Saturday, May 31, 2008

Amazing bean brownies for click

These bean brownies go to jugalbandi for their click beans event.

yes... brownies made from beans... reactions to this statement are of two types. The first is 'Eww...bean brownies, no way?!!!", and the second type of reaction is 'wow...bean brownies, really? I'm glad mine was of the second type, otherwise I would have never tried this recipe.
Just like the comments to the post where I found this recipe, at, Most people commenting on the post were amazed and some were disgusted at the thought that brownies could be made with beans. Heidi's blog 101cookbooks showcases her amazing rustic, down to earth, healthy recipes, and I love her site for that.

If you like chocolaty goodness that is gudgy fudgy and yummy then you cant miss this recipe!! I was excited too that I could make my son's favourite brownies and he would be taking in more proteins than carbohydrates. Ive made this with kala chana/kadala and this time tried them with beans. The one with kadala had more texture to it as opposed to the beans but both were real chocolate goodness! Next I'm going to try them with chickpeas. This is how I tweaked Heidi's recipe:

- 1 and 1/2 cups boiled beans (you can use tinned too, I boil extra rajma, chole, kadala and keep a cup aside)

- 3 eggs

- 1 cup maple syrup (I'm telling you this brings an amazing flavour to the brownies)

- 4 ounces chocolate (I used 3ounces dark chocolate and 1 ounce normal bar chocolate... the leftover stash from Musicals goody bag)

- 1 stick/4 ounces butter (I used salted here)

- 1/2 cup cashew nuts (coz i couldnt find walnuts in the house)

I ommited coffee powder which Heidi puts in her recipe... see here.

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease two 20cm X 20cm (or equivalent size baking pans).

2. Blend/puree the beans to a smooth paste. Use a couple of tbsp of milk to run the blender more smoothly. It should not be lumpy. Roughly chop the cashew nuts.

3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for around 2 minutes or on gas over boiling water. When the chocolate is nearly melted, add the butter and stir togethor.

4. In a large bowl beat the eggs till they are light and fluffy.

5. Add the maple syrup into the beaten eggs and keep beating.

6. Add the melted butter and chocolate into the eggs and syrup mixture.

7. Add the beans puree and cashew nuts and combine togethor.

8. Pour in the greased baking pans to a thickness of not more than 2cm.

9. Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

10. Cool in the pan before cutting into squares. Refridgerate.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rajasthani Gatte ki kadi

There is a small village in rajasthan called Nathdwara, its the place Ive been going to since childhood on every trip to India from Africa... the places and darshan of the deities refreshes the soul and also ignites your gastronomic senses. From the prasadam that we get with all the darshan to the street food, it is the best Ive ever had. I consider my Dad a connosieur of taste and when he says that the taste of the rabdi is the most authentic, then there's no argument!

"Set amid idyllic hills, it provides a welcome respite from the searing heat of Rajasthan. The modest sized town is home to one the wealthiest temples in India. The town in it self is famous for it's exuberant festivals, miniature paintings, jewellery and above all, it's sweets. Threat of cholesterol and calories have yet to deter the culinary experts of this town who add sugar and butter to almost all dishes!! Life in the town revolves around the "Haveli" term used for all the temples of the "Pushti Marga". This is one of the most colourful sects within the devotional side of Hinduism. It also happens to be one of the few that do not advocate renunciation for spiritual growth. It is this worldly, practical and realistic view of life that lends itself to the colourfulness of the sect. ": Source

read more about nathadwara here...and here
Just outside the temple is a rabdiwala... that sells rabdi early in the morning in tiny earthenware cups. The taste is soooooo I dont have words to describe how delicious it tastes!!! As I go through memory lanes of my childhood, we would then proceed through the small galis and shop for lovely artwork and rajasthani jewellery (little mirror work on almost everything), and then reach a place that serves elaichi doodh and besan papdi... the papdi is a long strip of steamed and fried papdi strips with the usual mustard, hing, corainder tadka with imli chutney, oh yummm. I remember the elaichi doodh to be so fragrant and soothing, God knows what they put in it!!! Right next to this place was all the tangawalas and the next highlight was taking a ride on the tanga (horse drawn traditional carriage) to the outer gali for the best dhokla I've ever had. This dhoklawala keeps his dhokla soaked in water and lots of corainder all the time!! Its the most spongiest khaman dhokla, I have yet to see a dhokla as springy as that one. The prasad we get in the evening finishes you and your day. I remember giant mathris, and ladoos with incredible taste, kadi and khichdi, gadmad ki I wanna go back and expirience it all again... This is the nostaligia that the mention of Rajasthan invokes in me. So to celebrate the special RCI: Rajasthan, I made Gatte ki kadi....

For the gatte:
- 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
- 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1/2 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
- salt to taste
- water to make dough

For the kadi:
- 1 cup dahi (yoghurt)
- 3-4 whole dried red chillies
- 4-5 tbsp ghee (more like a dollop)
- 1 tbsp jeera (cumin seeds)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- pinch hing (asafoetida)
- salt to taste
- 4-6 cups water

How to make the gatte:

Combine the besan, jeera, ajwain and salt with water to make a firm dough. The dough should not be too soft and not as hard as the dough for mathri....firmer than roti dough. Make cylindrical pipe like shapes of 20cm length and 1.5cm thickness. Drop the cylinders in boiling water and let it boil for 14-15 minutes. Drain and cool. The cylinders will have a 'skin'. Peel the skin with a scrapper like you would scrape carrots. Cut the cylinders into 4cm pieces. Deep fry the pieces (if you want to make it authentic, then it should be fried in ghee as everything in rajasthan is said to be made with ghee!, if you gasped in horror at that statement you can fry them in normal cooking oil). See kailas kitchen on some pictures of the gatte making process.

To make the kadi:

The gravy for this kadi is so simple and its the simplicity of the kadi that highlights the gatte. Heat a large pot and a dollop of ghee on high heat; add the hing, jeera, red chillies in that order while stirring. Add the yoghurt and four cups of water. Add more water if you want a more runny kadi as the gattes will eventually soak up lots of water; you can do that at a later stage too, if you find that the kadi is too thick. Add salt and turmeric and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium and simmer the kadi for a 10-15minutes. The gattes will soak up more and more water as they sit in the kadi. This kadi can be had with plain rice or tandoori roti.

Ive served it with a tandoori roti and a scrumptious salad... to Spicy Andhra for her lovely RCI:Rajasthan event.