Sun-Dried Food Products Series ~ III: Dal ki Badiyan

Among all those amazing dried products that one can make during hot Indian summer days making use of the strong sunshine, dal ki badiyan are the ones I really love.

Badiyan are tiny sun dried lentil nuggets, which are nutritious and an excellent substitute for meat in curries. Many varieties of badiyan are available ready made in stores. But nothing compares to these homemade variation that I am addicted to since childhood.

Dal ki Badiyan ~ Sun Dried Lentil Nuggets

Split and skinned green gram/Moong ki Dal – 500 gms
Hari Pyaz/Spring greens, finely chopped – 3 cups (only the greens, not the white)
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt and Red chilli powder – to taste

Method:

1. Soak the dal for 2 hours in fresh cool water. Later, drain and wash the dal in several changes of water. Once washed and drained, puree the dal in blender adding just enough water to aid in the process. (Note: Do not add too much water, or else the badiyan will not form properly)
2. In a mixing bowl, add the pureed dal, chopped spring greens, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix thoroughly.
3. Drop blobs of the prepared mixture on a clean and dry tray or a rimmed baking sheet using your hands or a spoon. Leave the tray in the sun during daytime and bring the tray indoors when dark. On the first night, gently scrape the partially dried badiyan and invert them so that the next day the bottoms also get nicely dried up in the sun. It usually takes 3-5 days under hot sun for the badiyan to completely get dried.
4. When completely dried, transfer the badiyan to an air tight container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Be careful and keep away from moisture.
5. Always shallow fry a few needed badiyan in some oil until the color changes to golden brown just before consumption. Do not burn them or else their taste will worsen. Consume the crunchy shallow fried badiyan on the side to your meals, or add the shallow fried badiyan to any of your favorite curries or soups and cook for just a few minutes.

Dal Ki Badiyan Pictorial

Blobs of the mixture on tray, ready to be sun dried

Badiyan – Sun drying

Shallow fried Badiyan, ready for consumption

Preparing Dal ki Badiyan in Oven:

If you live in areas where sunlight is scarce and plays hide and seek with you, you can even prepare badiyan in the oven. Just lightly spray or brush the tray with a little bit of cooking oil, then drop the batter on the tray as shown above and place the tray in the oven pre-heated at the lowest setting. Let it bake for around 2-3 hours. Shake the tray after every hour. Keep a close eye and as you observe they are completely dried up, remove and let them cool on a rack. Once completely cool, transfer to air tight containers and store until needed. Shallow fry a few needed the badiyan in a little oil and enjoy when fancied.

Other Amazing sun dried Indian food products from this series are:
1. Sukhi Dahi Mirch – Sun dried Yogurt Chillies
2. Dhoop Nimbu ~ Sun Preserved Lemons

Suhali

Deep fried, crisp and sweet. This is how I how I describe my childhood favorite tea time snack~Suhali (plural – suhaliyaan). They are just like poori, but rolled a little thinner than poori for a crisp end result and sprinkled generously with powdered sugar after being deep fried.

Suhali – Deep fried Sweet Discs

Ingredients:

All Purpose flour/Maida – 3 cups
Salt – to taste
Canola oil – 3 tbsp
Water

Oil to deep fry
Powdered sugar as topping

Method:

Mix flour, oil and salt in a bowl. Add water little by little to make a soft dough. Knead for a couple of minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. Knead again for 5 minutes. Pinch off walnut-size balls of dough and roll them between the palms of your hands to smooth round balls. Cover the balls with a kitchen towel. One by one roll the balls into thin discs using as little flour as possible.

Deep fry the discs in hot oil in a deep kadai/wok on both sides until golden and crisp. Remove them using a slotted spoon from hot oil and place on a platter. Immediately sprinkle the fried suhali with powdered sugar. Continue until all are done. Serve when cool. Store at room temperature. Finish within a week.

