Recipe for Indian Green Chutney | Mint and Coriander Chutney




Ask any Indian what their favourite herb is - more often than not the answer will be coriander or cilantro, as it is called in some other countries. The main reasons for this being availability, tradition and also the way it goes perfectly with most Indian flavours. The vibrant grassy scent of coriander is what hits your olfactory senses the minute you enter any open air market in India.

Today, most supermarkets sell herbs like fresh basil, parsley, lemon balm at reasonable prices and I love playing around with these flavours in my daily cooking, but my first love of course is coriander. I love it for the freshness it brings to any dish. A dash of chopped coriander can awaken the most dullest of dishes by infusing that touch of green and a fresh aroma. People who are not used to this herb on a regular basis do find it a tad strong - atleast so I've noticed. The interwebs are also full of coriander haters, who claim that it smells like soap.

This Mint and Coriander / Cilantro green chutney is my all time favourite recipe and I'm yet to see a recipe with any other herb that can be as versatile as this. For people who haven't tried this one before, its simpler to make than a pesto and is totally fat-free. If you buy too much of coriander, when it's in season, a chutney is the best way to save the delicate herb. My recipe for coriander mint chutney uses turmeric and lemon juice, both of which contribute to keeping its colour vibrant green and they also act as a preservative, keeping the green chutney alive in an airtight container in the fridge for even up to two weeks easily.



Green Chutney Recipe | Mint and Coriander / Cilantro Chutney recipe 
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: Under 5 mins
Makes over 1 cup

Equipment required:
Blender or a Mixer with a chutney jar attachment
or Coffee Grinder for very small quantities


Ingredients:
4 cups coriander leaves and tender stems
2 cups mint leaves
2-4 green chillies, depending on how spicy you want it
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp dalia or roasted gram or use roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon


Directions

  1. Wash the coriander and mint leaves in 2-3 changes of water.
  2. Drain well in a large colander.
  3. In the chutney jar of a mixer, dry grind the green chillies, garlic cloves, salt and roasted gram (or peanuts) or a coarse powder.
  4. Using a spatula, clear up the sides of the mixer, bringing everything to the center. Add half the chopped mint and coriander, with 1/4 cup water and grind to a smooth puree. 
  5. Add the sugar (if using), turmeric powder and add the remaining mint-coriander and if required add a few spoons of water and grind to a fine puree. 
  6. Add lemon juice, give it a good stir and fill into clean glass jars with tight fitting lids.
  7. Keep refrigerated and this will stay good for 10 days minimum.


10 things you can do with Coriander chutney

1. Use it as a spread on bread. It'll make you forget "I can't believe its not butter" or whatever the name is.
2. Use it to make Bhel puri - one of the bestest Bombay street foods
3. Mix it with regular hummus to make green hummus.
4. Mix it into yogurt to make a coriander flavoured yogurt dip for crudites.
5. Use it inbetween the layers of stuffings in a Muffaletta - a hollowed out bread which is stuffed with layers of ham and cheese and served with an olive salad. You could substitute the ham with veggies or chicken salami.
6. Spread it on a roti, stuff with vegetables to make a spicy frankie.
7. Use it as a base for toppings on salt crackers.
8. Use a thinned out chutney as a salad dressing.
9. Use it as a marinade for paneer, chicken or fish before you throw them on the grill to make tikkas.
10. Spread it on pizza bread. Top with tomatoes, beets, green and yellow peppers, olives and mushrooms to make a fusion Pizza.

WBB# 5 round-up and announcement for WBB#6

Patterns on the sand

Finally, I've managed to push myself hard enough to post the round-up of WBB#5 and reveal the new rules for the Weekend Breakfast Blogging game.

WBB turns monthly instead of fortnightly. Three main reasons -
  • Fortnighly was too confusing for most. Which fortnight?
  • Gives me more time with the round-ups
  • Now on, WBB will be based on themes- making it once a month, gives you more time to think of innovative stuff which others will learn from. This is mainly an idea-sharing platform. While we all have our favourites, events are a good learning experience. If you racked your brains to find out the best way to bake with whole wheat flour, then others can save time by just following your method. Get my point?

