Methi Chakri (Baked version) Fenugreek leaves rolls

 

Ingredients

 

The ingredients are :-

 

 

  • 1) 1 ½ plain flour (maida), (you can even use whole meal flour.)
  • 2) 1 cup chopped methi (fenugreek) leaves and / or other green leaves of your choice,
  • 3) 3 tablespoon vegetable oil,
  • 4) ½ teaspoon baking powder,
  • 5) ½ teaspoon turmeric powder,
  • 6) 1 teaspoon red chili powder,
  • 7) 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder,
  • 8) ½ teaspoon asafoetida,
  • 9) ½ teaspoon black pepper powder,
  • 10) ½ teaspoon sugar,
  • 11) salt to taste,
  • 12) Chat masala to sprinkle on top. (optional)

 

Directions

Instructions

 

  • 1) Take flour in a bowl, add 2 tablespoon oil, salt and baking powder to it. Mix well.
  • 2) Adding little water, make a semi soft dough, cover and keep aside.
  • 3) Chop the leaves and add remaining oil, salt and all other ingredients, except chat masala. Mix well and keep aside.
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  • 4) Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  • 5) Knead the dough till smooth and make two portions. Roll out each portion to oblong shape. Thickness should be around 2 mm.
  • 6) By this time the methi leaves would have started releasing some juices. Divide the mixture into two parts. Spread one part over the rolled out dough. While spreading rub it with your fingers, so that the juices get absorbed in the dough.
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  • 7) Start rolling the dough from one end. Keep on pressing while rolling so that the roll is very tight. Press the roll again and give it a round shape.
  • 8) Using a sharp knife, cut slices of the roll and lay them in a tray, lined with baking paper.
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  • 9) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, till golden.
  • 10) Cool in the tray itself and then sprinkle with chat masala (optional) and store in airtight box.
  • 11) Will keep for 8 to 10 days.

 

 

These chakris taste of methi leaves. Do taste great with tea. The same recipe can be used for other greens, of your choice.

I have added sesame seeds also, these are optional.

 

 

 

Kolhapuri Bakarwadi (Baked version)

 

Ingredients

 

The ingredients are :-

 

For the filling or bakar :-

  • 1) 2 cloves,
  • 2) 8/10 black pepper corns,
  • 3) 2 teaspoon cumin seeds.
  • 4) 2 table spoons coriander seeds.
  • 5) 2 inches cinnamon stick,
  • 6) 1 tablespoon aniseeds,
  • 7) 1 tablespoon poppy seeds,
  • 8) 2 tablespoon sesame seeds,
  • 9) 1 ½ cup desiccated coconut,
  • 10) 1 tablespoon red chili powder,
  • 11) 1 teaspoon asafoetida,
  • 12) 8/10 garlic pods,
  • 13) salt to taste,
  • 14) fresh coriander leaves, chopped and slightly dried,
  • 15) 1 teaspoon turmeric powder,

For the cover

  • 1) 1 ½ cup gram flour (besan),
  • 2) ½ cup plain flour (maida),
  • 3) ¼ cup rice flour (optional, but recommended for crispy bakarwadis)
  • 4) ½ teaspoon baking powder,
  • 5) ½ teaspoon turmeric powder,
  • 6) 1 teaspoon red chili powder,
  • 7) 2 to 3 tablespoon oil.

 

Directions

Instructions

 

  • 1) In a hot pan, roast the sesame seeds till they pop. Remove.
  • 2) In the same pan, heat a little oil and fry the dry spices from 1 to 7, in that order.
  • 3) Remove and cool in a dish. ( Do not mix with sesame seeds )
  • 4) In the same pan, roast the desiccated coconut till pink and crisp. (Take care not to burn it.) Turn off the heat. Add red chili powder, asafoetida and turmeric powder, while still in pan. Cool slightly.
  • 5) Grind the roasted spices to fine powder. Add the roasted coconut mixed with other dry spices, the garlic pods (chopped, if too big) and grind together with spice powder again.
  • 6) Remove in a plate, add sesame seeds and coriander leaves. Add salt and check the taste. The filling should be little hot and spicy. You may add more chili powder, if needed. This filling can be made, one or two days in advance. Actually it is advisable to make in advance, so that the coconut, is infused with spices. Store in air tight container.
  • 7) When you want to make the Bakarwadi, prepare dough for the cover. Mix all the ingredients, except oil. Then add oil and mix well. Knead a hard dough with little water and cover with damp cloth. Keep it aside for 15/20 minutes. Knead again. It should be smooth to roll, but still not very soft.
  • 8) Divide the dough in two parts. Roll it in oblong shape, as thin as possible. (Not too thin, otherwise it will break while rolling.)
  • 9) Preheat the oven for 200 degrees centigrade.
  • 10) Divide the filling in two parts, Apply little oil and spread the filling on rolled out dough, evenly. Leave the edges uncovered as seen in picture.
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  • 11) Press down the filling (with rolling pin), so that it sticks to the dough.
  • 12) Start rolling from one side, and keep on pressing, so that there no air pockets left inside.
  • 13) When the roll is done, flatten it firmly with your palms and cut into one inch wide pieces.
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  • 14) Repeat for remaining dough.
  • 15) On a baking tray, spread parchment paper and apply little oil. Arrange the Bakarwadis, keeping little space in between, and slightly brush with oil.
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  • 16) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or till done.
  • 17) Cool them and keep in air tight container.
  • 18) Enjoy with cup of tea.

