Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pudina Roti/Phulka (Mint Phulkas)

Roti or chapatti or phulka are the terms used for Indian flat bread. These are eaten in Indian (asian) homes either for lunch or dinner or even for breakfast. Different varieties of rotis can be made with various types of flours such as wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi etc or with a combination of all of them.

Rotis / chapatis are either fried (on a tawa/griddle) dry or with a little oil. But phulkas are dry fried first on the tawa and then fried directly over  the flame (over the gas burner). Ghee is smeared on it later (while it is still hot) and it is optional. Since no oil is used either in the dough or while frying, this is a healthier version. Besides, the phulkas generally turn out very soft and tasty as they puff out, separating the two layers.

Addition of pudina (mint) in the dough  gives it an aromatic flavour and if you like mint, then you will find this very tasteful. Making of phulkas may seem a little complicated as you have to do some balancing act but once you get the hang of it and with a little practice, I feel it is worth the trouble.

Pudina roti

Wheat flour
4 cups
1 big bunch
Green chilies
3 or as per taste
For kneading
½ tsp
As per taste
Ghee (clarified butter)
For smearing the phulkas


Pudina Roti dough
  1.  Wash the mint thoroughly in water. Drain and pick the leaves from the   stems and discard the woody   stems.
  2.  Roughly grind mint leaves, green chilies with little water and keep aside.
  3.  In a large mixing bowl, add wheat flour, salt & turmeric and mix well.
  4. To this mixture and the ground mint leaves.
  5.  Add sufficient water to this mixture and knead it into soft pliable dough.
  6.  Place the dough in a container and cover it with a lid.
  7. After an hour or two make small balls (desired size and quantity) and flatten each ball with a rolling pin into chapattis/rotis (not very thin) with the help of little dry wheat flour .
  8. Heat a tawa or griddle. Once the tawa is hot, lower the flame and place a chapatti on the hot griddle and fry it first on one side and turn it and fry the same way on the other side till tiny light brown spots appear on the surface of the chapatti.
  9. Remove it from the tawa/ griddle and place it on a plate.
  10. The above procedure to be followed for all the chapattis/rotis. For making of Phulkas - see below:

Makes : 15 Rotis or Phulkas (depending upon the size of the balls)

Phulka in the making

How to make phulkas :

  • Same procedure as above but once the tiny light brown spots appear, hold the chapatti with tongs in your right hand and remove it from the griddle and at the same time, with your left hand, remove the griddle from the fire. Now place the chapatti (held with the tongs) directly on the fire as shown (flame should be high). The chapatti will immediately puff up. Now turn the puffed chapatti on the other side. This side too will puff up instantly. Your Phulka is now ready.
  • Remove it quickly and place it on a plate.
  • Smear a little ghee with a teaspoon onto the phulka while it is still hot (you will use less ghee)
  • Follow the same procedure for all the chapattis/rotis.

  •     For making phulkas, use a tawa/griddle preferably with a handle.
  •     Phulkas puff out well if hte dough is well kneaded.
  •     The same dough can be used for making parathas too.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Vaali (Malabar Spinach) Stir Fry

    Hello friends ! I just returned from a trip to Mangalore, Udupi and Katapady to attend "Moonji" (Thread Ceremony) and a wedding.
    I think I must have put on some weight after gorging on those rich and yummy food that is served during these functions. And as though this was not enough, there was function in the temple too ! There was lunch prasadam everyday during our stay !

    After our return, I decided to make simple dishes to compensate for the excess food that I indulged. So instead of making the usual "Vaali aambat" I decided to make this simple, tasty and healthy stir fry.

    “ Vaali” as it is known in Konkani language is one of the favorite leafy vegetable of the “Amchis” (GSB community). In English it is known as "Malabar Spinach". 

    Vaali Stir Fry Upkari
     Vaali Stir Fry


    2 bunches
    7-8 cloves
    Dry red chilies
    1-2 tsps
    As per taste


    1. Wash and clean the “Vaali” or “Malabar Spinach” thoroughly in water. Separate the leaves from the stem.
    2. Pile each leaf one on top of the other and cut them into into four pieces. In this way chop all the leaves and keep aside.
    3. Cut the stems about two inches in length. Use only the tender stems.
    4. Heat a wok or kadai preferably non-stick. Add oil.
    5. When the oil is slightly hot, lower the flame. Crush the garlic cloves (do not remove the skin) and add them into the oil.
    6. When the garlic cloves turn slightly brown, roughly break the red chilies into two and add the same into the wok. Stir for awhile.
    7. Increase the flame and add the cut tender stems and continue stirring on a high flame till it is half cooked. Sprinkle a little water (with care) if it sticks to the wok/kadai.
    8. Now add the chopped leaves and stir fry them till they wilt. Add salt and stir fry till it is done which should take about 5-7 mins.
    9. Serve hot.
     Serves : 2

    washed & cleaned "Vaali" in basket

    • This dish goes well with "dal-chawal" combination.
    • Do not add much water during cooking as the "Vaali" leaves its own water.
    • Do not cover the kadai/wok during cooking so as to retain the green color of the spinach.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Quick Raw Mango Recipes

    Summer is the season for mangoes. Ripe mangoes are a treat in themselves but raw mangoes has a taste of its own. Just the thought of raw mangoes, makes ones mouth water!
    The varieties of recipes that can be prepared with the raw mangoes are endless – pickles, panna, pachadi, chutney etc.

    I had one fairly large Totapuri Raw Mango. So I decided to make two dishes (pachadi and chutney) for the price of one! In most south-Indian households there is always a stock of coconut gratings. So these recipes can be done in a jiffy.

     I grated the whole raw mango and kept aside about two heaped tablespoons for making chutney and used the rest for making pachadi.

    Raw Mango Pachadi



    Raw Mango
    1 medium size
    Coconut gratings
    ½ cup
    Green chillies
    A pinch
    As per taste
    Seasoning ingredients

    2 tsps
    Mustard seeds
    ½ tsp
    Curry leaves
    1 sprig


    1. Wash the raw mango and pat dry it with a clean kitchen towel.
    2. Grate the mango either manually or in a food processor.
    3. Grind coarsely the coconut gratings along with green chilies, salt and asafetida with a little water. Place the ground mixture in a bowl.
    4. To this ground mixture, add the grated mango and mix well.
    5. Lastly heat oil in a small pan and add the seasoning ingredients in it. When the mustard seeds stops spluttering, switch off the gas and pour the contents in the mixture of coconut and raw mango gratings. Mix well and serve.

    • Pachadi is generally used as a side dish. It also goes well with chapattis.
    • This is a typical Konkani (GSB community) recipe

    Raw Mango Chutney

    Raw Mango Chutney

    For this you will need – 2 heaped tbsps of grated raw mango, 3tbsps of coconut gratings, a small bunch of washed and cleaned coriander leaves, 5-6 garlic cloves, 2-3 green chilies and Salt.
    Grind all these ingredients to a smooth paste. If necessary, you may add a little water while grinding.

    • This chutney tastes excellent with chapattis, as sandwich spread or even with pakodas and  bajjias. It can also be used as a dip.
    • Any type of raw mango can be used for making chutney or pachadi.