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Thursday, January 30, 2014


A leafy vegetable called Chiu or Chival or Chivai is used in these dumplings when available. Khandeshi people really love this weed kind of vegetable. It grows on its own in the farms. Farmers just pull it out by bag fulls and sell. This vegetable is bit slimy and sour to taste.


Phunake or Vafole are Khandeshi style toor daal dumplings. These are usually eaten with Khandeshi style buttermilk kadhi. It is one protein packed lunch menu I always enjoy when I visit my in-laws place. Very simple to make but tasty.
Combination of these two, Phunake made with chivai is a delicacy in Khandesh. Everyone in my family start drooling even with the thought of it.

Phunake with Buttermilk Kadhi 

Recipe I am sharing today is made up with chopped onions and cilantro as it is not possible to get Chivai vegetable here. These dumplings are served with specially prepared Khandeshi Kadhi.

1 cup Toor Daal
1 Small Onion
3-4 Green Chilies (or per taste)
5-6 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt per taste
Fistful of Chopped Cilantro
Water as needed


Preparation -
Pick over and wash daal. Soak it in about 2-3 cups of water for 5-6 hours.
Drain soaked daal after 5-6 hours, reserve drained water. We will use that to grind daal.
Coarsely grind daal using reserved water and little more if needed. The consistency of batter should be dry and not watery.
Remove in a bowl and add salt to taste.
Chop onion and cilantro into fine dice. Mix into the batter.
Grind green chilis, garlic and cumin seeds into paste. Mix this thoroughly in the prepared batter. Taste test for salt and chilies, adjust accordingly.
Now boil water in vessel which can be fit a steamer. Oil the steamer or line with parchment paper.
Make fist size balls of prepared batter and line up properly in steamer plate. Steam on medium heat for 12-15 minutes.
Once phunake are steamed, let them cool down a little bit and then serve with Khandeshi Buttermilk Kadhi.

Tips - 
  1. Another vegetable Gholu/Ghol (purslane) and Chival are different weeds. Here is picture of Ghol - http://www.vadanikavalgheta.com/2011/08/gholichi-bhaji.htmlGhol leaves are almost 3 times bigger than chival leaves. 
  2. Once served, break the dumplings into crumbs and eat with kadhi like we eat rice and kadhi.
  3. I suggest re-steaming the leftovers instead of microwaving. 
  4. These are traditionally made with toor daal and no other daals added. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Peeth Perun Bhaji

Peeth - Flour
Perun - Sprinkled

Knitting is one passion I come back to after trying various other hobbies. I rarely come back empty handed when I visit yarn stores. Actually I should say that with all my visits to any arts and crafts stores. But knitting is one hobby lets me help others just a little bit. Few years ago I found out about a knitting group in my office and and I joined their mailing list. Group meets once in a week and there are lot of experienced knitters who help new hobbyist learn new techniques or help sort out mistakes. I am not a regular visitor but I do go meet them once in a while. One great thing about this group is that they make chemo hats every year as community service and donate any organization like Knots Of Love. I love participating in these events. See if you have a drop off location near you for any of the organization that accept Chemo hats or any other knitted or crocheted goodies. You can check some of the organizations here who accept knitted or crocheted hats or scarves or blankets. I hope some of you can spend time making hats or scarves this winter to help people in need.


Now off to today's recipe. We Maharashtrians like peeth perun bhaji, vegetable sprinkled with chickpea flour. I think traditionally women started making it to increase quantity to feed the large families. But it tastes so good that now it just made as a separate dish. You can make green onion, methi or almost all the leafy vegetables, or my favorite capsicum! Its very simple to make and results are crowd pleasing.

Peeth Perun Bell Peppers

I just follow my mom's recipe, and here is how she makes it - 

2 Capsicum/Bell Peppers (should yield 2-2.5 cups diced)
1 small onion
1/2 to 3/4 cup Chickpea Flour (Besan)
2 tbsp Roasted Peanut Powder
1-1.5 tbsp Kanda Lasun Masala (or per taste)
Salt Per Taste
Fistful of Chopped Cilantro 
For Tempering - 2 tbsp Oil, 1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds, 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder, pinch of Hing.

Preparation -
Wash bell peppers, remove seeds and green stem.
Chop the peppers into 1/2" dice.
Chop onion into 1/2" dice.
Heat oil in thick bottom utensil. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add turmeric powder and hing when mustard seeds start spluttering.
Add onion and saute until golden brown.
Now add chopped peppers, and saute for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add kanda lasun masala, salt and roasted peanut powder. Mix thoroughly.
Lower the heat and add about half of the chick pea flour, mix well and see if you need some more. You should add just enough to coat the pepper and not too much.
Mix and cover with tight lid. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat. Remove the lid mix thoroughly. If flour is cooked, sprinkle cilantro and mix and enjoy with chapati or bhakari.

My favorite peeth perun bhaji is on its way to my favorite event MLLA#66 by Lisa, originally started by Susan and currently hosted by Simona

Tips - 
  1. Sometimes the peppers leave too much water when it starts cooking, in that case you can saute peppers on high heat to let the water evaporate. Or you can add more chickpea flour. 
  2. Try the same formula with green onions.

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