Shital's-Kitchen: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Masala Toast Sandwich

Masala Toast is dedicated to all my NNC friends. It is raining outside while I am typing this recipe and it makes me home sick :( Heavy rains, cloudy sky and hot, spicy masala toast would be a staple for any Mumbaikar or a NNCite.  Whenever I make this at home I ought to remember my friends Reena, Naina, Bhavna, Mansi, Nehal :) Miss you guys!

This is an all in one sandwich packed with proteins, vitamins, and carbs specially for students and other people who commute quite a bit for work! Masala in the sandwich is a spicy onion and potato curry and is topped with freshly sliced veggies like tomatoes, bell pepper and onions. These veggies are seasoned with a blend of spices and salt that make in tangy and salty. The sandwich is then put is a special sandwich press and grilled over hot charcoal. As this pipping hot sandwich comes out of the press, it is lathered with butter and specially AMUL butter, some chutney and tomato ketchup. That's  the fun of eating masala toast. Nowadays, there is electric griddles and panini press that has been substituted for the traditional press and charcoal. There are very few places in Mumbai that toast sandwiches in traditional fashion.

So here is what you will need: 
Sandwich bread
Butter (generous helping) :)
Sandwich masala powder or salt and pepper or chat masala
Bell pepper
Masala Stuffing
Potatoes 3 boiled and mashed
Onions 1 finely chopped
green chillies
ginger paste
mustard seeds 1tsp.
turmeric 1tsp.
oil 1tbsp.
Lemon juice
Green peas (optional)

Heat oil in a pan, add, mustard seeds, chopped green chillies, ginger paste. Saute chopped onions till they get tender. Add turmeric powder and fry for a min. Add boiled and mashed potatoes. Add salt to taste, green peas, lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Mix it well and cook for 4-5 mins. 
Set the potato masala aside and allow it to cool completely. 
Make this masala stuffing ahead of time if you expect guests over!

To make green cilantro chutney:
Cilantro 1 bunch
green chillies
cumin seeds
peanut or roasted gram/દાડિયા ડાળ
lemon juice
Blend all the ingredients in a blender to form a smooth chutney or dipping sauce.  You could add garlic if you prefer.

To make the sandwich.

Slice the crusty sides so that the sandwich fits into the press. (this step is optional.)

Apply butter and green chutney (to your taste) evenly.

Put 1 spoonful of potato masala in the center of the bread slice.
Thinly slice tomatoes and put 2-3 slices.
Put 1 slice of onion and bell pepper. 
Sprinkle some seasoning. I use chat masala but I found a special sandwich seasoning at an Indian store.

Recently I also found a sandwich seasoning from the famous Mumbai sandwich place 'Sandwizza' which stands for Sandwich and Pizza :) Earlier this place was called Swastik Sandwich place in Santacruz, Mumbai but, now they have grown to become a chain of Sandwich joint all over mumbai!

The next step is again optional. but I cannot forget Gaurav, my dearest brother-in-law who would not prefer a Sandwich without cheese. Amul cheese, our all time favorite! Especially when you making a Mumbai street food style sandwich Amul cheese is a must!

A slice of boiled beat root could also be added on top of the veggies.

Cover the veggies with another slice of buttered and chutneyed bread.
Insert the sandwich carefully in the press or place it on the panini press or a griddle.

Grill the sandwich on the stove or electric griddle. 

Allow it to crust on both sided by flipping the hand press.

Gently remove it from the press and place it on a clean surface for a min. before cutting it into bite size pieces.

Cut it into 4 pieces straight down or diagonally. spread some butter over the grilled sandwich. Serve with green chutney and ketchup!

Veggie Omelet/Pudla

Veggie Omelet or Pudla/પુડલા is an eggless omelet, wholesome meal! It is made with gram flour batter and veggies. Serve with a slice of bread and cheese! My husband enjoys this with some tomato ketchup but my mom likes it with some green, spicy, cilantro chutney :)

Finely chopped 1/2 onion, cabbage, small bell pepper, cilantro, 1 tomato

Add Salt, 1 tsp. tumeric, 1 tsp. chilli powder, 1/2 tsp asoefotedia/hing/હિંગ
Mix well and let it rest for 5 min. This would cause the veggies to sweat so that adding gram flour then is easy to mix.

Add 1 cup chickpea flour/gram flour/besan/ બેસન

Mix well. Add little water till the batter is of flowing consistency. Mix it well to get rid of any lumps.

Heat a griddle or a flat bottom nonstick pan.

Pour 1 ladle full of batter on the hot griddle
Drizzle 1/2 tsp. oil on the sides on the omelet and little on the top.
Fry it till it get golden brown.

