My First Award!

wordpress family blog award         I, recently, was kindly nominated my first award by Hotdish.  I humbly accept her nomination and am truly happy to be part of the wonderful blogosphere of food writers.  Thank you! If you haven’t already, you may want to take a peek at HotDish’s Blog. I enjoy reading her posts, as she focuses on a single dish she has eaten at a particular restaurant on her many travels. Go on take a look… you won’t be disappointed.

Hotdish.org

Here are the rules in accepting these nominations:

  1. Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you
  2. List the rules
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate up to 15 other blogs
  5. Proudly display the logo on your blog

So here goes…

  • I love to listen to the rain splattering on rooftops
  • Love freshly grilled prawns, especially sucking on the head of the cretaceous creature to savor the delicious juices
  • Appreciation of delicious food makes the world go round, I believe if particular world leaders were nourished with wholesome food made with love, the world would be a better place
  • Dishes cooked with offal, especially goat brain, definitely make me happy
  • Please, please, please don’t tell me chemicals and colors in food cause no harm!
  • Lastly but not least, I cannot let a day go by without eating ghee in some shape or form

Here’s a list of fellow blogger’s I’m absolutely loving right now and would love to nominate them

  1. Feeding The Sonis

http://feedingthesonis.wordpress.com

  1. Delizious.com

http://foodcommunicationservices.wordpress.com/about/

  1. Creating Beauty in the Kitchen

http://creatingbeautyinthekitchen.wordpress.com

  1. Traditionally Modern Food

http://traditionallymodernfood.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/cracked-wheat-savory-cake/

  1. The Botanical Baker

http://thebotanicalbaker.wordpress.com

  1. The Flavor Nook

http://theflavornook.com

  1. Papaya Pieces

http://papayapieces.com

 

It’s been very exciting being part of the blogosphere and a superb learning experience.  Thanks to all the tips from all the wonderful bloggers out there!

Dhokri or Dhokla – Steamed Savoury Cake

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Dhokri is my comfort food… I ate a lot of it whilst growing up and could count on there being a plateful of dhokri at any given event.  Apart from being a delicious mouthful Dhokri does make for the perfect finger food.  The lemony yellow snack would shine away as if peeking out from behind a cloud – heavy with rain. The tangy sponginess accompanied by the snappy crunch of the sesame seeds, laced with the herby aroma of the cilantro will have you salivating unapologetically.

Dhokri is a slightly spicy and tangy savory snack mostly made in Gujarati homes.  It has the texture of a light sponge cake.  The bulk of the recipe is made with chickpea flour and the dough is tied with either buttermilk or yogurt, along with several spices and left to ferment overnight.  It’s then steamed in trays, cooled, cut and garnished with fresh cilantro, sesame and black mustard seeds.  It does seem kind of daunting at first, but believe me once you get the hang of it, it’s ‘putsy peasy’.

Every family has their own version of the recipe and each, obviously claims to possess the finest one!   I have several recipes on hand including my mum’s, my neighbor’s from my childhood, my aunts, my grandma’s and my grandma’s sister’s recipe.  Okay… so you get the point.  This recipe is a version of Amina Maasi’s Recipe, my Naanima’s sister, sweet old lady.

Anyway, I decided to make a wheat free version of her Dhokri recipe, as I too have a wee bit of a gluten intolerance and have been playing around with several of these recipes.  I swapped out the semolina flour for cornflour, not to be confused with cornstarch or cornmeal.  The dhokri, to my surprise, steamed gracefully the very first time I made it.  I have made this recipe several times now and it has been a ‘hit’ amongst friends and family.  Therefore, I confidently pass this recipe on to you.

Dhokri

Making the Dhokri

Makes 2 x 8″ round cakes

Step One 

2 cups chick pea flour (besan)

½ cup rice flour

½ cup cornflour (not cornstarch or cornmeal)

2 tbsp oil

¼ turmeric

2 tbsp white sesame seeds (crushed)

Salt to taste, ( I use about 1 1/2 tsp)

2 cups plain yogurt

¼ teaspoon citric acid*

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl.

Mix well making sure there are no lumps.

The mixture should resemble a thick pancake batter.

Cover and leave to ferment on the counter overnight.

 

Step Two 

2 teaspoons green chilies, ground to a paste

½ tsp fresh ginger, ground to a paste

1 ½ tsp fresh garlic, ground to a paste

1 tsp crushed cumin seeds, crushed slightly with a mortar and pestle

Extra oil for coating pans

2 tsp Eno (fruit salts) or 1 tsp baking soda

Add the green chilies, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds to the fermented yogurt batter.

Dhokri Batter

Dhokri Batter

 

Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Divide the dough into half.

(see notes below on how to steam the dough)

Grease the  8″ cake pans with oil and set aside.

Add 1 teaspoon of Eno or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, into half of the fermented batter.  Stir vigorously and immediately pour into the cake pan.

Place into a steamer of choice and steam for 15 mins.

Test as you would for a cake, a toothpick should come out clean when ready.

Repeat with the left over dough using the second cake pan.

Sprinkle with the Vigaar (see step three) while still warm.

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Step Three making the Vigaar

¼ cup rice bran oil, or any flavorless oil

2 tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp white sesame seeds

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped roughly

In small frying pan, heat the oil on high.

Once the oil begins to shimmer slightly, and is not smoking hot,  immediately add the black mustard and sesame seeds.

Remove from the heat and cover loosely with a lid, they will begin to pop ferociously and you will see a bit of smoke.  The popping will subside making it safe to open the lid.

Spoon the hot vigaar evenly over the dhokri cut into neat 2″ diamond shapes.

Remove the dhokri from pan with a spatula and serve immediately.

