My Rajasthani Thali with some awards!

Yesterday we went on a trip to Rajasthan and came back happily! Yes I am talking about culinary travel that we took last night and returned home so content and happy. Everybody liked it and I was trilled trying out a new cuisine! Since dear Padmaja announced RCI this month, I was wondering when I will get my hands on this and finally last evening, I marched home all armed with the recipes in mind. Infact our neighbors are marwaris and I was asking them about authentic Rajasthan khana. The things my neighbour was reeling out, sounded all too hard on poor me! So I had the net as nirvana. Well since its from cooking sites, I wasn't really sure about the authencity, yet I was all for a chance to cook something different. I squared down to about 8 recipes, and then selected most apt to be combined into one thali, my, the planning this requires is more than my project needs!

Alerted everybody on board about the dinner plans and hubby dear came asking me what's special. Now they are almost aware of the blog world happenings. So he asked some very apt questions. He asked 'ok, for which regional part are you going to send this', I said, 'you remember Padmaja right, she is hosting the RCI this time'. So he said 'well you got to send her something, okay, while you are preparing to take us for a trip, I will take all of them out of your hair'. So they went out and came back, by which time I had most of it done. He had promised Konda for a swimming and off they went. So when they returned, I had everything in place. And we had a candlelight Rajasthani Khana. Yeah, for some reason hubby dear had promised a candlelight dinner to Konda and she insisted we have it. Well imagine the mood, best of the times, I don't like shady lit dinners, but this time it was different. In the early years of our marriage, I remember asking him for a romantic candle light dinner, though I never like it. And he refused saying what's so big deal about it, yeah and now he does the same for his princess. I guess fathers are so sweet.

The dim lights transported us to that star lit dry desert of Rajasthan and I had a feeling that we were sitting in the open air, eating Missi roti dipping on the Shahi Gatte and munching on those yummy Moong dal ki pakode, finishing it off with a sweet kesari bath! The visual effect was too good. Imagine those Camels wading past you, while you slumber peacefully besides a lantern, dimly illuming the moonlight night. And all I had were the autos honking away fast. Well I can dream right.

On the Menu:

Moong Dal Bhajias
Rajasthani Gatta Curry (Shahi Gatte)
Rajasthani Missi Roti
Kesari Bhaat

Since I had the items clear, I made everything together on first to be done basis. It took about an hour, so I guess its very simple to get going. When I put the plate in front of hubby dear, with a shocked voice, asked where are the vegetables? I said ' Arre this is desert ki khana and how can you expect fresh vegetables, they are do best with what's accessible! Ok with that cleared, we proceeded. The first bite in and we knew it was worth no vegetables and was tasty! I think I made a good choice in the recipe selection.

Moog Dal Bhajias:

These were very much like what my Athamma once made for us when we had visited them. But now its long forgotten. So it was nice revisiting these.

Ingredients Needed
Makes about 8, flat ones of about 4 inches.

Ingredients:
Yellow or green moong dal (washed and soaked for 4 hours) - 1 cup (I used only 1/2 cup of green moong dal)
Green or red chillies - 4-5 nos (I used green chillies about 3)
Coriander finely chopped - 1 tbsp
Aniseed coarsely crushed - 1/2 tsp (actually fennel seeds)
Coriander seeds crushed coarsely - 1/2 tsp (as I didn't have whole dhaniya on hand, used freshly roasted and ground coarse powder)
Cumin seeds crushed coarsely -1/2 tsp (I used whole)
Salt to taste
Hot oil - 3 tbsp (didn't use this)
Oil to deep fry

Method to prepare:

Drain soaked dal and wet grind not too fine, along with chillies.. Mix in all other ingredients, except oil to deep fry. You will get a thick paste.

Heat oil, drop rounded bhajias, with wet hand or spoon. Fry on medium till golden colour. Since the first batch were not cooked well, I flatten them and made as vadas. They tasted great!

Rajasthani Gatta Curry (Shahi Gatte)

Ingredients needed

For Gatte:
Besan / Gram flour - 1 cup or 200 gms
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For the curry:
Curds / Yogurt - 250 gms or 1 & 1/2 cup ( I used 1 cup so straining, it was not enough)
Chlli powder - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp


Method to prepare:

The Gatte

Mix besan with chilli powder, coriander powder, ghee and salt. Then add very little water to get a stiff dough. Divide to equal balls, and using both your palms, roll them between to make 5-6 thin and long strips of the dough. Meanwhile, get a pan boiling with water. Once its hot, put these besan strips in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Cut these gattas into small pieces.

