BM #116 Day 18 -

Today we travel to the Eastern part of India to the state of West Bengal to explore their Niramish menu options. Niramish means vegetarian and no onion-no garlic.

I went through a lot of videos to understand their style of cooking and what combinations of dishes I can make to suit our palate. I took the advice of my Bengali friend in finalizing the menu. Special thanks to her.

In the thali I have arranged the dishes in the following order.
1.Potol Bhaja (Parwal Fry)
2.Paneer Dalna (Recipe below)
3.Bandhakopir Ghonto (Cabbage Sabji)
4.Aloo Posto (Potatoes cooked in Poppy paste)
5.Cholar Dal 
8.Mishti Tomato Chatni
9.Kumro Bhaja (Pumpkin Fry)

I had a few more things on my list like Mishti Doi, Luchi, Alur Dum and Veg chop. But I was unable to get them done. So if I ever try making this thali again I shall try to include these also.

Recipe Source various youtube videos
Ingredients - 

Paneer cubed 1 cup
Peas 1/4 cup
Capsicum/Green Bell Peppers sliced 1/4 cup
Tomatoes chopped 1/2 cup
Salt and Turmeric as needed
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Bay leaf 1, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Cinnamon 1/2 inch piece, Cloves 2, Cardamom 2 pods)

Method Of Preparation -

Soak the cubed paneer in hot water until needed. Or fry the cubed paneer in oil and set aside. [My family prefers the paneer soaked in hot water so I never fry paneer].

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. Saute for a few seconds and add in the tomatoes. Add in coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, salt, turmeric and sugar. Cook until oil oozes out.

Add the peas and bell peppers and mix well. Allow them to cook through.

Add about 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer. Adjust the flavors and add the soaked paneer. Cook for a few more minutes and remove from heat.

Serve with rice/roti or as part of a meal.

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Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 4-5

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BM #116 Day 17 - 

Today we start a new week with a new theme. This week I shall showcase some traditional Regional Thalis. I shall try to go East, West, North and South to pick some elaborate thalis.

The Thali which is featured today is the naivedyam which I had offered to Goddess Varalakshmi couple of months back. 

For so many years, I struggled to make an elaborate meal for Varalakshmi Puja, cleanup and then finish the pooja. It used to get really tiring as I had to get ready for the evening Perantam (Haldi Kumkum) at our place and also visit a dozen or more houses.

Last year, our dear friend who is also our priest's wife gave me an idea. She suggested that I could make Panchaannamulu (Pancha - meaning 5; annamulu-varieties of rice) and then depending on the time left I could plan simple dishes or just leave it at that.

So this year I changed the format of the menu for this particular pooja and I felt it was very easy to handle the hectic day.

For the 5 varieties of rice I had a few more traditional options like Lemon Rice, Raw Mango Rice or Coconut Rice.

My mom says that in our family making Poornam (Poornam means complete) on a festival day is auspicious. So she simplified the process by preparing Sweet Pongal with Rice, Chana Dal and Jaggery and tweaked the clause, so to say.

My intention was to make Bobbattu but I ran out of time and so settled for the poornam laddu. I made bobbattu the next day with the leftover poornam laddus :).

I had soaked Kala Chana and Rajma in hot water early in the morning. I cooked about 4 cups of Sona Masoori rice in a rice cooker and used the same cooked rice to make the first 5 rice varieties. 

Finally these were the dishes I cooked. The numbers below correspond to the numbers in the first picture.
2.Ven Pongal
6.Bendakaya Gojju
7.Plain Dal
10.Poornam Laddu
11.Rajma Vada
12.Rava Laddu 

In addition to the above, ghee is poured onto the rice and a small piece of jaggery is also offered to Goddess Varalakshmi.

Ingredients - 

Cooked Rice 1 cup
Jaggery 3/4 cup (or more as per taste)
Coconut, fresh or frozen 1/4 cup (or more as preferred)
Ghee 1-2 Tbsp
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp
Cashews and Raisins 2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add the steaming hot rice, grated jaggery (I used powdered jaggery), coconut, cardamom powder and mix well.

