Lately, I have been looking for dishes that are more like one pot meals. You prep, cook on the stove or oven, and end up with nutritious, no frill meals that actually taste super good as leftovers too. This particular dish is inspired by a snack from Gujarat, India, known as Handvo. It is like a giant frittata that can be made in the oven or in a pan on the stovetop. This nutritious version is actually like the eggy version in that it is quite low in carbs, yet the blend of creamy coconut milk, versatile cauliflower and nutty chickpea flour, take it to a whole new taste level. My recipe is a version inspired by the woman who inspired many young Indians to cook, Tarla Dalal. A wedge of this served with some zhoug, cilantro chutney, sriracha, or even ketchup is the perfect anytime snack or light meal.
One can coconut milk (I used the 403 ml can of Thai kitchen organic coconut milk)
6 tbsps chickpea flour.
1/2 small cauliflower cut into tiny florets
4 green chilies, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 small bunch cilantro (coriander leaves) finely chopped
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix all the ingredients except for the mustard seeds and oil in a bowl, ensuring there are no clumps of chickpea flour.
3. Transfer the mixture to a greased 8 or 9 inch cake pan
4. Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle, scatter on top of the mixture in the cake pan.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes till the top is nice and golden brown and the centre appears set.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes and then cut into 12 wedges. Serve hot or cold, as suggested with one of your favorite condiments.
7. This will stay fresh for several days in the fridge, if kept wrapped in foil. When serving, simply toast in a toaster for a few minutes before serving.
I’ll blame it on the present times. I was done with work and eyeing the ingredients in my pantry when my husband said, “Why don’t you try making Puran Polis?” It is a favorite dish of my mother in law and of course, my parents love it too. These dessert flatbreads when done right melt in your mouth, the jaggery and sugar sweetened, cardamom and saffron flavored, flattened chickpea stuffing forming a flavor medley with the covering doused with ghee. I had always thought of this as a difficult preparation, but after reading a few different recipes, created this version that was a bit time consuming, but not difficult.
1/2 cup atta (whole wheat flour used to make chapatis)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
A pinch of salt
A tbsp of cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 cup chana dal (baby chickpeas that have been split and polished)
1/2 cup jaggery or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder
A couple of strands of saffron crushed
1 tbsp ghee
Ghee for smearing on the completed puran polis
1. In a bowl, or in a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flours, salt, and cooking oil along with enough water to form a smooth pliable dough (should feel like soft play dough). Cover the dough and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Cook the chana dal with two cups of water on the stove, or in the Instant Pot on high pressure mode for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release on its own.
2. Drain the cooked dal and transfer to a pan.
3. Over medium heat, add the jaggery and sugar to the cooked chana dal and keep stirring for about 10-15 minutes so the mixture is thickened. It will look like play dough, but rough due to the the dal. Turn off the stove, add the cardamom, saffron, and the tbsp of ghee and mix well. With a hand blender, blend this mixture so it really does become smooth like play dough. Set the mixture aside to cool down. When it is cool, proceed to make the polis.
4. Divide the dough into eight balls. Divide the cooled sweet mixture into eight balls.
3. On a well floured board, roll a dough ball into a circle about 4 inches in diameter.
4. Put a ball of the stuffing at the center of the circle of dough, bring the dough from all sides to the centre and pinch at the top.
3. Pat the dough ball with the stuffing on the floured board and roll out gently to a circle about 6 inches in diameter. Set the poli aside on parchment paper and continue with each of the other balls of dough and stuffing in a similar way.
4. Warm a griddle or pan, and cook the polis one at a time, gently flipping the poli after a minute to the other side. When light brown spots appear, the poli is done. Transfer to a plate and smear with some ghee.
Chaat is an Indian street food. It literally means to lick – meaning the dish is so good that you will be left licking your fingers. There are umpteen varieties of chaat, and an upcoming cookbook by the Food Network judge Maneet Chauhan is dedicated to this genre. In my case, it was the solitary sweet potato staring at me that led me to create this easy chaat that was gobsmacking, lip smacking good. Here’s how I made it.
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into small cubes and washed
2 tsp cooking oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 tsp chaat masala (available at Indian stores, but you can use curry powder in a pinch)
1/2 tsp salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
1/4 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp tamarind chutney (available at Indian stores, but you can add pomegranate or date molasses)
1 tbsps sev (chick pea sticks – available at Indian stores, but you can use a few potato chips crushed for crunch)
Slice of lemon (adds visual interest/additional tartness if needed)
1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and fry till the sweet potatoes are fried nicely and turn dark. Keep tossing frequently to prevent it from burning. This took about ten minutes on a medium flame for me. Turn off the stove.
2. Sprinkle the salt and chaat masala on the cooked sweet potatoes and toss.
3. Take a platter and scatter the sweet potatoes on it. Now drizzle the tamarind chutney on top. Layer the rest of the vegetables on top of the sweet potatoes. Finish with a flourish of sev on top and a lemon slice on the side.
4. Finish eating and of course do tell me if it was lip smacking good:)