Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ragada Patties

'Ragada Patties' is one of my favorite fast food. We used to go to this road side vendor near Mahalaxmi Temple (precisely near Vidyapeeth Highschool) when I was studying in Kolhapur. Ragada Pattice, Aloo tikki, Samosa Chat were few items that I remember eating there. He had a very small cart with a big aluminum plate filled with ragada constantly boiling over small kerosene stove, warm samosas and kachories in separate plates, sweet tamarind chutney, green mint chutney and yogurt stainless steel containers lined up on his right hand side giving him easy access to the content. You will always see at least 10-12 people sanding around his cart at any given moment. He would remember everyone's order and with maximum 10-15 minutes wait you will get a plate in your hand, warm ragada either samosa, aaloo tikki, or kachori, sweet and green chutneys, fine sev and chopped cilantro. He would add yogurt in the chats but not in ragada pattice.

As we were staying in hostel, we were always on tight budget, so this was something that we would enjoy once a month or so. I still remember the routine we had on the weekends, get up late, watch some TV, get ready, have lunch and take nap or study. In the evening, few of us would get ready and head to the market by bus. go to the temple, go to Shetkari Bazar to buy essential grocery items and then head towards the book store nearby. Then around 6pm either go to the Rajabhau's Bhel Stand or to the Vidyapeeth's chat place, eat till your heart's content and head back to the hostel. Life was totally different back then, staying in hostel, staying on budget, taking care of everything by yourself was something I enjoyed and still think I learned lot of things. I can go on and on about the time spent in Kolhapur, but I should move to the recipe which brings back all those memories.

Ragada Patties

Chutneys -

Recipes for green and sweet chutney can be found here.

Ingredients -
Patties -
4 small Potatoes (I use yellow yukon gold)
2 slices of bread
salt and cumin seeds

Ragada -
1 cup dried white peas
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp pani puri masala (optional)
1-2 green chilies
small piece ginger
Water - as needed
Salt per taste

Other ingredients -
Few sprigs of cilantro
Farsan mixture or fine sev

Preparation -
1. Pressure cook potatoes and dried peas for 20-25 minutes in separate vessels. Peas should be very soft, almost disintegrating.
2. Grind green chilies and ginger together.
3. When pressure cooker is cooled down, heat a thick bottom pan and pour cooked peas in it. Add salt, garam masala, green chili paste, pani puri masala, cumin powder to the mixture. Let the mixture boil. Consistency is similar to the thick lentil soup/Daal/Amati. Add water if necessary.
Adjust seasoning if needed and garnish with cilantro and set aside. Ragada is ready!
4. Peel and mash the potatoes. Add crushed bread slices, salt and cumin seeds to it and knead the mixture well. Divide the potato mixture in 12 equal portions and then make patties (about 1.5" diameter).
Arrange all the patties on a hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side. Patties are ready!

Ragada patties, Chutneys and Jaljira

Assembly -
In a shallow plate, pasta plates work the best, add about a ladle full of ragada and arrange three patties in that bowl. Now sprinkle green and sweet chutneys, chopped cilantro and some farsan/sev. Enjoy with cup of tea or coffee.

Tips -
  1. You can use split green peas or garbanzo beans instead of dried white peas.
  2. If you think, peas don't get soft after cooking, please soak them overnight before cooking.

I am sending this to Sia of Monsoon Spice for MLLA-15, event started by Well Seasoned Cook - Susan.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Three Versions Of Banana Bread

Banana is one of my least favorite fruit. I can still eat a small bananas that we get in India but the one we get here are so huge that I can't even finish half of it. Then again it has to be ripe just enough, not too soft or not too raw. I do not even touch the brown ones. Recently we bought five different types of fruits, including bananas, to offer Ganesh during Pooja. As we had so many other fruits at home, bananas were sitting on the kitchen counter for really long time making them all brown and mushy. This happened to me around 4-5 months back as well. That time I searched for various banana breads and decided to try this one. Then I also tried Vaishali's vesrion of banana cake.

These days I started buying bananas just to have an excuse to make either one of these. I have tried Vaishali's version with almonds, walnut and pecans. I loved one with walnuts the most.

Vaishali's Banana Cake with Walnuts

Texture of Banana Cake from Group Recipes was more like bread than cake, so I started making it as a loaf. I have tried this recipe with various combination of nuts and other dried fruits. I ran out of brown sugar once and had to make it for a friend so decided to use grated jaggery instead. The texture was similar, and was as tasty as the original version of brown sugar.

Here is how I make it regularly -

Banana Bread with Jaggery

3 Ripe Bananas
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Grated Jaggery
1 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp Ener-G Replacer + 2 tbsp warm water (equal to one egg)
1 tsp Cardamom powder
1/8 tsp Nutmeg Powder
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (King Arther)
1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup Non Sulfured Dried Blueberries

Preparation -
Preheat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
Puree bananas, oil and jaggery together in a food processor.
Mix Ener-G egg replacer according to instructions on the package. Add the egg replacer and salt to the mixture and mix it thoroughly.
Now add baking powder, baking soda and mix well.
Add half of the flour and mix well. Add rest and make sure the batter is soft enough to move in the food processor. If necessary add 2-3 tbsp water and mix well.
Grease a 8x4 loaf pan with oil and dust it with all purpose flour.
Now gently fold chopped walnuts and blueberries.
Pour batter in the greased pan and bake it for 40-45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the middle of the pan comes out clean.
Let it cool completely before cutting it in slices.

Here is how it looks with brown sugar, vanilla, walnuts and blueberries.

Banana Bread with Brown Sugar

Tips -
1. I would suggest trying the one with brown sugar first just to get an idea about the texture and flavor.
2. I have not tried chocolate chips as I rarely have them handy.

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