The theme for WBB# 6 is : A twist in the plate

Take any popular recipe either from a recipe book, internet recipe resource or a fellow blogger's recipe and do your own twist on it. By twist, I mean a real good one. Not like substituting baking soda for baking powder or green chillis with red chillis. I don't know if this is very good an example, but take it for starters: Podi Idli with Mushrooms and Onions

I still don't have anything in mind too. But I believe it should be fun. Your twist should have made quite a difference to the original. Common my cook sisters and brothers, put on your hats and think out of it!

You have all the freedom to steam, saute, fry or bake - so the options are pretty much endless.

The regular details:

  • Do write a line or so about the original recipe in your post.
  • Send in your entries to me at saffrontrail@gmail.com by 29th of October (Sunday) which gives over a month's time.
  • Your mail must have the URL of your blog and the permalink of the recipe.

WBB# 5 Round-Up

Off the skillet


Banana pancakesCauli parathas

aapam currydidir dosai


Banana Pancakes - Laura, Laura Rebecca's Kitchen

A quick run through the ingredients tells me I have them all at home. With me spending this weekend, home alone and probably a gal pal for company, I don't think there much coming in the way between me and these pancakes.

Cauliflower Paratha - Sushma, Recipe Source

Sushma gives step by step instructions to make cauliflower stuffed bread. Instead of eating the rotis with cauliflower subzi, this would be a fun and practical way, especially on road journneys. Especially so, if you don't have eateries like 'Happy da dhaba' on the way!

Aapam with potato curry - Maheshwari, Beyond the Usual

Yeasty rice flour crepes with potatoes, they make them with toddy too...I'm gonna taste the latter when I go to Kerala..


Didir dosa - Vaishali, Happy Burp

She's been on a pantry emptying spree and how! If you've never made dosa before, this is the one for you. Just go for it!

Oven Fresh...

Banana nut muffinsBruschetta
carrot loaf
FrittataPumpkin raisin muffins

Banana Nut muffins - Priya, Akshayapaatram

The soft-toy lover baked muffins for the first time and can we hear her scream YAHOO? She crossed two bloggers' recipes and came up with this fantastic bunch of muffins

Bruschetta with egg mayonnaise - Pam , Posie's Place

Slices of fresh bread are smothered in olive oil and grilled in the oven. A simple topping like chopped boiled egg with light mayo makes it so homely and so appealing.

Banana nut muffins - Shaheen, Malabar Spice

Bananas flavoured with cinnamon and nutmeg, you can't go wrong there Steamed ( or cooked) to perfection

Golden goodness frittata - Ashwini, Food for thought

Cross veggies, eggs and herbs with an oven and what you get is this Golden goodness frittata. It's the 'phoren' version of our omlette. Did you know Parsis have their own thick omlette called Akoori?

Carrot Loaf - Krithika, Manpasand

Wholewheat flour and carrots aka- a healthy start to your day.

Pumpkin raisin muffins - Prema, My cookbook

Hearty muffins made with pumpkins. Meeta's FMR event with Pumpkins sent everyone scurrying after pumpkins well before Halloween :)

Steamed (cooked) to perfection

polenta idliskhaman dhoklaGhugni

stuffed idlisrava idlis


Polenta Idlis - Vaishali, Happy Burp

V gives us a double burp with dosas as well as idlis. WAIT! Don't start yawning at the mention of idlis! Bet you'd never have tried making idlis with cornmeal.

Instant Dhokla - Yours truly

Healthy yet very tasty, the power of gram flour revs up your engines for the day (Now don't you start thinking of something else! )

Ghugni - SP, Chatpat food

This recipe with a musical name has its origins in the East of India. Made with dried yellow peas, it comes across as a versatile dish.