Set aside for the jaggery to melt into the rice.

In a heated pan add ghee. Fry the cashews and raisins until they are golden brown.

Mix them into the jaggery rice and it is ready for offering to the Goddess.

 Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#116
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Preparation Time 10 minutes
Makes 1 cup

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BM #116 Day 16 -

Aloo Kulcha is a typical Punjabi leavened flatbread stuffed with a spicy potato filling and baked in a clay oven or Tandoor, as it is known as.

Also known as Amritsari Kulcha, it is the most popular breakfast in Amritsar.  The combination of Chole-Aloo kulcha is one of the most popular street food. We have enjoyed this combination at our friend's place so many times that we have fallen in love with this combination.

Making kulchas in the oven is slightly tricky as the broiler quickly burns the kulchas if we are not careful. So these must be broiled only when they can be prepared without any distractions. 

In the picture along with Aloo Kulchas are Chole(Chana Masala), Yogurt and Pickle. My family likes to have a side of Pickled Onions but they are not in the frame.

Before we check the recipe, here is a recap of the past three weeks..

Week 1 - Platters 

High Tea Platter - Eggless Whole Wheat Custard Powder Cookies - Day 1
Dips Platter - Spinach Artichoke Dip - Day 2

Week 2 - Everyday Simple Thalis 

Week 3 - Flatbread Thalis

We take a break on Saturday and will come back on Sunday with a new theme.

Recipe Source Pooja
Ingredients - 

Maida/All Purpose Flour 2 cups
Salt as needed
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Yogurt 1 cup
Oil 2 Tbsp
Butter to rub on kulchas

Topping - Crushed coriander seeds, Cumin seeds, Ajwain and Kasuri Methi (all in equal quantities) as needed
For the Filling -
Aloo/Potatoes peeled, boiled and mashed 1.5 cups
Finely chopped onions 1/4 cup
Salt, Red Chili powder, Amchur Powder, Garam Masala as needed
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin  powder 1/4 tsp
Ajwain/ Vaamu coarsely crushed 1/2 tsp
Green Chili finely chopped 1 tsp (or as needed)
Coriander leaves finely chopped 2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

Knead the dough and set aside in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. 

Mix all the ingredients listed under 'For the filling' and set aside. 

Mix the topping ingredients in another mixing bowl.

Knead again and divide into 10-12 equal portions of the dough. 

Make about 10-12 equal portions of the filling making sure they are almost the same size as each of the dough portions.

Flatten each portion of the dough, fill a portion of the potato mixture, close the edges and gently roll out the kulchas taking care so that the mixture doesn't fall out.

Roll into any shape (circular or oblong). 

With wet fingers, gently pat the rolled out kulcha and sprinkle the topping mixture and gently press so the topping doesn't fall out.

Preheat the oven to broiler high. 

Place the rolled out dough in a baking tray ( I used a pizza pan) 

Place the pan in the top most rack of the oven (
The closest it can be placed to the top of the oven).

Keep an eye on the kulcha as each oven is different. In about 2 minutes or so remove and flip each of the kulchas if they have brown spots by that time. 

Broil again for a minute or so. Remove if the second side is done as well, brush some butter on both sides and serve hot with Chole (Chana Masala).

Continue with the rest of the dough. I was able to make 2 kulchas in each batch.

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Preparation Time 30 minutes + Dough resting time 30 minutes
Makes 10-12

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BM #116 Day 15 - 

Here is a traditional Rajasthani ghee laden paratha known as Tawa Pudi. I am told that these Tawa Pudis are made for special occasions in many traditional families in Rajasthan.

The main difference between the regular parathas from Delhi/Uttar Pradesh/Punjab and these Tawa Pudis is the shape they are made in. The ghee used to make these Tawa Pudis can be adjusted as needed.

