Bhakarwadi is a sweet and spicy tea-time snack and we can trace its origins to Maharashtra, India. Bhakarwadi can be stored for many weeks in air-tight containers and enjoyed at tea-time.
You will need
For the rolls
Gram flour (Besan in hindi) – 1/2 cup
Refined flour (Maida) – 1 1/2 cups
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
For the stuffing
Poppy seeds (khus-khus)(Roasted) – 100 gms
Sesame seeds – 100gms
Grated dry coconut – 200 gms
Asafoetida (hing) – a very small amount say 2 pinches
Cumin (jeera) powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander (dhania) powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Ginger – 1 inch piece chopped finely
Cilantro (Dhania leaves) – 1/2 a bunch (chopped)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Oil for frying
Salt to taste
How to prepare Bhakarwadi
Mix gram flour, refined flour, red chilli powder, asafoetida and salt together. Make dough with oil and a little water. The dough must be sufficiently stiff.
Mix poppy seeds, grated dry coconut , asafoetida, cumin powder, sesame seeds, coriander powder, red chilli powder, chopped ginger, chopped cilantro and turmeric powder. Roast this mixture for some time, say 2-3 minutes over low flame.
Now make small round balls from the dough. Roll each ball into a round roti. Spread the mixture evenly over it. Make rolls of the roti. Steam these rolls for 15 minutes. Allow the steamed rolls to cool down.
Cut these rolls into small pieces. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan. Deep fry these pieces on medium heat. Take them out when golden brown in color. Crispy bhakarwadi is ready to eat!
Drain excess oil by placing them on absorbent paper. You can serve them hot. To store them, allow bhakarwadi to cool and then store in air-tight containers.
Got some juicy lemons and some left over rice? Lets get cooking then!
For some nice and tangy lemon rice, check out this recipe!
Lemon rice with curd and spicy chick peas
You will need:
2 cups cooked rice ( left overs would be great!)
lemon juice (of 1/4 lemon)
curry leaves – a few sprigs
red chillies / green chillies – 1
mustard seeds – few
asafoetida(hing) – a small pinch
chopped cilantro – 2 tsp
onion – 1/4 (chopped)
turmeric powder – a minute amount for coloring purpose
Cooking Oil – 2 tsp
Method of Preparation
Squeeze juice of 1/4 lemon and keep aside. Heat cooking oil in a fry pan. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add curry leaves, chillies and chopped onions. Add asafoetida. Saute till onions turn translucent. Add lemon juice. Take the frying pan off from the gas stove or whatever you use for cooking. By doing this, you ensure that the lemon juice does not turn bitter. Add cooked rice. Add turmeric powder and salt as per taste. Mix well. Take care not to mash the rice.
After mixing well, place the frying pan back on the gas stove or electric hot plate.Cover the frying pan for about 3 mins. Turn off the flame.Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot with curd and any side dish.
Note: Asafoetida is very good for digestion and provides relief from bloating after eating a large meal. Turmeric used for imparting a distinct yellow color has many benefits in addition to being an antiseptic and antioxidant!
Semolina or ‘rava’ upma is an ideal option for a healthy and nutritious breakfast. The best part is, you can grate and chop veggies into tiny pieces and camouflage these with the upma to make naughty kids eat veggies without noticing them!
You will need:
Semolina i.e. rava or sooji – 3 medium sized cups
Carrots – 1/2 (grated)
Beans – 4(finely chopped) – optional
Green chillies – 2
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Clarified butter(Ghee) or Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few sprigs
Ginger – 1/2 ” piece
Onion – 1/2 (finely chopped)
Tomato – 1/2(chopped)
Water – 5 cups (Use the same cup that is used for measuring semolina)
Salt to taste
Method of preparation:
Heat clarified butter or cooking oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add chopped green chillies,curry leaves,chopped onions, grated carrot and other veggies along with chopped tomatoes. Crush the ginger and add it to the frying pan. Saute till onions appear translucent. Add 5 cups of water. Add salt as per taste. Allow the water to boil on a medium flame.
Once the water starts boiling, turn the flame to low and gradually add the semolina while stirring continuously. The semolina will absorb the water and get cooked. This happens real fast, so keep stirring. We do not want uncooked lumps in the rava upma.
Garnish with cilantro or curry leaves.
Note: You can add blanched peanuts or cashews to the rava upma. You can serve this with sliced bananas and a sprinkling of sugar.
Vegetable stew in coconut milk is a simple, easy to prepare and nutritious side dish. Its origins can be traced to Kerala, India.
Carrots – 2(diced)
Potatoes – 2(cut into small cubes)
Ginger – a 1/2 ” piece
Button onions – 8
Green chillies – 2
Milk of 1/2 coconut or Maggi coconut milk powder(using 1 sachet)
Method of preparation
Add diced carrots and potatoes to half a cup of water in a saucepan. Crush the ginger or finely grate it, then add it to the saucepan. Finely chop button onions and add it. Add curry leaves. Split green chillies and add these as well. Allow the mixture to boil. When the vegetables are cooked, add the coconut milk. Turn off the flame within a few minutes of adding coconut milk, else it may curdle.Keep the saucepan covered for some time.
This is a good accompaniment for appams or sweetened rice pancakes.
Note: Substituting button onions with the larger variety will make the stew taste entirely different. Button onions and curry leaves lend a unique and delectable flavor to the stew and must not be substituted.
