The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

September 26, 2019

Easy Dahi Vada aka Yogurt Doughnuts


Dahi Vada garnished with Tamarind & Date chutney

Whenever we visit my parents, Michael puts his best foot forward...especially when it comes to eating. Of course, my mom loves that he wants to try everything. I'm not her favorite anymore...Grr! 

On our most recent visit, he asked my mom the following:
 
Michael: Aunty, "Do you have any more yogurt doughnuts?" 

My mom: "Yogurt Doughnuts? Oh, you mean Dahi vada. Yes, I made it knowing you and Jahnavi will be coming over."

Michael's response: "Thanks, aunty. I hope Jahnavi will learn to make this soon so we can enjoy at home too." He looks over to me and says with a smile, "Happy husband, a happy wife!"

Alas, he's right. It's a win, win for both of us. Dahi vada does make him happy and it doesn't have anything bad in it, so I'm happy to make it and enjoy it. 

Below is the "secret" way to make Dahi vada without actually making the wadas. Shhh! Don't tell anyone. 

Ingredients:
- 13 Frozen Medu Vadas (from Amma's Kitchen brand, 24 pack)
-  2.5 lb or 41 oz plain whole milk yogurt 
- 3 small green chilies, finely chopped
- 1" piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
½ Tbsp salt or per taste

For seasoning:
- 1 tsp urad dal (black gram lentil)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp whole cumin
- a pinch of Hing
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable oil or Canola oil


Procedure (for preparing the yogurt or dahi):
1) Transfer the yogurt (or dahi) into a large Pyrex container with a lid. Churn the yogurt with a big spoon or a churner to make it smooth, adding ½ to ¾ cup water (use ½ cup for homemade dahi and 3/4th cup for Desi dahi brand of yogurt).

2) In a small pan, heat oil on medium heat for seasoning and add urad dal and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add in whole cumin and then add hing.



Stir for few seconds and then add chopped chilies and ginger and a pinch of salt.



Stir for 30 seconds and add the seasoning into the yogurt. Next, add chopped coriander and mix well and set aside.


Procedure (for preparing of Vadas):



1) Transfer frozen vadas onto a microwavable plate and microwave for 90 to 120 seconds depending upon the wattage.




2) Place them in a foil tray and toast them in a toaster oven for 12 to 15 min at 350°F. 



3) Remove the vadas from the toaster. Using a fork pierce into the vadas at two to three locations and put them immediately into the prepared yogurt mixture for soaking.



Continue this step with all the vadas and ensure they are completely immersed in the yogurt mixture. Soak the vadas in the yogurt mixture overnight or at least 4+ hours.

Procedure (for serving the Vadas):
Serve 1 to 2 vadas with some yogurt mixture into a bowl and garnish them with Tamarind & Date chutney, coriander chutney, some sev and enjoy!!

Product Review
We bought this Amma's Kitchen Medu vada packet twice and thought the vadas in the packet were good for the most part. We ate them on their own and also enjoyed them in the dahi vada recipe. They were very tasty and would recommend buying it. One thing to note:  Sometimes, you may find a couple of them that fall apart or not in good shape. This may occur if the packets at the store weren't stored properly. If you do not mind that they are perfectly round, then you can still enjoy them. Just make sure that if you are not using all 24 pieces in one recipe, that you store the packet properly in the freezer so the vadas do not go stale or fall apart. We purchased this medu vada packet at our local Indian grocer, Delight Bazaar (Parsippany, NJ) 

September 6, 2019

Quick N Easy Bhel Puri


Aloo Tikki chaat, aloo papdi chaat, pani puri, bhel puri, and samosa chaat are popular Indian snacks. You can buy all of these cheap eats from the street vendors in all over India. One of my favorites is Bhel Puri. 

There are also many restaurants and cafes in the New Jersey/ New York City area where I can go to enjoy this snack, such as Hot Breads (Parsippany, NJ), Moghul Express (Edison, NJ), Sukhadia's (Edison, NJ), and most north Indian restaurants have it on the menu as well. 

However, I'm not in India right now and I don't feel like driving to go get this snack. What I can do?? No worries. 



Mom to the rescue! She always knows what to do when I'm craving snacks. 

She told me about Bombay Kitchen's Bhel mix. This mix is made up of puffed rice, sev, and spices. This mix is also gluten-free because sev is made from chickpea flour and puffed rice is made from, well, RICE. DUH!!

Making Bhel puri is quite easy once you have the two ingredients I mentioned above. The snack is typically made with puffed rice, sev, tomatoes, onions, fresh coriander, and sprinkled with tamarind sauce.

I was excited to see that my mom has multiple bags of this bhel mix. Now I can make and enjoy this snack to my heart's content.

Below are the ingredients I used:

 
- 1/3 cup of Bhel Mix by Bombay Kitchen (which is a mix of puffed rice, sev, and spices) 
- 1/2 to 1 ripe but firm plum tomato, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion
- a few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 to 2 tsp of tamarind and date chutney
- 1 tsp Coriander Chutney (optional)

Mix together all of the above ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! That's it. That's the recipe. Now, go make it. It's nice and easy. You can adjust the ingredient amounts above as per your taste. 😀

Word of caution: do not wait too long after you mix all the wet and dry ingredients together because it will get soggy. That's no fun. 😥

I would definitely recommend all to buy this bhel mix. It tastes good on its own or you can use it to make your favorite snacks. It's great for parties. And it is reasonably priced. 

Bombay Kitchen Bhel Mix is available at most Indian grocery stores. It is also available for purchase online, at www.patelbrothersusa.com