To say that Theplas are a favourite snack in Gujarati homes would be an understatement they are a staple. They are so easy to carry along and such favourites that Gujaratis might probably forget their medication at home but not theplas. I probably don’t need to describe them in detail, but for those who are unacquainted with Indian cuisine, Theplas are flatbreads made from a dough consisting of finely chopped or shredded vegetables ( mostly greens like fenugreek or spinach ), whole wheat flour and spices.
I am pretty sure Dhoklas need no introduction. There are numerous versions of Dhoklas. Khatta Dhokla ( made of rice and Urad Daal ) is easily distinguishable from the Khaman because of the colour and composition. While the Instant Nylon Khaman ( made with Besan/Chickpea flour and eno/cooking soda ) is immensely popular among folks, popular even among folks even outside Gujarat, we South Gujaratis ( especially folks from in and around Surat ), favour the overnight fermented version much more over the instant ones. Vaati Daal Na Khaman is distinct from the Nylon Khaman in the sense that they are made of Chana Daal, that has been soaked, ground and fermented overnight and does not have any soda or citric acid in the batter, at least my version doesn’t. It is dense and crumbly at the same time unlike the soda-induced sponginess of Nylon Khaman. The ground batter is then spiced with ginger chilli paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice and salt. Instant / Nylon Khaman has a slight aftertaste of cooking/baking soda which puts me off personally.
Muthiyas are a Gujarati snack made from fresh seasonal vegetables and a mix of several flours, that is made into a dough, shaped into logs, steamed and then deep fried or tempered in some oil to give it a crisp texture on the outside and a soft, melt in the mouth center. Mutthi ( મુઠ્ઠી ) translated from Gujarati means a fist, and hence the nomenclature since traditionally, Muthiyas are shaped by shaping the dough into fistfuls. It is not compulsory though, I usually divide the dough into 3-4 portions, each much larger than a fist before steaming them. Once they cool down, I cut them into bite sized chunks and shallow fry them to give them a crisp crust.
Of late, I haven’t been able to make freshly cooked Indian breakfasts like I used to do until a couple of months ago. When I did this 100HappyBreakfasts Project on Instagram, I was reasonably regularly if not fully. But I have fallen off the wagon recently. So in a desperate attempt to get back to the routine, I have started with these Whole Moong and Brown Rice Idlis.
Moong Idlis have been on my mind for a while now, but most recipes available on the internet use Eno / fruit salt to make them light and fluffy. While I don’t mind using eno/soda occasionally in my Rava Idlis and Rava Dhoklas, I most definitely wanted to avoid it here, we prefer the fermented idlis and dosas any day over the instant ones. Feel free to add more rice than what I have used here, I was experimenting a bit, trying to see if I can make do with less rice. Idli Rice and regular polished rice will work just as well. My next attempt would be to try and see if it ferments just as well without Urad Daal next time. 😊 More on how I prepare my regular Idli/Dosa Batter is described in detail here.
I enjoy cooking and while my first, and also probably the most utilised source of recipes is food blogs, there are certain cookbooks and authors whom I trust now. And when it comes to south Indian cooking, a name that I will take without skipping a breadth is Chandra Padmanabhan’s! ❤ And while I am sure all her books are equally good, the one that I have thumbed through the most (not literally, since I own the ebook but definitely referred to a lot) is her book Dosai. While the book deserves a post of its own, for now, I will restrict to raving about this Thakkali Dosai / Tomato Dosa I tried this morning.
The idea is simple but the result is amazing. You need a little prep because you need some Dosa batter ( recipe here ) on hand. Once you have that, it is a simple story! ❤ I have picked this recipe a couple of times and not executed it because I wasn’t so sure of my dosa batter spreading / handling. But the addition of coconut makes sure the batter doesn’t become too watery. This version uses raw tomatoes so yay ( because no blanching and peeling) !! There is another version that uses blanched tomatoes too, I will update my results when I try that! I don’t think it will be too long before I try it too! 😀
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Crisp Thakkali Dosai / Tomato Dosai ( from Chandra Padmanabhan's cookbook Dosai ) with Molagapodi and Filter Coffee for Breakfast ~ Breakfast 97 of #100happybreakfasts ! I have learnt to place a Bhagwad Gita like faith in the cookbook after trying about a dozen ( maybe more ) recipes and though the variations are no rocket science, they are refreshing. This tomato flavoured Dosai is a variation of regular Dosai with a paste of coconut and tomatoes added to the regular Dosa Batter. You could use both blanched and peeled tomatoes and raw tomatoes but I prefer the raw one because it retains the fibre. A hint of asafoetida, some cumin seeds and torn curry leaves along with coconut and puréed tomato bring an Adai like flavor into the dosa. Edit: The recipe is now up on the blog, link in bio. ❤️ #dosai #chandrapadmanabhan #dosaicookbook #dosa #thakkali #tomatodosa #DosaiTheCookBookProjectWithS #srujans100happybreakfasts
I have to admit, neither was a big fan of oats nor do I used to pay much attention to the bashing of instant oats as just another cereal producers gimmick as a nutritious breakfast. I still don’t know whether eating instant/rolled oats are absolutely useless nutritionally as people claim on the internet, but the thing is, even if the instant oats have a bit of higher glycemic load, I would not mind them so much for breakfast. Sure, I don’t want to indulgence in a carb fest every morning, but after 8 hours of fasting, I would probably take those extra carbs when my body really needs it rather than, say the less metabolically active times of the day.