These Tawa Pudis are also used to make Churma Laddu in many families. 

In the picture featuring the Tawa Pudi are Sabz Jaipuri, Boondi-Kakdi Raita and Onion-Tomato salad.

Here are the Flatbreads in the series so far..

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour 1 cup + more for dusting
Salt and Water as needed
Ghee 2 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add wheat flour, salt and water and knead into a soft dough. Cover and set aside for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.

Knead each portion and roll into a 4 inch disc. Apply ghee generously and sprinkle dry wheat flour. Fold one end towards to the middle and then the other end towards the middle. Fold the resultant rectangle into a smaller square.

Dust some flour and roll it into a 4 inch square.

Heat a griddle and cook on both sides spreading ghee on both sides until they are golden brown on both sides.

Remove from the griddle and store in an insulated box.

Continue with the rest of the dough. 

Serve with any Sabji and Raitha.

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Preparation Time 25 minutes
Makes 6

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BM #116 Day 14 -

Today's flatbread comes from the state of Maharashtra. This rustic flatbread is nutritious and filling and easy to make as well.

In the thali featuring Dhapate are Garlic Chutney, Green Chili Thecha, Onion-Tomato Koshimbir and yogurt.

The Green Chili Thecha which I made for this thali has become a frequent addition on our dining table. The Garlic Chutney is a staple too. My husband and older one can live off those two accompaniments. 

Here are the previous flatbreads this week..
Flatbread Thali 3 - Garlic Butter Roti With Pizza Dough - Day 13

Recipe Source here through Shalaka
Ingredients - 

Jowar Flour 2 cups
Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup + more for dusting
Besan 1/2 cup
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric, Salt and Red Chili Powder as needed
Garlic-Green chili paste 2 tsp (or as needed)
Cumin seeds, coarsely crushed 1 tsp 
Ajwain / Vaamu, coarsely crushed 1 tsp 
Coriander leaves, finely chopped 3 Tbsp
Water as needed to knead the dough
Oil to shallow fry
Sesame seeds 2-3 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, mix the flours and the rest of the ingredients listed above except water, oil and sesame seeds.

Gradually add water to knead the mixture to form a soft dough.

Pinch 8 equal portions of the dough each the size of a small orange. Knead each portion and roll into a smooth disc.

Dip one side of a disc in the sesame seeds and start flattening the disc on a floured surface. Typically it is patted with clean hands but I tried using the rolling pin and generously dusting with flour and it worked for me.

Heat a griddle and gently transfer the flattened disc onto the griddle, brush some oil on the it and allow both the sides to cook. Brush oil on the other side as well.

Remove onto an insulated container to keep them warm.

Continue with the rest of the dough portions.

Serve with Teekha Thecha, Lahsun ki chutney, Onion-Tomato Koshimbir and Yogurt.

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Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 8

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BM #116 Day 13 - 

Here is an assembled thali with a mix of rice and roti. The uniqueness of the roti is that it is made out of pizza dough.

My initial plan was to bake them as naan but I was swamped with other stuff and ended up making them on the stove top as regular rotis.

Taste wise, I didn't find much difference. I just felt they were very soft and if you keenly observe there might be an aftertaste of yeast similar to the Naan. 

Today's thali featuring the Garlic Butter Roti with Pizza Dough, Aloo Gobi, Tomato Peanut Dal, Rice, Yogurt, Semiya Kheer and a Clementine.

Ingredients - 

Pizza Dough 2 cups (approximately)
Garlic butter 2 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

Pinch equal portions of the dough (I made about 12).

Roll into thin discs.

Heat a griddle. Gently place the rolled disc on the hot griddle.

After bubbles appear, flip the disc, dribble some garlic butter and cook on both sides. 

Remove onto an insulated box. Repeat for the remaining dough.

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Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 12

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BM #116 Day 12 - 

Rumali Roti is supposed to be the thinnest unleavened bread in the world. It was traditionally made in Awadhi, Mughlai and Hyderabadi Cuisines.

