Besan ka Chila ~ gram flour crepes

Happy Makar Shankranti to all !!

Chickpea Flour Crepes

“Besan ka CHILA” was a frequent in our breakfasts/eve snacks during childhood. My mom makes them very beautifully and fast. Appetizing and healthy!! I used to make them once in a while earlier but after making 2-3 crepes, I used to loose interest and got irritated. I never could make thin and round and they used to stick to the pan. What made the matter worse was, they never came out in 1 piece. Grrrr!! Each crepe used to break either while turning upside down or while taking off to plate. Alas!!

But now, when I have another member who needs something healthy and new day by day, I gave up my fear for the failure and tried again. And to sheer surprise, after a few trials, I perfected it (well almost!).

The secret is, a proper consistency, no lumps, properly heated and greased griddle. Once you get the batter with right consistency, which should be similar to dosa batter, spread a ladle full of it on hot tawa, immediately spread using the same ladle or tilt the griddle in all directions to spread. Once done, spread your choice of topping. Spray/brush some oil around the edges to not let it stick. This ensures the crepe to leave the surface properly once cooked. A thick crepe will take more time and chances are, the besan may not be cooked completely.

To speed up the process, my mom uses 2 tawas. Once the crepe is cooked from 1 side, she will spread it upside down on the other hot greased tawa. And, place another ladle full of besan batter on the first one. But this needs practice.

All said and done, time to switch to the method.

Besan Ka Chila

Time: 30 mins or even less.

Serves: 4-5 crepes

Ingredients:

    1.5 cup besan / chickpea flour/ gram flour
    1.5 cup warm water
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    2 green chilies, finely chopped, adjust per your taste
    1 tsp. ajwain/ carom seeds
    handful chopped coriander leaves
    1 tsp. jeera powder (optional)  
    salt per taste
    oil for preparing the crepes.

Preparation:

    Mix besan and water, water in 2-3 batches gradually for a proper consistency with all other ingredients except oil. The batter should have a consistency similar to dosa, a slight thinner would also go.
    Beat and mix well until lumps are removed.
    Rest it for 15 mins and mix again. This step ensures the removal of all lumps.
    Heat a heavy griddle/nonstick tawa.
    Pour and spread 1 tsp. oil. Pour a ladle full of besan batter and spread in clockwise direction to get a thin crepe. 
    Pour few drops of oil around the edges and on top.
    Cover and cook on a low to med-low flame.
    Once the edges leave the surface of griddle, use a spatula and delicately flip the crepe upside down.
    Cover and cook again for 2 mins.
    Serve with your fav chutney/dip or sauce.
    Relish!!

Notes:

It is a good idea to prepare a paratha on the tawa first so the the griddle is greased properly and the 1st crepe will not stick to it. Alternately, you can brush some oil on tawa, heat it and clean using a paper towel.

You can spread chopped onions over the crepe like we do for uttapam, instead of adding it in the batter. This allows smooth spreading of the crepe.

The batter should be of similar consistency of dosa.

To remove the lumps, another good idea is to mix besan and water, beat well and pass it through a steel wired sieve. Then mix in all the other ingredients.

Spread crumbled paneer on the top before flipping the crepe. This adds some more nutritional value. Adding methi leaves/ kasuri methi is a good flavor enhancement. Adding some black salt improves the taste. Remember to adjust the common salt accordingly.

Be patient, if you don’t get good crepes initially. You will perfect the process gradually.

Besan ka Chila

 

Because this recipe is something, I learnt many times from my mom (over phone and face to face) and succeeded only recently (I know, it might be very easy for many of you to perfect a crepe/chila/dosa, I am one exception!!), I really owe a big thank to her for her patience. So, sending this to the event dedicated to honor MOMs organized by PureVegetarianBites to honor my mom’s love to me.

mom1

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Papad ka saag/ Papad ki Sabzi

There are days when you don’t want to kill yourself with elaborate meals. Just want to get away with a simple meal and forgive yourself with the tiring, mundane task of washing, peeling/cleaning, chopping the greens (be it leafy stuff or otherwise). If you feel yourself prey of such tasks once in a while, then the sure rescuer for you is this simple “Papad ki Sabzi”. The most you may need to do is chop onions and tomatoes and chances might be, you may have some already in your refrigerator.

Papad ki subzee

Papad is sabzi is quick and easy, another rajasthani recipe. As I said earlier in my post Gatte ki Subjee, Rajasthani cuisine is well seasoned with non-leafy, non-green things, some unusual dishes and strongly flavored aromas. Papad ki subjee, which can be done in jiffy, is simple. Papads usually are spicy but made of lentils/daals which gives them nutritional values. So, no wonder, papad ki subjee is spicy and tasteful, yet good.

Over to the method.

Time: 20 mins

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

     4 medium size Papads, any variety, I prefer moong daal papads.
     1 medium onion, finely chopped
     1 medium tomato, finely chopped  
     2  green chili, finely chopped 
     1 tbsp. sour curd, well beaten
     salt to taste   
     1 tsp. of jeera + rai, a pinch heeng and 1 tsp. ajwain   
     1/2 tsp. red chili powder    
     some chopped coriander for garnishing   
     water for boiling   
     a sprig of curry leaves.   

