Chapter : 4 – Food of the Earth Tests of Heaven

Stuffed Bread with Dal Filling

(Mung dal kachori)


1 cup mung dal; without skin,                2 tsp ground chilli (optional)

soaked in water 4 hours                        1 tsp ground turmeric

5 Tblsp oil                                                 1 tsp hing

½ tsp mustard seeds                             2 Tblsp garam masala

1½ tsp mustard seeds                           Juice of 1 lemon

Salt                                                           ½ coconut, grated

2 Tblsp ground cumin                              2 Tblsp raisins

1 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves


1 cup all-purpose flour                           Salt to taste

3 Tblsp ghee                                         Vegetable shortening for frying

  1. Heat 2 Tblsp of oil in a pan.  Add ½ tsp mustard seeds.  Add washed dal.  Add 1½ cups of water and salt.  Allow to cook till the dal becomes tender and the water is absorbed (about 25 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining 3 Tblsp of oil in a pan.  Add cooked dal (from step 1) and keep stirring till dal becomes dry and of golden color.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. In a bowl, mix the flour with melted ghee and salt.  Make dough by adding water and knead well.  Form balls the size of lemons and roll out into rounds 3 inches in diameter.  Fill them with 1 Tblsp filling.  Turn into kachori shape by pulling up the edges to form a pouch with the filling inside.  Pinch the puch opening together to seal.
  4. Preheat the oil and deep fry 4-5 pouches in vegetable shortening on medium heat.  Do the same with the rest of the kachoris.  Serve with date sauce.

Yields 15-18 kachoris

Baked Vegetable-Dal Cake

(Handavo – No. 1)

1 ¼ cup cream of wheat                           2 green chillies & 1 inch ginger,

¼ cup chick-pea flour                               ground into a fine paste

¼ cup rice flour                                        2 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

¼ cup wheat flour                                     ¼ cup peas

4 Tblsp oil                                                1 med.  Potato peeled & grated

2 cups yogurt                                           1 cup grated zucchini

½ cup water or more                                  2 Tblsp oil

½  tsp soda bicarbonate                             1 tsp mustard seeds

Salt to taste                                              1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tsp sugar                                                ¼ tsp hing

  1. In a mixing bowl put the cream of wheat, chick-pea flour, rice and wheat flour.  Add oil,. Yogurt, water, soda bicarbonate and salt and mix well.  The batter should be like a pancake batter consistency.  Leave the batter for 12 to 14 hours for fermentation.
  2. Add sugar,. Chilli, ginger,. Coriander leaves, peas, potato and zucchini to the batter and mix well.
  3. In an ovenproof pan, heat oil.  Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, add the hing and the batter to the oil mixture.  Mix well.
  4. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 3000for about 1 hour.  It is done if inserted knife comes out clean and top of cake is brown and crispy.  Cut into squares and serve with coconut chutney and date sauce.

Serves 4-6

Baked Vegetable-Dal Cake

(Handavo – No. 2)

1 cup rice, dry, ground,                            2 green chillies & 1 inch ginger

½ cup tuver dal, ground coarse                 ground to a fine paste

½ cup udad dal, ground coarse                  1 tsp soda bicarbonate

¼ cup chana dal, ground coarse                 1 tsp turmeric

3 cups buttermilk                                      1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cups vegetable cut small                         2 tsp sesame seeds

(any combination of green                       ½ tsp hing

peas, white pumpkin,                             ½ cup cooking oil

potatoes, carrots)                                   curry leaves

Salt to taste

  1. In a food mill dry ground the rice and all the dals.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, place the ground rice and dal.  Mix buttermilk and salt. Let stand overnight to ferment.
  3. Mix rice and ground dal batter,. Chilli-ginger aster, vegetables, Soda bicarbonate,. And turmeric.
  4. In an ovenproof pan, heat ½ cup of cooking oil.  Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, hing and fermented batter.  Mix and remove from the heat .
  5. Bake in a pre-heated 3000F oven for 45 minutes or until the top turns brown.  (Insert a knife in the center of cake, when it comes out clean, it is done).
  6. Serve with chutney.

Serves 4-6

Chick-Pea Flour Rolls


1 cup chick-pea flour (besan)                        Garnish

3 cups buttermilk                                         3 Tblsp oil

1 tsp red chilli powder or                               2 Tblsp grated coconut

1½ Tblsp green masala                              1 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

½ tsp ground turmeric                                  ½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp hing                                                   ½ tsp cumin seeds

Salt to taste                                                  ½ tsp sesame seeds

  1. Mix chick-pea flour, buttermilk, red chilli powder, turmeric, hing and salt in a heavy saucepan.  Place pan on medium heat,. Stirring constantly, for about 30 to 45 minutes.  When mixture becomes thick, try spreading one spoonful on a plate, when it can be lifted and rolled it is ready.
  2. Spread the mixture very thinly with the help of a spoon on a plain metal surface. When cool, Apply very little oil on your fingers and roll the mixture as tightly as possible.
  3. Cut the roll into small pieces and arrange on a platter.
  4. Sprinkle grated coconut and coriander leaves.