Alu leaves/Taro Leaves are are native to south-east Asia. Fried and steamed alu vadi recipe has its origins in Maharastra, India. Being a south Indian, Keralite to be specific, my mom never knew how to prepare Alu Vadi or taro leaf rolls. Thanks to our Aamchi Mumbai neighbors and her keen interest in cooking, she picked it up and passed the recipe on to me. Mumbai is a melting pot of cultures from all over India and the way people gel with each other is amazing. Here you get to savor different cuisines, both local and global.
Alu leaves / Taro leaves
Now coming back to the taro leaf roll recipe, check out the basic ingredients
Ingredients for Taro Leaves Roll/Alu Vadi
Alu leaves/Taro leaves – 10
For the batter:
Chick pea flower/gram flower(besan) – 3/4 cup
Tamarind pulp – 2 tsp
Crushed jaggery – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilly powder – 1/2 Tsp( as per taste)
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Sufficient oil for frying
How to prepare Alu Vadi or Rolls of Taro Leaves
Wash and clean taro leaves. Cut the stems. Prepare a thick batter of the above mentioned ingredients. Take a taro leaf, spread a layer of batter evenly all over. Place another leaf above this and spread the batter over it. Repeat this for all the 10 taro leaves till you have a ten layered spread. Roll this from the base to the tip. Steam this for 20-25 mins.
Once it cools down, slice it into rolls. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Fry these taro leaf rolls/alu vali till nice,crisp and golden brown, on a medium to high flame.
Taro leaf rolls are ready to eat! I prefer to eat these rolls with a hot cup of tea and without any chutneys or sauces. Chutneys and sauces will overpower the flavor of the rolls with their own distinct flavor.
Note: Taro leaves can be itchy if not cooked well! The tamarind in the batter is precisely used for removing the itchiness of the leaves. The itchy leaves can be distinguished from the non-itchy leaves! Just ask the local vegetable vendor! The itchy ones have a purplish tinge on the stem and small hair like strands on them!
Shrimp recipe in coconut milk is an easy to prepare, nutritious and tasty side dish. Let us check out the recipe.
Ingredients for shrimp recipe
You will need –
Prawns/Shrimp (250 gm)
Onions – 3 medium sized ones
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds(methi) – 1/4 teaspoon
Green chillies – 3-4
Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut – 1/2 coconut. Grind with some water and squeeze coconut milk. Strain.
Coconut milk powder – (Add 3 tablespoons to 2 cups warm water and stir well)
Dried Kokam – 4-5 pieces ( Gamboge in english)
Oil – 1-2 tablespoons
Method – shrimp recipe using coconut milk
This is an easy to cook shrimp recipe. De-vein prawns. Clean with water, using salt and turmeric powder. Chop onions and slit 3 green chillies. Heat oil in a fry pan. Allow mustard,curry leaves and fenugreek (methi) seeds to splutter in oil. Add onions and green chillies. Saute till onions turn pink. Add prawns and saute some more without breaking them. Add coriander powder, some water, kokam(Gamboge or tamarind pulp) and close the lid. Grate 1/2 coconut, grind and take coconut milk 2 times else use Maggi coconut milk powder. After prawns are cooked, add the coconut milk. Cover with lid and cook for 5 more mins. You have succulent prawns prepared in coconut milk. Serve with rice.
Clams recipe is for seafood lovers! A simple gravy made of clams, spices and coconut gravy. Lets take a look at the recipe.
Clams Recipe – Ingredients
Scraped coconut – 1 cup
Green chillies – 4
Curry leaves or cilantro(dhania)- a few leaves
Fennel seeds powdered – 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Tamarind(marble sized ball)
Onion – 1/4
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Clams Recipe – Method
Wash clams thoroughly. Boil clams with water for 20 minutes. As the clams cook, the shells will open. Drain the water and keep aside.Do not throw this water. Allow the clams to cool. Then separate the meat from the shells.
For the gravy
Grind coconut to form a very smooth paste. Heat oil in a fry pan. Add chopped onions, curry leaves and saute till onions turn pink. Add coriander powder, fennel seed powder, green chillies and saute. Add coconut paste and some water as desired. Add the clams meat. Add salt to taste and turmeric powder. Add tamarind. Cook on a slow flame with lid on the frying pan. Keep the lid in such a way that some steam is able to escape. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes till the taste of the spices is absorbed by the meat.
And your clams in coconut gravy is ready.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or chappatis.
Spinach Dal Recipe – Dal Palak – A healthy gravy dish made of spinach and split pigeon peas.
Spinach Dal Recipe – Ingredients
split pigeon peas(toor dal) – 2 small cups
spinach(palak) – 1 small bunch
dried bay leaves(tej patta) – 3
coriander powder(dhania) – 1/4 teaspoon
cumin powder(jeera) – 1/4 teaspoon
turmeric powder – a small pinch
green chillies – 2
onion – 1/2
tomato – 1/2
salt to taste
curry leaves(karipatta) – few leaves
mustard seeds(rai) – 1/4 teaspoon
oil – 1 tablespoon
How to prepare Dal Palak
Clean and chop spinach. Wash and clean the dal.Add spinach to dal and pressure cook till 7 whistles are heard. If you want to reduce pressure cooking time, soak the dal for 20 mins prior to cooking.
Chop onion, tomato. Add oil to a frying pan. Add mustard seeds,bay leaves,chopped green chillies and curry leaves to the oil when hot. Stay away till the seeds splutter. Add chopped onion,tomato and saute till the tomatoes are mashed and onion is lightly brown. Add coriander,cumin and turmeric powder.Add the cooked dal and spinach mixture.Add salt to taste. Add water to suit the consistency of your choice. Allow it to simmer for 5 mins.
Tasty Dal Palak is ready!
Serving suggestion : Those who are not calorie conscious can add a dash of salted or unsalted butter to the dal palak when it is ready!