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Monday, March 26, 2018

Dhalpuri / Dhalpuri Roti ~ Caribbean Split Pea Stuffed Flatbread

Dhalpuri roti is a flatbread with a split yellow stuffing, popular in some of the Caribbean nations like Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica. Originally the concept of 'roti', the unleavened wheat flatbread was brought to these islands by the indentured laborers from the Indian subcontinent. These islanders came up with the twist of dhalpuris which also can be used as wraps for spicy curries. Indians are not new to the lentil stuffed savory and sweet flatbreads but these Caribbean counterparts differ in the preparation. They are basically made with all purpose flour and are leavened. I tried both leavened and unleavened versions and I liked the latter better though dhalpurie lovers may not be in agreement with me. Also these rotis are bigger in size and are made thinner than the regular parathas from India. These rotis are not very spicy and are served with meat or vegetable based curries. We enjoyed these rotis with ghugni.

Ingredients: (yield 4 rotis)
1 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oil
1/2 cup split yellow peas
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
Salt to taste
1 red pepper / Red chillie powder to taste *
Oil to make rotis
* Some versions use curry powder

* Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water in slow increments and prepare a soft, pliable dough. (I added a little over 1/4 cup water.) Add oil next and knead the dough for a minute, cover the bowl and leave it aside for at least 30 minutes.
* Cook split peas, turmeric and garlic adding water either in a sauce pan on stove-top or in a microwave. Cook until the split peas are cooked enough but still holds the shape. The split peas can be pressure cooked as well though care need to be taken to not cook the lentils mushy. Pass the mixture through a colander and drain. The drained water don't need to be thrown away and it can be used to cook soups, sambhar or other stuff.
* Add the lentil mixture, cumin powder, salt and chili powder to a food processor and pulse a few times just enough to grind the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and keep aside.

* Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll them into balls. Work with one ball at a time and keep the rest covered. Pat or roll a ball into a disc of about 2 inch diameter. Place 2 to 3 tbsp. ground lentil mixture at the center and bring the edges together and twist. Roll it into a ball again with fingers. (This is the easiest way to do it. Usually they pat the dough ball into roughly a cup shaped one, place it in the left hand, fill it with stuffing and seal it with right hand. There are plenty of videos online to show the process of stuffing if it is confusing.)
* Pat the stuffed ball into a disc and dust it with flour. Roll it into a thin circle (I rolled them into about 6-7 inch diameter circles but they are rolled bigger).
* Heat a griddle and toast the rotis, flipping in between and applying oil on both sides. Cook until brown spots appear on both sides.
* Repeat the stuffing, rolling and toasting the rotis with the remaining dough balls.


This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'Stuffed flatbreads'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Sunday, March 25, 2018


Qistibi is a traditional and popular stuffed flatbread in some of the regions in Russia. Mashed potatoes are the popular filling though a stew called ragout or millet porridge can also be used to fill qistibi. I had to go with potato filling though I was very much interested in the millet filled version. Neither I could find a single recipe for the latter online nor I could figure out which millet would be used in the recipe. The original recipe uses flour, egg, milk and baking powder for the dough.I skipped the egg and realized later that baking powder was not needed either for the small quantity qistibis I made. Qistibis are supposedly served with a sauce or tea but I served with some ketchup since qistibis are bland on their own.

Ingredients: (Yield 4)
1 cup all purpose flour
Milk as needed (or substitute water)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder (optional)
1/2 tsp. oil
3/4 cup cooked and finely mashed potatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter + extra for toasting

* Combine flour, salt, and baking powder if using in a bowl. Add room temperature milk in small increments to form a soft, pliable dough. Add 1/2 tsp. oil and knead the dough. Cover and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
* Add mashed potatoes, salt and butter to another bowl and mix well to combine.
* Heat a griddle or a flat non stick pan on medium flame.
* Divide the dough into 4 portions and shape them into balls. Roll out the balls into about 6 inch diameter circles.
* Toast one dough circle on the heated griddle without using oil / butter until brown spots start to appear on both sides. Keep it aside. 
* Now spread a thin layer of mashed potato mixture over the toasted qistibi, fold into half like a half moon. Place it again on the griddle and toast it with butter flipping in between until brown spots appear on both sides.
* Repeat toasting twice the remaining rolled out dough circles.
* Serve them warm.

This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'Stuffed flatbreads'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cabbage Parathas ~ Indian Flatbreads With Spicy Cabbage Stuffing

Parathas are one of the popular unleavened flatbreads from the Indian subcontinent. They can be prepared either plain or with a savory stuffing and today's recipe falls under the latter category. There are several versions of stuffed parathas that are traditional and popular. Aloo paratha - the spicy potato bread and gobi paratha - the spicy cauliflower bread for example are those kind of parathas. Over the years, many variety of vegetable preparations are being used as a filling for the stuffed flatbreads. These cabbage parathas though not traditional are delicious. 

Preparation of stuffed flatbreads may sound hard for a novice with limited culinary skills. However if one can manage to roll out circles from dough, stuffed parathas are manageable. The link I have provided at the end of the post to aloo parathas may prove helpful in that regard. And one more point to remember is that the filling / stuffing that is going to be used should be prepared always on a drier side. Also if the stuffing used is prepared on a spicier side, no additional side dishes are required for these kind of stuffed parathas. Only plain yogurt and some pickle would be enough.