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Oats Semolina Idlis with Chutney Podi and Cutting Chai for Breakfast – breakfast 81 of #100happybreakfasts ! This is a wonderful, easy to put together version of the much loved Rava Idlis with Oats and Semolina in 2:1 proportion, so that makes me happy! ❤️ Also, these are not only soft and fluffy but easy too, because it is an instant version, so it's not difficult to put together on busy mornings. Having a serving of Oats few times is getting easier than I thought it would be. Oats are so easy to adopt in our Indian Cooking, I am amazed as to why I did not discover them earlier! 😁 #oatsidli #oats #semolina #idli #ravaidli #quickbreakfast #srujans100happybreakfasts
Okay, not that I am trying to reinforce any clichés or stereotypes here ( blame Bollywood, I am how do you have the heart to call Dhokla, Fafda, Havdvo, Thepla as missiles??? ) No, we do not eat Theplas everyday. No, we do not break into Garbas at the drop of the hat ( well, anytime IS Garba Time, but we don’t do it that way! ) Anyway, like a true blue Gujarati ( Gujjus is cute, but ain’t as sweet as Gujarati 😀 ), I love all my dhoklas and khaman. There are so many variants, that I assure you that you will never be bored. And so, I was amazed at why it took me so long to make this instant version using semolina. It is so easy to put together with some very basic pantry staples. It can be easily put together for breakfast, or when they are surprise guests or when you are planning an elaborate thali and are looking for something savory, yet not too heavy, on the platter (we Gujaratis call the savory snack as the part of the thali as Farsaan). Also, if you have exceeded your quota of pakoras and bhajiyas for the week, this is also the perfect rainy day snack to accompany your chai! 🙂
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Instant Rava Dhoklas with Cutting Chai for breakfast – Breakfast 79 of #100happybreakfasts ! With 30 mins of resting time is the only prep you need, Rava Dhoklas definitely make it to the list of quick breakfasts. The batter consists of semolina mixed with curd and flavoured with salt, ginger-green chilli paste and pinch of fruit salt/Eno (optional). The tempering is mustard seeds and sesame seeds with a pinch of asafoetida crackled in oil with some curry leaves. Now off to polishing them off… Brb! Recipe: Take 1/2 a cup of Semolina (Rava/Sooji) in a bowl. Add 1 tsp of ginger-green chilli paste, salt to taste, some chopped coriander, 1 tsp oil and 1/4th cup of curd. Mix well. Add some lukewarm water gradually, between 1/4 th to 1/2 a cup, and mix well into a smooth, lump free batter. Let it rest, covered, for about 30 minutes. When are ready to steam, bring the water to a boil in your steamer/any vessel you want to use for steaming. Now add 1/2 tsp of Eno (fruit salt) and gently stir it. Don't stir vigorously or else the froth will be lost, just mix all the Eno with the batter. Immediately, pour in a thali/plate and steam for 12-15 mins. Don't lose anytime after you add Eno, or else the Dhokla might turn hard. Once the dhokla is done, you can insert a toothpick or a knife and if it comes clean, it's done, remove the thali and let it cook down for 5 minutes. Make a tempering of 1 tbsp of oil, 1/4 th tsp each of mustard seeds and sesame seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and a few curry leaves and pour it over the dhokla. Remove using a flat spatula and serve! 😊 #ravadhokla #whatsforbreakfast #meatlessmondays #breakfasttime #gujaraticuisine #dhokla #healthybreakfastclub #srujans100happybreakfasts #cuttingchai #desibreakfast #indianbreakfast