Monday, June 23, 2014

Microwave Khandvi

I have been eyeing a lot of snack recipes that I want to try as I am a snacker. A while back I had found a microwave snack - Khandvi here. I had wanted to try this out as I had a lot of besan which I mostly use for bajis only lying around. I recently read an article somewhere on the internet which had the present PM of India list his favorite foods and there it was this Khandvi, again! Well as I do not "really" ;) believe in coincidences I thought let me give this a shot and did it. First off, it is a little tricky and the amount I did made me end up with a lot of these. My DH who has only two taste buds intact - sweet, and spice did not favor this much as it was bland for him. This was after my tweaking to add spice to it. I guess, sometimes if you are not used to eating it from childhood it takes a while to get accustomed to it. However, I liked it and so did my neighbor who is from North. She said that for a beginner it was absolutely awesome! So there you have it. A true native vouching for the microwave recipe. What else do we need, except, of course the recipe!

For the batter-
  • Besan/Chick pea flour - 1 cup
  • Well beaten yogurt/curd- 1 cup/buttermilk - 3 cups
  • Water -2 cups (only if using yogurt)
  • turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger - 2 tspn- finely grated (optional)
  • Green chillies - 2 finely chopped (optional)
  • Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  • salt - to taste

For tempering-
  • Mustard seeds
  • Split urad dal 
  • Green chillies - 1 finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 6-8 ripped
For garnish-
  • Coconut - 2 tspn
  • Above tempered ingredients
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbspn - finely chopped.
1. Beat yogurt/curd with 2 cups of water. Else take 3 cups of buttermilk, add turmeric, ginger, green chillies, and asafoetida. Those who do not take a lot of spice or if doing for children, omit the ginger and green chillies in this step. Slowly mix the besan/chick pea flour to it and mix well with an egg beater. Season with salt

2. Microwave on high for five minutes. Half way through, take the batter, stir well and continue cooking
3. Microwave another five minutes taking it out every two minutes to give a stir. If the raw smell is gone, it is done. You can also test it by applying a small amount to the back of a stainless steel plate and letting it cool for a minute. If you are able to roll, you got it!
4. Once the batter is ready, keep plates or the back of your baking trays or some flat surface free. Using a ladle place batter on plate/and spread thinly.

5.Allow it to cool completely and then start cutting them into straight strips about an inch apart. Pickup each of the strips and roll them into a tight bundle. Arrange them on the serving dish.
6. Heat a tsp of oil, temper all the temper ingredients and pour over the khandvi. Add the garnish and serve.

1. I did not spread them thinly, so they were a little heavier rolls. Next try, will do it thinner.
2. Do not grease the plates where you are going to spread the besan. You will not be able to spread the batter evenly.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

South Indian recipes with WHAT? Yes, a slow cooker! - Sambar

Dh had for a long time been harping on how slow cooker was the best friend of a working woman and how his friend's spouse was really enjoying cooking with it and how they saved time too...I was thinking more along the lines of: one more unused kitchen gadget that I don't need, a waste of money, and precious kitchen space (A few rows of pantry hold two different blenders- each with 2-4 different jars, toaster, two choppers, one food processor - all of which I use medium to rare) and garage space (which holds even more gadgets that are never very rarely used! Then one day we were out at a thrift store and browsing through the kitchen section we saw this and DH was like..why don't you try one..if it is not used we can trash it without worrying over the price spent. I liked that idea and we ended up with one. 
   My first try was a channa masala as I knew that it I did not have to worry about pre-soaking the daal. However, I missed out on sautéing the onions before and I did not like the taste of my channa in the end. 
Lesson #1 on slow-cooking: Do not put the onions raw when making curries/sabjis. Always sauté first.
The next I tried was a south indian quick sambar which came out way better!

Masoor dal (Whole and dehulled) Sambar:


  • Small Onions - 10 - peeled and whole
  • Carrot - 1, medium sized, chopped
  • Radish - 1, chopped
  • Tomatoes -2, chopped
  • Whole Masoor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Dehulled masoor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder - to taste (I used 1 tsp)
  • Sambar powder/Curry Powder - 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil - 1 tbsp

1Add the dhals to the crockpot and fill with water to be just above the dals. Add the turmeric powder.
2. Add 1 tbsp oil to a sauce pan, wait till it warms, add mustard and once it crackles, add the onions and saute them till they are lightly browned. Then add one by one all other vegetables and saute nicely (2-3 minutes)

3. Add chilli powder, sambar/curry powder and mix nicely. 

4. Add enough water, 1 tsp tamarind paste, mix well and transfer to the crock pot. Set timer for 6 hrs as desired in low cooking temperature. Close with lid and make sure there is at least an inch or two space empty. Do not fill until the brim as it may overflow to the heating element and cause a mess. (Believe me, I have done it and suffered! Not easy to clean up all the cooked up blackish soot on the heating element)

 5. After 6 hrs, mix well and serve with cooked rice/idly/dosa.


1. With slow cooker, the dal is cooked, but remains in whole. For those who do not like the dals this way, use a hand blender (immersion) to slowly blend the sambar. Make sure you take some vegetables out so you do not end up with a soup!
2. In case of overflow to heating element, do not use water. Use a tooth brush, or dish scrubber and slowly try to take the soot off. I did have to use a heavy steel scrubber to take it off but I did not buy a $$$$ slow cooker and was fine with repairing it in the process ;)
3. The flavors are a little different from what happens when you cook via pressure cooking the dal. So be prepared for it.