Ingredients for parathas:
1.5 cups whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
2 tsp. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
Oil / ghee to toast parathas

Ingredients for the stuffing:
1 tbsp. oil 
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 cups finely chopped cabbage
2 finely minced green chillies or red chili powder to taste
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
1/4 tsp. coriander powder
3/4 tsp. amchur powder / dry mango powder

Preparation of dough:
* Combine wheat flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add water in small increments and prepare a soft, pliable dough. (I added about 3/4 cup minus 2 tbsp. water.)
* Next add oil and knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Cover and allow it to rest anywhere between 30 minutes to a couple of hours.  
(You can proceed with the below recipe to make parathas at this point or refrigerate it to use the dough within a day or two. If refrigerating, bring the dough to room temperature before rolling out the parathas. Or to quicken the process, cover the dough and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 20 - 30 seconds depending upon the quantity. The refrigerated dough would be ready to work with, in a jiffy this way.)

Preparing the stuffing:
* Heat oil in  a wok / pan and add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start to brown add green chillies if using and saute for 30 seconds. * Next add shredded cabbage, turmeric powder and salt to the pan. Stir with a spatula uniformly, cover and cook on low flame until cabbage is cooked. 
* Now add chili powder (only if green chillies were not used earlier), amchur powder, cumin and coriander powders to the pan and mix well. Cook for a minute or so and turn off the stove. 
* If by any chance the cabbage has released more water, then cook on medium flame stirring continuosly until all the water evaporates and the mixture appears dry. Otherwise when one tries to stuff the curry and roll the parathas, the water would ooze and it would be a mess.

Preparing the parathas:
* Divide the dough into about 8 portions and roll them smoothly between your palms to shape them into balls.
* Work with one dough ball at a time and keep the rest covered. 
* Roll a dough ball into 3 - 4 inch disc and place about 2 tbsp. of filling, depending upon how comfortable you are with the rolling part. Place the stuffing at the center of the disc, leaving the edges free. 
* Bring the edges together so that there are no gaps and the stuffing is inside intact.
* Press it into a disc taking care that there are no gaps anywhere so that the stuffing wouldn't spill out while rolling. 
* Roll the disc carefully into a 5 to 6 inch thin circle, dusting with flour if necessary. Take care not to break it or let the filling coming out. Repeat the steps of paratha making with the remaining dough.
* Heat iron griddle or a shallow, non stick pan and place the rolled out paratha.
 * Toast the parathas, brushing generously with oil / ghee, until both sides are cooked well and brown spots appear.
* Repeat the steps of rolling and toasting the parathas with the remaining dough balls and the stuffing. Serve them hot with yogurt and a spicy pickle. 

Check my aloo paratha post here for detailed instructions and another simple method for stuffing and rolling out the parathas.

This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'Stuffed flatbreads'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Chokladbollar - No Bake Swedish Chocolate Balls

These yummy coconut coated oat - chocolate balls are from Sweden and are quite kid friendly. They are very easy to prepare and can be made in no time. The liquid traditionally used to bind these balls is coffee though any other mentioned in the list below can be used if serving kids.

Ingredients: (Yield 6 balls)
2.5 to 3 tbsp. butter, softened but not melted
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1.5 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp. liquid (It can be coffee, water, cream, milk, chocolate, orange juice or any other liquid of your choice.)
Shredded coconut

* Add all ingredients except coconut to a bowl and mix until well combined.
* Divide the mixture into 6 or 7 portions and roll each into a ball and keep them aside.
* Now roll the balls in shredded coconut and refrigerate them until firm. Or freeze them if in a hurry.

This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'All that come round are laddus?'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Rice Pakora

These delicious pakoras are made with cooked rice and are easy to prepare. They make a quick evening snack with a crispy exterior and soft interior. This recipe is a great way to use any leftover rice though freshly cooked rice can be used in the recipe. Some chickpea flour is added to softly mashed rice for binding and mixed with spices and onions and small portions are deep fried.

2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup chickpea flour / besan
1 - 2 tbsp. semolina
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Red chili powder / Finely chopped green chilles to taste
2 tbsp finely minced cilantro
2 onions, finely chopped
1.5 to 2 cups oil to fry pakoras

* Mash well the cooked rice in a bowl. Add all the other remaining ingredients except oil to the mashed rice and mix well.
* Heat oil in a frying a pan until hot. 
* Pinch small portions out of the mixture and shape them into balls. Carefully slide the balls into the hot oil as many as they can fit the pan without overcrowding. Fry them on medium flame flipping them in between until they turn golden brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on absorbent towels.
* Repeat the frying process with the remaining rice balls.
* Serve them hot. They can be eaten as it is or serve them with a chutney / sauce of your choice.
This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'All that come round are laddus?'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Amaranth Flour - Pistachio Balls / Rajgira Ke Atta - Pista laddu

Here are some nutritious and healthy laddu for adults and kids alike. These are gluten free and are easy to make. I thought of using a millet flour for this week's theme and zeroed on amaranth flour. I added pistachios but any or a mixture of nuts can be substituted here. We felt that they tasted similar to the classic sunnundalu of Andhra which are made using husked black gram / sabut urad dal and jaggery and had a hint of milk powder texture.

Ingredients: (Yield 8 laddus)
3 tbsp. Ghee
1/2 cup Rajgira ke atta / Amaranth flour
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
6 to 8 tbsp. powdered jaggery
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
* Heat a pan and add ghee. When ghee melts, add amaranth flour and toast it on low flame until you start to smell the aroma, about five minutes.
* Lightly toast the pistachios and keep them aside to cool.
* Add the pistachios to a food processor or a blender and grind them coarsely. Next add the remaining ingredients and pulse a few times to combine.
* Transfer the ingredients onto a plate or bowl. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, shape them into balls. Shape the laddus when the mixture is still warm.
* Let them cool and store them in an airtight container.
This goes to Blogging marathon #86, under the theme 'All that come round are laddus?'. Check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.