The curry
Strain the curd through a strainer, rather I hung it for about 10 mins. Then add salt, chili powder, coriander powder and haldi to the curd. Stir it well. To this add the gatta pieces. Heat oil in a kadai. Put the tadka of jeera and add the curd mixture.

Cook it for 5-7 minutes while stirring continuously till it comes to a boil. Simmer the flame and cook for another 5-7 minutes.Turn off the gas. Finally put the tadka of red chilly powder. I made the mistake of adding little water. But if the quantity is more, then you need not add water and cook on sim so that curds doesn't get curdled.

Rajasthani Missi Roti

Ingredients:

Besan / Gram flour - 1 & 1/2 cups (250 gms app)
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup (150 gms)
Ghee - 3 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kaala Jeera or Kalonji - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain -1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to roast
Butter to dab

Mix the wheat flour and besan together. Add oil, salt, red chilly powder, dhaniya, jeera, kala jeera and ajwain. Mix well. Make a stiff dough. let it rest till you are ready to roll out.

Roll into small and thick rotis and roast. Brush missi roti slightly with melted ghee. Since these are sticky to roll out, you can make small rotis. Once cooked on both sides, after placing on the serving plate, dab little butter. This gives great taste!

Kesari Bhaat

This is very simpler to the Sakkar Pongal or Bella annam. But with sugar instead of jaggary.

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Sugar crystals - 25 gms (opt)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp

Saffron few strands (soaked in 1/2 cup milk)

Garnishing
Cashew nuts, Raisins and Almonds as per requirement

Method to prepare:

Soak rice for half an hour. Dissolve saffron in warm milk and keep aside

Heat up ghee in a pan, fry the nut, remove and keep aside. In the same ghee mix in rice and stir fry till rice starts separating. Mix in 11/2 cup of boiling water to the rice and mix in saffron milk and let it cook in sim.

When half done mix in sugar and continue to stir fry till all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Finally mix in the cardamom powder and decorate it with fried dry fruits and sugar crystals.

Put everything in a plate for a photo session and you are done. Your Rajasthani Thali is ready to serve!

Since this requires little planning to get going on the time saving factor, this is how I managed.

1. Wash the rice for kerasi and let it soak. If you have hot milk, its nice, else put it in the mw and soak the saffron in it. Hung the curds in a sieve.

2. Get the water boiling for the gatte as you are kneading the dough. Once you roll them to long strips, drop them in the boiling water and simmer till its cooked.

3. Get the dough ready for the Missi rotti and once done it can rest, till you get other things ready.

4. Mix the masalas in the curds and cook the Curry as things are ready. Simmer.

5. Now fry the nuts and rice. Once done, add the water to the rice and simmer till its cooked.

6. While the curry and kesari is simmering, grind the moong dal and keep it ready.

7. Once you are ready to eat, transfer they curry and Kesari to the bowls. roll out rotis and fry them on medium flame. While this is going on, have the oil ready. I mostly use very little oil for bajjies as we never reuse oil. So use oil just enough to fry 3 bhajjies.

8. As the bajjies are getting cooked, roll out all the rotis. Now everything is done and we get this job done by 1 hour!

Forgive the shaky pictures, my camera is giving up on me. Hubby dear teases me that I am getting the death toil on the poor soul! But I can't miss out these pictures for anything!

My Rajasthani Thali is off to Padmaja all the way with love!

*************************
I have been so forgetful off late that it completely slipped my mind on the kind gesture by the fellow bloggers. They are so sweet and wonderful. They never fail to encourage and support me. My dear friends Kamala, Dhivya, Shriya and Swati have been so kind and passed me this Yummy Blog award! How wonderful of them. Thank you everybody.

I am not a sweets person though my daughter thinks I am sweet! I love chocolates though, but remember having them before my twins! My most fav one being Roasted Almond Cadbury's and I used to sneak on them with Konda!..ah..how sweet it used to...

This is to all your bloggers who are reading this. I think every blog is yummy! And to all my readers, I know every kitchen is yummy too!

Since I got to pass this, let me pass it Bhags, Bharathy, Kajal, Kalai, Musy, Sandeepa, Siri, Smita, Sunita, Uma.

I have lost count of the memes that I have been tagged, but hope to get around them sometime...

Thank you!

Labels: , , , , , ,