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.
If you are under the impression that making pickle is a time consuming laborious process, then this recipe will prove it otherwise. The spicy pungent powder of mustard and chilli powder is mixed along with the vegetable and oil and left to marinate overnight and that is about it. The next day you have a finger licking, appetizing pickle ready to be consumed.
The vegetable that is used is called Dosakaya in Telegu/ Magge in Konkani (yellow cucumber). It is a small yellow colored squash like vegetable with a crisp crunchy skin and a mild sweet tart taste. This blends very well with the masala and there is hardly any flavor the vegetable left.
My colleague, who is an expert in making Andhra style pickles, makes this often and brings some for me as well. This pickle with mustard seeds powder is an acquired taste. Mustard powder has a unique tart and pungent flavor that is difficult to fathom the first time it is consumed. But once you develop the taste there is no looking back and you begin to crave for that taste of pickle.
This goes very well with daal rice or yogurt rice.
Recipe Source: My colleague and Sailus Food
- 1 small yellow cucumber (magge in Konkani) [Dosa Avakai (Dosavakaya)][ medium size]
- 3 Tbsp mustard powder
- 4 Tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used vegetable oil)
Before you proceed:
Wash the yellow cucumber and dry it out completely. Make sure that the surrounding is dry and clean and there is no moisture around. Cut the cucumber into two halves. Do not remove the skin as it gives it the crunchy texture. Remove the seeds completely and discard it. Cut the cucumber into small pieces and keep aside.
Making the spice powder
First grind 3-4 Tbsp of small mustard seeds in a grinder. Mix 4 Tbsp red chilli powder, 3 Tbsp mustard powder, salt and mix thoroughly.
Preparing the pickle
- Take a clean vessel/box and add the chopped dosakaya pieces. Add the spice powder and mix the cucumber pieces until the spice-mixture coats the vegetable.
- Add the oil slowly in spoonful and combine with the spices until well coated. (If you think it is a bit dry, do not worry as the cucumber oozes out its own liquid after marinating with this spice and salt mixture).
- Check for taste and add more salt if needed. The pickle has a little salty taste.
- Now cover this with a tight lid and keep it aside overnight.
- Next day when you open it you will see that it has the liquid of the vegetable that has blended very well with the oil and spice mixture. Mix well.
This stays for about a week or so. Goes well with daal rice or yogurt rice.
In an earlier post, I had briefly mentioned about our picnic at the park which we did couple of months ago. Few of our family friends got together and we had a potluck in a small water park. We decided to go with Mexican cuisine and we cooked dishes to go with the theme. I had prepared corn salsa along with Mexican Rice and Guacamole. The other friends had brought nachos, salads, Tostadas, chips etc.
The kiddo is not too fond of Mexican food and is usually reluctant to try out new dishes. After much cajoling he might take a bite but 99% of the time he has already made up his mind that he will not like it. But luckily this time, call it peer pressure he took a liking to this, and that left with one happy mom.
Tostadas remind me of our very own pani puri/ chaat related items. The crunchy tostada represents the poori and the toppings with the spicy, tangy, sweet taste equals the spicy, tangy chutnies. This overall had the chatpata taste representative of chaat dishes. I now make it over the weekend as an evening snack and while watching games tec.
This is easy to put together and when we use store bought ingredients, it is a breeze. You can use the ingredients mentioned as guidelines and can customize the toppings per your taste. You can add more veggies and skip the cheese, cream part and make it nutritious.
- Charras Tostadas (see an example here)
- Refried beans (as needed) [I used store bought]
- 1 cup shredded Lettuce
- 1 Tomato (chopped finely)
- ½ cup shredded cheese for sprinkling
- 1 small red onion( chopped )
- 1 small cup Salsa (medium/hot)
- Fresh cilantro/coriander ( chopped )
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Take a charra and spread refried beans over the top evenly.
- Top it with shredded lettuce and then salsa evenly.
- Add tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream and onion as needed.
- Finally add shredded cheese. Serve immediately.