As I am not working here...all I do is either cook, eat, read (lately its been more of cookbooks), watch food channels,decorate my house, blog, think about what to cook for meals, buy new kitchen equipments (the test tubes, spatula, petri dishes for my lab), stay on the look out of innovative dishes and new stuff to try.. et al (not necessarily in that order).
In a nutshell...I am a food-nut, if I can say that!
Who thought that I would be cooking like this just a year back..not even myself. Its only after my marriage that I have actually entered the kitchen... to cook (earlier it used to be either for eating nick-nacks or a lazy answer to mom's call for assistance in the kitchen). :-p
My in-laws stay in Ahmedabad,Gujarat...my first breakfast in Gujarat, at my in-laws' place was the yummy poha (flattened/beaten rice flakes) my mom-in-law made for me.
Gujarat is on the west of India and almost all Gujaratis are staunch vegetarians by religion.
So lentils and pulses are what provide them with the necessary proteins and fibre.
If ever you are travelling through train in India and have a Gujarati person sharing your compartment, you can be rest assured that you would find theple and mango pickles in his/her lunch box/bag, for the long journey.
As stated in my earlier posts Indians do not leave home without food...I can add that Gujaratis never leave for a journey without theplas. Theplas, which are a kind of flattened , unleavened bread made from chick-pea/bengal gram flour and spices, have a long shelf life and go very well with any side dish, curd, pickles or can be eaten plain.
I personally prefer it with begun bhaja (fried egg plants). Its the meal with the best of the east and the west of India. Unity in diversity! :)
In India, whenever there is a festive occassion that involves food for a large gathering, the services of the "maharaj" (traditional Indian cook/chef) are employed. He is a cook that makes authentic Indian dishes in really large (read enormous) quantities with his helpers. I always enjoyed watching them work..in the open kitchen. I learned this dish from one such Maharaj, who used to cook regularly for our festivities, at a family function.
2 cups bengal gram flour
2 tbsp curd,beaten
1 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1/2 tsp or less turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
a pinch of dried ginger powder
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp juice of grated bottle-gourd (doodhi/lauki)
For Tempering oil-
In a wok take 3 tbsp cooking oil and heat. Add 2-3 curry leaves and 1 tsp of mustard seeds.Heat till the mustard seeds splutter. Remove from heat and use this oil to fry the theple.
Firstly, grate half of a medium sized bottle gourd. Now squeeze the juice out of the grated gourd by hand or with the help of a muslin cloth. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients. Then, make a well in between and add the oil and beaten curd. Mix well. Finally,add the bottle-gourd juice to the mix gradually, kneading the dough all the time.Knead well into a soft dough.
Break into lemon sized balls and flatten out the balls with a rolling pin, to make flat disc shaped breads.
Shallow fry on both sides, in the griddle/pan with the tempered oil.
Serve with your favourite side dish.
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