Twist Of Taste – Sweet Thalipeeth With Jaggery And Dates


I made three variants of thalipeeth yesterday . Today I remembered how we used to eat jawar(Sorghum), bajra(Pearl Millet) and makki(Corn) ki roti with gur and sometimes milk. We called it Churma.

Also the delicious puranpoli and the north Indian version gur ki roti made with coarse wheat flour and then I remembered making the sweet thalipeeth years ago. No one liked the taste of it in my in-laws’ Punjabi household so I ate the entire lot and never got a chance to make it again.

I find it very nutritious and savoury though it has a unique taste and if you condition yourself then it will be tad bit difficult to digest the fact that thalipeeth can be made sweet too :D I am sure there might be some original recipe for sweet thalipeeth but I am not aware of it so if you know one, please share.

I love its sweet, gooey, crunchy, biscuit like crumbly texture and find it full of robust flavours.

I tried it again today with fresh dates and organic jaggery powder ( shakkar). I also add dried figs, raisins etc. It all depends on my mood that day and availability of the ingredients.

The fun part is it is not fried like shakarparas or muthias we used to make at home.

The #Twistoftaste tag is inspired by Chef Vikas Khanna, that’s not my original term so all credits to him. 

Here is how I make sweet thalipeeth.

You can make a regular bhajani ( thalipeeth flour) minus the spices for this one.  Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Chickpeas(split), white Indian lentil ( split and skinned urad), and wheat all in equal measure. Dry roasted individually till they change color and a nice aroma starts coming. They are then mixed and ground till a fine flour is obtained.

To make Sweet Thalipeeth

Ingredients -

Bhajani or Thalipeeth flour – 1 cup

Jaggery or shakkar – 1/2 Cup

Soft Fresh Dates – de-seeded and cut finely

Raisins – 2 tablespoon

( you can substitute dates with dried figs or anything you desire)

Ghee / Clarified butter – just a little

You can add a few fennel seed for flavour.

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Method -

In a large plate mix the flour, jaggery powder or grated jaggery, raisins, finely chopped dates and mix. Now take warm water and slowly add it to the flour mix to make a smooth dough. It will be sticky, gooey and a little tricky so add water slowly and keep mixing and kneading with fingers.

Once the dough is properly made cut it into small balls. TT ball size if you want the thalipeeth small like I do or you can make them a little bigger too.

Put a non stick frying pan or a skillet on high flame and drop a little clarified butter in it.   Make small pancakes with the dough balls by either patting them with fingers between hands or with a rolling-pin. Apply a little warm ghee if it’s too sticky. make some cuts or small holes so that it cooks uniformly.

Carefully transfer the thalipeeth or pancake to the frying pan and cover it with lid. Keep the flame medium – low so the thalipeeth doesn’t burn and cook properly. Sweet will make it burn easily.

Flip it and brown it from the other side too. Brush a little ghee if it sticks to the pan. Handle gently as it will tend to break.

Once done take it out in a plate. If you like it warm and soft you can eat it with hot ghee or wait for sometime for it to cool and become a little firm. I like it biscuit like and store it in an airtight box in fridge. I warm it for a few sec on a skillet just to bring it to room temperature before eating. You can crush it and add hot milk and eat it from the bowl too. Depends how you enjoy it.

Let me know if you try this recipe and if you blog about it leave a link in the comment section.

Eat it when you feel the need for a snack. It is filling and healthy too.

Bon Appetit!

 

Thalipeeth – Multigrain Maharashtrian Flat Bread


Maharashtra cuisine is simple and healthy. Winter is a great time to go ahead and indulge. The markets come alive with fresh leafy greens and colourful vegetables. It is a joy to spend time in the kitchen surrounded by the crackle of spice and the aromas that rise from the simmering pots. To watch a dish unravel itself with time. I change my daily breakfast of eggs and toasts to delicious poha, sabudana khichadi, thalipeeth, thepla etcetera during winter months.

Thalipeeth is simple, savoury and full of nutrition. Made from multi-grain flour it is the staple dish of Maharashtra. The perfect blend of multi-grain flour, spices and vegetables make it a rich source of iron, fibre and folic acid.  Sumptuous and filling Thalipeeth is high in dietary fibers and a good source of energy and protein. I love its unique flavor and crisp, crumbly biscuit like texture.

Yesterday I made three variations of thalipeeth. I used shredded cabbage, spring onions, and fenugreek leaves but you can make with a number of other seasonal veggies like bottle gourd, carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, spinach etc. You can use sweet potato as filling too. For the days you are fasting you can make sabudana thalipeeth too. The choices are endless.

