Easy Food Smith

Posts Tagged / Breakfast

KHICHU / खिचु (Steamed Rice flour Savory Donuts) – Gluten Free & Vegan

The approx one year that we spent in Dubai went by in a blink of an eye and before we knew it was time to head back home. The first two months there were spent in settling in at a new place and getting used to a new way of life. Yet within that very short span of time, God sent into my life some amazing people. The ways of destiny are amazing. I am not one of those people who make friends easily. But it does not happen often that one comes across people with whom one clicks so well, who are full of positivity, who make us feel good about ourselves, who support us, who accept us the way we are and who make one feel how blessed one is. Sounds unreal, doesn’t it!? I find it indeed incredible that within that short span of time I was blessed with the company of some wonderful friends.

I strongly believe that we don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. They either give us some tough lessons or beautiful memories. Our one year in Dubai was certainly a mixed bag of experiences, as life always is. But I choose to focus all my energy on my blessings and my lovely friends are a significant part of those blessings. It goes without saying that I miss the camaraderie and I cherish the time we spent together as a cohesive group of friends. I carried back home some beautiful memories.

And today’s recipe is one that I learnt from one of those friends.  I love this dish for its simplicity and how easy it is to make it. I am tempted to call them savory donuts however unlike the donuts, they are dense and they are steamed. They taste fab served with chilli oil, jiralu (a kind of spice mix) and achari methi masala (yet another spice mix). The process of making the dough is kind of making a choux pastry but with rice flour (sans eggs) and then shaping it like a donut and steaming it. Though this simple gluten free dish is served as snack but I don’t mind having it for any meal. Here is what you will need,

2 Cups Water

1 C Rice Flour

½ tsp Ajwain (carom seeds)

2 tsp Cumin Seeds

½ – ¾ tsp Salt (adjust to taste)

2 Green Chillies (finely chopped)

Pour enough water in a bowl or pot and place a steamer over it. Allow it to heat.

Meanwhile, in another pot heat 2 cups of water and add ajwain and cumin seeds along with salt & green chillies.

Let the water come to a rolling boil.

Without reducing the heat, quickly dust the rice flour all over the boiling water. (It is imperative that you scatter the flour all over the boiling water) Do NOT stir.

Allow the water to rise up on its own. It will begin to moisten the rice flour within 30 seconds or so.

Using the back of a wooden ladle carefully (so as not to splatter the hot water) and vigorously stir the mix for a minute.

Remove from the heat and decant the mixture in a bowl.

When the dough is hot enough to handle, pinch the dough in 12 balls of equal size.

Make an indent in the centre just as one makes for balushahi or a doughnut. (The idea is not to create a hole through it.)

Transfer these dough balls onto the steamer and steam them for 5 – 7 minutes

Remove the balls from the steamer and serve hot drizzled with chilli oil, jiralu (a kind of spice mix) and achari methi masala.

Incredibly simple, gluten free, healthy and ready in less than 15 minutes!

Note: In case you are unable to find jiralu spice mix, you can easily swap it with chaat masala.

Note: You can add half a teaspoon very finely chopped ginger to it.

Yields – 12 in number

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IDLI w/ KATHIRIKAI GOTHSU / इडली और बैंगन की चट्नी (Steamed Lentil & Rice Cakes with Aubergine Chutney)

STEAMED RICE & LENTIL CAKES WITH SPICY, HOT, SWEET & SOUR AUBERGINE CHUTNEY

During the time when I was holding a corporate job, a colleague of mine brought a chutney that looked like the most unappetising thing I had ever laid my eyes on 😛 “I got this for you. Try this and tell me what you think about it” was all he said. His wife was a fabulous cook and despite the ‘thing’ looking so unappetising, I did not cast a doubt on her cooking skills. Yet, I gingerly picked a spoon and took a little of it and very apprehensively put the contents of the spoon in my mouth. I was knocked off by the taste of what ever I had just tasted. The appearance and the taste were diametrically opposite to each other. I greedily took a couple of spoons and started going gaga over it. Suddenly, he said to me “do you know what it is made of?” I couldn’t care less what it was made of since I loved it and given an opportunity, I would have polished and licked off the entire bowl!! “This is made from brinjal,” he said while rolling with glee and laughter. Eggplant (Brinjal) or what we call baingan, never figured anywhere on my list of palatable vegetables and my colleague knew this all too well. I was shocked by the revelation and could not utter a word for a few seconds. Brinjal could taste this good??!?!?

It was then that I came to realise, that no vegetable or any ingredient for that matter is good or bad in its taste. It all depends on how well it has been treated/ cooked and that brinjal chutney was the evidence to that belief. I thanked him for helping me change my stance about eggplant and since then there has been no looking back. My wonderful colleague even shared the recipe with me that his wife graciously wrote for me. So that is the story behind that hideous looking bowl of chutney in which you see the idlis dunked in happily! This recipe lives up to the hindi idiom of “soorat pe nahi seerat pe jao” (roughly translated to – do not go by appearance instead consider the character)

My colleague was a Tamilian and for long I didn’t know what the native name for this dish was since he simply told me to consider it brinjal khichdi or brinjal chutney and it was meant to be consumed with idlis and dosa. A little search on google told me that it is apparently called vankaya pachadi. However recently I saw someone on Instagram mentioned it as gothsu. Whatever the name, all I can tell you is, it’s really yum.

For this recipe you will need the following ingredients, however, feel free to adjust the amount of ingredients to suit your taste.