 

 

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These Bakarwadis are spicy, but if you prefer you can add little citric acid to the filling or apply little tamarind paste on the rolled out dough. (Please do not add sugar. If you prefer less spicy filling, then reduce the quantity of chili powder.) These Bakarwadis can be shallow fried also. You may steam the roll for 15 minutes, before cutting. That way the dough will get cooked and will not require much oil for frying. In any case you need to press them firmly, before frying. Some filling may come out while frying, so need to be careful.

 

 

 

Moringa Leaves

 

Ingredients

 

The ingredients are :-

 

  • 1) Moringa leaves, about 4 to five cups. (Read on for the trick, how to remove the stems)
  • 2) half cup raw peanuts,
  • 3) half cup tuvar or moong dal,
  • 4) 2 tablespoon ghee,
  • 5) 1 teaspoon turmeric powder,
  • 6) ½ teaspoon asafotida,
  • 7) 2 green chilies, chopped.
  • 8) 1 red chili, broken into pieces,
  • 9) 4/5 garlic pods, beaten with skin on,
  • 10) salt to taste,
  • 11) 1 teaspoon sugar or gor,
  • 12) 2 tablespoon grated fresh coconut (optional)

 

Directions

Instructions

 

These leaves are very small and it is rather difficult to remove them from the stems. (You need to remove the stems as they do not cook very well). When you buy the bunch from the market, do not wash it. Tie it tightly in newspaper or a cloth. Leave it overnight, like this. Next day untie it and shake over a large plate or thali. Most of the leaves will fall from the stems. Pick up the small sticks from the fallen leaves. Then wash the leaves in plenty of water and drain them in a colander. There is no point in chopping them, as they are already too small. You need to pressure cook them, as they do not cook very well, otherwise.

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  • 1) In a pressure pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add the groundnuts and stir fry them.
  • 2) When they are done add the leaves and continue frying them. Add turmeric and asafotida.
  • 3) Fry till the leaves wilt and change colour,
  • 4) Add tuvar or moong dal and mix very well. Add two cups water and let the mixture come to boil,
  • 5) Close the lid of the pressure pan. Lower the heat and pressure cook it for 7 minutes.
  • 6) Let the pressure drop, then open the lid. Add salt and sugar or gor. Mix well.
  • 7) In another pan heat remaining ghee and add the beaten garlic pods, and red chili. When they are done, add to the cooked vegetable. Add grated coconut, if using.

 

 

 

Enjoy with any roti, or rice.

 

 

 

Sabudana Khichadi ( A savoury preparation of sago pearls)

 

Ingredients

 

The ingredients are :-

  • 1) 500 grams Sabudana, large size,
  • 2) 250 grams roasted and peeled peanuts,
  • 3) 4 to 5 green chilies,
  • 4) 1 tablespoon cumin seeds,
  • 5) 2 cups of diced tubers of choice (potato, sweet potato, purple yam etc.) (optional)
  • 6) 3 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 7) salt to taste,
  • 8) 1 teaspoon sugar,
  • 9) fresh grated coconut, about half cup (optional)
  • 10) fresh chopped coriander, about 2 tablespoon, (optional and if allowed),
  • 11) 1 lime.

Directions

Preparation :-

The two ingredients and their treatment is the key for getting the recipe right. First one is Sabudana. There are various sizes available in market. The smallest one is of the size of mustard seeds and the largest is about 2 mm in diameter. You need to select the 2 mm variety. Select a good brand, so that there are no impurities.