Flip it and allow it to turn golden brown on both sides. 

You could make it round in shape. I like to make it squarish so that it fits well onto the slice of the bread.

Use a metal cookie cutter on the griddle and pour the batter in the center of the cutter. Thus a fun shape of veggie omelet could be served to kids!

Use these cute silicon egg rings for Veggie Omelets!

Pour the batter in a waffle maker to make perfect veggie waffles that are savory to taste!

Top it with a slice of cheese and serve them with ketchup or chutney!

Enjoy Veggie Omelet and Veggie Waffles!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jalebi/ Chocolate Jalebi/Chocolebi

Jalebi/ જલેબી is a twirled, sweet, juicy, syrupy, and is loved by everyone! In Gujarat, jalebis are served with fafda (a fried snack make of gramflour) and raw papaya and fried chillies. This is a popular breakfast and snack amongst Gujaratis. This Jalebi recipe is my great grandmother recipe and I have seen her preparing this delicious sweet on most of the auspicious days like jalebi navami and annakut. She had a special metal cup with a hole at the bottom to pour the jalebi batter and a cast iron flat pan to fry the jalebis. This thick cast iron pan would prevent the hot ghee temperature from falling and would make the jalebis crisp and perfect. My mom has this special cup and pan now!!

Jalebis served with fafda and raw papaya sambhariyu, a traditional Gujarati breakfast...yum yum!

Ingredients to make Jalebis

1 cup maida/all purpose flour
1 tbsp. besan/chick pea flour
2 tbsp. plain yogurt
2 tbsp. ghee
1+1/2 cup sugar
Saffron strands or orange food color
Lime juice
Ghee or oil for frying jalebis

  • Mix 1 cup maida/all purpose flour, 1 tbsp. besan/gram flour, 2 spoons of plain curd and little water to make a thick batter. Allow it to ferment overnight. (I like to ferment it for more than 24 hours for better results.)
  • Make sugar syrup with 1+1/2 cup sugar and water enough water to submerge the sugar. Basically make 1 string consistency. Boil the syrup till sugar dissolves, add saffron/kesar/કેસર  (I  do not use food color, but you could add few drops of orange food color) and juice of 1/2 freshly squeezed lime. Set it aside. (Remember sugar syrup should just be warm when you dip the jalebis. If the syrup is very hot, jalebis will be soggy and not crisp.
  • In the fermented batter add 2 tbsp of ghee or clarified butter and mix well. Fill the batter in the squeeze bottle.
  • You will need ghee for frying. Use a flat bottom pan and fill 1 1/2 inch with ghee. Heat it. The temperature for frying is important...not too hot or the jalebis will immediately turn brown. If the ghee in not hot enough then the jalebis will settle at the bottom of the pan and flatten.
  • So fry till they are not very dark and immediately dip them in warn sugar syrup. Jalebis have to go in the sugar syrup straight from the ghee. Do not let it rest out or cool before immersing in syrup. Soak them for about 30-45 seconds in the syrup and remove it on a plate.
Here is step-by step pictorial recipe:

Here is a short video of making jalebis

Click here for the recipe and video of Fafda

Click here for the recipe of Papaya Nu Sambhariyu

Few variations: I tried making these jalebis for an 'Indian mithai with Chocolate' competition. Firstly, I wanted to make the jalebis on the barbeque stick/skewers so that it is easy to handle and less messy. Just like jalebi pops.  Since sticks cannot be inserted into the crisp Jalebi, I inserted a stick while I twirled the batter in the hot ghee.

This has to be done one at a time.

Dip fried jalebis immediately in warn sugar syrup.

Set all the jalebis aside. Let them cool before dipping in chocolate.
I was really happy to come up with a way to hold jalebis on a barbeque stick!!

Dip the jalebis in tempered dipping chocolate and cool them on a wax paper. I used dark and milk chocolate but chocolate of different color could be used. I found pink and purple colored dipping chocolate at 'Michael's :)

Ones dipped in milk chocolate were sprinkled with chopped almonds and pistachios.

After cooling, I arranged the jalebis on a Styrofoam cone. Here is the jalebi pop bouquet! I named these jalebis dipped in chocolate as 'Chocolebis'
Guess what??? Chocojalebis were really popular and it became a prize-winning recipe!! Kids as well as adults loved them and It was easy to eat like a lollipop!

I made these jalebis for the Diwali and Annakut celebration at my house!

Enjoy this crisp, juicy and flavorful jalebis! You do not need a festival to make them. Invite your friends over and serve then with cold vanilla ice-cream!