Stuffed Idlis - Shilpa, Aayi's recipes

What do you get when you cross an idli with a masala dosa? Check Shilpa's recipe to find out. Potatoes are the friendiest of veggies, as in they get along well with anything else. I must try this one out soon!


Rava Idli - Jayashree, Veggie Delight

If you are tired of running after MTR Rava Idli packs in the grocery store, try this one from the scratch. Contrary to what we think it's quite a simple one.

From the waffle iron




Asha from Foodie's Hope sent in her Pumpkin waffles after I'd just posted the round up. Pumpkin and cinnamon in waffles does sound like a very aromatic combination. If you have a waffle iron, this one is a must try. For those who don't have a waffle iron (like yours truly), making pancakes with this batter sounds like a great idea!



(Too many problems with blogger while doing this round up taking me over 3 hours. Sorry if you see any problems in publishing.)

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Instant Khaman Dhokla (Steamed gram flour cake)

Pic updated on 6 March, 2008


khaman dhokla

Instant Khaman Dhokla
Time taken - 40 minutes including standing and steaming time
Serves - 2
Type - Healthy snack, steamed food, Low Glycaemic index, Diabetic friendly








ready to eat



Khaman Dhokla is a steamed savoury cake made from gram flour. It is a traditional Gujarati snack, typically a tea time treat. Typically, chana dal (split Bengal gram) is soaked, ground with spices and fermented. The fermented batter is then steamed, cut into bite sized pieces and garnished with tempered mustard seeds and coriander.

Though I do indulge in the long version at times, to suit my last minute cooking - this instant version comes very handy.

Chana dal or gram flour is a food with a low glycaemic index and therefore extremely good for diabetics and those on a GI diet. Besides, it has all the goodness of lentils - protein and fibre. Lentils are the food of the week on my column at Chennai Online.

Here's the recipe for Instant Khaman Dhokla. I found it at this very resourceful site called Gel's Kitchen.






Ingredients:

1 cup gram flour
Pinch of turmeric powder
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp citric acid crystals or juice of one whole lemon
1 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 tsp soda bicarb
Oil for greasing and tempering

For tadka:
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
Few curry leaves

For garnish:
Finely chopped coriander


Method:


ingredients Prepared batter


Batter poured in plate ready for steamingSteamed dhokla


1. Mix the flour, turmeric, salt, sugar and citric acid crystals in a bowl with a cup of water. With a whisk mix them together into a smooth paste.

2.Steamer
Let this stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile set up the steamer. You can use a large pot. Place an empty bowl in it as a stand on which to keep the plate. Grease a deep 'thali' that will fit into the pot easily leaving some space around. You need a lid to cover the pot tightly. You can tie the lid in a kitchen towel so that it will absorb the steam and not let water droplets fall into the batter while steaming.

3. After letting the batter stand for 10 minutes, add the soda bicarb into it. Mix it in by pulling at the batter with your fingers. The batter will get fluffy and soft, expanding in volume by almost 3 times [like beaten egg whites]

4. Pour this batter into the greased thali. You can sprinkle sesame seeds on the batter. (Optional)

5. Keep the thali into the pot, cover with towel covered lid and steam for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

6. Remove the thali from the pot and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting it into diamond / square pieces.

7. For tadka, heat one tsp of oil, put in the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. Once they splutter, turn it over the dhoklas.

Serve hot with tea.


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Ambrosial Thalagam for my 100th post


'100'
This is my 100th blog post and that's all thanks to my fellow food-blogger friends and readers who have encouraged me, all along the way.
I've been promising to post the recipe of Chettinad Tomato Paruppu Pacchidi for a while, but then I wanted my 100th post to be something very traditional.
It is Thalagam. Please don't confuse it with a sambhar or a curry. It's neither. But one taste of this and the flavours will get etched in your taste buds forever. I actually made it for the first time last evening with no thoughts about posting this as my 100th. I just followed my craving, called up mom, told her I want to eat Thalagam NOW. Scribbling down the approximations dictated by mother, I set out in pursuit of that perfect taste.