The next step is to soak them. This is rather tricky, because you should know the exact amount of water to be used. For the size, which I recommend, needs soaking in water, just up to the level, of sabudana itself. (Smaller size would require lesser water.) You need to soak the sabudana for two to three hours. After soaking, you should be easily able to separate the pearls, with your fingers. And at this time your fingers should not get wet at all.

If you could achieve this, then half the battle is won. But don’t worry. If you feel there is little water, spread over a plate, and leave for half an hour, in open air.

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The second ingredient, which is crucial, is roasted peanuts. If you find the process tricky, then you can use store brought roasted (most of the time, they are fried) peanuts. In case you decide to roast them at home, sprinkle some water on raw peanuts, and roast on medium flame, in a pan. You need to turn them, every now and then. They should be crunchy, but not burnt.

You can roast the peanuts, in microwave oven too. Sprinkle some water and put them in microwave safe bowl, and cook on high for 2 minutes initially. (Stir after 1 minute.) You need some more minutes, to complete the process. (For me, it takes two more minutes.) The exact time will depend on the power of oven, size of bowl and quantity of peanuts. For microwave cooking, remember that there is always some “standing time” required.  Whichever method you use, after roasting take them out on kitchen towel, and cover them with another towel. Leave them till they are completely cooled.

The next step is to peel them. For peeling, rub them with your hands and then blow off the separated skins.  Then grind them to a coarse powder, as seen in the photo.

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In case you don’t mind the skin on your peanuts, you can grind the unroasted peanuts, and then roast them in a pan, on slow fire, using very little oil. You need to be very patient till they become very crunchy. Take care not to burn them. This is of course a short cut, as the skins have little bitter taste.

After you have both these ingredients ready, the proceed as under :-

  • 1) Separate the sago pearls by hand, and add salt, sugar, and peanut powder . Mix thoroughly, and break all the lumps.
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  • 2) Finely chop or coarsely grind the chilies.
  • 3) Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan and add the chopped tubers, (if using). Add little salt and cook them on low heat. Remove and keep aside.
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  • 3) Add 1 tablespoon ghee to the same pan, and after it is heated add the cumin seeds. The ghee should be so hot, that the cumin seeds should crackle immediately.
  • 4) Then add the green chilies, and fry a little.
  • 5) Then add the sago mixture. And keep on turning the mixture, till all the pearls turn golden brown. No pearl should remain white.
  • 6) Then add the remaining ghee, fried tubers, grated coconut.
  • 7) Remove from heat and sprinkle chopped coriander and little lime juice. (Some people, do not eat coriander for “fasting”)

 

 

 

 

 

You can have curds or coffee with it.  If cooked this way, you will get the best tasting khichadi.

Do try it.

 

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Praslin Island – Seychelles (Part 2 of 2)

  • You get 360 degrees view from the top.PRASLIN (45)
  • I saw some fruits, similar to Indian Jamun ( Java Plums)
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  • This is one of the palm tree. Can you spot the green gecko ?
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  • The decent begins.  It takes around one hour to reach the top. It is not a continuous hike. The guide stops at many places, and gives detailed information. So you don’t get tired actually.
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  • Here you can replenish you water supply ! It is completely safe water to drink.
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  • A lovely orchid at the gate.
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  • The drive from Fond Ferdinand to our nest destination, Anse Georgette was alongside seashore. We stopped at some places, just for the clicks.
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  • This is a natural formation.
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  • In Seychelles, all the beaches are open to public by law. Hence the beach, Anse Georgette, even though is inside a star property, is accessible. You need to pass thru the property and along their golf course to get there. You need to inform the property in advance. (This was promptly done by Coconut services, for us.)
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  • It is a bit long walk, but well worth it !
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  • Finally we reach the beach. The waters are deep blue as always, but around this time of the year, the dead sea weeds, washes to the shore. Though not any dangerous, we avoided entering the sea. ( In Seychelles, beaches are not novelty, we visit a different beach every weekend.)
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  • There are no food stalls or even drinking water available on the beach. You need to carry it. There are a couple of fruit sellers though, and this is what (at the most) you get there.
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  • As most of the beaches in Seychelles, even this beach is clean and beautiful. The only problem is, around this part of the year, lots of dead sea weed is washed to the shore. This is not a big issue, as the weed is floating at certain spots and you will always find a clean spot, to swim, if you wish too.
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  • We had to catch return flight to Mahe, so we wound up early. We had a leisurely walk to the gate of the property, where our taxi had come to pick us up.
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  • This is how you see, Mahe from the flight !
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Concluded !

