Alu wadis are prevalent in both Gujurati as well as Maharashtrian cuisine.However there are some differences in the stuffing and the way we eat it.
While Gujuratis eat them steamed with oil tadka, we normally shallow/deep fry them after steaming.
My mom got huge Alu(Colocasia) leaves, for making this snack, which is a favorite with us. Though it might work with any leaves,the use of these leaves is ideal, because they are thicker and stronger than other leafy vegetables, and can stand stacking, folding, rolling and steaming with sturdiness and character.
I don't have the recipe in exact quantities because I was just clicking pictures while my mom made them, but I will list out the ingredients and you can just play it along by taste(or you can get the recipe off any Indian food blog)
The roll filling is mainly made of Gram flour to which we add a bit of rice flour(for crispness), salt, paprika, asafoetida, turmeric, jaggery and tamarind pulp and water, to make a spreadable paste. It should taste sweet and sour, with a little heat.
The first time I saw someone make Gnocchi was in the Australian Master Chef competition. That's the time I realized it didn't look too intimidating, but never got around to making it. One of the reasons maybe that it requires egg, and though I use egg in desserts, I hate using egg in my main course, especially in pasta.
I know, totally weird.
I always thought that gnocchi becomes airy and light because of egg, so an eggless version was out of the question. Until recently, I stumbled here. Chef Joey Camapanaro maintains that Gnocchi without egg turns out lighter due to the high starch content in flour.
So I tried his method. It's an easy to follow recipe.
My oven is most probably on its last lap. It's become unsafe to use it any more, so I have to take a break from baking. So I did the one thing that I always wanted to do, work with chocolate and see how it responds...
Now I do make chocolates at home, for gifting purposes. But I've never really tried soft centers and truffles.
So this time my focus was to reach a truffle that I would be satisfied with, as till now the only truffles I've wholeheartedly liked are the Lindt ones.
I used two different recipes, for the center.
The first one was a mixture of cream, cocoa and chocolate center...it solidified quite quickly in the refrigerator overnight, and I could make nice little balls , that I refroze. I then dipped these in melted chocolate. Since the balls were already frozen, the chocolate covering immediately solidified.
The next recipe uses a center made with whipping egg whites and adding a reduced cream and chocolate mixture and rum. I thought this will become lighter, but it ended up becoming sticky and melted at soon as it was exposed to room temperature. So I made chocolates with liquid centres instead.
For this, I refrigerated the chocolate tray, and gave a first layer of chocolate that solidified immediately.
Yep, I'm messy when it comes to chocolate...
Freeze this for 5 min, fill it with the liquid mixture, freeze again, and cover it with a layer of chocolate again. Freeze one last time, and you get nice shiny chocolate cubes. I was lazy and didn't scrape the top layer of chocolate, which is why I've got haphazard edges at the bottom ...
Though both tasted pretty good (the egg white one was smoother, and might make a really good dip), the round truffles with cocoa centers tasted better the next day, and the centers were really soft.
If I have to make truffles again, I'll definitely use the first recipe...
Every year on Ganesha Chaturthi, I hover around my mom, like a little kid, trying to sneak spoonfuls of sweetened coconut filling, while she efficiently makes the most artisitic modaks that I have ever tasted in my life. For the uninitiated, modak is a sweet that the lord Ganesha loves, and is made of steamed rice flour with a sweet coconut filling.
It's tricky to make, needs nimble fingers and years of practice. My mom has been making these since she was maybe just 10 years old, and reminisces a bit painfully of a time when people used to be hearty eaters, and would easily eat them in dozens at the least.
With all that experience, she makes a mean modak. What do I do? I meddle and take pictures with sticky hands and steam and sugar covered cellphones.
So here's how it went down....in pictures....
A plateful of modaks, waiting to be steamed :)
There you go...steamed, pretty and oh so yummy, all for you....!! (Sorry for the fuzzy quality, there was steam on my lens after a totally useless attempt to catch the steam on camera)
Maharashtrian Food: Most people do not know about Maharashtrian food, and those who do, think that our food is made up of Zunka Bhakar and Wadapav, and coconut fish curry. However after years of seeing my mom make the most varied variety of complicated and delectable dishes, I strongly feel that I need to do my bit, however small, of getting a few of the dishes across to my readers. In this endeavor, I promise to introduce you to all the typical fare that requires more than just curry masala and coconut milk.