Chausela With Lauki Raita

Chausela – A rustic flatbread.It is quite similar to gujarati thepla. Not as thin as theplas though and what makes them special is these flatbreads are cooked in mustard oil. There is raw mustard oil in the dough giving them a smoky flavor. On hot summer days, these are amazing for lunch with a cold raita made with tender lauki or shredded cucumber, a garlicky chili chutney and achaar. These cannot be stored like theplas, make a fresh dough, cooked and serve right off the skillet.

My grandmother’s family had western ultra pradesh influence and this flatbread is a perfect example of regional recipe gems embedded in the heart of indian states. The dough is not gluten-free, a little atta (whole wheat flour) is added for binding. Chopped onions, ginger garlic along with spinach(or any greens can be added) and cilantro go in next along with few spices and yogurt.

These are utterly soft and delicious to eat and if you ask me quite wholesome too. You can change up the vegetables – add methi in place of spinach or add grated squash. Either way, these are a welcome switch from usual rotis.

Ingredients (Makes 6-7, 5 inch flatbreads)

  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1/3 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 2-3 green chilies (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ajwain seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp whole milk plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil + more for cooking
  • water as needed for kneading

Method

In a wide dish or in your food processor add all the ingredients except water and mix to combine. Add water slowly 1-2 tbsp at a time to make a stiff dough. Knead it a few times to bring it into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 mins. After resting, the dough will be soft, since the vegetables release water due to salt. That’s why its important to not make a soft dough to start with.

Pinch 6-8 equal portions. Preheat a griddle/tawa on the stove. Roll on a floured surface into thickish discs. Cook using mustard oil generously-about 1 tbsp oil each side. Flip and cook on other side.

Serve with lauki raita (recipe below)

Lauki Raita

Peel and grate one small lauki. Remove big seeds if any. Yield about 3/4 cup. Add 2-4 tbsp of water and ddd it to a pressure cooker or instant pot and cook for 1 whistle. Cool down completely. Squeeze the liquid out and reserve.

Whisk 1.5 cup thick plain yogurt with 1 tsp roasted cumin, cut up green chillies to taste, 1 tsp kala namak(black salt) and 1/4 tsp sugar. Add table salt to taste. Use the reserved water to thin out the raita as needed. The leftover liquid can be used to make roti dough.

In a small pan, temper 1/2 tbsp cooking oil with some 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add 1/2 tsp red chili powder(or to taste). Pour over the raita and mix. Add some chopped cilantro. Chill for 30 mins and serve.

Enjoy!

Chilli Lemon Cashews

Chilli Lemon Cashwes

Disclaimer : This post is sponsored by wegotnuts.com

Cashews are a favorite nut in our household. From mithai to creamy curries like korma or as a snack, we love them. My kids usually go for the plain salted roasted ones, but him and I and are fond of, you guessed it, the spiced ones. I make a few kinds and in this recipe I experimented a bit and used fresh lemon juice and that tang combined with the creamy and natural sweetness of the cashews was just wonderful.

Spicy, creamy and crunchy – these are so great with a cup of chai. As the cashews slow roast in their own fats in the oven, the natural sugars in them caramelize a bit and the spice coating tends to toast and together just makes the cashews so addictive.

These are a great option for gatherings or cocktail nibbles.You can make them days ahead and store them. The ingredients are few and they just require a little checking while slow roasting. You can use any kind of chill powder, I use the hot variety. If you have Tajin at home, you can add that in or sweet paprika works amazing as well-it gives them gorgeous color and smokiness. Yum.

Spicy Cashews With Chai

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder(use mild or hot or extra hot depending on tolerance)
  • 1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup(it wonâ€t make them sweet, it balances the tang) 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 to 3.5 cups wegotnuts raw whole cashews

Method

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients except the cashews. Let sit for 30 mins for the flavors to mingle. Preheat oven to 250F. Pour the spice mix over cashews and combine well with a spatula so that all the cashews are coated nicely. Spread the cashews in a single layer on a large cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Roast for 60-90 minutes(I baked for about 80 mins) stirring every 30 minutes for even roasting. Keep a close eye after 60 mins, they go fast from there. Cool down completely and store in air tight container. Enjoy! 

Stay spicy!

-Tanvi

Kala Jaam/Jamun

Kala Jaam/Jamun

Kala Jamun- A bolder smokier version of Gulab Jamun.I won’t lie if I tell you that I like these more. I love the thick, pleasantly bitter crust soaked in cardamom scented syrup.

Ever since I came to States, I have been making jamuns using milk powder, and while those are amazing the ones with milky mawa are authentic- those are utterly soft and truly melt in the mouth. I add some fresh chenna while making these, the texture and the taste is wonderful. Reminds me of little halwai shops in the nooks of delhi where trays of these sit on decorated counters. One of the very few mithai which my kids really adore.

Printable Recipe

Recipe

Makes 20-22 pieces

Ingredients 

For the Jamuns

  • 250 gms mawa/khoya
  • 100 gms chenna or soft fresh paneer
  • 4 tbsp all purpose flour(maida) 
  • Scant pinch of baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder 
  • 2-4tbsp of whole milk(as needed) 
  • Ghee or oil for frying

For the sugar syrup

  • 1.5 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water 
  • 3-4 drops of fresh lemon juice 
  • 1-2 tbsp rose water 
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder 

Method

In a large wide dish, fine grate the mawa and crumble the chenna, if using paneer, make sure itâ€s soft and grate it very well, there should not be any lump or big pieces of mawa or chenna.Add all purpose flour, baking powder and cardamom. Start adding milk a tbsp at a time and gently mix. I needed about 3 tbsp. Donâ€t squish or squeeze,depending on the fat content of your mawa, adjust the milk quantity to make a soft dough. Dough will be slightly sticky, use some ghee if needed to bring it together. No kneading of dough needed. Let rest for 15 mins, covered with a damp cloth. 

While the dough is resting, make the sugar syrup, mix sugar and water and let come to a slow boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. Add the rosewater and cardamom and lemon juice. Keep warm. 

Heat up enough oil(or ghee) in a pot(or kadhai)on low- medium. Pinch small portions of the dough and roll them between your palms to make a smooth round ball. You would get about 12-15 jamuns. Keep them covered. 

To check the temperature of oil, drop a small portion of dough into the oil, it should come floating up slowly. If it comes up fast, the oil is too hot, if it settles to the bottom, the oil is cold. Fry the jamuns 4-5 at a time. They will plump up bit. Fry them for about 3-4 mins on all sides till they are dark brown in color. 

Drain on a paper towel. And immediately add to warm sugar syrup. Repeat with all the jamun batches. Cover them and let soak for atleast 30 minutes in syrup. These need a longer soaking time than gulab jamuns. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!