Usually Thalipeeth is served with curd, home-made white butter, roasted dry garlic chutney or coriander chutney. I eat it with methkut (roasted fenugreek seed powder)  and ghee too. I even tried making Thalipeeth with jaggery & dates and it tastes fantastic. (recipe coming up soon) :-)

The thalipeeth flour or bhajani as it is known in Maharashtra is made with,

1/2 cup Jowar(Sorghum) flour
1/2 cup Bajra (Pearl Millet) flour
1/4 cup Ragi (fingermillet) flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 Cup Chana Dal (Split chickpeas)
1/2 Cup Urad Dal (split and skinned Indian black lentil)

1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds

2 Tablespoon coriander Seeds

To make the Bhanjani, dry roast all the ingredients one by one till their color changes slightly and a nice roasted aroma starts coming. Be careful not to burn them. Grind them together in a food processor or grinder. Put it in air tight box and it will stay for a long time.

To make Thalipeeth 

Ingredients:

Bhajani or thalipeeth flour – 2 cups

Red onion – 2 big finely chopped

Green chilli – 2-3 finely chopped (depends on your taste)

Spring onion – (green part – 1/4 cup

Fenugreek leaves – 1/4 cup finely chopped

Red chili powder –  ( if desired) 1/2 teaspoon ( I avoid it)

Salt – to taste

Cumin powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Coriander leaves / cilantro – few springs, finely chopped

Oil – Just enough for roasting

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Method -

Take the flour in a big plate or mixing bowl, add salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder ( if using), green chillies, corriander leaves along with the desired shredded vegetable ( I made three sets of flour each with methi, spring onion and red onion) .

Now slowly add warm water and knead the flour so that it binds well. Crush the onions with fingers to enhance the flavor. Once the dough is ready cover it with thin wet cloth so it doesn’t become dry.

Make sure the dough is smooth and soft enough to spread. It would be a little sticky due to various grains and pulses in it.

To make thalipeeth. Keep a non stick skillet or frying pan on high flame and once the pan is hot lower the flame. Add a few drops of oil to it.

Meanwhile take a ball of dough and slap it between hands to make a flat  bread. You can use a cling foil to make the thalipeeth. Take a ball ( size of an orange) and pat it with fingers on the greased sheet to make a flat bread.  Dip your fingers in water so the dough doesn’t stick to them. Evenly make a round pancake. make some cuts or small holes so that it cooks uniformly.

Now carefully transfer it on the hot frying pan or tawa and let it cook.  Cover with lid. You can brush a little water on the thalipeeth to keep it moist.

Turn it over once one side is crisp and brown. Check the edges to make sure it’s cooked properly. Add a few more drops of oil if needed.

Once the thalipeeth is brown from both sides and evenly cooked remove it on a plate for serving.

Serve it hot with chutney , butter and curd. I beat the curd and add roasted cumin powder, a few leaves of coriander and season it with curry leaves and mustard seeds but it all depends on your taste.

You can also make a simple thalipeeth with no added veggies. Just use finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.

Enjoy!

 

 

Five Poems in Levure littéraire


 

(You can watch the other videos so creatively produced by Roxanne Brousseau Felio Here  The credits for this shared video go exclusively to her. Thank you Roxanne)

 

Levure littéraire 10 is released (November 2014) and five of my poems are featured in it along with nine other exceptionally talented and well-known Indian poets including senior poets like Kedarnath singh, Vishwanath Pratap Tiwari etc. Among the 220 international artists/poets there are some with whome I have interacted at some point of time or learned from them, they are  Tabish Khair, Robert Lee Brewer, Randy Cauthan, Sonnet Mondal, and Michelle Bitting.

You can read my poems here – TIKULI 

It is a feeling of pride and joy to be known as a levuarian. I would like to thank Kalpna Singh-Chitnis (poet, filmmaker and actor) for her support and encouragement as one of the editors. For reading, appreciating and publishing my work in the webmagazine.

Levure Litteraire is a multidisciplinary, multilingual Journal of education and information published from France, which promotes work by various artists and writers. You can know more about the journal by clicking the link. The journal is directed by writer/translator Rodica Draghincescu.

Do visit the website to know more about art, music, poetry and much more.

Do read the other awesome poets here – Summary  I am thoroughly enjoying their work.

 

Once again I thank everyone for making this Thanksgiving so special for me. Onward we go. I also want to thank James Goddard  for patiently helping me with the edits and for always urging me to explore new dimentions of writing. You can read his wonderful “short pieces :) and see some magnificent monochrome photographs by clicking on the link or visit and follow Leaky Boot Press  for some amazing books of poetry and fiction.  My poetry book is part of this collection. It is available with all online bookseller.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and friends. Have a blessed day. 