If you are wondering what Thalagam is all about, this is what it is. A medley of vegetables cooked in a paste of roasted red chillies, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, split black gram and grated coconut. A swish of tamarind puree rounds up the bold flavours together. The result is a spicy, mildly sweet, tangy curry offset by the nutty taste of roasted sesame seeds. This almost belongs to the Sambhar family and yet not quite for two reasons. One, it is made on special occasions like Thiruvadirai festival to eat with a sweet floury dish and two, you don't add dal (cooked lentils) in this curry.


I managed to take pictures step-by-step this time. I hope that makes it much easier for you to try out this 'steeped-in-Tambram-tradition' recipe atleast once. Once is enough. After that the taste will pursue you for life, pursue you enough to make this often. I can promise that much.


Ambrosial Thalagam



Ingredients:
2 cups of mixed vegetables (Traditionally yellow pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, arbi)
1 tsp oil
1/2 cup thin tamarind extract obtained from medium lemon sized ball of tamarind
Salt to taste



For the spice paste:
4 dried red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 T udad dal (split black gram dal)
4-5 slices of fresh coconut
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (Methi)
Roast these ingredients in a spot of oil for a minute or two and keep aside.
1 T sesame seeds- roast this separately as it browns much faster than the other ingredients.



Cooling the roasted ingredients before grinding to a paste


The essence of thalagam - spice paste



Cool the roasted ingredients. Put them in a coffee grinder or mixer and grind to a fine paste with 1/4 cup of water. Keep the paste aside.


Method:

1. In a non-stick pot, heat a tsp of oil. Throw in the vegetables. Saute for a minute. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pot and cover with lid. The vegetables will cook in 10 minutes or so.


Sauteeing the vegetables (I used these vegetables because I didn't have the traditional ones on hand. Unplanned cooking you see! )

2. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the ground spice paste and the tamarind extract. Put in the required amount of salt, about 1 1/2 tsp, a pinch of turmeric powder to the boiling thalagam.
3. Keep the flame on low, cover the pot with a lid, keep it at a slow simmer for 8-10 minutes so that the vegetables can soak up the flavours of the spices.
4. After 10 minutes, remove from flame and serve with steamed rice or broken wheat.


Note:

I added a small block of jaggery to the thalagam as I was missing the sweet tinge that pumpkin lends to it. Despite not using the traditional vegetables, the taste of this one came very close to what my taste buds remembered from the years.

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Murud Janjira

Silence

Flight

Peace


Unusual fruits ! (Bats)


Serenity



The sound of the sea, a hammock and a book - Bliss!

Flying away...


Vaishali was bang on in guessing. It was Murud Janjira indeed. 170 Kms from Bombay, an hours drive from the more popular Alibag. In fact she was so sure that she even asked me to go visit the vegetable market there. Since we were there for only 24 hours and because the sea was so inviting, we didn't think of going anyplace else. Don't the pictures say it all?

I'm glad my readers have liked the Chettinad Recipes' resource. I shall be updating it regularly with recipes found from various sources. As and when I try out something, I shall post it here too. Stay tuned for a slightly modified Chettinad Tomato Pacchidi ( Chettinad style lentils with tomatoes) and that will be my 100th blog post !

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Parsi Dhansak - for FMR Pumpkin


Pumpkin is quite a staple in my parent's home, where it is used generously in Kootu (Gravied vegetables), Sambhar, Thalagam etc. Not being too fond of the vegetables on the sweeter side, pumpkin is usually not on my shopping list. Not unless I want to make Dhansak or Bisi Bele Huli Anna.

The pumpkin used in this is the golden variety (shown in picture) which is more nutritious and anti-oxidant rich compared to the white pumpkin. Whites are used in Avials- which is one of my hot favourites.

