Shital's-Kitchen: January 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dal Dhokli

Dhoklis are Indian pasta or dumpling. Dal dhokli specially belongs to Gujarat, a Western state of India. This is a Gujurati delicacy!! Can't believe the similarities and the differences in the world cuisines. Whether it is Italian pasta or Chinese noodles or Dhoklis, the basic concept of boiling flour dumpling in a broth or liquid is the same.

Dhoklis are wheat flour dumplings cooked in Dal (toor lentils) and spices. Adding nuts and veggies increases the nutritive value of the dish too. Indeed, a one pot nutritional meal it is!!

My family does not prefer veggies. But you could add veggies of your choice like peas, carrots, potatoes...

Some prefer dal dhokli with paratha or thepla/ flat bread. but, I like my dal dhokli with steamed Basmati rice :) How do you like yours?

In a sifter: Sift 1 cup wheat flour, 1/4 cup gram flour, salt, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder, and pinch of baking soda.

Sift the ingredients well. Sifting is optional but this process mixes ingredients and incorporates air to make the dough light for dumplings swell well.

Here are sifted dry ingredients.

Add 1 tbsp. oil. mix well.
By adding little water at a time make a stiff dough. Kneed the dough well and let it rest for 10-15 minutes for gluten to start working while the dough gets pliable and easy to roll.

Pressure cook 1 cup of toor dal (split yellow pigeon peas) with 2 cups water.
Using a hand mixer or manual hand blender, blend pressure cooked toor dal to form a smooth paste.

Here is blended, smooth dal.

This is my spice box where all necessary spices for everyday cooking are kept handy. This is one of the necessities in Indian kitchen :)
Clockwise: Cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, coriander powder, red chilly powder turmeric powder. 
Center: Asofoetida
My spice box with a little spoon is ready on my counter while I start tempering dal.

To temper: Heat 2 tsp. of ghee/ clarifies butter or oil. Add 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 green chillies and few curry leaves.

Fry few cashew nuts (optional) You could use nuts of your choice like peanuts or almonds or skip this step.

Carefully add smooth, blended dal.

Add few Kokam (A fruit from tropical trees is sun dried) It has a slightly sour taste which make the dal slightly sour.

Add 2 tbsp of Jaggery to give some sweetness.
Can you imagine sour taste or kokam and sweetness from jaggery!

Add salt, turmeric powder and 2 cups of water and bring the dal to boil.

Take a golf ball size dough and roll it as thin as 1/8 of an inch.

Using a knife or a pizza cutter, cut rolled dough into 1 inch squares.
Let your kids work on cutting them. This creates fun and excitement in the kitchen.

Drop each square dhokli in boiling dal. Make rest of the Dhoklis and drop them in the dal.

To create fun for your kids: Cut rolled dough into thin long strips (like flat noodles or pasta) and drop them in boiling dal. Something like flat noodle soup :)

Cook for 5-7 minutes.

Dhoklis double in size, cashews soften and cook in hot dal.
Top it with desi ghee, cilantro and fresh lime.
Enjoy Dal Dhokli with steaming hot Basmati rice.

Happy Cooking!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Veggie Sandwich and Oven Roasted Potatoes

After a long time, we went to farmers market, and such a great day it was! Fingerling potatoes, sprouts, ripe tomatoes, cherry tomatoes. And how could we forget local bakers. We had a great tasting chocolate cake and Tiramisu :)

One great pick of the day were the sprouts. This mix was called CIAO, a combination of garlic, cress and alpha alpha sprouts. Wonderful taste and super flavor. So we decide to make a sandwich using Italian bread that we bought yesterday.

So my menu for the day was Veggie sandwich over toasted Italian bread with the side of oven roasted fingerling potatoes and dill pickle!

To start with oven roasted potatoes: Wash and cut potatoes of the size you want.  Since they are quite tiny, I divided them in halves. Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil. I used herb and spice infused olive oil over these cute potatoes. Roast in 350F oven for 25-30 minutes. I like to broil the potatoes last few minute to get some color. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese if you like! :) 

To start toasting bread.
Slice the bread of your choice. I used Italian loaf. Since the sides are smaller than the center slices they could not be used for sandwich, so a great surprise for Shu, making 'Bruschetta'.
Drizzle olive oil over bread slices and toast till they get nice golden brown.