 

Recipe – Homemade No Pectin Golden Apple Jelly And Applesauce


The delicious red apples and the juicy Golden apples are one of my favorite winter fruits. Day before I found a vendor selling them at a very low price and wondered why he had slashed the prices so much. Turned out he had to finish the batch and bring in other fruits like Sapota, oranges etc. The fruit was good so I bought some extra kilo to make season’s first batch of apple jelly and applesauce. Simply can’t resist when it comes to flirting with seasonal fruits.  ;) I use the natural pectin in the fruit and never add it to any of my jams and jellies. The recipe is simple and delicious. Just needs some TLC. Apples have a lot of natural pectin and combined with sugar and heated to the right temperature the fruit pectin bonds beautifully with water and gives a smooth glorious jelly. I use the remaining strained apple to make applesauce. So nothing goes waste. Here is how we make it. Ingredients for the Jelly: 1 Kg. Apples ( Choose any sweet and tart mix. The tart ones have more pectin I used Golden Apples for this one.) Sugar – 2 cups Water – 3 cups Ginger juice – 2 tablespoon (freshly grated and pressed) Lemon juice 1 tablespoon

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Method –  Wash, wipe, cut and core the apples. I grated them without the peel because I was going to make apple sauce too but otherwise I use the peel. It has most of the pectin and gives a nice color too. Take enough water to cover the grated apple (approx 3-4 cups) and in a heavy bottom pan add apple to the water and boil at high heat. When bubbling reduce the heat and cover till the fruit becomes soft and nicely cooked. Next , use a jelly bag & stand, cheese cloth to line the mesh colander and ladle the fruit mixture into it. You can tie the muslin cloth to the kitchen cabinet handle like I do and place a colander under it to catch the juice. Allow the juice to drain. Never ever press to extract the juice as it will cloud the jelly. Let it drip on its own. I keep it 4-6 hours or overnight.  Once the juice collects, measure it and then take a big pan ( the mixture will boil and froth and we don’t wont it spilling over), add the measured juice and sugar to it. ( 1 cup juice 1 cup sugar) though I cheat and keep it just a little low. Love the fruit sweetness. It all depends on what you like and the quality of apples. Add the ginger juice and the lemon juice. Put the pot on high flame and stir constantly till it reaches a high boiling point. Recommended – 220 degree F but I don’t have a thermometer so I just boil it and do a sheet test. (Sheet test – Keep a plate in the freezer and once you think it has reached the jellying point, drop some on the chilled plate if the mixture wrinkles and holds shape , it is done or else boil some more. Re-test it at small intervals) Once done stir and ladle into clean dry jar while still hot. Keep the jar on a towel to avoid breakage. Let it cool and set. I don’t do the usual canning process as I make small batches and eat them quickly. You can keep the jelly in the fridge to retain flavour and texture for a longer period too. It is a Bhuira Jam bottle by the way. The jelly is still cooling. The bubbles vanished once the jelly got set. :P Next time I must get some mason jars. ( reminder to self)   Now the Applesauce - Measure the strained apple and put it in a heavy bottom pan. Add sugar to your taste. Usually 1 cup apple to 1 cup sugar is good enough but taste it and add accordingly. I add a teaspoon of lemon juice and 2 powdered cloves and a pinch of cinnamon powder to it along with sugar. Mix well and cook it on slow heat till the sugar it absorbed nicely and the applesauce mixture is smooth and nicely textured. All water should evaporate before you turn off the heat. Keep a dry jar handy. Let the applesauce come to room temperature then ladle it into the jar or a big bowl. Keep it in the fridge. Use hot or cold with yogurt, ice cream, as a spread, as a side dish with chops etc or just take a spoonful and relish it just like that as a light snack. Sometimes I run the mixture in the blender once to get the smooth even texture but usually I just mash it while its cooking. I love the grainy texture of the mashed fruit. Enjoy these simply yet delicious recipes and tell me your variations of it. BON APPETIT

Winter Favorite – Punjabi Kadhi With Methi Pakoda


Chickpea Flour Fritters in Spicy Yogurt Gravy 

(Gluten free) 

This what is known as comfort food.

Kadhi is one of my favorite winter dishes though we make it in sumers too. Be it mungodi ki kadhi or the ever popular besan ke pakode wali kadhi, it is eaten with gusto by everyone. You can have a huge variety of pakodas for the kadhi depending on what’s the mood of the day. :) I come from the a family where I was fortunate to savour cuisines from both Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. We make the zirya miryachi kadhi as well as the simple pakodiwali kadhi UP style. Kadhi can be spicy, muted, thick, soupy, depending on who is making it.

I can eat the dish with plain boiled rice, chapati or just simply without any accompaniment. It is filling and healthy. Usually I make enough kadhi to last a few days. It is believed that kadhi tastes even better the next day.

This one is a panjabi variation  which I learned at my inlaws’ place then added my twist t oit later on. It tastes awesome with makki (corn flour) ki roti. The combination is out of the world.  I love to add fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), palak ( spinach leaves, finely chopped potatoes to the pakodas. Sometimes I just use onions. As I said it all depends on what’s available and the mood that day. Methi/ spinach enhance the taste of the dish. You can remove methi from the pakoda recipe and add it to makki / wheat flour roti too. My mother makes UP style Kadhi with plain pakodas ( just mildly spiced chickpea flour. No added veggies).