Parsis are members of the Zoroastrian community that migrated from Persia to India over 1000 years ago to escape religious persecution. Most of them concentrated in the state of Gujarat, adapting the local language and culture as their own. Their cuisine is a unique blend of the vegetarian Gujarati food and the meaty cuisine of Persia. Dhansak is one of their much-loved dishes, which is usually made with lentils, vegetables and meat into a spicy curry that is had with brown rice.

Vegetarian that I am, my dhansak is meatless but any meat eater would confirm that it is as tasty ( Atleast let me assume so! )


Dhansak is ready!


The list of ingredients is a bit lengthy, but except for a little prep work, you will find most of the stuff in your pantry, especially if you are an avid food blogger!

There are three parts to this recipe.
-Cooking the lentils
-Preparing the masala
-Cleaning and cutting the vegetables

Lentils required:

1/3 cup tur dal
1/3 cup masoor dal
1/3 cup moong dal

Mix the dals. Wash them thoroughly 3-4 times. Keep aside.

Pumpkin:

Use the golden variety. You will need around 200 gms of the same. Remove the skin with a heavy knife, scrape out the seeds. Chop the pumpkin into 1" cubes. Don't cut it any smaller, or they will get totally mashed with the dal on pressure cooking.

Pressue cook the dals with the pumpkin pieces for around 3 whistles.

Meanwhile prepare the masala and vegetables.

For dhansak masala:

6 cloves garlic
1" piece fresh ginger
6-7 red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1" cinnamon stick
2 green cardamoms
4 pepper corns

Saute the above ingredients other than ginger and garlic, on a low flame until fragrant, about a minute or two. Cool for a few minutes and grind to a fine paste along with ginger-garlic. You can add around 1/4 cup of water to assist in grinding. Keep the masala aside.

Vegetables:

2 medium onions-sliced
2 tomatoes-chopped
1 small bunch methi (fenugreek) leaves- cleaned and chopped finely to make a loosely packed cup

Bringing together the masala and vegetables

Method:

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pan. Fry the onion slices with a few grains of sugar (less than 1/8th tsp). Sugar makes the onions brown faster. Saute for 3-4 minutes till nicely browned.

Add the masala paste and saute for 3-4 minutes, until it emits a rich aroma.

Put in the chopped tomatoes, chopped fenugreek leaves. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until tomatoes are cooked and leaves have wilted.

At this stage, add the boiled dals and pumpkin. Add around 2 tsp of salt. Stir well and check for spices and salt. In case the tomatoes aren't sour enough, you can add a teaspoon of tamarind pulp.

Serve hot with plain rice or traditional Parsi Brown Rice.

Lap it up with rice


This recipe makes enough dhansak to serve 6 people. Even if you are just 2 at home, it is worth making and saving half of it for later. It tastes better after the flavours have sunk in for a day or so. It will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, kept in a tightly sealed box.

The day I'd made this, we had a friend come in for dinner. He remarked that he was getting to eat dhansak after ages as the authentic recipe isn't really vegetarian and he was a vegetarian himself. In case you are a person who'd love to make the real meaty version, check out the link below for Authentic Parsi cuisine.

You will find many delicious Parsi Recipes here. Eggs, Potatoes and meat are their favourites though!

This is my submission for the FMR - Pumpkin hosted by multi-talented Meeta of What's for lunch honey?

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(Pumpkin image courtesy: Getty Images)







Almost fat free Sweet Potato Chips


This is more of a tip than a recipe. A tip to make chips without frying. I got this idea from the blog 28 Cooks where there was a post on Microtato Chips. The taste of my favourite brand of chips (when I was in US) was Terra - thick chips made from starchy vegetables - potatoes, sweet potatoes, beetroot etc. These were definitely deep fried, but since then I've been wanting to make sweet potato chips at home.
The Indian sweet potatoes are almost white from inside unlike the orange coloured ones I've seen in US. These are starchy and dense and hardly sweet to taste.