These are soft rotis which can be folded like handkerchief and hence the name Rumali Roti. Rumal in Hindi/Urdu means Handkerchief.

The commercially made rotis are huge in size as they have access to bigger and wider cooking utensils. For home cooks like me, a decent sized roti is good enough. The key to making these rotis is to roll the dough very thin and toss in the air to get thinner ones as it stretches the dough.

I was very happy with the rotis I made. But I felt they need to be consumed while still hot.

Today's thali showcases Rumali Roti, Matar Paneer, Pickle and Yogurt.

Recipe Source Vahchef
Ingredients -

Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup
Maida / All Purpose Flour 1/4 cup + more for dusting
Salt as needed
Oil 1 Tbsp
Salt Water as needed

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add both the flours and salt. Knead the dough by adding sufficient water to make a suitably soft dough, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Make 10-12 equal portions of the dough. Keep the dough covered at all times.

Roll each of the portions into a thin roti using maida to dust and thus enabling the dough to stretch. 

Keep the edges thin and roll until it becomes transparent.

Heat a thick kadai/wok (preferably made of iron) and place it upside down on the flame.

Make sure it is hot. Sprinkle salt water all over the inverted kadai so the roti doesn't stick to it.

Gently place the rolled roti onto the hot inverted kadai. Within a few seconds there will be bubbles on the roti which is when we need to gently flip the roti. Use a kitchen towel to gently press on the roti to enable faster cooking.

Don't cook the rotis for more than 40 seconds on each side as they will become hard like papad. Fold the roti like a handkerchief and store in an insulated container. 

Continue for the rest of the rotis. Serve them warm with a spicy gravy as part of a meal.

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Preparation Time 25 minutes + 30 minutes resting time
Makes 10-12

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BM #116 Day 11 - 

I start this week and shall post mini thalis featuring a new flatbread each day.

Today's flatbread is a Vegan Kheema Paratha. The filling is made out of soy granules. With spices and onions, the filling is delicious by itself. Filling it in a paratha is definitely a step up in flavor.

Featured in this Flatbread Thali are - Rice, Veg Pulao, Chikkudukaya koora, Methi Dal, Mamidikaya Menthibaddalu, Yogurt, Vegan Kheema Paratha, Shakkarpare and Brownies.

Here is a recap for the past 2 weeks..

Week 1 - Platters
Week 2 - Simple Everyday Mini Thalis

Everyday Mini Thali 5 - Radish Peas Rice - Day 9

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Water to knead the dough
For the Filling - 
Oil 1 tsp
Soy Granules (TVP) 3/4 cup
Onions, finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Ginger-Garlic paste 1 tsp
Salt, Turmeric, Red Chili Powder, Garam Masala as needed
Coriander Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Ajwain coarsely crushed

Method Of Preparation -

Prepare the filling - 
Boil about 2 cups of water and add the soy granules. Remove from heat and allow the granules to soften. After about 10 minutes, drain all the water by squeezing the granules and set aside.

In a heated pan, add oil and ginger-garlic paste. Add onions and saute until golden brown. Add the soy granules and stir well for about 2-3 minutes and allow the granules to cook well.

Sprinkle salt, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and coarsely crushed ajwain. Mix well and allow the flavors to blend in.

Cover and remove from heat. Allow it to cool.

To make the Parathas - 
Knead the chapati dough with the whole wheat flour and salt with as much water as needed. Keep it covered for about 10-15 min.

Make 6 equal portions of the dough. 

Roll out each of the portion into small chapatis, fill in a tablespoon of the soy granule mixture, close the edges and roll out the parathas taking care that the mixture doesn't fall out. 

Shallow fry on a griddle/tawa until both the sides are done spraying as much oil as needed. Repeat the procedure for all the parathas.

Enjoy with Yogurt and/or any pickle.

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Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 6

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, September 13, 2020
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