Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kitchen adventure

First of all I want to thank Swati, PG and The Knife, for visiting and leaving comments !! I hope this blog-hopping continues and we get to read all your great blogs !!
And Smita & Manali, how can I not thank you for all your support and great ideas!! Thanks a lot !!

OK so now back to the kitchen.

Swati asked for the recipe of 'Puran-poli' so here it is:
Mind most Indians my measuring quantities are by 'andaaz' (guess).
I used 1 cup of chana daal. This i washed, and cooked in a pressure cooker till 2 whistles. Traditionally we cook it in an open pot. Only 2 whistles of the pressure cooker ensures that the daal does not over-cook. If you feel it needs more softening time, then cook it without the lid for 5-7 minutes more.
One the daal is soft, remove all the water (don't throw this water, it is used to make an amazing 'katachi-amti'; kat = the water of the boiled chana daal, amti = spicey curry.) Let the chana daal drain for 1-2 hours, we want it absolutely dry.
Then take the daal in a pan, and add 1 cup of the sweet agents ie.e equal parts of jaggery and sugar. I chose to use more of jaggery as I have some great organic one from India, and I used only 3 table spoons of brown sugar.
Heat this mixture on medium heat and mix well, it should form a solid mass or it should stick together in a ball. I added a bit of ghee at this stage just for the aroma. I also added some fresh pounded cardamom (elaichi).
Now let this mixture cool. This is your "Puran".

Now for the "Poli" part:
Use wheat flour to knead dough as you normally do; except that you have to add a good quantity of oil to this dough and one has to knead it very well so that it is absolutely soft. Some people add 'maida' (refined flour) in equal parts or the dough is entierly made of 'maida'.
I chose to use wheat flour and a tiny bit of maida.
Leave this dough to rest for a while before you start making the 'poli'.

Putting it together:
Take a small ball of the dough, and make a 'katori' like shape using your palm and fingers. Fill in one tablespoon or more of the 'puran', close the ends like a 'modak' and make a ball. Roll this like a normal Chapati. Roast it using oil or Ghee.

Your Puran Poli is ready.
Serve it with milk, or just with Ghee.


Today morning I was posessed by Nigela Lawson !! Ha ha ha....I was actually feeling very creative in the kitchen today !!!
I made some strawberry ice-cream, more like a Gelato (I Think). I churned around some cream, fresh strawberries and a bit of sugar in the mixer, and then set it in the freezer. Idea is to churn it around once more before eating.
I also made some Spinach-dough. This was simply done by pureeing some blanched Spinach that was sitting in the fridge. I added some Jeera and a bit of salt to this and then threw in wheat flour into the dough-maker of my trusted food-processor. I did not add green chillies as I this was being tailor made for Aadi. I made some paratha's using this dough and served it with Yogurt.
One more thing I made was Ghee. I had two containers full of 'Malai' (cream) from all the milk that we have been consuming. Usually what I do is put in some curd into this malai, and let it ferment lightly for 8-10 hours (read overnight). Then I take plenty of cold water, and put in some amount of this fermented-malai into the blender along with some cold water. The result is some yummy white butter, that we Marathi people call 'Loni'. Once all the Loni is made, then it is heated in an open pot, until the Ghee floats on top and there is some residue at the bottom of the pan.
Now this is a long-ish method of making Ghee, and my neighbour told me another quick one...she simply heats the Malai in a pot and the result is same, ghee on top and residue at bottom.
I tried this method today, and to my dis-pleasure, the time that it took to finally get the Ghee was so huge, that I was constantly worried about my gas-bill !!
Another thing is that the amount of ghee that came out was far too less as compared to that what I get when I follow my method.
So all in all, I was not at all happy with the new method, and am still sulking over the loss of all that 'would-have-been' ghee :(


Smita said...

Neelum while making dough for Palak Paratha's I add abt 2 tsp of besan and a abt 1 tbsp dahi to the dough just makes the Paratha's soft.Also a bit of ginger garlic paste since I have this always made.

Swati said...

Thanks for the recipe !

I will tell you another method of making ghee if that works for you ..its middle path of the 2..and i find it best.

just skip the curd making andfermenting part..just put malai directly from fridge in mixer and make butter ..ass ice cubes or cold water if needed workd perfectly fine.Just that you wont be able to use the left over curd after butter