Note:
1. It is necessary that you roll the discs for suhali preparation thinner than you roll for poori.
2. You can add ghee and cold milk to the flour instead of oil and water respectively to make the dough if you wish. My aunt even adds a spoon or two of semolina to the dough.
3. Use as little flour as possible while rolling the suhali.

Luv,
Mona

Announcing ‘Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival 2010′ (Season II)

Ramadan (Sawm) is just round the corner, with less than 28 days to go inshallah. With this its time for me to announce the event ‘Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival 2010′ yet again on my blog just as we all had celebrated this event the last year.

I welcome everyone of you all to send me traditional Hyderabadi delicacies that are usually prepared during the auspicious month of Ramadan at Iftaar and Suhur, and also at Eid-ul-Fitr. Below is the logo and the rules for the event. If you have any questions, queries or issues please feel free to contact me.

The Rules

1. Prepare traditional Hyderabadi recipes that are savored during Ramadan at both Iftaar and Suhur (snacks, curries, etc), and also at Eid-ul-Fitr. Post about it on your blog between now and 15th September 2010.
2. There is no limit to the number of entries per person. You can even update old posts on your blog with a link to this announcement page in order send me your entries. Please provide a link to this announcement in your post and feel free to use the logo.
3. Send me your entries at zaiqa.mona@gmail.com with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your blog name/title
  • Name of the entry
  • URL of your post
  • A photo that is 300 pixels wide

4. If you don’t have a blog, you can still participate by emailing me the recipe, along with the other details mentioned above.
5. The round-up will be posted by 20th September 2010 inshallah.

Please do participate and make use of the ample time from now until the end of Ramadan. I look forward to a delectable round-up inshallah.

Luv,
Mona

King of fruits~Mango

It was peak mango season when I had landed here in Hyderabad.

ripening mangoes

Indian summer is synonymous with the arrival of the king of fruits~ sweet and fragrant mangoes in the market which are savored in both ripe and raw forms.

dasheri mangoes, washed and ready to be eaten

At that time of sweltering summer there were mangoes hanging from every tree, ripe mangoes being sold at every corner, unripe green mangoes being carefully chosen by ladies for the meticulous preparation of pickles.

green mangoes hanging on the tree

ripe mangoes being sold by vendors at Mozamjahi fruit market

Mangoes are available in so many exotic and delicious varieties, each with unique taste and flavor when in season in India which falls in March until late June. Totapuri, Himayat, Banginapalli, Benishan, Lalpari, Rasalu, Kothapalli, Mallika, Neelam, Alphonso, Kesar, Dashehari, Jehangir, Amrapali etc are a few varieties.

kesar mangoes

We also enjoy many kinds of raw mango pickles that my Ammi either prepares at home or the pickle is gifted to us by our well wishers. Sone of my favorites are the Sesame Mango pickle, the usual fiery red Mango pickle, Rishte ka achar etc. Just as raw mango pickle preparation is an annual ritual at homes in India during the early mango season, sharing a small jar of freshly prepared pickle with loved ones is also as important custom.

raw green mangoes, for pickle preparation

fragrant and sweet Aamras

Thick, glorious sweet and fragrant Aamras is what I love the most during this mango season. The pulp of ripe mangoes is mixed along with some milk/cream and sugar if preferred and enjoyed along with warm parathas at breakfast almost everyday or just as a snack along with tea in the afternoon.

peeled and diced ripe mangoes

cut ripe mango

This wonderful fruit can be enjoyed in diverse ways. Apart from the usual aamras, mango can be enjoyed in a number of ways, a few options to mention are kulfi, murabba, aapshola, ice-creams, pickles, jams, or simply diced and served as a snack. So go ahead and make the most of this glorious fruit.

Luv,
Mona

To Market

I had been to the wholesale Gudimalkapur ka market in Hyderabad a few days ago early on a rainy morning where fresh produce is sold everyday in heaps at very cheap prices. Although I was not able to click a lot of pictures, here are a few. Enjoy the virtual tour.

The Vegetable Market:

The Fish Market:

Luv,
Mona