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  RECIPE: PURAN POLI (STUFFED SWEET CHAPATI)
Submitted by Kavita Kulkarni of Lithia

Holi falls on March 14 and among the delicacies associated with the festival of colors is the mouthwatering Puran Poli.

Ingredients

1 cup chana dal
1 cup gud/jaggery
1 tsp cardamom and nutmeg powder
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp all purpose flour
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup rice flour
Salt
Water

Preparation

Place chana dal and water in a deep sauce pan. Water should be about 2 inches deep above the level of the dal. Cook till the chana dal is very soft. (This may be done in a pressure cooker.) Strain while hot and let stand for 10 minutes to let most of the water drain. Return dal to the sauce pan; add gud and cook on medium heat till gud melts and the mixture becomes homogeneous. This process will take about half an hour. Let it cool and mash with potato siever or Puran Machine. Add cardamom and nutmeg and mix well. This is the Puran.

Mix whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add water to make dough a little stiffer than the one used for plain chapatti. Knead well with oil and a pinch salt. Place the kneaded dough in a bowl along with remaining oil. Let stand for one hour.

Break off half a lemon size dough ball and roll it to about 3-inch diameter. Place about one and a half tablespoon puran on top of the freshly rolled dough. Encapsulate the puran with the dough and seal well using fingertips. Place about ½ teaspoon rice flour on the smooth rolling surface. Place dough covered puran ball on the rice flour and roll gently to 8- to 9-inch diameter circle. Roast in a frying pan or Indian “tava” to almond color.

This will make 6-8 pieces.


SPICY MASHED POTATO

Mahashivratri is on Feb. 26. Since this is a fasting day for many, we would like to present a quick and easy recipe.

Ingredients

½ table spoon butter
1/8 teaspoon cumin seed
¾ cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup crushed unsalted roasted peanuts
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small green pepper cut in small pieces (seeds removed)
1 cup potato flakes
1 capful lime juice concentrate

Preparation

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add cumin seed. After it sputters, add green chilies. When the chilies start losing their color, add milk and water. Add crushed roasted peanuts, salt, sugar and stir. When the mixture is about to boil, add lime juice. Turn the heat off. Immediately add potato flakes. Mix thoroughly with gentle stirring. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) leaves. Let stand five minutes before serving.

This recipe can be doubled.

Submitted by Kavita Kulkarni of Lithia


PEANUT BLOSSOMS

Ingredients

48 Hershey’s kisses
½ cup shortening
¾ cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar for coating dough.

Preparation

Heat oven to 375o F. Remove all wrappers from candy.

Beat shortening and peanut butter until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar & brown sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add wet ingredients: egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients in separate bowl: flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to peanut butter mixture.

Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Coat dough balls in granulated sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately place Hershey’s kiss on top of each cookie, pressing down so cookie cracks around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Submitted by Aparna Tutak of Clearwater




Asha Patel of Michigan offers three curry sauces through her year-old Tasha Foods company.
CURRY SAUCE ANYONE?
By NITISH S. RELE

Running an internal medical practice just didn’t suffice for Asha Patel. The Michigan resident, disappointed with the lack of healthy and tasty curry sauces in the marketplace, has taken to running a small curry sauce business. The year-old Tasha Foods (www.tashafoods.com) produces three curry sauces: ginger garlic curry, cashew chicken curry and coconut seafood curry for $4.99 per 12.5 ounce bottle.

Patel’s curry sauces have been distributed in Michigan-area gourmet stores. “My sauces are not very spicy but yet fresh and perfectly balanced,” she says with pride. “They offer low salt and fat content, and fresh onions. They cater to the mainstream American, many of whom may not know Indian names such as korma or vindaloo. But hopefully these curry sauces will draw their attention.”

Of course, the fun and the cooking have just began for the 48-year-old doctor-cum-entrepreneur. Patel is already holding “tasting” sessions for new curry sauces such as soya bean curry and almond curry. “Maybe even a fusion curry,” she reveals. “I like to cook all kinds of foods such as Indian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.”

Though she started small, Patel looks to expand Tasha Foods products through distributors in Chicago and New York. “I have the time,” says the mother of two teenage sons and husband-psychiatrist Hiten Patel. “At present, the business is doing good. Maybe, it will be profitable some day but for now, I am glad that what started as my hobby has paid off.”

It shouldn’t surprise many that the spice bug glued on to Patel. After all, the Gujarat native comes from a family that has been in the spice business for over a century in India. “I know there is a demand and appreciation for my products since people are asking for more different sauces,” she says.

Curry sauce anyone?




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