Cookbooks That Bring To You The Wonders Of Gujarati Cuisine

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Did you know that Madhur Jaffrey the queen of Indian cookery once proclaimed that Gujarati cuisine is the haute cuisine of vegetarianism? Yes she did! Gujarati cuisine is suave, elegant, and tasteful. The different regions of Gujarat, Kathiawar in western Gujarat, South and Central Gujarat, have each of them, different tasting foods. Surat’s   Undhiya is a delicacy you must have. The Gujarati thali with its full lunch or dinner meal is famous. And what about the  farsan or snacks that we have at tea time? They’re fantastic, including Khaman dhokla, Handvo, Paatra and Muthia, not to mention the delicious Khandvi.

Many of the recipes I’ve posted on the blog are Gujarati ones, handed down to me by my mom and in turn, her mom. These are mostly undocumented and so they come down from generation to generation, changing a bit along the way, with that special Indian way of andaaz or approximation, making them taste even better.

I am giving you the names of some books here that have delved into the wonders of Gujarati cuisine.

Gujarati cuisine is mostly vegetarian but you will find non vegetarian recipes too in Bhanu Hajratwala’s Gujarati Kitchen- Family Recipes For The Global Palette.

Tarla Dalal’s The Complete Gujarati Cookbook is the Indian diva’s take on Gujarati cooking. And the book has all the classic Gujarati dishes. It’s fantastic for a lover of Gujarati food.

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Bhojan no Anand-Your Friendly Guide to the Gujarati Thali- Compiled by Anjali Mangaldas, are all the absolutely delicious recipes of the food served at The House of MG, her son’s hotel in Ahmedabad. This series of books is a must have.

Master Chef’s of India- Gujarati Kitchen is from the Master Chef series of cookbooks and it won’t let you down. The book is a small pack of dynamite.

So those are some of the books that will give you a taste of the richness of Gujarati cuisine. I promise you can make many of these recipes at home, because Gujaratis have a knack of making delicacies out of the simplest of ingredients!

 

Peanut Barfi

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Peanut Barfi or Peanut Mithai is a sweet made of peanuts. It was one of my Masi’s (mother’s sister) favourite sweets to make. And I loved how it tasted made by her. She is no more, but it was her birthday on the 16th of July, and I decided to celebrate by making this sweet in her memory.

I never got to asking Masi how she made Peanut Barfi so now I have to improvise and make it myself. I’ve tried, tested, tried and tested again and finally made it my way. It tastes so delicious. You should try it too.

Here’s how I make Peanut Barfi

Peanut Barfi

Makes 25 pieces

Ingredients

1/2 tin/ 200 gms condensed milk

150 gms peanuts, roasted and skin removed

150 gms khoya

50 gms plain flour or maida

1/2 cup milk

Method

1 Grind the peanuts to a powder in the mixer grinder.

2 Mix all the ingredients and put to cook in a thick bottomed pan, on a slow flame, until the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan. The mixture will form a ball.

3 Remove from heat and spread onto a greased rimmed plate, tray or thali. Spread in a thin layer. Cool and cut into squares.

 

Telia Batata

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Telia Batata or Potatoes in a mustard dressing. This recipe is to die for. Especially for those who enjoy the taste of mustard. I believe you should put enough of it so that the mustardy sensation shoots right into your head. Believe me, you’ll love the taste of this dish.

My grandma made this dish for the large joint family that mom lived in and they ate it with hot puris. The dish is spicy, mustardy and I promise sooooo yummy!

Here is the recipe

Telia Batata

Serves 3

Ingredients

500 gms boiled potatoes, chopped into quarters.

1/4 cup oil

3 teaspoons readymade mustard powder or 3 teaspoons ground split yellow mustard

Salt to taste

2 chillies finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

A handful of finely chopped fresh coriander

Method

1 Mix the ground mustard in the oil vigorously for 5 minutes. Add the salt and mix again.

2 Put the chopped potatoes into the oil mixture. Add the lemon juice, chillies and fresh coriander and give them a good but gentle stir. Avoid mashing the potatoes too much.

3 Keep in the refrigerator or outside for 1/2 an hour to let the flavours blend before serving.

 

Rum, Raisin and Chocolate Ice Cream

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I know, I know, it’s not Christmas. It’s not your boy friend’s birthday either. These are the special occasions you would make rum, raisin and chocolate ice cream for. But for me every day is special. And every day is an occasion to celebrate. So this time I’m making this absolutely tempting, adult ice cream.

This version of rum, raisin and chocolate ice cream is easy, it doesn’t require an ice cream churner, just refrigeration,  it’s soft and creamy and filled with plump, juicy, well actually drunk in rum raisins that will have who ever eats it saying- I want more!

Now you can make this ice cream too and have your partner licking their fingers and yours as well!

This ice cream is inspired by Jessica’s Sweetest Menu.