Praslin Island – Seychelles (Part 1 of 2)

Praslin Island – Seychelles (Part 1 of 2)

 

Seychelles has many islands, out of them Victoria is the main and Praslin (pronounced as Prale) and La Digue are the others. Most of the activity (whatever little it is) is on the main island, Victoria. The other two are necessarily tourist attractions. (There are many other islands of Seychelles, some of them are having star properties on them, but most of them are unoccupied.)

So when you are in Seychelles, visit to these islands, is necessary part of your itinerary. There are regular flights available from Mahe (Victoria) to Praslin. The flight duration is just 15 minutes. There is regular ferry service also available, the ferry from Mahe to Praslin, takes about an hour.

The island of Praslin has public transport service, but Taxies or car hire is more comfortable option.

Here is the photo gallery.

  • We caught an early morning Air Seychelles flight from Mahe. As soon as we took off, we see the beautiful tiny islands.
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  • Just before landing in Praslin, I saw a vast golf course, little did I know, that I would be crossing the entire length of this beautifully landscaped golf course.
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  • The airport of Praslin, is a beautiful and spacious. Here are some snaps of the place.
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  • We had booked Coconut Services Taxi. Mr Ryan was already waiting for us at the airport. He drove us towards the national park, called Fond Ferdinand. There are two national parks on this island. The other one is called Valle de mai. The later one is UNESCO world heritage site. The entry ticket for Valle de mai is Seychelles Rupees 350/- per person, whereas Fond Ferdinand charges only SCR 125/- per person. (Being residents, for us it is free of cost.) They do have guided tours of the park, and the fees are included in the entry ticket. These are some snaps at the entrance of the park.
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  • The guide Merina arrived on time (9.30 a.m.) The booking office had not opened, but she allowed us to carry on the tour, and we could settle the entry fee on return. This tour involves hike on a hill. So sports shoes are absolutely necessary. You need to carry water too. (There is a stream flowing at the entrance and half way thru the hike. The water is absolutely safe to drink. There are cold drinks available at the entrance, but not on the way. So it would be necessary to carry supplies.) The hike is well marked trail with steps till the peak. There are 21 stages. Up to stage 15, there is shade, after that you get exposed to the sun. So sun protection and suitable hat is recommended. )PRASLIN (27)
  • The guide is knowledgeable and introduces to various plants and birds.
  • And insects too. There are very few of them in this country though. This particular spider is harmless and enjoys being photographed !
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  • This is vanilla creeper. It is an orchid, but the pollinations needs to be done by human hands, as the insects doing this, are not living in Seychelles.
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  • On the way you do hear many bird calls, but due to thick canopy, it is very difficult to see them. This particular bird is called as Flag of Holland, as it has colours of that country. (This is the best view, I could capture.)
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  • The main attraction is the coco de mer (Fruit of the sea ). This is the largest nut in the world and may weigh up to 18 kilograms, when ripe. There are separate male and female trees. The male tree produces flowers, and the pollination is done, mainly by geckos. The nut is edible, so it is extracted and the empty shell is stuck together again. This tree is found naturally only on this island. ( It is grown in Victoria, too ). Here it is kept, for you to handle. In case you want to buy as souvenir, then you must officially purchase it from legal traders. Without the certificate, you are not allowed to carry it, outside the country.
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  • These are flowers of the male tree. The flowers are very aromatic and smell like, basmati rice.
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  • Almost at the top.
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  • This is the view from the top.
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  • This young boy made it, till the top !
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To be continued .

Hog Plums Curry

 

Ingredients

 

The ingredients are :-

  • 6 to 8 Hog Plums ( Ambada, as they are called in Marathi & Hindi)
  • 2 cups fresh scrapped coconut.
  • 4 to 5 green or red chilies ( The colour of the curry, will depend on choice of chilies.)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds,
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds or 5/6 curry leaves,
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder,
  • ½ teaspoon asafoetida,
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds,
  • ½ cup sugar (or as per taste),
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil,
  • 1 teaspoon raw rice, washed,
  • Salt to taste.

 

Directions

To make the curry :-

  • With potato peeler, peel the fruits, keep aside.
  • Grind together coconut, chilies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and rice to a very fine paste.
  • Heat the oil in a pan, add fenugreek sees or curry leaves, and fry a little.
  • Add mustard seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida and the plums, and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add enough water to cover the plums and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till the fruits are cooked. (2 to 3 minutes).
  • Add the coconut paste, salt & sugar to taste and warm the curry. Do not boil too much.

 

Hog plums