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Tips

  • I use Bobs Red Mill brand of stone milled whole grain cornflour.  It has the texture of all purpose flour.  Please do not use cornstarch or cornmeal.
  • * Use the tangiest yogurt possible.  If it’s not sour enough leave it on the counter, unrefrigerated for a day or two.  If for some reason that makes you stay awake at night, that’s totally fine.  Just add  the citric acid and that will do the trick.
  • Left over dhokri will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Tastes great cold and at room temperature too.
A Bowl of Sunshine

A Bowlful of Sunshine

 

Gulgoolas – Fritters Stuffed with Cherries and Dark Chocolate

Gulgullas stuffed with cherries and chocolate

Gulgullas stuffed with cherries and chocolate

Summer is zooming by and I’m struggling to hold onto it’s tail strings. Ramadan is almost over and a single Ramadan celebratory food post has not appeared on Fortheloveofghee.  A friend suggested a Ramadan  post at the beginning of the month, which I was all for… well… in my head anyway!

So with out further ado and less than a week before Eid, heres a recipe you can indulge on in the next few days.  My recipe for gulgoolas, a fried sweet fritter, is eaten at the beginning of the meal after breaking fast with a glass of milk and fresh dates.

Gulgoolas are usually made sans the Cherries and Dark Chocolate, but I just couldn’t help myself…what?? with all the fresh cherries practically being thrown at me at the grocery store and my kids eternal craving for chocolate… I just had to succumb to what the season was offering… Continue reading

Mango Pickle – Keri jo Aathnu

Mango Pickle

Methi (fenugreek) Mango Pickle

Summer, Oh wonderful Summer!! We wait endlessly for summer to roll on by and when it does… It seems we get busy pickling, jamming, bottling and stuffing summer into containers to savor in the winter months that lay ahead.

This weekend I picked up a bag full of green mangos, available at this time of the year. If you’ve never had one, maybe this summer will be a first. Green mangos are quite unlike their yellow counterparts. They are quite tart and crunchy to munch on. Basically, they are the raw version of the voluptuous yellow orbs that frequent most grocery stores.

My mum, the best damn cook I know, would cut the unpeeled green mangos into long slivers. Sprinkle them with cayenne pepper and salt, and serve it as a condiment with our main meal of the day. My sister and me, would later make mango pickle sandwiches and eat it as a snack. The pillowy softness of the thick slices of bread slathered with butter and layered with the mangos were absolute perfection… I’m drooling right now! Continue reading

Ripe Mango Lassi with Cardamom

Summer was a favorite time for us cousins, signaling the start of the mango season. My grandmother bought barrels and barrels of fresh tree ripened mangos from the African market. The driver would throw a hessian mat on the floor of the pick up truck and tumble the sunset yellow balls onto it. Next, the smallest of the grandchildren would scramble in and sit atop the mounds of the yellow fruit for the ride home, all the while being intoxicated by the sweet honeyed fragrance tinged with a hint of freshly cut grass emanating from these voluptuous fruits.

At home, the mangos were once again, strewn across the hessian sacks onto the floor of her pantry. These little mangos, named Apricot for their shape, were spotted with tiny black dots once they were ripe.  They fitted into the palm of our hands making it easy to rip off their skin with our little teeth. Once rid of the skin, we were left with a ball of thick pulpy orange flesh. With mango juice dripping down our chins and forearm’s we would greedily devour the orange orbs in seconds, and then reach for more.

Cardamom Dusted Mango Lassi

Cardamom Dusted Mango Lassi

Continue reading

Chocolate Malt, Almond and Ghee Banana Cake

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Everyone claims to have that perfect banana cake or banana bread recipe and of course, I had to get on that band wagon too…. BUT WAIT! Before you hit the back button. Read a my slightly creative approach on writing this recipe, it’s a fun recipe you will love reading… as well as making… come on it has GHEE in it!!  I’ve been working on writing this recipe for a bit and I absolutely loved it! so here goes…

Once a Week Banana Cake

I burst through the garage door into the warmth of the laundry room, simultaneously shrugging off my jacket, tugging off my shoes and dumping my bag in its spot. I stop for a brief moment to toss my coat onto the rack and correct the alignment of my shoes, perpendicular to the door – ok… that’s good.
I step into the kitchen and slow down just enough to let the warm sudsy water rid the unseen dirt off my hands, before engulfing them into the plush yellow towel – hey, they deserve luxury too.
 I yank open the fridge and pull out a stick of butter* from its boxed container and rip off the paper its so carefully encased in. A quick zap, maybe 9 seconds? Yes, perfect – it’s at room temperature. I unduly toss the stick into the beloved stand mixer and turn it on low.

Continue reading

Homemade Rose Syrup

 

Homemade Rose Syrup

As a child, my grandmother made this syrup with fresh roses from her garden, when roses actually smelled of roses. She simmered the freshly washed petals with the sugar syrup. The roses  infused the syrup with their soft scent and tinted the syrup a bright ruby red.

A favorite treat she made in the summer was homemade popsicles. She crushed the ice and molded it into balls on a stick and poured the sticky ruby red liquid all over it. It was such fun, sitting in her garden amongst her flower pots, indulging on what was once growing on the shrub next to us.

Well with summer around the corner, it’s time to bust out the ideal recipe for a cool refreshing drink.  My take on the perfect drink is a homemade rose syrup that’s been infused with cardamom pods, complimented with a hint of licorice flavor, from the fennel seeds and a bit of a zing from the ginger. I seldom use organic red roses to add to the syrup as they cost ‘an arm and a leg’ but if you have access to them, a handful of red petals should do.  In my recipe I’ve used a good quality rose essence to infuse this syrup instead.

Continue reading