Even though I am not a Gujarati, I been exposed to some limited Gujrati dishes growing up and I have had a soft corner for it. But over the years that I have been here in the US, I have taken immense liking to the cuisine. Thanks to Gujarati friends here, who indulge us with their finger licking dishes when we meet for potlucks and picnics.
And also there is a huge selection readymade, top quality Gujju food in the Indian groceries. This makes it a breeze to try out and get familiar with new type of dishes. The khandvis, dhoklas, theplas, muthiyas, undhiyu, handvo are to die for.
Theplas are the traditional breads of Gujarat and can be served for breakfast, lunch/dinner or as a snack. I have read different versions of Mooli Thepla on the web. Some of them cook the grated radish/ mooli first and then add it to the wheat flour to make the dough while others do not cook the radish. I have followed the later version and adapted this from the recipe by Tarla Dalal.
Based on my experience Theplas tastes good when you use plenty of mooli and less of turmeric. Since this uses yogurt and water while making the dough, the theplas remain soft for a long time. So this is a very good item to pack for lunches for both kids and adults alike.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour ( atta)
- 1 cup grated white radish/mooli
- 1/2 cup yogurt/curds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp ajwain seeds
- ½ tsp cumin +coriander powder
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped (any other greens is fine too)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- salt to taste
- Making the dough: Take a big plate and first add the wheat flour. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, ajwain seeds, coriander powder, salt and the oil and mix well.
- Next add the grated radish, coriander leaves and mix well. Add yogurt in spoonful and knead to make thick dough.
- Keep aside covered in a damp muslin cloth for about 30 minutes.
- Heat a flat pan/tava on medium to high flame.
- Take golf sized balls out of the dough and shape them into balls.
- Roll them into thin rounds with a rolling pin dusting little flour in between, to prevent it from sticking.
- Place this on the heated pan and after about 30 secs, the circle/paratha begins to cook on the bottom and begins to puff at different places. Spread around little oil.
- Turn it over and let the other side cook. Spread around little oil and cook. Keep a close eye on the pan, else the thepla will brown and harden.
- Take out from the pan and place them in box and cover it with a lid.
- Follow the steps for the remaining dough and make the theplas.
- Serve with any subji, pickle of choice and or with some spiced yogurt/ Dahi.
Raw banana or plantain has always been a favorite in our family. It is predominantly used in the South Indian homes for many different recipes. I try different recipes using this at home mainly being the Raw Banana Dosa and green banana fry. This curry is simple yet delectable and goes well with rotis or rice.
- 1 raw banana/plantain (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
- 1 ripe tomato (medium size chopped)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 spring curry leaves
- Turmeric a pinch
- 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
- 1 tsp jeera + coriander powder
- Handful coriander leaves for garnishing
- asafetida a pinch
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Heat a small vessel, boil water and add the chopped plantain. Add salt and let it boil. Keep aside. Do not drain water. (Alternatively you can boil this in the microwave).
- In a medium pan, heat some oil add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad daal. When the daal turns light brown add curry leaves and asafetida
- Next add the chopped onion and cook until it turns light brown.
- Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin coriander powder and stir.
- Add the cooked plantain along with water, chopped tomatoes and mix thoroughly.
- The chopped tomatoes cook fast and add a tangy taste to this dish.
- Finally sprinkle in the cut coriander leaves and mix finely. Serve with Rotis, Rice.
Rajma is a popular North Indian vegetarian dish consisting of red kidney beans in thick gravy. They are cooked along with onions and tomatoes in array of aromatic spices. Served along with rice (Rajma Chawal) or roti it is touted as a favorite comfort food.
I have posted one version of Rajma before; now this one is rich as it has paneer/ cashew paste in it and is comparatively complicated. So this is something which I won’t make it on a weeknight. I taste is awesome though and I reserve it for special days or on days when we have guests at home.
This version is however a simple home style Rajma curry that can be put together quickly even on week nights. The recipe inspiration for this came from my colleague when she had brought Rajma Roti for lunch. What impressed me was the fact that there was no overwhelming usage of spices, but just tomato onion gravy, laden with lots of ginger garlic giving it a warm appealing taste. Let us just say to maintain some civility I had to use all my will power to stop myself from finishing off her lunch box.
Note: There are three different types of kidney beans; I use the dark red smaller variety. They are easy to handle and cook much faster.
- 1 cup Red Kidney beans/ Rajma [ I use the small variety]
- 1 onion (peeled and chopped)
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp ginger + garlic paste
- 2-3 green chillies slit
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp dhaniya powder/ coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 2 tsp butter (optional)
- Coriander leaves for garnish
- Wash and soak rajma for at least for 6-8 hours. (Kidney beans will get double in size after soaking).
- Pressure cook the soaked rajma in about 3 cups of water until rajma it is soft (but still retains its shape). Do not drain the stock as it can be used for the gravy.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. Add ginger garlic paste and fry till it is cooked.
- Then add the chopped onions, green chillies and sauté it till the onions turns to golden brown.
- Add chopped tomatoes for a minute then add the cumin powder, garam masala powder, chilli powder (optional) and coriander powder and sauté it till tomatoes become soft.
- Add the boiled water to this. Then add the boiled rajma to this along with salt. If needed add more water to this.
- Cover it with lid and let it simmer it for 20 minutes stirring in between.
- Garnish it with few chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or rotis/chapathis.