginger/adrak
1 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
1/4 teaspoon garam massala powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder/dhaniya powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirchi
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black salt/kala namak

For dough-
Mix all the ingredients listed under dough category. Mix slowly water and start to form smooth dough. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
For stuffing-
Soak the dal for atleast 3 hours in the water. Then drain the water, wash the dal and keep aside.
Grind the dal coarsely with saunf and coriander seeds.
Heat oil in a pan. Add in it jeera, heeng. Let it crackle. Mix in turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, green chilli, adrak, garam massala and coriander powder. Mix for 10 seconds.
Mix this above massala mix in grinded dal. Mix well.
Mix in salt, black salt and coriander leaves.
Take a lemon sized ball of the dough, roll it out a bit. In the centre add in 2 teaspoon of stuffing. Take the edges of the rolled out dough and seal the edges.
With the roller pin (belan) flatten the stuffed ball.
Heat oil in wok, when hot, throw one kachori at a time. With the help of a spatula apply bit pressure and try to puff it. Flip and cook on the other side as well.
When you see it has become red. Serve.

Feel free to use whole wheat flour/atta as well.
You can make moong (yellow mung) dal kachoris same way. Moong daal is bit lighter to digest.
Fry the kachori on mdeuim heat.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Chawal Ki Kheer

From Navratri garba beats to preparations for Diwali-the festive mood is in full swing. I have started to clean the house, prepare the diyas and think about what should be the food menu for three days of diwali. In all this planning I forgot to think about Karva Chauth- another Indian festival wherein the married ladies fast from sunrise to moonrise for the long life and prosperity of her husband.

These festivals add a bit of sparkle and fun to the otherwise daily routine. As always an indain sweet is a must in the end and this time I decided to put together Chawal Ki Kheer. Chawal Ki Kheer is like rice pudding made by boiling the milk on low heat, which is then thickened by rice and sweetened with sugar or goor (jaggery).

To be honest I find indian sweets very complicated sometimes; most of sweets like jalebi, gulab jamun or barfi asks for sugar syrup and I just can’t craft a good sugar syrup (chasni)-I just don’t understand the art of one thread or two thread consistency syrup. So for people like me I believe Kheer is a saviour. Kheer can be made with very basic ingredients and is very easy to prepare. Another variation of kheer that is very popular is Seviyan Ki Kheer.

Here are some tips on how to make a good Chaval Ki Kheer-
  • Use good quality full fat milk. Boil the milk on low heat in a heavy bottom utensil.
  • Always pre-soak the rice for atleast an hour. Do not use thick or fat rice. I recommend basmati rice.
  • Before adding the rice to the milk, break the rice with your hand, like crumble the rice.
  • Use saffron (kesar) as it brings beautiful colour to otherwise pale white kheer.
  • Keep stirring the kheer, it will help it to thicken and also avoid burning.

4 cups milk
1/4 cup rice (soaked in water for one hour)
2 green cardamom/elaychi
3-4 threads of saffron/kesar
Sugar to taste

Take a heavy bottom pan and boil the milk on low heat.
In the meantime strain the water from soaked rice and crumble the rice. Rice should be broken into small pieces.
Add the broken rice to boiling milk. Keep stirring the milk in between. Keep boiling the milk till the rice is cooked and milk is reduced to half quantity.
Then add sugar, cardamom and saffron. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes.

Everyone have their own sweet taste preference, that’s why I said sugar to taste :-)
You can add gud/goor/jaggery as well instead of sugar.
If you like coconut, feel free to add grated coconut as well.
Kheer can be served hot or cold-again totally depends on an individual’s taste.
I mixed 2-3 threads of saffron 2 tablespoons of warm milk and used it as garnish (the yellow liquid on the kheer in the pictures).