Here is the recipe-

Rum, raisin and chocolate ice cream

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

160 gms / 1 cup raisins

125 ml/ 1/2 cup rum

500 gms/ 2 cups cream

300 gms/ 1 cup condensed milk

4 tablespoons cocoa powder

50 gms dark chocolate chopped into small pieces

Method

1 Soak the raisins in the rum over a period of 1 to 2 days.

2 Stir the cocoa powder into the condensed milk in a large bowl until the cocoa powder blends in.

3 Whip the cream. Pour into the bowl with condensed milk and cocoa powder mixture, and gently mix it. Add the rum soaked raisins and the chopped dark chocolate pieces and gently mix again.

4 Put it in an airtight container and put it in the coldest part of your freezer, away from the door, so that when you open the freezer door, warm air doesn’t affect it. You may also want to wrap the container in a plastic bag so that the ice cream doesn’t absorb smells from other foods in the freezer.

5 Every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, as the sides begin to freeze, with a spoon, beat the ice cream. Do this thrice before the ice cream sets.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

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Tell me, would you say no to the tempting combination of crunchy peanut butter and bananas? And….when they’re together in muffins, how could you say no?!

Here is a recipe by the famous Rachel Allen, also known as the Irish Nigella Lawson because she’s oh so beautiful and popular. She’s also Rachel Allen of the Cake Diaries fame as seen on television. This recipe is from her book Cake, and it’s delicious, delicious, delicious!

So the next time you have a tea party for your girlfriends  or a kid’s birthday party, put on that apron and show off your baking skills. Make these muffins and watch while you’re showered with praise and 💖.

Here’s the recipe.

Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Makes 12

Ingredients

75 gms butter, softened

200 gms caster sugar

150 gms crunchy peanut butter

2 ripe bananas( about 200 gms when peeled) mashed

4 eggs

250 gms self raising flour

Method

1 Heat the oven to 180 degrees C, 350 degrees F, and line the muffin molds with cup cake liners.

2 In a large bowl, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar, peanut butter and mashed bananas. Beat the mixture till it turns light and fluffy.

3 Now in a small bowl, break the eggs and whisk lightly for a few seconds. Then add the whisked eggs, a little at a time, to the butter and banana mixture, mixing as you pour the egg into the batter. Then gently fold the flour into the mixture.

4 Pour the batter into the muffin molds, up to three quarters full, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, the muffins are risen, or a skewer inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.

 

 

Desi Style Pasta

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Pasta made with Indian masalas, and of course cheese, that delightful ingredient that we Indians just can’t do without. And tomato sauce too. This desi style pasta is mom’s recipe. You can make it spicy if you wish by adding more chilly powder or just keep it medium spicy, and that tastes great too.

It’s a great one dish meal with ice cream for dessert in these hot summer months. You can also eat it with toast, but please, please, do eat your pasta piping hot, because it’s no fun eating cold pasta.

Infact, now that the rains are here, you may wish to sit by the window or outdoors, with a delicious bowl of pasta and a fantastic book to read, or if you like to stay indoors, then you could eat it while watching your favourite television programme.

Here’s the recipe

Desi Style Pasta

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

250 gms shell pasta

3 tablespoons oil + 1 tablespoon oil

100 gms green beans chopped into small pieces

1 medium carrot chopped into small pieces

1 medium potato chopped into small pieces

2 medium tomatoes chopped into small pieces

1 medium capsicum cut into thin strips

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon chilly powder

salt to taste + a pinch of salt

1/2 cup tomato sauce

Garnish

3/4 cup grated cheese

Method

1 Put a large vessel filled with three quarters water to boil. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Put the pasta into the boiling water. Add a tablespoon of oil and let it cook till the pasta is soft. Drain the water and keep the pasta aside.

2 While the pasta is cooking in boiling water, heat the oil in a large pan. Into the hot oil, add the chopped green beans, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Fry for 1 minute. Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chilly powder and salt to taste into the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 1 cup water, cover and let cook on a slow flame. Keep checking often to see if vegetables are cooked. When the vegetables are almost cooked add the capsicum pieces and cook for 2 more minutes.

3 To the cooked vegetables add the pasta and mix gently. Let cook for 3 minutes, then add tomato sauce and stir gently. Remove from heat, put in a serving bowl and garnish with cheese.

Serve hot.

Banana Raita

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I don’t really like the banana and curd combination too much, except for this recipe, where I love it. This is a treasured family recipe. My maternal grand mother’s mother in law gave it to her. She gave it to my mother, and my mother handed it down to me.

You’ve not tasted banana raita unless you’ve tasted this version. It’s so yummy. My middle sister ate it when she came home and said it was party worthy. Eat it with hot chapatis or parathas for lunch or dinner. So go ahead and make it for your loved ones and let me know in the comments, what they have to say!

Banana Raita

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 large or 1 1/2 medium sized banana chopped into small pieces

2 cups curd

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tablespoon freshly cut coriander

1 finely chopped chilly

Salt to taste

Method

1 Beat the curd until smooth. If it is too thick add a little water to bring it to raita consistency.

2 Add the chopped banana, mustard powder, coriander, chilly and salt to taste and gently mix.

3 Keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Serve cold.