To make these chips, all you need is a sweet potato, some seasoning and a microwave oven. Peel the vegetable. Slice it with a mandolin or as thin as you can manage with a knife.

Spray it with some oil / Coat it evenly with a teaspoon of oil. Add salt, red chilli powder and a bit of turmeric and mix it thoroughly into the slices.

Arrange it in a single layer on a microwave safe dish, and nuke at high for 5-6 minutes. The time taken depends on the power of your machine and thickness of slices.

Cool for a while and enjoy!

You can do the same with any of the starchy vegetables.

I also tried a salt and pepper combo and that worked fine too.

Ah! The fun of eating chips without the guilt is a wonderful experience. Do try and let me know!

Podi Idli with Mushrooms and Onions



I had this stuff first in the bar at Hotel Temple Bay, Mahabalipuram. I'd heard about it, but never tasted it. It felt like a really old wine in a refreshing new bottle...as in something I'd eaten a million times (well, almost) but in new tastes and shapes.

This is my spin on that recipe adding a few more ingredients to make it healthier, more wholesome, yada yada yada...

You have two questions to answer:

1. What is the original recipe?
2. What is the main ingredient that I've used (which the original recipe doesn't have)

I've tried my bit to make it a little less easy...and I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

So-take a guess? In fact, two!



-----------------
By now, most of you might have put two and two together...
The original recipe is Podi Idli which is a popular cocktail snack down south. Idlis are made in the mini-moulds or whole idlis and chopped into bite sized pieces. A tempering of bengal gram, split black gram (chana dal and udad dal), curry leaves, red chillies is mixed with the idlis along with Molagai podi (a staple spicy lentil powder that is eaten with idlis and dosas in Tamil and most south Indian homes)
My variation on the above is the addition of a cup of chopped fresh mushrooms and onions to make it more filling and add that vegetable component to this dish. The varying textures in this recipe coming from the soft idlis, chewy mushrooms, crunchy lentils is what makes it a fantastic combination.

Ingredients (Serves 3)

8 Idlis - cut into bite sized pieces

1 pack fresh mushrooms-quartered (to make about a cup)

1 large onion-thinly sliced

1 T bengal gram (chana dal)

1/2 T split black gram (Udad dal)

1 sprig curry leaves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/8 tsp turmeric powder

1 T Molagai podi

1/2 T oil

Heat the oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the udad dal and chana dal. Saute on medium heat till they turn golden brown. Add the curry leaves and stir for a few seconds.

Put in the sliced onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stir them around for 2-3 minutes until they are partly cooked and not mushy.

To this add the idli pieces, turmeric powder, pinch of salt and the Molagai podi. Sprinkle a bit of water and stir gently until the idlis get coated with the spices.

Serve hot.

Note:

You can find a basic Molagaipodi recipe here on Food in the main.

Also check out Sudha's Idli-Dosai with Molagai podai recipe here at My Samayal

You can serve this as a snack or for breakfast. You can also make these podi idlis to use up any leftover idlis.

You can also add sliced peppers of your choice to this recipe.

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Spicy Indian Hummus in Methi paratha pockets


Guess the main ingredient in the above dish. Also guess the kitchen gadget that I have used for this recipe.

Main Ingredient: Chick Peas (Many of you got this right)
Gadget: Pressure Cooker (No right answers there)

Over to the story...









Spicy Indian Hummus stuffed in Methi Paratha pockets


This was supposed to be my entry for my favourite gadget at Posie's Place. And the gadget is indeed the pressure cooker. My 2 L Hawkins pressure cooker does the toughest of jobs in minutes sparing my time for more interesting activities like -you know what !




The ingredient used was Kabuli Chana aka Chick Peas. The chick peas when soaked overnight almost double up in size. I'm always in awe of this little miracle of nature.