Best Kadhi is made with sour curd and is eaten usually at lunch as sour curd is not eaten at night. The trick is in following the recipe properly or the kadhi won’t come out well.

In North India, kadhi is seasoned at the end just before serving. sometimes individually. A whole red chilli and tempering in ghee for each bowl. It is milder in taste and texture in comparison with panjabi kadhi. You can either season it before adding the liquid curd mixture or at the end once the dish is ready to serve. Both have their distinct flavours and aromas.

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Ingredients for the pakodas (Dumplings) -

Besan ( gram flour/ chickpeas flour) – 1 cup

Ajwain ( carom seeds) – 1/4 teaspoon

Onion – roughly chopped 2 medium

Potato – finely chopped 1 medium ( optional)

Methi leaves ( fenugreek leaves) – fresh, finely chopped, a handful

salt, red chilli – to taste

assafoetida – a pinch

garam masala ( homemade) – 2 pinch

Green chilli – finely chopped 1 small

Oil – to fry

Tempering :

Onion – 1 large , finely chopped

Whole red chillies – 2-3

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek seeds –  1 teaspoon

Curry leaves – a few

Mustard oil or any other oil – 2 table-spoon

Garlic – finely chopped 4-5 pods

Ginger – finely chopped  1/2 inch

Asafoetida – a pinch

Preparing buttermilk for Kadhi :

Take 2 cups of sour curd. beat it properly and dilute it with water to make a homogenous buttermilk. Usually 2 cups of water is enough but you can adjust it as per need. If you like the kadhi thinner then use another cup full of water. Add salt ( a little, remember the pakodas have salt in them too), turmeric power, garam masala, coriander powder , red chilli powder and about 4 tablespoons of chickpeas flour to the buttermilk and stir properly. I put 1 teaspoon each except coriander powder which is 2-3 teaspoons. I dip two stems of curry leaves in the butter milk at this time.

Keep aside.

To make the Pakodas:

Take besan in a wide-mouthed bowl. Add all the ingredients to it and mix well. Slowly add water and whisk it allowing the air to pass through the batter.  It will make the pakodas lighter. I don’t recommend eating soda etc.

The batter should be light and fluffy like cake batter. Test – drop a drop of batter in a bowlful of water. if the batter floats it is ready to fry.

Now heat a wok ( Kadhai, preferably iron one) and add oil ( I use mustard oil but you can use any vegetable oil or even bake the pakodas) . Let the oil come to smoking point . For mustard oil, it is essential. For others, just make sure the oil is hot enough to fry.

Keep the heat medium and gently drop the pakodas into the oil. I use my fingers to lift the battter for pakodas. Once the pakodas have swelled to become doble their size and are fluffy and nicely browned from all sides, drain them on an absorbent paper. The inside should be airy and gooey and outside they should be crisp.

You can always make some extra ones and keep them for future use. I avoid too many pakodas in kadhi as they absorb the liquid. Less pakodas mean less oil too ;)

Now to make the Kadhi 

Keep a large pan add a little mustard oil for tempering. ( You can do this step later also. If not tempering now then just add the buttermilk mixture into the pan and keep stirring till it boils. Heat should be high in the beginning and medium to low later.

If tempering at this stage then 

Add asafoetida, and all the spices into the hot oil. once they start to crackle add onion, garlic, ginger, curry leaves ( take out the ones you had dipped in buttermilk earlier) and let the mixture sizzle. Stir it to let it roast properly . The raw smell of ginger , garlic should go and onions should be nicely browned.

Add the buttermilk slowly to the tempering , stirring continuously till the mixture begins to boil. Always stir in clockwise direction. Make sure you take a large deep pan as the buttermilk will froth while boiling.

I let it simmer on low heat for 10-20 min sometimes even more. It depends on how thick or thin I want the kadhi to be. You can add pakodas to it at this time or , like me, add them half an hour before serving so they keep their shape and don’t become soggy. If your pakodas are slightly hard then it is better to add them while the mixture is boiling and leave them in.

Pakodas soak up the kadhi so make sure there is enough liquid. The pakoda – buttermilk proportion should be right.

Taste the kadhi at this point for salt and spices. Whatever you feel is less simply add according to your taste.

Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice, roti or eat it plain without any side dish.

Enjoy the Hot spicy Panjabi Kadhi with a little poem by Priyanka Dey, our very own indiblogger  :D

 

“Take a dip
or a sip, if you like
please you senses
get intoxicated,
by simply looking at the sight..
winter’s on a roll
as the warm bed is a matter of delight
see how everything turns to yellow
green silver and bright.”