Saturday, October 12, 2013

Instant Dhokla

Whole of September I was busy with the Food Blogging Marathon hosted by Srivalli of  It was great fun. As I was cooking and photographing the recipes  It gave me many ideas to improve my blogging.  

So to follow through and not to keep my blog without new post for days on end I decided to document my everyday interesting recipes that I make for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I belong to a Maharashtrian Brahman community which is known as 'Chitpavan' or also known as KOBRA for Koknasth Brahman. So most of my regular food is based on their food habits. 

But our family has members from all communities and states of India. Not only my generation or the new generation but also the earlier generation. So little little things from different cuisines have crept in our daily food. My parents were all for trying out new food from wherever we travelled and we did travel a lot during our school vacations.  

As it is  for the last 35 years, since I married, I live in a small rural, tribal town on the border of two states. So a mix of both states is but natural. I am vegetarian by birth and continue to be so. But I cook non vegetarian food as other members of my family like to eat non vegetarian food.

In this segment you will find some very tried and tested traditional recipes and some recipes that are different than their original version.

The first recipe is Instant Dhokla or Steamed Savoury Squares

I had got this recipe from my friend who made it using rawa/sooji/semolina as the main ingredient. I liked the idea and so started doing it often and substituting  rawa with other available flours I had in my pantry. One big hit was using the Aamboli Flour. Aamboli is a type of Dosa. The flour is made of washed/soaked dried rice to which some urad dal is added along with methi/fenugreek seeds. The flour is mixed 10 to 12 hours before making Aamboli. You will find the recipe for Aamboli flour.

1 cup Aamboli flour *
1/2 cup rawa/sooji/semolin or idli rawa
1/2 cup sour buttermilk or 1/4 cup sour curds/yougurt/dahi mixed with 1/4 cup water
1 tsp fresh ground ginger and green chilly paste
1 sachet or 15 gms or 1 tblsp eno or any other fruit salt
Salt to taste
oil for greasing the thali/baking tray

For tempering:
1 tblsp oil
1 tsp  till / seasame seeds
1 tsp alshi / flax seeds
1/4 thsp rai / mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
5 to 6 methi seeds / fenugreek seeds
a pinch of hing / asefotida
a few curry leaves cut finely


Mix Amboli flour and rawa, add salt and slowly add the buttermilk to make a lump free and smooth batter. 
Add more water if necessary to make it to idli batter consistency or thick coating consistency. 
Add ginger chilly paste and keep aside for 10 minutes. 
In the mean time prepare the steamer or keep a big vessel with water to boil and put a greased thali (a plate with an inch high edge) or a baking tray in it. 
Now sprinkle the Eno/fruitsalt over the batter and stir gently to mix well. 
Do not beat the batter but use cut and fold method. 
You will see the batter becoming bubbly and light. 
Pour in to the prepared hot thali/baking tray. 
Cover and steam for 20 to 30 minutes. 
Remove and let cool for two minutes.

Prepare tempering by putting  oil in the tempering pan or a small vessel, when hot add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, seaseme seeds, fenugreek seeds and flax seeds and let splutter. Switch off heat and add asefotida and curry leaves and pour over the steamed batter. Spread evenly with a spatula and cut into squares or diamonds and serve with chutney of your liking. 

To make it more interesting and healthy you can add 1/4 cup sweet corn kernels/sprouts/green peas/grated carrots or any chopped greens like spinach or methi leaves to the batter before adding the fruit salt.

This is a quick and healthy snack to be had anytime of the day. 

* to make Amboli flour
Wash and soak 1 kg rice and 100 gms urad dal  and 50 gms methi / fenugreek seeds let dry for 8 to 10 hours or till completely dry. Ground it to a coarse rawa/semolina/sooji like texture. Use as required. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Summing up the A to Z Mega Marathon Sept. 2013

Whole of September I was busy posting and commenting on other posts in the wonderful Food Blogging Marathon # 32 held by Srivalli at 

The theme was A to Z,  one alphabet each day. There were 4 days off so we had 26 days of blogging with 4 days of rest.

I had made some of the recipes in August and drafted them earlier. Some I made the previous day and posted as soon as they were done.

Cooking and photographing each step as I was doing was a bit cumbersome as I had to wash my hands and pick up the camera and photograph what I was doing. Then again proceed with cooking further. So washing and wiping hands took most of the time than actually cooking. But it was a good experience and another of my hidden skills got better.

 It was a huge commitment and I am happy to say inspite of many glitches, due to lack of expert computer skills, I managed to fulfil it very satisfyingly.

Learned a bit about food photography from my daughter Kaanchan. Thank you K for the quick lessons in food photography.

Here is a recap of what I did the whole month long. It started on 2nd September with A

I enjoy reading your comments so if you feel to do so please go ahead and post.

Now getting ready for the All Indian States Marathon to be held in April 2014. Planning cooking and photographing has already started.