Soaked chick peas get cooked to a mashed consistency in a matter of 10 minutes when a pressure cooker is used. I could never keep it boiling on stove top for 1-2 hours. Firstly I don't have that kind of patience when it comes to cooking and secondly the LPG prices aren't exactly that low and thirdly I don't want to be depeleting the world's energy resources. For all reasons mentioned above, pressure cooker is my favourite gadget in my kitchen.

Coming to the recipe, i made two recipes with the same cooked chickpeas. One, a spicy hummus (which quite some of you guessed right) which I stuffed inside a methi-ajwain roti (my substitute for Pita bread). This was for breakfast.

With most of the other cooked peas, i made Chole (Pronounced as Cho-lay). Chole is something almost every Indian family makes in it's own style. And probably I shall blog about this national favourite someday. But today's post is dedicated to the Indian style hummus and the roti-technique which I learnt from a friend's mom.

For Hummus:

For boiled chick peas -Soak the peas overnight with a pinch of soda-bicarb in the water. In the morning, rinse off well, and place directly into pressure cooker with water to cover plus a little more. I don't generally add salt while cooking, as it toughens the peas. (I believe so.) Close the lid of the cooker, place the whistle. After 3 whistles, reduce the flame to SIM and keep it for 7-8 minutes. Since the cooker I used is the mini 2 Litre version, the whistles start blowing almost as soon as I close the lid.

1 cup very well cooked chick peas
1 large clove garlic-finely chopped
Juice of one lemon
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 tbsp sesame seeds-roasted and coarsely powdered
1/3 tsp crushed sea salt

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mash well with a fork. I like it a little rough and grainy. If you like it silky smooth, use a processor by all means. Check for salt. Garnish with a few fresh coriander leaves and red chilli powder.

I have omitted the olive oil, but you may mix in a tbsp of the same.

This hummus tastes spicy and tangy. The sesame seeds lend their nuttiness. I call it Indian style because of the red chilli powder and coriander used.

You can use this one in several set-ups. As a healthy spread on toast for breakfast, along with chapatis, as a 'thuvaiyal' with dosas. Another wild idea would be to mix steamed rice with this as a 'chutney'.

Kasoori Methi and Ajwain Paratha:
Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek leaves, which have a very intense flavour. It is generally used along with vegetables like potatoes or to flavour up a gravy. You may very well use this to make Methi parathas, when you are out of fresh methi.

Ajwain is another very strong herb / spice. Called Bishop's weed in English, it is a wonderful home-remedy for indigestion / flatulence / bloating. Since chick-peas are reknowned for gas production, I found it logical to combine it with the ajwain in the parathas.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp Ajwain (bishop's weed)
1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (I use Everest )
1 tsp salt
Water to bind the dough.
1 tsp oil

Mix the ajwain and kasoori methi into the flour and bind it into a dough of chapati-dough consistency. Once the dough is done, knead well for 2-3 minutes with a little oil, to make it smooth.
I followed the following procedure to make thick rotis, which split into two layers once cooked (I'm not talking about a phulka here.)



1. Roll out a big lemon sized ball into a long oval.
2. Pinch it towards the center-making a waist. Apply a dot of oil / flour on both the upper and lower circles.
3. Bring the upper circle onto the lower, making a two-layered round.
4. Roll out this into a round paratha.

Cook this on both sides on a hot tava (griddle) till brown spots appear. Remove from tava.

Spread the hummus on one half of the paratha. Place a few slices of tomato and fold the paratha in half. Cut into two pieces.

2 cups of flour will give about 8 thick parathas.


This was an absolutely yummy treat. Though we had one each for breakfast, it can be a wonderful brunch idea. Serve some cut up fruits like papaya, watermelons, a hot mug of chocolate along with the hummus stuffed parathas and it will keep you going till dinner time.

Except for the one tsp oil used in binding the dough, this entire recipe has no added fats, except for the natural oils from the sesame seeds. The fibre from the chick peas and whole wheat flour, Vitamin C from lemon and tomatoes and the digestive action of ajwain- it really cant get healthier than that!

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