LUCHI AND GAJARER HALWA (DEEP FRIED INDIAN BREAD WITH CARROT PUDDING)
Yes, this is the TIME OF THE YEAR!!! The festive time ..hoi hullour ( Extreme excitement- may not be the proper translation but I know you will understand my feelings)..the celebrations, the clothes, the food, the ....I can keep adding and I know my bengali friends will love to read them as much as I would love to describe them.
Yes, DURGA MA ki JAI!!! Today is Mahalaya and each one of us have a bundle of deep rooted childhood memories. I would love to engrave such precious memories in my son's life too. Yes, I did play the Mahalaya shloka in the morning and welcomed all the questions from R, even before he could get up from the bed to do his daily chores before going to school. Yes, tried to answer as much as I could before I stepped out of the house and promised him something special in the evening.
And it was his wish list Gajar er halwa ( carrot pudding). R's wish list and my top priority of course. My close friends would understand the obvious reasons. OK not a big secret, but R generally is not a big eater, hence he proposing something is like so IMPORTANT for me !! All mums would now go..oh yes, there you go.
Ok I will keep it short today.. I tried a different kind of luchi today - Went for Aloo Puri ..something I used to love when I was a kid..but kind of forgotten this particular dish somehow.
Inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor ( one of my Gurus in this field), I fabricated the recipe and poured the oil can onto the kadai to start pumping my puris. I just cannot stop story telling ..have to share these stories with you my friends..This was when I was a kiddo, and my dad had some Russian colleagues for dinner at our home. Mum fried some Luchis with chicken curry. They were super impressed with the phulko luchis ( nicely puffed up), and their main query was - Where is the hole on the Luchi? How did you pump the air in to balloon it up to this lovely round shape? Yes, thats the secret of Luchi!!
For the Aloo Puris, its just a simple twist to add in Grated boiled Potato and some spices to make it more interesting along with the flour in the dough.
I just mixed the following-
- 1 cup Atta ( wholemeal flour)
- 1 cup Maida ( Plain flour)
- 2 Boiled potatoes- grated ( make sure it is dry and not watery, otherwise the dough will be too watery and make your life difficult while rolling them)
- A mixture of spices- Salt, Chat Masala, Cumin Powder, Garam Masala, chilli powder ( all about 1 tsp each )
- A pinch of Ajwain(Carom Seeds) and Kalo Jeera ( Nigella seeds or Black Cumin)
I added some oil while making the dough and used hot water. Please do not make the dough too soft. The mashed potato will make the dough soft after resting. And then just roll out small Luchis after resting the dough for a while and fry them in hot oil.
You can actually eat them as it is as they have the lovely spices in them. But I served with a mixed vegetable and Halwa to have a complete meal. Also my offerings to the GOD was Luchi and Halwa.
For the CARROT HALWA, I used the traditional and original recipie which has coming over many many years. There are many versions like pressure cooker or microwave versions for today's technic modern lifestyle. But I do trust the authentic ones in these tastes.
So I grated 3 large carrots. For my preparations, I also blanched some almonds and raisins to make them softer which would compliment my carrot texture too. Mind you, the health freak side of me, I added one and half tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter) to a pan and sauteed the grated carrots for a while. Now what does "for a while" mean, to be more specific, till the colour is a tiny bit darker. Then I added around a cup of milk and cooked the carrots. I generally warm the milk and add. Made the milk bubble up to give the rich colour to the dish. Now a good twist is adding some Khoya or Kalakand to this dish at this stage to give some body, but unfortunately, this was an unplanned menu today, hence no stock of those lovely sweet compliments. I had some milk powder, and made the most use of it. I threw a generous amount of the milk powder, around 3/4th cup and another 3/4th cup raw sugar to the cooked carrots. Continuous stirring does the magic and the texture starts to come up. I threw in the chopped and blanched almonds and raisins at this stage and finished with cardomon.