Shital's-Kitchen: October 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dahi Thara

 દહીં તણા દહીં થારા, ઘી તણા ઢેબરા 
કઢિયેલ દૂધ તે કોણ પીશે ...
Famous Gujarati poet, Narsinh Mehta mentions Dahi Thara in his very popular Prabhatiya. Prabhatiya is a wake up song sung by Mother Yashoda for her lovable son Lord Shri Krishna. Narsinh Mehta in his poem describes how a mother would lovingly and cuddlingly wake up her child and also describing various delicacies she has made for him.
Here is a youtube video of this famous Gujarati Prabhatiya. This is one of my favorite Gujarati songs too.

Dahi Thara is a sweet delicacy. A deep fried puffed puri rolled into powdered sugar and garnished with nuts. The flavor of cardamom is prominent in this crisp, flaky, melt in the mouth sweetmeat. This is a special sweet for Lord Krishna, and is a must for Diwali Annakut or special festive days. I remember our family priest from Gokul, a small village where Shri Krishna spent his childhood, would bring us a big box of these delicious Dahi Tharas. He then taught my mom this famous Mathura Dahi Thara recipe. Dahi means yogurt. Since this recipe requires the dough made using yogurt, the sweet gets its name as DAHI THARA!

This recipe will make around 30 Dahi Tharas.

Take 2 cups of All-purpose flour or maida. 
Add 8 tbsp. of regular room temperature ghee. Use you palms and mix ghee well into the flour. 

Plain yogurt to make the dough. This recipe does not need water to make the dough. Use a spoonful at a time to make the dough. You might need less than 1/2 cup of yogurt to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough well. Cover and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Grind 2 cups of regular sugar with a tbsp. of cardamom seeds to form a fine powder. Keep it aside. Use 1 cup at a time.

Sliver some nuts for garnishing.

When the dough has rested well, knead it a bit.

Divide into 30 equal parts. Roll to form a flat 4 inch disc. Sprinkle some dry flour and fold in the sides like a kachori to trap in the air. Roll in again to form a 4 inch disc. Prick few holes using a knife. 

Heat ghee for deep frying. The temperature of melted ghee should not be very hot.

Gently drop one rolled disc at a time into medium hot ghee. Press the sides of the disc lightly for it to puff up. Fry of low to medium heat till it forms a crisp puffed puri and turns golden brown.

Immediately place fried dahi thara into a bowl of powdered sugar. Roll in well. Remove and garnish with slivered nuts. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Fansi Na Ghughra

Oh yes...I am terribly missing my mom. When festivals come closer, preparations begin, family is what we need around. We have seen our mom cook and clean and celebrate each festival so well that we would want to do the way she did it: always right!! 

I haven't started preparing snack and sweets for Diwali yet, but will be working on that soon. I have also volunteered to cook for our temple Annkut, for which I am super excited. Annakut means a mountain of food which is offered to Lord Krishna as Thanksgiving. Will make few sweets and snacks to take them to the temple as my part for Thanking God for everything.

Fansi are green beans in Gujarati. And, this is my mom's signature dish. Whenever I go to India for a vacation, mummy makes this delicious snack on the last day of my trip. Yes, it is my farewell treat, and I have been missing this since past few years.

Ghughra in Gujarati means a rattle. They come in various shapes and sizes and stuffed with delicious stuffing. Sweet dry fruit and nut Ghughras are very popular during Diwali. In fact, they are compulsory during Diwali Annakut. I will be posting sweet Ghughra recipe too. Fansi na Ghurghra are delicious appetizers and great substitute of regular samosas. Instead of fani.beans. you could use green peas for stuffing.

Here is the recipe for 12 large bean stuffed Ghughras

2 cups of chopped beans.

Heat a tsp. of oil. Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds. Add chopped green beans. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp. turmeric. Mix well. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes.

Beans should be just cooked. You need not over cook them or make it mushy. Uncover and let the moisture evaporate. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

Add 1 tsp. red chilli powder. 1+1/2 tsp. coriander powder and 1+1/2 tsp. garam masala powder.

Add handful of nuts and raisins (optional)

Squeeze fresh lime and mix well.

 Add 3/4 cup of grated coconut (Fresh or Frozen)

Add 1 tsp. cumin seeds and handful of freshly chopped cilantro.
Mix the ingredients well and set the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes. Taste for  salt, spice and lime. Add if needed.

To make the dough.
2 cups of all purpose flour or maida. (You could also use whole wheat flour instead)

Add 1 tsp. ajwain/carrom seeds and 1 tsp. jeera/cumin seeds (both are optional)

Mix 2 tbsp. ghee and using around 3/4 cup of water, make a stiff dough. Knead the dough well. 
Cover and keep it aside for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.
You can decide the size of the ghughra. You could divide the dough into 24 parts too to make small ghughras.

Roll each ball into 4 inch disc.

Add around 1+1/2 tbsp. mixture in it. Bring the edges together and press the dough tight.

Here is my video to show how to stuff the ghughra.

Ripples or fancy design gives ghughra it typical shape. It is the traditional art to seal the filling in.

Here is my video to show how to make beautiful design on Ghughras.

Fry on low to medium heat till they turn golden brown. To make they really crisp, fry on low heat for long time. 

Here is creating a different shape of Ghughra.
Roll and fold like regular ghughra and then bring the tips together and fuse the dough.

Serve as is with chutney 
How about some Ghughra Chaat? Break into pieces and garnish with yogurt and chutnies. don't want to miss these!