Preparation:

     Break each papad into roughly 6 pieces. (More if the papads are bigger in size)
     Keep water in an open pan for boiling, parallely heat oil in a wok/kadhai. Add the seeds into the oil once hot. Add the curry leaves too.   
      Once, the seeds splutter, add onion and fry them till light brown. 
      If the water is about to boil, add the papad pieces and bring them to boil.  
      Once the onions are done, add tomatoes and chilies and dry spice powders + salt.   
      Cook tomatoes until they are wilted, then add curd and keep stirring so that it is not curdle.
      Add water and bring to boil. Now drain them and add papad pieces to the curry.
      Mix papad well with tomatoes-onions and cook further for 2 mins.    
      Add some water as per your desired consistency.  
      Garnish with some chopped coriander.
      Relish with  plain daal-rice or jeera rice.  

 

Papad ki sabjee

 

Notes:

  • Add 2-3 drops of oil to avoid curd from curdling. Do not leave papad in air after draining else they will dry up and stick to each other.
  • Adding finely chopped garlic gives a distinguished flavor.
  • Mind the salt as papads are also salted.
  • Go gentle on the papads after boiling, they are very delicate.

Papad ka Saag

Gatte ki subjee ~ traditional Rajasthani savory

Gatte ki Subjee

Rajasthani/Marwari cuisine is spicy, aromatic and full of variety. The olden days of Rajasthan had seen unavailability of water and green, lush vegetables which in turn gave birth to the much glorified usage of curd, buttermilk, milk, vast species of spices, lentils, legumes, daals and various flours. These ingredients make Rajasthani cuisine, a delicacy to relish and an experience to cherish.

GATTE ki subjee or GATTE ka saag is one such mouth watering, very famous marwari dish, which can be savored with any Rice preparation or chapattis/ parathas/ pooris. Without this, the rajasthani thali is incomplete which is a treat not to miss. For this, you don’t need any green/fresh vegetables and that’s the specialty. You can prepare it when you missed shopping for fresh, green vegetables for any reason. You just need some besan/ gram flour, basic ingredients of an Indian gravy and some curd with some very-indian spices/masalas which give strong flavor and pungent aroma. For this, the besan dumplings are steamed and lightly fried (optional, to enhance the taste) and then simmered in the curd rich tomato-onion gravy.

Contrary to the belief, this rajasthani delight is not laden with ghee and is light on your stomach. So, over to the method.

 

IMG_3652IMG_3658IMG_3662IMG_3668

 

 

Gatte ki Subjee

Ingredients:

For the dough to prepare GATTE:

    150 gms besan / chickpea flour/ gram flour
    2 tsp. ajwain/carom seeds
    salt to taste
    2 tsp. oil for kneading dough + more for frying
    1 tsp. each of jeera powder + coriander powder +amchoor(dry mango powder)  + 1/2 tsp. haldi/turmeric powder
    2 pinch hing / asafoetida (or as per your taste)
    water to knead dough

For the gravy:

     2 medium onion
     4-5 garlic pods
     2 green chilies
     1 tsp. red chili powder – hot variety
     1 tsp. deghi mirch – to bring in a deep color.
     2 ripe medium tomatoes 
     1/2 cup sour curd, well beaten (fresh curd is okay)
     salt to taste
     1 tsp. turmeric
     1 tsp. coriander powder
     1 tsp. kitchen king (I usually omit garam masala and use this)
     Coriander leaves for garnish.
     2 tbsp. oil

Preparation:

     Pour the besan in a bowl. Add all the dry masalas for dough in it. Mix well.
     Now add 1 tsp. oil and mix. Once the besan takes some texture rather than powder, add very little water and mix until a dough is prepared.
     Plz be careful that extra water can spoil the dough, dough has to be a little hard and non crumbly. Even to this day, I also fail at times to prepare a good dough in 1 shot and end up mixing some more besan.
     Rest the dough covered for 10 mins.
     Prepare onion-garlic-chilies paste separately and tomatoes paste separately.
     Keep water for boiling in a thick bottom pan/kadhai.
     Now take the dough, make small balls. Roll out each ball in to cylinders. Each around 4-5 inch long and 10 cm in dia. These measurements are just approximation and you can refer to the pics for the size.
     When the water is just about to boil, put these cylinders in the water, not overlapping each other and cook covered in low-medium heat for 10-12 mins. The besan should be cooked from inside. The cylinders will automatically come up and float once done. To check more precisely, cut a cylinder in two parts and check the inner portion. If not cooked, again keep in hot water for a min or so.
     Now bring out the cylinders, cool then and pat them dry with a clean cotton cloth.
     You may see small blisters on the cylinders, which is alright.
     Cut the cylinders in to roundels of 1/2 inch sizes as shown in the pics. These are the GATTE, ready to be used in kadhi or pulav or in subjee
     Now heat oil in a non-stick pan and lightly fry them for a min & gently not to break them. This will further cook the besan if uncooked properly. This is an optional step, but enhances the flavor of gatta.
     Now, heat oil in a pan and splutter jeera-rai.
     Add onion paste and cook until golden brown.
     Now, add tomato paste, turmeric, salt, both red chili powders, kitchen king and coriander powder. Cook until oil separates.
     Now beat curd, add very little oil in it and mix. This will avoid the curdling in the gravy.
     Add this curd to the gravy and mix well. Cook covered for 1-2 min.
     Now add water and gatte and mix well gently.
     Simmer for 5 mins until the gravy thickens and takes a good red/orange color.
     Relish with jeera rice!!

 

Gatte ki Subjee

Notes:

You can use the dry gatte in Kadhi or to prepare pulav. Gatte when kept in very thin, 2 inch long cylinders form, they are called as bela and that is a more preferable variety for me. But, I go with masses (family) and do the traditional Gatte

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