Last to last week Suzanne and Cristina, whom I met through food52.com ( I met them or knew them virtually) and also at the first potluck that Suzanne invited us at the release party of food52 cookbook II in winter. This was my second gathering with them. I missed the spring one, so I started thinking about what dish should I be cooking. You know when you are meeting a food group or group of bloggers, you feel a little intimated to cook something for them. Especially, when they all have known or atleast have seen baking their moms, aunts and grandmothers since childhood. I did watch my mom cook but hey I belong to different ethnicity and I never baked anything back in India. I just started baking rigorously or regularly after moving to USA. So, I asked Suzanne what should I bring? I thought she would suggest something and I will have less confusion as to what should I take to the potluck.
Then, after a lot of thinking I decided to take dessert, that too something baked. So, finally it was mango curd meringue tart that I decided to take. I also wanted to take something savory so I decided on taking an Indian dish called ‘Khaman’.
Khaman are these little savory cakes made from chickpea flour. The batter is steamed and cut into squares and then we temper them. They are really light and soft and fluffy. You can’t just eat one.
So, without saying much I would share the recipe of khaman.
- 1 cup Chana Dal
- 1 tablespoon Urad Dal
- 1/4 cup Yogurt
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 tablespoon Chickpea Flour or Besan
- 2 teaspoons Ginger paste
- 2 teaspoons Green Chili paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda or Eno
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 2 Green chillies cut into slits
- 2 teaspoons Sesame Seeds
- pinches of Asafoetida
- 4 tablespoons Water
- 3 tablespoons Fresh Coconut grated
- handful chopped Cilantro
- Wash and soak both the dals overnight or at least 7 to 8 hours. Drain out the water from the dals and add the yogurt and dals to a mixer grinder , add the 1/4 cup of water also. Now, take out the mixture and add in the chickpea flour, turmeric, salt , one teaspoon of sugar and keep it to ferment for some hours or preferably overnight.
- Keep it in a warm place like oven or microwave to ferment. Just before making the dumplings , add in the ginger-chili paste, lemon juice, oil and soda bicarbonate. Mix well. Do not over mix it. Let the batter be smooth.
- Now, keep a pressure cooker or a steamer ready filled in with water on stove to start the steaming process. Place the dish with the batter on a small bowl or some vessel, so that the dish does not touch the water. Nor do not want the steaming water to get into the batter.
- Grease a dish with high edges with some oil. Pour in the mixture into the greased dish half up, as the dumplings/cake would rise. Cover it with pressure cooker top or the steaming vessel cover. And, cook it for about 20 minutes on high flame.
- Side by side , for the seasoning take a pan, add the oil let it heat up a little bit , add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and let them crackle. Once the seeds crackle , add the green chilies which we had cut into slits and sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, 4 tablespoons of water and switch off the stove.
- Once the dumplings are done after 20 minutes, keep them for about 10 minutes to cool off properly before cutting them into pieces. Once cooled off , cut the dumplings into 1 inch squares. Arrange them in a dish side by side. Sprinkle the seasoning on top of each dumpling to coat them with the seasoning. Sprinkle the grated coconut and the chopped cilantro.
- Serve it with green mint-cilantro chutney. For parties, arrange each dumpling on chutney with toothpicks.
- For variation , I add spinach to the batter and it gives it a nice green color and taste of spinach. You can also, add pea puree to the batter.
- How about adding some fresh corn to it ? Coming back to potluck, we enjoyed a lot. We talked about food and life, we ate till we were stuffed and we promised to meet again and also go out for wine tasting. I just love being with such a good company. Everyone of them is extremely talented. I would like to share some pictures from the potluck and our amazing spread.