Sunday, February 26, 2012

The art of making Phulka

What is special about this flat bread is it is made on a gas flame and allowed to raise/fluff up without yeast or baking powder.

Phulka/pulka is an exciting variety of Indian flat bread. What is special about this flat bread is it is made on a gas flame and allowed to raise/fluff up without yeast or baking powder. The procedure looks pretty simple, but get this- it ain’t as simple as it sounds or looks. To get the bread to rise, you need perfect dough, which is perfectly rolled out into a circle. When I mean perfect, I literally mean the dimensions. In case you miss out on even a small aspect it just wouldn’t raise when you put it on the gas flame. It takes a lot of practice to get this right and not many can master it overnight. Now here is the best part- Phulka/pulka is great in terms of nutrition. Made from whole wheat it contains minimal calories (probably around 70 cal/per bread) and it can be eaten with any curry/dal of your choice. It is a staple food in North India and down south; you will hardly find this variety of roti/bread.

The art of making Phulka/pulka
Recipe type: Main
Author: Suchitra Vaidyaram
A healthier staple food in North India, these roti’s can be dunked in any gravy to fill your stomach!
  • 2 cups of wheat flour
  • dash of salt
  • water for kneading
  • a tsp of oil
  1. In a big bowl, mix the flour with salt and with the help of water start kneading the flour. Ensure you take time to do this and you don’t hurry up with this process.
  2. Don’t dump too much water and keep pouring water as when required to bring the flour to a dough consistency.
  3. Keep kneading till you get good, soft dough.
  4. Towards the end add a bit of oil to give it a glossy texture.
  5. Once the dough is ready, place it in a container with lid and store it in fridge.
  6. I have always found that when the dough gets to sit in the fridge for 5 to 7 hours it helps. I have never found success in using the dough immediately- it never fluffs up when put on flame.
  7. Take a small ball of dough and flatten it with a rolling pin.
  8. Ensure you roll it evenly. This step is crucial to the success of your roti getting fluffed up when you put on flame.
  9. Once rolled out, place it on a hot pan and allow both the sides to cook.
  10. You will notice that it starts to fluff up a bit.
  11. Now place one side of the roti on a high gas flame and allow it to bloat like a balloon. It happens within a second.
  12. With the help of tongs flip it to the other side.
  13. Allow it to fluff up for a second time.
  14. Don’t overdo and burn/char your roti.
  15. It should be done within seconds and removed from flame within seconds.
  16. Please be cautious when you are using the flame.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Soya Chunks and Mixed Vegetable Rice

Using soya is a great way to pack some proteins into your rice. With a little seasoning, it’s a delicious side dish.

Soft and spungy soya chunks are full of proteins and can be cooked pretty easily. They do not have a strong taste on their own and tend to adopt the flavors that we cook them with. You can whip them into a curry or add them to rice or stir fry them with Indian spices. It’s a one pot (pan)dish packed with proteins and can be customized to suit your palette!
Soya Chunks and Vegetable Mixed Rice

Author: Suchitra Vaidyaram
Pack in some proteins with this flavorful rice!
  • Soya chunks- washed and boiled (1 cup)
  • Chopped Carrots & baby corn (1/2 cup)
  • Basmati rice (1 1/2 cup)
  • 1 dry red chilli (broken in two pieces)
  • 2 medium sized onion (chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves to garlic- crushed
  • Garam Masala- 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika powder
  • Salt according to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • Cooking oil/clarified butter for cooking
  1. Wash the rice and keep aside for 1/2 hour
  2. Squeeze the water out of the boiled soya chunks and set aside.
  3. Melt some clarified butter (or you can just use oil) in a non stick pan and add cumin seeds.
  4. As they begin to sputter add bay leaf, red chilli and allow the oil to soak up the flavor.
  5. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute till the onion begins to turn golden brown.
  6. Add tomatoes, carrots, baby corn with soya chunks and fry them for couple of minutes.
  7. Blend in the washed rice and add around 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water.
  8. Add salt, garam masala and paprika powder.
  9. Mix well and allow the rice to cook- Put the gas on a medium flame and put a lid and cook till the rice is soft and well boiled.
  10. Once cooked, switch off the flame, mix the rice well and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.
  11. Serve with dal or any curry of your choice.


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