For Chutney

175 gram small Baingan (Brinjal/ Eggplant)

½ tsp grated Ginger

3 Green Chilies (mine were small sized & super hot)

1 Tomato (60 grams approx)

1½ C Water

For tempering:

1½ tbsp Oil

½ tsp Mustard Seeds

¼ tsp Cumin Seeds

½ C finely chopped Onions

1 spring Curry Leaves

1 tsp thick Tamarind Pulp (I used readymade)

¼ C Water

Salt to taste

2 tsp Jaggery powder (adjust to taste)

In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients under the chutney category and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the saucepan and let the contents boil for 15 minutes.

Switch off the heat and allow the contents to cool down a little and then blend them in a blender. Set aside.

Add the tamarind pulp to one fourth cup of water and mix it well. Sieve it and set aside.

In a frying pan or a sauce pan, heat oil and add mustard and cumin seeds. Add onions and fry till they turn transluscent. .Add curry leaves and fry till the onions turn begin to turn golden.

Add the blended brinjals to the tempering. Stir for half a minute.

Now add tamarind water and salt. Stir well and allow the contents to cook on a gentle heat to thicken the chutney a little bit (adjust to desired consistency).

Switch off the heat and stir in the jaggery powder. Taste the chutney and adjust seasonings.

 

FOR IDLIS

(RICE & LENTIL FERMENTED CAKES)

1 C Raw Rice (uncooked rice)

¾ C Urad Dal, skinless (Ivory Lentils)

Salt to taste

Pick and wash the rice & dal separately and soak them separately as well for 5 hours

Grind the dal using very little water and set aside.

Grind the rice using little water.

Mix the two together and add salt. Using very little water make a thick batter.

Cover the container. Set it aside at a warm place to ferment for for 6 – 8 hours (depending on the weather conditions) or preferably over night.

Grease the idli moulds with a little oil and pour the batter into the moulds. Add water to your idli steamer (read the user manual) and steam the idlis for 12 – 15 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the idli comes out clean. Remove from the moulds and serve with chutney of your choice.

Note: In case you do not have idli moulds, you can steam the batter in small cake tin or mould and the slice and serve the ‘idlis’.

Note: I had added turmeric to the idli batter and before pouring the batter into the mould, I had added a tempering of mustard seeds, chana dal and a few finely chopped curry leaves.

Yield: Makes 24 Idlis

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BESAN KA CHILA (Loaded Vegetarian Omelette) – GF & Vegan

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Our household prefers savory over sweet for breakfast. That is the reason why you will see over a dozen savory options in my recipe archives for breakfast. I believe it is the case in most Indian households. We Indians love our dosas, idlis, vadas, stuffed flatbreads, savory pancakes or chilas, and so much more that you can imagine! We even have gluten free and vegan savory cake called Handvo. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of gluten free options in Indian cuisine and many vegan options too. There is something for everyone I believe 😀 If we feel like eating something sweet once in a while we stick to having Daliya (cracked wheat porridge) than oats or enjoy a simple bowl of Dahi Chiwra (flattened rice with yogurt). I have seen the blogging world using the term vegetarian omelette for the besan ka chila, so I have used the same for those who are not aware of what besan ka chila is. Also, I turned the simple chila into a meal by loading it with the goodness of sprouted mung beans, black chick peas and lentil salad. It is satiating and tasty gluten free and vegan option and provides a kind of balanced meal.

Chila

1 C (100 grams) Besan (Chickpea Flour)

½ tsp Red Chili Powder

½ tsp Turmeric

½ tsp Coriander Powder

½ tsp Garam Masala

½ tsp Cumin Powder

½ tsp Dry Mango Powder (amchur)

¼ tsp Baking Soda

Salt to taste

1 tbsp Yogurt (Vegans can omit it)

1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste

3 tbsp chopped fresh Coriander (cilantro)

½ C plus 3 tbsp water (adjust the amount)

Salad Filling

2 C mixed Sprouts

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 medium Tomato, finely chopped

½ C chopped fresh Coriander (adjust to taste)

1½ tsp Lemon Juice

Chat Masala to taste

Salt to taste (keep the amount less if you intend to use feta)

Feta Cheese (as required), optional

In a mixing bowl, mix together the sprouts, onions, tomatoes and fresh coriander. Add salt and chat masala to taste, lemon juice. Mix well and set aside. (You can add lemon before serving)

In another mixing bowl, whisk besan, red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, cumi powder, dry mangno powder, salt and baking soda.

Add Yogurt and half a cup of water. Whisk and add ginger garlic paste and chopped fresh coriander. Add more water if required. The batter should be not thick or thin but of pouring consistency.

Heat a skillet and grease it. Pour one fourth cup of batter on to the skillet and spread it outwards in circular motion using a spoon or a spatula. Add a tea spoon of oil around the edges of the crepe and after a minute (or when the bottom begins to turn brown) carefully flip it over (I usually pour a teaspoon of oil on the top of the crepe as well, before flipping it over)

Cook for a minute or till the crepe starts becoming light brown in colour. Remove on the serving plate and serve with the sprout salad filling, garnished with feta cheese.

I served it with sweet chili sauce which paired really well. Feel free to use any chutney that you fancy. ENJOY!!!

Note: I have mentioned a certain amount of water, however, I suggest that you start with using half a cup of water and then add a few table spoons gradually as required.

Note: Feta adds a beautiful dimension to the salad, especially with these crepes therefore I vehemently suggest adding it to this meal.

Yield – Makes 4

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