To make Bruschetta, I cut cherry tomatoes into halves, cut some fresh mozzarella cheese and finally chopped basil. Macerate them in some olive oil (basil infused and garlic flavored olive oil)  balsamic vinegar salt and pepper.
On toasted bread spread tomato and mozzarella mixture and enjoy!

For Veggie Sandwich: Layering fresh veggies over toasted bread.
Have a Fresh and Flavorful Week Ahead!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Many years back I used to tutor a student who belonged to Surat, a city in Gujarat (western part of India). The meaning of the word Undhiyu was told to me by his mom. Undhiyu comes from the word Undhu/उन्धू /ઊંધું which in Gujarati means upside down.

Traditionally Undhiyu is a mixed veggie delight, where fresh seasonal vegetables are spiced and cooked in a clay pot called Matlo that is sealed and turned upside down over hot glowing charcoal. It is a great winter camping dish since these vegetables are available fresh only during winter. Undhiyu is served along with puri (puffed Indian bread) Rotis (flat bread) or rice.

Preparing and cooking this dish takes a long time, but the leftovers can be enjoyed for 2-3 days.
It surely is a vegetarian's delight!

Updated: January 14, 2017...Today I invited my friends over for Undhiyu Party (Gujju Potluck) to enjoy Undhiyu, Shrikhand, Ponk wada, and plenty of delicious food. Since Undhiyu is traditionally made on a MakarSankranti Day, January 14th is also called National Undhiyu Day! Here is my post on Quick Undhiyu.

To begin with the veggies needed:
Tuvar lilva, Surti Papdi, Valore lilva, Raw Plantain, Potatoes, Purple Yam, Eggplant.
These veggies are available fresh during winter in India. We do get frozen veggies here. Thus we can enjoy Undhiyu anytime of the year! :) I also found fresh purple yam :) you could use frozen too.

Here is a clay pot with a lid that I will use for cooking this dish.

Wash the clay pot well from inside. Fill it completely with water. Clay absorbs water making food easy to cook.

To green veggies, add some salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and set the veggies aside.

Muthiyas are deep fried wheat flour dumpling. Crisp from outside and soft from inside.
1/2 cup wheat flour, 1 tbsp. gram flour, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, 1 tbsp oil, dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) and salt.

Mix ingredients well. Make stiff dough by adding little water at a time.

Divide the dough into small 10-15 portions and roll into long dumplings.
Deep fry in medium hot oil to make crisp muthiyas and set them aside. 
Do not hesitate to put one it your mouth and taste it! :)

Peal potatoes and yam. Cut into large pieces and deep fry slightly (deep frying is optional though). Do not over fry them.

When deep fried, sprinkle salt and set them aside.

To make seasoning and stuffing mixture.
Take 1 cup shredded coconut.
In a grinder, grind ginger, green chillies and caraway seeds (ajwain seeds)

Mix ground chilli and ginger to shredded coconut.

Mix well.

Remove 1 1/2 tbsp. of mixture in a separate container.

In rest of the coconut add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, chopped cilantro and salt.

Mix the stuffing well.

Cut raw plantain and eggplant to stuff coconut stuffing.
Stuff the coconut mixture and set it aside.

Veggies, stuffing, seasoning, all set to be assembled and cooked.

Heat 5 tbsp. of oil in a pan. Add 1 tsp. dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

Fry 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

 Add 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut mixture that was kept aside.

 Fry for a minute.

 Add a pinch of turmeric.

 Start by adding fried potatoes and yam. Since they are largely cut they take longer time to cook so should be placed at the bottom.

 Next goes salted green veggies.

 Then put stuffed eggplants and plantain. Add a cup of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

 Lightly toss the veggies. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
 Add deep fried muthiyas.
 Add remaining seasoned coconut mixture.

 Mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
 You could cook in a regular pan for 15 minutes and serve.

Complete rest of the cooking process in a clay pot.

Line some banana leaves inside wet claypot. I used colocacia leaves (patra leaves) to avoid veggies sticking at the bottom of the pot.

Fill the pot with partially cooked veggies.

Place the lid and seal with flour dough.

 Bake in preheated 325F oven for an hour.

When done, clay pot and dough dries. Before removing the dough and the lid, keep the pot upside down for 5 minutes. The oil that has settled at the bottom spreads back into the veggies.

Remove the lid carefully.

 Serve with roti/chapati.

Invite friends and Enjoy this traditional Gujarati Veggie Delight!!